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Vicki Pompea: Blog / News

A Little Song, a Little Dance, a Little Seltzer Down Your Pants - June 3, 2017

Just a quick note to let you know I'm still here. I should have a really clever analogy related to "hibernation" "treading water" or "lurking." I'm writing songs, performing when asked, and (not so) secretly longing for another guitar (always). Yes, there's school and kids, house and laundry, and all too often, another fire (or three) to stomp on. You know how it goes.

But like an iceberg that only reveals 10% of itself, and hides the rest below the waterline, I'm still here (and resisting the urge to make a climate change reference). There's going to be another album. Sometime. There will be more time for gigs,  we'll chat during the break, and you will tell me about ... all sorts of good stuff.  I just know it.

I hope the next song stuck in your head is a good one. :) TTFM and DFTBA

A "luthi" what? - June 26, 2016

My Facebook post about luthier Wayne Henderson started getting very long, so I cropped and posted there, and I kept on writing to post here...

A luthier (/ˈluːtiər/ LOO-ti-ər) is someone who builds or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box.

I'm often asked how many guitars I have. On last count there were 8 (but don't hold me to it) which is not a lot for a musician. Really. Each has a different purpose and a different voice. My special, go-to instrument was made just for me by local luthier Ronnie Owens. It's got a cedar top and koa back and sides. There's a plumeria inlay in the headstock and the neck was carved to fit my hand. I marvel at the precision work, the exact measuring, and the art of making the wood sing. It's like Mozart composing the Eiffel Tower (if time and space were fluid <grin>).

I followed the journey as Ronnie cut and sanded the wood, carved the braces, glued it together, and sparyed the finish. I remember the night he first put the strings on. That was the night my guitar was born. It's been 11 years since I first played my guitar; although I still feel that I should say "our" guitar. In a way, Ronnie is the birth father and I'm its adopted mama. 

I just started reading a wonderful book called "Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument." Wayne has made less than 600 guitars, often carving pieces with his pen knife.  His guitars are compared to Stradivari's violins - that's how special they are. He's got a 10-year waiting list, but you may have  to pester him to get your guitar. Grammy winning artist Ricky Skaggs was on the list but never got his instrument. Wayne said "He didn't bug me enough," Wayne limits each person to only one instrument. They hold on to it and treasure it for life. But occasionally one comes up for sale. Right now, there are two: selling for $$23,685 and 36,045.00. That's pretty good appreciation for an instrument that costs less than $5000 new.

There's another luthier I'd like to mention, Michael Bashkin. He's a world class luthier who is local to Fort Collins. He uses various exotic woods and offers customized features such as a beveled lower bout (for playing comfort) and fanned frets. Michael understands wood. He knows how to choose it, how to use it, and how to make it ring just right. His guitars are also pieces of art. Words fail me, so you'll have to visit his website to experience his extraordinary designs. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael this spring. He was very welcoming and kind.

My theory is that luthiers are a special breed. There is something about the combination of music, science, sawdust, glue, and magic that makes really nice people.

Links:
Wayne Henderson: http://www.waynehenderson.org/wayne-henderson/
Wayne playing "The Steel Guitar Rag." If you want to skip to the music, it starts at 1:11.  If you're a picker, you'll want to watch from the beginning. https://youtu.be/EFgw_pplZ-Q
Michael Bashkin: http://www.bashkinguitars.com/.

If you're interested in contacting Ronnie, send me an email and I'll get you in touch.

Right On Time - October 4, 2015

I’m late. Isn’t it strange how hard it is to walk into a room after everyone is settled and the presentation has started. The longer it takes to walk through the door, the harder it gets.  If you can relate to this feeling, you understand why it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  

I fight the urge to wait until I write something awesome. It’s a tricky balance for words, and for songs. I have a majority of an album recorded, but the last 4 songs aren’t what I want them to be. Part of me wants to just “get ‘er done.“ However when I share songs that don‘t feel complete, I’m a mess. Presenting a new song reveals so much. It’s like being naked in a crowd.  It’s scary.

