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Notes from Michelle – January 2016

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Photo : Danielle Rubi-Dentzel, Paris

The guys and I said goodbye to 2015 with two new records under our belts, a lot of great memories and loads of laughter! Our 7th annual benefit concert to feed the hungry in December, at 142 Throckmorton Theatre, sold out and was a huge success. Not only did we play songs from our latest holiday record, Another Christmas Story, but the band and I gave a preview of our January 2016 record called Detroit Girl to rave reviews. We rock & rolled all night AND best of all, we hit a record and made more money for ExtraFood.org than we had ever before…so THANK YOU to everyone who participated and came out to see us. (You can buy Detroit Girl on iTunes, CD Baby and PayPal now — see the album page) I would also like to say a HUGE thank you to my amazing band, Ricky Fataar, George Marinelli, Marc Levine, Michael Spriggs, Graham Patzner and Lewis Patzner. I am so grateful to play with such amazing musicians. For more information abut them, please check my band page.

I had a memorable annual trip to Paris in April with my dear friends Danielle Rubi-Dentzel (photographer) and Molly Tuttle (art director). It was a little bittersweet with Danielle and her family getting ready to move back to Santa Barbara. Though it’s great to have them close by, Paris will never be the same without them and our traditional first night dinner at Les Deux Magots, all talking at once trying to catch up on a years worth of news! But Paris is such a magical place for me that my one planned trip seven years ago turned into me going every year for the rest of my life…so, Paris will still be beautiful, just different. And most important of all, 2015 brought me my precious granddaughter, who is a blessing that words cannot describe.

2016, we all are crazy busy with other projects but will reconvene in July up at Pine Mountain Studio to record our annual holiday record for our December benefit concert (done each year in memory of my Dad) as well as a second record that will continue this whole gritty Detroit garage band music that I grew up listening to, like we play on Detroit Girl… unless I’m inspired by something else. That’s the beauty of being an independent artist and producer with a studio. FREEDOM!!! But it was so much fun to go back to a time where we just let it rip as I sang songs by Detroit bands like Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, MC5, Aretha, the Howlin’ Diablo’s and more. What started out as a lark, turned into a whole new musical direction for us…at least for now.

I’m taking a bit of time off in the beginning of the year, Ricky and George will be out with Bonnie Raitt promoting her new record “Dig in Deep” (which has a song co-written with our fine George Marinelli), Marc and the rest of the guys will be busy doing other projects so, by the time we meet up in July, it will be with fresh ears, great enthusiasm at being together again and we will be ready to lay it all down for your listening pleasure in December.

The new Sausalito studio is working out perfectly and I look forward to working on an acoustic record with Billy Shaddox there and up at Pine Mountain. This is a project I have been excited about since the day I listened to his new record, “I melt, I howl” as I was driving out to Stinson Beach to visit a friend. I look forward to this collaboration on an acoustic/americana record with a person that I’ve never met but feel like I already know. Who knows, maybe Nicki Bluhm will pop over to write and sing a song or two, old-school Carole King/Joni Mitchell Style as well! I also have plans to spend time in LA with a very old Detroit friend who will be getting Detroit Girl out to all of Detroit, the arenas during the Detroit Redwings hockey games in particular, Shinola (hopefully) and to all others who love Detroit as much as I do. Another project happening is with the talented DJ of “Swagger Like Us” and very good friend of mine, Dav-O who is doing club mixes of Detroit Girl for a whole new set of ears to enjoy. This year is all about being fluid, which is new for this Virgo but that’s how I’m going to start rolling. Paris from mid-September to mid-October for sure for writing and a project with a friend of mine from back home who lives there…and if time allows, a trip to Nashville to see some friends that need to be seen! Music, reconnecting with some friends, horses, guitars and sitting in front of the fire near a favorite cabin of mine.

Health and music are front and center this year for me.

I wish you a blessed New Year with lot’s of adventure. This past year, more than ever before, I’ve learned that if I don’t hold on so tight, the magic comes… Let go and spread the love. God Bless…

Michelle Schmitt

Sausalito, California

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