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Running Down A Dream: November 2008

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zzzzzz Running Down A Dream: November 2008

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Running Down A Dream: November 2008

Running Down A Dream

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Memories of Opryland

Look at what showed up today!!!! As I sit here watching the first snow of the season, catching up with family, and realizing just how much I have to be thankful for, I get back to my hotel room and the first thing I see in my inbox is a picture of me from the Tennessean at age 10 auditioning for Opryland!

When I was on my honeymoon this summer, I had gotten a phone call from someone at NPR who was doing a documentary on Opryland. Because I was on a cruise, we never ended up catching up for an interview. I hate that I didn't get to contribute. Opryland was such an HUGE part of my life. It shaped my childhood and who I am as a person and performer. The people in the Opryland Kid's Club became family and they taught me how to communicate my love for singing, dancing, and playing the fiddle with the world. Especially Ms. Janet Ivey - the adult "kid" in the show. She was the best mentor any kid could ever have. It breaks my heart that the park is gone.... it was made into a mall. After spending 4 years of my life working in the Kid's Club and in a Country Christmas at the hotel, I always dreamed of going back every summer and eventually taking my kids there one day. But SO MANY share my feelings and love and longing for Opryland.
"Memories of Opryland" is premiering on WNPT in Nashville on November 30 at 7:00pm. I can't wait to see it!

This was the infamous audition where I played "Orange Blossom Special" on the fiddle. They asked me to sing and I said, "I have never sung for anyone before" They said "That's ok, sing anything! 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' or 'Happy Birthday'" I sang Happy Birthday, got a callback, and then got the job!!! Best thing that ever happened to me. Of course I had just made the team in gymnastics. I remember Mamma coming in the gym to tell me I got the job. I couldn't contain my happiness! I NEVER expected to get that job! I did 13 back handsprings in a row, ran around a few times, and then cried cause I realized I had to quit the team. But I think I made the right choice!

This picture was in the Tennessean. Plus they interviewed me after I got off stage for a tv show... This is where it all began, folks...

Natalie Stovall, 10, right, auditions for the Opryland Kid's Club Show at the Roy Acuff Theatre. Young performers will be cast for the first time in the Opryland theme park's 21-year history for the musical variety show. Stovall was chosen from the tryouts to return for a later audition. (Nina Long / The Tennessean) 4/6/1992

For more pictures and stories:

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I went to Kroger at midnight last night - and WHEW!!! They were really getting ready for Thanksgiving! It was crazy how many stock boys and girls were on duty. The aisles were PACKED with stuff. So much so, I kept having to park my buggie to go get what I needed! It was like every day shopping in Boston :)

I got some Boiled Custard!!! James and Ben and Katie (our roomies) all had NO IDEA what Boiled Custard is!!!! It is soooo good! That when you know it's the holiday season - when they start stocking it. Purity Boiled Custard. Does no one else share in my joy?
I think its like Egg Nog - but I don't like Egg Nog....

So my good friend, Boyd, sent me these Thanksgiving funnies today and I thought they were cute.

Be safe in your travels!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sleeping innnnnn

Still feel pretty sickly.... But Charlie and I wrote a pretty awesome
song today. :) I started singing a melody in the bath tub this
morning. When he got here he started playing guitar riff that the
melody was awesome over for the chorus!! We still have a bit of work
to do. I'm a little concerned the verse melody sounds too much like
another song I am working on. And I am REALLY excited about the other
one, too. Just need to get away from it for a day or two.
Watched Juno tonight. Laughed, cried, tried not to cough. :) SUCH a
great movie.
I'm sleeping innnnnnn tomorrow! Don't have a thing scheduled!


Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, November 23, 2008


We ate this adorable little Diner in Smith Grove, KY called Donita's
just now. It was everything you want from a little small town Diner &
they even had "I Love Lucy" playing on tv to add to the atmosphere. It
was almost too perfect :)
Plus, it was on McKinley Dr. which is my neice's name :)
The pancakes were some of the fluffiest and best I have ever had!!! So
if you're on 65 & you're passing through Smith Grove (& there's also
one in Bowling Green but I don't know if it is right off the
interstate) then it's a great break from the normal chain restaurants!
(which we have become quite too familiar with these days!)

Peace, Love, Fiddle, & good food!

Rathskeller & a deer hood-ornament

We played The Rathskeller again tonight. What a cool place.

I literally sang my voice out :) I'll be on vocal rest all day tomorrow.... So I guess blogging is a great way to communicate right now! I've felt pretty crummy all week, but I was just hoping I could make it through tonight! And I did! YAY!!!!
We sure made it worth it tonight.

I'll have to share the highlights with pics when I get them off my camera. I have some very special thanks you's to send out, but I want to do it properly!

