February 11, 2013
Many say it’s the “month of love.” However, I believe every moment is an occasion to choose love and life. As Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. commented, “We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.”
The new-year has been full of love and life for me.
Kicking off 2013, I had a fabulous concert with the Ronstadt Generations. It’s the first time I had line-dancers in the church sanctuary. Thank you to all who dared to dance to “it’s all a lesson in lovin’ and growin’ in the season…” (lyrics from my Iowa farm song, officially known as Listen to the Wind). Here are some pictures from our show.
In mid-January, I had the privilege of sharing music and stories at the University of Arizona Medical Center--Diamond Children's. It is so gratifying for me to be in the healing setting and share my “nurse-being” and “music-being” with patients and families. Before becoming a full-time musician, I worked as a registered nurse. It is a gift to witness how music can reach beyond the physical to the spirit – and bring to life the light that is always there even amidst illness. Here are some pictures from that afternoon of sacred exchange.
I am blessed to be living my passion. Thank you for being part of my story.
“It is very important that you only do what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Much love and light,
December 27, 2012
I am writing on a cloudy, “cold” day in Tucson…a high in the 50’s and low in the 30’s…much different than the “winter days” I experienced while living in Iowa and Alaska ;). Solstice has come and gone, the Earth is still spinning with us on it, and we are regaining a little daylight everyday. I am taking this time of “darkness” to go into creative space and emerge with new song material. I am excited about the many “possibilities” of the coming year!
Earlier this month, I joined Tucson Wildlife Center for an interview with Arizona Illustrated. They featured my song “Unexpected Grace.” You can watch our interview here:
On January 6th, I’ve got a special concert with the Ronstadt Generations at Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, AZ at 7 p.m. We will team up for an intimate evening of music and stories. I am always amazed at what happens when we come together in song. I am honored to perform with musicians for whom I have utmost respect and with an audience that is so supportive and compassionate. The creation of music and the moments that we share together only exist because of the energy that each one of us brings to the experience. I am blessed and grateful to be a part of this journey. If you can, please join us.
Tickets: $12 in advance / $15 at the door / available at the church or online here:
As we progress into a new year, I hold space and energy for more peace and harmony as we continue to “spin,” grow and co-exist together on our little blue planet.
Wishing you all much love, light and joy during this holiday season!
November 7, 2012
Hello out there!
It has been quite a journey these last few months, and I think it’s going to be a record year for my car mileage! I’ve been to and fro the Midwest, Texas and all over southern Arizona. This month I return to Denver, NW Iowa, Manitoba (Canada) and Missouri. I will be back in Arizona at the end of the month.
I’m VERY excited about a collaboration project that I’ve been doing with Tucson Wildlife Center and film-maker Marcus De Leon . I wrote Unexpected Grace for Marcus to use in the Wildlife Center’s film series. A “teaser” (preview) of the video has just been released. The full-length version will be out in December. You can watch the teaser here:
I’ve got a couple more videos to pass along. My guitarist Doug Floyd, percussionist Will Clipman and I performed on KGUN9’s Tucson Morning Blend in August. I was also a guest on the show with Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary in October.
I am extremely blessed to share my passion and connect with organizations such as Tucson Wildlife Center and Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary. I believe we are here to be good stewards of our planet, its inhabitants and all that extends beyond. It is inspiring to work with people who have followed their hearts’ desire to live compassionately.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. As the winter solstice draws near, I wish you a season filled with warmth, grace and gratitude.
July 12, 2012
Hello from the desert!
Wow…it is TOASTY here, and from what I hear, a lot of other place too. I am wrapping up my last shows in southern Arizona before hitting the road next week for a 3500 mile trek to Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Colorado. Check out my shows page to see where I will be!
A couple exciting things on the home-front:
- I’m a finalist in the Tucson Area Music Awards (TAMMIES) for “best folk” category. If you would like to vote, I would be honored to have your support. You can vote here.
- I’ll be appearing on KGUN9’s The Morning Blend in Tucson on Tuesday, August 14th, at 11 a.m. PST. You can also watch the show online after it airs.
In between travels, I’m working on new music. My intention is to put out my fifth full-length album in 2013.
Wherever you are in the world, thank you for following my story and my music. Your presence feeds my soul.
May 28, 2012
Greetings out there!
It’s Memorial Day “weekend”…a time of reflection as I pay tribute to those who have passed - honoring the gifts that they leave us with, finding re-birth in the time that we have here - now – together, and holding faith in the strength and spirit of humanity healing and uniting in peace.
