CD Launch Party–Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the CD Launch Party. It was a great time! I love the fact that it filled up with people who were happily visiting and enjoying conversation while listening to the music. It was a very friendly atmosphere–what an awesome way to celebrate! Thanks to all the friends and acquaintances who came out, to the new people I met that evening, and to the restaurant staff.

cd launch band2As for my band, I can’t thank them enough for the great job they did, and all the enthusiasm they show for what we’re getting ourselves into. They are all excellent musicians, and I am so happy to have them on board. Jim Brown shares his awesome skills on the bass, Del Metcalfe burns it up on the guitar, and Eugene Metcalfe amazes all with his dexterity on the drums. (Sorry Eugene, I tried to find a photo where you weren’t hiding behind the mic stand, no luck.)

My son, Tate, hopped on board too, as the opener, and added his fiddling flair to a tune during our first set. I can’t wait to see what else he gets up to as a musician, I’m sure this cd launch tate & meis just the beginning for him. My whole family deserves thanks, for their wonderful support, and for their patience with the practices. They’ve heard the songs many times over and they haven’t complained (too much, haha)!

Another big thanks goes out to Al and Lisa at UCB Radio for having me in for an interview during the preceding week, and to Jay Smith and Corey North over at CKXS for their awesome promotion all week long as the artist in the Local Spotlight. It’s great to have media outlets willing to promote local artists. Both stations were a great help in getting the word out.

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better event. I would do it all over again, exactly the same way, in a heartbeat. I’m so very grateful that it went well! Now we’re focusing on getting ready for upcoming public events in Waterloo (solo appearance) and Chatham (full concert with the band). Details will be posted soon. I hope to see lots of people there! God has put the music in my heart, along with a drive to get it out there, and the means to make it happen, one small step at a time. I feel very blessed, because in the end, I don’t want to keep these songs at home in my music room–connecting with listeners is what makes it all worth it.

Album Release!

Finally, the work is done and the CDs are in my hands! “Where God Is” is now available on iTunes, CD Baby and a streaming service near you!

Two years of preparation led to ten productive days in the studio this past summer, under the expert guidance of producer Matt Connell. His patience and skill kept us all calm during those long hours, and drew the best performances out of us, whether we were fresh or nearing exhaustion. And on a sunny Saturday in late September, he came out to shoot the video on our property, complete with a piano in the forest–not likely something I will see again soon.

I owe a giant debt of gratitude to my husband and kids for supporting me, and listening to the same songs over and over again while I got ready. My extended family, friends, and co-workers have been full of encouragement along the way, and helped to keep me going. My excellent musicians (Del Metcalfe on guitar, Jim Brown on bass, and Eugene Metcalfe on drums) were essential to the recording project, and live shows are so much more fun to play now–I can handle it on my own, but nothing beats the dynamic of a band on stage.

Photography credits go to Larry Kearns, and graphics were done by Steve Bellan. Big thanks to both of them for their patience, too, as I asked question after question and requested seemingly endless changes. Aside from the actual manufacturing of the CDs, I’m very proud to say this project was entirely local. I wasn’t sure I could pull this off in my own backyard, but with the right help, I did. Three years ago, this was just a dream that I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. The biggest thanks go to God above for helping me to put together everything I needed to get it finished and out there. He really is in the small things that happen all the time, but can be so easy to overlook.

If you happen to take the time to watch the video, or check out the songs (all lyrics are here), I hope you find something you can enjoy!

A Song for Sunday: How Great Thou Art

How Great Thou Art–Paul Baloche

Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

After six months of posting a song every Sunday, I decided to take a break and wait for the urge to post one again. Here we are! I love this rocked-up version of the traditional version. THIS is how I feel How Great Thou Art when I sing it! It hits the spot for me this morning, just like it did when I tagged it with Shazam a few days ago. Singing along in harmony with it reminds me of how much fun it was to perform with the band I used to belong to. They were awesome at multi-part harmony–there are no words for what it felt like to be part of that sound!

Yesterday was an awesome day. I was alone in the house for much of the day, AND I had energy and motivation at the same time–these don’t always coincide. I got so much accomplished. In the morning, I made a to-do list on a lined pad of paper, and spent the day happily crossing things off. Some of them were mundane–clean kitchen, fold laundry, sweep floors–but others were more momentous. I checked in with the two new musicians I’ve hired to help finish the recording of the CD. Things are looking pretty good, and there is now a plan in place for the next few weeks. I’m not holding my breath for a bump-free ride, because that never seems to happen, but hopefully it will go as smoothly as it can. I made arrangements with a friend to buy some stage gear that he needs to unload, so now I won’t need to borrow or rent that kind of equipment in the future. I contacted members of the new band I am putting together and lined up our very first practice later in the month. It’s been close to three years since I was in a band, so this could be very exciting!! I’m still in need of more musicians, but things seem to be heading in the right direction. I’m hoping they will bring along their vocal skills, too–I’m dreaming of some big harmonies!

