The last few weeks have been jam packed with desert adventures.  There's another blog post to come about where I've been and what I've been up to, but for now I'm dedicating this post to all of the wildflowers I've been falling in love with.  Scroll along and don't forget to stop and smell the lupine...

 

Have a beautiful day.

I just spent two weeks up in the San Francisco bay area.  What a big place!  Big cities are not typically a comfortable place for me.  I get a little anxious stuck in traffic, looking for a parking spot, or finding a place to pee...

Then I think about all the inner-city youth I’ve taken hiking at camp.  Lots of those kids get nervous and unsure about their surroundings out in the woods (especially when finding a place to pee).  They probably feel like I feel in the big city.  It’s just not what we’re use to.

I encourage those youth to open their eyes to the beauty and to try something different.  I believe it’s in those slightly uncomfortable spaces where we can really learn about ourselves and maybe even grow a little.  So I try to open my eyes to what I can discover in the big city…

photo credit Steven Ballmer

photo credit Jack... thanks Jack!

One great thing about the city is that there are some lovely venues to play.  This was at the Sweetwater Music Hall where I played a Sunday brunch show on the patio.  I also played a coffee shop in San Francisco and a house show in Oakland.  Thanks to Arnaz, Slam, and Trevitt for helping set up the gigs!

People are what make a city.  Some of my favorite people are nestled in the bay region, and every time I go I meet some new favorites to add to the list.  Here are a few of my bay friends…

Friend, Sister, Me, Cousin

Toodle & Trevitt

Me & Kasey.  He's a music sales rep out here.  I use to call in orders to him last year while working at Blue Eagle.  At some point on the phone I realized that he lived in Oakland.  So we got to meet face to face for a beer and talk music... in our matching tee's!

Family tree... In the redwoods with cousin Steven, Meghan, and Emerson

 

Luckily for me this city is located just one big bridge away from public recreation lands and parks.  Being so close to these redwoods and beaches is a beautiful thing.

Redwoods

Rodeo Beach

A panorama from Bird Island overlook

Thanks to everyone who showed me around and made me feel so welcome in this big place.  I always gain some insight, empathy, and appreciation.  

Now I’m back on The Ranch taking a short break from the road.  I just finished my taxes today, painted some truck panels, and helped unload a wood truck...

 

What’s next?  I hear there are some wild flowers still blooming over in Death Valley.  Anyone want to meet me there?

Greetings from the road!

I just spent most of the past four weeks out in Slab City, CA.  It's one of those places that is hard to explain if you've never been there.  A friend of mine recently told someone, "If you're judgmental you won't like it."

It's true.  It's a place where everyone is welcome.  Lots of people chose to be there because they don't "fit in" to regular society.  There is a strangely deep beauty held in the chaos of uncertainty and spontaneity that becomes a daily routine.  Everyone slows down and takes time to really be together; cooking meals, writing songs, painting murals, building sculptures, soaking in the hot spring, sharing stories, and dancing together.  It reminds me of summer camp... you go in, you see friends from last year, you make new friends, you overcome differences, you create, you sing, you learn, you try new things, and you connect.

 photo credit Anthony Hitchcock

This is a picture from my camp this year.  There were other travelers and visitors that came and went from our slab and we all shared meals, stories, hacky sack games, and support.  Here's a panorama from the top of my van during a sunset hacky sack...

I did venture to the other side of the Salton Sea this year to Anza Borrego.  I met a few new friends over there for some great hiking up Hellhole Canyon.

To see big horn sheep...

And an oasis at the top...

I also took a Sunday cruise on the back of a Harley to do some bird watching at the Salton Sea.

A huge flock of pelicans flying in was the highlight.  

Here's the main street corner in Niland just 3 miles from Slab City.  This is the little grocery store carry out.  I love the stark beauty of desert towns...

 

To try and capture the Slab City experience in photos is beyond me, but there are other people out there doing it.  Here are some from a talented photographer, Stefan Lisowski.

photo credit Stefan Lisowski

Singing around the Wednesday night acoustic jam campfire at the Oasis Club

photo credit Stefan Lisowski

Singing at the VIPer Lounge

photo credit Stefan Lisowski

This is from a dramatic reading that was performed last Saturday.  I'm the second from the left in the black robes.  David, a Slabber and playwright created this piece "Don't Us Forget". It is a moving collection of stories of the Holocaust.  I was one of the voices of the dead haunting the survivor with their tale.   A flyer had been posted up earlier in the week and about 50 people came out to watch it.  It's events like this that really bring home the power of Slab City for me.  There just seems to be time and space to create things together.  