I will say that on the way to Indy.... we saw a deer strapped to the hood of an explorer.... Not the roof.... the hood. WHOA. It was pretty.... ummm.... I don't know? Well, it was something special. I wouldn't have even been able to see over the deer to watch the road if I had been the driver. But that is probably the most unlikely thought I have had all day..... me driving a car with a deer strapped to the hood. Yeah. Never gonna happen.

For now. I go to bed :)


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Friday, November 21, 2008

I Love Teriyaki

And I do!!!!
Teriyaki restaurants are really popular on the west coast. James used
to talk about them all the time - they are as common in Seattle as
Dunkin Donuts is in Boston. :)
James was on a mission in college to find a teriyaki restaurant in
Boston and New York. He never did. :(
And then magically when he was working his day job that he HATED at
Cingular in Brentwood (back in the day - you know when we had to have
real jobs) a retaurant called "I Love Teriyaki" opened up on the same
street as the Cingular building in Brentwood!!!
Needless to say - almost every lunch break was spent here. :)
And now I have fallen in love with it, too!! It's healthy and
soooooooo yummy and the people that run the place are so sweet!
Tonight when we walked in they were cooking these Korean pancakes and
gave us some to try. Wow! I doubt I ever would have ordered it on my
own but oh my Lord, I will now! Scrumptious! The place has changed
hands a few tImes but we have gotten to know and love everyone that
works here! It's now called Teriyaki House and it's located on
Maryland Way in Brentwood. If you're in the area and looking for a
quick, healthy, delicious meal, Teriyaki House is the way to go! I
wish I could eat it every day.

Raining Season Benefit

Two nights ago, I played the most incredible show at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. It was put together by two of the most pure-hearted, beautiful, and talented girls I have ever met - Ezra Jane. After visiting Sierra Leone, they both became extremely passionate about helping the people of that country in any way possible. They created a foundation called The Raining Season which helps put kids in schools. It only takes $130 to sponsor a child which includes tuition, books, clothes, and 1 meal per day for an ENTIRE YEAR. Only $130 can send a child to school for a WHOLE year. I think my cross country uniform was more than $130. You know? I mean, it is crazy to think that such a small amount of money could make such a HUGE difference in someone's life.
Needless to say, they were able to put together an astounding line-up for the event because everyone wanted to be a part of this. I was just honored to be in the room, much less perform for these people. I am such a fan of everyone that was playing!!!!

First of all, Point of Grace opened the show. Yup. Point of Grace - as in 26 consecutive #1 singles, Dove award-winning, Grammy-nominated POG!!!! They sang two of their new songs from their country release and then they sang one of my FAVORITE Christmas songs. "Tender Tennessee Christmas" by Amy Grant.

After POG was a songwriter round including:
Steve Williams: "Redneck Yacht Club"
Liz Rose who co-wrote every song on Taylor Swift's first album
Brian White: written for POG, 4 Him, Jaci Velasquez, and wrote "Watching You" for Rodey Atkins with the next guy:
Steve Dean who has had #1s for not only Rodney Atkins, but a few little unknowns like, you know, REBA and George Strait and
Alabama and many others.

Yeah. And then it was my turn. By myself. :) I was pretty stoked to be included in this show with such a freakin AWESOME line-up. Wow. Miguel played acoustic for me and we did 3 songs. "Even Alaska", "Whatever It Takes", and "Standing My Ground". We had driven overnight from St. Petersburg to play this show. I slept a few hours during the day, but my voice was shot from the weekend. But I had just enough juice to sing those 3 songs. :) We lowered "Alaska" a whole step so I could sing it. By the time I got off voice was so low I sounded like Nathan Stovall... ;) But none of that mattered. It was so cool.

Wylie Rose from 103.3 KDF's morning show was the host of the evening. She was so incredibly sweet with her kind words after my set! And Ezra Jane could not have picked a more passionate and giving person to host the evening and keep it rolling.

The next songwriter round included:
Barry Dean: "God's Will" for Martina... I cried. Like I always do to that song.
Jeremy Spillman: "Arlington" for Trace Adkins
Heather Morgan: who I LOVE has had cuts with Sara Evans, Terri Clark, and American Idol Kristy Lee Cook
Julie Roberts was also supposed to perform but she was sick :(

Ezra Jane then got up to perform. They wrote a song specifically for the evening that was so beautiful. They were starting to run over time so they only sang 2 songs. I wanted more!!! I was just happy to finally hear them live.

The last writer's round included
Victoria Banks: "Saint's and Angels" for Sara Evans and "Come On Over" & "Remember That" for Jessica Simpson (A-MAZ-ING)
Rachel Proctor: had her own hit with "Me and Emily" & wrote "Where Would You Be" for Martina and "Remember That" with VB
Josh Thompson: who has written with tons of huge Nashville songwriters and had some very heart-felt and emotional songs.

