I dug Resurrection lilies, heirloom hostas and forget-me-nots, and carried them home in my suitcase, dirt and all. As I planted them in our garden the morning after my return home, a tiny tag fell out from among the roots of one of the hostas. It was crusted over with mud, and appeared to have been buried for quite some time. It read "Heart Song." My heart was singing indeed as I dug holes for new homes for these plants, keeping in mind the legacy of love that is passed down in our family, and continues to grow alongside the hosta plants. I wonder: What are you growing in your families? What heart songs are you singing, and having sung over and around you? How can we help each other to grow, to sing, and to love?
We did it! Harmony Grove is a GO!
It's here! My new album, Harmony Grove, is in the hands of all the Kickstarter backers who pre-ordered the album. So excited to have it up and ready to share with YOU. The seeds that were planted for the Harmony Grove project a little over a year ago are ready for harvest! These are twelve singable songs for you and your friends to sing together, and it has been made possible by the investment of all who participated in my Kickstarter campaign through prayer, patience and financial investment. Thanks to all of you, my dream of making "Harmony Grove" came true. Can't wait for the what's-next, and to hear you singing along... So check out what's new in the store section! Check out some old favorites, too, and keep in touch! We're seeing so many of you on the road this summer... It's been amazing. We love you!!
"What Do You Want From Me?"
Bonjour de Paris!
We've been in Paris one full day now, and are so happy to be here! There's so much music in Paris-- it's as though it's just in the air! From the organ grinder outside Les Jardins de Luxembourg to a lonely trumpeter on the street at Ste Michel, we feel right at home!
We especially got a kick out of our waiter at a cafe along the Seine last night. He asked where we were from, and when we told him, "Nashville," he looked at us blankly and said "Je ne connais pas. Nashville?" We tried to explain about Music City, USA, but the best connection we could make was with the words "Johnny Cash!"
Anyway, that's it for now. We'll post up some pictures and videos soon! Monday we take the train to Marseille-- many more adventures to come on our very own Tour de France!
Hustle and Bustle!
Hope you'll enjoy the video below of rehearsal for "Day and Night" at the University of Lyon in France. Stephen, Eric, Pascal and I were burnin' up from the heat in a rehearsal room above the big stage, butchering French and English alike and eating plenty of chocolate croissants.
36 hours after returning from France, I hit the ground running and headed off to General Assembly in Indianapolis. Saturday, we're off to LA to sing at All People's... so, I'm pretty slow at this video posting and photo sharing business-- But I'll get there! Stay tuned, and stay in touch! Love y'all!
The adventure continues!
Bonjour! We're back from France, and having a bit of a time adjusting. Three weeks "across the pond" was wonderful! We enjoyed our time at Le Grand Kiff very, very much. Looking forward to posting many links to videos and adding photos to the gallery soon-- however, we're jumping right into the next adventure this morning! After 36 hours at home, we're off to Indianapolis for the General Assembly of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. Hope to see you there!
Make sure you come say hi, sing along, and pick up a copy of the hot-off-the-presses In Small Things!
The iTunes release of In Small Things has been delayed for another couple weeks, but is now available on Amazon.com.
Here's a link to the radio interview I did in France for RCF. An hour long round table in FRENCH! They featured my song "Complete" and asked me a bunch of questions. I just had to pray I was understanding them correctly. Yikes!
Anyhow, looking forward to seeing you and singing with you in Indianapolis!
Here come the reviews...
Good reviews for "In Small Things" are coming in droves!
Here's one to whet your whistles:
In Small Things is a collection of some of Andra's best work to date. She continues to perfect her craft as a musician and songwriter. Unlike the often sappy and repetitive music that passes for "Contemporary Christian Music" these days, Andra's songs come from the depths of a soul who takes her journey of faith seriously.
-- Rev. Jesse Kearns, First Christian Church, Chico, CA
June 28, 2009
This week, Stephen and Andra were scheduled to be in the Blue Ridge Mountains with some of the best campers in the whole world-- The CYF Conference at Craig Springs in New Castle, Virginia.
