The first song I wrote with my good friend Michaela Anne is on her brand new record, which has been praised in the New York Times and No Depression among others. I’m so happy to have had a small part of what the Bluegrass Situation calls an LP “full of heartbreakers so grounded in self-awareness that they never sound anything but authentic, yet never too indulgent to ring just like diary scribbles.” Specific praise for the song we wrote together, “Easier Than Leaving,” came from the Bluegrass Situation, which named it song of the week. Congrats Michaela!
I’m beyond excited and honored to be playing in this year’s Americana Festival right here in Nashville on Saturday, September 19. My set will be at Musicians Corner – free and open to the public – alongside Angaleena Presley and several other fantastic songwriters. If you’re a Nashvillian, check out the Americana Fest and all its goings-on at www.americanamusic.org. They do an amazing job of curating an impactful conference and series of showcases every year, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.
I’m so incredibly honored to be a finalist in both the Telluride Troubadour and Kerrville New Folk songwriting competitions. These are both such prestigious festivals with such amazingly rich histories. I’ll be happily heading to Texas in May and Colorado in June to play both festivals, soak in a bunch of amazing songs, and probably meet some incredibly talented new friends whilst “competing” in these competitions.
It wasn’t long ago that I was sitting at this very computer, applying for a residency at a place I knew almost nothing about – Zoo Labs. I’m proud to say that after winning our way into their fantastic residency program, the EP we recorded there – Edge of This Town – is now available in the online store and on iTunes.
My band and I are so excited about this music and very much hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!!
On April 7, one week from today, my new EP Edge of This Town will be released. I just got my hands on these gorgeous photos taken by Gundi Vigfusson during our time at Zoo Labs, and they’re a sweet reminder of our wild and wonderful ride there.
Edge of This Town was lovingly recorded over three and a half days of tracking in the studio in Oakland, California. We worked hard and fast; we came prepared and emotionally ready. My band and the Zoo Labs masterminds gave every bit of themselves to make this project what it became, and I couldn’t be prouder.
Tour so far… snow, lots of beautiful snow. And songs, lots. of. emotional. songs.
I’m so grateful that I get to do this every day- sing, write, play, entertain. Mostly I love having conversations with all of you after the shows. There’s something very sacred about that space, isn’t there?
After a wonderful show last night in western Mass, I’m hunkering down here til the storm passes. Then it’s Yonkers on Thursday, Philly on Friday.
Carl and Ellen Anderson have kept me laughing and well-photographed. They also are some of the most talented people making Americana music right now. I’m so completely honored to share the stage with them.
Great big thanks to the venues and hosts who have given us a stage to play where music-loving audiences come and share these magical moments. Thanks so much, Martha, Myra, Liz, Adam, Justin, Karen, Ed and Dee Dee for opening your homes to me this week. Such fun we’ve had!
Photos by Ellen Anderson
I’m happy to announce that the EP we recorded at Zoo Labs is being released worldwide on April 7, 2015! Stay tuned for details about pre-ordering.
Yesterday began the start of our new lives as smarter entrepreneurs and more focused music makers. We’re so excited to bring this new music to your ears very soon, but for now, here are some photos from yesterday’s epic final day at Zoo Labs. After a listening session of the newly recorded songs, we presented our business plan, and followed that up with a live performance during the release party. (We call it a release party since Zoo Labs is releasing us back into the world with all this new knowledge.)
More details after I’ve recovered from sleep deprivation.
Tomorrow we’ll be pitching our business plan and newly recorded songs to the Zoo Labs community, then playing live for the release party tomorrow night. Wish us luck, we’re nervous. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done on the pitch, but I think we’re getting close.
I feel like a bad blogger for not sharing more stories with you! Gosh, there’s so much to tell. I must have made the wrong decision in trying to post each night instead of each morning, since at night I’m super crazy tired after a full day of work (15 hour days!!). You know that feeling, right?! When your brain shuts down? That’s what’s happening to me right now.
So, I’ll be brief. Sunday was a day off and we got to catch up with some of Jimmy’s family out here, and Ellen got to hang with her family, too. Awesome. Monday brought a chat about the dollars and cents of generating income, or some kind of data/return when there might be no actual income. Today we worked with a rhetoric coach to help us prepare our pitch for Thursday. Have I mentioned we’ll be pitching our brand concept to Zoo Labs and other industry professionals on Thursday night? Yep. It’s a big part of the Zoo Labs experience and I’m trying not to over-think it, but um, I’m over-thinking it. But don’t worry, Ellen and Jimmy are reigning me in.
On the recording front, Johnny Duke came out to track some mandolin and fancy guitar stuff for a day and he’s already back home tonight in Nashville playing the Ryman. Vocals are DONE, thanks to an epic day of vocal tracking yesterday; we went well into the night (um, 2 AM) to get it all done. I’ve never pushed myself so hard vocally, but it paid off. Man, it all sounds so gorgeous.
Alright I’m falling asleep!! More soon. Promise.