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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Eat, Drink (or not) and be Merry (or not)…

It’s time to talk…

This has been a year! Instead of wallowing in how tough it’s been for me personally I am looking ahead. I didn’t even know how bad I was feeling until it became unmanagable. That led me to ‘Dissonance’, an organisation that supports people and opens up dialog between the arts and mental healh.
So here I am doing an event with them. I’ve navigated a lifetime of feeling awkward, lonely, different, and just plain sad around this time of year. It brings up a lot of feelings but I’m still here. I love watching my kids put up a tree and I love the songs, the movies, the food! We are all stonger when we recognize our weaknesses and prop each other up. If you’d like to come please check out the link. Donation only event, free for those that need that.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dissonance-presents-unhappy-holidays-tickets-29196687077

UK Tour!! Next Summer. More details to come, but I’m so excited! If you know of any venues, radio, press, and even just have friends in the UK please let me know about them. I have some big plans already but want to make more.
To help celebrate my UK tour I have made new necklaces. Avaible now because you don’t need to fly to the UK to look this cool ; ) $10 each. Handmade by me.
Shows to come to…Tuesday, December 6th. IDS Music Under Glass. Lunchtime Holiday music series. Katy Solo. Noon.

Wednesday, December 7th. Aster Cafe. Singer Songwriter night. Katy solo. 8:30pm. Just a couple of tunes. No cover.

Wednesday, December 14th. City Center Lunchtime Holiday music series. Katy Solo. Noon.

Thursday, December 15th. Dissonance presents: Unhappy Holidays. Panel discussion and performance. Open Book, Minneapolis. 7pm. Katy solo. Free.

2017

January 4th 2017 at 7:00 pm, Sample Night Live. Landmark Center, St. Paul. Katy solo.

Friday, January 13th.ABBASolutely Fab headlining at the Turf Club. 9pm.

UK tour dates to announced soon.

Thank you David Tanner for this great shot from the Turf Club. In the past month I have been lucky enough to play The Cedar, and the Turf (Replacements tribute show). Two of my favourite Twin Cities venues. Here I am playing Skyway’ and I loved it so much I’m going to add it to my regular shows.
Looking ahead to next year I have a couple of Abba shows in the works. First up is the Turf Club. We’re thrilled to be headlinging another fab night of bands.
Friday, January 13th. ABBASolutely Fab headlining at the Turf Club. 9pm.
Thank you for the support this year. It means a lot.
Buy music, support art, be kind, unwind : )
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2016 wrap up!

Looking Ahead

This was a challenging year. Not just for me, but for a lot of friends and folks in general.
I have learnt a lot and I’m feeling better than I have in a long time. I already have some amazingly exciting things in the works for 2017 (Picture below is a hint!) and look forward to being able to share that soon.

Last 2016 Katy Vernon Band Show!!

One of my goals next year is to play with my amazing band more. They are SO awesome and I would gladly play every week with them if people wanted us to! Your last chance this year is a week from today.

Friday, November 4th at the Aster Cafe. 9pm. The lovely Natalie Lovejoy opens the show.
This will very likely sell out so please call to reserve a table. Walkins can still be seated at the bar for those procrastinators we know and love : ) Aster Cafe. Minneapolis. Call # 612-379-3138

Abba Show!!
Our last show of the year!! Tomorrow night (Saturday, October 29th) We play Brits birthday bash. Kinda Kinky (Kinks band) play at 8:30 and we play at 10. No cover, drink specials, and come dressed up!! You know I’ll be rocking my blonde wig xxx
Brits Pub. Minneapolis.

Full to capacity Uke Fest crowd!!!
Thank you to everyone who came to Uke Fest. I wasn’t sure if switching venues this year would work. You packed the place!!! Wow.
We raised over $700 for both of the charities and from a musical point of view I really think it was the best one yet!!
Thank you to all of the perfomers.
Dean Johnson, Anna Lee Roberts, Daniel Nass, Mark Olsen, Mary Bue, Dave Randall, Caiti Allison, Lauren Ashiem, Corey Mohan (Hula peppers), Dave Kapell, Simon Husbands, Christian Erickson with Janey Winterbauer, Nikki Becker, Jake Rowan, Eric and Nora (Hot Date).

