“There are times in life you gotta crawl, lose your grip, trip and fall. When you can’t lean on no one else, that’s when you find yourself. I’ve been around and I’ve noticed that walking’s easy when the road is flat. Them danged ol’ hills will get you every time. Yeah, the good Lord gave us mountains so we could learn how to climb.” (Mountains – Lonestar)
A lot has happened in these past two weeks. Some really cool things… and some less than stellar things as well.
Last Wednesday was one of the best days of my entire life. So Tuesday night we get this e-mail from our Business instructor saying she got a call asking for extras for a music video shoot. So she got the artist and business tracks and we canceled our classes that day and spent all day filming this music video. We left at 7 in the morning and didn’t get back until about 7 at night. It was a really long day, but I had so much fun. It was a music video for Britt Nicole, for her song Gold, so be watching for that video, because you might just see me in it. The day consisted of a lot of sitting around doing nothing, eating snacks, waiting to be called upon. And when someone came out and said they needed us, they grabbed the people they wanted and we had to be ready to go do whatever they wanted right then. It was like a big party really. We were at this big mansion (where there are an abundance of around here) and we were running through hedges, having dance parties in the stairwells, and a big party in a room filled with balloons. I loved it. A lot of the people were not thrilled about being there for so long and doing so little, and would probably prefer not to do that type of thing again, but I seriously thought it was so much fun. On top of that we got to hang around Britt Nicole a little bit and we got paid. So that was all pretty darn sweet.
Then the day gets even better! That night was an event in Nashville called Capitol Street Party, which turns out to be this free concert event in downtown Nashville. They close all of lower Broadway and have three acts performing on this giant stage in the middle of the street. And the headliner was Luke Bryan! If you weren’t sure, I love Luke Bryan. And it was a FREE concert. In Nashville! Seriously. Awesome. The whole event started at 7, but we were just getting back from the video shoot and had to shower and then get there so I didn’t get there until close to eight, and it was packed. We missed the first act, and we were there for the second act, but I wasn’t really able to listen to it because the three of us that went spent that time trying to squeeze between billions of people to get closer to the front. Let me tell you, that was crazy. There were literally times when I couldn’t move a muscle in my body because there were so many people all trying to squish forward. I thought I might suffocate, I have never been in a situation that was so jam packed with people. No sense of modesty or whatever, because every part of you was touching every part of everyone around you. It was cray cray. But we got settled right about as Luke was coming on and got to enjoy his show, which was awesome. Oh yeah, the other awesome thing about going to concerts in Nashville? Everyone lives in Nashville, so when you go to a concert, they often just bring out their friends. My friend went to the Carrie Underwood concert and said Brad Paisley just showed up and sang Remind Me with her. At the Luke Bryan concert, Dierks Bentley just comes out on stage and sings with him. No big deal. I freaking love this place.
So, Wednesday was awesome. Thursday, not so much. It was show day and my week off, so it was pretty chill all day. After the show we were just playing games and stuff when I got the message that said my grandma had passed away. This was real difficult. Not being there has been the hardest thing. It didn’t, and honestly still doesn’t feel real. I think a lot of that is because I’m not there. I don’t see anyone from home, so it’s no surprise that I am not seeing her, but I won’t see her when I get back, and that is really difficult. With the help of some amazingly talented and kind-hearted people here, I was able to quickly lay down a recording of “Long Black Train” to play at her service since I was not able to be there. And I was able to Skype into her service so I could watch and hear the nice things people said about this wonderful woman. It’s still difficult for me to think about, but I know her earthly sufferings are now over and she is at peace with the Lord.
The next week turned into a frenzy. It was the final CMC Live before tour, so we were told to put our best stuff on the table, because they were going to finalize tour line up and song selection right after the show. I definitely knew I wanted to do Work in Progress because that has been my cool thing of the semester, but I didn’t know what to do for my other song. All week I tried to finish lyrics for this song I was writing with one of the guys here and finally “finished” them on Wednesday, but when we came together to make it work, it didn’t work. So then I was screwed. It was the day before the show, 15 minutes before my only rehearsal, and I didn’t have another song. So the guy I was writing with suggested I do “My Kinda Party” by Jason Aldean/Brantley Gilbert because my original kind of had the same big, country rock feel to it as those artists do. I didn’t know all the words or some of the melodies, but we threw it together and did it anyway. And it was alright. Some people said that night was my best vocal performance of the semester thus far, but it wasn’t enough to help my case for the tour.
I had talked to Warren earlier on Thursday, just catching up about life and such and I asked him about tour. He told me, like I had feared, not every artist would get to perform on tour. And also like I had feared, I probably would not be one of them. Nothing was set in stone yet, but that was what it was looking like. So when tour announcement came, I was prepared and not surprised to find my name wasn’t on it. It is still really disappointing and saddening, but I was at least expecting it. There were only two artists not performing on the tour, and I am one of them. So… that’s rough.
I will be given other jobs to do on the tour, and I’ll be plenty busy, but not performing. So at this point my focus for the rest of the semester is supposed to mainly be on songwriting and arranging. I don’t know what the rest of my time here is really going to look like, but it will still be good. Maybe I will get some good songs out of this.
I guess all I know is, there are certainly a lot of mountains I am facing right now. But I just have to keep moving forward, one step at a time. So that’s what I’ll do.