February 21, 2013: A Long and Precious Road
I'm doing things a little differently now, sending out a weekly email with a link to the week's featured photo and article written about my experiences and things that matter to me. People don't always make their journey transparent, just the milestones they've hit, and I want to be able to offer that. It's really valuable, to know that other people are going through the same things we are.
And, COOL THING OF THE WEEK: I did a photoshoot this week for an awesome Austin duo called The Sparrowmakers. Thais and Wilson are wondeful songwriters and people, aaaaaaaaand their website looks pretty great ;)
Love and Gratitude,
February 14, 2013: Live at the Black Dog and Shit in a Pot
"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." ~Jack Kerouak
It's easy to forget about simplicity, when there are simply so many Things out there....things to do, things to have, things to experience, things to write, things to sing, things to feel. The vast importance of quiet moments can get lost in there, even if you're like me and "sit quietly and do nothing" is a Thing on the to-do list alongside "clean the chicken coop" and "make a new record." Nothing is, in fact, a very powerful thing.
I really should be writing to y'all more often, because even when there isn't a lot to "report" musically, I've got a lot of other cool stuff going on that I shouldn't hold back for fear that you only want to hear about my career progress. For example:
I've got a Photography Shop that has got me all kinds of giddy, especially now that I have launched my Song Lyric Art, combining two of my favorite things: words and pictures, and I'm working on getting my first photo show going in Austin. I can't wait!
I've got a cooking blog called Shit in a Pot, about creatively and cheaply cooking with what you've got (I'm not totally anti-recipe.....they just give me slight panic attacks! ;)
I've got a weekly blog that talks very honestly about things I feel could stand to be talked about a little more; life, self esteem, bad days, feeling good and letting the Universe help you out. In the age of the internet, image is such an illusive and powerful thing. We're always taught to put our best foot forward, never let 'em see you down, present yourself in the best light you can, but who knows what (or who) is real anymore? I am who I am, and I that's what I want to share with people.
So cool, there's all that out of the way. Now I do have some music news as well :)
*I recently released a live record from my show at the Black Dog in Snoqualmie last summer, available on Bandcamp. There's a special bonus track included in the download, as well as cool deals on photography from my shop! Many thanks to Jay Pinto for the work he did to make the tunes available.
*Though I didn't make it to the finals, I did make the top 100 out of roughly 3,500 entries to play the Outlaw Roadshow SXSW showcase. You guys were amazing with your support, thank you!
*I've just confirmed an opening slot for Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin at the Austin Acoustical Cafe at 7:00pm on March 2nd. Two of my favorite singers, songwriters, and people in Austin. (Have I mentioned how much I enjoy my life here? :)
I will leave you with your photo link of the week: "The answer is always right here."
Much love and gratitude,
January 23, 2013: Can you help me get a SXSW showcase?
Quote of the Day: "The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." ~Henry Van Dyke
As I type this my sweetie is upstairs printing out New Folk submission forms for us. It's our first time submitting and we're really excited! Coffee is brewing, I slept rather well, the chickens are feathery......all is well at Castle Wallace this fine morning :)
So, THE BIG NEWS! I'm also very excited to announce that I made it to the top 100 from more than 2000 submissions to play the Outlaw Roadshow with Adam Duritz and Ryan Spaulding during Interactive Week at SXSW! This is awesome! The first week of February the gents will be reviewing the top 10 submissions and YOU can help! The selection process is not voter based, but it is voter influenced...they don't need to see that someone has 100,000 fans, but they want to see that someone is supported by the fans they have.
Folks can go to my video link and click "SUPPORT." If you have a computer you can click to support through Zazoo, or if you just have a mobile device you can click to share the video on your timeline. Two clicks, that's it!
This would be a fantastic opportunity, and, as always, I am so grateful for your support :)
Today.....let's be happy :)
January 1, 2012 A Beautiful Start to a Beautiful Year
Well well well, what have we here?
A beautiful start to a beautiful year.
I do believe with all my heart that there is only one direction life can go, and that the nature of the universe is to be better and better all the time. There is no limit to how happy we can be. No need to hold back for fear that we're going to use all of it up, or hit the peak of the hill just to roll down the other side to our bored and unhappy demise. Sometimes I worry that I'm running out. Sometimes I worry that the world is running out. Of what? Of resources, of creativity, of new ideas, of general Good Things. For every good song that is written that's one less good song in the pot. For every creative endeavor that's one less thing that can be discovered. Isn't it?
