Saturday, June 20, 2015

...a disturbance in the force...

Something happened in the last couple of days ... specifically on facebook but probably on other online sites as well.  I just noticed on Facebook because I am there a good portion of my day.

I am not a political person .... well, okay, let's put it another way.  I don't get into political discussions because I am not good at it.  I know what I believe and I stick to my opinions - quietly - as political "discussions" often escalate and arguing upsets me.  So I read and formulate my own opinions and stick to them but rarely discuss them.

There was a disturbance in the force in the last few days.  A Palpable disturbance. Everybody felt it.  And many expressed it.

When I first read about the South Carolina shooting I cried.  And it caused me to dig up a quote that has been a part of me since I first read it in my early teens. I posted it to Facebook because seriously everybody is different in some way or other and therefore we are all the same and we should all delight in our differences. I've been saying it in my personal forever.  And if someone went out and killed everybody in the world who was different from him, he would wind up alone.

There was a definite disturbance in the force.  I saw posts from people I haven't heard from in a long time.  An out-pouring of "what the hell is going on?"  A friend on tour overseas who broke down in public at breakfast.  And I started to cry again when I read that because I felt it too.

There was that coming together of a like mind - that camaraderie that happens after a major disaster.  As if most everybody was feeling pretty much the same thing.  Perhaps it's because most of my friends list is of a like mind, and that's fine cause that's over 1,000 people thinking in the same direction. 

I also saw avoidance  ...  people not wanting to admit to the one thing that was hurting most of the rest of us. 

And now, this morning, there are the questions ... how do we stop the hate?

Well, for one, even though there was a lot of grief in the last few days, there was also a lot of coming together.  At least on my friends list, which I was happy to see. 

I think one thing we can all do is what we've been doing all along.  Write and sing our songs and share our stories of peace and tolerance, be kind as much as we can. And don't follow a panicked crowd; don't be sheeple.  Don't let fear rule your heart, your mind, or your hand.  Don't do what others are all doing unless it's for the greater good. 

Be the best person you can be .... not white, not black, not straight, not gay, not anything except people. 

I do not identify as straight or caucasion; those are tags society places on me but I identify as friend, as a person.  I wear my skin because it's what I was born with; but I think with my mind and I go with my heart. 

Several years ago, when I still worked day shift at Longs/CVS, I had someone come to the store looking for "that black female manager."  And I couldn't come up with anyone.  I had to take a step back and pull up (in my minds eye) all the female managers to try and figure out who he meant.  It turns out the person he was looking for was Hawaiian.  But it's a bad way to identify people.   

Maybe, try and think of it in the way that is my own personal mission for FAR-West - defining the four letter word FOLK in an open arms fashion:  folk is the word of the people. Every single tribe on the face of this earth, from the beginning of time, had their own stories and their own songs (that we call myths), their own dances (and if you read all of the creation myths, you will realize that independent of each other, everyone pretty much came to the same conclusion). That is folk.  It doesn't matter whether their beat or their instruments or their country became their genre NAME because it is in name only .... bottom line, it's all folk. Whether the stories are told with the backing or a guitar, a banjo, a balalaika or a flute, with spoken word or sung, or with the movement of feet - it's all Folk. 

Bottom line, We are all Folk.  We are all People.  Take off our skin and we have the same skeletal structure.

So maybe the disturbance in the force will reach everyone it needs to .... we have water worries, we have the ring of fire acting up, we have climate change, our earth is talking to us, the news stories are talking about the coming of the 6th mass extinction ... is the gathering at hand?  I don't want it to be.  You don't want it to be.  You want the good parts of our societies, our earth, our planet to be here for your children and your children's children. 

Because a lot of people felt the South Carolina church murders deep enough to react and to cry and to mourn.  So maybe this will be a catalyst.  I sure hope so. 

Can you help me "make it so"?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams

I'm not saying its wrong or right, I'm only speaking from the perspective that I perceive was my father's ... knowing all of the drama that surrounded him at one time, his only way out was to take his own life. We don't really know what goes on once someone has died (however the fact that my Sam-cat has become a healer and a helper at the rainbow bridge, gives further hope to my own beliefs, and this is from where I speak). I was the child that my father was watching over when I was troubled at 9 years old; I was the child he tried to visit and frightened; I was the child that watched Carousel two nights later and understood. I think suicide victims just see no other way out; no matter what they once said or did. But I also think that they work it out on the other side. And who knows What Dreams May Come, because in the end, no matter how many friends we have who say they will be there for you, we are alone inside, and we are alone in death, and it is our soul that must find its way back again.

