The story behind the music

In 12 days, I will release my debut singer songwriter album, W.O.M.A.N. To say that this is a milestone, that I'm leaping off a metaphorical cliff, that my whole life has lead up to this moment, is a bit of an understatement. And yet, it also feels as natural as breathing. Like the natural chain of events. Like it was MEANT TO BE.

And yet, you know nothing is MEANT TO BE. We choose, we do, we MAKE what it "meant to be" happen. The only limits we have are the ones we set for ourselves. 

 I'm going to take the next few days and share some of the lyrics of my songs on this blog thingy. To tell you a little bit about why I chose or wrote the songs that I did.

The title track of the CD is I'm a Woman, that Peggy Lee standard I know you've all heard. But Malcolm Ruhl, producer of this whole album, thought we should turn it on it's ear a bit and do it country style. For those of you who don't know, I am currently playing June Carter Cash in Mercury Theater's Ring of Fire. Many people are curious how a lyric soprano opera/actress chick from the east coast and midwest got into country music and again, for me, it was just as natural as breathing.

Country music is about STORIES and PEOPLE, and that is the aspect  of singing and acting that fascinates me. Singing an aria and singing a folk song, while different in sound and vocal production, are really the same thing. We need to tell the story in music, because music is emotional, and conveys a feeling that words alone cannot.

And, of course, the STYLE of music also fascinates me. As a "classically trained" soprano, singing folk music means unlearning all those techniques that were drilled into my head as a student. In many ways, it's a more "natural" way of singing, before we learn about breath support and beautiful round vowels and tone. I will never sound like Reba McIntyre, but I don't sound like Audra McDonald either (I should be so lucky!) Can we coin a term? Classical country? It's ME, singing story songs with some kick ass country musicians playing along. 

And seriously, WAIT till you hear the musicians on this CD. Malcolm Ruhl, Greg Hirte, Billy Shaffer, John Foley, TC Furlong and John Rice. It is an embarrassment of riches.

But back to I'm a Woman. This CD is really about what it means to be a woman. Love, loss, work, children, balance, time. It seemed appropriate to start it off with an ode to all that a woman does, for herself and for her family. We really are all Wonder Women, for juggling careers and family and life. So this song is for every women who busts her butt everyday to keep things running. I'm right there with ya, Ladies.

"I'm A Woman" by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
 

I can wash out 44 pairs of socks and have 'em hangin out on the line
I can starch & iron 2 dozens shirts 'fore you can count from 1 to 9
I can scoop up a great big dipper full of lard from the drippins can
Throw it in the skillet, go out & do my shopping, be back before it melts in the pan
'Cause I'm a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I'll say it again

I can rub & scrub this old house til it's shinin like a dime 
Feed the baby, grease the car, & powder my face at the same time
Get all dressed up, go out and swing til 4 a.m. and then 
Lay down at 5, jump up at 6, and start all over again  
'Cause I'm a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I'll say it again 

If you come to me sickly you know I'm gonna make you well
If you come to me all hexed up you know I'm gonna break the spell
If you come to me hungry you know I'm gonna fill you full of grits
If it's lovin you're likin, I'll kiss you and give you the shiverin' fits
'Cause I'm a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I'll say it again 

I can stretch! a green black dollar bill from here to kindom come!
I can play the numbers pay the bills and still end up with some!
I got a twenty-dollar gold piece says there ain't nothing I can't do
I can make a dress out of a feed bag and I can make a man out of you
'Cause I'm a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I'll say it again 
'Cause I'm a woman! W-O-M-A-N, and that's all.