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Running Down A Dream: October 2009

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Running Down A Dream: October 2009

Running Down A Dream

Saturday, October 31, 2009

From The Bier Garden To the Ballroom

To first address my "AlbanyNatFans" :) We are getting closer on the cd release!!! No specific date YET. But I have done all I can do at this point, and just waiting and waiting... On my first cd I wrote all the songs by myself. So I didn't have to go through anyone elses publishing companies. But I co-wrote all the songs on this one, so I am learning the hard way that the paperwork and legal stuff takes WAY longer than it "should" :) But SOON!!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!

I feel like I just tornado'd through the Rathskeller tonight!!! I didn't even see Dan, the owner, which makes me sad. We <3 Dan!

James rode with his mom on the way in from Chicago, so Miguel and Chris and I rode in the Suburban. It took us FOREVER. Traffic was horrendous, and it POURED the whole way AND there was an unforeseen detour that added an extra hour to the drive. Ughhh.

So we got there, got set up, and I immediately started curling my hair in the bathroom. I had it about half done when I had to run out and do my sound check. Quite a few people mentioned "Well, that's an interesting hairstyle," not realizing that I had it all on top of my head because I was in the middle of curling it!

We played the show. SO MUCH FUN. It always is there. It was raining so we couldn't be out in the Bier Garden.... But so many people who were there last month came out! And Happy 75th Birthday to Forrest!!! He had to go home because it was past his bedtime. :)

And it is past MY bedtime. Excuse me. Naptime. :) Night!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Shepards Pie. Get in My Belly.

My belly is so full of Shepards Pie and Bread Pudding. MMMMmmmm Mmm. Ballydoyle has an INCREDIBLE Irish menu. I wanted everything on it!

We played an early show tonight -from 7-9 because they were having the finals of their Battle of the Bands. The first set was mostly a dinner crowd... more low key. The second set? Musician after musician after groupie-of-musician walked in.. mostly high school age. I felt like I was back at Berklee!! It was really fun. They were way into it and a great audience.

One of the great things about playing early is that the young 'uns get to come!

This is Aaron and his boys Jacob and Lucas. We've played for Aaron in Peoria at a BASF convention earlier this year. His boys don't normally get to come to shows! But tonight was an exception. And Jacob is about to start playing guitar. He's off to a good start with Miguel-mojo. Miguel gave him a guitar pic from tonight.

Tamara surprised us!!!!!!! Tamara is James' mom and my mother-in-law, and we had no idea she was coming. I mean... there were clues, but I really didn't put it together!!! It's so much fun when she comes to shows. Plus, she's caravanning with us tomorrow and coming to the Rathskeller! :) So excited.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nino's. Yes. I Met Him.

It's a good sign when you meet a bar owner and the first thing he says is "Wow that first set REALLY sucked." :) Cause when he's obviously happy... and in your first encounter, he's already comfortable with giving you a hard time... well, it makes me feel at home, actually. My agent, Ari, always says "Don't Suck" right before I go out on stage. Not that I am special. He says that to all of his artists.

Some people and their ways of showing love.

The guys at Nino's including Nino himself, were so awesome. After the bar closed down the karaoke machine came out!!! I helped myself to a little Salt N Peppa "Shoop" with Big Matt. :)

There was a magician at the show tonight doing card tricks. And someone came in dressed with "The Scream" mask on.... only it was goldish-orange and even creepier. Never had someone who looked like they were about to murder me dancing along to my music. Oh Halloween.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Is It

Miguel, James, and I went to see "This Is It" - the Michael Jackson movie tonight.

It was composed of footage from his last rehearsals right before he died. The man is incredible. It is such an interesting look into his artistry. And he continues to inspire even though he never got to perform those final 50 shows.

He holds back a lot during the rehearsals. You can tell he's mostly marking, and trying to save his voice (which he talks about a few times). And even though you aren't seeing full fledged MICHAEL... is still pretty remarkable.

I remember watching Thriller and being scared every time. I remember singing Man In The Mirror with my sister in our bedroom as a child. I remember choreographing my own dances to his music... dancing around my room singing with an "air mic" and visualizing hundreds of thousands of people in the crowd. I remember waiting and waiting for "Scream" the Janet/Michael duet to come out... and standing in my kitchen listening to it on the radio.

SO MANY of us have those memories. He just makes me want to get up and sing and dance. The people behind us in the theater couldn't help but sing along. :) He was the first person that inspired me as a little girl and one of the reasons I knew early on that THIS is what I want to do... forever.

Nick Bass, who was in the Opryland Kid's Club with me, was chosen as one of Michael's dancers. It is inspiring to watch someone that I have performed and worked with on THE ULTIMATE STAGE with Michael. It's funny. We did "I Want You Back" for another show we were in together.... man... he's come's a LONG way since we were 12 and performing that song for the NFL Player's Party!!! I still can't believe it when I watch him up there.

James and I came back to the room and both sat down pondering different parts about our own show. I was inspired on a visual level and scouring the internet for ideas. And he was coming up with more ideas and transitions within the music for our show. We do that a lot. But tonight was different. We couldn't HELP it after watching 2 hours of one of the greatest performers of all time.

James made the comment on the way home that "It's a shame that our last vision of him will be at half speed" I agree. But I hope that most people understand that if THAT is what he looked like at rehearsals that weren't even in front of an audience or full dress... I can ONLY IMAGINE how spot on and old school Michael he would have been for the real thing.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Today. Shadow Puppets and Ugly Naked Guy


*I learned that the art of shadow puppetry is NOT lost.
It's alive and thriving in the Ohio Arts world.

