The Long and Winding Road


2015 LongWindingRd Scotland Aug

Wow!  What an amazing two and a half months it’s been since my last post.  Chambless & Muse had fabulous gigs in Canada at the Fergus Scottish Festival and in Scotland at the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival.  It was delightful to catch up with old friends and to make new ones.  And I got to witness at the Fergus games the setting of the Guinness World Record for the most cabers successfully tossed simultaneously – 69 of about 84!  What a sight!!  Then September weekends were spent at the Virginia Scottish Games, CelticFest Mississippi, at a beautiful wedding in the NC mountains, and at the St. Louis Scottish Games.

October and November have me closer to home, but staying plenty busy with Vulcan Eejits gigs.  Also in November, on Sunday 11/1, I look forward to a fun gig with Henri’s Notions and Three on a String at Local Color Cafe in Springville AL.  Check out the TOAS website and facebook page.  Bobby Horton, Jerry Ryan, and Brad Ryan put on an amazing, hilarious show and the Notions are very excited to be part of this one with them.  It will be a very entertaining night!  You should make your reservations early:  call 205-467-0334.

The Celtic Christmas Tour with Ed Miller and Don Penzien is coming together nicely.  We’ll be playing gigs from Austin TX to Jacksonville Beach FL.  Hope to see you somewhere along the way!

Peace, Love, and Music, y’all!

The music and travel continue

The music and travel continue

Had an amazing trip to NC – as always!  I just love it in those mountains! The magic was mighty at Grandfather Mountain this year.  It’s so fun to reconnect with old friends there and to make new ones.  Thanks to EJ Jones for putting together a fabulous weekend of  music!

After that glorious week in the mountains, Henri’s Notions had a string of shows closer to home – some old favorite venues and some nice new (to us) ones.  Nice to be back on stage with all of the guys.

Tomorrow Chambless & Muse are heading up to Ontario for the Fergus Scottish Festival.  These folks sure know how to have fun – you betcha!  Then we’re one for only 2 days before heading to Scotland for the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival.  Although Scooter goes every year, it’s been several (6?) since I’ve been there.  Very excited to be going back!  I’ll have to take an extra large suitcase to have plenty of room to bring back goodies for my kind colleagues who will be covering for me at work as I will miss the first week of classes.  I’m a very lucky gal!  Then September is full of more festivals for me and Scooter. Fun fun fun!

Summertime = music & travel!

Once again, I totally skipped sending an email in June.  It was a good month, though – worked on two recording projects!  See more info about those below.   Next week, I’ll be heading for the mountains of NC. On my way, I’ll stop off in Winston-Salem for a house concert with good friend Don Penzien.

The Alabama Folk School at Camp McDowell
I will be teaching a song class during Celtic Week this July 21-24, 2015.  There will also be classes in fiddle, guitar, dance, and even knitting!

Students will arrive on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 21st, and depart after lunch on Friday July 24th.  There will be 15 hours of instruction as well as time for jamming, dancing, and more!

The Alabama Folk School is an all inclusive facility, with lodging and its own dining hall.  Students can choose between a hotel style room with two double beds and en suite bathroom or the dorm option with a shared bedroom and a hall bathroom.  Our dining hall offers delicious meals and we will accommodate any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Nestled near the Bankhead National Forest, the setting is ideal for being creative and relaxing.  Bring hiking shoes, a bathing suit and your favorite book and immerse yourself in this wonderful retreat.  Registration is now available online.  For more information, see or contact director Sarah Nee, 205-387-1806 ext. 111.

Rob Alley’s Alabama Songbook Project had a very successful recording session.  I’m enjoying listening to the roughs and am really excited to hear the finished product, which should be ready for release this fall.  I’m honored to be included on this project with these amazing jazz musicians.  I’ll be sure to let you know when the CD is available!

