Thursday, December 16, 2010


Hey folks,

Last time I wrote it was darling buds of May time, and now it is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. I am back in the studio, thank goodness! Solo album before I turn 30 is the current goal. We're having fun though, playing with the Cordovox, the Commodore 64, and of course the darling uke.

If you haven't already, please go watch Mighty Uke! It's the cutest documentary about the cutest four string instrument in the world.


Courtney & Her Ukulele

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

hog farm annex show confirmed!!!

Hey folks

I'm getting negligent on this here blog, and I do apologize. Things are heating up for the spring play (A Doll's House, goes up May 25 - 27) and I've been more or less preoccupied and not thinking in ukulele terms at all.

BUT I have exciting news to report: On May 28, to lead into the lovely Memorial Day weekend, I will be performing at the Hog Farm Studios Annex space on Main Street in Biddeford...right below my smartypants sister's apartment! How perfect. I go on around 8, and I will be opening for Sonya Cotton and Audrey Ryan. See you there!

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Sunday, April 25, 2010

home again

Hello everyone!

Just got back from a week's vacation! It began with my show at Rock City, which was well-organized, well-attended, and great fun. I got to eat sushi with my parents and Betsy and Andrew afterwards, and then we drove to Portland to stay with Joe of the Toughcats. The next day we drove to Berwyn, PA to stay with Bill's sort of aunt and uncle in their lovely large house. Sunday we made it to Ocracoke, NC! It's so beautiful. Soft sandy beaches, dunes, a cute town, scrub pine and live oak. We ate grits and eggs and pasta and pizza and I went swimming. We came back (via Berwyn again) Thursday, and Friday went to my parents' house for my birthday! I got a complete Star Trek TOS Pez dispenser collection! Ha! Best present. I also got a new iPod nano from Bill's mom :?) apparently I have another present coming, as well as a beach BBQ tonight! I love my birthday!


Courtney & Her Ukulele

Monday, April 12, 2010


Hey there

I didn't mean to stop writing for so long!  Whoops!  April is zooming right on by.  Exciting things: did a marathon recording session with Andrew last week, knocked out basics for everything I have written so far!  Better write some more! I planted onions and shallots yesterday, and started hoeing up some of the other beds and pulling raspberry canes.  STUPID RASPBERRY CANES.  They don't even have the decency to bear fruit, they just stand there and prickle.  I got an iPad for an early birthday present!  Thanks Bill!  It is the cutest, sweetest, most useful thing ever.  Yes, it lacks a camera, a phone, flash, and multitasking, but hey.  It does plenty.  Friday is the show at Rock City!  Yeah!  Very excited.  They have some posters up of me which is kind of neat and weird - I honestly think I haven't been on a poster since college.  Rock show posters are more about the art and less about the poor slob playing the songs.  And then after I play that show....we leave for Ocracoke Island!  Yes!  With a stop at Bill's cousin's house along the way.  So very very excited!


Courtney & Her Ukulele

Thursday, April 1, 2010

chag sameach!

means joyous festival!  it's passover!  i've been acknowledging it by continuing to eat grains and leavened foods.  whoops.  i had an idea that i might actually give that stuff up for a week but then there was cake.  

i absolutely love seder though and this year a bunch of friends are coming over to celebrate with me.  i will be the only jew.  as usual.  but that's fine because then nobody will know how bad my hebrew really is.  i put together a haggadah (mostly from the open source haggadah web site - so great!) and it's four pages long, which is fine.  i saw a card on that said something like "let's commemorate the slavery of our people by rushing through a 30 minute seder!" and yeah...that's about right.  

sun came back today!  yay!  i hope it sticks around.  we're going to boothbay on saturday to play some ukuleles with our friends adam and ruthie and their kid (my birthday twin!) and their dog, and claude is coming too!

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I made a real facebook page for this music nonsense I keep is the link to it!

Be my fan or whatever...most of the info is the same as here but in a different layout! Exciting times we live in.

Got outside today in the cold sunshine. Bill sawed up about one million spruce logs that will become next year's firewood...we've gotten three very generous wood donations from two very generous friends, thus insuring another winter of warmth (and songs about warmth - I've got a song about the woodstove!) We tuckered Claude out by walking/running through Mullin's Head Park while Bill BMXed it up and took some funny videos of jumps, and then took him for a ride to the store. And I invented a more or less successful butternut squash and asparagus tart. Well, probably I didn't invent it but anyway it was tasty. Bill made the crust using the olive oil tart crust recipe from chocolate and zucchini.

All in all a good March day. I slept until 9 (minus waking up to feed the dachshund) and then took a nap immediately after breakfast. Goodness me.

