Monday, January 17, 2011

A strange mess of ass kicking & having ass kicked

It's taken me a while to process all of this to write out an update but I guess that's how it works.

1. We got stuck in Missouri over Christmas with an expensive broken down car situation, but got to hang longer with my mother, sister and cousins and won $500 at the casino. There was the usual mix of family drama and family bliss.

2. Was able to see my grandmother Georgene one more time. She died last Monday. I was wrecked that 3 days before we went from the hope of a feeding tube, to the news of incurable stomach cancer, and immediate hospice. I could not separate from her mind, knowing she had one day to face her fate. She was scared to die. She let us know that. I suffered all last weekend stuck in her head about her letdown. I've lost a lot of old people. Most were ready to go. 92 year old Georgene might as well have been 30. Last Monday night I had a peaceful sleep, except for when my normally silent dog started barking around 1am. Then her electric collar beeped all night (it was not on her) which is impossible without an electrical current source. It hasnt since. Johnny heard steps on our stairs. Nothing. We went back to bed confused. Got the call she had passed after midnight the next day. Hope she's at peace. I am going to miss her badly.

3. After 2 months of moving carload by carload 45 minutes away from Austin, we finished today. We love being in Wimberley. I have had 10 ladybugs land on me in our treehouse loft. The shop is coming together. Robyn Ludwick and fam, and ours have partnered up to create an artistic haven in a hippie village downtown. It's called HAPPY2U. (That's a greeting Robyn's 3 year old has all of Wimberley saying as they come and go)
We plan to sell TX Music, HAPPY2U shirts, vintage western everything, local products, art, crafty stuff, my UPWITHMUTTS.COM leashes and who knows what else. PLEASE COME VISIT.
(oh yeah. is launching soon)
Fingers crossed-- I THINK our Austin cottage MAY have gotten rented and we will be free of that expense.
Also, am able to keep my Austin office now, where I'll be able to crash when I'm out too late. Jan Mirken. My dear friend and office landlord is an angel.

4. Johnny is getting offered incredible opportunities promoting and booking nights at a few music venues. His own bands are kicking ass. He is playing SXSW with Ignorance Park.

5. RobynLudwick has so many crazy good developments and buzz leading up to her record release in April. I can't spill the beans yet, but check out her blog at She's my friend and muse and landlord now. I would NOT be working in music publicity again if it werent for hearing her new record. She also feeds us well from her magic kitchen next door.

6. I AM GOING TO SEE AMOS LEE & BRIAN LOPEZ in TUCSON in 2 weeks. And go hiking. and stay in haunted hotel with Miss Callie Snyder, My cowgirl partner in crime.

7. Tito convinced me to stay on at the ol vodka company. I love him. Speaking to the sales team tomorrow about the early days and how it all happened. Kinda nervous!

8. (deleted for another blog that will be a marketing philosophy rant)

9. I got a Kickass Award from Spike Gillespie-writer-blogger-hero last week at Bookpeople.
I was sandwiched between Tim League and Kate Messer. Holy shit.
The stories of the winner had us all sobbing.
My friend Callie Snyder nominated me. Tammy, Colin and Cory showed up for me
They all pretty much kick more ass than I can convey.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Mr #3569

