We are having the most luxurious spring here in Austin. . . where it’s usually over 90 degrees for over a month by this time of year, we’ve been blessed by soft rain, months of wildflowers and the songs of frogs into the night. Such a magical time and place for us. . . and I feel like the beauty of this long, languid spring is really showing up in the recordings we are making at the Aerie Studios. Producer Mark Addison & I have found a sweet spot for working on the final songs for the album & we are thrilled with the recordings so far. . . Here I am outside the studio taking a break to admire the flowers in the fields nearby.
Couple of quick, Important news flashes.
I’m playing a House Concert in Lake Charles this coming Sunday at 2:30pm. Family Friendly, BYOB, Picnic in the park style show. Please RSVP at email@example.com for details and the address if you are coming. I’d love to see you. I won’t be back in Louisiana till October and I hope to give you a sneak preview of the new songs on Sunday.
Kerrville Folk Festival Ballad Tree Finalist
I am honored to share that I’m a finalist in the Kerville Folk Festival Ballad Tree Competition. I’ll be performing amidst a great group of songwriters on May 26 at 3:30pm More info can be found HERE!
Touring West this Summer. . .
In 3 weeks I will set off on a 3.5 month tour across AR, OK, W.TX, NM, CO, WY & back. Please visit www.wendycolonna.com I have a very special bon-voyage show at Strange Brew next weekend in Austin. . . and then I’ll be away for quite a while. . . Would love to see your sweet faces along the road & before I go.
New Album Update. . . It’s SO BEAUTIFUL!!!
The new album is coming along BEAUTIFULLY!!!! This album is gritty, innocent, confessional, soulful and so very fine so far. I’m thrilled with it. If you haven’t gone to my Pledge Music Page to watch the video about the album & pre-order your copy & exclusive package please visit it today. We are at22% of our Goal. 42 days left to pledge.
Here’s the reality. . . Reaching 100% will cover the cost of recording and 150% -200% could mean hiring a marketing team that would put us on the radio/press/big picture music biz map in ways that I could only dream. you can pledge for as little as $10. Please share and help this dream come true! http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/wendycolonnasnewalbum
Love & Thank YOU!!!
Bonjour Mes Amis!
Greetings on the Anniversary of Wendy Colonna Day! Last year on April 26th I received a proclamation from the City of Austin honoring my musical contribution to the city on this day. It was an honor and a joy. . . And I never would have guessed that on its anniversary I would be where I am today. . . Which is so exciting!!!!
HOORAY HOORAH! EXCITING NEWS! NEW ALBUM on PLEDGE MUSIC!!!
Today, I am launching a 60 day PLEDGE MUSIC campaign to crowd-source my most recent creation. I want to invite you to join me in bringing my new album to life. I am working with one of Austin’s finest producers, Mark Addison and we are producing some MAGIC.
Please visit my Pledge Music Page to watch the video and read about the new album and pre-order your album TODAY. PLEASE share it with your friends and families and social networks. Your pledges will help the album come to life and may even open the possibilities of helping to fund a publicity campaign that could get these songs and my presence on the map in a bigger way! Here is the URL: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/wendycolonnasnewalbum
Honestly, I wouldn’t be in the process of making a new album if it weren’t for YOU. Your love and connection is what keeps the inspiration flowing. So THANK YOU.
With my love and gratitude.
I was going to blog about all the lovely going-ons in my life, but honestly the last two days have been pretty somber. Having run a half-marathon and done a couple of triathlons in the last 2 years, I’ve been through a few finish lines and when not racing, I have cheered for many of my peers on the sidelines of races crying and clapping till my hands and cheeks get raw. It’s vulnerable and beautiful to watch these people’s stories change through their training and successes. . . Although this could change the way we will see the finish line forever, my hope is that it will connect us in our grief and love of one another like a strand of lights in the darkness.
I felt good about it. I met beautiful people, went to several events that seemed to resonate, not a gazillion things that i felt would be good for hob-knobbing. Our shows were beautiful. People listened, danced, engaged and totally made the circuit complete. This is not normal for SXSW. I felt so blessed to play such amazing rooms, in such great company and for such good causes (like SWEET RELIEF MUSICIANS FUND)…
That’s me zipping around on a posh Pedego Electric Bike. Yes, Folks, The absolute BEST way to get around central Austin is on an e-bike from Rocket Electrics. I was lucky enough to rent one of the few they had left in the shop for a couple of days during the madness. YES!
I didn’t feel dirty/used/depressed after the madness subsided. I felt whole. I felt gratitude.