After such a great day yesterday, it’s hard to explain why I have a big knot of anxiety in my chest this morning about these very same things. Unfortunately, this is a fairly regular struggle for me–who am I to think I can take on these things? Instead of focusing on the worries, I’m trying to cast off them off, focus on the knowns and tell the unknowns to wait till another day. God is in charge, and I know that one way or another, things will get sorted out. I’m looking forward to some great music along the way!

Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Album Update

20130413_110654Independent projects can be challenging. Circumstances intervene to create challenges and delays. Deadlines get set, and deadlines get changed. Through all of the successes and setbacks of 2013, however, the end goal remained clear. Friends remained faithful to their commitments, family and fans remained steadfast in their encouragement, and in sometimes surprising ways, prayers continued to be answered. I’m happy to say that recording is back on track and the end seems to be in sight!

Now it’s 2014, and “Where God Is” is getting close to completion. We have a new guitarist and bass player on board (welcome, Del Metcalfe!) and we’re currently working on his tracks. With just a few songs to finish up, I’m back to sacrificing evenings and weekends with enthusiasm! I will also be putting on my engineering hat so producer Daryl Jubenville can add the drum tracks, and then it will be left in his hands to get the mixing and mastering done.

The fact that the first release is entitled “Patience” sometimes makes me laugh, and sometimes makes me cringe. (If you’re curious, you can check it out under the “My Music” tab in the menu bar.) I’ve had to grow my patience again and again through this process. I’m still praying that no more big snags trip us up. But, finally, I can say that I’ve gone from wondering whether this will ever get done to happily planning for the CD launch event later this year. I won’t put a date out publicly until more details are ironed out, but will admit that I’m allowing myself to get excited. I’m so looking forward to the online release, and to opening that first box of finished CDs! I know CDs are gradually fading away but there are still those who will want them, including me. There is something satisfying about a hard copy that I just don’t get from owning exclusively online files.

The support of everyone around me continues to be awesome, and I will have a long list of thank-yous when the time comes. Sales continue to come in through iTunes and other online vendors, even though I have scaled back the marketing at the moment. And never mind my own patience–I am also grateful for the patience of everyone who has been asking, “When will you have the next song out?” I’m glad they haven’t given up on waiting. It must mean they think it’s something worth waiting for, and that helps to keep me going!

CD Launch Party!

Leave the winter blahs behind and come out to the

CD Launch Party

Friday, January 30, 2015

7-10 pm at the Chatham Breakfast House and Grille

525 Grand Ave. E., Chatham

Enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and live music with Tina and her band as we celebrate the release of “Where God Is”. Tickets are available at Gospel Text and Musical Strings ‘n’ Things (Chatham), B’s Hive and the Movie Den (Thamesville, and Roesch Meats and More, or send me a message. Looking forward to seeing you there!

My Digital Shoebox

Last night, I needed to clear some storage space on my phone. What I really need to do is move some of my photos onto my computer, but since that wasn’t an option at that moment, I tackled the voice recordings instead. When I get an idea for a melody that I think is worth keeping, or maybe a scrap of lyric that I don’t want to forget, I will grab my phone and make a quick recording. Sometimes I’m able to sit at the piano for a minute and improvise whatever it is that’s running around inside my head. I don’t always get time to go back to the tracks right away, so the collection accumulates, a bit like odds and ends in a shoebox.

I had 120 tracks to go through, so I only got to tackle about a third of them last night, but it was like an auditory tour of the past year. I was transported back to a day when I was working out instrumental tracks for a couple of songs in the studio. The phone helped me to hang onto ideas, so I could compare them and decide which I liked best. Others reminded me of wintry days driving to work, putting down bits of melody while freezing rain pelted the windshield in the background, the phone on the seat beside me. In one of the files, my kids were chatting about silly things in the back seat while I dictated a chord progression to go along with a few lyrics.

Not all of the files got deleted, even though I was on a mission to free up space. I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the audio archives showing the evolution of a couple of my songs. There are times when I just know that something has potential. It keeps coming up, asking to be worked on. It keeps letting me know, “Not yet, I can be better!” One of those songs, With All That I Am, is a favourite among students at two of my schools. We sang that song at a school Mass two days ago, and I even as I was singing, I was grinning as I heard the students singing along. That moment summed up what it’s all about–the satisfaction of shaping a creative idea into a finished work that can be shared and enjoyed.

My digital shoebox might be full of scraps and surprises, but a little like my grandma’s button collection (which I loved), just about everything seems to belong, somehow. I need to get back to sorting the remaining files, but I have a feeling I’ll be keeping many of them, too.