Though I have only touched on it and will continue to elaborate in small doses, it has become clearer and clearer that I have some purpose as a bridge between life and what happens to us after. My mother has said since I was young that I knew just as many people in the cemetery as people alive. I have pretty much had a toe or two in the grey area and have been put in situations or in communication time and time again since the age of 8 with those going out or hanging to speak.
Yesterday we decided to stop off for the night in one of my favorite new age towns, Eureka Springs, Arkansas. In my 10 years living in Missouri, that place was sort of a cosmic refuge for me. Johnny and I have been put to the test for weeks now, slowly moving to Wimberley, fighting illness, fighting each other, stressed over how many places we are paying rent on and how to get the Austin ones back on the market. We have been taking some giant leaps of faith and they have been all consuming. Many things have gone wrong in the process and I still have a milion questions about our decisions. Add Christmas plans, presents and travel in the midst of it all. Here goes the travel portion part 1.
We set off from Austin Monday morning to go to my mom's house in the midwest for Christmas.
We found a motel in Eureka Springs with no dog limits and drove there over 11 hours through dark winding wooded roads with a full moon and dead trees setting up the ultimate Sleepy Hollow vibe. We were SO READY to be there and when we eventually arrived, suitcases were chucked into a motel room and we went downtown to find food and wine. The motel was the greatest I have ever seen for $50 and faced the deep hilly woods. There was no one else staying on our side of the motel and the fog was so thick, only the first trees and moon were visible.
We eat and drink at a lovely cafe. Horse drawn carriages covered in jingle bells passing by make Olive crazy and we make fast friends with a beautiful Minnesota man that works at the cafe. He had a lot to say about the vortex pull of Eureka Springs and how it pulls people back and treats them either really great or spits them out. Apparently the town is built on quartz and made up of limestone. HUge energy conducters. Add in a huge fire in the 1800s and wiped a lot of the town away and you have the perfect recipe for residual shenanigans. It's a town so spooky quaint and well preserved with springs still running through and bath houses converted to shops. A few of the original majestic hotels are still open and are very much haunted. The healing energy of the town has brought an abundance of healers and spiritual guide types as well.
In this mountain town you will also find some of the best Bed and Breakfast experiences out there in most of the elaborate Victorian homes.
After a wonderful night of sleep in our $50 hotel room, we get up, pack up and head back out inthe the thick fog for a daytime stroll through town with the dogs. Everyone stops us to ask what kind of dog Olive is and she proceeds to have diarrhea in front of a shop on a balcony. This happens every trip. The inopportune poo timing travel conspiracy.
After an odd lunch at a Indian Restaurant with only 2 actual indian food items on the menu, we set off for the 4 or 5 hour trek to my moms house in the burbs of Kansas City, but not before we decide to stop at a state park to let the dogs off leash to ensure they nap the rest of the trip.
I make a few random turns towards a place called Beaver Lake Dam and miss a road I am drawn to and turn around. I see a little park on a glimmering lake and we let the dogs out.
Far down a hill on this rocky beach, we start finding sticks for Olive to catch and I bring my fancy camera.
Stella, our smaller mixed breed, a ferrel dog we rescued a few years ago is batting at something on the beach. I flippantly tease Johnny to go check it out and hope it's not body parts in bag.
As we get close we see it is indeed a plastic bag with a glimmering silver tag.
The tag reads Greenbriar Crematorium #3569
Inside the bag is a rather large pile of scorched bone fragments, teeth and algae.
I know what this is immediately. I worked in a funeral home in college as a counselor.
What people call "ashes" is really more of a kitty litter consistency.
It's obviously an "ashes thrown in a favorite fishing spot" gone awry. Pretty sure the water receded and exposed it.
No one scattered this person. They just threw them in.
I feel so suddenly responsible and sensitive. I want to do the right thing.
In the state of Arkansas, they don't classify cremated remains as a body and the police will not get involved.
So, I prayed over this baggie and cast it back in. I remained very unsettled about it though.
Tonight Johnny researched and called the crematorium to get the person's last name that we found so we could feel a it better at acknowledging them and to see if there was anything more we should do.
Apparently the man's last name was Sargeant and he died in 08. That's all we got.
I hope he is in peace.
I took a photo of the bag so I could remember the tag info but I'm torn on whether to post it. It's intriguing but not sure if it's respectful??

Friday, September 24, 2010

Don't question it. Just say Thank You


I've been debating writing this post, but at this point in my new life, I have nothing left to lose and everything to gain. At this point, Many can testify and there's no one I need approval from.
I probably won't even promote this post. This blog is 90% for me and not a service or my expert opinions.

I touched on the serendipitous meeting between Tito and I 8 years ago, but I need to break it down here. Believe it or not, this is how it happened.
You'll read in an earlier post that I was working that music director gig for Jim Beam 10 years ago watching the suits eff up their marketing with big budgets and no real relatable message that quantified into Beam drinkers. Regardless, I LOVED that job, and I loved my bands (and band boyfriends).
Thank goodness I experienced it all in my 20's. I'd never survive that life now.
Overall I had a great ride with that company and I loved my life on the road.

