Life On (and Off) the Road with a Honky Tonk Gypsy Gal

the travels and musings of a wandering Honky Tonk singer


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2013 in review 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Heres an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Recording day #5 

I was so exhausted after yesterday’s sessions that I didn’t have the energy to write a recap. It’s incredible how tiring it is to make decisions and listen all day long. It was a very productive day, finishing the pedal steel and electric guitars with Tony and Chris.

Today we’ve moved on to vocals, checking my lead takes, of which there are a lot of keepers and then moving straight to the harmonies for that song. Tony, Chris and Greg have all been in the hot seat today. It’s starting to sound like a professional album!!!

Pizza from Pizza Delicious is on the way (actually, eaten now since I was writing earlier) and we’re hitting it hard today.

Okay, off to the vocal booth!


Recording day #4 

Take 2, pedal steel guitar.

The producers, i.e. me and Dave, made a decision on Monday to bring in some muscle on the pedal steel. Steve Spitz worked really hard and did a great job last Sunday, but going was slow. When there’s not an outside producer, part of the process in the studio is smart decision making by the band.

Enter, Tony Martinez.

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We met Tony in Phoenix, AZ through our friends in Hashknife Outfit, a band led by our buddy Jeremy Marcanti who puts us up (puts up with us?) when we play through the area. Tony helped us out of a player jam one time and then played with us again in Phoenix, cementing our insta-friendship.

Having recently moved to Nashville, he was down here less than 36 hours after we called him. He’s got a great attitude and is really a superb player, adding some beautiful sounds to the songs as he practiced in our living room this past week. We also played two gigs with him this week, at Banks Street Bar last night and Mimi’s on Wednesday. But that’s another story…

And Tamara Grayson has come in to take photos today and brought homemade carrot muffins. What a gift!

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Recording day #3 

Studio day three is off to a great start with Steve Spitz laying down some sweet, sweet pedal steel guitar. The main room has been stripped of drums and baffles from yesterday’s wrap with Doug Belote and we’re going full steam ahead with “guitar day.” It’s just a man and his steel…

All 14 songs have great drum, bass and rhythm guitar tracks for Steve to play along to. I must say again what an easy and pleasurable session this has been with all thanks to the hard work of the great musicians playing with us.

Onward and upward!

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Recording day #2 

The whole crew is here at the start of day #2. Conversations about amplifier impedance, string changing and other exciting topics are happening. We’ll pick up right where we left off last night, with Not the One For You, our answer to an old Hank Williams song.

A photographer friend, JonGunnar is coming today to document the process. And some friends might pop by later, too!

See y’all on the other side!

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Studio Day 1 comes to a close… 

At the end of day one, 7 songs have bottoms recorded, meaning drums, bass and rhythm guitar that are “in the can” or mostly so. Anyone who has spent time in a recording studio will consider that almost at record speed, especially considering that after a 4 hour set up, we laid those down in just under 5 1/2 hours. I think a lot of the initial vocal tracks sound really good, too but we’ve still got 6 days left so there’s plenty time for all that.

It’s thrilling to be recording again and so far, it’s been almost TOO easy.

Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard today! Shout outs to the Esplanade Studio peeps, led by the marvelous engineer Misha Kachkachisvili and his wonderful interns, Casey, Chris and Jesse. And of course, our ace band of players, David Brouillette, Chris Adkins, Gregory Good and our guest drummer, Doug Belote who it was an absolute pleasure to work with today. Steve Spitz brought his pedal steel guitar in this evening for full speed ahead tomorrow. Brang the twang!

Onward and upward to Day 2! For now, another beer and a good night’s rest are what the honky tonk doctor ordered.

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Recording day #1 

The wait is finally over. Today is the day we’ve been working so hard towards for the past few years. At 10am we met at Esplanade Studios and here we are, watching Mischa and the interns, Casey and Chris work their magic.

And we’re off…

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Inspiration 

A little inspiration as I dream of the recording studio. Having our little meeting today. Friday fast approaches.

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Pre-studio Excitement 

Well, my previous email just got wiped out due to my itchy clicker finger. Gaaaah! It was a nice letter, filled with anecdotes. This will be shorter and not nearly as clever.

To briefly summarize…

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to our shows last weekend and “Hello” to all the new fans out there! We had a great weekend. (insert funny quip about me being sober at Friday’s show.)

We’ve been finalizing the pre-production on our album before we head back into the studio on September 6. With all our preparation, the recording SHOULD go smoothly and quickly (fingers crossed). We feel strongly about the songs we’ve written and I’m so very excited to get it out to you! I’ll be blogging the process so please follow along right here on my blog.