I kept thinking about all the bands who put their whole life-savings on the line getting to Austin to perform for free a dozen times, schlepping heavy gear at all hours of the day and night up and down stairs, through alleys and trying to find parking – just to be seen by a few music biz types. I passed through SXSW crowds downtown as the clang of drums rang off buildings in every direction and the low hum of bass ate up a lot of the breathable air sliced only by feedback and occasional screeching of electric guitars in the cacophony of a perpetual sound-check. Audiences were texting, tweeting, talking and drinking, making fashion statements while thousands of bands poured their hearts out as they do year-after-year. My heart was heavy with compassion. I clapped hard for them when I could. I have been that band so many times.
I was both prepared and fortunate this year. I kept my heart focused on our collective passion for and love of the medicine of the soul, music. The rooms I worked in were amazing. I knew that going in. Home team advantage, I guess. I met every gig with no expectations, a group bringing their A-Game and met warm, receptive rooms filled with love and support.
In all the madness of those few days, I even got to sneak out to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters for the first time, Gregory Alan Isakov. Gush. Amazing.
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It was so different than any other year I’ve known. My heart was open. My eyes were open. Giddy but totally relaxed.
Today I’m grateful for:
1. willie nelson.
2. watching moonlight turn to to sunrise
5. people who do courageous things regardless of whether they will fail or succeed
6. 5:30am boot-camp with organic fitness & training
7. dog-sitting snuggles
Just wanted to give you guys a heads up about a couple of things! If you’re in Austin for South By Southwest or a lucky resident soaking up or dodging all the madness, I hope you will consider joining me for one of my performances this week. They are all in sweet spaces with great company & require NO Wristbands or Badges.
Tuesday 3pm Nomad Bar. Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund Concert. LOVE this organization!
Friday at 4pm Continental Club Gallery. Full Band. One of the sweetest spaces in town. In good company that afternoon withAimee Bobruk & Scarlet Olson on the bill as well!
Saturday at 3:15 Love. On the Lawn Event at SXCentral Market (North). They have parking. . and the lineup is awesome! Shelley King, Hedda Layne, Ginger Leigh, Buggaboo & More!
Saturday at 8:40pm. Strange Brew Loungeside (SOUTH AUSTIN!) Band Show! BIG bonus that it has tons of parking.
Otherwise, I’ll be bopping around absorbing music, learning new stuff & becoming intimate with the Cap Metro system.
Here’s a silly pic of one of the discoveries I made yesterday at SXSW Interactive. Geeking out. . .
NEW ALBUM OFFERINGS & Questions . . .
In other news, I’m going into the studio to begin recording the new album next week! I have uploaded some very naked demos of the new songs on my Patronism page. Patronism is an opt-in pay-what you feel way to stay connected to me as an artist. I have lots of beautiful and unreleased stuff on there in addition to my released material. So if you’re feeling like supporting me and getting a sneak peak at the tunes, please visitwww.patronism.com/wendycolonna.
I will be working up a Crowd-Sourcing Fundraising Gift packages for the new album. Anything you would like? A house concert? A signed guitar? A home-cooked meal by yours truly? A bike tour of Austin? Let me know your thoughts! firstname.lastname@example.org
Until Next Time!
LOVE LOVE LOVE
Wendy Lorraine Colonna
“Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” Brene Brown
This spring, Wendy has teamed up with Austin divas, Tameca Jones &Courtney Sanchez for the Austin Phoenix Project. These three women will be embarking on a journey to take their lives, lifestyles and careers to the next level with the help of Austin-based sponsors in wellness, fitness, nutrition, music business, marketing, vocal coaching & more. Visit www.austinphoenixproject.com and “like” this project on Facebook or Twitterand follow these women through a transformation of a lifetime.
One of the things that makes this Austin Phoenix Project so cool is that Courtney, Tameca and I are all so different and similar at the same time. Yes, we are all Austin singers/artists who have worked hard to work toward our dreams, make our names and earn our keep here in this highly competitive music scene, but we all have quite different passions, projects, priorities and ways in which we move through life. It’s been amazing just hearing both of these ladies talk about their dreams and what they’re willing to do to reach them. . .
So we’ve all set different goals in fitness, wellness, business, craft & performance skills and we’ve been blessed by some amazing local sponsors to help us along the way. Everything from business mentoring to 5:30am bootcamp to nutritional counseling to pole dancing classes are available to us and we are OH SO GRATEFUL. . . It sounds fantastic and like a dream-come-true, but it still really requires us to be accountable to ourselves and our goals as we all have busy-as-hell lives already. . .