3 months before I found out Futurebrands were cutting music marketing for bull riding sponsorships, I woke up in the night after seeing Tito on the news talking about on his handmade vodka being distilled in a shed in the outskirts of Austin. 30 seconds or so after sitting up in the middle of the night the absolute truth about his brand and more importantly, who he was, and what needed to be done to make it all happen came straight to me. I knew he was special, his vodka was great and he could turn the industry on it's ear achieving the impossible in a business of corporate owned spirit monopolies. I still had a job at Jim beam but I KNEW what he needed to do and I wanted to help him. I had never even met the guy in person.
I also felt some strange connection to my dead father thru him, being that he was a scientist and a tenacious dreamer, even though I dated older men than him, (enter daddy complex) Tito was about 40. I was almost 30 then.
The very next day, after being awakened with the ideas for him, I went to a tequila tasting at Miguel's La Bodega in Austin and in he walks with his gorgeous pregnant wife. A friend nudges me and dares me to go introduce myself. My knees start knocking together, but I manage to walk up to him, tell him the message I have for him and make a complete ass of myself. He says he has no money and no employees and can't start paying one now. I say, don't worry...that I had a job. I just needed to tell him what I knew about what his next steps were. (3 years later, he admitted to me, he also knew who I was-someone had recommended me to him-but he still let me make an ass of myself. That's Tito)
Back to the story.
He saves my email addess. Since he, to this day, has no computer on his desk, he eventually emails me from somewhere 3 months later that he would like to meet. By this time, I was out of that Jim Beam job, gathering unemployment and soaking up my more stable Texas life. I go see Tito, out at that shed in far south east Austin. I tell him what I think and he tells me again that he has nothing to offer me, but sure does appreciate my opinions on his business. Then, I just blurted out without thinking- “I'll help you anyway and to survive, I'll pick up some freelance jobs on the side. If you like what I do, and bring you in some cash, you can pay me someday” 9 months after taking his vodka from event to event, and telling his story, It was getting it placed into bars and in the VIP at Austin City Limits.
That November, My roommate had been gone for months working on a little movie called Sideways, so I took a break, and went to go hang on the set with her in Santa Barbra with some frequent flyer miles. That's when Tito called me back with a little offer of paid employment with Tito's Handmade Vodka. That was a year after our first meeting.

They all say it, and I believe it. (Do what you love for the love of it, even without pay....and you'll probably end up paid)

After 8 years building his company with him and the eventual other employees that joined us, I decided I missed helping at the beginnings of companies and ideas. SInce he's doing great, he's let me work on some other projects now at my little consulting biz called bellanti Branding. I have my own office, and a few clients at a time. I discovered that my visions for Tito and all of our marketing and web presence started to come for other people I talk to, and work with. Whole visions of websites, directions, messages, plans...they come to me without even thinking.
They come fast and furious and absolute. They MOSTLY come in the middle of the night, or in the moment of meeting with someone if there intentions have legs....
Or they don't come at all and I back out of the gig or excuse myself. Or change the subject.
Maybe this is just the gift of creativity. But I must admit, I wake up in the night with the songs of Robyn Ludwick already playing in my head. Last week I was awakened with the full branding, mission, logo and message for my new pro-mutt rescue-news site. I was tired but I knew I had to just say thank you and drag myself out of bed to write and draw it out.
My acceptance of this gift is making the gift more intense and I can barely keep up now with the information. I'm wondering if there is a way now to tap more into this and do less of the day to day and just help people with answers and direction...or let them know where the pitfalls are.
It's evolving daily. That's my secret. Although I'm guessing, it's a common thing about the human condition, to be spiritually charged like this. Songwriters talk about this kind of thing a lot.

