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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: Jonathan Morse

I'm Thankful For...

Rae Hering

A list. A very short list, but an honest one.

I'm thankful for my hanging succulent plants. Every time I look at them I think about how they started out as one small plant. I think about how we all have the potential for such abundant growth!

 
IMG_9041 2.jpg
 

I'm thankful for my patrons. The connections and friendships that are forming on Patreon literally keep me going every day.

I'm thankful that dark chocolate exists. 

I'm thankful for the challenge of learning new things, like how to make my own album artwork. I never knew that's a thing I could do until it became a necessity and I did it! Funny how that works...

 
 

I'm thankful for my husband Jonathan who has the rare ability to think up creative ways to help me with my music career and who has believed in me from the beginning.

I'm thankful for Simon the Cat who has a talent for being the perfect cuddly reprieve when I'm working too hard.

 
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I'm thankful for warm cups of tea and comfy clothes at the end of the day.

I'm thankful for intermittent fasting, which keeps me healthy and grounded and feeling totally not guilty for the big Thanksgiving feast I'm about to it!

I'm thankful for YOU. Thanks for spending some time on my website to read this post.

What are you thankful for this year?

Flying High with "Navigator/Aviator"

Rae Hering

This song is for all you two peas in a pod out there. When you're together, anything is an adventure. Sometimes you might feel like you can't stand each other, but that's only because you suit each other so well! Laughing comes easy and the memories are endless.

Click HERE to get "Navigator/Aviator" on Spotify and iTunes, or click below to buy now! 


I just love how these in-studio videos turned out recording at Pentavarit Studios in Nashville, TN. Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to keep up to date with more videos coming soon!

 

I Got a Song Cut!

Rae Hering

That's right, folks, I got my first major record label song cut - how cool is that?!?  I'm feeling pretty excited and very thankful.  The song is called "It's Alright" and MCA/Universal (Philippines) artist Solenn Heussaff just released the pop ballad on her third album titled Solenn.  Give it a listen!

I wrote "It's Alright" with my husband, Jonathan Morse, and our friend Jimmy Borja.  I'm lucky to have met Jimmy - he's a great friend, a wonderful piano player (he taught himself by ear which completely amazes me!) and a hit songwriter.  Many of Jimmy's songs have become classics in the Philippines including the Christmas song "Sana Ngayong Pasko," performed by Ariel Rivera.

So now that you've heard Solenn's version, I thought it would be fun to share with you my demo version of "It's Alright."  Personally, I find it interesting to hear where a song started, so if you find it interesting, too, check out the link below (I included lyrics at the bottom).  By the way, that's Jonathan on the left and Jimmy on the right in the Soundcloud picture.  They're just the greatest!

It's Alright - by Jimmy Borja, Jonathan Morse and Rae Hering

If my eyes were mirrors
Would it bring you nearer,
Would you see what you want to see?

If my eyes could show you
What your heart has been through
Would you stay or would you look away?

No use fighting,
Stop your hiding,
You can’t escape it
But you can face it.

It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright.

The trials and the triumphs,
The song and the silence,
It’s all a part of who we are

Lift your eyes and see
Through the brokenness there’s beauty.
Don’t be afraid, to be afraid.

No use fighting,
Stop your hiding,
You can’t escape it
But you can face it.

It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright.

Look into my eyes,
I am your reflection.
Look into my eyes,
I am your reflection.

It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright.

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.

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.

A Desk, a Beer and the Non-Popularity Contest

Rae Hering

When Jonathan found out that NPR's tiny desk concerts and Lagunitas Brewing Company were holding their first annual contest for indie artists I was soooooo excited. 

I know that what I'm about to say will sound like a complete fabrication in order to be all teacher's pet-y, but I LOVE both NPR and Lagunitas. Little secret, my bucket list includes the entry "be interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air." And if the bar serves Lagunitas IPA, that's what I'm ordering every time - no joke.

While I pinky swear that my professed love is tried and true, I'm also pretty sure that the amount I enjoy informative radio and delicious alcoholic beverages has no bearing on the contest results. It does, however, have a complete effect on how much I enjoyed this project!

Enter Chad McClarnon. Chad is very tall, has a dapper mustache, and possesses the uncanny ability to make a kickin' professional video in a matter of hours. The rules of the video were to play live music - behind a desk. With Jonathan playing bass and Duane on drums, we came up with something pretty cool and had fun doing it, too!

