Wednesday, January 20, 2010

JAN 2010 ~ MLK Celebration and Call to Action

Here's the invitation extended by the community of Redeemer Lutheran Church, where we got to celebrate Dr. King this past weekend: "Celebration and Call to Action: Join us as we celebrate the life, work and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with music, song and spoken word. Together we will vow to not keep silent, to not rest until the dream of justice and freedom becomes each one of our personal dreams."

We gathered Sunday afternoon in a beautiful dark wood and stain-glassed sanctuary as a truly diverse, integrated and united community. In some ways, our modest gathering epitomized the vision of Dr. King: Black and White presenting together in rhythm and spoken word, singing as one chorus together, break-dancing together, rhyming together. All voices were honored. All belonged.

The deep soulful expression; the rich, rhythmic exuberance and passionate calls for justice that have long characterized the Black American church culture was in full resonance that afternoon. And I, a small, pasty white woman, experienced swells of emotion as song after song and rhyme after poetic rhyme, beat after beat, electronic rhythm and African drum, gospel piano and tambourine, seemed to press and call and draw upon the depth of humanity within us all to never give up until all God's children have joined the dance of justice, freedom, peace and equity.

Only a couple people in this community knew me and I'm honored to have had the opportunity to contribute to this celebration and be so warmly received, welcomed and embraced! When I Dream, Dreams (MLK verse) and Put on Your Climbing Shoes were the song-gifts I had to share with a group of people that gifted me over and over. They were an incredibly responsive crowd, and I'm sure this is the only rendition of Put on Your Climbing Shoes thus far that includes full on singing from the audience, clapping, tambourine and axatse (ah-hatch-ee: a gourd shaker from Ghana)!!

We are excited to have gotten some really great video of the songs Heatherlyn presented and are happy to share them with you! (or click on the song titles above!)

We are loving house concerts!

In some parts of the country, a home concert experience is a common thing. It's a natural part of the culture to be invited to enjoy a quality musical experience along with an up-close and personal encounter, with an independent artist in someone's living room. On the artistic corners of Minneapolis, neighbors gather together, appetizers to share and donations to support the artist in hand for these enjoyable community-building evenings. Throughout New England and in sectors of Colorado house concerts circuits are commonplace. Some hosts even have websites and regular concerts series with nationally touring independent artists. L.A. and Austin are other cities with lively house concert scenes.

Here are a couple great experiences we've had with house concerts within the past few months:

DEC 2009 :: Endicottage Christmas Wine & Cheese House Concert

Guests brought wine and treats to share and we celebrated the season through the music by the warm, glowing and real wood fire. We "mad-libbed" a couple Christmas carols together and had a jolly old time. more photos here.

JAN 9th, 2010 :: Prior Lake House Concert

The house concert closed out an afternoon of serving and being community together. The hosts invited guests to one or all of three segments in the day - an hour of packing meals for 1,000's of children in Haiti through the organization Feed My Starving Children followed by a Social Hour and then a concert with Heatherlyn! We served with the audience earlier in the day and got to celebrate through the music! more photos here.

JAN 16th 2010 :: Victory Muse House Concert Series

We enjoyed chocolate covered strawberries made by the gracious hosts of the Victory Muse House Concert Series. The evening honored Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and dreams. Heatherlyn sang Mindy Smith's "Come to Jesus" for the children of Haiti, recognizing and grieving dreams shattered. Then she dedicated a song celebrating a dream-come-true for a recently published author who was in the audience! Folks sang along in harmony in this comfy and inviting home. more photos here.

Heatherlyn Music would like to bring this really cool experience to more neighborhoods and circles of friends, family and colleagues to the outskirts of the Twin Cities and across the country.

We need YOU to do this!

Here's more about how we can partner together to make this happen!

Thanks for considering!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Staying "Balanced" on the Road

This post is part of a follow up to the blog Bliss and Sweat ~ a day in the life of heatherlyn music and it's some of what we've prepared to communicate with our road hosts about our nourishment needs. We thought you might be interested in how we seek to balance the bliss and sweat of our traveling work and manage the stresses of being far from home.

You may be even more interested in our HOME RECIPES here, favorites in our family menu. Heatherlyn has been a vegetarian for 10 years and in the past couple years, has gotten pretty good at putting whole, nourishing and delicious foods together. Feel free to use the recipes, ask questions and share them too!


Living on the road can take it's toll - sleepless nights, working long hours, odd hours, etc. In addition, we pay for all our own health care and really believe it's important for us to be good stewards of our health - the best we can.

