About Last Saturday!!!

Hey folks, so, this past Saturday January 14th was full of stuff so let’s just dive right in. My day started off around 1 pm when I woke up. I had rehearsal with my band at 2 so I needed to prepare. (Yes, I got out of the bed at 1:00 pm. Don’t judge. I’m a musician!) This was a particularly exciting rehearsal because I was going to meet my new bass player for the first time. Remember the last post where I was belly aching about losing my old standby, Andrew? Anyway, the new guy’s name is Osbert Osborne. I was told he was good so I was anxious.

Now, get this…It turns out that 20 something years ago, Andrew, my former bass player had gone to see Lee Fields in concert. Andrew had just started playing the bass and wasn’t that seasoned yet. So, he saw the bass player that Lee Fields was using and was completely mesmerized by that guy’s talent. Guess who that guy was…OSBERT OSBORNE!!!  And now he’s with me…I can’t make this stuff up folks. These little “coincidences” are constant confirmation that I am on the right path. Side note *I don’t believe in coincidence. I just used the word for lack of a better one. EVERYTHING happens for a reason.*

Anyway, it turns out that Osbert also played with the group SLAVE for a while. So, yet again, change has proven to be a positive thing! So, we rehearsed and everything went well. We will be getting together again this coming Saturday. I think I will video some of it and share it with you.

As soon as I finished rehearsal, I had to hurry and get dressed to make it to this…

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Now, I wasn’t on this show but so many of my friends were that I had to see them. The only one I hadn’t met was Wilson Meadows and I STILL didn’t get to meet him unfortunately. By the time he came out of his dressing room to go on stage, my stomach had already led me to the fish plates they were selling outside. I hadn’t eaten all day and that plate gave me a new lease on life but I digress!!!  #StillMyLove

I actually got to sit and talk awhile with my Southern Soul Godmother (her unofficial title in my head) Nellie “Tiger” Travis. #IfIBackItUp It was REALLY great to see her again. We talked about everything from losing weight to cheap jewelry and it was magical.  Just in case you didn’t know, this lovely lady will be appearing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in two more days! He featured her song “Slap Your Weave Off” a few weeks back and now she’s going there to perform it LIVE! That will be Wednesday January 18th @ 11:35 pm on NBC. Make sure you tune in. We need the highest possible ratings for this one. Yes, this is a major move for Nellie but it could also reach back and pull some of the rest of us up as well. If featuring a Southern Soul artist produces high ratings for the show, guess what? THEY WILL KEEP DOING IT!  Our music may finally begin to get the national recognition it deserves and Nellie is blazing that trail. I am honored that she is my friend and I know she will only continue to do great things. Anyway, here we are. (You knew I had a pic!)

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This time, I also got a pic with Roy C. As much as I see him, for some reason I just never took a picture with him. So, here it is…As usual, he put up a great performance. The people still love this living legend and he hasn’t skipped a beat. He still sounds great and is still very entertaining to watch. By the way, I didn’t let him hug me this time 😉

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Now, this is  GOOD so pay close attention. You ready? OK, at the last minute a new act was added to the show…Big Pokey Bear. Yes, Mr. Sidepiece himself. The thing is Maurice Wynn does quite a few cover tunes and “Sidepiece” is one of them. So, no one told Maurice that Pokey was going to be there. AND…that’s right, you guessed it, Maurice decided to do the song. When he started, Pokey was sitting backstage watching Maurice and I had just met Pokey so I was giving him a little background on Maurice…THEN Maurice broke out into “Sidepiece”!! Pokey lifted his head up, immediately jumped out of his seat and headed for the stage! Guess what he did????   HE GOT ON STAGE AND STARTED DANCING TO HIS OWN SONG WHILE MAURICE WAS SINGING IT!!!!

MAAAANNN…..The look on Maurice’s face when he saw Pokey was priceless! It was OK though. The audience got a big kick out of it and you can imagine how we reacted backstage! WHEW!!! Anyway, when Maurice came off the stage, he immediately apologized to Pokey and told him he didn’t know he was there. You know what Pokey said to Maurice? He said, “Man, I’m happy as hell right now. I feel like you paid homage to me. Thank you.” That was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. He told me that this business is all about connections and that he had no problem connecting me with all the good people that he knows.  He also invited me to his studio in Louisiana to work on something with him. And you know me. Have gas, will travel!  lady-in-car  Yes, he also performed “Sidepiece” and the audience still loved it! So needless to say, my first impression of Big Pokey Bear is that he is a lot of fun, humble as hell and just an all around good guy. And check out this smile!

