I apologize for being delinquent in surfacing a news report in November, but I needed a break. With the elections and the general energy being a bit negative and doomy gloomy, I had to separate myself from my computer. I was feeling so burnt out.
While away from technology, I delved into literature and the sounds that come from of being outside. I shed a few expectations and removed a few rules that I had put upon myself. I picked up a pen and started drawing again. Words started gathering and dripped from my eyelashes to the page. My breath seemed to gather a rhythm once again. Over the last of the summer months, when life was so busy, I neglected to follow my own advice and slow down and follow my breath.
Thankful that I did.
We were quite fortunate to receive a couple of nice reviews of our new album, Never Go Back, this month! Thanks to FATEA Magazine and Ricky Kej for the kind words. You can find them on our review page.
While we were included on the first ballot of the 59th Grammy Awards, we, sadly, did not receive an official nomination. I will be attending the awards in LA in February and will continue to promote our latest album as I feel it is a strong representation of my art. Thanks to all the folks who voted for us and we will definitely try again!
Late October / November Gigs
We had a couple of great gigs near the start of November and during the month. On the 30th of October, we played this lovely place called "Tea With Your Dragon". Wearing a wig and getting into the Halloween spirit, my 60's flower power self giggled with excitement as we entertained a lovely group who danced, sang, and really connected with us. Thank you!
We played the day after the election at Substation with Tobias the Owl and Honeybee Champagne. It was a tough night for many of us with the winner of the Presidential Election not being the one we had hoped. I brought white daisies and handed them out to everyone that I saw. Flowers for peace. Flowers for my community. Flowers to remember that we will still grow. Our small but mighty audience gave us the needed energy to let loose our woes and create some wonder music.
We met a new friend that night who said that our music was Hiraeth, a word that means a longing, a homesickness for a home that you can never return to, or a home that never was.. a nostalgic link to a forgotten past that speaks through your soul. Quite the compliment.
On the 20th of November we played the Skylark in West Seattle. We share the stage with our dear friends Blue Star Creeper. Armed with golden daisies, I passed out offerings of hope and community once again. The night was certainly memorable as we covered one of Blues Star Creeper's hits, In the Belly of the Whale. The tune was written by Kelly Blanchard, former SeaStar guitarist and lead man for Blue Star Creeper. It is my favorite BSC tune and I think that Kelly enjoyed our tribute to him and his band
Ring the bell that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There's a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in... -Leonard Cohen
rest in peace
We had a fairly quiet December so far. We played O'Malley's Irish Pub in Tacoma and had a fabulous evening of fun folks and taking chances. We did a few Jefferson Airplane covers as well as a Fleetwood Mac tune for the wonderful audience. We hardly ever do covers so this was a real treat. I even received a compliment that our version of Dreams rivaled Stevie Nicks. I was very humbled by that, especially since I had just seen her in concert with the Pretenders at Seattle Centre. What an inspiring show that was! Such powerhouse ladies. Gave me a good kick to remember, I have many years to keep rockin'. Thanks to our new fans from O'Malley's for the well wishes and whiskys!
We spent the Solstice in good company at the Blanchard residence making music by the fire and singing away all the clingy bits of the year. It was a wonderful night of good friends and magic
I am heading to Tulsa to play at Soul City on Thursday, December 29 and I will be back in time to ring in the New Year at St. Mark's Cathedral on New Year's Eve. I am will be singing and playing acoustically with Ron Allen on guitar. Our performance starts at 11pm and we play up to the New Year while folks walk the giant labyrinth in the Cathedral. I cannot think of a more perfect way to end this year.
2016 was a toughie.
We lost too many friends and childhood heroes.
It kicked me in the teeth a few times with fair weather friends and stormy situations.
i took myself WAY too seriously.
but it all made me stronger.
More stories and wild adventures in 2017!
Have a joyous Holiday Season.
Be gentle with your heart.
Winter is waking...
playing Tea With Your Dragon in Stanwood, WA
playing Substation in Seattle, WA. Photo by Tobias the Owl
playing Skylark in Seattle, WA. Photo by N. Washburn
I remember lyrics by writing them down. I got creative.
"In the Belly of the Whale" by Kelly Blanchard, Blue Star Creeper
Playing O'Malley's in Tacoma, WA.
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
GRAMMYs First Ballot!
