Where I Come From and Why I Write…

Dear Friend,

LaurenI am from country farms on one-lane roads

Tractors and trailers filled with baby pigs

Front porch swings watching the pink sunset

Stars sparkling during hard work at 5AM
FFA Lauren

I am from the national blue and corn gold jackets of the FFA

Speaking my heart out in front of 500 people

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Judging contests and chocolate milkshakes

Black tights with runs and trips with an advisor driving crazy

All nighters in hotel rooms and friends made across the nation

 

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I am from county fairs in the hot July sun

Ferris wheels and pork burgers

Playing cards in my best friend’s camper

Showing pigs to win that blue ribbon

 

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I am from rockin it out to Fall Out Boy in my room

Not caring what any one thinks

Living for the moment

Determined to be an old lady on a Harley with no regrets

 

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I am from singing my heart out on Sunday mornings

Praise of having such a blessed life

In awe of the wonderful powers from heaven above

Always having faith so that nothing will be impossible unto me

And this is why I write…

IMG_3009I write to clam my soul,

I write to unleash my soul, my tears, and my pain.

I write to thank God of everything he’s given me and for being in my life.

I write to heal my anger,

I write to scream my emotions out,

IMG_0438I write to show my love for him.

I write to remember my life,

I write to experience my pain over and over again.
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I write to realize I am strong for coming out of pain and into the light.

I write to feed my hunger,

I write to honor God and spit on Satan.

I write to never forget love lost and love earned.

I write to have faith,

I write to later speak those words,

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I write to change lives,

 

I write to change my own life.

I write to live,

I write to die,

I write to fight against evil,

I write to embrace purity,

I write to fill my emptiness,

IMG_2848I write to embrace my aloneness.

I write to cry my black tears,

I write to wipe my black tears away.

I write to understand my meaning,

I write to wonder simply why?

I write to cry myself to sleep,

 

 

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I write to laugh till I feel worse pain than when I began writing.

I write to be in cold darkness,

I write to be in warm sunshine.

I write to taste that sweet kiss over and over again…

Sincerely,

Lauren Marceé Schwab

 

From the Barn to the Dance Floor – Texas Country Music Inspires Us to “Live It While You Got It”

Thanks to my best friend and Texas girl Brittany, I am inspired each day by the lyrics in Texas Country music. All I have to do in put my ear buds in while I’m working in the pig barn and instantly my heart is calm. I love being on the farm with the pigs, but Texas Country music transports me to a honky tonk, a small town, a red dirt country road or best of all loving life with someone who loves me.

Our imagination is a powerful tool. Albert Einstein said:

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Texas Country music can uplift my spirit, brighten my day and make me dance through the barn. From heartbreak to true love, drinking in a honky tonk to spinning someone around on the dance floor, each song can tell a story or take you to a place in your wildest dreams. No matter what state you are in, even all the way to Ohio, Texas Country music can bring joy to the heart and ease a hard day’s work.

My favorites as of late are Josh Abbott Band, Randy Rogers Band, Eli Young Band, Jon Wolfe, Kyle Park, and Granger Smith. There are so many artists, but these are my go to in the barn. I am sure I will discover many more. I hope to see them all in show.

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Life can have it’s hard moments, defining moments, and rewarding moments. People come and go in our lives for God’s greater plan we can’t always understand. It can be hard to let go, but when you find someone you can always lean onto in hard times, you know who will always stay. I thank Brittany for sharing Texas Country music with me, what it means to love life and to be like Texas even though I’m not from Texas!

Cheers to many more memories to be made that include Starbuck & Shiner Bock!

 

Eli Young Band Encourages Fans to “Keep on Dreaming Even if it Breaks Your Heart”

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Photo credit to http://www.eliyoungband.com/#/about

By Lauren Schwab

IMG_2045Texas natives Eli Young Band had the crowd dancing and singing acapella to their hit song “Even if it Breaks Your Heart” at Miami Valley Gaming on Thursday, August 4 in Lebanon, Ohio. Their inaugural performance in the grandstands captivated the crowd and lit their dreams on fire. Lead singer, Mike Eli, told a story about how a fire got lit inside himself as a child.

IMG_2049After seeing Garth Brooks in Houston as a young boy, Mike Eli told his parents, “This is what I want to do with my life. As you can imagine I had two very different reactions to this news. Mom on one had said, ‘Son, you go out there and you follow your dreams.’ This is the part where I knew she was lying to me. She said, ‘If anybody can do it, you can.’ I was ten years old. Dad on the other hand said, ‘Son, for the last ten years of your life, I’ve been working three jobs for you to have an opportunity for you to go to college or just make something with your life. I promise to the good Lord right here and now, if you do not go to college, I will kick your ass.’ So I went to college and the first week I met these guys and we formed a band. This song is for all you dreamers out there (Even if it Breaks Your Heart).”

