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Laurie McClain: News/Journal

thoughts... - May 24, 2016

I was thinking about how I have tended to regard spirit as this wispy vapor, my body as a solid but vulnerable temporary form, and evil as huge and powerful. I have shifted my view to: Evil is a wispy phantom that has no real power; my body is a tiny fragmented group of atoms that never even touch eachother, each one surrounded by a huge spirit that's trillions of times bigger than the physical world and therefore huge and powerful... I believe that love is all that is permanent and therefore all that is real.

WORKING ON NEW CD NOW! - January 12, 2016

Howdy & Happy 2016!

I am happy to be working on a new cd, beginning recording in February 2016.  I have lots of new songs to choose from and I am looking forward to touring full time this year and beyond... I will keep you posted!

love & peace,
Laurie

"NEW" CD RELEASE! - August 1, 2014

Hey Sweet Folky Friends:
I have some big news! Back by popular demand, I am releasing a newly remastered version of the formerly discontinued LIVE at the Purple Moon recording!  This final version, called LAURIE MCCLAIN LIVE at the Purple Moon 1995, contains 10 original songs and 4 covers Click here to listen: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lauriemcclain3.

Charlie, my dear husband and meticulous recording engineer has remastered all the songs and they sound better than ever, much warmer than previous versions!  I really feel good about this album. I have even included a fold-out insert with all the lyrics AND guitar chords for my original songs, so you can get out your guitar and play along.  They are all easy to play, and I have noted the capo positions/chord positions so you don't have to play difficult chords (this is my secret!)  I love it when folks cover my songs, and I encourage you to do so!  (scroll down for your special email list folks' deal...)

STORY OF THE PURPLE MOON COFFEEHOUSE:
The Purple Moon was an amazing little coffeehouse that existed for a little over a year in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was started by a wondeful woman named Linda, mainly so Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous foks could listen to music and hang without alcohol being served. It was a magic place with the deep heartfelt energy of folks who had been in 12 step programs from decades to weeks to only hours.  These people LISTENED to the performers. They cared about the music, it was salve to their souls.  I was so blessed to have a weekly gig there for a year. I would put my kids to bed, and go play every Thursday from 10pm until 3am!  I was a single mother with three young kids at this time, and these dear people would pass a hat and their generosity was enough to pay all my grocery bills! During this time, my dear friend Anne Hills asked for a live recording because she was trying to get me on her record label. So my good friend Larry Evermann rented a nice tape machine and recorded two nights. At the end of those nights, the Purple Moon audience were giving me money for a copies!  I made a cassette for them and later made a couple different cd versions (those are no longer available).  Didn't get the record deal, but I am very happy to have this time documented. These recordings have a kind of magical energy that I want to keep sharing with the world, so I promise not to discontinue this verison... :)

Thanks so much for being a part of my musical journey!
Love & Peace,
Laurie


TRACK LISTING:
 1. MY HEAVEN

 2. LIGHTNING BUGS

 3. WHEN I WAS A BOY (Dar Williams)

 4. PEACE IN THE HOME

 5. SEARCHER’S LAMENT

 6. YOU WERE THE ONE

 7. SUZANNE (Leonard Cohen)

 8. I FEEL DIFFERENT
         ABOUT LOVE THESE DAYS

 9. WELFARE GAME

10. TOO SOON TO TELL

11. LOVE HAS FLOWN

12. EVERY TIME YOU FLY

13. SEARCH YOUR HEART (Steve Forbert)

14. HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING? (Trad.)

Women Of Substance Radio! - March 29, 2010

Howdy Folks: Women of Substance Radio, a wonderful internet radio site, is now playing two of my songs, "I Wanna Be Like You" and "Too Soon To Tell."   They are playing lots of great music. Check them out and request my music if you would like...  http://www.womenofsubstanceradio.com.

blessings,

Laurie 

Bobcat, Snow and Tennessee - February 17, 2010

Howdy!

I have not put a new journal entry in here since 2006... wow, that's a while.  I promise to do better.*

*actually, all of the following can now be considered "archives" as I am switching my journal over to my blog. So click on left on "blog" to read my latest ramblings...