*I saw a naked guy painting in a window while we were waiting to go on stage.
We were in the parking lot, and he was across the street on the third floor of an apartment building. Chris and Miguel saw him first, pointed him out to me, and then an entire parking lot of ballerinas saw him, too. His little kitty cat decided to rub all up against him... He was RIGHT THERE in the window. He had sheets of paper attached to the window that we assume he was painting on. Although, it would have been pretty awesome if he was just doing some spread sheets or taxes... you know, naked... IN THE WINDOW.

*I got my picture taken with this guy. Whatever he is.

Today we had a showcase for Performing Arts Centers in Ohio. I haven't been that flustered on stage in a long time. There were a number of reasons it was so difficult to get through. But I was told numerous times tonight "I couldn't hear what you were singing, but you sure have a lot of energy on stage! You were cute, and even though I couldn't hear you... I got the essence of what you are about." So I guess that is good????

Events with multiple acts are never easy. We do lots of them. But this one in particular is really frustrating. We PAY to get the privilege of playing at these things... we have to submit and hope to be selected. And especially after we've driven 27 hours to get here... it's more than a disappointment that no one could hear us because the sound was so bad. It was AWFUL on stage. But we always pull through no matter how bad or non-existent the sound is on stage. But when the audience can't hear you? Goodness. I mean, we are only allowed 10 minutes to play, so it's over before you start.

Ahh welll. You win some. You lose some. We've had a number of rough situations in a row, which just makes the driving and the "being away from home" and the no sleep and the "take-what-you-can-get food options" even harder.

And yet I still wouldn't trade it for the world.

Not for a minute.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

P.S. Watching James and Ari (my agent) try to reenact the art shadow puppets is about the funniest thing I have ever seen. It was definitely the best medicine one could have after an awful show. I really wish I had a video.

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I Got To Go Home Today! For 30 Minutes!!!


Yesterday morning we were in Laurel, Mississippi. We left that morning and drove 6 hours to our gig in Louisiana. We played our gig, got in the car and drove 5 more hours... Spent the night somewhere else in Mississippi... left this morning and have been driving ever since. It is 2:30am and we still have 3 hours left. Ughh.

We stopped in Nashville for less than 30 minutes tonight. I stopped by my apartment and grabbed a sweater. Miguel and James had to swing by Guitar Center for a couple of things to make it through the rest of this week. So Jenn and Ella met Miguel at Guitar Center to give him some extra clothes, too. We all were under prepared for the cold on this trip!!

And then we struck out about 10 times in a row on trying to eat somewhere. We were trying to stop quickly so we plugged in a Dunkin Donuts into the GPS. But it turned out to be a gas station that happened to have a DD coffee dispenser. So then we tried the Arby's down the road. Closed. Called Jimmy John's we ALWAYS go to in Louisville. Closed. Got off at the next exit with a Subway/Gas station... CLOSED. Got off at the next exit because there was a Dunkin Donuts sign on the board. Never found it. Pulled into the Wendy's. Closed. 4 more exits later we found a Subway open. Good Lord. It's frustrating because with all that time driving in circles we could have just eaten with Jenn and Ella in Nashville instead of trying to grab something quickly.

So it's been a long couple of days of traveling. Every time we pass a tour bus I just sigh. And dream. :) Really... it's not even the bus that would make me all giddy. Just having a driver would change mine and James' lives! But this is what we have to do for now.

"Whatever It Takes" right?

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

I <3 Doggies

Well, my infamous Farm Boy, I must address your question first and foremost because YOU is the most awesomest blogger commenter the world has ever known. :) On my new website, there will be a spot for "top commenters" and I have a feeling who's ALWAYS going to be in first place. :)

I am with you on loving both dogs and cats. I LOVED my Kitty Belle that I had for over 20 years. :) But if I had to choose... I would say doggies are closest to my heart. I just love how happy they always are to see you!!!

It's funny, James has had a couple of roommates in a row with crazy cats. Ben and Katie, our current roommates have a kitty that has only let me pet her a couple of times (in 4 years), and even then she has turned around and slapped me afterwards. I know she is an extreme example... but it's been so frustrating to live with a cat that you try and try to earn their affection... and they just hiss and slap at you. One day, I would like to have another kitty... you know.... that likes me.

But I DREAM of having ALL different kinds of doggies. Next James and I want to get an English Bulldog :) We think he would make the perfect brother for Cinnamon. :) James and I plan on having a dog rescue one day. We talk about it a lot, actually. And if everything blew up with our current hopes and dreams... we'd probably just open a doggie day care and be the happiest kids on the block!

Whoa. Didn't know I had so much of an answer to your question! But I have to say, I welcomed the distraction. Today was a rough day. We've had a string of difficult shows for one reason or other... Today I actually used the phrase "Shut it down" ON STAGE. That was a first. We have put in overtime on "paying our dues" lately. But it just makes us appreciate the really good shows and times even more. So there's ALWAYS a silver lining. No matter how rough it gets out here. Plus we have each other... which is the biggest blessing of all.

Thanks for the question! Hope you and all your sweet kitties are doing well. Hope they are finding loving homes!

Peace. Love. Fiddle. And Doggies.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Most Botanical Pilot Bathroom In America

I couldn't even fit all the plants in the pic. :)

Beeping Fiddles!

I broke ANOTHER string!!!! This is just getting ridiculous, y'all. We keep playing shows outside in the cold, and I am about to run out of fiddle strings! I am gonna have to overnight some strings to our next location, so that I have enough. Whoa.

We played the 90th Annual South Mississippi Fair tonight. It was really cold outside. When we left Nashville a couple of weeks ago, I didn't exactly pack for cold outdoor shows. We haven't ever really played many of those. But the last few weeks, it seems like that is ALL we've played!

