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Judith Avers: News/Journal

Maverick Mondays Volume 29 - June 29, 2010

Nettle fans,

Guess who's coming for dinner?  (metaphoric musical dinner, that is.)  Saturday, July 31st.  I'll be there....will you?

 

 click here to see! 

 

Maverick Mondays Volume 28 - June 21, 2010

Ahhh....the sweet quiet of a new home.  New city.   It feels so good.  A lot has been happening in these parts (as I'm sure things have been happening in your lives as well!)  Life is good and full and love really is in the air. 

I am hard at work on Nettlefest - the music festival that High Rocks for Girls puts on every year.  (July 31st - hint hint.)  I can't BELIEVE the incredible music we have!  I'm stoked. 

People are always asking me about High Rocks and why I love it so much.  I know there are amazing and important non-profits everywhere in this fine country, but this one just seems to hold onto my heart.  I love working with teenagers.  Maybe it is my subconscious learning how to love and work with myself - or maybe it is just so darned beautiful and magical up in those hills that I can't stay away - or maybe it is the amazing women I get to work with every summer.   There is no. one. answer. as to why I love this organization so much. 

Recently, High Rocks asked me to write a small essay about what summer is like at High Rocks.  I thought I would share it with you as well.  A little sneak peak as to why I've missed so many "good-for-my-career" festivals and touring opportunities.  A little look into my heart, I guess. 

I hope you like it and that you also have some place that moves you in any way to give more to this fantastic world we are a part of.  I am eternally grateful for High Rocks and for each one of you. 

Much love,
Judith

P.S.  I'm STILL looking for a hot air balloon adventure for the girls.  Know of anyone?  ; )

Anything is Possible

Come work the summer.  Cook in the kitchen.  Let’s get the girls to love produce.  Ripe, juicy tomatoes and freshly smashed garbanzo beans drizzled in olive oil and lemon.  Here is the meat from our farm.  Put it in the pan at six a.m. and the girls will start to roll in.  They can make the eggs.  They can teach us their family recipes and we will not notice the rock biscuits or the mud gravy.   While you peel the apples, you will hear the pounding of hammer and wood - the sound of the girls making something with their hands - and it will make your food-making feel more important.

Come work the summer.  Teach them art - whatever kind you want.  Sit under the big trees on the porch that the girls built last camp.  Walk amongst strewn girl bodies and teach them the art of relaxation through meditation and focused breathing.  Draw them out of their journeys with assignments of painting the way a color feels.  No, there are no rules.  How does red feel?  How does blue feel?  You will have no answers for them.  They will have to listen to their own.  They will roll their eyes at you.  You will know they will hang their paintings up on their walls later when no one is looking.  They will be sent to look at leaves, rocks, sticks, dirt.  They will see the world’s masterpieces and bring you evidence of their discoveries.  You will need an extra bag when you go home.

Come work the summer.  You can work in Girls Group.  We can’t tell you what to do.  It’s private.  It’s very important.  You can see magic happen.  You will see the beginnings of personal responsibility.  You will see girls change from dragon to slayer to philosopher.  You will see the dreaming happen, the expansion of possibility, the daydream believers.  You will hear yelling and see crying.  You will fall off your chair once, possibly twice, from laughing too hard.  Someone will bring you fresh fruit and you will eat it on the floor with your dirty hands and hear about all of the things that have happened here:  camping in the woods alone, winning the prize in Math, discovering slimy, slithery, slippery things in Science, losing yourself in a cave, finding yourself in the waterfall, poetry to read at campfire, songs written, jokes you will be on the outside of.  You will hear it all.  You will send them on their way to dinner where you will be, for once, the quiet one.  Listen to them say their Gratefuls for over an hour.  Wait for your name…it will come.

Come work the summer.  Sing your songs around the campfire.  Practice Appalachian folk songs with the staff in the bear shed with the humming of the three camp refrigerators and the rain pouring down on the tin roof.  Do not worry, the rain will stop.  The girls will scoop out the sooty water in the bottom of the fire-pit and have a roaring fire going in no time.  We will all sing songs that Susan taught us.  You will see the girls pull out a copy of the lyrics they wrote down, using the i-pod they have been hiding from you as a guide.  They will sing one of your songs and their voices will crack and you will cry next to us.  You will go to tuck-ins with your pants wet from sitting on the wet logs.  You will walk to the girls’ shelters without your flashlight- sometimes -because Sarah will show you how.  The girls will scare themselves and make you laugh.  You will feel young again.  You will tuck them in and they will jump up as soon as you leave and tell ghost stories and read each other poetry from the books you brought. 

Come work for the summer.  You will sit at the edge of the campground in the grass with the staff in the dark and you will be exhausted.  You will tell funny stories with each other about classes and try not to make a sound.  You will get bug bites and big red spiders will climb the leg and shoe mountains en route to their secret destinations.   Sometime later, you will be daydreaming about adventures you can take the girls on next summer.  Wild adventures that flow out your mouths into the heavens.  You will mention hot air balloons.  Why don’t we take the girls out on hot air balloons next year?   There will be a pause in the dark and then someone will whisper with a smile that yes that sounds entirely…possible. 

 

 

Maverick Mondays Volume 27 - May 19, 2010

Hello dear ones!!

As you may know, I work and volunteer for a non-profit called High Rocks.  (www.highrocks.org)

Every year they host a music festival at the top of the mountain in our campground.  It is lovely, sweet, beautiful and oh so fun.  This year, yours truly has been working intensely on the music and making sure it is a blast for all those in attendance.  We are just finalizing the lineup and I thought I'd let you know!!  I'm so excited and proud!!! 

If you are looking for a way to spend a lovely weekend away, come on up to Nettle Fest.  Everyone is welcome and we would LOVE to have you!!