“In the music business, sometimes you wonder whether or not you picked the right tunes, but every now and again you write a song that makes you feel like you belong here. I wrote this song, it’s absolutely one of my favorite songs I’ve been a part of writing. I wrote this song with Mr. James Young (guitarist). We wrote this song about a girl named Guinevere.”

They share more of their journey as a band at http://www.eliyoungband.com/#/about :

large.vdd1sucgzAw3vsjOopu0BJ5yfCq9p2b91rH1vpVYMrEWith three No. 1 hits under their belt as well as a Grammy nomination and an Academy of Country Music Award for Song of the Year for their hit “Crazy Girl,” the Eli Young Band approached their second Republic Nashville album, 10,000 Towns, with a sense of confidence and purpose.  “We knew what we wanted and how to get what we wanted.” It’s been a long, steady rise for Jones, Thompson, lead vocalist Mike Eli and guitarist James Young, but the same four musicians have been together from the start and are now reaping the rewards.

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“This record (10,000 Towns) was a lot more upbeat than our previous records,” agrees Young. “We really wanted to record songs that are going to be fun to play live and fun for our fans watching the show. We were thinking about our live show and how these songs are going to translate on the set list. That was a priority in our minds too when we chose songs for this record. We’ve also learned to really follow our gut when it comes to songs and song choices. We’ve always had a good sense of what songs are going to work on the record and which ones aren’t.”

large.bK7alTdvGfhAnOfAxbnNOomeioJvlLSGE5pMEmyXBUYThere have been many miles over the years for the Eli Young Band and that’s why 10,000 Towns felt like the right title for their new effort. “There’s a general theme between small town America where every town is different, but in some ways, they are the same,” says Young. “We felt like the title encapsulated the best years of us driving all over the country playing music.”

large.AxWElXT8t8Ztd1PWxMDKd0bNivg3pdllBwlQrPXnUy0Eli agrees. “We’ve traveled all over the country and to other countries, but at the end of the day we all party the same way no matter what the culture or the town,” he says. “To us, ‘10,000 Towns’ is a great way to sum up this record in that way as well as who we are. We love traveling around the country and seeing all that and being a band of road dogs.”

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Lauren with Eli Young Band guitarist James Young

The Eli Young Band has worked hard to get to this point and is enjoying their current success the same way they earned it together. “We’ve surpassed the friend mark now and it’s more like brothers. It’s really kind of a blood bond between the four of us,” Jones says. “We set out to do this as a career and made the commitment to each other a long time ago and here we are 14 years later. None of us can imagine doing anything else.”

 

Listen to their new single Saltwater Gospel:

 

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To connect with Eli Young Band follow them at:

https://www.facebook.com/eliyoungband

https://twitter.com/eliyoungband

https://www.youtube.com/user/EliYoungBandVEVO

https://www.instagram.com/eliyoungband/

 

 

 

 

Creative Musician, Eddy Mann, is Lead Naturally by Faith, Peace and Love

Eddy Mann is a creative musician, songwriter, Dig Love - Back Cover with Text1worship leader, teacher, speaker, coach, husband and father led by faith. His life and music has constant vision of hope, peace and understanding through the eyes of a loving heart. As a musician and songwriter it was twenty years ago that he made the decision to offer his creative gifts to God. Since then he’s released seven CD’s and written countless songs for the church and world at large. On any weekend you can find him in a coffeehouse, in concert, at a conference, and/or leading worship.

His new fall album, The Consequence, the follow up to 2014’s Dig Love, will once again touch on the theme of a peaceful and loving existence, while delving into the consequences of our actions. Musically it continues down the path that Dig Love charted staying close to the Americana, roots rock, and singer-songwriter traditions.

 Q. Take me back to the beginning of your career, can you tell me how you found your love and talent for music and how you decided to make it a career aspiration?

1412707172_dsc_9047d A. “In high school someone put a guitar in my hands and it changed everything. I was a really shy child growing up. It wasn’t until I played guitar did I feel confidence. In the beginning I wasn’t very good, but for some reason I still had confidence and could express myself without any reservation. So it was a natural thing for me. In college while studying business, I realized I needed to be on the road to get this out of my system. I realize now, it will never be out of my system. It was a journey that developed and blossomed quickly for me.”

