S. J.’s Blog

Read S.J’s most recent blog posts!

Online show clip: Kindness Matters

Jun 30, 18

Thanks to Kris & Jeri Lynn for requesting this one. Dedicated to them and to anyone else who needs to hear it right now.

 

Online Show Highlight!

Jun 29, 18

Thanks to all who were able to be there for my seventeenth Concert Window broadcast last night!  Here’s the highlighted song, “For Pinocchio”, which I picked out for their YouTube channel.

 

 

 

I’ll add at least one additional song vid from last night to my own channel ASAP – “Kindness Matters” turned out particularly well, despite the heat and the noisy (electric) fans.  Sound quality may turn out slightly better from the background video that I saved on my own gear.  

 

I apologize to anyone who had difficulty getting the Concert Window site or video feed to behave for them last night.  Even though it’s beyond my control, I acknowledge that the site is quite often very squirrelly for a lot of my viewers.  It’s even more frustrating because everything on my end was working nearly perfectly for once!  Blargh!  Tech frustrations aside, last night was possibly my most successful broadcast to date, and I really needed that boost.  So thank you all again.  

I’m hoping to schedule the next solo online show for mid-August, and then a second one with a special guest and good friend in early September!  If you’ve got a date preference for either one, please write and let me know (sjtuckermusic at gmail).  

Online show THURSDAY + free new song and more!

Jun 27, 18

Please join me if you can tomorrow evening on my Concert Window channel for an online show!  I’ll be singing solo this time, with new songs and new tip rewards available to all of you.  The ticket price is your choice.  I’ll start the music at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific).  Watch here.  

Please feel free to share the link with friends- online shows never run out of seats, and everyone is welcome!  

Join the discussion if you like on the Facebook event page.

I will debut at least one new song during the broadcast, a lullaby I’ve been working on en Español.  If you’re at all more fluent than I am in that gorgeous language, I’d love to have your feedback on the lyrics and presentation.  My plan for the lullaby is to release it on my YouTube channel for free, in hopes that it can be used to provide comfort to those of all ages being detained and torn from each other at our southern border.  I’ve had a lot of help from fans and friends already in getting my Spanish as correct as I can for the lyrics, but I am happy to have more help.

Speaking of new songs, I have a surprise for each of you if you haven’t heard it yet.  The newly released, fleshed out mix of my Traveling Song “Dance the Faery Ring” is available as a free download right now, in celebration of the Summer Solstice!  I’ll sing that one live tomorrow night as well, but if you don’t have it yet, please help yourself and get it here!  “Dance the Faery Ring” is my attempt at writing a song to celebrate the changing of the seasons.  I hope it will inspire you to dance.

 

TOUR STUFF
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be in Ontario, Canada oh so briefly, for the 2018 Pagan Fest event!  I will give a concert and teach two workshops over the weekend, and the festival’s music lineup is a whole constellation of stars!  More info here.

After that, I’ll be performing at the Confluence convention in Pittsburgh!  More info here.

Those are my only two live appearances for the month of July.  Please let me know if you plan be at either event!

 

PERSONAL ANNOUNCEMENT
This last section of today’s post is CW: reproductive stuff.  Please skip it if you need to do so.  Your needs are valid and you have my love and understanding, no matter what.

(more…)

Lyrics and vid: The Ballad of Lilah Rose

Jun 22, 18

This clip is from my May 2018 Concert Window online show. 🙂  Watch the next one here, June 28, 2018 at 8pm CST!

 

YouTube says I have too many words for the lyrics to go into the video description. 😉 So here they ALL are.

THE BALLAD OF LILAH ROSE

Lilah loved her family and the land they worked upon.
She minded what her daddy said, she grew up sweet and strong.
Jared was the apple of his southern mother’s eye,
but the devil was his daddy, and he couldn’t help but lie.

Try to stop a cyclone from going where it may.
Try to stop young love from growing day by day.
Lilah’s daddy saw it in his little girl’s face,
but he never said a word about disgrace.

“That boy is trouble,” all the ladies would agree,
and they’d pester Lilah’s daddy to put her under lock and key.
He’d listen with the patience of a saint, but that was all.
Gossip swirled along the wind through harvest into fall.

Lilah was a good girl ’til Jared came around.
Her daddy felt the wind change, but didn’t run him out of town.
Lilah found her mettle when Jared did her wrong.
“Boys will be boys” is such a tired old song.

Love demands a tribute grand enough to shake the earth.
She will meddle in your life and in your death and your rebirth.
Now, Jared ain’t been seen for days and no one acts surprised.
“Long time comin’, and the river’s bound to rise.”

(more…)

Super Special Announcement

May 17, 18

Y’all, I’ve got some news. It’s big, at least for me.

My husband Ryan and I will have a hatchling soon.  I get to be a mother later this year, for the rest of forever. This is something I’d almost talked myself out of allowing, and honestly wasn’t even sure I was biologically set up to do. (It’s a long endometriosis story, but all is well, and my one remaining ovary says she was born ready, TYVM.)

