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Running Down A Dream: November 2009

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zzzzzz Running Down A Dream: November 2009

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Running Down A Dream

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Running Down A Dream: November 2009

Running Down A Dream

Monday, November 30, 2009


Family is so wonderful.

And you know what's awesome? When you get married, your family doubles in size! James and I are so lucky because we both LOVE each other's families. We have spent the last few days in Iowa with his Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, Mom and Step Dad. His entire family is so wonderful. And from the moment I met them all, they have welcomed me as one of their own.

Every year, his Aunt Carol gets hotel rooms for everyone on the Saturday night after Thanksgiving. The hotel is great because there's a big open area with games, and a pool, and tables. We all just hang out, eat pizza and goodies, and talk all night. The next day, everyone piles into Aunt Carol's house, and has Thanksgiving Dinner. And one of my favorite traditions are the CRAFTS! I never knew how much I would enjoy such a simple thing. It's usually the ladies (surprise, surprise)... but Carol provides all kinds of crafts - you can make Christmas ornaments, bracelets, key chains... all kinds of crafty things :) I feel like I am back at Camp Nickajack :) Although... we didn't have glue dots at Nickajack! GREAT invention.

But everyone sits and works, and catches up on missing one another. I love Thanksgiving with both of my families because when I think back on them, I remember lots and lots of laughing. It's just the best.

Grandma and Grandpa sold the farm to a wonderful couple that is ELATED to have that amazing house and land. And now they have moved closer to town in a beautiful home. James and I are getting to stay with them for the first time tonight. It is beautiful, and we are so happy for them! Their kitchen cabinets have shelves that PULL OUT like drawers! Why have I never seen this before? It's the little things, folks. The little things.

I'm gonna finish watching Erin Brockovich and turn in for the night, y'all.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanks... Giving In Africa

Good mojo today! I wore my 147 million Orphans shirt that I bought a few weeks ago today. (The proceeds go to feed hungry children in Africa!!! If you missed my previous blog - check them out!! REALLY cute stuff - comfy and cute shirts and pants and accessories) GREAT Christmas Presents!

147 Million Orphans

AND THEN: Tonight I open my computer and the most wonderful thing was waiting in my inbox. If you keep up with my blog much, then you know that I am a huge supporter of The Raining Season. It is another organization that is making a huge difference in this world - especially in Sierra Leone, Africa. Some very good friends of mine have started this organization and have already done SOOO much for so many little ones. They have set up an orphanage and are working tirelessly to rescue children that are suffering, sick, and hungry. One of the great things about The Raining Season is that you actually can see where your money goes when you donate. They held a benefit concert last year that raised money to put children in school. We were able to pay for uniforms, tuition, books, and a meal a day by donating just a little bit of money.

This is Jesse and he is the sweet little boy that received our donation. James and I got an update on him today with his picture!!! It is just so cool to see his face :) I can't wait to meet him someday. He's grown so much since last year. And his mother is so young and beautiful.

It's amazing how little it takes to make a big difference in the world. I am so thankful that Jesse and so many beautiful children are able to go to school because of The Raining Season!!!

Please visit the website! There are SO many ways to get involved with this incredible organization. These are beautiful people with heavy hearts. The work they do is inspiring. I can't wait to go to Africa with them!!!

The Raining Season

Let Hope Rain DOWN!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

From Our Family To Yours...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanks for taking the pictures Jenn :)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our Brains Are Trying To Make Our Hearts Healthy

The first thing that happened:

Daddy left out the butter for the stuffing... BUT He realized with PLENTY of time to get it in there before it cooked. And it is pretty fantastic :) (I snuck a bite)

I left out the butter in my chocolate chip walnut pie... And when I realized it, I opened the oven to find that the pie had been spilling out over the sides of the crust for the 15 minutes it had been cooking. I had been bopping around saying "This pie is gonna be AWESOME" and was all pumped... and then I was ROYALLY deflated... for a number of reasons. Mamma and I turned the oven off, waited for it to cool, we scrubbed the pie goo that had baked itself to the bottom of the oven and the grates... Mamma kept saying "this is how you learn!"... and I tried with a last ditch effort to salvage what I had by stirring butter into the already partially cooked pie.