Unfortunately, Andra got a nasty double ear infection and has to stay home with antibiotics. We're sending this video out with love to Craig Springs!
Hi Craig Springs!
June 26, 2009
You found us!
Here we are at the new & improved andramoran.com! Hooray! After the tussle with the internet gurus, we're back up and running and all is well and exciting.
The official release date of "In Small Things" is upon us, and we've already sent out almost 200 pre-orders! It's been a very busy and rewarding couple of days.
Stephen and I just returned from Grand Rapids, Michigan where we got to spend some time with about 300 Youth At Synod at Aquinas College. The United Church of Christ Youth are working hard building habitat houses and breaking down walls. Such a bunch of fabulous youth. See you soon!
May 25, 2009
Hello from the Studio on our last day.
Here is our lunch order -- We sent Stephen on a food run. Bunch of grumps in the studio if you don't keep them well fed.
Our food list:
Jeremy turkey and cheese plain on 3 cheese bread -- He is specifically wanting plain turkey and cheddar cheese ONLY. :) Picky eater:)
Jason and I would like the med veggie sandwich with chips and coffeeeeeeeeeee
Jeremy is changing his order to a diamond sandwich. Sheeesh. Money grubber.
Ben would like an Italian combo with provolone instead of swiss and no onions and an apple. Holy cow, these picky eaters.
January 30, 2009
Hi Friends! There’s so much to catch you up on, my fingers just can’t type fast enough…
What a whirlwind it has been! Currently, I’m wrapping up the last few weeks of putting together my latest creation: A children’s musical called “The Be All You Can Be-attitude Circus Spectacular!”. It based on the fifth chapter of Matthew, and set on a circus train. I’ve got 40 wiggly little folks (okay, 8 of them are wiggly grown ups) to contend with, and drumming up support and volunteer effort has been alternately draining and energizing. You can read more about this weirdo musical-writing adventure I’ve been on by clicking here. If you’re in Nashville, come see the fun! February 22nd, 10:45 am at Vine Street Christian Church. I’m exploring publishing options in the coming months, so spread the word, and keep an ear out!
I’ve been in the studio this fall with a wonderful group of musicians, beginning to put together the pieces of my new record, which is due out in June 2009. I want so badly to tell you the name of the record, but a girl’s gotta keep the mystery going. Anyhow, once it is released, you can order a hold-in-your-hands copy here on the website, or download it straight from iTunes, Amazon or Rhapsody. I signed a digi-deal with Tone Box Records this year, which means there’s all sorts of crazy stuff out there that involve my songs. Andra Moran Ringtone, anyone? (I’m laughing at myself, but it’s certainly been fun. Good folks, Tone Box.)
This year has held many, many tour dates for me. I’ve been touring a lot this year with Stephen Daniel King.
He’s a multi-instrumentalist and a heckuva singer, and has been a welcome addition to my adventures in worship leading, concerts and teaching. He’s also great at driving when I’m tired, being patient when I’m grouchy, and carrying heavy things. He’s definitely made himself indispensable. You’ll meet him soon, I’m sure!
Over the summer, Stephen and I were all over the place-- From the West Coast to the South East, it’s been a great ride.! We had a blast at Craig Springs in Virginia with a wonderful group of inspired people. Truthfully, they were an inspiration to us!
After a week of music in Virginia, we headed off to Knoxville, TN for the National Youth Event for the United Church of Christ. There were 3,000 excited teenagers ready to change the world…and we definitely felt the love from some fans from Southern California, waving signs with our names on them from high in the stands! What a treat to have been invited.
I think we had just three days off before our next event: The World Convention of Churches. We really enjoyed leading the Youth Worship and Music as well as the music portion of the Children’s Program for the World Convention. This event happens every four years. Four years ago, it was in Australia. This year it was in Nashville. How crazy! It was a hoot leading little kids from all over the world in some crazy fun songs. Congolese, Chinese and Brazilian children next to blondies from Montana and Texas singing a rock and roll version of Jesus Loves Me? I’ve never heard anything so adorable in my life!
