Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nashville Comes to Redding

Nashville singer-songwriter Kacey Jones has been called "irrepressible," "zany," "brilliant," and more for her clever songwriting skills.  She's bringing her tunes and her sassy style to The Post Office in Downtown Redding TONIGHT at 7.

Listen to "Donald Trump's Hair" and her splendid version of Mickey Newbury's "San Francisco Mabel Joy" and come on out to the Post Office tonight for music and laughter.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shasta County Tunes Head to Worldfest

We're packing up our gear and heading to Grass Valley to perform at California Worldfest.

From their website:

                                                           A WORLD OF MUSIC

Under the cool, tall pines of the Sierra Foothills
Featuring 8 stages of music from around the world,
camping with family and friends, workshops, international food,
fine crafts, and the renowned children's program.

We call it "a tremendous opportunity." There's a stellar line-up of musicians and activities for the weekend and it looks like the temperatures at the fairgrounds in Grass Valley are a fair bit cooler than here in Shasta County.

We are thrilled to be taking the stage at 10 AM and noon on Friday, July 11th, along with the two other KZFR Songwriting finalists: Hannah Jane Kyle (winner!) and Dan Casamajor.  

We'll be sharing our love of our Shasta County home with the audience -- singing songs about Redding trains, Mount Shasta and our magnificent Sundial Bridge.  And chickens, of course.

Here's the finale from the KZFR Celebration of the Song Event held at the  Sierra Nevada Big Room last month -- Will the Circle Be Unbroken -- featuring the talents of Joe Craven, Dan Casamajor, Hannah Jane Kyle and a couple of grinning rubes from Cottonwood.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Freedom and The Mustangs of Las Colinas

I always considered it the mark of a lazy songwriter:  The LONG introduction.

            "Ahem....This song is about a time when my roommate and her ex-husband had this fight and ....blah...blah...blah...."

Sorry, but if I can't tell what the song is about from listening to it, then you haven't done your job. Re-write, please.

Ummm...What's the emoticon for Eating Crow?

Because here I am, being THAT songwriter, explaining an obscure reference in my latest song, because unless you know this sculpture in Irving, Texas, the song may not make much sense.

The Mustangs of Las Colinas
photo from the Irving Archives -  used with permission 

I saw photos of "The Mustangs of Las Colinas" by wildlife sculptor Robert Glen online and thought it was magnificent piece of art. Magical. Inspiring.  There's such forward motion and energy behind it, such high spirit and yet...

I knew I had to fit it into a song.

photo from the Irving Archives, used with permission

At about the same time, I became aware of the serious problem of sex trafficking in the US. Seems it is NOT just a Third-World-Other-People's-Problem, but a real menace right here in California. And it involves children and teens exploited and enslaved by the adults in the their lives, innocent victims who deserve better.

Those ideas came together in this song.

The folks at The Mustangs of Las Colinas in Texas kindly provided photos of their prized sculpture - and the story behind it is well worth reading at their website: The Mustangs of Las Colinas.

For more information on sex trafficking and what is being done to help victims:

Courage Wordwide: a Rocklin, California-based organization devoted to building homes for rescued children.

Northern California Anti-Trafficking Coalition.

And after that very long-winded (sorry) introduction, here's the song (lyrics are below):


Words and music by Erin Friedman

Saw a picture in a magazine
Ponies running through a stream
Water splashing at their feet
Cast in bronze, set in stone

Nurse called my name, set my wrist
Another clumsy accident
Wait in the parking lot for him
We’ll head on down the road

And we run like The Mustangs of Las Colinas
Full of fury, fire and frozen in place
But unlike The Mustangs of Las Colinas
I’ll reach the far shore
I’m breakin’ away

Fifteen and livin’ in a homeless hell
Friend or foe? – It’s hard to tell
But he rescued me and taught me well
To do what a girl can do

Kept his promises with lock and key
Cigarette burns on the sheets
The girl who planned to chase her dreams
Can’t find the strength to move

So we run like The Mustangs of Las Colinas
Full of fury, fire and frozen in place
But unlike The Mustangs of Las Colinas
I’ll reach the far shore
I’m breakin’ away

Don’t bite the hand that brings your meals
Don’t talk too much, don’t think, don’t feel
But those ponies kickin’ up their heels
Keep runnin’ through my mind

Stalled stampede at the starting gate
Slow-motion scene that culminates
With a single shot from a .38
Race is on, and the water’s fine

And I run like The Mustangs of Las Colinas
Full of fury, fire and frozen no more
But unlike The Mustangs of Las Colinas
I’ll find my freedom
I'll climb that far shore

© 2014 Erin Friedman