Friday, September 12, 2014

Crystal Porter - Waterfalls (TLC Cover)

This weeks cover song is a super fun one to play. Mostly because of Left Eye's little rap during the bridge. So fun! I present to you my rendition of Waterfalls by TLC.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Harmony Bazaar 2014 - Highlights

This is the first of the 3 events that I was looking forward to this summer. The Harmony Bazaar Festival of Woman and Song is a blast. Lockeport, Nova Scotia is a very small coastal community and the people are super nice. The Harmony Bazaar falls on my birthday every year, so I have an extra reason to look forward to the event. Errin, the festival coordinator is such a nice person and the staff and the volunteers work so hard to put everything together. Here are a few pics and videos from the weekend.

Mat is loading the last couple things into the CRV. A cooler and our small BBQ. That BBQ has served us well on trips such as this. It caught fire though, but we put it out and gave it a good cleaning. That's what happens when you cook greasy sausages.


We got to Lockeport around 8 pm and set up the tent and cooked a bite to eat before we headed down to the festival grounds. There was 4 of us camping together, we were graciously offered a camping spot at the home of a couple local residents. I bought a box of Sawmill creek wine for the weekend. That stuff goes a long way! We had a couple drinks and got there just in time to catch Natalie Lynn and band.


Steffie grabbed this photo of me performing Peace of Mind during a songwriters circle Saturday afternoon, where I performed with Kim Harris, Alyssa Leblanc and Chelsea Nickerson.


Erika Kulnys wrote this beautiful song called "Have you finished writing those Break up songs?" it gave me the chills. It is stunning! She is such a beautiful soul.


Jessie Brown and the Black Devine rocked the hell out of the side stage on Saturday night! I love the bands sound and I LOVE her voice. She's the next Etta James as far as I'm concerned!


Afterwards Mat and I took a little break, had a bite to eat and some more wine and recorded this foolish little number for Instagram.


Jully Black put on an AMAZING show. She had backup dancers! She danced all the way to the merch table while her band kept on playing and she signed cd's for people. This woman can entertain and she emits confidence and power. She's a queen bee!






Friday, July 25, 2014

On Route to the Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women & Song


I'm currently packing all the items that are on my list. I've got food, a tent, bedding, my guitar and various other odds and ends that I will need for the weekend. I'm heading to Lockeport, NS today for the Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm performing during a Songwriters Circle with Kim Harris, Alyssa Leblanc & Chelsea Nickerson. It is an understatement to say that I am excitement. I love the fact that this festival's focus is female artists in various formats; music, dance, art! I'm proud to be a part of something that creates opportunities in a world that is male driven. There is a far greater percentage of published male recording artists than female and it isn't because we aren't playing. There is just a smaller margin of available opportunities for women. It has improved over the years, but we still have a long way to go.

I was listening to an interview on CBC with Kate Nash a summer or two ago. She had stated a mind blowing statistic, that in England, only 14% of all published recording artists were female. It blew my mind! While the numbers may vary from location to location, it is a window into the difficulties faced by female musicians. But alas, we are not limited by these things, it just means we have to be a little creative sometimes.

Here is the event schedule! There is still time to get a ticket. I hope to see you there, be sure to say hello!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tonight: New Music Tuesdays The Seahorse

I'm currently on my way to Halifax, where I will kick off the return of Propeller's New Music Tuesday at the Seahorse. It is a free show so if you are in Halifax looking for something to do tonight, come on out and listen to some live music. So many great folks playing tonight!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Serenade the Summer

I await this time of year.  I am a musical sun baby who lives in the soil amongst her minion army of tiny plants. I find solace on a blanket in the garden, where I can watch everything grow and serenade softly the seeds I sow.


I work out my ideas, flirt with inspiration, ponder past events and brace myself with excitement for the wave of the future.

At the end of the day I am a simple country girl, whose eyes dance with her imagination, step by step, to the beat of her dreams.

Enjoy the sunshine, we scream for it behind closed doors during the darkest depths of winter. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Guitar tracks are Complete! #GettingErDone

It's time! I can barely contain myself. We're getting this album done! Last week, I recorded rhythm tracks and pretty finger picking tracks to 7 songs.

I often worry too much during recording sessions. I suffer from "Recording Light Pressure"... I named it myself. It's the state of panic that occurs when the record button is pressed. I know it's absurd considering I perform in public, but recording really is a completely different vibe. I get anxious when that button is pressed and only when I'm trying to record guitar or keys. I feel relaxed when I'm laying down vocal tracks. I did fine though. Instead of downright panic, my entire body would tense until the stop button was pressed. But, you can't HEAR my body tensing up so we're good. Aside from that, the process wasn't painful at all. I kind of enjoyed it.