 
Shenanigans behind a desk!

Shenanigans behind a desk!

 

But now let me express the REAL reason why I think this contest was worth the effort - because it was not based on how many VOTES or VIEWS or LIKES I corral from my friends or other poor souls that gets accosted by my persistent yet overly cheerful requests to "check out my page!!!"

Most contests that musicians enter nowadays make me feel like I'm in high school again - right back to the old popularity game. But has anyone ever noticed that the harder you try to get people to like you, the more they seem to not care?? 

Running after votes, views and likes, especially from my personal friends, is like whitening my teeth. Sure, a Crest-white smile looks nice, but does it really mean my teeth are healthier for it? In other words, if all my friends vote for my contest entry, am I really any closer to where I want to be in my music career?

I don't think any musician should have to beg or nag people to publicly vouch from them. I think if our art is effective and accessible, people who feel moved to follow our careers will emerge. They will watch our videos, leave their comments and like our pages. This will grow into a happy byproduct called popularity.

Unlike the high school prom queen's 15min of fame, however, this kind of popularity is the kind that sticks. It will stick if we respect our audience enough to let them decide when they want their voices heard and how they want to be fans.

So thank you, tiny desk concert contest, for giving us the space to following our Creative Light instead of a popularity gimmick. Hope you find an artist that shines like a torch in the night.

I've been in hiding...but not anymore!

Rae Hering

Guys, it's been awhile.  It's been a lonnnnnnnnnng while.  Here's the nutshell since June:

 

I got married!

 
 

 

I got a band!

 
 

 

I was a Newsie for Halloween! (not exactly a life-changing event but a fun fact nonetheless)

 
 

 

And...drum roll please...

I released my brand new album, "The Shy Gemini Sessions!"

 
 

 

I hope you'll consider giving it a listen, purchasing, or sharing it with your friends:


Showcase at The Hight Watt was the Jam!

Rae Hering

J & R at High Watt

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVzoGZv2cFI&w=640&h=360]  

Just had a killer Monday night playing at The High Watt for their weekly "8 off 8th" event (interpretation: the venue is off 8th Ave. and 8 bands play 3 songs each - it's a marathon night, but a lot of fun, too.)  And WOW! I'm so blown away by the talent in Nashville!  The bands playing represented a very diverse picture of Nashville, from a progressive rock/metal/jazz group to a catchy southern pop act to an energetic bluegrass/folk ensemble to a steel drum-fronted funk/fusion band.

photo
photo

To add to my excitement, my fiancé Jonathan took the stage for the first time since the early 90's playing bass with me!!  Jonathan and I have written songs together and have jammed together, but performing with him took our musical relationship to a new level.  He was even telling me the other night that he realized the performance aspect of making music completes the circle for him - it gives reason to the practicing, jamming and writing.

Here we are rehearsing for the show.
Here we are rehearsing for the show.

Also, joining me was my lovely and talented friend Arianna Fanning on drums.  Jonathan has known Arianna for a couple of years now, but when she moved in to our same apartment complex it became toostupid easy to start playing music with one another!  It HAD to be done!

And here are some other bands to check out from Monday night:

Duke Mode Fresh Coat Tales

The Art of Resting in Motion (When There's Just Too Much To Do!)

Rae Hering

Photo from Wikipedia.
Photo from Wikipedia.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/133254573" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The process of recording an album is different for everyone.  Some musicians complete their album in a week’s time, maybe it takes a couple of months, or if you’re Miles Davis, you can knock out an album in just two days – worked out beautifully for his 1959 album Kind of Blue. I’m not that kind of musician - at least not yet.  Teaching lessons during the week pushes recording time to the weekends.  And the fact that I don’t tour consistently means it takes longer to figure out how the song should sound on the recording. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that the tracking for “The Shy Gemini Sessions” is now complete!  This marks the end of a six-month period where Jonathan, Bobby Holland (my

Here's Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.
Here's Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.

producer and engineer) and I have spent almost every Saturday and Sunday exploring parts, experimenting with instruments and hammering out details.  We sure have had a lot of fun working our butts off!  Time for a break, right? Silly Rae, recess is for kids!  The moment I start thinking that I have my weekends back for a little R&R, I remind myself that when it comes to being an independent music artist, weekends simply aren’t for relaxing – there’s a LOT more to do.  In fact, I’m frequently saying to myself there’s too much to do.  For those of us that are moving towards bigger visions for our lives, there’s always going to be too much to do.

library.defenderdirect.com.
library.defenderdirect.com.

