"Greetings from Seattle on a sunny, bright day. As most of you know, we did two successful shows in San Francisco and I have to say, the whole thing was amazing! It was everything I hoped it would be and more. The musicians, my friends, Barbara Higbie, Julie Wolf, Jami Sieber, and Woody Simmons, and Vicki Randle, are so good!, Some of these players will be the core band for the upcoming shows, and some, like Teresa Trull, will join along the way as they are able, along with as many special guests as I can herd into this traveling feast. One of the best things about these players is that they are soloists in their own right and can take the lead at any time. I aim to feature their music in the first set and beckon the audience to know them better.
They are all so worth knowing better! Vicki, as most of you know, is on TV nightly on the Tonight Show and her long-awaited cd is about to be born. (We are taking pre-orders for her cd on my online store). Barbara Higbie plays piano and fiddle and sings...truly a triple threat! Actually, all these players are triple threats! Julie Wolf plays keyboards, accordion, and sings as well, and Jami Sieber adds a Zen-like focus with her electric cello and her voice. Woody Simmons, who played banjo on the original recording of " Hurts Like the Devil"; played her banjos and guitars and added vocals as well. Speaking of vocalists, we had the welcome presence of Holly Near, Rhiannon, and Margie Adam; and one of my great friends in this world, Bonnie Raitt, graced us on Saturday night, singing with me on"Cry, Cry, Cry" (played by the incredible singer/songwriter, Bonnie Hayes) and she played slide and sang on "Real Deal"; and"Hurts Like the Devil". That was a dream come true! As the final notes of the evening faded away, all of us were loathe to leave. It was magic!. We filmed this show (thank you Aarin Burch and crew !), ands recorded both nights as well (thanks to LA Jones and her assistants). We're not sure yet what we'll do with it, but at least it's in the can. Boo Price, Judy Werle and Leslie Ann Jones and Aarin Burch made sure that all was professionally handled and that all the TLC was there for all of us. We will be doing a version of this show all over the country, and Canada too.
We are so fortunate to have as our sponsors, Ms. Magazine and NCLR, two great groups involved in important endeavors. Judy and I were part of the Ms. Cruise a few weeks ago, and it was so interesting to travel with a group of like-minded folk, and yet to emerge into the "real world", where, I would venture to say, so many know very little, if anything at all, about Ms. Magazine, or, for that matter, feminist issues and concerns. We would break from sessions discussing policy and the future of feminism, and find ourselves surrounded by people who most likely were not part of the solution! But I think that's what makes politics real, and reminds us of the work still to be done! After an all-day pair of flights we arrived in Seattle, and the first thing we saw - I swear! - was a young woman, waiting for the red-eye flight to NYC, reading Ms. Magazine with my Changer picture on the back! These are the things that let you know you are on the right track. Since last I wrote, My dear Aunt Cap passed away while Judy and I were in AZ. She left this world on my Mom's birthday, but I think she thought it was Christmas. The day before, as I leaned down to kiss her soft old cheek, she said, clear as day, "I'm not afraid." We awoke the next day to that early phone ringing.and we just knew. I went with Mom and my sister and her partner to my aunt's bedside. She lay there, her glasses still on, mouth slightly open. I touched her body. I make myself do these things so that I will know, so that I can stand inside the Mystery. She was a good person, and will be missed. The Folk Alliance in Austin was crazy and fun and hard, hard work. So many guitars, so little time! Lots of great players, and one of the great moments for me was seeing Judy Collins in concert. I was so happy I thought I would explode! I saw the person I had chosen as my Lode Star. I recognized things I had incorporated into my own music, my own performance, and I saw myself down the line, in the Future, as I will be. I felt Hope rise in my heart once again. There's always room for that! A couple of stories: one happened as I waited for a flight, and overheard a man say to a group as they walked away: "Bob is soooo political! I'm not political myself. But, I'm so glad Bob is, though, because someone has to do it." The other story is one about New Orleans and a woman named Denise Thornton, a Republican whose husband was the general manager who supervised the Superdome. When the hurricane took her $700,000 house and everything in it, she found herself inside the Superdome, the "shelter of last resort" for five days. She concluded she never would see her house rebuilt, let alone her neighborhood, if she waited for government help, so she used her insurance proceeds and savings to rebuild on her own. She hopes to help others by turning her home into the "Beacon of Hope", a community center, soup kitchen and semi-public restroom, all rolled into one. I leave you with these stories to remind you once again that we - each one of us - can make a difference in this world. Stand up and say no if that's what you believe, or say yes if that's what is needed. I love and bless you all.