I spent much of last year working my way out of that mindset. And thank God, 'cause it sure was a heavy thing to carry. I began to feel a bit ashamed that I would ever accuse the Universe of being anything less than infinite. I began to feel tremendously excited and humbled to think of how many things people think of to create and then never do. What if? What if everybody created everything they ever dreamed of creating? That is what joyfully calls me into this year.
I vow this year to be kinder to myself.
I vow to judge less and give more.
I vow to do more of what I love and less of what I don't.
I vow to let go of everything, and know I cannot keep something that was never meant to stay.
I vow to breathe.
I vow to look in the mirror often and say, "Shawnee, you can do it. And Shawnee, I love you."
I vow to live more and hesitate less.
I vow to be happier than I've ever been.
And since I can't figure out how to attach any photos on here for you, I'll send you to this one:
Do not be afraid....Fly!
December 10, 2012 New Folk Competition and Holiday Photo Sale!
Holiday greetings y'all!
I've just returned from an amazing songwriter retreat at a hot springs in west Texas, cutting up romance novels and playing around campfires with Danny Schmidt, John Elliott, J Wagner, Rebecca Loebe and several other of my favorite songwriters and people. I fell just a TAD in love with the desert....and my GOD do I need more nighttime skies like that in my life!
It's finally getting a bit cold here in Austin....I've been doting over my chickens and worrying about the weather, but the internet assures me they'll be JUST fine :) All mamas like to hear things like that!
In other news, submissions for the Kerrville New Folk Competition are open and I'm super excited for both my sweetie and I to be entering for the first time this year! We've both run into the small challenge of coming up with two combined songs that clock in under 8 minutes....(we like words.....lots and lots of words.... ;) but we're gettin it!
I've also been hard at work promoting my photopraphy shop, LetThatSongbirdGo Photography, which is still one of the coolest things I've done. I just love it and I've got a BIG HOLIDAY SALE going on right now! You can use the promo code "SONGBIRD1225" to receive 25% off ALL my listed prices, PLUS awesome shipping deals through the end of December. Shopping made easy, great! :)
Thank you for the continued love and support, it means the world to me.
at 12:30 last night i finally pushed that button and launched my photography shop! woo woo! it feels SOOOOOO good to have that up and running. no more damns in the creative river....it's flowing cool and clear, and with some vigor! etsy is a fantastic site, and really makes it easy for folks like myself to feel giddy and professional (maybe we are?...... ;)
my shop can be found at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LetThatSongbirdGo
June 2012 Lullabies Kickstarter Campaign and IMR Honorable Mention
April 2012 IMC Awards!
March 12, 2012 SXSW Shows!
March 5, 2012 Show at the Black Sheep Ranch
February 2, 2012 Goals for 2012!
December 23, 2012 Happy Holidays!
October, 31, 2012 Painter's Overalls and Possessed Nuns
well, i've had my week of getting settled, after a truly wonderful tour. always learning, always growing....i'm grateful for every opportunity, and the good folks i get to share a bit of time and space with along the way. i actually got a little worried.....after so much time and energy spent anticipating my arrival home, i wasn't sure what i would do once it was over! and then i remembered plenty of good things to be done......as one tends to do....when sweeties and music are involved :)
Austin Skyline is here! in my hands! (well, it's sitting just a few inches away on the table :) and it's AMAZING.....really and truly we have created a fine piece of work. i want the world to hear it, one lovely pair of ears at a time (or several at a time....)
we are gearing up for two awesome shows this week:
Whole Foods this coming Thursday, Oct. 13th, 8:00-10:00 pm
and our official CD RELEASE PARTY at House Wine this coming Saturday, Oct. 15th, 8:00-11:00 pm
please come on out if you can, there are celebrations to be had! :) in the meantime, please have a listen!
my continued and humbled gratitude,
it's a strange thing....that word home... people talk about their spirit animals and i've never really felt much of a kinship with any particular one, 'til i was on the texas coast and my sweetie's mom put a hermit crab in my hand. ahhhhhh yes! :)
'tis true i am preparing to leave one home for another, or taking it with me....many ways to say it, though none will make it any easier on my mama! bless her heart and i love her to pieces. many others i will miss here too, but we can only be in one place at a time, and sometimes you just know where you're supposed to be.