2nd annual Happy Place weekend adventure

Where we go to regain our superpowers Part 2

2 weeks ago on the 2nd annual Van Horn Snyder Ranch working trip, we brought our friend Kathleen along, another cowgirl badass worthy of the sometimes rugged opportunities West TX present to me and Cal.
Ya know. Like cattle drives and braining large snakes.
These trips seem to coincide with particular friends who need the Snyder ranch experience for whatever personal things they happen to be going thru. It begs the questions whether we need to start some kind of re-programming girl power camp there complete with cattle drives, dirtbikes, sharpshooting, ghosthunting, texmex eating and honky tonk dancing.
We stay at Callie's spacious house in town in Van Horn and then make our way to the ranch about a half hour into more remote valleys mornings after consuming the best breakfast burritos at Daddy Snyder's shop.
He hops in the truck with us, downs a few beers and tell us some of the wildest west Texas tales we couldn't possibly ever dream up. Daddy Snyder lived them. Stuff of legend.
I have fallen in love with him. He calls me Bethany.


After a few hours of checking wells with him and soaking in the desert sun from the second tier of the quad hunting vehicle on this particular trip last month, we then went out and rounded up his ponies out roaming the land.


Daddy Snyder helped up saddle up and we started out on those horses, Just Callie, Kathleen and myself. Not 150 or so feet in to our journey, out of the sky dropped a bunch of multi colored balloons. I shit you not.

Kathleen started out full gallop to retrieve them. We could not really process the strange significance of this but Kathleen tied them to post and then seeing Callie;s horse was more “spirited” decided to switch horses with Callie. Kathleen was looking for action, and she got it. Upon returning from our rides, that horse got spooked by the balloons Kathleen went back for and threw her off right in front of us. The horse took off. Kathleen heard her arm pop, dusted herself off, shed one tear and walked back to the ranch house. I was shaken as I have a worst case scenario panic button, but Kathleen and Callie were calm. Well, actually, almost goofy. Daddy Snyder had tears in his eyes as we got in the car and headed to the ER in Van Horn. There was no one at the hospital and I joined in on the strangely silly vibe, stealing rubber gloves and stuffing them into random purses. Kathleen was bruised,potentially fractured,slinged, but NOT BROKEN. We went straight from there for tex mex dinner and brought our bottle of Tito's into the restaurant in leiu of pain pills. Later that evening we went back to our new favorite bar at the old famously haunted hotel El Capitan where we caught up with cowboys and a wayward singer songwriter who lent Kathleen his guitar for some of the most beautiful surreal moments I have ever experienced. Kathleen has somehting special going on with her music.


From there we brought those damn balloons with us to a Tejano bar still trying to prove our story to the cowboys, and since they only had beer and wine at said bar, and with me being a 100 percent Tito's girl, I danced the rest of the night instead-learning new Mexican dances with the cowboys and getting nasty stares from the local gals.
There's so much I must leave out for fear of a too long post, but you get the drift.
On the ride home back to Austin, we stopped at Balmorhea to heal our wounds and drove 7 hours watching the tropical storm roll in with wild cloud formations, rainbows and one hell of a sunset to be reckoned with. We are headed back in Oct. for the rodeo. Kathleen has a gig in that hotel bar , I'm going to sponsor the rodeo, and we are going to investigate the El Capitan


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Go to your happy place!


This is my year to travel, decompress, live for me, let my creative mind take over, stop worrying about money and ambition and HEAL.
I'm still healing from a few years of intense work related anxiety, chronic fatigue and the violence that comes with losing multiple pregnancies. I just started this blog entry to describe a more recent trip to Van Horn, TX, but I can't until I set it up with last years.
Last August I suffered my most drawn out, painful and violent miscarriage. It was also my last.
During the pain and procedure, I kept going to a "happy place" in my memory--an escape...that place being my friend Callie's ranch in Van Horn, TX. about an hour from El Paso and a little less from Marfa.
A week or 2 after that terrible experience, I wasn't leaving the house or my husband much. I was feeling very fragile and afraid. There was a terrible filmstrip re playing in my head over and over and I was paralyzed.
I mentioned my visions of Snyder Ranch to Callie and she told me she was going the next weekend and it would be good if I came along. I fought it because I felt so fragile, but Callie and my husband insisted and so I tearfully packed a bag.
This part of Texas has a certain cosmic charm that can really only be experienced. It would take an entire blog to describe the vibe of the people, the mountains, the sky, the culture. You can't help but get swept up and changed there.
Callie has a 76 year old cowboy dad who is quite legendary in those parts and it's an honor to get a few minutes worth of his witness. We usually ride around with him on one of the hunting vehicles and help check his wells on the expansive property while a few of Callie's dogs try to keep up with us and chase jackrabbits.



