Monday moments of zen: episode 3

I’ve started making little music videos using clips I’ve gathered out in the world and setting them to music that my husband, Matthew, makes. (His practice time at home usually consists of long and lovely loops in hypnotic/meditative rhythms). I’ve posted them on IG/FB the last 3 weeks now, so I thought I’d put them here as well for folks not on those platforms. (Original post below…) P.s. episode 1 & 2 will show up here soon as well. 🙏☮️🍁🥰

We went to @radnorlake two days in a row on our short trip to Nashville last week. The colors and the crisp air are exactly the kind of #forestbathingtherapy we were looking for.
It’s a must-see place in my book.
Here, I’ve captured several moments from our hike and have set them to the soothing sounds of @eldeorazio . I had a 2min video of him that I captured back in Sept, and loved it, so I made the video longer (vs the 1min sessions I’ve shared so far.)
I’m really enjoying making these little instrumental videos for y’all. Enjoy!

Lake Radnor, Nashville, with El DeOrazio

Creative pauses and surges

The holding on
The letting go
The keeping up amidst the flow
Try as we might
To do something good, something right
Staying up til the middle of night
Then fighting fatigue in the daylight
The creative urge surges
Until we link and merge with what nurtures

I realize some epic moons have come and gone since my last post.
Phases and stages.
A variety of factors have had me procrastinating this particular outlet…time/technology/over-thinking…I’m sure you understand.
But my favorite reason for not posting recent poems & pics is:
Sweet Jones has a new album we’ve been recording and a summer tour I’ve been building/booking!
This has taken all spare time the last few months. EXCITED!!
The album is titles Home: Vol. 1 and will be released June 23rd, 2015. The southwest tour through TX/NM and surrounding regions goes 6/25-7/19.
I’ve set us up with Instagram (finally joining another branch of social media!)
And will be posting pics from the road.
Follow/join email list if it interests you 🙂

In the meantime, a few recent pics…
And by the way, first time posting from iPhone WordPress app. Forgive me if it looks strange. 😉


Springtime flowers




night shadows, uptown New Orleans



the soft light of morning




Sunday chillin’





tiny delicacy


Taking My Time

Life is full throttle most days, and though it can wear me out at times, I am grateful for what comes.  I strive to always learn something from these experiences, sometimes in spite of myself.  I know that the faster time moves, (it’s October!?) the more mindful I must be to take care of myself and carve out bits of time for what feeds the soul.  And trust that whatever didn’t get ‘done’, well, it can wait.

Last Thursday after work, my husband and I drove out to Pensacola for a quick overnight getaway to hear some great music from another musical duo we admire – Karp Foley Band (Peter Karp and Sue Foley).  We stayed the night with friends, talking and strumming way past my usual bedtime, and then spent the next day slowly driving back home along the gulf coast, stopping for some beach time with the guitars.  It was a great, ever so brief respite.

Tonight, I took a little time to tinker in the kitchen with baking, and then sorting through recent photos and poetry books.  And listen to the lovely instrumental album ‘Unspoken Requests‘ by Linford Detweiler (Over the Rhine).  All very relaxing and heart-soothing.

So now, for the photos and poetry to share!  The poetry is older and the photos are brand new, just from the last week or so.  🙂

Disintegrate to dust
Your fears against trust
Go wherever you feel you must
Don’t let your spirit rust

Your imagined obligation
To follow trepidation
Keeps you in your station
To never see the full nation

Uncover your elation
Accept the celebration
Let the mind take a vacation
Let the heart be the sensation.





Pick Out Your Own Cloud

Today’s post features a new-ish song/poem, that we’ll record for our next Sweet Jones record.  It’s called Pick Out Your Own Cloud.  I’ve been facing this subject matter in full throttle action this past week or life; anyone in the creative fields can relate, I’m sure.  Do enjoy, and then go pick out your own cloud 🙂

Pick Out Your Own Cloud – written by Melissa DeOrazio
copyright 2014 Los DeOrazios Music

I’ve been waiting around
For so long, so for something that can’t be found
I’ve searched high and low ground
For the terms and words and answers renowned

All the while, still listening
For your sound
All the while, still listening
For your sound

I’ve been waiting in vain
For the station to announce my train
I’ve been playing a game
Where every day, all the rules change

