Unscripted

from the pen of Carter's Chord

Music for Music’s Sake

Looking back on my life, I literally can’t remember a time where music didn’t permeate my entire being.

My mama was on the road singing with Waylon Jennings until she was six months pregnant with me. She said I used to kick in time with the bass drum when she would be on stage. My mama sang to me when I was born. My daddy sang to me when I was born. My grandmother sang to me when I was born.

My studio debut came at the age of 4 years old on the Psalty the Singing Songbook Camping Album. (Yes…church kids of the 80’s rejoice! I was on several of the Psalty records.) I was too little to reach the microphone so I was propped up on a step stool. I put the enormous headphones on my head and literally hiccuped my lines out. At the age of 6 I wrote my first song with the ever clever first verse lyrics “Roses are red, violets are blue, praise the Lord, we thank him for you”

Now that I think about it, my life has been one big musical. Every time we got in the car, every time we cleaned the house, every time we went to church, every time my heart got broken…music would fill the dead space above me.

I knew I wanted to be a country singer/songwriter from a very early age. Albums and songs from Ricky Skaggs, Paul Overstreet, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna had a large influence on my life. I remember laying on my bed listening to “On a bus to St. Cloud Minnesota…I thought I saw you there. With the snow falling down around you, like a silent prayer” and wishing…hoping that someday I could write a song that would make people feel the way that song was making me feel.

I sang in every musical at church. I was in every musical in high school. My sisters and I sang in weddings and funerals and our living room. I was in 5 different beauty pageants simply because I loved performing on stage. I majored in music business at MTSU. I took songwriting classes and played in writer’s nights. It was never an issue of “if” I would get a record deal someday. For me it was just always a matter of “when”.

That day came for my sisters and I on February 14th 2006. Toby Keith decided to take a chance on three little gypsies just finding their way. We were so green…had no idea what we were doing…but we had music. All we wanted was to make music. I will be forever grateful to Toby for giving us those first six years of our career. We got to do some incredible things and learned so much.

Many of you are probably wondering where Carter’s Chord has been the last several months. I’m going to be honest with you. We were burnt out. The life of a musician can be amazing and it can also be extremely disheartening. We felt like we were just spinning our wheels. We felt like we were trying so hard over and over and over again, only to end up right back where we started. We were starting to see each other as just co-workers and not sisters. We lost our music. We were losing those little girls we once were…so brimming with creativity it would spill out into everything we did. We needed a break. We needed a step back. We needed a change. When Emily found out she was pregnant, the three of us saw that as a perfect time for us to re-group. We decided it was time to part ways with our label and really try to decide if this is what we even wanted anymore. This time off was one of the best decisions we have ever made as a band.

Mama Carter says that music is in our DNA. She couldn’t be more right. This hiatus has only confirmed for all three of us the truth. No matter how much we may try to run…the music will find us. It’s in our veins. It’s all we know. It’s all we want to know. With that being said, I’m excited to say…WE’RE BACK. And we are doing things on our terms. We want to push thoughts and worries about the “business side” of this journey aside for a bit and just focus on the creative stuff. Making music for music’s sake. Back to basics. It’s going to look a little different than the traditional “Nashville Way”. We have too much Waylon ringing in our ears to do it any other way than our own now. We will be going into the studio this year to make an album of whatever the hell we want. We have been writing songs and feeling more creative than we ever have before. We want to make music that is the soundtrack to people’s lives. We want to make people feel the way music has made us feel.

I don’t know where this road will lead and we will most definitely need help from you, our friends, family, and fans along the way. Stay tuned for many announcements to come about our plans and how you can take part in our career. We are beyond excited, beyond encouraged, and beyond united in this next chapter for Carter’s Chord. And we can’t wait for you to share in this journey with us. Music for music’s sake. I think we all could use a little more.

-Becky

Becky’s 15th Annual Thanksgiving List

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family! This is the 15th year for my little tradition…and what a year it has been. I got married this year AND became an Aunt. I am so grateful for the things in this life. Some mornings I seriously wake up wanting to pinch myself because in many ways everything feels like a dream for me. The amount of blessings I have been given are definitely not lost on me and I never want to take them for granted. 

