Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Louisville, Kentucky t-shirts for Those Who Drift Away.

MY SECOND RUN OF T-SHIRTS HAS ARRIVED! If you ordered one at my CD release show, I'll get it to you ASAP. Wayne & April, I haven't gotten any sans fleur-de-lis yet, but I'm working on it. The rest of you, I'll send you an email, or message me.

Shirts are $20 no matter your size, and I would LOVE to sell one to you. I mean, no one buys CDs anymore, so if you're just streaming my new album because you like everything digital, then how about buying a shirt? It's grey, so it works well with your minimal wardrobe. And my name is on the back, so mostly you can have a cool shirt with Kentucky on it. And don't we all need one of those???

Fall has consistently been my busiest gigging season, and this year is no different. I'm doing a zillion private events, from Rosh Hashanah celebrations to fancy soirees, but in between I've got a couple of public gigs.

This weekend: IRISH FEST!
Bellarmine University. I'm emceeing the event, so I'll be there both days all day. It's all ages, and you get a dollar off if you're a Zoo member.
I'm also playing two sets of Celtic-inspired songs with Steve Cooley on banjo and Mike Schroeder on mandolin. It'll be a fun event, and if you're vegetarian like me, you have an excuse to eat french fries all weekend.
Saturday 9/23 on the Main Stage at 2:40
Sunday 9/24 at the Cralle Theatre at 12:15


Monday, September 18, 2017

Nashville wrap-up and Monday Morning music.

Crazy morning bed-head princess hair.
Monday morning, y'all. Entirely because of the title, here's a video of Adam Holmes with me on accordion and backup vocals before he released his first album. We're doing a live thing on the BBC, recorded on the Hebredian Isle of Lewis, just before we played HebCelt Music Festival.

Monday is particularly difficult this week, as I'm just returned from a week in Nashville. The AmericanaFest is one of my favorite weeks of the year, a time when I get to catch up with industry friends from around the globe and see music. This year I didn't get to see as much music because I had my babies with me. Not ideal, but I brought a babysitter with me to manage times when I was at panels or lunches or interviews. She was wonderful and made the conference possible, but I still wish I could have gone solo to the event -- it's really hard for me to clock out of parenting and into music-ing. Re-entry is easier because I'm happy to see the boys, but leaving them without anxiety and list-managing? SO HARD.

Anyhoo, I'm off to edit a little interview that Michael Young did with Joan Osborne that I got some video off. Will share in a bit! She's a hometown hero, and wow, is she smart.
Photos from Nashville:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

AmericanaFest Day 1. Nashville, y'all!

Good morning from AmericanaFest! I'm in Nashville (MY HOUSE IS GUARDED BY THREE BIG STRONG HOUSESITTERS/HOUSEGUESTS, SO STAY AWAY STALKERS!), and I'm a nervous mess because I have to be social. The stage is just so much safer.

Here are some thoughts as I stare out at the Nashville skyline from a swanky hotel couch. My coffee table is made of a tree trunk spray painted gold because it's Westin-hip I guess.

In Nashville for the week for work — catching up with industry friends and trying to figure out how this business has changed since I squeezed out my babies. The music business is not kind to mothers, as I found out last night attempting to go to a free show in the penthouse at 8pm when I was told it was 21 and up, despite a sleeping baby on my back and a well-behaved almost-5-year-old at my side. Sigh. Good thing I was tired anyway. 

This morning I left the kids in my hotel room with a babysitter and a pile of puzzles and have camped out in the Westin Club Lounge to try to sort out my day and the hours i need childcare depending on which panels and shows I’m attending. I sat down with a cup of coffee, put my red boots on the window sill, and stared out at the ever-changing skyline of Nashville. 

The first building to catch my eye is the old train station at 10th & Broadway. It’s in the middle of Nashville, a busy area right next to an Art museum. Oddly, there is a matching building at 10th & Broadway in Louisville because, I believe it was the buildings that connected the L&N railroad line. 

The second building I’m staring down at is this wide red building directing below the hotel. It was my first stop in Nashville for my first real trip down here — back in 2006 for the semi-finals of a TV show on the USA Network called Nashville Star. It was in this building where I had my production interviews and band rehearsals for the show taping. This area of town sure has changed in 10 years, as have I. What a weird business I’m in. 
It’s funny, but all I really care about is traveling and performing for people. I hate recording. I love writing songs and sharing them with people. I love making people smile and making people think and forging connections that are real-world instead of Twitter-world and reminding people that we are all in it together, even though it seems like maybe we’re all on some weird reality show. 

