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Tales from Maine and Texas

Hi friends!

I’m writing to you from a plane heading home after playing a beautiful club called The Landing at Pine Point in Maine. The venue used to be a church, so it was wonderful, acoustically. They had a great piano, and everyone was so nice to us! This show was just me and James on guitar… the mighty duo! James rocked! One of the managers of the club, Gil, even sat in on guitar, so it was a good time all around… especially my son’s melt down at the merch table! He somehow convinced “the powers that be” to let him come see me for a moment. Tess Collins opened the show – the girl can SANG!

I go home tonight, then hop on a plane again to Chicago to open for Sugarland on Friday at the MetroCentre in Rockford, Illinois. This will be a solo show for me. I am trying to think of a sing-along for the audience, just to keep it interesting. I’ll also open for them in Mountain View, California on August 26th, so come on up! (Or down, or out!)

The Texas shows were really a blast. Dosey Doe’s was just such a relaxed environment, and the show in Austin at The One World Theater was lovely. We had stopped on the way to Austin for lunch at an out of the way Mexican restaurant, and James, Jim and I agreed that it was the best Mexican food we had ever eaten collectively. The place was a dive (as many great restaurants are). We even took pictures of the newly painted murals of seascapes and women lounging in the golden light…I will post those just for the fun of it. Oh, and by the way, we swung by Dosey Doe’s to grab a coffee for the drive. Wow. Needless to say, we were in very good moods all day; until I told Jim the wrong turn in the minivan – “It’s got seats”!

We just are getting the solo album together… it’s finished now, and I am excited for the German tour. So much traveling this year, but I love it.

See you out there somewhere! Have a great last few weeks of summer!




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End of May updates!

Hi Friends and family!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Just practicing a lot, writing and getting ready for some upcoming gigs. To begin with, I’m going up to The Vancouver Island Music Fest on Sunday, July 10th, where I’ll be sitting in with some friends in the band Night Train Music Club, featuring Leland Sklar, Steve Postell, Bernard Fowler, among others. I’ll also be playing four or five of my own songs with this band. Some featured performers at the Festival will be David Crosby, Randy Newman, Rodney Crowell, Corey Harris and many others, so hop on a plane and come on up!

Next up, we’ll be heading to Texas for a couple of shows — on Friday, July 29th at Dosey Doe in The Woodlands and Saturday July 30th in Austin, at The One World Theater, with my band; Jim Hanson and James Ralston. We’ve also just added a show in Scarborough, Maine on August 4th at The Landing At Pine Point. Next we have B.B. King’s in New York City on Thursday, September 15th and The Avalon Theater in Easton, Maryland on Saturday Sept. 17th. Yay! Gigs in beautiful places! How lucky am I?

For those of you who don’t know, they finally released the soundtrack to Love And Other Drugs, where I’m doing lots of humming! You can get it on iTunes, etc.

Yesterday, I began recording a new solo album, which we hope to release before the end of the year. The album will be solo versions of some of my older songs as well as more current songs. (I’m going to attempt putting a new one on as well). We’ll follow this up with a European tour early next year… I’ll keep you posted!

As you may have noticed, I’m much more active on my Facebook page than on my website, as it’s so easy to send updates. So if you’re on my website, please know that I read the messages, and if you really want to reach me, please also send a message to my Facebook page… I read this everyday, and try to answer all of the comments. (Between cooking dinner, practicing, going to the gym, cleaning up toys from the living room floor, etc… you get it).

O.K… are you ready for another recipe? This is a favorite in our household.

Short grain brown rice with vegetables!

1 cup short grain brown rice (wouldn’t it be funny, if it didn’t have any rice in it?)
1/2 red onion, sliced into half moons (on a lovely winter night by a fire)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I have nothing further to say about this)
1 ear of fresh corn cut off of the cob (corn noses are just too tough for this dish… ha ha.)
1 zucchini cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cups of frozen peas (fresh is even better)
1/2 of a cup frozen edamame out of the shell
Red chili flakes to taste (1/4 teaspoon, or so)
Salt (I use Kosher) and Pepper

Saute onions and garlic in a decent amount of olive oil (2 Tablespoons?) for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
When onions are soft, add the rice and cook, stirring often for about 2 good minutes, so that the rice absorbs all of the flavor.
Add about 4 cups of water, salt, pepper, chili flakes and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add all of the vegetables and cook another 30 minutes, or so.
Check water to make sure you have enough. If it seems you have too much water, uncover rice to let it cook off.

When all water is absorbed, it’s done. Check for salt and adjust.

I serve this with homemade black beans (I’ll send that recipe next week, but it’s so easy!), fresh guacamole, fresh salsa… o.k., I’ll send you all of these recipes next week! Tortilla’s, sourcream… I like SAUCE!

When you serve rice with all of these other wonderful dishes, it can serve about 4.

Enjoy! Thanks Kelly for encouraging me to share recipes with my web friends.



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