Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Troubadours of Divine Bliss

Posted July 18, 2013 by Marg Herder 

The Troubadours of Divine Bliss are slated to perform at the 2013 Wild Goose Festival at 7:00 pm on Saturday, August 10, at the Performance Cafe.

The Troubadours of Divine Bliss
The Troubadours of Divine Bliss

They live at the end of a dirt road near Louisville, Kentucky, in a house with solar panels, a wood stove, and no running water (or as someone said, “There’s running water, you just have to run to get it.”).  Just a couple of hours from where I live, actually.  I was not familiar with their work, though friends have since said, “Sure! I know who they are.  I LOVE them.”

I get busy in my head and miss a lot.

In looking for Wild Goose presenters to interview before the festival I picked them out from the lineup of performers’ pictures on the Wild Goose site because I liked their name.  I read on their website that they had been brought up Pentecostal.  And then I read these words: “We both lost our faith in religion and gained our faith in the Spirit… Vowing to discover the difference — giving up Sunday School to become God’s fools.” And as you might imagine, I was sold.

I emailed and asked if they would talk to me.  I found out they had a gig scheduled for downtown Indianapolis in June and made plans for Lisa and I to attend.

Renee (l) and Aim Me (r) -The Troubadours of Divine Bliss
Renee (l) and Aim Me (r) -The Troubadours of Divine Bliss

Since then we’ve had a fun time talking and emailing.  We’ve shared stories.  I’ve seen them perform.  And I’ve stood next to them, in their energy, just to make sure they were as real as they seemed to be.  Not everyone is, you know.  But they are.

I’m grateful they consented to give me a little glimpse of their lives and work by trading words back and forth.  And I’m excited to tell you about these women. Because when they sing, I can hear Spirit singing through them.  When they talk or write, I can feel the current of Her Love, Grace, and Peace winding through their words.  And the most delightful thing of all for me is that I can just see Her moving through this world disguised as these two Troubadours of Divine Bliss.

In this post I’m going to start with some information, an introduction.  Then in the next post I’ll follow up with highlights from our correspondence.  The Troubadours describe their beginning this way:

In 1995, we had the wild wish of being Troubadours of Divine Bliss, street performers who travel around encouraging Revolution of the Spirit & Courage of the Heart. Renée had a dream she was playing an accordion, so she got one. Aim Me learned two chords on the guitar and Bliss was born.

We quit our jobs, piled everything in a Mazda 626 and headed off to The Big Easy to free our dream. We followed our destiny to the streets of New Orleans where (wrapped in battery-operated Christmas lights) we debuted as Christmas Carolers in 1995 on the corner of Royal & Toulouse. We sang our little hearts out and people said, “keeping doing this”, so we did. God has rolled out the red carpet for us ever since we made the leap in to fulfilling our call. Since then we have traveled all over the U.S., Canada & Europe freeing our dream and embracing life in pure delight and encouraging others to do the same…our wild wish keeps coming true!!!

Now that’s some serious SURRENDER.

Sacred Letters of Surrender - Troubadours of Divine Bliss
Sacred Letters of Surrender – Troubadours of Divine Bliss (2009)

They have released six albums.  You can buy the two most recent collections on iTunes (“Sacred Letters of Surrender” from 2009, and 2012’s “Awakening to Love”). Two others (their Live album “Off the Cuff: Live at the Winchester” from 2004, and “Dying, Laughing—Firecrackers on a Funeral Pyre” from 2002)  are available on the Troubadours’ website here.  Their first two releases, “No Place Like OM” (1998) and “Dressing Room for Eternity” (2001) are available only by special order from the Troubadours (contact them through their website).

Renee Ananda plays an electronic accordion.  Besides the welcome fact that the electronic version weighs about 20 pounds less than a regular accordion, it also allows her to create the sounds of a variety of instruments onstage.  Aim Me Smiley plays guitar.  They both sing.  The music is built on their vocal harmony and excellent songwriting.

Awakening to Love - Troubadours of Divine Bliss
Awakening to Love – Troubadours of Divine Bliss (2012)

The Troubadours spend their time writing, playing, touring, spreading Bliss.  You can keep up with them by following them on Facebook.

There are lots of videos here on YouTube.  Many are music videos, but do a little exploring and you’ll find some others that will provide an interesting look at how these women carry on in the world.

They are life-partners as well as musical partners.  Here’s how they describe that aspect of their lives.

… July 22nd will be 18 years of bliss! We happened to fall in love with our best friend, and to be quite honest, even if either of us had been a man it still would have happened. The connection is so deep and pure that it transcends gender. We fell in love with the heart and soul of each other and feel so blessed to be in this knowing and growing together!

Click here to learn more about the Troubadours, as they share about their lives and mission, in their own words.

Index and links to content about the 2013 Wild Goose Festival.

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Marg Herder
Marg Herder is the Director of Public Information for EEWC-CFT, a Christian feminist organization working for gender (and LGBTQIA) justice in Christianity since 1974. She is the content manager and developer of the organization’s website, Christian Feminism Today. Marg identifies as a trans* lesbian writer, musician, and feminist spiritual seeker. She works to draws attention to the ongoing violence directed at women and LGBTQIA people in this “Christian” society, the desperate need for an understanding of God that includes the Divine Feminine, and Christ/Sophia’s desire that each of us move deeper into our own practice of non-violence.

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