Well, we got the oven cleaned, and I somehow... some WAY... SAVED THE PIE! It's AMAZING. A-MAZ-ING. So, hmmm... There's a good lesson in there somewhere. I really thought I had completely screwed it up... and thought I was gonna have to make ANOTHER run to the grocery to start over. But NOPE! I didn't give up, and it worked out for the best in the end. :)

I didn't forget the butter in my next pie.

We celebrated today at Miguel and Jenn's (before my kitchen debacles began) and now we are preparing for the Ft. Stovall Thanksgiving feast that will be celebrated in the morrow. :)

Hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving. And even if you don't have more Thanksgivings to go to... I hope you enjoy those turkey sandwiches!!! Aren't those the best??

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cinnamon Getting Her Email On

The House That Built Me

Tonight I heard a song that stopped me in my tracks. I've heard it before, but I hadn't really LISTENED to it yet.

James and I came down to my parents house tonight so I could get a head start on some cooking for the big day. It was 1:00am, I was standing at my kitchen stove... in the house that I grew up in... and I was kneading out dough with my hands. It was just me, some yeast roll dough, and Miranda Lambert's new cd. "The House That Built Me" came on, and I started crying. It hit me like a ton of bricks. My parents have lived here since before I was born. And this is definitely the house that built me. And the lyrics of this song, as I prepare for the family to come home for Thanksgiving, well, they just resonated with me in a pretty powerful way.

James' grandparents are selling their farm right now, and I know that was part of it as well. The farm is where he learned to play drums. They got a drum set and let him bang away as a kid when he spent the summers there in Iowa. And that was one of the houses that built him.

Miranda explains and sing it best. Hope you enjoy this video of her singing "The House That Built Me".

Hope your bellies are full and your hearts are warm.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Peace. Love. Fiddles. and Turkeys.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All We Need Is Love

I witnessed a social interaction in a gas station on our way home from Iowa that saddened me and made me thankful all at once.

I do not know the circumstances in which the couple entered. But from my observation, a woman was being outwardly unkind to her boyfriend. He was embarrassed. He was simply pointing out that there were creamer selections for her coffee behind her in case she wanted them. She screamed at him for being "stupid" and said "Don't you listen to anything I say? I already told you I don't want anything in my F*!&#$% coffee." And with a dramatic and exasperated sigh, she stormed off. He looked distraught and at the end of his rope.

Again, I don't know what went on before they entered the gas station. But the snippet I saw was one person being unkind to another, and for no reason at all.

My heart went out to that poor frustrated man. No one deserves that. NO one does. Not in our most heated, worst conversations with one another. And ESPECIALLY not in the every day interactions with one another.

We all get our buttons pushed and overreact.

But if we can remember LOVE above all else. If we can love each other enough that we don't let our demons get to us and override common decency; if we can let our love for each other - brothers and sisters, spouses, friends, parents, strangers - overcome our tendency to speak before we think; if we can disagree without hatred... we can ALL make a difference and create a better world. It doesn't take much.

I haven't been able to get it out of my head. I think it's on repeat as a reminder for me. It was a small but powerful interaction. It made me SO thankful for my loving husband, my wonderful band, my incredible family, and my personal beliefs of faith, hope, and ultimate LOVE. I guess it started my "Thanksgiving" out a little early. And it has lead to some insightful conversations that still have me thinking. I wish I could say it all more poetically. And hopefully I will in my songs very soon.

"All we need is love" How true that is!!!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My New Baby Girl

Ain't she a beaut??

I can't wait to test her out in a show. She's a custom made - sparkly white, FIVE string (which is a new one for me!), solid body, Sabre, Wood Violin! Wood Violins are some of the best in the electric violin world. I LOVE the way she sounds. I played her for a while today in my living room and drove Cinnamon nuts.
I'm a pretty big snob when it comes to electric violins - no one makes them to LOOK like a violin. And it drives me crazy. But if she's not gonna look like a violin body... well... then this is the next best thing! I think she's beautiful! She might have to get a counterpart pretty soon. We'll see.

Peace. Love. New Electric Fiddle.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Hot Face

I fulfilled my goal of the day.

I rested and did... nothing.

