heather's blog

Coyote GraceI first met Joe of Coyote Grace at Rocky Mountain Song School two years ago.  He let me borrow his guitar during a song circle, and that simple, kind gesture meant a lot to me as a nervous newbie!  Then Coyote Grace went on tour with Melissa Ferrick and I saw Joe and Ingrid perform together at The Mill in Iowa City.

Now the fantastic folk duo is coming back through Iowa as part of their tour supporting their brand new studio album, Ear to the Ground.  The delightful album will have you tapping your toes and humming along on the first listen.

 Tune in to Lyrical Venus for the interview with Coyote Grace.  Lyrical Venus 9-10am, interview at 9:30!

Iowa Women's Music Festival 2009 logoThis weekend the Iowa Women's Music Festival will be celebrating their 16th year of bringing great line-ups of women musicians to the outdoor stage in Iowa City.

This year's performers on the Saturday day-stage are Michelle Shocked, Carolyn Wonderland with Shelley King, Cosy Sheridan, Tracy Walker, and Lynne Rothrock and Friends, with high-energy emcee Kim-Char Meredith.

This week on Lyrical Venus I'll play songs by a few of the performers and interview Laurie Haag, one of the festival organizers.

We'll also have a set of sun songs in honor of the KRUU solar panels going live on 9-9-09!

Tune in Tuesday 9-10am for Lyrical Venus.


Mary McAdamsThe cities and towns are in trouble
as the factories run out of luck
but the kids keep blowing bubbles
and the bubbles keep floating up
~ Bubbles, Mary McAdams

Des Moines based singer-songwriter Mary McAdams has been supporting area musicians of all sorts for years, from teaching music to students in the schools to hosting the Open Mic at Ritual Cafe, so it's great to see her out there with her own brand new album! 

Her self-titled debut tackles a broad range of topics - from keeping the spark alive in married life to corporate greed (and that's just the first two songs!), but all told from the lens of Everywoman.  Putting on on the CD is kind of like sitting down with a dear friend and a pot of tea and catching up on the past couple years, chatting openly about everything near to her heart lately.  That's not to say it's sleepy or quiet, quite the opposite!  The lush, layered production rocks, and Mary's voice soars above it all to drive those stories home.

Victoria TrestrailI'm on my way to see the king
I wear my finest things
They will tell the story for
Ten thousand years and more
~ The Traveller, Victoria Trestrail

Born and raised on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean, Victoria Trestrail's heritage is Venezuelan, Scottish, Portuguese, German and English. Those varied backgrounds peek through her music, from wild gypsy dance and grooving Latin rhythms to melancholy heartbreak songs, all woven through with her haunting voice. A poet for 20 years and songwriter for 2, Victoria is also a self-taught audio engineer and producer.

Join me from 9-10 am Tuesday for an interview with Victoria plus some new music I brought back from the Rocky Mountain Song School & Folks Fest. Interview will start shortly after 9.


Nathalie NahaiYou've been playing a tired game
Spinning silver from your tongue
Baby you may have your wicked way
But who will have you when the day is done?
~ Nathalie Nahai, Sly Girl

London-born singer-songwriter Nathalie Nahai was classically trained on violin and self-taught on guitar.  Blend that together with her French, Iranian, Scottish and Gibraltarian heritage and her fascination with tarot and out emerges a lovely collection of bluesy folk songs with occasional twinges of country.  Her smooth voice flows over bittersweet lyrics like caramel into hot coffee for a delicious aural treat that perks up your ears!

Tune in to Lyrical Venus every Tuesday morning from 9-10am for lovely music by female singer-songwriters!  Nathalie will be calling in around 9:30.


Jessie Murphy - In The WoodsThis Tuesday on Lyrical Venus we'll have a double-header with interviews from two fabulous and completely different bands calling in from both coasts!