We continue with our light show schedule as we count down the days to recording…

After a six week hiatus, Gregory Good re-joins the group TONIGHT (Friday) at The Jefferson-Orleans North in Metairie, LA. This family owned event hall has always hosted ballroom dances but they have recently been diversifying, bringing in yours truly and Sunpie Barnes to bring a different crowd. The “ballroom crowd” still shows up and they mix and mingle, sharing the HUGE dance floor. This is a smoke free show. And yes, there’s a bar.

Saturday afternoon from 4-7 we share a bill with our good friend, the supremely talented, Brandon Moreau and his band, Cajungrass for another fun-filled Fais Do Do at The Maison. Brandon has an amazing repertoire, sings like a Cajun angel and plays the fiddle like his life depended on it. This is a a great place to bring the family for non-stop music on two stages and another smoke free show!

A couple of cool shows just got confirmed for September including the Best of the Bayou Fest in Houma and an opening slot for Big Sandy in Baton Rouge! I’ve been a fan of his music for years and years and it’s super exciting that he’s coming to Baton Rouge and that we get to play with him. Also, shows are being booked into the spring in FL, LA, TX and CA as well as plans to visit many other places that have long been on my radar. Thanks so much for being on our email list and following along!

Your gal pal,

Vanessa

“Without the courage to fail there is no progress.”


20 Days and Counting! (well, 19…) 

*UPDATE: Since this was sent out to our e-mail list yesterday, things have leapt ahead! We are now 55% of the way funded with 97 backers!!!
A week and a half into our 30 day Kickstarter project and we’re almost 50% of the way there! Thanks so much to those of you who have made a contribution already. We appreciate the support and I’m so excited to share all the songs we’ve been working on.
If you still haven’t checked out our project please take a moment to click over and read all about it. And please share the page with your friends and family if you feel so obliged. I understand that many of you may still be unfamiliar with concept of "crowd funding" and there are lots of FAQs on the Kickstarter site. Here’s the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/galholiday/gal-holiday-and-the-honky-tonk-revue-south-of-i-12
Please remember: if we don’t reach our $12,000 goal we get nothing! But you get great stuff for what basically amounts to a pre-order so I’m really hoping we’ll be able to make it.
We had a super fun 4th of July weekend and we’re ready to have some more Louisiana summer fun this weekend. Check all the shows lined up for the rest of the summer down below. And please know that tours are being planned for the fall and winter to make it back to places we’ve been and also visit new places we’ve been needing to hit for a long while. Much depends on the outcome of our Kickstarter!
I hope y’all are having a great summer! Please be safe out on the roads and waterways.
Your gal pal,
Vanessa


"Without the courage to fail there is no progress."

Friday 7/12 @ The Jefferson Orleans (Metairie, LA); 8-11pm
Saturday 7/13 @ Mojitos Rum Bar (NOLA); 7:30-10:30pm
Friday 7/19 NSU Folk Life Festival @ Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, LA); 6-7:15pm
Saturday 7/20 NSU Folk Life Festival @ Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, LA); 1-2pm
Saturday 7/20 @ Artmosphere (Lafayette, LA); 11pm-1:30am (opener TBA)
Sunday 7/21 @ Three Muses (NOLA); 8pm-11pm
Friday 7/26 @ Old Point Bar (NOLA); 10pm-1am
Saturday 7/27 @ Chickie Wah Wah (NOLA); 9pm-12am
Sunday 7/28
@ Kajun’s Pub (NOLA); 5pm-9pm
Wednesday 7/31 @ Rock ‘n’ Bowl (NOLA); 8:30pm-11:30pm
Thursday 8/1 Ogden After hours @ The Ogden Museum of Southern Art (NOLA); 6pm-8pm
Friday 8/2
@ New Orleans Museum of Art: NOMA (NOLA); 8:30pm-11:30pm
Saturday 8/3 @ Mojitos (NOLA); 7:30pm-10:30pm
Saturday 8/10 @ Rock N Blues Cafe (Covington, LA); 10pm-1am
Friday 8/16 @ The Prytania Bar w/ Kelcy Mae (NOLA); 10pm-1am
Saturday 8/17 @ Mojitos (NOLA); 7:30pm-10:30pm
Sunday 8/18 Gal Holiday Quartet @ Three Muses (NOLA); 8pm-11pm
Saturday 8/24 Cajun/Country Fais Do Do @ The Maison w/ Cajungrass (NOLA); 4pm-7pm

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