But it's right on.
It's fun. Having two kids will be total madness. My life is going to change, and I know that. I'm always into change and I'm always into challenge. I don't like settling into a routine too much. With two kids, the logistics of everything is going to be challenging. But, I mean, kids are fun and hilarious and musical, you know, naturally. For the singing part of my career, there's a lot of new material and new stories to tell -- so it definitely affects that. Also, at the moment, I'm out in California. I'm going to have my maternity sabbatical out here. I'll have more time to write, and focus on my own music instead of focusing so much energy on being a side person in the buzz-y network of New York -- which is so fun and so impossibly distracting. We actually just got out here, so I'm looking forward to that.
When Bill [Frisell] had his kids he was broke, living in New Jersey and really frustrated with New York, and he said something that sounded completely counterintuitive -- because he was making all of his money as a side person -- he said, "I'm going to move out to a cheaper place and focus on my own music." It was gamble that he was hoping would pay off, and it totally did. I think this is a similar kind of move. There are so many fun people to play with in New York, and there are a lot of people that I'm going to continue playing with, but I just can't let all the energy dissipate for my next records. I have so many records in my head. My next ones are going to be a singing record and a solo violin record -- a solo fiddle record is more what it will sound like. The singing record will be a little bit more focused on me rather than the ensemble records I've made. A little more story, a little more stripped down and bare. That's going to fun to make.
I've toured a lot of this material too. I was in Bruce Cockburn's band last year, and we toured as a trio. He wanted me to open for him solo, which was a huge challenge and I was terrified to do it. It was a major thing for me. We were up in Canada, playing Massey Hall sold out and all these big halls and I was up there with my violin. I didn't do the loop thing and there was no artificial support. I went out and plucked and sang and bowed and that was it. Those were my options. That really honed the songs. It really made it clear what was good in the material and what really worked when you'd strip things down to the bones. The audience, as I've said, really tells you what works and what doesn't work. They can even tell you what the meaning of a song is.
I also toured some of the material opening for and playing with a couple of American country artists -- Rodney Crowell, Jimmie Dale Gilmore. I've actually played the material a lot. My general way with the singing stuff is to really really get to know what the songs mean, and then go from the big pool of material to a small pool material, then make a record. Whereas with the jazz records, I tend to go in knowing less about the material. I'm totally learning from the players, because it's instrumental. Anyway, I'm super excited about the singing stuff. I just need to get it all together -- the plans, the finances, etc. [laughter] The whole making of it part.
You've talked about all of these musicians that you've played with and have made really strong connections with -- are there any musicians out there that you really want to play with but haven't had a chance to yet?
There's a group of songwriters that I listen to a lot... I did spend a lot of time with Lucinda Williams. She's a big hero of mine. Gillian Welch is a big hero of mine. I've actually never met her. I've talked with Buddy Miller about producing this next record, which is a possibility. Emmylou Harris, who've I met, but haven't played with. Brian Blade and I both have had this double experience of having one foot in both the instrumental and singing world, not that we see them as being so separate. But that's an area: the heart of the American song. Every chance I get to enter that I feel really lucky and thrilled. And the West Coast has a lot of really great songwriters that are right up my alley. I'd like to seek them out while I'm out here. In terms of the jazz world, in some ways I feel like I want to play with the people I know more. Like Jason Moran -- I've made a record with him and have played out with him a bit, but I would love to play with him more. Life is beginning to whiz by.... I would just love to develop the language even deeper with the people I know. In terms of new people, it might just be in the song world. There are a lot of players... I haven't lived in a town with them yet. I haven't lived in Nashville. I'm not sure I ever will, but just to sit there and absorb it all would be a thrill. Or just to collaborate and play together would be great.