Blog

Wintertime and Fresh Starts

   Everything about this photo makes me happy. My bags are packed up, I've got my banjo, a bag of crafts and my sweet stetson felt hat that I found at a flea market for $9. This is what my car looked like the other day when I headed back down to Nashville to work on Christian Lopez's full length album. While I've enjoyed my "time off" I am ready to play some music!!

   Speaking of playing music, Thank you so much to everyone that has supported me/us this past year! I've had a wonderful year of growth and travel and I'm a better banjo player because of it. The holiday season and the new year always bring about feelings of 'fresh starts' but I'm gearing up for something very different for 2015. My mandolin player, Ben Witman, and his beautiful wife have started their family and are moving several hours away to build their house and start their farm. I am thrilled for them! But, also a little sad for me. Ben is an amazing mandolin player and band mate. Working with him for the last 3 years has been a wonderful learning experience and I'm so happy to call him my friend. We have plans to record some of our newest songs and those will be made available to you as downloads in a few months. 

  The new plan for 2015 is that I'll be joining the Christian Lopez band full time. I'm really looking forward to hitting the road with him again. 

  You can keep in touch and up to date with what's going on right here on my blog and over at www.facebook.com/chelseamcbeemusic

Have a wonderful Holiday season and I hope you have a great 2015!

Live On the West Coast!

 Well, it has been really wonderful to have some time off from the road! Having been gone for so much of this year, I feel really appreciative of what a great little town I get to come home to. 

But, I'm ready.

I'm ready to hit the road again! I've been feeling a little antsy to play music these last few days and I can't think of a better way to scratch that itch then to get on a plane and head over to some of my favorite cities!! 

Melody and I will be hitting up some good friends (old and new!) along the way and I hope you can join us. Here's the list of our shows for this West Coast run:

Nov. 11- private house show, Portland OR

Nov. 12- Laurelthirst Pub- Split bill with the amazing Clawfoot Slumber, Portland OR

Nov. 13- Bomb's Away Cafe, Corvallis OR

Nov. 16- Kensington Circus Pub, Kensington CA

Nov. 17- Amnesia- Opening for Windy Hill, San Francisco CA

Then we will fly back home for Thanksgiving. I'll be joining Christian Lopez down in Nashville at the beginning of December to start working on his full length album with producer Dave Cobb. If you haven't seen his first video yet, go check it out! 'Will I See You Again' has been at #2 of the CMT Pure countdown for the last 2 weeks! You can see it right HERE.

See you down the road!!

Fall 2014

Live Broadcast via Concert Window

 

On Monday, September 22nd, My Random Assortment and I will be doing our first ever Concert Window Broadcast. At 7:30pm edt, you'll be able to log on to Concert Window and watch a live show for free! This website is doing great things for performers and audience members alike. We have an opportunity to play a show (*and make a little money) on a day when we wouldn't normally get to perform and you get to relax after your busy Monday by listening to our show! 

There is also a really fun chat section so we can interact with you in between songs.

*While we are not charging to view the show, there is a 'tip' button on the page just below the screen where, if you feel moved to, you can send us some money. This is a legit site so when it asks for your credit card/PayPal info, it doesn't get shared or spammed. We get to keep 70% of all donations with the other 30% going toward the upkeep of the site.
As long as you have a decent internet connection, you shouldn't have a problem logging on and viewing the show. It does use a flash player tho so you may want to visit the site beforehand and make sure you have the most up-to-date version. You could even go ahead and bookmark the link right here so you don't have to search for it later.
I hope you can join us on Monday!! 

There is NOTHING like sleeping in your own bed!

Whew!! It has been such a wonderful summer full of fun shows, long drives, new faces and lots of learning and growing! I love all of those things, but, I'm thoroughly enjoying being at home for the next week or so. I hardly have the words to describe how wonderful it is to sleep in my own bed and drink coffee from my own coffee mug and snuggle with my dog. I'm also catching up on a few sewing projects which makes me totally happy :)

On Sept. 12th I'll have most of my Random Assortment with me for a performance at Valerie Hill Winery in Stephens City VA

On Sept. 13th I'll be performing with The Christian Lopez Band at The Bright Box Theatre in Winchester VA

And then on Sept. 18th I'll head back down to Nashville with The CLB for our performance at the Americana Fest (that's being headlined by the Avett Brothers, btw, nbd!)

In the mean time, if you need me, I'll be tucked into bed with a cup of coffee, my sewing machine and a dog. I hope your week is just as wonderful!!!

xo

Chelsea

Random Assortment Weekend!

Some quick photos from the road

Busy Busy Busy! Here are a few photos from our most recent shows :)


I got this sweet party dress in a vintage shop out in Portland, OR and I was saving for my birthday! Now I'll be wearing it all the time. We had a blast at this show. It was at JMU in VA.

 

Have you seen that show, Amerian Pickers? Me either. But, we played at their store, Antique Archeology, in Nashville! There was a ton of interesting stuff to look at.

 

I was having something funky happen with my banjo pickup mic so we stopped over at Carter's Vintage Guitars and they fixed it right up for me! Great instruments over there and unbelievably friendly and helpful staff. Thanks guys!!

 

FREE music for you because IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!

That's right! Free music for you!

       I'm turning 30 today (I know, geez) and to celebrate I want to share my music with you. Each one of you has supported and encouraged me over the last several years that I have dedicated to music and I want to return the love. 

Back in June I got to work with producer Jason Rubal at Seventh Wave Studio on a solo project, The Seventh Wave Sessions EP, that features some revamped oldies and some brand new tunes. You can read all about it in this blog post.

When I was thinking about all the possibilities of this project, Jason was a wonderful influence. He helped create a set of songs that sound so different from things I've put out in the past. The Instrumentation is just banjo, drums and bass. That's a very different vibe from the mandolin and upright bass that I have grown so fond of. The result is a fresh take on my voice and banjo and I love it! 

So, here's the deal: I am giving out this 5 song EP as a free digital download. Free but not cheap. All that I ask from you is to go to my FB music page and 'share' the FREE MUSIC status on your timeline. Go ahead and give the page a 'like' too, if you haven't already. FB notifies me when someone shares the status and then I'll send you a download of The Seventh Wave Sessions EP to your inbox. It's that simple. 

I hope you enjoy this gift and spread it around like wildfire.

Thanks again for all your love and I hope to hear from you soon.

xoxo,

 Chelsea

National-Sleep-All-Day-Monday

All I can say about this last run is, 'Thank You'! We were shown nothing but kindness and support in Thomas, Charleston, DC and Gettysburg! Up next:

Aug 16th @ 10pm- Random Assortment will open for the Christian Lopez Band 

At Jammin Java in Vienna VA!! 

There are only a few tickets left!! Get yours Right HERE

Aug 17th @ 2pm- Random Assortment will be sipping wine and singing songs

At Valerie Hill Winery in Stephens City VA!

And now, I'd like to officially declare it National-Sleep-All-Day-Monday. Hear that, Obama? I'm going to bed!

When Two Creative Projects Collide...

Thanks so much to everyone that helped to make The Show at the Apollo Civic Theatre a wonderful success! It was a wonderful evening full of good music and great faces. Grace and Tony certainly stole my heart! 

This week brings more exciting shows! I've been looking forward to this week because not only do I get to perform at The Purple Fiddle (a wonderful, music loving venue tucked away in the mountains of Thomas, WV), but both my Random Assortment and The Christian Lopez Band will be doing this run! I love when my 2 creative sides get to meet up and hang out with each other. All of these shows will have something special to offer and I hope to see you out. 

One Night only in Historic Apollo Theatre in Martinsburg WV

If you've been waiting for the show of the summer in the eastern panhandle, this is the one you don't want to miss. Trust me.

For one night only The Christian Lopez Band, Jim Avett and Grace & Tony will share the stage at the historic Apollo Theatre in Martinsburg WV. In addition to an incredible collection of songs that evening, there are still a few tickets left for the after party as well! For full details and the link to purchase tickets, head over to The Show's website

 

Have you seen our #video for Country Roads?

   

I was listening to this song today and I just love the haunting feel that our version has. I know I'm biased, but I think it does a good job of capturing what WV has gone through. Watch the video and tell me what you think! All the photographs featured in the video were submitted by area photographers and show true WV beauty.

 

Posting from the Bounder

Posts From The Road!

When I travel with The Christian Lopez Band, I get to ride along in this sweet RV. I have my own bunk for peaceful sleeping complete with beautiful curtains that I made, and the whole band gets to travel together during those long hours between cities in relative comfort. In fact, I'm writing this post from the "dining table" here in the bounder. We are on our way to Nashville for a show at The Listening Room, then we will make our way down to Atlanta for another Belk sponsored set at Aaron's Ampitheatre, and that's just this weekend. We will make our way up to NY, NY and Lansdowne PA as well. Hope to see you guys soon!

xoxo

Up Next, First Thursday Artist Series July 3rd

Well, we had a super blast this weekend. It really feels like summer now! This week we also get to feel particularly American too since it's the 4th of July holiday weekend. I've got the perfect thing to kick off your long weekend: July 3rd First Thursday Artist Series that I host at the Shepherdstown Opera House!

This months featured performer is a honky tonk band based out of Charlottesville VA, The Get Rights with old-style country band Laura Mae Socks to open and Bob Keel to warm up the stage. This is gonna be a great night of American music from 7-9pm for only $5! Do join us :)

 

Campouts and Festivals for Your Weekend

I have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. My Random Assortment and I get to perform at a campout and a festival! You can't ask for a more perfect example of a fun summery weekend! Check out these links below for all the details:

Saturday June 28, 5-8pm

Great American Backyard Campout @ Sky Meadow State Park 

Delaplane VA

                                      

 

Sunday June 29, 2-3:30pm

Madsummer Meltdown Music Festival @ Schuylkill County Fairgrounds

Schuylkill PA

 

The Whiskey Album review is in!

   One of the scariest parts about creating is what happens when you let go of it and send it out into the world. All the hard work and passion behind the songs hardly matter once someone takes that first listen and gets to hear it through their own perception. I always feel a twinge of nervousness when releasing something new for you. I've been very very fortunate to receive such love and support from you with my past recordings and that is what has kept me brave enough to keep doing it!