Again, I'm not saying its wrong or right because it's not for us to say. Robin Wiliams was brilliant ... beyond brilliant ... he exuded that brilliance. And we laughed when he "went off" like a comedic bomb on stage, no one knowing really where he would end up and loving every minute but I wonder about the voices that were inside, if the outside voices were so loud. And no one knows that more than the bearer. 

The most brilliant genius artists of our world were borderline - what they portrayed on the outside was not what they heard on the inside. A sensitive person (because to be that kind of an artist, you need a certain deep sensitivity) can try and drown those voices with drugs and alcohol, but drugs and alcohol wear off, and prescribed meds make you feel really okay after a while so you stop taking them ... and at the end, you are left with - yes, yourself. 

And yes, we all want our troubled friends and family members to reach out when they are this troubled, but the most inner thoughts will stay inner.

Some will survive and move past and some will not. 

I mourn Robin Williams. And I hope he finds the right souls path. I wish him peace.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

writing to write

Just packaged up a new wonderful soup I made yesterday - and I found something out! I'm not fully vegetarian although I have always had veggie tendencies (but I love fish and meatloaf and beef) but I tried something with this newest soup. Full veggie broth base, equal parts water, chopped spinach, broccoli, baby brussel sprouts, pearl onions, soaked and washed red lentils, and one package of hard tofu and another of silken. Well, as it cooked, I realized that the silken tofu does the "egg drop soup" thing and that's pretty darn cool. Egg-drop red-lentil veggie soup without the eggs!

I feel good today despite the fact that yesterday I was awake for over 30 hours before I went to sleep last night at 9pm. The day before I napped till about 4:45pm. Then a friend came over for the money I owed him and hung out for a bit. I stayed online and worked till I had to shower and get dressed for work. Worked graveyard shift all night and then came home and did a crazy wonderful inside-out inside-in Mom Hen non-stop day, which ended with me tuning in to Shashona's first night back on the airwaves from her early in the new year vacation - both on the radio and the chatroom. It was almost a Mother Hen Promotions hour - except for 2 tracks, she played ALL Mom Hen clients. She started the Mom Hen set with Chico Schwall and then continued with Kerry Patrick Clark and Gary Stokdale and John Roy Zat and Severin Browne and John Batdorf and Steve Eulberg and Mark Cote and Jean Mann and it was a blast. It was somewhere in there while in the chatroom that I realized that with just one 5-hour energy shot that morning after getting home from the night job, I had been up for over 30 hours. And then I crashed.

Today is a new day... Sammy's got his breakfast in bed (he likes chilling in the sunny room in the morning), and the soup is dealt with and I've got my brekkie and today will be a busy Mom Hen day again - which is absolutely fine. Kerry Patrick Clark has a brand new CD that I'm excited about and there are a lot of i's to dot and t's to cross. Gary Stockdale is making a transition from Emmy-Nominated Music Composer / Arranger / Conductor to Comedic Singer-Songwriter and it's a pretty exciting trip for both of us. Chico Schwall is bringing his musical expertise to the internet, where his music has not been promoted before, and I'm pleased to be the messenger and the internet technician chosen to do this. I love working with KC Cafe and Indie Showcase and Airplay Direct. Plus, I'm learning about radio promotion, which I am liking more and more every day, and intend to delve deeper into it as soon as I move and get settled in my new state, my new city, my new Mom Hen full-time life.

I will be moving in mid-to-late April. I do like Los Angeles and California but the rents here make it very difficult to make ends meet and my priority is to make Mother Hen Promotions a full-fledged full-time business. The last few months of doing Mom Hen work during the day and working four 8 hour night shifts a week has very literally kicked my ass. I can't do it anymore, from the time point of view, health point of view, and also dealing with customers who treat anyone behind a counter like dirt. I need to restore my faith in the people and I need to keep doing what I love. I would come home from a bad night at the graveyard shift and be greeted with wonderful news of radio play for a client, and the frown would be replaced with a laugh and a smile and pleasure in being able to let my client know (and saying thank you to the DJ). Being Mom Hen makes me happy. It is hard work too, but it's different and I have a very good work ethic and I have now found where and who I want to be. It's been an interesting journey.

The place I can do it in is Eugene, Oregon. A big little city with a rockstar downtown area where it is safe to walk ... where within walking-minutes you can be at the Greyhound bus station, train station, river bike and walkways, Lane County bus depot, my bank, Saturday market, Starbucks, the healthy Kiva Market, or a visit with a friend. And rents that are a third of what I pay now. And a train whistle all throughout the day and night - something that is like a comfort sound to me. So the so-far survivor can now thrive and build and create and get back to some things I love that I have had to give up for a time.

