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Colleen McFarland: News

Last Days of Summer - August 3, 2015

We've had a few, beautiful days of summer here in Norway, and I went to the U.S. to visit family and friends in St. Louis and Nashville (it was great throwing on a pair of shorts and t-shirt) catching up and seeing the progress of both cities.  St. Louis is my hometown and one of my very favorite cities, full of cool things to see and do, great music and architecture, history, and food!  Nashville, which I called home for nine years is really becoming gentrified, lots of new places popping up all around town, and in my favorite location of East Nashville, there seems to be some rapid expansion going on, although it still has that quaint feeling in my opinion, but some of the old hangs I loved like Mitchell's Deli, Sip, The Family Wash, and Bongo Java have either moved into new buildings, or lost a little bit of that East Nashville authenticity, but you gotta make a buck, that's for sure, just wish they could have retained a bit more of the old look.  I haven't seen the new Family Wash yet since it's not re-opened, but I'm sure it will still have a very cool vibe.

J.P. and I had a few gigs this summer, the last one with our band Kicking Stars for the 2830 Sommerfestival (sans Reeves Gabrels, who is out touring with The Cure, we miss him, but are happy he's living the good life!) and we shared the stage with a highly touted Norwegian band called D.D.E., a lively bunch of fellows, with a lead singer who plays accordion and rips his shirt off accordingly, even though he's not as buff as he used to be, still and all, it was a great time had by all.  Norwegians can definitely party when they have a mind to, jumping on tables, clapping hands, pounding their feet, and singing up a storm.  The sound, stage, and lights were fantastic, always good to have a professional crew around.

In between taking care of our kiddies and fending off the massive flowers, trees, grasses, and forest whilst they envelope us (we wish we had a riding mower), we are slowly, but surely getting back into the studio to record a new album of songs we've co-written, and if we get lucky, maybe we'll throw in a couple of solo albums too since we both have a whole bunch of songs to record that we've written in the last few years.  I'll also be teaching voice at a culture school here, as well as continuing with the teaching gig I already have for private lessons in voice and piano.  I love the fact that I am doing music and being a mommy full time.  My twins have followed in my footsteps and are both very active singers, even though they aren't even three years old yet; they sing in both English and Norwegian, and sometimes mix the two which is very charming!  I need to push the envelope a little more in learning and speaking more Norwegian, they're already surpassing me, and one of them is starting to correct my Norwegian when I pronounce it badly.

Hopefully, you all had a good summer, it goes by so quickly, doesn't it? (especially in Norway).  Ha en fin dag alle sammen!

cheers, 

Colleen

 

Spring, Where Are You? - March 26, 2015

Hello snow, and more snow!  That's just the way it is here in Norway.  After three winters here, I've gotten used to spring's tricks...she's a clever one, and waits until she's good and ready to grace us with her presence.  I can almost smell her flowers and hear the fast current of the creek that runs by our house, but not quite yet.

JP and I have some shows coming up in June as a duo and with our band Kicking Stars.  We're playing at the Raufoss Culture Museum in early June and with our band, opening up for D.D. at the end of June under the stars in Raufoss.  Before that gig, we are playing at Amfi as a warmup, just me and JP.  I hope we see some smiling faces and that the weather prevails!  

We've started to record again and it's so wonderful to be in the studio, creating songs and having that special time to be musicians and artists, since we have been parenting our twin daughters.  We'll keep you posted on the release of our first albums of duets!

Winter, Winter, Winter... - January 20, 2015

hmmm, what's happening this winter?  Today I did an interview with Oppland Arbeider at Cafe Kaffka (my favorite cafe in Gjøvik) over a double vanilla latte and a slice of Fyrste Kake (first cake) which were absolutely delicious (or 'deilig" as the Norwegians say).  The interviewer asked me if the U.S. had anything that compared to Fyrste Kake, and I have to say I've never tasted anything in the States like this.  It was oh so good.  It reminded me of a snickerdoodle and spice cake combined.

The interview was not about cake however, it was about my gig at Eina Grendehus for my band, Kicking Stars, on Saturday, January 24th.  The festivities start around 9pm (doors open at 7pm).  It might be a raucous night of partying, and blues and soul music, or perhaps we will have a tamer crowd, sipping wine and partaking of hors d'ovres (is that how you spell it?)  