Since we are often staying with gracious hosts and invited to partake in meals together, we feel it would relieve a little awkwardness to share these needs sooner than later. ;-) We simply want to communicate as best as we can so you don't feel like we are being big old snobs when we need to catch some shut-eye or if we say "no thank you" to something.


Heatherlyn seeks to regularly exercise - whether that's pulling out one of her aerobic workout DVDs and finding a space to dance around, finding a walking path or jogging trail or using a hosts stationary bike - she seeks to do this regularly to keep up energy, health and creative brain flow.


We really appreciate the opportunity to enjoy the company of those within the communities we serve as we travel. We love to hear stories but sometimes we really need to excuse ourselves to have some time to ourselves, unwind and get a good night of sleep.


Heatherlyn is a vegetarian and also has some heart health related dietary restrictions. She is also careful to keep sugar intake low to keep energy up and the immune system uncompromised. For, Heatherlyn, being a vegetarian means more than eliminating meat. It means being mindful to make choices that are wholesome and nourishing ~ to the earth and to the body. Heatherlyn and Jason regular meal habits consist primarily of whole grains (important for proteins and heart health), legumes (bean & lentils), fresh fruits & vegetables and almond milk. We avoid any and all processed or refined foods, leached of their nutrients.

Heatherlyn needs to keep fats moderate (Doctor says "low fat") and usually gets them from ground flax seed, raw nuts (such as almonds) and canola or olive oils, again, in moderation. So, Egg whites are awesome. The yolks are out.

Dairy if often not the best choice for digestion on the road or for keeping the voice clear, so her preferred source of Calcium is almond milk or soymilk (again, low fat). When HL has dairy products, it's usually fermented dairy products with live active cultures such as kefir in a fruit smoothie or nonfat plain yogurt used in cooking or dips.

Being a vegetarian (for HL) also means beef, chicken or other meat stocks are out. Vegetable stocks are great, but Heatherlyn often cooks with miso paste mixed in water as a nourishing and flavorful soup stock or vegetable stir fry base. Miso is known for it's health-giving properties and is also SO delicious!

We don't expect people to buy special things for us when they host us. But, if you'd did, we'd love to prepare dinner for you, time permitting! We hope that those who hire us to present will also be paying us enough for groceries so, we hope to be visiting your local co-op and cooking for ourselves as much as possible.


natural whole grains: oats, brown rice, quinoa, kashi. whole wheat flour, whole grain corn meal, etc...

lentils and beans (dry from a co-op bulk section or organic canned)

fresh fruits and veggies (raw, steamed, "saladified", stir-fried, roasted...)

egg whites

plain low fat or non-fat yogurt

omega 3 fats in moderation: flax seed, olive & canola oils, raw nuts and all-natural nut butters

natural hummus


Fast Food - (That's right, even when we're driving, we'd rather stop at a grocery store and pick up pita, hummus, baby carrots and organic apples!)

refined breads and pasta

refined sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup

processed anything

artery-clogging fats, especially hydrogenated oils

meat or meat stocks

egg yolks

butter or anything fried in trans fats


This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but we're not sure we need to make one.

If you're curious,

here are some of our favorite recipes

and staples in our family menu.


1 cup of steel cut oats

4 cups water

dashed of sea salt

Cook for about a 1/2 hour

served with cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, dash of allspice, maybe raisins or fruit and a bit of almond milk

no butter please

(or just plain old oatmeal)


This one's so easy!

1 cup of dry brown or green lentils

1 can of Organic Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies

Rinse the lentils and combine in pot with can of tomatoes. Add water as needed. Simmer for about 30 min. Taste test and add water as needed.

Spicy Tomato Lentils are great served with whole grain pasta, corn bread (below), baked potato or spaghetti squash!

The "I'll-Never-Eat-Another-Kind-of-Cornbread-Again" Cornbread



  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal (Course Grind Whole Grain such as Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tblspns of Ground flax seed and 6 Tblspns water (or 4 egg whites)
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (1 cup of canned pumpkin can also be used!)
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn, drained (optional) – I used this. It was nice touch.
  • dash of nutmeg
  • sprinkle of cayenne


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Combine in a separate bowl: 2 Tblspns of Ground flax seed and 6 Tblspns water, let it “gell” for 6 minutes before adding to mixture.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • Stir in yogurt and ground flax mixture. If using, stir in corn.
  • Pour into 8 inch square pan sprayed with non-stick canola oil cooking spray
  • Lightly sprinkle top with cayenne
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Best served warm.

Great served the following options: 1) agave nectar and almond butter; 2) spicy tomato lentils; 3) homemade guacamole; 4) salsa....


We usually just enjoy plain fresh fruit, but sometimes it's fun to do a dip like this.

