Tours and Chocolate Zucchinis

In hard times, and good times, the women would share
Their songs and their stories, their loves and their fears
And their history’s recorded, their song never ends
In the memories of mothers and sisters and friends
— from, "Here's to the Women"

Dear Friends,

It’s a rainy Solstice day.  It’s been a day for making applesauce, chicken soup, and zucchini cake from the huge zucchini some anonymous person left on the porch.  You’ll find the recipe at the end of this newsletter.  It’s this recipe that brought me back in touch with my old friend Elizabeth.  I called her up, since my recipe card was no longer readable.  We gathered for tea and sharing the cake….a sweet re-connection.   And that is how our history, as women, is recorded:  We share recipes and stories.  We do crafts together, create photo albums, write letters and hold close our diaries.  And we sing together.

Library.jpg

I think it’s why I have such a passion for sharing women’s stories.   And now I’m back on the road with my multi-media production, Here’s to the Women!.  I use images, readings, and original songs to highlight the silencing and the raising up of women’s stories.  In early October we’ll be in Portland and the Sacramento area for three performances.  Scott and I just completed a tour of five libraries in North Central Washington, and plan to do lots more. 

In the summer I shared this program at the State Convention of the League of Women Voters and the Business and Professional Women.  On May 30th, 2020 I will travel to New York to give the program at Seneca Falls Women’s History Park, where the battle for Suffrage began in 1848. 

Please visit my Suffrage Page for more information, with deepest gratitude to my beloved webmaster and spouse, Scott Slaba.  You’ll not only find a description of the program and music samples from the CD, “Here’s to the Women!”, but also a growing list of resources: organizations, books, movies, other presenters, and so much more.  Recently we also added the music for a project I did with daughter Kristin Allen-Zito called Failure is Impossible. This collection includes eight traditional Suffrage songs originally used in a documentary, Courage in Corsets: Winning the Vote in Washington State.  You can listen to that fun collection for free by clicking right here

I invite you share this page with your friends, as we celebrate the anniversary of this momentous civil rights struggle.  And please get in touch if you’d like me to bring Here’s to the Women! to your town. 

Linda and Kristin.jpg

When you visit my Upcoming Events page, you’ll see that on October 24th, I’ll be sharing a concert in Bellingham with Kristin Allen-Zito.  I am really excited to be sharing the stage with such a brilliant and charismatic songwriter and performer (who of course also happens to be my daughter!)   In case you haven’s seen it before, there is a Jen and Kristin page on my web site where you can get more information about these amazing musician daughters of mine as we continue to update it.

la2.png
Dorothy.png

I’ve recently made a new friend with the writer and media personality Dorothy Wilhelm, and we’re developing a presentation together which will include her wonderful stories woven with my songs.  I’ve just read her book, True Tales of Puget Sound, which I highly recommend!   Please stay tuned for more on this front!

A couple of other things you may not have noticed since my last newsletter: I’m happy to say that our web site keeps growing!  Check out the Back Pages for the Grange radio program, “By the Light of the Moon:  Grange Hall Dances in Washington State”. It’s a 30 minute radio program I was given a grant to do the 90s. The whole thing has been remastered, and sounds great if I do say so. 

I also invite you to visit the Golden Bibee collection of over 600 lyrics he collected from the pages of the Spokane Chronicle in the thirties and forties. It’s all free, with thanks to Scott who keeps adding these resources as I find them stuffed in boxes in the storage shed.  

There is so much more to add, as I consider the impact of the Global March for Environmental Justice led, so brilliantly, by the young.  I can only say that I feel more deeply hopeful than I have felt in some time about the state of our planet.  Additional inspiration came from the amazing documentary, “Racing Extinction”, which is exquisite, sad, challenging, transformational, and ultimately hopeful.


And now for the recipe.  I published a version of this once before, but now it is gluten-free and dairy–free.  Otherwise, I make no promises about any health benefits.    

 

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

                       From Marie to Elizabeth Harris to me, with some changes along the way.

 
4409-3-large.jpg
 
  • Shred or grate 2 cups of unpeeled pureed zucchini (3 or 4 medium).  The zucchini can be raw or cooked, Set aside to weep.  Be sure to squeeze out the water before you add to the cake.

  • Sift together:

2 - ½ c. flour  (Linda uses GF flour – preferably Namaste) 1 t. baking powder 1 t. baking soda 1 t. cinnamon ½ t. nutmeg ½ t. salt 4 T dark cocoa powder

  • Cream together:

2 eggs 1 ¾ c. sugar and then slowly beat in ½ c. oil and ½ c Earth Balance butter substitute

  • Add alternatively to the egg mixture:

The flour mixture from above ¾ c. buttermilk or yogurt  (Linda uses milk substitute, i.e. coconut, soy, almod, milk etc.) 2 to 3 c. shredded or pureed zucchini

  • Blend lightly, but thoroughly (do not over beat). Then stir in:

3/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans 1 ½ t. vanilla 1 t. grated orange peel (optional) 3/4 c chocolate chips.  (not optional for Linda!)

