July 2011
dinnertime at the nut house

I didn't think it could get funner... getting out of dodge. writing songs with super gifted, ever lovin' crazy people in 110 heat. But it did.


We had another songwriting camp. This time for Katharine McPhee, the gorgeous, wicked talented singing dancing, acting triple threat. She's starting shooting soon on her new tv show coming in September. Look out for "Smash."



Mark Batson, my total sweetheart was there.

We've written a bunch of cool things together now.


Stephen Wrabel. cute as pie and way too funny.


He and Ali Tamposi were unstoppable! bad kids in the back of class!


I didn't get a picture of Aimee Proal and Chris DeStefano, but looook out!


Ashley Gorley rocked from rig to rig.


David Ryan Harris didn't stop rocking for the whole 24 hours he was there!


Sizzy Rocket? OMG, the real deal


The last supper, of course led to a lame attempt at a pyramid just to honor Martie Maguire you might remember the Dixie Chicks songwriting retreat...


PATHETIC, so we tried a more dramatic, less taxing approach..


not working...


LAME. Then Katharine got the great idea to do some aerial songwriting exercises.


Vito survived multiple attempts to fly


Neely kept eating


Will Gray, (revelation) kept it cool


Oh Teresa, how can we ever thank you.


And can we get the recipe for that blueberry coffeecake?? pretty please?


JB, Julie, Elaine


Elaine has such depths of patience and love, and the most infectious beautiful laugh. The way she says "Good morning, precious one" to my mother fills my heart with gratitude - that I could be lucky enough to have her helping us. That she could speak so kindly even when mom is being impossible.


The aftermath of surgery, anesthesia, painkillers, antibiotics make perfectly healthy people a little cuckoo. With dementia? All bets are off. We have an amplified kind of cuckoo at the moment, but I swear Julie and Elaine seem to find ever deeper reserves to deal with a not very nice mom. We all have to keep reminding ourselves that this is not really HER.


Friday was Elaine's birthday. It took us four tries to cajole mom out of her funk and get her to raise a little toast with us. Finally she said: "Well, I enjoy working with you, and I know sometimes it might not be very easy for you."  Just like that, and then she went right back into ignoring everything but the four poems she was scribbling on, cutting, re-cutting, scribbling, editing, folding and hiding them away in her red bag.


Happy Birthday Elaine, precious one, we treasure you! 


Everybody showed up to honor Tommy Lipuma's 75th! (Tommy, Leon Russell, Joe Sample)



It even started out fun.

Imagine! The house band was Louis Nash, Ricky Peterson (Paul Mitchell keeping everyone sounding good) Christian MacBride, and Joe Sample. Sheesh.



Christian and Randy Crawford at rehearsal.


Set List? Impossible.


Claude Nobs, the guy that started it all, and Pat. 



Leon Russell, checking out Diana Krall's sound check.



Dr. John and Pat, he looked up at one point; "that ok, ya think?" (pat and I are in tears) "yeah, that'll do."


Tommy got to emcee a bit and tell a story about each of these masterful artists and how he came to discover and produce them.



Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks scared themselves!!


Benson, Sanborn and Russell. Lost in "this masquerade."


Joe Sample and David Sanborn. Just like old times.


Randy Crawford. "Imagine" on the big screen.


Dr. John casting his spell.




We love you Tommy. What a treat to have witnessed this magical night. Happy Birthday.