March 1, 2014
...and no, i don't mean that tournament that consumes sports fans this time of year, including those who live in my house. soon talk of brackets and teams and statistics will dominate dinner conversation, and i will listen patiently and smile at the big man and the little boy i love so much... it's a good thing i actually enjoy basketball!
i am not sure i will have the time to watch much of the tournament anyhow, as i will be busybusybusy with live shows near and far this month! highlights include four concerts with NO FUSS AND FEATHERS ROADSHOW in PA, MD, NC, and NYC, a fantastic tribute to patty griffin at BRAD COLE's ACOUSTIC CIRCUS with a host of great nyc songwriters, plus a double bill in long island with supercool americana trio THE END OF AMERICA.
i am continually thrilled and amazed at the opportunities that come my way, and that i am able to continue doing what i love for appreciative audiences. join me at a show sometime, pick up a copy of my latest record, STEEL AND SALT, or just walk beside me quietly. any way you choose to travel, i'm glad to have you with me on this journey.
wishing you great music, good food, kind friends, and
January 30, 2014
New Year News
December 30, 2013
Happy New Year, Friends! Time is surely marching on, and each new year seems to arrive faster than the last! 2013 was a very good year for me, and I am grateful for the manifold blessings that came my way during the last 12 months...
- First of all, I'm proud to have completed the inaugural season of RealWomenRealSongs, and am so looking forward to cheering on all the wonderful women participating in the new season of this amazing project!
- Happy to have contributed a song to The Acoustic Guitar Project in the company of so many fellow workers-in-song here in New York City and all over the world.
- So honored to have toured with dear friends in Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration for the second year in a row. We've still got a few more shows on the calendar in Boston and Chicago, but I kind of wish we could do this forever.
- Finally, I am so proud to have released another solo record in collaboration with Fred Gillen Jr. Steel and Salt is exactly what I wanted it to be, and it could not have been so without Fred's guiding hand, musical chops, and boundless energy!
2014 will bring lots of traveling for me, much of it with a new collaborative project - No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow - that I am very excited about. I'm beginning to understand the old saw that the joy is in the journey, because so far, I am enjoying every step. Thank you for walking beside me. You're really good company...
May the new year bring many blessings to you and those you love. I wish you good times, great music, and above all,
December 1, 2013
is it really december already? i think i might still be stuck somewhere in october… help!
nevertheless, time marches on, and i find myself embarking on a very musically busy season during months that are often quiet ones for me...
first of all, i have a handful of shows in december that i have been looking forward to for some time: on friday, december 6, i have the pleasure of sharing a concert with the very cool TURNER ADAMS at GARDEN STAGE, one of my very favorite local venues; then, on saturday, december 14, i get to open for the amazing FREEDY JOHNSTON at the beautiful KENNETT FLASH; and finally, on december 15, i will be participating in the TRIBES HILL WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION for the first time, surrounded by many musical friends and collaborators.
and as if that weren't enough, on january 3, we will be happily launching NO FUSS AND FEATHERS ROADSHOW: An Evening with Carolann Solebello, Karyn Oliver and The YaYas at CT FOLK - the first of many concerts for this touring in-the-round collaborative in 2014. finally, i just got word today that i have been selected as one of 12 finalists in the SOUTH FLORIDA FOLK FESTIVAL Singer/Songwriter Competition, and will be performing at the festival on saturday, january 18. three lucky winners will also perform on the festival main stage on sunday, january 19. cross your fingers for me!
as my little holiday gift to you, i've discounted all my recordings at CD BABY during the month of december. you can even buy directly from the STORE page on my website...
i am thankful for the manifold blessings a life in music has given me, perhaps the greatest of which are the beautiful people i have met along the way. so grateful to share this journey with you, and hoping we meet again sometime in the new year. until then, i wish you great joy - both in the grand events of life, and its small blessings. may you wake each day filled with wonder, hope, and
remember in november
November 1, 2013
hope you're enjoying the pleasures of the season as much as i am. autumn is my favorite time of year, and i find it especially beautiful here in new york city. there's something about the juxtaposition of steel and glass and brick and mortar against mother nature's crisp, earthy palette that fills me with joy and sadness at the same time...
