A new post! 

 

The other night I went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter. I thought it would be a good trip down memory lane, and also because a friend was in her band and I wanted to see him playing with her.  

She was a big influence on me back in the day and through the years. I think it’s been around 30 years ago that I discovered her music. It was on The Nashville Network (TNN.) Ralph Emory hosted a show and introduced a young singer songwriter form Washington, DC. A girl with a guitar, singing and playing her own music!  I don’t remember if she had a band (she probably did) because I was so taken with the voice and the lyrics.  

I lived in a small town and back then it wasn’t is easy to get music that wasn’t really mainstream. By get I mean find, and purchase! I can remember gong to all the record shops in the area asking about Mary Chapin Carpenter. The only thing I could find was a cassette called “Home Town Girl.” On man,  A Lot Like Me, Other Streets and Other Towns, Hometown Girl, Family Hands, Waltz, Just Because, Heroes and Heroines. I still have that cassette.  

First records from some of my favorite artists are usually the ones that make the the biggest impression on me. (John Gorka, Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Tracy Chapman…) The ones that made me sit down in a dark room and listen with my eyes closed because it hit something inside of me that was emotional and real. And then I’d grab my guitar hoping that some of that would rub off on me because of the way it made me feel. If I could only get other people to feel that way about my songs. WOW!  That’s a powerful thing.  

Back to the MCC show- Yes,  I was a little ambivalent about how I thought the show would go… and it was a trip down memory lane but also a great reminder of a few things.  

It reminded me that music really is the great connector. It makes you feel. Something that we don’t get enough of now. We are all so busy looking at our screens and not at each other.  

I woke up in tears the next morning (good tears )thinking about how this show was just what I needed. It was smart and classy and the songs took me back but also made me more present. I left with a really good feeling in my heart. And, for an hour and a half I wasn’t thinking about the doom and the gloom of the world.  

It made me think about my own music and how I am so lucky to have had this person’s musical influence in my life. Thank you, Mary Chapin!     

xxx

 

 

Legacy I 

Just returned from an awesome (albeit short) run to Boston. I got the honor of playing a couple shows with 2 guys that have helped mold me into the writer and singer I am today. 

I'm remembering a CD that came out in the late 1980's- It's called Legacy. A collection of up and coming singer songwriters of the time. I loved this record. It's where I discovered David Massengill, Sara Hickman, John Gorka, Bill Morrissey, Cliff Eberhardt, Pierce Pettis, Iain Matthews, and others.  

I'm not sure if I had ever heard a song like I Saw A Stranger With Your Hair- It totally took me by surprise and I found it so intriguing and quirky and cool and smart.  
I find myself singing that song randomly! John's Land Of The Bottom Line is one of my all time favorite recordings.

My Father's Shoes - The voice of Cliff Eberhardt is one of my favorites. And, a great guitar player too.  The Long Road played in my cd player for a very long time. Richie Havens comes in a takes turn too. Love this record.

So, I was more than just thrilled to be able to share the stage with John and Cliff. I'm just so very grateful to be a part of this amazing folk community.
 

Texas, I adore you! 

Headed to Texas in a couple days to play a few awesome shows. Seems like I have waited forever to play Thoreau Woods Coffeehouse in Huntsville Texas- so glad it's finally here!  Then to Austin for a Sunday brunch at Strange Brew and then a house concert with a couple of new friends. Jamiee Harris and Tom Meny. I met them both at Kerrville this year. Jamiee got in touch with me to see if we could get a show together and she made this house concert happen. If you are in the area you should for sure come!  
Gonna be a good weekend in the heart of Texas!  
RSVP here!
http://jaimeeharris.ticketleap.com/jaimee-harris-rj-cowdery-tom-meny-house-show-09-21-15/

Rocky Mountain High 

Dang, another amazing couple of weeks spent in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. 

For the last 7 years I have been making the annual trek from Columbus, OH to Lyons, CO. I just point the car west and stay on Interstate 70 for 1300 miles or so! 

I have been playing at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park for about 5 years now. A gig that I look forward to playing every year. I never thought that I would enjoy it so much but I love driving up into the mountains and playing for the folks who come out and listen.  It's a very interesting gig that brings out entire families from all over the country. We chat after the show and find all kinds of similarities in our differences. 

Then to Song School. Ahhhhhhh… it's a deep breath that I need avery year. A chance to make new friends and catch up with peers and learn from heroes in a setting that is supportive and inspiring. I got the chance to share some insight of my own at an instructor this year. My class was "Making Music Work For You." How to be relevant as an artist full-time or part-time. It was a awesome discussion with folks who are at various levels of playing and their desire to play more. I also did some individual mentoring! 

Folks Festival 
Following the 4 day song school was the 25th anniversary of this formidable festival. Wow. Highlights for me include Mary Gauthier, Kasey Chambers, Sufjan Stevens, Session Americana, Martin Sexton, Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jason Isbell, The Waifs, Richard Thompson, and closing out the weekend was Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. I even had the chance to perform on Sunday during the festival in the The Wildflower Pavilion with one of my favorites - Christopher Smith.
 

HOME
The trek home always gives me time to reflect on this amazing community of music makers that I am lucky enough to be a part of and glad to know that so many of them are my friends. I am GRATEFUL!
 

SOMETHING FINE 

New record!    
I have a brand new recording that I am super stoked about. Its a covers record. I love writing songs, but I also love singing. Interpret songs that really speak to me is so much fun. You know, the ones that you keep hitting repeat on - over and over. These songs ring true for me and I am so honored to have put them on a record and make them my own. 

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