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Judith Avers: News/Journal

Maverick Mondays Volume 6 - July 27, 2009

Hello everyone!
I haven't been flaky about my posts, I've just been in the woods. I've been working at two camps for High Rocks (www.highrocks.org). High Rocks is a year-round program, but it also hosts two free camps for teens in West Virginia. The focus? empowerment and leadership, education and adventure. Were we successful this year? I think so!
The first camp, I led Girls Group, which is top secret, so I can't tell you too much about it, but I CAN say that it was fabulous (or as the girls might say..."it was totally FABOO"). I had a great intern working with me, Raissa, and I left camp wanting to adopt every single girl. You all were beautiful and amazing and brave!

The second camp, Camp Steele, is a more intense camp for older teens. This camp I was the Planmaster which means that I was in charge of planning and running the camp smoothly. My fearless intern, Kristin, was my partner in crime (or top secret espresso runs) and I think we did a good job! It was pretty intense to be in charge of so many schedules and plans, but it was so nice to be trusted with that much responsibility. I'm a pretty free-spirit, so it was cool to get to explore that part of myself.

I had such a good time working in Southern West Virginia. It will always be my home and my friendships there got so much deeper this summer. I am forever grateful.
Things I won't forget:
*eating plantains with my fingers (thank you, Raissa)
*laughing NONSTOP with my podlets
*late night music sessions after the girls were asleep (shhh)
*getting dirtier than I've ever gotten...woohoo!!
*laying by the river on my night off
*playing by the fire on the last night listening to Laura H. play music and rock out
*singing in the shelter with Emma, Sarah, and Rachel
*torturing my friend Missy (everyone needs a friend like Missy who can torture you and do naughty things like convince you to get a grab bag tattoo)
*Frances decorating my "borrowed" room just like our bedroom at home so that I could rest on my night off.
*the sweet sweet girls who remind me of myself and bring out the absolute best in me.
*sitting before dinner for almost 2 hours before the girls were FINALLY done saying all of their "gratefuls"
*Pig farm morning with Sarah and Rachel with special guests, Silus and Hazel.
*two words...DANCE PARTIES!!!

There are too many things to name here. I am eternally grateful for High Rocks. It has opened my mind and my heart so much. I love you all and miss you terribly. Thank you for another amazing summer.

In other news, I have been trying to catch up on everything else in my life. Things I've been working on:

*new songs! This new town and my loneliness have really been inspiring lately and I am writing so much. I'm grateful.
*daydreaming-I'm daydreaming about having a good booking agent and good distribution. I have no idea how to get either of these things, but I still daydream...
*cats-I've got lots of making up to do for my time away. Zeus is not happy.
*love-got some catching up to do! Anniversary time and our last summer before intern year. I'm trying to make it last!

I am blessed with so much travelling, so many beautiful friendships, so much laughter, so much chaos (I'm working on it), so many dreams and schemes, I have NO idea how to get my music out in the world but I keep trying, so many questions and so much love. This is a full life I have and I am grateful. I'm so glad you are a part of it!!

I hope you are overflowing, wherever you are...
Judith

Maverick Mondays Volume 5 - July 6, 2009

Happy July!

Hope this finds you all picking veggies from your gardens and sitting on your lovely porches drinking ice water. (I know there are probably more delicious things than iced water, but it sounds REALLY good to me right now).

The past month has been really busy on this end. I've been teaching at a leadership/empowerment camp for girls (www.highrocks.org) and gearing up to run the next camp. Yikes! Music is still heavy in my mind and I although I haven't been home much (camping in the woods with the girls...why oh why do I do this to myself?), when I have been home, I have been writing like a crazy woman. (hopefully a bit more organized than a crazy woman might write, but probably not as interesting.)

After this next camp I am hoping to pick up where I left off in terms of booking fall tours (I just know there is the perfect booking agency out there somewhere...hello?? echo...echo...). If you want me to try to make it out to your part of this beautiful country, drop me a line and I'll do my best. Want to host a private house concert for your friends? Let's do it! I'm open to ideas and love to hear from you.

I am off to sleep land, but just in case you were curious about our garden...the luscious, bountiful, inventive garden we planted and worked on tirelessly....it's all gone. A groundhog, I like to call Chuck has done a fabulous job devouring everything but one little bunch of basil (which now that I know Chuck doesn't want, I'm too freaked out to eat.) If this wasn't a rental, Chuck would be long gone, but it is. So he is part of the territory and I've been too much of a wuss to do anything. Next time.

Someday there will be a little home that is ours (for a time) a yard that is ours to plant and worry over and a fence that is 2 ft deep and 6ft high, but until that day, I will keep on writing, playing music, and daydreaming with Frances about the tomatoes that will be and the green beans that we just know will change the world.


Much love to you and your squash,
Judith

ps. Our friend Dan gave me a HUGE geranium for my birthday this year...it is SO beautiful. I've been tending to it and babying it along with the other flowers that have taken over the porch, but the other day we noticed a little something extra. A little brown bird has made her nest IN the pot...IN the dirt. I had one tiny moment...ONE!.. where I panicked about losing yet another precious plant when Frances reminded me that the little baby birds that are hopping around inside the plant don't know how to swim and apparently they won't. Ever.
I guess another one bites the dust.
tweet. tweet.

