As I sip my coffee, I see the bag that I need to unpack from our trip to visit family and friends in Tulsa. I am reminded of how many times I have packed and unpacked this year. Not as many as in 2014 but enough to get the creativity moving and shaking. Travel is a time to catch stories, much like fireflies. Sometimes they land right in front of you, other times you have to skip around to catch 'em. We 'caught" some great stories this year. We met kind folks along the way, heard some extraordinary tales, songs and music, and found histories lingering on the whispering winds of the canyons of red. Thanks to all who became our glowing lights and shared part of their journey with us!
. yule .
We started December playing with our Maritime Friends in Seattle at their annual Yuletide Concert at the Immanuel Lutheran Church. The Whateverly Brothers, Emerald Sky, and Watch the Sky shared holiday music as well as a few treasures of salty goodness. We are very lucky to have been a part of our Maritime Community this year. Thanks for invite! We loved joining our voices to the shanties!
. improv .
Since Ron had been working with broken hand over the last few weeks, he definitely embraced the art of improvisation. Ron became a stellar glockenspiel player this month! I mean, seriously... good stuff came from the misfortune. So much good that he might be playing glockenspiel on the new album! What album doesn't need more glockenspiel!? Also, we knew that Ron could play drum kit. We had a great time with his one handed drum performance at our visit to the Ould Triangle's Open Mic. Good times.. Good folks!
. feast .
the longest nights... the shortest of days The annual feast of the Winter Solstice, created and gloriously put together by the unstoppable force that is the Fremont Arts Council, was a breath of magic. Held at Equinox Studios on the skirts of Georgetown, folks turned out for the largest potluck feast that I have ever attended. Over 400 people attended, dressed divinely in mystical clothing and beautiful hats. There were art installations, a tea room, a kinetic ice sculpture, and more! I polka-ed, cancan-ed, whirled and twirled! Such a brilliant time!!! We loved playing music for everyone after a brilliant candle lighting ceremony. Great sound and amazing atmosphere. We even had Ron back on guitar!! His hand is mending nicely! A magical Solstice indeed!
. gypsy cafe .
A trip to Tulsa would not be complete without a wee performance at the Gypsy, the place where I met Captain twelve years ago. We entertained a small crowd of close friends and kind strangers. No matter where one travels, it is always wonderful to return to where some magic began. I am thankful I happened upon that coffeehouse... and even more grateful to have met Captain.
. auld lang syne .
So as day wanes into night, I am reminded of all the cups o' kindness that I have received this year. I am thankful for all the adventures, the stories, the feasts of the heart and mind, and the sound of feet traveling on distant streets.
I am getting ready to fly away again.
Back to Scotland I will return. And tonight, the whole world sings a Scottish Song...
We are having a quiet night at home on this New Years Eve. And since I have never sang this amazing song without the help of many a friend, I will leave you with an impromptu version, my cup o' kindness to you and yours, of Auld Lang Syne. May your 2016 be bright and warm.
May your dreams and joys be many. And may you always have every little song that you may need.
Bliadhna mhath ùr!
So much love!
Yuletide Concert - photo by E. Miller
Ron plays drums as his guitar hand is still broken. Open Mic - Ould Triangle - photo by K. Blanchard
Winter Solstice Feast 2015 @ Equinox Studios. Photo by Jim Toohey for The Fremont Arts Council.
Winter Solstice Feast 2015 @ Equinox Studios. Photo by Jim Toohey for The Fremont Arts Council.
Playing at the Gypsy with Captain - photo by C Wiedenhoeft Thanks to Chandra for the use of the bass guitar!
Sun, 29 November 2015
When I think about the life that I lead, all the kind forces and the wealth of fine friends who share this adventure with me, my heart overflows. The special moments that take my breath away, the songs that keep my heart from aging a day, the wonder that still gazes from my eyes...
I often times pinch myself to see if I am dreaming.
We started this month with a great rehearsal for a weekend long gig at Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island. We practiced all the dancy numbers in hopes we could get the folks whirling around. It was a great night of music. The following morning I received a text from Ron, our guitarist, that he "may" have broken his hand. WHAT?!
As it turns out, he did indeed break two bones in his left hand (the one that does all the chord shapes and fancy stuff) and that he wasn't sure how long he'd be out or if he needed surgery. Wow. We, of course, felt for our brother and hoped he'd mend soon, but we had this two day gig coming up; Adam, Falcone, and I had to bring our "A" game. It all worked out in the end. Orcas has an amazing community of open hearts and we met many o new friend while breathing in the sea air. We missed playing with Ron but we look forward to the day when he is good to go and playing all those groovy guitar licks with lightning speed.
Doe Bay Cafe has exquisite food and the view will soothe your soul.
While on Orcas we popped over to Rosario Resort to catch a very informative (and free!) pipe organ concert by Christopher Peacock. Chris played many a tune while a plethora of historic slides cataloged the self made man, Rosario, one of Seattle's well known boat builders, flickered on a screen above. We even witnessed a shortened version of the original silent film, Phantom of the Opera. Chris played the music from the Lloyd Webber musical. It was lovely. A grand weekend indeed.