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Friday, March 26, 2010

rough winds do shake the darling buds of


normally a march snow squall wouldn't bother me much but now that tender little perennial shoots have sprung up (not to mention yesterday's daffodils!) I'm more than a little concerned.  Plus, temperatures tonight are going to get back down into the teens!  I knew spring was too fickle to stick around.  Tease.

Read from Nabokov's "Details of a Sunset" short story collection to my students today.  I read "A Bad Day," all about the cruelty of kids and laden with description.  Nabokov writes particularly well about smells, I think.  And light.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Despite a sprinkle of snow yesterday afternoon, the brave daffodils here at school have decided to up and bloom!  Not every one - one in the lee of the playground, and a row of them in front of the entrance.  But I daresay that's the earliest daffodils I can remember.  Generally I place them around my birthday, which is a month off.  The internet says that after a little bit of March dues-paying this weekend, we can enjoy warm and sunny weather for a while!  That'd be nice.  Yes, please.

Saw my picture on the Rock City Facebook Page, a nice piece of promotion already noted by some of my mainland friends.  The change in date for the show means that it's sort of the kick off for my spring break!  I'll play that night, eat something delicious in town, then Bill and I will drive South (to Portland probably) and on Saturday continue on to the outskirts of Philadelphia, where we'll spend the night with his excellent relatives who reside there.  Then Sunday we'll press on to Ocracoke Island, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina!  They are basically North Haven, but with sandy beaches, a free ferry from Hatteras, and a school just a little bigger than ours, which I will be visiting.  Claude is coming too, because he's a good boy and it's his birthday in April, as well as mine.  I might make a pest of myself and try to play a "show" somewhere, even if it's for Bill and Claude at our campsite on the beach.  Or at a place with walls, who knows?

I ate lunch with Betsy in the school greenhouse today, a project that she has spearheaded.  It's a wonderful space!  So far just one of the raised beds has dirt in it but excitingly enough it also has pea and chard seeds, so there's something for me to obsess over the sprouting schedule of.  Last year I had started my seedlings around this time, and this year I'm already getting the outdoor planting bug (no seedlings this time around, not until we get our own greenhouse!)  Global weirding indeed.

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Monday, March 22, 2010

new song!

A pretty listenable version of the recording Andrew and I did last night is now posted on the booking page! Check it out!

back in the saddle

Had a great recording session with Andrew yesterday!  If anyone can tell me if it's possible to upload music to a blog, I'd love to know...I see how to do video but not audio.  We did a radio-ready version of "Almanac" (the song not the whole album) to get ready for promoting the Rock City show!  Exciting times.

Before we recorded I made dinner for him and Betsy (my bakery partner in crime) - a big hippie mush of quinoa, lentils and vegetables.  It was hearty but greatly improved by the addition of condiments, especially sriracha.  A lot of sriracha.

Other good things - went to visit Mom and her four tiny dogs this weekend with our tiny dog.  Ate a lot of cupcakes, went for a nice walk to see some sheep and cows, watched the Temple Grandin movie (excellent and everyone should watch it, especially educators), watched Cake Boss, and ate some more cupcakes.  Also, I've now taught two pilates classes with actual students in them!  They are working very hard and improving already.  Love it.

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Friday, March 19, 2010

**update** show confirmed - April 16 at Rock City Books and Coffee!

Please note new date! I really need to start writing stuff down!

Yay! I'll be playing my stuff sometime between 5 and 7 - probably starting pretty late in that window. Come drink tea or coffee and eat some snacks and hear me spill my guts in song form!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

breaking through that wall

FInished a song last night! Yeah! It's the first new one in quite a while - early February I think? It's called Stonewashed Blues and it's the one whose chorus I'd been kicking around for weeks. It's going to feature Joe Nelson of the Toughcats on mandolin!

Such a good feeling, breaking through a bout of writer's block. I'm about to get back in the short story saddle as well, since third trimester is creative writing time in English class. The kids will be writing and workshopping and darned if I'm going to pass up a reason to write and get feedback (from my target audience, no less!) I've been writing stories based on my experiences at a summer camp that shall remain nameless and having fun doing it, but haven't written anything new in almost a year. Guh.

Continuing spring-like weather! Yay! Here's what I'm hoping for/looking forward to in the next few weeks: Visiting Mom and her dogs this weekend, checking out the Rockland Antiques Marketplace open house, being outside a lot, watching the perennials come back, my Fedco order arriving, more awesome Doll's House rehearsals (no, not the Joss Whedon show, the Ibsen play, although if anyone adapts the tv show for the stage let me know!), hopefully playing a show at Rock City Books and Coffee or whatever it's called now (I still call it Second Read!), and getting my hands/hoe into the dirt soon. 