3rd Annual Nettle Fest Music Festival

A fundraiser to benefit High Rocks for girls

Saturday July 31st
11am to 8pm
 
Musical Guests:
Larry and Jenny  Keel www.larrykeel.com
 Larry Keel’s talents as a guitar genius, as an innovative and expressive singer-songwriter and as a visionary bandleader place him as a living legend in Acoustic Americana Music.
 
Mary Gauthier www.marygauthier.com
“…Gauthier’s songs startle with authority and detail. If she keeps this up, one day she may assume the mantle of Johnny Cash…” – New York Daily News
“…Gauthier confirms that she’s among the best singer-songwriters of her generation….” – Associated Press
 
The Honey Dewdrops www.thehoneydewdrops.com
“They capture what is best of old time Appalachian music including the tight harmonies and beautiful melancholy tunes.”  - Anne Williams, Host of WNRN’s Acoustic Sunrise in Charlottesville, VA on 91.9FM
 
Shaun Cromwell  www.shauncromwell.com
LA based/Detroit- born singer/songwriter of eclectic roots inspired songs.  Using his guitar, banjo and voice, he weaves tales of intrigue and epics of sorrow. 
 
Local legends/favorites/friends:
 
Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys  http://www.myspace.com/blackmountainbluegrassboys  Nettle Fest wouldn't be complete with out these guys!!  Everyone loves them and practically DEMANDS their attendance!! 
 
Chris Campbell and friends!!
 
Judith Avers www.judithavers.com

Gigue Saws:

The Gigue Saws are Paolo and Erica Marks of Pocahontas County, WV.  Paolo and Erica, both classically trained cellists, are equally at home playing Bach’s Gigues in a parlor, and folk jigs on a porch.   A luthier by trade—Paolo also saws on violins, literally.   He is known for his original, inventive tunes on the fiddle as well as his finely crafted violins, violas, and cellos.     Paolo and Erica have collected tunes and musical ideas on travels throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and South America and are currently heavily under the influence of local traditional music of Pocahontas County.  The Gigue Saws occasionally expand to include siblings who have international careers as musicians.

 

 
Festival includes:
Food, Nettle Cookoff, Silent Auction, Carnival games for the kids and more!
 
$15 in advance
$20 at the door
$10 for students
Kids under 10 - FREE
 
304-653-4891
Thompson Road
Hillsboro, WV 24946
 

Maverick Mondays Volume 26 - May 10, 2010

Top 5 cool things about our first weekend in our new town:  Pittsburgh!

1.  We. live. three. blocks. from. an. actual. coffee. house. that. serves. vegetarian. food. only. Holy. cow. alternative.

2.  We ate the BEST chinese food I've ever had on our dear friends' floor in the house they just bought.  We laughed and laughed and shared our Moo Shoo while we daydreamed.

3.  We stopped by the sweetest co-op that is only one mile from our new digs.  At first, I was intimidated by all of the cool hair, but soon we got the hang of it and I can't wait to spend more time there! 

4.  I wanted to go to a UU/Unity/or Quaker service on Sunday.  When I punched it in on googlemaps, there were so many choices for me that I could have gone to a new place every week for months and still have new spots to try.  I love the simple life, but to have choices like these, I was pretty darned excited.  Ended up at a great UU - 2 miles from our place- listening to music all morning and a service on the pursuit of beauty.   Sounds like a good pursuit to me.

5.  There is music on every corner here- if you look for it.  Such a change from our last town.  Wow!  Saw so many posters for concerts and folk gatherings, community pot lucks, farmers' markets, etc.  Instead of going, Frances and I sat in our living room - boxes to the ceiling and all- and played guitar and sang together.  If I do say so myself, we sounded pretty darned good. 


I don't know what we did to deserve this sweet little spot on the planet, but I am grateful.  Thank you, dear Universe, for everything.  And I mean that...EVERYTHING.

And thank YOU for stopping by,

Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 25 - May 3, 2010

Aaaahhhh.....to move. 

We are in the middle of a big move to our next city- Pittsburgh.  I am sleepy and sore (piano) and so very grateful to our dear friends for helping us. 

Everything is crazy.  Everything is a mess.  Everything needs done.

Me?  I'm just sitting in an empty room near an open window and thinking about good friends and what a good life this is. 

 

As far as music goes,  I have some secret things cooking.  Writing some very weird stuff and just got back from a concert in Luray, Virginia.  Got to share the stage with some lovely folks. 

A few highlights:

Beaucoup Blue- These two men are really something.  I always find their harmonies interesting and whenever I see them live, I can't seem to take my eyes off of them.  Very captivating and intense.  Plus, they are professional and kind.  Love it.

Chuck E. Costa- What a sweetheart and such a lovely writer. 

Kipyn Martin - Have you heard this girl sing?  Wow.  Never smoke, Kipyn.  Please. 

 

I know I'm supposed to be packing, but I wanted to drop a quick line here.  I have moved quite a bit in this little life o'mine.  Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, West Virginia and now Pennsylvania.  I don't know what is in store for us in our new spot or what kinds of adventures or writings will come from it,  but I am so thankful that we are safe and sound and filled to the brim with love.  The rest is up to...well....the rest just IS, I guess.  Maybe that's how it works?  Good things and tough things flying at us and us on this side just reaching out and grabbing what we can. 

I hope you are just where you want to be and that you are grabbing as much of the good as you can reach. 

Much scattered and unorganized love to you and yours,

Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 24 - April 26, 2010

What is a maverick? I went to a dictionary and here is what I found (thanks, dictionary.com)

1. Southwestern U.S. an unbranded calf, cow, or steer, esp. an unbranded calf that is separated from its mother. 2. a lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates.

hmm....clearly both apply. 

