Special thanks to Robert Foran III for this beautiful write up in the Anchorage Press!! What a wonderful week of music making with Anchorage musicians. I came back to Fairbanks feeling inspired and excited about what the future holds for Alaskan musicians. We have a very special community here – let’s nurture it.
SIMPLE THINGS IS OFFICIALLY AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AND STREAMING EVERYWHERE!
I am so thrilled to have this project completed and out into the universe. This album represents 2 years of hard work and collaborations with some of my closest friends and admired colleagues. In case you download or stream it, here’s the album notes inside the physical copy:
As I sit, compiling the lists of contributors to each of these twelve tracks, I am humbled by the shared love and talent this recording represents. Each of these people offered their artistry, musicianship, friendship and support so that my songs could live and breathe in a more complete and meaningful form. I couldn’t have made this without you. Thank you to my loving parents for your guidance, wisdom and humor. Thank you to my dear friends who have supported me unfailingly from awkward youth into apparent adulthood. And thank you to those conscientious, steadfast listeners who have a physical disc in hand as they read the album credits. I love you, I appreciate you, and I hope you enjoy this album.
Lost and Found is officially released into the internet! This track was one of my favorites to make on the whole album because of the gorgeous string arrangement by Avery Ballotta and the extremely talented musicians I had the privilege of working with. We recorded the string quartet in Boston, the full band in Nashville, and the vocals in LA, but it still sounds like one complete, marvelously cohesive arrangement. Hope you enjoy! Free download available through July 10 because free is my favorite number.
I couldn’t be more excited to share my very first single EVER with all of you. This song has been a year in the making and is very near and dear to my heart because of the musicians and talented engineers who helped bring it to fruition. Special thanks to the Rasmuson Foundation for making this entire project possible. This is such a surreal experience for me and I feel extremely blessed. Plus, I’m about to eat a burrito. THIS IS A GREAT DAY!
It’s hard to believe that this album has been years in the making and we’re almost done. The next steps are putting the final touches on mixes, mastering, and then coming up with a marketing plan and touring schedule and merchandise and duplication and…
Ok maybe there’s a bit more work to be done. But the important part is so close!!
So here’s the timeline of how we put this thing together. Mike Adams (my producer) and I met up in his hometown of Erie, PA, where we proceeded to have some much needed catching up and recording session planning time. This included walking on beaches and playing pinball in his parents’ basement, obviously. We hit the road and drove 12 hours to Nashville, TN, where we recorded the majority of the band parts for the album (just instrumentals, no lead vocals). My dear friend Tommy Cantwell owns a studio in Nashville called Big Punch Music, so if you’re in need of a rad recording space, give him a ring. It was an incredible, busy, blurry experience with lots of caffeine and bagels.
Many long days later and with the help of many wonderful and talented friends (Kim Auch, Ali Veech, Gavin O’Broin, Lars Thorson, Danny Pratt, Zach Wheeler, Tommy Cantwell, and Molly Lins to name a few!), we had the bones of the album finished. Mike and I journeyed back to Erie to drop off Mike’s car and hop on a plan to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is a seriously insane place. The traffic is awful and the city essentially smells like a giant swimming pool. But it is so magical in so many other ways. The energy is infectious, like laughter, or a bad cold, and our friends who live there are pretty much the crème de la crème. We settled in, sleeping on various air mattresses and trying to maintain some semblance of a routine. Jordan King, aptly named, is based in LA and was gracious enough to be our mixing engineer/producer for this album (also he let us sleep on his floor). We recorded lead vocals for the album at Sunset Sound in Hollywood, with the incredible engineering expertise of Sarah Tudzin (pictured below, holding a guitar and looking fly). We also had the privilege of recording Liam Lewis on banjo, mandolin, and fiddle (he is amazing!).
The remaining songs were recorded right here at home, with my trusty Muskox Riders (Hanna Sfraga, Travis Burrows, Jeremiah Bakken, and Rachel DeTemple) at 10th Planet.
The recording process is exhilarating and wonderful. I got to make music with musicians who are not only extremely talented professionals, but who also mean the world to me. I cannot express in words how incredible it is to have my own songs come to life with musicians I love and trust. It’s like th
e best marriage ever. Or a musical love piñata.
Thanks so much for reading and I’ll have more updates soon!
I’m having a difficult time this morning. I’m having a difficult time thinking about this country founded on liberty, immigration, and acceptance in light of the election that just took place. I keep reading articles and updates from friends wondering how this happened. Really, how did this happen?
As we release this EP into the world, a huge question we are asking ourselves is, “why?” It’s amazing to me that the first track of this album speaks so relevantly to this day. Now is the time for kindness, peace, love, and unity. Give up the Facebook wars, the bickering, and the snide remarks. Look for the commonalities we share with our neighbors – they far outweigh the differences. I’ll leave you with the lyrics from the first track of our album “Peace Like the River.”
Brothers and sisters, what am I to say to you?
I don’t know what you’re going through
I have not seen what you have seen.
Brothers and sisters, what am I to give to you?
I don’t know where you’re going to
I only know where I have been.