July 4th had a lot of fun in store for me and my crazy cover band, Guilty Pleasures. We headlined at the world famous Wild Horse Saloon downtown in Nashville after the fireworks, which we watched from the rooftop. Our band leader had booked Lyle Lovett’s horn section to slam down all those funky horn lines, and I was transported back in my memory to the days of singing along with the radio right into my blue hairbrush. Fireworks indeed!
This fall, one of our memorable weekends was when we played at Cherry Log Christian Church, home of one of my personal heroes, Dr. Fred Craddock. That same weekend, we headlined a voter registration rally in Blue Ridge, Georgia to raise awareness about faith issues and to support Barrack Obama. What an exciting year it’s been…and these are just a few of the great highlights!
This summer, Stephen and I are heading to France to play for a youth rally in Lyon and will also travel to the grand metropolis of Indianapolis for the Christian Church’s General Assembly. In fact, I’ll be in the house band and directing the Youth Choir on Friday night. Drop me an email if you’re interested in participating by clicking here or scribble down firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with me a little later.
I’ll leave you with a link to a Youtube video that I made with some cool folks in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago. There were 52 inches of snow on the ground, so we all huddled up at the fireplace and started singing. This song is from my very first record… so I’m giving a shout out to the fabulous Josh Elson! Enjoy!
Plan to keep in touch with me here, on myspace and on facebook. Things are getting ready to explode!
This Just In!
April 18, 2007
Friday Night, April 20th at 7pm, join Gabe Dixon, Ben Harper , Peter Bradley Adams and Andra Moran for a night of great music, tasty desserts and fairly traded coffee benefiting Week of Compassion's work for healing in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
Vine Street Christian Church is at 4101 Harding Rd (West End) next to MBA Highschool and just east of St Thomas hospital.
Cover is just $5 with a $20 family maximum, and 100% of the proceeds will go to Darfur. Your cover buys you fabulous entertainment, a bottomless cup of fairly traded coffee and dessert. Complimentary child care is provided. This show is all ages!
April 16, 2007
It's been a while since I've written in this forum, so I thank you kindly for your patience and make another slew of promises to be better about keeping in touch. I have become quite the myspace blog junky, though, so look for me here.
Life on the road has been hectic and beautiful, frustrating and exhilarating, scary and liberating, wild, wacky and the best adventure I could ask for. The fan response to Listening has been great and I've received such a warm welcome in every city that I've visited. I have been lucky and blessed, and am feeling thankful for all the experiences I've had this year that have helped me to grow.
I got to spend Christmas in Nashville with family for the first time ever, and that was quite a treat! Getting to entertain my brand new baby nephew (or newphew, as I like to call him) was the best present of all. Immediately after Christmas, 2007 kicked off with a big ole bang of a tour and I was chasing planes from one side of the country to the other. I was fortunate to have Matt Thompson and Gabe Dixon with me for a couple long stretches this year. These guys are both incredible musicians and amazing friends. I have never laughed so hard as I did on this tour. We made it our mission to collect temporary tattoos from truck stops on the long drive from north to south, so there are embarrassing photos floating around out there. Be on the look out.
This year, I also completed a children's musical entitled Extra! Extra! Good News for the Daily Planet. It debuted in Nashville at Vine Street Christian Church with a talented cast of 24 caped superheroes. I couldn't have been more proud. I'm already placing bets on which one of those little cuties is gonna have my job in 15 years.
Life in Nashville continues to be fulfilling and rewarding, and I'm happy to get to spend at least a few weeks of this chilly spring in my house before the road calls me back again for the summer. The phone's ringing, the emails pop up in piles and I'm trying to keep track of it all. Please do keep in touch! Your letters and emails mean so much to me, and are much more fun to read than the bills and the mail.
