Hail Mary

I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary for several months now and woke up compelled to write about her this Mother’s Day morning. Not growing up Catholic, my relationship with her is distant and my impressions vague. Even so, she…

Petals On the Wind

Sun sparkled on the water as I surveyed king tide waves at Bodega Head on my fiftieth birthday. I asked Higher Power what I should focus on this mile-marker of a year. A delightful series of images and ideas rolled…

Silver Bridges

I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to write about something else, to distance myself from a profession with which I’m locked in a terminal love-hate relationship. Surely, as I boldy devoted precious morning energy hours toward the creative…

Climbing the Ninth Step

Twelve step programs ask participants in step nine to “Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Though often misunderstood, this step offers a spiritual practice of facing…

Introverted Victory

I’ve been struggling to shift a clunky percentage in my classroom for years. How is it that I’ve spent 80% of my energy on students who are the least capable of engaging and using the instruction and attention I offer…

Poem in Your Pocket

April 30th marks the end of National Poetry Month and the culminating game of "Poem in Your Pocket". Here's what the Academy of American Poets(poetry.org) website suggests:

  • Select a poem and share it on social media using the…

52 Card Pickup

What a week. On the phone yesterday, a friend compared the struggle to create a new normal during this pandemic to a game of fifty-two card pickup. It certainly feels like playing without a full deck.

The last post showed…

Easy Does It

Today marks our first attempt at a homeschool/work schedule since "Spring Break" officially ended. Last week, when we weren't paralyzed with fear, or blowing short fuses with each other, we enjoyed empty beach trips, long neighborhood walks, baking, cooking, movies…

Little Words

Karen Joy Brown

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Little Words, the new full-length project from Chico’s Karen Joy Brown, is a satisfying collection that aptly displays the artist’s wide-ranging acoustic palette via voice, strumming guitar and songwriting. Starting off with a crisp and irresistible title track, followed by the equally infectious, mid-tempo “Made for TV,” the aural experience

Little Words, the new full-length project from Chico’s Karen Joy Brown, is a satisfying collection that aptly displays the artist’s wide-ranging acoustic palette via voice, strumming guitar and songwriting. Starting off with a crisp and irresistible title track, followed by the equally infectious, mid-tempo “Made for TV,” the aural experience widens as Brown’s voice, a throaty, sultry mix of pop, jazz and soul, harks back to such contemporary jazz vocalists as Linda Tillery and Cassandra Wilson. Elsewhere, the quick, scatty-jazz essence of “De Rien” is followed nicely by “I Know What Heaven Is,” an insightful ballad of perseverance that offers, “It’s the sand that makes the pearls.” Brown’s backing band, the Bona Fides (Chris Wenger on electric guitar and the CN&R’s Christine LaPado adding some fine upright bass passages) enhances the album along with David Silva, who contributes nimble acoustic lead licks plus a song of his own, “Deep Blue.” Brown is back in Chico after a stint in Spain, passionate, reflective and refueled, offering musical messages reflecting life’s lessons she’s learned so far. “Show that small town that you ain’t done yet,” she offers in the encouraging “Daisy,” closing the album with a tender, gospel-tinged “Scarlet Silence,” with its message to “stop and savor every echo in our mind.”

-Alan Sheckter, Chico News&Review, June 24th, 2010.

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Fabulous Junkyard

Karen Joy Brown

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Fabulous Junkyard .... is an inspired and inspiring collection of eight sometimes poignant, sometimes lighthearted, original songs, and a lovely, reworked cover of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby." Brown's singing voice is singularly heartfelt and soulful, delivering her original lyrics with moving emotional honesty.

Christine La Pado- Chico News&

Fabulous Junkyard .... is an inspired and inspiring collection of eight sometimes poignant, sometimes lighthearted, original songs, and a lovely, reworked cover of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby." Brown's singing voice is singularly heartfelt and soulful, delivering her original lyrics with moving emotional honesty.

Christine La Pado- Chico News& Review

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