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Anni Blog March 1, 2018

Hello to All! The March toward spring is upon us… exciting month! Full Moons on March 1st AND March 31st (another Blue Moon)… clocks spring ahead on March 10th & the first official day of spring is March 20th! I am working on a new tune at Dan Merrill’s studio (more on that ABOVE & in ”Cerebral Wanderings”)… & I am SOOO psyched to announce I’ll be opening for Cheryl Wheeler on May 10th at One Longfellow Square! It’s been years since we did a show together… the link for tickets is below, in the Short List AND in the Target List… trust me, this show WILL SELL OUT!

I am still ecstatic about my monthly shows at both Lenny’s (Westbrook) & Toddy Brook (N Yarmouth)… & I continue to share my music in Senior Living Centers & Veterans’ Homes… most of these concerts are for residents only, so I only list the “public” venues below… without furthers, here’s all the news, in this order:

2. TARGET GIGS (Full Details)


Thurs, March 8 / Lenny’s / Westbrook ME / 6:30PM
Fri, March 9 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM
Fri, April 6 / JJ’s / Old Orchard Beach ME / 6:30PM
Thurs, April 12 / Lenny’s / Westbrook ME / 6:30PM
Fri, April 13 / Toddy Brook / N Yarmouth ME / 6PM
Sat, April 21 / Elements Books, Beer & Music / Biddeford ME / 8PM
     (Coffeehouse Vibe… DONATIONS in lieu of door fee)
Fri, April 27 / Biddeford-Saco Country Club / 6:30PM

Thurs, May 10 / One Longfellow Square / Portland ME / 8PM
     opening for CHERYL WHEELER (who sells out always)
     LINK for Tickets HERE

2. TARGET GIGS (Full Details)

THURSDAY / MARCH 8th (& APRIL 12th) / LENNY’S / WESTBROOK ME / 6:30PM / 207-591-0117… Lenny’s is on Rt. 302 at the old Al Hawkes Plaza… you know, with the guy out front swinging a tool box? Bill Umbel created this eclectic, down-to-earth venue & named it in honor of the late, great Lenny Breau. So happy to be part of the family here, playing once a month… the vibe pulls you in, hugs you, feels like home. Grab some pals & head over… bring your appetite for food & music both. Here’s a link to Lenny’s.

FRIDAY / MARCH 9th (& APRIL 13th) / TODDY BROOK GOLF COURSE / N YARMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-829-5100… EVERY TIME I play here we all have a blast! I play every 2nd FRIDAY, every month. I’m a Yarmouth native (pronounced Yahmuth”)… this spot is just over the town line in N Yarmouth, but it feels like home to me. The food’s great, the view’s inspiring, the people are wicked friendly & my voice floats nicely in this room. You might consider calling in a reservation for dinner… I’ve seen some pretty packed nights in here. No need to be a member, but if you come, you’ll be treated like one! Here’s the Toddy Brook website.

FRIDAY / APRIL 6th / JJ’S EATERY / OLD ORCHARD BEACH ME / 6:30PM / 207-934-0222… this is a fave hang for the locals, including yours truly. I play here every other month & I always arrive with bells on, as they say. Year round, JJ’s staff & patrons are full of life & that “Cheers” vibe that can warm y’all on even the coldest of winter nights. This is an all ages hang with great food & beverages. I suggest y’all come early & stay late. Here’s their website.

THURSDAY / APRIL 12th / LENNY’S / WESTBROOK ME / 6:30PM / 207-591-0117… (see March 8th for details)

FRIDAY / APRIL 13th / TODDY BROOK GOLF COURSE / N YARMOUTH ME / 6PM / 207-829-5100… (see March 9th for details)

SATURDAY / APRIL 21st / ELEMENTS BOOKS, BEER & MUSIC / BIDDEFORD ME / 8PM / 207-710-2011… If you’re a fan of intimate spaces where artist & audience can easily connect, this is the place for you. It is DEFINITELY the place for ME… it’s like performing in a living room with added perks…the food offerings are eclectic & healthy & YES, they have beer & wine. Performers are paid by donations & a percentage of food & bar sales… so bring your friends, eat, drink, sing along & make our collaborative evening a big success… Here’s their website.

FRIDAY / APRIL 27th / BIDDEFORD-SACO COUNTRY CLUB / SACO ME / 6:30PM / 207-282-9892… it took a while for me to catch up to the right person to land a gig here. My debut in May 2017 was fun as all get out, so I keep goin’ back, whenever they’ll have me! This is a spacious room with views of the grounds, great food & gregarious, life lovin’ patrons. Never been? You’ll probably run into all kinds of people you know if you come… I play 3 sets, 6:30 to 9:30… come early, have dinner, stay late… you DON’T have to be a member to come, but they’ll treat ya like one anyway… here’s their website.

THURSDAY / MAY 10th / ONE LONGFELLOW SQUARE / PORTLAND ME / 8PM (DOORS @ 7PM)… opening for CHERYL WHEELER! I have had the honor of & the absolutely fabulous FUN of opening for the one & only Cheryl Wheeler many times, most of them back in the day when we were both budding “newbies” as singer-songwriters on the road. Our first show together was on Martha’s Vineyard in 1985 (or ’86?) when we had both just released our first albums (yes, vinyl.) I have some stories to share… but not HERE! Perhaps I’ll spill some tales in Portland on May 10th… do NOT miss this opportunity to see & hear Cheryl… especially if you haven’t heard her before… if you HAVE… well, then, you already know why she always sells out. SOOO PSYCHED for this one! Get your TICKETS HERE while there ARE some!

