july 13, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 2

Life at Midlife

I am no longer waiting for a special occasion; I burn the best candles on ordinary days.
I am no longer waiting for the house to be clean; I fill it with people who understand that even dust is Sacred.
I am no longer waiting for everyone to understand me; It’s just not their task
I am no longer waiting for the perfect children; my children have their own names that burn as brightly as any star.
I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop; It already did, and I survived.
I am no longer waiting for the time to be right; the time is always now.
I am no longer waiting for the mate who will complete me; I am grateful to be so warmly, tenderly held.
I am no longer waiting for a quiet moment; my heart can be stilled whenever it is called.
I am no longer waiting for the world to be at peace; I unclench my grasp and breathe peace in and out.
I am no longer waiting to do something great; being awake to carry my grain of sand is enough.
I am no longer waiting to be recognized; I know that I dance in a holy circle.
I am no longer waiting for Forgiveness.
I believe, I Believe.

~ Mary Anne Perrone

 

classroom

 

If you’ve ever wondered how some kids learn to play music, here’s one way it’s done. Johnny Chapman’s son, Tristan, is currently fascinated with guitars. His papaw Eric has plenty to choose from, as you can see, and his dad is happy to show him what he knows. And he knows a lot.

 

start here

 

Johnny is an incredible multi-instrumentalist with a voice that will knock your socks off. He is an equally gifted songwriter and producer, too. There’s really nothing the man can’t do. He played a preview of his upcoming album for me last Saturday. It’s gorgeous. It has a maturity and depth that surpasses most music today. Tristan is lucky to have such a generous father, and he comes by it honest what with a generous mom and dad. They’re a truly beautiful thing, the Von Chapman Family. What a gift they are to me.

 

generations

july 8, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 2

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

 

first love

 

I expected this to be the only office I would ever know. That’s not how it worked out, but any time I have the chance to go back to my first love, my first office, I take it. Those chances are few and far between these days. Scott McClatchy was upset to learn I wasn’t playing, and he made it his mission to make sure I had something to play; a McClatchy original for his upcoming release. I called my old friends Eric, Bree, and Johnny Chapman to help me get a drum track to him. The Von Chapman Family, as I used to call them decades ago when we were playing together, have a great studio perfect for the occasion. More than that, however, they have the compassion and patience needed to help a stale and stiff old drummer overcome a phobia and find her rhythm again. This day has been one of the best days ever and The Chapmans had everything to do with it. 

june 22, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 1

“Individuality is a precious gift. Never conform to someone else’s standards” ~ Lynette Cox

 

check one off the bucket list

 

The oldest item on my bucket list got checked off today. In my hands are tickets to see Sir Paul McCartney perform in July!!!! That’s right. That statement gets four exclamation marks. If you follow the outhouse you know I’ve loved him since I was a little girl, and more recently I’ve found I love him even more as an adult. If I could see anyone perform, it’s him. So, after much dragging of the feet, I’m actually going (with super awesome friends). Now, we pray he stays alive long enough to do the show. I mean, he turned 75 this week, and as Tony Adams told me last week, “He’s not going to live forever.” But wait, there’s more. The newest item on my bucket list also got checked off today. See this photo? It was made with my new 16-35mm lens. I’ve saved a long time for this new (used) baby, and for it to show up the same day I got tickets to see Sir Paul? Throw anything at me today – rotten tomatoes, insults, bad technology – nothing’s gonna bring me down. 

june 8, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 0

“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” ~ Pema Chödrön

 

maestro

 

I first met Brett Ratliff a couple of years ago in Johnson City, Tennessee at an Appalachian Studies Association conference. We have many mutual friends, and grew up not too far from one another, but somehow we managed to miss meeting in person until that moment. You meet people when you’re ready to meet them.

