name='p:domain_verify'/> The Red Accordion Diaries

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

When the Village comes through for you.

Motherhood is isolating, but my village came through for me last night in a big way. David's out of town, so I was solo parenting a 2.5-year-old who was perfectly normal one minute, then 104 fever the next. And then it went up ... and down ... and up and down.

Details unnecessary -- all is well now. But I owe a lot to friends who kept their phones on all night in case I needed something. Thank you to:

Braun No-Touch Thermometer

  • My wonderful parents who asked no questions when I asked them to bring over one of their cars so I'd have transportation to the ER if necessary (not necessary). We could have taken a taxi or called a friend, but it was nice to have the option of a car. It's the one thing people always call me out on when I confirm that we don't own an automobile. "But what if your kid is sick?" Again, taxi or friend is an option ... but remember the Village-thing? Everyone is helping to raise the Wee Boy, and I very much appreciate it.
  • My wonderful friend/doctor who answered her texts during her night out (and who fit the wee boy into her overworked schedule this morning).
  • My amazing neighbor came over at 11pm -- again, no questions asked -- to sit with the Wee Boy, so I could run to the pharmacy. When I came home from my quick errand, they were playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. She is a Good Witch Next Door.


Also -- and this is pure advertising -- but can I say how much I love the Braun no-touch forehead thermometer? I received it as a Klout Perk (the only Klout perk i've ever actually claimed), and I was pretty determined not to advertise for it. But guess what ... I love it. It's easy to use, and as accurate as any other I've found. Bonus points because I've had it six months, and it hasn't broken yet. The Wee Boy has a problem with breaking expensive thermometers.

Carry on, now ... everything's well again.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dream roles and some Jesus Christ Superstar action.

Little secret: I was a child actor. I did my first national commercial at age 5 -- for a swanky GE product called a microwave oven. The commercial hasn't resurfaced on YouTube, so you'll have to just trust me on this one. Anyway, I did a lot of commercial work and eventually morphed into theatre. Considering the trajectory of most actors, mine is kind of backwards. I actually stopped acting when I moved to New York City at age 18.

I loved acting, but I'm not sure I was all that good at it to be honest. I much prefer playing myself, singing my own songs, and creating my own show on my own stage ... hence, my band.

But there are days now when I get super envious of friends who are in theatre shows all the time. I haven't auditioned for anything since I was a teenager, but I daydream of playing roles.

I am using my alias "Bridget" Kaelin this weekend, so as
to keep the crowds at a minimum.
This weekend, I get to sing 1-2 of Mary Magdalene's songs in Ray Rizzo's bring-us-all-together version of Jesus Christ Superstar. I've been talking with various musicians for at least ten years, but musicians are hard to wrangle ... and I haven't had the time. So big kudos to Ray for organizing the lot of us, and THANK YOU for asking me to be involved!

For an a-religious person like me, it seems weird for Mary Mag to be a dream role -- but those songs! Those melodies and lilting drums ... oh, how I've wanted to sing these songs for years. I've done "I Don't Know How to Love Him" with my band as long as I've had a band (Cheyenne Mize will be singing that one this weekend), but it's just not the same thing.

There are a few tickets left if anyone wants them:

Tickets for April 3: https://www.facebook.com/events/1560909620861773/
Tickets for April 4: https://www.facebook.com/events/1538361479761282/

Just to throw it out into the Universe ... my other dream roles are:
Guinevere - Camelot (i know, most people hate this show, but i ADORE it!)
Maria - Sound of Music
I was Dorothy when I was 13, so check that one off the list.
Adelaide - Guys and Dolls


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wee boy updates ... chapter books!

I can't catch a break over here. It's nothing life-threatening or anything, and life is, overall, wonderful. But the most annoying little things keep coming at just the wrong times, and I just am never able to get even 20% of my To Do list done. Rather than complain, I thought I'd do that thing we all know we should be doing: focusing on the positive.

So.

Exciting things happening:
matching fox hats and a KILT.

The Wee Boy has been hanging onto my every word at night when we read ... chapter books. It's the milestone I've been waiting for since that pregnancy test. We read to him every night, of course, because all the books say if you don't read to your child, he'll end up in prison (#grainofsaltplease). Up till now, of course, it's been short read-in-one-sitting books.

A few weeks ago, however, I started reading The Phantom Tollbooth out loud to him, and he
1) follows the storyline
2) understands most of the words and
3) is actually excited to find out what happens next.

 Considering bedtime and naptime have been the most stressful times of the day for me for the past 2.5 years, this is a huge improvement. "Mommy, can we read about Milo and the watchdog yet?" !!!! This is as close as he's ever gotten to asking to go to bed. It is a miracle because THERE ARE SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS TO START READING!!

What's your favorite? I remember when I was a nanny, we read Anne of Green Gables and some Oz books and Alice in Wonderland. I know they aren't all age-appropriate, but consider that David read Lonesome Dove in its entirety to the wee boy when he was 4-6 weeks old.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Insane week + fun video -- need your help to choose!!

Oh my goodness this has been an insane week. I don't even want to get into it, but know that I am SO ready for the weekend. It's supposed to be a beautiful sunny and 70 degrees in Louisville tomorrow, so let's all just embrace spring and Derby season and each other.

Also, check out this video, and tell me which you think is better for promo stuff, a cappella or with instruments:

video

Now, don't you think you need to hire this trio for your event? We've got a fun setlist of some old-time tunes plus some old-timey covers of more modern songs. I love having such talented friends.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Reflections on a tour and reunited with the Wee Boy.

