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The Imperfect Purpose

I had the greatest opportunity to travel far and wide when I was young. It wasn’t that I was an economically privileged teenager. Actually, quite the opposite. My family somehow managed to find a way to send me to study in Germany during high school and then during college, I took out student loans to study in Italy. Later with my music I toured so much that I added countless pages to my passport. I didn’t need a lot of stuff. What I needed was purpose, experience, a heart full of memories. And that’s what I went out to get!

If your house is full of memories and your heart is full of stuff, what does that say about your life? Or what if it’s the other way around? Your house is full of stuff and your heart is full of memories? What does that say about your life? Now, at almost 42 years old, I have both a house and a heart full of precious remembrances that make me who I am today. I care deeply about having a purpose and about the memories that come along with that, no matter my economics, nor age.

Do you ever ask yourself if...

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Austin’s Musical Bones

The music is still here. Even if the music isn't mine, it becomes mine. It becomes yours and as our hearts sync to the same beat and the vodkas and beers begin to change our consonants collectively, we are one person almost; a strange and gorgeous mix of gender, age, ethnicity wrapped in a blanket of melody, in unison, in one room. Our live music capital of the entire world birthing beautiful song-babies into each of us and once we get ourselves home, we dream with our local rockstars and the whole city of Austin is a lullaby.

The back-when: Antone’s on Guadalupe, when campus was void of Starbucks and café Les Amis was the place where students felt bohemian. Liberty Lunch in the warehouse district, when the warehouses were…well, warehouses! And that was when people rarely had the need to use the word “district.” La Zona Rosa when its only neighbor was the old Austin Music Hall (and I hear the new one is going bye bye). Momo’s on West 6th, when Katz’s never closed and when we rarely said “West or Dirty” before the number 6. These long-gone...

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Ciao! So, although I am not a vegetarian, I tend to avoid eating meat as much as possible. If you are looking for a meatless-meaty-meal, here's a good one! And I rarely cook with recipes, so I don't say "teaspoon of this, 1/4 cup of that." Just "some" or "a lot" or "a smidgeon." (Smidgeon is such an old fashion word and I love it!)

  • Buy two large portabello mushrooms.
  • Slice them in half (leaving you with 4 thinner mushroom "buns", making 2 burgers).
  • On a plate or a pan, set the 4 pieces down and pour some olive oil on them, flip them over and do it again. We want some, but not a ton, olive oil on both sides. ("Some, but not a ton" is more than a smidgeon.)
  • Pour a little bit of Balsamic vinegar on as well. I'm not a HUGE fan of Balsamic, so I don't use very much. This is up to you.
  • On both sides, sprinkle some Italian herbs, sea salt and cracked pepper (red would work too).
  • Mince a handful of garlic cloves and sprinkle them on both sides of the mushroom buns. (A handful in this case was about 6 cloves, though I didn't...
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We have moments of "whoa!" and we have moments of "woe". There is mystery in both, pleasure in one, misery in the other. It's a choice to behold every moment, for if you are experiencing one or the other, no matter how great or how terrifying, you are indeed experiencing. As we experience every stone of our lives, we either lay them down into an ever-growing foundation or we stack them high into sight-blocking walls. We create something that either makes us taller for a better view of the vastness around us and within us or we create something that blocks ourselves from seeing and blocks others from seeing inside. Each experience, whether "whoa!" or "woe" is a stone and you are the mason. Others have also been or try to be masons in our own lives. Mothers and fathers try to do their best and gently place the whoa! pieces at our baby feet and let us wonder at the tiniest things until we are strong enough to become our own masons. Then there are times when others place the woe stones around us and try to keep us from wandering, wondering, wishing. Let me ask you this. If you...

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Life is FULL! How fun! Yes, of course, it can be tiresome, stressful, lonely, whatever it might be, but think of it like this....You only have each day to live. You only have each hour, each minute, each second, nano-second....Each breath. I recently read a passage in a book by Mark Nepo "Is it possible that, with every inhalation, we take in the world and awaken our souls? And with each exhalation, do we free ourselves of the world, which inevitably entangles us? Is this how we fill up and empty a hundred times a day, always seeking the gift of the two breaths? Perhaps this is the work of being."

