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It's WHo You Are

 

It's not your secret to keep.  It's who you are.

Sometimes the most beautiful, life-changing message comes when we are least expecting it. 

Charlie is a sweet, kind man who visits us at the store in Venice and brings beautiful flowers that he picks. Charlie is homeless, and he's one of the most incredibly generous people I've ever known.  

One day, as the sun was setting in a colorful and breezy sky, Charlie called us outside to listen to a street musician.  "Isn't it amazing??" he said.  "He's sharing his gift with us.  What a beautiful thing."

My friend Sarah tapped Charlie on the arm and said, "You know, Lily is a singer too."  He looked at me with such awe and wonder...  

I just shrugged- Not a big deal.  

Charlie shook his head and said, "That's not your secret to keep.  It's who you are. You can help people.  You can help people with your music." 

So, I hadn't written anything in a while, but this one came pouring out the very next day like a flood, along with lots of tears...  

I had the amazing opportunity to play the song for Charlie, and here is the video of that magical day (by Sarah Teoderescu.)  It's funny- watching it, I realize that I'm laughing and crying a the same time, and there are lines that just won't come because my voice stops working...  For me it really was an amazing, life-affirming moment.

I recorded the song last week, and it's ready!!

All of the money made through downloads of "It's Who You Are" is going to help Charlie.

We're working with the LA Homeless Authority and the LA Fire Department, and soon he will be getting the support he needs.  

I hope that this little story reminds you of the gifts you have been given to share with this world.  Now is the time.

 

Love and light,

Lily

 

 

 

First Paper Flowers show!

 

I'm so thrilled to say that Renee Stahl and I will be joined by a great band to debut the songs we have been writing lately for our new project, Paper Flowers!  We play THIS SATURDAY NIGHT at Room 5 in Los Angeles. We had such a fun rehearsal today.  She and I have both been writing and recording on our own for a long time, but we have also sung backgrounds for other artists, and LIVE for harmony.  It's just pure bliss to sing with her.  I hope our friends in LA can come by this weekend for a little taste...

In the studio

 

I have been writing a lot of songs with my friend Renee Stahl lately.  I love singing with her, and the songs just seem to materialize as soon as we start to harmonize over a chord on the guitar.  I've always loved her voice, so it's really fun to get to sing with her.  We've brought the new tunes into the studio with Mark Browne, and he has been adding all sorts of cool instrumentation.  NOW we just have to come up with a band name- any ideas??

Escuela Del Rio Benefit SO much fun!

 

Just got back from a great weekend of music!  We played at the benefit for the Escuela del Rio in Paso Robles on Saturday, and it was such an amazing night.  Thanks to Mike Kosin for setting it all up and infusing the whole thing with such joy.  We were honored to share the stage with The Salty Suites, and look forward to playing with them again soon!

Show in Santa Margarita Cancelled!

 

I just got the word that our show in Santa Margarita at The Porch has been cancelled.  We were scheduled to play this Thursday night, and the venue is no longer hosting live music.  We do still have a show the very next night in Paso Robles at D'Anbino Cellars though.  All the details are on the calendar page.

Ginger Tea

 

Sometimes just the simple warmth of ginger tea by candlelight can be so wonderful.  I hear it's supposed to rain tomorrow.  I hope it does.  We have really been needing some rain.  I do love the sunny days, but I miss the cozy gray days.  We haven't had any kind of winter this year.  When it's so sunny all the time, I find it hard to sit and write.  I always feel like I need to be out in the world, soaking up every bit of light.  My dog feels the same way.  When it's rainy, she's totally content to curl up in the kitchen all day; but she bursts with energy when the sun is out.

I'm excited about a new project I've been working on with one of my favorite singer- songwriters, Renee Stahl.  I just love singing with her, and can't wait to share what we've been doing with all of you.  Soon enough... For now I'm just sipping my ginger tea...

A Residency at Molly's!

 

I'm really excited about my upcoming residency at Molly Malone's in L.A. with Philip Sayce!

Molly's is such a great place to play- Richard does an amazing job on the sound, and the stage feels like a second home to me.  I also love that the music room is separate from the bar.  That makes it a true listening room.  Playing a residency gives us a chance to stretch a little and maybe play some new songs, or throw in a cover or two...  Right now I'm making my set list for next week.  Yay!

Concert Tonight

 

I love show days.  I always try to leave the day free if it's in town, so that I can take some time for myself.  I love to think about all of the songs I'm playing in the set, and really live inside of them for a day.  Today is a beautiful one!  It's a perfectly mild summer L.A. day.  The sun is out and there's a refreshing breeze.  Kora, my pup and I went on a great hike in Griffith Park this morning, and now we're sitting in the backyard. Kora's napping and I'm listening to the birds  ..."who can sing a million songs without any words..." (Patty Griffin)

Next up: yoga, steam, another walk, and then I head to the club...

Back home

 

Wow!  Mark Browne and I just got back from a little whirlwind tour up the coast. We had a lot of fun, and met a lot of great new people.  We brought Kora, our little cattle dog pup, and she was a star!

The temperature never dipped below 90 the whole time we were traveling. Cups of ice and cool tile floors were Kora's friends :-)

I LOVED playing at Plaza Linda again.  The courtyard is so sweet, and the audience was wonderful.  Our host, Kiki Wow, was amazing.

The next morning, I had an interview and performance on KPIG, one of my favorite radio stations. I love that they actually play what they want to play, and they really promote local artists and their shows.  It was a lot of fun.

