Sappy post warning…

I haven’t written a blog post for a while. It’s been a busy summer. Shows here and there, but also a lot going on in my life. As some of you know I have had some serious health issues this past year. I think I am finally coming to the end of those! yay. Also I have been juggling some family stuff and had to fly to London for a few days to take care of things. Some of you know my song ‘Peter’ and that their is a real person behind that song. My oldest brother. I became his legal deputy last year and had to suddenly go over and fulfill some duties for that. Red tape overload!  I promised myself I wouldn’t complain about a trip to London, but it was challenging to say the least. One day when I’m not so exhausted about it all maybe I’ll write a song about it ; )

That is truly my greatest outlet. After shying away from getting too personal in my writing or my sharing of songs for many years, I now fully embrace it.

Sappy Warning: Today is the anniversary of my Dad passing away suddenly. The day I became an orphan. A weird, loaded word that I couldn’t believe was suddenly my reality. Everything changed in just a few hours one Sunday morning. I wrote my song ‘Little Voice’ about that day. “I didn’t kiss him, I didn’t want to make a scene, I  never knew how much I’d miss him, or what this day would mean” https://www.reverbnation.com/katyvernon/song/14461725-little-voice

Telling a story in a song is the most cathartic way I have to deal with things. Sometimes I don’t even know how I feel about something until I write it down. I think in melodies. It’s weird but I always have. But I never want to bring down a room and make everyone sad, or worse, feel sorry for me. What I love doing however is truly sharing myself with others. Sharing in a way that people can hang on to and share right back. I’ve been so touched that many of you have done just that and reached right back to me and shared your stories.

The world spins whether we need to jump off it occasionally or not. When I sing I am jumping right back in and showing my real self to the world : )

Photo attached shows my crazy singing face! Not the most flattering, but the most real. Thanks to Seth Rowe for capturing me in my natural habitat!

Thank you for supporting that and I hope everyone has a chance to feel the joy I feel when I get to do what I love. Many show updates listed on the gig list, so I hope to see some of you. Tonight’s show at the Aster will be awesome.  3 like minded sisters of song joining me for a ‘WomenFolk’ fundraiser.

Be kind, unwind.

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Might be a Pearl, it’s too early to tell..

Good morning folks,

I haven’t blogged for awhile. Things have been busy, the residency at the Aster was crazy busy and a ton of fun. Thank you to all of you that made it out. Some of you had 75% or more attendance!! I wish I had gold star stickers to share : )

I also filmed the rest of my music video! First time ever doing the professional thing and I can’t wait to share it. There is some tasteful nudity involved for those of you that like that ; ) It’s VERY artsy and stylish, and beautiful.

We made it for the song PEARL. That song was written in a single session. I sat down on my bed and felt the need to say goodbye to some things in my life that weighed me down. Much of my songwriting comes from grief and sadness but I don’t want to always dwell on that. It will always be a part of who I am and I am grateful for the outlet that singing gives me.

I cried as I wrote the song and even when I shared it with my husband I cried the whole time I sang it. I said to him at the end that I felt like it was such a happy song and he looked puzzled! It is though. It’s about moving on, finding your pearl, even when you feel worn out and empty.

I hope people hear my songs and find their own meaning. I am grateful for the radio support the song has already had and look forward to more with the full length this Fall. I’ll upload and share the video when it’s done.

Request this or other songs here: http://www.thecurrent.org/playlist/catalog/256254

Until then, thank you and I hope to see you at a show. There is a new feature on Facebook where you can subscribe to show updates! Please check it out and subscribe.

https://www.facebook.com/KatyVernonMusicPearl Single Cover

Thank you all and have a wonderful weekend!

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Residency and video….

This has been an amazing month. I was allowed the opportunity to book an entire run of shows at one of the prettiest venues in town, the Aster Cafe on the Minneapolis Riverfront.

There isn’t a sweeter little spot to gather and play. Each week has been an opportunity to invite special guests and try out new ideas.

I tried to have fun with it and give each week a theme. April Fools day, Birthday show!! (Happiest night of my year so far), Tax day!! Earth day (We played as a trio to save some electricity!, and we’ll wrap things up with a full band show next week with Mother Banjo opening.

