Wow. I’m humbled by everyone who took the time to vote for me to play at Flow Fest. Thank you! I’m honored to join an incredible lineup of musicians. See below. Wow. We’ll share songs on stage, by the fire, under the stars and moon, beside the sea. I’m ready to enter this adventure!
On lucky friday the 13th, I had the pleasure of opening for Gaelynn Lea, one woman orchestra and winner of the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk Contest! Check out her music and story here. She enchanted us with her looped violin, stories, and heartfelt lyrics. I played a rare solo set and enjoyed debuting two new songs and a looped cover of “For What It’s Worth”. Thanks to everyone who came out and packed Al’s Den for the special night, and thanks to Aaron Rowan of Modesto Unplugged Music Festival for making the connection!
I’m honored to be part of this compilation album!
My contribution to this collection came through on the banks of what most of us now call the Columbia River. I had just returned from Squamish, Canada, and passed many rivers and creeks along the road that listed the First Nations name on the signs above the English name. It struck me that this very simple sign of respect and recognition is not something I had ever seen during my travels in the US, and that I didn’t know one Indigenous name for the river flowing at my feet.
I learned that one name is N’chi Wána, the Big River or Great River, in the Ichishkíin language of the Yakama, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and other tribes. There are only about 100 native speakers of this language left.
What a sign of respect, to name the river for what it is – one of the largest by volume on this continent – rather than named after a boat named after a man who colonized and brutalized the original inhabitants of this continent.
Then I thought about the salmon swimming in the waters below, whose numbers continue to dwindle due to damming, rising sea temperatures, and pollution. There is a superfund site just downstream of where I sat that day. These powerful creatures, who spend their lives in the ocean and swim thousands miles to return to their birthplace to spawn, now face even more obstacles. I thought of people who honored them by burying their bones back in the river after they feasted, instead of treating them as a boundless “resource” to “harvest” to near extinction.
The chorus, “Let your salmon guide us upstream, got to keep your waters clean, let our lives feed the next generation”, reflects the salmons’ sacrifice of their own bodies after spawning, and their nutrients feeding the forest and their offspring. I find it a powerful parallel to the sacrifices we now need to make to allow our future generations to thrive or even just survive.
I hope this simple song honors the river, the salmon, and people who once lived in greater harmony with all our relations…I hope it is an invitation to continue to educate ourselves…I hope it is an inspiration to live our lives in a way to feed the next generation.
Please check out this collection. All donated proceeds from this album support Our Children’s Trust and 350 Seattle’s work building a passionate grassroots movement for climate justice. Learn more at 350Seattle.org
This collection of earthy acoustic soul is a response the intense events of the past year. Individually, I learned so much about my shadow side through my ego struggles in my last relationship with a ( another! 😀 ) very talented musician. Collectively, we are living during a time when the shadow side of humanity is very, very apparent. But so many are awakening to the insights of what this shadow reveals about us and how we can evolve. We have so many reasons to retain hope. May these songs serve to uplift us and remind us of our power.
Let’s grow with the flame…grow into the light…
I recorded this album in the Green Dream (#tinyhousebigsound) with the gracious help of a dream team of musicians: Rob Cline, Chris Hale, Claudia Cuentas Oviedo, Ryan Powell, Rafael Otto, Richie Audino, Rene Planchon, Kristin Dissinger, mixed by David Paulik and mastered by Theo Grace. Stunning album artwork courtesy of Lp Ross with photography by Sam Gehrke.
Sending huge thank yous to everyone who has inspired me with their writing and music, attended my shows, encouraged me to keep writing and sharing even when I try to tuck back in my turtle shell, and helped me sing these tunes around the fire. Our connections keep on growing. Let’s keep singing our new stories.