Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ladies with Lyrics 2009

It was a lovely day...all day long and it just got better and better! MJ Bishop, Amanda Pearcy, Leeann Atherton and my bud Donna Frost! how much talent can four women throw at an audience?

Donna makes to Texas twice a year..Austin, Houston, College Station...and MJ is on her Americana Tour...headed around the country with two stops in Texas, this one and the Kerrville Folk Festival. Amanda is becoming a favorite at venues all over Austin and she and her husband, Cowboy Johnson, have been a big support to WHConcerts! Leeann Atherton is a seasoned house concert performer and hostess...her Barn Dances at her home are legendary...as is she. I have more video, I'm gettin' to it fast as I can...and will post more sometime.

This was just so much fun, we had a great audience and a terrific song circle following, with Amanda's son stepping up to join the pros, and doing a hell of a job. Dan Hardick from Fingerpistol, Tommy Byrd and Kathy Street, Mo McMorrow, Sandy McLain, Cowboy...it's always my favorite time..relaxing after being the hostess!


Thanks to all these lovely talented women...and the audience that shows up every time to listen and support our live music in Austin, TX...

Next one up? George Ensle on May 17th!!! Tom Tranchilla is opening! George on his way to Kerrville...

After Kerrville, on June 14th, Byrd & Street, with Greg Whitfield will help us welcome Taylor Pie and Eben Wood to our south Austin house concert venue. Taylor Pie, formerly Susan Taylor all those years ago in Corpus Christi when she was part of the Pozo Seco Singers with Don Williams and Lofton Kline, is now living near Nashville where she is putting together her own venue. Eben, our old high school bud, is an amazing guitar player from the day, I cannot wait to see Eben and Greg Whitfield on the same night on my stage at Webb House Concerts. Pie's voice is even better, if that's possible. She is a phenomenal song writer, songs that can be interpreted in very personal ways, making her lyrics part of your life. Pie and Eben will be in Fredricksburg at Hondo's the week before for a CD party for their CD recorded live at Hondo's last year. She will be at the Bugle Boy in La Grange on June 12.

Speaking of that, this weekend, on Friday April 24th, Byrd & Street, w/Greg Whitfield will be at the Bugle Boy as well. They will be on their way to Palestine, TX for the Texas Music Awards where they are nominated for Duo/Group of the Year. We wish them all the best on that Sunday! Tommy Byrd is a finalist in the New Folk songwriters contest at the Kerrville Folk Festival, performing on May 23rd.

If you ever have the opportuntity to hear any or all of these Ladies w/Lyrics...do not miss it, each has a talent and voice to share with you....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I saw a miracle today...

that's the note I wrote to myself over my busy music days in March...trying to not forget the blog thoughts I had..but no worry here. A miracle.

My nephew is a brain injury survivor. In a moment of a car crash, lives changed and one ended...and Leland ended up in brain injury rehabs across our state. The Brown School, right out here on Dittmar, in the Bluebonnet unit just 5 minutes away was his home for several months back then. I've written about that time in other blogs, today I write about the music, and how it heals.

At Christmas, Laurie Freelove, a local musician, asked Byrd and Street to do a Christmas carol show for the kids at what was the Brown School, now Texas Neuro and I tagged along. Just driving down that driveway was more emotional than I realized it would be, so many days I made that drive, sometimes four or five times in one day, sometimes alone, sometimes with Matt..even Boomer came along sometime. He was a big dog with a big heart and he could take the big pets and love them.

The kids in the audience were young to old teens...some brain injury survivors, or other neurological diagnoses. And they love to sing! I'm not sure Tommy and Kathy expected to do Santa Claus is coming to town four times, but hey! it was a hit and it was a very enthusiastic sing along every single time.

It was a natural thing to ask Donna Frost to sing for those kids...she's as real as they come and those kids would love her...so one Friday afternoon we headed out there..driving down that drive, we spotted the kids in the bluebonnets across those rolling hills...getting spring time Texas photos. Soon, she was up in front of them in the little art and music room. Bless her for learning words to a George Strait song the night before! and I Love Rock and Roll! the enthusiasm was contagious, and loud! Drift Away, truly beautiful voices, I have a video of it, but for privacy reasons cannot post it.

And our miracle...a dad coming all the way from Alaska where he works, to visit his son..about 12-14 years old, I guess. Autistic, I assume. Very to himself, but trying. Dad, sitting next to him, keeping his hands in his lap, when you could feel how much he just wanted to hug that kid..but he knew the ropes. He sat and the kid sat...and they listened to Donna's songs. And a toe started tapping...she connected. and time passed and all of a sudden I looked over...and that boy's arm had come up around his dad's back...and didn't leave. He reached out. He held on. And when that dad shook my hand and thanked us for coming, he was close to tears as he told us it was the best visit he'd had with his son in quite some time. He reached out. He held on.

I saw a miracle today, I wrote that night. Reminded myself of all the miracles I had seen at that school and other rehabs as we tried to bring our Leland back to his old self, and learned how to love his new self just as much.

Music heals.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Well, time is aflyin'....keep thinking I need to do the blog...and more stuff just keeps happening! Life just gets in the way...

Okay..SXSW...I have a somewhat perverted view of SXSW...it's spring break, my regular catering work dies and I hit High Beam Events to party manage for them. Their client is SXSW...do the official parties from day one. So, I started with a breakfast with folks from the UK here for Interactive stuff on SXSW, then on to the Lanai for Custard Records. Note to self: remind all to go to the Lanai..absolutely one of the finest, most professional bar staff and team I have ever, ever worked with! Just amazing! My final gig with High Beam was the underage bands..a showcase of about a dozen bands at Momo's. And, yeah, I loved those guys from Momo's as well, because they did not have to kill one underage "I'm with the band" kid. Not one. Now those folks are pros! Truly, these kids were mostly sweethearts...one the son of an old friend from back in the day in Corpus Christi, when all we knew were underage and barely aged bands. So, it was pretty interesting, over all. Check out some videos from Momo's that day. Some really good talent there, and some kids that make you remember what life was about when all you had was a dream and your future in front of you.

Here at home, I had a young man from Seattle come to board while he ran himself all over SXSW, both as a volunteer and a fan! His name is Rich, and he was a darlin'. Certainly here in South Austin, both my little dog and I thought so! I think my Rosie thought I finally had brought her the buddy I keep promising her...and by the line up of toys she left outside Rich's door every night, I'm sure she thought he was there just to play with her.
Introduced Rich to Tommy Byrd, and they had a great visit...Tommy's house on a bad day is a treasure trove of stuff to pursue, and a young musician like Rich had a blast, taking photos and talking music with Tommy. Then Rich went on that schedule only the young can do...late nights out and up early mornings, to volunteer and go hear all that SXSW has to offer...a day off and then Rich went off to New Orleans for a few days, then back for supper and a new song he shared with Donna Frost and me...and back to Seattle! Nice guy, I hope he drops by again the next time he's in Austin. I have a feeling he'll be back...it's a young musician's dream town.

I did get out and about to hear some music during SXSW...I'll post it later...
SXSW can be good for Austin, but not necessarily for our local musicians, but all in all, I just don't know if there's such a thing as too much music.

More later about the house concert, and Donna's special time on a wonderful day with some kids that just deserve the attention she gave them...