It’s been a blast and I cannot thank the Aster enough. The staff is so welcoming and encouraging. Not a bad looking bunch either, and if you pay close attention you might even spot a rock star or two waiting on you : )

My goal this year has been to try new things. A residency is always a little nuts as you have to promote more than usual and then hope for the best! Special thanks to those of you that have attended every, or almost every show! I know that isn’t easy.

My other big news right now is that real progress is being made on the new video PEARL. This song has already been played a few times on both The Current and KFAI (Thank you) and the video is looking incredible.

Hard copies of Lily/Pearl available at shows and they are also on itunes.

I have one more day of filming and then we’ll start to piece it all together. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen!

Thank you all and please come next Wednesday night (April 29th) if you can.

Select Summer shows are now being finalized but other than that it’s all hands on deck to finish the record.

Happy Friday, Katy x

 

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‘Wine, Women and Song’ and new music….

Some shows are just more fun than others.

Wine Women and song

 

That’s the truth and instead of wishing every gig was like that, I think the better choice is to acknowledge it when it happens and even better, realize it as it’s happening!!

I was lucky enough to have one of those experiences last week at the Lyric Arts theater in Anoka. I knew I was excited to be on the same bill as Tina Schlieske (Tina and the B-Sides) and Molly Maher (The Disbelievers), but the event was so much better than I even anticipated!

From the moment we arrived (I played with Clay & Simon) the staff took care of us so well. There was a star on the load in door, and I must say they treated us like stars! Very nice.

The sound quality was amazing and Ryan, our sound guy was a real pro. The theatre filled up almost to capacity and we played a fun and relaxed set. The audience laughed and drank wine as we played, but listened! So intently, so sweetly to every tune. I don’t say this word often, but I felt blessed. It’s not an easy thing to listen to songs you don’t know, one after another. I try to never become self indulgent enough to think people will listen to every word and note I play…. but when they do! Magic!

Huge thanks to both Tina, and Molly for being the perfect bill mates! They are both such incredible songwriters and more importantly really nice people!

I got a lot of nice feedback on the new song ‘Lily’ that night. Funny how many people shared with me that they have a child or grandchild called Lily!  For those of you that asked, the song will be out soon.

I plan to release two new songs on itunes and a limited CD run on my birthday. April 8th.

That night and every Wednesday in April I will be at the Aster Cafe in Minneapolis. See website for details.

If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list yet, please email me at katyvernon@gmail.com

 

 

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Ballerinas and love songs, oh my!!

This weekend was a career highlight! I was invited a few months ago to perform with the James Sewell Ballet company. We discussed my singing a few songs for their ‘Romance Dinner’ and whether I would be comfortable also singing on stage while they improvised to some of my songs.

It was a surreal conversation, and I even noted at the time that it was like a conversation I had imagined having, but didn’t truly think would come true. James asked if I knew the song ‘Crazy’ sang by Patsy Cline and I laughed telling him that not only was it one of the few covers I play but truly one of my favourite songs of all time.

Months went by and I didn’t publicize the show as I wasn’t 100% sure of how things would turn out and my level of involvement, but the week drew closer and it all started to fall into place.

I had one run through with the dancers and James on Wednesday. We still didn’t even know what songs to choose and I had to work out shortened versions somewhat on the fly, to see what worked best.

During that first run through the dancers were welcoming and engaging and interacted with me as I played. It was so fun and slightly terrifying at the same time. The only song that was already choreographed was ‘Crazy’. This was challenging as my version was a little fast and so we worked it out together.

I have always loved dance. especially ballet. It’s such an elegant art form and so physically impressive and inspiring.

The night came and I tried to be as relaxed and loose as possible.

I sat and watched the other pieces the dancers did that night. They included amazing dances to a Dessa tune and a snippet from the very funny Garrison Keillor show they did last year. Then James introduced me. We did three of my original songs, and the dancers improvised. My highlight of the night was ‘Loud’ a love song from my next record. They performed it as a duo. Principal dancer, Chris Hannon danced so beautifully and it all worked together so well. Next up was a group piece to ‘Little Voice’ and lastly was ‘Next Year’. This one involved audience participation. They threw out ideas and themes and really got the dancers energized. It’s the only time I have howled at the end of a song! (It felt right!)