ETA for the wee Sprite is Halloween. Because of course it is. I first felt movement for certain on Mother’s Day, at 12:45pm central. Kid’s got timing. And seems to already have an interest in dance, because they’ve been very active ever since.
Color me thrilled, and feeling like a boss and a basket case in all the right ways.

I want you all to know, the fact that the available Village for this upcoming person is so vast and badass is the main reason I feel any kind of courage at all right now. Ryan and I are stepping into this with a massive well of support, and we know it. Thank you. Sprite is going to have a diverse and delightful extended fam of adults, teens, tweens, and elders to look up to, and so are we as new parents.

In celebration of all of this, I’ve put together a kids-positive mixtape on Bandcamp for all of you to enjoy, with some new songs in it, as well as beloved faves. Because Bandcamp’s interface is so smooth, if there are songs of mine that I didn’t include that you believe are an absolute must for a kids-positive song collection, I want you to tell me so that I can consider adding those, too! It will be very easy for me to do so. All proceeds will go to the upkeep of the wee Sprite and yours truly as this adventure unfolds, and even towards building/outfitting the baby’s room.

 

To answer a couple of questions which may be on some folks’ minds after hearing this news:
-Yes, I am of course going to keep making and producing music.
-No, it is not all about to become children’s music.
-Yes, I will keep touring and performing live, though of course the sprite’s needs are going to be my top priority for the foreseeable future, and this autumn through 2020, my travel schedule is going to be necessarily light. That doesn’t mean I’m quitting, because I am Not.
-No, we do not know much about the baby yet, but my next appointment is coming up soon, after which we will know more. So far, so good.
-Yes, I am working on baby registry right now. It may not be awesome, because IDK how to make one, but I know some of you are gonna want to see it.  EDIT: here it is!
-Yes, there will be a baby shower, possibly many, partly because my immediate family and friends are all over it (I love you, Renée).
-Yes, Ryan and I will be focusing partly on building a bit more house (again) to comfortably fit this new life.
-Yes, I have an amazing doula and an OB who’s growing on me. I also have an amazing mom and amazing in-laws, not to mention an amazing, adorably beside-himself husband. What better situation in which to be going through my first-ever pregnancy?  Ryan and I are very much aware that the world is filled with parents and parents-to-be who do not have the level of support and access to community that we have, the peaceful home environment and the other aspects of privilege that we currently walk in. More than anything, we wish everyone-parents and kids-could experience the support and trust we have from our loved ones, and from each other. So mote.
-Lastly, No, it is not lost on me that my story-sister CMV is also expecting, and that our two due dates are BARELY a month apart. I’m shocked you couldn’t all hear the shrieks of laughter when we called each other to share our news. We have got to get these two together, said Dr. Venkman, and he’s not wrong.

Beltane Update

May 1, 18

Happy May, everyone!  

April was intense for me in some ways; I hope you’ve all weathered the April showers and blizzards and other changes well.  We had a small tornado come to visit my Arkansas home last month, but all pets and people were unharmed, thankfully.  Many of our poor trees gave life and limb to protect us, and what the NWS designated an EF-0 tornado caused only the barest bit of property damage.  Me and mine are safe and grateful, and my husband and father-in-law have been working hard every day on cleaning things up.  It’s going to take a long time, but we’re thinking positive.  

I have the most shows this month that I’ve had so far in 2018, and they all start this Thursday evening on Concert Window!

 

  1. May 3rd, 7pm: I’m sharing another online show with the lovely Renée Janski!  We have some surprises planned that you’ll ONLY get to experience during this broadcast, so please join us!  Watch Here when we go live.  
  2. May 5th, Chicago: Renée and I are headlining Spring Tribal Stomp, and we cannot WAIT!  Kamrah will be on site to blow your mind with dance, and Chicago’s own Coelti will be featured fire spinner.  The awesome doesn’t stop there, either!  This is a mini-fest like no other, with vendors and healers and a drum circle and MORE.  Get tickets and more information here!
  3. May 17-20 in Central TN:  The Traveling Fates have our first official show together since 2015, and we’re so grateful to Pagan Unity Fest for bringing us!  Ginger and Bekah and I will also give solo concerts during the fest.  More info here!  
  4. May 23-28, East TN:  I’m headlining with Tuatha Dea at Cerren Ered’s May Moon Magick festival!  The whole Smoky Mountains witchy community has been so good to me in recent years; I’m looking forward to seeing them again, and to all the musical shenanigans that Tuatha Dea and I can conjure up!  More info here!  

 

STUDIO NEWS
New songs continue to roll out of me and into listenable format.  I’ll have some more digital song releases ready for you soon, at the very least.  New album time is very close.  I’m in that magical liminal space right now of really wanting to share it all with you right away, but also wanting to make sure that every song sounds as right as can be before I launch them all.  The tunes I have crossed off my new CD work list so far include “Papa’s Groove”, “Let the River Run”, and “Hekate’s Blues”.  The ones nearly finished include new versions of “Goddess of Love”, “No Fire Like Mine”, and “Trickster Prayer”.  If you’d like to hear them before they’re quite complete, I’ve been sending early listens to my monthly subscribers all year so far.  It’s a simple monthly or yearly PayPal subscription, nothing involving a fancy interface like you’ll find on Patreon, but we have fun.  I’ve been experimenting with short exclusive podcasts for 2018, including the new songs and some info about how they come about, and those have been well received.  Recently my list broke thirty people for the first time in almost a decade!  Sign up info is here.

