Co-writing with Danish folks / Acoustic Sanctuary Show / EarthSky Feature!

Hello friends! I hope y’all are doing well!

In the last few weeks, I was able to write some more songs with three talented songwriters from Denmark – Claus, Kristian and Nana. We were able to create some beautiful songs and make lasting friendships. This is all happening with the program based here in Austin called The House of Songs. Jason and I are talking more and more about booking a tour to Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium & Germany soon…maybe next summer! I will be recording a rough demo of one of these songs called “Fire” and will send that along to you soon so you can hear one of the new tunes…

A couple of days ago, NPR’s EarthSky featured one of my songs again! You can listen to the podcast here.

And if you haven’t heard yet, Austin 360 Radio is a new station based out of Austin, TX but can be listened to online from anywhere in the world!! They have been spinning “Honeybee” quite a lot:) If you would like to request one of my songs from Uncovering Stones, you can email with your request. They still have our 07/14/11 interview & video up online if you’d like to check it out. Just visit

Acoustic Sanctuary show / HAAM Benefit Day 2011
I have some fun shows coming up in the next few weeks. Tomorrow night I will be singing at a new listening space called The Acoustic Sanctuary. It is in downtown Austin, and is held in a church. I am sure this will be a lovely space to perform in and share a night of music. For info, please go here.

On Tuesday October 4th, we will have another HAAM Benefit Day. HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians) is what provides affordable health care for most of us working musicians here in Austin. It is an amazing organization and is powered by generous donations from many people and places. Most of the funds are raised annually on HAAM Benefit Day. To learn more about HAAM and to find out ways you can get involved, please visit
I will be performing that evening at Aquarelle in downtown Austin.

That’s all for now! Have a beautiful week…hope to see you someday soon!


Here is a picture of one of my latest paintings. I did this for my friends’ brand new baby Oliver! Congrats to Ben & Steph…

Free Download & New Videos!

Jason & I are back in Texas now. The CD Release Tour for Uncovering Stones was so wonderful. Now I am hangin’ in Austin where we are having record breaking heat…so I thought it would be nice to give you a cool free download of “Digging Up Dirt” (something I can’t wait to do!) Enjoy the tune…hopefully it can be a chill soundtrack to the end of your summer!

Reviews & Recent Videos…
The new album is continuing to receive great reviews! Some exciting things are on the horizon and I will be sure to pass them along as soon as I can:) Here are a couple of videos from the CD Release shows in Austin & Dallas:

Playing Games – The Cactus Cafe 06/21/11

Honeybee – The Kessler Theatre 06/22/11

We will be uploading some more videos from The Cactus Cafe (with the band) so stay tuned!

Art & Creations…
Right now I am focusing on creating art in all areas: painting, jewelry, co-writing songs with Jason and folks from Denmark (with the House of Songs), and anything else creative I can get my hands on! A good friend of mine is about to have a baby, so last week we painted a Gecko on her big belly with henna for good wishes and blessings! I loved it so much, I was thinking that I should offer this for all mommies to be…. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Lots of love,


More images from the recording sessions are online at

A Glimmer of Hope is an Austin-based nonprofit that does humanitarian work in Africa. The organization is raising money to bring food, clean water and other necessities to the drought-stricken area. At Glimmer, 100 percent of the overhead costs are covered by the nonprofit’s endowment, so all donations go directly to projects. To give, go here.

Tour update, Austin 360 Radio & more…

Hey friends,

I am writing you from deep in the hills of West Virginia. Jason and I have been on tour since the CD Release a couple weeks ago and it has been amazing so far!! We have had great shows in TX, AR, MN, IL & OH, and now we’re heading to Nashville, Memphis & Little Rock for the last few shows of this trip. I am not looking forward to the crazy heat in Austin, but it is always nice to get home!

…Videos, Radio Performances & such…
There are many videos online from our CD Release at The Kessler Theatre in Dallas. Also, the KFAI live in-studio performance is archived so you can hear that online for another week or so. Click here to listen that show. When we get back to Texas, I’ll be uploading some videos from the Cactus Cafe show in Austin as well, and will post them to the website, so be on the the lookout for that…

And next week (Thursday July 14th / Bastille Day!) Jason and I will do a live in-studio performance for Austin’s new radio station Austin 360 Radio. You can listen online at

Thank you for all your love and support!! Everything has been going really well with this new album and we will be setting up many more tours, so hopefully we’ll see you someday soon in the near future…

Lots of love,


p.s. the album is available for sale online via our website, iTunes & more!