Friday 13 November was a hard day for me. The morning after the attacks, I read that the Pop In, the place where I played in Paris in March, was closed for the today. Everyone was safe but shaken. This is the second massacre this year within a very short distance from the Pop In, the first being Charlie Hebdo and now the night club the Bataclan. I was 900 meters away from the that club and less than a kilometer from Charlie Hebdo. Why are the attacks are happening in the 11th? I cannot understand.
The 11th arrondissement is amazing. True Parisians there. Kind hearts. Lots of singers. We sipped Absinthe there... *sigh* I vowed that day that I will not fall into fear and will continue to reach out into unknown territory. As an artist and musician, moving throughout this world is what living means to me. Terrible things happen that my heart will never understand. I will still move, sing, share, and travel without fear. Something bad can happen close to home just as easily as far away. Please remember that. There is soooo much good out there. It is easy to fall into hate and fear. Resist that. Love. Be kind. Do good deeds. Sing and live!!! This is so important, my friends.
I think fondly of my acquaintances in Paris. I am thankful that they are safe. And I will continue to live just a little bit louder for those whose lives were taken. I encourage you to do the same.
Lift Your Spirits & Stone Way
On the 20th of this month, I was interviewed by Miss Dena Marie on KKNW. We chatted about 5 years in business for my Voice School, Syren's Voice. We chatted about travel and my upcoming tour to Glasgow. We spoke about life and gratitude and living your passions. I love being around Dena Marie. And you would too! Check her out at www.dena-marie.com
Later that night, I had the pleasure of playing with two singer songwriters, David Guilbault and Sam Russell. We had a grand time singing songs and sharing stories. I have to say, it's nights like this one that keeps me humble as a songwriter and thankful to be in such talented company.
So in the essence of thanks giving ... I hereby give a major shout out to all the folks who believed in
me, us, the band, the music.
I am sooo humbly grateful to be on this path.
Thank you for listening, supporting, coming out to gigs.
My heart sincerely overflows with love & thanks!
"You did what?!" -- Fae after hearing the news of Ron's hand
Doe Bay Cafe on Orcas Island
Three Star, The Dublin Three... but we missed Ron
Fae at the Effiel Tower in March of this year.
Playing the Stone Way Cafe - photo by E. Touchette
Sat, 31 October 2015
Happy Celtic New Year!
In the Gaelic world, there is a festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, Samhain is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is also a time of Thanksgiving, a remembrance, for the passing year and a dreaming for the new adventures waiting to come. Our year has been lush with fine friends, kind hearts, and warm memories. We have met so many folks along the way and shared so many stories. Thank you!
Fae's Starry Night Pumpkin
October was full of excitement. From our Trainwreck of Glitter Tour to returning to Paradise to record our next album, we had a blast.
Trainwreck of Glitter
We started our tour last month at the Slippery Pig on September 19 in Poulsbo, WA. Oh, the viking goodness of that night! We then made way to the Black Dog in Snoqualmie, WA amist the railroad rhythm and history. Following that we set out on a 6 day adventure to Southern Utah and back.
We played for the Palouse Folklore Society in Moscow, Idaho on September 30 in a tiny attic. It was glorious. We had a lovely turnout even on a Wednesday evening. Our hosts David and Roberta were beautiful folks. I mean that is every sense of the way. As we were driving through town before getting to the venue, I saw them walking down the street . I said to the boys, "wow, those folks are just beautiful"! And then, there they were, our hosts! Kismet really. The audience was kind and eager to share stories. Not bad kazoo players either! A great start to the adventure!
The 1st of October found us in Boise at the home of the Richard and Patti O'Hara. I had contacted the Idaho Songwriters Association about playing a house concert and Richard answered the call. He and his wife Patti, made us feel at home with about 35 of their friends in their musical community. Their home and living room was warm and absolutely lovely to sing in. Richard began the evening with a wee reading of some Irish history. He set a lovely scene. The night rolled with many stories and drams. We are most grateful. Thank you Patti and Richard.
The 2nd of October found us in Salt Lake City, Utah and in the home of my dear friend from high school, Suzy Slifka. What a treat! I believe that the last time I had seen Suzy was when I was 15 years old. Wow. Suzy and I were in show choir together and I looked up to her. Harmonizing with her was always so beautiful. I invited her to join us at our gig at The Piper Down on our tune "Gold". What a gift that was! The Piper Down was a rockin' night of growly songs, wild guitar solos, and getting folks dancing Thanks to Dave and the staff at the Piper Down for taking great care of us! Thanks to Suzy and her wee doggie Noodles for making my heart feel 15 again.