“I took some time off when my children were young. I went back to school and was an educator for a number of years. (During this time) An assistant Pastor at a church got ahold of one of my albums, he enjoyed it and asked me to start a new service at the church.”

13346797_1113910518673806_6510432677000795575_nQ. What or who played an important role in developing your career goals and making the decision to take fate into your own hands to pursue a career in music?

 A. “My father played piano when I was growing up, so there was music in the house. I have music genes from him and my mother was a creative person. I knew I would do something creatively. There was also a teacher who saw something in me and put it inside of me that if I work hard at anything, I could achieve. It was focused on my efforts. Later on as I grew in my faith, the spirit put it in me that there’s no reason to expect I wouldn’t be successful. I have no doubts and I’m inspired each day to create and see what will come out next.”

12472578_1074338315964360_7778245011272862175_n“When I started I was infatuated with the instrument. I listened and studied all the guitar greats in the past. Then it occurred to me what was getting me out of bed was the creative part of song writing. So began to dig into the great songwriters of the past. Try to understand why certain song resonated with people. I grew up listening to all types of music. When it came time for me to write I started naturally to write in different styles. Whatever we experience in our lifetime becomes part of the fabric of who we are so whenever we are creative it comes out naturally.”

Q. What do you enjoy or look forward to most about recording or performing music?

13000074_1083265295071662_2185276098055955125_nA. “I’ll be honest, when I picked up the guitar back in high school what I enjoyed most were the girls. As I became a professional, I thought it was cool I could make a living doing this. My career evolved from being a professional musician to a songwriter. Being able to write and touch other people. Being able to relate to other people who want to be creative or seek a career in music. It’s wonderfully humbling to touch other people in a spiritual way.”

 

Q. What is a memorable experience for you in your music career and how has it impacted you?

13501619_1122758784455646_173372817369482414_nA. “I was doing a concert when a came in who lost her husband to cancer. She just wanted to get out of the house, saw an advertisement for the concert, checked out my music online and decided to come. We had a wonderful conversation on how she was lifted up, touched and felt a little bit better from the songs.”

“God does provide a moment to lift you up and give you strength keep you going. To continue on even when it seems the world isn’t listening. The latest album, Dig Love, was written during a season when I was watching the news and disappointed there was lack of compassion in the world. The songs came out naturally. Sometimes it can be a negative situation that spawns a positive result. I didn’t’ enjoy what I was hearing, but I found the songs were positive and trying to find a peaceful type of love.”

Q. What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream or desire, but is struggling with taking the steps to make them a reality?

A. “It’s valuable to enjoy the journey when things aren’t going well is the secret for me. My father gave me advice when I was a young boy that whatever way I decide to deal with the problems in my life, that would determine how happy I was going to be because there was always going to be another problem. So as a m13692670_1143896689008522_1831684960727790498_nusician and creative person, my career is never still. It’s always changing and evolving just like our lives are. At one moment we could be in the deepest valley and five minutes later we could be on top of the mountain. For someone just starting out, the arts are tough because people judge the arts in ways they shouldn’t be judged. When I was teaching, I would challenge people to find the creative part of their brain and use it. You can’t get down because one person doesn’t like something you wrote or played or if you can’t get work right away. You just have to enjoy the journey and where you are at now. Perhaps write about where you are at now. There isn’t one person other than God that’s going to put a stamp on whether or not you have been successful in this life. We are all struggling in our own skin, to find our own way. I have written music that touches one person and goes write by another person.”

Q. Can you tell me some of your exciting plans for the rest of the 2016? What goals do you have for your career?

13394186_1117506521647539_2782671788078613813_nA. “I am looking to travel and play more. I’ve done a lot of recording in the past year and some projects are going to be released. I have a collection of worship pieces that are being released in September called Re:Prize. In November, I have the follow up to Dig Love being released called The Consequence. So I have a lot of new things I’m excited about. I have my plans, but I wont be surprised at all if there are some unexpected turns. I’m excited and confident about the future in what I’m doing and pleased I’m being used by God.”

Follow Eddy Mann on social media to stay updated on music and shows:

www.eddymann.com

https://twitter.com/eddy_mann

www.facebook.com/eddymann.musician/

Instagram: @eddy_mann

Country Music is Life to Swedish Artist TJ Leonard

By Lauren Schwab

TJ poseCountry music is life to Swedish country singer and songwriter, TJ Leonard. His first guitar was given from his grandfather at eight years old. He was taught to play Swedish folk music and evergreens. Soon, TJ was introduced to pop and blues through his cousin who played in a famous Swedish pop band. At eighteen, TJ became lead singer and guitar player in a dance band. Many genres have passed through TJ’s life from Jazz, hard rock, gospel, soul and R&B, but not until country music came along, did it feel like home.

