Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Judith Avers: News/Journal

ISA7 win for Judith! - April 10, 2016

Hello friends,

I was so surprised and honored to be nominated for the ISA7 Independent Series Awards for Best Original Soundtrack and Best Original Song.

 

There were so many fantastic folks nominated and I am very proud to announce that my song, Happily Ever After, was the winner for Best Original Song!!  

 

Check out the other nominees and winners here.

 

Gotta admit, it feels good to be recognized.  Thanks to everyone at ISA7 - we had such a great time.  The team from Or So the Story Goes and I had such a great time and were were very thankful to be honored.

 

Rock on!!!

 

Check out Or So the Story Goes here.

I saw the Magnolias this week... - March 15, 2016

And their buds were bursting in the sunlight.  Not as soft as you might think.  Bare grey branches contrasting with the pinks and deep mellow of their blooms.  Many sighs.  Many sparks.  Much love.

 

Spring is almost here and as always, it can never arrive soon enough for me.  I need the oxygen of it.  I need the birdsong of the morning.  I need the light.  

 

It has been a good week with music.  What's working in the songbox of my house?

 

1.  The new short film by Or So the Story Goes - Sweet Truth.  I'm the Music Director again and am thrilled to be making new music for this cool and creepy film.  The latest song is a new tune called "Back Room."  I've been humming it all week and slowly working out it's footprint.  

 

2.  I played a show over at the Hospitality House with Brad Yoder and Devon Sproule.  Stage fright/anxiety really is a bummer, but I left the concert inspired and ready to play my guitar late into the night, so it's worth it.  I hope this someday improves, but in the meantime I am grateful for the beauty of the night and the music.  Devon and Brad's lyrics have been cycling through my brain and even kept me up one night.  

 

3.  I'll be teaching a songwriting workshop over at Calliope this week before the Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem show that night.  Anand Nayak produced my last two CDs and I just adore he and the band.  I'm excited to listen!

 

I am sending lots of love your way today.  I hope to see you out there soon,

Judith

Happy Fall Y'all - October 30, 2015

Hello from Pittsburgh,

Fall is here and I've been elbow-deep in flower pots getting my indoor plants back inside and getting our house ready winter.  Nesting is a luxury and I haven't had many Falls where I found myself with time to do the little things...make soup and freeze it for blustery, busy days, plant bulbs,  framing and hanging homemade art at our house.  Everything feels good and right.  

 

Music is going really well.  I've been writing love songs for folks over at The Song Jar and that is a real gift.  I just played a friend's wedding and it was such an honor - to write "their" song and share it on their big day.  I'm thankful.

 

On the horizon?  Lots of projects, as always.  I always promise to keep this site up, but you know how I can be (or do you?)  maybe this is the year...

 

lots of love,

Judith

Judith news: A new movie and webseries!! - April 30, 2015

I remember one of the first songs I ever wrote.  I was standing in my Grandmother's basement and marching around singing "you'll see my name in lights" over and over.  Those of you who know me will laugh at the image.  Ummm, dramatic, much?  

Oh yes, I started early.

My Mom would take me to the video store (Video Vendor in Liberal, Kansas) and I would rent every single scary movie I could find.  I'd study them.  I'd critique them.  I'd make plans for when I would be directing my own horror flicks.   I was a weird kid.  

 

Now, many moons later, here I am with big news.  I've spent the past few months being the Music Supervisor and Composer for the new film and webseries, Happy Thoughts, by Outtake Productions - a production company that makes movies and webseries' for teens.  More specifically - they specialize in making scary films based on fables and fairy tales geared toward teenagers.  

Yes.  You read this correctly.  Scary films for teenagers.

 

I have had a blast working on this project.  The feature film will be shown in festivals across the country, but they also cut the film into seven "episodes" for their webseries so that you all can enjoy them too!

 

Something cool to think about while you watch:

 I was able to feature music by three teens throughout the movie.  

1.  Bitter's Kiss - featuring Chloe Baker.   (You'll hear her during the scene where Peter has Wendy read to him.)  

2.  Revanna Preston who was 13 at the time she created the piano piece which became the Neverland kid theme song.  You'll hear this at the very end of the episode.  

3.  Celeste Shannon who submitted a fantastic version of Pie Jesu which will be featured in later episodes.  She was also 13. 

 

 If you'd like to start watching - click HERE.  If you'd like to watch the show on SparkkTV, clickHERE.   If you'd like to learn more about OSTSG, click HERE.  

