LOJO’s MICRO BLOG
Jan 9, 2017
Updates. Updates. Why is it so hard to pause in the moment and just breathe? I think life is overwhelmingly busy for most of us. That is no different for this gal here. I have been crazy busy farming venue information, planning tour routes, working on studio production thoughts, emailing emailing, updating my website and promo materials, practicing, and balancing three other jobs. Lol. Yep. Life is nuts.
But tonight, I am glad to rest in this moment. I am sitting at The Basement (live music venue) in Nashville. Currently, everyone is waiting for my airbnb guest to strap on his guitar and strum some tunes. It is weird to sit here and reflect, completely sober I might add, of how fast my time in Nashville has gone. TWELVE YEARS.
Life here has kicked my arse up one side and down the next, over and again. It has taught me a lot of ways to not do things. I have found a few right ways to do some stuff and it is constantly telling me, “buck up butter cup, you better toot your own horn cause ain’t nobody else gonna do it for ya.”
Then there is the elephant in the room: self promotion. I think this has been one of the hardest roads to travel as an artist, as a creative. It is a lonely road. We have people that surround us and that support us in their own ways when they have time away from life to let us know they are out there, cheering you on, listening. But most of the time, we are alone to convince ourselves that our art and our minds matter. That our voices and our compassion have the ability to reach more than just our ourselves or our immediate tribe. That we have the power to change a life in a single moment during a live performance or in seven years when a friend of a friend suggests your music to them. To know and realize that blessing, to constantly chase it–all the while grateful for any ounce of connection it brings. That alone can be overwhelming. It is daunting. It is hard enough that it can leave the strongest person with doubt about their path. This is a road I have spent a lot of time on. This is a road that is becoming familiar. But I am learning to be my own voice, to trust my own cheerleading in those nights I need it most. Then the dawn comes and I realize you were there and have been here, reading my blog, spinning my albums, sharing with your friends, and turning out to the shows. You are always there, even if you are out of sight.
Sometimes I forget that while I am behind the scenes, walking that road, slowly making the show happen, your world still spins and you share it with me, by inviting me into your day. So I thank you. I adore you. I am ever so grateful for you and I hope, if I do my job correctly, that we can connect over a moment, a lyric, a laugh, or a cry.
Sometimes we forget that we are only human. We try to be some sort of super hero. We try to fit it all in and make it all work and offer it up to the world it in a beautiful package with a taught and neat bow. But life isn’t that. It is messy. It is imperfect. We all have struggles and insecurities, we all have failures and successes. We must celebrate in the face of adversity and rise to the challenge to become our better selves. Our best selves. For now, I am standing firm footed; the current is strong.
“And I wake up and I ask myself what state I’m in
And I say well I’m lucky, ’cause I am like East Berlin
I had this wall and what I knew of the free world
Was that I could see their fireworks
And I could hear their radio
And I thought that if we met, I would only start confessing
And they’d know that I was scared
They’d would know that I was guessing
But the wall came down and there they stood before me
With their stumbling and their mumbling
And their calling out just like me”
Nov 5, 2016
Most music makers already know the process behind making an album but for those of you who don’t, I wanted to offer a little more insight. Mark and I are almost done with song selection. Once that process is complete we will be charting the songs and cutting rough one-takes in the studio to give to the session players. We will then bring in the rhythm section (bass and drums/percussion) and spend a day in the studio tracking the back line for the songs. More to come but this little process here can take a few more weeks to really get completed since the holidays are coming up and schedules are crazy.
I have been working toward my 2017 tour and am excited to start announcing dates soon. Stay tuned…
Moral of the story: #KeepGoing #OneDayAtATime
Oct 18, 2016
As my crowdfunding campaign comes to an end, I want to extend a massive #THANKYOU to all of you that donated to my IndieGoGo campaign. I am humbled by your #Generosity and #Honored to know that you are part of my #Tribe. What I came to realize in this process is, it isn’t the asking for help, it is the receiving of it that is so overwhelming, humbling, and #Beautiful. #IAMBLESSED — Lorie Jo
UPDATE: My meeting with Mark Robinson (producer extraordinaire) went great! We talked some strategies about the making of the upcoming album, on a bit of a smaller budget, and everything looks really good. We are full steam ahead!
This week, I have a meeting with the lovely Sue Havlish (publicity pro) to help me get my ducks in a row to launch the tour! If you have a place you want to see me roll through, a radio station you want me to play, or a house concert you want to host…be sure to let me know and my team will do our best to #Abide.
