Wednesday, January 18, 2006

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:

Atrium2.JPG (20692 bytes)   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.       SeventhFloor.JPG (21945 bytes)

A walk through the local mall showed us that we were famous in Charleston for a week:

FamousInCharleston.JPG (10725 bytes)  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:    
                                ClayCenter.JPG (36356 bytes)
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.

KanawhaInside.JPG (18663 bytes)  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:

     RitaMargoMark.JPG (46977 bytes)

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.

    Mansion Tree Face.JPG (39751 bytes)     Egg Face.JPG (19686 bytes)

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 heart.

Cheers,                               Blossom5.JPG (48659 bytes)
                   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 for.

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.

Cheers,
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:

                                         KejaraStage.JPG (27437 bytes)   
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.

                                           MIBeach.jpg (14123 bytes)
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.

                         RedHats.JPG (30470 bytes)           MkEyes.JPG (23943 bytes)

              MgEyes.JPG (23311 bytes)           AdEyes.JPG (20844 bytes) 

I don't know, I think they do something special for Margo...

Aten Place was delightful.  They have a big garden with a few little friends...

             Giraffe.JPG (37423 bytes)  
...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 evening.
                                     Boyne.JPG (44920 bytes)

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.

Best,

Adrienne (forMeMargoMark)

                                                    BeachShoes.JPG (21974 bytes)


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.

Cheers,
Adrienne


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