Viewing: News and updates! - View all posts

Late fall 2018 

I confess I am a lazy blogger! OK, enough of that. What have I been up to?

Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) Conference in September. Put a hotel full of singer-songwriters together for four days in Austin and it's a helluva lot of fun. I played several wonderful showcases, met and hung with so many wonderful people, learned a lot and generally had a blast. On my Video page you can see the set I did for David Hakan's very fun Gypsy Wagon Studios showcase room - and yes, all of the informal showcases take place in actual hotel rooms that have been made over into tiny performance spaces.   also played an amazing showcase in Ken Gaines' Anderson Fair room, with my new friends from Houston, Grifters and Shills and the incredibly talented Amanda Pascali.  I loved playing for Uncle Calvin's  in the North Texas Venues room, and for the friendliest real live cowboys I've ever met in the Western Music Association room. Thank you all - Joyce Wilson of Uncle Calvin's in Dallas, David Hakan of Gypsy Wagon Studios, Jim Jones from the Western Music Association and Ken Gaines from Anderson Fair. 

The Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival was honestly one of the best music gatherings I've ever been a part of. Thirty singer-songwriters playing round robin sets over three days in several different venues in the historic district of Dripping Springs, for amazing, respectful listening audiences. What a treat! I made several new good friends, and everyone there astounded me. Laurie & Jim Halfpenny and Dave Niemeyer are amazing organizers and hosts, and I'm so thrilled that they chose me this year. I've never been treated better as a performing songwriter in my life. I hated for it to end, but hope I'll be able to return in future years. I know I've made some deep, wonderful connections with fellow songwriters through this festival, and I am so grateful for that. (And I will never forget going to get my fabulous new fake fingerpicking nails with Melody Guy, who camped out in my Wimberley home for a couple days prior to the start!)

On Election Day evening, I was a guest on the KWVH-FM 94.1 wimberleyvalleyradio.org's "Women Who Rock TX" radio show, with guest host Penny Jo Pullus (who I immediately just loved). Two hours of talking about music, influences and my songs went by so quickly. KWVH is turning into a treasure for Austin area songwriters and musicians - they really support us all.

So what's up now? Well, I've recorded a few tunes over the past few months that I hope to release in an EP very soon, prior to traveling to Montreal, Canada - land of my Thibodeau ancestors - in February for Folk Alliance International! After FAI, I'll be embarking on a crowdsourcing campaign for my next CD, which I hope to record in the Spring of 2019. 

I'm writing new songs weekly - I'm in a songwriting group that makes me do this - so new material is in abundance. 

I'm lining up some east coast dates in March and making some fun plans for next summer that include traveling far afield to perform. Stay tuned!

As always, if you stumble across this and want to drop me a line, feel free to do so at claudia@claudiagibson.com.  I'm always happy to talk music, songs and boring stuff like favorite picks and guitars. ;-)

Summertime: WoodyFest, Nashville, Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival, etc.... 

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 -

Thank you Woody Guthrie! 

So funny how things can change in a day... 

I came back from Kerrville Folk Festival this year on a Sunday afternoon, grateful for the wonderful music and companionship once again, but wondering if my songs would ever receive much of a wider audience. Not self-pity, just wondering. And determined to continue with my songwriting and newfound marketing plan for my music.

Monday started early with a morning radio show on Wimberley Valley Radio's "Over Easy With Coach" - a wonderful program with "Coach" Richard Smith that I've been privileged to be on some three times now - and I came home feeling happy and inspired. I then checked my email, and was struck speechless by an email telling me:

  • I'd won 1st place in the Wood Guthrie Songwriting Competition for my song "Dreamers"
  • I was invited to play a 20 set on the main stage at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival on July 14 in Okemah, OK

Crazy, right? 

So now I'm going to Oklahoma in July! To play on a major festival stage! I can hardly process it.

I met with my producer Gordy Quist and we scheduled a quick recording session for later this month, to record "Dreamers" and two other new songs. Gordy recently acquired the late George Reiff's former recording studio and is doing wonderful stuff there. I played my new songs for him, and he was totally on board with my vision for them, and had some wonderful ideas. So we'll record, get them mastered, up online and downloadable, and I'll be heading to Oklahoma as a new artist - something I couldn't hope to envision until this week.