in some ways this has felt like the longest summer EVER (it's hard being away from your sweetie.....as traveling musicians tend to know!), though now that it's ending it feels like the blink of an eye. but, nothing to do but get ready and move forward. yesterday i restored the air conditioning in my car, and everything i own will fit into it when i go! (i tell you, the more stuff i get rid of the more i realize how little i actually need! it feels really good :)
my Austin Skyline Tour will kick off at The Book Fare Cafe monday evening at 6:00 and then i'm off! please check out my tour calendar and send folks my way if you can :) i'm SUPER excited about this cd, as i'm sure i've mentioned.....and also just excited about music and performance and magic and love....all the good stuff! (last night i went straight from a vaudeville performance to writing a song with ryan stiles in the green room at the upfront theatre and closing the late show with the infamous masturbation singalong... sooooooo fun :)
life! is a work in progress :) have fun!
i hope to see y'all somewhere along the road.
love and blessings,
august 4 home sweet home II
"what a long strange trip is has been" indeed.....
i was caught in my first real midwestern storm (which made me realize how few times in my life i have actually been afraid i was going to die!), felt like a bit of a celebrity in small town nebraska, and arrived home with an arm that was blistered from shoulder to wrist from the sheer heat of the sun through that good old driver's side window. definitely a new experience for me, coming back to a town that i know so well after being gone for so long. i noticed things....as in, really noticed them. memories, once so second nature, now darting to and fro like tadpoles across the pond of a past. the slate finally washed clean giving things a chance to stand out against it....and really it's as simple as: here i am. it's never going to be any more complicated than that. i've had some confusing times the last few weeks and questions gone unanswered and really there's nothing to do but shrug your shoulders and go on. keep focused and don't worry about the rest. you will always make it back....to wherever it is you call home. we know what it feels like, and that's something we'll never lose.
that said.....Austin Skyline is being sent off to mastering this week, and i'll be damned if i don't have it in hand by august 27th (so that you who come to the beautiful Vartanyan Winery can have it in your hands too! :) i've never done pre-orders for a cd before, but i'm so excited about this one that i might have to! and tonight is the Women's Open Mic Showcase at the Fairhaven Pub, where i will be in the midst of much beautiful talent from 8:00-11:00 pm :)
other than that my last announcement is that of a Shawnee Kilgore songbook, which i have wanted to do for a very long time, in combination with some sort of Shawnee Kilgore diaries......i'm not exactly sure what it will look like yet, but i know that the spark of passionate inspiration is there. and whatever else you may do in life, for god's sake follow the sparks of passionate inspiration!!! here's a little taste of what may end up in my l'il book :)
"i once described a song by saying i could live and die there. tonight i describe a song, three songs, my songs, by saying that i did. i folded and unfolded, discovered, released, inhaled and exhaled, loved and listened in a wee little room full of every good and tangible thing i could want, and two people who had me captive. there's no way i could've not been there, no way i could've not felt what i felt. a whole slough of words: safe, happy, excited, overwhelmed, enchanted, empowered, whole, awed. curled up on the floor, smiling, wide-eyed, well fed, sleepy, fingering the cord linking my ears to my future (with a gentleness truly meant for his face), and i wanted to fall asleep.....and just stay. i wanted to weep, i wanted to laugh, i wanted to dance. i'm in love with possibility, with electric guitar, with the atmosphere, with click tracks, with lamplight and eyelashes, black ink and black jeans, walk downs and 5th notes, warm air and water, bare feet and bared souls, closed eyes and wedding rings, fuck ups and thumb ups. most of the time i didn't know which was which, it was all magic. and there i was at the heart of it, my creative contents being mapped and navigated, string by string. see what i can do. see what i can be a part of. see what happens when people come together."
(~recording of This Mighty World, sept. 17, 2006)
whatever may come of this project it will be a bit of all my pieces, my whole, in love, with all of the aforementioned things and a world since then.
blessings to you, beautiful fans, beautiful people!
july 4 home sweet home
coffee in bed, the tallest man on earth singing "love is all," a really sweet message from my mama about missing me more and more the closer i get to coming home.....
it's the fourth of july in texas! and many other places ;)
a chapter is coming to a close, and tomorrow morning i am heading back to the rain, where i will most likely freeze, but i'm ready. my sweetie opened a fine bottle of port last night and we drank to the good things yet to come this summer... i am so blessed. both where i've come from and where i am going. i'm feeling much more at peace about the changes...they happen. and we do what we can to drink our fill when we can. nothing can stay the same, it's the very essence of life, and i embrace it.