 

keeper of the old ways

 

I caught up with Brett at Seedtime last Saturday. If you’ve never seen him perform, you should. He does a brilliant job of keeping traditional mountain music alive with just enough modern twist to make it fresh and new. Ya gotta love a man that opens his set with a song about our current political head. It was straight to the point, just the way I like it, and right. It’s that kind of kick-in-the-gut spirit that draws me to him. Plus, I adore really good mountain music, and Brett is really good. It was a breath of fresh air talking to him, and listening to his beautiful songs. 

 

laughing in color

april 15, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 0

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~ Pablo Picasso

 

macca’s story

 

I just finished reading a 600+ page tome about Paul McCartney. He was always my favorite (you thought it would be Ringo, didn’t you?). I couldn’t have told you exactly why he was my favorite, but after reading Barry Miles’ book, I have a better idea. Paul lived in an extraordinary time, surrounded by extraordinary people, and he created music that changed the world. There aren’t many people who can say that. His seemingly simple pop songs are often intricate, near orchestral at times, and full of more imagery than you can shake a stick at. Most of his characters are made up, though many LSD tripping hippies thought otherwise. The songs he and Lennon composed together are nothing short of otherworldly. The sheer originality of each one defies description. I took many things away from this book. For instance, it was John that broke up the band, not Yoko, and it was primarily Paul’s creative drive that produced their last four albums. To be clear, those recordings sound the way they do because of the fab four (and George Martin), not Paul alone, but he was their energy (the others probably called him bossy); from album cover design to playing drums on a few tracks. I said earlier that I’d always loved Wings, and one can clearly hear remnants of the Beatles’ in that band. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine what those songs would have sounded like if John, George, Ringo, and George Martin had been alongside Paul. I think he always held out hope that the band would reform one day, or at least go back on the road and do a few shows like they’d done when they were young men. That’s what he loved more than anything. I can’t help but feel sorry for The Beatles. They loved each other more than most families, but people and drugs (mostly) ate away at them until they fell apart. Then, a crazy man came along, and with one shot, ended any chance they had to fully mend (though John and Paul had become friends again). Life is like that sometimes. Still, what a gift they gave the world, huh? I loved this book. It left me inspired. And I love Paul McCartney more than ever, and I can tell you exactly why.

february 6, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 1

“It takes a big person to avoid small worries.” Robin Sharma

 

center stage (snapseed)

 

I’m itching to play music again in a big way. I came across this shot from last year’s Reel World String Band / Sam Gleaves gig at The Lyric and it reminded me of all the wonderful gigs I’ve been lucky to play over the years. The really crappy gigs, well, the lighting wasn’t nearly this good. I’m also itching to get back to England and see my boy Jon Durno, bassist and human extraordinaire. I’m thinking I might do something about both these things this year, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise. 

january 31, 2017

posted in: art, drawing, music, photography | 1

“The Lord will bless you for being kind to people.” ~ Reva Hubbard

 

flash from the past (snapseed)

 

Last night as I was pouring over Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, relishing the ancient art of vinyl album covers, something caught my eye. Tusk is an elaborate vinyl package, even among double albums. There are slips inside slips inside the outside cover. Of particular interest were the outer (or middle) slips. Instantly, it was 1979 and I was back in my tiny bedroom, sitting on the floor in front of a second-hand stereo, where I scoured the intricate collages for hours. Now, they reminded me of Peter Beard‘s work. In 1993, I came across a book called “The Adventures and Misadventures of Peter Beard in Africa” by Jon Bowermaster. It captured my attention for two reasons: 1. Beard is a fascinating artist known primarily for his collage diaries (he sometimes uses his own blood to draw on them) and 2. I’ve loved Africa since early childhood, particularly Kenya where Beard has a home called The Hog Ranch. As Tusk continued to spin its quirky pop tunes, I pulled out my copy of the book. I rifled through the pages, memories flying back to me; Beard’s friendship with Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen who wrote the autobiographic Out of Africa, one of my all-time favorite books), the sheer beauty of Africa, the shame of big game killers, the privileged life that afforded Beard such an adventure that most people, certainly most artists, could never have. And then I saw it: a photo from one of the Tusk collages. Beard made the collages for Tusk. I knew about Peter Beard before the Bowermaster book. He’s listed on Tusk’s credits. As someone who used to absorb every piece of information from albums, the connection between Beard and Tusk had been buried in my brain all these decades, subconsciously rolling around, waiting to resurface. It was a beautiful moment to reconnect with these two things I loved so much when I was younger. I hope one day I’ll have the opportunity to go to Kenya and Tanzania, roam the Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve, and wake up “at the foot of the Ngong Hills.” What a blessing that would be, but it certainly doesn’t diminish the blessings Tusk and Peter Beard have given me for decades. I’m lucky that they’ve come back home.