I saw a bobcat in the wild for the first time in my life a couple of days ago, in the snow, in Nashville, TN.  Snow in Nashville is only slightly less unusual than my seeing a bobcat, since I can count on one hand the times it has actually snowed in Nashville since I moved here in '97, although it was snowing when I drove into town - with my friend Mark driving the gigantic rental truck following my tiny Toyota Tercel carrying me and my three disgruntled daughters - snowing all the way from Lincoln, Nebraska to Nashville... The “one-hand” disclaimer is that while snow has fallen from the sky to instantly melt a handful of times, or it has lightly dusted some surfaces to the point where one might say, "I think it might be snowing," or "What is that?” – the accumulation to the point of what I would call real snow is back to four or five times in 13 years.

So back to the bobcat - so graceful, so lovely against the snow covered ground. It was very small bobcat, just a little bigger than a house cat, which I mistook it for at first.  Then I saw the extra wide limbs with the leopard like prints and the dark fur pointing down from either side of its face. I was stopped at a light as he/she was attempting to cross HWY 100. The little cat seemed to be traffic savvy, cautiously looking around. As I was driving away, I saw it change its mind and go back into the woods it had emerged from.  Be safe little bobcat, it’s a dangerous world, where humans are the most dangerous animals…

peace and love,
Laurie

Gratitude Quotes for Thanksgiving and beyond... - November 15, 2006

I found these quotes online, and would like to share them. HAVE A PEACEFUL THANKSGIVING!

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude."
--Friedrich Nietzsche

"No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here."
--John Greenleaf Whittier

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
--Melody Beattie

"I thank God for my handicaps for, through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God." --Helen Keller

"When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude."
--Elie Wiesel

"Find the good -- and praise it."
--Alex Haley

"Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot."
--The Hausa of Nigeria

"They are not poor that have little, but they that desire much. The richest man, whatever his lot, is the one who's content with his lot."
--Dutch Proverb

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
--Marcel Proust

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."
--Cicero

"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."
--Seneca

"Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for. The more we seek gratitude, the more reason the angels will give us for gratitude and joy to exist in our lives."
--Terry Lynn Taylor

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
--Henry Ward Beecher

"What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it--would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have."
--Ralph Marston

"A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves."
--Henry Ward Beecher

"Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life."
--Christiane Northrup

"Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise--then you will discover the fullness of your life."
--Brother David Steindl-Rast

"Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road."
--John Henry Jowett

"True thanksgiving means that we need to thank God for what He has done for us, and not to tell Him what we have done for Him."
--George R. Hendrick

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude."
--Joseph Wood Krutch

"I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet."
--Denis Waitely

"If you can't be thankful for what you receive, be thankful for what you escape."
--Unknown

"Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not."
--Marcus Aurelius

"Real life isn't always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties."
--Sara Ban Breathnach

"A thankful person is thankful under all circumstances. A complaining soul complains even if he lives in paradise."
--Baha'u'llah

"Gratitude is the heart's memory."
--French Proverb

"God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart."
--Izaak Walton

"Gratitude is heaven itself."
--William Blake

"A single grateful thought toward heaven is the most complete prayer."
--Gotthold Lessing

"Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul."
--Rabbi Harold Kushner

"Thou that has given so much to me,
Give one thing more--a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleases me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart, whose pulse may be
Thy praise."
--George Herbert

"(Some people) have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy."
--A.H. Maslow

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
--Gladys Berthe Stern

"There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy."
--Ralph H. Blum

"I remember those happy days and often wish I could speak into the ears of the dead the gratitude which was due to them in life and so ill-returned."
--Gwyn Thomas

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”
--Kahlil Gibran

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears”
--Anthony Robbins

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”
--Lionel Hampton

"The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!"
--Henry Ward Beecher

"Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It's a way to live."
--Jackie Windspear"

"Who does not thank for little will not thank for much."
--Estonian Proverb

"You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."
--Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."
--G.K. Chesterton

