Pre-studio Excitement

Well, my previous email just got wiped out due to my itchy clicker finger. Gaaaah! It was a nice letter, filled with anecdotes. This will be shorter and not nearly as clever.

To briefly summarize…

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to our shows last weekend and “Hello” to all the new fans out there! We had a great weekend. (insert funny quip about me being sober at Friday’s show.)

We’ve been finalizing the pre-production on our album before we head back into the studio on September 6. With all our preparation, the recording SHOULD go smoothly and quickly (fingers crossed). We feel strongly about the songs we’ve written and I’m so very excited to get it out to you! I’ll be blogging the process so please follow along right here on my blog.

We continue with our light show schedule as we count down the days to recording…

After a six week hiatus, Gregory Good re-joins the group TONIGHT (Friday) at The Jefferson-Orleans North in Metairie, LA. This family owned event hall has always hosted ballroom dances but they have recently been diversifying, bringing in yours truly and Sunpie Barnes to bring a different crowd. The “ballroom crowd” still shows up and they mix and mingle, sharing the HUGE dance floor. This is a smoke free show. And yes, there’s a bar.

Saturday afternoon from 4-7 we share a bill with our good friend, the supremely talented, Brandon Moreau and his band, Cajungrass for another fun-filled Fais Do Do at The Maison. Brandon has an amazing repertoire, sings like a Cajun angel and plays the fiddle like his life depended on it. This is a a great place to bring the family for non-stop music on two stages and another smoke free show!

A couple of cool shows just got confirmed for September including the Best of the Bayou Fest in Houma and an opening slot for Big Sandy in Baton Rouge! I’ve been a fan of his music for years and years and it’s super exciting that he’s coming to Baton Rouge and that we get to play with him. Also, shows are being booked into the spring in FL, LA, TX and CA as well as plans to visit many other places that have long been on my radar. Thanks so much for being on our email list and following along!

Your gal pal,


“Without the courage to fail there is no progress.”

20 Days and Counting! (well, 19…)

*UPDATE: Since this was sent out to our e-mail list yesterday, things have leapt ahead! We are now 55% of the way funded with 97 backers!!!
A week and a half into our 30 day Kickstarter project and we’re almost 50% of the way there! Thanks so much to those of you who have made a contribution already. We appreciate the support and I’m so excited to share all the songs we’ve been working on.
If you still haven’t checked out our project please take a moment to click over and read all about it. And please share the page with your friends and family if you feel so obliged. I understand that many of you may still be unfamiliar with concept of "crowd funding" and there are lots of FAQs on the Kickstarter site. Here’s the link:
Please remember: if we don’t reach our $12,000 goal we get nothing! But you get great stuff for what basically amounts to a pre-order so I’m really hoping we’ll be able to make it.
We had a super fun 4th of July weekend and we’re ready to have some more Louisiana summer fun this weekend. Check all the shows lined up for the rest of the summer down below. And please know that tours are being planned for the fall and winter to make it back to places we’ve been and also visit new places we’ve been needing to hit for a long while. Much depends on the outcome of our Kickstarter!
I hope y’all are having a great summer! Please be safe out on the roads and waterways.
Your gal pal,

"Without the courage to fail there is no progress."

