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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Category: Creative Community

Still Sophie

Rae Hering

Hume-Fogg theater in Nashville, TN.

I’m so happy to have been a part of such a meaningful and poignant film, “Still Sophie” directed by Caroline Knight, which will be making its world premier today in Charlotte as part of the 100 Words Film Festival (a festival where all films must use exactly 100 words!  Talk about tricky!)

“Still Sophie” is a seven minute documentary that tells the story of a young woman, Sophie, who suffered a stroke when she was 19.  After four years of therapy she’s made amazing progress but still struggles with aphasia, which is where her thinking process is completely intact but speaking those thoughts is extremely difficult.

Singing, however, is easier.  Sophie has always loved to sing and that hasn’t changed a bit because of her stroke!  In fact, the documentary features Sophie singing “Maybe This Time” and that’s where I come in – I’m accompanying her on piano!

What a strong, determined and beautiful young woman Sophie is!  An inspiration!

Read more about “Still Sophie” and The 100 Words Film Festival.

Sophie and me on set! 

Caroline Knight, director, talking with Sophie about the interview.

A Free Christmas Album for All!

Rae Hering

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I've got somethin' for ya...

 
 

This is the time of year when cookies and egg nog are the two main food groups, when Christmas sweaters are unusually fashionable, and when our collection of Holiday music makes a triumphant return into our daily lives.

Well, here are some fresh arrangements (and even some original tunes) to add to the rotation this year. My friends at Firebreath Records have put together their 2nd annual holiday compilation, Firebreathmas 2015: The Wrap Album, and I'm just happy to be a part of it!  

It's totally free to download. But if you choose to donate, all proceeds go to Nashville Rescue Mission, a non-profit that helps the homeless population here in Middle Tennessee.

Check out all 19 tracks, or skip ahead to #14 (that's mine!) - the choice is yours. Either way, enjoy the music and have a Cery Merry Christmas!

 

Absolute, total, HIGHLIGHT of the summer!

Rae Hering

As summer starts to wind down this Labor Day weekend, I got to thinking about the highlights of the past few months.  Waterfall excursions with friends, family reunions where I ate way too much, pool parties where I regretted that I ate too much, and even going on my first weekend tour with the band! 

But one thing really stands out.  On July 31st my husband Jonathan and I had the honor of curating a Nashville Fringe Festival event from the ground up.  We called it "Face to Face: An Up-Close Concert" because we wanted to create a unique atmosphere where people can come together and get to know each other while enjoying a free live music event.  Thanks to Jan Bossing with the Nashville Fringe Festival, we turned South x Sea recording studio into an East Nashville music venue and had a ball celebrating our Nashville Community!

Face to Face: An Up-Close Concert

Our M.C. Jason Marsden characteristically weaved his way through the audience (the word "stage" is a broad term in his book) and not only kept the laughs coming but spoke about the meaning of Community much more eloquently than I could imagine.  My favorite part of his monologue was when he passed out blank Thank You cards to everyone because - well, what better way to build Community that to send an old fashioned personal note, right?

Our local beer sponsor Little Harpeth Brewing came through with refreshing craft beer that was perfect for the summertime heat.  Also (you may have noticed this in the slideshow) we had two giant donuts - let me repeat - TWO GIANT DONUTS from Fox's Donut Den because, well, that's just awesome!!!! 

Yes, our theme was the Nashville Community for this event, but we didn't want to leave everyone else out!  That's where our friend Ford Heacock with FIREBREATHrecords came in.  He provided high quality lifestream for everyone, everywhere.  I regret we couldn't find a way to get our internet guests some of that delicious giant donut though...

I will leave you with one of my favorite songs from the evening.  It's a cover song I sing called "Bei Mir Bist du Schöne," originally sung by the Andrews Sisters.  We're having WAY too much fun in this video to be allowed, especially at the end when it gets all dramatic!!  Enjoy!

Rae Hering on accordion, Keith McGonigle on drums and Jonathan Morse on bass.  Video by Make it Pop.

The Man on Mars

Rae Hering

Jason Marsden, dressed in costume at his third Mars Variety Show event, themed "PORCH."

I want to introduce you all to a friend of mine who will be adding a touch of magic and a hint of crazy to the "Face to Face" event this Friday: the Marvelous Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Jason Marsden, aka: MARS.