    In December 2013, The Random Assortment and I released our first full length record, The Whiskey Album. A few weeks ago I was honored by a lovely review from the Frederick News Post written by Colin McGuire:

 "Chelsea McBee might not be reinventing the wheel, but darn-it if she hasn’t figured out how to craft the most durable tire in the garage. Her latest ode to “The Traditional Drink of Colonial America,” “The Whiskey Album,” is a coming out party of sorts if only for how complete her ideas finally feel after a string of up-and-down releases that always promised she could do something like this in the first place. One listen to any of these 11 tracks and everything immediately becomes clear: The West Virginia native never allows a promise to go unkept.

Everything is different. Everything is better. Where before, she might not mind taking a track or two off, there isn’t a single throwaway in this bunch. Where before, either money or time might get in the way of bulking up the production, you could go blind staring at the polish that shines through each performance. Her Random Assortment is skin-tight and her familial harmonies flutter like feathers from a broken pillow. “The Whiskey Album” isn’t just the singer’s strongest collection yet; it’s also one of the Frederick area’s most essential releases of at least the past three years."


   Colin writes beautifully. Thank you Thank you, Colin! You can read the rest of the review right HERE!

   And just in case his words have inspired you to check it out, you can stream and download your copy of The Whiskey Album right over HERE.

xo,

 Chelsea

West Coast Wrap Up

I mean, come on. I spent 10 days travelling by planes, trains, buses and automobiles around the North West part of our country with just my banjo and songbird sister. That's pretty flippin rad.

We learned lots of things along the way including:

* Portland has some really beautiful sunny days despite it's rainy rep.

* The strip clubs there are really really fancy.

* My friends and fans there are really really awesome. 

 

* There are no public restrooms in San Francisco. At all. Don't even try it.

* Also, don't try to run up an escalator in sandals while carrying your banjo and merch unless you enjoy destroying the bottoms of your toes. 

* California in general is really a beautiful place.

* Taco trucks in Oakland are legit.

* My friends and fans there are really really awesome. 

Here are a few photos from our adventure that never made it to social media (cause I was saving them 'specially for you)

 

My dear beautiful friend, Angie, at          Ryan Breen (of the bluegrass band Windy

Sweetwater Music Hall                                            Hill) came to see the show at Tupelo!          

                  

 

I just couldn't help myself                        and here is the tastiest whiskey wall

with this lovely teapot!                                                               (also at Tupelo)         

                                    

 

Here are two shots by Erin Lacerra of Clawfoot Slumber from our show at Plew's Brews up in St. Johns, OR

 

  

All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I can't wait to get back. The beginning stages of planning are in motion and I hope to get the whole Random Assortment out that way as soon as the Fall. If you have anyone/anywhere out there that we should know about, be sure to drop me a line about it!!

xo

Chelsea

Shhhhh....

West Coast Update :)

First of all, I need to talk about what a wonderful time we had in Portland! It was a little sad to have to leave yesterday even though we have lots of exciting things to look forward to on the rest of our trip. This Photo was taken from the road while we were on our way to Cottage Grove OR to play with The Stray Birds at The Axe & Fiddle. 

Melody and I felt right at home there thanks to the 'Shepherdstown-like' vibe and

Look out West Coast! Here I come!

Melody and I get on a plane today to scoot over to the other side of the country for a two week run of shows in Oregon and California! If you are near by any of these places, don't miss the opportunity to come see us! If you have any friends or family in those areas, send them my way for some down home music lovin!

May Day May Day!

That title is way more dramatic than what is necessary... but, it's the beginning of May so May Day happened, we got to wish everyone well and that the 4th was with them (for all you star wars fans) and tonight I'll drink a margarita in true American fashion as I celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Spring is also in full bloom here in Shepherdstown, WV! Here's a few things you might be interested in...

1. Gone A-Rye was awarded 2nd place in the bluegrass category at the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest! I am truly honored to have been selected as a part of the finalist group and to take 2nd place! It was pretty dang cool getting to chat with Darrell Scott after the competition and we had a blast grooving around Merlefest listening to tons of great music...

2. Our busy season has officially started! This past weekend found us at shows in Winchester (celebrating Apple Blossom) and Shepherdstown. Next weekend we can be seen in Kinsale, VA, Warsaw VA and Crozet VA. All the details can be found over on the calendar.

3. Melody and I are getting SUPER excited to head over to the West Coast at the end of May! I'll be posting all those juicy details right here next week, so stay tuned!

 

See you soon!

xoxo

Gone A-Rye has been selected as a finalist!

You guys, I'm so excited!

 

This weekend I'll be traveling down to Merlefest in Wilkesboro NC. There's tons of great music that happens every year on the campus of Wilkes Community College. This year is particularly exciting because my song, Gone A-Rye, has been chosen as a finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting contest and I get to perform it at the festival in front of Darrell Scott, Charles Humphrey III and Niall Toner. Just to have made it this far and be selected from all the entries as one of three finalists in the Bluegrass category is an honor. I'm sure that a few good thoughts from you to the universe wouldn't hurt though! I'll report back about all the great music I see this weekend and what the final results of the competition are!!!

 

Well, I asked for Nashville...

We have hit the road!

   Back in December I wrote a blog post about all the places I wanted to play in the upcoming year. Nashville was on that list and since then, I've spent some quality time there. I'm there right now actually. I've been working this week with Christian Lopez on his latest project and I can't wait until I am allowed to give you the details! Just know that it sounds real real good. 

  So far, the best part of this trip has been getting to witness the other (better) side of Nashville. There is so much more to it than all the stereotypical-pop-country that one thinks of. The folks that I've had the pleasure of working with have all been incredibly talented (which I expected) but also genuine and thoughtful (which I didn't necessarily expect). It gives me hope for the future of music production and it makes me get a little antsy wanting to work on my own next project... hint hint... something's in the works and I'll let you in on the secret soon enough. 

  In the meantime, I'm gonna soak up as much as I can from these guys and get better at navigating downtown Nashvegas. 

xoxo

  

 

Happy Spring (???)

I had intended to write to you today and wish you a happy Spring, but, it's snowing outside right now. So, instead, I guess I'll wish you a happy Tuesday! As March is coming to an end, our spring and summer shows get closer and closer. There is so much exciting stuff happening this year! Thanks to everyone that has supported my music so far. It's gonna keep getting better and better so hold on to your hats...

Country Roads Video Released!

For a while The Random Assortment and I have been performing our version of Country Roads. It is a highly requested song, especially when we are playing outside of WV! I resisted learning the tune for a while because it felt kind of 'Free Bird-y' but once Ben suggested that we try it in the minor key, I was intrigued. As we ran through the minor version of this classic song, I was sold. The melody becomes a little haunting and you get to hear the lyrics in a new light. 

A few weeks ago the band went up to Baltimore MD to record Country Roads at The Wood and Stone Room with Scott Smith. We had a wonderful time working with Scott and we love the sound in his studio! 

Let me know what you think of what we've done with this song... Here ya go:

 

Also, I'm super excited to announce that The Christian Lopez Band won first prize at the Jammin Java Mid-Atlantic Band Battle on Friday February 28th! We are honored to feel the support of everyone that was there!

Heading to Nashville

Nashville, TN. Richmond, VA. Vienna, VA. Jessup, MD. 

All in one week!

For The Record Podcast is live...

The Inaugural Performance of My New Artist Series!

The excitement is building for the launch of this new artist series!

February Fun!

Thank you so much to everyone that came out to our big show at Catoctin Creek Distillery last weekend! We had a blast and everyone involved left happy and a little warmer thanks to the awesome vibe (and the whiskey)! Special thanks to Scott Harris at the distillery and Jamie Welsh of Welsh Sound!

Here's What We Got Coming Up:

I've Found the Best Rye Whiskey...

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye. That's it. The. Best. Rye Whiskey. 

    I first tasted this delicious whiskey at a new restaurant in Winchester VA owned by my good friend Liz Conn. I sat at the bar at Em, ordered my usual whiskey, but then she suggested that I try this local, organic whiskey she had just started carrying. Now, I've had plenty of whiskey in my day. I've developed a taste for rye whiskeys specifically and I've been fortunate enough to gather band mates that also favor this spicy spirit. 

   It was perfect. Liz poured the Roundstone rye into my glass and as I sipped it, the rest of the room got quiet and the lights dimmed. Smokey and spicy and warming and I'm in love. That's it. 

    Fastforward to a few months ago. We have booked a special performance at the Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville. That's right, we will be playing music in the same room as the huge vats that are brewing and distilling that delicious delicious whiskey. I hope you can join us! You'll get to taste the famed whiskey and see what all the fuss is about and enjoy live music at the same time. 

  January 25th 7pm. There are only 40 seats available for this intimate listening space so hop over to the 'tickets' section of the website and reserve your spot!

Gettin Crafty!

Hi there!

   I had several folks interested in which crafts I was excited about for this years gift giving season so, here ya go! I had to wait until after the holidays so I didn't spoil any surprises :)

 

Top 10 Places We'd Love to Play in the US!

   

 Happy New Year!!

 As I start to look at the new year, it always looks a little different at the very beginning of January.  Kind of shiny and full of possibilities. I suppose most folks may view this time in a similar way. But, it just seems like it's all out there, waiting for me to book it all up with awesome shows!! Some of the 2014 dates have already been set aside for festivals and weddings, but there are plenty left. 

 

   The band and I did some brain storming and came up with this list of the top 10 places we'd love to play! In no particular order:

 

Now Presenting: The Whiskey Album!!

Happy Holidays!

Dec 21 and 22

This Weekend:

Saturday, December 21st- The whole Random Assortment will be at The Mecklenburg Inn at 9pm. Not only will we have yummy cookies for you, THE NEW ALBUM WILL BE THERE!!!!!!! Sorry, I didn't mean to yell, but I'm pretty damn excited...

 

and then

 

Sunday, December 22nd- I'll be joining Christian Lopez and Andrew Tufano for a special singer/songwriters night. I'm really looking forward to this stripped down performance and I'm excited about Andrew's mission and message. He has been raising money to be donated to VH1's Save the Music Foundation and I was thrilled when he contacted me about getting a show set up in Shepherdstown. Check out what he has to say about his charity work and his Stuff the 'Stache fundraiser right HERE.

See you this weekend!

 

xoxo,

 Chelsea

 

Holiday Hangout and Tweet-Along

Thanks for tuning in to our Hangout! If you would like to be a part of the conversation, feel free to tweet along with us using the hashtag #askchelsea 


We will be happy to answer your questions and would love to get to know you!