Friday 7/12 @ The Jefferson Orleans (Metairie, LA); 8-11pm
Saturday 7/13 @ Mojitos Rum Bar (NOLA); 7:30-10:30pm
Friday 7/19 NSU Folk Life Festival @ Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, LA); 6-7:15pm
Saturday 7/20 NSU Folk Life Festival @ Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, LA); 1-2pm
Saturday 7/20 @ Artmosphere (Lafayette, LA); 11pm-1:30am (opener TBA)
Sunday 7/21 @ Three Muses (NOLA); 8pm-11pm
Friday 7/26 @ Old Point Bar (NOLA); 10pm-1am
Saturday 7/27 @ Chickie Wah Wah (NOLA); 9pm-12am
Sunday 7/28
@ Kajun’s Pub (NOLA); 5pm-9pm
Wednesday 7/31 @ Rock ‘n’ Bowl (NOLA); 8:30pm-11:30pm
Thursday 8/1 Ogden After hours @ The Ogden Museum of Southern Art (NOLA); 6pm-8pm
Friday 8/2
@ New Orleans Museum of Art: NOMA (NOLA); 8:30pm-11:30pm
Saturday 8/3 @ Mojitos (NOLA); 7:30pm-10:30pm
Saturday 8/10 @ Rock N Blues Cafe (Covington, LA); 10pm-1am
Friday 8/16 @ The Prytania Bar w/ Kelcy Mae (NOLA); 10pm-1am
Saturday 8/17 @ Mojitos (NOLA); 7:30pm-10:30pm
Sunday 8/18 Gal Holiday Quartet @ Three Muses (NOLA); 8pm-11pm
Saturday 8/24 Cajun/Country Fais Do Do @ The Maison w/ Cajungrass (NOLA); 4pm-7pm

Our Kickstarter is LIVE!!!

I am thrilled to announce that our KICKSTARTER PROJECT went LIVE this morning! My stomach is doing flip-flops even as I type the words. Obviously, this crowd funding thing is a huge undertaking and it’s gonna take all we’ve got to get the word out there.

Click here to view the project.

The excitement has been mounting for months as we move closer to actually recording a new album after three years. It’s been a time full of emotional ups and downs and travel back and forth and the songs reflect that, for sure. Thanks to all of YOU, Set Two was a success and we’re looking forward to seeing what happens this next go round!

Our concept for the album is simple…travel, to and from, both literally and figuratively with a working title of “South of I-12.” We’ve had some of the songs written and in our live show for a while, but there will be a bunch of new ones on there as well as a couple of surprises. As a note to all of you who have been sorely lacking in the Gal Holiday live show department, our goal is to get a high quality album recorded and tour behind it. Hopefully we’ll have a successful campaign so we can do just that!

Please click over to our Kickstarter page to read more about how to become a part of this exciting recording adventure and the fabulous rewards you can earn for doing so. I’ll be posting updates through the Kickstarter site as we roll along. As always, we’re right here alongside you to answer any questions if you’re unsure of anything.

We have exactly 30 days to reach our goal!!! Ready, set…GO!!!

Library tour, Kickstarter and Father’s Day weekend fun

It’s been a while since I wrote to y’all! We had a really fun time at Banks Street Bar last Friday and in Baton Rouge on Saturday. And I just got back from a short trip with Dave, Chris and Greg, traveling around the adjoining Parishes on our annual Library Mini-Tour. I believe this was our fourth year out in Point Coupee Parish and it’s really cool to see the same kids year after year. They’re always one year older and a little bit taller, kind of like that cousin you only saw once a year at family get togethers.

Those of you who follow us on Facebook have probably seen the pictures. Here’s one I haven’t shared yet…it’s an overhead shot because some of the libraries are so small the kids are right under our feet and I can’t back up to take a photo!

The group shot was taken in Innis, LA in the municipal room of their brand new, BIG library. Besides being a social hub and important resource for these small communities, the library also serves as a storm shelter. The old buildings are SO small that a larger building is just more practical and I’m so happy for them and their beautiful new facility!

A big THANK YOU goes out to Young Audiences of Louisiana for keeping us working with the kids. I should also mention that the Point Coupee Library really hooked us up with some pretty stellar digs in New Roads, LA this time around. If you ever need a place to stay while in the area, I highly recommend the LeJeune Guest House. It’s a cute little two bedroom bungalow with nice, upgraded amenities and screened in porches. We wanted to move right in!

I’m feeling a little wiped out, but I still have a couple of important things to tell y’all. First of all, our KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN has finally been submitted to the website for approval! If all goes correctly, you should be able to view it next week. We’ve been writing more songs and I’m very, very excited to get something new out to you all!

