Saturday, June 18, 2016

Day 18: Queen Esther & The Hot Five at the Kennedy Center!

On Saturday June 18th, the quintet and I performed a set of 1920s vaudeville blues on Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, then returned later that night to play 1930s swing music for Jason and Alicia Hall Moran's Forever Gershwin after party.

Our little road trip turned out to be a pretty fun adventure.  We got to see Forever Gershwin, which included selections from Porgy and Bess, and later we noshed on sushi with that indefatigable showstopper Norm Lewis as well as the conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, whose enthusiasm while gliding the orchestra and the 168 person chorale through It Ain't Necessarily So was nothing short of contagious.  I must say, it took the top of my head clean off to hear that many people scatting simultaneously.  Thrilling, inspiring gut-wrenchingly brilliant stuff. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

I miss singing in a chorale.  More on that some other time.



I had to post this video to give you an idea of what I saw and heard. So lush! I don't know if I could ever get sick of this song...! 



I'd say this newest addition worked out just fine, wouldn't you?  I'm just relieved that it fits. There's nothing quite like buying something you can't try on before that point of purchase.



To see our entire set of vaudeville blues, click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Day 14: YAY! A Guitar Lesson!

This is guitarist Jim McLaughlin. Thankfully, he can play anything.  I'm going to make him sing a LOT. With this, we are off to the races -- trading guitar lessons for voice lessons.

The good news is that I'm farther along than I think I am with the guitar, which is kind of a relief. It's not nearly enough, of course -- so I'm still way frustrated. I can't think about any of that, though, or I'll quit. I have to do stuff to make it fun and take my mind off of how far off the mark I think I am.  Stuff like writing songs and working up new ideas and practicing while I channel surf. Mindless, meditative stuff.  Stuff that will distract me, keep some other part of me bouncing around.

The good news with James is that he can actually sing and he's got an ear so he can sing harmony. (Sweet victory!) The rest of 2016 will be colorful and interesting...!

Here's the latest fingerpicking pattern.


I don't care how long it takes me to learn how to play guitar. I don't care if I figure it out by the time I'm 90 years old.  I'll be an old lady and I will be bringing the heat and I won't care at all.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Day 9: Another 1930s frock...!

Because I sing a wide variety of (mostly!) American jazz from the turn of the century through the 50s (amongst other things), I'm always in dire need of formal vintage clothing. Although usually I can shop in my closet for a crisp modern look that can accommodate the 1940s and the 1950s, I'm flummoxed when it comes to The Gilded Age. I'm not flatchested enough to pull off an androgynous look, so I get away with as much as I can by finding inspiration in bias cut gowns and cocktail dresses from the 1930s. Here's my latest gown: an elegant, curve-hugging bias cut satin number that simply slips over my head, like a t-shirt.

I know it looks pink but it's really peach.  And I'm a Georgia peach. So there's that.

Walking around my apartment with all that luscious fabric billowing behind me made me feel as though I were floating on a cloud.  Plenty of room for the ladies -- not constricting at all.  Maybe I'll try it out when I perform at the next Jazz Age Lawn Party in August.

Thank God I can write this off. Happy birthday to me!

Now I'm off to search for accessories...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Day 7: Buddrick von Boy Goes to the Vet

Our sweet little 5 month old brindle terrier mix puppy -- Buddy the Furboy! -- caught a cold and went to the vet for a complete examination. Before that, he spent the morning at Camp Canine, getting a complete assessment to make sure his temperament is a-ok for overnight stays.  So this is him, completely knocked out in the back of a cab, heading home.

If you want a dog or cat, I highly suggest you rescue one from your local shelter.  Our Buddy was rescued from a 3 day kill shelter in Camden, SC by ARF -- Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.

I'm starting to think he knows how lucky he is.