I'm home now. It's been a bizarro week of riding the high of the tour, coupled with immediate solo parenting. David and I high-fived at the airport on Monday night; he left for a work trip just as I was arriving from Scotland. I've just gone to bed at 9p with the Wee Boy every night this week, not because of jet-lag but because I'm not sure what else to do with myself.

Brigid in Edinburgh, refreshed and anew.
Even my hair looks redder.
I've written about the challenges of balancing an artistic career with motherhood. I still don't understand how to do it. Just when I think I should just quit this silly, narcissistic career choice, I meet someone at a show who tells me how glad she was to have heard my songs -- how "restorative it was" and how much she needed to smile. And then I am reminded that art is absolutely necessary.

All but one of my tour dates in the United Kingdom were sold out, standing-room-only, filled-to-capacity. It was a reminder that the traveling troubadour is still both respected and important. Imagine a world where everyone pays the entry fee -- no one begs to be on the guest list or claims that $5 is too much. It exists! Just perhaps not where I live. Well, there are many people in Louisville who believe it, just perhaps not as many as elsewhere in my travels.

Touring is exhausting. But it doesn't even come close to motherhood. I got more sleep on the road than I've gotten in years. I got more alone time than I've gotten in years -- days when I walked 20k steps through cobblestones and castles! (Thanks, fitbit!) I read two books. Near the end, I actually felt like writing again. I almost remembered how to have a conversation with adults.

But, of course, nothing can top the amazing hugs and kisses and cuddles that I got from the Wee Boy when I returned! I wonder how I could possibly ever leave this kid for that long again. I've got to get a road nanny.

For those curious: it took him all of ten minutes to ask for nursies. You'd think he would have forgotten or my milk would have dried. Nope. Back to normal over here. Somehow I am a milk machine.

New music ... the single "Once I Had (Ballad of Nick Keir)" is available on various websites including:
iTunes
or if you prefer a different audio format, you can buy it on my bandcamp site.

I'm working on a video for this song -- a very lofi video that's basically a love letter to Edinburgh's Old Town.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tour video diary -- Filey, North Sea, Chip Butties, High winds.

I'm home! But I'm going to continue to inundate you with images from my tour. Next time I need to bring along a social media person whose entire job is to post our silly videos online. I don't know why it's so complicated to upload the videos, but I never seem to have strong enough wifi on the days I actually have something to upload.

Here's a video of a morning in Filey.


I'm still riding this tour high. All but one of our shows was sold out. Seriously, people, sold out to capacity! Standing room only! It's amazing the reception the traveling troubadour can get, and it makes me want to play and travel all the time. I only wish I could afford to bring along a nanny and my wee boy. Till next time...

Here's a link to some great candid photos taken by photographer Stuart in Perthshire (Stu-Art Media and Event Photography: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.649898578466168.1073741838.268614383261258&type=3https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.649898578466168.1073741838.268614383261258&type=3

Louisville, I'll be at the Monkey Wrench on Saturday around 6:00, maybe 6:30 depending on the basketball game schedule, playing with Steve Cooley and Larry Raley. Larry will sing some, I'll sing some, maybe even Steve will sing some!

The rest of you -- let me know if you've got a castle I can sing in:)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

UK Tour -- Manor House, Castle Gardens, Labradors and Tea. Filey.



We madrI'm in this bizarro world right now where I have more time than I've had in years, but I STILL DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME. Of course I better, but still ...  it's hard to keep in touch on the road. I Facetimed with the Wee Boy last night, and he didn't cry. That was good news. But on to tour updates...

Yesterday we had a long drive from Edinburgh to Yorkshire. I should say "long drive" only applies to my British readers, as it was only 200 miles. To Americans, that's just a commute. Roads are smaller and slower over here, however, so 200 miles takes about 5-6 hours of drive time. Thankfully, the countryside is breathtaking, and we broke the drive down into a couple of fabulous pit stops.

First we popped into visit a friend of Diana's, who lives in a stunning Manor House (like the Dowager's house on Downton) in the Borders (or is it "in" the Borders?). Here is a photo of the house, complete with a jolly Labrador resting on a tweed bed. Even posh Labradors enjoy a belly rub, by the way.


After a spot of tea -- well, I had cordial -- we drove to Northumberland, popping into the Alnwick Castle Gardens. Even though it's February, the gardens were completely gorgeous. It's Versailles on a much more attainable scale. Water shows, fountains, even little tractors for the wee ones.

The gardens weren't in full bloom (but snow drops and daffodils smiled at us), but we enjoyed the bamboo maze and lovely trellises anyway. Notice the SUN. It was a tropical 50 degrees. Coming from Kentucky where it was below zero F, this was spectacular.

The castle itself was closed, but Diana and I were able to catch a great view of it from the Treehouse Cafe. She pointed out the Quidditch Field from Harry Potter. Downton Abbey fans will recognize this caslte as "Brancaster Castle" from the current season finale/Christmas Special (it airs on Sunday in the US).




We eventually got to Filey, where we immediately got some chips and had a spot of tea. Then onto the gig, which was fantastic -- sold out, completely acoustic, in a library (swoon!), full of appreciative people. After the gig, which ended at 9:00 (double swoon!), we popped into the Real Ale House (pub) for a Scarborough Stout. I love playing small towns because all but 2 people in the pub had been at our gig. We walked through the pub doors and people said, "Brigid! Diana! Come in!" You know, as if we'd lived in Filey all our lives.

Sorry for the rambling ... just wanted to catch you up on the day to day before I get too behind. We made a cute video this morning on the Filey Beach as we walked along the North Sea. Fingers crossed that I ever get that edited. 
Tonight is a show in Whitby, and you should come to it! Whitby Pavilion. We play at 8, I believe.
xoxo
Brigid




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