Taking life as it comes…

 

I had the great joy of participating as an artist in this year’s Kent Creativity Festival at Kent State University this year. I was delighted when they had accepted my proposal to have a simple, mini songwriting booth, but when the big date arrived I was overcome with anxiety: “What right did I have? What do I even have to offer these participants anyways? This is going to be a disaster!!! What was I thinking?”

Shortly after I’d set up my outdoor “studio,”a young student named Josie stopped by to do an audio-recorded interview about my “art activity.” We had a nice discussion about the connection between art and health, or in my case, the direct connection between my songwriting and my mental health history. The one question that made me think was this: “What would be my measure that this activity was a success today?”

I guessed that I’d measure the successes by the smiles of the people who walked away inspired by the songwriting we did in the 5 minutes we shared that morning.  Or perhaps the twinkle in the eye of a child(or even an adult) who believed for the first time they could DO THIS! If that is my measure, this activity was a splendid success! Parents, kids and grandparents…uncles and aunts….toddlers, teens, college students, and townsfolk all walked away with smiles,  while holding their new little songwriting notebook!!

My thoughts about yesterday’s event lead me back to a favorite Maya Angelou quote:

Maya angelou quote

 

The most important thing about yesterday wasn’t some 4 point presentation for better songwriting, or whether or not I had extensive brochures and handouts, or even the best banner to draw attention to my activity over others. And it wasn’t really about them remembering what I said… it’s about how they felt as they were in the process of creating a song, unique to their story. It was about the sense of pride they took away having accomplished this, and the laughter we shared as we set their creation to rhythm using children’s percussion instruments. It felt fulfilling, and I went home feeling satisfied.  Thank you so much to each and every little group that participated yesterday. I know many left encouraged by the experience, but please truly know, that I was the one inspired… by all of you!

 

On the gig side: We are getting more and more calls from area coffeehouses to play gigs!! Please check back frequently for updates to our Upcoming shows link on the top menu, as well as our Facebook fan page for the latest, most updated news as it comes in:

**********Two gigs on October 14th**************

10/14- Debord Halloween Festival at Lock 3 in Akron (acoustic Stage) at 2pm-3pm

10/14-Cafe O’Play in Stow, Ohio from 5:30-7:30

November 2nd- Morning Owl Coffeehouse in Munroe Falls, Ohio

 

See you out and about! Thank you for supporting us and our music-making!

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Let’s hear it for Fall!!

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It’s a beautiful day here in Northeast Ohio! Clear blue skies…optimal temperatures…leaves are just beginning to turn…and sooner than we know it ( or even want it) the Christmas decorations will be gracing the department store aisles!

It’s so hard to hang on to the “present”; the pressures to think ahead, get ahead, and stay ahead squeeze out the enjoyment of living that present moment.  Something I learned a long time ago, and too often forget is this: “The present moment is the only reality we ever really experience.”

So maybe I need to enjoy watching my son thrive in his freshman year in high school, instead of worrying about him being accepted to the college of his choice four years from now! Or maybe I can begin to appreciate the twinkle in my older son’s eyes as he talks about his first girlfriend and meticulously prepares to take her to homecoming, instead of worrying about his wedding someday.   There is something to be said for preparing your kids for the things they will see and experience in their adult lives… but not at the expense of that precious, present moment where life really exists.

In that  same spirit, I hope to capture the present in my own story.  Over the next two months, I have four shows!  I am overwhelmed by the response to the show at Cafe O’play last month, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you  at one of these October shows…

On October 9th, from 8pm-11pm… we will be returning to the Blue Rock Cafe in Hudson, Ohio! The gang will all be there! Kenny, Jason, and I are excited for the chance to play at an establishment that is so supportive of local musicians! (And the fact that they have THE best Reuben sandwich ever doesn’t hurt either!) This is the perfect atmosphere for a date night or girls’ night out! (Please note the $5 cover charge, all of which goes to the musicians…)

The next day (October 10th @ 2pm) we will be playing at the locally renown Debord Halloween Festival.  Essentially this is a great big Halloween party, with all kinds of vendors, activities and, of course, live music on two stages.  It is FREE to attend, and people are encouraged to dress up in costumes and bring their kids for all the fun! Located in Hardesty Park in Akron Ohio

Later in the month, on October 24th @ 7pm, we get the privilege of playing in Burton, Ohio, where it all started for me… Coffee Corners in downtown Burton!  This quaint shop has become a hub for many musicians in this area!  With a full coffee and tea bar, sweet treats, and local wines, this is an ideal atmosphere for a date night! Come and enjoy the warmth and coziness of this gem nestled in scenic Geauga County!

That’s October in a nutshell… We will be closing out the 2015 schedule on November 22nd for a special afternoon show at Cafe O’play in Stow.  Put it on your calendar… More info on that one later…

That’s all for now! Enjoy the present moments in your life and help me to do the same by coming to one of these events! You WILL enjoy yourself! Besides, don’t we all deserve a little fun once in a while!

Thank you all!

JTB

PS  My  charming husband put some videos on you tube of two new originals that we did at Art in the Park! Look for the link in the side bar if you are interested…

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October 11th is the Day!!

It looks like my EP will be ready for my gigs on October 11th!!! Mark your calenders!  We will be selling handmade hard copies of my very first EP at both the DeBord Halloween Festival and Coffee Corners on that Saturday!  SO nervous… but excited!!!  Each Copy will have four of my original songs professionally recorded for your listening enjoyment…more info to come!