although the season has been gentle thus far this year, last fall announced itself with great fuss and fury. the wind blew, the rain fell, the seas rose, and so many people in the city i love faced enormous loss. before the waters receded, i wrote a song called "neptune," which eventually became the final track on steel and salt. as the anniversary of that storm approached this week, i created this video in tribute to the many people from my hometown - staten island, new york - who perished last fall:
remembering can be rough, but remembering is good. when i remember, i make stuff. sometimes i think memory is what drives creativity. i hope this fall finds you remembering and making stuff, too - pies, sweaters, paintings, songs, poems, cocktails, photographs, love… we are creative beings. i wish you the joy of creativity this fall.
join me at a show sometime and tell me what you make when you remember...
October 1, 2013
the calendar says "october," and yet a stack of clean beach towels remains in our front hall, gently prodding us to take one last trip to coney island before the frost descends. we've been blessed with clear, sunny skies lately, so it might not take much to convince me...
speaking of which, things are going swimmingly here in brooklyn, in a very literal sense. our seven-year-old is learning to swim at a nearby high school pool, and i think i might be having just as much fun watching from the stands as he is being in the water. what a wonderful thing it is to watch your child having an awesome time while learning an important life skill! color me one proud mama.
in the musical part of my life, i am happy to report that Steel and Salt made its radio debut this month, and has already been spun on 70 stations in the USA, canada, australia, and new zealand. that makes me feel wonderful, and so appreciative of all the radio hosts who keep independent music alive on the airwaves and on the web. i've already done interviews on WIOX and WHUD, and am looking forward to features on WMSC and WTBQ in october. i do so love interviews. talking about music - my own and lots of other flavors - is one of my favorite pastimes, and it's a not-so-secret aspiration of mine to have my own radio show someday. i've been practicing my radio-host voice for decades now, it seems.
as for live performances, new yorkers can join me this month for two CD release shows in manhattan and the bronx, the former with a full band, and the latter in duo format with my favorite producer and guitarist FRED GILLEN, JR. this month also brings shows in NJ, CT, and philly. check HERE to see the latest updates to my performance calendar.
and if you can't make it out to a show, do check out the groovy new videos we've added to the VIDEO page. new tunes and old, solo and band...
hope to see you down the road sometime soon! until we meet again, i wish you good times, great music, and
falling is easy
September 1, 2013
september... one project ends and another begins!
just last week, i completed one full year of weekly songwriting challenges as part of the RealWomenRealSongs project. for 52 consecutive weeks, i wrote and posted video of new songs created around weekly prompts issued by our fearless leader, the fabulous CARY COOPER. since i haven't had perfect attendance since third grade (or somewhere thereabouts), this project is a particular point of pride for me. no, they're not all good songs. not by a long shot. some will probably never see the light of day again. still, i kind of feel like a champ for just showing up, week after week, for a whole year. perhaps it's true that that's what really counts... teamwork, of course, counts, too. i was not alone in this. knowing there were 13 other women brave and loony enough to embark on the same project provided all the motivation i needed some weeks. i salute all my sister songwriters for having the courage to write fearlessly and tenaciously and wholeheartedly for so long. i adore each and every one of them. so... for all you completists out there, HERE is the complete playlist of all 52 videos from yours truly.
some of those tunes ended up on the new record, and some are actually being played on the radio as i type this, which is kind of unbelievable to me. but it's true. the radio campaign for STEEL AND SALT began just as the RealWomenRealSongs project was wrapping up, so soon i'll have some nifty chart stats to share with you all. that always makes me feel like a rock star somehow...
performing for wonderful people makes me feel like a rock star, too, so you can be sure i'll be doing plenty of that in the coming months. join me at a show sometime if you can. i'll be so glad to see you, and i just might sing a new song. i sure do have lots of them...