More about "Dreamers" and what inspired it, soon! Suffice to say, it is a subject near and dear to my heart, and I think it was chosen for a bigger reason than I may know right now.

Thank you Woody Fest! I can't wait!

September Into October! SWRFA Conference, October gigs & radio  

Hi friends,

Well I surely didn't lie when I said September would be busy, and challenging for me!  Sorry it's been a while - here's what's coming up. Check the "Shows" listing for details, including exact locations, times, tickets, etc.

Sept. 28 through Sunday October 1, I'll be attending the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Conference, affectionately known as SWRFA, conveniently located here in Austin! On Friday Sept 29, I'll be doing a few afternoon and later evening private showcases, and one on Saturday night. Both nights will feature fantastic shows by extremely talented singer-songwriters, and the public is welcome - $15 admission gets you the big official showcase shows, plus a wristband to see the private showcases in hotel suites upstairs. Check the "Shows" listing for details! 

Sunday October 8 I'm up in Dallas at the Prophet Bar, sharing the bill with a  talented new acquaintance from Portland, OR, Danny Sohn, and my Songfarmer pal B.R. Lively. B.R. has a fantastic new album coming out, produced by Gordy Quist (who also produced my CD), so check out his website for a sneak peek. Your mind will be blown! I'm excited about this gig, and my first time playing in Dallas - please come out if you're around. A mere $10

Thursday October 12 I'll be on Wimberley Valley Radio, KWVH 94.1 FM, online streaming at wimberleyvalleyradio.org for a morning interview and live playing on Richard Smith's "Breakfast With Coach" program. Coach Smith is a beloved member of Wimberley community that I call home - as well known for his love of music as he is for coaching two State Championship football teams (he used to give pre-game locker room pep talks to the marching band as well as the football team!)  I'm looking forward to catching up and playing a few new songs. Check the "Shows" listing for details! 

Sunday October 15 I'm returning to a favorite listening room, The Lemon Lounge in Austin, for a song swap with the ridiculously talented Tom Meny, one of my favorite songwriters in the entire state of Texas, or the entire U.S., for that matter. Tom's beautiful melodies, smooth as silk vocals, and thoughtful lyrics are like a balm to your soul. If you're in Austin, please come! The very, very talented young newcomer Susannah Joffe is opening up, and she is a revelation. 6pm doors, 6:30 music. $6  That's a lot of 6's, but the music will be heavenly, I promise! (come early for a chair, seating is limited!)

Tuesday October 24 brings a relaxing Hill Country gig at the Shade Tree Saloon in Spring Branch, where I'll be joined by the amazing Scott Davis. Scott plays bass with the Band of Heathens, and is also a talented multi-instrumentalist (he plays many of the instruments on my CD Step By Step) with his own band, VivaScottDavis. We'll be playing original songs and some of our shared favorites from the Great Americana Songbook (yes, there is sure to be some Graham Parsons in there!). Come on out from 6-9 or thereabouts. It's a relaxing indoor/outdoor venue with comfort food, home-brewed beer and of course, lots and lots of big shade trees. I'm a lucky gal indeed!

More soon and much love and gratitude,

Claudia <3

 

/
  1. Step By Step

Cure for the End of Summer Blues 

June is my favorite time of year - it hearkens back to when I was a kid, I guess - the whole summer seemed to stretch before me, with an infinite supply of long days, warm nights, celebrations, cookouts, campouts, parties and relaxing. All was possible in June, and it still feels that way.

As a musician who still (at this point) has a day job, I am lucky in that working in education allows me that treasured summer off, and a big chunk of time to pursue music.  

