Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"We don't like to call it 'in trouble'........"

I had the privilege to play a couple of living room tour concerts in Kansas City last week. This pic is from the first of the two. Hosted by Erin and Elizabeth, it was a beautiful setting on a rooftop in downtown KC. It was an enclosed pool room so the acoustics were like singing in a HUGE bathroom! I met some great people and very musically inclined at that. We had a little jam session after the favorite :c) Devon and Nathan took some pics. The one to the left is one of Devon's.

The next night I played at Sarah Beth and KB's house, my sister and brother-in-law. Dharmesh took some pics there. I can't wait to see them! I look forward to experiencing how different each living room stop is, but this one happened to be exactly how I imagined they would be. I sat in the corner on a red chair, and everyone sat in a U-shape around me on various chairs and furniture. The living room was the perfect size for the 10 people present, and the concert felt like one long conversation.....alittle one-sided I suppose ;) but so comfortable and intimate.

I played out in the Plaza abit on Friday. These two security guys parked their SUVs in the middle of the road and sauntered over to me. When I asked, "Am I in trouble?" One said, "We don't like to call it 'in trouble,' we like to say you were misinformed." haha good times! very different all around from my experience in the French Quarter.... :c)

For all the selling of EP's I keep mentioning, I am actually talking about pre-orders. I have a sign up sheet at each stop for those interested to pre-order. No EP's have been distributed just yet. I will shout it from the rooftops, and probably have one of those 'laughed til I cried' moments when the release please Lord, sometime in my lifetime actually occurs.

This has been SUCH a learning experience for me. Thank you for enduring my ignorance in so many areas.........

Dude, you guys! 100 people have subscribed to my youtube channel!!!!! What?????? Check it! and subscribe if you haven't yet!

Thank you everyone!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

N'awlins and a Concert

Helloooooooo!!! So the latest setback on the EP release is that I used a few stanzas of an old hymn in the bridge section of one of my tracks. Silly Lell here didn't do the proper homework thinking the hymn was old enough to be public domain. After doing the proper research, I discovered that the copyright was renewed in 1983, obviously retaining it's legal demand for royalties in this grand old year of 2010. Bottom line: I removed the hymn from the track and reworked some things in the studio to avoid any sort of copyright infringement. I was leaving for New Orleans when I found out all of this madness so I didn't make it into the studio until last Tuesday. The guy who has mastered the EP was out of town until yesterday. Therefore, I'm hoping to get "the call" that the mastered copy is ready....any......minute.....

So New Orleans.......awesomeness! I saw a long-time friend, met some great people, met some odd people, and met some creepy people. :c) This pic is from the first day I played out in the French Quarter. I played three separate times, in five varying spots, and for a total of about 6 hours. I had never really played on the streets for tips before, and wasn't sure what to expect. During those six hours, my faithful friend, Jennifer, filled out postcards with my social media links and passed them out to lingering listeners. I expected to get some smiles and a dollar here and there. I ALSO expected to see more street performers out there. Maybe it was too hot.....because it was HOT! The main surprises were how many individual conversations I had with people, a one hundred dollar bill tip, AND a police officer threatening to take me to jail. Before I played in the Quarter, one of Jennifer's friends warned me that I might need a permit to play on the street. We decided to take the chance. It was alittle after 8pm on Thursday night and a police officer pulled up where I was playing. I was right in front of a cathedral that gets alot of tourist traffic. One of my odd new friends rode by me on his bicycle whispering, "Stop playing. You aren't allowed to play in the Quarter after 8pm. They'll take your instrument and everything." I stopped mid friend ran over to the police officer and waved to me saying it was okay to continue playing. I yelled, "Are you sure?" Suddenly, the officer turns on his speaker inside his patrol car to say, "If you don't play another song, I'm taking you to jail right now." He went on to say that he was having a bad night and just came over to listen. :c) Whew! I got a picture with him before I left....tried to get him to handcuff me but he wouldn't.
I played a gig at Neutral Grounds Coffee. Great space! According to a patron, it's been around for 40 years.