Steely and Salty
August 1, 2013
Hi Friends! It's Christmas in August here in the big BK, as we welcome the new CD, Steel and Salt, into the fold! I am so proud of the work Fred Gillen, Jr. and I did on this record, and very happy to say it's already available on CD Baby, Amazon, and iTunes. Of course, it's also available right HERE. Big thanks once again to everyone who pre-ordered. Your support means more than you know...
Now that the record is out in the world, it's time to party! We've scheduled a few CD release shows so far, and hope to get a few more on the calendar soon. Check HERE for details on all upcoming shows.
Our radio campaign begins in September, so soon stations all over the USA, Canada, and even a few locations around the globe will have a copy of Steel and Salt for airplay. We'll surely let you know when the record will start spinning on your favorite station!
Here's hoping the summer is treating you well, and that we'll meet again soon out there in the world. Until then, I wish you smokin' hot music, cool lemonade, and
July 1, 2013
it's ready! Steel and Salt is ready! and here's what it looks like:
you can hear a bit of what it sounds like by clicking the handy red mp3 player above. the first four songs, "brooklyn in the rain," backward," "loaded," and "golden boy" appear on the new album. i am so very proud of this new record, and can't wait for you all to hear the rest of it.
fred gillen, jr. and i kept production pretty close to the vest this time, playing and singing most parts ourselves, save for a couple of stellar guest appearances by pat wictor and jim keyes. fred and i even sing a duet! the sound is more electric than past records (though my acoustic guitar and voice still remain front and center) and reflects the energy of my beloved hometown, new york city.
the stories and characters you'll find on this record spring from the asphalt and the bedrock, gritty and beautiful, and just like the denizens of this town, are unafraid to speak their minds to whomever will listen, confident their sturdy urban armor will shield their tender, compassionate hearts.
i love new york, i love this record, and i love you. really. especially those of you who've already reserved your advance copy of Steel and Salt, which will ship before the end of july.
of course, Steel and Salt will also be available on cdbaby and itunes within a month or two... but why wait? reserve your advance copy by filling out the form on the CONTACT page. i promise to be in touch promptly with payment instructions, and to send a pretty little white package to your door just as soon as the shipment arrives.
join me on new part of my musical journey. it's been great fun so far, and i love having you along for the ride. wishing you a happy independence day, and sultry summer days filled with sweet corn, toasted marshmallows, watermelon and
steel and salt
June 1, 2013
it's finished! in just a few short weeks, i'll have boxes and boxes and boxes of my new CD, steel and salt, in my apartment, just waiting to venture out into the wider world!
i am so very proud of this new record. it's been a long time coming, it seems. i am so grateful for the efforts, talent, skill, and patience of my incredible producer, fred gillen, jr. i placed raw, unvarnished songs into his hands -- some finished only days before -- and he waved his magic wand (well, to be fair, some electric guitars, basses, and percussion-type thingies, as well) to create sounds i think are beautiful and true to what i imagined for these songs. fred turned my abstract visions into sonic realities right before my very ears, taking our musical conversation to a whole new level. i can't wait for you to hear the results!
steel and salt marks a change of direction for me. first of all, all the instruments on the record -- save my guitar and pat wictor's lap slide -- are electric. that's never happened before. on previous records, we've used electric instruments as the spice in the soup, but on steel and salt, they pretty much are the soup. there are some keyboards, played by the super-groovy jim keyes, and i even play electric guitar on one track -- more firsts! another change of direction lies in subject matter -- the songs on this record are centered in and around new york city, my birthplace and forever home. the characters and stories you'll find on steel and salt spring from the asphalt and the bedrock below, and are gritty as the world they inhabit. they speak their minds on a range of topics, but underneath the urban armor lie tender, caring human hearts.
