Looking back...and forward

The year 2017 was a mind blower with respect to music. I had a pretty full music calendar, playing gigs with my band Auntie Em and the Tornadoes. We especially enjoyed performing at The Focal Point in St. Louis in November, and have been asked to return in the fall of 2018. I performed a few solo gigs in 2017, which feels a bit foreign after collaborating on stage with a band. But the solo experience always takes me back to my roots, to the beginning of my songwriting days. Speaking of bands, I've been performing with a new trio that has formed within the past several months, the Layton Hollow Gals. Melinda Mullins, daughter of famed songwriter Johnny Mullins, continues on her mission to resurrect and breath new life into her father's collection of incredible songs. In doing so, she invited myself and Betsey Beymer to join her as a trio for performances of the Johnny Mullins Collection. Named after the birthplace of Melinda's father, the Layton Hollow Gals offer three-part harmonies and instrumentation that is simply and beautifully stated, leaving space for the songs to speak for themselves. We sure have a lot of fun, too, which always makes the experience so much richer. I feel nostalgic this time of year as well, looking back on musicians who passed, and feeling gratitude for their gifts. It reminds me of the importance in sharing your musical talents, if you are able. I plan to do more of that in 2018 and hope to see you at one or more of those gigs. Keep watch on my calendar on this website. I will keep it up to date. The Mulberry Tree, my music program on KSMU (ksmu.org), Springfield's NPR affiliate station, continues to air at 9 p.m. CST on Sunday evenings. Meet me around "the tree" when you're able. There's a page on this website that will keep you posted about future programs. Have a very special year 2018. I hope it's the best you've ever had. Emily