All the waiting...to finally get a song placement and then not be able to watch it! ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" aired my song "Only You," that I wrote with Matthew Perryman Jones and Eric Vinson last night (Sunday, Oct. 24th). Unfortunately, Tennessee weather decided not to cooperate and we had a bunch of tornadoes. Instead of watching "Brothers & Sisters," we ended up watching weather coverage. Sad.
LUCKILY, thanks to Steve Jobs and all the other wonderful/creative people at Mac, there is such a thing as "Facetime." We found a friend with Facetime on her iPhone and she recorded song as it was happening on her iPhone...and we kinda got to catch it that way, via Eric's iPhone. Everyone was joking how this would be the perfect Mac commercial to advertise the new iPhone: two people who have been waiting for a moment that gets destroyed, but Facetime saves the day. My sweet friend, Nicolle Clawson (who has a great blog you should check out here), captured the evening:
I really am lucky to have such great friends who are supportive and excited for me...and still care more about who I am than what I do.
I ended up getting up at 2:15 this morning to watch the show. ABC re-aired it to make-up for it getting bumped by the weather. So I got to see it afterall :)
Read the previous blog entry for more updates and information...
Saturday, October 23, 2010
It's fall!!!!! I NEVER get tired of this time of year. I love leaves and pumpkins and sweaters and cider and candles and corn mazes and pumpkin patches...and lately, I've been really into Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks. It's been forever since I've written. Sorry. But I actually have a lot of great news to report!!!
Life has been crazy the last few months. This past summer brought a lot of uncertainty and confusion...which is not an altogether uncommon occurrence for someone like myself. Having a passionate/creative personality is hard when you're also person who likes stability and to know what's coming. I like the "knowns" in life. And there just aren't a lot of them...probably in any profession...but especially in music. I've been working and writing and singing and playing and recording for years. And nothing comes of it. At least it feels that way sometimes.
And then one day, out of the blue, something good happens. I can honestly say it dropped into my lap because I didn't do a darn thing. It just goes to show that Someone else is in control of it all.
So here's what happened. Last winter, Eric Vinson and I wrote with a friend of ours, Matthew Perryman Jones. We were trying to write a new song for this & that. The guys came over to my house on two different mornings for a few hours, and we sat in my living room and drank coffee and talked...and thought...and sang...and talked...and thought...and sang...and before we knew it, we had a song. It's called "Only You." Anyway, Matthew ended up recording the song for himself a few months ago and we just found out that ABC is using the song for their show "Brothers & Sisters" tomorrow night (Sunday, Oct. 24th). You should check it out if you are available...or if you have DVR...or the internet :)
And when I think back to the process of writing this particular song...it was a little awkward, to be honest. We had never all written together before, and I think there was a pressure (in my mind, at least) to come up with something great the first time, which does not always come when you force it. But I loved the ideas that came from creating the song, and the stories that molded it along the way...and in the end, I love the song we wrote.
I sang "Only You" with Matthew in July in Nashville. Here it is:
And, you can buy Matthew's version of the song here.
In other exciting news...
this & that just released a new ep on iTunes!!! It's called "Farewell to the Sun." We're really excited about this. It's a little more produced than the first ep and we had two amazing producers, Mitch Dane and Mark Drury. We are so thankful for those men and their hard work and belief in us. You can get "Farewell to the Sun," here.
I think that's all of my good news for now. I'm looking forward to the future!!!!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
It has been a longtime personal goal of mine to get to play a show at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN. The Bluebird is known for showcasing "the heroes behind the hits" (the songwriters), and for discovering new artists. It was a complete honor to get to play this show. My good friend David Vaughan recorded this song for us, so we'll always have something to remember it by.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The first step is admitting there is a problem. You have to dig down deep and be really honest with yourself. I have an obsession with Amy Grant. It's healthy, I think. Maybe not. It's just that...when I was in second grade I was in my friend Lindsay Blatz's basement. We were playing Barbies and all of a sudden "That's What Love Is For," came on the radio. I'd never heard anything so lovely in all my 7 years of life. It moved me. And so when I got Amy's Heart In Motion cd for my 8th birthday (my first compact disc EVER), I decided I needed to move to Nashville and become a singer just like her. And almost 20 years later I'm still trying to be like her.