if you'd like a copy of steel and salt before anyone else gets one, cruise on over to the contact page and fill out the order form. i promise to respond promptly with payment instructions, and send out your CD the moment i receive them. join me in joyful expectancy...
until then, i wish you sunny skies, healing waters, and
the flowers of may
May 1, 2013
is it may already? wow. that was fast.
more progress on the record... so happy to tell you about guest appearances by both my longtime friend PAT WICTOR, who lends his prodigious slide guitar skills, both acoustic and electric, to one track, and a newfound musical buddy, JIM KEYES, who adds organ and other things with black and white keys to no fewer than two tracks! i've never had any keys on an album before. come to think of it, i've never had pat wictor on an album before, either. this just might turn out to be a landmark record after all...
still writing songs for the realwomenrealsongs project, of course -- this is week 35 -- i am proud to say i haven't missed a week yet! we're in the beginning stages of planning a compilation to be released upon completion of the project. stay tuned for that.
and as if i weren't writing enough, i recently became involved with yet another songwriting project (though this one required only one song). it's called, plainly enough, the acoustic guitar project, and it involves a roving guitar, passed around to musicians for a week at a time, wherein we write and record a song -- one take, no overdubs --upload it to the project website, then pass the guitar along to another musician. i'm the 30th player in the new york city area to get my hands on the guitar, and i must say i'm pretty happy with the the tune i contributed. you can hear it by clicking here. a little side note -- the songwriter who had the guitar just before me is someone very, very close to me, and i like his song very, very much...
finally, as far as live performances go, i've got several shows with the joni mitchell's blue project coming up in may, june, and july, plus a solo jaunt to chigago in june! see the calendar page for details on those and other upcoming shows.
until next we meet, i wish you sweet-smelling may flowers and very little sneezing.
April 1, 2013
how time flies when we are not paying attention! or more accurately, how time flies when we are giving our attention to matters other than the passing of time...
so much to tell you... most of all, i'm happy to report that the new album is progressing wonderfully! i'm hoping to announce the title and start pre-orders before too long. producer fred gillen, jr. and i are playing things pretty close to the vest this time, tracking most parts ourselves - although there may be a special guest star or two - and letting the process unfold in as organic a manner as possible. i'm happy to say we've decided on the 12 songs that will make up the album, which was no small task, considering there were 25 or 30 songs under consideration. we've tried to choose not only the best songs, but songs that hang together thematically. although some say the album is an antiquated format, and singles are where it's at, fred and i refuse to believe that. our endeavor is to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. perhaps we are both relics from an earlier age, but that's how we roll...
also exciting is the fact that this record marks the first time i'll be playing electric guitar on a CD. here's a little photographic evidence of me and "the gillenator," fred's custom guitar:
i cannot wait to present this new project to you! stay tuned, and join me at a show if you can. i've been letting a few new tunes out of the bag at each concert, so check the CALENDAR page to find out where i'll be. until next we meet, i wish you good times, great music, and
a perfect seven
March 1, 2013
March the first. The first of March. It’s a celebratory day in our household, since today is our little boy’s seventh birthday. Seven. I can hardly believe seven years have gone by since we welcomed him into the world on that beautifully cold, bright afternoon in a room with a view of my beloved Brooklyn Bridge. He was so very tiny, and so very beautiful to us. We told no one his name until he heard it first, whispered into his little ear by his father. He thinks that’s a pretty cool thing now that he’s old enough to understand. Of course, he’s not so tiny anymore, but he is still so very beautiful to us. Sometimes, it amazes me that the little bundle we met only seven years ago can sing, dance, tell jokes, add and subtract, climb a jungle gym, play Risk, chess, tag, and soccer, cultivate friendships and give butterfly kisses. He can also navigate the NYC subway system better than some adults, which is a particular point of pride… Seven. That number carries a great deal of symbolic weight in many cultures. In the Judeo-Christian tradition it is culmination, completion, perfection. I like that. To me, seven is perfect. Of course it is. I'm his mother... Was I supposed to write about music? Oh, yes. Right. Well, here goes: I’m making a super-groovy record with Fred Gillen, Jr. at Woody’s House, which will be ready sometime before the weather gets hot and sultry again; I’m writing songs weekly for RealWomenRealSongs and posting the results on our YouTube channel; I’m playing concerts, both alone and with my cohorts in the Joni Mitchell’s Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration project. Click the links for more info on the outside projects, or cruise on over to the CALENDAR page for more concert info. And I will celebrate the beauty of seven this month. It is perfect. Peace, Carolann
