Inspiration and community lead to a new song

A couple of months ago, my husband Keith and I were on our way to a wedding near Atlanta. I was enjoying the beautiful, unfamiliar scenery when we crossed a bridge with a river running underneath. In that moment I heard a lyric in my head. I sang it to Keith, melody and all, and recorded it on my phone. I worked on the song for about a month and was having trouble finishing it when I left for the Southeast Regional Folk Alliance conference in Montreat, NC. It was there I met fellow songwriter Kipyn Martin, whom I’d heard perform and admired. While talking about songwriting over breakfast, I mentioned that I had brought an unfinished song to the conference and was having trouble finishing it, even in that idyllic setting. Kipyn graciously offered to listen and offer me her suggestions. The result is “What the Water Knows.” I’m grateful to Kipyn for her kind insights, and to those of you who’ve heard the song, identified with it, and have even been moved by it. I could not ask for more.

Feeling such gratitude!

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of meeting singer-songwriter David Wilcox and playing a few of my songs for the intimate crowd gathered for Pinnacle View‘s “I Belize In You” benefit event. The benefit raised funds to send inspirational books to children at the Zion School in Belize, where children regularly go without school supplies that we consider basic.

We videotaped my performance so I could share the experience. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed singing that night. The house-concert atmosphere meant everyone was there to listen, and I was grateful for their attentiveness and graciousness as they waited for David to start his show. If you’ve seen him, you know what an engaging performer he is. Having some one-on-one time with David and talking about songwriting and music was icing on the cake. It was a very special night! Thank you, Elizabeth 🙂

Looking back, looking ahead

The Goat, Oct 25 2014What a busy few months we had between June and October! Twenty-one performances, solo and group, indoors and out. We keep getting better and having more fun as we do. Last night was our last group gig of the year at The Goat at Fearrington Village, and we went out with a bang. Unplugged, up close, and uptempo. We couldn’t have asked for a better closer.

The next couple of months will give me time to record some of my new songs, get back to doing open mics (great venues for debuting songs), improving my guitar skills, and writing more.

As the year is winding down, I’m again (really, still) feeling grateful for all the opportunities this year, for the growth of the band both in number and skill, and for the continued support from fans, friends, family, and especially my husband, Keith. I’m especially grateful to Tom Ed White, Cara Bonnett, and Janet Hadler for all their contributions and dedication. I look forward to 2015 and know it will be another year for growing musicianship, building relationships, and even more new experiences. Here’s to that!

Spring performances

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Photo: barryudis.com

Spring is providing so many opportunities to play the music I love! Our first group gig of the year was on the NC Songwriters Co-op stage at the Durham Art Walk, followed by a great night at The Kraken Bar, with a wonderfully attentive crowd. That night was made extra-special by Janet Hadler, who joined us for a few numbers on cello. And Mother’s Day found us all at unWINEd, a lovely spot, indeed.

I’m still trying to carve out time to write and record — the song ideas keep coming! In the meantime, I’ve posted videos of both group and solo performances. More dates to come, both in the Triangle and at the Crystal Coast — hope you’ll come and say hello!

Crystal Coast gigs

Akai Hana, Morehead City, NC, April 2014

Akai Hana, Morehead City, NC, April 2014

Spring has gotten off to a great start, and it’s going to get even better! I had a wonderful opportunity to sing at Pinnacle View‘s women’s beach retreat at Trinity Center in Pine Knoll Shores in late March. What a supportive and gracious group – they brought me to tears when they started singing along to “Making My Way Back to Me!” Such a gift. Many thanks to Elizabeth Trinkaus for inviting me.

Bistro-by-the-Sea in Morehead City asked me to perform during Toast to the Coast week, and it felt great to sing some gems I hadn’t had an opportunity to play in a long while. Thanks to owner Libby Eaton for inviting me back (date TBD).

Last year I sang at Akai Hana in Morehead City, and thanks to owner Bob Honeycutt I recently had another opportunity. I loved singing in the relaxed atmosphere for a very friendly and appreciative group. It looks like I’ll be playing there again during Memorial Day weekend; stay tuned!

I continue to be amazed by the reception my music receives, and am so grateful for every opportunity to share it with an audience. Please check the Dates page for upcoming spring performances, which will include Cara Bonnett, Tom Ed White, and special guest cellist Janet Hadler.

Spring is in the air!

I’ve spent the last several weeks recording and doing lots of practicing; it’s been so nice to focus on these activities, and to be able to give more thought to arrangements. I’ve posted two new songs (see Music): ‘American Man’ and ‘The Escape,’ the latter with Cara Bonnett on keyboard and background vocals. It’s so gratifying to have these available for listening.

Spring gigs are starting to line up (see Dates)! I have a couple of solo dates coming up, then the group will be coming together at The Kraken Bar on Sat. May 3 at 8pm. We’re very excited to play out again and perform our new songs, a few of which are Cara’s originals. See you out there!

A little downtime

Wakefield Private PartVery intentionally, we haven’t scheduled any performances for the winter months. It feels great to slow down a bit, have time to write new songs, and to think about where I want my musical journey to take me in 2014. We’re currently working to create better-quality recordings of our originals, ones that more closely represent how the songs are performed live. It’s fascinating to see how once first created, a song grows and changes as we work with it over time until it feels just right. I’ll publicize any new recordings via my mailing list and FaceBook.

We plan to perform again in the spring, and in the meantime, stay fresh by playing at local open mics and debuting new songs to those audiences. Here’s to making new music in the new year!

Winding down 2013

The EddyThe year is winding down, with only two scheduled gigs left to go! I’ll be at Akai Hana in Morehead City for a solo gig on Nov. 8, and the band will play a private party in Raleigh on Dec. 13. Hard to believe it’s time to nail down a few holiday tunes….Over the next couple of months, I’m looking forward doing some songwriting and heading out to open mics to try out new material.

This year has been busy and exciting – over 25 gigs played in the Triangle and at the Crystal Coast! When I set my goal to perform at an open mic several years ago, I never imagined I’d be playing at local venues and outdoor festivals within a few years. I’m feeling very grateful for all the opportunities that came my way this year, for all the people I’ve met, new friends I’ve made, and for the encouragement and support of my bandmates, my friends, and family. Very special thanks to my husband Keith, without whose support I could not do this!

First performances at local festivals

CenterFestThis past weekend, Cara and I sang at the Durham Arts Council’s CenterFest — a first for both of us, and the first time we played an entire set of original music. We played for an appreciative crowd at the NC Songwriters Co-op stage; the audience feedback felt great. When the audience connects with an original song, there is just nothing like it!

Next weekend we’ll be at the Carrboro Music Festival, again at the Songwriters stage. It’ll be a short set, but we can’t wait for another opportunity to expose our songs to a wider audience. This is a great festival and we hope to see lots of friends out there!