Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shasta County Stocking Stuffer

Just in time for the holidays - our new CD - Storms and Other Blessed Burdens -- is available in Redding at Wrap-N-Pack (2205 Hilltop Drive) and on

The 10-song collection was inspired by the Shasta County landscape, and it pays tribute to the power of love that sustains and endures on even the darkest of days. That's why we look so serious on the back cover. We often stand in the backyard and stare intently at our UPC barcode:

The album includes an original Christmas tune: Christmas Carol Wishes and a duet of Kris Kristofferson's Casey's Last Ride. If you're looking for a unique Shasta County stocking-stuffer for the country music fans on your list, the CD is only $5 if you buy it at Wrap-N-Pack. And if you'd like it autographed, just shoot me an email and we'll have it ready for you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chuck McCabe Benefit Concert

Singer-songwriter Chuck McCabe endeared himself to local audiences with his clever song "I'd Rather Be in Redding." He endeared himself to me with his enthusiastic support of the local songwriting community.

Chuck had a brilliant sense of humor and a generous spirit and he left a great big hole in the folk music world - and in our hearts -when he passed away in July.

His friends and fellow musicians will pay tribute to Chuck and celebrate his life and his music at a benefit concert at Old City Hall on Friday December 3rd. Steve Kritzer, Jay Howlett, and Rolfe Wyer, Dennis McGregor, Willie Carmichael, Michael Gaither and Redding’s Jim Dyar will take the stage to raise funds.

Old City Hall is where I first met Chuck, and the encouragement and advice he gave that day were precious gifts. It is a perfect place and a perfect way to celebrate the man and his music.

From the press release:

"All musicians, production staff and friends are volunteering and the Shasta County Arts Council is contributing its performance hall.

Friday, December 3rd
Old City Hall, 1313 Market St, Redding

Doors open at 6:30, Concert at 7:00Tickets are $15 and are available at the door or in advance at Bernie's Guitar, (530) 223-2040, 3086 Bechelli Lane or at People of Progress, 1242 Center Street in downtown Redding (530) 243-3811

For more information or if not able to attend due to ticket price, please call Melinda at People of Progress (530) 243-3811"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

For Veterans Day

Our new CD, Storms and Other Blessed Burdens, will be finished and ready for sale any day now. The release coincides with our uber-busy time of year (we run Wrap-N-Pack in Redding, where "Shipping's a Snap") so any CD release celebration will have to wait until after the first of the year.

I'm looking forward to sending our newest creation out into the world, but in the meantime, I wanted to share this song on Veteran's Day.

I was inspired by a story I read in the newspaper several years ago. A local military wife was expecting her soldier husband to come home from Iraq and his return date was delayed time and time again. I tried to imagine coping with those circumstances, getting through the days of waiting and wishing.

Show Up in My Dreams is always dedicated to our Armed Forces personnel stationed around the world - and to the families who love and miss them. It goes out this Veterans Day with heartfelt thanks and prayers.

Show Up in My Dreams
words and music © Erin Friedman

Kids have been tucked in and kissed
Paid the bills made tomorrow’s list
We’re gettin' by
But I sure miss my man
Down the hall a voice calls to me:
“Love you , Mom, good night, sweet dreams”
I close my eyes and do the best I can

Since you can’t be here at home
And I can’t bear to sleep alone
Oh, love, please
Show Up in my Dreams

Last week I dreamed we were
Walking the beaches of Big Sur
Felt the ocean breeze, the warmth of your skin
Pressed my face against your chest
A brief moment of happiness
It feels so good to touch you now and then

May God keep you in his heart
May your dreams be sweet wherever you are
Wherever you are, there’s something I’d like you to do
Close your eyes and come to me
Kiss me touch me tenderly
Show Up in my Dreams – I’ll wait for you

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rita Returns

Singer-songwriter Rita Hosking grew up in Eastern Shasta County and she'll return to her roots on November 19th when she and her band, Cousin Jack, perform at Bernie's. The last time they played here in Redding, Craig and I were absolutely captivated by the musicianship, the songs and the stories, and we're looking forward to hearing more.

Bernie's offers an intimate setting for fans of Hosking's emotionally-rich voice, a voice the California Bluegrass Association has called a "soulful howl from the mountains." Hosking has received accolades for her songwriting, winning the Dave Carter Memorial Songwriter Contest in 2008, and her 2009 release "Come Sunrise" was nominated for Best Country Album by the Independent Music Awards.

Hosking spent time last summer touring the UK, and her playlist abroad included a song she wrote in a traditional Celtic scale. She wrote"When Miners Sang," she says, "as an offering to folks in the UK." She recorded the song on a live EP that pays tribute to miners of days gone by, including her own great-grandfather, who was a miner from Cornwall. The entire EP was recorded in a working mine in Alleghany, Calif., and it is available at CDBABY.

On this trip, she's looking forward to performing for students at the Montgomery Creek school she attended as a child. Hosking says that whenever she drives on I5, she's drawn to the mountains of Eastern Shasta County where she spent her youth.

"The strongest pull is to the east, to go home to Hatchet Mountain...It's all I can do to keep my eyes on the road because I'm gazing east trying to make out the mountains, the weather, everything--my senses are turned up."

Tickets for her Redding performance - sponsored by the Oaksong Society - are available at Bernie's for $18: 3086 Bechelli Lane Redding, CA 96002 - (530) 223-2040

Details on the Oaksong site: Oaksong Society.

More on Rita Hosking at her website: Rita Hosking.Com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Storms on the Horizon

What I have NOT been doing: Blogging, cleaning my house, organizing my nightmare of a closet, dealing with garage vermin.....

What I have been doing is listening. Intently. I'm wrapping up the mixing and mastering of ten songs for our CD. I can see the finish line from here, and I'm ready to sprint for it. But my ears don't sprint and neither do I, so it's a slow, tedious process. It's even more complicated, because I'm learning to engineer on my new MacBook Pro on the fly, bit by aggravating teeth-gnashing bit.

I've design the front and back covers, completely exhausting my limited understanding of graphic design. Fortunately, Cottonwood skies provide ample material for a CD entitled Storms and Other Blessed Burdens.

I'd planned to use this cover:

But when I finished designing the back cover, it just didn't "go" with the front. So I scrapped the front and started over.

The new and improved front cover is a little less intense, but more appropriate for this rather quiet collection of songs. Uses less ink, too, which makes a certain bass player happy.

Now returning to my life that is all about Eq, reverb, vocal clarity and cursing......