Summer travel plans? Do tell! We’ll be returning to the southern coast of Portugal in a couple of weeks – I’ve got things percolating there and I can’t wait to share. Stay tuned for news of octopuses and pink flamingos!
Meanwhile, with all of our daily “busyness” going on, I’m sending a gentle reminder about the health benefits of live music. Certainly music heals, but scientific studies show that experiencing live music is even more beneficial in terms of lowering cortisol, boosting mood and fostering a sense of community and sympathy for others. We could all use more of that!
This is why I make music
It feels good and the good-feelies are contagious. I know it, I feel it in my bones. So take a vacay from your devices (and other vices) and find a way to let live sound waves wash over you!
Come to my show in San Francisco (see below) or meet me in Portugal and we’ll serenade the pink flamingos. Or hey, just call me up and I’ll sing you a song over the phone. I’m happy to serve! 😀
To find out more about upcoming Eve events, follow this link to my events page.
February 20, we’ll be live streaming on Concert Window for Movie Songs Night: The Sequel! Stay cozy and watch us from your desktop or device.
For those of you who have tuned in before, you know how much fun these shows are. Steven and I will be playing one song per decade, 1920s – 2000s. And you get to guess the movie! Details on how to sign up below.
Just in time for the Oscars, we are doing a special theme for our next Concert Window performance on Wednesday, February 20 at 8:30 EST/5:30 PST. This is a live online show – pay what you want, watch it from anywhere. A lightning round of music in about 30 minutes; buy your tickets ahead and log on early so you won’t miss a beat!
We’ll be doing one favorite movie song from each decade, from the 1920s to the 2000s.
Curious to see what we pick? We’ll also have an interactive contest during the show – the first person to correctly name the movie corresponding to the song (without using Google) will win a prize. This is gonna be fun!
We’re learning all new songs for the sequel, so it’s a whole new ballgame. Hope it inspires you to join us, from my living room to yours! Cheers!
I’m feeling inspired this end of year. And emotional too. Waves of sadness and joy – which seems pretty typical for the month of December. A collective ritual time surrounded by holiday angels and ghosts.
Our sweet kitty Zelda left us on Thanksgiving weekend, and I’ve been showering her brother Laszlo with love as best I can. This death in the family is bringing me back to 2006: we lost our first cat, Rum Tum Tugger in February of that year, then my grandmother (who we called Mima) in June, and we welcomed kittens Zelda and Laszlo in August.
Mark and I bought our house in Nashville that summer and were still moving in when I got a call from my mom. Mima (her mother) had been asking if I could come perform a concert for her and her “buddycakes.” As I sat there amid packing boxes, I thought I couldn’t possible go – I was much too busy.
After hanging up the phone, I heard this little voice in my head telling me to go. So I left Mark with the boxes and flew to North Carolina the very next weekend. I performed 12 beloved standards for Mima and her friends at the Montpelier Presbyterian Church in Wagram NC.
What a surprising send off. Even though Mima was quite frail and had been having blackouts, no one believed she was near death. She was still playing (and winning) at bridge! She was still going for walks!
That Saturday night, she was beaming from the audience.
I remember thinking after the concert that if I died tomorrow, this was the most important thing I could ever have done in my life – performing for Mima and her friends (all well into their eighties) in this small church in a small town.
Sunday night, we stayed up late in her bedroom, just the two of us; she had blacked out again and when she came to we started singing. I sat at her bedside and held her hand. I have never felt such strength and power as I did that night, coming through her hand into mine as we sang “You say to-may-toh, I say to-mah-toh ….”
She died sometime during the night. She looked like a little bird, eyes closed, mouth slightly open, peace-sign socks on her feet. I had to call my mom and tell her that her mother was gone.
A few days later the same church was packed full of mourners, every single one crying as I sang “I’ll Be Seeing You” with freshly penned bridge lyrics that came to me as a vision after she died. I felt the power of Mima holding me up with her hand, helping me through it.
Here’s the Mima version of I’ll Be Seeing You:
I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places that this heart of mine embraces all day through
All those lazy days down by the riverbank The morning ocean breeze The cat’s meow The pecan trees
I’ll be seeing you in every lovely summer’s day In everything that’s light and gay I’ll always think of you that way I’ll find you in the morning sun and when the night is new I’ll be looking at the Moon but I’ll be seeing you
If you’ve gotten this far in this long story, I want to share a fresh piece of inspiration for the holidays. I asked Essence Goldman to come speak to a group of musicians this week. She spoke of the highs and lows of her career, a path that led her to Bernie, a voice student of hers who ended up with ALS. His lifelong dream was to put out an album of his songs; he asked Essence to be his voice.
You may have heard this story on NPR. If not, I highly recommend you watch this video of Essence and Bernie. She sings at his hospital bedside and it brings back the power I felt that night with Mima. Essence’s story reminded me that the most important thing we can do in this world is use our gifts to create connection and be of service to others.