While this month has been full of extraordinary things, seeing our names on the First Ballot for the 59th Grammy Awards was HUGE! This ballot is for the official nominations. We are up against some pretty big names, and our chances of getting an official nominations are slim, but it is exciting nonetheless! If you are an Academy voting member and wish a copy of our album for consideration, please contact us!
Seattle CD Release of
Never Go Back
We had a lovely Seattle CD Release in the Fremont neighbourhood of Seattle at the Stone Way Cafe on the 22nd. We had a warm audience with folks from the Seattle area as well as Port Townsend and Index! Thanks to those from far away who braved the drive to join us! The night was lovely with audience participation and stellar kazzo play. We sang our loads of new tunes and kicked out a few classic SeaStar tunes too. While celebration was in our hearts, it was coupled with a bit of sadness. A few days earlier, we learned of the passing of one of our dear fans, Shawn Stecker. Shawn was a huge supporter of our music and he especially liked one of our songs called Running. We knew he was dealing with some health issues and, at our Eastside CD Release, we sang and dedicated that tune to him. Shawn was also a musician himself, He carried a huge smile with him wherever he went. He was friends with the the straight-forward, wise fellow called Woodcarver (who passed a few years ago, and I wrote "Woodcarver" for). We performed Woodcarver to send out our love to Shawn, Carver, and to those have left this world. One never knows. My heart is very grateful to have met Shawn. Oh, too many greats gone too soon. Our love and respect to Shawn's family.
Acoustic Night at Darrell's
It had been a long while since we played Darrell's in Shoreline; it was great to return there on the 20th. Darrell's is very dear to our hearts as it reminds Falcone and me of taverns in Berwyn, IL, close to where we grew up. With black velvet paintings, pinball machines, and that unmistakable "tavern" aroma, Darrell's delivers the great beer and a cool atmosphere to enjoy music. Joining us that night was Levi Graves, a local, young singer songwriter who plays in open tunings and who also ran our sound and booked us (thank you!), and Taylor Bradesky, a newly transplanted singer songwriter who plays an old Stella guitar and gathers dusty stories through songs. Both lads delivered lovely music to our humble audience.
photo by D. Niven
We had a great night catching up with old friends and SeaStar alumni like Kelly Blanchard. Our set list was a blast from the past, playing tunes from our first two albums. It was one of those precious nights of music that resonates in the heart for a long time.
Happy 6th Anniversary Syren's Voice!
Happy to celebrate the 6th year in business at my studio, Syren's Voice. I teach out of a 1923 caboose in Country Village in Bothell, WA. The caboose is 300 sqft of magic! My studio has between 26 - 35 students enrolled at a time for private lessons in voice, guitar, ukulele, penny whistle, bodhran, and songwriting. The studio is also SeaStar's rehearsal space as well as a part-time recording studio complete with quacks, caws, and cock-a-doodle-doos from the wild poultry and birds outside my windows. No joke! The whole journey has been wonderful. I am so grateful to share my music and knowledge with others. Grateful for the caboose for the songs that it has inspired, the historic walls that reverberate when SeaStar practices there, and the wonder it creates in the eyes of young and old. Here's to the next half dozen more years and the dozen after that! Thanks to my students for teaching me more and more about myself and life. I am humbled.
We started the month off at Hattie's Hat, one of the best venues to play in Seattle, with a sweet evening of music on October 9. Thanks to Kubby Kasual who runs the long standing Sunday music night. We shared the bill with Fragile Lung, a sweet vocally driven, atmospheric band that blends jazz, shooegaze, and pop. It was a much needed evening of music. Our show was pushed later in the evening due to the broadcast of second presidential. The place was packed! And the mood was hot and cold. Folks stayed after to have a beer and decompress from the stresses of this election. People needed the music. And we played our hearts out. Thanks for the kindness from everyone who stayed and took a respite from political conversations.
Music will save the world. I am sure of it!
Until again, do good deeds.
Be the change in this world that you wish to see.
Sing! And, my full thanks for listening,
It is always an energetic time of year, when the leaves begin to blush and the winds take my hair to the sky. I long for hot tea, long walks, and watching the beauty that is wrapt in change. I reflect on the year and wonder what the next few months will bring. 2016 has been a busy one and one that pushed my very conviction as an artist. I feel like as the seasons change so do we.
