Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What’s Really Happening Now –or the Real Reason I did my Own Cover Art--

Okay, I’m gonna tell you all how it really happened.  It’s a pretty extraordinary and circuitous story, some of you might think I’ve finally cracked, but maybe some of you might relate and it might help…

All right, so I have a friend, Joel,  I’ve know for 35 years who used to be an upper-echelon international banker, quite a brilliant man, and then he became a healer, like a really great healer, Chinese shaman-type great healer.  He had a wife whom he adored, Alice, and she taught chi gung, and they were soul mates and lived happily for 35 years.

Joel's mother suddenly fell ill  and died of a stroke, and when he told Alice, who was very close to his mother, she had a heart attack instantly and also shockingly died.  So my friend lost the two people closest to him, 10,000 miles apart in one day.

After a while of being very lost without Alice, Joel consulted a well-known medium.  He had pretty jaw-dropping results, and it seems that Alice was explaining all sorts of things about the afterlife
to him.

So I decided to have a reading of my own.   It was a very safe, protected and loving feeling, not scary at all.  And it was a phone reading.  I’d never even seen the medium.  She asked, “Let’s see who’s there for you today…ah. Do you have a grandmother; was her name Louise?  Was she a musician?  A bit round? She’s showing me that.  Do you have a photo in the drawer of her with a musical instrument? She wants you to take that out because she likes to be remembered.”

Well, knock me over with a feather. There's no way she could have known any of this. She also asked, “Who is John?  I hear his name very loudly.  Who is John?”  And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember a relative of that name—that is—until I hung up and thought about it.  And then it dawned on me, it must have been my great-grandfather, John C. Lincoln, industrialist and inventor.

So I figured if old John C. had something to tell me, I better well listen, so I scheduled another session.

The medium described John C. physically, spot on, tall, thin, proud of his thick head of hair even in his old age.  He wanted to tell me that I should be much more creative, I should be writing more, and not just songs, teaching, and also definitely drawing my own CD cover.  And that I should invent instruments that would make me sound different and unique.  That I should start by thinking about what doesn’t work with the instruments that I use. 

It’s true that I have a banjo, slide and standard guitar on stage and how much less work it would be if they could be consolidated into one instrument.  Or even just the banjo and slide…it would make life so much easier.  I’ve been thinking how that could happen, perhaps a bridge that raises for slide and lowers for banjo.  But also, just as an aside, I don't think you have to do everything a dearly departed soul asks you to do after all, right?  I mean, he was an inventor, and of course he's going to tell me to invent stuff. I did, however, draw the cover and interior artwork for the upcoming CD. So I sat down and drew and drew
and drew.

The most important thing that I’ve learned from these sessions is that my task on this earthly plane is, as it is for most of us, to dissolve the ego.  I sure spent a lot of time trying to pump up my career, and it hasn’t done me any good, physically, spiritually or emotionally.  I was getting sick of the whole ball of wax.

This is what led me to rethink how I wanted to present my shows from now on.  I wanted to be more interactive, more generous and more collaborative and a little bit less about "me me me," and hence the Jenny Kerr "and Friends" format.   It just feels right right now.

I’ve been able to let the whole damn thing go. Hell with it. I don’t care anymore.  It is what is in
this moment, this small moment which is all we have.  My heart feels like a bird that’s been
let out of a cage.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Now we're really getting serious...

Guess what?  Oh yeah, there's a show, but also...

..after Lo these many years of doing everything ourselves, we are blessed to have a management team now.
Ladies and Germs, meet Colleen Kennedy and Billy Cohen of Labyrynth Productions. She was with Bill Graham forever and he has been a talent buyer forever, and they're great.  They do ginormous events like Bay to Breakers and the huge menorah lighting ceremony in Union Square.  Check 'em out at www.labyrynth.com.

They've got this brilliant eleven-year-old kid, Daniel, who builds cigar box guitars and plays drums, electric ukulele and keys.  We've been giving him a bit of coaching, so he's sitting in on some songs with us for our upcoming show June 8th, and we've been working on a song that he entitled "Stacked Up over Newark" which we plan to perform for the first time too.

We played the Plough and the Stars for the first time a couple of months ago and loved the venue.  Turns out it's a fun, down-to-earth Irish bar with a stage.  They have a long tradition as an acoustic music venue, and the usual crowd there is real supportive so we are doing an "and Friends" kind of show.  What I love about this show format is that I get to invite super-talented friends that have crossed our path and share these talents with our fans.

This time we are thrilled to introduce Diego "El Twanguero" Garcia who was the most killer player we heard at the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival where we performed this year.  And it's his first SF appearance!  You're gonna love it.  He combines Spanish styles with twang.  Pretty breathtaking, and, Ladies, he's not too hard on the eyes either.
Also we have the Keller Sisters.  Philbillie produced their EP here at Okey Doke Studios, and they've been getting quite a buzz (and not just from caffeine).  Between the fine songwriting and tight sibling harmonies, it's something you won't want to miss.

Now, along with all this other fun stuff, we have a sweet new line of merchandise.  I designed some cool BanjoCat t-shirts and several pieces of jewelry including rings, pendants and bolo ties.  We also have a grumpy cat, a banjo dog and some other odd images you'll have to see...

Also the website is updated and looks real fine.  Hey, we had to actually pay our webmaster, so go have a gander, will ya'?

So come out to the show on June 8th at the Plough and the Stars, 116 Clement St,.SF  9 PM for some good clean fun,