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BETTY BUCKLEY (VanityFair.com)

LINDA RONSTADT (VanityFair.com)

DEBBIE HARRY (VanityFair.com)

RICKIE LEE JONES (VanityFair.com)

EDIE BRICKELL (VanityFair.com)

NELLIE MCKAY (VanityFair.com)

SHERYL CROW (StarPolish.com)

 

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Welcome to My Dream  

My EP Dream: Live Recordings from the Map Room is out Dec. 22! All six songs were performed in a small room at the very cool Bowery Electric in NYC. For a few years now Joan Chew and Graig Janssen have been accompanying me at shows. We figure out the arrangements during our rehearsals, and these fantastic musicians are quite adept at coming up with parts that not only fit but enhance the songs. Plus they sing background! I’m so lucky to have them working with me.

Here's the cover art, which I designed using…

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One Dreamy Song 

All I have to do is dream.

What a beautiful line. It could be the thought of an artist, a child looking to the future, a person starting an exciting career, a political visionary.

Or someone in love. Did you hear the close harmonies of the Everly Brothers when you read those words? Their recording of “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” by the songwriting couple Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, came out in 1958 and has certainly endured, landing at No. 141 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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A Quarantine Production 

I wrote “I Can’t Touch You (Supermoon)” early on in the pandemic, inspired by missing people intensely and by April’s supermoon. I did a video of it for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest, and some time later, with going to a studio out of the question, I got the idea to extract the audio, consisting of vocals and my rhythm guitar, from the video to create a digital single. (Luckily, my iPhone 11 records in stereo.)

But I wanted to enhance it, so I asked Graig Janssen, the guitarist I normally do live shows with, to…

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Bobby (and I) in St. Louis 

My husband, Robert Rosen, and I were supposed to be in St. Louis this month. We'd gone in October last year so that Bob could do a reading from his memoir, Bobby in Naziland: A Tale of Flatbush, at Subterranean Books, an indie store on a popular strip called the Loop, near Washington University. Bob had a great turnout, including relatives and friends of ours—I grew up in the area, and my two siblings, Cecilia and John, and my nephew Sean live in the city. 

Robert Rosen checking out his book Bobby in

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Country Cat/City Cat 

I grew up in rural Missouri but am now a total city cat, in NYC. However, my husband, the writer Robert Rosen, and I were very happy to take our first vacation since the pandemic, house-sitting for Bob's brother's family in the Hudson Valley--a beautiful place complete with horses, chickens, deer, and Sphinx the cat, who joined me in this video. So a quick hello from the country, upstate New York style--and a taste of things to come...

 

"Fourth of July" (a Song) 

This past Thursday night I got the idea to write a song called "Fourth of July" that would reflect the difficult time we find ourselves in and what this says about the United States. I wrote a couple of verses and had an idea for the melody but wasn't sure about it and decided to let it go for a while. The next day I cleaned the apartment and did a few other things before recording a couple of other melody ideas, which varied from slow/bluesy (I imagined it sung a cappella) to rock. I thought I'd hit on a…

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Streetwise in Soho, Part 2: Say Their Names 

“Fight for a future that doesn’t need memorial murals of Black people who have been killed by racist, sexist, and transphobic violence.” —Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, artist
                                                                                                                                                               

 

 

Streetwise: photos from Soho, NYC 

New York is art, and after many windows were boarded up following looting during a few protest nights, those boards became canvases for inspiring messages, as did sidewalks, a pocket garden, and a beloved coffee house.

Pandemic Supermoon 

Nearly every morning I wake up with what feels like a literal heavy heart, even though I am very lucky in terms of my circumstances during this shocking pandemic. I live with a human (my husband, Robert Rosen) and a cat (Oiseau), both of whom are comforting, funny, and just great to have around. However, I have family and friends who live far away as well as friends who are nearby but whom I can’t see anyway. Missing these loved ones, I began to write a song called “I Can’t Touch You.” Then, in early April…

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Mustapha Khan's American Anthem 

A couple of years ago, the filmmaker and songwriter Mustapha Khan played me an early demo of his galvanizing “Song for Our People.” Not long after that, his wife, Allyson Smith, told me that Mus had booked a Brooklyn recording studio for a day to not only record the song but to film the entire process for a documentary, and that this would involve many singers and musicians—and a tap dancer! 

How amazing to see the result last Thursday night, in a film of the same title as the song, at the SVA Theatre in…

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