For those of you not familiar with my little tradition, you can scroll down to last year’s post on this blog where I go into greater detail on the history of my Thanksgiving list. This is one of my favorite traditions and it brings new clarity to my life each time I sit down to write it. 

I pray that each of you find yourselves loved today. As I always say…lets make real life and real art and real love this upcoming year. And without further ado…here is my 15th “Top 50 Things I’m Thankful For” list for 2012 (In no particular order…)

1. My best friend, love of my life, and my sanity. The person who knows me better than anyone on the planet. The person I chose to walk through this crazy life with. My husband. Jeremiah.

2. God’s redeeming love

3. My sisters Emily and Joanna. You are truly my arms and legs.

4. My amazing selfless, funny, and ever encouraging parents Barny and Carter

5. My NEW family. I could have never imagined a better family to marry into. I am so proud to call myself a Scott and l love you Sheree, Larry, Michelle, Matthew, Allen, Corben, Caleb, & Meagan.

6. My two beautiful new nephews! Tug Ryder Fortney and Greyson Tyler Henry.

7. Dr. Pepper

8. Jenn Greene’s one way ticket to Nashville for December!! The south is ready to welcome you home.

9. Franyely and Estalin Berroa and all the children we met in the Dominican Republic

10. Unity torches and private vows

11. New Years Day belly laughter with Jenn, Brad, and Shorter

12. The women in my life who shared my bachelorette party and wedding day with me

13. My brothers Mark and Marc

14. Sea Turtles

15. My Mama’s book…learning more about who she is and who I am as well.

16. Game of Thrones viewing parties

17. Game of Thrones halloween costumes (Can you tell we’re obsessed?)

18. My California family. I am missing yall something FIERCE this Thanksgiving.

19. First class flights and Maui Sunsets

20. Rain in Little Italy with Todd and Katie

21. The rush of singing on stage

22. World Vision

23. The Silver Shells Beach Resort in Destin, FL

24. My dream Jim Hjelm wedding dress

25. My roommates who always keep me laughing

26. Whats app group chats with the girls

27. The other new babies in my life this year…Brooklyn Zarling, Cash Childers, Lucy Waughan, Wylla Donald, and Elise Watson. My friends/family have been busy mamas this year!

28. Jeremiah’s Pina Coladas

29. Aunt Sharon’s recipe book

30. My red and black polka dot high heels

31. Randy and Cheryl Farrar and their beautiful farm

32. Wine and long talks with Sarah Remmers. I love my cousin.

33. Fairy Wings

34. Fantasy Football

35. All our amesome wedding gifts. We feel like adults now!

36. Family Dinner Nights

37. New opportunities for creative freedom/being less jaded

38. Pedicures with Miss Sheree

39. Red Door Nights

40. My Keurig coffee maker

41. Famous Dave’s coleslaw and pita chips…its sounds weird I know, but I love it.

42. Etta the Jetta makin’ it through another year

43. Our 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremonies Party

44. Awkward hugs

45. Jeremiah’s Pork Tenderloin and Hawaiian Roll sandwiches

46. Full Moon/Full Life festival. That was seriously one of my favorite nights this year.

47. Carriage Rides

48. Faith

49. Hope

50. Love

big, Big, BIG NEWS!!!! - Emily and Butter

Hello all!

Emily and Butter here!

We wanted to make a little announcement this morning because we just can’t keep it in any longer.  Are you ready?  Is the anticipation killing you???? Drumroll please……

We would like to announce……..that this October…..we are expecting A BABY BOY!!!!!

We have waited to share the good news with all our fans and it feels so good to be able to tell the world!  We feel incredibly blessed to be embarking on this new part of our lives and can’t wait to be parents to our little boy.  God is oh so good.

Hope to see all of you at CMA Music Fest next week.  You can’t miss the baby bump!!

