2 Years Ago Today

2 Years Ago Today


Two years ago today...

I went in to the hospital and at 11:59pm my baby boy entered the world.

I was honest about the sheer terror I felt at becoming a mother. Especially as I was losing mine. 

I was also feeling quite set in my ways and my life. While years prior I was certain I wanted a child, at this stage I felt I had narrowly escaped the never ending on call sacrifice, the worry, the lifestyle cramping, freedom stealing money grubbing and sleep depriving reality of parenthood. Whew!

Aidan was already a week late and I was in no rush. Feeling a little ashamed that I wasn’t “dying to meet him” as all the literature and so many other mothers have talked about. I was holding on to my last hours of freedom for dear life.

But alas, it was time. Due to complications, I had to have an emergency c-section (you can find that crazy blog on my website) and the team of late shift doctors that looked like the beautiful young cast of “Lost,” laughed and joked and made bets with my man about the arrival time throughout the whole procedure. The anesthesiologist was determined to make sure it was a September 7 birthday for the luck of the number! And by golly he made it happen with less than a minute to spare.

Having no feeling from the waist down and still struck with terror (and all the nasty symptoms of sudden onset preeclampsia) I didn’t have a clue what was happening. Until I heard the cry...

I remember the sound like it was an hour ago, asking, “Is that him”? And one doctor squeezing my hand and telling me “He’s here and we’ll hand him to you in just a moment.” I was shaking head to toe. Partially from the preeclampsia and mostly from fear that now held a surprising excitement and anxiousness to see him. To feel him and yes, to meet him.

Finally, he was placed on my chest where he immediately latched on tight to nurse and the flood gates of my heart opened in a gush I could have never imagined and can still not adequately describe. The whole world around me suddenly disappeared. It was me and Aidan.

Bonded forever.

Two years later, here we are madly in love with each other. I know I can say this without a shred of doubt. I can also say with all sincerity that so far, not one thing about this has been hard. Nothing has been anything less than a marvelous, miraculous love fest. One game we like to play now, that started months ago, is for me to plant myself several feet from him, arms wide open and yell, “DE-LIIIIIIIGHT!!!” When he hears that he drops anything he’s doing and runs straight into my arms beaming and giggling, then runs away, turns around and waits for me to shout it again and again and again. All the while, the world around us disappears, every time. I call it our “Sweet Delight” game.


That’s just one of the many joys and sweet delights this baby boy gives me on an hourly basis.

A minute by minute, second by second basis.

Being a singer, of course I sing to him all the time. We have 2 songs that I’ll sing in my heart forever. I shared the first one in my blog last year which is the bed time song, Could I Have This Dance (For the Rest of My Life).

And the tune that wraps it all up for me is...

The night we met I knew I needed you so
And if I had the chance I'd never let you go
So won't you say you love me
I'll make you so proud of me
We'll make them turn their heads
Every place we go
So won't you be (be my be my baby)
Be my little baby (my one and only baby)
Say you'll be my darling (be my be my baby)
Be my baby now (my one and only baby)
I'll make you happy baby
Just wait and see
For every kiss you give me
I'll give you three
Oh since the day I saw you
I have been waiting for you
You know I will adore you
Till eternity


Lastly, Just before waking this morning I was dreaming that Aidan was crawling on my mom in her hospital bed giving her kisses and making her laugh. We knew she was dying. It was so sad but so sweet. She was giggling. So precious to wake up on his birthday with such a dream.

Love Lives On and thanks to all of you for helping it to be true.

Love and Gratitude,


A Look Behind The Scenes!

A Look Behind The Scenes!

Enjoy a little sneak peak behind the scenes of the recent sold out European Tour!

Videography and Edit: Carlotta Lucchesi

Photo: CD Madden



It's been a whirlwind of a year so far launching my new album, Love Lives On on my new label, Get Along Records!  Between all of that, plus near constant touring and motherhood I've never been busier OR more gratified.  First of all, another GINORMOUS thank you to all of you who helped me get here through the PledgeMusic campaign.  I truly could not have moved to this new next phase of my career without you.  

 Since the album launched, it's debuted at #2 on Billboard Blues Charts, it's gotten substantial radio airplay across Blues, Americana, Adult Album alternative and Non Commercial formats!  The radio play in US and Europe is picking up as we go!  My first ever music video premiered on Popmatters and the shows have all been sold out and packed both here in the states and in Europe.  The press and reviews have been overwhelmingly great and wow does that give a girl one helluva a good boost to keep on keepin' on! 


The shows have been really fresh for me with such energetic musicians on both sides of the pond and keeping true to the Memphis sound of the new album by having horns on most all of them.  

Now I'm back recovering from the April/May/June run and gearing up for some US & Canada shows in July!  Super excited to head back to San Francisco and Chicago again as well as cover some new west coast and midwest ground!  Look out for the shows near you!

After that, it's my usual bouncing back and forth between US, Europe and Canada 'til mid November with a couple of really special UK shows in London and Edinburgh in September!  

As always, I look forward to seeing you all along the road somewhere and if I still haven't come to your city or state, please bear with me!  There is NO place that I don't want to play.  We are trying to get you all of you!!!  :)

It's Showtime!!!

It's Showtime!!!

Love, Gratitude and Happy Summer,





The tour begins with a flight from JFK to Frankfurt marking Aidan’s 33rd flight. Only this is the first 9-hour international overnight flight since October. Since he’s been a “Walker.”

(Minus the blood-thirsty growling, you Walking Dead fans!)

Wisely, I allowed extra time to get to the airport and extra time to BE at the airport. UN-wisely, I also decided to wash his infant car seat lining at the last minute. Initially, I was so proud of how brand new it looked, fresh from the washing machine after 18 months of hard wear and much travel, I was soon deflated by how I hadn’t anticipated the “fit” of my now 30 pound and 33 inch long baby!  I got the sparkling clean lining in just in time to get the text from Dial 7 Car Service that they were downstairs, then…UH OH (as my toddler is fond of saying all day, every day no matter “what-oh) it was too snug!  Driver texting from the street, suitcases and all 3 cats in the hall - either wishing they were coming - OR - happily saying bon voyage to this alien that took over their space a year and a half ago! I had to move quickly and find a way to extend the straps! 

