Sunday, December 18, 2011

End of 2011

The year is coming to a close.  I have neglected this blog so badly.  With Facebook allowing for quick short bursts of updates, I just forget to write about the events after the fact.  Since the last post, I have performed multiple weekends at Texas Renaissance Festival with the medieval ensemble Istanpitta, I traveled to Louisiana to perform for Culture Fest in Lake Charles, I have performed two weekends at Louisiana Renaissance Festivals and I sang in Texas Early Music Project's Yule Britannia concert.

Performing with Istanpitta at Texas Renaissance Festival is a delicious change of pace for my otherwise solo traveling.  Istanpitta is made up of different musicians nearly every weekend.  Some people I have made music with in the past, and there were also some new faces.  It is always a different and unique sound each and every time we play something.

Culture Fest was a first year festival.  They did an amazing job of putting everything together.  They had amazing international food choices, a diverse musical selection, and lots of displayed organizations.

Louisiana Renaissance Festival.  I may have to do a special post to cover my experience there.  Between Thanksgiving celebrations, fabulous hospitality, me losing my voice, and everything else...  yeah, it was an experience!

Ah, Texas Early Music Project.  It is such an honor to be a part of this group.  I was asked to find something in Welsh.  In my travels I had met a band, Moch Pryderi, that contains an expert in Welsh.  I contacted him to see if he had suggestions and had time to give me some help with pronunciation.  He graciously provided me with everything I needed.  I enlisted the assistance of my favorite harmonizing singer, Cayla Cardiff, and away we sang.

Now, I'm in Texas in my wee office.  It is the time of year to relax and define the next steps.  I am focusing on some new music.  I am writing a lot.  I am also trying to build another business of mine, Virtually Treasured.

Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Internets

What did we do before the internets?!?!?  I love the internet.  I love the evolution of technology.  I think what we can do these days is absolutely incredible.

But

Remember how great you felt to get something in the mail?  A card or letter from someone you haven't seen in a while?  Anything???

I just got myself an office, and I would love to see something in my mailbox besides junk.  How about this:  You send me something and I will send something back.  Don't send something elaborate - I'm a poor musician.  I will at least send you a card or several post cards or something silly!  The point is something in the mail that you didn't order and that is not solicitations or bills!

Abby Green
12407 E. Hwy 290
Suite 107
Manor, TX 78653

Monday, September 19, 2011

Maryland Renaissance Festival

A got to play for four weekends at Maryland.  With the exception of weekend one which was rained out by Hurricane Irene, the experience was a joy as always.  My friend Adam played bodhran with me at pub sings (above), the audience sang along in full roaring harmony on Wild Mountain Thyme and Bold Riley, small children danced, and joyful good-natured laughter was a constant theme.


Sunday of weekend 4 was my last day this season and they titled the pub sing "It's Not Easy Being Abby Green." Many music acts and parts of the cast participate in this daily end of the day event.  I sang the next to last song, an a cappella version of Bold Riley.  The Pirates Royale had sung this song in years past so the audience was extremely familiar with the sing-along part.  It was glorious.  I received many roses that final day.  I pinned them all on and sang my heart out (above).  I have to concentrate not to cry when the voices fill the pub.  Singing into a space filled with harmonies is one of my absolute favorite things in life.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

I made my way from Texas up to Maryland last week.  For those without a map, that's a long way.  A completely uneventful drive.  My wonderful van had not a problem.  As the hours of driving continued, the temperature descended from a blazing 110 in Texas to a lovely 70 something here in Maryland.

This last weekend was the opening weekend of Maryland Renaissance Festival. I believe it is their 30th anniversary.  It is a lovely fair full of great performers and good food and unique shops.  I love it here.  We all knew opening day would be rainy, but so many people look forward to the opening day that we all forged ahead to do what we love doing.  I don't think I saw a single frown all day.  I played my noon set in a fantastic metal sculpting booth (I will insert the name of booth here when I find that info).  The shop owners were spectacular, and insanely talented craftspeople.  It was raining steadily, but not obnoxiously.  At two, I stopped in the first shop along the board walk that offered me shelter.  It was actually the first shop on the boardwalk, The Tall Toad, a hat shop.  Again, lovely lovely people with beautifully crafted hats.  I played my songs from their shop and watched the rain go from steady to buckets.  I left their shop and headed up the lane.  By the way, I cheat...  I have a very large umbrella to shelter myself and my instrument.  I would not be able to have my instrument out in this weather without it.  I stopped in a shop for a brief time watching the rain getting more and more persistent.