XOXOXO from Emily, Butter and baby boy :-)

2012 CMA Fest Schedule

It’s that time of the year again. We absolutely LOVE CMA fest. As crazy (and blistering hot) as the week gets, it always means so much to us to be able to see your faces and shake your hands. We are performing twice this year so hopefully ya’ll will be able to make it out to see us sometime that week. Can’t wait! Below is our schedule. If anything else gets added to our official schedule, we will make sure to keep you posted. See ya there.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6th - HARD ROCK STAGE PERFORMANCE - 2:45pm

FRIDAY, JUNE 8th - WSM STAGE IN CONVENTION CENTER PERFORMANCE - 2:00pm

FRIDAY, JUNE 8th - WSM SIGNING BOOTH - 2:30pm

       

"Love a Little Bigger" Video Scavenger Hunt

Our video for “Love A Little Bigger” has premiered on VEVO and we want to give YOU the opportunity to score limited-edition autographed handwritten lyrics from Carter’s Chord!!!!

Answer all the questions correctly and you could win! 

Here’s how to enter:

Step 1: Watch the video for “Love A Little Bigger” HERE (May 8th to May 11th
Step 2: Get out a pen and paper and PAY ATTENTION!!!
Step 3: Answer the six questions below CORRECTLY
  • What is in the shop clerk’s hair when Joanna gets a cup of coffee?
  • What colors are in the item hanging outside on the clothes line? 
  • What is in the back of the white truck driving away?
  • What color shirt is the man on the motorcycle wearing?
  • What is the word in red at the top of the blue church?
  • What color are all 3 people wearing when the boy pops a wheelie on his bike?

Step 4: Email your answers IN ORDER to carterschord2012@gmail.com as well as the phone number where you can be reached.
 

CONGRATS, YOU’RE ENTERED!!


Rules:

  • You can enter as many times as you want
  • You must answer ALL the questions correctly to be eligible for entry
  • Prize winners will be chosen at random
  • Must live in the Continental US to be eligible for entry
  • You MUST include your phone number
  • Grand prize winner will be contacted via phone call
  • Once contacted as a winner you have 24 hours to respond.
  • If you fail to do so you forfeit your prize and another winner will be selected.
  • Contest runs May 8th through May 11th

I love, love

If you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of on a “Love A Little Bigger” kick.  I don’t mean to sound mushy, but I love love.  I am proud to say that my parents just celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary last week and are still just as in love as they were when they first met.  They’ve been through record deals, life on the road, financial stability and crippling instability, three daughters that all went through their hellish teenage years (accept me, I was a total angel….not), and they have still managed to maintain a deep love and respect for each other. My little sister, Joanna, fell in love with her perfect match that adores and takes care of her the way any big sister would want someone to adore and take care of her little sister.  They are going on three years of wedded bliss.  I, after a winding road of wrong turns, was blindsided, literally blindsided, by stumbling onto the epitome of everything I’d been wanting in another person.  And after shocking our friends and family with a surprise wedding a year and a half ago, we’re still going strong.  Check out how it all went down!

http://youtu.be/_z1nl4WStuM

But after saying all of that, I really want to talk about my big sissy, Becky.  Becky Lou…..my big sister, my best friend, is getting married next month.  She is marrying the love of her life, finally after ten years, and she can’t be more excited about it.  

If you know anything about Becky, you would know that she is the most upbeat, passionate, dramatic, giddy, bubbly, fun human being on the face of the earth.  To give you a hint of the kind of personality she has, she wanted polka dots on her wedding dress.  This is Becky in a nutshell:

Becky and I were inseparable from the very beginning.  She is 3 1/2 years older than me so I was her little doll growing up.  I lived to do everything just like her.  I believed everything she told me.  I remember one time when we were little, our mom had us in the tub together and she convinced me that I could go down the drain.  She put a wash cloth over my head and pretended to yell my name with an echo.  “EMILY!! Emily! emily…” with each “Emily” getting more quiet.  She always made everything so fun.  We made up songs, dances, and games.  She would come up with scripts for Joanna and I to act out and she was the director.  We always called her “Bossy Becky” but we loved it.  She used to be obsessed with beauty pageants and one time made 51 paper dolls that represented girls from all 50 states including the District of Columbia.  I kid you not, we had to judge a full paper doll beauty pageant that she had created, complete with a talent competition.  It was intense.  Poor mom and dad….Joanna and I loved it.  I remember one day she told us she wasn’t going to play Barbies with us anymore because she was getting too old for that.  Joanna and I were crushed.  We cried and cried and cried.  Now don’t get me wrong, Becky and I had our rough moments.  Our personalities are very different.  But I always looked up to her.  I always was proud of her.  She’s always been there for me.  She’s never judgmental.  She always has my back.  

