BUTTERFLIES

You don’t really realize how stressed you’ve been until you have a moment to relax. Relax and take it all in – notice the beauty and teachable moments in the ordinary activities of daily life. I just watched the roundabout, but beautifully choreographed, flight of a Monarch through my backyard and the moment when it stopped on the leaf of my Meyer Lemon tree. I follow it around, talk to it, but I can’t touch it – it’s off to visit my next door neighbor now. Perry asks me if I always talk to butterflies and I say “of course! They are kind enough to visit – you should at least say ‘hello’!” Butterflies appear in quite a few of my songs, because they are always appearing in my life. They follow ME as much as I follow them – and I often think of their appearances as spiritual visits.

WAFFLES

While I’m in the yard, Jette calls to me from the upstairs balcony – she’d like a waffle, the “fluffy kind” with chocolate chips. It’s summer. Anything goes. A fluffy waffle with chocolate chips even though she already had eggs, chicken apple sausage, milk, toast, strawberries….no problem. I put a couple of spinach leaves on top for a color pop (and because that’s how she pays for the chocolate chips…by ingesting spinach leaves. Green veggies are currency in my house).

MY ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT NEEDS A MASSAGE (that would be me).

As I forego the name “Cindy Alexander” and become predominantly “Mommy” for a while, I can let go of all of the administrative tasks and planning that goes into touring.   I am my own tour manager, production manager, stage hand, merchandise salesperson, groupie…..  and it all takes hours and hours and hours of preparation and execution.

VACAY

As I said, I didn’t realize how stressed I was. When I finished up my dates with the Bacon Brothers in Minneapolis (I love those guys), I met the family in Seattle for some quality time and a much needed vacation. My parents treated us to an Alaskan cruise and I know that together, we’ve made memories that will last a lifetime. I went zip lining for the first time over the Ketchikan rainforest, hiked in Skagway and floated on a river fed from a glacier. We played with Husky puppies training for the Iditarod and watched fireworks in Butchard Gardens in Victoria B.C..   Yes, I lead a beautiful life and I am so very blessed.

Alaska Cruise
Glaciers are a reminder of the passage of time, and how young we are in comparison to Mother Earth. Isn’t she beautiful!?

Another nice thing about being off the road is that I get to be in the audience for a change. I love listening to live music and getting inspired by other artists. I saw Kevin Fisher last night at Seth & Tony’s house concert (he’s brilliant!) and next week I’m going to see Lucinda Williams, Steve Earl and Dwight Yoakum at the Greek Theater.

I’m definitely in writing mode these days… lots of songs floating around my head and through my Steinway piano and Taylor guitar.   I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

 

 

THANK YOU to all of you who take the time to read my Pnut’s Ponderings, who listen to my music and make my songs, your songs. You are an essential and truly appreciated companion on my journey.  Until I see you next on the road, how about registering at Concert Window, where you can join me for a live, online serenade and chat?  It’s FREE! Click here:

CINDY ALEXANDER LIVING ROOM SERENADES and CHATS on CONCERT WINDOW

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

XO Cindy

What a painter….

I have something very special to share with you. NEW MUSIC! I’ve always written music for YOU – with the thought that when the songs resonate and become yours, my mission is accomplished. However, I realize that my mission is never over. I recently wrote a song that I believe was meant for ME. Words I needed to hear, a melody that spoke to me from within…

Sometimes it takes a while to craft a song, and find just the right word and musical riff. Sometimes, songs are written through me, like this one. “My Favorite Artist” poured out in less than 5 minutes. I didn’t change a thing. In that spirit, it was recorded in one take. To keep it personal, it was recorded in my home by my husband, Chip, with some musical help by one of my best friends, Paul Trudeau. Produced by the three of us, I am beyond grateful for this song and experience. Huge thanks to my label mate, the amazing Rusty Young (POCO) for playing pedal steel that elevates the song and makes it even more special.

I hope you enjoy it and take it to heart. Please share it if you do!

 

G-d’s my favorite artist
‘Cause She’s got so much damn soul
Can’t try to imitate Her
I would never, ever be that bold

But I know She gave something
From the well within me it pours
I’d give all away for nothing
So come get what you came for

Come get what you came for

I talk a real good story
But I don’t know what the hell I talk about
I’m just shooting from hip of glory
Making art is making love that knows no bounds
Yeah making art – is making love

Come get what you came for
Come get what you came for
Just take it – take it all – I can make more
Come get what you came for

Don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow
Chances are, I’ll be gone
But I’m here now – with you – for a reason
And you’re leaning in for something like a song

So come get what you came for
Come get what you came for
Just take it – baby I can make more
Come get what you came for

G-d’s my favorite artist
G-d’s my favorite

Come get what you came for
Come get what you came for
Come on …..