I participate in “Fearless Songwriting” events. Each day for a week, we aspire to write a song a day - as quickly as possible, with as little editing as possible. It’s amazing what gets created when the inner critic gets ignored. This is the critic that that cautions “Not good enough” or orders “Don’t even bother.” Fearless songs are not intended to be performed or recorded for an album (although some do), but they clear the path for other songs. They boost creativity and productivity. They make me feel brave.

So I open the door…

Song in My Heart - February 27, 2013

Most days I wake up with a song in my head - but I prefer to think that it is in my heart.  Something like Livingston Taylor's "Never Lose Hopet" or Ingred Michaelson's "Be OK" propels me out of bed and into the shower. Sometimes it's from the Mama Mia sound track (which my kids *love*) or from "Phineas and Ferb" (kid's show). 

I heard that we have nerve cells that go both to and from our ears and brains so that we are truly "hearing" the songs that are playing in our heads.  I know sometime a song is not welcome - perhaps it is only a partial song (or maybe just annoying).  Try substituting with another song - don't just supress it. 

I hope you have a song in your head (or heart) today to enjoy. If you want to, post to my Facebook page that song that you *like* most to be in your head.

Head Above Water - November 5, 2012

Gulp. Can't believe how long it's been since I've said "Howdy."  I performed this summer at the farmer's market and got to see some of you.  But to tell the truth, I've been swamped - thigh deep in mud - slogging through the days.  You see, I've gone back to school.  I can't believe how much work it is to teach an old broad new tricks :-). 

My personal life hasn't been a walk in the park either - but I'll save the stories and put them in songs for y'all. Just know that I haven't disappeared. Remember that music can heal.  My mama used to say "Singing is like praying, twice."

Glad that I'm peeking out. Know that I appreciate all your kind words and thoughts. See you in the funny papers!

Thanks. Giving - November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving (the day) has passed, but I want to post my gratitude and thoughts.

This has been a year of endings and beginnings (thank goodness for the beginnings!) - but all the way through, music has remained a partner to me. I've averaged 2 gigs per month - and I wouldn't get to do that without you. Thank you for coming and listening. I love sharing my music. It's just not the same if it stays in my living room <grin>.

And thank you for listening in *your* home. For buying my CDs and making my songs into your songs - my stories and your stories converge.  I love that we share that.

I don't have any gigs posted for December (I've got a couple of private performances) but I'm so excited and thankful about a show I'm doing on January 26th. My dear friend and sister-of-the-heart, Rosann Winn will be sharing the wonderful stage at Avo's (Avogadro's Number).  Please mark your calenders - it will be a night to remember.

Lastly, I want to give you a special offer. Until January 1st, All my CDs are BOGO - Buy One Get One FREE. Send me an email and I'll get you the CDs. How's that for easy shopping? Happy Holidays. And thank you again.

Farmer's Markets - September 3, 2011

I love playing at Farmer's Markets. Performance is a like a conversation between me and the audience.  At a Farmer's Market, we get to communicate, sweetly and clearly.  When a group of children are nearby, I'll play "Twinkle" or "Puff"; when there are dogs, I'll play my song "Looking Over the Tailgate"; if I see someone with coffee, then it's "The Coffee Song". 

Another way the conversation goes is when I see people singing along, nodding their head, or tapping their feet to the beat. That tells me the kinds of songs that they are enjoying and I can add more of those to my set list. I call the music I play at a Farmer's Market "Shopping and Bopping" music. I *love* to see folks "bopping" along. I catch their eye and smile or nod; and I know that we've connected.

And that leaves two obvious ways the communication goes 1) tips and CD sales (pretty self-explanatory and BTW thank you!) and 2) Talking. I actually get to talk to folks in between songs.  Thanks to all who wait for a chance and then tell me about your favorite songs, or introduce me to your dog or kids, or ask about my instrument, or just say "Hi."  Nothing separates us - no stage, no lights.  We get to share the music together. And that's why I love to play at Farmer's Markets.

