Graydon Holden// Shelton, WA


Last summer, Chris Hayzlett, Ian Lincoln, and I went on an insane road trip from here, to Denver, CO, to Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA in 10 days- driving 20-24 hours at a time to make the plans we had. Our final stop was Seattle/ Olympia, to play a house show put on for us by our Nashville friend Christiana Odum. After the other three house show/parties we played, we weren’t really sure what to expect.. making it SO MUCH fun and so sweet when we saw how hard Christiana worked to put this all together. So about 40 people or so gathered in a finished detached garage in Olympia, and this is where we first met Graydon Holden. Graydon’s band, Lower Lights Burning, also played the show, and amazed us all with beautiful music, incredible heartfelt and genuine lyrics, and killer harmonies (courtesy of Miss Amanda Sue Winterhalter). We got to all briefly hang out after the show, but Graydon had to turn in earlier than the rest of us cause he had to work the next day. Fast forward a couple of months to October, and Amanda and Graydon are gearing up for their long awaited album release, which was just the excuse i needed to return to the great state of Washington. 

Graydon is an incredible spirit. He is hard-working, and one of the most self-less people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He cares so much for other people, for his family, for his friends, and shows them so with his actions- making sure to spend time with people. He even drove to pick me up and return me to the airport in Seattle- not the shortest trip! (thankyousomuch) Often this makes for a tired man, but he doesn’t complain. He is someone that inspires me to be a better friend and family member, a harder worker, and a more dedicated musician simply by living his life. I am really grateful for our friendship, and your music, and the gifts you bring to the world!

Love you, Graydon!

ps. check out THIS INCREDIBLE video. 

Here is the link to listening and downloading/ordering their Album “Coming Back” 


Ian Lincoln


I first met Ian when I worked at Boscos Brewery and Restaurant in Nashville, TN. My friend April introduced us because they were forming a punk band called Edamame and needed someone to sing. When we got together for our first “practice”, Ian and i just ended up trading our folk songs and we instantly became friends. He is a talented writer and musician, among many other talents… like being HILARIOUS. Two and a half years later and we’ve put together a project called Beards, and recorded and released an  album under that name. We also went on a road trip last year- marking the first time either of us had been further west than the Mississippi River. Ian is the brains behind the operation Hot Lullaby, ( ) and is just a real great guy to have around.

I love you, Ian! Thanks for the gift of you!

To listen/ download your own copy of Beards debut release, We Grow Old go ova here:

Jo’shua Odine

Jo'shua Odine

There are a great many people who influenced and encouraged my decision to come home from college and start making music. Jo’shua Odine is one of the first that comes to mind when I think back to those exciting, early days. I was so hungry for creativity and connection with people who were living theirs, and immediately Jo’shua welcomed me into the Cafe Coco community of eclectic artists and musicians. Before I’d taken guitar lessons, or written a song, I came to my first open mic and nervously sang an a cappella song, and looked up to see him smiling at the back of the room.  This man is such a talented, beautiful spirit. So loving and encouraging to the artists and people he encounters, and his music is unlike anything I’ve come across before. He has become a dear friend and love in my life, and I am so grateful for learning and experiencing music and other joys with him.

Thank you, Jo’sh, for the gift of you=]
I love you!

Drawing Inspiration//Anna Emilia

ImageAs a creative person, and as I allow more and more attention and intention to my creative side, I am all the time finding new sources of inspiration from all corners of the creative spectrum. Weather, nature, conversation, people-watching, fabrics, paintings, photography, all of it. About a year ago, I stumbled upon the work of Anna Emilia, an artist and illustrator based in Finland, and was instantly taken by the beautiful weather/nature inspired watercolor paintings. A year later, I am nearing the completion of my debut EP. I was on the search for album art that gave me a feeling similar to the  ones I’m hoping to convey in my music when I rediscovered her work. Immediately the piece above, “Tree House”, struck a familiar chord with me and I contacted Anna Emilia soon after. She was patient and kind, and very friendly in our e-mail interactions as we worked out the details of getting to use her work. All I am waiting for now are more excuses to place her work everywhere around me! It’s lovely, and inspiring, and I am very grateful to know about it!

Thank you, Anna Emilia, for the gift of you!
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Mentor Monday// Phoebe Binkley

ImagePhoebe Binkley

There are a seemingly infinite number of amazing human beings who have encouraged and inspired me along this somewhat recent journey of becoming a musician. Each Monday I’ll feature one of these dear people and try to honor (in this little way) the impression they have made and continue to make on my life.  

When I first decided to quit school and play music, I really had no clue what shape it would take. I’d never written a song, never taken guitar lessons- I’d only sang out with my parents or in high school chorus. I signed up for guitar lessons January ’09, and our family friend, Kathy Mattea, introduced me to her vocal coach of thirty years, Phoebe Binkley. 

This beautiful woman would become so much more than simply a vocal coach -as if that weren’t enough already. She’s listened to me cry, shared in excitement over successes, calmed worry or frustration, but most importantly- she has taught me to hear my own voice, to trust my instrument. I have learned numerous lessons from her-

-to compartmentalize
-to think of myself as a musician, even in the beginning stages
-to always dress sharply (which I still don’t always adhere to.. yet=])
-to go for it- whether its a show/opportunity i’m nervous about, or a note I’m afraid to hit
-to trust myself and my art/voice 

The list goes on. 
I’m still learning, and remembering how invaluable and important this time with her is to me. 

Thank you, Phoebe, for the gift of you! I love you!

What is this?

There are so many wonderful people who have influenced my life and my willingness to be creative over the past 3 years. Each of them have been so dear to me- in small or large part- and I just want to use this blog to show my gratitude for their presence in my life AND link whoever reads this to what will end up being a gallery of talented people.

For most entries, there will be a photo that I’ve taken with my canon canonet, and a little blurb gushing about how much I love them.

If you come across this blog, thanks for stopping by!

Erin Rae