Sunday night we played in DC at The Red and The Black, a very hip little place. The decor is funky and it was one of those clubs that seems all the cooler because it’s small, and the place filled up nicely. Stella Schindler played first with her lovely voice, sweet presence, and folk-country stylings (complemented well by her boots – shall I call them ‘cowgirl’ boots? Wish I could pull those off!). Her fans were incredibly gracious and stuck around for the whole evening, even on a school night when the music didn’t even start ’til 9:30. They listened attentively as we played after Stella, and then stayed for Mara Levi’s band, Thomasina and the Jam. They rocked out with supertight harmonies and killer playing…I should say that their fans rocked, too, because they came early and took in the whole thing. When I put the show together I had this vision of women working together to put together a great show and it absolutely was that and more. What a great spirit of collaboration and support in that room! Fabulous. I really really cannot thank Mara and Stella enough.
It’s funny how certain rooms and combinations of people just give off a certain energy, and last night’s just felt good to me. When it just feels comfy, I feed off of it and crack jokes and playing is the most natural thing in the world. I think the best thing about playing so many shows over the years is the fact that I can now, almost every time I play, really settle in and enjoy it, and hopefully that helps the audience ‘settle in’, too.
Yesterday we left DC for Pittsburgh, but before we left we visited my friend Jocelyn where she works at…get ready…NPR!!!! I think Jocelyn is such a rock star because NPR is pretty much my favorite thing ever (ok….there are other things…like music, my husband, coffee, but you get the idea). To get to visit the place where the magic happens was just, well, magical. :) I was struck by the piles and piles of reading material in everyone’s cubicles. How inspiring it must be to be surrounded by people who are just learning and learning all the time, and then sharing it…very good for the brain, and the soul. I felt like I might get smarter if I just stayed there in the building long enough. Most everyone was quite busy, so I saw but didn’t meet the NPR ‘stars’ who were around, but we met someone who works in music and we met the All Things Considered engineer who talked to us about their studio and all of its cool technological details. The music studio was much bigger than I expected, because I guess they often do full-out live performances there, sometimes for audiences. Very cool. I now have a place to envision when I dream about being on NPR…ah, someday.
Last night I did a little guest appearance at the Club Cafe’s open mic here in Pittsburgh to a really gracious audience and a great little community of performers. It was just a few songs, but I guess that counts as show 12…it’s a great room I’d love to come back to for a full set. And I would’ve stuck around for the whole thing, but their kitchen wasn’t functioning and we were STARVING! So we had some nice thai food which made us feel right at home and then passed out. We have a few days to recover, then a show Thursday night here in Pittsburgh and a show Friday night in Ann Arbor. The tour is actually coming to a close, and I’m feeling sad about it. At first it seemed much more stressful than it does now; now that we’re in a groove I just want to keep playing and playing. But I am feeling that it’s time to hole up and write some new songs; I can just feel them sort of bubbling up to the surface. And I do miss LA. And I need a haircut. So all good things must come to an end…but not quite yet.