New Blog - March 26, 2015
please check out www.americangalinnorway.blogspot.com
please check out www.americangalinnorway.blogspot.com
Every day I look out the windows of my country home in Eina, Norway and all I see is SNOW! Some sunshine sneaks its way through the windows too, but I think I'm ready for spring (who am I kidding, I know I'm ready for spring!). The babies are five months old now and getting cuter and crying less (thank God); it's been an exhausting and beautiful experience all the way around.
Since we moved here (me and the 'Norwegian songwriter', who'll I'll call my soulmate) are getting ready to go into the studio and start recording the album we've been talking about for a couple of years now. I love all the songs, and of course it's great to record your own music and include all of the ideas you've had in your head for months regarding production, arrangement, and so on. It'll have a twist too (you'll have to buy it to hear that twist of course (-:
We've also been working on an internet radio station called Our Songs Radio featuring our music and latest projects. Trying to raise two babies and work on your life's passion is definitely a monumental challenge, but we're excited (and tired) and know it's all part of life's great work!
Spring, here we come!!
I'm always happy when a new year rolls around..it used to bother me for some reason but now I look forward to new things in my life...maybe I'm happier (thank goodness). Of course I have my ups and downs, and the normal crazy, 'more information than I can handle' moments; who am I kidding?, 'almost' nervous breakdowns love to shove their occasional, intense, finger-pointing accusations into my fragile soul, but, so far so good, on my end.
I have such a love-hate relationship with my musical self, surrounding environment, and this town. At times I feel like I'm in the music business 'purgatory', but then something nice happens and I'm all dewy eyed once more. Of course Jan Petter keeps me grounded for sure, what a kind person he is. I can be such a drag sometime, but he always pulls me up. Okay, he has pulled a couple of unwise stunts a couple of times, but he's a keeper for sure! Ha ha, I know he won't read this! He is a great guy. We've been writing a lot of really good songs lately (at least we think so) and are looking forward to recording them this year. I've also been leaning more into the blues and soul thing (funny how I tried to hide that here for awhile but it came out in flying colors with an attitude like "girl, you can't keep that 'thing' inside for too long, remember those late, late nights driving to East St. Louis years ago and singing in those smoky night clubs with all of those cool, black folks who called you the 'white' Tina Turner?, that is also part of who you are, so let it out!"
2011 was a pretty hard year with having to move twice (the second time unexpectedly) and then my best friend, Rose Katherine McAtee McFarland (otherwise known as my beautiful mother) died on March 25th. I was in her hospital bed as she left this earth, and tried to help her through her journey. She was so brave, deciding she didn't want to keep living in pain and discomfort, declining to go on any machines that would prolong her life. It was heartbreaking to lose her, but really hard to see her health get worse, and as my family all sat and cried as she passed on, I suddenly felt her looking down telling us not to cry anymore, and I told my sister, who was on the other side of the bed, holding her hand, and we looked at each other and stopped crying.
Her funeral was beautiful, a perfect day; there was snow on the ground, but the trees had started to bloom with pink flowers, and the sun was shining. I sang a song I had written for both of my parents after my dad died in 1993, and had been saving it for this day. JP and I had just moved so he helped me dig the song out of a box in the basement. I was freaking out because I had driven back from St. Louis to Nashville the day after she died because we were moving that weekend and I didn't have anything with me in St. Louis, so I drove 5 hours back, moved into our house and spent the night in it with boxes and furniture all around. One of my girlfriends who helped JP move some things on Friday had hung some of my clothes in my closet, bless her heart, so I had a dress to wear to the funeral. On Sunday we drove back to St. Louis to the funeral home, and on Monday she was buried.