20 minutes later...voila!

But then there was the usual NYC rush hour traffic with bad weather to boot. Cool. We were still early (enough). Got checked in and rushed through security with my gregarious baby boy who clearly felt it was important that everyone at their post be acknowledged with a proper, personal wave and a verbal, "Hi!" All good, ‘til your flight is boarding and the gate is a mile away and your baby won’t go back into the stroller that just cleared security AND is in need of a massive diaper change, which in fairness to all soon-to-be fellow neighbors and travelers, kind of needs to happen NOW. Oops, sorry no time.

We board, we swap seats several times until the right combination allows Aidan and I to sit with Jon Diamond (my music partner, for those of you who are new to the party, aka “Uncoo Jon"). 

Perfect. Good thing about boarding late is less time ‘til take off, right? 30 min to go ‘til airborne and Aidan can have his toddler meal (another blog entirely - uh oh) and be fast asleep.  


2.5 hours later we find out we are still number 26 for take-off. Yet still, cell phones and bathroom privileges are not permitted. 

Ok, so we eventually get in the air.  Food comes.  Flight attendants are looking more worn than my baby, who is 3 hours past his bed time, and they all seem to be wearing a face that makes sure we know that they are not to be tested. This is where I’m gonna brag…

Meal served. 

The Toddler Meal

The Toddler Meal

Baby scarfs in a volcanic mess that no one but me and “Uncoo Jon” will see.  

Lights go out.  Baby plays with screen then tires quickly of that demanding “up-up”.  Alas, now most of the passengers are sound asleep.   For Aidan, the night is still young so…

Mama hot walks a bucking, Sea Biscuit like baby (holding the back neck part of his onesie with a fine balance of light and firm) as he runs up and down the aisle.  Up and down.  Up and down.  Up and down. For however long it takes for my back to finally start aching and a flight attendant to tell me sternly, “Enough!”  I laugh to myself, thinking of our silent 60+ minute run that disturbed no one - but this flight attendant who now wants me to strap this wild pony down when there are so many more things to see!  I’m almost tempted to acquiesce to her stern demand just to show her how misguided it is, but I have too much consideration for my fellow travelers so I just “dance my baby down” before he ever notices that we’ve been tethered.  

As he starts to struggle and squirm I know he thinks he wants anything but sleep -  but I stand by the old “hate me now, love me later” motto and press him tightly against me as I sing our song.  The song I’ve sung to him since he was born.  A corny but beautiful Ann Murray song from the 1980 film, Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta and Debra Winger. 


“Could I Have This Dance?”

I’ll always remember the song they were playing the first time we danced, and I knew…

As we swayed to the music - and held to each other - I fell in love with you…

Could I have this dance - for the rest of my life

Would you be my partner - every night

When we’re together - it feels so right

Could I have this dance - for the rest of my life

I’ll always remember - that magic moment

when I held you close - to me

As we moved together - I knew forever

You’re all I’ll ever need

Could I have this dance….

And yes, I cry pretty much every time I dance my baby down to this.  

And yes, it works. Like a froggy-legged charm!  (well thanks also to his new inflatable airplane seat extension...$30 and a little lung power vs a $600 infant airplane seat) ;^)


We arrived safely and thank the lord McDonald’s has veggie burgers and Greek salads after a 3-hour drive took 6 hours and we arrived in no man's land for food. 


But Aidan was so happy to see his old friends, Uncle Walter, Uncle Piero and his personal Tour Caregiver / Videographer, Carlotta (more on Carlotta later)...

Aidan playing Uncle Walter his favorite song...

Aidan playing Uncle Walter his favorite song...

To end the evening, Aidan and I had an after-dinner, midnight stroll through the deserted town.

"I changed the name of this town." 

"I changed the name of this town." 


Oh and just to let you know a little bit about the new show…we will have the horn section on pretty much all of the April/May shows to give this Memphis soul album, Love Lives On,  the justice I think it deserves!  Hope Y’all agree!

Love & Peace,




Stronger Together.jpg

It is with great enthusiasm that I write you all to say, WE DID IT!  Yes, that means me and YOU!  

As most of you know, I launched my first crowd funding campaign last year through PledgeMusic.  A big handful of you stepped right up and helped me reach my goal and beyond.  Helped me live my dream to record an album in Memphis, soaking up the history of the very music that made me want to get on stage and create our rock 'n' roll church of love and soul. To say “thank you” doesn’t even feel sufficient but it will have to do for now. THANK YOU.  You are all such a deep part of what I feel is my most special body of work to date.

The album has been done now for a little while but the rest of the tasks at hand were in no way even close to being complete.  Those next steps were; finding a home for the album, setting up a release date, tour dates, artwork, promotional team, etc.  For a year now, I haven’t come up for air other than to do a handful of shows and be with my baby boy!  But now we are at last, ready to rise!

Having fulfilled my contractual obligation with Ruf Records, to whom I am eternally grateful to for giving me my first real record deal and believing me and my music, I decided to shop the album around to see what kind of reaction it would get.  For the first time in my career, I found myself in uncharted territory, A handful of labels coming to me and actually vying for it.  Through that reaffirmation, I realized I had something really special here.  Of course, every album to me is special.  The lyrics are always written by me and always come from a deeply personal place.  But this album really cut to my core through the deep reflection of so much family loss, the birth of my son and especially the years of road-life; getting to know all of you, all of your pain, loss and lust for life and the joy of  us sharing that on and off the stage.  This time I had so much more to say.  And “that” said…I took another scary step toward another big dream I’ve had for some time now. (drum roll please)…


Thanks to the help of a friend and very successful businessman who has believed in my music for some time now, and who not long ago asked me “why aren’t you more well known?" To which I replied, “Because I need more support!”  After sitting down and analyzing what that support actually meant, it led to the decision to partner up and create my own label.  

So, without further ado, I would like to announce that my new album Love Lives On, will be released worldwide on my new label, Get Along Records this May 18, 2018!  


Hard to believe the process for this started a year ago.  In that year I have learned so much.  I’ve been so fortunate to have assembled an incredible team of wise, industry veterans along with some new, young, innovative thinkers, all who have guided me every step of the way on this process.  This process that started with all of YOU.  First and foremost our journey together since my touring began almost 10 years ago, but especially for this first big, scary step I took last year asking for your help.  

