Fairytales are for Disney Movies

erica bryan, beaverdamusa.com, behind the micOnce upon a time, there lived a bright-eyed, redheaded girl. She decided one day she would move to Nashville, TN to become a Country singer.

Full of ambition and optimism, she walked down Music Row just waiting for her “big break” to come. She landed a day job working for Reba McEntire — the same job Faith Hill had before she got big — so she just knew it was only a matter of time before she followed in Faith’s footsteps.

One day, she was sitting at her desk, and a movie director walked into the office and told her she should star in his movie. The redheaded girl thought to herself, “This is it! This is what I’ve been waiting for!”

Sounds like a fairytale…right?!

Months went by, and the movie seemed to be taking longer to get off the ground than she originally thought. She went to meetings, and they kept telling her they would film the next week. Then the next week. Then, almost a year later, all the movie stuff fell off the face of the earth. The once bright-eyed girl still held on to her optimism, but her eyes were a little more used to the light.

At first, my life did seem like a fairytale. However, my story didn’t end like I thought it would. In fact, my story is just beginning.

I’ve had a lot of opportunities “fall in my lap” since the movie that didn’t work out, but I’ve also had a lot of opportunities that did work out. I’ve found that the harder I work, the more opportunities I have.

I used to see big music stars debut their first album and think, “Man, their success just happened overnight!” But, the truth is, there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes I didn’t see, that I am just now learning.

That’s what this blog is about. It is my behind-the-scenes journey of being a musician. Come join me as I fill you in on the missteps, as well as the small victories. We can leave the fairytales to Disney.

(Note: Check out the story we recently ran on Erica.)

Reviewing “Albuquerque Sky” from Sarah Peacock, plus other tidbits

Sarah peacock beaverdamusa.comOn October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed the New Jersey coastline and quickly became the second costliest hurricane in US history.

Sarah Peacock was right in the middle of it. Then she did what songwriters do: she wrote a song about it.

“I lived through it,” she said. “I was in Red Bank, New Jersey, when it blew ashore. We were in the eye of the hurricane, and I experienced the devastation first-hand.”

“Hurricane” was the heart-felt effort that came from her experience. Download it from www.sarahpeacockmusic.com, and 100% of the proceeds go directly to Hurricane Sandy relief.

“I saw the damage. And I saw a lot of the folks who were friends of friends; they were government employees who were involved in the relief efforts. It was horrible, then at the same time I saw the love and compassion people started showing toward each other. They really pulled together. It was something I thought was very neat.

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“Love is the most powerful force in the universe, more power than any wind can blow.”

***

Sarah and her booking agent Mollie Clayton jokingly call (or maybe not) her current outing “The Definitely Indefinite Tour.” She’s spanned 46 states, including Alaska. But gigging isn’t all she’s about these days. Sarah and her team take the business end of music very seriously. “We plan to build the fan base exponentially this year,” she said. “We’re working on a video now. It’s a lot to juggle.” She tirelessly does press and appearances. “You never know when that moment is going to come,” she said.

***

Sarah’s new album Albuquerque Sky is a mixture of modern and traditional country. Her southern roots pepper the songs with tenderness, truth and a little sass when necessary. As she noted, this album is a vast departure from Straight For Your Heart, her first release in 2009. Do not cherry pick the songs in this album. It is wall-to-wall. Get it at www.sarahpeacockmusic.com. In the meantime, here is our down-and-dirty review of each track.

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“Jeans”… Driving country rocker, 100% radio-ready, the female answer to Aldean.

“Things We Didn’t Do”… Catchy and upbeat tune about leaving the door open after a break-up. Big vocal, big chorus, shredding slide and electric guitar solos.

“Albuquerque Sky”… Reflective mid-tempo, earthy and acoustic.

“Cast My Line”… Cool groove, radio friendly, nifty guitar riffs.

“Dry Spell”… Lyric-driven, thoughtful.

“Jesus, Wonderful Lord”… A creative effort for all you Baptists out there.

“Rio Grande”… Intimate, heartfelt vocal, folksy.

