September 2009



Brattleboro was so peachy yesterday. They have an incredible food co-op, and an even more fabulous knitting store. Rachel and I hung out for the afternoon. She told me two things, that I plan to carry with me.


1. "You don't want to stifle the yarn" Yarn is a living breathing thing. Of course it needs to express iteself.


(I bought a bunch of local alpaca because there were little pictures of each alpaca that contributed to your skein, right on the label. With their little names right there. Too friggin' cute)


Machu, and Illa, Runa and Kusi. Yummmmmm


 2. "If it just ain't working? Black bag it." She and I were commiserating about a godforsaken worthless, pain in the ass shrug experience. In the end we both just threw the yarn AWAY. Too much DRAMA for a dumb shrug. sheesh.


Then, arriving at the theatre for soundcheck. What could be better, JB and Cinderella, a co-bill!!

Heaven. The cutest theatre ever. And their main attraction is youth theatre. I swear there were pictures of me and all of my SQUAM pals when we were younger....

there's me in OLIVER


Jen Gray begging for soup


Swirly, getting into trouble as usual


Elizabeth, already branstorming about this incredible arts retreat thingie she wants to create.


Me and Jen and Denise, dreaming away.


ok, there were some mean girls too.


Even Paul found a couple of new pals.


On to Londonderry, oh doooo come down. two shows and too much fun. I promise.


my Squam lovies, Jen, Denise and Thea


This happened last year too. I missed Squam so badly I went into a kind of withdrawal. It's hard to find words for what happens there. Really.


But luckily this time, I didn't even have time to think. I got right back out there on the road.


Went right to Boston to do a benefit for the PASSIM archive project. thank you all who support this incredible effort.


Then, a couple days catching up with my mom. She's cracking me up lately. I can hardly write down the zingers as fast as she's coming up with them.


Then...the Listener concert at WUMB last night was such a pleasure. From my very early days traipsing around Boston with Jennifer, Dick Pleasants was 'the voice.' the classy guy on NPR who i just kept hoping would listen to our demos and give us a break. Well, the rest is history, but it was incredible fun to trip down the roads of all the albums and the stories and the songs with him. Thank you all who support UMB, keep it coming, because without them, I'd still be cleaning houses!! I love you Dick!!!


Montpelier today was beautiful as always. the leaves are just giving up the green. We found a knitting store,


Paul found a fabulous new hat


And we found out why the sound man crossed the road...


DUH! for another hit of double caramel macchiato at the Common Grounds Coffee House.


Oh yeah, we were there to do a radio show at the beloved WNCS


But it's become superhero radio!! Spidey was at the helm. We had such a dreamy session.


thank you Zeb!!


Lebanon, NH is tonight. come on over. I've got CHOCOLATE. Show is at 7:30. 'Nuff said.

Songbirds 2009

So you wanna write a song???


My hat is OFF to all of the 2009 Squam songbirds. You were awesome, brave, fun, super creative, and just a plain f@#$%^ing DELIGHT.


I will treasure our day together.


Some highlights...

 Catrina and "Boom Boom"


We patented a new Squam songwriting method called "Lover's Lane." No, there was no hanky panky. We found that inspiration came quickly when we were listening to our song assignments in parked cars.


Maureen and Liz....

Kellen and Melissa


Boom Boom and Catrina actually drove around New Hampshire when they were working on their "Chick Hit Song" because they don't like sitting still.


Anyway, I can't wait until next time. Keep singing, and remember, we ARE the champions.

Nice songbirds...


naughty songbirds.

Off to glorious SQUAM

I'm getting ready for Squam, so happy to be going back to heaven.

I'm teaching songwriting on Thursday and then blissing out for the rest of the weekend, taking a short story writing course, and  running wild in the woods.


I... JUST... CAN'T.......WAIT!!!!!!!





WXPN Party

I got to sing for a small party at an amazing house outside of Philly last night. The hosts, the Aronsons were just incredible, as was their art. The company didn't suck either. All the fab deejays and muckety mucks from XPN (I use that term absolutely endearingly) were there. And many many long term supporters of the station, and therefore supporters of independent music. (me!!)


The love was palpable. What a lucky city to have such a resource, and to have such an amazing passionate and generous audience as this. I am so grateful that I am on the soundtrack here!


And, did I mention the art?

depending on which glasses you choose, you see hearts or dollar signs. Hmmmm


And, more food for thought...

So fitting for this whole political climate, no??


The garden was so gorgeous. As was our hostess


Thank you so much everybody.


No, this is not a chair, and that pillow is made of wood.

Facing the Page

We had some great writing days in Houston. Joe Sample and I are working on songs for a musical. Daunting? You betcha, but it's a great story, and a great honor to be working with such a genius.


I got to stay at his place in Houston. We call it the Ponderosa. There's a whole separate studio/space for his piano,





(these are incredible early models, and sound dreamy -- they are the ones on my last record too.) and I got to stay out there with all these storied beasts. There are gold records on the wall, and huge prints of some of Joe's most successful records with the Crusaders, and Randy Crawford.


There's a sweet picture, of Joe writing with Al Jarreau...

I woke up through the night every night with crazy ideas spinning through my head. And that piano? Off the hook. The second you sit down at that thing, it starts singing melodies to you!


It was hard to keep track of all the ideas. I had my little M-AUDIO that's now jam-packed with a gazillion snippets and crazy tales.


The second day, Joe got a strange package in the mail. Now if you're from Texas, apparently, you grow up around guns. Joe grew up during segregation so back in the day they were all carrying. But I've never even seen a gun up close, so when I went in for my coffee saturday morning and this rifle was on the couch...


whoa. Put the gun DOWN!!

The last afternoon was gorgeous, lovely glowing sky.


Joe and Yolanda cooked up some amazing creole pork chops, and the stories and the wine started flowing.




We jammed late the last night, Joe's wife Yolanda is an amazing and gracious host.A couple friends came over and we tried to sing/play/remember all our songs for them. Joe sure can tell a story, so he made the whole thing just come alive.


Joe even broke out his accordion at the end.

cynthia, strange Joe figure, (freaked me out in the middle of the night) JB


I think we have a pretty cool batch of songs to take to the next stage of musical land. Now I can't get them out of my head. That's usually a good sign.

happy anniversary

Every year my husband and I joke that we 'renew our contract.' Just so we're both sure we're absolutely 200 per cent IN. I know it's goofy, but I actually do envision myself signing on the dotted line. YES. I want more and more and then some. (check out the song "tell me more" on Joe Sample and Randy Crawford's 'feelin' good' album)


Well, that's just how I feel. Luckiest girl in the WORLD.





photos: Sara Hertel, Portland Oregon, 8/12/09 THANK YOU SARA!!

On that note!

I was going through some things I rescued from my mom's house. We're never sure where things are going these days, or what treasures might end up at the dump, exchanged for another broken fondue set, or crooked shelf.


Here was the reminder. How I really feel.

Off to Texas to work with Joe Sample. Heart, soul, poetry and melodies in my hands.