October 2008
Oh Maine

I love Maine. Half of my family lives there. And once again, it didn't disappoint. The afternoon before the Ogunquit show I got to do a really fun radio show at WCLZ. It's a station that actually plays songs they like. They're not dictated by some arbitron sampling, or corporate list compiled in the middle of Iowa. THANKS Randy and Ethan!!

When I walked in, there was the cutest little wooden purse sitting on the counter. there were clippings of french text book exercises on it, and little hand painted french icons - the eiffel tower, a bottle of red wine, the arc de triomphe. It's handle was made from beautiful glass beads. I admired it and asked where I might find one....

Long story short, its beautiful owner insisted on giving it to me after i was on the air. And I am now infatuated with this remarkable little gem. The best part is on the inside. Her husband actually made the purse for her (she said he's the artsy one!!) He had written, "Je m'aime beaucoup" Then in smaller print around the inside rim, "je suis amusante.... je suis jolie.... je suis sympatique.... je suis intelligente.... moi, moi, moi"

At first I though he might have meant "Je T'AIME beacoup." As in, I love you so much honey I made you this gorgeous little purse. But it was even better, it was a reminder to her to love herself. That she's beautiful and funny and smart and cool. Of course that's when I burst into tears. What a great guy. So later at the show, I had to share....

My niece Ariel represented! Sock monkey ready

Her rommate Nikki really took it to school:

And after the show we all shared our favorite dance moves....

This was my version of West Side Story. (I was Velma once in college)

Nikki's Martha Graham move... (pictures courtesy of our friend Pierre Baudet... who sent the one below as well. oh that early nineties hair, both earrings in one ear, and I'm not sure what that blue clay is doing there. Jennifer and I really knew how to doll up!!

I guess that was the last time I had played in Ogunquit! 

On to Norfolk, CT. It was only the third show at this brand new GORGEOUS, perfectly restored little theatre. We were so beautifully taken care of, (thank you Kim) and the place just felt magical. I hope I can play there every year. If you get a chance, GO. There's also a little Bed and Breakfast up the street called the Mountain View Inn. Decadent breakfasts and the ground floor is full of pristine, vintage treasures. Shopping AND food. Dreamy.

Then, Northampton. My old stomping ground, the place I played my very first gig, just feels like home. Nora Guthrie was in the audience again. It's always kind of sacred when she's in the house! And my pal Thea showed up just to make it a real party.

I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

The NPR "weekend edition" interview I did with Liane Hansen will be airing this SUNDAY. And my "World Cafe" interview with David Dye aired this past Friday. Every little bit.

More soon,

love and chocolate.


Poor Red Sox

In honor of the poor Red Sox... I give you Sad Clown Sandwich. This is the work of my friend Ronnie White. She did a whole series with Sad Clown. There was Sad Clown Salad (sad clown on a bed of fresh greens) and Sad Clown Side of Fries.... with ketchup, you get the idea.

We were rooting so hard Sunday night in Fairfield CT. But no, it was not to be.

New York was dreamy. The Theatre for Ethical Culture is such a great room, especially for a solo acoustic show, it has its own natural ambiance, notes just hang romantically in the air. Nora Guthrie was there. A treat, that made singing the new songs even more special. (Esp. "Sweetest Angel") Nora's daughter Anna is convinced that Woody sent that song through me so that she could play it for her little daughter to get her to sleep every night. (sniffle)

Tifany Loiselle, Jonatha and Nora Guthrie

My pals Andrea and Pierre trekked down from New Hampshire to represent. There are still people crazy enough to ROAD TRIP!! Love it.

Pierre. Before the news.


Off to the knitting store to fix all the mistakes I made during the debate. See you in Maine!!


World Cafe Dreaminess

Well, Philly never disappoints. It always feels like a homecoming at the World Cafe Live. I do get a little hungry watching the dinners come and go right in front of the stage. But I love this town, this space, and the people who come to say hi after the shows. Thank you all for another inspiring, beautiful evening.

My rock star pal Eric brought some of his magic with him - we performed our new 'hit' "More True Lovers Than One" and of course "I'll Leave the Light On." I just love singing with this guy. And he looks great in the sock monkey hat.

