A lovely interview that I did back in February (via Zoom) has just been released on YouTube by CSB Television. We talk about some of my process and inspirations through the years, and through the pandemic... thank you so much to Casey Bell for asking such interesting questions, and for your support since the very beginning of my work! <3<3<3
Hahahaha did I mention how much I love playing on Twitch? Thanks to Artery for always bringing the squids at appropriate times! For now, I'm still singing live there every Wednesday at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 4pm... come hang with us and see what it's all about :)
It feels like such a relief that at last some vaccines are starting to roll out... in the meantime I hope that you're well and staying safe! If you're looking for fun things to do from home, my new livestreaming schedule is posted above so come hang out... I'd love to "see" you there :) For now I'm playing on Saturdays at 1pm EST on both YouTube and Facebook (at the same time) and three times a week on Twitch. You can watch and listen even if you're not logged in, although you do need to log in to comment, request songs etc. -- which is a big part of the fun! It's free to listen; tips always appreciated but never required :) I'm just getting started on Twitch but I think it's already my favorite -- they have so many super fun ways for performer and audience to interact. Whatever the platform, I hope maybe you'll stop by and say hi sometime soon!
I am wishing you comfort and joy, and I hope that you will be able to see Jupiter and Saturn shining tonight as the "Christmas Star" -- something that hasn't been seen for hundreds of years.
This year has been a lot... and I truly hope this finds you and yours safe and well. It's been quiet here for some time but I have been working on my streaming setup and am happy to say that I'll be returning to livestreaming very soon. It looks like we're going to be hunkering down for a while yet, and I hope to bring you a bit of fun this winter :) I've been doing a few test runs here and there so you may catch me out there any day now... I'll post days, times and locations soon, once I start playing a regular schedule.
putting my Facebook livestreams on pause for now <3 #theshowmustbepaused #theshowwillbepaused
Thanks to everyone who's been stopping by my Facebook music page livestreams <3 it's been so lovely to play for you all!
I've been doing these completely unplugged so far -- no mic, no amp, etc.The mandolin in this video is my favorite electric, though, and I like it the best even when it's unplugged. It's been super fun finally to be able to work out some kind of mandolin versions for more of my songs; none of them (so far) were written for the mando and a few of them definitely still have me stumped! But I'm persevering... and very much enjoying sharing that process with you.
In the midst of this distressing time, I have felt so happy to be able to bring a bit of comfort and fun to people. I'd been looking forward to playing some more "in person" concerts... but obviously, right now it's unclear as to when, if, or how we'll be able to return to playing in the same room with others. For now, I'm playing these short sets of originals (and a few covers) every Saturday at 1pm and every Wednesday at 6:30pm (EST) on my Facebook music page -- so stop on by and say hi, if you can :) If you can't make those times, most of the replays are still up for now. Stay safe and be well, everyone.
Due to these corona times, I'm going to start playing a few songs live online for anyone who is going stir crazy inside or who just wants to stop by and hang out. It's something that I've wanted to start doing anyway for a long time now... I just didn't have my setup together the way that I wanted yet, and well It seems like now is the time to get started regardless! I'll be livestreaming a short set of originals and covers on my Facebook music page, Saturdays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Nothing fancy, just me and the mando for now (and if you don't make it live, I usually leave the replays up for a while).
You don't need to be logged into Facebook to watch; here's the link: Lacy James Facebook Music Page
Starting today. Maybe you'll stop by and say hi :)
après-busking pic! by Ed Tristram
As you can imagine, it's pretty harrowing in NYC these days... heading into April this dreaded illness has already taken its toll on the NYC community in all too terrible ways... and it's only going to get worse for the next few weeks.
I haven't written a post in so very long, but I figured I would drop a line to say so far, so ok... I'm hunkered down for now.
Since my last post I had mostly been doing a lot of busking, but I've been getting ready to start playing more shows again. At the beginning of March I had the pleasure to join a rockin' bill at The Red Lion on Bleecker Street in the Village during the week-long N.Y.C. Women Rock festival -- it was great to see so many familiar faces :) Many thanks to Val Kinzler and VioLizzy for inviting me on board and for backing me up, along with fab drummer Wizard of ROZ! And thank you to Alan Rand for this great pic :) Got that one in just in time before lockdown... Take care, everyone, and stay safe. Sending much love and strength to wherever you are.
thanks to Alan Rand for the great pic!
Some of my most wonderful moments last year occurred during my first ever times busking. Right now it's January, and my fingers don't cooperate well when it's cold outside -- & it's not so great for the mandolin either. I've hardly been out to play since the fall and I am missing it, so I'll take the time now to tell you about some of my busking adventures...
