The Great Scottish Hurricane

First things first: ¬†I have the Christmas e.p. “He’s The One I Need The Most” on sale again at – Go and get yourself a copy if you want one. ūüôā

Also – I am playing a Christmas show at The Family Wash in Nashville, TN with a full band on Wednesday, December 8th. ¬†The Amazing Bill Davis will be opening up the show and The Magnificent Others will be closing the evening with their crazy awesomeness. ¬†8:30 pm sharp! ¬†Make reservations now. ¬†It’s going to be a busy night.

I had a whole other blog prepared to write tonight but the project behind it – which hopefully you will hear about tomorrow is too involved for me to finish tonight. ¬†So I thought I’d write about something more pressing and also on my mind this evening.

I have spoken often about the meaning of a song I wrote almost 10 years ago, almost to the day, called The Great Scottish Hurricane. ¬†It’s weird that it’s been so long since I’ve been overseas and it’s even stranger to think that a song that has meant so much to me and is still making transformations and taking on changes live has been around for so long.

I wrote this song after what I believed at the time to be the most difficult 3 months of my life. ¬†The lyrics were a mishmash of images I’d picked up from my whole life. ¬†Images from Edinburgh, the thrift store I’d worked at before moving to Scotland, and most importantly, one fateful day when I was 5 years old:

This was a spring day. ¬†I can remember walking around my front yard in Tulsa, OK and seeing a cluster of beautiful pink flowers sitting under the bush that hid my bedroom window from the view of the world. ¬†I innocently got down on my knees and reached my hand into the ¬†cluster of flowers so that I could have a bouquet to hold. ¬†I don’t remember if I was planning on pulling all the petals off the stem (this was likely to be their fate), or to just hold them and inspect the pedals, to bring them to my mother and present them to her as a gift? ¬†I don’t think I’d thought that far in advance.

I thrust my hand into the bunch of flowers growing at the base of the bush and immediately began screaming. ¬†I don’t think I was successful in getting any flowers at all. ¬†But upon bringing my hand out of the bush and opening it there were hundreds of little thorns that had filled the palm of my left hand from the flower stems. ¬†I ran to my mom and I remember being able to feel how hurt she was on my behalf as I cried and she pulled each thorn out one by one by one… a very long process involving lots of tears. ¬†I still feel a little sympathetic for that 5 year old girl just thinking about it. ¬†My mom must have been so sad for me. ¬†But she was there with her great love and the patience to make it all better even though her eyes were not the greatest and I’m sure I was screaming.

This image came to my mind this evening as I thought of some bad choices I’d made in my life. ¬†I’ve been trying to figure out how to give the 5 year old me a stronger voice. ¬†I think perhaps I have spent the year doing so much reflection and healing that the person who has been the loudest is the adult me. ¬†The me that freaks out under the stress of paying bills on time. ¬†The me that has to be responsible and the me who isn’t a very good artist at all. ¬†Adult me offers a great deal of criticism and not a lot of help in art. ¬†5 year old me offers almost all the artistic thoughts and knows that there is evil in the world but that it can be overcome.

I saw myself today as a little girl and a woman with my Father. ¬†The little girl was happy and jovial, the adult was weighed down and concerned about everything ALL THE TIME. ¬†The little girl was awed by people in general and saw The Name for all it was and the amazing weight it carried and the adult was too busy thinking about bills. ¬†The little girl was getting distracted chasing butterflies and the adult was wishing she could get distracted chasing butterflies. ¬†And I realized that the adult has some thorns in her hands left from a bit of artistic and personal self sabotage I’ve been processing through for the last 2 years and that they are patiently being pulled out one by one by one, gently, and with great care and love.

I also saw that the source of this self-sabotage was really very innocent. ¬†That it was the little girl who made the decision to go for something she really liked, not realizing there were thorns waiting on the stems, and not realizing that if the thorns weren’t pulled out it would turn into infection. ¬†And then I realized that nearly all the thorns were gone. ¬†The shock of being stuck by something so beautiful was given permission to leave, and I surrendered myself to having the rest of the thorns pulled so that I could return to play time as soon as possible.