We've begun booking for the fall, so be sure to drop a line and get on the calendar. Can't wait to see you!
August 9, 2005
Big News: It's a CD RELEASE PARTY and you're invited. Let's celebrate the official Nashville release of Listening with an end-of-summer bang on the ear: August 15th at The Basement, (1604 8th Ave S Nashville, TN 37203). There are 2 SHOWS which means that if you miss it, you have to come up with 2 excuses why you didn't make it. 7:45 is an all ages show, little ones welcome. Bring it on. The 9 pm is 21 and up, which means whiskey will be available at the bar. If you haven't checked out the Basement yet, you better c'mon. A rockin' listening room, the Basement is smoke-free, dark, cool and mighty groovy. There's an awesome back
porch and the friendliest staff around. Best of all, it's full of good looking, happy people. Come and get your quiet lil' groove on with us! All the cool kids will be there.
The band includes the following cool kids, whose names you might recognize from the liner notes and the "Behind the Music" story in news from a few months ago, as well as the music page. Audley Freed, Chris Cottros, Steve Ebe, Tim Marks, and Jen Gunderman, with vocals by Sara Beck, Linnae Cappellino and Derek Hoke. Come on, come on. No excuses. It?s a party, after all.
More news: I've succumbed to peer pressure, and now have a myspace account. If you wanna be my friend, check it out. Just point and click. Easy as pie. There's all
sorts of interesting trivia on there. And some interesting dirt too!
And now, the rest of the story: This has been such a crazy, hot summer! Last year at this time, I was calmly baking pies and having friends over for dinner, humming my new songs while washing dishes and staring wistfully out the window, dreaming about making a new record. This year, summer's full speed ahead with that brand new record, and a wild touring schedule and barely time to catch a full breath, let alone stare out the kitchen window. Thank goodness for my fabulous staff of brand-new interns, who have signed on for fun and free tshirts, working with me this summer to keep the good-ship-Andra afloat. Lexie and Amy and friends have been working their little tails off hanging posters, rolling up tshirts, and handling the ever-growing mailing list. This is a huge help to me, and I'm deeply in their debt. I'm still calculating how many free stickers it will take to pay them back.
The new record, Listening, has been favorably received by my so-sweet fans! Thank you for your wonderful words of love in my email box, and for your help in spreading the word on your blogs and myspace accounts. So kind of you, really. Keep 'em coming! I can always use the encouragement, and the ideas for new tunes. You all rock so hard. I'm touring steadily until Christmas, so look for me in your area, and check the tour page, and buy the record on the music page, and know that I really, really appreciate you!!
April 29, 2005
The new album, Listening, is here. Head over to the store page to find out how to order.
April 28, 2005
It's roughly midnight. It's thundering, low and rumbling, and I'm swooning over the playlist called “Wow” on my itunes. I'm up for at least 3 more hours, hoping I can get my chores finished. There's been a lot to do around here lately since the arrival of my new record. Wait…that's right, I haven't told you yet, have I? That means that I really should start this entry over. Here goes…Rewind with me.
Guess what, everybody?! It's here! I've got a new record, (click here to view) and I can't wait to send it out into the world and share it with you. The pre-releases shipped last week and so far, every review and reception has been oh-so-favorable...Well, that is, except for my dad's and that's okay, because Roger Moutenot says that if your dad thinks something is really hip, you should probably start to worry. We've got new press coming in the next couple weeks, and there are already new photos all over the site and additions of mp3s and embarrassingly blatant name-dropping on the music page. There's new tour dates too. Don't see your city listed? Email me and let me know you're waiting for me to come visit!
I have to tell you that I am so proud of this record and so excited about its arrival. I remember telling a woman at a show in Houston that everyone says making a record is like giving birth. She said that I didn't have anything to worry about then, because giving birth just happens and there's not a whole lot you can do except get excited. Well, I'm definitely excited. I've had to remind myself to talk about something else every now and then so that my friends don't abandon me completely.
