Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back from the 1st Wine, Women and Song

Yeay, we're home!

Had a great time. I really enjoyed doing the shows with the gals. They have written so many amazing songs and I get to sing along.
The tour for May is still revealing itself. I think it will be 11 shows all together between the 16th and the 28th. Whew, it's been a long time since I did that!

Booked some dates in the east with the St Mary's gig in June. Birch on the 28th and Ramshead the 30th. Don't know who I'l be bringing there just yet. Hope to have an album out by then. I may have some fun news here in a week or two. It will probably surprise you.

I need to get my Christmas songs off the myspace page, eh? Maybe tomorrow. Going to see John Prine tonight...woohoo!

Up to NewYork to tweak the Town and Country project. Hope to master it in a week or two.

Feeling very prolific right now...not pregnant.



Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning coming down...not really.

It is absolutely perfect outside. I think I will not spend much time indoors today. Maybe I’ll let the dogs drag me up the mountain this afternoon.

I hope that you got your newsletter yesterday. Big News, huh?
I plan to do those newsletters a lot more frequently as we count down to the release date. It makes me feel organized to put stuff into a sequence like that.

I am doing my photo session for the new album this week. Once we get new pictures start looking for the “long-promised” new website to appear! I had to go to Turks and Caicos for a few days to get some color. It’s all in my contract.

Going back a few

Well, it’s about time for a journal entry. Sorry it’s been so long. Things are really shakin’ around here.

I guess I’ll go back a bit to the fun time we had in Scotland and Sheffield England.

I went over with Matraca Berg and Gretchen Peters to premiere our Wine, Women and Song show. We took along my 11yr old son, Ben; Jeff Hannah(Nitty Gritty Dirt Band...Matraca’s hubby) and Barry Walsh, ( Gretchen’s significant...piano player/sleeps with the act.) The guys sat in on a couple of numbers but mostly the show is about three chick singer-songwriters who have known each other for a bunch of years. We actually sound good together as a bonus!

Both showswere big fun and since we had plenty of time we did a little site seeing. Ben especially liked the scarey parts of the castles and the old streets they call “the close”. We met our good buddy, Dean Owens there(he opened for us in Glasgow) and got a great tour from him and his 10 yr old daughter, Billie.

We had a fair share of late noights but one wonderful thing came of that. Since we were up until 3am most nights(UK time)...Ben never got off of his schedule. You see it’s a six hour difference there and at home he gets up at 6a.m. for school and goes to bed at 9p.m. We were up til 3 and slept until noon. Wasn’t that a nice coincidence?

Anyway, it was good to have Jeff along to croon Mr. Bojangles. Too bad the guys have to work on their own gigs while we are there in May. I’m sure we won’t get into any trouble......

More VERY soon. I have lots to tell you.

L and H



Happy Freezter! Sheesh! We couldn’t even do a morning Easter egg hunt cuz the frost was too thick. I have really been whining about the cold. Somehow it feels like we were given a great gift(Spring) and then it was taken away. I just feel pissed! My poor trees were totally fooled and now how black droopy leaves. Guess it’s supposed to be better tomorrow but still in the twenties tonight. vent much?

OK then. On to nicer stuff. Hope you have had a good day with family  and/or friends. It is actually really pretty here(except for the dead flowers etc.) You may have seen Ben’s Easter Offering on You tube. Does this hamminess run in the family or what?

I wanted to try to catch up a bit from the last couple of months. The photo is from the cruise I took with my mom in Feb. It was hosted  by WGNA in Albany NY and we had a great time. Stayed up til dawn with Collin Raye and my mom didn’t even get mad.She used to frown on that.

Matraca, Gretchen and I did a show for NSAI at Twelfth and Porter last weekend. We had a rockin’ audience and a standing O. So warm and fuzzy.

I have been doing more meetings than music lately. Trying to make some big decisions on how to release the upcoming CD. We have had some major revelations in the past few days. Stay tuned and we’ll connect with you more as we go through the process.

