Sunday, January 31, 2010

Local, Joyful Valentines

For a couple years, I helped the Old Time Fiddlers deliver FiddleGrams on Valentine's Day.
What a kick!! -- It is a grand group of musicians, exquisitely organized by the talented and ever-enthusiastic Tricia Ferguson, who fiddles and sings with all her heart.

What makes it My Favorite Gig ?

  • An entire office filled with gals wiping tears from their eyes as we sing and play "Could I Have This Dance."

  • Patrons at a diner grinning from ear-to-ear as we serenade the sweet little gal in charge with "Let Me Call You Sweetheart."
  • The elderly lady who positively beamed as we sang the personalized lyrics her stepson provided.

Every delivery was unique - offered joyfully and received graciously. This year, FiddleGrams will be delivered in the Redding area on February 12, 13 and 14th. FiddleGrams are a major fundraiser for the non-profit group, California State Old Time Fiddler's Association, District 6, and they're available year round. Fiddlers will play and sing and present your sweetheart with a card and a rose - all for only $40.

You can order a Fiddlegram online at the CSOTFA website: click here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cultural Cruise - Original Tunes

North State Songwriters will perform original music as part of the 2010 city-wide Cultural Cruise. We'll be in the lobby of Redding City Hall, starting at 5 PM. View artwork from several local artists and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

On the bill for the North State Songwriters:

5:00 Still Married

5:35 Paul Howell

6:10 Pine Dogz

6:45 David Thompson

7:20 Nick Ciampi

Craig and I are looking forward to playing a couple new songs - always adds a little anxiety and drama to the event. "Dry Lightning" - inspired by the fires of 2008 and "The Hour of the Outlaw" - a story song that has its roots in the Ruggles Brothers legend.

A couple shots from last year's event - Steve and Diana Wallis - Pine Dogz. Diana is a wonderful songwriter and the two of them are a treat to watch:

I think a guy who decorates his upright bass with fuzzy dice and creepy masks should probably not be allowed in City Hall:

More on the Cultural Cruise? Click here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Money Talks - Folk Singer Walks

Singer songwriter Dan Sheridan of Aspen, Colorado, got himself fired for singing about what "Big Money" has done to his town.

Read the story - complete with a Capra-esque ending -- here:

Folk Song Strikes a Touchy Chord.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Celebrating Passionate People

I was lucky enough to have grown up with Leslie Rinchen Wongmo --we went all through grammar and high school together, back when she was Leslie Freilich and I was Erin Coombs. We spent many junior high hours writing and recording radio plays instead of sitting through English class. Thanks to the Internet, we recently reconnected.

Leslie followed her heart: traveling, creating Buddhist textile art and living with passionate purpose. She shares her inspiring story on the Sparkle the Heart blog.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Songwriter Workshop: Santa Cruz

Steve Gillette wrote "Darcy Farrow" and hundreds of other great songs -- his works have been recorded by Garth Brooks, John Denver, Nanci Griffith, Waylon Jennings, Anne Murray, Kenny Rogers and other A-list singers.

Gillette and his wife, singer songwriter Cindy Mangsen were at Bernie's last year and Craig and I thoroughly enjoyed their songs and storytelling. The two of them are hosting a songwriting workshop in Santa Cruz in March. Read the details at their website.

Here's Darcy Farrow. Enjoy.

Youtube link: Here

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Songwriting Contest

The Sandra James Music Foundation announces the 3rd Annual Songwriting Contest. The contest runs until March 31st.

What are they looking for? Sandra James was a singer-songwriter who was passionate about the environment and making the world a better place and she believed in the inspirational power of music. The judges are seeking songs that promote her ideals.

Two years ago, my song "I Never Knew I Could Fly" received an honorable mention and generous check from the foundation. It was quite a thrill for me.

To find out more about the contest, Sandra James, her music and legacy, go to the foundation website: Sandra James