A Feminine Antidote to Creative Fear by Annabeth McNamara


This weekend I had the honor of hosting a flock of singer-songwriters in my home for a humble beginnings of a biannual womyn's music festival. It felt like all the power of a women's circle, amplified. Literally.

We began the event with a discussion of our creative lives, the pros and cons, the struggle and the reward. As I sat and listened, realizations sort of seaped into the sponge of my consciousness. I realized I'm not alone in the creative struggle. That it's a beautiful and worthwhile struggle. That having a muse, a cross to bear such as this, is also a gift that not everyone has.

More importantly, my sense of competitiveness and judgment and catty-ness, which seems like some kind of twisted instinct, melted away into sheer appreciation for these glowing, luminous, very human women sharing their songs and their hidden minds with us in intimate, quiet coziness of a full living room.

As a highly sensitive woman in the music industry, I feel my spirit calling in a new way of creating and sharing and making a living that cares for self, community, and planet. This evening of music, food, and art was the perfect first step into manifesting this vision.

It's just a simple part of feminine psychology and biology that we are stronger together. As I witnessed each woman sing her songs, I realized we all had distinct genres and niches we were filling. The hierarchy of who was best that I had in my mind was leveled by an awe for the distinctive beauty we each had to offer. 

This realization can be taken from the stage and applied to any field of achievement. When we work together and make space for each other, we become a cohesive quilt of many different patterns, that can comfort and warm the whole world.

The end of the night was an especially victorious moment, when one of the performers took a great risk and sang a song a capella. She was used to performing with a big digital sound or with other musicians, but in our presence, she felt strong enough to sing with her bare voice ringing out through the silence. 

By the end of the song, our crew of fine singers were humming backing chords. It was a spontaneous, improvised moment that we'll treasure.

What a beautiful metaphor of the courage we can access through witnessing each other supportively. I've heard it often how women's biggest stumbling block in the professional realm is their fear to take risk. I see this as an obvious outcome of being the weaker sex in the often vicious and tenuous lifestyle our ancestors surely endured. 

Yet I believe we witnessed our antidote at the end of the night. The cure for the resistant anxiety many of us feel, is realizing we're stronger together. If you're struggling to make strides forward in your life as a woman, perhaps all you're missing is this HUGE key-- female community.

Just a theory, my sweets! Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes?

Me and my bestie. Girl power!

Me and my bestie. Girl power!

I've been recently reading The Feminist Utopia Project.  It's amazing what a little intellectual stimulation can do for one's world view!

I'm reading the chapters like doses of cultural vitamins, educating myself to bolster my emotional immune system in our current political climate...

Nothing like a sexist tyrant to inspire the next wave of feminism! :)

We intentionally made the Ladyfolk Fest to not restricted biological women. Because femininity comes in different shapes and sizes!

I'm learning this first-hand, as I'm currently in love with someone who doesn't fit into the gender binary.  While identifying as a girly woman certainly works for me, I see how the patriarchal system hurts him daily.  It's like there's a roadblock between who he is and who he feels he's allowed to be every day.

Feminism means getting outside of your experience and empathizing with others less fortunate, and fighting for their rights. Because when we protect each other, we ensure protection for ourselves and our loved ones and the next generation...

Another thought to note, is that in my world of gigging and music touring, I've found many creative folks who live as question marks to this societal norm of boy versus girl.  Maybe it's because creativity and self-expression forces us to get in touch with our ambiguous, multi-faceted nature.

I'm so happy to present my sister's very own first novel, now available for pre-order on Amazon. It's a young adult historical fiction about two actual female pirates that sailed the ocean between England and North Carolina. This book presents a new narrative of gender and equality on the open sea... So proud of my big sis!

5K in 6 days! by Annabeth McNamara

Dear everyone,

We raised $5,000 in 6 days!

My girl-band, Larkspur, launched a Kickstarter fundraiser at the beginning of the month. We weren't sure we'd make our goal, so we hedged our bets and asked for 5K as an extremely modest sum for an album.

Due to an up-swelling in support we couldn't have imagined, we made that goal in just 6 days.

It feels really remarkable to have some of the energy I've put out there, touring and gigging and wearing my heart on my sleeve, coming back full circle.

Of course all this money will go straight back into the project to feed and nurture my craft.

Our minimum goal covers the very basic costs of recording to create digital files.

Now we're focusing on our next goal of $10K, so we can really *do this album right.* 

Click the link below to visit our page. There's a video update and details about what the next 5K will be used for.

There are also exclusive merch options you might wanna check out before they're all sold out...