Your help and support has allowed me to keep following my dream to make music and continue to share it with the world.  Hopefully, now in an even bigger way.  The tour dates are rolling in and man-oh-man is it going to be a hell of a busy year! All thanks to you.  All of you and especially you pledgers who got me here.  You know who you are and trust me, so do I.  

Love Lives On is about hope and perseverance.  Something you have all given me.  I hope in some way this album can give some of that back to you.  Starting in April with The Love Lives On Tour! Check here for a show near you and I can't wait to see you!  

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With Love Living ON and tremendous gratitude,


Ready To Settle

Ready To Settle


Cruising along under a midnight, three quarter moon in the Netherlands, heading back to our hotel near Amsterdam airport.  After almost a month in Europe, winding down the Ready To Rise Tour 2017, I'm in the back of the Sprinter bus next to my snoring 1 year old and reflecting on this latest wild adventure.  


As I wrote weeks ago. the tour began with a bang of awareness that my baby is no longer an infant but now an official toddler.  A little human with his own will and personality, his own food and sleep schedule and his unique perspective which has updated mine of these wonderful countries and cultures, my band family and my road friends.  Now all seen in a new light.  


This tour began in Netherlands, where, touring began for me years ago and years later just last April, Netherlands is where touring began for Aidan.  However, just like Mama, this boy seems to find a different joy and wonderment in each country.


I'm sitting here, marveling as I type, about how each cultural shift is such a new gift.  The food, the landscape and of course the shows and the audiences.  We share our hours together night after night under the umbrella of music.  Celebrating life in all it's painful glory and being reminded how much we need each other.


I see so many of the same friends meeting up at many of my shows in their respective countries.  Wow - thank you.


We've gone from cycling through Vincent Van Gogh-like lighting in NL, munching the real Gouda cheese,  (pronounced "khowda" FYI) with shows where you have to rise above the volume of powerful Dutch lungs; to the misty majestic fjords and ever-so-present Viking audiences of Norway; to the sunny hills of Tuscany, Italy, where my baby tried white tartufo tagliatelle and took a bonafide pause to coo over the pungent, shocking taste then excitedly leaned in for more with a wide open happy little greedy mouth!  


Then it was off to Switzerland where the cheese and chocolate are as rich as the landscape (& the beautiful people packing the venues haha).  After that, we finally returned to Germany for a semi-private duo show hosted by dear German and Swiss friends that had us all in tears at the end.  There was a photo retrospective of my last few years on German stages and the blogs I've written over the years translated from English to German!  

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We all knew we had just shared such a life moment which ended with me, Jon, our crew and friends dining with our dear hosts in one of the most cozy and picturesque homes I've ever set foot in.  An old school cuckoo clock that made Aidan squeal with delight reminded us it was getting late, but before parting, we got the delightful, surreal surprise of being rewarded with a private viewing of a magical mini "train" world - created by our host, Hans Wöhr.  A world that gives Disneyland a serious run for their Mickey Mouse money!  15 years in the making and trust me these photos don't do it justice.


Finally, it was back to Netherlands to nicely bookend our perfect little tour.  Another private duo show with Dutch friends who created a small club in back of their home and one wall entirely was a larger than life-sized me!  We rocked over the din of raucous Dutchies and then enjoyed some vegan bitterballen.  One of my favorite Dutch treats!


My eyes, ears, palate and heart have opened on a whole new level.


I feel so much gratitude for these opportunities to experience the world.  Only now, I get to bring this new little life along with me to do the same.  Who knows, maybe in some way he'll remember this. If not, lord knows I've got endless videos and photos to show him. :)


Thank you everyone in the US AND EUROPE for continuing to give me this privilege of being on stage making music.  It is something that feels equally as natural as motherhood.  And now, with my baby boy Aidan, who seems like he's been having the time of his new little life!


Just hope he's not too bored in the city that never sleeps now that we're back home to stay put for the rest of the year enjoying a New York City autumn and holiday season.  Ahhh.


Finally, I hope to see you at one or all of the last three shows of the Ready To Rise Tour 2017!


11/17 The Heights at Brother Vic’s in South Salem NY

12/1 Funk ‘n Waffles in Syracuse NY

12/2 Massry Center for the Arts in Albany NY

Love and Gratitude,





Toddler Touring and Love Lives On!

Toddler Touring and Love Lives On!

July was the last international flight I took with Aidan, who at the time was only 10 months old. Back then, he slept on the night flight going over and was still easy to hold in my lap. Those days are so over!

We arrived in Amsterdam this morning after a 9 hour overnight flight. The fun began on the way to the airport, when out of nowhere, Aidan vomited like I've never seen most adults do. Soon as we arrived at JFK, we quickly checked in so I could get him cleaned up before boarding. Time was tight, so we had to go through security first. As I carried him through the metal detector, he suddenly let it all out again, upchucking all over me and the floor. Never once did he cry or make a fuss. Just scared me a bit and left a man-sized mess for TSA. I darted to the bathroom near the gate and stripped him down, sponge bathed him and tossed his clothes. Fortunately, I always pack extra for him, sadly though, not for me.  Oh well, I hoped the stench of my vomit drenched clothes would clear us an empty seat on the packed flight, because it occurred to me just this trip, my baby is a toddler now!  A 25+ pound little human! (He's a 12 kilogram boy!)


Vomitus not withstanding,  we did get lucky with an empty seat, so I was certain after pitching the usual inflight tent and bed for Aidan, he'd go out just as dinner was being served.  No such luck.  This flight, with all of the wonderful attention he drew, was just too much fun to sleep through.  So, we shared my pasta dinner and roamed the aisles together in between Aidan climbing me to conduct over-the-seat-back flirtatious advances toward the 3 women in the seats behind us. It was 8 hours of picking up, putting down, silly songs, silly dances, rescuing toys, preventing spills, accepting compliments and well just laughing at this cheeky boy who seemed to designate himself the mayor of the flight!  Tired as I was, it was all too damn funny and adorable to not just enjoy.

He finally zonked out an hour before landing but then it was getting bags, passing customs, shuttle to airport, pleading for early check in, bath and bed! 