Maverick Mondays volume 4 - June 23, 2009

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.

I guess both still apply.

This edition of Maverick Mondays is a little late, I apologize. I have been working with teen girls in Southern West Virginia. Our non-profit, High Rocks (www.highrocks.org) was busy putting on an intense leadership camp and I was working there. I am just getting home and adjusting to modern technology. (no phones, tv, computer, electricity...you get the idea.) I'm also adjusting to having toilets I can flush! We really are in the lap of luxury here in the good ole U.S. of A.

The first review of "Mountain and Shore" is in and came all the way from the Netherlands. Some kind friends translated it for me...I'm taking their word on it that the review was kind, although it would be pretty funny if the review was talking about how awful the album was and our friends decided to make me feel better by writing a raving one. Who knows...who cares...I am grateful for the kindness...however it comes.

Thank you, Alt Country Forum (www.altcountryforum.nl)

You made coming back to the modern world a whole lot sweeter,
Judith



Mountain and Shore Review
by Martin Overheul
June 10, 2009
www.altcountryforum.nl
Music is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and irritation, of animation and annoyance, or of passion and deception. And that is just right. Imagine that we would all love the same things and listen to the same records. I imagine that the auditorium of the hell looks like that. For without bad there is no good, right? And without ugliness no beauty. How subjective and disputable that difference might be. I am very glad that next to a lot of good music I also hear a lot of rubbish. Because that way you realize that you hear something very special when you hear a voice that can do melt the coldest hearts and souls. Or a voice able to touch your soul in such a way that you can’t forget it for weeks. Take for example the voice of Judith Avers, a young and remarkable talented singer-songwriter from West Virginia.

The songs on “Mountain and Shore,” her second CD in 4 years (in 2005 her first appearance “Strong Hands” came out) are without exeption breathtaking, musically as well as textually.
It has been some time since I heard a record where the listener gets such intimate looks into the inner life of a human being. “There isn’t one thing or one more bit of love that I could have put into it,” says Judith Avers about her new CD, “It is what I had in me at the time.” And what she had in her at that time was amazing. “Mountain and Shore” opens at high level with the very intimate “Lilac Dreams” which, thanks to the pedal steel of Rose Sinclair (Martha Scanlan, Crooked Jades), gets a wonderful grand sound. Beautiful songs!! But at the same time you think a little worriedly, ‘I hope this turns out well,’ because Avers starts on a high level with this song. But Avers avoids this trap brilliantly for the songs that follow are also fantastic. Be seduced by the banjo solo (again Rose Sinclair) or the magnificent “Rocket Ship” or the loaded with delightful harmonium (Anand Nayak, also producer), “All of It.” “Karen”, one of the textual highlights of this CD, tells about a young woman who is unable to cope with the “hard times” she is going through and jumps into a canyon “and with a crash she said goodnight.” Heartbreaking? Yes. Beautiful? Very beautiful. Judith Avers excels in making these kinds of observations full of compassion and understanding of the human imperfection. Add to this that she wraps her songs in a way that they never get melodramatic but are always like real life. For example in “West Virginia”, another highlight: “I am Vegas, baby. Turn me on. I am New York and I can’t keep up. I have done all I can do; put up a good fight, but I wanna be West-Virginia tonight.” More earthly is not possible.

“Mountain and Shore” ends with the heartbreaking “Love You Right,” the kind of lovesong
everyone hopes will be written for her or him one day. “To love you tonight, I would scream. I would fight, but I would lay all my fear aside if I could love you tonight, I’d love you right.” Let there be no doubt; Judith Avers’ fantastic voice has conquered my heart already. And I am convinced that she will add many more songs to the above mentioned.

Translation courtesy of Luis and Henk Bovenschen

Maverick Mondays Volume 3 - June 8, 2009

What do leather chaps, prom dresses and rainbow colored EVERYTHING have in common?

No, not my last family reunion.

Buffalo Pride 2009!

We headed off to gorgeous Buffalo, New York for some fun in the sun and we got it. Some of you may know that we moved to WV from Colorado, so we have definitely witnessed some AWESOME pride in Denver, but it's been a while, and let's just say that our little area in WV isn't going to be hosting a vast array of beautiful drag queens anytime soon. It was fabulous.

If I seem excited, it's because I am. I love people! Conservative ones, liberal ones, angry ones, happy ones, you name it. I can squeeze out some love for pretty much anyone, but it was especially easy for me to find this weekend. I love all of the joy and freedom I saw. There is a change in the world. Equality for ALL is slowly creeping in and we were all overjoyed. Even the radical feminists were cutting loose and having fun (albeit reminding us of just how far we still have to go and don't you forget it..) They were and it was wonderful.

