This is my happy face! in my happy place, making music.
The new album, Time to Stray, has been funded at $5,026, or 107 percent.
What this means is that 50 backers (possibly all 57) will get an exclusive copy of the single already recorded, “Roads.” Then, my New England collaborators will be in the studio with me in the next three months making the rest of this album, with rewards to follow through summer and a concert in the Spring.
I want to take the time here as I will on other platforms to thank everyone for their contributions, I’ve already emailed you directly but more updates will be available on Kickstarter going forward.
Meanwhile, watch this space and www.patdaddona.com for other news about Pat Daddona Music and all things folk and acoustic.
Still in the thick of this Kickstarter campaign, with only hours to reach another 19 percent to get to my all or nothing funding goal, I took time out to get out.
The Vermont Apple Festival was a blast, particularly in watching the young girls and boys dance or stare as they took in live music, so close and personal, mixed in as it was with craft vendors and raffle promos.
But there’s literally less than three days left to reach my goal of $4,665 in funding, so I am feeling reflective as well as under the gun.
However I land, this has been a journey of incredible growth, validation and gratitude. Undertaking a Kickstarter project is work, as it should be, but it’s exciting too, and so being out of my comfort zone has not only been at times uneasy and scary, but fun and exhilarating.
Here is my team from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, the first people to believe in what my songs and I have to offer: resilience, joy, introspection, honesty, and a determination to face life in all its facets.
Kala Farnham, harp
Luke Selden, banjo
Melissa D. Moorhouse, vocals
Josh Hall, producer
Suzanne Waldren, vocals
Jay Osborn, percussion
Dana Takaki, violin
Besides these incredibly talented artists, several of them songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, there have been behind-the-scenes supporters, guides, muses — without whom I would not have gotten this far. They know who they are and would rather, I think, remain in the background, but I want to thank them. They are the ghosts in the machine of my brain, making it all make sense.
So, if you’ve read this far, and are so inclined, I would love for you to click the link above or below and consider backing this folk album. Choose a “reward” or perk, come to the show in the spring. I would love to meet you and share what for me is an avocation and something that I just have to do.
Hello, fellow songwriters, listeners, and readers!
From the woods of Vermont (even though I now live in a small city), I’m launching a Kickstarter campaign in September to support the recording of new songs interpreted by talented, accomplished New England musicians and vocalists you may well know.
Summer is waning, but all efforts are gearing up for this!
Without giving too much away, I want to invite you to participate in the campaign and/or Pat Daddona Music (patdaddona.com) by emailing me your email address in the contact form on my website.
Thanks for tuning in, and please stay tuned for more to come!
As recording gets underway with one track completed except for a banjo lick or two, I have been busy figuring out what marketing means to a sometime singer-songwriter who still works an ordinary (though no less important) day job.
First, I rejected crowdfunding through Indiegogo as a means to fund my recording project as too labor intensive and too far removed in ways from the creative process.
Ah! but when considered for a gig recently, my talented and gig-rich friend George Nostrand advised I get an EPK. A what? Electronic Press Kit. And so, I’ve started … with this:
I knew that Master’s degree in interactive media would come in handy someday. I tinkered and managed to preserve my domain name at https://patdaddona.com, and transformed the site from a freelance-based anchor to a songwriting destination. (I did hang onto some of my former career’s best work and house them in a tab called “Meaning and Moments”.)
And then … I noticed an option to “get found” more easily on Google. Folk. Singer-songwriter. Keywords and a few rewrites and lo and behold, a site that, while still under construction, is serviceable for now!
While waiting for vacations to stop interrupting the recording effort, I am definitely searching for gigs and have landed a couple. On May 29, this happened:
Bill Brink, a good friend, and his wife, June, connected me. Wally’s Corner is a small gift and antiques shop on Route 103 in the Cuttingsville section of Shrewsbury, VT. Bill loaned me that tiny brown and black Fender Acoustisonic 40 amp you see in the photo to the right of my guitar case. The sound is so clear for both guitar and vocal that I bought one!
Here’s a closeup:
So, if you’re looking for updates on the recording project, keep an eye out for late summer when the work really begins, and more gigs in between. Yours in the folk music tradition,
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older Time may change me But I can’t trace time
— David Bowie
It’s been a year of changes, fundamentally for the better.
