Hey, Lilies! We just wanted to give you an update on the performance we had Sunday. Over the past couple of months, we have been advertising for a benefit concert which was held to raise money for families who were victims of the August 2012 OK wildfires. Matt and I both always want to do anything we can to help others, but this was a tragedy that really pulled at our hearts. I was born and raised in Mannford, OK and my husband's family still lives there today. My husband and his family had to watch his Grandma's house and memories burn down to the ground due to one of these fires. I also have many childhood friends who lost everything and it's not as if household items, pictures, or clothing can be recovered, everything turns to ash. The week following the devastation, we attended a chamber meeting which was held in Mannford to discuss the idea of putting on a benefit concert. Once we announced the date and time we would be performing on Facebook, we received very inspiring message from a young lady who had not only lost her home but her mothers home as well. Here is a piece of the message she sent: "Personally, in times, such as these with the fire, songs play a key role of keeping my heart in a positive place. For me, the song that has been on my heart has been Shawn McDonald's "Rise." If you are playing at the benefit concert, I was just wondering if maybe you would be willing to take a request. I would love to hear your country twist on the song...plus I think it would speak to a lot more people than just my family." That message is a perfect example of WHY we are doing what we do. The chorus of this song states: Yes I will rise Out of these ashes rise From this trouble I have found And this rubble on the ground I will rise Cause He who is in me Is greater than I will ever be And I will rise To hear someone who has just lost EVERYTHING in a matter of minutes be so positive and full HOPE....that is truly inspirational! We had the opportunity to perform this song Sunday for her and her mother and that was a very special moment for the two of us. We had a great time at the concert and met many people who opened up their hearts to us, proving over and over that God always has a plan. Those of you who are sharing your story of making it through, you have no idea the impact you are having on others! The benefit concert might be over now but we are going to continue to pray for and support all of you!
The Thanksgiving holiday was last Thursday and like every year it came and went with a blur of cooking, Black Friday shopping and very little rest. For those of you who don't participate in the Black Friday shopping, you might not know that this year's start times were pushed up 2 -3 hours earlier than the typical early Friday morning times. Some places were even open at 9PM on Thursday night. What happened to Thanksgiving? It's quickly becoming a day where we're all off to go shopping and fight people we don't even know for the 3 TVs for a $1 available at Best Buy the moment the doors open. I'm afraid that soon, the Thanksgiving lunch with friends and family will turn into a Thanksgiving breakfast at dawn with Turkey omelets so we can get to the stores for the best deals.
Last night on one of those TV news shows, they showed several families who were hard working people forced to use food stamps in order to put food on the table. Both parents were still working, they just couldn't make enough after being laid off from their higher paying jobs.
BE THANKFUL. BE REMINDED OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE. 2 years ago, I willingly left a regular paying job so that Tara and I could open our own business in order to pursue a dream in music. Through every struggle, every month we didn't have the money to pay our bills or buy things for our children, we were provided for. Our needs have always been met. Not our wants, but our needs.
The last year hasn't always been easy, but there's plenty to be thankful for. We've all been pretty healthy this year. We've had enough work to pay our bills on time, to buy food, and to buy clothes and shoes for our boys when they needed them. We've had return customers at our shop who were happy with our work and new customers because of it, we were able to take a vacation this year and come back with work on the calendar. We met our 2 very best friends in Ashley and Brandon and formed November Lily. We were able to go to Nashville this year and record our first original songs. We have so much to give thanks for it's hard to put it all down on paper.
I hope I remember to always be thankful, for everything, not just the things that I can see, but all those things that I don't see that keep me safe.
Upon arriving in Nashville, I had the mindset that I was going to soak up this entire experience and REALLY appreciate every single moment! I'm sure you're thinking, "Well of course you are! Who wouldn't?!" but truth be known, this is my second go around at this. In the past, I wasn't appreciative of the opportunities which were given to me and for lack of better wording, I was a brat. Thankfully, God decided to give me another shot! The difference is, this time is much cooler because I get to experience everything with not only Matt but with both of our families!
We had two FULL, exciting, exhausting, hysterical, and successful days in the studio to start out our week! This was followed by three days of meetings, song writing sessions, a performance at the Bluebird Cafe, and of course some tourist activities! I remember walking into FunHouse Studios that Monday morning thinking "Wow....I can't believe we are here....and we are about to record these songs.....songs WE wrote!!!" (FunHouse Studios were awesome btw.) In the days that followed our recording session, I was continually blown away! I just couldn't believe we were walking into these buildings and meeting all of these people. We left every meeting feeling more educated and aware of what really goes into being a part of country music. By the time Friday rolled around, we were all feeling a little blue about having to leave the next day. We just had such an exciting, whirlwind of a week and we didn't want it to end! Our trip to Nashville only fueled more of a desire in us to be successful in this industry! As for now, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our finished songs....which we can't wait to share with all of you! Thank you for being a part of this journey with us....we really do have the best support system! Until next time.....
We went to Nashville 2 weeks ago for the first time as November Lily and spent two days in the recording studio and the other 5 days of the week in some pretty interesting meetings. It was kind of our introduction into what it is to be a member of this history rich club called country music.
PRO, know what that is? I didn't either. We learned that there are 3 major PROs or Performance Rights Organizations and ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are their name - os. These guys are the ones who listen to all the radio stations, collect your royalties and write you a check for your work as a songwriter and/or publisher. We sat in on an intro to ASCAP seminar, had lunch with David Preston, the president of BMI, and met with Tim Fink, Vice-President, Writer/Publisher Relations of SESAC. We learned a lot in each of these meetings, but we can only pick one at the end of the day. ASCAP and BMI accept members all the time through on line applications, but SESAC is an invitation only organization. After all the meetings, we really felt a strong connection to Tim Fink and SESAC.
It's crazy how much goes into being a legitimate artist in the music industry. I knew it was more than just write, sing and perform, but I would have never guessed there are so many pieces to the puzzle. Our first lesson in Nashville was know what all the pieces look like, where they go, and how they all work together. Good advice.
We are inviting you, our friends and family, to join us in our journey over the next several months. We will be recording our first album in Nashville very soon. The album is slotted to be independently released early winter 2012. A few months ago, we recorded some demos with producer Larry Brockway. Those are the songs you can hear on our website now. Since then, we began writing our own original songs and we are SO excited to share these. We love these songs! We will be sharing snippets of our songwriting sessions with former Milsap-Galbraith staff songwriter, Jill Welch. We have been "holed up" in hotel rooms in Jenks, OK over the past few months, writing our little hearts out! We record work-versions of the songs on our iphones when the song is complete. We thought it would be fun to share a "sneak peek" of some of those iphone versions.
Our Nashville production will sound a little Lady A meets Keith Urban-ish. We will be recording studio guitar/vocal versions of those songs soon. We'll let you have a listen to those too. We are doing a "ROAD TO NASHVILLE" kick off concert this month - Aug 20 7:00 pm (see Calendar page for details and map). Then off to Music City U.S.A. to record the album!!! We've asked a group of facebook friends to help us with things like rating the songs, naming the album, choosing cover art and such. If you'd like to be part of that facebook group, LIKE our page www.Facebook.com/NovemberLilyDuo and let us know. We will gladly add you to the group. (Note: We are asking non-music professionals only to join the group. For this, we want to hear the voice of the music listener.)
We thought it would be a blast to take this road trip together! We would LOVE for you to be a part of this with us! You can track the details of our "Road to Nashville" journey through tweets, posts, videos, and blogs on these sites: www.twitter.com/NovemberLilyDuo www.facebook.com/NovemberLilyDuo