February 1, 2013
hi friends ~
i'm delighted to report that i have begun recording sessions for a brand-new cd with my friend and longtime producer FRED GILLEN, JR.! as many of you know, i've got tons of new songs in the hopper, thanks in part to the REALWOMENREALSONGS project i've been involved in for the past 22 weeks. fred and i are both excited about this new bumper crop of songs and are letting production unfold in a very organic way. this is the first time we've started recording without a definitive list of what will make the final cut. we're confident the right songs will emerge as we dig further and further into the recording process and explore the best sonic possibilities for each. so glad we've got lots of options to choose from! we promise to present only what we feel are the very best on the new album. hoping for release by springtime, so stay tuned!
of course, i'm still out there performing on my own and with the JONI MITCHELL'S BLUE project - check the CALENDAR page for details on upcoming shows. hope to see you out there on the road sometime. stay warm, my friends.
December 1, 2012
december used to be a quiet month for me, musically, but much to my delight, this december is just the opposite... TWO joni mitchell's blue shows, plus solo shows in brooklyn and city island, and the constant writing and recording of new songs for the realwomenrealsongs project... i am feeling creative and loving it!
while i had hoped to have a new album tracked by this point, i have decided instead to hold off on recording just a bit longer. so many new songs are coming down the pike as i write for the above-mentioned realwomenrealsongs project, and i don't feel ready to divert my energy away from writing just yet. i'm really enjoying being prolific in this moment, and want to ride that wave as long as i can. as my friend and producer, fred gillen, jr., wisely reminded me, "what's the rush?" so, we will wait and see what happens in the early part of the new year...
meanwhile, i will keep making new songs, performing the old ones, and deciding which of the new ones merit fancying up and including in a new collection. i have never been patient, but i am learning. life is a journey, right?
journey on, friends. hope to see you down the road...
November 15, 2012
hi friends ~
half of november has slipped away, and i just noticed. the month certainly came roaring in here in the northeast, as hurricane sandy swept us off our feet... my family and i are thankful to have emerged unscathed, but some of our neighbors were not as fortunate. the devastation is great in many coastal areas, but my heart is particularly with the people of the eastern shore of staten island, my hometown.
if you are inclined to help, may i recommend donating to the STEVEN SILLER TUNNEL TO TOWERS FOUNDATION, an organization dedicated to honoring the memory of firefighter steven siller, who gave his life trying to save others on the morning of september 11, 2001. you may direct your donation to a particular geographic area HERE.
as for me, i'm coming down from the high of last weekend's northeast regional folk alliance conference, where i was privileged to have an official showcase. so many friends, so much music, and so little sleep... yet, i am energized by the experience and continue to be excited about writing and performing new songs, which i post every thursday on the realwomenrealsongs youtube channel. tune in sometime to see what's percolating...
also hoping to write a song or two for an upcoming film scripted by an old friend... but more on that later.
meanwhile, you can find me here in brooklyn, or out on the road somewhere... check the calendar page for details. until next we meet, i wish you good times, great music, and
the happy dance of october
October 1, 2012
just got word that i've been granted an official "quad" showcase at the annual NERFA conference! for the uninitiated, NERFA is basically a non-stop weekend of music and business for folkie types in the northeast. i have been attending NERFA for many years, and i just LOVE it! i am honored to have the opportunity to perform for venue operators, deejays, and folk friends from our region and beyond. i'm also doing a little happy dance, which is best left to the imagination...
