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CHANGE MY MIND featured on the finale of NBC's The Voice

What's Up

12/28/17 - Well, it seems this has most definitely become an end-of-the-year blog...but let's go with it!  This year has been another whirlwind of putting out new music with Meghan Linsey, who released her latest project BOLD LIKE A LION on which I'm excited to have 4 songs on that I co-wrote with Meghan and producer, Tyler Cain.  The title track also was picked up by NASCAR to be featured on their awards show which airs on the NBC Sports channel.  So cool!!  We also made a trip over the pond to release the single, Freak For The Beat (feat. Fred Schneider of the B-52's) and played an album release date at the famed BBC Club in London. AMAZING!!  The Brits loved Meghan and the music so I do believe we'll be getting back there to tour in 2018. 

Was so crazy excited to be able to bring Haley on this trip as she works for Meghan as her personal assistant while she's attending school at Middle Tennessee State University as a sophomore..whew where DOES the time go?!?! We combined work and pleasure by hitting not only London and Paris (which we all LOVED) but also ending up in Iceland to experience the adventure of driving the golden circle where we found geysers and waterfalls and hot springs...oh my!  The Blue Lagoon was unbelievable, as was Reykjavik and everything icelandic and nordik.  What a trip and believe it or not we got tons of work done, too!

Haley Grace and The Rebels had an incredible summer playing all the big fairs, festivals and casinos around Wisconsin, including Summerfest for the second year on the same day as Tom Petty...which was such an honor as we sadly lost that talented soul this year.  They will be back this summer 2018 playing Summerfest, The Porterfield Country Music Festival, casinos and many more high energy shows around the state...come on out and join us if you get the chance or at least check them out at https://www.facebook.com/Haley-Grace-and-The-Rebels-125706357619907/ 

Oh, and I almost forgot...I finished writing my book Dream Big...Why Not?! One Woman's Journey To Success. I've had the opportunity to do a number of speaking engagements with my presentation of Dream Big...Why Not?!, and one of the booking agents I work with asked me why I hadn't written the book yet.  She got me thinking..why haven't I?? So I did.  And it's currently in the process of being published and should be available by early next year. This was a huge move out of my comfort zone (writing songs is much different than writing a book), but I'm extremely proud of the finished project and can't wait to get out there and bring the book and my presentation to all kinds of audiences.

So it's been a heck of a year...again...and I'm so grateful for so much!  Family, friends, music and the opportunity to do what I love with who I love.  Doesn't get much better!  

Wishing you a wonderful end of 2017 and that your 2018 be filled with much love, laughter, joy, and, of course, music!

Cheers!

Julie 

 

Every Other Year!?! 

 Hola!  I cannot even believe I missed a whole year (2016) without writing one blog post.  It just goes to show that when you think life is incredibly busy...it can definitely get even busier!  And that's exactly what happened to me.  Let's do a quick recap of 2016:  Artist Meghan Linsey (runner-up on NBC's THE VOICE) put out her solo EP "Believer" which I'm excited to have co-written 4 out of the 6 songs, one of which was the 1st single "COUNTERFEIT".  The EP garnered rave reviews from Rolling Stone, The UK's The Daily Mail, Entertainment Tonight, Perez Hilton and many other major media outlets.  There's no rest for the wicked and after touring to promote the Believer EP we immediately started writing for the yet-to-be-released 2nd album.  The first single, "EXES AND FRIENDS" was released in November 2016 along with an epic video that features internet sensation Doug The Pug and the bad-boy from The Bachelor, Juan Pablo, as Meghan's love interest....now that was FUN!!!  We worked hard and Meghan lost a whole bunch of weight (and I lost a few lbs, too!)  following the NutriSystem plan, which brought about the opportunity for Meghan to be a spokesperson for NutriSystem.  We did an incredibly fun photo shoot and commerical shoot in Clearwater Beach and you can currently see Meg in the national TV ads.  