I could go on and on and on about each of these artists individually. Every performer was SO talented and it turned out to be such an incredible evening. Some of the coolest things auctioned off for Sponsorships were some gorgeous Tammy Wynette earrings, a signed script from REBA including her handwritten notes, and a signed golden fiddle from Charlie Daniels! It was so cool.

They ended up getting 41 sponsorships for the kids. SO AMAZING!!! Their goal is 50 before they leave on Christmas Day. If you have any interest in this organization please visit

Spread the peace, love, fiddle!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My First Radio Spot!

This is my first real radio spot!!! They are running this on the radio in Indianapolis for our show at the Rathskeller this weekend!
Just click on the "video" below to hear it!

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Cody got voted off :(

I'm so bummed!!!! Cody Linley got voted off dancing with the stars :( BOOOOO...

When I was in 7th grade, I was invited to go Los Angeles for pilot season by an agent. My mom and I moved out there with my acting coach, her two kids, and another kid from my acting class for oh about 2 months (which was about how long that season lasted). I had a bunch of auditions, but not nearly as many as my boyfriend, Chad. Apparently there was a lot more work for guys our age than girls that season. But I did get to audition for "D.J.'s first girlfriend" on Roseanne :) We lived in Oakwood apartments right around the corner of the Burbank Studios and I went to school at this place that was specifically designed for actors that needed a flexible schedule. Janet Jackson and Tiffany Amber Thiessen graduated from there. :) It was one room, and it was kind of a do-it-yourself place. You were given assignments and the teacher was there in case you didn't understand something. No tests. Just homework. The kid from "Rookie of the Year", the little girl who played "Icebox" in the "Little Giants" (she my best friend there), and then the little boy who played "Alfalfa" in the "Little Rascals" all went to school there with me at the time. I didn't ever get any work. My agent kept working with me to get rid of my accent..... That didn't go so well. I'm pretty undeniably southern. Ain't no gettin roud that' un, y'all. But Mamma and I had the time of our lives. I used all my own money from working at Opryland to pay for the whole trip. And I was 12... It was so awesome.

So back to my point.... CODY!

My acting coach was incredible. Her oldest son, Chad, was my first "going steady" boyfriend :) And his little brother who was 4 at the time was... Cody Linley! I haven't seen either of them in years - other than seeing Cody in movies and on Hannah Montana, but I was SOOOO freaking excited when he got on "Dancing WIth the Stars"!!! He has done SOOOO well. And well, Julianna Hough is his partner, so he's been in pretty amazing hands.

But he sure did a great job! I am proud of him, but so sad he won't be on the show anymore! Oh well. I am sure Mamma will go see him on the tour. It was fun to see Catherine - his mom and my acting coach in the audience every week!

Look at what a cutie he has turned out to be. :)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

RIBFEST highlights

RIbfest was AMAZING!!!!!! I wrote a huge blog in the car on my phone during our ridiculously long overnight drive from St. Petersburg to Nashville last night.... But it vanished! It never sent and it never showed up as a draft or anything :(

But it's all good! I'll just write a new one now!

It is really messing with my head right now that ummm... just last night I played a show at Ribfest. And I have already played a show in Nashville tonight. Weird. Not much sleep has been involved in the last week. But Lord, it is worth it! 

Here's some of the highlights from Ribfest this weekend.

During our show Friday night we could see the spaceship that launched. We had just finished "Whatever It Takes" when Hootie said - LOOK! There it is! And you could see the big trail of fire from the back of the rocket. CRAZY!

Saturday, we played a show to about 6,000 people as one of the opening acts for the Doobie Brothers!!!!

If you count the National Anthem as  "opening" *wink wink* (just roll with me here....) then technically you could say that this weekend I "opened" for Styx, the Doobie Brothers, and Asia. : )-

It started raining during our rock medley and "Devil Went Down To Georgia" a the end of our set on the main stage and the audience didn't leave!!!!!! It was awesome because looking out into the sea of people - they weren't scattering outward like you would expect, they just went vertical!!! Umbrellas, chairs, anything to put over their heads. But they all stayed! It was pretty much the most epic end to a show I have ever played.

One guy kept screaming "Natalie Stovall - better than CORN DOGS!!!!!" during my show on Sunday.

