A few months ago I started sharing the Do Be Do EP with a few friends and supporters in the music community. The kind words just keep coming in and I couldn't be more excited!Alex Vallejo (Director of the Austin Music Foundation/KOOP DJ/ Producer/Vallejo drummer) says: "I absolutely love your music and actually played "Do Be Do" on KOOP's Beats of Burden show recently. It sounded really good on the air!
What I truly love about your EP is that it really embodies your awesome playful and sultry mellow vibe without sounding contrived at all. When I introed your song on the radio I actually said "Do Be Do" is a good three minute example of what it feels like to hang with Daisy, because that song really captures your fun personality and humor that we've all come to love and know!"Grammy Award Winning Singer/Songwriter/Instrumentalist Terri Hendrix says:"I'm still listening to your CD and am frankly blown away. The writing, production, and your delivery. AMAZING. You actually interrupted my night ... again. I had to shut everything down and just listen to you. This is so frickin' original. What are your plans? Just great stuff. Where are you at with all this? I believe in you. Get this OUT."Mady Kaye, legendary jazz vocalist and Austin's premiere vocal instructor says:"A very fresh voice. You have an interesting perspective, and your poetry really pops. It's unique and daisy-esque." Steve Poltz, hit songwriter and non-stop touring troubadour says in his Poltzy way:"Holy shit. This is so fucking good! Radio will play this. Well done!
Thanks y'all! I'm feeling the love and listening to jazz
by the fire on this chilly Sunday morning. This afternoon I explore the EAST Austin Studio Tour
with one of my favorite songwriters, Ron Scott. See you out there, Austin peeps!
Happy day to you. Lets do and be and do!
Two years ago to this week, I arrived in Austin with a dream and a carload of belongings. I was ready to start my life over as a songwriter and eager to make an album. Despite 6 months on the road last year, my roots have sunk deep in the southwest. Texas is my home and I'm always relieved to return. Today, my first album is beautfully recorded and approaching a 2014 release. My mantra continues to be- "I'm right on time." In celebration of abundance and deep gratitide for friendship, I'm gathering Team Daisy for a musical garden party. This will be my first house show in Austin, TX and I'll be sharing songs from my upcoming EP and bringing up some of my best friends to share their gorgeous songs: Shawnee Kilgore, William Wallace, and Lizzy Lehman. Sunday, November 17th, 3-6pm @ Hafner House: 1205 Hillside Ave, Austin Friends near and far, I wish you blessings of joy, health, abundance, and the continued manifestation of your dreams. Love, DaisyArtwork by the lovely and talented Landry McMeans, blurry photo by me. Check out her gorgeous studio this weekend and next at EAST Austin Studio Tour at the Pump Project Art Complex. <3
I have returned from the first MEOW Con
, a conference created by Carla Black
who published ROCKRGIRL Magazine.
From Singapore, Brazil, the UK, and all over the US and Canada, female musicians traveled to congregate in a classy hotel for weekend of music and knowledge-sharing. I love women and I love learning. Meow Con = Daisy's paradise.
I am one of the lucky women who got an official showcase. Me! The intimate crowd seemed to dig my vibes, and Shawnee Kilgore
, my dear friend who has witnessed my musical growth from ground zero to present, said I "oozed confidence." Right back at ya, sister! She sang back up with our friend Alyse Black
's band last night and they nailed it. My friends are rock stars and so am I. And so can you. Lets do be do it. :)
Speaking of rock stars, I met Elvis-loving rock icon Suzi Quatro
. She was on the show Happy Days
, and gave the keynote address at the conference (sprinkled with off-color one-liners.) I want her to adopt me. I had dinner with a powerhouse group of women- Charlie Faye
(a record spinning singer-songwriter who works with the same producer as me, Daniel Barrett
), Erin Ivey
(urban folk singer-songwriter, who was trained by the same voice teacher as me, Mady Kaye
), Jennifer Houlihan of Austin Music People
(who recently brought Austin the new Red River Cultural District
!), and professor of mythology Kathleen Hudson who runs the Texas Heritage Music Foundation
I also got to connect with Julie Chistensen
, a singer who recently toured the world with Leonard Cohen
. One of my dreams is to sing back up. I love singing with others and have a natural ability to harmonize. Musicians need multiple streams of income, and I hope to make back up singing one of mine.
Julie is a huge inspiration to me, and here we are together!
