It’s been a while since my last Tish note. It is mid-summer and it seems to be a pretty good one here in Austin. Last summer was not quite as fun. My quick departure from Germany during the last phase of finishing the CD “After The Fair,” and my life hanging on a heart-string between my Hamburg life and my Texas life, put a little (not quite so little), black rain cloud over my head for quite a long time. It has been almost a year since the release of the new CD, and it has gotten some good (many of them outstanding!) reviews from German Music magazines, as well as some also from the U.K. and the U. S. I hope this continues, and I thank Colosseum Records in Germany for their hard work promoting it. Also, my U.S. label, Varese Sarabande. Within it’s many facets, it is a recollection of my life in the old St. Pauli neighborhood in Hamburg with it’s grimy, rainy, melancholic old sailor bar kind of romanticism and beauty. The CD offers some bright sweet retro ghosts of the Beatles (who in the early 60’s actually romped over the same cobble stone streets I walked). It also includes memories of the dark Elbe river with it’s iceberg size container ships from distant countries, blowing their resounding fog horns in salutation, that I could hear from my home a few blocks away. All of that and more are at the heart of this record, and I feel a part of me will always live there.
As I write this, I am heading to San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, for what will be a nice private concert for some friends. I will enjoy a few days exploring the city and it’s beautiful surroundings. I will report on this visit at the end of this note, as I’m sure I won’t finish it before I return to Austin. On the subject of Austin, this summer is keeping me pretty busy. I am wholeheartedly enjoying and taking advantage the cool stuff Austin has always had to offer: going out to listen to bands, new and established, sitting in with my singer-songwriter musician and band friends playing around town, leaping into the crisp coldness of Barton Springs in the middle of these hot summer days. Then there come the warm balmy nights alive with rocking sounds filtering out from the cool insides of the Continental Club, or sitting outside under the summer moon, enjoying a Mexican Martini on the Cedar Door patio. I missed all these wonders so much when living abroad. I’m happy to be wrapped in the midst and comfort of this vibrant city again.
From San Miguel De Allende: As I expected, the city is beautiful and friendly. Our hosts were so wonderful. San Miguel is magically slow-paced and easygoing. Now I understand all the hoopla. My sister Diana joined me on this trip and we have had so much fun. We even learned to play Bocci Ball – a skill, I have to boast, that I took to quite readily! I had no idea that I had a talent for it. We visited and hung out at the out-of-this-world home of artist and architect, Tim Sullivan, whose unbelievable house has been featured on Extreme Homes, both in Europe and in the U.S. One of the most fulfilling things we did here was visit one of a couple of orphanages in San Miguel. Tim’s wife, Nancy, took us to the girls home. My sister and I brought a bunch of kid stuff for them. I wish we could have brought tons more. We were received so enthusiastically. I could tell that these children were being cared for very well by the sisters that run it. The girls were so polite and sweet. One of the sisters brought out a guitar and I sang a few songs for them. An absolutely memorable visit. It was so touching to feel their happiness and excitement at our visit. I will remember this for a long time, and I hope to keep in touch with them.
Our time in San Miguel De Allende is about up. Although it is sad to leave, I am also looking forward to returning home. I have a couple of fun gigs coming up – and they are both free!! July 18, Marvin Dykhuis, Chip Dolan, and I will perform at the “Concerts Under The Stars” series out doors at the Bullock Museum. Carrie Rodriguez will also neon the bill that night! My set will be at 6pm. On July 25, Marvin, Chip, Glenn Kawamoto, and I will entertain at the Austin Visitor Center from 4-6 pm. I hope to see y’all at either or both events!
This summer has been a summer of challenges and changes for me. I’m getting used to a new me and liking it. I feel I am where I belong, and I am being welcomed back to Austin, and to Texas so warmly. I recently got a beautiful star on the Corpus Christie “South Texas Walk Of Fame.” That means the world to me. Thank you all for being so supportive. In my next Tish Note I will let you in on some new recording plans that are in the making.
Gracias and Abrazos,
Last month I attended Folk Alliance in Kansas City, MO. Folk Alliance is a folk/Americana music conference that takes place every year in February. It was so fun, I heard great music, made new friends and re-connected with old music friends. I enjoyed hanging out with fellow song-writers and friends, Curtis McMurtry, Bettysoo, Bill Kirchen, David Halley, Will Sexton, Jon Dee Graham, Michael Fracaso, Jimmy La Fave and discovered a great new band out of Colorado, “Bonnie And The Clydes”. And Al Gore made a super presentation. It was an amazing four days!
