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"...I've been successful in the music business for 40 years, and I can tell you that Jaci's book The Indie Guide To Music, Marketing and Money gives you that plan. You won't need to figure it out by trial and error. Now it's up to you to follow that plan and successfully spread your music."

Dennis Marcellino
Of Sly & The Family Stone, The Elvin Bishop Group, and The Tokens. www.DennisMarcellino.com

"I might have to eat my words about no one is going to come along with a magic wand...you come awfully close!! Boy do I wish I had half that information 20 years ago! What a gift you are giving so many up-and-coming musicians. I might even try to pursue my career again!"

-- Elisabeth Carlisle - Former A&M artist www.glacierrecords.com

 

 

 

 

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The 5 Best Books for Starving Musicians – Keeping Perfect Pitch without American Idol or Nashville Star

New York, NY – It’s no secret that making it in the music business is difficult and making money as a singer / songwriter / musician is next to impossible.  Just ask the millions of American Idol and Nashville Star hopefuls, whose dreams every year are dashed by Simon Cowell and others.
 
The proverbial question is, ‘What do I do now?”  What’s the best way to get your music career on track without sabotaging all of your hard work?Many music industry guides publicize that they have all the answers and contact databases to get you there, but which one actually delivers the goods?  Many of the music industry books are outdated, despite claims of updates, using old school advice for a new era of music and outdated databases that will send you straight to the cleaners literally, “Two-Day-Dry Cleaners at your service.”For the real-deal about the music industry, here are the top 5 best resources for starving musicians.

1.  The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money by Jaci Rae

2.  How to Write a Hit Song: The Complete Guide to Writing and Marketing Chart-Topping Lyrics and Music by Molly-Ann Leikin

3.  Creative Careers in Music by Josquin Des Pres
4.  Start and Run Your Own Record Label by Daylle Deanna Schwartz

5.  The Business of Artist Management by Xavier M

The No. 1 book on my list is the only one I know of that incorporates both new, in-depth music industry how-to's and a fresh, extensive contact database.  Included in this book are heavyweights in the music industry (Peter Visvardis, Thomas King, Cord Coslor, Miller Hogan and more), giving you valuable insider’s secrets and information that’s right on the cutting edge, helping artists to become successful. 

Whether you're a starving musician who’s looking for ways to market your music into music gold or an up-and-coming record label executive, everyone needs the right information to pave the way to where you want to be. 


With a Name Like Jaci Rae, It's Gotta Be Pure Honky Tonk, Right? -- Judd Handler, SpinWriter

"You're not alone if the name Jaci Rae automatically conjures up images of a southern farmer's daughter, backwoods-country-bumpkin, sitting on a rolling hillside with a strand of hay dangling from her mouth. Well, this Jaci Rae is a country singer ... but not the prototypical, Nashville corporate project.

While she considers herself a country artist at heart, most people familiar with her music would classify her as a crossover artist. The country-flavored songs that Jaci Rae croons on her latest self-titled CD reached the top five on dozens of radio stations, supplanting superstars like Garth Brooks. More than just a talented singer, Jaci Rae is also a "musical philanthropist, " author, and businesswoman.

Jaci Rae, who splits time between Wisconsin and her native California, is blessed by working with well-known music publishers and songwriters like Sherril Blackman (LeAnn Rimes). The first track from the CD, "Your Coffee's on the Table, " is solid country and so radio friendly that the song was the quickest to reach the top position at a Montana radio station (104.5 FM, fittingly with the call letters KOFI). "Coffee" was ranked ahead of Brooks and Shania Twain.

In Europe, where traditional country music is craved (the non-one hit wonder Nashville variety), Jaci Rae recently reached No. 15 (for the track "Like a Wheel") on the Country Music Association charts, beating out the sensational Vince Gill.

Upon learning of her ranking on the CMA charts, Jaci says the first thing she did was phone her mother. "I was just so floored, " says a wholesome-sounding Jaci Rae, trying to mask her giggles. "I called up my mom and said, 'Can you read this to me and make sure it says what I think it says?' I couldn't believe it ... I look up to these people (Brooks, et al.), they are my heroes."

