The week of the Perfect Stetson

This Friday, my song ‘Stetson’ will be released on Blue Rose Music. I couldn’t be happier about it! We are partnering with Gilda’s Club of Middle Tennessee to raise money and awareness for people and their families experiencing cancer. It’s been a long journey and I truly cannot wait to share this song and video with everyone.

It’s been an amazing summer. I ran the half marathon at the end of July. Two of my sisters were there with me running and encouraging me during the last couple of tough miles and it was so emotional when we finished. I couldn’t have done it 2 years ago, or even one year ago. Since then I’ve been busy with gigs, writing, and nursing and now as the summer comes to a close I am planning a wedding!

This past week was Americana week in Nashville. It was so great to run into so many friends and experience the magical music everyone is making right now. Stay tuned for more from me. Much love!

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Stetson video shoot

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We did it!

About 2 week’s ago, with two of my dear sisters, Amanda and Betty, I completed the Mt. Hood 1/2 Marathon. It was pretty surreal. We woke up at 2:45 AM in order to get to the bus on time and road up the mountain. We stood around nervously with the other runners until the 5:30 AM start time and then... ran down the mountain! It was beautiful and under a full moon to start. We moved along quickly to start since we were going downhill. My sisters were super sweet to me and stayed with me even though I was pacing slower than them. Yet, I was faster than I had been in the humidity soaked south where I’d been training. Around mile 11/12 I was pretty over the whole experience but they kept me going. I ate a GU and pushed through. It’s pretty amazing g what you can convince yourself to do sometimes. It felt like a great accomplishment to finish in just over two hours. Maybe I’ll even do it again someday! 

 

 

Summertime training

Some of you may know this already but it was my birthday this past weekend. I was pleased this year that I had plans to be in the recording studio for the weekend. My friend Rayvon Pettis and I embarked on tackling tunes we have been working on together for the past half year and we really had a blast doing it. We recorded at Magnetic Sound right around the corner from my house. Baba even stopped in for a visit! Baba is kind of like a teenage dog at this point... you can see some pics of him on my Instagram page and he also has his own page (where he’s developing quite a following!) 

In addition to raising a dog and getting engaged (gasp!) this summer I’ve been training for the Mt. Hood Half Marathon later this month in Oregon. Mind you, this is a downhill race. We get in a bus and drive up the mountain. They drop us off and we run down it. Two of my sisters are also participating. They are pretty avid runners at this point so I don’t expect to be as speedy as them but my goal is to finish and to run most of the time. And the reason I decided to do this (which requires training in the hottest and most humid part of the year here in Nashville, gahhhhh) has more to do with really being back in my body and possibly getting to know myself for the first time. 

My mastectomy was 7/8/2016, the day after my birthday that year. I finished treatment and reconstruction by the end of the year, but seriously last year when I toured Alaska I realized I was not completely healed and it’s strange that even though there are so many words discussed when fighting cancer like ‘strong’ and ‘winning’ or ‘beating’ ... just to get through the whole thing... truly I felt weathered and beat up after it all commenced. Of course I was so relieved to be cancer free but resuming my prior life was a whole other thing. They talk about a ‘new normal’ and the adjustment period, but honestly I was pissed off about that. What, after all this, it just can’t be over? I have to take a pill every day that will slow down my metabolism and trick my body into thinking I’m already hitting menopause??? That despite healthy eating I will gain 10 pounds??? That when I go to crush a 5k I’m gasping for breath by the end of the first mile? That I can’t drink more than 2 glasses of wine or else? And on and on.... 

When I read that back I feel a little bit embarrassed and that’s why I won’t delete it. Prior to having cancer I truly believed I was invincible and I stopped listening to my body. 

Then I felt like my body declared war on me. Thus the battle begins. 

