It’s Labor Day on the Big Front Porch…the “official” end of summer. Time to put the white shoes away (does anyone still follow those fashion rules?) and begin to prepare for fall and winter…even if the temperature was still in the 90s today in the Delta.
I heard lots of lawn mowers up and down the street today, and two beautiful hummingbirds visited my feeder in their own preparations for the journey ahead. So before I dive into the bulk of the fall semester, I thought I’d reflect a little on my summer ‘vacation’….
My work at Delta State includes the summer months, so what vacation I take I usually squeeze alongside a gig here and there, and such was the case this summer. As it turned out, a couple of those gigs were with the Women in the Round…a songwriter group made up of myself, Karen Staley, Pam Tillis, and Ashley Cleveland. We’ve been singing together between other careers for almost 30 years now, so it was great to with them again. We were booked to be the first act of the summer for the Bluebird at Blackberry Farm series in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. What an absolutely gorgeous place, and what an honor to perform in their very cool venue.
Then just last week, I made the trek up to Nashville for a double show with the Women in the Round as part of a documentary film about the Bluebird Cafe`. I had the opportunity to disconnect for awhile during the interviews and filming, and I tried to really be present and savor each moment, knowing what a gift it was (and still is) to be able to sit in a circle of incredibly gifted and talented friends and share the fruits of our labors with an appreciative audience. And as an added treat, Connie Smith, my former boss and Sweetheart of the Grand Ole Opry, sat in with us and sang her smash hit, “Once A Day.” The WITR have been many miles together over many years and through countless ups and downs, and we’re still writing and singing. One thing I did over the summer was to digitize about two dozen cassette tapes of WITR performances at the Bluebird from the late 80s and 90s…I’m hoping to put a website together to share some of that WITR music and hilarity….stay tuned…
But here’s what else I’m REALLY excited about….I’m working on a NEW record! There. I’ve said it. During spring break last March, I locked myself away at a cool undisclosed hideout in the Delta to finish writing seven new songs to put together with four old songs and one cover…the working title of the project is “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter Eye”…more songs and stories about this complicated South. I plan to release a special single this fall and release the entire project next spring around my birthday in March. In this digital age, I’m working on a redesign of the BFP website and scrambling to pull together my social media platforms in a more organized way, so I hope you’ll look for the Big Front Porch Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram pages and ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ along (or whatever the young folks do).
Thanks for reading…now I’ve got to go find a place to put those white shoes. See you again soon on the Big Front Porch…where there’s room enough for everybody….Tricia