Half the year gone already! In the first six months, we’ve traveled to Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, California, Ohio and North Carolina. Had some good shows and some great times with some awesome musicians, but as always we love coming home. In Michigan, we’ve shared the stage with Allison Downey & John Austin, Jason Dennie, The Milroys, Dublin Station, Joel Palmer, Jill Jack, The Whiners (Jan Krist, Jim Bizer, Drew Nelson & Annie), and had some magical shows with The Yellow Room Gang (which also has a brand new site).

The rest of the year (and rising gas prices) will keep us closer to home and a lighter gig schedule will mean more time to spend in the recording studio on our new CD which should be done in time for Christmas. In addition, the Yellow Room Gang will be recording their second album featuring new songs from all 8 of us!

That’s all for this little update, but enjoy the new website and we promise to try to stay on top of this little blog of ours.

In the car on the way up to Manistee I sit in the back seat listening to Rod and Jason talk “shop”. How lucky am I to have such talent beside me. We’ve had the good fortune of playing in a trio with Jason Dennie who does the mandolin fine and also does a little singing. Then they break into a hysterical laughter over a certain South Park episode involving … well … I just can’t say it. Boys. Its a good thing they can play.

Okay, okay, we’re way overdue here. There is simply too much to share for this to go quickly and its been hard to find the time to type. We ended our year on an up swing and have managed to keep that feeling going strong pretty much through the dark winter months. Amazing, that! The 4th Annual My Folky Valentine was a big success, lots of new faces in the audience and a couple new faces on stage. Then Rod and I set off for one of our longest trips away in a some time beginning with a show at the legendary Godfrey Daniels opening for Mustard’s Retreat, on to Philly where we were fortunate to appear on Gene Shay’s WXPN radio program then we headed south to Johnson City and on to Memphis for the big Folk Alliance conference! If you know me, you know how much I mostly hate those things, but each year gets a little easier and this was our least painful conference so far. For this, I credit friends; real friends. I’d list them but if I left someone off, I’d die… suffice it to say, we’ve been ridiculously LUCKY to encounter more than our fair share of generous and talented people over the years, many who we are honored to call true friends. So, that’s gonna be our theme for the year 2008 and beyond … GRATITUDE. Anyone who thinks they can do this alone isn’t paying attention. Anyone who doesn’t see how crucial it is to open your eyes, ears and hearts to your peers is missing out on the only real reason to do this!

That’s all for now…!

I’m trying not to notice that the last time we wrote was almost three months ago. Those three months have been so full of music and wonderful friendships and the kind of life we only ever dreamed about living. So, why is it so hard to stay upbeat and happy sometimes? I don’t know, but I can tell you that it my life’s goal to research that very thing. In a world that is fraught with frustration, heart break and self centered people, music is our life blood, our church, our bliss, our best friend, our favorite place, our truest selves. The music BUSINESS, however is pretty much the opposite of all of that. That’s not to say that everyone in or everything about the business is evil, its just hard to separate the thing you love to do from the things that make it so hard to do.

In the past three months we have shared gigs with awesome and inspiring musicians who we were proud to call friends (Yellow Room Gang, Allison Downey/John Austin to name a few), we have shared our music with new audiences at new venues (The Front Row Theater in Gladwin, The Foundry Hall in South Haven), we have experienced our first NERFA (Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference) where – thanks to amazing and supportive friendships – we held our own.

Just got finished watching our CD release concert video from The Ark in June and I have to admit, as much as I hate watching myself on screen, it was pretty fun remembering that incredible evening. Jason, Jonesy, Chuck, Whit, Christine and Madcat – all wonderfully talented and what great energy! Wish I could say that it was DVD quality, but alas, it is not. We may grab bits and pieces here and there and post to the website for fun, but mostly we’re gonna have to try again with the video thing.

Got some great news the other day about our new CD and the Folk Radio charts! We’re #11 (out of 100, I think) and “In This Town” the song was #3! What does this mean exactly? Who knows, but its pretty darned cool! I think it means they liked us!

So we’ve got some plans to tour out east in the not-too-distant future but in the meantime, we have some really fun shows in Michigan to attend to. Hope to see you.

Who’s reading this anyway? Are you? hmmm…well…that’s very nice!

xoxo – annie

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