You can check out more of Stefan Lisowski's photos on his Facebook page.  I also recommend checking out Bob Zahn's photography at http://www.bobzahn.com/ for some really great portraits.

... as for me, I hit the road Sunday and headed to The Ranch in Lancaster.  Though my friend Timbo wasn't home, I was met with a handful of fine folks including my good friend Myron.  We spent part of yesterday outside playing instruments and singing together.  Myron was the first person to put a guitar in my hands when I hitched a ride up to his old mountain home outside of Ashland, Oregon on my first big road trip nine years ago.  He started me off on quite a journey.  This morning we started him off on a little journey when we dropped him at LAX to catch his flight to Hawaii...

 

Happy trails to everyone out there whether you're headed just down the street or across the sea!  I'm making my way up to San Francisco tomorrow.  Catch a song at... 

Java Beach Cafe 2/27 @7:30PM

Genoa Castle House Show 2/28 @6PM

Sweetwater Music Hall 3/6 @11AM

http://www.meganbeemusic.com/gig/

Thanks for reading the blog!  Comments and ramblings welcome...

 

Since the last blog, I've made my way westward...

Though Hobbs, NM where I had a lovely show with great wine and sushi at Pacific Rim...

Over mountains in Cloudcroft into White Sands...

To see friends outside of Tucson in their lovely homes...

Through the southwest Arizona desert...

... and now back to Slab City! There are many videos, blogs, and photos of Slab City out in the world.  If you've never been here it can be hard to describe.  The place is an abandoned WWII military base being squatted on by a menagerie of artists, musicians, snowbirds, dropouts, hippies, punks, and runaways.  To me this is a place of community and music.  I first hitched a ride in on a whim 9 years ago.  I was turned off by the post-apocalyptic mess at first.  Then I started meeting people.  I had just picked up the guitar for the first time that year and I found a great place to learn and perform without judgement.  I had planned to stay a week and stayed 5 months.  This year Joe Stevens joined me here for a few days.  We got to play together for the Talent Show at The Range.  It was a 12 hour party with trade blankets out front, tailgaters in the parking lot, burgers on the grill, and music on the stage.  Here's our set...

The next day and night were full of high wind, dust storms, and even a little rain.  At the end of the day we saw this...

I'll be in Slab City for a couple more weeks playing around the campfires, Saturday nights at The Range, and this Thursday at the VIPer Lounge opening for Jimi James.  Stop on out if you're in the area!  

Till next time... 

Enjoy the ride!

Greetings from Arlington, Texas!

I've been on the road for 11 days now and all is well.  I'm happy to say the van has been running smooth, and the miles have been easy.  

I stopped to jam with my friends in Knoxville, spent a night with the folks at the Auburn Guitar Shoppe in Alabama, and cruised on toward Houston.  Here's a picture from my show at the Last Concert Cafe...

While I was in town I got to reconnect with my friend Sean who I met at Song School in Colorado last summer.  I stayed at his house in La Porte for a few nights.  We worked on some music and even co-wrote a song.  This is his backyard...

We joined a circle of fine songwriters for a Sunday afternoon at Visionary Heights in Houston.  I love when people sit in a circle with guitars...

I also stayed with my friend Gervais.  I met her through her dad, Bus Mikie in California.  Mikie is one of my favorite people in the world.  He had been a steady beam of love and light in my life for the last 10 years or so. He tells me he's one of my "groupies".  He has lived in this bus for the past 38 years, but recently gave it to his daughter after he was not well enough to take care of it.  Gervais drove the bus back to her home in Houston, and I stayed in it for a few nights...

 

When Gervais realized that I was going to see her dad when I get to California she asked if I could deliver a few things to him.  One of these things was his box of 110 cassette tapes! ...

Wow! Precious cargo for sure.  I feel like my trip has taken on another level of excitement.  I feel like I'm really on a mission now.  And in case you were wondering, yes, I do have a tape player in the van.

Well, I'm getting ready to head out to an open mic in Arlington...

May the road roll on...

Greetings from northwest Ohio. Here's what's happening... 

After a couple lovely gatherings on Christmas eve and day, my grandma died unexpectedly on December 26th. Grandma Bonnie was 82, hadn't been to a doctor in over 30 years, lived on Pepsi and Misty Menthol Cigarettes, and died peacefully in her sleep.  She was stubborn, crotchety, and she loved her family.  Grandma's home was headquarters for all the holidays and cousin shenanigans of my youth.  It was a place you could just show up without calling and go in without knocking.  She loved to visit and tell stories.  

