It Was My Last Chance in 2012

Last year, my hubby and I sat down and discussed my music.  How serious were we going to take this?  Were we just going to finally call it quits? We both had doubts, not that Eric didn’t believe in me, but thus far, when I did Christian music, I really hadn’t done as well as we had anticipated.  We discussed “Backwards” and how although it was released as “Christian”, it did so well in the Roots market.  I had thought about just quietly releasing an EP of 5 songs and then gracefully exiting the music scene.  But I talked to a professional on the phone after she listened to my material.  She thought I should go ahead and make a full-length release.   After discussing it, Hubs and I decided to take a giant leap into this.  Pay for more songs.  Pay for promo/publicity.  Let me have the opportunity to go and gig more often.  Take it to the next level.  We were realistic.  We knew that I wouldn’t get a Grammy nod.  We knew that it would be a crazy, slim chance that all the pieces would fall together…. from a 30 story drop… in Chicago…. in the winter….   We gave it one year- 2012.


“Black Ball”, my first roots/Americana full-length project, came out on January 3, 2012.  It did better than I anticipated on radio.  I guess that I didn’t believe in myself enough and/or my radio guys ROCK!  I put in a lot of hard work too: mailing, phone calls, more phone calls.

I remember being really tired in December and the beginning of January, because I am a mom of 5 kids, that I home school.  This, along with ballet stuff for the girls, my radio work, booking gigs, getting the CD release party done, AND the fact that it was the holidays, made me actually on the brink of exhaustion bad enough that I thought I might need to sleep for about 3 days in a row.  (Anyone who knows me, knows that I can never nap and I sleep about 6-8 hours a night and pop out of bed in the morning like a daisy.)  I was REALLY tired.  So tired that I made a list.  This procrastinating, last minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl does not make lists, except that I did then for the sake of my sanity.

Anyway, my hard work and exhaustion paid off….

This year’s re-cap:  The Commodore gig on December 27 will be my 65th gig this year and the last one.  I mostly weekend gigged, with a 15- day tour in August and September.  I also ended up charting #2 on the Roots Music Report’s Roots Rock Internet charts, #27 on the Roots 66 International charts and #110 on the Americana Music charts.  “Black Ball” got several great reviews from reputable Americana/Roots press contacts.  I won a Warner Bros. Records showcase at the Hard Rock Cafe.  I got my first TV appearance on the “Chico and Bman Show”.  My songs, “Gypsy In the Desert” and “Fighting Shadows” were chosen in the Top 100 out of thousands of entries, in the Manson Girls movie soundtrack contest.  I was almost chosen to make it to the next round of The Voice… they had me sing 4 songs, I got a “maybe”.  Unfortunately I was singing with about 60% of my normal voice, because I had strep and lost it three days before that.  (I’m actually REALLY glad (Xs a googleplex) that I didn’t make it on.  That would have been a nightmare for reasons I won’t discuss.) I got a part in a play that ran in June. In August, I went on tour with my childhood friend and guitarist, Erik Ferguson.  I went to the Americana Music Festival in September and loved it. (Although I was nearing the same type of exhaustion then as I was in December.)   AND!!!! Best of all, I was signed to the label/music group, Creative & Dreams Music Network.  I got the call from them in September and was signed by October.  I’ve been writing a lot ever since, prepping for the re-release of “Black Ball”, (now under my label’s name,) and booking gigs for my tour, “Keep On Rolling…” in 2013.

Playing at Hard Rock Cafe Nashville
Playing at Hard Rock Cafe Nashville
Erisa Rei at WBER
Erisa Rei at WBER
On the set of the Chico and Bman Show with John Shaw
On the set of the Chico and Bman Show with John Shaw
On the red carpet for the Warner Brothers/iShowase event.  (with Erik Ferguson and Neil Kyle)
On the red carpet for the Warner Brothers/iShowase event. (with Erik Ferguson and Neil Kyle)

So, I want to thank: GOD- always, Eric and my treasures, Brenda and Mom and Dad, Fred Cannon, Rose Drake and Paul Buono,  the guys at Littleton, (Mike, Neil and Trey,) and Brent Hendrich of WestEnd Production for producing “Black Ball”, all the fantastic players, Tyler Andrews Photography, Mandi DeSutter for graphics, Fred Boenig and Keith Parnell, all of the radio stations who gave me hundreds of plays, all of the great press peeps who helped me get my name out there, , Frakkus for touring with me,  family and friends and fans and fam-ie-rans for buying my music and supporting me.

This year has exceeded all expectations.  I am humbled, in awe, and grateful for all of the blessings that have come this year.   Crazily, all of those pieces did fall together despite the big leap of faith into seemingly nothing.  I’m curious to see what 2013 brings, as there are already a lot of cool things planned!

If you want to hear the story of how I was discovered, please watch this video:


Have a great holiday season!

Erisa Rei


One thought on “It Was My Last Chance in 2012

  1. Wow what a year! So glad you are recieving the attention you deserve for all of your talent AND hard work. Congratulations to you and best wishes to your family in 2013. Looking forward to your re-release of Black Ball (though I don’t know how you’ll improve it). Anytime you’re in Memphis, stop by for some coffee! – Walt G. Square Beans Coffee.

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