Studio week with Dylan Lee Johnston

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Studio week with Dylan Lee Johnston

We've been here camped out at Club Roar for the last 6 days, working on Dylan Lee Johnston's record with Patrick Damphier. Galen Ballinger, Dylan and myself have been putting our heads together over these tunes and a few special guests have dropped by to help us out as well. You can still contribute to Dylan's Kickstarter Campaign through the 31st. 

 

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Heylo

Well, it's mid July and it's almost too hot to go outside. I agreed to run a race in the fall with my friends, and I know I need to get out there and start training, but I can't seem to get out of the house early enough before the 90's emerge. (Not the decade, even though the dream of the 90's is still alive in many of our minds)  At least iced coffee and I get along. This weekend my friend Dylan Lee Johnston dropped off a couple of bikes he found at a yard sale. They were in good condition. We rode around all day Saturday, and even though it was hot and I hate riding uphill, the breeze felt great and we got to work our legs and ride through Shelby Bottoms and it was an overall satisfying experience. Speaking of Dylan, I am getting ready to join him in the studio this week in the making of his record. He has some amazing songs and I'd to share this link so you can check out his music and consider donating to his kickstarter campaign. No one who is a creative person really enjoys asking for money and soon I will be doing the same for my record (which is about halfway there, so excited though)  Here is the link!!... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dylanleejohnston/dylan-lee-johnston-just-like-rain-lp

Meanwhile, I have a few weeks off the road and I'm integrating all the fun times I've had so far this summer. Most recently I was at 'Woodyfest' which is the annual Woody Guthrie Festival held every year in Okemah, Oklahoma. Again I had a great time playing with Tim Easton, Amy Speace, Nellie Clay, and David Amram. This year's festival was bigger than ever, with so many of my friends performing, it was truly special. One of the most touching parts of Woodyfest this year was witnessing the Oklahoma community of musicians saying farewell to their friend Tom Skinner. He was an influential songwriter to so many people, and was booked to play Woodyfest this year. Unfortunately he was admitted to the hospital right before the festival began and it was known he would not recover. Everyone who knew him found ways to send tributes to him, visit him in the hospital, and send their energy toward him throughout the weekend. He passed away last Sunday as the festival concluded, but I feel clear that he knew he was loved. 

Easton, Amram, Palmer

Above, is Tim Easton, David Amram and me at the conclusion of Woodyfest. Below, a tribute to Tom Skinner... 

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Taking a hard earned 'break'

I just got home from so many trips that I am going to have to take a trip to remember them all. I promise soon with witty remarks about my so called life. But now I must go eat some dinner. 

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Back for 3 days!

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Back for 3 days!

Pensacola Beach... the person in the right corner is Darrin. 

Pensacola Beach... the person in the right corner is Darrin. 

Selby and me enjoying a Sunday Mimosa in New Orleans

Selby and me enjoying a Sunday Mimosa in New Orleans

We got back late last night after a fun and adventurous trek through the south. Darrin Bradbury and I had a lead off tour covering Birmingham AL, Pensacola FL, and New Orleans LA. I really love Darrin's songs - they are both serious and funny at the same time, and it's been cool getting to know him and learn his tunes. The day before we left we basically recorded an album as well, so there's that to look forward to as well. We worked at East Side Manor, and lo and behold, Gabe and his awesome wife Hannah joined us in NOLA, as did our friend Selby and the elusive Aaron Lee Tasjan, and we all convened at our fearless host, Johnny McCollum's compound in NOLA... finer times couldn't be had. 

The lineup at Siberia in NOLA....   

The lineup at Siberia in NOLA.... 

 

We played a show at Siberia with Alexandra Scott as well. They make a delicious pierogie there.  

Darrin and I will embark on another little tour later this month. Next on the docket is Kerrville TX with Amy Speace this weekend, and then the Nelsonville Music and Arts fest the following weekend with Tim Easton... Hope to see you out there somewhere! 

 

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Hi from beautiful Wimberley TX

Life is good in Wimberley TX. Last night we played Ray Wylie Hubbard's radio show at Tavern on Gruene. He is so fantastic and charismatic. The first time I ever saw him perform was several years ago at Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble and I've been a fan ever since, so last night was an honor. Amy Speace and I even got to sit in with him. We have several more shows in Texas this week before we head north... 

I'm making lots of fun plans for May with Darrin Bradbury. We are doing a couple of shows in Nashville before heading to Birmingham,AL; Pensacola FL; and a weekend in New Orleans. Here is our latest poster: 

After that run with Darrin, I'll be joining Amy Speace again at the Kerrville Folk Fest, and then Tim Easton the following weekend at Nelsonville Arts and Music Fest... 

