Chestertown Adventures…

Last night Tyler, our friend Paul, and I went to Chestertown, MD to play an open mic at this little place called Andy’s. Andy’s is a cute little bar that feels more like a coffee shop. The best part is that unlike most bars, the focus at Andy’s is actually the music. We had a great time playing and the people there really liked us. It was an encouraging time.

We took a wrong turn on the way there and stumbled across this:
Remind you of anything?
Remind you of anything?

The other musicians at the open mic were equally entertaining. A group of old-timers took me back to my bluegrass roots. The whole time I was thinking–if only I brought my mandolin! And I couldn’t help but wish my dad had been there to jam with them. Check out these guys:
Bluegrass Jam

On the way home we had to take a new route due to an unexpectedly closed bridge, we almost hit a deer, and had quite an interesting conversation on bodily functions that I wish I hadn’t been in the car to hear. Always a good time.

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oh coffee…

Yesterday afternoon we received notice that our apartment complex would be performing maintenance on this new security system they’re installing (my mom will be pleased).  Anyway, the maintenance requires that they have access to our apartment to install this phone thing (it’s gonna be like the buzzer type thing in Seinfeld).  Just a few moments ago one of the maintenance crew members left my apartment.  I didn’t get his name, I should have.  Anyway the experience went something like this:

Loud knocking…”Maintenance!”

Me: “Oh hey, come on in.”

Him: “Just have to finish installing this phone.”

Me: “Okay, sure.”

I go back to my computer, he gets to work.

Awkward Silence.

Him: “So do you work at Starbucks or is it just Tyler?”

Me: “Oh, just Tyler.” (Tyler’s very friendly, it’s not unlikely that they’ve had a conversation.)

Him: “So what’s with the coffee song then?”

End scene.

Can I just say that there is something fantastic about one of the maintenance guys knowing the coffee song?  We proceeded to have a great conversation about music, Nashville, Third Day, etc.  Like I said, I can’t believe I didn’t get the guy’s name.

I’m feeling so encouraged by what God is doing here.  He’s been opening so many doors for us musically and the gigs have just been pouring in.  I feel like nearly everyday I get a call or an email or I run into someone who has a date in mind or the name of some guy they know that wants to talk to me.  I want to soak this in and truly be thankful for what God is doing, because I know it could all end in a second.
-jenny

Wishing I were better at this website business…

Over the weekend Tyler taught me how to update the website with all this html code and stuff, and now I can’t remember most of it. I was going to update the tour page because we’ve added a ton of dates in February and a few in March, but I just can’t seem to do it. It will have to wait until tonight. In the mean time, if you’re interested in seeing the dates, check out our myspace.

We had a very eventful weekend with a show in Berlin, Maryland and worship leading responsibilities on Sunday. If you’re interested in seeing us this week:

Wednesday: Andy’s Open Mic in Chestertown MD @9pm

Saturday: Starbucks in Chadds Ford, PA (myspace for address) @ 7pm.

-jenny

Tour name ideas anyone?

Well, it’s just a few minutes shy of midnight here in lovely Newark, DE. Tyler should be arriving home from work within in the next half an hour or so and I really can’t wait. It’s been one of those days where our work schedules are completely opposite and we never manage to see each other. It’s felt that way for two weeks now. Don’t get me wrong, playing shows together, practicing, and writing together throughout the week is great, but sometimes I wish we had more time to just “be.” That could be your prayer for us if you’re the praying type.

In music news—we have confirmed 7 dates for our February Starbucks tour. We’ll be posting them on the site and the myspace shortly. Basically if you live in the Northern DE/Southern PA area we’ll be playing at a Starbucks near you sometime in February. I’d like to come up with a fun name for the tour (I know the term “tour” might sound a little too professional for a bunch of Starbucks shows, but seriously, I’ve never been able to say that I’ve been on anything even remotely close to a “tour” until now. Let me enjoy the moment.) and if you have any ideas, I’d certainly love to hear them.

I’m getting sleepy.

-jenny

Look mom! I’m a REAL artist!

Last night Tyler and I had the pleasure of working with our good friend Joel Rakes. Joel came over, we ate dinner, and then we worked for a good 2-3 hours on fine tuning the songs that he’ll be using when he records his EP in Nashville next week. Let me be the first to tell you (if you haven’t been told all ready), you are going to want to buy this EP. Seriously. Joel is one of those musicians who you can’t really label. He plays acoustically driven music, but he throws in banjos and other fun stringed instruments. I guess if I had to classify his music I would call it “folk,” but he wouldn’t fit in with a bunch of true Appalachian hillbillies (my kin), so don’t get any ideas. One of Joel’s best features as a musician is his ability to create distinct, beautiful melody lines. You should really just check his stuff out.

Here are a few ways you can:
www.joelrakes.com
www.myspace.com/joelrakes

So Joel and I actually have a long (well for my age long) history as friends and it was making me laugh a little last night to think about it. When we were 13ish we tried to start a band with two of our friends, and I can actually remember our first (and probably only) song writing session in our friend Ben Stein’s basement. We wrote some song about a web. That’s all I can remember. And it was probably terrible. Anyway, last night I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that now we’re all actually pursuing this music thing for real. When I was 13 I never would have thought that 9 years later I’d be sitting in Ty and my living room (I mean I’d hadn’t even met Ty) working on songs with Joel. I’m really glad that we’re still connected.

