The nuts and bolts of my Song School experience are as follows:
- I attended songwriting classes with songwriters like Ellis, Peter Himmelman, and Mary Gauthier. That Mary Gauthier.
- I attended instructional guitar classes with musicians like Justin Roth and Arthur Lee Land.
- I attended a master vocal class with voice-coach-to-the-stars Ron Browning.
- I attended a performance class with consummate performer Vance Gilbert.
- I attended music business classes with book agents and geniuses Val Denn and Terri Delaney.
But the nuts and bolts are not the real story.
I got to glamp with some of my favorite people in the whole world: friends who make me laugh until I can't breathe, tell me when a line isn't working, and inspire me to write more, play better, and live well. (PS--it was soooo NOT glamping). I got to witness someone write his very first song and then play it ten minutes later; see someone play on stage (to a roaring crowd) for the very first time (and play guitar standing up for the first time!); watch folks wrestle to uncover the truth of a song and themselves under a tent in front of friends who want nothing but for them to be great; sing on stage with Hope and Tom Prasado Rao; watch Buddhist monks at work; take an unexpected field trip to dinner and a Darrell Scott/Tim O'Brien concert in Boulder with a carload of funny, funny people; sit by lamplight and pass guitars, songs, and a bottle around a circle; be lulled to sleep by the St. Vrain river rushing mere feet from my tent; have warm morning coffee with my feet in the cool dewey grass staring up at the canyon walls.
And that was just Song School. The festival brought magical sets by magical people--music to fill my soul.
Now I'm back home. The kids have gone to school, the husband to work. I have many awesome projects on my plate that I am excited to tackle; I'm trying not to panic that most of them don't have a paycheck associated with them. I'm trying to lasso all the inspiration heaped upon me last week and ride it until next year.
Pressing projects of the day: 1) plan my 40th birthday party and 2) get tickets for the Willie Nelson and Neil Young concert.
Ready, set, go!