Blog 2011-12-18 // Chasing Leaves

First of all, though I always apologize for the long silence, this one was LONGER than usual. Fortunately it's only due to life being so full. But still...I've been trying to get to this letter since the summer, which is kind of pathetic! And now I'll be hard pressed to even remember everything I wanted to tell you...also kind of a sad statement.

Maybe I'll work my way backwards....which means today's news is:

HOMETOWN BAND CDs WILL BE READY ON DECEMBER 20th!!!
The era of Hometown Band was an unforgettable chapter in my career, and in the memories of many North Americans who attended our shows. And though I'm always more interested in moving forward than looking backward, I've always felt it was important to preserve this incomparable music, and I get a steady stream of requests from folks whose LP's are long lost in moves and divorces. So getting these albums out on CD has been a dream of mine for years. I love it when I actually finally GET to something on the "Big Someday List"! It feels fantastic! I contacted Universal music about my own label, Esther Records (named after my Mom), releasing the CDs (I'm a big believer in asking!). They found the masters in their vault, and remastered and digitized them for me. And thanks to my sister Barbara, a professional computer graphics whiz, I finally got the cover done and off to the manufacturer last week.

So I can now suggest the PERFECT Christmas present!!
Since I'm cutting it a tiny bit close to ensure it will be under the tree by the Big Day, I have colour prints of the covers I will mail you right away(with a note to your 'giftee' from me) so they're sure to have a cool and groovy thing to open on Christmas morning... (Yay!) Plus, you're giving them the gift of anticipation! How's that for spin?

The easiest way to order the CD(s) is to go to my website. They're $15 ea, (or two for $30 as a special deal!). You can also write me directly at info@estherrecords.ca, though really, despite attempts to keep up an illusion that I have a team of people looking after my every administrative need, let's be honest here - all roads lead to moi. Uh...I mean....however you order it, I'll get My People right on it!

By the way, I highly recommend sister Barb if you have any computer graphics needs - she's remarkably FAST and REALLY knows her job. You can reach her at barbulrich60@yahoo.com.

I took this shot last month (when it was still feeling like fall) on my maiden voyage in my birthday present from Bill and his family - a kayak! Actually, Rick Scott who is a kayak officianado calls it a "rubber ducky" - somewhat toy-like, but utterly no fuss - just the way I like it. It's only 8' long and so light I can just toss it in my car and schlepp it down to the beach. And I do just that, almost every day the sun shines. (Well bundled this time of year, I assure you.) This has been my dream ever since I moved to Bowen Island, but a 'real' boat was out of the question - Too much responsibility and requiring non-existant flushable cash. But this...this is perfect and brings me such joy. There's no doubt - I was born to be on the water.
The point is...this was m 60th birthday. Holy Crap. That's right. (The days of being secretive about ones age are SO over baby.) And nothing spells - "it's time to do the things you've always wanted to do" - like 60. So let the getting on with The Someday List begin! And I can tell you, after reading boxes of letters and journals of over 40 years of that life, things are definitely going in the right direction. Lord I was a tortured tormented thing!
I'm working on my book which has required the aforementioned traveling back in time, and unbeknownst to me, my mother kept every letter I ever wrote her and two huge scrapbooks of my career...every article, every photo. It's quite an adventure going through it all.
I've had a wonderful few weeks at home by myself with Julia not due home for Christmas until Dec. 20th, and Bill playing La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse. So there's been lots of songwriting going on too. Never underestimate the power of solitude.
News from the High Bar Gang and Other Adventures


HBG singer Wendy Bird was invited for a second year to sing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass - an annual free Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Since they were hoping to have the High Bar Gang invited, they did the next best thing and took the entire band with them to back Wendy up (and slip in a couple of HBG songs as well). For me, the hippy kid who spent her youth listening to Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Cream, Steve Miller Band...you name it...in that very park, it was a deja vu of the best kind. I spend the weekend steeped in memories. We did all the classic tourist stuff - hung off the sides of the cable cars - and took a boat out on the Bay, under the Golden Gate Bride and around Alcatraz. Though I grew up a half hour north of San Francisco, I'd never actually stayed downtown. Oh man...another time I'm grateful I get to be a musician.

That was followed by a trip to Niagra Falls for a conference after I kidnapped Julia from school to come with me. It was such a bonus to get a mid-year hit of her wonderful company.

Please have a safe and wonderful holiday. If you order a Hometown Band CD before Christmas I'll send you an mp3 of a Christmas song of mine - "Hear the Bell's Ring". Ooh....more presents!!

Be safe, and warm, and be kind to one another.

With much gratitude,

Shari