On the 2nd of September, we made our way to a very early radio interview with KKNW on the "Lift Your Spirits with Dena Marie" show. We had a lovely time talking about the new album, sharing some stories from summer, as well as hearing our sweet friend, Clint McCune talk about his journeys. We continued to amplify the notion that music changes the world. Clint spoke about going to North Dakota to protest the pipeline and rally for clean water. Music binds folks together and, in that togetherness, change comes. Our prayers and solidarity are with those who continue to rally for clean water for their children. This is something that should never be in jeopardy.
Tumbleweeds and Blackberries
Tumbleweed Music Festival is a rare gift for musicians. Nestled away in the dusty town of Richland, WA, it's like a family reunion for all the local songwriters to come together every Labour Day Weekend, share a song, a smile, and a hug. We were very honoured to play again this year on the North Stage and thought fondly of our friend Rob Folsom who used to run the sound on that stage. Rob passed away earlier this year, unexpectedly, after the Juan De Fuca Music Festival. He is sorely missed.
I had the opportunity to be a judge for the songwriting contest and it was great fun to see how the songs were chosen. Songwriting is a hard task, judging, even harder. Grateful and humbled to be asked.
We played the Bremberton Blackberry Festival on the Monday of Labour day weekend. It was a fabulous festival to play! Loads of great folks! HUGE audience! and we sold many a CD! Thanks to Bremerton and hope that we may return again someday!
I celebrated my birthday with music and pints at one of my favourite watering holes, The Ould Triangle. It was open mic so I encouraged many a musical friend to join me on a tune! It was wonderful! I had students, peers, and perfect strangers helping me celebrate! Thanks to all my dear friends for making me feel so incredibly special. I felt so spoiled! Thanks to Ray, the owner of the bar, for blessing me with a pint and a smile!
Big Hair Shiny Guns played at Flights Tavern on the 17th, Ron's birthday. We had a fun night singing tunes in Everett. Big Hair Shiny Guns is a little cover band that Adam, Ron, and I play in with Audra Ness and Dana Parsons. We play a couple of times in a year and always have a bunch of laughs. Good Times. Happy birthday Ron!
Eastside CD Release!
We had a STELLAR CD Release at Soul Food Coffee House on the 24th! WOW! So many folks came out to support and purchase our new album. I was brimming with gratitude for all the love that was in the room. We even had Pat Sample, from Paradise Sound, Clint McCune, former owner of Soul Food and dear friend, and our king StarHead, TyeDye John in the house!! It was a night to remember! Falcone was fighting jet leg as he had just returned from Ireland and Ron was leaving for Ireland the very next day! We were surrounded with whimsy and good fortune and could not ask for more! WOW!
I wonder what next month will bring!
Until next time,
love, love, love,
at KKNW radio with Dena Marie and Clint McCune
at the Brick on the way back from Tumbleweed Music Fest
after our performance at the Bremerton Blackberry Festival
Playing on my birthday with Doug Hayman at the Ould Triangle
playing at Flights Pub with Big Hair Shiny Guns
Eastside CD Release Party at Soul Food Coffeehouse
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
We have had a wonderful summer! And to top off everything we have a BRAND NEW RECORD and MUSIC VIDEO! Whoo hooo!!
Our new album, Never Go Back, officially released on the 23rd of August and is already grabbing some attention! It's so incredible to think that at the start of this month, we were at Paradise Sound Studio with our dear friend, Pat Sample, picking up the mastered disc! And now we have the actual product in our very hands! wow!
We also have a sparkly new music video that strangly has been popular in Paraguay! So Hola! To all our new StarHeads and we are so happy to have you following us!
This month started our with a very warm summer's day in the seaside town of Edmonds. We played at the Hazel Miller Plaza, as part of the Edmonds Concerts in the Park series, for a lovely crowd of 60+ on one of the hottest days this summer! We had folks singin' and kazooin! Thanks to all who came out and braved the heat! We loved seeing you!
Anglicon was the next place that I ventured to. I helped chair the Karaoke event for all the Whovians and Anglophiles that gathered at the Double Tree Hotel for a weekend long, extravaganza of British media. Thanks to Sandra Lee for getting me involved! It was smashin'!
Index Arts Fest was the next event that we played. Oh, this one is quite possibly one of the best festivals ever. Index is a tiny town at the foot of a mountain. It's people are artists and their kindness infuses us with magic and hope that art really does make the world a better place. We were so honoured to play, for our 8th year, at this incredible diamond of a day.