Secondly, we have some shows that I need to tell you about!…

This weekend, we’re playing two places in New Orleans that we have never played before. Friday June 14, we hit Mid-City stompin’ at the Bayou Beer Garden for a show out on the deck. I can’t wait! (Obviously, this show has already happened and it was AMAZING…we’ll definitely be back at the Bayou Beer Garden!) And then Saturday June 15 we’re doing a special night at the Howlin’ Wolf: Den, a small-ish listening room adjunct to the larger venue. It’s a pretty cool, intimate spot. Dave James, one of our favorite people in the world, will be joining us on guitar. You never can tell what shenanigans shall ensue with that guy in the mix.

And then of course, Sunday is Father’s Day! We’ll be out at Audubon Zoo for the Southern Fried Swamp Fest. Dads get in for free that day so bring the kids for some great food and family friendly fun!

Alright, I’m starting to see double! Time to call it a night. Yaaaaawwwwwnnnnn……

We, The People

This week was a rough one for all Americans. I’ll not say too much about the Boston terror bombings except that no matter what happens, we’re all in this crazy life together and as a strong people, will make it through. Our thoughts are with all the Bostonian Buckaroos and their families.

On a more positive note, this year’s 30th Annual French Quarter Fest weekend was spectacular as usual and we were honored to be included for the sixth year in a row. Y’all came out in force for our show on the river and from all over the world, too. Hey, St. Louis! Hey, Colorado! And hello, San Francisco! Still though, we have yet to see one single picture from our performance, if you can believe it. (Post facto note: there are actually two cell phone photos up on my personal page…thanks Roblynn and Ron!) Please share the love by posting any photos on our Facebook page. If you’re not on social media you can email photos to the band by simply replying to this email. We’d really appreciate it!

I wanted to send a HUGE “Thank You!” to everyone who expressed your support both in person and financially to the family of Allison Pitcher, our friend and long time fan who passed suddenly a few weeks ago. The turnout at the benefit was awesome! You can still make a donation to the family online by clicking here to go to the website.

Tonight brings the Big Easy Entertainment Awards at Harrah’s Casino, and while Gal Holiday was not nominated, I was asked to be a presenter again this year. I’ll be wearing another beautiful dress from Trashy Diva, the fabulous New Orleans dress shop who sponsored the New Orleans Nightingales this year for French Quarter Fest. (Did you see the picture of the ‘Gales FQF performance yet? Now THERE’S an eyeful….) Trashy Diva has graciously sponsored me for both the awards show tonight AND our JazzFest performances. Too bad the guys in Gal Holiday don’t wear dresses. Great…now I’m picturing them all in frocks and it’s a little frightening!

Photo courtesy: Eliot Kamenitz

Photo courtesy: Babs Evangelista

20130422-141925.jpgFais Do Do @ The Maison – Photo courtesy: Vanessa Murphree

And that of course brings us to the upcoming New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and all the build up prior. We’ve got some great shows lined up this season! Unfortunately we had one cancellation due to ongoing noise ordinance issues in the city. Mimi’s in the Marigny has been served with a court injunction to cease and desist from all music. As far as I know that includes all Deejays, too.

This issue is a many sided one and you can find tons of extra reading on the subject by doing an online search. Being a musician and having lived in the boisterous French Quarter, I certainly have my opinions, of course. My feeling is that if you need peace and quiet you shouldn’t be living in this city. That said, there ARE quiet neighborhoods here. Shocking, I know. I do however, agree that too much noise can be downright annoying and that there should be rules and regulations. (All of which Mimi’s have complied with, FYI.)

Anyway, we’re trying to find a replacement show for the cancelled one next Thursday 5/2. Does anyone feel like hosting a house party? If you’re curious how that would work, please contact me. Also, keep an eye on our online schedule. Stuff pops up last minute all the time!

