IT WAS MAGICAL. IT WAS MOMENTOUS. IT WAS MINE.
I have wanted to record an album for a very long time. It was a dream of mine that was right up there with winning the lotto. Unattainable. You see I didn't just want to sing in someone's basement and put out some songs. I wanted it to be good. Really good. I wanted it to be able to stand tall in someone's home collection of music. It was a tall order.
Last year I said, I'm going to record and album and started writing the songs for it. I approached my friend and amazing musician Bill Sample and he kindly agreed to co-write with me. I had no money. I had no songs. I had no idea what to do. But I was going to do an album.
Near the end of 2016 I heard of some grant money from the BC Government. I had applied for other funding and nothing had gone through. But the BC Government was different. They were giving it away to applicants. Put together your budget, who you were working with, the studio you would use, the engineer etc. There was a deadline. I had to make a choice. So I bit the bullet. No money. A few songs. Fabulous musician friends. And a goal.
Mark 9 months later (the birth of an album) and voila! Here is Plush Red Chair. I am still amazed actually that it's here. And here's the thing. It's really good. Plush Red Chair can stand tall in someone's home collection of music. It's everything that I dreamed it would be and more. And I'm awed by the whole thing.
Last Friday Plush Red Chair was released officially. I had a concert with the band to celebrate. What an evening. It's hard to express what the evening felt like. I was understandably stressed - what if people hated it? What if no one showed up? What if I failed? But I tried to let that all go and enjoy the moments. I felt at times like I was floating. Looking at it all from the outside. Could this actually be happening?
I had a pretty new dress (these pictures really don't do it justice) and some sparkly shoes. I felt Divalicious and ready to go.
The audience was alive with chatter. I could hear them from behind the stage. That's always a good sign. It usually means they're lively ... and they were.
The band came out first and then I followed. Applause. A good start. We performed Divalicious! and were off and running.
The band was fantastic. The background singers added such zest to the songs. We got to the song "It's Over." Such a great song to sing. The rapport with the audience was wonderful. We fed off each other. They loved it. We responded in kind. We were on fire. Andreas' guitar solo was epic. It was electric. I sang 'the note' - the crowd cheered. I felt like I was on America's Got Talent. More guitar solo. Bill's off his piano bench. Buff and Rene are rocking! Holy crow! The song ends and standing ovation! Boom! Cheers! Wow. Each song seems to rise above the next. Tom Pickett was my guest soloist and sang the duet Fool with me. We played off of each other. A couple in trouble. Each one a fool, but for different reasons. It was magic and Tom was amazing. You Didn't Break Me hit home to a number of people in the audience. There were tears. There was passion. There was hope. Another standing ovation. I began to tear up. The evening was turning out to be more than I even dreamed. It was perfect. We ended the evening with the crowd favourite Folsom Prison. Each member of the band playing a solo. The audience clapping along. I look to the back, two young guys are dancing having a great time. An older woman in her 80's is up on her feet clapping. Everyone was smiling. Another long standing ovation. Encore. Encore. I'm out of album. What to do? Out comes a cover tune. We sing a couple more tunes and end with a reprise of Divalicious! Everyone is on their feet and grooving to the music. More cheers and the evening is over.
After the concert was over I went out to talk to those who had attended. Sign CD's. Listen to their kind words of appreciation and congratulations. It was a magical evening indeed.
I don't know what the future holds, but I have that moment and it sits in my memory bank. I had a goal, and although it took me decades to make it happen. It happened. It was and is everything I wanted it to be. Now to just get it out there so other people can hear it.
You can download a copy of Plush Red Chair by clicking here. For a limited time I am giving away an eBook of the Lyrics and Stories Behind the music. It is a 34 page booklet telling the stories, behind the scenes and inspiration behind the music of Plush Red Chair. You can have it for free by downloading the album. It's an interesting read. I highly recommend it.