April 2019 Wildflowers Edition: "A Storytender's Journey"
Greetings from Galax, Virginia - the self-proclaimed "oldtime mountain music Capital of the World". I'm here doing workshops at elementary and middle schools across two counties, plus a songwriting workshop and a concert this Friday night. What a whirlwind it has been since I last dropped you a line! In just the last 36 hours, I have been to Fairview and Fancy Gap, Fries and Independence too. I am grateful that you are here to read these words, and I look forward to sharing a whole lot of this next phase of the journey with you. BIG changes are afoot!
The plans for the new recording are moving along nicely, beginning in the studio in early July. I've written another song this month, and have three more in various stages of development. But instead of trying to figure out how to package a "containerless" recording that most people will only hear and not see, we hit on the somewhat novel idea that the companion art to the recording will be ... a book.
Crazy Me agreed to go along with this, and so I am simultaneously writing a book AND songs for a new recording. Which means that I am spending all of my non-performing, non-parenting and non-teaching time WRITING instead of BOOKING the shows and workshops that pay the mortgage every month. And it's a double whammy because we'll need to raise a goodly sum to produce and publish this package, and market it sufficiently to get it the attention it perhaps might deserve.
So next month we'll have a lot more detail on how you can help in ways little and large, but in the meantime we're grateful for any and all offers of house concert hosts, library concerts and programs, school programs, creative and musical writing workshops, and more. I'm doing "Telling America's Story in Song" at a half dozen elementary schools this week. I've even got a musical/educational program on "The Gifts in Our Genes" for those who are getting into using their DNA to learn and preserve their family stories.
And with that dear friend, it is time for me to get back to writing the words that will fill the pages, and the microphone. The redbuds exploded all down the Shenandoah Valley on my drive down, and the bluebells are again casting their pinkish-purple hue on the flood plains. May spring find its way to you in all its gaudy glory of yellow and purple blossoms, and fields of green speckled in gold and white. And that the white not be a blanket of spring snow!
MO.-FR. 4/8-12 - SOUTHWEST VA, Weeklong school residency for the Arts Council of Twin Counties
THU. 4/11 - GALAX VA, Songwriting Workshop at Arts Council 608 W. Stuart St. 7pm RSVP req'd firstname.lastname@example.org
FRI. 4/12 - FRIES VA, Historic Fries Theater, Main St. 7pm
SUN. 4/14 - WINCHESTER VA, The 9 Songwriter Series, Bright Box Theater 15 N. Loudoun St. 7pm
You're Writing a Book? I've been plowing ahead recklessly and occasionally even with abandon for these last few weeks. It's not an autobiography, but there are some elements of that. It's not history wound tightly to my specific family, though there some are stories that serve the larger purpose. And it's not a how-to book for sifting through your DNA and ethnicity, though there will be some valuable tools and insights included. Now that we've know what it ISN'T, what IS it? More next month, I promise :) And there will be a lot more details, including how you can help this enormous undertaking arrive, with its companion recording, on your reading chair or nightstand. Though I'm pretty sure this batch of songs that go with it WON'T put you to sleep!
Next Vidcast. Definitely in May, probably a weeknight in the middle of the month, sharing more new songs and a whole lot more about the book. Stay tuned for that too!
A Final Standing O. We bid a sad and grateful farewell to the Standing "O" Project, a great idea to connect supportive fans with artists creating new music. Kudos to John and Viv of the "Art of the Song" NPR show for all the hard work and capital they put into this community patronage project these last few years. It was an honor to be a part of it, and we wish them the very best going forward!
A FEW WORDS: Most every month Andrew writes an Essay, but for probably obvious reasons (see the greeting note above :), we're putting the monthly Essay on hiatus until the book and the recording are done. However, there are still plenty of short blog posts going up now and again, come by for a few minutes anytime you like.