"Coffee" is a microcosm of the CD as it pokes good-natured fun at love and relationships. The first verse begins, "I hear the same old thing every morning when you wake up/ Hey sugar won't you bring me some coffee in my favorite cup/ But this morning it's going to be different than it's been before/ 'Cause your coffee's on the table but your sugar's walking out the door." How can Nashville not pay attention to Jaci Rae with winning lyrics like that?

The songs are not based on her personal amorous adventures; Jaci Rae merely wanted to pick songs on the CD "that were fun and cracked jokes." She adds, "I got so tired of the same sappy, 'my wife left me, the dog died and I don't have a job' songs."

Don't let "Coffee" fool you into thinking that the rest of the CD is up-tempo country swagger. The majority of the remaining tunes, while showcasing Jaci Rae's star-quality vocal abilities, are more like slow, jazzy ballads. When asked if "jazzy ballad" is an accurate description, Jaci Rae answers with a slow sigh, "correct, correct ... I know I sound disappointed, but I'm not. I really love doing a jazzy-torched song."

Elaborating on why she's considered a crossover, or multi-genre musician, Jaci Rae claims, "a majority of the people that like country music also like jazz. People thought I was insane because I hired only jazz musicians for the CD. It's not that country musicians can't play jazz, " but the ones she has played with aren't exactly jazz pros. Fret not, Jaci, you haven't insulted any of your collaborators. Would Metallica hire Willie Nelson to sing "Seek and Destroy?"

"I don't believe we should have to draw a line and say, 'well, you're country, so you can't do jazz' ... I think that's silly, " says Jaci.

Even if you don't have a taste for country music or slow, jazzy ballads, there's no denying that Jaci Rae is an example of a musician who makes a difference in peoples' (and animals') lives. On February 19, Jaci Rae will be in Europe, playing a benefit concert for a critically ill, two-year-old Belgian boy. This won't be the first time Jaci's music has impacted the life of a child. This past December, Jaci Rae performed for the first time in Nashville. The show benefited the Child Alert Foundation (CAF).

Jaci Rae enjoys popularity in several European countries. She is a welcome addition to the continent's loyal country music audience. Jaci has a European promoter, Gary Bradshaw, who was contacted by the president of the Belgium International Country Music Association, Mia Heylen. Heylen, who is also a DJ, informed Bradshaw of a series of concerts, which are to raise money for the Belgian boy, named Jordy. The DJ asked several of the artists that she plays, (one of which is Jaci Rae) to send her five CDs each in order to hold an auction and raise money for a surgical operation that is necessary to ensure that Jordy will live past age four.

Jordy's mother died during childbirth. He was born with just one kidney, his hips upside down and twisted, a clubbed foot, and suffers from a form of spina bifida. Jordy's liver is in danger of shutting down and will ultimately need a kidney transplant.

Upon hearing of Jordy's plight (add to the list that he's uninsured), and the concert to raise money for him, Jaci without hesitation offered her services. If enough money is raised, Jaci says that Jordy will be able to pull through. The benefit concert is in Belgium on February 19. "It's the biggest event in that country in the last 30 years, " says Jaci. "The press is honing in from all over the world [such as a BBC crew] ... it's an incredible cause." Jaci will do a series of other concerts, playing mid-sized venues in Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

"I'll get to meet the DJs who've been supporting me over there for the last eight months, and I'll get to meet my fans." Jaci will have only two days of free time during the entire trip, one of which she says will be spent visiting the sites of Holocaust concentration camps. "It will be so profound, " she says. "I wonder what my feeling is going to be like over there. I want to say a prayer for the rest of the world when I'm there."

"Oh yeah, I can make a difference with my music, " emphatically says Jaci. She recalls when at age five, she walked onto the set of a Jerry Lewis telethon, but didn't know she needed a sponsor to sing, so she came back the next year with one and helped the Muscular Dystrophy cause with her animated performance.