The record's name is Listening and you can read more about it on the music page. It's a real departure for me musically, but it's been a long and satisfying journey writing these songs. I feel like I found what I was looking for in these songs and hope that you find some secrets of your own as you listen.
I'll be out and about quite a bit this summer, and there's a cd release party coming up that we'll keep you posted on. Check back often and regularly. I have a funny feeling that things are going to start happening in a whole new way.
In fact, a few fun things are already happening. I learned last week that I've been named the Fishman Artist of the Year. What an honor that is, and how kind of them to pick me! Those folks are the best. Also, the Tennessean ran a nifty little article about the shortage of analog tape that features a photo of me and producer Roger Moutenot on the front page of the business section. Check these things out on the press page if you're interested.
Please sign up on the contact page so that we can add you to our email list and let you know the news as it unfolds. I can never keep happy news to myself, so if you want to be in the know, add your name to the list. I promise, I won't send you any personality quizzes or chain letters. You all have been a great source of encouragement and support to me as I've been working this year. Thanks for all of that. It matters more than you know.
See you soon, and keep in touch!
PS: Some of you have asked if the Neil Young story in the March 31 News is true. It is. Scout's honor. It's the end of the whole long story of “The Making of Listening”.
March 31, 2005
Slidin' in under the wire, just before April Fool's Day…. I didn't want there to be any confusion over the sincerity of this announcement: My new record, Listening, is finished being recorded and is almost ready to find its' way to you! The official release date is April 31st, but if you click your way on over to the music page, you'll find a sneak peek at one of the tracks.
What a wild ride it's been making this record. It feels like it's been a long time coming, and then was completed in a very short time. I'm gonna give you the whole story here, so just be forewarned… It's a long one, especially for a short time. So here's the long and short of it (whew!).
We started recording on an unusually springy February 26th at Alex the Great in Nashville. What a band! Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks, Dag, Caitlyn Cary), Audley Freed (The Black Crowes, Jimmy Page), Steve Ebe (The Dixie Chicks, Kim Richie), Gabe Dixon (Paul McCartney, OAR), Chris Cottros (Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Lee Ann Womack), Tim Marks (Delbert McClinton, Jessi Alexander), Peter Finney (Allison Moorer, Patti Loveless), Sara Beck and Linnae Cappellino wrapped their talent around these songs of mine and made beautiful music! What a gift it was to get to work with such an incredible cast of characters. We ate lots of Calypso Café and Baja Burrito, laughed a lot and somehow made quite a racket playing these quiet songs.
After our days at Alex the Great, we packed up our toys and went off to Battletapes with Jeremy Ferguson to finish a few things before heading across town to an Undisclosed Location to work with Roger Moutenot.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous to work with Roger. After all, he is the wizard behind so many incredible records like Paula Cole's “This Fire”, Yo La Tengo's catalogue, and Josh Rouse's “Under the Cold Blue Stars,” which is one of my favorites. He's been in charge of the console for quite a range of artists from Rosanne Cash to Elvis Costello to Beulah to Michelle Branch. You can see why I was nervous, right? Happily, Roger was incredibly sweet to me, and so encouraging! He mixed the record and endured my nit picking and eased all my worries. We even took the bones of two of the tracks on the record and reworked them. Our spirited efforts at co-production morphed two nice tracks into tracks that have become some of my favorites because of their vibrancy. In a nutshell, Roger Moutenot ROCKS and I am one lucky chick-singer to have worked with him.