 

My nine year old self is very happy and proud.  I hope you'll watch and let me know what you think!

 

Much love and creepiness,

Judith

 

 

 

 

 

.  

The Song Jar Announces Mother's Day Sale! - April 10, 2015

"We love our song! it is something we will cherish for the rest of our lives and one day we will be able to share it with our children" - The Eplins.

 

Some of my favorite childhood memories:

 

* Dancing around my Grandpa's dining room listening to the radio and him humoring us by listening to pop music (Eye of the Tiger, anyone?)

 

*Singing into our hairbrushes and listening to 45s with my sister in my Mom's bedroom.  Rose covered bedspread, pledgeing the furniture, scratchy records of Prince and Michael Jackson...(I Ain't Missing You at All was also a favorite!)

 

* Singing "Walking After Midnight" every Saturday while my family cleaned our little trailer in Liberal, Kansas.  

 

* listening to Box Car Willie, The Mandrell Sisters, Waylon Jennings, country...country..country in my Grandmother's house.  Dancing around the 8-track player and screaming out the songs until my Grandma would start yellin' at me quiet down.  

 

* swinging on the swingset and writing songs after songs while the afternoons of my childhood slipped on by.  So many melodies..

 

 

Music ties us all together.  It seals our memories to a time, a place, a smell..a feeling.  Music can bring us right back and fill us with hope, sadness, joy, passion and most importantly - it can remind us of what really matters:  love.  

The Song Jar is happy to announce our Annual Mother's Day Song Sale!  We are taking orders for your favorite Moms and couldn't be happier to help you create a memory that will last a lifetime, too!  

 

Visit The Song Jar  today to place your order for guaranteed May delivery.  

 

Much love and thanks for all of your support - I couldn't do it without you!

Judith

The Early Mays - WYEP Pittsburgh Artist of the Year!! - February 1, 2015

Wowsa!!  Talk about some nice news!!!

 

 

The kind words of DJ Cindy Howes of WYEP:

 

The Early Mays are three talented writers, singers, and instrumentalists, coming together on a masterpiece of a debut album. It is clear that the folk trio— Judith Avers, Emily Pinkerton and Ellen Gozion—carefully crafted each other’s songs by adding emotionally stirring harmonies and delicate folk instrumentation (banjo, fiddle, and organ). While playing together for the first time at a late-night Christmas Eve service, they realized the full potential of future collaborations, thus forming The Early Mays. Using crowd funding to source their self-titled debut, the group brings traditional and original material to spectacular life. This is more than a band that writes and performs songs; it’s a group of serious musicologists who have studied the folk genre all their lives. It’s a rare combination of knowledge and talent. (CH).

 

There are so many deserving artists in this city, and we are proud and humbled for WYEP’s support. Read up on the top 5 artists at the WYEP website!

The Song Jar - a new adventure - November 20, 2014

Hello everyone,

I am thrilled to announce the launch of a new project:  The Song Jar.  

I have partnered up with my dear friend, Brooke Annibale - an incredibly talented songwriter - to create The Song Jar...a custom songwriting business that takes your stories and sets them to song!

 

We specialize in custom wedding and engagement songs, but relish in stories of all kinds.  

Here is the link to our site where you can learn how we got started, FAQs, prices and more:  www.thesongjar.com

 

Thanks for checking it out!  

 

We are also hosting a special holiday songwriting extravaganza.  If you're interested in a one-of-a-kind gift for your loved one(s), the deadline to order is December 10th.  

 

I am so happy to share this news with you and I hope to hear from you soon!

Judith

 

The Early Mays - #2 on the Folk charts?!! - November 17, 2014

Yep, You heard it here first.  

We're thrilled.  

For more info, click   here.

 

Thanks to all of the DJs and radio stations for supporting our music.  It means so much!

 

Love,

Judith

The Early Mays Pre-Release Party! - May 10, 2014

Hi all,

The Early Mays are gearing up for their CD release this Fall, but we cannot go one more month without sharing our new songs and arrangements.  

 

Please join us Friday, May 30th at the First UU Church in Pittsburgh for a lovely Spring evening of harmonies and stories celebrating this journey.  

 

much love,

Judith

 

ps - my peas are coming up - are yours?  

