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....

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.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cayamo Cruising....

Sometimes it is hard to play. I recently went on a cruise, and it was difficult. I felt so very very strange, so out of sorts. It is hard to explain, but it was, as I sit in this plane going to Seattle, very much like the head I get when I fly...... Sort of like- impossible to think. Tired. Kind of dopey, actually. But not in a good way at all.....

The first night I was there, I ran into Wayne, who I first met at SAMW (Summer Acoustic Music Week). He was leading a small group of folks who are playing together, in a lounge right near a bar, center of the ship. We play a few songs, and I am asked to lead a tune. I choose Angel from Montgomery, as I had JUST heard John Prine (one of my musical heros) do the song in concert on board. When I dared to look around, I saw lots of smiles, people who had stopped just to hear the song. Of course, that felt REAL good......

The next day, after all the shows I wanted to see were done, I eagerly grabbed my guitar and went to the lounge near the bar. Tonight, there were about 20 people crowded in the area. Good players, lots of energy. I was feeling weird, my head felt like I couldn't think my way out of a paper bag....... But I followed along, strumming until I realized I had to go to sleep. Of course, that was when someone looked around the group and saw me there on the outskirts.

'You gotta song?'

'You want some Neil Young?'

Of course they did. I stepped into the middle of the circle, turned off that shyness, turned on my 'stage thing' and taught them the chords briefly and we were OFF!!!! What a LOT of fun!!!! Singing the choruses at the top of their lungs, the audience and other players smiled and clapped and listened and played. I asked for and got some amazing solos!!! I walked out of the group with several folks commenting on the energy, the song choice, the leadership. I left soon after (I really DID need to SLEEP).

The next night we met in  this area that at the back of the boat, where food was served as a buffet. It had a big canvas awning and was my favorite breakfast place. A few folks had gathered there and we spent some time strumming and teaching each other songs. The most memorable thing about that night was a man who sang a few songs he wrote..... And every tune was funny, well sung-- great songs done well....... I wish I had gotten his contact info right then, as I never ran into him again.

So, the next night, I was even more fatigued. The constant rocking movement (we had 'Moderate Seas' most of the time) really was wearing on me. However, after seeing all the shows I wanted, I grabbed my guitar and headed to the place I was told we would be meeting that night. You see, I was told, and it may have been meant differently, but......

I was told that the 'real' musicians (as opposed to us hacks, I suppose) were going to be in the lounge outside the bar, and you had to be invited to play. The kind of playing situation that I don't do well in at all.... So I headed out to the outside food area, where I met Wayne........ And couldn't play to save my life. I couldn't remember ANYTHING, I could not follow the songs he was trying to teach me. I think I did 'Leaving on a Jet Plane', and did get some clapping by the folks taking a late nite snack, but *I* didn't feel good about the performance. We then went and met the other folks in the library, where I did not do any better, and left after a short time. I heard that the 'by invite only' jam was really a lot of fun..... and wished I had gone, just to listen, but I sure was glad I didn't try to play at THAT.....

I tried to change my strings after that, but didn't have the tools. I also didn't have the energy. Everything, absolutely everything, became a large, hard thing to accomplish. I only played in the room  after that. It seemed the music left me as the fatigue grew.

It took me a while after I got home to feel normal again, but I do, finally. I have written some new tunes, and I can't get enough of the sound of my guitar. I restrung the travel guitar and it waits right now in its case, in the luggage bin over my head in this plane bound for Seattle. I will be getting it out. I will likely be playing and singing Neil Young songs with my other Neil Young -loving buddies before too long.

Glad the music came back to me.....

(I should say before leaving this post, that although the music seemed to leave ME, I still greatly enjoyed all the music I heard from so many fantastic musicians on this cruise..... James McMurtney, John Prine, Richard Thompson, Shawn Mullins, Chuck Cannon. WOW.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Professional Enough?

I have been told before that my website is not 'professional enough'. I have often wondered what that means. Is it because I talk about stage fright? I don't have enough promotional things? I don't talk about touring or shows, but about regular people making music in my home town? I really don't know and if someone can tell me I would appreciate it. Not that I want to change this site..... But I would like to know what those folks mean.....

Maybe I could find out it I networked enough. Maybe if I paid some money and had one of those professional site builders redesign me. Or took a class on how to market myself. Yeah, that would do it. I would get more offers on Sonic Bids for gigs down in New York where I have to guarantee 25 paid tickets, and only after that do I get a percentage of the door. And did I mention I get a full 40 minutes to play!

Maybe, since I haven't gotten too many reviews on my CD, I should pay someone to write one. Or even pay for a bunch of 'market experts' that don't usually listen to my genre, to critically appraise my work. I can then use those things to help write my bio..... I will then have a bunch of quotes to use all over my site, make it look like folks all over are talking about me. Would that be more professional?

When I first started on this journey, I just wanted to enjoy making music with other Neil Young fans. Then I found out how much fun it was to play in front of an audience. That gets cool real quick. THEN, I found out how much even better it feels to play your OWN songs with others in front of an audience, particularly one that listens and cares. WOW.

At that point, I was just happy being able to play. But it became apparent that I could get better gigs if I had a CD to send, professionally produced, of course. And, after spending all that money on those CDs, I should promote them, sell them, try to find people to help promote (radio, print, blog). And to do that, there are lots of people out there willing to take my money to 'help' me make my goal......

But really, what is my goal???

I am never going to make even extra spending money making music, let alone cover my expenses making those CDs. I am not going to tour. I would love to do house concerts, but my website is not professional enough.

So I am one of those musicians who takes the local gigs, for no pay, just for the love of playing music with my friends for an audience.  The professional musicians complain to me about that, but I think that if I (or someone like me) didn't play those gigs, there just wouldn't be any live music in that venue. Co-ops, coffeeshops and farmers markets are not exactly rolling in the dough.... I really don't think I am taking work from anyone.....

I invite people into my gigs, just as so many people have done for me.  I encourage people all around me to participate in the music...... Not elitist enough, I suspect.

I guess I am just not professional enough...... but I do get people to laugh and smile and dance and feel GOOD.... and that makes me feel good.

I am who and what I am..... and I will keep at it.....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Acres Coop Gigs

I just finished a group of gigs at the Acres Co-op. I can't tell you what that is, exactly. I understand that it is a 'Co-op', though I am not sure what that means. I also am told that next time it 'opens', it will look more like a store and less like a flea market for food. I know that something that dissappointed me is the price of staples offered, such as a vendor wanting $8 for 6 organic eggs. Around here, I can get organic, free range, locally produced eggs in the Supermarket for $4/dozen. As a person that works a lot trying to get poor people to eat healthy(er), I was NOT happy about that...... but I don't know how they determine prices and I certainly don't know the answer to the problem of getting GOOD food into the city.....

But this series of gigs have got to be my FAVORITE gigs ever. Did folks stop and really listen? Nope, not reallly. They were there to shop. Did I get money in my tip jar?? Nope, I left it at home the last three times. Did I get appreciated? Sure did. By the vendors who were OH, so kind, to feed me and thank me and ask me back. By the kids who were SO attracted to this guitar playing, singing person in bright clothing, that they couldn't help but dance. Did I have help? YES, I had lots of musicians stop by and contribute their sounds, and I appreciated them all. We had sing alongs. I had a child draw a picture of me playing. It was a no stress time of sharing music, passing time, celebrating the production of real, solid, healthy foods. For SURE, a gig i will remember. But, it is all over now.