He slept in an hour past me this morning, allowing me to suck down some coffee before planning our first trip together into one of my favorite cities, Amsterdam.


I always say that my fave part of the tour is the first day, once I've napped a bit from the travel and know I have a full day and evening, usually alone before the band arrives, so I can do some exploring. This time, I got to do it with my favorite travel companion. Seeing one of my favorite cities through these new eyes of wonder, I fell in love with Amsterdam all over again. 


Holland! It's great to be back!  We have a lot to celebrate this week because in addition to sharing some rocking live shows with y'all, the new album is mastered and ready to go!

Those of you who joined my PledgeMusic Campaign will be getting your advance digital download very soon!  There is still time to join the campaign, pre-order Love Lives On and get your advance digital download!  

Thank you all for taking this trip on the long road of life with me. Love Lives On.

Here's to many more trips!

Love, Dana


MISSION MEMPHIS COMPLETE...and other real news

MISSION MEMPHIS COMPLETE...and other real news

I had a glorious 2 weeks in Memphis recording the new album (working title, "Ready To Rise.") 
I never thought I could record and mix a 13 song album of work in 11 days!  

That's "record" time,  pun intended.  :-)

This is what happens when you get into the studio with such incredible musicians whose talents are top notch and egos are left at the door.   Plus, working with a great producer who listens objectively and knows how to strike the balance of letting things flow and stopping us from chasing our tails once the magic has happened.  

So many times I had to stop and remind myself where I came from and how I started.  To have discovered Otis Redding at age 19 and deciding in that moment, because of his performance of, "I've Been Loving You Too Long" at Monterey Pop, to really follow my dream to be a performer only now shaped by wanting to be a performer of his caliber.  

Now, here I was in Memphis, where it all began for him, tracking with another musical legend I'd listened to on so many albums as I immersed myself into the Stax and Hi records catalogues, the one and only, Reverend Charles Hodges, the man who literally invented soul organ playing.  In between takes Charles often had some beautiful words of wisdom to share.  

Imagine an African American man who made music during a time when artists such as he were welcome to entertain all-white audiences, but not allowed to share their schools, hospitals, restaurants, drinking fountains, toilets, etc.  A time Memphis poignantly reminds us of with the  powerful Civil Rights Museum, where time has been frozen at the Lorraine Motel on that early morning of April 4th when we lost a great peace builder who was beginning to unite people in the name of love.  

People like Charles Hodges continue this mission, uniting people in love and music.  

Something I've tried to make my mission as well, with every performance.

I'm still marveling at how I'd just play a simple guitar and vocal demo of the song with just Jon Diamond and me and this team of brilliant musicians would scribble notes in real time after one listen and say, "let's cut it."   I don't think any song took more than 3 takes to get and most were the first take!

I also felt such a strong sense of the circle of life, love and music completely enveloping me.  Here I was in the middle of a dream I'd had for years, tracking songs, several of which are inspired by the unbelievably devastating loss of 3 siblings and both parents in such a short time, yet dancing to play back with my 9 month old baby boy and having these musicians turn my words into joyful melodies and rhythms!  

Obviously a huge part of this circle was YOU.  All of you who have continued to support my music and my heart.  All of you who stepped up and so generously pledged to make this happen.  

I decided this album had to be about all of you as well.  As I've said in the past, when I write and record a new song, I see so many of your faces and I recall so many of your stories.  Trust me when I confide that many of you are in these songs.  Thank you for sharing your hearts with me and helping me write the most personal album I've written to date.  I am so excited to share these songs with you on the next Ready to Rise Tour 2017-2018.

Now for a HUGE thank you to the incredible musicians who each brought something so unique and meaningful to this project.

The Memphis Team:  Kevin Houston (Producer/Engineer), Charles Hodges (Hammond organ), The legendary Steve Potts  (Drums)  Eric Lewis (Guitar, Pedal Steel, Dobro, Mandolin) Reba Russell and Susan Marshall (Background Vocals), Mark Franklin (Arranger and Saxophone), Kirk Smothers (Trumpet), Felix Hernandez (Congas) Jamie Harmon (Photography), Ward Archer (Studio Owner)


The NYC Team:  Glen Patscha (Piano/Wurlitzer), Jack Daley (Bass), Jon Diamond (guitar) and Scott Sharrard & David Gelman for joining Jon and I for a few writing sessions and bringing some great co-writes to some of these songs!

To work with such world class musicians who happen to be such a joy and pleasure to hang out and live with for several days, is just the crazy delicious icing on a big, fat, scrumptious cake!  

Now in between some upcoming shows in the US and Europe, we will start the promotion plan and tour strategizing.  

Release date is still being determined so please stay tuned!!

Meanwhile, we'll be adding more and more new tunes to my upcoming shows!

Check Tour Dates Here:

As always with so much love and gratitude, let's continue to celebrate love and life together through music!

Rising in Switzerland and Netherlands!

Rising in Switzerland and Netherlands!

It has felt so good to be back on tour with my musical brothers and for the first time with my precious boy, Aidan!  He's been one happy, playful, smiling and sleeping baby boy just LOVING the attention from my band mates and friends, especially his Uncle Walter!  He has infused me with a whole new passion for life and our celebration of it through music.

Our 2 days off were spent in Haarlem (yes my home city in New York is named after this great Dutch city!) and we enjoyed sight seeing and tasting lots of yummy food.   Aidan even got a tiny taste of Creme Brûlée a la Flambé! Shhhh.  

Thank you Switzerland and (so far) Netherlands for the great, packed and sold out shows and your wonderful reception of me and the new music.  Not to mention all the awesome baby gifts! Especially Miffy The Rabbit nightlight and the Fluffy White Cat! 

I must say I am having a blast with my baby boy on the road.  And he seems pretty damn happy to be here!


Oh and for those wondering about sleep... he's remained on his USA time clock which works great because then I have to only be away from him when I'm on stage!  Then after the show we have our bath together and it's bed time!  :-). He crashes about an hour before I do giving me time to pack up and organize for the next trek to the next city!

Last night was Arnhem at a great new venue for me called Luxor Live.  Beautiful theater & beautiful audience

photo: Jette Haan

photo: Jette Haan

Tonight was Heerlen...tomorrow Drachten then Breda then Weert!  