Jenn and Ella got to come on the road with us for the first time this weekend!!! (Jenn and Ella are Miguel's girls if you didn't know!) They even made it on the big screen a few times from out in the audience during our set!!!
Backstage, I had my own RV with my name on it again this year to hang out in and it was stocked with drinks and snacks. (that makes me feel really cool)

One little girl said "Now that I have seen you play 2 years in a row you knocked Kelly Clarkson our of my top 3 list. It is now: 
1. Natalie Stovall 2. Taylor Swift 3. Carrie Underwood". 
Can you imagine how amazing that feels!?!?!? Yeah, that little girl is my BFF now. :)

Right before my show started on Sunday, I saw 2 awesome, yet very unexpected things. 1. A DOLPHIN!!!!!! It was RIGHT next to the stage in the water. 2. The lady from "I Dream of Genie"!!!! How cool is that? She's still gorgeous.

We had the most incredible food all weekend!!!! Ribs, chicken, pulled pork.... and ohhhh that cornbread.

I dedicated the show on Saturday to Mr. Billy Brooks. He's a veteran from the Vietnam War who has been battling cancer for the last 3 years due to his exposure to Agent Orange. He is truly an inspiration. And I was so happy he was able to come out to the show. As I was talking to Mr. Brooks afterwards,  another veteran came up to the tent. He shared some very emotional stories ad thanked me for my show and for recognizing our soldiers and veterans. He gave me a dog tag with an American flag on it as his thank you. He thanked ME. How crazy is that? A man who risked his life to serve this country thanking me for simply doing what I love to do. Wow. Yeah. Amazing.

And ALL of this was for an incredible cause!!!! Every person working at Ribfest is a volunteer from the Northeast Exchange Club in St. Petersburg. This year there were records set each day for attendance. I can't wait to see the results of how much money was raised!!! They donate the money to many wonderful children's charities, and last year, they donated over $1,000,000 to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of this event again this year. Everyone all weekend was incredibly gracious and hospitable! It was such a memorable weekend! THANKS RIBFEST!!!! Hootie, Miguel, James, Jenn, Ella, and I love you guys!!!!!

peace, love, fiddle

(please let it send this time)

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

My view from stage

I know it's dark and hard to see but this is my view from stage. Solid
sea of people. Amazing.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hilton Head

They're just using me for my body....

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Boooed off the stage :(

Yep, after years of playing "Devil Went Down To Georgia" I attempted it for my debut on guitar hero.... Boooed off the stage before I could even get to the heart of the song. So sad.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Fun In Hartford

We were in Hartford CT for NACA Northeast this last weekend. It was a HUGE conference for us, so we went out to celebrate afterwards! Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding) and I are becoming good friends after all these conferences! And his good friend, Horatio Sanz (yet another Chilean-American) was hanging out too! Horatio was one of my favorites from SNL! What a fun night! :)

His watch.... AMAZING.

Look at those good-lookin Chileans :)

I NEVER thought growing up watching Saved By the Bell EVERY DAY after school, that I would be hanging out with Mr. Belding!!! He had to get a special pass to get in to see our show... and he was so sweet afterwards and told me that he is a huge fan. ARE YOU KIDDING!?!? I've been a huge fan of HIS for YEARS! My life is amazing.

As soon as I steal some more pictures from facebook, I'll show off the highlights of the conference :)


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Friday, November 7, 2008

Glamorous life on the road

We've been waiting for an hour on our security escort to take us to
our stage at the casino we're playing in tonight. Wooo Hoooo! :)-

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Never thought I'd see the day when I paid under $2.00 for gas again!!!
We filled up even though we had over half a gallon - well just because
we can!
And notice you can get a leather jacket for $20 :) Christmas
shopping ; )-

The Raining Season Benefit

I am so unbelievably honored and excited to be a part of this benefit. EzraJane has put the whole thing together. It will be a privilege not only to play with all of these great songwriters, but also to come together for such an incredible cause. I hope you can come.

Click on poster to see full size:

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I hope everyone had a very safe and awesome halloween!!!! We had a blast in Asheville, NC at Wild Wing Cafe. They were having a HUGE costume contest, so it was EXTREMELY entertaining for us from stage!!! I was Pippi Longstocking, Hootie was "Emo Joe", Miguel was The Crow. and James was ummm... something. The sound guy asked if James was dressed up as me. cause I usually wear a red feather boa. :)-

Hootie reminded me of Todd in "Wedding Crashers" One of my favorite characters EVER.

Slash was put to shame with Miguel's playing on "Sweet Child" :)-

Ghost Busters won the costume contest!!!!!!

This guy actually takes care of us - that was NOT a costume! Security had their hands full!!!


Cousin IT!!!!!!!!! I felt soooo bad because the end of my pigtail (actually, the coat hanger that I braided it around) got stuck in her hair and ripped her glasses off.... took us a while to get untangled, but we eventually did!

Ummm.... this guy?

Yeah. SO it was awesome!!! I have more pics, but that is all I can handle right now.... I am falling asleep at my computer - we're playing in Knoxville tomorrow night. I better get some good rest so we can get up and do it all over again!!!

night night

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