Centerville Hometown Celebration Show Recap!
I asked my Nana for her awesome Thanksgiving dressing recipe. Here was her response:
I love my Grandpa's tiny town. Come and read why here. :)
Lately, I have received a lot of questions about the album. And of all the questions I’ve been getting, I think the question people ask the most is, “What’s it going to sound like?”
movin' and shakin'
This past Thursday, my husband and I drove to Georgia to have a creative meeting with the producer and his team.
On the way there, we stopped in Chattanooga and went to the Tennessee Aquarium and Cheeburger Cheeburger (a famous burger place). We went in honor of our 1st wedding anniversary that happened yesterday (Sunday). aaaawww :P I have one picture from it. You really don't wanna see it. It's very lame.
See, I told you. Moving on...
We made it to Georgia. Valdosta, GA to be exact. Home of the - well, I'm not real sure yet. We did find a $2.50 movie theater and a few pawn shops. And we found one of those parking lot fairs, too. But we didn't do any of it because
we have no money we're extremely fancy.
We met Mark the producer, Jim the business guy, and Steve the assistant, at the new studio.
Yes, this is it. This is what a Grammy winner's studio looks like. Okay, maybe not ALL of them, but swampy, soulful, southern ones can make this old building a bad@$$ music-making hub.
'Don't judge a book by it's cover' would be an appropriate reminder at this moment.
Anyways, My husband played guitar, and I played a little piano, and we played through my songs. We re-worked a couple of things, but every song is being kept the same as I had written them. Pretty awesome. :)
That's Mark there on the right. :)
After the meeting, we left the next day to play a show at The Rookery in Macon, GA. We like them there, and it's a good place to try out new songs.
Then, we got up the next morning, visited with my cute lil Nana Banana,
...and then went back home to recoup. I'm still recouping. I'm sleepy. Somebody gimme a Red Bull. No, please don't give me a Red Bull, that stuff tastes like ABC bubble gum dipped in dirty Koolaid.
Hooray, hooray! I have a few more hours to celebrate this newest step forward in my music endeavors, and then it's back to work. I still have a long ways to go. I just signed a production agreement with a producer named Mark Neill. Thanks to the funds raised on my Kickstarter campaign, and a sweet Lord taking care of me, I am able to work with a Grammy-winning producer like him. I feel honored. I also feel motivated to work my butt off to prove myself to this guy and to everyone who donated. Before now, this music process has been slower than a turtle. But now, it's going to go CRAZY fast. WooWEE!
I thought I'd share a "behind-the-scenes" look at how I picked this producer. I like to document this stuff, so when I'm 80, I can come back to this blog and remember what a crazy person I was. :P
The search for a producer felt a bit like grasping at straws at first. I realize that I live in Nashville, where every other person you meet is a producer, so I shouldn't have a problem finding one. But finding THE one was a bit trying. There are so many different ways one can go, and there's no one right way to do this business. Many people had many different opinions about what route I should take, and that grew slightly daunting. But I knew it was a decision I had to make with MY gut, not anyone else's.
I started with one producer I was really hoping would work with me. I spoke with him some, and he was interested, at first. It became obvious that my interest in him was far greater than his interest in me, so that fizzled out. Yes, the music business IS a lot like dating.
So I made a few calls to some other Nashville-based producers who I knew had great reputations. While I was doing that, I also was doing something kind of ridiculous. My "Hail Mary pass," if you will. I decided to Google some albums that I really like and see who produced them. I would then search for that producer's contact information online. If I found it, I would send them info about myself and see if I'd get a bite.
I didn't really expect anything from this. I was emailing the most fancy producers I could possibly find. And as a general rule, fancy producers produce fancy artists with fancy budgets on fancy record labels. Basically, not me.
I sent out about 10 of these emails, overall. Two people responded. The first one was an email from an assistant of an assistant who said, in a nutshell, "I'm sorry, you will not be able to afford him."
I hadn't even given him my budget yet. THAT'S how expensive he was.
