Monday, February 20, 2017

House Concerts

 I am not the best photographer, and I've probably had an alcoholic drink by the time the show started, but.....
MICHAEL JACOBS put on a great show on Saturday night.  Not only is his songwriting very inspirational, his delivery of his songs is peaceful and inspiring.  On some songs songwriting and singing style were definitely unique.  We want to thank our local APPLE MARKET grocery store for agreeing to sponsor this show. 
We also want to thank Michael Jacobs for coming to our place to play, and give our thanks to our friends and neighbors who came by to support this touring musician.  I learn so much about these musicians we get to come out here to play in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes learn about human nature, by hosting these house concerts.  I can only hope everyone else enjoys them as much as Andy and I do, and I know they appreciate playing in front of an audience of more than four people!  They are always the caliber of musician you could go to OKC and hear in a crowded venue or smoky bar, but out here it is an entirely different atmosphere and experience.  Michael left on Sunday morning to head to Amarillo, and then home to Tennessee to spend some time with his family.  He generously left a book for me to read, and we are enjoying his CD's.  Shucks, I'm in another room of the house and don't have his facebook or website information with me, but I know you can check him out at for a start. SAFE TRAVELS TO YOU, MICHAEL!

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Caroline Cotter is making a second appearance at the Chaparral Retreat!  And she's touring with another singer, Emily Scott Robinson.  I just found out that Emily was on the Voice TV show, so some of you may have seen her.  Tuesday's show is Sponsored by our local WHIRLWIND WINERY and Brad Stinson et al.  Brad and Don grow grapes here in Oklahoma and blend their own unique and distinctive wines from those grapes.

 I'm looking forward to seeing Caroline again and meeting Emily Robinson.  They are coming here after a weekend at the Folk Alliance International festival in Kansas City.  Come out and support these hard-working singer/songwriters and let's show them some OKLAHOMA HOSPITALITY!  Any questions, call Linda or Andy Barrett at 580-623-4269 or look at the OKLAHOMA HOUSE CONCERTS facebook page. 

Feb. 2017

My, how time flies!   I did not write an "end of year" posting here but did manage to keep up my journal.  So now it's catch-up time for my blog readers. 

The winter weather here in central/NW Oklahoma has been crazy.  we've had days of 40 degrees and days of high 80's in the past month.  Just when you think spring has come early, it gets cold and windy and, like today, none of us can do any work outside.  Today is cold and rainy,  but by the weekend it's supposed to warm up.  When it's warm, I know that if I rake leaves or trim trees now it will be for naught; we could have another freeze.  We've already seen crocus blooming; the daffodils are up and putting on buds.  No sign of life on the flowering quince or forsythia or redbud trees yet, which is good.  A couple of years ago everything put on buds and then we had a freeze in March and we had little color until late April.  As I've said before, weather is the hot topic of conversation in these parts.  This time of year is especially tenuous. We need rain, moisture, but we don't want snow and ice.  We need a good freeze to keep the spring and summer bug population down, but at the same time, we really don't want another freeze -- at least I DON'T.  I am not a cold weather person, as my friends know (what the heck am I doing north of the Red River??  That's one of the 100 stories I've been working on writing.)

Actually, I have been spending a lot of time writing over the last two months.   And coordinating OKLAHOMA HOUSE CONCERTS.  We had some great talent come out here to our little secret corner:  Dan Martin from Tulsa in December;  TJ George from Columbus, Ohio in January,  Merry Ellen Kirk, Ruth Acuff and Drew Lance from Missouri (Merry Ellen's second time here)  ....  we're starting to get a following in spite of not having a regular set schedule of concerts. 

This month we have MICHAEL JACOBS from Nashville on Feb. 18  (a Saturday - YAY!!), and CAROLINE COTTER with EMILY S ROBINSON (from Maine!) on Feb. 21.   This will be Caroline Cotter's 2nd time at the Chaparral Retreat!   They each have facebook pages and websites, so check them out there. Michael Jacobs' website is  Caroline Cotter can be found at   We also promote them on our facebook pages,,  the Red Carpet Country tourism page, and other facebook tourism sites. 

I can't express how excited and blessed we feel to get these talented musicians to come out here to rural Oklahoma.  They basically play for tips, and we ask for donations for PHOENIX CIRCLE FOUNDATION, our non-profit foundation that supports the arts and arts education.  We put the artists up for the night and feed them, and we all benefit from the experience.  And each and every one of these shows are a unique experience.  I know I'm going to ruffle some local feathers by writing these next few lines, but I'm putting it out there because, for the life of me, I can't understand the reason why our local regional newspaper won't publicize or promote or even write about these events after the fact.  It's not for lack of my efforts -- I send Press Releases before the events, invitations by email to the editor, post flyers all over town, and have even paid for ads in the paper. These concerts are "news" and events I think the locals would want to know about.  We fund these shows strictly from donations and out of our own pocket. OK, 'nuff said about that. 

Fortunately we have developed a small group of local residents who come out when they can, and we are thankful for those who do see our vision and support our efforts to bring entertainment and visitors to our area.   I have been able to get KOSU to put the events on their e-calendar and they've even featured clips from some of these musicians on their radio "Music Minute".  I promote the events at the nearby university (Southwest Oklahoma U.) and have gotten free listings in the Oklahoma City Gazette.

We've had some really nice people come stay with us at the Retreat this winter.  Our daughter Alma and her boyfriend came from Portland to spend Christmas with us.  It was a very special time with all of us together.  While Alma and Adrian were here we got to visit with Andy's sister Jane, her husband Jerry, their son Max and his fiancĂ© Samantha in OKC. 

This month we celebrated Andy's birthday with dinner at the White Dog Hill restaurant in Clinton (about an hour away -- everything is about an hour away from us!).  We spent a quiet evening at home for Drew's birthday; he cooked dinner, Jenna made a FABULOUS cheesecake for dessert, and we played a board game.  Our daughter's birthday is also this month; we'll probably Skype with her that day.  Today, Valentine's Day, we have nothing special planned other than a quiet day indoors (it's raining outside) and maybe play a game after dinner. 

We all send warm greetings to our friends and family and hope everyone is having a nice Valentine's Day filled with love and laughter.

/Linda [Notice, I did not write anything about politics or religion]