And that is why I am so excited about California. ¬†I am going to go out and play and play and play. ¬†I am going to drive around the state and hug and kiss friends, and love and be loved, and maybe have a couple minor tiffs with safe friends who love me very much and resolve them quickly because they are safe and healthy people, and I am going to laugh a lot and read and write a lot and write really long run-on sentences because they are fun and because not ending a sentence has that amazing and wonderful sense of excitement that accompanies it, and I am going to go on a house tour and play for friends and strangers and drive around the southwest part of the country in my dad’s car and sing along to cds and pick up nicknacks here and there to share with the whole of who I am and when I get home I will hug my doggie and thank Raleigh for dog sitting and sleep in my bed with my doggie after such a long trip and smile and sleep for a long time and not feel guilty for doing so.

If you’re interested in picking up a date on the tour, even if it’s a house show I have some available.

January 3rd – Albequerqui, NM – Available

January 4th – Dallas, TX – Available

January 5th – OKC or Tulsa, OK – Available

January 6th – Little Rock, AK or Memphis, TN – Available

Also – if you want to pick up any extra dates in California between Christmas and New Years (esp Southern California) let me know… I may have a slot available for you. ¬†I will give you a better idea of when these shows are as soon as I have addresses and age restrictions etc.

email to get on that business. ¬†ūüôā

For now I am most looking forward to this one:

Fresno, CA – Thursday, December 23rd – Audie’s Olympic Tavern

w/ Pinkeye – (I will also be playing with a full band: ¬†Benji McEntee, Paul Chesterton, and Eli Reyes) and I will see you all there and it will be bad ass. ¬†I am looking forward to this day with everything I have ūüôā

1 Year Ago

I spent a lot of today grieving my father in various ways. ¬†It actually caught me off guard though I don’t know why. ¬†I was hearing the Voice tell me that I needed to remember the promises I had about my father after he died. ¬†The little things that meant so much to me. ¬†That it was important for me to recount my understanding of his death. ¬†I pushed it down but luckily it didn’t let me.

Today I met with my friend Erica for breakfast and at some point we began discussing our parents. ¬†My father has been gone almost 5 years I think and her mother passed away 7 years ago. ¬†As I began to talk about the circumstances around my fathers death (in a public restaurant) I began uncontrollably crying and I have to say it caught me seriously off guard. ¬†Not to mention the embarrassment of crying in public, over eggs benedict. ¬†I realized that ¬†the things I needed to process through about my dad were actually A NEED (I’ve never had such a need be forced before and unable to be ignored) rather than a suggestion and began talking about him.

Somehow, by the end of the conversation we’d decided I would replace my phone today and get the ball rolling on that. ¬†Which was drama in and of itself to be honest. ¬†Buying a phone really stresses me out for some reason. ¬†With everything else up it all just sort of hung around my head. ¬†I felt foggy. ¬†I couldn’t think. ¬†And as I was talking about it with a friend later and she began to pray for me I realized… I miss my father so much. ¬†I miss that he would check my tire pressure for me and make sure my tires weren’t bald. ¬†I miss that he was so tender and caring and kind. ¬†I miss that he was so understanding and encouraging about music and how he was really by biggest champion in my life. ¬†Without his presence I feel a little lost sometimes. ¬†I miss my daddy. ¬†I miss him throwing me in the air when I was 2 and taking me out to dinner when my mom was out of town. ¬†I miss his voice (though I can still hear it) and I miss his lopsided smile that I inherited. ¬†I also realized today that I lost the last photo I had of him (taken the last time I saw him) in the process of loosing my phone. ¬†That is the only thing about having my phone stolen that makes me sad.

As I went to meet with my friends this evening I saw Diana and Marc (who is 1 year old today) as I walked through the door. ¬†One year ago today his mom was going through labor in my bathtub (though he was birthed at Vanderbilt Hospital – just to clear up any confusion) and I was amazed and stunned by his birth and being allowed to be present when he was born. ¬†Today he took his first steps by himself and I heard him call his mother “Mama” for the first time. ¬†It was all pretty miraculous and amazing and wonderful. ¬†I love both of them a lot.

