As I venture farther and farther into my Exposed musical adventure, and as I receive more and more feedback from angels on my tour, I realize more and more how much I have learned, not only from those who ventured before me, but also from what the journey itself has taught me.
I have labeled this new album a tribute to some of my favorite heroes and heroines in songwriting, such as Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Suzanne Vega, Jennifer Warnes and George and Ira Gershwin. And as I receive the most amazing feedback from audience members and people who just happens to find me on the Internet, I understand on a deeper level just how much these people have shaped my life and music for the better.
Joni Mitchell was my first teacher in the art of playing guitar and singing from the heart and soul. Her album, Court and Spark, healed my heart over and over as I practiced every note and every syllable exactly the way she did it. The reason I chose Peoples Parties for my CD is because I can relate so much to every single person she describes. It makes me laugh and reminds me to have compassion for myself and others.
Song of Bernadette, Famous Blue Raincoat and Gypsy
Jennifer Warnes, Leonard Cohen and Suzanne Vega was referred to me by my dear friend Stefanie Stroh, the very last time I spoke to her. She disappeared after almost finishing her year-long vision quest, backpacking around the globe, and vanished only a day away from home. Stefanie loved Jennifer Warnes’ renditions of Famous Blue Raincoat and Song of Bernadette and urged me to get her album. She also sent me a copy of Suzanne Vega’s Solitude Standing. These songs carried me through years of desperately seeking Stefanie, who is still missing to this day.
Just the other day, as I had just finished my performance at Life on Wilshire, a man approached me, introduced himself as Steve Postell, Jennifer Warnes’ guitar player, expressed how much he enjoyed my set and wondered if he could have one of my CDs and release party fliers to give to Jennifer. I was of course thrilled and gave him two CDs:) Don’t you just love how synchronicity works?
Anne Brown made George and Ira Gershwin’s Summertime famous in 1936 as the first Bess in Porgy and Bess. She was my first voice teacher and remained my good friend and mentor until she passed away at ninety-six. This amazing woman, who refused to perform unless they changed the law to include “colored” people in the theatre, back in the day, helped me through the toughest years of my life. She treated me like a star when I felt like a complete failure in most arenas, as I was slowly recovering from a car accident that left me with a amnesia and brain damage. Through her guidance, I was able to sing from my heart with no holds bar, effortlessly and powerfully.
My Cat, Rascal
I feel unusually calm, as I sit here with my green tea latte at Starbucks in Culver City, finalizing the set list for tomorrow’s release concert at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood. It is perhaps the sadness of my beloved cat Rascal’s imminent departure that is laying so heavily on my chest… She has been with me for almost twelve years, and just like my childhood dog, Hippie, she has been part of all my creative adventures with a constant outpouring of adoration and unconditional love. I will sing for her tomorrow night, for her life and her love, as I share my tribute to those who have touched me so deeply with their song.
Thank you, Joni, Leonard, Suzanne, Jennifer, George, Ira, Anne and Rascal! You live on forever in my heart and in my song.
Love and Blessings, Caroline