Thank you Buffalo for rocking and for being a refreshing change of pace for us two WV folkies. A quick shout out to Nancy, Cecilia and Michelle (there are many others, I know) for hosting me and putting on a fantastic Pride. Plus, they got us yummy fruit and who could ever be mean to someone handing you yummy fruit?

(Side note: there was a cover band that played the best songs from the 80's and 90's. They were called the Stamplickers. The entire crowd was CRAZY and we were all screaming "don't you...forget about me...I'll be alone...dancing you know it baby..." I don't know if they are serious musicians or not, but they are definitely a BLAST.)

My to-do list is a mile long and I'm a little overwhelmed, but it is so much better than being under-whelmed, I think. Life is very good.

Hope you are doing well and that your well (if you live in the country) is doing better than well.

Much love
Judith

P.S. I know you're going to ask...no, I didn't see Ani DiFranco (the celebration is right by her house.) BUT...I heard she was there in the morning with her little girl. She took her daughter to pet the animals that were at the animal shelter booth. They had the cutest little kittens!

Maverick Monday Volume 2 - June 1, 2009

Greetings fellow Earthlings,

I hope this finds you feeling fancy free or free of fancy-you choose.
I am sitting in our office/music attic, listening to the glorious sounds of the industrial park down the street and missing Lewisburg, WV. (In all fairness, there are LOTS of bird sounds and cat sounds, too.)

This past week, the music part of my life was awesome. My good friend, Katie Sawicki, came through on tour and we played in Pittsburgh at the Club Cafe. A very VERY intimate concert, but talked with some very cool folks and then ate some very good eggs. It was so nice to sit around and play songs for each other...run our new song ideas by each other and just chill out.


Also on the agenda, the one....the only....the Irish Pub in Lewisburg, WV. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to come home to Lewisburg and see so many friendly and kind faces. The pub was packed and people actually KNEW some of my songs...it was just what I needed. We shed some tears about missing our peeps and our town, but know that now is not the time to live there. Lewisburg, if you are reading this....you are wonderful. I hope every person who lives there knows how fortunate they are. Just to have people let you in to the next lane when you are driving for crying out loud!! What a luxury!!

We stayed with our amazing past landlords, Greg and Sally and had a ball visiting friends and drinking divine latte's from the Stardust. Please go there and drink a latte. Bob Dylan called me and told me to tell you all to do it.
Are you going to mess with Bob on this? (Wow, the name "Bob" doesn't quite have that authoritative ring to it without the "Dylan" attached, does it?)

I sent about 10 packages out to folks in the music business this week. Not as many as I had hoped, but a lot was going on. I took out my "good mojo" spray and covered them with it. : ) I am slowly realizing that it doesn't really matter either way what happens with them, it's just mostly important that I'm giving myself a shot. If I can do that, I won't have anything to bitch to myself about later. Besides, I have a blessed life and don't need a thing...anything else that comes along is just gravy. You know what I mean?

The groundhog that has been eating our garden has been nowhere to be seen this past week. You may know that we tried everything (other than a bullet) that we could think of and are now wondering whose idea is the one that scared him off. Is it
a-the freaky pinwheels we put in front of the "prime" attack-worthy plants
b-the cayenne/soap/weird stuff spray i've been spritzing on everything
or c-the human urine we used to "mark" our territory. (please, please don't ask.)

Either way, the bok choy is now being devoured by some kind of insect and the broccoli plants have moved on to their next lives (they were buddhist plants).

I hope you and all of your lives are well. I will try to post some pics soon, but couldn't get the thing to work today.

Muah!
Judith

ps-I'm playing the Buffalo Pride Festival in Buffalo, NY this weekend! 10-13,000 folks attend and Tom Goss and Doria Roberts are also performing. I guess the event ends up right in front of Ani Difranco's house. I will let you know how it goes or see you there!

Maverick Monday Volume 1 - May 25, 2009

Hey everybody,
I told you I would post every Monday and by George, I am going to.

Welcome to the first edition of Judith's "Maverick Monday's"

(I'm taking the term "maverick" back, folks.)
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.

Okay, both could apply. : )

A lot has been happening around here.
A groundhog ate all of our broccoli, most of our bok choy, squash, zucchini and cucumber plants. There are a few survivors, but I was pretty bummed.

We have decided against shooting it, trapping it, stuffing it, or cooking it. I shed a few tears and then the next day....the universe sent a HUGE storm that totaled a lot of the plants in the garden. See??? At least the plants got to be food for SOMEONE! (I'm trying really hard to be positive here.)

That storm I was referring to? It flooded our basement. We spent Memorial day weekend sweeping smelly water into a drain hole (thank goodness we had one). I thought we had it pretty bad, but then our good friend called and said he has poison ivy on his face, abdomen and...wait for it....his penis.

Okay, I said. He wins.

As far as music goes, I sent out the massive email list letter, did research on companies that have contacted me lately (most are scam folks who take sweet little musicians money and promise them fame and fortune), and tried to come to terms with the massive to-do list I have going.

Katie Sawicki is coming to town tomorrow and we are playing in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. I am excited to play new songs and to listen to her new music. She is so talented.

