It's really spring!

by Ali Sperry

It's April 13 and I'm drinking an iced latte with the windows open, listening to Jill Andrews and catching up on computer-oriented tasks, feeling deeply content. It's spring again and everyone is getting outside and happy to come out of their winter cocoons and get the sun on their skin. It's been a long and particularly wintery winter, here in Nashville and I think pretty much everywhere. It was a good season to be in the studio though and feels like rather perfect timing that this project is soon to come out of it's cocoon too. I truly love it and am very proud of what we've created. It's been an incredible team effort between Scott and Jamie and I, which is a team I am thrilled to be on. So grateful for all the work those guys have done on this and all the care they have taken with it.

Loved getting to play at the Family Wash last week. I'd never played there before but I go there frequently and it just has this special atmosphere that no other venue in this town has. It's intimate, but very casual and laid back--just a sweet spot where you run into tons of people you know and there's yummy comfort food and good beer and good music. And our show there was one of those nights where it just felt like everybody was in the mood to have a fun hang and enjoy our lives together. And that we did. 

Can't wait til the next Family Vacation show. But in the meantime, I'll be hiding out in my room getting ready for my show in Memphis at the end of the month. I'm pretty excited about it. I love nothing more than performing with my friends, but I also know that it's good for me to get comfortable being "self-sufficient" and have the option to go out and play a show all by my lonesome. 

Hope everyone out there is enjoying this sunshine. Til next time...

Under the January Moon yet again...

by Ali Sperry

This is a good month. Everybody has that first-month-of-the-year buzz about them. There's an energy and optimism that comes with the turning of the year. It's crazy how much can happen in one year--both the planned and the completely unexpected. I was just sitting here on my bed scribbling in my notebook about my plans for this year, which feels very good. And it also feels exciting to know full well that some of those plans I am hatching may end up completely changing. I'm ready for that too. I know that it's my job to set forth with intention and energy and passion, and exactly how things transpire will be a surprise. 

That being said, the plan thus far includes at least a few bigger tours, lots of shows, some festivals, releasing this EP we've been working on, releasing at least one music video, and of course, as always, more inspiration, more writing. Yes! All things I love.

This Tuesday Jamie and I are off to Memphis to meet up with Scott at Ardent studios and mix three of the tracks on the upcoming release--The Watcher, Love Runs Deep, and Coast. Even just writing this now I get butterflies about what it's going to be like to hear everything when it's all finished and to share it with people. It's going to feel pretty darn great, I reckon. 

Well, I'll leave you with that for now. Hope everyone is having a beautiful evening and still glowing with that resolution-infused January feeling. 

Tidings of comfort...

by Ali Sperry

Tomorrow I'll hop on a plane and fly to Miami for Christmas. It will be a far cry from a white Christmas, but it will be sunny and warm and wonderful. 

I guess at the end of every year you have that feeling that the year flew by and you can't believe that another one has passed. I'm definitely having that feeling right now. Where it simultaneously feels like so much has transpired but also like it kind of whizzed past. What happened this year? Musically speaking, the House Concert Tour and the Quest for the West Tour were hands-down highlights. Being on tour comes with it's challenges and stresses, but overall, in my limited experience, it feels pretty magical. Getting to play music with friends and traveling and the richness and vastness of experiences that comes with that--it can't be beat. I hope to do a lot more of it this year. 

Also, writing and working toward a new release has been deeply fulfilling and exciting. After Storybook came out, it took me a while to wrap my head around how to move forward. I was (and am still) so thrilled by how that record turned out, that it almost made me afraid to start a new one in case it didn't hold up. I felt defined by the songs and sound of that album for a moment--both because I love them and am proud of them, but also because that was the only thing I'd ever released as a solo artist, so it was all I had to point to and say "this is what my music is like". I am learning constantly that my "sound" and my artistic output is ever-changing and growing as fast as I am changing and growing. And I'm learning how to embrace that, to let myself be broad and bold and try things that might be beyond what I expect of myself. My hope is that this new EP, and this new year, are an opportunity to do just that. 

Looking forward to what's around the bend...gonna be a good year, I have a hunch.

with love and thanks,

Ali

The magic leaf

by Ali Sperry

This time of year often brings to mind the story of The Magic Leaf. 

When I was...5 or 6 years old we were living in Cambridge, MA and my parents and I loved to hike at Walden Pond. I fondly remember the little brown hiking boots I wore for those adventures. One time when we went in the autumn I found a leaf that was so vividly colorful and just..perfect, somehow. I fell in love with this perfect leaf and showed my parents and brought it home with me. At this time in our lives, my mom and dad and I lived in the Transcendental Meditation Center. It was in a very large old house and the entire third floor was ours, while the rest of the house was lecture halls and meeting rooms, etc, all dedicated to the teaching of TM. I mention this because it was a period of time in which there were constantly people around, lots of friends and other TM teachers and guests. So on this day when I brought the special leaf home our friend Dennis was there and when I showed him the leaf he said "Do you know that's a magic leaf?", which I was of course astonished and delighted to hear. He went on to say "If you make a wish on that leaf, that wish will come true." Not believing my luck, I held out the leaf and closed my eyes and wished (aloud) with all my heart "I wish for a Barbie Dreamhouse." And then I set the leaf down and left it there, as I was instructed.  

I think it was just a few short hours later when i returned to the spot where I had left the leaf, and lo and behold...the magic had come true. There was the toy of my dreams (and Barbie's) a Barbie Dreamhouse.  

 

Summertime and the livin' is easy...

by Ali Sperry

Well, summer is flying by and all of a sudden here we are in August, which happens to be my birth-month;) Thanks to my family, my fella, and dear friends, this new decade of life was rung in with lots of celebrating and games and yummy food and drinks and all sorts of goodness. I was delighted to have my dad here in town--it's been too long since we have actually gotten to celebrate a birthday together. He created this incredibly touching piece as a gift...click HERE to listen.

It's been a nice, steady stream of local shows this summer and feels good to be playing in Nashville, although I am feeling the hunger to get back out on the road. Planning is in the works for a November tour back to the Northeast, so stay tuned for some announcements on that in the coming weeks... 

Summer has also been an inspiring time in the writing department and I am excited to get into the studio this fall and start recording. Our beloved guitarist Scott Hardin also happens to be an amazing recording engineer and has a studio about an hour outside of Nashville in a cabin on a lake. Hellll yeah! I haven't been there before but Jamie has recorded there with Scott before and has nothing but glowing reviews of the general vibey-ness of the experience. 

The culmination of our Kickstarter campaign this past spring is about to happen next week with an outdoor house concert at the home of John and Paula in Middletown, Ohio. It's a coincidence (or is it...? ;)) but without knowing it, the date they picked out for the show is actually the one-year anniversary of the release of Storybook! Wow, what a year it has been. Not to get all mushy-gushy but I do feel so thankful for the adventures of this past year, to have an album that I am truly proud of and am excited to share with people, and to be able to play with this band whom I respect highly and love deeply. Can't wait to celebrate with John and Paula and all of their great friends!