Besides splitting with my partner of 12 years — amicably — and working at a job I love empowering people with mental illness, I have begun a project I hope you will join in sampling, supporting and enjoying: “Love Letters.”
The evolving compilation’s title track represents the kind of songs I write: heart-felt, real-life stories with a message and universal meaning. I am embarking on a journey to pull together select songs that celebrate love, family and spirit, record them with the help of dynamic musicians and a fine producer here in Vermont, and share them in digital downloads, a few hard copy CDs and in performances around New England.
You have fueled this adventure — with your attention as I posted rough cuts on Facebook and played out at open mics and venues around Springfield, VT, which I now call home. You and a lot of coffee, musical inspiration and encouragement from fellow artists and fans.
Many artists move me to pursue creating on a molecular and spiritual level: Janis Ian (now on her final tour, which I will see in April), Tracy Grammer — often accompanied by acoustic co-conspirator Jim Henry — who both have fabulous budding Patreon communities, and Cody Jinks, whose rendition of “Ready for the Times to Get Better” I consider my personal anthem. That song is written by Allen Reynolds and has been performed by Crystal Gayle but it exemplifies my mood and mantra.
Last September, I was given a gift — to lead a songwriter-in-the-round at Stage 33 Live in Bellows Falls, VT.
That’s where I performed “Love Letters” and told the story of my mom and dad’s courtship.
This version is stripped down, but I imagine it with violin or cello, brushes and a vocal that has evolved since my “shy singer” presentation here.
Why do it though? I am short on funds, so Kickstarter, Go Fund Me or Indiegogo will figure in at some point as I make a push.
Well when I play a room, and a woman at a far table, chin in hand, sits listening despite the clatter of utensils and the dim rumble of voices, and then later comes up and says she likes my voice or an original, I am moved to give more of myself. Or when a fan comes to more than one show and harps on a song he likes, and how he can hear other instrumentation in his head, I am moved to give more of myself.
“Don’t die with your music still in you” is good advice. I am to take it.
Yes, the pandemic has inhibited sharing songs the way we’re all used to. Yet, yes, the pandemic has inspired some new material, practice and performance and sharing in online outlets and an increased appreciation of what it means to gather in concert (outdoors, of course, with Covid-restrictions still in place).
I want to publicly thank Bill Brink, whom I met back when the Putney Inn existed, and we spontaneously shared our music with a small crowd and each other. He has continued to hook me up to musical opportunities and for that, I am beyond grateful.
This card, a gift I have treasured for years from a close friend, symbolizes a new track for me — renewed commitment to making music.
I’ve written a lot of songs since Love Is Hard came out in 2010, some of which are posted on this blog. What I don’t have right now are three things: polished, instrumentally complex recorded versions of these songs, many available venues to perform because of the pandemic, and money.
Why money? I was blessed to have Connecticut friends with a home studio produce my 2010 CD, friends who would accept nothing in return for their labors, save a party, which I threw to honor and thank them for their support of my work. Now living in Vermont, I have connected with musicians here who want to work with me and have the means to record me in a studio with all the professional trappings. This, of course, costs money.
It doesn’t help that the pandemic has cost me a new calling, and I am trolling the region looking for work in my field to pay the regular bills, never mind an investment to support the songs.
It is, of course, all about the songs. One, about a friend’s depression. A couple others, about betrayal in love. Yet another early one my life partner loves that has evolved into a rocking ballad I perform better today — a song one fan at an open mic referenced when she said, “You should do more of those!”
On my birthday on Nov. 8, before I lost my latest job to economic pressures from the pandemic, I pledged to myself to recommit to music by producing a CD or EP of my mostly unpublished new songs. Not out of a sense of vanity, but because the songs deserve it. And because an EP could help give me a path to securing my own gigs.
My life changed for the better when I embraced my identity as a lesbian and a songwriter. Friendships flourished. Risks transformed my performances. I found meaning in writing about love lost, love found and people’s complexities. And my heart opened.
Fellow musicians in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts are all struggling in this pandemic, but finding ways to thrive by writing about the challenges, sharing demos on Facebook and performing online to keep the spirit alive.
