Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Capella @ The FARWest Music Conference

Just got back from a magnificent weekend in Sacramento at the FARWest folk music conference. It had threatened to be a disaster. I was super sick last week, my voice was nearly gone, none of my musicians were free to accompany me, and I was scheduled to perform six 30 minute showcases for presenters, radio people, managers, folk music press, professional musicians over Friday and Saturday. AAAAAH!

I got up at 4am on Friday morning and flew up alone, only to find that Southwest had mislaid my bag. So I strolled into my first showcase and told the audience: "OK, you got me ... I am naked up here ... no musicians, no instruments, no push-up bra, not even a pitch pipe to tell me what key I am in ..."

And you know what? It was amazing! I sang the songs, snapped my fingers, got them to join me, danced, told funny stories, cracked jokes, and for when a musician would normally do a solo, I'd say, "OK, just imagine a gorgeous Brazilian playing these beautiful chords here ..." while I'd hum the melody or scat, dance, and continue snapping.

People genuinely loved it. One woman pulled me aside and said, "I saw you yesterday performing a cappella and I thought to myself, 'How am I so mesmerized when she is up there all by herself?' " Another new Friend who sent me a MySpace hello said, "Although I only heard a couple of your songs in your showcase, because I arrived right at the end, I've become fanantical about your presentation and music."

The rest of the weekend was brilliant too. SO many lovely talented people, all connected by music ... great performances, workshops, networking opportunities, excellent food, and I had a ball with the two women I shared a room with who I had never met before! Stayed up super late both nights and came home a combination of exhausted and renewed.

It was a watershed for me: to know deep down that, ultimately, I can stand on my own.

My three favorite guys that I always see at these conferences are The Buccaneers: a male threesome from Alberta, Canada, who are SO funny and talented. We spent much of the weekend hanging out and howling with laughter.

Life is good and I am grateful!


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