So, now that I'm feeling so much better, the question of surviving in this strange time comes again to the forefront.
When I thought I might die of the Virus, which I did think for a while there, I kept telling myself that I was going to die with my finances in order.
My bankruptcy would go through and my children could have all my possessions at Rob's house and that would be that.
Somebody could have my Guyatone guitar, and somebody else could have my old Jeep.
Somebody could have my books and papers, somebody could have my hippie jewelry and my big wooden Martin.
Somebody could have the little GSmini.
Somebody could have the Tele with the C.Y. in glitter on it.
The black Martin would be for Rob, I'm sure, because he bought that for me for my very first tour.
My little homemade pedal board.
My little Orange amp.
My shelves of merchandise for my shows, in Rob's basement.
My favorite good china.
My favorite Waterford crystal champagne glasses.
I don't know, it doesn't seem like much, does it?
I got rid of so much, out of necessity, and out of an extreme desire to be simple and honest and unburdened.
I sold the big diamond ring long ago to fund a tour.
I remember going to jewelry stores and diamond dealers and discovering that nobody gives you even half for anything when you need to get rid of it.
Always know that.
Always know that it's all worth so much more before you drive it off that showroom floor.
Remember the scene where Ebenezer Scrooge watches as the pawn shop people argue over what his bed curtains are worth when he's dead?
That shit is real.
Now that I'm not dying, at least not from the Virus and at least not right this minute, there's the question of how to go forward and survive.
Nina is getting unemployment starting this week for $170 a week.
She will help us with that and also save up for her next big idea.
Rob is possibly going to be able to refinance his house, and he's getting paid by clients who are having him do mixing and mastering which requires no contact face to face.
I applied for unemployment but they wrote back saying I don't have a recognizable small business, nor do I have an employer.
Supposedly the rules are being revised for "gig workers" and the "self-employed" but apparently not quite yet.
I have been advised by so many to focus more on my Patreon site where music fans and arts supporters pledge a small amount monthly.
I've begun to use this, and I have three wonderful and brave patrons so far. patreon.com/courtneyyasmineh
My idea with Patreon is to write things and record live video footage there that doesn't fit on my website.
I've thought of monetizing this blog by putting it all under lock and key over there at Patreon instead.
But that takes all the life out of this spiritual practice.
This is my gift to you.
This is my message in a bottle to fans like Petra, and Lisa, and Jeff, and Ronald, Evie and Blake, Josephine and Debra, Pia and Sue and Linda and John.
People I dearly love, in cities where I've toured, and people here in Minnesota who I don't see often enough.
This morning blog is what I give daily to help out.
I see that when your art offers others a new perspective, or inspiration, or a feeling of connection to something outside of themselves, your art is helping.
Me writing this blog is helping, and I'm not going to withhold this in any way.
On Patreon I'm going to continue to create additional things, like today Im going to write a piece about John Prine's "Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness" and what it means to me.
Then I'm going to make an audio version of me reading the piece.
All of this will only be for those who join forces with me on Patreon.
Also, I plan to do an online concert from Uptown Sound Recording on May 1st.
That'll be the kick off of my next big move.
Between now and then I'm whipping my new songs into some kind of order, from chaos.
They are good solid ideas, and they go together well, and they will make a solid new album.
Rob Genadek, the brilliant producer, has sworn he will never work with me again for free or on speculation.
It kills our vibe.
It makes for resentment.
It takes away an important motivator for when the going gets tough creatively, which it inevitably will do.
Making a record with me is not easy and it isn't all that much fun.
I'm picky and impatient.
I'm quick on the draw and I change my mind constantly.
Nothing's ever good enough and I get mean....
Okay, that was then and this is now.
I've learned a lot.
The "Songs From The Open Road" album wasn't like that at all.
We had such reverence for those songs that we worked like monks, toiling in reverence over sacred texts.
Let it be said, here and now, that all writings and all songs come from the Divine and all should be approached as sacred texts.
I will honor what is channeled through me.
I will humbly toil over ordering the beautiful gem stones that have turned up in the dirt of my efforts.
I will polish them and set them in contexts for you to see and hear their glory.
Every word is not a gem, but there are gems in there and they have to be lovingly tended for full appreciation.
This is the work of a man like Rob Genadek.
He can sit with a recorded track, playing little bits of it over and over, adding tiny elements of his own on a drum or a mandolin or with his own voice, in the middle of the night.
I want to offer him a good solid deal to make my new album.
The new album will be made this Spring and Summer.
The new album will be finished and ready this Fall.
This is my best possible way forward.
New excellent songs, new excellent recordings, are the one thing that can guarantee my future possibilities.
Make no mistake, Courtney, this is your only best way forward.
If I want to continue to do this work of this life I love, then I must get closer to my message as a songwriter.
My message has to get closer to what we're living now.
My message has to be refined for what I have learned just this year, just since January when I went to New Orleans by a stroke of sheer magic.
My message is in between the lines of the songs I sing.
Songs of my own from past and present, songs by other great songwriters.
But the concert experience I want to give includes songs in the context of "what I know now", and "what I'm feeling about what's happening now".
Only I can make those songs and I have to make them, record them, memorize them, and add them to my show, now, while I'm at home.
I need Rob's expertise.
Rob is the only one who knows.
He knows the magic of my last album of cover tunes.
He knows the magic of my previous recordings, when there was magic.
He knows what my shows need now because he has stood on every stage with my songs, from Bremen to Paris, London to Dublin, New Orleans and Austin, to Duluth and Grand Marais.
He knows my fans by name and by heart.
He knows what they yearn to hear.
He knows what I need to deliver.
He can't write the songs for me, but he will know when I have a gem.
My idea is to raise the money for the new album and then begin, with him knowing that the money is there for him.
I want to raise $20,000.
The money will go to Rob and the players he hires, and the studio time, mixing and mastering, plus the printing of CDs and vinyl and t shirts and booklets, and the promoting which costs a lot as well.
I'm getting ready to start this campaign.
I don't want to start it until I have the songs ready for Rob.
I will have them.
I never thought I'd lay in bed for a week with a fever and write from the bedsheets, but it helped bring forth the songs I was thinking of but couldn't quite put my finger on.
Songs were on the tip of my tongue but the fever loosened my tongue like too much wine.
I'm positive there are some gems in the dirt and sand and rubble, but the sifting is gonna take some serious effort.
I will toil now, and Rob will toil further, and we'll toil together.
I can't waste anybody's time.
I have to give valuable meaningful beauty.
That's how I'm going to go forward.
God help me.
"Now and then we had the hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~Mark Twain
I'm not giving up on this dream.
I see my light come shining!