Thank you all for the encouragment and support. Katy x

 

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Out of touch… Real life

imageI feel very out of touch with you all and I’m sorry about that! This summer seems to be flying by and every week seems to bring challenges that have frankly been a little overwhelming.

I am hoping that some creativity comes out of all of this worrying and anxiety, but more importantl I just trying to learn from it!

My brother, seen here on the right, is doing well and some of you may know that he was the inspiration for my song Peter. I have always tried to use writing to connect and process how I feel. I Skype with him monthly and the words of that song ring true every time. “When you see my face you smile, Do you know me, can you show me” He can : )

Sometimes I don’t even know how I feel until I sing it back to myself and realize how wise I am! lol.

This year has seen a couple of job changes, and I’m still not sure if the choices I have made will turn out to be the right ones but I’m plugging along trying to make the best of things. I also broke my toe a couple of weeks ago. I kicked my guitar case at band practice, accidently! Very annoying, but I’m on the mend.

I have also decided to stop drinking. I don’t think anyone would call me a big drinker, but it’s been a crutch for me emotionaly that I realize does more to make me sad that it does to make me happy. Not a good solution!

So I’m starting fresh with things, writing again and turning down those free drink tickets that come with every show! Hot me up on the right night and I’ll give you one : )

Hope to see some of you at the Aster. It’s this Sunday night. July 24th. Despite my emotional roller coaster, we always put on a great show : )

 

Thanks for the support and love. I feel it and I appreciate it.

Katy

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I’m never gonna be, the girl I was at 23, but I don’t mind that at all… She drove me up the wall! (Birthday show)

So, tomorrow is my birthday and for the third year in a row I will be performing! I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to do that and this year is pretty special.

I will be opening up the Minnesota Music Coallitions Summit concert. It’s a pretty big deal and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. A solid full band show at a great venue! I couldnt ask for a better birthday gift! I remember someone saying once that it wasn’t hard to get a gig, but it’s hard to get a good gig! At the time I was just desperate to play, anywhere!! But it’s so true that you just have to strive towards the good gigs and more importantly appreciate them

Friday April 8th, doors at 7:30. Show at 8:30.

When I wrote my song ’23′ I wasn’t sure I even wanted to play it to the band, let alone perform it!

It’s hard to be honest about getting older. I will never be the up and coming, hot new thing, sexy pop star, but I’m embracing that i don’t need to be :)

As I close out another year, i’ll be singing that one and reveling in the luxury of getting older!

Fun things on the horizon too!

https://katyvernon.bandcamp.com

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Present – Gratitude!

Thank you to everyone who attended the CD release show. It was such a release!!! The most fun and in control I have ever felt doing a show. I know I play a lot and sometimes I wonder if it’s too much but this was as good as it gets.

The band, as always, were amazing. Clay, Simon, Reed and Chris were perfection personified! I felt so supported up there by them and I have to pinch myself that we get to play together. Thanks also to Terry Isaachsen, Paul Odegaard, Kevin Bowe (Amazing as an opening act too), Daniel Nass and my little Daisy Vanderwood, for filling out the night and bringing their talents to the stage.  We played a selection from the first record, including ‘Wish You Were Here’ which is a song I have only performed live a handful of times. It’s an extremely overwhelming song for me to perform and was in semi retirement LOL! It felt good to sing though to such a friendly room. I decided to throw in a couple of classic tearjerkers too, “The End Of The World” and “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’. These songs are so fun to perform and it felt amazing to get back to my roots just pouring my heart out in a song and not worrying about playing the guitar or uke.

Speaking of guitar, I unveiled “Ruby Sparkles” my new DanElectro and paired her up with my sparkly Fender amp! They looked so pretty next to Chris’ red drums! Quite the lineup. 90 + minutes of music and the most rounded out show I have ever felt like I played. Ending the night with Paul playing trumpet on ‘Ring of Fire’ was incredible!

