House Concert in Schmallenberg

The last stop on our mini-tour last weekend was the beautiful town Schmallenberg, in the High Sauerland District. It was our first concert booked through SofaConcerts and apparently the very first house concert for our hosts Bettina and Dietmar. Therefore, it was extra important for us that they have a nice experience.

As soon as we pulled into their driveway Bettina came out to our car and greeted us. She said she was looking forward to our performance all week, which was very flattering to be so highly awaited. Bettina and Dietmar were such amazing hosts and are marvelous people!

We brought our new PA System because we knew that we would play in their garden. Since we only bought it the week before we were really excited for the opportunity to test it. Even though it was raining a bit on our drive from Leipzig the weather in Schmallenberg was warm and sunny and so was the mood. While setting up and sound checking we noticed one of Bettina’s friends (who arrived early) had tears of joy in her eyes. It’s those small signs of appreciation that make the whole performing/touring experience so fulfilling. Driving from one town to another, connecting with kind, generous, interesting people, sharing our music with them, and leaving with a sense of mutual gratitude. What more could a touring musician wish for?

After our very successful concert (which included several encores) we enjoyed a delicious barbecue (with exquisite vegetarian options) and had great conversations with all the guests. It really was a splendid day. As we left, Bettina and Dietmar even gave us a plate of left-overs to take home.

Thank you Bettina and Dietmar! You’ve been excellent hosts and we’re absolutely looking forward to seeing you and your friends again!

– L

House Concert in Leipzig

The idea for our mini-tour last weekend (Erfurt – Leipzig – Schmallenberg) began when Wohnzimmerkonzerte Leipzig booked us to play on Saturday 15th. We discovered them through Facebook, and to make the travel more worthwhile, it only made sense to book a couple shows before/after theirs. Both of us have never been to Leipzig and were thrilled to drive there and get to know the city and the people that live there.

Our hosts were Anja and Maik. Both love to travel – like us – and get to know new people and their music. They host concerts regularly and listen to the music of their former guest musicians whenever possible.

When we arrived, Maik had just come back from the big garden they rent not too far from their home. He brought bags of cherries that he picked from their cherry trees. I’ve only seen that many cherries in a super market!

While we were setting up, Anja and Maik prepared lunch for us and soon the guests started to arrive (and they continued to arrive all throughout the evening 😀 ). Before the concert, we had the opportunity to relax on their beautiful terrace, eat a bit, and get acquainted with several of their guests.

The concert was a huge success! The crowd requested a couple encores which really set a fun vibe for the rest of the evening. At one point Anja and Maik presented their vinyl/record collection which provided the music for the rest of the evening. From Metallica, to Queen, to Peter Gabriel, and Kate Bush. I got to taste the local Leipzig beer Sternburg Export, and of course, lots and lots of cherries. Somebody asked us if we’re “planning on doing this professionally,” which made us laugh a bit because we actually ARE doing this professionally. People often assume we have “a real job” and that music is our hobby. It’s fun to break it to those people that a life as a full-time musician is actually possible, and for us, the best thing ever. We’re living our dream 🙂

The next morning we had breakfast with Anja and Maik (while listening to music from their former house concert artists) and learned a bit more about the amenities of Leipzig. It seems to become more and more attractive to young, creative people that appreciate a little more green in a city. Unfortunately, we didn’t have more time to really see Leipzig since we needed to leave for our next concert. So we said goodbye to Anja and Maik and left their place, but not without a big container of cherries!

Thank you Anja & Maik for your time, hospitality, and your cherries. Hope to see you again soon! 🙂

IMG_0508

– L

House Concert in Erfurt

Last Friday we performed in Erfurt-Germany for our hosts Tanja and Tony. They welcomed us into their beautiful home that they share with their cute tortoise, Egon 🙂

Right when we arrived they greeted us with such kindness and we knew it would be an awesome experience. While setting up our instruments and eating some of their delicious appetizers, we were able to get properly acquainted with Tanja and Tony.

Their guests were very friendly and attentive. One of the guests brought her very cute dog, Alma, who checked on me while I was playing the Cajon, because she didn’t recognize this unusual sound.

