Six things you may not know about me…
The jobs I wanted when I was a little kid were to be a singer and an astronaut. Although, I do remember acting like I was a doctor with X-rays on my walls, from the sun shadows of objects in my room.
I have a great deal of respect for anyone who is still in this business who hasn’t given up on their ambition or goal!
I’m a non-fiction, feel good kind of gal. So, anything that will lift my spirits, I’m all about it! I love books like “Heaven is for real” or movies like “The Blind Side.” I try to read my German magazines that we get delivered to our house every month. BUT, I also loved the Band of Brothers series, Game of Thrones, Outlander…OMG, could not get enough of it and can’t wait for the next season!!
As far as podcasts go, I listen to music business podcasts or the German Break Coffee. I especially enjoy podcasts like The C.L.I.M.B., Pitch List, and And the Writer is…. I also had the blessing of being interviewed for The Lisa Williams Show, which is on Roku and Amazon Fire. I am also being interviewed for the Dream Big Nation Podcast! Can’t wait for that!
If I could meet any one person from history, it would be Araminta Ross, aka Harriet Tubman.
The trip I’ve most wanted to take, but haven’t yet, would be to Ireland. I was supposed to go for Thanksgiving in 2020. I’m still patiently waiting….
Something that scares that I would never ever try is bungee jumping. Not sure I could do it. But, then I think of how my daughter jumped out of a plane over Hawaii…so, I should get over my fear!
Twelve songs that have impacted my life and career…
During the 70-80’s, music was my lifeline. Music is deep and personal for me. There are so many that have an emotional punch for me, for so many reasons. The tone, lyrics, danceability, hitting me in the heart, relating to what I was going through at the time, you name it. I had to really think about which artist or songs I had to leave out. It wasn’t an easy task!
Maneater – Hall & Oates
1982. When I was 8 years old, I got a clock radio for my birthday. Every night I went to bed listening to it. It was an escape from the harsh reality my 8 years old self had already been enduring. When I heard “Maneater” for the first time, I was pulled in by the way the song started off with a cool rhythmic bass line. The music was eerie. It was a dark alley. Once John Oates started singing, what I saw was a woman turning into a tiger and attacking men…and I liked it. At the time, I was being sexually abused by my babysitter and my stepmother was physically and verbally abusive. I wanted nothing more than to turn into a tiger and destroy everyone who was hurting me.
I’m on Fire – Bruce Springsteen
When this album came out, I talked my dad into taking me to the store so I could buy it. It was the first cassette tape I had bought with my own money. I remember sitting on the front porch with my headphones and walkman. Bruce’s voice was so rough and cool! Fast forward to 2003 and the 2nd season of American Idol auditions came to Seattle, WA. I had already been out performing as an artist and I was going to school for live sound engineering. I remember telling my instructors that I needed to skip school to go tryout. It was raining hard that day and what was supposed to take me 20 minutes to get to the audition site, took nearly 2 hours! By the time I got there, I was cold and wet and was in no condition to sing anything! When my time came up to audition, in front of judges and peers, I sang the first thing that came to mind. It was “I’m On Fire.” I saw mouths drop and I went onto the next round! I only made it a couple rounds, but it was pretty cool to see the way people reacted to me singing that song. Total confidence builder. The next year, American Idol put on an age cap and I was one year too old. Bummer.
I Just Want to Be Your Everything – Andy Gibb (Bee Gees)
I’ve always been a fan of the BeeGees. There was always something about Barry’s tenor voice and the harmonies with his brothers. With me loving disco as well, it was a no brainer. This song will always perk me up if I’m feeling down.
Africa – Toto
I was a senior in high school. I went on a school field trip to Washington State University for recruitment day. The campus was cool and I liked it, but in my mind, I knew I wasn’t good enough at anything to go there. College was not in my future. But, that changed when we went to the auditorium and one of the choirs came out to sing. They sang “Africa” by Toto, Pentatonic style. This was the first time outside of Bobby McFerrin that I had heard people sound like instruments. I was so blown away! I walked out of that auditorium with a new found high! I wanted to be part of that group! I needed to be part of that group!! I still get emotional thinking how it made me feel that day. My choral instructor told Dr. Klemme and he came to my high school to audition me. I got a vocal scholarship to WSU, but unfortunately, I was not allowed to accept it.
