Look what the rain did…

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I was away most of last week and on into this one, celebrating the release of my new album “Northern Lights” and playing a few concerts around the state.

I have a million things to say about the sold out shows, the little girls who got up on stage to dance with me, the generous crowd and the awesome musicians who backed me, but I have to get out the door to catch another gig.

So I’ll just do what I did when I got home last night before the sun set and let you take in what the rain created while I was out traipsing around.

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I just couldn’t resist a quick walk before bed.

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Can’t you just smell the green grass growing?

I think this is what heaven is like…

Like the rain after a hot day…and a warm day after the rain.

To celebrate my favorite kind of weather, here’s a video of me singing “Raining” at my CD release concert in Fargo on Sunday.

Peace, love and growing things,

Jessie

Video: On “Northern Lights” and my time in Nashville

I’ve been busy getting ready for the release of the new album “Northern Lights.” Between watering the grass and pulling burs out of the horses and ticks off the dogs, that’s what I’ve been doing. Promoting, planning and getting bands together for CD Release parties.

I can’t wait for you to hear it.

So I’m excited to share this interview with you where I discuss my time in Nashville and the inspiration behind “Northern Lights.”

I have a pretty busy schedule this summer, making rounds across the state for concerts and appearances.

Visit www.jessieveedermusic.com for information on my schedule, to pre-order the album and to preview tracks.

And for iTunes, Amazon and everything in between users, you’ll be able to get it the album all those ways soon. Or I can send you a signed copy too ūüôā

But today,¬†¬†in honor of the rain, here’s a clip from one of my favorites off the album, titled “Raining” of course. ¬†An exclusive full track sample just for you, my faithful readers!

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Music Friday: Jiggity Jig

(Photo by Tim Frenz)

Summer weekends means packing up my guitar and playing some music on a stage somewhere. This Friday is no different. In a minute or two I’ll gather my set lists, run through a few songs, pick out what the hell I’m gonna wear and hit the road.

Tonight I’m playing with the new band, Outlaw Sippin’, at a Grill Fest celebrating area farmers and ranchers by North Dakota’s capitol city.

Tomorrow I’ll take the stage with a different band to play music in honor of North Dakota’s 125th Birthday.

I just got a call from the studio where I plan to record another album this fall.

It will be nice to sit and focus on the music. I have some new stuff I can’t wait to get down and start playing live.

So to kick off the weekend, I’d like to give you a sneak peek of one of my new songs, performed for the first time on the Red Ants Pants Music Festival Stage last month with the boys.

Enjoy and share and “Come home again, Jiggity Jig.”

Peace, Love and Singing for my Supper,

Jessie
www.jessieveedermusic.com 

 

A breath.

Ever had one of those weeks where you have not allowed yourself one moment? Where you’re so scheduled that there’s no room to sleep in just a little bit late, to linger on a phone call with a friend, to take the long way home, to stroll instead of power walk or to take an extra minute on a decision about which cheese you want on your sandwich?

In fact, you’d rather not be given the option of cheese because that’s just another decision you have to deal with and you know it doesn’t matter anyway as you drip mayo all over your computer’s keyboard, a small but messy casualty that comes with your attempt at multi-tasking.

I hate it when I do this to myself. I hate the inevitability that sometimes, everything I have on my plate needs immediate attention in the same five day time frame.

I hate when I have to pencil in “breathe.”

So here’s my breath.

Take it with me with a glass of wine and the crickets and the sky and a big sigh by the man behind the camera.

Because I’m standing on the hill and I can see the weekend from here.

And it’s looking like cool fall breezes blowing, a new to-do list and a couple shots of Baileys in my coffee.

Peace, love and keepin’ it together,

Jessie

Heroes Proved

I’ve been writing music since I was a little girl. Some of it has escaped the walls that held me at the time, others have been locked up, unfinished, never ready to be played for anyone.

I have ideas. I try to show you. I try to tell it as I see it, or maybe as a stranger might. I try to share a little piece of me and my surroundings with whoever wants to listen.

I don’t always know what it is that I want to say.

Sometimes, if I’m lucky, the song knows better.

When I was in college touring the midwest in my Chevey Lumina, I wrote a song called “Heroes Proved.” It was the middle of winter in Northern North Dakota and I was cold. I was on the road and alone a lot. I missed home, ¬†the smell of the sage and horse hair, black cows and the way the grass bends in the breeze.

I missed the neighbors and how they would come and visit on Sunday and linger over coffee.

And I missed cowboys, the ones I was convinced no longer existed in the world, except the few I left behind,  scattered and  lonely on the quiet scoria road.

I didn’t know if I would ever get back to that place for good.

I didn’t know if that place even existed anymore.

I didn’t know anything.

“Heroes Proved” was my way of asking the world to slow down. ¬†I was desperate for it, but in a completely different way then I am now.

Now that I’m home and never leaving.

Now that I’m home and watching the world drive by–rushing, digging, kicking up dust on the way to meet the bottom line.

At 20 years old I couldn’t see the future. At 20 years old what I was writing felt so personal and disconnected from my peers. At 20 years old I couldn’t have known the progress waiting to barrel down that dusty road toward my family’s ranch, bringing me and the world with it.

