JANUARY 18, 2007
IT'S TIME FOR THE ARTISTS TO EMERGE
Former Nashville Star Judge and Consulting Producer Tracy Gershon still keeps a close eye on the show and will be checking in each week with her opinions of the finalists. Considering that she signed Miranda Lambert at Sony and will be molding our next Nashville Star as Vice President of A&R at Warner Brothers Records ... ya'll might want to listen up!
As I sit down to write these blogs, I realize that I have two very different perspectives.
Perspective No. 1: Like the three TV judges, it is based on how the performances relate to the TV show at hand and how each contestant compares to the other.
Perspective No. 2: Based on the judging I do on a daily basis as a Record Company Executive, here are some of the questions I would pose:
How will any of you measure up to some of our current superstars or the newcomers making noise in today's marketplace? What makes you unique? What makes you a Star? What makes you an Artist as opposed to just a good singer?
The best thing you contestants can do for yourselves is to be mindful that you have two important goals:
Goal No. 1: Win the competition
Goal No. 2 (and in my opinion, the most important): You need to prove yourself as an artist who has a strong sense of who they are and what the music should be. You need to communicate conviction that you will continue working on your career, regardless if you win the Nashville Star Title.
Miranda Lambert, Lance Miller, Matt Lindahl, and Travis Howard are just some of the former contestants who went on to have successful careers. Why? Because they always had a strong artistic sense of who they were. They had a vision, they stuck to that vision and made that much more important than merely winning the judges' praise!!!
Now that I got that off my chest, here are some of my observations on Week Two's performances...
You loosened up and had a much better performance. I would make sure you pick songs that showcase your vocals in the best way possible. Watch that pitch. I still feel we have not seen or heard the best from you yet.
Your song choice would have worked great, had it not been for the lackluster delivery. You've got to show that sass and that Texas pride in everything you sing! That is your strength!! Play it up! You do have it in you!
You did a great job of taking this song and owning it! I loved the guitar. You delivered vocally and had attitude to boot. I love watching a confident performer ... and that you are. Your song choices and originals will be your ticket to a career.
David St. Romain
OK, here is where perspective No. 2 comes in. You certainly have proven yourself to be a solid singer and performer BUT I am still waiting to see an artist emerge. What separates you from the hundreds of other good singers out there? Show me why you deserve a record deal! I need to see some direction from you. And remember what I said (and Jewel repeated): don't forget that guitar!
You are the frontrunner for me right now. You not only have a great voice, but you have that artistic sense of yourself that I was talking about! In just two episodes you have established a musical identity. Great job on making the ETC song a Zac Hacker song! You have great instincts - stick with them!!
Your parents must have really instilled a belief in yourself and a sense of knowing exactly who you are in both you and your brother. You can deliver anything you sing, and you do it with power and style. Although I disagree with Randy's comment about the song being tired, I'd like to see you stray from some of the more obvious song choices. Take notes from your brother and start showing a musical direction. You are one of my favorites.
Just because Randy Owen has never heard a song does not mean it's not good. Meg, I thought that "OH ATLANTA" was a brilliant choice. You know exactly who you are and I hope you do not try and change that. Blake is right on the money when he said to embrace what you do. You have an individual and unique vocal style. It may not be the style that wins you the Nashville Star crown, but there are plenty of other vehicles for you.