What a summer!
Traveling out to Okemah, Oklahoma to play a set on the main stage of WoodyFest this past July was definitely a high point. I played "Dreamers" and three other songs during the final night on the Pastures of Plenty main stage, to a receptive, listening audience including some of the WoodyFest main stage artists. I got to meet and listen to from backstage some of my favorite songwriter heroes. My husband Harlan was the perfect road manager/chef, driving eight hours each way, packing and preparing meals, and keeping me calm and happy. I had my sisters show up to cheer me on. I met some wonderful folks, heard some amazing music, and had a whale of a time. Nothing better!
Back for only a couple of days, I hit the road again on a two week journey of inspiration. Visited my newly minted college graduate son in New Orleans for a couple days of NOLA hospitality, drove to Florida for family visits and relaxation, and then it was off to Nashville for a long-planned songwriting retreat with the incomparable Mary Gauthier. Mary is a generous, inspirational teacher, and her wise words were just what I needed to hear.
Driving back to NOLA, I took a detour through Mississippi to visit a family graveyard near Vicksburg, stopping before that at the Gateway to the Blues Museum in Tunica, MS. I wish I'd had another couple days to check out the other blues museums in Clarksdale (where Robert Johnson met the Devil), Cleveland and Indianola, but that will have to wait for another time. This is an area rich with stories, music and history, and I will return again, for certain!
On the road back from NOLA, I took some side roads through the bayou - driving the back roads off the highway is one of my favorite occupations. Seeing buildings from hundreds of years ago, eating freshly caught catfish at a roadside restaurant and getting a sense of what a place is really like - well, there's nothing like it. I'm a history nerd, and I love side roads and local food. It's what makes travel fun and bearable, and I was lucky to have some time to indulge myself.
Since getting back home, I got the good news that I've been selected for the Dripping Springs Songwriter Festival this October 19-21. This event features some of the country's best Americana songwriters, and I feel honored to join their ranks. Look on the "Shows" page for more info, but come on out if you can. Every songwriter is amazing, and it is three days of round robin songwriters playing around five venues on Mercer Street in Dripping Springs.
I'll be on Wimberley Valley Radio again for Breakfast With Coach - one of my favorite music people - this Friday Aug 10, I'm making plans for the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) conference in late September, and booking some new gigs in and around this area. I started a semi-regular gig this summer out in Fredericksburg at Lincoln Street Wine Bar, and was lucky to have talented newcomer Jessee Lee join me last week.
Playing for people is one my favorite things in the world. Since I started back up three years ago, the opportunities have continued to grow. I feel lucky, and look forward to doing more as I continue on! Stay tuned -