Brought in a ten tear old orphan from Liberia to his new adoptive family in Detroit today. He was tall for his age, with flawless ebony skin, and was met at the gate by his new brothers and sister, all under the age of twelve and all blue-eyed blondes, who excitedly surrounded him in hugs, talking at once, telling him they loved him from his letters and could hardly wait to show him their rooms, and his. All this under the kind, watchful eyes of his new parents. All you need is love.
I was among ten finalist at the IAMA's Folk/Bluegrass Festival's Suzanne Millsap National Singer/Songwriter Showcase this weekend, and won! You could knock me over with a guitar. There was some staggeringly talented artists in the competition as a well as on the festival bill. I was, and am, thrilled. Thanks everyone.
When you finally decide to set aside the time to go through your overstuffed "keepsake" drawer, be ready to be reminded of what a rich life you've had thus far. And, that anytime you feel anonymous or un-loved, it's not because you are, it's because you've forgotten all the remarkable moments represented by the contents of that drawer.
I've had a hummingbird feeder up since before Kim Kardashian was a virgin, and nothing, no hummingbirds. Even hanging over a big hedge of honeysuckle, year after year, no tiny magic birds tried the feeder. But this evening, on the back deck, playing guitars with a couple friends, they appeared. Cobalt blue necks, perfect in every hovering way, hummingbirds. We played guitars and banjo, they hummed.
I set a release date for the new cd, American Portfolio as December 1st. The new, finished cds arrived that exact day. I dove deep, hard and fast to get it done in time and Ken, my producer, bless his heart, kept himself and his studio available. Here it is, December 19, and I'm finally finding the time to write an entry here. The American Portfolio cd release party was held at The Wild Bean Roasting Co., a comfortable, airy space with a nice stage. By 8 pm the place was packed with family, friends, their friends, and other musicians (also friends.) It couldn't have gone better with the help of Ken Kruckenberg, Otter Creek, D.Scott Williams and Blake Smith joining me for various songs off the new album. To play these songs with those players for all my favorite faces, and to share on that level, was memorable and joyful. I'm very happy with the new cd and have it available on cdbaby, IiTunes, Amazon and my website. But now, the hope will be to find more listens and listeners. I think we'll have something to talk about. Happy Holidays, everybody. Love and Peace, C.
Wrapped up the recording of 12 songs for the new cd due next month. Now on to final mixing. It's been a two year process since, like my brilliant producer/engineer, Ken Kruckenberg, I also like to paint under the table. But it will reach you, I promise. And it will re-establish your faith in what ten damn dollars can buy.
Being in the recording studio is like panning for gold. Long stretches of dutiful, occasionally mundane work in search of that one glint of gold. But when it happens, it's instantly worth it.
"You were standing alone by me when they closed the factory,
and they told their people, "You can go home."
And when the good old days got hard, when all I owned was my union card,
There alone, I saw you stand by me."
-Alone By Me by Chris Orrock
I'm busy wrapping up a new cd of original songs. Mid-November is the release goal. Meanwhile, I've been playing clubs, festivals and, in the case of last week's Peaceful Uprising benefit, support for the jailed patriot, Tim DeChristopher and his supporters (some of whom were arrested for peacefully gathering to protest DeChristopher's unjust incarceration.) His only crime was in stopping a public lands giveaway to Big Oil, thus saving taxpayers hundreds of millions in lost heritage and revenue.
The lettering on Woody Guthrie's guitar read: "This machine kills fascists." Enough said.
I received this note from a close friend early today and it has been on my mind since.
"My good friend, Jolyn passed away last Tuesday night from pancreatic cancer. She is the one that KZ burned your Cd for and her favorite song was Alfalfa Fields. Anyway, I got to see her before she passed and her husband told me that she wanted to hear that particular song over and over. In fact, he was afraid she may have worn the CD out. But, he told me your song gave her such comfort and she always smiled throughout it playing. So thank you for making my friend happy through the misery. Love, CZ"
My deepest condolences to Jolyn, a brave and good woman, and her husband. Thank you, Charisse for sharing this with me, and sharing me with Jolyn. .
I have a final lyric that seems to be sticking, we'll see. Did have a friend who just got married tell me that marriage changed nothing in their relationship. "I came home from work and Melody was on the floor singing karaoke." I'm going to have to use that line somewhere.