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 song.........my 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!!!


  1. Lee Ellen! This is awesome. Sounds like New Orleans was great. Can't believe you got a 100 dollar tip. What an amazing surprise! Also playing for a cop having a bad day. Soo cool! Hope your travels go well!

  2. You go Lee Ellen. :) I love to see what the Lord is doing through you. Praise Him!!


  3. Hello Lee,
    Thanks for letting me take some pictures at Sarah's place. It was mine and Ami's first living room concert, undoubtedly a very fun and pleasant experience.

    Good luck with your music and EP. You have gorgeous voice.