But the true beauty of really what was happening, was that it wasn’t a war after all. It was an opportunity to actually get to know my whole self by learning about what it means to be alive. To allow love to be let in. To access the ‘help center’ in which we take the offerings that are held up. I used to be someone who would suffer all alone and be the superwoman we all imagine ourselves to be. I think I even felt guilty when I got cancer, as if it was something I had control over! 

So diligently training for this 13.1 miles this year, to commemorate my new friendship with my body, has been some kind of rebirth for me. Don’t get me wrong, it has been hard. I’ve had days where I ran out of gas and felt like it was impossible. But then I have been reminding myself to take the cues being offered to take care of myself. And little by little, I’ve been getting stronger and developing more endurance. And little by little, I am feeling a lot better! 

So July 28th, I’ll be running down the mountain, at a slower pace than I may desire, but that will just give me the opportunity to take in all the beauty that much more. 

Thank you. 

My website got a facelift!

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Hello and welcome to my website 2.0. I'm so excited to share the news that I've been working with Blue Rose Music. Later this summer we will be releasing my song 'Stetson' along with a video that we recently made that I've honestly been working on the past 2 years.  It's hard to believe it but 2 years ago during this exact time I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. I was just about to release "What She's Got to Give" and I was forced to put all my plans on hold until further notice. It really shook me to hear that news and to realize my life was being threatened by a disease. But to my great surprise, my family, friends, and musical community far and wide came together to support me in every way known possible and I learned so much about what it means to receive healing. Throughout my journey, I documented the process of going through breast cancer with my friend Stacie Huckeba. I didn't know what we were doing besides 'taking pictures of my boobs before they were gone' but we were actually accomplishing so much more. Stacie compassionately photographed me during some of the most vulnerable moments of my life and put everything in 'the vault' as she called it. "When you are ready, we can see what we have." During this period of time I also composed a song, right as I was losing my hair during chemotherapy. It's one thing to have a mastectomy. It's a concealed wound. No one had to 'know' unless they already knew what I was going through. But to go through chemotherapy as a young woman and lose all my hair (and I had quite a mane) was more traumatizing to me than I had expected. So one day when I was sitting on the couch I scribbled down a few phrases that came to me and as I picked up a guitar to find a melody around it, the song seemed to play itself. 

You see, I had all of my different looks sitting on my table. I had a bunch of styrofoam heads and I dressed them up with a variety of wigs and hats and scarves. I actually had fun doing this, as I've usually been fairly streamlined in my fashion, I wasn't the type to 'glam up' usually. But now I had a reason to play around a little. Mostly I wanted to find ways to look like myself, because I was still performing a little bit locally despite being pretty drained from the chemo. But playing and having a reason to get out was actually healing for me at the time. I had the thought that if I had the 'perfect Stetson' I would be able to remain in my body. It kind of felt like a little joke I was telling myself to help get through some tough times. And when I played the song for the first time, I think I laughed a little bit before I cried. And I've always thought if a song can make you laugh and cry within those 3-5 minutes, the songwriter has done a good job. 

I had met Joe from Blue Rose Music the week before I had written that song. When he said, 'What would you like to do?' without hesitation I said 'Let's record Stetson.' So here we are. 

Stay tuned for our release of the video and song. Meanwhile I will be going out to California this weekend to participate in the Blue Rose Ball with some other artists who are also working with Blue Rose, including Jason Crosby, The Mother Hips, Jackie Greene, Elliott Peck, and Laura Reed. 

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Comfest, tours, good stuff

Hey there!! It's the week of Comfest in Columbus Ohio! I'm still getting it together down here in Nashville but I'm looking forward to a great weekend. In addition to the festival, I'll be playing all night at Dick's Den on Friday and with the Spikedrivers on Saturday night at Park Street. I can't wait to see everyone and celebrate.

In July I'll be hitting the road to Okemah, OK for the annual Woody Guthrie festival. From there I'll head up to Alaska for a couple weeks with Dylan Lee Johnston. You can check out our tour dates here: http://www.dylanleejohnston.com/upcomingshows/

 

i was in California last week and had the honor of recording in Oakland at 25th Street Studios, working with Karl Derfler. I had a great time. More about that later but here is a picture of us! 

