With an amazing 2012 behind us, and a very productive winter sabbatical, we are rested, renewed, and ready with even more music. First off, if you have not already "Liked" our Facebook page - please do so! In appreciation we will send you a recording of one of our new tunes from a recent, in-home, recording session.
We played most of last year with 2 sets of music. We have been finalizing our 3rd set which will allow us to approach more venues - we are now talking to venues in Colorado and anticipate being there in the Spring! We'd like to ask that if you know of a venue that you think we'd be a good fit for, please let us, and the venue owner, know.
House concerts are a particular favorite of ours; the intimiate setting lets us get to know you, and allows us to talk about the development of our songs in detail. If you feel you have a home that would serve well for this type of special performance, please let us know! We also have had a lot of fun working various parties - keep us in mind for our next one.
Perhaps the most exciting development is that we will be starting a Kickstarter project to fund our next CD. This past Autumn/Winter writing season was so productive, we anticipate having at least a dozen original tunes on our follow-up CD. We will have some very special gifts for your participation, from free CDs, poster, Blue Moon Prairie T-shirts, and hand made Blue Moon Prairie jewelry by our own jewelry artist, Caroline, to house concerts in your home, even complete with a gourmet, vegan meal, prepared by our resident vegan chef, Laura, and a stay at the beautiful Casa Elena vacation rental in beautiful Taos.
This is the radio show from our appearance on Acoustic Explorations on KSFR 101.1 back in July hosted by Pat Longmire. Enjoy!
It's last Saturday evening.
The storm, which poured a sky-full of rain just an hour before and filled the air with lightning and thunder, had slipped serendipitously away, making way for the far-off whistles of the Cumbres Toltec steam locomotive. As this magnificant beast slowly climbed the mountain, making its way to the Cumbres summit at 10,000 feet, we were poised and ready to play a midst the picnic tables and wild mountain flowers. Then, as if called to action by a Hollywood director, this great American power house rounded the bend behind us, pouring out massive plumes of steam and smoke and sounding a series of whistles that made the ground shake.
We began to play. We could not hear ourselves and it was joyous.
(Thanks so much to: Katherine Cox, Ed Beaudette, the incredible train and catering crews, Bill Bates and the Mayor of Cumbres.... Bandit.) (More pics on our Facebook page).
Photo Credits: Wacky Rodger
First off, a huge thank you to Victoria Walden, owner of Walden Fine Art, who hosted our CD release. It was a beautiful space to perform in and we greately appreciate her
for being such a gracious host. Thank you to everyone who came and made the evening so special.
After months of writing, rehearsing and recording, it's hard to believe the night came and went. Luckily, we have a lot more to look foward to. Throughout the rest of the summer, we will continue to play at the Santa Fe Flea Market at the Downs on Sundays (check our schedule for the specific dates) as well as starting to play locally in and around Taos.The next big day for us will be playing Taos Plaza Live! on Thursday, July 26th. It will be our introduction to the Taos area in one of the best summer venues imaginable. The evening starts at 6:00pm and we will be going on at 7:00pm.
We are continually adding dates to our schedule, so keep checking for new shows. We will also be making a guest appearance at the Benefit Dance at the Cleveland Roller Mill Museum on 8/4, as well as playing at the Mill Festival, Labor Day weekend. Both events are very special; if you haven't been to the fundraiser - it is a potluck in the late afternoon, and then The Rifters play all evening as everyone dances in the mill. Camping is available, and if you want details - just listen to our tune "Cleveland Roller Mill" and you'll get a good idea! The potluck starts at 4-ish, and dancing starts at 7:30~ Grab your dancin' shoes and come on over!
Join us this afternoon between 4&6pm as we are live in the studio at the world's most powerful solar radio station, KTAO 101.9. If you are out of the area, no worries - you can stream live at www.KTAOS.com.
...play your first gig. Yep - the latter.
