It's a windy, rainy day in Connecticut, fully in keeping with the
odd weather we've had all month. We think we'll just pop down
to Florida tomorrow and see how they're getting on with winter --
in that way that they have, all warm and sultry and so forth.
We might even play a few times while we're there.
Meanwhile we just returned from Charleston, WV, and here are a few
photos from that trip.
We arrived Friday night after a twelve-hour drive, and checked into
the beautiful Embassy Suites Hotel. This was the view from outside
my room door:
There were perhaps ten floors,
all facing an inner courtyard, and Iheard Mark call down from the
seventh floor as I was passing the elevators. Can you see him?
The whole ceiling here is a skylight.
A walk through the local mall showed us that we were famous in Charleston
for a week:
We got the cover story on
the local arts insert, and a very nice writeup inside. This
was the photo I think the Montessori kids were referring to when they
asked why we look older than our picture. That's why I've made
this photo really small.
Meanwhile, here's Margo warming up at the Clay Center:
It was a beautiful space, and very crowded! The Clay Center
also has an 1800 seat theatre, a museum, a planetarium, an educational
complex, and much more. It's an amazing cultural focal point.
Sunday we were at the Kanawha Unity Church, which is a cute little
building in what almost looks like a beach town.
This is the window from inside.
It was just before Martin Luther King day, and we got to hear some
of his speech on an Mp3 player the speaker had brought in. It
was quite moving.
Monday we were at the Montessori School, singing and having fun with
several groups of kids. Afterwards we drove the 12 hours home,
so we'd have a whole two days to turn around before heading to Florida.
Thanks, Ron Sowell, for orchestrating the grand weekend for us.
West Virginia is beautiful, with its wooded hills and curvy highways.
I always remember the cedars, which are so prevalent there.
I hardly dare say it, but if there must be storms, let them come while
we're in Florida! I won't have to move my car for the plow,
then... although if we return to snow, it wouldn't be the first time
we've had to shovel Mark and Margo's driveway out before we can get
into the house (and get my car out of the garage!)
Happy travels, everyone.
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
If you receive our newsletter, you'll have heard that we all either
have read, or are reading, Rita Golden Gelman's book, Tales of
a Female Nomad. Mark and Margo got to have lunch with her recently!
Here they are:
She's led such a remarkable life, seeking out other cultures and tribes
all over the world and integrating herself into these communities,
finding the common human connection. A truly brave and adventurous
soul with a deep love of community.
Meanwhile, work leaps on apace with our CD. We have nine songs
ready for mixing now, and more in the hopper. We're very happy
with it so far! In addition to new songs by M&A, this CD
will feature some great instrumental work by Mark.
While we're mostly local for the rest of '05, we're gearing up for
our long trips to Florida and Texas in January/February, which will
include the National Folk Alliance in Austin. In preparation
for visiting our Austin friends at Neverlandia, I've been finding
faces everywhere. This is one of our favorite games at their
house -- and it naturally requires practice. The first one is
a tree I saw on a trip to NY state with my sister; the second is an
egg I'd just cracked into a bowl that would soon be cornbread.
No, the egg did not say anything. Just smiled.
It's been a rather eventful month, radio-wise... we were on Colin
McEnroe's show in October, and a WFUV, NY appearance will be broadcast
this coming Sunday; last Monday we were on WUMB in Boston to promote
our North Andover gig this weekend.
The idea of a Mad Agnes songbook has also come up again, as we frequently
get music requests for certain songs. Mark has a new software
that would enable us to make our own sheet music, so although it would
take time, it's within our grasp. We're mulling and strategizing.
Meanwhile it's Fall in earnest, and soon we'll have to start making
sure our guitars come in out of the cold. I've already pulled
the storm windows down, and gotten the down comforter out of the attic.
It's time for that cup of cocoa and Bridget Jones's Diary
again! Enjoy the changes, and remember that raking leaves is
a lot cheaper than joining a gym. And if you look closely at
the picture below, you'll see the dancing man with the flame in his
A, M & M
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005
I'm sitting here thinking how amazing it is to have water, dry clothes,
food, and a roof above sea level. Our hearts are with those
who have been uprooted and devastated by Katrina. We know folks
who have family in New Orleans, and are grateful that they're accounted
It's little enough we can do, but this month we're donating a portion
of our CD and DVD sales to AmeriCares again (as we did after the tsunami).
C'mon down to the store and browse.
Well, we've had our second Maine retreat, and it was rather gloriously
rainy for several days. You go up and take what it gives you,
and all of it is beautiful, rain or shine. We didn't walk much
at first, and when we did, my sneakers turned into sand-suckers, and
I had to take them off and shake them out every few minutes.