I am looking forward to getting back to some things like maybe joining a choir so I can add my alto voice to seasonal halleluiah's, and also something that I had a very hard time getting used to when I graduated from college ... everybody else went into their new lives with gusto and no longer had time to get together and sit down with music and guitars and exchange the friendship and the music. Everybody else was into hurry up and live and forgot what previously made them happy. I went off and lived like I was supposed to, and in some ways my life became insular. I am a loner to start with so it wasn't a problem. But I missed/miss sharing. And I want to share again. The big soups I make which now serve as lunches for the night job and meals for during the day - I want to share with friends. The same with my tea concoctions. I want to be able to drink a glass of wine with friends while listening to music on a night out. And ... Oregon is very close to the Nez Perce tribal lands where they still breed and raise foundation appaloosa's. Banjo and Gypsy were foundation in their hearts and minds and spots - it's time again for an opinionated beautifully hammer-headed stubborn big-hearted full spotted sound appy to enter my life again.

And so, this all culminates in the fact that I am moving to Eugene, Oregon and will be on site in my work/live apartment in downtown Eugene by mid-t0-late April. The internet work I do makes it something I can do from anywhere.

Onward. Upward. Sidewards. Tally-Ho!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Release: Chico Schwall's "Then What's It For?" featured for Spotlight Ads on Airplay Direct

Attn Radio!

Thank you to those of you who have already requested a CD and put tracks from this CD into play on your shows and stations. William "Chico" Schwall's latest CD, "Then What's It For?" is now being featured on Airplay Direct's Spotlight Ads from March 15th till mid-April on

If you don't access Airplay Direct, please email me directly at to request a CD for airplay. You can use the Airplay Direct link to listen first if you wish.

Folksinger, Multi-instrumentalist and songpoet Chico Schwall believes there IS enough to go around and we CAN figure out how to make it work.

Instrumentalist and singer, traditional musician and songwriter, his music is a genre-defying tightrope walk over Folk Music Falls. His newest CD, "Then What's it for?" draws on blues, gospel, mountain music, Irish tunes and international acoustic sounds and puts his original songs and tunes among gems and classics from all over. There are a couple of tracks on this CD that will work nicely for St. Patrick's Day.

When he's not traveling, Chico fans the flames of discontent in Eugene, Oregon and teaches Everything with Strings at the Shedd Institute for the Arts.

Wendy Shashona McCall of Indie Showcase said "'Then What's It For?' by Chico Schwall will make you smile, dance, cry, get angry, sing along, groove with the smooth and all around love. Spectacular, pure, honest, the talented Chico Schwall will win you over for life. Grab your album today! I am wearing mine out!"

Nathan Nörgel of Wasser-Prawda in Germany said: “(In 'Then What's It For?') ... folk songs resound from the various regions of the world. (And) they are traditionally arranged .... . This is obviously an artist at work, who believes in the goodness of people and the quality of his music. Chico is an acknowledged master of the various string instruments of guitar, banjo and mandolin. And with his self-penned songs, he brings a wide variety of styles from klezmer, Irish folk, blues and gospel into a sound thread that elevates folk into a state of timelessness. The political and social statements in his songs are as timeless as should be social values like justice and freedom. ....”

Nathan Moore - for both the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society Newsletter and for No Depression said: “Schwall’s newest album, entitled 'Then What’s It For?' is a heartfelt and elegant exploration of his eclectic musical tastes and what he describes as his 'crazy role in the folk music world.”

-The Register-Guard: "'Then What’s It For?' has no shortage of political songs, with emphasis on the humanity behind politics and the suffering that results from greed and corruption.”

Thank you, Dear DJ's, for your consideration and airplay, whether you download the music from Airplay Direct or ask us for a CD. Either way, we very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jeanette Lundgren
Mother Hen Promotions
on behalf of Chico Schwall

Attn Radio: Release: Kerry Patrick Clark's "His Story - My Story " Going For Ads March 17th

Kerry Patrick Clark's latest CD, "His Story - My Story" will be Going For Ads via Airplay Direct from March 17th till April 1st, after which he will be featured in their Spotlight Ads April 2nd till the 16th (the official eblast will go out to Airplay Direct members on March 19th) on

If you don't access Airplay Direct, please email me directly at if you would like to receive this brand-new Easter CD for airplay. If you aren't sure this CD is for you, you can use the APD site to listen.