We celebrated the 4th with family in Napa, which was beautiful.  Ahhh- pool party in the vineyard.  Even if it was 100 degrees, the day was awesome.  

Our last show was in Santa Margarita at a great little spot called the Porch.  They serve yummy food and wine from local wineries, and the audience was really wonderful.  We'll definitely be back again to play Steve Key's Songwriters at Play. The super inspiring and talented, Maia Sharp headlined that show, and it was such a treat to see her play.

Now we're back at home, catching up on sleep and planning our next trip!

Last night...

 

The release party for Harbour in L.A. was so much fun.  It may have been the most fun I've ever had on stage!  I love my band so much, and the audience was so amazing.  And Richard, the sound guy at Molly's, is the BEST!!!  I'm still basking in the glow. 

Mixing mixing on the studio floor...

 

Up late again mixing songs on the new CD.  Had to take a mini break.  I know I haven't been the greatest about keeping up with my blog, guys!  I'm sorry, but we have been in the studio so much lately.  I'm realizing that I really love mixing.  It just takes a LOT of focus and patience.  It's crazy how if you turn the vocals up and turn the drums down, it can take a song from being a rock song to a folk song in no time!!??!  Thankfully, I'm working with the best- Mark Browne and his golden ears will save the day!

I wrote a hit song!

 

"This camp was built to music, therefor built forever."

I'm so happy to be back here in this beautiful place that shaped so much of my musical life.

AND, I'm getting a taste of what it would be like to have a hit song!  When I was a counselor at a summer camp in the San Juan Islands years ago, I wrote a song called "Set Out" with 2 friends, Jon Georgitis, and Doug Archibald, who led sailing and canoe trips with the kids.  

Early this year, a friend from camp contacted me and told me that the kids are still singing our song!  I wrote to the director, one thing led to another, and now I'm up here at summer camp, writing and singing with the kids.  Whenever I'm introduced, "She wrote 'Set Out'" follows my name. YOU wrote "Set Out???" The campers/ staff say in awe.  I LOVE that song!" 

I am so amazed by the power of music.  A song I wrote with some friends in one inspired moment has lived on in the voices and hearts of so many kids over the years.  I heard them sing the song this morning and it brought tears to my eyes.  I'm so grateful for this gift of song.  I'm thankful to life for showing this to me, right now, as I'm finishing the recording my 5th CD, unsure of where all of these new songs will end up.  Every song has a life of it's own, and continues to teach me as it grows.

 

Set Out

 

Set out on the road yesterday

Brought my guitar along

Two weeks now I've been traveling

Trying to find me a song

 

And I can't find the words to write it down, but I'm found

 

Met a man on the road yesterday

Asked him which way to go

He said it doesn't matter which way you turn

As long as you take it slow

 

And I can't find the words to write it down, but I'm found

 

Set out on the ocean yesterday

Trying to find me a breeze

Who knows when I'll come home again

Blowing in from the seas

 

And I can't find the words to write it down, but I'm free

 

Walking on the road the other night, I thought I lost my way

But I found my soul again when I heard the children play

 

The comfort of the gypsy voices, singing sweet harmony

The songs that will always bring us to the place we want to be

 

And I can't fins the words to write it down, but I'm free

singing "To Be Someone."

 

I wrote this song, "To Be Someone" with my good friend Kelly Fitzgerald.  It's turning into SUCH a fun track with lots of gritty guitars.  It reminds me a little bit of Tom Petty, who I love.  I just put down a vocal, and Mark is now adding more guitars.  Nick Kirgo came over last week and played some amazing stuff on it.  Tomorrow, Kelly's going to come sing the harmony part. 

I'm super excited about this song!  It's a slightly different flavor than the rest of the record.  I feel like I'm getting back to my country roots a little with this one. 

Photo shoots and rehearsals and mixing and recording...

 

This is my life!  Music and all the things that come with it.  Ahh, when it rains, it pours. 

I'm so happy that the photo shoot for the new CD went so well.  Taking the pictures for an album has such an interesting effect on the whole project.  All of a sudden, I understand it much better as a whole.  It's a thrill to have a vision and have it come to fruition.  I feel grateful for the sweet souls around me that help me create these things.  Andria Sato is helping me with the album design again.  She's the best.  We had a great day in the Malibu sun shooting for the CD.  

This week is packed with rehearsals with the band, recording sessions, mixing sessions, and our super special show on Sunday night in Santa Monica.  Life is good.

Home Sweet Home

 

Tonight is my first night home in two weeks, and it feels great!  We made quesadillas and quacamole and watched Glee!  Ahhhh...

Mark Browne and I had a truly wonderful time on the road.  Every show was such a treat.  We met some amazing people, and reconnected with great old friends.  I loved playing some of the new songs to an audience for the first time.  I'm happy to say, I only forgot the lyrics ONCE!!!  (I don't think anyone but Mark noticed....)

We traveled through rain, wind, hail, snow, and sunshine- all the way up through Bend, Oregon and back.

So, now it's time to get back in the studio.  We're getting so close!!! We have to have some real instruments replace the synthesizers, and I have to sing about 3 more songs (!!!)  I am getting really excited about finishing this project. 

Lilith Fair

 

So, I know this sounds like a lot, but I did just register as a fan ;-) to see how to do it, and it will take about 15 minutes. I appreciate it!!!

First go to www.ourstage.com and click on Join in the top right-hand corner.
Then click on the left box that says "Register as a Fan". After registering, you'll get a thank you message. Close the box. Then check your email account for the confirmation. After you receive your email confirmation message, click on the link they give to activate your account.

