Highlights from my very first Full Band Gig! It was a really memorable night that I’ve dreamt about for years and I know it’s just the beginning of a new chapter. I have a lot to work on but I’m also proud of how far I’ve come and before I pick anything apart more than I’ve already done, I’m going to do my best to celebrate this victory. I was so impressed with how it turned out…better than I ever hoped. I was so honored to share the stage with these talented musicians. Thank you to Chad for being such a huge support to me this last year and for helping me ramp up to this moment. And thank you to Nick and Chris for stepping into this without any rehearsal and on Christmas Eve. I’m in such deep appreciation!! 🙏🏼🎵💓 Looking forward to working with this group again!!
Last year around this same time, I made the decision that I wanted to play with a band. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there, I just knew it was a dream of mine to perform more with other musicians. I had very minimal experience performing outside of my solo comfort zone. So, slowly but surely, I started working with other talented musicians that have helped me grow and helped me to become braver with experimenting. That is the only way to really learn..by taking baby steps. I started playing duos and then graduated to trios on occasion and this Christmas Eve I am graduating to playing with a full band, a significant milestone for me! I can’t believe this is really happening!! It’s going to be a fun and experimental night playing alongside some very talented and experienced musicians who I know will be encouraging and supportive along the way🎄I’m excited to have this opportunity. Catching Flights in Gilbert, AZ- 7:30-10:30pm!! 🎶
Revelry means partying, celebration, festivity, merrymaking and that is my intention in bringing other musicians together. I want myself, the band and everyone present to have a joyful time! 🥳
Nikki Shue- vocals & guitar
Chad MacDonald- vocals & bass
Chris Sabbarese- lead guitar
Nick Forchione- percussion
I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. What’s truly important? I guess the answer is constantly changing and unique to each one of us. One way I’ve figured out what was important to me was by letting go of the things, those things that were not adding more joy, peace, growth, beauty and contentment to my life. I’ve done it by clearing clutter and clothes from my home, releasing myself from expectations of others, stopping communication with some, disidentifying with my roles and personality, removing foods from my diet, taking things off my calendar that caused stress, quitting jobs that didn’t feel good, deleting my Facebook and Instagram, releasing routines and schedules that made me feel trapped and guilty, a desire to achieve, be important, powerful and unique. I’ve also done this with my music…I’ve deleted songs from my playlist that no longer resonate with me, don’t flatter my voice or guitar playing or keep me trapped in past memories. I’ve also decided what types of singing gigs weren’t for me and decline those offers now. Clearing things away allowed me to see what’s left and what’s important. I realized for me, what’s important is not the material things that are left such as a home, furniture, money in the bank account, a guitar, a car, photos, decor, etc. I realized after so much was cleared away that I was okay if I lost those things too. What is left is more time for listening to my heart, presence, simplicity, harmony, nature, empathy and love for everyone, self-reflection, investing in my happiness and health, being outdoors, moving my body, sleep, creativity, sunlight, living holistically, eating good quality foods, knowing my abundance, adventure, creating a warm, safe and nurturing environment for my kids, not forcing things, loving, listening, singing, laughing, dancing, playing and celebrating this gift of life we’ve been given. Love to all who are reading this!
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve shared anything. I’ve been putting more focus on songwriting this year. I heard something fabulous from a short video clip of a Nina Simone interview that inspired me to write a song about these times. She said, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned, it’s their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when everyday is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.”
Here’s a link to my song, which I also submitted to the 35th Annual American Songwriter Contest yesterday! I decided to utilize that Halloween costume one more time! 😉 I truly appreciate “Likes” and “Subscribes” as that helps my channel grow! Thanks for watching! Happy Halloween!
This site will slowly be evolving as I evolve. It started as my music site and I intuitively feel that this site will start encompassing all of me, not just that aspect of me. Many of you know that I am also on a Yogic Journey. This journey started about 5 years ago when I started meditating. I am now a certified yoga instructor and still in school to learn more and gain more clarity for how I would like to express myself and help others. On this endless path to Enlightenment, I have learned so much about myself, the world, perspective, and healing.