Occasionally, I'll realize that one of my friends kinda looks like Amy and I get a little jealous. I was telling my friends Mike and Stacey about this not too long ago and Mike, who is an amazing graphic designer/artist, made a cartoon about it. My issues inspired him!!!! I'm so glad people can use my problems for good. So. Enjoy.
Check out Mike Blakeman's other work at: http://www.ralphtherobot.com/
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I have a million "thank you's" and "I owe you's" to hand out. This past week I was humbled and completely blessed beyond belief. In my last blog post (about the Nashville flood), I talked a little bit about how I had been affected by the flood. It was NOTHING compared to the devastation that a lot of people experienced, but nevertheless, I found myself in need of a lot of help.
Saturday afternoon, I came home to the smell of mold and mildew. I knew I was in over my head. I had been naive (and a bit in denial) up to that point about how quickly things go south when your basement floods. So I started removing everything wet from my basement and got it all out of the house, but it didn't help a whole lot. I mentioned something on twitter about how not fun it was to work with wet, moldy boxes and I immediately got a message from a friend on twitter offering his assistance. Josh Laurich. I don't know Josh extremely well, but he is a good friend with one of my good friends...and I can't believe how willing he was to come over and help me. Actually, I can't even say that he "helped me." He did ALL the work. As I told Josh about my week and all the people that had come out of the woodwork to help me, I started getting a little emotional.
Will flew to Nashville to help me move last weekend. I know I look like a body builder, but believe it or not, I have a hard time carrying a 400 pound dresser all by myself. And my friends Ashley and Micah Huebner came to help me move, too. Micah and Will did all the work. And it was pouring! And flooding :) Then Ashley and Micah got stuck on 1-24 in the flood on their way home from helping me, and it took them 5.5 hours to get back to Smyrna.
Then my UHaul got stuck in the mud at my old house. Again, I know I'm really strong, but my muscles would not move that truck, no matter how hard I pushed. So my friends Rebekah and Ryan Mitchell came over with their little SUV and got it unstuck for me. Which left massive tire marks in the gravel and dirt/mud driveway of the house I'd been trying to move out of.
I thought I was pretty handy, so I went to Home Depot to buy some new gravel to fill the tire marks I'd created. But the bags were really heavy. Some man saw me trying to lift them into my car and rushed to my assistance. He did it for me.
Then I tried pouring the gravel I'd bought into the tire marks...but it didn't help at all. It just looked like I'd filled some holes with gravel. But there was still mud everywhere. The next door neighbor was out working in his yard, so I asked for his opinion on how I should handle the situation. In the 9 months I'd lived in that house, I'd never once spoken with my neighbor. He immediately went into his garage and brought back a rake and a shovel and got to work, fixing my yard for me. He did the work. No joke. I never would have been able to do what he did.
By this point, I was completely moved out of my old house with the exeption of a few items that were too large to fit in my car. Betsy Jones came to my rescue. I didn't even ask. She offered.
And then the mold in the new place became a problem. And that's when Josh Lauritch stepped in.
I was showered with kindness and generosity last week. As I was getting emotional and telling Josh about it, I realized that God was showing me how much He loves me and takes care of me through my community. Sometimes it's really tough to be a single girl, living in a city far away from my family. I still can't believe what an amazing community I am a part of. I am so grateful.
This crazy flood has really brought out the best in Nashville. Everyday there are hundreds and hundreds of volunteers that have taken the time to help out their neighbors...and even strangers. And if they aren't doing the manual labor, they're driving around with supplies and food and enouragement. It is such a beautiful thing to see. I love Nashville.
Anyway, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The worst weekend for moving ever.
