Sunday, July 12th 2015
Theme: America, My Home Sweet Home
Sleep?! Who needs sleep? I pulled an “all-nighter”… seemed like a great idea at the time since I had to be at the airport at 4AM and really what’s the point of a 3 hour nap with a chance of over sleeping? Tim and Susan insisted that I hang out at their hotel until I had to go to the airport. We sat and chatted for a bit in the lobby of the Marriott. I changed into my flight attire and let them sleep. Around 3AM, while sitting in a cozy chair, I hit a wall… a brick wall. Uh oh… Walk it off Jo! I went outside to the rental car and turned on the cold air and radio… Come on one more hour!
I know you’ve been there, where no matter what you do your eyelids, which are rarely thought about during the day, become very apparent and their weight becomes like THE heaviest thing in the world. Okay, time to find coffee! And the only place open at this hour… Jack In The Box. Fine. Grab a coffee and head to the gas station (that does not have a store attached to it). Gas in Nashville… wait for it $2.32 a gallon! HUH? How the heck is it that California gas is almost double that amount?
Full tank of gas… Check! Rental car return to Alamo… Check! Luggage… Check! Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes… Check! Okay just have to check into American Airlines… uh oh… I didn’t receive my reservation number! My adrenaline kicked in really quick. No need for coffee. After almost twenty minutes of trying to contact people in California… I finally find it. Check in… CHECK! Thank goodness…
TSA Security Check – What can I say? We have to do it… Safety first… Throw away all liquids, quickly disassemble yourself, put your life in trays for scanning, walk through a bubble barefoot with hands over your head – which I sometimes wonder what the big bubble scanner is really doing to us? – Then put yourself back together again on the other side. It’s almost a race… Hurry, people are starring and waiting on you. At 4:45AM and almost 20 straight hours… the whole experience feels a little numbing. And the water that I was trying to drink down before having to throw it away is now quadruple this side of the TSA. I’m too tired to fight it… Yes, Fine… $4.75 for 20 ounces of water GRRRRR!
I find terminal C-20, no one is there yet, but there is this really cute kids store called Fly Babies and they sell capes! Awwww… Another reminder of my pup, Hero.
Boarding starts a 5:45AM… I’m in Group 2… so my Insta pic makes it look like I am flying solo…
Eventually the seats filled in and next to me, in the middle seat, is a guy laying-over in LAX with a final destination Hawaii! Take me please! He’s a twenty-two year old real estate and marketing agent. He came home to Tennessee to visit family and see his step-dad off because he’s just been deployed by the Airforce again… for a year or two. I could hear the uneasiness in his voice and see it on his face. My heart kind of sank into my stomach, and stayed pinned there throughout take-off. So many times I think about those that defend our ‘American Dream’… the one that you and I are getting to live everyday… For me, it’s one of the reasons I sing the National Anthem so much, it’s my little way of giving back… But when I think of those that serve, I think of how strong and brave they are… But strong and brave are those waiting for them back home, too. Note to self: Not all super heroes wear capes.
We talked a little more… he finds out I’m a singer/songwriter… I give him an album, and he immediately takes out his Mac and pops it in the player and listens to the entire thing… multiple times… He takes his headphones off, “Wow. You’re a really good singer. I think you rank number one on my list of coolest people I have sat next to on a plane!” He tries to pay me for the CD… but I wouldn’t let him because it was payment enough to see that I could bring a smile to his face. Dang, music is powerful.
It’s about a four hour flight home… only closed my eyes for what must have been twenty minutes… Smooth landing… Baggage claim and AHHHHHH dry California air! Too tired to sleep on the way home… Around the thirty-one hour mark I fall asleep at home… but not for long, because I have to visit my best friend on her birthday.
So much has happened over the last week… I need a minute to process it all. I feel so very blessed on so many levels… I am thankful for the opportunities I receive. Nashville proved to be Music City USA… approachable and charming as all get up… but there is a beat that is still echoing in my ears… the heartbeat of America. It’s steady, strong and slower than California… It’s sweet and pure like honey. Yeah, I got bit by the Nashville bug… actually I think I got bit by a few of them… and I have the marks to prove it.
