BACKSTAGE CHICAGO MADISON FARGO RADIO
EVAN MURDOCK SCHOOL BUS TOWING S.U.V. RED BARNS EVERYWHERE
BARN RADIO TIME FOR A NEW WINDSHIELD
THE MILL REAL.IOWA.WHISKEY BEAUTIFUL IOWA
NEW FRIENDS, THANKS FOR THE HIKE! IOWA MORE BARNS
BACON COVERED DOUGHNUTS IN CO. BROKEN HUMIDIFIER=TRAGEDY DRIVING
ICY IDAHO SAFE IN IDAHO BOISE
FROM BOISE TO PDX ------ READY FOR SUMMER TOUR PDX CELEBRATION
IN LINE FOR THE FERRY. H O M E . WASHINGTON.
THANKS SO MUCH TO EVERYONE FOR ANOTHER GREAT TOUR WITH SO MANY WONDERFUL MEMORIES. CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT ONE!
-fall tour-VASHON, WA PORTLAND GRAPES REDWOODS
WA, OR, CA, AZ, NM, TX, MO, OH, IL,MI
OREGON COAST PUMPKIN RADIO
I STEPPED ON DOG POOP THERE BEACH CALIFORNIA
COW ON HILL SAN FRAN-HOTEL UTAH THE GREEN ROOM
PRESCOTT MULTIPLE USES FOR WHISKEY DAVE & SALVADOR DURAN
ARIZONA CREEK WISH HE'D FIT DAVE'S FIRST POMEGRANATE
REHEARSAL AZ SUN NEW MEXICO
FALL TAOS FRIENDLY TEXAN GAS PRICES
VOTE BILLBOARDS IN TEXAS
HOMEMADE RAVS RETRO STOVE VIETNAMESE SOUP IN COLUMBIA, MO
MISSISSIPPI RIVER BACKSTAGE WARM-UPS
CHICAGO WILLY PORTER ANN ARBOR
PRE-SHOW STEADY HAND ARTISTS BEWARE WILLY & CARMEN DUO
THE GANG READY OR NOT SPRING LAKE, MI
BACKSTAGE ANN ARBOR ON STAGE KANSAS SEVEN STEPS UP
Dave & Mandy performing @ Sisters Folk Festival!
THANKS to all of the amazing people that made last weekend's Sisters Folk Festival such a wonderful experience!
Thanks to Matt Miner for the pic!
May 6, 2012
I started writing this blog about a month ago, and decided this afternoon as we were cruising the interstate up to northern Michigan (aka "the mitten") that I should probably finish it…so here goes:
I have a strange adoration for this sweet little Motel 6 in Billings, Montana.
It's one of those remodeled versions with the retro feel.... the "bamboo" floor, the funky colored walls, and the cool towel holders that look like they are straight out of the Jetson's. Something about motels in the beginning of tour that sing sweet freedom to my ears. It's like I'm in the "honeymoon phase" of tour, (we are only on day 4 of a 2 month tour) where everything is fun and exciting and even the stinky motels are charming to me.
Today Dave and I had the great pleasure of spending some time in one of my favorite cities ever: Missoula, Montana. While we were there, we got some important logistical things taken care of....
1. Got the oil changed in the car
2. Made a post office run and sent off some CDs in the mail (I know, snail mail, people still do that?!?!)
3. Stocked up on some eats for the road at Missoula's fantastic "Good Food Store".
We picked up a few of the basics, Luna bars, mineolas, herbed popcorn, and we believe it or not also planned ahead (which we rarely do) and bought some of those Thai Kitchen instant microwaveable soups so we could have some hot food for dinner when we arrived in Billings, MT that evening. NOTHING worse than pulling off the interstate and finding a motel, paying for the motel, and then realizing that there is nowhere and nothing to eat within the next 25 miles of your Motel 6 besides a KFC/Taco Bell.
The honeymoon phase of tour is full of optimistic enthusiasm and sheer jubilance for anything that reminds us that we are on the road again…like the sound of Karen’s voice (our GPS), or the smell of the motel soap, or the stale texture of the cheap motel towels… Your mind is oh-so-fresh at this stage in the game, and you are able to make smart decisions like planning ahead in the morning for dinner that night -----in order to avoid being faced with the doom of the KFCs and Taco Bells that litter the interstates like dead armadillos in Missouri.*
Now as I write this, the honeymoon phase of tour is over; we are more into the “realistic phase”.
We are one month into our, the car smells like banana peels and is covered in crumbs.
Karen’s voice still sounds like a sweet melody every time she tells us
where to turn and how long it will be until we make it to our “home” of the night,
but the motel towels aren’t doing it for me anymore, I’m going to be honest with you.