Q. Take me back to the beginning of your career, can you tell me how you found your love and talent for music and how you decided to make it a career aspiration?_MG_5679_web

 A. “I started quite early with my grandpa. He taught me how to play old songs he used to play with his band in the 40’s and 50’s, from Swedish folk songs to Jazz songs with Swedish lyrics. Later on I got into blues and rock. I played Swedish dance band for a while, I was the lead singer and guitar player. The love for music came naturally because most of the people in my family are musicians. I attended music school for two years; I met many people in the music industry and decided to move forward with my career. A couple obstacles came in the way; I stopped singing for a while and wrote music for other artists. I felt like something was missing and went back.”

Q. What or who played an important role in developing your career goals and making the decision to take fate into your own hands to pursue a career in country music?

1902011_857672057611436_3183950816502447715_nA. “Country music is my life. I started to write country music and formed a band called Chestnut. We toured Sweden and Denmark, but we began to have scheduling issues due to family, so I decided to be on my own.

I had a lot of inspirations from other genres as well. I love Stevie Wonder, west coast rock bands, Jazz artists like Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. When I first heard Keith Urban’s song, Somebody Like You. It sounded like a mix of country and pop. Sweden likes pop so it caught me. I began to listen to traditional country. Today I listen to Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and Chris Young.”

Q. What do you enjoy or look forward to most about recording or performing music?

A10606274_815931751785467_2315287319220578592_n“For a while, I stopped doing anything with music and focused on my ‘regular’ career at a computer shop. I just had to go back to music, it felt like something was missing. It’s become a lifestyle. If I don’t write music, sing or play, I’m not me. What I love most about it is meeting people in the studio and all the fantastic musicians. I like being on stage and wish I could be on stage more.”

 

12208348_1062787930433180_2929162927833986829_nQ. What is a memorable experience for you in your music career and how has it impacted you?

A. “I was performing in Nashville in the fall of 2014. I had a charity event to raise money for kids with cancer. It was great to be apart of and meet all the good musicians. To come to Nashville and visit was awesome.”

Q. What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream or desire, but is struggling with taking the steps to make them a reality?10869422_883986364980005_3321199250078499834_o

A. “It’s hard to have your voice heard today. There are so many voices out there and because of the computers, everything sounds so good nowadays. All demos almost sound like a record. For all the record labels and people in the music business, I guess it’s quite hard for them to choose. I think you have to be consistent in doing what you believe in and just go forward in doing it. Everything started to happen for me when I found a good manager. When I talked to Michael Stover about what I wanted, everything started to happen because of his contacts. You have to have a product to sell, so go forward and be consistent in doing what you believe.”

1477439_660325674012743_1975331614_nQ. Can you tell me some of your exciting plans for the rest of the 2016? What goals do you have for your career?

A. “I hope I can perform more. I will go to Nashville in September because I am nominated in five categories for the award show. I am working on a new album and there should be a single released before I go to Nashville.”

 


12291193_1075091979202775_2804926332990082643_oFollow TJ Leonard on social media to stay updated on his music and performances:

www.tjleonardcountry.com                                                                www.twitter.com/tjlcountry                              https://www.facebook.com/tjleonardchestnut/?fref=ts          https://www.youtube.com/user/teejayleonard

 

The Richard Lynch Band is Keepin’ It Country, Enjoy Country Music As It Was Meant To Be

By Lauren Schwab

cd-coverRichard Lynch stands out in the crowd as a proud member of the last of a dying breed, the pure country music artist. His rock solid country roots span three decades. It comes up with the sun each morning, it settles in the music he writes and the songs he sings. The spirit of Lynch is attached to the workingman’s soul. It’s real and it’s timeless. It’s country, the way country was meant to be.

2377651Living the life he sings about is what gives Lynch the edge as a singer and songwriter. He is a designer and builder of amazing barns and an American farmer. Performing at hundreds of shows a year across the country has shaped him into a one-of-a-kind performer. His style is true and it carries into his live shows. Much like his music alone, a live performance of the Richard Lynch Band is something you feel. It’s something you carry with you when you walk away.