so tomorrow i head north towards long pine, nebraska where i will play a show on friday at pine creek crossing. nebraska's got charm...... and i think i remember something about long pine having some of the best water in the country...... my fond memories do include the billboard announcing "welcome to the middle of nowhere" :) really a sweet little town (and cooler than texas.....of this i've been assured!)
after that it's home sweet home....i received a call from my boss a couple weeks ago after he saw a facebook post about my last show in austin, after deducing that it may in fact mean that i am heading back that way and would like to come back to work...... well, cheers to that! i'm looking forward to the opportunity to see my little town with some new perspective for a spell, and appreciate it for what it is without taking it for granted. the wonderful and witty william wallace (there really aren't many good descriptive words that start with "w"......) is coming to visit and we will be playing ahouse show on july 14th. i'll post more details on that in the next few days, but for now it's off to a firework-less fourth of july celebration, which is JUST fine with me!
blessings to everyone, on this (holi)day, and days to come :)
may 31 the gardener
that's right, for better or worse i'm growing things! (or i guess more accurately i'm just setting the stage and nature's doing the magical stuff ;) painfully mocked by the mockingbird who destroyed my prized tomato....though i'm sure he enjoyed every luscious beak full! good for him :)
i just wanted to drop a reminder that The Songbird Series at Flipnotics begins this wednesday (tomorrow :) at 8:00! five lovely song-writing ladies in one room! something a little bit special about that ;) i know only a handful of you are in austin (including you miss special guest daisy!) but i didn't want to leave anyone out, and i think a little bird once told me that everyone knows someone in austin ;)
i also wanted to put out there that during the last week of june and the first week of july i will be en route back the much more temperate northwest, and if anyone along a northwestern bound route might be interested in hosting a house concerti would be excited for the chance to play for some folks on the way. and chances are quite good i'll have the Austin Skyline ep packed up in the un-airconditioned car with me.... (another good reason for a house concert! give me shelter from the swelter :) my route is not settled yet, as i'm waiting for a few more rolls of the dice.... :)
wishing everyone a Very Happy Tuesday :)
may 18 june shows :)
good morning! well....morning for me :) i woke up to sweetly spoken sentiments from a lovely sleepy boy and a lazy cup of coffee in my new birthday mug (which is a nice change from the coffee in the car on the way to house painting in 90 degree weather ;)
i'm super excited about june! lisa kettyle is presenting the songbird seriesat Flipnotics Coffeespace Cafe, which involves five lady songbirds every wednesday in june starting at 8:00. i can't think of many things better than that (and i'm sure y'all can't either ;) also on june 2nd i'm playing simplicity wine (7-10:00), and am absolutely overjoyed to have a special guest in town from none other than my hometown of bellingham. miss daisy is an amazing gal and sings a mean harmony ;)
other than that, i banged my head against the wall last night until we got a good take of the final song on austin skyline. it's so easy to give up.....so easy, but so rewarding not to! :) so many demons and so many blessings, we must face and be open to both! (that's for you william ;)
and gearing up for a shotgun road trip of sorts to atlanta, georgia tomorrow. because? because it's all about a good story ;)
wish me luck!
love and gratitude,
may 6 happy birthday to me! :)
yes.....somehow my mama's baby (and the baby under five older brothers at that!) has turned 29 :) it's funny how you never catch up, but quite lovely indeed to become more comfortable in my own skin with every passing day. that's all i'm striving for, continuing to "get better," as i do whole-heartedly believe is Life's natural course of action. what an amazing thing to be a part of! i am blessed, and grateful, and Happy as Can Be (and anything else i just try not to give too much attention to ;)
it has struck me recently that the entirety of human history has been People Making Things Happen. that's it. and then i thought "good lord that's bloody brilliant" and was reminded (again) of all the Things I Want to Make Happen, and all i really have to do is be very clear with myself about what those things are and my willingness to actually change things. that can be really scary! and if anyone else is like me they've spent a great portion of their lives afraid to actually make waves and be responsible for them. what if what if what if.....so many "what if's"! there is no set Way To Do Things; there is no set Way Things Are. the world is exactly as we make it. we have a canvas to paint on, let's paint! (and let's do it from the inside out, not the other way around ;)
in more "official" news... work continues on the new ep, which i'm planning to have by the time i go back to washington in july. (i will Make This Happen! ;) a few shifts of(musical ;) events are keeping me here through june, of which i will post details as they come along. i am in the process of writing another baby's lullaby for a couple with a very special story.....it's been such an amazing thing to be a part of! and my sweetie, william wallace, is finally beginning work on an ep, which i will get to help out on. (i've been listening to it in my head and trust me, it's fantastic! :) in photography news william is getting me a Super Sweet editing program for my birthday which i am Super Excited to put to good use! i have prints availableat shawneekilgore.blogspot.com/p/photography.html.
