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.
Well, the tracks are DOWN, y’all. After a morning workshop about understanding our fans, we went into Studio A and knocked out the remaining pieces of goodness these songs needed. Somehow in two days we tracked what we needed, and all that’s left is vocals, mandolin (Johnny Duke will be here tomorrow!), and mixing! Crazytown. Brad and Andrew, our engineers, are super awesome and allowed us to move really quickly.
Hmmm, what else. I am super tired, and am definitely having a hard time putting these sentences together. But thankfully today is a day off and we’re gonna rest up. I should also work out. Then I’ll be guilt-free when I eat the fancy brunch currently being prepared by our chef Mikaela, who consistently knocks our socks off.
This morning went to BandPage’s offices in downtown San Francisco to learn from the very smart Ivan Cash about engaging campaigns and how to approach the market in smarter ways. So cool, so invigorating. There was an idea brainstorming contest to get our creative juices flowing… a prize went to the person who created the most ideas in 5 minutes, with no judgements about whether the ideas were worth anything. Guess who won!? (Ahem, I am very competitive.) Contest aside, it got us thinking in super quick ways about brand new things. yay.
Straight outta that morning workshop we went into Studio A for hmmm, we’re almost done — 10 hours so far. Andrew on drums, Rich on guitar, and Jimmy on bass. Those guys KNOCKED IT OUTTA THE PARK, Y’ALL. You won’t believe the amount of musical magic being made!!! I cannot wait for y’all hear these songs.
Our second full day at Zoo Labs was the best yet. Workshops on digital strategy and team dynamics, and lunch with an artist endorsement manager from Dunlap had us engaged and excited. I even had my first moment that brought me to tears during the team dynamics workshop (I’m an emotional girl, but you already knew that). Stuff about how uniquely original we are, how no one else in the world has the same traits as you. What a gift to be reminded of that, and how we should embrace our strengths and focus on nurturing them instead of giving credence to our weaknesses.
Our drummer Andrew Laubacher arrived tonight and added such a great warmth to the tunes during pre-production. We’re now ready to start tracking tomorrow! yaaaaay tracking.
Tomorrow we visit BandPage’s offices in the morning and head back into the studio where the magic will be warmly invited in.
Value Proposition. Why does what you do matter to the market you’re serving? What about it provides the solution to the problems your fans might have? Without these answers, we might be forever lost in the abyss of marketing confusion! Today we started the conversations within the traditional business model canvas. It’s very different to think about music in this way, but actually it makes a LOT of sense.
Rich got here today for pre-production! Man, it feels awesome to have him here. We met Rich back in 2007 when we were working on Sugar – he played on that record, then on Tattoos & Bruises three years later, and we’ve played a whole heap of live shows together, too (before Sara Bareilles snatched him up!). You’re gonna love the sounds that he and Jimmy came up with in the studio today. It’s sounding so good already, and we haven’t even started tracking!
Here are some shots from the morning’s workshops, and the evening’s pre-production time in Studio B.