Going through photos/video and came across these piano bar cruise throwbacks from the good ole days!! (2019) What another world! I thought it was the perfect time to share for a little virtual getaway! So, here we go across the Caribbean with a song from one of my favorite artists..Shania Twain's "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under". https://youtu.be/tVVEBPghhZg
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This is a song in the works. I don’t remember a time I shared a song like this while it is still being completed, but I feel like being vulnerable and putting it out there today! This song is unique for me on several levels. For one, it’s the first time I named a song after a person – Eliza. Second, I typically sit on songs for a while before I ever put them out; however, in this case, this is a fresh song, still in the works, and this is me just sitting down at the piano and playing through it. You are experiencing this new song, as am I. In some ways this makes me feel uneasy, but I feel like I can’t hold it back because it is from this time in our history, and it makes sense through this lens of us – right now -- experiencing this history together. Another difference, I don’t usually provide the context of a song (unless you’re watching me live – then some stories come out!), rather just put it out there and let anybody who listens try to figure out the puzzle. In this case, though, I will give some context. I do not want to offend anybody with this, but I can only tell this story from my perspective, and I can only call it as I see it.
I was talking over the phone to a lady in North Carolina. Her name is not Eliza, but I changed it to respect her confidentiality. I’ve been making calls to help get out the vote. It’s no secret to any of you how I feel about the upcoming election, and we were discussing this. She was so perplexed about her own feelings, and very open with me. It sounded like she really needed someone to talk to. Just days before, the family had buried her aunt who had just died from coronavirus, and she was hurt and confused why her neighbors would not wear masks to go anywhere, saying they didn’t have the virus so they didn’t need to. She comes from a family of military service, and she did not understand the blatant disrespect for those in service. She said she is pro-life, however she understood that supporting women’s access to healthcare and birth control is necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortion. She did not understand the disrespect to women, in general. She also did not understand how people who are pro-life can be ok with the hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths to coronavirus. With all of this being said, she said she was just so confused why her friends kept telling her that she has to vote Trump if she was Christian. THEN SHE TOLD ME. Despite all of these things that were not aligned with her own beliefs, she said that they are all worried about the Democrats’ plan. She said that the Democrats are using coronavirus to kill all the world’s population except for 5 million ‘elites’, and so she said that she just needed to do some more research on this. I was floored and caught myself literally on the phone frozen with my mouth hanging open.
This is what we are all dealing with right now. Reality is being twisted and truth turned upside down. Everyone is being targeted. The wild conspiracy theories that you may see in your Facebook feed or across the web are specifically tailored to you. I have seen this in stark, almost unbelievable terms as I’ve been talking to people around the country. Believe me, whatever demographic you are – you are being specifically targeted to your vulnerabilities, and we ALL have vulnerabilities. The things that “Eliza” and her friends see in their Facebook feeds – I have never even heard of! This experience really opened my eyes to the problems that we are currently experiencing regarding truth and fact. No wonder people are having a hard time finding common ground!
So, I keep “Eliza” in my heart as an example of a good person, trying to live her faith, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and struggling with her understanding of right and wrong in the face of these attacks on reality. It is sometimes even hard to follow what your heart tells you is ‘right’ when you are surrounded by people or stories telling you that you are wrong. If “Eliza” hears me now, I want her to know that I hear her, I see her heart, and I understand her struggle – I empathize with her.
In the days ahead, these attacks on reality could get even more intense than they already are. My advice: check sources, check each other, listen to others with different views, and talk with one another. Let’s remember that we are all human. May we lift each other up to seek truth and common understanding in these strange times.
I am happy to share with you my music video for "Re-Imagine". Reflective of the challenges facing the world today, "Re-Imagine" is a call for unity and imagination in order to rise above. The pandemic put a pause on many activities and has offered an opportunity for a more robust global effort to combat issues facing humanity – these include disease, the existential threat of climate change, economic disparity, and social injustice. Only by bringing out the very best in one another may the call be answered to ensure a harmonious existence for current and future generations. Ultimately, this project seeks to encourage global unity by viewing human existence from a much higher perspective.
I have wondered how I can sing when our nation is on the brink of self-destruction? I can feel guilty enjoying anything knowing that American democracy is on the line. On the other hand, how can we not? “It is our nature”. We find enjoyment in what we can, as have humans throughout history in more difficult circumstances. This quote from C.S. Lewis on the brink of WWII puts it into perspective beautifully and so I put it on a pretty background to share. We continue and hope. So I will continue to create, but with that being said, I want to state my recognition of the severity of current circumstances - people hurting badly (some truly fighting for their lives) and our nation on a path of self-destruction. Another four years of this will endanger the freedoms that we hold dear and that are so easily taken for granted. The right to fight for our country’s direction, this rather young experiment, will not be the same - not my original thoughts but those of history. Through every song I write or note I sing, know that I have not forgotten the gravity of the challenges we now face- quite the opposite. I hope that our common celebration in humanity will allow the best parts of ourselves to prevail in a better and more just nation and world.
