Young Audiences: Fun at the library!

We work with a fantastic group called Young Audiences who place programming in schools and libraries. There are a handful of awesome Head Librarians in different Parishes who request us for their summer reading programs, including Ms. Patricia with the Plaquemines Parish Library system. Plaquemines Parish is the finger of land, much of which is threatened by the shrinking coastal marshes where the mighty Mississippi reaches the Gulf of Mexico. We spent the first three days of this week playing for the children of Buras, Belle Chasse and Port Sulphur, Louisiana.


Sharing music with kids who might not otherwise get a musical education is rewarding as well as mighty important these days, what with many school district cutting Arts curriculum completely. The upright bass and the drums are always the stars of the show, although the guitars are not far behind…

“Now let’s talk about the style of bass playing that Dave does which is called, ‘SLAPPING.’ You’re not supposed to do it to other people but it’s okay to slap a bass!”

In case anyone is curious what we play for the kiddos, here’s a set list:

Kids Show Summer 2014

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Tipitina’s: Steve Hatley photographs

I’ve already posted a lot of pictures from our momentous show at the world famous Tipitina’s but a batch came in from photographer, Steve Hatley that merit a share!

The musicians on stage: Izzy Zaidman (electric guitar), David Brouillette (upright bass), Greg Good (acoustic guitar), Michael Sollars (drums) and ME, Vanessa Niemann on the lead vocals.

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Tipitina’s and more

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

A handsome office assistant, the Fais Do Do, Tipitina’s and more! Brought to you by the magic of the “picture phone”… Click on photo #1 of Handsome Stan to scroll through the photos, read more in the descriptions and comment … Continue reading

My favorite JazzFest photos

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This gallery contains 17 photos.

It’s been a while since I posted here but no time like the present to remedy that situation. Here, for your viewing pleasure is a gallery of my favorite photos from our experience at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & … Continue reading

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,
Vanessa

“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

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! Welcome to the flip side.

Whether you glided smoothly like Grace Kelly or bumped and hobbled into 2013, time marches on and brings in a new year, full of possibilities. Personally, my 2012 was full of learning experiences and new relationships forged and fostered. I’m hoping that 2013 will bring more of the same as I continue to explore the music business and travel our country, meeting people and playing music that bring us together.

December found me unpacking and settling back into New Orleans life, with a sprinkling of live shows. Here in the Crescent City we’re gearing up for a busy start to the year with Twelfth Night and the official start to the Mardi Gras season a mere five days away! We’ll roll through Carnival season, hosting Super Bowl somewhere in the middle and come out on the other side in mid-February. New Orleans really knows how to throw a party and we’ll be playing around town the whole way through.

We have some great shows coming up including a couple family friendly ones and two new venues this month alone. Check out the schedule a little futher down in this message and please share the Facebook events. Speaking of Facebook, we’re almost to 3000 Likes on our page! In a lot of ways I don’t really know what that means, but hopefully it translates when we launch our upcoming crowd funding campaign. We have a bunch of new songs and want to get our third album out this spring so look for more news soon about how you can help us to get it done!

Your support is what keeps us going and we really appreciate all the love in 2012. Let’s roll this love fest over and make 2013 a spectacular year.

Your gal pal,
Vanessa

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


Please join and share the Facebook events to help us spread the word!


Thursday 1/3 @ Fulton On Tap (NOLA); 9pm-12am Facebook event
Saturday 1/5 @ Old Point Bar (NOLA); 10pm-1am Facebook event
Friday 1/11 @ Hangar 13 (NOLA); 8pm-11pm Facebook event
Saturday 1/12 @ The Maison (NOLA); Cajun/Country Fais Do Do 4pm-7pm Facebook event
Wednesday 1/16 @ Mid City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl (NOLA); 8:30pm-11:30pm Facebook event
Saturday 1/19 @ Three Muses (NOLA); Gal Holiday Quartet 9pm-12am Facebook event
Friday 1/25 @ Mojitos Rum Bar (NOLA); 9pm-12am Facebook event
Wednesday 1/30 @ Mid City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl (NOLA); 8:30pm-11:30pm Facebook event
Friday 2/1 @ Woldenberg Park (NOLA); Verizon Super Bowl Boulevard 12:15pm-1:30pm (AFC Stage) AND 3:15pm-4:45pm (South End Zone Stage)

JazzFest: Week One!