If you want to complete your Profile, great. If not, Click on "Discover New Music". It may take you right to Lilith Standings page or not. Go to the top right-hand corner to Search and type in "Lily Wilson", which should take you either to my songs or to my profile. There should be a green tab on the top right-hand corner that says, "Join Fan Club". Click on that and after the thank you, close the box.
Then, and this is most important, click on the tab at the top of the page on the left that says "Overview" and click. It should take you to my profile page. Then click on the green tab on the right-hand side that says "Make this my favorite artist". This will ensure that my song will come up in the rotation within the first 20 artists. If you don't do this, my song, "Meet Me in the Middle" may never pop up!

Still with me?

Then click on "Judge" at the top, then on the right side click on Lilith Fair Channels. On that page, scroll down on the right-hand column and select "Lilith Local Talent Search: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego". Voila! You made it to the judging!

There will be 4 artists at a time that come up to listen to. You have to listen to at least 15 seconds of each and vote for them in the order you like them best. My song should be in the grouping within 5 tries, maximum.

Please vote as often as possible. We have only 10 days of judging to go!

Thanks for your support (& patience)!!

Lily

Time to hit the road

 

We leave in 2 days to tour up the coast and in to Oregon.  I am so excited to play these new songs!  It's going to be a great way to perform some of them for the first time.  Mark and I have been so busy in the studio that we haven't really had much time to just play music!  Tonight, we're going through our set list. 

It's May!!!

 

 

 

Everything is in bloom, and the birds are singing to me through the window.  I love this time of year.

Mark Browne and I have been living in the studio lately, recording songs for my new CD.  We've both been so inspired by the way the pieces are falling together.  We're very blessed to have our dear friends and wonderful musicians like James Harrah, Dave Beyer, Bernie Barlow, Fritz Lewak, Paul Trudeau, Nick Kirgo, and Mark Goldenberg come over and add their magic to the songs. 

 I have a lot of people to thank fo helping make our recording process a reality (thank you, thank you, thank you!)  We've been taking pre-orders since January, and have raised enough money to pay for everything so far.  We're about two thirds of the way through recording, and are still raising money through pre-orders. You can just go to my home page to check it out and order your copy.  Every time a new order comes though, it means we get to put a little more into this project, and I am so grateful for that. I really cannot wait to get this CD to all of you!

In June, we'll be playing a really special show in Santa Monica, CA with the band. We'll be opening up this beautiful yoga/ meditation/ music space before the show for a private party to honor the people who have pre-ordered CDs.  I promise, it will be a night to remember!  Please mark your calendars.  I will have more details in the coming weeks, and I hope to see you there.

 In a few weeks Mark and I will be hitting the road to play for our friends in Northern California and Oregon.  We have a lot of new tunes to play for you!

 

Thanks again for all of your support.  I couldn't do it without you!  Now, I'm off to sing another vocal...

 

 

 

 

Falling in love with each song...

 

From the writing process to the recording process is such an interesting journey.  Putting the songs down permanently...  It can be daunting to lock them into one kind of expression.  I know by now how they grow and change with time.  And right now, it's taking me some time to get to know each of these gems that has come to me for this CD.  I have to get inside them, kick around in the corners of them, and try to tame them.  Try to capture them to be put on display for the world to hear. 

I know that a year from now, after I've played these songs with the band a thousand times, they'll be like comfy old shoes; but for now, I'm still getting acquainted.  It's exciting.  It's like falling in love.

Back in L.A.

 

I went up north to visit with family and soak up some peace and quiet.  I needed that!  I unplugged for a few days, and reconnected with my deepest voice.  The countryside is so incredibly green right now.  We had more rain while I was there.  Everything is regenerating...

I have has such a crazy few months with my voice!  The start of spring has brought me a new case of allergies, and I'm still not in recording form.  But, I am getting to know these new songs better every day.  

James Harrah came in and played some brilliant guitar parts on a few songs last week.  I'm so excited to see how it all comes together.  Mark Browne is adding his special magic to "Good Rain" as I type... 

Bigger Than Life

 

I love this new song that Debra Davis and I wrote called "Bigger Than Life."  It's a sweet, light-hearted love song.  Mark is playing mandolin on it, which is pretty exciting.  His mandolin's name is Rose, and this will be her debut on my recorded music. 

We had Debra and Nick Kirgo over the other day to put down the guitar and piano part, and I'll be posting some fun footage from that session soon. 

Here's the session with Bernie Barlow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMQ0po4JNnE from a few days ago.  That was a blast.  She sang on "still," the song that we wrote together, and on a new one called "Good Rain."

We're steadily recording all of my new songs, and it's going really well!  It's always a little daunting to realize how much work is in front of us when we start a new project, but at this point, I feel like I can see the shape it's taking, and how everything fits together. 

In other news, I'm at #26 on the ReverbNation Pop charts for L.A.!  I'm happy about that!  And I made this little TunePak: http://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/2492676 that you can post anywhere (blog, website, Facebook...) to help spread the word about my music.  Thanks for your support!

To Be Someone

 

I wrote a song with my friend, Kelly Fitzgerald, called "To Be Someone."  I have totally fallen in love with it! I wake up humming it, and it has been in my head for days now.  It came from a long conversation Kelly and I had about staying true to ourselves, and how important it is to really know yourself- especially when you are being pulled in many different directions. It has a little bit of a country twang to it, so it will be interesting to see how Mark decides to record it. I love the way Kelly plays guitar on it. It reminds me of some of my favorite Tom Petty songs.  So, that one is next on the list to record. 

