‘winter dark always takes me by surprise ~
I think it’s the middle of the afternoon and all of a sudden the sky is the color of slate
with thick, clotted clouds lowering themselves upon the buildings and the trees’
Winter Dark ~ Northern Border
Like most of the rest of the country, winter has hit big-time after a slow start. With
a week plus of below zero temps it’s pretty hard to want to go outside for ANY reason. Which means it’s a good time to stay inside and write, play music, and work on career business. The wonderful Annie Capps (Swampstreet Design) is putting together a new website for me, so that should be up and running fairly soon, complete with live video (at last!), updated reviews and bio info. My almost~yearly Ark 29th Annual Birthday Show is coming up on Feb 11th and we’ll be taping that one as well, so there will be even newer live video. We (Luke Panning on fiddle, Len Wallace on accordion and David Mosher on everything else) are working on some new material as well as polishing up some of the older things ~ so put Feb 11th on your calendar and come spend a lovely Sunday night with us.
For now, stay warm and safe on those roads ~ and thanks for checking this out!
The weather has made a dynamic shift here in Michigan and it feels much more like fall than summer. In the past few months there have been some fun neighborhood bonfires, a two-week stint of teaching songwriting at Interlochen Arts Academy, various gigs (including my regular Pasty Belt Tour in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), a week residency working with disadvantaged girls from a local shelter and school, and the usual drama with my undisciplined garden. I also have a new patio beside my deck ~ thanks to uber neighbor David Brassfield ~ and all in all, I think it’s been a pretty productive summer. Now it’s time to bring on the changing leaves, apple cider and yes (eventually) snow!
For some reason my usually so-so garden is bursting at the seams already, and most likely because it’s all in pots this year. My neighbor and pal is going to help me put a patio in my old garden spot (which didn’t work that well anyway) and I found some large cement Celtic design pavers to put at the four corners of the patio, which I thinkwill look quite cool. I’m excited to have a project that doesn’t involve recording or publishing!
If things go according to plan I should have a major re-do of this website sometime in July ~ I have new pictures, reviews, etc. already so it’s just a matter of getting it put together. Annie Capps does that part, not me.
Some highlights of this summer are a week of writing songs with disadvantaged girls through Lost Voices, my usual trip to the Upper Peninsula in July, and a two-week songwriting instructor gig at Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan. I’ve been warned that it’s quite intense but I’m looking forward to it. Details of these performances and more are at the Shows page of my site.
Thanks for checking in and have a great summer!
Winter has long since settled in, along with varying amounts of snow and ice.
The election is over with and it’s going to be a very long, cold few years, so it’s time to wrap up tight and hunker down. Or at least for now, as things begin to unfold in the new regime and we see how they look.
Other than a quick trip southish in March, I’m staying pretty close to home for awhile ~ working on all things music ~ writing/recording/booking/managing/rehearsing ~ trying to stay on top of it all! Within a month or two I’m hoping to have a whole new website up and running, too ~ all those behind-the-scenes things that have to get done somehow.
As it says on the home page, the Ireland trip is almost all booked. There are two slots left so if you’ve been thinking you really want to go this time ~ DO IT! You may never have a better chance!
For now, I’m wishing for you all that you stay warm and dry and I hope to see you somewhere down the road.
It’s not officially winter yet ~ in fact it’s not even unofficially winter yet! It’s warm, balmy, and no snow, but I’m hopeful. I’m not motivated enough to get plastic on the windows or to finally put the garden to bed or to stash the bike in the basement, and if you can’t tell, I’m one who really likes winter. Not forever, when it’s -0 in late February, but the change of seasons always makes me glad I live in the north. It’s all magic to me.
I’m spending the last months of 2016 finishing ‘The Irishman’s Daughter’ and promoting my book ‘Henny & Benny Bunyan and the Maple Syrup Adventure.‘ I’m also investigating writing a grant for a film project I’ve been thinking about for some years ~ if that comes through I’ll post more about it.
So for now, stay safe, watch for deer and have a good season!
Summer heat is gone but the heat is on to wrap up the new CD
‘The Irishman’s Daughter’! This project has been in the works for a long time, and after several set-backs for various reasons, we’re reaching the end of the tunnel. Yay! The first official CD release concert is at the Ten Pound Fiddle Coffeehouse in East Lansing, Michigan and I’ll be accompanied by fiddler Luke Panning, accordionist Len Wallace, & Doug Berch on whistles. I’m working to line up other venues to celebrate this album and will post them as soon as they firm up. If you want one in your neighborhood ~ or living room for that matter ~ contact me and we’ll see what we can set up.