I met Bronson in the Quarter, owner of the Red Lantern. He heard me singing from across a high car traffic street and a few doors down. His compliments and encouragement made my day. When I walked by his store, he had taped my postcard up on the door. :c) The last person I met was David. He immediately said, "You know where that gift comes from don't you?" He pointed up and said, "And He's crazy about you." David told me his story, which involved growing up as a pastor's kid and pretty much saying F you (his words) to the church as a young adult. He came to know the Lord in prison. I don't know what he was in jail for and it really doesn't matter. We quoted scripture back and forth abit and marveled at the love and persistence God has with and for us. His breath smelled of alcohol, but his words were Truth. His eyes shine when he talks about God. When I tried to thank him, he kept saying, "Don't thank me. Don't thank me." I love listening to anyone talk about something they are passionately pursuing, but this was especially nice because it's something we both happen to be pursuing. What a gift to me on my last night in New Orleans. :c)

In other news, I received free tickets to see Patty Griffin in concert last week. I love her.......she's my favorite. I've NEVER seen her play live. When I picked up the tickets from Janet, who I'm so lucky thought of me when she couldn't use the tickets and wanted to give them to someone, she mentioned, "Oh and you know Patty's playing with Robert Plant in this concert." I didn't think too much of it because I could not IMAGINE someone asking Patty to play in their concert without giving her an entire solo set. She has such a faithful following. Well my assumptions were incorrect. Patty led vocally on ONE song......ONE song. Don't get me wrong, I love Patty Griffin's music so much that it made the 4 hour drive worth it to hear her amazing voice live even for only a few minutes. I just can't imagine that her fans will be satisfied with this lack of presence. She sings background vocals on Robert Plant's songs.........her voice is far too unique and wonderful to properly fit with Robert Plant's lead vocals. I know that Robert Plant has his props for being the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, but he is trying to sing in Patty's genre of music. Robert should be opening for Patty in this situation. Buddy Miller led vocally on one song. Buddy and Patty's voices fit together so much better than Patty and Robert's. I enjoyed the concert alright, but I felt like a parent who's kid had one line in a 3 hour play or something. And I think in this scenario, Patty has alot of disgruntled, proud parents. Yeah? Anyway, I'm very thankful for the tickets, but look forward to seeing a Patty concert where she receives her appropriate time and spotlight. :c)

I'm off to Kansas City tomorrow. Check facebook for events. I will have signups for EP preorders due to the unfortunate setbacks. EP's will sell for $5 each at any Living Room Tour stop and $6 at any other show and online. If you get an invite to a Living Room Tour stop, come and save some money on your EP purchase!!!! See you soon!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Coming to a living room near you!

So I got some new glasses...... --->
And that's really all that's new lately......HA! not really :c)

In my last post I told you, I found myself homeless and jobless in a matter of days. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who whole-heartedly offered to take me in. :c) As always, God provides. I am happy to tell you I have a roof over my head and finances have been coming in in the most interesting ways. This pursuing music thing is face-to-the-ground humbling. So many people to hug for awkward lengths of time to try and show my appreciation. :)

people who have stepped up to offer their support:
-anyone who comments or sends me messages ever!
-a graphic designer-designing EP artwork-puts up with my detailed opinion and struggle to articulate what I want to see!
-aNOTHER graphic designer-designing t-shirts and buttons-puts up with me not knowing what I want, but knowing what I don't like......
-an engineer-designing my official website-puts up with my complete lack of knowledge in this area.
-anyone who offered monetary help toward my recording studio time- NUF SAID!
-a free place to stay this summer when I'm home.
-a friend-offered to help fund the duplication of the EP- Out of nowhere!
-a friend-went to the glasses store with me to pick out these glasses after I had been 80 times and left with nothing. :)
-anyone who has offered to open up your home to me and invite friends to please maybe hopefully like my music.
All of these things and many others do not go unnoticed by me. THANK YOU! *long, awkward hug from me* haha

So I've been thinking of this Living Room Tour since January. I didn't know how I could do it with my full time job. With that obstacle out of the way and little exposure at this point, I hope I get to meet friends of friends who I wouldn't otherwise meet by playing in living rooms across the nation. I sent out emails to people I thought might be interested. I can't remember how many I sent out, but I've received about 40 positive responses! Again, I'm overwhelmed by your support. The plan at this point is to do as many as I can through the end of August. As soon as the final "tour" is set, I'll post a schedule of what cities I will be in and when.

I'm scared to tell you the date I would like to have the EP release just yet because I've had so many things thrown off for various reasons. As soon as I can say it with confidence, I will.

My friend in New Orleans is moving mid July so I am going down there this week to play a living room concert AND a gig in New Orleans before my actual EP release! I'll be playing an hour set at Neutral Grounds on Thursday, July 8th, at 10pm!

Just to give you an idea, I have dates confirmed for the tour in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas so far......and that's just a couple days after sending the date possibilities!

Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans! Happy 4th of July!!!!!