January 2012
Happy Birthday

Woody really did put things beautifully... I was going to read this on stage on Wednesday, but I was a bit flustered!


"There’s a feeling in music and it carries you back down the road you have traveled and makes you travel it again –
Or it takes you back down the road somebody else has come and you can look out across the world from the hill they are standing on.


Sometimes when I hear music I think back over my days – and a feeling that is fifty-fifty joy and pain swells like clouds taking all kinds of shapes in my mind –


Or – music gives you a lift when you are recalling or thinking about a friend – and music helps you to go in your own reveries into the mind of the friend – because music makes you tender and sensitive – and this is why the feel to me is half of sadness and half of joy. If it is joy it is of such a treasured sort and of such fine make that the thought of its passing is near to pain – and if it is pain, it is seen so plain and known so true that you can see how pain has paid you a profit in its own strange way – and the joy of the sadness is like a raindrop falling in the sun – some say rain is dreary but it’s not – and some say clear skies are gay – but not always – it’s all a mood – millions of words swirling and whirling like grains of dust in a storm – but where the worst of the dust storms blow – the people pressed in  closer got to be better friends.


And this is what music helps to do – live again the days you made good friends and dream again the tears you shed for joy and for sorrow in the nights of your meeting and parting."


Woody Guthrie’s Journal, March 16 -17, 1942


Ricky Peterson (keyboards) and Tommy Lipuma (Tommy signed me to my first two record deals, and just finished producing Paul McCartney's latest album)


Woody, I'm sure would have loved this evening. His daughter Nora and granddaughter and grandson Anna and Cole were there. A bunch of most beloved friends came from all over the country to celebrate with us. I felt unleashed! Happy Birthday!!!




backstage with Ella. Fine fine company!


most amazing backdrop EVER. New York City, all lit up.


James Genus (bass) Ricky Peterson (keyboards) Tony Mason (drums) after the show. John Leventhal played guitar but had to leave a little earlier.




Guilaume Boulard, Ricky Peterson, JB


JB and CNN preshow! My new favorite instrument, the kalimba.


Please go get "This Land is Your Land" it's on I-tunes, and i think it really turned out beautifully. It is mournful, as this land does not really feel like my land or yours at the moment. I mean, I'm so happy that Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich are on the same page about open marriage, but.... And, wowee, Santorum got a re-count and took Iowa. Perry's gone, awwww. I am dreading this coming onslaught of bull.

So.... Go GIANTS!

just can't wait

Woody Guthrie, NYC


I've been telling my mother that I'm getting ready for a concert in New York City.
Mom: "I wouldn't live there if you paid me a million dollars."


Then I'll sing her a little of what I've been working on..."Mom, do you remember this one?"
Mom: "That's WONDERFUL. You have a beautiful voice.... but don't get conceited about it."
Me: "I promise."
A little later when I come back: "Now did you come to arrest us?"
Me: "Naah, you can't get arrested for writing poems."
Mom: "I'm not a poem."
Me: "No, you're a poet!"
Mom: "Who says! Now you know what I want to do? I want to start all over again with these people I've met in these old days. Because it's been a marvelous marvelous time."


These are the good stretches. Often she makes no sense whatsoever. Or she's confused and afraid: "GET OUT GET OUT! You're a good little girl but you're not good enough!"


But music remains a powerful mood shifter. Today I sang her all her favorite hymns, it is emotional, sweet. "Oh Jonatha, that is so beautiful. You are going to make me cry. I want so awful much to be doing what everyone is doing, but I have to go home. I'm so tired from having a good time."

This is going to be good

I am so excited to play. It has been a very long time since I was on the loose, back in my skin, my voice, my passion. As I work on these songs,  I am inspired AGAIN by Woody's insatiable appetite, unstoppable energy, curiosity, and passion. He is like a friend I fell a little out of touch with, but we are now picking right up where we left off. It's a very powerful connection.

The songs are reminding me to Live as fully as he did.


I am also working on a new recording of a Woody classic, of course twisted and turned in a Jonatha-ish way. Ben Butler and I have been having a ball at little old Bad Dog Records!

Of course anyone who plays my telecaster has to wear the ballerina guitar strap.

I plan to get it up on I-tunes as soon as I'm finished....so if you can't  make it to the concert, you can at least have a piece of what Woody has inspired anew.

For those of you coming from long and far, I can't even begin to tell you how moved I am by your support. We have some lovely treats in store! A musical candy arcade!


So, Happy New Year. Steady On. More very soon.