Before we even left LA we had a VERY IMPORTANT errand to run- We picked up my new Dirndl from Cocoe Voci’s studio. I am thrilled to have a new uniform, so beautifully constructed and lovingly designed by my sweet friend. THANK YOU, Cocoe!
Our first stops in NM were fun and chili filled. Great start in Gallup, NM with a school show and uke workshop at Nizhoi Music, the studio of our lovely hostess, Antoinette Neff.
Then on to Albuquerque where we had the BEST DAY EVER! First, we finished mastering MY CUP OF TEA. Celebration dinner at Cervantes (hotttest red chili in the Q) and then on to the new Star Trek movie! Woo HOO!
We brought music to the ACSL family and then on to Santa Fe, where we enjoyed making music for a private party. The night started with John and Daniel playing flamenco and ended with leading a campfire style sing along.
The next morning we took the OhanaMobile to Jeff at Lucky Saab, where we did a ghetto fix on the AC with bread ties and zip ties.
Master mechanic and apprentice
We were tipped off to the storms blowing in and delayed our departure. We were driving straight towards Oklahoma City as the storms ripped through Moore. The skies were ominous and filled with fear and pain. We sang the song “Little Birdie” as a prayer for the people in the path, and are going to share that song in our Kickstarter update this week.
We arrived in Tulsa with heavy hearts at 2 am, but the children who greeted us the next morning at Connors Cove were as audatious and ebulent as children ever are. We had two bopping shows and look forward to 4 more shows at 4 other libraries in the next two days before we ship off for Kansas City.
We are telling everyone we meet about the new CD and the Kickstarter campaign which has two more weeks to go. We are getting close to our goal and hope to exceed it handsomly so we can both pay musicians and move forward with PR for the album. If you have not had a chance please pledge now! Click here (MY CUP OF TEA) to go to the page where you will be able to hear songs, see art, read about the process and become part of the fun!
Magical Monterrey Peninsula is the perfect place to breathe deep and spend a calm, centering week at a retreat.
The West Coast Ukulele Retreat went completly WILD!
Five crazy days of teaching and four nights of wild ukulele carrousal have plum wore me out.
They saw me coming
Asilomar is a beautiful place, built 100 years ago by Julia Morgan, the architect who designed Hearst Castle. The cedar shingled buildings are stately inside and out. It is a priveledged place to rest and play.
I wish I had gotten my camera out, but my hands were on the instrument all day and night.
After teaching from 9-6 we would gather again in the evening and that’s when things got wild.
Mr and Mrs Chin chop it up!
And it would go on, and on and on! Jamming till 3 am! Elaine De Mann can sure put on a heck of an event!
Now THAT’s a BIG UKE, Gerald Ross!
I need a little rest after that retreat. But… none for the wicked! Time to pack up and shove out on tour. Wednesday I drive out of LA, first stop, Gallup, NM! (lets hope I can get the AC fixed on the car before that)
In the meantime…. Have you checked out the KICKSTARTER project yet?!!!
This notorious musician has just KILLED on 13 tracks with innumerable instruments.
I am listening to fresh mixes of the songs for My Cup Of Tea and my mind is being blown.
John on drums, african percussion, latin percussion, vocals, jaw harp, stand-up bass, electric funk bass, banjo, Spike Lee bells and whistles, log drum, glockenspiel, xylophone… oh my.
For instance: on Little Birdie- a simple mountain song he lays down this banjo part. I hadn’t realized it before, but tonight I heard it. It embodies the meaning of the song. On the first and final verse the banjo twitters; it’s the little Birdie’s voice. (Then I hear his bass bowing an Amazing Grace reference I hadn’t heard before.) Finally, on the verse “I’ve a short time for to be here and a long while to be gone” I hear a mi-fa ostanato, like the ticking of a clock. That’s it. That is the point of the whole thing. I was there when everything was recorded, but I could not hear it yet. He knew it all along, and played it without comment, patiently waiting for my ears to catch up. Sneaky bastard.
Frontieer green on an In-N-Out double-double. That’s livin’!
You know your friends love you when they bring you the XL tub of roasted frozen green chili from the Frontieer! John flew in for the show at McCabes Sunday morning with 56 oz. of love packed in his suitcase. And a special treat for my girls- Cow Patties!
The final Frontier Rolls, aka “Cow Patties”!
Our hero, Richard Fultineer had drums to loan John for the show! Thank you Richard!!! He needed to drop them off at 9 am, which is before McCabes opens and right when John’s plane was arriving. I dropped Daniel off with coffee, a cajon to sit on and his coronet, so he could practice his licks while awaiting hand-off . Revilee for the neighborhood.
We had a great show, and are happy to report that the Kickstarter campaign is now in full swing! You can pre-order the CD or book us for a kid’s party with your pledge… even download a single song! Check it out HERE! I am touched by the first donors who have jumped in. So many folks from the Kindie world are showing support, and it means the world to me. Every pledge brings me a smile of gratitude and gets us that much closer to getting this baby pressed.
We had some crazy rehearsals for the tour (FYI- the canjo will be in heavy rotation this spring) and ate through the whole tub of chili in under 4 days. We visited preschools, saw the ocean, walked the Venice canals, visited LACMA, drank beer and cooked amazing meals. Now I can’t wait till the tour starts in 2 weeks!
But first I will be taking a detour up to Northern Cal for the West Coast Ukulele retreat, teaching and playing for a week at Asilomar State Beach. Lots of work, but also kind of a vacation.
Sunday, April 28, 11 am we are celebrating the kick off of our Kickstarter campaign with a show at McCabes!
Help us kick “My Cup of Tea” in gear!
Come out to the happiest place on earth (for music), we are gonna have a HECK of a show! Two original Sukey Jump Band members from New Mexico, Daniel Ward and John Bartlit, will be playing, plus Danny Moynahan and his fantastic singing saw and OTHER SPECIAL SURPRISE GUESTS!
We will be playing songs from the new CD, and as always, bring your ukulele! Join us on stage for a few numbers.
There will be a RAFFLE and PRIZES, too!
All this to kick off our KICKSTARTER campaign. If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter, allow me to introduce you to a great way to pre-order our new album, “My Cup Of Tea” while helping us get it made. Kickstarter is a tool to help artists self produce. Fans and friends can be part of the process, getting great rewards like a download of an unreleased song for only $2!!!! CLICK HERE to check out our project. You can hear a few of the songs from the CD, see some pictures of the process, get an idea of what the amazing cover art is going to look like.
I am so proud of this project. We are mixing songs and getting everything ready for duplication. Every day when I listen to the new cuts I am flooded with joy. The music is far bigger, richer and wilder then I ever had hoped. There are out-of-control dance party songs, There are simple songs which help in processing our big emotions. There are songs to make you laugh and songs which give us a way to connect with other cultures. Pop and Funk and Folk and World and Latin.
The instrumentation is huge- horn sections, marimba, tuba, children’s choir…
We would love to see you at McCabes- grab a posse and come on down!
(I am doing a exclamation point count… looks like I am excited. I can’t bring myself to remove a one of ‘em.)