Is Jaci content with warm receptions in Europe and North America? "I'm going to conquer the world, " she contends. "I've worked my hinder [ass] off ... I'm not resting on my laurels."

Jaci Rae doesn't have time to rest. In addition to the tours and recording sessions, she runs a small, independent label, North Shore Records. Receiving roughly 100 submissions a week, it takes Jaci a good ear to plow through every artist and decide which ones to pursue. This arduous process was mirrored in her selection of songs on the CD. It took her a year to finalize a setlist for the CD. Some songs were selected because she sought a specific sound, not necessarily because it was her favorite song.

Heading the operating at the label, Jaci receives around 250 emails a day from struggling artists seeking answers to questions like "How do I submit my material, how do I do my taxes, and where can I get my CD pressed?"

While on vacation in scenic northern Wisconsin, Jaci was sitting on a lake's pier and came up with a revelation. The result was Insider's Secrets for Making Your Music a Success. Published in September 1999, Jaci's book provides helpful insight and information, such as manager and A&R contacts, music Web sites, and articles written by other music industry veterans. Jaci Rae also has her own Web site, Jacirae.com.

Jaci used to write paragraphs, responding to each email she received. These days, although it takes her longer to reply, she still answers to every letter, albeit with a couple of sentences. Jaci's kindness is evident&No. 151;some people would probably have an automated response system to their emails with an answer, "Buy my book."
Few adults convey the innocence, thoughtfulness, and charity that Jaci Rae carries. She's also modest. She tells of the time that she played in front of 40, 000 Marines at a base. Jaci was surprised at the warm reception she received. "Maybe it's your looks that got those Marines riled up, " I suggest to her.

She quickly responded, "I don't think they saw me up close."

With her gleaming pearly whites and cherubic grin and flocks of Curly-Sue hair, I tell her in a slow and playful, southern drawl, "Don't be shy now Jaci Rae." ... I bet she's blushing right now.


 

Jaci Rae Interviews Legendary Music Icons on The Jaci Rae Show

Los Angeles--—Jaci Rae – The Rae of Hope TM is an award winning artist, No. 1 Best Selling author, and motivational speaker/teacher. She has helped independent artists with their careers worldwide through her many books such as, The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money and valuable consultations on the phone and via the web. One of the most popular outlets for Indie artists to obtain information is The Jaci Rae Show, heard live around the world every Thursday night at 8 PM, Pacific Standard Time.

Former and present guests on The Jaci Rae Show include…Big Brother and Holding Company (Janis Joplin's Group), Mike Corbet (former A&R for Mariah Carey and George Michael), Jordan Keller (legal counsel for the Backstreet Boys), Derek Sivers (CD Baby), It's a Beautiful Day with Linda & David LaFlamme. A matter of interest for all independent artists is upcoming guest Peter Visvardis (former A&R Director at Columbia Records before he recently resigned his position this past year).

There will be a two part series with Peter teaching artists how to get signed and how NOT to get ripped off. In addition to Peter’s expert tutelage, DJ H. Vargas will be teaching about Record Pools and how they can help you with you Indie Music and Bob Francis, who works with Event Management, a premier Publicity Firm, will be teaching how to market your music and products effectively without spending a lot of money. Francis specializes in infomercials and commercial spots that have aired on Oprah, hit commercials such as 8 minutes Abs, Have a Good Hair Day and others. Since then he has broken records providing clients with spectacular results.