Maybe we’ll ALL learn something. Missing you.
Can’t wait til the Symphony Show in Iowa. Time to hide my own Easter that’s fun.


BIG Doin's Last Night

Big Doin's Last Night May 9, 2007

I had two gigs last night. Felt like the old days. 
Played the Opry with Matraca Berg and Gretchen Peters. We thought it would be cool to kick off our Wine Women and Song tour at The Opry.  It was actually Gretchen’s first time to perform there. It is such an honor to be on that stage, I think we all got a little weak in the knees. You know there are some pretty spooky vibes out there. You always want to do a good job and stay on their good sides. ooooh Anyway i think we did well cause I heard people clapping and some were even throwing babies in the air:) We are all leaving this Sun. for a two week tour(not to be confused with a  three hour tour a three hour tour) in the UK. I hope to see a bunch of you there. Unique show.

Later in my crazy rock and roll life, I went to 12th and Porter to sit in with my good buddy, Brad Colerick on Bill Block’s Western Beat. Brad has  an awesome folky/ country voice and some great songs. I felt bad cause he had an earlier slot on the show, but since he had to wait for me, he went on after the slammin’ southern rock group. Tadah! He surely prevailed though and folks were swayin’ and a-groovin’. You’ll hear more about Brad soon. I sang a duet with him on his new CD “Lines In The Dirt” due out in July. Stay tuned for a preview..woooooo

Anyway, havin’ the time of my life with all the collaborations I’m doing these days. There are so many incredibly talented folks out there. Sometimes I get to meet ‘em and be friends and make magic. Gosh.

UK TOUR- Wine, Women and Song

I realized lately that this journal is partly in present tense and partly in past tense. There might even be some subjunctive or some such thing. I apologize to all of you scholars.

Day one of the Uk tour...Wine, Women and Song:

I got in a day after M and G because i had a symphony date in Iowa on the Sat. before. Had to jump off the bus, empty my bags and start over with the cool weather clothes. Thank goodness I did, cuz it’s raining and about 52 dgrees. First stop in London, is tennis shoes!
Matraca and Gretchen and I took a late dinner to get our groove on and start the rockstar lifestyle. Went to the closest pub for the after party, but got smoked out. Guess we need time to get up to speed.

!5th. It was our first show and we taped an interview for Bob Harris EARLY in the morning.
He is such a lovely man and knows our s--- inside out. the show was in Bristol. It was a rainy day but the scenery was still inspiring. We were excited to get started.We played in an old church and barely needed any P.A. The acoustics were so live and present. Ahhh! Gretchen and I got up next day and went to a nearby 500 yr old church to check it out and had lunch (by the church ladies) in the basement. Cute! William Penn is buried there.

16th I went to Wales for the first time. We played a theater that night. It was well- attendced but not full. I think it seated over a thousand. We were all surprised at the quiet audience. They were definitely into it but I was expecting a raucous crowd. I need to go back and see what gives.

We were off the next couple of days and had a long drive to Manchester so we took our time and stopped in Oxford to see the beautiful buildings. It was very college vibey there. I love that feeling like people are just expanding themselves all around me. Whoa!

18th.. There will probably be a song about closing down the bistro in Manchester.

19th was the show in Manchester. Turned out to be a fun-loving audience and a sellout1 yay! This is where the roll got started.

We had a bit of a drive to Gateshead, but got in in time for the gals and i to have tapas at a cozy place in Newcastle. Sting joined us for after dinner drinks...OK maybe not.

21st Gateshead is the premiere venue! We all wanted to soundcheck for hours as the sound is impeccable and the feel of the stage is utopia. Our audience was packed and everyone seemed to be a part of the show. You can pratically reach out and touch everyone.Also have to mention that the folks working there obviously love their jobs and they filled our visit with hospitality and kindness. Did i suck up enough to get asked back?

