Life is such a mystery. If you had told me that this would be my story back when I was a young girl, I don’t think I would have believed it… well, most of it anyway. But here it is:
I was fifteen when I snuck out of my window to go see a Pat Benatar concert. The spotlight hit her little 5 ft frame wearing her classic tight black leotard. Her head slowly turned to face the crowd with a look on her face like “Honey you better look out". Then she broke into the song What Ya Tryin’ To Do to my Heart… I was floored. I thought, “man I want to do that”. The rest is history.
One night I was singing with a band called Private Life in my hometown Shreveport Louisiana. A gentleman approached me and told me that Eddie Van Halen and Valeri Bertinelli just saw our set and wanted to come back stage to meet us. It was a magical night... kind of like your wedding day where you are floating so high that it all goes by in a flash, and the next day you go “What just happened????” As I laid in bed that night looking up at my ceiling (which by the way, had a poster of Eddie on it) I couldn’t believe what was happening. I didn’t sleep a wink and I had a sense that my life was about to change – and it did.
My band Private Life had landed in the arms of two people who were the most giving, loving people I had ever met. They supported our music with vigor and passion. We made two records in the late 80’s/early 90s. I’d never even stepped foot into a recording studio and here I was making a record that Eddie Van Halen was producing, and to top it off, we were booked as the opening act for Van Halen’s OU812 tour. We played Madison Square Garden! I remember rehearsing the afternoon of the Garden show and realizing how far I had come from the mesmerized young girl watching Pat Benatar years ago. Those days of touring hold fantastic memories.
I learned a lot….FAST.
I eventually had my first child and decided to stop singing. I wanted to be the best Mom in the world and didn’t think I could do both… impossible to do both, right? Wrong!
Boy I was wrong.
Here’s a funny thing about thinking that my kids were to be kept separate from my singing. As it turns out I met two other musician moms from their school. We did a show at the schools Farmers Market and had so much fun that we started playing at various community events and benefits. We still play to this day and we call ourselves “THE MAMA BEARS”. We are singing because we are Mamas! How’s that for irony?
I decided to start singing in Choir at my church with my husband’s encouragement. That is where I met Rick and Laura Hall. Rick had written a short film that he was gearing up to shoot called “Slice of Pie”. He told me there was a character named Juanita that he thought was right up my alley. I had never really acted, I was barely starting to sing again. He couldn’t possibly think I was going to be able to portray this Juanita character could he? I was wrong again! I read the script and felt electric. I was Juanita and I had to do this! I had just started singing again and now I was in a film! I learned to balance my family along with my creative projects and it was completely fulfilling. A new creative energy was growing inside me.
While shooting the movie, Rick suggested that and I get together with his wife Laura (who is also a singer/songwriter) to collaborate in some writing… we seemed a good team to him. He was right. We began to write songs, Rick joined us on bass and we rather quickly became “THE SWEET POTATOES”. We’ve recorded 3 CDs over the last 10 years and consistently toured all over the country. Our fans are the best in the whole wide world! If you are interested in some Sweet Potatoes music, you can purchase it at: The Sweet Potatoes
The balance of family and career is challenging but it is working!
It’s working so well that I decided to make a solo record !
I recorded in Nashville at County Q studios this past September with Phil Swann producing .
The experience in the studio was everything I had hoped for and so much more. It was pure magic in that little room for 10 days. The players that Phil lined up not only made this record come alive, they were all great humans and they became invested within minutes of laying down the first track.
The CD and video release date is just around the corner, as is a CD release show. I will keep you posted with all the info.
Come with me on this scary, fantastic journey as a solo artist!
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Here we go Y’all : )
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