Poulsbou Arts Festival was the next festival. What a wild and varied collection of artisans and musicians! We played in a lovely gazebo by the waterside to folks walking through tents and tents, in a viking town, full of arts and crafts. It was a fabulous day indeed!
Seattle Acoustic Festival was the next one. Held in the Capital Hill neighbourhood of Seattle, the Seattle Acoustic Festival brought together 68+ bands for a weekend adventure of pure bliss. Their mantra is "Quiet is the new loud." We are very thankful to have been apart of this lovely weekend long event!
playing Seattle Acoustic Fest - photo by G. Bently
Tumbleweed Music Festival this Saturday, Sept 3
Bremerton Blackberry Festival this Monday, Sept 5
and our CD Release Party on
Saturday, Sept 24 at Soul Food Coffeehouse in Redmond, WA.
Enjoy the last of summer's laughs.
I hear Autumn's song on the wind.
At the end of June, we were in Index working on the mixes for the new album, Never Go Back. When we finished listening one afternoon, the boys and I got together and filmed a little video for the track "Austin".
This is a little teaser for the new album! Hope that you like it!
I was honoured to host my annual summer camp at my studio, Syren's Voice. I had the privilege of sharing stories, creating great works of art, and teaching penny whistle tunes to kiddos ages 8 - 12. We spoke often about the power of stories and how traditions are born. Nessie (as in the Loch Ness Monster) was our mascot for the week long camp. We had a little recital at the end of the camp for the parents to watch how well these kids worked with improvisation. They were fabulous! Working with children always reignites my childlike spirit. Can't wait until next year!
We played the annual Sequim Lavender Festival the third weekend of the month! What a beautiful festival! We were relaxed and so happy to have spent time in the fields! We were able to connect with some longtime fans and friends too! And we heard the fabulous Larry Murante play. It was a stellar weekend! Thanks to the Lavender Fest folks for having us! And to the Lavender Vodka people... those Lemon Drops were amazing!
Gig in a Viking Town!
We were very happy to return to the Slippery Pig Brewery in Poulsbo, WA to play a three hour show on the 23rd of July. It's a nice little adventure for us to take the ferry across and visit this colourful Viking Town! We also were able to connect with SeaStar-Alum, Doug Hayman. Doug and I formed SeaStar in 2007. It's hard to believe that SeaStar is almost 10 years old! Wow.
We had fun jammin' with Doug, as we brought him on stage to do some classic SeaStar numbers. Later in the night, Michael Raley, co-owner of the Slippery Pig and concertina-extraordinaire, also joined in on a few tunes! You never know what will happen in a Viking town!
SeaStar returns to Poulsbo for the Poulsbo Arts Festival on Saturday August 20th.
More Video Shoots!
Alas, since the new album is but a breath away from surfacing, we have been working on a music video for the title track, Never Go Back. This is a new sound for SeaStar and we hope that you will enjoy it. Folks have been very excited about the tune when we play it at festivals so we hope that most will get on board.
The new album comes out next month! Stay tuned!!
Soak in the sunshine! Much Love!
Check out our Teaser!
Last day of Summer Voices Camp 2016!
"Behold!! Lavender!" at the Sequim Lavender Festival
Playing Slippery Pig in Poulsbo, WA
From the music video for "Never Go Back!"
Friday, 24 June 2016
Wow. What an amazing city. I was fortunate enough to travel to NYC for 5 days at the start of the month. I saw five Broadway shows, busked in Central Park, and pretty much walked the entire middle to lower part of Manhattan. I was able to catch a show at Birdland, as part of the NY Jazz Festival, visited several museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, I spoke to loads of great performers and was able to share a few tunes of my own. I tried to get inside the Chelsea Hotel since many of the singers whom I adore at times lived there, but no dice. It was cool to be in its proximity just the same.
New York is a shining diamond when it comes to people. Folks talk to one another. The architecture is divine. And the spirit there is fast moving and ever colourful! It was a wild and wonderful start of summer and June!
We are nearly complete with all the mixes for our upcoming album, Never Go Back. It's been a long while since we started this project and I am anxious to see it finished! We've had an incredible experience with Pat Sample at Paradise Sound in Index, WA. Here's what he said:
"SeaStar is a fantastic band and a real joy to work with! Fae's songwriting and vocals are absolutely outstanding! I am thrilled to be involved with what I consider top notch musical art."
