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Judith Avers: News/Journal

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

Day Two - March 27, 2008

Hi everyone,
I am still reeling from day two at the studio. Rose Sinclair came in, along with Sturgis and Anand to work on the bigger songs for the album. Rose is so awesome. She is such a talented musician and completely blew me away.

We recorded songs together live today. It was so amazing and connected...I am so excited. It felt like we were in the studio for days...like I've known these folks for years. I'm ready to load up the bus and take everyone with me on the road. I am so grateful for Anand and his choices in musicians.

So far, only one minor meltdown on my part...haha. Thankfully, my friend Katie Sawicki talked me down, so to speak. I just couldn't get this song down and was so ANNOYED with myself!! I'm over it and ready to try it again today. It doesn't help that the song title is, "Bitterness", huh? Wish me luck with it, if you can.

The songs are turning out completely different than I thought and at the same time, are exactly what I wanted. Does that make sense? Anand is such a connected producer and I have felt so comfortable and, well...free, I guess, is the word I'm looking for. I feel like someone cracked open my chest and the songs came pouring out. I am hoping that is a good thing. : )

My car has issues and I've gotta take it in for repairs, I guess. Kind of a bummer, but hopefully something really small (and inexpensive).

I had a moment at the studio, looking at all of the musicians, when I realized that normally, I would be washing dishes at that time. I am grateful for that job, but it is so far from what I feel I am to do here with my time on this planet. I am so thankful for this time and for everyone who made it possible for me to be doing this and making this art. I am shocked by my joy.

Thank you so very much!!
Hope you are getting your share and my share of cuddles from someone you love. I am a little love-sick. Kiss someone for me, okay?
Much love,
Judith

Lonesome Brothers and Sista Jude- first day of recording - March 25, 2008

I am sitting in the studio (www.slaughterhousestudio.com) listening and watching Anand and Mark running around setting up microphones and amps.

We start recording this evening. For once, I have no idea about what songs will or will not make the cut. It is an exciting time.

The first day is mostly setting up, so not much to report. I can say that MA is so beautiful and if you ever get a chance to head up here...do. The crosswalks are AMAZING!! (They actually stop the cars for pedestrians). I felt like royalty all day and just kept crossing the street over and over. It was grand.

If you get a chance and like alt-country-rock, you can check out one of the people I am staying with, Jim Armenti. He's in the band Lonesome Brothers and has such a cool, cool voice. They are on Myspace, or check out www.lonesomebrothers.com. As you may know, I am a HUGE fan of alt-country and americana. I have been daydreaming about my next album...a country folk rock thing...we shall see.

I am off to work on the next song. Thanks for the emails of encouragement and the good vibes.
More soon with pics!
Judith

Potholes and a pup named Pippin - March 21, 2008

I made it to MA safe and sound. Lots of rain and potholes! It is so beautiful here. I love it. I also met my new temporary roomies-very cool music lovin' folks. They have really been great with me. Jim even gave me some last minute guitar lessons. Along with some rabbits and fish, they have an awesome dog named Pippin and my new best friend...a cat named Sancho.

We had our first rehearsal yesterday. We worked for about 10 hours. It went great. The drummer, Sturgis, was awesome and so down-to-earth. Anand is so patient and comes up with beautiful arrangements. I am really starting to feel good about this project.

I was so dazed afterwards, I got all the way back to my temporary diggs and realized I had left my guitar somewhere along the way. If you knew me well, you would know that this is VERY unlike me...I'm much too paranoid and untrusting. Lucky for me, it was safe and sound on Anand's porch.

THAT was a heavy dose of gratitude-pie, let me tell you.

I am frantically (well, I'm shooting for frantically) working on my timing and on a couple of last minute considerations for the album (top secret).

Hope you're doing good out there.

More soon,
Judith

I was thinking... - March 8, 2008

There are only two weeks left until I head north to record the album. I've been trying to practice, but have been more drawn to write. A lot of new songs have been peeking their little heads up out of the snow. I am happy about that.

