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Emily Higgins: News

Auntie Em and the Tornadoes - January 9, 2017

For about a year and a half, I've had the privilege to be joined by three incredible musicians to form our band Auntie Em and the Tornadoes. The band is:

Emily Higgins (songwriter, guitar, lead vocals)
Bo Brown (guitar, mandolin, dobro, vocals)
George Horne (bass, vocals)
Rick Davidson (percussion)

My band mates have been performing together for over 30 years, together as three-fifths of The Undergrass Boys, and separately with other bands as well. The flavor, depth and dimension that Bo, George and Rick add to my music is nothing short of magical. We've been fortunate to perform at a number of venues since our debut in November of 2015. There have been many highlights so far, but for me as a songwriter, looking out into an audience and seeing joyful people inspired to get up and dance is one of the finest.

Another highlight is just being at practice with the tornadoes, and seeing their excitement and enthusiasm over learning my songs. They are so incredibly good at being quick learners, and generous in letting me know that they believe in my music.

Together, as Auntie Em and the Tornadoes, we're looking forward to sharing an all-original playlist with you at future gigs. Want to come hear us perform? Just check my calendar on this website, or feel free to visit (and like!) our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/auntieemandthetornadoes/
I hope your 2017 is an incredible year for you, with much happiness, joy and lots of good music, of course!

Peace,
Emily

91 Acres is just about done! - August 11, 2015

Great news! I've submitted all the artwork and audio to the printer that will be putting the CD's and packaging together. I'm really excited, and find myself with some time to recuperate my energy these days knowing it's in someone else's hands for a bit. Looks like it will be complete within two to three weeks.

"91 Acres" has really been a joyous and notable experience in my life. Beginning with the first step of accepting Steve Chaney's challenge to write about his property and land reclamation, all the way to where it is now, just a little over two years have passed. The phases of the project each required a certain type and amount of energy. Mental gear shifting is the best analogy I can offer.

I have certainly learned a lot, not just about Steve's beautiful piece of the Ozarks, but also about my abilities. Getting to where I am now was accomplished by pushing myself as far as I could at times, and the payoff was 100 percent worth it.

Steve was such an incredible source of support and encouragement through the journey. It will be quite amazing to be able to finally hand him the finished product, the tangible result of his vision for a collection of songs about his 91 acres.

Won't be long now!

Emily

Commissioned Songwriting - Part 4 - June 1, 2015

I'm catching my breath between completing the audio for "91 Acres" and beginning work on the design and layout for the packaging. This has been one wild ride! It's been nothing short of a thrill to be able to write the songs, gather the musicians to join in on the fun, and arranging the songs to become as I imagined them from the beginning.

The landowner who commissioned this work is over the moon about how the songs have turned out. I met with him a week or so ago and we chose photos for the CD cover and booklet. Everything is coming together nicely.

I'm optimistic about an early fall release of "91 Acres" and look forward to sharing the music with you. I will make an announcement when the CD's are ready for purchase.

I hope all is well in your world and that you have an incredibly great summer.

Emily

Commissioned Songwriting - Part 3 - August 4, 2014

There has been a lot of activity with my new recording project. One of the most exciting parts for me of any new collection of recordings is when it is named. Officially, the collection of 11 songs, including one instrumental, is named "91 Acres."

As the winter came to an end so did my evenings of sitting by the fire and practicing for recording sessions. I made my first visit to the Sound Farm in Nixa, Missouri at the end of April to begin recording basic vocal and guitar tracks for all songs. That process was completed July 29th. The land owner for whom I wrote the songs has heard the bare bones beginnings of all 11 songs and is extremely pleased. That was a joyful happening.

I had a lot of confidence about these songs, but as this is a commissioned project, I needed the stamp of approval before moving forward with the next phase...bringing musicians into the studio to do their magic. I really enjoy this part of the project and the mixing that follows. The songs take on a new life of their own and develop "personalities" so to speak.

I will spend the next few weeks listening to the songs and sharing them with musicians to prepare them for the studio.

My plan is to stay on track with the timeline and have "91 Acres" ready for release in late summer, 2015.

Hope all is well with each and every one of you, and that your summer was a special one.

Until next time,
Emily

Commissioned Songwriting - Part 2 - March 6, 2014

Following up on my last journal entry December, over the winter I continued creating songs for my friend in eastern Douglas County. I was right in that I did end up with at least eight songs. As of today, I have 11 songs completed, including one instrumental piece. It was a long, cold, lonely winter (to quote the great George Harrison), so I took advantage of that and my fireplace and hunkered down to write music. I still plan to begin recording this spring.

