September 25, 2013

New Music!

     It's hard to contain my excitement as I write this post. But, before I dig too far into this blog, I need to say Thank You. To you. Yes, You reading this blog right this second. It's because of you that I look forward to 20+ hours on the road. It's because of you that I want to get up in the morning and write a new song, make a new video, post a new photo. You're more than a supportive fan, you're a friend. You are always there sharing posts, spreading the word about my shows and music, or just dropping a note on Facebook to say hi or that a song means a lot to you or that you're thinking of me. You're family. You inspire me. You make me want to give my all and leave my heart on stage night after night. You make me want to be a better artist and songwriter. I promised you new music if you helped me increase my Facebook Fan Page likes, you delivered and now it's my turn to hold up my end of the bargain! Thank you for all of your support and for just simply caring about me and what I do. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

     Now that I got all of that out... the moment WE'VE all been waiting for- NEW MUSIC! Below is a link to 2 songs that I've written over the past year. I wanted to choose two songs to share with you as a way to say Thank You for all of your support. Visit the link below the post and you can stream the songs for FREE- as many times as you'd like!

For those of you who are interested about the songs and the inspiration behind them, here are their stories.

(E.Minor/ K.Williams)

     I wrote this song with my dear friend, Kipp Williams. He is a wonderful writer, FULL of excitement about what he does and he is always looking for a new sound and feel when we sit down to write. He is also responsible for helping me pen "Good Luck Finding Me". Whenever I'm in the mood for a fun, uplifting song- he's my guy. "Feel Good Love Song" is just a super fun, sing-along song. It's a "roll the windows down, live in the moment, feel good" song- hence, the name. It's about a fresh, new relationship and all the excitement and spontaneity that comes with young love. It's about getting away with the one you love and just having a good time with a radio and each other. This is song is SO fun to sing and I have the best time playing it with a band! I hope you enjoy it!

(E. Minor/ J. Speight)

"Pieces of You" has to be my favorite song that I've ever had a hand in writing. Not only does it mention so many personal references but I had the chance to write it with my husband, John. We both lived in small town Greenville, NC for quite sometime. When we moved to Nashville, we learned of a couple in Greenville, Lindsay and Spencer Hampton. We don't know the couple personally, but we quickly caught wind of their truly inspiring story. Lindsay and Spencer were high school sweethearts and Spencer was eventually diagnosed with multiple brain tumors. Through it all, Lindsay stayed by his side and together they stayed grounded in their faith. Lindsay and Spencer married in April 2012. In June, Spencer passed away. The entire town rallied around Lindsay and Spencer and their families in support throughout Spencer's journey. Spencer forever lives on in the hearts of his friends and family and in the town of Greenville, NC. When John and I heard of their story, it really hit home for us. We had just gotten married ourselves and it saddened us to think of any precious time being taken from us with each other. We started to talk about what life would be like everyday without the other. Through our talking together, we both agreed that it would be the most difficult thing to have to face but with the memories we've made and the little things that remind us of the other, we would find peace. That night, we wrote "Pieces of You" and really wanted to incorporate specific, personal details to truly capture the story. I hit the "snooze button" of the alarm clock 100 times before I actually get out of bed and John loves his frosted flakes in the morning so that's where the first line began. We recently visited Baton Rouge and New Orleans in the last year and John has this one dirty, old, worn out baseball hat that he wears everywhere so we added those details to make it relatable for us. Although these things are very personal to us, anyone who has lost a spouse can relate to this song. You've been places, you have you're routines you shared, you have memories- and through all of the pieces that create what you shared, you start to find peace. 
*We don't know Lindsay personally, but to anyone who does- feel free to share this song and story with her. 

I hope you enjoy these new songs and I can't wait to get more out to you... stay tuned!

Also, Special Thanks to Scott Trayer for producing & mixing these demos (and for the backup vocals!)

Visit the link below to stream the songs for FREE- as many times as you'd like!


September 16, 2013

Me & Parmalee

Hi Friends!

