Blog

Super Special Announcement

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.
-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

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!

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!

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

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!

This Week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT Week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And April Fool’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More info about all three on my tour page!

 

 

New Tunes Everywhere!

I have a lot to share today, and most of it is new music.  New music that you may enjoy right now if you wish!  I have managed to release SIX new songs since the beginning of this month.  I hope you will celebrate this victory with me!  You may listen to each of them here, for free, and download/purchase them if you choose:  http://music.sjtucker.com  I’ve also posted them to my YouTube and SoundCloud channels.

Here’s a little bit of info about each one.

I released “Imbolc Song” at the very beginning of February, in time for Imbolc/Candlemas/Groundhog Day.  Imbolc, on or around Feb 1st or 2nd, is the witchy counterpart of Groundhog Day. It’s a holiday for celebrating new beginnings and is even observed as the true start of spring. Irish goddess Brighid is wrapped up in Imbolc, and lots of folks think of it as her holiday. She’s a fire goddess, a hearth goddess, and is also considered the patroness of bards, smiths, and poets- I like her for all of these reasons. She’s still celebrated as a goddess in Ireland (and elsewhere), right alongside Saint Brigid. In Haiti, she is known by many as Maman Brigitte. She came to the Lwa pantheon, often revered right alongside the Catholic Saints, in the Caribbean via transported Irish and Scottish indentured workers. Brighid crosses cultures and pantheons, which makes her a great figure to look to where cultural sensitivity is concerned, and how we can step that up (both as individuals and as a spiritual community) as we walk our path “with both eyes open”.   Milk is a traditional offering at Imbolc, hence my lyric, “pour the milk upon the ground.”  Listen: http://music.sjtucker.com/track/imbolc-song

“Bad Business” is the digital single I released earlier this month in memory of friend and benefactor Brennan de Soto. Any and all download revenue that comes from this track will go immediately to Brennan’s widow, my friend Niki de Soto. If you are able to do a paid download of this one, I thank you so much. I have been able to send $400 directly to Niki already, since this tune’s release on February 8.  Brennan licensed this song from me (and paid up front to cover my recording costs) in 2016 for a Supernatural-style film project. I am proud to offer this new version of the mix in his memory.  When I learned of Brennan’s early death, I reached out to Niki to ask if I could offer her the download revenue from this unreleased tune to help with funeral costs. The song is about those of us who always ask more questions, always look deeper, and sometimes get ourselves into trouble as a result. We enchant. We inspire. We both share and keep our secrets.  Listen: http://music.sjtucker.com/track/bad-business-in-memory-of-brennan-de-soto

“Look to the Water” is another single for now, but will definitely be part of a full length release later this year!  I’m making it available from now through the Spring Equinox.  Listen: http://music.sjtucker.com/track/look-to-the-water

Lastly is the “Burn Me Out” digital EP, which I released on February 16th, in conjunction with the screening of the pilot episode of a show called Strowlers- I cannot wait for you all to see it, it’s so gorgeous, with such a rich story.  The goal of Strowlers is not just to create an awesome indie show and film series, but also to encourage other content creators to make their own films, art, music, and more in the world of the original story.  I am so proud to support the project and concept as a songwriter.  Listen: http://music.sjtucker.com/album/burn-me-out-songs-from-the-world-of-strowlers

These are all the new works I’ve been cooking this winter so far!  I hope that you get a chance to listen and enjoy these tunes soon. I will have a lot more to share with you over the next few weeks, if all goes well.  

BONUS:  “SNOW MOON” IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW! My ephemeral moon tune is back!  Get it here: http://music.sjtucker.com/track/snow-moon

With all this personal momentum I’ve got going, my more ambitious goal for 2018 is to release TWO new CDs if I can.  The digital releases will come first, and the download revenue will help me to afford the mastering, printing, and replication of physical media/CDs.  I will open up pre-orders as well, when the time comes.  Of course, you all will hear each bit of my news first, as that process unfolds, as I glide toward my goals.  My wish-word for this period of traveling a little bit less and recording a whole lot more, is “effortless”.  I’m working very hard, but there are certainly aspects of it all that are going super smoothly.

Thank you all for being so supportive of my work, and of each new piece!

FOURTH of Four new February releases is GO!

 

I’m writing from the Seattle area today, where I’ll be performing these three just-released songs at ZOEcon this evening! Hear them right now if you wanna!  

These three songs really made me flex my producer muscles.  They’re not flawless to my ears by any means, but I’m no less proud to share them.  

Another new tune and a new review!

I released an official single of my song, “Look to the Water” on Friday, February 9, in honor of my buddy Denise Parkinson’s birthday, and also the opening of her Delta: Rediscovered exhibit that evening in Little Rock. The exhibit showcases historic black and white photos from the early 20th-Century Arkansas Delta, taken by photographer Dayton Bowers, and also features Denise’s mini-documentary, “Daughter of the White River”, about life on the lower White River and the River People’s most famous community member, Helen Spence.  Denise incorporated this song as part of her documentary.  You can view the exhibit and the documentary together through April 28th of this year, in the Loft Gallery of the Butler Center Galleries, across the street from Little Rock’s River Market.  And you can listen to and download this single version of “Look to the Water” through the Spring Equinox of this year!  After that, wish me luck on this, it will be part of a new full length digital album. 🙂 

 

“Bad Business”, the tune I released just a couple of days before “Look to the Water,” has its first review- wonderful praise, totally unsolicited, and immensely appreciated!  Read it here!  Thanks so much to Audiofuzz reviewer Phil King for his support and his assessment of this new piece, which has raised $400 for my friend Niki de Soto, recently widowed.  Niki sent her thanks, and says that it helps so much.  Good job, my heart-tribe. 

Here’s that song again, if you haven’t yet heard it.

 

Another new song released today!


Proud of this one.  It was a trial by fire, emotionally, to get it ready for release this week.  

I’m asking y’all do to a paid download of this one if you are able to do that, at the amount of your choosing.  

That’s because I am sending ALL of the download money for this new song to Niki de Soto, longtime friend of mine and widow of my friend Brennan, who licensed a previous mix of this tune from me when he was alive.  We sing to mourn, we sing to heal, we sing to keep the memories real.