**Stay tuned for more updates, sneak peaks, and behind the scenes videos.
Aug 6, 2016
It has been a while…too long I might say, but I have been busy crafting and brewing up some new projects that I am really excited about. Coming out of creative hibernation is something that is new to me. It almost feels like I am defrosting, slowly able to move a bit more and more. Ideas flowing, songs emerging, meetings, calendars, booking, websites, demos for producers and whatever other red tape there is to cut prior to “just getting back out there.” I felt very much like the, I imagine Dar Williams did when she wrote my favorite song of hers, After All:
“Once upon a time I had control and reined my soul in tight
Well the whole truth
Is like the story of a wave unfurled
But I held the evil of the world
So I stopped the tide
Froze it up from inside
And it felt like
A winter machine that you go through and then
You catch your breath and winter starts again
And everyone else is spring bound”
Some might feel like I could just dive right in, but if you remember, I feel different this time around. I am not in a hurry to charge out of the gate after such a long slumber. I want to be a bit more selective about what I am putting out into the world. As we grow, I believe most of us have a decent enough head on our shoulders to be #MoreMindful about how we dive headlong into life, projects, love, friendships, and any other situations that come our way. While I have a firm confidences in John Burroughs’s most popular saying, Leap and the Net Will Appear, I don’t always feel that is the right approach. The flinging of oneself into a deep crevasse is for those rare occasions when that might be the only option on the proverbial table.
So having said all that, I want you to check back soon, the cogs are starting up and turning the wheels of this machine. I have some really great stuff coming up soon and I look forward to sharing more, singing more, loving more, finding more, exploring more, meeting more, growing more, learning more, and being more. I am honored to have you on this journey.
Moral of the Story: Defrost at your own pace.
May 23, 2016
This year is absolutely flying by. I can’t believe all the wonderful things that have transpired over the past few months. Not only have I been able to get back on the road and play some most amazing places (ahem…Ozarks) but I also was granted the opportunity to become a DittyTV VJ host for #TheCurve! I am super honored and grateful to become part of that Memphis-based family.
I have been thinking hard about how to approach my next album, exploring options, and mostly trying to be patient jumping back into the game. I am not sure if I have mentioned it or not but this go-round I wanted to change my approach and my vision for my future in music. Patience and making wise choices about my next career steps is something I try to practice everyday.
In the days of the technological revolution along with people wanting the instant gratification that has so quickly become expected in our society, I sometimes find I need to slow down, take a breath, and refocus on what is important to me, what is important to my fans and most importantly, what is important in life? And if it truly is to become the journey of my life-time, then why not try to be mindful of stopping to smell the roses. In today’s world, patience is rare, acceptance is hard to come by, and gratitude can get shoved to the side even though it is something that is so important to so many of us.
Moral of the Story: Be true to yourself. Be patient and smell each rose, mindful of the thorns.
Feb 18, 2016
Today is a great day! Hopefully we will be firming up some gigs in Springfield, MO and possibly a handful in Austin, TX this week I look forward to playing more shows throughout the year. I look forward to seeing you all once again as I travel down the long and winding road…(cue the Beatles). After quite the hiatus and the much needed creative slumber, this year feels superb. Super busy and full of awesome vibes, I look forward to what the rest of the year can bring. I never would have imagined all those years ago that I would be here, still making music. While my love for music and performing is an obvious passion of mine, it is one that has its ebbs and flows. Creativity can be difficult, especially when it comes from such a personal place, but I know as a human on this earth, that music is one thing that connects us all. The rhythm and stories carry us through hard times and celebrate in our nostalgia of days and friends gone by. Every day is a gift and this go-round it is all about the journey. Cheers!
Moral of the Story: Don’t ever stop believing in yourself. Rest when you need to and fight for your life when there’s a war. Sometimes that war comes from within…”Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars. Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing. It’s okay not to be okay. Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart. Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising. Just be true to who you are…” — Jessie J <—Love her!
Feb 14, 2016
HAPPY DAY OF LOVE! While some of you may not be holding a “cup half full” on this day set aside for lovers, I think it is a lovely time where we should be reminded to stay kind to one another as we venture through this journey. Valentines day isn’t just for lovers. It is for friends and family to come together and say, “HEY! Don’t forget I love you!!” With all that being said, I am enjoying my day. While it is not full of red wine or romantic dinners, it is a journey…of life, that is. We all know that experience should be one of love. Today I am practicing self love and progression, taking strides in the quite times and working on improving my existence here, by improving myself as a person. Fortunately, I am greatly supported by all my Valentines this year and I hope that you can find the same in your world. MORAL OF THE STORY: Love yourself and those that love you for who you are. Reciprocate the love and see how it changes your world. Smile at strangers and infect the world.
Feb 11, 2016
So we just were notified that we have been officially posted on the 2016 #TinyDesk Contest page. I think they accept most every simple submission, if the rules have been followed. But it’s fun to think about buying a hypothetical lottery ticket for your music and your passion, and the chance to get to touch thousands of lives and allow those lives in return, to touch you. That’s just pretty sweet; that’s the part of life that gets me all gooey. Here’s to all of those who don’t let the daily grind or the label of “hobby” smash their passion and determination for self -vocalism and awareness through stories, art, and vision. I applaud you. Moral of the Story: Be grateful for moments with friends and these journeys that can #ChangeYourLife.