Jaci Rae Radio Schedule
All Shows are 8 - 9 pm Pacific Standard Time /11-12 pm Eastern Standard Time
January 5, 2006 Peter Visvardis Part I
January 12, 2006 Bob Francis
January 19, 2006 Peter Visvardis Part II
January 26, 2006 Kenneth Fournier, V.P. Stretch the Skies
February 2, 2006 Mike Corbet
February 9, 2006 Big Brother and Holding Company and again in June 1, 2006
March 9, 2006 - Jordan Keller Backstreet Boys Legal Counsel
March 14, 20069 Miller Hogan Top Entertainment Attorney
March 30, 2006 – Rev Moose – Editor-in-Chief CMJ Magazine
April 6, 2006 – Ernie Ashworth, Grand Ole Opry Star and Country Hall of Fame Inductee

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Jaci Rae Publishes The Indie Guide To Music, Marketing and Money

Los Angeles--—Jaci Rae is the epitome of the D.Y.I. spirit that makes independent artists so successful. She is singer/songwriter, musician, prolific author of several successful books including the No. 1 bestselling Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life One Touchdown at a Time and mainly an inspiration to women and men that need a lesson in self-empowerment.It is not a secret that making it in the music business is difficult, particularly in the fiercely competitive Indie market.

There are so many options and services available for artists to choose. Which company or individual do you trust with your dream and what is the best way to approach getting your career on track without tripping over yourself and sabotaging your years of hard work? Well Jaci Rae has lived it from start to finish, the good and the bad, she made all the mistakes and learned from the lessons of those experiences.

Now all she wants to do is save other aspiring artists from the pain and heartbreak of unnecessary mistakes.The answers are laid out in black and white with a helpful book titled The Indie Guide To Music, Marketing and Money. Jaci covers everything from Everything Business 101- Podcasting and resources as well as Record Pools and how to swim and Guerilla Marketing to name a few topics.

What is more impressive about Jaci’s process, which is continually evolving in her many careers, is the fact that she constantly improves and updates this valuable publication, so when you do purchase it the information that is inside the book is right on the cutting edge for the indie artist to be successful.The Indie Guide To Music, Marketing and Money comes with a free The Indie Guide To Contact Information as well so you actually have some reputable contacts to look into amongst the myriad of services needed to get you on track to your ultimate goal, success.

There is no better teacher than experience and a publication like this is a goldmine of resources at your fingertips. It will save you hour upon hour of research, frustration, and most of all the advice you need to avoid taking the wrong turn that could derail all of your efforts to make your dreams come true. Everyone needs the right information to pave the way to where you want to go and as the saying goes-Jaci Rae has been there and done that. A word to the wise is sufficient, if you are an Indie artist looking for ways to market your music, its all here in this book. Website: www.jacirae.com www.winningpoints.net and www.music-success.bizPR Created and Distributed By MuzikReviews.com


Jaci Rae, Country / Jazz Singer, Author, and Photographer



DM) How did you get your start in singing?



JR) I started singing at a very young age. I was a huge fan of Sound of Music and wanted to be Maria. By the age of three I had probably watched the movie 25 times and new all the songs and people used to ask me to sing the songs constantly. But when I took that into kindergarten choir auditions, they booted me hahaha! I think I was trying to sound like Maria. I tried again the following year and the same thing happened, they wouldn't let me in! I mean who DOESN'T make elementary school choir?! So in third grade, I just sang as myself and I finally made it! (I still fantasize I am Maria snicker!). When I was 10, I walked into a club and heard another woman singing. I asked the manager if he would let me sing also. He agreed to let me sing on a Monday night, later he said he though I would never show and was surprised when I did. I ran off and asked my best friend to sing and play guitar with me. She told me no and that I was crazy; she didn't know how to sing or play guitar. I didn't know how to play guitar either, but a neighbor next door did, so I grabbed an old beat up guitar that was in the house and ran up to her. She taught me three basic chords and I in turn taught them to my friend and we started on Monday night! I am certain it was awful, however his crowds increased and he started us on weekends and they increased then too. It was at that point that my best friend and I started being asked to sing at fairs and other clubs. When she moved away that following fall, I set out on my own.

DM) I'm surprised with the rejection of your singing when you were younger you had the motivation to sing in the diner. What gave you the confidence?

