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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: Shy Gemini

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!

 
 
 
 

Help Take Me to France!

Rae Hering

A well-known performer in France by the name Téte has given me the opportunity to open for him when he tours the release of his new recording in the fall of 2015. The relationship and exposure with Tété would be a great boost in my career.  My band and I are ready to get out and start performing for a bigger audience. Growing a fan base, however, has a lot of catch-22’s and quite frankly what it comes down to succeed is money, awareness, determination and perseverance.

If this tour comes together as planned there is still travel, food and accommodations to cover. Like any business, investment dollars are an important part of getting off the ground and banks don’t loan money to artists that are not established. The estimated cost will come just under $10,000. This is just for a seven-day tour in France. 

My husband Jonathan (who is also my manager, bass player, photographer, co-writer, you name it!) and I are not used to asking for support…but here we are!

So what am I asking?

SPREAD THE WORD
With just a few words, you and anyone you tell about my story can boost the awareness of my music. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Here are some links to share:

Website: raehering.com/music
iTunes: ow.ly/FvhqE
Spotify: ow.ly/Fvicr
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/raehering/sets

CD SALES
As many of you are aware, I have two CD’s: “Reality Over My Head” and my latest release, “The Shy Gemini Sessions.” Both may be purchased from my website for $5 each in digital and physical forms. My music is also available on iTunes, though because iTunes controls the pricing, the album is $9.99.
  
LIVE PERFORMANCE
This is what I LOVE to do. And I especially LOVE doing House Concerts!  If you would like to know more about how to host one of these fun, intimate gatherings (which can be totally free for hosts) EMAIL ME and we'll talk about it.  Also, if there is a venue in your town you would like to see me play, I'd love to know more about that venue so we can play where you are!

 

And thank you for your participation in the campaign to share my music!

All I Got For Christmas...

Rae Hering

All I got for Christmas was this holiday album called...

 
 

Just kidding.

A couple of months ago my friend Ford Heacock with Firebreath Media asked me to be a part of this fun 'lil holiday project he was putting together. The result is 10 eclectic and colorful Christmas songs by many talented artists (read more about them here!) - all yours for FREE!! But if you would like to give, all the proceeds will be donated to the Nashville Rescue Mission

Hope you'll check out my track, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," fea. Duane Borba on percussion and Laura Vance on background vocals. Thanks for sharing it with anyone you think would enjoy it!

 

Here I am with Duane Borba recording for the holiday album at Firebreath Records.

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:


Simon Says...

Rae Hering

The King of Lazy is here to defend his throne.  So, what do you think Simon is saying in his dreams?  

Habitual Inhibition

Rae Hering

Has anyone ever told you to let go of your inhibitions?  When are you actually able to do this?  Or are you?  It's a nice thing to say or think about doing - but can we every fully let go?  

These are the thoughts running through my mind after my co-write this weekend with my friend Robert LaSalle.  We finished a song about a wealthy man whose spirit is getting crushed by his lifestyle.  He drives a long distance to the ocean and leaves everything behind as he transforms into a Beach Bum (ever wonder where beach bums come from? well, now you know.)  

Admittedly, it's an extreme example of letting go of inhibition, so much so that this character gives up possessions, social norms and loved ones.  But I think the idea is something we can all relate to.

"Beach Bum"

Chorus:
Falling from grace
Falling out from the Great Unknown
(The Great Unknown is calling me.)

After writing this song, the presence of my own inhibition is clearer than ever.  I feel it in my own songwriting.  You see, I love collaborating, but it's as if I mentally block myself from the flow of inspiration when I’m sitting next to a co-writer.  I feel the most comfortable coming up with lyrics curled up by my lonesome where I can crawl into the caverns of my mind.  

But I long to be open with others with my thoughts and creativity - I just don't know how to get there yet.  How do we work ourselves out of these unconscious patterns?  Robert says drink more alcohol - ha, I’m not buying into that solution yet.  For now, my uninhibitor is a strong cocktail of therapy and acupuncture with one of those umbrella thingys for good measure. 

I'll be posting the finished song soon!

 

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

I Feel So Painted!