Uncovering Stones CD Release…

We are quickly approaching the release of my new CD ‘Uncovering Stones’ and already so many great things have been happening! The album is getting a lot of love from radio stations across the US and beyond…and I have been receiving many emails from DJs expressing their excitement and telling me how much they love it! I am so happy about all of this!

The release date is Tuesday June 21st, and we will be having our CD Release show that day at The Cactus Cafe in Austin, TX at 8pm. We will be performing with the full band featuring many surprise guests!! (You can purchase tickets online at Then we head out the next morning for our CD Release Tour which takes us through middle America, into the Midwest and back through the Southeast.

Sweet Reviews and my New Website!
We have been getting some sweet reviews for the album, one of which came out today in the Austin Chronicle! You can check it out here. Another came out just a few days ago in the Dallas Morning News…read the article here. We’ve also just launched the new Vanessa Lively website. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Head over to and check it out. Please let me know what you think!

We have a fun new store with lots of merchandise for you to enjoy, so please visit and buy some gifts for your friends! We have hand screen printed tote bags to save the earth that feature an original drawing by yours truly:)

All in all we are very excited with everything that is happening. I am truly grateful for all the support, love and encouragement you have all given to me!!

Lots of love,


The CDs have arrived!!

Yesterday evening, the delivery man brought us a very exciting delivery! The new CDs are here and they look and sound beautiful…we are so happy. Now we will start getting them ready to send out to to everyone who pre-ordered. If you still want to pre-order a signed copy for $20 (includes shipping), we will continue taking them for the next few weeks via PayPal or check. Thank you!! I can’t wait to share the new music with you!

Preorder with PayPal

If you send a check, please mail to P.O. Box 684774, Austin, TX 78768 and make sure to include your mailing address where you want the CD shipped.
May shows and more…

And this month, I have some really fun shows that you can come to! THIS WEEK I have three shows in Austin (whew!) and all are fun & unique. On Thursday, I’ll be playing at Saxon Pub at 10pm with the band. On Friday, I will open for a fantastic Canadian singer-songwriter named Jon Brooks at Open Ears Concerts in North Austin. Then on Saturday, I will be at NeWorlDeli with Jan Seides and Annie Benjamin swapping songs from 7 to 10pm. Come to one, or all, of the shows!

Then, on Wednesday May 25th, I will join Mother Banjo at Flipnotics for her CD Release Party! Mother Banjo is from Minnesota and will be traveling a long way to come play here in Austin, so spread the word to your friends and lets pack the little coffee shop! I will open the show at 8pm. Come hang out and sip on tea with me while Mother Banjo serenades us…

And the next day, I’m off to the Kerrville Folk Festival. You won’t be hearing from me much until we get close to the CD Release Party on Tuesday June 21st! I’ll be leaving on tour the next day to go all over the place. You can peek at my calendar online at

here is a funny picture of jason covered in ‘uncovering stones’

Jason in CDs

The story of ‘Uncovering Stones’

My new album ‘Uncovering Stones’ will be out in June.

This process has been about friends, family and community from start to finish. I began the project last November by painting the album cover artwork in the backyard of my friends’ house in East Austin. (You can see the video here: I then sold the 42 paintings to help fund the album.

The next part of the process was deciding which songs would go on the album. Jason and I made score sheets that we passed around to our friends, who in turn helped us decide what to put on. Next we thought about each song, and how to bring it to life on the album. We made a list of all the musicians we wanted to record with. I then met with a few folks to get additional direction and advice on how to best move forward with all our ideas. We practiced with the artists & prepared for recording. Around this time, we also got some beautiful photos taken by the very talented Rodney Bursiel, who we met through our friend Carrie Elkin. He had just taken her photos for her newest release ‘Call It My Garden’ (a wonderful record from this year!)…the photos he took were stunning. Jason & I were working with Carrie on her CD Design & Website, and were using all of Rodney’s images, which made the whole process so much easier. So then we met with him to take our photos for this next record, and I am so happy that we did. We had our photo shoot at Sam Baker’s house surrounded by nature and paintings by Sam. I’ll share more of these images soon on the new website & CD artwork.