I played in Buffalo last week at Ani Difranco's venue, Babeville, with Chris Pureka. The venue was SO incredibly beautiful. It is a renovated old church with such good energy. Well worth the trip if you're close by. I was expecting something different from Buffalo, judging by interviews I've read and people who live there who have talked with me, but I found it absolutely beautiful. The audience was absolutely lovely and were quiet as little mice. (Thank you!) I had a fantastic time playing and trying out new songs. I'm a big fan of Buffalo.

(No, I didn't get to meet Ani, but I did meet her manager, Scott Fischer.)

All in all, it was an okay week. A little low vibe, but nothing that some fresh air and a few productive days won't cure.

I hope that yours was spectacular, or at least poison-ivy free.

See you soon,
Judith

ps-Wednesday night show
Club Cafe
Pittsburgh, PA
7pm sharp

Welcome to the new site! - May 16, 2009

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the new website. I've been working it out and still have a few things to add, but for the most part, it's done. I've uploaded a few clips of songs off of the new record, Mountain and Shore. I hope you like them!

You can now buy the album online under the BUY link and I will let you know as soon as it's digitally released. There are also updates on the BIO, MUSIC, and PHOTO pages. Please look around and make yourself at home.   There is also a new "love letter and questions" section under the CONTACT link.  I love to hear what you think of the record, site, shows, whatever.  If you are interested in booking a house concert, venue, college campus, festival, etc..just write me at the CONTACT section and I'll respond personally.

On a greener note, I just watered our garden and guess what? The carrots have appeared! I was beginning to wonder! Also making an appearance: Zinnia's, cosmo's, morning glory's, strawberries, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, sweet peas, and broccoli. So far, the cucumbers, squash, sunflowers, chinese lanterns, and zucchini are unhappy with their new rooms and are being very passive agressive.

Happy gardening and much love,

Judith

The first casualty. - May 14, 2009

A good friend of mine recently asked me if I had found the "cd credit casualty" yet. I knew he was referring to that feeling of panic you get when you realize, after your CD's have been printed and are sitting nice and neat in your home, that you have forgotten to thank someone who was INSTRUMENTAL in your album's creation. I smugly snickered and told him that, no, in fact, I hadn't forgotten anyone.

I was wrong.

It hit me today as I was driving. My mind on the Slaughterhouse Studio and my time there. I was thinking about how I wouldn't have met Anand Nayak (producer of the new album) if it hadn't been for the glorious Mark Alan Miller.

And then I knew.

I rushed home and opened my copy of the new CD, "Mountain and Shore" which should be called "Mountain and Shore thanks to Mark-Alan-Miller" and found that yes, in fact, I had made a huge mistake.
I didn't tell him thank you for recommending Anand. I didn't tell him thank you for the AMAZING work he did mixing my record. I didn't tell him thank you for letting me record the song, "mountains and shores" in the middle of the night and then convincing me to put it on the record. Most importantly, I didn't tell him thank you for being a blessing in my life with his coolness, his wit, and his heart.

I was jamming out tonight to Mark's band, "OUT,OUT" and thinking about how talented this guy really is. From Dar Williams first record to Chris Pureka's Dryland...everything he touches gets MORE BEAUTIFUL. If that isn't humbling, I don't know what is.

I am sorry, Mark, if you are reading this, and most importantly, I thank you and I love you.

Love,
Judith

ps-(I wasn't jamming to Mark's music out of guilt..it really does kick major A@S and if you'd like to check it out, here is a place: http://www.myspace.com/outout
Want more info on his beautiful studio? visit

www.slaughterhousestudio.com
They are super busy, but if you get a chance to check it out, you won't regret it.

Judith to appear on compilation! - May 2, 2009

Hi folks!

Just a quick line to let you know that one of my songs, Trade In your Kingdom, will be featured on the first ever "United for the Ride-Volume 1" CD compilation!

The Cd will be sold in support of the HIV/AIDS services provided by The LGBT Center of New York City.

other musicians include:
Roger Kuhn
Morry Campbell
Randi Driscoll
Mike Rickard
Katie Sawicki
Jeffrey Wilgus
Terry Christopher
Robin Renee
Joshua Klipp
Norine Braun
Dan Manjovi

Please check these great musicians out!

I'm honored to be included and will let you know as soon as I can where you can get your hands on one of these discs.

Love,
Judith

one mans trash... - April 2, 2009

I'm very sleepy, but thought I would write about our funny evening.

We were going to go to a movie, out for cofee...your average date night, but something was happening in our little town in WV. Dump Day.

Have any of you heard of this?? I guess the city dump offers free pick-up and everyone throws all of their crap out by the street.

Well, we were on a walk in this very fancy fancy neighborhood by the hospital when we discovered this phenomenon. I cannot repeat the events that followed, but I can give you a list of the glorious finds we walked away with.

