YEAH! My latest all-original, americana-bluesy-rootsy CD “Liars, Cutthroats and Dames” IS HERE!

Hello Everybody! This is Kathleen Dunbar with BIG NEWS! As some of you may know or have heard—my latest americana-bluesy-rootsy CD Liars, Cutthroats and Dames has been in it’s final stages of completion: Well, I’m happy to announce to you that it is officially finished and I am RELEASING IT out into the world!

MY NEW CD IS HEREit is available for you all RIGHT NOW!

FREE DOWNLOAD:
I am so excited that I want to give you all an opportunity to sample it for free, so here we go with a FREE DOWNLOAD of the first track, Lilah, just for you. Here’s the link to get your free download:
             https://kathleendunbarmusic.com/get-a-free-download-here

HOW TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE CD:
You can listen to complete tracks of the entire album at this link on my Store page: https://www.kathleendunbarmusic.com/store  You can listen to all of the songs on the album three times for free before being prompted to purchase, or you can find me on Spotify for continued streaming. You can purchase the album via Itunes, Amazon, etc. simply by visiting the links on my website Store page. In addition to offering a digital download, you can also order a physical CD from CDBaby—again, right there on my Store page.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM: Of course, all the songs are originals written by me! With each song I take you on a different journey. This new album departs from my previous two Americana CDs—I dive deeper and delve further into the dark and the light side of the human psyche, and I’ll make you feel, think, and sometimes laugh out loud!

Please come and join me on this musical journey! I’d love to hear your opinions and comments! Please let me know what you think and feel about my new CD Liars, Cutthroats and Dames by dropping me a line at:  kathleen@kathleendunbarmusic.com  I send out a monthly newsletter with fun stories, tidbits and gossip about the songs and the amazing musicians on this CD. I also let you know about upcoming shows. To sign up for my newsletter, just use that same band email at kathhleen@kathleendunbarmusic.com

And hey, if you’d like, I’m available to do a house concert at your house if you live in the SF Bay Area! These are fun, warm, intimate, unforgettable gatherings.

BIG THANKS AND LOVE TO THE AWESOME MUSICIANS:
I want to thank the incredible musicians who helped me bring my original songs to life!

That’s me, Kathleen Dunbar/Songwriting and Vocals. And my incredible band which is called The Better Devils, is: Gawain Mathews/guitars, electric bass, banjo, mandola, keyboards, accordion, percussion, backing vocals. KyleCaprista/drums. Dan Feiszli/standup bass. Nicholas Daniel Wlodarszyk/trombone. Eric Levy/piano on Baby Put Your Red Shoes On. Rich Armstrong/trumpet. Bryan S. Dyer/backing vocals. MJ Lee./violin. Joseph Feusi/backing vocals. Big thanks and love to Joseph Feusi, Raz Kennedy and the incredible multitalented Gawain Mathews who is my producer, arranger, mixer and angel in general!

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD:
Please feel free to forward this to anyone who you feel would like to accompany me on this musical journey. Thank you in advance for your support, my dears!

Love, Kathleen

Photos by Joseph Feusi

Kathleen Dunbar’s original song Half of You Good begins Adriana Marchione’s film-in-progress “The Creative High”

The Creative HIgh

Here’s the link TO LISTEN TO an instrumental version MY ORIGINAL SONG “Half of You Good” (from my forthcoming album Liars, Cutthroats and Dames) opening Adriana Marchione’s film-in-progress The Creative High and watch Adriana Marchione’s coolio film in progress:
LINK: https://vimeo.com/171950766

Hey Folks,
Coolio filmmaker Adriana Marchione starts out her video of her film in progress on artists, their addiction and recovery with an instrumental version OF ONE OF MY NEW SONGS from my forthcoming album Liars, Cutthroats and Dames! So if you click on the link you can immediately hear my awesome producer and guitarist Gawain Mathews doing his amazing guitar rendition of my original song Half Of You Good. I’m also writing a novel, and this song explores the addiction of a gambler in the Old West. Pretty soon you can get to hear the complete version including me singing my lyrics as we only have to master all the tracks and then release it to the world!

THANK YOU ADRIANA for your important and very wonderful film project, and I am delighted each time I see more of it unfolding. I’m honored to have my music in your movie.

She’s also put my original music in her podcast! THANKS!