Hope to see you at all the remaining shows until I head back to NYC!

photo: Jette Haan

photo: Jette Haan

Love, Love, Love, 

Dana & Aidan

6 Months In To My New Life!

6 Months In To My New Life!

Now, it's hard to believe that I'm nearing the one year anniversary of my mother's death and that I've been a mother now myself for 6 months!

Motherhood is by far the most amazing role I've ever taken on.  Every day I feel a new appreciation for life as I watch my son reach various milestones.  Every day I marvel at the timing of his entrance into my life after so much loss.  Every day begins with his smiling and cooing and ends with him fading to sleep in my arms.  I count the blessings of each second I have with him.  Knowing full well that these moments are fleeting and that I am so very fortunate to have them.  

Many are asking if now I'll write "happy baby songs." Ha!  Not quite.  As many of you know me, my music and my message, you know that I am always compelled to take the darkest parts of our paths with the hope of transforming them into a brighter moment that we can all share together in our "Rock and Roll Church of Love." (Hail Hail Chuck Berry may he rest in peace.)

My mission continues with even more urgency as I observe the world I've brought my dear Aidan into and the man I hope he will become.  This is why the upcoming album, Ready To Rise feels like my most important yet. Yes, there are songs on it about the loss of my siblings and parents - I needed to complete that chapter as I begin a new one - but there are also songs about the suffering I see all around us, yet I try to fuse with it the joy of what "us" coming together can do for our hearts and the one big heart of this world.  Songs on the new album like, Same Sunlight touch on the very subject of how divided our nation and dare I say, our world, feels right now.  Yet, when we see someone on the street suffering and we want to help, do we first ask "what is your religion?" " your sexual preference," "your politics?"  I think it's fair to say that most of us do not.  We just feel the urge to help ease the suffering of that being.  Even if it's a silent prayer we say in passing which the person never knows we say for them.  We are all living, dreaming and trying to survive "under the same sunlight." That's the point.  

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"Orphan" is a song on the album initially inspired by the news footage last autumn of a baby boy being dug from rubble in Aleppo.  But it's for orphans all over the world.   Some now with bitter hearts who watched their parents die before their eyes in war, some who lost their parents to famine and disease, some who lost their parents due to abject, unnecessary poverty. There's even a song I was once challenged to write about what it must be like for refugees and illegal immigrants risking everything to try their luck in a new world and culture - entitled, "Sad Solution."  ALL of this is a jarring reminder of my own unbelievable fortune.  A fortune I feel I can never take for granted or else my life and my music will cease to have meaning.  As my dear Dutch friend Masja Ottenheim, who works tirelessly serving others, always says, "We have to be better not bitter!"

As always, I feel the need to express my gratitude to all of you who continue to share this journey with me and to those of you just coming on board.  My Ready To Rise Tour is NOW and I look forward to celebrating life and love with you all in our sweaty, spitty, screamin', Church of Love!  

A very special guest has been added to my NYC shows for March 24 & 25 at the Iridium.  Plus, I've added some special cover songs, which I've never done before, after years of being asked... (yes I'm trying to be mysterious!)  ;-)

I can't wait to see you all very soon on the path to love and celebration!

Meanwhile, I have 11 days to reach my final goal to fund the recording of my new album in Memphis this coming May.  I need you to help me continue to spread love and joy with YOU!

Thank you ALL for your incredible love and support.  I AM READY TO RISE & ROCK YOUR SOULS!



Ready To Rise

Ready To Rise

As most of you know, it’s been another year of big life changes. The sudden and unexpected loss of another family member, my precious mother, followed months later by the birth of my son Aidan, also unexpected. The wheel of life most certainly has its way of balancing things out.  

It seems every album I’ve made has been dedicated to a dearly departed member of my immediate family. And while this next one will again include the dedication for a third sibling and both parents, all within the past 2 years, it will also be a dedication to new life. Of course, that inspiration comes from the little fire of life I was recently blessed with, but also from the pact I’ve made with all of you since I began this journey and began saying at every show, ‘we are in this boat called life together, and we have to celebrate this life right now, with each other in this moment.’ That remains my ongoing inspiration. People will come and go in our lives but when we are in a moment together, that is living life in the here and now. Something you have all done with me every step of the way. My gratitude can’t possibly be fully conveyed by typed words on a page.

Now, I’m taking on an entirely new and scary challenge. Something I’ve never done on such a big level. (My friends and family can attest). I’m asking you guys to help me keep our Church of Love and Life going in a way that I can sustain. No, I’m not asking for handouts.  That’s never been my style!  I’ve always been more comfortable being the giver in any relationship.  Not a boastful statement, but in all honestly, I think I preferred the control of that dynamic over the intimacy that comes with receiving…the fear that comes with testing my own self worth.  So, I speak not with any noble morality when I say that I prefer to give rather than receive, remaining safely distant from the intimacy of asking for help, always believing I had to do it all on my own.  You guys have shown me in so many ways that this is not at all the case.  Evidenced by the first card for the loss of my oldest brother 5 years ago, signed by loving, caring people whom I didn’t even know.  You made my mother weep with that one. The pilgrimages you made to shows to support me after each family loss along with all of your thoughtful cards and letters. Right down to the baby clothes I still marvel at from this past year! I have often sat and just wondered to myself, “wow, do I really mean that much to these people? Am I giving enough to deserve this?”  It’s a constant and humbling thought I have.

Now, as a touring and performing artist, I have to finally accept that I can’t get by at all without a little help from my friends!  I can’t sustain the costs of touring for extended periods of time, doing show after show to keep my musicians gainfully employed, keeping us all healthy by getting us at least a decent bed to sleep in while traveling extensively, often on little or no sleep. By decent, I mean a 2 star hotel, just a bed and shower, preferably with no vermin. :-) I’ve upped the show by adding keyboards because you asked! I’ve upped the show by having my own sound tech because as Warren Haynes once said to me, “A sound man can make or break your career.” Here’s an example, one time I did a show in Europe where I was in the best voice I’d been in a while. Fully rested and my pipes were raring to go! I was new at the whole touring game and while I had to struggle to hear myself on stage, through what I later learned were just cheap insufficient monitors, fortunately I had all the energy and power to push through with a full clear voice.  However, after the show I did the usual meet and greet and everyone asked if I had a cold and why they couldn’t hear me?  I was told that some people were so frustrated they walked out.  Aha! Warren was right!  I used the house sound guy, whom I’d never met.  He later confessed he had no idea what he was doing but talked the club into hiring him because he was a fan. I laughed and hugged him and bought him a beer, but from then on I’ve been determined to bring my own sound tech, which means another flight, another hotel, another person to pay.  