Songs in Sixty...let's do this! - August 11, 2013

As some of you know, I have been working on commissioned songs for a few years now.  Usually around the holidays I post a Song Sale and proceed to write special-order songs for folks across the world who send me their funny/sad/loving/quirky/childhood stories.  

I do these songs in sixty minutes or less and my fee is a sliding scale.  

 

I have been loving this side gig.  It has been so inspiring and fulfilling.  I love it so much, in fact, that I've decided to do it full time.  

I'm going to launch a site and make this a 365 - day project.  I've been cooking the idea for awhile - a project that includes some of the most beautiful, funny and touching stories I've ever heard.  

I'll post the exact details soon,

but for now I wanted to let you know that it is going to be happening.  

I'm happy about it and very excited to give this a bit more energy.  I've felt passionately about writing since I was a wee lass in my backyard swinging and writing little songs and poems.  It's about time I give it a little bit more energy.  

 

I am getting ready to launch my new website and Songs in Sixty will be a big part of that.  Please check back often and if you are interested in more information, please email me at:

 

info@judithavers.com  

 

Thanks for being with me on this new journey!

Love, 
judith 

TEDX Lewisburg - August 11, 2013

Hello friends,

I hope your Summer is turning into the kind of wonderland you've been looking for.  Mine definitely has.  We've been enjoying Pittsburgh and our new house and garden.  Who knew scraping paint and planting flowers could be so fun?!  (Living in a one-bedroom apartment surrounded on all sides by cement can get people REALLY excited for dirt.)  

 

I just wanted to share the link to my video for TEDx Lewisburg.  I was so excited to be invited to speak and give a TED talk.  I kept thinking about how much my Mom would have been proud.  (She was a MUCH better public speaker than I, but I did my best.)  

I talk a lot about grief and songwriting.  There is something more I want to express about grief, but I haven't quite found the project/words/way yet.  It's cooking in the pot, so I'll let you know.   

 

Here is the video and thank you all for tuning in!

 

Love,

Judith

 

 

Hillsboro is where it's at! - June 3, 2013

Awesome week of songwriting and teaching with the amazing students at Hillsboro Elementary School in West Virginia.  What a fantastic week.  I loved the talent, the teachers and the songs!  Here is an article that the Pocahontas Times was kind enough to post.  I'll share songs soon!

Click here to read more!

Much love

Judith

Where You Been, Woman?! - February 28, 2013

Greetings cyber-friends,

Whew!  A few months off from chasing the music to-do list has been.....odd.  I've been writing and writing and taking a breather from press, publishing, promoting...you know - the blah part of this lovely job.  I've never been great at "working it", but you all know that...

What's been up?

 

1.  The Early Mays - www.theearlymays.com   Our new band - we are off on a band retreat to plan and scheme and most importantly, play.  We will post more about our 2013 happenings soon.  

 

2.  Songschool 101   - These songwriting workshops for teens are going swimmingly.  The students are amazing and the bookings are piling up.  Next Songschool 101 workshop will be March 25-29th in Lewisburg, West Virginia.  If you know someone age 13-18 who might be interested, email Devin  at Devin@highrocks.org.  If you'd like to book a Songschool 101 workshop in your town, email me at info@judithavers.com.  

 

3.  Valentine's Day Song Sale!  Whew!  As a lot of you know, me and my family suffered a string of really sad losses - the passing of my sister, Dad and most recently, my Mom.  I was so bummed out that I needed to find something to DO with my time that was positive.  I started having custom Song Sales for major holidays.  The short version is that I write a song in ONE hour based on your story and the theme of the sale.  Sometimes it's Mother's Day songs, Valentine's Day Songs, Christmas songs, Kid songs...you get the idea.  I do these for a sliding scale fee or art trade.  $50-100.  I wanted them to be really affordable for all.  Some folks pay extra, some folks pay less.  

This Valentine's Day song sale was awesome.  I was trying to limit my song numbers because we have been so busy, but I still ended up writing 16 songs Valentine's Day week.  Wow!  They were so fun.  Lotsa love, folks.  Lotsa love.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next sale...rumor has it it will be a Mother's Day Sale!  email info@judithavers.com if you would like to pre-book a spot.  Space goes fast!!  

 

4.  Real Women Real Songs - 14 women chosen.  52 weeks.  52 prompts.  52 songs.  Wow.  We are on week 26 as of today.  My songs get posted every Friday morning and these women who are on this journey with me are AMAZING.  It's been so cool to bond and connect with this awesome RWRS community.  I am also having a great time s  l   o   w   i  n   g    down and listening to music every day.  I take 10 minutes, listen to what the ladies have written, learn new guitar chords and techniques, get inspired and write my own!  

click HERE to check it out and subscribe!