The motel we stayed in last night however had some soap that was “infused with grapefruit” and that was kind of special.
There is still that sense of jubilance for Dave and I every time we hit the stage, but I think that the overall excitement for driving for 10 hours is a little bit subdued and becomes more habitual than unusual after you’ve done it for over a month. Occasionally Dave and I have moments when we realize that we are 2,500 miles away from home and that we won’t be home for another month; the cool part about these moments is that the road starts to feel like home after a while, and that these habitual traveling routines and the sound of the spinning tires on the road start to become as/more comforting than your own bed, or your own soft towel waiting to warm you up after a cold shower.
So far, we have played in Seattle, WA/Portland, OR/Bemidji, MN/Duluth, MN/St. Paul, MN/Eau Claire, WI/Sherman, TX/Dallas, TX/Columbia, MO/ and Ann Arbor, MI. We’ve played in pubs, coffee shops, theatres, college campuses, and we are currently traveling at 70 mph en route to play at a brewery that boasts some of the best, handcrafted beer in northern Michigan. Life could be worse, right? :)
With 11 shows to go, we have just passed the halfway mark on our tour, and we have spent some time with some truly amazing people along the way. That’s really what keeps us going, this amazing force of the innate goodness of all of human spirits that we encounter along the way. We’ve seen some new faces and some old friends from long ago, all who have regenerated our spirits, provided showers and washing machines so we can wash the crumbs off of our faces and our sweaters, and most importantly provided love and support so we can keep on pushing down this insane road that is the life of a traveling musician. ….
I am constantly amazed by how amazingly kind and wonderful so many of the people are that we meet along the road.
To all of you who have opened your hearts and opened your doors to us so far, THANK you. Not only do you make this whole music thing possible, but also you no doubt are making the world a better place. I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures these next shows will bring. Hope to see some of you along the way. Until then, rest well, enjoy your soft towels for us, and we will keep you posted on what the next motel’s soap bar smells like.
*When we passed through Missouri last week there were an insane amount of dead armadillos alongside the interstate
Dave and I were very excited to wake up this morning and see that our album is listed as 'New & Noteworthy' on iTunes.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our album's success thus far!
I hate when I make promises that I don’t follow through with. About a month ago (or more…but who’s counting?) I promised that you and I would start this fun interactive blog thing, and then I got busy with promoting this new album that Dave and I are releasing (IN TWO WEEKS, AHHHH) and trying to soak up my final lovely days here in this beautiful town of Flagstaff, Arizona. But now, I will do my best, to deliver answers to some of your awesome blog proposals. Today, it felt very appropriate to respond to this inquiry from our friend Bill:
“I always wonder if you are inspired to write a new song by something that happens/happened during the tour. In general, where do you get your inspirations for songs? Is it a meal? a comment someone makes? a moment that captures your mind? And, how do you generate a new melody, new music for a new piece, as opposed to simply falling into a rut and writing the same thing over and over? The whole process of writing songs is fascinating to me.”
Well, Bill, I agree that the songwriting process is indeed a fascinating one. A general answer to you would be that for me, my songwriting has no rhyme or reason to it, no formula that makes sense inside my own head, and in that same vein, there are some days where songwriting feels like my worst enemy. Today was one of those days.
There are a few things that I like to “set up” before attempting to create---the house needs to be clean (dishes especially). I read this awesome Billy Collins poem once that said something along the lines of “clean your house top to bottom before you EVER try to write, because if it’s dirty, your mind will not be clear”. I totally agree with that. Also, I need to have done some sort of physical activity and/or spent some time outside in order to have a clear head, and most of the time, I prefer to have been well-fed prior to a writing session.
Well, today, everything seemed in its right place when I sat down to write; I had a nice, balanced breakfast with some delicious peppermint tea, then went to yoga and got my physical activity covered for the day. Came home, ready to conquer my sweet little journal, and this time the journal conquered me. Should I write a love song? Should I write a song about moving? Something relevant to me/something totally irrelevant to me? Maybe it should be in an alternate tuning on my guitar. So I rapidly change the tuning on my guitar in every which way possible, and go back and forth from standard tuning to alternate tunings for the next 40 minutes or so, stumbling on some cool ideas here or there, but none enough to keep me intrigued for more than three minutes. Usually once I start doing that, it’s all-downhill from there. Instantly I’m acting like a three-year-old who doesn’t want to eat her vegetables on her plate; kicking, screaming, whimpering “I don’t wanna!! I don’t wanna!!” But just like the veggies for the little girl, this process in the end of it all is good for me. It’s all part of growth.