This weekend I was privileged to witness women of all ages, from young teenagers to seniors, sharing their songs, their voices, and their stories. The panels, workshops, and keynotes were incredibly informative and I'm excited to process and apply the knowledge gained. I heard many women who've been in the music industry for many years echo the same sentiment- we all learned a lot at Meow Con. I'm so thankful I got to attend, share my songs, and meet so many great women. If you are a women in music- or an advocate for female musicians- this conference is a must do. Thank you Carla
. MEOW Con 2014, here we come!
Namaste y'all! I'm off to a pumpkin carving party. :)
I'm writing from my desk in my little studio, sweaty and ready for a shower, as another week of house cleaning draws to a close. I love writing after cleaning. All day I've watched my mind spin in cycles, rinse and repeat. My mind is a busy one. I watch myself slip in and out of old patterns throughout these long days. One character keeps coming back- a ghost of my irish catholic upbringing. I call her - "The Slave." She's an irish washerwoman, blue collar and shallow breath. She's in a rush but she never seems to get anywhere (except for more anxious.) She's afraid that something terrible will happen / if she isn't perfect / no one will love her. She's a little bit manic and a little bit sad. She isn't particularly unusual, nor is she useful. I have compassion for her, as I gently usher her out the door. Its a dance I know well, as she seems to always come back, catching me off guard and charming her way back into my house. I work hard. She praises me as she pushes up my treadmill's speed and level of incline.
Lately the slave girl has been working hard. Over the last few weeks I've spent my spare time creating an online fundraising campaign. I made a promotional video for the Do Be Do EP-
a lovely photographic journey set to the finished recording of my song, Maria.
I created a long list of thoughtful and personal rewards for campaign donors, and wrote the story of my musical journey (where I've been- what I'm doing- and where I want to go.)
A couple nights ago I got home from cleaning and hopped straight on the computer. I was going to finish the campaign. I made dinner, worked more, fueled up on dark chocolate + almond & sea salt
(my favorite manic writing session snack), and kept working. Around 10pm I sat back and viewed my ready-to-launch online campaign. As soon as I looked at the completed project I realized that I didn't actually want to launch the campaign. Simply put, it would be an large amount of busy work fulfilling the rewards in a timely manner (not to mention all the items currently awaiting attention on my to-do list). Most of my friends who run campaigns like that have "people" who help them fulfill their promises. I'm not playing at that level today. I feel like I dodged a major bullet, and learned an important lesson in trusting my intuition. I didn't want to run an online fundraising campaign, but I talked myself into it. What do you want to do, Daisy?I want to:
SHARE the beautiful music I've been blessed to make. The "Do Be Do EP" is spinning on repeat in my car. I love it. It keeps making me chuckle and tear up and feel all kinds of things. And I'm the only one who gets to listen to it right now. That doesn't seem fair. The songs are ready to go. I need to package, print, and promote my EP.
START A BAND of vibrant, heart-based, dedicated professional musicians, with shared values and musical aesthetic. I recently moved into an old dance studio full of mirrors. I'm stocked up on tea, coffee, snacks, and wine. I'm ready for my friends to come over and play. I desire to play with professionals, and to compensate them appropriately for the rehearsal time and performances. I am starting to slowly invest in sound equipment. Today I purchased an amazing vocal mic and stand. We will need to invest in a PA system, more mics, stands, cords, etc. I'm already turning down gigs because I don't have a PA to bring. . .
HIT THE ROAD- Momentum is building, as my music grows and evolves. I haven't yet released any music, started a band, and I mostly perform at farmers markets and Whole Foods stores. But I feel an energy building around my music that is powerful. I can see how the story goes. We will show up and shine bright at every show. Tours will start to line up and we'll manifest a touring vehicle. We will share our songs, voices, and love with many people across this country and world. We will live love, and be sustained by love. I know this is true, because I have many dear friends already walking this path.
I feel myself preparing to gracefully join them.
My friend, Terri Hendrix
, says "you've gotta own your own universe.
I'm doing it!
I believe in the work I am doing and I trust that the support will come.
If you're interested in joining Team Daisy, send me a message here
or on facebook
. I'd love to tell you more about what I'm working on.
My debut EP - "Do Be Do"- is off Producer Dan's
desk and has moved on to the next phase: mastering
I couldn't have done this without a whole bunch of love and support from Team Daisy (family, friends, fans, and mentors- THANK YOU!) I'm blessed to be writing a big old check this week, to pay off the remainder owed on production. I'm down to my very last dimes and its so worth it! I have a beautiful home studio, food in the fridge, a day job I like, and I get to make radio-ready super catchy and heart-based folk-pop music.