  •  Turn into a 13 x 9” greased pan.  Bake at 350° fir 40-45 minutes.  Frost when cool.

  • Frosting

16 oz. powdered sugar ½ c Earth Balance (butter substitute or your favorite equivalent) 1 t. almond flavoring 1/2 c. dark cocoa powder Milk substitute as you deem appropriate, for spreading consistency)

  •  Mix together.  Spread on cake and top with chopped nuts if desired.

When you’re done and this is all baked, cooled, and ready to eat, take one big slice of this cake with a glass of very cold milk or other beverage of your choice.  Sit down.  Get very comfortable, and thank the goddess for chocolate zucchinis!


 May this time of beginnings, of new visions and inspirations, carry us all!

Linda

 

As always, to be removed from this list simply hit “return” and put “remove” in the subject line.  No guilt!

 









The Long Way Home

Sometimes I love the road, sometimes, I’m just tired
I can feel like God’s own chosen, then long for a nice, warm fire
Sometimes I’m full of passion for the things that I believe
Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to that young girl that was me
— from, "The Long Way Home"

Dear Friends,

Fifty years.  Half a century.  What a long, amazing journey it has been so far! 

This coming weekend, SATURDAY,  April 13th, I’ll be gathering with friends and family and our community to celebrate this milestone in my working life.  It’s also a CD release celebration of “Singing the News” and “Into the Promise of Morning”.  We’ll have a concert as a benefit for the Bellingham Food Bank at 7:00 at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.  I’ll be joined by my daughters, Jen and Kristin, as well as Janet Stecher and Susan Lewis (Rebel Voices), Phil Heaven, Jeff Wilson, Tom Rawson, Jan Peters, Laura Smith, Kitty King, Marie Eaton, Meryle Korn, Women With Wings, Ellen van der Hoeven, and Scott Slaba.

Details are on my website and as a Facebook event.  Please share!

Our daughter, Kristin Allen-Zito, celebrated the release of her newest, the EP “Bridge” April 7th, at the Firefly in Bellingham.  You can read more about the event, and see some old photos of Kristin with her sister Jen and me here.  You can also hear songs from both of these amazing musicians:

https://www.lindasongs.com/jen-and-kristin-allenzito

There’s a great article about Kristin and me and our new recording projects in the latest issue of What Up! Magazine (a Bellingham periodical).  April’s edition  isn’t online yet, but likely will be in the near future.

Entertainment News Northwest’s Margaret Bikman did a fine article about my work this month.  It’s on the “Welcome” page of my web site: https://www.lindasongs.com/

From this page you can also visit the “scrapbook” link to see some highlights of these fifty years of my working life.

So that’s the news.  But here’s the thing, and I think I can wrap this up with these last verses of “The Long Way Home”.  I wrote this song many years ago, and I still think it is one of the more autobiographical songs I’ve written.  It continues to feel deeply true.   I could not have had fifty years as a working musician without the support of so many of you.…financially, emotionally, spiritually.  This is true of most of us who follow this calling to be artists in this fragile world, so in need of vision, truth and hope.   This is a celebration of you, who cared enough to send a kind word, make a contribution, buy a CD or host or attend a concert.  You have kept the light burning for us all.

Never knew it would take so long to get back to where I started

Never knew how the road would bend, and leave me broken-hearted

Never planned the route too well, just followed each day’s yearning

Always seemed a rocky road that set my soul to burning

 

See Old Crow sittin’ there, he’s laughin’ every step I take

He knows how the wind can take you, and give your soul a shake

Spin you ‘round and upside down, until your dreams are scattered

Makes me want to hold my ground, and find the roots that matter

 

Sometimes I wonder whatever made me step out here.

Those nights when the moon is dark, and there’s nobody here but fear.

‘Cause it’s a long and a lonely road if you think you’re all alone.

Then I think of you, my friends, in my heart and in my bones.

 

   Oh, rock me easy, I’m taking the long way home.

   Oh, rock me easy, I’m taking the long way home.

              ---“The Long Way Home” from The Long Way Home

 

In love and gratitude,

Linda

 

Singing History

“Suffragists in Los Angeles were holding a public rally. Police informed the women that ‘votes for women’ speeches were prohibited at the rally; to circumvent the ordinance, the suffragists set those suffrage speeches to music and sang their message instead.
— "Music in the Women's Suffrage Movement", from the Library of Congress
Linda Allen Poster.jpg

Dear Friends,

It’s Women’s History Month!