Aaaaaand it is going to require a TON of humility because there is a very not-so-glamorous side to this whole project. It’s scary as hell for us. It’s way easier for us to act like we’ve always got it all together with our slick bios and our press quotes and our FB statuses and tweets and show announcements and head shots and avoid addressing the tough stuff like working in a mostly-bankrupt music business that judges women on appearances and curvy chicks in their 30’s, no matter how talented just don’t get as many breaks in the biz. . . So it’s gonna be real too. This project wasn’t made for the classic ego-stroking chatterbox “you’re awesome, no you’re awesome, no really you’re awesome” schmooze.
so here we go. . . here’s a little about my part in this whole thing. . .
in 2013 I want to:
- Write, resource and record a new studio album
- Tour from May through October
- Get in and maintain the best shape/health of my life.
This all sounds peachy except for a few things.
- The average amount of songs I’ve composed per year has been about 3.5 for the last five years and funding/resource stuff paralyzes me
- Booking/selling is my least favorite task in the business part of my job
- I have struggled for the last two years to lose about 20 lbs that I gained when I started touring full-time in 2006 and not a pound has budged despite eating gobs of kale, doing several cleanses and multiple half marathon/triathlon months of trainings and events.
I’m not going at this with rigid expectations. . . In fact I realize I may not meet my ultimate goals, but I also realize that along the way of every journey the gifts arise in the things we don’t expect. . . So here we go. Curious and committed. . .
Here we go on this “cheerful” adventure. Humility and I are going to be very close friends through the months. . .
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
Lucky 13. I love this year already.
When I turned 35 I finally lost my tolerance for my own bullshit. It was a long time coming. I had slowly been letting go of habits, relationships and “shoulds” for a while but 35 was the marker of a bigger shift.
I can’t remember ever feeling better in my life. I had a lot of housekeeping to do in order to get here. I’m still emptying my pockets and though the letting go has been painful at times, I laugh now more than I ever have.
So, this year I’m hoping to do some things I haven’t had the courage to do in the past. Write and record a new album, Get in the best shape of my life and tour 6 months across Europe and the US. . . Slowly aligning all the pieces.
I’m writing again. It has been one of my greatest gifts and one of the most frightening and humbling thing I have ever done. I intimately know the power of song as you do. It penetrates and binds the hearts of people who perceive themselves to be friends or enemies in a common melody or groove. It surpasses language. It unites body to spirit. It’s medicine. And my job as a writer is be one of the folks who are stewards of song. No pressure.
(This is my desk. . this morning we put the framed Alice Walker poster up- and my whole room/sanctuary is filling with tokens of love from fans & beloveds . . ——->)
So instead of trying to write 3 songs a year (yea, that’s been my average for as long as I can remember) I’m trying to write 3 a week. That way if some come out- well – not as good as others, it doesn’t really matter. . . In yoga, after 8 months without practicing, I don’t expect myself to do some crazy pose where I’m perfectly balancing my whole body on one arm’s strength, so why would I expect to be able to write masterpieces after avoiding writing for months on end? Yea. It’s uncomfortable and I’m falling on my face a lot, but it’s happening. And there is some really stunning stuff coming out. . . I just keep trying to get out of the way. . . And that’s no easy task. But well worth it. . .
I will be recording a new album with producer Mark Addison. He’s a stunning writer and producer, has a true gift of getting the best performances (writing, playing, singing) out of songwriters and has recorded some of Austin’s finest albums of recent years including Matt The Electrician’s Animal Boy, Guy Forsyth’s Love Songs For & Against and countless more.
To be completely truthful with you, I almost quit music altogether in 2010 when I was sick for 8 months on the road nonstop, digging an early grave by not allowing my body the rest it needed to heal. After I got off the road, I sent a message to the Universe daily saying “I surrender. I won’t fight for what I think my life/career “should” look like. if music is supposed to be my livelihood, make it so clear and healthy that I can’t say no and if it isn’t just help me to let go.” Tiny, weird miracles happened. I got jobs writing for Korean Pop music, I was given opportunities to play on the Austin City Limits stage, co-write melodies for others’ songs, perform for the Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and serve the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians by producing events and albums that raise money to keep my musical community healthy.
So, I recon’ it’s time to move forward and give birth to a new WC offering/album. . . I hope you will support me in bringing the new album to life. It’s going to take a lot of work, love, faith and resources, but it will be well worth it.
More to come. . .
One regret, dear world . . .That I am determined not to have . . .When I am lying on my deathbed . . . Is that . . .I did not kiss you enough. ~ Hafiz
New Year’s Greetings Lovelies!
I hope this finds you well and in a good groove. . . I had a lovely holiday season here in Austin, TX and am already embracing the new year with some courage, new risks and exciting projects in the works. . .
