I drove home happy from my excellent experience in Northern Minnesota playing the Grassroots Concert Series in Nisswa.
I unloaded my car and took my puppy for a huge long walk to the bank to deposit my very nice earnings.
I jumped back in my car and drove to the Mall Of America which is strangely close to Rob's house, like only three miles away.
On my long drives I had time to decide what I needed to kick off my new Spring season.
This is an important time for me as a songwriter because I'm going to attempt to write the best album of my career.
Each album has been approached this way so don't be alarmed, I always put that pressure on myself.
It's no fun if you say "I'm gonna write me a real half ass-er of a new record this time".
I want the music to be of a certain tone, of a certain flavor.
I want it to follow my cover tunes record seamlessly and continue to reel in the listening audience I've gained by those recordings being out in the world.
So what did I buy with my careful small budget?
I bought a matching white retro inspired looking brassiere and high waisted matching panties set.
That was the most important thing to get because I always wear black bras and black tights or fishnets and that would be the crucial change to set a very new tone.
I was inspired by photos of the Nashville artist Nikki Lane who owns her own High Class Hillbillies Thrift Store in Nashville.
And I was watching all that old footage of Dolly on Porter Wagner's program, and I kept noticing the white bras...hard to miss in Dolly's case.
The opposite of Madonna's black bras later in popular music.
So I went to the lingerie department of Macy's in the Mall and I walked right up to the very first rack of underwear, and there, low and behold, was exactly what I had envisioned, in my size, and on sale.
They had the high waisted matching panties too, in my size and on sale.
I spent $60 and got the set, bull's eye.
Then I went to my favorite clothing store called Free People and bought a pair of Wrangler jeans, but not any old Wrangler jeans.
They're high waisted, wide legged, and cropped to the ankles, almost like culottes or gaucho pants.
They set a new tone with my western style short boots and flowered blouses and retro t shirts with old bands from the Seventies on them.
The jeans were almost a hundred dollars, but they are a game changer, so sometimes you gotta go for it.
Lastly, I went up on the escalator to the real western wear store called Boot Barn up on the top level of the massive Mall.
They have a million different cowboy hats.
I've got a tan one that isn't quite western from the thrift lady Marlys, and I've got a black leather one, but it isn't really cowboy straight up either.
I looked around the shop for a tan or rust colored one to go with the leather patch on my new jeans and the cinnamon colored western boots I have at home.
I found one that was $250 but that wasn't going to happen.
I asked a fun clerk in a cowboy hat what he thought I should get on my smaller budget.
He found me the perfect hat for $43.00.
That's the perfect price and the hat is awesome.
Last night I was invited out with Rob to see some friends at a restaurant in Minneapolis called The Hideaway.
It's very casual with a very fun atmosphere, right on the old cobblestone street along the Mississippi called St. Anthony Main.
They have live music there some nights but there were just people eating and hanging out there last night.
The owner is a good friend and fellow songwriter.
We were all gathered at a table of his clan and friends, so much fun, and Rob and I split a great cheeseburger.
I got to test run my new get up.
My hat was a big success in terms of positive responses from strangers and friends alike.
The jeans are comfortable, the foundation garments were comfortable, and I felt like I had a whole new lease on life.
I wore my tight little Led Zeppelin t shirt that's grey with a colorful design of a naked woman with wings like Pegasus.
I wore my rust colored velvet cape with the shearling collar from my Songs From The Open Road album photos.
I spent $200 and I bought myself a new vibe for my new album.
I promise it's not the end of fishnets and cut offs and black leather and silver studs.
It's just a fun shift for Spring 2020.
I've been offered a place to stay in Ely, with Tobi the puppy along for the ride, and as I've said, I'm gearing up to make this a reality.
New songs must be written now while I've got 'em on the tip of my tongue.
The new clothes will help, believe it or not, and I'm planning to have my daughter Nina drive up to take photos as well, to document the writing for the new album.
Also, if the Corona virus doesn't ruin all travel plans, I'll be out on the road in a week, driving with my son cross country to get him home from California to start graduate school later this year.
I'll be testing out my new look for that trip as well, Laguna Beach to Santa Fe, Santa Fe to Denver, Denver to Minneapolis.
We plan to be in Denver on my middle child Ava Vaughn's birthday, March 20th.
It should be grand, if health scares don't ruin the fun.
Have a great day.
It's a warm Sunday in Minneapolis and I plan to take down the Christmas boughs from Rob's front porch and get things ready for Spring.