Same, But Different - August 13, 2011

I remember being on an airplane as a child and being thrilled. So excited to feel the plane move and the engines roar.  And another memory, being on a plane as an adult - terrified as the plane shook and the engines growled.  And I stayed terrified until I remembered my experience as a child.  Then I was excited again - enjoying the ride. Perspective makes a huge difference. 

We can tell ourselves all sorts of stories.  We can make them happy or sad. Positive or negative.  Now I'm off to another adventure. I'm scared and excited. Tired and fired up.  I'm going to be working on my songs. I'll make some better, write some new ones, and let some go.  I'll make new friends and see old ones. I'll be missing my family and renewing parts of myself. That's the magic of it all. 

We tell ourselves all sorts of stories.  Let's make them the best stories.  Let's make ourselves, our best selves.

School - August 4, 2011

This is the time of year when time is whizzing by.  My kids will go to school in 2 weeks and I'll be going to school in 1 week - Song School, that is!  Song School is a very special time in Lyons, CO where I get a charge that lasts a whole year. There are classes on performing, singing, playing guitar, music business and more.  But what is truly special is the atmosphere of support and friendship. 

Songs are fragile things. They walk on wobbly legs after they are born.  Only in a kind and nurturing place like Song School can they develop and become stronger.  That's what I'm counting on. I have many new, wobbly songs.  I'm looking forward to seeing them fly!

Fearless - July 24, 2011

I've been having a ball playing out every other week or so.  But where I've really gotten jazzed is by a concept called "Fearless Songwriting."  Fearless Songwriting is an attempt to overcome internal resistance and that nasty inner critic that can stop any artist dead in her tracks.

So what is it? Simply this - write and record a song in a day; better yet, an hour.  Some of them are pitifully bad; but some are surprisingly good.  The hardest thing I did was commit to write a song a day for a week.  Some days I was up until 3am - but there was a song!

Leonard Cohen takes about a year to write a song - how can anything written in a day be any good?  I don't know.  But I know this process helps me tap into the Great Creative Energy (for lack of a better name).  Songs just come out and I have no idea where they came from. But they come. And that's the most inspiring part.

So next time you hear me play, there will be songs you've never heard before.  Some will be better than others, but many will be "Fearless"

(By the way, don't forget to "Like" me if you are on Facebook.  Look for "Vicki Pompea - Musician")

Happy Summer - June 18, 2010

Today I visited a farm with my kids and their pre-school. Yesterday it was downtown, Walrus Ice Cream, Oak street plaza water features. So many fun things to do in the summer. I'm in the process of lining up gigs for the summer too. I just love playing outdoors. There are farmer's markets, festivals, fundraisers - so many opportunities.

I was thinking back to when I first started performing (just over 9 years ago). I was so nervous that I couldn't even think about the process of performing. At that time I promised myself I'd play 100 gigs before I made any decisions. After 5 years, 100 gigs passed - I'm not sure how many I've done now. But I know more about what I can do and what music can bring to an event.

One thing I love to do is play at farmer's markets. I call it "shopping and bopping" music. I like to play upbeat tunes that most people know. Then I get to see them singing along as they walk along. I also get to see them walk with an extra bounce in their step as they keep the beat. So if you are one of those I get to watch go by - thank you for your smile, your humming, your bopping along. It's a connection that I cherish as we share the enjoyment of music.

I'll be posting more gigs soon. Enjoy the summer!

Did I Miss Something? - February 7, 2010

OK, looking at the dates - can't believe I haven't posted in so long. I'm hoping that maybe something got lost - but I think it was only my mind. So here's a "Holiday Newsletter" to catch you up on 2009 and the beginning of 2010.

1. Gigs. I played around Fort Collins - no trips this year. Only 16 paid gigs this year - scaling back a little. But I got to spend the spring making music weekly with a great Montessori pre-school.

2. CDs. Nothing new, except ... I finally re-manufactured my "Twinkle" CD (the one for kids). I had sold out and had the dickens of a time getting the artwork and files all together in the right formats. Finally got the copies - so if you've got a little one and *don't* have "Twinkle, Twinkle, Mama's G'Tar" - you can get one now!