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you?'"
--William A. Ward

"O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!" -- William Shakespeare

"Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you don’t."
- –Unknown

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
--Cynthia Ozick

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
--Harper Lee

"To know the value of generosity, it is necessary to have suffered from the cold indifference of others."
--Eugene Cloutier

"Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things." --Horace

"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart."
--Henry Clay

"How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative—or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people."
--Sir John Templeton

"Gratitude ... goes beyond the 'mine' and 'thine' and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy."
--Henri J. M. Nouwen

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." --Thornton Wilder

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
--William Arthur Ward

"Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know."
-- Basil Carpenter

"When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them."
--Chinese Proverb

"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel."
--Author Unknown

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls."
-- Aesop Fables

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
--H.U. Westermayer

"When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?"
--George Canning

"Some complain that roses have thorns—others rejoice that thorns have roses!"
--Unknown

"Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it."
--William Law

"If you count all your assets, you always show a profit."
--Robert Quillen

"I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers."
--Kahlil Gibran

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
--John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"Thanksgiving to God is an exuberant response to giving me HIS everything . . . by giving Him MY everything."
–-Martha Kilpatrick

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
--W.T. Purkiser

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."
--Buddha

"The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it."
--Richard Bach

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some."
--Charles Dickens

"Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion." --Leo Buscaglia

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."
--Leroy (Satchel) Paige

"Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies."
--Charles E. Jefferson

"Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate or value into your life."
--Christiane Northrup

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
--Denis Waitley

"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
--Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present -- love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure -- the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth."
--Sarah Ban Breathnach

"O Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness."
--William Shakespeare

"For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude. "
--Clarence E. Hodges

"Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for. The more we seek gratitude, the more reason the angels will give us for gratitude and joy to exist in our lives."
--Terry Lynn Taylor

"In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy."
--Albert Clarke

"[The most fortunate are those who] have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy."
--Abraham Maslow

"Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind." --Sam N. Hampton

"In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy."
--Albert Clarke

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
--Albert Einstein


"Whenever we are appreciative, we are filled with a sense of well-being and swept up by the feeling of joy."
--M.J. Ryan

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy--they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
--Marcel Proust

"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child."
--Madame Marie Curie

"You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy."
--Buddha

"Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty."
--Doris Day

"Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all."
--William Faulkner

"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from."
--Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."
--Meister Eckhart

Take care and be happy,
-Laurie"

I'm not journalling much, am I? Sorry. Been silly busy these days! Please check back. - October 2, 2006

MySpace Pictures

FOLK ALLIANCE AUSTIN, TX 2006 - February 16, 2006

Gosh, I don't even know where to begin, it was so crazy. I saw lots of folks I know, met at least as many more, talked myself hoarse, heard some wonderful music, played ten guerilla showcases, got some great leads on future gigs, collected as many cds as I gave away, stayed up late late late until the sun came up a couple nights playing music -- mostly in Chandler Travis' fabulous all night jam room.

The first two days, however, were just peaceful and sweet, because my sweet husband Charlie was there to play with his regular band, the amazing John Jorgenson Quintet. Since there's five of them they got three hotel rooms, and John so very graciously gave up his executive suite room to me and Charlie so we just hung out together and had some R&R since both of us have been working a bit too hard the last few months. So that was real nice and romantic.

Then Charlie went on to Houston and then home to Nashville, and the Folk Alliance madness kicked into high gear. I moved into my room with Anne Feeney, Jay Mankita & Vicki Russell, appropriately named THE CROWDED ROOM. It was on a music floor...
to be continued

FLORIDA TOUR - Feb 1 - 5 - February 8, 2006

Wow, what a great trip! And to think I almost didn't go. I only had one concert date at Gloria Holloway's Tampa UU Dome Concert Series, and 3 weeks to book something to go with it. Mucho thanks to Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsun for allowing me the honor of opening for them at two great house concerts, and to Jack Levine for landing me a gig in an Irish pub in Tampa.

