Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter's apothecary

'Tis the season to be snotty!

Winter in Austin is relatively warm and wonderful.  This time of year, though, cedar and mold strike with evil upper respiratory misery.

If you don't get sick days, here's one solution.  I hope you'll find it helpful.


Neti pot: once a day in the shower

Supplements with breakfast:
   - Omega Fatty Acids 3/6/9 Blend (Udo's Oil)
   - Omegas + DHA, EHA, Vitamin E (Advocare Omegaplex)
   - 22Mg Zinc Picolinate
   - 500mg Garlic, 100mg Parsley
   - 125mg Grapefruit Seed Extract

2-4x daily:
   - 1000Mg Vitamin C (not taken at the same time as Zinc)
   - WishGarden Herbs Kick-Ass Sinus Rescue
   - Singer's Saving Grace spray (Citrus & Honey)
   - Ricola (Honey Lemon Echinacea) - LOVE THIS STUFF - the sugar content is negligible compared to the goodness inside these things

Warm drinks throughout the day:
   - Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat, Echinacea Plus, Gypsy Cold Care, and Peppermint
   - Tulsi Tea, Sweet Rose - relaxing and delicious, my favorite
   - Bone broth



















And NO smoking.  Seriously.  Stop it.



xo

Erin

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Online show - stream it worldwide!

Wherever you are, join me this Thursday, December 4th at 8pm CST (GMT-6) for an intimate solo show - from my living room to yours.

https://www.concertwindow.com/shows/9662-erin-ivey

I recommend visiting ConcertWindow.com before the show to check it out.  Maybe you'll catch another show and discover a new artist you love.  I've seen some amazing performances on there, in my pajamas with a bottle of wine or with a few friends over to share the experience.

It's quite unique and exciting.

Hope to see you "there!"

https://www.concertwindow.com/shows/9662-erin-ivey

Monday, November 24, 2014

GRAMMY Fest and other tales from the sea

I have been SO remiss in posting about my experience on the GRAMMY Festival at Sea - probably because putting it all into words seems an insurmountable task and also because I've been sick for the past few weeks.  Between rehearsals and gigs, I have been sporting pajamas further into the daytime than even I usually dare. 

Who am I kidding?  I regularly wear PJs all day long.  It's just that I rarely go to the grocery store in them. 

Well, not often anyway.

Whatever, people are wearing sweat pants with high heels now, so... 

It's a bold new age.

_______

The thing most striking about the GRAMMY Fest at Sea was the level of sheer talent and the grounded humility of the artists

We all collaborated with each other in the most creative improvised performances, full of soul and power.  The trip was an inspiring experience that raised my perspective of musical artistry and community to a new level.

I will be posting pics and video here really soon and sharing links to the other artists' work.  In the meantime, know that I appreciate each and every one of you who is with me on this musical journey.

It is so full of surprises.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Friday show in Austin

After a week on the GRAMMY Festival at Sea and winning a $10K artist grant from Black Fret, I am SUPER excited to reunite with my full band THIS FRIDAY, November 14th at Strange Brew

Come celebrate with us!  The show starts at 9pm with San Francisco songwriter/storyteller Nate Currin.  Tickets and more information are available HERE.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Black Fret artist grant

I am humbled and honored to be one of the first recipients of a $10,000 Black Fret artist grant.  This is a huge vote of confidence from the members of one of the coolest organizations I've ever heard of.

I can't wait to get to work unlocking the grant funding for my next recording project, to show you what I've been working on in secret for the past few months.

THANK YOU, BLACK FRET!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last show in October

My final show this month is a really cool Storytellers-type of solo performance in Northwest Austin.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26 at 7:30pm at Spicewood Tavern.

It's part of the Soul of a Musician series at a family-friendly venue where you can have dinner and cocktails.

There's plenty of parking.  :)

AND IT'S ALL FREE, thanks to our gracious hosts/sponsors at St. Matt's.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Whisper of the Moon on GRAMMY ballot

Our Whisper of the Moon album and the "Almanac" single made it onto the ballot for the 57th GRAMMY Awards!  Congratulations to Tosca String Quartet and arranger Christopher Cox, who took the songs to a whole new level.  

I recently met a man whose children fall asleep to Whisper of the Moon every night.  That is the greatest recognition in the world.  This is pretty cool, too, though.  ;)




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Winflo was wonderful

Thank you to everyone who came out and SOLD OUT my latest show at the Winflo Listening Room.  It was such a meaningful experience to share with you, who are so dear to me. 

