Monday night I returned home to New England after a week's stay at The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project in greater Chicago. The project is a songwriting intensive that invites 12 emerging songwriters / writing teams in the music business to partake in a series of masterclasses, culminating in a final concert at Northwestern University. I had a feeling going into it that it would be a transformational artistic experience; driving out across the country, I think it was in Ohio I had the bizarre notion that I would somehow be a different person driving back seven days later. But I can surely say I had no idea how powerful that transformation would be.
It's strange and wonderful, a little discombobulating in a beautiful way, how people and places can change your entire outlook in a matter of a few days; How they can open your eyes to sides of yourself you didn't know were there, to your own roadblocks and your potential beyond it, in just a few brief interactions. In the past week I was gifted with a new toolbox to connect with others through the art of song; but more importantly, I found myself challenged, inspired, and impassioned to dig deeper than I ever dared, to come to know my own heart, to face my fears, and to rise to the occasion. And each morning, I found myself moved and further propelled by the touching journeys and beautiful creations presented by my fellow students. Each evening after class, I sat by Lake Michigan and wrote until every feeling I had accumulated over the day was out on the page. And in the process of my own self discovery, I created a new work of art each day ~ one of which that was brought to life onstage with the guidance of our wonderful mentors, Craig, Lari, and Stephen, and the musical arrangements of my incredibly talented peers.
My experience gave me this simple but valuable takeaway: Have the courage to write from the depths of your heart, and the dedication to find the words that voice your message with an honest and unmistakable clarity. It's more than just making an artistic product; these are tools to one's own personal growth, as well as a means of making soul connections with others through music. So thank you to everyone who shared in this journey with me, and to those who extend this opportunity to young songwriters across the world each year ~ Love & gratitude to The Johnny Mercer Foundation, my mentors, my peers, and all the organizers and crew for such an artistically and spiritually transformational week ❤️
For more information about The Johnny Mercer Foundation, visit http://www.johnnymercerfoundation.org/
For more information about The Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, visit https://www.mercersongwriters.com/
It's that time of year - I've been nominated for the 2013 Connecticut Music Awards in the Folk-Traditional and Jazz categories. Please vote for me here, it only takes a moment!
As many of you know, I've had my first professionally recorded album in the works for many months now. Thank you for being so patient as I navigate the waters of studio recording - It's taken longer than expected but the light at the end of the tunnel is quickly approaching. I'm so grateful for the studio and musicians who have lent their time and expertise to me, and I can't wait to share it with you when it's all finished... In the meantime, be sure to check out the remainder of my summer schedule on my website: http://www.kalafarnham.com/performance-schedule.html
The most exciting event of the summer is that I will be opening up for Tony Bennett at the Sunset Music Festival in Newport on August 28th. This is a very special show to me because Tony was my grandfather's absolute favorite singer and I know he would be very proud! Details can be found on the Newport waterfront events website here: http://www.newportwaterfrontevents.com/music/sunset-music-series
That's all for now! Thanks for your support :)
It is my pleasure to announce that I have begun working with Dorothy Nielson of Gramma's Attic Promotions. I've been offered the opportunity to open for Don McLean as a special guest when he performs at Harkness Memorial Park (Waterford, CT) on August 15th, during his 40th anniversary world tour! (I will be performing in place of the original guest performer, a very talented singer/pianist who unfortunately cannot make the gig). This performance is an initiative of Bring Our Music Back, an organization dedicated to supporting and creating opportunities for young up and coming musical artists. More information can be found on www.bringourmusicback.org
I just received news that I will be returning to the Steve Katsos Show in Boston on September 4th! The story of Steve's volunteer project to promote artistic talent has been featured in The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald, and the show is now seen in 13 million homes throughout the United States and Europe. For more information, see www.stevekatsos.com
Finally, I've been nominated in the "Best Singer/Songwriter" category for the CT Grand Band Slam 2012! Please vote for me via this link, it only takes a minute!
As always, thank you so much for the support!
I'm excited to announce that my new album "The Lotus Effect" is now available at live shows and via www.kalafarnham.com! I've put an extraordinary amount of time and effort into producing this and I feel great about the final product. "The Lotus Effect" tells a story of attachment, loss, and the development of inner strength and resilience. I think the theme of the album is best reflected by this quote by Sri Sathya Sai Baba: "You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it." I recorded and produced the entire album independently, but my friends and family worked hard to help me put together some beautiful album artwork. Mark Maksim (marcmphotography.com) photographed a great cover image and Mom created beautiful digital graphics of the lotus flower to place throughout the lyric booklet. Thanks Mark! Thanks Mom!
I want to thank you all for being so supportive of my music. Also, thank you to all the musicians and friends I have encountered this year who have been such an inspiration!
Order the album online at www.kalafarnham.com/store.html
Or pick it up at any one of my upcoming shows:
Last but not least, I've been working on getting up a few more youtube videos for those of you who aren't able to make it out to my shows! Check out my cover of Alicia Key's "If I Ain't Got You" and my newest original song "Maitri", accompanied by Marty Wirt on the djembe: www.youtube.com/kalafarnham
That's all for now guys, hope to see you soon - let me know what you think of the album!