Happy April 26th everyone!  It is a good day to be alive.  (Aren't they all?)  It has been a good week on the Judith Front.  I've been in southern WV working with the High Rocks girls- helping with an empowerment workshop, recruiting new girls, a big ole river race and playing songs to the girls by the fireplace.  They are amazing and so funny.  I wish you could see them grow!!  Like little zinnia seeds.  At first, you think to yourself, "are you going to sprout?  are you going to bloom?" and then one day you see them in all of their glory and you can't imagine them not being these jewels in the world. 

There were three big music moments this week.

1.  Listening to the High Rocks girls singing and laughing- a great chorus and I loved it.  I played part of a new HR anthem I'm writing - checking for their approval- and they responded beautifully.  They also know the words to my song "all of it" better than I do.  It chokes me up every time.

2.  Sitting in my friend Serah Morningstar's house and listening to her play new songs for me.  Serah is one of my favorite singer/songwriters of ALL TIME.  Frances too.  We are more than a little obsessed with her music and every time I hear it, I feel challenged and inspired to make sure I always reach as far inside as I can when I am writing.  Serah is a to-the-soul writer and she doesn't mess around.  I wish she had a CD or a website you could access- someday.  You might just have to trust me for awhile.  Beautiful.

3.  While leaving Serah's house, (I should mention here that she lives outside of town, so when you leave the house, you are enveloped in blackness and stars and the rolling hills of WV) I was walking to my car and heard music.  Beautiful music, but I couldn't quite place what it was or even where it was coming from.  It sounded like loud music from a car, but there were no cars in sight.  I stood by our trusty Subaru (of course) and waited...and listened...and looked at the sky..and listened.  And then it hit me.  This was a band of a different sort.  This was a huge group of cows.  Singing!  Have you heard this???!!!  I grew up in Kansas surrounded by feedlots and everyone in town worked at the meat packing plant.  Those cows didn't look or sound like these cows.  These cows were roaming over the hills eating lush grass and singing.  I swear to you!!  It was a beautiful chorus of voices- some were singing high and some were singing low.  Some were singing short little notes and some held the notes for a loooonnnng time and it was amazing.  I leaned up against the car and listened for as long as I could.  I wish I could have recorded it for you or better yet- that you could have just been standing along the country road somewhere listening for yourself.  It sounded a heck of a lot better than anything I've written or heard lately, that's for sure. 

And to think, we think we are at the top of the food chain.  Paaallleaaase.  These cows and trees definitely know more than I do or probably ever will.

Started a new song and made it home in one piece.  I am playing a couple of cool shows this week and spending time with my love.  What a blessed life this is.

Hope your hearts are full and your cows are a'singing,

Judith

p.s.  I read a great quote today and thought I'd include it:

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find, in each man's life, sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Maverick Mondays Volume 23 - April 19, 2010

For those of you who are familiar with my "Maverick Mondays," you will be surprised to find me posting on an ACTUAL Monday!  I'm pretty impressed with myself.  It's the little things...

It has been a week of reflection and listening.  Some lovely friends in Buffalo, NY treated us to tickets to see the Cowboy Junkies at Babeville.  (www.cowboyjunkies.com)  Are you familiar with them? I've been listening to them off and on since I was 18 or so.  It was wild seeing them live after all of these years.  The venue is beautiful old church that Ani Difranco has had renovated and remodeled.  It is stunning and full of life.  We sat in the balcony.

The show was strange.  I was sitting in the balcony and listening to Margo sing, trying desperately to understand the lyrics and failing miserably.  Normally, I would have minded, but it was almost a blessing.  The music and her tone were so passionate and touching.  They sent me to a different place.  I was 18 again in Lakin, Kansas-drinking beer on my friend Wade's porch and learning how to wonder about things. 

The Junkies were just a part of that time in my life.  Ani Difranco was there, Uncle Tupelo, James McMurtry, The Jayhawks, Lucinda Williams and many others were there too.  This show was just a reminder of all of them and all that has transpired since. 

Never in a million years would I have guessed that I was to become a musician.  I don't recall having too many big hopes for my future.  I had dreams, that is for sure, but no real idea that they would happen.  Music, while always present, wasn't even on my radar.  Writing was there.  It was always there.  Seeing the Junkies reminded me of that.  How much practice has gone into my music and lyrics since I was on that porch or driving on those lonely Kansas roads.  They have been together as a band for over 25 years I think.  Wow!  What an accomplishment.  And to see them as a musician, to KNOW about the behind-the-scene things that I know about music and to know the little secrets of being in a band was....well....touching.  They were polite, professional, sincere and gave each other room to move around in the music.  They truly did.  They know what sound they are going for and they GO for it.  It is definitely their own thing and it is beautiful.

During the show, there were folks yapping and requesting "Sweet Jane" and being kind of annoying, but the band didn't even seem to notice.  What a tough thing to do.  I left with my original respect for the band intact and with a whole new level of admiration for the beautiful work they are doing.

As we were leaving Buffalo on Saturday (gotta love Buffalo), we discovered that our friend had snuck a copy of the new Junkies album in our bag.  The record just came out and is called Renmin Park.  The title track, Renmin Park, is absolutely stunning.  There are two versions of the song and both are fantastic. 

Tonight, as I was driving down the back roads of Lewisburg, WV with a couple of brilliant teenagers, we rolled the windows down and turned the volume way up.  The grassy hills and mountains were something out of a novel and the music?  Well, it was our heroine.

"meet me in the middle of Renmin Park

where the stone bridge meets the pond

we'll watch the ducklings gobbling bread

and the stealth of the approaching swan"

there is so much more...

isn't there always?

I hope this finds you all thinking back and feeling like you are living every little drop of this beautiful life.

I sure am a'tryin,

Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 22 - April 13, 2010

Welcome to Spring folks! 

