This past year and a half has been one hell of a ride for me. Things just keep getting bigger and bigger... all I've been able to do is hold on.
I added another 6 Grammy Nominations to my bio!!! YAY! I won 2 additional Madison Area Music Awards and my band and I have played the WORLDS LARGEST MUSIC FESTIVAL!!! Summerfest!
I could tell you lots of little stuff, hell, I love to write - so this could go on forever... but really, what is important in all of these words, is just that I have been extremely blessed. Not just this year, but always.
I made a decision when I was twelve, that this was what I wanted to do. I could have altered my dreams, I could have settled for less than what I wanted, but I did not. I couldn't. I know nothing else. Writing music is my passion, my heart and my truth. I don't think I knew how important it would become to my survival when I was that young. But, throughout the years - I have grown into my dreams and I have been blessed beyond measure.
My motto is "dream bigger" because I think everyone should do that. Aim higher... I mean... what do you have to lose? This life is what you make of it and I am making it my own.
This year is half over and I have a new "live" cd that will be released in the fall. I have a DVD that will be out shortly after and I have a new studio Cd that I will start in the spring of 2008. I made a plan. I stuck to it. And now... here I am... almost there.
The latest stuff (2006)
I don't remember a time when music wasn't all I wanted to do and all I wanted to be. Years of juggeling a full time job and trying to get my music out there really left me exhausted and frusterated, until the day I gave up the job and started living on faith. The past two years, being a full time musician has been extremely difficult, but also it's been the most rewarding time of my life. Cutting the last CD was such an incredible experience, a gift really, because recording wasn't something I could afford to do. A blessing, a gift, an answer to prayer, whatever it was... it has changed my life.
The success from the last album has been incredible, and the people who have come into my life because of it have altered my thinking, my goals and my future. I have an incredible band that I love creating music with. We play on feeling, something I have always wanted but was unsure how to achieve. Even on days that I'm not sure how to make it all work, I always know I am blessed.
I cannot say what the future will hold for Jessi Lynn, all I know is that it will be great. The songs will be lived, loved and nurtured until they are ready to be heard. The music will grow, change and become what they are meant to become, without the rules of the music business. I want to play music that I love. Music that speaks from one heart to another. I want that more than anything. It's funny to look back on my life and realize that the 12 year old girl who just wanted to be famous has changed into a woman who wants nothing more than to write a good song.
This is my wish.
No bells. No whistles. No hoops to jump through... just a good bunch of friends, a good buzz and a good set of songs.
What's Happened So Far...
"I was sitting on the bank of Percy Priest Lake, in Nashville, about two years ago. I had been going through a pretty hard time the years prior and was at a crossroad in my life. I remember praying a lot that day, asking for wisdom and guidence on which road to take in my life. I heard back from God as I sat there on the bank... he said to me "Be patient, but be ready"... and so I began preparing myself for what was to come."
Before that day,
Jessi had been nominated for 7 Grammy's in 2002, for her Cd "Just Me & My Guitar", although she lost out in the first round. She had won little awards throughout her career and had a realy great response to all of her releases, but nothing really solidified her career.
Since that day,
She moved away from bad choices. An opportunity to record again, through a private lender, opened up and she took it. A new CD was born. Nominations were announced, different awards started coming in, Cd reviews in magazines and online music sites started pouring in and invitations for television shows started to surface. TrackSide Charities recognized her talent and invited her to join their racing team for 2006, along with Emerson Drive. She has quit all her "real" jobs and started playing music full time. Hard yes... broke most of the time, yes... but, Jessi says "never have I been any happier".
"One of the coolest things that has happened, is a connection that happened with the George Jones band. Hearing from the guys, telling me that they believe in me and what I'm doing. Well... it's awesome. I mean, who would have thought that the guys in George Jones band, would be riding around listening to Jessi Lynn? That's cool.", Jessi says with a smile on her face.
2006 is Jessi's year. There have been many starts and many stops. Many bumps and bruises to heal from, but there is absolutely no doubt, that this ride is going to happen now. Jessi says, "People know me when I walk into places. My songs are playing in the background as I'm eating lunch with a friend. The past two years I have been busting my ass to do this... my patience is paying off, because now... I am ready."
Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.
The Girl Behind The Song...
There's nothin' like a blank sheet of paper, a guitar and a feeling that gets my heart racing. Nor is there a better feeling than to open up and pour it all out, allowing the song to create itself... it is a true and genuine honor to get to be a part of the creation.
I began dreaming long before I ever picked up a guitar and started writing. I was twelve when that happened. With a shoebox full of money I had saved up for years... My Dad took me to the music shop and I bought the only guitar in the whole place that I could afford. I counted out the last $15 in change and walked out of there a different person. Proud. I haven't stopped writing since. Some say it's out of control... I say... I've barely begun.
When I was 20, I decided I wanted to record an album... so off I went, with a back pack full of songs (literally) and my guitar. Nearly a year later, the album was complete. It was such a learning experience for me and the power I felt... well, I thought I could do anything. I titled the Cd "Remember Me" because I wanted people to do just that. I thought for sure that record was going to land me in Nashville and on every radio station across America. Then reality kicked me upside the head... A tough lesson learned there.
Shortly after my first Cd was released, I moved to Nashville. I played anywhere and everywhere that I could and eventually decided to record another Cd, so I went back to my stomping ground to record in Madison, Wisconsin. "Just Me & My Guitar" is the title of my second Cd and is a collection of my Nashville experiences. An acoustic album that I am still so proud of today. I returned to Nashville soon after the release of that Cd... but moved out, yet again, a year later.
I've been on the move for a few years now, but have never stopped writing, singing or playing. I have finished the new album, titled "You Aint Seen Nothin' Like This" which was released in the summer of 2005. I'm branching out, changing my style a bit and growing every step of the way. Nashville is never out of my mind and I will end up back there before long I'm sure. There are so many other great cities to see before I ever plant my roots too deep in any one spot, so although I intend on returning to Nashville at some point, I cannot commit to "when" that might be. There's no sense in missing this journey... that's what I say... I've been here and there, there and here and back again... some say I left Nashville... I say, I took it with me (along with every other place I've stopped along the way).
I'm a little older than I was when I walked into that first recording studio, but I am still just a girl with a guitar and a backpack full of songs. I may never be famous, but I'll always keep playing music that I believe in. There's no changing that part of my soul. It's in me. It's why I continue to play music even when things are hard, money is tight and time is tickin' away. I know that God will open the doors that I am supposed to walk through, I believe this with all of my being. I'm being patient and getting ready for the ride that I'm sure is coming my way. Sure, I may have 7 Grammy nominations and have won numerous awards for my songwriting.. but the most important thing is that I'm traveling the country, selling Cd's out of the trunk of my car, playing songs for people that want to listen. The awards are nice, but they're nothing if no one is listening.
I love what I do... life is good... so damn good. I couldn't ask for more...