(Note to self: GET SOME NEW SHOES.) By Thursday (the day
I left) the sun had come out. We hung our towels on the back
deck to dry, and Mark reshingled part of the house that had been leaking,
dislodging a colony of carpenter ants in the process.
Numerous people have told us they'd like to hear more a cappella songs
from us, so we're working on some new ones. One's an English
traditional, one a contemporary Bulgarian folk song. They're
difficult. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too ambitious when I start
a project, but we've been known to pull rabbits out of hats before,
so I forge ahead. I have faith that we'll push our borders enough
to master these musical challenges! Even if there
IS no place to breathe in 68 measures. Ahem.
Margo has written a couple of great new songs, too, which
we're planning to put on the album, and one of the new vocal tunes
might appear as well.
Beyond that, M&M have been enjoying their new screen porch at
home, and I've been spending inordinate amounts of time painting my
apartment. I have one room to go, plus the kitchen ceiling.
I'm awash in color. So are my fingernails -- but it doesn't
affect my playing.
Enjoy this late summer time, this beginning of transition. The
transition from steamy days to cool nights, from corn to apples.
No blue moons this year, or in 2006; all those things that only happen
then will have to wait. Meanwhile we're still out playing, so
come see us at a gig sometime.
Adrienne (for the Mads)
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Here are some images from our recent Michigan tour. It was slightly
shorter than we planned, owing to a nasty bout of laryngitis which
pretty much eradicated all of Margo's material from the set, BUT we're
happy to report that things are mending nicely.
We played at a cute little place called Kejara's Bridge, and impressed
ourselves by fitting onto this stage:
We'd gone to Michigan in all good hope and faith, but this was the
night we realized that Margo shouldn't be singing. I had laryngitis
two years ago, and it takes a long time to get over it! So we
had to make some fast plans for the rest of the weekend.
It's always good to clear your head when you have to come up with
a solution. So, on the way to Boyne Falls, we stopped at one
of the many self-service fruit stands and got some homegrown cherries.
I didn't know they were such a big seller in MI, but they were everywhere
and just delicious. Then we stopped at Lake Michigan, which
looks like the ocean except there aren't any shells on the beach,
and had a little wade.
The water was just wonderful -- Mark went for a dip, and Margo and
I did the toes-in-the-sand dance.
Somewhere we ended up having lunch, and paused in a shop that specialized
in hats. Particularly red ones. If you need a red hat,
this is definitely the place to come. There were also Harry
Potter type hats, and other novelty items like these fetching spectacles,
which Mark bought.
I don't know, I think they do something special for Margo...
Aten Place was delightful. They have a big garden with a few
...which we kept mistaking for real animals. Our hosts, Bill
and Maxine, put in a last minute call to Jay Webber (check him out
here) and he agreed to come
in and do the second half, so we'd only have to do The Adrienne Show
for one set. He's a delightful performer and a lot of fun, and
he and his percussionist can really scat. This "house
concert" is actually held in their beautiful, converted barn
with lots of theatre seats and church pews, and all sorts of cool
stuff on the walls -- quilts, road signs, farm implements. We
owe them a debt of gratitude for riding the changes on our behalf
that weekend, and helping us come up with a happy solution for the
Since our return Margo has steadily improved, and just in time for
a visit from our friends from Austin (from Neverlandia, see top of
this page). We had an incredible weekend -- went to a AAA baseball
game, hiked a bit, nosed around Northampton, saw movies, ate like
pigs (see picture below) and spent a day at the CT Agricultural Fair.
It's hard to believe they've gone home already.
And here it is August 2nd, and Mark and Margo are already in Maine, kicking off our
writing retreat. I'll follow tomorrow and we'll be there through the weekend, hoping
to conjure some new songs for the season to come and doing some last minute arranging for
the album we're currently recording. I hear tell they've already had lobster.
Save some for me!!
Mark's addition to the notes is
this picture he secretly took one night after I arrived. Margo and I are fine tuning some
new a cappella material I arranged for the band.
One more thing: like last month, we're having some problem with our bulk mail
software, so the newsletter will be delayed. We've done a local mailing for the
Connecticut gigs and the next one isn't til mid-month, so you won't miss anything.
Meanwhile you can always check our full schedule here.
We hope you're staying cool and staying cheerful.
Friday, July 1, 2005
Some of you may not get the newsletter on time this month. Our bulk mail software
has developed a mysterious reluctance to send (existential crisis?) and we're searching
for answers. Of course our full gig schedule is always here on the website; go to
the homepage and find the link in the upper right.