My journey this last month has been filled with “firsts.” It started off with my performance as a finalist in the Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Competition. Then I was honored to play an opening set for Michael McDonald’s show at the Fox Tucson Theatre. It was my debut performance on the Fox stage. I was very impressed with the staff and sound. We had a great show. Check out pictures of the evening here. Thank you to all who were part of these events!
I’m getting ready to hit the road for my Midwest tours. Check out more about my tour schedule on my shows page.
Thank YOU for continuing on this journey with me!
April 6, 2012
This is one of my favorite times of year - transitioning from the darkness
to the light, planting herbs and flowers, and witnessing the forces of creation
emerge. March was a busy month with lots of gigs and songwriting. I’ve had
some “record breaking” days this year in my sales and show income. Thank
you to all of you who support and believe in my music. It’s because of you
that I am fulfilling my passion.
I am honored to be a finalist in the Tucson Folk Festival Songwriter Competition. I will be performing live during the competition on Saturday, May 5th, from 12-2 pm at the Tucson Museum of Art. The two songs that were chosen as finalists are from my Unexpected Grace album released in January 2012.
I’ve got a mix of different shows coming up in the southern AZ region during April and May, and then will hit the road in June. Check my shows page for more details, and stay connected with me through facebook and my mailing list.
Wishing you peace and happy return of light,
February 22, 2012
Hello out there!
I feel like time is accelerating...but maybe it's just my age or the fact that I've had a VERY BUSY new year ;). It's hard to believe it is almost the end of the second month of 2012!
My year has kicked off to a great start. In January, I had a wonderful CD Release show for my new acoustic album Unexpected Grace at the Desert Hills Lutheran Church in Green Valley, Arizona. I felt very blessed to have ALL the musicians in concert with me who had performed on this album - Michael G. Ronstadt (cello), Taylor Jenkins (harmony vocals) and Joe Ferguson (acoustic guitar and vocals). We had a great turn-out, and I had a record evening of album sales. Thank you, thank you, thank you to EVERYONE who was part of this evening - all who attended, as well as everyone who helped make it a success - the musicians, my friends/fans who promoted it, the staff at Desert Hills, Jonas Hunter (sound engineer), Troy Justesen (sound / video engineer) and Total Lighting Support.
We have begun working on my summer tour schedule. I am excited to return to the Midwest in just a few months. If you would like to find out more about my muse-ical ongoings, please feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter. Read more about the inspiration of the song "Unexpected Grace" in January's newsletter. Also, stay regularly connected with me through FACEBOOK!
Wishing you much peace, love and light to you on the journey!
December 30, 2011
The year is winding down. As I reflect upon it and look forward to the next one, I feel very fortunate to be doing my passion as my living. It has been quite a journey. When I left my full-time nursing career in ‘04, I didn’t know how the path would unfold, but it has, and seven years later, I am fulfilling my dream and making music “full-time.”
This December, I wrapped up a new acoustic album that features a song I wrote called “Light to the World”. Will Clipman (my percussionist) and I played this song last January at a vigil outside of Gabrielle Giffords office as the Tucson community came together to bring back light amidst the very dark events that occurred as a result of the January 8th shootings. I am proud of my community – how we have transcended tragedy through the spirit of unity and hope. On January 7th, the greater Tucson community will be holding events throughout the region called “BEYOND”. The purpose is to “commemorate, celebrate and commit” to BEING a community and building a stronger and healthier society.I am honored to be involved in this celebration. I will be sharing my music at the event held in Sahuarita called BEYOND SAHUARITA AT ANAMAX PARK. Click on the link for more details. Thank you to all of you who unite with me in hope and commit to the limitless possibility of making our world a better place to live. YOU inspire my light to shine brighter.
With much love and light,
September 8, 2011
Hello, hello, hello!
I'm happy to be back in the desert! The summer was full of thousands of miles of musical adventures from Iowa to Canada to Missouri. I've got shows lined up in September and October in Southern AZ, Phoenix and Springfield, MO. Please check out my gig schedule for more info.
While being "mostly" grounded in the desert for the next two months, I'm working on recording my demo for my 2012 album. I'm also working on recording an acoustic "spiritual" album that will be released later this Fall.
A big thank you to my supporters here in Southern Arizona for your votes - I'm honored to be "runner-up" in the Folk Performance Awards categories in this year's Tucson Area Music Awards. I am VERY GRATEFUL to be on this journey with you.
From the depths of my soul, thank you. I feel very fortunate to be living my passion.