When the writing is good, it feels like sailing on top of a pristine lake. Like a hot knife through butter… the really good butter, not that cheap margarine crap. It transforms into a moment where the guitar, the pencil, the paper, and my voice are all one entity working together to create this one simple thing; a song. The inspiration can come from something as simple as a conversation with a friend about tomatoes, or a visual memory of a desolate canyon--- for me I most often find my “voice” writing about things in nature and their relationship to us…sometimes politics, love, and religion sneak in there, so the contents of these little songs can indeed get a bit heavy at times. Every single song that I have written has been written in a different way though, so it’s hard to explain or create some type of formula to express how it all comes down. Sometimes it’s the music first, and then the lyrics, or vice versa. Sometimes the song completely unfolds in an hour after writing one line of lyrics, but sometimes it can be a month or hell, even a year for a song to feel totally complete.
There’s a lot of trust involved in songwriting. Trust in yourself, and trust in your own voice. When I go to that dark place where I am unsatisfied with my lyrics or my guitar playing, the trust is gone, and the kicking and screaming persists, and that’s when I know I need to run far, far away.
And how do you avoid falling into a rut and writing the same thing over and over? That is a very good question. I think it is vitally important to stay true to one’s “voice” while songwriting; so within that idea, there may be common themes lyrically or musically that come through while attempting to create new songs. However, I think the way to avoid oneself from getting into a rut is to constantly be progressing/evolving in your daily life—learning new things, embracing new experiences, traveling to new places (a.k.a. touring), exchanging conversation with friends and strangers, etc. I say this all with such confidence where it may sound like I know all the tricks of the trade to songwriting, but I am still learning more about it every day. I’m at the very beginning of my career, and I have a lot to learn.
In the end of it all, songwriting is one of the most redeeming things I have ever experienced in my existence thus far on this blue and green rotating ball. It continues to fascinate me, frustrate me, and charm me all at the same time. I think that the day that songwriting becomes easy/boring to me will be the day that I throw in the towel on this whole music thing, and apply for a “real” job. And mark my word; if I have anything to do with it, I’ll make sure that that never happens.
Although that statement may be a whole separate blog in itself.
Sometimes in life we experience moments when we just wish we could turn back the clock; instantly we feel this sense of remorse for what’s to come, and there’s nothing we can do, but scream, kick, cry and scream a little more. Like falling off of your bike for the first time (that split second where you are mid-air and realize that you are about to eat sh*t)… in that split second, it seems like you can see the whole world very clearly, and then everything explodes into chaos simultaneously after that moment.
Today I had one of those moments.
It was a frigid Flagstaff afternoon, and Dave was (finally) about to create a blog and upload some pictures from our west coast tour onto our websites, when I thought it was a good idea to offer him a glass of water. It’s all a blur after that.
The glass slipped out of my hands.
It tilted over onto the computer.
For that one split second, I indeed saw the whole world very clearly, and realized that I couldn’t fight gravity.
And it all poured down.
Right now, my sad & sopping computer is sealed away in a box in the loft of my apartment, covered in rice. After crazily searching the internet and browsing “HELP! I just spilled water on my Macbook” forums, and after a few helpful responses from friends on Facebook, I discovered that electronics respond well to the application of rice, yes, rice when they are spilled on..something about drying them out faster by reducing the humidity levels. This means that I have to sleep without a humidifier for the next three nights, which I probably haven't done in Arizona in the last 12 months. So here I sit, fingers crossed, (it’s very hard to type with crossed fingers, by the way) hoping that come Wednesday night when I open that baby up again and plug in the battery, that all is well, and we can pretend that I didn’t mistake my computer for a plant this afternoon.
Trust me, I know that life could be worse for Dave and I.
Three weeks ago we were sharing the stage with the amazing and legendary Willy Porter, and now I’m bitching about a tiny bit of water spilled onto a silly little (life controlling) electronic machine. So I’ll close my eyes and reflect on some of the wonderful memories from this last tour with y’all to try and keep my mind off of this electronic tragedy.
Wait a minute!
There are too many fantastic memories racing through my head right now, and I can’t decide what to share with you. Lots of people ask Dave and I when we get back from tour, “How was tour? Tell me everything!!”-and there’s usually A LOT to talk about. And unfortunately, often times our creativity does not extend too far beyond our songwriting and performing (sometimes leaving us wondering what we should blog about) so we would like to know what YOU are interested in hearing about in our blogs.
..We’ve decided to open the floor to your ideas and if there’s something that you want to know more about, we'd welcome your thoughts, questions, and inspiration. It's almost 2012 and we suck at using Twitter. Our last tweet was a year ago this week and that was probably one of three we've ever done. We're not scared of social networking, but blogging somehow slips through the cracks. We hereby introduce our latest good idea. Help us, por favor.
