Throwback to Maddi Mae, 2016. Photo by Maddi Mae and Andre Magalhaes.


Johnny Monarch’s
Marshall, VA

Wine Thief
Event Details
Reservations Required

Desert Rose Ranch & Winery
Hume, VA

Maddi Mae
Event Details
Free (no cover)

Raven’s Nest Coffee House
Culpeper, VA

Wine Thief
Event Details
Free (no cover)

Headmaster’s Pub
Sperryville, VA

Wine Thief
Event Details
Free (no cover)

About Wine Thief’s last performance at Raven’s Nest Coffee House:
“OMG!!! Amazing, uplifting, life-changing, beautiful, etc… etc… Love being in the audience and watching other people discover you. You guys are totally awesome.”
Monica C.


January Recap

On January 4th, I opened for Bobby Thompson‘s Trio (Ben Tufts on drums and Christopher Brown on bass) at Colonial Tavern in Fredericksburg with Tanner backing my set on drums and harmonies. Superb musicianship that night; such a pleasure to watch and listen.

An audience member’s praise for Maddi Mae’s Colonial Tavern performance.

On January 11th, I opened a dinner concert series with two sold out shows at Johnny Monarch‘s double-decker bustaraunt in Marshall, VA. Performing for such an attentive audience in such a small space with absolutely nothing other than an acoustic guitar was such a welcomed change of pace. Gratitude to the folks who made that night such a spectacular success.

On January 17th, I hosted a recital for my private students at the Warrenton Community Center. With about forty-five people in attendence and twenty-six songs performed, this recital showcased a talented community I am honored to guide in the study of music and the support of musicians.

Maddi Mae with her students. Photo provided by Valerie Amster.

On January 23rd, I started my six-week songwriting clinic at Contemporary Music Center in Haymarket, VA. I’m excited about the curriculum I’m developing for and through teaching this course and look forward to sharing it with more songwriters in the future.

On January 24th, Tanner and I (as Wine Thief) hosted our second night of music at Raven’s Nest Coffee House in Culpeper, VA. The space was absolutely packed with warm, kind, happy people – every table full, folks standing and sitting on the floor. The night felt like magic suspended in time. I’m lucky to play music with my best friend

Taking My Sweet Time

Folks have been asking me a lot about the record.

“When’s it coming out?!” seems to be the resounding question.

I don’t have a straight answer just yet.

I can say for sure that the first single will be out soon. Now I know that’s not the specific, detailed answer you were looking for (and it’s not the one I was hoping to give), but it’s a promise.

I’ve been following my inner wind during this whole experience. It’s been pulling me in some directions I never could have planned or predicted: show dates with Tow’rs, linking up with Kyle and Gretta, driving across the continent with Tanner, recording at Lore Audio in Flagstaff (not to mention all of the experiences that lead to each of the songs I wrote and recorded).

The inner wind hit a bit of a lull for a while – maybe to give me time to sort through some other challenges so that I’m better prepared for these next steps – but it all seems to be on the same page now. I feel the time is coming. The tracks are all mixed and mastered. I’ve finished paying everyone who helped me with the project. Last weekend I did a photoshoot for the cover artwork with my good friend Gina Nilce (who took the photo of me with the birdie below).

A visceral part of me is scared that I’m doing this all wrong and it will amount to nothing. I think I keep waiting for the opportune time to play my cards because I’m simultaneously expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

When I finally open my hands and let these songs fly, I know you’ll all be supporting me. You’ll be the first to know, and I trust y’all to be the wind beneath these songs’ wings.


Thank you to Tanner Carlton for being my partner, for being half of Wine Thief, and for supporting my teaching endeavors. Thank you to Valerie Amster for submitting all of my shows to local media and for offering support in both the performance and educational sides of my career. Thank you to all of my friends, family, and fans who came out to a show, listened to music, and/or engaged with me on social media.

I’m fortunate to be a musician. I’m blessed to be a performer and educator. I’m thankful for the people in this community who make space for me to be who I am and share what I have to share.

I posted a couple of gratitude videos on the Maddi Mae Facebook page in January. I plan to keep up with this practice, so follow along if you like.

Maddi Mae and Tanner at Colonial Tavern. Photo by Bobby Thompson.

Photo by Jennifer Gray


Saturday, January 4th
9:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Colonial Tavern
406 Lafayette Blvd
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Opening for the Bobby Thompson Trio ft. Ben Tufts and Christopher Brown
With Tanner Carlton
Free (no cover)

Saturday, January 11th
4:30 PM and 6:30 PM
Johnny Monarch’s
8374 W Main St
Marshall, VA 20155
The first of Johnny Monarch’s Intimate Evening with the Artist series.  “Enjoy the unique experience of interacting with one of our area’s finest local musicians while eating a three-course gourmet meal on our double-decker bus.”