July 22, 2011
I'm on the road right now in the Midwest. I had a fun show last night at Main Street market in Spencer, Iowa. I love being back in my "homeland" during the summer...I am taking a week off to travel and visit with family. I have shows in NW Iowa starting on 7/31 and will tour down through Missouri the second week of August. Please check my show schedule for more info.I am extremely honored to be nominated in the final round for the 2011 Tucson Area Music Awards. Both myself and my guitarist, Doug Floyd, have been nominated. For the folks in Southern AZ, we would love your support. You can vote online here: Tucson TAMMIES 2011 Final Round until August 3rd. I've been nominated for "Best Folk Artist." And Doug is nominated for "Best Guitarist." Thank you for joining me on this musical venture!
Wishing you light and peace,
March 11, 2011
Wow… this year is zooming by for me! I’ve been doing a lot of songwriting and am excited to begin arranging the new tunes with the band this week. Here is a sneak peek of one of the new songs called “Light to the World” that we performed at Beowulf Alley Theatre on January 30th.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to be on tour in New Mexico and Arizona with the Canadian-based Girl Conferences - a series of conferences empowering and educating teenage girls about issues of violence against women. Sharing my music and stories with the girls was very rewarding. This is my third year with the conference series, and I’m happy to see it expand. I’m also working with Linda King’s Fix the Hurt organization, recording vocals for a couple songs in conjunction with their theatrical production Domestic Violence…the Musical?
I’ll be on tour throughout the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest this summer through the fall. Those dates will be announced soon, so please check my SHOWS schedule. I’d LOVE to see you out ‘n about.
Wishing you peace, light and abundant love,
August 31, 2010
It has been a whirlwind couple of months since the release of the new CD. I'm still amazed it was only a year ago that I began asking for fan support to fund it's journey from song notes into a solid, eleven track album. The reception for Long Way Home has been great. The album is beautiful--beyond anything that I could have created on my own. I feel extremely grateful to be living my passion.
Speaking of passion - hot off the press is an up-close-and-personal article by Jan Henrikson in the Tucson Green Times. It depicts my journey as a nurse coming into a career as a singer/songwriter. It also tells about the day I sang one of the most important songs of my life- August 31st, 2009. One year ago today "Long Way Home" came full circle. Click here to read the story Amber Chords of Light >
Thank you for being part of this journey and believing in the music.
In peace, love and light,
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places."
- Ernest Hemmingway
July 9, 2010
Word From Amber
When I departed my nursing career in 2004, one of my goals was to use songwriting to inspire healing. My roots are in the Midwest, and I spent time in the rural areas of Latin America and Alaska. No matter what culture we came from or what language we spoke, when the drum sounded and melodies played we were in communication together. Feelings were evoked and stories were relayed going beyond words, dissolving our pasts and connecting us in the present. Music really is a universal language.
This summer, my song "Hell Town " is four years old. I wrote it after reading a statistic that stated one-third of the homeless population had served in the armed forces. It really hit home for me. I spent six years working as a nurse in rural Alaska and became very aware of the impact post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) has on society. Among the Alaska Native population extremely high rates of suicide, substance abuse and violence exist. Now as a songwriter, nurse and musician, I feel driven to raise awareness about the human condition in order to spread compassion, hope and healing. From that will come respect for each other and our planet. Our survival is dependent upon casting aside judgements and working together to fix the broken parts.
In love and light,
Read Amber's July 4th Newsletter "It Starts at Home" >
Watch Amber's TV Appearance on KGUN 9's Morning Blend >
JUNE 17, 2010
Check out Amber on The Morning Blend !
JUNE 3, 2010
Wow! It’s here. Last August when my team and I decided to ask for fan support to finance the new album I have to admit, I was skeptical. Over the next ten months I received more than $6,000 in contributions and continue to be amazed by the support, financial and otherwise, from the community. It feels great to be an independent musician living my dream and I couldn't do it without you. In the past two days I’ve mailed out over 120 CDs to people who were part of this process. I can't thank all of you enough!
It’s been four years since I put out a full-length album. Indeed, I do feel like this album is a coming home. I feel like I’ve “grown up” musically since switching careers from nurse to musician in 2004. The integration of those parts are reflected in this album in several ways, but most importantly I've become intentional with songwriting. I wrote “One Flame” for my cousin’s wedding. “Listen to the Wind” emerged as a tribute song for my supporters in rural Iowa. “Day I Dared” was based on the concept of taking risks and living one’s true passion. And the title track was written for my grandmother who believed in music and shared the powerful effect it has during the vulnerable moments of life transition.