I practice waking up as early as my body will allow, which tends to be much earlier than a typical musician's schedule, and if I wake thinking anything negative or tiring, I tell myself to stop. I tell myself to think something positive, encourage myself, and have gratitude for the day and for those who will be in it. I tell myself to go conquer it, no matter the potential obstacles or tedious boredom. I think about each thing being not a necessity, but a joy! Breathing...

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Sitting with coffee on my patio in the muggy morning, I dug into figuring out how to access a website I built in 2009 for a musician in town. She needs a ton of edits and bless her heart, I have been so swamped that when I searched my inbox for the specifics, I had about 30 unread emails from her spanning 3 months. I just haven't had time. Ugh.

Aside from all the shows I perform and all the shows I promote, I also throw parties for Formula 1 race weekend in Austin called Blu at the W. It's a massive undertaking! I often end up working late, waking early, having meetings and so forth, that it's hard to get to complete tasks and I rarely get to just fill my day with the people I love. Today was full.

After realizing I didn't have the answers to the website issues above, I ran out of time, finished my coffee, tried to relax in the bath with a book and got dressed for a back to back Sunday. Here's a brief....

I went to a wedding shower for two lovely ladies who are getting married in November. I was 15 minutes late and had to leave 30 minutes early. But the time I...

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Austin is a fine, fine city, growing faster than weeds, sprouting skyward, spreading like the uncontrollable wandering jew plant in my yard. The tentacles of Austin's reach are now suctioned to the edges of smaller towns and farmland. I knew this city when the "warehouse district" had warehouses and before flip-flops were replaced by loafers and stilettos. Aside from the traffic, I think growth is a fabulous thing! And with it comes style, a stronger culinary scene, diversity and entertainment districts popping up in places where one might have once bought crack or a hooker.

I've decided to talk more about this fabulous place and to introduce to my readers and fans more local businesses, designers, artists, musicians and events. Once or twice a month, I plan to write The G Link Austin blog and keep you informed. Groovy? So let's go!

I have decided to start by introducing Interior Designer, Jane Reece, who happens to be a close...

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Check it out.....My youtube channel gets a little traction now and then (like 3000+ views of videos), but the most recent "When I Come Down" got over 12K views in a short period of time thanks to the power of social media, fans posting, purchased placements, ad placements and my sweet mama showing it to any stranger she meets. But hello! Youtube figured it was an automated bot system, so they took it down. I'm appealing, of course, but as a "courtesy" to me, Stupidtube put the video back up with a new URL and started it at zero (now it's at 200 since they restarted it). So, all of that being said, what I would like is for you to push this video harder than last time. Let them shut it down again! Why not!? Here's the new url. Watch it, share it, email it out, put it in your blog, your newsletter, play it a million times over, ask YOUR mama to show it to any stranger she meets. I'm proud of you and unhappy with Youtube and you should be too! Let's show them that we're real and...

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Hello, world! I'm very excited to announce that our new official music video for the track "When I Come Down" has reached 2245 views as of right now (Friday morning at 11A.M.). We posted it on Sunday afternoon! Not bad for less than a week. Click here to view it on youtube or watch below.

SXSW in Austin is in full swing! Tomorrow, Saturday the 15th, if our big bad beautiful "Love. on the Lawn" at Central Market North (4001 N. Lamar) from noon to 9pm. It will be a long day, but a wonderful experience chalk full of amazing music!

Here's the lineup again! Saturday, March 15 at Central market 38th/Lamar!

Noon - Jitterbug Vipers (Austin)

12:45 - Wendy Colonna (Austin)

1:30 - Jamie Lou (Arkansas)

2:15 - Ty Dietz and Stephen Rushlow (Corpus Cristi)

3:00 -...