Deep breaths and music, I guess. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sid Griffin show on Sunday Sept 10.

Louisville! I am playing a public show on Sunday, September 10 at Monnik (in Germantown at the old Zeppelin aka the old Heitzman Bakery). I am just the opener an am playing a 45-minute set as a solo — but it’s likely that Dennis Ledford will be playing some guitar with me. No full band because I don’t want to upstage the main act in terms of band members … and the main act is Sid Griffin. 

I first met Sid maybe 15 years ago, when I was first starting out in the Louisville music scene, and he came to town an played the Rudyard Kipling every couple of years. It’s now turned into TEN years since he’s played here because he has lived in London for ages. 

You know I have a problem with attachment to the United Kingdom. I can’t really explain why, but somehow the country is in my DNA, and I just get that magic feeling every time I touchdown on the island. On my last few England/Scotland tours, I’ve seen Sid’s name but never managed to connect — his current band, The Coal Porters, played Edinburgh the week before I was there, or he had a London gig the same night I did. Something always prevented our catching up on anything besides The Twitter.

But he’s an Americana legend — full of stories, songs, brushes with celebrity, and more. 

I’m looking forward to to this show because 
  • I’m playing mostly solo, so I can try out new stuff.  
  • Monnik has re-done the upstairs venue, and I can’t wait to see what it’s like. Louisville could really use a nice 100-person room.
  • I get to hear Sid play, and that’s a guaranteed good concert. He’s also got Danny Kiely on bass and Allison Summers on violin, and I’ll be sitting in on accordion on some tunes as well.
  • IT’S AN EARLY SHOW! Doors at 6:30. I play 7:00-7:45.
  • Advance tickets are $12. They are $15 at the door. Or if you’re British, it’s $15 “on the door.” 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Video of CD Release party with DAN CANON! He's such a star.

One of my favorite people in the world made a surprise guest appearance at my CD release show last month. He's also RUNNING FOR CONGRESS! When I met him, he was a high school dropout, who happened to be incredible at any instrument with strings, well-traveled, and spoke several languages. In the past 17 years since we met, he went to university, then law school, then opened his own law practice specializing in Civil Rights, then took a landmark case to the SUPREME COURT and gained marriage equality for the United States of America. I have no doubt that our children will write papers about him. Law students probably already are.

Politics aside, he is a good person, who really, truly, wants what is best for humanity. And here he is playing guitar with l'il' ol' ME! Swoon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nanny-daydreams, Career thoughts, and What I'm into now.

 Good morning from Heine Brothers! No babysitter/nanny/co-parent today, so I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. Anyone out there want to trade babysitting for piano lessons? Or guitar lessons? Or background music at your Christmas party? We had an quasi au pair for a while, but it didn't work out because our schedules never quite meshed. A professional au pair is a bit out of our reach, but someday ... someday.

I do have these visions of hitting the road with my babies and bringing along a nanny -- someone who is up for adventures at the drop of a credit card and who keeps a valid passport at all times. Maybe someone who wants to be an artist herself, but who could use the boost of free rent and flexible hours. I know, I know, I could ask at nearby universities, but I'm sort of hoping this situation comes about organically, much like it did for me when I was a live-in part-time nanny for a magical family in NYC. We were perfect for each other, and I was even able to maintain a full-time job at CBS News simultaneously.

In the mean time, I desperately need to find some sort of structure and routine to my wacky self-employed career, so I can properly balance it with parenting and coordinating babysitters. I'm very good at making lists, but I'm not so great at implementation these days.

Yesterday, however, I started a weekly video series in order to hold myself accountable to playing music for the public (all I do are private parties lately because THEY PAY WELL!):

Also, there is this -- have openings Friday October 6, Friday October 13, Sat. Oct 21 -- looking specifically for Shelbyville, Lexington, Berea, Bowling Green, so if you've ever wanted to host a concert in your home, please read this:

Currently reading: A Distant View of Everything by Alexander McCall Smith
Currently watching: Reign, Season 3.
Current mood: melancholy, like this song (but also, of course feeling heartbroken over the state of the world and donating to the Red Cross and ACLU because I'm not sure what else I can do):

Friday, August 25, 2017

Weekend jaunt to NYC - here's what we ate.

