Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Time for Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!
It's Thanksgiving morning in the Phelps household. We'll be celebrating away from home later in the day, which presented the opportunity to sleep in, an opportunity for which I'm extremely thankful! And as the year winds down into the holidays, Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to reflect on the many blessings this year has brought.
Because of online social networks, I've been able to reconnect with friends and former classmates, the kind of folks I would sometimes wonder about, "Whatever happened to..." In days gone by, I would have continued to wonder. We are blessed to live in an amazing time.
One of those reconnections was a woman I often sang with back in Lexington. Jennifer Yount Baker and I sang together in various groups and always for fun. She made the trip to Danville and Lexington last weekend, giving us the chance to harmonize again.
Since moving to Indianapolis, it's been a blessing to make so many friends that I've been able to play music with and who have encouraged me to keep working, to record, to develop the thumbstyle guitar, and to start writing lyrics.
The high point of the year, musically speaking, has been sharing in Richard Propes' 20th Anniversary Tenderness Tour and having If You Come Up Empty included on the compilation CD, Give a Girl a Chance. Looking at the list of artists included on that album is humbling to say the least. I often joke that it's the only time my name can be used in the same sentence with Carrie Newcomer.
However, folks like you are the blessing I least want to overlook, folks who read these posts, come out to shows, buy CDs, share my music with your friends and offer your support and encouragement. You bless me more than you could know. Thank you for being friends and fans.
My prayer is that this Thanksgiving finds you grateful. Whether you are celebrating with a large group of family and friends, gathered in a more intimate group, or just going about the normal business of your life, may this holiday and this season be a time of grateful reflection for you as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back to the Bluegrass This Weekend

You can take the boy out of Kentucky, but sooner or later he'll go back.
This weekend holds the opportunity to return home and play in two wonderful coffee shops located in the heart of the Bluegrass. On Friday night, I go to Danville, Ky. for a two-hour set at The Hub Coffee House and Cafe. The Hub is a delightful cafe in downtown Danville, just a few blocks away from the campus of Centre College.
Then on Saturday, I will play the 9:00 set at Common Grounds Coffee House in Lexington. Common Grounds is in my old stomping grounds near the University of Kentucky campus. It will truly be a return home for me to be back on High Street.
As if that's not enough, the following weekend--after Thanksgiving--I get to go back home again to play a two-hour set at Main and Maple, a coffee shop in old town Nicholasville, Ky. on Saturday evening.
I'm expecting a lot of old friends and a few family members for these shows. If you can't be there, or even if you can, could you help spread the word? I've set up a page on my web site where you can download flyers for each of these shows. You can print them, save them, post them, send them to friends. Anything that helps get the word out will be appreciated.
Having these trips back home will make Thanksgiving extra special for me this year. Wherever you are, I hope that you enjoy a blessed time of gratitude for this holiday.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Frosty Mornings and a Swing Through Kentucky

The past couple of mornings have greeted us with frost on the grass. We're getting the flower beds and our little garden plot settled in to receive the winter snow. Soon the holidays will be here, and I'll be taking a little rest from the year's vigorous performance schedule.
However, a few more gigs have me pumped up for finishing out the year, including more gigs with Patchwork at Strange Brew and at a new venue for me, Bar Louie in Carmel, Ind.
Before and after Thanksgiving, I get to make a swing through central Kentucky and play at some of the finer coffee houses in the Bluegrass. The Hub is located in downtown Danville, just a few blocks from the campus of Centre College. I had a great time playing there earlier this year and look forward to being back on Friday, November 20.
Then on Saturday the 21st, I head to Lexington to play a one-hour set at Common Grounds, located in the Chevy Chase part of Lexington, my old stomping grounds near the University of Kentucky campus. Several friends and family are planning to come out for this one, so it's shaping up to be an outstanding good time.
After Thanksgiving, on Saturday, November 28, I get to make a return trip to Main and Maple in downtown Nicholasville, Ky. You can take the boy out of the Bluegrass, but you can't take the Bluegrass out of the boy. It will be good to visit back home.
I hope this finds you doing well. If you can, come on out for a little fun and acoustic folk before settling in for that long winter's nap.