On the 3rd of October, we made our way East to Vernal, Utah, home of dinosaurs and our guitarist, Ron Allen. We had the honour of staying at Ron's childhood home with his folks, Larry and Carol, and heard some great stories about a young 'Ronnie". Carol had created and promoted our event at the Golden Age Centre and about 70 people from Ron's world came out to support. She did a wonderful job! We are most grateful for Carol and Larry and the entire town of Vernal! We loved having a bit of 'home' on the road. And the sourdough pancakes were AMAZING! Thank you!
Breakfast with the Allens
The 4th of October found us in Springdale, Utah and Zion National Park. Wow. Talk about a place to take your breath away! We listened as the thunder rolled through the canon. We played a few tunes in a private concert at the Driftwood Lodge while the rain set the rhythm. It was a magical night. Thanks to Ron's friend, Jason, for making it possible! The next morning we headed out for a short hike and listened to the stories that the peaks and valleys whispered. It was divine.
We made our way back to Salt Lake City later that day and I was fortunate enough to spend a little more time with my friend Suzy while the lads made their way to Ron's brother's home. I truly loved that we had family and friends on the road. Every day was not only exciting because of the music, but was very special since we were fortunate to share time with folks we do not often see. It made my heart soar! I am soo grateful!
The next morning (6 Oct) Falcone caught a plane back to Seattle as he had to work later that day. Captain, Ron and I drove the 14 hours back to Kirkland, WA from Salt Lake City, Utah. Ron, who drove the entire trip, was a trooper listening to great cds like "40 Miles of Bad Road" and "The Best of Glen Campbell". I survived on 40 hour brew at truck stops and Captain found a pink koala bear. Let's just say that 14 hours in a car makes crazy things happen!
We ended our tour at Soul Food Coffee House on the 23rd of October. We shared the night with our sweet friend from LA, Ric Taylor. What a night! Ric gave a thrilling performance with his amazing songs! Thanks Ric! Disguises, mayhem, laughter.... a perfect ending to the Trainwreck of Glitter Tour! Familiar faces came out to support! It was good to come home! Thanks to Kevin at Soul Food for always making us feel that we were just that... Home. Thanks to all the folks who helped us along the way! This tour will forever be remembered!
Back to Paradise
We began recording our new album on the 17th of Oct at Paradise Sound Studio in Index, WA, where we recorded our first album, Home. It is wonderful to be working with Pat Sample again. We recorded 5 tunes that weekend and returned the following Saturday to lay down 2 more. Things are sounding good! We will return later in November to continue. The album will be a mix of Celtic, Folk, and Americana. We hope to have it ready for you by St Patrick's Day!
As the leaves are gently falling and the moon is glowing an amber light, may you find yourself lost in music, friendship, and the prospect of adventure. May your homes, beit it where you hang your hat or where you keep your memories, be full of love and hope, always.
My heart is so full of love and gratitude,
The car is packed and we are on the Road!
David at the Attic in Moscow
Packing in Boise .. not a cm to spare! photo by P. O'Hara
Welcome to Utah!
Gig At the Piper Down photo by S. Slifka
Vernal, Utah... home of Dina the Pink Dinosaur
Breakfast in Zion National Park
Fae and Suzy in Salt Lake City
Tour End at Soul Food Coffee House, photo by R. Brown
Recording "The Little Western" at Paradise Sound
Tues, 29 September 2015
TRAINWRECK of GLITTER TOUR!
Tomorrow continues our crazy tour! We are headed out to Idaho and then Utah for a fast and furious adventure!
"We met in a trainwreck of glitter that gave the world a little kick...." is one of the lines from SeaStar's song "Gypsy". In true gypsy fashion, disguises and all, SeaStar is traveling to seek family and friends in places with big rocks, dinosaurs, potatoes, trains, and vikings! Sounds appropriate! The Trainwreck of Glitter Tour focuses on the gypsy heart and the true essence that music brings us together in ways that feels like family.
"...When the life is gypsy friendly, when you're with us, you are family and your family is the place that you call home." So join us, to tell those you know to join us for a nights of stories and songs that will get your toes dancing, your heart beating, and bring a smile to your soul. We are all on this journey together... let SeaStar bring a little glitter to it for a brief while.
Tumbleweed Music Fest
We started our month by heading over to Richland, WA for the annual Tumbleweed Music Festival. We had a great time meeting up with folky friends and soaking up time near the mighty Columbia River.
I was part of the Songwriting Contest with my tune, Bittersweet Rubbish. It won the People's Choice award! I am sooo humbled and honoured! There were some truly great performers and songs this year!
While at Tumbleweed, we made the music video for Gypsy. Its silly and very fun, sort of how we usually live our lives. Music is a catalyst for good times. We certainly do not have a shortage of those in this band. Thanks to Ron for wearing not one but two different wigs and a dress, and to Falcone for doing a great job on the edits.
First stop on the Trainwreck... The Slippery Pig
We kicked off the tour in the Viking town of Poulsbo at the Slippery Pig. We had a blast playing for folks and adding Pirate-lore to things since it was "Talk Like A Pirate Day". Many thanks to Michael Raley for running sounds and joining us on a couple of tunes!
