West Coast to Big River….and the beginning of Lent…

Crab cake at Monmouth

Evening, one and all, from some of the loveliest big front porches in America…on the bluffs overlooking Ol’ Man River right here in Natchez, Mississippi, where I gave a presentation today at the 23rd Annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration with my good friend and fellow wanderer, Davis Raines, one of this country’s most brilliant and underappreciated songwriters. We dazzled ’em with a little program entitled, “Come and Listen to My Story: Melodic Narrative in Country Music.” Sounds impressive, don’t you think? Anyway, the good friends and neighbors seemed to enjoy it, and we celebrated our success with a lovely ‘sit down’ dinner at Monmouth, one of the beautiful plantation homes of Natchez.

Fighting Okra catching some rays in Malibu...

Only two weeks ago, I was on the porch of a wonderful beachside eatery called Malibu Seafood, having Pacific snapper while watching the blue surf crash on the sandy shores so far from our own Gulf of Mexico. I was with a group of civic leaders from Cleveland, Mississippi who attended Mississippi Night at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live. Quite the festive affair…a lovely time was had by all as the group begins the groundwork for our own GRAMMY Museum Mississippi to be built on the campus of Delta State University. More to come on that…

With such a whirlwind of days flying by, the sacred season of Lent sort of snuck up on me, but I did keep my calendar clear enough to attend Ash Wednesday service at my church earlier this week. I hope for me, and for all of you, that this season will be meaningful and will draw us closer into God’s heart as we learn to deny ourselves daily in order to follow Him more closely. Someone shared this cool Lenten calendar with me called Busted Halo…contemporary and practical.

Won’t be long now until the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day parade in Jackson, Mississippi. This is the 30th year of the parade, and I plan to attend and do a little marching myself…stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it goes…should be fun:)

Until then, travel safe and take a little time this spring to sit on your Porch with a glass of sweet tea and ponder all the new life around you…miracles, one and all, great and small…pax.

Ya Yas and frocks…

Hard to believe that January is almost over…and thankfully, it’s been a mild enough month to actually sit on the Porch and do some pondering…nice:) Hope that February will follow suit, don’t you?

During the Christmas season, my two best ‘growing up’ buddies, Jackie and Paige, and I always get together for what we have lovingly termed, “The Gathering.” I’m not sure exactly what year we started, but it’s been going on now for at least half of our 50+ years. It’s a chance to put on our PJs, laugh a lot, and do pretty much NOTHING for about 24 hours. Pure bliss…

Ya Yas

Mom Walker and Luzon have gone on to heaven, and so our last remaining mama on this earth is the Matriarch, “Miss” Eleanor. We gather in her kitchen at Meadowview, and while she mixes together some homemade cornbread in HER mama’s cast iron skillet, we revert back to childhood and giggle uncontrollably at the retelling of some incident from forty years ago that still makes us act silly.

Mmmm....cornbread...

The focus of the Gathering was the impending nuptials this spring…the first born of the ‘petite’ Ya Yas (Jackie’s daughter) will be tying the knot in late March, and so this blessed event requires that we all go out to shop for a new frock. Yes, there. I said it. I have to go shop for a frock. I believe it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” I don’t think she was speaking in the context of shopping, but whatever….

I was in Jackson yesterday and so I made an attempt to enter a mall and make a purchase. Lord, have mercy….there was a SALE on and there were hundreds of women who were in their element in such a situation while I, on the other hand, was about to break out into hives. I had to wait 45 minutes just to get into a fitting room…so while I waited, I fired a volley of texts off to the Mother of the Bride extolling how I was making close to the ultimate sacrifice for her firstborn:)

Ok…I didn’t fall out or throw up, so all is okay….found two items that I will live with for a couple of days to see if one of them will work for the happy occasion. I’m sure to be a lot more comfortable in boots and jeans for the rehearsal dinner at the fish house.

I also got off the Porch last week long enough to make a quick trip to our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast to perform at a showcase in Bay St. Louis for the “Backstage Pass” arts event sponsored by our Mississippi Arts Commission. I am proud to be included on the Artist Roster of the MAC, and I appreciate all the work they continue to do to spotlight the arts and arts education in our lovely state. Executive director, Malcolm White, understands how valuable arts and artists are to our state and particularly to how they can impact the creative economy. Next time you have a little time on your Porch, take a few moments and read all about the Creative Economy in Mississippi and what it can mean to our future.