I am thankful today for my friend as well. ¬†In very terrible circumstances (one of my friend’s homes was broken into tonight) I got the opportunity to give him a place to stay and listen to him. ¬†I have to say that at first I felt a little put out as (for some dumb reason) I had planned an evening of being selfish and feeling sorry for myself and then going to bed. ¬†But when he called and it became apparent that he was going to be spending the night because he didn’t feel safe at home I began to realize that I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself anymore and that I hadn’t really wrote any of today’s important events down. ¬†So we set up the guest bed for him and I came out to write (I also got super distracted by trying to get my new, fancy phone, with my much less new and much less fancy computer – didn’t really work out for me) and think about the days events.

The sun is rising on today, the last official day of the blogging challenge. ¬†I never wrote much about being misnamed… but I do feel like you’ve all been with me in the process of trying to allow myself to be Named again.

I’ll write some more later. ¬†I’m not sure I’m done. ¬†But – I’ll also be pulling down a ton of blogs soon as they are too personal and the website will probably take a distinct shift away from introspection in a few months. ¬†I just have to figure out what that’s going to look like. ¬†These notes have meant a lot to me though… and I think may put a few things into place for my life to be altered dramatically.

We shall see how it pans out.

I did not write every day of the challenge (which was the challenge) but I do not count it as failure.


It’s Already 3:30 am.

I feel like this might be one of the shortest days of all time. ¬†Soon I will be drifting off to sleep but I am hardly ready for it. ¬†It feels like there is so much to be done still today. ¬†There is so much to be done today still. ¬† I’m going to have to write a TO DO list for tomorrow.

One of those things will be meeting with Kevin Gordon (one of my favorite songwriters in town) about some ideas that I have for him.  One of these things will be baking deserts and sewing a table covering for The Family Wash, one of these things will be cleaning my house, one of these things will be going to work, and one of these things will be working on the tour and playing some music.  I have got to fit in writing in there also.  There is just not enough time in today.

Also – Those of you who are my close friends… I need your phone numbers. ¬†My comments have to be approved… so if you don’t have my personal email or don’t facebook for some reason could you comment your number to me? ¬†I’ll make a note of it and then delete it from the comments. ¬†No one will see it ūüôā

Alright… I have got to go. ¬†ūüôā



Staring At Everest

A Quick Reminder Before I Begin: ¬†I am playing at around 10:30 at the 5 Spot tomorrow (Sunday). ¬†Admission is $5. ¬†I’ll be with the band (Tim Denbo on bass, Megan Morrisson on pedal steel, Andrew Collins on guitar, me on guitar, and Jacob Briggs on drums). ¬†Come out. ¬†It would be lovely to have you there. ¬†21 and over.

At present I am listening to a new song I wrote tonight tentatively titled, I Know I’ve Been. ¬†It was written after hanging out with Eli Thomson from Everest tonight. ¬†I got a pleasant email from him this week telling me that he remembered that I lived in Nashville and would love it if I could come out and see Everest tonight. ¬†I was really excited. ¬†I haven’t seen Eli in 5 years. ¬†It’s been since May 19, 2005 actually. ¬†The day that I released La Rosa, La Calavera and Richard Swift came up to open the show up for us. ¬†He played on both of my Velvet Blue Music releases and is an all around wonderful person, so humble, so kind and thoughtful. ¬†It was really nice to reconnect tonight and it made me feel a reconnection to my past that I really needed.

As a result of seeing them (they were wonderful by the way – one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time and super fun. ¬†I’d forgotten how much I enjoy watching Eli play bass.) ¬†I realized that I’ve been approaching music in a very “safe” manner. ¬†Not taking any risks and making sure the coast is clear before I move forward. ¬†I don’t know what it is that inspired this revelation exactly. ¬†Maybe my heart was just open to it?