I am so honored to have received the Diversity Innovation Grant Award from Rutgers University. This grant will allow me to create an original song and music video that promotes collaboration, creativity, diversity and innovation in projects that promote environmental sustainability. More to come!
Having so much fun playing out at sea that I decided to continue the voyage - this time on the Carnival Valor through the first week of March! See you on board!
Pic: on the beaches of Progreso, Mexico
I'm currently out at sea playing and singing in the piano bar on Carnival Vista! It has been an absolutely wonderful experience full of music, fun, great people, and worldly adventure! The places that I've visited on board the Carnival ships include Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk,Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and the Bahamas. It's been historically and culturally educational. One of my favorite experiences was visiting Bob Marley's home and playing the family piano! Watch my instagram: @mzrags for more pics and updates!
Pictured is me sitting on Bob Marley's inspiration rock in Nine Mile, Jamaica.
Big thanks to James Metcalfe at Fupping for including my thoughts on songwriting in their article "13 Brilliant Ways for Musicians to Reclaim Their Inspiration". I believe everything I said and am trying my best to follow this creed! Check out the article HERE with more great tips on songwriting inspiration!
Thanks so much to Erick from ElectroWow for this interview feature!
Thankful to Essentially Pop for doing this Exclusive Premiere for my brand new music video "Paranoia"! Check it out here! https://essentiallypop.com/epop/2018/02/video-premiere-paranoia-by-sarah-ragsdale/
I am excited to announce the release of my upcoming video "Paranoia" COMING SOON on February 8! The video was shot on a cold snowy day in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY and it's different from any that I've ever done. Thanks to Douglas Ferguson who shot the video (and also took this picture!). More updates to come!
2017 has been an amazing year and I am thankful for the people in my life who have made it that way! Wishing all of you Happy Holidays and an amazing New Year 2018!
One of the highlights for me this holiday season has been being part of the Cancer Kids & Christmas event back in my hometown. This big fundraising event was all organized by Travis Sparks who, himself, was threatened by cancer, and was then inspired to help others affected by this horrible disease, especially during the holiday season. Being in this hometown atmosphere and seeing people come together to help each other was so uplifting, and a reminder of how we all should strive to help others year-round! It was a humbling experience, and I am thankful.
My new music video "This Kiss" will be airing on IndiMusicTV on Amazon Fire TV, ROKU, Flipps TV, Film On, and their website www.indimusic.tv ! Catch it at the following times (EST):
12/1/20172AM - 4AM & 6PM - 8PM
12/2/20177AM - 9AM & 5PM - 7PM
12/3/201712AM - 2AM & 11AM - 1PM
12/4/20179AM - 11AM & 8PM - 10PM
12/5/20173AM - 5AM & 4PM - 6PM
12/6/20173AM - 5AM & 7PM - 9PM
12/7/20172AM - 4AM & 6PM - 8PM
12/8/20171AM - 3AM & 1PM - 3PM
12/9/20179AM - 11AM & 8PM - 10PM
12/10/20173AM - 5AM & 7PM - 9PM
I just posted this video of "This Kiss" played live! Hope you enjoy this version of this happy song!
I want to thank all of you who came out to the "Whimsical Romance" Album Release Party over the weekend in Baltimore. Germano's Piattini was just the perfect place to have this celebration with wonderful and supportive people! I cannot wait to be back in the area for another get-together with all of you! Thanks to Lynne from Bluebook Photography for capturing these special moments with her lens!
This coming Saturday Oct 7 is the "Whimsical Romance" Album Release Party in Baltimore and I really want and need your support! It will be a dinner and show at Germano's Piattini and Cabaret. Dinner seating starts at 6pm with the performance to follow right there on the baby grand. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here: https://www.instantseats.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=buy.event&eventID=A2ED0459-A64A-B736-8C110ADFA5FC0E04
This is THE release event for the album with so many people that helped make it possible and my last show currently scheduled in the Baltimore/DC area for the year! If you have gotten your tickets already, thank you so much, and if you haven't, there's the link, please let me know if you have any questions about any of it! I am honored by your presence!
Two events coming up for this weekend! Saturday I'll be in Mount Holly, NJ for an evening show at Robin's Nest Crow Bar and Sunday I'll be in North Brunswick, NJ for a Dog Walk-a-Thon and Adoption Event hosted by the North Brunswick Humane Association.
Thanks to Allison Johnelle Boron for her second writeup about songs from upcoming album "Whimsical Romance". (She also did a piece on "This Kiss".) I totally LOVE her take on the video! :)