For those of you who don't keep up with the news, Nashville flooded this weekend. I've never seen anything like it. It didn't just rain, it poured. For about 3o hours straight. Initially the rain was a little inconvenient, seeing as I was trying very unsucessfully to move houses on Saturday and keep all of my belongings dry (mattresses, etc.). But then it got scary. We couldn't get from one house to the other because of river streams flooding across all the roads. My sweet friends, Ashley and Micah drove in from Smyrna (normally just a 20 minute trip down 1-24) to help me move, and when they left at 3:30 they got stranded on 1-24 for 3 hours because the highway flooded. People died sitting in their cars on the highway. Luckily, Ashley and Micah were ok, but it took them 5.5 hours to get home that night. And Sunday it got even worse. The rain didn't let up.
If you could have seen the Tennessee State Fairgrounds behind my house, you'd have been shocked. Instead of land, there was probably a 4 foot lake. And more water was rushing into it from nowhere in particular. My basement flooded and destroyed a few things, but I am so, so lucky. My U Haul also got stuck in the mud, but it could have been so much worse.
Sunday early afternoon, my boyfriend Will and I were walking around the Opryland Hotel, enjoying the gorgeous flowers and waterfalls. By late Sunday afternoon the entire hotel was evacuated and all the guests were forced to abandon their cars and luggage. Now the hotel is under 8-10 feet of water. Check out this video:
This is a photo of Will and I at about noon on Sunday right in front of the Cascades' waterfall at the Opryland, but as you saw in the video, all of this is now under water:
The people of Nashville are really great, though. Everyone seems to be pitching in and helping as much as they can. This flood has caused BILLIONS of dollars in damage and it is going to take a long time before we get back to normal. Today, the government is telling us that they are close to needing to shut off our water supply. We don't have enough and we are quickly running out. I can't believe this is real. I read this really great article about some of the issues and why we need help: http://www.section303.com/we-are-nashville-4366
One thing is for sure. When you see this kind of devastation...and you go relatively unscathed...it really puts things into perspective. The stuff that got destroyed in my basement is just stuff. And even if my most favorite thing had gotten destroyed, it still would have been just a "thing." I spoke with a woman this morning who lives down the street from me and her entire house is under water. Just down the street from me. Did I mention that? And everything is destroyed. They lost everything. She's upbeat and grateful 'cause she's alive. I love that.
So, if you think about it, try to keep Nashville in your prayers. We need them!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Hello, Strangers. Life just hasn't been very blogworthy until now. All the important, life changing revelations I've had recently are repeats, even though they all feel brand new to me. It's a pattern. I learn the same lessons over and over and over and over again. Little things like "honesty is the best policy." Haven't I written songs about this before? I know, I know, I know. And I'm still no expert.
On the music front, and I suppose this might be cause for celebration (oh wait, we already did!), this & that signed a publishing/licensing agreement with Word Records last week!!!! WOOHOO!!!! I've been in Nashville for eight years now and something has finally materialized!!! My dad may or may not have spread the rumor that we signed a record deal (I love you, Dad), but this is not the case. Eric and I are still independent artists. Basically what this means is that Word represents this & that and will be pitching our songs to get placements in films, tv shows, commercials, etc. We are really excited and feel extremely blessed to have been given this opportunity. Keep your fingers crossed! We have also recorded several new songs and are excited to share those with you. I'm not sure how those will be released yet, but we'll let you know.
These are pictures of Eric and I signing the contract...somehow we showed up wearing the exact same color. It was not planned. Whoops. I have a feeling that he may have been slightly embarrassed about that...and I might have secretly thought it was cool. Haha.
In other news...
I could not be more excited for my best friend, Julianna and her husband Ben. Ben is the second baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays and signed a 3-5 year contract with the Rays last week!!!!! This couldn't have happened to better people. Ben is such a hard worker and so humble...and he loves God more than anything in the whole world. It makes me so happy to see good things happen to the people I love. Ahhh!
Life gets really good sometimes. I forget. It is so much easier (or maybe just more natural) to focus on all the things that are going wrong. Someone told me a few weeks ago that you have to celebrate the little things...and really celebrate them so that they don't pass you by. It helps you appreciate it more. And I think the things we dream about rarely feel the way we think they will when they come to fruition. So. Celebrate regardless of how big or how small the accomplishment. I like celebrating so that is probably not going to be an issue.