I took a long winding road to feeling comfortable in my own skin and knowing what I have to say. This song owns both the time it takes for some of us, and the fact that it's never too late to find, and use, your voice. We started shooting this video before I released the record (I owe my nice hair to Jasmine at @manifestasalon ) and planned to release it after the new year, then life as we all know it changed. Watch it! Share it! Let me know what you think!
I've a couple more live stream performances on the calendar. First up May 24 at 2pm PST, I'll play a short set on Facebook Live via the All Around Music Showcase /WOS Weekend. On May 30, I'm part of QuaranPalooza, which is happening 4-7pm. Get more info and grab a ticket HERE.
The Alameda Porch Concerts conitnue to be well received here and in the press. Paul Kotapish did a nice write up for San Francisco Classical Voice. Check it out!
Two opportunities to catch me livestreaming some tunes from my home base this evening and Saturday afternoon.
Tonight is #8 in Bay Station's Porchstream series as part of the Alameda-wide Porch Concerts with Safe Physical Distancing .
Catch the stream starting at 6pm PST at my Facebook Music Page
Saturday at 4pm PST I'm up as part of the All Around Music Showcase, also streaming live via Facebook. Tune in!
#1091 Music by Ruth Bloomquist, Joy Zimmerman, Ed & Carol Nicodemi, Gail Gallagher, Dr.E, Katherine Dines, Alison Reynolds, Carol Martini, Natalie Duque, Susan Kane, Kerry Barnes, Windfall, Rose Augustine feat. Melanie Sheppard, Deborah Crooks
Playing "Honey" in the before times. It's been six months since I celebrated the release of The Department of the West on a fun night @amados998 Amado's. Playing with a band seems like a lifetime ago.
Dreaming of bees, honey on the comb the way they swarmed and flew on their way to a new home
One big whir, queen and drone, making honey
Fill up the Folgers cans, under skies bright and sunny
Trading fruit no exchange of money
Grapes on the vine, meant for…Read more
One of my favorite moments of last week’s porch concert was watching as a family of girls (and quite gifted movers) danced all over the chalk earth I’d drawn on the sidewalk as we played. This morning, after a week of mulling patterns internal and external, I decided to turn the earth into a flower for tomorrow’s (May Day!) porch concert #7.
As I was drawing I was thinking of a favorite class during my long-ago freshman year at UC Santa Cruz “Art and the Inner Life”. Pretty much any kind of expression was…
Photo: Chalk Hill bouquet
I love process, which is why I love projects: they help me chart my evolution of understanding. The process of this pandemic is a whole other order, and I’ve mainly been keeping my usual personal notes /journal through it all, reserving any summary for a much later time. And I take some comfort in looking back at my past experiences of personal and public upset: big earthquakes (‘89 Loma Prieta) and breakups, terrorist events (9/11) and deaths, and see what pivots I took in…
I wrote most of the songs on The Department of the West in consideration of land and place, my own relationship to it as well as its historical uses. Wide open spaces have always been refuge and escape. Getting outside in natural landscapes is how I dealt with my family growing up, how I’ve found solace as an adult, and how more recently, I’ve made cohabitation in a small house work.
While this record is still ‘new’ it feels like it’s from another era, as of course, like everyone, life is different now. I haven’t been venturing too far beyond a two-mile radius. Trip plans have been shelved and I haven’t left Alameda Island in more than a month. It’s been more than a week since I’ve been in a car. It’s a time of acute interiority.
I’m happy to know that wildlife is recovering and expanding into the wild lands that much more without me, without us, in it. Instead of big land, my anchors have been walks, the music, routines and house projects (like a lot of people I’ve made bread and am now contemplating which vegetables to grow) and my yoga and Buddhist practices. I’m excited about the personal shifts happening, and, as I read the news and posts about deaths and frontline experiences, I’m very aware of the privilege I have right now to even contemplate them. Life will never be the same for all sorts of reasons. I’m very interested in who we’ll all be on the other side of this.
Back to The Department of the West. While I think every day is earth day, tomorrow is designated Earth Day. And in honor of that collective bow to the planet I’m donating half of the proceeds of The Department of the West @bandcamp to The Sierra Club. If you haven’t got a copy of these 11 songs already, I hope you’ll purchase them this week!
Thank you and take care out there.
The Department of the West
1. Lit by the Mystery
2. Let the River do the Running
4. All Signs
5. A Garden
6. Department of the West
7. My New Sweet
8. Long Roads
9. The Other Side
10. River Stones
11. What the Land Will Tell You
Fridays April 10-May 1 6:15pm to ~7:15pm
tune in 6:15pm PST Facebook live.
The now weekly Alameda porch concerts have been a real mood lifter. We've had safe-physical-distancing folks listening on the sidewalk in front of the house, from the street meridian and the sidewalk across the street and met neighbors we didn't know we had. The porch concerts have also become our regular live-stream (on Facebook Live and IG…