Adriana writes: “Our video of our film in progress – a sneak peek into our footage and the artists in recovery who have been brave enough to share their story. Extremely grateful for all the people who have contributed to make this video happen including musician Kathleen Dunbar, who generously offered her music to support the film project and The Creative High podcast. Visit Kathleen’s website at http://www.kathleendunbarmusic.com

Japanese Tea Garden

A IMG_0243 V-0 - Version 8

Japanese Tea Garden

I spent many years going to the
Japanese Tea Garden in
Golden Gate Park, writing poetry
and observing people. Over the
years I wrote down some of the
interesting things I heard people
saying—the quotes in the poem
are what people actually said!

The girl says, “I need sugar.”
Her mother in a loud voice says,
“You don’t need sugar. You want sugar.
You need air and water and food.”
“And sleep,” a smaller girl says,
a little sister.
“Yeah, you need sleep.”
I watch the furrow of the brows
in this family
from larger woman to smaller girl,
a field of worry.
I say to myself,
“You need love.”

Parents in the tea garden, to children:
“You can’t make too many wishes at once.”
“You don’t want to play in old water. It’s yucky.”
About the fortune cookies:
“There’s a little story inside.”

As a child I was frequently in trouble
for playing in water,
yucky and clean.
I immediately want to make “too many wishes.”
In fact I have begun long ago,
am always in the midst of them,
they are as familiar as prayer beads.

Two middle aged ladies are served
tea and cookies.
Their eyes light up!
The plump lady
leans conspiratorially into her friend’s shoulder.
“If you break it, all the calories fall out!”
They laugh out loud
having lived enough life
to let their laughter be heard.
Her friend smiles.
I like them.
They are two reasons to get older.

A couple pauses as they cross the stone bridge
deep in conversation,
then they stand in front of the shrine that rises
in orange and black above the plain garden of stones.
She is even more in earnest
contemplating the wooden tower to the gods.
Who doesn’t try to make sense of it all?
She says, “You remember the tomato?
She married the tomato’s older brother.
He was a brilliant physicist.
He really lost it and became a monk.”

A little family at the tea garden
sitting on the “front row” –
just above the pool –
throwing wish pennies in
the father says to the son,
“Do you want to be superman?”
The son says,
“Nah,
that’s not a job.”

Now the Russian boy sings happily
in a thick accent,
“Oh, we had bad luck!”
a far away country melody
as they fish his sister’s purse out of the goldfish pond.
His aunt climbed right over the counter
and perched on the base to the awning pole,
leaned over the waters
and pulled it out.
No one fussed in that family.
An accident.
Much less worse than some things
that happened
back in the old country.
The father patiently squeezes the water out of everything.

A woman is saying to a man
next to me:
“I gave you a hot bath
when we lived on Taylor Street.
Where the spirit lived.
After that party.
I came home and made you a hot bath.
I poured you a glass of beer
and the spirit made it shatter.
All those beautiful glasses that they don’t make anymore.”

A small wriggly boy
leans far over the counter
and says excitedly,
“You can corral fish, you know.”
A fish cowboy in the Japanese Tea Garden.
His mother moves his teacup away
just in time.
“Tell me about it,” she says.
I sigh.

A student with glasses
and an impossibly long orange scarf
says to her friend,
“I’ll go home and make some pudding
and have that soup and do my notes.
I’ll put some more chili in that soup!”
That simple.
They are very young.
They leave.
The stools emptied of them
fill with an old couple.
He waits for her to sit
before he does
as he has unnumbered times,
a habit of kindness.
They look out at the pond
and she says,
“It’s going to be our anniversary.
What are you going to give us for our anniversary?”
“I don’t know.
It’s going to be forty-eight years.”
They eat the cookies
and drink the tea
and say not one word more.

A woman to her child,
“My fortune says
‘If your desires are not extravagant
they will be granted.’”
Her little girl has pink socks
with sparkles
and stars
and frilly lace.
Her mother has sensible shoes.

Man to child, “You like adventures?
I like adventures too.”
For a moment
they are the same age.

My heart has filled up
like the pools
with all that these people
are seeing and saying
and wishing
and feeling.

Why do I ache so much?
I have frequently been known to make too many wishes,
throwing them ahead of me
into the extravagant mess of life,
the clear and the yucky waters.