2377704If country music is a gift that sustains in our lives wherever we go, Richard Lynch is the messenger. Backed by a group of hand selected country musicians, the Richard Lynch Band performs a wide variety of music for the true traditionalist. Ranging from pure country, western swing, rockabilly, outlaw country and hard driving honky tonk, their performance will surely warm your country soul.

Q. Take me back to the beginning of your career, can you tell me how you found your love and talent for music and how you decided to make it a career aspiration?

2377649A. “My dad was a well- established country music entertainer. He played with the likes of Bobby Bare, Glen Campbell and the Osborne Brothers. I was always around that great music and influenced by my dad. At the ripe old age of eight, he invited me up to sing a song with him and his band. At that point, I was bit really hard by the country music bug, I have been doing it ever since. It’s just a thing of passion. I love the folks in country music. My direction is to keep the traditional sounds alive and well. We are pretty fortunate we’ve had a little bit of success with that direction. We are finding there are a lot of folks out there that really love good traditional sounding country music.”

Q. What or who played an important role in developing your career goals and making the decision to take fate into your own hands to pursue a career in country music?3299687

A. “I’ve always been around the agricultural way of life. I grew up on a farm. I’ve always had that farming passion as well as my music so I always kept in farming and made sure we had a good means of living. It’s a hard working occupation, but by doing that, it helped keep direction with my music. My biggest musical influences are Conway Twitty and Keith Whitley. They are the cream of the crop of the country sound that I love. Their message is real, a genuine from the heart type of story to go along with it.”

3869701Q. What do you enjoy or look forward to most about recording or performing music?

A. “I love recording, but the most enjoyable aspect of this country music career we have chose is after the show, to meet the folks and shake their hand. We just enjoy meeting them, seeing different folks from around the country. We are just down home country folks who love a good country song. We like sharing our music with folks like that, who have a same mindset. Just keeping real country music out there today. Meeting real country folks is all the pay I really need and something I enjoy.”

2530138Q. What is a memorable experience for you in your music career and how has it impacted you?

A. “I got the opportunity to open up for a band called Shenandoah. They had the number one song at that time called Two Dozen Roses. The crowd was amazing. We were fixing to go off stage and they asked us to stay around to watch the rest of the show. So we did and then we were going to leave when Marty from Shenandoah said, ‘You guys ain’t going no where.’ They insisted on us sitting with them, signing autographs and being part of their success. That was something really special for us, a life long memory for me. It’s something I’ve always appreciated them doing for me. When we have youngsters today at our shows, we make sure we treat them exceptionally well because we like the way we were treated.”3299692

Q. What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream or desire, but is struggling with taking the steps to make them a reality?

A. “The only advice I would give to young folks is to stick with their heart if country music is their true passion. Don’t take no for an answer. I’ve had folks tell me, ‘No you can’t do this or that.’ It makes you stronger because your determination will take you the direction you want to go. Do what you want to do, this music thing is a wide-open business and you’ll have success with it.”

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Q. Can you tell me some of your exciting plans for the rest of the 2016? What goals do you have for your career?

A. “Our schedule is really full. We travel all over the country to play these days. As far as a goal, towards the end of this year we are hoping to be back in the studio to record our new album. We are putting together songs and different tunes now we can consider. We’ve had a whole lot of success with our current one, so we’re going to make sure we keep our momentum going. Something to look forward to is meeting those folks who buy your records and merchandise and really love what you’re doing.”

 

3299683You can see the Richard Lynch Band live at his Keepin’ It Country barn on his farm in Waynesville, Ohio. Stay up to date on music and performances at:

http://www.richardlynchband.com   https://twitter.com/richardlynchbnd www.facebook.com/RichardLynchBand  https://www.youtube.com/user/therichardlynchband

 

 

Texas Country Music Sensation, Madelyn Victoria on Discovering Her Desires and Never Giving Up on Her Dreams

By Lauren Schwab

10153165_10153915216317542_8570498772927982602_n“Country music hits the heart, and feeds the soul; it’s the story of all our lives in one way or another.” That’s Madelyn Victoria’s perspective on the depth of country music and just one of many reasons why this talented young vocalist and songwriter from Deep South Texas decided to pursue a career in the country music industry.

Her talent and desire for singing and performing was evident at an early age, with only a brush as a microphone, and coffee table as a stage, Madelyn would perform for her family singing along to George Strait, Alan Jackson, Selena, and more. “I sing because I believe I have a talent from God and hope to be like a shining light to this world, making as many friends as I can, and to be a role model for young girls and women everywhere.”