My last song of the night was Crazy. I was nervous but it was beautiful to collaborate and watch them dance as a I sang.

I promised myself that whenever I have the opportunity to do something really great that I will live in the moment. Not think about what it could lead to, or have any expectation of anything more Just to feel grateful, step up to the opportunity and let myself take it all in.

I am so happy to say that I did that and if I can do it, anyone can x Happy Valentines

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New year, New start

Happy New Year, it’s funny how out of date that already sounds to say out loud! Are people still going to the gym, dieting, giving up vices? I didn’t make any resolutions really. Nothing I hadn’t already tried to do at least. I guess I could drink less, swear less, shout less. Those are all good goals.

My biggest goal this year is to be well. For those of you that know me outside of music stuff, you will know that this past year has been a personal challenge. I had some major health issues that were getting in the way of everything. Looking back I can’t believe I worked, gigged and managed under those conditions, but I know that having had surgery this month and some time off from everything I am really looking forward to a better year.

That involves some amazing shows and even more importantly it involves a new record! I was just talking with someone yesterday about the business side of music and it can be incredibly draining sometimes to push that side of things, BUT I have done that with your help. I have also only made one solo record. It’s actually amazing to have this kind of support and opportunities on the strength of one record.

I thank all of you that backed my kickstarter and started me on this road. I also realize what a gift it’s been to inherit ‘Uke Fest’. That gave me so much inspiration to reach beyond my own musical ambitions and connect with other musicians and uke fans alike. More on this year’s fest to come.

Some of you are already on my mailing list but please send me your email address if you’d like to be added. I will be giving away some swag and downloads as the new record reaches completion. Send your email to info@katyvernon.com (I promise I don’t email too much)

Thank you and go easy on yourselves if you ditched the resolution, there are no rules that you can’t start over anytime : )

Katy

 

 

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Last show of the year……. and 2014 thoughts..

This Sunday night at the Aster Cafe will be show number #55 of the year. That’s deliberately less than the almost 60 for the prior year (but not by much!). Knowing how to balance the desire to play with everything else that one juggles in life is a challenge. No-one wants to turn into a marketing machine, constantly plugging shows but it’s also SO much fun to play and each gig is chosen for a different reason.

Some highlights this year include the residency at the Amsterdam. It was challenging at times, playing on a Tuesday night, booking all the other acts, getting bumped for another band! (That’s showbiz), but all in all it was a great experience. It helped the band grow and learn so much.

That’s a big deal, as this year we added Chris on drums and Reed joined up fulltime on bass. I can’t explain, and it would sound pretentious or precious if I tried, the feeling you get playing in a band. These talented folks playing songs I wrote and actually enjoying it, and bringing their own sounds and talents to the mix is a joy I will always be grateful for. This was also the venue for probably my most fun show, in April on my birthday. A birthday Hootenanny,  I still can’t believe how many people came and sang and I’ll never forget Brian Just singing ‘It’s a Jolly Holiday with Katy’! So fun. I have plans to repeat this at the Aster Cafe this coming year!!

Another huge highlight this year was the Arc Gala in February. It was such a moving experience to be in a room with hundreds of people that have a connection to the disabled community. I felt the support from the stage as I sang about Peter and singing ‘Loving You’ felt joyous and right. Not too shabby that I got to not only open for The New Standards that night but got to sing a number with them! Bucket list item for sure.

Other highlights include playing the Southern Theater (Congrats Cobey), PRIDE, the Orpheum PARKLOT, Brits Pub (Think we may have a new tradition on our hands with St. George’s Day there), Brit Hoot at Harriet Brewing, and doing a live KFAI show with Brian Just. Huge thanks to Simon Husbands for that one.

Probably my best personal on stage experience came in Northfield in October. I was lucky enough to open for Ruth Moody, who is amazing, and the sound and ambiance was as perfect as you hope for. A small, intimate theatre full of people totally immersing themselves in a musical experience. I was nervous and wished I’d had my band mates with me, but it was amazing. Similar to the Southern Theater show and the type of gig that you just have to let sink in and be grateful for.

