2014.... What a year already!

Hello my friends,

Apologies for the long over due newsletter.  Last year ended up being quite hectic for me.  I moved house in late October and by the time I was organized and almost unpacked, it was Christmas.  My new place is rather small but cosy.  I had to give away so many things like books and old vinyl records that I didn't have room for.  Don't worry.... I kept my favourites like Carol King's 'Tapestry'.  

Before I knew it my January was filled with festivals.  Chris, Patrick and myself had a wonderful time in George Town, Tasmania for the small but wonderful Tamar Valley Festival.  I made lots of friends and spent a record 8 hours in the pub on the Sunday afternoon to the early hours of the morning, singing my heart out and entertaining the crowds.  It was amazing.  There was even a man, who threw away his walking stick and began dancing.  Another highlight was the standing ovation I received for the Joan Baez Tribute Show.

After Tamar, the guys flew home and I got a lift to Hobart and stayed with Roger Joseph and his family.  Roger organized a concert for me in Hobart.  I even appeared on the local ABC to promote the concert.  It was a full house and a satisfied crowd, so Roger and I were very pleased.  

I also got an opportunity to explore Hobart.  It is such a beautiful city.  Unfortunately, my knees didn't like walking up and down the hills too much, and my already torn meniscus in my right knee was aggravated.  By the time I got to Newstead for the music festival the following weekend, I could barely get up and down the stage as my knee had swollen up quite a bit.  Despite it all, we rocked the festival and got a glowing report in Trad an Now.
February was busy with practice and finalizing the cd 'Shining', which was a live recording from the Joan Baez Tribute show taken from the sound desk at Andrew Pattison's Burke & Wills festival in 2012.  Graham Wilson carefully put it together over many hours of painstaking labour and Trevor Pearson provided the beautiful photo that was taken live at that festival.  The Troubadour foundation assisted with getting the cd to production as I was skint after moving house.... the joys of being an artist.

March saw me again at Port Fairy Folk Festival, but this time as a performer with the band.  Again, it was such a moving and amazing experience for me as an artist.  We (the band) were well received and even earned a mention in Rhythms magazine on the festival.

But the highlight for me was the standing ovations on both occasions at Port Fairy for the Joan Baez show.  On the Sunday afternoon especially, St. Pat's Hall was overflowing with people....everyone stood up and applauded for what seemed an eternity.  I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the audience.  The sound was fantastic, people were patient with each other and pointed out available seats, despite the stuffiness and the heat.  I felt like I was in 'the zone'.  It was like there was this magical link between the story, the songs, the way I was singing and the audience.... we were all connected in a magical sort of way.... Someone said it was as if I had 'channelled Joan Baez', which was very humbling.  For the first time in my life, I have come away with this sustained belief in myself of me as an artist.... It was so amazing!  I had wonderful other serendipitious moments too, jamming with diners at the Italian restaurant in town, in the green room with some wonderful young people and meeting so many wonderful people.... It still gives me a high just writing about it.... So thank you to Jamie and the crew for inviting me to perform at the festival.  I cannot express enough my gratitude for the gift that I received from the audiences.  

Even more amazing was the woman who was stage manager at one of the Joan Baez shows, who had a daughter in the States, who was good friends with Joan's son.... how serendipitious is that..... I believe that Joan has my cd's now at her home in California.  I would have never dreamed that this would have even been a possibility at the start of the year... and now it is.  I am so blessed!

I got another opportunity to present the show again at Burke & Wills Winery later on in March, the day before Peter Rowan performed....As many people were staying overnight on the Saturday for Peter Rowan on the Sunday, I started an impromptu session after dinner that went on till late.  We all had a ball!  I love getting people to sing.  Everyone has so much fun... it is pure joy!  I even got to hang out with Peter Rowan and sing with him over the next few days whilst he was in Melbourne.  How lucky am I to be surrounded by such greatness.... what a humble man!

I went with a friend of mine to the National Folk Festival, just as a participant and had a wonderful time as well.  One of the highlights was leading a singing session in the session bar till 3am... and meeting Woody Mann.  I can't believe how amazing life has been these past few months.  I have begun to lay the ground work for my next cd, and I am pleased to say that Shane O'Mara will be producing it.  I wanted to stretch myself a little bit, just a little bit more than the folk sound I have on the previous cd's.  One of my favourite artists at the moment is Patty Griffin.... and I do like the production on her cd's, especially on her latest cd.  So that is a type of sound that I would like to replicate on my new cd 'Roses'.... Now to raise the funds.... I will keep you posted on the details.

So other than cd production, I also have the regular singing and songwriting sessions that I run once a month.  I am after a new venue at the moment for the Songwriters' session as my local pub has become too popular in recent months and renovations have taken away the private room we had....so if you know of a venue with a quiet room, let me know... I am also busily rehearsing for a 'Seekers' tribute show at the moment that is coming up...and I am really enjoying listening to the beautiful bell like and pure voice of Judith Durham and the amazing harmonies that the guys in the group put together.... What a talent!

Thank you for your eyes and ears .... I hope you enjoyed reading and looking at the photos. Hopefully, I'll get to another newsletter in a couple of months.

Blessings and thanks to you all!  Love, Suzette

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