Copyright 2018 Cindy Alexander/ JamCat Publishing

Inspiration

“Only dead people never get stressed, never get broken hearts, never experience the disappointment that comes with failure …”
Tough emotions are part of our contract with life.
You don’t get to have a meaningful career, or raise a family, or leave the world a better place without stress and discomfort. Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life.”

-Dr. Susan David

Each time a CD is released (and “Nowhere to Hide” is my 9th, or 10th if you count the Christmas is Here EP which was digital only), I go through a post partum depression of sorts. There is a huge build up during the months preceding the creative “birth,” and then after first week sales and the CD release party, the powers that be are onto the NEXT (unless of course, you’re on the top of the charts or get some big “break”). No artist can depend on the industry’s notoriously fickle adoration. For the artist, once the record comes out, the work has just begun to keep the project relevant. We virtually tour on social media, and we physically hit the road playing shows to say “look at my baby!” These days it’s “Ok, so you don’t own a cd player and you play me on Spotify. I get it. So how ‘bout a t-shirt? Or a show ticket? A cookie?” Having been in the music business professionally for over 20 years, I can honestly say that it’s harder than it’s ever been. But at the same time, the playing field is wide open if you’re willing to do the work. The HARD work, the never ending work. And it’s not for the faint of heart, or ego.

This is a typical scenario: The Entertainment Industry holds your favorite treat of all time in front of your nose. And each time you (the artist) get closer, the treat is pulled back just slightly. They lure you in, closer and closer and closer. As soon as you taste the treat, they grab your soul. When they’re done with your soul, they hand you back only an ego that has been tread on by their own. It’s uncomfortable, it hurts, and it’s heartbreaking. Artist then searches for their soul to reclaim. The industry is not pure evil. I’ve truly met some of the greatest people I’ve been blessed to encounter. But the bad eggs are, well… disappointing.

As an artist, I must remember that I do not serve the Industry – I serve those who have made my music part of the soundtrack of their lives. Yes, an artist needs to monetize in order to keep serving. We need to monetize to feed families, stay healthy and take care of ourselves and each other. But, I don’t do this for the money, I do it because I HAVE to.

This life I’ve chosen as an artist – it’s a Calling. I write songs and sing because if I didn’t, I’d emotionally and physically, spontaneously combust. I can hear my husband reading over my shoulder saying “You’re a Drama Queen. “ Yeah, but you wouldn’t have me any other way! And this crazy play is my Life, and I thank G-d that you’re all a part of it.

“Are you along for the ride, or just here for the song? ‘Cause I’m here for it all.” – Cindy Alexander
(From the song “Passenger” on Nowhere to Hide)

I’ve been writing a lot over the past few weeks, and if you join me on Instagram @pnutsings, you’ll find that I’m writing songs in front of you. You’ll read lyrics in process and experience my mind working through life and images and turning them into song. Hope to connect with you there- I enjoy watching everyone’s posts and what images captivate YOU.

I am not fighting the future – Spotify is here to stay and I’ve started making playlists and discovering new music. I’ve got you covered if you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day OR Single’s Awareness Day.  If you use the platform, PLEASE follow my artist page.  My label will be happy.  Yes really!  Blue Élan Records has found some benefit to the platform’s  “discoverability” element.

In other news, I’m adding tour dates constantly and I’ve planned an online concert for 3/11. If you post a picture of yourself on your socials with some CA Nowhere to Hide merch/swag and the hashtags #nowheretohide #cindyalexander, we’ll find you and send you the invite/password to attend. We’ll draw a name out of the invitees to choose the set list! If you don’t want to use your own image, get creative like Daniel Molinares – the pic he posted with Elvis makes me smile every time I see it.

And now, I’m turning off the phone and the computer and going for a hike. Nature is my temple. And sometimes, as much as I crave connection, I need space. Do you ever go off the grid? And if you do, where do you go and how do you quiet your mind?

Thanks for reading Please stay in touch ~ I love hearing from you. Hope to sing for you in person soon!

XO
Cindy