Jackson Wyoming in the summer is like mountain paradise with a NYC pace. All the tourists coming to visit are trying to take in ALL this place has to offer as fast and furiously as they can. I mean, there’s river rafting, paragliding, hiking, moose, bison and elk watching and like- i dunno – a gazillion natural wonders in national parks and preserves EVERYWHERE. It’s friggin bonkers cool. And tiny. there are like 9,500 permanent residents but in the summer it explodes with people from around the world.
So, my buddy Pete who I’ve known since college has been here for the last 13 years and has been trying to convince me to come up for summers and entertain residents and tourists, perform weddings and private parties and enjoy the beauty. FINALLY after many years of persuasion, I took him up on his offer. I mean, we just finished tracking the new album; I needed to tour for the summer to get back on the road before we started touring the new album and yea, I’m not gonna lie, spending 6 weeks of summer working in the mountains (i’m wearing a hoodie this morning sitting on a porch on a butte overlooking this splendid view that my canine friend Todd is gazing upon in this pic) was not a BAD idea for a girl who has spent most of her life in 100+ degree weather 5 months out of the year. . .
So last summer, after a visit here for some gigs with a wonderful local group of musicians I said yes for 2013. And here I am in Jackson gigging 4-5 nights a week, rehearsing like mad, preparing for the fall touring and album release in the clean mountain air. I’m here for a total of 5.5 weeks and it’s going way too fast. It’s nuts. Another reason I say it’s like NYC pace is that the folks who are in service here are all working multiple jobs to be here, trying to hike, bike, raft, yoga in their tiny amounts of spare time while running from being a ski lift dude to a waiter to offloading luggage at the airport. Many young people who are hungry to be here for the summers for the beauty and recreation pay for it in their commitment to a gazillion jobs. So I fit right in with my overly ambitious semi-workaholic ways while still enjoying the beauty of being here.
I’m working a ton, which is great for chops and to help me get ahead on covering the costs of the album budget. . . and I’m enjoying a variety of gigs, from my two residencies at the Famous Mangy Moose and the Four Seasons to 10 person weddings to private dinners to 150 person weddings on the top of mountains (see photo below). And that leads me to the next part of the story which explains why my legs are covered in bruises.
Last Saturday we had a private wedding gig at the top of this place called the “Gondoa” or something like that. We had to load a 7 piece band and 2 full PA systems into these MOVING ski gondolas that went up about 20 minutes (i have a major heights phobia, so my apologies to the guys in the band who had to ride with a sweaty, anxious, freaked out me up and down that lift) to this bluff on the side of a mountain where we had to then UNLOAD the gondolas as they continued moving along. Holy of Holies! Ive never had such an odd load-in/load-out for a gig. Then I had the pleasure of singing for about 4 or 5 hours at 9500+ altitude. Funny stuff for this sea-level girl.
So, um ya. I am feeling pretty blessed to be working in such a beautiful nook of the world. Hoping that when I get a couple of days ‘off’ from gigging, I can take in some more of the natural beauty this place has to offer. And I’m super psyched about the upcoming tour back to Texas and then even more psyched about the slew of release dates we have this fall for this amazing new album.
I know that life is full of peaks and valleys and that we all just gotta find gratitude where ever we are on the roller coaster (or on the gondola, covered in anxiety-induced perspiration). . . And I’m feeling really grounded. Ready to be of service, grateful for the opportunity to do this thing in the world for this season of life. . .
Love & Moose.