Greetings from one of my favorite spots on planet earth, Jackson, WY. My feelings today are bittersweet as I am preparing for my last public show here with my friends and bandmates here, Major Zephyr. My life is changing so quickly and I’m about to head back to TX for the next chapter of life. . . Not sure if I’ll ever spend another whole summer here. . . So, here’s the story of my relationship with this beautiful place and a few of hundreds of photos that I’ve taken over the years. . . . I hope you enjoy!
Jackson is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places in the US. For me, it’s been a place of tremendous healing, tons of shows (sometimes 6 shows a week for months straight) and a place to bow before the wonders of creation . . . I believe that when we can connect with nature, really let it blow our minds and open our hearts, we are closest to the mystery of this crazy creation and life. . . This place has certainly done this for me.
I have been blessed the last 5 years to spend summertime in this magical valley (getting out of the TX heat has not been bad either). My first visit to Jackson was when I was 18 and had just finished recording my first album. It was my first time to see anything that wasn’t Louisiana or TX or Rhode Island and on that road trip my mind was blown by the Rockies, Canyons of Utah and so much more . . . And I liked Jackson, but didn’t really fall in love with it until five years ago.
My college buddy, Pete Muldoon, who is now running for MAYOR, urged me for 10 years to come spend summers here. He knew there were great opportunities for me to play music here and I was stubborn. I didn’t get it. I blew him off for a decade. What a fool I was!
Five years ago, my foolishness ended. I visited for 10 days and played several gigs with Pete’s band, Major Zephyr as my backing band. I fell in love with the young, majestic mountains, epic waterfalls, crystal clear rivers, remoteness and grace. I was completely smitten by the end of that 10 days and agreed to spend the following summer playing in the area, joining the band for shows and taking moments to take in the amazing terrain.
The following year I spent 6 weeks, the next year 2 months and last year I spent 3 months working a ton and stealing moments away in nature to nurture my body, heart and soul. I’ve made amazing friends, played beautiful yoga events, countless weddings in countless breathtaking spaces, gone on dozens of hikes, and water adventures and yet I feel I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of possibility here. It’s truly amazing.
I was single five years. Home-free/nomadic for two years until I got Tips (my camper and now our private house concert venue). . . I pushed my boundaries in every way. Musically, emotionally, business-wise, spiritually I grew exponentially and Jackson was a constant wellspring of energy, life, abundance for me during these years.
This summer I could only spend 3.5 weeks in Jackson – because of my upcoming new album (I’m so excited about it, it’s my best work yet!), Tips Concerts, being honored to be a Black Fret nominee in 2016 and becoming engaged to the love of my life, Ryan (WOW – YES MORE ON THAT SOON), I need to be in Austin more right now . Life is funny. The idea of “home” is funny. Austin has been “home” for 16 years but each time I arrive back in Jackson, my dear friend and guitar player in Major Zephyr, Jeff always says “welcome home.” And I do feel at home here. It’s incredible how one can feel rooted in many places across this wide earth.
So, tonight is my last public gig here with the band for a while. We’re playing the groovy Silver Dollar Bar at the Historic Wort Hotel. My beloved, Ryan has joined me here we have been sharing Jackson’s magic together . . . A perfect bookend to my love affair with this beautiful place. . . In just a few days, we will road trip back to Texas.
I have been in love with this place for so long. . . and though things are shifting and I may never have a consecutive multi-month magical meditation here again, it will never leave my heart.
So much gratitude for all the love, work and music in my life here. A shout out to my bandmates here, Jeff, Ted, Andy, Marshall& Mark, to the friends who have put me up in this crazy housing crisis: Pete, Becky & Jeff, Anna, to my Sacred Sunday music & yoga co-conspirator, Niki Sue, to my wedding planner guru and boss, Virginia, to the great venues and concert series that have had me perform over the years- Jackson Hole Live, The Mangy Moose, The Four Seasons, Jackson Lake Lodge & so many more. . . Viva Jackson Hole. May many hearts find their homes in your sweet valley as I have.
PS. If I could, I would vote Muldoon for Mayor!!!