If you were to write an intro for “Ya Got Two Wheels” before it played on the radio, what would you want listeners to know about the song?

I wanted to write a summer love song that would make you want to tap your feet and give hope to those that are still searching for that “one” person. It is about a girl in a Starbucks that sees this guy on a motorcycle. It is love at first sight and the story never ends. It’s one of those “feel good” songs that makes you want to take a chance on love. 

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6 Things You Don’t Know About Me:

Trenton, New Jersey native. Contemporary country, steeped in tradition. Which artists did you listen to growing up?

Linda Ronstadt, Mac Davis, Olivia Newton-John, Harry Chapin, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Loretta Lynn and many others. I especially loved listening to artists that wrote story songs and traditional country music echoed throughout the house day and night. My parents slept with the radio on and when one of my favorite songs came on the radio I would wake up in the middle of the night and listen to it until it was over. 

Berklee College of Music, degree in guitar performance. “The day I walked into Berklee College of Music was the day I realized it was okay to just be me. We all walk to the beat of our own drum. Create the art that is authentically you and let the universe take care of the details. Yes, some days it will feel like hard work…but the payoff is the gift you share will help heal the world.” What stood out that first day at Berklee that allowed you to be yourself?

I remember walking into the cafeteria thinking here we go again. I was just waiting for someone to make a comment about how I dressed or my hair. I never followed trends and always dressed different then my peers. In high school, I was considered geeky because I was a straight A student and dressed in my own unique style. I walked in and sat down and every one was so friendly. The other students asked where I was from and were very accepting. Ate that moment I knew I was home. 

Boston, joining The Uptown Girls, a Top 40 all-female seven-piece band, which traveled to nightclubs and military bases across the globe. Favorite show from the time you performed with The Uptown Girls?

It would be hard to pick just one. I am grateful to have been able to play for the troops. There was also a time we were playing at a hotel in Maryland. Jeff Cook from Alabama was staying at the same hotel. He came and saw our show and sat in with the band. I have a picture of me singing with him. It was one of those moments that seemed surreal at the time. 

Moving to Nashville in the early 90s. Released debut single, “Country Love,” in 2014. You described your musical style as “you take a real smooth Pinot Noir, mix it with a little dirt, add an ice cube, and stir it up real hard.” How has Music City evolved since you moved there?

When I moved to Nashville there was no such thing as gourmet coffee or a Starbucks! Music Row consisted of about three streets with music publishing companies and a few recording studios. Now Nashville is one of those sought after cities to live in and play music downtown. There are more venues and opportunities to play music, but there are also a lot more musicians in Nashville now. I think the opportunities to collaborate have grown and that is one of my favorite positive outcomes of Nashville’s growth. 

Fur baby momma, skincare/cosmetic junkie, health/wellness advocate. What would you recommend for someone looking to start a new exercise plan?

Exercise is so important for the mind, body, and soul. I believe the best exercise is the one that you will stick with long term. It could be walks with your fur babies or going to the gym. For myself, I really like Beachbody. I can connect my iPad to the TV and do a workout in my living room. I like to change things up so sometimes it is Pilates and some days it may be cardio or a weight routine. Whatever you choose, it should be something you look forward to and make it fun! Otherwise, you won’t stick with it. 

More singles coming before the album release in November – what can fans look forward to?

I am so excited to share these songs with everyone! It has been a long time coming. I want my album to be like one of those old wooden roller coaster rides. It starts with a mid-tempo song that you can tap your feet to and will make your heart feel lighter, the intensity gets stronger with some rocking guitar, your eyes will water up with stories of love lost and just when you think the ride is over, there will be that moment when you look down, see that steep hill, and your heart will race with songs that will leave you with a sense of inspiration and hope. They are songs of life, written with awesome co-writers, and many of them reflect the ups and downs of my life. After all, life is a ride and it is up to us to decide what we get out of it. 

Can you share 12 songs that have influenced your life and career?

“Anymore” by Travis Tritt.

I was going through a very hard break up. I would put on my headphones and listen to it for hours. I knew I was not alone, because the writer of that song knew what I was going through!

“The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis.

It was my first time watching the Grand Ole Opry live and she stepped out on the stage. It was my favorite song at that time. My mother whispered in my ear “she is singing this song just for you, honey.” A moment I will never forget and from that day on I have wanted to perform on that stage.

“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. 

That song is such a great song. It reminds me to take chances and live life to the fullest. I gave a copy of it to my BFF when she was making big changes in her life. 

“God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood.

It reminds me of the times I played for the troops overseas. How grateful I am for their service!

“Angel of the Morning” by Marilee Rush.

It is one of the first songs I learned when I started playing the guitar and the first song I sang in a talent contest. I still sing it in my shows. The intro with the horns is haunting and her voice on it is just perfect. 

“What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

I remember hearing that song as a kid and thinking I wish I had written that song. It just makes me want to love and appreciate life more. It reminds me to be grateful.

“In The Ghetto” by Elvis Presley.

Another one of those songs that are haunting and gives me chills. It was written by one of my all-time favorite writers, Mac Davis. It was perfectly married with Elvis’s voice, and it makes me want to be a better writer. 

“Mr. Tanner” by Harry Chapin.

One of the best story songs ever written. It’s about a man that was a tailor by trade, but he loved to sing, it was his gift, and it made him feel whole. Unfortunately, the critics weren’t as impressed as the general public. It’s a reminder to follow my passion and never stop. There will always be critics, but it is what fills the heart and soul that one must live by. Mr. Chapin can take a song and before you know it you will feel yourself transported into his story. I saw him perform live several times when I was a child. He has inspired me to write story songs.

“My Sharona” by The Knack.

It has one of the best guitar solos in rock as far as I am concerned. Inspires me to play lead guitar. One of these days I am going to play it live. 

“Bumpin’ On Sunset” by Wes Montgomery.

I had started taking guitar lessons as a child in New Jersey. My teacher sent me home with this LP and I fell in love with his guitar playing. This song made me want to learn to play jazz. 

“Room At The Top” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

This is a newer addition to some of my favorite songs. I was driving home at 10pm from a very hard day at work as a nurse practitioner. I heard this song on the radio. It gave me hope to keep going. Whenever life gets hard, I play it and sing on the top of my lungs… “I got a room on the top of the world tonight and I ain’t comin’ down!!”

“Go Rest High On That Mountain” by Vince Gill.

I was asked to sing this song recently when a family member had passed away. One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and one of the biggest honors. The song gives me hope that someday I will see the friends and family I have lost. It is a great song and Vince Gill has such a beautiful voice. I know this song has brought hope and healing to so many people.

“The Angel Cried” by Teen Soya.

This is a song that is sung in the Orthodox Church at Easter. I look forward to hearing it every year. It fills my heart with joy and hope. 

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