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Welcome To Winter!!! And Happy 2017!!

Vonda---Winter-is-Coming-web

I want to begin by saying how absolutely wonderful it was to tour again this year (last year, now!) in The U.K.  What an amazing experience it was, again!!  For those of you who didn’t see the choir performance from Gloucester, I’m including a link here (click the underlined text!)… enjoy it!

When I book these tours with my agent, I spend months preparing and thinking about the thrill of traveling, of playing songs for people who really listen or sing along, and these thoughts really inspire me.  To have a tour to look forward to and plan for is one of my favorite things in life… I only wish we could visit so many other countries.  Maybe when my son goes to college!!  Until then, we’ll keep going where we can. I am grateful to you for showing up at the shows with your love and enthusiasm, and I’m incredibly thankful to still be able to do music as my job, thanks to you…which brings me to our next tour, right around the corner, in Germany!  We are heading over for a couple of weeks at the end of April… can’t wait!!  Some people ask me if I’m tired after the show, as I sit out at the merch table signing albums, etc., and my feeling is the same every night; it’s so wonderful to meet people in each city and to laugh with them or talk for a bit (and hug…ha!).  I also learn a lot from these conversations… I hear your requests, and I truly appreciate the feedback.  My wonderful friends, James Ralston (guitar) and Jim Hanson (bass) will be with me, as always, and we will have a drummer, as well, this time around.  Check the website for dates!!  

I just found out that we’ll be coming back for one week to London and a couple of other cities, as we’ve been invited to do a festival in July!!  I’ll keep you posted with details. And the most recent touring update, is that we’re putting together another U.K. tour in February, 2018.  I’m trying for another European tour in November of this year, as well.  We’d love to get back to France, Spain, Belgium and so many other countries.  There is even talk of going over to Japan, at some point in the next year… I haven’t been to Japan since I opened for Jackson Browne in 1996!  21 years ago!  I also remember touring in Japan, when I was Rickie Lee Jones’ keyboard player/ background singer, in 1985 and 86’.  I wrote a song called “Forward My Mail To Osaka”. (Haha!)  I never recorded the song, but Japan had quite an impact on me.  It’s incredibly eye-opening to go to a place so different from home… and I loved it.

I’ll keep you posted on that…

Ready for a new recipe???  I AM!!  My sister-in-law was in town from Israel, and made this in my kitchen… it’s a great side salad.  Let’s call it “Cabbage with Pine Nuts”.

Cabbage With Pine Nuts: (as discussed… haha.)

Ingredients:

  • Cabbage, very thinly sliced (maybe use a mandolin – play it very quietly, and the cabbage will be thin.)  
  • Toasted pine nuts about 1 Cup (buy raw and gently toast on stove — never take your eyes off of them — they burn if you look away (kind of like my ex boyfriend of 30 years ago).  So about 2 minutes on medium/low heat, until golden and you hear Harps and Angels singing – Thank you, Randy Newman, for the reference.  
  • Toasted sesame seeds  About 3/4 of a Cup (same deal as above). 

Sauce:

  • Soy Sauce 2 Tablespoons
  • Sugar 1/4 Cup  (I know, it is a lot, but it works… or as Ina Garten says “How bad could that be??!!”  
  • White wine vinegar 1/2 Cup
  • Canola or sunflower oil (or something similar) 1/2 Cup

Boil sauce ingredients for about 2 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved, then let cool for a bit.  

Mix cabbage, pine nuts, sesame seeds, then pour cooled sauce over and mix.  Enjoy!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season, and are enjoying the colder weather… I am!!  It’s finally raining in L.A.  Yay!  I realize how silly this may sound to some of you in Eastern Europe, or in Chicago — maybe I should move…?  Haha!

There is so much going on in the world in politics, and I’d rather not get into it here, but I would like to say that, as always, I wish for peace for all, and for love to win, over everything.

Have a wonderful winter, and I will send more recipes soon!!

Peace and Love,

Vonda

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Mini Update

Hi all!

I’ve been off the radar, having a lovely summer with my family and traveling a bit, but now I’m ready to rock again!  Haha!  We’re about to launch our KickStarter campaign in the next 2 weeks, so I’m gearing up for that.  For those of you who don’t know what KickStarter is, it’s  a crowd funding campaign so that I can raise the funds to make my next record.  I have almost all of the songs finished, and I’m getting very excited to do this record, at long last!  We’ll be sending out many more details, but in the meantime, to clue you in on a bit of what we’ll be up to, there will be various levels a person can contribute, from as low as $1.00 to $3,000 for many “rewards”, including recording a song for someone you love!  (Yourself??!!)  I’m also going to have several gold and platinum albums available, signed photos, new T-shirts, tote bags, the CD, of course, as soon as it comes out, and many more cool things you may like.  This is all to help me record this album and to tour on it as well.  We’ll see if I reach my goal, which I’ll tell you more about in the next few days as this all comes together… so stay tuned!  I hope you’ll be a part of making this happen, at any level… it will all be greatly appreciated, especially now that the music business is so different.  I really look forward to making a new record soon!