Second Stop .. The Black Dog
We started the second day of the tour playing at the Bothell Farmers' Market. It was a very West Coast day with the looming rain in the distance. Luckily we stayed dry all day.
The show at the Black Dog was fun! Jay gave us great sound and Cristie took care of us like rockstars, dishing up some delicious food. The crowd was fun and we brought out the kazoos... Always a party with kazoos.
Next Stop... Moscow, Idaho
Tomorrow we head out to Moscow to play for the Palouse Folklore Society. We are so excited to be on the road again. It has been toooooo long!
Follow our Facebook page for daily updates. I will post a full report when we return.
Oh.. We booked our dates for the studio.
A new record is coming! Stay tuned!!
Much love and gratitude,
Tumbleweed Music Fest - photo by Helen Gilbert
Singing in the Songwriting Contest at Tumbleweed
Finalist Medal and The People's Choice Award!
Tour Kick Off at the Slippery Pig Brewery - Photo by Michael Raley
Sun, 30 August 2015
Freckles. Tan lines on my feet. Well... just to be TAN is a rare thing for folks, like myself, who naturally do not do that sort of thing. Oh, Mr. Sun, you hung around for longer than we hoped but we had fun anyway.
Today, I am watching the winds whip around the trees, hearing the echos of chainsaws as many trees fell over due to this crazy windstorm, and hoping that I may finish this post since my flat and my entire area is without power and I am at half battery on my laptop. I suppose this will be as long as the battery power gods deem it so..
Here's what happened this month...
Index Arts Fest
It was a sheer pleasure to return to Index, Washington and play for the dear folks of the area. It was a scorcher of a day and we were very thankful to jump into the Skykomish River after our set. It is always such a pleasure to be in a small town, to see familar faces, to get the kiddos dancing and hula hoopin'. I really do believe that Index Arts Fest is my favourite festival to play. Live painters line the street, wonderful vendors display a myriad of treasure, the bake sale from the Volunteer Fire Dept is always a win, and a train runs through town every now and again sounding it horn (sometimes in the middle of a set.. but hey it adds to the local colour). Plus excellent sound from Pat Sample of Paradise Sound. (Thanks, Pat!) We will be recording our upcoming album at Paradise Sound in the fall.
First Place in the Robert Kotta Songwriting Contest!
Wow. I am honoured and humbled to have won First Prize in the Robert Kotta Songwriting Contest hosted by the Port Gamble Maritime Music Festival. This is the second time that I have won this particular award.
I still can't believe it.
The contest theme this year was "Voyages". I love a good seafairing tale so I looked for some heroic tales of folks doing the impossible. I learned the tale of
"The Little Western". The story consists of two fearless captains who crossed the Atlantic in a tiny 16' dory fishing boat not once but two times in 1880. I was able to read about the boat through Google books, as the book containing its story was written in 1900 and is out of print. Gotta love the internet.
I performed the song with Ron and Captain at the Port Gamble Maritime Music Festival in Port Gamble Washington. It was well received and the song will be released on SeaStar's next record which is expected in early 2016. Thanks, Maritime Folknet!
House Concert with Mindy Dillard
My friend Shanie called me and asked, 'hey would you like to do a house concert next week with a traveling musician from LA?' And I most certainly said YES!
Mindy Dillard is a lovely singer songwriter from the Bay area and we had a great time playing tunes for the folks on the only rainy day in Seattle since May. It was a pleasure to meet Mindy and I do hope that our paths will cross again someday.
The Month's End
Captain and I went on a little belated Honeymoon down to Oregon and then returned to play a show at the Urban Coffee Lounge. We, as always, had a grand time there. Thanks to all the folks who came out and said hi!
Well, my battery is going down for the count so I suppose this is farewell for now.
Next month is Tumbleweed and the start of our Tour!
Love and Thanks,
Lord, it has been hot in Seattle! This is the warmest summer that I can remember in the Pacific Northwest. Hope all of you are staying cool! We have been thankful that the caboose, where we practice, has an air conditioner. Yet another reason why I have the best caboose in all the land! :)
Sing me a Song!
We played at Urban Coffee Lounge on July 3 to a great crowd. It always surprises me how many of our fans, or Starheads if you will, come out to support us at every show. THANK YOU. We are so humbled! Another fabulous night in Kirkland.
Later that weekend Big Hair Shiny Guns played at Hattie's Hat in Seattle. It was a hot night in the back room but we kicked up our heels anyway! Always a treat to make music with those lovely ladies! Thanks to Kubby Kasual for making us sound so good!
On the 25th, we took a ferry over to Poulsbo to play at the Slippery Pig Brewery. While on the ferry, we met our sweet friend Eric Robert. We said hello, hugged, and said, "jam?" And that we did. Love making music on the ferry!
In the wee viking town of Poulsbo, we wandered a bit before the show. We found a fabulous bakery and a HUGE viking mural! Hjarta!!
