Suit of Hearts – The home stretch!!

Dear wonderful and patient friends,

The end is in sight. It’s been a full year since I launched and completed my Kickstarter project to make a new album ‘Suit Of Hearts’. I had some very frustrating delays but that is all in the rear view now and the music is sounding amazing.

Most band members have wrapped up their parts. This includes all the key players of my band in addition to the wonderful trumpet player Paul Odegaard, who is now also playing most live shows with us.

Next up is the well regarded string section the ‘Laurel String Quartet’ they have played with many musicians I admire, including Jeremy Messersmith.

They go into the studio next Sunday to play on three songs.

For the first time I actually sat down to co-write the string arraignments it was an interesting and rewarding project. I have always heard additional parts in my head but never had the support and guidance to get them down on paper (computer!).

It has been great to have that support from my co-producer Kevin Bowe.

So it should all be wrapped up and pressed by the end of the year.

I plan to release a few songs ealry in the year and then I am looking ahead to a Spring release. I want to have a celebration that hopefully avoids the deepest dark days of winter!

Yours gratefully, Katy ❤

Ps: if you are local please consider coming to UkeFest this Sunday Oct 7, at the Hook and Ladder. Starts at 6pm.

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Recording update, Tee Design, HazelFest and more!!

unnamedWe are almost coming up to a year since I launched my Kickstarter! Some people use Kickstarter when they have all the recording done and just need that last push to pay for manufacturing, packaging, and marketing. I didn’t wait for that! I knew that without help I wouldn’t be able to even step foot in a studio and therefore would sit on these songs and not make the record I could hear so clearly in my mind. I am beyond grateful to have been able to do this.

Someone asked me this weekend how things were coming together and I was so excited to be able to say we are 2/3 of the way there. I also told them that I can hear myself getting happier on this record! The songs literally show how far I’ve come and reflect the journey of the last couple of years from despair to joy! Wowser! The band went in and recorded this month and all that remains now are all the added parts. Strings (I hope to use the famed Laurel Strings Quartet) trumpet (Paul Odegaard), a choir, and each individual band member will polish up and add parts too.

Also here is the album launch T-Shirt design (By Jon Hunt) I will make these later this year : )

Thank you!!!

Several cool shows coming up.. First this!! 

HAZELFEST!!! Come along to Hazelfest this coming Saturday, August 4th. I am super excited to be on the main stage!! Whoot Whoot!! I did an interview with David Campbell (Formerly with The Current, now at Hazeldon). We talked about why I was always interested in the event and how it feels to finally be a part of it!! I’m so looking forward to it. I will also be there at the Dissonance table so come say hi. Bring the family. Here is the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIa6Mr3IFVQ&t=201s

Also, please come along to the only full length full band show we have left for this summer. Vieux Carre, Saturday August 11th. 9pm.

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So… I’m still making a record

34645920_10155221850997257_4681237748156203008_nSo….. I’m still making a record : )

Update….

I wanted to check in and let you know that by the end of this month we should have all basic tracks done. This is waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy behind the schedule I set for myself (and you all), but as much as I like to control things, I just can’t. Being in a band is fun, but juggling 6 different family schedules is like juggling cats!

So here we are, and I know the record won’t be finished by the end of August as I’d hoped. That makes me sad, but please know that it WILL happen. It’s sounding great.

So, the good news is that the arrangments of the songs are truly unlike anything I have ever recorded before. It’s a crazy ambitous record and the band have worked up super tasty parts.

There are still many recording sessions to be done, but things will start to move quicker once these basic tracks are complete.

Thank you for believing in me and thank you for your patience.

If you are in town this weekend and want to see the band play, we will be at the Harriet Bandshell this Sunday (Fathers Day) at 5:30pm. Free show, and a real treat to be on that stage.

Thank you friends, Katy x

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Back to the UK

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Gratitude and Grammy winners

I get so caught up in keeping up that sometimes I forget to take a moment to reflect. The past two weeks have been an incredible ride.

Ukefest was bigger and better than ever at its new home. The stunning ‘Hook and Ladder’ theater. We raised $1,200 for both Arc GTC and The Minnesota Music Coalition and had a really sucesful Open Mic! Lots of great stuff to build upon next year. Thank you to WCCo morning news crew for always supporting this show and huge unrepayable thanks to all of the perfomers.

Then the week after that I was able to achieve a couple of music dreams, one of which I have had as long as I’ve lived in MN!