I hope all is going well with you and that you will soon be shaking off the snow and ice, shedding the winter clothes and running around in the sun with flip flops on!

Cheers and best of thoughts to you!
Emily

Commissioned Songwriting - December 17, 2013

I haven't been very diligent in keeping up with this journal. Since my last entry so many wonderful things have happened. Once in a while life throws in a tough challenge, but so far, nothing I can't handle. I had shoulder surgery last summer to repair a partial tear in my rotator cuff, but have healed up and am back playing my guitar and mandolin and having a great time writing music.

Speaking of writing music, last spring a dear friend of mine who owns a beautiful farm in eastern Douglas County commissioned me to write a collections of songs about his farm and what is so unique and amazing about it. I have visited his farm several times in these past years, and every time I go I'm blown away by the beauty and how he reclaimed and restored the acreage and the homestead.

This collection of songs is taking shape nicely. I'm so excited about the thought of giving this man such a gift. I am hoping to have at least eight songs in the collection, and have six completed at this time. I will begin recording in the springtime of 2014.

I also have a number of songs I've written since 2008 when I produced my last CD "On the Square." I would like to choose several of those songs and record them as well once I am finished with the commissioned songs.

I continue to produce and host my radio show "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU, Springfield's NPR affiliate station. I have met and created friendships with so many incredibly talented songwriters and musicians since I began hosting the show in 2009. Local/regional talent astounds me, and songwriters I've admired all my life have reached out to share their new music with me as well. I feel so fortunate to be able to share music with all of you over the airwaves each week. It's quite humbling.

Take good care, and I'll write something again here soon. In the mean time, be sure to check out my Mulberry Tree page on this website each week.

Happiness and good health to all of you!
Emily

Late Spring in SW Missouri - June 3, 2012

Since my last journal entry over the winter life has brought changes, as it usually does. It was a good "winter" if you can call it that...not much snow and warmer temperatures. Here's an update on a few things:

Recording some new originals in the studio is still a goal of mine in the near future. I don't have a home recording studio, so I usually go to Rick Davidson's "Sound Farm" or over to Larry Lee's studio in Ozark. Recording will depend on everyone's schedules. I still hold a full-time day job in addition to playing music and hosting my radio show, so with a little patience, it will all get done! When it does, I still intend to post new recordings to this website. When that happens I'll let you know.

The trio I played with for over three years, Three Left Feet, is basically just getting together for fun now and then with a possible gig here and there. It became too challenging to get all three of us together once a week for regular practice, which is what we really needed to stay tight as a band and make successful recordings. The great friendships between the three of us are still alive, and that's what really matters.

I continue to write new music and am still jamming with musician friends from time to time on a casual basis just to keep my skills alive and growing until new opportunities arise.

In other news, I'm still producing and hosting my radio show The Mulberry Tree on KSMU-NPR 91.1 in Springfield, MO. The show airs at 10 p.m. CST on Sunday evenings. You can tune in or stream the show live if you're out of our signal map! When streaming, a few minutes ahead of the show start time just go to www.ksmu.org and click on "listen live." The Mulberry Tree broadcasts live to the following NPR stations:

Springfield - 91.1
Branson - 90.5
West Plains - 90.3
Mountain Grove - 88.7
Joplin - 98.9
Neosho - 103.7

Let's keep in touch! If you have questions or comments about The Mulberry Tree send me an email at mulberrytree@ksmu.org or for emails in general, send to ehiggins@emilyhigginsmusic.com. I would love to hear from you!

Have a wonderful summer!

Emily

January 2012 - writing and recording - January 8, 2012

It has been a mild winter so far here in SW Missouri. I'm hoping my next journal entry here won't include a description of the latest blizzard! There's been enough cold and cool weather here that makes for a nice evening in front of the woodstove writing music. I wrote a new original "White River Bow" back in October while on a getaway to a cabin overlooking the majestic White River. I'm just thrilled with the song and hope to record it and post it to my website at some point in the not too distant future.

I'm still performing now and then, both solo and with my friends and musician partners Liz and Lori. As a trio the Three Left Feet have a lot of fun and we've been gathering once a week for the past few years honing our three-part harmony skills. We play/perform both originals and some of our favorite covers. Next week we'll be going to our friend Rick Davidson's recording studio - The Sound Farm - to lay down a few tracks that we can share with anyone who cares to listen.

In other news, I'm still producing and hosting my radio show The Mulberry Tree on KSMU-NPR 91.1 in Springfield, MO. The show still airs at its regular time, 9 p.m. CST on Sunday evenings. You can tune in or even stream the show live if you're out of our signal map! A few minutes ahead of the show start time just go to www.ksmu.org and click on "listen live." The Mulberry Tree also broadcasts live to the following NPR stations:

Branson - 90.5
West Plains - 90.3
Mountain Grove - 88.7
Joplin - 98.9
Neosho - 103.7

Have a lovely winter, stay warm and happy, and I'll drop a line from time to time.