Now, here comes the catch 22.

I need you. No, it’s not that I just need bodies to show up so my ego doesn’t tank, so venues will bring me back, and so I can cover my operating costs.  Of course, that’s all certainly part of it, but it’s more than that and something I think we all feel, I need to believe what I’m doing actually matters…at least to someone. Then, hell yes I’ll stomp sweat and spit every night sick or not, or even at the usual risk of getting sick!  And we will continue to celebrate life and our human connection to one another with a violent passionate fervor!  Here’s why and where I need your help.

On a small label, which is where I’ve been for the last few years, it’s virtually impossible to reach all of you. Like Steve and Lisa in Phoenix, AZ who have both been (politely and patiently) begging me to come play that awesome city! Like so many of you who write all the time asking why I don’t play more (or at all!) in your city, etc.  It PAINS me to get these notes because there isn’t a city, state or country I wouldn't LOVE to play. Here’s a peak behind the curtain offered without bitterness, only as truth to power.

A small record label (if you’re lucky) gives you barely enough to make the record. In my case, I incurred the cost to make the record out of my own pocket and then sold it to the label, often getting less than half of what it actually cost me to make it. But it was important to me to do it right.  I can’t and won’t give you guys any half measures. I can’t deliver if I don’t feel connected.  Ok, so then the label says they’ll promote you, and again if you’re lucky, they’ll mail out a bunch of copies of the albums randomly (and often far too late for any real press or promo to be done) and call it a day because they have a bunch of other bands that they’re doing the same thing for and they are usually a small operation. Then once the CD’s are mailed, they’re done with you.  But you’re not done with them because they now own your songs and that album for life. When I sell that album from the stage, I first must buy it from the label at a premium and I get a fraction of a penny for every download. Before you know it, they’ve made a tidy living on you but you are struggling to even get to the next show!  

And here’s what it takes to get to the next show…

The budgeting starts with flights for the 5 band members and sound tech, then ground transportation and modest accommodations for all. Next, is salary for us all (we don’t just get our clothes from “thrift shops” because they’re cool hahaha). Add in per diem and meals for band and crew. Ok I’ll leave the math to you as I think you get the general idea. It costs thousands of dollars to do a show and most clubs only cover a fraction of that cost. Therefore, we rely on CD sales and the big festivals to cover expenses for doing a club or theater show near you. If you stick with it long enough, by believing in yourself and your fans, then you go from losing money the first couple of years, to breaking even the next few, and then to finally begin seeing small profit. I remember my days of paying to play. That’s the biz and that’s why you need either a big label (which really do not sign many non pop artists) OR you need real fans. What’s a real fan?  Someone who buys tickets to your shows and buys your music and spreads the word.  Lucky for me, I’ve got people like you. If you’re reading this, then you have been that kind of fan. I actually prefer to say, “friend.”  You have been this kind of friend to me, my band and in turn, to my music. You have made me feel that what I’m doing matters. 

Now, I’m hoping to do it better! I’m hoping to get to more cities and meet those of you face to face who only know me through YouTube! I’m hoping to keep coming back to those of you who’ve been with me all along and rocking your asses off. I want to come to you and play just for you. In order to do this, I need to make my next album of music so we have new stories to share, and I need to get my band on the necessary planes, trains and automobiles to get to that stage!

Ok, so here’s my “ask”…

I’ve decided I “ain’t to proud to beg, sweet darlin’ please don’t leave me no no no!” (just kidding.) I’m not asking for a handout I’m simply asking for the same deal I’ve always asked for as I hit the stage, I’ll give you all my heart and soul, just give me some of yours back.

That said, I’ve decided to take the leap and do a PledgeMusic Campaign. Something I could never imagine doing a few years ago. Well, you know the old adage, ‘never say never.’ But it no longer makes sense to keep hitting the same brick walls. To be hidden in the shadows because we can’t afford to get out there to more and more people. Because we don’t have the money to hire a publicist to make more people aware of the shows we do. To keep offending so many of you who think I just choose to NOT play your hometown or state! So, I decided to do what many respectable contemporary artists whom I look up to are doing. In this day and age, we are so lucky that we don’t have to wait for the man in the suit to validate our worth and decide whether or not our music gets heard. If you want me and I am willing to fight to get to you, then it’s entirely in OUR control. And this is where it gets fun…

Like I said, no “hand outs” involved here, unless you insist. ;-) Rather, I want to do a creative and fun exchange with you that will help me give you all I’ve got to offer in exchange for you helping me fund the next album, promotion and tour!  I don’t expect any charity here y’all so I’ve come up with some wacky and never before offered ideas, such as…

Hosting you at a dinner party and hootenanny (look that word up!) in my Harlem crib. Coming to your living room to play for you and your friends. Giving you a tour of my fave spots in NYC. Having you join us in the studio while we make the album and have some drinks and food with us. Hanging with the band for some fun after parties at certain shows and festivals. I will be offering up some personal and one-of-a-kind items from my journey in music, theater and movies. There will be a very special one of a kind show and there will be a lot more to offer at PledgeMusic with more to be added along the way, too!  The goal is for us to be having fun every step of the way in this process together. I’ll even write a song for you or someone you love for the next album, if you’re the first to grab that limited time option. These are just a few fun ideas my team and I have put together so dive in at Pledge Music and see for yourself! 