What made the occasion extra special, was that we not only shared our music, but also got to make music with them. After the concert, we taught Tanja and her friend how to play some chords on the ukulele and the Blues-scale on the piano. We also had great conversation and got to know a bunch of wonderful people.

The next morning Tanja gave us an excellent tour through Erfurt. We were lucky because during that weekend they celebrated the Krämerbrückenfest. The whole city was filled with good food, medieval dressed actors, and music. Tanja showed us the best ice cream in town and they even had some vegan options which I loved! It was so nice to spend extra time with Tanja and look around Erfurt. In addition she was helpful with suggesting other local venues we could perform at. She would make a great booking-agent! 😉

Thank you Tanja and Tony for this amazing experience! We look forward to seeing you again 🙂

– L

House Concert in Rotterdam

We just had another wonderful house concert in Rotterdam!

Daniël and Oliver, whom Joe met in 2016 through Couchsurfing, organized a wonderful evening in their beautiful home.

We arrived one day early to spend some time with them, since they became our dear friends in the past three years. Oliver, who loves food and has his own food-blog, made an amazing dinner (vegetarian, just for me 🙂 )!

Roasted Cauliflower, Koussa Moutabbai (pan-roasted zucchini in tahini), a yoghurt-rice dish based on a recipe called Chick Barak, and a vegetable omelet. Super tasty!

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 5.09.57 PM.jpg

Plus the best dessert Joe ever had 🙂

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 5.10.26 PM

The next day – concert day – Oliver and Daniël needed to work in the morning and we had time to set up our instruments and sound check. It’s always exciting to wait for the audience and set up the room so that everyone will be able to see us and have the most pleasant experience.

Finally more and more people arrived. Daniël even posted the event on Couchsurfing, which is why a group of young travelers attended as well. By show time, the living room was packed.

We played two 40 minute sets consisting of our original songs and some covers. Everyone was attentive and engaged and we all had a blast!

You could really tell that our music touched the audience, which lead to super nice conversations about our songwriting and lyrics afterwards. Even the idea of writing our own musical came up.

Thank you Oliver and Daniël for your hospitality and for organizing this fun event! We had a wonderful time at your place and feel grateful to have you as friends!

Here’s a little clip of our experience:

– L

 

New Music Video Out Now!

We just released our new music video! We’re super excited about it and hope you enjoy! :)))

Special thanks to Adams Music in Ittervoort-Netherlands for letting us film in their super cool facility!
Video Production by – J&L Productions
Audio Recorded by – Joe & Linda
Audio Mixed by – Mat Lejeune

 

I Love Rock ‘n‘ Roll

The last week we’ve been on tour with the band Altitudes&Attitude. Joe plays the drums on their Europe tour. For most of the time we’re even touring with Slash from Guns n’ Roses featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. It’s been an exciting week. Being in another city every day and seeing the life of a touring musician first hand. Of course Joe and I were traveling and sleeping in our van (Super comfortable!) and even though I wasn’t on stage performing I was an important part of the group because I helped setting up the drums and filmed all the backstage but also on-stage material.

I had been a bit confused at the first day of the tour which was basically the rehearsal day. After helping set up the drums and having filmed a few clips I felt like “the wife of the drummer” and not an artist myself anymore. That was very strange. I felt useless as a person since I had nothing to do while the band was making music. So I decided to leave the room. Luckily there was a little Café with huge windows, so I sat down with a coffee and enjoyed the sunshine on my skin. I felt better already. And then I decided to be more than what I felt I was in the rehearsal room. I wanted to be creative and work towards our goal to create our own music and play it all over the world. So I stole a napkin from the neighbor table and started to write and within a few minutes the whole napkin was full with lyrics (ironically about how I can’t write lyrics). This made me very happy. To create. And as much as it seems to be part of an artist to always doubt your abilities, these moments also show me how much I need to trust in myself and the creativity that literally wants to come out of me.
– When I prepared for the entrance test of the conservatory I created a greeting on my phone for myself (at that time I didn’t have a smartphone and that was something you could customize – how time changes). The greeting was “You really got the music in you!” This way my phone would remind me of how it was inevitable that I would study music. It would find its way out. One way or another. –
After the rehearsal day the tour really started and I helped wherever I could and started to love this whole way of living. Get up, drive into another city, eat, set up, sound check, discuss last details in the dressing room (What should I film? Should I make a picture in front of the audience? Is there a specific part in the song I should focus on bass/drums/guitar/singer? Etc…), play the gig, put all the gear back into the van, eat, go through video material, take as many food and drinks from the dressing room as possible (Best part! – It’s free!) and crash in the van tired and happy. Repeat next day. I loved that. Having a purpose and the purpose is to bring music to the people.