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Oh My Goodness! Have you seen this lineup for "Love. at the Stateside" onSaturday, December 21st - at the State Theater in Austin, next to the Paramount?

GINGER LEIGH / WENDY COLONNA / HEDDA LAYNE / SHELLEY KING / PATRICE PIKE

Susan Arbuckle playing lobby pre-concert and intermission music!!

www.loveatthestateside.com

THIS IS A TICKETED, SEATED CONCERT. PLEASE PLAN IN ADVANCE AND PURCHASE TICKETS.

Ticket levels are $30 and $40

VIP tickets are $75 (first 4 rows and a pre-show meet and greet with the artists).

"Love. at the Stateside" will be held on December 21, 2013 at the State Theatre at the Paramount featuring 5 of Austin's top female vocalists with one stellar backing band.

Rotating the lead spots will be Ginger Leigh, Patrice Pike, Wendy Colonna, Shelley King, and Hedda Layne. Each performer has her own unique and powerful vocal and stage abilities and will shine on stage backed by...

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There was a time many moons ago when I was one half of a two-female-fronted acoustic folk funk soul rhythmic harmonic jam-type band called The Ginger & Sarah Band. Yes, it's obvious; the Ginger is me and the Sarah is Sarah Dashew. We parted ways over 10 years ago and haven't performed together since. But that is about to change! We're reuniting next Friday, October 25th at One 2 One Bar on South Lamar at 9pm. Come check out the way we harmonize and manage to blend our very unique styles into one juicy, yummy tone. (At least we hope so....it's been a decade. Did I mention that?) On stage with us will be our friend who drummed with us years ago, Carles Zanetti. He came to the States from Italy to tour with us and stayed! The oh-so-clever-and-talented Jeff Botta will be on bass! And my sweet Stewart Cochran will be wailing on the keys!

We wrote a song long ago which was never released. Above the Roar is a nostalgic piece with a new...

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"Amazing is a fitting title for this album. Her latest release amounts to a wonderful, sensuous journey across 13 tracks that reveal a generous soul that has known levels of both dizzying highs and bone weary lows in emotional relationships and she is more than capable of putting them in a song. There are very few vocalists on the scene today that can match her power or imagination when she interprets a song.

In a world that was fair, she would already have Grammys and other music awards all over her shelves but, as we all know, the world is not a fair place. Maybe this album will change that. One thing that stands out on this album is the variety of styles that are incorporated in it. Power ballads, punchy, jazz influenced gems, there’s even one in Italian, she really covers a lot of territory on this one.

Production on the album is near perfect, everything is matched with her vocals and surprises linger around every corner. She works so well with percussionists with such critical timing and ability that she can stair step into a crescendo and make it sound...

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Musician shift gears with plans to make F1 a bit more friendly for locals

By Ari Auber

American-Statesman Staff

Last November’s Formula One afterparties had all the high-profile glitz, sophistication and star power expected from the international race’s much-hyped Austin debut. But Ginger Leigh, a longtime local musician who organized two of the swankiest F1 parties at downtown hotels, noticed there were some very important people absent from the weekend festivities: Austinites.

Leigh thinks all the publicity preceding the big race scared off even some of Austin’s most out-and-about residents — but she hopes to pull them back into the fun this year when F1 returns to the Circuit of the Americas track on Nov. 15-17. That’s because Blu at the W, the only returning event from Leigh and Formula VIP Events, will be even bigger and also more accessible for race fans who can’t fork out several hundred bucks or more on a ticket to an F1 party. Leigh and Ian Weightman, the head of Formula VIP Events whose avid...

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I just can't contain myself, I'm so excited to share with you all the wonderful things coming up. Check this out! Get your calendar, because I think you'll want to mark these dates. September in Italy, October in Austin, The Ginger & Sarah Band Reunion Show, November Formula 1 in ATX, December 21st "Love. at the Stateside Theater", Recording in front an Orchestra (wha? Yes!) .....Holla! Read on, my friends, read on....

