February is for Friends… and grandmas!

Well, we’re officially on the road.  Arbielle’s “February is for Friends” tour 2012 is off to a running start, and oh, what an adventure!  Already, Katie and I have gotten to sing in some of the world’s most beautiful places:  the ferry to Orcas Island, Jill’s living room in Seattle, and of course in Teubner, our 2001 Nissan music-mobile (which is courageously carrying us and all of our various equipment from Portland to the San Juan Islands and now back down south).  And then there are all of the actual gigs. 🙂

The shows have been hugely varied, and totally fun.  We’ve played for 150 people, and for 5 people.  We’ve played for friends and strangers, youngsters and octegenarians.   We’ve played in coffeehouses, a bookstore, a tiki lounge, a house show, and a clothing-optional hippie resort.  The one constant is that in every single place we’ve met wonderful people.  And this is probably what cheers me the most:  whether we do this again or we don’t, whether we end up in the red or in the black, we’ve met folks who are enthusiastic about the music and who previously didn’t know me.  I can’t tell you how cool that is.  My mom kind of has to like my new album–but strangers don’t!  Now the songs are out there.  God gave them to me, and I kept most of them to myself for a long time, but now we’ve set them free.  That feels freaking awesome.

And the tour thus far seems to be aptly named!  A friendless version of this tour would feature less awesome music and a distinct lack of delicious food.  Emily S and Ben joined us with fiddle, voice, and banjo for the kick-off show in Portland.  Then Gerry and Emily G invited us over for delicious waffles on Orcas Island.  Then Katie’s aunt Kathy made us yummy cookies in Shoreline, then Guy cooked us pad thai in Olympia, Jill served us breakfast in ramekins and played the dulcimer and sang with us in Seattle, and Brian baked us a fresh cobbler in Corvallis.  And here Katie and I figured we’d be singing alone and living off generic peanut butter and bread.  No, siree!

The only alternative title we think may be appropriate would be “February is for Grandmas.”  I mentioned Teubner already, a gift recently inherited from my Grandma Doris. Teubner could not have come at a better time; I can imagine no way that we could have squished all of our gear into my two-door Toyota.  Another grandma, Katie’s grandma Mina, came and brought friends to our first show in Portland, and then came to see us a second time in Canby!  Plus she took us out for lunch, and bought 5 more CD’s that she is selling to her choir friends.  In Seattle it was my Grandma Nipper who hosted us, brought 10 very generous friends to our show at Hula Hula, and treated us to dinner.  Then before our show in Canby we stopped in at Countryside Living, and performed a short set for the welcoming residents living there, including my inspiring Grandma Gilligan.  Then Shirley, who is not our grandma, but who is some people’s grandma, made us sweet pocketbooks that match the album!

So many kind gestures.  How can we ever repay so much generosity?

It is clear that we cannot.  And since we cannot, we will just shout a hearty “THANK YOU,” and keep on singing.

Me and one of my awesome grandmas, Nipper

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About arbielle

“Arbielle” is a Portland indie-folk band featuring plucky songwriter-piano-player, Arbielle, a musician with wide eyes, a beautiful voice, and plenty of stories to share. Their songs range from goofy to passionate to heart-rending, reflecting the wild beauty and playfulness of Arbielle’s pacific northwest hippie upbringing, as well as the faith she has grown into. Arbielle’s mama taught her to sing rounds when she was two-years-old, and she never stopped singing since. As a 14-year-old she began composing with Portland’s “Young Composer’s Project,” hosted by Fear No Music, and at 18 she began a journey of singing her own songs from Walla Walla, Washington, to Brooklyn, New York. Now she has returned to her home state of Oregon, and dug in as a recording and touring musician living in Portland. In the winter of 2012 she gathered a talented team of musician friends to collaborate on a full-length album recorded at Echo Ridge Music, in Sisters, OR, and this year signed onto Headphone Records of Electronic Boy Productions, who released her premier full-length album this December. "Roots Grow Deep" is a sweet chronicle of growing pains, bicycles, broken families, funny coincidence, friendships, and coming home.  Audiences from Orcas Island to San Francisco have come away from her shows admiring her honesty, wondering at her unique perspective, and humming her beautiful tunes.  As an artist, she lifts up a universal human experience: what it is like to be Arbielle.  Even if you are not a small person living a big life, a teacher and a farmer, a sister and a daughter, a lover of Oregon and every person you’ve known, you will know exactly what she means.
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