The drive down to Tampa was late and long, but I made it to Gloria's apartment by 2am Thursday morning, where she graciously received me as her guest. After a good night's rest, we spent much of Thursday chatting about everything under the sun, in between the myriad of folk music business phone calls Gloria received. She is one hard working advocate for us folkies, so patient and dedicated to everyone she talks to.

The first gig was Thusday night at Lu & Ray Winberg's in Sarasota. I managed to arrive just as they were sitting down to dinner - what timing! Delicious lasagna with salad and tempting desserts was layed out buffet style. Lu, Ray, Steve & Cindy and I sat down and had our meal with the windows open enjoying a perfect breeze and watching the heron and egret prancing about in their swampy backyard. I missed the alligator that had been there earlier. I thought of my mother, and how she would love to live in such a breathtakingly gorgeous home, but would never go for alligators in her backyard.

Lu commented that Steve always knows the exactly perfect diplomatic thing to say in any given situation and I would have to agree. He replied, Naah! And of course that was the perfect diplomatic thing to say.

It was a sold out show and I played my opening set to a warm audience. Steve & Cindy followed and it's the first time I've had the pleasure of hearing their full show. They are truly perfect, with beautiful songs, harmonies and comfortable and humorous stage banter. Steve & Cindy are both excellent musicians and I especially loved Cindy's tasty and skillful concertina playing.

I drove back that night to Gloria's because we had to get up early and go the WMNF for a radio show at 8am. Cam McWilliams of the Live Music Showcase was very nice and made me feel welcome. He interviewed me briefly and I played a few songs. Then Gloria and I went back to her apartment where I was able to catnap all day -- something I haven't done in years -- occasionally waking to the sound of the thundering monsoon outside. I kept thinking Oh my God, it's still pouring as hard as it can pour. This went on for many hours. Turns out it was the fourth most rain ever received in Tampa/St. Petersburg area in all recorded history, as much or more than brought by hurricanes! We weren't sure we would make it to Four Green Fields Irish Pub since the news reports were all about the floods all over town.

But we got there just fine, and it was packed to the rafters. I met the owner, Colin, and he said it was a slow night due to the rain. I said I didn't think they could fit many more people in there, and he assured me they could. Well, more came later and it was quite a night. They were obviously there to unwind from a busy week and not really to listen to music, so I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to hear amid all the loud talking and laughing. I played bar scene in Lincoln, Nebraska for years, but it's a world I left long ago for the concert circuit since I am quite mellow and I couldn't take the whole noisy smoky atmosphere anymore. But suprisingly, the night went much better that I'd expected, as people listened intermittently and I had my monitor turned up so I could hear just barely okay. Right when I started I decided to just roll with it and I kept smiling (except through the sad songs) and actually really enjoyed it. Folks came up and asked for the birthday song and I led the bar in Happy Birthday to Dougie Fresh, I think his name was. I played only cover tunes, mostly obscure songs but some people recognized them and sang along. I sold a bunch of cds and made some new friends. They paid me well, and I was very uplifted and humbled by the whole deja vu experience.

Saturday it was off to Ormond Beach, to Chuck & Pat Spano's for another house concert opening once again for Steve & Cindy. I had lots of time to chat with Chuck and especially Pat. We shared stories about our kids and bonded only as moms can do. As soon as Chuck found out I was opening he had bought all my cds available online and was playing them nonstop while I was there, which was really sweet and made me feel genuinely welcome, to say the least.

The show was also sold out in a packed living room. Most house concerts don't use a sound system, but Chuck has a state-of-the-art fabulous sound system, and he knew exactly how to make the best of it, including recording and filming the show. The audience was perfect and Steve and Cindy once again put on a stellar show.

Steve and Cindy had to take off right away afterwards to head back to Vermont, just as I had to take off right after the show in Sarasota. I sure wish we could have hung out a little more. They are lots of fun and both very interesting to talk with.

After nearly everyone headed for home, Pat & Chuck and Tom Shed and his wife Aimee and I hung out for a while. Tom and I had a little song swap. He's a wonderful writer/guitar player/singer who had lots of interesting stories.