I cannot end the year without reflecting on Uke Fest! This has become a huge part of my life. It’s become bigger and better ever year and I love what it’s become. Each year I hope to add more players and variety and the fact that it’s now sold out two years in a row is so encouraging. Thanks to everyone that has been a part of this.

So that’s where I’m at. Trying to enjoy every moment that I get to be on stage. I spent so much time and energy in the past worrying about things but I feel so free now, even to look vulnerable or dumb on stage. It’s not an audition, I got the gig!

Hugely exciting plans are in the works for next year. New songs, a single, a full length, creatively exciting shows and hopefully lots of great shared experiences with my band and all of you.

Thank you

Katy x

 

 

 

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Katy Breaks The Internet!!

10430901_735444483193069_6547327298395872103_nI made a joke that this past weekend I was going to break the internet!! I was excited about the WCCO piece finally airing, my first full band show in a while (Previewing songs from the next CD) and also on a personal note, going to visit a cute puppy that I might adopt!!

Thank you to everyone that said nice things, shared my WCCO story or came to my show. Kudos to those of you that did all three!!!

Here is the link for anyone that didn’t see it air: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/11/15/women-who-rock-katy-vernon/

A couple of years ago when I first sat down to wrote a bio for my website I didn’t even know what to say. I didn’t want to mention my parents death as it seemed too sad and self indulgent and attention seeking and whatever! Well, now it’s all out there for everyone to see and I finally feel really honest and less self conscious about it. I even just updated my bio!! That part of my life shaped me more than anything until I married and had kids of my own.

Life threw some serious crap at me and I had to grow up very quickly and part of me felt broken for a very long time. In the last year I have taken steps to try to make peace with that and embrace the good things in life, of which I have plenty. Despite my recent bad health I am actually happier and healthier (mentally) than ever.

For all of you along for the ride and cheering me on I am extremely grateful. x

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DEMO Center for music

Last month I was asked to participate in a video for DEMO MN. They are an amazing organization that have booked and supported artists in the Twin Cities for many years. I have been personally benefited by the support of Steve McClellan when I started playing out again after taking time off and then advised me and encouraged me on my CD release (Even if it wasn’t at a venue he worked with) to make me feel supported and informed. He takes the time to connect with an artist and make them feel welcome in a venue. He’s the only booker who’s ever brought me tea for my throat!!

That caring and genuine concern runs throughout DEMO. They are not looking for the next fly by night trend or flavour of the month. They respect the musician and the this is reflected in the ‘Naked Songwriter’ series that I was lucky to be a part of. The depth of talent they are able to access in a series like that show the strength of the scene here that Steve has been an integral part of.

http://www.demomn.org/naked-songwriter

I look forward to seeing there dreams come true. A place where people can learn instruments (not just kids, but anyone that needs to try something new and re-wire their brains musically) perform and gather. Music isn’t and shouldn’t be about selling beer. It should be about creating and sharing.

This might sound pie in the sky, but if enough people support it then great things can happen. Please share this video and jump aboard. It’s going to be a fun ride!!

http://www.demomn.org/

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Recording day two…

Making a record is an amazing process. It’s magical, inspiring, collaborative, frustrating, time consuming, expensive, and takes me around 9 months. Kinda like making a baby!

The band have now had two sessions in the studio laying down the basic tracks for 10 songs. There is a good balance of ukulele and guitar songs just like last time but this time around there is definitely more of a band feel. We’ve come a long way, especially in the last year and even songs that are new are playing out more cohesively. I’m so impressed with the way the guys have jumped in with both feet and the ideas and talents they bring to each song are a joy to hear.

The newest song is a guitar driven ballad with a huge chorus and a heavier feel than probably anything I’ve ever written. It was only written on Monday, finished on Tuesday at band practice (Thanks to Clay for the arranging advice!) and then less than 24 hours later recorded! For a person that always worries I don’t have another song in me, this was about as good as it gets!

I have decided to try to finish two of these new songs all the way through with Kevin Bowe producing. We’ll hopefully have a single or two ready to share in the next few moths and then a full record to follow.

As always, thank you for your encouragement and stay tuned…..

 

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