JR) I guess I was just insane.... no seriously. I am not quite sure. I am stubborn; it is always what I have wanted to do and nothing else. Music has always been an affinity for me, an escape. It's who I am, how I feel, and what I think. It profoundly affects the way I feel whether I am listening or being the one listened too. It's just me! Also, there is something in me that when someone says no, I say, 'Oh yeah! Watch Me!' And I go for it. I give out that same advice to a child or adult, who comes up to me at a concert or on the street to ask for an autograph, and says, ‘I would love to do what you do, but I can't'...I say, 'Oh yeah! Yes you can!' It's always incredibly amazing and touching to me to watch a child or adult when someone tells them they can. It's like a light went on in their head and they see it themselves!"

DM) Are you always so positive in your life?

JR) Oh of course I am always upbeat, happy and a ray of hope! I am a mixture of Pollyanna and Miss Mary Sunshine every morning! And I wake up every morning with my hair and teeth already brushed and my day is perfect. NOT! (Snicker!) No WAY, not by a long shot! I am over critical of myself. There have been mornings I wake up and don't want to get out of bed, and then I look in the mirror and scream and hide in terror at the sight I just saw. Sorry, I had to do that! But truthfully, there have been days when that is exactly how I feel. Since I know the day is going to happen with or without my attitude, I try to give myself an attitude adjustment and get on with the day. If that doesn't work, then I grab some cookies (chocolate chip or peanut butter) and drown myself in the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes"! But I am normally a very optimistic person though so I guess that does help. But trust me when I say I have my moments when I am not a pleasant person to be around. At those times, I hide out and avoid people!



DM) Whenever I read articles about you, they describe you as nothing less then beautiful. When I hear a reaction that you look in the mirror and want to scream I find it pretty surprising. How do you react when you read what people write about you?

JR) Where did you read that? (Snicker!) I try not to read that much about myself unless I am specifically asked to. I do have a scrapbook that I paste things in so that someday, when I have children of my own, they can see what a fool I made of myself! Just kidding! But it is for the benefit of my future family that I save things written about me, but as I said, for the most part I just don't read them. Back to my looks, I have never really thought of myself as beautiful. I am the kind that wakes and shakes so to speak. I wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, brush my hair, and throw it in a ponytail. I have always been that way. I am a tomboy I guess. I have never adhered to the make-up crowd. I didn't grow up that way. We didn't have a lot of money and there were eight of us and one small bathroom to get ready in the morning. So spending a lot of mirror time was strictly prohibited. I am sure that is the reason I don't do the make-up thing or at least that was the first reasons. Now that I have had it on my skin, there is another story LOL! To be honest I don't even wear make-up on stage. (Well a little mascara and maybe blush if I am pale, but that is all. But my cheeks get flaming red under the hot lights of stage and on television, so my make-up artist tends to shy away from blush.) Today, I just hate the feeling of make-up. I always forget I have it on and it ends up on my shirt, smeared everywhere. When I have it on I feel like my face is dripping in gack. I can't stand it! While I must wear it for television and for certain photo sessions and public occasions because of the way they light you, too many shadows, etc., when those sessions are over, I race home and take a shower immediately to get that guck off and the hair spray out. This doesn't mean I don't care about the way I look; I just don't take it very seriously. I mean when I am 70 or 80 my skin will be wrinkled and I will have age spots and such. How devastated I would be at that time if I had based my entire life on what I looked like when I was a teenager. I do envy my girlfriends who always are so "put together" and not a hair is out of place though. Why? Because I see them as much more disciplined then I. But the make-up, I look good thing...I just would rather be outside then staring in a mirror!"



DM) Which gives you more pleasure, your photography or music?

JR) What gives me more pleasure music or photography? Well, they are 2 entirely different and separate things for me. When I am singing, I am a whole different person. I am up there to please a crowd, put on a show and hopefully convey what I feel to them. My desire is that they feel what I feel when I am singing. I am revealing my very soul when I sing. When I take pictures, I am a very tiny person in a vast universe of possibility. I am in awe of nature and I love to capture the moments of nature. It's relaxing and very inspiring, so for me, there is no comparison. I don't have to be "on" and as my friends joke with me all the time, I don't have to be, "Hi! I'm Jaci Rae!" I can just be me. I mean the animals and subject aren't looking back in the lens at me hahaha!