 

 

Tweet-Along Info

On Thursday, December 19th you will be able to tune in live right here at 6:30pm to hangout with us while we decorate Christmas cookies and chat with you! This will be my first go at this kind of streaming hangout, so I hope it goes well. I also hope that you will join in the conversation! 

All you have to do is watch the feed here

login to your twitter account. You can find me at @chelseamcbee

Then, tweet us your questions and comments using the hashtag #askchelsea

 

Hope to see you there! 

 

We Have Christmas Cookies For You!

Well, we will have them for you this Saturday at our show at The Meck in Shepherdstown :)

I'll also be posting a link right on this page later in the week where you can view a 'hangout' with us as we decorate the Christmas cookies and we will be doing a live tweet session so you can tweet us any questions or comments and we will answer you live on the hangout! I'll send more details about that later but be sure to look up @chelseamcbee on the twitter...

 

This Weekend:

Saturday, December 21st- The whole Random Assortment will be at The Mecklenburg Inn at 9pm. Not only will we have yummy cookies for you, THE NEW ALBUM WILL BE THERE!!!!!!! Sorry, I didn't mean to yell, but I'm pretty damn excited...

 

and then

 

Sunday, December 22nd- I'll be joining Christian Lopez and Andrew Tufano for a special singer/songwriters night. I'm really looking forward to this stripped down performance and I'm excited about Andrew's mission and message. He has been raising money to be donated to VH1's Save the Music Foundation and I was thrilled when he contacted me about getting a show set up in Shepherdstown. Check out what he has to say about his charity work and his Stuff the 'Stache fundraiser right HERE.

Don't forget to check back here on Tuesday for details about the live hangout and tweet-along! Happy Monday to you!

 

xoxo,

 Chelsea

 

This Really Works! (i love pomegranates)

Oh, Delicious Pomegranate!

 

     For years and years I have gazed longingly at the boxes of pomegranates at the grocery store but won't usually risk the heartache of buying one. On the rare occasion I would purchase one it was because they were on sale and I couldn't resist. Once home, I would try my hardest to disassemble the delicate fruit without destroying it and it would take FOREVER! Then when it was finally time to enjoy the fruits of my labor (haha) I was so mad at the tasty seeds! 

This has all changed...

 

   A few weeks ago, my sister showed me this video on YouTube. A tutorial on how to separate the pomegranate seeds from their shell. I was skeptical at first because I had already tried the 'immerse the fruit in a bowl of water and gently peel the seeds out trick and I'm not sure how that was ever supposed to work. It took just as long, but now I had pruned fingers and water all over the counter. But, this works! I did it today with a juicy Pom and am so delighted! It took minutes and then I could enjoy the antioxidant snack with little heartache. (I did hit my finger one time, but, live and learn...) Have a look for yourself and then join me at the grocery store where we can buy pomegranates to our hearts' content!!!

 

 

 

Happy Pomegranate-ing!

 

I've got 2 shows coming up this week...

Thursday Dec. 12th The Lady Dies is a side project of mine. Part folk rock, part gypsy, part Nick Cave. We will be at The Shepherdstown Opera House at 8pm. Tickets are only $5 at the door. 

Saturday Dec. 14th The Random Assortment trio is excited to be a part of this River City Barn Dance Holiday Hoe-Down in Richmond, VA!

 

See you soon,

     xoxo

What's Up This Week

         

  It's almost December now which seems outrageous to me. Wasn't I just sweating terribly during a summer time wedding performance?!? Oh well... We survived Thanksgiving and now wait in anticipation to see those same family members in less than a month. 

   I have to thank everyone that was at the Ice House on Friday! All of the performers did a wonderful job and we had a great crowd! It always feels good to see folks supporting their local arts community.

 

 

Here are our performances for this week:

 

Sunday Dec 1st The Random Assortment trio will be at Domestic in Shepherdstown, WV from 4-7pm

Thursday Dec 5th I'll be joining Christian Lopez at The Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, MD from 10pm-1am

Friday Dec 6th The full Random Assortment will be at The First Friday Coffee House in Martinsburg, WV at 6pm

Saturday Dec 7th I'll be hosting the open mic over at Edith May's Paradise in Jessup, MD at 8pm

 

       In between all of that, I'll be crafting to my hearts content getting some special gifts ready for holiday givings. Are you interested in some of my favorite crafted gifts for this year? I'd love to write a super geeky post about that if you want to read it :)  Stay warm!

 

See you soon, 

xoxo

 

 

 

Back to Our Roots Concert

        My grandparents grew up in Berkeley Springs, WV. So did my mom. We spent a lot of time there when I was growing up visiting family and playing at the park downtown where the natural spring is. It has a magnetic pull to it, similar to Shepherdstown where I live now. There are some wonderful people in that area and I am really honored to be a part of this weeks 'Back to our Roots' Concert. I think it's a great idea to celebrate familial ties through music the day after Thanksgiving! 

Keeping Traditions Alive

       The concept of this concert is to have musicians with family history from the Berkeley Springs area come together to share roots music. For some that means reviving old traditional tunes and for others it means rousing versions of familiar sing alongs. I am planning to do a combination of those by performing a traditional tune, some originals as well as a familiar sing along for everyone to join on. Jeanne Mozier from the Berkeley Springs Star asked how my original songs could be categorized as 'roots' music. My first response was to lament about how difficult it is to label your own music, but I spared her that rant. Instead I was honest about the songs I have chosen for this particular show and how I draw inspiration for most of my songs:

                        ...I have gotten so much inspiration from the traditional tunes of Appalachia and that is what it 

means to me to be considered 'Roots Music'. Even though my original material is

new, it draws heavily from those early tunes and so remains rooted in that way.

     Please join us on Friday the 29th at The Ice House in downtown Berkeley Springs for an evening of roots music from a wonderful group of hometown musicians! The show starts at 7:30pm with the Hancock Civil War Band, then Judy Youngblood with Bob & Dale Wurster, Robbie Mann & Travis Holiday, All Grassed Up, Raymond Maconaughey with Matt Pennington & Bob Wurster and finally, myself. Tickets are $5 at the door. First come, first seated.  

 

See you soon!

xoxo

       

Last Night of Residency: Meet the Bumper Jacksons!

We have come to the end of our Residency at the Shepherdstown Opera House here in Shepherdstown. I have mixed feelings about it, but here we are. Our final performance is Thursday the 21st. We have worked hard and I hope you have enjoyed the shows! Thank you thank you thank you to everyone that has already come out and supported us. We are excited to welcome some VIPs to the audience for this show. One of our kickstarter rewards was tickets to this final show and another was a special request dedication so we have a few new songs to present this Thursday. The night will feature our favorite original material including the songs that will be on our new release "The Whiskey Album"! 

Joining us this week is the totally cool group, The Bumper Jacksons! 

I did a fun Q&A with them too...

Q: How long has The Bumper Jacksons been performing?

    A: 2 years. The first 1.3 as a duo and the last 6 months or so with the full band.

Q: If you could describe what inspires your music in 3 words, what would they be?

   A: two-stepping, beer and friends.

Q: What's one of your hobbies?

  A: Jess- Bicycling, Chris- Neuroscience

Q: What do you like on your pizza?

  A: All the veggies!

Q: What is the last thing you do in the Green Room before hitting the stage?

  A: We don't have a pre-stage ritual, but, by sheer probabilities, it's most likely a silly dance, a whiskey shot or a fart joke. 

 

I can't wait for you all to hear these awesomely talented folks share their music with you!

 

In case you would like to purchase your tickets in advance, here is the link: 

https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=38e391f498afec0e6e210f2e60855e9a

November 21, 7pm. 

See you there!

-Cheers,

 Chelsea and the RA

 

Second Night of Residency: Meet Christian Lopez

Thursday Nov 14th marks our second night of residency! We had such a blast last week performing our favorite Gillian Welch songs for a great crowd at The Shepherdstown Opera House. Up next this week is our 70s set. We have put together some really great tunes! Lola by the Kinks, Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash and Stayin Alive by the BeeGees just to name a few. 

We are really excited to have Christian Lopez and Joe Taxi open the show for us. I have been working with this folk/rock band for several months now and they are a ton of fun! I did a little interview with Christian so you could get to know him a little...

 

Q: How long has Joe Taxi been performing?

    A: We've been performing for 2 years.

Q: Describe your inspirations in 3 words...

   A: Family, Energy, Avett

Q: What do you like on your pizza?

   A: Ham and Pineapple, all day!

Q: What is a hobby of yours other than music?

  A: Cooking bodacious grub. 

Q: What is the last thing you guys do in the green room before a show?

   A: Our times tables! Just kidding... we tell each other how much we love one another. Group hug. 

So there you have it! I'm off now to go practice these new songs! I've got a lot of memorizing to do... Hope to see you there!

Nov. 14th, 7pm, only $5. 

xo,

 Chelsea

1st night of Residency: Meet The Sunrise Review!

Well, Here we are so close to the first night of our residency! Thursday night is our tribute to our favorite singer/songwriter, Gillian Welch. We already were very familiar with her songs but this gave us an opportunity to really get into the tunes. We have had a ton of fun working out our arrangements of these songs. 

The other exciting thing about this Artist in Residency opportunity is that I have been able to call on some other local and regional acts to open the stage for us each night. At the beginning of each week of residency I'll be posting a mini interview and bio about each group that will be joining us. Up first is :

The Sunrise Review!

 

The Sunrise Review is soundtracks for landscapes. A music performance and recording arts project of Graham Smith-White which uses nature as inspiration for music compositions. Solar powered recording equipment allows these natural spaces to function as a studio as well, adding a unique production style and project narrative.

"I started writing the music for The Sunrise Review in the ocean off the coast of Australia during 2005 and 2006. I would spend most mornings in the sea waiting for waves to surf. During these outings I would spend my down time between sets gathering my thoughts, keeping myself on track with projects small and large. It became an almost daily ritual, my Sunrise Review. There in the water I discovered that the world around me was an inspiration which was changing my view and experience of music."

The musical focus of The Sunrise Review incorporates styles from the world over into unique and interesting compositions with a focus on the intersection of eastern and western folk styles, best described as Middle Eastern Bluegrass or Dobro Raga. The project sees Graham in multiple roles; composer, performer, producer and engineer.