This week we’ll do a pre-Fest show at Rock ‘n’ Bowl for Swing Night on Wednesday 4/24. If you still haven’t been to this local insitution I will not chastise but simply encourage you to check it out! Friday 4/26 you can find us in the CBD at The Rusty Nail, which is the old Mermaid Lounge for those of you who go back that far. The fellas who own the bar have done a really beautiful renovation and it just keeps improving over the years.

On Saturday night 4/27, the ever tiny and super stellar Three Muses is the destination with our four piece band. Get there early and don’t be scared to squish…the food is superb and the service is, too. Then we have a few days off to fest with the rest and for me at least, celebrate a birthday! I feel like such a lucky gal to have my birthday during JazzFest each year. All the bulls in the house say, “Oh yea-yer!”

I’ll try to get another email out before the second weekend and our performance out at the fairgrounds on the second Friday. “Try” being the operative word. Once we get started we might just roll straight on through. We’re VERY excited about our slot this year, opening the Gentilly Stage for the great Willie Nelson! So please make sure to check our website, like us on Facebook and even follow me on Twitter. Plus, all the dates through both JazzFest weekends are below so keep scrolling.

Be safe, be smart and look out for and love each other. Until we meet again…

Your gal pal,

“Without the courage to fail there is no progress.”

Wednesday 4/24 @ Rock ‘n’ Bowl 3000 S. Carrollton Ave. (NOLA); 8:30pm-11:30pm
Friday 4/26 @ The Rusty Nail 1100 Constance St. (NOLA); 10pm-1am
Saturday 4/11 @ Three Muses 536 Frenchmen St. (NOLA); 9pm-12am
Wednesday 5/1 @ Siberia w/ opener Gregory Good 2227 St. Claude Ave. (NOLA); Gregory Good opens solo acoustic @ 9pm; Gal Holiday 10pm-1am
Thursday 5/2 @ TBA
Friday 5/3 @ New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: Gentilly Stage (NOLA); 11:10am-11:55am
Friday 5/3 @ New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: Kids’ Tent (NOLA); 5:15pm-6pm
Saturday 5/4 @ TBA

Springing: Get the News, Buckaroos!

Has it been almost a month since I last wrote to y’all? It has indeed and what a month it has been. I feel that time is flying by at such a rapid pace that I can scarcely keep up. Although I’m trying to get ahead of the wave, it’s definitely been a wild 2013 so far.

My trip to South America with the Squirrel Nut Zippers was intense and a lot of fun. It was nice to have someone else doing the “work” part of the job. All I had to do was show up to sing and dance! I’ll post a link to the pictures from the group on the SNZ Facebook page if anyone cares to take a look see. There are tons of comments, pictures and videos up there already, too.

It is GREAT to be back home though, and performing with the Gal Holiday band again. The last few shows in February were totally fun and I missed our musical family while I was gone! We’ve already had one show in March, last Saturday at Mojitos and there are many more on the books (and the website) since I last wrote. We start TONIGHT, Tuesday 3/12 at the Hard Rock Cafe with a our first show on Bourbon Street EVER. Their new location is hiring local acts on Tuesday nights and we’re happy to pop our Bourbon Street cherry. Come be a witness to the carnage, if you dare.

We’ll also be at Rock ‘n’ Bowl’s Swing Night again this week on Wednesday 3/13 and are making a return to the Circle Bar on Friday night, 3/15, Dave James in tow. Many great memories were made there over the years, including a Gal Holiday fueled introducion resulting in a Gal Holiday wedding reception!

This Saturday afternoon, 3/16 is a very special event on the westbank benefitting Cafe Hope, where they help at-risk young adults get training in the restaurant and hospitality industries while serving the public great food. There is to be a BBQ contest and live music all day long, so bring the family out for some daytime fun!

