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MP3 Emily Joe - Stealing Gray

Something new, with a modern pop feel and a little rock.

15 MP3 Songs
POP: Today''s Top 40, ROCK: Modern Rock

Emily Joe Everson - Biography

Born and raised in California, people often wonder why I chose to move to Louisiana to kick off my music career. One would think that California is the place to be. With the stars, Rodeo Drive and Hollywood, why, you might ask, am I out here in the sticks? This is an understandable question. Perhaps, my thinking outside the box will help me get into it. My adventures prior to my arrival here make for an interesting story.

Contrary to the picture everyone sees when they here about California, I was born and raised in the small town of Big Bear Lake. It is nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains apart from the city. My father was a composer and songwriter. His passion for music was very contagious. I can''t remember a time when I wasn''t fascinated with music. It is the language of the heart and that has always been what grabs me.

I grew up to the sound of my father thundering away at the piano. He seemed to come alive when he played. I knew that I had to learn. I wanted to feel the life that music gave my father. One Christmas when I was about six, my father got me a Casio keyboard. I liked playing around with it, but more than anything, I loved pushing the demo button over and over again. That was about the time my Dad wondered if it was such a great idea to get it for me in the first place. I loved the tune of the demo so much that I spent an entire evening one night making lyrics to go along with it! When I was finished I ran in and interrupted my dad to sing them to him. He was a little peeved at first, but when I sang my little song he went crazy. I didn''t feel like I had done anything spectacular, but it was exciting to see him be so amazed by something I had done. That was wonderful. After that, I did anything I could that would put me on stage. For the most part that meant the living room, which was fine.

I began playing the piano. My father would play and I would make him teach me the entire song. I would practice until I could play it just like he did. I''ve always played by ear and I must thank my parents for encouraging me. I participated in the performing arts all the way through high school.

Shortly after high school I began to write constantly. I was getting better at the guitar and I had been through enough emotionally to have some things to write about. I got a few songs under my belt and then I joined the Army Reserve. In basic training, I caught wind that they would need someone to sing the National Anthem at graduation. I was more interested in that than I was in graduating. During class one day they asked for volunteers to step up and sing a few notes. Most troops would tell you that it''s not a great idea to volunteer for anything, but I did it anyway. I got up there and sang a nervous Amazing Grace. Gratefully, I was selected to sing with three other girls at graduation. Regretfully, I had to sing Amazing Grace at any drill sergeants request from that audition on, including the gas chamber!!
That was my worst performance ever! I didn''t actually sing a note. It was impossible. I guess that''s the price you pay.

I made it through my training and headed back home to Big Bear. I immediately began writing again. It wasn''t long though, when sadly, my father became very ill. He fought a good fight, but we lost him on Fathers Day.

Shortly after my Dad passed, I moved to Long Beach to start music school. Just about the time I got going on school, I was deployed to Kuwait for the War on Terrorism. I was devastated. I didn''t see a music career fitting in at all in the Middle East. However, I had made the commitment and it was my responsibility to fulfill my obligation. So, I went, not knowing, what would become of me.

When I first arrived I didn''t know what to think. I think we are all scared at first. The unknown has a way of really terrifying you. Soon the days began to pass and I started to find my place there. One day I found myself at the Chapel. They were holding a service much like the ones I had attended as a child. It gave me a feeling of home, which is so important for troops over there. While I was there I noticed that they had a shiny black piano. I then learned that the Chapel was open 24 hours a day. After the service I went to speak to the Chaplin and I noticed that he had a guitar in his office. We got to talking and he invited me to play his guitar any time I wanted to and gave me permission to play the piano as long as I didn''t disturb anyone in prayer. Suddenly I was spending all my free time there. I joined the choir and went everyday during lunch and after work to write. I then heard that there was an open mic night held every month. So of course, I had to participate.

At my first open mic night, I was terrified. I had never seen so many people packed in for something like this. Not only was I scared to death, but I had to go first. I ended up taking third place and a nice trophy back to my cot. That night Mike Schnabel approached me and asked if I would like to sing with the band after the show. I was obliged and after that night I had the pleasure of being part of the band as a singer. We practiced everywhere including the laundry mat. Camp Doha wasn''t really set up for things like band practice. We managed to get it together in spite of the war going on. I was honored to be able to take a few more trophies from open mic nights thereafter.

One day, while we were at practice I played one of my tunes. Mike seemed really pleased. He told me that he was a producer as a civilian and told me that he wanted to produce my music when we got back to the states. I thought he had to be kidding. He went home long before I did. We kept in good contact for a full year before I was finally able to come here to record. Now that the CD is completed I know he wasn''t kidding. He really believed in me. The completion of the CD is really much more than I ever expected.

Being sent overseas was truly a blessing in disguise for me. There are so many lives lost, and troops that have suffered and will still have to suffer through much more than I ever had to endure. I will always be thankful for being lucky enough to be where I was and to have the opportunities that I did.

So why Louisiana? Well, the talent that has come out of New Orleans for decades past and decades to come inspires me, and furthermore, Louisiana happens to be the home of "Studio 909" and the first person that believed in me enough to bet money on my talent. So, here I am and I''m ready to rock!

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