This is a much talked about topic - Finding your purpose. It can seem a little (or a lot) daunting to think about.
For a long time, I thought "purpose" meant something someone does. For instance: "my purpose is to play music" or "my purpose is to write" or "my purpose is to be a mom" or "my purpose is to provide for my family."
Through experience, many tough lessons and periods of time where I have felt like I'm grinding out life on a gravely, bumpy road - My opinion has changed about this. Purpose comes from somewhere that is not visible to the human eye. It is mystical in a sense. If you sat a doctor and musician next to each other - they might have the same purpose. If you sat two doctors side by side - they might have completely different purposes.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find your purpose (write them down!):
Now, some or all of these questions might have the same answer. But you should at least have some facts about your purpose to work with. Purpose is the undercurrent for all that we do. Purpose drives our passion.
Here's an example from my life - Lately, I get the most joy out of writing. Whether it be a song, a poem, an inspiring Facebook post, beginning a book, even this blog! I get this true sense of joy and almost a feeling of being invincible when I am in the act of writing. It is not really the ACT OF WRITING that brings me these feelings though. It is what I am writing about and the message that I wish to share. It is the knowing that I am one of the vessels through which this information travels to manifest into the physical world - however that may be. Everyone has the ability to experience this. EVERYONE.
Now that you have answered the questions, think about your daily life. Think (or write) about what you do in your day to engage with your purpose. If you can't think of anything right now, write about what you COULD BE DOING to engage. It can be very simple. Think about ways to find time each day to ignite it. THIS IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE SOUL.
My wish is that this message fires you up and allows you to live a purpose driven life, even if just for today, but hopefully for the rest of your days. You deserve it and the world needs you.
"Facing The Shadow" is out as of Oct 16!
Download on iTunes here:
My deepest gratitude to all who have been a part of this project, all who have lent a helping hand, all who have contributed time and energy and all of those who continue to support the music by coming to shows!
Here's a photo that my super talented friend, Elis Avellan, took a while back. This was a really awesome photo shoot in her father's backyard. Here's an inside scoop on photo shoots. First, I want to say that Elis is amazing - She's amazing because when we do a photo shoot, she brings out in me my truest self, and she's a gorgeous Goddess herself. I was super cold in this water. I had this huge tapestry wrapped around my body, doing my best to keep myself covered for the photo. My sweet sister is out of the shot, but just to the left of the photo making sure the fabric was flowing properly for a good shot. Elis' sister, Isabel, was holding the sun reflector and Elis was tippy toed on the edge of the pool in order to get this angle from above. All the while, I'm trying not to laugh and doing my best to look natural and relaxed, like it's just another day, floating in the water, sun shining, without a care in the world... Easy breezy, right?!? Because I fully immersed myself in the water, this was the last shot of the day and we all laughed a lot for this portion of the shoot. But she captured a great one, right??
You can find more of Elis' work here. Her photography name is Alice Rabbit. Follow her on IG, Twitter - @alicerabbitshoots. She also makes gorgeous jewelry called Crystal Bullets.
On another note - The album is finished! We sent it off to get pressed today with my Any & All Media here in Austin, TX. Super excited! So much work has been put into this and to be able to share it with y'all gives me butterflies in my tummy. In a really good way :)
Shows! Because a lot of time and energy is going in to preparing for the album release, the show schedule is not as busy this coming month, but we've got some good ones! We will be all over the states for shows in the fall, so stay tuned for that.
Thursday, August 13th
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
Tix online HERE
Thursday, August 20th
Friday & Saturday, August 21st & 22nd
Terlingua Music Festival
Order wristband online for only $40 ($75 at the door) HERE
Call me Christian because I worship Jesus Christ. Call me Buddhist because I worship Buddha. Call me Hindu because I worship Hare Krishna. Call me a student of Self Realization because I worship Paramahansa Yogananda. Call me a Tree Hugger because I worship Mother Earth. Call me a scientist because I have explored quantum physics. Call me whatever you'd like, really :)
This is not "new age" belief. "New" implies time, this Love is timeless. It is always now and always here for us to bask in it's Grace and Glory.
