The order of songs

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.

Gaeylnn busking on the Lakewalk on Sunday of the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival 2015 (in the pink hat),  Sean Roderick (seated),  Aleasha Hladilek (red tanktop) & HUMANOID

Gaeylnn busking on the Lakewalk on Sunday of the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival 2015 (in the pink hat), Sean Roderick (seated), Aleasha Hladilek (red tanktop) & HUMANOID

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].

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Staying healthy on the road – hippie tour tips

Photo by Jon Hain Photography

Health and wellness are something I’m super passionate about,  although I have my contradictions. Some nights reach well into the early morning hours,  beyond 4 am,  even looking at the dawn.  Sleep deprivation clutches on in a life where I try to pack SO much into each day,  always wishing there were more hours.   But on the road,  it’s a different story – sometimes with TOO much downtime,  or packed so full you can’t see in front of your face.  I have a few quick tips to staying healthy on the road that I’ve picked up along the way – I hope they are helpful to you,  even if you aren’t a touring musician!  I love this topic so will keep returning to it!

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Road trippin’: Mini-Travelogue + Touring Tips (part 2)

Sheboygan, Madison,  Chicago,  Grand Haven … ahhhh the exotic destinations of the upper midwest … These are the cities and towns that made up half of my last tour,  which I titled “The Partial Great Lakes Tour” (didn’t see Lake Erie on this one!)  In this blog we’ll continue on our way with attempt #2 at a travel blog and head to Detroit,  Calumet, Marquette and back to Duluth, Minnesota just in time for the snow …

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Stories from the road: a mini-travelogue from the Partial Great Lakes Tour Part 1.

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Me & Humanoid on our last tour in the Toyota Matrix, with Petey & Grey, my car mascots.

Last week I was invited to speak on the topic of “DIY Touring” at a panel discussion with the MN Music Coalition / Caravan Du Nord at the College of St. Scholastica.  I sat with Ellen Stanley,  executive director of the MMC and touring musician w/ her band Mother Banjo and the one-man-band phenom that is Crankshaft.  Prior to that, national act Sleep Study talked with 89.3 Current’s morning show host Jill Riley about their journey to get to where they are.  One of the main themes that kept coming up in both panels was RELATIONSHIPS.  Not in a smarmy,  schmooz-y way — but to say that in the music business,  it’s not just the old adage (which has always felt a little crappy to me) of “who you know” —  but more about authenticity,  gratitude,  and friendship.  Read more →

Advice for Recording Studio Virgins

I was recently asked by a musical peer for some advice regarding recording in the studio for the first time.  It can be daunting to go into a recording studio,  even after going in a few times.  The pressure!  Expectations! Not everyone is going the studio route these days since it’s fairly easy to record right at home on your computer,  or even your smartphone.  I miss the days of recording on cassette players myself,  but tapes ARE making a come back 😉  I prefer to go into a studio for most of my recordings because I like to leave it to the techie pros to work their magic,  and be less inhibited in my performance without worry that it wasn’t captured.  Here are some of my answers to my friend’s questions and I hope that they help you if you’re considering embarking into a studio!  Do you, dear reader, have any recording advice for first-timers that I’m missing?  Please comment below and enlighten us!

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