I wish for you an inspiring holiday and end of year. Let your heart be light. If you’d like some Eve music, you can buy from my online store and I’ll send you a gift.
I’d love to bring some cheer your way. And hear from you as well. We lift each other up and I’m grateful to each and every one of you.
I recently had the privilege of singing Tom Petty’s song, Southern Accents in our shared hometown of Gainesville, Florida. Petty went to my high school (class of ‘68) twenty years ahead of me.
When I offered to sing this song at my 30th high school reunion, I had no idea that the whole town would be celebrating Tom Petty that same weekend. Our reunion happened to fall on what would have been his 68th birthday.
I performed with fellow ‘88 alum Ramey Littell on keys, as well as Gainesville’s current mayor Lauren Poe on cello (class of ‘89). I created a slideshow celebrating Gainesville High School, including past and future generations.
My 80’s outfit: pink Oxford shirt, ruffled skirt, big hoop earrings, rope bracelets and gold-dipped Converse.
It was a sweet moment to share with old friends, some I have known since elementary school. I am thankful for Tom Petty’s beautiful songwriting and his homage to his Southern roots. He is our hometown hero and I am proud of where I come from!
While I was unable to capture live audio from the event in Gainesville, I have a recording of Ramey and me as we practiced the song here in SF. Enjoy!
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Fog, an American Haiku by
Carl Sandburg, 1916
I remember this poem from long ago (high school? a past life?) – it has come back to me in recent weeks. As I sit here in my living room watching the fog roll in, my kitty Zelda is by my side.
Zelda is dying. We’ve known this for awhile, but she’s had no symptoms until now. All of a sudden she’s become frail, stopped eating solid food, and yet she has made it quite clear that she’s not ready to go just yet.
I have written songs about fog and a (previous) dying cat, and they are swirling in my head. I’ve been here before and I know what’s coming. But this time I’ve been given an unexpected gift: six months of kindness.
Before Zelda’s diagnosis, I had a pattern of waking up in the middle of the night while Zelda terrorized me with those damned cat feet – incessantly scraping along the floor, the door, the wall, the bed. She wanted my attention, and I responded with yelling, fist-pounding the mattress, chucking her off the bed. Who knew a yoga teacher and love-song singer could spew so much anger?
When the doc said she probably had six months left, I immediately let the anger go. When she scraped, I just let her do it. When she curled up next to my head, I let her stay without one ounce of irritation. And you know what? Everything shifted. She abandoned her scraping routine, and we became cuddly friends. We’ve both relaxed a lot.
I’ve been thinking about this lesson: what if I looked at every being around me as having a six-months-to-live sentence? Can I please have presence and kindness be my fallback instead of anger? Can I let it go? For their sake and mine?
I’m pretty sure I knew this already. After all, it’s in the lyrics of my song, Fog. I recognize the power of releasing anger, even when it means being vulnerable with yourself and others.
That’s the theme I shared onstage at The Moth six months ago: “The Evil Hippie Diva Had No Manners.” I got the audio of my story and am ready to share it with you now, warts and all:
I received such a gift this May: a woman flew me to Boston to sing in her wedding because she (and her soon-to-be husband) fell in love at my show six years ago. How sweet is that?
Click on image above to watch a short video clip of Eve’s original wedding song, Do You Remember
My love for creating music is sometimes marred by the blue meanies. And I mean that nobody-cares-kind-of-feeling blue that appears once in awhile. All creators go through this. It takes love to make art, but it also takes guts!
So I keep plugging away, even though the hard stuff is really hard. I wish I could say I never grumbled about it. Sometimes I do.
But then beautiful gifts come my way and I know that it’s all worthwhile. I get to be a part of someone’s special day. Somebody tells me my song made them feel better. I feel supported by people who care about what I have to contribute to the world. And I am grateful.
This weekend I get to share my passion about Blossom Dearie, a piano-playing singing diva from the 50’s and beyond. I have been asked to perform a tribute show, so I get to share my favorite songs and stories and talk about how she’s influenced my own music.
I’ll talk about my recent fanatical scavenger hunts in Paris, London and New York where Blossom used to live and work. And how I got to interview Bob Dorough, the creator of Schoolhouse Rock, who hired Blossom to sing “Figure 8” back in the 1970’s. Bob just passed this spring; he was still gigging in NYC at the ripe old age of 94.
Last night I went to The Moth Story Slam for the first time. Ten people get picked to go up on stage and tell a five-minute story. If they pull your name out of the bag, up you go. I was picked second.
My legs shook the whole time. I lost my place in the story twice, which was terrifying. A pause, a nervous laugh, then I somehow made it back on track. Did the audience notice?
I thought getting up on stage was one of my super powers. I’ve done it countless times. I don’t usually get that shaking in my legs – instead my nervous energy is fueled into performance energy. I know the playbook, I know where to go. It simply comes from doing it over and over again. Each show is a practice for the next.