Anyway, it was darn cold today here in the tropics of Norway.  Snow and wind blowing every which way.  I was glad for that latte and my piece of first cake.  After that I stopped by the grocery store, picked up a pair of very expensive orthopedic slippers at the post office that I bought online (paid about $45 dollars in taxes, crazy!), but they sure are comfortable.  Picked the twins up from preschool, watched Mickey Mouse, put them to bed, made some delicious nachos and here I am, writing about the gig on the 24th.  JP and I are going into the studio again tomorrow night to record some new songs (mostly ballads but really beautiful I think).  

Did I mention it's cold here?

Where Did Summer Go? - August 15, 2013

Summer has left Norway.  It waited until July to get here and now it has left the building!  I have not kept up with my website lately because these two little twin daughters of mine who are now going on 10 months old are keeping me super busy!  I have never worked so hard, and I have worked hard my whole life..Of course I'm still writing songs and performing when I can with J.P., but whewie, I am tired!

I am teaching a voice student here and she is lovely, has one of those smokey Norah Jones type voices; wish I had more like her.  I just finished reading a book my friend Whit Hill wrote about being Madonna's roommate in college; they were both dance majors.  Whit is an extraordinary writer, and a super wonderful person, and songwriter.  Her book is called Not About Madonna, and you should all order a copy from Amazon.Com for goodness sake.

J.P. is rehearsing for a summer show here in Norway and I am left to hold down the fort, so to say.  He has been very busy and I can't wait for a break when he is finished with all of his work.  He will also be attending Unique Mind teacher training (uniquemind.com) in Oslo soon and if all goes well, which it will, will be heading up English classes in the U.S. next year (yippee!); we're planning a visit back to the U.S. this fall and I can't wait!

I have had my ups and downs (many of the latter) living here and being a foreigner (it's really tough); the traffic bureau took away my American license when I applied for the Norwegian one, but then this jerk of an examiner failed me for some b.s. reasons about not driving 'economically' which is crazy because I have driven a manual stick car for many, many years in the U.S., and my instructor was shocked he didn't pass me.  

Next scenario:  Examiner #2 who also failed me, tricking me into parking into a 'no parking' zone.  Many Norwegians and other foreigners have told me it's a way for the government to pocket a huge profit from the expense of driving lessons, which you have to take if you fail the test.  So far we have spent over 5k on this ridiculous venture!  I have never experienced such bigotry and extortion in my entire life!

I miss singing.  J.P. and I had a couple of gigs last month but I am itching to get out there and jam with my band Kicking Stars, where are you guys?  I have got to sing the blues or I'll go stir-crazy, which is happening way too much.  Oh, the babies, they take so much of my energy, God love them, my little darlings.

Well, time to go make some dinner and have a glass of white wine, my relief for the evening.

Ciao friends..

Colleen

Working With Norwegian Songwriters - March 22, 2013

Colleen has been working with singer-songwriter Hege Øversveen (finalist on Norway's 'The Voice'), singer/saxophonist Steinar Borvik, and singer Ingvild Nagell-Dahl (Skal Vi Danse) on their upcoming recording projects in Norway.

New Year, New Life! - February 19, 2013

Hallo!  I am now an official resident of Norway, so strange...but lovely too.  I moved here in August with my hubby, singer-songwriter Peter Nova (aka J.P. Ringvold) and...we had two baby girls in October, well I had them and it took a lot of work to get them here and I'm still working my behind off every day 24/7 almost...except we do have some great shows coming up and hopefully I can squeeze a nap in beforehand, hope to see you soon!

love love love

Colleen

Life in Norway - August 21, 2012

Arrival: 8-1-12, or if you're reading this as a European it would be 1-8-12 (this confuses me greatly).

We are living in Eina, Norway on a very beautiful hilltop with a forest in front and a fjord behind.  I'm a bit like a fish out of water here although I've visited numerous times with my husband (who is Norwegian), but still I'm a bit lonely and bored; not used to being alone so much with nothing to do since it's taking a few weeks to acclimate and our shipment of 'stuff' from the U.S. hasn't arrived yet.  And most importantly, I'm 6 months pregnant with twins!  Can you say 'tired'?

Anyway, the Burger King at the mall in the town nearby has internet service (and pretty good whoppers too, although Burger King fries in the U.S. are very different from the ones here, and much better, sorry Burger King Norway).  There are plenty of things I want to do like record music, play and write on the piano (had to sell both of mine before we moved here).  We're supposed to get one from his parents that they don't use (mostly as furniture to hold picture frames), so it will be great to have one again.