The above quote appears in an article entitled “Music in the Women’s Suffrage Movement”. On June 15, 1911, the The New York Times published a story about suffragists in Los Angeles who were prohibited from giving illegal “votes for women” speeches, and about the creative way these tough-minded women got around it through music. It is fascinating and I urge you to check it out. It really does confirm what we know about the importance of music in any movement. 

Many of my own political transformations, from the Civil Rights movement to the Vietnam war to the MeToo movement, have come about and been empowered by music.  It’s also been my primary tool as I seek to touch hearts and minds through my songs.  Music does heal.  And music empowers. 

There’s a lot going on in the next month or so for me. In addition to my regular Skagit Hospice patients each week. . .

Saturday, March 16:  “Heartsongs: A ‘Her’storical Perspective”, led by Robin Bailey.  I’ll be adding songs to this interactive workshop, at the YWCA in Bellingham.

Friday through Sunday, March 22 – 24:  “Singtime Frolics”.  This is a folk music camp, with lots of singing!  I’ll be guest artist, with a mini-concert and two workshops.  Registration by March 8th!

Saturday April 13th, at 7:00 PM: We’ll be doing a fundraiser for the Bellingham Food Bank. An interesting fact I learned today from a person at WECU, is that for every $10 you give to the Food Bank, you provide approximately $100 in food to someone in need.

I’ll be talking more about this in my next newsletter, but please mark Saturday, April 13th on your calendar.  In addition to being a fundraiser, it’s also benefit/CD Release celebration and commemoration of my half century as a working musician.  It’ll be a couple of hours of food, conversation, great music and lots of fun. I hope to see you there.

Since launching my new website on Christmas Day, we are constantly infusing it with new information, resources, and timely content!  You can now get free, down-loadable, traditional Suffrage songs that were recorded by Kristin and me on the CD, “Failure is Impossible”.  For a growing list of songs and resources about Suffrage and women’s history, please check out my “Celebrating Women’s Suffrage” page.  Also, I’ve added a collection of beautiful new suffrage cards created by Meneese Wall. These are now available in our store.

May you find the song in your heart that needs singing.  Failure is Impossible!

Linda

New Year, New Hope

To the wrongs that need resistance, to the right that needs assistance, to the future in the distance, give yourselves.
— Carrie Chapman Catt

Dear Friends,

This has been quite a month, as I completed the second of the two new recordings I had committed myself to produce this year.  These were accomplished through the support of so many of you who donated to the GoFundMe site.  And now they are done!

In the midst of it, when I would hit the wall, I questioned why it seemed so important for me to do this. At 73, I'm not likely to do extensive touring or promotion, as I've needed to do in the past.  Frankly, I like leading a rather quiet life as a Hospice musician. The first of the two projects, "Into the Promise of Morning", comes out of that work, with gentle songs of healing.  I love being home with Scott and our grand-cat. Our kids are doing fine. 

But these are unquiet times.  And so the second project, "Singing the News", had to emerge out of the cacophony of fear, fake news, and hopelessness that can cripple us into inaction.  I needed to write new songs and to bring forward older ones that have taken on new relevance.  The idea of doing this came to me a year ago, and would not be denied, no matter how impractical it all seemed.  And the time it took!  Wow.  Fifty-seven days in the studio, at an average of 3 hours a day.  I worked with amazing musicians, my faithful engineer Phil Heaven, graphic artist Bob Paltrow, and so many more.  And now I am sending it out into the universe, with prayers of hope and a belief that somehow, a song can make a difference. 

Now I introduce you to visit my new web site.  Scott has been working on this for months, learning the skills needed to design a site.  And he has done an amazing job!  Here you'll find lyrics to 160 songs by the album they’re on, with links to how to purchase a full CD or a song.  Songs are also categorized, so if you are looking for songs about the environment, women's issues, family, love and death, whimsy and more, you'll find them listed.   There are special pages for Suffrage and Therapeutic Music, a Scrapbook, Upcoming Events, and a section being developed called Back Pages that will eventually host my "basement tapes", a page for Jen and Kristin, Washington, My Home, and so much more.   

You'll see here under Upcoming Events that I am heading to San Diego this weekend for a networking conference preparing for the 2020 celebrations of Women's Suffrage. I’ll be presenting my multi-media work called “Here’s to the Women!”.   If you are interested in a lot of resources for networking, films, books, plays and more, visit my Suffrage page.

Also, please note that  March 22 - 24, I'll be the guest artist at a wonderful singing camp near Portland at Singtime Frolics.  At this event I'll be offering a mini-concert and two workshops.  When you’re there, also note the radio show, Tossed Salad, on Jan. 25th.

My friends, may this New Year bring us hope for hard times, and the renewed possibility of a more peaceful world.

 

Linda