I am from a hollow in Van Lear Kentucky. The hills are beautiful, dark, and deep… full of tall trees with strong, tangled branches. No matter how bright the sun or heavy the rain, the canopy would shield me. At the tallest peak in the road, there stood a little white house with me on the porch, singing every song I could think of. I knew we were poor, but I never went without. My mom always made sure I had everything I needed, including a little Fisher Price radio I could record my songs and stories with.
Patty Loveless, Reba, Keith Whitley, Aerosmith, Elvis, George Jones, and Fleetwood Mac…since we were poor and didn’t really have time or budget for lessons or concerts, music was more constant background radio noise in our home but I was paying attention.
When I was in the 4th grade, my mom, brother, and I moved to Ohio to live with my Granny. She was alone and we were dirt poor so I guess we saved each other. She taught me that you make due with the cards you are dealt the best way you know how. If you get a bad hand, you can live with losing or fight like hell because most of the time, its not about who has the best cards, but who has the best strategy.
I woke every morning in her home to gospel music blaring in the kitchen, listened to her cook to Patsy Cline and Sam Cook, heard her sing the Drifters to herself while working in the garden…my Granny was one classy lady with great taste.
She was the florist of the First Baptist Church and the first thing she did was enroll me in every church function she could find. One day, she just dropped me off with the new Youth Pastor and told him to find something for me to do. I was never really talented at anything, but I told him I liked to sing. He started me in the church choir. I then joined the choir at school and sang in a few school talent competitions. I was never anything spectacular. I had horrible stage fright.
When I brought him a song I had written, my youth pastor immediately put together a band and they helped me put it to music. I have been writing songs since I can remember, but had never put one to actual music before this. He then entered it into the Christian Teen singing competition; Top Flight and I won best original song and best overall performer. I was completely shocked.
After high school ended, I started singing at an Open Mic Night for fun. I promised my Granny I would put music on hold and finish my formal education, which was very important to her. That Open Mic changed my life in more ways than one. I met my first band and my future husband at that smoky little dive bar in Dayton.
Once I was married, I stepped away from music for a while to settle down and start a family. I supported Chris from the sidelines while he started establishing himself as a producer and recording engineer and still played with some incredible artists. One night at the studio, we were sitting around with a few of our session players and I asked if they would humor me with this melody I just couldn’t get out of my head. They did and I believe we wrote our first song in about an hour or less. Before I knew it, we had one song after another.
The most important of those initial songs, came from an inner struggle I have felt my entire life. Being constantly pulled from one lifestyle to the next and trying to balance between the worlds of sinners and saints. Cash Jack and Jesus was the first completed track from Country Music Revival.
The concept of Country Music Revival is simply honoring the groundwork our forefathers and mothers set for us. Paying homage to those trailblazers who shaped country music.
To describe my sound… I would say it is a lot like the hills I came from. The big drums, rock guitars, and songs about whiskey make me tough and raw on the surface with a deep and soulful core.