Monday, August 31, 2015

Music Monday- I Can't Make You Love Me by Mike Reid

I just returned from a songwriting workshop in Nashville, taught by Jonatha Brooke.  It was so great- So great, in fact, that it's my first day back, and I'm in a bit of a funk as I'm sliding back into the minutiae of everyday life.

The workshop wasn't just taught by Jonatha though.  She had a little help from some very impressive people.  And my very favorite was Mike Reid.  I'm sort of embarrassed to say I didn't even know who he was until a few days ago.  He wrote "I Can't Make You Love Me", which was made famous by Bonnie Raitt.  He's also written loads of other great songs, made famous by others. He was so funny, open and honest, and he made each attendee there feel important and worthy.  Not only a superb songwriter and musician, but just the nicest guy.

Of course I'm choosing his version of "I Can't Make You Love Me" for this Music Monday.  The mood of the song is perfect for today... I'm feeling weepy~a little sad the workshop has come to an end.  So enjoy this---  I'll write about the workshop in upcoming posts.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Songwriting Workshop With JONATHA BROOKE


When I saw the announcement for this little songwriting workshop in Nashville taught by my absolute favorite singer-songwriter, it was about 4 months out, so it wasn't all that nerve wracking.  I knew I had lots of time to wrap my head around it.

But I haven't quite done it.

Although it's possible you haven't heard the name Jonatha Brooke (and it's so sad if you haven't), to me, she's John Lennon.  Or she's Joni Mitchell.  Or whoever you hold up to the highest standards in songwriting.  For me, it's her.

As I've said before on this blog in a previous post, I stumbled upon her music years ago, and serendipitously, that same week, she just happened to be performing at the Dallas Border's bookstore.  It was right around the time I started gigging.  I was so inspired by her. When I was nervous, which I pretty much always was (and still am) when performing, I would just pretend I was her, and then I could at least pretend I felt confident.  Anyway, I could go on and on gushing, but just check out her music.  Visit her website.  Watch an excerpt of her Broadway musical "My Mother Has Four Noses".  She's madly talented.

And I am attending a small workshop at the end of the week taught by her.

I'm nervous for sure.  I'm stepping way outside of my current comfort zone.  I worry that I'm an imposter, that I won't really belong there. But...

I'm going.  No matter what, I know the experience is going to be good for me.

My only goal is to learn and to be inspired.  If I just focus on that, there's absolutely nothing to be nervous about.

I'm sure I'll be writing my next blog post all about it.  I can't wait to see what I say! :)

Since it's Music Monday, here's one of my favorite songs written and performed by Jonatha. (Look! I'm already feeling like I'm on a first name basis with her!)
Because I Told You So

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pain Takes a Backseat to Embarrassment

It all happened so fast, I really didn't even know what caused it.  Uneven sidewalk I guess.

I was aware of cars driving by as I was falling and my first thought wasn't about hitting the sidewalk- It was all about how ridiculous this all must look. Oh, Vanity. Thanks for keeping me preoccupied.

I hit the pavement pretty hard, and of course, it hurt! But I sprang up immediately as if it didn't, for fear that someone might stop to check on me.  When I hopped back up and resumed my run, I didn't know how much my knees were bleeding (I didn't want to look) and I was hoping the blood wasn't going to drip all the way down my leg and give away my scuffle with the sidewalk.

After a few steps, my hands were burning.  I looked down and noticed that they were all scraped up too. And my thigh. How did my thigh get so scraped up? And my forearm? It must have been a face-plant, just without the face planting.  The rest of my body was, for a second, planted on the pavement. But I got up and kept on running. And not because I'm a baddass.

Falling is just so humiliating.  I remember once seeing Ellen Degeneres doing a little bit about tripping on the sidewalk on a HBO comedy special.  (I'll post a clip of it at the bottom of this post-- It's so funny because it's so relatable!)It's true what she says, "Pain takes a backseat to embarrassment."  Once I was in the privacy of my own home, and no longer embarrassed about my bloody knees and what I must have looked like, I made a huge deal out of my pain.  Fermin, Lucy and Ricky got to hear all about it.

I took my shower and cleaned up my wounds so Fermin and I could go out for a "I Survived My Fall" celebration lunch.
There's nothing Hello Kitty can't make better.
When we were looking for our parking spot, he turned to me and asked, "Oh, did you need me to park in the handicap parking?"

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kissing My Shure Mic

I have said before, that sometimes I think the reason we get sick is just as a little reminder to appreciate our good health.

That same philosophy applies to why I think we sometimes lose, or misplace our prized possessions, and then find them again.

Over the weekend, as I was packing up my car to go to my gig, my pink bag that holds some of my gear was not in it's intended spot.  I, of course, panicked.  I called Fermin and accused him of moving it, or even throwing it out, during his recent clean out of our garage.  He assured me that he hadn't. But you gotta blame somebody, right?

I didn't have time to look anywhere other than in the obvious places, because I was already running late to my gig.  I don't keep that many things in that bag (thank god)- just my microphone, some cables/cords, a tip jar, a music stand, and some back up things like batteries and spare set of guitar strings. Fortunately for me, I was able to borrow a mic and cords for both the microphone and my guitar. Those were the only things I HAD to have for the gig that night.  I could do without my tip jar (but boo, not as many people give tips when there's no where to put the money!) and my music stand (but bummer, I had some brand new songs I wanted to try out but felt too nervous to do them without the music in front of me).

After I returned home that night and looked again in not only the obvious places, but also the not-so-obvious or logical places. But nope.  Not there. I decided the pink bag had been stolen.  A thief had come into my garage, and although they left behind golf clubs, bikes, lawn equipment, etc, they must have come strictly for the pink bag.

I was so mad.  But I knew I had less than a week before my next gig so I got online and started pricing microphones.  It was right then that I realized that back when I got my Shure microphone years ago, Fermin helped me make a really good decision.  It's not super expensive, but it sure is a nice one. I hadn't thought much about that microphone and how much I like it in many years.  I just sing into it, but I don't really think about it.  But now... DAMN!

As a musician, I don't make much money... So to lose my equipment, or "have it stolen", hurts.

So, I made one more final sweep of my house, and my garage, to make sure it wasn't in some funky spot.  And there!  In the clothes hamper!~which seemed especially full~ I saw a little sliver of bright pink, peeking out from underneath!!!
can you see it?!
 I screamed when I saw it! A scream of delight!
There she is!
Don't ask me how it got there.  I'm not blaming anyone.  Not even myself.  I'm just so elated to have it back.

I love that Shure microphone more than ever. I got it out to look at it and noticed that over the years, I guess my mouth has accidentally rubbed up against it a time or two and it has a pink hue on it from my lipstick.  It's got my mark on it!  It's mine!  And I'm so happy it was not stolen from my garage!
See the pink hue at the top of the mic-- That's my branding!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Music Monday: You and Me by Sara Watkins

I recently added a cover of this song to my set list, so I've listened to it over and over, and I've dissected it so that I can more easily memorize it.

I loved it when I started, and I grew to love it even more.

"You and Me" by Sara Watkins.  Enjoy...
And have a happy Music Monday!