DM) What else do you do for fun besides music & photography?

JR) I love to work with Make-A-Wish Foundation and I am always promoting our armed forces as well as those who protect and serve us. I wish I could do more for them. Make-A-Wish is so important for people who are struggling with life threatening illnesses to know that there is something to look forward to other then hospitals and doctors. There is nothing that beat's the faces of the families when they come back from a granted wish. And while I haven't been able to work with them in a while, I still promote them often. However, my selfish hobbies and things that I absolutely LOVE to do are water-skiing, snow-skiing, and taking a walk on the cliff's to look at my Sea Otters (if they would just let me kiss 'em on the nose, I know they would just love me!). Those rank right up there with working with others!"

DM) Where did you first learn the value of helping people?

JR) To be honest I don't know where my desire to help came from. I have always been involved, working with charitable institutions for as long as I can remember. When I was in Kindergarten, I remember doing a Jerry Lewis Walk-A-Thon for Muscular Dystrophy. I didn't know about sponsors that year so I did the walk without sponsorship. I remember thinking the walk was so far I couldn't believe it (and for a child it's a long way!). But I knew I could walk when there were so many other children who couldn't, so I had to walk for them. The next year I found out about sponsors, and I won an award for the most sponsors as well as the youth that walked the farthest. I didn't know about the award, so I wasn't there to pick up the award. My Mom, who had to stop by the school, was given the award and she was just as surprised as I was. So it's just always been there. I don't know why, or how. It just was. A gift from God I suppose.

DM) What was your family-life like when you were growing up?

JR) Well...things are very different from my childhood now and my family and I are very close. We all learned about life and grew. When I was a child, I didn't have a family life per say. I had to be a grown-up from the time I was 3 years old, making decisions that no child should have to make. Children are very adaptable with survival skills. But my childhood taught me self-reliance, common sense and believe it or not a lot of wisdom beyond my years at a very young age. People always thought I was much older by the way I spoke and because of the way I thought things through. Goodness...I began studying psychology when I was 9 years old LOL! I know that I would not be who I am today if I had not had the childhood I had and I thank God for that. Would I chose my childhood over again and live through what I did? No! Absolutely not. However, if you were to ask me if I was glad about what I went through, I would say...absolutely YES! As I said, it made me who I am today. I choose to help others with what I have learned and we will leave it at that.

DM) Do you love your job?

JR) I guess I don't see what I do as a job. It's something I definitely love and have a passion for, but for me it's not a job, it's more a message I spread about how I feel that day.

DM) What advice do you give people who don't love their careers as much?

JR) Well at first they have to stick with it because we all have school to pay for, bills to pay, life to pay for. But while they are sticking with the job they hate, it doesn't mean they can't go out and either look for a job they would love, go to school and get the skills needed in an area they would enjoy, and/or start their own business. We all have things we must do that we hate (I mean, I HATE cleaning bathrooms, but someone's got to do it, eh? Oh...but I saw the funniest video the other day with my sister. There is a man out there who is passionate, and I mean passionate about cleaning. We were laughing because of the way he presented it on the video! He LOVES to clean bathrooms also. Gosh...I need to find him snicker!)...Okay back to the subject matter, until we can find something else, we have to work with what we have. So, while you are looking for other more enjoyable things, try to make your day a game at work if you hate it, or if you have a boss that is a nightmare(and trust me, I had one of those, a real nightmare so I know what you are going through if you have one of those. Make sure you go through the proper authorities to get his/her abuse stopped!). Look at your work and make it a race to see how much you can get done in as little time as possible and still do an excellent job. Don't meter yourself against anyone but yourself. Make it a race against yourself. When the day gets too dull or frustrating, think about what you are doing to change that situation and that you only have to wait a little while longer and you will have a new job or career. In my old job, I accidentally came upon a very funny answering machine message when calling a customer up. So when my day was really bad or one of my fellow employees, we would call up that machine and laugh our hinders off. So try something like that. Basically, if you are in a job that you really can't get out of right away, it does not mean you can't work during that time to get out of it. Life is too short to waste the entire time being unhappy. I learned that the hard way when my sister was killed. There will always be bad days; just as there are good. But try to make it more good than bad.

