FRANK, Kansas Road Trip, Casa Mariposa & Lively Productions NEW WEBSITE!

Hello friends,
I haven’t written in a while, but things have been going really well. I have been busy finishing the final touches on our upcoming European Tour that will happen in September. We will be heading to Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany & a quick trip to Spain! More about that as it gets closer, but if you would like to see our tour dates, visit our website

In a couple of weeks – on Thursday July 18th, 10pm – I will be performing in downtown Austin with the band at Frank. The lineup will also feature Roland & the Roots Riddem at10:45pm along with KP and the Boom Boom at 11:30pm! It will be a night full of dancing & lots of energy. Please join us for this event. We will have a few new songs to share with you too…I also have some performances coming up with La Guerrilla where I’ll be dancing, singing, and maybe even rapping – oh my! (The dates are also at my website)

The following week, I will be joining my good friend Devon Sproule on a trek up to Topeka, KS where she will play the Last Minute Folk Concert Series held at UUFT. The concert is on Saturday July 27th. I’ll most likely join her with some harmonies, and will be there to say hello to all my friends in Topeka!

Then after I get back, Jason and I will head south towards the border and play at an amazing venue called Casa Mariposa on South Padre Island. This will be a really beautiful night of friends, family and music. If you are in the area and would like more information, contact Sherrie at casamariposapadre@gmail.com.

Lively Productions has a brand new website…finally!

As some of you may know, Jason and I have our own design company called Lively Productions. We work with small businesses, independent artists and musician to help with graphic design, websites & more. We have been waiting to create a new website for Lively Productions for some time now…and it is finally here! So please go check it out and let us know what you think: www.livelyproductions.com

Latest European review for Uncovering Stones

We just got in another great review for Uncovering Stones! The text is in Dutch, but here are my two favorite quotes from the review:

“Vanessa Lively’s Uncovering Stones exudes quality, but is also one of those albums that you never get enough of.”

“All in all, I dare say Uncovering Stones by Vanessa Lively is one of the most underrated singer-songwriter albums of the past year.”

– Erwin Zijleman, De krenten uit de pop (The Netherlands)

To check out the full review and listen to selected tracks & videos, visit http://www.dekrentenuitdepop.blogspot.nl/2012/12/vanessa-lively-uncovering-stones.html

I am so happy to see the continued excitement and praise for the album!

I hope everyone has a wonderful close to this year and a great beginning as we head into the next…

In gratitude,

Vanessa

“La Voz Latina” will be featured in The Blue Rock Review!

I am so excited to share with you the news that my latest painting “La Voz Latina” has been selected to be featured in The Blue Rock Review, Volume 8, VOX! This is a wonderful book that is put out annually by Blue Rock Studio. Other artists featured in this year’s publication includeDanny Schmidt, Paul Curreri, Jonathan Byrd, Mary Gauthier & Tom Prasado-Rao. It is a compilation of poetry, essays, paintings, photographs and more. The release party will be held on Saturday November 24th at Blue Rock Studio in Wimberley, TX.

For event information, visit http://events.bluerocktexas.com/coming-soon/detail/the-blue-rock-review-book-release-viii/



For more information about The Blue Rock Review Vol. 8 & to purchase the book, visit http://www.bluerockfoundation.org/



Here is an image of the painting. I did this one this past summer while listening to the inspiring voices of Latin American female singers including Lhasa de Sela, Violeta Parra & Mercedes Sosa. I tried to capture their energy and bold, uninhibited voices in this piece. The emerging flower is a symbol of their brave lives full of creativity, breaking out of the box that is supposed to define the role of Latina women. I hope you enjoy it.


After a year full of shows & tours, I am taking the next couple of months to really focus on making some new creations. Since coming home from the European & South Texas tours, I have poured my energy into the creative process and have really been enjoying this quiet reflective time. I have been busy writing & finishing some songs that have been waiting patiently all year, and I am also taking time to paint. This week and next, I will be doing some co-writing through the House of Songs. I look forward to sharing some of these new creations with you soon….



Love,


Vanessa

10 Questions for Vanessa Lively – Austin Post


AUSTIN POST  |  10 Questions for Vanessa Lively
By Gabino Iglesias, Austin, TX

Writing a song is no easy task. Writing a good one is even harder. Writing a good song that has purpose, is in touch with the life experiences of others and makes people cry tears of joy is absolutely beautiful and rare. The songs that Vanessa Lively writes are in that last category. Her travels, pains, concerns, truths and joys are all in the songs that she puts in her records. With “Uncovering Stones,” her latest effort, the singer is doing that one more time. We sat down to ask her ten questions so that you could get to know this bilingual chanteuse a little better.

