Welcome 2014!

Hello 2014. I look forward to your brilliance. 2013 did not disappoint me. It was a huge year. I  began a new life in an old country, got married (twice!), we bought a house and moved into it. We had a music studio built, I went on tour to Europe. These are the broadest brush strokes of my year. Lots of color and texture and timbre. I am sitting in my living room with the lingering remnants of a cold, thinking about what I can bring to this new year.

People ask me how my tour went and I say ‘It was big”. I met wonderful people all over Europe, Every show was a delight and each one was so different to the one before. I learnt a lot about myself. I slept on couches and in 5 star hotels (and everything in between). I took a lot of trains, some planes and a bus or two. I met new friends and saw old ones. I spent time with family. I had a number 1 song on the DJ playlist on the Italian Dance charts.  I had some very glowing reviews for my current CD Beating of the Sun and  quite a bit of airplay. This year ??……as it gets clearer, I will let you know.1463094_595464137156468_853363062_nIMG_1072IMG_1114

Fabulous Triple Bill, Get your tickets quick smart!

SINNERS, SAINTS & SONGS:

Three sophisticated and well-loved female artists join forces to offer Northern Rivers audiences an intimate, intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable evening of warmth, beauty and song.

Australian Alt-country singer-songwriter, Sara Tindley, teams up with Austin-based chanteuse, Lisa Richards, and American folk songstress, Susanna Carman, to delight audiences in this captivating House Concert soiree.

Gather together with friends and fellow music lovers in the beautiful home of Myocum host and arts enthusiast, Michael Murray, and experience the intimate connection through song that only House Concert events can provide.

SINNERS, SAINTS & SONGS promises to entice, sanctify and embrace all who come to share in the experience…

ONLY 60 SEATS AVAILABLE, LAST EVENT SOLD OUT. WE’VE MADE IT EASY FOR YOU TO SAVE A SEAT BY PURCHASING TIX NOW ONLINE at: http://www.stickytickets.com.au/12720

SARA TINDLEY: A storyteller of the highest order, Sara Tindley combines the emotional honesty of country music with the unadorned melodes and musicality of Australian roots and folk music. Three critically acclaimed solo albums have seen Sara travel around Australia playing festivals, halls, cafes and pubs as well as an invitation to showcase her songs at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis, USA, a trip that also saw her play to a full house at the famous Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville. Her songs have been featured on TV Series (Packed to the Rafters, Bondi Rescue, East of Everything etc.) and are a mainstay of ABC radio.

Festival Invites: Byron Blues Festival, Mullum Music Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Wingham Akoostik Festival, Gympie Muster, Splendour in The Grass, Brunswick Music Festival, Samaphore Music Festival, Marrickville Street Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and more…

LISA RICHARDS: Born and raised in Townsville, North Queensland, Lisa lived in New York City for a number of years before moving to Austin, Texas where she lived for over a decade. There she built a career recording and performing with a number of wonderful musicians from the bands of Norah Jones, Lisa Loeb, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Leonard Cohen, Lyle Lovett and more. She toured as an opening act for folk legend, Michelle Shocked, and her new album, ‘Beating of the Sun’, has garnered sparkling reviews in the USA, Europe and Australia.

“Some voices pierce your heart… a tour de force of unflinching and honest writing. A strikingly original and beautiful album.” David Costello, Brisbane Courier Mail

Festival Invites: Kerriville Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rocky Mountain Folk Festival, Merlefest and more…

SUSANNA CARMAN: From big cities to small towns, at festivals and intimate venues across Australia and the U.S.A., American singer/songwriter, Susanna Carman, offers audiences a musical tapestry that combines finger picking guitar, French fiddle and Appalachian Dulcimer with a, “flock of melodies that rarely sit there waiting for you to like them; they’re too busy doing that cartoons-birds-around-your-head thing.” Bernard Zuel, SMH Add to this a gift for storytelling that invokes a few full-bellied laughs, and you have an artist who slides comfortably into your affections.

“A great musician can change your mood and mindset within a few words, and this is what Susanna Carman definitely achieves… her work is full of voice and meaning.” Nada Van Kempen, Rhythms Magazine

Festival Invites: National Folk Festival, Illawarra Folk Festival, Nannup Music Festival, Mullum Music Festival, Newstead Live Music Festival, Dorrigo Folk Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Yackandandah Folk Festival, Peats Ridge Festival and more…

The gift of another year

January 2013 arrives and my head is full of all the many tasks I need to do to launch my CD out into the world. This CD “ Beating of the Sun” is the culmination of months of blood,sweat and tears. Discussions, ideas,experimentation, arrangements and tempos, recording techniques, mixing and photos, artwork, kickstarter campaigns, friendships, arguments,angst, laughter, excitement and despair. Quite a potent mix. January 22nd is the date that this baby is officially welcomed into the material world. It’s the christening, the naming ceremony. The time when I shift gears from hiding in my cocoon creating, to  stepping out into the world and sharing the finished work. When I get to see how ‘my baby’ is received out in the greater world. To watch her walk out into the sunshine and spread some love around wherever she goes.