Today finds me WORN out.  Last year I posted a bit about our town's official "Dump Week."  Do any of you remember?  I think most towns have them:  a day where anyone can throw out ANYTHING for free and the town will pick it up and "dump" it for you in the landfill.  It's a very strange sight.  My old town in Kansas used to have them except you had to haul your trash to the dump and then dump it in yourself.  (Very humbling and freaky to see the giant hole of crap)

Anyway, as we are getting ready to move, we had plenty to add to the curb ourselves (with the intention of donating whatever didn't get picked through of course) and then we were off in search of...bookshelves.  We were victorious.  Wooden bookshelves tossed aside will now find new life in our humble new abode.  In addition to the shelves, we were also hunting dining room chairs and MAN did we hit the motherload of home-made beautiful old chairs.  None of them match and some have been chewed on by goodness knows what, but what do we care?  They are lovely. 

While hunting, I found this little piece of art done by a woman named Gladys.  She had done this velvet rose wall hanging thing and it was so darned sweet I had to have it, much to Frances' dismay.  It sort of reminded me that maybe it isn't the art that I love.  Maybe it's just that someone was sitting and working on something creative.  Yes.  Maybe that is it. 

Anyway, I hope you are out there sitting and working on something creative in your neck of the woods. 

I've been sitting and working on a new song about necrophilia.  It's a love song of sorts.   Who knew?

: )
Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 21 - April 9, 2010

Happy Spring everyone!

I have been a naughty Maverick-Monday-keeper, I know.  What have I been up to?  Let's start at the beginning.

Frances and I went on a big tour out West early this year.  It was the perfect tour.  The winter here (and everywhere) was SO intense, I started to get a little blue.  Luckily, the tour wound us through IN, TX, NM, AZ, CO and Mass.  From the vast open spaces of Texas to hiking in the desert in Arizona, we had so many adventures and met the most amazing folks.  Every show was so powerful for me on a personal level, too.  It seemed that at every stop someone was recovering from a tragedy or loss and I really got to connect with folks on a much deeper level.  It made me realize how lucky I am to NOT be a folk-rockstar as I originally hoped.  It seemed so much more important to just be a good listener with some tunes that may have helped in some way.  Lucky, lucky lady am I.  Thank you to all of you wonderful fans and friends along the way.   We had a blast!  Some musicians I got to play with or listen obsessively on the road to:

Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem www.raniarbo.com - awesome folks, awesome energy and amaing people.  LOVE them and have been secretly writing songs I wish they'd sing. 

Ellis www.ellis-music.com a total positron musician.  Love her live show and energy.  When I recorded "All of It" in Massachusetts, I was listening to her for inspiration. 

Gary Louris and Mark Olson "Ready for the Flood"  check it out!!!  There are some serious "keepers" on here.  My favorites:  "bicycle" and "doves and stones"  can their harmonies be better????

On the home front, I have been writing up a STORM.  This town may not be the permanent home for us, but it sure has been inspiring.  I haven't a dime to record, but am writing music that I am so proud of.  I feel like I'm finally figuring out what works for me and my music.  It may just be for my cats and Frances, but they seem to like it too.  I have a few big daydreams in my mind.  One is a music project that I am going to keep for myself for a little while longer.  The others are cd projects I wish to do.  One is with Anand Nayak, the producer of my latest album "Mountain and Shore."  I'm trying to get the cash to hire him to work with me on a new Judith album.   I have about 2 albums written and they are both pretty different.  One is classic Jude and the other is more of a classic rock Tom Petty vibe.  I daydream about recording it with Mark Olson (founding member of the Jayhawks) or Jay Farrar (songwriter extraordinaire.)  I love their voices so much and have been obsessed with Americana for years now.  I'll keep on wishing...

I have also been working a TON for the non-profit High Rocks.  (www.highrocks.org)  Helping to plan their summer.  I have missed those girls something fierce and had gotten a little too self-obsessed.  There is only so much "taking" a person can do before the "giving" needs to kick in.  It feels good to do something outside of myself. 

High Rocks is hosting the 3rd annual Nettle Fest on Saturday, July 31st in Hillsboro, WV.  I'm feverishly working on booking it and I hope to help it double its attendance from last year.  I hope some of you will join us on the mountain and come see where I've been working during the summers!

Speaking of summer, this year I am missing some amazing festivals and sunshine touring.  I'll still be getting some sun, but in our new town...PITTSBURGH!  Yep.  It's official.  We're moving.  I can't wait to get to our new town and to start to get to know the musicians and folks there.  Frances is graduating and we have some big events happening personally.  It is awesome and 100% worth missing some of the music events.  Watch out 2011...here I come!

I think that brings us up to date.  I'm back in town.  I'm back on the Maverick saddle.  I'm back.  I never actually left, but I did get a little distracted by all of those midday bike rides, walks with my love, cuddles with the cats and daydreams about music adventures.  I am so grateful the sun is out and can't wait to see what the new town and new life have to bring!

I hope you are all soaking up the rays with good music in your ears and a guilt-free heart.  This is a short little life we have...best to not waste it feeling bad.  Do your best, be kind and make decisions with love in your heart...sounds good to me! 

rocking out in WV,

Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 20 - December 2, 2009

Hello there! 

Judith here.  I wanted to wish you all a great end-of-year.  I don't know about you, but we have been living in a tornado of travel and running around.  It has been amazing.  Some of the travelling has been for music and some has been personal.  All of it has been a blessing.

I am taking the last few weeks of December off except for writing and some booking, but I will check in with you in January.  Fear not- Mav Mondays will be back - but maybe I'll change the name to one that doesn't tie me to a particular day...haha.  I've never been that good at sticking to a schedule.  : )

It has been an honor to record my latest album, Mountain and Shore with such talented musicians and an absolute thrill to see that you have been listening to it and appreciating it.  I am so happy.  I hope to share M & S with more folks and to get started on the next record as soon as I can.

I have the loveliest fans and friends and wish I could express just how grateful I feel for you.  Please take good care of yourselves this holiday season.  You are all so valuable.