My kids only sleep on airplanes. I'll take it.
My mom's chemo has been postponed several weeks in a row now because of low blood counts, so I decided to take her on a last-minute trip to NYC this past weekend. If you know me at all, you know that I love spontaneous travel -- even when it involves a sick mother and a needy toddler. I bought cheap flights out of Cincinnati, packed the three of us in one carry-on bag, and off we went.

Having lived in NYC on less-than-a-student budget for 5 years, I am pretty good about budget traveling in NYC. Mom was a trooper and didn't flinch at taking the bus and subway from the airport. We bought unlimited MetroCards and were at our hotel in less than an hour.

We stayed at the Sheraton TriBeCa (for free on points!), which was great. The Club Lounge offered a rooftop view of the Empire State Building, and we saved a lot of money by snacking there. They even had free wine in the evenings.

Leaving both the wheelchair and the stroller at home was a good idea, as there are too many curbs and stairs to navigate in NYC. Angus traveled in the Tula all weekend, and Mom brought a cane for stability.

The subway system is horrible for anyone with mobility issues, so we opted to take the bus more than the train. It was slower (and on Sundays ran less often), but it is a GREAT way to watch the city roll by. When you take the subway, you see rats and darkness. When you take the M3 down 5th Avenue from Central Park East, you see The Plaza, Tiffany's, Trump Tower, the New York Public Library, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, and the Washington Square Park Arch. It was like those Hop-On-Hop-Off tours, but quicker and without tourists.

We did take about 3 taxis for short distances when a bus wouldn't drop us close enough (Mom's a trooper, but she does have stage 4 cancer, and I didn't want to wear her out), but we definitely got our money's worth on those unlimited metrocards.

Drumroll, please, though, as we know the most important part of any vacation is the FOOD!!

Rooftop Club Lounge at the Sheraton TriBeCa.
Little Italy dinner.
Primavera in Little Italy. 
Something with seafood in Little Italy.
Sharing my primavera with Angus.
Lounging in the Club Lounge rooftop.
Stopped by for a photo op, but no beer for us.
Proper pickles and pastrami at 2nd Ave Deli.
Visiting an old friend, Lorcan Otway, at his pub,
The William Barnacle, 80 St. Mark's Place.
Angus at Tompkins Sq Park
Too tired for dinner on day 2, so Seamless it was!
A proper schmear! Waverly Diner.
Waverly Diner
Challah french toast.
Washington Square Park
Eclipse-viewing by The Plaza.
Playing on the William Tecumseh Sherman statue during the eclipse.
Eclipse in NYC. We made lots of friends because
we had extra glasses.
Subway to the airport!
Our splurge of the trip: Tea at the Plaza. #bucketlist

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Laundry is saving my sanity.

Family pic that has nothing to do with laundry,
but aren't they all just delicious?
Laundry. I'm going a little bonkers after weeks of solo parenting and a (very-part-time) nanny who clocked out on August 1, but my savior, oddly, is laundry.

You see, for a few months we had someone living in the basement. She babysat several hours a week in exchange for room and board and I was able to, like, finish my record and take the occasional mental health break. But it also meant that my access to the basement -- aka the Laundry Room -- was limited.

This turned out to be a most excellent problem because it forced ROUTINE on my household duties. We agreed that I would only do laundry on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

It turns out that when you do laundry every 7 days, you suddenly: 

1) don't have a gigantic pile of clothes all over your floor/crib/treadmill/guest bed/dog crate/bathroom closet.

2) have all your clothes clean at once

3) realize you own WAY more clothes than you need because you keep going back to those same cute underwear with the vintage bicycle print

4) realize you aren't nearly as minimalist as you though

5) can purge your closet and dresser

6) can purge your children's closets and dressers (because they don't need 30 t-shirts either!!!)

7) suddenly have WAY more room and WAY less clutter.

I used to be in favor of owning enough underwear to avoid laundry as long as possible. Now, I'm all about 14 pairs of underwear TOPS -- and only because you might go out of town or, as every woman knows, you have to have some icky period underwear just in case.

Anyway, hot tip, people: Laundry. Once a week. That's it. And get rid of most of your clothes. Except the cute bicycle underwear.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kindergarten and Cargo Bikes!

My wee boy started KINDERGARTEN this week! It's great to have him back on a schedule because he loves routine and structure and rules and art projects, and home-schooling is just not my game, (unless I have a Maria-von-Trapp governess on the payroll because I've won Powerball, then I am 100% homeschooling). Anyhoo, here are the boys on the porch:

They are both sweet as can be, and I remind myself how lucky I am -- particularly at 1am when Angus is waking up for the third time, and I'm just a ball of sleep deprived mess.

