Tracy Gershon Blog

FEBRUARY 22, 2007


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!

By the time anyone reads this blog, the votes will have been counted and the winner will have been chosen, so it does not really matter much what critiques I give on the past week's performances as the dye has already been cast.

All four performers have certainly done something right to keep in the contest this long. But what happens when Nashville Star is over? For all three runners-up and the declared winner, that's when the real contest begins! All of them have opportunities ahead of them.

Joshua, Zac, Angela and David are about to embark on their first tour, and it will give them a great opportunity to fine tune their live show and stretch out beyond the confines of the show. All of them (including the winner, whomever that may be) should all be thinking of ways to further their career. Here are some things that might help if they did not win, and things they should be doing if they do win...

Joshua Stevens "Please Remember Me":
I think you did a great job singing "Please Remember Me." It felt like everything came together with this performance: your look, you were more relaxed and you sang with emotion. Really be careful about your song selections, and make sure you pick the right key for yourself as you sometimes tend to go a step too high. I would really concentrate on digging in and writing. You have proven to us that you have a deep emotional pool from which you can pull from - use that in your writing. You have made a lot of fans and there are a lot of people rooting for you. I think this tour will really be good for you. The pressure is off and you will be able to loosen up a bit. I think then people will see what you are really capable of.

David St Romain: "Live Like You Were Dying":
I think you made a wise choice when you switched your song. I know I sound like a broken record ... you always turn in a solid performance, and you are such a likeable guy, BUT winner or not: Direction, Direction, Direction!!! Who is David St Romain? You are going to have to find songs (whether you write them or not) that help define you as an artist. Otherwise you will remain one of a 1,000 guys who look good, sing well, but never makes it outside his hometown. On tour, you can certainly work on gathering material that helps us see "David the Artist." If we make a record, you can bet that's where our work will begin!

Zac Hacker "Lady":
I was actually surprised when I heard you picked "Lady" as your song choice. Even though you sang the (expletive) out of it, I can't imagine it being one you would ever record. But you made a smart choice for TV. It is a well known song and you showed off your vocal chops and made an emotional connection. Of all the contestants here, I would encourage you to really concentrate on writing your own material. Obviously, your original song made the biggest impact and you really do have a story to tell. Your own songs, mixed with songs that mix your soul, Gospel, R & B country flavor, will add up to an artist that can stand out.

Angela Hacker "Strawberry Wine":
This was not of your strongest performances, but still a good one. You have pretty much defined what type of artist you are and all that is standing in your way of a big career is the right songs. You need to stay away from the light ditties. You have the ability to deliver strong messages with your vocals. Find ballads with the emotional power of "I Can't Make You Love Me" or the grit of "Piece of My Heart." You need to stay away form the cookie-cutter, straight-down-the-middle material. Your voice deserves better! I still think you are the front runner and you are so ready to make a record!!

Good Luck to all of this Seasons Contestants:
I don't think anyone realizes how hard you have all had to work these past few months, and the enormous pressure you are under each and every day. I hope you have been able to take something from this experience.

Music is a gift. Whether you perform in front of thousands of people, or just a few people in your own living room, never underestimate the power of that gift.

To Angela, Zac and David:
We will see one of you in the recording studio!!!

Cheers to you!

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