1. new area rug
2. 4 new double paned windows
3. watering hose
4. clothes drying rack
5. paper shredder
6. printer
7. this cool wire thingy I liked
8. new snow shovel (this means that we now have two, but it's so much more fun to shovel together)
9. an awesome old tool box!
10. a hip green pleather chair that is rockin'
11. a painting by some dude named Alex
12. two yard things that you put in the ground and morning glories and other vine plants grow up...very cute. (could also substitute as tomato stands)
13. Did I mention the BIKE???? Oh YEAH!! it's hot and sassy and red and gorgeous.
14. 8 or 9 board games (cool ones...we even got a scrabble!!!)
15. a lamp (which we really needed
16. fishing poles (which we don't need, but they were attached to number 17 and we got too flustered to untie them)
17. a set of golf clubs!


Now, I know that some of you might be wondering WHO in the heck throws these types of things out, and we did too, but then we saw all of the cars from other neighborhoods coming. It seems that EVERYONE knows that the wealthier neighborhoods on dump day are amazing. People were so happy! They were grabbing treadmills (yes, there were treadmills), tv's, exercise bikes, suitcases, flower pots...it was awesome.

Later on, we went and had homemade lasagna at this local italian place and laughed about our funny little date night.

life is definitely full and hilarious.

much love to you,
Judith

ps-the cd's are here!!

NEW ALBUM UPDATES - February 24, 2009

Hi there!
Just wanted to let you know that I ordered the copies of the new CD on Friday!!! (Enter Etta James....At laaaaaasssstt)

My good friend Dan Heatherly did the artistic layout for me and I'm very happy with it. The amazing Jack Redell designed the posters. They are wonderful! Thank you so much!!!

The title: Mountain and Shore

The release: we are having an early bird CD release party on our last day in Lewisburg. We are moving the very next morning and are having a farewell concert/cd release on Friday March 13th. Check out the calendar for more info.

I also just added a show at Club Passim supporting Chris Pureka. I love playing with Chris and here's a bonus....she's singing on my new record! She is a very cool songwriter and I can't wait to hear her again. My first time at Club Passim....woohoo!

I would love to see you at the early release/farewell. Our time in Lewisburg has meant so much to me. So many songs have come from moments I've had here. This place is magic. The concert is free to all-a thank you from me...for everything.


Love,
Judith

Pittsburgh... - January 26, 2009

Hello there,
I am sitting here looking out the window in West Virginia-watching the snow flurries and trying to keep my cat from walking on the keyboard.

It is a truly blustery day.

We went to gorgeous Pennsylvania this weekend. I played my first show in our new stomping ground....PITTSBURGH. What a gorgeous city. I absolutely loved it. It was so colorful and beautiful. Water...mountains (hills?)...architecture...art...stylish glasses on everyone...gorgeous.

I was opening for the fabulous Chris Pureka and her lovely band...Lyndell (sp) and Julia. They sounded fantastic and the arrangements were lovely. My favorite new Chris song is the one that starts of "Bottoms Up". I really should figure out the actual name. She did a great job and it was so good to see her.

To all of you Club Cafe folks who attended-thank you. It was great to meet some people. We went back to the hotel with business cards and restaraunt recommendation, poetry and prose first friday suggestions (!!), art gallery ideas and book clubs...WOW!

I have a very good feeling about the move and you made me feel very welcome.

It will be so hard to leave my West Virginia friends and community, but it is good to know that we are going to a place that was welcoming and diverse. Thank you!

I'll hopefully see some of you in Indiana on Saturday.
Playing with Chris again in Indianapolis....my first time!

Much love and warm blankets,
Judith


ps-we technically moving 30 miles away from Pittsburgh. Hey...I love the city, but I'm a small town girl at heart. :)

I have tried to keep this quiet... - December 14, 2008

...but might as well own up to it.

You've got me.
Last year, Frances wanted us to perform in the big talent show for the medical school she attends. I think that they expected us to sing together on one of my little ditties and to stand up there and sound like pretty little birds. We decided to shake things up a bit.
Our goal was to create an impromptu dance party in 5 minutes or less. It took us a little over 6 minutes, but who's counting??

The two men at the end?? The Deans of the school. And normally...such well behaved men.

Hope you like the link...and that it inspires a little dance party of your own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iofSBJjWaWg
Love,
Judith

patience, patience, patience - November 21, 2008

I pick a word.
Every year.
To focus on and meditate on.
This year...guess what my word was?
I made a mistake!
I chose the word "patience".
And holy crap have I been BLESSED with lessons in patience.

To make a long story short...the cd isn't quite ready. BUT, I did finally get the master in. It's all made and beautified and finished. I am just raising the last little bit of mula for the copies. (If you're interested in donating to the cause...let me know!)

Life is sweet here in WV. Cocoa is abundant and I am mastering the art of soup making. Reading, working, and trying to be.....
you guessed it....
patient.

I think next year, I'll focus on a new word....

"ABUNDANCE"

Love to you and yours,
(truly)
Judith

Carnegie Hall w/ Tristan Prettyman - October 8, 2008

Hey everyone,
I can't wait to play Saturday at Carnegie Hall in West Virginia...my favorite spot. I have been focused on working and raising mula for the final copies of the album and have forgotten that I used to actually PLAY music. Imagine that!