INTERACTIVE BLOG INSTRUCTIONS*Some examples could be; “Write a blog about your show in Seattle.” or “Write a blog about what you and Dave ate while on tour." or "Why on earth would you move to the pacific northwest when you have such fantastic weather in Arizona?" you get the point, right??*
1)Choose something specific from the tour (or whatever) that you want to hear about.
2)Click on the “Add Comment” button below or better yet, write a post on facebook with your blog idea. Hell, even send us an email.
3)Dave and I will look over all of the responses and choose our favorite/most relevant idea and then write a blog based off of that idea.
Ok, so we’re excited to see how this goes (this is an experiment and we hope that you all participate cuz this could be really cool, and if it goes well, we could maybe even muster the gumption (great word isn't it?) to do one blog a week in response to your comments.) Looking forward to hearing some of your creative and wonderful ideas, and stay tuned to hear if, come Thursday morning, my computer is functioning or turning into a house plant!
Cheers and tata for now,
Moonrise in Santa Cruz Pre-show glee Crepe Place, Santa Cruz, CA
Backstage @ Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA Setlist on a napkin (classy, we know) Bathroom art @ Sam Bond's Garage
Eugenian sunshine in November New Day Bakery breakfast is the best!
Man, it really feels like I’m a kid again, and it’s Christmas Eve or something. We have all of our bags packed, (they are sitting patiently by the door) and I am bouncing off of the walls and falling into things like it’s my job. For the last 8 hours or so, Dave and I have been packing, reorganizing, reprinting, refinishing, cleaning, etc.
But right now, my friends, it’s a very, very familiar feeling…that restless, wonderful, magical, tiring feeling, just like I am six years old again and it’s the night before Christmas.
I think I’m a little disheveled, I’m not gonna lie to you folks, but it’s not something a little bourbon and ginger ale can’t take care of! ☺
Dave is changing his strings on his beautiful Taylor guitar, and when he pulled it out of his case, I’m not going to lie to you (as I already stated) he sweetly whispered, “I love you” into its sound hole.
We are like kids in a candy store….ready, itching, so thrilled, can’t wait to hit this road hard tomorrow, and hopefully the Flagstaff snow won’t hold us back.
Tata for now, but much more to come from these two giddy musicians, thanks for reading and stay tuned, cuz I’m feeling like this tour’s going to be well documented…
Linguine, fettuccine, Ferrarini...these lovely Italian tongue-twisters are all difficult words to pronounce, spell, and remember. The last of the three, Ferrarini, is especially troublesome because unfortunately, my last name is not something that you have been eating at Italian restaurants and throwing across the table at your big brother since the sweet age of three. For this very reason, I have seen many beads of sweat form on show-promoter’s foreheads as they get ready to announce Dave McGraw & I to an eager audience of new listeners.
“Is it pronunced Fur-ree-ni or Fur-rah-reee-nuh? Am I saying that right?” the promoter will ask, unsure of his r-rolling skills. I reply as gently as possible,
“Yea, don’t worry, you can just say Mandy if you want... it’s Fair-rah-ree-ni, but no sweat, man.” He stares wide-eyed at my lips, while frantically attempting to scribble down the correct phonetics for my crazy last name.
“No, no, it’s ok, I think I’ve got it,” he’ll say, wiping the sweat off of his forehead. “So it’s, Free-nee, right?”
Oh, to hell with it.
I write to you all now on this beautiful fall, morning in Flagstaff, with news of a change that I am very excited to deliver to all of your email inboxes across this fine country. This fall, I will be changing my stage name from Mandy Ferrarini to Mandy Fer (pronounced “fair”). After many laborious hours of research and hard thinking, I discovered that Fer is one of the original spelling variations of Ferrarini, (and WAY easier to spell and pronounce). Not only is this staying true to the origin of my family history, but through other research I discovered that Fer is a wine grape used in southwest France, whose vines are extremely challenging to prune, and is named in reference to that challenge as the French word for Iron. Pretty cool, huh?
So, through all of this, I have joyfully decided to make this change before my debut duo album release with Dave McGraw, Seed of a Pine, which is set to be released in Jan. 2012. For all of you avid mandyferrarini.com folks, my website will be switching over in the next couple of weeks from www.mandyferrarini.com to www.mandyfer.com. (For the next couple of weeks however, you can continue to visit www.mandyferrarini.com, and when it switches over to the new address, it will instantly re-route you to from the old address to mandyfer.com, so do not fret!)
July 17, 2012
Jones Island, WA
(special thanks to Jennie & Aaron for the tasty juice!)
Feb. 28th, 2012