Well, I mean... I watched football... ate soup... took a nap with Cinnamon... caught up on tivo - CMA's, SNL, a Janet Jackson interview... ate some more soup...

My goal is to be well by Tuesday. Ambitious? Yes. But it can be done.

So I leave you with the "Bad Nat Pic of the Day"
Someone posted it on facebook from our show at Simpson College a couple of nights ago.

MMmmm hmmm... That's a hottie right there. I shoud make this face more often.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We're HOME. Cinnamon is Happy.


It was a LONG ride, but we are home. And Cinnamon is VERY happy. She's in my lap right now... making it more difficult than normal to type and I am loving every second of it. :)

My body is shutting down very quickly. But I have faith the sore throat and sickliness is going to be gone as soon as I... well... stay in bed ALLL day.

If you are planning on calling me tomorrow... don't be offended if I don't answer. I'm not talking. I'm resting and living up at least ONE day of time off. :)

Today included a stop at the World's Largest Truck Stop. And it was a GREAT sandwich day. We hit up both Planet Sub AND Jimmy John's. But Jimmy John's need to rethink this sign... it seems slightly inappropriate. Either that or you're in trouble. And neither is good.

Night night!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

We <3 Nick

Nick left this on the Suburban window :) Good surprise.

Nick Motil / Natalie Stovall Simpson College Year 2

Final Road Show of The Year!!!!!

I say it. But I don't believe it. It's like a birthday. There's a part of me that thinks I should "feel" different. But I don't.

This is our last night in a hotel for the year, too!!!

Ok. I'm done freaking out for just long enough to tell you about the show. I've really been looking forward to this show for all KINDS of reasons:

Simpson treats us SO well. They really do a great job putting on the shows, and they are the FIRST school ever to set up a Wii in our Green Room!!! That's never happened before. They had a sandwich tray, and tons of snacks. I can't tell you how much I LOVED making my own sandwich today from a loaf of bread. I haven't gotten to do that in MONTHS. Plain and simple. Bread, Cheese, ham, turkey, and a little mayo. Mmmmm. SO great.

They turn their Student Center into a pretty awesome live music venue - they have moving lights, and a huge sound system set up. And there was a whole group of guys that I met before the show that pulled a couch up to the front of the stage and watched the whole show sitting RIGHT up front!!!
They had me sign... ehh emmm.. their nipples before the show :)

And this dude PICKED ME UP. I was surprised :)

Nick Motil is another artsit on my agent's roster. He was actually the guy at my first showcase that introduced me to Ari. He's incredible to watch. It's just him and his guitar, and he knows how to work a crowd. We've both been so lucky in the college world. He's been the most booked singer-songwriter in the college market the last couple of years. And we've somehow become the top booked band in the college market. (And again.... I say that.... but I don't know how that's real)
We've been cooking up some ideas for the future ;) Y'all may see more Nick/Natalie shows down the road.

And another reason I love this show is because it's in IOWA!!!! Most of James' family (my in-laws) is here, and Lord do they know how to pack out a room! We feel spoiled because we got to see SO MUCH of the family tonight. And then we'll get to see them all again next week for Thanksgiving, too!! It really makes the show immediately more meaningful when family can be there.

But yeah... I'm still fighting these allergies... I thought I was allergic to Kentucky... but I'm in Iowa and it's not better yet. Oh well. I get to rest now. Thank the Lord I don't have sing anymore. But you know what? I don't have to stress because I don't have to sing again until Dec 12. :) YAY! Now I just have to worry about getting well so I don't breathe germs on the rolls I make for Thanksgiving.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Kentucky ---> Iowa

We drove from Kentucky to Iowa today :) We made it just past the Mississippi River, but stopped right outside of Davenport to sleep. We play in Indianola tomorrow. We watched a LOT of West Wing today :) I LOVE LOVE LOVE that show. It's even better re-watching it than it was the first couple of times around.

Today we saw a little Cinnamon Min Pin with a tail and a wiener today as we left the hotel. I've never seen a Min Pin with a full tail!!! I wish they hadn't chopped Cinnamon's off. I hate that for little puppies. But that's how she came, and her nub is quite adorable. :) And I get to spend so much time with her SOOOOO soon. I am so excited. It's going to be so great to see her and not have to immediately leave her again.