 

 

Well, I'm off to plan and dream with my music friends.  I know I'm forgetting things, but that is the basic list of what I've been up to.  I hope this finds each and every one of you feeling inspired and hopeful.  It sometimes takes a lot of work, but I believe it is worth it.  Keepin on the sunny side...

Judith

 

You sure know how to make a girl feel special. - October 19, 2012

Hi everyone,

Just saw this fantastic and humbling review of my West Virginia CD Release Show.  It was a very intense night and I couldn't have shared the evening with a more lovely group of people.

 

Thanks to LBSpy and Susanna for the positive review.  

Check it out here.

 Love,

Judith

2012 Just This Guy Songwriting Contest! - October 15, 2012

Boy oh boy is this contest hard for me.  Why is it hard?  I am not sure.  Maybe because of the song requirements.  i really have to work hard and think about fitting everything in. 

Here are the rules we got this year:

Write a song about a family pet.

 

 

 The song must include:

 

 1. The name of the pet.

 2. The animal breed of the pet.

 3. A description of the pet.

 4. The best features of the pet.

 5. The worst features of the pet.

6. The words Pet, Loving, Companion, Fun and Pedigree.

 

 

Bonus Points for using the word Monkey.

 

 

Every August I try to do Paul Loyd's song contest.  It is TOUGH.  I labor.  I stomp.  I stretch.  I breathe.  I walk.

Eventually...I write. 

And for the past three years, I have been one of the winners....the 3rd place winner! 

That's right folks.  I just got word that this is my THIRD year of winning 3rd prize.  haha!!  I love it. 

Here is the link to go check out the winning songs:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-This-Guy/208980365839290?sk=photos#!/pages/Just-This-Guy/208980365839290

 

In honor of my sweet, cuddly, bear of a cat - Zeus.  He is my biggest fan and always has been.

 

Thanks to the 2012 Just This Guy Songwriting judges!!  : ) 

 

WVMR Radio Interview - October 2, 2012

Thanks to Hether Niday at WVMR for interviewing me and for playing some of my tunes.  I really appreciate it! 

If you'd like to listen to the interview, please click below. 

 

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wvmr/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1947100

 

Love,

Judith

Pittsburgh City Paper - Free mp3 Monday - September 24, 2012

Thanks to the Pittsburgh City Paper for featuring my song, Doves, as their Free Mp3 Monday track. 

Click below to download my song for free.  Enjoy! 

 

http://www.pghcitypaper.com/FFW/archives/2012/09/24/mp3-monday-judith-avers

The Pittsburgh Scene album review by Christine O'Leary - September 22, 2012

Thanks to the Pittsburgh Scene and Christine for the positive review.  

 

Click here to read it

God Bless the Brooders podcast review by the Post Gazette - September 16, 2012

Scott Mervis from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette was kind enough to review my new album on the Post Gazette podcast.  

 

Click here to listen:  

http://www.media.post-gazette.com/podcasts/20120912bye.mp3

Pittsburgh Post Gazette - September 15, 2012

I used to cut articles out for my Mom.  She was old-school like that.  She kept posters, tickets, reviews, etc.  It was such a nice reminder of those sweet times when I opened up the paper and saw this article.  

 

Thanks to Scott Mervis and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the great article.  : )  

 

 

Click here to read it.  

And so it begins... - September 14, 2012

Hello beautiful people!

 Real Women Real Songs Collaboration has begun.  14 women have been chosen to participate in this challenge and I am pretty happy about it.  

There is some true vulnerability and such openness here.  It is inspiring and makes me want to be a better musician AND person.  

Week one prompt:  Patience

Week two prompt:  Mischievous

 

Here is a link where you can see all the lovely ladies.  I'm on Fridays so tune in every Friday morning to see what I've come up with!  Thanks everyone!

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/RealWomenRealSongs

 

See you so soon,

Judith

52 songs in 52 weeks???!! Say what??! - August 2, 2012

 

You read that correctly! 

Hi everybody!  Big news over here in Pittsburgh.  I was recently selected to be one of 14  female singer/songwriters who will be participating in the Real Women Real Songs Challenge! 