I have been naked without love.
And I have been loved—am loved,
so that when my beloved
hears my yelped ouch
as I grate my tender fingertip
along with the carrots
he calls out from the steamy bathroom,
“Are you okay?”
and I know
that I have already
won the Lotto.

Before I go back home
I see another one of us:
That child is going to make a wish.
There is the wish-posture!
Everything in her being is expectant.
There is the holding of the breath,
the choosing—which side of the bridge
to throw the penny from,
which pool more lucky?
I know the upraised urge and launch
as the sudden metal bone of the wish
goes splashing into the pool,
the pause after – it’s done.
Seriousness,
then the smiling.
The moment after
the world is different:
it is wished in.
Will it come true?
We are all already nibbled on by the fishes.
She walks away looking back,
ripening a little.

We throw ourselves
ahead of ourselves
all the time,
our hearts sing a song
beyond us
not so much about
health, wealth, love
(the usual culprits)
but really about the more extravagant stuff—

the attempt to keep
being here
in the messiness,
the yucky
clear
magnificent
stumbling
miracle.

© Kathleen Dunbar

Photo by Kathleen Dunbar

Kathleen ON THE RADIO Monday May 25 Labor Day 3:30-ish on SF Community Radio

IMG_2910

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.39.09 PMRADIO INTERVIEW: Kathleen will be interviewed on Blue Lew’s SFCR Radio show this Monday, May 25!
WHEN: Monday, May 25, Labor Day
TIME: Somewhere between 3:30 and 5:30!
SHOW: The Blue Lew Show
INTERNET RADIO: To listen to the interview and music from my current and my upcoming CDs here’s how ya do it:
1) Go to this link: http://savekusf.org/shows
2) On the right side under the banner entitled Listen to SFCR click on the link that says, Launch Live365 Player. You can see what it looks like in the picture at the top here.
3) A screen will appear and you’ll immediately be tuned in! You can see what it looks like on the picture below.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 8.42.10 PM

 

Upcoming Gig May 16 at Bill’s Barn!

A-Mutiny Radio Story 3  02-10-13

Bill Cook is hosting me, Kathleen Dunbar,
and my band The Better Devils in his “Barn”

I’m putting on a really cool show down just South of Pescadero in
Bill Cook’s Barn. Bill has turned his barn into a premier venue showcase. It has a state of the art sound system. Plenty of room for dancing. A fire pit outside to talk to friends and cook marshmallows. Lots of parking. Beautiful countryside. And this show comes with a free turkey dinner prepared by Bill with all the fixin’s!!!
4pm dinner; 6pm showtime!

Go this link for all the info: Info For Kathleen’s Saturday May 16th Show

Or, let me tell ya about it right now: 

DATE: SATURDAY MAY 16th
TIME: 4pm/dinner 6pm/show
WHERE: 10350 Cabrillo Hwy, Pescadero ½ mile south of Bean Hollow Beach, East Side, American Flag marks the driveway
DINNER: Is DONATED by Bill!— TURKEY DINNER with FRESH LOCAL VEGETABLES And you are invited to bring a small potluck fav to share
COST: $20 donation to the band suggested, but if it’s not in your budget… Please come! Your attendance is the best contribution!!!
VENUE: Plenty of comfortable seating, room to dance, great sound! Outdoor fire pit to toast marshmallows in! The sunset over the Pacific Ocean! Beautiful countryside!

ABOUT BILL’S “BARN”: Bill has transformed his “Barn” into · A beautiful large premier performance & dance space with a great sound system · Bill’s Barn sits on a beautiful piece of property where you can dance & listen inside · Hang outside in the glorious countryside & watch the sun go down along Highway 1 · Sit around the fire pit in the evening · Partake of his famous Turkey dinner with all the trimmings · Plenty of free parking · Feel free to bring family, friends and a bit of food or drink to share! · KIDS WELCOME! No RSVP necessary

ABOUT ME: San Francisco Singer-Songwriter Kathleen Dunbar Webpage: http://www.kathleendunbarmusic.com
Hear me on Pandora! My band and I have delighted audiences at Peri’s, The Uptown, Rudramandir, Underground SF, Mutiny Radio and numerous local house concerts. I’ll be performing original songs in the Americana tradition from my first two CDs as well as my upcoming CD Liars, Cutthroats and Dames, all produced by multi-instrumentalist and recently touring guitarist for Mickey Hart, Gawain Mathews.

