Sunday, January 14, 2018

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Almost 4am

I have always been a night owl for better or for worse. It has gotten out of control lately as I am up late doing research, learning about the my industry of choice, my lovely and treaturous muse...  

It is often easier for me to concentrate at night though I am usually tired for the most part the peace and quiet is very inspiring. This week with a sick toddler waking up every few hours with a horrible hacking cough, I would not be sleeping much anyway. So I might as well be productive. It's much better than binge watching Netflix (I love Crazy Ex-girlfriend). 

I do feel like I am slowly making strides towards my goals. I could be better with time management of course, that's always been my downfall. I am learning the skills to conquer this inner beast or sloth rather that keeps me entangled in my own head. For example just the simple act of writing my life's to do list out and assigning a priority to each has helped me big time. Of course that's only step one. 

Oh no baby is crying and coughing again. I will be so happy when she feels better. We had such a scare this week when her fever spiked and we had to take her to the ER. 

Well I think I'll try to calm her then sleep myself. Goodnight world.

Here's a lullaby for us all:


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Social Media Meltdown

Hi I am Amber Snider, this is my blog. I haven't posted in quite some time. I am feeling the need to vent a little though.

I am a family woman with a husband and young daughter. I am singer-songwriter, too. I am a friendly person with a strong social media presence. The problem I am having is that I accepted a few people's "friend" requests on Facebook and shortly thereafter I was sent a pornographic picture through Facebook messenger. I blocked the person right away. I didn't know them. How rude.

But when I posted about it someone told me that they knew of someone who was hacked and then porn pictures were sent from their account to their friends. They had no knowledge as it didn't show on their history. So my question is why are people doing this? What is the point? How am I to know if the person I blocked was hacked then porn was sent via their account without their knowledge or if they are just indeed a creepy perve? How could I know? How would I know if someone is doing this to my account? 

It's just a strange world we live in. When I was young I would never have imagined the types of problems I would run into later in my life. Mysterious social porn messages are just the "tip" of the iceberg. Pun intended.

I sometimes wish I could go back to when I was a kid, a simpler time. Then I remember that when I was a kid, it wasn't a simple time at all. There were a lot of complex situations that a kid should never be involved in. Now as an adult who's well past my childhood, I'm finding that I am yearning for simple things. I'm looking inward to find that what I thought I wanted my whole life, I may not want at all. 

I use to want to be famous. I use to want a Grammy, an academy award, to make films, be an amazing painter, poet, singer, dancer... I use to want to do it all and do it all extremely well. When you're young you really think you can. You have endless energy and drive with just the right amount of bravado and that's a winning combo. You think everything is so simple. And when you are young it really is. Then slowly experience shows that the reality of just how much work it actually takes to do one thing, just one thing, extremely well becomes paralyzing. When you realize that every magical "thing" that you want to do and be is each a separate labarinth that you can get lost in and consumed without any guarantee of obtaining the prize. Ok maybe that's a bit dramatic. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm on the minutiae hamster wheel lately without really getting anything substantial done. Back to basics.

I played for some lovely older folks at a retirement home yesterday and that was good for my soul. I played Johnny Cash, Elvis, Patsy Cline... also some Irish tunes since it was St. Patrick's Day. One man kept breaking into song. It was hilarious. Some people rolled their eyes while others rooted him on. I fell into the latter group. He knew so many traditional Irish tunes I was convinced he was from Ireland.

Setting up was funny too. Usually I arrive 30 minutes early to set up and then they trickle in to their seats. This time they were all sitting there waiting when I got there. So I set up quickly while they all stared at me in silence. I requested that some music be turned on in the background, after all it was a party. I wonder what they were thinking? I dressed up nicer than usual with my hair and makeup all done up. I even wore a dress. I wondered if they were remembering what it was like to be my age and be able to go home for dinner or drive a car or just walk around unassisted. Simple things I take for granted every day. I wondered if I reminded them if someone they know or someone they use to know. In any case they stared at me in silence. I just set up my guitar and mic, business as usual. I didn't talk much beyond a brief hello until I was all plugged in and ready for action. I started early because, why not? I told them it had been a couple of years since I had been there and someone shouted "yes it has". I explained that I took a break and had a baby. Silence. Ok, time to begin.

They were very appreciative as always. A bunch of sweethearts. I loved hearing them sing along to the songs. When it was over they were rolled / assisted off to diner. One lady told me she didn't live there but needed to find a restroom, she told me she could walk there. Turns out she did live there and couldn't walk very well at all. Luckily someone came to help her just in time. Before anything bad happened.