Some folks might get confused walking into my home, seeing photos of Christ, statues of Buddha, images of Krishna and photos of Gurus hanging on my walls, Mother Mary, Catholic candles, incense, malas, sage, etc. All of these beings who blessed the Earth have high vibrations of LOVE pouring out of them. They did not wish for segregation, they did not wish for judgement. They wished for Oneness under the umbrella of God, which is All.
God = Love. Love has no boundaries. Love simply is.
We worship whatever Deity resonates with us. Know that God lives inside of us and around us and provides an infinite amount of Love, passion and joy!
Friends! This Saturday I will be at The Saxon Pub in Austin, TX. I have been working away on my solo show and would love for you all to join me! I appreciate all of the love and support I have felt recently.. I love sharing and connecting with you! My friends at Colored Lion are bringing a film crew out for the show to get some footage for an upcoming project we are working on, so wear your best lipstick and fanciest shirt :) Stick around for Micky and the Motorcars afterwards! A good friend and great singer-songwriter, Jessy Napier, will be opening for me.
--- Saxon Pub --- Jan 24 --- 8PM --- $8 at the door ---
As always, you can visit ashleymonical.com to check show schedule, read the blog or browse the photos.
Blessings and see you soon!
You know that feeling when you feel supported by the infinite? I have some to experience what when we follow our heart's guidance, listen to it and act upon it, The Divine knows and opens up for us to experience nurturing and love. These are words that came through me last night. We are so blessed to be instruments *
Your sacred heart
You have the key to unlock it, to show it this beautiful world
It wants to see
To recognize the sacredness in itself and everything else
It wants to climb the trees
It wants to fly with the birds
Your heart, you see, has a life
A spirit of it's own
You can talk to it
You can love it, like you love a friend
If you love it, your heart will guide you
It will guide you on the back of an eagle
It will guide you through the Earth into it's roots
It will guide you to mountain tops and back down
It will guide you to other hearts alike
If you truly love your heart
Your heart will guide you through the pain
If you love your heart
It will show you the wonders of the world
What if you decide to let your heart out of it's cage?
Crack open the shell?
Are you afraid of pain?
Your heart will never leave you, know that
You heart will rest there in your bones, not in a cage
It will sing the joys of other hearts
It will reach out and touch other hearts and in turn, be touched even greater
It wants to see, feel, experience the beauty of loving you back
Love your sacred heart.
Welcome to all the folks who have hopped on my wagon recently!
2014 was a nutty, roller coaster of a year for lots of people. I recorded my first full length album (produced by John Evans), played a bunch of really cool stages & wrote with lots of talented songwriters. I have also taken time to get involved with the SIMS Foundation here in Austin, TX. Check it out, I'm even featured on the front page of their website! They provide mental health care for musicians who reside in Austin. They have helped me (and many other musicians) so much. They asked me to share my story and it felt in line with my heart to spread the word about SIMS, so I'm all out in the open now and it feels great to share my passion and excitement for mental health! Ready for 2015!
*If you are, or know, a musician in Austin, TX who needs help, please call SIMS at (512)494-1007, they will help you.
As always, you can visit ashleymonical.com to check on upcoming shows, here are a few coming up in Jan.
Freddy Power's Picking Party
5220 Hudson Bend Rd Austin, TX 78734
Miranda Dawn's Birthday Celebration with Daisy, Miranda Dawn & Cecily Gold.
5326 Manchaca Rd Austin, TX 78745
W/ Libby Koch
2425 Norfolk Houston, TX 77098
W/ Micky and the Motorcars
1320 Lamar Square Dr. Austin, TX 78704
I LOVE hearing back from you!! If you feel inclined, simply comment below and it will get to me!
Thank you to all who have taken time to come to all of my shows in 2014! It is an honor and a blessing to play music for you. I am looking forward to further connection! As we say in my family "HAPPY NEW YOU!" Let us be open to LOVE and a happy, healthy life!