3. Song School. My 2nd year back to Song School in Lyons. I think it has been the fuel I was running on the rest of the year. I recommend it for all musicians. And for all music lovers, I recommend Folks Fest - the festival in August, right after Song School. So many of our teachers turn back into the magnificent performers that is their alter-identity.

4. Sabbatical. Sometimes it's important to do nothing, let the ground lie fallow and let the Universe nurture the soil and plant some seeds. Right now, I'm a bit nervous about not performing. But I know my songs, performances and my time with you will be enhanced by letting my music self take a breath. I am missing you, my friend-fans, but I am keeping you in my heart. I will see you again and I'll have more music to share.

Blessings Be and {Hugs}!

Happy New Year - January 7, 2009

Can you hear my synopsis creaking? I've finally started moving to the 21st century and I have a myspace page. This (my website) will be where the meat of the information will be, but it will be very interesting to see how I use mypace.

Yes, I know. I've already been told that FaceBook is the place to be. Maybe in a couple of more years.

Best of 2009 to everyone. I look forward to seeing you soon. And stop by http://www.myspace.com/vickipompea and come be my friend.

Song School Daze - August 31, 2008

Songs. Learnings. Friends. Vibe. It's been almost 2 weeks since I got back from Song School in Lyons and I still haven't quite wrapped my head (and my heart) around the experience.

It's been 7 years since I was there last. 7 years and 2 children to be exact. I loved the time to concentrate on music. It's that final wordsmithing that takes so long for me. I felt like Thomas Edison - I explored so many blind alleys before I found the right approach. Hurray!

And here are some of my wonderful teachers (although I learned something from everyone I met): Amy Speace (set list flow & guts), Ron Browning (voice & inner diva), Pat Patterson (prosody & preciseness), Susan Warner (song gestalt & interpretation), Ellis (encouragement from one of the sweetest hearts I met), Steve Seskin (songwriting with emotional truth), Annie Wentz (yoga and storytelling songs), Rebecca Folsom (song smithing & encouragement), JJ (the next step in arranging), Arthur Lee Land (guitar embellishment & looping), Justin Roth (guitar smoothness), Paul Reisler (KidPan Alley - writing songs with and for kids) ... Wow!

I'll be soon setting up links for these folks, so give them a visit.

Pet Peeves - April 3, 2008

OK. I don't usually make a list of these. But ran into a few the other day after the library said I lost a book (which I *know* I returned). Well, anyway, I bought a new, hardcover version of the book, brought it to the library and (you guessed it) I was told that they would not accept it. So I was charged $20 for the book I lost, $15 for processing (I assume for making a new book, library ready - I've got no problem with that) AND I'm stuck with this book that I didn't really like in the first place.

Pet Peeve 1.1
I've have several items that I've returned to the library through the 1st National Bank drop off be reported as lost. What is up? The librarian said that they've had quite a few problems with that. Sigh.
Pet Peeve 2.0
Post Office. First, kudos for the "Forever Stamp". But I have so much money wasted in previous 1st class stamps, I'd have to have tons of 1, 2, 3, 4, ... cent stamps to use them up.

Used to be, stamps were valued like money. You could take them back to the post office and trade them in for an equal value of current priced stamps. Therefore, no supplemental postage. But no more. Sigh. And I'm starting to feel like a geezer for talking about "the good old days" Another sigh.
Pet Peeve 3.0
When an airline charges to change the name on a ticket. We've all got e-tickets now. The airlines don't even have to print a new ticket. It takes them 30 seconds to change a name. Stupid to charge for that. (and in all likely hood, the ticket was booked online, so they didn't have to type any of the initial information. Grrr.
Pet Peeve 3.1
Geezer Alert! I remember my Mom visiting her family and she would call the airlines at any point to change her return flight. No fees. No hassle.

