Sunday, July 20, 2008

Artists Have Storytelling Time
by Dertrick Winn Jr.

On Monday, July 14, 2008, five panelists came to share their insight on the music industry with the young GRAMMY® campers. Musicians Rocco DeLuca (of Rocco DeLuca and the Burden) Crosby Loggins, Alison Sudol (of A Fine Frenzy), Poe, and radio personality Lisa Foxx (of Star 98.7) answered many questions regarding various issues young artists face finding their place in the industry. They also shared their inspirations for pursuing a career in music as well as past experiences that have taught them valuable lessons.

With those insights came some amusing anecdotes. For instance, DeLuca’s instrument of choice is the Dobro resonator guitar, known for it’s unique metal-produced sound and overwhelming volume. He remembers a time when he was performing a classic song, which (when performed with the resonator guitar) he thought was a very beautiful tune. But since the audience was unfamiliar with the sound of the guitar, their response was, “Hey, can you please stop tuning, and we’d like to hear a song now.” This comment, surprisingly, did not upset DeLuca, for he was pleased to know that he was introducing something new to modern music fans.

Besides her bright red hair, Sudol stood out most as the lead singer of the popular band, A Fine Frenzy. But unlike Loggins, Sudol wasn’t making music at such an early age. She was in her later teen years when she began performing her own songs. Sudol pointed out you can be any age when you find yourself in the music industry, but things move very fast when you get discovered by a record label, so the more you know about the industry the better. She also explained the importance of not letting fame go to your head, and that staying humble and working hard is essential to a successful career.

Everyone in the crowd recognized singer/guitarist Loggins from the popular television show, “Rock the Cradle.” The crowd cheered with excitement at hearing the familiar name. Loggins has lived amongst music his whole life, and it shows on stage whenever he performs. Though his father is the famous singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins, he claims that pursuing music is completely his decision. Furthermore, he tires of being referred to as “Kenny Loggins’s kid,” and he works hard to make a name for himself and his music.

Between all of the panelists, Poe was the one who got the most responses and laughter out of the audience. She used playful humor and ironic situations to make a personal connection with the young crowd and to get them to listen to what she had to say. She learned from her experiences as a child that it was always best to tell the truth, no matter what, and staying true to yourself is always the right thing to do, especially when writing songs and making music.

The Artist Story Panel was good for the campers because it gave them a chance to relate to young musicians and writers such as themselves. And as the first chance to meet popular performing artists it was a great way to kick off the first week of camp.

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