It was the end of March 2020 and Andy Gish reached out to me asking me to do a pop up show on her new Facebook page. It was called Kimono My House and she was trying to fill a need in the Atlanta Music Community because she knew the world was going to shut down, the clubs were going to shut down, and we would have no where to go, no where to play.
I was honored that she asked me because I was a fan of hers and respected her greatly as a singer and musician. I gave her a bunch of excuses at first, I can't because I'm trying to get out of New York, I don't know where I'm going yet, I'm trying to figure out what's next for me. The reality is that I was just nervous to perform in front of no one and sing songs into my phone or laptop. Eventually I gave in and did a pop up show on a Friday afternoon.
I've been on stage performing music more than half my life, and I've never been so nervous before. I've said it before, I'll say it again, playing in front of people, playing in front of a huge crowd, that's easy, playing in front of no one, now that's scary and that's hard work. I eventually got over that fear. It got easier. I had fun with it. I didn't take myself too seriously. If I messed up, I just kept playing. I spoke from my heart to who ever was watching and tried to be positive and send out good energy because I knew we were all going through the same thing.
I got more involved with the group and reached out to others asking them to join us. I did it with pride. I even started my own weekly music show every Wednesday with my Brother in Music Lars Nagel. It has been an honor and a privilege and so amazing watching our show grow and watching the group grow, and the people I've met along the way, Oh My Goodness, life changing and I've gotten so much inspiration from them.
So in just a few words, let me say that Kimono My House saved me during these dark times, pulled me out of some ugly places, and I hope that I paid it forward and helped people watching, that were going through tough times. I hope you walked away inspired or just felt a little better about things in your life. Thank You and Love.
Also, let me say that I was already a fan of Andy Gish and Kim Ware as musicians and artists. I'm just so proud and happy now to call them dear friends. Life Savers!
Love and Respect, Tom Cheshire
Julio Morales, New York
"My first KMH Oct 2020 not knowing what the hell I’m doing. Thank you Jeff Evans for talking me through it. Had only done one live Open Mic at that point so this was a high wire act for me. Fast forward, almost a year later, I’m center stage LIVE at at the Kimono My Strut portion of a neighborhood street festival with dear friends I’ve made thru Kimono who are on stage backing me, Diane Coll and Wendy Dumond. When I wrote “Pokeberry Letter”, I actually heard a washboard in my head and to hear it in real life gave me goosebumps. Three months after I started KMH, I was invited to be a lettuce on the BLT show. It was a huge honor. You see the comment thread everyone cheering me on—-and partying with each other! That’s what has sustained me …all the lit up comments and flying emojis. You don’t get that in live gigs. That’s where KMH and livestreams go that gigs can’t. That’s special to me."
Corrie Lynn, Virginia
"KMH has affected me profoundly. In much need of emotional healing in March 2020, I never could have envisioned the depth of healing and boundless creativity that has been rediscovered within me. I still remember how much my left leg tremored and my hands shook during my first live stream on KMH. This has now transformed into joy, laughter, fellowship, a stronger voice, and A LOT of new songs. To be in the company of such warm and brilliant souls who want nothing more than for ALL OF US to thrive and succeed feeds my musical soul and means more to me than what anyone could imagine. I am forever grateful to everyone in this tribe where unconditional positive regard is the emotional salve."
David Batchelor Orlando, Florida
"THANKS FOR CHANGING THE WAY I THOUGHT ABOUT MUSIC AND COMMUNITY. KMH IS A MODEL FOR FELLOWSHIP AND CREATIVITY. THERE IS NO EXAMPLE I CAN THINK OF THAT COMES CLOSE. MAYBE NYC AT THE DAWN OF PUNK ROCK, BUT KMH IS EVEN MORE INCLUSIVE. TO SAY IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. TO SAY IT HAS CREATED A NEW MODEL FOR MUSIC AND COMMUNITY IS MORE ACCURATE. EVERYONE LISTENS ON KMH. I’VE PERFORMED, TAUGHT, AND LIVED AND BREATHED MUSIC MY ENTIRE LIFE. KMH IS THE FIRST TIME IN 43 YEARS WHERE I HONESTLY BELIEVE THERE ARE OTHERS WHO SHARE MY VISION OF WHAT CREATING IS ALL ABOUT. I’VE NEVER FELT AS REWARDED AS I DO WITH KMH. A REAL GIFT. THANKS ANDY AND KIM, TOM AND LARS, FOR INVITING ME ONTO THE RIDE. "
Jon Phipps (North Carolina)
"Kmh has meant the world to me and many others in these trying times and has been a light house to soul. I've never before performed in front of such a receptive and supportive community. I've met so many talented and wonderful souls, both musicians and fans of music all right here in kimono. No matter how normal things become I will never forget what an impact this wonderful community had on my life."
Lars Nagel (Atlanta, GA)
IN PRINT ONLY