I would also like to decorate our house but don't want to spend money since we'll have plenty to decorate with when our shipment comes.  I am looking forward to performing again (in the near future I hope).  This pregnancy thing is a bit uncomfortable to say the least.  I've had tons of 'junk' in my throat from over active sinuses, and of course carrying around two living bowling balls in my abdomen is something to contend with.

Well, will keep you posted; we are having two girls, should be fun!!

Setting up house in Norway - June 11, 2012

Well, after nine years in Nashville I'm getting ready to move to Norway with my husband and co-writing/musical partner Peter Nova (aka J.P. Ringvold), who is Norwegian by the way.  Nashville has been an interesting place to say the least.  I would say it is a place for discovery, new ideas, new people (way too many musicans/songwriters for my taste anyway) you sort of feel like a cog in the wheel at times and of course getting paid to play is non-existent unless you get lucky enough as I've done a few times in a couple of clubs like the Bluebird Cafe (but only on the late show) and my good friends Jack and Diane from Nashville Unleashed have a wonderful song circle they host at Lowe's Vanderbilt Hotel where you eat dinner and get paid.  It seems a long time since the days I lived in the Northeast where I made a pretty decent wage playing in clubs, coffee houses and festivals and the fan support was awesome.  I made such good friends there and loved living there.  I don't think I would have come to Nashville had it not been for my ex-husband wanting to move here, but that's another story for another day (stay tuned for the book!).

Nashville is also a place for heartache, and I've had a great share of that.  Narcissim and b.s. runs rampant in this town; you pretty much have to find your own path because no one is going to reach out to you out of true altruism.  I have made some dear friends and have lost some dear friends along the way, but I guess the really good ones stick with you, enough of the crazies and constant self absorption of egos (whewie!).  I'm ready to move on with my new life and new husband, and we're expecting twins!  We bought a beautiful house in Norway overlooking a fjord with a giant forest in front of the house.  He's setting up a business and of course we're going to perform music when we can.  We have wonderful musical friends there and are planning on doing more original blues and soul with a band.  I've accepted the fact that my musical styles will always be different; I've never locked myself into anything permanent as a songwriter or singer; Emmylou to Wilson Pickett, that's my style!

Well, enough said, see you in Norway!

East Side of the River Documentary - May 1, 2012

Colleen is part of a documentary titled East Side Of The River written and directed by filmmaker Ron Coons, which follows the lives of musicians, artists, and writers living in East Nashville, for more info go to www.eastsideoftheriver.com

New Year, New Songs, New Shows! - January 13, 2012

Hello 2012, and Happy New Year to my Friends and Fans!  I've been busy writing some new tunes with Peter Nova for a duets album we're going to record this year, and also have some fun new blues and soul tunes I'm working on, and have been performing at recent shows.  I was lucky to have some incredible musicians join me for a blues and soul set including Peter Nova, Reeves Gabrels, Byron House, and Rick Wilkerson at the Family Wash in Nashville on December 20th.  In April and May I performed a few shows with Mare Wakefield, David Olney and Sergio Webb in the Northeast, and in August I played a sold out show at the Bluebird Cafe with David, Tom Kimmel, and Gwil Owen.

In September of 2011 I was honored to perform two sets at the Mountain Hall (Fjell Haven) in Norway for the Nashville to Norway Festival.  We had an outstanding group of Nashville and Norwegian musicians and artists, light and sound technicians, and volunteers and staff, including students from the local university helping out with filming. My favorite part of the show featured my rockin' friends David Olney and Sergio Webb with Peter Nova on B3, and our review in Oppland Arbeiderblad was fantastic!   It was so much fun, I can't wait to go back this year.  After the festival, Peter and I performed in Ireland (in Dublin, Tipperary, and Limerick, squeezing in some unbelievable castle time, pubs, and great Irish beer).  I definitely felt at home with those lovely people and hope to tour there again.  Well, hope to see you in the near future, and until then, have an incredible new year!

love, Colleen

Announcing the Nashvlle Songwriter book and campaign launch - November 26, 2011

I have been blessed and very lucky to be included in a book called The Nashville Songwriter.  It started when photographer Rick Smith and writer Dawn Hopkins heard Peter Nova and I perform at one of our favorite venues, Hotel Indigo on West End Ave. in Nashville.  They interviewed us for the book along with hit songwriters Dave Gibson, Daisy Dern, Guy Clark, Billy Burnette, Liz Rose, Chris Wallin, Danny Flowers and many others.  Rick and Dawn chose 50 songwriters for their book and we're so honored to be among them.
You can see a video about their project below.  If you can consider donating to their project please contact them as they are in final production before the book is published.

