Had a ball this summer in Nashville and last week in Calgary for the CCMA’s.
Nashville – 3 super cool things happened! 1) songwriting seminar in Nashville spurred me to find a good partner with whom I’ve been co-writing weekly – she’s based in Germany, but who would’ve thought that Facetime works so well that we can basically play music simultaneously? She is German, but teaches English and brings a nice fresh perspective. She has also let me contribute to some of her songs. I get up really early, and it’s after work for her, so it all works out with the time zones. I am planning to put another album or EP out in early 2020, so this is getting my material ready for that. 2) I had a terrific jam session at the Station Inn, where I ended up leading the jam all night…it made me realize that leading this style of jam is one of the most fun aspects I enjoy about music. I also ended up starting a singalong at the airport gate when my flight was delayed (“Leaving on a Jet Plane” seemed like the perfect moment!) 3) I got to meet Whisperin Bill Anderson and Matraca Berg after she needed a D harmonica. She said, “I don’t have a D” and I was sitting really close and piped up “I have one!” the whole room gasped, “Only in Nashville does someone in the crowd have that!” Little did they know I was from Calgary, Canada..Whisperin Bill came to chat with me sayin, “What’s a young lady like you doing carrying around all those harmonicas?” Ha! What a sweetheart. I saw him play at the Opry a couple nights later and his song, “I Would have Done A Lot of Things Different” made me really tear up!
CCMA Recap: Last week was the CCMA’s, as I’m sure many of you were aware. Having not released any new music this year, I couldn’t enter any of the competitions, but I really enjoyed the seminars, watching the songwriting circles and meeting many talented people, including my all-time fav Canadian singer/songwriter, Jim Cuddy. I reconnected with Wendell Ferguson (the CCMA Hall-of-Fame guitar player who played on my last album in 2015) and he gave me some great insights. I also ended up in the middle of another all-night jam on Saturday – we had 20 – 30 people there, singing and playing until about 4:00am. Kudos to the Hyatt Regency for accepting the revelry of a bunch crooning musicians to all hours!
I have some really unique plans for 2020, starting with hiring NYC PR Agency Cyber PR (Ariel Hyatt’s team) to help me re-work my music marketing. You might ask why a marketing pro (my alter ego by day) such as myself wants the outside help on this? Two reasons: 1) Cyber PR is a specialist in the music industry and can help me plan, connect and publicize this far better than I can right now 2) As I say in my business (and a phrase I stole from an old friend, Bill Bergh), “You can’t read the label when you’re inside the jar” – I need to re-work my approach to get where I need to go. 2020 is going to see a new direction for me…as you may know, in the past 2 years I’ve done fewer shows than in previous years when I was working with a band. I want to create a solo show series that is quite unusual and innovative…I have some ideas, but just need some help in refining them. 2020 will be a great year – stay tuned!