Saturday, July 11th 2015
Theme: Long Day and Long Good-Byes
Today is my last full day in Tennessee… Dang it’s gone by so quick, but I am definitely starting to get a little homesick (missing that dry weather LOL and my pups) This morning at the hotel in Ashland, I packed all of my things in the car and headed to Music City Center for the last day of NAMM. On the last day of NAMM the public can purchase tickets to come inside and check out all the new and cool technology and gear. There are usually many more demonstrations and sponsored artists performing at the booths. Today didn’t disappoint… and apparently, the decibel patrol was off duty, too! Guess who was performing on the main stage of the hall? Dustin Lynch! He’s one of the hottest acts in Country music right now… just wait for the reaction of the girls in the crowd LOL… (around 3:00 on the video below) But standing there listening to them play, it made sense to me why he’s gaining popularity… they had a good sound, they look great, have a great vibe… and the most important thing… they have the songs to carry them… And the dimples… do we really need to talk about them? Hahahaha Enjoy your backstage pass below 😉 You’re welcome…
This is his song that is popular right now on radio… “Where It’s At”
After a little entertainment I head inside to meet with a couple vendors… Here’s a really tiny glimpse of what inside NAMM looks and feels like…
I found one of my sponsors, PickBandz…
They have fun products and are super sweet and they have just partnered with a new company CBGitty. These are really fun little one-string guitars, called Diddley Bows… Check out my duet with Ben! LOL
I look forward to the custom one-string that you guys make up for me! That is going to be a fun time putting a song together with that!
I ended up cutting out early by myself after my meeting to get a late lunch and see a little more before having to leave… I headed to the infamous Broadway Street to enjoy a last chance at the best BBQ in Nashville, Jacks-Bar-B-Que, and was gifted some parking SWEET! I also caught a little video of the atmosphere, too, just for you guys and gals!
At night Broadway lights up…
A photo posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
There are tons of shops on Broadway… including boot shops… now THIS is a SALE!
In the evening I headed to West Nashville to spend the evening listening to some southern blues by my friend Matt Workman and his friends at BrewHouse West and meet back up with Tim and Susan Moyer… In true Nashville fashion, there was on last evening sunset show for me to enjoy…
Friday, July 10th 2015
Theme: Performances, Aquarium and a lightening show!
Last night I didn’t get much sleep. Not by choice, I just kept waking up. Today Tim Moyer will perform and I will, too. It’s really cool that we have a little bit of Temecula out here. First things first… I have to get ready and head to NAMM… and what does one do with their hair in this humidity? I know my hair stylist back home, Jennifer Foerster, would know what to do… Luckily I brought my curling iron and bought hair spray! Finger curls it is… I get ready and leave at 9:30AM from Ashland… On the way I warm up with various Country radio songs and my regular vocal warm ups…
What’s the best way to remember where you parked? For me… take a picture of it!
Once I park, I get inside and catch Tim, Susan and Matt playing on the main stage.
The sound is great in this space! While they’re on stage, Tim gives me a shout-out as well as Josh Logan and Olivia Henken … who I meet for the first time… I learned that they were past contestants on The Voice (more about them later). I also meet Tim, a Taylor Guitar rep from the El Cajon office. All three are so nice… I guess that’s the cool thing about people in music, it just brings you together like an instant family. Tim ends at 10:50AM… I immediately go inside to find the booth that I am suppose to perform at with Matt at 11:30AM… Everyone meets over there and we do our thing. We’re not allowed to use mics or amps inside because there literally are what we call “Decibel Police” that walk around and secretly measure the decibel levels… and if you are too loud, you get kicked out! Brutal. I have to say with everything else going on in that room, it’s pretty cool when you can make people stop in their tracks and make them listen.
Thanks @timmoyer1 for catching this today at #NAMM! W/@MattWorkman #Repost @timmoyer1 with @repostapp. ・・・ #joannapearl #summernamm A photo posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
I have to say, Matt Workman WORKS it people. This guy is 26 years old and as I mentioned before he’s a Temecula native. Talented and humble, just the way we grow them in T-Town. Seriously though, amazing player, so honored he played my set with me. Thanks again Matt!
Performances for the day are over… we check out some of the vendors rooms upstairs like Taylor Guitar and we then we decided to get out of dodge… Tim, Susan, and myself hook up with Ben Cole (D’addario rep) and head out of the city for lunch.
