So, I first had the pleasure of meeting Eratosthenes, or Tos as we call him, in October of last year. I went up to Seattle for the CD release show for my friends Lower Lights Burning at Columbia City Theatre (love that space) and spent the weekend tagging along for all of their festivities. On Sunday of that weekend, Graydon and Amanda took me to Ballard, where theres a cool open mic at Conor Byrne Pub. Tos met us there and we walked down to the water and filmed my first “Ballard Session”.
The first thing you’ll notice about Tos is his wonderful hair. Never have i known a man with such a voluminous mane of hair, and I’m willing to bet you haven’t either. Its amazing. BUT. Thats not why we’re here. What you’ll soon learn after any interaction with him, is that he is such a sweet, open spirit. He creates these beautiful videos that capture artists in their element, and he does them so so well. I recently had the pleasure of hosting Tos here in Nashville during one of the hottest and most humid weeks in Tennessee history, which he was SUCH a trooper about. I filled our days trying to fit in as much Nashville stuff as possible, Historic Franklin, Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor, Puckett’s Grocery, The Full Moon Pickin’ Party, as well as all the trespassing we did to film “Ballard Sessions” with as many people as we could fit in. He went along for it all, and I am so grateful for the conversations we had and the adventures we went on.
Tos, your art is a beautiful gift, and I’m so grateful for you, and to get to share what you do with everyone I know. Thank you for the gift of you! Love you!
Here are a couple of examples of The Ballard Sessions. Enjoy=]
If you were to read each and every post here, and continued to follow this blog, you would soon notice that many of my connections have stemmed from the open mic night at Cafe Coco in Nashville. I spent/spend a LOT of time there, especially in the first year or so. It is a watering hole of creative beings and eclectic personalities, which has really fed me in so many ways. Last summer, I happened into the open mic after not having been for a while, and caught Daniel Kirkwood’s set. I had arrived pretty late in the evening, so i signed up last, and I planned to talk to Daniel after the show about playing together sometime. BUT, he started to walk out right before I played, and with out thinking I jumped up and said, “DON’T LEAVE!”, and then proceeded to say very awkwardly that if he liked my voice I would love to sing harmony for him sometime. Honestly, until five minute ago, I had forgotten that’s how we met and now I’m embarrassed to tell you. Anyway, he and his girlfriend did stay, and he did like my voice, and he happened to be in town from ALASKA for a couple of weeks to begin recording his album! So, we talked turkey and other poultry and I came to the studio a few days later. He recently just returned to Nashville for a few weeks to record some more, and add some finishing touches to what we had down last year, and I took these photos this time. Daniel’s music is really cool, and I’m really proud and honored to be part of this project! Jamison Sevits recorded and produced the project, and a handful of other talented musicians as well! We plan on having an official cd release show in Nashville at some point this summer, but until then, check out Dan’s band camp to hear the sounds! And below is a live take of a song a few weeks back.
Oh you guys. So previously I introduced you to Graydon Holden, a great friend/musician from Shelton, WA. This lovely lady, Amanda Sue Winterhalter, is the other member of Lower Lights Burning that I’ve come to know and call my friend. I don’t know what is in the water out there in the Pacific Northwest, but I have met some of the sweetest, giving-est, talented-est people i’ve ever known in the great state of Washington. Por Ejemplo, I had only spent less than 24 hours with Amanda and a group of friends, and she opened up her home to me a few months later, and then again just last week! I could go on and on about the loyalty Amanda has for her friends, but that list would go on forever, and that’s only part of what I want y’all to see. I met her because she was singing harmony and playing keys and accordion and THEN. I had the pleasure of hearing one of her own songs the next day, and she’s so talented. Her lyrics and voice and melodies are so pure and sweet, and speak of the human experience, especially in this song. I just want everyone to hear it. I am so lucky to have this lady as my good friend, and cannot wait to see what develops in her solo career.
The first place I sang, tried to play guitar in front of people, and debuted my first attempts at songwriting were in the back bar at Cafe Coco’s open mic, which used to happen every Thursday night. Maurice Barrett ran sound for all the music there, and honestly I was pretty intimidated by him. I could tell he was really cool, and that he knew what he was talking about, and I knew my friends all shared a friendly but great respect for him. I would find out later, that Maurice (also known under the moniker 24/7) was a brilliant musician/creative person in his own right. He would never tell you that though- he’s incredibly humble. You have to do a little research or talk to people who’ve known him a while to hear any reports of his work. Lately the creative endeavor that has become more his focus requires him being behind the lens and capturing the art or experience of other artists and people. He’s got a really neat series going called “Dave’s Place” during which he spends time with artists (musicians, engineers, painters) interviewing and displaying their craft in a very cool way. I got to work with Maurice for one of these installments and let me just say- not only am I SO grateful to have that well-done interview/take-away show to send to people, but he just makes you feel so comfortable and at home in talking to him. He allows for a very easy, natural vibe, and just does such great work.
I first had the pleasure of meeting KG towards the end of last summer, on a lovely afternoon at Centennial Park. I’d seen her around, as our circles overlap a bit, but had not actually connected. Once we did, I immediately wanted to befriend her. What you’ll notice first (or what I did, probably because I envied it so) is how grounded, and steady this woman is. After a few minutes of conversation you’ll notice she is very honest, matter-of-fact, and hilarious. She is a beautiful, talented, and empowered spirit and lovingly makes its her job to see that other people know of their own light. Plus, she’s just so much dang fun to be around.
She is an incredible writer, musician, poet, and I am honored to consider her one of my closest friends.
As 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!