She spent her childhood traveling the country with her school teacher parents. He was the son of a Baptist preacher who attended 18 schools. They both spent their formative years constantly meeting new people and seeing new places. In 1990 she was a college sophomore and he an aspiring musician. They found each other and ran away together to seek their fortune. Today Steve is the singer/songwriter for Nashville recording artists Hillbilly Vegas and Monica teaches 1st grade. These are their travel adventures.
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Spring Break and Hillbilly Vegas:
If you’re a reader of this blog (there are a few of you out there) you know I use this forum to amuse, update and sometimes complain. Today I’m going to talk about our recent trip to Nashville…the place where the ‘magic’ happens. Or so they say…? So here’s the straight dope on our spring break in Nashville:
Hello Sunday it’s time for Hillbilly Vegas and THE American Pickers:
John and I along with Richie Owens were given the honor of performing at Antique Archaeology Nashville on Sunday. Yes, of the American Pickers on the History Channel fame. We weren’t really sure what to expect. When we arrived it was still maybe 30 minutes before opening and there was already a line waiting to get in the store almost a block long. That line stayed like that ALL day!
Every time we mentioned this particular gig on Facebook…the same questions were repeatedly asked. We didn’t know the answers at the time. We do now and here they are:
Q- Would we be on the show?
A- It was possible, because they film all the time…but in the end there was no filming on our day…so NOPE!
Q -Would Mike and Frank, and/or Danielle be there?
A- Again, a possibility because they are often there…but on our day NOPE!
The final question asked upon our return…
Q-Was it worth it?
A- Absolutely! We had a great time and did something so cool…we played for a different group of people from every part of the country every 15 minutes for over 2 hours. We were exposed to so many good folks from all over the U.S. or as our buddy Richie Owens said…we played for the HOV…Hillbillies On Vacation! It was very cool and the staff treated us great! We will gladly return if we’re ever asked again.
Monday and a meeting on The Row:
How cool did we feel having our first meeting actually on Music Row…the famous 16th Ave. There have been songs written about 16th Ave. and it’s a very cool thing to be there not just as a gawking tourist like we usually are…HA!
Anyway, we met with our manager, record label and toured the new studio at Red Dirt Nashville. It was a good meeting and as usual we came away smarter than we were when we got there. But the music business is ugly boy…why the heck do we keep doing this? I haven’t a clue.
So… here’s the best way I can describe having a meeting on Music Row with your label when you’re a new artists. It’s kind of like a guy running for President. He makes all these grand promises. Then he’s elected and attends that first REAL briefing (Area 51, the Masons etc). Suddenly his hair is gray and just like all the other guys who’ve held the office…he’s hamstrung, bewildered and has that WTF look permanently tattooed on his face. That’s the best way to describe getting a record deal and getting the REAL scoop on the music biz. We left with that look on our faces I’m sure.
So despite the fact that our moms believe we have a hit song…it’s a lot more difficult to accomplish.
I can tell you it takes a BIG MACHINE! A machine that can generate perfect timing, lots of money, lots of cooperation from people who will have to find a way to also benefit from you having a hit song and finally a lot of LUCK…OH and the song of course but seriously sometimes the song is the least important ingredient in the whole pot of crap! But hey…we’re swinging for the fences and who knows and what we appreciate most is the fact that our assembled group of brains tells us the truth…no sugar coating!
FINALLY…IT’S TUESDAY and It could be, might be or it may just flop…
Video shoot day FINALLY! It was a long early part of the day waiting for our stage call. We ate our free breakfast. Some of us lounged by the pool, others slept or shopped and finally we all together fought traffic and arrived at The Rutledge where we were shooting Little Miss Rough and Tumble. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs…we’ve done other video shoots. Or so we thought we’d done other video shoots. We haven’t…because this was NOTHING like anything we’ve ever done before.
There were cool camera tricks, cameras on wheels and lots and lots and lots of singing to the prerecorded song over and over and over and over again. Sometimes singing the song with a camera fixed less than 10” from your face. Wow! It was a fantastic experience and something we hope we get to do again…but only time will tell.
Stacie Heckuba who has a resume a mile long filled with MUCH bigger names than Hillbilly Vegas did such a fantastic job. She made us feel comfortable and important. She went above and beyond and even stuck around and filmed our entire set on the Billy Block Show. Just as we credit Richie Owens for all he did to help us get our sound we believe we’ve found the same expertise for the way our music should look in Stacie.
The video will be out in mid April, our label will then execute their plan for the song and the rest is left for fate I suppose. We like the song, our label likes the song and people have said it has a chance…in the end that’s all anyone can ask for…a chance.
See ya soon,