We’re Still Here…News February 15, 2021
February 15, 2021
Dear Friends and Fans,
This last year has been a tumultuous time for our culture and world, as you know, and our music has had to move, pivot, adjust, and find grace inside the silence. We thank you for being part of it in any way that you have, and for your patience in waiting for more news of us and our work.
The New Folk Ensemble pivoted to an online presence with our Woodshed Sessions concert series in May of 2020, producing livestream shows on Facebook once a month, as it was previously planned to be, live in concert at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, California. With the closure of that venue in mid-March, all of these shows had to go online and we did so, including almost all of our previously booked guest artists. Luckily, our learning curve bent toward success and we finished the year with these shows archived on the Woodshed Sessions Facebook platform.
At the beginning of this year we took a break from live streams, with the exception of performing for a few benefit concerts. My work as Vice President of FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West) continues as this organization has also had to pivot to online activity and advocacy. With the in-person conferences canceled, FAR-West has been a vigorous presence in virtual education and entertainment, including its partnership with Folk Alliance International, the parent group, in creating content for the FAI Unlocked Festival happening this month.
Another silver lining to this era of limitation has been the development of my voice teaching program, now held completely online over the Zoom platform. It’s been a truly amazing process to get to know my students, develop a weekly newsletter for them and produce our once-monthly open mic nights. Check out the new tab “Vocal Coaching” on this website for more information on singing lessons and student testimonials.
What Is the Band Doing? What’s Coming Up?
In November of last year, we were able to work as a quartet and safely film a music video at the Ojai Underground Exchange. It’s a recording of Linda Thompson’s great song “No Telling” and you can find it here: https://youtu.be/lLa9AYEGQTg
The Woodshed Sessions Return in March
We rested our livestream concerts during January and February, but will be revving up The Woodshed Sessions in March, this time with a full 90-minute set from our trio, Steve Rankin on mandolin, bouzouki and guitar, Fred Sanders on bass and myself on guitar and lead vocals. Please watch my newsletters and social media for news of those shows, and plan to join us!
Susie’s New Blog on FolkWorks is Coming Soon
FolkWorks online music resource is redesigning their website, launching this month. I’m excited to be a part of this launch with a new blog “Voice Notes: A Folk Diva’s Guide to the Universe.” I’ll write about this more soon so watch for this great new website and all the great resources it has to offer.
On a personal note, I do believe that I see a light at the end of this strange and dark tunnel we’ve been living in. Hope for the future is really starting to bloom in me. For now, though, we are mostly at home, double-masked when we go out, and staying safe and sane. I feel like this is a long, winter hibernation and the best of our souls is sleeping and dreaming of the great creative explosion that will come when we’ve made it through these hard times. But whether we see you in person sometime later this year or not, we will definitely be seeing you online more as we are committed to making music for you and finding unique ways to connect virtually.
Stay strong and stay safe! These days are some of the hardest any of us have known. We can help each other get through it, so let’s do it.
Keep in touch! Send me an email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as my dear Jean would sign off,
With love and blessings,