Reservations are required due to limited seating.
Call (540) 878-3555
$45 per person
Event page: Click HERE

Friday, January 24th
7:00 – 9:00 PM
Raven’s Nest Coffee House
215 E Davis St
Culpeper, VA 22701
For the second iteration of The Nest After Hours with Wine Thief
Free (no cover)


Songwriting Clinic with Maddi Mae

I am instructing a six-week songwriting clinic at Contemporary Music Center in Haymarket, VA. The class will meet each Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, January 23rd through February 27th. This course will cover structures for writing music, processes for lyricists, and performance skills. To read more about prerequisites and curriculum and/or to register for the class, click HERE.

December Performance Recap

Bobby Thompson, Ben Tufts, Maddi Mae, and Tanner Carlton at Contemporary Music Center, photo by Val Amster

I felt quiet and didn’t send out a December newsletter – not because I didn’t have special shows scheduled. I put on a Christmas special for Old Bust Head Brewing Company‘s Holiday Market, opened a show for Ward Hayden and the Outliers and performed for Raven Nest Coffee House‘s first after-hours music event as half of Wine Thief, played an emotionally-charged and super-heavy opening solo set at Songbyrd Music House, and co-headlined Contemporary Music Center‘s Holiday Concert with Bobby Thompson. Thanks to Tanner Carlton for accompanying me not just as the other half of Wine Thief, but also as my drummer and backup vocalist.

Thanks for the ride, 2019.

Maddi Mae and Tan, photo by Johnny Mercer

I played forty-five shows, co-wrote six songs for Wine Thief and wrote a dozen for myself, recorded six songs, filmed my first two music videos, designed and sold out of my first batch of merch, and celebrated a year of independently teaching private lessons.

I spent six weeks away from home – five weeks driving across the United States and another week recording in Arizona. I connected with the person I think I want to be my partner here on earth and spent most of a year loving him more every day.

My intention for the year was to observe and appreciate earth magic, and I feel like I harvested a true bounty of it. I want to keep it all protected and safe in my privacy, but know that my imagination and my heart are like two big peaceful boulders nestled side by side in a riverbed with all of the magic moving above them like mountain water.

Welcome, 2020.

Y’all know I’ve got songs burning a hole in my pocket. In the very near future, expect a special edition of the newsletter detailing release info.

Start of the decade vs. end of the decade

Throwback to Maddi Mae’s first magazine feature (2015). In Warrenton Lifestyle, photographed and interviewed by Krysta Norman.

Public performances:

Saturday, November 2nd – Magnolia Winery in Amissville, VA

Three-set solo performance
2:00 – 5:00 PM
FREE (no cover)
Facebook Event Page & RSVP: Click HERE

Magnolia Vineyards & Winery
200 View Town Road
Amissville, VA 20106
(703) 785-8190

Sunday, November 10th – Desert Rose Winery in Hume, VA

Three-set solo performance
2:00 – 5:00 PM
FREE (no cover)
Facebook Event Page & RSVP: Click HERE

Desert Rose Ranch & Winery
13726 Hume Road
Hume, VA 22639
(540) 635-3200

To book Maddi Mae, email Available for weddings and private events as well as public performances.


Successful Week Recording in Flagstaff, AZ

During the week of October 14 – 20, I recorded four more songs with Kyle Miller of Lore Audio Provisions in Flagstaff, AZ, completing a debut six-song record to be released in 2020.  To read about my previous recording session with Kyle, click HERE.

                  Ben Lippard on drums. Maddi Mae listening. Photo by sound engineer and mentor, Kyle Miller.

The Fourth Song

To prep for that week of recording, I had demoed out three of the four songs at home and had a solid grasp on what I wanted to make, but the fourth was troubling me. The song I wanted to record most was the one that posed the most risk for me; it’s a satirical, spicy, mixed-bag song written directly to a person I don’t actually know by whom I felt unjustly targeted and attacked. To be blunt, I was scared of coming off as bitchy, calloused, and shallow. The song resonated with so much emotion and truth for me though, and I think I was just waiting for some sort of cosmic confirmation that the song had to be made.

A couple of weeks before my studio time (and about eight months after she initially decided I was her enemy), the person to whom I wrote that song found me online and lashed out at me with some truly hateful, nasty words.

                  Maddi and Kyle outside of the Lore Audio studio.