VULCAN EEJITS! have had several days in the studio too.  We’ve made a good start, but more work will now be on hold until after all this travelling slows down a bit.  Meanwhile, we’ll still squeeze in a few gigs at home and away:
July 15 @ Alcove International Tavern, Tuscaloosa AL
July 30 @ Fenian’s Pub, Jackson MS
(No Alcove date in August.)
Aug 29 @ Pepper Place Market, Birmingham AL (morning)
Aug 29 @ Maggie McGuinness Pub, Huntsville AL (evening)
Sep 26 @ Alcove International Tavern, Tuscaloosa AL

Chambless & Muse are heading back to NC next week for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.  It’s always a treat to leave the Alabama heat in mid July and head for the cool mountains!  Looking forward to sharing the stage again there with Scooter and Ed Miller. John Taylor will be there this year too as well as many other great musical acts.  It’s sure to be a magical weekend!  Scooter will also be teaching with me at the Alabama Folk School’s Celtic Week (above).  Then next month we’re off to play festivals in Canada and Scotland!
July 9-12 @ Grandfather Mtn Highland Games, Linville NC
Aug 6-9 @ Fergus Scottish Festival, Fergus Ontario
Aug 19-23 @ Mull of Kintyre Music Festival, Campbelltown Scotland
Sep 5-6 @ Virginia Scottish Festival, Warrenton VA

Henri’s Notions have a string of shows coming up too.  And we’ll be joined by the Alabama Academy of Irish Dance at many of these shows:
July 16 @ Bama Theatre’s Greensboro Room, Tuscaloosa AL
July 17 @ Local Color Cafe, Springville AL
July 18 @ PelhamPalooza, Pelham AL
July 24 @ Burritt on the Mountain, Huntsville AL
Aug 1 @ Bankhead House Amphitheatre, Jasper AL

Thanks for your support of my music!  I hope to see you somewhere soon!!

August 2014

Back-to-School Time!

But the Summer has been fantastic!

Sorry that it’s been two months since my last newsletter. Remember that you can always see my complete, updated schedule at my website.

It’s been a busy two months!  Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

The Rob Alley Alabama Songbook Project played another great show in Alabama in June.  We plan to record a live show in November – details coming soon!

Chambless & Muse had a fabulous weekend at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in NC.  This is always a fun festival, but this year was especially magical! We look forward to many more festivals in the next month – VA, MS, TX, and MO!

It was great to get to play a couple of shows again with the John Whelan Trio last month in NC.  We will be together next month, along with Mairtin deCogain, at CelticFestMS in Jackson.  That will be a hoot – you should come along!

Dan and I had a great time at “camp” again this year.  The Swannanoa Gathering has an amazing week of Celtic music classes in the beautiful mountains of Western NC.  We took classes all day and played, sang, and danced all night.  Not much sleeping, though!  It was very nice of Ed Miller to get me up to sing with him during one of the faculty concerts.  Thanks Ed!

The Vulcan Eejits! played our usual gigs at the Alcove in Tuscaloosa and Fenian’s in Jackson, but enjoyed playing some new (to us) ones AL and NC as well.  We also look forward to playing at CelticFestMS next month in Jackson!

Henri’s Notions will be featured on Alabama Public Television a couple of times this month.  APTV will air our concert at Dugger Mountain Music Hall during their Fall Fundraiser.  Scooter Muse and I will also be on during the breaks to ask you to pledge your support to APTV!!  Check us out Thursday 8/21 and Tuesday 8/26 at 10pm!!

New CD Available NOW!

The NEW CD from Chambless & Muse, “Passing Tales & Glories” is getting great reviews so far.  Thanks to all who have purchased one!

In addition to Scooter‘s guitars and banjo and my vocals and flute, we’re including many contributions from friends near and far:  Jason Bailey (mandolin and octave mandolin), Rich Brotherton (citern), Daniel Carwile (fiddle), EJ Jones (small pipes), Lorne MacDougall (small pipes), Ed Miller (vocals), John Taylor (fiddle), NC Thurman (keyboard), Nick Watson (percussion), and Bob Wray (bass).

It’s not on CDBaby yet, but your can hear some sound clips at our facebook page.  Click here to order your copy today.  Of course the best way to get yours is to buy one directly from me at a show!


June 2014

Summertime, and the livin’ is…

Thrifty! (And it needs to be for quite a while now!)

