What a year and a half we have had. I lost a few friends over this past hiatus for us all. Mark Yarborough was a very supportive friend who came to numerous shows, sharing my songs with others, encouraging me...we lost him to Covid. I will miss his hugs, smiles, and enthusiasm. Thereś nothing like a pandemic to gain a whole new perspective. I would venture to say we all thought about our own mortality. What should we have or have not done with our lives? I am still standing. I'm still traveling (while keeping my physical distance from people and following all of the recommended protocols to protect my health as well as others). I'm still dreaming and creating. I have painted dozens of pieces, worked on some of the childrenś stories I have written, and spent a lot of time with my family. Life is good. I grew in my use of technology...I was a Zooming master. One thing that came out of the pandemic is my interest in playing the piano. I wrote a few songs and I am looking forward to sharing those with you. In the meantime, I continue to play music with some of my best friends in Sweet Mischief. We had to cancel a lot of gigs...it was a bummer. It could have been worse...so much worse for us. We survived to play another day. I hope you will all join us to celebrate and live the most life we can. We never know what to expect out of this journey we are all on. Hereś to all of those loved ones lost...may you rest in peace. We will lift our voices to the heavens...I know my new guardian angels will be listening. I wish you all health and happiness. Come out and join us for show! We look forward to seeing you.
Here is hoping all is well. Life has definitely kept me thinking and on my toes. Music has been great for me. I mostly played with my band Sweet Mischief but threw in a few solo performances. This year I worked with Jeff Berkely to finish up an EP. I've been working with the real pros....and the ones who are pretty successful too. I want to have a release party for these new songs and I hope you can attend. I lost my biological dad a few years ago. We were very close. My stepfather was the man who raised me and he passed away right before Thanksgiving this year. He had a huge impact on my life and I will miss him. I took care of him for along time. I plan on using what energy, I would have given to him on both my daughter and my art. I have picked up a paintbrush after decades of not painting and seem to have found my own style. I have been practicing my mandolin a lot and am now playing it at live shows. I also bought myself a piano. What a gift I gave to myself...within a week of having it, I wrote two kick-ass songs. I am eagerly awaiting to write more. I will have a lot of time over the holidays to sit and work. I have a garden of thoughts to tend to. I look forward to what it will sprout and become. I wish you all happy holidays and a joyful new year. See ya January 10th at the Packinghouse Brewery in Riverside. Please Please Please don't forget to join us at our first arena gig at the Toyota Arena on January 18th in Ontario, Ca.
First off, I want to thank you for all of your support.
So...I have seen several other artists keep a blog to let their fans know what is going on in their world. I have been working hard and enjoying the fruits of my labor. I have had the privilege of working with California's premier, harmony driven, Southern Rock cover band, Sweet Mischief, for about two years now. It is comprised of very talented musicians whom I now call family. Id love for you to check us out at www.sweetmischiefmusic.com. We have several gigs lined up. That being said, it has kept me busy and I haven't had as much time performing my solo stuff.
I have learned so much being with this band. I'm getting better on guitar. I'm becoming much stronger in harmonies. My overall musicianship has improved immensely. It has helped me with discipline as well. It is really cool to have a following that comes to the majority of our shows. It has been great getting to play places like the Brandin' Iron in San Bernardino. I've wanted to play there for years.
As far as my song writing, I have been actively trying to fine tune that as well. I went to a songwriting workshop and was fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to meet some professional songwriters who have made a living off of selling songs. They stressed that every single word needs to be just right and have purpose. I believe this philosophy has really been a challenge and I have grown from it.
Also, through a couple of annual events, I have connected with several talented artists and I encourage you to check them out (Cathryn Beeks, Cici Artesmisia, and Christine Gilardi). I have participated in several songwriting challenges put on by the uber talented Cathryn Beeks (my now, musical big sister) called "The Game". The Game sends out a couple of song titles and we write songs to them. It is so interesting how all of the different artists interpret and are inspired by the words she sends out. The most recent was "The Lost Art". It brought out a song where I inspired myself on how to deal with significant struggles people might face in life. "The Game", and other events that Cathryn has put on like Chicks Camp, and Songwriters Camp, has connected me with a bunch of other songwriters mostly based out of San Diego. They are incredible and I am so glad to have met them. They too support and encourage me! Through Cathryn and my fellow singer songwriter (and amazing person), Cici, at an Americana Festival Sweet Mischief played, I was introduced to my now friend, Jeff Berkely. He is one half of the duo Berkley Hart. He invited me to record with him. An honor as he is one of the most sought out producers in San Diego, I have found that he is a one of kind and I have never felt so comfortable working in the studio with anyone. He shares his studio with none other than Jason Mraz. In fact, last weekend as I worked with Jeff, Mr. Mraz was there the entire time. He and his beautiful wife were incredible welcoming and kind. It was a very inspiring experience. It is nice to know that even people who have played in front of millions of people, remain kind and humble. He exudes love for all. In fact, all of the people I have met down in San Diego in the music world have been nothing but positive. Jeff's guidance has been incredibly helpful, and the ladies mentioned above have been so frickin' supportive and help drive me to keep getting my music out there. I am forever grateful to all of them. They take the competition out of it and just focus on sharing their gifts with the world. Its a pretty beautiful energy to be around and have in your life. I am not going to let my fear of not being good enough or deserving enough, hinder my growth and ability to share my art.
I will be recording with Jeff in the next few months. I am literally taking my savings and spending it on this project. I believe in my songs, and through my teaching job, I can continue to pay my bills, raise my daughter, and save it all up again. I don't want to miss out on this opportunity again. I am starting to live my life with no regrets.
On this page, I am going to post new songs that are ROUGH ROUGH ROUGH!!! Id love your feedback as to whether I should spend the money to record them or not. I want to stress that they are rough drafts of what they will become. Probably even phone recordings. I think I have some good starts to some powerful songs.
I sincerely appreciate all of you who have continued to support my art. I appreciate my students who make me feel like a rock star. i appreciate my mom for always telling me she'll love me anyways, and my daughter who tries my patience and reminds me when seeds are planted and watered, beautiful growth takes place. You might see it right away, but when you take care of things, they start blooming. Recently, I have been painting and writing stories etc. Life has been good to me artistically. I cant wait to continue to share my projects. I wish you all joy and comfort. I wish you all positive energy and love. I ask for prayers that I dont get in my own way. I ask for prayers that I stay true to me, but am open enough to allow others to have a positive impact on my life. Thank you everyone!