The fundraiser last Friday was so fun. Everyone that performed did such an incredible job. Eric Fritzius' piece was so well written and interesting. Devon Preston wrote a beautifully cool piece and read. Michael Buttrill and Luna performed the sweetest skit I've seen in a long time. The High Rocks girls wrote pieces about themselves and High Rocks-they were so well spoken, I was so impressed!!

As far as the comedy portion, I think it went good. I am sure my mother would have been horrified if she had heard it-that's always a fun sign. I had a blast and got to cross something off of my list. (okay, okay-I've wanted to do stand up and have had it on my "before I keel over" list for about 3 years). I think everyone liked it.

Thanks to everyone who came out in the blizzard and who bought items at the service and goods auction. You are appreciated.

I am going to go play my new song and feel guilty about not playing my other songs, but wanted to drop a quick note here.

Hope you all are toasty warm and being good to yourselves and others. I am sure trying my best.
Mucho love,
Judith

new pictures - February 24, 2008

Hello hello hello,
I have been working hard on getting over a mean little cold. If I see one more cup of tea...

I digress.

I got stir-crazy in our lovely little home yesterday and took some photos. I also added a couple of funny ones from the road.

Check them out and let me know what you think! (Thanks to all of the kind guestbook comments...I love reading them!)

Hope you are healthy and happy and sniffle-free.

judith

Jump on it - February 20, 2008

Hey everyone,
I am sitting in the Wild Bean in Lewisburg, West Virginia, drinking the best cup of cocoa I have ever tasted. Seriously.

I am working on the fundraiser Feb. 29th. Leap Day. Check out the calendar page for details. It should be so fun. I am incredibly nervous about the comedy portion.

Sometimes I commit to things before thinking them through. Yikes.

Wanted to let you all know about a CD that is getting ready to be released. Katie Sawicki's new album...Time Spent Lost.

Katie and I are serious friends, I know, but that doesn't mean I have to like her album...I just can't help it. I have been obsessed with it and it's not even my normal style. Every song is unique and thoughtful and so well done. I am so impressed. My favorite tracks?? Losing Ground (!!!! Why oh why didn't I write this song??), Drown (stunningly sparse and so personal), and Good Thing with the brilliant and innovative Kristen Gass. Chris Pureka, whom I also love, makes an appearance on the track, Hanging On.

I am not kidding here, good things will happen for Katie, just you wait and see. This album really surprised me and I love surprises.

More soon, I have made it a goal to journal more often.

How am I doing so far??

A little puny, but I'm working on it!!

Love to you,
Judith

(Sneak peek...Katie will be making a brief WV appearance during her national CD release tour later this year for all of my WV fans and friends.)

Judith to do stand-up. Here we go... - February 15, 2008

Okay, okay..
I lost a bit of a bet. A big bet, actually, and now find myself in new territory...

stand up comedian territory that is...
but fear not

I am not going down lightly.

I will see you on February 29th and I not only will I be bringing my guitar and my (NEW!) songs...I will be carrying the finest set of jokes and humor this nation has ever seen.

Well, maybe not EVER seen. And, um...maybe some of it you have seen BEFORE...but I will bring it.

I am a woman of my word.

See you there.

An unforgettable night. - November 18, 2007

Hi Everybody,

The fundraiser was a big success. We now have a fourth of our budget raised! It is starting to become a reality, and I am so thankful. If you couldn't make the party and would like to be a part of this big adventure, I have listed investment options below.

Special thanks to everyone who made our special event so amazing. What an evening! Erica Lipps on cello was so lovely. Katie Sawicki and Frances Southwick held the whole thing together and the Bakery was beyond kind. My gratitude cannot be expressed enough to everyone in attendance.
We are going to get there, I just know it.

Much love, Judith

Donation incentives:

$25-signed copy of the new CD sent out before anyone else gets a chance to buy it.