Hey frans (friends, family & fans),
What I am posting here is something I wrote for a speech I gave at my friend (and great songwriter/performer), Emily Bell's series "Can't Talk Back." Each week she has a guest woman speaker come up in the middle of her band's set to talk about what it means to them to be a woman. I put a little twist to it. Check it out :) It was incredibly inspiring for me to get up in front of about 50 people (mostly men) and talk about this truth of mine.
I just had my 29th birthday and over the past few years I have gone through some life changes and transitions that I feel have catapulted me into my womanhood. Through hardships and certain situations I have grown. Being a songwriter, I keep finding lyrics pouring out of me about coming into being a grown woman.
There have been times where I have doubted my ability to speak out. It’s much easier for me to put some lyrics to a song and play my guitar or piano and sing what I want to say. Now I will speak out.
I want to start by sharing a brief history of my pubescent teenage years with you. To begin with, when my parents finally gave in and let me start shaving my legs, I was in 6th grade, long after all of the “cool girls” in school started shaving theirs. Not many girls can say this, but MY DAD actually took me to the store and helped me pick out a cool razor, I still remember the way it looked, round and flat to make it easy to hold. It was pink or purple. He taught me, with patience and care, how to shave my legs around my nobly knees and tender, skinny shins. A few years later when I started my period, I was too ashamed to tell my mom. So I would take feminine hygiene products from my best friend, Tarah’s, house in order to avoid an awkward conversation. She had never talked to me about this stuff, and I was certainly not going to be the first one to bring it up. I went months without telling her, she finally found out and we still never really had a conversation about it. Now, in retrospect, I understand it must have been uncomfortable for her as well.
This was my introduction into the beginning of womanhood. And I had feelings of shame and embarrassment.
What I have learned since then is that there is nothing to be ashamed of here! Being a woman is so beautiful, mystical, spiritual, vulnerable, sexy and powerful. Just like Mother Nature, we nurture the sick and dying and encourage the blooming. Our hearts carry compassion and love. And when our hearts are open, we can dance freely to the beat they are providing us and follow our path of courage.
Someone reminded me recently that all humans are made up of part masculine and part feminine energy. So I am not only speaking of what it means to be a woman, but what it means to be a human. Each and every person on this planet has the ability to connect with the Divine Femininity and soft, flowing, nurturing side of themselves. Just as much as they have the ability to connect with the strong, grounded, "get shit done" part of themselves. When I say this, I am not separating men and women, but combining the two amazing forces that we all have indispensable access to.
So, the message I would like to convey is that we all have the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine inside of us. Each side wants to be expressed just as much as the other whether you are a woman or a man.
A woman carries the baby that the man fertilizes, just as the rain from the skies give life to the plants and trees that grow from the earth’s inviting soil. We need both to thrive!
With this message, I encourage you, whether you are a man or a woman, to reach inside and find what it means to harness both feminine and masculine energy.
Men, I urge you tonight and in the future to dance and wave your arms in the air letting your worries and fears float up to the sky. I urge you to ask yourself how you are expressing the feminine nature that undoubtedly rests in your spirit.
Women, I encourage you to reach far and wide out of your comfort zones, just as I am doing right here right now on stage. Do something to nurture your masculine side. Fix something at your house that you might normally ask a man for help with. Find that part of your spirit that yearns to take care of yourself and loved ones in your life.
You are all beautiful people. Thank you for listening to my truth and I urge you all to live yours. Thank you. The Divine Mother in me recognizes the Divine Mother in you.
As I am driving to Wimberley, TX on a beautiful Monday morning I have that little nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. My thoughts are firing into places, like they often do, of the unknown. I am on my way to record an album. This has been a long time coming. John Evans (producer) is already out at the place setting up the studio with Steve Christensen (sound engineer- SugarHill Studios) and Falcon Valdez (drums, The Happen-Ins). Later to come would be Scott Davis (bass, The Band Of Heathens) & Trevor Nealon (keys, The Band Of Heathens). Weaving through the hill country roads from Austin, TX out to Wimberley, TX, I realize I don't know anyone but John and my mind races again.....
