Sunday, January 22, 2012


 I thought a little midweek jaunt out of town wouldn't keep me from blogging, so I didn't give any fair warning for my unusual disappearance from these parts... sorry about that. I'm back! I've actually been  home for days, but my spirit didn't fully arrive until today when I threw an art and craft party for a bunch of little girls. That brought be back into my body right quick! More on the party and fun stuff when I upload the photos. Tonight, I'd love to share who took me out of town- Jonatha.
Jonatha Brooke and the first night of SAW
I was introduced to the music of Jonatha Brooke at Squam Art Workshops in 2009. Her angelic voice blew me away as she serenaded us around the campfire on the very first night (shown above). Her music was the backdrop to a weekend that would usher in an important new chapter in my life. I couldn't go home without a copy of her latest CD, The Works. It was an amazing compilation of never heard before lyrics from Woody Gurthrie that Jonatha had set to music. She had been invited by Woody's daughter, Nora, to look through her father's archives. She instantly fell in love with the unseen words and lesser known side of the American folk legend. This video gives a wonderful glimpse into the process of how it was produced and a sweet taste of Jonatha, herself.

Directly after leaving that first Squam, Laura and I played The Works for 8 hours straight as we drove home-  singing at the top of our lungs. A few weeks later Jonatha was playing a free concert in NYC at Madison Square Park. It coordinated quite nicely with my 40th birthday. It was meant to be... and I was officially a Jonatha groupie! Here's that post from what seems like eons ago.

In the years that have passed, The Works has gotten more play time in my car and home than any other music, hands down. And as Squam became my regular home away from home, Jonatha became a friend, not just a rock star. A dear friend that I adore far beyond her soulful and melodic voice. She's an amazing, powerful, and generous woman who makes me laugh way too hard some times... and always inspires me with her honesty and openness. And hey, she's a mighty fine knitter. too!

All this is to say that when I heard she was playing a very special show at Lincoln Center in commemoration of Woody Guthrie's centennial, I had to find a way to attend. When Pixie wrote to say she was flying all the way from California with Christine... two more woman that I love, I knew it was another meant to be kind of NYC trip.We planned for months...

If you follow my tweets, the inevitable happened. My children got sick and all the familiar obstacles that seem to find mothers (determined to take a mini getaway) occurred. I almost threw in the towel, but my husband reminded me it was Jonatha. At Lincoln Center. For a sold out show. With a crew of very special folks descending from far and wide. He and the kids would be fine (and they were!)

I spent exactly 20 hours in the city with some of my favorite people in the world- my Squamily (Squam+family), and we attended the most exceptional concert ever. EVER. It was totally spectacular! You can read the glowing NY Times review right here.
Afterwards, we celebrated with the songbird who has inspired so many of us with her truth and beauty. I won't ever forget it. Never.
With Jonatha and Thea after the show. Photo courtesy of Thea Coughlin.
p.s. I wrote most of this post before today's art party, so this is a follow up... during the sewing project my daughter insisted that she couldn't continue stitching without her favorite song- Jonatha/Woody's "Little Bird". On it went, and a few songs later she was up and dancing with her girlfriends... it was like a little folk's Squam!
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  1. So glad that your family was better & that you were able to catch up with these fabulous women to see the amazing Jonatha.

    So wish that I was going to be catching up with all of you at Squam. But as my girl mentioned to me last week we are so excited for all the new people that get to experience you & Squam. See you soon. xoxo

  2. Thank you so much for introducing me to this amazing singer and artist. I am always so grateful to discover great new music!

  3. What an amazing thing to be a part of, Maya! Magical!

  4. P.S. Hey, I'm in that top photo! :)

  5. betz- is that your pretty blond wavy hair in the front?!

  6. I just bought The Works based on this post alone. I know I won't be disappointed. Thank you for introducing me to this music.

  7. Such a beautiful voice. In the video, I loved her description of working with the other musicians: "Like being in a candy store for 2 days and not getting sick." I have to get this CD. Sounds like it was a magical evening, Maya.

  8. Oh this post really touched me-I felt similarly about Jonatha when I fist heard her and also went on a ling Jonatha bender of just listening to her music over and over. I am so glad I got to see you in NYC. It was a graet trip. I still haven't landed. xoxox

  9. Thank you for introduscing this amazing songstress to me. Jonatha's "Little Bird" has become one of my favorite sewing room songs (along with Adele's "Rolling In The Deep", Greg Brown's "Canned Goods", Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and The West Ladies "Green Beans".)



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