These Last Few Weeks: Shows, People, Love

1:00 went on John Aielli’s show for internet broadcast with Bill Oliver and the Otter Space Band…played kids songs and also sang my new song, “The One”. This is a song written from the mother’s point of view, the mother of the young man who murdered the students/teachers at Virginia Tech. I was a little nervous, but sang with my heart. I don’t think anyone knew what to say when I was done. It is very sad.

Drove out to Bastrop with Theresa Jenkins, executive director of the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy. We went out to present a $1000 check from our Board of Governors for music educators in the Bastrop school system. This was a lot of fun, as the event was held outside at a small stadium with maybe 700 people present, all there to watch school bands perform. There was an RV set up just for us, with food and drinks, so me, Theresa and several other governors sat inside and waited for our cue to come out and present the check on a big stage. It was decided I would be the honorary “celebrity”, so I rallied those in the stands to cheer for music educators, and then we gave the check. Supposedly, Julia Roberts and Willem de Foe were hanging around cuz they are working on a film, but I did not see hide nor hair of them.

Performed at Ingrid and James Taylor’s house concert. About 80-85 people, and I sang away. I was in a great mood, and had so much fun, even when a certain someone had a little toooooooo much drinky-poo and sat on the front row and heckled in a drunken, not funny, way.
But, I kept my cool, and all was good. The Taylor’s home is lovely, it used to belong to Pat Green. I hear there are many stories to be told…!
Pat, if you’re out there, pipe in!

Lily and iolana were in their first art show, “100%”. They both worked on one canvas entitled “Every child deserves respect”. You can visit the show here, or go to the Carver Museum in East Austin and see it in person!

I had two shows at the Pecan Street Festival…first, a children’s show with the amazing Richard Bowden hopping up on stage with his fiddle.
Then, my second show, two hours later, for adults. I was a solo artist stuck between a U2 cover band (very good, by the way!) and a New Orleans Jazz group. But I rocked away, and all was good. Thanks to the audience that came up to the stage and made it all special and warm.
(Uh…that’s was MUGGY, now that I think about it!) I was sorry to miss the art opening…I go to all my kids’ events, so that was hard to miss. But Lance took pics…


Performed several songs at Christy Pipkin’s mom’s memorial service at Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center. She had asked me to sing, “If I Had a Hammer”, and boy howdy, I looooooooooooved singing that song! I sang it in a gospel, slow style, and enjoyed imagining Christy’s mom singing along in my head. There are nine children in that family….I was getting weepy, there was so much love present. But, mostly, I was honored to be asked to be a part of the day….

Mamapalooza/Symphony Square
Went to sing at the first annual Mamapalooza, and although there weren’t tons of people there, the place was jammin’ with good spirits, art, jewelry, music and fun. Got to see Mr. Smartypants and hang with him for a short time…also, Spike and met Idgy, that was nice to hang with them.

Went for a benefit for the Girls’ School of Austin. THIS WAS AN EVENT I WILL REMEMBER for a long time. There was a panel that included me, Marcia Ball, Marty from the Dixie Chicks, Kelly Willis, Nancy Coplin (City of Austin…books for the airport and the Armadillo Christmas Bizaare),
Darcie Deaville, and Big Jill from KGSR moderated. We answered questions the girls had written on index cards, and the conversation on stage was complex, interesting and, at times, silly. We got asked business questions, questions about what our most embarrassing moment was, who our influences were, etc. I would guess there was about 400 people in attendance…? Then, Marcia, Darcie and I hung out with Darcie’s band and performed impromptu jams on stage. Great silent auction, great vibe, so many awesome people. Got home about 10:30.

Went to Bradley Kopp’s to record another song for the MD Anderson cd that is being put together, a lovely lullaby. Stayed about five hours, and Bradley did a wonderful job mixing. Always fun to work with him.

