"Clark's music is right up there with her mentors. Joni, Rickie and Bonnie, move over. Make room for Anni ..." - NEW ENGLAND PERFORMER MAGAZINE
April 1, 2015
Hello to All! It’s supposed to be spring here in Maine, but I’ll tell you (in case you don’t already know)... it’s still way too cold here & there’s too much snow on the ground for my liking as I write. My wishful thinking has me basking in the glow of a warm April sun in the weeks before I fly to Texas... a slow transition from this long New England winter into the high temps of the Lone Star State would be most welcome. We’ll see what transpires. I have shows in Maine & Mass. on either side of my TX sojourn, all of which are listed below, plus more, in this order:
1. APRIL SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Town & Time Only)
2. ME/MA TARGETS IN APRIL (Details)
3. TEXAS IN APRIL! (Details)
4. CURRENT CEREBRAL WANDERINGS
5. PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
1. APRIL SHORT LIST SHORT LIST (Date, Venue, Town & Time Only)
FRI, APRIL 3 - JJ’S EATERY - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM
FRI, APRIL 10 - OCEAN PIZZA - Old Orchard Beach ME - 7PM
SUN, APRIL 12 - FRANKLIN HOUSE CONCERTS - Walpole MA - 2PM
SAT, APRIL 18 - MAELL’S MEMORIAL CONCERT - Cypress TX - 4PM
SUN, APRIL 19 - WYLIE HOUSE CONCERTS - Wylie TX - 4PM
(with Shake Russell!)
FRI, APRIL 24 - ANDERSON FAIR - Houston TX - 8:30PM
(with Shake Russell & Mike Roberts!)
THURS, APRIL 30 - BUENO LOCO - Falmouth ME - 6PM
(NEW VENUE for me! Come on out!)
2. ME/MA TARGETS IN APRIL (Details)
FRIDAY / APRIL 3rd / JJ’S / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 6:30PM / 207-934--0222... a perfect choice of venue to celebrate the coming of spring (PLEASE! Say It’s So!) ... and wicked close to my home. Great food & drinks, local music & local color combine to make this a fave hang in OOB 12 months of the year... I call it "The Cheers of Maine" for good reason. Here's JJ's [website].
FRIDAY / APRIL 10th / OCEAN PIZZA / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 7PM / 207-934-2900... Ocean Pizza sounds like a little diner thing doesn't it? There's a take out spot in the front, sure 'nough... but the dining room is really warm, woody & comfy, with a bar & music on Friday nights... & GET THIS: the only music allowed is... ORIGINAL MUSIC! Totally cool. Pam, the owner, is a petite fiery lady straight outta Italy with some of her Grandma's best recipes tucked up under her sleeve. This is another splendid specimen of a local family run business with something unique to offer. Here's their [website].
SUNDAY / APRIL 12th / FRANKLIN HOUSE CONCERTS / WALPOLE MA / 2PM / 508-528-0026... I’m hoping some of you plan ahead & call in some reservations for this one. Seating is limited, the show is always unplugged & intimate... & we have a pot lunch lunch together before the show (1PM) which is always fun & yummy. Barry Kassindorf has been creating this series of concerts for a long time now. He has recently moved them from Franklin to Walpole... it’ll be my first time here in Walpole but I’ve played many times at his home in Franklin & have some great memories stored of my times there. I am really looking forward to getting back to this area to play... since I’ve been teaching, it’s harder to travel for gigs too far from home in Maine. This one is most definitely worth traveling for... & it’s my last New England show before gigs in TX. Reservations are strongly encouraged via e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 508-528-0026. The address is 43 Hutchinson Rd in Walpole MA 02081... set your GPS & we’ll see y’all there!
THURSDAY / APRIL 30 / BUENO LOCO / FALMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-619-7057... I heard about this Mexican venue a while back from some fellow musicians, so I checked it out on my way to visit family in Yarmouth, right next door... cool spot, easy to find right there on Rt 1. Sharon (the owner) & her staff were friendly & enthusiastic, very open to my performing there this spring to get a feel for the room before they pause their music nights for the summer months. The gig on April 30th is my first... I hope to see some of my Yarmouth pals out for this one! (I’ll be back on June 25th if you miss it.) Here’s their [website].
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3. TEXAS IN APRIL!
