Friday, October 30, 2009

San Jose Hideaway

When our kids were young, we lived in San Jose. We used to take our munchkins to a city park that butted up against an old estate. We could peer through an ancient hedge and see a huge, decrepit old mansion - abandoned, spooky, mysterious.

In the 90s, the property was purchased -- The Historic Hayes Mansion -- it was renovated and transformed into a hotel, restaurant and convention center.

It sits smack in the middle of a thriving suburban San Jose neighborhood, and it's magnificent. Craig and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary with a romantic dinner there in 1995. Two years ago, my sister was married there in an intimate family ceremony. When my sisters and I get together, Cosmos at The Hayes, in front of the fireplace, are a mandatory part of the weekend.

If you find yourself in the South Bay, put The Hayes Mansion on your list of Off-The-Beaten-Path places to visit. Read more here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pine Dogz at The Post Office Tonight

Husband and wife duo Steve and Diana Wallis -- PINE DOGZ -- will be at The Post Office in the Downtown Mall tonight. They play a fun variety of folksy-rockin'-blues, with some nice originals tossed into the mix. Music and fun start at 6:30.

From their website: "Pine Dogz do more than howl at the moon. Transplanted to the North State from the S.F. Bay Area, Pine Dogz perform cover tunes and original music that’s a little bit folk, a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll and a lot of heart and soul. "

Listen to the Pine Dogz here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Creative Inspiration

Love this quote from Charles Jones:

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.”

Read the entire article by Dustin Reichmann at:

My Super-Charged Life - 7 awesome ways to find your creative inspiration,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Smart Aleck Comment of the Week

Max came into the living room when Craig and I were enjoying a rare moment of of silence.

Max: "Why aren't you guys talking? Why aren't you playing music? Are you getting a divorce?! Which one of you is packing up and moving to L.A. ? - cuz' that's who I'm siding with."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Coffee

How do you get Happy Coffee?

Make this scrumptious Pumpkin Pecan Biscotti, dip it in your coffee and share it with someone you love.

Pumpkin Pecan Biscotti from epicurious

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spinning Straw into Gold

That is part of a songwriter's job description.

This song grew out of a casual conversation with a songwriting buddy who bet I couldn't guess his middle name. It turned into a song I enjoy singing and one of our most popular downloads, though I'm not quite sure why. Maybe because it's short?

Craig gives me a skeptical, sideways glance every time I sing the line: "Riches spun from a sheaf of honest goods."

"Sheaf? Nobody says "sheaf."

"I do. It's my song and I'll say "sheaf" if I want to."

So there.

words and music © Erin Coombs Friedman

I was born a miller’s daughter
Pressed into the pages of a fairy tale
No minstrel- I’m not free to wander
Beyond the reaches of this spinnin’ carousel


With these simple gifts of heart and soul
I will toil on my own
Spinning my straw into gold
Spinning, spinning
Spinning my straw into gold

I will take my pay in pleasure
Strike no desperate bargain in the woods
A truth – well-told is mine to treasure
Riches spun from a sheaf of honest goods

With these simple gifts of heart and soul
I will toil on my own
Spinning my straw into gold
Spinning, spinning
Spinning my straw into gold

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nanci Griffith: On songwriting

Still writing, touring and connecting with audiences -- Nanci Griffith, 56, talks about her calling in this interview on The Hour Online:

Nanci Griffith

Craig and I love to sing this Griffith tune, Gulf Coast Highway:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Saturday in the Mall

The Mount Shasta Mall will be crawling with artists this Saturday --- the Shasta County Arts Council presents ARTsMART. Enjoy demonstrations, entertainment and get some early Christmas shopping done AND support our local arts community.

Craig and I are looking forward to playing our original tunes on the Macy's stage from 4:30 - 6. But if you're one of those people for whom the phrase "original country folk music" evokes a flight-or-fight response, fear not. The other options for your listening pleasure include:

The Doug Godwin Band
The Phil Seymour Band
Celtic Harp
The Shasta Blues Society bands and more -- you can read the details and the schedule at the ARTS Council website.

We're looking forward to including a few new tunes on our playlist and we'll be doing this song - one of our favorites to perform live. And yes, we often stand in our backyard with our guitars - usually when our kids lock us out of the house.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How success spoiled Hallelujah

Too many versions of the song Hallelujah have songwriter Leonard Cohen pleading for mercy. Those royalty checks, though, are probably coming in handy....

Read the story on

Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rosanne Cash on Songwriting:

Me and Rosanne Cash:

"Right after wife and mother, I am a songwriter," says she. Read more of this enlightening interview with Rosanne Cash:

Sound Affects

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Making progress instead of excuses

We really are planning to release a new CD before Christmas, but recording has gone much slower than we hoped.

We're putting in a lot of hours at Wrap-N-Pack, which doesn't leave a great deal of time and energy for the fun things. Add to that: a house full of kids who have busy lives and require attention and care, and we have a dose of excuses for not making more progress on our next CD.

But I'm through with excuses, and now that we've got a CD title - Storms and Blessed Burdens -- I'm ready to plow full-speed ahead.

We're recording 10 songs - one Stephen Foster cover and nine originals. This will be one of them:

A Stupid Woman
words and music © Erin Friedman

I tried to overlook your faults
I tried to make this work
Some guys are worth the trouble they cause
And sometimes a jerk is just a jerk
I’ll resurrect an old cliche
“It’s not you, it’s me”
We’re incompatible as night and day
Cuz I’m not the kind of woman you need


What you need is A Stupid Woman
High heels and a low IQ
Nobody but A Stupid Woman
Would put up with the likes of you
A buxom doll with legs up to here
Nothin’ at all between the ears
Dumber than dirt and eager to please
A Stupid Woman is what you need

Your lame jokes will be just her speed
Drone on - she won't care
Your dream girl comes complete
With open arms and a vacant stare
It’s easy to fool a bulb that dim
She’ll fall for all your lines
“Business meetings last til 2 AM”
“Sixty seconds is a good long time.”

I’ll step aside, you be my gift
To the world’s brainless twits
The Bimbo Brigade is welcome to you
Dumb bunnies need love, too