All that aside, please know that I know I already get so much from you. I even get my song inspirations from you. Like when you tell me your stories after shows or write to me. Like when I’m working out a new tune and I’m actually imagining performing it for you and telling you my story at the next show. That’s my songwriting inspiration. In fact, it’s because of all of you that for this new album, I’ve finally been able to write a song about my father and his complex tortured soul.  I’ve written a song about giving birth to my son after so much loss, (including the loss of previous pregnancies that had me devastated) and a song about what it was like to finally be able to give my mother a grandchild only to lose her before he could arrive. I think about how I need to express these stories and in my mind I see your faces in the audience ready to share them with me and it makes the lyrics just flow out.  YOU guys are my truest inspiration.  But, I digress…

Now back to the hard part. If none of the things I have to offer in my PledgeMusic Campaign speak to you, but you do want to at least have my new album, then all you have to do is simply pre-order it! That alone will cover a portion of the cost of making the record. The rest we’ll figure out later once it’s done.

Ok there, I’ve done it!  Ouch! This wasn’t easy for me to write. But I will tell you now that as I wrote the part above about my songwriting inspiration being from you guys, it truly brought me to tears. Tears of gratitude and deep reflection on these past few years with all of you and our lives so intertwined.  

Much Love and may this Holiday Season be one of Peace, Love and Joy for All of You.  

We have so much to be thankful for.  

I’ll close by saying thank you for selling out my first postpartum show this Friday at the Rubin Museum. I’ll be debuting a few of the new tunes, mentioned above and one that we just finished yesterday entitled “Orphan.” Having this precious baby that needs so much love and care has been a stark reminder of so many children all over the world whose parents are ripped away from them, especially in these sad, violent times of war.  

So, please send your prayers of love to all the “orphans” out there both young and old and let’s keep fighting against a divided world and continue to RISE UP against hatred, discrimination, greed and violence.

I’m READY TO RISE y’all…on every level. Are you with me?

Love, Love, Love and Then Some,


Watch Dana's Intro Video on PledgeMusic!  

Watch Dana's Intro Video on PledgeMusic!  




I’ll admit I found myself feeling maybe a bit too proud of having such an easy, healthy pregnancy. I had no morning sickness and no exhaustion during any of it. I was exercising daily, touring and performing up until my 9th month and bicycling through the crazy streets of Manhattan from Harlem all the way downtown each week. Cycling was my best source of transport because the only truly unbearable options were the summer stench-oven of the subway platform and being smushed in like cattle in the crowded subway cars, or riding in a taxi with the requisite herky-jerky, Tasmanian Devil driving...

Happy Inter-Dependance Day

Happy Inter-Dependance Day

Thank you with all my heart to the people of Finland, Italy, Switzerland and France for a great last pre-baby European Tour! It has been so wonderful to see many of my now, long time friends traveling from all over Europe to join me. 

t's also been great to rock out with Jon, Walter & Piero again, as well bringing some new blood to the stage, like Nicola Venturiniand Marco Galiero.After a couple of great days off at the lake and zoo in Zurich, CH, I made a quick stop in the gorgeous, medieval city of Avignon, FR, Then I took a little vacation, aka Babymoon, back in Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea near Piero Perelli's home town of Lucca!  Me and the boys ended our stay in Italy on July 5th, with a homemade pizza party courtesy of Papa Perelli, followed by a full band jam at The Perelli's beautiful, Tuscan home!

Next, I headed to Ekenäs, Finland where I just did a live appearance on Radio Nostalgia in Helsinki. I'm doing more press Friday and then we will rock our last European show atBossaNova Blues and Rock Festival on Saturday July 9th.

My welcome back to gorgeous Finland was a gourmet dinner prepared by our host and festival organizer, Chef Kristian Karnell at his impeccable lakeside restaurant, Bossa Nova, with his wife Sara and father Kurt joining us. Kristian's theme for the fest is, "no junk food" and they're setting up champagne and wine tents!

Lastly, I'm headed back home to the USA for the final state-side shows before Mama-hood! 

07-14-16 Callahan’s Music Hall – Auburn Hills, MI USA - Show 7:30pm Tickets

07-15-16 Bluesfest Windsor – Windsor, ON Canada - Show 11:25pm Tickets

07-16-16 Peter’s Players – Gravenhurst, ON Canada - Show 8:00pm Tickets

07-17-16 Belle Bash – Mayville, NY USA - Show 8:00pm Tickets

07-27-16 Iridium – New York, NY USA - Show 8:00pm Tickets

I'm so sorry that I had to let go of the August dates but it was doctor's orders not to be performing away from home just two weeks before my due date! I guess I was being overly ambitious and it certainly didn't help my case that the doctor watched my videos on YouTube ;-) 

It's been almost surreal to travel through Europe for another summer, something I've done now every year since 2009, but this time with the company of my unborn baby boy, who's growing in me rapidly and kicking up a storm. 

Knowing he's with me has been quite comforting on this tour, especially the late nights alone where I lie awake from jet-lag missing my recently departed mother, father and brothers so profoundly. Especially my mother. It's so strange not to share all of my travel details with her and not to be sending her photos on this tour. 

But now, I imagine someday, I'll get to share these experiences with my child. I'm already starting to see the world a bit differently as I project it through his future perspective and his experiences yet to come. Such feelings of wonder, fear, beauty, excitement and at times sadness, all crowd my heart. How interesting that this myriad of feelings all culminate into a sort of peaceful calm which I haven't quite known before. Likely, because I have no idea what the near or distant future holds. Actually, I never did, it's just now even more apparent that I have no control and no clue...what a relief! :-)

Thank you all for helping me keep my chin up and my heart open through such a bizarre journey of love, loss and life. A journey we all take. How wonderful to take it together with you. 

'm forever grateful and my heart is deeply moved by the notion of sharing with my son the stories of my great journey with all of you. Most definitely to be continued...

Now time for Chapter Two.

Love, Joy and Immense Gratitude, 



Taking Time Off... For Life! The Barefoot and Pregnant Tour 2016!

Taking Time Off... For Life! The Barefoot and Pregnant Tour 2016!

Electric word life , that means forever - and that’s a mighty long time.  But I’m here to tell you..there’s something else..."  Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

A BABY!  That’s right I’m taking time off for “life,” not as in forever, but as in a baby boy, whom I’ll be bringing into this world come September.

As many of you know, over the past 5 years I’ve been forced to cancel a lot of shows due to a series off losses that began years ago with my sister Donna and subsequently back to back deaths of my brother Don, followed by my father, followed by my brother Dan and just last month, my beloved mother.  So here I am just losing a mother while becoming one.  So deeply strange and beautiful.