I am so grateful that Carnegie Hall thought of me and hope that you'll make it out to support Tristan Prettyman. Her website has tons of info..www.tristanprettyman.com
I'll also be getting a chance to play some music that is brand new fresh off of my summer high.

I hope to see you and speak with you after the show. Thanks for being so patient with the new album.

Much love to you,
Judith

CD Update-a teeny one! - July 27, 2008

Hello out there,
I just finished downloading and burning the first master of the new album!! I have been waiting for this for a long time and really learning a lot about patience. I swear the entire process of making this album has taught me more about patience (the good kind) than I ever thought possible. I did want to be a more patient person this year-I am getting PLENTY of opportunities with myself!! (haha)

I am strapping on my walkin' shoes and going for a hike by the river to give the new album a proper listen. I cannot wait to hear it. I know there are a few changes to be made already (Anand told me), but this is as close to the real thing as I've been.
I will write more soon and let you know how it sounds.

I hope that your Sunday is as exciting as mine. I wish you were here to eat fresh blueberries with me and organic veggies from the market down the road. I would make you the best cup of decaf I could and we could talk about the blight that got my tomatoes and your favorite books.

See you soon,
Judith

Okay, okay...I took a chance! - July 12, 2008

Hi everyone, Judith here. I have so much news, but am in the middle of a HUGE summer of family and community service. It's been great. I will post more soon, but wanted to let you know about something fun we did this week.

Somewhere in the middle of this trip, Frances talked me into taking a big LEAP. Aimee Mann (whom we love) was hosting a big contest. She asked that you record yourself singing her song "Freeway" and upload the video to Youtube. Well, I have always really stressed out trying to learn other folks songs. In fact, I have only really learned a handful in my life.

I actually did it. Later, after we uploaded the video, we read that they were judging on quality and on originality. Well, we had borrowed a camera, borrowed a guitar, the battery on the camera only had enough juice to last for one take and I don't know how original we were. No flying trapeze artists in the background or witty banter or editing, but I am really proud of myself for doing it. At least we tried, right?

Anyway, here is the link. Hope you enjoy! I highly recommend checking out Aimee's version on her website or on Youtube.

Much love to you from me,
Judith

link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlUNhZ5NNL0

Friday-last day in the studio!! - April 4, 2008

Where did two and a half weeks go?
I found myself asking that over and over today. We started mixing early this afternoon and kept going until almost 11, which is by far the earliest night we've had. Almost done!! There are a few touch ups to do next week and I will have to listen to lots of mp3's and check things over, but should have a good idea of where the songs stand within the next week or two.

I had a nightmare that I left my cat in a little cell while I went on a weekend tour and forgot all about him until the next week. I woke up so terrified!! Zeus, Percy and Lydia are all fine-thank goodness. I can't wait to see my little love-filled family.

Later on in the evening, I asked if I could throw down a quick recording of my new mandolin song for Robby (Jim's wife-my other temporary roomie). I also wanted to show Frances my new song and since I don't have a mandolin, wanted to record it so I don't forget it. Mark graciously offered the time and equipment and he and Anand set me up in the studio. We recorded it in one take. It is called "I Want A Home" (I think). After I got done, I came in and Anand asked if I would consider putting it on the album. Hmmm....why not. We'll see.

I STILL have no clue about what will make it on the CD. Isn't that crazy???? I am so confused about it.

I said goodbye to Mark and Anand around 10:30. It was really sad for me, actually. I feel like I have found a really beautiful art-supporting community here in MA and love everyone so much. It is hard to believe that we aren't going to be getting together on Sunday or next week for a veggie potluck or jam session. How can I get so close so quickly? I am thankful for it.

Jim and Robby made me an awesome dinner for my farewell. They have been so great. Jim really offered me some perspective today with the songs and helped me to make good decisions with mixes and things. He also was just an all around amazing musician. I wish we could have had a wee jam or two. Robby was so loving and cool, too. If it wasn't for her, I would have never recorded "I Want A Home", so I am so thankful. She has no idea how awesome she really is. I wonder if anyone does.

To everyone in MA-thank you thank you for a transformative experience and a time I will never forget. I truly submerged myself completely. Working on this album felt like falling in love. I lost track of time, food, coffee, space, sleep- all of it. All for music. What a gift I have received.

I'll be driving home to WV tomorrow. I will have a few days off to rest and sleep. I hope you are taking good care.

coming up for air,

Judith

Thursday-day nine at the studio - April 3, 2008

Well, I have officially listened to myself sing the same thing over and over about a million times.

ugh.

We are mixing with a fabulously talented engineer, Mark Alan Miller of the band Out Out. (outout.radio-valkyrie.com) He is also the owner of this amazing studio. (www.slaughterhousestudio.com).

We worked on three songs today. They were songs that were stressing me out a bit, so I got a little weary. Anand and I got done around 2 am. I had had about all of the Judith I could handle. We won't get all of the mixing done before I leave, but we're getting a good chunk done. The rest we will do on internet meetings, with mp3's. Technology can be really cool.