DM) But having a bad day and your sister dying are two separate worlds. You seem to be somebody who can give good advice on how to handle a tragedy like that. How did you handle it?

JR) Well, you don't really handle it, you live through it. It's been a few years since she was killed and sometimes I still cry. She was my best friend in the entire world and the only person who has ever really understood me and knew who I was thoroughly. She was like a twin. We could be across the U.S. and she would call and ask me why I was crying and I had been. We were just connected by some sort of line.

When she was killed, I felt as if my soul had been ripped out. She was killed in a drunken driving accident and it was yet one more reason I am such an advocate against drinking and driving. My position on that subject is...don't drive if you've been drinking...Period...end of story, a short sentence. Just DON'T do it! Good grief...Take a cab, stay at a hotel, call a friend, walk, or sleep in your car.

Is $20.00 for a cab, $50.00 for a cheap Motel, or a little stiff neck because you slept in your car really too much to pay for someone's life? If they don't care enough to pay the price of these things, then they are not a person who has any integrity or value in my eyes. I don't care if you get drunk. Just don't drive. I am very verbal to people who drink and drive. Friends have told me about co-workers who were drunk the night before and drove.

I will go right over to that person and speak my mind. One person even came to me the next day after I had chewed him out, and told me he had sold his car. He really had! He commuted with a friend after that. I don't care about the person who chooses to drink and drive, but I do care about the innocent people they will kill, maim and injure on the road. I really like those commercials on TV where it shows the child or family on a home video and then it tells when they were killed by a drunk driver.

I think they should take it a step further and in that white space in the background, they should show the family at the morgue identifying the body and they should have video of the funeral. Really get the message across. It still hurts to think about my sister's death as you can see. The only way to live through a tragedy such as this (or any tragedy) is to talk to other people who have been in the same situation.

You need to know that what you are feeling is not abnormal. All the anger, hurt and rage is a normal process in the ordeal. The feeling that tomorrow is worthless without your loved one is something that most people experience in the death process. While talking to friends helps relieve some of the pressure, unless they have been there too, you won't get the same resolution you will get from speaking with someone who has been in your shoes.

It's the difference between talking about the experience and your feelings and sharing a common bond of the experience and the feelings. My advice to people is to get with others who have already lived through the same situation. Not that talking with your friends is not important. It is very important. But when the flowers stop coming and the phone calls end and there are fewer people around, you are still left alone and empty with no closure. Whatever you do, don't repress your feelings and say it's okay and "I'll get through it" and then try to resume your day. It will catch up with you one way or another. It's best to get the worst part out of the way now.

The biggest lesson I can impart to anyone is that we only have this one moment in time to make a difference. This one moment to say I love you. This one moment to appreciate someone. I told an older woman with a walker how much I appreciated her generation because they were always so put together and how lovely she looked. Her entire being livened up and she stood taller and began to smile. That is worth more than anything else in the world, to know you made a difference, if even for just one moment.


Jaci Rae (North Shore Records)
By: Alex Steininger, In Music We trust,
"Very ambitious, even at nine years old, she walked into a dinner club and saw a women singing on stage. Telling the club owner she could do that, she marched right up to him and told him the same thing. Looking at her and chuckling, he told her to come back on Monday and she could sing. Not thinking she would show up, she did.

From that club she gained a name for herself in the Santa Cruz area, and build her fan base up from there." With her first full-length/self-titled CD just released, her blend of country, jazz, and even more country is a must have for any fan of country. Very country oriented, its jazzy feeling helps bring an extra zing to the music.