     I finished yet another show with Parmalee (Broken Bow Records) this weekend! I've had the pleasure of opening for these guys twice and both times were super fun and just overall great! I first opened for the guys in Wilmington, North Carolina. This show was especially near and dear to me since most of you know, Wilmington is my hometown. It was so wonderful seeing so many familiar faces. I REALLY felt so much support from the town (thanks Wilmington, love y'all!). I have known the Parmalee guys for a few years now through my husband, John and having ties to Greenville, North Carolina (their hometown- Go Pirates!).  This past weekend, together we played the White Oak Amphitheater in Greensboro, North Carolina. Although I have always heard and known of these guys to be very down to earth and friendly, this was my first interaction with them since signing their big record deal and having two songs ("Musta Had A Good Time" and "Carolina") to hold places in within the Top 50 of the country music charts (check out their newest single, Carolina- still climbing the charts!), I was anxious to see if the fame and attention had rusted their "down home, one of the boys" character- as fame tends to sometimes do. Well, let me just say that these boys are EXACTLY the same as they were before receiving radio play, touring, and signing a deal. They were so kind and friendly to me as well as my band. Not only were they very humble and fun- but the crew they traveled with were equally as friendly and kind. You won't find any egos with this bunch of guys. Not to mention, their show is wonderful! I had not had a chance to see the guys perform since the college bar days and I have always thought they were talented musicians and songwriters. These days, if you get a chance to see a show, you can expect:  a lot of high energy sing-along songs, an intimate, broken down acoustic set in between, and one big party! I had a chance to watch them from the audience and backstage and I can't emphasize enough how humble and courteous these boys are.
     Above all, the guys of Parmalee are extremely inspiring. Anyone who knows of the band or has followed them over the years understands the journey these boys have taken to reach where they are now. This was no overnight success. These boys are hardworking and seem very appreciative of where they are now.  They truly opened my eyes to the work it takes to break into this business and gave me a new perspective and outlook towards my own career goals. I can't thank these guys enough for sharing the stage with me and I look forward to more shows together. They have given me a wonderful experience, exposure to new fans, and most of all- hope.

(Me & Parmalee- 2013 Wilmington, NC)

     For more information about Parmalee, visit the official website Download the new single "Carolina" on iTunes today.


June 27, 2013

The Green Machine

Many of you know that I have a "Green Smoothie" everyday- usually for breakfast but sometimes I will have a bowl of oatmeal and hold off on my smoothie until lunch or snack time. But, I typically have a Green Smoothie everyday at some point. Many of you have been asking for the recipe so, I thought I would blog about it! I LOVE smoothies and I specifically love this one because it is so easy to consume a daily serving of fruits and veggies in one delicious drink. I've found that this smoothie is great for many reasons and health benefits.

1. It's GOOD for you! No unnecessary added sugar and no heavy dairy products (I'm not knocking yogurt and milk based smoothies, I typically tend to stay away from too much dairy in general for health reasons and vocal reasons).

2. It's filling. It's a great grab-and-go snack and it satisfies my appetite in the morning or during the day. It's great for anyone trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

3. It's GREAT for your skin and complexion! After drinking one of these everyday for about 2 weeks, I started to notice a difference in my skin- like it was glowing!

4. It's cheap to make! All of the ingredients needed will last a week or two in your home or refrigerator! Also, most of the veggies and fruit needed for the smoothie you can enjoy on their own too with meals or a snack!

Here is the Recipe:
*Makes enough for 2-3 days worth of smoothie. (1 glass per day- about 12oz.)
- About 150 calories per serving.

* Tip: I don't add ice to my smoothies so I like to make them the night before and enjoy the next day so that they've had hours to chill in the fridge.

What you'll Need:

  • Bag of Fresh Spinach (find this in the produce aisle near the salad.)
  • Celery (2-3 stalks)
  • Bag of green Granny Smith apples (2-3 for one pitcher of smoothie)
  • Bananas (need 1 for one batch)
  • Lemon Juice (1-2 tbsp)
  • 2 cups of Water

- Fill a blender pitcher with 2 cups of water.

- Add as much spinach as you like. I use a VERY large handful of baby spinach from a bag. Don't let the spinach scare you,  it really doesn't have much of a taste. Besides you're going to add some yummy fruit that will change the flavor of your smoothie. Blend until you basically have green water.

- Next, cut up 2-3 stalks of celery and add. Blend.

- Cut up 2-3 small granny smith apples. I determine how many based on the size of my apples. If they're all pretty small, I'll use three. If there happens to be a larger one in the bag, I'll use that one and a small one. You decide, you can't mess this up! Add the apple slices and blend.

- Add 1 whole, peeled banana. Blend.

-Add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Fresh squeezed if possible but juice from the bottle is fine too.  I add this to taste. Sometimes I feel the smoothie needs more so I'll add more. Blend.

You should have a full pitcher of what we call "Green Slime" in our house. Feel free to add any berries you have too. Blueberries, Strawberries, frozen mixed berries- all will be good! I remove the blender top and cover the blender with plastic wrap and a rubberband around the plastic wrap to give it a good seal.

** After the smoothie has been sitting in the fridge, sometimes the juices tend to "separate". Just giving it a good stir with a spoon or putting the top on and blending it for a second will stir all of these juices back up and you can enjoy!


