Still Married Band Blog

Heart Shaped Stones for Valentine's Day 

If you're looking for a sweet, sentimental love song to celebrate this day of romance,  keep looking.  But if you like your Valentine's Day tunes with a dose heartbreak and twist of revenge, then go ahead and help yourself to "Heart Shaped Stones."

I wrote this song many years ago - and it's still one of my favorites to sing. Our kids think it's kind of creepy and that's part of what I like about it.

So whether you're happily single, looking for love, or celebrating the day with your One and Only, please hop on over to our website for a free download of "Heart Shaped Stones."

Still Married: Listen 

Hope you get chocolate and champagne and NOT stones. Unless, of course, they're diamonds.

Redding's Got Culture 

Celebrate art, culture and original music with the North State Songwriters



North State Songwriters will present a showcase of original music at Redding City Hall (777 Cypress Ave) during the city-wide Cultural Cruise on January 30th. Eight different acts will take the stage, beginning at 4 PM. 

4 Randy Corbin 4:30 Nick Ciampi 5 Pine Dogz 5:30 Still Married 6 Hal Johnson 6:30 Dan Casamajor 7 Hannah Jane Kile 7:30 Paul Howell


Randy Corbin's songs are inspired by life's experiences with an emphasis on matters of the heart. Nick Ciampi is a popular Redding music teacher and folk-rock musician.  The Pine Dogz present rocking' country blues.  Still Married country-folk tunes celebrate the landscape, the characters and the independent spirit of Far Northern California. Hal Johnson will share his folk and dirt-road country music.

Two Chico musicians are joining the line-up this year: Veteran singer-songwriter Dan Casamajor's  music is influenced by the folk-music revival, its folk-rock offshoots, the Beatles, and acoustic country styles. Award-winning Hannah Jane Kile is a sweet soulful songwriter who provides poetic messages blending original and traditional folk with individual voice and instrument. 

And JPR Radio host Paul Howell rounds out the evening with his original blues tunes.


For more information on the musicians: 

Randy Corbin: hellabassman@yahoo.com

The Pine Dogz: The Pine Dogz
Dan Casamajor: jfcandan@yahoo.com
Paul Howell:  ph8ed@sbcglobal.net

For more information on North State Songwriters, contact Erin Friedman: erin@stillmarried.net


Shasta County Tiny Desk Duet 

NPR music invited artists to submit videos of their original tunes for their Tiny Desk Concert Contest. The winners will be invited to the studio for a performance on All Songs Considered.

We entered our new duet, From Here, a ballad about holding tight to love, even when holding tight is not the easiest choice.  We huddled on my not-so-tiny studio desk and did our best.

We are looking forward to performing this tune and others next Friday at Redding City Hall for the annual city-wide Cultural Cruise. Lyrics below.





From Here 

words and music  (c) Erin Friedman

Every year it seems

You need more room to breathe

But I can only get so far away

For better or for worse I said

Lock the door, go to bed

Pray when there is nothin’ left

To say


          
     Are you walking ?                 

     Are you running?                 

Wishing wings to fly you

From Here?                                 

What I’m seeing

What I’m sayin’

Looks like something worth saving

From Here


I breathe in and out

Whisper when I’d like to shout

You’re the innocent bystander of the year

If I can be forgiven

If you’ll lean in and listen,

Admit there’s something missing

From Here



From Here it looks like love

Is still holding on

Forever is worth fighting for

Together we’re Still Strong



Thanks for the Memories 

In this Grateful Season, I get to count a lot of blessings -- including a friendship that began before grade school and still thrives.

In August, I spent four glorious days with my dear friend, Mary - she and I share a birthday and we celebrated 50 years of fun and friendship at her mountain home in the High Sierras. Lots of hiking, loads of laughs and a few bottles of good wine.
Fun in Heidelberg, 2013

Mary and her lab, Marco in Mammoth, 2014

Before "Valley Girls" was a thing, there was us -- loving the sun, the sand and the songs and living a charmed life in Chatsworth in  LA's San Fernando Valley. My gift to my Sweet Forever Friend was this -- The Songs the Summer Sings -- because nothing says "Thanks for all the memories" like a cheesy, 70s-style pop tune.


