Gaelynn Lea Music's Newsletter: 
Fall 2016

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the long and languid days of summer; I suppose technically we are getting into Fall but I am still in denial! I am so excited to share some fun updates with you in this newsletter. This past year and the months that lay ahead feel like a huge blessing... Please know that without your support, none of these adventures would be possible. Thank you so much for being a part of this musical journey!

"The Songs We Sing Along the Way" was Released on August 15th!

I am so so so excited to let you know that my new EP, " The Songs We Sing Along the Way" was released into the world on Tuesday, August 15th!

I recorded this six-track EP earlier in the summer with my friend Al Church at The Pearl Recording Studio in Minneapolis.   It came about more or less by accident, when I invited Al to jam with me at a show. We had so much fun together that  I asked if he would join me the next day to record a song or two... We ended up creating a 6-song EP together that blends my original songs and traditional fiddle tunes. It was released into the world on August 15th! The EP is now available for sale at my website and for digital download here and all other major online music retailers such as iTunes. The new EP got a pretty sweet review in the Duluth News Tribune, which was an awesome surprise! 

The other fun thing about releasing "The Songs We Sing Along the Way" is that I had the chance to play a pair of really fun EP Release shows with the awesome Chicago-based band Minor Moon... we had a show in Duluth on a Tuesday evening at The Red Herring Lounge, and then the next night we played in Minneapolis at The 7th Street Entry ! The PBS Crew came to both shows for a live taping of The PlayList, so guests of the events may find themselves appearing as extras in a future episode! 

I am happy to report that both EP Release Shows were a blast! There were a couple of sweet guest appearances at the first show - Chris Funk of The Decemberists (one of my all-time favorite bands) sat in with me for a song, and Alan Sparhawk ( my band-mate from The Murder of Crows) joined me for the last half of my set. The next night was super fun as well - Al Church was there in the flesh and accompanied my entire 75 minute set, complete with an audience singalong of "Bird Song"! 

Creating and releasing "The Songs We Sing Along the Way" has been a delightful journey thus far, and I am excited to share this music with more people in the coming months!Music photographer and blogger Markus Akre was at the show and wrote a lovely review the next day, which is still up at the Twin Cities Media Blog.
         Gaelynn & Paul are Hitting the Road!

A lot has happened since last I wrote to you folks! First off, my husband and I (with the help from many loving friends and family members) got the house ready to put on the market... and it thankfully sold last week!

You may wonder what selling the house has to do with performing music, but at this point, quite a lot!  My booking agent Craig Grossman  has been a busy bee all summer, and he just finished booking my first-ever national tour! My husband Paul and I leave Duluth at the beginning of October and we'll be living more or less on the road for the following six weeks. Selling the house helped us to loosen some of our commitments so that we can travel lightly... and we are so excited!  

Because of my disability, traveling involves an extra set of logistical considerations, but together Paul and I are determined to make this touring thing work.  We have always loved camping and long 
road trips, so we are taking a pretty big leap and trading the house for a van and our day jobs for the adventures of playing music all across the country! I am sure we'll have plenty of stories to tell when we get home in November!

Keep your fingers crossed that our upcoming travels go smoothly... We do hope you'll swing by a show if you live near any of the tour stops listed below; Paul and I would love to see you on the road! :) 

Releasing a Wintery-Themed Album this November

Although it's a little too early to be talking Christmas (even Target hasn't started decorating yet!), I thought I'd let you know that  I'm heading back into the studio later this week to start recording an album of my favorite live-looped traditional Christmas carols, to be released in November 2016!

I'd be thrilled if you could  help me raise the money   needed to record, mix, master, and print this holiday CD... That is a total of about $3,500. Some of you lovely folks have already contributed the first $500 to the album... Thank you so much! 

For those of you who have not yet donated, if you would be willing to contribute funds to my Christmas album (no amount is too small!) I will send you a free copy of the album once it's finished as a token of my appreciation!  Cheers to the music of the holidays!   

Shining Your Light in a World that Needs Healing

In a time of many huge changes looming, I guess it's no surprise that I have been doing a lot of pondering about the road ahead. Touring with music is a literal dream come true for me, but to be honest it's not how I envisioned my life would unfold as a child or even as a young adult.

During college I was intensely involved in politics and disability rights advocacy, and I pictured my career path leading to a government or non-profit job whose grand mission was "Saving The World". In some ways I felt that was the only legitimate path for a political science major to take - after all, we hyper-involved humans largely judge ourselves by our lasting contributions to society.

As time passed, it became clear that the universe was laying other plans for me that involved music. Although this was a delightful twist of fate, part of me felt a little guilty that I was "abandoning" the cause of world-betterment to pursue performance. 

Recently, however, I had a realization that there is more than one way to "save the world". In fact, each of us can make our own little corner of the planet better by trying to live with integrity, gratitude, beauty and grace. In a world saturated by negative media and divided by hatred and greed, anything we can personally do to tip the scales towards good is indeed a heroic act. 

Saving the world could look like saying hello to a stranger, raising a caring child in a loving home, painting a masterpiece, cleaning up a riverbed, visiting your grandmother, or helping alleviate homelessness. There is no one way to live a life of meaning.

Playing music has become, at least for the time being, my main mode of adding to the good in the world. After all, music allows us to pause and remember that beauty is all-encompassing and ever-present, should we only have the eyes and ears and hands and hearts to recognize it. And helping to create an awareness of beauty is no small thing. 

Our daily dialogue is often dominated by what's going wrong in the world, and I sometimes forget to focus on the positive things happening all around me. I am inspired by so many people I've met in this lifetime - by artist Karolyn Gehrig for raising awareness and understanding for chronic illness, by yoga instructor Mary Bue for following her dreams and promoting wellness, by my brother Ben for making time with his family a priority despite his hectic work life, by my friend Alex Mohrbacher who is embracing a life of eco-friendly farming, by my cousin Rachael for carefully designing special education curriculum to meet the needs of each of her students, and by the members at  Mesaba Co-Op Park for working so hard to preserve their beloved historic campground for future generations. There are as many ways to add to the good as there are people! 

So this time around I will sign off by wishing you well. I pray that you may find the strength, passion and inspiration to save the world... in all the big and the small ways you were uniquely designed to do.

With Love,
Gaelynn Lea

"Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:8

"Live on the good side, the bright side, the true side of everything!" Christian D. Larson

" Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:21 
"By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity."  Robert A. Heinlein

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luther

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." Buddha 

"Once again Gaelynn Lea proves she's a powerful craftswoman, a spellbinding singer and a violinist with a solid understanding of how to conjure a mood."
- Tony Bennett, Duluth News Tribune