What a strange time. I oscillate between a sense of defeat and hope, fear and wonder, despair and appreciation of all forms of beauty. First - I hope you are all safe and healthy and doing your best to be cautious.
I am doing alright, though I won't pretend that I'm not panic-stricken and grieving for what feels like the scariest crux my road life has ever been in. There in no road, now, and road is all I've known for such a long time. There has not been a "home" for me to hunker down in, at least not one of my own, for over a decade now, and that's miraculously not been much of an issue... until now.
As always, I am extremely lucky and grateful to have been taken in - this time by a wonderful retired couple in Winnipeg, where my last show mid-tour was before the trains got canceled and things got serious. Frustrating to be in a city with fine musicians and not get to meet them for some local collaboration, but perhaps that will come if things start to ease up.
Not being able to perform, not being able to book more shows because it's impossible to know how long this will last, facing the financial consequences of the cancellations of wonderful shows I'd worked so hard to line up for April and May - including what was to be my first U.S. tour, a follow-up to the Winter tour I got to do with Dan Bern across Canada just over a month ago - it has been devastating. I am trying not to look too far into the future, and, as I think all of us are trying our best to do, in processing the constantly nerve wracking and all-encompassing adjustments every day, if not every hour, to just stay present and do the best with what we've got.
I have a brand new album, my tenth album, which I was excited to tour with and start mailing out to radio, reviewers and fans - but for now I'm happy to tell you it's out in the great big digital world, and if you're able to buy it, it would help my cause, both pragmatically and spiritually, an awful lot. It's an album I'm very proud of that took four years to make, and has absolutely killer musicians on it from Toronto (and one from Vancouver!)
I have, as well, a brand new music video for the title track, Strange and Beautiful Things, which I animated myself with very rudimentary skills and resources, as one of the first 'projects' of things I can try to teach myself while stuck.
And I've been writing. What else does a gal like me do?
A few new songs, 6 or 7 by now, written in the context of this bizarre and astounding isolation and being forced to stay put. I'm including one here for you to hear, and there are more of them posted on facebook, instagram, and youtube.
I'll be releasing them as some kind of album on bandcamp eventually ,as I'm also teaching myself some very basic recording skills with a new microphone for my laptop.
It is a lot to process, for each of us it means something different, but for all of us it's overwhelming to try to understand, in all its implications, and deal with, with no certainty of duration.
But we are strong, us humans - and incredibly creative and resilient and there are examples all around of how people are doing their best to make the best.
And so am I. And the one thing that's always been there for me is song, so it is song, and more song, that I continue to share with you.
With love and appreciation to you, and with hopes of the good things renewing,