“Heroes Proved” hasn’t been on my set list for years. I moved it out of the way to make room for new words and ideas.

I never considered that some of my songs might have become more relevant to me over time.

This is one.

“I think what you notice most when you haven’t been home in a while
is how much the trees have grown around your memories.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē¬†Mitch Albom,¬†For One More Day

This season remember yourself (at 5 years old)

Ok. Newsflash. The holiday season is upon us.

I know this because someone dressed me in suspenders, a bow tie and patent leather shoes and stuck me by this Christmas tree.

Now let me take a guess at what you’re doing in any of the spare time you may be lucky to possess.

You are making lists. Lists in your head about gifts to give. Lists on napkins about food to bake.  Grocery lists stuck to the side of the refrigerator that you forget to grab on your way out into the blizzard to get to the store. Lists on the back of your hand reminding you to add crazy uncle Bob to your Christmas card list.

I’m right aren’t I? But hopefully you’re not feeling the pressure just yet, as we have a good 24 days until Christmas. Oh, and by the way, thanks for taking the time to stop in, you know, between all of that baking and list making.

So while I have you here with me, I want to give you a little gift.

Close your eyes.

Put your head on your desk, or in your hands, or on the shoulder of your sweetie sitting next to you…

…and think about the season. Go ahead. I give you permission. Think about it the way you want to think about it. Love it. Loathe it. Tolerate it.

Now picture yourself when you were 5 or 6 or 7.

Shut up, neon was in. And so were earmuffs.

In the middle of December.

Picture your snowsuit. Think about the thrill of Santa’s impending visit, the pride you felt wrapping up that macaroni pencil holder for your gramma, the excitement of the first snow fall, the taste of your momma’s fresh cookies and your pops’ caramel corn. The quiet thankfulness you had for Jesus as you decorated the Christmas tree in preparation for his birthday.

Think of yourself, adorable I’m sure with hair wildly flinging out from your favorite beanie, breath heavy as you drug your neon sled, or wood sled, or cardboard box up to the top of the nearest hill and flung yourself down for the first time.

Remember how you couldn’t even feel your frozen cheeks as you closed your eyes tight against the wind whizzing by. You didn’t care about the weather or the windchill or the travel warnings or the buns you left in the oven. Because you didn’t leave buns in the oven. Because you were five or six or seven and no one let you use the oven.

Maybe your little sister was sitting behind you in the sled. Maybe your big brother was giving you a huge push. Remember the sound you used to make when you were thrilled? Remember how hard you laughed as you came to a crashing halt at the bottom–snow in your boots, snow in your hair, snow down your pants.

Yup, earmuffs, so fashionable, versatile anyone can pull off the look.

But you jumped up, brushed yourself off and just as soon as you yelled, “let’s do it again!’ your mom and dad came out from the house to call you for dinner and to your surprise, instead of making you come inside, they decided to take a run at the hill themselves.

So they climbed to the top with you, huffing and puffing into thier wool scarves, your dad holding your mother’s hand partly out of affection, but mostly to tug her along.

And just like that they were no longer adults. Just like that they were no longer parents who made you eat your vegetables, stop hitting your sister and clean your room. They were kings and queens of the mountain just like you. Their cheeks were rosy, their eyelashes coated in frost, their hearts pounding in anticipation as your mom wrapped her arms around your father’s waist and squealed– a sound so familiar somehow, although you swore you never heard it from her lips–as he launched the both of them, scarves trailing behind, like white lightning down the mountain.

And you held your breath and hoped your eyes did not deceive you. You clasped your hands together and bent your knees as they approached the little jump you and your brother had constructed. You closed your eyes as they caught air and seperated from the ground…and then from the sled…

You remained silent as they landed, with a puff, in a pile of legs and down and snot and wool and mittens, at the bottom.

You remained silent knowing surely that this accident, this launch, would transform them back into the people you knew only moments before. That a trip home right this instant was inevitable. Oh, the fun was surely over now.

And just as you were about to release your knees, slowly from their bent position, you launched into that jump after all as you heard, echoing off of the buttes and through the trees, laughter.

Laughter like you’ve never heard come out of these people you called parents before.

And you laughed too as you watched them lay there in a pile, their bellies rising and falling underneath the layers of coats and sweaters as they took in the next big breath only to release it again and again as huge chuckles, squeals, gasps. Pure joy.

So as soon as gravity returned you to earth your boots carried you, arms flailing, down the hill and to a sliding halt right into the middle of these new found friends. Then your brother or sister plopped right on the top and another wave of hilarity ensued.

And you were all there. You were all a part of it. A great big pile of happy and love and family.

A great big pile of friends.

Are you smiling?

Good.

Now the only thing I ask in return is this: ¬†if you forget anything this season–the cookie salad, your third cousin’s new last name, what your youngest daughter wants for Christmas, or uncle Bob at the airport–please, please do not forget yourself…

… at 5 or 6 or 7…

…and then be her again…

Music on video by http://www.danosongs.com