I woke up Sunday morning a little earlier than I do on most weekends. I headed to the bathroom to wash my face and rinse my mouth. I could still taste my dinner from the night before. Gross this morning, but those red onions and fresh salad greens were heavenly the night before. Woodberry Kitchen (http://www.woodberrykitchen.com/), responsible for my lovely morning breathe, prides itself on making fresh local meals. I’ve eaten their food over a dozen times, though I’ve never stepped foot inside their restaurant. Everytime I go to Gutierrez Studios (http://www.gutierrezstudios.com/), the wood and metal shop next door that shares the outdoor patio, I end up consuming an awesome meal catered by the folks from the restaurant next door. The best part about it, more than the atmosphere at Gutierrez Studios, is that I don’t have to feel like I’m eating something made without care. By that I mean, I could’ve gone to a place that served deep fried cheeses and meats, or veggies, that were quick to prepare and “good enough.” Woodberry Kitchen and Gutierrez Studios are about more than doing what’s “good enough.” These places are about community and lasting impressions, building relationships, doing one’s part to beautify our world. Gutierrez Studios also has great live music and sometimes, I am lucky enough to be the headliner.
The sky was a little grey and was drizzling when I looked out the bathroom window. I wondered if I should’ve invested in a tent or an umbrella to cover my sound equipment. The forecast didn’t call for rain, but it’s May. We never really know what’s going to happen. I was up early because I was heading into Annapolis to play the second date on my Farmers’ Market Tour. I did this last year.
Last year, my partner and I found our love in the kitchen. In our kitchen, our arguments melt like butter and we come together and remember how important this is to both of us. I was a little heavier back then, when she told me that health was important to her, a deal breaker. In the summer months, we wake up early and walk with our dog and our reusable grocery bags to our neighborhood Farmers’ Market. It’s not all veggies. Sometimes, we find local pickles, popcorn, salsa, and free range meat. It feels good to support the local economy, eat eggs that come from chickens who haven’t been trapped in a cage, find cuts of meat from hormone free farms, talk to the folks who pulled the food from the ground. To add a little more loveliness to our morning, there is always music. Every week, there is a musician or a band playing for the patrons and I can’t imagine a better way to spend my morning. This year, I am one of those musicians. This year, I get to play at many of the markets.
From Baltimore to Annapolis, to Bethesda and Catonsville, I have inquired about playing my music at the Farmers’ Markets in the smaller neighborhoods. Some markets are adding me to their lineup of musicians. If they don’t have music at their market, they let me bring mine. When I talk to folks about my tour, everyone asks me, “Do you play under 83?” I have not inquired. I am enjoying my tour of the landscape and I love visiting the unique neighborhoods in and around the DMV. I think I’m beginning to understand what this is all about. I understand what motivates places like Gutierrez and Woodberry. More than just a business and a way to make money or pay bills, this is about a lifestyle. I demand that I leave a positive impression on folks. I want people to feel good when they think about QueenEarth and my music. I am connecting with people on their Sunday mornings, or even during their week, when they are taking the time to do something for themselves while they do something for their community.
When I finally arrived in Annapolis, the sky was still gray, but it didn’t look like the rain was going to come. I unloaded my gear and set up between a local florist and a May Day photographer. At the end of the market, close to noon, I had a group of small children playing my mini maracas and my egg shaker. Both instruments are gifts from my partner, and I smiled at a mother dancing with her young daughter to my rendition of “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5.
I couldn’t be fake or phony and make up these stories. My life is becoming intertwined with many others’ and I receive so much goodness from the authentic folks that I am blessed to encounter. I am obligated to give love back and continue the cycle. This tour is about my part in this community. “& Friends” is growing to be much bigger than I ever imagined 🙂
I have booked the following markets for Summer – Fall 2012.
Charles Street Friday Market
Catonsville Wednesday Market
Catonsville Sunday Market
Olney Farmers and Artists Market
Catonsville Arts & Crafts Festival
Whole Foods. Mt. Washington
Visit QueenEarth.com for full details. If you want to see me in your neighborhood? E-mail QueenEarth@queenearth.com.