To release as much creative material as possible during my term as Official State Musician of 2010, my goals are: “Absence of Blame” (new adult cd), “Best of Times”(comp. cd of my songs sung by other Tx. artists to benefit 2 non-profits), animated DVD of my NEWBORN songs, “Family Time Rocks!” cd/website/shows w/ band, “Sweet Songs” (album I produced of 9 women), finish death penalty doc., continue to tour w/Gray as my sidekick
To release as much creative material as possible during my term as Official State Musician of 2010, my goals are:
1) Release “Absence of Blame”, my new adult cd produced by Mark Addison. From the depths of my muse, my heart, my plunging into pain, songs about suicide, murder, the police, my broken family, infidelity, redemption, hope and faith. With Mark Addison at the helm, I have never been so honored to release a cd. He took my songs, he HEARD the journey I wanted each song to take, and he took the songs there. He had me try new things with my vocals. He pushed me and stretched me and I am proud to say: I’ve met a real producer that took the time, love and effort beyond the call of duty to love these songs to life. Scrappy Judd and Dony Wynn, guitars/mandolins and drums/percussion, were also incredibly supportive of the sorrow I released on diving headlong into these songs. I was grateful to be able to share the story of each song before we all jumped up, went into the studio, and started the music. I’d never worked with any of these great musicians before, and there was a clear purpose to what I wanted to say, but the fact that they were willing to shed tears and really feel each song before we’d even laid a lick, well, I don’t even know how to express what a revelation it was to have these guys that interested in the “script” of each song, as Dony shared one day. Today, Ginger Doss is coming in to sing on the last song. We are doing a duet on the song, “Juliet and Juliet”, a song written by my friend, Marvin Etzioni, after I told him the story of what happened to Ginger and I in high school. Life is coming full circle, and it is all captured in the outpouring on this cd.,
Upcoming: Working on the photo shoot with the astounding Todd Wolfson, and Stingray will design the jacket. I’ll be art directing because the vision came to me so clearly, so strongly, of what the cover will divulge. I hope that you all will let me know your feelings when you have listened to the entire album. Some of it will make people very uncomfortable. Some of the songs will make you wonder, think, cry, maybe even make you mad. But, I hope more than anything, they will help people heal, they will make people realize that no one is capable of throwing the stone of condemnation. We all share sorrow, we all share mistakes, we all share broken dreams—but we can still be whole, we can still be happy, we can still find love in this life.
2) “Best of Times”, a compilation cd of my songs sung by other astounding Texas artists to benefit 2 non-profits, Theatre Action Project (TAP) and Big Thought!. To date, the musicians who are committed to recording my songs (or who have already finished and turned them in) are: Marcia Ball, Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel), Ruthie Foster, Andrea Perry (finished), LZ Love (recording),
Guy Forsythe, David Garza (finished), Elizabeth Wills, Betty Soo (recording), Ana Egge (recording), Joe McDermott, Monte Warden, Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, Matt the Electrician, Trish Murphy, Joel Guzman, Jimmy LaFave, Shawn Colvin, Brave Combo (recording), Carolyn Wonderland, Rhett Miller (Old 97s), Abra Moore (finished), Shelley King (finished), Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Patrice Pike, Gretchen Phillips (recording), and Alejandro Escovedo. I’m still waiting to hear from Willie Nelson and Conspirare, and hoping that two others will come on board.
TAP & Big Thought! are two non-profits that go into schools and bring creative concepts to children, from theatre to music to art and creative writing. In other words, they fill the gap the legislature has created by slashing funding for the arts. My goal is to have 20,000 cds pressed, with each non-profit receiving 10,000 cds to sell. That would mean they would each receive $150,000, if this
amount of cds can actually be funded. So, if you know anyone who wants to pay for the pressing of 20,000 cds, lemme know! I’ll be paying to sequence the songs and have them mastered, and have been overseeing contacting/creating the album, so I’m going full tilt, trying to get this done.
3) Family Time Rocks! My goal is this: “Families who create together do great together!” This was a concept I had that contains many levels: a website with information for kids, parents and teachers;
an actual band performing songs for families @ live shows, and outreach within schools/HEB in-stores to promote creativity within families, all supported by a cd that contains music and poems, interspersed with short ideas from a variety of different ethnic/cultural backgrounds given by actual families sharing what they like to do in their homes for creative fun.
