Baby Steps towards a more aligned life…

So last week I had posted on Facebook and Instagram that I came to the same conclusion I had a few years ago..I would like to delete my social media. Unlike last time, this is not about the people and politics which don’t seem to bother me as much anymore. In fact, people are the reason why I returned to social media in 2022. I don’t regret that but I guess the new realization is that I’m living out of alignment with how I want to live my life. Every time I log in I know it in my soul. I see the benefits of using social media and if you can use it on your own terms, more power to you but I know that I can’t. And secondly, I have two kids who I am role models for. Ever since their Dad bought them a phone, they’ve been addicted just like I have. I don’t blame them and I’m not going to argue with anyone about their choices or their values. But for me, I know I cannot ask them to do anything I haven’t done for myself and I have to model the behavior that I wish to see reflected in my life..I can’t keep talking about it. So with that said, this isn’t up for debate as many have tried to debate and even insult me for my decision. We live in a world where we all think we know what’s best for one another yet we could better spend our time improving ourselves.

This was so fitting last week when I came to this decision

Anyhow, moving on…I still have my social media accounts active as I don’t want to rush ahead with deleting like I did in haste last time. I lost connection with many people whom I wish I had gotten their contact information, photos, videos, names of businesses, and more. So, I will patiently take my time with this and devise my next step in staying in touch with everyone who wishes to as that is my highest priority.

You may have also noticed me discussing my latest venture of “Connecticut to Cali”. I’ve had a lot of people asking me if I’m moving or going on tour. The answer to both of those questions is not yet. Right now, this is a seed that has been planted and we are setting an intention for what we would love to be doing. Chad has traveled the world with various bands for the last 30 years so this is not new territory for him. He also has a regular job in addition to working with various bands. So if we do travel for work it will be small increments to start off. We both would love to see more of the country and play music while we’re at it. Perhaps 4-5 days at a time. If you know of any venues, we would love suggestions and support getting work on our adventures! We just got signed on with a booking company to find work out of state but it’s hard to know at this early stage how much work will come of it. In the meantime, I am taking the baby steps to turn this dream into a reality. Business name agreed upon, I designed a logo on the Canva app, business cards have been ordered, I downsized my car to save on expenses, installed a tow hitch on the Subaru 😅 because taking our bikes along on these adventures is a must, car magnets, website domain, YouTube channel in the works, and more!

I had hit a dead end with the tow hitch install but Dad of course had the right tools and lent a helping hand on part of this which I’m extremely grateful for!! 💞🙏🏼

We just got back from a trip Chad had with his Rolling Stones tribute called Mick Adams & The Stones. They were lucky to be playing in my favorite area in California…Encinitas. They played a private birthday party at the famous Belly Up! in Solana Beach. I felt very fortunate to have been there for this really special event. We got an Airbnb ten minutes away, we took the Subaru and the bikes and made a trip of it. We didn’t have any work as a duo this time but we had a really memorable trip, made some new friends and excited to go back out there and do both!

From a super cute family-owned coffee shop across from Belly Up! we walked into before the show. They were getting ready to close but we got some cold brew and they let us feed the bunnies strawberries!!
Chad singing with the guest of honor, Ray, at The Belly Up!
Some of the really rad concert posters!
Love these blooms everywhere! 😍
View from the Coastal Rail Trail on my bike down to the beach!
One of my favorite beaches..Del Mar Dog Beach. Free entertainment!
Used to bring Rico here 💓
Overlooking Del Mar Beach
Riding bikes through the streets of Encinitas trying to find some late night eats!

Chad will be with Mick Adams and The Stones all week in Laughlin. Check out their site and schedule if interested!

https://www.mickadamsandthestones.com/

As for me, the month of June has been my quietest month of the entire year. As of now I only have 4 on the calendar. This is my only source of income at the moment so it has me wondering if I need to entertain other options with work. My living situation is not much different..they are increasing rent to $2K a month soon and I’m opening myself up to creative solutions. I trust that there will be challenges ahead but it will lead to something better and more aligned for me but I’m just taking baby steps and living in LOVE! Thank you for letting me share with you! 💗

A New Journey & One year ago Today!!

