Monday, July 20, 2009

Off to Philly

Rick Jensen Surrounded by our Philly vocalists Karen Gross, Rob Cox, Barbara Gurskey, Anne Ellithorpe, & Lorraine Barrett

Your Redheads had a grand time on Saturday teaching a fine group of singers in Philadelphia. This time out we were very pleased indeed to have one of our favorite piano men, Rick Jensen, along for the ride. The ins and outs of song interpretation, chatting with an audience, messing up
on-stage, and schmoozing gracefully with fellow artists were among the issues of the day.

Our students Lorraine Barrett, Rob Cox, Anne Ellithorpe, Karen Gross, and Barbara Gurskey, shared their talents with us most willingly. We were much inspired by their enthusiasm for the work.

Miss Laurel, Miss Wendy Lane and our Hostess for the day Anne Ellithorpe

Many thanks to Anne Ellithorpe who served as hostess for the event, graciously opening her home and her kitchen to us. She sings, she dances, she makes a heck of a peanut butter brownie! If you feed us we’ll always come back! An extra thank you is due to Mr.J who did double duty as pianist and official photog for the event.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dolly on Dolly

Dolly Parton is one of the few people in the world who renders your Redheads positively twitterpated. If we had a shrine here at Redhead HQ it would be to her. She’s a singer, composer entrepreneur (entrepreneuse?) wrapped in a defiantly glittery package who says what she thinks and does what she wants. Our fondest wish is that she will one day participate in our Ad Libitum questionnaire. Actually, that’s our second fondest wish, our first is that she would drop by and sing with us. Until that time comes though we’d thought we’d share this clip from a TV interview she did in the UK, it’s everything we love about her and then some!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pages of My Mind

Photo courtesy of My Vintage Vogue

I have an addiction. I’m not proud of it, but they say confessing is the first step towards wellness so here it is: I, Wendy Lane Bailey, have a serious Jones for reference books. It’s sad but true. Dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries of obscure musical terms, and The New York Public Library Desk Reference make my mouth water and my knees weak. I once spent an evening with two friends and an Oxford English Dictionary looking up bizarre words and using them in inane sentences. It was one of the best evenings ever! I am aware that this is not how cool show biz types are supposed to spend their time, but I just can’t help myself.

Recently, I decided that I could no longer afford to keep stuffing my house with books; they have their own room, and are threatening to take over the rest of the house. So I trotted off to my local public library, paid my massive overdue fine (my inability to return anything on time is why I started buying books in the first place), and plunged into exploring the shelves. Imagine my delight when strolling through the music section my eyes beheld a large green book titled The Green Book of Songs By Subject. Angels sang and the skies opened for I had discovered a whole new way to spend countless hours mindlessly amusing myself by looking for songs about things like Crime, Love on the Ropes or Standing (I’ve never heard the song Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand, but with a title like that do I really need to?). Who knew there was such a thing? If I wanted to do a set of songs about Social Outcasts there’s a category for that. Freak on a Leash may not be the ideal song for me, but it’s there if I need it. I will say it’s not a comprehensive list of songs, for example, In These Shoes is left out of the Shoe section, which is a travesty, but then again one can’t have everything. There is even an on-line version that is continually updated, and yes, need you even ask? I am now a proud subscriber.

Now I must be off. I have a long evening ahead of me looking up songs about insects and anatomy. Don’t envy my glamorous life….


Saturday, July 4, 2009

All American Mondegreens AND the Muppets

Happy Fourth of July!!! Before there are BBQs and fireworks let there be Muppets and Mondegreens ...

The Star Spangled Banner seems to be fertile ground for misheard lyrics. From the personal  "Jose, can you see" to the fruity "Grapefruit through the night".

Speaking of Fruit, here’s one from Home on the Range: "Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the cantaloupe play".

And finally, the Pledge of Allegiance, not just for people anymore: "I led the pigeons to the flag…"

Thank you to our friend Harry Althaus for the National Anthem mondegreen (your surprise is on its way), and to the rest of you have a healthy, joyous and safe Fourth!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Someday Soon

My people are not a portable people. A trip to the corner store requires an oversize tote bag containing at least two books, a spare pair of shoes, three shades of lipstick and two and a half pounds of loose change. I’ve come to accept this about myself, and I appreciate the lovely shoulder muscles that have developed from schlepping my paraphernalia all over town. My portability powers will be sorely tried this summer as I get ready to make a couple of trips out to the West Coast. I understand that Continental Airlines only lets you have one fifty pound bag and then they ask for a kidney and your first born child. Ah, but lest you think I protest too much…All this schlepage is for a good cause. I’ll be spending time on the Other Coast working on a brand new set of tunes to be debuted at the Gardenia in West Hollywood on September 4th and 5th.

I’ll also be working with a brand new set of collaborators. I have wanted to work with Michele Brourman for a very long time, and I’m thrilled that we’ve finally found the time and a venue to do it. Michele is an arranger, composer, pianist and vocalist with exquisite taste. We have been having a grand time pitching ideas back and forth. Right now we’re working whittling the song list down from the forty or so songs we absolutely love to an hour’s worth of material. Obviously packing light isn’t my only issue, although in my defense we started out with eighty.

Two of my other favorite Angelinos will be making guest appearances. Singer/Songwriter Amanda McBroom will pop in for a song or two, as will the insanely talented Jason Graae. I am a lucky girl to have such gifted and generous friends!

And now…back to packing and song whittling!