“Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself.”
John O’donohue Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
The best advice I ever received about live performance is this: play for six people like you would for six thousand. Play from the heart. Always. Because you never know who is watching. On an average night at a average rent dive in Arizona, a Grand Canyon moment happened. Faye and I connected with two strangers, who as of yesterday, changed everything for my music and have given me the opportunity to make the record I have been dreaming up since the first time I heard Faye’s fiddle with my songs (a magical moment when I started to care about my music again). The space was intimate enough to be heard, but we had no idea angels were in the audience listening.
And so here I am, writing you to share the amazing news: thanks to the angels in the audience, we have a successfully funded the Kickstarter Project! Thank you to all the beautiful people who stayed with me and continued to believe in my art. Thank you to the angels who were once strangers. My life is unimaginable without you.
We did it, y’all!! I’m going to the farmhouse in Floyd, VA and I’m shipping in a crew of talented musicians to make the first Emily Kate Boyd record since 2008, “Paint My Heart White”. As many of you already know, I am calling the record “Billie in the Woods” and have officially retired the name as a band name. I’m retiring the solo moniker and returning to show billings as Emily Kate Boyd, singer-songwriter.
The future is unknown, but at least I finally figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life: to make better art. And the record “Billie in the Woods” will be just that. I wouldn’t be here without the six in the audience and the sixty who backed my project. Your love is my life.
Keeping the faith and keeping you on my mind and in my heart,
Of all the possible outcomes
Still left asleep in my soul,
I wasn’t thinking of you,
I wasn’t looking for love.
(excerpt from “Where Ya Gonna Take Me Now?”, to be recorded on “Billie in the Woods”)
On Monday, March 10th, I am teaming up with KickStarter.com to launch what is my most ambitious music project ever: a full-length record called “Billie in the Woods”, to be recorded in the forests of my beloved Southeastern United States. I intend for the record to have an old-time feel, stripped of any digital textures, bells and whistles. I intend to take you into the woods with me and witness the portrait of a love born within the last two years of my life. It is an inner love that belongs in whispering willows and raging rivers, the friendship of bluegrass musicians and a new family of fire dancers.
Click HERE to see the KickStarter Page.
About “Billie in the Woods”:
This particular record started when I met my banjo “Julia” in December 2012. I was heart-broken when she found me. I was lost in a cloud of smoke and mirrors, scrambling for higher purpose, confused about my next move in life and music. Instead of investing in therapy or anti-depressants (which arguably would have been a more intelligent choice at the time), I played my new banjo, read a lot of John O’Donohue and wrote prayers for healing (“O Sweet River”), lamentations for adventure (“Sleeping Beauty”), musings on impermanence (“Dust and Delirium”) and a love song about love songs (“Where ya gonna take me now?”), to name a few.
It has taken me over a year to prepare this Kickstarter Project. The video footage you will watch on the Kickstarter video (prepared so masterfully by Jody Schiesser) is almost that old, and truthfully it is very hard for me to watch. Although I am smiling and running rampant around Chattanooga with Faye, I remember that being the first days of my recovery from depression. Less than a month earlier, I had a breakdown that butchered my hair (Britney Spears style), landed me in a homeless shelter in New Orleans, clueless as to who I was as an artist (“call me “Billie”, Emily has checked out”), depressed out of my mind and literally out of mind. Worse, I was in complete denial of it all, or rather in avoidance of it all. I stayed high and held out for the bottom of the barrel to break me. And it did. But because I am one blessed lady and I have an amazing family and friends (Faye, Helme, Mom, Aunt Susan, Tess, Amy, Emerald among the most influential), I was able to recover quickly from that lomo de burro and assimilate back into normal society of work and creative expression in my hometown Chattanooga, TN.
In my darkest hours, I was barely suicidal. I’m certain because I had the will to play music, I had the will to live. And so I did. It was a gig at Steve’s Live Music that pulled me out of New Orleans before I fell any deeper. Honoring my word to Steve was more important to me than wallowing in the muck of my own pale winter. Thanks for the long hug and the shoulder to cry on back stage, Steve. You have no idea how much that meant to me.
