I have been very lucky to have been able to help some very talented people get to where they wanted to be. There is something very satisfying in knowing that when they needed someplace to start, I was there. One of the joys of teaching is the mentoring that you get to do and when I think about the times that I sat with the people on this page and gave them encouragement and some direction, it is a great feeling. They took their natural talent, artistic ambition and most of all their time, and they have succeeded. Congratulations to all of them for their accomplishments.
One of the hallmarks of successful writer or singer is the amount of effort that they put into their career. No one has worked harder than Greg to make it happen for him and he keeps knocking on that door. He has had success and records that chart but all that experience gave him an insight into the business side that he has taken advantage of! He is now the Vice-President of one of the top booking agencies in Nashville. But I hope he still cuts a song now and then!
The first song that Deric ever played for me was one that was filled with promise. It took him a long time and a lot of hard work to develop his skills to match his talent, but he did and the results have brought joy to millions. He has had #1 songs with Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton,(Mine Would Be You),but his own development as an artist has been mighty as well. He is going to join the greats of Nashville with his body of work and he is Hall of Fame capable. He will always be a pleasure for me to listen to .... and for all of his fans as well.
No matter the genre, being an artist is a solitary and ultimately, a very personal journey. There are neither paths to follow nor maps to read. You go and you create and you learn and you go some more. I don't think that I have ever met someone who personifies the artist's journey as much as Emm does. For many other artists, I can imagine them doing something else; for Emm I can't imagine her doing anything else. She is a truly gifted person. We are lucky to have her here. Here is a great collaboration with astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield!
What a great talent and a man whose time has come! Zach and I first got together when he was 16 and his voice then was just about perfect. He has worked long and hard and done it the right way and his new record is brilliant. He lives in Nashville now but he came back for a visit and this is a video of that performance. Visit zachneilmusic.com, buy his record and see just how good real country music can be.
Kortney and Dave!
The exclamation point is mine because you can't be around either of these people and not catch their enthusiasm for life. Kortney has charisma and Dave has Kortney! :) Many years ago I was a judge in a local talent show when 16 year old Kortney walked out on the stage. That was all I needed to see or hear. At 18 I sent her to live with a friend in Nashville and that is where she met Dave, ( who had been one of my students) and the rest is history! Their HGTV show "Masters of Flip" is a huge hit. However, I love(d) their music and I hope that one day, they will record some more songs for the world to enjoy!