The song made the record.

A Peek of the Week in Bullets

  • I took my first ride with a personal driver. While I tried to sleep, he told me all about how the music business is trash.
  • We recorded most of the four songs in the first two and a half days. Thank goodness, because I ended up getting strep throat half-way through the week.
  • The session drummer, Ben Lippard (who played for every song on the record), is from Georgia. We talked about ditching our Southern accents to avoid stigma.
  • This one is for the gearheads: We learned a lesson about intonation from Kyle’s beautiful new Baja Telecaster. After hours recording out-of-tune leadwork, we took the guitar for a setup and learned that the stock saddle system for a Baja Tele (which uses one barrel for two strings) is an intonational nightmare. Kyle had it replaced with a similar system that allows for diagonal manipulation and a much better sound.
  • One night, I borrowed the car and drove to the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park in Sedona, stopping along the switchbacks to wander around a creek surrounded by golden aspens below a towering red butte. On the way back, I stopped for olive oil gelato and walked downtown where I sat with some folks on the corner and found new meaning for one of the songs on the record called “If You Wanna Stay.”
  • Sharing food with people is one of the most tender, wonderful parts of human life. Meals with Kyle, Gretta, and their family were highlights for me, especially Gretta’s home-made soup (helped with that strep throat for sure).

If all goes well, I’ll be releasing the first single from the album in January 2020.

Photos from an evening in Sedona. Top right, Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park.

Middleburg Life Feature by Jen Gail Gray

In late September, I met up with photographer and stylist Jen Gail Gray in Marshall, VA. Her photoshoot and interview with me are featured in the November issue of Middleburg Life, to be released on November 6th. The article should be live online later in the week at this link. Follow Jen on Instagram @gailseverafter.

Maddi Mae’s First Sofar Sounds Show

Maddi Mae performing for Sofar Sounds.

On October 25th, I played my first show for Sofar Sounds in Richmond, VA at the Black Iris Gallery & Social Club.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concert series, it works like this: Sofar’s site explains that “a Sofar gig is an intimate show held in a unique venue, like someone’s living room or an antique shop. It typically features three artists, playing four songs each. Every lineup is specially curated to give our audiences a diverse show.” The kicker is that the audience members apply to purchase concert tickets for a specific city and date without knowing the venue or the artists; they’re in it to discover and really engage with musicians in a new environment.

                      At Black Iris Gallery in Richmond, VA.

The show was so good for me. The room was full of the kind of listeners I crave. Even though I was one of six people dressed up for the Halloween theme (in full skeleton cowboy garb, mind you), I felt the audience soaking me up with genuine respect and love for the stories and the delivery. They laughed and applauded and made me feel heard; they received my songs, allowing me to be the giver I want to be. 

The cherry on top: sharing the night with talented folk. For beat-boxing, check out Exacto (@exactobbx). For rock’n’roll, check out Prabir (@prabirrva). And for an exceptional sound guy, check out Matt (@ryelisky). Thanks to Erica for organizing the event.

Maddi and her partner Tanner as cowboy skeletons.

Making a Music Video for “Here Right Now”

I’m so excited to be making a music video for the first single off the 2020 record with director/cinematographer Levi Magyar and his team on November 8th and 9th. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m still looking for extras to be in a scene on Saturday the 9th, 1-5pm. Shoot me a message on social media or at ASAP if you’re interested.


Stream “Sunshine” and “Too Good to Be True” on bandcamp.
Follow Maddi Mae on Facebook.
Follow Maddi Mae on Instagram.

Email subscriptions: Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to this newsletter via email! During the last weekend in October, over thirty people signed up!

If you haven’t subscribed yet, use the “Subscribe” button on the website OR email me at so that I can send you an invitation to subscribe. Please, make sure to invite your friends and family to subscribe as well. I’m happy to send invites to any email addresses you send me.



Special thanks this month to my partner Tanner Carlton and my best friend Val Amster. Also, Kyle and Gretta Miller, Ben Lippard, Levi Magyar, Jen Gail Gray, Craig Dye, Michelle and Kevin Gates, Tyler Cebula, Francine Jones, Rebecca Zinn, Menzie Pittman, Eric and Mandy Keene, Brian Lichorowic, Dan Barrett, and everyone who made it out to a show and/or engaged with me on social media in October. ♥

Coming Soon…

January 2020 Single & Music Video Release Announcement
Shows at Songbyrd, Old Bust Head, Raven’s Nest, and @4410
Christmas Music Specials ft. Wine Thief
Songwriting Clinic with Maddi Mae at Contemporary Music Center

Maddi backing her friend, ambient electronic artist ORLA at Epicure in June. 