Since Dan and I just sent our daughter to study in China for 6 months AND bought our son a car, I NEED A GIG!!  Several things are already booked and more are in the works, so stay tuned!  You can always see my complete, updated schedule at my website and the current schedule is listed below.  I sure hope to see you at a show soon!

The NEW CD from Chambless & Muse, Passing Tales & Glories, is getting great reviews so far!  Thanks to all of you who have already purchased a copy.  Of course the best place to get your copy of the new cd is directly from me at a schow, but you can alsoorder it online from me.  Just be sure to get your copy!  More info about the CD below too.

I’m delighted to be performing again this month with Rob Alley’s Alabama Songbook Project.  We will play on the last Saturday of June at one of my favorite Alabama music venues, Local Color Cafe.  Of course, I’d love to see you there at our show, but you should go to any show there.  It’s always a fun place to go for dinner and live music!  More info about our AL Songbook Project below.

Next month, I’ll be off to NC for fun and music in the mountains at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, which is going to be especially amazing this year!  Just check out the musical lineup!!  I’m also excited to play a couple of shows next month with theJohn Whelan Trio and to attend again the fabulous Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week!  July will be a busy month, so I probably won’t get another email out until after I return home from the mountains.

I hope you have a great, music-filled summer!

School’s Out For Summer!

And my summer’s off to a great start!  Had a BLAST at the Texas Scottish Festival at the beginning of the month – lots of great music and good friends from all over!  The NEW CD from Chambless & Muse, “Passing Tales & Glories” was a big hit at TSF (as it was last month at Rural Hill Scottish Festival in NC).  Thanks to all who have purchased one!  If you’d like to order yours today, just click here.  Of course you can buy one directly from me at a show!  More info about the CD below too.

Hey, are you on facebook?  If so, you might like to check out these new pages for Celtic music and cultural events in Alabama.  Yes, there are some!  And we’d love to have more!!  You can help to spread the word by “liking” and “sharing” these pages.

Celture Alabama 
North Alabama Celtic Music Calendar

If you’re still making your vacation plans, here are a few musical/cultural things that you might like to consider:

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
Swannanoa Gathering
Alabama Folk School
Augusta Irish/Celtic Week

Where did June go?

How can it be that I failed to send out an email in June??!!  Turns out it was a good idea to include the June dates in the May email – I’ll continue that!! As you read below, any discolored font may indicate a hyperlink, which you may click to find out more info about that item/event.

Had a couple of extra, last-minute June dates pop up:  got to play with the Mairtin de Cogain Project at the New Orleans Irish Cultural Museum on a balmy Sunday afternoon (and as a special bonus got to meet Mitra and little Milo), and then Don Penzien and I played another lovely house concert at the Lachman’s in Shreveport (- thanks, Bob and Deena!!). Then finished off the month with a great session last night in Birmingham!  It was a good, busy month!!

Amidst all the playing and getting the kids home from school, I also found time to hear some awesome live music.  If you’re a fan of Americana Music, you really should check out Willie Sugarcapps – a fabulous new conglomeration of south Alabama artists!! Dan and I also caught Richard Thompson‘s Electric Trio last week in Tuscaloosa along with Bob Dylan and band, Wilco, and My Morning Jacket.

Coming up:  I’m sorry that I’ll miss seeing everyone at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games this year, but Dan and I will get to enjoy the NC mountains as campers at Warren Wilson College for Celtic Week!  Then in August, I’m very excited to be part of a tour of Michigan with Don Penzien and John Whelan.  John is an All-Ireland button accordionist who has recently moved to South Alabama!

More exciting projects are in the works!  Friend and teacher, Rob Alley, has been named a 2013-14 Alabama State Arts Council Music Fellow to produce “Modern arrangements for quintet + vocals of selections from Folksongs of Alabama,” and I get to be the featured vocalist!!   I really appreciate Rob including me in this project!!  Concerts will begin as soon as possible, but no later than January 2014.  I’ll keep you posted!!

Also Scooter Muse and I have started in earnest on a new CD.  No projected completion date yet, but I’ll keep you posted on that too!!

I hope the rest of your summer is filled with much fun and adventure, family and friends, and MUSIC!!