Photo credit Emily Rawlings
New York City-based musician Kelli Rae Powell is gaining a small but loyal fan base with her repertoire of songs that show the influence of both Billie Holiday and Johnny Cash.
Friday, Feb. 2, 2007
7:00 a.m. Begin round one of approximately three rounds of pressing “snooze.”
8:40 a.m. Board the G train at Greenpoint. I still feel the tuggings of a gentle hangover. Wedged between a guy in a black coat and a young woman in a red coat, I take a deep cleansing breath. The train lurches. The red coat woman falls into the arms of the black coat guy. They smile. Did I just witness the beginning of their love story? I swallow.
8:50 a.m. Looks like I’m going to be late for work. I transfer to the E train at Court Square. Coincidentally, I’m still standing beside the guy in the black coat. I scribble “Sometimes I feel like I stand behind the same guy all day long,” in my notebook.
9:17 a.m. I arrive at my desk. Instantly I’m juggling work e-mails with e-mails to venues in DC that I would like to play at in March. I am told by one booking agent that I really “can’t afford to be too picky.” I also send some messages to my musician friends in LA. I’ll be performing there in mid-February, and I want to find out who can start passing out my flyers.
11:50 a.m. I run to the post office to drop some press kits in the mail. On the way back I swing by the deli and grab my boss his favorite sandwich (tuna on toasted wheat). I get myself a BLT. In the course of my lunch hour, I walk by two Starbucks, but I’m the only living person in New York who doesn’t drink coffee. I scribble “I never fall for jokers with big brown eyes,” in my notebook.
6:00 a.m. I’m never going to be able to make it to the blues show at the Sidewalk Café that I want to see, so I jump on the subway and head for home. I scribble, “Here we go again. Chalk it up to timing. All our planets are aligned in a pretty chorus line,” in my notebook.
8:00 p.m. Back in Brooklyn, I have just enough time to work on my new song before I go to see a few of my friends play in Williamsburg. I notice that I seriously need to re-string my guitar. “When I’m a rock star,” I think to myself, “I will be able to hire people to string my guitars for me.” I laugh and startle my cat.
9:30 p.m. Now I’m at the Southside Lounge in Williamsburg. My friend asks if I can join him on the Kitty Wells cover he wants to do during his set at 10 p.m. I agree to do it even though I’m not sure if I know all the lyrics. I check my watch and notice that I’ve been stood up. I scribble in my notebook, “How long does it take before you are officially stood up?”
1:00 a.m. Back home, I curl up with my cat, his name is Gus McCrae, and I read a few pages of Cornelia Otis Skinner’s biography of Sarah Bernhardt. Before I fall asleep I scribble, “Angels crowd around you, and you don’t even pray,” in my notebook. I’ll use it in a song one day.
Kelli Rae Powell’s album “The Scandalous Accounts of My Youth” is available on her Web site kelliraepowell.com.