 

So, Graham answered these few silly questions of mine so I could give you a little insight as to what you could expect:

1. How long has The Sunrise Review been performing?

    A: I have been performing as The Sunrise Review for about 7 years. The first performance was actually at open mic at The Meck.

2. If you could describe what inspires your music in 3 words, what would they be?

   A: The Sunrise Review is an exercise in consciously cultivating inspiration. There's a world of it and I take my solar powered recording equipment out to capture it as music. 
To pick 3. Water, Earth, Sky

3. What's one of your hobbies?

   A: Cooking is my favorite hobby. I enjoy being creative with food and flavors. Tasting the results is the best part. I have a fruit curry recipe that I sell with downloads of my music so folks can have a dinner concert.

4. What do you like on your pizza?

   A: Pizza, oh man. Pizza is probably my favorite food. I like it so many ways. Cornmeal crust, deep dish. Red sauce with mint and a pinch of cinnamon and dill, lately I've been using pesto with lemon basil from my garden. Bacon, pineapple, roast garlic, onions, olives, spinach. I made a pizza with peanut butter, cheddar and dates once.

5. What's the last thing you do in the Green Room before hitting the stage?

   A: I don't really have a routine I follow before performing. Every time is different. It depends on where I am and what's going on. I was just performing in Yosemite serenading a trail crew. The last thing I did there was put on sunscreen and make sure I was out of the way of any falling rocks. 

We've been working really hard to get these shows put together and I am really excited to get to share them with you! Here is the ticket link for buying tickets in advance:

https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=e2141a463e9b3fb9093e95d0817804f6

 

I hope you can join us!

xo, 

Chelsea and the RA

 

Look Out Winchester, VA! We are coming for you!

 

I can't even tell you how excited I am for Nov. 2nd. I just can't. Not only do we get to share the stage with my favorite local act, we get to do it in the beautiful new Bright Box Theatre! If you haven't heard of this place yet, you are missing out. It's a comfy listening room that was built for good music. Plenty of space to dance around and the acoustics are amazing. 

You can purchase your tickets online right here. They are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. 

Christian and his folk rockin group will also be joining us for our second evening of artist in residency at the Shepherdstown Opera House on Nov. 14th!

 

Why I Fell in Love with Gillian Welch

This song is what made me fall in love with Gillian Welch. David Rawlings isn't too bad either. 
As we prep for our first night of Artist in Residency this November (the first night is our Tribute to Gillian), I have been going through all my Gillian albums and getting a chance to rediscover her. Her songwriting is haunting and always leaves me wanting to know more. "My First Lover" is from the album 'Time the Revelator'. That was the first album of hers that I heard. That song in particular stuck out to me and the stripped down banjo line she plays is what made me want to play. She says so much with that line of melody!  
She is also a totally independent artist and has found success. I look to her for inspiration all the way from her storytelling up to her savvy business skills that have helped her succeed. 
If you are not already familiar with her work, please have a listen and fall in love if you'd like.
Thank you, Gillian!
xo

Beautiful Autumn

 

Beautiful Autumn!

I love this time of year.

 

Tonight (Saturday the 28th) we will be performing at Edith May's Paradise in Jessup, MD. I love performing at house concerts like this because they are so intimate. The performers and the audience get to share the space and it really allows for good communication! If you are in the Jessup area and would like to stop by, the show starts at 8pm. For more info, directions and to RSVP send an email over to georgie@georgiejessup.com. Our lovely hostess, Georgie, is an accomplished singer/songwriter herself and will be performing some of her own material as well.

 

Hope to see you soon!

xo

Appalachian Heritage Festival

18th Annual Appalachian Heritage Festival

We are so excited to be a part of this years festivities!! The show starts at 8pm on Friday night and I'll be co-leading a songwriting workshop at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.

Here are the details:

 

Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013

Celebrate the past and the future of Appalachia with words and music to stir the heart featuring masters of tradition like 92-year-old award-winning fiddler Lester McCumbers and rising talents like Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line. Free workshops are held all day on Saturday.

Friday: Gospel, Literature & Bluegrass — Old-Time Chelsea McBee and The Random Assortment, The Hillbilly Gypsies, and more.

Saturday: Old-Time, Bluegrass & Americana — Lester McCumbers, Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line, and John Lilly.

For a complete schedule of workshops and events, visit: www.shepherd.edu/passweb

Festival Pass (both concerts): $20 (general public), $15 (seniors/Shepherd staff), and $5 (children). Free for Shepherd Students.

Single Concert Ticket: $15 (general public), $10 (seniors/Shepherd staff), $5 (children). Free for Shepherd students with valid Rambler ID.

Today's Fan Foto Spotlight: Melissa Fisher

This photo was sent to us by Melissa Fisher. It was taken at a wedding last weekend in Keedysville MD.

Thanks for the photo Melissa!

 

Do you need a band for your wedding? Our sound and set up is perfect for intimate ceremonies and cocktail hour entertainment. You can request more information by emailing liz@chelseamcbee.com

xo,

Chelsea and the RA

thankyouthankyouthankyou

I hope it doesn't sound insincere. It seems like all I have been saying lately is 'Thank You'. 

Thanks for supporting us and our visions.

For coming to see our live shows

For purchasing our records

For encouraging us to continue to make music

For telling your friends how much you enjoyed our shows

For sending your mom a copy of the album for Christmas

For believing in us

For helping us exceed our goal and raise $_________!!!!

Truly, Thank you.

 

xo,

 Chelsea and The RA

3 Days to go and then I can stop pushing the Kickstarter

      Friends, Fans and Family, Thank you so much for your support. We have 3 more days to go before our Kickstarter closes and we can celebrate our success. Without your continued support, we wouldn't be doing what we are doing today. Having said that, I've still got 3 more days to push this project and see how far we can go!! Yes, we have met our original budgeted goal, but, any additional funds will go toward furthering the project.

Maybe we can add a fancy insert to the album that has all the lyrics so you can sing along with the record.

Maybe we can commission a special poster from another artist to go with the album.

Maybe we can use some of the extra money and push the album to radio stations and music forums that we couldn't otherwise afford. 

Whatever happens in these next 3 days, know that we are crazy grateful for the love that has been shown to us during this project and we are really excited to get the ball rolling and get sparkly new music in your hands. (er, ears?)

love,

 Chelsea and the RA

only $535 to go!

Alright. We have 16 days left and only $535 to go before we reach our kickstarter goal! I am thrilled. Thank you so much to all of those that have already contributed and I can't wait to see what happens next. Here is a lovely article written by Kelly Cambrel of the Shepherdstown Chronicle about our project:

This is no lemonade stand. Local band, Chelsea McBee and the Random Assortment are learning crowd-sourcing 101, as they embark on a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their first full-length album. A humble group of ordinary folks, the Random Assortment is comprised of longtime Shepherdstown- based singer-songwriter, Chelsea McBee, Ben Witman on mandolin, Jeremy Rodgers on upright bass, and McBee's own kin, her mother, Teresa McBee, and sister, Melody Massimino, who join occasionally on vocals. McBee described the band's sound as "bluegrass folk" or "jazz- folk" music, explaining that though the band uses traditional bluegrass instruments, their sound is more eclectic. Prior to recording "The Whiskey Album," McBee, has released two joint records with local musicians, The Fox Hunt and Bob Keel, before releasing her first solo album in 2011. McBee said shes funded each offering all on her own, until now. "I first heard about Kickstarter online when artist, Amanda Palmer raised over 1 million dollars toward her latest album. I certainly don't expect to raise that much, but the way she speaks about crowd-funding makes great sense. There are lots of folks that want to support the arts and this is an easy way for them to support projects that they are really interested in," she said. The Random Assortment's goal is to reach $3,300 by Aug. 30 according to McBee. In return for donations, those who give funds receive swag gifts like digital downloads, a physical copy of "The Whiskey Album," CD, hand-embroidered tote bags, t-shirts and more. McBee said that funds raised will be used to help pay for things like recording and mastering expenses, album art, and distribution. The band had raised approximately 68 percent of the goal, or $2,200 at press time. "Most of our pledges have come from our fans and some from family and friends as well," McBee said. "I'm humbled by the response from all our fans. Each pledge tells us that they believe in our music and they want us to succeed," she went on to say. McBee said getting "The Whiskey Album," released will mark a turning point for the band. "We all want to tour. It's tricky right now to do much more traveling than we already do, just because of financing the trips. Who knows, maybe we will be able to tour the world one day soon," she said. McBee said she eventually aspires to be able to make music her life and her livelihood. "My personal goal for this group is to be able to make enough money playing music that none of us need to work day jobs. I hope that this album will help us gain momentum toward that goal." Find out more information about Chelesa and the Random Assortment by visiting ChelseaMcbee.com. To donate, visit www.kickstarter.com and search "Chelsea McBee" or "The Whiskey Album." 

Fabulous Fan Fotos (I love alliteration)

I do, in fact, love alliteration. Cracker Barrel has the best billboards along the highways because of their ingenious use of multiple words starting with the same letter. 

I also love finding photos of our performances taken by our wonderful (and talented) audience members. Here are a few gems that I found from Richele Cole of Pretty in The Panhandle from our performance at the Shepherdstown Opera House a few weeks ago. We were opening for a group called Rising Appalachia and we had such a great time.

Thank you Richele!

 

If you love to take pics at our shows, please, send them to me at chelseamcbee@chelseamcbee.com so I can share them with the rest of the world!

 

xoxo

Q&A With the Ladies of Soul Stirring Harmony

 

With all the buzz going on around our kickstarter campaign, I thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A so you could get to know a little more about the band. Today we will be hearing from the best backup singers this side of the Mississippi, Teresa McBee and Melody Massimino.

Q: Hi ladies! How are you feeling about this whole kickstarter thing?

A: T-Super excited!

   M- Great!

Q: What is your favorite part about being in The Random Assortment?

A: T- I really enjoy meeting all the new people at our shows. 

   M- I'm really in it for the babes, but I sure have a great time getting hit in the chin with Ben's mandolin during our      live performances. (laughs right out loud)

Q: What is your favorite color?

T- I dig Teal and Purple (You should have seen the hightop sneakers she had when I was in middle school. Teal and purple with laces that were woven across the top!)

M- I'm partial to a Turqoise/Burnt Orange combo.

Q: What would be the coolest/most exciting thing for the band to accomplish?