Back at the Pig, we had a special guest join us on stage, Doug Hayman. Doug and I formed SeaStar in 2007. Because no one could pronounce my last name and a band name would be easier to put on a poster than Fae Wiedenhoeft and Doug Hayman, SeaStar was born.
Playing with Doug is always a treat. We always seem to play as if no time has passed. The music keeps flowin'!
We had a great time at the gig and can't wait to return on the 19th of September. On the last number, Home, we had Doug and Michael Raley, co-owner of the Slippery Pig and Starhead extraordinaire, join us, on concertina, to make the night go out with a bang! Wow. Such a moment.
Thanks to the Seattle folks who took the ferry over to see us! Thanks to the folks from the Chicago-land area who stayed and cheered us on! How amazing is that!! Great to have the old neighbourhoods represented! Wadda night!
What's on the Horizon?
Tomorrow, we return to Index Arts Fest! Oh, I can't wait. I was unable to perform last year as I was in Poland. So it will be so wonderful to see friends and musicfolk we hold so dear.
We have some GREAT news that is coming! We can't let it out of the bag yet, but we will soon!
It involves my new song, Little Western!
Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest
Last month I forgot to mention that my tune
received and Honourable Mention from the Woody Guthrie Festival that takes place in Okemah, Oklahoma every year. I was so honoured to have been mentioned in the program. I hope that we may have an opportunity to play there next year.
Fun supporting other folks!
We had a great time supporting other musicians this month. We saw loads of shows and enjoyed hearing such great music.
I had the opportunity to see Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell at the Woodland Park Zoo. Emmylou is one of my absolute favs. She rocked the house and bought a tear to my eye. Noah Gunderson opened the night with his gentle voice. The whole evening was magic!
Hope you are enjoying the magic of summer!
So much love and thanks!
Playing at Urban Coffee. Photo by Eric Morget
Making music on the Ferry over to Kingston
Playing at the Slippery Pig in Poulsbo!
Big Hair Shiny Guns love Emmylou Harris!
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Summertime & the livin' is easy...
This month started off with family. My sister in law came for a visit and we had a grand time showing her the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We went over to Port Gamble and enjoyed a Ren Faire. Then we went to Port Townsend to soak in the sun at the beach and watch the sun dip low. Oh! There is a charm here like no other. It enchants the soul and leaves one begging for more... at least it did for my sis. She hopes to join us in Washington as a resident in a couple of years.
I had the lovely opportunity to perform with Saint John and a lovely gathering of his friends at his Canadian Singer Songwriter Night held at Bernard's in Seattle. We sang covers from great Canadian artists and I humbly shared a tune of my own, being part time Canadian and all. I truly loved the night. Fine folks, excellent performances and one lovely barmaid. If ye haven't been to Bernard's, go.
I had the fun opportunity to play guitar at a Doctor Who Convention known as Anglicon. One of my students wrangled me to help her with a Doctor Who singalong and Filk session. Being a first time Filk-er, I jumped at the chance. I did my homework by binge watching the New Doctor Who and went to the Con as River Song. Apparently my costume was a hit as I was photographed often by many Doctors and fans. Being a voice teacher, and since the gig I was about to play involved singing, I created a few tongue twisters for folks to warm up with. They were a big hit!
A single, solid, silver sonic screwdriver
A big blue box by the six chip shops
A twister of twists once twisted a tryst in a TARDIS
Father's Day Ceilidh in Victoria
Syren had a gig at the annual Father's Day Ceilidh in the Park. It was also the first day of summer so double the excitement. We had a great crowd and it was nice to mingle with some of our old friends like Jeremy Walsh. We spent the entire afternoon in the sunshine, then to the pub for a few well deserved pints, and back to Melody's flat to make music into the wee hours with our friend, Joe Higgins. It was quite the special day.
With special times sometimes brings hard ones too, as we heard of the passing of Michael's father, Louis Falcone. This was an unexpected event and our hearts ache for him and his family. Death is something that has been no stranger to our band as we have lost many relatives and friends over the last few years. We continue to hold each day with great gratitude and live life to the fullest, telling those we love, how much we care. Thank you for being in our lives and sharing our journey.
Breaking Ground in Stanwood
Seattle has been a hot dry desert. Seriously. It hasn't rained since May and the daily temperatures are averaging between 85 and 95 degrees. The Hoh rainforest had its first forest fire in 30 years.
On the 27th of June, we made our way to Stanwood for the ground breaking celebration for the new YMCA. It was a hot, hot day; but we had a BLAST! It was a great family event and played the stage in front of the construction site. Big Hair Shiny Guns even joined in for a few tunes, as Michael was away with his family.
We are very honoured that we were a part of this community event and hope to continue to show our support for our local folks by showing up, doing a good deed, and always sharing a smile.
That's about it for June. What a wild cosmic ride.
