This tour is off to an amazing start, having performed in Butte, Great Falls, Fort Benton, Havre, and Malta, Montana. As I’ve sang and spoke in these places, I am reminded of the connection that we all share. We all hurt, to varying degrees. There is much pain in this world, oftentimes wrapped ’round in fear. But light can pierce any darkness if compassion opens the door. Every human being, no matter who they are, needs an ounce of hope to remain and flourish in this world. Hope is the great translator between human beings, and we get it from one another. I am exhausted right now following 3 events in 3 days, but I rest easy knowing that the more we say the words mental illness, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism, the more we humanize them. And when the world realizes that mental illness is an issue of humanity, we will enter the era of understanding. And with that comes love.
I am embarking on a 10-city tour across Montana this spring. I want to give people hope and let them know they’re not alone with mental illness and addiction. My presentation, Serenity in the Storm, combines my story of recovery with songs of hope. I will also be presenting in schools along the way. This tour is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana and The Center for Mental Health Research & Recovery at Montana State University. For performance details, visit the “Tour Dates” tab on this website or Facebook. I hope to see you at one of the events.
On March 30th I was honored to speak and sing at Napa State Hospital, one of California’s state psychiatric hospitals. I performed on the forensic lock-down unit, and was asked in advance if the patient band could join me for the final song. Of course my answer was yes, and together we sang Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” to an audience that loved every minute of it. The band was awesome. Then the whole crowd sang me happy birthday and gave me flowers. It was very touching, and yet another reminder of why I do this. I try to bring people hope and let them know they’re not alone, but they in turn grant me this gift. My sincere thanks to the wonderful staff at Napa and to those who worked hard to make this happen.