I drove to Nashville yesterday. The meeting was at Word Records on Music Square. I thought it would be cool to see their building, although Christian music isn’t my genre anymore. I left a little earlier than normal, because I was afraid that it would be hard to find a parking space. I was correct in this assumption and drove around for about 10-15 minutes trying to find one that was closer than 1/2 mile away. I ended up getting lucky and finding one right beside the Word Records building. This was a relief… I wouldn’t have to go to the meeting all sweaty from walking.
I waited in the lobby for Spencer, the A&R rep I was having the consult with. As I was waiting, my producer for “Backwards”, Tim Holt, happened down to pick up his lunch. It was nice to see him again and say “hello”. 🙂
Then I went upstairs to my meeting with Spencer. We chatted for about 40 minutes. Basically, I was told that I have an “amazing voice with a lot of texture,” good stage presence and good songwriting. Something that he noted is that my live sound is a lot rockier than my CD sound and that he really like my live sound a lot. (It reminded him of the Black Keys.) He thinks I should concentrate on that more. This is cool, because I had already planned on going more bluesy-rock with my next project, perhaps even a live recording to capture it. (Songs have started to be written for it, my friends.) I also need to fine tune a few things with my songwriting and performance set. Spencer had some good ideas for those. Basically he told me that I have “all the nuts and bolts”, I just need to put them together. He was very encouraging. 🙂
The best thing that he said for me is that I made a really good move in switching to the roots-rock/Americana genres. The rawness of my sound and the emotionally-charged lyrical content fits in perfectly with these. I struggled for a long time, getting over people’s expectations for me to do Christian music- YEARS, in fact. The past few years my heart had been telling me that I wasn’t supposed to do Christian music any longer. You would think that it would have been obvious to me immediately…. the difficulty getting into Christian venues vs. the ease of getting into non-Christian ones, the difficulty of getting onto Christian radio vs. not even trying to radio play with Backwards and getting on the roots music charts, the obvious dislike of my “Christian” music by a large percentage of Christians vs. the love of how real I am by the less-nominal Christians and most non-believers. Well, you get the point…. I have found my home in the roots/Americana world and I don’t plan on moving away from it anytime soon!
I am going to continue to gig regionally and go on the Troubadour Gypsy Tour to the East Coast/New England in August. I have the Americana Festival coming up in September. I’m excited about all the people I’ll meet there and my fingers are crossed about getting on a showcase there. Another thing great about this consult is that it made me think about what I want for my music as far as goals go. Prior to the meeting, I brainstormed and wrote up a bunch of stuff. I have a refreshed outlook now and quite a bit more confidence in my abilities and the path that I have endeavored to take.