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Sometimes you’re just called to do things… you get a strong nudge from the universe that can’t be ignored. Here’s what happened to ME when I heard my name in the wind:

I was introduced to a project called Warrior Songs via a Vietnam Veteran friend of mine, Bob Stakel. Bob learned about Jason Moon on the internet... an Iraq Vet from Wisconsin who came home with big time PTSD & tried to kill himself twice… after intense therapy he began to heal himself by diving back into his music. He wrote songs about his difficult experiences, created “Warrior Songs” as a springboard from which to share his songs & stories… THEN he began to visit other Veterans & gather THEIR stories & get them set to music with the help of other songwriters. Check out the website here… money from his projects has been used to create several retreats for PTSD Vets from around the country to help them begin their own healing, allowing them to tell THEIR stories in a safe & supportive environment. Pretty cool stuff.

My pal Bob decided to do a concert fundraiser for Warrior Songs… I played at the fundraiser last October with other musicians, including Bob. We learned Jason’s title song on his first CD “Trying to Find My Way Home” & played it as a band, Bob & I taking different verses. This was not an easy task… the song hits pretty hard…. but we did it. We videoed it & Jason Moon was moved to put our LIVE version up on his website. We sent him $2,000... (Bob matched what we took in, the sweetie that he is.)

Jason was taken with my solo set at that concert as well… he checked out my website, asked Bob about me & then e-mailed me directly to ask if I’d be interested in co-writing a song with a female Veteran for the "Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2” project due for release in November of this year. I was hesitant at first, not knowing if I’d be up to the task. But then I thought… what a missed opportunity not to TRY! I don't usually write other people’s stories unless from an observer's viewpoint in my daily life… MY interpretation of what I see, you know? I said yes… Jason paired me with a gal who lives in the Adirondacks now, but she’s a Native American who was brought up in Temple ME, just outside of Farmington! She is now a celebrated published poet, a healer of sorts to much acclaim, a singer-songwriter & one who still works with other Veterans in many ways. She had no idea who I was while I wrote, using her 2 page “rant” of “this is what happened to ME while I served our country.” I had read some of her poetry to get a feel for who she was before I got her notes… but that really didn’t prepare me for her REAL story… (My song when it’s released, will tell you THAT story.)

After 10 days of reading her notes, every day in the morning over coffee, a song poured out while I walked the beach. (I write outdoors & in the car a lot!) Next day I began to shape some chords around the lyrics & of course, the edits began... to get things to fall into “the pocket.” I had to remind myself of Jason’s urging me to be true to her “rant” but somehow steer the song into a rally cry for women to support one another in the military. He wanted a “strong chorus.” He didn’t want “all dark.” In the end, it would be the Veteran’s decision as to whether the song was a valid depiction of her story or not. The ball was in her court. Suffice to say, for 10 days & then 5 more as the music came to fit the words, I ate, drank & slept her story… I was at times so bummed out & angry that I didn’t want to eat, let alone see anybody! Very powerful & unsettling.

I made a rough draft on my iPhone, sent it to Jason, who wrote back in 10 minutes saying ”this is perfect, absolutely perfect.” He sent it to the gal in NY & to his “committee” for rough draft approval. The gal loved everything but expressed concern that one point might not be clear… I changed one line & we had a home run.

Jason has given me the go ahead to record the song where I want, with whom I want… Dan Merrill will be my co-producer in his studio on Loring Street in Portland. I’ll be cutting basic tracks on Sat, March 3rd with Ronnie Bouffard (drums) & Pete Masterton (bass)… & hope to get a reference vocal put down. After that, Dan & I will work on recording some overdubs in as we hear them, feel them. I hope to get Andy Happel in there to add some violin parts… we can hear those already!

Pretty moving project. I was changed in the writing process. How I could NOT be changed? What I realize now is that this is only ONE of too many stories of trauma, pain & sadness that our servicemen & women face & try to heal from… many don’t heal, they kill themselves instead. I can only hope that bringing these stories to light might prompt others to reach out to these people in need. They HAVE to tell their stories… otherwise, the memories eat them up.

If you are moved to want to help in any way, you might begin by sending a donation to the fundraiser for the “Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2” project, which will include the song I just wrote. Here’s the LINK.

Even if you aren’t able to contribute, please read about the project & watch the video… you’ll get a sneak preview of my tune in progress & you’ll understand all that is involved in bringing this & other projects to fruition. Maybe the universe will call your name to take part… Jason Moon, our Veterans & I will appreciate any & all efforts to engage.

Meanwhile, THINK SPRING Y’all! I’ll be hoping to see you down the road, one place or another… as always, thanks for tuning in to all my ramblings… your support means the world to me.


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6 - JJ’s - Old Orchard Beach ME - 6:30PM - 207-934-0222
12 - Lenny’s Westbrook ME - 6PM - 207-591-0177
13 - Toddy Brook Golf Club - N Yarmouth ME - 6PM - 207-829-5100
21 - Elements Book, Beer & Music - 8PM - 207-710-2011
27 - Biddeford Saco Country Club - 207-282-9892

10 - One Longfellow Square - Portland ME - 207-761-1757
     Opening for Cheryl Wheeler!
     Cheryl always sells out… get your tickets early!

11 - Toddy Brook Golf Club - N Yarmouth ME - 6PM - 207-829-5100
17 - Lenny’s Westbrook ME - 6PM - 207-591-0177

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Old Orchard Beach ME 04064
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