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Running Down A Dream: December 2008

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Running Down A Dream

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zzzzzz Running Down A Dream: December 2008

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Running Down A Dream

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Running Down A Dream: December 2008

Running Down A Dream

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Studio Backgrounds

Today was fun :) I had a bunch of running around to do... as always before a big trip... and Ben called and asked if I could come into the studio to sing some backgrounds for him.
I say Ben like everyone should know who he is, so let me explain :)
Ben Strano produced "Late Night Conversations". We met at school in Boston, and he turned out to be one of my best friends from Berklee. He is one of the most hard-working and talented individuals I have ever met. We have had a LOT of great times together. And when he calls, I NEVER know what kind of session it will be. Which is SO much fun for me.
He's currently working on a record that Dan Baird is producing. Yes, Dan Baird as in the lead singer of the Georgia Satellites. You know "I got a little change in my pocket going jang-a-ling-a-liiiang"
Dan calls me his "Country Kitten" :) Maybe because he can't remember my name.... but I don't really care the reason. It's pretty awesome to have a nickname from a rock legend.

Ben's on the right, Dan's on the left.

It was SOOOO stinking cool! The lead singer of the band has a very raw and uninhibited voice. And my job was to come up with harmony lines in certain places that would follow her vocal. That is so fun because it means I get to sing with a totally different voice than I normally would. Stylistically, she is so unique that I ended up doing some things that I have never done before. If you soloed my voice it would probably sound ridiculous but as a harmony part, it totally worked. And the guys seemed very happy so that means I am doing my job!

They had a really cool assignment for me on the last song. They told me to listen to the song and come up with a tag line that would be repeated as a background harmony at the end of the song - a la Beach Boys. And they had asked everyone else that had come in before me to do the same thing. They didn't play me the other ideas, they just wanted me to come up with my own. I used a line from the song and came up with a 3-part harmony - just the first thing that popped into my head. I can't WAIT to hear how they intertwine all the background parts on that one. I LOVE stuff like that. Ben and I had a lot of fun coming up with all the parts at the end of "I Needed You" on my record. Ben and I both love coming up with cool and interesting background parts. I could have gone on all day with that one. It will be really cool to hear the finished product.

Ben snuck in and got a pic of me singing in the vocal room.

He said that mic really liked my voice. :) We've tried a LOT of different mics on my voice to find the best one - especially when recording vocals for my record. Who knows - maybe that's the one we'll use on the next record :)

I'll let ya know when they get done with this record and tell you more about the band and where you can listen!

peace, love, fiddle ya'll

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It just seemed like the right thing to do

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blow Out!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!! My first blog back I was
planning on writing about the Holidays :) but ummm c'est la vie!
Our first 30 min of our first trip back - here we are on the side of
the road with a blown out tire :)
Merry Day After Christmas, right??
We debated this morning on what to do - our normal tire has a slow
leak, so we put on a spare that we had gotten in Iowa a couple months
ago... But it's already blown!!! My Dad asked us if we wanted to take
his jack, we said no because we assumed the Suburban had one! I mean,
my jeep has one, you know?!? But the compartment where the jack should
be is empty.... So now we're waiting on roadside assistance. God Bless
Things could be a lot worse! This is nothin ;). We may have to stop
every hour and pump the old tire with air, but hey whatever gets us
The whole thing is... This is our last trip with this trailer. We are
buying a new one for the new year... You know, one where the door will
close without a belt strap cause it hasn't been hit by a semi... :) we
just gotta make it to Asheville, Knoxville, and home!!!! Wish us luck!
And say a prayer - these semis go by so fast when you're just sitting
on the side of the road!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Benefit with Scott Holt

The 4th annual Community Christmas Card Benefit was a hit!!! It was a sell-out for the 4th straight year and every year both Scott Holt and I play the event. In 4 years we have raised $39,000 for children in Columbia, which is including the $11,000 from this year. We get so much help from the community and it is such a wonderful thing to do something to directly benefit children in my own community!!!
This money buys Christmas presents for kids who would otherwise not have any on Christmas morning. Plus it is a really fun event - at the Memorial building complete with beer, dinner, a silent auction, and HOURS entertainment! This year they had a signed football from the Titans, paintings from local artists, guitars signed by Gov Mule, Susan Tedeschi, and tons more cool things.
I was pretty excited because a t-shirt signed by Scott Holt and me went for $135!!! And then the guy who got out-bid was so mad that we signed another one and gave it to him for another $135. That is a LOT of Christmas presents :)-

The Columbia Newspaper - The Daily Herald included a pretty awesome photo with Miguel playing behind his head, and me fiddlin all down on the ground in my nice "Christmas Benefit" clothes :)

Daily Herald Article

Friday, December 19, 2008

Karaoke with Mr. Belding!!!!