Much love,

Judith

Holiday ideas from Judith! - November 23, 2009

I know the holidays are coming up and thought I'd put some ideas out there in case you were hoping that Santa would bring you a little folk love this year. 

 

That's right....holiday gifts

 

I'm beginning the fundraising process for my next album and had some ideas that might benefit us both.

 

      *  Signed CD's for your loved ones.  For $20, I will personalize a CD for whomever you want and send it to you before the holidays.  Order from me directly at info@judithavers.com

 

      *  Signed, limited edition Judith Avers posters.  You can see a copy of one of the posters here.  For $15, I will sign and send a copy of my poster to you.  Order at info@judithavers.com

 

      *  Your favorite song recorded by Judith Avers! la la la!  This is for those of you looking for a very romantic holiday gift for a Judith fan.  For $100, you can send me the name of the song that you, your best friend, your mom,  your significant other, etc.  loves; I will learn it and record a copy of myself singing it with a personal message from me.  I have limited spots for this, so order at info@judithavers.com to reserve your time.  : )

 

      *  Personal home concert.  Oh, you are TOO kind.  I bring the guitar and the music, you bring the guests.  It can be a romantic dinner for two where I play music while you stare into each others' eyes, or you can get your closest friends together and surprise them with a concert by moi.  The dates for the concert will depend on my tour schedule, but I will send a personal gift certificate and a signed album to you for the Christmas morning unveiling.  This concert is $500 and you can order at info@judithavers.com 

 

If you have other questions or Holiday ideas, I'd love to hear them and can do my best to make them happen.  I love questions.  Love them.

Maverick Mondays Volume 19 - November 23, 2009

Happy Monday! 
It has been a busy two weeks on this end with travels to Oregon and to New York.  I wasn't on tour- we were checking out places we might be moving to.  Very exciting!

Things have been moving so fast.  Was it always like this and I've just been slow to catch on?  I'm not sure.  Either way, it's really moving along now.  I find myself overwhelmed with places I want to play and towns I want to visit.  What a blessed life.  These choices we have.  Wow.  I must have done something right somewhere along the way.  Gotta remember that. 

While on the way to Buffalo, NY, my phone broke...in the most miraculous way.  I can still make and receive calls.  I can still receive text messages, but whenever I try to access other screens- it just says "thanks thanks thanks thanks" over and over.  It's typed all over.  The word "thanks".  

  I think I might hold onto my "broken" grateful phone for awhile.  It means I can't text anyone (maybe this is a good thing lol), but I am reminded several times a day to remember to look around and be thankful. 

Our friends are coming in for Thanksgiving- a tradition here.  We are getting everything ready for them and getting ourselves amped up for a long weekend of music, food, acting, games, movies, making paper ornaments, coffee, laughing, and staying up all night.  We are so excited.  And lucky.

Hope your turkey or tofurkey are delicious and that your week is filled with love.  Me and my phone are thankful for you.

Judith

 

 

Judith on Rainbow World Radio! - November 10, 2009

Hi there!  I just finished up an interview with Len, the founder of Stonewall Society (www.stonewallsociety.com) about the release of my new album, "Mountain and Shore!"
The show and interview will premiere on www.rainbowworldradio.com November 25, 2009 at 8:00pm eastern. 
It will be available 24/7 for at least two weeks, from that point on via our "On command" streaming format.
 
We had a great talk where I probably revealed too much but had a great time.  I would love to know what you think!
Have a great day and tune in!
Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 18 - November 9, 2009

Hello all! 
I'm beginning to work on touring this week.  Planning some AZ, CO, KS, IN, MA love in January and working on a tour with Katie Sawicki in March.  I'll write more about that soon.

Also, I've been enjoying my time off!  I've been biking a lot and getting outside as much as I can.  If that sun shows even an inch of its shiny little head, I'm out the door. 

I've been reading a lot and just finished the Grapes of Wrath.  As we say here in WV, it moved me something awful.  I sat in my car at the trail and cried and cried after I finished.  So beautiful.  (I wrote more about it on my online bookclub profile which I will talk about in a second.)  I cannot believe how abundant my life is. 

I wanted to let you know that I belong to an online book club called Goodreads.  I tend to forget what I've read or what I want to read, so I mostly use it to keep track of what I want to read and what I've read.  If you want to check it out, here is the website:

www.goodreads.com 

Find me and we can be book buddies!

Much love!

Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 17 - November 2, 2009

Earlier this week, while my friends and family in beautiful Colorado were getting 9, 10 and 12 inches of snow on their lawns, I was riding my bike next to the river in West Virginia where the temperature was 65 degrees and the air was filled with thousands of little bugs- just hatched from the warmth- and all desperately trying to find their place in this world. 

There were leaves falling all around me and later on, while Frances and I were walking on the trail, they  looked like giant paintings that we were walking through. Maybe the whole world is just one giant painting that we are all riding and walking through.  There is so much goodness.

Anyway, I have been working on the business side of music and have been practicing guitar, but no new songs feel like being born lately.  They'll come when it's time, I guess.

This morning, I had an interview with a very cool musician, Miss Becky Alter (www.beckyalter.com).  Becky has a radio show called "Ladies in Music" and it is being pitched all over the world and is currently on Island 92.5, St. Maarten and Mega FM in Bonaire.  She focuses on amazing women in music and asked me to be the "Wicked Woman of the Week".  I had a great time visiting with her this morning and actually learned how to use Skype.  I felt like such a badass.  I will post more info when I have it, but wanted to say "thank you" to Becky for a great morning and for making me feel like a computer whiz. 

Hope you are all doing great -snow or sun.  I'm feeling so grateful and abundantly blessed lately.  This could be due to the fact that I'm reading The Grapes of Wrath, but then again, could also be something in the air...

