[FYI: This post was first started Sunday, December 18 … in case you needed some context.]

Sitting here in bed on a Sunday afternoon watching Rachael Yamagata on YouTube and reflecting on Saturday night’s show. I can hardly believe that the 18 consecutive months of live performances has finally come to a an end. 2011 closed on a high note. So many things went right musically for me and the forward motion remains steady. The momentum is here and I’m just thankful that hard work and perseverance really does payoff.

With my first bit of touring complete, it’s time to focus all efforts from here on out on this new recording project. I’ve got my work cut out for me but with the support of friends, fans and the very talented Dave Mallen of Innovation Station Music, I know that 2012 will be quite the ride. I can’t wait to continue on this path of creation. We’re really making music this time. Pulling out all the stops and having at it. We’re hacking away at the songs and making them the full-package that the listeners deserve. Plus … it’s fun for me to do this, so I guess there’s always that too!

I have a lot of people to thank for the help or guidance they’ve offered me in 2011.

I couldn’t have made my NYC debut at Arlene’s Grocery this past February without the help of Midnight Spin’s Mike Corbett. Those guys are one helluva talented group of rockers and their new album is bound to knock your socks off.

Seven days later I’ve returned to finish this “thank you.” Life got busy between this weekend and last.

It’s now just an hour to Christmas Day and I have completed my Jewish duties of eating Chinese food and watching movies all day long. I’m festively full and well-rested. Life is good.

If there was one person who deserves the most “thanks” this year, it’s got to be my dear friend Austin Siebert. We’ve shared many memories – laughter, tears, delicious burgers, chicken wings, Glee – but most of all, my favorite memory is singing together. He’s off at Northwestern University studying opera now but before that he was in D.C. with me. He’s a wonderful friend and a more-than-talented vocalist. It’s because of him that I practice vocal technique every day. He’s taught me almost everything I’ve learned in the past two years and he has proven to be a great vocal coach and wonderful mentor (despite the fact he’s two years younger than I am).

I also have to say “thanks” to Elizabeth Fischer of the D.C. blog Pamela’s Punch. We met on the Capitol Lawn during the PBS Capitol Fourth Concert dress rehearsal while covering the event for our respective free-lance writing gigs. We shared a love of Glee’s Matthew Morrison and Josh Groban’s gorgeous voice and stayed in touch. I later invited to her to one of my performances and the rest is history. I appreciate her telling my story twice this year online. I can’t thank her enough for that.

I forgot to mention it earlier but the reason I’m recording with Dave and Innovation Station Music is because of a fellow singer-songwriter turned friend, Mr. Rene Moffatt. Rene was a friend of a friend of mine when we first met just over a year ago. Since that time we’ve supported each other’s music and it’s thanks to him that I was referred to Dave. Props to Rene for helping to make that happen.

To the guys of Filligar (Pete, Ted, Casey, Johnny): Your unconditional support over the past ten years has proven invaluable. I look forward to the journey ahead and continue to be SO PROUD of you all!

There are a few locations I’ve got to thank as well…

Thanks to everyone who has continued to support my musical aspiriations. I give my unconditional love to those of you out there who have served as my muse (whether you know it or not). Thank you to the family and friends who inspire me to chase my dreams. I promise to keep up the hard work in 2012.

Here’s to the New Year!

– Rachel