Next week, I have the amazing Bernie Barlow coming over to sing some background parts, Dave Beyer is playing drums on a few new tunes, and James Harrah is also coming over to play his magical guitar.  I'm excited! I'll be ready with my Flip Cam...

I'm so grateful for the pre-orders we've been receiving.  It's because of them that we are able to hire such wonderful musicians to add their sparkle to my songs.

 

Special thanks to John and Pam for your generous contributions!

We have raised $1400 so far!

We still have a way to go to build a budget for promoting the CD once it is done though.  Every little bit counts. Even those $10 levels are great!

I am so grateful to be living a life in music and to have so much support from all of my listeners.  Thank you!

 

 

Build it Again

 

Last night I sang to Paul Trudeau's new piano track on "Build it Again."  This song is my current favorite.  It's different than anything I've written before.  It took me a little while to feel comfortable with such an open, sparse track.  I'm more used to singing with a full band now, and this song is pretty much just voice and piano.  It is such a lovely song! It's about letting go- something I could do a lot more of...  I'm grateful to Paul for writing it with me.  His piano playing led me into new territory.

Here's a clip from the day he played his part. 

 

Thank you to Roxy for your contribution toward the recording! I cannot wait to get some new CDs to you!

We've raised about $1200 so far! We still have a ways to go to build a promotion budget, so please spread the word about pre-orders. All of the information is on my home page.

Also, if you would like to be present for a recording session, now's the time to schedule that! (Attending a recording session in L.A. comes with $1000 contribution.)

 

 

 

FINALLY I can sing again!

 

I'm realizing it can be hard to stick to a recording schedule in the winter, when colds are taking my voice out of commission every few weeks.  I thought I was all better, and then last week, woke up with another sore, scratchy throat.  I have had a couple of gigs (thank goodness for Advil Cold & Sinus!) but I haven't been able to sing a real vocal in a while...

So, it's back!  My voice is alive and ready, and I have some singing to do!  

Here's a clip of us recording a new song called "Still" that Bernie Barlow and I wrote.  We're at Mark Goldenberg's studio and he is adding his magic to the track...

 

Horses and Paypal

 

I just got back from a quick but inspiring trip up to northern California to visit my family's farm and all of the lovely creatures that live there.  I somehow managed to hit the most beautiful, sunny day to be out in the hills with the horses.  I took my brushes, a bucket of grain, and my parents' two cattle dogs dogs, and hiked up over the rolling green hills to the horses' favorite hiding spot.  You can't see it from the road at all.  It's a meadow sheltered on all sides by huge oak trees.  There are two small ponds there that fill in the winter. 

As I came over the second rise, I could see six little black ears poking up from behind the next hill.  The sound of the full bucket I was carrying was enough to draw them running to me, and I poured a few piles out on the grass as they swirled around me choosing which pile to claim. 

But, the one I most wanted to see, the one who is the wisest, sweetest, most trustworthy horse I've ever known, and who is now 29 years old, kept his distance like he always does.  Eventually, the call of the red bucket brought him sauntering up to me, but he stayed just out of my reach for a while, until he was sure I didn't have a rope to catch him with and take him back to the barn.  I'm convinced that the reason he's doing so well for such an old guy, is because we let him be free in the hills as soon as the weather is good enough.  He looks so much older when he's in the little corral at the barn.  He sighs a lot, and pleads to be let go. When I'm in L.A., I even have dreams about him standing in his stall, looking out to the hills...

He and I used to do some pretty crazy things together. We rode in 3-Day Events when I was about 14.  We would fly through the courses and over massive jumps, through water, and down steep hills...

So, I spent my day out there with my buddies.  I brushed their cozy winter coats, and sat and enjoyed the sound of their huge jaws munching.  There is something so comforting about listening to horses eat.  It's like the sound of waves on the shore, or crickets in the night.  It has always made me feel like all is well with the world. 

I'm back in L.A. now, feeling like my batteries are recharged.  I have a show in Hermosa Beach tonight, and it will be fun to play a solo acoustic set and get back to the core of my songs. 

We're steadily recording songs for the new CD, and steadily raising money to go into the recording costs, but we still have a way to go.  I just added a Paypal button to the front page, so that makes it easier for people to contribute.  We have had such a great response to this pre-sale model!

Here's the new button:

Price Levels

Recording at Kiki's

 

Yesterday we went out to my friend, Kiki Ebsen's home studio and recorded Paul Trudeau playing her beautiful grand piano.  We're putting down a new song called "Build it Again," that I'm really excited about.  Paul and I wrote it a few weeks ago.  It was one of those tunes that came to me in the early morning between sleep and waking. Paul wrote this amazing piano part to go with it, and helped me finish the lyric.  It's about how once you know how to build something beautiful, even if it all disappears, you can always build it again.

Recording at Kiki's is such a treat.  She lives out in Agoura, and her studio is nestled in the rolling hills.  Yesterday was beautiful, and being out there was so inspiring.  I'll post some footage from the session soon. 

Good Rain

 

We are working on a song today called "Good Rain."  This is one that I woke up with about a year ago. I was singing the first line of the song over and and over, and I loved it. 

I sat down with Mark and he came up with a great chord progression. 