ABOUT MY BAND: I’ll be accompanied by my smokin’ hot band The Better Devils: An amazing trio of topnotch touring and studio musicians:
GAWAIN MATHEWS Most recently he’s been the touring guitarist for Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart
KEVIN HAYES Drummer for Robert Cray, including on Cray’s Emmy-award winning album Take Your Shoes Off
PAUL OLGUIN Bass player for the likes of Bob Weir, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Huey Lewis, & more

DIRECTIONS FROM SF–THREE DIFFERENT WAYS:
To Take Hwy 1: Take a relaxing scenic drive along the coast of California on Hwy 1 down from SF
To Take 280 + Hwy 1: Zip down 280 to the cutover on 92 then down Hwy 1
To Take Skyline: Take Skyline/35 down to Alice’s restaurant and cut over on 84 past La Honda to Hwy 1
DIRECTIONS FROM SANTA CRUZ:
From Santa Cruz Come on up Hwy 1

A-not currently in use

What Did You Dream Last Night?

A-What Did You Dream Last Night 11-29-14

What Did You Dream Last Night?

The rain was coming. I was soon to marry a man. However, an attractive woman appeared in the crowd at the coffee shop, and I thought, hm, I’ll marry her! Both the man and the woman were shining creatures, like small bright airplanes ready to take off, or scarves flying loose and high in the wind.

The window of the coffee shop took up an entire wall. Outside was a narrow street and buildings of old gray stone. There was a view to a woodland. The first drops of rain fell upon the street and in the woods. In my own body I felt the delicious holding-in before the release. I could feel the trees out on the wood’s verge also holding very still in the last moment of anticipation before opening to drink the rain.

The door of the coffee shop rang its bell and I turned to see a bewildered individual enter and make his way inside. He wore a coat softened with wear and the beginnings of the rain. His thin straight hair hadn’t been combed. It took me a moment to realize that he was presenting himself to me: his soft coat and his eyes, and something else: He held out his hands to me, both of them, palms downward. At first I didn’t understand.

The shop was crowded with people talking and waiting for their coffee drinks, faces and bodies expectantly turned towards the espresso machine. He’d threaded his way through the people and stood looking sideways between two energetic types. He looked up at me, beiA-What Did You Dream Last Night 11-29-14ng slightly shorter than my own six feet.

Something about this fellow, and all my thoughts of marriage—which seemed like a fun dash through life—fell out of my head. I knew without asking that he’d found me through a kind of physical intuition, like following the furtherest tendril of a plant back along to its root, and here, he had come to that vigorous source—me—as though we were kin.

He smiled, and waited for me to look at his hands.

The thing that shifted me, that took me from the world of the air to the ground around me, were his eyes. They showed me his inward world, and what I saw gave me a frisson of fear—here was a weary angel sad for the need for a coat in a town of stone and damp, and also a human creature given eyes to see who had used those eyes for all they were worth and found them wanting. He was on the knife edge of something momentous, and he had come to show me. He had an air of shock about him, but also relief. And he seemed to offer kindness, if I wanted to take it.

I looked closely at his hands, out-held, palm down, and by that reflex we have to mirror another’s gestures, I held out my own hands and looked at them. I gasped! Out of the ends of my left middle and index fingers something protruded. Tough little stems growing right out of my finger ends. Without a word he gave a little gesture, a “me too” of emphasis with his hands, and I saw that the both of us were sending out green shoots.

I was horrified. What was happening to me? With an instinct for the worst, before I knew it I’d taken off my shoes. My feet, normally pale with their unsunned days, had gone red—the veins, bright and swirling, showed clearly through the skin. My feet looked like pot-bound plants, when the gardenerA-What Did You Dream Last Night 11-29-14 has at last struck off the pots to find them a larger home to root.

I know I panicked at first. I don’t even remember leaving the coffee shop, or the hours afterwards. While I could still walk and get about, before I was completely transformed into a tree—for surely that was what was happening—I had to find the place I wanted to root, to remain. Losing the ability to move my body, I still wanted to move my eyes—I actually believed it mattered what I would look out and see. In short, I wanted to have a view. I didn’t remember seeing in the face of my kindly friend that he knew, and was trying to show me, that soon the eyes wouldn’t matter either.

