June, July, August Tour and Release Updates
I had a wild past two months - here is a quick recap of some highlight adventures.
Be sure to check out my new collaboration with Leesta Vall at the end of this post!
I kicked off June with two sold out shows at The Jersey Shore with The Gary Douglas Band and The Mavericks at The Stone Pony. I loved getting to know the Mavericks, admiring their gear and dancing in their buss late night after the show. Raul makes excellent playlists!
After the fun weekend I was sad to drive the van back to NYC on Monday morning all alone. Even though we were heading back down to Pensacola, Florida in just a few days to play again at The Vinyl Theater with Paul Thorne, the camaraderie I felt with the band was missing in the empty van I felt loss. I was listening to Spotify on shuffle when Willy Nelson’s ‘On The Road Again’ started playing and brought me to tears. lol Sounds silly, I know.
Pensacola, Florida is a strange place. It reminds me a little like Tucson with its retro-tastic architecture. It’s a sleepy town that comes alive at night. This was our second time playing there at The Vinyl and Paul Thorne thoroughly entertained us.
In between The Jersey Shore and Pensacola, I had a wonderful time taking photos with my friend Gaya and catching up with Idan. Idan has a new record out - his debut album ‘IM’ and you should give it a listen! It was great to spend some time back in Brooklyn with it’s warm summer weather.
Suddenly back in Los Angeles Summer Solstice hit me like a bag of bricks…
As soon as I started to get into a routine it was time to leave again! Summer solstice came on a Friday and things haven’t really slowed down since. That weekend I helped assist my roommate Madison Weber with her first ever Theta Healing workshop. I busked on the streets of Belmont shores before Madison’s class started and caught up with my producer friend Luke McClurg on our break.
On Sunday I headed down to Newport Beach to play the cozy establishment - Lido Bottle Works. Surrounded by friends and family, I sang covers and my own tunes for two hours to a chill brunch crowd. On my drive down there I lost a hubcap from the Skylark and called 911 after I watched it roll into the center intersection of the 405. How else was I supposed to stop 6 lanes of traffic to retrieve it?! The show was a great success but unfortunately I never heard back from Traffic Control with news that they found my hubcap. (Now taking donations for a replacement!)
The following weekend I started the trek over to Europe to play guitar and sing at my friend Terese’s wedding. On the way there I spent a morning in the most beautiful rose garden in San Jose to beat a 22 hour layover and soak up the sweet smell of summer sun and romance.
Danish Wedding Waltz
In Denmark I was greeted at the airport by Terese and Derek holding Danish flags! Terese let me borrow her bike and I biked all over the city. We rode past the Opera House and to our new friends restaurant right on the water called Baby Baby Bar complete with a slide into the harbor (the water is clean enough to swim there!) I love the bike culture there. I even made some new artist friends who were showing their work in a pop-up gallery called The Black Box. The scene reminded me of Paris or Soho in NYC but without the tourists. It was a beautiful street with tall white buildings and large square glass window. We visited Christiania and made more new friends playing backgammon at the tables in Nemo land.
Their Wedding was purely beautiful with greenery, wild flowers everywhere next to a small creek where ducks were singing in the distance. I played The Danish Wedding Waltz as their friends and family surrounded the happy couple with clapping and singing along. Then I broke out sister sledge and started the dance party with ‘We Are Family’.
Back in Los Angeles
On the flight home from London I watched a rom com (Isn’t It Romantic), a period piece (The Favorite) and a biopic on Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I cried through each film. Traveling so much makes me emotional I guess. I also was coming to the conclusion that I needed to start running my music career more like a business and less like a side project. I finally reconnected with Bree Noble and her Female Musician’s Academy and started to get back to work to define my career as a musician and artist. I’ve revamped my goals and my calendar so I can build a thriving business as an artist. I really want to record an album with my full band but it will have to wait until the next quarter because this quarter is all about growing my income and fan base.
I played my second show at Playa Del Rey Industrious for their official co-working Launch party and I played classic beach songs by The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Carole King and a few other of my favorites. What a beautiful venue!
Afterglow Music Video Release-
Finally it has arrived - Here is the press release for my new music video!
On Friday, August 2nd Courtney McKenna, singer-songwriter and Tour Manager for the Gary Douglas Band, is set to release her second official music video of the year. ‘Afterglow’ features a fully produced and unreleased alt-rock version of the acoustic song that came out last November, stop motion, and costumes made by the artist.
In ‘Afterglow’ Courtney dances around her room like a child playing dress-up as she sings that she is ‘fine, fine, fine’ dismissing any question of her true inner feelings. The video reveals a playful take on unrequited love.
“When I wrote this song I wasn’t fine at all. I was delusional, anxious and confused about what I wanted in a relationship. I was making art to distract myself from my own emotions.” By releasing this video, Courtney hopes to encourage others to use their own creativity as a tool for healing - even if they believe that ‘they are not creative’, themselves.
Courtney is known for her bright presence, transportive songwriting, and melodic hooks. Through her work as a tour manager, she has been on the road with Los Lonely Boys, The Mavericks, Paul Thorne and Donna the Buffalo.
The acoustic version of ‘Afterglow’ is currently available along with other recently released music by Courtney McKenna on all streaming services and for purchase on her Bandcamp page.
August 24th Show At The Bitter End Cancelled
I am sorry to have to cancel this show as I was very much looking to perform with my band again at The Bitter End but The Gary Douglas Band cancelled shows were out of my control. I will be back in NYC in September for my Leesta Vall Pre-order!
‘Afterglow’ Recording Collaboration - September 6th
‘Afterglow’ is the title track of my 9-song recording collaboration with The 83rd.
Leesta Vall Direct-to-Vinyl Pre-Order
Order any one of my new 9 tracks directly to Vinyl! Click on the image below to take you to the Leesa Vall site and learn more!