Here's the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1239051017/the-nashville-songwriter?ref=email

thenashvillesongwriter.wordpress.com

  


 

Colleen performs at the Benefit for Missing Persons on November 3rd, 2011 - October 25, 2011

From Nashville to Norway to Ireland - August 7, 2011

hey peeps, I'm headin' to Norway in September for the From Nashville to Norway Festival with Peter Nova, Reeves Gabrels, Dave Gibson, Daisy Dern, David Olney, and Sergio Webb.  Then Peter and I are off to Ireland for a few dates, check out the Calendar and join us if you can.....

Bluebird Cafe in August! - July 2, 2011

Colleen will join songwriters Tom Kimmel, David Olney, and Gwil Owen for a night of original, acoustic music at one of Nashville's premiere venues on August 11th at 9pm!

Colleen joins David Olney for a Northeastern U.S. Tour - January 27, 2011

Colleen will be joining renowned singer-songwriter David Olney for a tour of the Northeastern United States in late April and early May, stay tuned for details!

David Olney's songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Lonnie Brooks, James King, Slaid Cleaves, Dale Ann Bradley, Tom Rozum, Ann Rabson, Keiran Kane/Kevin Welch/Fats Kaplin, Tim O’Brien and others. He has released more than 20 albums over four decades, including six live recordings, and performs worldwide.

Happy New Year News - January 4, 2011

Colleen heads back to Norway to perform the anniversary show on January 15th for the city of Gjøvik at Fjell Hallen, the 'Mountain Hall" with celebrated Norwegian artists including Narum, Ingvild and Trond Nagell Dahl, Peter Nova, and many other excellent performers.

Nashville to Norway to Northeast U.S. - September 1, 2010

Performing at Fjellhaven in Gjøvik, Norway this Friday and Saturday 9\3 and 9\4, with special guests Peter Nova, Reeves Gabrels, Jon Anders Narum, Benedikte Narum Jennsen, Billy Falcon and Rose Falcon, Dave Gibson, and an all star back up band, Colleen will head back to Nashville to host her monthly writers night at Hotel Indigo (sponsored by Voyage Air Guitar) before her next tour to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, NYC, Boston, and Vermont.

September Nashville to Norway Tour - August 18, 2010

Colleen will perform in the Mountain Hall (Fjellhaven) in Gjøvik, Norway with Peter Nova, Jon Anders Narum, Benedikte Narum Jenssen, Billy and Rose Falcon and the Sowing Circle, Dave Gibson, and Reeves Gabrels, September 3-4, 2010, www.fromnashvilletonorway.com

Colleen's music featured on European House Concert Hub - March 5, 2010

hear Colleen's music on the following link, featured on the Medicine Show, European House Concert Hub and Acoustic Music Network:  http://houseconcerthub.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_feat_track#music_player

Colleen's Soul and Blues Band with Reeves Gabrels - January 7, 2010

Colleen will be joining renowned guitarist Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie's Tin Machine) in a soul and blues band for future performances.  Come join the fun on their first show at the Lipstick Lounge on Sunday, Feburary 14th. check out the calendar for details!

New Shows, New Music - January 7, 2010

Colleen will be hosting a night or original music with new and old friends at Hotel Indigo on West End Ave in Nashville on January 26th and February 23rd, sponsored by Voyage Air Guitars, check out the calendar for detail

Christmas Show in Norway - December 4, 2009

Colleen will be heading back to Norway to perform a Christmas show with special guests Peter Nova, Lars Endrerud, Nina Skogheim, HÃ¥var Gjestvang, and Jon Anders Narum on December 29th at Sport Og Mere in Raufoss, Norway

Far West Premiere Showcase Artist - September 9, 2009

Colleen has been selected as a premiere showcase artist for the Far West Music Conference in Irvine, California, Nov 6th-8th, 2009

Let It Shine Syndicated on Off The Beat n Track Radio Show - August 3, 2009

Let It Shine is currently being syndicated on the Radio Show and podcast 354 "Off The Beaten Track"
also syndicated on WKZE, WHAY, WBSD, and RobinhoodRadio.com.
WKZE Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; Dutchess, Columbia, Ulster, Westchester, Orange, and Greene Counties, NY and beyond.

Sirius XM Radio and Pretty Little Bird - July 3, 2009

Colleen's song Pretty Little Bird (Let It Shine, 2009) co-written with Mare Wakefield is on rotation on Sirius XM radio!
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