On April 17th I fly south to TX to embark on “The Maell Memorial Bluebonnet Tour.” For those who missed it, I’ll be honoring my late, great friend Merry Ellen Featherstone (Maell for short) in the only way that makes sense to me... I’m hitting the TX road with my guitar & my songs for the first time in 10 years. I’ll be touching down in places where Maell & I spent quality time during our many years of touring together, myself in the driver’s seat, Maell ridin’ shotgun (with her “good ear” facing in my direction.) Maell’s son David is flying out from CA to join me on this journey, along with long time friend Jan Reed from Houston. I predict a lot of stories, music, laughter, love & tears will be shared along the way. Between shows in Wylie & Houston, we’ll hit San Antonio & Austin... maybe hit some open mics? Spontaneity has a role in the destiny of this Tour... Maell would love & expect that of us... seize the moment, fly by the seats of our pants. Here are the “for sure” happenings:
SATURDAY / APRIL 18th / A MAELL MEMORIAL HOUSE CONCERT / CYPRESS TX / 4PM... $10 Suggested Donation... Potluck & BYOB to start (& continue)... Anni’s set of tunes to celebrate Maell, then a song circle with some of Maell’s fave singer-songwriters & time to tell stories & just hang out together. At press time, limited space dictates that we take in only a few more people for this really special house concert. Word went out first to the folks who knew Maell most closely for a long time... now we ask y’all to let us know ASAP if you would like to join us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org... this will be a night to remember for sure. Can’t wait!
SUNDAY / APRIL 19th / HOUSE CONCERT / WYLIE TX / 4PM… with SHAKE RUSSELL! It’s been way too long since I’ve been to Tom & Linda’s spot in Wylie… so many great memories here… playing music, listening to others’ songs, breaking bread & sharing good wine, watching the sky with Tom’s telescopes, hangin’ in the hot tub, staying up REAL LATE sharing stories, creating more to be told later. I have to say without a doubt, this is one of my fave places… as a performer & as a road queen in general. Maell was with me every time I went here… & Shake was with me many times as well… so glad he has climbed on board for this one! Though Maell will be physically absent, her spirit will be there for sure. These Wylie concerts are destined to end sometime next spring (Tom & Linda will eventually be moving to Washington state!) so it’s a chance to be part of something awesome one more time OR maybe a first & only time? Here are particulars for those of you who want to venture out to Wylie: house concert website [here] and Tom Noe’s e-mail [here].
FRIDAY / APRIL 24th / ANDERSON FAIR / HOUSTON TX / 8:30PM… with Shake Russell & Mike Roberts! (doors open at 7:30PM)… once again, without doubt, one of my fave places to play EVER. Did you know a lot of performers have recorded LIVE albums here (Nanci Griffith for one)? I’ve played this room a number of times, but not in 10 years… never been here without my touring pal Maell. Damn. I will feel her with us… see her smiling, tapping her feet & bobbing back & forth in her seat. This venue is one of the best in all of Houston… I encourage buying tickets in advance online at the website [here]. CASH ONLY AT THE DOOR (if we don’t sell out.) The number at Anderson Fair is 832-767-2785. This will be a night to remember… I am totally psyched to be going back here!
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4. CURRENT CEREBRAL WANDERINGS
I’m writing on March 31st... 2 years ago today my Mom (“Lovely Lu”) got her wings & exited this earthly plane. In 2013, March 31st was Easter Sunday & we all figured Mom picked that day on purpose to take flight. Mom loved Easter Sunday... & as one of my sisters suggested... “she sure wasn’t gonna wait ’til it was April Fool’s Day!” True... not Lovely Lu’s style. I am thinking of Mom today in a big way & I’m thankful for the parts of her that live on in me.
A little more than 6 months after my Mom died, my good friend Merry Ellen (“Maell”) got HER wings... similarly, we all figured she chose to fly on that day for a good reason. Maell’s son David had wanted to fly her from California to Houston for an afternoon of music put together to raise funds for her medical expenses... but she was too sick to fly. David allowed as how ”they wouldn’t put her on the plane, so she asked for her angel wings so she could be with y’all in her own way.” A Benefit Concert quickly become a Celebration of Life... she did, in fact, die the morning of this musical event. Incredible... no accident.
Life is awesome that way... the little mysteries need not be so mysterious... yet I hesitate to seek concrete explanations. The older I get, the more I believe in something I said the day I turned 33 years old... (33, by the way is my favorite number & the number of the street my family lived at when I was “attempting to grow up”... not done with that yet.) I was fairly new at the music scene, playing an open mic in Bath ME, when a friend asked me to write something in her journal, cos I was “the birthday girl.” (March 31st is HER birthday by the way!) I wrote “everything is... because.” It became a revisited phrase amongst many of us for years after & even wound up as the caption under a high school senior yearbook photo (the daughter of the gal who asked me to write.)
There’s a song on my “Early Anni” CD called “33” about my childhood home... this song is the reason I came to know Maell. She heard me sing it at the now defunct Raoul’s Roadside Attraction in Portland ME in 1991 & felt inspired to speak with me about it. The rest is history... we stuck like glue & saw each other, traveled together in both Texas & Maine for many years... loving life, music, the outdoors & each other. There were times, like the one pictured above, when I was able to be with both my Mom & Maell... priceless... 2 one of kind Lovely Ladies.
Today, March 31st, I sing for Lovely Lu... in April, I’ll spend time in TX singing & remembering Maell. Every day, I remember something my Mom would often say... “everything that ever was will always be.” As I travel this earthly plane, these wild & wonderful women travel with me... and everything is... because.
Thanks for tuning in... I hope to see y’all in my travels.
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