So how was this different? I’m always telling stories when I introduce my songs. But the Story Slam was timed, with three sets of judges, and a crowd full of people who didn’t just come to hear me. I played a small part, but this wasn’t my show. It was unfamiliar territory.
Have you heard about the “French Jerry Seinfeld?” Hugely famous in his own country, Gad Elmaleh dared to move to the US to try his hand at American stand up. He found it thrilling and scary to throw a joke out there, not knowing if it would land. He struggled with learning the language, the culture; he fell flat many times. He could’ve gone back to France where everyone loved him, where he could do no wrong. But this was his American dream. He took that leap and now he has a special on Netflix.
What comes easy to you? What scares you? If you believe you have “stage fright” or “cold feet,” well by all means, jump right in! It’s only a hurdle and you’ll feel so great when you make it over. Welcome to the scary side of fun. 😬
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Perfect segue to my song You Gotta Go Through. I’ll be breaking through “like a cannonball boom boom boom” this weekend – my first ever show at the Boom Boom Room! Read more about this happy hour set and other upcoming events here.
From Wikipedia: “A lei can be given to someone for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, these reasons include love, honor, or friendship for another person.” They forgot to mention “when onstage with Elvis.”
I was already wearing a lucky lei when Elvis called me on stage to serenade the Hawaiian Wedding Song. He held my hand, looked deep into my eyes, then looped another garland of flowers around my neck. I don’t think hubby Mark was jealous, as he was the one taking the video. My job was to hold the mic at Elvis’s mouth as he played ukulele. Little did he know how qualified I was for the job!
I was so impressed by this Elvis tribute artist and the show that he created. As a fellow musician, I enjoyed hearing his personal journey of performing as Elvis for the last 30 years. He called his 11-year stint in Las Vegas a “prison” – then he broke free and convinced a Maui theater to host his show (now running four years). Burn’n Love is the number one show in Maui and I’m so glad we spent Christmas night with the King!
I was impressed not only with the musicianship but with the physicality of the show – that 50-year old Elvis really had the moves! Darren Lee (his real name) has found his calling and really throws his whole self into it. He channels Elvis but also lets his true light shine.
It reminded me that there is no point in performing without love, honor and friendship for your audience. I might just be inspired to strut around onstage adorned with flowers like Elvis. Heck, why not incorporate leis into my every day? Here’s sending you Elvis love and aloha spirit as we face this new year.
Hey, hey look at me using the latest technology – my first FLASH DRIVE ALBUM!!! I know you’re thinking, “Didn’t Eve already put out a new album this year?” Why yes, yes I did. But then this amazing opportunity came up thanks to my dear friend Timothy (read about our bucket-list journey here) – so now I have more to celebrate!
I want everyone to experience this flash-drive thingy. Feeling so happy, I’m offering a “twofer” for the holidays: you can get the new Atmospheric Epic or any of my other albums for free with the purchase of the flash drive.
The beauty of social media is that you can project an image of being social, the life of the party, even when you’re feeling quite the opposite. Is this a good thing? Sometimes yes – I like seeing people (all animals, really) doing happy things. Don’t you?
This week I was dragged down by an end-of-season cold, but I was able to post from my sickbed a video of happier times (namely last week), when I was flying high over my song being played at the SF Giants game. Did you happen to catch it?
And tonight I will rally for a singing event, doing my best to fake it for the crowd at the Songwriter Salon at PianoFight. Will my voice, strangled by this cold, come back to me (for only three songs, please)? Dunno, but sometimes adrenaline kicks in and gets you most of the way. I had to perform Ave Maria at a church wedding last winter with no voice, and somehow I squeaked it out. Thank you for that divine intervention!
Speaking of divine experiences, I got to perform Ave Maria again this summer in the silo tank. I’ve been editing the tracks to create an album and the reverb goes for miles. No added reverb to the mix (no faking it here), just the natural reverberations of the sonorous tank. Here’s an example:
That’s my friend Tim, who took me to the tank in Rangely, Colorado. It was about 100 degrees in there, so we are faking it with our cool, calm and collected presence. No sweat! 😊
More to come soon; for now I wish you the happiest October (no faking!) and I will wave to you from Tokyo (for real, I’m going to visit Tokyo!). But first some local happenings for those close to SF:
9/29 TONIGHT at PianoFight, the Songwriter Salon hosted by a drag queen!
9/30 TOMORROW at AT&T Park, they’re playing my song City Light once more at the Giants game!
10/13 FRIDAY THE 13TH at the Lost Church, performing with my dear friend and fellow songstress, Jan Thompson!
(My, that’s a lot of exclamations. My excitement is real – as evidenced by this dancing cat cartoon)
Thanks, as always, for your good vibes and encouragement. Sending love!