Eric Bazilian 

I met a new fan, Kassidy, an aspiring dancer, and she looked even better in the hat, (sorry Eric darling)

she was a trooper, staying up late even thought she had jazz, tap, AND ballet the next morning.

What I'm getting to, fumbling to, (maybe i need just one more cappucino) is that I still LOVE my job. There are so many hard parts. There is so much uncertainty and juggling and gambling, not knowing if we'll lose our shirts (and pants) each time we throw something out to the world. But singing for an audience that is really right there with you is such an honor and a joy. Like the Mastercard ads, PRICELESS. I can't thank you all enough. There are moments on stage when I could just levitate with the feeling that I am so lucky to be doing what I do.

See you in NYC tonight. I can hardly WAIT.



Boston and Aunt Gertrude

We are sending out super healing mojo to Glen Philips. He had a bad accident involving a glass coffee table and his arm. OWWWW. It's not clear yet when he'll be up and running, (and playing.) 

So the Boston promoter wanted to postpone Thursday's show, and now it will be November 18 at the Paradise. State College, PA also rescheduled the show tonight for April 14. I'm so sorry if anyone is inconvenienced. Touring is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is indeed a jungle out there. So much uncertainty, the economy and the election sapping our energy and light.

I went to my husband's Aunt Gertrude's funeral over the weekend and once again, (this is the fourth funeral in my whole lifetime) found such solace and comfort in the gathering of family, the grieving of loved ones. I grew up without death ever really being acknowledged. We just didn't talk about it. There was so much mystery. I was never told when people had passed.

It is an awesome transition, and it was only when my husband's father passed and I witnessed a wake, funeral, and the Irish wake that followed, that I understood the absolute necessity of these ceremonies, these ways of honoring the dead. Those who remain need that catharsis. I finally let go of all I had lost right there in my mother-in-law's kitchen. Stories and wine flowed, laughter turned to tears and back to laughter again with seamless cadence. I didn't want it to end. 

This weekend, we honored Aunt Gertie. She was deaf, had cerebral palsy, but lived BEYOND fully! She was a devoted sports fan and until she died at 86, she had season tickets for the Minnesota Twins. She only missed one game over the years, and that's because she had dropped her false teeth in the toilet. Rather than fish them out, she flushed. "Germs" she growled. She had lifetime VIP status at the Aveda Salon, where they did her nails and hair every week. She would flash her red white and blue, sparkly purple, black cat and pumpkin nails at you first thing. "See" she would say, "PRETTY."

She loved freely and HUGELY. The first time I met her, my first Thanksgiving meeting my husband's huge Irish Catholic family, she suffocated me in a bear hug when i left. "I LOVE YOU" she shouted. I LOVED Gertie. I will truly miss her.

Sock Monkey Seattle

Back from Seattle, re-packing for State College, Boston, Philly, New York. It was cold, but SUNNY the whole time I was there. NICE.

The lovely folks at KMTT hosted a live in-studio performance, and the coolest bunch of people represented. As usual I got wicked chatty, and had to keep being reminded that they were taping the show for radio, and I didn't need to include my entire life story.

Then, my dreamy friends Jen and Liz Elayne, came to the show, with

Jen Diamond

Liz Elayne 

dreamy husbands/partners, and we had a sock monkey fest backstage. Matt Stearns did a fabulous job on sound,

Matt Stearns

I think his son Aevin gets the sock monkey cute award,

 Aevin Stearns

(close second Liz Elayne.) I just love how people humor me when I ask if they'll put on the hat. Of course Jen Diamond's partner Josh had to wear it backwards when it was his turn.

 Josh, rebel monkey

Wonder what THAT's all about!! There must be some deep psych probing you can do with this hat. If this music thing doesn't work out, I will look into sock monkey therapy.

Kelly, the promoter gets sexiest sock monkey award. She was so lovely to us, brought us some home cooking back stage, and worked her butt off to make the show a success. Thanks Kelly.

So feel free to call KMTT and let them know you'd like to hear the new record. I'm sure they'd love to hear from you....;)

On a quieter, sadder note, my husband's aunt Gertrude passed away on Saturday morning. I will never forget her story about fighting off all the jocks in the bleachers when Mark McGuire hit his record breaking home run. She must have been about 78 at the time, deaf, bent and twisted with arthritis, but she caught that ball. Now that's a sports fan. I hope she can still see all her games from heaven.