First we'll have Jessie Murphy - In The Woods calling in from New York City. The trio combines indie pop with dark humor and classical sensibilities. They have been described as "Vampire Seeing BlindWeekend meets Neko Case meets The Carter Family at a salon hosted jointly by Stevie Nicks and Emily Dickinson."

After that we'll hear from Seeing Blind, the Indie Alt-Rock group from Seattle. Seeing Blind also incorporates classical instruments in their music in fresh and unexpected ways! Comparisons to Zappa, Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley, and Ani DiFranco have been made in an attempt to describe Seeing Blind's unique style of music.

Tune in from 9-10 am this Tuesday to hear from both of these amazing bands!

Adrina Thorpe Halflight and Shadows Album CoverFlawed I am and flawed I will remain.
Broken since the day the package opened.
Yearn with tattered wings to try to fly.
Ache to find the strength to say goodbye
to this impossible dream.
~ Impossible Dream, Adrina Thorpe

California singer-songwriter and pianist Adrina Thorpe released her sophomore album, Halflight and Shadows, a little less than a month ago and wow, what a treat!  Not only is each song great on it's own, but as a whole the album has a subtle implied story of a character starting in a dark and broken place and growing through transformations to embrace light and beauty.  Adrina's soaring vocals and deft fingerings would fit perfectly on a playlist with other piano divas like Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos, but don't take my word for it - tune in to the Lyrical Venus Radio Hour from 9-10am on Tuesday and find out for yourself!

We'll start out with some new preview tunes from Imogen Heap and Ingrid Michaelson's new albums and songs from upcoming artists to be interviewed on the show.  Interview with Adrina starts at 9:30.

Singer-Songwriter Kim Brown

Knee deep in dirty water
Lessons always seem to come hard
For the teacher's middle daughter
~Kim Brown, Knee Deep

Kim Brown is a Canadian singer-songwriter with a fantastic sound. Her rocking tunes are full of heart and soul and backed by a variety of instruments: acoustic & electric guitar, bass, piano, synths, and more, even viola! The catchy hooks have me grooving my head to the beat and hitting the repeat button over and over. Her bio says she has written hundreds of songs and has professionally recorded since the 1980’s. I'll feature Kim on Lyrical Venus this morning with a set of four of her great songs!

Singer-Songwriter JenningsYou claim I'm dramatic
I'm not made of plastic
I just am femtastic

~ Jennings, Femtastic

While throwing around names like Sarah McLachan, Imogen Heap, Tori Amos and Moby will help you figure out what general category to put Jennings into, she definitely has her own unique sound. Her piano-driven electronica-pop would definitely fit nicely into a music library with those other greats, but you wouldn't mistake her for any of them. Jennings' music is sweet, lush, powerful and full of great hooks, and intelligent and meaningful to boot! I love it!

Tune in Tuesday from 9-10am for the Lyrical Venus Radio hour, including an interview with Jennings shortly after 9!

Juli Crockett of The EvangenitalsHello my eyes, I must apologize
For all my fears
Though I was blind, you saw so clear
~ Hello, The Evangenitals

One of Fairfield's favorite drummers, David Hurlin, has been living in LA and playing with the alt-country, love drunk, hillybilly rock, freak-folk revolution band known as The Evangenitals for some time now.  Band leader and main songwriter Juli Crockett is a fountain of inspiration, energy and creativity with multiple degrees and titles - a BFA in Theater, an MFA in directing, and she's working on a PhD in Philosophy.  She's an ordained minister of the ULC and a retired, undefeated professional boxer!  What kind of music would come from such varied life experience?  One of my favorite descriptions on the band website is: "The jukebox at the Mad Hatter’s tea party."

The band's current project is a musical called Dawn of Quixote: Chapter the First.  Written and directed by Juli, the philosophical and musical exploration of the first chapter of Don Quixote features a live original score performed by The Evangenitals.  They have been invited to perform at the prestigious Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland this August!

Join me Tuesday from 9-10 am for a mini Michael Jackson tribute of covers by female singer-songwriters, plus the interview with Juli!

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