Grandma has 3 daughters, 6 grandkids, and 7 great grandkids.  It is rare that we're all around for a holiday, but this year we were.  At the end of the day my brother asked her if this was the best Christmas ever.  She said, "Yes, it really was."  It’s hard to express how truly thankful and blessed I feel that we all spent her last two days together.


So I shuffled my plans around to make space for funeral, family, and grieving.  I went down to Cincinnati last weekend for a lovely show at the Listing Loon with the duo Harlot (two females, sweet vocal harmonies, banjo, guitar.) Check them out, their music is soothing to the soul.  Then I canceled my Mississippi show for this weekend so I could spend more time with family.  

It's funny how the world tends to just put me where I need to be sometimes.  I wouldn't trade those last memories with my grandma for anything.  And since I had changed plans, it allowed me to be here this week while my mom had surgery on her heel.  She's at home and mending now but has to stay off her foot for at least a month.  So I'm here fluffing her pillow, getting the ice, and trying to help her not go stir crazy (she's not one to just sit around!).  My mom has taken care of me so many times, it's nice to partly repay the favor.

Then, a few days ago my van started acting up. Ugh.  I'm glad to be here instead of halfway to Mississippi like I had planned.  My dad has a friend here who has worked on lots of Dodge Caravans and he looked at it yesterday.  There's a problem with a fuel injector and it's not running on all cylinders right now.  He's going to dig into it today.  

So here's hoping for a quick and easy fuel injector fix because this rig is ready to roll! I sewed curtains for my back windows with my friend Dawn on Thanksgiving, and I finally put them up.  The back window is a skirt my friend Sarah gave me... "skirtains!"  

In the mean time, I am being where I am. 

The extra time with my family is precious.

I'm getting some good work done on my van here instead of the side of the highway somewhere.

And some of the best bird watching in the world is just ten minutes away...

Magee Marsh - Ottawa County

Bald Eagle

And get your binoculars out for this one...  13 Sandhill Cranes on this side of the reeds and hundreds of tundra swans in the pond in the back.  The tundra swans were making lots of noise! It looked much better thru binoculars!  

Well folks, thanks for staying connected and thanks for reading the blog.  I am playing lots of music around my parents' living room for now, but soon I'll be out around a campfire near you.  I hope you are finding what you need to heal your soul wherever you are. 

Peace, Birds, Music, and Love.

Megan

Well folks the CD finally arrived!  I know I've said it before, but this whole process has been such an act of love.  The support I received through the Kickstarter campaign, the connections I made in the studio, and the songs themselves are such blessings.  Now as I deliver the pre-sold CDs to the early supporters I'm feeling all of that love again.  

I've been having fun making packages and mailing them out.  I used some old file folders I found at ReUse (one of our local thrift stores) to make envelopes for the single CDs. I've spent a few days getting to know the guys at the post office better, and being thankful for the patience from the folks in line behind me.  I love giving and receiving mail! Friends have been posting pictures on facebook when they received their copies and writing me messages back with reviews.

A photo on Instagram from my friends' band Third Class, one of the early supporter.

 I also got to hand deliver some of the local CDs.  Some CDs just got quietly slipped into mailboxes or hung around door handles.  Others got accompanied by a little visit including this morning when I caught my friend Robert at home.  Robert is a puppeteer, artist, and a genuinely real person.  We had a great talk this morning about what books we were reading, vulnerability, and seeing the beauty in things.  He read me this poem by Rumi.  Here it is:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-Rumi
Wishing you all great moments on this lovely morning.  I'll be playing at Donkey Coffee tomorrow night for those of you who can join me.  For those of you somewhere else in the country know that I am making plans and sticking pins in the map.  If you want me to play in your town please get in touch. I'll try my best to set up a gig there or play in your living room!
Be well.

Well the calendar just flipped again... 

The past month has been full!  I realized that I've been busy.  Maybe too busy.  I've been working at Blue Eagle, finishing the album, writing new songs, and booking a release tour.  As I was driving out to camp to teach a few environmental education classes two weeks ago I thought, "Why did I say I could work these 2 days?  I'm too busy for this." Then, when I got there and hit the trail with a group of curious kids all time slowed down.  It was exactly what I needed. The colors here in the Ohio hills are fading from those vibrant reds into that subdued rust.  I've been slowing down and spending more time outside. 