By this time, people were scarce.  Everyone had gotten as soaked as they could possibly stand.  My next set was scheduled for the bottom of the hill.  I wasted some time in the shop thinking the fair was likely to call it a day at any moment.  This rain was not going to stop and everyone was wearing out.  Sure enough, right at 3, fair officials started running around telling everyone to close up, the fair was closing.

I made it back to the van and tried to help my friends, The Village Idiots who were here commuting from Michigan, gather their things and find each other.  Once everyone was gone, I settled into the van with my computer and internet via tethering, and waited out the LOUD pounding rain.  My van, or small RV, is a big metal box.  The sound of things hitting it is incredibly loud.  I did manage to sleep until 5:30AM when POW, something hit the van.  Turned out to be a small twig.  Yeah, really.  It sounds like a bomb every time something hits the metal, and you can't tell where it hit.  Remember that when you come by and think about knocking on my van.  Knock on a window...  Thank you.

The fair was cancelled for Sunday.  It turned into a gorgeous day.  The area has some flooding and there is some light damage.  One shop had a small 4 inch hole in the roof, one tree went down.  Otherwise only branches and lots and lots of rain.

I know there was serious flooding and damage in more coastal locations.  I wish those folks a speedy recovery.  We here are fine and looking forward to entertaining on the next lovely weekend...  a three day holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Credit Card Security

When traveling full time, issues arise that you just don't have to think about when you live in a single location year round.  Today, I got an email from DiscoverCard.  The email tells me that they sent a new card to me and I have not activated the card.  And they will be de-activating my old card in a few days.
'Great, there is a credit card sitting in a mailbox that I can't get to until September, and they are going to deactivate the one and only credit card I use.'  I call Discover immediately.  I am greeted by the long and expected automated service and finally given the option to talk to a human being.  My first human looked up my account and saw that my account had been compromised.  She had to send me directly to the security department.
'Great, my account has been compromised, no one told me about this, AND they sent out a new card without telling me....  sounds like a great security procedure.'
Security guy in AZ who has an accent so thick I couldn't even tell what he said his name was tells me that it does show a compromise but he can't see exactly what it was.  He then tells me that the card they sent has the same number on the card as the card I have in my hand.
'Are you kidding me?  My account has been compromised and you send me a card with the same number to a mailbox I can't get to for 2 months?  ANYBODY can open that envelope and use that card right now.'
He also informs me that they sent the new card because it has "increased security features".  I asked what security features the new piece of plastic has that this one does not.  My photo? Fingerprint technology? He said...  and I quote, "I am not at liberty to say."  I almost laughed except I was too mad by this point so I moved on.
My voice is rising, but I need to make sure I have my facts clear.  I repeat the facts to him and ask him to verify these things: 1. There has been a compromise to my account. 2. No one at Discover told me there has been a compromise to my security. 3. A new card with the SAME number was sent to my address without notification or permission. 4. And this is secure to Discover?
Yes, yes, and yes, and yes, "that's how we do business".  'Great, cancel my account.'
Discover rep number 3.  I repeated the facts above.  She asked if I had reported the compromise (good question on her part)  I told her no, that the representatives had told me this and Discover had not informed me of this at all.  I explained that I am completely paperless and I travel constantly.  Discover's choice to mail out a new card with the same account number IS a security compromise for me, and this needs to be taken care of.
She and another security officer investigated this.  She comes back and explains that my old card seems to not be reading completely which sent an automatic mailing of new card - the card itself is physically compromised...  they make no distinction in their notes.  She immediately volunteered that indeed in my case this is not a very secure practice.  She cancelled the card entirely, created a new account and is sending the new card (without my old awesome design) next day shipping to the fair I am at currently.
I expressed how important it is for things like this to be examined and choose new more secure ways of doing these things.  She did seem to take this seriously...  it seemed absurd to her.  I do hope they do something about this.  I realize it only affects one in a million persons, but actually, mailboxes in general are not that secure.  Even a quick email or call to inform the person that their card is not reading well and they would like to send out a new card would allow people to watch more closely and protect ourselves better.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Silver Leaf wknd 1

