Getting back into the studio!

It’s been a while since I produced my last recording, Lovestruck Blues and I’m thrilled to be back in the studio. I’ve been busy working on pre-production for my next recording with Michael Connolly at Empty Sea Studios. It’s been a blast so far and I’m planning a recording to be released in the fall. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year!

I had a blast with my trio as the featured act for the WA Blues Society December Blues Bash to wrap up an eventful 2023. I’ve been busily writing songs for a new EP that will be coming out in 2024. It fits that my first gig of the new year will be as the featured guest at Stacy Jones’ songwriter night at the Madison Ave Pub in Everett January 11th @ 7pm. Stay tuned for more news.

WA Blues Society Blues Bash Dec. 26th!

We are so excited to play a show of my original material and some well-known covers as an all women trio at the WA Blues Society December Blues Bash. I’ve got the fabulous Shakti Hayes joining me on bass and Sherri C. on drums!

Collector’s Choice

215 Cypress Avenue

Snohomish, WA.

7pm

Fall Shows!

I’ve got some new and exiting shows coming up to celebrate the fall season: I am delighted to be invited back as the featured guest of Stacy Jones at her songwriter showcase night @ the Madison Ave Pub in Everett. We had a blast the last time we got together. It was so much fun playing twin danelectro guitars. That show is coming up on Thursday Sept. 21st.

On Oct. 6th, The Jill Newman Band is back at the Beach Bar in Birch Bay. I’ll be playing some new originals along with some fun covers in a trio format.

Tuesday Bluesdays Nov. 7, 14, 21 – I’ll be the guitarist along with Jimmy Wright and the guys for the Tuesday Night Invitational Blues Jam at Menace Brewery in Bellingham, WA. I’ll also be sitting in on the Bluesday stage on Tuesday Sept. 19 and 26th. Downbeat for these free shows is 7:30pm.

Happy fall!

Let the music begin!

After the pandemic turned our lives upside down, it’s heartwarming to see so many musicians back at it – sharing their music and bringing much needed joy back to the world. It feels like the collective grief we’ve all experienced – some affected much more negatively than others –has given way to a new normal. And gigs, shows and concerts in the Pacific Northwest have started up again!

For musicians who earned their living performing and touring, the pandemic has been devastating. But whether one makes their living solely through music or not, a 16 month unwanted break from gigging is a recipe for depression, anxiety, identity crises and a host of other challenges. Musicians need to play their music in order to feel whole and connected to themselves and others. I’ve always been a live performer who thrives from the energy the audience brings to a show – it’s just not the same live streaming music from my house and wondering if anyone is listening. I’ve missed playing guitar with my blues sisters in Canada and the US. And I’ve missed playing guitar and performing original roots and blues at venues and festivals around WA.

It was great to be invited to play at an all ages, outdoor 4th of July show at a beautiful farm setting complete with virtual fireworks. As someone who cares deeply about encouraging our youth to play music, especially girls, it meant a lot to see tweens singing and drumming along and asking me questions about my electric guitars. I’m hoping they’ll be inspired to play music. The show was a lot of fun, the weather beautiful and the homemade beer and rhubarb ice cream was the best I’ve had. It was the best possible re-entry into playing live music again.

 

This weekend, Saturday July 28th I’m looking forward to being part of the Heart of Anacortes and performing with the Badd Dog Blues Society. It’s a great feeling to be playing live music again!

 

Fall Blues shows

I’m celebrating my favorite season, fall, with some great upcoming shows in BC and Washington featuring the power of women in the blues:

I’m kicking things off on Saturday Nov. 2nd at a benefit for the WISH Foundation at the Fairview Pub in Vancouver, BC with a line up of all women players on all instruments for a great cause. Then it’s the Blues Women’s turn to shine for our third appearance at the Wolf Bar in Maple Ridge. The Blues Women features Pam Dominelli, bass, vocals; Cathy Barrington, drums, vocals; Kathryn Baird, keys and I’ll be supplying the slide and lead riffs on my electric guitars.

The Washington Blues Society knows how to party in style and the Snohomish Blues Invasion is always a great party with 25+ of the best blues bands in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll be taking over Snohomish all day on November 17th from 1pm-9pm. My band plays the Picadilly Circus at 1:15pm – an all ages show.

And for something completely different on Saturday November 23rd, I’ll be returning to Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage in La Conner with Bellingham based keyboardist and RnB singer, Margaret Wilder. Looking forward to a music filled, adventurous November on both sides of the border.

 

Women musicians deserve opportunities to shine!

I often write about the difficulty women musicians, face being shut out of opportunities in favor of guys or how women are unfairly judged based on looks and other factors that have nothing to do with the caliber of their playing. A female bassist who I’ve played a number of shows with recently made a Facebook post about sexism in music and after a few hours there had been hundreds of comments. I shared my story of an experience going to a jam session in a community where I didn’t know the host or the players. I told them I play professionally as a lead guitarist and that I don’t need any additional guitar support. Unless I’m playing with other professional caliber players who listen, I find the music sounds better when I stick with my trio format, guitar, bass and drums. So, the host ignored my request and said I think I’ll just put my guitar player up with you “for support”. I can’t imagine a male player receiving the same response, but I got up anyways and played as hard as I could. In fairness, the “support guitarist” was a real pro and a decent guy and once he saw that I know what I’m doing, he completely backed off and let me do my thing. I got the usual surprised and enthusiastic reaction from the audience and clearly showed that I didn’t need any support from another guitarist. The jam host eagerly invited me to drop by any time and I suspect that if I do, I won’t be given a backup guitarist.

I posted this story on FB and I got a very encouraging reaction from some of the best Washington based female players – “you go girl” and other types of comments were common. Some of the guys really do get this issue and also liked my comments. But one comment from a touring musician/acquaintance really bothered me. He said, perhaps it was the way I introduced myself and asked to play that needs to change. Perhaps if I didn’t use the term “lead guitarist”, that might suggest I just play a few lead notes, the host would have allowed me onstage without additional guitar support. After pondering this response and calming myself down to write something thoughtful – I let this guy know that the issue of sexism in music isn’t about how women ask to be included, it’s about guys changing their mindset and recognizing the disparities that women face. It’s about guys and women who have the privilege of booking acts, running jams and festivals recognizing that women instrumentalists don’t get as much opportunity to perform especially at festivals and other big events. In a world filled with conflict and chaos, this may not seem like an important issue. But it is important, for future generations who love playing music that we create more opportunities for women to shine!

 

Hot Blues Saturday Night performance February 2nd!

Being invited to perform at a guitar extravaganza with two of Washington’s most popular and award winning guitarists is a great way to start the New Year. I’ll be featured as one of three electric guitarists at the Unbound Blues, Hot Blues Saturday night show with CD Woodbury and Cory Vincent. It’s encouraging to have promoters like Unbound (Paul and Willow) recognize that women musicians don’t always get included and to take steps to change that.

Here’s hoping that 2019 brings more opportunities for women in music. The Hot Blues show is Saturday February 2nd at the Madison Avenue Pub in Everett, downbeat is 7:30pm!