 

I am not actually a goal orientated person. I am process oriented. An introvert by nature who can fake it out in the world as an extrovert for short bursts. (I’m sure there are a ton of us out there!)  So when I think about the year ahead I think about the practical concrete things and the possibilities (because of course I’m a dreamer as well). So of course like everybody else, I want to sell as many records as possible, become incredibly rich and famous by December 31st, adopt and love all the orphans in the world, put an end to war, teach the world to sing (because singing releases endorphins and if we all had more endorphins we’d all clearly be a heck of a lot happier), and do it all in a way that minimizes my footprint here on planet earth because I am an earth loving feral creäture at heart.

 Sooooo… On the more concrete side. I really do want to share my music with as many people as I possibly can in as many ways as I can think of. In April I’ll be in Italy  and the Netherlands. “Beating of the Sun” is being released digitally in Italy on a groovy little label there called New Model.  In June I’ll be touring in Australia. Later in the year I’ll be in the USA and in the UK. So, my feet on the earth head out of the clouds goal, is to be out in the world and visible, meeting new people, exchanging ideas, connecting with friends across the world, inspiring and moving people. Having enough money and material things to have a rich full life. Being a role model for what it looks like to follow your heart, no matter how old you are or what sex you are or what your sexual preferences are, because ultimately, that’s what I do every day. And thanks to Eden Ahbez who wrote one of the most beautiful songs of all time, I cradle this thought in my heart. “The greatest gift you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.”

 

 A Facebook friend posted this and  couldn’t help sharing it with you…

“Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.” – David Ackert, LA Times

Here’s looking at an excellent adventure…..

So here I am, living back in Australia after 22 years in the USA. It’s a new year.My first Summer Christmas in a long time. Am I organized?? No. From here it looks like it was a much quicker process to dismantle a life than to create one. At least in my particular case with the lights clearly marking the exit. All I had to do was follow the glow lights on the floor until I found myself in daylight. And here I am, in bright summer daylight, doing small things every day to make a new life. This new life is very different to my last. I am not the same person I was when I left for New York City 22 years ago. I am not the same person I was when I moved to Austin Texas 14 years ago, and I am not the same person I was when I left The USA to come back to Australia in November of last year. I am a much happier person. I have tamed some of the crazy demons in my head and set some of them free. I can see the sky and the trees and hear the parrots squawk and feel intensely lucky and at peace with myself and the circumstances of my life. I just got an e-mail from a friend and she invoked the words of 2 contemporary philosophers; Ted & Ren and Stimpy.

 Happy Happy Happy

Joy Joy Joy

Here’s looking at an excellent adventure.

Boy Oh Boy

 And I have to say. That is where I stand today……

Hurricane Sandy

I just returned to NYC from a week of intensive vocal study in France. I totally missed Hurricane Sandy and 5 days of no power, no cell service and no internet in lower Manhattan.  I have been fortunate to be staying at a friend’s apartment in Brooklyn for the past 2 nights because the word on the street was, ‘Good luck trying to get into Manhattan’. So, rather than push my luck for no good reason, I reached out to a friend in Brooklyn who was kind enough to welcome me into her home. No Taxi’s or airport shuttles want to go to Brooklyn. My taxi driver at JFK made a point to tell me he had only been taking fares into Manhattan because he could make more money that way and then proceeded to drive me half way around the world to get to Park Slope. It turned out he made at least as much money as he would have made taking me to Manhattan and then assured me his road choices were an honest mistake…..

 Brooklyn is full of refugees now. All the cafes and restaurants are humming with sound, people walk the streets pulling their suitcases behind them. Gas stations have mile long lines for rapidly disappearing supplies of gasoline. Stations are closed off with yellow tape.

 Later today I will head back to the East Village. Power is restored there now.  The heat isn’t on yet, but that is a small thing compared with the situation of the past week. There is hot water, lights, internet and cell phone service. The new basics of modern living. Perhaps we need to add these things to the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs…just a thought

Another day older…

I just turned 49. This is a fact. I don’t feel 49. I don’t even know what that would feel like. I do know that the world in which I live has very concrete ideas about what a woman of 49 can and can’t do.  To a great part of society, I have already become invisible. Simply because I am a woman and I am 49 years old.

 I just moved from Austin Texas to  NYC.

 When I last lived in NYC, I was 27 years old. In the Music business of big dollars and big record sales, youth and beauty are essential. Even at 27 I was aware I needed to lie about my age because at 27 I was ‘too old’. I was also ‘too fat.’ I had a manager who informed me that I could only be an over weight performer if I was African-American. Because I was a pale-faced white woman, it was not acceptable. Fiona Apple was just emerging as a  gorgeous 17year old prodigy and her handlers were using the promotion and publicity angle that she was raped when she was 12, and this somehow explained her talent… I had another (potential) manager tell me that women songwriters were a fad that would soon pass. I noticed that on the radio I would never hear 2 women’s voices singing in a row. There was some unwritten rule that you could not play 2 women back to back.

 I would love to say that this has changed in the last 20 years…. My observation is that this has not changed. In some ways it may even be worse. Yes, the emerging world of home studios and the constantly dropping price of CD manufacture has leveled the playing field in terms of who gets to make a record. But I still listen to the radio in amazement, look at club programs, and tour schedules.  It is still very much a male dominated arena. I know it’s not because there is a lack of women with talent out there. I am not proposing any theories or conclusions, this is just what I see.