We are flying fast into 2014 and excited about it! I am happy to announce that we are headed into the studio this summer to record the next MBird album. We are happy to be performing at The International Folk Alliance this month and continuing our residence at The Uptown Arts Bar where MBird’s Artist Showcase hosts local and national writers/composers of all styles. We have been very lucky the last few years in KC and Nashville and will be traveling a lot this year to play and visit friends. Basically, our new photos are done, the new record is being planned, and we will be touring and playing locally so gratitude and high fives are happening. Thank you to all the artists and fans that have supported us over the last 4 years. We have faced some serious odds and remained together and writing. Thats a win as far as I’m concerned. MBird is happy. 2014 you gonna be great!!!
We are happily moving forward with our new full band and new music. I have been writing alone and with my band for the last 18 months as we have begun transitioning as a group and I have been deepening as a person. New challenges and major life lessons have turned me on my head and that has impacted our vibe and sound as it should…I wrote in a journal last December that “at each beginning you leap with your arms open and where you land is always uncharted territory”. This process has been my subconscious catching my conscious ego and turning me towards things I had no idea I would ever need. That is my story. Its everyones story and because I choose to write music (and I am lucky enough to have the greatest band I could ever ask for) I am able to look back at this journey song by song and show by show with awe and gratitude even though I am a different vibration of me than I was when I started this band in 2010.
I am happy to report that through great storms there is always sunshine. I am a personal representation of this as I wade through the oceans of turmoil with new experiences ushering me towards land. I have been writing every moment I am not in a doctors office and I am finding solace in these songs. The standards that warm my heart and the original music that has become my record keeper teach me how to be brave which is good since I am going to be working my butt off in the next year. In October I am going to Los Angeles to create a new jazz record with the fabulous and long time jazz supporter Tim Flores of Playboy Jazz Radio and guitar legend John Chiodini. This is an amazing opportunity and a beautiful collaboration of standards and originals written by MBird and arranged by Chiodini guaranteed to bring a new voice to this Little Jazz Bird. I am honored and excited to be on this project and I will announce the release date as we close the project. The adventure continues for me as MBird embarks on hosting a video podcast and the recording of singles and two new music videos prepping everyone for the release of the full album Mercy Flight in 2012/13.
I’m very happy to report on the great things happening in my life but as some of you know there are more things swirling around me. I am sad to report that I am allergic to, and my body is rejecting, my prosthetic jaw. As some people recall in 2007/08 I was diagnosed with a rare disease that located itself in my jaw joint. The disease which still remains a mystery caused me to have a complete replacement done and it was a 2 year recovery process.
I was very lucky to be able to keep singing against all doctors expectations but I guess the journey isn’t over yet.
I am allergic to 5 of the metals in my face and they cause all sorts of problems in my body. My only option is to get control of my allergy to two of the metals Titamium and Polyethalin and then to head back to hands of medicine to give me another jaw. I’m basically in a repeat with a weird caveat involving getting control of an allergy no one really understands. I will undoubtedly be shooting these metals into my body in concentrate again and waiting until my body acquiesces or my brain explodes from overload. However I must point out that even though the thought of a repeat surgery is the worst thing I can imagine, the things I can’t imagine are what will happen if my body can’t get something in it that it isn’t rejecting. That is far worse than this situation. So friends my synopsis is this: I am going to keep singing and writing and getting better everyday. This stuff I am dealing with is messed up and sucks really hard but I am not giving up! I will reach out through storms, find that sunshine, eat it and then sing it out of my face to you. So anyway I just thought you should hear whats happening from me before you hear it from someone else, and if you are feeling sad or weird for me just re-read the beginning of this post and you’ll feel better. That’s what I do.
Thank you so much to all my fans, bandmates, fellow bloggers, and of course my family I need and love you all!
Come out and visit me and listen before Im on a healing vacation. Shout out to @KCJazzlark!
I’ll keep you all posted.
I am back in Nashville writing, moving and I feel like transition is here. There is a manic awareness I can sense in my life and that feeling is all musical. As most people already know I am splitting between two towns and two genre’s of music jazz and indy-folk music. I don’t see much of a difference between what I write and the jazz I sing because to me music is music and it is short lived unless adopted somehow or another, but I am very happy that lovely folky phrasing and simple guitar seems to come out of me. Plus, every once in a while I like to hear mandolins and slide guitars in my life which generally are found in country and definitely in Nashville, but however instrumented the music is malleable and writing it happens to me a lot. I personally like my music free of boundaries and released from structure and a jazz life helps in that arena! Particularly when I’ve written a song that “should” sound a certain way and I become really attached to it then I can always give it to jazz players and it flips on it’s head. To me a great song can be played any way you want and that’s what makes being an artist so much fun. I’m trying to rethink some of my tunes. It stretches my ears and my heart when I can write something and hear it first the way I wrote it which is always so bare and then allow others to make it theirs with me.
