Archive for March, 2011

Here’s miss Grizzly Rose and her companions depicted gloriously by a French artist Clémence Josseau plus a short introduction as to how I made her acquaintance.

Grizzly Rose and her guitar-gun

Monsieur le grand chat bleu & Sophie, the merry-go-round pony

“June, 3, 1907 –  Met Grizzly Rose while fixing yet another puncture in the middle of the desert, which turned out to be her property. (The Penny-farthing is very tiresome!)   Sung at a local gathering. Was told those crooked trees are called Joshua trees.  Grizzly Rose let me stay at her cottage.  She’s got some good whiskey and even better tales.”

So it was how we began our long and strange friendship.  I’m constantly traveling and she’s of the wandering spirit, so our meetings happen at random.  But we can always pick up where we left off.  She’s fascinating, unpredictable, extremely trying at times but always a good friend and can spin a good yarns.  Her bell-like voice is mesmerizing and makes everything sound believable.  I wish you could hear her tell you how she survived her childhood running a flea circus in French Quarter or the long train ride she took alone from Indiana to Louisiana when she was only seven.  Or about her mother who was a famous French opera singer who died of a broken heart or how a man who carried thunderstorms around almost stole her heart.

Perhaps it’s all tall tales.  Perhaps not. Only  lucky ones get to meet her, so she told me.  I guess I must be lucky.

Maybe you will get to meet her one of these days, if you are lucky that is.  If you do, don’t bother asking her how she got her nick name though.  That’s a one tale she never tells.

Clémence is a photographer/illustrator currently resides in Paris.  She and I met while she was here in NYC and bonded over Kate Bush and our love for whimsical drawings.  I usually do my own drawings for album covers but as soon as I saw Clémence’s work, I knew I wanted her to illustrate Grizzly Rose.  She also co-wrote “Chanson” off my new album with me and appeared in the recording of the song.  Although she was very self conscious about her voice, the end result sounds really lovely.  She and I went back and forth writing and recording the song over internet.  I’m not a big fan of technology but I think for things like that it is quite amazing.

Next up – Matchbox House Blues and a story about Grizzly Rose’s flea circus in French Quarter.  My favorite doll-maker, Christy Kane will be the guest artist.  I can proudly say that I’m one of aunts of her dolls, so needless to say I’m excited to meet my new niece!

Stay tuned!


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