Silver Leaf Renaissance Festival almost did not open their doors this year.  Tornado-like forces ripped through the festival site and took out large patches or trees.  Volunteers and staff worked insanely to clear roads and paths and create a safe and enjoyable space.  You can't really understand the severity of the damage unless you see it.  The damage is still entirely visible and heart wrenching, but the space that we call the fair, is lovely and alive.
This scene in the lane was not planned.  I found a nice shady spot to play my songs and before I knew it people found more benches and created one of the sweetest scenes I've ever seen.  Thank you, guys!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

ZoukFest

This year I got to attend ZoukFest for the first time.  Zoukfest is a world music festival for Bouzouki players and friends of the bouzouki.  There are song classes, fiddle, flute, bagpipe, and lots of bouzouki classes.  There were French, Americana, Irish, Balkan and other genres I'm probably forgetting.  The teaching staff was fantastic in talent and desire to teach and share.  I had an amazing time learning and meeting people.  I learned enough to give me homework for at least a couple of years!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Sacred Grounds

My parents moved to Ruidoso, NM, an adorable little town in the cool mountains and forests.  Conveniently that's only a few hours south of my main June destination.  So, I got to spend a beautiful week at my parents' home.  While there, I checked out a few locations known to have live music.  Sacred Grounds Coffee has light food, specialty beers, wine, coffee and music!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dallas House Concert

Thank you to Allison of the Celtic Music Circle DFW for hosting a wonderful evening house concert on my way across the country.  This was the first concert I have done in the Dallas area.  I'm thrilled that it all came together.  Ben Weldy did a couple of opening tunes.  I performed my full show and then we sat around playing tunes and enjoying the company of friends.  Life is good!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Connecticut Renaissance Festival

I enjoyed performing for two weekends at Connecticut.  The first weekend it rained and rained and rained. That wasn't really a great enjoyable thing, but what was good was the people.  Even in this rained out environment, the performers maintained such positive outlooks.  There were a lot of wonderful performers and great people involved with this fair.  Vixens En Garde, the Limeybirds, Bret Blackshear the magician,  and harpist Kathleen Finnegan were only a few of the great folks that made this show something special.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Awesome pub

If you're ever driving through Lake Charles, Louisiana, you should make a stop at MacFarlane's Celtic Pub.  This place is locally owned and fabulous.  It is not a sport's bar disguised as a pub, it actually is a pub.  Lovely atmosphere and great food and live music on occasion.  I was that live music on the 14 of April.  I enjoyed the evening of people I've met and played for before, and met many more great people.  Looking forward to the next time!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Sheppie House Concert

Thank you to Ros and Paul Shepherd for hosting a ouse concert for me again!  They graciously hosted a concert for Michelle Levy and myself in October 2009.  This time was no less joyful and fun.
 This time was a solo performance.  This second photo is with Paul listening to one of his Favorite songs, Wild Mountain Thyme.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sherwood Forest Faire

The second season of this beautiful faire is now over.  

I played my own song sets as well as lots of instrumental sets with bagpiper, EJ Jones testing out material for his new band, Brizeus.
A few times, our friend Al Cofrin showed up to play with us as well.
Until next year!!

Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fools' Day House Concert

First, a huge thank you to the hosts of this house concert, Ceridwyn and Joe Mizera!!!!  Beautiful home, lovely guests, just perfect!
Second, this show was a milestone for me.  This was the first two hour show I did completely solo.  I love the music I perform.  I am so glad that so many people trust me and enjoy what I have to share.
Third, I am looking forward to next week's house concert in Houston.  And many many shows in the future with and without other instrumentalists.  A new show every time!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Arbor Antiques Wine Tasting

This is the third time I have performed for this wine tasting evening hosted by Arbor Antiques.  If you are an antique lover, Round Top, TX is probably a place you are familiar.  Arbor Antiques hold a show there in the spring and fall.  Great booths, great friendly people, especially on wine tasting night.  I get to be a wandering musician and sing sweet songs to all the booths and strolling shoppers.  Great evening :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Radio Time on KPFT