I met Mars at a holiday party shortly after he and his family moved here to Nashville from L.A.  As an actor, L.A. made sense for Mars, but the reasons for his migration resonate alongside others that have transferred here from bigger, busier cities: they fell in love with the Nashville Community and found that the change of pace feels like home.  After all, his wife Cristy is a Nashville native and their frequent visits over the years had fostered friendships and a strong foothold on the local scene. 

So if it was Community that brought Mars to Nashville, it's no surprise that Community is what he is working to strengthen and grow.  Enter: The Mars Variety Show!

Inspired to celebrate the creative diversity in Nashville (and his birthday at the same time) the inaugural Mars Variety Show this past January was a whimsical evening of live music, comedy, short film, prose and even burlesque...all done with style.  The success of the first event has spawned parts two and three and...an anticipated plenty more!

 
 

As spectators, we quickly learn that the traditional concept of "the stage" is nonexistent in Mars' world.  Held at The Building in East Nashville, our Ringmaster transforms the entire venue into his circus.  He'll be weaving through chairs during his monologue until we realize the casual conversation he's having with an audience member is actually a comedy routine in disguise.  Then we're turned around to discover a songwriter standing atop the bar leading the crowd into what turns into a spontaneous sing-a-long.  He's even taken the show outside and around the block, turning the entire assembly into a rousing funeral march mob: replete with tuba, trumpet and song, we marched and danced down and around the 5 Points neighborhood.  It was quite the spectacle and absolutely wonderful.

It's a tricky job capturing the wonder of the Mars Variety Show, but Michael Shumate does it splendidly.  Here are a few photos he took from the Mars Variety Show pt 3, themed PORCH, which I was thrilled to be a part of as a performer:

You're probably getting a hunch that to Mars, life looks a little grander than the every-day, run-of-the-mill perspective.  And I love that about him.  What I love even more is how he's bringing the Nashville Community together to create art which inspires conversation which leads to connections which makes friendships which means more Community which...you get the picture.  

That's why I'm thrilled to have him as my M.C. for "Face to Face" on July 31st, helping me celebrate our Nashville Community.  I hope you can join us for this Full Moon, Friday Night, Free Event sponsored by the Nashville Fringe Festival!

Face to Face: an Up-Close Concert
Friday, July 31

BYOBeer and BYOFood

6:30p: doors and bring a picnic-style dinner if you want
8p: Rae and her trusty trio start playing music!

Look forward to a craft beer sampling by Little Harpeth Brewing!

If you can't be there in person, FIREBREATHrecords has us covered with live streaming of the show at 8p central here: www.firebreathmedia.com/live.

Held at South by Sea Studio: 1313 Jewell St., 37207
(If you're using Apple Maps, type "Jewell" with two L's otherwise you'll get the wrong location!)
 

What's a Shaggy Turtle?

Rae Hering

What's a Shaggy Turtle?  Well, keep reading.

It was a sunny June afternoon when my band and I pull up to the next stop on tour.  We’ve made it to Charlotte, NC by way of Knoxville and I’ll tell you right now, this venue is quite a bit different than what you might call “the norm.”  No smoky bars here, folks, this is a HOUSE CONCERT!  And a House Concert is where MAGIC happens. 

Ya know how Magicians can make a handkerchief turn into a wand?  Well, hold on to that imagery for a moment and apply it to what I call “House Concert Magic:”

Abracadabra!  A Home transforms into the Venue!

Poof!  A Back Patio morphs into the Stage!

Marvel as a Delicious Potluck becomes the Menu!

And right before your eyes Audience Members turn into Friends!

Thanks for letting me be silly :)  In all seriousness, the Shaggy Turtle House Concert was all this and more.  Founder Phil Murphy is an amazing host.  He puts together these shows literally out of sheer love for music; doesn’t make a dime but certainly organizes an event like a true professional. 

Shaggy + Turtle = Shaggy Turtle!!  The name and emblem was fashioned from Phil's tattoo.

Thankfully for Phil, he’s got a solid Community of folks who are willing to lend a helpful hand.  I witnessed everyone in the Community offer something to make the evening flow smoothly: chairs, lights, homemade beer and food for the table, and of course a warm bed for us weary musicians!

Community has been on my mind lately (read my last post here).  With so much going on in our daily schedules or on the news, it can be easy to isolate our selves.  I certainly get caught up in my own little frenzied world of worry or over-work.  But at the Shaggy Turtle House Concert, a Community of people made the choice to gather and be together, bonded by their love of music and desire for fellowship.  It’s a little slice of what I think we all want, which is connection.