Fast forward 15 years or so and we’re once again all three together, on the road, on the radio, in photo shoots, interviews, on a stage, in a plane, in a van, writing songs, and recording music as Carter’s Chord.  Sometimes I feel like we’re still playing “house” or “dress up” or some game we made up when we were young.  It’s amazing to me to think about how we’ve all grown up.  I’m so blessed to have maintained such a close relationship with my sisters through all these years.  Not everybody can say they have that.  It is the most profound blessing I could ever have.  

I am so happy for Becky.  She deserves every bit of happiness and love this world has to offer.  Jeremiah, her fiance, is 6 foot 3, covered in tattoos from head to toe, has longer hair than her, a long beard, rides a Harley, and is a death metal producer and guitar player.  Pretty opposite sounding from little blonde Becky and her pageant paper dolls right?  They are actually completely perfect for each other and he treats her like gold.  He’s a great guy that I’m proud to have as my brother in law.  She has been head over heels for Jeremiah for a long time.  Probably half the songs she’s written that we perform have been about him over the years!  I’m praying that Joanna and I don’t completely break down in tears in the middle of the song we’re singing during the ceremony!  I am thrilled that she’s marrying the love of her life…..he is one lucky guy.  And yes I realize she’s wearing the same dress in both these pictures….she’s gonna kill me.  

-Emily

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, at Least Make an Educated Insult - by Joanna

Like I said in my last blog, I love people who wear their hearts on their sleeves. I am not one of these people. I have many friends like this, and I admire their forwardness. However, I have met some “tell it like it is” people that I feel I must pick a bone with. While I respect the sentiment of brutal honesty, I’ve noticed that sometimes they’re achieving the exact opposite. They’re not telling it like it is at all. In fact, they sometimes flat out “lie about what it is”. Let me explain what I mean by telling a cute little story.

I used to wait tables. During this time, I felt like every day was a rough day for me. I was grateful for the job, but I put most of my effort into it leaving little energy to put toward what matters most to me-music. One day, I was minding my own business folding napkins at the restaurant where I worked, and in walks this guy. He was an older man, and the minute he walked in, all my fellow servers leaped from their activities with excitement to greet him like little puppies. Apparently he was a regular at this restaurant and everyone loved him. I could tell he was a jokester. He had a crowd of servers surrounding him laughing hysterically. He walked right in like he owned the place and I feel like he was pointing finger guns at people while he cracked jokes.

I don’t know. That probably didn’t happen but I like to remember it that way. But he seemed like a nice enough guy. He just wasn’t nice to me.

He walked toward me and blurted out “You’re new!” I responded cheerfully (sometimes I’m annoyingly too nice) “Why, yes I am! My name is Joanna, nice to meet you!” He surveyed me up and down creepily and said “Let me guess. You’re a student and you’re working here for the summer.” He rolled his eyes as he said it, as if I was inconveniencing him with this conversation he started. I was perplexed by how quickly he went from Beloved Regular to douche, but I thought it might be part of his hilarious comedy bit. I responded “Nope. Actually I’m a musician.” He made a gagging noise (like 4th graders do) and said “Pssh. A musician, huh? What kind of music?” I told him country music and he acted as though I’d just told him I was a murderer. “Country music??! I HATE country music!” Now, I can take sarcasm. But this guy wasn’t joking. And it’s not like we had some rapport that allowed us to poke fun at each other. We’d just met. I didn’t get the joke. And just when I didn’t think he could be any more childish, he noticed my wedding ring and addressed my fellow servers with “And she’s married??!! What is she, 12??” My coworkers obviously didn’t get the joke either, because they weren’t laughing. I said sarcastically “Yep. Right you are sir. I am 12 years old.” Then he thinks he has me figured out again: “Let me guess. Your husband’s a musician too.” Wrong again friend! “No, he works for an interactive agency.” Needless to say, that conversation got nowhere. I don’t remember how it ended, but I remember going into the back of the kitchen afterward and seriously considering grabbing a pot of hot coffee to pour on his special no no parts. 