Do you want a new WC Album in 2013?
As some of you know, I haven’t recorded a full length studio album in almost four years. I’m still toying with songs, curiously researching how other folks are funding theirs and connecting with some musical muses and colleagues, but I just might venture to make a new album this year. . . Would you like that?
I know that some folks say albums have gone the way of the DoDo, but I feel that albums (hard copies or digital) can still really summarize a mood, vibe, sentiment & even statement in a collection of well-crafted, well-produced songs. . .
If you don’t have my full catalog and wish to have it all including B-sides, Demos, Radio recordings, Live shows and lots of unreleased material, you can check in and receive demos of new and emerging songs and ideas onPATRONISM. It’s like a pay-what-you-feel virtual tip jar that helps me to raise funds for things like mixing, horn charts, and uh, say, even possibly a part of producing new songs. . . click here for more infowww.patronism.com/wendycolonna
Touring Across the Globe 2013
As some of you know, I’ve been working with stellar musicians here in TX, but also in my travels, performing in different cities and even different countries with different groups of music-makers. I plan to take this to a new level in 2013. I will still work with my incredibly talented bandmates here in Austin, but I will be attempting to tour much of the US and abroad starting in April 2013. It will take lots of routing, booking and musical massaging, but I’ll keep you posted as things develop. It should be a grand adventure. . .
Want to Help? . . .I have a few small things brewing in Europe and across the US, but I’d also love your feedback. Send it to email@example.com. . . You can host a concert, introduce us to your awesome friend who books your favorite club, help me to promote shows to your communities share venues you love and tip me off on festivals that I’d be appropriate for. . . Let me know and I’ll try to do my best to make things happen.
gain, I wish you a blessed New Year!
Looking forward to seeing you in 2013
Wendy Lorraine Colonna
At the end of the month last October on the way to a dental appointment, I commented to a friend that I was at a point in my life and career where I felt compelled to do a community service project. I had recently recovered from a lung infection that scared the bejesus out of me and derailed my career and life for a bit and I was finally feeling better, able and ready to do some service work.
I found myself a half-hour later, laying in the dentist’s chair at my dear friend, Dr. Shane Matt’s office. Shane is a fellow native Louisianan and one of the biggest hearted supporters of the Austin music scene and has aptly been nicknamed the “Rock and Roll Dentist.” Before individual dentists were providing services through the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians for Austin-area artists, Shane was spending his evenings and weekends fitting in his musician friends for much needed dental care.
On this particular visit to see Shane, he was giddy. He had recently become a HAAM provider and was inspired to contribute to HAAM in new ways. His most recent inspiration was an idea to create a Holiday Album and concert for HAAM, donating 100% of the profits to the organization that keeps musicians alive and thriving here. Shane wanted to call it the “Holiday HAAM Jam.” He had already spoken with several musician friends as well as producer Mark Addison and had formed the concept for the album and concert. Since he was working on my teeth, I couldn’t reply; I just laid there and let all the information begin to bounce around my mind like a pinball game; i grew more excited by the minute. When I finally got use of my mouth, I replied “we have exactly 5 weeks to get this album on shelves; send me all the info of everyone you have on board and we’ll make it happen.” With grace, magic, love and hundreds of hours of work, somehow we pulled it off.
With the help of many musicians including co-founders Rod Williams & Shelley Mac, producer Mark Addison, Publicist Mary McKowen-Christie, graphic-designer and photographer, Sanne de Muelenaere, Mark Hallman’s mastering skills and many other volunteers, we managed to record 9 songs on one Sunday afternoon; have several more already-recorded holiday songs donated by musicians; produce a concert and print 1000 mastered CDs of the Holiday HAAM Jam Vol 1 in 5 weeks. With no advertising budget and only the efforts of our tenacious team, we made it to #3 at Waterloo Records, Shelley King’s song from our album “Christmas in Austin” was in heavy rotation on the top Holiday Channel in Austin, Magic 95.5 and we had an amazing event at the legendary club Antone’s. With our volunteer efforts, we raised over $10,000 for HAAM with this inaugural album and concert and here we are a year later, with the Holiday HAAM Jam Vol. 2 on shelves and ready to go.
It was the best holiday gift I could give and certainly the best one our musical community could receive. At the time, HAAM was unable to take on new musicians. We wanted to help them out in every way we could to raise funds toward helping them open their doors to the applicants in waiting. Our efforts alone didn’t facilitate this, but we were really glad to have the opportunity to help them move in that direction. After all, it truly does take a village.