T- A world tour would be pretty awesome.

M- I look forward to touring all over and if we could throw in some killer wardrobe, I'd be into that.

Great! Thanks ladies. See you at our next show!

Kickstarter Campaign has Launched!!

 

 

Good Golly! Today we launched our very first Kickstarter campaign!

I am crazy excited and only a little bit nauseous with worry that we won't meet our goal. We are hoping to use the $3,300 we raise from this campaign to fund the production of our new cd, The Whiskey Album. We began working on this project at the beginning of 2013. We recorded all of our songs out a Questionable Records in Hedgesville, WV with our favorite recording engineer, Ben Townsend. All of the songs we have put together were inspired by the groups love of whiskey and I can't wait for you to hear the final results! Want to help us reach our goal?

By clicking right here you can view our project and if you like what you hear, I will be thrilled if you can contribute. Feel free to let me know about any concerns or questions you may have about our project or kickstarter in general. 

Wish us luck!

love,

Chelsea and the band

Finally, here's the new tshirt design.

Just in case you haven't made it to one of our shows since we released the new tshirts, here is a photo of it for you! I'm really happy with how they came out and a big thank you to our designer, Meg Ryan!

And here is where you can find us and get you one of these fine tshirts!:

July 7th- 2-4pm: Port City Brewing in Alexandria VA

July 11th- 6pm: I'll be joining Christian Lopez & Joe Taxi at Martinsburg WV's War Memorial Park

July 12th- 6pm: Valerie Hill Winery in Stephens City VA

July 13th- 9:30pm: The Devonshire in Shepherdstown WV

July 14th- 2pm: The Woodstock Cafe in Woodstock VA

 Happy July to You!! 

What's in it for you?

Well, 

I was going to post a sweet pic of our new tshirts so that you could see how awesome they are, but my technological devices are not speaking to each other right now, and so I have failed at that post. Instead, I think I'll just share with you what's been going on in my mind. Don't click away yet! It's not really that scary of a place...

As our "gig season" takes off, we are spending more and more time doing the thing that is truly the most fun of this job. Performing for you! I really love these weekends full of shows. I love meeting new music lovers and getting to visit the friends we have already made. I love traveling down the highway with my band mates. We usually talk about the performance from last night or the one we are traveling to and I always am wondering what we could be doing better. I have asked several of you over the years and you all are always really diplomatic and loving and tell me that we are making good music and that's all you (the audience) need. Is that true? 

We are working on our new album. It's coming together beautifully and I can't wait to share it with you. I have been hand pressing our tshirts so that I can offer a wide array of sizes and colors to you (and because I love getting a little crafty every now and then). We are always working up new tunes and writing new songs, but is that really all you need?

What's in it for you as our friends? as our fans? 

I hope that you can feel the love and joy that we put into our music and our shows. I hope you feel happiness when you find yourself humming one of our songs when you first wake up (sorry Lillian!). This is our art and without you, it wouldn't mean as much. Of course we would still make art, but one of the most important parts about my art at this point is being able to share it with you. Make a connection with you. See you at a show, share a beer and have a good time! 

I know that's what's in it for me. Thank you all for supporting us. I love you. 

Official Video for Gone A-Rye single

Have. you. heard. this. yet?

We recently had the honor of working with Ben Ford of Invisible Technique to create this beautiful video for our new single "Gone A-Rye"... I hope you like it!!

Happy Spring and A Sneak Peek at our new Tshirt design!!

The trees in my town are all bursting with early blossoms, the tulips have come up and I am running in circles with excitement. IT MUST BE SPRING!

I'm sure you have caught the spring fever too, so I'll get right to the point:

We will be pressing a new run of Tshirts this Spring and I am Super Excited to be working with local (to me) artist Meg Ryan!  Here is a little sneak peek of the design she came up with for the Random Assortment...

pretty cool...

Here are the links to two lovely interviews that have recently come out...

The Whole (S)Tory by Visual Victoria

          and

The Roots Continue... by Todd Coyle for Fluent Magazine

 

 

 

Here's some shows:

April 11th- Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport PA- 9pm

April 13th- Lancaster Dip Co. in Lancaster PA- 9:30pm, $3

April 19th- Mint in Richmond VA- 10:30pm

April 20th- Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream in Richmond VA- 8pm (in support of Kirsten Hazler)

May 3rd- The 9 Singer Songwriter Series at Opera House Live- Shepherdstown WV- 8pm, $10

May 4th- Valerie Hill Winery in Stephens City VA-4pm

May 10th- Port City Brewery in Alexandria VA- 7pm

 

ok. phew! I gotta go get the car ready for this weekends shows! Hope to see you soon!!!

xo, Chelsea

video shoot sneak peak...

What's more exciting than shooting a promo video in the cold of February? Add some of your favorite fans to the mix and then share a sneak peak! Ben Ford of Invisible Technique did a wonderful job at the shoot last weekend and I can't wait to see the final results. I'm sure you can't either! Here are some photos from the day...

We had just gotten our hair did by the talented Jess Brunot of The Hair Company...

 

The sun was setting at just the right time for us!

 

Thank you Alisha for this lovely shot!

Recording Studio photos...

Last week we sequestered ourselves into the recording studio to begin work on our new album. Justin Rodgers came to take some beautiful photographs of the process and he made us look quite handsome! What do you think?

 

 

 

 

You can see the rest of the album on Justin's FB page...

 

The February Fun continues...

Phew! I forgot to wish you a Happy Valentines Day! so, Happy Day, unless you don't celebrate that, in which case, Happy Thursday. Up next is a few days tracking in the recording studio and then on Thursday February 21st @ 8pm at The Shepherdstown Opera House for $10 at the door, THIS is happening:

This is a great way to be able to enjoy lots of styles of music in one space!!

Here is the promo video with more information about how this project got started...

February is FULL of awesomeness!

February is stuffed full of exciting things. Here is what's going on this weekend:

Friday the 15th we will be at the Winchester Book Gallery on the walking mall in Winchester VA.

Then on the 16th this is happening:

I am truly honored to be co-hosting this event with Christian Lopez. This is a wonderful opportunity for these young singers and instrumentalists to be able to perform in a professional setting and they will blow you away with their talent! It will be at The Shepherdstown Opera House in Shepherdstown WV and is only $10 at the door.

 

I'll post the info about the next several weekends soon...

California Dreamin...

                   

This trip has been filled with such beauty and fun! The house concert was great in Modesto and I got to get a little dose of the surrounding area. The fruit was at a bustling Farmers Market in Oakland CA and that gorgeous coast line was just north of San Francisco.  I can't wait until I can bring the whole band out here for some shows. Maybe later this year?? 

 

        

 

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset. Beauty. I'm a lucky girl.

What? You want to hear a bluegrass version of 'Purple Rain'? Okay...

A few weekends ago we were performing at Valerie Hill Winery in Stephens City VA and this gem of a video was captured. Ben does a great job with this song. Let me know what you think!

We also have some good news:

My Random Assortment and I have been selected to perform at the Singer/Songwriters showcase in Cape May NJ! We will perform at Carney's Other Room on Saturday March 23 at 9pm.

We also have the opportunity to compete in a battle of the bands hosted by Hard Rock Cafe. In order to qualify for the battle, our song has to be voted for. You can help us out by downloading the free song (that counts as a 'vote'). The free download is waiting for you right here!

Thank you for your continued support!!

first trip of the new year!

If I could give you one piece of advice for today, I would say that if you want to be on time for your 7:30am flight out to Salt Lake City, you should arrive at the correct airport. That's where I went wrong yesterday. I am spoiled in that I live so close to so many airports. It gives me the option of shopping around for the best price on tickets and when you do that, you have to make sure you know which airport is printed on said ticket. sheesh... Anyway, I made it to my destination and warmly welcomed to Ogden UT and then this is what I woke up to this morning!

 

Snowy Mountain Majesty. I'm not skilled in the art of winter sports, but it sure looks lovely.  Do you have a favorite snowy spot?? Where is it? 

Look out California! Here I come...

Well, all the holiday frenzy has died down a little bit. The weather is teasing me with its unseasonal spring-like warmth and I am busy booking shows and writing songs and, oh right, getting ready to hit the road! Or, the sky as it were... Ill be flying out to Utah and California at the end of January to visit folks and perform some house concerts and I can't wait. I did an interview this week in preparation for this trip. Here is the link to that so you can hear it if you would like. My part of the show starts around minute 61.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2013/01/11/on-watch-with-athens-abell

Thank you Athens Abell for such a wonderful interview!

If you are thinking about having your own house concert this year, don't hesitate to let me know. Our calendar is already filling up!

Happy Feliz Bon - whateveryoucelebrate!

Happy Feliz Bon - whateveryoucelebrate!!

The Random Assortment has compiled our top 10 highlights from the year (in no particular order):

1. killing a 5th of whiskey, as a band, over the course of a 3 show day- Ben

2. playing the loveliest of house concerts in Berkeley Springs this fall - Chelsea

3. busking in Charlottesville, VA in 40 degree weather - Jeremy

4. riding and jamming through PA on a short bus with friends Key Of V - Jeremy

5. hours and hours and hours and hours spent laughing in the car between shows - Chelsea

6. Winning 2nd place at the Watermelon Park Band Competition and then playing on the main stage -Ben

7. our 10 day tour across the midwest in July - Ben

8. meeting and jamming with so many new folks- Chelsea

9. sneaking into Prince's recording compound - Jeremy

10. All of you that have continued to support us and come to shows and buy our music and invite us into your homes and feed us delicious meals and send us care packages and dance to our music! - Chelsea, Ben and Jeremy

End of the Year Round Up

Well, we are getting closer and closer to the end of 2012. This past year has been the best so far for us! We had a great touring schedule, met a ton of awesome folks and had the opportunity to do make some great music. I feel really excited when I look at the new year and think of everything else that we can do. I've already started booking shows and writing new material. I would like your help with a few things though:

If you came out this past year to see any of our live shows, Thank You! I would love to hear your feedback. Feel free to comment here or email me directly with your comments. Did you like the venues you saw us in? Did you enjoy the music? Were the performances missing something? Truly, any critiques (both positive and constructive) will help us become better performers and musicians. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!!

We have a few more shows coming up in Dec (that is, as long as the world is still here)...

Dec. 22 @ Bloomery Plantation Distillery in Charles Town, WV 6-9pm.