Tonight I wore a scarf with a short sleeve shirt. Yeyeah! Don't be confused. It's the new hotness. :)

Man. Last night... James and I fell asleep sometime after 3am. I was excited because we were gonna get to sleep in since we didn't have to be anywhere until 12:30. I got TONS of work done last night. But then WAKE UP!!!!! 6:45 am (NOT my best time) the smoke alarm in our room starts going off like crazy. It would beep beep beep (BLARING... I mean, rattling my ear drums) and then it would hiccup a bit... then it would stop. We thought it was over. Fooled again. And again. In my hazy, angry, fog I remember James calling down to the front desk and saying, "Is there actually a fire, or are you just messing with us?" The guy on the other end of the phone said, "Excuse me, Sir?" And then BEEEEEEEEEEEP The front desk dude, who i think about fell down from having his ear drum berated, said, "OH MY GOODNESS. Sir, I'll be right up"

He ended up ripping it out of the ceiling because he couldn't get it turned off, and didn't know what else to do. It was a very loud, sleepy, disturbing 30 minutes of my morning. Luckily, I don't remember much that early in the day. :)

But then, Chris I guess accidentally texted me at 8:30... and my text message alarm beeped a bunch of times. THEN a crane started working right outside our window around 9. I kept waking up and thinking, "Goodness! That truck has been backing up FOREVER"

So all that to say... it was a long morning of beeping. But tonight is going to be a short night of sleeping, so I better hop to it. If that smoke alarm goes off now... well... I'm just going to assume that God doesn't want me to sleep tonight. :) (As I look up and see exposed wires just hanging out of the ceiling)

Peace. Love. Beeping Fiddles.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

If Only Fair Dollars Were Real Dollars :)

Forbes Top 10 Impoverished Cities

Yesterday we played in Albany, GA. Forbes published an article of the 10 most impoverished cities in America. And Albany was on the list. I heard people talking about it at our show at Darton, and then when I turned the TV on in the hotel, they were reporting on it.

Apparently they had a bunch of plants close down around the same time. So the unemployment rate is ridiculously high there. We've played in 3 of the 4 southern cities on the list -Albany, Ga; Macon, GA and Rocky Mount, NC. They found the data from using a 2008 census, which shows the poverty levels based on yearly income. Plus, they factored in per capita incomes for a region, the number of food stamp recipients, and the percentage of people under 65 receiving public healthcare.

You would have never known it, though to be in the town. It was a beautiful place. And we actually stayed in an award winning Quatlity Inn that was so cute and quaint. People joked with us about making sure our vehicle was locked up... and actually when we were heading back from Cracker Barrel, I saw 6 police cars racing in a line to somewhere.... which wasn't very comforting. But it really seems like a wonderful place, so hopefully the people of Albany can get back on their feet soon. I just found it interesting and thought I would share.

You can read the Forbes article here.


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Article About the Fair We're Playing Tomorrow

Readying for the Fair
Organizers setting up for annual event

By David Owens,

The sounds of hammers and big rig trucks filled the air Tuesday as organizers began setting up for the 90th edition of the South Mississippi Fair.

Crews rolled into town Monday night to begin preparations for the annual event, held at the South Mississippi Fairgrounds at 1457 Ellisville Blvd.

It won’t be long before the smell of funnel cakes, cotton candy and other goodies meet with shrieks of joy from fairgoers.

W.G. Wade Shows Inc., based in Livonia, Mich., is organizing this year’s event, which begins Friday and runs through October 31.

According to the company Website, this year’s rides will include Bear Affair, Crazy Plane, Dragon Wagon, Kreepy Kastle and about 40 other attractions.

Bill Malchow of M J Concessions in Tampa, Fla., said he’s been working in the amusement business for more than 30 years.

Malchow, who was setting up game booths Tuesday, said he’s worked both sides of the fair — rides and games — and enjoys the game side of the midway.

“The best part of my job is seeing the smiles on people’s faces,” he said. “Games are more fulfilling because of the interaction. With a ride, you’re talking to people long enough for them to sit down. With rides, you’ve got them maybe three minutes, but with games, it could be all night. It depends on how much they want a prize.”

All of the popular carnival games will be on display including the basketball hoop, dart throw and Malchow’s particular game, the softball toss.

Patrick Longwell, who was working with Malchow Tuesday, said that particular game of skill attracts quite a few customers.

“They all want to try their hand at knocking the pin off the table,” he said.

Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday with a closing time of 11 p.m. Admission is $5 with armbands costing $18.

Events scheduled Friday include the Banana Derby, Grandpa Crachet and the Children’s Barnyard, which will be open in the old wildlife building from 5 to 9 p.m. The night’s featured performer is Natalie Stovall, a country singer from Columbia, Tenn.

For more information on the 90th edition of the South Mississippi Fair, visit or call 601-649-9010.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


That's just not true at all.
Instead of ads - they had this on the bathroom door.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Darton College

It feels like days ago that we played our show at Darton College! We played from 11-12:30 for their Sustainability Day event. :) I kept expecting Greenzo from 30 Rock to walk in.

This morning when we left Cochrane at about 6:30am, we were all freezing - and could see our breath. And then this afternoon when we got to the hotel, I laid out for 20 minutes at the pool because it was so hot. Go figure!

