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!!
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!
Be well and keep on!!
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!
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!!!
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!
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.
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.
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!!
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!!!)