$50-Two signed copes of new CD sent out early, plus a copy of "Strong Hands" sent right to your door.

$100-Four signed copies of the new CD and a signed limited-edition Judith Avers poster.

$250-Eight signed copies of the new CD, two "Strong Hands", one poster and a Judith Avers T-shirt.

$500-Your name or your business name in the liner notes of my CD. A thank you that lasts the life of the album. (We'll be connected forever.) Five copies of new album.

$1000-Your name or your business name in the liner notes of my CD, and on my next tour in your area, a private house concert in your home for you and your friends. A one hour, unplugged show that is close to the source as you can get. Five copies of new album.

$1500 and above-my undying love (although most nice people already have it.), plus, and I've never done this...I will meet with you for one hour and together we will come up with your "story". It could be the story of how you fell in love, the history of your parents, a favorite event, whatever....we will discuss it...I will take some notes...and by February 14th, 2008 will hand you your story in the form of a disc. You will receive a personalized song with your story in time for Valentines day. I have to admit, it does sound romantic, doesn't it?
Five copies of the new album and a permanent place in my hug line.

$3000 and above-You receive a signed copy of the EKG I will need after I have the heart attack caused by your donation.

Please send checks made payable to Judith Avers, the old fashioned way, to:

Judith Avers
HC 37 Box 215
Lewisburg, WV 24901

Please remember to include your contact information, including: name, address, phone number and email address.

Thank you so,
Judith

You Are Invited...yes, you. - November 5, 2007

Hello everyone,

On November 16th, I am doing something I have never done. I am hosting a GIANT fundraising event in Lewisburg, West Virginia to benefit my new album. I am so excited to get back into the studio and record the new CD and would love your help. It will be magical night, I promise.

Details:

You are invited to An Evening With Judith Avers
A fundraiser to benefit Judith's new CD project
Friday November 16th, 2007
7:00 pm
Lewis Theater
113 North Court Street
Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901

Light Refreshments will be served.
Sponsored in part by The Bakery and ALL Arts, LLC.

* * * * *
If you can't make the show, but would like to support the CD project, I have listed the investment incentives below. I feel so blessed by the many years of fan and friend support and thank you in advance for your generosity.

Donation incentives:

$25-signed copy of the new CD sent out before anyone else gets a chance to buy it.

$50-Two signed copes of new CD sent out early, plus a copy of "Strong Hands" sent right to your door.

$100-Four signed copies of the new CD and a signed limited-edition Judith Avers poster.

$250-Eight signed copies of the new CD, two "Strong Hands", one poster and a Judith Avers T-shirt.

$500-Your name or your business name in the liner notes of my CD. A thank you that lasts the life of the album. (We'll be connected forever.) Five copies of new album.

$1000-Your name or your business name in the liner notes of my CD, and on my next tour in your area, a private house concert in your home for you and your friends. A one hour, unplugged show that is close to the source as you can get. Five copies of new album.

$1500 and above-my undying love (although most nice people already have it.), plus, and I've never done this...I will meet with you for one hour and together we will come up with your "story". It could be the story of how you fell in love, the history of your parents, a favorite event, whatever....we will discuss it...I will take some notes...and by February 14th, 2008 will hand you your story in the form of a disc. You will receive a personalized song with your story in time for Valentines day. I have to admit, it does sound romantic, doesn't it?
Five copies of the new album and a permanent place in my hug line.

$3000 and above-You receive a signed copy of the EKG I will need after I have the heart attack caused by your donation.

Please send checks made payable to Judith Avers, the old fashioned way, to:

Judith Avers
HC 37 Box 215
Lewisburg, WV 24901

Please remember to include your contact information, including: name, address, phone number and email address.

Thank you so,
Judith

Carnegie Hall, Josh Ritter and little ole me.... - October 31, 2007

Hey everyone,
I thought I would write a few words on the amazing show with Josh Ritter. (I can't bring myself to write "Josh". It sounds too familiar. I know, I know...but I need a few musical pedastals. Enter Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.)