The set list was heavily influenced by your requests on the Facebook Music Page and it was one of my favorites EVER.  

These great pics come to you via Stephanie, Rita, Matt, Bethany, and Cam.  Click on them for a larger look.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Erin Ivey Trio at Winflo Listening Room

Only a handful of tickets remain for the show on October 9, so please reserve your spot!  https://livevibe.ticketbud.com/dinnershow

Pianist Rolf Ordahl and guitarist RyDog Johnson will be joining me to play.  We'll debut new songs and take a break from the week in this cozy candle-lit venue.  It's one of my favorites in Austin!



The power of habit

BIG THANKS and high fives to everyone who participated in the Object Writing Challenge in any way.  It was 28 days of sensory-based writing about an object, for 10 minutes every day. They say it takes 28 days to make a habit.  How did you do?

10 minutes is such a small amount of time, but done every day, I noticed my thought patterns changing.  I started describing things to myself throughout the day, as though everything was subject to the sensory explorations of the writing challenge.

10 minutes is enough to focus, but not so much that I could talk myself out of it with lame excuses.  (Can I get an amen!?)

Continuing that momentum, I'm shifting the challenge to the piano - 10 minutes a day of freeform playing.  (Unlike the writing challenge, my family will be subjected to the arc of discovery on this front. Maybe I'll even rope one of them into this new challenge with me.)

What else do you want to explore?  How can you shift the 10-minute challenge paradigm into a new realm of discovery in your own life?

______

Want to know how I chose the objects we wrote about?  I posted a short video about that on my Facebook Music Page:



Monday, September 01, 2014

Writing Challenge

In Lois Lowry's book The Giver, memories are transmitted from one person to the other as vivid experiences.

That is what songwriters strive to do for our listeners.

Object Writing is a great exercise for creative writers, or anyone who wants to observe and communicate with more clarity.  It can make us all better at creating compelling sensory explanations, from our own experiences, so that a reader/listener will comprehend it with their own senses.

It's like handing someone a multi-dimentional photograph, complete with feelings and full of vivid sensory information.

In an attempt to train my brain with metaphors and sensory stimulation from that liminal space between sleep and waking, to carry that consciousness into the day, and use it in collecting ideas for songwriting, I am starting a 28-day OBJECT WRITING CHALLENGE!

WANT TO JOIN ME??

The rules are simple:

-Write about an object for 10 minutes every morning (and ONLY 10 minutes).
-Write from your own concrete experiences, including details from all 5 senses, plus how your body responds, senses of motion, and relation to your surroundings.

I'll post an "Object of the Day" on my Twitter account AND my Facebook Music Page every day for 28 days (Wednesday, September 3 until Tuesday, September 30, 2014).  Read a little more about Object Writing through the links below and then join me in the challenge.


Links for further study:

Full explanation with examples:  Generate Ideas Through Object Writing

Short video:  Object Writing with Pat Pattison

Article from The Atlantic:  The Secret to Good Writing: It's About Objects, Not Ideas 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Birthplace of Bluegrass

Nashville!  What took me so long?  I already love you.

It was awesome to represent Austin music in the Music City itself, playing for the ASAE annual convention.  Similar to Austin in all the ways I love (and a couple that I don't), Nashville was invigorating and inspiring. 

The trip was short, but sweet.  I met some beautiful people and look forward to returning for some co-writing sessions in the near future.

Since I've recently taken up the mandolin, it was a total thrill to tour the Ryman Auditorium, an historic church-turned-theatre venue (and home of the Grand Ole Opry) where Bill Monroe licks are baked into the walls.

You know that feeling when you meet someone briefly and totally click?  That's how I feel about Nashville.  I can't wait to get back.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

In loving memory

By the outpouring of stories and condolences, it seems we have all been touched by the life and work of Robin Williams.  I was stunned to learn of his death this week and saddened to hear that it was at the hand of his battle with depression.

Depression is more like a war, really.  A long internal war with lots of fronts and waves of fighting.  I can't help but imagine all the work Robin Williams had ahead of him.  How much more he could have done.

This is another good reminder to be grateful for all the organizations that support Austin artists in very fundamental ways.

In particular, the SIMS Foundation provides mental health care to local musicians.  SIMS has played a significant role in my life.  And I am only one of many they serve.

http://simsfoundation.org

If you are looking for a good place to make a difference, whether financially or as a volunteer...  please consider the SIMS Foundation in your giving.

If you are an Austin musician struggling with depression, a life change, addiction, recovery, or just want to get a mental wellness tune up, please call the SIMS Foundation at 512-494-1007.  They care.  They exist to help.

