Thanks to Mike Ball and his Lost Voices organization, I have had the privilege of spending a week (on more than one occasion) adding music and sometimes melody to the powerful words of the phenomenal girls at Vista Maria who, at ages ranging from 12 – 17, have survived the kind of trauma we could never imagine or understand. There’s really no way for me to explain the impact these young women have on me both in their bravery and gentleness. This blog post on the Lost Voices website is beautifully written by singer/songwriter and board member, Sharon Tse. You’ll be glad you read it.
This time of year is always rife with emotions from blissfully happy to supremely sad, and everything in between. Rod and I have been talking a lot about time and how we want to spend what’s left of ours. Not PLANNING on going anywhere but with so many friends leaving us far too soon, the urgent ticking of the clock has us contemplating how we’re spending our time. Joyfully, comes to mind.
We’ve been performing our new song “This Little Apple” since January and recorded it back in March with the intention of dropping it with some sort of fanfare but really, we just want to get it out there. So by popular request you can stream the recording here or click to download the hifi mp3.
Feel free to share.
June was one of those months where every show exceeded our expectations (and not just because we’ve learned that it’s best not to have any). Packed with amazing musical experiences, we just kept pinching ourselves when we looked around the stage at the incredible talent with whom we have the honor and pure joy of making music. It all started with our big 10th Anniversary Celebration of “In This Town” at The Ark on June 2nd, with our killer band members Jason Dennie, Ozzie Andrews and Mike Shimmin; followed by the wonderful Noreast’r Festival, followed by a glorious time at Above the Bridge Songwriter’s Weekend where we got to be on staff with John Latini, Jamie-Sue Seal, Pat Bergesen and Sigrid Christiansen. the following weekend it was back up north with members of the Yellow Room Gang: Mustard’s Retreat and Matt Watroba, for a handful of memorable shows at stunning venues. The month ended with a surprisingly special night at the Grass Lake High School gymnasium playing for a bunch of enthusiastic music loving cyclists (P.A.L.M. – Pedal Across Lower Michigan) and the big finish was our debut performance of our exciting new band Diamonds in the Rust. This band features two members of the Yellow Room Gang, Jan Krist & Jim Bizer along with Alan Finkbeiner. http://diamondsintherust.net. We are truly overflowing with gratitude and promise to elaborate more on a future blog post.
It’s really hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since the release of our fifth recording “IN THIS TOWN”!
For so many reasons this was a transitional album. Everything from what was happening in our personal lives to our professional lives influenced the songwriting and this album received the kind of support and recognition that we hadn’t experienced before.
The title track was written long before we moved to what is now our home town of Chelsea, but we ultimately finished the album after we moved. In the midst of recording the album we were suffering from a lack of confidence and feelings of uncertainty about where we were heading with our music. We were still struggling with trying to redefine ourselves in the acoustic/folk/singer/songwriter world after a long history of rock bands and bars! It was more than just the songwriting. It was a mindset. We had to convince ourselves that we fit in. So we called on artist consultant Kari Estrin who put us through a rigorous soul-searching exercise and reinforced our sense of direction. The original title of the album was going to be “Grey” but Kari wisely talked us out of that. (more…)