Come on out this week. And bring chocolate.



sweet dreams. 

sleepy Gabe, Jen and Josh's littlest sock monkey

Mary Oliver

I am in love with a book of poetry I've been reading. Mary Oliver has always been known for her exquisite rendering of the natural world. But this book grapples with the loss of her long time partner, with faith. And it's so understated that it's just breathtaking. I just kept crying for the beauty of it, all the way out to Seattle. I had to stop reading and knit just so the flight attendants wouldn't cart me away!!

Here is the first poem: The book is called Thirst. Buy it! 



My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird -

equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.


Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me

keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work.


which is mostly standing still and learning to be


The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,


which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.

The sun is out in Seattle. Rejoice.



Stowey Bottom

Why is it that every time I go anywhere, same airline, same airport, same check in ladies and guys, same dude who takes my guitar to the bowels of baggage hell... the authorities feel they have to go rooting around in my poor battered case? You'd think by now they'd recognize the shredded white fiberglass, missing latches, and think, 'oh, it's her again, she's ok.' And don't get me started on how many pig-nosed pliers I've forfeited along the way. Every time they leave me this annoying little note. Of course irony of all ironies, last night, my guitar arrived fine from Heathrow... but no suitcase. The one time where I actually checked my microphones, my guitar gismos, my favorite toys through, trusting the universe, the honesty of good folk. 

Anyway, I do love London. It still feels familiar. I lived there as a kid, and never wanted to leave. I'm always falling right back into the accent, the humor. I just wish i could keep up with the vivid language that only the brits have. Chuffed, Knocking Shop (more on that later!) Stowey Bottom....

I had a lovely time in Milton Keynes. As ever, I have to adjust to the pin-drop quiet between songs. Long ago, after my very first gig in London, i had to ask the audience if they were ok. The silence after each applause was really disconcerting. God Bless one woman in the front who piped up, "No worries, love, you're SMASHING, we're just British." I've been prepared since then! Steve Lawson showed up, and this picture confirms that i do indeed have the smallest skull in history.

 The Best Western in Milton Keynes? Not just your every day affair. Towel heating racks and full on hot breakfast. Deep tub. Luxury on a budget.

On to Bristol where I got to stay with my hero/promoter/entrepreneur Kim Heath at, yes, it's true, "Stowey Bottom."

Kim Heath, of "Dead Men Don't Ski" productions.

Stowey Bottom, it turns out, is right near "Chew Magna."

On the way we passed a place called "Lady Farm" so of course I asked Kim if that was local parlance for brothel. There was a really strange guy lurking at the entrance, so it didn't seem such a stretch. But, no,  apparently the real red dress destination is "The Honey Pot" near "Wootten Bassett" (town not a dog.) The sign out front says, "Welcome, always looking for new, friendly staff. Open from 10am til LATE."

Onto St. Georges. What a gorgeous place. Again, it's such a treat to be coming back to these lovely halls, Kim has really created an audience for me here just for the love of it.

It's just stunning in here, the acoustics are beyond sublime, the concert steinway doesn't suck either. Very uncharacteristically, a guy in the front piped up as I was going off about McCain and Palin. He said he thought that Levi, you know "sex on skates" -- the kid that hooked up with Palin's daughter, wasn't even the real dad! There's an older guy who refused to take responsibility as he already had a wife and kids!! Oh gosh, is Levi the beard?? Poor kid. I mean, ok, it could be a brit conspiracy theory, but wow. He also said that you could make contributions to 'Planned Parenthood' in Palin's name, and each one would mean a postcard is sent to her. I just want to find a "FREE LEVI" t-shirt.

I've started singing "the Choice" again at gigs. I just feel like it's getting more and more imperative to speak up. I don't think anyone is PRO abortion. It's a devastating choice to have to make. But it's a choice we have to have.

 In lighter news, we have found a label partner in the UK called Wrasse. they will also help us release the new record in Germany and perhaps Holland, Belgium, Denmark... We plan a release around the end of january before I come back for the extended UK tour!! Good on them.

And for the troops in Seattle and environs. Come on down to the Shoreline gig this Saturday. I know times are hard, but that means we have to sing louder. Sing together. Music helps. God knows where I'd be without it!

my new stowey bottom pal, bubba


bring chocolate.