So the title of this post has to do with the fact that Tyler and I always joke about not being “real” artists. What does it mean to be a “real” artist, you ask? Well, there are a few things stereotypical about indie artists, a kind of “indie artist mold” if you will, that Tyler and I never seem to fit. Here’s what I mean:

Indie artists typically (and I realize I’m making sweeping generalizations here):

-wear dark clothes–with males wearing jeans that can be described as “tight,” and t-shirts that either are vintage or could pass as being extremely old and worn, even if they’re brand new. The new low cut v-neck for guys is popular now too.

-have funky hair do’s. the “faux hawk” comes to mind, or some kind of sweeping bang that covers one eye.-wear dirty, worn out chucks or some equivalent sneaker. (I actually do own a pair.)

-males: wear some form of headgear. (no, not the type you wear as a 14 year old with braces). a fidora, sweatband, etc will do.

-even if an indie artist’s eyesight is 20/20, he/she might consider wearing stylish glasses just to add a little flare and complete the image.

-somehow, many male indie artists frequently forget to shave.

Anyway, although Tyler and I have some quirks (i.e. Tyler never wears shoes and I have a slight color problem and can’t seem to match my clothes without help), we don’t really fit the indie artist profile. Ah, well. You can’t win ’em all.

But to get to the point. Last night, when Ty, Joel, and I had our little song writing session, I felt like a real artist. And it wasn’t because I was dressed up just right or made myself look any different from anyone else, it was because we–Ty, Joel, and I–were participating in a part of what we were created to do. It doesn’t get much better than that. Not to mention the songs sound great.

In other news, I hope to see some of you tomorrow night @7 at Starbucks on Main Street, Newark!

-jenny

I love these days.

What began as a sunny day has slowly morphed into a dreary early afternoon. It’s hard for me (and I think most people) to be motivated on dreary days. I just want to curl up with a cup of tea and read, or better yet, snuggle into a warm bed for a nap. I’m having m tea at least, but I’ve resolved to remain productive.

Yesterday was a fantastic day for a number of reasons:

1. I heard a great sermon on temptation and then went to the newly wed Sunday school class with Tyler where we talked about submission from a Biblical perspective. Being college aged and freshly graduated, I know “submission” to be a nasty word in most academic circles. It’s nice to hear people discussing it rationally as adults, rather than hearing the thoughts of my classmates in my feminist lit class.

2. Tyler and I watched a really incredibly movie called “Once.” Seriously, I’m begging you, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, please do. It’s about a singer/songwriter couple who produce a folk album together (sound familiar?). The best part of the movie is that the male and female leads actually wrote and performed all of the music for the film. The songs are phenomenal. Take a listen at: myspace.com/theswellseason. Listen to “Falling Slowly.” They’ve been nominated for a Grammy award.

3. We played an open mic at East End Cafe (on Main Street) on a last minute whim, and though it was poorly attended, it turned out to be a really encouraging evening. I spoke with a twenty-something girl there for about 20 minutes and our conversation drifted from just music to writing, philosophy, the world, etc. It was such a great opportunity to talk to someone about real life. Too often I find myself uncomfortable in social settings. Now I’m wondering how many opportunities like this I miss on a regular basis.

That was yesterday in a nutshell. Now it’s time to start a new week.

This morning a UPS man came to my apartment with a package from OASIS Disc Manufacturing (the company that printed/reproduced “A Prelude”). I opened the package to find that “American Dream” made their acoustic radio sampler. Apparently the sampler is sent to a number of radio stations nationwide. I’ve still got to figure out what we have to do to help promote the song, but either way, I was super excited to be incuded on the sampler!

I’m going to get back to work, but I hope to see some of you this weekend at Starbucks or Deer Park.
-Jenny

ray lamontagne is the man.

if you haven’t heard anything by ray lamontagne, i highly suggest you check him out.

it’s thursday morning and i’m sitting here catching up on some reading (i know, i’m done with school–but you can’t kick a habit that easily), wishing that i didn’t have to go to work later. such is life. i know tyler posted a little from florida, but it seriously was an amazing vacation. i’m finding it hard to get focused, motivated, and “back into the swing of things” now that we’re home in newark. anyone have some anti-procrastination words of wisdom to pass along?

be on the look out for some new videos. we had some fun making movies about the wildlife in florida. i think you’ll get a kick out of it.

so i was reading in genesis this morning and the grace and divine providence of God really hit me. remember when jacob steals esau’s birthrite and his blessing? it’s a common story, and if you grew up in church you’ve probably heard it a few times. anyway, what struck me this morning is that jacob basically does everything wrong. he’s consistently dishonest, betrays his father, and his brother–and yet, the Lord blesses him in abundance. it’s amazing to see how God uses sinful people for his glory and can make excellent use of our mistakes. what an encouragement.

hopefully you’re still enjoying the music. we’ve booked quite a few dates in january/february, so be sure to check the tour part of the website.

-jenny

florida and the grandparents

jenny’s done with school.  we’re on vacation for a short bit.  florida with jenny’ grandparent’s (now mine too).  it’s pretty outside.  beautiful.  i want to appreciate it.  savior it.  not take it for granted. 

right now they’re listening to a cooking channel.  i sit here typing.  just checked my email.  i’m going to go outside and enjoy the beauty of it.

may this trip be one of rejuvination and gratitude.  love and gratitude. 

i love jenny.  on “a prelude” there was going to be a song i wrote about meeting jenny and falling in love, similar to nashville i suppose, but the melody on the verses was not strong enough.  maybe you’ll hear that in future. 

now begins working hard with this music deal.  we’re going to play open mics, book gigs, and start recording the next album in february.  we’re thinking that newark de is the place for us right now.  we want to start playing baltimore, philly, annapolis, and other places in the next few months.  stay tuned.

tyler