in other news, i am now in the 5th week of the songwriting project that will take one year of my life, RealWomenRealSongs, and i am happy to tell you that it's been a really wonderful experience so far. although i find the process by turns terrifying, exhilarating, frustrating, and joyous, i'm so glad to be working with the amazing CARY COOPER and so many other fabulous women on putting something beautiful into the world.
there are already tons of videos on our collaborative YouTube channel, and a bunch of them are mine! surf on over and explore, then subscribe. i post a new song every thursday, but i have been spending a few minutes each morning enjoying new videos by my wonderful colleagues on this journey. i am so proud to be part of this project, and am continually humbled and awed by the work of these women. thanks, cary!
even before i started the RealWomenRealSongs project, i was writing lots of new songs, and songs, like people, need comfortable and nurturing homes... so, i'm happy to announce that i'll once again be working with my friend FRED GILLEN, JR. at woody's house to make a brand-new album this fall! my job this month is to record home demos as fast as i can so fred and i can choose the very best of the bunch to record all fancy-like. can't wait to get started!
meanwhile, there are some really groovy shows i'll be taking part in during the coming months... take a peek at the CALENDAR page to see where you can find me. hope to see you out there somewhere. until then, i wish you love, inspiration and
September 1, 2012
oh, my. how i love september! at heart, i am still a geeky schoolgirl who actually enjoys buying school supplies and revels in the smell of new pencils. and i am not ashamed to tell you that my heart goes all a-flutter at the sight of a brand-new notebook full of empty pages...
so now that i am neither student nor teacher, how will i satisfy my craving for new projects and, more importantly, use my fresh pencils and notebooks?
i am happy to tell you that this month, i embark upon a songwriting project that will take one year of my life. one year! RealWomenRealSongs is a YouTube collab devised by texas singer/songwriter/supermom cary cooper, in which 14 women from all over the usa and canada will be writing and posting newly-written songs each week for the next year. i am alternately terrified and excited to be part of this, in the company of such amazing songwriters and performers, but can't wait to get started! we got our first writing prompt this week, and new songs start going live on monday, september 3. i will be posting on thursdays, along with the very groovy chana rothman from philadelphia.
be sure to "like" RealWomenRealSongs on facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel to follow us on our journey!
and speaking of YouTube, i finally decided to enter the digital age and create a channel all my own:
you'll find some live videos on the channel, plus a few new songs live from my ultra-posh brooklyn studio (read: my comfortable but not-so-posh brooklyn apartment). i hope to add more good stuff in the coming months. you can even leave comments about what you'd like me to post... i promise to read them.
meanwhile, i still have shows to do. take a peek at the CALENDAR page to see where i will be this fall. hope to see you out there somewhere. until then, i wish you freshly-sharpened pencils and
hound dogs in august
August 1, 2012
I will certainly be baying at the moon this month... wahoo! Plenty of shows to be excited about, and a new songwriting project! First of all, I am really thrilled to be doing a couple of band shows with the key players from my Threshold band - Fred Gillen, Jr., Mike Weatherly, and Cheryl Prashker - August 18 in Yonkers NY and August 24 in Ringwood NJ, the former sharing with JAMES B. DUKEHOUSE, an electrifying trio led by my friend Joe Iadanza. Band shows are always full of great energy, and very special for me. Join us for one or both! Also delighted to team with my Chicks With Dip pals to perform the songs of Simon & Garfunkel in Metuchen NJ on August 4... We've been performing Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration to great acclaim all over the place, and have recently made the CD available for purchase at CD Baby! We'll be bringing the Joni concert to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on September 1, so mark your calendars! Details for these and other shows can be found, of course, on the CALENDAR page. Finally, and perhaps best of all, this month I am honored to have been chosen to embark upon a new songwriting project, RealWomenRealSongs, a newfangled YouTube Collab. The brainchild of Texas singer/songwriter Cary Cooper, this project challenges 14 female songwriters, myself included, to write 26-52 songs in a year and post videos of our newly written, unvarnished songs on the web on our assigned day each week. Scary, exciting, exhilarating and wonderful as it is, I hope you'll follow our journey. As Cary says, "We hope that in in watching us take risks, YOU will become inspired to create something of your own, be it a song, a painting, that book you've been dying to write...the possibilities are endless!" Life is a journey, so let's get a move on... Wishing you wonderfulness and creativity in the days to come! Peace, Carolann
too darn hot
July 1, 2012