In the meantime, stay positive healthy, and I’ll be in touch soon!

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Autumn Post

Ah… finally, autumn is upon us. Root vegetables, a chill in the air, reds, rust, oranges, yellows…and of course, new ideas. (Let’s hope!!) Summer dresses into the back of the closet, but what to wear? Haha! Shop? Nah… too much to do. I remember when my son was about 1 year old, we’d go for long walks when all of the Halloween decorations were being put up. He loved the fake spider webs. Those lovely, innocent days – years. Now it’s the grind of homework, and the occasional “time out”… just for the fun of it! Can any of you relate to this?

Just finished lyrics for a cheeky new song, and soon to record a vocal. It’ll be a fun song to play live. I’m also looking for a venue to play in L.A. So sad about Witzend – about Jeb. That was a great place to play, and I may still try to play there if they keep the club opened. I played in New York last week at SubCulture, which was a fantastic, intimate venue, and where my good friends, Larry Saltzman and Renee` Goldsberry sat in. (They were wonderful!) I stayed an extra day in N.Y. and saw The Book of Mormon! Yee Haa!!! Wo. Pretty over-the-top, but very cathartic.

As you may have noticed, I’m posting a lot of the songs from Ally McBeal on SoundCloud, as I’ve gotten so many requests over the years to hear the songs in their entirety.  Because they’re only for streaming, and not downloading, I can finally do this.  I really hope you enjoy going back in time and listening to these songs!  It was an era where all of the musicians were playing together – nothing was programmed, and we recorded onto 2 inch tape (not pro-tools), so some of the vocals are out of tune, and we edited in the old school way.  We did do overdubs, so it wasn’t all live, but the spirit was captured by the 5 of us playing together… nothing like it.  I often chose takes for songs based on the live vocal that expressed the emotion of the song, rather than the perfect drum performance (much to the chagrin of various drummers, but hey, it worked!)  The first year was mostly Val McCallum on guitars, Jim Hanson (with whom I still play now), Jeff Young on keyboards, as well as myself on piano much of the time, and Andy Kamman on drums.  From around the second year on, we had Pete Thomas on drums, Davey Faragher on bass and often Neil Larson on keyboards, as well as Jeff and myself.  The whole first year, Val, Jeff, Jim and I, and sometimes the great Lynn Davis would sing the background parts.  At some point, David K. added the 3 wonderful back-up singers in the bar… Sy Smith, Renee Goldsberry and Vatrina King, all of whom have wonderful singing, songwriting and acting careers in movies, in television, and on Broadway.  Carmen Carter sometimes joined us as well… how lucky we were to have a budget for all of these tremendous talents!   I’ll keep the songs coming, and please send your requests… FaceBook is the best way for me to get these, and I’ll try to find the songs you like!

I have some new recipes I’d like to share… will work on getting those to paper (computer) soon. One has lentils, caramelized onions, mint, sun dried tomatoes (which I can live without), some sort of vinegar… excellent! Now, about that cooking show… I actually pitched a cooking show where I suddenly break out in song, and all of the songs are about food – with titles like “Mix it Up”, and “Stir it, Mama” – any takers? “Spoon it in…” This is what I do when I’m not actually writing songs that are viable for a record. Read a great book – The Hummingbird’s Daughter, by Urrea. Such vivid characters… you’d have to be into magical realism a bit, and folklore. I liked it much better than 100 Years of Solitude, but it could have just been my mood. And the sequel is fantastic as well.

I feel like I’m writing a letter to a friend, only I’m not asking how my friend is. How are you? People? What’s new? What are you reading? Cooking? Thinking? I don’t really feel like writing about politics at the moment… too frustrating, but let’s all keep connecting, staying positive, smiling at each other, letting each other turn in front of us in traffic – being generous, breathing, appreciating our health, and the moment, our families, in whatever form they may take.

Have a great October, and hope to see some of you soon on the road! (This is the first time I don’t have any shows booked – just need the time to finish this record!)

Peace,

Vonda

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