Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Big News- Bottoms Up!
Good news abounds. For one thing, Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest Of Us continues to slowly roll uphill- oh yes, it's uphill nowadays in the music biz. But interest in the project is growing, and I'm at once humbled, proud, and penniless.
Thursday September 13, 2012, at 6pm, a few of my illustrious compadres and I will attempt to perform "Mercyland" at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville. You know the place- a conventional looking shell, housing what seems to be the entire set of Cleopatra's palace from back when Liz Taylor was riding high. Anyway, the Wood Brothers, Kacey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, the McCrary Sisters, and one or two more (if I play my cards right) will all be joining the original Mercyland cast- Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, Shawn Mullins, The North Mississippi Allstars, Amy Stroup, and me and whoever else surfaces in the next 8 days, for an early evening show. I'm excited, y'all!
I'm about to launch a new Kickstarter campaign for a 2012 solo PM record, which is a little scary. I don't anticipate anything major to come from the effort, but it's just time, like it was time to do a painting a few weeks ago, and it was time to load the dishwasher this evening. Some things just have to get done. The songs have been written with Merrill Farnsworth, Cindy Morgan, Gordon Kennedy, and perhaps one I co-wrote with the wonderful Amy Grant. You just never know. But it's rootsy and positive and confessional, all at once.
Still with me? Well, if you are, chances are you've been with me on this blog journey for the last few years. I've gone from frequent blogger to infrequent... Something happened that I didn't feel like sharing in this forum, but I will now.
My friend Ian Cron and I were having coffee one day. I was going about my usual business inspiring him, knowing he'd completely misquote me but enjoying him just the same, when he offered me the phone number of a literary agent. I found some excuse to get going, and left my Venti Iced Coffee No Sweetner No Room sitting there at the Five Points Starby's, such was my excitement. (And by the way, I am NOT the former Christian musician songwriter he keeps talking about- I think he's referring to Stephen Colbert).
Anyway, I got to my car, and dialed the number. A voice answered, "This is Kathy". Now was my chance. I went for it:
"Hey Kathy, this is Phil Madeira. Ian Cron gave me your number, thinking you might want to read my writings."
Kathy answered tentatively, "Well, I'm not looking for new clients. In fact, I'm thinning out my client list at the moment and am too busy to take on anyone new".
I knew this tone. I knew this voice. Hell, I'd been on the other end of the call I was making, usually with someone wanting to pitch me a song her mother had written. I knew the sound of someone wishing they hadn't picked up the phone.
Kathy went on. "I'm not interested in picking up any new clients".
"Yes", I said smiling, "I can hear that in your tone".
"Ok. What's your book about?"
Well, now I knew she was just being nice. I could hear the resignation in her voice. Why waste each other's time? I thought. I defaulted to my WTF tone and said, "Well, Kathy, it's about trying to hang onto Jesus while simultaneously losing all the shit of religion".
There, I'd let her off the hook.
"I'd really like to read that", she replied.
A year later, I'm on the verge of signing a book deal. I can't believe it, and for the moment, this is all I'm going to say about it. But you, dear readers, have been encouragers along the way of me discovering that I can do this. I'll probably pull down most of these blog entries at some point; I've edited them a bit, and hopefully made them equally raw and redemptive. I swear there's no altar call in the book, and my new publisher assures me that my discretionary use of 4 letter words will stay in tact.
So, kudos and heaps of gratitude to Ian Cron for inspiring something of grand or possibly grandiose proportions. Drinks are on me, Ian. (Wait, how much is a grande latte?)
I'll spring the title on you in a few days, and then I suppose this blog will turn into less of an experiment and into more of a forum about what I'm doing in the arts and where the book is taking me.
I'm overwhelmed, y'all. Thanks.
All good things...