Love

Judith 

Maverick Mondays volume 16 - October 27, 2009

Hello everyone! 

I know it is more like "Maverick Tuesday's" around here...hope you'll forgive me.  : )

Earlier this year, our town had its annual "dump day" where everyone can throw anything they want away for free.  We aquired an old school 3-speed bike (among other things) and I spent twenty bucks this week getting it fixed up.  It is the cutest little bike!  Her name is Cherry and I've been soaking up the West Virginia fall every day with her. 

It is so beautiful here.  This new town is very industrial, but the bike trails are just gorgeous...so many colors and textures, fuzzy caterpillars, bumble bees giving it one last go 'round, people frantically heading outdoors the moment the sun comes out, wood chopping and winterizing...it is almost too much.   I have been spending my days thinking and daydreaming and figuring out what I want to do personally and professionally to better myself this upcoming year. 

I went to see a friends show this week:  Chris Pureka and Andrea Gibson were performing in Pittsburgh and the show was beautiful.  The ever-lovely Lyndell Montgomery joined Chris and they were great.  Andrea really struck a chord with me (as always) and left me crying and soul-searching all night.  What a gifted human being.

I met with a consultant who really helped me realize some things about my career.  He gave me great ideas about how to focus and narrow down my goals.   I'm going over what he said and making plans for 2010.  I'll let you know when I know more. 

I am excited to play November 8th at the East Suburban Unitarian Church in Pittsburgh.  I've been planning what I'll talk and sing about and feel so inspired.  Hope to see you there!

Thinking of you all, always and hoping you are enjoying your apples and rediscovering the magnificence of liquid chocolate,

Judith

 

  

 

Maverick Mondays Volume 15 - October 20, 2009

Hello Everyone! 

Hope you are doing well this fine October afternoon.  It has warmed up a bit today and I just got back from a big walk/jog/ponder.  The leaves were falling all around me and I found myself hoping that I had taken as many moments as I could to appreciate and enjoy them this year.  There were hundreds and hundreds of bees out and about.  I think the random warm day gave them all one more chance to fly and be free before the winter comes.  I wish you could have seem them.  They were soaring all around my car and up to the underside of the bridge-overjoyed for one more day, one more afternoon of sunshine.  I was so lucky to have seen them.

I'm also lucky to have gotten another album review.  This time from Rootsville (http://www.rootsville.be/) in the Netherlands.  I just got the translation back and thought you might like to read it.  Thanks Rootsville for the kind words!

 

Much love to you all!

Judith

Review of "Mountain and Shore" from Rootsville's, SMP:

 

"Not only because she is likable or very sweet but simply because Mountain and Shore,when you here it for the first time,
is different from most of the contemporary female singer/songwriters. I am very charmed by the way Judith Avers is interweaving authentic folk elements in her songs and not withstanding all that gives her elegant sound a modern touch.

A pleasant surprise! Un -American I would say, but it would be better to call it the best the American Country has to offer.

Everybody knows the feeling. You walk into a gallery or an exhibition where various artists show their work. Than you see
always objects that strike you because of their originality,creativity,sharpness or the right color combination. A modest label shows then that these items are sold or reserved for somebody. I am not surprised then, because good work always prevails, just as this special work of Judith Avers.

A product that is very close to the artist herself. A few years ago
I was very taken by a comparable jewel,  the CD Stillhouse Road made by Julie Lee. Judith's album does the same to me this year. 

Mountain and Shore was  recorded in five days and has the pureness I'm looking for in an artist.  In every respect this album is very well taken care of and is truly a product to be proud about.  Starting with the cover that sends out a peacefull calmness and ending with the music and the variety of themes. The music is very steady but radiantly provided with all instruments being the base for the record: guitar, mandolin, banjo and violin.I also appreciate the presence of Rose Sinclair,as multi-instrumentalist.  The harmonious backing vocals are the perfect finishing touch. Judith's own voice has sometimes a modest continuous vibration,showing the present emotions with dignity. Music to take the time to listen to and to read the texts.
Introspective and melancholic work of an artist who is not afraid to share her music with you. Extremely beautiful!!!"  Rootsville - by SMP

Translation by Henk Bovenschen

 

Maverick Mondays Volume 14 - October 13, 2009

Hello from somewhat-chilly West Virginia!

The leaves are raked, the weeds have been pulled and the freezer has been stocked with bags and bags of homemade soup.  Yes, you guessed it...I'm home from touring. 

I have a few updates for you. 

1.  I won 2nd place in the Shenandoah Valley Acoustic Roots Songwriting contest! 

(the winner was a lovely young guy named Brian Elijah Smith and 3d place went to Con Burch.  Check them out-both very talented.)

We had a blast and froze our buns of camping by the river, but it was worth it.  The festival was so sweet.  The town of Luray was lovely and quaint and we all fell in love with it!  The other finalists were so talented and no, I'm not just saying that.  They really were.  It was an honor to be in such fine company. 

The main acts:  Chuck E. Costa and Beaucoup Blue did beautiful jobs and we all loved listening to them.  Later on, after the festival was over and we had all run down to the 7-11 to grab some late night grub (a very nice lady gave me a salad - thank you!), we went to Pops and Bobbie's place by the river and listened to everyone play music by the fire.  It was so much fun and I went to my cold little bed feeling warmed by my good fortune. 

 

2.  I won 3rd place in my friend Paul's (Just This Guy) song contest.  Paul challenges a few of his music buddies to a song-off kind of contest.  He gives us a theme and key words that must be used and we submit a song.  The winners receive a little money, a trophy, and most importantly, one of Paul's AWESOME care packages!!  Woohoo!! 

This year's song contest challenge?  We were to write about our worst job ever.  The keywords were:  boss, pay, work and co-worker (which I have decided is the WORST word to fit into a song EVER). 