The Other Big Thing is the launch of my first children’s book, ‘Henny and Benny Bunyan and the Maple Syrup Adventure’, another long in-the-works process that I’m happy to be done with. The book came out beautifully, comes with a 5 song CD and you can find out more by following the link on the Home Page. I’m also lining up holiday fairs and shows to promote the book and the gift box version that comes with maple syrup, pancake mix and a wooden spoon.
And that’s it for now ~ time to get back to work!
Ireland was amazingly sunny and warm for late May, but I returned home to find full-blown summer had arrived. The trees are completely leafed out, flowers are everywhere, and alas, I’ve barely started my own garden. I had such a vision!!
June is such a crazy busy month for me that I doubt I’ll get much done there until July anyway – and I’m just as happy to pick someone else’s berries or go to one of the many farm markets around here for my veg & fruit. Anyway, it’s the season for festivals all over the country ~ and in Canada and Europe too, as far as that goes. You can take a day or an entire week to find your spot of choice and sit, listen, pick, strum, sing, eat, drink and rejoice – it’s a great way to support artists and the organizations that present us!
If you show up someplace where I’m performing plus come up and say ‘hey.’ Have a great summer everybody!
Spring is out there somewhere, but definitely not here in Michigan yet. Lots of rain, so things are green, but then the snow falls and it’s white again. This too shall pass, yes??
I’m excited to be finally launching my first children’s book, ‘Henny and Benny Bunyan and the Maple Syrup Adventure’, officially on the last day of April. I first invented Henny & Benny back in 1987 when my Michigan songbook, ‘Bunyan and Banjoes’ was published. I always wanted to bring them back, and now they have their own adventure story, complete with an included 5 song CD! There will soon be a new page on kittydonohoe.com with all the scoop on Gypsie Bird Press (that’s me), song clips, bits of the story and info on how to order your own copy. Stay tuned!
I’m also churning ahead on recording songs for the long-delayed CD project, ‘The Irishman’s Daughter.’ More on that as it reaches completion – soon, soon, soon!
So needless to say, I’m busy and not too annoyed with the delay of spring, as it makes it harder to stay on task when it’s beautiful out and I’d rather be walking in the woods than taking care of business ~ even such fun business as creating music.
Thanks for checking in!
So far it’s being an unusual winter in this part of the world, as we had a ‘perfect snow’ in early December (nothing like a perfect storm!), then it started getting rainymeltyicymushy, which it still is. Not much chance of ice skating right now, and I never did really figure out the skiing thing!
I’m happy to be having no road trips scheduled until spring so I can hunker down at home and write and record. There will soon be an announcement of my first of a series of kids books, launching in January or early February, that I’ve been working on for some time. The characters are Henny and Benny Bunyan, brothers and long-distant relatives of the famous lumberjack Paul Bunyan, who get into all sorts of adventures with their friends. The wonderful illustrations are by Michigan artist Lori
Taylor, and I can’t wait to release the first book!
There are still openings for the May/June Inisheer Irish Music Tour and I’ll be posting more info soon on the home page.
For now, stay warm and dry and thanks for checking in!
October is here without a doubt. I found a used bike on Craigslist so I can cruise around my neighborhood streets on balmy fall nights like I did when I was a kid. I loved the patches of golden light from the windows, riding through the darkening and smelling the smoke of burning leaves. That part doesn’t happen too often anymore, but once in awhile…
I’m spending as much time in the studio as I can, working on ‘The Irishman’s Daughter.’ There have been a ridiculous number of set-backs on this project but I can see the finish line out there, and I’m confident I’ll be pleased with it when it’s done. I’ll be posting a mission statement of sorts soon on what this album is about and will be setting up several CD release events.
On top of the CD, I’ve also been developing a series of kids books that I’ll be releasing under my own Gypsie Bird imprint. That’s been a long time under wraps too, and I’m pretty excited about the fruition of this vision.
If you’re already on my email list you’ll get notice on these projects, and if you’re NOT on the list but want to be, you can sign up at the Contact page.