Today was a strange day. I really felt awful after I got back. I think sometimes when we have an early show, my body isn't ready for all that. No matter how awake or sleepy I am, how sick or healthy, I try to give the same energy for the show. But after some afternoon rest, and some chicken and dumplings at Cracker Barrel, I feel a LOT better. :) Plus we get to have a good night's rest tonight, and a whole day to drive to Mississippi. But I am going to be triple washing my hands and be EXTRA cautious in the next few days. (Mamma is glad to hear that, I KNOW!) I hope everyone out there is staying healthy, too!

I have another REALLY bad internet connection. Ughh. One day I'll get to upload all these cute pics! At least to facebook :)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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I'm The New Greenzo :)

Recycle Natalie!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hey... Hey... Norm... If You Were a Hot Dog, Would You Eat Yourself?

We played at Middle Georgia College today. It was really cool because a LOT of people who were at the show today, had seen us at some point during the fair! :) Today was BEAUTIFUL. It was the kind of day everyone had been wishing for all week at the fair. :) We ran into the little cafe to grab some coffee before the show. It was funny because someone had told us "There's a Starbucks in the there!" I got really excited, and told all the guys. Well, the two thermoses of coffee in the little shop were Starbucks brew... but that wasn't quite what I had pictured. NOT THAT IT MATTERED! It was just funny. And I bought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich which I was REALLY excited about. I sat down to unwrap it, and the sticker on the back said "Sell by Oct 6" Ummm.... MAYBE I mean MAYBE if it had said sell by Oct 16 I would have eaten it... but umm... Oct 6?? Really!?!? They had hotdogs at the event, but the day that I found out what all goes in a hot dog was the LAST TIME I ever ate one. :) I know. I'm a wuss. I just can't do it. I can't ever eat food when I REALLY start thinking about what kind of animal it is. I know. I would have been a TERRIBLE farm girl. Sorry, Grandpa. And maybe if it had been a necessity... I would have toughened up a bit. But obviously being a musician never required me to behead a chicken. On that note. I'm out. I've been trying for over an hour no to upload pics. But some things just aren't meant to be. Peace. Love. Fiddle. ~natalie

The New Poster

Now available at ALL shows. :)

And soon to be available on the BRAND NEW


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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle Danced With Me On Stage Tonight!

It's closing time at the fair :( We had so much fun this week. It was FINALLY a beautiful day out at the Georgia National Fairgrounds. It was still chilly, but it was a million times better today because the sun was out! :)

We made so many great new friends this week. Our friend and dressing room mate, Carrie McQueen, is a fabulous stilt walker and juggler. And her precious puppy, Gypsy (because she was on the road with Carrie 2 weeks after she got her!) was such a sweet puppy. She kept us entertained! And she LOVED James. When he took a little break on the floor... she decided to do the same :)

And LEON!!! Leon Jacobs, the NICEST man in show business. He and I would alternate playing shows on the Georgia National Stage. He plays keys and is just fantastic! And THEN he would run sound during our shows. Everyone constantly had such great things to say about our sound. As one guy said... "Leon goes from song to song. Most sound guys go from sandwich to sandwich" :) I love that! But he was VERY attentive and did an amazing job.
We LOVE Leon. And Chris loves him a LOT. As you can see.

Chris actually got up and did the Tina Turner dance during Leon's last set :) We were all doing just about anything to keep warm. But I have a sneaking suspicion that Chris would have done it anyway ;)-

In the last show of the night, Leon got up to play a song with us, Barney Fife AND Gomer Pyle got up on stage and sang and danced with us!!! I will NEVER forget that!

We had some awesome people out at the show, too! These kids gave me the bear I'm holding!!! They won it and then gave it to me :) So he sat on my amp for all of my shows.

Lucy came to the show yesterday, and then came back again today! She used to play the violin. She was in Germany and had a violin teacher from Holland :) She told me to ask Barney if St. Pete gave him his bullet back when he got to the Pearly Gates. :)

And these guys were AWESOME! They came to a couple shows tonight and wanted their hoodies signed :)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Why Georgia, Why?


Someone backed into the Suburban today in the parking lot. :( BUT it's not bad at all. It's just a little dent in the back driver's side door. So it's not a big deal... just annoying. You know, a lot more annoying than when NO ONE backs into your car.

I ran out to the burb to get a scarf and as I was locking up, the security guard for the parking lot said, "Ma'am. Is this your vehicle?" He said the guy didn't even realize he had done it and just kept going... they had to chase him down the parking lot, and get his info.

Today was FREEZING. It was 50. Which, yeah... isn't so bad. But the wind was blowing like crazy and there was no sun. By the last set, it was in the 40's and I could see my breath. And guess who broke ANOTHER fiddle string tonight!?!?! Crazy, right??

I would leave my hoodie on and take it off RIGHT before the show each time. And I'd fill up on hot chocolate... but that didn't help my fingers or fiddles! But hey. At least I wasn't one of the waterskiers. They stopped by our show before they had to go get ready for their 9:00 show. And you could just see the dread in their faces. It was rough. I don't know how they do it! One of the hot tub vendors let them jump in the hot tubs right after their show to warm up a little bit. Ughhh. I can't IMAGINE how cold that water is!

We had 3 fantastic shows today. But for some reason, the computer isn't letting me upload photos. Maybe tomorrow, ya'll. Hope everyone out in cyberland is having a good night! Try not to get backed into in the parking lots!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

I Broke A String

I broke a string tonight in the last show!!! WOOO HOO!

I'm normally not that cool. Miguel breaks strings all the time. But I hardly ever do. And the funny thing is, Amanda - who has come to see us at Whiskey River a bunch up in Macon, came to the first show on Wed night. She asked me if she could have the next string I broke on stage. I told her I hardly ever break one. It's only happened a few times in my whole life. And then TONIGHT. She came back to tonight's show. Lo and behold, guess who broke a string!?!?! SO yeah, she got to keep it!