Along with trips to NYC, LA and Nashville in 2016 I also started doing inspirational speaking to groups entitled, "Dream Big...Why Not" which follows my journey from struggling to become a professional songwriter to signing a major publishing deal and the lessons in perseverance, synchronicity and giving back and how they all integral elements of success.  My daughter, Haley, started her freshman year at UW-Green Bay and spent the summer playing all over Wisconsin and Michigan which included shows at Summerfest, Country USA, Porterfield Country Music Festival and being chosen as the ONLY opening act for artist, Chris Young at the Labor of Love, a benefit for Veterans, not to mention recording a band album in early 2017.  Being "momager", booking agent and stylist has kept me very busy and I couldn't be more proud of the amazing artist AND amazing person Haley is becoming.

So, I took a bit of a rest beginning around Thanksgiving (and hunting season here in our neck of the woods) through Christmas.  We're just starting to ramp up finishing the new Meghan Linsey album to be released this year.  In fact, I will be hopping on a plane in a few days and starting the ball rolling for another year of writing and as head of creative for Bold Music Group LLC (which entails...well...everything LOL).  Managing Haley's band and, of course, just living life to the fullest every step of the way.  My final words for this blog...yeah, you've heard them before but they really are worth repeating...DREAM BIG...WHY NOT!?!

Cheers to you in 2017!!

Julie

THE VOICE and beyond! 

I have just completed an amazing piece of a journey that I was extremely fortunate to be a part of and I have learned so much and gained such valuable insight, that it will take some time to digest it all.  My long-time friend and co-writer, Meghan Linsey was a contestant on NBC's The Voice.  She made it to the final four and came in 2nd place...which is really an AMAZING win in and of itself.  She found her solo "voice" by incorporating her love of soulful heart wrenching lyrics such as Girl Crush and our very own song, Change My Mind. as well as kick-butt songs like Marc Broussard's Home and Steamroller.  We can now add to our resumes, via our co-written song Change My Mind - a #5 song on itunes all-genre a #2 song on the pop charts and an incredible Youtube video.  The thing is, I thought the top of the mountain was 5 years ago when Meghan was in the duo Steel Magnolia and they won CMT's "Can You Duet", signed a record deal with Big Machine Records and I was signed right a long with them to the publishing arm of the label-trio that also had Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, etc.. that we'd reached the top.  Then, for reasons out of our control, the bottom fell out and we were all shell-shocked and scrambling.  But we regrouped and started Bold Music Group and put out an EP that had critically acclaimed songs & videos  (by Rolling Stone among others) and things were starting to roll...again. And then The Voice opportunity.  Now it's up to me and Meghan and the fantastic team we've put together to utilize all the momentum and knowledge and wonderful people who've been put in our path.  i can't even begin to share the lessons the insights and all the pieces that so miraculously came together to bring us to this point.  But I will and when I do you will surely hear about it.  Until then there's a boat load of work and responsibility that comes with following your heart and your dreams and making things happen.  Succeeding in the music industry...or in any industry where creative people put their talent out there to be judged, is not for the faint of heart.  But I've come to understand that talent alone does not keep you in the game, there's a combination of much more and honestly I believe the universe and what you put out into it, is uniquely responsible for so much.  I'll leave you with a quote I have on my desk at home that reminds me, especially when things aren't happening as fast as I want them to -   "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." Walter Elliott   

Be well and keep on!!

Julie

Annual Blog?? 

WOW...when I look back at my last blog I can't believe it's been a year!  How does this happen?  And why?  Perhaps it's the same questions I so often ask myself... how did our little girl suddenly become 17 years old and on her way to graduating high school next year? How did I become a wife of almost 20 years?  When did life's trajectory become warp speed?  I remember all the well-meaning older married couple's telling us at our wedding that our years will fly by together...and when Haley was born other parents telling us to cherish every moment because she'll be leaving the nest before you know it.  I thought to myself...there are so many YEARS between now and then!  But they were right...it all rolls by in a beautifully detailed kaleidoscope of events that so quickly become memories.  There's no slowing down what rushes past us like a river on it's journey from it's source to it's final destination. Each of us will experience a vast array of twists and turns, dark days and days that sparkle and shine.  But the lesson is the cliche does fit...don't blink or you WILL miss it.