I am dreaming of Paris tonight wondering if I’ll ever make it there and if I do will I have a bed to sleep in? How many times in my life have I been moving, moving, moving, and this time I want to move towards singing in Europe.
The songs I’ve been writing lately certainly are not Can Cans. The songs are the opposite actually they are prairie songs that Willie Nelson would like. Nice melodies, haunting words, and jazz affected melodies that have been moving my spirit in a weird way as I am thrust into papers and business every morning. This has been a strange week anyway and I have some really huge things happening personally with me that are pushing me towards solitude and writing. Not even writing songs necessarily but writing for sure. Its 130 am and I am passing out but I will say without the dreams of travel I guess knowone would ever go anywhere so the best way to go is to put one foot in front of the other!!!!
This is an amazing and crazy summer of singing all over the country and then back to Nashville and then to Kansas City. Tons of shows, lots of support, lots of new songwriting, lots of jazz, guitars and Cadillacs. Heh heh! I have been nominated for best jazz solo artist in Kansas City this year and I’m in awesome company. Kansas City has such terrific solo jazz artists, I’m not sure I could ever choose or even know how to make that distinction, but I feel really honored for being listed, none the less. In Nashville I am getting myself thrusted into the community and still getting settled. Being there half the time lends to feeling like I have only half a face. Plus, being on tour for 3 out of the 9 months I have had residency there probably adds to that feeling. However I am determined to find kindred souls and continue the songwriting work I have begun there. My production company has started work on several different projects this summer including drafting a video series for artists in development which is personally my most exciting twist. Of course the positive execution of this independent tour and the fostering of a possible European tour is hot on the discussion table. Personally I’d like to get another record out and another tour together within the next year and a half which financially is huge since I am self funded but I am trying to be innovative about new ways to engage folks in the process of music with honesty and integrity. Business in music has always been elusive for me until somehow about a year ago I got shot in the ass with a “figure it out and stop being sad, dummy” feeling. Everyday it’s like I’m going in for a huge test I haven’t studied for but if I don’t show up it’s an automatic fail. So I might as well take a shot, ya know? Anyway today I am feeling like things are gonna work out and I’m finally far enough away from this tour that I can piece together what happened and start something new. Which I always love to do.
Till next time
This is MBird
As I sit in my hotel room watching the pages of my calendar roll by and the numbers in my savings account drop, I ask myself (as I have asked so many others on this tour)…what are we doing?
In Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday I will hang up my guitar and put on my writing shoes. For the last 60 days straight I have been all over this country. I’ve been to 26 cities and played 26 shows. I’ve been talking to people and singing songs I wrote out of my mothers Ford almost everyday, totally independent from any rules and regulations…freedom the name of the game. I’ve gathered that this experiment in being an artist is so wildly misunderstood. I watch and listen as people (myself included) grasp for comparison through the star-haves and star-have-nots. Aren’t we still the few among the many? The storytellers the artisans the singers, the dancers, the potters, weavers, and painters of the ages…these gifts bestowed are not always choices for those giving them. Sometimes they are the only reason for those artists being alive. We have all witnessed that, and for me, I have been on this amazing self created journey, wondering where I fit in and where will I end up. I can’t and never have been able to choose anything other than what I do because I can’t do anything else. My skills are so heavily engaged in one area that I am almost a fool I think. I seem to understand the invisible world. I know the way to interpret other peoples invisible worlds and I see the shadows and light engaged in the art of the music that surrounds me. I have felt it from a producer far far away filtering through a vacant body like a tuning fork they strike, and it vibrates, sound and beat to a dancing nation. Other times I hear it pouring like water from a band combining each instrument into one voice. Then there are times where it is one vibration, one explosion slithering it’s way through a many noted rain storm to fall drop by drop upon me. These experiences I can feel and I can see, I notice. Noticing seems to be the real ticket anyway. We all have the opportunity to see art everywhere we look. It’s in the nature of birth and death or a growing garden it’s in a well designed staircase you run up and down at your parents house everyday. It’s in my moms Ford. My point is, I wonder sometimes why we feel so disconnected from art or how it becomes so glossed over and why we became artist in the first place. I haven’t found any concrete answer I would adopt completely, and this topic is more than one blog can handle but I think we are all born with an artist inside us, and in my opinion some of us carry it forth in different ways. Like every little boy or girl who dances in their room, or draws on the walls, or rebels against society, or reads encyclopedias dreaming about flying with dragons, or being one for that matter. They may just teach english one day, or write your wedding song, or design your website for your business, or build your mothers rocking chair, or raise your beautiful children. So share the love and support the arts in your community. All of us weirdos are what make things bearable…