Now I could bring up the Plato quote “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” and talk about how not only was I fighting a hard battle, but maybe this man was too, because when you tear others down it’s because you’re unhappy with your own life and yada yada blah blah blah. While all those things are true, I think what bothered me most about this instance was how uneducated he was about me. If you really must hurt my feelings, at least know what you’re talking about. Because if you don’t, you’re not gonna hurt my feelings, you’re just gonna waste my time. He had no earthly idea who I was. He knew nothing about my story. Every single snarky assumption about my life that he threw at me was not even close to being correct, yet he thought he had me all figured out. “Let me guess. You’re a student.” Nope! “Let me guess. You’re 12.” Nope! “Let me guess. Your husband’s a musician.” Wow dude, you’re really bad at this. 

So the moral of the story (and pretty much every story) is to be kind of course. I am, and I gotta say…it’s the way to be. However, if you’re just an evil person and you must be a jerk, at least be an intelligent one. If you really want to hurt someone’s feelings, it won’t work if you don’t know how to insult them correctly. 

Oh yea. And I know I promised I wouldn’t dole out any more advice, but…I lied.

I’ll leave you with some words written by a talented comedian. I finished reading Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” a few months ago, and in it she wrote this hilarious chapter about the lowest form of humans: people who leave mean comments on trashy websites. She responds directly (and very sarcastically) to some of these people who said rude things about her on websites like TMZ, Perez Hilton and others alike. Here’s an excerpt and prepare to pee your pants a little from laughing: 

From PerezHilton.com

Posted by jerkstore on Wednesday, 1/21/2009, 11:21 P.M.

"In my opinion Tina Fey completely ruined SNL. The only reason she’s celebrated is because she’s a woman and an outspoken liberal. She has not a single funny bone in her body."

Dear jerkstore,

Huzzah for the Truth Teller! Women in this country have been over-celebrated for too long. Just last night there was a story on my local news about a “missing girl,” and they must have dedicated seven or eight minutes to “where she was last seen” and “how she might have been abducted by a close family friend,” and I thought, “What is this, the News for Chicks?” Then there was some story about Hillary Clinton flying to some country because she’s secretary of state. Why do we keep talking about these dumdums? We are a society that constantly celebrates no one but women and it must stop! I want to hear what the men of the world have been up to. What fun new guns have they invented? What are they raping these days? What’s Michael Bay’s next film going to be?

When I first set out to ruin SNL, I didn’t think anyone would notice, but I persevered because—like you trying to do a nine-piece jigsaw puzzle—it was a labor of love.

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I feel safe with you, jerkstore, so I’ll say it. Everything you ever hated on SNL was by me, and anything you ever liked was by someone else who did it against my will.

Sincerely, 

Tina Fey

-Tina Fey, “Bossypants”

Stay classy,

Joanna

Rooftops and Buttercups

                ”Vida en toda su plenitud la voluntad para hacer esto posible”

Life to the fullest and the will to make it happen. That is one of the themes of World Vision in The Dominican Republic. It’s Thursday. It’s hard to believe that we have been home for almost an entire week. I can’t get the faces, sounds, smells, smiles out of my head. The three of us knew that taking a trip to visit our sponsored child would be an amazing thing. I don’t know that we were prepared for how much our hearts would be grabbed…captured. Life to the fullest and the will to make it happen. That is what everyone deserves. That is what World Vision is trying to give people around the world…a chance…dignity…a future…and we saw it all first hand.