On to music news. This last year has been a wonderful, colorful kaleidoscope of my own... experiences that have funneled down to an amazing opportunity for my beautiful and talented friend and business associate, Meghan Linsey. We've released her first solo album and I'm proud to say I have co-written 3 of the 5 songs.  I was the production coordinator and stylist on the video for "Try Harder Than That" which was aired on CMT and played on Sirius XM - The Highway.  Most recently the single, Love Never Sleeps, which Meghan and I co-wrote with America's Got Talent alum and fan favorite, Emily West, has been receiving much airplay again on The Highway, while the video has been nominated for The Boot hall of fame.  Not to mention the entire album and singles have been killing it on itunes.

And finally on Feb. 23rd Meghan began her journey on NBC's The Voice.  I've been blessed to be a part of this experience and loved being able to head out to L.A. for the tapings and get to meet the many talented contestants and very cool judges.  It's really the BEST artist competition out there and everyone is a class act!  Tune in to see how Meg does...

I can't forget to update you all on Haley.  She's still doing the band thing and is putting together a new REBEL GRACE BAND.  They are playing out all around NE Wisconsin and are a high-energy group of very talented musicians.  She is also starting a charity called Good Music for a Good Cause, which will benefit people who face financial challenges, totally funded by Haley's new cd that's coming out this spring and an annual concert event with special guests.  Be on the lookout for her new self-titled cd that will be available at all her shows and on this website.


Hope all of you are off to a great 2015...and remember ~ you are smack dab in the middle of creating your very own beautiful, colorful kaleidoscope of memories...so don't blink!

Julie

On To The Next - 2014!! 

Well, it's already March of 2014.  I am easily the busiest I've been in my career.   We've spent the last half of last year gearing up for Meghan Linsey's solo career by writing the EP, which happens to be complete and to be released this summer. We kicked off the year with a cover of "Counting Stars" which was a single for One Republic (Ryan Tedder even reposted and tweeted how much they loved Meg's version...so cool) and currently it's be playing (a lot :) on Sirius XM The Highway. The video is on CMT and already there's been a great response for downloads on itunes!  We couldn't have started off the year in a better place and are extremely excited about the EP release coming soon!

I was also fortunate to have some great styling clients. I did the production coordination on set and styling assist for Joshua Scott Jones on the video for "Honk (If You're Tonky") the hot new single on his solo release album, The Healing. Check it out on my styling page.  Also styled photo shoots for a couple new artists Dillon Carmichael and Jan Edwards.  I've been very fortunate to be able to work with many top designers and vendors for every possible occasion from video shoots, awards shows or just to personally shop for the exact addition to your wardrobe. I also can help you refurbish/update your existing wardrobe.  So hit me up if you need any assistance in personal styling.

I have to add that my daughter, Haley Grace, has been busy writing and playing gigs with her band, Rebel Grace.  For the second year in a row they've made the cut for the Wisconsin competition for bands, Launchpad, where the winners will play at Summerfest in Milwaukee.  They've really kicked it up a notch this year and we have our fingers crossed.  Haley is also working on her first EP with such co-writers as Meghan Linsey, Tyler Cain, Joshua Scott Jones, Dee Briggs, Shane Hines, Nicole Johnson and many other talented writers (oh yeah...her mom has a couple co-writes on there, too)  She is working with amazing producer, Tyler Cain (Tennessee Kings). 

So glad to hear from so many of my co-writers, friends, former NSAI members and new friends on here!!  And yes, I do workshops and speaking engagements, too....so reach out if you need anything as I love bringing all that I've learned and experienced to share with others.

