May Concerts Coming Up Fast!

Dear friends in music and more,
I hope spring has revived a sense of wonder and creativity in your life! I know some of you find yourselves in hard times due to illness, family struggles, or other concerns, and my heart is with you. May the blooming flowers comfort and encourage you. Others of you must be enjoying reasons to celebrate—a birth, a graduation, a success, a good day well lived! Many of us are experiencing both hard times and reasons for joy and celebration all at once. Life is complicated like that. No matter what today holds for you, I wish you well and I wish you good music!

“The tulip returns each spring to bloom, reborn anew from winter’s tomb. My heart also opens to the sky, to the sun, to the warmth, the butterfly!” ( a line from my 2018 song, “You Feel So Near”)

When I catch myself waiting impatiently for the tulip to bloom, I remind myself to enjoy the crocus and daffodils already in bloom in my yard. The air smells so alive right now after the long winter in Wisconsin. I love stepping outdoors!

Update on my concerts coming up:
Friday, May 10 7:30pm  Wild Hog in the Woods (solo concert) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the “Willy Street” neighbored in Madison, Wis. (wildhoginthewoods.org)

Sunday, May 19, 7:30 pm  Peter Mulvey’s Lamplighter series concert with Katie Dahl and Randy Sabien at the Cafe Carpe in Fort Atkinson, Wis.  Note: these concerts sometimes sell out. Get your tickets at this link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4172589

Thursday, July 18 7pm  Driftless Books & Music, in Viroqua, Wis., a co-billed concert with the 2019 WAMI Award nominee John Stano

July 31 Farm to Table Dinner benefit for the Rock Co., Wis. RECAP program

Aug 10-11 Shawano Music Festival in Shawano, Wis. – a wonderful music festival in a lovely part of the state. (More details on when I will be performing as they become available.) 

You can always see the latest schedule of my events at  kaiafowler.com/shows and on my Facebook page. If you’re on Facebook, please check out my singer-songwriter page. While you’re there, please like and follow me to stay connected. (Search for Kaia Fowler singer-songwriter on Facebook to find my page.)

One Breath album update:
I have been making good progress on my tracks for the album and will soon be bringing in musicians to contribute to the project:

  • I am excited to announce that Milwaukee-based percussionist Nathan Klein–who displays true artistry in working with singer-songwriters–will be recording with me.
  • Also, the marvelous Jeff Mason (Rose Among Thorns and Merry Horde member and solo artist) will provide lead and additional guitar color.
  • Much-loved Madisonian Johnny Widdicombe will be providing stand-up acoustic bass on several of the songs.
  • The wonderful Tricia Alexander will be blowing blues harmonica for “Ridin’ Along”. (Yes!)
  • Finally, Joe Jencks, one of the most popular folk artists in the U.S. (and Ireland), will be arranging and recording harmonies for “Take Shelter in Love”.

I am so incredibly thankful to these amazing musicians for their interest in working with me on this project! 

I am happy to say that One Breath is shaping up beautifully, and I can’t wait to get it in your hands. If you want to pre-order or donate to support the project, please use my Square site at this link:  One Breath album pre-sale and donation campaign site. (It’s a secure site, but you may send a check if you prefer not to use your credit card online. Just include a note about what thank you gift you’ve selected, please!) 

THANK YOU to folks who have already pledged or donated! Your support helps me do more with my music! It means so much to me, truly. 

And thank you to everyone reading this email! Your listening and attending shows makes it possible for me to keep sharing the songs I write with the world. We have such beautiful musical experiences together! I’m so grateful. 

So, “Im coming alive and feelin’ alright” now that the frogs are “singing by the pond.” I hope this email finds you well, too. 

