The Speak Well Being Group – Newsletter

Barbara Christenson    

I love being connected with so many musicians who are speakers and workshop leaders. What a gift it is to be so talented and then put that talent to use in this way. And what a pleasure it is to meet the person behind the voice.

While her music is soothing, inspiring, relaxing and  energizing all at the same time, Karen Drucker is vibrant, funny and, well, girl-friendly.  For many years she made her living singing in blues clubs around San Francisco, singing songs of pain, loneliness and self-pity. Then one day she was asked to perform a few upbeat and positive songs for a church service. That morning changed her life and gave her a whole new musical path. And the timing was perfect.

But first, a little background. As a child growing up in Hollywood, she was a competitive swimmer who had a  burning desire to be on stage. Then fate stepped in. Carole King moved onto her street and Karen became the baby-sitter for Carole’s two small children. Carole was  her role model and Karen was thrilled that when Carole remodeled her studio, she let her borrow her piano. Karen taught herself to play and started writing songs and performing at every open mike night in Hollywood that would have her. She studied acting at Hollywood High School and eventually moved to San Francisco to start an act that combined music and comedy.

Along the way Karen has led her own band, performed all styles of music for private parties, conventions and  over 1000 weddings. With her comedy partner, Lauren Mayer, she performed customized musical comedy for corporate parties around the country, as well as headlining comedy and cabaret clubs around San Francisco.

“All that changed after 9/11,” she told me. “It wasn’t okay for corporations to have fun at that time, and the phone simply stopped ringing.” And that’s when her inspirational CD’s started really selling. She began singing at a New Thought church regularly, and before long became music director. As an offshoot, she began leading women’s retreats and speaking and singing at mind-body-health conferences. At one of these she met and struck up a friendship with author and speaker, Joan Borysenko. Karen made such a contribution to Joan’s programs, that they now work together on a regular basis.

In connection with the mind-body-health conferences she was led to write special songs and chants that expressed a path of healing. She finds this new calling more rewarding than she ever experienced in commercial nightclubs or musical comedy for corporations. For her, this is music that makes a difference in people’s lives. “Writing chants and songs that I know will be used for people who are going in for surgery, chemo treatments, or are having a hard time in their lives, is such a gift for me,” Karen says.

She also has another life as an athlete. She said she writes a lot of her songs, especially chants, while participating in long distance events. She’s swum the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. As part of a relay team, she has swum Lake Tahoe, from the island of Lani to Maui in  Hawaii, and her team holds the record as the first American Women’s Relay team to have a successful crossing of the English Channel. She has ridden her bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles for the AIDS bike ride, and walked from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles for the AVON Breast Cancer Walk. As you can imagine, she was singing all along.

A couple of years ago she realized it was time to leave the comfort zone of church music director and take her programs and healing music out into the world. So, while she used to sing the blues, now she’s singing a new kind of blues song called, “I’ve Lost the Right to Sing the Blues.” “Basically,” she says, “the song says that my  life is just so good, I can’t complain anymore!

“Well, I still whine a little,” she admits, “but overall, life is good and I feel so blessed to be making my living doing what I love and hopefully making a difference.

 

 

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I am a man – a mature man. Listening to your Songs of the Spirit II has made a grown man cry. The truth in the words is so direct and to my heart that it just overwhelmed me. “You Are The Face of God” reminded me of my two grown children and the child still in me.

— Alan from New York

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