"The title cut offers glimpses into Norgaard's roots on the Iowa prairie, fusing present and past through a homecoming for a final goodbye. Here and on most of the rest of the album, the emotions are heartfelt, delivered with a quiet passion and authenticity."
-Jim Lipson, Tucson Weekly
I would like to acknowledge the phenomenal musicians who are part of my band and shared their talent on the album:
Doug Floyd | electric guitarist: Long-time bandmate, brilliant guitarist. Doug’s been with me since my “green-days” on the first album. He helped with arrangement of songs. He also sat with me from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. for the four day mix-down while working full-time and being a Dad and Husband.
Jay Trapp | bassist: Another long-time bandmate, bassist extraordinaire who has been with me since the Rising album. Jay spent endless hours contributing as an engineering genius on the Rising album; and on this latest project his gift for the perfect placement of groove, low-end texture and creativity for my songs is portrayed.
Will Clipman | drummer & percussionist: A well-known figure in the musical world both locally and nationally, I was very nervous to ask Will to “hold the rhythmic heartbeat” for me in 2007. Well, it was true synergy. And since, Will has been sharing his stage with me. I am excited that we’ve finally made a full-length album together.
Michael G. Ronstadt | cellist: I’ve loved Michael’s cello-playing since he contributed to the Rising album in 2006. The addition of his strings on 10 of the 11 tracks was the ideal combination.
For adding their unique sounds to Long Way Home I'd like to thank:
Duncan Stitt | co-producer, keyboardist, and recording engineer at A Writer’s Room in Tucson, AZ.
Craig Schumacher | harmonica player and mixing engineer at Wavelab Studio in Tucson, AZ.
Finally, I'd like to thank ginabaileyland.com for rockin' the CD package design, promo items, and website.
In light and peace,
April 14, 2010
Greetings from Iowa!
I’m traipsing through my old stomping grounds in the Midwest right now. Last week my friend and fellow musician Andrew Begay joined me in presenting to area schools on “Taking Care of Our Earth and People Through Music.” Andrew is a Native American Flutist and skilled flute-maker. We had an incredible experience with the students and faculty. I would like to thank the Spencer Community School Foundation for hosting the event in support of the arts and cross-cultural education in northwestern Iowa. We finished out the week performing at Arts on Grand with a wonderful audience and I feel honored to return to this area to share my craft.
The big news is that the album Long Way Home is almost here! We’ve finished the recording and mix-down. It’s currently in California awaiting mastering which is the final step before manufacturing. The tracks will be smoothed out, clarity and depth will be added and the volume levels will be brought up to par. As I anticipate hearing these final touches I think about how this project was truly a full-circle creation. My fans, friends and family funded Long Way Home and I wouldn't have gone this direction without music supporters in Tucson prodding me to think outside the box. For that I am thankful. I'm also grateful to the two studios in Tucson, A Writer's Room and Wavelab, who helped create a professional album. The band and I are very proud of what we made together. They have been an integral part of this album and our performance was pure synergy. My long-time bandmate Doug Floyd contributed some tasty electric guitar brilliance while Jay Trapp laid down a smooth low-end groove on bass. Will Clipman added both texture and drive on drums and percussion, and Michael G. Ronstadt brought in his exceptional cello-playing style on 10 of the 11 tracks. Indeed, I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by such talent.
For those of you who pre-ordered or donated to Long Way Home your CD's will be mailed out the first week of June. For everyone else the album will be on sale at my live performances starting June 5 as well as through my website.
In May and June I have several radio and tv performances to promote the new album. You can catch some of those on our amazing world wide web if you are not in Tucson. Check out my show listings for details.
Thank you for supporting independent music.
Saturday / June 5th / 7:30 pm
Sheraton Fire + Spice Restaurant
5151 E Grant Road
The full, five-piece band will be playing. Come enjoy good music, great food and an ambient Sonoran Desert summer evening under the stars.
February 12, 2010
Greetings, everyone, and happy February! I'm very excited about the new album Long Way Home. The release date is set for May 2010, and starting this month I'm sharing some sneak peeks and song previews in my monthly newsletter. If you're interested in being part of the action and you're not already on my mail list, you're welcome to scroll down to the bottom of this page and subscribe.