One time I played there and an exuberant old woman was so into the music that she made a grand dancer's entrance down the staircase which went fine until she reached the bottom and tried a full twirl on the floor in front of me then slipped and fell. It was really hard to watch. She was ok but a little embarrassed. Probably a bit bruised the next day as well. I learned that it's best to know your limits in that case. I also learned what kind of old lady I'd become one day. 

So maybe it does take a lot to do a little these days. Even with all the high tech tools and gadgets we have. Maybe half of the time all that extra work doesn't even seem worth it. To be a successful singer-songwriter, to make great music videos, to make great recordings... Maybe I've grown complacent in my "older" age and would rather just take it easy, relax, enjoy my family, at least right now. After all if I have an endless array of labyrinths to choose from, I better choose wisely. Otherwise I could end up being lost for a very long time then one day look up and my daughter will be going off to college and I won't know what happened to my little girl. Funny how motherhood has changed me. I want time to stand still. I want to soak in each moment. I don't want to become the old lady who breaks a hip trying to dance a jig for a very, very, very long time. 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

June 2015 Upcoming Shows/News

Hi Friends! Last weekend Aaron and I had fun playing at Sonoma for a Winemaker Dinner "Friends Who Roam", though it was super windy outside (unusually). We met many nice folks and Girl and the Fig, Suite D is a great place for parties!

More Shows:
6/6 - Amber Snider Duo @ Capp Heritage Tasting Room - 1245 First Street, Napa, CA 94558. We are happy to be back at this fantastic wine bar in Downtown Napa. Great wines, awesome staff, timelessly beautiful decor... Join us for live music 7:30-10p No Cover.

6/7 - Duo Show - Join us for Twang Sunday at Thee Parkside - 1600 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94107. Starting at 4pm, All Ages, Admission is Free! Featuring the Bay Area's best acts playing Country, Western, Bluegrass, Americana, Y'All-ternative and Rockabilly.

6/13 - Duo Show - Private Party - Napa

6/25 - Amber Snider Band @ Bilco's 9p-12a - 1234 3rd Ave, Napa, CA 94558. Join our band for a rockin' night of live tunes at our favorite pool hall. I will be playing some songs from my new CD "A Little Heart" as well! Billiards, Beer & Darts... oh my.


Amber Snider
Puddle Siren Records & Publishing

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours, please enjoy this original song & video & have a fantastic day!

Let's Make Christmas

Link: ​ 

Original Song & Video by Amber Snider
Music produced by Gawain Mathews

Starring: People from all over the world

Saturday, June 07, 2014

BottleRock Napa Valley 2014!

The Amber Snider Trio playing BottleRock Napa Valley in the VIP Lounge 6/1/14 -
Photo courtesy of Sweetie Pies.
Those who know me know that I really, really love music. It is a huge part of who I am. In my life, I have written over 200 songs, performed around 1,000+ shows and have released several CDs.

I grew up in and around Napa and when I was in school all those years ago, there wasn’t too much excitement happening for a young person, especially if you were under the age of 21, there definately WAS NOT a music scene. The entire county (and world!) seemed to cater to the wine drinking tourists and after the wineries closed up for the night, you could literally hear crickets (drunken crickets, but crickets nonetheless).

Over the next decade or so, I moved to San Francisco, Los Angeles and then circled back to the Napa area as have so many others I know (the common joke among us being that in an ancient Native American language, “Napa” really means “to return home again” – though before it was a wine producing region I’m pretty sure it meant Chinese cabbage).

Jake Lake of The Sorry Lot & I Back Stage
After working a bit in the entertainment industry, having experienced an abundance of “big city life” including fast paced and smog-filled highways, I found myself becoming “homesick” and though it had limited entertainment options, again I welcomed the beauty of the Napa Valley with its magical nooks and crannies like a long lost dream… I also took comfort in the knowledge that SF was only 40 minutes away if I was ever jonesing for some incredible entertainment options though I optimistically coined Napa as being “The Next Hollywood”. Now that’s what I call “foreshadowing”…

In the years to follow Napa’s music scene grew and grew. There had always been small bars & restaurants in the Valley with the occasional mini- music scene that would come and go, though nothing worthy of the hordes of eager tourists, most of whom always seemed a bit lost and disappointed after the wine tasting for the day was done. I saw this up close as in addition to being a musician playing shows, including hosting open-mike nights, a web designer/graphic artist/marketing girl, I was also a limo-driver who did wine tours).

Of course there were private winery parties but not everyone received an invite. I saw this up close and personal because in addition to playing music, hosting open-mikes, doing web-design/graphics, I also ran limo wine-tours. Please always asked me what there was to do at night, my answer was always "not much".