Public performances:

Friday, October 11th – The Brig Beer Garden in Washington, DC

Four-set solo performance
7:00 – 11:00 PM
FREE (no cover)
Facebook Event Page & RSVP: Click HERE

The Brig Beer Garden
1007 8th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 675-1000

Saturday, October 26th – Johnny Monarch’s in Marshall, VA

Three-set solo performance
5:00 – 8:00 PM
FREE (no cover)
Facebook Event Page & RSVP: Click HERE

Johnny Monarch’s
8374 W. Main St.
Marshall, VA 20155
(540) 878-3555

Sunday, October 27th – Brunch & Brews at Old Bust Head in Vint Hill, VA ft. Wine Thief

_MG_6595 (1)
Photo by Gina Nilce.

Two solo sets, one set of Wine Thief
12:00 – 3:00 PM
FREE (no cover)
Facebook Event Page & RSVP: Click HERE

Old Bust Head
7134 Farm Station Road
Vint Hill, VA 20187
(540) 347-4777

About the event: Brunch & Brews will feature a breakfast menu by Bacon Weakling, beermosas, and craft beers. Entry is FREE, and brunch may be ordered a la carte from the food truck.

About Wine Thief: “Interweaving two guitars and two voices, Wine Thief makes indie folk music radiating with warmth and love.”

Wine Thief on YouTube
Wine Thief on Bandcamp
Wine Thief on Facebook
Wine Thief on Instagram

To book Maddi Mae, email Available for weddings and private events as well as public performances.


Recording with Lore Audio Productions in Flagstaff, AZ

I met Kyle and Gretta Miller when opening a couple of shows for their band Tow’rs back in April. The two are really something special (as are their bandmates, Emma, Dan, and Keller!), and I was struck by their grounded energy and genuine kindness. I mean, they were on a major tour playing sold-out venues with music that has been streamed millions of times on Spotify, and Kyle still made me a cup of throat coat tea before my set.

Kyle, Tanner, Maddi, and Gretta.

The two invited me to come out to their home and studio (Lore Audio Productions) in Flagstaff, AZ, and as fate would have it, Tanner and I were already planning a month-long cross-country trip for July. So during the last full week of July – after three weeks on the road already – we stayed with Kyle and Gretta and their sweet family.

Kyle and I spent a couple of days recording two of my songs, “Here Right Now” and “Little House” with Tanner’s support. I felt like a little bird who after flying over the desert, found a nice tree to perch upon. It’s been challenging for me to find a recording situation that felt “right,” but this was it. The sessions were smooth and efficient, offering me both structure and freedom. Kyle offered well-informed support and reached out to or referred to his own mentors frequently. When we weren’t in the studio, Gretta made me feel at home in her house with her family and friends.

Kyle and Gretta’s studio.

When you hear these songs (and I’m not sure when that’s actually going to be), you’re going to be hearing what I hear in my head every time I play them. I got to breathe life into these bodies I’ve been carefully stitching together for years. I genuinely love them and smile thinking of all the stars that must’ve aligned to make those recordings happen.

Thankfully, we’re getting the opportunity to make more magic together this month. I’ll be flying back out to Arizona for a week in October to record four more songs. Stay tuned to my Instagram account (@mixedbagmaddi) for a behind-the-scenes look into this recording experience.

Tow’rs just released a new album called “New Nostalgia” – click HERE to listen on Spotify.


Stream “Sunshine” and “Too Good to Be True” on bandcamp.
Follow Maddi Mae on Facebook.
Follow Maddi Mae on Instagram.

Email subscriptions: Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to this newsletter via email! We’ve nearly tripled the number of subscriptions in just a few weeks, thanks to your help.

If you haven’t subscribed yet, use the “Subscribe” button on the website OR email me at so that I can send you an invitation to subscribe. Please, make sure to invite your friends and family to subscribe as well. I’m happy to send invites to any email addresses you send me.

Help wanted: I’m actively seeking the “right” people to help me make music videos for “Little House” and “Here Right Now.” If you or someone you know might be a good fit, send them my way. Message me on Instagram or email me at

Special thanks this month to Tanner Carlton, Valerie Amster, Ben Tufts, Andrew Valenti, Jen Gail Gray, Mark Anderson, Gina Nilce, Grace Albert, Rebecca Zinn, Paul B., and everyone who made it out to a show and/or engaged with me on social media.

Coming Soon…

Photoshoot and Interview with Jen Gail Gray

Shows at Magnolia, Desert Rose, and Old Bust Head