MP3 Juliekayclark - Fly Free
Folk rock with a bit of the blues.
12 MP3 Songs in this album (51:22) !
Related styles: FOLK: Folk-Rock, COUNTRY: Country Folk
People who are interested in Bonnie Raitt Janis Joplin Lucinda Williams should consider this download.
Hello there…I started life as a $12 baby born at the Amarillo Texas Air Force Base on July 14, 1953. I grew up in a family of seriously out-of-control discord due to the fact that my German dad and Italian mom were so hopelessly different as to ever hope to mesh…add in the kickers of alcohol and infidelity and it was a true formula for disaster. My childhood was spent hiding inside my head, dreaming up schemes and singing myself songs about how my family’s problems might someday be solved…all the while trying to seem as normal as possible to the outside world. This was the birth of my sense of always feeling on the outside looking in. In my child’s mind, everyone else’s family looked so happy and loving. I now know that many of us felt we were on the outside looking in and that few families were picture-book happy.
When I was a freshman in high school, we moved
to Dallas where the fragile thread holding my parents together continued to unravel. Once I graduated, I escaped to Austin, Texas. Unfortunately this left my baby sister, Cindy, home alone with my feuding parents. I’m so sorry sis, I know it had to be hell. Yet it was time for me to follow in the footsteps of my adored older brother, Larry, and begin studies at the University of Texas.
My greatest quest was to find a way to take care of myself so I would never have to be dependant on a man if that meant living the kind of life my mom lived with my dad.
Thanks to the amazing music scene in Austin, I was inspired to buy my first guitar, the same beloved 1969 Gibson Country & Western that I play today. It was at this time I started writing songs and wrote The Master and the Dog while camping with my dogs on the Pedernales River west of Austin.
One summer around 1972, my friends and I went to a pop festival outside College Station and while there one of my dogs got sick. We rushed her to the Texas A & M Veterinary School and I can still remember the chill I felt walking through those doors and realizing how I’d always dreamed of being a veterinarian. Something most definitely clicked and I spent the next six, long, nightmarish years in a struggle to get into and through vet school.
By the time I graduated vet school, my mom had reached a critical point in her relationship with my dad (she’d attempted suicide and at various times gone after him or one of his girlfriends with a gun or her fists). I knew I would never want to live (and someday raise kids) around that kind of turmoil so I offered to take my mom to California where most her family still lived. I was shocked when she actually agreed to go as I thought she would never be able to give up her crazy obsession with my dad. What was truly insane was that trip to California! I had accumulated fifteen cats, a slobbering dog and two finches while in vet school. So, here I was, all these animals and me in an old station wagon with my Italian mom following along behind me in her Lincoln Continental. It was a very long journey.
For the next 22 years, I married twice, started my own veterinary practice in Camarillo, California and raised my twin daughters, Lindsay and Kelly. By October of 2002, two years after my daughters had graduated high school, I could no tolerate the sadness of watching animals suffer while witnessing their owners grieve. I sold my veterinary practice and my home. It took a cross-country trip and 6 months in Connecticut to admit to myself what I truly wanted to do…I wanted to go back to what I’d started out doing when I first moved to Austin after graduating high school… I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. With that firmly settled in my mind, I drove myself back to California and began the long and confusing journey of learning how to sing and how to write and perform songs.
In 2004, with my broken heart in hand from yet another failed relationship, I went to San Francisco and shared an apartment with my daughter Lindsay. I was filled with a fierce determination to study with anyone and everyone who could help me progress with my songwriting and performing. I found so many wonderful teachers to whom I will forever be indebted.
One of my greatest task masters and musical mentors, Jai Josefs, taught me countless songwriting tools, making me write a song a week. I am especially thankful for the instruction he gave me on groove as I was quite grooveless before he got a hold of me! I also am thankful for the amazing Raz Kennedy who worked so tirelessly to help me loosen up the way I clung to trying to muscle the sound when I sang rather than just letting it be. Then there was the incredible and insightful Susie Davis who helped me pull it all together with her masterful guidance and that fabulous vocal cd of hers. I thank all my teachers at the Blue Bear School of Music (Randy Clark, Janak Ramachandran and so many others). I will forever be in awe of the musical genius of Bonnie Hayes and Steve Seskin was one of the sweetest and most gentle song critiquers with which I have ever studied. Andre Pessis was so encouraging and helpful with my lyrics when I was at the very beginning of my songwriting efforts. Then there was the dynamic and completely wild theatrical vocal coach, Richard Nikol, who gave such attention to breath and technique. Katie Guthorn was one of my first vocal instructors and she saw me at such a vulnerable point in my attempts to sing. She was so patient and persistent in spite of my slow rate of progress. Pat Pattison is the teacher to whom I will be forever grateful for stressing the power of verbs and in whose class I wrote Flagpole. Last, but not least, Brian Thomas Poirier and CeCe Cannavo changed the course of my life when I took their performance workshop, now called Authentic Performance. They coaxed me out of my shell and Brian even got me my first real gig at L’s Café in the Mission district.
