My Ambitious Mind

I promised someone I'd make this the title of this morning's blog post: My Ambitious Mind.

A risky thing to do, making a promise like that, since I usually go with whatever inspiration strikes when I'm drinking my mug of coffee.

But this title stuck with me, so here we go.

I have always had an ambitious mind.

When I was in Kindergarten, I really strongly remember having big ideas about singing.

If there was any kind of singing going to be happening, I was on it.

There was a music teacher who rolled in a cart of musical instruments, mostly percussion stuff and a little wooden autoharp.

She was blind. I'm not kidding, she was totally blind.

I was a little bit afraid of her because of that, but I knew what a special person she was too.

Kids got assigned to be her helper and help roll her cart around and walk with her so she made it to each of her classes.

I didn't mind doing that but it wasn't my favorite thing to do because her being blind was scary to me.

She was very thin and tall and feminine and she dressed well, in pretty dresses with matching coats.

She did not seem wealthy or poor, she seemed like a fairy who lived without means, without effort, existing like a succulent plant that takes it's nourishment from the air.

Very strange indeed, especially to me at the age of six.

I didn't love her but I liked her a lot.

I always sat right in front when she worked with us so I could really get in on the music making.

I took it seriously.

If the other kids were talking or goofing around I told them to stop.

Because she was blind she sort of needed help keeping the unruly kids in line and I was all too happy to be that guy for her.

I did not ever care whether the other kids liked me or thought I was cool or popular or anything.

I liked the teachers and I cared what the teachers thought of my talents and abilities.

I cared what the teachers thought of my work.

I especially cared in the areas of music and reading.

My mom worked at the public library and she often brought me along for her entire shift..I think maybe that was like four hours...and all there was to do was read books or play with the hand puppets. I did both of these things.

I learned how to read as a result long before Kindergarten happened, so when I finally went to school I was raring to go, happy to be chosen to read out loud. Stuff about Spot mostly: "see Spot run", "run Spot run". Not very challenging.

Ambitious mind.

I had a naturally ambitious mind.

I wasn't trying to be better than the other kids, I just wanted these certain opportunities.

I did not at all want to be the lead in the play. I didn't want to be in the play or the skit or the dance performance at all.

I just wanted the best singing part. If there was a chance to sing, especially to sing alone, I went for it.

We learned "This Land Is Your Land" then. I remember singing it with the other kids.

I remember the blind lady teaching some of us the upper harmony part.

I sing that song in my shows now.

And I always sing the part she taught me, even when I sing it solo.

My Ambitious Mind is always thinking up stuff for me to do and it's always a big challenge.

When I have the funding, I am able to do everything I think of.

Every good song gets a cool music video.

This is one of my confounding issues right now.

Every good song recording deserves, needs, a music video.

My Ambitious Mind is thinking about ways to get around the funding blockade between me and my Youtube presence.

My song "Hey Lulu" we all know needs a music video.

That's probably the main one right now.

Well, Ambitious Mind, get after it.

My first day of Kindergarten 1967.

March 2019

This week I have some time so I'm making this week my March 2019 planning week.

I want a lot of cool stuff to happen in March 2019.

I want to have a new album launch in Minneapolis for my cover tunes album that WILL come out then come hell or high water as they say.

This week I'm going to work on setting up that special concert date in Minneapolis.

I'm also going to work hard at setting up the album launch tour for Europe in March.

This tour will be the duo I believe, and then full band in September, but you never know, we could be a trio for March even!

The shows I can set up this week will make all the difference.

So, today I will make a one sheet press kit to give to club owners and publications who don't have time or interest..yet...to sift through all the nifty stuff on my wedsite and social media.

That's what I'm working on today, the one page press kit.

When it's finished it'll be at the top of my press page here on my website and I will be able to send it as an email to all potential promoters and booking agents.

Wish me luck!

this blog is working!

I've had this website for a long time, like maybe eight years.

With the website hosting I receive a Google analytics report once a month.

I mentioned this recently in a post but I want to say more about this because it's exciting to me, and maybe to you as well since it's you who are making this happen with me.

I used to update my website when I had a tour or a new album to announce.

I kept the calendar updated.

The social media links update themselves, but I wasn't active every day on social media, so the streams for Twitter and Instagram were almost non-existent.

This all began to change when my son graduated from high school and wen to college and I finally had the freedom to push harder for the career and life I had always envisioned.

One thing I did was I got involved with Songs And Whispers out of Bremen, Germany. I committed to being in Europe for six weeks which was never possible when I had children at home.

