Hi! I am Marilyn, a singer/songwriter in Hudson, NY. You have landed on my personal website/ blog/ calendar, and you will find here all kinds of things about my musical life. Look around! My blog is below, but over in the right column under 'Pages', you can see links to videos, show schedules, song lists and the other musical projects I am working on. I really hope you will consider getting to a show or even have me (and my friends) come and entertain you at your party or event. People enjoy having us play for them!

When the music calls, I *will* be there....

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


I read some motivational writers, and a strong message is, SHOW UP. It really is the first step in absolutely every endeavor you can undertake.

Every. Single. One.

SHOW UP. It is so important. I find that if I show up, and ignore distractions (turn off facebook), automatically, *something* gets done. Yep, I do have a To-Do List (Google Keep) and a goal list (Habit Bull). I also track projects (Trello) such as gig searching, show planning and even yard maintenance! And what would I do without Google Calender and Reverbnation widgets!!! If you don't know me, you likely think I am SO ORGANIZED. Those that know me, well... they can tell you.

But... SHOW UP. Show up first to plan. I want to learn my fretboard and leave behind my status as a First Position Queen. I would love to be able to add some harp to my own songs. I want to write more. There are so many good cover songs out there to learn. Walk two miles every day.

If I don't show up, none of these things can happen.

So I show up. And I still procrastinate. As a matter of fact, PLANNING can be a BIG way to procrastinate. So, I am adding JUST KEEP MOVING to the SHOW UP strategy.

For example, I find scales to be a terribly boring activity. I only want to practice the same song maybe twice. After about an hour of trying to find a rhyme that works and expresses, I am fried. I don't have enough air to blow more than a couple songs on the harp.

But, if I do a scale, then do a song, then work on the rhyme and blow some harp and then another scale and go around the circle again.... THAT I can do. And believe it or not, it also feels right to me. It fits me. It has long been my strategy for doing work in the yard, and now I am applying it to the creative parts of my life and I am thinking it is a good way to try....

Maybe it won't fit you, but if you think about it, maybe you can come up with a strategy that will help YOU show up!!

Ok, enough time 'blogging', time to go do some vocal practice!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Something We Can Do

Thanks to WGXC and Tom Roe, I have this complete version of my song, Something We Can Do.
Enjoy it.
But even more.... talk to each other in love, forget hate.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Womens March, 2018

This year, I stayed home... and marched right here in Hudson NY with several thousand other folks.... yeah, in tiny little Hudson. I was asked to Busk prior to the rally, in 7th Street Park. My new performance mantra.... be responsible for your own sound. This time I brought my amp and complete rig... but I never asked where they would be setting up, so I didn't have electricity... so much for being completely self contained, LOL!!!! But eventually, the folks setting up the sound for the rally arrived and I plugged in my rig, and started to sing.
I planned to sing some familiar songs, some unfamiliar songs and a couple of my own originals. The folks I sang to, sang right back at me at every opportunity!!! YES!! Pete Seeger, one of my heros, would have been happy. I was even given a crowd tape that proves my audience had harmony as well as smiles, wonderful signs, and good will!!! Thank you!
Here is one of the videos I received this morning.... the song is an original...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Embrace Your Mistakes?

I have been discussing ideas about practice with various people, and thinking about it a great deal lately. Neil Young fans like to make jokes about embracing mistakes. It is something Neil just about preaches. We tell stories about how some of Neil's most famous records had artists that didn't know how to play the instrument Neil gave them to play. Of course, it works. And, of course, you will never hear what DIDN'T work, will you?? LOL

So, anyone who knows me or has watched me make music knows that I admittedly make a LOT of mistakes. Sporatic, stupid mistakes. Even with the chords and words right in front of me, and for a variety of reasons. Sigh. Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with practice and everything to do with how my brain just sometimes misses things.... things that I know in my sleep.... just gone. No Warning. If you play with me, you learn to deal, or you are unhappy. As Rick tells me, I keep him on his toes. :) (Of course, I will also admit, practice helps with that issue too... but mostly, practice to smooth it out.... because it doesn't stop)

But, I am not discussing in this article how to put on a show. The art of the show is something I am still learning about and studying. I am talking about the difference between REHEARSAL and PRACTICE, and why both are needed.

Now, I prefer rehearsal. I like being around other people, I like being able to socialize around making music. And... you know, it just SOUNDS better to play with others. It is great FUN!!! It is also when magic can be made, when your instruments and voices weave sound around in a way that pierces through to the bone. AH!!! Sometimes that can happen on stage too, and I am sure it does more often as you become more confident in your music and stage show. Rehearsal is for social bonding, trying out different approaches and seeing what can be done with them, making your arrangements, figuring out the things that make you sound SOLID, learning how to work with each other with just a look or nod. Rehearsal is NOT where you learn the chord progressions, melody or harmony. Learning the song ONLY happens in PRACTICE.

