Where did the time go? Honestly? I'm so far behind in updating all of you and I'm sorry for that. Pandemic has been a challenge for all of us, and one is how quickly time continues to march on despite us pretty much staying in place for nearly a year now. But I've been very, very busy over here! As many of you know, I have a full-time job. But I'm still trying to stay in my creative space as much as I can when I'm not working, doing songwriting workshops/retreats, and I have been doing a lot of collaborating with other musicians and artists as well as writing new music and hatching plans for the rest of the year.
By the way, thanks to all of you, we raised $750 to Fair Fight Action, which you may have heard of a lot in the last couple of months since the U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia. It mattered!
So, here's what I've been up to, along with the video to prove it (this might be long, so grab a cuppa something and buckle in, but it'll be good, I promise):
37TH MID-ATLANTIC SONG CONTEST:
At the end of 2020, got some good news: I won three awards at this year's Mid-Atlantic Song Contest presented by the Songwriter's Association of Washington for:
- COVID 19 Songs Finalist, "All I Can Give"
- Open Category Finalist, "Monkey Paw"
- Vocal Jazz/Blues Honorable Mention, "Only Water"
I spent the last quarter of 2020 hanging with many other musicians and that was honestly really great for me. I was not fully in a creative space all the time, so being able to play music did a lot for me, especially after the year we had:
- "Come Sit Next To Me": This is a collaboration I did with the inimitable Tracie Potochnick of Cardboard Ox. We were at a songwriting retreat and were challenged to write and perform a song in less than 36 hours. A shared love of Steel Magnolias, our penchant for being extra, and little sleep was the engine behind our madness. This is what happened.
- "Living Water" by Luna: I've had the great fortune of collaborating with some she-ro local musicians of mine, Kathleen and Valeria of Luna and the incomparable Marcy Cochran. Here's a video of us during the Reston-Herndon Folk Club's, "Ladies' Night" in October doing one of their new songs, "Living Water". While you're at it, check out this fun cover we do of "Meet Me In the Morning" from the same open mic.
- Speaking of Luna, check out their first EP, "The Alchemist's Journey". I was honored to play percussion on two of the tracks and frankly, it's a damn good album. Get an actual CD at the webstore (you remember those, right), or via Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms. You can also catch a video of the CD release at Jammin' Java in October here.
- "Know What's Right" project with Cardboard Ox: I was really honored to join my friends Tracie and Steve of Cardboard Ox to do a cover of Tom Petty's, "The Dark Of The Sun". The event was a celebration of Tom's music and we raised money for 7 amazing organizations. I got to play the big bass fiddle for them.
- "Through the Threshold": Another songwriting retreat collaboration (this time in August in 48 or so hours) with my amazing friend and Cursing Gardener, Ponybird (Jenn D). We were not pleased with the app we used to create this, but I can tell you that we were pretty pleased with the collaboration and hope you agree. Chill out with us and check it out.
LIVESTREAMS & SHOWS!
Livestreaming is the thing these days and boy, did we learn how to do that quickly! Besides a large number of open mics, I did manage to livestream a couple times and even managed to livestream a few of my live shows:
- Black Friday Flash Songswap: By now, you have probably realized that I won't say no if Valeria and Kathleen (Luna) ask me to play - and certainly not when we decide last-minute to do a livestream/driveway show at my house on Black Friday. No one was out actually shopping anyway, right? And we enjoyed the neighbors that stopped by for a listen. That's what Thanksgiving should be about, I say.
- Blue Melody Outdoor Session, September: I got to play a driveway show in Reston, VA in September with Rick Landers opening. It was a lot of fun and great turnout. We raised over $250 for Fair Fight that night. Whoot!
- Epicure Cafe with Marcy Cochran, September: Playing with the amazing fiddler and mandolin wielding Marcy Cochran is always a treat and I was overjoyed when she joined me at the Epicure Cafe in Fairfax for a show (and then later in November when my Farm Brew Live show was rescheduled). She's just so damn good and fun to play with - click on the link and see for yourself.
- My Show Got Rained-Out Livestream, August: When my show at Farm Brew Live in Manassas was canceled, I decided to do a livestream on a whim. I was pleasantly surprised by how many folks must have been stuck at home on a rainy day to check out the livestream...
- And just in case you missed it last time, here's the Double Release Show from Jammin Java in August: The amazing Michelle Swan and I held a double release show with a little help from our friends, Kathleen and Valeria (Luna), and Marcy. We had a blast and raised over $200 for Standing Up For Racial Justice Northern Virginia.
Phew! I will promise to update more but I think you can see why I haven't had time to!
There's a lot planned for this year and I promise I'll get more information out to you as it develops - I know, it's already February! Crazy!
Thanks again for all of your support!