Today is a day about music and taking in a day in a beautiful city. I have always liked this San Francisco town and it’s one of the only ones I’ve spent any time in on the West coast other than LA. I came here with my best friend Angie a few years ago for about a week and it really helped me relax before my surgery. It was the only trip I had ever taken on my own that wasn’t for a doctor visit or with my parents, so it was awesome!!! Plus, my best friend Angie is the best travel buddy of all time and that was a huge plus, so even though I’m only breezing through San Fran today I feel really good about it and it holds very good energy for me. Yesterday we were driving into San Fran at dusk, the fog blanketed the city and the Golden Gate Bridge disappeared into a misty sky full of dripping rain and an island looking city that I wish I could live in. It was awesome!!! I’m excited to play tonight here in the theatre district and then get up in the morning to drive the seven hours to LA…crossing my fingers to miss the major traffic but with LA it’s kind of a blurrrr.
Today I am patiently waiting on the rest of our kickstarter money to come in to help us not go broke, but in this atmosphere it’s hard to worry about anything. Especially, when there’s only 24hrs….what can you do but try and relax and sing….
Well I am in Seattle today and apparently I have brought the good weather with me. It is sunny and around 75 outside. I am driving south of the city this afternoon to record an in studio performance for KGHP Seattle and I am finishing up a new video blog and writing a new song. This tune must’ve been waiting for Seattle because it’s been a year and a half droppin into the birth canal. It will finally come to life in 4 days in San Francisco. So far this tour has brought out some great things in me. It has also brought out some ugly things too. I feel like I have just come through hitting the proverbial wall in Utah and although a beautiful city and a lovely show helped me stay afloat I was going kinda nuts…and 16 cities into this tour things like sewer smells in our hotels, bad money decisions and my own personal mental and physical limitations don’t always make that positive attitude I cling to the easiest to hold.!!! I tend to want to feel that things are limitless. Things like music, energy, love and learning constantly amaze me, always pushing me towards savoring this experience and saving my sanity. Maybe the savoring of surviving most of the time has seasoned my senses to feeling my way through all the nuances of this adventure, whether perceived by me as good or bad. However perceived, the reality of driving 1500 miles in two days on top of no sleep plus the 600 hundred mile trek the day before plus the 1000 miles the prior two days and writing, singing, practicing, fighting, updating, calls home, playing shows and editing videos is pushing me toward believing I myself may have some limits. I am glad to have a few days off of driving while in Washington to reflect and write and although a day never goes by without work involved at this point the question I ask is ” what is this process worth to me?” My answer is always…everything.
I will continue to delve into my experiences with the new vlogs and blog postings whenever I get a chance:)) Thanks for reading..
I’m in Boulder, Colorado and Im writing very quickly to say hi and let everyone know the tour is going terrific!!!! I have been editing and putting together our tour vlogs on you-tube under MBird so everyone can watch them and just generally vibe with us goin strong!!! The road is making me a little nuts I think but not in a bad way…just in a new way! hahaha! It’s been five weeks and 13 cities so far and I feel like every day kinda blurs into the next but I want to keep up with the radio stations that are playing the new record and with the fans that we are getting in all the cities. So I’m calling everyday and trying to keep putting things out there. The venues have been awesome and very accomodating:))) For what started as just a radio tour has certainly become more than that. It’s an everything tour consisting of live radio performances, talks with newspapers and magazines and of course live venue performances almost every two days. Incorporate that with two people, my moms car, and a song-writers book of music and it’s making me a different person. Kudos to all who have gone before me and to those who are coming. Follow me on twitter @mbirdmusic, youtube and facebook!!! I’ll write more soon the west coast half of the tour has begun!!!!
Love to you all