April 10, 2013

The House That Built Me

I used to go back to 105 Long John Silver Drive in Wilmington, NC whenever I would hear Miranda Lambert sing "House That Built Me". My mind would wander back to that cul-de-sac with the ice cream man, the tree house in the neighbors backyard, and the miles and miles I used to ride on my bicycle through that neighborhood. Today in Nashville, I was packing up my house to move to our new home. I was listening to Pandora when Miranda's #1 hit came on rotation. In the middle of my tiny kitchen, filled with boxes of newspaper and casserole dishes, I dropped to the floor and started to cry. Two years ago, My husband and I loaded up our apartment, filled a moving truck with couches, curtains, and memories- and made the trip to "music city" with a promise to ourselves that we would make a living doing what we love. Two years ago, I moved into this little house in west Nashville. I moved with the feeling of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. I moved with excitement for a new life and hope for success, I also moved in the middle of a snow storm. What normally takes 12 hours in car, took three days. Even after we did get to Nashville, the moving truck was still a week late because of the snow storm. It didn't really matter because we could live without our couch and coffee table for a week- until I realized that I had packed most of my underwear in my dresser- in the moving truck!

     I started my career in this little house in west Nashville. It was the first place that I laid my head when I got to town. The first cold shower that I took after this major step forward in my life- it was cold because the water heater was already broken when we moved in- along with the toilet and washer and dryer. Sounds real welcoming, huh? But once we settled in, fixed things that were broken, and hung a few memories and curtains on the wall, things started to look up and seemed very promising for us. Today, while Miranda Lambert sang through my laptop about her dog in the backyard, her bedroom, and Better Homes & Gardens Magazine- I walked around my little house in Nashville and an empty feeling came over me. For the first time, I was sad to leave my little house. Maybe this was the house that built me. It was in the living room that I wrote my single, "Good Luck Finding Me." I sat in the leather chair with Kipp Williams and an idea. An idea for a song of heartbreak and revenge but an idea that maybe someone else in the world could relate to it too. I had no idea that when I stepped out on stage each weekend to sing it that so many familiar faces and strangers would stand there and sing it back to me, word for word, night after night. It was in the bedroom of this little house in Nashville that I laid there crying, asking God WHY he put such a crazy idea in my head- to move to an unfamiliar town with a dream with thousands of other hopefuls. It was the bed that I laid in each night to rest my bones from a weekend of hard work and playing to devoted fans. It was here, at the kitchen table that I sat practicing over and over again the songs that I would soon record on my first album. The same kitchen that I sit in now writing this blog. The bathroom mirror listened to me while I stared back repeating, "I will not give up on myself, I will not give up on my music." The windows were always there for me to look out of and dream about my friends and family back home when I needed to escape reality. It's the bedroom floor that I sat on, with my head in my hands wondering how I was going to keep going when this job got tough. It's the oven that I cooked our first meal on as a wife. It's the office that my husband sits in day after day working hard to make this dream happen for me, Calling venue after venue so that I can be heard and seen. These walls were the first hear all of the great songs that we have written. The hardwood floors have heard every laugh, every fear, every disagreement between my husband and I. It's the first house we came home to and began our life together as husband and wife back in October. This laundry room washed the miles, cigarette smoke, and the smell of bars and beer out of my clothes weekend after weekend. This is the same house that I couldn't wait to leave, to find a bigger home with more convenience, yet still couldn't wait to get back to when I'm gone and on the road.

     I hope the new family that finds this home makes as many wonderful memories here as we did. I hope these walls and rooms find them comfort through trying times and I hope there are many laughs and smiles shared here. I will always cherish my days spent on that cul-de-sac in Wilmington, North Carolina. Those long adolescent days created the adult that I am today. But 20 years from now, when I tell my now unborn babies about the time I spent in Nashville, the songs I wrote, the places that I've traveled, the honky-tonks and barstools that I sat in, my stories will always begin with the little house in west Nashville.


Welcome to My World!

Hi Everyone!

     Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blog. Everyone in the music industry preaches about getting close to your fans, getting in their face, becoming their friends, being personal with them. So, I started thinking, Why not start a blog? I manage my own twitter and Facebook accounts but occasionally my team posts on my behalf for promotions and what not. Well, you wont find that here. On this blog, my intent is to be able to pour my soul out about whatever I want to YOU- my friends, my family, and my supporters. Somedays I may blog about the business, new exciting things happening with my music and songs thats I'm working on. But most days you can probably count on getting the real, raw me talking about whatever personal things I feel like sharing that day. On stage, I am a free spirit pouring my heart out with no reservations. At home, I am usually a little more reserved and closed off to people that I'm not familiar with, so sharing myself with you is a big deal to me. I hope this blog entertains you, inspires you, and most of all does not bore you. I hope to really connect with you, to not only learn more about myself through this process but to learn more about you, the people that I work for! Thank you for giving me an AMAZING job and for all of the love and support that you have thrown my way. I look forward to this new experience with you!