In honor of Valentine's Day, I wrote a new love song called "Believe in Love." I hope it adds a little romance to your day! And I decided to combine this new song with a new version of the always popular song "Funny Valentine" at the end. Enjoy!
December greetings to all! It's been quite a year, yes? I'm so excited to announce some wonderful end-of-the-year shows and take this opportunity to wish you all peace, love and happiness for the coming year. I hope to see you at one of my shows, too!
On Dec. 7 and 8, I'll be performing in a play! It is the world premier of Parcel From America, directed by my friend JR Sullivan. In the show, I play a lonely widow at Christmastime in Ireland in 1950, who is waiting for a package from her son, who has run off to America to make his fortune. Filled with charming characters, beautiful songs, and moving reminders about what makes this time of year so special, Irish Theatre of Chicago is delighted to offer TWO concert performances of this rollicking, joyous, and family-friendly new Christmas musical that will start your season with tapping toes and a heart full of holiday cheer!
Then on Dec. 13-15, I'll be performing in JR Sullivan's Hometown Holiday. This will be a very bittersweet Hometown Holiday because this will be the last year for this wonderful show that I've been blessed to be a part of for the last 15 years!
Last but not least, I hope you'll join me on Dec. 21 at Uncommon Ground in Edgewater where I'll perform holidays classics like "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Away In A Manger," as well as other folk/pop favorites and original tunes with the wonderful and talented duo Bad Ass Librarians opening the show and joining me for a sing-along of your favorites too!
I've always loved the music by Burt Bacharach, and I can't wait to perform several of his songs with the amazing pianist Fred Simon at Studio5 in Evanston on Sept. 20. Watch me sing a short clip of his song "Alfie" below, and make sure to join me at the show!
I'm really looking forward to my next show at Uncommon Ground's Edgewater location, 1401 W. Devon in Chicago, on Aug. 9! Watch my video below to hear one of the songs I'm going to be performing. See you there!
Check out this little video that I shot of me creating a "jingle" to help me remember one of my favorite affirmations from Wallace Wattles' book, The Science of Getting Rich.
I am so proud to announce that my voice student, Julia Baer, recently came in first place in Skokie Idol's teen division! The contest began on Jan. 20, and each week, singers performed in front of a live audience at the Skokie Theatre. The audience and judges voted to eliminate one person each week until the final round on April 6. As part of her prize, Julia will be performing at Wednesdays on the Green in Skokie on July 10. Congrats, Julia!
I don’t like coffee, I LOVE coffee. I’ve been drinking it since I was 11 because I wanted to be cool and “ma’ chrr.” I drank it black because that’s how my mom drank it, and she was cool. Through the years I’ve heard it’s bad for you, only to read an article six months later saying it’s good for you. I gave it up for Lent once.
I also gave up alcohol for Lent the same year, which turned out to be very informative when it came time to look at my drinking for real. Coffee — strong coffee, like, you can float a horseshoe in it strong — is my cocktail of choice now, and yes, I know — I’m substituting. Yep, I sure am.
So, I pretty much know where I can get a good cuppa in every port. Very much like when I moved to New York City in the ’80s and my sister, Brenna —who’d already been living there a year — gave me the 411 on everything from the best grocery store to the best laundry (though they still have a shirt of mine because I lost my ticket) and best of all — best rest room, the Bonwit-Teller on 57th and 5th. And of course, I discovered, you can get a great cup of coffee just about anywhere in New York City.
But now I am back home in The City of Big Shoulders, and I must say, Chicago is no slouch when it comes to the lifeblood either. A new chain of shops has been opening in Chicago and they use oat milk as a non-dairy alternative. YUM! Oat milk cappuccino — my new fave for caffeine delivery. In a lovely cup, table by the window, breathe, eyes closed, sip, not a problem in the world.
One of the chain’s shops is in a very hip neighborhood where my son, Denvir, hangs out and works, so, last week I texted him to say I was going to be in the ’hood and did he want to meet for coffee? As I was walking up to the door, a good looking man was going in at the same time, we smiled, and he went to pull the door open for me. After a couple of tries we both notice it says “push.” We laugh, and he says; “I see pu— and figure, yeah, I can take it from here.” Oh, cute and funny? Hello!
We walk up to the counter, and I let him order first. He’s friendly and upbeat with the wait staff, and then he inquires about their OAT MILK ICED COFFEE! He orders two and then turns to me and says, “What will you have?” Whoa. I hesitated as if to say, “Really?” He reassures me and I ordered my fave.
I move over to the next counter to wait, feeling elated by the exchange. His order comes up, he steps up to get them, and I notice he’s wearing really cool shoes. Guys, you most likely know this by now, women are into shoes. ANY shoes. My order is next. His are to go. I’m going to stay and savor the moment.
