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And on the music front – Della Mae, more than an all woman bluegrass band; had a tour stop in Seattle last week. I travelled to meet them for some face to face work with their guitarist Courtney Hartman, and to find out about their projects over dinner; then watched their show at Nectar tavern.

This is the group that I nominated for the Leadership In Democracy Paul Aicher Award because of their work developing citizens, on women’s issues, immigration issues, diversity issues – and because they are outstanding cultural ambassadors for the US State Dept-recently returning from Russia. Not to mention that they play small venues –  for low ticket prices –  in out of the way places to allow wider exposure to their music; and work intergenerationally. We met on a rafting trip and have worked together ever since.

The Della Mae women treated myself and friends from the Sunshine Coast, as honoured guests; walking us to our seats (that they wanted to comp for us-but we already had bought tickets); dedicating songs to us, and chased us up after the show for farewell hugs.

It was a joy to spend time with these women; and to connect with Courtney one year exactly after de-briefing her in Spain at the halfway mark of her Camino walk. We did an interview to add to our podcast offerings – watch for that.

AND the show? ‘Spectacular’ would be too small a word to reflect the evening – virtuosic instrumentalists and vocalists collectively energizing the crowd – warmth and sparkling arrangements of mostly original music (but a roof raising rendition of Greg Allman’s Whipping Post).

Catch them when you can.

See their work at