13091989_10154753774587542_8611949702670323898_nMadelyn Victoria and her own band perform at local venues, honkytonks, bars, and events in south Texas. “I hope to have my music playing in the background at backyard BBQ’s and at honkytonks, at weddings and parties… and hope my music and songs are able to show people the love of Jesus Christ.” 

Q. Take me back to the beginning of your career, can you tell me how you found your love and talent for music and how you decided to make it a career aspiration?

10446177_10152943122202542_3171390359414246440_o A. “I have been singing my whole life. When I was five years old I sang at a Christmas pageant. I remember thinking how it was so natural for me and I enjoyed it so much. Since then it has been non-stop with talent shows, singing the National Anthem, church choir, lead vocalist in my church and more. I began song writing around 13 years old and my first official song was done by 15 years old. Since I was 16, I always knew I’d be involved in music somehow. I did a talent search with modeling and acting. I was cast for a couple of things, took classes in New York City and won awards there. The first time I was on the big stage, I opened up for the Jonas Brothers. When I was on stage with the roaring crowd and energy, It struck me I knew I would be a professional artist. I am thankful for all the opportunities that come my way. It’s only the beginning, there’s always more to strive for.”

13615200_10154988752762542_1538619292278914483_nQ. What or who played an important role in developing your career goals and making the decision to take fate into your own hands to pursue a career in country music?

 A. “My family supports me and recognizes I need to do this. First and foremost, my mom, dad and brother have really helped me with all the tools and finances I need. This is a business as well; you’re investing in your talents and passion. My family is real big in music on my mom’s side. Hearing them growing up motivated me. No one had done it professionally yet, so I thought maybe I’m the one that needs to do this for my family. I feel like, I have this talent and I’m going to go use it, so I can let their talent soar through and be creative.”

10659035_10153106807897542_574819086126275938_o“As far as musical influences professionally, I like to categorize my influences and myself. One being my voice and who I listen to as far as vocals go. That was a lot of female power singers like Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys. They help cultivate my voice and make my own. Another category being musicality and song writing, how I want to sound. I grew with 90’s country. With George Straight’s music you can’t deny he did something right. I look up to him and Allen Jackson, Randy Travis, Patty Loveless, just 90’s country really gets me. As far as songwriting, Johnny Cash, I love his lyrics. In preforming, I was influenced by Selena Quintanilla-Pérez and Shania Twain. They can captivate a crowd.”

11143107_10153784627052542_6580369658893949301_nQ. What do you enjoy or look forward to most about recording or performing music?

 A. “I love to song write; I can articulate and express myself. In the recording process I get a little nervous. I prefer to perform live. I like the pressure of the outcome and wondering if they will like me.”

Q. What is a memorable experience for you in your music career and how has it impacted you?

200118_10150216698542542_3416527_n A. “The first time I heard myself on the local radio. There is one big station for the whole region where I’m from. Only the big shots get to be played, not all the local artists. The musicians in my region told me, ‘You’re not going to get your music played since you’re just starting off and recorded your first song. You don’t have a record label, you’re an independent artist, you have to go find a station that plays them.’ I had faith and kept going. I would go visit the studio and make friends with them. I didn’t even ask, I just showed up, gave them my EP. They started off a Texas Saturday night special to where they play local artists and played my music. Not only did I accomplish something myself, I opened a door for local artists on a big station. I also enjoy meeting with headline artists I open up for. I take their advice, they tell me to never give up and write about what you love.”

552465_10151217120492542_1461022584_nQ. What advice would you give to someone who may have a dream or desire, but is struggling with taking the steps to make them a reality?

A. “You have to really discover your desire. Once you discover it, everyday proclaim it out loud. I use my words in prayer and talk to God about it. These words you say like, I love to sing, I am going to be a singer and do this. When you say these words out loud it all falls into place. Of course, you have to work at it and make a plan. Use the tools and people around you. I formed a band and am not afraid to talk to people. Don’t be afraid to show the world your talent. You can’t ever give up. There’s a formula. You have to proclaim the word, do the work and never give up because you never know how close you are to reaching your goals.”

13567042_10154978631952542_477061339015121690_nQ. Can you tell me some of your exciting plans for the rest of the 2016? What goals do you have for your career?

A. “I am going to be releasing my second single at the end of the summer. That’s going out to all of Texas, Oklahoma and regions around here on Texas music charts, Texas regional radio report and new music weekly chart. I’m excited it will be going to all three charts and more people will hear my music. We will get a music video out for that song. We are updating everything on my website with graphics and photo shoots for the new single. Then I will go back to Nashville to meet new people and gain new connections. I hope everyone enjoys my new single, it will go to number one; I’m not going to give up!”

