Since I've updated last, I wrapped up working for the summer session of the Gift Of Music Program in Kalamazoo, which I really enjoyed. There will be a music video debuting sometime this fall showcasing a song we wrote with the students. I'm not able to post any pictures of the students yet, but here's some of the teachers I got to work with: Jeff Savina and Kam Potts (Motorcitykam).
This summer, I’ve been doing a little less supporting musician/studio musician work, and a little more work on my own music, demo's and recordings. I’ve also been investing more into band recordings & performances such as Maraj, Bowhunter and Hearth & Hymn. So, I was lucky to find part time work with Hether Frayer (aka the Fresh Food Fairy) making and selling her kale chips in Kalamazoo. Fresh food is always in abundance at her home, and it's really inspiring to be around. Here she is in all her glory!
I was able to make it to the Farm Block Festival in the Keeweenaw Peninsula this yearl that Graham Parsons hosts at his family farm. This was one of my favorite moments below. You can’t beat having a bunch of friends from different cities come together at festivals. Here’s a preview for my newest verse to my "Witchin’ In The Kitchin" tune that I sing & play on fiddle, which these guys helped write when we were hanging around the open air kitchen:
This is a shot from when Fiona Dickinson, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink and myself opened for A Brother and A Sister Band at their at Satellite Records album release in Kalamazoo. Our friends Joel and Ira helped us get a real pro band photo as well.
The three of us played a lot of music together as a trio this August. A Double Phelix crew of us got an upcoming EP recorded for Elisabeth at the Double Phelix studio. I also wrangled Fio & Elisabeth for a couple of studio sessions before Elisabeth left to teach in Portland for the school year. We got 4 of my live tracks recorded and video’d, along with three future Hearth & Hymn tracks. The first session was partially video’d by Michael Erlewine, and held at Troubadour Studios in Lansing, MI, which is owned by my friend Corey DeRushia. The second session was held in the sanctuary at the First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, MI thanks to the kindness of Nathan Dannison and the FCC community. I was also lucky to have some DIT Sessions folks video those songs too. I’m not sure when we’ll release them yet, but I’ll send word when they are.
Playing at Hollerfest with Elisabeth was a great way to wind down the summer. My favorite moment was seeing this father holding his sleeping daughter, and then laying her down gently so he could dance with his partner. His daughter woke up shortly thereafter with a bewildered look about her. But, it was totally worth it, as you can tell. I also really loved helping to teach the "kids songs" workshop by this treehouse with Elisabeth. We learned that they like the riddle song, but they REALLY got enthusiastic when it was time for them to share all their favorite riddles.
I got to welcome in the fall by playing at the Wheatland Music Festival this year, which was a real honor. Going here was one of the many experiences that ignited my passion for traditional music. Throughout the weekend, I was most inspired by seeing Pokey LaFarge and band. They played a set of music for the swing dance, which they don't usually do, and their energy was through the roof!
My other favorite moment was doing a morning yoga class in the dance pavilion. When it came time for the quiet, still Shavasana portion of the class, we could hear Bruce Bauman warming up on his fiddle backstage since he was about to play a family dance. ;)
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