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A Evening With Jennifer Warnes

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Thanks to the generousity of a friend and fellow musician, I got to see the one and only Jennifer Warnes performing at her old haunt,  McCabe’s in Santa Monica last night.  Being somewhat familiar with her music career and reputation as a solid performer, I figured she would put a good show.  But, I was wrong, she put on a GREAT show!  Even at her age, she’s still got that silky, soft yet oh-so-expressive voice I remember as a kid on hits like “Right Time of the Night”.  With a wonderful band including the adept Debra Dobkin on percussion to back her, she weaved a beautiful quilt of songs with interesting stories of her younger years and her special relationship with Leonard Cohen as well as a tribute to her mother.  As a singer myself, I was so impressed with how much expression Jennifer injects into her delivery. Such well placed phrasing rolled off her tongue so organically, the audience didn’t blink an eye.  We were all so drawn into the stories in her songs.  And, before I knew it, the show was over.

However, the experience still had more one chapter for me.  Thanks to that same friend (and the somewhat laid-back atmosphere McCabe’s is known for), I got to meet Jennifer and the band afterward.  They all were so friendly and unpretentious including Jennifer.   So, I took the opportunity to ask her what one the most important lessons she’s learned from her vast experience.  After a funny comment on what a volume of information there was, she honed in one thing: “Don’t be afraid of your feelings,” she told me, adding a few more wise words about getting over fears of embarrassment that people sometimes have about opening themselves up.  After a quick thank you and an authograph on her reissue of “Famouse Blue Raincoat”, I realized it was time for a dignified exit.  One more moment, and I’d look like a gaffawing celebrity idolizer.  So, off I went quietly into the night with her lilting voice humming in my head all the way home and into the today.

FAR-West was Far Out!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

It’s been over a week since those four glorious days in Phoenix for the Folk Alliance’s FAR-West Conference, and I’m still coming down from the high (natural–no drug induced stupor for me, though that wasn’t the case for all).  For the unintiniated, the best way I know to describe it is summer camp for acoustic artists, musicans and presenters.  The schedule of workshops, panels, and guerrilla showcases was grueling but exciting and well worth the sleep deprivation.  One of the great side benefits was meeting some truly wonderful people and building relationships on a personal and professional level.


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