And then, it just stayed the way it was.  Some songs are like that.  I'll get the first line and the melody of the chorus, but that's it.  Sometimes it can be hard to know how hard to work on something; but if it isn't flowing after a few tries, I'll put it away for a bit.  Looking back, I'm realizing that, of course it would be hard to write a rain song when we've barely had any rain over the past year.  A couple of weeks ago, when it started to rain in earnest, this song came knocking again.  Mark just put down a great acoustic guitar part, and later I'll sing a scratch vocal.  That will give us an idea of where to take it next...

 

Thank you so much to Frank, who just helped us reach over $1100 toward the CD recording this morning. I so appreciate your support!  

Over $600!

 

We just got a payment of $100 from Jeff in Ohio. 

This is what he wrote:

"Lily, here is a small contribution to help with expenses for your new CD. I've always enjoyed listening to your music, even way out here in Ohio.  Since it is doubtful I will ever be out in L.A. to hear you in person, I am happy to help you make a new record that I can hear. Have fun recording. -Jeff"

Thank you Jeff!

I can't wait to send the new CD to you! (And my back catalog and a T-shirt...)

Even $10 adds up! And here's a reminder of what the price levels will get you:

 

For $10- a T-shirt and sticker,
$25- an advance signed CD weeks before they are available (+T-shirt +sticker)
$100- my entire signed catalog (+advance CD, T-shirt, stickers),
$250- thank you in the CD credits (plus all CDs, T-shirt, stickers,)
$500- thank you + your photo in the CD credits (plus all CDs, T-shirt, stickers,)
$1000- you attend a recording session in L.A. (we always need clappers!),
$2500- a signed guitar (it's a good one!),
$5000- we come to your house and play a concert for you and your friends,
$10,000- I write a song for you!
 
To use Paypal, just go to http://www.paypal.com and send your chosen amount to lownotesinc@earthlink.net.
Thanks again for your amazing support.

Cover Songs

 

I've gotten into the habit of doing a cover song on each CD.  It's always fun to re-interpret someone else's work. 

So, on Lily Wilson, I recorded, "Well All Right," by Buddy Holly, on Stargazer, I recorded Susie Hug's song,"Engine Kill," and on The Right Time, I recorded "Daylight Again," by Crosby, Stills, and Nash (Steven Stills wrote it.) 

I'm trying to find the right song for this new CD. 

It's funny how the songs just seem to show up at the right time.   

There are so many amazing songs out there.  Anyone have any ideas?? 

Singing along..

 

Mark made me a couple of CDs with the rhythm tracks for new songs.  Now I can sing along with them when I'm in my car.  I've learned that with most songs, the more I sing them before I actually record the final vocal, the better.  It has to become so natural that I'm not consciously thinking about the lyrics and the timing, etc. when I'm in the vocal booth.  It frees my mind up to really live in the song for a moment.

Oh yeah, and I've stopped caring if people in other cars are laughing at me as I sing at the top of my lungs.  That's fun.

THANK YOU to Debbie, Michele, Elliot, and John for your sponsorship of the new CD!

We've raised $575 in 5 days!

You guys are awesome. 

I'd like to thank...

 

Camille, Maria, Dax, Sherry, John, Dolna, Dennis, and Pamela.  You guys rock!!! 

Thanks to you, we've raised $425 in just four days.  This money is going right to the incredible musicians that play on my CD.

And as soon as it's ready, I'll be sending it out to you before anyone else hears it! 

I'll be posting a video from the studio shortly...

The rocking upstairs

 

Wow!  Dave did SUCH an amazing job on "Harbor." Mark is blasting it upstairs as he edits it all a bit.  A real drummer always changes the feel of everything (for the better, of course!), so he has to replace a couple of his guitar parts.  I love this song!  It's going to be a blast to play live.  It's a rocker.  Mark played an amazing guitar solo on it.  I need to re-sing my vocal.  Now it feels like a real band. It's amazing how every song has a life of its own.  

So grateful!

 

I feel so lucky to have such amazingly supportive fans.  In 2 days, we've received $250 to go toward the recording of the new CD.  That is awesome!  At this rate, we'll have it done in no time! 

Today, Mark is over at Dave Beyer's studio.  Dave's putting drums on a new track Mark and I wrote called, "Harbor." 

I'm really excited about this song.  It reminds me a little of Lucinda Williams (who I love.)

It's about how too often we hold our greatness in instead of sharing it with the world.

I was talking to a good friend a couple of nights ago about this very thing.  She said, "This is my year to start being BIG!  No more thinking small for me."  I love that! 

Let's all be big, beautiful, creative points of light. 

The recording has begun!

 

I have been getting such sweet emails from people about my new CD, and I'm excited to report that the recording has begun! We're in the early stages.  Mark is mapping out the drum parts and setting up tracks for me to play to...
I'll be posting photos and videos of what we're doing from time to time.
Working in the studio is something I live for.  I can easily stay inside all beautiful day and night when I'm recording a new song.
 
Thank you for asking about how you can be a part of it by contributing, and thank you for all of your great suggestions on prize levels.  This is going to be a lot of fun.
 
So, here it is:
 
For $10- a T-shirt and sticker,
$25- an advance signed CD weeks before they are available (+T-shirt +sticker)
$100- my entire signed catalog (+advance CD, T-shirt, stickers),
$250- thank you in the CD credits (plus all CDs, T-shirt, stickers,)
$500- thank you + your photo in the CD credits (plus all CDs, T-shirt, stickers,)
$1000- you attend a recording session in L.A. (we always need clappers!),
$2500- a signed guitar (it's a good one!),
$5000- we come to your house and play a concert for you and your friends,
$10,000- I write a song for you!
 