The process of putting together a couple of sets of mostly originals is vastly different from working in a cover band. Back in the day - I could throw together 3 sets in 3 weeks and be ready to rock. With 3 different songwriters in this group, not only are our arrangments constantly evolving, but 2 days before our first gig we are still finding subtle improvements and new twists on older ideas. It also helps that everyone in the group is very flexible and generous with their compositions. That is, we are all open to new ideas to our creations; there are no hard & fast rules.
Doing originals with other people is a lesson in patience; no instant gratification here. Well, there are exceptions. There are times, sublime, transcendant times, when we will sing a harmony, or play a passage that comes together with...grace. All the musical tumblers in the universe fall together in perfect order. It's those times that allow us to slog through the more mundane tasks.
So here we are: 9 months after our first meet-up. We will be playing a sweet, lay-back gig at a winery in Dixon tomorrow late afternoon. After 9 months of writing, rehearsing, recording, tweaking, and rehearsing some more, we now get to experience the point of all this work: to share it.
So, you're invited to share this experience and some wine with us tomorrow at Vivac Winery. We'll be starting at 4:30 and will be playing for a couple of hours. Salud!
...is the name of our debut CD (yet I still yearn to say "album" - old habits die hard). After our usual messy, creative process, and upon reviewing our collection of songs, we believe the name to be apt. We leave it to you to decipher which is a true story or tall tale.
We are finalizing the artwork for the liner notes and our digital release will be within the next 48 hours! It is great to hear from many of you that you will prefer to wait to have a physical CD in your hands. There is something special about an idea transforming into the tangible. The CDs will be available in approximately 3 weeks on our website.
Our date for Taos Plaza Live has been confirmed: Thursday, July 26th. We will be doing some smaller, more lay-back gigs prior to that, info on the where & when on our website and on the "shows" tab on the Facebook page.
It seems that Alamosa, Colorado used tobe referred to as the "freezer of the nation." Although winters have been getting milder over the years, this week it lived up to it's name. The wind was howling at 40 mph and standing outside for any length of time was impossible. I think I know where Howling Dog Records got the "Howling" part of their name. We start pretty early in the morning to begin at 10am. Caroline's drive is especially long, adding an additional 2 hours as she's coming from Santa Fe.
It's a beautiful drive though - through Tres Piedras, to Antonio, and a straight shot to Alamosa. We catch up on the week, listen to the rough mix for the 1,000th time, have our own version of "I Spy" (I spy a bald eagle!), and do some rudimentary vocal warm ups along the way. it seems Robyn and Don have something in common - they both went to Adams State College, located in Alamosa. Robyn even remembers Don's band, The Tumbleweeds, playing when she went there.
We get to Don's a bit before 10. it still feels early - everything is very quiet at his lovely retreat off the beaten path, outside of the town limits. It is bitter cold; the majestic mountains to the north are enshrouded in clouds and hidden from our view. Steam rises off the cows relaxing in the snow in the pastures. The air freezes our breath. We unload our equipment; we can't get inside fast enough.
Don comes in and greets us with his trademark smile and warm hugs. It takes the chill off immediately. Today will not be so much a day of intense recording for us as it is a day of intense listening. The lion's share of recording today will be done by Don as he augments our songs with various string instruments.
At the end of the two-day session, we are all thoroughly tired. Good work has been done by all and in one week we start the final mixdown. Robyn, the unofficial photographer, was behind the camera, rather than out front those days. Click here for more pictures.
Although we've been quiet with our online presence, a lot has been happening. We approach the New Year with enthusiasm as our music continues to grow. Music is a living thing - that breathes and expands and contracts according to rhythms. The three of us are finding our collective rhythm and it is beautiful!
When Robyn, Caroline, and myself first came together, our highest vision was to be able to move around musicially on various instruments in a sort of dance. The last couple of months we were open to finding a full-time lead guitarist to broaden our sound. What we have come back to is that Blue Moon Prairie is the three of us - and always will be. We are enthusiastic about working with other musicians and have come to the conclusion that those collaborations will find us when necessary. Recently, in addition to the instruments they already play, both Robyn and Caroline have found inspiration and music in playing the bass, and I am returning to playing keyboards as well (those who know me well, will laugh at this, as I keep swearing off keyboards only to keep coming back to them...).