Return to Dick's Den this Saturday May 20th!

It's a month before Comfest in Columbus OH and it's time to warm up the band. I'll be joined this Saturday at the one and only Dick's Den by James Castoe (drums), Brett Burleson (guitar), John Boerstler (guitar), Max Sebastian (bass) and Jennifer Miller (vocals)... Looking forward to playing old tunes and some new ones. Special thanks to Steph Jeffries for this awesome poster!! 

Music and Healing... Songs at the Center

I am proud to be headed to Columbus OH this weekend to participate in "Songs At The Center". I will be part of a special show on Music and Healing. The show taping begins at 7 PM and all are welcome. https://www.facebook.com/events/998988166912906/

 

 Puerto Rico, January 2017

In other news, I just returned from Puerto Rico. It was my first time there and I had an amazing time. It felt like a total reset for me. I am still recovering from my last surgery in December but I am feeling overall well and looking forward to getting to work on my musical projects, and returning to nursing as well... 

I have a few shows coming up in February. I will be playing a Thursday residency at the 5 Spot with Amy Speace, 6-8 each Thurs in Feb. I am also performing as myself at The East Room on February 5th and The Sutler on February 8th. 

 Cabo Rojo, PR

 

 

 

Home stretch, kinda...

 Photo by Chad Cochran

It just occurred to me I have been super busy focusing on healing that I've forgotten to spend much time updating this website. It's really been a journey for me these last few months. Since my surgery in July, I have been on a Sabbatical of Convalescence! It's a new thing for me. I don't think I've had a break like this in my entire life. Right now I am in the middle of chemotherapy. And actually, more than halfway through. Yesterday was my 3rd of 4 treatments, so we can call that 75% done! Home stretch it is! I have been feeling good, and even been playing music locally. I haven't been able to tour or really work at all while I focus on my healing, inside and out. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by love and support through these times. I could never have imagined this experience. Is is ok to say I'm grateful? Even if it seems strange, I am so grateful for this blip in what seemed like an enormous upheaval initially, but somehow something I needed. Even as a nurse, focusing on my own wellness was something that I had constantly put on the back burner, and maybe forgot to turn that burner on... and I know it is a common thing for many people who care for others. Wow. It's still a challenge I am working on. But many good things are happening, and I will look back on this year and period of change as an amazing universal gift. 

 Yesterday's Chemo #3!    

 this past Monday I had a blast spilling my guts on the Ariel Bui's show 'MeSoScene' at WXNA 101.5 LP Nashville

Columbus Benefit Concert is Next Monday July 25, 1 of 2

 photo by Michael Weintrob

I continue to be moved by my friends and family who are supporting me through my cancer journey this summer. The show in Nashville last week was totally incredible. I watched it from my living room on concert window. My friends Rod Picott, Stacie Huckeba, Amy Speace, The Wild Ponies (Doug & Telisha Wiliams) Aaron Lee Tasjan, Allen Thompson, Tim Easton, and Steve Poltz all played songs and raised over $1500 for me. It is so helpful because my medical bills are kind of ridiculous. 

It will continue this coming Monday in Columbus at Dick's Den. My bestie Jen Miller is hosting an event at Dick's Den, and I understand that various local musicians will be covering some of my songs. I won't be able to be there (still restricted to my house basically) but I will be there in spirit and hopefully via computer! the link to the show is : https://www.facebook.com/events/605043843009178/

Meanwhile I'm home and chilling out for the summer, focusing on healing from my surgery. It's a huge change for me but I'm taking the opportunity to integrate so many things I've done and learned as well as watch netflix and improve my cribbage and scrabble skills! 

Concert Window July 13!