Hey everyone, I'm reaching out because I need your help! I've entered my music in a competition to get my music heard on the soundtrack of the movie "Renee". I'm counting on friends and fans to vote for my songs from today until May 30th! It's so easy to help out, please take the time to vote at least once! All you have to do is go to www.reneethemovie.com/soundtrack, search for "Kala Farnham", listen to the song for 30 seconds and vote. You can vote as many times as you'd like! My song "Strong Enough" is doing really well. All I have to do is finish in the Top 20 and it will be considered for the movie by a panel of judges. Here's the details: Renee the Movie is about Renee Yohe, a teen who struggled through depression and addiction and inspired the creation of the "To Write Love on Her Arms" charity organization. Because music is so central to her story, they are going to chose one unsigned artist to be featured on the movie soundtrack next to Travie McCoy, Rachael Yamagata, Paper Route, & Between the Trees. Read TWLOHA's press release on "Renee" here: http://www.twloha.com/news.php?nid=229. This means a lot to me, please help me out! Thanks!!
As the end of the winter draws nearer and spring fever starts to kick in, I'm finding myself anticipating all the musical events that warm weather brings. This spring and summer I will be returning to some of my favorite outdoor venues in Connecticut for original music: Blue Back Square in West Hartford, Hank's Dairy Bar in Plainfield, and the Particle Accelerator Benefit Concert in Putnam. I'll also be sharing the stage with Kris Bonkowski & the Young Professionals as they provide summertime entertainment along the Mystic coastline. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming performances. I can't wait to celebrate the return of spring and I want you to join in the fun!
A reminder that the first Friday of each month I host the Vanilla Bean Open Mic with Faith Montaperto. I encourage any and all poets and musicians to participate; share your stories and creativity in one of Connecticut's best listening rooms. Sign-ups @ 6:45, show starts @ 7:30. $7 cover charge.
February was a busy month for me. I debuted as the opening act for Adam Trudel at Indigo Pizza in Coventry, RI. My music seemed to go over well and I will be returning for another performance on March 25th! I also had an excellent experience at Javapalooza Cafe, a cozy, artist-friendly coffeeshop in the college town of Middletown, CT. The show was almost canceled due to torrential rains, and though I began playing to a nearly empty room, by the end of the night passers-by old and young were drawn in and I closed out the night with a full audience. I felt I was really able to make a connection with the Middletown community. One innovative young man expressed his appreciation of my performance in a spontaneous poem inspired only by my music and a Ginger Ale label. I was flattered, and the poem now lives on my refrigerator door! Thank you for the warm reception, Javapalooza Cafe... Between the friendly folk and the exceptional coffee and crepes, I can't resist coming back for more!
Outside of my work as a performing singer/songwriter and cover musician, I try to participate in the musical community in every way possible. This month I stepped in as an accompanist for a high school musical. I had a wonderful time working with the kids and got to enjoy a great show in the process. It's inspiring to see young people pursuing their dreams and exploring their creativity!
I want to mention that I've been writing a lot of new music for the new year. As I come out with these ideas I'll be sharing some rough demos via Facebook. The demos are quick, one-take recordings that I laid down in the comfort of my bedroom; the point is not to create studio-quality audio production but rather to share the ideas that I have been working with - I want to know what you guys think! "Like" my page on facebook to gain access to my unreleased songs here.
See ya around!
I hope you all had a great holiday season and started off the New Year with a bang!
My transition into the New Year was musical, warm, classy, and wild all at once. I started out New Year's Eve with a performance at Ballou's Wine Bar in Guilford, CT. It's a hidden gem and if you're ever passing through the area, it's my top recommendation for delicious food, a friendly staff, and needless to say a nice wine selection! Not to mention the great music ;-)
After a fine evening at Ballou's, I headed over to the VooDoo Grill to watch my new cover band rock out the remaining hours of 2010 and kick off 2011. The place was packed and there was a lot of dancing, singing, and general merriness. These guys really knows how to get a crowd going... we all had a blast. I'm excited to announce that for the new year, I'll be joining the band on keyboards and female vocals!
New Year's Day I performed with the band at the Black Sheep in Niantic, CT. Some of the songs I feature on include "Pokerface" by Lady Gaga, "I Love Rock N' Roll" by Joan Jett, and "Since You Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson. Quite a change from my usual mellow mix of folk and pop... I love it! I've got the band backing me on one of my favorite covers, "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. It's so exciting to be playing with a full band!
In other news, I just got a Little Martin guitar... and we are in love, completely inseparable. If you've ever seen me perform live you know I'm a little person with little fingers, and the Little Martin fits me perfectly. We were made for each other! With the guidance of my guitar-playing friends, I've been diligently learning, practicing, writing, and building up my calluses... I feel more confident than ever about bringing the guitar on stage with me. Look forward to meeting Little Martin this year!
Last but definitely not least, you are probably wondering what happened to the full-length studio album I promised way back in the fall of 2010. We've had some major setbacks with that - recording always seems to be a much more grueling process than I bargain for - but I'm sorting that situation out and I'll keep you updated on the release date.