And these wonderful people, I met on the ferry coming off of Put-In-Bay. I blogged about their awesome doggies - they have a standard, toy, and miniature poodle. I told them at the time that we would be at the fair, and they came!!! It was so cool to see them. It didn't register who they were at first. I felt so bad, becaue I had other people talking to me, and I was a little scattered, but as soon as I realized who they were, I got SO excited!

Alright folks. I think I am gonna go have a drink with Barney Fife. Cause how many times in your life do you get to say you've done that??

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Filling Out The Fancy

I feel like I am in a movie walking down the hallways of this hotel. :)

There are so many performers coming and going... in and out of the rooms... you can hear The Drifters laughing and talking in their rooms. It's like a scene out of "Ray". :)

The guys are all hanging out with some of the other performers at the bar at the Holiday Inn. It's funny to have to go from one hotel to another to grab a drink! But I didn't want to get in the smoke... so I drove the boys and will just be their DD tonight.

We got to play today!!! We played the first 2 shows, but thunderstorms rolled in right before our last set. So we just had to pack up and go home. But during the first show... Miguel broke a string during "Fancy." No big deal. Happens all the time. So he picks up his other guitar and keeps playing. THEN he breaks a string on his OTHER guitar almost immediately. That has NEVER happened to him before! :) So he quickly ran behind his guitar amp and put another string on. I didn't know what was going on, and I didn't want to draw any more attention by looking... So Chris, James, and I played most of the song by ourselves. It turned out really great! Chris did an awesome job filling it out as much as possible on bass.

But Miguel got his string back on JUST in time for his solo :) And as always, rocked it out!

Well, peoples on the interwebz, I am ready for sleeping. Or maybe napping until I pick up the boys... and then sleeping. I like quiet time. I haven't been alone in a LONG time.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Hung Out With Barney Fife and Played With The Drifters


We got completely rained out for the first 2 shows today. It was so disappointing. We got to the fair grounds around 10:30am and sat and sat and sat... in soaking wet clothes... until 5pm. We left to go put on some dry clothes at that point and came back for our 8:00 show. But since we hadn't had any way to set up yet, we were having to set up quickly on the fly, and get a sound check all at the same time. Our set was supposed to be from 8-8:30. (The final set is a quick one) Our poor sound guy, Leon, who we love, was running around like crazy. There just wasn't enough time.

At about 8:20 he was close to having the sound set up. It is so stressful for EVERYONE involved to be trying to get the sound right and just standing on stage not being able to do anything with an audience present. SUCKS. But Leon got things done very quickly and we just played late tonight. It was a bit of a rough show. I think we were all off-kilter for, well, the number of reasons I have already mentioned. Plus, it started "misting" (the best way I can describe it) during the last part of the show. The Drifters were on the stage across the way... so our sound was competing with one another. Does it count for me to say I've played "with the Drifters" now on my resume? I was playing an original while they were playing "Under The Boardwalk" :)

I DID get to hang out with "Barney Fife" during a lot of the day. He actually asked us to go out to the bar with him tonight... but we are all spent and gonna have to hang another night. (He's already been here for 5 days!) He was awesome. He and Gomer drive around in their crazy Mayberry police car all day.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Want To Go To There

We made it!

We're in GA. And we get to stay in the SAME hotel room for 6 nights. SIX NIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is monumental. I haven't stayed in the same place for six nights since we took a break in May to make the record. I wasn't even home that long when I had bronchitis this summer :)

I'm already starting to feel at home here at the hotel in Perry, GA.

And we all laughed when we got in the car today - it was only a 6 hour drive! After the drive from New Hamphsire, that seemed like a hop, skip, and a jump. Although, I got tired after driving 4 hours. The other day it was 10 hours before I needed to switch.

I'm excited about playing the fair all week. I have missed the fair that comes to Columbia for the last 4 or 5 years, but I think playing 3 shows a day for the next 5 days is more than going to make up for it!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great Grandaddy was a Fiddle Player?!?!

Today I found out that my great grandfather played the fiddle. I had NO IDEA!!! Granny has never talked about that before. But apparently he had an amazing ear and could play anything. And his brothers all played instruments, too - banjo, guitar, and jews harp. How cool is that!?!?!

We got to Columbia around 8:30 this morning. That means we spent 23 hours in the car non-stop. I am not sure how in the world James finished it off. I went to bed about 11:30am... RIDICULOUS! But we've had a good day of errand running... still doing laundry right now, and hoping to get done soon so I can get some sleep tonight. That took a lot out of me... but we are going to play the Ga National Fair for 5 days in a row! We get to stay in the same place for 5 days! YAY!!!! We have 3 shows a day, but still... it will be nice not to have to shift hotel rooms every few minutes :)

Night night.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday James With A 22 Hour Drive

So... We left New Hampshire at 9:30am this morning. It is currently
6:30am and we still have 2 hours left. But we're gonna make it!!!
James drove the first 10 hours. I just did the last 10, and he was
ready to take over again just now. Such a ridiculous drive.

And it's his birthday!!! :( what a way to celebrate.

My favorite parts of today's drive:

When we were on 77N/ 81S at the same time. I've talked about that one
before, but it never ceases to amaze me. And after 77N splits off,
later the road becomes 52N/ 81S. Go figure.

We ran into Chris Young and his band in a truck stop in PA. Some of
his band guys saw Chris and flipped out. It was so funny.

I searched for truck stop with a McDonalds and/ or Subway for almost
an hour and a half. I finally gave up and pulled off at just a simple
promising gas station. Turns out it had a Blimpie, which was
surprisigly good (never had it before). But then when I got back on
the interstate almost every single exit for the next hour had truck
stops with Subways and McDonalds.