Hope your 2014 is going to be filled with amazing opportunities and an abundance of love, laughter and of course, music!!

On To the Next!!!

Julie

 

Bad Blogger 

 The truth is I'm a horrible blogger.  As I checked out my blog I was shocked, then ashamed, that I have not shared anything here since June of last year.  Yikes!  I could promise you now that I will not let that happen again, but in all honesty I know that would be a futile promise.  I could also tell you a whole lot of excuses why I haven't had time to blog and they're the same excuses I use when I fail to keep up with other responsibilities on a regular basis, like keeping in touch with friends, shaving my legs, baking homemade cookies, balancing my checkbook.  And the list goes on, but to keep from feeling totally irresponsible I will stop here and give you a brief overview of the last half of 2012.

I can tell you without a doubt that the 2nd half of 2012 was filled with many great writes resulting in many new songs and a whole lot of stying gigs including another great video shoot. I also can tell you that for the first time in six years I did not travel at all during November and December.  Instead I stayed home and made it to everyone of Haley's basketball games and every gig her band played.  I also savored the holidays and family birthdays.  It was a much needed hiatus and it allowed me to refuel my creative tank.

And I'm grateful for the break because 2013 came out of the shoot full throttle.  I've been busy writing with all my favorite co-writers. I've been also writing with Meghan Linsey for her first solo album while helping to plan her debut showcase, which recently included a funky new photo shoot I helped her style (check out the pics in my styling picture gallery).  I also was hired by the other half of my favorite duo, Joshua Scott Jones, as a production coordinator for the video shoot for his new single.  I'm so proud of my Steel Magnolias for continuing to bring their exceptional music to their fans while both venturing out to create their own solo projects.

I'm very excited for Meg's showcase on February 20th at the Exit Inn.  She will be debuting our new music and I'm convinced the rest of this year will be a whirlwind for the whole team. And I swear I will make an effort to keep you up on all these great events on a regular basis right here...yeah right!!  But I will guarantee I will be here again with the highlights when I can fit it in to this busy life...and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Cheers,

Julie




CMT's & New Pop Single 

 Every June, for the past 5 years, I bring my daughter, Haley, after school gets out for summer and one of the highlights of her week is going to the CMT awards.  We've always been in the mosh pit together where she LOVES to be and where, last year, she was on camera a whole lot.  I, on the other hand, hate the 4-plus hours of standing on the cement floor but endure it because Haley gets so much pleasure out of it.  This year my friend, Meghan Linsey, invited me to sit with her in the artist section so Haley invited a friend to join her in the chaos on the floor. We were both elated, although I was a little nervous (you know...the mother thing).  We tried to keep in touch via texting but the reception in Bridgestone was not good. After many attempts to communicate to remind her where we were meeting after the show, I finally called and got thru to her during a commercial break and all I heard was a scream of "We got Luke Bryan's underwear!!!!"  Just to clarify, Luke Bryan did a little gag where Tom Arnold pulled some underwear from Luke's pants (they were very nice camo boxers..obviously never worn) and threw them into the crowd.  Of all the people on that floor and the scramble you could see from our seats I was stunned that my daughter and her friend ended up with them.  I turned to Meg and said, "Haley got Luke Bryan's underwear" and she said, "Of course she did!" and that sort of sums up the whole scenario.  She has the luck of the Irish, is the person who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.  After the show we had to go to my writing office so her and her friend could use a scissors to "split" their prize.  On the way home she told me "this was the best CMT's yet".  I felt a little twinge and knew it was the beginning of many firsts where she would be navigating situations and experiences on her own...without me.  I was excited and sad at the same time.  In my heart I know this the way it's all suppose to go...but it still leaves me feeling a little nostalgic.  I will miss the little girl who, the first year we attended the awards together, held my hand and was afraid to stray from my side.  But I am proud of the young lady who strategically grabbed Luke Bryan's underwear and split them with her friend.  Awhh, the joys of parenthood!!