Yours in loving memory of Robin Williams,
in honor of health and healing,

Erin

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

All you gotta do

As I prepare for my trip to Nashville next weekend, I am thinking back on how wonderful it has been to connect and reconnect with so many of you in New York, Michigan, Maryland, and Texas this summer.

It means more than you know, to independent artists especially, that you come out to shows, purchase music and merchandise, and tell others about the songs and artists you love.

It's just that simple.

All the precious moments we spend sharing music and building community together are invaluable.  I am ever grateful for your support, encouragement, and companionship on this musical and entrepreneurial journey.

See you down the road!
xo
Erin

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Sing your heart out


New favorite quote, from the movie 20 Feet from Stardom:

"In these times that we're living in right now, a lot of it is based on so many other things and they have nothing to do with music.
But, you know, at the end of the day, it's up to you to perfect that gift that you've been given. 
Put your spirit into that song.  Focus on the words that you're singing.  Get into the experience of what you're singing about and sing your heart out."
-- Stevie Wonder

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

GRAMMY Festival at Sea

http://www.grammyfestivalatsea.com/lineup/view/979/

I'm so excited to announce that I've been selected to represent the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy (the GRAMMY folks) on their upcoming "Women Who Rock" cruise...

WITH HEART, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Indigo Girls, and many more amazing musicians!

You can get all the info at the GRAMMY Festival at Sea website.  The ship sets sail November 4-8, 2014.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summertime

"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Good reason to do a thing

When asked "Why radio?" on the Charlie Rose show, Kurt Anderson (writer, host, and co-creator of Studio 360) answered, 

"Because I hadn't done it."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Songwriting is simple


"Listen to your own voice.  Oftentimes you have to be very still and quiet to find that voice, but everyone has their own inner voice.  Listen to it, trust it... write it down and if you have some words, sing them."
-  words of Anita Kruse, creator of Purple Songs Can Fly, whose Mission is to positively affect the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families through the writing and recording of their original songs.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Girl Power

On our way to an evening event last week, my husband and I passed a long line of girls on a field trip, probably around 10 or 11 years old.  One of them said I looked pretty and that she liked my outfit.  A few more girls chimed in, too.

I thanked them and walked away with such a smile on my face.

Those girls took the opportunity to lift up a total stranger.  I was so proud of their boldness and their example.

At a time when magazines and other media portray a deranged sense of beauty and self-worth, it is up to each of us to encourage each other kindly.  It only takes a simple comment, a positive word. 

In that vein, after several passes by this magazine that was left on our kitchen table, I got tired of the idea of anyone being TORTURED BY HER BODY.  What a crappy message to plant in the psyches of ourselves and our children.

So, I re-wrote the message.  I like this one better:


















Pass it on...

(For more girl power, check out Amy Poehler's Smart Girls at the Party.)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

June shows!

Hope your days are warm and bright!  I am excited to see y'all out and about again soon.

Early in June, I'll be in NYC for private shows.  You can stay in touch with those adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter...  as a friend calls them, "anti-social media."  Ha! 

Then will be back in Austin for two special performances. 

Sunday, June 15 - Soul of a Musician series at Spicewood Tavern
Free show!  Intimate solo performance with interview and discussion.  Family friendly, very cool.  Come for dinner and drinks.  Show starts promptly at 7:30pm.  Here's a link to the series' Facebook page with more details.

Saturday, June 28 - Soul Track Mind anniversary party at The Parish
This full band show will be off the chain!  Y'all come!!  




________


There are always more shows!  Check out the full schedule at www.erinivey.com/shows.  


________

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Marley, Morrissey, and meat

Two great shows last weekend!  Stephen Marley's band backed up the supporting acts, his son Jo Mersa Marley and the AMAZING Wayne Marshall.  The 2 backup singers were right on, the band sounded so tight.  It was transcendent.  Now I'm totally digging Wayne Marshall's album - especially this song where the hook is sung by Wayne's 8-year-old son:



I do wish that Stephen had played more of his original music in place of several of his dad's songs, but overall it was a good mix and the band totally killed.



And then there was Morrissey.  I didn't fanface out for him like I did for Stephen Marley, where I got to the Mohawk early and staked out a spot right in front.  It's no secret that I don't love the Austin Music Hall.  There's really no comparison between those 2 venues in any respect.