Night night.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Natalie Perfume!!

Do you think it "smells like Natalie"? Or is it how "Natalie wants to smell"?


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pikeville College Has Won My Heart


We saw a part of America on our drive today that I have NEVER seen before. Many times, even when we are in different parts of the country... it all looks pretty familiar with the same gas stations and restaurants over and over again. The landscape changes, but we don't always get to see much from the interstate.

Today we were driving on state highways through beautiful parts of rural Kentucky. We saw GIANT coal mines and almost every car that passed us on the highway had some sort of coal mining sticker on it. I've had Loretta in my head all day :)

And OH MY GOODNESS. I think the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen was present today for almost 45 minutes! It was a DOUBLE rainbow, and when we came around the curves just right to line up with the mountains... we could see the WHOLE thing. We could have chased down that pot of gold on both ends if we had only had the time to stop!
I was driving but James was able to take a picture at one point...

And THEN the gig!!! There were pianos in all the dressing rooms... the auditorium we played in was beautiful... the lighting guys they hired were fantastic... and the students were SO GREAT!!! They had a student singer/songwriter open for us. Nick was GREAT. And then we played our show and had a blast! We even got em up out of their seats for that last few songs!

And let me just say.... our catering tonight? RiDONKculous. Steaks, shrimp, taters, green beans (the way Mamma makes 'em), awesome sweet tea. We PIGGED OUT. Actually, there's a trash can full of plastic fork casualties somewhere at Pikeville College tonight. Tim Denbo broke more than one at his attempt to attack his steak! :)

My awesome "Merch guy" who was mistaken as a band member :)

Cute girls!

This crew saw us at Put-In-Bay and came to see us tonight!!! They were a riot and sat right in the front row tonight!!! It was so cool to see them again :)

The students at the last few schools have been SOOO incredibly helpful with unloading and loading the trailer. And tonight was no exception. You have NO IDEA how much easier our lives instantly become when the students help out. Famous people have roadies. We have ourselves. But lately it has felt like we've had roadies because the students have been so willing and eager. Those things don't go unnoticed and it is something we ALL talk about in the Burb later. As silly as it may sound? It makes the shows more memorable for us when they start out with that kind of help.

So yeah. Great night. Again.

And we have 1 more show on the road for the year. WHAT!?!? Whoa. I can't believe it.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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For Those Emergency Bathroom Situations...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We Rocked The House of God Tonight :)

University of the Cumberlands is so awesome!!! We just played a show in their church on campus and it was so much fun!!! The students were awesome and wow what a gorgeous campus.

We are staying at the Cumberland Inn which has been featured in Southern Living Magazine twice. Needless to say, it is beautiful. Once we checked into the rooms, I got a call from the front desk, and someone from the school had brought flowers to the band!!! Look at how beautiful they are.

I had to go all Macgyver on them... I cut open a water bottle with my knife. That wasn't difficult... but actually cutting the stems of the flowers with my pocket knife was intense :)

Here's some of our awesome new friends from UC

Thanks for having us!!! It was probably the first time I have ever sung "Devil Went Down to Georgia" in a church. It was awesome.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Guerrilla Marketing

The drive to our show today was SCARY. REALLY SCARY.

Jeeves decided that it was a good idea to take us on a little tiny dirt road. It wasn't even a gravel road. It was a muddy, winding, narrow HORSE TRAIL. Seriously. It felt more like a horse trail than a road. And we were scared. James was so stressed out, I think everyone was scared to talk to him. But we went around one curve, and he thought it *might* be just wide enough to turn around.

THANK GOODNESS IT WAS!!!! Miguel jumped out and helped us turn around, Tim found the best route according to google maps on his phone, James drove and maneuvered like a champion, and I held on for dear life.

Jeeves, our GPS, had good intentions. I am sure according to a map... it was the shorter route... but ummm NOT cool, Jeeves. NOT cool.

The show, however? WELL worth the 20 hour drive! The students in charge of the show asked me if I would go through the dorm rooms with them and try to drum up some more excitement for the show. I've never felt more like a moving billboard. :) The guys walked through the hallways, BANGED on the doors, asked guys if they were coming to the show, and then pointed at me :) It was funny.