I recently spent a few mellow mornings over coffee and egg sandwiches with my friend Charlie Touvell, a fine artist, musician, and graphic designer. Charlie helped me take Gypsy John's original art, some photos, and the album text from paper and imagination to 3D reality. Then last Thursday we submitted the album artwork!

 Here's a link to the 3D mock up!  It's pretty fun.  (it was cool on the computer, but the colors looked strangely blue on my phone screen. don't be alarmed, I just don't think it's formatted for mobile devices.) CLICK HERE FOR A 3D ADVENTURE!

Now the album is in the hands of the fine folks over at Oasis Cd in New Jersey. The whole replication happens here in the USA using recycled paper board, eco-friendly inks, and 100% postconsumer recycled plastic bottle trays.  I love these guys.  I've been watching updates and it's estimated to arrive on November 12th! 

If you are in Athens please join me for a release concert at Donkey Coffee on Saturday November 21st.  I'd love to see you there! My friend Bruce Dalzell, a crafty songwriter and the organizer for the Athens Songwriters Circle, will be opening up the evening with his fine craftsmanship.

Oh and one more visual:

Stickers are here!
Thanks for staying connected!  I can't wait to share all these goodies with you!

-Megan Bee

 

 

 

Happy fall ya'll!

  First off, if you're around southeast Ohio join me over in Amesville for Coonskin Friday this week.

 Thanks for tuning in to these monthly musings! Here's where I am since the last update...

  Joe Stevens and River Glen, fellow wandering minstrels, were passing thru town one night only, and I was able to snag them for their harmonious backing vocals and fiddle in the studio.  I've shared shows with these guys in the past and often play with Joe when I'm in California.  I love these guys!

Joe Stevens belting it out!

__________________________________________________

 

River Glen
__________________________________________________
  Then I spent many hours in the studio with Bernie mixing, fixing, listening, listening, mixing, remixing, listening... Then I took it home and listened more with friends, at work, in the car, on headphones, in a boat, with a goat... etc. And now (thankfully) its on to being mastered!  AND I'm still really excited about it!
  I love that this project has been such a group effort. This album has brought such great connections; with all the kickstarter backers, with other musicians, with Bernie in the studio, with the local t-shirt printers, with artists, designers, and photographers, and with everyone who has asked me recently, "Hey, how's the album coming?"  Well it's coming right along, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks for your patience and support!  
  And T-shirts are in!  These beauties were designed by my friend John Surprenant (Gypsy John to you fellow wanderers) and printed locally at Precision Imprint in Athens.   If you would like to order one just get in touch with me.

 

Heather Green, Sunset, & Light Blue
___________________________________________________
  In other news, I'm selling my Subaru and bought a Dodge Caravan.  I'm excited to make this into a livable touring mobile. The van was John Borchards's who plays some leads and an amazing pedal steel on my new album.  He has driven it to many gigs and I'm sure that it's full of good music vibes.  I'll post some photos when I settle into it a little more.  
  Until next time, I hope you are finding some time to play outside.  The fall colors are just starting to show around here and my not so shy neighbors are roaming about...
_____________________________________
Thanks for reading, 
Megan

Hello friends, fans, family, and folkies!

I hope you are doing great!  Late summer cicada serenades and the occasional geese flyover are my favorite tunes this month.  They are the perfect background my two upcoming outdoor concerts:

Fri 9/11: Hurricane Run w/Grace Adele for all of my Scioto and Adams County folks!
Sat 9/12: 1PM at the Pawpaw Festival!

August was a busy month between the studio and an inspiring week at Rocky Mountain Song School in Lyons, CO.  I took classes in Directed Writing, Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, and Business with amazing teachers including Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary.  There were 180 enthusiastic songwriters all camped out together.  The whole place pulsated with love and folky jams.

with Joe Stevens onstage at Song School. photo by Jill Brzezicki

with Joe Stevens onstage at Song School. photo by Jill Brzezicki.
 

This past weekend I got a stellar line up of guest musicians to lay down some magic out at Peach Fork Studio. Terry Douds on bass, Bill Rawlins on percussion, and John Borchard on lead guitar and pedal steel.  You're gonna love it!

I have one more date next week to record some vocals in the studio then it's on to mixing, mastering, and replication.  I'm so thankful to have the funding and support behind this project from all of my Kickstarter sponsors!  

Bernie Nau and Bill Rawlins speaking drum language.

Thanks for staying tuned in.
Yours truly, 
Megan Bee

PS.  Thanks for reading all the way to the end.  That's where you'll find the turn off to Peach Fork Studio...

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