In the meantime, I've lined up my first few shows of 2011 and I'd love to see you there:
1/21/11 @ 10pm - Daniel Packer Inn - Mystic, CT
1/29/11 @ 9:30pm - The Gold Eagle - Danielson, CT
2/1/11 @ 8pm - The English Club - Worcester, CT
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Hope you are all doing well. We're winding down to the end of summer and I've got a lot in store for fall 2010 that I want to tell you about!
If you haven't already heard via my Facebook Fanpage: My first full-length studio album is now in the works! The final interactive media CD will include my first music video, photos, live performance videos, and more. I'm super excited to announce that I'll also be bringing some talented musicians into the project. All this month I am recording with Adam Oppedisano of Dood Productions in Malden, MA - We're documenting the whole process, so you can keep track of my progress via www.doodproductions.com/kalafarnham.html. We'll keep it updated with photos, media clips, and other news. Don't forget to check the website on September 1st to pre-order your copy! We're shooting for a release date in fall 2010. More details on that soon....
Also, I now have a regular gig in Putnam, CT! I perform every Saturday from 9pm-12pm @ Casa Mariachi Mexican Restaurant. The show is 21+ and free; the food and drink is delicious and affordable. I'd love to see you there sometime :-)
First off, I hope you all had a great holiday season. I enjoyed having a bit of time to relax with my family and friends, but also kept hard at work learning some new material for 2010. I'm hoping to play at a lot of new venues this year, one of which seems quite interested in having me as a mostly-cover artist. So if you hear me playing a lot of , Jewel, ; if you hear some Billy Joel, Elton John, - and yes, by special request, Tool - don't be surprised! But don't worry, I'll still be writing like a fiend as always and still plan to work with primarily original material.
As a songwriter, I feel like its important for me to innovate and change. I don't want to bring you the same type of music over and over from year to year. Maybe you've noticed this - I try to find different rhythmic patterns in my piano playing from song to song, and I try to expand myself by writing in different genres: a little bit of folk here, a touch of rock there, some jazz and some pop. I'm trying to learn some different instruments - guitar, dulcimer, and harp to name a few - to broaden my knowledge of music and see it from new perspectives.
That said, I have some new ideas in store for this year's performances. I hope to be collaborating with some other musicians - ultimately I'd like a folk band to back me, but I'm willing to wait as long as it takes to find the right people. The main goal is to find inspiration from other artists and see what kind of magic we can create together. In addition, I've got some new equipment that will enable me to be a one woman band of sorts. It might look something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0vcxA29okM - but with more real instruments! (I love David Ford and I aspire to be his female counterpart!)
So, there's a little bit of what you can expect as the year progresses. As always, be sure to keep track of my show schedule - I plan to have a year full of performing!
Also, remember that my new live album "Naked Honest" will be available at all of these shows along with my first home studio album "Raincloud". For those of you who can't make it to my shows, I promise to have "Naked Honest" available online very soon.
Well, here's to a new year - I can't wait to see what it brings!
After some time off from performing to do some writing and put together a live album, I've finally booked some shows for the fall... and there all coming up within the next month!
And yes, I will be selling my new album, "Naked Honest - Kala Farnham Live 2009" at all of these shows. All of the recordings come from this summer's performances - thanks to Kevin Farnham and Bradley O'Connor for running the sound - so, if you've been to any of my recent performances, many of the songs you heard will be on the album in their purest, stripped down, spur of the moment form. I'm also very excited to feature the work of photographer Marc Maksim for my album art.
After I spent countless hours designing the album art, mixing, mastering, and mostly listening to the same songs over and over again trying to decide which to put on the album (I think I started out with over 30 possible tracks, and finally narrowed it down to 13) it's so relieving and fulfilling to have the final product available to you all. The hard copies are being produced this week!
Right now, the live album will only be available at - so be sure to come and get your copy at one of these upcoming performances!
On Thursday, November 19th, I will be performing at the Copper Stallion Restaurant and Pub in Sturbridge, MA from 7:30 to 10 pm. I'm working really hard to try to get my live album in production in time for this show!
On Friday, November 27th - yes, the day after Thanksgiving - I will be playing at Border's Books and Music at the Westfield Mall in Meriden, CT at 7:00 pm. My will that be a busy night... Come and get some holiday shopping done, than sit back and relax to enjoy a coffee and some music!
On Saturday, December 5th, I will be performing for the first time at Stoggy Hollow Restaurant in Woodstock, CT from 6 to 8 pm.
On Wednesday, December 9th, I will make an appearance at from noon to 1 pm; so CCSU students, be sure to take a break from your studying to listen to the music (I won't bribe you to skip classes).
Finally, on Friday, December 11th, I will be participating in the Brian Jarvis Christmas Bash Benefit for CCMC Children's Hospital in the Autorino Hall at the Bushnell in Hartford, CT. I'll be performing early on around 7 pm as one of the acoustic openers. Tickets will be $10 for this event, but there will be a lot of great performers including Brian Jarvis, Article 19, and Columbia Fields.
And finally, I'll leave you with this lovely review Paul Rosano wrote up on my music and "Raincloud":
I hope to see everyone soon!