Jake, Allie, Temi, AJ, Pantera in the way back... Olivia and Ari and me up front...OK so we couldn't get EVERYONE in the picture...
But what a great great workshop. I truly was knocked out by every single person in the room. The collaborations were inspiring. I was amazed,moved, tickled by what the teams came up with. People who had really just met made powerful songs, powerful connections.
We recorded six songs in the last two days, Thanks to the NYU team, great interns, engineers, fabulous musicians. Amazing things happened.
I don't have a picture of the band, but it was Shawn Pelton on drums, Zev Katz on bass, and the fab Mark Copely on guitar. My my my. Hats off.
The new hits include: "Time," "When you were mine" "Madonna" "Safe" "Almost Home" and "Shout it Out." Each one absolutely unique and a thrill to witness coming to life. Really people, I had no idea coming into this where we'd end up, and I really didn't want it to end. Kudos All!!!! Great, great work.
Barry, Ron, Zev, me, Phil, Robert. Thank you thank you thank you.
Zev and me. awwwww. Can't wait to hear some rough mixes of the demos.
It's been non-stop! The energy, willingness, talent. Just fabulous. Phil Galdston, Barry Eastmond and I are doing a summer songwriting workshop at NYU.
Thank you Ron Sadoff for making the sessions happen.
Olivia. Sorry for the lame photos. I've lost touch with my camera lately!
AJ with a bashed eye.
Barry Eastmond, Eric Bazilian (special guest) me and Phil Galdston.
Russ Titelman was our guest too! (he played us some of the new record he produced for Jerry Douglas. UNBELIEVABLE)
Siedah Garrett was another guest! She played us her original demo of "man in the mirror" and generally knocked us all out!
This week? Choosing a few of the newly minted songs for recording sessions to help complete the picture. Thank you everyone for your incredibly dedicated work. Especially in the ungodly HEAT!!
We got a nice little picture in the Boston Globe on Wednesday. We were right next to a story about Mark Wahlberg vowing to finish highschool during his recent Letterman
I have pitiful little to show.... I got a crappy picture of our house sound guy Brian who had won a TONY award the night before for the sound design of "Once." He told us this was his "elated" face.
(of course Paul Mitchell was there rocking me and Ben Butler up for the peeps)
I got a few minutes to walk around Harvard Square... some things never change. J. Press is STILL THERE!
And those clubby clubs are just as offensive and un PC as ever!! (ok, just kidding, depends on how you read it)
Mostly, I have to give a shout out to Richard Colton and Amy Spencer who created the Summer Stages Dance Festival at Concord Academy 15 years ago, and are still going strong; bringing in unbelievable talent to a gorgeous environment. Nurturing young AND established alike. This is no small feat. So thank you, everyoe who showed and contributed and danced and was charmed along with us. I'm hoping there will be more. Woody's wife Marjorie was one of the original Martha Graham Dancers, - my first career was as a dancer, so it seemed perfectly natural that the passions finally be combined in this stunning way. Hat's off ALL. I was so touched by the way the dancers and choreographers wove me into their pieces, if only with nods, gestures, waves, smiles. It was breathtaking.
It was another revelatory week at Squam. Helene Dujardin was there. Oh my.
(Helene, who kept us in savory tarts and delicious scones...)
Ann Wood, (i LOVE her bird ballerinas!!!)
(Ann also taught a class on making whimsical boats from old vintage fabrics)
Rebecca Ringquist, (LOVE her layered storied creations)
(she's also a great singer!)
Jill Draper, (ridiculous yarn maker/knitter...rocked up the hard core coffee in the morning too) Fiona Ellis, (Fiona taught us all to belly dance one evening by the fire....)Jessica Marquez. LOVE LOVE LOVE and More LOVE.
We had some CRAZY creative $#%^&*( going on at our Brae Cove cabin.
Life is just slower, cleaner, clearer by a lake.
This little guy "Billy" came home with me...
SQUAM busts my heart wider open every time. I am twelve again when I'm in the woods in these historied cabins with like minded sprites. I'm sure I've said it before, but these retreats have brought me to kindreds I never dreamed I would find. Women who "get it" - ALL of it, whatever IT is at the moment.
Many "campers" shared beautiful stories with me that I will forever cherish. I truly feel that sharing my play about my mom, as intense as it is, starts a conversation that we all need to have. It's everybody's story. We will all give, care, mourn, rejoice in ways we can't imagine until... we're there. But there is comfort in company. Thank you all.
Until September Squam....
MEANWHILE, on to BOSTON for the big "Love Songs of Woody Guthrie" extravaganza tomorrow night (JUNE 12). I am pretty much bursting - to see my songs choreographed? I never would have dreamed such a thing! My only pang of regret is that I don't get to dance! But what a crazy once in a lifetime event. I hope you can make it.
I basically went from Cologne, (Koln) germany to Pittburgh. Didn't even change out the stuff in my suitcase. (same shirt, both shows, oh well) The concert for WDR there? magical.
Johannes Strate sang with me on "Sweetest Angel" and "More True Lovers Than One."
I think we need to do more duets on both of our next records. I would be happy to try to master a German Chorus or two.
Wenzel did a powerful verse on "New Star." and Billy Bragg was, as ever, irrascible and wicked fun. Nora Guthrie even took a verse on our finale of "This Land is Your Land."
photos courtesy of the lovely Garance and Gwendoline (who brought chocolate and love all the way from Neuchatel!)
And then, my brain was rearranged in Pittsburgh. I honestly had no idea how my idea would land. What people might take away from my story. It was a profound experience.
Again, I can't thank Tracy Brigden enough for taking a chance on me. I also met some incredible playwrights and actors. Every piece that I saw performed at the Momentum Festival was brilliant, original, exciting. I am a new fan of Anton Dudley, Charlie Sohne, Keith Gordon, Janine Nabers, and Stephen Massicotte. The actors? off the hook, especially given such short rehearsal opportunities before putting it all out there.
Thank you Amy, Carlyn, Joanna, Ben, Natalie, Brad, Mark, Matt....if I've forgotten anyone, it's the blur, - thank you too.
I am wishing we could take our little festival of plays on the road. We shall see, I'm pretty sure there is more to this story!
It was a little surreal. Re-living these stories, these songs, this time with my mother.... on STAGE. But she would have insisted.
I only have pictures from yesterday's rehearsal. The evening was picture free. (Kind of nice, actually. Everyone right there, in the moment!)
The spirit in the room was pretty powerful. For everyone who came, and responded so deeply...I can't thank you enough. I really had no idea what would happen in the telling. And pretty much everything I had hoped for, came through.
me and mom
Thank you Tracy Brigden (director, City Theatre) for taking a chance on my story. Thank you Pittsburgh!
In case you're close by and want to come to the second "reading." It's tomorrow, Saturday at 3pm. Cheers.