Last year was challenging in so many ways for me — and for you, I’m sure — I’m not going to even attempt to describe the difficulties here. Still, there were silver linings everywhere. Music moved online and opened up musicians to new audiences and formats for performing and collaborating. Venue owners got creative and hosted shows outdoors at a distance. Like many other songwriters who were used to sharing songs at gigs, I found (and continue to find) it very difficult to motivate myself to write and practice, and to stay connected to an audience that feels so remote.
I was able to write three songs last year — this is not atypical for me. I’m lucky to put out four in a year. Last year’s creations were The Oak, Morning Moon, and most recently, Watercolors. I also posted videos of a couple of songs I love, Morning Song to Sally (by Jerry Jeff Walker), which Nanci Griffith first exposed me to, and an appropriate-for-the-times American Tune, by Paul Simon. If you have a few minutes, I hope you’ll watch and consider leaving me a comment. If you’re struggling — no matter the reason — I hope you find peace very soon.
Recently, the theme of courage and confidence has come up for me more than once. Those were the words that came to me at a Pinnacle View women’s retreat in September, when I was asked “What is your intention for this weekend?” Courage and confidence were what I wanted to tap into, so I could carry them into the coming months. Courage to take a break from performing and confidence that I would get booked again. Courage to take on the biggest musical project of my life – recording a CD of my original songs – and the confidence to pursue it with the knowledge that I’m doing what I love and I’m ready. Just before Christmas, a friend asked me to write my wish for the coming year on a tag that she would hang on her “wish tree.” I chose to remind myself of those two words again. And then, my daily planner used the same two words in its weekly reminder, on the very week I’m to start recording. Clearly, “courage and confidence” is going to be my mantra for 2016!
In December, I was invited to appear on WHUP FM’sPass the Hat, hosted by Bob Johnson and with fellow guest Dean Driver. The show is archived, and there are a couple of videos: “Fear and Wanting,” and one of my latest, “Hold Her Like Sand,” inspired by a comment the mother of an old boyfriend of mine made to him when he and I dated back in high school. Songwriting inspiration is everywhere!
Leading up to Christmas, I was feeling a little melancholy, missing my family and especially my mother, who passed away almost 10 years ago. I found myself on Christmas morning writing and finishing a song in a couple of hours, something that does not often happen for me. “Christmas Morn” (or maybe “Christmas Sunrise”) will end up on my second CD (that’s confidence talking!).
I’ll announce some shows as soon as the details are worked out. Thanks as always for your generous support. With gratitude and eagerness for what this year will bring,