At the cemetery a bag piper played, and we said goodbye to our loving mother and friend, who adored all of her children and grandchildren. I miss her so much. I had a dream the other night that I went back to the house I grew up in, and my mom, and one of my sisters and her friend were there. There was snow and ice all over the ground, and I walked into my back yard and started to shoe 'skate' and slide all over, it was so much fun, I remember thinking, "I know this is a dream, but it's so real, and I know I am really here." I looked up at the trees and sky, and the huge hill we used to sled down in the winter, then I walked inside the house and spoke to my mom and sister, and her friend. We all had a nice time, and I was so happy being there.
Just got home from teaching, and eating a nice, hot bowl of ramen noodles with fresh broccoli, red peppers, and carrots, one of my favorite foods, have been eating this college, of course I've taken breaks over the years, but then all of a sudden I go "it would really be nice to have some ramen noodles", but I only like the roasted chicken flavor and half the spices that come with it, adding all the veggies really make it delicious!
My friend Mare Wakefield and I had a music meeting today to discuss our current music project 'Marleen', we've been talking about it for the last couple of years, and all of a sudden it's a reality, how lovely. Sometimes you just have to wait for the right timing. We'll be going out at the end of April to do some shows together and with David Olney.
JP and I are getting ready to move again! It wasn't intended, but driven by the unpredictable force of our evil landlords who represented themselves one way and then did a complete turn around by deciding they wanted to move back onto the property they rented us last spring, saying they wouldn't consider moving back for 'at least 5 years', so we fixed it up real pretty, spent a lot of money painting, building a fence, landscaping, blah blah blah, and now we have to move. They told us the 'improvements' we made were for our comfort, nice huh? Oh well, we found another house and a really nice couple who seem to be on the legit side and they are songwriters, so that's a nice quality! I keep thinking that the mess our current landlords have put us in financially and emotionally will all come to a head and bring something wonderful to JP and me. A woman who was once my Buddhist mentor told me that you have to turn the poison into medicine.
Getting ready for my yearly trip to Coudersport, PA to perform at Olga's new cafe, and visit my friends, Olga, John, Eppie, Joe, and Steve Q., also stopping in New Jersey for a show at Studio LuLoo, operated by my friend Sara O'Brien, maybe heading to Boston or NYC after that, we'll see....Beautiful time in Norway at the Nashville to Norway festival, had so much fun with Benedikte Narum in the dressing room of Fjellhall, making up funny improv, crazy musical ideas for the 'spontaneous' Christmas show...I played the 'spontaneous' woman from Toten and she was the American diva, lots of laughs and high notes...and of course my bad Norwegian...our acoustic set was lovely, followed by the incredible Dave Gibson, the unforgettable Billy Falcon and Sowing Circle, and of course my favorite band, yours truly singing in Kicking Stars with Reeves Gabrels, Jon Anders Narum, Nils Malum, Harry Sagstunn, Peter Nova, and Lewi, funnyman and bassist extraordinaire...lots of soothing moments in the Strand Spa, and a wonderful time with family and friends, and yummy dinners at the Ringvold house, and Tor Egil and Rugnhild's lovely homestead and farm...my friend Mona made me look fantastic and gave me some gorgeous clothes to wear, and the talented Heidi Arc lent her photographic skills (and driving too), and Nils and Odd Christian gave us the best gift of lights and sound. All the volunteers, fans, and sponsors were fabulous! Can't wait for the next festival in 2011.....heading back to Norway for some shows this December with my favorite person (and husband) Peter Nova (aka J.P. Ringvold) who put it all together!!
Just rehearsed with Peter Nova, Reeves Gabrels, and a group of excellent Norwegian musicians for our shows this Friday and Saturday at Fjellhaven (mountain hall). It was alot of vocal gymnastics and long hours, but very relaxing and fun too, can't wait to throw it down this weekend! I'm also singing with my dear friend Benedikte from the amazing Norwegian group Narum (Warner Brothers) on a few of my originals and then an Aretha Franklin song in the last set, it's great to sing with someone I admire so much! I had some anxiety before I came which is normal for me since I put so much pressure on myself, but I know it's going to be a total blast!! Hope we get a sellout!! I really love Norway...