I hope, by now, you all have had a chance to hear Josh's brilliant music. (www.joshritter.com) I had already purchased two tickets to see this talented singer/songwriter when I got asked to open. I was thrilled.
I was very nervous. I didn't want to be, but I was. My friend Erica Lipps played cello with me and sounded so lovely. There was a minor hiccup with the sound when I first went on, but it quickly got figured out and we were on our way.
Josh and his band were so very kind to us and so gracious. I thank them for their professionalism and music. It is really a treat to play with someone who is so talented and still so kind.
I loved it. REALLY.

Thanks to everyone who came out and thanks to everyone at Carnegie Hall. I had a brilliant time.
Oh, yeah, a note to Josh...let's be friends already. Geesh. You can produce my next album and I can follow your bus around in my car and sing harmonies. Sounds lovely to me. Did I mention I make a GREAT cup of decaf?

Love to you all,
Judith

Judith Avers To Play With Josh Ritter - October 10, 2007

Judith was asked to support Josh Ritter October 13, 2007 at Carnegie Hall in West Virginia. The show starts at 7:30 pm sharp. Tickets are $22 and are selling out quickly. Thank you, Carnegie Hall and Josh Ritter.

Back from Anguilla-a note from Judith - September 1, 2007

Hey there,
I am back from Anguilla. I barely missed the hurricane and almost went down in a little plane outside of St. Marteen, but I'm safe and sound in West Virginia.

For those of you who don't know, this was my first trip outside of our lovely country. I can't even find the words to express the trip.
I worked with very talented teachers, Russel Kaback, Joanna Burt-Kinderman, and Father Wilmoth Connor. I taught songwriting. Russel taught music theory and Joanna and Father worked together to teach guitar.

By the end of the week, these children were playing beautifully.
I feel very proud of the job I did there. I feel we really helped these bright young people to write their own songs, using their own words and drawing from their own experiences.
At the time I went to Anguilla, there was a kind of movement happening on the island. The island had had a string of violence prior to my visit. The community rallied together and gave everyone one day off to join together in peace. To DO something to combat this violent energy. The rally was very powerful and the children of the Stringray Project were asked to come and perform as part of a day-long rally. I was very excited and nervous. Would our songs be done?

I didn't need to worry. The kids pulled together and practiced extra hard. The rally was INTENSE. I haven't ever seen anything like it. The speakers, ministers and performers were so vivid and alive. I felt very fortunate to be able to attend.
Our group had a drumming group (WOW!! AMAZING! Akeil and Farra you are naturals-you ALL sounded great.) and then all of us came out and sang two songs. The first was "I'll Fly Away". We wanted to sing a song that would comfort the families of the victims. It was lovely. Next, we sang the original song the kids wrote titled "Our Country is Crying". I cannot tell you the power and beauty in this song. I did not write this song. No adult wrote this song. The students wrote it. I helped facilitate and it just came out. I knew I had to tell you all about it. So beautiful. We were even asked to perform on Anguilla radio where I played a few of my songs and we played "Our Country is Crying".

I am posting a few songs the group wrote on my site. Just go to the music section of my site and click on the Anguilla tracks to listen to the work. I'll put up the lyrics as soon as I can. Feel free to post comments on the guestbook page, the students are checking my website and I think they would love to hear your input.
Thanks to Russell for recording the kids! Thanks to Ijahnya Christian for being such a wonderful host to me and thanks to Joanna and Josh for letting me live with them for the week.
My time on this island was very powerful for me. I wished I could have stayed longer. The people were so kind, the kids were so extremely talented (keep singing Jaymese. Start a band Santiago. Deon-you are a rockstar. Diquan...never put down that guitar. You are so talented.), and the water was something out of a dream. I felt at home in the ocean in a way I never have. The churches and their music, the BBQ (!!) and the energy...all was not wasted on me. I thank you Anguilla for a blessed week. I thank you Stingray for having me.

