Tuesday, October 16, 2012

FEEDBACK WANTED: What Stands Out to You About Your Favorite Artist?

I thought I'd take a minute to focus on something that alot of people seem to forget ... your favorite artists are simply people - hard working, trying to support themselves and their families. They laugh with their kids, they cry when they suffer loss, they don't wanna wake up early for those early morning bus calls, and they have bad days just like the rest of us. They're more than the music they create, more than the songs they sing. They are working hard for what they earn and one song can make or break them. Some make an effort to truly connect with their fans and some not so much. It's the human connection that makes all the difference in how you view an artist.

When you met an artist, what stood out to you about them the most? Was it their eyes? Their warm smile? A firm handshake that gave you the feeling they were genuinely interested to meet you? Or was it something they said? What connected with you on a personal level besides their music? If it is their music and you've never met them, what is it about their music that makes a difference in your life? Now's the time to tell everyone why you support those artists you do. I love to hear human connection stories.

Here are stories about 3 of the artists I have that personal connection with and why I choose to do what I can to make sure their music is heard and some stories I've received from you on Twitter. Leave your stories below in the comment section. Let your favorites know what it is about them that made you see them in a different way, the most important way, that personal connection. What you see in them may persuade others to check them out that haven't paid attention to them before. Be honest, brag a little ...

Oak Ridge Boys: I first met Joe Bonsall on Twitter, said something that make him spew coffee out of his nose and he made sure I knew about it. Once Joe decided I was "acceptable", Duane Allen jumped on the Jenn train and we became fast friends. They've always been my musical heroes, the reason I started down this music path. I had the pleasure of meeting them in person nearly 2 years ago and it's been a personal connection I am thankful for every day. When I first introduced myself to Joe in Smithfield, NC, there was no handshake, no "nice to meet you", it was a huge bear hug and alot of laughing. As I was talking to Joe outside the bus, the bus door opened and Duane walked out and said "Jenny Jenny Jenn, is that you?" and gave me the biggest smile and hug. They have always been there for me, no questions asked, no doubts about why I'm friends with them and I love them for who they are - "Just Joe" and "Just Duane". If they are within a reasonable distance from me, I do not miss the opportunity to spend time with them, catch up, tell stories and get those great hugs. Their music is always something that has meaning, tells a story, comes from the deepest part of who they are.

Steve Holy: Funny thing about this one, it's uncanny how much alike we are. We first connected through Twitter awhile ago when "Until the Rain Stops" came out but I've been a fan of his music since the start and have always believed he had that something special that set him apart from other artists. Over the past few months, I've gotten to see a totally different side of the Steve I know just from his music, he's shown me that he's so much more than just a great voice. He's as genuine as they come, a wonderful person. He has the most warped yet hysterical sense of humor that cracks me up with pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth sometimes making me snort out loud, he's one of the most loving people and proves that every time he talks about family and the loves of his life, his daughters. He puts everything he has into his music and that's something that's rare these days. You can hear his heart in every note and his voice is classic, absolutely timeless. He doesn't let the fact that he has so much competition out there keep him from believing in what he has to offer and works so hard at making sure it's out there. It inspires me to keep going and whenever I get discouraged and want to give up, "Love Don't Run" puts things back into perspective. The song was a life changer for me. I promote his music by personal choice, sometimes I know I can over-push it, but you can't really over push something and someone you have so much belief in, can you? I am appreciative of the laughter and friendship he's brought to my life and this is my way of saying thank you and paying it forward. He will always have my support and friendship, even if life were to take us in totally different directions but there are just those that life brings together for a reason and he's one of those people.

James Wesley: Wow, where to even start with this one. I first met James on Twitter back in 2010. I know, thank God for Twitter, right? We talked for awhile about music promotions and how to get his music out there. I finally met him in person at Rapids Jam in June 2011 when he agreed to an interview and was completely floored about how down to earth, humble and approachable he was. I was walking up to the trailer and heard "Hey Jenn!", turned around and there he was, huge million dollar smile on his face waiting on me to get my butt up there. He greeted me with direct eye contact, a huge hug and the best laugh. We had so much fun during our interview laughing and talking about how glad we were to finally meet that we went nearly an hour! We've remained good friends, talking often and catching up whenever he's in town and every time I get the same huge "so glad to see you" smile, the hug, and he always makes personal time to just talk. This always means so much. His music is so real (pardon the pun),  his voice is so unique and he doesn't try to fit in with today's ever growing list of wanna be stars. He remains true to himself and who he is, where he's from and that, to me, is what makes him stand out. I'll always support him, stand behind his music and do what I can to help.

So let's hear about yours ...

Kristine Eicher ‏@kcowgirlnboots:

"For me, the artists I have met so far is this kindness they show us fans and the ones I have met are so down to earth."

StoryboardFilmStudio ‏@StoryboardFilm

"I remember meeting Chuck Berry - For me it was the handshake and feeling of being genuine. Amazing to me to meet R&R history!"

Beverly ‏@irisheyes_5_1

"I met Larry Gatlin while working on the 1980 Prez campaign-he was very sweet,took the time to pose for a pic and a hug!"

Reda Floyd ‏@Redafaye

"Mine would be Garth, and as I talked to him he looked directly into my eyes like he was hanging on to every word...best day!"

Holly ‏@hollybelle13

"Taylor Swift gives you a hug and acts like she's known you forever. So sweet."

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