To use Paypal, just go to http://www.paypal.com and send your chosen amount to lownotesinc@earthlink.net.
Thanks again for your amazing support.
 
If you're in the L.A. area next month, I have a fun Friday night gig coming up Valentine's Day weekend:
 
Friday, February 12th, 2010
9:00 p.m.
Molly Malone's
 
575 South Fairfax ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
US
Price: $8

I hope to see you there! I'll have the Dream Band playing with me!

Thanks guys!

 

It's always amazing to me how supportive my wonderful listeners can be.  I sent out the information on contributing to my new CD late last night, and have already received money!  

The cool thing that I didn't anticipate, is how much more inspired I feel to get this record out asap!  Now that I know people are really looking forward to it, it gives me a little extra wind beneath my wings :-).

I can't wait to start sending out the new signed CDs...

Every bit will go straight to the recording costs right now:

http://www.paypal.com

send to: lownotesinc@earthlink.net

 

Thanks again!

 

New CD on the horizon...

 

I have been in a serious writing phase. I love it when creativity comes knocking. Sometimes it can feel like an old friend I haven't seen in years, but we always pick up right where we left off. I can't wait to share these new tunes with you!

At this point, we're sifting through all of the new songs and deciding which ones go on the CD.

For this record (yes, I'm still calling it a record. I like thinking of it as a body of work, a record/phase of life,) I have an idea...

I am so blessed to have a wonderful network of musicians here in L.A. and to be married to an amazing producer with a recording studio upstairs. We have a lot of ideas, but it takes money to make them a reality. Usually I end up with a CD I'm really proud of, and a huge credit card bill. When its time to tour and promote the new songs, I don't have any budget. So, this time, I'd like to open up the door to all of you to help make this CD happen. And if you decide to help, you will be rewarded. Even if you can only send ten bucks, it adds up!

Mark and I got together with some friends and brainstormed the other night to think of prizes we'll give for every price level.

Examples are:

For $10- a T-shirt and sticker,

$25- an advance signed CD weeks before they are available,

$100- my entire catalog, signed, (+advance CD, T-shirt, stickers),

$250- thank you in the CD credits (plus CDs, T-shirt, stickers,)

$500- Ideas? What do you think?

$1000- Attending a recording session in L.A.,

$2500- a signed guitar (it's a good one!),

$5000- we come to your house and play a concert,

$10,000- I will write a song for you!

I'd love to hear from you. What would you want to see on this list?

I was originally inspired to do this by Jill Sobule, who ended up raising $80,000 in a couple of months, and putting out an amazing record that Don Was produced.

I'm really fired up about keeping a blog and posting pics and recordings of what we're creating together. The musicians we hire and the time line of this CD are completely dependent on how much money we have to work with, so the sooner we start, better!


I'm so grateful for your support, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Flying Across the Country

 

I'm flying across the country today. I'm praying for peace. I'm feeling the joy of millions and the heaviness of our place on this earth. What a beautiful place we have here. How fortunate we really are. I'm leaving the smoke and bursting into the desert. I'm meandering with the green river that cuts through Arizona's red, red rock. Slicing it's own perfect route through the stone- slowly, steadily, finding it's way back to the sea. I'm skipping over a desert thunder storm, and am suddenly reminded that I'm a human in a big steel tube bouncing along with a couple hundred others. My heart skips a beat. That was a big bump. Up here, above the clouds, a dark and brooding storm is beautiful and soft and white, but it still jostles the plane. I peer down at our beloved Rockies. I see snow. It has been a while. Chocolate mountains with feathers of white like an eagle's. They remind me of the place where the white feathers meet the dark feathers at the base of a bald eagle's neck. Like an eagle, I fly; and I get to look down on the beauty. Now just clouds and more clouds. The new Coldplay album is in my ears. “Cemeteries of London." Wow. What a song. God is everywhere. I remember when a toothless and joyful old woman in Chile said that to me with such conviction and elation. She pointed to the fruit tree in her humble dirt yard. She picked an apricot and shared a piece of God with me. He's in the dirt. He's in my blind eye,"she said. “They go searching to see God in their own way," goes the song. Now, the farms. The green circles and half circles. The patterns that shape the sustenance of so much of the world. Please, never let us forget how to grow our own food. Never let us forget of the miracle of planting a seed and watching it grow. These crops that offer themselves up gladly for our survival aren't afraid to grow again. They all reach towards the sun without hesitation. They never question their own beauty the way we humans do. Working with plants keeps us in touch with the cycles of the planet. Farmers know what's in the soil, and where to find water. My dad's a farmer, and I've learned to rely more on his weather forecast than on that of the news. Farmers and sailors just know. Their lives depend on it. Now we're on the other side of all the clouds and over lake Michigan. Small ocean lakes in the middle of our continent. When you're flying over them, they really do look like oceans. I don't see any waves today. The light is different over here in the east. It's a little older, wiser, and a little more set in its ways. The light here above the clouds even, invokes visions of sturdy brick buildings and clock towers. Civilized navy pea coats and hearty meals. I'm a stranger in the east. It never feels like home, and it excites me. I wonder who I would be if I were from here. I'd probably be a photographer. I'd shoot things in this beautiful old light, and in a studio in a loft in an old brick building. In winter, I'd walk, holding the collar of my pea coat tightly around my neck, and I'd be comfortable in the freezing air. But I'm a guest here. I look with wonder and try to fit in a little.