I spent a restful night at Chuck & Pat's, then headed back to Tampa to play my concert at the UU Dome. The clouds had cleared a bit and the rain had finally subsided. I had a nice crowd of folks to play for and it just went perfectly well, always a blessing in this business.

Jack Levine brought his entire family to the show and then took us all out to dinner after the show at a great Vietnamese Restaurant in Tampa. Gloria and her friend Craig came along too, and I got to meet Gloria's six-year-old granddaughter Mattie, who is just delightful and adorable. I tried to teach her how to use chopsticks and she made a good effort at it.

After the dinner I headed for home and made it all the way through Atlanta, mostly because I had a long conversation with my dear husband Charlie via cell phone, and he kept me awake until I got my hotel room at 2am. I really wanted to make it through Atlanta during the late night hours, because it is arguably the worst traffic city in the U.S.

Stayed in a nice hotel and made it home by 5pm on Monday, just in time to get ready for my rehearsal with my new all woman band, THE BROWNIES, named for our only venue so far, famous Brown's Diner in Nashville. The Brownies consists of me, Gretchen Cline and Susie Monick. Gretchen sings beautifully, writes great songs and plays the fiddle. Susie plays concertina, banjo and mandolin and is a fine songwriter. We've had two rehearsals and are very green as of yet but have high hopes for our sound someday.

Well, I'm off to get ready to go to Folk Alliance in Austin. I leave tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have plenty to report.
Til then, take care.
-Laurie

FOLK ALLIANCE & MORE... - January 19, 2006

Hey, it's been a little while. So much is happening. Here are the highlights:

Lately when people ask me, "How are you?" I have been answering with a very deeply sincere, "Really, really good." I can honestly say that this is the first time in my life I have consistently said that again and again and really know it's true. I have much to be grateful for in my family life and my musical endeavors. I am feeling more comfortable in my skin than ever before. I guess it has more to do with letting go and letting life show me what I need to do moment to moment than anything else.

My grandson Kolen is the real light in my life these days. He's beautiful, and so so mild and content. Anna is a wonderful mother. I'm so proud and so grateful. You can see pictures of him in the photo section.

Next week I'm off to play the Acoustic Sounds Cafe in Little Rock, AR with the fabulous Karen Mal. We're going to be on a local TV show beforehand, so we're going up a day early and we can just hang out, which will be a luxury.

After that I go to Florida to play in Sarasota, Ormond Beach, & Tampa. In Sarasota & Ormond Beach I get to open for Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsun. In Tampa I have my own show at the UU DOME.

Then it's the Annual International FOLK ALLIANCE! This year it's in AUSTIN, TX! Yeah, it's the craziest weekend of sleep deprivation when thousands of folkie musicians from all over the globe take over a fancy hotel and play their guitars, fiddles, banjos, accordions, squeeze boxes, upright basses, harmonicas, etc. and sing themselves silly in the lobbies, rooms, hallways and stairwells, all day and all night long -- emphasis on the all night long. It's a harmless and exhilirating noisefest, not for the claustrophobic. We test the weight limits of elevators, and the awake limits of our psyches. All my "guerilla showcases" are listed on my calendar.

I'll have a full report after I rest up from all the insanity.

cheers,
Laurie

ROCKRGRL CONFERENCE report - November 14, 2005

Just got back from the ROCKRGRL Conference in Seattle, held downtown at the Madison Renaissance Hotel. It was truly an amazing experience. I met so many interesting women in the music world, and heard some great music and inspiring speeches.

My showcase was Saturday night at Piecora's Pizza on 1401 East Madision, in a quaint back room. With all the great music happening in various venues, I was grateful that it was well attended by an appreciative audience.

I was followed by the other ISC winner, Jeen O'brien, (jeenobrien.com) from Toronto. I LOVE her voice and her songs! Her perfect pitch drives a unique, quirky, alternately delicate and superpowerful gorgeous voice, and she writes highly melodic songs with great lyrics. Totally inspiring! I felt honored that we were both selected by ISC.