1. When and why did you start your music career?
I started my music career in early 2007. I had just come back home to the US after having lived in South America from 2005-2007, and upon returning, wasn’t sure exactly what to do next. I had recorded my first album while living in Ecuador, so after I came back I decided to just go on tour right away and see how that went…and it was great! I have been going down this road ever since.

2. How would you describe your sound to those who have never heard it?
Eclectic folk music with pop and world music influences. My vocals have been likened to Edie Brickell and Stevie Nicks, but my delivery is softer than those artists. Most of my songs either have a strong rhythmic pulse or go the opposite way to be very light and airy.

3. Who are your influences and why?
I have been influenced by so many artists, it is hard to name them all. Early on, my musical influences were The Beatles and Michael Jackson. As I entered my teens, I began listening to Bob Marley, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco, The Indigo Girls, Counting Crows and Ben Harper. Each of these artists really touched me in a profound way and made me want to write my own songs. Probably the two most influential songwriters in my life have been Tori Amos and Ani DiFranco. They both had such a unique way of expressing themselves with music and voice and it really spoke to me.

4. How was the process of putting Uncovering Stones together at home? How does it compare to your two previous records?
Recording “Uncovering Stones” was such an amazing experience! We camped outside in the backyard while our house was turned into a studio for a couple of weeks. It was the best thing to just wake up, make a pot of coffee and get started on the recordings. We had everything so well organized ahead of time that by the time the actual recording was taking place, folks just popped in, recorded their parts and then made way for the next people to come over.

Working with Keith Gary as our engineer was so wonderful. He was incredibly fast, full of positive happy energy and a hoot to be around. We had a blast from start to finish. We would even eat all our meals together, take breaks together, hang out and laugh, and the whole album just unfolded before our eyes. It was beautiful. I actually cried during the recording of “The Lost Boys” because I was so moved by how the music came together exactly how I had envisioned it and it took me to the place I was when I wrote the song – my heart was crying for all of the Sudanese refugees who had to flee their homes during the long Sudanese Civil War.

My two previous records “Canto y Cantera” and “A Chain Unbroken” were also both recorded in a home studio environment. “Canto y Cantera” was done in our same house, but my husband Jason was the engineer and we recorded and mixed that one ourselves from start to finish. It was a fun project too. And “A Chain Unbroken” was recorded in England over the course of two months with our friends in the Manchester area. All of the session musicians were friends of theirs and so the textures were unique to the place we were recording and it was a very fun experience as well. Each album is very different and I feel that they are all acting as a snapshot into that time in our lives.

5. What made you decide to record “Canto y Cantera,” a record in Spanish with songs by some of the best voices in Latin America? Why did you put two songs in Spanish on the new record?
I was gearing up to do another full length album and starting to do the initial idea work for it, but then Mercedes Sosa of Argentina passed away. This was on October 4, 2009 (which is also the birthday of the late Violeta Parra). I remember it vividly. She had become such a special musical influence to me over the past few years. I was introduced to her music in 2005 before moving to Bolivia, and when I arrived in Bolivia, I soon realized that she was one of the most popular artists in the country. I checked out her CDs from the library and began listening to all of her recordings. I loved her energy and passion, especially for justice and human rights. So when she passed, I knew that I needed to put the full length album on hold and record a tribute to her life, her music and her passion. I sang a song called “Todo Cambia” throughout all of my changes that I went through in South America and felt it was a soundtrack to my time there. That is why I put that song on the album along with my other favorite songs.

With “Uncovering Stones,” I put two songs in Spanish on that album simply because I had written them and not yet recorded them. They are two of my favorite songs to sing and I feel that when I sing in Spanish, another side of me comes out. I lived in Laredo when I was very young and then grew up spending almost all of my summers with my grandparents in Brownsville, TX. My grandparents’ families both moved to the US from Mexico. My grandfather was Portuguese and my grandmother was Mestiza – a mix of Spanish and indigenous.

6. The songs on “Uncovering Stones” seem very personal but they ask to be shared; how was the writing process for this album?
My songs are always very personal, even when they are not about me! Sometimes I see friends and family struggling and I feel it so deeply, I end up writing songs about what they are going through, but in the first person. And the songs that are about me always have a big story behind them as well. That is how my writing process works – I journal every day and then when I am really moved, or seeing something clearly, I sit down and write a song about it. And I want nothing more than my songs to be shared. I feel like the highest calling for a song is to really speak to someone and touch them in a way that helps them through whatever they are going through. When I hear my songs have done that for someone, my heart jumps with joy! I love it!