Taught “Math and Music” class for three classes at Barton Hills Career Day. I really, really enjoy being a teacher. Maybe in my next life…
So, taught the kids how I use math all day in my music related business….accounting, dealing with money (pay outs, payments received, balances due), considering percentages for managers, booking agents; how assistants/interns get paid, lawyers fees…you name it, we covered it. I even explained iTunes, downloads, what the differences are between and, say, Waterloo Records in what they pay out on a cd…

Then, went with Lance to meet a client we are working with on creating 42 icons….a good meeting. We even had time to slip in a quiet lunch together, just me and my man!

9 am
Went to a Heartfelt Conversation meeting….a gathering of folks of different religious/spiritual beliefs, and talked about philosophy, books, quotes, etc.

Went to a luncheon Margaret Keys invited me to on behalf of American Youthworks. They raised $80,000 in one hour! It was a very moving program…several of the kids who utilize the school got up to the podium and shared their poems, their songs, their life stories…I was very weepy…a lovely way to start this Wednesday, between spirit and humanity doing good things together….

Arrived at Mercury Hall for a soundcheck. This is an old, white clapboard church that has been turned into a public hall. The energy is fantastic. This was for Renee Trudeau’s book release, “”Reclaim, Rejuvenate, Re-Balance: An Evening of Self-Renewal for Mothers.”
There was food, and conversation, and I performed…got all the women involved on “Strong Woman”, even up and doing a line dance a la
Soul Train….and then 8 moms got up and shared their thoughts and stories on motherhood. I was blessed in that my mom was able to attend, and at the end, as I sang my last note with all the women, my mom walked right up the aisle and wrapped her arms around me. Incredibly touching. I could do shows for women only for the rest of my life…it is such a bonding experience! Although, I must say, the lone man sitting on the front row was an eager, and able, participant in my heckling, so I have to say THANK YOU to that dude!

The other sweet aspect was all the mom friends that came out together from Barton Hills…Kathy, Sarah, Kelly, Lori and Sharon (please forgive me if I am forgetting someone…uh….darn…who am I forgetting?!) We had our pic taken all together…I just love looking out at their faces, my sisters in spirit, song and mommyhood!

MAY 10
My best friend, Marty, was born today, so we went to have lunch. He looks great. Especially considering he just turned 114. Ha ha!

Played a lovely home benefit for Parkinson’s. This was presented by Hope Young, who is attempting to broaden therapeautic services with new models of ideas for Parkinson’s patients, several who appeared for the event in a power point and in person. Hope is very passionate, and has so much to offer…this was a program I wish everyone could have come to witness…Hope has the explanation of these therapies down to an easy to understand science…Having done music therapy, I hope someday I can get reinvolved in that field. It is fascinating, and I have witnessed what music therapy can do for everyone it is presented to, from AIDS patients to burn units. The limited work I did with Parkinson’s patients would really be stimulated by Hope’s doctrine.

MAY 11
Went to write with Billy Harvey. We worked on a song about the moon and a blueprint. I have to say, he is an exceptionally nice, and very talented, person! I hope we can finish the songs we started…

Performed at the Live Oak Coffeehouse. Ok, hands down, best sound in Austin! Bill, at soundcheck, kept sweating it, telling me he didn’t really know diddly about sound, but I am here to tell you he is waaaaaaaaaaay too humble. I just sang and sang and sang and loved every minute of it….he made me sound like butter….MELTED butter, at that! I can’t wait to return to this venue.

MAY 12
9 am
Super Pal Auditions at the Gibson Showroom started. Kids of all shapes, sizes, ages, color came to audition. Some were really good, some were so nervous I had to help them off the stage for fear they’d evaporate. I love the band “High on Hot Dogs”…I can’t say enough good things about those musicians. I think they are all 12? Good stuff!