Hello! I am so happy to be able to report to you that I made it through surgery with flying colors. I was in the hospital for just one night and now I am back at home recovering. I have had so much help and support -- it's been amazing. I still have some challenges ahead of me but I am feeling really positive overall. 

Tomorrow my friends in Nashville will be throwing a show for me at the 5 Spot. I won't be able to be there.(I still have some accoutrements that are not bar friendly) But I WILL be tuning into the show via concert window, and so can you! Here's the link https://www.concertwindow.com/9751-rod-picott  Rod Picott, who I admire very much as a songwriter, has dedicated this evening to helping me out. Amy Speace, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Allen Thompson, Tim Easton, and the Wild Ponies will all be playing. Also my Dad will be there, and he's funnier than Steve Martin and Rodney Dangerfield combined... My Mom is going to stay home with me and watch the show (she didn't want me to be by myself)  Stacie Huckeba will also be there to assist these performers in ways that haven't been revealed to me yet. All in all, it's going to be very entertaining. It begins at 6PM Central time. 

Again thanks to all of you who have been on this whirlwind journey of 2016 with me... It feels like we are coming into the port with victory flags flying. xoxo Megan

 Photo by Michael Weintrob   

Many thanks to everybody around me...

I can't even begin to start to summarize all the events of the past month. First of all, I had the most amazing times at my release shows in Columbus Ohio at Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza, Comfest, and Dick's Den.  I was so happy to deliver my record there first and also feel the love of the Columbus community. I raced back to Nashville to do another release at the Basement East that proved to match the love and fun of the Columbus run! I felt so fortunate to be able to do these shows in lieu of some more challenging news I received about myself during the time I was preparing to do these shows. 

To my surprise, and in the way things work in the most mysterious ways, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of May. The month of June has proven to be a new wave of me learning to be a patient versus being a nurse. I am preparing to have surgery on Friday July 8th. I feel very hopeful and optimistic that I will be back in a little while, but I have a journey ahead of me I certainly did not expect. 

I have been blessed with so much love and caring around me, I have been overwhelmed with gratitude. Never in my life have I had a window into seeing how many people care about me. I want everyone to know how much I appreciate their support and love and healing they are sending to me at this time. I can't wait to be back to playing music and seeing this as a bump in the road.

 From the show at The Basement East by Stacie Huckeba

https://www.gofundme.com/MeganPalmer

What's She's Got to Give has reached it's goal!

Last week my Pledge Music campaign reached its goal! I am so happy and grateful and relieved! Over 250 people pledged, and some of them more than once. I am beside myself with everyone's generosity and support of my music. I have decided to keep the campaign open until the release date in June, so if anyone wants to preorder the record on vinyl or CD they can, and as of today you'll be able to download it directly from the pledge site. www.pledgemusic.com/projects/meganpalmer

I am already on tour. I just arrived in Portland yesterday and I am hanging out with my family here for a couple days, and also playing a couple gigs. Allen Thompson and I are doing shows together from here to Los Angeles in the next week. He even brought his dog Levon to help us with the driving.

I'll be doing shows next month in Columbus, OH as part of my record release over Comfest weekend, starting at Natalies Coal Fired Pizza on June 22nd. My band will play the Gazebo Stage at Comfest on Saturday June 25th, followed by a hootenanny on the 26th at Dick's Den. I'll head back to Nashville, TN and do a record release show on June 30th at the Basement, joined by Allen Thompson and Darrin Bradbury. DB just got written up in Rolling Stone today for being an up and comer in the scene. I'm so happy to have played on his record and done a bit of touring with him this past year. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/10-new-country-artists-you-need-to-know-may-2016-20160504/darrin-bradbury-20160504

Ok it's time to learn some tunes and have some nephew co-writing sessions. Peace! 

Back in the states!