Life is so good, I can't even believe it. The next phase: Kickstarter Campaign!
Soon I will launch an online campaign to raise the remaining funds I need to pay for mastering, graphic design, promo photos, website, cd duplication, and proper promotion. I know it's going to be fantastic. But I can't lie, I'm fairly terrified to ask for money. Every possible worry runs through my head, and I try to give each worry a moment of compassion before booting them out the door.
Worry wastes imagination and I have creative work to do!There is no magic to my journey
( although it feels like a Cinderella story at times :)
All I do is keep showing up for work.
Falling down and getting up.
Choosing every day to connect to my bliss
Choosing to walk my path with joy and gratitude
Know that you are a blessing
and that life has meaning and purpose.
Breathe deep and release worry
Connect to the people, places, and activities that light your fire
Give yourself to love.
Do Be Do.
Daisyblog photo by Jen Hellow <3website photos by Dalton Campbell Photography <3
I once read that an artist needs 1,000 true fans to sustain basic needs with some level of grace. I'm excited to sustain my life through my music, and I have a healthy understanding of the work involved. I know I have a ton of work to do. But 1,000 true fans.... that seems achievable, right?What is a true fan?
I'm a true fan of one artist in particular- singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov
. His music has had a tremendous impact on my life and art. He sings truth and it hits my heart in the deepest places. I'm incredibly blessed to know Gregory, to have opened for him with my band, and also to have been called up mid-set to play a song the last time I saw him play. He is kind and generous, enthusiastically supporting new artists and songwriters like myself, and donating money he makes on songs to non-profit organizations he believes in. There are many other artists I love and support, but as far as true fandom goes, I'm in it for the long-haul with Gregory. I go to every show I can. I tell friends about his music. I'm getting to know his fanbase on different social media sites. His music feeds me, and I want to do my part to support him and make sure he gets fed. If you're in Austin, lets all go see him at The Parish on September 25th!
This week I got my 1,000th follower on Instagram.
True confession- I'm super into Instagram. I started posting on a whim 19 months ago, and slowly built a following. I hovered around 200 followers- friends of mine- for the first year and a half. And I kept taking pictures. And then something shifted two months ago. I started to give more, and I started to get more. Hitting the 1,000 follower mark is a milestone, and it came from daily attention. I am SO THANKFUL to all you swell folks who follow me, like my pictures, and leave kind comments. You give me hope, and I'm excited to keep giving back... soon with the release of my recorded music!
I've learned that following my dreams means showing up every day and working hard. Its not glamorous, folks. But I'm crazy happy to be doing this. I hope you are doing what (and who!) you love today. Happy Pride, happy Jewyear, happy everything. Lets keep fighting the good fight, in our own little ways. This world needs all the love we can give. <3
I just got back from a weekend at the legendary Kerrville Folk Festival,
where I served on the stage crew and sweat with a bunch of dusty hippies and country folkies. The weekend highlight - I got to welcome my dear friend, Steve Poltz
, to the ranch for his first Kerrville show.
Steve is one of my favorite people. We've clicked together since day one, like bacon and eggs, peaches and cream, pickles and pickles. I'm blessed to have written a song with him that will be the title track of my upcoming Ep. I've been to many of his shows all over the country in the past few years, and watched him wow audiences, charm children, and woo many a quivering fan. Watching his shows feels equivalent to taking a masters course in performance art. He wrote hit songs with Jewel.
He tours the world non-stop and works harder than pretty much anyone I know. He has the best merch. When I grow up, I want to be like Steve Poltz.
Steve's set was excellent, as always. He made up a song on the spot and told crazy stories, looped his guitar and vocals, unplugged, and ran out to the crowd, jumping onto the front row benches and waving his arms and guitar like the crazy punk-rock-folk-star he is, while the crowd sang. It was such a treat to watch the Kerrville folks fall in love with his high-energy blend of song, storytelling, theatrical antics, and comedy, and to hear everyone talking about him afterward. Yeah... my friend is cool. :)
After Steve finished with a double encore, one of my favorite Austin-based songwriters, Betty Soo
, closed out the night with her gorgeous new band. I was actually working to tear down infrastructure during her set (one of the "perks" of working the last night of festival), but what I heard was amazing. Her voice and songwriting are supurb, her humor is perfectly dry and her banter is endearing and hilarious. At the end of the night Betty Soo called up the other acts from the evening- Steve, AJ Croce
, and Parker Millsap
- for a spirited folk friend encore. Even the Kerrville bubble machine was employed, which consists of a fan and several backstage volunteers holding bubble wands in front of it. Only the finest! I feel like the performers last night brought a breath of fresh air and marked an important shift in the energy of the Kerrville Folk Festival. More please.