In a little over a week, when schedules slow down, Darbs will come in and lay down some drum tracks. I know it seems backwards but all the guitar tracks were recorded to a metronome, so it's good!

It has been such a long road to get to this point and I am so thrilled to see progress. I am so fortunate to have good people helping me with the process.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Inspiring Times

It would be a lie if I told you that I was a fan of the cold. As beautiful as it may be, I am a sun baby. I do love it when the weather warms, even if it is only Mother Nature's way of teasing us. It is so inspiring to go for a walk in the sunshine and see the bright green that is new growth hiding away. It reminds me that spring really isn't that far away. Along with the new growth, comes the promise of creativity. Songs and stories emerge like daffodils pushing their way through the soil.

The last few nice days have inspired new songs, stories, characters and dreams for the future. I can't wait to share them all with you. For now, I will hide myself away by the wood stove. Practicing in my little nook, waiting for this upcoming winter storm to pass; while I dream of warm weather and the splendor it brings.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Seasons are Changing

A couple weeks ago the Quiet Parade and Ria Mae came and played a show and myself and Cory LeBlanc from Rain Over Saint Ambrose were each asked to play a few acoustic songs to kick off the night. Unfortunately since it was my husbands first night lobster fishing for the season, I wasn't able to stay and enjoy the other bands. I got to share the stage with Ria Mae a couple summer's ago at the Harmony Bazaar Festival in Lockeport and she is absolutely fantastic. The Quiet Parade is always a treat as well! Thanks goes out to Lynn Hemeon for capturing my performance of Sweetheart.



Over the next few weeks I will be getting into the Christmas spirit while the hubby is away on the water providing for our family. Upcoming Christmas Events and a house concert are on my Calendar and in the New Year, I will be ready to pick things up again. I also have an album to finish up and I am very excited for the finished result.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nice To Have Some Accompaniment

Over the last little while Mat Bridgeo and Travis Darby (both from Lead Mule) have been joining me onstage occasionally. It's a nice change from being up there by myself and it is a lot of fun to have other musicians join you onstage. I haven't performed with a band since the Astral District went on hiatus and you really do itch to play with others after a while. I still play the majority of shows by myself, it is nice to have the option available to play with some accompaniment every now and again.

Here is a video from a show we played last week at Haley's lounge. We opened up for the Odd Bit and for Natalie Lynn. It was a fun show.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Crystal Porter - In the Ghetto (Elvis Presley Cover)

It has been ages since I've posted anything on You Tube and not for lack of content. It has been a busy summer and to be honest, I hadn't really thought much of it. I might have had a couple passing thoughts about posting something but they were washed away in the busy flow of things.

I have managed to write a few new songs, amid the travel, performances, gardening and general summer activity. I've also had to learn a lot of covers for various reasons like weddings and very lengthy set lists.I thought it might be fun to upload some covers over the next few weeks.

I present to you my rendition of Elvis Presley's song "In the Ghetto" based upon Natalie Merchants interpretation. Enjoy!

 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sweetheart

So, I've been working on this new song for the last couple weeks and I'm mostly just tweaking with lyrics right now. When out of nowhere comes this song, I received it nearly completely whole and the lyrics came about as naturally as they can. In under an hour this new song had life and I felt like Doctor Frankenstein. It's called Sweetheart, I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Masks

While writing the song "Masks" the Blue Masks poem came to mind:

"She had blue skin and so did he. He kept it hid and so did she. They searched for blue their whole life through, then passed right by - and never knew."

We all wear them sometimes, often to protect ourselves from situations where we think we might feel pain. We have masks that we wear everyday and there are masks that we reserve for special occasions.  I wonder how many we can detect in our own lives and what life would be like if we each began to embrace our vulnerabilities and loved all of those things within ourselves...sounds like a lot of work though! ;-)

Without further delay on this beautiful sunny day, here is my newest song:



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Peace of Mind

Over the winter, I managed to get a little bit of writing done during my windy day hibernation. Over the last couple weeks I've developed 3 songs. Two of these songs have lyrics that around around 75% complete. The song below was the last in the series of 3 and it is the only one with completed lyrics. It's pretty fresh, having been written this last week. The performance took place at Rudders in Yarmouth during a Musique de la Baie Showcase last Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rhythm Tracks - Check

I've been a busy little bee in our basement studio. We have Pro tools set up here, this way we can take in our tracks here without having to travel back and forth to the city, or rush our recording sessions. It is nice to know that we are compatible with other studios so if we want to send things out for mixing and mastering, we can. Last week, I took it upon myself to get a few guitar tracks under way. I got the guitar rhythm tracks done for 3 songs so far. I still plan on recording a few more, including a couple that I wrote on the piano once we get the midi section of the studio geared up. Then we'll select the ones that turned out the best and go from there.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Gardener