Last Saturday night I was invited to play a house concert and I initially turned it down as it was the night of my Brits ABBA show. But then the host told me it would be with Dan Wilson! Grammy winning writer of hits with Adele, Dixie Chicks, and more. I couldn’t turn it down and rearranged my schedule. Big shout out to the ABBA crew for being patient with me and huge thanks to Tomy and Shaun for making it happen. It was a magical night. Sadly I had to run out of there like ‘Disco Cinderella’ to make it to Brits, but Dan was so kind and said he loved hearing me sing!! Swoon!

The Abba show was amazing. I just adore playing these songs and I guess practice pays off because I am now able to sing and dance like a loon without totally collapsing : )

Then on Sunday I opened a show for my longtime musical influence and all round impressive songwrter, Adam Levy! I have listened to his records on repeat for as long as I’ve lived in MN. The entire weekend was a lesson in how to control my nerves and step up to the moment.

This business is always about the next gig, the next record, the next big thing… but I never ever want to forget to take a moment to look at what I have been able to do and savour and appreciate that moment.

Thank you for taking this ride with me.

Katy xx

 

 

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Receiving and giving!

As of this blog..

196 people have already pledged support so that I can make my next record.

That is mind boggling and my favourite part is that the majority of them are $10 or $25 pledges (more is amazing too of course) which means people are pre-purchasing the music by allowing me to make it, and THAT is the new music industry!

No record labels are kicking down the doors of middle aged mothers in the burbs. Singing should not be a reality show, contact sport.

Songs come from real life experience, and the fact that there is an audience for that makes me feel like everything I’m doing has some small meaning in this crazy world.

The last two shows I have played I told people about this project. I let people take CDs home and pledge on their own time and hopefully feel inspired by the music they heard to help me make an album that will expand upon the songs and make something truly special.

The campaign took a huge leap after each show and i want to thank you all so much for that!!

I have been asked to play a show the night of Sept 23rd and that will wrap up this time in my life so nicely. Instead of it being anything to do with my big ask, it will actually be a fundraiser for Hurricane relief.

I can’t think of a better way to close this campaign than by focusing outwards on others.

Thank you all for the kind words, the social shares, and every single pledge. All the best, katy

SEPTEMBER 23rd. 7:30pm @

 
329 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454

To Hell With Harvey! Texas Hurricane Relief Fundraiser

 

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It’s time to make another record… so I’m launching a Kickstarter!!

It’s been five years since I did a Kickstarter and I still feel huge gratutitude to those early backers and the people that believed in me even when I doubted myself. Many of you are still here online, coming to shows, and have become friends!

So….. here goes. Let’s make a record..

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/katyvernon/katy-vernon-needs-help-to-make-new-album-suit-of-h

So here we are, 100′s of shows, a full band, two records, and an international tour later!!

Most of you know I wear my heart on my sleeve. Possibly too much. It’s the way I am, and this year I felt like I turned myself inside out exposing all of my sins, struggles, fears, and dreams.

Instead of hiding that struggle, I want to celebrate the journey and the strength that can be found in honesty. I want to wear my ‘suit of hearts’ and face the world on it’s own terms.

2016 was rough. After a few crushing years of physical and mental pain, I really had to take a break and hit reset. A chance arose to play two huge ukulele festivals in the UK, and I decided (With the encouragment of my family) to take the plunge and go for it.

This meant 6 weeks alone on the road (My family joined me at the end) and the hard work of booking shows in another country. Train rides, flights, hotels, house shows, and many, many emails, phone calls and leaps of faith later, I had a tour booked. For someone who gets nervous about taking the wrong turn when driving this was a big deal : )

I had never spent time completely alone. As a wife since my early 20′s and a mother all of my 30′s, it was time to reconnect and to where I came from and what I wanted to say.

So I literally travelled all over the UK. To many places I had never been, and back to places I hadn’t seen since I was a child. In one 24 hour period I sang to patients at the London Hospice my mother spent her last days in, tand then travelled to her childhood home and favourite beaches in Wales.

I learnt about the strong line of Celtic women that I came from. I have spent so much of my life grieving that I never allowed myself to truly learn about my roots.

I let the waves wash over me in Brighton, where I spent 9 days on a self imposed writing retreat.

I learned how to get lost, and then find myself again. This isn’t an album about pain or mistakes. This is an album about getting caught in life’s undertow and making it out the other side. Learning to let go.

I think these are some of the best songs I’ve ever written, and I want to make an amzing album that will showcase them.