I stood still on the street at the edge of town. The rain had paused, but the cool wet of it went deeply and refreshingly into me as I breathed. I thought of a beautiful country I’d seen in dreams: large old spreading trees tucked in a narrow valley, where a river poured itself over huge stones. Then immediately I was drawn to the mountains of another dream-place, where the pines stood and sighed out of the old sand of risen seabeds. I was searching my mind madly for the right place, when the still small voice said, no, none of those—you must go to—Colorado! I was an aspen, don’t you know. Colorado has miles of them.

My rational mind didn’t want to go to somewhere as “commonplace” as Colorado if I could go anywhere of my own imagining. But the wise voice knew better. I saw a little ridge that fell down at its end into a canyon. Across the wA-What Did You Dream Last Night 11-29-14ay the wall of the mountain rose to a great height. The air was full of unrained rain, the clouds as yet not letting down their water, but as full as they could be before letting all of it go.

I am sorry to say that I was unkind to my tree-kin man. Caring only about my own fear, I ran off and left him. It makes sense to me now that he didn’t speak—perhaps he’d already lost the ability to do so, or if he hadn’t, what words could possibly express this change! I had been terrified when faced with no choice in the matter. But as the dream ended the scrambling terrified energy of my mind began to lift up and off me as I settled down onto the mountain ridge, and the rain began to fall gently upon me. I woke and began to retell the tale to myself, as one does with dreams, bringing it from the depths of the magic land, like a rough gem unearthed which points to the mystery of the whole treasure. And I began to wonder: the tree man had been excited to see me, and kind, and I’d missed that in my panic. I realized he knew enough to surrender, and to invite me into the mystery, a real zen koan of a place. An enigma . . .

. . . out of sorts, but curious, I got out of bed, opened my computer, and looked up a place I’d once travelled to, in Colorado, a place called Crested Butte. I’d hiked near there—all this in the waking world mind you—on the top of the world one late spring. I’d walked through meadows of blue lupine, and stopped to drink water near a patch of white albino lupine that tumbled over both sides of the path. Tired out after miles of walking, and needing to get to my next destination to sleep, that long evening I’d driven through an aspen grove that lasted miles upon miles, and remembered what I’d read in the guide-book: That such large stands of western aspens are a single individual grown from one seedling. One such forest in neighboring Utah is estimated to be 80,000 years old and among the oldest known living organisms on earth, and is the heaviest living organism at 13 million pounds. The roots send up shoots that live up to a hundred and thirty years, when they die and are absorbed in the forest soil to nourish the roots, and other shoots are sent A-What Did You Dream Last Night? up. Fires may destroy the surface trees, but the roots send up new growth and the forest lives both under the ground and in the living air once again.

We are individual raindrops in a storm of melted air that is eventually taken to the sea, where we are both the drops and the whole. We are, too, the trees upon the mountain in a fling of color and trembling and white bodies full of birds, and we are the one root that holds them all, and we are the mystery out of which all this beauty comes. So, it is good to drink coffee, to marry and to fall apart if that’s what helps us learn, to desire and wonder, and walk where our feet take us and talk madly and quietly and angrily and kindly and sometimes not at all and to use our limbs and hands to live this incredible thing that is life. And in the end to fall back into the earth after the wild beautiful riot of the body is finished.

We are the rain and the rained on. The body and the source. And so, I think, I was visited with an angel in my dream, with wild shoots growing out of his finger ends, kindly pointing the way.

Photos by Kathleen Dunbar

For a song about becoming a tree, try this one from my CD Finally Home. It’s called “Sweet Rain” and you can find it on Bandcamp or kathleendunbarmusic.com

A-What Did You Dream Last Night? 11-29-14

 

Live Video of Kathleen Dunbar and The Better Devils

A-Peri's 12-13-13

I had a great time performing at Peri’s in Fairfax on 11/24/13 with my awesome band, The Better Devils: Thanks and Big Hugs to Gawain Mathews on Guitar, Paul Olguin on Bass, Jon Arkin on Drums, Joseph Feusi as Sound Tech and Videographer, Tamarind Free Jones for her love and Album Photography, and Jennifer Cortright for her love and a fab Green Room! Rock on! Here’s my original song, Lilah!

Please have a listen to me on this video!