Happy Earth Day! I'm going to spend the rest of my morning listening to the soundtrack of the Wimberley Birds and observing the stillness of the cedar trees. Peace! MP

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Welcome to the new site

Hi from Seattle! I've just spent the weekend here with an amazing group of healers who practice Therapeutic Touch. I've been involved with this world for over a decade now, and it's quite an honor. 

The other accomplishment of the weekend is that this website is finally live! Welcome to the golden age of actually being able to hear audio and see videos, buy music, email me and link to Itunes... haha what a concept! 

I'm heading to Austin TX today to meet up with Amy Speace and resume our tour for the next 2 weeks. Go to www.AmySpeace.com for show details. 

I've got to run to the airport, but thanks for checking in! more later! xo m

PS Happy Earth Week!!!! 

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NEW WEBSITE!

I'm working on switching my website over to this one... here are a couple of archived blogs from some of my adventures this year... 

Folk Alliance 2015 in Kansas City, MO summary…

March 2nd, 2015 by megan

 

It’s not easy to sum it up.

Let’s call it 2500 musicians in the Westin/Sheraton complex near downtown Kansas City, MO. It’s right across from Union Station, which is a very pretty place that reeks of railroad history.

Music fills every corridor possible. Almost all of it is good. People at the Folk Alliance are a special breed. There is so much joy in the making. We meet up once a year to see old friends, make new ones, and seek inspiration in what everyone has to share. It’s a genuine love fest. This year I was very fortunate to play almost every day in the Momentary Love Management Room, hosted by Lou DeMarco and Rain Fusco. Getting to know them was one of the highlights of my time in KC.

What happens at Folk Alliance is fairly simple. People play music wherever and whenever they can. Sometimes you find yourself playing in front of a crowded room of people, other times there may be 1 person there to listen. Either way it doesn’t matter because someone is always listening. Lou and Rain’s room was my ‘home room’ and the vibe there was always right. I also gravitated to the ‘Oklahoma Room.’ The music there was so good, and would go very late into the night. One particular evening I was fortunate to be David Amram’s sidekick. Besides being his bouncer, I was also making sure he didn’t lose his multiple flutes (one did go missing but not on my watch), kept his shoes tied, and most importantly, finding the right jam at 3AM. To the Oklahoma room we went. Sure enough, the music and clinky drinks were still flowing. We sat down and a song circle formed. There was the fiddlers 3 (me, T. Bruce Bowers, and a cool guy named Jason), David, Jesse Aycock, Wink Burcham, Levi Parham, and many other awesome musicians that Brian Horton of Horton records has corralled and tamed just enough to play outstanding music in the room. Another reason to love Oklahoma, as if I needed more. We played songs until they kicked us out at 5 AM. It wasn’t the first or last time this happened in the OK room.

The next night I got to sit in with David Amram during his set in the large Chicago room at the Sheraton. It was a great honor, and somehow he worked me into his improvisational tune about Kansas City, and said I had a ‘magic violin.’

I had the honor of playing with many others in addition to David… Tim Easton, Nellie Clay, Jesse Elliott, Jay Aymar, myself (yes, I did a couple of my own sets too). I have a few pictures to post, most of them courtesy of my friend “Frag” AKA Rob Hanning. Frag (pronounced Fraj, like Fragile) is a talented photographer and general documenter of all things Folk Alliance. And also just a great guy who enjoys music…

 

January 29th, 2015 by megan

I just got back from my first cruise ever, and luckily I was fortunate enough to be part of the entertainment. While I was on the cruise, I remembered a funny story my Grandpa B used to tell. He and my Gram were ‘cruisers’ for a few years post retirement. This was pre-Cayamo and other such ‘music-centric’ cruises… where I am sure there was ‘entertainment’ but not the same overdose of good music as I experienced. Anyway, according to Grandpa B, the piano player on his cruise ‘broke his arm’ and therefore Grandpa Bob got the gig for the week… there was speculation there was a set up, but nevertheless he found a job on the boat for himself…

I had a blast playing with Amy Speace on Cayamo 2015 The lineup was incredible and in addition to playing fun sets with Amy in the Spinnaker Lounge, I also saw some longtime favorites and also got to know some new people I’d never heard before but walked away inspired by… Seeing John Prine twice on the boat, and knowing every night I was falling asleep in the same vessel as him was ultra sweet in my stalker’s opinion. Hearing him play his songs that have inspired me to be a songwriter for so many years was beyond anything I could explain or articulate. It was also a treat to see Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, John Fullbright, Birds of Chicago, Joe Purdy, St. Paul and the the Broken Bones, and tons of other talents… it was almost an overwhelming experience… plus being down in the Caribbean in January wasn’t too terrible either. We stopped in St. Bart and St. Croix too and had fun times there… I have a few pics too prove I was there, but I forgot to take very many as I was livin in the moment!

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