If you’re in Nashville on Friday, July 31st I hope you’ll join me in being a part of my Community.  Together with my husband Jonathan we’re putting on a FREE Nashville Fringe Festival event called “Face to Face.”  The vibe will be very much like a House Concert (or as I like to say “Up-Close Concert”) and the theme of the evening is COMMUNITY.

 
 

Face to Face: An Up-Close Concert
FREE
Friday, July 31st
6:30p doors, 8p show
2301 Franklin Pike
BYOBooze and BYOFood

Lastly, thanks to Phil and Everyone at the Shaggy Turtle House Concert for allowing me the opportunity to share in your Community!  It was an unforgettable evening!

Here we are after a successful show! Jonathan Morse, Phil Murphy, Yours Truly and our drummer, Nic Wiles.

Face to Face: my favorite social platform

Rae Hering

I may joke at shows that my favorite social media platform is Face to Face, but I do really mean it.  And judging by the audience reaction, it sounds like people agree.

We all know that the definition of Community has vastly changed over the last 20 years.  As a musician I can attest to the wonders of the Internet for making my indie music career possible - how amazing is that?!?  But I’ve also realized that my Virtual Community has weak legs to stand on without my Face to Face Community. 

For me, Face to Face is where Community begins. 

These two fellas are a big part of my Community: Ford Heacock of Firebreath Media and Jonathan Morse of Husband! :)

Over the next couple of months I’ll be discussing the topic of Community and I hope you’ll join the conversation.  It will all be leading up to Friday, July 31st.  That’s because my husband Jonathan and I have been given the opportunity to curate a Nashville Fringe Festival show and we decided to make the event all about COMMUNITY!  

This will be a Full Moon, Friday Night, FREE Event to acknowledging the Community in which we live - people meeting people, Face to Face.  If you’ll be in the Nashville area, I hope you can come be a part of the Community. 

 
Thanks to Jan Bossing of NFF!

Thanks to Jan Bossing of NFF!

 

Face to Face: an Up-Close Concert by Rae Hering
FREE Event!
Friday, July 31st
6:30pm
2301 Franklin Pike

If you won’t be in Nashville, that’s OK – the Internet still has it’s charms :)  We'll be live streaming the event thanks to Firebreath Media

Read more and RSVP on Bandsintown or Facebook.

 

So now that you know what Community means in my life...“What does Community mean in your life?”  I recently asked my Facebook friends this question.  To get the conversation started, here are some of their thoughts:

“Support in all ways through unconditional love.  It means intentional living…we are all connected.”

“Being mindfully present in good times and in bad.”

 “A tribe based on respect, trust and experiences…mutual compassion for each other’s fundamentally lonesome paths.”

“Kids playing together, the swans in the lake, neighbors stopping unannounced, raising kids together, community rummage sale and fishing fest.”

“…it means knowing that wherever I go, there’s going to be people there that I know I can or will love and who can or do love me.”

“If we fail to find a place for everyone, it would just not make a choir.”

 

...if you'd like to share, I'd like to hear from you.

Over-happiness Heart/Explosion Phenomenon!

Rae Hering

I'm sitting here on my couch eating steamed cabbage (because isn't that everyone's go-to midnight snack?) thinking about how freaking wonderful life is. I am so grateful for the people in my life that make my heart feel like it's going to explode from over-happiness but then my heart doesn't explode from over-happiness because it knows I would no longer be happy if it did indeed explode.

Jan Bossing is the type of lady that can make the heart/explosion phenomenon happen. I first met Jan through our mutual friend (and 18-string bass player) Scott Fernandez before we played a show at Drifters in East Nashville. Ever since then, Jan has consistently promoted my music on social media and always (I mean always) has encouraging words for me.

Later I learned Jan runs the non-profit organization Nashville Fringe Festival (NFF). I can tell Jan lives out her organization's mission statement every day: 

"The Nashville Fringe Festival exists to celebrate the diversity of Nashville artists, and to honor the legends among us who enrich our city and inspire our lives."

This woman is the type of mover-shaker-gogetter-cheerleader-Facebook SuperWoman you want representing your town - so Nashville should be honored to have her as a staple force around here.