Follow Madelyn Victoria on social media to stay up to date on new music and performances:

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/madelynvictoria
Website:http://www.madelynvictoriamusic.com (Already rebuilding a new one)
CMT artist page: http://www.cmt.com/artists/madelyn-victoria/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/madelynvictoria
Instagram: https://instagram.com/madvicval/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qd_hlLELvwuYQ06z6qomQ?view_as=public
YouTube Vevo Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV4fxVi9FAKGP4XRp7BvCdA

 

Kelsea Ballerini is a “Real” Role Model

By Lauren Schwab

Kelsea_Ballerini_-_The_First_Time_album_cover

“Find what empowers you and do it. You legend,” says Kelsea Ballerini to her fans in a private VIP experience. Ballerini is now opening for Rascal Flatts  on their Rhythm and Roots tour. She recently made a stop in Cincinnati. Fans could purchase a VIP ticket to spend time with Ballerini before the show. The experience includes a private concert, Q&A session, photo and gift bag. Her authenticity and appreciation for her fans shines through.

12321361_1065412026849721_5350958919139052614_nBallerini’s breakout hit, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” is just a taste of the country-pop sound in her imaginative catalog. The Knoxville, Tennessee native has dedicated the better part of the last decade to creating inspiring music, based on her life, to motivate others to live without fear of their emotions. Her full-length debut album, The First Time, has Ballerini’s credit behind every song. The album radiates positivity while exploring all facets of the human experience.

images (1)Ballerini’s refreshing approach to music is rooted in a vulnerable place. Turning to songwriting to help her through her parents’ divorce. “I grew up singing at church and glee club at my school. I didn’t start writing songs until I was 12 and it was my favorite thing ever,” Ballerini says, “Life got rocky…and this gift of songwriting just fell into my lap. It was literally this blessing that came at the perfect time. And for me, it’s always been that steady thing in my life that I can always go back to.”

720x405-470126780Songwriting propelled Ballerini forward. At age 15, she moved to Nashville with her mother to pursue music. Ballerini credits persistence to getting her voice heard. “I went to town not knowing anyone. I friended a bunch of people on Facebook that were in the music industry. I would post demos and videos of me singing a song. Someone working at my record label saw it and invited me in. I started there as a writer and wrote songs all the time. I quit school, and just wrote songs. Every time I had one I liked, I would go into his office and play them for him, until finally he was like, alright.”

1401x788-Kelsea-(1100-of-1116)-EditBallerini’s vision, ambition, natural talent, and genuinely positive personality became a buzz on Music Row. “I would meet with anyone that would meet with me,” Kelsea says. “I always approached meetings not expecting anything but just asking for advice. That way I never left disappointed.”

imagesWith a bold approach to life, Ballerini’s connection to her fans comes from an unapologetic authenticity. “Letting yourself feel whatever you need to feel, not protecting yourself from emotion and dealing with it is what makes people, people,” Ballerini says. “It’s what makes writers good writers. It’s important to me to be vulnerable and transparent, that’s when people relate to music best. It’s not sugarcoated and it’s not super pretty. It’s just real.”

On being a role model to other young women Ballerini says, “I’m careful with it, I know the people that I look up to aren’t the people that appear perfect to me, they’re the people that appear real to me. I’m still just starting and trying to figure it all out. But for me, being a role model means being real so the same person on stage is the same person out at dinner and you see anywhere. Having that consistency is what’s important.”

Kelsea-Ballerini-Peter-Pan-Video-still-2016-billboard-650Recently, Ballerini made her Grand Ole Opry debut and is currently co-headlining CMT’s inaugural “Next Women of Country” Tour. “Dreams do come true. I’m seeing it first hand. While I want to do it all, the arena tours and award shows, most of all, I just want to put out good music that matters.” Her album, The First Time, is Ballerini’s first big opportunity to do that. “When I signed the record deal, in my heart I thought, ‘what do you want to say to the world? Because now, there are people who are going to help you say it.’”

 

Here is a look at Ballerini entertaining and encouraging young children to believe in themselves and go after their dreams:

 

Attachment-1Connect with Kelsea Ballerini at www.kelseaballerini.com and follow her on social media to learn of all her music, shows and VIP experiences:

https://www.facebook.com/kelseaballerini and https://twitter.com/KelseaBallerini

Photo credit to Kelsea Ballerini social media and additional quotes to bio at http://www.kelseaballerini.com

Monroeville Inspires the Next Generation to Make Music of Their Own

By Lauren Schwab

“I was determined to carve out a music of my own. I didn’t want to copy anybody.” These words and music by the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe, inspired Matt Munsey from a young age to do just that.