If you live in the glorious Pacific Northwest, do yourself an huge favor and go see Steve. He's currently touring Washington and Oregon. Check out Steve's tour schedule
. Tell him Daisy sent you. :)
I just got back from a fabulous Washington State Wedding tour 2013! I flew into Seattle and arrived by bus in Bellingham just in time for a packed show at Honeymoon Mead
. I love Bellingham and am so thankful to all the lovely folks who came out to support my tour kick-off. I also got to play the Fairhaven Farmers Market, and had some much needed down time with family and friends. My second day in Washington was spent at my friend's Tony and Cristina's mountain wedding. The reception featured The Uncanny Valley
live band karaoke, and I sang the classic "Business Time" by Flight of the Concords.
I felt shaky as I hadn't heard or sang the song in ages, but evidently I nailed it. The best part- people thought it was my song. I think I'm going to cover it from now on.
The highlight of the tour was the Elie Samuel/Lisa Dixon wedding of the century. Elie and I go way back. He is the person who named me "Daisy." We were regulars at Mallard Ice Cream,
and one day Elie confessed to me that he simply couldn't remember my name because it was actually "Daisy." Clearly, the name stuck. Elie's one of the most joyful people I know, and he is blessed to have found his soul mate in Lisa- who has the brightest smile, cooks the best food, and helps people live more vibrantly with her business NourishRD
. Together they travel the world seeking amazing food, taking pictures, and writing about their experiences. I can't wait for them to come back to Austin so I can tag along on more food-related adventures (we've barely scratched the surface, y'all!)
Elie and Lisa asked me to write an original song for their wedding ceremony, which was held at Randy Bachman's
rock and roll mansion out in the country. When I wrote the song, I didn't realize my song was going to be right before the vows, which was probably for the best (no pressure, right!) The song- entitled "I Do"- was a big hit. Elie and Lisa were beaming and exchanged their vows from under trees with hanging chandelier. Elie kissed the bride and stomped on glass in true Jew form, and the wedding went off without a hitch. Seriously.... it was the most perfect wedding I have ever seen. Not a single awkward moment or fumble. Nice work team! Afterward we enjoyed a local and farm fresh gourmet dinner by Ciao Thyme
and I got to feel like a rock star. Lots of folks stopped to compliment my song/voice after the wedding, asking where they could get copies of the song. I guess I'll have to record it on my first full length album and take the wedding world by storm. :)
I'm thankful for a beautiful tour, and I've returned to Austin with a clearer spirit. I am in love with my musical life. I may not have a partner or kids or a "real" job." Cleaning houses to support a songwriting habit is not part of the traditional trajectory toward adult success. But I love it, and feel a burning optimism (I keep meaning to get that checked... :) I love traveling, driving and flying to new places, meeting people, seeing old friends, showing up bright, sharing my songs and making folks laugh and cry and kids dance. I love coming home, writing, and working hard for small company I care about. I can't wait to make a full-length album. I'm sitting on a collection of quality songs I'm excited to release- like a chicken with eggs begging to hatch- and practicing patience as I learn the process and prepare to launch my music into the professional sphere.
I've been thinking of the phrase "its always darkest before the dawn," in relation to my musical journey. It has been nearly two years since I quit my career in social work and moved across the country to make my first demo. I'm at times hard on myself, as I'm still working on my first recording project. I continue to repeat the mantra - "I am right on time." I can feel all the elements lining up for a successful launch. But I still have a lot of work to do.
Thankfully, I'll be working from my new studio. I moved all my stuff in today. I actually signed a lease. My roots are sinking deeper in Austin and I feel unspeakably blessed.
Thanks for being part of my journey.
Daisy Check out my handsome neighbor, Mr Foxyloxy. He lives in a den in my backyard.
I've been on the road much in the past two years- living for months at a time without a home base while exploring the wild west and playing music, writing songs, and working odd jobs. It hasn't always been easy, but i am grateful for my experiences, thankful for the friends I've made along the way, and feeling prepared for the next steps- crossing the musical rubicon. I feel myself coming into the right place and the right time.