Our "Never Go Back Tour" brought us to Victoria, BC, Canada for a weekend! We had the honour and privilege to play for the Shady Grove Folk Arts Society in Mill Bay, BC, The Annual Father's Day Ceilidh in the Park in Beacon Hill Park, and The Victoria Folk Music Society at their location on Hillside Street.
This was the first time that I have been able to bring the the whole band to BC since Canada has lightened their fees for entertainment acts crossing the boarder. It was fun to stay in my old neighbourhood, show the boys some of my favourite haunts, and finally get my my Victoria family exposed to my Seattle music projects.
Wonderful shows with beautifully kind audiences. It was a real treat to play where I lived for nearly seven years. Thanks to Peter Sussman, Marie Bachand, and Patty Castle for making us feel welcomed at our shows and for helping us make all this possible! We are most grateful!
We are excited for the summer to finally begin! We hope that you find time to stretch your toes into the soft grass, soak up the sun, and giggle like a child who plays with bubbles for the first time!
Endless Thanks and Well Wishes!
Strawberry Fields Forever - NYC June 2016
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh at the MoMA
Finishing up at Paradise Sound with Pat Sample
Father's Day Ceilidh in the Park!
Playing at the Victoria Folk Music Society!
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Always Good to Come Home
What a busy month!! We ended April playing at our favourite coffeehouse, Soul Food, in Redmond, WA. It's always a bit of a homecoming when we play here. We had a great turn out! So many hugs! So many good vibes! I was debuting some brand new material so it was lovely to have such love in the room.
I was talking with the owner, Kevin Oaks, and we discovered that every new song (for public listening) that I have written, since 2009, has been debuted at Soul Food. That says so much about the comfort of this place. That evening, on top of the new songs, we had a limited edition EP of the new album, which sold out! Whoo hoo! Good times with great folks! And amazing support! Thanks, Soul Food! Thanks, community!
"Never Go Back" is Coming!!
The 1st of May was our last recording day at the studio! Our new album "Never Go Back" is almost finished. HUZZAH! We have mixed 10 of the 14 tracks and then it's on to mastering and duplication. These things take so much time and focus but it is worth all the hard work. We have been traveling out to Index, WA to mix at Paradise Sound almost twice a week and on the weekend, when we are not gigging. We hope to have it ready for you in July! Stay Tuned!
Doe Bay Play
The first weekend in May brought us to Orcas Island and to Doe Bay to play the cafe and yoga room! What a magical place this is! Glorious views of the water, delicious food, and kind, smiling faces make up Doe Bay Resort! This is also the home of the Doe Bay Festival! Such a treat! We had a grand time playing for all the moms over Mother's Day weekend. We even had a tea party of our own! So much fun!
Tea Party at Doe Bay!
Little Western Wins Again!
We had the honour of taking 2nd Place in the the annual Seattle Maritime Festival Stories of the Sea Contest sponsored by the Seattle Propeller Club, Port of Seattle, Pacific Marine Expo, and National Fishman Magazine. We played to a packed house at the Highliner Pub in the Seattle Fishermens' Terminal. The judges of the night include members of the Seattle media, maritime businesses and the Port of Seattle. We were delighted to take home a prize and to have played in such wonderful seafaring company. Thank you Seattle Maritime Festival!
Loaves and Fishes
We had a lovely time playing at the benefit called "Loaves and Fishes" on the 13th of this month. The Amazing Grace Spiritual Centre worked hard to raise money to feed Ballard's homeless on Sundays, when most soup kitchens and churches are closed. It was fun to share the stage with Larry Murante and Steff Kayser. Thanks to all the folks who came out on that hot summer-like night and supported our community!
Juan de Fuca Music Fest!
What a treat it was for us to play for two incredible audiences at the Juan de Fuca Music Festival in Port Angeles, WA, this past weekend! We shared the stage with great acts like The Bills and Rabbit Wilde. We had so many warm compliments from the folks! It was hard to say farewell! The rain kept away, the music soared high, and I felt for the first time this year that the start of summer is here! Thanks to the volunteers, the sound folks, and the staff and directors for putting together a real gem of a festival!! We hope to play again next year!!
Greenwich Village, here I come...