Emily

Tommy Emmanuel interview - Emily to MC October 5th concert - September 28, 2011

Sunday, October 2nd at 10 p.m. CST tune in to Emily's radio show "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU-NPR to catch her intriguing interview with one of the world's greatest acoustic guitarists, Tommy Emmanuel. The interview is airing just ahead of Tommy's October 5th appearance at the Gillioz Theater in Springfield where Emily will serve as MC for the evening.

There are still tickets available for the concert, but act soon as they are going fast! You can buy tickets online at www.gillioz.org or at the Gillioz Theater box office.

Emily interviews guitarist Tommy Emmanuel - September 4, 2011

Tune in to Emily's radio show "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU-NPR in Springfield, MO on Sunday, October 2, 2011 at 10 p.m. CST when you can hear her interview with one of the world's greatest acoustic guitarists, Tommy Emmanuel. The interview will air just a few days ahead of Tommy's appearance at the Gillioz Theater in Springfield on October 5th.

Emily will visit with Tommy about experiences leading up to where he is today, and how his career is moving forward in wharp speed. This is an interview you'll find extremely interesting, so tune in, and don't forget to buy your tickets to see this amazing performance!

Emily featured in Ozarks Public Television doumentary - August 20, 2011

Last month the documentary "Tradition - Ozarks Folk Music" by Jim Rea aired on Ozarks Public Television. The film is a wonderful expression of folk music and its history in the Ozarks. Jim Rea invited Emily to sing one or two of her originals and contribute narrative on her thoughts about the tradition of folk music in her family and how it has carried over throughout her life and on into her life in the Ozarks.

There are quite a few Ozark folk artists featured in the film, so if you are a fan of Ozark folk music and musicians, keep your eye out for a chance to see the film should it air on OPT and other public television stations nation-wide.

Congratulations to Jim Rea for producing such a fine film!

Emily's song "Ozark Bluff" featured on NPR Music! - June 7, 2011

Wow! Great news!

One of Emily's originals "Ozark Bluff" was selected to be included on the NPR music program titled "The Mix - Ozark Mountain Music." For a set period of time (not sure how long) beginning June 6th the show is streaming live and features a great story on how the songs were selected for the show. Here's the link:

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/06/136856095/the-mix-ozark-mountain-music?ps=mh_frimg1
The selection began on the local level, at KSMU-NPR in Springfield, Mo, when Mike Smith and Harry Moore who are hosts of KSMU's "Seldom Heard Music" put together a playlist for the show. They chose "Ozark Bluff" along with tracks from other local/regional musicians to add to the comprehensive and impressive list of national and international artists.

Emily commented, "I'm really humbled by this and extremely honored to have my music partnered with tracks by some of the finest musicians I know. Many thanks to Mike Smith and Harry Moore for including "Ozark Bluff" in 'The Mix.'"

Mulberry Tree blooming... - May 29, 2010

It's a perfect spring morning in southwest Missouri. After two years in a row of late spring frosts, the foliage finally caught a break. Leaves and blossoms are big and healthy from an abundance of rain. The mulberry trees are producing fruit right now, which reminds me...

The Mulberry Tree is the name of my Sunday evening radio show on KSMU/NPR in Springfield, MO. I've been enjoying the production process and hosting the show is just plain fun.

I've got exciting news about two upcoming shows. In late June, I'll start promoting the July 9th performance at the Gillioz of folk singer/songwriter Dar Williams and Sara Watkins, formerly of Nickel Creek. I'll be interviewing Dar and Sara before the concert, and that interview will air on a future edition of The Mulberry Tree. Don't miss the show...it will be unbelieveable! Buy your tickets now at www.gillioz.org and spread the word!

Another great show I'll air in the near future will be a co-host with musician/producer Larry Lee who most of you know as a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Larry, Randle Chowning, Dave Wilson and Ned Wilkinson have formed a new band called Beyond Reach, and performed a concert last March on the Drury campus in Springfield. Larry and I will be putting together a show for The Mulberry Tree featuring tracks from recording artists Larry has produced. We'll review what he has and see what fits best for the show, then we'll team up to introduce each song for you. This will be a great show, and a lot of fun, so stay tuned...I'll let you know when the show is scheduled to air.

It's also Memorial Day weekend, so take a few minutes to remember those who have gone before us.