But I looked at myself and all the super safe choices I’ve been making about my entire life lately and especially music because we have to say that it’s the thing I feel is most fragile right now and also the thing I care about almost more than anything and I saw my life as it was. ¬†Really really unsafe. ¬†I moved to Nashville and my father died less than 2 months later. ¬†Over the last 4 years I’ve been trying to manage a series of events traumatic and came to this year realizing I just needed to let go. ¬†To let Hope take control. ¬†To take my fingers off my life and let someone greater take over. ¬†Even when a flood hit my home and displaced me for 30 days and displaced some of my instruments for maybe their lifetime. ¬†Even when things have been completely nuts. ¬†I have essentially been learning to trust again.

I’ve been working on this re-birth all year. ¬†Growing as a person, growing in my understanding of my gifts, growing in my artistic vision, taking baby steps out to be in front of people. ¬†But I haven’t taken any real risks artistically. ¬†And why? ¬†Because life for the last 4 years was one uncontrollable saga after another. ¬†The world around me hasn’t been safe and so the artist in me hasn’t felt safe at all.

This brings up a lot of different questions for me… an endless amount of philosophical pondering that overwhelm me just as I look at their names. ¬† “What’s the difference between pursuing something out of calling and trying to make it happen yourself?” ¬†“Am I actually SUPPOSED to be a musician and songwriter just because I have a bug that won’t let up it’s grip?” ¬†“Is the fact that I have suffered for my art and continue to cling to it a sign of insanity or is it itself proof of a “calling”? ¬†But I can’t not sing. ¬†I love it so much. ¬†It’s my favorite gift.

There is so much more that spills from this fountain. ¬†I could literally list fear and questions that plague me all day long. ¬†But wouldn’t that just be reinforcing the fear? ¬†My desire is to live in hope and to live extravagantly. ¬†Without conventional social ties binding me to a house or a lifestyle. ¬†But for music to be possible. ¬†Art to be revealed in everything I do.

And I want to start writing fiction again.  My life has been a blur of non-fiction and cataloguing a year of extreme growth.

I have no doubts that next year will be a year of huge changes in my life.  I can see some of them already.  I just have hope that in these plans will be the release of a new album and a lot of traveling to support music.  I have my hunches that there may be a lot of traveling involved next year and into 2012.

Living extravagantly in hope without the last 4 1/2 years having a strong pull to stagnancy.  Growing in the art and the skill by which that art is performed and growing as a writer and a performer.  All these are my hopes for next year.

Not to mention all the other ways I believe I will grow ūüôā ¬†It’s going to be a busy year.


I May Fall Asleep As I Type This

I am so tired tonight. So I’m going to make this short and get back to Lemony Snicket. But I’d like to reiterate that I love my friends very much.
Also – I was thinking today that it would be fun to be not just a musician but a professional stylist. I’ve done this temporarily in the past and had such an amazing time. But I think it might be either a fun creative outlet or a totally fun distraction to style musicians as they get ready to put out their records.
So how about it you Americana bands? Let’s re-define your genre again ūüôā
That’s all. Mostly I’m joking. But I’m a little serious. Sleep now.

Nit Picking & Pin Pricking

First things first! ¬†I am playing Sunday @ The 5 Spot in Nashville. ¬†I’ll go on around 10:30 or so I think. ¬†The other bands that are playing are lovely as well and you can get more information at – There. ¬†Shameless plug completed. ¬†Please go ūüôā

I have to make this short because I’m doing some sort of filming or something for a commercial or… It’s for a southern tea house here in town and my friend Kelly will be here in 6 hours to pick me up so I need me beauty rest.

I’ve known for some time now that I’ve been doing so much self examination and sort of maintenance for so long (all year really) that it’s become a little obsessive. ¬†Like I could never be a good enough person. ¬†I realized sometime last week (in the acceptance of my being a leader) that I need to chill the f^$% out with that stuff. ¬†The truth of the matter is that I need to allow myself to be myself. ¬†Completely and unadulteratedly me. ¬†Faults and all.

In order to be humble I must accept me for who I am: ¬†Faults and strengths. ¬†The whole bundle. ¬†What I do that is actually really wrong I will ask forgiveness for and do my best to not repeat those actions or states of my heart but flaws are not the same thing as sins. ¬†And I do not need to iron out all my flaws. ¬†That’s not my job. ¬†And isn’t the point of community and the point of love the very fact that we accept each other in spite of our inherent flaws? ¬†Setting criticisms and nitpicking of ourselves and others aside so that we can actually move toward growth?