 

pure art (snapseed)

january 30, 2017

posted in: music, photography | 0

“We do not deny the reality of death, or the degradation of suffering. But we do claim the victory of life over death, of light over darkness. And so we defy anything which would degrade our humanity.”
~ Fr. Mark Brown

 

old friend (snapseed)

 

Working my way through the vinyl archive I came across a pivotal album for me; Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. Lisa Clevenger Fannin gave it to me for Christmas in 1979, just a few months after its release. The double album made a huge impression, and it’s still my favorite Fleetwood Mac album. It was their follow-up to Rumors, one of the highest selling, chart-topping albums of all time. How do you follow that, really? In Fleetwood Mac’s case, you let Lindsey Buckingham do whatever he wants. By all accounts, he drove the band insane with his constant experimentation. Critics panned it, but music and sound enthusiasts heard the brilliance right away. Lindsey doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves, as a guitarist, and especially as a sound engineer. Not all of his experiments are great, but when they are, they’re really great. Tusk is loaded with audio brilliance. It contains songs that have stayed with me for nearly 40 years like Brown Eyes, Beautiful Child, Sisters of the Moon, and of course, Tusk, featuring the USC Marching Band. It’s an epic track; the album a masterpiece. Thank you, Lisa, for the gift of a lifetime. It still sounds as great as the first time I dropped the needle on it.

november 19, 2016

posted in: music, photography | 1

“Edit your life frequently. It’s your masterpiece after all.” ~ Unknown

 

sound check
sound check

 

Remember this name: Sam Gleaves. This young man is so incredibly talented I could easily go overboard with the adjectives. Not only is he a gifted singer and songwriter, he is as sweet as he can be. He’s a gentle, kind soul; an excellent showman, and totally at ease on a stage. He sings and writes traditional Appalachian music that gives me chills. His voice is smooth, and he’s not flat like many traditional singers tend to be. But don’t let the ‘traditional’ part throw you. He writes about contemporary issues, and it’s refreshing to hear them set to the traditional mountain style. It’s exactly the way tradition can grow without losing what made it beautiful in the process. Really, I just can’t sing (ha ha) Sam’s praises enough – he’s that good. He’s a Virginia native, but he lives in Berea now when he’s not touring the world. So, Kentucky’s going to adopt him, at least I think we ought to. Sam Gleaves. Remember his name. I guarantee you’re going to hear a lot about him, and I’m extremely honored to have had the opportunity to photograph him with Reel World String Band and Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. 

 

the next generation
the next generation

november 17, 2016

posted in: music, photography | 0

“The world is full of nice people. If you can’t find one, be one.” ~ Nishan Panwar

 

before the show (snapseed)
before the show (snapseed)

 

Some of my favorite moments in life have been instruments under stage lights. They’re such noble things, these stringed boxes; big, small, tall, short, shapes of all kinds. Sure, the people who play them are wonderful, but consider the instruments themselves for a moment. They’re just waiting for the right person to come along to release their magical powers. I’m looking forward to things calming down a bit so I can process the photos from Sunday’s Reel World String Band show. If the quality of music was any indication, I think I got some good shots.

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