Feb 1, 2016
So here we are a week out of filming for the #TinyDesk submission and I am still unable to choose. Even trying a different session didn’t make me feel any more swayed to one or the other. We definitely went the easy tripod acoustic route but the filming was fun and the clips were entertaining. So I call upon a local friend to swing by and chat real time. Ya know, help me make my selection. At this point I felt like I was at the perfume counter smelling tens of perfumes, trying to decide which scent I wanted to put out there, for the universe to smell. Oh Lord, I have damaged my senses, please Bob – Bail me out. His suggestion was simple and helped me settle. “Take it from a guy that has recorded a lot of takes. Go back to the first three, back to the passion. You will find your clip there.” He was right. I invited him by and we looked at the three videos with the most potential. He liked them all. We agreed the tambourine was peaking the highs and was a little distracting. Mary was out. He enjoyed the ballad and solidity of the vocals on Kansas, but really was infected by the drive and beat of Home. There it was. A simple sweet selection was staring me in the face while I drew my guts out. #Zeesh Moral of the Story: Always trust your friends to tell you what smells look good on you. Thanks Bob.
Jan 25, 2016
Here we are! First gig of the year and a weekend of gathering promo is here. So keep in mind I haven’t done a run like this in quite a few years. Around 5 to be exact. I am excited and nervous and I anticipate a lot. But most of all I am trying to be calm, cool, and collected and enjoy the ride. I am truly focusing on the ride. I think that is where I went wrong when I moved to Nashville. Somehow it seemed over the first five years, people talked me out of the scenic ride and into a cubical (figuratively speaking of course but also as a simile to how I saw people approaching music. What was this weird place?). First 24 Hours What a whirl of a weekend. Our breakdown went something like this: Left Nashville: Winter Storm Mix 9p Thursday Night Arrive St. Louis 4a Fri: AirBnb Snooze Left around noon Arrive in Lawrence for Rehearsal 5p – 7p Picked up a camera in North KC Headed to Daveys for the Gig Ate, Drank, was Merry — Drive to Parents arrive 3a Sat Morn Day 2 I can’t sleep, Laura Snoozes. We get our asses up and collect the #TinyDesk from a Facebooker in town. Video Shoot 1p – 5:30p Quick Dinner: Over priced and hangry all the way. Arrive at Celtic Fox 6:30p Asked to extend our set to cover: NP Gig 90 mins, hang time with friends à la Laundro-Bar til 2a Home and asleep by 4a Day 3 I can’t sleep, Laura Snoozes. Starting to feel the weekend pull us under. Exhausted. Head out for a quick delish lunch and photo shoot 2-7 Dinner with friends: 8-10 Back to parents: Hot tub 12-4a movie til 5a Back to bed – Day 4 Roll out of bed around 10a—pack up Meet a friend for a coffee and exchange of gig leftovers Roll out 2p Arrive Nashville 12:30a Moral of the Story: Life’s like a bull, ya gotta grab it by the horns. Get that 8 seconds in – it’s a rush.
Jan 20, 2016
Feeling pretty good about the upcoming weekend. I would always love more time to prepare, of course, I think most of us would. But like an old friend used to say, “if you wait until your ready, you won’t ever do it.” I like that. It sums up the ideology of “leap and the net will appear,” but in a more conventional 21st Century kind of way. And I think people are more cautious these days. More guarded. Maybe not. Maybe so. Maybe it’s geo-locational in its presence. Moral of the Story: Don’t wait until your ready to seize the day. Only this moment is promised…
Jan 1, 2016
HAPPY NEW ONE YA’LL! It’s nuts how time flies. I honestly welcome this year to teach me more difficult lessons in my journey. I hope as time goes by the music will begin to reintegrate itself on a natural scale with only some gentle nudging of my “go get ‘um.” I think that is a difficult balance for some, maybe not. We love our passion, and like a good drug the highs of it are addictive. We want to push it and be in that high all the time. So when we find that level hard to attain or to maintain, not just on a “getting booked, or signed, or managed” kind of way, but from a creative output. A fountain that provides these amazing gifts. Just like a bottle of whiskey, it has a bottom. And if you want the high again, you gotta refill the bottle. It’s not even that simple, there is the aspect of a responsibility and gratitude to those that support you and want to hear more and enjoy more and connect more. There is a feeling of indebtedness that keeps you wanting to produce and perform even when you are exhausted, even when you begin to resent the very thing that has kept your heart beating all these years. It is difficult to convey to those who are “non-acting” creative. (I say that because everyone has the potential. Some choose not to tap it.) I think a quote from Dar Williams (my hero: hearts in eyes) is appropriate now: “I can find a small apartment where a struggling artist died and pretend because I pay the rent, I know that pain inside.” Moral of the Story: Take time to rest and refill, even if it seems like a death. The phoenix is born from its ashes. We must rise when we fall but only once we are strong enough to stand.