Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Back Home Tour, May 2018, VA, NC, & DC



Hello music-lovers!

Nearly half the year has run ahead of me before this first newsletter of 2018. But the touring season is coming along in a matter of three weeks, so here’s the scoop on the concerts ahead. If you want to read a bit more about what I’ve been doing this spring, then mosey on down to the end.
Back Home Tour, USA, May 2018. In May, I’ll be flying over to Washington DC for a five-stop mini-tour in Virginia, North Carolina, and DC. Everything begins on Cinco de Mayo (5 May) at Alex Roth & Peter Overby’s house in Falls Church, VA. Doors will open at 2pm, concert starts around 2:30, and tickets are $20. If you’d like to come along, you’d be welcome. Just write to Alex and Peter for their address at overroth2@gmail.com. This concert was SO much fun last year and their house is the PERFECT setting for my music. The following evening, on May 6th, my terrific Davidson College pals, Mary Clare Jalonick and Katie McKelvie, are hosting a concert upstairs at the Tenley Bar in the heart of Washinton DC. Tickets are $10, Doors open at 7, Concert starts at 7:30pm. Here’s a link to the show.

From DC, I will be zooming on down to Abingdon, Virginia, in the Southwest part of Virginia to join the super cool kids from the Junior Appalachian Musicians at the 4-H Center’s Ratliff Hall to celebrate their hard work this year learning traditional mountain music! After their recital, I will give a concert and then strum the ole guitar for the the cake walk! This is going to be a blast. Tuesday, May 8, Doors 6pm. 

After a little visit to my house in the Guitar-town, I will head over to Charlotte, North Carolina, to play a house concert at the home of my friend and fellow songwriter DeWitt Crosby and her husband. Tickets are $15 and you can email DeWitt for more information! dewitt.crosby@gmail.com ALL are Welcome. Thursday, May 17, doors open at 7pm. Music will start at 7:45. 

Then, I’ll finish up the singing part of the tour on Saturday, May 19, at the Appalachian Arts Center in Cedar Bluff playing for my hometown crowd! This place is gorgeous and full of treasures made by local artisans. At the time of the concert, the exhibit of Goodwin Family Textiles will still be on display! Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6:30, Concert starts at 7pm.

After that, I’ll be visiting with Mawmaw and getting ready for the umpteenth Smith-Joyce Reunion where I plan to set up a table and collect stories from my relatives. I’ll visit the family cabin and take walks with Rusty-the-dog.

And, don’t fret, my sturdy Englishman will be traveling with me to the USA, so those of you who met him last year, will get to say hello again!

This year, I have been writing songs, as always! You can hear one of my new songs and play along with me in this YouTube video on my new YouTube Channel.
Still from Video
I've also been taking dance and performance classes focusing on confidence, flexibility, strength, and agility. I’ve made a great bunch of girlfriends in London and I’m on my way to dance with them as I write to you!
Jeni Blowing a Kiss

This summer, I will be touring in the UK. I’ve already added most of the dates to my website, so I hope you will make plans to come along and sing with me!

In the fall, I will be heading back to the USA for two dates in the Los Angeles area – Fiddler’s Crossing in Tehachapi on Sept. 29th, and Pasadena Folk Music Society on October 6th. These concerts are both on Saturdays. I am afraid these are the only shows I will be playing out west this year because of my residency requirements in the UK, and I don’t know when I will make it out west next . . . so, perhaps you might fancy an excursion and make your way down from Davis, San Francisco, or the Central Coast for a long weekend? If not, I hope that music will bring us together in the future!
If you want to know more about any of the upcoming shows, visit my website or write to me at jeniannhankins@gmail.com. As always, if you'd like to host a concert or you'd like me to come to your school or library, write to me as well! 
Time to kick up my heels with my dancing gals!

I hope to see you soon!

Jeni
Thanks to the folks at Dreamer's Folk in Cornwall for hosting my first concert of 2018!
With fan in Cornwall 
@jenihankins on instagram and twitter

I Could Use a Kind Word

If you'd like to sing and play my new song with me, head over to my YouTube Channel.





Some snaps from this spring!

A backstage snap by Alex Barakova from a recent dance performance!



After the show at Dreamer's Folk in Cornwall! Thanks to them for hosting me at this incredibly warm and friendly club.




Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 Plans!


At Davidson College in November 2017.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I will be announcing my 2018 tour dates in mid-March just before my first concert of the year at one of my favorite folk clubs, Dreamer's Folk in Cornwall. 

This year, I'll be touring in England & Wales, and across the USA, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, California, Florida, and Alabama (and likely stops in between). If you are especially keen to host a concert or tell me about a venue in your area, I'd be glad to hear from you at jeniannhankins@gmail.com.

My tour will be smaller than in previous years because I am working on several book projects, a live CD, and new songs. These book projects require several weeks/months of uninterrupted reading and writing, as well field research. What are they? At least one is the novel set in my home of Southwest Virginia, "Middle Creek," which I began in 2015. You can read the first chapter here and you can also hear me read it by clicking the Soundcloud link. The other two projects are too fledgling to describe, but one involves sewing!