I also have failed to alert my faithful blog readers that we got a new family vehicle!! It's amazing. I've been on the road with it for about 3 weeks now, and I love it more every day.

It's a Taga 2.0, and we bought it on Kickstarter over a year before it was delivered. As we have been car-free for the past six years, this is a game-changer. I swear, it feels almost like I'm cheating when I zip around toting the kids or the groceries. Part of that guilt is because it's got an electric pedal-assist, so I can conquer the hills of my neighborhood (aptly called "The Highlands") without breaking a sweat. It's fantastic, and I now want to electrify every bicycle we own.

In business news, BUY MY NEW CD, PLEASE??!?!? 

Also, I'm booking a house concert tour for the end of October and early-November, and I'd love to play in your living room. Curious about hosting a house concert? I wrote an FAQs page here. Check it out.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vegetarian Tasting Menu in LOUISVILLE!!

I was 22 the first time I had a proper meal. It was Paris. A lunch. It was a friend of my parents, who had taken us all out to lunch at a classic brasserie -- red awning, sparkling wine, tables too close to your dining neighbors, and only one vegetarian item on the menu: a plate of green beans drowned in a stick of butter. It was the most delicious meal I'd ever had, and entirely because of the company, the atmosphere, the wine, and the fact that it took three hours.

Since then, my ultimate #treatyoself or vacation goal has been: a long and delicious dining experience, coursed out over a couple of hours.

It's a rare experience for me and David, however, because we are vegetarians. When we travel, we seek out the nice restaurants that offer a vegetarian tasting menu -- not just one with a chef willing to tolerate or "create something" for us. Not having to make a special request is everything, and I relish the chefs who recognize that most food, actually, is not made of animals. 

Some of my favorite meals of yore:

New Orleans. Restaurant August. Edinburgh, Scotland. The Kitchin.New York City. Cafe Boulud.Edinburgh, Scotland. David Bann. 

I was just lost in a fantasy remembering other delicious meals (Yellow Bar in Florence, Italy. That conveyor belt sushi place we found in Paris. A breakfast sandwich from Pick a Bagel in Manhattan.), but today my focus is VEGETARIAN TASTING MENUS.

Today I am excited because a LOUISVILLE restaurant (The Fat Lamb) is smart enough to offer up an entire Vegetarian Tasting Menu event this month, and I CANNOT WAIT. 

The Fat Lamb is already my favorite new restaurant in this town, and this acknowledgment that vegetarians, too, might like a swanky night out, well, it just cements that honor. 

August 20, with two seatings: 5:30 and 7:30.
Wine pairings optional.
Menu available here.
Facebook event here.

I'll be at the 5:30 seating because I have babies, so I can't be eating at 7:30 like a normal person. 

Here are some photos from when David and I created our own vegetarian tasting menu experience back in January. I meant to blog about it then, but I meant to do a lot of things last winter. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CD Release Party Wrap-up!

MY CD RELEASE SHOW WAS AMAZING! If you weren't there (the place was packed, but I still missed many of your smiling face!), then you missed a spectacular display of support for live independent music. But goodness knows I understand other responsibilities and the difficulty of getting out to hear local music. 

Alex Wright is one amazing guy, and he was great fun to work with on this show. He's as good at the business end as the music end, and (unfortunately) that is just as important, if not more so. I think it was a good partnership. Go "like" his Facebook page. (And like mine, while you're at it, please! It seems minor, but it's oddly a really good way to help indie artists.)

Twisted Events hosted a special VIP section at Headliners, with heavy appetizers and a beautiful cupcake display for my birthday. Tyra is the owner of Twisted Events, and she's got incredible vision and implementation.

Joe Mays of Alien Twilight Photography took some video of the night, and I don't even know where to begin to post it. But it's good to FINALLY have some professional footage of a full band show. Thank you, Joe! Will be posting soon.

Catch my band LIVE for FREE on Thursday August 3 at Metro Hall in Downtown Louisville. I'm playing the Mayor's Music & Art Series at noon. It's a full-band show. If the weather holds, it'll be outside. 

End of the night hanger-outers!
T-SHIRTS! Pre-order one today!

Louisville, Kentucky t-shirts for Those Who Drift Away.

MY SECOND RUN OF T-SHIRTS HAS ARRIVED! If you ordered one at my CD release show, I'll get it to you ASAP. Wayne & April, I haven...