I find my table near the window to wait for my kid, and look up. Mr. Dreamboat is at the door, hands full, we laugh a little and I want to motion for him to “Pull,” but we both get the knowing comic look, and he pulls the door open to the beautiful day and the lucky person who getting the second iced oat milk coffee from him.
Later, I realized that exchange actually healed something. Twice before, I had visited this shop and gotten slightly irritated. Once, I was cut off as I entered by a really rude dude. This fellow went right by me as I reached for the door, and was completely oblivious to anyone around him while he was checking his phone and made sure he got to the counter first. He seemed high to me. My son came around the corner at the same time and witnessed this sleepwalker and we just gave each other the “What the hell?” look. Which of course I love, because he gets protective of me, and wants to confront the jerk — ahh… my prince of a kid!
The next time was a few weeks later, and it happened again. I think it was THE SAME GUY! Honestly, what are the chances? This time, though, I was in a good place and just blew it off.
So, life is balance, yes? Even when it doesn’t seem like it, I still believe that everything is in divine order. I believe in the unseen world, and that we are in the field of infinite possibilities like fish in water. I believe that I am in the flow if I choose to be — not pushed, but led, by this field.
And we always have a choice. So, which scenario will I call up now? The dreamboat one, of course! That’s the one that brings me joy and lifts my spirits and my vibration. Because I want joy more than I enjoy complaining. Thank you, dreamboat man, for passing it on and paying it forward.
Oh, the ripples of a random act of kindness — as delicious as a good cup of coffee with a beautiful heart on top. Yum!
Can you ever go home again? According to author Tom Wolfe, no, you can’t. However, I will be testing that theory on Aug. 24 when I perform with my band at The Raue Center for the Arts in my hometown of Crystal Lake, IL. I am excited and nervous. They probably feel the same, right?
I’m doing my show “Dedicated to The Ones I Love: Great Women Singers of the ’50s, ’60s, & ’70s.” I love doing this show because these are songs I fell in love with and to, sung by the women who inspired me to sing in the first place. But the title of this show is especially meaningful as this performance will be dedicated to Crystal Lake itself and the many people who helped me become the artist I am today.
I’ll also be performing at my favorite venue, SPACE in Evanston, on July 29 with special guest and friend Freebo, a renowned bassist and singer-songwriter who has performed with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Ringo Starr, Neil Young, Loudon Wainwright and more. Get ready to be impressed when you visit his site!
Here’s wishing you a glorious summer and I hope you can join us for music, memories and merriment! (Oh, and to see my new hair…)
Hello Friends, Fans and Family,
Happy Holidays! Here is a song from my Season of Light EP that I wanted to post to say “thanks” for all your support this past year.
There’s also a new place to see/hear my music: https://megonmcdonough.hearnow.com/. I hope you check it out. It’s wonderful!
Thanks again, and may you be safe, warm and happy this season.
This summer, I decided to do something for the kid in me. I signed up for camp! In July I spent five days at SummerSongs East, a songwriting camp in Stony Point, NY. Although I teach songwriting myself, it was great to get the chance to be a student and learn from other nationally-known touring artists and work on my craft.
We spent the days sitting out at picnic tables, under the shade of big, leafy trees and immersing ourselves in every aspect of songwriting from song arranging to co-writing, performing and more.
I also took a guitar/music theory class with musician extraordinaire Vito Petroccitto. Vito is an amazing teacher who insists on keeping it simple and relaxing. I found a lot of comfort when I realized I knew a lot already, and it was a wonderful refresher.
Abbie Gardner was another favorite teacher/artist of mine who taught a class entitled How to Get Unstuck. It was like taking thorns out of songwriters’ paws!
But my favorite class was called Shadow Songs with Steven Prasinos.
Dr. Steve started class with a guided meditation. As he spoke, I had a vision of a woman rising up out of the water. She was wearing a green dress and had long, flowing hair and long arms, and I couldn’t quite tell if she wanted me to pull her up from the water or whether she was ascending, like a goddess. In my meditation, I reached over to her and took her pulse, feeling strong and confident as I helped her.
When I awoke from the mediation, I was confused about exactly what the vision was trying to tell me, but I knew it would make for a great song. Dr. Steve was trying to encourage us to embrace both our dark and light sides, but for me, his class really inspired me to write a song that connected with something deep and soulful within me.
A few days later, I was driving home, still mulling over my goddess song, and I got a call from my marketing maven, Lauren, who said she had written a song called that she wanted to collaborate on. When I listened to her sing it on my voicemail I had to laugh. Here I’d gone to song camp and wrote this deep, Jungian song and Lauren, back here in Chicago with her newborn, Betsy, wrote a fun, upbeat song called, “I Wanna Go To The Beach”! Love that.
The entire experience at SummerSongs was so much fun, and I was grateful to be able to return home with lots of great ideas to share with my songwriting students at the Music Institute of Chicago, as well as for my own writing.
If you would like to write a song, come to one my songwriting classes or contact me and let’s get started!
Megon's thoughts on singing, performing, and spirituality.