Now comes the countryside that won my heart. I loved Leeds though we didn’t hav much time there. The next day we drove to Kendal and our little Brewery gig. On the way we took a chance on a country Inn for lunch and it was my favorite meal of the trip. (Can you tell the food is a hefty part of why I like to travel?) Anyway...fresh trout, tiny potatoes in bechamel sauce, asparagusI, homemade yorkshire pudding rolls mmmm. It was a Women’s festival and I believe we were the last night of it. The crowd there was in a tight room and it was warm. For some reason it turned on the comedy in our show and we had one of the most cutting up shows. That definitely was a very spontaneous part of every night. I know some of the folks followed us around and they honestly gor a new show each night. Different songs, stories and a fresh joke now and then.

Here’s a day that I thought I’d get to a computer to journal. I wrote it in my notebook instaed.
Today is the 11th day of the tour.I am sitting in the warm leather windowseat in the bar of the 200yr old hotel The Swan overlooking the river in Bedford England. Today is the first day i made it up for breakfast.Mostly we’ve been on rock and roll time ..bed at 3a.m...up at noon.Oddly i do well with that. I am a morning person at home.

I love it here. I’m all alone in the bar and I’m soaking up the smell of spilled beer and stale cigarette smoke. (the smells of my early years as a singer in bars). It sounds wierd, but when i started out i just loved the time when I was setting up my P.A. and the club was all musty and empty. I always felt happy to have a gig. i still love to look at my calendar when there are lots of bookings on it. Nights to come that are all unpredictable and fun yet to be had.
It was so different in the days of the large venues for me. ( 90’s) Nothing like I was used to.. The talks during AND after the shows were missing and I felt isolated. I like to gab with the audience, revel in their accolades and hear about who they’ve been to see lately. (especially my buds I don’t see that often) Not complaining about the mass audience, I love it, but it’s not my forte. I digress...

Matraca and Gretchen are lovely to travel with. Each is completely professional, no ege trips...gracious and flexible. AND OPEN TO FUN! woohoo!
Night after night their genius has amzed me. Every night is different and i like the audience have had new songs sprung on me that challenge my emtional control. There is plenty of laughter too. They both have a quick witt and make me comfortable with my habit of looking for a laugh.
All and all the show runs the gambit of feelings- The wine has been flowing but the days off-whew! are for rehab.

So that night in Bedford we had big fun playing in a school auditorium. There were lots of fun instruments around and we made fools out of ourselves with them. Whee! I especiallly had fun playing the cymbals...they didn’t have a gong:(

On toLondon. Yikes what a day. Bank holiday, so the traffic was apalling. It took us three hours to go 52 miles. Rainy, poopy and i am just starting to think i’m sick. Love love love the venue! It is a church that is as beautiful as it’s acoustics. We invited our opening act, Mad Violet to sit in for the encore and it made it so memorable. Great show...wonderful fans an di made it through with minimal squeaks. Yay! Not so lucky the next night. Wah!

We had so been looking forward to the Basingstoke show. Our biggest crowd, and our last blow out show of the tour. What a super drag when my voice went south at the soundcheck. We all just had to resign ourselves to it because we have all had laryngitis at one point. I believe I am corect that I have only lost my voice fully, in 25+ years of performing, three times. It’s a good record but doesn’t help much on those nights that you just have to deal with it. What luck to be with the girls to dazzle the audience as I tap dance my way around my handicap. I hope you folks from the Basingstoke show will give me another chance. I will be back!

In any case, bust or not I felt so elated by the tour that i came home with a great feeling of accomplishment. i have bee wanting to get back over there for some time and thanks to my friend Gretchen for lending us her booking (Nigel) and touring team (the wonderful Pauls), it made it a breeze and both Matraca and i are looking forward to our next visit. TBA

And thanks to all of you who came out to the shows and made us feel so wanted. Aw Shucks

Love Ya