Whatever the reason... the free food.... the fact that they put my picture on all the napkin dispensers in the cafeteria... our guerrilla style marketing.... I don't care what it was! It worked!! The show was AWESOME. They were up and clapping and dancing at the front of the stage from EARLY on in the set. And it felt like old times at Sam Hill's when they started asking for "Sweet Child of Mine" Plus, after the show, one of the guys really wanted to hear "Amazing Grace" on the fiddle. So we had an "after concert" :) I played Amazing Grace as students gathered around, and then they asked for an Irish Jig. I don't think I have played the "Irish Washerwoman" since St. Patrick's Day my freshman year of high school. But it was revisited tonight!

The river next to the school is a popular white water rafting area. It was BEAUTIFUL. This is where we stopped to get gas on the way... just sayin...

YAY!!! I <3 WVU Tech!

The Jamaicans at WVU Tech

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Santa Needs a Swimsuit

It's been a LOOOONG day of driving. And I think I drove a stretch of interstate I've never driven before! We drove through Chattanooga and up to Knoxville. When you're coming from Nashville to get somewhere - you either go through one or the other... you never go through BOTH. It was weird.

But we got to stop at our favorite exit of the last 6 months - Hattiesburg Mississippi - for lunch! We have eaten in Hattiesburg way more times than we've eaten lunch at home since the summer!!! And we've never even played a show there! It's so funny how sometimes we get routed in ways where we keep stopping at the same place around the same time of day. McCallister's is usually our restaurant of choice. :) Some of the locations still have chocolate spoon cake!!!! MMMMmmmmm.

You something that's funny?? We were sitting in Red Robin (mmm Red Robin) tonight and Christmas songs were playing. I had this realization that I bet Christmas songs in America sound really funny to Miguel. It's summertime in Chile right now! He said that he always feels sorry for Santa Clause - when he has to make appearances outside... that red suit get HOT.

Snow, sitting by the fire, hot chocolate, bundling up - American Christmas songs all have SO much of that in them! And for Miguel, well... it's going swimming and suntan lotion and short sleeves.

It's all about perspective. :)

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

APCA Houston, Rockstar Babies, and Crazy Dreams

We're in a very stinky Comfort Inn somewhere in Mississippi. But I am so tired... I don't even care. Maybe it will inspire some crazy dreams. The other night I had a dream that Hootie and Justin were going on tour in Thailand with some music they had written together....

Congratulations to Charlie and Amy Hutto!!!!! There's a new rockstar baby in the world today - Jackson Chad Hutto. Charlie is a good friend, one of my favorite co-writers, and has been a band member throughout the years as well. Yay!!!

We played our final College Booking Conference of the year today. That's hard to believe. But next year is filling up like crazy. And it's gonna be SUCH a good year.

I love APCA and NACA because I meet SO many new people, hang with tons of cool performers, and see lots of old friends, too! There were 9 kids from UT Tyler which I just played on Tuesday - and their table was right up front during my showcase. So I had lots of friends in my corner yelling for us before they even introduced us! :) That makes such a big difference!!!

This is the lead singer of Fly Gypsy (a hip hop/ rock/ reggae band) and a beautiful poet who were both in my showcase.

AND Street Drum Corps!!!!

It was funny because it was Tim's first showcase with us. We have done so many this year, but he hasn't been with us on any of them yet. :) And he almost ended it with a splash!!! He was dangling off the edge of the stage on the last note and almost ended up in the monitor console! But whew, he got back on balance just in time.

Our next show is in West Virginia so we went ahead and got a few hours under our belt as soon as we finished up with the showcase. Tomorrow... we get to drive ALLLLLL day. :) Life on the road!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wait? A 389% INCREASE!!!?!?!

James and I have been crunching numbers.... ALLL..... DAY.

And we're still not done. We're working on presentations for next year... ways to keep this Natalie Train ROLLING!!! I can't elaborate much more than that right now. But hopefully all this number crunching will lead to some AWESOMESAUCE.

Plus, it's fun to look back and see overviews of all the totals of things....


In 2008 we played 25 Colleges and 2 Military bases
TOTAL student population = 233,156
Total military base populations = 48,087

How's this for growth?