After working with Roger, I headed over to Independent Mastering to finish what I'd started. Eric Conn had some fun little kiwi cut up in charming little shapes that I munched on while I tried to listen objectively. At this point in the process, I learned, listening objectively is impossible. Then, the improbable happened. I heard a familiar voice singing in the hallway and was quite surprised to see Neil Young. Yep, the Neil Young. Later that afternoon, I took a wrong turn while looking for the bathroom, and found myself face to face with Neil Young. Now, I'm not the kind of person that finds herself star-struck very often, but this was an exception. What an intensity there was about Neil Young. It was a little overwhelming just to be standing next to him with that guitar. We exchanged a scant handful of words, and I high-tailed it out of there before Crazy Horse could take me hostage. Only in Music City…
The last few steps were labor-intensive and agonizing for me, working on the cover and packaging artwork with the illustrious (ha! Get it?) Drew Huddleston at Echo Music. He too endured me while I worried and wiggled about every little thing, and when it was all said and done, I was a very happy camper. How lucky I was to have such a patient designer who is so versatile. One of these days we'll have a collection of all the cover ideas we went through—some wacky fun, lemme tell you.
On March 30th, everything was shipped off to production, and my head was spinning. Today I slept in.
This week brings more fun still, with designing posters, new stickers, and by popular demand, t-shirts. Nashville's hippest graphic wiz-kid, Grant Shuler, has taken mighty good care of care us, and drawn up a doozy of a design. We'll let you know as soon as you can get your super-fly Andra attire here at the web store: killer t-shirts, just in time for summer.
Let's see… what's in my ipod over-and-over playlist right now? Well, I admit to my own guilty pleasure of listening to my “Listening” quite a bit… have to make sure it's just right before I send it out into the world, right? But more than that, I've been listening to the new Josh Rouse (link to Joshrouse.com) release, “Nashville,” which is one fine record! I highly recommend it. I've also been loving my Motown singles boxset, Hitsville USA. It was required listening in college (what fun it was to do that homework!), and now it's just fantastic music. Oh yes, and the list wouldn't be complete without the Jamie Cullum (link to jamiecullum.com) record, “Twentysomething” which has been in top rotation both late at night, and early in the morning! In fact, it was given to me as a gift at the end of the summer last year, and has stayed close to the cd player ever since. When I first started putting ideas for my new record together, I decided I wanted to make a record like that—one that makes you feel good at all hours; one that you can have as background music at a dinner party: It's not at all distracting; it doesn't demand your attention, and yet when you offer your attention to it, it's a record with true musical validity.
Okay, enough… that's it from the South for now. I told you it would be a long story. Long-winded, anyway. This time next month, I hope you are listening to “Listening” and learning the words so that we can sing together when I'm in your neck o' the woods.
December 18, 2004
In 1987, my family had some Christmas visitors to our home near an Army base in Frankfurt, Germany. My mother's friend Joyce brought along a present for me: a neatly wrapped cassette of U2's The Joshua Tree. I'd never heard of the band before, but I liked Joyce pretty well, so I popped it in my "jam box." I was immediately drawn in by the echoing guitars and the hauntingly hopeful lyrics.
Over the next few weeks, my Debbie Gibson and Paula Abdul tapes grew dusty, and I collected the rest of the available U2 catalogue on vinyl. I was up in my room for hours, trying to figure out how to play "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" over my mom's call for me to come to dinner. What a gift Joyce gave me! She had no idea how many years of inspiration came from that single album.
All that said, it's just a few days until Christmas, and if you're like me, you've been a slacker about doing your Christmas shopping. If so, why not rid yourself of the burden sifting through corporate music in crowded big box stores this holiday? Give friends & family members something truly original! Let them experience your favorite independent artist's music, available here, delivered right to your door. If my best effort at an advertising spiel didn't sway you, then help a girl pay her bills, so that I can inch my thermostat up a few notches. It's tough to write songs when you're chilly, after all.
Speaking of new songs, there's a little Christmas present for you on the music page: A new mp3 of the demo for "Just As Blue," which is one of my current favorites. You'll get a little smidge of the new direction that I'm taking. Hope you like it!