The next person who entered the scene was Keith Gary. Keith had just worked with our friend Danny out at Blue Rock Studios in Wimberley on his new record ‘Man of Many Moons’ (which by the way is another awesome record from 2011) Danny highly recommended Keith, and the timing was perfect. We wanted to record in our house again, but this time working with a professional engineer. We recorded for four solid days together, then had another couple of half days during the week of SXSW to add additional textures of voices of friends that were in town. During this time, we had another fundraising campaign through Kickstarter to help offset the cost of replication, mastering and engineering. So through pre-orders, we were able to get a bit more financial help.

‘Uncovering Stones’ features the voices of Raina Rose, Michelle Z. Huff, Danny Schmidt & Carrie Elkin, along with many talented local musicians: Rob Hooper, Sick, Trevor Smith, Andre Moran, Jason Lively, Mark Wochner. It was produced by Jason Lively & Keith Gary. Recorded & mixed by Keith Gary. Mastered at Terra Nova Studios by Nick Landis…Pure Austin! Pure Community!

There are twelve original songs on this album, two of which are in Spanish. It floats in and out of many genres, from Reggae to Americana/Bluegrass, then to Gypsy/World, then Folk with hints of Rock & Funk! It is definitely eclectic. Some songs are pure fun, others are haunting…but all of it is about the human spirit and human connection.

I want to thank all of the people who were involved in helping this all come together. We have made a record together!!! I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Also, I want to say a special thank you to all my band members over these past few years in Austin. You all have been so awesome and special to me…thanks for all your time & energy! Adam, Ervey, Jeanette, Sick, Etan, Mark, and the many who have sat in here & there. You have really given a lot to me. Also, all the folk music community & Austin music community that has shown me so much support!


Today we launched a funny Kickstarter page!

Today is the first day of our Kickstarter Campaign. We will try to raise the last bit of money we need to see this album project through to completion. If you would like to take a look, and check out the super cheesy video we made, just click here.

Lately, most of my time has been spent practicing the new songs with the players that will be on our next album. Things are sounding great! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. We have got one last rehearsal tonight before recording begins…I will be leaving in a couple of days to tour with the talented Laura Marie from San Antonio, TX. Then I will be at the International Folk Alliance performing showcases in hotel rooms…it’ll be lots of fun! Then back to Austin to start recording with everybody!!

I encourage you to go check out the funny video, and if you would like to give a little money towards this next album, we thank you very much!

Have a beautiful day.

Happy February!

Love Vanessa

p.s. here is a new photo by rodney bursiel, a great folktographer!

the first steps towards the next album…

Today Jason & met with Keith Gary who will be working with us on our next album…Keith is a great engineer who works out at Blue Rock Studio. We are really excited about having him come into our home to create a cool studio and help out with this next project.

In October of 2010, I decided it was time to make another full length album with all of my new songs. I wanted to come up with a cool way to raise some money for the project, so in November I decided to paint the cover art myself. I made a very large canvas that was made up of 42 individual canvasses stapled together, then painted the painting, then had an event to sell the individual pieces off to folks…and so now we have raised almost half of what we need to record this album! (and as of today, I have 14 paintings left if you are interested!) So we are moving forward, meeting with musicians and such…tomorrow, we will go to Sam Baker’s home and Rodney Bursiel will take photos that will be used on my new website, album art and such. We are surrounded by so much talent here in Austin and have a wonderfully creative group of friends who have super creative friends too! So this feels like such an exciting project already…and we’ve only just begun! So the jams have started, and all the planning. Songs are written (still sometimes in progress) and we are ready! Recording will start the last week of February…Also, our friends Danny & Carrie have been a big part of this project…first, lending us their home for my painting project (which Jason had the bright idea to film the whole process & make a cool video – I’ll post that here…) They have also been a huge support offering their ideas and input every step of the way. All our friends, family and fans have come together to help us in any way they can, and I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by so much love & encouragement!!

So I’m gonna go get ready for tomorrow’s photo shoot…I am hoping to keep a great journal of all the album & music happenings here to share w/ everybody.

More to come soon!

with love,