When John and I began pre production for the album, I shot out the idea of recording in Wimberley at my family's new property. We both decided that would be perfect. There is a log cabin surrounded by a screened in porch with a breezeway running through the middle - a perfect place to relax and read and soak in the sounds of the cicadas & roosters. There is also a huge two story garage with an apartment above it AND a little love shack. The studio was set up in the garage apartment and that was where the magic happened. We kept the cabin as our sanctuary where we had a few games of poker, a couple movie nights, ate a lot of chicken, kale and spinach, and had some quite interesting conversations... Along with a few visits to the incredible spot on the Blanco River.
I can't really explain the process of recording, nor do I want to. All I have to say is that it was fulfilling, exhausting, funny, sacred, humbling, vulnerable, beautiful. Being surrounded by nature, for me, is what helped fuel the creative process.
On Thursday, the last day, John, Steve and I went into town to get some steak and jalapeños wrapped with bacon to grill up (*John gets the cred for grilling). We had a great "last supper" and then had a listening session at about 11:30 that evening. We all sat in the studio and listened to each song back to back. Soaking in what we spent the past two weeks cultivating. I did my best to listen without ego. I found myself resting my head back onto the couch, eyes closed and smiling.
These songs that I have written are now born. It's like I had 11 babies. Song babies. They are still rough mixes, at the puberty stage I would say, or maybe early 20s. We have phase two in about three weeks which will be mixing in Houston at SugarHill Studios. At the same time, I am getting my funding campaign together with my buddy, videographer, Josh Dodds. Then I launch the crowd funding campaign to raise money for promotion of the album.
I have to admit, when the guys were packing up the studio yesterday morning getting ready to head back to the real world, I got a little sad. We created a bond and it was a really amazing time. I could not have asked for better people to work with. John and Steve's ability to keep a grounded, stable environment was amazing and put me at ease, even after all the batch (coffee) they drank. :) Falcon is a badass drummer and was very innovative with his ideas, no ego there. Scott is just a brilliant musician, what they call a utility player, meaning he knows how to play just about everything and is really really really good at it. Trevor put keys on two songs, one being Trouble. He slayed it! All of the people who are a part of this are extremely talented at what they do!
I am so thrilled to share this group of songs. This is only the beginning.
Peace & Light
I'm sitting here working on my computer eating salt sprinkled cantaloupe. I originally spelled cantaloupe, "cantlelope" and then it gave me the squiggly "you don't know how to spell this" line. So I GOOGLED it.. confession.
Be sure to check out my show dates, there are a few up and I will continue to update them for the summer!
John Evans and I have been meeting for some pre production stuff for my album and it's been going really well, I am looking forward to working with him more! We recorded a song last week for a video for my crowd funding campaign that I have not launched yet, but will in the near future. It will be solely to raise money for promoting the album, I've already got the studio costs covered. My goal is to put at least $10,000 into promoting the album and I'm really looking forward to sharing the music with more peeps. Have you heard the first EP I put out about 4 years ago before I started playing gigs called Map Of The World? It's on iTunes and I suggest you go hear it now before I take it down. Let's just say, it helps me to appreciate my growth. :-)
There is something personal that I feel the need to share with all of you. In the past few months (give or take) anxiety has been visiting me in a more prominent way. Have you had anxiety? Yes? Then you know that it can have the ability to take you into a deep, dark hole of fear. It can be very scary and debilitating. I would not wish anxiety on anyone.. ANYONE.
Since I was a young girl, I have always been extremely inquisitive and had an innate desire for learning about humans. I am still that way. So, of course, when I feel anxiety I want to learn about it.. Where does it come from? What exactly IS it? Why does it seem to take over in moments that I feel in control? How can it go away? And why does it happen sometimes when I am on stage doing what I love most?? Hmmm...
