Hollywood, Hard Rock and Henley | May 13, 2009
Left Chicago O’hare airport, after a two hour storm delay, for the destination of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Take off felt like being a bronc rider as the airplane bucked and shook. Looking out the window, lightning flashed in the sky. Once the plane reached cruising altitude it became a much smoother ride. (My favorite form of transportation is driving-- I average about 30,000 miles a year) The plane landed in Ft. Lauderdale at 12:30am the next day. Spent some time at Hollywood Beach that afternoon, one of my favorite places. Then it was off to Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida for the Don Henley concert that night as part of Hard Rock Live series. Henley came on a little after 8 o’clock. There were no large video screens, no fancy stage backdrops. Simply Henley, a six piece band and the traditional stage lighting. Henley made the comment about how nice it was to play a smaller venue and the audience agreed. He continued to deliver songs he penned as a solo artist including my favorites “Heart of the Matter” and “End of the Innocence,” along with Eagles classics that included “One of These Nights,” “Witchy Woman,” and “Hotel California.” It wouldn’t be a Henley concert without the summer anthem, “Boys of Summer.” Henley introduced some of the songs with the background on their writing, giving the audience a glimpse of his humorous and casual side. The single set lasted about 1hr and 20 minutes, then was followed by an encore of several songs ending in the traditional “Desperado.” Henley’s vocals were right on the mark for every song. He left the glitz and glam of a high tech performance for something more natural and suiting of a man who has dedicated years of his life to addressing environmental issues. (Check out walden.org)
Usually when you leave a concert, the chatter in the lobby is people deciding what restaurant or bar they are going to go to; this night, they were talking about the performance they had just seen. A verbal statement that Henley still has it, and as a solo artist in this smaller venue format, it’s something that he will be able to continue to do for a long time to come.
Earth and Art | May 8, 2009
It was a very busy April filled with earth and art. Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau was on Channel 20 WCYY Chicago April 11th and since then has been viewed all over the country. It was awesome seeing it in this format. I am very honored to be a part of this project, watching it grow from being a script on paper, to being a theatrical play on stage and then to this National Televised and Movie Theater Earth Day Event. Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau is the creative masterpiece by Michael Johnathon. Click on the Walden star here on the website for more information and to order a copy.
April 17th was Gallery Hop in Lexington, KY. This is where downtown galleries stay open late and artists display their work, accompanied by refreshments and live music. I finally got to see two beautiful paintings of books done by artist Anna Dickens, who I have worked with on the Walden Project. At another gallery I viewed paintings done by Brian Connors Manke, the drummer from The Rainjunkies who does his art with crayons and a blow torch. Check my website often for there will be a Visual Artists star that will direct you to the work of these talented artists.
April 24th it was back to Lexington for 4th Friday by the Lexington Art League, an art exhibit and live music, the music this time was bluegrass by The Blind Corn Liquor Pickers. April 25th was the play A long Time Traveling by Kentucky writer Silas House. A play with a message. During the play a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote came to my mind. It’s from his essay on Self Reliance and it’s “Be the person you were meant to be, not the person people expect you to be.”
Follow your heart!
Getting the Bird| March 9, 2009
This past Friday afternoon I was on the road to Shepherdsville, Kentucky for a show at C. R. Wilson’s Bluegrass Music place. Higher Vision with Dean Osborne was playing that night, marqueed as The Dean Osborne Band. Along the way I stopped at First Quality Music in Louisville. I spent the whole week thinking about the Epiphone Hummingbird I played the weekend before. First Quality did not have an Epiphone Hummingbird in stock, but they let me play the real Gibson Hummingbird, a bit out of my budget price range, but one beautiful guitar. Really nice showroom and nice people working there; definitely a place to stop and shop if you are a musician traveling through the Louisville area.
On to the show….Dean and the Higher Vision members have been playing music together for over 20 years in different band configurations; you may have seen them in the earlier years as Dean Osborne and Eastbound. C. R. Wilson has been putting on these great bluegrass music shows for many years booking national bands as they tour through the area. Well, it certainly was a fun evening and some great music, especially when Dean, Rob and Dedria get into those Gospel harmonies. Dean Osborne is the promoter of the Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival in Hyden, KY and the JD Crowe Festival in Wilmore, KY. He is also the Program Director for the Bluegrass and Traditional Music Program at Hazard Community & Technical College.
