Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Season

I honestly can't believe that it's already 2015. Where did it go? Where did December even go? Time keeps moving faster and faster all the time. It's a good reminder to slow down and appreciate our day to day.

Though December 2014 was swift, it was also very good to me in a lot of different ways. Especially the weather...can I get a "Whoohoo!" for no snow! ;) 

On Thursday, December 18th I hit the road to South Bend, Indiana to play the Songwriter Showcase at Chicory Cafe. It was my first time playing in South Bend, actually it was my first time in South Bend, so I really wasn't sure what to expect. It turned out to be a fantastic experience. 

I walked into Chicory Cafe and immediately felt a warmth about the place. Right  away I started chatting with some of the other songwriters who were playing that night and quickly realized that this was a sweet bunch of folks. They made me feel right at home. It was nice to walk into a new space and not totally feel the "new kid" vibes ya know?

The Songwriter Showcase at Chicory Cafe is a pretty cool deal. Four songwriters share 3 original songs each and talk about why they wrote the song and give any special details about it that they want to talk about. When the songwriters are finished playing their tunes, the other three songwriters playing that night go up and give the songwriter performing some positive feedback about their songs. Such a cool concept for a writer's round!

I played three songs that I wrote, "Fly, Fly, Fly," "Me and a Bottle of Wine," and "I Can't Stop." 

It was an awesome and inspiring night. The other songwriters who performed were fantastic. We were an eclectic bunch and that made it really lovely. It is always nice to play a new venue in a new place for new people, but there really was something unique about this night. Dena at Chicory Cafe has created something special for the music community in South Bend and I'm so happy that they allowed me to come in and be a part of it. I can only see this helping the music community between Michigan and Indiana to get even tighter. 

The next night was The Very Merry Jingle Jam in Grand Rapids and it was AWESOME. Between the holidays, traveling and everything else this season brings, I almost didn't think there would be time to make it happen this year. I am SO happy it did though. We were able to raise a sizable monetary donation and donate a TON of food items, clothing, winter wear and other necessities to Mel Trotter Ministries. I had no idea that we would collect as much stuff as we did and raise the funds that we raised. Folks came out, opened their hearts and made a difference for some people in need this year and it was amazing. Here are some highlights from the night.

 LOVE these people. Some of the fantastic musicians who played the Jingle Jam. 

 The very beginning of the night. 

Jammy Jammin' with Matt Gabriel, Mark Sala, Scotty Gentry and Jake Mellema.

Mike, Bobbie, and Joey from the Pink Rack Project. They are awesome and wonderful people!

Just a couple of weirdoes 

Melissa Dylan rockin' out. 

Donation table halfway through the night. :D

My super artistic donation box creation. 

Scotty Gentry rockin' dem drums. 

Jake Mellema sangin' 

Steve Rivers and Chris Bardolph rockin' it out. 

Mat Churchill doin' the dang thing. 

Mark Sala, Melissa Dylan and Scotty Gentry. 

Warming up with this talented gal. :) 

Jake getting "apple juice wasted."

The donation tables were literally spilling over onto the ground at the end of the night. Thank you so much to everyone who donated. We were thrilled! <3 

 Talented, wonderful friends of mine. :) 

Loved handing over all of these wonderful donations to Mel Trotter Ministries My car was jam packed with stuff! 

Biggest thank you to everyone who made this night a success. Special thanks to Peppinos, Mayan Buzz Cafe, Outback Steakhouse and The Pink Rack Project for donating awesome prizes for the raffle. Huge thanks for The Grand Woods Lounge for donating to the raffle and also hosting us for the night. Grand Rapids, you are wonderful. <3 

Nothin' But Love

xo - Kari