I have been reading about anxiety and talking about it with others who have experienced it. Here is what I can conclude as of today:
When I have had anxiety in the past, I have attached myself to it. Which means I have had this belief that it is a part of me.. A part of Ashley's being. It is not. When I attach myself to anxiety, I start to shame myself for feeling it. Would I shame a friend for having anxiety? No. I would talk them down and tell them kind, soothing words so that they could see some light. Notice earlier I said, "anxiety has been visiting me in a more prominent way." If I can take a step back and look at anxiety as a visitor, then I can wrap my head around detaching from it and letting it go (same with fear, depression, stress, etc...), which is the goal. I was watching a yogi speak about panic attacks and he said that the true way to let go of panic is to become friends with it. I like that. Just become friends, say, "why are you here, anxiety?" I know I know, it sounds silly, but it can work!
When I have the courage to accept it and love it and embrace it, that's when it will be let go. When I can have the courage to share with others about it, it will be let go. When I can tell you that sometimes when I am on stage and I feel a panic attack coming on and it's really scary, it will be let go. Anxiety and fear thrive off of darkness. When I can talk about it and shine light on it, I can learn to accept it and therefor, let it go. This is not always easy, but this is human. And all is okay. :)
I write this post for 2 reasons:
1) After being so vocal about anxiety to friends and family in my life, I have learned that nearly everyone has suffered from anxiety and not many people like to talk about it. I think it's because they feel it will bring on more anxiety or that they will be shamed for it and look stupid in other people's eyes. Both false. I want to put myself out there like this so that people know others feel this too and it's okay. It does not have to be taboo. My wish is that you talk about it!
2) Writing about it for the world wide web to see (I know millions are reading this, right?) helps me shine light on it and then connect with you in a deeper way.
In my belief, we are all interconnected and this world is a beautiful place. We are free to live out our goals and dreams and we are just as worthy as anyone else! There is darkness, yes. Darkness makes the light that much brighter, enabling us to sink our roots into Mother Earth and stretch our branches toward the sun.
All of the blessings of happiness in the world to you.
Larry Joe Taylor's Texas Music Festival 2014
Photo by Daren Davis
(That's me with my hands in the air!)
Howdy! Hi! Hey! Hello!
The highlight of my career (so far) happened this past Saturday night when I was a special guest at Larry Joe Taylor's Texas Music Festival. I got to sing in front of 15,000 - 20,000 people on stage with some of the greatest TX music artists. It was incredible. Larry Joe had me sing the last line of the last song of the festival "In the sky, lord, in the sky" from an old country gospel song called "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." I belted it out for all the cheering, radical, beer drink fans under a big Texas sky full of twinkling stars on Melody Mountain Ranch in Stephenville, TX.
My new friend, Mark McKinney, also asked me to sing a duet with him on the big stage. I literally heard the song about 4 hrs before I sang it and it was fabulous! I am so grateful to be a part of this music scene and supported by these talented folks who I respect so much!
Currently, I only have 2 shows on the schedule.. Which is good! WHY? It's been a long time coming and I have finally decided to record an album with producer, John Evans. John is a great songwriter, producer and musician - I am thrilled to work with him and really looking forward to what we will create! You can expect rock, folk, country, gospel and a ballad or two to tug on some heart strings.
This email update is also to put out the word that I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for promotion and distribution for the album.. Something very necessary alongside releasing a product!
I am so humbled and grateful for all of the support that continues to come my way on this path. From family, to fans, to music venues, to musicians, to friends!
God Bless all of you!
Create the world you want for yourself.
How's life? Busy? Crazy? Meh? We all go up and down like that old crikety roller coaster I used to ride at 6 Flags in Denver, Co.
FIRST- I want to announce that we (the band and I) are playing at The Saxon Pub In Austin, Tx on Tuesday, May 6 at 8pm!! Please come, it's an early show and I am super excited!
I am sitting in my living room where this photo was taken (just now) and I am listening to Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker album. I love this album and there are, like, 5 songs about different girls and on the cover he has a cigarette hangin on his lips.. So mysterious & heartbreaker-ish.