Another huge thing I realized at this tour is that I love Rock! I never thought about that but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. I was sitting in the audience room listening to the band sound checking and sometimes they would play AC/DC and Tom Sawyer by Rush (I first thought it’s a female singer, but Joe told me it’s actually a man! Oops…) to test the speaker and I was just blown away. I don’t know much about Rock music (even though my Dad is a huge fan) but every song they played was just awesome to me. I told Joe that we need to do Rock music. He was surprised but happy. He did so much Rock music in his career and I can learn so much from him. I told him to show me everything he knows about Rock. I started reading the Wikipedia article about Rock music to get a basic understanding of it but they’re so many different styles of Rock music. I found a radio channel that is playing Classic Rock all day and I’m addicted. Whenever possible I’m infusing that music into my ears.

It just all makes sense now. I always said even though I’m studying Opera singing that I like Pop music. But I was also often bored by Pop music because it was following patterns a lot and many songs where alike and the lyrics not very inspiring. I listened to Hip Hop but also couldn’t do that non stop. R&B, Soul, Jazz, Opera… I thought maybe I just need the diversity. I always thought that Rock is something for men with long hair on motorcycles. That’s why I never considered it could be my music. But since I’m listening to it I feel all the energy that lies in the music. I was standing in the Zenith in Paris watching Slash and the band on stage and said to Joe “I wanna do exactly this!”. It’s like Pop music but harder with all the musicianship in it. Musicians show their talent on each instrument and it is about exactly that. It’s about creating and being an artist, a musician, and NOT about playing the most comfortable melody so that the song gets the highest ranking in the charts. It’s not supposed to be smooth. It’s supposed to be rough and inspiring and make you think and make you move! It’s all I ever searched for in music!
All the times Opera directors where telling me I should do less on stage they where wrong. I was simply on the wrong stage. On stage as a Rock musician it’s exactly what you need. It’s pure energy. I remember when I was 10 singing along with “Highway to Hell” and crazily jumping around on the couch in our living room because I didn’t know where to put all that energy the song set free in me.
Also my interest in artists like David Bowie or Kate Bush makes sense now. I like “different”. I remember as a kid and teenager being fascinated by people with colorful hair (I loved fire red!), tattoos, colorful nails and edgy clothes. I loved this way of living. Not to care what others think about your appearance and just wearing all the things you like.
My image was always the blond, kind, neat Linda who does what she’s been told. I was the nice and lovely Opera singer. I fit into the image and then again I didn’t because something was bothering these Opera agents that they were always careful to hire me. I was different somehow and they didn’t know how. And I was so scared of doing something wrong (I had a great childhood, don’t know where that comes from) that I never stepped out of the line. I went the way of the least resistance which was doing Opera. That’s what I knew and what I was good at. I never needed to work hard for that. That’s also why I feel a bit scared now. Is it realistic for an almost 30 year old woman to start making Rock music? I just started playing the piano again (which is less common than the guitar in that kind of music, but if Freddie Mercury played the piano and wrote great Rock songs, so can I, right? 😉 ) and am not very familiar with even the most popular Rock bands (well, I heard most of their names but I have no idea which song belongs to whom). But here comes my joker: JOE! I trust his musicianship so much and he’s so talented and well versed with ANY style, that we can totally make Rock music. I’m excited to start working on our songs with him. For house concerts of course we need to have unplugged versions, but I’m absolute positive we can make great Rock records. Plus our different backgrounds will make our collaborations even more colorful because each of us brings in new elements. To mix this all together will create super interesting songs that are different and new. And I love different 🙂

 

– L