See you there!

Go to the Kickstarter



Explore the arts of West Virginia this weekend

I'm excited to be a part of the festivities at this up-and-coming arts festival in Davis, WV. This is a very special corner of the country which has popped up with many talented artists quietly making art in this quaint town with a backdrop of wild nature.

More Upcoming Shows

Photo by Renee Byrd

Photo by Renee Byrd

As a small life update, my days have become quite, quite full. As a highly-sensitive person, I can only handle doing a few things a day. This becomes problematic when my jill-of-all-trades skills start becoming in high demand! #firstworldproblems

Yesterday I hosted my first-ever student concert at my home. It was adorable, to say the least. I never thought I'd find so much satisfaction and pride in the accomplishments of children. These days I'm just trying to shine the light on their innate awesomeness, as we tackle the Mountain of Music Theory that lies before us.

I'll also be creating another Midsummer's Masquerade at IX Art Park in Charlottesville, VA, which will be happening July 8th. Along similar lines, we're planning a Lillith-Fair type of event later on in the month. 

Moral of the story

Building a musical career winds up being a lot like patching together a quilt from seemingly disparate skill-sets. It's not always ideal, but it keeps my dreams warm...

And what are my dreams? To live a life of creativity, in harmony with nature, helping to awaken myself and others to the beauty-drenched heaven that is all around us, if we open our eyes, if we open our hearts...

Big things in the works by Annabeth McNamara

Hello Cute Sprout,

It’s here---

The biggest show of my life to date.

We’re expecting several thousand friends of friends to flock to the Pavilion’s concrete shore. Sure, the timing is tricky. Our set is 40 minutes, starting at 5:30pm. And getting there on time is almost impossible because their world and his dear sweet mother will be trying to pass through the delicate arteries of Charlottesville that day.

Which is why I know you will plan accordingly to arrive a bit ahead of time, settle into your spot, perhaps grab a drink if of your predilection, and listen up.

I am specially requesting folks dress up in a solid color of their choice. My preference is for skittle / chakra / rainbow colors, but just wearing a single color that resonates with your mood (and what’s actually in your closet) would be grand as well.

Different hues of the same color are acceptable as well. The vision is that folks will stand up next to the stage and dance and sway and gently be part of a vision for other folks to gaze upon. This is living art! Be a part!

At Lockn' Festial playing a set for staff and volunteers on opening eve.

At Lockn' Festial playing a set for staff and volunteers on opening eve.


As for recording, we’ve finally got a couple of recording dates lined up for and it feels GREAT.

Mid-September we’ll be taking our gypsy-chic wagons to Norfolk and taking two days to get all our instrument parts tracked for a 5 song EP.

We’ll also be playing our first show in Norfolk while we’re there! It's going to be at an art opening for our favorite artsy friend Angel Graves on September 16th. Info here.


It’s going to be a full few days of musicking and I absolutely can’t wait.

I’ll never forget the time my carpenter friend told me that making a good album is like building a house. We sat in his permaculture chalet, an old stone shepherd’s barn he had gradually fixed up by dragging equipment and supplies up a kilometer mountain ridge. I didn’t want to believe him then.

I wanted to believe that the wave of bliss and excitement that usually sweeps me up in recording was the sign I was on the right track. I didn’t want to sober up and put in the careful hours to perfect a song over the course of years of test-driving it live, tweaking it in rehearsal, tuning into the ether to listen to what was missing or what could be carved away, and then investing the time and resources to honor it with the right recording and production.

Well, we’ve been laying out the blueprint all summer-- honing in on the songs for our EP and ship-shaping them up. This is the first time in my musical career I’ve really gotten to ask myself how I’d exactly like each of my songs to sound. I trust our producer Jake Hull, as I’m a doe-eyed fan of his previous works. Even if I give him no guidance, I’m sure I’d be stoked on his output.

Scratch that, recording an album isn't quite like making a house, it’s like building an ark. And the desert is our cultural landscape. And the rain is the rush of creativity we're all capable of.

"It doesn’t make sense, it’s crazy, why would you build a boat here?" 

"The economy sucks, you're such a smart girl and could do anything you want, why waste your time making an album?"

Because the flood is coming, a tide of darkness via the brainwashed hypnotism of a bought media. I think very few people really understand how easy it so to have their minds changed simply by listening to the same false information every day, or watching TV with very fast frames that the conscious mind doesn’t pick up on, but the subconscious absolutely does. I don’t write this to scare you, only to help you be aware of your dear, sweet impressionability, and to really take great care what you subject yourself to.

