Tuesday, July 4, 2017
I hope that you will forgive me as I have been delinquent on my monthly SeaStar updates, but life has been joyously yet waterfall-whirlwind crazy. I am moments away from hopping onto a plane to teach guitar, ukulele, and voice for a month in Poland, but I wanted to write at least one update for our sweet fans and followers. Thank you for your patience!
Let's see... when we last left our SeaStar updates we were gearing up to play at St Mark's Cathedral in Seattle for the New Years Eve Labyrinth Walk. What an incredible experience that was! St. Mark's is a Gothic style cathedral. My voice took wing and soared in that space with no amplification necessary. It startled me at first, and then it was one of the loveliest of places to sing, sharing even my quietest of tunes. It was a serene and peaceful start of 2017, muchly needed medicine after a busy 2016. The next morning we started 2017 in our yearly tradition of beach, fire, and good friends. I knew right then, that this year would be special.
We had a few gigs in January in Port Townsend, playing on the radio at KPTZ and then to Disco Bay Detour. Port Townsend, Washington is a true gem of a town. Lovely folks, beautiful location, and the vibe there is very special.
For those of you who did not know, our latest album, Never Go Back, was included on the first ballot for the 59th Grammy Awards. While we did not receive an official nomination, it was an honour nonetheless! I went to the 59th Grammy Awards in LA in February to have the whole process come full circle.
The Grammy Awards is an all day and night affair with an outrageous amount of eye candy. From stars to wild outfits to bigger than life personalities, it was quite the adventure.. A few days before, I attended several other Grammy inspired events where I networked my little butt off, talked to loads of great folks about music, rubbed elbows with those in "the Biz", and met quite a few producers and recording engineers who felt like honest folks. There were loads of "interesting" personalities and bigger than life egos as well as many wonderful, humbly honest folks too. I do not know if anything will come of my attendance, but I did have a swell time talking up SeaStar and meeting new friends! Plus my date was Miss Audra. We had a blast attending the Grammys and hanging out the whole weekend in Los Angeles.
In February, we also received a wonderful review of our album, Never Go Back, from Mike Morrison of American Roots UK! You can read it here. Thanks, Mike!!
St Patrick's Month aka March was fun filled with shows at Connor Byrne and O'Malley's. We played with a band from the Isle of Mann called "Barrule ". They were fabulous lads and we enjoyed their music so! I hope to meet up with them while I am in Glasgow in October.
April was more and more practice and playing. We had a grand gig at our favorite coffee house, Soul Food, in Redmond, WA. We debuted a ton of new music as well as played some crowd favorites. We also announced that we will be recording a new album this August! It will be a collection of pub standards with a few new originals! So, stay tuned!
May --- I headed out to Paris for a wee journey of art and music. The following week, Michael flew to Nice, France as his documentary, The Hall of Giant - The Story of the Fremont Troll, was up for Best Cinematography and Best Documentary. This was quite an honour to be nominated! And for SeaStar, it was even a sweeter treat as our music is threaded throughout the film. It was awesome that it screened in France! AND, Michael won Best Cinematography!! WHOO HOO!Congrats, Brother! We are so proud!!!
In May, we also ran into our dear friend, Dougie MacLean while he was in town playing a gig at the Triple Door. It was wonderful to see Dougie and Jenny again. We will never forget our experience at Perthshire Amber. I hope to connect with Dougie while I am in Scotland in October.
We were shocked, amazed, and humbled to accept First Prize at The Seattle Maritime Festival's Stories of the Sea contest held at the Highliner Pub inside the Fisherman's Terminal in the Ballard Neighborhood, for my song "The Sailor". There were many amazing tales finely told and beautifully sung that night. Thanks so much for the love. We have a huge respect for our fishing community. It is a true honor.
We were very excited to play at NorthWest FolkLife in Seattle. It has been some time since SeaStar has played this festival and the crowd was incredible. We played the tiny Trad Stage and soon after we started, we had a HUGE crowd of folks watching, clapping, and dancing! Our 30 mins flew by and I headed out with some CDs to sell... Within 10 mins I was completely sold out of 38 CDs that I had brought and was taking orders. It was truly incredible. Thanks, Seattle!
One of the best thing about FolkLife is seeing our friends. Since most of the folks we know and love are musicians, we often do not see each other because we are always playing out someplace. It was wonderful to catch-up with fine friends like Murph and Jerry. If you are new to these fellas, look up Murph and Middaugh. You will not be disappointed.
We started June in Prosser, playing the Prosser Scottish Festival and Highland Games. It was a glorious festival! Loads of lovely vendors, food, drink, dancers, pipes, and Highland Games! We had a lovely time. The day was hot and sunny and I had a TERRIBLE cold but I did my very best to make do. The lads took good care of me and we made it through the sets with minimal changes. We had breaks between the two sets so I made friends with the locals and with Hope, the Hieland Coo. She was sensational!
The second set went a little more "Janis Joplin-like" but I was so thankful that my voice made it till the very end. After the gig, I sounded a bit like Carol Channing, but it could have been worse. Thanks for all the well wishes and kuddos from the folks in Prosser! It is always humbling to have such lovely folks showing love by purchasing independent music. We had a great day in sales. Thanks Prosser!!!
As I hear the sound of fireworks going off outside my window, I am reminded that this month is about celebrating. Canada Day, The 4th of July, Bastille Day, National Cow Appreciation Day (July 15), International Friendship Day (July 30)... however you roll, may it be joyous! I am truly enjoying this year so far and I do hope to be better with my news updates. I am constantly updating things on our Facebook and Instagram sites. Check them out.
I am very grateful for this life, this band, and all the lovely people who are in it... that includes you!
Have a lovely July! More soon from Poland!
St Mark's Cathedral, New Year's Eve - photo by D. Niven
Fae with a $15 thimble of whisky at the 59th Grammy Awards
St. Paddy's at Conor Byrne in Seattle - photo by D. Niven
Falcone accepting the award for Best Cinematography at the Nice Film Festival in Nice, France
Playing Soul Food in April - photo by N. Juon
Playing Northwest Folklife in Seattle - photo by D. Niven
Ferry playing! On the way to Port Townsend to play Sirens over Memorial Day Weekend.
Hanging out near the Mighty Columbia River
Kissing a coo named Hope!
love all around.