In 2014, I gathered up a collection of songs I had written over the previous decade and recorded on voice memo, and I sent them to a local producer, friend and musician Isaac Wardell. I released that EP in January 2015 with a CD release show at the Southern, and then I went back to work as a hair and make-up artist, small business consultant, mother and wife.
When I stepped off the stage at The Southern, I will never forget the feeling of utter joy and also trepidation. "Will I get to do this again?.. how?"
It took 3 years and a multitude of courageous steps forward, pauses to ponder, steps backward to consider. In the meantime, in the wee hours of the evening or mid-morning or in the shower, I continued to write music, words and stories, and I offered this to myself.. that I didn't have to do more with it than what could be done for the time and place I was in, and if that space changed, I would do more.
My grandmother died in February of 2016. It was a slow crumble into dementia, and we could feel the fabric of her personality unraveling in our hands. There’s nothing quite like watching someone beloved lose a sense of themselves and the people around them.
Shortly after she had passed away, and we had driven to her funeral in the south, my parents came to visit. We reminisced about Mo, as she was called, and our time with her. As they were leaving to return to Texas, I stood on the front porch of our house to watch them leave, and I lifted my hands to wave goodbye. My father rolled down his window and called out, “You look just like Mo, she always waved goodbye with both hands.”
I could see his tears, and I could feel mine burning the in corners of my eyes. He was right. She couldn’t remember herself, but I could remember her.
I went up stairs, and I wrote the first single, “Both Hands.”
In the years that have followed that, other beloved friends in our community have have died; our country has seen a wave of tragedy and sorrow - of grief and determination. What is our identity?
It’s not that this EP seeks to make a statement about a collective identity, but it has helped me grapple with grief and grit and how they tend each other and us in the midst of life’s beauty and suffering.
I want people to hear this EP because I believe it is an invitation into the quiet perseverance of naming our losses and claiming our strengths.
There are some jiving songs and some tender songs, and isn't that life? Strength and tenderness.
What will this money allow me to do?
-Provide you with some *hopefully* good music on this life's pilgrimage - but in more technical terms.... Finish up the EP with 5 full songs and videos with incredible producer Steve Greenwell and cinematographer Nazar Melconian
-Market the EP to a broader audience and get this music into as many hands as possible! (so I can continue to make more music!)
-Do a mini tour this year! Working one some cities and dates right now!
-Practical things like: Pay for travel, expenses, childcare, CDs, design materials, MERCH! etc. and all the goodies you’ll get with your support!
-and anything else related to making this a great experience for the listener/viewer/FAN! :)
-Do a ROCKIN' CD release show with a Full BAND!
ALSO will have stretch GOALS! If we exceed the cost, I have 1-2 additional songs I will be able to record or a KILLER music video with NAZ (who did the both hands video) and a first look & listen will be given to anyone who has supported the kickstarter!
STRETCH GOAL 1: 13,500
STRETCH GOAL 2: 17,000
Risks and challenges
Are there risks and challenges?
The main risk for this project, as with all projects like this, is that it won’t come together for some unforeseen reason. Additionally, doing anything on a larger scale is difficult, (e.g. creating music, having it produced, coordinating musicians, etc.). That said, the scale coordination on this project is similar to what I’ve had to do in managing my family the last eight years! And the main reason I think these risks are minimal with this project is that I tend to be optimistic in setting goals and tenacious in meeting them.
I also have a huge network of support, and I'm learning more and more how to ask for help. :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)