Before taking Brian and CeCe’s workshop, I made my first trip to Nashville for an NSAI conference. I remember thinking, “I simply must move here” before I had even exited the airport! But when I returned home, I talked myself out of moving. I didn’t want to leave my daughters and the rest of my family and friends. Yet, once I took the performance workshop and had my ongoing gig at L’s Café, something in my gut said it was time to go.
I moved to Nashville in September of 2007 and it was more than I ever hoped it would be. It is amazingly friendly and much slower paced than California. Most importantly, it led me to the brilliant Kim Copeland who produced my four cds starting in June of 2008 and wrapping in February of 2009. Kim had such vision and helped me learn so much. To my good fortune, she brought in the fabulously talented Joe Spivey to play harmonica and all the stringed instruments on my cds (except bass). Joe literally breathed life into my songs. I’ve never experienced anyone with such an amazing ability to find the exact notes that perfectly match the lyric and mood of a song. Then there was the wizardry and the magical ear of engineer Kelly Schoenfeld. I now know and appreciate how much a gifted engineer can take music and match it to the dream. Kelly was so patient with me and he found the exact sound that I was hearing in my head. He definitely deserves a grammy for the award winning tuning he did on my voice! To top it off, Kelly brought his good friend Rick Day to the project. Rick did a phenomenally cool job of laying down all the percussion on the cds and did so with the greatest of ease. Rick does bongos-gone-wild on My Big Bellied Man! Finally, the master bass man with the cool and goofy personality, Jim Hyatt, laid down the grooviest bass anyone could ever hope to hear. He’s a total labrador at heart! I love his antics on Are You Man Enough. As for now, my quest is to continue to follow my heart and trust that it will lead me where I need to go. I continually strive to hold onto the belief that everything turns out as it needs to even when I don’t understand what’s going on at the time. What I certainly know is that it never works for me to control my life and try to force it into some preconceived idea of how it “should” be.
I have come to learn that I frequently do not have a clue what is best for me (take my taste in men)! In actuality, I have an uncanny ability to persistently get right in my own way. The only thing that seems to work is when I simply float along with the river of my life. To do that I must continually muster up some faith in myself so I am able to trust that I will be okay no matter what may happen. Without that trust and faith, my fears take over and I spend all my days and energy doubting and resisting the course my heart needs to take.
Throughout my life I have resisted the fact that I am a terrier at heart…that anxiousness and restlessness are in my DNA! (Italians are terriers by definition). I am now trying to embrace the benefits of being a terrier…we terriers get a lot done, we’re persistent and we’re fast. Still, if I am ever to have any peace and hope to maintain my cool, I must daily, moment by moment, work at channeling some of the mellowness of golden retrievers…woof !
I am so thankful that life has been sweet as of late. In order to fully cherish it, I consciously strive to not spoil it by worrying too much…not an easy task for a terrier! I desperately want to allow myself time to breathe and to forgo the hamster wheel that my life can become at times. Can I just trust that I will get done what I need to do when I am ready…that I don’t need to be on my back all the time…that I can be a valid human being without being busy every minute? The question I keep asking myself is why can’t I trust myself to work when I need to work, play when I need to play and do nothing if that’s what my body and mind seem to require? It has always been extremely challenging for me to go through a long period of stagnation…the down time I now call my “cocoon phase”. It’s the time when my soul needs to regenerate…
when I’m grieving a loss of some kind or when I’m going through a transformative stage. Each time I’m in a cocoon phase, I must fight with myself to allow myself the down time I need without feeling guilty. My greatest fear is that life is passing me by while I’m stuck in limbo waiting to heal or grow. Sometimes I’m afraid that maybe this time I won’t be able to break out and fly again.
It doesn’t help that my primary awareness while I’m in the cocoon is how alone I am while everyone else seems to be having wonderfully full and happy lives. Loneliness jolts me right back to that outsider feeling I had as a child. Yet, for maybe the first time in my life, I may finally be ready for a bit of peace…to simply let myself be without all the judgment. Here’s to hoping that each of us succeeds in the quest to find a little peace.
Thanks so much for listening! Love, jkc