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So, it was a very long day but all in all, it was a great one! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed myself that day. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. When I got home though, I finished up some apple moonshine DJ Heavy had given me and was out like a light!

I’m still working on the new album. I am SURE this one will be better than the first. I want to have it finished in time for this…16105882_247470255680107_6432501024425530013_n

This is a HUGE show that I will be kicking off on July 8th. I’d like to be able to see my new CD there. I know my picture is not on the flyer YET. I am the question mark. HA! I don’t care if I were a cow patty as long as I get to perform. My ego does not need to be stroked!  But, this is only the preliminary flyer. I will be on the updated version. My pic and bio will also be in the program booklets that they will be handing out for this show. I’m sooo excited about this one. I will get to meet and share a stage with even more great artists! Sometimes it’s hard to believe just how fortunate I truly am…..

Anyway, that’s all for now. Keep listening…Thank you all for reading this and if you haven’t already done so, SUBSCRIBE. That way you won’t miss any of my ramblings!

 

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Under New Management!

Hello all! I’m kind of tired of apologizing when I don’t post for a long time so I’m just going to tell you. You probably won’t get a blog post but about once a month! Apparently, that’s all I have in me!  My pattern has shown me that I just don’t have enough to say to post every week or whatever….On the bright side, at least you won’t get tired of me. So, on to why I’m posting today!

I have a new manager! I’m really excited about it because I have been managing myself up until this point and it has not been easy.  I’m starting to realize that me controlling EVERY aspect of my career is not as rewarding as I thought it would be. I am the artist, and that is what I want to be now and not so much the business person.  So, when I realized that I wanted a manager I had to think about a lot of things. First, I had to consider who I believe is trustworthy.  Even if I didn’t know the person well, at the very least I could look at their reputation in the business and form an opinion from that.

I also had to look at who had contacts on BOTH sides of the fence where I do music…Southern Soul and Beach music.  I sooo love doing both that I absolutely needed someone that also had their foot in both doors.  I love Southern Soul because I grew up on it and it makes me remember “The Good Ole Days” of when I was growing up and both of my parents were still around.  I love Beach because when I’m near the water I feel at home and at ease. I can’t explain it but I just feel like I belong there. AND I GET TO SING AND HEAR OTHER BANDS THERE??? GET OUT!!!! It doesn’t get any better than that.

I also wanted someone that has already been pushing me along in my career. This is the part that makes me tear up a little….There have been countless people that I have met on this journey that have seen something in me that I still have a little trouble seeing in myself. And because they see IT, they have thrown their hats in the ring to help and support me in ways that I could have never dreamed of. I feel so honored because these wonderful people didn’t HAVE to do any of it. It’s almost magical because it seems that when I need something, someone just shows up that can help me with that need.  This phenomenon is one of the things that confirms for me that I am doing what I was put here to do. All that to say, I wanted one of my allies.

(Is the suspense killing you yet?)  OK, so I thought about all this stuff and chose someone in my head. I asked and he graciously accepted. I have the paperwork to prove it! Anyway, I love this dude and I’m looking forward to our brand new business relationship. So, without further ado…My new manager is THIS GUY!!!

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That’s right! DJ Heavy…I am now officially a part of Heavy Entertainment! He was really the only one I wanted for this so if he had said no, I would have been crushed. BUT instead, I am ecstatic! So, if you want me, you gotta go through him. I need to get back to work and I know he is the man for the job. I’ve been pretty still for the last couple of months and I’m looking forward to being very busy.

Since I’ve not had many gigs in the last few months, I kind of let my band go by the wayside. The main reason is because I’m losing my star player; my bass player Andrew. He has been there since the beginning and was actually the one who encouraged me to strike out on my own. He was the FIRST one to see “Miss Mini” and was constantly telling me for months that I should be a solo artist. We met a few years back when I was a part of The Rhythm Express band and he came in as the new bass player.  When he saw me perform, he immediately started to ask me for a list of songs that I knew, which is too long so he never got it. BUT he wanted to work with me on other things that he had in mind. A few months went by and we got to know each other and I let him hear some of the stuff I was writing.  One day he looked at me and was like “What are you doing with these guys? You’re a star. You should be doing your own thing.” At first, the thought was a little scary but it obviously grew on me! So, we left the band pretty much at the same time and started working on my solo career.