The amount I am asking for is for recording costs and musician expenses only. I have always paid my band, even if I wasn’t getting paid. I sincerely value their time. I am also going to utilize the incredible Kevin Bowe again. We will be recording in the next few months and I hope to have a record by next summer. (Maybe sooner!)

I self funded my last record, but in order to tour and gig as much as I am currently being asked to I am only working part time. I am already pouring every amount of money I can into this deeply personal project but I need help.

I appreciate the best wishes of you all and with your help I can make this record a reality.19149473_10154422696852257_2900589848615928986_n

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Going home

KatyredstickerIt’s been a while since I blogged here. I have actually been writing more for other outlets. I wrote a blog for ‘Dissonance’ online community (http://www.dissonance.website/) and then ‘Savour’ magazine (http://www.presspubs.com/savour/article_ef1441c0-0845-11e7-a272-4f98c5ed1918.html) asked me to write a quartlery series of articles about mental health, recovery and creativity! Phew. That’s been a lot to take on and has made me think a lot.

I have always written music as a way to express myself in a way that I never felt I could simply talking. It’s hard to open up and share sad stories, but set them to an upbeat tune, and people listen : )

I also get a little tired of feeling like I’m complaining all the time! I’m not, and I would hate for anyone to think I’m just mining my past and digging things up to be sad about.  It’s not a complaint, it’s a release of love, grief, appreciation, and a tribute to my loved ones to sing about them.

People often say I sing like an angel! I totally blush at that, but it is a spiritual feeling for me to sing. It’s such a natural relief for me to sing. It’s always been my play, my companion, my escape. I feel my heart and my body opening up and it’s like taking a huge breath in and releasing it all out. When people listen to that and feel a connection, it is magical.

I have spent so many years trying to navigate my feelings and my place in the world that mental health issues crept up on me. I always had a million reasons to feel sad, and I didn’t know that depression had taken hold. It was probably always there and I’m grateful for the coping skills and the loving people in my life that helped to keep it at bay.

I am now on medication for depression and can feel the difference between sadness and depression. Its a profound difference that I am still getting acclimated to.

I know that going home will have highs and lows and I am ready for them. I always do best with goals. My goal is to write my next record during this trip. I have carved out a week break in my schedule so I can have quiet time to write.

I’m excited to see where the new songs will take me, and I’m grateful that my music is literally taking me home.

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Better new year

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the support last year and prior to that for some of you. It’s hugely appreciated.

This was a tough one personally and I am grateful to have had music as an outlet, my band as an escape, friends and family’s love, the mental health and recovery communities resources, and all of you. You are my community, and I am so happy to be connected to you all.

New music has been percolating all year and I wanted to take the lessons of last year and make something beautiful. Not just sad songs, and certainly no self pitying ballads or rants, but hopefully something that gets to the heart of how to pick yourself up and carry on.

My immediate goals this year are to play new venues and find new ways to connect.

That includes my new in home concert series. I was inspired by the incredible Shannon Curtis to push myself out there with my own events instead of waiting for others! I have already booked a couple of shows under the ‘Present-Together’ banner and I’m looking for more. This is a donation based event and has no cost to the host. Let’s chat if you’re curious.

I also want to expand on Uke Fest this year and find more ways to support other artists.

In other news, I decided to reprint my sold out first album! I’m celebrating that with a two for $15 special for both records!

See you soon xxx

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A new chapter..

I decided to use my blog as a starting point for more than just my musical musings and updates.

These will be mostly reflections of my upbringing as I start to collect together ideas to share or not share as more of a collection with my children, friends and community.

 

As way of an intro…

I only have a few memories of my mother.

I remember the Pirate costume she made for me. She pinned an old necklace to an oversized hat and showed me how to wear it tilted on my head, just right so I’d look badass.

She came in to school and berated a mean teacher who told me I was going to sing backstage as my prettier friend sang along out front of the audience.

She told my friends that our dogs hair was permed just because it made her laugh.

She always burnt toast and said she preferred it that way anyway. She didn’t.

She loved the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bobby M.

She was an advocate for the disabled, starting with the fierce love she had for my brother Peter and she went on the BBC to speak up for disability rights.

I remember her telling me the songs she wanted to be sung at her funeral.

I remember sitting in her hospice bed and eating strawberries rolled in sugar.

I don’t remember the sound of her voice.

For all the things I remember and the lifetime of memories I will never have I decided to write as much as I can think think of down.
Before I forget.

 

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