The spring was full of fun shows. I played in Sacramento at the Second Story Arts Collective with Joe Stevens of Coyote Grace and StormMiguel Florez. I also lead a singing workshop there, and was surprised and pleased to see a college friend who I didn't even know was in California in the room to sing with us. In May I featured at the Gender Desperado Jamboree for queer and trans songwriters in San Francisco, and found I knew nearly every open mic performer, which gave me a nice sense of community.
I've also had a chance to play several shows with Ashley Moore backing me up on 12-string guitar and dobro. Ashley founded the Transcendence Gospel Choir, the first all-transgender gospel choir! She also plays lead guitar for Critical Bliss, a rock band that plays mostly covers and some originals. I had the fun experience of getting to play rhythm guitar with them in June in Alameda, CA on songs like "If You Could Only See." Unlike a lot of musicians my age, I never played in a punk band, so that was the first time I've ever played in a rock band. I have to say I'm still a folky at heart, but there is something exciting about playing in front of a drummer, with an electric bassist holding down the groove and an electric guitarist sending beautiful licks pealing out of her amp.
I slowed down a bit in the summer, as I've started focusing on playing fewer shows at larger venues, wanting to have the energy to bring something fresh to each show and not burn myself out. I put together a show for Zoe Boekbinder's "Goodbye California" tour at the Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley, an art gallery/performance space right near my house that I really love. And
Now I'm gearing up for my birthday show Saturday September 8th at La Peña Cultural Center. I'm pulling together friends from several different bands to play with me, including Maia Papaya of Hip for Squares on bass and K. Sugar Hill of The Skinny and Snack Time on fiddle. We're gonna play a few songs from my days with Hip for Squares that I haven't busted out in a while, and I'm working on a new song that I hope to have finished in time to debut it at this birthday show. The great indie rock band Dear Indugu are playing, and neo-soul folky songwriter Emily Moldy opens the night. This is a big house that seats 130, and I would love to fill it up with people for my special night, so I hope you'll come and bring a friend! Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door the night of the show.
Also coming up this fall, I'll be teaching a Level One singing class for LGBTQ People and Allies at La Peña on Tuesdays 6 - 8 pm, and a Level Two class Tuesdays 3:30 - 5:30 pm. This daytime class is an experiment to see if I can get enough interested students, so I please spread the word to folks you know! Full info is on my class page.