But I try to keep in mind what Rory Vaden eloquently states it in his book “Take the Stairs.”

Successful people “understand that there’s no real finish line, no magic moment when they will ‘arrive’ and get to rest on their laurels. Discipline is a perpetual process, and the growth is in the journey.  Simple, but here’s the part that you won’t want to hear – you don’t get a day off.  Ever.”

There have been plenty of times where I feel like I’m running the hamster wheel, never getting a chance to just finish something.  But when I have the discipline to stay active with moving my music career forward, I realize that I’m rejuvenated by staying active, NOT from taking a break!  I find that maintaining this state of being wipes away that craving for “zone out” time in front of the TV, luxurious weekend spa treatments, or drinking the weekend away.

juliacameronlive.com
juliacameronlive.com

In her book “The Artist’s Way,”Julia Cameron depicts this idea perfectly when she urges her readers to learn to “rest in motion.”  It’s a counterintuitive truth that I think we all have a good grasp of already.  Think of it this way: exercising our bodies requires energy, but it gives us a whole lot of energy in return.  Exercise gets our blood flowing, which delivers oxygen throughout our bodies – oxygen that’s required for making energy.  In short, we spend a little energy to get a whole of energy back (now that’s my kind of investment!) “Endless” is a song about continuing to move forward even when it feels like there’s no where to go.  (Please keep in mind that this is a SNEAK PEAK unfinished version!)  Now that a milestone has been achieved with recording “The Shy Gemini Sessions” it’s time to tell myself, “good job!” and then quickly tell myself to keep moving. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/133254573" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Going for the Imperfect Vocal Take

Rae Hering

Having a good laugh at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Having a good laugh at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

Lately, when I've been recording vocals for my new EP "The Shy Gemini Sessions," one of the most challenging things is to get The Imperfect Take. (uh...what now??...Imperfect?)  Yep, the "perfect take" is NOT what I'm looking for.  Instead, I want an emotional take, a moving take, a vulnerable take, and most likely that's not the prettiest or most perfect one of the batch.

In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.
In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.

It's a tough choice to keep making because, who doesn't want to come off all nice and polished, right?  But the thing is, Imperfection is just downright more interesting!  Ever notice that your significant other prefers the candid photo with that true-to-self, unprepared expression on your face?  You thought that you looked better in the shot with the nicely-placed and practiced smile, but that candid shot captures something about your essence that the well-rehearsed one just doesn't.

Lost in a song at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Lost in a song at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

When I find myself picking apart and polishing up my vocals, it's helpful to listen back to singers that I personally love.  Dave Matthews, Tom Waits and Rufus Wainwright may not be technically "superb" singers, but I'll listen to these characteristic voices over auto-tuned vocals any day!

Interestingly, even our health depends on living in an Imperfect environment.  If we over-sanitize our homes, we can become more susceptible to disease because we're not giving our bodies the chance to build up immunities.  This is a good reminder that I need to let my music live in an Imperfect space and to not over-sanitize my recordings.

Recording the Yamaha CP 70 at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Recording the Yamaha CP 70 at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to balance raw emotion with tempered technique.  To combine character with culture and intuitive flow with well-practiced poise.  But the temptation (for me at least) is to smooth over too many edges.

To be human is to be Imperfect.  To be Imperfect is to be relatable.  To be relatable is to connect with others.  So, I choose to embrace my Imperfections because I believe this will allow me to move, excite, provoke and engage - my hope is that this will shine through on my new recording project, "The Shy Gemini Sessions."

P.S. - Thanks to Ernest Chapman (bass), Jerry Roe (drums), Bobby Holland (sound engineer/producer), Mark Zellmer (Brown Owl Studio), and Jonathan Morse (creative director).

Bobby Holland (left)  and Mark Zellmer (right).
Bobby Holland (left) and Mark Zellmer (right).
Jerry Roe on drums
Jerry Roe on drums
Jonathan Morse
Jonathan Morse
Ernest Chapman on bass
Ernest Chapman on bass