The Deadlies playing BottleRock Napa Valley on the City winery Stage 5/31/14
For decades, the staple Napa restaurant & bar, Downtown Joe’s was the most happening place in the Valley (at least in my world), with music happening almost daily for years (my band played there every week for two years, I have been playing there since 2001), another local hangout was Bilco’s Billiards which did start having musicians play, but soon new “music venues” like Silo’s Music Club surfaced bringing with it outstanding performers (I was one of the first performers to play there), I watched in awe as the recently renovated Uptown Theatre transformed from the old dilapidated sticky floor, springs sticking out of seats cinema we use to watch movies in to a state-of-the-art upscale music venue. It attracts regional & national acts (I have lent my talent as support for Gretchen Wilson, Cat Power & Clint Black there).  And even more of a recent transformation that took place was the historic Napa Valley Opera House morphing into City Winery where both talented musicians and winemakers showcase their finely tuned crafts, respectively. With a lot of lhard work from some friends of mine, an annual music festival popped up in the summer called “Napa City Nights” attracting hundreds of loyal people and a few sponsors including the City of Napa (my band has played several years and even released a live CD). Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Me with KVYN DJ / City Winery Marketing Goddess, Mindi Levine.
But last year, something really incredible happened. A ginormous, week-long music festival slipped into town bringing with it, giant touring mega-acts and a frenzy that had and still has Napa & the rest of the world buzzing… essentially putting Napa on the Mapa, again; but this time as a music town. And this year I actually got to be a part of it! After a rough first year, BottleRock Napa Valley regrouped under new management, Latitude38 and an incredibly dedicated team of locals that ame together to create an extremely, super-successful music festival!

My band played in the VIP lounge (we were also selected to perform in a few promotional events leading up to the festival: a BottleRock Promo Video/Photo Shoot, Guitar Center and Pre-Bottle Rock Breakfast shows). All of us local musicians and music enthusiasts helped with promoting BottleRock Napa Valley 2014 handing out & putting up flyers, posting online, etc.

Alena Bliss of Miss Bliss Booking & Cole Armstrong,
our VIP Lounge Manager both worked tirelessly.
People came from all over the world to see bands like The Cure, Matisyahu, LL Cool J (I watched him from the VIP Stage Seating. Soooo Awesome! - see pics/video below), Delta Rae (they were amazing!! They did a Fleetwood mac song and for a moment I thought F-Mac was there.), Eric Church (lots of cowboys & girls), jam-band Tea Leaf Green, De La Soul & so many more top players and popular artists beloved by a multitude of generations. On the local Stage (sponsored by City Winery) and VIP Lounge were local musicians: Amber Snider Trio, Grass Child, The Deadlies, The Sorry Lot, Graveyard Boots, Kristen Van Dyke and many, many more! Much love was given to us locals!

BTW, I'm a big LL Cool J fan from way back. This picture (left) from when I was 14 years old shows a life-sized poster of him on my door, complete with glitter heart fantasies stickers :) Pic below was from BottleRock Napa Valley - June 1, 2014.

Shameless Hair Plug (LOL): Of course, I had to get my pre-BottleRock hair cut & color by Mega Hair Stylist Lindsey McCabe at Bloom in Napa! Yeah baby! (See image right) She transformed my hair from Raggity Ann to Festival Fashionista. Oh and BTW I haven't had bangs since I was a kid. Thanks girl!
Back to the festival... The incredible musical lineup brought a diverse and eclectic group of people together from all over the planet and so did the dozens of high-end food and wine options available.
You could get almost anything you were in the mood for and though it was pricey (4 beers = $48 ), it was mostly amazing; it is after all, the Napa Valley. Food and wine is a given, but music? Now that’s a whole new beast and I am glad to see it finally happening.
Here’s a list of the festival foodie/wine offerings (BTW some wineries had shaded lounge areas with views of the stages and the wines were delicious!):





It is both a surreal and gratifying experience for me to observe the blossoming of former sleepy little Napa town into the entertainment hot-spot it is today. I’d like to think after years of playing shows entertaining the masses here, I had some small part in that. And now, today, with its wide assortment of top-notch music & comedy, there is finally an Entertainment Industry that is finally “pairing” well with the wine industry that has famously attracted tourists for over thirty years. I can’t wait to see what BottleRock Napa Valley 2015 will be like and/or what’s next in store for my hometown.

My husband, guitarist and long-time Napa resident or “Napkin” as some call it, Aaron Snider, remembers vividly being a bored teen and saying to a friend “wouldn’t it be really cool if there was a big music festival in Napa with all of our favorite musicians? And wouldn’t it be super cool if we played it too.” Yes, yes it was.

- Amber Snider   
Singer/Songwriter/Graphic Artist/Web Designer/Blogger/Marketing Consultant

(Picture Above) My band: David Youdell, Me & Amber Snider