I feel very blessed to be sinking root deeper in Austin, TX.
I heard on the radio
that this week marks the midpoint of summer- and the hottest week of the year. The air is thick here in Austin, TX, and it seems appropriate that my life is moving at an elephants pace during these languid days. I am adjusting. I've been learning how to move though the water, easing into a less familiar element at beautiful Barton Springs.
Its strange that my body is comprised of so much water, yet I have never wanted to get too close, to jump in, heaven forbid to get my face and head wet. (Also its much colder where I'm from, with summer temperatures in the 70s and water usually in the 50s. No thank you.)
This past year has been all about jumping in, and yet I find myself at a moment of pause among the action. I have so many projects and processes to traverse as I prepare to release my EP and play more gigs, yet I must attend to the details of the moment. This month I'll spend 2 weeks in Washington, playing gigs, attending and playing at weddings, and catching up with family and friends. As soon as I get back I'm moving into a new studio and jumping into a busy September of weekend festival work (+ my day job, of course.) Among all of that, I have a huge list of music-related goals. I continue to repeat the mantra- "I'm right on time." Because I am. I make the rules for my life, I hold the reins. I'm choosing to live close to my joy every day, to allow the music to lift and take me where I'm going. I can try to force it all to happen, but I'm quite enjoying watching it unfold from my front porch rocking chair while I sip lemonade and pick the guitar.
While my tendency is toward introversion, I feel myself longing to play with others. I am slowly envisioning the band I want to create (one of the tasks on my to-do list.) I feel drawn to step out of Be and into Do, but I'm in no hurry because I'm learning to blend the two. I need both sides balanced to join this dance in a way that allows me to stay in step, and play well with others. I seek to work with committed and passionate professionals pursuing excellence in musical performance. (they must also appreciate/tolerate puns and gleeful alliteration.) As the leader of the band, I want to run a worthy ship. The life of a professional musician involves much travel, showing up shining all over the world. The people I see do this best have cultivated a deep and grounded confidence and presence in themselves. They know who they are, love what they do, and they are deeply committed to the humans they make music with. And everyone listening can tell. Being in a band is like being married. Sure, you can get a divorce. But I'd rather not. I'd prefer to naturally find the right partner(s) to live, work, travel, and grow with. I feel the slow creation and release of my first album is actually helping me evolve, as I step deeper into myself as a performer and artist, and continue to meet excellent musicians.
Right on time. And now, some advice from my inner yogi cheerleader, NamasDaisy:
Slow down. Do something today that makes you feel alive. Go somewhere you've never been before.Take a walk and breathe the air. Drive a different way to get where you're going. Drink tea. Get gelato. Turn up the music and dance (you get bonus points for dancing naked.) Create a ritual. Have some sex (please, just do it.) Be kind to the humans you see. Wish the Negative Nancys joy when they're cutting you off in traffic and frowning at your frisk. I like to think we're all trying our best. We all just need more love.
Happy weekend, y'all! <3(photo taken by your truly at Puma Springs Vineyard, Healdsburg, CA.
I intentionally haven't played out much this year, as I'm focusing my energy on writing, recording, and attending to the details relating to starting a business. However, I've been playing at grocery stores, and some farmers markets. Food-related gigs are great. They pay me nicely, and I get to charm the passers by and draw people in for a moment of music in the midst of their day. Everybody wins.
It seems appropriate for me to be playing at stores. My dad has worked in grocery stores since he was 16 years old (he is now 55.) While I wasn't raised to be much of a foodie (we were a poor blue collar country family, and my mom hates to cook), I've certainly grown into one. I love nothing more than simple quality ingredients done well. I shop the edges of the grocery stores for the freshest stuff. I cook a lot. I love to eat. I eat a lot. And then I clean 8-10 houses per week and stay super trim. People ask me all the time if I eat, which makes me sad.
Healthy diet + hard work + music = healthy happy Daisy. Yay balance.
I called my dad yesterday to tell him about my upcoming gig. I'm playing today at a grand opening for a fancy new HEB grocery store. Usually when I tell my dad about anything relating to my current life, I can hear him glazing over. My dad is a simple man, and also very religious and conservative. No matter what I tell him about my music, he thinks all I do is hang out at bars with the drunks. To him, live music is something that only happens in bars, which he perceives as sinful. When I told him about my grocery store grand opening gig, something shifted. He told me he was proud of me. I think he finally understands a little bit more about my life and what I'm doing.
May you be nourished, may you be well.
Happy day to you!