You learn the song in PRACTICE. Practice is what you do, in the 'woodshed', all alone. That is where you get the changes down. When you play that part you just can't quite nail so many times over that anyone within hearing distance is ready to shoot you. When you sweat to find the right key, figure out where to take your breathe so you can hold that note, write that guitar fill, develop your sound, put together your solo idea that takes that song straight to the heart, firmly and with meaning. Practice is where you learn the song so that when you get together with your band mates, you can refine the song and make your arrangement and make it sound special.

Practice is the work that you do so you have something to offer at rehearsal. Practice is why each song can sound different than the last one. Practice is what gives you your toolbox.

One my first, great lessons as a musician was given to me by my first adult teacher. When I told him of my love of music, but apparent inability to make it, he said, 'Can you hear songs playing in your head?' yep, all the time 'Then we need to teach you how to take what is in your head and put it into your hands.'.

In other words, he taught me to work, and it would come. And it has. Thank you, teacher.

The work is in practice. Then you bring it out and have FUN.

Practice and hard work will bring you where talent fears to tread....

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Catskill Farmers Market gig

Last night, after work, I rushed over the bridge to Catskill to sing at the last Catskill Farmers Market for 2017. Ok... I did not RUSH because the line to cross the bridge was literally a mile long... and moving SLOOOOOOW....

But I get there, and there is like five farmers and a couple crafts people and maybe five customers. I guess I am getting spoiled.... there was a time in my playing life where that would be just fine. But as I am looking around, I am primarily thinking, 'Is it even worth me setting up?'. You know, I have a strong sense of commitment... if I said I would do it, here I am... and I set up. A gentleman passing by said, oh, we are going to get some music? I tried hard not to sound as annoyed as I felt when said yes, I think so....

I was going solo. Rick decided he had something else he needed to do, and I am thinking about how smart he was to cancel as I strap on my guitar. When I play with someone else, it doesn't bother me that the venue is empty. I don't know why. But when I am going solo, I feel silly and exposed and embarrassed. But I came here to sing, and I open my mouth....

By the second song, I had a few people sitting at picnic tables, some eating dinner, but all listening to me. Smiling. Singing along. Rocking to the beat. And staying past finishing their dinner. More came. Some were families and the kids ran around as people sat and listened. I am not going to tell you that I grew a crowd.... but I will tell you that I sang for 90 minutes and kept the people who were there, THERE.

It is a beautiful setting, Dutchmans Landing. A piece of land that juts into the Hudson River, which is a mile wide there, so the river is all around the park. And this was sunset. And one of those beautiful early fall days when summer is still trying to hold on. And I sang... My amp is sounding great on the vocal channel, but the guitar sounds a thin as a plastic guitar (ok, it is composite... but still....). After a few songs, I discover the error and correct it, and I don't know about my audience, but I welcomed the better sound. And I sang. They were paying as much attention to the originals as the songs they knew. Couples with dogs. Women with kids. A few single men sitting on top of picnic tables. All listening. I could not have asked for a better 'listening room'!!!

After a while, I was getting surprised that no one was leaving, and wondering when I could stop! LOL. Then, I remembered, like someone making a comment in my mind--, 'Always leave them wanting more'.

So, I announced my last song, said something about being back next year and congrats on the last day of the market and started to pick up. People came over to me to put money in the bucket and talk to me about their enjoyment of this evening. That, of course, is the butter on the bread. Yeah, I enjoyed it too!

Another lesson learned. Don't judge a book by its cover or a market by the sparseness of the venders.... lol!!!

Today, I sing with Mike and Brian for the Lighthouse Preservation Organization, out in the middle of the river. My favorite gig. Singing songs to a happy bunch of people standing on a rock in the middle of the Hudson River is just a wonderful way to spend a couple hours. I look forward to it.

Then on Sunday, I will head down to Rhinebeck, where I will participate in their 'Porchfest'. I know a lot of my fellow players, so even though I am solo, I should see a bunch of folks I know. The two gigs I had with Rick this weekend were both cancelled... the bedraces (look up YouTube videos to see what that is about) and a Blues Brunch (the restaurant has refrigeration problems), But we start playing together again at the Austerlitz Fall Festival on October 8.

I am surrounded by crows this morning as I write this on my screened porch. That is generally a sign that the muse is with me. I hope that is true today. I hope that music can use me and give people a good time (while I stay out of the way). That is what it is ALL about....