This particular weekend was the cattle working weekend. Callie's dad was short some cowboys and asked if we could ride.
Without thinking, we agreed. Had I really known what a 5 hour cattle drive entailed, I may have laughed and excused myself.
But we agreed to do it, so Callie's dad saddled us up with some cowboys who couldn't speak english and he put me on his best horse. At first gallup, I found myself reaching so far into my childhood riding memories just to remember how the hell I was to hold on, but I did it. We brought ALL the cattle home over many miles and rocked our spanish. We rode through steep mountain passes for 5 hours with no food or drink or bathroom break. A bull charged us fora mile and we evaded him. Our backs were raked bloody from ducking brambles and thorns.
Hours later when I finally got off that horse, I was seeing stars and weaving. The cowboy wives made us chili dogs for dinner and I ate 3. I am a vegetarian. We drank Tito's and Sweet Tea and listened to Callie's dad and partner tell us wild stories all night and it was one of the greatest days of my life.
That crazy ride was something so wild and impossible to even imagine, accomplishing it with a sister friend who already makes me tougher stays with me now through everything. I knew I was SUPPOSED to be there. I AM supposed to be there. It all makes sense. It's helped me accept the way life turned with a supernatural ease and I have felt 1000 times stronger ever since.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Facebook brought my family together

This is hard to admit because I have such an extreme love hate with facebook. From a personal standpoint--I love it for business.
I love and hate that it's connected me with my past. I get dragged kicking and screaming into acknowledging it all but in the end. I deal. And it's okay, and even a tad exciting or at least fun to make fun of.
I'm sometimes a detached "live in the now" (where I am HAPPY) kinda person so I don't care to look back that often. And I also am annoyed by long threads of facebook arguing and it's outlet for sociopaths, but I digress....

When I was 8 my father died suddenly, but before he died I got more than a dose of what lied beneath in his family structure.
He moved us far away for various circumstances and were only a tightly knit 4, but we had some encounters and visits with the Bellanti's and he had a VERY heavy heart when it came to his mother and the fallout of her decisions. I must protect us all by not going into detail but if you can think of every painful dysfunctional aspect of human relationships, we got it covered. violent death. crime. abuse. mystery. family biz probs. abadonments, more death...check. There's a taste.

Death has been constant, untimely re-occuring theme. We are all far apart. Many of us live rurally. There are misunderstandings, grudges, spiritual differences, memory differentiations, all that crap. Everyone is confused or broken in some way by the history.

ENTER facebook.
We got all friended ( I was so nervous) and we decided to let it all go and start over from the NOW and figure it out.
My fathers sister and brother put it all together.
You may have seen my horrific bathing suit tags on facebook post Lake of the Ozarks Missouri gathering. Every morning I twitch worrying that there will be more.
It WAS inspiring and I feel like I belong to something bigger. I feel like we can all decide that we don;t have to drag the past around and that we can go from here instead. It is up to us. None of that crap was our faults.

My mother has a lovely family but they have always smiled and said everything is fine and perfect.
The Bellanti's put it ALL out there and I had a blast with them. I saw pictures I had never seen and all these beautiful children who share my blood.
There was lots of beer and smoking and cursing and crying and singing. These people can SING.
I didn't know I needed that but I did.

The lesson was damn you facebook! You made me brave.