7. What feedback from fans/critics regarding your work has touched you the most?
There has been so much said that has touched me. People say my music inspires them to live life fully, follow their dreams and be bold, honest and open. That to me is so awesome! I also have had people call me crying tears of joy and saying that my music moved them so deeply and they had to tell me…those moments are so precious to me and I feel grateful to be able to share my art in this world and have a positive effect on people.

8. Tell me a little bit about how we can save the world with your t-shirts and bag.
Haha! I had to go look up my website to see if that is where you got that idea from, and in fact it is there! Okay, so the reason that buying my handmade t-shirts and tote bags will save the world is as follows: I handpick barely worn, quality t-shirts from the thrift store, then I bring them home, screen print my own hand drawn design onto the shirt and bag, then turn around and sell my art. Barely any new material has been used in the making of these products and with the canvas shopping bags, you can save the earth one grocery trip at a time! I think it’s all pretty green and eco-friendly, don’t you?

9. What would you like for people to take from “Uncovering Stones”?
I would like people to feel joy, inspiration and compassion when listening to these songs. I think our world can use more of all this and so I hope that my songs have a ripple effect of love and goodness in the world to bring about more peace, understanding and beauty.

10. Could you describe the Austin music scene in one word?
Thriving!

Vanessa Lively’s music sounds like smart world music, which makes a lot of sense coming from Austin. It’s music that needs to be heard, shared and experienced. To get your hands on a copy of “Uncovering Stones,” or her two previous efforts, visit her website here, where you can also get one of her t-shirts. You can also connect with her on Facebook here to stay updated on upcoming gigs. In “Uncovering Stones,” Lively asks you to follow your heart; her music comes from her following that advice, go check it out.

To see the original article visit:
http://www.austinpost.org/music/10-questions-vanessa-lively

Continental Records in Europe will be releasing Uncovering Stones this summer!

I am very pleased to announce that we will be officially releasing the latest album Uncovering Stones in Europe this summer with Continental Records (formerly Rounder Europe)! Jason & I will go to Denmark, Germany & The Netherlands in August for the CD Release Tour. If you are in the Austin area and would like to join us in a celebration / send off show, mark your calendars for Thursday August 9th at The Cactus Cafe. Thanks to all of you who are listening to the album and continuing to support this lovely musical journey…
Sincerely,
Vanessa Lively

May Happenings…

Jason and I recently came back from our Spring Tour throughout the Southwest. It was so wonderful. You can check out some of the photos I took here. Now I am working on finalizing our European tour calendar & an upcoming tour with Nicolette Good supporting her new CD Monarch. There is a lot of fun on the horizon!

All the amazing scenery that we saw along the way inspired me to come back and paint again. I am actually hoping to have an art show this summer, so stay tuned for more info on that! Here is a sneak peek at one of the pieces I am currently working on:

As for some upcoming shows & events, I have a show this week at a new Whole Foods Market opening up in Bee Cave. I’ll be performing a solo set starting at 5pm. Come join me in celebrating the new store! Then later this month, Jason & I will be performing as a duo at the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair held in Kerrville, TX on Sunday May 27th. Next month I’ll be joining Claude Butch Morgan at the NeWorlDeli in Austin, TX on Wednesday June 6th. All the details for these shows and more can be found at http://vanessalively.com/tour.html

Have a great week!!!

Love,

Vanessa

Acoustic Sampler CD / Tour with Nicolette Good

Jason and I spent a few days in January recording some intimate & raw acoustic tracks for a new 2012 Acoustic Sampler CD. Two of the songs are co-writes with female songwriters from Denmark that were written recently.

In just a couple of weeks, I will be playing some really fun shows between San Antonio, TX & Memphis, TN with the very talented Nicolette Good! Nicolette has been featured recently on the new TV series Troubadour, TX. If you haven’t heard of this series, you should check it out. It follows Texas singer-songwriters on their musical journey. (I made an appearance on one of the early episodes as well!)

Our Austin show is called “Songbirds in the Round” and is happening on Friday February 17th at Flipnotics. It features Laura Marie, Tara Craig, Nicolette Good and many other talented guest artists throughout the night (nine to be exact!) It is going to be a lot of fun…

I have shows in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, New Orleans & then many showcases at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis, TN. I hope to see you somewhere along the way!! Visit my website at www.vanessalively.com/tour for all the dates & info.

Have a lovely February,

Vanessa


KUNC in Northern Colorado has Uncovering Stones as #5 on their Top 10 Albums of 2011 list!!