Art about love will get us through, will wake us up, will re-set our loving hearts. Will have the seeds we can plant on a land scoured clean by these dreadful times.  Let’s put the kind back in humankind.

In a world post-robot, music and art could be our major export. Rather than sad lost wars and subsidized cancer-causing corn, our national offering could be amazing marvels of music and beauty, like a bouquet we fling on the world stage.

More soon I hope!

xoAnnabeth // Larkspur

Season of Love by Annabeth McNamara

Dogs, cats, babies, friends, friends' dogs, lovers, down comforters.  

At this point in the cold season, those of us who have survived are those who have succumbed to cuddles.

One can even somewhat snuggle, from a safe distance, with a space heater or wood stove. 

On rare occasion, even the sun makes itself fair game. 

I'm tickled to announce I'll be serenading folks at a public cuddle puddle in just one week.

First, a plug for live music-going.
Part of why I've started making a habit of going out to live music, despite the warring forces of gravity and inertia, is because I NEVER REGRET IT. 

So instead of "Here are a few of my favorite things," sung by blonde Mary Poppins, I present you with, "Here are a few things I never regret:"

-Walking. Anywhere. Anytime. It reliably massages my brain. In the winter, walking the miles between places brings me an inner warmth that few fires can match.

-Eating a salad, or greens in general. Chlorophyl = happiness high. For staying hydrated and warm, I've gotten in the habit of putting seaweed and herbs and greens and whatever else in a bowl with miso and submerging it all in just-boiled water. My very own aquarium. For dinner.

-Meditating. Even 10 minutes can work wonders in taking me from a ten back to zero.

-Reaching out to a friend when I'm distraught. The gals I've got on my speed-dial work like a charm.

-Recording musical ideas on my laptop late at night. It gives me a funny buzz I can't quite recreate other ways, even if it effs with my sleep cycle.

-And yes, going out to hear live music. It's the warmth, the friendship-fortifying conversation, the kooky decor that often shakes me out of my darker doubts.

It's a little thing called community that can restore my faith in humanity.

In these settings, romance is a gazillion times more likely than if I'd stayed at home hum-drumming and ho-humming.

This brings me to my next show.

Image custom-painted for the event by Chicho Lorenzo.

Image custom-painted for the event by Chicho Lorenzo.

Free Love: Valentine's Day Love-In at IX

For those of us in the city of Charlottesville, this is our chance to share the love. I created an evening for us like a hand-crafted Valentine-- thoughtfully, with lots of frills. 

Spend Valentine's evening submerged in art sharing sweet morsels and crafting valentines with the people you like to love.

Wherever you are on the planet reading this, I hope you'll go out despite the cold to experience the ambient ardor of this holiday of love. 

To me, this day is an invitation to celebrate love of all kinds- how do we show it, how do we live it, how to we BE the Love that we ARE as much as possible ???

I have another radio show this week to start things off. And for my Virginia friends, here are some more opportunities to catch my songs.

Upcoming Shows in VA
2/10 LIVE ON THE RADIO - WCNR/106.1 The Corner - 8pm EST
2/14 Charlottesville, VA @ IX Art Park, 7-11:30pm, $5 donation
2/21 Staunton, VA @ Redbeard Brewing Co.
         w/ Sarah Lynna & the Misfit Toys, 7-10pm
2/28 Harrisonburg, VA @ The Golden Pony w/ Jeremaiah Tall

3/10 Richmond, VA @ Crossroads RVA (unconfirmed)
4/16 Charlottesville, VA @ The Ante Room - World Voice Day

-Oh, and one last never-regret: wearing earplugs at said live music events. It's a pacifier for my mind. A soft sweater for my senses.

I'm not getting paid to do so, but I recommend Sweetwater's earplugs for bringing things to a safe decibel while keeping sounds rather clear. They make both folk- and rock-level options.

I feel like a total nerd when I wear them.

Which is why I'd like to start a trend so I can hang with the cool kids again.

Something I learn as I grow older is that if I do manage to stick around on this planet for another batch of decades, it's important that I not damage myself irreparably in some stupid way.

The end.

p.s. The wintry portrait at the top of this blog was snapped by my dear friend Renee Byrd. She is a multi-faceted whirlwind of creativity, whether it's writing or photography or playing back-up in my band.

She is currently planning to make me a fairy-unicorn rainbow raw cake for my birthday which will debut on her blog. Hashtag what true friends are made of.

WAIT. So tell me in the comments below, what are some things YOU never regret ? I love hearing from you always. xxxoo