I'm no master gardener but I am certainly passionate about it. In the warm months, the garden is my home away from home. Close friends have often joked about building me a mud hut in the garden area so I would never have to come back to the house. I love to play in the dirt and I love to be outside in the sunshine. I can often be seen softly strumming the guitar in my garden complete with a cup of tea, my yoga mat and a blanket. I love garden yoga and I feel so rejuvenated with the warm sun beating down on me, I breath deeper, feel better and all of that love gets put right back into the garden.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I ♥ Banjo #Music

I watched a documentary called "Give Me The Banjo" a last week. It is narrated by Steve Martin and I had a difficult time sitting through it; which by the way, had nothing to do with the movie. In fact, I loved it. I have watched it 3 times since then and I find it inspiring. Come to think about it, that is the very reason I had a difficult time watching it. The first time I sat through it, Mat and the boys were jamming in the basement and I really didn't want to interrupt their session. Not that it would have been a bother, but they are working on new material and I just wanted to let them be. So instead, I spent the entire first half of the movie daydreaming about the banjo every time I heard a banjo play in the movie. This is a frequent occurrence. I soon realized I had missed over half of the movie. I began the movie again. This time I watched the movie, well most of it. I still daydreamed about ol' Betty, it is rather unavoidable. Betty...

Betty is my Banjo's name. I call her "Banjo Betty" to be precise. She has a beautiful twang and is an excellent starter banjo. She is not electric, so I will have to invest in a banjo pickup if I ever decide to take her onstage. I met her in a music store in downtown Yarmouth. She had been there for quite sometime. Each time I walked into the shop, I would stand in front of her and I would just fantasize about our potential relationship. I never had the money to take her home. Some time afterwards, the music store closed down and they had a half price sale. I woke up in the morning determined to bring Banjo Betty home. I looked in the mirror that morning and even utter some positive affirmations about me coming home with the banjo. It turns out that 5 minutes after I purchased it, someone else came buy looking to purchase it. I was already grateful that Betty had become a part of my life, I felt that gratitude grow like the Grinch's heart.


The third time I watched the movie, I did it with Betty in my arms. I plucked playfully along with the soundtrack. My heart was singing as loud as Banjo Betty.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thoughts - Storytelling, Expression

I often reflect upon the things that are important to me to help me gain perspective and even work through insights. This process sometimes helps me understand myself in a new way or expand upon ideas which are already familiar to me.

Music is important to me.
Family is important to me.

These two ideas are constant variables in my life. I will always be a mother and I will always live and breath in song. Those two things are interwoven into the very depths of my being.

Creative Expression is important to me.
Storytelling is important to me. 

I love a good story and I place a  high value on creative expression. Those two things shape why I enjoy video editing and songwriting so much; through both mediums I create and tell stories. During this process I expend much pent up energy. I love the satisfaction of knowing that what I made did not previously exist. Most of all, I get to know myself a little better each time something is created. It took a while to release that the things I make are imperfect, just like me. These creations aren't just imperfect though, they are expressions of MY imperfection. The times when I have loved and lost contains a story, as does each heart strand connecting you to another person, idea, belief or inanimate object.

Ya know, we often don't dig deep enough into our own selves to observe our story unfold. In the same breath, we don't often pull ourselves away from our own selves to observe the story. It is too easy to succumb to distraction; and not that distraction isn't good sometimes. I have personally observed that it is vital to balance the times when you allow yourself to be distracted with the times when you need to clearly be focused. Sometimes, in order to be completely present you need to allow your mind to drift and your attention to shift. Sometimes, this is the way new stories are made.

Balance and Perspective, I value you too.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Little White Lie

For the approval of the midnight society, here is the latest song that I have been working on.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I ♥ the Rhapsody Quintet

Earlier this month I had the opportunity (thanks to Kim Anderson, Chairman of Minor Music) to participate in a workshop with the Rhapsody Quintet. They were an absolute delight to work with and I learned so much from my experience working with these 5 lovely individuals.

I sent a demo of Beacon, the lyrics and the chord arrangements. David Langstroth wrote the arrangement for the Quintet and I'm very fond of it. During the workshop we worked out some minor bugs. I don't play it exactly like the demo anymore. I tend to play it a little slower live, depending on feel and add an intro. I hadn't personally considered these modifications as they happened so gradually as part of the natural evolution of the song. This is certainly something be aware of in the future, I love how much this experience has taught me.

Performing with them was inspiring and I truly enjoyed listening to what they added to the song as much as I did performing it. It was a difficult balance not to get caught up in the emotions of what I was experiencing.

 

To Kim Anderson, a huge thank you. I am forever changed by this experience and just want to continue to grow and expand musically forever. To the Quintet, this experience is a memory encapsulated in time and I thank you so much for the opportunity and the lessons within it.