In other news...I wrote a new song one night very very late. I wrote it on Anand's mandolin. The bad news it that I don't know how to play the mandolin. : ) Great mandolin players will cringe in my wake. I do love the song, though. I love mandolins and can't wait to get one someday.

I got to cuddle Mark's dog, Madison tonight. She is so so sweet. She only had eyes for Anand, though. Oddly, it made me feel better to know that my Zeus would probably ignore him. Does that make me a mean person? : )

love from studio land,
Judith

Wednesday-day eight? - April 2, 2008

I cannot believe that we basically recorded this album in 5 days. That is so crazy.

Updates, updates...do you want the truth? Today was a rough day for me. Feeling a little vulnerable or needy or something. I think I miss Frances and her support a lot. Plus, Zeus (my cat) is about the coolest thing in the world and I am DESPERATE for his love and affection. He loves me and follows me around...I miss that. That sounds bad, huh? If it makes you feel any better, I follow him around too.

We started mixing today! We got two and a half songs done and fixed a few things on other songs that were bugging us. There was a song I was getting ready to cut from the record and we got the idea of having Anand sing with me. He did and in 10 minutes we had saved the song. It sounded great. His voice is so clear and cool. Really smooth.

I still have no clue what to cut or keep. Oh well. It will all become apparent.

I am starting to feel a little bummed about leaving my new friends, Anand and Sturgis. Rose, too. They are like my soul-brothers (and sister). Wish they could just suck it up and move to West Virginia. So selfish on their part, really.

I watched the movie, Heartlands, again. I swear it gets more and more beautiful to me every time. It is absolutely my favorite movie of all time. I was a little sad and wanted to feel inspired so I could focus on the album more. It really helped.

I wish I could cook you all dinner. Lots of veggies and goodness. We could talk about how we're all connected and be nice to each other. I want to be nicer.

meaningful and sincere hugs to you all,
Judith

Tuesday-Day Seven (??) - April 1, 2008

Hi there,

Day seven was so exciting. We finally recorded the two punk rock songs I want on the album. We spent about 3 hours on them, but it sounds so freakin' cool. My throat is really thrashed from the screaming, but should heal up nicely.




April Fools.
That was too easy.
Truthfully,
I got up early today and went to pick up Miss Katie Sawicki from the airport. Kristen Gass drove in after just (literally) arriving back from Costa Rica. We all met at the studio to lay down back up harmonies.

It started off a little rough, but later in the day we had some really beautiful moments together. (Not those kind of moments). Katie rocked out on two songs with Anand-she sounded really lovely and was such a trooper. She was so prepared and came to the table with tons of great ideas. It was so beautiful to watch her and Anand record harmonies together at the same time. To paraphrase a poet I can't remember the name of off hand, " they hovered for awhile...they even flew a little". (By the way, if anyone can remember the name of that poet, can you send me a line? Edna St. Vincent Millay? it is one of the most beautiful poems I've ever read. I loved the book it was in so much that I stole it when I was 18 from a library. A few months ago, I started feeling really terrible about doing things like that and sent back all of the books I had ripped off from libraries. Unfortunately, I miss the books and that poetry. sidebar-too much information, Jude.)

Kristen sang on two songs. One of them, I was listening to her record and all of a sudden, I got chills and started sobbing. Pretty. Random. She took this song to an entire new level. I couldn't believe how brave she is with her vocals. I've never met anyone like her and am so grateful for her energy on this project.

Jim Armenti came in and layed down some wicket clarinet on one of the tracks. It sounds so cool. I am really excited about that song. it is my newest one. We weren't going to record it at all, I just sent Anand a demo for fun and now it is one of my favorites on the record.

I think we have decided on our first chop. (We recorded too many songs and have to cut it down a bit.) It is a bummer, but will hopefully reappear as a single on the website next year. We shall see.
Anand and I were at the studio until around midnight. It was a long day for me, but even longer for him. He is doing a fantastic job.

Enough about me. How are you doing?

Love, love,
Judith

Sunday and Monday-days off!! - March 31, 2008

After staying up until the wee hours of the morning...a couple of days off. I got up Sunday a.m. and...you guessed it...called Anand. He can't get a break. I arranged to meet him and picked up the first rough copy of all of our songs.

I don't have much time to write, but can tell you that I walked up and down the back roads of Westhampton listening over and over to each and every song. The sun was shining and I cried and cried. I am so happy with the rough cuts.
Wish you were here to listen with me.

Much love,
Judith

Day Five at the studio - March 30, 2008

Hello everyone!
It is Saturday...day five of recording. I have been over-hydrating, taking my vitamins, drinking tea out the ying yang, and doing my best to get some sleep. All so that I can preserve myself and my voice. My little vocal chords have really been working hard. Today marks the last day of singing for me. I can finally be a little more comfortable around folks who have colds (Sturgis has a cold...I didn't hold it against him, don't worry. He still got hugs.)