So, I'm heading to Italy for some shows Sept 20 - 29. As many of you know, I have a love for the old world and enjoy touring there! I haven't been back in a while, so setting my feet on Italian soil will bring me incredible joy! I wish I could take you with me...

In lovely Austin, October 4th, I'm playing at One-2-One with the Bottas on the rhythm section, Dave Madden on the keys, and Scott Clark on the guitar. 9pm, y'all! October 12th, Stewart and I are playing out in Fredericksburg at the Boot Ranch. Want in? Email me. October 18th, I'm in Houston at Anderson Fair!! Love that place!

On October 25th, after 10 years of not performing together,...

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Hello, Darlink!

Life is so odd, so awesome, so fun, so tough.....It is complex all the time, simple some of the time, juicy at its best and empty only when we let it be. People often share with me their stories and I get to share mine through song. It's that beautiful and mysterious intermingling of our lives that keep us strong, on our toes, learned, and grateful. Thank you for being with me on my musical, public, and personal journey.

One person I greatly admire is my dear friend and musical colleague, Wendy Colonna. She and I have worked a bunch together through the years, traveled together, cried and laughed together.

Here's a downloadable version of Concrete Blonde's "Joey" featuring Wendy Colonna, Ginger Leigh (that's me!), Noelle Hampton and Andre Moran, recorded live at the Bugle Boy! <a href="https://soundcloud.com/gingerleighmusic/joey-live-at-bugleboy" target="_blank">Click here to download it.</a>

Wendy is an incredible person, a unique and stylish vocalist with strong pipes(!), and a stellar songwriter. She works so hard at this! I...

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We did two quick run-throughs on Saturday afternoon at the Topfer Theatre. I wore the gown, I wore the shoes, but my hair was a mess in a clip and I barely had on any makeup. It was the first time I had the pleasure of entering a stage from underneath it; quite exciting, quite nerve-racking because the shoes made me uncomfortable. I'm not one to be anxious nor nervous before a performance, but for some reason those damn shoes kept giving me nightmares of being flat on my face or my butt depending on my previous movement mid-song. I could imagine the massive embarrassment which I would then turn into a Bette Midler/Ginger Leigh moment of laugh-at-self and all would be hilarious. Does anyone remember the time at the Saxon Pub in Austin at a show I put together with Patrice Pike, Trish Murphy, and Irene Mastrangeli from Italia? At the very end of the show and the very end of Charge Laughing, the heel of my boot caught the rail on the stool and I went, along with my guitar, crashing face-forward toward the stage floor. A cocktail went up and then spilled everywhere and the stool...

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was blown away at the generous way in which the W Austin Hotel helped me and my sponsors throw the private CD release party last Sunday, April 7th, 2013. It was a beautiful environment, the weather was stunning, the guests were gracious and enthusiastic and as my friend Sarah Sharp tweeted "It was so Hollywood!"

We sold a ton of copies of the new CD, Amazing, and I hope that those who own the record will post reviews online wherever possible (rating and reviewing on the album's page in the iTunes store is a great spot as well)! I appreciate everyone's individual efforts in keeping the fire going and in spreading the love of the new CD! I also want to thank the following people for their help, time, talent and contributions to the party on Sunday; The W Austin, Jane Reece, Kim Bickley, Jeannine Rock, Kart Klein, Carolyn Vernick, Kathy Hargrave, David Chernicky, Patrice Pike, AJ Trevino, Crystal Handy, Mark Evert, Kelly Cameron, De Ann Hoeft, Alon Zaibert, Carles Zanetti and of course the band!

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STAY CONNECTED

GINGER LEIGH is a courageous, versatile vocalist, stage performer, guitarist, songwriter, actress, business woman and globe-trotter. She takes her audiences on a journey full of rhythm, melody, humor, emotion and style. From rock to pop to jazz to country, she is a "contemporary variety" that goes unmatched.

Hair and Makeup, Front Page and Banners: Rae Cosmetics, Photos: Gregg Cestaro