I wish you all well in your own adventures, always.  Thank you for being such an important part of mine.

Shows May 3-28 coming up and new podcast interview!

Apr 26, 18

Shows coming up SOON:

  1. May 3rd, 7pm: I’m sharing another online show with the lovely Renée Janski!  We have some surprises planned that you’ll ONLY get to experience during this broadcast, so please join us!  Watch Here when we go live.  
  2. May 5th, Chicago: Renée and I are headlining Spring Tribal Stomp, and we cannot WAIT!  Kamrah will be on site to blow your mind with dance, and Chicago’s own Coelti will be featured fire spinner.  The awesome doesn’t stop there, either!  This is a mini-fest like no other, with vendors and healers and a drum circle and MORE.  Get tickets and more information here!
  3. May 17-20 in Central TN:  The Traveling Fates have our first official show together since 2015, and we’re so grateful to Pagan Unity Fest for bringing us!  Ginger and Bekah and I will also give solo concerts during the fest.  More info here!  
  4. May 23-28, East TN:  I’m headlining with Tuatha Dea at Cerren Ered’s May Moon Magick festival!  The whole Smoky Mountains witchy community has been so good to me in recent years; I’m looking forward to seeing them again, and to all the musical shenanigans that Tuatha Dea and I can conjure up!  More info here!           

 

I had the absolute pleasure of being a guest on the Arcane Academy podcast not long ago, run by the staff of Magus Books & Herbs in Minneapolis!  Host Markus K. Ironwood has posted our interview on Soundcloud.  Check it out in the player below if you like!  We talked about everything from songwriting to spirituality, and back again- all the good stuff!

 

2018 Tiny Desk Video!

Apr 7, 18

I forgot to crow about this when I posted it, so here it is!  NPR wrote earlier this week to let me know that my entry was approved. Do check out as many entries as you can in the Tiny Desk Contest; I’m in some brilliant company! 

My entries in past years have just been straight from the iPhone/iMovie, with very little embellishment.  This year, I managed to *at least* mix in separate audio for the song performance, and it turned out great!

I’m so grateful to everyone who’s left me a sweet or encouraging comment on the vid so far.  This tune really is one of my faves, and I’ve written A LOT of songs.

 

Big-time In Bloom

Apr 6, 18

Spring is starting to settle in here in my greening home, and it feels like I have a lot of plates in the air. 🙂  I don’t really mind, so long as I can keep from having anxiety about it all. Good changes are coming and good projects are in progress.  I’m also working on my taxes, but as long as I can keep thinking of it as a puzzle I get to solve, then the math doesn’t overwhelm me. 🙂

Renée Janski and I will present another Concert Window broadcast together on May 3rd- we have some surprises planned!  Go here to subscribe (for free) and get a reminder to watch when we’re about to go live.

I’m freshly home today from an experience I’d never had before: singing at a grave marker dedication, and watching that grave marker be installed.  

 

Some of you may have heard me sing the song I wrote last spring, either live or during an online show, about the woman whose name is on this grave marker.  She grew up one hour from where I was born, our birthdays are one day apart, and she was one year older than my grandfather.  I can’t believe I had never heard her name before a year ago, especially since her life story, though short, is so compelling and full of courage.  If you ask me, she’s a Rejected Princesses candidate (and yes, I have written to RP curator Jason Porath to let him know).

Helen was a teenager when her father was killed.  She avenged him before she’d reached what we now consider legal age, served time for shooting his killer, and despite horrific treatment at the hands of those in charge of the Pea Farm (Arkansas’ Depression-era women’s prison, now long gone), never once allowed her spirit to be broken.  She was twenty-two years old when the Pea Farm warden set her up to be murdered by a trusty guard, and slander still circulates that she was pregnant out of wedlock when she died, despite five physicians having confirmed the opposite after her autopsy.  The press went wild over her story, telling it as exaggeratedly as they pleased, and her friends had to smuggle her body out of its window display (yes, really) at a local funeral home in order to see her body buried.  She has been without a grave marker for over eighty years.  

This morning, that changed, and I got to be there to sing at her grave.  It seems like such a small act, but it’s one I’ll never forget.  

Denise Parkinson is the one to thank for all this.  She wrote the actual book about Helen’s life which captivated me so when I came across it in 2017.  Denise has since given me her blessing and hired me to produce the official audiobook.  I hope to have it ready soon.  

Until I do, feel free to read it for yourself, and read the accompanying article about Helen on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas website.

Good stuff coming up: MN, AR, and Online!

Mar 12, 18

This Week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT Week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And April Fool’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More info about all three on my tour page!

 

 

View All Blog Posts