And now, my life is extraordinary. It is so, not because I have more money and better mental health; but because I can finally see it as it is, as I truly am–the life of a damn talented songwriter who has only just begun to know herself and write her best work. A light switch got flipped on and I get it: I am enough. My songs move people. My songs are good enough. I may be grossly naive in thinking this, but I somehow think this record will heal people when they listen to it, because in these love songs and river prayers is my personal healing and the healing of those who inspired it.
Reality check: I need you to make this record. I need all my friends on Facebook, listeners on SoundCloud; I need my distant, estranged relatives; I need my new friends in Chattanooga and Argentina to help me make this record a reality. I need your love to make this record.
Making this record is the only way I know how to honor you and wake in you what may still yet be asleep in your soul. Making this record is the only way I know how to thank all the people who pulled me out of the dark and filled my heart with light, love and belonging.
So here we are. This is by no means the beginning of this project. This is Act III, Scene I.
Wanna see the video? Click HERE. I would LOVE your feedback on rewards and more.
Thank you! If you are reading this, you somehow care about my art and I am honored to share this spinning mud ball with you. I love you!
Thank you. In one year, more than 230,900 eyes graced the thread of Billie in the Woods’ music. Every time I publish, I am grateful for the permission to share my songs, my stories and my life with you. Amazingly and for mysterious reasons I long to understand, you give your precious moments, your shelter and homes, your coffee and mate’, your bit coin and currency, your laughter and tears, your love and belonging, your forgiveness and light to my music.
Faye and I have been on the road from Salt Lake to Salta and many miles have delivered us to your hearts. We are able to live the way we do (gypsies on the road, feathers in the wind) because of your giving, not just to our music, but to our lives.
My best friend, fiddle player and road warrior companion has a new album available for pre-order. Please join me and give to Faye’s music. Give to the artists that enrich our lives, fuel our passion and inspire us to dance, dream and love.
Remember that night on the front porch, in the living room, in the bookstore or at the theater and especially in the woods when Faye and her fiddle (“L’Flame”) drew out your heart & moved you to mercy. I do.
Remember with me and give everything you have to what you believe in.
Click here to give and pre-order “GypsyFiddle”, an album that I was blessed to sing on and share everyday.
The band is in Utah. I’m in this moment sharing a warm fire with my dear friend, artist and tribe brother, Timmi Cruz reflecting on our days in music and in life. Faye and I have been playing music all week for our friends who gather around Sundance Film Festival, including a spot on Park City TV. Today is the last day of mine and Faye’s journey here as Billie in the Woods. We’re on a midnight train to another world in a matter of hours.
Wow. I’m am so present to the smiling faces that brought this tour to Utah. I love you so much! I will have new music for the family tribe soon. And like last year in Utah, Faye and I were both inspired to finish more songs while we were here, so the train keeps movin’ along in sweet inspiration. And we sleep warm and safe, eat amazing food and laugh joyfully together because of our tribe’s support.
Thank you!!! I am so grateful.
:::Special Offer::: You can preorder the ep at a super fan discount that runs until Jan 22 Wednesday.
Random words of wisdom:
"Eat more strawberries", Timmi Cruz
"Pirates are unruly. They will never do what you tell them to. You have to inspire them. And then they’ll do anything!" Timmi Cruz
This evening I started a spreadsheet to change my life. I created it to help me understand who the people are that make up Billie in the Woods first 100 true fans (inspired by the article above - click the image to read). I’m doing this for two reasons: I want to do something really special for my most engaged fans this year (including make them the record I’ve been dreaming up for over a year!!!) AND I want to love them better by learning more about them, learning more about us together. What I hope this exercise gives me is a clear understanding of the people who are most invested in my music, not just in terms of financial investment, but heart investment.
I’ve had such incredible support since this project began. Incredible. I’m overwhelmed by the love. In the 100 True spreadsheet I created a column for “Love Received” and it surprised me that next to many of the names on the list I was able to write the word “HOME”. Meaning, this amazing person gave me a home, a bed, a meal, a place to belong.
So, I would like to add to Kevin Kelly’s blog (linked above. you should read it). Please add: A true fan is willing to open up their home to you and change your life, give you shelter and make you feel at home in their world.
Thank you Carolyn Woods and Annalee in San Diego, CA for inspiring me to see this. You have my attention and my gratitude.