“Not Just a Country Song”… Another cool country groove song. Awesome harmonies.

“Paralyzed”… We love the mandolin and Dobro solos. Anybody wanna two-step?

“One Ticket”… Haunting, a la “Midnight in Montgomery.”

“Our Place”… Upbeat, up-tempo, perfect summer song.

“Where Will You Run”… Toe tapper, light and airy melody, big chorus. For what it’s worth, this is the Beaver Dam’s favorite track on the album.

“Blue Flame”… Different feel from the others with lots of piano.

“If It Don’t Kill Me”… Fresh lyrics, a beautiful cry-yourself-to-sleep ballad. Aspiring vocalists: learn to sing this way.

“I Left My Heart in New Mexico”… Fun Texas-swing, ‘70s country feel.

“117 Stewart Street”… “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” has nothing on this little ditty.

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Rising Star Kellie Lynne Talks To Us About Her New Single

Kellie Lynne beaverdamusa.com

Kellie Lynne rocks her new Beaver Dam tank!

Ask anyone in the country music business about keys to success, and they’ll always mention “networking” as a top requirement.

You won’t find rising country star Kellie Lynne arguing with that.

Kellie’s new single, “Dirt Cheap” is already getting plenty of airplay. And she probably never would’ve had the opportunity to record it if not for networking. “I went with a friend to Thompson Square’s No. 1 party,” she said. From there she “connected with someone on Facebook who worked for a song pitching company.” That social media connection led to a pitch session, where she came away with demo CD of song possibilities.

The more she listened to “Dirt Cheap,” the more she loved it. The song chronicles empowerment following a painful break-up. “I’ve had a great reaction to it,” she said, adding that fans have told her it’s helped them through their own similar situations. “And it connected with me,” she added. That’s obvious, considering Kellie’s soulful, heartfelt vocal.

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autographed photo of Kellie

It’s also notable that “Dirt Cheap” has pretty good parents. It was written by Nashville songwriting powerhouses Hillary Lindsey (“Jesus Take the Wheel”, “A Little Bit Stronger”, “American Honey”), Dallas Davidson (“Put a Girl In It”, “I Don’t Want this Night to End”) and superstar Luke Bryan.

She recorded it in Brentwood, Tenn., with Producer Marc Eric. “Marc played all the instruments, except the drums,” Kellie said. She has Jeremiah Bivins to credit with the drum work.

The new single is featured on two iHeartRadio stations — The Nashville Channel and New Country — as well as a “ton of indie stations” Kellie noted. She filmed the video at a farmhouse in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., with director Michael Monaco. You can see it on TCN (The Country Network). You can also see it here.

kellie lynne beaverdamusa.com

We love this picture mostly because it shows Kellie doing what she does best. But check out the guy behind the band. We hope there wasn’t an open manhole.

Kellie’s hard work has already paid off for her since moving from Pittsburgh to Nashville in 2010. She was recently named Nashville Universe Female Vocalist of the Year. She was also nominated for Entertainer of the Year by the same organization. Nashville Universe is owned by musician Michael Kenney. (www.nashvilleuniverse.com)

Never one to take a break, Kellie has been writing constantly lately. Plus, within a few weeks, she will host one of the “Breaking Out” segments on the nationwide TV network TCN (The Country Network.)

She has opened shows for Loretta Lynn, John Michael Montgomery, Mark Wills, Chris Cagle, Trent Tomlinson, Aaron Tippin, Cody McCarver and Emerson Drive to name a few.

Kellie brought the house down during a live presentation of “Showtime at The Apollo”, receiving a standing ovation after singing “Broken Wing.” You really need to watch this.

“Dirt Cheap” is her first video. Earlier singles included “I’m There” and “Bad.” Both received airplay on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio.

Kellie lynne beaverdamusa.com

Check out www.kellielynne.org.

We appreciate Kellie for taking time out of her schedule to talk to us. She’s a huge talent, and she’s on the way up. You can connect with here…

http://www.kellielynne.org

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