Though I am small and we are far away it seems
You are not alone, I’m calling out your name
Singing love for the falling rain
Joy for the songs it brings
Singing peace like the river, peace like the river,
Peace like the river in spring
We need to love our neighbors more than ever, be advocates for the voiceless, and instruments of peace. Be kind to one another, and to my fellow musicians out there – let’s make some great art.
It’s funny how I always forget what silence feels like. I’m currently sitting on the floor in my producer’s brother’s old bedroom in Erie, Pennsylvania, listening only to the drone of a ceiling fan and a perturbed bird outside the window. It feels amazing.
This weekend was FAR-West, a conference in Bellvue for musicians, venue owners, house concert curators, and booking agents to gather together and connect. I was invited by Alaskan musician Karrie Pavish-Anderson, who is not only one of the most talented singers I know, but also she’s simply the loveliest person to be around. We traveled to Bellevue together from Fairbanks, and when we met up in Fairbanks, we realized we didn’t even know if the other person had siblings or not. But it didn’t matter; it felt like we had been long-time friends. And we got the sibling thing straightened out pretty quickly.
The weekend is a blur. I didn’t have much concept of time because we were in a hotel the whole time and a full-night’s sleep was impossible, so I just stole naps when I could. Workshops were from 9am-5pm, then the main showcase stage had a show from 7-10pm, and the “Private Guerilla Showcases” (for the particularly shy gorillas) were on two floors of hotel rooms from 10pm-2am. I had 8 showcases in 3 days. Craziness.
I was worried it was going to be a weekend of networking bombardment and a hurricane of business cards, but the community there was so kind and encouraging, it was more like summer camp than an episode of Survivor. Karrie and I stayed at the hotel on the “PGS” floor with two other wonderful songstresses, Mindy Dillard and Amber Ikeman. We named our room the “Ladies’ Lair” and it was a kind little refuge amidst the chaos, a perfect place for heart to hearts and tea drinking.
So why am I in Erie, Pennsylvania? I’m embarking on an adventure with my dear friend and producer Mike Adams to finish recording my album, “Simple Things”. He’s got a car resembling a storm trooper that we are going to drive to Nashville in a few days, then drive back to Erie and hop on a plane to LA to finish vocals and overdub some final touches before hunkering down with the incredible Jordan King for final mixes. IT’S HAPPENING!!!!! Excited feels like a word I’ve been using too much, but I can’t believe the emails, phone calls, skype sessions, and spreadsheets are finally manifesting into reality.
Thank you so much Rasmuson Foundation for making this all possible with your generosity. I’m simply in awe and cannot wait to share this music.
About to embark upon an Alaska tour with the lovely and unforgettable Aurora Birch! We might be in your neck of the woods very soon.
Thursday August 18- Fairbanks, The Marlin, 7pm
Friday, August 19- Anchorage, Taproot, 7pm
Saturday, August 20- Anchorage, House Show, 6:30pm- Click here for details!
Thursday, August 25- Healy, Tonglen Lake Lodge, 7:30pm
UPDATE: We saw a bear swimming in Denali!! I’ve lived here all my life and never seen such a thing. We also went to Chena Hot Springs and saw this perfect little canoe on a lake with two life jackets and no one in sight, so we took it for a little spin. Luckily, the owners of the canoe were very forgiving and understood the temptation we were faced with. Turns out one of them was roommates with the bari sax player in Tower of Power! I tell ya, magical things happen when you keep Aurora Birch around.
I am thrilled and humbled to announce I have been selected for the 2016 Individual Artist Award from the Rasmuson Foundation! I can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity to create the art I want to with the people I love. It is an honor to share the roster with these incredibly talented artists I am proud to call my peers. In other words… YAYYYYYYYY!!!!!
To every struggling artist out there, KEEP GOING!! Great things can happen if you keep working hard, making authentic art, and don’t let the doubt win. Thank you Rasmuson Foundation for supporting Alaskan artists and offering these life changing opportunities.
The last leg(s) of my nomad adventure were Los Angeles, Seattle, Tuscon, then home again to Alaska! L.A. was a wonderful, sunshiney, soul talk filled, whirlwind week and a half. I recorded final vocals for the Boobs song in my dear friend John Silos’ closet (feel free to be envious of my glamorous lifestyle) and it’s going to sound AWESOME. Seriously, John is so rad and he’s working with a bunch of up-and-coming pop stars so I feel really lucky he’s a part of this album. (SHAMELESS PLUG GO LOOK AT MY FRIEND STEWART WHO HE ALSO PRODUCES—>Click!!). Also got to catch up with some of my closest friends including frolicking in the woods with the handsome gentlemen pictured below (Yeah, I guess Los Angeles has some woods!!). The gentleman on the left is Jordan King, who will be using his wizard skills to mix my album, and the young Gandalf gentleman is Liam Lewis, who is an excellent mandolin and fiddle player.
I’ve been home about a week, and it’s definitely been an adjustment transitioning back to normal routine life. It feels great to be home in a lot of ways, but I’ve already started daydreaming about my next trip…or move?