by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
If I make one recommendation to close out 2021, it’s this: Don’t get a Covid booster shot on the same day you bring home a new puppy. I spent the better half of November 26 shivering in bed while my husband and kids chased this wee little yellow lab around our yard. It was so cute watching her leap around, her gait like a baby horse’s … jumping at everyone and everything.
This is Callie, our little, (then) 9-pound wonder.
I’ll skip the part where I felt overwhelmed — after all, this is the time of year where we should be focusing on gratitude and joy. Also, any new bundle of joy is tons of work, right?
So for now, in this super-busy month of December, I’d like to share a few annual highlights in my life as a mom, musician and journalist:
- In 2021, I interviewed more than 40 independent and major label artists, who shared their innermost thoughts on balancing work, music, and mental health, as well as their amazing new releases and projects. Some of my favorites included my Q&As with Rissi Palmer, a black country singer and host of Color Me Country, Hartford surfer dad Earl Henrichon, cofounder of Hartbeat Festival, “Mother Mother’ singer Tracy Bonham, who released a children’s record in March, my cousin Anna Wilson and her producer hubby Monty Powell of Troubadour77, and August’s ‘Back to School’ feature with Divinity Roxx, who also plays bass for Beyonce.
- I interviewed several local artists in my community and the greater NYC/Connecticut area, including Passing Strange, Turkey Vulture, and Green Light, as well as the rhythm section of NYC Mötley Crüe tribute band Girls Girls Girls and kindie rocker Esther Crow and Brooklynite Annie Keating. My friend Rew Starr interviewed the always charming ’90s icon Patty Rothberg, who is still living the dream.
- I penned a fun guest blog/show review about blues-rock guitarist Samantha Fish for the Connecticut-based MyAmpMusic blog.
- I took an abundance of music-business courses — including a livestream songwriting class from New York City Guitar School (which completely changed my outlook and knowledge of putting together sequences of chords), as well as Tom Morello’s guitar Masterclass.
- I took about a dozen bass lessons. I still don’t play like Flea, but that’s OK. My younger son Logan fell in love with piano (and ninja), while my older son Nathan decided to give cello a try.
- I performed a ton with my rock band Trashing Violet and acoustics cover duo Hot Moms. This included amazing gigs like Make Music New York (June 30, at Tomkins Square Park), plus spots at Black Rock Porchfest, Lincoln Parkapalooza, The Cellar, 10Selden, Cafe Nine, Black Rock Social, and the Fairfield Community Theatre.Despite massive challenges — from communications to timing — my band managed to release two singles: “Roam” and “Eggs.”
- I wrote the lyrics (and did the vocals) for a fun Halloween song, ‘Skeleton Crew’ with my guitar partner Anna Lee and her producer/musician hubby Drew.
- I supported my friends in bands. I went to more live shows this year than the first three years of motherhood.
This is only the beginning, a rebirth of my artistry that had hibernated during my toddler mom years. While I don’t know what the future holds, I’m grateful and excited for the possibilities. Here’s to a happy, safe and — as always — a totally rockin’ New Year!
Marisa Torrieri is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.