hello friends! we are absolutely sizzling here in brooklyn, and july has barely begun! i am more thankful than ever for the simple pleasures of shady trees and splashy fountains in prospect park, ocean breezes and lemonade at coney island, and the chilly air of museums and movie theaters that make summer in the city not only bearable, but fun. what's heating up most for me these days, musically speaking, is the wonderful tribute concert and album project i've been involved with this year, Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration. we are beyond thrilled that this project has taken on a life of its own and has been booked for a bunch of east coast dates stretching out to june 2013! this month, we have the distinct pleasure of reprising the concert in new york city at the venerable CITY WINERY on july 16. see the CALENDAR page for full details on this show, plus more this fall and next spring. we've also just made the full CD available for purchase online at CD BABY! i'm also excited to be attending the FALCON RIDGE FOLK FESTIVAL once again this year. i will have the privilege of performing both at the ACOUSTIC LIVE booth on the midway and at the budgiedome up on the ridge after the main stage closes down, and i couldn't be happier. i look forward to seeing many of you there! most of all, looking forward to a summer of simple pleasures shared with family and friends. wishing the same for you, and until we meet again, may your days be filled with hot tunes, cool drinks, and peace, carolann
june is jumpin'
June 1, 2012
hello, friends! seems every time i sit down to write one of these updates, it is raining here in brooklyn. or perhaps i only sit down to write when it rains... either way, i am glad to tell you i won't be sitting down for long. june is busier than i expected it to be, what with a handful of shows and the first stirrings of a new recording. as i'm sure i've gushed about in previous posts, i've been writing a great deal since the release of "threshold" last summer. i am delighted to tell you that i have a whole slew of new songs waiting in the wings for what i hope will become a new album for release sometime next spring. that means, of course, that all those new songs have to make their way from the page to a demo recording soon so my friend and producer FRED GILLEN, JR. can help me sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. guess i'll be spending lots of quality time wearing headphones in my home studio (otherwise known as my living room) this month! you know, i had an amazing revelation last week: recording is not something that must be done only in the dead of winter. i realized that the last five albums i have been involved in - including most of red molly's - have been recorded in december or january, when i often suffer from some sort of respiratory ailment. therefore, at least one song on each of those albums has been hampered by a head cold, bronchitis, or (in one case) pneumonia. this time around, i thought it might be exciting to record sometime before the cold weather hits, if only to see what i sound like without such ailments to impede me. brilliant, i know... now why didn't i think of that eight years ago? this month also brings preparations and more bookings for the wonderful tribute concert and album project i've been involved with this year, "Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration." there are concert dates for the fall posted here on the CALENDAR page, with more coming in 2013. also, we've got a brand-new facebook page for the joni project HERE. stop by sometime and give us a "like" if you want the latest news on that project. well, i've surely been sitting down long enough, and a new song is waiting to be written. i hope to run into some of you at various festivals this joyous season, and until i do, i wish you good times, great music and peace, carolann
May 1, 2012
I find I'm spending lots of time this Spring making plans for Summer and Fall. Does that happen to everyone? We spend our days filling in boxes on our calendars and fretting about the future while the present sometimes goes by unnoticed. So many little moments of beauty happen every day, and they often slip by in the rush of groceries and repairs and laundry and correspondence and deadlines. Each day brings more and we rush to get everything accomplished... My friend Pat Wictor writes lovingly in his song "I Don't Know What She Knows," about a woman who is able "to be and not just do." I surely envy that, and wish I could be more like the woman in the song. It seems I "do" a great deal, but often wonder what it might be like to just "be" for a while. This month, though I have plenty of those things - and more - to keep me busy, I shall endeavor to notice and savor fleeting, graceful moments wherever they may be found. Just be... Peace, Carolann
april in brooklyn
April 1, 2012
March came in like a lion and went out like, well... a lion. Ten shows in one month, which is far more than I'm used to as of late. I must admit, I am a little tired, but oh, so very happy. So many wonderful things happened in March - I launched a songwriter series in my hometown with a new friend, toured with an old friend, opened shows for two songwriting heroes, sang Joni Mitchell songs with my NY songwriter pals, and shared a show and a meal with one of my favorite poets. It was a banner month, indeed, and I'm feeling pretty darn lucky.
