May (almost) 2013
As promised in the most recent email, the garden update, for those of you who are equally as obsessed with growing things... on the food front, peas are 3-4 feet tall (yes, they are in a greenhouse), kale, lettuce and various yummy greens abound. The cilantro is amazing this time of year and we've been making cilantro pesto - I like it much more than the traditional basil pesto. Super creamy, plus cilantro is REALLY good for you - something about how it helps carry the heavy metals out of your system. Not sure exactly how that goes, but it sure does taste good! Rhubarb and asparagus are cranking as well, the garlic is looking great and will be harvested early summer. We put in a few more elderberries (sambucus nigra) and I have plans to make my own medicinal tincture and syrup with them this fall. The plum tree is full of tiny tiny little beginnings of yellow plums which will become chutney late summer, apples are in bloom, nectarines have peach leaf curl but still look pretty good, cherries and pears and figs in the works, blueberries are full of blossoms as are the strawberries. And on the flower front - I bought 2 tree peonies this spring (then realized they really shouldn't be put in the ground til fall...) but in any case, I'm super excited about these amazing plants. One will make peachy colored flowers and the other purple. Greer's Gardens has quite a nice selection... Still many more veggies to put in and with the upcoming sunny days, hope to get some more seeds planted. Still a bit early to put out the tomatoes and peppers, so best to be patient and wait another month or so (unless you're putting them under a cloche or in the greenhouse!)
On the musical front - wearing many hats these days (as you may have read in the last email). There's the folk trio, the jazz trio, and the kirtan/devotional trio. All of which I am enjoying immensely! Check out the different tabs on the website for more information on each of those! Happy planting - and ALWAYS KEEP IT ORGANIC!!!!!!!
Wow, a new year and so many exciting things on the horizon! 2012 wrapped up nicely, with some Liaisons shows, a Laura Kemp trio show, and a solo benefit show for Beyond Toxics, all in early December. Then I headed off to the Sivananda Ashram in northern CA for a glorious 10 day yoga and meditation retreat. Santa even made an appearance on Christmas eve! Looking forward into the new year, I am excited to continue playing with my jazz trio, The Liaisons, as well as my folk trio, and adding some new tunes and a little more banjo into the mix. I'm also looking forward to a 5 month yoga teacher training that I'll be starting in March as well as singing and playing more kirtan on my harmonium and guitar. Some big plans for the garden as well, but I'll wait until the spring update for all that, as there is still frost on the ground. Happy new year!
EARLY SUMMER 2012
The new jazz trio has changed it's name - we decided that 3 on the Tree was too cumbersome and confusing - we were getting listed as 3 up a tree, 3 in a tree, etc. So, the new name is The Liaisons. And we have some fun shows coming up this summer, many of which sax player extraordinaire, Paul Biondi, will be playing with us! And the Laura Kemp Trio will be playing at the Oregon Country Fair this year, all 3 days - check the schedule for details. In the back 40, the strawberries are coming on like crazy and we're eating artichokes for dinner tonight. I love June!
Getting the gardening bug, even though there is still snow in the forecast - I just can't help myself. On the music front, my new all jazz standards duo, 3 on the Tree, has been getting out for some shows and receiving great feedback. That's me on guitar and vocals and Sean Peterson on upright bass and vocals. We've been having a rotating cast of horn/brass players sitting in with us which helps to keep us true to our name. Meanwhile, the Laura Kemp Trio has been staying busy with our folkie bluegrass sound and plan on being at some festivals this summer. Bring on the sunshine!
I've been having a blast these past couple months working with my trio: Jeremy Wegner on mandolin/vox, Sean Peterson on upright bass/vox, and your's truly. We'll be playing locally throughout the winter and then hoping to hit some festivals come summertime! Sean and I are also working on our jazz standards set and looking for a name for this new project. We'll be playing our first full night of all jazz at Territorial Winery in Eugene on Feb. 17th. If you have a standard you'd like us to work up for you, zap an email my way!
Home from an amazing trip to Europe. Spent two weeks hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc - a 110 mile trail that circumnavigates the highest peak in the alps and goes through France, Italy, and Switzerland. Then headed to Paris for my birthday! Carried my Tacoma Papoose guitar on my pack for the entire journey and will post some picks of me playing it at one of the high passes soon. (Yep, I should be endorsed by Tacoma guitars for that feat!) Excited to be home, eating from the garden once again, and looking forward to some fun shows this fall!
Finally got some videos up on youtube of the CD Release Show. Here's one of Bodhi Tree w/TR Kelley on baritone guitar and Paul Safar on harmonium. The entire first set is posted on you tube by song name and track order. We left a lot of the talking in for those of you who missed the show!
THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the CD release show at Unity of the Valley in Eugene. We had a packed house and a wonderful time - amazing energy that still has me smiling! I had some nice press and radio interviews for the show. You can listen to my live interview with Liz Wise on KLCC's Fresh Tracks!
Exciting news - my new recording, Bodhi Tree is finally done and ready to hit the streets - just in time for holiday gift shopping!
It was recorded in Nashville, TN during the May floods, produced by Nomad Ovunc, and features some of Nashville's finest backup musicians. Click on the CD cover to buy, listen to samples, and read more! The "official" CD release show will be on January 29th in Eugene at the Unity Church. Mark your calendars - more details to come!
Heading south to California for some shows with Mare Wakefield and Nomad, then back up to Oregon for more! The new CD is pretty much done besides the artwork/packaging - check back in the early fall for release dates. We're really excited about it!
It's almost May and once again I've turned into a gardening fanatic. Limiting the tomato plants to 10 this year but making up for it in greens!
All just in time for a trip to Nashville! I'll be spending most of May in the sunny south, back to the home of my alma mater. This time instead of studying math and german, I'll be recording my new CD, Bodhi Tree! I'm working with a wonderful engineer, Nomad Uvunc (who also happens to be the husband of my dear friend, Mare Wakefield, ex-Eugenian, now Nashvillian). We hope to get the bulk of it done while I'm there, with mixing and final touches wrapping up during the summer. I'll be playing a bunch of west coast shows with Mare and Nomad in late Aug./early Sept., so keep checking back for that tour schedule. I'm crossing my fingers I'll have the new CD in tow for that tour. And if you live in the Nashville area, I'll be playing a couple times while I'm there - check the shows page for that info.!
A heartfelt thank you to the readers of the Eugene Weekly for voting me as their favorite solo musical artist for 2009! Your votes are so appreciated and I am honored with the privilege. You can read the Weekly and see the rest of the “Best of Eugene” Awards HERE.
You can now hear Laura on Pandora! For you internet junkies, create your own “Laura Kemp Radio Station.” Click HERE to get started.