Our last song was "Bitterness". Remember my earlier update? This is the song that made me go out to my car and call Katie while bawling my eyes out. Today was no different. I think that because it means so much to me, I was too tense. No other songs have been tense for us, really.
I was so close to just forgetting about it when in walks Josh Relin. He has been playing with The Amity Front and drove here from Boston. He waltzed into the room and we all relaxed and nailed the song. it felt great. Josh has really saved some songs for me this week. He has been a true gentleman, also.
Rose and Sturgis left early (bummer), and Anand and I were left to our own devices. We worked on some guitar parts and some resonator guitar parts. (sidebar-the resonator guitar is the instrument of the album in my opinion...it is so stunning.)
I believe that Anand and I both fell asleep at two different points in the evening on the soundboard. We were so exhausted. We finally left around 1 or 2am. Neither of us had really gotten very much sleep the night before. Our days are running around 10 to 12 hours long. It doesn't feel like that, though. It feels wonderful.

Tomorrow is our day off. I don't know what I will do with myself. I have a feeling that I will miss Frances and my kitties a lot. Hopefully, I can stay busy with something. I definitely could use some sleep, that's for sure.

wish we could go get some good fair trade, organic, water-pressed decaf together...yum.

Judith

Day Four- talk about a pick me up - March 29, 2008

I broke my rules.
You know how I said (did I say?) that I didn't want to send any rough mixes to anyone until everything was done? I did. I sent. Frances started getting a little sick and Katie was absolutely relentless, so I sent them one song so they could get an idea of what we have been doing. They liked it. I was so happy to hear their excitement, too.

Day four was filled with so much energy. I was a little beat yesterday and didn't sing, so today it was great to have some energy back. We recorded three more songs today! We have officially recorded WAY too many songs and now I don't know what the heck to put out on the album!!
(The basic tracks of all of these songs have been done live with Anand playing a melody and Sturgis playing drums while I play and sing. Then we add bass. It makes for some AMAZING energy.)
Later in the day, Chris Pureka came to lay down some harmonies on two songs. Anand had a song he really heard her on and I had a vision about another song, so we couldn't wait for her to head in so we could see if our hunches were correct. They were. She did such a great job. One of the songs made me start crying when I listened back later. I love her music and really respect her as a musician. I believe the words I am looking for here are....she kicked the S@#T out of the songs. Thank you, Chris. So very, very much. If you have been hiding out in a little cottage somewhere with some hot new love interest and haven't heard Chris's music, check her out at www.chrispureka.com. You won't be disappointed.

We have been at the studio from around 12 or 1pm until 12 or 1am every day. Tonight was no different. Anand and I were both bloodshot and starving (well, I was-I don't like eating before I sing, so I didn't eat for a really long time...man, did my organic tomato soup at 2am taste FANFREAKINTASTIC!) and sitting at the controls listening and backing up the music. I am so proud of the job we are all doing.

There is magic here. I don't really think there is a market for this music, and finially, I don't really care. We are making music. Everyone on this album has been so full of grace and talent. We are all connecting and sharing our talents. It is overwhelming. I am completely submerged.

Much love going out to you,
Judith

Day Three at the Studio - March 28, 2008

Greetings everyone,
Well, day three started out with a little bit of a panic on my part. The mighty road warrior (also known as my KIA) wasn't doing so hot. Lucky for me, my drummer kicks major car-butt and offered to help me out.
Sturgis seriously came through for me and with the help of his friend, Mike, fixed everything right up. Apparently, my alternator belt decided to divorce me and didn't tell me. On top of spending the afternoon in the cold working on my car in jeans way too cute to be getting dirty, they only charged me some indian food and a buffalo chicken grinder. Not bad, eh?

While we were dealing with the car and a killer samosa, Anand was working away on bass parts for the songs and adding some way cool Harmonium parts to some tracks.

When I finally got to the studio, we started working with a really cool fiddle player named Josh Relin. Josh was a trooper. We were so happy with the track we had him in to do that we added him on another. He was really kind and so sweet. I hope he comes back on Saturday.

Most of today I sat around in a semi-uncomfortable chair listening to the same things over and over. Later, I worked with Anand on writing some harmony ideas for Chris (Pureka) who is coming in to sing on two songs. I am stoked about that. She kicks serious A#@ and I love her. I can't wait to fill you in on the songs she's on....top secret for now.

Katie Sawicki has been harassing me to send her rough mixes. I am standing my ground. I want her to be surprised when she comes out next week with Kristen Gass to sing harmonies (!!!).

Other than that, it was a pretty long day that ended with me not singing much of anything. It was actually a blessing since I sang so much yesterday. My throat is doing well, just a little tired.

Anand's family has been out of town, so he was up until 4am working on the album. He looks totally tough right now. He hasn't shaved and his hair is wild-he looks like a total rockstar, actually. He's pretty hardcore if you ask me.

I am having a great time and am so glad that the car is okay. I have broken my grocery budget but hey, I needed some flippin' produce!!!

I love you all. Muah!
Judith
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