In wonder and gratitude,

Kaia

Summer Musings and News

Dear music friends,

“Can you hear the June bugs tappin’ at the screen?” Thank you for your patience with me as I continue to develop a vision for my album One Breath, which I had hoped to release in May.  The work remains in progress and I keep writing new songs, so it’s either getting longer or the next album has already started to arrive! This Saturday June 9 from 7:30-9:30 I share music in Burlington, Wis., and on Saturday, June 23 I return to the Café Carpe to share the evening with my friend and fellow singer-songwriter John Stano. New songs seem likely to want to be shared at one or both of these concerts. Please visit my website (kaiafowler.com/shows) for details. Now for the musings . . .

My good friend Ken Fall recently showed me an essay he wrote, and it got me thinking about Summer. Not summer, the season, but Summer as a bigger concept, as a way of living, as a state of being. For many of us who grew up in America, summer break represents freedom and wide expanses of time for exploration and play. Most adults engage in careers, family life and other commitments that crowd out Summer, and as Ken says in his essay, vacation—no matter its length—cannot come close to creating the Summer experience of our childhoods. Yet, he argues, we can resurrect Summer for ourselves by how we choose to live in each moment and each day, through our thoughts about our lives, and through decisions we make about what we do and how we do it. (At least that is what I took away from reading his essay. I invite you to read the essay titled Manifesto for a Resurrection—posted here—and what it says to your heart.)

What did you love doing over summer break as a child? Flying kites, riding bikes, swimming at the lake? What can you do today—or this summer—that will bring you that feeling again? Our time constraints and physical limitations may alter what, when, and how we create Summer now, but they do not have to rob us of Summer completely. I am thankful that he reminded me of this opportunity to create Summer as we walk along the lakeshore path, pull weeds in our gardens, wait for tomatoes to ripen, or simply sit on the porch and breathe the warm air.

This reminder comes at an especially opportune time for me because I am in the midst of a transition year. After over 20 years of parenting as my primary life activity and main responsibility, I find that phase of my life ending abruptly. My younger son becomes an adult this summer and heads off to college in the fall. As I watch his childhood come to an end, I find myself drifting from the dock of mothering, the tether loosening, lengthening, letting go. Where will the water currents and wind carry me? Though I feel the loss inherent to endings, I hope to grieve this loss smoothly and swiftly. How much better to see this period of my life as a Summer, to be explored and relished with joy!

I hesitate to express any longing for freedom and life exploration because it makes it sound like I view parenting as drudgery, as unwelcome labor, and I do not. I feel no longing to be free of mothering. Just as when I was a child, I didn’t chafe to be free of the school year. I always loved schoolwork. During summer break, I looked forward to fall when school would start again. I relished the sense of purpose and achievement school provided. Likewise, I have always loved the work of mothering my children (even if there were some moments I didn’t much like!). Mothering is good work, creative work, hard work, and I feel grateful I was given the chance to do it. What I mean when I say it’s better to see this time as Summer, is that I choose to approach the changes in my life with play. I know I have other good work to do in this life, and I look forward to approaching it with a sense of abundance.

So, as I feel the sorrow of goodbye, still my heart leaps with all the promise of the open sea and the seaworthy vessel of my life. I continue, now mothering adult children, and still singing and writing songs and sharing them with the world, doing my part, earning a living, loving my family and friends and the strangers I pass on the street. I am thankful to Ken for the reminder that Summer hovers within reach in this moment, a thought, a feeling, a perspective away. Wishing all of you a lovely summer, and many wonderful experiences of Summer now and always!

In sunshine and in summer storms,
Kaia

P.s.
I am reminded as I write this that—for children who live in poverty—summer break doesn’t represent freedom and play. Children living in food insecure households face higher risk of hunger in the summer, as they no longer have access to free or reduced priced lunches at school. There are some summer food programs, and local food pantries help. As important as government assistance programs like SNAP (food stamps) and WIC are to families and our economy, they provide an insufficient safety net. So, if you’re interested, FeedingAmerica.org provides some great ideas for getting involved in ending hunger. They don’t have all food pantries listed, though, so I recommend people look to their local county social services office if you or someone you know is in need. Wishing abundance for everyone!