The band is a reality: Jason Molin (who has also been an amazing support in creating the website/FB site) who plays bass, sings, jumps around like a happy jumping bean! Gray Parsons on drums, piano, electric guitar, vocals, bass, and brings a lot of joy to me and Jason, and, of course me…guitar and occassional drums, with lots of singing. We have been working up new songs, writing the FTR! theme song (“Funky Time Rocks!”) and prepping to go in the studio in March to compile all this good stuff to share on cd. I’ve also been compiling songs by kids, and gathering creative ideas from families. I’m very thrilled about this project, in particular because Jason, Gray and I really have clicked as a band, they are two of the most enjoyable, talented, kindhearted and silly people I’ve had the opportunity not only to know, but who really believe in the concept of FTR! and we are looking forward to playing in libraries this summer (I’m already booking those), for schools, for private events, and, hopefully, at ACL Fest in the fall on the kids’ stage.
The cd is a reality: I am committed to recording/creating an album that is fun, unique and follows in the footsteps of my last children’s cd, “Big Kid”, but with more of a universal stamp with the addition of other families, other languages, other creative voices bringing themselves to the picnic! My goal is to have as many cds pressed as possible to place in children’s backpacks for the beginning of the schoolyear this fall 2010.
The website is a reality: We just need to start adding content. Our goal is to have an homage to Willie Nelson when I become Official State Musician in May, and his term comes to a close. We also hope to have a lot of material on the site by then, as well. Jason blows my mind with his capacity to create in the information station of a website, and I’m really grateful to all his hard work, committment and follow through on this project. He’s been my brother on the idea since day one.
I’m waiting on a response from the corporate sponsor I visited and presented with a full proposal, budget and vision. Their support would make a world of difference, and help with tour support, paying for the pressing of the cd for the backpacks, marketing and support of shows, with a banner on stage, fun merch/handouts for parents and kids, Family Time Rocks Box! (where families visit different stations at our shows and decorate/fill their own family boxes up with creative ideas to take home and utilize WHILE listening and dancing and singing along w/ our band, performing live.
4) Once again, I am grateful to Alan Luecke for believing in the creation of an animated DVD of my NEWBORN songs. Shiny Object is the group here in Austin that has taken ideas and brought them to light, including one song they encouraged me to do the animation on, so I learned how to draw out each frame, and then: voila! They animated it! My mouth was agape when they shared what they had done. The entire DVD is so loving, so beautiful. Thank you, Shiny Object, and Alan, for helping me to reach out to new parents and their babies with this special, loving collection. This will be released in May.
5) Also to be released in May is “Sweet Songs”, an album I produced of 9 other super talented women singing songs for wee ones. Just a beautiful project. Andre Moran has been the engineer I’ve been working with on the project, and he’s just the biggest sweetheart. We’ve had a lot of laughs and shared many hours together recording, fixing, moving, adding, deleting, more recording…you get the picture. We’ve worked at The Hideout, a fantastic Austin recording studio, and the owners, Mark & Monica Cravotta, have been a joy to get to know. Monica has two adorable, uplifting songs on the cd, as well as Gretchen Janzer, Noelle Hampton, Libby Kirkpatrick, Sarah Sharp, Elizabeth Suggs, Mary Londos and Elizabeth McQueen, all with songs that are full of love. This album will help benefit the Mothers’ Milk Bank, which collects and distributes breastmilk to premature infants, and also bring attention to Anthropos, a super concept that brings music to kids in Austin area schools. I’m very proud to have worked on this cd. Simply stunning.
6) Finish the documentary, “Music For Life: The Dialogue on the Death Penalty in Texas”. My dear friend, Dave Tatge, is executive producer on this, and his patience has been very much appreciated as I have continued to film and hope to have this film finished for 2011 SXSW Film Festival (with submission to Sundance, etc). I really wanted this film in the 2010 SXSW film festival, but there have been
some family constraints on the director, so his timing has been delayed in finishing the film. I will continue to work on completing the film, and excited to say that Marty Lester, my best friend and long time studio partner, will be doing the sound design, so the documentary will sound as beautiful as it will look.
7) Continue to tour with Richie Havens, if it is possible, especially on the West Coast, and bring along my new sideman, Gray Parsons (yes, the multi-instrumentalist from Family Time Rocks…he does adult music, too!) Roots Agency, the group that books me, is looking into booking FTR! and more Sara shows around the country, so I will do my best to continue to write newsletters and keep you up to date where we will be performing.
There were some server changes for my blog, website and all the corresponding websites I have, so if you have experienced any trouble checking out info on what I’ve been up to, thank you for your patience as we try to keep up with everything.
I’m very grateful to all the folks who have been supporting my various dreams—The Lueckes, The Hudsons, The Stewarts, The Blairs, Dave Tatge, each of you—because I want you to know I do my best to deliver beautiful results, and without you, I know these dreams would stay in the attic of my mind. I thank you for your faith in my visions. I thank you for your time, for listening to my ideas, and for the financial support you’ve shared over the years. I promise to make 2010 a great one from my little corner of the world, and to utilize the amazing gift of being State Musician to the max by helping as many families as I can learn to create and be great…together.
With love and gratitude,