We did manage to make it pretty close to the stage, though, way over on the right side near the guitarist.  The band was all wearing t-shirts that said "FANCY MAN" and they were great.  During "Meat is Murder" there was a video played on the screen behind the band.  It showed animals being "processed" and tortured in farm facilities and feedlots.  It was heart-wrenching.

The song ended about a minute before the video.  Morrissey turned around in silence and watched the rest of the video with his arms crossed, back to the audience.  People of course started yelling things like "play music, man!" and "I need a hamburger!"  Most people were respectful though, and applauded in approval when Morrissey turned back around.



So now I'm a vegetarian.  Seriously, that video was insane.  I've been researching where to find humanely raised and "finished" animals for my family.

Here is a great article:  Guide to Buying Humanely-Produced Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products

It's fascinating to see (armchair etymologists out there!!?) the use of the word "humane" has steadily declined over the past 200 years.

Let's bring it back into style, shall we?




Please let me know if you have any suggestions or recommendations, recipes or otherwise.  Thanks!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

St. Vincent, etc.

Ahhhhh, there it is.  I'd expected it much sooner, but it took St. Vincent's SNL performance to inspire the backlash of WTF confusion about the music on her new self-titled album.  

Broadly, St. Vincent (the album) is a unique commentary on personal and cultural transformation and our relationship with modern technology.

Annie Clark sings and plays her soul out.  This is my favorite album right now.  I've been spinning it nonstop on repeat for weeks.  It might be an acquired taste, but it's totally worth checking out.
__

A good intro is to see her play the songs at an AMEX UNSTAGED DVF fashion show.  Here's my favorite from that night.  It led me down the rabbit hole.
__

Incidentally, another amazing album with similar themes - expressed though a completely different sound - is Mind Control by Stephen Marley.

Both of these inspiring artists are making groundbreaking music while authentically honoring their predecessors and influences. They are 2 of my favorites EVER and they are both on tour now:

Stephen Marley comes to Austin next week, May 23 at The Mohawk.  St. Vincent comes to the Frank Erwin Center on December 19, 2014 supporting The Black Keys.

See y'all there!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The ghost of Elizabeth Fraser

Good news, fellow Cocteau Twins fans!  There's a slew of new voices reminiscent of our beloved Elizabeth Fraser.  Here are just a couple.

Feel free to become totally enamored with Lucius and Phantogram

Who else??  Please tell me if I'm missing something wonderful.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Anniversary


I love you
And as the sun rises and sets each day
so I will love you

Rest your burdens on my lap and I will comb them from your hair
We will see beyond them so easily together
You and I
Will raise castles and fortresses with our gaze

Make of my love a vessel for your dreams
Let me be a mirror that you hold to see into your own eyes
Even as they are my eyes

Blessed be our love
Our hands holding and working
Turning the soil in the sun

Harvesting by the moonlight
Living until the life beyond this one we now know
Until we climb to the top of the mountain and see the horizon together again.



Monday, April 28, 2014

How to be ready for anything (Festival Season)

I've gotten to play some amazing festivals over the years, big and small:  Summerfest in Milwaukee with The Eagles, Monolith at Red Rocks with its high altitude oxygen bars, and the short-lived but fabulous South Padre Island International Music Festival on the beaches near Mexico.

Festival season is HERE, in all its sunburned, beer-drunk, hands-in-the-air, floppy-hatted, strappy-sandaled glory.  Rain or shine.  Over the last few weekends, the band and I have gotten to play smaller festivals closer to home, in the perfect Texas Springtime. 

Let's talk survival

How do you prepare for anything possible in the smallest bag possible?  (a cross-shoulder bag, of course, so your hands are free for waving like you just don't care.)

I believe every Festival Survival Kit should include the following (not counting things that you can wear, like sunglasses, aforementioned floppy hat, and pashmina):
  • ear plugs
  • band-aids
  • sunscreen
  • lip gloss
  • ibuprofen and antihistamine
  • cell phone/camera
  • protein bars (Quest vanilla is my staple)
  • small pen
  • business cards
  • cleansing wipes
  • electrolyte powder or tablets
  • tea tree oil toothpics
  • a small umbrella
  • a lighter
  • and binoculars.  

Sweetwater Wildflower Festival









Playing with the band at Horse Boy Fest and singing with Nakia at Art City Austin







 

Dear Parents,

For the love of God, please remember that young ears are more sensitive than yours.  If you bring a child to any music venue, make sure you also bring ear plugs or other appropriate sound barrier to protect their hearing.

Your turn

I'd love to know...  WHAT'S IN YOUR FESTIVAL BAG?
Let me know in the comments!   


