The Circus Life Podcast

Justin Trawick, myself, Levi Stephens & Nathan Cristler

“Life is a circus and this is The Circus Life.” Justin Trawick begins each of the podcasts he records with partner & co-host Sean Russell with this tagline before introducing Sean, the show’s sponsors and the guests for the episode. The … Continue reading

Music Monday: Songs that Stay on my Playlist


I hate picking favorites when it comes to anything in life. I honestly just change my mind too often or feel like things are so situational – this is particularly true when it comes to music. My mood often determines what it is I want to listen to in the moment, or I go through phases where I listen to a single album over and over and over again.

However, there are a few songs that I always find myself going back to – whether I just can’t seem to decide what kind of music mood I’m in or what I want to listen to or just because they remind me of a place (physical or emotional) that I was and I want to be transported back there.

Here are some of those songs and a brief reason of why they stay on my playlist!

1.  honeyhoney is a band I was introduced to in conjunction with the Newport Folk Festival (my yearly planned vacation to Rhode Island to see amazing music in the best festival setting I’ve ever come across). The first song I heard from the duo is Toy Gun and the official music video was directed by and co-stars actor Kiefer Sutherland (of 24 fame). Don’t get me wrong- this song is also one I love, but my very favorite is “Thin Line”.  It contains one of my favorite lyrics ever – “Cause I want whiskey when I’m sick | And a man when I’m well | But it’s nice to have them both sometimes when I feel like raising hell.”

Great news for my fellow DC area readers- honeyhoney will be at IOTA Club and Cafe on Tuesday, April 8th. I saw them last year at IOTA and it was a really amazing show… I will definitely be there!

2. Oh! Lord knows I have a love affair with love songs. When I heard Rayland Baxter play his song,  The Mtn Song, last summer (yes, at Newport Folk Festival), I put the song on repeat and listened to it for at least half my trip home. Rayland’s voice has a haunting quality with just the right amount of grit and sincerity.

3. Ben Harper has held my musical heart for years – I recently saw him and Charlie Musselwhite at 9:30 Club playing some of the best music (Their album Get Up! is a go-to for me when I need to wake up when driving long distances). I actually walked down the aisle to a portion of Ben’s “Beloved One” when I got married at 21 years old… The song that I go to for miserable company when my heart is breaking is “Walk Away.” (Local DC readers- he’ll be at FloydFest the last weekend in July – I’ll be in Newport, RI for the Folk Fest).

4. “Whatever Lola Wants” was one of the first songs I ever sang with my high school jazz band and is one of my go-to karaoke songs. I’ve always preferred Sarah Vaughan’s slower and sultrier version but Ella Fitzgerald and numerous others have all covered this big band number.

5. Growing up, I always remember singing lullabies and in the last two years as my best friends have babies and I’m able to sing to them, I think about these songs I grew up with more and more. My mom always sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow but I have special memories of my grandparents also singing songs like Goodnight Irene, Tell Me Why, Swing Low Sweet Chariot and You Are My Sunshine. I love the comfort in the words of these songs that were sung to me so many times as a child.

This is obviously a very abbreviated list! Other music I often reach for- The Civil Wars, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, Ray LaMontagne, The Punch Brothers, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Brett Dennen, & Johnny Cash

What are your playlist staples or songs you often find yourself reaching for?

#throwbackthursday: Cherry Blossoms & Japan

Torii (traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine)

Today I’m remembering my incredible trip to Japan, which was exactly 1 year ago! My brother, Seth is currently living there and treated me to a trip as a graduation gift/gift to cover pretty much any future birthdays or christmases. … Continue reading