I’m sitting here on the couch at my sister’s house in Toronto right now, completely wiped out. My feet hurt, my eyes are heavy, I’ve put about 500 miles on the rental car and 500 more on my guitar in the past four days. But I’ve loved every second of it!
I flew up here from Nashville last weekend with a bunch of promotional kits, two guitars and a suitcase full of clothes that felt like it weighed 500 pounds. (Sometimes a girl just needs her shoes…ALL of her shoes.) Objective: hit as many southern Ontario radio stations as possible in four days, and throw in some CMT show tapings and some private showcases to boot. Some of you have been following my Facebook status updates and Twitter tweets, which I’ve been sending in via cellphone. (Did I break the Twitter etiquette guidelines for too many posts? Well, at least I know I’m not as bad as John Mayer – he’s on there all day long.)
My manager Louis O’Reilly (who also represents Shane Yellowbird and Brad Johner) picked me up on Monday morning and we headed out to the Toronto radio station Country 95.3 FM. Nothing like jumping in the deep end by having my first on-air interview at one of the biggest stations in Canada! I can’t say I wasn’t nervous, but the morning show staff (Lea, Paul and Bradley) made it easy. As I was sitting at that microphone, I had a flashback…me, 10 years ago, riding on the subway on the way to my zoology classes at U of Toronto with my headphones cranked up loud, listening with intense concentration to the songs playing on the Toronto country station, losing the signal in the tunnels and waiting on the edge of my seat for the train to come out the other end into the sunlight so I could hear how the song ends…it made me wonder if there was anyone out there doing the exact same thing now!
From there we were off to London’s BX93 for an interview with Chris Harding (a wonderful guy), then 107.3 in Tillsonburg where I got to spend about an hour on the air live with Randy Owen (very sweet – he even wished us a safe drive via the airwaves after we left the station), and finally a quick recording with Bill Hart over in Kitchener at KIX 106. And after visiting 4 radio stations in one day, we still had enough energy left to go to the Johnny Reid concert in Hamilton, where I even got my name called a couple of times from the stage when One More Girl (the opening duo) played one of my songs in their set, and then when Johnny himself introduced “Dance With Me”, the title track of his new record which we wrote together. And what a show it was! I knew I had to sing a lot in the next few days so I tried not to scream too much…but it was hard not to.
Tuesday was just as crazy as Monday! We had a blast visiting KX96 in Oshawa for a live appearance on the Ellis and Archer show, and from there we went straight to the CMT headquarters in Toronto where I performed an acoustic showcase for the staff. Then I was interviewed by Paul McGuire for the CMT Weekend show, which will air this weekend (March 21/22). But our work was far from done! Then we zipped off to the headquarters of my record label, EMI Canada, where I did a private acoustic showcase for the movers and shakers of the Canadian music biz.
By Wednesday I was starting to resent being a girl and having to wake up at 4am every day to start curling my hair and putting my makeup on (Hey, I’m a songwriter – I’m just not used to that! And I guarantee you Shane Yellowbird doesn’t have to spend that long in front of a mirror to look good.) So it was a great relief to have someone else do it for a change! CMT’s hair and makeup artist made me look like a rock star for my “CMT Four Tracks” shoot, which we filmed down at the Cadillac Lounge on Queen Street in Toronto. I was backed up by an incredible 3 piece acoustic band. I can’t wait for you to see the results! We’ll let you know when it airs.
Today was an especially fun day because I got to visit my hometown radio stations! KICX 106 in Orillia was the first stop, which is the country station covering the Muskoka area where I grew up. I had a great time on the air live with Jack Latimer there, and then I was off to Bracebridge to visit The Moose 99.5FM. The Moose is actually a rock station, but the folks there are wonderfully supportive of their hometown talent (which also includes country singer/songwriter Deric Ruttan – we both went to high school there). Mike Fry recorded an interview with me, which will air tomorrow on his morning show before 10am.
Needless to say, this week has been a really surreal experience. I mean seriously – imagine yourself in my shoes…I’ve been wearing sweats and hanging out in closet-sized songwriting offices for the past 10 years and now I’m singing my songs into microphones at radio stations and wearing fake eyelashes on TV. Pretty wild. And through it all, I’ve been watching my single, “The Wheel” enter the Canadian country chart already at #46 and climbing. And so many of you have come along for the ride with me on my facebook page – I have really enjoyed and appreciated all of your feedback and encouragement!
Anyhow, I’m heading back to Nashville shortly to do some more songwriting and to film another show for CMT, so I’m gonna put my feet up for a little while and just try to absorb all the craziness I’ve just experienced. Oh, and by the way, we got lots of video footage so we’ll have some new webisodes up for you very soon!