So maybe Kickstarter of GoFundMe is a path I take, as well as securing new employment so I can pay my own way. I also plan to feature more fellow artists whose work demands an outlet here, on this blog. And I am now practicing to a metronome, learning to play guitar tracks without singing, and preparing to come into my own again as a songwriter by making my best songs even better vocally, instrumentally and lyrically.
What I would love is your encouragement along the way. As the lyric says in “Come Back,” the song Lee loves:
“Go where you have to go/Take off like you know/Where you’re meant to be/Then come back to me.”
June 28’s Queer Women of Pride Virtual Music Festival on Facebook spun out of Rita Amethyst’s longing to hear many of the queer rock-and-roll female musicians, balladeers, DJs and comedians she was missing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This event has special meaning, coming on the heels of the Supreme Court decision on LGBTQ rights in the workplace.
A tour-de-force in her own right, music enthusiast Rita took on this project single-handedly, though she has marshaled help to pull it off.
Starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 28, and running through 10 p.m., the line-up includes everyone from co-host Sister Funk to Carrie Ashton to yours truly (I now have a slot at 8 p.m.).
Behind the scenes, I have had to get the right kind of equipment to make this happen, including an ethernet cable and USB microphone. Items I really should have had anyway, since I play live online for other groups.
“Bible Song” by Lori McKenna is playing softly on the Folk Roots channel this Christmas Eve — followed by more esoteric selections. I strain to hear while my partner concentrates on her puzzles.
Relegated to the role of listener and one-armed typist after a severe, left-hand wrist fracture, my guitar sitting untouched in the music room, I have time suddenly to think. About challenges, blessings, and the true role of a songwriter as listener and music lover.
The magic of music is that within the bounds of seven notes exists an infinite combination of melodies and harmonies, new and intricate, yet tried and true. Some — including me — think little thought or expression is original, yet can be put forth differently enough to grab and sustain attention.
Nine metal pins, one thin titanium plate, generous intravenous sedation and a sufficient regional anesthetic block later, I emerged from the operating room into the outpatient area, supplied with a small painkiller prescription and high hopes.
Time to listen to my body.
It has been a wonderful year of working with youth, mentoring and trauma professionals, supplemented with some singing and playing for them, open mics and coffeehouse audiences. Now looms three months of healing, recovery and physical therapy. Relearning to use the wrist in conjunction with the hand.
Through it all, I expect to take in the healing power of music in its many lustrous forms, and get back to the soulful business of making music.
A recent performance at Skunk Hollow Tavern put me in a place I’d never truly been: One with the audience.
The house — literally an historic Hartland, Vt., home converted to an intimate restaurant — was packed for one of the last performances by Jim Yeager, an accomplished singer/songwriter who hosts many open mics and venues, and his band. He was ending a stint there as host to pursue a new venture.
Jim and the band warmed up the crowd nicely, as did Woody, the bongo player who also sits in on guitar singing Crosby Stills Nash and Young favorites. Bill Brink, another musical mover and shaker in the Springfield, Vt., region, did likewise with his own blend of covers and originals.
Then it was my turn.
Woody welcomed me as the rest of the band took a break and I asked if he knew “Closer To Fine” and “It’s Too Late.” He did and we were off and running. The smiles from mostly women in the crowd lit up as they heard the first chords to the Indigo Girls song and we got a nice round of applause.
But when I broke into the next song with, “Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time …” and looked up, a sea of again mostly female faces were mouthing the words and joining me, and I could hear them belting out the lyrics flawlessly! It was, as my cousin Jeff Fortier would say, “a moment.”
We sang together like that, and I felt emboldened to play an original called “Come Back,” a rowdy fictional love song. I broke my pick strumming.
When I went to the bar for a tonic afterward one of the women who had been singing and rocking to the music complimented my set. “That last song,” she said. “You should do more of those.”
Much thanks to Jim and Woody for getting me primed to give back, not just go up on stage and get attention.
And so, more of those, including a new one like “Come Back,” and a few covers, too, will be front and center at three upcoming gigs in Springfield, Vt.:
Sept. 28, Out of Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, Springfield, VT
Oct. 5, Flying Crow, Springfield, VT
Nov. 16, Coffeehouse, Springfield Unitarian Universalist Church