Pet Peeve 3.2
A quick summary of supplemental airline fees: * Segment Fee
* PFC (?)
* 911 Security
* Convenience Fee
* Prepaid Baggage Fee (don't ask)
Pet Peeve 3.3
And why do we need names on our airline tickets? I end up feeling like Ilsa in Casablanca with an exit visa. Here's looking at you, kid.

W.O.W. - March 2, 2008

W.O.W !! I just came from the Wonders of Woman Conference run by the PVH Foundation. I attended my first (and definitely not my last) Nia class What an awesome, fun workout. It's grovin' to the music with attitude. NaNet Puccetti is a great teacher.

I also attended "Brain Games" with Rick Shipman - I am feeling more mentally limber already.

But the best is last ... Our keynote speaker was Sandy Queen. Her messages are: 1) You are Good Stuff and 2) Lighten Up! After she spoke in the opening session, I gave her my CD as a thank you.

When she ended the Keynote address in the afternoon, she played "Real Woman" for all the conference to hear! Wow, oh, wow! I am good stuff.

Thank you Sandy! And all the W.O.W organizers!
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Hibernation - December 29, 2007

In the corporate world - there's no recognition of the cycles of the year - deadlines are deadlines.

Since having my own businesses (music and massage) and a new role in life (Mom) I am constantly reminded of the phases of days, months and years.

This time of year is meant to be a time of introspection. Of gathering and appreciation. Of pulling those you love closer and spending joyful, quiet time with them.

And yet ... sometimes I feel hopeless. Like the spring will never come. Like ideas and motivation will never come. With the question of "Is this all there is?"

And every year - at some point, the sap begins to quicken and I wonder why I doubted.

I'm hunkering down for the winter. I *know* that things will change (they always do). But perhaps the sadness and questioning is part of the winter process too.

Sadly. Sweetly. Safely. Solitude. Solstice. Peace to all.

Life is a Buffet - choose! - August 30, 2007

I find it interesting how much time I've spent on deciding what I don't want instead of what I do want. You don't go to a restaurant and tell the server what you don't want; you order what you do want.

Paying attention to something - even to say "no" to it - invites it into your world. Law of Attraction is very clear on this. But what if I don't know what I want? I've heard that general posative is better that specific negative - and that sounds ok to me.

I've got a partial song called "Which Dragon Are You Going to Feed?" Feeding the dragon of Joy and all the other good things that I want will bring it.

Latest other media:
Movie: Ratatoullie - good, but not great ("Cars" is great).

Books: Janet Evanovich - 13. Good plot (one of her best), but
*spoilers*

still no resolution w/ Ranger vs Morellie.

TV: trying to catch up on the 16 episodes of "House" on the Tivo. I love this show.

Music: Guy Clark - Keepers, Train, Cheryl Wheeler - Sylvia Hotel.

Latest Hangout - Half Mooon Coffee & Reader's Cove (on Harmony next to Ace Hardware). Our very own independant bookstore.

Dog Days of Summer - July 13, 2007

Some say we're in the doldrums (especially WRT the stock market ). All I know is the delicious contrast of hot days and cool breezes. Any mention of the doldrums reminds me of one of my favorite books as a child - "The Phantom Tollbooth"

I was honored to sing backup on 2 songs for a friend. What a joy! So fun to be back at Seldom Fed studio and working with Chris Kennison - he's the best!

I just finished reading "Circle of Quilters" by Jennifer Chiaverini - 9th book in the series. I'm re-reading "Ask and It is Given" by Esther & Jerry Hicks. My current favorite book is "Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral" by Kris Radish.

I haven't had much time for movies, but I've re-watched "Shrek 2" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". I'm looking forward to seeing Ratatouille"

I just got my very first iPod (yes, I know I'm a bit slow). I've been listening as I go walking. My sister taught me a trick - when I'm in a public place and I need put my cell phone on vibrate (as not to disturb others), tuck it in the lower part of the bra strap. Then you can feel it vibrate. Well, I found the same thing works for the iPod. Why doesn't all women's clothing have pockets?

Whishing you wonderful, refreshing sleep and exciting days.