Shawn Taylor, author of "Faith Painting" best sums up Kerry's 6th CD as follows: One of the identifying marks of the human experience is our love of story. Whether we are being captivated by a majestic adventure movie, consumed by a novel, or mesmerized by an old man telling of days gone by, we love to envision through story what most often we have not obtained in our own experience.

I met Kerry Patrick Clark some six years ago, and from the start I was taken with his ability to tell story. He has a unique gift in being able to take my experience and translate it into songs that not only lyrically capture my attention, but conceptually explain my own heart. He is at heart a modern troubadour, telling story through song and capturing the longing of his listeners.

And now the story teller takes on the Ultimate Story. It has been said there are only a few true story lines in the world. The medium changes, the characters will vary, but fundamentally the story is the same. It seems that all good stories have but a few things in common; the mystery of suspense, the drama of conflict, the intrigue of betrayal, and always, the sacrifice of a hero or heroine. Maybe this is nothing more than the acknowledgement that our stories are but imitations of THE story.

Jesus had a habit of saying, “for those who have ears to hear.” If you let your ears lead, you will find the wonder of two stories contained herein. His Story - My Story captures the developing drama of the passion of Jesus. As you hear these songs you will be lead through the maze of confusion and emotion that those surrounding our Lord experienced. From the eyes of a unnoticed spectator at the triumphal entry (You Should See This), to the emotional expression of motivation behind the last supper, (I Do This For Love), from the heart laid-bare-pain of the Garden of Gethsemene (If You Please) to the seemingly simple act of betrayal (One Kiss), this story teller unfolds the emotions behind the Passion. The story culminates in the dual imagery of “Come On Rising”, a song of simply being lifted up!

But His Story - My Story doesn't stop there, for indeed the story did not end in a grave. There is a story that is a result of The Story and it’s yours and mine. “True Love” and “When” begin the heart journey of desire asking the question we all must address. “I’m Giving it Up”, recognizes the sacrifice involved in simply following, while “I Believe”, “The Greatest Gift of These”, and “Walk the Walk”, tell of the results of the decision. But maybe the summary statement is best made through “I Am That Man”, a simple recognition of our ownership of the life that is now offered to us and the change it promises to bring to those who will choose to continue to hear and live the story.

His Story - My Story is indeed powerful. But what makes this story so compelling, as told by this story teller, is simply... that it is true.

Kerry Patrick Clark's previous CD, "On The Road To Human Being" has been #1 in the Internet Folk genre on Roots Music Report for about a year now (and for the last few months has also appeared mid-chart on Roots 66).
Kerry's 911... Songs To Heal A Nation was released in Fall 2001 with many of the songs featured in the PBS special, "Reclaiming Hope". "Ground Zero" was featured on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Show for the 6th month and year anniversary of the September tragedies. Kerry Patrick Clark is a former member of the New Christy Minstrels and is also a Martin Guitar Preferred artist.

Thank you, Dear DJ's, for your consideration and airplay, whether you download the music from Airplay Direct or ask us for a CD.

Jeanette Lundgren
Mother Hen Promotions
on behalf of Kerry Patrick Clark

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Indies Now

The facts are that the current music business for independents has completely leveled the playing field. No matter that you once played with "This Name" or "That Name" doesn't mean that You have a Recognized Name. Having played with or for a Name or a Name Band will open some doors now but it won't open all. You and Your presentation are what will sell you now; kudo's from the past will help but you are your own selling point.

It's almost the same as when I was working at a stables, a person walking up to me and paying their $30. for a 2-hour ride and telling me "I know how to ride; give me a good horse". Sure ya do. Instead of telling me? Show me what you can do. I'll give you a horse that will prove to me that you can either ride or not. They're all good horses, whether they look the part or not - it's your level of expertise that will make that older looking "nag" lift his head and prance ... or not.

You once played with so-and-so but you don't anymore ... every indie now how to eke out his or her own audience and platform and play from and to it. No one is going to get rich anymore - you just gotta love what you do, and keep on keepin' on, choose your favorite kind of venues, wow 'em every time, get paid, sell a few more than a few CDs or download cards, and go home, hoping that the new fans leave your last show humming your music and sharing it with friends so that the next time you're in their hood, the crowd will be larger.

It's being true to yourself and your music and being honest with yourself and your fans. The levels equal the kinds of venues you are accepted to play in and how fast your new music climbs the present popular (Roots 66 and Roots Music Report) charts, without help from a radio promoter. And the smiling happy fans at the end of a show..... And how YOU feel when it's done, without aid of chemical substances. Was it a great show? Will the buzz from your music and that last show carry you through to the next one? Can you make the old nag lift his or her head and prance? That's your criteria. And not who you once played with.....