Another thing I did recently was visit Monterrey Mexico with my sister and some of our old high school friends. I had not been there in a long time and even then I was only there for a weekend. This time we went for a whole week. I wondered what we were going to do for seven days in Monterrey, I didn’t think there was that much to do there. Well, I was wrong! We visited the beautiful Horse Tail Falls (Cola De Caballo Cascada), toured an amazing cave, went up to Chipinque Mountain, had a nice boat ride downtown, danced our buts off at a 70’s disco event, ate some amazingly good food, and did some great shopping. The week just flew by. We had lots of laughs, had a great time, and met lots of really nice people. I know Mexico is having a lot safety issues these days, and people are being told not to go there. That is so sad. I traveled alone to Mexico City and Puebla in the last couple of years and everything was just fine. So, that said, I want to encourage you to visit Mexico. It is still one of the most special, beautiful, and friendly countries in the world (maybe Mexico’s publicity bureau will read this and give me an honorary trip for the nice pitch I just gave!).
I was just in California to do some recording with my upcoming tour buddy and friend, Anny Celsi who lives in the L.A. area. We recorded one of each of our songs for a limited edition CD that we hope to sell at our European shows. We will sign and number the first hundred. We are very happy with our new songs and very impressed that we got the whole thing – recording, mastering, printing and packaging all done in about three days! Now I am back in Austin preparing for the tour. We are very excited about visiting London, Wales, Dublin, and Galway. They are all such beautiful and friendly places. We will also have two shows in Germany. The tour begins in London on March 30 at “Green Note,” a sweet intimate club in Camden (check out Anny’s website: annycelsi.com, or the tour page on my website for dates and show info). Anny is a good friend and a perfect travel buddy. I really love her music (you can listen to some on her website). I think you will all agree. She set us up a special Facebook page for the tour. So, all you friends in UK, Ireland, and Germany, check it out. We will post photos and comments throughout our adventure. By the way, Anny will tour through Holland on her own after Germany. Her dates are posted on her site.
We hope to see you at one (or more!), of our shows, and bring friends! We’d love to see sold out shows. I hope your spring is springy, and that you are enjoying the blossoming flowers and trees around you!
I hope y’all are having a good time this holiday season. There is so much going on and it seems the days run by so quickly. I have been re-acquainting myself with the Austin live music wonderfulness since my move back from Germany last summer. I am enjoying having a long-time friend visiting Austin for the first time and we have been making the musical rounds: We went out to see Gary Hartman and Lone Star Swing band at El Mercado, James McMurtry’s midnight set at The Continental Club (followed by late night breakfast at Magnolia’s south), Asleep at the Wheel at The Broken Spoke, Marvin Dykhuis and Danny Britt and their great band at Donn’s Depot. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is beginning this week and there is LOTS of good music and shopping to be enjoyed there from now til Christmas. What a lucky town we are!
I will be joining in some of the musical happenings around the state this weekend. Thursday December 19, Marvin Dykhuis and I have a holiday and record release show in McAllen, TX at the beautiful and special “Quinta Mazatlan”. (Friday night we are going to drop in to Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison’s Christmas show at Gruene Hall on our way back to Austin!) Saturday Dec 21, I will have my own Holiday / Record release show in Bastrop at the lovely old Bastrop Opera House. I will be performing a special show for the kids in the early afternoon, then a regular concert with Marvin Dykhuis that evening. On Sunday Dec 22, we will be joined by Chip Dolan for the early (noon-4pm) at Gruene Hall. These shows are all different and special andI sure hope you will be able to make it out to one or all of them!
My new record (CD) “After TheFair” is selling well and it seems to be receiving a warm welcome. I just played some record release in-store performances at some great classic Texas record stores: Waterloo Records in Austin and Cactus Music in Houston, TX. I had small but fun tour in California in November with my friend, singer-songwriter Anny Celsi. Marvin Dykhuis was along and accompanied both of us beautifully. I am really sorry that the first part of the tour had to be cancelled. I got pretty sick and ended up in the hospital and had to cancel some dates that were booked with the wonderful musician, California’s Joel Rafael. I was able to pick up with Marvin and Anny later. Hopefully Joel and I can try again another time in the near future.