I once thought my world was black and white. I lived in a box. Afraid to leave the box and take shape the way I wanted to. Now I that I’ve stepped out, I want to shout it out, be a messenger to all that it’s okay out here, you can leave too. I sometimes worry that others are missing out on the truth. How can people go through life not experiencing nature, spending more time inside office buildings, driving in rush hour traffic, and immersed on their phones? Valuing busyness, money and material things? How did success become more important than honoring love, purpose, family, connection and well-being? When did rules of right or wrong, marriage certificates printed on paper, religion, and dogma become the source of guidance that we live our lives by? When did we stop trusting our hearts, our bodies, our internal compasses? When did we begin tolerating the endless advertisements, political corruption, poison in our food, and distasteful entertainment? I often wonder how our human race could get so off track from the intuitive way we were meant and designed to live. I often wonder how we place so much value on how nice of a car we drive, where we vacation, planning the perfect party, the financial status and notoriety of the friends we keep. We don’t teach our kids to handle their issues of self-esteem, trauma, hurt and shame. We value test scores, homework, and packing our weeks with extracurricular activities. We go along with all the ways companies, schools and the government continue to micromanage, add more rules, policies and procedures to control us. We spend more time on social media, watching CNN, and sports than we do talking to our loved ones. We spend more time watching Netflix than we do moving our bodies. We seek comfort in drugs, alcohol, food, shopping and other addictions because we don’t know how to find comfort within. We thrive off of finding differences, fighting injustice, proving others’ viewpoints wrong instead of seeking to find commonality, solutions and cooperation. Our perspective is the cancer. Our lack of awareness is the cancer. Following the herd is the why we are so unhappy. Living objectively, in our heads and not from our hearts is our dysfunction. Our egos are killing us.
The solution is in the silence. It lies in our heart. It calls to us in whispers. It screams at us in pain. We can find it by just ‘being’ and not ‘doing’ all the time. We can find it when we notice our discomfort, feelings of lack or failure. If we are willing to be the witness. If we can truly be objective and see that all of these negative feelings are a result of us losing our connection with source. Source is you. Source is all you have and always loves you. It doesn’t judge, keep track of where you are in relation to goals, care how you look, what you’ve accomplished, compare your journey to others. We can’t find happiness in another, in a place or from things. Our expectations of others and for things to be perfect will never be met and never satisfy us for more than a moment. We will always want more or be disappointed that someone isn’t holding us as the object of their attention. We won’t have perfect weather, our favorite meal in front of us, or perfect hair everyday. We have to find that happiness by appreciating the things we do have, by sitting in the silence of the present moment and remembering our true nature, not identified with the character we are playing in this lifetime.
Can we become aware of our subconscious programming? Are we capable of looking objectively at our lives and seeing our judgements, how we conform, addictions, negative thoughts, distractions, and our habits of pleasing and impressing the world before we honor our own souls? Can we share our emotions, show vulnerability, and be honest about who we are what we desire? Can we hold space for others to share their emotions and deepest feelings without giving tough love or trying to fix it? Can we accept other’s decisions to honor themselves? Can we stop giving unsolicited advice? Can we stop projecting our fears on others? Can we stop trying to control how others act so that we can feel better?
I care when I see so many people labeling themselves as ‘broken’, depressed, anxious, stressed, ashamed, busy, tired, in pain, lonely, and sick because I’ve been there. I care when I see so many people unsatisfied with their lives. I empathize with the people who have unresolved emotional hurt and trauma. I notice the people who are not present, not to say I’m present all the time. I genuinely care when I see people focused on putting other’s needs before their own. So many of us are living in our ego mind, worried how everyone’s perceiving the ‘character’ they are playing. Most of us are living in ‘survival mode’. This happens because we are not honoring the path that they we are called to go down for fear of judgement and financial worry.
I share these thoughts because I’ve been guilty of it all. I will no longer live with the discomfort, so I am stepping out of the box. I am on the ‘hero’s journey’ to change myself, my thinking, my perspective, and most importantly to inspire and help others. Are you willing to start looking at your life? Yourself? Your perspective? Are you willing to honor yourself? Are you willing to change? The change starts with you.
Check out this profile of me that was published on VoyagePhoenix! 🙂
I’m excited that tonight will be the first of many evenings performing at Rhythm & Wine, a contemporary wine cafe that also hosts live music. The address is 7605 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (Major Cross Streets are: Scottsdale Rd & Pinnacle Peak Rd).
I will be performing on their patio from 6pm-9pm tonight! If you can’t make it tonight, check out my Upcoming Shows to see when I’ll be performing next!
If you’d like to learn more or make a reservation, check out their website! http://www.rhythmandwine.com/
I’m so excited to share this with you! I have just recorded my first original song for the very first Musicians On Call Phoenix album. By purchasing this CD, you get my original song along with fellow talented musician volunteers’ original songs. Please consider donating/purchasing a CD for yourself or for a Vet.
CDs are $10 each. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make a $10 purchase option, but $10 purchases one CD for you or a Vet, $13 allows for CD with shipping. Click on the link below. If you’d like to purchase a CD in person to avoid the $3 shipping cost, please use the contact form to let me know!
I recently had the great opportunity to start singing with a wonderful organization called, Musicians On Call. They are a Nashville-based company that provides music to patients and their families in the hospital. My heart felt so full after my first day singing at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I know that even seeing one smile meant I had made a difference. 🙂