In 2009 we played 65 College Campuses and 15 Military Bases
Total Student population = 709,840
Total Military Base Population = 235,016

That's a 204% increase in student populations from year to year.
And a 389% increase in military populations.

The mileage to and from gigs in 2008 was 46,429
Mileage in 2009 was 63,661

That's a 37% increase in mileage.

I realize this is probably unbelievably boring to most of you. But we have spent hours and hours compiling all different kinds of data. And I am really amazed every time I look at how me we've grown from one year to the next. We've already got 45 Colleges on the calendar for next year and that doesn't even include the holds.... that's just so far... Tomorrow we have a whole other booking conference. It's SUCH a blessing to have so much work. but when I look at how much we have traveled and played this year, I understand why I am so worn out right now!!! (Yet I am so energized and pumped when I think about what is to come)

I am really looking forward to the "break". I have writing appointments booked like crazy. And we have SOOO much we are getting done for the new year. It's exciting. I've been getting butterflies a LOT when I think about next year. I want to harness all the good energy that is surrounding us and keep multiplying it!!!

But I guess if I was to put on a good showcase tomorrow and keep my band members' checks coming, I better get ready for bed. Gotta wash my hair so it can dry overnight ;) Girls... you understand. Saves me time in the morning. :)


Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

We Played a Metal Club Tonight: Scout Bar

We could not have played two more different venues in the last two nights.

Last night - an old KY barn... where Crystal Gayle and Clint Black play shows... dinner crowd... James played with hot rods... we played with our amps WAY down... had to adjust the set list to a more "low key" show.

Tonight?? We played a metal bar that has Hoobastank, Hinder, HUGE stage, lights, amps rattling, mohawks in the crowd.

I LOVE how we never know what we are walking into. I was a little concerned that I was a bit too "country" for this venue, but the club has been trying something different on Thursdays. They have a house band called Obsolete August that plays the first and third set... and they have a guest touring band (of all different styles) on the second set.

The crowd was SOOOOO great!!!! We had a really awesome show. So much fun to play and the crowd was really electric. They were so excited that I had 2 t-shirts stolen. As frustrating as that is... I guess if people wanted them THAT bad... that they swiped them right off my table while I went to the ladies room.. well... I just hope they WEAR them! Spread the Peace. Love. Fiddle!!!

Here's some of our new friends :)
I LOVE the Thumbs up guy!

The guy on the left is "Laser Rocket Chapman" He had me sign his cd that way. And he bought a t-shirt for his friend and he had me sign it: To: Laser Rocket Chapman's Friend

Obsolete August - They got me up to sing backgrounds on some Stevie Ray Vaughn and Radiohead.

By the way. We were 2 blocks away from NASA. CRAZY.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Two L's!!

Probably the only time my name will be on the same marquee as Hinder
and Bowling For Soup :)

There's A Horse!!!

Mall Security in Texas. Awesome.

Bad Nat Pic of the Day

YEAH!!! Can you say, Toy Soldier????

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Happy Veteran's Day!!!

Tonight we played one of the cutest and most unique venues - Dosey Doe's right outside of Houston, TX.

Best Sign Ever.

It is a Dining/Live Music Hall that is a 150 year old barn from Kentucky. Hand Hewn (cut by axe instead of saw). It is made entirely of 300 year old growth Oak and Birch. The process of taking the barn down, re-raising it, and finishing it out took them two and a half years!

It's adorned with all original signage, artwork, photos, general store wares, antiques, leaded glass windows, and milk glass (school) lights all from the late 1880’s to mid 1900’s. And the green room for the band is actually the master bedroom from the farmhouse! :) So cool.

They also made sure it sounded great for live music!!! They have had all kinds of incredible musicians there - Clint Black, Crystal Gayle, Hal Ketchum, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Billy Dean... the list goes on and on.

And the food. OH the food. Their chef has won all kinds of awards, been a chef at many of the top restaurants in Houston. Now he has designed a menu just for Dosey Doe's. Tonight I had the salmon. After I had eaten it and raved about it, I found out that he just won Houston's Iron Chef with THAT Salmon recipe!!! SO COOL!!!

Susan Hickman - the hometown artist that played tonight, too!