Last May, I was feeling such a need to be out playing more and I finally started going to play in the park, as often as possible. I'd always felt some trepidation at the idea of busking -- my music isn't usually very loud (especially when I play solo); so far, I only know how to play a few covers (and not even that many of my own songs) on the mando; my original songs don't quite fall into a mainstream genre.... overall, I was just afraid that busy passersby would not connect with what I have to offer. But now, I just had to get out there somehow. And -- playing in the park turned out to be perfect for my music. I found a few magical spots under a couple of "secret" archways that add a bit of volume & reverb... I do love reverb :)
There have been so many amazing surprises while busking. I have learned more clearly that each day and each "audience" is different and unpredictable, and that you can't always tell at first whether or not people are into the music. They may not even look over when they pass by, but sometimes if you are brave enough to smile and keep playing and look at them, they will turn and smile (passersby can be shy, too). Other times, people give me big smiles right away, thumbs up, come over with coins, bills, or compliments, ask questions, take pictures, or just stop to talk... you just never know what to expect, and I find joy in all of these. Sometimes I get so emotional from people's responses (especially the children), or from the juxtapositions of the meanings of the songs with the people I'm seeing there, that I struggle not to cry and to keep singing... I am learning to allow these emotions, while continuing on in order to give what I have to give.
A few moments from this past year's busking that I will always treasure:
The tiny child, perhaps younger than two years old, who slowly walked up and stood 3 feet away from me, transfixed and staring up, while I played through three whole songs for him (and the parents who waited to allow this, and then thanked me emotionally afterwards).
The little boy and his mother who sat down on the ground to listen to a whole "set" of 5-6 songs... except for one of them, which got him up twirling and dancing :)
The young men who tossed in golden dollar coins (and the ones who tossed in paper dollars, too)!
The girls who danced their way through the tunnel to "Angel Bells".
The little boy who blew "dust" off the dollar that fell on the ground, before putting it safely into my busking box.
All of the passers by for whom I could feel that a particular song seemed to give something that they really needed, that day.
The young British man who stood leaning against the opposite arch with shades on, unsmiling, and watching, for a whole song... and then who came over and said it was wonderful and that he was going to put me into the book he was writing! I wonder if he will...
The Japanese woman who stopped and said that she plays mandolin also, and she plays in a mandolin orchestra in Japan... I felt shy to play for her but she seemed to enjoy it.. I hope!
Sometimes it's just me and the birds and trees... and I love those moments too.
Here's a little bit of "In the Garden" for you -- in my favorite spot :)
Even though I (so far) haven't been busking in very in-demand areas, I do walk out each time knowing that my spots might be taken, especially during summer weekends. On some days, I still have to make myself go out because I can still feel nervous and/or like I just don't have the energy. But often those days where I feel reluctant at first turn out to be the most wonderful days. It's a profound and magical experience, to feel how music touches people... and I feel so grateful to be able to give this. These moments bring me to the heart of why I'm even creating music... sharing beauty, truth, love... and I get back as much, or maybe more, than whatever I am able to give. Thank you <3 <3 <3
It's been two years now that I've had the great joy of working with three wonderful female musicians/singer-songwriters as the collective Moon Goddess band... bringing our superpowers together! We all still play our own "solo artist" gigs too, though we do sometimes appear in each others' bands :)
photo: Taylor Arbab
As Moon Goddess we perform songs by each of us (plus a few select covers), and I still feel amazed at how our musical styles and vocal harmonies somehow swirl into a cosmic magical mix. We are grateful for the awesome support that we've received from our audiences, and from our Lunar Dudes :) and many other shining stars who have sometimes joined us to add to the vibes. Although we've played quite a number of gigs by now, we don't yet have a lot of good video but here are a few clips... in which we are joined on harp and percussion by our occasional superstellar colleague, the amazing Greta "Gem Goddess" Tristram <3
These talented ladies can jump around from rock to country to bluegrass to world music to jazz & whatever else... open to it all and always with a spirit of fun, onstage or off. It's truly a blessing to work with and to know each of these beautiful, funny, wickedly talented, wise, and good-hearted women.
When we first played a few impromptu gigs, we weren't thinking of starting an ongoing band. But it quickly became clear to us that there was something special in putting us all together, and our audiences seem to love it too... so, we haven't stopped since!
photo: Alan Rand
All of the MGs are native New Yorkers except for me!
You can find out more about each of these accomplished artists and their wonderful music at the links below:
Moon Goddess doesn't have a website thus far but we do have a Facebook page where we post upcoming events. I hope that you'll have the opportunity to come hear us live and in person one day soon!