Dec. 28 @ The Winchester Book Gallery on the walking mall in Winchester, VA 7-9pm

Dec. 29 @ Valerie Hill Winery in Stephen City, VA 6-9pm

 

Thank you again and enjoy the little bit of 2012 that we have left!!

Chelsea

Fireflies Video

Thank you so much to Cory Grace ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gracec/ ) for putting together this video! We will be working with her again soon... Let me know what you think of the song and video!

 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="<a href="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gUjvZ6ed_s4">http://www.youtube.com/embed/gUjvZ6ed_s4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

photo and show updates

 A few weeks ago, these two beautiful women and some helpers took the time to create a lovely video of my mom, sister and I performing one of my songs. The finished video will be posted soon, but she sent me this lovely still shot that I wanted to share with you. A little sneak peak, if you will...

 

Later that day, we had a show over at Beans in the Belfry, and she got this great photo!

Thank you so much Cory and Susan! To check out more of the phenomenal photographic talent of Cory Grace, you can go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/gracec/

Show info:

We will be in Kinsale VA tonight (Friday, Sept. 7) at Port Kinsale Marina 7pm

4/5ths of the Random Assortment will be competing in the Band Competition at this years Pickin In the Panhandle on Saturday afternoon. http://www.panhandlepickin.com/

Saturday night, I'm honored to say, that we will be performing for a special wedding in Hedgesville

and if that isn't enough for you, we will also be performing at Bluegrass Brunch at Dish Bistro in Charles Town WV from 12:30-2:30pm! http://wvdish.com/

Phew!

Monday I will be sleeping in...

 

It's the Weekend Again

Here we are at another weekend. That means I am gearing up for a full schedule of shows and driving and fan hugging!

Last weekend was great and here are two photos to prove it...

On Saturday afternoon I performed for the Appalachian Trail 75th anniversary. It was a beautiful day and there were tons of cute dogs to pet.

Then on Saturday night, I was at my favorite place in Berkeley Springs WV, The Fairfax St Coffee House! This is Jeremy performing some of his own tunes opening up for me (then he jumps back to that beautiful bass and rocks the night with us)!

 

Auction for Autism

In September some friends of mine are going to be hosting a telethon to raise money for Autism Speaks. I'll be donating some albums for the auction and I wanted to be sure to let you know in case you wanted to help out and donate/bid on some things! Here is the info sent from Blake Clayton of IBWIP that is organizing the event:


 
We are going to kick off the event with a 12 hour telethon (SEPT 15) on www.silentstormradio.com. Alot of the DJ's from the station are going to help out. Then through the week people can bid on the packages and then on Sept 24th at 830pm CST we will do a live IBWIP on www.silentstormradio.com and all the bidding will end throughout the show. 75% of the proceeds go to www.autismspeaks.org. We will also be making a donation page for people who just want to dontate and not bid on anything. I havent set that up yet though.
 
Thanks so much for your support.
Blake Clayton
--
It Burns When I Pee
www.ibwip.com
www.section86.com
I'll be posting info closer to the date as well, just wanted to give you a heads up...

Here is that video that I mentioned in the last entry (and one more for being late...)

These are from Unistock 2012 in Purcellville VA

This one features mandolin player Ben Witman!

a few thoughts (oh, and a new video)

Happy Wednesday Y'all!

I've been thinking about a few things this week and I wanted to get them out into the universe. Actually, that's what has been on my mind... 
My mom tells me that putting positive thoughts out into the universe brings positive actions into her life. More specifically, if there is something in particular that you would like to see in your life, positively affirm it and it will come to you. A good friend of mine often says "think it, link it". Well, alright then universe (that includes you, internet), here are just a few things that I want to see.

I want to continue playing music. It is a wonderful feeling to have a job that I really enjoy. I want this to continue and expand. 

I want to stay thankful for everything that I already have/have experienced.

I want to be able to take my band lots of places. We want to play festivals: local, national and international. We want to play house concerts for all of your friends. We want to play hole-in-the-wall treasures. We want to play on the street corner. We want to play on Mountain Stage and A Prairie Home Companion and all those other fun NPR stations. We want to play.

I want to remember to say thank you everyday.

I want to have a few days when I need them to turn it all off, to decompress. To have a writing retreat where the only distraction that keeps me from putting new songs down on paper is the tapping of my own foot on the floor (or dirt or rock or hammock).

I want to thank YOU!

I want to keep learning all that I can about all this technology and how it can help expand the reach of my music.

I am thankful.

I want a touring vehicle that runs on bio-fuel made from recycled vegetable oil so that each trip that we take feels a little less guilty about the carbon foot print.

Thankful.

I want to put out a new album with the very talented musicians I am working with now. This band is so fun and I can't wait to be able to share this collaboration with you all.

I am thankful for everything that I already have and look forward to what ever the future (that's your cue Universe) may bring!

 

Enough ranting for now. How are you doing? What are some of the positive things you want to put into the universe? What are some of the things you are already thankful for? 

Thank you again for all the support and love! 

Until next time,

 Chelsea

house concert update...

 

 

 

What are you doing this Sunday (July 15th)? I have a busy day and wanted to be sure you knew where all the cool kids were gonna be so you can join in!

The Random Assortment and I will be playing Bluegrass Brunch at Dish Bistro in Charles Town, WV from 12:30-2:30

Then we will be scooting over to Rebecca's Place for a lovely house concert from 4-6pm. If you haven't been to a house concert before, I strongly suggest that you check it out! You get  all of the fun and live music of a regular show, but it takes place in the relaxed atmosphere of someones home (or garden as is the case this week). If you do come, you are encouraged to bring some sort of snack or drink to share with the group and a hat will be passed around the group to collect the "suggested donation". These donations are the only way the musicians get paid for these types of intimate shows.

Hope you can join us this weekend and stay tuned for updates about all the comings and goings of next weekend too!

 

 

this is really my life

So, I really like this idea of showing what we have been doing and where we have been going through photos! This weekend found us in 3 beautiful locations: rolling hills in VA, Hauser Estate Winery in Biglerville PA and, my hometown mystical hangout, The Folly in Shepherdstown WV.

Ben sound checking at the winery... no shade = sunburn for this girl!

what lovely rolling hills

This handsome fellow decided to roost on stage. He has wonderful taste in music.

Have a great week and you will see more of me soon!!

This Weekends Shows!!

This Weekend we will be in Front Royal VA at the Lucky Star Lounge on Friday and C'ville Coffee in Charlottesville VA on Saturday night..

.

            

Some Photos

I love our fans! This bracelet was made for me by 9 yr old Mikayla last weekend. Thanks!!

and here is just one example of some of the beautiful places that music takes us!

video update

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Sunday Evening Round-Up

My Random Assortment and I had another eventful weekend. Jeremy is going to write a book and call it "Oh The Places You Will Go With Chelsea McBee" and it would be a great story! Friday started out as any other Friday might with all of us pilling into one little Toyota Tacoma and heading off to a show. This time, however, a tornado was following us. Our First Friday Chambersburg event was cancelled due to the inclimate weather, but that didn't stop ol' Friday from being awesome. No Way.

We just scooted on up to Shippensburg to meet up with friends of The Happy Hour internet radio show, BJ and Coley Christy and their two awesome little dudes. We were gifted cold PBRs and bacon wrapped chicken wings and were then ready to rock some tunes for all of the internet to hear. So. Fun. Thanks again BJ! Saturday was met with fuzzy heads and very untornado like weather. We got to play on the square in Carlisle and then continued on to our final destination of Harrisburg and the Suba Tapas bar there. Also, So. Fun. Enough with the boring words. Here are some shots from our travels in PA: Ben really loves that mustard and they both enjoy a nice relaxing river view. 

 

And an audience member submitted a photo of us at Bluegrass Brunch at Dish Bistro in Charles Town WV this

                                                                afternoon. Thanks Justin!

 

                                                                  Alright. See you soon.

another magical weekend

Well, Thank You so much to the folks that continue to make The Timberframe Folly a magical place to perform! I had such a great time sharing the stage with good friends Key of V and Clawfoot Slumber! These are some inovative and talented performers that are currently touring down to Georgia and back so if you get a chance, hear them live!

Here is a youtube video of one of their songs from this weekends performance. Thanks Pretty In The Panhandle for uploading this!

 

Good Luck on tour guys!!

Rollin Rollin Rollin

What a wonderful weekend! I love this feeling of coming home from a long weekend of shows and being totally exhausted and totally excited. We keep meeting such great folks at each of our stops and, of course, we love visiting with the friends we already knew! All of you are what make this "job" so wonderful. A special thanks to Black Bear Burritos in Morgantown, The Park House in Pittsburgh and Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport,PA for having us!

We managed to fit 3 musicians, 4 instruments (one of which is that danged ol' upright bass!), and a few special thrifted items into Eloise the jetta wagon and can't wait to do it again next weekend when we hit up Staunton VA, and Port Kinsale VA!

Concerts In Your Home

Concerts In Your Home

Yes, that's right. I love playing music in living rooms (and kitchens and patios and pontoon boats for that matter) This is a great website that connects folks that want to experience great music in the comfort and intimate setting with the artists that want to share their music with listening audiences. My band and I will be working the roads for the rest of the year so contact me now about setting up your very own concert!

Local (shepherdstown area) shows!

             

This is going to be a fun weekend for me! And hopefully for you too! 

Thanks in advance for supporting your local music!!

Cover Song!

While touring through PA last weekend, we played a delightful house concert in Lansdowne PA and decided to record this gem. Our own version of a classic tune.

where we go next...

So, happy Tuesday to you! 

We had a wonderful time this past weekend at Dish Bistro and Beans In The Belfry! It is really great to know that we have such fun places to play (and eat for that matter) so close to home. Thanks to everyone that came out!

The wheels keep on turnin' this weekend as we head up north a ways...well, actually, I'll be down in DC on Friday night in support of BloomBars and their tribute to women artists for Women's History Month. My mom and sister will be joining me with their beautiful harmonies.

But then on Saturday evening the band will be making an appearance at the lovely Cherry Alley Cafe in Lewisburg PA. I super love this little town and all the folks that I have met that are there. Key Of V will be splitting the bill with us so you know it is going to be a night of inspired music (and delicious coffee!)!