Showcasing at the Hollywood

Well, I’d better cut off the Porch light and get a little rest…looks like a busy week ahead. Y’all take care, and I’ll get back in touch soon!

Pax,

Tricia

 

Saturday in a small town….

I woke up to this lovely Saturday thinking of several errands that I needed to run, and with ‘run’ being the operative word, I decided to see what I could get done on foot. While spending a few quiet moments pondering a passage in Paul’s first letter to Timothy while sipping a cup of Community New Orleans Blend coffee, I realized what a gift it is to live where I can walk to campus, the post office, the bank, a grocery store, a coffee shop, an art gallery, the cleaners, and our downtown area of stores and boutiques…nice:) It’s a lot like my hometown growing up, although Fayette was a hamlet (Pop. 1600) compared to Cleveland (Pop. 15,000). From where I sit on the Big Front Porch, the leadership of Cleveland and Bolivar County are doing a good job working to build and sustain a nice quality of life for folks here in the Delta. If you’d like to know a little more about Cleveland, here’s a link to visit: http://www.visitclevelandms.com

And since it’s a holiday weekend, I wanted to mention two great men who share January 15 as a birthdate: Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and work made a positive difference in the lives of many, and my daddy, James Monroe (Jimmie) Walker, whose life and love made such a positive difference in mine. He left this world when I was only 18, but I believe he would have been so pleased with my musical career and all that it has brought me. I still miss him…

When I lived in Nashville, I had the privilege of hearing the multi-talented singer/songwriter Don Henry perform often at the Bluebird Cafe…I wanted to share his song, “Beautiful Fool,” with you all as we head into this holiday…I hope you take some time to sit on your Big Front Porch and ponder peace and justice…thanks for listening:)

Pax,
Tricia

Here’s to 2012 from the Big Front Porch….

Ok…no sense in adding the undue pressure of a hard and fast resolution to this post, but I do intend to try my best to bring you news from the Big Front Porch on a more consistent basis than I have been…’nuf said.

Here’s a glimpse of the Big Front Porch…it was lovely to sit on the porch yesterday on the first day of this new year and take a few moments to enjoy the smell of a wood fire, the colors of the sunset, the feel of the crisp winter air on my cheek, the sound of a hoot owl in the woods, and the taste of my sister’s perfectly cooked black-eyed peas. God is good…all the time. I hope you and your friends and family will take some time in the coming days to sit on a porch (inside, of course, if it’s too cold for outside sittin’) and be quiet long enough to hear the ‘still small voice’ within…

The Big Front Porch

And since we’re still in the days of Christmas, here’s a sweet little cedar that is our Christmas tree this season…cut from the fields of Secluseval…a special place.
Christmas Tree at Secluseval

Pax,
Tricia

New Gospel CD is on the way!

Tricia at the mic.
Tricia at the mic.

Hi, everybody:) It’s blazing HOT in good ol’ Mississippi (105 degrees on the bank clock today) and I’m still trying to find more time to update the blog here. I’ve finally finished putting the final touches on my new Gospel CD…and now it’s done! The title is “Farther Along”, after the old hymn, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

I’ll be performing two church concerts in a couple of weeks to mark the occasion. Friday, August 12 at 7:00 pm I’ll be at Holy Family Catholic Church in Natchez, Mississippi and on Saturday, August 13 at 7:00 pm I’ll be at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Mississippi. The musicians on the CD will be joining me for the concerts and I hope you can, too! More to come soon…stay tuned:)

This new-fangled age…

"Ah...the sweetest perfume of the South..."

In the midst of all the regular DMI and Big Front Porch admin work, plus trying to get a new CD project ready, I’m taking an online class! Yep…studying up a bit with the good folks at Berklee Music online, trying to get a handle on marketing music online. I agreed to this madness for two reasons: one is to learn new and better ways to connect with the wonderful Big Front Porch fans, and two is to see how the online environment works for teaching…so far, so good! So this little post (LONG overdue…my webmaster will be SO happy:) is partly for an assignment…thanks for obliging:)

The new CD is in the finals stage before mixing…been doing the licensing, going through artwork and images, working on liner notes…thanks for your patience…the title is going to be “Farther Along.” If I really get comfy with this blog set up, I’ll post an early mix for you…let me hear from you on the Big Front Porch…”where there’s room enough for everybody!”

Gospel Project

I’m getting ready to go into the studio and make some music…toe-tapping, soul-searching Gospel music…lift a prayer, chillun…this will be fun. 🙂