I loved my California to Portland tour and hope to reach other parts of the country a little later to introduce my new work. Hopefully I will get the NE and mid-west booked for spring and summer 2014.
love, abrazos, always,
I was actually in Germany to say goodbye to my nine year relationship with the country I tried very hard to love and be accepted by. “After The Fair” was one of my earliest compositions, written in 2004 with Detlef Diederichsen, one of the first musicians I was introduced to by my journalist boyfriend, then husband. The nine years of trying to be accepted and adapt to the culture took a heavy toll on both my self worth and ultimately on my relationship with a husband who’s own career proved to be inflexible and unwelcoming to outsiders.
Please check my schedule for upcoming shows this fall and winter in the US. There will be a fun and exciting tour in Europe shared with my friend and wonderful songwriter-singer Anny Celsi and some amazing accompanists coming up next spring (March through May) 2014.
ALSO!!! Please click here to check out new merchandise: “After The Fair” CDs and cool new T-shirts and other special items (for Xmas gifts!),…plus New West Records will soon have the records “Taos To Tennessee” and “Aquella Noche” available on vinyl complete with bonus material.
love, abrazos, always,
It was quite a summer! So many things happened and I traveled so many places, it is amazing how quickly time rushed by. Early summer, late May, I played a few shows in Scotland and visited London with my friends singer-songwriters Anny Celsi from L.A. and Duncan Maitland from the UK. It was quite an adventure and Anny proved to be an excellent left side of the road driver! We are going to try for a more extended tour of the UK next spring. I got a bad bout of bronchitis while there, and ended up having to go to a hospital emergency room. The doctors and staff were so nice! I fell in love with Scotland then and there, and I know I want to go back and hopefully enjoy the beautiful country in better health next time.
In June, my daughter and her boyfriend visited me in Hamburg and we traveled together to Prague, where I had a really nice concert and we got to sightsee around the beautiful city for a couple of days. In July, I bade farewell to nine years in Hamburg, Germany and decided to make Austin my home once again. It is so wonderful to be in my familiar, welcoming, and friendly territory once again. I am so happy here again that I haven’t even minded the 100 + degree days. Austin is blessed with wonderful springs to cool off in, and I have certainly dipped in a lot! I visited Colorado, New Mexico, and Idaho for some very interesting and fun performances. It was also a good chance to visit my sister in Ft. Collins, and we enjoyed a fun “sister” road trip together.
The big news now is the release of my latest CD – “After The Fair”!! Finally, after years in production in Berlin with my friend and producer Moe Jacksch, the CD was released and should be in stores and online as of yesterday, September 3! I am very excited about its release and am looking forward to touring and seeing where it will take me. The record is an interesting and ecclectic mix of new sounds, including a Spanish version of a song from my favorite Paul McCartney record “Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard”. My son Adam Hinojosa Barker makes a songwriting debut with a song called “Cobblestones”. This seems to be a big favorite, and I am very happy and proud for that. The title song “After The Fair” is a song I wrote early in my Hamburg time with the famous German musician and journalist Detlef Diederichson. I also included a beautiful song by Austin’s very own Matt (the Electrician) Sever. The songs run from dramatic (“After The Fair”), to insightful ( “Deportee” sung in Spanish), to rock-a-billy (my song called “Doing What I Can), to fun and playful (“Infinity Times Ten”, and “I Saw An Alien” – a true story!! I’ll tell you about it at my show!) I have a new booking agent: Mike Drudge with Class Act Entertainment. So, if you are interested in seeing me in your neck of the woods, please suggest good music places and listening rooms to us.
I will be introducing some of the new songs at an in-store performance at Waterloo Records in Austin on Wednesday, Sept 11 (5pm). It is always fun to make the in-store visit to Waterloo. This will probably be my 15th or 16th Waterloo in-store. I went by there today to see the great Austin band Reckless Kelly introduce their new record. They sounded wonderful and I always know I am going to run into old friends, when I drop in.
Well, I gotta get to sleep … thanks very much for all your support. I hope you will buy and enjoy the new record. Take a look at my Facebook page and website for upcoming shows. I would love to see you!
Gracias and hasta luego,