So then, Jan really started laying the kindness on thick. She invited Jonathan and me to be featured guests on the NFF's radio show with Radio Free Nashville. After that, she included my song "Infinity" on the NFF Winter 2015 Sampler (it's free folks). But if that wasn't enough, Jan and the NFF just offered to sponsor a Rae Hering show!

 

Here I am with Fringe Radio host E.T. Brown

 

I'm so thrilled. I mean, I was not expecting this. How often does someone come into your life and say, "hey, you look like you could use a little boost to send your heartfelt art out into the world therefore making it a more beautiful place" ??? 

Thank you Jan, for giving back so much to the Nashville Creative Community.

Details to come about the show specifics. All I can say right now is...be prepared to be extremely entertained.

P.s. - click below to check out the FREE NFF Winter 2015 Sampler!

 
 
 
 

Smiling "Watercolour" from the UK

Rae Hering

Wow, am so thankful to be surrounded by such a creative community!  Check this painting out by Peter Williams, a fantastically talented artist who lives in Leiston, England.   

 
 

I always love seeing artwork in progress, so I thought I'd include these, too...

Peter has cleverly names this piece "Watercolour" to serve a sneaky dual purpose:

1) he did, in fact, use watercolor paints and...

2.) he named it after my song "Watercolor" (posted below). 

Being that Peter is from the UK and I live in the US, we've been joking about who's spelling "watercolour/watercolor" incorrectly...hehe...  

But the best part about the story is that Peter found me and my music through a mutual artist friend, Ugo Paradido (who also did a beautiful painting of me and my guitar) on a site called Paint My Photo.  I am continually astounded by these connections being made online and through friends.

Thanks for making me smile, Peter - literally! 

FIREBREATHRECORDS HOUSE SHOW #3 - RAE HERING /MAY 22, 2014

Rae Hering

Reblogged from FirebreathRecords:

Hey everyone!  Ford here.  Our next house show has been announced for Friday, May 30th.  It is $5 at the door and completely FREE online!  If you are outside of Nashville you can watch the show here.  

To help you get to know the performing artists before the show, we are asking them 4 simple questions.  First up is Rae Hering!

 

FBR:  Have you ever played a house show before?

Rae: Yep, a few. I love them. It's such an up-close, intimate experience for the performers and the audience members alike. They're a great way to support independent artists and have a really unique encounter with the arts at the same time.

FBR:  What makes you most excited about the show on the 30th?

Rae:  I'm excited to be playing with some really talented, inclusive, creative, pro-active and community-oriented musicians and friends of mine!

FBR:  What do you think of live streaming as a way to watch concerts and interact with fans?

Rae:  As recorded music is becoming de-valued (down to 99 cents that is!), live music performance is becoming a valuable commodity. People are craving interactive, one-of-a-kind experiences more and more. Live streaming is an excellent way to make these one-of-a-kind performances accessible to many.

FBR:  Tell us your deepest, darkest secret....or a fun fact!

Rae:  Fun fact: I can touch my tongue to my nose...just sayin'

Don't forget to FOLLOW us on twitter at @FRBRTHrecords and LIKE us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firebreathrecords 

The Most Happenin' Night I've Had Since...When? (Part 3/3)

Rae Hering

Organic Hi-Fi

Last week I was talking about this kickass jam session I was a part of and the importance of being OK with making mistakes in these types of situations. (well, hell, when is that not relevant?)  Here’s an example of the beautiful music we made, mistakes and all. This is Zach from Fable Crysinging one of his songs as we were all listening and learning:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142378929" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Our fearless ringmaster and cellist Josh Dent weaved effortlessly between being a thread in the musical fabric and directing the creative energies of his guests.  Without his leadership, our music-making could easily have turned into a chaotic wall of sound.

Josh humorously describes himself as an old man most of the time, but not tonight.  He's giddy as a little kid:

Josh's House 11
Josh's House 11

What I found extra impressive is that he encouraged us to have dialogue about the music we were making.  So often musicians stay confined inside the walls of unanswered questions.  Maybe the perfect groove was just an eighth note away, but if we aren’t willing to risk letting everyone know that we don’t know everything in the world, then we’ll never find that perfect groove.

I can safely say we found our perfect groove together.

Here's Ally Brown singing one of her tunes with everyone jamming with her.  So much fun!