 Windmill in Vierhuizen, Netherlands   

My trip with Amy to England/Holland/Germany was super fun. It flew by and we really enjoyed ourselves... now it's back to Tennessee where spring has sprung. Feeling really lucky we were able to travel all of the wonderful places and meet all kinds of fun european hosts who served us non stop piles of bread and cheeses. 

here's a reveiw from our London show: https://redrospective.com/2016/04/17/amy-speace-ethan-ash/

While I was in Holland, Pledge Music interviewed me about what I was up to. Here's the link to the interview!  http://www.pledgemusic.com/blog/megan-palmer-interview

I only have about 10 days to go. I'm pretty nervous about this. I'm working hard to spread the word, and hope it works out. That's all about that. 

Here's a fun picture from our tour! 

 Amy and me in Friesland, Holland, in the garden of fairies right before our show in Oenkerk.   

Hello from Lewes, England!

 Photo by Amy Speace   

Amy Speace and I arrived in proper jet lagged fashion to Heathrow in London yesterday. We found each other, had some tea, and embarked upon our journey to Lewes in a standard rental 'Megane' vehicle... luckily she was driving!  Maybe next time for me. We are here in the UK for a few more days and then head to Holland and Germany for the rest of the tour. We had our first show tonight at the Elephant & Castle, and awesome venue hosted by the wonderful Jamie & Stevie Freeman of Union Music. They have a sweet lil record store here in Lewes and are the best hosts ever. More updates as they come... 

Hoppy Easter update! 1/2 way to the Pledge completion!

 Photo by Stacie Huckeba taken at Fran's East Side Tavern

Hi there! It's been a very busy and fun month so far. In embarking upon a fundraising campaign (and I've never done this before) I was pretty nervous and stressed out. I'm so grateful that so many friends have already pledged. I have reached 41% of my goal so far. Of course I am still nervous about this as I'm getting ready to go on tour abroad in England, Holland and Germany with Amy Speace, and I'm pretty sure I'll be online but I might not have as much time to put my energies into this campaign. 

I want to share with you briefly WHY I need your help still. Even though I self-funded the entire recording myself, there are still so many costs involved in getting this record into the physical form, and also heard by people outside my inner circle. I'm in the process of pressing vinyl and cd's, and also choosing a PR helper. I won't go into details, but hiring PR really helps in getting people to know about a release beyond what I can do myself. It's a strange world we live in, but to make this happen is actually more than what you can imagine per month (we are talking like, more than a mortgage and car payment) These folks do a good job though, so I understand. In a grass roots campaign such as this one, it gets pricey. But I do believe it's important. ANYWAY, long story short, if you would please do me a favor and share my campaign with friends, family, etc... people who you know that I may not know, that might be interested in helping out and being a part of this endeavor. I'll be forever grateful. 

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/meganpalmer

It is looking like I am set to have an official release in June! I'll be in Columbus OH for Comfest and already have shows booked at Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza on June 22, and Dick's Den on June 26th. Soon I'll also be announcing my Nashville record release, and I'm getting really excited about the chance to play these songs with a live band! 

Thanks again! xoxoxo m

Out on the Weekend

I just returned from a great weekend of shows. Nellie Clay and I played 4 super fun shows in 3 days in Columbus and Dayton OH, and East Lansing MI. We met a bunch of great folks along the way, performing material together from both of our repertoires. We’d love to come and play for you! Here’s a clip:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM9OQKQERMY

 Photo at the Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, MI. Captured by Rob Hanning   

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM9OQKQERMY&w=854&h=480]

Above is some footage caught by Rob Hanning at the Pump House Concert in East Lansing. Thanks to Smitty for having us! We really loved our time there. 

I'm really touched by the generosity of everyone who has pledged on the MP record fundraising PLEDGE so far! Only 1 week in, we are already near 30% funded. If you have pledged already, THANK YOU for jumping on board. If you plan to, you can click HERE 

Meanwhile, I'm planning some tours and getting ready to head to EUROPE in APRIL with  AMY SPEACE! 

Hope to see you somewhere between here and there down the road! xoxox m