In the music scene here, I've been playing drum set with a folk rock band (though I told them that once they found a permanent "real" drummer, I'd hand over the drumsticks). I love trying to find the right groove for each song and listening for transitions to find the perfect complementary rhythms. I also had the opportunity to rehearse with a bluegrass / country swing band on mandolin, and it was great to play with such a high caliber of musicians who have been playing in the scene for years - for some of them, probably longer than I've been alive. I'm not sure what the future is of either of these, but they're both great musical challenges and comprised of outstanding musicians and great people, and I'm glad to have the opportunity now.
I've also met an incredible number of great musicians / people by starting the Coalition of Women Songwriters. We had our first meeting this past week, and I was so inspired by the women I met and how much mutual respect and love there was in the room. Between meetings, the conversations and support continue online through our Facebook page, and I love seeing such a strong community of women embracing each other, which in no way reflects the competitive, critical side of the music industry. These women are so open and positive with each other, and I'm really excited to see the direction the group moves and the impact we'll have not just on each other, but also on the larger community.
In addition to the songwriters' organization, I'm really thrilled to start building a community on a larger scale through the use of my NEW TINY HOME! I'll be picking her up at the end of my first tour (!!!) with River Glen this January. We're in the process of organizing the specifics, but the plan is for River to tour to Colorado, for us to do split bills around the area here, and then tour back to (and around) the Iowa / Illinois / Wisconsin area and then down to the St. Louis area. I'll be picking up my tiny home there with a rental truck while River continues heading south. My tiny home (Wanderlust) will be a great space to facilitate big things. It needs some work, but I'll be taking her on tours with me in the future. I plan to host and film concerts for area musicians wherever I go as Tiny Porch Concerts (similar to NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts). I'll also be teaching songwriting and creative writing workshops in libraries across the U.S. with my tiny home, and I plan to have Wanderlust be a tiny free library on wheels (similar to tiny libraries in various communities). I plan to build shelves along the upper perimeter inside (with plexiglass ledges). I'm hoping to collect one book from every fan, family member, and friend - that one book that everyone needs to read - and for the donor to write a letter to the reader on the inside cover. While I'm sharing our library, people who borrow a book have to promise to either return that same book to Wanderlust or donate whatever that one book is for them (or, even better, do both). This is a great way to share the love of literacy and a sense of community across state lines, and I love the idea of helping facilitate this web of connection between all of us and taking part of you with me on the journey. The great thing about Wanderlust is that the people that are my place (my community, my tribe) will be wherever I go.