Ben picks the Aquarium at Opry Mills. Excellent choice. Really good food and really, really cool atmosphere. I ordered a salad, the blackened salmon and veggies and a bottle of BRC root beer. Why not? Haven’t had one of those since I was a teenager. LOL. Totally in love with the gigantic aquariums and coral like walls. A nice departure from the “noise” we’ve been hearing all day… yeah it becomes noise when everyone is playing something different at the same time…
Lunch at this awesome place! @Aquarium @OpryMills #firearms 😂😂😂 A video posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
We all head back to the Music Center to get our cars and go for naps before Josh and Olivia’s performance tonight at “UP” on the rooftop of Fairfield Inn at 7PM… well, some of us nap, I go downtown to explore the Nissan Stadium home of the NFL Tennessee Titans… (before you go there, yes I know last season they ranked last in their division, but they are the “Titans… the mighty, mighty Titans” and so was my mascot in high school) I also found a cozy little air conditioned spot in Starbucks to chill out and update my blog… Parking however did cost $11 for 2 hours… so I better type and edit fast! Good thing I ordered a grande iced Carmel Macchiato soy upside down for the work sprint.
Pano video of the corner of 5th and Church… Time to meet everyone on the rooftop… I’ve said this many times throughout this trip, but thank God for GPS! I put in the address and head over… On the way I pass my PRO (Performing Rights Organization) ASCAP Nashville… I can’t believe it’s just sitting right there on the corner. Maybe next time I am in town I can visit…
Valet! Yes please… to the rooftop… the band is setting up, and I find Tim and Susan… The view is incredible! As the band begins, I take a pano Instagram video…
We were invited by @JoshLogan (The Voice) to come hang out on the roof top lounge called “Up” while they play… Funky, Bluesy goodness for the Soul! @timmoyer1 @SusanMoyer A video posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
Oh look… a certain cocktail is calling my name… Of course I have to try it!
Josh Logan is super talented! Reminds me a little of Justin Timberlake mixed with Gavin Degraw… Funky and soulful… Here’s a video of Josh on The Voice… In the midst of their sets… the clouds start to roll in… with lightening and thunder… ummmm… and we’re on a rooftop with metal furniture. Suddenly, there’s an unusual coolness in the breeze and… yep… it starts to rain just as Olivia starts her set! (Here’s a video link of Olivia Henken on The Voice)…
#Nashville is alive… Even the sky! Wait for it… ⚡️Ummmm… Is it safe to be #UP here? A video posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
Even though I am a little uneasy and I think about telling the hotel manager to change the name of their rooftop bar to “Benjamin Frank’s” the moment is really amazing. It was unpredictable. Lightening hopscotching in the clouds directly above our heads and the electrifying feeling of almost being able to reach up and touch it. Rain drops splattered on the ground and our heads in what seemed like the size of limes. Needless to say, all that hairspray from this morning was turning into glue. We all squeezed under the tiny covering as the band continued to play. The rain let up for a few minutes and we were able to get some cool pictures…
Thursday, July 9th 2015
Todays theme: “Tennessee Roads” and “Temecula Faces”.
I felt like I drove all over Tennessee today. I helped Jude this morning run some errands and then I left her house to check-in to my hotel… in Ashland… which is about 30 mins North East of Nashville. Nashville is a beautiful, living, breathing city for sure… But I was wondering where the “country” was… 19 miles to Ashland showed me a little of those “back woods” I hear about in country songs. It’s actually a beautiful drive. The highway out to the hotel is lined with lush trees on either side. And the hotel… is right in the thick of it. Gulp. I like the country and all, but uhhhh… I’m traveling by myself and uhhh… okay, I can do this. I open my rental car door and instantly hear the mating calls of Acacia… like THOUSANDS of them in the surrounding gigantic trees. Kind of creepy, not going to lie. Like I stepped into a real life Bugs Life.