Over the last 6 months, Dennis Haskins and I have developed a friendship. He is such a genuine guy who is incredibly supportive of me and my career. He texted me a few weeks ago to let me know he was gonna be in Nashville - He just released a Karaoke DVD so you can "sing karaoke with your favorite principal" :) Here's the link if you would like to order one:
Karaoke with Belding
Or become his friend on myspace:
Belding's Myspace
So I got a bunch of friends together and we all went to sing karaoke with Dennis.... But when I step back and think about it? I sang karaoke with MR. BELDING from "Saved By The Bell" last night.
That was one of my favorite shows growing up. And if you had told me in 6th grade that one day I would have the chance to sing Journey with Mr. Belding... I wouldn't have believed you!!!!
And that was only the beginning of the night!!! We got some videos of our night out in Nashville. I wish the lighting was better... we spliced some pics in so you could get the gist :) I love being home!!!!

Peace, Love, Fiddle

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Natalie Unplugged

Today is the first episode of "Natalie Unplugged" ;) This is a chance for me to share songs with you at their birth!

It's so funny because as a writer - you write lots and LOTS of songs. And not all of them are ever heard. (sometimes with good reason! HA!) Even some of the songs that I love singing and playing still may never make it to an album. (At least, you hope you write SOOOO many great songs that you have the luxury of being very picky) There's always a lot more that goes into picking songs for an album than just "liking" them!! ;)
But the beautiful part? I don't have to decide right away if a song is going on my next album! And I can just share these with ya'll - and you can let me know which ones speak to YOU. Who knows? Maybe YOU'LL be the ones deciding the track list for my next album :)

Featured in this video is my co-writer for this one, Mr. Charlie Hutto :)
Many of you will recognize Charlie as he was in the band for almost a whole year. We met at Berklee and have been playing in bands together.... well... since Berklee!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

So, I just need to point something out. I think this is AWESOME.

One of my very first blogs on here was back in April.
It was as follows:

No make-up. Yoga pants. Peace, Love, Fiddle Hoodie. Bubba Stik. Twix.
I'm ready for anything...

I hadn't seen the comment until it was pointed out to me today....

"Hey there,

Thanks for using a Bubba Stik. Hope you like it.

Steve Winters
Bubba Stik, Inc."

THE PRESIDENT of Bubba Stik commented on my blog!!! How stinkin cool is that!?!? LOVE IT. And I love Bubba Stik. They are basically walking sticks, but WAY cooler. First of all... they are called "Bubba Stik" which just makes me smile and feel southern. They are handmade of Tennessee Hardwood. There are all kinds of options, like getting them engraved, personalizing your leather strap, getting them cut to fit your size and WAY more. So if you are looking for the perfect "walking stik" or staff, or frankly, if you just want to own something called "Bubba Stik" go to
The President and First Lady even use Bubba Stik!!!
And any company whose President takes the time to say "thank you" for mentioning them.... class act!

Just had to share :)

Peace, Love, Fiddle and Bubba Stik!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank You for Sharing Your Stories

THIS is why I love what I do. A lady at the show last night who had never heard my music told me later that she was moved to tears by "Angel". Her husband passed away recently and that song really spoke to her.
It really is amazing when you write a song and it means THAT much to people. I mean, I wrote it for my Granny because of how much she has inspired and influenced MY life. And look at what happens!!! She just continues to influence people without even meaning to!

So after having a beautiful moment with the lovely lady from last night, I get online and see an incredible comment on my myspace page from a girl named Holly. Here's what she wrote:

"My boyfriend and I saw you at Whiskey River a little over a year ago and I thought that you were great. We actually have your CD. I love that song My Angel. My mom died of kidney cancer a little over a year ago and that song helped me deal with her passing. Everytime I start to think about her and get sad and depressed I just put that song on and it makes me feel better. So I want to say thank you. Keep doing what you do and may God bless you."

It's just amazing how we can all affect someone else's life without even knowing it. And the best part? I am doing something because I am passionate about it. I LOVE what I do. I love writing songs. I love singing. I love dancing. I love performing. And because I am passionate about those things, there's so much more potential to positively affect and inspire others. I heard Michael Phelps talking on Jay Leno tonight. He was talking about having A.D.D. as a child. He really wanting to stop taking Ritalin because he noticed how focused he was when he was swimming. He knew if he could channel his energy in the pool, he was capable of being able to focus that same way in other areas in life. And it is all because of his passion for swimming. Swimming!!! I've never thought of swimming as something that could have such a huge impact on your life. But it does for those who truly love it.

I wish everyone could find their passions in life. I was lucky enough to figure it out at a very early age. The dream has evolved along the way, but it has stayed the same at the core. I was also blessed enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged me to "Dream Big". In the Kid's Club show, 2 of our songs were "Think Big" and "Never Give Up" and I believe every word of those songs! Singing them 4 times a day for 4 years probably didn't hurt ;) But I am going to take this dream as far as it can go. And I hope to encourage, inspire, and work my tail off along the way!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just in case one lock isn't enough

Is the privacy chain really necessary? I've never seen one of those on
a bathroom stall before...

Monday, December 1, 2008

World's Largest Truck Stop

We're headed back from Iowa and I am LOVIN all the snow!!! We woke up
to a blanket of white the last 2 days. And yeah, we FINALLY stopped at
the World's Largest Truck Stop just now. We've passed it so many times
and never gotten to go in. I'm surprised there isn't a movie theater
in there - cause they have EVERYTHING else. Seriously. I mean, there
was even a fiddle for sale. Most music stores don't even have fiddles...