Music sweet music I wish I could caress' Jimi Hendrix
'I started singing in my older brother's band at 15 because he said I should, allowed on stage but not in the bar. I had thought to be a ballerina but my knees gave out and I gave in, hiding behind my hair back with the drummer. The rush of singing, this intense mysterious territory within me, storming through me, where did it come from? I decided not to question it too much.
I was adopted by some road warriors of the blues, Bobby Stewart and J Greg. These guys didn't believe in monitors so I was forced to lean my terrified self out into a room and audience, hearing the mains breathe, hearing the whole sound.
I was beginning to learn that this music thing was all about listening, connecting, giving and letting go...and I wanted to believe that it didn't have much to do with me. There was no way I could belt out Aretha Franklin's Dr. Feel Good without drummer Bill Wilson holding back and then kicking me in the ass. My big claim to fame from this time is an article on me (most likely I said I was 21) in Easy Rider magazine; my mom attempted to order the back issue but they kept sending her paraphernalia catalogues.
I have since been in many bands: jam bands, funk, soul, blues, rock , trippy 60's and a disco show band 'Shag'. A working musician traveling in loaded vans, showing up in some town hall or nightclub, at festivals, raves, weddings, ski resorts or at a tree planters' party up some crazy logging road. Fund raisers are big where I come from.
Mom and Dad had a floor to ceiling library, boards and bricks and all these records. Us kids rocked out on the old couch as our stage to the Stones 'Exile On Main Street', boarded our Yellow Submarine and never questioned that we weren't the egg man and the walrus koo koo kitchooo.
We had folk night at our big brown house in Nelson, BC; black instrument cases and beer cases filled the house and then the inevitable time for bed... falling into slumber to 'the night they drove ol' dixie down'. Music was as integral and as normal as a peanut butter and honey sandwich. JJ Cale helped dad do the dishes and I still believe that the songs of Bob Dylan make bread rise and the laundry do itself.
As a child I was extremely sensitive and sometimes complicated; the inner life of an artistic temperament drew me to faerie world and creativity. I loved to make art, to dance and sing, because I could disappear. Socially I was one of the weird kids, so I was fortunate to have 5 siblings, books, ballet, piano and violin lessons, choir and recorder at school. We were read to as well.
I still disappear into creativity; for me it is such an introverted in- the-moment experience. It is medicine, revealing myself to me, a safe haven for questions, confession and desires, a way to unravel and try to make sense of what I see and don't want to see in our world, even the gift of total distraction.
I have, and as Nina Simone sings in the traditional 'Nobody's fault but mine, If I die and my soul be lost', wrestled with a lack of confidence, strength of character and discipline to expose and share my inner life, my creativity. I am so much more comfortable and experienced at singing other people's creations.
I have found profound solace in the writing of songs. They have saved me, soothed me, haunted me, woken me in the middle of the night, kept me out of trouble and got me in trouble; they have an energy and drive of their own. I am grateful to all who encourage me to share my songs and I am ready to because I am...."