Beginning September 1st, we will each be given weekly prompts and have one week to write a song.  One song every week for fifty-two weeks??  Essentially, yes.  I do have the option of writing a song every OTHER week, but I'm feeling lucky and am going to go for the gusto!  What do you think?  I think it is just the adventure I'm looking for and I can't believe the good company I wil be in. 


 

Check them out! 

We'd love for you to check out our Facebook page and be sure to "like" us on there.  (I'm not sure what "liking" us does, but it sure is better than "disliking" us, right?) 

I hope this August treats you all well and I will post more song updates when I have them. 

Thanks for checking in and much love,
Judith

https://www.facebook.com/#!/realwomenrealsongs

Let's try this again! - July 9, 2012

Hello friends!

Thank you so much for your kind messages and words.  As many of you know, it has been a rough year in the Avers household, but there has been lots of beauty as well.  My Dad and sister died last year and two months ago, my Mom.  It has been a lot to process.  

I will post more soon, but I wanted to keep you updated with all of the GOOD that is here as well.  (It also helps to remind MYSELF!)  

I am in a new band!  We are called The Early Mays and we're focusing on Appalachian, gritty, and traditional folk-ish music.  Does that make sense?  

We just finished our first week of recording.  We are working on an Appalachian Christmas album for release THIS December.   We are having a HUGE party on December 1st at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, but more on that later.  : )

Also, I set the dates for my CD Release Parties!  Sept 16 in Pittsburgh and Sept. 30th in Lewisburg, WV.  Hope to see you at one (or both!) of the shows.  Truly packed with goodness.

 

Finally, I am heading to West Virginia to teach Songschool 101 at High Rocks Camp Steele.  We're going to focus on Appalachian ballad-writing and art.  Since our dear friends in WV haven't had electricity or water for over a WEEK, I think it will be nice to teach and focus on art and music that doesn't require anything other than our imagination and our voices.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

The grief I am experiencing is overwhelming at times, but I am actively working on keeping myself moving forward and trying to stay positive as much as I can.  It is sometimes very easy and other times very difficult.  If it weren't for my beloved Frances, I don't know where I would be.  There are mountains of kindnesses from her that I am grateful for.  

Music is also - as always - saving the day.  The songs are a bit darker, but I kinda like that.  ; )  


I hope this Summer is treating you kindly and I thank you for stopping by. 
Love
Judith

Songschool April Postponed - April 21, 2012

Hi friends,

I am sorry to say that Songschool Pocahontas County has been postponed due to a death in my family.  

I will let you know when we reschedule and I can't wait!

Judith

Songschool - Day Five - March 30, 2012

Wow.

What a week.  It flew by and I found myself wishing it could last so much longer. 

Our final day of Songschool 101 was a blur of final practices, recording sessions at Dogwood Studios, evaluations, final student presentations of certificates, and our performance! 

Thanks to High Rocks and Vista workers Kari, Megan and Marlin and the generosity of a lovely High Rocks Parent (Marie Propps), we had a yummy dinner of spaghetti and piled into vans and cars to head over to the Greenbrier Visitor's Center. 

Dr. Frank Kadel generously offered to have us as his special guests at the 5th Friday's open stage in downtown Lewisburg.  We are so grateful!  We had a full house of parents and guests turn out to cheer the students on.  It was so important for the class to have a chance to speak and sing in front of an audience.  For quite a few students, this was their very first time performing in front of an audience AND their first time writing a song!  They did a great job. 

I was so proud to see the variety of songs and styles.  Nearly every student had written two songs this week!  Can you believe that?!  That isn't including our first "goofy" song assignment that helped us to get to know each other and relax a bit.  If we include that song, some students finished 3 songs!  Whether writing lyrics for others to write melodies to or writing songs for others to sing, everyone accomplished something special:  thinking about Inspiration and where it can come from.  How to connect Inspiration to music and writing and how to push ourselves to finish something - EVEN if it is a challenge. 

(Heck, I even wrote two songs this week!  I got so inspired from these students!)

I would like to thank each student who attended Songschool.  I would also like to thank my co-teacher, Devin Preston.  His behind-the-scenes work and patience really helped to make this week a success. 

I would also like to thank High Rocks and the One Foundation for providing this valuable service to these artistically gifted students.  The world needs more people like these - hard workers who believe in the value of art. 

Can't wait to do it again!

Love,

Judith

Next Page >>

RSS feed