It has been a very fun season for press coverage for me. I'm delighted to be Fishman's Featured Artist this month, (fishman.com) though I'll admit I am a little intimidated by the company. Other artists this year include Dave Matthews, Guster and John Hiatt. Gulp! It's really cool to be getting the LOVE from a company whose products I love and depend on so very much! I use Fishman pickups in my Taylor guitars, a Fishman Loudbox amp, and their pro-platinum EQ direct box has a permanent home in my carry-on bag. I really don't leave home with out it. If you're a gear nerd like me and are interested in learning more, check out the Fishman homepage or email me.
I also had a good time being featured in a recent Sunday Tennessean article on independent artists. I never realized how many people read the paper! Old grannies from my church and ex-boyfriends alike called up to tell me that they read about me. It was a fun little ego stroke. Check out the press page to read it for yourself.
I've done a handful of shows lately in Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky, but have mostly been taking time off to write and record. Yes, I have to admit that I've been selfishly holed up with my guitar at home writing new songs because… Drum roll, please: I'm working on a new record! There are a handful of tunes that will be familiar to those of you I've seen on the road in the last year, but I've been riding the wave of inspiration so you can expect some surprises, too. Timo Holder and I have been in his studio gathering ideas, making demos and doing a bit of preproduction. The official recording should begin in February, as we're hoping for a mid-spring release.
Whew…there's a lot to get done by then! Some of these new songs will be familiar to those of you at recent shows-you've been my guinea pigs, and your opinions matter, as they motivate me to do rewriting and editing. Basically, what I'm saying is thanks for your scowls. They keep me honest. Thanks too for the emails and letters you send to encourage me and tell me that what I'm singing about connects with you. Connection is, in many ways, the whole point, isn't it?
Wanna add your 2 cents to the new record? Wanna book a show or an event in the spring or summer? Wanna tell me what records inspire you? I always love to hear from you! Just click here.
There are a few new things on the site this month between pictures and press, so poke around and see what you can find. Next month will bring some new music. Come back and visit! I'm on a roll now, and promise to update you more regularly.
May the joy of this season warm your hearts and your toes!
Ho, ho, ho and Fa la la,
September 8, 2004
This week I have been busy making the last slices of summer in my kitchen. Their form: peach and strawberry pies. I'm home for about three weeks now after a mighty busy few months. Being in chef mode gives me a chance to slow down, concentrate on what I'm doing and invite my friends to crowd around my table to catch up over treats.
It's so interesting how one kind of creativity can spark another, and while I'm not sure it's the pie that's responsible for the onslaught of all these new songs, I'm grateful for their arrival. After a bit of a dry spell, the flood of new ideas and new emotion has been welcomed by this thirsty girl. I've been writing by myself a lot, but have also gotten together with some new friends to team up on a song. In addition, Josh Elson and I were able to enjoy some quality time together at the CRY Festival at William Woods College. Sure was wonderful to sing together again. It had been a while! Thanks to so many of you for being there to sing along!
I traveled a lot this summer: just me, my trusty guitar and the love of my life--my shiny little ipod. Having that kind of time to yourself will certainly dust the cobwebs out of the recesses of your mind and force you to do some serious thinking, which brings some serious writing. I'm looking forward to seeing how you like these new songs. I'll pack up and bring them along with me next time I head your way. I have been doing a lot of listening this summer too. My over-and-over playlist includes Jump (Little Children)'s "Between the Dim and the Dark", Prince's new "Musicology", David Meade's "Indiana," Smokey Robinson's greatest hits, and Edie Brickell's "Volcano." Run, don't walk on these. Seriously. Great stuff!
You know how people sometimes talk about Christmas in July? Well, it's been more like Christmas in August around here. After Nashville NAMM, I ended up being lucky enough to get some wonderful goodies from some wonderful companies! I have been having a blast with my new guitar and the new pile of gear that arrived one Fedex package at a time (thanks to Scott at Dunlop, Larry at Fishman and Danica at Levy's Leathers. There are links to each of these cool sites on the contact page. Check 'em out! I now have a rotovibe and a chorus pedal and have been thoroughly getting on Chris's nerves with my jangly, washy, vibey guitar tone. Back in the day, when Chris and I were roommates, he used to forbid me to play my harmonica in the house. I think that the sounds I'm making now might be just as bad, and with volume control to boot! Look out!