the garden has been watered, the coffee has been had, the gratitude has been shared. which leaves only one thing:
wilco in houston, here we come! :)
i love y'all so much,
march 24 madly in love
well well well....i've heard this about austin, how people show up and then realize a few years later that they do indeed live here and, well, they ain't leavin' any time soon! i'm not sure when it happened, but it has. some decisions seem so big (and difficult), but if you just live your life in the way that feels best, well, they tend to make themselves and you don't have to worry much about it.
needless to say i have fallen madly in love with (and in ;) this city and it's time to shine. i will let myself be whatever it is i am, and i will give myself a chance to actually be what the rest of the world seems to keep assuring me that i am. i have dreams, for sure, and if i'm lucky enough to have everyone else believe that they can happen, well who am i to not? we all deserve that for ourselves, as scary as it may seem. nothing wrong with being scared.
i very much enjoyed my first SXSW, tho took it very easy compared to some! i played a bit myself, as well as backed up William Wallace and the Impromptus for several delightful outdoor shows. we wound it down sunday at a "folk off" in a food trailer court on S 1st, where we all warmly expressed how we were surrounded by some of our very favorite people and musicians in the world. we felt lucky; we are.
me? i'm making big plans. gonna work on playing my way east and up the coast, then east again across the old atlantic, before heading back to bellingham for the summer. best time to be there by far....(convenient that it's also the worst time to be in texas! ;) i'll keep y'all updated on shows and dates as they come, and ask for help if you know folks in the area that might want to come share some time and space with me.
for now i'm still working on my new (short ;) record, Austin Skyline, taking photos, painting pictures, and being happy.
june 2nd at Simplicity Wine Bar 7-10 pm
thanks y'all so much for the love and support. (what becomes of the song that no one hears? ;)
that's what i get for waiting too long to write to y'all...too much to remember ;)
first, a correction: the saturday show at opa! has been postponed to a later date in april, yet to be determined.
and i've had a few cool things happen lately:
my song Hollow Road is being featured this week on www.weeklyindie.com/
and i had a favorable review of my song Maria Brown on Indie Artist and Band Critiques with Karl Louis (my part is right around the 21:30 mark ;)
plus i've finally set up a photo site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/shawneekilgore/ which i'm super excited about!
thank god for art.
and for you.
february 24 recording this weekend!
the time has come....i've spent the morning picking a banjo for the first time, and am quite enchanted with it..... tho i don't know if there's any way to keep my left arm from getting so tired! the highlight of the record is going to be a lovely little surprise for a good friend back home, and it does involve a banjo ;)
february 10 new website :)
well....a new website could count as news, certainly! i'm definitely into doing the most i can with what i have (free is a nice incentive too.... and you should see how excited i get in the kitchen, treasure hunting through available ingredients.... ;) so really that's that. i'm a firm believer in doing what excites you, and i just enjoy being on this site more than "the other one." so i shall let "the other one" go. simple. done.
february 10 austin skyline :)
a new Collection of Recorded Songs has been long overdue! and now that i've realized eureka!!!!! i am the one that makes the things i want to happen happen.... i'm going to make it happen! again. simple. done. i decided against "songs for strangely"....(though a fairly phenomenal collection of songs that is! too many tho.....too many ;) and decided instead on "austin skyline," which will be (most of) the songs i've written since arriving in austin a few months ago. man is this place good for that! they're still coming, and recently in collaborative form with a few amazingly talented individuals.... and last night i really pushed new borders by not only writing a song in bar chords that i was able to properly identify (it's never too late to learn.....i will be the first to say) but being both delighted and distraught to find A# to be the last piece of the puzzle. delighted that i found it, yet distraught over it trumping the Dreaded B as the Worst Chord Ever! little did i know...... and little do i still know, of this i am certain.