Remember Me? - May 24, 2007

I wonder if anyone reads these musings. If so, drop me a line - I'd be curious.

Personal events have kept me out of the music scene for several months. My Mom became ill and died. Then I had some minor surgery. Wouldn't it be nice to press a button and let time stop for everyone but you? If I had a superpower, I think that would be mine. Hearts and bodies just need time to mend - but then one wakes up and so much time is gone.

Currently - I'm reading romances by Donna Kaufmann (nice escapes). I saw the movie "Night In the Museum" and it was a much needed giggle. I'm listening to Jack Johnson's sountrack to the movie "Curious George" and the "Cars" soundtrack.

Looking forward to a full summer of music. Thanks for reading. See you soon!

Queen of the Road - March 16, 2007

I've been driving a lot lately and there's something about driving that tickles my creativity. Phrases, hooks, and song ideas are welcome hitch-hikers for my journey. So I keep a small digital recorder in my car so I can quickly capture the effervescent and elusive bubbles of invention.

Here's looking forward to the new and improved songs that will result.

8 Track Mind - January 17, 2007

You remember 8 track tapes (don't you?) - All 8 tracks on one piece of tape and you could click between them. Well, I've been equiped with an 8-track mind. On one hand, it's great to be able to keep track of lots of things. But the drawback is that focusing on one thing for a while is SO hard.

While I'm working on a new song I find myself also try to practice old stuff, do scales, find new covers, etc. Now what I really need to do is take the time to change my strings . Sometimes I think my mind is like when the 3 Stooges all try to fit through the same doorway at the same time and all get stuck. Nyuck, nyuck.

I'm currently listening to Btruce Springsteen - The Seeger Sessions - wonderful, magical album. I can feel every cell in my body relax with a happy sigh as I listen.

I just saw the movie Stranger Than Fiction" w/ Will Farrell and Emma Thompson. Remined me of "Being John Malcovich" - but more fun and romantic.

CD Release on Saturday, December 16th!! - December 12, 2006

I just saw the first copy of the CD in all it's glory yesterday. It's looks great. Vivian Tapp did the graphics and I'm just thrilled.
Here are the songs on the album:
Twinkle, Twinkle / ABC Song / Baa Baa Black Sheep-2:25
I've Been Working on the Railroad - 1:22
If You're Happy and You Know It - 2:07
Ants Go Marching - 2:42
Row, Row, Row Your Boat - 1:04
Old MacDonald - 3:41
Frere Jacques / Are You Sleeping? 2:09
Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes - 2:11
Looking Over the Tailgate - 2:46
Sweet Little Baby - 2:37
Penguin Lullaby - 1:32

Release party at Harmony Kids from 11-1. See you there (and bring the young'uns!)

A Kid's CD? Yes! - December 2, 2006

"When re you going to releae a kid's CD?" This question was asked so much that the answer is .. Ta Da! In a week or so. I've taken songs that my kids (1 and 3) enjoy, added a couple of originals and Voila.

Release is planned for Dec 10. Cost is 2 for $15 or 1 for $8. It'll make a great gift, but quantaties are limited, so reserve your copies soon. Call or email me.

Oh - the track listing:
Twinkle, Twinkle / ABC Song / Baa Baa Black Sheep
I've Been Working on the Railroad
If You're Happy and You Know It
Ants Go Marching
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Old MacDonald
Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes - 2:20
Frere Jacques / Are You Sleeping?
Looking Over the Tailgate
Sweet Little Baby
Penguin Lullaby

Future Gigs - December 1, 2006

Thanks to all of you who came out to Everyday Joe's for the Songwriter Showcase. My face ached after all that smiling - that's a good thing!

This time of year is a bit slow for live music, but I have a couple of events coming up.

On Dec 31, I'll be playing at Walrus Ice Cream for Fort Collins' First Night Celebration.

I may be doing a kid's concert in December.

And in Feb, I'll be doing a house concert.

More details will come your way, but I wanted to reassure you that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.

Hope you had a great Turkey Day.
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