Her voice always keeps the music sensual, no matter what the lyrics are saying, as she takes you through romantic and heart breaking moments. The music itself jumps from slow and very heart felt, to more up tempo, bouncy numbers. Always keeping things lively, she never drives down the same path twice." Although I like the down to earth, piano driven jazz a lot better than the country, bouncy feeling, this CD has a lot to offer the listener.

"Your Coffee's on the Table" is one of the more up tempo bounce numbers, while "Convince Me" sets the pace slow and cozy with its piano driven jazz feeling. All and all, this CD will bring many good moments to any fans of modern day country. I'll give this CD a B." Alex Steininger In Music We Trust


"Jaci is a singer who fits in perfectly into today's contemporary country market. She's young, beautiful, wait a minute..this is a record review. Anyway, she is similar musically and in appearance with Martina McBride, And Trisha Yearwood. Her material comes mostly from outside writers..another Nashville trait..and she did a good job of finding songs.

"Your Coffee's On The Table" is a cute hook song with the reply being " and your sugar's walkin' out the door". Can we say RADIO READY?! "River Of Love" is a swampy tune with a gospel feel and nice background vocals. "The Last One" is a big ballad about love and features duet vocals by her co-producer, Jim Reith. This CD is well produced and if you like what is on country radio, you will like. Jaci's CD. Her singing is straight ahead and the only thing I would like Jaci to do is to stretch out and take some chances vocally. I rate it three stars." Chris Hugan, Reviews In Time


Downhome Girl
"Santa Cruz native Jaci Rae has a new CD out titled "Downhome Girl." The five-song disc starts off with a jazzy number then follows with the Dolly Parton tune "Coat of Many Colors." The other three song similarly carry on in the country style, Rae learned from listening to her grandparents' records as a child.

The disc showcases her smooth, sweet and controlled voice while backing musicians such as locals Jim Norris and "Slippery" John Weston and Emmy Lou Harris' guitarist Frank Reckard provide an unobstructive bed of music. "Downhome Girl" sounds fresh and modern without bowing too much to the rock 'n' roll trends which ruin contemporary country.

As a result the disc has been warmly received by radio stations across the globe. Rae says that the disc is getting airplay in Kentucky, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and Italy, and that record label in Holland is interested in picking up the disc. Scott Cooper, Santa Cruz Sentinel


"Everything about this 5 track CD just screams country, from the front cover pic to the song titles & even to the bio. While country may not be my favorite style of music, I have to judge every demo on it's quality, not it's style, & this demo is quite simply put, pretty stunning. "Perfect Strangers" opens the show, tinged slightly with a laid back jazzy feel & some crystalline vocals that penetrate, but don't overpower the music.

Second in is a fair country classic, a cover of Dolly Parton's "Coat Of Many Colours", which is just as well performed, & the style eases off the extreme end of country, stoppingwelll short of 'twine & twang'. The other three tracks include "I Gotta Dance" & "Whole Lotta Trouble For A Little Bit Of Love", which are a bit more lively, whilst the missing track is the best of all, an emotionally performed number called "Your Side Of The Bed". If only all country music was like this." Heard Magazine, Australia


Jaci Rae Victorious in First BattleNet

"In the first BattleNet competition, Jaci Rae has taken home a victory with "Perfect Strangers". In over a month, Jaci Rae was competing for the BattleNet crown against Exotic Pet as the fierce competitor with Internet viewers from around the world casting their votes for the song of their choice. Although starting off as being a close battle, Jaci Rae pulled away with a near 2 to 1 margin."

Downhome Girl "Country, country, country. This downhome girl from Santa Cruz, CA delivers the goods on this 5-song CD. Backed by a host of talented musicians, Jaci shines on the upbeat, "I Gotta Dance" and the soulful, somber, "Your Side of the Bed". In somewhat of a departure, the first track, "Perfect Strangers" is a sultry little number, which conjures up images of a smoke-filled, sexy piano bar. Jaci also covers Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors" in fine form. Closing out this perky little country gem is the raucous, "Whole Lotta Trouble" which could easily become a Line Dancing staple."

The Music Media Interactive Group


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