Courtney & Her Ukulele

PS HAPPY FIFTH ANNIVERSARY to me and Bill last Tuesday!  Duh!  I was so busy eating anniversary pizza that I forgot to mention it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Bill and I had a reporter from the Herald Gazette stay with us this weekend so she could cover Town Meeting (and Bill's ascent to power!) She said something very interesting about a broadcast she had heard in which the anchor described this past week's "spring breezes." No, said the reporter, they can't be spring breezes because it isn't yet spring.

Well, five days away from spring and things are pretty darn spring-like around here. I was just out with Claude (a reluctant walker today as he'd rather eat whatever dead animal/poop has thawed on the side of the road) and not only is the air balmy and the skunk cabbage high but the perennials are showing signs of life and the daffodils are sprouting a few inches up! What is this, late April?

I am in no way complaining, but I'm also pretty nervous. As a Mainer for (almost) life, I feel like I'm too jaded to accept the warm weather as a trend. It'll probably snow this weekend.

I wrote a song about this weather anxiety actually, although I wrote it before things got all spring-like. I've been told from a number of folks that this year's Farmer's Almanac has us at cold and rainy all spring and summer again, and frankly that's almost too depressing to bear. My song is written with a modicum of hyperbole, but honestly a lot of the details are true (especially about SLUGS. Hot damn was last summer all about slugs.) I'm very proud of it and it's my favorite to date and probably the title track of the album. Unless I decide to change the name of the song.

Got my spring show all cast, pretty exciting group of people! Ibsen here we come.

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tentative Show Date!

May 28 at the Hog Farm Annex!

Coincidentally they live below my sister, so she gave me the sweet tip to contact them. Thanks Lala!

The date is tentative but I will definitely play a show there, hopefully with Andrew (my aforementioned producer.) I hope to eat some of their delicious sounding light fare as well. I will update when I know the date is set.

That is also the weekend of Bill's birthday so maybe there will be some Portland shenanigans the next day? Who knows! Maybe we'll just go back to the island (with orpha!)

I totally forgot to mention that Bill got elected to the Board of Selectmen and Overseer of the Poor this Saturday at town meeting! So now he is overseeing

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rainy Sunday

Got a lot accomplished today despite the nasty weather. Reminds me of Providence actually, and makes me want to go to Tealuxe which is kind of silly since I have tea in my house. But there's a specific kind of cold, wet and light that really makes me think of being in college.

Taught two piano lessons and a clarinet lesson this morning, went to a yoga class led by my friend Susan (an author and painter of some renown who might be doing album art for me!) Bill and I decided to have some folks over for dinner and so put on some black beans and Bill made tortillas while I went to the gym, hoping for some Pilates students - nobody showed today, but Thursday is when I was sort of counting on starting anyway.

Since nobody came, I got to start cooking a little early, which meant that I just finished putting things in the oven before the last guest arrived! We made squash and red pepper enchiladas, black beans, Spanish rice and flan. I'm nervous about the flan. I'll letcha know.

Have a chorus for song number 8 but not much as far as verses go. It'll come.

UPDATE: Flan was perfect. Looked and tasted like flan! I used the recipe from and the trick is to bake it for about twice as long as they say, and at 50 degrees higher. Anyway. Flan.

Courtney & Her Ukulele

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hello from Courtney & Her Ukulele!

Hello World!

It occurred to me that since I have a ukulele, write songs for it, and want to play them in places other than my living room, I should have some sort of Web site. Here it is!

A little about me: My name is Courtney. I live on North Haven, an island in the Penobscot Bay. I like it here very much. With Bill (who is the greatest!) I have a house, three cats (Delia, Lucifer Sam and Nadia), a dog (Claude), a bunch of plants, some gardens, a wood pile, and all that great stuff. I've always played music, from piano recitals to glam bands and this is my latest project. It's my first solo venture and one of the first songwriting projects I've had. It's fun!

I would love to play some shows. Anywhere! House party, community center, concert hall, pub, whatever! To that end, here is some stuff to help you decide if you want me to play for your venue:

This is an unmixed version of "Bones"

This is a video clip from my show at Zuzu

I am recording an album at the moment. It is called Almanac, and my friend Andrew Frederick (Peapod Records) is producing it. It will have a lot of guests making a racket, and 12 songs. I hope to have it available for free download late this spring! Or maybe early summer.

I'll use this blog for booking, show announcements, album updates, and also to talk about what it's like living on an island, because I like to write and the island is fun to write about.

Thanks for reading!


Courtney & Her Ukulele