But I still play and bet everything
In your name
I still play and bet everything
In your name

Comparing everything
To anything on anyone else’s path
Quickly slows our pace
Run your own race, pave your own path

Choose to laugh
In the face of ego’s wrath
Choose to laugh
In the face of ego’s wrath

When you come to closed doors and big walls
When knocking and jumping does nothing at all
Lose your doubt
Choose another route
Get back to your roots
And do what makes you proud
Do what makes you proud

Who needs the crowd
That only shouts in the dark so loud
Grab the straps of your boots
Grab your tools and build your own town

Pick up your wings and sing
And pick out your own cloud
Pick out your own cloud

Pick up your wings and sing…Pick out your own cloud

NCIS: New Orleans

Hello and happy Spring!

I’ll start by saying that it’s not often I’ll re-post and/or mix this blog and my band page.  But the news that follows, well it just had to be shared, because it feels like such a milestone for us.

At the start of this year, my husband and I began our 6th year as Sweet Jones, and it’s now been 8 years that we have been playing music together.  Piece by piece, with lots of patience, practice, perseverance, and gratitude, we shape and shift and build upon this musical dream.  The creative life takes time, and yet there is never really a set ‘place’ in the ‘future’ that we’re looking to land.  For us, it’s always been about the work, and enjoying that work together, one day at a time.  And with that work, we find rewards big and small along the way.
Well this week happens to be one of the bigger rewards we’ve found along this musical journey together.

We are immensely thrilled to let you know about some very exciting news!!!  Sweet Jones has been selected to be one of the local featured musical acts on the very first episode of NCIS: New Orleans.  The talented and funny Rachel Hsieh joins us on cello for this particular song.  We had a blast working with her and the set/sound crew for the show.  We look forward to more adventures like this in the future!  The show will be a two-part pilot to start.
Tune in to CBS on Tuesday, March 25th (7pm CST) for episode 1 and watch until the end, as we are in the French Market scene toward the end.  Yay!!!
Here’s a little article from USA Today about the show.

This was not our official wardrobe on the set, but one of the ‘sample’ looks we sent in for ideas.  You might say we like hats.  Maybe it keeps the good ideas from evaporating, and prevents the bad ideas from infiltrating.

Big, big thanks to Rachel for sharing her talents, and to our friend Kyle, who believed we were the right fit for the scene.

As for upcoming shows, quiet for the very moment (EXCEPT FOR TV SHOW!), but look to mid/late April for spring-time fun and Jazz Fest week shows 🙂  In case you haven’t seen the line up for Jazz Fest, Bruce Springsteen and Eric Clapton are among the headliners.  Wow, it’s going to be a big crowd this year.  Hopefully, the rains ease up and the mud dries in time 🙂

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  May Spring come soon, and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

Blooming Butterfly

Blooming Butterfly

Japanese Magnolia

Japanese Magnolia

What Bob Said

Matt & I had the absolute joy and delight of hearing Bob Dylan in Memphis two weeks ago, as part of his traveling Americanarama Festival.  The festival also featured Richard Thompson Trio, My Morning Jacket, and Wilco, who all gave fantastic performances.   The show began at 5:30pm sharp and ran until 11pm.  Fortunately, we were in the bleachers for a good portion of that time, we might not have made it that long standing.

Despite what folks may say about Dylan in this decade’s performing style, we found him to be just as relevant and spirited as ever.  He played a couple tunes from his new record along with many favorites, both popular (Tangled Up in Blue) and obscure (She Belongs to Me).  His band is very tight and they take great care of Bob and his tunes.

I’ve recently reacquainted myself with some of his earlier tunes, and am just bowled over by It’s Alright Ma, (I’m Only Bleeding).  Such a powerfully epic poem and so relevant in many ways.  A great thing about Bob’s site – every song is listed with lyrics, publishing date, the last time he played it and how many times in his career he’s played it.  Fascinating stuff for a super-fan like myself.

Anyhow, I do recommend listening and/or reading this one.

The few photos I snapped at the show were with my phone – I don’t think regular/bigger cameras were allowed to the show so I didn’t bring it.  These two are very sweet – after his encore, he showed his gratitude for this audience, which ranged from preteens to elders.

Bob Dylan in Memphis

at the end of the Americanarama Festival, July 2013

At the end of the Americanarama Festival, July 2013