With the IG’s off the road for a short break, I’ve been catching up and working on new Fall projects. I combed through a bunch of live recordings from the 2008/09 Amy Ray tour season and came up with a little plate of offerings. Brian Speiser, right off the heels of finishing a live record for the Indigos, is mixing this one too. There will be a fun package and songs representing each of my 3 studio records. My band has really cemented its sound and I want to document our most recent tour season before we move on to our next project.
The next studio record for me is in the works. I’m in the midst of writing and figuring out what direction the songs are taking me. I’ve been traveling to NC a bit and working with Greg Griffith (bass and production) and Melissa York (drums) to get some arrangements going. So far, we have the basics for 5 songs. We’ve actually progressed to listing our songs on a whiteboard, which is kind of like the first step of the recording process for us. Kaia Wilson (guitar) and Julie Wolf (keys) will be jumping on board soon.
3 of my 6 adopted dogs hanging out while I write
Mel studying our progress and a couple of song arrangements
The band and I are going to play a short run of shows on the east coast in November following an IG tour. I hope we can work in a new song or two. I’m especially excited about the support act for this tour. Mount Moriah, from Durham, NC will be playing some of the IG tour and then we’ll be hitting the road together. This band, fronted by Heather McEntire is a new favorite of mine. I liken her voice to a cross between Bjork, Dolly Parton, and punker Thalia Zedek, with totally engaging songs. I hope you will come and check them out.
The IG’s have a couple of festival shows coming up on the first weekend of October-FolkFest in St. Petersburg, FL and Hardly Strictly Festival in SF, CA. Our tour in the Fall will be an East Coast run and will give us a chance to try a few new songs and play some interesting venues and smaller spaces. Emily and I are totally excited about the holiday cd we made this past Spring, called Holly Happydays. We are putting together some ideas for a show to celebrate its release. We’re not sure where we’re gonna take the show, but we know we’re gonna try and do something very special, so be on the lookout for that!
Here are a few new photos from the studio in Nashville. More photos and videos to come…..
I’m playing acoustic solo at a super cool benefit on Sunday, Sept. 26th in Gainesville, GA. They’re having their Lake Lanier Pet Fest. The event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, there be will have music, the Dixie Dock Dog competition, food, and family oriented activities at Laurel Park on the shores of Lake Lanier. The proceeds of the fair go to the Hall County Animal Shelter. The shelter started a very innovative program to deal with overcrowding in their shelter and the euthanization of so many animals. They have been successfully transporting animals up to areas in the Northeast where there is a demand for adoptable animals. I thought it was a great idea in the face of such hard economic times and a lack of room and funds to care for so many strays, a problem that is particularly bad in the South. I support No-Kill shelters and I think this is a step in the right direction for shelters that don’t have that policy. I am hoping this program can be a model for other counties dealing with the same problems.
Here is some more information about the transport program:
What does the transport program DO?
Our purpose is to transport highly adoptable, amazing dogs that were scheduled to be euthanized here at the shelter to adoption events and shelters in the northeast. We spay/neuter, vaccinate, de-worm, microchip and ensure the good health of all the dogs that are transported. Most of the dogs are placed into foster homes prior to the event to socialize them and to help make room here at the shelter for more animals.
Why transport to the Northeast?
There is a HUGE need for adoptable shelter animals in the northeast. Thankfully, their shelters don’t face the pet overpopulation issues we deal with here in the South. Why? In my opinion, the reason is multifaceted. I’m sure their strict spay/neuter and licensing laws play a huge role, as does the harsh winter weather, the large metropolitan areas and the difference in views on animals and animal welfare. Whatever the reasons may be, their shelters usually have a waiting list of people interested in adopting animals. It just makes sense for us to take dogs from here to an area where there is such a great need!
In May we ventured to Hartford, Connecticut for the Pet Expo hosted by the Connecticut SPCA. We adopted 56 dogs to awesome homes through the event and gained some incredibly valuable volunteer and foster support throughout the community. In June we attended the Pet Super Adoption Event in Livingston, New Jersey hosted by the Best Friends Animal Society and sponsored by the PetSmart Charities. There, we adopted out 36 dogs to some AMAZING families!