Now.  Bed time.

The Darkness and The Comforting Glow Of Fire

I am sitting on my white mid-century couch. ¬†I recognize that is a pretty pretentious opening line but I do love my floating couch. ¬†I’ve never seen one like it. ¬†I love the wine colored painting of a flamenco dancer on my wall, the teal and black hutch I finished painting last week before band practice, and the picture of my parents staring longingly into each other’s eyes (the first flush of love, the future stretching out before my father, my mom basking in the glow of his adoration) which hovers above the hutch.

What is it about the glow of a candle that calls me deeply to see what is truly there?  What is it about fire that brings my thoughts nearer to the front.  I feel more still, more hopeful, and more ready to listen.

As I sit and think about the many things that stretch in front of me, and think about how tired I still am from this weekend, I am particularly keen to the darkness that surrounds these situations. ¬†The future is coming quickly but I don’t have vision for it. ¬†There are people I desire to be in closer relationship with and I have decided to get over my own insecurities and pursue those relationships while I still have the chance. ¬†There are people I desire to be in closer relationship with, but now is not the right time for all of that and may never be.

There are tours to organize and an album to record and change and change and change and change.

The good news is that I have stopped gritting my teeth. ¬†I think I let myself do it with free abandon and stopped trying to restrict it and the moment I let go, my body stopped rebelling. ¬†My teeth aren’t even sharp anymore ūüôā ¬†This is good news.

Anyway РI am going to find my pad of paper and an ink pen.  To indulge in more private thoughts.  And so I turn of this dim light of a flickering blog entry and leave you to the darkness until tomorrow.  (Nice eh?  See the way I wrapped that up?!)

ūüôā kat

Those Sudden Drastic Changes

In what seems like a very short week the air has become bitter cold, the trees have begun to mimic the look of winter, and I found myself driving down I-40 on multiple days wondering when I would be able to afford getting motor fixed on my heater so that I could use the defrost on the window and on my freezing little fingers. ¬†Only last week I was able to wake up in the morning and open the door of my apartment so that Daisy could run out into the back yard and come and go as she pleased. ¬†I can tell that she’s annoyed with the change in weather and the change of ritual as she has to stay indoors most of the morning and ask me for bathroom breaks. ¬†Daisy is also sad because she misses Whitney. ¬†I can tell by how much attention she requires right now.

But with the quick succession of the fall season into winter some big changes at work and some shocking news in my community have arrived.  As far as work is considered they were the kinds of changes that made me very excited for the business itself and for my friends, some of whom have gotten new jobs and new positions.

I am not at liberty to divulge any of the details about my community but it was the kind of news that uproots one’s understanding of a sense of their own life. ¬†My own life. ¬†It uprooted my understanding and I am left with some new knowledge and some information that’s been building up for a couple of weeks. ¬†Like this:

I began to re-awaken to the fact that I am a leader last week. ¬†Actually, it’s something that I’ve denied and denied and denied about myself for years. ¬†The reason being that I love following other people’s leadership more than anything else. ¬†I really do and I’ve always known that about myself. ¬†I found myself multiple times doing those dumb team building games when I was in high school and though I knew I was a leader and though I knew I had a very strong personality I was always so relieved to give that role of solving a puzzle to someone else and take the head roll of following. ¬†Third or second in command has always been a very comfortable place for me. ¬†Or not in command at all ūüôā ¬†But non-the-less I accepted it last week. ¬†I am a leader.

The next issue for me is that it’s time for me to really come into my own again. ¬†I spent so much time trying to process the big changes of moving to Nashville and the unlearning of my own life when I lost my father that it was like I went from being a mature adult to reverting to being like a child. ¬†I know that it’s time for all this to change in me. ¬†It’s time for me to be who I am again. ¬†Without apologies and without fear and hopefully as little distraction as possible and so I will be pursuing some new leadership opportunities and beginning the process of re-rooting myself.