Irish Aires played a track, "The Boatman," from my new CD and spoke very highly of it!  I downloaded the show and saved it to my website.  Click here to go listen to the show!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day


It was a pleasure and honor to play at Things Celtic again.  This wonderful store in Austin, TX is a central post of support for the entire Celtic community.  They host musicians and groups who meet to learn the Irish language.  They carry CDs of the local Celtic music groups.  Great people, well worth a stop by the store in Austin or visit their booth at any number of Celtic festivals in Texas!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Review from 67 Music

The new CD is out in the world and people are saying some great things!!  This is what Sl√°inteSteve of 67 Music had to say:

Abby Green’s second recording “Fig for a Kiss” is another delightful collection from this Texas Native, following her first cd, “Einini”, in 2008.  “Fig for a Kiss” gives us 10 more traditional Irish songs, tastefully crafted and arranged by Abby in her own personal style. Abby sings many of the songs in Irish Gaelic which lends a beautiful authenticity, (she also teaches workshops in the language). Her clear voice compliments her own accompaniment on bouzouki and cittern while her talented entourage of backing musicians flavor the recording with various pipes, mandolin, and fiddle. Add harmonizing backing singers and clean, well-produced production values and instrument mixes and you’ve got one wonderful recording. You’ll put this one in your player often.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Life's turns

Let's get cheesy.  "Every door that closes presents another open door.  Don't miss the open door because you are focusing on the one closing."  Yeah, yeah, we've all heard something like that.  Some well-meaning friend in the midst of your greatest struggle tries to cheer you up with something like that.  Sometimes we just need to watch the door shut and scream and cry and beat the door wishing it would open back up.  When we realize the door is shut and locked and possibly has fire on the other side, then it's time to start looking at other doors.
You may think I'm talking about some musical opportunity that I have lost, but actually, no.  The door that has closed...  or is rapidly on its way to slammed shut is the house that I sold 8 months ago.  My buyer is not paying her mortgage...  I am "the bank" in the deal (seller financed).  So I get to begin foreclosing.  Me personally...  I get to foreclose.  This seems all business-like, but it's more than that to me.  I'm a human being and some one who I hugged at closing is refusing to pay me AND is refusing to even speak to me.  It's the last part that hurts.  If she would contact me, there is nearly nothing that we couldn't solve.
So, the cheese.  This door is closing....  my freedom from this house, the income (tiny as it is) that I gain from this monthly payment...  gone.  I'm on the road.  I don't want the house.  I don't have time for the house.  I don't have money to pay an electric and water bill for a house I do not live in.  
OK, back to the cheese....  the door is closing, slamming in my face.  What door could open?  How about the opportunity to make things. I love making music.  I also have a side that wants to make or build stuff.  It's difficult to make things on the road.  I can set up for sewing every now and then, but even sewing is messy...  scraps and pins and fabric everywhere.  I certainly can not build large things.  If I get this house back (note the "if"...  I still hope in spite of all evidence), I want to build a tiny house.  I've seen examples out there.  I'm inspired by people's ability to use recycled and unusual materials.  I want to build a livable house of about 100 square feet with less than $500.  That's right.  I'm setting a challenge for this project.  If I am successful, the door opens to an entirely new and awesome business.  Rather than focusing on this closing door, I am focusing on researching all sorts of ideas for recycled and wasted products that I can use to build a tiny house.  I think I can do this.  The excitement of this challenge far outweighs the hurt and anger I feel for the closing door.  There is a truly positive possibility, and I'm looking forward to this challenge!!!  Bring it on!!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sherwood Forest Faire

If you are anywhere near Austin, Texas for the next few weeks, make the time to come out to this fair!!  It is worth it.  You can even camp if you like.  The title of this post is linked to the festival's website.  Come out, enjoy spring!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, new CD

UPS delivered my new CD at 3:05PM Friday, February 25, 2011.  She goes by the name "Fig for a Kiss."  The CD weighs in at under a pound, but if you feed it and listen to it, you will hear that it is alive, well and full of hope and joy.  I am busily sending out pre-orders and promotional copies.  As I send my new baby into the world, I hope it will be happy and brings happiness to others.  That's what we're here for, right?