I've always made music, since I can remember. My parents met in a Balkan folk dance and singing group, and my Dad is a music teacher. I was immersed from the beginning, and encouraged toward making music. My brother recently told me of a memory he has of me as a child playing in the Eel River at Standish Hickey Campgrounds for hours, until my lips were blue, singing and making grand theatrical gestures in the water, as if I were composing an opera. A couple of years ago I decided to make a serious commitment to not only having music as the crux of all my passions and life plans, but also a real sustainable business that would provide financial stability for my daughter and I, while allowing me to keep the focus of my passion on music and creating. I started to learn about how to RUN A BUSINESS. Wow was it different from singing, playing piano, and writing songs. Let me tell you that the systems of business can be very different from the ultra-random-association ("Poetic Drift", as Paul Simon calls it) that can make a song beautiful and true. I have the kind of brain that can see all the possibilities and feelings and colors, images, impressions (you get the point) at the same time. That can make it hard to focus on a simple mathematical formula, setting up a spreadsheet, keeping track of money coming in and going out, and getting from point A to point B in an efficient, business like manner.
Despite all that, I'm proud to say I've come A LONG WAY in the last 2 years when it comes to handling business and building a sustainable business with my passion for music. I teach private lessons and small groups and I absolutely LOVE watching my students make strides toward self expression and connection through music. I perform on the weekends in all sorts of venues from backyards and wineries to The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, and everything in between. I feel extremely blessed to have been part of a Sonoma County trio of women, The Bootleg Honeys, over the past few years. This project is equally committed to building a sustainable business that supports our passion for music, and it's working! We have been financially successful and have grown A TON from year to year in all ways- musical, creative, connections with fans and community, and having a sustainable business model that keeps growing. This project has truly taught me the power of collaboration. 2 brains are better than 1. So, in the spirit of collaboration, and sustainable business growth in a creative business model for 2016, I offer you The Bootleg Honeys' cover of "The Money", by one of our favorite Sonoma County Bands, The Easy Leaves. It's part of a compilation of Sonoma County artists covering each other's songs. It supports our local NPR station KRCB, who does a ton to support local arts and community. You can check out the full Sonoma County Covers Project by clicking on the link below.
If life has taught me one thing over the past decade, it's that growth and change are inevitable, and the unexpected opportunities and changes that sometimes come along and uproot your world can lead to the most beautiful outcomes that you never could have imagined. So, here's to more growth and change in 2016. I embrace it and I know I can roll with the punches and come up brighter and more vibrant than before.
"There is an unseen life that dreams us. It knows our true direction and destiny. We can trust ourselves more than we realize and we need have no fear of change. "~John O’Donohue
Alison is a Musician, Writer, Teacher and Mother. She lives in rural Sonoma County with her daughter, Ella.