I’m as shocked as probably some of you are.  By now, I sort of figured I’d live a life without children and was feeling OK with that.  Yet, as death came knocking again too soon for another dear loved one, life too, was fighting to prevail.  To be honest, my first thought was “what awful timing” until my dear Italian friend and agent Luisa Parelli so beautifully wrote to me,  “You could do nothing better than life to battle death, and having a kid is simply finding one of the reasons we come to this world which is not so clear often!!!!!”  (Thanks for that Luisa).

That said, I’m absolutely terrified and now even more ready to come see so many of my dear friends and homes all over the world one more time before “the end of the world as I know it!”  So, as I list the last shows of the year below, please consider coming to bless this new little life that’s tagging along in my belly, and to celebrate ALL LIFE, past, present and future together in our Rock and Roll Church of Love.

Fear not, I plan to spend the most likely sleepless, downtime this autumn and winter making a new body of music that’s been brewing in me all year.  Then, I plan to bring this wee one all over the world (within healthy reason of course) to see the many beautiful places and meet the many incredible people I’ve been so very fortunate to have encountered.  

Until then, I’ll look forward to seeing you all this June, July and August.  My dear friend and clothing designer, Gayatri Jolly is making my big-belly shirts right now, while still devoting her time to the women in the slums of India teaching them to sew and be self-sufficient.
(What a Goddess!)

Thank you all for allowing me to share yet another of life’s twists & turns through sadness and joy with you.

I look forward to seeing you soon starting in the USA next weekend and then back to Europe starting with a “home” I haven’t been to in a while, which was my very first foreign country to ever visit and will now officially be the first foreign country for my baby boy, ITALY!!!  

So here’s where to find me, Y’all…..I sure hope you will.  

Love, Dana


Never Buy Green Bannanas: A Reflection of Grief and Gratitiude

Never Buy Green Bannanas: A Reflection of Grief and Gratitiude

First, I want to thank all of you for the incredibly inspiring, loving and comforting notes and posts with your condolences.  I wanted to wait to post again until I’d read every last one of them.  What struck me most is how many of you have also been down the road of such loss and grief.  It was so connective and healing to read of your experiences and I'm beyond grateful to you all for sharing.  There’s a Buddhist meditation called, “Taking and Giving,” where we take the pain we are experiencing and we imagine the countless other beings going through a similar pain and situation, thereby taking on their suffering, and imagining that we are emitting back waves of love and compassion to them.  It’s so powerful to connect in this way, much the same as the posts from those of you who had gone through the loss of a mother. I was able to focus on love and compassion for us all rather than the grief of just my own loss.  That is what comforts me to sleep every night.

Today is my mother’s birthday and I was supposed to be in Florida celebrating her life with family.  Instead, I flew down weeks ago last minute and spent the last 11 days of her life next to her in the intensive care unit.  We still shared stories, meals, tears and laughter.  However, I never guessed “this was it."  We never do, for ourselves or our loved ones.  One of the things she said to me in the hospital laughing was, "Never buy green bananas.”

 I knew exactly what she meant, yet I was still determined to throw her that birthday party, determined to get her home, where she was so determined to be.  Her sheer will had her up and walking to show the doctors she was ready, just hours before she left us.

I often say on stage that home is where the heart truly is. By that, I mean it’s about bringing our heart to every person, place and situation we encounter.  Well, the days following my mom’s passing we spent cleaning out her home, the home she raised her six children in. The home she was so determined to get back to. The home that had, stashed in every drawer and closet, every card her children ever sent or made, every school art project, every award.  Seeing it so empty without a visible trace of those years certainly took a huge piece of my heart, that will remain there frozen in a time of the past, before life’s tragedies stepped in claiming her eldest daughter, her two eldest sons and the only love of her life for 60 years, my father.  The home that will someday have the life of another family and their story imprinting itself upon those walls.

Now my mother’s home is in my heart forever.  On some level, I feel that she’s able to be with me even more than her physical restrictions would ever allow these past few years.  I try to take comfort in that.  In fact, when I finally came home after the longest few weeks of my life, I stepped into my NYC apt and gave her a tour, even officially introducing her to my kitties whom she always loved hearing about and seeing in the pictures I shared.  (Of course they all just looked at me puzzled, meowing for their tin of Fancy Feast to be opened.)

To sum it all up, my mother was by far the most selfless person I’ve ever known.  Sometimes to a fault, but never selfishly selfless, just selfless.  I will be forever grateful to her for the the endless memories of late night talks, Scrabble games, movie dates, roller skating dates, baking lessons, patching my clothes, making ridiculous punk rock outfits for me, all the creative made-up children’s stories, (which she later wrote down and I just found) and of course, her unconditional love and support.  The kind only a mother can really give.

My mother had nothing “valuable” per se in the house, so my brothers and I each took keepsakes.  For me, it was her teenage diary, love letters to my father, photos of her youth and this wacky rocking chair that she rocked all of her six children in, with me being the last.  :-)  I also kept her wedding band, which she gave to me in the hospital as her fingers began to swell with fluid.  I immediately put it on the chain next to the heart she had given me for my birthday this year.  Now, a symbol to me that our hearts are locked together in all eternity for countless lifetimes to come.  

I thank you all for allowing me to share this unbelievable life journey with you and for sharing yours with me.  

While I’ve lately felt it seems impossible to ever get on stage again, I also know that this is who I am and what I do, and exactly what my mother would expect of me.  She so loved hearing my stories of travel throughout the world and even met some of you who made a pilgrimage to meet her in person, (from as far away as Germany) and those of you who became pen pals.  It was such an honor to share this part of my life with her.  
She was proud of me and all of you are a huge part of my mother’s pride.  What a gift you are.

So today, I still grieve, but I also feel so much gratitude.  I will look forward to resuming my show commitments starting in late May, after some much needed quiet time.  I will look forward to connecting our hearts ever more deeply as I see you and bring my mother to finally meet you.

Of course, we never really know who of us will actually be here by then or even for another day, so let’s be sure to remember that with everyone we encounter, especially our loved ones.  
And by the way, I've never had the patience to buy green bananas anyway.  ;-)

With My Most Committed and Connected Heart of Love,