Once I checked in, turned my room air conditioner on full blast (you guys the humidity out here is unreal) and I settled in, I had to figure out the directions to my practice with my guitarist, Matt Workman. Matt is a Temecula native and has been living in Tennessee for the last two-years. I never met him, but he was recommended by Tim Moyer… a trustworthy source. I punch his address in the GPS… He lives in Antioch… And will take an hour to get there… Okay no problem… but maybe a small problem because my rental car was due back… at the airport that evening… no problem… just extend right? WRONG! They wanted to charge me double the price! Long story short, cell phones plus cigarette lighter chargers plus a great support team back home helped me iron out the wrinkles as I drove over to Matt’s. I would have been dead in the water… Thanks guys! I made it to meet my new bearded friend Matt Workman (which many of you in the Temecula Valley already know)… He’s a super sweet and humble guy. We went into his cool studio basement for practice and after talking a bit (we share a lot of the same musical tastes) we dove into the songs… WOW… this guy is awesome! We flew through my songs… I asked him to play me something of his… WOW again… very cool stuff… his voice is a mix of like Ray LaMontane and John Legend… and chord variations go places you don’t expect. Actually, his style is really refreshing.
Just had a cool rehearsal with #Temecula native @MattWorkman in his basement! First time having a rehearsal in a studio underground! Tomorrow we perform at #NAMM! Thanks Dude your super talented… and to @timmoyer1 for hooking it up #musicfamily #fireproof #sensitivematerial #bagitup #tennessee A photo posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
I said good-bye to Matt and headed to the airport… yes… remember that little car rental “problem”… well, I had to go exchange it with a different company. Traded my Jetta for a brand new Nissan Altima… NICE! Okay, now we’re talking.
“Temecula Faces”… Tim and Susan Moyer had been traveling all day and was now on my way to meet up with them for dinner. I met them in Nashville on Broadway… which is THE place to be… which also means everything is more expensive LOL… It’s like a Country Vegas Strip! It’s step after step of neon lights and live music… we’ll be taking a more in depth look at Broadway in the next day. So, we met at The Farm House… locally grown, farm fresh menu items… Everything tasted amazing. We ordered appetizers: cornbread and pimento cheese beignets; entrées: veggie farm plate; and OMG dessert: Strawberry pie on a puddle of homemade caramel sauce with a side of balsamic vinegar ice cream on a crumbled streusel… I swear Paula Dean was in the back making this stuff!
Wednesday, July 8th 2015
I’ve been looking forward to today for a few weeks now. This afternoon I will shake the hands of the people behind-the-scenes that have made bringing my music to you possible. I have worked with them over the past couple of years releasing singles and they are the reason we could have a pre-order for the EP release last August, and why my songs can be purchased and previewed in countless online stores and streaming audio players. I am meeting my distribution company, Ditto Music… who also happens to be Ed Sheeran’s, Sam Smith’s, The Back Street Boys’ and John and Jacob’s (signed by Garth Brooks Label, which is just a few doors down) distribution company, as well. My meeting is at 11AM… I left Jude’s house at 10:30 and arrive at 10:45. No traffic. Everything in Nashville feels right down the street. I’m starting to understand the point of view of someone like a young Carrie Underwood going from something like this to something like Los Angeles. Ditto is located on Music Row… and the offices don’t look like offices at all. They look like houses. Yep. If it wasn’t for the yard signs, one could easily mistake this as just another residential street. But there is magic here. House after house of record labels… They were not joking when they named this area Music Row… (Video of music row here 3595)
Today I met face-to-face with my music distribution company. Seriously one of the coolest meetings I have ever had. Big thanks to the #Nashville @dittomusic team for your time. I can’t wait to share our indie insider convo in my upcoming “Music Is Life” column in @headlinermagazine 😊 #digital #distribution #musicislife #indiependent 😜 A photo posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
After the meeting/interview, I had to head towards Music City Center to pick up my badge and check out the facility… but first, a little healthy drive-thru lunch…
(There is a video that is uploading that will be put here…) The plan was to come back in a few hours… but if anyone has been to NAMM they know things change at the drop of a hat… I ended up going to the packed D’Addario Pre-NAMM party at SoundCheck Nashville… Great food, great music. It’s an amazing location, and autographed pictures line the hallways of so many awesome acts that use this company… AND they are a sponsor of last years Temecula Valley Music Award’s… hopefully again this year, as well.