Sunday we will have to leave Lewisburg to make our way over to Landsdowne PA, a suburb of Philly, for a much anticipated show at Concerts at the Beach House ! Bob and Deb Beach always host the best house concerts and I am really looking forward to getting back there and introducing them to my latest assortment of musicians. If you find yourself in any of these places this weekend, come and hear us. We will sing for you and maybe even hug you if that isn't too weird!

side note- I have just learned to hyperlink... could you tell?!? See you soon!

Fun Fact

 

Fun fact: I tend to feel pretty motivated when it starts to get close to spring time. Maybe you do too!

One thing I've been motivated to do is book shows. I've been having such fun playing with my new band (Chelsea McBee and the Random Assortment) I want to share them with all of you. Take a look at our calendar of upcoming shows and see if you aren't able to make it out to see us! 
Do you have a favorite coffee house or bar that you would like to hear us at? Let me know so I can contact them. Maybe your town has a summer or fall time festival that we should play? Maybe you want to have us come perform in your home? House concerts are all the rage now-a-days and are pretty easy to host if you have a 'suggested donation' for your guests and have potluck style snacks that everyone brings. 
Hope you are doing well. Now I'm off to enjoy the sunny outside!!

Yikes! I joined pinterest too!

 

I am slowly coming around to all of this online frenzy of information that is known as 'social media'. I didn't jump on the Myspace band wagon until I started playing gigs and then facebook came along and was MUCH easier to navigate and get the information about shows to the fans. Then I got my iPhone and I started my twitter account. Now, I'm checking my instagram all the time too, and then today, I really got into the whole pinterest thing.

While I still have trouble with Myspace, I am learning to love all these other ways to reach out and touch you (and get great ideas for crafty projects while I'm at it).

So, if you are also wrapped up in this social media feeding frenzy, then search me out in any of these various outlets:

www.facebook.com/chelseamcbeemusic - be sure to 'like' me while you are there for good measure.

www.twitter.com/chelseamcbee - for those of you who like to read short sentences about what I am doing. right. now.

www.pinterest.com/chelseamcbee - in case you were wondering about the things that other folks have created that I find interesting/ what I might do if I had more "spare time"

www.reverbnation.com/chelseamcbee - has a good EPK that you should feel free to pass on to any of your friends/booking agents!

and if you use instagram on your smart phone, search chelseamcbee and then you can look at snipets of my everyday life presented in the form of photographs using cool digital filters.

As always, www.chelseamcbee.com is an ad-free place to check the calender of gigs, write on the ol' guestbook and read fascinating blog entries :)

 

 

Feb 18th Show

I'm really looking forward to our show this weekend down in Front Royal Va at The Lucky Star Lounge! Hope to see you there.

home again :)

Well, we made it home safe and sound. A ton of fun was had by all and we will surely be back to those venues again!! We drove through some crazy weather and made lots of curious new friends. What's next??

weekend on the road

Tell your Grannies!

 

We are hitting the road for a long weekend of shows... snow or no.

Staunton Va, Brightwood Va, Johnson City TN

here we come!

February Shows

This Spring seaso is goig to be busy! Look right over here ----------------->

for the full calendar of shows. This weekend Ill be at Dish Bistro in Charles Town WV and my good frieds Lisa and Carl are hosting a fun after party and you are invited:

When: Friday, February 3rd, 7 pm
Where: Party starts at Dish in Charles Town with and continues at Carl & Lisa's after the band stops playing at 9.
Why: Chelsea McBee and the Randon Assortment, why not?!?!&$@!
What: Listen to good music, eat, and drink at Dish, then continue the party around the fire at Carl & Lisa's
Who: Whoever would enjoy the above festivities. Feel free to invite a guest.  

Bring your own drinks, a snack if you feel like sharing something, and an instrument if you feel like playing. I have 3 guitars (with questionable strings), 3 ukuleles, and drumming & shakey things to share.

AND There Is More...

Saturday the 4th is the Clam Jam (in support of the Vagina Monolouges) at The Blue Moon Cafe in Shepherdstown WV. I'll be performing with Jesse Boyd on guitar and lead singer Kara Hansburger. There will also be tons of other great performances that night and money goes to The Shenandoah Womens Shelter here in WV. Not to be missed!

Happy almost Feb everyone!

 

It's "add a new video" Friday!

Here is another video for you. You are looking at Chelsea McBee and The Random Assortment (of sorts)...

new video

Here is a little video of my song 'Widows Walk'. It is available for download on itunes and cdbaby.com off my debut album 'Don't Close Your Eyes' recorded with The Fox Hunt (or, email me and I can mail you a copy)...

 

lovely new photos

In Lewisburg PA there is a charming and talented photographer / Jane of all Trades. Heather Adams.   While I was giggin up in that neck of the woods, Heather took some truly beautiful photos of my performance and I wanted to share them with you!

Thanks so much Heather!! and thanks to friends Key of V (and their eclectic entourage) and Cherry Alley and Bullfrog Brewery! Phew...

The Good Life

I didn't realize this until I was headed out to my first gig of this weekend, but my brain really needed all these driving hours! Reason #125 why I love my job is the great thinking and figuring that gets done while driving down an open road. Come tomorrow morning when I point my car towards home, I know I'll start looking forward to being home and drinking coffee in my own house but today I am thankful for the freedom of playing shows! 

Morgantown was fun and delicious! and I got to meet several curious characters in Pittsburgh and it has been so great to see friends in the Williamsport PA area! AND thank you to whom ever is responsible for the gorgeous weather. You must know that I am a terrible wuss when asked to drive in uncertain weather conditions...

I am really excited to tell my band about these new venues and bring them back around with me in a few months!

Hittin' The Road

Yep, that's right! I've got a whole weekend full of shows so get ready!

Thursday evening I'll be at The Black Bear in Morgantown, WV

Friday night, at The Park House in Pittsburg, PA

Saturday night, at Stories On Tap in Lewisburg, PA

and Sunday evening, at The Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, PA

with my good friends The Key of V and Doug McMinn!

Once I get back to town, I'll be sure to FINALLY post some pics of my recent trip to sunny Costa Rica...

There is still some time to order things like, I don't know, an album or two for stocking stuffers, or a handprinted tshirt for that last person on your holiday list

:)

 

Halloween Photos

I almost forgot to add some pics from the Halloween celebrations this year! I went as a Dia de los Muertos sugar skull.

I had two others with me too

Spooky!

new tshirt design

Here is what the new tshirts look like! The screen was made by artist Lindsey Guild (who also created the cover art for "Put This In Your Jar"

Each shirt is hand printed and I'm sure they make excellent holliday presents...

If you would like a shirt of your own and you cannot wait until the next show, email me and we will get one to ya!

 

Music Store on Facebook

Audio From Latest Release Up On Youtube

Photos from the Release Party!

I had such a wonderful time at the release party we had last week. I can't express how happy it made me to be a part of such an enchanting evening! Thanks so much to all of you who were able to come out! Also, a special thanks to all the great folks at The Folly that make it so nice to have a party out there. For those of you that were not able to get there last week, don't worry. I am sharing some photos from that night and I'll include in this post the link where you can go to purchase the new album! Thank you all again!

 

They have a greenroom of sorts even at this outdoor stage.

This was Lilly Noels debut performance! The song she wrote is called "Wednesday Afternoon" and is available on my album.

My beautiful mother and lovely sister joined me on stage to perform the song they sing with me on the album ('The Wind and Rain')

I played the songs from the album as well as all the requests I got from your participation in the call for songs :)

Then I was joined by musician friends Bob Keel, Steve Cifala and Rob Receavuer to close the night.

If you are interested in purchasing your own copy of this latest release you can visit

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chelseamcbee2

or email me

chelseamcbee@chelseamcbee.com

and I'll let you know how to order a signed copy!

Set List!

Hi Fans and Friends (etc.) I may have mentioned something about an upcoming Album Release Party... My next solo album will be available on October 15th and I'm throwing a party here in Shepherdstown to celebrate. There will be plenty of live music and fun to be had by all. It will be located at the enchanting Timber Frame Folly at the edge of town and I'll be sending an email with directions and details soon.  I would love it if you could help me with a little something... Help me make my set list! Do you have a favorite song of mine that you would like to hear me play at the release party? Do you have a cover song that you think would be perfect for me? Let me know!! I'll be sure to include any requests in my set list that night. Please leave your requests in the comments section below.

Great New Write Up!

Thanks so much to YEP Media for their recent article about my music! It's very exciting to have this new online forum for news in my area. Take a look at the write up and share it with your friends! http://weareyep.com/clawhammer-queen-chelsea-mcbee/

Spring Time and other curious things...

It's Spring again! I'm sure I was able to hear the collective sigh of relief on the evening of the Spring Equinox. After spending the Winter close to home I'm feeling the stirrings of excitement about traveling during these warmer months. Through out December and January I have been working on my next album. I am super happy with how the recording and mixing process has been so far and will start accepting pre-orders soon! I'll be sure to let you know all about that, as well as a few contests and give-aways... Are You Excited?? The Lady Dies is also finalizing our first album! The tunes sound good and I just saw the cover art and it is wonderful. :) If you haven't already, please be sure to check us out at www.reverbnation.com/theladydies and we are on facebook as well! Are there any great summer festivals in your area that you would like to see me at? Leave a comment and I'll do what I can to come play for you! Until I see you next, know that I am spending my free time walking the dog through the budding trees and preparing the garden for new seeds and singing songs with my banjo. xoxo, Chelsea

Bloom Bars: Serving up Art not Booze...

