So, my mother didn't know anything about making albums per se, but something she DID teach me helped me get through a recent challenge we encountered while making the latest Zoe Speaks CD. See, we found out a few weeks ago that there had been a hard drive crash involving our project, and that data had been lost. It turned out that not all of it was gone, but we were set back several months in having to re-do a lot of our harmony parts and instrumental solos. I felt SO frustrated and put-upon, but after a while a memory surfaced. My mother was a brilliant seamstress (just like HER mother), and she made sure that I learned how to sew when I was growing up. She started me on easier patterns, and we worked our way up. At some point we graduated to making a dress, which required that I learn how to sew in sleeves. And since it was the eighties, those poofy sleeves were popular and I had to sew in GATHERED sleeves, which are especially fussy. Well, even the most experienced tailor can get flummoxed when sewing in a sleeve--you have to turn the garment AND sleeve inside out, and basically sew inside a small tunnel of fabric. There are several points where things can go wrong, and when I was first learning, they often did. I would diligently sew all evening, get the sleeve all pressed and pinned, sew it in, and......turn the dress right side out for the moment of truth, only to find out that I had screwed it up, with a seam on the outside, or the wrong side of the fabric facing outward. Out would come the seam ripper, along with some tears of frustration, and I'd have to take out every stitch I'd sewn and re-do the whole painstaking process. At some point in my feelings of self-pity over our musical setback, I felt like mom was at my elbow, reminding me that sometimes you just have to get out the seam ripper and do it over again. I don't know why this happened, but I am grateful for the real-world lessons my mom gave me that help me to be strong and resilient in the face of challenges, and, just like with that tacky dress I made back in 1986, I am DETERMINED to finish the project and make it better than it was before. Thanks, mom.
Kentucky Songstress, Dancer, & Inspiring Educator.
Cowan Creek Mountain Music School
Come join this small, close-knit group that gathers in my home county every year to celebrate our rich mountain heritage of lively tunes, heart-felt singing, spirited square dancing and storytelling. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or accomplished musician, eight years old or eighty, you’ll have the opportunity to dig deep into the rich repertoire of Kentucky music and gain experience playing with other musicians. I'll be teaching Intermediate Clawhammer Banjo. To register: www.cowancreekmusic.org
Summer Reading Kick-Off Concert
This free concert will be fun for all ages and all are welcome! www.scottpublib.org
Pioneer Salt Works Festival w/Zoe Speaks
We are tickled to play near Carla's beloved Redbird River, in the county where she is related to most of the population! Times and workshops tba.
Food + Art + Health Conference
Yani Vozos and I will give a presentation on our project Cornbread & Tortillas at this innovative new conference! Registration is FREE! Visit the site for more details: http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KAC/Vibrant/FoodArtHealth.htm
Cornbread & Tortillas w/Appalatin
Stay tuned for more details about this extravaganza of an evening, starting off with our collaborative production showing connections between Appalachia and Latin America via music, dance, and stories, entitled Cornbread & Tortillas. We'll finish the evening with sets from Zoe Speaks and Appalatin, the two bands who collaborated to create the project!
Arts Day in Frankfort w/Yani Vozos
This is an event hosted by the KAC in Frankfort---details coming soon!
Zoe Speaks and Appalatin!
We will break it down for you from A to Z...Appalatin's fusion sounds of Latin and Appalachian vibes, and Zoe Speaks' mountain-tinged originals. Whether you say frolic or fiesta, we're gonna have a good old time! Tickets: https://willieslocallyknown.com/events/appalatin-zoe-speaks-2/
Women's March Anniversary Rally
I'm excited to stand with SHEROES in support of equal rights for women and ALL people at this event in downtown Lexington, and lead some songs of RESISTANCE!
Cornbread & Tortillas Keynote Presentation
This will be an AMAZING WEEKEND of food, dance, and community in a very special spot near where Carla grew up. Yani, Paulina, and Carla will share more about what C&T is doing, and perform excerpts from the show. To register, visit: https://www.hindmansettlement.org/programs/cultural-heritage-programs/dumplins-dancin/
Zoe Speaks @The Coffee Pot Concert Series
This will be a fun show with the trio....for complete details visit www.centerforarts.net
Zoe Speaks @Appalachia In The Bluegrass
This will be a free lunchtime concert with the trio! https://www.as.uky.edu/tag/appalachia-bluegrass
In These Fields @ Berea Celebration of Traditional Music
I can't wait to perform this Folk Opera by Silas House and Sam Gleaves again, at the venerated Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music. Details here: https://www.berea.edu/appalachian-center/ctm-schedule/
From Appalachia to the Andes
We are excited to perform for the Boyd County Hispanic Heritage Fiesta!
Cornbread & Tortillas Festival
A celebration of Kentucky and Latino Cultures! Una celebración de culturas latinas y kentuckianas. Visit this festival for crafts, workshops, dancing, food, music, jamming, and fun for the whole family, followed by the debut performance of the new work featuring Appalatin, Zoe Speaks, and more at 7 PM! Everything is FREE! Visita el festival para artesanías, talleres, baile, comida, música, y un concierto a las 7. ¡Todo es GRATIS!
Come with your young'uns and we'll all sing and have a big time! Free and open to the public.
Cowan Creek Mountain Music School
This amazing week of learning in my hometown is a must-attend for lovers of old-time Kentucky music. I'll teach singing and songwriting, and there are also classes inbanjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, singing, old time string band, and storytelling! For more information, visit: www.cowancreekmusic.org
Appalachian Family Folk Week
I am so excited about this family-friendly getaway! I'll be teaching old-time flatfooting and, for the first time ever, "Granny Life Skills 101", where we'll quilt, can, sing, and learn how to take care of ourselves the Appalachian way! A whole heap of awesome classes are offered--check it out: https://www.hindmansettlement.org/programs/cultural-heritage-programs/family-folk-week/
A mellow event with food trucks and wines to taste. I'll be playing solo in a rare Lexington appearance.