Tuesday, August 27, 2013

COME AND TAKE IT: David Ramirez tour wrap-up with pics and dreams of the future

Hi, everybody!  I’m back in Austin after a quick run through Dallas, Austin, and Houston last weekend.  It was great to meet so many wonderful folks.  Opening for and performing with David Ramirez was a joy – he makes it so easy, his songs are so good, his fans are so loving.  Thanks for opening your ears and your hearts to hear our music. 

Texas, where have you been all my life?

The sky is so big and filled with clouds playing in the hot sunlight scorching the windmills and roadside stations as we roll past with the windows down and arms outstretched in the wind. Texas flags blowing proudly by. So much open country full of stories we’re better off knowing.

I have lived in Austin for most of the last 17 years. Usually, I hop on a plane and fly over the rest of Texas on my way to play the coasts or the Midwest. However, this weekend lit a fire under me to explore my adopted home state in earnest.

Tell me your stories, Texas.  I’m coming to get you.

A house concert is the best way to experience live music. Learn more about hosting a concert in your home - anywhere - and email me (erin -at- erinivey -dot- com) to reserve a date. Let's get together!

Sunday, August 04, 2013


When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you

Happy birthday to the great Louis Armstrong!  He plays a song called "When You're Smiling" that is a great reminder to "keep on smiling and the whole world smiles with you."

Listen to it while you read on...

A little Mona Lisa

Gary Louris (of The Jayhawks) says he likes that I smile when I sing.  It's taken practice, but I try to be aware of what my face is communicating as I perform on stage - and smile, if it suits the song.  :)

Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh calls smiling "mouth yoga."  Did you know you have 300+ muscles in your face?  Using them to make a smile relaxes your whole body.  Magic!

Mona Lisa's smile is light, just a hint of a smile.  Yet even a smile like that is enough to relax all the muscles in our face, to banish all worries and fatigue.  A tiny bud of a smile on our lips nourishes awareness and calms us miraculously.  It returns us to the peace we thought we had lost.    -Thich Nhat Hanh

If it's just habit, and it's good for us, why not practice smiling?  Or even better, practice bringing our faces and attitudes in line with the meaning and expression of the song, or the moment, every moment?  It's just another color in our communication palette, within ourselves and with others.

Fake it 'til you make it: The Zen of Driving

This Mona Lisa trick is starting to permeate my life...  With crazy traffic (or, as I choose to think of it, "car ballet") increasingly part of living in Austin, driving is the perfect time to practice painting on a Mona Lisa smile.  (And maybe adopt my friend Mollie's adage that "if you're not early, you're late.")

Smile!  Feel better!

And if all else fails, this always works for me:  The Onion

Happy smiling!