I am off to Manhattan for a few days to help promote the new album, make some contacts, and see a few Broadway shows! I am soo excited to finally spend some time in New York! You can follow my adventures through Facebook and our Instagram pages
Fae Instagram SeaStar Instagram
Set list for our Soul Food Coffeehouse show. Thanks to Marianne Casasanta for taking photos! Thanks to Marianne Casasanta for taking photos!
FINISHED Recording, "Never Go Back"! New Album Coming soon!! Photo take at Paradise Sound Studio
Our song, The Little Western, takes 2nd Place at the Seattle Maritime Festival's Stories of the Sea Contest!
Practicing before the show at Juan De Fuca Music Fest!
Monday, 25 April 2016
Fields of Flowers!
Happy Spring! Wow! Spring came on like a serious love affair here in the Pacific Northwest! The tulip fields were alive with colour since the end of March! Usually tulips bloom here around mother's day, but not this year! We had a splendid time tiptoeing through the lovely flowers and soaked in so much sunshine! Hope that the spring is making you smile too!!
With Spring also comes the allergies and sometimes that first cold of the year. I had both! For nearly 10 days I was sneezing like I was living in a pepper factory. Thankfully the cold has left but the mild allergies linger. Since I was so sick earlier this month, we had to cancel one day in the studio because I was just a mess. We return to the studio this weekend, cold free, to finalize all the recording and get the tracks mixed! Huzzah! Hope that you are feeling well and keeping well!
Big Hair Shiny Guns
You may not know that 3/4 of SeaStar is in another band called Big Hair Shiny Guns. Adam and Ron join me with my gals, Audra and Dana. We are a old school country band who focuses on mashups of classic tunes that folks love. The band is vocally driven by some killer three-part harmonies. We had a great time performing at Flights Pub in Everett on April 15! Over 100 of our friends came out to support us and we kept it Shiny all night long! Folks couldn't stop talking about our version of "Seven Bridges Road". We love that one too! If you are interested in country music, check us out sometime, y'all! and Always keep it shiny!
We have quite the summer ahead of us! With the birth of the new album, we are festival hopping around the Pacific Northwest to enjoy the summer sun and share our new tunes! We are even heading back "home" to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada to play at the annual Father's day Ceilidh at Beacon Hill Park. The Victoria Folk Music Society also gave us an opportunity to share our tunes as well as Shady Grove Folk Arts! Thank you! I am very excited to return "home" and share our music with you, Canada!
Shows coming this week and next...
We are playing at Soul Food Coffee House this coming Friday 8pm - 10pm and next weekend we are headed out to Orcas Island to play at the beautiful Doe Bay Resort and Cafe! If you are in the neighbourhood, sail on by!
Until next month!
Thanks so much for all the love and support! With kindness and hugs,
Big Hair Shiny Guns playing at Flights Pub!
We do have fun! Strong Three-part Harmonies with a 'y'all!'
Summer Schedule! WOW! We are playing lots!
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
Songwriting Challenge Complete!
Falcone, Ron, and I completed our yearly songwriting adventure in the month of February. The RPM Challenge is a great kick in the pants for songwriters in the shortest month of the year. The mission is to write 10 songs or 35 minutes of music, record it, make a CD with artwork and have it all complete by the stroke of midnight March 1st. This year we had one extra day being a leap year and I think we all did a great job writing up a storm! You can hear the projects by clicking on the album
Fae's Album Ron's Album Falcone's Album
SeaStar played at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe on St. Patrick's day during the happy hours 5pm - 7pm crowd. We danced a few jigs, sang loads of songs, and drank a few Jamesons' too! Thanks to all the fine folks who came out, sported their loveliest Green, and supported us on one of our favourite holidays!
We just completed day five of recording the latest SeaStar album! We are thinking of calling it Never Go Back after a brand new tune that I wrote in February for the RPM challenge. It features banjo... I know! WILD!
But this little treasure of a tune really brings together the last five years of working hard in this music industry, growin up after hard times, and refusing to be sad any longer. This album has a different spirit than our others. We chase Giants, we listen to selkies, we reminisce on our times in Ireland and Scotland, we daydream, we dance, and we let go...
I cannot wait to share this album with you. I believe that it holds some of my finest work and we sound stronger than ever before. I hope you will enjoy it. I hope that you may relate to some of the songs. I hope that some tunes just get you happy and dancing! Life is incredibly short. We need to let go, and free ourselves to feel like children. I suppose that is how I choose to live.
Happy St. Paddy's! Hope you had a grand day!