Rachel McClain, my daughter, flew in from Nebraska and met me there. We spent the weekend going to panels and attending speeches and listening to music around Seattle. Rachel, along with DJs Deb Anderson and Sally Vanderslice, hosts an eclectic women's music radio show called "The Wimmin's Show," which airs Sundays, 11:30am-1:30pm CST on KZUM Community Radio in Lincoln, Nebraska. (kzum.org on the web) Rachel collected bunches of cds at the conference to audition for airplay. There was even a panel discussion called "Women in Radio" she was able to attend.

The keynote speakers were Patti Smith on Friday morning; Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde) on Saturday Morning; and Bonnie Raitt and Anne Wilson (Heart) interviewing each other on Saturday afternoon. Their voices of experience gave encouragement and advice to crowds of about 300 appreciative women. After their speeches, they graciously answered questions from the audience. I found them all charming, enlightening and often hilariously funny, especially the extremely laid-back Bonnie Raitt.

One panel was called "Life After Birth, Can You Be a Mom and a Musician Too?" The panelists were: Kathy Valentine (The GoGo's, Kathy Valentine and the Impossible)
Holly Figueroa (artist, Indiegrrl founder) Judy Davids (The Mydols) Deborah Frost (Brain Surgeons NYC) Amy Rigby, Tiffany Petrossi (artist, Rockin' Moms). The basic message seemed to be: Put your family first, and still be a musician because we can show our children by example that following our dreams and expressing our talents is fulfilling and worth working hard to achieve.

The only other music conferences I've attended are the National Folk Alliance Conferences in Cleveland (2000), Nashville (2003), and San Diego (2004). This is where about 3,000 folk musicians take over a hotel and play live in the lobby, the stairwells, in room after room, and basically keep this up all day and night for four days straight. It’s completely exhausting and totally out of control. But at this Rockrgrl thing was TAME -- at least at the hotel. All the women were just sooo mellow and it seemed to me like everyone went to bed early!

The club scene wasn't docile, though. Rachel and I visited different showcases around Seattle and saw some hard rockin' women fronted bands and all women bands that were pretty wild and intense.

We roomed with strangers-turned-new-friends Shelley Miller from Chicago (shelleymiller.net) & Nikki O'neill from NYC (nikkioneill.com), two singer/songwriters/music teachers, both fabulous roommates. We got to hear Shelley at the Green Papaya on Friday night, and she has a haunting folk-a-billy voice and writes really beautiful songs.


I'll sign off, but I might be adding more about the conference later.
cheers!
-Laurie

October 3, 2005 - October 3, 2005

I got a call the other day from the International Songwriting Competition and they told me they've chosen me to represent them in a showcase at the ROCKRGRL Conference in Seattle in November! Being a folk-head, I was surpised they picked me, but grateful. It sounds like a rockin' good time. I'll let you know how it goes.
-Laurie

FALL 2005 - September 26, 2005

Been crazy busy this year... Right now I'm getting ready for my cd release parties (there are 2) in Lincoln, NE on Oct. 14 & 15, for my "Laurie McClain, LIVE at the Purple Moon Coffeehouse" DOUBLE CD, with sixteen of my favorite cover songs, plus eleven of mine. Recorded in 1995 in Lincoln, NE at the PURPLE MOON COFFEEHOUSE, a short-lived but powerful safe haven started by AA and NA members but warmly welcome to all. This place truly transfomed my life, I realize now, in retrospect. I found my voice at the Purple Moon. Every Thursday for nearly a year I would put my kids to bed and go in about 10pm and play until 3am. Throughout the night, folks would frequently pass a hat, and for a single mom of three, it was a Godsend that literally paid my grocery bill each week! My favorite thing about the Purple Moon, though, was the love in the room and the way they honored and listened to the performers that played there. Since the '70s I had played sporadically in Lincoln's bars, singing my folkie songs to often unappreciative audiences. The Purple Moon experience gave me the courage to venture out into the national folk scene, to move to Nashville, and to think seriously about a career in music. Love & thanks to the great folks of the Purple Moon, this new release is for you!
-Laurie

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