I have an announcement to make.
It’s a Good announcement.
This weekend, I will be at the Kerrville Folk Festival, competing in a contest called Music2Life. The contest is an unusual one; it celebrates songs of social change. It’s hosted by Noel Paul Stookey and his daughter. (More info: http://www.music2life.org/ ).
The judges for the more than 200 submissions this year included Buffy Sainte-Marie, Judy Collins, and Peter Yarrow. My song Nickel and Dime was chosen as one of the ten finalists.
For those of you who don’t know, Noel Paul Stookey is the “Paul” and Peter Yarrow is the “Peter” in Peter, Paul and Mary. So this is kind of a Big Deal.
But Wait! (as they say on tv) There’s More!
This is a Big Deal to me for a number of reasons. The first is, I’m going to be singing, officially and stuff, on the Kerrville Threadgill Stage, which is like a super awesome dream-come-true, Christmas-cum-Birthday, Sweet 16 and Graduation all rolled into one. Some girls dream of their weddings, * but not me: I dream of singing on stage at Kerrville in front of a bunch of hippies.
But here’s the other thing: it’s also another kind of homecoming. Because, 7 years ago, through a series of coincidences too convoluted to describe, I ended up working as a Tech Support Lass for one Peter Yarrow, in New York, New York.
There I was, my first day working for him, on the phone for hours with a technical support agent in Germany, trying to get a European wireless network card to work with Peter’s American laptop,** and thinking, “God, I don’t understand. I want to sing music. So why is it that I’m here working with computers and doing tech support?”
Later on that day, Peter asked me to sing for him. I went into the bathroom and breathed deeply, and then I said yes.
Three weeks later I was on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Kerrville Folk Festival, in Kerrville, Texas, to attend the songwriting school. Two and a half years after that, I moved to Austin, Texas, where I’ve been living ever since.
“What’s ‘Kerrville?’ ” I had said to Peter. “Trust me. It’ll change your life,” said Peter.
And it did.
The seven years since that trip have not been easy.*** But I’ve had some of the most beautiful, passionate, true, and joyful moments of my life. There have been many, many times when I’ve thought, “Ah, yes, this is my life!” To have that feeling – even once – is a gift that makes life worth everything.
So, join me if you will – in person, in thought, or in happy vibe – this Saturday, June 5th, at the Threadgill Theater, 1-3 pm. In Kerrville, Texas.
*All I know is, it’s being catered by TacoDeli.
** And I never did get it to work…
*** This is what is known as “understatement.”