Happy St. Paddy's from SeaStar!!
Playing the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle on St Paddy's!
Back to the small town of Index, WA to record more of our new album, Never Go Back!
Recording on a really fancy mic at Paradise Sound!
Sunday, 28 February 2016
What a wonderful adventure! I left for Glasgow on the 13th of January for another go at playing at Celtic Connections Music Festival. I spent nearly three weeks networking, singing, playing, and meeting with some of the most loveliest of souls. I witnessed great talent, histories, mysteries, and more!
Glasgow is my kind of place. Music is everywhere that you look. It has a great pub culture, and everything seems easy to get to. Folks are kind and chatty. Scottish hospitality is quite amazing! For instance, at the Rabbie Burns night at the Rio Cafe, there was an open stage. I got up and sang a few songs. Within moments I had a flood of whiskies brought to the table! I was shocked. I had such a lovely time chatting with folks about the power of music, the Scottish culture, and about the man, Rabbie Burns!
One of those lovely whiskies that I mentioned as I was playing the spoons to the music.
I performed on the Danny Kyle Stage and had a lovely time that afternoon with all the Danny performers. I even wrangled a drummer to help me on my last song, John, from a lovely band called "The Domestics". A dear friend whom I met in Victoria, Shirley, attended and brought her friend George! What fun! I love Shirley so! I also had a couple of new friends from the volunteer staff attend my performance. I was thankful to have a wee fan club there. Thanks folks!
Fun with Jacqueline, Tom, George, and Shirley!
I played twice at the Rio Cafe, once on Burns Night and the other at the Open Mic with my new friend, Tom Watson. Tom, who is a wickedly good guitarist who plays with an amazing band called "Rose Room", and his wife Stella were a huge part of my time in Glasgow. They were so kind with sharing their stories and time with me. I was so sad to leave them! But I have a feeling that we will have adventures together in the future.
playing at the Rio on Burns Night
I played at the Butterfly and Pig at the Open stage and, on the last night of my stay, I played at Bloc+.
While I didn't win "A Danny" I was humbled to have been asked to play, honoured to be in Scotland, and had a fabulously good time in Glasgow!
Shows I saw/worked
I was very involved this year as a volunteer and it payed off in many ways. I bought some tickets to shows as well so I was busy every night of my 19 day stay.
I saw the Cheiftains and Kris Kristofferson a brilliant re-imaginging of Joni Mitchell's Hejira, directed by Karine Polwart Lucinda Williams, with Jenny Ritter (local Victoria gal I have know from when I lived in BC)
Ricki Lee Jones Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck Rhiannon Giddens (It was great to see her again!) Ross Ainsle, Sorren MacLean Ali Ferguson, Chris Agnew, Paul Jones, and MORE
While I working a show at the Mitchell Theatre, I received the terrible news that my dear friend, Gary Parish, had passed away. I have know Gary most of my adult life. We met on DeviantArt in 1999. He was a huge supporter of my music and the kindest friend I have ever had. I was shocked as I had just seen him days before I left for Glasgow. When Adam called me, I was working as an artist rep for Paul Jones and David Kelly and I had to keep my wits about me. I was very fortunate to have good company around when I received the news. The stage manager, Malcolm, was indeed an angel with a great heart and a gift for listening. He brought me a cupa and we chatted about how lovely Gary is/was. I was very lucky to have such a good person to keep an eye out for me. Thanks, Malcolm! As for GareBear, I am so honoured to have called you my friend! You magic man! Hope you and Houdini are having the best conversations!!
with my new friend, Malcolm
From the snowfall that made the city sparkle, to kind hearts and fast friends, this trip held magic! I visited the GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art) and Kelvingrove Art Gallery with Katrina and Luke, my London friends who visited me one weekend. We also made it over to the Trongate area and saw and incredible display of art, music and magic called.Sharmanka. Malcolm, the stage manager who was my angel, highly recommended that I try to experience this kinetic art exhibition. I am very grateful that he did. My goodness! It was a thrilling display of art, light, motion, and magic. My face hurt from smiling so much! If you find yourself in Glasgow, You must go!
Just next to Sharmanka is the Britannia Panopticon, the oldest surviving music hall in the world! What a treasure this hall is! Laurel and Hardy performed here! I stepped on stage and sang a tune. The acoustics were amazing! There was a ghost named George who followed me as I was cold on one half of my body as I moved through as if someone was taking my arm! Spooky! Thanks to Tom and Stella for organinsing the tour and sharing this diamond in the rough with me! I loved it!!
