Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My first trip to Rock Garden Conspiracy!

Can you say "Shure endorsement?"

Rick Tucker plays "The Box"
I recently returned from my first visit to Southern California to spend some time working AND playing with Rock Garden Conspiracy/Gold Pan records, the label I signed with back in February. As I cruised the freeway on my six hour trek on a Friday afternoon,windows down, and the music blasting, I had a lot of time to anticipate my busy weekend ahead, but also to reflect on exactly how I got to this point. Short and sweet, I worked hard, never giving up on the dream I was living!

I arrived at Rick Tucker's house, CEO of Rock Garden Conspiracy mid afternoon and it was like old friends getting together for beers! We'd spent so much time talking on the phone, that we were able to jump right in and get to work on going over songs we're working on for the release of my first EP. I was anticipating and a bit nervous though about a song titled "The Box". I had written the lyrics almost two years ago, and because I was so close to them, I shelved the song, until now. Rick and I sat at the piano, and when he started to play it was that "Coming Home" feeling, and I cried. I loved what I heard, and knew that Rick had captured my emotion behind the lyrics perfectly. My Producer Bill Hare once told me that every musician has that one song, sometimes many that they just can't write, and I
guess "The Box" was that song for me, but being that the lyrics are so important to me, I'm thrilled they have come to life.

After a restless night in my hotel, ( I don't sleep well in strange places) and since I pulled a blonde move and forgot my Laptop, (Rookie move) I mentally prepared myself for a bright and cheery Studio session with a Producer for Aaron Ellis, another Rock Garden Conspiracy Recording Artist. Aaron had written a song titled "Friends", and everyone involved thought it would make a great duet. Enter ME! I had to learn the song very quickly, essentially improvising my own arrangement, and record my part with a Producer I had never worked with before, a very new and anxiety induced feeling for me.  I would have given anything to have Bill Hare there with me, but it was time to put on my big girl pants!
With Rick Tucker nearby, the Recording went off without a hitch, and it was off to work the rest of the day on other songs I'm writing. Unlike "The Box", a slow pretty ballad, "Sober", a more upbeat Country/Pop tune, depicts a once close, yet very confusing relationship when there is alcohol involved. My co-writer Catherine Delgadillo has put some amazing Guitar licks on the tune, and let's just say the lyrics will grab your attention.

Back to the hotel to attempt a power nap was unsuccessful. I was performing that evening with Aaron Ellis, who's amazing by the way, for a bunch of associates of the Record Label, and it was the first time the Label would see me LIVE! I sucked it up, and worked the room like it was any other performance. It was decided that Aaron and I would perform "Friends", and for a brief moment I thought, "Oh my God, I'm gonna blank, I don't know the song well enough without holding the lyrics, I'm gonna fall on my face in front of all these people", but my mind didn't blank, and the duet was beautiful, and I will never forget turning to look at Rick Tucker and Ed Cohen's faces, eyes closed with huge smiles! The funny part of the evening was the breakdown of the gear. When I perform here in the SanFrancisco Bay area with my band, I'm used to pitching in to haul the PA, even in heels, so as I'm speaking with people after the show, I noticed from the corner of my eye, a guy struggling to get the cart loaded with speakers out the door, I rushed over to help. We got the gear down the ramp and over to the van. I had started to help him load when I hear the booming voice of Rick Tucker behind me, " What do you think you're doing? You don't load gear!"

Over breakfast Sunday morning, Rick Tucker, Ed Cohen, along with their wives and I pow-wow'd over the many details of so many things in the works for me, and discussed their recent partnership with Jam City America, an Internet Radio Station I DJ for. After way too much Chicken Fried Steak, we rolled back to the Ranch, (Rick Tucker owns a Horse Ranch) and did a Photo Shoot of the official signing of my contracts, followed by Champagne and Pringles. Yup, I said Champagne and Pringles.

It was an awesome weekend, filled with a lot of "Firsts" for me, and I truly appreciated being so well taken care of by not only Rick Tucker and Ed Cohen, but Rick's wife Brenda was amazing!

I hopped back into my car, it was time to switch gears and make the long drive home. I was kinda glad I hadn't decided to fly. Although I was anxious to get back home to my son, it gave me a good chunk of time to reflect on the entire weekend, and how far I have come so far.

Sealed with a kiss!