Thanks for sharing the love,
Canadian Singer Songwriter night at Bernard's
Having fun with the Eleventh Doctor at Anglicon
Father's Day Ceilidh in the Park, in Victoria, BC, Canada
Before the show! Ground breaking for the YMCA in Stanwood.
Keeping in Shiny, construction style, with Big Hair Shiny Guns!
Sunday, 31 May 2015
What a Wonderful Month!
Music has brought so many incredible folks into my life. Had I not been performing I never would have met Melody Benbow-- my sister in song, my hubby -- who ran an open mic in Tulsa, OK, and countless others who make my life a joy!
On the 1st of May, I shared a bill with Ric Taylor from LA at Egan's Jam House in Ballard. Ric is an incredible songwriter and all around witty guy. It was true honour to share the stage with him! He cracks me up with his fabulous personality. And he makes a divine cookie! It was a great night of song and story.
On May 9, we had a double header that day! First, we had the honour of playing at the Vigor Seattle Maritime Festival Family Fun Day at Lake Union Park .We are joining such great bands such as The Whateverly Brothers and The Drunken Maidens. It was great to be associated with the Maritime community of Seattle. It was a great time. Then we played at the Ould Triangle in Greenwood for a rip roaring good night of music! Our alumni, Kelly Blanchard, ran sound for us and joined us on a few tunes. We were honoured to have him and play for the folks! We even had a local artist draw our name! Gotta love art inspired by art!
On Mothers day, May 10th, we played on Camano Island at the Collective! This venue is quickly becoming one of our most favourites to play. The folks of Camano are warm and welcoming and we just love singing for them.
My Country band, Big Hair Shiny Guns, had the honour of playing at Audra's Daddy's 80th birthday party! We learned many of Bob's favourite tunes and was so happy to watch him dance with Peg, Audra's mom. Music truly is a catalyst for celebration. We had whoops and hollerin'! We even had a crash and burn on the dance floor. I'd say it was a huge success!
Over Memorial Day weekend, my Canadian Duo, Syren, was thrilled to return to Northwest Folklife to a grand audience at the Trad Stage. SeaStar's own, Michael Falcone, sat in with us as our regular rogue laddie, Terry James, had a gig in Victoria BC that day. We were happy to have Michael as we had the crowd singing and clapping! We even sold all of our CDs! But we have a new one coming out. To hear a preview click here. After we did a little busking and were joined by a young lad named Jackson. He stole our hearts! Gotta love playing at festivals!
We finished off this month with a return to Camano Island for their Beer & Brats Fest at Freedom Park. We shared the stage with our friend Clint McCune and his band. After we also played a set at The Collective and jammed with Clint and company. For me it was the true start of summer! Dancing, laughing, singing, and playing! Keeps the heart in the sun.
June is around the corner. I wonder what it will bring!
Thanks for following us! We love you!
With the incredible Ric Taylor
Playing Ould Triangle - Photo by Kelly Blanchard
"Tubes of Fire!" at Camano Island's Collective On Tap
Playing the Trad Stage at Northwest FolkLife in Seattle
Wee Jackson keeps the rhythm going at Folklife
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
'Tis Been a Whirl!
Wow. I can't believe that so much time has passed since my last update. Please forgive the time lapse! March and most of April is a bit of a blur.
Jolly Old England
As you know, I left on March 9 for London. I had the extreme privilege to play at such great venues like The Dublin Castle, The Elephant Head, The Library, and Tommy Flynn's in the Angel area. I was over the moon to share my songs with so many welcoming ears. London is a lovely town. Highlights, besides performing, was seeing the Globe Theatre. Since my degree is in theatre, this was a bit of a homecoming. I loved it!
I also had the opportunity to head to Stonehenge, Avebury Henge, and the town of Salisbury. I felt as if I had returned to a grade 6 classroom with Mrs. Cosgrove teaching us about this mysterious stone circle. I have wanted to visit Stonehenge since then and, once I arrived, I assumed the wonder of a child. I sang a wee tune at Stonehenge (video to come) and then made it over to Avebury Henge to sing my tune Moon Jubilee. We made a music video and everything!
Be sure to check it out ---->
While in London, my friend Katrina and I decided a weekend in Paris may be in order. We took the EuroStar train through the "chunnel". Wow. What an amazing city. I absolutely feel in love with Paris. There is something about the history/mystery that whispers to the ear as one walks next to the Seine, watching the lights dance on the water. Perhaps it's the accordion players and the wine, and the croissants, and the cheese... and heavens! Do not forget all the incredible art and sculpture that ignites the urge to run out and buy a canvas and beret. And then there is the green fairy, Absinthe. Oh I could go on and on. I loved every mile I walked, every calorie I ate, every song I sang while walking along cobble stone streets lined with beautiful markets and attractive people. I could easily stay in Paris for awhile. It is a true artist place.
I did have the opportunity to play at the Pop In pub in the 11th arrondissement. It was a little place that felt as if it was ripped out of the 1960s. Folks sat on the floor and sipped wine while we sang songs from the heart. I loved every moment.
