I was asked the questions today… when did I start to sing? When did I begin to run around singing and writing music, why did I start and who taught me.
The short answer to all of that is…I just did.
I couldn’t afford a camera, so I took pictures with my mind. My first camera was a gift given to me in my mid-twenties. Before that, I had throw-aways (now and again) and I have to say, some of my favorite pictures were taken from those little boxes. But, before even the throw-aways came a long, like I said, I took pictures using my eyes as the shutter and my imagination as the camera in order to capture the moments I would’ve captured, if I actually had a camera in hand. I just did.
So, the same goes for music. My mother has always shaken her head at all of her children in wonderment…every last one of us LOVE & perform music, but it really wasn’t in our family lineage or surroundings; other than the car radio. Her kids just did. Sometimes the answers we are looking for aren’t as hidden as most other things in life. I guess, it can be an unsatisfying pill to swallow. But…the truth is what it is.
Many things have and continue to influence me both my eyes and imagination. I realized after another show tonight, that it was high-time I post about one of the bands I sing with. This isn’t just any band to me…these people are amazing friends and have no idea what huge supportive pieces they have been in my life. I set music down for about two years…I didn’t sing or play anything. Someday I’ll blog why…but, this “band” of people came along and invited me to join them in their musical quest. I’m so glad I did!
The Bathtub Gin Serenaders band was formed about three years ago, starting with the washboard player and two others who are no longer apart of the group due to life-changing events. These foundational three, searched for five others and the rest is history in the making! Or so we joke… 😉 We’ve sang in the back of a semi-truck in front of a beautiful lake, with the sun glowing all around us. Later that night we were invited to play at a wedding, where the bride and groom were wedded in treehouse! In less than 6 hours the band went from playing in the bed of a semi-truck at a music festival infront of people-filled grassy knolls, to a romantic environmentally-friendly wedding reception in the woods in essentially what was a small “town” of tree houses and walk-ways. (the organic chocolate-dipped strawberries were an added YUM!) It was magical.
The Bathtub Gin Serenaders opened my vocals to new ways of navigation, my ears to new music I had never heard and give me major continual vocal work out. I get to bounce from a Bessie Smith meso-alto blues tune to Betty Boop style cuteness songs. We all love to continually learn and though we are SERIOUSLY diverse, we dig each others company and the gift of time we have together.
In honor of the following people I have chosen jazz as the second musical production to be recorded this year:
The Bathtub Gin Serenaders, my extremely influencial high school choir instructor, college years touring with the jazz group Soundsation, Kirby Shaw who has always been super supportive, my good friends The Coats, Kim Nazerine from the New York Voices (she was so sweet ot me), The first lady of song Ella Fitzgerald and MANY others. Keep swingin it out…DO IT!