L.A. Music Awards

 

It was kind of a random way to be nominated for an award. I was asked by a booking agent to come and fill the slot at a showcase for the Los Angeles Music Awards because an out-of-town band had just cancelled. So, I took it. Why not? I sent out a few frantic emails to my peeps begging them to show up and make some noise, scrambled some of my favorite musician friends together to come back me up, and ended up playing a really fun show at the Palmer Room in West L.A. It was the last showcase of the year, and I ended up being nominated. (THANKS to everyone who was there that night!!!) So, the main event, where they pass out all the awards, happened last Thursday night, and guess what? I won! Imagine that! “Best Adult Contemporary Female Vocal of the Year" for my song “A Little Life" which you can hear on MySpace, but won't be released until next year. If you watch the awards on their website, mine is the second one given out, but it took me a while to get to the stage. It was a pretty hilarious comedy of errors, actually. We were told to be at the awards at 5:30 to sign in and to do the red carpet walk (ahem). So, when we got there, there was a beautiful line of nominated musicians winding around the block on Hollywood Boulevard, patiently awaiting their interview and red carpet walk. We ended up standing out there for two hours (I can't believe Mark didn't bail!), and making friends with some REALLY cool people (that's why he didn't bail.) We met Julie Gribble, and Claire Reynolds, both super sweet, super talented, and in my same category for the night. By the time we got into the theater (which wasn't easy even when we did get to the front door,) all we wanted was a drink, so we headed upstairs to the balcony bar. As soon as we entered the room, we heard the DJ announce my name over the loudspeaker, and then they started playing my song! “Come to the stage, wherever you are, Lily," he was saying. O.K. so we scramble down three flights of stairs and get to the door of the main room where the stage and all the VIPs are. But, apparently, I didn't have the right color wristband to get into the room, as I was informed by the huge security guard (who happened to have a VERY thick Russian accent.) I finally was able to sweet-talk another security guard at another door to let me in, and Julie, her friend Steve, Mark and I squeezed through and into the exclusive room. I found my way through all of the tables, and onto the stage, where the DJ and some pretty model girls presented me with a big plaque and took my picture. YAY!!! Then they ushered me off stage, took the plaque (said they'd send me one with my name on it), and pushed us through the door and into the cold concrete hall. Mark and I stared at each other. “Did that just happen?!??" I guess it did, because I was able to just watch it on the internet. Thank you so much to The L.A. Music Award Panel, to my producer/ bassist/ hubby, Mark Browne, to my awesome band, James Harrah, Dave Beyer, Kiki Ebsen, and Nick Kirgo, and thank you Julie Gribble, and Claire Reynolds, and everyone else in my category. I feel very honored to have been in the same category with you!

One Suitcase

 

I'm so excited to have a NEW SONG to share with all of you! I wrote "One Suitcase" after I had a dream that I was waking up in a strange place as someone else. I knew that I had fled a disaster, and I knew that I had lost everything except for the suitcase at the foot of the bed. I could tell I was at a friends' house- far from the home I had known my whole life. The precious things in my suitcase had taken on such a new importance, as they were all I had to remind me of the past. I'm really grateful that this song came to me in this way. I wish they all did ;-0) I have never been to New Orleans, and actually don't know anyone who went through Hurricane Katrina, but through the dream, and through writing this song, I have developed a much deeper compassion for the people who are still dealing with the loss of their homes. When it comes down to it, all any of us really have is what we can carry. I recorded this track with some amazing Nashville musicians through My Record Label. I love working with this label. Their motto is "Empowering the Independent Artist," and they really mean it. If you download "One Suitcase," or any of the songs that we'll be posting on the site, the money actually comes straight to me. They don't take a cut. They just want the traffic. Right now, "One Suitcase" is at number one on the home page, which is pretty great. I hope you will go to http://www.myrecordlabel.net and check it out. They also just put up a video clip of my performance at El Cid in Hollywood last Saturday night. If you click on my name under the song, it will take you to the video.

7-7-07

 

WOW! What an amazing day! 7-7-07. It's the beginning of something big. A change for a beautiful future. People are waking up. People are coming together. People are realizing that we only have one planet to share and we have the power to destroy it in our own lifetimes. So, let's not do that, O.K.? Let's create ways of nurturing the planet. Let's think about our impact. Let's be conscious of our actions. I was pretty nervous in the morning. I ordered a delicious breakfast of corncakes and eggs and I could barely touch it. What if I forgot my part? What if I walked out on stage with all of the cameras and 60 thousand people and fainted? Or what if I forgot the lyrics? Or fell off the stage? The truth is I figured out a long time ago that if I think it's about me and my little insecurities, then I will DEFINITELY mess it up. I feel really lucky to have witnessed Melissa Etheridge's journey over the last couple of years. I know that her message is powerful and true. And I know, like she does, that it's not really coming from her, but through her. She opens herself up to the magic and the beauty and the truth, and she doesn't try to hold it back as it absolutely pours from her heart. As I wrote about the coming day in my journal Friday night, I thought about what my part really was on stage with her. The thought I kept having was that it felt like I was going to attend a birth. I remembered the feeling of anticipation in the delivery room when my sister was having a baby. Everyone could feel the energy of a new life coming to earth. We were excited and nervous and blown away by the intensity. I held a vision of hope and peace, of health and positivity. After Melissa introduced Al Gore, and the stage rotated around, we all hugged and laughed and felt a HUGE sense of accomplishment and relief. Melissa had nailed it, as usual; and we were all so happy to have been a part of the delivery of her message. There is a link to watch the show on http://www.liveearth.org