Now for a little music news!  If you go to my music page I've added my new single, "I NEED A MAN" performed by new pop sensation, COTTEN EYE JANE. There is a lyric video on YouTube and it's been sweeping the dance clubs in Europe and Asia.  COTTON EYE JANE will be premiering her new single on VHI this summer.

Almost April?? 

 Ok..really...where did the first 3 months of 2012 go??  I can't believe my last post was in October...shame on me   As usual I will pull the "crazy busy" card, but the truth is...it IS the truth!  Let me digress to 2011 and the race to the finish line...November found me traveling to both Nashville and Florida to write.  It was a great change of pace to be on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale in lovely weather writing new songs with the amazing Meghan Linsey and Britton Cameron.  December and January was back in Nashville and February it was a couple weeks in the "city of Angels" (this time in a beautiful place on Santa Monica beach) writing with some great new people (pop, film & TV).  Got to attend Grammy after party with some new friends (and Meghan). March brought me back, once again to Nashville to write with several up and coming new artists and some great writers and old friends.  The best of all worlds!!

Just last week I was privileged to be the speaker at the NSAI meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin where I'd been the coordinator for 13 years before signing my publishing deal. Thank you so much to all of you (old friends and new faces) who came out (especially those of you who drove hours) and made the night a very special one for me...a great way to celebrate my birthday!

Check out my styling tab...I was fortunate to be able to style Meghan Linsey for the Grammy's and the Make It Right Foundation Charity event, founded by Brad Pitt, which was held in New Orleans.  Ellen Degeneres hosted and the celebrities were out in full force for this great cause...continuing to rebuild New Orleans.  Kanye West and Rhianna performed.  The video for the last Steel Magnolia single, "Bulletproof" also went up on my site...I did all the styling for this project and it's a hoot!!  It was in hot rotation on both CMT and GAC.

Exciting news!!  I have a single coming out this spring/summer on an incredibly talented (and beautiful..inside and out) new artist who has become one of my favorite co-writers and a great friend, as well.  I also, have a single coming out VERY soon on a new pop artist.  A GREAT start to, what I believe, is going to be a FANTASTIC year.
There are even a few more tidbits I can hardly hold in but I will practice restraint  and wait 'til all is signed, sealed and delivered to post (and this time I promise to be more timely  

And BTW...I added a Twitter button to my contact page...yes, believe it or not I'm Tweeting...or attempting to anyway.  I can thank my co-writer, Nicole Johnson for setting me up a twitter account in the time it took me to go to the bathroom and grab a water from the fridge...yikes!!

Until then, enjoy the upcoming beautiful weather and please contact me to let me know how you all are doing. 

Cheers!!

Julie


Changes 

 It's not only the leaves that are changing into bright and fiery colors, but it seems my schedule is doing the same.  I recently completed styling the video for Steel Magnolia's new single "Bulletproof" which was an incredible undertaking by our "team".  I've been writing with a group of talented new artists who represent the best of several genre's and it's refreshing to break away from the norm and push yourself to do something creatively different.  I'm getting ready to fly to Moline Illinois for the opening of the Reba tour for Steel Magnolia as my dear friends are going thru some changes of their own.  Josh has taken a leave to get healthy and well and Meg will be doing some shows on her own. I'm positive there will be many lessons learned for us all during this time and I'm so grateful to be able to lend a hand to friends who mean so much to me.  Near the end of October I'm taking Haley with me again to continue her writing, recording and showcasing her talents in Nashville.  She really works hard at her craft for someone so young and I couldn't be more proud of her!!  I'm excited to wind down the year with so much accomplished in this year...there are some very good things in the works... a couple "holds" that I'm keeping my fingers crossed will turn into cuts...a few new projects that will hopefully evolve into fruitful ventures and as always, looking forward to spending the holidays with family and friends.  And as always, I will keep you posted!! xo

