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Author Archives: AllisonM

makeshift may 13, 2014

ImageHe walked in looking for the cigar bar that used to occupy the space where I sat just inside the door, right at the window, making my quilting stitches. He seemed confused. He asked Carrie, who manages lf8, where it had gone. She did her best to direct him toward the new locale for the stenchy establishment, and as he turned to walk out he took a quick look around the shop and at us and said, “so what is this now, woman’s work?”

Carrie and I both laughed and said yes, we supposed it was.

Woman’s work. Work for a woman.

Image 1

I don’t know about y’all, but I work pretty hard and spend very little time being pampered or sitting on my tuffet eating truffles. And the same goes for every woman I know. I’ve got a four-year-old son that has made me physically stronger than I’ve ever been before in my life, and I’m a singer/songwriter, so that means I’ve spent years throwing instruments around and have moved my share of amplifiers and cases, and have even loaded a van or two. I may not look like much but I’m no delicate flower. Yes, my hands are nimble. I can make nice, even stitches. But they can also wrap around the neck of a guitar, wield a hammer or wrench when they need to, be firm guides for my little guy, or solid sisters for my friends.

They do woman’s work all the time.

I suppose I could have been mistaken for someone not quite so dimensional, as I sat in the pretty blue chair that Lisa Fox, proprietress of lf8, put in the window for me to sit in while I worked the red stitches into the turquoise Alabama Chanin DIY coat kit. The cigar-hunting man didn’t know that I was finding rhythm in my labor of supposedly feminine art as I loved my thread and worked it in and out like I was taught to do by previous generations of women.  Women who did woman’s work.  He didn’t know that I was finding songs, poetry, and most importantly, quite possibly, a few non-gender specific thoughts there. But I was quiet as I sat and sewed. I was serene. I was being seen and not heard.

Woman’s work. Work for a woman. I could make the woman’s work list right now but I’m not going to. I’m just going to shake my head, smile, and know exactly what a woman’s work is as I remember that sometimes it’s just when you think you’re getting somewhere that someone comes up and wants to blow smoke.

Makeshift 2014

Allison is happy to take part in Makeshift 2014, and will be sewing at lf8 in the afternoons from 2-4 on Tuesday, May 13 through Friday, May 16. Not only because she likes to, but because she wants to take part in a conversation about connecting hands, needles, and thread, to make a living art instillation of a person making something, and to also celebrate the work and artistry of her friends Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin and Lisa Fox of lf8. She would love it if anyone who wants to join her would do so.

http://lf8elevate.com/

http://www.alabamachanin.com/

Blues for Dixie at Joe’s Pub May 22

There’s something about being born in the south that you just can’t shake. It never leaves your blood, no matter where your life may take you. I’ve been all over the world and still have Spanish moss hanging all over me. It’s in my vowels and dropped g’s, in my gestures, in my tendency to want to monogram anything that will stay still long enough, in my longings, in my music, and in my dreams. Someone asked me once how long I’d lived in New York City, and when I replied that I’d lived here for years, he asked me how I hadn’t lost my accent yet. I told him I couldn’t if I wanted to and that just for the record, I did not want to.

I’m celebrating it all with 75 minutes of music at Joe’s Pub on May 22nd. I’ll have a killer band with me and we’ll work out some of the best songs about the south, new and old. I love where I live, but I’m proud of where I’m from, and I want to sing about it.

love, allison
nyc, 4/7/2014

new album in the can

I’m so very happy to report that my new album, my eighth one (that’s hard to believe somehow) is all recorded. There is still plenty left to do, but the part I have the most to do with is done. I’m calling it “Down To Believing,” because not only is there a song called that on it, but it sums up everything the record is about. It all just comes down to whether you believe or not in the end, doesn’t it?

Stay tuned for more news as I get it. I’m hardly in the driver’s seat of the record company decision making vehicle, and honestly, I don’t want to be. I’ve heard for years how much more money can be made if you start your own label, if you do this, if you do that, but the truth about me is, I don’t want to run a label. I think I might know a little bit about how to at this point (emphasis on the little bit), and I give major propers to those artists who want to take it on, but I guess I’d rather take a lesser share and leave time in my life for other things. I’m so blessed to have both a way to make music and those other things. Thanks to all of those that help me in both regards.

Happy almost spring.
A.

heading back in…

I’ll be going into the studio in Nashville next week to hopefully finish up work on my upcoming album. Kenny Greenberg, who produced my first two albums is at the helm along with me this time. We’ve gotten a lot of good stuff in the can already and we’re excited about getting this one done. Stay tuned…

Oh! A song that I wrote with my friend Jeffrey Steele has been in “Nashville” for the past 3 episodes. It’s called “This Time,” and my version is up on the new side of the music page.

See y’all soon.
love
allison

solo shows

Hi & Happy Sunday.
Thanks to everyone who came out to my shows this past week. I had a great time reconnecting to you and to myself musically in a way that I hadn’t in a while. I’m going quiet again until after the first of the year, but there will be more shows soon.
Love,
Allison

30A Songwriters Festival January 2014

I’m so happy to say that I’ve been invited back to 30A this year. If you haven’t been, it is such a good time. Great writers and music and food, and who can argue with the beach in January?

The 30A SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL is a three-day music festival featuring more than 150 songwriters and over 200 performances in venues ranging from intimate listening rooms to spacious outdoor amphitheaters amid a backdrop of brilliant white sand beaches and turquoise waters along scenic Highway 30A in Northwest Florida. For more information and constant updates, please visit the website: http://www.30asongwritersfestival.com/

set my soul free

The new song on the music page is one I wrote a few years ago. The story behind it is kind of amazing, if only to me. I was on tour somewhere in Germany, in a bottom bunk of the bus curled up with my son John Henry, who was about eighteen months old at the time. Touring with a baby was fun but stressful, and I was bone tired.
I don’t know what woke me, most anything can now that I have that mother hear-a-pin-drop ability, but I opened my eyes and these verses came through me in waves. They were in my father’s voice, without a doubt. I felt around for my trusty iPhone so that I could get them down (what did we writers do before the memo pad on our phones?) quickly. I knew they would go through me and leave if I didn’t write them down that instant, much like he makes a visit to me every time I move into a new house; he just comes through and takes a look, then he’s gone.

We recorded it at House of David last summer. I had a 102 fever.
guitars: Kenny Greenberg
acoustic guitar and vocal: me
upright bass: Brad Jones
drums: Chad Cromwell
strings: Eamon McLaughlin
knobs: Richard McLaurin and Adam Bednarik

september 4, 2013

While it isn’t quite fall yet I can feel it in the air. One of the best things about living in New York City is that we get it early, and it’s nothing short of spectacular. I live very close to Central Park, on the Upper West Side in a tall building where I can monitor the progress of the trees. When I moved in they were just getting full, and now I look forward to the reds, ambers, and browns that are soon to replace the lush green I watched develop only five months ago. Cycles are interesting to me. Everything and everyone goes through them. There is a season for all things, yes indeed.

Play List # 1

1. Driva’man – We insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite
2. Lay It Down – Al Green
3. Words – The Bee Gees
4. Wasted and Ready – Ben Kweller
5. Oooh Love – Blaze Foley
6. Trouble in Mind – Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
7. Let It Grow – Eric Clapton
8. Skylark – Hoagy Carmichael
9. The Loved One – INXS
10. Crawl – Kings of Leon
11. Going Back to Cali – LL Cool J
12. Mazzy Star – Halah