       

Small, narrow, spiral metal stairs wind up the side of the building spilling us onto the rooftop of a three story building. There at the far end stands a structure. A room of sorts…no…this is a home. This is the home where our sponsored child Franyely lays her head each night. Four year old Franyely, her six year old brother, and her Dad all share one bed. They have a small TV, a few toy cars, a hot plate for cooking, and eachother. That is all. Franyely’s mother split when she was 2 months old. Never coming back. Franyely’s father Francisco is a single Dad working as a handyman trying to do everything he can to keep his family together. He has a hard time finding work because he has no one to watch the children during the day and he doesn’t want to leave them alone. His mother used to watch the children but she passed away a few months ago. He takes them along on his painting and maintenance jobs.

It’s been a bleak picture for this little family…but they have two things they can hold onto. Their faith…and now they also have World Vision. World Vision to act as an advocate for them in the community. World Vision who can come alongside them and ensure that the children get the things that they need and that Francisco can get some assistance. World Vision who has vocational training centers, music schools, counseling centers, and church partnerships. This family is not alone. Knowing that our sponsorship is helping put all these things in place for this sweet family is amazing.

Though their world looks somber at times, the real story here is the joy. This family loves each other. Hope is an amazing thing. Hope is something you can feel. Something you can see. We could hear it in Franyely’s laughter. See it in her brother’s smile. Feel it in Franyely’s hugs…(and she gives amazing hugs). They aren’t all that different from any kid you might know. Franyely loves puppy dogs and pretending to cook. She watches Barney the dinosaur with her brother. They play and fight like normal brothers and sisters do. Her father has a nickname for her that in Spanish means “Buttercup”. Bombón. A ray of sunshine on the cloudy days…a little buttercup amidst the dirt of poverty.

There are so many more stories to tell from our trip. So much information to download. In the coming weeks we will be releasing a video blog series chronicling our trip. We will be showing teasers of our upcoming music video for the song “Love a Little Bigger” that we shot while in the Dominican Republic. We would love for all of you to join us on this journey.

I want to leave with one thing. Listen to you heart. I know there are amazing charity organizations all over the world and I don’t know where you already spend your generosity. But if you feel moved to learn more about World Vision and the world of child sponsorship, please investigate more. Listen to that little voice inside that is telling you that you are blessed…and that even with what little you have you can make a world of difference in the life of a family. Find out more information on our website at 

http://www.carterschord.com/index.php/world-vision/ 

Click through to the World Vision site and look at the faces of the little ones waiting for a sponsor. I promise…committing yourself to something like this will change your life in ways you didn’t even know possible. We’ve seen it first hand…it’s all completely legit. Your letters are hand delivered to your sponsored child, case workers who truly care are on the ground in these countries, and hope is in the air. Take a second…and truly consider sponsoring a child today.

I will leave you with one more thing…our Buttercup’s laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CartersChord 

Hot Girls in Bikinis

By: Emily Fortney

Just kidding….this blog is not about hot girls in bikinis.  Although I think most of you would probably enjoy that topic.  I just wanted to get your attention……maybe next time.  Ah ha…..just kidding again.

So I know that everyone is out there on this big quest to find the answer to the question, “What is the secret to life?”  We fall in love, we have careers, we have children, we travel to exotic places, we eat healthy food and exercise our bodies, we read, we write, we learn…..maybe some of you think the secret to life is actually hot girls in bikinis!  But I believe the real answer to that question is very simple and easy to find (thanks to the internet): laughter.  If you don’t have humor, you have nothing.  If you can’t laugh, you might as well be dead.  I live trying to find the subtle humor in every single day.  There’s a reason why I married, I think, the funniest human being on the planet….and I’m pretty blessed to have personal comedians, my sisters, with me all the time.  So with that said, I’m dedicating this blog to laughter.  I want to share some of the things that make me crack up.  So enjoy this little break from your day…..Go ahead……it’ll make you feel good.

First up is one of my favorite YouTube videos.  Most of these I hear about from Joanna, but this particular one I actually found through my manager, Alan Good.  Starts out slow but stick with it.  It’s worth it!

Okay this I found through Joanna and it cracks me up because I have actually, for real, been to a church just like this.  Kinda creepy and oh so awesome.

One word…….Kristen Wiig.