D’Addario & Company, Inc #NAMM pre party #JacksBBQ A video posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
Tuesday, July 7th 2015
“Moon Pies, Bug Spray and Jude Johnstone” Check out some of Jude’s work… “The Woman Before Me” Written by Jude Johnstone By Trisha Yearwood #1 Billboard song “Unchained” Written by Jude Johnstone By Johnny Cash Won 1997 Grammy “Best Country Album” “Wounded Heart” Written by Jude Johnstone By Bonnie Raitt
Monday, July 6th 2015
It’s 2:04PM PDT, and I’ve been awake since 6:30AM. I’m about 45 minutes into a five and a half hour flight… departing from dry, sunny, entertainment capital Los Angeles, California traveling about 450 miles per hour to humid, country, music town Nashville, Tennessee, USA. It’s time for Summer NAMM, and it will be my first time attending and performing there. It’s a full agenda over the next week as I go forth and represent Headliner Magazine UK, Temecula Valley Music Awards, and myself, Joanna Pearl – the singer/songwriter – via meetings, performances and writing sessions with some amazing talents, who I get to call friends. I feel very blessed. This morning, I packed my black Heys carry-on suitcase to the brim. My go to: sundresses. It’s Summer, and when you’re trying to save space in your luggage that’s what you reach for… one dress is a complete outfit… two pairs of jeans, plain colored t’s and tanks and sheer tops, sandals and heels, select jewelry, straightening and curling iron, pj’s, and yoga clothes. My “purse” for the day is now my black faux-alligator laptop bag with all the necessary electronics – MacBook Pro, iPad2, Iphone5S (with a side of 8 hour extended battery life) 1 TB external hard drive and for each electronic device, it’s companion wall cord… which barley leaves enough room for my passport, business cards, wallet, make-up bag and the other “Mary Poppins” items women seem to store in their handbags.
I think flying really makes your realize what you need and what you don’t. I found myself emptying out my purse, making piles and qualifying what could come, “I definitely need that… but how many ounces is it? Can I bring hand sanitizer?” And then I started making a list and thinking, “Well, when I land, I will have to find a store and buy ‘fill in the blank’.” How did this happen and I never realized it? Depending on products to survive? LOL. It’s comical really. So, I made the “hard” decisions, I even had remorse about leaving some things behind, but after getting on the road, I was way more focused about getting on my flight… especially since I had a dream about missing it… Don’t you love that feeling? NOT!
LAX – Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to live in California… so many awesome things happen here that most of the time people are flying in and I am the one picking them up from the airport, but not today. Today I’m a passenger on American Airlines, sitting in row 15F, and I’ve got a window seat… in the emergency exit… extra room with extra responsibility. The seat is open to the left of me and the seat to the left of that is a man, maybe in his forties. He wears glasses, possibly Spanish heritage, crossed legged sipping a diet coke and munching on a one pound bag of salted peanuts while he watches the in-flight movie with ear buds. He really likes peanuts. Behind me, two women. One has lived in LA most of her life, now lives in Nashville… the other, a singer/songwriter who is the voice of the original “Green Light” commercials… also in a band and is now moving to Nashville. Super sweet ladies. We exchanged info… of course.
SURPRISE! Hey #Nashville #NAMM I’m coming for you! #AmericanAirlines A photo posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on
Oh, snack cart is coming… my choice, hummus with multigrain crackers, white wine, and almond M&M’s…
I contemplated paying $23 dollars for Internet during the flight… but decided against it. As cool as that is, I figured this was a good time to depart for the next few hours and fly through my mind… Seems like the only way to do that these days, is to cruise into the blue ocean or soar across a blue sky… Hmmm, seems to be a theme forming here… While I was at the airport I saw these cool comic socks, of course I had to get them and I just put them on my cold tootsies. They remind me of my little dog, Hero… he’s so full of life and he’s not afraid of anything. Maybe that’s a little bit of inspiration for me right now…
It’s been awhile since I have been to Nashville… Last time I was here I was 17. I came right after I graduated high school with my grandparents in our 40-foot motor home. I have some really great memories from that trip, one being my very first experience in a recording studio at the Mall of America Opry Mill… and here I am again, flying at speeds faster than Superman cutting through hues of blue and puffs of pure white clouds with two wings and many prayers from back home… literally living in a dream… Well, it definitely looks that way as I stare out my portal window… It’s so bright, I gotta put my shades on heehee…
Just landed & greeted by a sunset ☀️ Thanks #Nashville! #sunsetlover A photo posted by Joanna Pearl (@joannapearl) on