Well, that's about it from the perch in Nashville. Keep in touch! It always means a lot to hear from you. Here's hoping to see you soon.
02-03-04: A CONSECUTIVE DATE!
Whew! Finally sitting in one spot long enough to catch my breath. I think the past 6 months have been busier than I've been since…well, ever. A hectic summer of travel culminated in August in Atlanta for ICYF at George Tech.
Josh, the band and I had a blast playing for about 1,000 very vocal and enthusiastic friends and fans. It was such an amazing experience to hear that many people sing along to music that was born in my little old living room.
This fall, Mike Grimes and I went to Dublin and London to meet up with some of our friends on the Dixie Chicks European tour. Walking on the cliffs of Howth outside of Dublin was true tranquility, and made for a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of London. October and November had me working hard and playing some of my favorite gigs of the year in Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas. I also got to collect a pile more knock knock jokes to add to my collection-look out! After the craziness of the fall tour, it was wonderful to take a breather in December and enjoy some much needed R&R with friends and family.
The New Year has been full of its own activity, and started off with a great trip to bring music to Green Lake, Wisconsin (brr!). I got to spend a weekend of equal parts silence and music at Pilgrim Center, which was a real reat. The new songs usually arrive in silence, and so I've been trying to find enough time to be still, though it's proved very tricky. I took a week in LA to hush in the sunshine, and to write with some of my favorite writers, including Josh Elson. We have been making plans for a (drum roll please) a new record together, so keep your good thoughts and letters headed our way. Our first song for the new project was written on Dawn's back porch in Beverly Hills. We think you'll like it. I'm headed to Las Vegas and then back to LA later this month for some more writing, and in February will take a trip to Hawaii. Those among you who've been unfortunate enough to hear my ukulele playing may be concerned. I'm hoping to squeeze in a few lessons while I'm there.
I feel like I'm always saying this, but I simply can't express how much it has meant to me to receive your letters, packages, and emails. Please keep 'em coming. They are such a source of encouragement and inspiration, and I appreciate them so deeply. Also, we've still got a few holes in the tour to fill. If you'd like us to head your way, let us know. Hope to see you soon!
Peace and love,
AUGUST 8, 2003
Well here it is…My very own website! Thanks for coming to check it out.
My dad has delighted in announcing that he has a "dot-com daughter." Personally, I'm just delighted to announce the arrival of my new EP, the Someday Sessions. This is a very simple record: just me and an acoustic guitar in a room--live. After the big production (and comparatively big budget) of my project with Josh Elson, this was a big change. It has been both interesting and challenging to make a record like this. With today's recording technology, it is entirely feasible to make a record that is perfect. Recording engineers can correct pitch, tempo and all sorts of other performance mistakes. That's definitely not the case for this record, however. On The Someday Sessions, we went for vibe instead of perfection. Trying to capture the moment and the magic of a new song was a heck of a lot harder for me than helping piece together a perfect performance. These songs were recorded in two days at IV in Nashville. My wonderful engineer, Erick Jaskowiak and I set up a few mics around the room and then hit record. What you'll hear is raw and real…just the bare bones of songs that come straight from me; songs that are true for me. These are the songs you asked for after shows; the songs you sang along to and surprised me by knowing all the words. I really hope you like it.
Well, thanks for stopping by to "visit." This site has been a long time in the works, so it is exciting to finally have it up and running. Our super-cool web designer has chastised me plenty for my neglect of news on our partner site, jandamusic.com. I think I've become notorious for web-slacking, but here it is…Finally! Starting Now, I've resolved to pop in regularly and update you all of my whereabouts and so on. Hope you'll come by often. Be sure to let me hear from you through the contact page. It is your stories that keep me excited about touring and helps fuel me to write new music. I'll look forward to seeing you as my travel schedule picks up in August!