12363115_986785164693336_8228418364465349680_oNow a GRAMMY® nominated producer and engineer, Munsey strives to inspire the next generation by heading  the band Monroeville, a group of talented multi-instrumentalists and vocalists from diverse musical backgrounds. Building upon their 2012 International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Band of the Year Award, Monroeville shows off their musical precision to premiere an all original rock / alternative project by featuring traditional acoustic instruments as a basis to create a sound all their own. 

12813924_1030526866985832_423026416295532401_nAt the band’s core is a belief that good music knows no boundaries. While paying homage to their roots of bluegrass and country music, Monroeville embraces that history and creates their own sound with original songwriting and arrangements that have been described as “a seamless flow through a range of musical styles and sounds, from bluegrass to country and pop.”

I talked with Munsey following a performance at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

10914848_829672030404651_4931998254454435097_oQ. What are your goals for the band and what do you enjoy most about it?

A. “Obviously we like creating music, we like playing together and entertaining people. Really the whole goal behind what we’re trying to do is a couple of things. First of all, we want to be an inspiration musically to young people because we were inspired at one point. I think it’s our responsibility to carry that inspiration on to inspire another generation to pick up and learn to play music. Then the other goal is to promote positive values in music. We aren’t a gospel band, but we try to promote songs that have some kind of a message that can uplift somebody, encourage them in a way or have a story you can learn from. So those are the two goals in what we are doing.”

10338342_282727385239378_4450270630541439334_nQ. What advice would you give to someone else who has a passion for music and is struggling with taking the steps to get started and get their voice heard?

A. “You have to really really want to do it, because it is probably the hardest thing you can choose to do. It’s not a typical job; you don’t just show up. You’re working for yourself. You never under appreciate what you think you’re worth. People don’t understand the amount of time that goes into just playing and singing. Years and years of practicing to get to a point where you can actually do it good, but never quit. If it’s what you want, don’t stop, you can always find a way.”

10398099_717925911579264_2244424066673984144_nIt is clear with Munsey’s lead, Monroeville is making new waves in music. Munsey feels he has been developing musically in his own way. He refers to it as, “Music that has always been in me but hasn’t had a chance to come out.” He wants to be original and that means getting away from what everybody else is doing. Monroeville recently recorded music in a New York City studio. Munsey had written a song and wanted to have orchestration written for it. Their single Save Me is just the start of their new sound, Monroeville fans will patiently be waiting for more. Their music will continue to uplift and inspire others to follow their dreams and make the most of the life they are given.


To keep up with Munsey and Monroeville visit their website and follow their social media pages:

1383046_1030527706985748_259649265986028435_nhttp://monroevilleband.com                                                      https://facebook.com/MattMunseyMusic                             https://facebook.com/monroevilleband/                                             http://twitter.com/MattMunsey                                                                     http://twitter.com/monroevilleband                                                             http://youtube.com/monroevilleband                                                  MonroevilleVEVO

Photo Credit to Monroeville social media

 

 

 

Christina Grimmie In Christ Alone

By Lauren Schwab

“Owl City’s cover of this inspired me to sing this for you guys. Easter is one of my faaaaaavorite holidays! JESUS CHRIST IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR and i’m not at all ashamed of it,” commented Christina.

hqdefaultI first heard Christina sing when I searched for the song “In Christ Alone” on You Tube. I was immediately captivated by her voice and love for the Lord. I began downloading her music and listened to it will taking a shower and getting ready to go out all the time. Her music always put me in a good mood. Christina truly used the talent God gave her to honor him and uplift others. She lived out the calling on her life until her last moment when she was called home.

 

1143289-Christina-Grimmie-Shani-Barel-Desser-617-309I was saddened and shocked to learn of her death. There is so much evil, hate and violence in this world. Heaven is a perfect place and I know with out a doubt Christina is singing with the Lord now. It is unfortunate her life ended so soon. She gave the world so much during the short time she was here. I will be inspired by her life everyday. She will serve as a constant reminder to love and honor the Lord by fulfilling my purpose in life.

 

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Know one knows when it will be our last day. Let us life life to the fullest. Every moment we choose to me mad, ungrateful, insecure, and afraid are moments wasted. Let’s strive to make as many moments as we can joyful, grateful, confident and brave. I thank God for blessing the world with Christina. In Christ alone, my hope it found. In Christ alone I stand.