Brand Management Rehab

Building a brand like Tito's with no money and no structure or boundries for 8 years was intense to say the least.
We always did more business than our employees could handle but we somehow survived...barely...and
I ended up with many benefits at the end. Any time Tito could take care of me, he went above and beyond.
This made my parents very happy. Of course I appreciated it.
When I blew up my life last fall I vowed to take it all down a notch or ten in the frantic responsibility dept.
I only want to be responsible for John and I as a team right now. I don't want to do payroll or managing or deal with overhead.
I'll never sleep in but I'd love to know that I can.
Sometimes people offer me their employees if I will take on their project and I say NO.
I don't want to build a big company. My ambition is based on the quality of my temperament now. Hell, I can't even get a website done because I STILL don't know how to explain what I do...
Turns out, John and I, by decompressing from my old state of being, need less. We revel in simplicity.
We aren't having kids and we like just being on the road together. We don't want to be tied down.

We are considering customizing a van and taking our new business idea on the road with a promotional tour next summer for 3 months and then move out a little south near San Marcos so Johnny can pick up the writing program there at SW TX State.
I hope I can keep some clients that can deal with me working from the road for the summer.
If not, I'll figure it out. The new business is based on passion, and not making a mint but I trust it.

hint: DOGS. (I've been dared to launch in's possible)

The adult formula to happiness that people try to sell me on do not apply here.
I'm at capacity with clients now and when a contract is up with a client, I haven't been replacing them.
It's just making room for my new on line community venture.
That being said,
I HAVE been doing something really cool with professional trade relationships. Helping friends with parts of their business and then they teach me things about mine or connect me to more things I need to get further. No money is exchanged but we all get inspired and move further down the field.
I've paid my debts down and have a really low cost of living so that losing anything can't break me.
I want to do better for less people and not be stretched so thin that I get resentful. THAT is the goal.
Most of all, after helping other brands for so long, I AM READY to make my own. Here we go!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

This is dedicated to the one I love

With a heavy heart yet hope for the future, I reflect on the day before my best girl's double mastectomy a la breast cancer. It's going to be at least 3 months or so before the road clears for her and life begins to go back to normal, whatever that is.
Nothing is normal after a battle with cancer but there is depth, knowledge and power to be gained I believe.
I can't get her off my mind and it's hard to know what to say or how to comfort the day before someone faces such a big surgery. She is a young beautiful strong woman and mother. Luckily, She has SO many people that love her who will be there taking care of her and her surroundings. That is what life is all about I think when you get down to it.
This is the 4th time breast cancer has had an impact on my life. My maternal grandmother lost a breast and lived for many years after. My mother got cyst after cyst right after my father died at age 36 and I thought for sure I'd end up an orphan before they magically stopped coming.
My Aunt SueEllen (my mother's young sister) did not survive hers and I took care of her throughout her battle in 2001, learning for the first time, what I am capable of when it comes to the nitty gritty of caretaking and how I process/comfort the suffering of a loved one.
4 years ago, they found what looked like a large cancerous tumor in my own left breast, and only saw that it was benign when they got it out. Now, it's my girl Nanette, and it's a whole new situation. They all are. They can take any and every form. Nanette has had to make very hard decisions based on un-concrete variables to save her own life.
She will be having reconstruction and chemo in the coming months. She's really brave and I'm learning a lot from her. I'm hoping to witness and help with as much as I can so I can be ready for the next friend or family member or me.

This cancer is just sweeping through. I'm feeling mighty fragile about the human condition and not exactly able to focus on trivial day to day.
To follow Nanette's journey, follow her blog. http://
Join her team for the Race for the Cure in Austin: The Glitter Dropz
Please send love peace and ease to my unicorn Nanette. Thank you. Ps. She loves flowers and vegan food :)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My full circle life in music

I'm working in music again. But approaching it like a brand manager this time and not caring at all that I don't know exactly how things work in the music industry these days.
I say it all the time. Not being jaded by the "rules" or history of something makes it easier to reinvent. So, though music is a soul crushing business and one that can stomp an artist's heart, I feel strangely fearless.
I owe that to one Robyn Ludwick.