Located in Washington DC in the middle of the Columbia Heights neighborhood is a great art space called Bloom Bars. This not-for-profit community space runs on the dedication of volunteers and the generous donations of community supporters. All sorts of classes are held in the upstairs of this renovated historic building including yoga, tap and capoeira. It is used as a community forum where folks get together to discuss topics from across the board. It is used as a movie screening venue and a live performance space. Art from local artists hangs on the walls. It's a wonderful space. It needs our help. Times are tough for all of us and that is no different for this gem of an art space. I played a show there last night and was warmly welcomed by the volunteers and audience. If you are in the DC area and are looking for a new venue to frequent, I would recommend that. There is a $10 suggested donation to attend shows and this fee supports both the artists and the venue. Check out www.bloombars.com for more info. They have links there to direct you to their twitter and facebook pages as well as a donation page. If you were wondering what to get me for Christmas, make a donation to Bloom Bars in my name :)

My Online Store

Hi there! Whew... This morning I woke up to a beautiful fall-like breeze here in Shepherdstown WV! It is perfectly timed with the beginning of school. I have very fond memories of heading to the school bus on crisp mornings getting to wear my new fall clothes! I have been busy setting up shows and planning a west coast tour at the beginning of December. If you know of any great venues or folks that want to host a house concert let me know! I will (tentatively) be going from Las Vegas to San Diego, to LA to Santa Barbara, to San Fran to Portland then over to Salt Lake City.... We will see how it turns out. In other news, I have finally figured out how to create an online store so that you can purchase the latest and greatest of Chelsea McBee Merch! Right now I have my latest album (with Bob Keel) available for digital download but will soon have more music, stickers and t-shirts too! There have been rumors of Chelsea McBee underwear as well... I'm not sure how true that is... If you like the store (and supporting my music) you can add the widget to your own website, facebook profile or blog! Here is the link! Check out Chelsea McBee's StoreWidget with t-shirts, downloads, and ringtones, http://www.reverbnation.com/controller/widget_code/audiolife_store_popup/artist_309014?widget_id=38 if you like it put it on your website!

So Much for Blogging...

I think that only a few short blogs ago I said that I was gonna try my hand at this blogging thing and "really stick to it" or something like that...So much for that! Now it's been probably a month since I wrote anything for you. My absence could be blamed on any number of things (that way I don't have to really be responsible) including spring gardening and car trouble. That's right, my trusty little diesel engine got a clog in it and is currently being mended by the great folks at Foreign Auto Excellence in Frederick MD. I can't wait to get back behind the wheel and off and running for this summers shows and, dare I say it, vacation time!!! This is the first summer in a lllooonnnggg time that I have purposefully not scheduled shows on certain dates so that I might have some summer left exclusively to leisure. aaaahhhhhh I can feel the relaxation already... There are so many new and wonderful things that an independent musician can do with the wide and wonderful web. I just read about things like Ustream and indieonthemove.com and am excited to keep exploring all the really cool things available to me. Now I just have to spend the time getting acquainted with these sites and use them to my advantage. Any suggestions from you? Any insider tips to make my transition into a more internet based existence? On a side note, my ducklings arrive tomorrow! Cheers! chelsea

Hittin Spring Like A Rock Monster

There is nothing better than waking up your soul from winter by playing a rockin show in your hometown! I (and the rest of the Lady Dies group) had such a blast at Stonewalls this weekend. Thanks so much to everyone that came out and dance dance danced the night away with us! We have been in the studio for the last several weeks working diligently on our first album and it was a relief to play for some real live faces. Also, a special thanks to Alisha Hanlin and Josh Stella for warming the place up for us. If you aren't familiar with these talents, check them out pronto! www.myspace.com/alishahanlinmusic As spring approaches ,however rainily it likes, I am getting more and more excited about playing and booking shows (both solo and with The Lady Dies) as well as garden dirt, baby ducks, long hikes through spring flowers and all the other great things that happen this time of year! A few things to remember: March 20th - I'll be at the Meck in Sheptown with Bob Keel (www.bobkeel.com) April 10th- The Lady Dies will be at the Meck (www.myspace.com/jesseboyd1) Cheers! Chelsea

Tara Toms in my Radio

The last show that I played was at Wilson College in Chambersburg PA. I shared the bill with one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Tara Toms. As usual, her live set was wonderful! Tara has amazing stage presents and her voice is beautiful. She also just put out a new record. I'm not very good at reviewing music because it is difficult to put into technical words the way that music makes me feel, but I've gotta let you know about this new release! Snap The Earth's Way is a collection of two Tara Toms and The Tumbleweeds originals and five covers that are done in the best kinda way (the only way that Tara knows how to do it). Both this album and her first release are the kind of cds that you want to keep in your car all the time. I replayed Too Cold To Be Alone (#2 on the album) until I could sing along just on the way home from the show. Each song has lyrics that you want to know and the instrumentation that the band cooks up is always just right. The recordings are simple just like the packages, each one is hand made. Tara lives in PA and has been traveling around a bit to spread her music. Just last year Tara and Josh Dean toured around the country making music. Hopefully they will give it another-go-round in a town near you! I will surely get them to Shepherdstown this spring/summer so pay attention if you are in the area! "i recorded this album at pat berberich's studio in carlisle, pa. it features myself, justin arrawjo, matt dean, and pat berberich on assorted instruments. pat also did the mixing and mastering. about music in general, i am really thankful to be friends with my biggest influences and favorite artists. i think the talent and passion i have experienced in the musicians i know has inspired me and motivated me more than anything else ever. i love everything about music period." - Tara Toms She sells her music for donations at shows but I think that you will want a copy of these stylings... Look her up and send her a letter (or a message I guess) and see if you can't work out some sort of exchange. She would get a kick outta that and you would get some amazing tunes to drive to, or do laundry to, or knead bread to, or bounce your baby to or whatever else you might do when you listen to great music! www.myspace.com/somethingcompletelyridiculous is where you can find her... Cheers for now, I'm off to keep singity singing... xo Chelsea

If I Were A Bird

If I were a bird, I might be the kind that flies south for the winter. What's the best thing to do to squash that annoying spring fever I mentioned earlier? Dump 2 feet of snow on it! 28" to be exact... I spent this blizzard holed up at my cottage with good friends and I couldn't ask for much more than that. I won't get down about the weather. It's truly beautiful out here, majestic even... I have been working on some new tunes for my show at Wilson College in Chambersburg PA this week and that always makes me feel good. I also got to spend some loving time with my cello. I'm such a lucky girl. Hmmm, I'm sure that I have something interesting (or at least witty) to say... Perhaps my witt has flown south! If I figure it out, I'll let you know! Musically yours xo

Ah, Spring Fever in February...

Let me start by saying that I think that my little town looks beautiful covered in snow. I also love the feeling of snow drifting against the walls of my cottage and snuggling under blankets and sipping mulled wine... as long as I don't have to go anywhere or do anything. The reality of the situation is that I have to get to work, and to the store and my little car just doesn't have the same gumption as 4-wheel drive! I love that I live in a place that gets all 4 seasons; bring on the next one!!! I am, however, attempting to make the best of the situation by planning tours, booking shows and dream dream dreaming of the garden that will be started post haste and the day-old ducklings that will arrive in March! You might not know this about me, but I am absolutely in love with raising plants in a garden and ducks in the yard :) Something I want to try this year is adding a few guinea fowl to the yard. The excitement that I am feeling at this moment when thinking of these new funny looking birds is absolutely nerdy. I can't help it. I can feel my bones longing for the warm spring days with crisp evenings when I can sit on my porch and watch the meadow... now everyone take a deep breath with me...aaaaahhhhhhhh. I also do my best writing in the spring. Alright, now I have to go put on some boots, a coat, mittens, a hat and a scarf to head to my next job for the day...hrumph... xoxo

New 'Do = Great New Photos

Each morning I wake up to a new surprise... that is to say, my hair surprises me every morning! After 5 years of dreadlocks, I cut my hair off. I thought that now would be a good time to get some new photos taken for the new look of the website. I got in contact with Robin Day who is a local photographer because I loved the look of her portraits that I saw on her own website www.robinday.net. Take a look over at the Photo Gallery section of my site to see the great work that she did (and see my new hair!).
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Banjo Sandwich?

So, at the beginning of January I took a trip up to NY city with Bob Keel to do a couple of shows. It was my second time playing in the Big Apple and I love the city... I also really love coming home from the city! Our first show was at Googies Lounge above The Living Room. We had just whooshed in on a bus from DC and went straight to the gig to set up. There was not much of a crowd (at all...) but that is typical of any first time gig at a new place. Bob played his set and sounded great, but when I got up to play, my banjo wouldn't stay in tune. That can be really frustrating since it is hard to get a banjo in tune any way (I'm sure you've heard of more than one joke about that). About three chords into my first song the neck of the banjo separated from the head and folded itself like a sandwich! Ever have one of those dreams about performing and realizing that you are naked? Well, magnify that feeling by 100 and that is what I felt. Fortunately, it was late in the evening and I was only "playing" to Bob, a very good friend Angie, and the sound guy so we called it a night. I managed to wash away the pain of the broken banjo with a few beers, and got to bed. I was able to find a guy in the village that could fix it for me the next day before my show at Goodbye Blue Monday that evening. So much for making any money on that trip... oh well I'll try to post some photos soon :)

Why I Love Playing Music With Other Artists

Over the last two years or so I have made a serious effort to travel around and spread my music. I've travelled with The Fox Hunt across the US to promote my album with them, I've played locally as a solo act as well as with my other band The Lady Dies, and the last big tours I did were solo ones that took me up the east coast into Maine (in May of 2009) and across the South Eastern part of Spain (September 2009). More recently I have been traveling with another solo act, Bob Keel (www.bobkeel.com) and we have hooked up with a few other solo acts along the way. These trips are always learning experiences. For example, priceline.com is a really helpful last minute tool, my car does not do very well in the cold temps of the north (diesel engine), and for the most part, boys are generally pretty smelly... There are two major reasons that I have really enjoyed playing shows with other artists. The first is that when there are two or more people traveling to the same show, things like gas and accommodations are cheaper. This factor makes it possible for me to go farther out for longer periods of time on the same skimpy dollars. So far I have been really lucky that my traveling partners have been both pleasant to talk to and not as smelly as they could have been! Reason number two: At the end of the show, most musicians are willing to swap cds with me so I get to take a piece of them home with me. The disc inevitably ends up right in my cd player in the car because I've got nothing but time to kill going down the highway... Last week I did a show in Johnson City, TN. I was on the bill with my friend Bob as well as Perry Fowler (Charlotte, NC) and Jeremy Davis of Elonzo (Charlotte, NC) I haven't stopped listening to Elonzo's album "All My Life" and the EP that they have just put out. The first thing that caught my attention was the great melodies that Jeremy comes up with. They are great to sing along with and completely compliment the musicality. He sings songs that are written like letters and remind me of the Avett Brothers. The fact that the album was recorded at home doesn't hurt the quality of the recording and the message is not lost on me... i've been trying to spread his album among friends so that they will go and check out Elonzo. I can't wait to get down to Charlotte and check them out... Hey Jeremy, if you read this, I wanna come play a show down your way! Find out more about Elonzo at www.elonzomusic.com Cheers

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