I am really excited that I just got my guitar set up by a man in S Austin, TX named Tom Oatley. He's a guitar doctor and fixed up my sweet, dark angel song accompanist. I don't have a name for her. If you have an idea, pitch it in the comments below!
This Wednesday I will be leaving town for the Larry Joe Taylor Music Festival (largest Texas music Fest) where I will play on Thursday morning for the Bloody Mary morning show! You also may see me singing with LJT on Saturday night with thousands of people in the audience! Eeek. Something I have wanted to do since I was a little little girl.
I was introduced to this festival last year and got to stay back stage and meet lots of really cool folks. I got to sing with Larry Joe and it was crazy.. There was a (really drunk) girl in the front row reaching up for me like I was famous or something. She wanted to touch my hand so bad and she was drenched in beer. I threw her some beads I found on the floor of the stage and she seemed very grateful. At least I know I had one adoring fan for about 10 minutes, who may not have any clue what my name is- but, hey! That's besides the point ;)
I am also in early stages of pre production for an album - been a long time coming! I have chosen a producer to work with and I will tell you who soon! He's really great and I am very excited to work with this person.
Although I have a good amount of money to start off the album, I want to publicly announce that I will be launching a KICKSTARTER campaign in the next couple of months so that all of my friends, family and fans can be a part of the experience in helping us create and promote this album!
Be well and live in compassion with your passion!
This is a phrase I think, talk and read about often. I want to share with you and my wish is to inspire you to be YOU!
Being authentic. What does it mean?
Well, to me, living in authenticity means to live in truth. Webster dictionary defines the word as being real or genuine; not copied or false; true and accurate; made to be or look just like an original.
I believe that if we could all be our true, authentic selves our lives would become a lot more fluid and easy to live. This can be difficult. There are times we are scared to say what's on our mind, ashamed to speak our truth or intimated by circumstances that come our way. I know, I've been there as we all have. Being authentic comes with risks and even greater rewards. It brings a freedom to us that we can experience in no other way than - being authentic.
Think about when you are having a conversation with someone and they don't seem available- no eye contact, on their phone or interrupting. How do you feel when that conversation is over? I'm talking whether it's a relationship through business, personal, family, romantic, etc.. Now think about those times you have had conversations with people who are so interested in what you are talking about, looking into your eyes and have compassion about what you are sharing. How does that make you feel? Good, right?! I hope so! Now put yourself on the other side for some inner reflection.
Being authentic does not necessarily mean that you are going around telling everyone who you are and what you stand for and how you view the world. Authenticism can be adaptable- Being present in the moment. Recognizing our emotions when they arise and handling them in most peaceful way we know how. Being honest with people. Setting boundaries to care for ourselves. Being compassionate towards others. Helping our brothers and sisters when they cry for help.
In each and every one of us lies our true, authentic self. Over years it can be covered up by fear, anxiety, resentments, anger, heartache.. There's a way out of this! By practicing presence, compassion and honesty everyday- the layers will start to peel away to uncover the true, authentic essence we all hold within. As our inner worlds open up, our outer worlds with follow and we will know more peace, happiness and prosperity than we could have ever imagined. I promise this works.
Here are some things you may not know about me. I am a folk/rock/country singer songwriter in Austin, TX. When I was 17, living in Denver, CO, I paid with my own money to have two 10 inch subs installed in the trunk of my car. Pretty much all I listened to was rap and hip hop (and Mariah Carey). Until I started writing songs, I had no idea who Kris Kristofferson or Townes Van Zandt were. Authentic. I dropped out of H.S. to get my GED and start cosmetology school. Authentic. I have a few forms of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Authentic. I quit drinking over a year ago am an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous in recovery. It's beautiful and authentic. I take way too many photos of my cat. Authentic.
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I challenge you today, to be YOU. You have a special gift to offer this world. Use it as honestly and openly as you can! Know that you are loved as yourself and you do not need to be anything but YOU!