Awesome audience members!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

University of Texas Tyler AGAIN :)

I think it was actually warmer today than it was when we played there in April!! :) I was pouring in sweat today... umm... to put it in Miguel's words "I can't get it right!"

Cute pink knee socks with my boots were a bad choice today.

We both packed so warmly for this trip because we have been FREEZING the last few weeks. Then we get to Texas and it's in the 80's all week. However, we will end this trip in Iowa... so we know we'll be happy then with our coats and sweaters! :)

Today Jennifer lured students to their "Tunes at Noon" show (which... well... we were providing the "tunes" for) by giving away free pizza. It's amazing how many more students we had at the show THIS time when they had free food! However. Our saga with bees continued :) We had bees swarming around us on stage the whole show. I only missed one line of singing because of them... there was one way too close to my mouth and I couldn't risk a stung tongue. :)

Jennifer AGAIN took such great care of us. We love her. And the construction guys that were watching us through the window on the second floor of the building across from the show!

Thanks for another great show!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Good Things.

Randy Peterson's cat Patches has a foot fetish! Every time she sees your feet... she HAS to rub her face on your toes! It's awesome. They have 3 dogs and 3 cats and I LOVE it. It's just a big warm happy fuzzy family every time you walk in the door.

Today we hung out with Jaci Butler and Those Guys. Jaci is 13 and the rest of the band is 16 and 17 and they are SO GOOD. They played about 3 songs for us and then we all talked for a while and answered their questions as we shared our experiences in this crazy music industry. They are of course just starting out, but Jaci does NOT sound like a 13 year old girl when she sings. She has a very mature voice, and the band is awesome. They have SOOOO much potential and I only wish I had been working on the songs I was writing at 13 with my own band!!! I didn't start my first band until college... and my goodness. They are all going to have so much incredible experience BEFORE they've gotten to college.

Their next gig is playing for their school dance. How cool is that?? Check em out:
Jaci Butler and Those Guys

It's so inspiring to see young musicians with such passion for what they do. It makes me proud to be a part of it all. Everyone seems to be looking for the next way to get famous overnight because of tv and Idol. Not to talk smack about those avenues. I think that is awesome, too. But there is TRULY something to be said for the good ole garage band. Nothing like it.

Some of Randy's sweet neighbors invited me over tonight because their little girls really wanted to hear me play the fiddle. It was awesome. They were so adorable and they sang some Miley Cyrus for me :)

Things are just good right now. We are making so many plans for the future. We had a very positive meeting to start off the day, plus I had some great conversations with people that are becoming more permanent fixtures of Team Stovall and my American Dream. I'm so excited for what lies ahead. And I am so excited that we have time off for me to write and for us to all get ourselves organized for a much BIGGER and even BETTER year.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Ugly Nat Pic of the Day

I could start a separate blog purely of the unflattering pictures that show up of me on the internet. Inevitably - it's always a REALLY AWESOME QUALITY photo - and if the face I was making wasn't horrific... it would be an awesome picture.

So here begins Ugly Nat Pic of the Day:

Way to go, Nat!!! That'll make the boys come RUNNIN.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Randy and Stacie are THE BEST

What an incredible day!!!

We are staying with two of our FAVORITE people in the world - Randy and Stacie Peterson while we are here in Dallas for a few days. This would be our 3rd time crashing at their place this year :)

When we arrived last night, James and I immediately went to "Our Room" to put our stuff away and I was surprised with just about the sweetest thing EVER.


A framed picture (that I haven't even printed out yet) of my husband and me on the table, and a collage of Cinnamon on my night stand!!!!

These really are some of the best people in the world, and that is only a tiny example of why!

Randy had FOUR tvs set up in the game room, along with computers for Sunday Football. We haven't gotten to see a single game this season - been driving and/or playing every Sunday. But today we caught up by watching ALL of them! GO PATS AND TITANS! Plus, we spent the evening playing Rock Band and watching live concerts. And let me just say, Miguel is a REALLY GOOD SINGER! That boy needs to be singing harmony parts :)

Hope everyone else had as wonderful of a Sunday as we did. James and I even got a bunch of work done and Miguel spent part of the day practicing. So yeah. Relaxing AND productive. The BEST.

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ft. Polk: Woo Woo!!!

Today we played at Ft. Polk in Louisiana and it felt like a hot summer day!!!