JazzFest started off with a bang last Thursday and just kept right on until yesterday. One day of rest today and then we get thrown back into it. There’s so much to write about and you folks who didn’t make it into town have been asking, so here goes my recap of Saturday and our performance.

Our set on the Gentilly Stage was an amazing experience. Dave and I had made a goal a few months back to do a mostly original set this year, which we met. Before leaving out from Los Angeles in late March we uploaded six new, original demos for free download on our website. Go get you some! Four of them made it into the line-up along with our originals on Set Two, one from our first release and some popular covers we play. Deciding to take a chance, we closed out the show with a cover of Pat Benetar’s song, Love is a Battlefield which the very talented guitar player, Chris Adkins did a killer arrangement of. We were asked to learn it for The Big Easy Awards and it was so much fun that we decided to add it in! Someone caught the last couple of minutes on camera, too which is super cool. Click here to view it! And here’s another video of our version of, Plastic Jesus.

Joining on stage was my long time musical, business and all around partner, David Brouillette (upright bass) as well as Chris Adkins (guitar), Dave James (guitar), Steve Spitz (pedal steel guitar), Clyde Thompson (fiddle) and Chris Pylant (drums).

JazzFest 2012 Gal Holiday set

Cryin’ Over You
Give Up Honky Tonkin’
Rainy Nights, Sunny Days
Not The One For You
Don’t Think Twice
The Long Black Ribbon
Louisiana Waltz
You Mean The World To Me
Send Me Away
Plastic Jesus
I’m Coming Home
Love Is A Battlefield

After out set was over I had a quick word with festival promoter, Quint Davis and then booked it to the CD tent for a signing. This is the first year I was asked to do one and I felt quite honored! Three sisters, all under 10 came with their mom toward the end and I have never been so entertained. They were all dressed in hot pink and chatted with me, telling jokes and generally cracking me up. What a time!

Then Dave picked me up and we went back to the Gentilly Stage where an air-conditioned trailer awaited. By this time the backstage area was starting to become a literal circus with the arrival of the New Orleans Bingo! Show. I got a cute snap of Dave with our good friend, cellist Helen Gillet and he took one of me with another friend, vocalist extraordinaire Debbie Davis.

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It’s a shame to go to JazzFest and not eat the food…and I’m not talking about the sandwich plate in the trailer. I dashed off to get some crawfish bread and a couple of beers while Amanda Shaw was setting up. The festival provides awesome viewing stands in the wings at the two biggest stages and we took full advantage while eating our snacks. We have two friends in the band, Tim Robertson (guitar) and Ronnie Falgout (bass) and the show was really great. I’ve been watching Amanda for years, as we all have in New Orleans and as she grows up (21!) she is really becoming one hell of a performer. She’s got the moves down and puts on a super show.

Want more? Because there’s more…

Having a four o’clock interview scheduled with WWOZ in the Hospitality Tent, I popped into the paddock and the Lagniappe Stage for a shady seat to watch Meschiya Lake and dem Little Big Horns. She is one of my favorite singers in New Orleans and has been picking up steam in NOLA and far beyond. If you like traditional style jazz singing you HAVE to check her out.

I also made sure to get to the Fais Do Do Stage to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops who I have loved ever since hearing a piece on NPR years ago. They are dedicated to creating fresh takes on African-American songs that helped to shape popular music in America. Y’all know how much I love the history of music, so of course I love their band! They are so terrific on stage; fiddle, banjo and guitar all singing and stomping. They added a cellist, too which I was happy to hear included on their album that I received as a birthday gift on Sunday.

The craziest thing about walking around JazzFest after our set this year was that I felt like somewhat of a rockstar, which is a new thing to me. I can’t tell you how many times during the day I was stopped to sign autographs, take photos or chat. It’s really amazing, totally humbling and we have you guys to thank for it. Lots of love to all our fans and here’s to JazzFest Week Two!

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Photo: Ed Treece

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Photo: Lucas Davenport

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Photo: Ron O’Connor

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Photo: JonGunnar Gylfason