Chad MacDonald, born in Connecticut & Nikki Shue, born in California, are embarking on a new journey as a Traveling Acoustic Duo! Stay tuned…this is just the beginning!!

And…One year ago Today!! Can’t believe we got to play 40 gigs together in the last year and today we’ll also be together playing a big private party! 💓🎶

This memory was from one of our first gigs together at a beautiful new place on The Cardinals Stadium lawn called The Heritage at Sportsman’s Park. Thanks to the lovely Anne Morrone for giving us a chance! Love this memory, song and us! 🎶🎶 Excited to see what we’ll do in the upcoming year!!

Feels Like Spring!!

Can’t tell you how great that sunshine felt today…Spring is nearing! We are headed into patio weather and lucky me, I have one patio gig or more this week!

This week, I will be back at the Scottsdale Old Town Marriott on Thursday 6-8pm! It’s located just East of Scottsdale Rd on 3rd Street. It mostly caters to hotel guests but public is welcome and they have really great food! They only have live music here seasonally, so catch me here before their music season is over. Depending on weather, I may be outside on their patio and they have large community fire pit tables!

Friday, I’ll be on the patio at Luci’s at The Grove 5-7:30pm! It is tucked away in the McCormick Ranch area! There’s a fabulous patio with plenty of heaters and a beautiful fireplace! Great place for everyone to meet up and a menu that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

And lastly, I’m most excited about my first time at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley 8-11pm. Chad will be joining me in a duo with his bass and singing some songs as well. We are playing at their restaurant Hearth ‘61. I looked online and it looks super gorgeous and classy!!

This week I also had some fun creating this video of “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen. I really enjoy the video editing process!

I’m getting prepared for more trio and band gigs, check out the “Events Page” to see when and where. Working on creating great set lists, rehearsing and getting all my ducks in a row! This is where I’m most inclined to grow at the moment! I’ve really enjoyed working with other musicians and hearing the fullness of the music coming to life! It definitely energizes, motivates me and to be honest, makes me nervous. But I think that’s a good thing because that means I’m ready to learn more and gain more experience!

https://nikkishue.com/upcoming-shows/

Thanks for taking the time to read this, for your support at the shows, & watching my YouTube channel! I love getting to sing and share this journey with you!

Love, Nikki

It’s March!! Here’s what I have going on this weekend!

I’ve got three very different venues for you this weekend! Lunch time on Thursday in Old Town Scottsdale at The Montauk from 11am-1pm. Great place for brunch or lunch, East Coast vibe, I also have a private event on Thursday night in Paradise Valley that I wish I could invite you to! 😉 POMO Pizzeria in Downtown Phoenix on Friday from 6-9pm. They serve fabulous wood fired pizza! And Saturday I’ll be in Old Town Chandler 7-10pm at The Hidden House!! They have such beautiful ambience and great food and cocktails! Wishing everyone a beautiful weekend and looking forward to seeing you in person!! 🎶♥️

“Without love, where would you be now?”

That’s a really great thought…the song lyrics have special meaning this week as I reflect and want to share my gratitude and appreciation for all that has transpired over the last year because without love, where would I be now?

I want to take a moment to share my appreciation for each and every person that has been a part of my musical journey. Whether you were one of my teachers, mentors, supporters, family, friends, employer, bandmates, followers on YouTube, etc. Each and every person giving me encouragement and support is the reason why I have the strength and motivation to continue on this path. It’s never been an easy path and I’ve definitely been discouraged many times since I was a teenager to not go this route but I continually get redirected to follow the music. Music has been a source of connection for me. I don’t believe I’d have the same level of connection in my life if it weren’t for the music. Music is healing and it connects us and that connection is what life is all about in the end. I thank you so much for all the love you’ve shown me! Thank you! 💓🎶💓🎶

The Revelry

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!!

I did it!!!

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

What’s Important??

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!

-Nikki

Listen to my new Original Song, “Immunity”…

Hi friends,

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!

Love, Nikki

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