Chicken Pickin’

A few days ago I went to see my friend, John, play rhythm guitar for alt-country guitarist, Jason Loughlin at The Mint. I showed up about bluesy dive bar about an hour before their set and met John backstage in their green room. We caught up on old times and he told me all about his life as a musician: the good and the bad. He introduced me to his bandmates as we listened to Mike Viola (That Thing You Do) tear it up on stage.

When John, Jason, and the rest of the band took the stage, I had no idea what to expect. Apart from checking out a few clips on iTunes, I had walked into this show relatively blind. It was awesome! I had no idea how good John was and Jason is unbelievable. If you have never heard of Jason Loughlin, check him out! His picking is insane. It’s like he has eight hands. He specializes in crazy fast twangy finger picking riffs that John later described to me as “chicken pickin.'” It was an absolute blast and I look forward to seeing more of these shows in the future.

Singing in the Spotlight

For all things musical, check me out on YouTube.

My mom said that I could sing before I could talk. Well… since I can’t remember that far back, I guess I am going to have to take her word for it. But for as long as I can remember, singing has been my passion. It’s how I celebrate and how I grieve. There is no better feeling then finding that perfect song that expresses just how I’m feeling at that moment. It’s like it knows…

I studied music all though out school and then it became time to enter the “real world.” Instead of pursuing music, because it’s a “really tough business” (which, yes I know it is, but, call me naive, but aren’t most businesses tough?), I took a desk job at a talent agency. I worked crazy long hours, which left me barely enough time to sleep, and I watched from the sidelines as others achieved my dream. Needless to say, I didn’t stay there long. My heart wasn’t in it.

A few months after I left, I found out the X Factor was having open auditions. While I have never, been interested in the fame and the flash that comes with this type of show, this was a chance to sing and I was going to take it. For two days, I waited in line outside the Staples Center and waited for my turn to audition. I was surrounded by thousands of other hopefuls and “career reality show competitors.” It was beyond intimidating. When they finally let us in, I waited for another seven hours for my time to audition. It was abysmal. They had set up little partitions all over the court and the din was maddening. I did a soft and sweet jazz standard that could not compete with the musical acrobatics that was going on around me and, after 30 seconds, I was shown the door. It was one of the most heartbreaking and embarrassing moments of my life. But, even after that massive blow, I was even more determined to pursue music, but this time on my terms.

Fate smiled on me when a new friend of mine, Kathryn, invited me to see her friend, Brandi, perform in the Mike and Brian All Star Show at UBG. I walked in to the tiny dive bar in North Hollywood and was immediately welcomed by them. Brandi was up next and was freaking out because, while she was a seasoned member of the show, she was having trouble remembering some of the lyrics to Mark Ronson’s Valerie. I mentioned that I knew the song (since it was one of the songs that I was considering performing for my X Factor audition) and then, just like that, she decided that I was going up on stage with her and we were going to sing it together. We had just met that night. She didn’t even know if I could sing, but there was no changing her mind. Brandi invited me up, the music started, and there was no going back. We sang and danced and laughed. This was the kind of music that I wanted to perform. When her set ended, Mike, the show’s producer/her accompanist, invited me to come back as a featured artist.

For over two years I performed in this little show and saw many evolutions of it. While I never was paid to sing, I loved the opportunity to pick my own music and perform in public. The show has been in hiatus for a while and I find myself itching to perform again. I recently ran into a friend of mine from high school and he’s now a working jazz guitarist. Seeing him achieving the dream has reignited my hope that is it possible. I’m learning guitar (very slowly but surely), and am now armed with a snazzy new recording mic (thank you wonderful fiancé). Stay tuned for singing updates but, in the meantime, check out my youtube channel for some of my past performances.