I spent the most wonderful month in the USA! Sept/Oct in New York, Nashville and Memphis.
Sharing personal time and musical paths with old friends and connecting with new ones, and also meeting more music industry people. As a tourist I enjoyed summertime and my skin feeling blessed by the warm sun every day the whole time. And I had the best foods from different cuisines!
New York – It was my second time there, exactly a year later. I saw great shows – X at Stage 48, Blondie at Tilles Center in Long Island, Artists Against Extinction at The Bitter End and the official Harlem Gospel Choir at BB King’s on 42nd Street. I took a good tour of Harlem, saw Bill’s Place – the venue where Billie Holiday was discovered, The Palladium, went to church for Sunday Gospel Choir, bought CDs and ate amazing soul food. Participated twice in the New York Songwriter Collective workshops run by my dear friend Peter Bliss at Planet Studio on W 54th Street and I went to a Broadway musical theatre talk. With Peter we finished co-writing a song we started last year. I performed at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village and also at a fundraiser gig at Lucky 13 in Brooklyn for Joey Image, the Misfits’ drummer. Lucky 13 felt a lot like being in a Camden venue and people and the other bands were really friendly. The promoter offered to arrange more gigs for me next time I’m gonna be in New York. Hooray!
I was staying in Bushwick (Brooklyn) and it was perfect. So much street art all around and exhibitions! Great organic food shops and the best thrift stores too.
As a tourist I went everywhere possible. I love going sight seeing because it gives me so much happiness and inspiration. Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Staten Island, the High Line, Chelsea Art Galleries and the list goes on…
One day I took the ferry from Manhattan to Far Rockaway and spent meditation time on the beach by the Atlantic Ocean. Sound of laughter in the wind, smell of sea salt, dancing barefoot on the sand, my body swaying in the breeze feeling cool. Surfers riding soft waves, people walking in the distance, sense of immensity, my chest, back and lungs widening with infinite joy and fulfillment. A local band was playing at a small wooden restaurant on the beach in the evening and after dinner I went back on the ferry for another hour ride to Manhattan. The skyline at night with all the lights of skyscrapers, Freedom Tower, the bridges and everything are simply magical.
Memphis – Spent two days there, visited legendary Sun Studio (the birthplace of Rock’n’Roll!), Elvis’ Graceland, the Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. Strolled down Beale Street. Walked by the Mississippi River. Had oysters and shrimp for lunch and BBQ ribs for dinner! Musicians were playing at all hours, day and night, and Beale Street was constantly buzzing.
Nashville – I had arranged to be there when Peter and Raven, two of my musician friends from different parts of the USA, would be there. We had a great time together checking out the city. I visited The Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B. I played open mics at Douglas Corner and Bobby’s Idle Hour. Went to the Bluebird for a songwriter showcase. And unexpectedly I wrote a song with a musician I had just met, Tommy Wiggins, all in one afternoon. We filmed the recording session and plan to publish soon… Stay tuned!