The last few weeks... every time we have played in the deep south... we have FROZEN OUR LITTLE TOUSHIES OFF! So today, I was all excited because I finally had a chance to wear the cute long sleeve shirts I ordered for the next time we played outside in the cold.

Didn't actually think to check the weather.

Smart. I know. BUT I had good reasoning! It's NOVEMBER. And consistently, every show we've played outside for the last month has been SO cold. So I wore a long sleeve shirt. Now, the top of my neck, my hands, and my forehead are red. But everything else was covered! :) Poor Tim only got burned on ONE side of his face.

It was like playing at the fair today! There were funnel cakes, LOTS of games and tents, rock wall climbing, typical fair stuff... but the one thing that was unique? Periodic firing of artillery. They were blanks... but still... you don't normally see a tank with people showing you how to operate it at the fair.

BOSS (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers) and the band!

We had the sweetest kids hanging out at the show!!! They were an enthusiastic bunch that were dancing and living just to touch the front of the stage. I've seen a lot of unique names over the years, but today was the first time I ever signed a cd for a "Woo Woo" :) Which I thought was pretty adorable.

One soldier bought a cd, and then came back later to buy another. He asked me to make it out to his friend and wanted me to say "Sorry it didn't work out between us" :) Which again, I thought was pretty awesome. I asked if it was gonna get the guy in trouble, and he assured me it wouldn't. :)-

Soldier of the day:

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thank You Fortune Cookie

Your wisdom... Oh your wisdom

Pulled Over In Louisiana

Had a LOOOONG day of driving today. Maybe it's because I know it is the last real trip of the year... but the 14 hours in the car today seemed more difficult than normal.

However, we started over with the first season of the West Wing... which ALWAYS helps long drives!

I got pulled over tonight. I was very confused when it happened. But we had been going back and forth from 65 to 45mph zones and even though I was being extremely cautious of the speed limit I was worried I had gone over a little bit.

I pulled over, got out my license and rolled the window down. A SECOND police car pulled up behind the first at this point with lights on. As the officer approached the trailer, he very loudly said, "Driver, please step out of the vehicle."


Actually, I think it was a unanimous "Whoa" from everyone in the car when we heard that.

I stepped out, and he said "Ma'am, step back here please."

The first thing he said was my license was expired on the trailer. THANK GOODNESS MY DADDY EXPLAINED THIS TO ME! Thanks Daddy! I explained to the officer that it is not required by the state of Tennessee to even have a license on the trailer, and that we were told that most states did not require one. We had gotten the license out of courtesy, but were told there was not really a need to update it.

Of course, in the state of Louisiana, you DO have to have your license up to date.

Turns out he pulled me over because our chains were dragging. So I found a bungee cord and pulled them up so they wouldn't drag. He scanned my license and let me go.

But WHEW. I was fine during the whole thing. I knew I had done nothing wrong, but I was definitely shaking once I got back in the car and took a deep breath. Goodness!

I think I was actually older than the police officer, which was kind of strange.

I guess I should also say THANKS MAMMA for instilling in me: "DON'T SPEED!!" I hear those words resonating in her voice in my head every time the speed limit changes. Even if I wanted to, I feel like she would be cringing somewhere and not knowing why. So I just don't chance it.

But we're here now! And I am ready to sleep. Night night!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Slow Your Roll

It has melatonin in it! Get your Drank On!

Last Leg Of The Year!

We are getting ready to go out for our last trip of the year!!!

Wait. What?

What happened to this year!?!?! Is it really time to start thinking about purchasing Christmas presents and digging out the yeast roll recipe for Thanksgiving?

Wow. Craziness.

When we get back there will only be 4 days left until Thanksgiving!

I wasn't exactly prepared for this last trip. The time really has gotten away from all of us. NONE of us had packed warmly enough. I had to take my flip flops and short sleeve shirts out of my suitcase tonight and dig into my drawers to find some long sleeves! My show clothes stay the same... but socks and hoodies had to be found!

Tim Denbo is coming back out on the road with us for this final trip. It really is a great way to round out the year. :) We're glad to have him back!

Peace. Love. Fiddle.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tim Denbo and His Fortress of Soy Bean Pods