If Loving You Is Wrong – Barbara Mandrell & The Mandrell Sisters Show
This isn’t just about the song, but the performers who made me want to be a performer. Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters Show had me hook, line and sinker. I don’t know if I started watching them before or after I had heard “Maneater,” but I knew I loved watching them. They were so talented and I wanted to act, dance, sing and play instruments just like them. Nobody could hold a candle to them back then and in my opinion – nobody does, still. Do you know that Barbara learned to play the pedal steel at the age of 5? Yeah, she’s freaking amazing.
Blame It On Your Heart – Patty Loveless
Patty Loveless is my favorite singer. I love her rich tone and powerful voice. When I was 19, I tried out for my first Colgate Country Showdown. I didn’t win, but it gave me the feeling of what competitions were like outside of classical music in school. It gave me the sense of what it would be like to sing country music and also doing it solo. I was nervous, but it was thrilling! If I could, I would have also thrown in “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” off her Mountain Soul album. Oh look…I just did- Ha!
Good Ole Boys Like Me – Don Williams
I’ve always been a huge fan of Don Williams and anyone who likes Don scores a few extra brownie points with me. I can’t say when I was turned on to him, but there is something about his voice. His melody. The simplicity of it all, yet so beautiful. He is the only singer I have ever mentioned in one of my songs, and I do it in my song “The Countryside of Me” off my 2012 album The Way You Look at Me. Every time I hear “Good Ole Boys Like Me,” I listen, then I start to sing, then I shed a tear. The story of his life in one song. It just consumes me.
When Whoever’s in New England – Reba McEntire
It’s hard to choose which Reba song I really find to be the favorite, but I really love this song. She sings it with such emotion and the lyrics are amazing. I think this was the first time I had really understood using metaphors in songs. It was an early lesson in songwriting. Besides Barbara Mandrell, she was also my leading lady when it came to stage presence. My icon in the 90’s. I even had a life size cut out of her in my room.
Rocky – White Buffalo
I was introduced to The White Buffalo by my best friend the day we met. The White Buffalo’s music is so raw and real and the right kind of Americana Rock that I love. This song makes me feel powerful. Like I can work out, kick ass, and keep driving along a long lonely highway. I also grew up with all the Rocky movies, so the name alone makes me happy! I also lost my best friend a few months ago, so now the song is even more important.
Make a Little- Midland
There are so many current songs that I absolutely love and my list does not show them. So, I had to think hard about a song that is within the last 5 years that encompasses me and one of the songs that came to mind is this song. I love to swing dance. It makes me so happy. I have danced to this song so many times and I never get sick of it. I love Texas music, and without going through the million George Strait songs I could list, I went with this song instead.
O Fortuna (Carmina Burana) – Carl Orff
Yep. I couldn’t give my top ten without throwing in a classical piece. I sang with the Spokane Symphony Chorale for 5 years before I had to pull away. This song could tie up my whole life. The sound. The crescendos and decrescendos. The overall emotion. At one point in high school, I wanted to be an opera singer, but my step-mom was forbidding me from even accepting the music scholarship I had from Washington State University. She was really great at keeping my self-esteem deep in the mud, 6 feet under her shoes. So, I am so happy to have been part of the Symphony. It helped fulfill a little bit of that dream.
Orange Colored Sky – Natalie Cole
I love Jazz. I always have. I sang jazz from middle school all the way through college. I guess there were a few songs I would walk around my high school halls singing. This was one of them. I used to moonlight as a jazz trio over the past 12 years when I wasn’t hired as a country artist. Some of my followers have even told me to hang up the cowboy boots and pick up the stilettos!
As you can tell, music is my life. No matter the genre, I could relate and still can.