Heading to the Show-Me-State

A couple times a year I try to make it Missouri.  To see my home state, to see my cousins, and to play some music.  Doug and I are heading down in several weeks and thought I’d say a few words about the cities we’re playing.

First up…..St. Louis!  I spent 5 years in this city – a far cry from my only other place of residence at that time, Collins, MO: Population 141.  I moved to St. Louis after leaving high school (quitting?) my junior year to study chemical engineering at Washington University.  When I think of St. Louis, I think of gaining 30 pounds (thanks Ted Drewe), generally avoiding all humanities classes, and jumping around in my official capacity as a Bears cheerleader.  And St. Louis is also special to me because I was married to Chad there – nearly 15 years ago.

Off Broadway is one of my very favorite venues, Al Scorch (also from Chicago!) is fantastic, and it’s not Mardi Gras in Soulard – so get your tickets!

Thursday, May 8.

Favorite Parenting Activity?

Last night, the Skinner North 5th and 6th grade girls’ basketball team overcame a 6-0 deficit to win, finally, over Blaine Elementary 7-6 (yes – basketball). This is important, because it was the first game of the city tournament.  NOW there are only 4 teams left…and if Skinner wins over Bell next week, they will play in the championship game.  I know this because my oldest daughter, Grace, plays on the team for Skinner North.

As excited as I have been about the release of Whiskey Halo, and as distracted as I have been with finishing up the required details for the release, I forgot all about it for those four, six-minute quarters.  There is something about sitting in a tiny gym with other parents who are also yelling at the referees (and their children), and then sheepishly looking around at each other as if to say, “What is wrong with us?  These girls are 11.” that commands all of my attention.  I recommend it over meditation, yoga, or watching Downton Abbey for relaxation and putting oneself in an excellent mood.  Just make sure that your team wins, and do not tell your daughter on the way home that she should have hustled more or worn different socks.  Go Skinner!

Whiskey Halo Forever!

People (my mother) have asked me why this album is called “Whiskey Halo”.  Because it’s become a fair question after exploring the on-line personality of that phrase, I want to explain myself. There are four reasons.

First – After reading a large collection of lyrics from the album, my lovely, savvy, and very talented designer, Sarah Dockery, suggested this phrase. (so many commas!)

Second –  I asked my 54 twitter followers if they preferred “Bury Her” or “Whiskey Halo”.  They unanimously (those two that replied) agreed on the latter.

Third – Those of you from Scotland, Canada, or Japan may wonder why the album is not “Whisky Halo”.  But I am truly referring to bourbon.  And the spelling that includes the “e” typed better in the chosen font.

And finally – Writing the album was complicated for me.  I know the phrase “whiskey halo” is pretty random, but it reminds me that although people are often foolish, hope remains that they may yet grow wise.

The Wisdom To Know The Difference

I’ve a very lazy record of instrument maintenance.

From 2008-2010, I played a 7-string mandolin on tour because one of the D-strings broke on stage.  And I said to myself, “This sounds the same as it did with 2 D-strings.”  In 2010, my Martin D-16 rode in the trunk of my car from Chicago to Grand Rapids in the dead of winter.  When I took it out at the gig, the entire lower body cracked before my eyes.  I plugged it in and thought “This sounds the same as it did before it cracked.”

This January I began to think about how old I have become, how wide that crack in my Martin has grown, and how much I wished the constant feedback we have been experiencing at live gigs would go away.  While I have resolved to accept the things I cannot change – I will not again be 23 – I have also resolved to change the things I can.  So, thank you, Jim from Hogseye Music in Evanston, IL.  My Martin looks beautiful and sounds nice too.  And I promise I am using several humidifiers, both night and day.