Momentum 

 Wow...it's the 4th of July weekend and I can't seem to recall where the 1st half of 2011 went.  Yesterday Haley and her friend Taylor sang the National Anthem at their waterski show and it was amazing!!  We had just gotten back from our Nashville trip where Haley had writing appts, recorded one of her new songs in Paul Taylor's new studio (yes, that's Paul Taylor from Winger!!) and played out at a writer's night. She also had the pleasure of hearing the song she wrote with Josh Jones (Steel Magnolia) played at the River stage during the CMA festival...pretty cool for 13 years old!!  The day after we arrived home Meg & Josh came for a relaxing visit...a little fishing and a few home cooked meals before they played the Porterfield Music festival...so much fun and so nice to get to relax and just hang out a bit.  When I think about how crazy my life has been this year I only have to take a peek at their schedule and sigh in relief.  I'm not complaining...I actually thrive on the fast pace and it makes me really appreciate my down time with family and friends.  
The second half of this year looks just as busy...my styling work is picking up and is such an exciting addition to my writing.  Right now I'm drinking coffee, sitting on our deck welcoming another beautiful morning of sun (we do cherish these in northern Wisconsin :) and I just saw a mama whitetail and her little spotted fawn pass by in the meadow...yes, life is very, very sweet!!

Does It Get Crazier Than This??!! 

 It's been awhile since I've posted anything so let me explain why...February saw the Steel Magnolia CD release event in NYC and I on a last minute decision I headed out for a great 3 days of the Big Apple and a fantastic release to a great album at the Bowery Ballroom.

March came and went in a flurry...Nashville writing trip and then directly off to Phoenix, Arizona for a Song Factory/Super 98 Writing Retreat...wrote a bunch of great songs with great writers and got to visit the Biltmore Hotel (the lobby is where Irving Berlin wrote "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas)...our hosts, Jim and Rae Kaufman have an incredibly beautiful home in an incredibly beautiful area of Phoenix and spoiled us way TOO much (if that's possible!!) It was hard to go home to Wisconsin to cold weather.  Ohh that's right I didn't go home...I went back to Nashville as I was hired to plan a red carpet premiere for a reality TV show that was filmed in Coffee County, TN.  That's a whole other story..lol :)

But then I did return to the frozen tundra...to Haley's 3 on 3 basketball tournament and the Crivitz School Music & Mocha night where she played her guitar and sang the song she wrote last summer in Nashville, "Fallin' For You" (co-writers Dee Briggs & Nicole Johnson).  She was really good and that's not just a proud mom talking...she had a lot of sweet compliments from students and parents.  Pretty good for her very first Crivitz performance!!!!

Right now I'm currently sitting in a coffee shop in Winchester, TN (hey, I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Coffee County, TN..ok I AM a little over tired!)  Getting the last details together for the red carpet event this Thurs (4/7).  This is a beautiful little town with an old fashioned theatre in a lovely town square where we'll have an "old Hollywood" themed premiere viewing of the pilot episode of "Doc Star" and then go next door to John T's BBQ for a real down home taste of Tennessee.  This is a huge event with a very cool roster of artists, entertainers and film industry attendees.  I am so honored to have been a small part of this event!
  
I will go home for a few days...for some family time and see Haley's spring concert and then back here for a writing trip.  Hectic but all very, very good!!

Meg & Josh (Steel Magnolia) had a wonderful walk down the red carpet at the ACM awards last week.  They were nominated for two awards...didn't win this year but as Scott Borchetta loves to tell them about their career..."...it's not a sprint, it's a marathon"  and they are definitely in it for the long haul!!!!!

Wheeeewwww!!! That wraps it up and hopefully explains my lack of bloggable moments :)  Thanks to all of you the new people who have contacted me and to everyone who's kept in touch...I really do appreciate all the support and kind words of encouragement.  I know how blessed I am to be doing this with the people I'm doing it with.

Here's to a great summer (Wisconsin will get one eventually...right!!!)

xo