I also had the privilege to go to an actual Scottish Ceilidh! Holy Haggis! What fun! My new friend George and his gal Margaux were a treat to watch as they danced. Tom and Stella went as well! George, who has more energy than anyone I have ever known, whipped me around the dance floor in some spinning dance that I am so surprised that I didnt fall over! My goodness! By the end of the night, it was obvious that I was wearing entirely too much wool! ha! Such good fun!!
and one last magical thing (well there are hundreds more but I will need to write another entry soon!)
>>>Sticky Toffee Pudding<<< wow.
My friend Jimi, who I met on my last visit to Glasgow, took me out to see the beautiful Kelpie sculptures! Wow! 35meters tall and I swear its as if they can move! It was the windiest day possible and we had a lovely time shivering and standing in awe!
We then headed over to Stirling Castle to run through the place where Mary Queen of Scots grew up! It was a lovely castle, but really remodeled. I had fun reading about the history and waving across to the Wallace Memorial from one of the castle walls. The last time I was in Glasgow, Carol, my sweet friend, took me to see the Stirling Bridge and the Wallace Memorial. It was like I had come full circle. Thanks Carol and Jimi!!
I arrived back in Seattle on the 2nd of February to the arms of my sweet one, Adam. It was a grand adventure but oh, so lovely to come home. I returned to my teaching duties on the 3rd and lingered in the afterglow of such an amazing time!
Since I was unable to attain tickets to the show in LA, I attended the Grammy Member viewing party at the EMP in Seattle. My plus 1, Audra, and I had a great time with the local chapter members and are keeping our fingers crossed for attending the 2017 Grammys in LA!
We had our global concert on the 21 of February and had 9 countries chime in attendance! I hope that we can make this an annual event as it bridges the time zones together and we can all mingle in an online world for awhile. I am very grateful to all who tuned in! We are a very lucky band!
I cant wait to see what next month brings! But now I must focus on my RPM challenge! Until next month, Starheads!
Shine on, your crazy sparks of light!
Back at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Playing the Danny Kyle Stage at the Royal Concert Hall!
Performing at Celtic Connections 2016! photo by my lovely friend Shirley!
Chattin with Rhiannon Giddens!
rehearsal at Adelaide's Auditorium, where I stayed.
Dear friends, Tom and Stella, and the managers of the Britannia Panopticon - the oldest music hall in Europe!
Feeling happy at Kelvingrove Art Gallery
a lovely busker playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
The Kelpies! 35 meters tall! It was very impressive!
Visiting Stirling Castle with my sweet friend Jimi! We had a lovely time running through the halls where Mary Queen of Scots lived.
Ciders at the Old Scotia Bar!
Lovely supper at sweet Carol's house!
Grammy Awards Event at the EMP in Seattle with my plus1 and Big Hair Shiny Gun's sister, Audra!
photo by Dan Niven as he tuned into our online concert!
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
This year is starting out with one adventure after another! From Pirates, to Tiny Desks, to my upcoming tour in Glasgow, this year is looking bright and shiny!
Filming the Little Western
On the coldest day of the winter so far, we set out to film a music video at the Fishermans' Terminal in the Ballard neighbourhood of Seattle. NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Contest was in full swing and we wanted to share our new tune "The Little Western" with the world.
Since the song is about to sailors who brave the Atlantic Ocean in 1880 in a 16' Dory Fishing boat, it seemed appropriete to film by the Fishermen's Memorial.
While filming, with the assistance of Falcone's bride, Rebecca, a couple of salty dogs came by and joined in the fun! They were there thinking about their friend Jim who was recently lost at sea. They boys even pirated our desk in the video, completely unplanned!
With frozen finger and honest hearts we played with all our might and our video was complete.
Be sure to listen to the link and let us know what you think!
As I type this I am waiting at the airport in Iceland to catch my flight into Glasgow. It's freezing here!
I will play the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 on the Danny Kyle Stage. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to share what I do with the folks as well as drink in all the lovely music that Celtic Connections has to offer! I will also volunteer so that I may see more of the festival and network to the best of my abilities!
It will be grand to be back!
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Huddled together, freezing! after a successful shoot of "The Little Western" at the Fishermen's Memorial.