Hope to see y'all out again soon,
xo
Erin

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Something to think about

“I believe that the justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.”
― Glenn Gould

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Moments from the Whisper of the Moon CD/DVD release party

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate the Whisper of the Moon release.  It was a wonderful night!  Playing with Tosca String Quartet is like a dream.  It feels like walking on air and I love to share it with you.

The great RyDog Johnson sat in on electric guitar, with sweet harmony vocals from Elizabeth McQueen, and beautiful dances by members of Toni Bravo's Diverse Space Dance Theatre.  The indisputable Mixer Rogers co-produced the show, designed the poster, created the beautiful stage set, AND book-ended with his now-famous "AustinCentric" DJ sets of all Austin music. 

Thanks also to Glynn Wedgewood and Jack McFadden at ACL Live for all they did to make the show a success.

Show review

Matthew Champion from The Austinot wrote a really amazing show review, with pictures and video.

#WhisperoftheMoon 

If you have a photo, video, or thought to share, please continue the #whisperofthemoon story with us online!  Check out the hashtag love and add your own:

on Instagram
on Twitter

Photos

The amazing Diverse Space dancers are currently fundraising for their upcoming trip to the Irish Youth Dance Festival in Dublin.  Learn more here and support them!  Thanks to Deborah Sengupta Stith for sharing this great shot from release night on Instagram:

Here's one from John Chung's beautiful Facebook photo album of the night:

And a sidestage view from Mixer Rogers' soundbooth:

Video






Radio

We promoted the show with a visit to Austin's NPR station, KUTX.  DJ John Aielli actually said after our first song, "Brava! That is one of the best songs I've ever heard."  !!!!!!!! HOW COOL IS THAT? !!!!!!!

Erin Ivey and Tosca String Quartet - hear the live in-studio performance and interview archive

Buy Whisper of the Moon

It's available online (audio only) at Bandcamp and iTunes.

The physical CD/DVD package is available at Waterloo Records and erinivey.com.

We did it!

So many of us came together to make this project possible.  I am ever grateful for your participation and encouragement.  :)  THANK YOU!!

xoxo
Erin

_

Saturday, March 01, 2014

SXSW 2014

Howdy, everyone!  Hope all's well in your corner of the world.

After several years of SXSW official showcases, packed schedules, and weeks of recovery, I've decided to take this one easy.  I'll be playing a few private parties, but have scheduled no public performances this year. 

I'll be attending the following events, however, and would love to meet you there:

3/13 - The 2014 Grammy Block Party at The Four Seasons
3/15 - Livevibe's Party in my Pants at Little Woodrow's

And here's an invaluable map of street closures during the conference/festival/takeover.

Hope y'all have a GREAT SXSW 2014!!

Monday, February 03, 2014

Guild Guitars endorsement

It's official!  I am so proud to be a Guild Guitars endorsed artist.  Thanks to Jeff Van Zandt and the amazing team at Guild for making this happen - and for featuring me in their beautiful 2014 product catalog.  Check me out on page 32!

Sunday, February 02, 2014

how did i get here?






Of all the things to love about this podcast, my favorite is how host Johnny Goudie always manages to get people to say things they "shouldn't have said..." for whatever reason...  Blowing people's cover or just oversharing in general.  Johnny's got the truth serum.

He's interviewed some of my favorite artists and people, like Elizabeth McQueen, Carolyn Wonderland, Wendy Colonna, and most recently, the amazingly inspiring austin/musician/author/survivor Jesse Sublett.

I have twice had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with Johnny.  Here's a link to our first conversation.  The second one will be released this Friday, February 7.  I'll post a link here as soon as it happens!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Favorite Poem Ever

The Star-Spangled Banner might be my favorite poem ever...  Right up there with This Be the Verse and A Red, Red Rose.  I can't help but think the fact that most Americans have it carelessly memorized robs us of the true beauty of each word and how they all work together to tell an amazing story.  It is more than an American story, it is a human story of struggle and hope.  I sometimes wish it had never been put to music.

The music actually existed some 20 years before the poem was written.  Ironically, it was a popular British tune.  After the Battle of Fort McHenry near Baltimore, during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote his poem Defense of Fort McHenry.  It was later put to the tune of the British song and became what we know as The Star-Spangled Banner. 

Today, listening to the melody played on the trumpet to open the San Francisco/Carolina football game - the guy just nailed it! - it struck me how perfectly matched the poem and the music are and how much richer our culture is because the music and the lyrics have been memorized by so many people.

I love nerding out on this today.  Sure beats watching football!