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142379440" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The Most Happenin' Night I've Had Since...When? (Part 2/3)

Rae Hering

Organic Hi-Fi
Organic Hi-Fi

Wednesday I was talking with you all about my awakening at a crazy/refreshing jam session.  Check this out:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5A21k0-9MQ&w=640&h=360]

So I was thinking about it, and I realized that what really made the night was seeing all these artists make connections with each other, make plans to work with each other and show up at each other’s gigs.  I smile just thinking about the Creative Community I’m actively creating because…

My musical history consists mostly of learning solo classical piano by myself, writing songs by myself, teaching myself guitar, by myself…yeah, I think you get the point. When it came to music, I was in strict solitary confinement. I didn’t know how to play well with others and definitely did not want to share my toys.

Colors 2
Colors 2

Through the past few years my path has slowly lead me to embracing the communal aspect of musicianship – something I’ve resisted and wanted for so long.  At the core of this struggle, I see that the fear of making mistakes has had me hunched in the corner with my volume knob down for years.

So when I listen back to the recordings from our jam, I hear acoustic electricity that’s raw and real and – well, everyone’s making mistakes.  But no one cares!  We’re all gracefully stumbling through each other’s songs, emotionally levitating so high that there are no longer mistakes, only colors.  Someone just played a minor 3rd in a major key?  Hey that sounded pretty cool…

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141805794" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Don’t go away, there’s more…

The Most Happenin' Night I've Had Since...When?? (Part 1/3)

Rae Hering

My Home Entertainment System
My Home Entertainment System

Once in awhile, an experience comes alongthat knocks you back into being.  You didn’t event know you were sleepwalking until you find yourself holding an accordion in the middle of an intellectual bohemian jam session next to a harpistand a twelve string bass player (check these musicians out – they’re doing cool stuff).

It's dark, it's mysterious...

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOuIePw-qi4?list=UUi_lAR5FJKSJpHUBV8epgHg&w=640&h=360]

(By the way, that's also Joshua Dent playing cello - more on him in a later post.)

So you might not be a musician who’s sleptwalked themselves into a carnival of musical instruments, but I think a lot of you out there have had a version of an awakening.  When something feels so startling and new, yet so familiar that you settle right into it with ease.

I found myself blubbering strings of phrases containing such poignant words as “awesome” and “so cool” and maybe just a “fuck yeah!” cuz really, what can you say when you’re having as much fun as you’ve had since…when?  I don’t even know.  We all were so buzzed off the experience that you’d think our tunes were 9% alcohol.

Stay tuned for more of the story in a couple of days.  For now, check out this song I sang on accordion and we all jammed on called Bei Mir Bist Du Schon, an old Andrews Sisters tune.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141544373" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

And just for fun, shits and giggles (let's get Ca-ra-zee!) here's the original version as sung by The Andrew's Sisters:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe2UXccid40&w=480&h=360]

The Creative Community Movement

Rae Hering

I've been talking with my fiancé, Jonathan, a lot lately about what a creative community is and how to strengthen those communities around us.  We all have a lot to offer each other, no matter what we love to do: paint, dance, sing, write, play, speak, draw, levitate… Through blogging this past year, I’ve been making wonderful creative connections with other bloggers, one of whom is Rida of Work In Progress.  She was inspired after watching a video I posted of my song “Navigator/Aviator” and wrote her original lyrics to my tune.  How cool is that??

Here's my song "Navigator/Aviator:"

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGZKsUNfBP8&w=480&h=360]

And Rida's beautiful, creative response:

i’ve been traveling round and round been looking for what can’t be found i don’t really know where i belong

life keeps taking pound for pound and i can’t find that stable ground i don’t really know where i’ve gone wrong

i meet you, i’m spun around i once was lost but now i’m found i know with you i am finally strong

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

you keep me from falling down no longer feeling like i’m drowin’ for in your loving arms i do belong

all my walls you’ve broken down it’ so safe to play the clown how did you know i was the one

i’ll be your queen and wear your crown once so lost but now i’m found ’cause you put in my heart an eternal song

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

with you i know i’m safe and sound have no need to look around for you cannot compare to anyone

my loneliness forever gone you and me, we can’t go wrong being with you babe, i am someone

hold me baby til the dawn we’ll be together all life long for you are my moon and my sun

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

Check out her original post here.

What a testament to being inspired by each other!

So what inspires you?  Are you inspired by your friend’s painting?  Your co-worker’s poem?  Your boss’s mother’s hairdresser’s interpretive dance routine?

And if you’re inspired by one of my works, please, jot it down, record it, video it - share it. Let’s strengthen our creative communities together.