Saturday morning, I was in Lexington, Kentucky and at Willis Music. Needless to say, the Epiphone Hummingbird guitar was still there waiting for me and it now has a very good home! Yes, I got the bird!
Rain, Sun, and Kentucky Shows | March 2, 2009
“I’m No Stranger to the Rain” is one of my favorite Keith Whitley songs. I left Chicago and headed to Lexington, Kentucky last Thursday in a downpour. On interstate 80/94 there is no truck lane restriction and the semis that would roar past me kept dousing my little car. I knew as soon as I would get on I-65 headed south, it would get better, and 100 miles later I was driving into the sun.
The first show was Thursday night and that was The Rainjunkies at The Dame in Lexington, very appropriate after the weather conditions I had just driven in. They are working on a new CD and Abby did a new song for me, “Into the Sun!” Great song! It was good seeing John, Eric and Larry there from WoodSongs. Check the calendar on my website and on my MySpace for their upcoming show dates.
Friday was a Walden Play meeting. This is going to be a huge event for Earth Day (April 22). It will be on Public Television, Public Radio and in Movie Theaters. Will keep you updated on this creative literary, environmental and educational event by Michael Johnathon.
Saturday it was on to the Leeds Theater in Winchester Kentucky for the first concert of the Homer Ledford Bluegrass Concert Series. The Lonesome River Band was performing two shows that night to sold out audiences. Looking forward to more great bluegrass shows there. While I was in Lexington I did stop by Willis Music, and I played an Epiphone Hummingbird. What a beautiful guitar, maybe I am attracted to it’s nature theme. But it played really nice, too.
SPBGMA Nashville | February 15, 2009
Arriving in Nashville, my first stop was Opry Mills. You’re probably thinking... she goes to Nashville to go shopping ! I wanted to visit the Gibson Showcase. I am looking for another guitar so I thought I would see what they had. There were a couple models that I liked, and I was very tempted, but I still have my heart set on a Martin. The SPBGMA (Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America) Convention and Awards was at the Sheraton Music City Hotel. Thursday night was Bluegrass Gospel and Higher Vision was the closing band for the evening. Other bands performing that night were Paul Williams and The Victory Trio, The Marksmen, Harvest Wind, Mark Templeton, Perfect Tymn, Newfound Road and Harvest Wind.
There was a very good turnout and lots of jammin’ in the lobby. Next year I will plan on staying there for the weekend. Maybe I will have my new guitar by then and I’ll get into some of those jam sessions! But I did leave with lots of information on upcoming festivals and contacts.
Friday, Feb 13th, it was back to Lexington, KY... I made a stop at the Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. His 200th Birthday was the day before, there were only a few people there, guess I missed the party.
Hope you all had a sweet Valentine’s Day!
Welcome! | February 15, 2009
Welcome to my new website Loretta Sawyer Promotions and to my blog “The Lo Down” (Thanks Bryan for the name!). Here I will share with you my adventures as I travel down the road of music and life. In one week I registered a website and got a MySpace and plunged forward into a hi-tech world. Abby, who designed my website and MySpace has been my life preserver as I enter this unfamiliar ocean of technology. Thanks Abby!
This past week I was in Lexington, Kentucky on Jan 22nd at Natasha's Café to see Trouble perform two sets at the crowded venue. You just can't keep your feet from moving when you hear Trouble, and the dancers they had that night proved it. For more Trouble, check out their page here on my site.
Visit often for my updates, check out the great bands listed here, and watch for my pictures.
Customized promotion and publicity for musicians, labels, events, and more.
the lo down blog
Welcome to the new website for Loretta Sawyer Promotions and to my blog “The Lo Down.” Here I will share with you my adventures as I travel down the road of music and life.
Visit often for my updates, check out the great bands listed here, and watch for my pictures.