it's that time again. The time when I try to put into words some
of what is happening in Ederville. Honestly, it feels like a different
planet. My life has gone through a major change, and now that the
dust has started to settle, I'm still looking around in awe at the
new world. I have to start by saying that I'm very happy. On all
fronts, life is good.
new album, BY MYSELF, was a joy to make. It took me to London, a
city that I love, and it introduced me to new wonderfully creative
people who I had a great time hanging out with. Ettore Stratta (producer,
conductor) and Byron Olson (orchestrator) made this project so much
fun and, between the two of them, there is a wealth of amazing stories
about this crazy business and the people who inhabit it. I was fascinated
and laughing at the same time. It was also quite incredible to record
a tribute to Judy while working with someone who actually knew and
worked with her. I learned things about Judy that you don't find
in the books. One of the things that became loud and clear, upon
hearing the personal stories from people who knew her, is that they
all really liked her. She was fun to be around and her sense of
humor was stellar.
we were recording with The London Symphony at Abbey Road Studios
in London, we took a day and went to The London Palladium with a
film crew. This is the famous venue where Judy made her triumphant
"comeback" after Hollywood told her she was a has-been.
We were met there by a long-time member of the Judy Garland Fan
Club. He was a small (Judy's height) 80-year-old Englishman with
the most charming and dignified manners. He wore the same brown
silk corduroy blazer that he had worn to all of Judy's opening nights.
It was 54 years old and looked brand new because he had only worn
it for those occasions. The crew filmed us while he gave me the
tour of The Palladium and we ended up on the bare stage talking.
He pointed up to the mezzanine to show me where he had been sitting
on that fateful night all those years ago. I admit that I got a
goose bump or two. We ended our conversation with me saying that
I hoped he and the club would like the new album and that I would
pass muster. He squeezed my arm and with the kindest smile told
me that he was sure I would. It was a day that I won't forget.
thrilled to finally be doing a real show with my buddy Michael Feinstein.
Ever since we first shared the stage for some shows, we have wanted
to do an evening where we really "shared" the stage and
we have finally done that. It wasn't easy with our busy schedules
to find the time to work on it, but we managed to carve out a few
days where we were on the same coast. With the help of a wonderful
musical director, John Oddo, we put together Two For The Road. It
was a challenge for me to learn all those new songs with harmonies
in time for the first performances that took place on the Cape and
on Long Island. I spent all my airplane trips with my ipod listening
to the mp3s that John had made. I felt like I was cramming for a
test. To say that I was nervous for the first night is a major understatement,
but I was happy with the results and with some tweaking, I had a
good sense that we really had something. It was a pleasure to watch
the faces in the audience every time we introduced another classic
duet. Backstage was fun as well. It felt a bit like a Broadway show.
Not only was my crew there, but so was Michael's and because of
the newness and the nerves, it added to the excitement. It was great
to have someone to share it with, and I look forward to the shows
we have planned. Michael, you are the best!
solo concert will now be the Garland Tribute and that is my latest
challenge, learning all those words and finding the timing and the
rhythms that make a show work finding it for Judy, but also
for myself. My goal has never been to imitate, but to let her influences,
that have become inherent in me out, and at the same time be me.
I have now performed some of the songs from the album, and it has
made me excited for this show.
was never my intention to move forward without Jeremy Roberts. He
has been a part of my performing life for so long, and this is one
change that I have not looked forward to. Change is something I
have always resisted. However, it no longer frightens me. I know
that I have changed, dramatically. It's an important part of life
and often the key to true happiness. So, while I am saddened by
the end of 19 years of magic and memories, I applaud his desire
to change and challenge himself.
MIX has been an amazing project to be part of. The goal is to show
famous singers relaxed in their own horse environments, and it has
lead to some wonderful interviews. Co-creator Maureen Smith and
I have traveled to great locations and spent fun days with the talented
team that has made TRAIL MIX a reality. We have been welcomed into
the homes of these amazing singers, and I have had the great pleasure
to literally "horse around" with them. Highlights included
riding western cutting horses with LeAnn Rimes. It was something
I had always wanted to try and it was a blast. Cutting horses evolved
out of the need for ranchers to cut a single cow from the herd in
order to brand or treat it. Because of their strong desire to return
to the herd, it is no small feat and it is mostly up to the horse
to stop that cow. They bob and weave and almost go to their knees
in the process. I was happy that I did not fall off. Another highlight
was riding horses on the beach in Mexico with a very good-looking
Latin heartthrob. Ladies, it's a tough job.
my favorite interview was the first. My friend, the incredible Irish
tenor with the life story that movies are made of, Ronan Tynan,
came to my farm. On the hottest day of the year, we laughed, we
joked, we rode my horses, we sweated, but we really did what I so
love to do. We talked horses. He helped kick off TRAIL MIX in a
way that gave me the confidence to believe it was going to work.
Thank you, Ronan.
blessed with a wonderful family and very good friends who have made
navigating through this "change" in my life much easier.
I am also blessed with extraordinary fans who gave me the courage
to perform during a time when I was really very much afraid to.
It has been an amazing year. I want to thank all of you for coming
along for the ride. I have no idea what the future holds, but I'm
not afraid of it. I look forward to it. I appreciate everyone who
is on the "team" helping me to sail the open water.