Rae Hering

Ugo's painting
Ugo's painting

Thank you to Ugo Paradiso, a talented (and super friendly) artist who made this kicking' painting of my image:

Ugo is working on a series of musicians and their instruments.  Personally, I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

Also, thanks to fellow blogger and painter Mary for introducing us.  This is the meaning of strengthening the Creative Communities around us!

Navigator/Aviator - I Finished the Song!

Rae Hering

Sketch-Boeing40

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Ag5R53r04&w=480&h=360]  

A couple of months ago I posted a song in progress and now I'd like to share the finished piece!  One of my most favorite feelings in the whole wide world is to call a song done, and "Navigator/Aviator" has been an idea laying dormant in my head for 8 years now - so the "done" feeling is REALLY a great one in this case!

My ritual is to take all the wonderfully messy scribblings I've been working with and to neatly type out my lyrics.  Kind of like when you get a brand new wardrobe and you get to toss out all the stuff that always made you look frumpy anyways.

Also, I want to dedicate this song to my big brother Nate, who is my very favorite Air Force Pilot ( he likes my song, even with the obvious logistical inaccuracies - creative license!)

Nate and me on Halloween
Nate and me on Halloween

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…

Idle Minds and Window Shrines - Preludes to the Creative Space

Rae Hering

My music room
My music room

In the moments before creation, there is stillness.  I’m standing in front of my keyboard, but I don’t play.  Instead, I find that I’m staring out the window again.  Not wasting time, no, no no.  I'm...resetting the brain.

a_girl_hanging_upside_down_from_the_couch_1883099
a_girl_hanging_upside_down_from_the_couch_1883099

I remember summers as a kid – I would hang upside down off our sticky leather couch and stare up at the ceiling.  In this seemingly awkward position, I would imagine how wonderful it would be if the ceiling was the floor.  How clean and tidy it would be!  Nothing to pick up or trip over - expect for those twirling fans.  I’d stay upside down until the rush of blood to my head would make me woozy or until my mom would find me.

Looking back at this memory, I realize I was probably just giving my mind some transition time.

The window in my music room provides that much needed transition time in my writing process.  Here, I enter the slippery space between feeling the tinge of inspiration and actually opening its creative coffer.  I give myself time to zone out (which is, as I've recently learned, an essential part of the creative process) and forget about the menial tasks of the day and enjoy the view:

Jonathan and I live in an apartment complex in Berry Hill, TN – a small town that is actually right in the heart of busy, bustling Nashville.  I love living here.

Popular-Wooden-American-Style-Window copy
Popular-Wooden-American-Style-Window copy

The daily activities outside my window are excellent fodder for the creative spirit, but what’s on the inside of my window is inspiring, too.  My windowsill is one of my favorite spots in my apartment.  Without being too conscious of it, it’s become an assembly of meaningful nick knacks and trinkets.  I’ve made a creative shrine - a concept I first read about in Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” a year or so ago. It’s funny how I came around to making one without even knowing it!

IMG_0577
IMG_0577

The Accordion Angel on the right is a gift from my good friend Jen.  It reminds me of the support I have in my friends.

When I first got the succulent plant I almost killed it.  There were but a few specks of green left when, with a little tender care, it started coming back to life.  It reminds me to always hold on to hope.

If you look really closely on the left hand side of the plant, you will see a needle sticking out – this is an acupuncture needle.  This reminds me to not forget about maintaining simple practices for health and vitality.

Next are the dried avocado seeds.  I used to etch patterns into them and try to preserve them as art.  Although I could never achieve the full effect I was going for, these seeds remind me to keep experimenting and dreaming up new ideas.

Then there’s the bicycle.  I think I picked this up at a thrift store.  Years ago I wrote a very whimsical and playful song inspired by this toy.  Now, it reminds me to always keep my playful creativity close to my heart.

Here’s the song if you want to give it a listen.  It’s called “Bicycles Go Woosh!”  (And mind you, it’s only a work track.)

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/139062188" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Do you have a way of resetting your brain before your creative process?  Do you keep meaningful objects close by to inspire you?

Simon Says...

Rae Hering

CAT NIP!!!!!!!! (It can't be that complicated, right?)

What do you think Simon is saying?

The History of the Wishbone and Other Wishful (but not wishy washy!) Thoughts

Rae Hering

I’ve had a wishbone (yes – that kind that comes from an actual chicken) sitting on my kitchen counter for months now.  Why you ask?  Am I supposed to be able to answer such questions??

