Total, only slightly terrifying joy – to jump in playing with The Brevity Thing with my new-ish tune “O Mother” at Radio Bean in Burlington last night. They are a very fun group to watch (and be with) onstage; even though they don’t talk to the audience too much, you feel wonderfully included just because they are having such a relaxed, great time. No set lists allowed, so I hear. I like how relaxed, loose but tight their sound is. Dave Ball’s song “Rock, Paper, Scissors” was crazy and good. I have to hear that one again.
I played last-minute at the Winooski Farmers Market last Sunday August 16th – and even better, Jom Hammack joined me for the first time on mandolin, what a joy. It was a hot summer day and we got a good workout…here’s at Radio Bean later that same night, where we reconvened for our second hot humid gig of the day!
In the last two weeks, some goings-on that speak to the heart of where I am right now:
In early July I attended a one-week intensive in Dalcroze Training at Carnegie Mellon, which uses movement and the body as the medium through which to teach music theory and practice. It was a sometimes bewildering experience in terms of music theory. I have a lot to work on in that department – my guitar study with Paul Asbell and my bit of preparatory work on piano did serve me very well – but it is exciting to be dunked head-first, inundated, in the music theory world. And it is great to have the connection with movement explicitly explored. And, the piano is quite a siren: she is luring me these days. I tell my guitar not to worry.
This coming week, Paul Besaw and Chong Ho Kim’s international (and experimental) dance musical Good Dirt is playing in barns across Vermont. I contributed song material to the project; really loved working “on assignment” – initial genesis and songwriting task, then hand the songs over to be used, however necessary, in this multi-media project. It brings me back to the knowledge that for me, the songs are primary – not my own performance of them. The songs, I believe in them. It’s like, I conceive them, watch over their development like a mother with a nest of eggs, and then they fledge. Fly away. I sometimes don’t even quite know them after a while.
But last – of course I’m very happy to back singing my songs. I will sing them – familiar and strange – this Friday July 17th 7:30pm at the Bees Knees in Morrisville, Vermont.
Playing at Radio Bean this Sunday June 21st at 7:30pm.
It’s almost officially summer! And my summertime goal in singing songs is to take time. Expand, extend, allow the songs to enter into a sort of drone, a meditative mode. Get to the place where I feel permitted to listen in more deeply, play around, experiment, go off script.
I was really inspired by the Burlington JazzFest this year – saw so many great artists; I’m always most intrigued when I see performers creating their own sonic realities up there – artists who aren’t afraid of some risks and rough edges because they are dealing in raw truths – not settling for facsimile.
Last time at the Bees Knees got to perform with Remy de Laroque, Dan Strauss, and Ted Looby (seen here in the back in a sort of eerie shadow effect).
Tomorrow, June 14 for brunch 12:00 – 2:00, it’ll me solo – though leaving open the cup of possibility that some Elijah musicians might show up to join me…
So great to play music with Dan Strauss, Ted Looby, and Remy de Laroque this past week at Monkey House in Winooski and Bees Knees in Morrissville. It was a treat to hear live their awesome, soul-stirring songs, witness the camaraderie and collaboration among them – it’s a special thing to hear a group of musicians who have been playing together for years. Also mind-blowing to hear a few of my songs getting an instant full-band treatment. I’ve so rarely had this experience, this pleasure, that it was both electrifying and disorienting – in a good way! Dan, Ted, and Remy approach the songs with both tact and authority, easily and instantly trade instruments as they hear what needs to happen. And – they are helpful, supportive, relaxed. But among all the things I appreciated, it was the magical group listening that evidenced in a kind of flow, a knit, a soulful rhythm that wove the audience in, particularly the second night at the Bees Knees. To be even a small part of that “group speak” – I guess that’s a band! – was amazing. I didn’t want it to end.
I’m excited to team up with Ted Looby of Burlington and his cohorts Dan Strauss and Remy de Laroque of Brooklyn to play at The Monkey House in Winooski on Saturday May 23 and and The Bees Knees in Morrisville on Sunday May 24. We will be jumping in on a few songs with each there – keeping all tribes and eras represented with some bluegrass and some of the Boss. The main course, of course, is ….original tunes by Remy, Dan and myself! Speaking of main courses, though… don’t miss the delicious food at The Bees Knees.
…at Radio Bean this Sunday 7:00
No upcoming events.