In order to see these writing/sewing projects through, I am planning about 25 concerts this year which is half of my normal schedule (a third compared to some years!), so please do be in touch if you want to be sure I don't miss your town.

See you out there on the road soon!

Big big smiles and joy from me to you,

Jeni

Sunday, December 3, 2017

All finished!


That's it. All finished. Thanks to all of you for a great tour in the USA. See you in the spring!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Florida, Alabama, and Davidson College! November tour!


Hello from Nashville!

That’s a new photo of me from a photo shoot at my great-grandfather, John Rufus Smith's, cabin. He built the cabin in the late 1800s and generations of Smiths lived there until the 1960s. Now, the cabin and the land around it is owned by the gas company who have sunk a gas well nearby. But the intrepid Smith can still get there with dresses in her backpack! Photo by Graham Frear.

It's been great to be in Nashville after more than a year away! At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed seeing all of my old things. I wrote an essay about that and you can read it on my blog at Little Yellow Sewing Box. But now, my journey ahead seems a bit clearer and I am brimming with ideas about the future! But, first, time for a tour! 

Tomorrow, I begin my journey by heading further south to Florida! First stop is Gainesville for a house concert on Saturday night, Nov. 4th, at the home of banjo aficionado Chuck Levy and his lovely wife, Sandy. If you’d like to come, just write to Chuck: levyce@aol.com. 

On, Sunday, Nov. 5th, I’ll make my way down to Lakeland for a 2pm concert at the Lakeland Public Library. I haven’t been there in several years and I remember when I played there last, a woman wrote a beautiful poem based on my singing! Who knows what will happen this time around. 

Then, I am heading down to the greater Tampa area for four concerts: 
Tues, Nov 7, Jan Kaminis Platt Library, Tampa, 7pm
Thurs, Nov 9, New Port Richey Library, New Port Richey, 6pm
Sun, Nov 12, Lake Echo House Concert, Odessa, 3:30pm
Thurs, Nov 16, Hugh Embry Library, Dade City, 1pm

 And before I head back to Nashville, I will be stopping in Huntsville, AL, for a benefit concert for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI supports thousands of families struggling with mental illness. They do vital work that saves lives and I am very honored to be playing for them. That concert will take place on Friday, Nov 17th, at United Church. Doors open at 6:30, concert at 7. Tickets are only $10.
concert poster
I am thrilled to say that the last concert of my tour here in the USA will be held at my alma mater, Davidson College! Please join Professor Randy Ingram and the students of English 240 for an hour-long performance on Thursday, Nov 30, followed by a Q&A at the Carolina Inn. Doors open at 6:30, and the concert will begin at 7pm. I will also be available on campus throughout the day, so, if you’d like to have a cup of tea or lunch, let me know! I will be meeting with students at the career center from 1pm to 3pm on the 30th. So, if you know any current Davidson students who would like to talk with me about a career in the arts, I would love to meet them!

You can always find details of my concerts on my tour page. And you can buys CDs at bandcampcdbaby, and iTunes!

Thank you to all of you who came out to the concerts in MD, PA, and VA! I had such a great time seeing old friends and making new ones. If I missed you, I’ll hope to see you in 2018! 

Happiness, peace, and kindness to you all,
Jeni


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Resting your heart


It’s been a tumultuous eighteen months for this folksinger. If I could try to say something helpful for anyone else out there coping with grief and change, I would say that not every decision has to be made today. Things might look very bad on one day. Maybe that day, you give yourself a treat, and decide not to decide. Maybe, you keep things as simple as you can on that day. And, if you feel like you are worthless or that you have no place in the world, just put that thought on the shelf. It will jump up and down on your shoulder insisting to be heard, but just pick it up and put it on the shelf with your coffee mugs or your curios. And turn your back on that ugly thought. Get yourself a good book or a crossword puzzle or a bit of sewing or some pieces of wood with hammer and nails and give your brain a rest. And then your heart will get a rest, too. 

And the next day, maybe that ugly thought will have walked off due to boredom and inattention. If it’s still there, maybe it will taunt you, but just stick your tongue out at it or close the cupboard door on it. Be really kind to yourself instead. You don’t have to do anything big. Maybe you buy a new book or you let yourself try to draw a tree or you go to the movies. Just don’t push too hard or criticize yourself too much. Give yourself time.

I say this like it’s easy, like I am a pro at this. I’m not. Sometimes, I listen to that ugly thought about my worthlessness and end up in tears and the whole day gets drowned. But, that happens less and less the more I see it coming, the more I can gather up the strength to be easy, to be calm, and to rest my mind.

I only offer this up as a prayer and a wish for you and for us all. It’s not official advice or a substitution for talking with a professional whether that be a rabbi or a counselor or a doctor. I am thankful for the time that I’ve been able to talk with a counselor.  

I just want to let you know that I appreciate your encouragement and I send you strength, too.

LOVE, Jeni