OK, I admit I have an unusual fascination for “little found treasures.”  For instance, I regularly pick up small objects I find on the ground and collect them in the pouch on my car door.  I came across this particular chicken charm while making homemade broth (which, by the way, is super easy and very good for you!)

DSC09010
DSC09010

Every now and again I would take a quick glance at my wishbone, thinking I might coerce Jonathan into having a little superstitious fun.  But I never did because, honestly, making a wish on it seems pointless and silly - where does the idea of breaking wishbones come from, anyhow?

Well, according to Matt Soniak at Mental Floss, “The custom of snapping these bones in two after dinner came to us from the English, who got it from the Romans, who got it from the Etruscans, an ancient Italian civilization. As far as historians and archaeologists can tell, the Etruscans were really into their chickens, and believed that the birds were oracles and could predict the future.”

Isn’t it AMAZING how long-lasting these ideas are that become woven into the fabric of our lives?? 

The Etruscans (800-400 B.C.) would dry out the wishbone, or furcula if you want to get scientific, so as to preserve the mystical powers the bird possessed while living.  People would use wishbones as treasured spiritual objects, stroking them and making wishes on them.  The act of actually breaking the bone was a variation developed by the Romans when they crossed paths with the Etruscans.

Etruscan_Art01_full
Etruscan_Art01_full

Back in my kitchen, I’m staring at my chicken bone thinking of what to do with it (if you’re still wondering why, I’m just going to say that I’m weird!!)  I’m certainly not going to carry it around stroking it (...I’m not that weird…)  I could just throw the damn thing out so I don’t have to look at it any longer – I’m sure anyone more sensible than me would gladly choose this option.  But I’ve always been a pack rat and pack rats just have a tough time with that whole “throwing out” thing.

So, I take my beloved poultry collarbone in hand and decide to give this age-old symbol some new significance:

Don’t just make wishes – make wishes happen.

DSC09038
DSC09038

If I wanted to take my chances at having my wish, I’d snap this wishbone faster than you can say Chicken Little. But I’m not interested in taking chances with my precious future.  The potential to achieve my wishes comes deep within the person I am actively cultivating, not anything else.  The more I am aware of what I want out of life, the more I am able to attain those things.  In fact, I can even “feel it in my bones” – an idiom which speaks of having intuition about one’s circumstances.  The more I am aware of myself and my surroundings, the more I am able to guide myself by the strength of this intuition.

As a musician moving her career forward, I know I have to have pretty tough skin, but now I realize I have to have some pretty strong bones, too.  A lot of singer/songwriters (myself included here) rely on the “wishbone method” of getting discovered.  I’ve put myself through plenty of hell and torment because my wishes hadn’t been granted.

I’m keeping this wishbone to remind me that I’ve tried the wishbone method, and now I know it doesn’t work.  Dropping coins down the wishing well, blowing out candles and wishing upon a star, they all don’t work.  And they’re not for me.  What can I say?  I actually want my wishes to come true.

Make wishes!  But don’t rely on the wishbone – rely on the intuition in your own bones.

Accordion Case Kitty Cat

Rae Hering

Simon the Cat, cuddling up in my accordion case.
Simon the Cat, cuddling up in my accordion case.

Brrr...it's cold out there.  Simon the Cat sure knows how to stay warm and comfy.  What do you like to do on a cold winter's day?

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

"I'm Beside Myself!" - Simon the Cat

Rae Hering

I'm Beside Myself
I'm Beside Myself

Now that's one big Fur Ball! (on the left and the right!)

"I'm beside myself!" - Simon the Cat.

Owning a Persian cat is as rewarding as it is hard work.  After brushing Simon every day (mostly two times a day) for about a year now, the fur has piled up!

I got inspired to save it when I saw this blog post on people making clothing items from their pet's fur - check it out to see beautiful pictures of owners (wearing their pets' fur pieces) standing alongside their pets.

Now, when I've told people about this trend, I get a range of reactions from my friends thinking it's cool, too gross, or just weird.  Um....can you explain what's weird about making yarn out of fur??

Anyhow, I'm gonna do it!  I might need to keep collecting, but I'll make sure to update you when my creation is complete!