So much happened. So many little stories that I haven't even processed yet. All I can say is that a few songs will be created from these adventures. What a gift to go and experience the culture and music. My thanks to Katrina Cohn for taking care of me in London and for being such an amazing travel companion.
March & April Show Recap (stateside)
We played at Alexa's Cafe the first Saturday of March and April with our great friends, The Ginger Ups. What a fun time sharing songs!
We also had the opportunity to join my dear friends Goh Kurosawa and Clint McCune at the Stone Way Cafe the night before I left for London. I am constantly amazed by the talent that surrounds me. I am so utterly grateful to know such phenomenal players and people.
Ron, Falcone and I played at Conor Byrne's Open Mic on Easter Sunday as part of the RPM Showcase. It was really wonderful to see the boys performing their original tunes on stage! We may have to add a few of these to the set list for SeaStar!
May is booked FULL! We have some incredible shows coming for you!
May 1 (Friday) I am joining Ric Taylor from LA at Egan's Jam House in Ballard. Ric is an incredible songwriter and all around witty guy. It is a true honour to share the stage with him!
Show starts at 9pm.
May 9 (Saturday) We are playing Vigor Seattle Maritime Festival Family Fun Day at Lake Union Park at 4pm. We are joining such great bands such as The Whateverly Brothers and The Drunken Maidens.
May 9th (again) 8pm we are at the Ould Triangle in Greenwood for a rip roaring good night of music! Hope you can join us!
May 10th (Sunday) we are on Camano Island for Mother's day at the Collective! Starts at 5pm.
May 23rd (Saturday) my Canadian Duo, Syren, will be rockin Northwest Folklife at 1:30pm! We are thrilled to return to this fun festival.
May 30th (Saturday) We return to Camano Island for their Beer & Brats Fest at Freedom Park. 12pm -5pm We will also play a set at The Collective sometime between 5pm and 7pm. So come out for the day and soak up the sun with us!
I think that covers everything!
Wow. What a lovely life. Thanks for all the love and support! I am so grateful for you!
After the show at the Stone Way Cafe
playing at the Dublin Castle in London
Playing at the Elephant's Head in London
Playing at the Pop In Pub in Paris
Me and Katrina at the Eiffel Tower
Look Mrs. Cosgrove! I'm at Stonehenge!!
Monday, February 23, 2015
Window to the World!
Last evening we played our very first online concert through ConcertWindow.com
Holy smokes! What a grand time! We played a 90 min set of music to 7 different countries, Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland, England, Scotland, Canada, and the US! INCREDIBLE! We took requests and were able to shout out to the folks by reading the chat dialogue that was coming in. We literally invaded people's homes! Slippery Pig Brewery in Poulsbo projected the concert in the pub so that the patrons could enjoy it! Several folks made way to their local libraries for free internet to watch the show too! Folks from our previous tours chimed in from distant lands to say hello and send some love. We are so very lucky.
Thanks to all that tuned in, and spent some time with SeaStar. We will be making a youtube video of the concert within the next week or so.
If you missed, do not fret. Just check back at our webpage and find the link.
This show was driven by Ron and his friend Tucker. Thank you lads for a smashin' job!! The lads created the scene, set all the cables and mics, and wrangled the computer technology perfectly. Tucker monitored all the video and audio feeds to give the best sound possible. Things looked and sounded great! A wealth of great feedback came in from the chat feature during the show and after. There were a few cases of internet drop out but we believe that Concert Window held up the video pretty well as those outages were not universal but individual. But we will continue to look into better ways to project the show nonetheless.
What a great afternoon! Thank you soo much for tuning in and watching! We are humbled by the great response!
Ron and Falcone are feverishly working on completing this year's RPM Challenge. They are doing great!
The RPM Challenge is a good kick in the backside to write 10 songs (or 35 mins of music) in the shortest month of the year, February. I have been brave enough to complete this challenge every year since 2007 (with the exception of 2011 when my father passed). There are no prizes. No one really wins anything. The payoff is that the artist has some great new material to play with. I have found this year very difficult to balance creativity with being a student of Gaelic, my second band Big Hair Shiny Guns, running my studio at 25 students, plus working the business and creative end of SeaStar. There still are a few days but my muse has been very shy.
I am very proud of Ron and Falcone for sticking to their creative guns this month! I am very excited to hear their new music!
Gung Haggis Fat Choy
WOW! Captain and I attended this unique and very successful event. It was an evening celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year and the 256th birthday of Robert Burns, the bard of Scotland. Held at the China Harbor Restaurant in Seattle, complete with kung fu and the slaying of the haggis, the event benefited local youth programs in the Scottish and Chinese cultures. This year event gave a great portion of its revenue to Northwest Junior Pipe Band who has played with us in the past. These talented kids are on their way to Glasgow in August to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships held on the Glasgow Green. We wish them all the very best on their journey!