Again, sorry for any delay in my communications resulting in any missing of Gal Holiday shows. Please note that the best way to get the info is to check our website regularly. I write these newsletters when I can but I’ve been writing music, too! There are only so many hours in a day which brings me back to my opening lines.

Here comes the tidal wave…

Your gal pal,

“Without the courage to fail there is no progress.”

Tuesday 3/12 @ Hard Rock Cafe (NOLA); 10pm-1am
Wednesday 3/13 @ Rock ‘n’ Bowl; 8pm-11pm
Friday 3/15 @ Circle Bar (NOLA); 10pm-1am
Saturday 3/16 @ Westbank BBQ Cookoff to benefit Cafe Hope (Marrero); 2pm-3pm (Gal Holiday set)
Friday 3/22 @ Chickie Wah Wah (NOLA); 10pm-12am
Saturday 3/23 @ The BMC (NOLA); 9pm-12am
Thursday 3/28 @ Siberia (NOLA) w/ Lynn Drury; order TBA
Friday 3/29 @ Old Point Bar; 10 pm-1am
Sunday 3/31 Easter Sunday show! @ Kajun’s Pub (NOLA); 5pm-9pm

Post Carnival “Normalcy”

It’s Friday night and I’m sitting at home, keeping an eye on a sick kitty who is sleeping on the sofa next to me. The past few days have been spent catching up on things that fell through the cracks over the past week or so, mainly dishes and booking. No one in New Orleans functions “normally” during Mardi Gras, and unless you’ve been here to experience it firsthand there’s no way to relate it to anything else in terms of how much you have to rearrange your priorities. We had a great time this year though, even if it WAS more than a little weird to take a week off for SuperBowl. Below are a few pictures of our magical and foggy Mardi Gras, two I captured and one taken by our friend, Thaddeus who is the fella dressed as Star Trek crew with Dave in photo #1. Brian “Big Country” Ayres of our brother band, Country Fried and his lovely family are the subject of the third photo.

Vanessa and Dave - Mardi Gras 2013

A Foggy Mardi Gras

The Ayres' FamilySO, now that we’re “back to normal” here in New Orleans let me just say “PHEW!” and reconnect on a couple of things. Firstly is the previously mentioned Kickstarter campaign, still in limbo for a new album we’re writing for. With festival season fast approaching we’ve decided to push our deadline back until June, which will allow more time to do everything we need to get done. Please look out for the announcement of the Kickstarter, which I should be able to make active by mid-March.

Also, some of you may be aware that I was invited to sing leads with the acclaimed band, Squirrel Nut Zippers, albeit on a very part time basis. I’ll be heading to South America (!) with them in a little over a week for a short, three day trip to Ecudor and Colombia. After only one show with their band last September it’s a little nerve wracking, but also quite an honor as I’ve been a huge fan since the mid-90’s. Wish me luck! I’ll take pictures…

Before I head down south though, there are a few more Gal Holiday shows here in Louisiana and I’m looking forward to playing again! We’ve definitely been playing less shows that we’re used to and I’m
getting antsy.

There’s only one chance to catch us this weekend and that’s Saturday 2/16 at our old haunt, The BMC or Balcony Music Club. If you’ve been seeing us for a while you might have come to one of our Sunday evening shows that we played there for two years. While this isn’t going to turn into a weekly show again, it IS still a great room and we hope you’ll join us if you’re in town.

Next week we’ll be back at Mimi’s in the Marigny on Thursday 2/21 with our quartet and then a return to Mid-City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl on Friday 2/22. We’re FINALLY making a return to Baton Rouge on Saturday 2/23 for a show at the new, and apparently super cool new venue, Mud and Water in downtown. As always, check our website for more info!

And now that we’re done with “Super Gras” we move on to festival season. I’m proud to announce that we’ll be making appearances at both French Quarter Festival and JazzFest again this year! If you’re headed to New Orleans for the fests, we hope to see you.

Keep dreaming of spring…

Your gal pal,

“Without the courage to fail there is no progress.”