If you are interested in supporting this cool, smart and necessary group...please visit

http://www.bankiebanx.net/Stingray.html
for more information on how you can contribute. The kids are worth it!!
Much love,
Judith

Judith Buys Stock in Organic Bug Repellant - August 1, 2007

Hey everybody! It's Judith!

As most of you know, I work part-time for an amazing organization called High Rocks. These ladies are intense! High Rocks empowers, tutors, and propels teenage girls of West Virginia forward. I'm so happy to be a part of it. In addition to tutoring, college trips, and torturing these girls into positive decision-making and future-oriented thinking, we also hold free camps for the girls. Last year was my first camp and I have never seen anything like it! Not only did they have me living in a lean-to without any electricity or running water, but I also had insomnia for the entire camp. It was worth it. It was beautiful. These are not your ordinary camps, people. These girls build BUILDINGS. They make DOCUMENTARIES. They learn how to start their own BUSINESSES. They learn the history of women in America...you get the idea. It's hardcore. These girls learn that they are limitless...so does the staff.

This year, I was invited to work at 2 separate camps for High Rocks. The first camp, Camp Steele, I would be co-leading the Nutritional Wellness division of camp with the beautiful Brynn Kusic. We taught these girls about all kinds of funky, yummy foods! We had a fabulous intern, Emma, and I think we took rustic cooking to a whole new level! It was great.

The next camp I was invited to join was New Beginnings. This camp, I would be co-teaching with Kendra Vincent. Guess what we were teaching. Creative expressions!! I couldn't believe that one of my jobs in this world was teaching these girls how to meditate. It was crazy! They were painting, writing songs, learning how to think on their own...I was really proud of the job we did. I was really impressed with the maturity and insight of these powerful teen girls. I definitely did not have a program like this growing up. At times, I wonder if I get more out of this job than the girls do. Either way, I continue to be impressed with High Rocks.

If you are looking for an organization to support that works at the grassroots level to teach the youth how to change their own lives and support their local communities, I encourage you to visit

www.highrocks.org
for more information on ways you can be a part of this wonderful family.

P.S. A few highlights from my life as a "camper" (for your enjoyment):

>Finally slept through the night without freaking out about a bear coming to eat my head...I actually started to love the bears.

>Coming to terms and accepting my shelter's mouse hotel. It is true...there are no toilets. Enough said.

>Singing all the girls to sleep underneath the stars at what is now a High Rocks tradition: musical star parties.

>No, Judith, that isn't a bear about to eat your head. Stop screaming. It's only my dog (how humiliating).

Judith Avers Chosen To Teach Songwriting in Anguila - July 10, 2007

Judith was chosen by Project Stingray as a guest teacher and will be off to the Caribbean to teach songwriting to the local youth the week of August 12.

Please visit

http://www.bankiebanx.net/Stingray.html
for more information on this wonderful organization.

Thanks to everyone at Stingray and special thanks to Joanna Burt-Kinderman for this opportunity.

Judith Avers chosen to play at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival! - July 2, 2007

The New Artist Showcase, one of the most popular events of the festival weekend, will be held from 12:00 noon to 4:30pm on Friday, July 27 on the Main Stage.

The following performers (listed in alphabetical order, not order of appearance) were selected from over 450 applicants:

Anthony da Costa
Beaucoup Blue
Bob Sima
Chris O'Brien
Dawn Kenney
Derek Aramburu
Edie Carey
Five2
Heather Waters
Jennings & Keller
Joe Crookston
Joe Jencks
Judith Avers
Ken Bonfield
Lindsay Mac
Nick Annis
Randall Williams
Ryan Fitzsimmons
Sandy Cash
Siobhan Quinn & Michael Bowers
Stephanie Marshall
The Whispering Tree
Vienna Teng
Zoe Mulford

Congratulations, Judith!
We will see you there!
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