The Songs the Summer Sings
words and music by Erin Friedman


Tires spinnin’ on a canyon road
Valley girls head out for the coast
Sing along to the radio
Tuned to 93

Zuma 7 was the promised land
Endless Summer layin’ out on the sand
Perfect soundtrack to the perfect tan
Were The Songs the Summer Sings


CHORUS:

We knew all the words
To all The Songs the Summer Sings
California girls
With California dreams
We were wrong about a lot of things:
Fast cars, bad boys, sunscreen
But we were right about
The Songs the Summer Sings 

                               

 

Goodbye to the Yellow Brick Road

Beegees, Beach Boys, and Rolling Stones
They said “It’s Only Rock and Roll”
But it was everything

It was a cruise out on Van Nuys
Tunes for scopin’ out the guys
Fire drills at the long red lights
To The Songs the Summer Sings

(chorus)

We were straight-A, honor rolls girls
But from June until September
Shed our Pleasant Valley Sunday world
Making summers to remember

(chorus)


We were wrong about Annie Green Springs
And Dittos saddleback jeans
But we were right about
The Songs the Summer Sings


Banjo's Awesome Modesto Adventure 

Word came last week that my song, 2:20, made it to the finals of the Northern California Women's Music Festival Songwriting Contest  I was invited to perform the tune at the festival on Saturday evening. I hemmed and hawed about making the trip -- it's four hours away and we had no one to care for The Banjo Dog.

Then 18-year old Joe, said: "Mom, you HAVE to go. What are you doing music for if NOT for things like this?!"

He had a point.

So I logged on to BringFido.com and located a dog-friendly hotel. Got a great deal on a room where our goofy dog was welcome.   Banjo's been part of the family for six months but this would be his first road trip. Turns out he's a trooper. Loves riding in the truck and he's the perfect hotel guest: quiet, neat and unlikely to steal towels.
 
Banjo likes hotels!
We headed out early on Saturday morning -- when he is not my faithful bass player, Craig is an terrific roadie -- and we made it to Modesto in the early afternoon. This was the first Northern California Women's Music Festival. What a lovely event. The Prospect Theater is intimate and beautifully appointed, a comfortable space that was obviously created by someone who loves the theater. The stage and the lighting were lovely and sound was perfect.  Best of all were the people -- great folks created this festival and made it happen in a big way -- a joyful vibe permeated the room.
 

The song, 2:20, was inspired by a late-night trip that we made to the Redding train station last year. It was eerie and odd to be out in Redding at two am, waiting in the dark for the arrival of the Coast Starlight. There was NO sleep for us that night -- we were texting and keeping track of Joe (our smart kid) who was headed to the Bay Area to visit my dear sister and her husband.

All sorts of thoughts floated through my mind that sleepless night - and I imagined a woman leaving town under rather dire circumstances and wrote a song around that story.

I played the song to an attentive audience and was delighted that my sleepless night paid off and I won the songwriting contest.

 


Banjo's patience was wearing thin at this point, so we said our goodbyes and set out in search of a dog-friendly restaurant.

Dews in Modesto had a lovely patio.

"Can we sit here with our dog?" "Of course!"  "Champagne?"  "Why, yes."

What a place -- calamari fritta was fabulous, followed by a bleu cheese encrusted New York Steak and Blackened Sea Bass. The bread pudding ala mode - bliss! All the while, Banjo laid quietly at my feet.   It was a perfect evening.
 


"The bill, please?"

"It's been paid for.  An anonymous donor wanted to help you celebrate."

Oh. My. Goodness. -- An amazing day from start to finish. Back to earth tomorrow. But in the small songwriting world I live in, this counts a truly awesome adventure.


-- Erin
 








 

Yes, Redding, there IS an end to Summer 

How do I know? Because we are playing the Autumn Art Reception at Redding City Hall on Thursday, September 18th from 5-7 PM.  

 


This is a lovely,  annual community event - a gift from the City of Redding. The new art displays are unveiled, complimentary refreshments provided, the artists are on hand to talk about their work and North State Songwriters will provide a sound track of original tunes.

Still Married plays at 5, followed by singer- songwriter Will Miller, who will perform indie folk and country music. Presenting dirt road country and folk with a vintage spirit will be Hal Johnson, and singer-songwriter Anne Dezort will carry on the rich tradition of folk music in a deeply personal way.
 
We are delighted to share the stage with these musicians and are especially excited to be bringing some family members along as a cheering section.  
 
Ron and BobbyLee Negri
Craig's mother and stepfather are immortalized on our recording of Shut Up in the Key go G -- they play the part of the loudmouth drunks -- and we will be asking them to reprise their roles when we get to this song on the playlist.
 
Celebrate the Arts in Redding this Thursday - we'd love to see you there. You're welcome to tell us to "SHUT UP!" too:
 
 

Nashville Comes to Redding 

Nashville singer-songwriter Kacey Jones has been called "irrepressible," "zany," "brilliant," and more for her clever songwriting skills.  She's bringing her tunes and her sassy style to The Post Office in Downtown Redding TONIGHT at 7.

Listen to "Donald Trump's Hair" and her splendid version of Mickey Newbury's "San Francisco Mabel Joy" and come on out to the Post Office tonight for music and laughter.


Shasta County Tunes Head to Worldfest 

We're packing up our gear and heading to Grass Valley to perform at California Worldfest.