After that the speakers at ICEHOUSE (Amazing venue!!!) blasted the dance version PEARL Re-MIX!

Thank you to all of the press articles that built this up and supported the record. I am thrilled with how it is being received and it’s incredibly encouraging. Congrats to Lily Vanderwood for selling SO many of her t-shirts. She worked the booth all night and was a star!

Taking a little rest this month and then we’ll be back at the Aster Cafe for a month of shows in December. Every Wednesday with special guests.

Stay tuned… more to come.10406586_10153371486813020_6571944621467504160_n

Photo by Tony Nelson Photography

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Present – now streaming and release party update!

Coming out almost a year to the date of the start of recording is finally my follow up record ‘Present’

I uploaded it today to Bandcamp so people have a chance to listen for a short while before I release the hard copies at the show next month.

http://katyvernon.bandcamp.com/album/present

Tickets are available now for that show, so please make a reservation and you’ll save some money doing that too : )

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2181542 ‘PRESENT’ Full length CD Release show – Sunday October 25th, 5pm – With Kevin Bowe. $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

That’s a whole lot of info to try to get out and share with everyone but beyond links and dates and show invites, I mostly just want people to hear the music. I really hope people like it and connect to it.

All I can do is share it at this point and hope for the best : )

I’ve had an amazing run of shows lately and some fun ones coming up. Being named as ‘Musician In Residence’ at the Mia was a highlight. Tonight is the last night and I have been extremely grateful for the opportunity to sing in such a lovely space. Either solo, or with the Trio, it’s been a great experience singing in a such an intimate and impressive building.

Last week I had another wonderful show at the Convention Center. It was part of the Minneapolis Foundations’ Century of Stories Celebration. The trio got to play a set on a cute replica of the Harriet Band shell and then after we played the rest of the night’s performances truly knocked my socks off. We opened for; MN Orchestra, VocalEssence, Twin City Gospel Choir
James Sewell Ballet, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, MacPhail Community Youth Choir, with Greta Oglesby, Emcee, and Philip Brunelle, Conducter.

Now back to rock and roll!

Gigs..
Saturday, September 26th, Full Band Show at 612 Brewery. 6pm.

Friday, October 2nd, Full Band Guest Performance on TPT’s ‘Almanac’ ..

October 3rd, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Full Band performance for GO96.3 Music ‘N Brew Fest on Saturday, at Target Field Station

Also. UKE-FEST at the Aster Cafe!!!…. Now two nights!!! 10/9 AND 10/10. All proceeds benefit the Arc GTC.
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Just a couple of sad songs…

Here I am getting ready for a second CD release! It’s amazing to think about. All the ideas in my head that turned into songs, all the practice sessions, working out parts with the band (They are amazing and come up with such great ideas), testing arrangement ideas, all the gigs that we played as a band to test them out and feel our way into what worked and what needed work and then the marathon sessions getting them all recorded. All leading to this. The last mad dash to finish and perfect and launch them into the world!

It all feels like a very big accomplishment and a huge goal. The real test seems to be whether anyone will listen, come to shows, buy the record, buy the t-shirt, but that’s not the test. I really just want to be proud of it. Not in a boastful or competitive way, but just as a reflection of what I want to share.

My last record was so personal and steeped in grief and although I felt it had joyful moments it also had a very clear and deliberate theme of loss and longing. I have deliberately left much of that behind.  I even went as far as to have some Hypnotherapy to try and shake off some of my grief and stress. I wanted to honor and remember my past but I felt so stuck in it and so weighed down by sadness that I knew I had to make some changes.

I have already shared the song ‘Pearl’ and that was the direct result of these sessions. I had some things I had to to say goodbye to.

So what does that leave? What do I have to say and why even write? Hopefully this record will show that I still have plenty to share. It’s all about being here now, doing what you love, surrounding yourself with love and music and not trying to be perfect, trying to be grateful and being ‘Present’.

There are still a couple of sad songs, but hey, that’s life ; )

 

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