If you would like to hear my song "All American Maid" and listen to the other lovely entries, please visit: 

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=64099163

I would love to know what you think!   As you may know, I have had many, many jobs over the years and some of them were real doozies!   I had NO trouble finding inspiration for this!  lol  I chose a job I had at small hotel in Liberal, Kansas.  It was hard work, but the worst part was the racist owner who would only rent to white people.  I was much younger then and it made a lasting impression on me.  

I hope you are all adjusting to the changing seasons and times.  There are so many things going on!  Fear not, life is going to work out fine.  : )


Much love to you,

Judith

 

Maverick Mondays Volume 13 - September 30, 2009

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the 13th edition of "maverick monday's". I'm not quite sure why I call it "maverick monday's", but the name has stuck. : ) I try to write ever Monday, but sometimes, like today, it is more like a "maverick Wednesday"...I hope you don't mind.

I am home in West Virginia after a busy, beautiful summer of travelling, playing, camping, working with teens, laughing, crying, hiking, writing, driving, playing, ice cream licking and gardening. There have been so many blessings lately...always. I was thinking about what I could post this week and got completely overwhelmed. Where to begin? What one wonderful thing should I pick to share when there are so freaking many beautiufl things happening every moment-if I am looking for them.

I get caught up in my worry, in the news, in the tragedy and forget that when I just stop- when I let it go-things really are quite perfect. There really is good in this world and there always has been. Good, kind people have always exsisted and I want to remember that more. If I am spending my time focusing on all of the people who are doing or saying hurtful, hateful things, I am giving them more energy, right? Who am I to ignore all of the goodness?

I digress.

As always.

So, I thought I'd make a little list of amazing things that I am grateful for this summer. You can count on the fact that there are hundreds more... there are.

THINGS JUDITH HAS LOVED THIS SUMMER:

1. Planting a garden with my mom and Frances. (in case you have forgotten, a groundhog ate 100% of said garden, but the planting was a hoot.)

2. Jogging at my friends Wade and Kim's ranch out on the Colorado plains with sunflowers EVERYWHERE and grasshoppers hopping all around me. The dirt roads where sandy and orange and I could see for miles and miles..

3. Meeting a sculptor named Sassi who showed us his beautiful artwork. He then sculpted us our "new" car. What a peaceful and natural life he leads. I was told to sit in the car and meditate on it and if the car wanted to be with us, it would let us know. It did.

4. Running a High Rocks Camp. Whew! I was pretty proud of myself and so grateful to be trusted.

5. Camping, camping, camping and getting dirty, dirty, dirty. I wanted to embrace my inner camper this year and believe me...I have. : )

6. Laying under a bridge in southern WV at sun-down with my friends Matt, Rachel, Missy, Emma and Kristin watching the bats fly all around us. The bats were feasting on bugs and it was awesome!

7. A morning at my friend Sarah's farm. Food from the garden, a full out search for baby pigs and the cleanest air you will ever breathe. Dancing in the kitchen with stick instruments, wedding album spying and crying on the couch. Thank you. I came home wanting to be a pig farmer.  Who knew?! 

8. Tour out West. All of it was awesome, but some highlights: playing in my homestate- Kansas, seeing old friends from High School, listening to music out at May Farms, house concert love, getting awesome sleep at my friends Jen and Liz's new place, good coffee, excellent walks, having honest talks with my mama, driving and listening to the most beautiful music.

 9. Sisters, Oregon. Reminded me of Lewisburg, WV. Met the kindest folks and listened to so much music. I went alone, but never felt lonely...I only felt lucky.

10. Itaca, NY. Our friends' celebration. What a love fest. Seeing old friends and listening to music, music, music.

There is so much more, I know, but this is what is coming up today. I'm working on a new song, so I gotta go. I hope that you are doing well with the changing of seasons. Normally, I feel pretty sad when summer ends...like I've somehow missed the boat or that I didn't quite enjoy it as much as I should have, but this year I know i soaked it all up. I truly did. I am feeling the sleepy-season-changing-blah's, but it's not a sad thing, just a blah thing. It ain't nothing but a blah thing, baby.

 

Much love and peace to you<

Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 12 - September 21, 2009

Hello out there! Judith here. Finally home for a few days after tour and a trip out West to Oregon. Whew! Busy summer. Amidst all of the laundry, vacuuming and petting of the little kitty cats, I have been catching up on the news. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, to be honest. I find myself worrying about the world, our country, health care, and just people in general. When I hear folks talking about how no one should get help with health care, I get so sad. The "low-life's" or "losers" or "lazy" or "slacker" people they are talking about includes myself and most of my friends. All of whom work very hard with art, yes, but also working with non-profits, local charities and organizations that help out where needed. I would never consider any of us "slackers" or "less than" any other American, nor would I consider ourselves better than any group of people. We are all doing a part and over time I am realizing that each part is an important one. (Which in some weird circle must mean that the nay-sayers and negatrons out there are playing a part, too.) Ugh. What to do...what to do... I don't have any answers for any of this. I doubt that I ever will. Maybe the only thing I can do is be as kind as possible when I can and try not to be ruled and governed by the fear of change. It is the only thing that I can count on 100% of the time: CHANGE will come. I guess it's time I learn to embrace it and enjoy the ride a bit. Music is good. Trying to figure out ways to raise money to make the next album this spring. Any ideas? I'd love to hear them. I've also been working on trying to get this album out and in the hands of whoever needs it. I'm feeling grateful for my friends and family who are loving and kind and open. I've been listening to my new albums and loving every moment. My friend Jen Korte just released a new album: Jen Korte and the Loss and check this gem out: Lara Goldhamer and the Silvernail. Geez. Denver has so much talent. I miss you, Colorado! Hope you are all doing well and staying up, up, up...don't let those nasty meanies get the best of you, my dears. There really is room for us all. Love, Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 11 - September 14, 2009