I often get asked "What got you in the vodka business?" And the answer is The music business.
I started taking corporate event and music marketing gigs when I moved to Austin. I moved to Austin because I wanted to take my experience in marketing the arts, like theatre, and apply to the music scene in Austin. So I did. In a weird corporate sell out kinda way.
Eventually those jobs led me to one where I promoted and sponsored unsigned bands all over the USA for Jim Beam Brands. I sat in those corporate meetings listening to those old white men try and relate to new bands and the people that follow them. They sent out millions of dollars in swag and spent more on advertising and though the bands loved me and appreciated the support from Jim Beam, they did not drink it and they were very sensitive about appearing to "sell out". One fall, after seeing Tito on the news, I ran into him and told him I think I knew the way to make it big in booze with no $$. AUTHENTICITY. TRUST. WORD OF MOUTH. NO ALIENATION or STATUS MKTG CRAP. Duh. He already had a stellar product.
2 months later, Jim Beam measures their giant waste of $$ and Tito calls me. Goodbye Bands. Hello Tito and no $$. Hello Happiness. The most amazing challenge of my take Tito's to the streets.
So, You know how this turned out 8 years later.
This year, I ducked out of my title at Tito's to get my creative life in order and take more clients outside of liquor and though I had met her a few years back at a music festival in Steamboat, Robyn Ludwick officially found me and asked me to help her manage a record release.
Her music made me say YES before I knew what I was agreeing to. Just like I agreed to work for Tito for free because he was too broke for employees. I felt something cosmic. It was one of the adult absolute truths.
Robyn's CD will be out in the fall and more than that, she's an incredible person who's spirit has become a beautiful source of calm and warmth to me. Though I have bouts with self doubt at times when it comes big decisions I've made, Robyn reminds me this is all making perfect sense and leading in a place I need to go too.
Oh, AND she is playing this Thursday at Continental Club at 6:30pm. Her music is dark and primitively female. This is her bio.

Many a green song writer has squeezed callow lyric from near-empty diaries, hoping that one day life might catch up with their words. Robyn Ludwick entered the world of song primed by years of life lived. When pen did come to paper, it teemed with ink—and was driven by a hand softened by love and strengthened by life.
Her earliest nights found her sprawled across the folding chairs of many a Hill Country dancehall, eyelids closing on her grandparents, as they twirled each other over creaky wooden floors. Her older brothers would grow to be Two of Texas’ favorite sons, Bruce and Charlie Robison.
While her schoolmates were embracing the rituals of small-town Texas; Robyn was teaching herself guitar and sneaking off to Austin, immersing herself in the city’s wealth of live music. Eventually she’d settle there, where rent was paid working the door at the world famous Continental Club. Robyn shared many a lean meal with her brothers in those South Austin days. From their Goodwill couch, she plotted a stable future for her and the family she hoped to one day have. She shelved dreams of a career in music and enrolled in The University of Texas School of Engineering and eventually took work in that field. Just after she and husband John “lunchmeat” Ludwick had their first child, and felt their road had been paved, Robyn was laid off. The intensity of such life changes woke Robyn’s sleeping songwriter.
"It just pretty much poured out at that point. I guess it was time, you know." Robyn cashed in her pension, and dove headlong into her craft.

The critics agreed that it was time, as 2005’s For So Long , Produced by the legendary Danny Barnes of Bad Livers, was named a top 10 album of the year by both the Austin Chronicle, and renowned Austin public radio station KUT-FM. It went to No. 1 on the Euro-Americana Music Chart and earned her a raved-about SXSW 2006 showcase (sponsored by No Depression, the Americana magazine), and a slot at the 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival.
After many acclaimed performances for American and European audiences, Robyn got to work on her second album. Too Much Desire, another set of soulful originals. Released in 2008 to many a stunning review, contributions from Grammy nominee Eliza Gilkyson, Rich Brotherton, Mike Hardwick and more, coalesce with a timeless execution on Robyn’s part, the effect of which is, as AllMusic puts it: “…elegant and graceful as a straight razor; it takes no prisoners, makes no apologies. In other words, it's just drop-dead gorgeous.”
Look for Robyn’s latest, Out of these Blues, when it hits the rack this year. It features a dizzying cast, including Producer/Multi-instrumentalist Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Blaze Foley), Ian “Mac” MacLagan (Small Faces, Faces, Rolling Stones), John Ludwick, Eddie Cantu, Gene Elders (George Strait, Lyle Lovett), Trish Murphy, and Slaid Cleaves.