There is more. ¬†There is SO MUCH MORE. ¬†But I need to have clearer vision of what’s happening before I make any crazy proclamations of anything. ¬†I want to know it all now but it’s not all here. ¬†So for now I will just keep going with what I know. ¬†Tours to book, keep recording, get ready… because soon… EVERYTHING will change.

I was expectant two entries ago.  But this is a whole other level of expectancy.

This is the place where we hold on for dear life.  How this will unfold is not understood but the unfolding is coming and I am watching with one eye and preparing with the other.


A Quick Jot

Whitney leaves for California tomorrow and my sleep schedule is so messed up that I had to make a promise to awake by 10 a.m. so that we could go out and get breakfast and then relax our little butts off before she went back to Los Angeles. ¬†It is true. ¬†Our goal for her in this few days was to relax and I’m not sure we’ve done such a great job. ¬†I think I might have become so used to entertaining my mom while she was here (it used to drive me crazy because when my mother and I were in Europe together she would never stop to experience the city. ¬†We had to leave Brussels by 11a.m to make sure we made it to Thierstien Shluss. ¬†We had to leave Theirstien Sluss by 12:30 a.m. the next day to make it in time to Zurich, we had to leave Zurich the next day to make it in time to Paris… etc. etc. ¬†It created levels of frustration within me I didn’t think were possible) and so I’ve been running Whitney ragged. ¬† Tomorrow the goal is breakfast by 11a.m. with the promise of nothing but getting her some crappy decaf coffee from Cracker Barrel before she gets on the plane to Los Angeles. ¬†And I am happy to oblige.

Chasing Squirrels With Abandon

I spent today with Whitney and my bass player Tim. ¬†Whitney wanted to walk through the Vanderbilt campus in fall and I have to say I don’t think that a thought like that would have ever crossed my mind. ¬†So I was totally up for it. ¬†We grabbed Daisy and made plans with Tim, tied of some things at home, and went on our way.

The fall leaves are in full swing right now and every turn we made was gorgeous. ¬†Exploring all the pathways in Vanderbilt and discovering the different kinds of architecture was amazing. ¬†But I have to say that myself and Daisy had a really great time. ¬†I may have ruined by dog by giving her a new found lust for squirrel blood. ¬†But every time we saw a squirrel on the ground I ran so that she could chase it (leashed of course) and would scream out “SQUIRREL!!!!!” ¬†Daisy would chase them into a tree and then stand at the foot of the tree barking and barking.

We chased squirrels at every chance we had and I had so much fun. ¬†Daisy’s heart was positively racing. ¬†She never stopped tugging on my arm to ask to chase something else. ¬†At one point we watched a squirrel make a seemingly impossible jump from a brick wall to a tree about 20 or 30 feet in front of it in order to escape Daisy’s fearsome but oh so cute jaws. ¬†At another point we discovered a squirrel carrying a handful of acorns as someone might carry a bag of groceries across the street and when me and Daisy ran after it we caused the squirrel to drop it’s nuts in out-right panic. ¬†I took the acorns and carried them as my badge of victory for the afternoon. ¬†I have to say that it was really really fun.

When I got home I discovered that my administration gene was in full full swing and I am working on the new tour dates for December in California and January in the southwest as I make my way back across. ¬†I’ll post some projections soon… but here are some confirmations I have so far in Nashville, a couple of the California dates and two of the Northwest dates in March 2011.

Nov 14, 2010 8:00 PM The 5 Spot Nashville, TN
Dec 8, 2010 8:30 PM The Family Wash Nashville, TN i
Dec 23, 2010 9:00 PM Audie’s Olympic/Club Fred Fresno, CA
Mar 9, 2011 TBA TBA – Olympia, WA Olympa, WA
Mar 10, 2011 TBA TBA – Confirmed Bremerton, WA

If you’ve been doing music for any amount of time that requires traveling you know that you have to plan your year the entire year in advance. ¬†I think I’ll probably stop touring heavily after the march northwest tour for a couple of months in the hope of getting the record out there as soon as possible. ¬†That is really my goal for 2011. ¬†That and to be doing more serious touring on the east coast and the midwest. ¬†So here we go.

Holy Crap.