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My Musical Influences, Artists, and Styles...

If you looked at my playlists you would see a very diverse collection of music. I've always liked different genres and styles. As an artist and writer I had a hard time picking a label for what genera each song I wrote was or where I fit. I'm like why do I have to decide can't I just do what I do?! I love old classic country and the new kind of country that gets so much flack for not really being "country music!" Do I agree with them? Yes, it's not twangy. Yes, they started adding electronic loops and other pop/rock elements. So what?! Does that make it bad? No, just different. Can we enjoy listening to both? Why not?!!! I don't feel like any less of a country music fan because I love Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Brantley Gilbert and Sam Hunt all at the same time! I grew up in church and on church music. I was a teenager when DC Talk first came out and half the church world hated it and thought it was not really "Christian" and the rest took it for what it was - different, new, and awesome lol! It wasn't boring church music, it was fun and relatable. Great sound with a bold message. We LOVED them ...can't lie I still do! The fact that they fought through so much push back to pave the way for more creativity in the church world is so inspirational. The fact that Toby Mac still dominates the Christian music world today is proof of the reward of perseverance....and his awesome talent! If I could pick one thing that gets my attention and influences me for my own music from artists of all kinds it would be emotion and grit. [Oh wait that's 2 things but think of it like it was one!] But for real I'd rather hear "real and raw" vs "soft and sweet" any day. Garth Brooks is like the perfect example of that. He puts so much passion behind his voice. He never just sings it, he feels it and puts all the energy and emotion he has behind it. Even if a note may not be technically perfect if it's executed just right that is what makes you feel the song rather than just hear the song. That gets me every time. I love how in pre-auto tune days that rawness was still there and still perfect. You can have the best voice in the world and do the most difficult runs and crazy high notes, but if it's not believable its just not memorable. Adele can sing the slowest song that from someone else could be considered very boring, but she puts so much emotion and heart behind it that it's just captivating. If you can take a song and strip it down, just you and your guitar and deliver raw emotion- that's special and that's perfection to me. One thing that has been a growing process for me has been accepting my own personal "sound" and just rolling with that. Everyone should have "their thing." Whatever makes them "them." I had a hard time figuring that out and accepting it. When I look at Reba she is the picture of uniqueness to me. Her fiery red hair and unmistakable voice, even her facial expressions while she sings are her personal signature. She is not a legend because she conformed to a mold of everyone around her. She's a legend because no matter what everyone else was wearing or doing she did her thang. I never got to go to one of her concerts [I had her poster on my wall though!] ... but I remember seeing her on tv flashy, sassy, fun and just bringing everything to life in a BIG way. In today's very opinionated, critical, and sometimes downright mean society it can be really intimidating to do what you do and ignore the haters. I think of Sam Hunt. [I have never actually seen or read anything about this and his career - this is all my own opinion formed in my imagination haha] But if I play this out in my head of when Sam Hunt was writing songs and looking for a record deal etc....If so many people say what they say about him now ...they hate the talking in his songs, he's not country enough, his clothes, his style, his blah blah blah... They probably said that early on too. There were probably people who thought this "outside the box country music where he talks half way through the whole song and sounds like pop and country had a baby" he was trying to sell was too out there and stupid. Obviously he didn't stop at that and obviously he believed in his ideas and creativity enough to keep on going until he was at the top of the charts. he sings Toby Keith How Do You Like Me Now! Because I'm a little late in life just now starting all this music stuff Loretta Lynn's story has always been special to me. The way she had her young kids but was able to find a way to make the "mom and musician" thing work so long ago when it wasn't as common for a mom to work period much less pursue music as a mom! I work really hard but it's still hard to convince my kids it's a "real" job. It's funny their perception of it because it looks different than a 9-5! So those are just a few examples I can give of artists and styles that have stuck with me. Obviously there are a million more but pretty sure this is long enough now to be considered a blog post. Win. Lol

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