That promotional company works in sort of a pay to play format, so it's a bit off putting for artists because it's hard to make the money work out on one of their circuits. But it's impossible to make the money work out when you set up your own tour as a completely unknown artist too. Songs And Whispers gives you a leg up because their concert series have a loyal following of their own so you play to a sort of built in audience. And those who come know to listen so you get a respectful audience as well. And if you're really good they will buy your merchandise and fill your hat that you pass during the break.

I was given a great gift when I did those first Songs And Whispers shows. Somehow in those performances I saw a glimmer of what I had envisioned for myself since my first solo as a very young girl. I remember standing in the balcony of the packed big church in Chicago on Christmas Eve in my white robe and holding my battery powered candle, no guitar, no original material yet, just me singing Away In A Manger with another girl, a friend of mine in the choir, we got to sing that song a cappella in harmony. I remember the feeling and I knew it was why I joined the choir. I knew the presence of the Holy Spirit in that big crowded church, everyone hushed to hear the Holy Spirit riding on our voices. I don't know how else to describe it to you, but the Songs And Whispers concerts brought me that feeling again. I knew again that singing for people was what gave me this feeling.

Well, I did two of these Songs And Whispers tours, two years in a row, in 2017 and 2018. By the end of the one in March 2018 I felt that I had made some real connections, better than ever before, with many fans in Europe. Some of these fans had been following my independent touring for many years already, some of these fans had just discovered my music. 

The big thing that happened was that when I got home in April I felt a strong desire to stay connected to the people who I cared about and who cared about me as a musician, as an artist. I felt a strong desire to send everyone emails and texts and facebook messages telling them how the plane trip home went, how my dog was, how it felt to be back in Minneapolis, how the new recordings were going to be revived after their tragic disappearance. So much to say, so many to tell.

One more thing was that I used to write "morning pages" as prescribed in The Artist's Way. I love that book and I try to take all of her advice. I have said before that I filled many many paper journals with hand written entries over many mornings for many years.

I decided it was time to take this discipline I already had and already enjoyed, and blend it with my desire to update my fans.

Also, as I have been saying, I feel like what I am attempting is unique and interesting. Determined to become an international superstar, I write from a rather intense perspective right now and I think that adds excitement to this project.

"Powerfrau Courtney Yasmineh turns life long obsession with the music of Bob Dylan into a successful music career of her own"

That's the headline we're going with guys.

So, the blog is working...that's my point....the blog is working.

My Google analytics reports have gone from telling me that ten people visited my website this month to telling me that one thousand people visited my website this month.

I think the blog is helping people who are curious about me and my intentions to understand exactly what this is all about.

I think you can read these entries and get a clear picture of the woman, the artist, the projects, the momentum, the determination, the intention, the destiny, behind what I am and what I do.

 

Sunday

Last Sunday I took my mother to church.

Today I'm not doing nothing for nobody.

I'm officially calling today my day of rest.

Rock on soul sisters and blood brothers.

I love you.

so far so good!

I played my first Riverview Series concert last night and I loved it!

The sound there works out great. It's not too loud, people aren't talking too much.

People care and they are generous buying my recordings and books.

A nice glass of wine, a nice bunch of people, a pretty place with pretty lights inside and out.

A garden store right across the street to look out at and a lovely old movie theater showing films just on the opposite corner.

Next door is a full restaurant, the Riverview Wine Bar, with a fireplace and a great menu.

I couldn't be happier with this arrangement.

Five blocks from home for me.

I felt that I could play solo and not be a disappointment, and I played straight through for two and a half hours without a break.

I still had many more good songs I didn't play!

I have plenty of material for a long evening like that.

I can switch between acoustic and electric guitars and make enough of a variety of sounds to include all of my back catalog of original material and songs I love from other artists that I've collected over my forty years of playing guitar and singing.

Also, I swear to God, my voice is the best of my life. I think it's just because I am using it a lot and I am insisting on a very wide range in my vocalizing so my voice is really being exercised. I remember watching an interview with Linda Ronstadt who always had such an excellent voice, and she said that during her best singing years when she was on Broadway with the Pirates Of Penzance she sang six to eight hours a day. If you're using good technique you can sing a long show and not hurt your voice.

I love to sing for people. I really do. I think I love to sing for people more than anything.

Tonight I will have Rob G accompanying me for a three hour show in Faribault, MN at the 10,000 Drops Distillery.

I am ready to go and looking forward to it!

Here's me last night at The Riverview....

 

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