I've especially liked this combo with red grapes and pear slices. Kiwi, berries and lots of other fruits would be great with it I'm sure. MMMmmmm good.

  • plain non fat yogurt
  • agave nectar to sweeten
  • nutmeg to taste



Diced Roma Tomatoes

Chopped Red Onion

Chopped Red Pepper

Juice of Lime or Lemon

Crushed Garlic

Finely chopped cucumber (optional)

Spices: Sea Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Cayenne, Chili Powder (any combo)

Pay attention to the amounts you're adding. Start with a couple avocados and go from there! Taste test!


Qunioa is a power grain, a whole protein by itself.

Brown 1 cup of quinoa in 1 T. of canola oil in a medium pot until it begins to smell like popcorn.

Add 2 cups of water, 1 t. miso paste (optional), spices (optional) and cook for about 20 minutes!


Spinach or Dark Green Romaine Lettuce

Any Vegetable, like...




Red or Yellow Pepper




Red Onion


red wine or balsamic vinegar and olive oil


Miso Paste (or veggie broth)

Cubed Red Potato

Any combo of veggies that we have in the fridge, such as...







Brussel Spouts

Summer Squash



Crushed Garlic Cove

Chopped Onion

Spices: Curry, Ginger, Sea Salt, Pepper

Stir a spoonful of miso paste in with about a 1/2 cup of hot water, then add to wok full of veggies.

While cooking, check tenderness of veggies and add more water bit by bit if needed.

If using spinach, add it near the end of the cooking time just stir it in until it is just wilted. Then serve it up!


Whole Wheat Pita Bread and/or fresh veggies with Natural Hummus

Natural Salsa (no high fructose corn syrup) and natural corn chips (baked or made with healthy oils)

Brown rice and Black Beans

Tomato and Cucumber slices with mustard, sea salt and pepper

Apple slices and almond butter

Wrap or Pita with veggies and hummus


2009 Heatherlyn Music Highlights

JAN :: Presented music alongside speaker, explorer, prominent MN activist, and very cool individual, Will Steger

FEB 24th :: KARE 11 TV Appearance >>

FEB 24th :: Performance at The Fineline, a prominent music venue in Minneapolis, MN

APR 27 - MAY 1 :: Songwriting Workshop with Middle School Students; Savage, MN

MAY 22 :: KUMD Radio Interview and Studio Performance; Duluth, MN - CLICK TO LISTEN!

JUL 9,10 :: Heatherlyn's First Music Festival at LIFEST! (Photo with friend and artist Jonathan Rundman)

Summer 2009 :: Began partnership with Youthrive LIVE! and because of it, we had the opportunities to contribute to the following State-Wide Summits:

  • High School Completion and Graduation/Drop Out Prevention Summit
  • Minnesota Summit to Prevent Sexual Violence

NOV 4th :: Heatherlyn presented at the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium with 2,500 young people present to be voices for clean water in Africa.

APR & SEPT :: Heatherlyn and husband, Jason, each took turns leaving their day jobs and moved from moonlighting in music to living into their dreams full-time! It's been scary and very challenging, like a roller coaster ride at times, but here we head on into 2010 hoping for many more good things to come as we share music for HoPeacEquity to and through all!

A Minnesota Summit to Prevent Sexual Violence

In December of 2009, MNCASA (Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault), in partnership with the Minnesota Departments of Health and Corrections and others hosted a Summit in St. Paul, MN, the first of it's kind in the nation, to focus on Sexual Violence Prevention. (SEE NEWS COVERAGE!)

Heatherlyn Music got to participate through our partnership with Youthrive LIVE! and present alongside other artists, such as the eloquent spoken word artist Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria and Tish Jones, who care about this issues.

It meant more to me than I realized it would to present at this Summit. I've journeyed very closely with a survivor of rape and sexual harassment. I've witnessed the pain and deep impact upon her self-esteem, well-being and sense of empowerment. Before, singing Put On Your Climbing Shoes, I briefly & discretely shared a portion of her story and how it illustrated the fact that this is "everybody's business" and integrated leadership is vital to movement forward.

Whether someone is a business owner, a high school principal, a parent, a civil servant, a neighbor - we all have to have an awareness and the determination to stand up for the dignity and safety of ourselves and others.

I had the honor of sharing the stage with Patty Wetterling, a leading Minnesota activist, U.S. advocate for children. At the close of the day, she came up to me and hugged me before I even realized who it was! Then she thanked me and told me I was eloquent! That meant a ton to me. =)

Be sure to click on the links above to learn more about this issue and see how you may be involved!!