11:20 am
Headed off to Zilker Park Theatre to sing at Bill Oliver’s Mother Earth Day celebration…gosh, what a GORGEOUS, perfect day in Austin…The Otter Space Band played (Beth, Doug, Bill, Paul, Richard) along with me on a variety of songs, and at the end, there was a maypole that the kids came up on stage and they danced in a circle, wrapping the maypole to “I Wish You Well”….very sweet. Our friend, Jack Jeansonne, and his lovely wife, Sarah, were on hand with turtles (he is the friend who gave me Jeff Goldblum, my rough green snake…he’s a herpatologist). Sarah bought iolana a snow cone, and the girls got their faces painted. I saw Robin Hood! I saw Bryan from the Renaissance Festival! Chicken Dog was there (did I get that right?)

Headed back to the auditions after my show. Wanted to stay and sing with Bill, and was so sorry I couldn’t. Oh, yes, Laura Freeman hopped in on the songs I sang, too….she is a glitter-doll-fun-happy-funkster….always so happy to see her!

5:00 pm
Left the auditions (which were going until 8) to head off for my next gig at Steve and Lisa’s house concert on Mt. Bonnell….wowza! Big home with an ampitheater type scenario built in their back yard…a large, wooden stage with stone seats that soar up in the hillside. This was an event for teachers (hooray!) to celebrate their hard work, and so I sang in honor of them. We were singing along, we were crying along (I sang “The One” again), we were laughing, too. This is what I love about Austin, all the house concerts and how different each one is physically…but, amazingly, the heart of them all is the same….people want to listen, be a part of the music, celebrate the fact that we songsters are still out there, trying to share not only our stories, but the stories of the world, this nation, those around us…THANK GOD FOR HOUSE CONCERTS!!!

MAY 13
Ok, yes, one would think I could sleep in, but I was up at 7 am to start getting ready for more Super Pal Universe auditions. But…wait! iolana and Lance made me breakfast in bed….complete with posies in a vase…rosemary and roses….and blueberry yogurt, OJ, cereal with milk, napkin, fork and spoon….all on a lovely tray…and then…oh, my! The cards and presents started flowing….they both told me there would be more, but they were waiting for later that night because Lily was with her dad, and they wanted to present all together the rest of the goodies.
I felt like a saint, I tell you! Spoiled rotten, gosh….

Got dressed and headed back over to Gibson. The most amazing audition, for me, was a young man named Southern. He came in and sang not only in perfect pitch, but with the gift of true passion. He was confident and sweet and I had tears in my eyes as he sang Journey’s “Open Arms”, followed by “Blue Moon.” Auditions all day, til 4:30, then we had to pack up the lights, the instruments, the digital cameras, the monitors, the sandbags, the Gibson cords, amps, etc. I was trying to stay out of the crews way but to help at the same time, so I was wrapping cables, picking up trash, folding tables and chairs. Lance, my mother-in-law and io all came over on the lunch break and we had a nice, quiet lunch…me and iolana played pool at Opal Divine’s and I was showing her how to set up the line for the balls, and she was actually popping balls in the pockets. It was exciting! I need to get her a smaller poolstick!

Got home around 5:30, and by then, Lily was home and they had me close my eyes the minute I walked in the door…they led me to the dining table, and there I was astounded to discover the three of them had each made me a mug and a saucer….BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL! They had sneaked off last weekend and gone to a pottery place, Lily’s idea! And each of the mugs was filled with tissue flowers, made by iolana….and then they gave me a digital frame, so I can see pictures of friends and families, constantly changing…oh, I loved it all! Finally, io snuck me off to her room and gave me two more cards she had made me, and then we all laid on the bed and we heard the Mothers’ Day poems io wrote for me in a little book she made at school. I AM SO HAPPY!!!! I feel so loved, so blessed.

MAY 14
Taught Art Matters in Lily’s fourth grade class this morning. We studied Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. Then I had them do a couple of pop art works, along with a portrait of their teacher, Ms. Nikolov, in a pop masters style.
Ok, there you have it…I think I am caught up now!

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