But that's the way the cookie crumbles! Or in this case... The sundae

Since I got a sandwich at Blimpie I was still craving that hot fudge
Sunday, so about 3 hours Iater I was again searching for a McDonald's.
When I got there they had just turned the ice cream machines off for
the night.

So just an FYI: which I am sure will be extremey useful to everyone
reading... The ice cream machines at McDonald's get turned off at 3am.

I'm gonna relax for a bit. Hope everyone is actually sleeping right now!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I almost got in a bar fight tonight


It was ridiculous.

I haven't had someone up in my face like this since public school in 8th grade when Dusty Vance heard that I didn't like him dating my best friend. It was the only time I ever ended up in the principal's office because he got up in my face and threatened me in the hallway and a lot of people witnessed it. I had to give my version of the story to the principal. (Dusty told me he was gonna bash my head in).

We played TWO shows today. We opened for the Carter Twins at UConn - it was AMAZING. And THEN we drove to Henniker, NH to play for New England College. BOTH shows were amazing for different reasons. That's unusual, we don't always get to play 1 or especially 2 awesome shows in 1 day.

So then we went to check into our hotel, and headed across the street to the "Chinese Restaurant and Pub" (I kid you not) to have a drink. Tomorrow (so at midnight) it is James' birthday. Plus Paul (my manager) is with us, plus it's been a long, hard week.

So.... this very inebriated woman (that we had actually been cheering for her unique dance moves) came up to our table out of no where to ask us some very important questions. She was a little intimidating... I mean... REALLY intimidating. Like, maybe steroids? And she said more than once, "I've lived and I've died" (hmm?) and then she wanted to know "What does money mean to you?" Chris would try to divert her attention, so then she'd yell at him and say "I'm NOT talking to you!!!" And then keep on with her "What does money mean to you?" She would go from Paul, to James, to Miguel. And THEN it went to "What does Life mean to you?"

Well, then out of nowhere and for no real reason any of us could come up with... she start pointing at me and saying pretty aggressively "I don't like your demeanor". I looked at her - shocked. I mean, there were a few moments, where I was worried she was going to throw up on Paul or my husband by HER demeanor... so maybe that's what she was picking up on. But she started shouting at me and kept saying "You're Demeaning ME!" which... ummm... isn't English.

Another girl, Tiffany, even got involved. Tiffany and I hadn't met yet, but she vouched for me and kept saying we're good friends, and said I was a Barbie doll and wouldn't be "demeaning" her.


I didn't know what was going on. I think I was just scared and confused the entire time. There were a few times I thought she was gonna jump across the table at me. When I shook her hand earlier, she almost broke all the bones in my hand, so I really didn't want to feel something (like a punch) where she was trying to hurt me. But, also, I had 4 guys at the table with me. And... well.... come to find out later.... the ENTIRE bar that she had already insulted for no apparent reason. So if she had even tried to lunge at me, it would have been very unfortunate for her.

But there were a few minutes where I was legitimately scared! Whew. Close one. Paul, Tiffany, and I are all good friends now, though. I don't know where Tiffany came from, but she really helped me out tonight!

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

First show of the day :)

College Eel at Eastern Connecticut State University

We left DC at 9am. At 7pm we pulled into our destination. That was a looong day. We even ate lunch in the car... to go. The traffic was ridiculous in Ct. From the second we got over the George Washington Bridge, it was just a nightmare.

But we were still at Eastern Connecticut State University with plenty of time to load for the show. I had to get ready like a speed demon in the ladies bathroom... I'm used to that, but I usually have a little more time than 15 minutes. It takes me about 15 minutes to brush this mane out half the time ;) Isn't being on the road glamorous?

Gordon Brown - one of my FAVORITE people and co-writers in the world lives in NJ. His niece goes to school at University of Connecticut (which we are playing tomorrow), but she and her boyfriend came tonight! It was so good to meet her. I feel like Gordon is family - therefore any of his family feels like family :)
Here's Mandy!

This was one of my favorite audience members! She was so cute singing along right up front!

This is Chris, he's the entertainment director for the Campus Activities Board. He took REALLY good care of us. I had a yummy buffalo chicken sandwich from that Mondo's SUBS place behind us :)

They had a bunch of activities going on after the show - they had a roaming magician, you could make your own bags, chia pets, and Transformers 2 was playing in their really nice theater they have in the student center. We were all hanging out eating, and Michael Kent, the AWESOME magician came up to us and showed us some card tricks. I was blown away. I have NO idea how he was doing it. I even wrote my name on the card - and it was showing up in his shoe.... would appear out of nowhere. His sleight of hand was truly remarkable. It was so cool to meet him! (And he's hilarious, too. VERY good at what he does. He was like Dane Cook, but way cooler because he does magic.)

And yet again - Chris was being adventurous in his eating. On our first trip he ate "Mall Eel". As in, eel sushi in a mall food court. That is WAY braver than I would ever be. Tonight, he tried "college eel". I'm not sure why they took this picture. But Chris said something that made Miguel really uncomfortable right as I pushed the button. I don't want to say what... but yeah.

That's our day in a nutshell. Hope you had a great day. Here's to a two-fer tomorrow. UConn and New England College.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our Exciting Day in DC

We played for the Navy in Washing DC today at the Anacostia Annex :)
they had one of those awesome mobile trailer stages - I love those

Our show was 11:30 - 1, so we were really excited about going into DC
for the rest of the day. It was a perfect day to walk around.