Now would be the time that I would like to tell some jokes, and believe me, I know some doozies, but for whatever reason, all my jokes tend to be insanely inappropriate.  And since my mama reads this blog, I’m going to have to refrain from telling them (along with posting some stand up from my favorite comedian, Katt Williams.)  But if you ever see me out, give me a couple tequilas and I’ll have you doubled over.

This next one is another one I’ve been blessed to watch because of Joanna.  It’s becoming huge, so I’m sure many of you have seen it before.  The other spoofs that people have been doing are pretty hilarious too.

And just because we couldn’t resist, we HAD to do our own little spoof.  So without further ado, here is Carter’s Chord doing “Sh*t Country Singers/Songwriters Say”….

So I hope I brought you 20 minutes of laughter right when you need it.  On another note, the girls and I are leaving with World Vision next week to travel to the Dominican Republic.  We’ll be posting videos and blogs throughout our trip, so make sure you check back with us.  Can’t wait to show you some sneak peaks of our new music video for “Love A Little Bigger” and what a difference you and I can make in the lives of children through this wonderful organization, World Vision.  Until then….

Love,

Emily

Don’t Know Why

"All I can do is be me, whoever that is." -Bob Dylan

After reading Emily’s post about being real, it got me thinking about something similar I’ve dealt with in my own life. I’m really good at pretending to be passive. This is what gets me in trouble most of the time. I’m not one of these types who wears their heart on their sleeve. I wish I was. My heart is deeply hidden behind my…trachea, or something. But even though I put on a calm face and keep my heart hidden, who I really am is anything but passive. I feel most things intensely, too intensely at times. I can be quick to anger. I have convictions deeply inscribed into my DNA that I’m unbelievably stubborn about. Yet for whatever reason, there are only a handful of people who truly know this about me.

Making people think I’m normal and not the twisted little human I really am is one of my greatest talents. And if I were to guess, I would say a lot of people are like me. So what stops us from showing our true colors? Why do I have such a hard time projecting my insides to the outside? (That sounds gross, but I think you understand what I’m saying.)

I began realizing this trait (aka fear) of mine is destructive and I needed to change it (aka grow some cajones). It’s been destructive because it’s held me back. It’s held me back from standing my ground against things I hate, like shallowness and hype. It’s even caused me to “sell out” so to speak at times, which is probably a whole other blog post in itself. Here’s the kicker, and I will put this in italics because it’s important, and I just really like italics: I’m more likable when I’m not pretending. What a concept! I don’t want to be some ambiguous blank canvas where people can paint their assumptions of who I am onto me. People are drawn to authenticity. (At least the soulful ones are, and frankly those are the only ones I want in my life.) When we’re playing a show, I’ve noticed the audience always has a bigger reaction to our original songs. This isn’t because the other songs in our set are bad, but because our originals are true to who we are; more believable, therefore more attractive. These realizations save me from getting too far down a road of ambiguity. 

There’s a song I’ve grown to love over the past few months. It really resonates with me and this whole issue. It paints the way I feel when I hold myself back from showing my colors. It might mean something completely different to you, but this is what it means to me. When it first came out, I heard it, but I didn’t really hear it if that makes any sense. It was Top 40 and overplayed. I liked the sound and respected the artist, but I didn’t feel much for it beyond that. But recently I stumbled upon the lyrics and they hit me like a ton of bricks. This song I had been hearing as background music in restaurants like Red Lobster for years was suddenly so profound and heart wrenching. I had no idea. It’s a beautifully sad depiction of regret. We ourselves can be our biggest obstacle, the biggest source of our own sorrow. I know it’s a love song, but I hear it as the ballad of missed moments in any form. It inspires me to come out of hiding. You should do the same if you haven’t already. I guarantee you people will appreciate it. 

And since we’re on a roll with this originality theme, while the artist who cut it is incredible, I would like to share a video I found of the writer of this piece singing it. This is his handiwork. He created something from his heart, and it got noticed. In a huge way. Oh yea, and the song is “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones.

http://youtu.be/BbOLLibARmk

-Jo

"When I saw the break of day I wished that I could fly away, Instead of kneeling in the sand, catching tear drops in my hand." - Jesse Harris