The band and I have been working hard in the studio on the new tracks...and I'm loving the sound! We laid down Will Clipman's final drum tracks this past weekend, and I'm in the studio this week with Doug Floyd working on finalizing the electric guitar parts. Jay Trapp will finish his bass tracks next week, and I hope to catch a few more cello parts from Michael G. Ronstadt when he tours through Tucson in early March. We'll mix-down the album in mid-March to send it for mastering and replication so it can emerge into the world.
Long Way Home is in production because of the support of fans, friends and family. I am extremely honored and grateful for the time, talent and financial resources everyone has shared. We have raised over $6,000 to make this album and are close to reaching the $8000 goal. If you’d like to pre-order the CD or contribute to its making find out more in the NEWS section.
My spring schedule is filling up. I have many shows in Southern Arizona throughout the next couple months while I finish the album. In March, we'll have a debut performance as a five-piece band at the Orpheum in Flagstaff, AZ. I’m also planning a Midwest tour in April so stay tuned to my SHOWS page for details.
I hope to cross paths with you in 2010...
Wishing you peace and light,
January 1, 2010
Happy New Year, Everyone! Another winter solstice celebrated—the sunlight re-emerging, and a spectacular blue moon welcoming us into the new year…
Speaking of new, my album Long Way Home will make its way into the world in 2010. I feel extremely fortunate to have people who believe in independent music contributing their time, talent and resources to this project. We’ve raised over $6K for musician and studio costs and I can't thank you enough for your continued support. We could not be doing what we’re doing without you. You can find more info about the album and donations on my NEWS page.
Last month I was in the studio with Michael G. Ronstadt. He did an incredible job laying down cello and acoustic guitar tracks for my ballads. We’re wrapping up pre-production work on the full band songs and will return to the studio to lay down those tracks early this year. I’m thrilled to once again have Doug “Hurricane” Floyd (electric guitarist-Rising) and Jay Trapp (bassist-Rising) joining me with Will Clipman holding down the heartbeat on drums.
I have many exciting gigs coming up including a monthly full-band show at the Tucson Sheraton Fire + Spice Restaurant. In March we’ll make a debut performance as a five-piece band at The Orpheum in Flagstaff, AZ and I’ll be touring through the Midwest in April. Stay tuned to my SHOWS page for details.
Wishing you a wonderful new year and invigorating return of light… Amber
November 15, 2009
Click here to view a clip from Amber's show at the Sheraton Fire + Spice Restaurant in Tucson this past weekend. Jonathon Prince, a social "Athlivist", is running across North America in support of the RUN.INSPIRE.CHANGE. campaign in which all proceeds benefit the charities: Water.org, Habitat for Humanity, Remote Area Medical, Bread for the World, The Girl EFfect and Global Green. The Sheraton in Tucson sponsored Jonathon and his team's stay on Saturday evening. Thank you to his team and campaign for featuring Amber's show in their video journal. Go to hopeordie.org to find out more about Jonathon's journey.
October 9, 2009
October 1, 2009
Fall is setting in on the desert. I love this time of year with the cooling temps, harvest abounding, pumpkins, corn mazes, festivals, crickets and the daylight fading to darkness. The buzzing of the summer season is starting to subside. It creates an ideal ambience to go inside, reflect, and nestle into candlelit darkness while holding still in gratitude for the abundant blessings of the season.
Speaking of creating light in darkness and giving thanks - we’re going to have a new CD! Since August over $3400 has been raised for my upcoming album Long Way Home. I’ve started the pre-production work on it. The Band and I will begin recording in November in anticipation of a Spring 2010 release. It’s because of you and the community of support that I’ve received as an independent musician that makes this possible. Thank You. To learn more about how you can be involved check out my NEWS page.
Wishing you an abundance of peace, light and love… Amber
September 1, 2009
Greetings, everyone! Welcome to my new website. I have some exciting things on the horizon including a new CD. Bringing an album to life as an independent artist takes an incredible amount of resources. I'm currently doing music full-time and do not have the means I had when I worked as a nurse to make an album. My goal is to raise funding by October 1st so the band and I can go into the studio and "get 'er done" as they say on the farm. (Ok, sometimes the Midwest farm-child sneaks out in me). You can find out more in the NEWS section about donating, my budget goals, and the gifts you will receive in return for your support. Thank you to all of you who have helped bring my music into the world. Many of you have donated your time, resources and energy. You've promoted my shows, helped with booking, touring and recording while opening your houses, spare bedrooms, couches and hearts. Thank you for coming to my shows and purchasing my music. It truly takes a village to pave the way for an independent musician. I wish you all abundant blessings.