All 4 The Hall SongTellers

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all4thehall-e1395702005291Last Tuesday, My friend Drea and I went to the All 4 The Hall Benefit show at the Bridgestone Arena. Presented by Keith Urban and Vince Gill, the Nashville event to raise money for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has entered its 5th year.  The lineups have changed since my first year attending (2011) and the difficulty of finding tickets has too, but the meaning and purpose of the night hasn’t changed at all.

10320594_10203782453063321_3916813029724100069_nThe event merges together the worlds of Country Past, Present, and Future by showcasing today’s up and coming acts with their material and that which inspired them.  There are also legends and Hall of Famers such as Reba and Ronnie Milsap who performed some of their biggest hits and the story behind them.

gillurban-595-1399467399The theme of the night was to be Songtellers, which is what all artists and writers do; they express a story or a feeling in song.  Dolly Parton (not in attendance, via video) explained it as one of her most treasured activities.

Artists would sing one of their more popular hits or some new material explaining how the AFTHhatch_mediumsong what written and the story behind it.  They then would cover a song written by someone in the hall and explain how they influenced them.  For anyone who is as big of a Music History/Research geek like I am it was a real treat.  And getting to see my favorite artists cover such amazing legends reinforced the concept that history is so important to Country Music.  Preserving it, preserving the Hall is key to its longevity and to the education of the next generation.  It is also where we honor those who forged a path for country music to be the genuine and honest music it is.

Kip+Moore+4+Hall+Benefit+Concert+czQDpSZ8HYLlSome of my favorite performances of the night were Kacey Musgraves cover of “Here You Come Again” (Dolly Parton), Kip Moore singing “Dirt Road”, Deana Carter singing “Strawberry Wine”, Reba singing her version of “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia”, and Keith Urban Showing up in the back of the arena to sing near my section.  Not to mention every act had Vince Gill and Keith Urban as their band…not too shabby.

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The night ended up raising about $600,000.00 for the Hall which will go to offering new programs, renovations, and educational opportunities.

My Best- Jess

Check out the Set List here: All 4 The Hall
 
 
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Look I Did It! I Won College…

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…because essentially that’s what I did! It took four long years but 10342431_10203741885249151_7696620081474085990_nI did it! I officially have my Bachelors of Business Administration from Belmont University, the school everyone expected me to fail out of.  To get too Homesick and run away from.  To realize it was too crazy of a dream and pick something more practical.

 

I won my World Series.

1558592_10203741884409130_4438118139618546166_nSome people dream of finding love and some to spend forever with (the MRS Degree).  Some people dream of traveling the world.  Some people just want to do better than their parents.  I’ve always wanted to be better and do better than what people expected me to do.  Tell me I can’t do something only fuels me. I’m stubborn and Hard Headed.  I know what I want and I go after it no questions asked, no consequences considered.

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And yeah I fall on my ass quite a bit… and I usually say shit I shouldn’t…and what usually looks like failure probably is…but I never live this life with regrets.  I love fiercely and wear my emotions on my sleeve.  I’ve worked my butt off to be someone in this industry and that’s what I plan to do.

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I want to be a mix of Hillary Clinton, Blair Waldorf, and Olivia Pope.  A Lawyer with class and a woman with wit and intelligence.  I want to help people, serve justice, and care about people.  I want people to know my name and know these things about me. 1620710_10154188948420122_5333836296645177613_n“I come from a long line of sinners like me…” who paved the way for me to get here.  My grandparents were rebels…they came from virtually nothing and overcame things I am blessed never to experience.  They finished high school and loved and raised their kids…who loved and raised me on partial college degrees…they set me up for this.  I am the first College Graduate in my family…and as long as I’m around I’m going to make sure my brother and eight other cousins do too.

mom gram mamaw 2karen and I 1dad and mamaw

I thank these two the most :)

I thank these two the most 🙂

But for now I have to focus…I have this thing called law school to try my hand at. And its gonna be awesome.

926428_707326692639435_913723648_nHere’s to the next adventure!

My Best -Jess

Good Bye for Now CMT

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Its my last week at CMT and just a few days until I graduate from Belmont University with a degree in Music Business (BBA).  Its a really stressful, exciting, crazy time in the world of this graduate, but keeping a regular work schedule helps. 

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This week we had Cole Swindell and Jerrod Niemann in house working on a new feature for CMT’s Listen Up!  And while I could only attend the Cole Swindell taping it was truly worth the experience.  While waiting for the set to begin, I met two women who worked for Warner in their licensing department.  It was very interesting to learn that one of them had grown up around where I had, we casually reminisced about hometown favorites (Graeters, La Rosas, Skyline) and life working in Nashville.  It was great to learn about her journey to Nashville and how she had gotten involved in the industry. 

ImageI always used to think that it would be very difficult to get into the industry as a woman and it very will still be that way, but after my time at CMT and working with other companies; I’m beginning to see this trend shift.  My supervisors and bosses at CMT were mainly women who had worked hard to get to where they were.  Many of the team leaders and contacts I had in LA and New York were majorly women.  I think its an exciting time to be breaking the glass ceiling in the entertainment and music industry. 

But back to the taping.  Cole played a few go through’s of his songs “Chillin It”, “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight”, and “Let Me See Ya Girl” and recorded a few introductions to the program.  The crowd was very excited for this up and coming artist who is touring with Luke Bryan on his That’s My Kind Of Night Tour.

ImageAt the end of taping, representatives from Warner brought Cole back up on stage to present him with two framed records.  The first was awarded to him for his single “Chillin’ It” reaching Gold; but because he had been on the road so much they were unable to award him a Platinum recognition as well. 

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It was really interesting to be able to see this all happen at the beginning of someone’s career and to see all their hard work pay off.  Regardless of what you think about Cole, the artist life style is very difficult and requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice.  Just because they always look glamorous or happy doesn’t make it so.  In the music industry the product we sell is not just music, its an experience and an image.  Taint either or be off your game once and its a major road bump-especially for a new artist. 

{check the video here: http://instagram.com/p/nETxUfuKQZ/ }

That’s what our business has become, only now its harder to hide because of social media and people like me who comment and write about everything.  We work and live and breathe in a business of perception.  There are days when the reality can smack you in the face and make you want to give it all up.  Its harsh and dog eat dog. 

But then you meet people like my coworkers at CMT, songwriters who don’t care if they have a number one they just want to write, artists with kickstarters to fund their new album, and it all gets a lot easier.  In Nashville, we look after one another, we care about each other.  Its intense but not as bad as LA and New York.  Sure there are crooks but ultimately we all have each others backs. 

I left CMT having learned so much about Media, Licensing, Corporate Life, Viacom, and Music, but also with a new set of industry friends and contacts.  My supervisors and coworkers are amazing, hands down.  They are people I hope to stay in contact with regardless of where this crazy world takes us.  My fellow interns have become great friends whom I’m sure I’ll still see and work with.  Because Nashville is that small town in the Big city.

ImageMy last day at CMT was busy for sure with exit interviews, license request letters to draft, song data to update, a programming department showcase/info session, and plenty of people to say goodbye to. My department did make time to schedule a goodbye lunch at Pub5 which was delicious.  It was definitely a great way to end my semester with the people who had taught me so much.

ImageI have plans to work the Award Show with an outside company and I have several industry contacts I’m meeting with now…so don’t count my industry blog out just yet!  Until the next big thing, I’ll be showcasing all of the art and culture and fun this town can bring you and I’ll be working with my long term job Wannado to bring you the best events in town!

My Best To You -Jess