From our concert at SoulFood in 2013
Hattie's Hat & the Ould Triangle
Thanks to all the kind folks who made it out on a school night to our show at Hattie's Hat on 3 February! We had a great time playing for friends and fans. We love those smaller kinds of shows. Interacting with our fans is completely the best!
After the show we headed over to the Ould Triangle in Greenwood to play at Kelly Blanchard's Open Mic. We shared a few tunes with our dear friend and sang a couple of new ones too. It was great to connect with Kelly and see that our friendship is still as true as the music that we made in SeaStar. Thanks so much, Kelly!
As a voting member of the Grammy Association, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the viewing party at the EMP in Seattle. It was a "rock formal" event with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. We viewed the Grammys on the massive screen of the Sky Church. It was a lovely evening with Audra, my fellow band mate in Big Hair Shiny Guns, as my beautiful date. We mingled with loads of local Grammy artists and made some new friends. We hope to attend the actual Grammy performance in 2016.
Upcoming Gigs and London
So much coming up! We play this coming Friday, 27 Feb at The Collective on Camano Island Saturday, 28 Feb at the Black Dog in Snoqualmie Friday, 7 March at Alexa Cafe in Bothell Sunday, 8 March at The Stone Way Cafe in Seattle with my dear friends Goh Kurosawa, from LA, and Clint McCune
And Monday, 9 March, I leave for London and Paris. I have a few wee shows planned. It will be quite the adventure! I will even take a wee journey up to Stonehenge! And I must sip Absinthe by the Seine (as my song Gypsy says I must do). I will be sending updates to my facebook page.
So incredibly thankful for this life. Thank you for coming along for the ride!
Photo by Dan Niven -- SeaStar live at the Shoreline Library!
Playing at the open mic at the Ould Triangle with Kelly
The Grammy Viewing Party at the EMP in Seattle
Seattle band, Jaded Mary, at the Grammy Viewing Party
Sunday January 31, 2015 (really Feb 2... as I was traveling)
Happy New Year!
Welcome to what I feel with be a diamond year!
Good things are on the horizon!
We started the year as we usually do, a beach fire at Golden Gardens Park on the 1st of January. We sang songs, held a toast to things past and things future.
Our first show of the year was on the 16th at Urban Coffee Lounge. We sang everything from Bluegrass to Jazz that night! Folks gave us some great feedback and it was nice to try some new things too! We had dancing children, kazoos, and lots of love from all who came. It was a great show!
Photo by Dan Niven - Thanks Dan!
Jimi Hendrix & Sewerhenge
On Robert Burns day, 25th January, we headed over to the grave site and memorial for Jimi Hendrix. We hadn't made a pilgrimage there before and seemed like the thing to do. About a week earlier, Captain and I had attended a concert by Patti Smith at the Moore Theatre. She reminded us that greatness was born here and that energy from these talented folks still lingers. She was referring to Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. And she was right. We are moved by those great artists as well as the countless others that we have met along the way who may not have achieved such notoriety yet but definitely have made us fans and hold great respect for their art.
On that sunny day, we said our hellos to Jimi, had a conversation with two lads who liked to swap picks at the memorial, and even sang Jimi a song. It was nice to connect to a bit of music history and pay reverence to an artist who wasn't really appreciated in Seattle until he left and came back famous. I believe that many cities are guilty of this, but it is something I somehow cannot forget. We are all stars; but, until you are lit by the press, it seems your light may only seen by the few observant folks and may blend in to the city's landscape. I suppose, for me, that is enough but it does bug me a bit that such greatness can go unnoticed.
Later that afternoon, we headed to the water reclamation plant in Renton and found Sewerhenge! It was a crazy, mad, magical place! Who would have thought we would find such a neat park. We took some new band photos that you will see as the year progresses. What a great day! Thanks to Rebecca for being our shutterbug!
Burns Supper in Victoria
Captain and I headed up to Victoria, BC on the clipper to participate in our yearly Burns Supper at the home of my Syren band mate, Melody Benbow. Many a song was sung. Many a dram was consumed. The night was a glow with the fabulous friends, the lovely selections of whisky, the conversations, and the delicious food (including Tablet! YUM!). The slaying of the Haggis was performed with perfect Glaswegian accents by our local "weegies" Shirley and Joe.
I find that the spirit of music and community is strongest in the small, intimate evenings ... the ones with low light, no amplification, and dear souls to fill the room with voices and laughter. I can find no greater gift than to hear a tune from a solo voice while the fire crackles and the kitty on the chair purrs. What a wonderful way to end the first month of 2015. Thanks to Melody and Terry for putting on a fabulous event!
Syren, Melody and I, will be performing on Father's Day, June 21, in Victoria for the annual Father's Day Cèilidh in Beacon Hill Park. Hope you can join us!
That's all for now! Thanks for the support! Wishing you the best year yet!
Happy New Year, Starheads!!
Sitting next to the Jimi Hendrix Memorial
Jimi and Me
Sewerhenge in Renton
Burns Supper in Victoria
Burns Monument in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC Canada