Taraleigh is the founder of the Rocking Life brand which includes coaching, leading retreats with musicians for their fans, workshops, speaking engagements, writing for publications such as the Huffington Post and Relix and her book How to Rock Your Life: Maintain the Magic of Live Music in Your Everyday Experience. She runs a retreat center in Vermont called This Wonderful Place and is a strong believer in the connection between music, health, wellness and mindfulness. You can check out her book here and get a free chapter. The self-described “wild sequin-and-feather wearin' live music fanatic” is excited to be taking over our Weedsday playlist this week with tunes from Twiddle, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, Bob Dylan and more.
Sublime - Waiting For My Ruca
When I was in high school, my friends and I didn't want to get in trouble by having a pipe or bong on us, so we used whatever we could find to construct smoking apparatuses. Watermelons, soda cans and bottles and apples were some of our favorites. Almost every time after a smoking session a giggle filled dance party would ensue. Some of our favorite bands to dance to were Soul Coughing, They Might Be Giants, the Grateful Dead and Pavement. One of my favorite memories was dancing with my friend Lisa to "Waiting for my Ruca" by Sublime in her kitchen, so that is why that songs is the first song on my playlist.
Bob Dylan - Rainy Day Women #12 & 36 (Marco Benevento Cover)
My parents left me and my friend Kathy in charge of watching my sister and her friend Heather while they went out to dinner with friends. They had an epic record collection and I often picked through their albums and had my mind blown by what I found. This night was no exception. We found Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. When "Rainy Day Women #12 & 36" came on, the four of us ran around the house screaming, “Everybody must get stoned” at the top of our lungs when the lightbulb went off. I thought it'd be hilarious if we lit a bunch of candles and incense in my room and pretended to smoke crayons as if they were joints when my parents got home. The plan went off without a hitch and it’s a funny memory we all still talk about today.
David Peel and the Lower Eastside - I Like Marijuana
Speaking of my parent’s epic record collection, one day I found an album called And the Rest is History. There were songs entitled "I’ve Got Some Grass," "Up Against the Wall," "Show me the Way to Get Stoned," "Legalize Marijuana," "I Want to Get High" and "I Like Marijuana." The last song I just mentioned was super catchy and I used to sing it all the time, usually at inappropriate times. When the twenty fifth anniversary of Woodstock rolled around in 1994, my parents brought me, my sister and two friends to the original site in Bethel to show us where the magic happened. The whole ride I was being super annoying by singing I Like Marijuana repeatedly. We pull up our minivan on site, get out, immediately get glitter thrown on us by naked attendees of the original Woodstock and head over to the monument in the middle of a dusty field. Guess who was playing. David Peel and he was singing my favorite song.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Crossroads
When I was in college, I didn't smoke much myself, but I loved to entertain people who did. Being a dance choreography major, I came up with a one woman show that I performed on the reg in my dorm that catered to my smoked up friends called The Stoner Comedy Act. The hit of the show was when I did a very dramatic interpretive dance to "Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Ryan Montbleau - This Wonderful Place
If you don't know who Ryan Montbleau is yet, I recommend that you look him up right now. He’s one of the best singer/songwriters of our time who hails from Boston and lives in Burlington, VT. His songs tend to pull on your heart strings, bring a smile to your face or will make you shake your booty, sometimes all three in one song. I have led many retreats with Ryan (we have a songwriting one coming up in Vermont June 6-9th) so when my husband Dan and I purchased a retreat center and were deciding what to name it, the answer was clear to us. This Wonderful Place!
Twiddle - Lost in the Cold
My book How to Rock Your Life: Maintain the Magic of Live Music in Your Everyday Experience had just come out and I was working on my book tour dates. Zappos sponsored me and gave me their theater on their Las Vegas campus to host a concert and live stream. I checked out who was going to be touring around in the area, when I saw that Twiddle was playing the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. They performed an acoustic set and I interviewed them about the themes in my book. I’d asked them if they could share a story when a miracle occurred in their lives and their keyboardist Ryan Dempsey shared a story about how he was in a car on the ice of Lake Champlain when the ice cracked. He and his friend escaped out of the car seconds before the ice split swallowing the car into the freezing cold water. Twiddle then went into the next song they planned on playing which was "Lost in the Cold." It wasn't planned that way. As I like to say, “Magic is normal and I’m so grateful.”