This summer, I started from literally my first week off in June, with the Kerrville Folk Festival, which was a wonderful few days of total music immersion – playing, listening and jamming. I continued with area gigs that month at the Shade Tree and the Lemon Lounge, and then spent most of July traveling for music – first to beautiful Bowen Island off the coast of Vancouver, BC for a very special songwriting retreat with publishing/music promo guru Judy Stakee – and then to Victoria, BC, Seattle, and down the coast to gigs in Portland and the Bay Area, and a visit to Newport, Oregon to meet Ernie Hopseker of Ocean Beach Radio. A quick couple days back, and I finished out the month with a pair of gigs in Terlingua Ghost Town, near Big Bend with my Austin songwriter pal Terry Klein. August 1st brought a radio interview and in studio performance at Wimberley Valley Radio with one of my favorite people, cellist and now DJ Dirje Childs, who is an exceptional artist.  I am grateful for each one of these experiences, many of which involved meeting new friends, reconnecting with very special people, and getting to share my music with a wider audience.

So now in my last week of summer vacation, I’m working hard to avoid those dreaded end-of-summer blues, by building on all I learned and received this summer. I’m booking new gigs, starting songwriting collaborations, picking up a new instrument (the bass, since I have one hanging around!), and generally just moving forward. 

I’ll also be posting some new songs – including one from Bowen Island that I am really excited about! – and finally getting up to speed with videos of me and my music. I think that working a day job makes each moment that I can spend on my music that more precious. And I’m lucky in that I do like my work at a high school in Austin – teenagers are exhausting at times, but also a lot of fun. It was truly heartening yesterday, when I stopped in for a couple hours at my school during a freshman orientation, to have a senior greet me and ask about what I’d been up to with music over the summer! I think a student songwriting group may be in order this year….

Please feel free to write and respond to what I post here. Songwriters hate to create in a vacuum. I know from my gigs that songs can and do touch people. So let me know if that's ever the case for you!

Radio Interview on wimberleyvalleyradio.com August 1st 3-4p 

Hey all - 

Back from Terlingua, where I had two hot gigs with my friend Terry Klein - a fabulous Austin songwriter that you should check out at www.terrykleinmusic.com - in the desert at the Starlight Theatre and the High Sierra Bar. We met some great folks and had a blast - even went hiking up in the Chisos where the temps were a balmy 88 degrees.

Exciting news: This Tuesday at 3PM I'll be spending an hour on radio with one of my favorite humans, cellist extraordinaire Dirje Childs, who is the host of wimberleyvalleyradio.com 's "On River Time" show. We will be talking about roots, influences and events in my life, and the role they have played in my music and my personal life. We'll be playing a couple songs live, and then you'll hear a couple off my CD, Step By Step. 

Please tune in online at wimberleyvalleyradio.com or locally at Wimberley Valley Radio, KWVH 94.1 FM!

Summertime fun - Kerrville, Austin, West Texas and PNW 

Catching my breath after a busy couple months. Summer means music time for me - here's what I've been up to, and what's coming up:

KERRVILLE:

I spent my first ever Kerrville Folk Festival weekend playing my songs and listening to music by incredible songwriters - some new to me, and some old favorites.

I was honored to be welcomed into Camp Bayou Love by my friend, Austin singer-songwriter Dave Wilcoxon (Zombie Armadillo), who introduced me to some wonderful late-night-into-dawn song circles. I played some songs at the Ballad Tree in the hot Texas sun. I was honored to hear songs played by gifted songwriters and musicians like Laurie McClain, Eric Church, Dirje Childs, Frank Meyer, Melissa Greener, Karen Mal, Buddy Mondlock and the incomparable Verlon Thompson. I slept little, and walked a lot. All in all, a memorable and inspirational 3-1/2 days! 

AUSTIN:

Have a June 23 gig upcoming at the Lemon Lounge, which will be a trio with bassist Morgan Thompson and multi-instrumentalist Richard Parke. Scott Martin, a phenomenal guitarist, singer and songwriter, is opening. Please come out and listen at this beautiful listening room! Details in Gigs section.

WEST TEXAS:

I've lined up a gig at the legendary Starlight Theatre in Terlingua, near Big Bend country, for July 29. May also be adding a date or two in El Paso for this trip. Stay tuned!

PNW: 

I'm venturing out to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in July - first to a songwriting workshop on a tiny island off Vancouver, then to a family member's birthday gathering on Vancouver Island. After that, I'll travel down the coast for my first ever West Coast gig, in Portland on July 21, with two Portland-based songwriters, Michael Henchman and Kelly Brightwell. I may road trip down to the SF Bay area to visit friends and play a little - more on that soon!