2012 is here!!


So we are officially into the new year of 2012! I hope that it is going well so far. Jason and I have had a few shows this past week and I have a feeling that this is going to be a great year full of music & fun…I am really looking forward to the year ahead. I have some exciting tours on the horizon starting next month, but until then, I’ll be playing shows around Austin, co-writing with a couple of artists from Denmark and preparing for the year ahead!

I want to express my Gratitude…
The positive feedback and support continues to flow in from all directions. I feel uplifted by my family, friends, community & fans in all that I do. I am grateful for so many things in my life. The fact that I am able to live a life as a musician, artist & designer continues to fill me with happiness.

In December, we heard that KUNC in Northern Colorado had put us on the Top 2011 Picks list! And all last year, positive reviews were coming out left and right about the new album. I am glad that Jason & I were able to put that record out the way we wanted to; and it would not have been possible if it weren’t for all the support & encouragement that everyone gave to us along the way! So in looking back over the past year, I feel overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the people in our life that continue to make this path possible.

As a thank you, we are sending everyone a 25% coupon to use for Vanessa Lively CDs & music products at Bandcamp. This will expire on January 31, 2012. Visit vanessalively.bandcamp.com and enter this code for your discount: gratitude

I hope that this next year is filled with peace, love, new beginnings & inspiration!

Sincerely,

Vanessa

Happy Thanksgiving + Funny Homemade Kids Video


…this is a picture of the friendliest rooster I have ever met! (near Fischer, TX – Home of the Rice Fest in Fischer Hall)

Happy Thanksgiving friends!!

I can’t believe that it is already time for Thanksgiving feasting! I am really excited. Jason always makes wonderful pies and this year he will be making a special gluten free Pumpkin Pie too. I know that I am grateful for a lot this year, but especially grateful to all of you who support my music & art! Thank you! You are my patrons.

This week, I will be interviewing with WGDR’s Women Stirred Radio in Vermont. You can listen to the interview live at www.wgdr.org this Thursday 11/17 at 4:15pm ET. We’ll be talking about the new album and lots more!

Vanessa’s kids song + video

Earlier this year, I did a some songwriting workshops with elementary school kids here in Austin. The song that I wrote for the workshop to use as an example was called “Chocolate Milk, Pickles & Cheese”. The other day I got a wild hair and wanted to record a silly video to go along with it. Check it out & show your kiddos! I hear that babies love it!

I hope that all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving next week. Sending you lots of love!

Vanessa

HAAM Benefit Day 2011 & My 31st Birthday!


Lovely October is here!!
The weather has finally started to cool off for us in Texas. I was actually shivering outside the other day as I sat in my green sundress and ate my healthy breakfast of gelato and coffee at Whole Foods! This past Tuesday was HAAM Benefit Day here in Austin…it is a day where musical acts are happening around the clock, businesses participate in donating a portion of their proceeds to the organization for that day & lots of fun activities are happening. HAAM, which stands for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, is what provides many of us musical artists with health & dental care. It is a private organization and makes most of its money on this day for the year…you can read more about it at www.myhaam.org

On Saturday I celebrated my 31st Birthday!! I was at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Conference, so I had 200 voices in perfect harmony singing me the Happy Birthday song. It was a very special day and many people helped to make it that! I am looking forward to this next exciting year of life…

I have some shows around the Texas area this month, but there is one show that everyone can tune in to no matter where you are. We have a new online radio station here in Austin that has a “Live at Lunch” series which is a performance and interview. You can watch the video as it happens or just tune in to listen to the radio on your computer. This will happen on Wednesday October 26th at noon. I’ll be in the studio with fellow artists Gina Chavez and Cheryl Murdock and we will be talking about the Austin Women’s Conference that will be happening the following week. We’ll all be performing there as well.


Tune in to www.austin360Radio.com to watch & listen!

I also discovered a neat tidbit of information…every single track from my new record is getting airplay on radio stations both nationally & internationally! I love that so much!! I have been continuing to receive positive feedback via blogs, magazines, radio DJs and more for Uncovering Stones. Texas Music Magazine wrote about the album and will also be publishing a full review in the next issue.

Oh and one more thing…I just found out that a blog based out of Florida called El Noticiero de Alvarez Galloso awarded me the AG Award for Texas Singer-Songwriter for the 21st Century! I am so grateful for all of the positive response and encouragement I am getting from all directions right now.

Have a great evening & a wonderful rest of your week!!

See you soon,

Vanessa


Uncovering Stones is now available to listen to for free on Spotify, so if you are signed up for that, go check it out if you haven’t heard it yet!