PS. This is a photo I took of SRV in front of Austin, TX skyline.
This year I am going to make it my goal to give a blog once a week!
This Saturday we will have our first show of the year at Strange Brew! I am super excited to play this venue. It has already won awards for best listening room in Austin, TX. This will be a full band show! We play from 6-7:30, so come out to the show, go out and enjoy dinner after and then if you're feelin' spicy, you can go to dirty 6th to get crazy and fraternize with all the folks booty dancin' on a see-through dance floor with sharks below - but really - if you go to that place, (yes, it does exist) please tell the owner that Ashley Monical does not approve of the cruel and unusual treatment of those beautiful creatures. Okay, back on track! This will be a really fun show at Strange Brew! If you have not yet been there, come see how awesome it is.. If you have been there, well.. You know you want to go back!
I would also like to give a shout out to all of you who support what is so dear to my heart.. Music can fill our souls and is such a gift whether we are listening or creating. Music brings people from all cultures together and can heal the world.. It already is.. A very generous man gifted me a guitar about a month ago, his name is Chuck Floro. The guitar is beautiful and I instantly felt a connection with it. Thank you, Chuck from South Dakota!!!
I am really looking forward to this year on the journey we call life. It's gonna be a good one for all of us! Let us be happy, joyous and free!
See y'all at STRANGE BREW on SATURDAY JAN 11 @6PM!!!
Hey beautiful folks!
I realized I haven't given an update in a good while, so I wanted to fill you in!
Since May I have been performing at The Saxon Pub with a full band backing me. It has been a really great experience & I have learned a lot about collaboration, leading a band and arranging songs. The Saxon Pub is a wonderful, legendary music venue in Austin that I am happy to say I have played. Along with playing band shows, I have been playing solo shows and refining my guitar playing and vocals. What I have really been focusing on is performing the songs and on what the message is in each one. I have been writing a lot on guitar and piano and it's opening up my mind, creation is endless in the world of art. I also have recently picked up playing the bass and I produced a song for my friend, John Scholten, in the studio. I felt so comfortable and good in that role and am excited to explore that creativity more in the future! The music business needs more chick producers, don't ya think???
The BIG news is that I have finally started to record an album. It has been a long time coming and I am thrilled this process has started! I am working with a great producer, Roy Taylor. Dony Wynn on drums, Craig Ross on guitar & bass and Brian Beattie on bass and piano. We started recording at Brian's studio called The Wonder Chamber, a great studio off of S. Congress in Austin aka SOCO. It has a really incredible, open vibe for creation and focus. It was an amazing experience to record with these guys and I look forward to creating with them in the future. It felt like magic.
I promise to keep you all updated about the album release when it gets closer to that time! Now, I am enjoying writing with others, learning new instruments and being immersed in the Austin music scene & beyond.
My wings will grow
My heart will sow
W TX, aka Mario Land was a great time! I love Alpine and all the folks there. I want to give a shout out to Stewart Ramser for having us be a part of Viva Big Bend Music Festival. Also a shout out to May Leal and Dana Kasling for being good friends and such great supporters of my music :) Had fun w/ you ladies! I got to see so many awesome people and I met even more awesome people.
Please stay tuned for my upcoming shows around Austin and news on recording.
I haven't forgotten to blog, I've remembered but haven't followed through because usually when I think of something worthy enough to share I'm driving or playing or around people who will say "get off your phone!"
I'm in Oklahoma now and loving it as I always do. The folks here are true music fans and they like to party hard. Last night I went to see my friends, Uncle Lucius play at The Wormy Dog in Oklahoma City. After the show I saw a girl projectile vomit walking out of the venue and then people were walking in it not realizing they were getting her dinner & vodka on their cute little stilettos. I had never seen someone puke like that. I'm happy I'm not one who that has a domino effect on. And I'm happy I wear boots and look down very few seconds while I'm walking. I'm happy I don't throw up in public too. That can't be fun, but I guiltily (sp?) got a kick out of it. But then we got to go hang out in this airstream bus out back of the venue. It had a really clever name and I can't remember it! While everyone passed bottles of whiskey around I ate ice out of an ice bucket and tried a guys watermelon/peppermint flavored ecig. Very exciting.