I am overwhelmed with the news each day...oil spill of historic proportion, earthquakes, volcanoes...it's just too much to process at times. The images on the news are so deeply depressing that I've resorted to catching the news only on radio. I feel helpless most of the time, and do what I can to help out. The earth has been forgiving of us for so long, I hope she doesn't give up on us and that there's a way some of the damage can be turned around.

On a lighter note....my musician buddies Liz and Lori joined me late April for our first public performance at the Azalea Festival in Nixa, MO. We had a blast and made some great music. Our harmony vocals are our strongest instruments, so we're working on more classic three-part harmonies and some original tunes as well. If we decide to perform again in the near future, I'll let you know.

My nephew got married last weekend to his long-time sweetheart Michelle, and my brother John and I performed some instrumental music for them. I don't get to perform with John very often, so that was an experience I'll cherish forever. Just for fun, I recorded us practicing "Devoted to You" and have posted it in my "music" section, so check it out. It's a rough version, but I think you'll appreciate that it was our first time ever practicing the song, and it blew my mind how the brother-sister genetic music connection shines through...see what you think.

Happy springtime!
Emily

Spring on the horizon... - February 21, 2010

Greetings!

The robins are showing up in greater numbers here, the snow has melted for now, and Missouri is enjoying temps in the 50's. Of course, that could change in a Missouri minute.

This winter has been such a mixup. The music and art community was hit hard with a few passings of folks whose lives touched many. Then the other side of life presented growth of music and friendships, both old and new. To quote a line from my song "Shadows".."life's been such a thrilling ride!"

Be sure to put April 24-25 on your calendar for the Earth Day Azalea Festival at the Garden Adventures Nursury in Nixa, MO. More info about that is on my "calendar" link. I'd like to see you there!

Hope you are all doing well. Don't forget to tune into my radio show "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU, Springfield, Missouri's NPR affiliate, every Sunday at 10 p.m. CST. Or, stream the show live at www.ksmu.org and click on "listen live."

If you want more details on a song you heard, view my playlists at www.ksmu.org or send an email to:
mulberrytree@ksmu.org

If you're a musician who has music to share, and your genre is singer/songwriter, folk (traditional and modern), or you're a local or regional musician, send some tunes to the studio:

KSMU
Attn: "The Mulberry Tree" c/o Emily Higgins
901 South National - Strong Hall
Springfield, MO 65897

Be checking in soon....

Emily

Snow Ice Cream - January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow....Southwest Missouri has six inches of snow and that's about the temperature outside...six degrees! It's about 5 a.m., so hopefully temperatures will at least get into the double digits today. I got out to shovel the driveway yesterday and discovered the snow was like powder.

Speaking of snow, the trio I jam with, the "Thee Left Feet" got together yesterday and we decided to make snow ice cream. Liz whipped up some honey, cream and vanilla extract, then we added the fresh fallen snow. Listen...that was just the best thing I've eaten in a long, long time. Much lighter than ice cream, no eggs.

Hope you are all doing well. Don't forget to tune into my radio show "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU, Springfield, Missouri's NPR affiliate. The show airs every Sunday evening at 10 p.m. CST. If you want a little more background on "The Mulberry Tree", check out my post from October 3rd. You can stream the show live from your computer...just go to www.ksmu.org and click on "listen live."

If you have suggestions for the show, or need a little more information on a song you heard, just send an email to:
mulberrytree@ksmu.org

If you're a musician who has music to share, and your genre is singer/songwriter, folk (traditional and modern), or you're a local or regional musician, send some tunes to the studio:

KSMU
Attn: "The Mulberry Tree" c/o Emily Higgins
901 South National - Strong Hall
Springfield, MO 65897

I'm not performing as much as I use to, but soon the trio will get out to sing some harmonies. Just watch my "calendar" page for future appearances.

Stay warm, happy, and if you can, find some time for music in your life. It makes everything a little brighter.

Emily

Cold weather, good music.... - December 15, 2009

Greetings!

We're into cold weather here in Missouri, but that doesn't stop the music!

I've helped some friends book music for their April 2010 Earth Day Azalea Festival here in Missouri. I'll be posting more information about it as the spring gets closer.

My radio show "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU, Springfield, Missouri's NPR affiliate, has been going great. Tune in! It airs every Sunday evening at 10 p.m. CST. If you want a little more background on "The Mulberry Tree", check out my post from October 3rd. You can stream the show live from your computer...just go to www.ksmu.org and click on "listen live."

