Laurel Hay, Cassandra Cole, Jen Bluhm on Quarantine Dream

Tonight we spoke with Laurel Hay, Cassandra Cole and Jen Bluhm (Waltzing on Waves) on our fifth installment of our Quarantine Dream series. (Quarantine Dream is an album of Minnesota musicians recording songs during the COVID19 quarantine to support fellow musician, Jessa Roquet (Gambler’s Daughter), who was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer about the same the time the quarantine began. (You can – and should- order your copy today!)

Here are the songs they did:

  • Gospel | Laurel Hay
  • Blue Iris | Cassandra Cole
  • Simple | Waltzing on Waves

Tonight we learned about the Singer Songwriter Challenge, an initiative spearheaded by Laurel where for a period of time (summer or winter generally) , musicians sign up to write and share a song a week based on a prompt. We had heard about this group before and tonight we got a real feel for how formative it is for the music community. Jessa is a part of the group and that is how so many musicians have come to know her and to love her.

We heard a lot of love for Jessa and support for her as she goes through the ordeal of cancer. The women shared stories of Jessa’s support in the past, of events hosted with yummy food at Jessa’s and her willingness to show up for any and all shows to lend a hand where she could – and not just with her voice but some of the grittier work, like handing out programs. We are all impressed with her and her continued ability to bring a group together.

We also talked about the times that are upon us. Accidental or not, the songs we chose today are hard songs or at least songs about hard time and love and being unbreakable, yet flexible. We talked about the process that we’re all going through during the pandemic and civil unrest and learning to live with fear first by learning to recognize our fear. Conversation got dark, conversation got light – you’ll have to listen to get the full scope.

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