Then, I received a call from a guy named Mark Neill. I had found his email address because I was looking up who produced The Black Keys' "Brothers" album, one of my favorites. I also found out that he's from South Georgia, same as me. And then I read some interviews he did where he talked about loving and understanding southern music and southern culture and history, and I thought YEAH! THAT'S my dude!
To make a long story short, he called me 2 hours after I emailed him. We talked about South Georgia and farming and soul music and lots of other awesomeness. He then asked me how in blue blazes I found him, and I had to admit to him that it was through Google. ha. He then told me that he is moving his studio (Soil of The South Studios) from San Diego, BACK to South Georgia. Sa-weet!
I then sent him some more of my songs, talked with his business partner, talked a little more about vision and ideas, talked money, went and met them in person, got offered a contract, took contract to my lawyer, after lawyer approval, we both signed it, and then well, there ya go. It was quite quick, the whole process.
I've already said this a gazillion times, but I am so excited. Creative meetings start this month. Recording in April. Release should be this summer.
Here goes nothin'!
Oh, you sweet, sweet Maconians. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways... 1. You know how to lay back and let loose. You're just fun people. 2. You have good taste in burgers. (The Rookery's burgers are pretty ridic.) 3. You're super cute. Every single one of you. 4. You thought my jokes were funny (some people don't, can you believe it?! hehe).
And best of all, most wonderful thing of all is...
YOU CAME!! YOU CAME TO HEAR ME SING!!!
I'm honestly so amazed at how many of you came to hear and cheer and bob your sweet little heads to the music. You allowed me to do my most favorite thing in the world -
be a totally obnoxious ham entertain. I am working on getting down there again in March. Yeehaw!
I leave you with this lil cute picture of y'all from my point of view. :)
Not a sad sack in the place. I heart you.
With Love, Jessie.
A couple weeks ago, I escaped to an aunt's beautiful mountain "cabin" (more like mansion!) deep in the North Georgia Blue Ridge mountains. I needed to buckle down and finish some songs with little distraction, and my mom, aunt, and grandmother joined me, with the promise of letting me write and only "bothering" me sometimes. They are QUITE the energetic trio, so I had my doubts. However, I am happy to report that they were well-behaved. :) And a whole lot of fun!
I enjoyed the quiet, not having to clean, escaping Nashville,
not wearing a bra, and breathing mountain air. I got a lot of writing and work-related things accomplished, and my phone wouldn't get service so I was forced to check out completely. It was glorious and kind of annoying.
At one point in my stay, though, I got a bit frustrated by the lack of Internet and phone service (addict), so I ventured off into "town," via typing in "Downtown" into my GPS device. It landed me in this booming metropolis:
It's not always that busy, but I caught it during rush hour.
So, with backpack on and disheveled hair
and no bra, I made my way to what seemed like a quaint little outdoorsy cheap-but-not-mcdonalds-cheap local restaurant. I sat down at an adorable little spot where people were a little more dressed up than I had initially realized and were looking at me strangely. Just kidding about that bra thing.
The waiter then gave me a menu and I FLIPPED. The prices were WAAAAYYY higher than I had expected. In fact, this place was a RESERVATION ONLY restaurant that happened to have a loser one-person table in the back free that they let me sit at! I then felt that I couldn't leave, so I began to sit up straighter, act like "I was on business" (which I kind of am, but um, I'm not exactly The Beatles over here), and ordered the cheapest thing on the menu. A bruschetta appetizer.
The bruschetta is somewhere down in there... took me awhile to get to it.
After I paid for my $30 toast and cheese appetizer with a water, I drove back to the house to start writing. I plugged in my piano in this super cool outside area where I could see the creek and sit on the porch swing.
Could I have written songs against a wall in my small apartment in Nashville? Well, yes. But this wall is way cooler.
I leave you with a quote to ponder. As I was wandering through a quilt store in the thriving downtown metropolis (that I actually do really love, but don't tell anyone), I came across a very meaningful quote that I think MANY can relate to. Try not to tear up when you read this.
WOW!! SO RELATABLE!! I think this ALL the time!!