In this week’s installment of Two Story Road’s #TwoStoryTuesday, we’re going to address a question we get asked a lot: “what’s a typical day/week for you guys?”
Our week typically has a certain structure to it, although the details will vary. It usually consists of songwriting, recording demo’s in our home studio of the songs we wrote, meetings with our team members, & exercising. Each day usually starts around 8-9am with Jamelle having what I call her “morning coffee concoction.” You have to understand this isn’t just coffee. We’re both pretty big health nuts most of the time, so she uses organic coffee, followed by a few drops of stevia, coconut cream right out of the can, a hint of raw cacao powder, finished off with some coconut oil. I’ll either make a couple of poached eggs (which Jamelle always wants 1 or 2 if I’m making them) or a protein shake. Then, we go about our day. Here’s how it all unfolded this past week.
Tuesday started off with a bang in the form of a text from our good friend & co-writer Fred Wilhelm (co-wrote Jerrod Niemann’s “Donkey”) inviting us to join him for a songwriters round he was hosting at the Bluebird Cafe on 8/21. Like most country artists in Nashville, playing at the Bluebird is something we’ve been looking forward to do since day #1.
We immediately started to think about what songs we’d sing there as we took the 20 minute drive to the RareSpark publishing building to write with the extremely talented Victoria Banks from 11am-3pm. Victoria helped write the newest Sara Evans single “Can’t Stop Loving You”, a duet between Sara & Isaac Slade from The Fray so yeah, Victoria is awesome. The songwriting magic that happens in the room with hit songwriters like her & others that we get to be a part of is so cool, we’re going to take an entire #TwoStoryTuesday post & break that down for you. Stay tuned for that! We spent a good chunk of Tuesday late afternoon reading & responding to all of your posts & reactions to our first #TwoStoryTuesday post. Tuesday evening, Jamelle got some work done around the house & I went out & played some tennis. As you’ll come to learn, tennis is one of the biggest ways I (Brandon) get my exercise each week.
Wednesday morning, Jamelle left around 9:45am to go to her hip-hop dance class. It’s kind of like Zumba, but it’s basically non-stop, high intensity hip-hop music the entire time. How would I know, you might ask? They had a “bring your man” class back in February over Valentine’s Day & I went & haven’t been back since. This class is no joke y’all! Anyway, while she was there, I started working in our home studio recording the music so we could demo a new song we had written the previous week. By the time Jamelle came home, I had enough of the music recorded so we could start recording our vocals. We spent the greater part of that afternoon working on finishing up that demo. Later that evening, we got our first task from Jessica Northey as new members of the Country Music Chat #CMchat family: pour a bucket of ice cold water over your head! She had nominated us for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. 🙂
Thursday morning we woke up to find out that tickets to our show at the Bluebird had gone on sale that morning at 8am & by 8:20, it was sold out! That was a great way to start the day. While Jamelle tried to find the perfect outfit for getting water dumped on her, I found a couple of buckets from the garage & spent about a half hour cleaning off the spider webs & dirt that was inside of them. Of course, by the time Jamelle saw them, they were already full of water and were nice & clean. We fulfilled our obligation, poured freezing ice cold water over our heads, and nominated our former bosses Danny Gokey & Carrie Underwood along with Mike Fisher, Pete Fisher from the Opry, & our friends Jill & Kate. Pete Fisher responded back to us on Facebook saying he had already made a generous donation to ALS in memory of a friend, so he was off the hook. Here’s the videos of us, Carrie & Mike, & Danny doing the challenge. Visit Jill & Kate’s FB page to see theirs.
Two Story Road:
Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher:
After receiving the “email” we referred to anxiously waiting on in our last post, there were lots of things to discuss with our attorney. Friday started off with a lengthy conference call with her bringing us up to speed on everything. We’ve got a few big things happening in the works right now that we are extremely excited about. Don’t worry, we’ll be filling y’all in once we have some concrete info. For those of you who don’t know, Jill & Kate have been singing background vocals for Trace Adkins this summer. Apparently, there’s a 10 day tour run towards the end of September that the girls can’t do. We got a call that afternoon that Trace was looking for two girls to sub in for Jill & Kate for those 8 shows and if Jamelle would be interested. We had a few things on the calendar during the time of those shows but nothing that couldn’t be rescheduled, so she accepted.
The rest of Friday was spent in the studio beginning the demo of the song we wrote with Victoria on Tuesday. I played tennis with a friend for a couple of hours that evening & then Jamelle & I had a late dinner date that night. We fell asleep to the soothing sounds & images of all the Shark Week shows we’d been taping that day. Yes, we LOVE Shark Week. (Real or fake…we just love it for what it is.)
Saturday morning started off with an early USTA Tennis match at 8:30am. That afternoon we met up with some friends and took a bicycle tour of Nashville. You can find spots all over the downtown area where you can rent bikes. The great thing is you can rent a bike from one spot & drop it off at another, like RedBox. Come to think of it, since the bikes ARE all red, maybe they should call it “RedBixe” (ba-dum-chhh). We made a quick pit stop at Starbucks & then worked our way all over town. We did that for hours and had a blast.
We weren’t able to go to church Sunday morning because Jamelle wasn’t feeling good. She was halfway through eating her appetizer at Pinewood Social on Saturday evening when we found out it had gluten in it. We both have a gluten allergy so it’s not fun when it gets into our system. I spent the rest of the morning & afternoon putting the finishing touches on the demo of Victoria’s song. As soon as she feels better, we’ll record our vocals. It’s Monday morning now & Jamelle will most likely go to her hip-hop dance class as long as she’s feeling better, followed by a writing session we have at 1pm. I’m planning on mowing the grass this morning as long as the weather cooperates. Fun fun fun! 🙂
That’s a typical week for us. As you can see, it’s not incredibly glamorous. We try to inject as much fun into it while still staying disciplined and getting as much work done as possible. You can probably do the math & realize that none of the things we did this past week brought in a dime of income for us. We don’t get paid to write songs, or to record them, or to pour buckets of ice cold water over our heads. About a year before we stepped down from our great paying jobs as touring musicians, we started saving money like nobody’s business. We knew going into this that there would be a lot of hard work that we’d need to do. We also knew that most of that hard work wouldn’t pay us anything. Sure, we get paid to perform. However, not every show pays. Sometimes our payment comes in the form of exposure which is invaluable to us at this stage in our career. At the end of the day, we’re finally doing what we set out to do when we moved to Nashville. Being the artist. We knew this road was going to be a tough one to walk down but then again, if making your dreams come true was easy, then everybody would be doing it.
B&J – 8/18/14 – 9:00am