We packed up everything... went back to check into the hotel...
And.... We all crashed. Never went anywhere. It sucks to be somewhere
so cool and not actually enjoy it, but yesterday took a lot out of us.
Plus I think we all had pretty busy days off at home.

I'm kind of glad. I felt awful when I woke up this morning. I really
wanted some juice, but it was the first time in a long time that we
stayed at a hotel with no breakfast at all. I don't even think I
realized there were hotels without it...

But yeah, we ordered in tonight... Had some Chinese and now I am going
back to bed. Pretty excited about it even though it sounds boring. :)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

Sent from my iPhone

Whoaaa What's Love Got To Do? Got To Do With It?

I LOVE that I plan my eating around a Jimmy John's located in
Harrisonburg VA... When I was in Nashville just this morning.

We are in DC. Loooong drive today. Whew.

Chris is funny. He was playing the "I'm gonna get this song stuck in
your head" game all day.

And a running theme is him saying "You know what?" (really seriously
like he's about to impart some wisdom upon the group) and then he'll
proceed to sing "whoaaaa What's Love got to do, got to do with it?" at
the top of his lungs... No matter where we are :)

Today the guys were walking around the gas station singing Tom Sawyer.

Good Lord. :)

And we all had to take turns rubbing lotion on his new tatoo on his
back. I think we looked pretty funny standing in parkig lots with his
shirt lifted and all of us hovering around his back to look at his new
body art!

Today's showings in the Burb:
PCU (and then again with Jeremy Piven's commentary... He was REALLY
frustrated with the director for not letting them improvise during
filming. AND he got malaria during the filming of that movie. You can
tell because in certain scenes he is super duper skinny and gaunte

The Karate Kid

And 30 Rock

And of course there was some Dr. Laura listening while I was driving. :)

Night night!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Daddy Bought a Boat! Miguel Bought a House! I saw a Monkey!

What a day!

I saw a Monkey in Starbucks. The people in front of me were carrying the little Chimpanzee in a pink baby blanket. She was beautiful. But it was very strange. I wanted to hug her... But I restrained myself.

Daddy bought a boat :) War Eagle.
Can you see it??? I don't know... It's kinda tough... ;)~

And Mamma has already picked out a lake house to go with the boat :) I love my parents. They still to this day will scour the town to find the cheapest gas... they've always been the epitome of "frugal". They've been saving their entire lives to get to this point - where they can drive to Virginia and buy a boat. And look at lake houses. They are also the reason James would make fun of me in college because I wouldn't buy the crackers at the corner store because they were $.35 more than the ones at the grocery store.

Miguel was pulling a bigger trailer than we have tonight! We helped him pack that thing FULL with stuff tonight. He and Jenn and Ella are moving into a new house right now! So fun!!! They are almost completely out of the apartment. But of course, we have to leave again in the morning. Poor Miguel! He's only had two days to get most of his stuff moved. It's been an intense process. I know he'll be glad to get home for more than a day or 2 at a time. But of course that won't be until Thanksgiving.

Wow. I just looked at our calendar and I didn't realize how much we are gone in the next month and a half. We are only home for 3 days total between now and Thanksgiving. Ha! What a life.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Metro Spirit Article

Metro Spirit Article:

On the road
Natalie Stovall may not be a household name, but that may all change soon enough for this all-American girl


AUGUSTA, GA – One wouldn’t think that winning the title of Silliest Kid in America would lead to bigger and better things. But for Natalie Stovall, that’s exactly what happened. Of course, she was no stranger to the stage.

“I started playing the violin when I was four and, when I was about 10, I auditioned for the Opryland Kids Club, which was a show out at the Opryland theme park, and I played my fiddle for them and they were like, ‘That’s great honey, but you have to sing in this show,’ and I sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for them and I got the job,” she said from the road en route to Pennsylvania.

Winning the Silliest Kid title, which she won by doing a “crazy ventriloquist baby crying thing that I had learned backstage at the Opryland show,” led to an appearance on Oprah, followed by other talk shows and radio spots, which prepared her for the road ahead.

“It was a really incredible experience to get as a child performer and only helped develop me and get me ready for doing it all the time now.”

During her second year at the Berklee College of Music, Stovall formed a band that would move to Nashville during the summer, staying at her parents’ house while touring around Tennessee. After graduation, Stovall and her drummer James, who last year became her husband, moved to Nashville and found some musicians to tour with. They have been at it ever since, and have spent the better part of the past two years on the road.

“It’s part of making it happen for myself as an independent artist,” she explained. “I don’t have any record label or anybody writing the checks for me, so I gotta go out and do it myself. It can be very hard and it can be very stressful, but it’s been pretty amazing to watch. I write a blog every day and the traffic keeps coming from doing it and really being on the road, and that’s what’s rewarding about it.”

A country girl at heart, Stovall cites Keith Urban, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks as some of her favorites.

“I always really love to watch the people that put on really amazing live shows,” she said.

“That’s kind of where I get going is watching people that really put a lot of time and energy into their live material. That’s where I draw a lot of inspiration from.”

Her shows, although rooted in country, mix things up a bit, with covers such as Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Guns n’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” And because she plays the fiddle, Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is a given. In fact, she included the song on her upcoming EP, “Standing My Ground.”

“We put it on the record to give everybody a little something from our live show,” she said.

For her first record, “Late Night Conversations” released in 2006, she wrote all of the material. But the new record enlisted the help of co-writers, including Taylor Swift producer Nathan Chapman.

“It was a totally different venture for me, but the more that I started co-writing, the more I really, really liked that environment for writing because it allowed me to kind of take these ideas I always had and bounce them off someone else,” she said. “It was just fun because it gives a different perspective for the new record and I’m just really excited to release it.”