Turns out he is also a brilliant musician and he was instrumental in helping me on my first album. For many of those songs, it was just the two of us in my studio for hours on end recording. Long story short, he can’t travel with me right now but has promised that he will still do my second album, which is currently in the works. BUT with Andrew also goes the guitar player, who is his son, and the drummer, which was a drum machine that he had programmed. So, I’m back at square one with the band. I’m looking at it as a positive though. I’ve been saying for the longest time that I wanted musicians that were dedicated to me and would put my projects ahead of their own. Now, I have a chance to find them. I can make that one of the things I insist upon before they join. I believe my last keyboard player is solid. I have a few other people in mind so I should be able to pull it off. I don’t know another bass player but I’m sure some of the musicians that I know do know someone. They probably won’t be as good as my Drew but I will learn to live with it…I will surely miss all of the energy and personality he brought to my stage. AND he gave the ladies something to look at while I sang. Did you forget what he looks like? Here’s a reminder.

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*sigh* At least I should be able to promise the new guys pretty consistent work in the coming year. I trust that my new manager with that!

Enough belly aching about that! Every change is a positive so I am looking forward to whatever may come out of this perceived loss. I think maybe I have been leaning on him too much. Not having him around will force me to stand completely on my own and learn how to better manage my musicians, which he was largely in charge of. So, I’m going to get on the stick and make some calls.

I’m off to the mall now. I hate to shop except online but my 16 yr old daughter has a choral program that she needs a dress for by tomorrow.  That’s right, she can sing too! But she has no interest in doing it as a career. She wants to model. I can see that for her since she is quite lovely and a size Zero….I’m not exaggerating. She is a size Zero and about 5’9″. Imagine how hard it’s going to be to find this dress!!! My 7 yr old son on the other hand just may have performing in him! He also has a nice singing voice. I can hope for one right?  That’s all for now. Keep listening and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

 

 

I Can’t Even….

Hey ya’ll,

I have a few more updates for you so let me just dive right in. The Down Home Blues Fest was absolutely fabulous except for one thing….Walt Luv, the dude that put on the show, disappeared! He did not perform and he stiffed me completely. I got no money other than CD sales. I think the other artists, got deposits at least but didn’t get what they were owed afterward. Thing is, I was warned….But I always give people a chance. If you haven’t done it to me then you haven’t done it.

But let’s look on the bright side! There had to be over 2000 people there so I got a lot of exposure (OK musician friends…We all know that exposure is total bullshit but just let me live in the fantasy.). And I got to meet some really great people. This guy here was there.

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Yep, that’s Bishop Bullwinkle. I remember sharing his video so many months ago when my sister asked me to help clean out her house. “Hell naw, to the naw naw naw” LOL. That said it all! She couldn’t even get mad because it was so funny! I still didn’t clean out that house though.

And actually, two of my guys played with Billy “Soul” Bonds because his musicians didn’t show up. Andrew Sr. and Andrew Jr. helped this dude out and they did an OUTSTANDING job. I swelled with a mama’s pride…

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This just came up TODAY! I will be at Shelby Jean’s at Carolina Beach on Saturday! My friend John L. Wilson of Big Time Party Band booked the gig for me. It was last minute but since I wasn’t playing anywhere, why not?

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I just got the flyer for this…I knew about it for a couple of weeks but now that I see this, I’m really excited!

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It just amazes me how this music thing is coming together for me. I’m convinced now more than ever that I am meant to do this. This is my life’s purpose. When I think about it sometimes, I get so overwhelmed that I cry…I am so grateful and so humbled by the things that I have been allowed to do and see. And I look forward to all things to come. Until next time ya’ll. Your support is worth more than gold. OK, I’m misting up again so I have to go! Keep listening. Much love!

Follow the Tracks

Hey folks. I have come to a sad, sad realization….I’m going to have to put together a track show. I have always hated using music tracks on a live show because it takes away from my flexibility as an artist. You can’t tell a track to “break it down” or give the musicians solos. And when I started out, tracks weren’t even a thing. Nobody did that! All live music was actually LIVE. Every instrument had a person on stage playing it.  That is what I am used to and that is what I like. For me, tracks kind of cheat the audience out of the best experience possible.