If you have suggestions for the show, or need a little more information on a song you heard, just send an email to:
mulberrytree@ksmu.org

If you're a musician who has music to share, and your genre is singer/songwriter, folk (traditional and modern), or you're a local or regional musician, send some tunes to the studio:

KSMU
Attn: "The Mulberry Tree" c/o Emily Higgins
901 South National - Strong Hall
Springfield, MO 65897

I'm in a trio with friends Elizabeth Anderson and Lori Harding. We've named ourselves "Three Left Feet" because we all showed up for practice one day last summer wearing black flip flops and painted toenails, and we all three stuck out our left feet at the same time....and the rest, they say....is history. We'll be performing at the festival in April. That gig is posted on my "calendar" page.

Good cheer to all, happy holidays, and stay warm!
Emily Higgins

Radio Show and "Three Left Feet" - November 16, 2009

Greetings!

The launch of my radio show "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU, Springfield, Missouri's NPR affiliate, has been a great success! I've had so much fun finding new music, and getting re-acquainted with some that has been around for a while.

If you want a little more background on "The Mulberry Tree", check out my post from October 3rd.

Since KSMU streams live, my friends, family and fellow musicians from outside the Springfield area have been tuning in from their computers. I get suggestions all the time for songs to air, so join in on the fun! Just send me an email of your suggestions to:
mulberrytree@ksmu.org

Also, if you're a musician who has music to share, and your genre is singer/songwriter, folk (traditional and modern), or you're a local or regional musician, send some tunes to the studio:

KSMU
Attn: "The Mulberry Tree" c/o Emily Higgins
901 South National - Strong Hall
Springfield, MO 65897

I continue to practice regularly with two good friends, Liz and Lori, and we're getting better by the day, especially with our three-part harmonies! Some day when we're ready, we'll perform somewhere, and I'll let you know. So, keep an eye out for the trio "Three Left Feet." :)

Good cheer to all,
Emily Higgins

Hosting "The Mulberry Tree" on KSMU-NPR in Springfield, MO - October 3, 2009

Hi everyone,



Very exciting news! KSMU, Springfield, Missouri's NPR affiliate, has asked me to become producer and host of "The Mulberry Tree," taking over Carolyn Huber's spot as host of a show with a similar name "Under the Mulberry Tree."



Carolyn hosted her show for 26 years, and felt ready to pass the torch, so she suggested I might be a good fit for the job. KSMU requested I produce a pilot program with a slightly different format. The pilot was a success, so I'm off and running! Carolyn and other surprise guests may stop in from time to time to say hello, so stay tuned....



On Sunday, October 25th at 10 p.m. CST, KSMU will premier "The Mulberry Tree," which will air every Sunday at that same time. I'll showcase singer/songwriters, new and not-so-new folk, and local/regional musicians.



KSMU now streams live! Below is KSMU's signal map, however, you now have the option of streaming programs live from any location via the web: go to www.ksmu.org then click on "Listen to KSMU Live" to hear "The Mulberry Tree" or any KSMU program, 24-7.



Springfield 91.1 FM
Branson 90.5 FM
West Plains 90.9 FM
Mountain Grove 88.7 FM
Joplin 98.9 FM
Neosho 103.7 FM


CD DONATIONS: I will be building a CD library, so donations are welcome and appreciated! They should fall within "The Mulberry Tree" genre categories I mentioned above.

CD DONATIONS:
If you're in the Springfield area and have more than one or two CD's to
donate, send an email to mulberrytree@ksmu to arrange for pickup.

If possible, CD information should include artist, track title, album title, label and composer. Track run times help as well.

Otherwise, please drop off or mail CD's to the studio as follows:

KSMU
Attn: "The Mulberry Tree" c/o Emily Higgins
901 South National - Strong Hall
Springfield, MO 65897



Please join me on this new adventure! I hope you'll become a loyal, regular listener.



Tune in Sunday, October 25th at 10 p.m. CST for the special premier edition of "The Mulberry Tree."



Good cheer to all,

Emily Higgins

Summer in Missouri! - June 18, 2009

A note from Emily:

By choice, I've scaled down on performances. I feel a real pull to take this time to listen, re-energize, with the hope of taking my music to new places.

I've been getting into gardening, and taking day trips, exploring new places and sounds. These are the joys of life that inspire me to write.

I've also been writing quite a bit as new songs keep creeping into my head. I've really been enjoying listening to other writer's works.

It's great to play a gig from time to time, to stay in touch with folks I know, and make new connections.

My friends and fellow musicians Elizabeth Anderson and Lori Harding have been gathering with me once a week for music, just for the fun of it. Our three-part harmonies are pretty dynamic.

Hope to see you down the road. In the mean time, drop an email, say hello!

Peace,
Emily Higgins

P.S. A little "green" exercise for you:

Now you can take the GoGreenScore challenge.

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