Natalie Stovall
The Country Club
Saturday, October 3
Doors, 7 p.m.; music, 9:30 p.m.
$5, guys; $3, girls

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Double Fisting Starbucks

Kids. Don't try this at home. :)

Our morning was awesome.

We got free rooms at the Sleep Inn - cause we didn't realize the club
was taking care of them. Thank goodness that's the hotel we went to!
They are putting my picture up on the wall at The Sleep Inn Augusta.
Movin up in the world!
We read an awesome article in the local paper about me and the show
last night.
There was a Dunkin Donuts AND a Starbucks next to each other across
from the hotel. Got my fav flatbread and my favorite coffee at the
same time.
Then while at Starbucks, they made an EXTRA white mocha the same way I
order mine - so we got free Starbucks as well!!!

Wooo Hooo!

And we're home before midnight with Cinnamon. Life is good.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

A Prayer of Thanks

There's nothing like playing for a ginormous, packed club! We played at The Country Club in Augusta Georgia tonight, and it was a BLAST!!! We had people dancing, singing along and giving us energy all night. The guys at the Country Club really do it right. They have a really fun stage, great lights, great sound system - it's an awesome venue.
Thanks to everyone who came out from our previous shows in Augusta - and especially all the soldiers from Ft. Gordon!!! God Bless our Troops!
Plus we made lots of new friends tonight, too :)

I'm so happy that the last 3 days have all been really amazing shows. We needed it. It's been a tough week personally for everyone. Especially for our grandparents. Miguel's grandpa passed away yesterday. His grandma passed away just a couple of months ago. They were both diagnosed with cancer at the same time a while ago. But thank the good Lord they aren't in pain anymore. But it is so hard to be on the road and not be able to get to Chile for him to be with his family. He's been trying to make it work, but it's just not gonna be possible. But his mom may get to come up here soon instead, which would be incredible.
We've had some more bad news about grandparents, but we don't know enough yet for me to feel comfortable to talk about it.

More than anything this week has been such a good reminder for us to be thankful of all we DO have. We've all been faced with circumstances that make us stop and think. I am so thankful for the time I've already had with the ones I love... and the time still remaining. We've created such a close family here on the road. I am so thankful that I get to travel with people that I truly love. It would make times like this a lot harder if we weren't already so close with each other. Tonight, I will be saying a prayer of Thanks for every moment I get to spend with my friends and family. I love you ALL. You know who you are.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

I Bought A FIDDLE!

Tonight made me feel like all this hard work we've been putting in is WORKING.

It wasn't that anything was extra special about the night. But we've never played in Raleigh, before. Ever. Yet we had a HUGE crowd at the show, and I had lots of people say that they googled me before they came to see what my music was like. And they must have liked what they saw online because they came!!!

It's just amazing. It's usually pretty tough to get people out when we play in a new city... understandably. I hope we get to come back. Because it was awesome.

My friend, Natalie, came out! She went to Berklee, too :) We both lived on the 4th floor of the dorms our first year at school - only 3 rooms of girls on the whole floor out of 50 rooms. And there were TWO Natalie's :)

Guess what else?


The best electric fiddle shop in the country is located in Durham, NC! Seriously. I've been waiting to go for over a year. You'd think, Nashville, right? And in Nashville there's The Violin Shop which is the best in the world for acoustic violins. But I have been wanting to try a bunch of different lines of fiddles for a while, now. And FINALLY today, and the Electric Violin Shop I got to try everything I have been wanting to play! YAY! And I actually bought one! I ordered a custom violin from Mark Wood a couple months ago, so I'm waiting on that one to come in, too. But today I bought a beautiful black Skyinbow. I loved the sound. And honestly, it is the only one I would have walked out of there with. I am very picky about the electric's still LOOKING like a fiddle. I don't like the cut away designs. I really want it to LOOK like a fiddle. It's VERY different from what I am used to. But I am pumped about working with it and my sparkle white Mark Wood Sabre that is coming in!

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Friday, October 2, 2009

This Tiny Car...

...Could totally fit in our trailer.

NACA SOUTH = Awesome Show, Lots of Belding, and ANT!

I started my day by watching Mr. Belding on "Saved By The Bell" on television. I ended my day with Mr. Belding buying me a coke at the bar. I LOVE my life.

We had a LOOOOONG drive yesterday and last night. We left Northern Illinois at 2:00pm and arrived here in Winston-Salem at 8:30am. And the longest we stopped was at an Arby's to eat dinner for about 15 minutes. It was brutal. But we made it safely, and were able to take a nap this morning. I always worry about James. He can't sleep in the car. After the wreck... he just can't. So even though he "rests" while I drive... it's just not the same. But we always get it worked out between the two of us.

We played at NACA South tonight - we closed the opening night of the conference. It is so funny to play a 15 minute showcase. You blink and it is over! But it was SO much fun. And I met so many great students at the conference. And there were schools from Tennessee there!!! What a concept! Play a show in my home state? It is possible?

ANT (all 5 seasons of "Last Comic Standing", VH1, Tonight Show, Tyra Banks) was in the same showcase I played!!! It was so cool to meet him and play in the same show with him. :) He's fabulous.

I am SO excited about sleeping. Good night.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

OH! PS when I walked in the bar... this girl (Tuttie) freaked out and was so adorable and sweet about the show. She really wanted me to sign something, but didn't have anything with her, nor did I. She had me sign a menu. That rocked.

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I'll Pay You $100 To Eat This

I didn't take James up on that offer.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lemon With Your Soup?

That's a first for me... Lemon with my vegetable soup...