Greetings from Portland, Oregon! I'm just wrapping up the tour (which was amazing, by the way) and am here visiting my friend, Katie Sawicki. This last weekend was the Sisters Folk Festival and it was an absolute blast. Living in the boonies, I don't always have the chance to go absorb music, so I was living high on the folk-hog this weekend. Some favorites: Kelly Joe Phelps Danny Schmidt Peter Rowan Please, please, please listen to them if you get a chance. Wow. I want to go to a barbeque at Kelly Joe Phelps house and have him teach me some guitar, I want to publish Danny's lyrics in a book and read it over and over, and I want to start an ashram with Peter Rowan and sit around in his zen state forever. A girl can dream... I will have more updates soon, but have to run really quick. Hope you are enjoying your brussel sprouts and listening to good music while you do it, Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 10 - September 6, 2009

Hello lovely people out in space-land!! I hope you are doing fantastic this fine Labor Day weekend. I am on tour now, but wanted to drop a quick line and let you know that I have not forgotten our Maverick Magic....on the contrary-I have just been busy. I have stories and news and funny happenings to fill you in on, but will have to write more when I get a little more computer time. The tour is going fantastic! I have loved it and have spent time with some amazing (and I mean AMAZING) folks this time out. Wow. We have a pretty f-ing rad planet full of pretty f-ng cool people. I am blown away. Great shows-great audiences-great music. I like music for all kinds of reasons. At our house, we have dance parties at least 2 or 3 times a week and ROCK OUT so dance music is good...folk music and alt-country for when I'm driving across Kansas and rock for when I'm particularly happy. Before I sign off here, I wanted to let you know a few names of some of the talent that I've been listening to. What a lucky life I have. Thank you all for hosting shows, attending, listening, talking with me and for giving me so much hope about the coolness potential of the world. You all rock. Music: Jen Korte and the Loss - Someone please make these people rock stars. Laura Goldhamer and the Silvernail - Holy shit. This is my new favorite. a MUST see live act. Sean Hayes- This cat is so cool, I looked up the word "cool" in the dictonary and found a picture of a cat and THAT cat handed me something cold and said "yep...he's cool alright." Barclay Martin-A sweetheart-he rocked out at the Tour de Fat yesterday and has been keeping me company for part of the tour. Also, he's a really good person and his fans are soooo sweet and kind. There are others, too, but my brain is a little fried right now. (sorry for the sporadic entry). Have a bike-riding-fried plantain kind of day my friends, Judith ps-do YOU have any stories for ME?? Write them at the Guesbook or email me...I love stories.

Judith chosen as a finalist for the Shenandoah Valley Acoustic Roots Songwriter Contest! - August 23, 2009

Hi there!  Hope this finds you all sitting pretty and feeling fine. 

It's been a good week here!  Just got word that I was chosen as one of the finalists for the Shenandoah Valley Acoustic Roots Songwriting Contest! 

I got to talk with the lovely and amazing Pops Walker and will get more details later.  Here is what I know so far:

I will get to perform in Luray, VA at the Shenandoah Valley Acoustic Roots Festival Songwriting Contest Finals on October 3rd, 2009.  The top three folks will be chosen and get lovely prizes, but you know how I get with competions.  What I am most excited about is hearing some good tunes and meeting some kind music folk. 

Here are some of the people who will be playing with us (I think)

Chuck E. Costa

Pops Walker

Beaucoup Blue

I will let you know more as I hear.  You can also check the "tour" section of this website for contact info. 

Thank you, Luray!

 

Judith chosen as a finalist for Dave Carter Memorial Song Contest! - August 19, 2009

Got word that I get to go out to Sisters, Oregon for the Sisters Folk Festival on September 11, 12, and 13th.  How awesome is that??  I am a finalist for the Dave Carter Memorial Song Contest.  Wow!  There are so many talented folkies out there-I'm a little humbled and very honored.  Dave Carter wrote so much amazing music and he and Tracy Grammer were magic.  I hope I can do him some justice. 

The lineup is incredible and I think I'm more excited about getting to hear three days of music than actually playing!  We have been a little isolated because of our location for a couple of years, so this many musicians in one place, six stages and three days is like chocolate to a grumpy lady for me. 

Yum.

Here is the website:  www.sistersfolkfestival.com

Would love to see a familiar face, hope you come.  : )
Judith

ps.  okay, okay, I'm VERY excited to go play!!  I was just saying that for effect...you know how I can be.

 

Maverick Mondays Volume 9 - August 17, 2009

Hello fellow Maverick's!! Hope this finds you all sassy and happy and eating yummy ice cream. Sounds good... Several things going on here. First-taking off next week on tour to Colorado. Making a couple of stops in Kansas and MO to see dear old friends and play with some new ones. Please check out the tour schedule and come say hi! (I'll be selling the new album)

Second, I got word last week that I am one of the finalists for the Dave Carter Memorial Song Contest for the Sisters Folk Festival in Sisters, Oregon! How awesome! They called at the end of a very long and frustrating week...it was so nice to hear some good news. If any of you are out that way, come check it out. It sounds amazing!

Click here to see the amazing lineup!  I am so excited to head out to beautiful Oregon.  What a cool state-ocean, desert, mountains, plains...it has it all covered.

finally, I have decided to give you an assignment this week.  I know, I know you are busy-we all are...but this is something I feel very strongly about. 

Here are your instructions:

1.  Turn your speakers on your computer on and up.

2.  Make sure you have plenty of room around you. 

3.  Stand up.

4.  No, really, stand up.

5.  Click the link below and proceed to dance your cute little booties off.  I am obsessed with this song and band and we have been dancing to it for weeks.  Like crazy people.  Maybe I'll make a video and send it to you.

6.  here is the link. (My website makes the hyperlinks look like the regular text...just click on the word "here")

 

Much love and robot moves to you and yours,
Judith

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