This month, I have far fewer performances, which is kind of a relief. The madness of March left me very little time for writing, and much to my surprise, I missed it. Writing has really become one of my favorite things to do. Tough, though, to give it the energy and space it needs when you're busy preparing for the next show and getting ready to leave home again. and again. Since I'll be sticking pretty close to my usual orbit in April, I'm hoping a few new tunes will reveal themselves before month's end. Maybe I'll even post a few home videos, like I promised a few months ago...
Until then, you can find me in Brooklyn, Harrisburg, Sandy Hook, and Manhattan - when I'm not in my writing chair by the window or under a tree in Prospect Park, that is...
Happy Spring, friends!
March 1, 2012
I returned from the Folk Alliance International Conference in Memphis with renewed energy, and it's a good thing, too - March is absolutely BRIMMING with activity here at Camp Solebello. Nine shows this month, from Brooklyn to Buffalo and everywhere in between!
I have many reasons to be excited this month:
> First, I'm launching a new songwriter series here in Brooklyn with my friend and neighbor BEV GRANT. Bev is an accomplished and fearless songwriter, performer, and activist, and I look forward to sharing shows with her and some of our favorite songwriters in the coming months. We begin on March 9 with Bev's sister-in-song, INA MAY WOOL and urban poet PAUL SACHS.
> I am thrilled to be sharing a few shows with my longtime friend PAT WICTOR, amazing slide player and songwriter, now a member of the powerful male harmony trio BROTHER SUN. We'll be collaborating on some new tunes and old favorites in Pennsylvania and upstate New York, March 16-18.
> I have the distinct privilege of doing opening sets for two of my favorite songwriters, LYNN MILES and JOHN GORKA in Buffalo NY and Needham MA, respectively. How do I love my job? Let me count the ways...
> Finally, I'm pleased to report that Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration, which I was privileged to be part of in NYC this past January, will be performed a second time at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair NJ on March 30! I will be joining 10 of my female singer/songwriter pals to present Joni Mitchell's masterpiece - in its entirety. What a joy!
I think that might just be enough for one month... check the CALENDAR page for details.
Hope to see you out there somewhere. Until I do, I wish you hot buttered popcorn and
February 1, 2012
Hi Friends ~
So far, 2012 has been very busy, indeed, and it shows no signs of becoming less so, at least for the next few months. I am grateful, since being busy is far better than sitting on one's hands, especially as a performing songwriter. February brings shows in NY, NJ, PA, and MA, plus my first solo appearance at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Memphis!
I haven't been to Folk Alliance since I attended with Red Molly in 2009, so I am very excited about returning. This year, I have the honor of performing as an Official Showcase Artist! This annual conference brings a chance to cement musical friendships, form and renew business relationships, and generally revel in marvelous music with kindred spirits for a long weekend. I can't wait!
Hopefully, I'll have lots of news to report upon my return. Until then, I hope to see you out there on the road someplace. May February be warm and cozy for you, my friends!