In 2015 I played 90+ shows. In the Midwest, on the west coast, in the south. This is nothing compared to the more seasoned full time musicians, non-stop touring, living in their vans & buses, 300+ shows a year. However for me, doing my own booking and promoting and holding down rent and some yoga teaching in Duluth at the time — it was quite a lot. I have so many great memories (and alas, some not so great!) and especially love the travel aspect and connecting with new and old friends. This country is incredible and huge and its inhabitants vast and varied.
****** Follow up to this – this band no longer exists! Apparently we did have some trouble brewing 😉 Awwww band drama. However I have a great new line up (Zac stayed!). And these tips are still valid for the touring musician. 😉 ****************
How to get your band from Duluth to Nashville to record for two days without killing each other
I’m embellishing of course! I didn’t exactly TAKE my band against their will! I invited them to come and record four songs with me at an awesome studio in Nashville called Welcome to 1979. In 2014 I won a prize of one free day of recording from their Battle of the Bands thing and wanted to cash in on it! April seemed like a good month to go. Not as risky driving from northern Minnesota and wouldn’t we all like to get away from the mud and muck and end of winter drear? And isn’t this a dream come true for a lot of musicians???! Wasn’t too hard to convince them it would be fun. 🙂
I hope the end of March is inspiring some roaring in YOU like the lion it is running out with! It’s been one helluva month and I hope yours was awesome, and a little less crazy than mine! This was my email newsletter to my subscribers – thought I’d update the rest of you, too 🙂 Please sign up to never miss a beat!
Gonna keep this update quick because I’m typing with one hand! After playing the super fun & fantastic Dulutsen festival last weekend, I took advantage of one of the perks – free lift ticket! I tried snowboarding for the first time, did an awesome cartwheel, crashed down on my right shoulder and now it’s in a sling. Bad rotator cuff sprain and a bit of fractured humerus. Can’t lift my arm for 6 weeks! Just in time to record in Nashville (April 3 – 10) and open my yoga studio in Minneapolis (get the keys April 1, grand opening June 11th thankfully).
Doesn’t life have fabulous timing??? I don’t find it very humerus … get it??? Humerus instead of humorous???? Bwaaaa haa haaa
I sit in deep reflection, staring out the window at lightly falling snow in this cold/crusty/beautiful northern city, thinking about the past year that Holy Bones has been roaming around the world.
Holy Bones is my 6th full length album and signaled an artistic turn for me. After being mostly a solo, piano-based singer-songwriter I found that I was boring myself and felt compelled to change and follow the muse. She led me to a heavier, grungier, indie-rock, electric guitar sound. I found some like-minded musicians to collaborate with and bring that sound to life, starting from simple guitar demos to full throttle, darkly synthesized song creations.
I may have alienated some long-time fans (sorry dears – you know I love ya!), but other people graciously said, “it’s like when Dylan went electric” (in no way do I compare myself to Dylan, but was nice to hear) – the example being that the stylistic shift could be polarizing – people wanting you to keep doing the same thing (which I understand) vs. exploring other realms of the psyche …
Join us for the music video release party for “Veal” on December 13th 2015 at The Red Herring Lounge in Duluth, MN. 5 pm! Screening of the video plus live music by Toby Thomas Churchill, Katy Vernon, Mary Bue + the Holy Bones. $5. 10% of proceeds go to the Humane Society. Optional vegan potluck starts at 5 – bring a dish if you want + tons of vegan cookies for all. Video produced by Jon Hain w/ assistant Angelica Engel. Video will be live on the web shortly after!
It feels trite to say that I’ve always loved animals.
Trite because it’s such an understatement. But the truth IS I love animals! I grew up with dogs, fish, rabbits and cats. In the country, surrounded by deer, squirrels, chipmunks, birds and all sorts of varmints. I got to see exotic animals in zoos and books and fell in love with pandas and koala bears, dolphins and orcas. I had a dream in junior high and high school of becoming a veterinarian and helping sick, injured animals or a marine biologist and learning about ocean life. I took horse riding lessons and studied dog and cat breeds. I drew their pictures and wore t-shirts and puffy sweaters with animals all over them.
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“I want candy. I want money. I want my mommy. I want my daddy.” – Mary Bue
Full disclosure: I am a bit of a self-help junkie. What does this have to do with MONEY??? I’ve been geeking out over a crew of super inspiring self-help-ish entrepreneurs and in the past week many signs from those thought-leaders have been pointing to getting intimate with my MONEY. I’m reading Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup – the subtitle is “Untangle your financial woes and create the life you really want.” In tandem, another huge inspiration of mine is Marie Forleo and in her latest TV show she interviewed Eat, Pray, Love sensation Elizabeth Gilbert, and there were some serious nuggets of wisdom surrounding money. More on these ladies a bit later.
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“What we are really saying is that music, once considered an important science, is now merely a form of entertainment, classified by elite snobs as “cultured” or “uncultured.” If it could be packaged in little plastic containers and eaten with a spoon, they would do it. In fact, they are probably working on it right now.” – EUGENE CHADBOURNE
I’m reading a fantastic book speaking to many many qualms about the music biz – called I Hate the Man Who Runs This Bar by Eugene Chadbourne. This book is hilariously busting through a lot of my despair and cynicism about trying to “make it” in the music business. He said music used to be part of the quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy – “preparatory work for the serious study of philosophy,” – a curriculum outlined by Plato’s The Republic. Music was a valuable tool of measurement, specifically to look at “the classical subject of harmonics, in particular the study of the proportions between the music intervals created by the division of a monochord” according to wikipedia. 😉
In a late-summer-storm-weather-coming-in, tourist-obstacled, Lake Superior moment I ran into my friend Gaelynn Lea who was busking on Duluth’s lakewalk. I was out for a stroll with one of my besties, Sara Alexander (fab music teacher & musician based in Virginia, MN) and we started gabbing it up w/ Gaelynn.
Gaelynn, violin teacher, insurance rep and recording artist told us about her new project: an instrumental, violin looping album that she just got done recording at one of my favorite spots – Sacred Heart Studio – with engineer Jake Larson. [I was just in there doing some work last week when a truck lost its breaks and crashed through the wall … but that’s another story entirely].