BUT alas, I must do it. Here are my reasons…

  1.  Musicians are unpredictable and not very loyal.  When I started (I know I’m beginning to sound like an old person), NOTHING came before a gig. If you had a show, you went and did it unless someone died! On Xmas and Thanksgiving, we took our plates of food on the road and ate on the way to the gig. I remember one girl getting fired because she chose to go to an MC Hammer concert (whew I just dated myself) instead of doing a gig scheduled for that night. It was THAT serious. Now it seems if someone has a hangnail, they won’t be able to make it! That blows and I’m sick of it!
  2. I’m still kind of the new kid and cannot yet demand top dollar.  Although my popularity is continuously growing, many still have never heard of me. It’s difficult to get paid a decent wage when you are not yet a household name. That means, there is only a little bit of money to spread around. I like to pay my guys well and I just can’t every time. *LIGHT BULB* THAT’S PROBABLY WHY THEY ARE NOT SO LOYAL!! Anyway, if it’s just me and a track, that little bit is fine because there is no one to pay but me.
  3. I can gig more often with tracks.   If I have music tracks, I can take gigs in smaller venues and get even more exposure that way.  I can charge a very low price while I’m getting my name out there. I can probably gig somewhere every week with the tracks. This would be impossible with my band.

Now, I’m still going to do shows with the band. I will never totally give that up. BUT the gig has to pay enough so that I can pay my musicians. If not, I’m going with the tracks…*shrugs shoulders*

OK, my radio show is now up and running on Remember Then Radio. It airs every Wednesday at 6pm. My music is played for a whole hour! Thanks Barb and Steve. You guys are great!

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I contacted a few folks in the Lake Gaston area who had venues that offer live music. I have gotten absolutely ZERO response but I am undaunted. I’m gonna bug them until somebody lets me play!  One good thing though is that my DJ friend Neal Furr (Soul Dog) hooked me up with a guy named Andy Lucy who apparently has a radio station in Emporia VA, lake country. I sent Andy my music and he has promised to play it! So, maybe when people hear it there, they will be more open to letting me come there to perform.

He’s also got a couple of more DJ friends in that area that he said he’d reach out to for me. I swear I LOVE that dude. I don’t even know what I have done to deserve so much of his support but I am surely grateful! And it’s not just him! So many folks have gone out of their way for me. Let me just shout out a few…DJ Heavy, Gary King, Scott Beasley (Deckerz Bar and Grill NMB), Robin Lancaster, Gene Coker, J Red the Nephew, VA Fonz, Terry L. Batts, Chip Sistare, Vicki Chaffin, Andrew Blackwell….I know I’m forgetting some people but my brain only works so well….Just know that I appreciate you all so much!!! I am honored and humbled that you have even taken the time to say my name much less help me along this winding road.

That’s all for now. Keep listening…Why am I about to cry?  Happy tears…

 

Lake Country

Hey folks! So, I had a bit of an epiphany today. I live in Rocky Mount. DUH Right? But I am realizing that I am very close to Lake Gaston….And there is a large market for live music there. Why I’m just realizing this, I don’t know but yeah…So, today I’m going to contact some folks and let them know I’m available.

So, last week I went to Downtown Live here and saw Jim Quick and Coastline. I didn’t let them know I was there. After the show, I went and said hi to the guys and Jim says “Why didn’t you tell me you were here. You could have sang Chain of Fools. It brought the house down last time” He was so right! I gotta kick this whole modesty thing. Getting on that stage with him would have given me a bit more credibility with this beach music thing. Oh well, at least I got this selfie!

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I have also got managed to get a sponsor!!! YAY!!! It is Remember Then Radio

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They are giving me a whole hour per week of just playing my music! It is already in daily rotation. I like to listen when I surf the net or clean the house. You should give it a try! It’s commercial free and always on! My favorite shows are Gary’s Beach Shack and Soul Dog’s Beach Boogie and Blues. Let me be ghetto for a minute…Shout out to Neal Furr and Gary King, my DJs are in the house Baby baby!  OK I’m back! They don’t JUST play beach music. They also play Doo Wop and oldies. Anyway, check them out at the link above for the schedule and give them a listen. Once my show gets produced, I will let you know what time you can tune in to hear me! That’s all for now. Thanks for listening and join the fan club!