The Nest

 

We've had a beautiful mother Mourning dove nesting right outside our bedroom window for a little over a month. She and her husband moved in and built a straggly nest in the rafter under the awning. Then he left, and she sat and sat on her two precious eggs for weeks. We wondered if we should maybe bring her some water or a little birdseed. She was looking VERY parched, when, a week ago, we spotted a fluffy speckled baby beneath her wing! Indeed, there were two of them; and they grew like weeds. About 5 days ago, Mama dove started going out to get food, and Papa dove came back to keep an eye on the little ones. Two days ago, she left for longer, and the babies seemed almost too big for the nest. I snapped their picture as they looked down at me and warily blinked their little black eyes. Then this morning, Mama dove was in the nest, and the two babies were perched on the rafter. She watched and cooed, as they preened and stretched out their little wings. We knew today was the day, but we didn't feel ready. It came so fast. He called me to tell me that Mama was in the magnolia tree, beckoning them to fly to her from their safe little home right outside our bedroom window. I came home at dusk, and went straight to the window, as I've done everyday for the past two weeks. Their straggly nest was down to a few dangling pieces of dry grass. I felt sad and happy and relieved and empty and worried and hopeful. Our baby doves have left the nest.

Live Earth!

 

So, I've been asked to sing backgrounds for Melissa Etheridge (!!!!!!) at the Live Earth Concert at Shay Stadium July 7th. I'm jumping up and down with excitement, and am so honored to be a part of the music that she pours into the world. This event is such a wonderful thing- let's get together and co-create new ways of relating to our planet. Let's not use it all up in this lifetime. Let's use our intelligence, compassion, and creativity to revive our natural resources. Let's "Wake Up!" What a beautiful thing. I'm amazed by the places music takes me. I sometimes feel like it's a kind of fluid vehicle that has carried me through my whole life. Music is powerful. It brings us together like nothing else. Tune in on 7-7-07! http.www.liveearth.msn.com and http://www.watch7-7-07.com

The Kindness of Strangers

 

I ran out of gas- completely out of gas- for the first time in my life yesterday. I was on my way to a gas station, as my empty light had been on for 16 miles, when my car sputtered and slowed and stopped responding. I wrestled the now un-powered steering wheel and slid into a spot on the side of the road. Hmmmm... Probably not going to make my 4:00 appointment, I calculated. Funny how everything can change in just a moment. Thankfully I was not on the freeway when it happened. Thankfully, I was in a pretty safe neighborhood when it happened. Thankfully, I wasn't too far from a gas station. I won't even talk about why I find it necessary to push my luck and not just pull over at the first station as soon as my tank is low. But, I can tell you it won't happen again. I was on South Main Street in Santa Monica. The closest gas station was about a mile away. For some reason it was about 85 degrees yesterday afternoon, and as I ran down the road, sweat dripping, I kept picturing a nice stranger who would drive me and my shiny (and heavy) new gas can back to my car. I got to the station, pulled a red plastic jug off of the shelf, and walked up to the grungy counter. As the guy behind the counter was giving me some pointers on using the can (a LOT more complicated than it should be- in my opinion) the kid standing behind me overheard and asked if I had run out of gas. Yes, I said. First time ever. It's really just so Amateur? He asked. Yes. Exactly. Amateur. Oh, it can happen to any of us, he said. Where are you parked? Main Street. I can take you to your car- it's on my way. Cool. That's so nice. I felt fine getting in this stranger, Cameron's car- partly because I had wished for him, and partly because he just had a nice energy about him. We drove into the afternoon sun and he told me about how a friend had done him a favor earlier in the day and he was just passing it on. I gave him a CD when we got to my car, thanked him, and he drove off. Then I tried to get the new gas in my tank. Unfortunately, the tips that the guy at the station had given me were very wrong. I guess it was pretty obvious that I was struggling, because when I looked up there was a girl standing on the sidewalk asking me if I needed help. Thank you so much. Yeah, I think I do need help, but have you ever done this before? She looked like she was just coming home from school. She had a cute outfit on. Well, let's try to figure it out, she said. She helped me decipher the cryptic instructions that had come with the can, and gave me moral support as I held up the can and listened to the slow glug, glug- gas tank accepting it's precious gallon and a half of fuel. I gave Ashley a CD too. As I got into my car and drove on to PCH, I couldn't help but feel grateful that I had run out of gas. The simple kindness of these two strangers had restored my faith in our future as humans on this planet. Seriously. Even when all of the horrible news of the world is coming in over the airwaves, there is kindness and compassion breaking out everywhere. Here it is, right in front of us, when we (are forced to) slow down and look.

Home

 

I came home for my favorite holiday- Thanksgiving. After the harvest, before the gray cold. Everything is settling down for a winters' nap, and there's a stillness and a quality of light that are just not present during the rest of the year. I love it here, where I was born. The grape leaves are still on the vines, but they deepen in color every day. When we first got here, they were a bright and clear yellow, and within a few days, they've mostly turned to firey reds and golden browns. This place where I grew up looks like a giant patchwork quilt, with the vines criss-crossing like stitches on the valley floor. There are barns with green tin roofs at the corners of some of the patches. Horses and cows dot the soft landscape. Right now I can imagine snuggling down under that big quilt, and resting with the earth. There has been no moon- just so many stars. I had forgotten about all these stars. I am truly thankful for this valley, for this view. I look around, and the world is at peace...

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