From their website:


www.worldfest.net

                                                           A WORLD OF MUSIC

Under the cool, tall pines of the Sierra Foothills
Featuring 8 stages of music from around the world,
camping with family and friends, workshops, international food,
fine crafts, and the renowned children's program.

We call it "a tremendous opportunity." There's a stellar line-up of musicians and activities for the weekend and it looks like the temperatures at the fairgrounds in Grass Valley are a fair bit cooler than here in Shasta County.

We are thrilled to be taking the stage at 10 AM and noon on Friday, July 11th, along with the two other KZFR Songwriting finalists: Hannah Jane Kyle (winner!) and Dan Casamajor.  

We'll be sharing our love of our Shasta County home with the audience -- singing songs about Redding trains, Mount Shasta and our magnificent Sundial Bridge.  And chickens, of course.

Here's the finale from the KZFR Celebration of the Song Event held at the  Sierra Nevada Big Room last month -- Will the Circle Be Unbroken -- featuring the talents of Joe Craven, Dan Casamajor, Hannah Jane Kyle and a couple of grinning rubes from Cottonwood.


Freedom and The Mustangs of Las Colinas 

I always considered it the mark of a lazy songwriter:  The LONG introduction.

            "Ahem....This song is about a time when my roommate and her ex-husband had this fight and ....blah...blah...blah...."

Sorry, but if I can't tell what the song is about from listening to it, then you haven't done your job. Re-write, please.

Ummm...What's the emoticon for Eating Crow?

Because here I am, being THAT songwriter, explaining an obscure reference in my latest song, because unless you know this sculpture in Irving, Texas, the song may not make much sense.

The Mustangs of Las Colinas
photo from the Irving Archives -  used with permission 


I saw photos of "The Mustangs of Las Colinas" by wildlife sculptor Robert Glen online and thought it was magnificent piece of art. Magical. Inspiring.  There's such forward motion and energy behind it, such high spirit and yet...

I knew I had to fit it into a song.

photo from the Irving Archives, used with permission


At about the same time, I became aware of the serious problem of sex trafficking in the US. Seems it is NOT just a Third-World-Other-People's-Problem, but a real menace right here in California. And it involves children and teens exploited and enslaved by the adults in the their lives, innocent victims who deserve better.

Those ideas came together in this song.

The folks at The Mustangs of Las Colinas in Texas kindly provided photos of their prized sculpture - and the story behind it is well worth reading at their website: The Mustangs of Las Colinas.

For more information on sex trafficking and what is being done to help victims:

Courage Wordwide: a Rocklin, California-based organization devoted to building homes for rescued children.

Northern California Anti-Trafficking Coalition.

And after that very long-winded (sorry) introduction, here's the song (lyrics are below):




THE MUSTANGS OF LAS COLINAS

Words and music by Erin Friedman

Saw a picture in a magazine
Ponies running through a stream
Water splashing at their feet
Cast in bronze, set in stone

Nurse called my name, set my wrist
Another clumsy accident
Wait in the parking lot for him
We’ll head on down the road

And we run like The Mustangs of Las Colinas
Full of fury, fire and frozen in place
But unlike The Mustangs of Las Colinas
I’ll reach the far shore
I’m breakin’ away

Fifteen and livin’ in a homeless hell
Friend or foe? – It’s hard to tell
But he rescued me and taught me well
To do what a girl can do

Kept his promises with lock and key
Cigarette burns on the sheets
The girl who planned to chase her dreams
Can’t find the strength to move

So we run like The Mustangs of Las Colinas
Full of fury, fire and frozen in place
But unlike The Mustangs of Las Colinas
I’ll reach the far shore
I’m breakin’ away

Don’t bite the hand that brings your meals
Don’t talk too much, don’t think, don’t feel
But those ponies kickin’ up their heels
Keep runnin’ through my mind

Stalled stampede at the starting gate
Slow-motion scene that culminates
With a single shot from a .38
Race is on, and the water’s fine

And I run like The Mustangs of Las Colinas
Full of fury, fire and frozen no more
But unlike The Mustangs of Las Colinas
I’ll find my freedom
I'll climb that far shore

© 2014 Erin Friedman






Chickens on the Playlist 

Many years ago there was a middle-of-the-night commotion in our chicken yard. I hopped out of bed and found 14-year-old Max in the hall, "Something's messing with the chickens," he shouted, "let's go!"

Max was clad in underpants and brandishing a huge Claymore sword that he bought at the Renaissance Faire. I was armed with a flashlight. We set out to see what was so upsetting to our laying hens.

What we found was a possum. And a song.

Possum in the Hen House is on our playlist for out July 1st  gig at the Sundial Music Festival. Still Married plays at 7, followed by The Torpedoes at 8, so wear your dancing' shoes.



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