This year we’ve had a little more time to produce the album and prepare for the concert and we have even been blessed to have a presenting sponsor, Fiat of Austin to help with the album expenses and licensing and graphic designer Crystal Spedoon from Cristofer Drake Advertising to help with the cd, ad and poster design as well as Mark Hill’s expert web services. We have been truly blessed! We took submissions from the community early in the year and had to choose between 68 artists. It was not easy to choose as Austin is home to so much talent. We had superstar Clint Black donate a song and we are excited to present songs from Carolyn Wonderland, Guy Forsyth, Ray Benson, Shurman, Noelle Hampton and so many more amazing musicians.
Our goal this year is to raise over $25,000 for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians with this album and concert. It truly makes a difference in the health of the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
I hope that you’ll consider checking it out, coming to the show at Antone’s on Dec 12 – amazing lineup- Ray Benson, Carolyn Wonderland, Guy Forsyth, Noelle Hampton, Shelley King, Graham Wilkinson, Shurman, Invincible Czars, Samantha Russo, Rod Williams, Shelley Mac, Drew Womack, Jess Klein and MORE — and YES, I’ll also be performing too. You can purchase a copy of the album online or at Waterloo Records, Wild About Music, Antone’s Records or Rocket Electric Bikes. We even have discounted download cards that are a PERFECT and VERY affordable thing to include in your holiday greeting cards to friends & family. Every cent raised goes to improving the health of the music community we cherish so much here in Austin. What better way to spend your holiday cash? Vol 2. is available online HERE. Vol 1 is available online HERE. . . You can learn more and watch interviews with artists including Guy Forsyth, Jody Denberg & Noelle Hampton at our site http:www.haamjam.com.
With Love & Warmth
People have often asked me how I can be such a champion of the feminine but also openly adore Jackson Browne, what with his tarnished reputation regarding his past relations with women. And others feel similarly about Leonard Cohen as well (though of him, they are a bit more forgiving), who has published lyrics like “giving me head on the unmade bed” and whose prose contains many descriptive, sexually vivid and profane passages that seem to, at times, objectify and belittle women. I saw them both in concert recently and got to mulling over these ideas again. As an artist who writes often about being present, transcending the muck and yadda yadda yadda, I am also met with criticism when my humanity seems to “fail me” in the public eye . . . I got to mulling over this strange relationship between fans and artists and came up with a couple things to chew on. . .
I believe that Art is conceived in the same place from which all creation comes . . . this mysterious force that creates song and sculpture is the same one that animates the grasses, bees, bacteria, fish, and all things we call “alive.” In the beginning, we artists feel that we are the ones creating; but as time moves on, we (hopefully) realize we are instruments of some greater force at work. Hopefully, as artists, we escort our egos out of the way and allow this force to use us, allow our experiences to inform - and the talents we’ve cultivated to merge with – this “inspiration” the best we can. Some call it God; others call it a “muse”, and others just bow before the mystery and allow it to move through them, nameless but sacred. This process doesn’t exempt artists from being humans. . . nor does it mean that violence and suffering are not a very real part of our humanity and our healing.
Both Leonard and Jackson clearly and openly share in many songs and interviews how the muse moves through them and that they understand their role as stewards of such inspired works. One of the things I love most about the songwriting of both of these fellas is that grace is truly evident in the muck of the profane and that is what I believe makes their songs so eternally nourishing for the rest of us.
#2 Art that reflects our humanity is not always pretty, nor are its makers.
Lets face it, even the Bible has some pretty controversial tales. They don’t talk a lot in church about when Lot’s daughters got him drunk in the desert in order to seduce him in order to continue the family line. . . I used to visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam when I lived in Holland in college and stare at this painting by Hendrick Goltzius for hours. . . pondering the line between the sacred and the profane and the humanity that seems to be the thread between . . . We are all here living this human experience, and its more often than not poorly-dressed, foul smelling and far from chaste. Life and other people are cruel. In our weird culture, we place artists on pedestals - expecting them to be avatars of the divine, never grow old, stay pretty and sexy, and never do evil – then we become so offended when their humanity shows up in the tabloids. Ironically that same humanity is what drew us to them in the first place.
Its as hard to live up to one’s own lyrics as it’s hard to stick to a 1200 calorie a day diet and perfectly balance family, recreation, and finances.
We are silly animals. We love to project our own fears and insecurities onto those in the public spotlight. . . we wrap our hearts around the songs that speak to our innermost beings and we reject the same intimacy when our heroes “let us down”. . .
We have an opportunity with all clearly flawed and incredibly touched artists to have compassion for both our own and their human experience, and that is a gift to us all and all of our growth and healing. . .