We head into the recording studio the second week of February to record our first CD at Howling Dog records in Alamosa, CO. After that is completed, we will start our public performances. We look forward to playing for you!
Have a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous(!) New Year!
Laura & Blue Moon Praire
So those of you out there that have tried to put bands together know how hard it can be. There’s a lot of great talent out there and I met a few here in Taos trying to hook up, but none of it seemed quite right. Laura and I, who had never met, had both been independently placing ads in Craigslist to get together musically with others, with little or no result. Then, I think Laura got fed-up one night and wrote an ad asking for exactly what she was looking for: other women who could sing harmonies. Caroline and I both responded within two hours of her placing the ad and Blue Moon Prairie was formed. It all came together like some great cosmic plan.
The first time we sat down together and a few times since, we got goose bumps when we sang together and realized that quite possibly we had something. Of course, I said Blue Moon Prairie was formed right then and that is partially true but finding the name was a bear and there have been a flurry of email conversations about the name. We got stuck on the name Nellie, which we liked a lot because in this case, it referred to a runaway horse, which we all kind of think of ourselves as. We all tend to paint outside the lines and the name seemed apropos. But Nellie was not to be, as no name rang true for all of us. Blue Moon Prairie fell into place just like the rest of cosmic tumblers that brought us together.
Well, coming up with the name was all it took for Laura to go super-sonic. Within hours she had us on every singer/songwriter, band site there is just about. We have a domain name, a website and we’re on all the social websites. She is a force of nature that’s for sure.
Backtracking here to our first rehearsal together, Caroline lives in Santa Fe and Laura and I live here in Taos, so as you can imagine, rehearsals are not as often as one would expect. By hey, this is the electronic age and we all know how to record and edit audio, convert to MP3s and email, so we have cyber-practices, which works pretty well. Thank God for the internet. SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY!!!
We had to figure out what kind of music we were going to play which was pretty much a no-brainer. We all write tunes and we all like many of the same styles of music. Laura is the rocker in the group, with a long history in New York playing with rock bands. She let me listen to some of her stuff and I am way impressed. Maybe she’ll point you to some of her work from this site, huh Laura? Caroline is the diverse one with instruments. Doubt seriously there is not an instrument she cannot play, though playing the bagpipes myself, I challenge her!!! I’m not a hundred percent sure but think Caroline is playing with at least three groups right now. I had come from playing with another partner in San Diego in gallery openings, coffee and wine shops, Bluegrass festivals and house concerts (house concerts are the BOMB!).
Hey - this is Laura chiming in here: Robyn is too modest to talk about herself, so I'll have to tell you about her: she has a voice that makes angels weep. Her song "We Will Remember You" has been heard nationally, a September 11th first-responder tribute song, and adopted by firehouses around the country as their anthem. Back to you Robyn...
We brought several tunes into the first session, including originals and the genre of Folk emerged. Now, Folk seems somewhat limited when you listen to the fullness of what is transforming in Blue Moon Prairie. Personally, I prefer "Americana". The jury may still be out on that, but we are definitely all playing in the same stadium together.
We are planning to record our first album, (check back for the name) in January and itching to get out an play for everyone!
We are all kindred spirits with a passion for harmony….so watch out!
"In a world of over stimulation and over produced and over sized, this Trio of beautiful women is like honey for your soul. Their voices blend to counter all the noise and craziness showing us we can still make a point and art. Brava Grrls. You make me proud to be a woman and happy to know I'm not alone."
Nancy Stapp, Breakfast with Nancy Show - 1340 KVOT
"The thinking cowgirls answer to Porter Draw" Adam Aguirre, Route 66 Radio Show, KUNM 89.9