I like Oklahoma, but one thing they don't have that TX has is continual feeder roads to the hwys. They cut off every so often so you have to turn around to go to the other side to find a way to get back to the original side up a mile and then your still on the wrong side and can't see the Cracker Barrel sign anymore.. It's not very practical. And maybe they.. Yeah, maybe they could do something about that for me. Also, on this trip it has become a theme to get a maple donut at every gas station.. They have them at EVERY gas station in OK. I'm gonna be 28 soon and I love them still after all these years. I don't know where I got my sweet tooth from. Mama? Dad?
So, Oklahoma- please fix your feeder rds, keep up with the maple donuts, keep loving us Texans who come to play music for you and please keep drinking your Mustang beer and throwing up while waking. It's quite impressive, a skill I admire from a distance. Oklahomans are endearing, I sure have a soft spot for y'all.
Love you OK! Come to The Deli (in Norman) Monday eve July 22 to see me render my heart on stage before The Damn Quails!
I'll be at Cheatham St Warehouse on Thursday evening (9pm) & at The Saxon Pub on Saturday (6:30)! Come on out and hear the band!
Hey! I'm playing at The Saxon Pub Friday evening, late show at 12:30am after Jeff Plankenhorn! It's gonna be a fun time and I will have some great players backing me up! I'll be there, will you?
Lately this question has been coming up in and around me. Why do I want to play music? What do I want to do with my ability? When I start to answer, I know what the feeling is, but I can’t seem to put it in to words. I will do my best to do this now.
For those of you who know me well, you know that I have a strong faith in God, the Universe, a power and a light in every thing. It lives in all of us and is easily covered up by ego, fear, resentment, etc.. When we are hurt or disillusioned it is our ego that tells us “this is not fair,” “I am a victim.” I have been faulty of this as every human has. Because we are human, we have the ego. With faith, each day, each moment I strive to listen not to what my ego has to say, but what my truth is.. It can be extremely difficult! I have read a lot of books on spirituality and guidance on inner truth that have showered me with the knowledge I have in my brain on this subject. What I have taken from almost every piece of literature I have read is that truth is inside each of us, always. It is there regardless of whether we wish to hear it or not. Layers of fear (whatever they may be for each individual) grow over the truth masking it, fogging it and suffocating it. Somehow we grow to find comfort in this. We grow to find comfort in being a victim. We learn how to feel good in this state for whatever reason.. Maybe attention or excuses to be destructive to our selves or others or excuses to not be the best we can be and so on. This can turn into a vicious cycle.. Or not.
We can choose to be happy. We can CHOOSE to LOVE ourselves.
I am not preaching something I have not struggled with. I am not throwing a pity party, I am simply saying that if we are human we have issues. Everyone does. The more we can access the love for ourselves, the more we give our pure, honest, good love to others. And also accept love from others. It’s a beautiful thing. So let’s work on loving one another and ourselves with whatever we do in our daily lives. Move forward gracefully (or not, it’s okay to be clumsy) with intention. I believe if we instill this in our daily practice, we will uncover our truth and feel a divine sense of freedom.
As I sit here and write, it’s helping me on my own path. I have no idea how many people will read this. I’m sure my mom and a few of my friends. I am not writing this to get recognition though. I am writing this for myself. It feels so liberating to put my truth out into the world for anyone who will listen.
This is why I play music. Music is so dear to me and so true in my heart. Music holds me when I need to be consoled, music lifts me when I’m creeping away from truth, it grounds me when I’m feeling heady, it loves me when I can’t seem to find a reason to love myself, speaks to me when I’ve closed my ears to the divine. In return, I respect the music and lyrics that choose my Being to move through. I feel so honored and blessed by this.
Through music I vow to..
love all in this Universe. The divine light in me recognizes the divine light in you.