My name is Francesca and I am in love.
I love words. I love music. I love stories. I love songs.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Give Me Back My Hometown"



Happy 2014, SongBirds!  
This year is off to a crazy start and I know there are some magical things in store.  
This year is and will definitely be blog-worthy, in my life and musically. 

Now, I will be the first to admit...I am not the biggest Eric Church fan.  However, I am totally having a change of heart, and I know you will too.  This song restores my tested faith in Country Music.

I am over society's judgmental views of country music.  This song shatters those criticisms.  To the untrained ear, country music no longer sounds 'country' any more, and it doesn't have to!  From the structure, instrumentation, and choice of words, this song is propelling our genre into a new chapter.

Can I just talk about how brilliant these words are?  Like come on.  "All the colors of my youth/The red, the green, the hope, the truth/Are beatin’ me black and blue cause you’re in every scene"  The. Best.  My songwriting head is exploding, absolutely brilliant.  

This. Is. Country. Music.  



FM Radio:
Singer: Eric Church
Songwriters: Eric Church/Luke Laird
Song: "Give Me Back My Hometown"
Buy it here: iTunes

Damn, I used to love this view
Sit here and drink a few
Main street and the high school lit up on Friday night
Down there it’s another touchdown
Man, this year’s team is stout I can hear them goin’ crazy
And up here so am I

Thinkin’ about you sittin’ there sayin’ I hate this, I hate it
If you couldn’t stand livin’ here why’d you take it, take it

Give me back my hometown
‘Cause this is my hometown

All the colors of my youth
The red, the green, the hope, the truth
Are beatin’ me black and blue cause you’re in every scene
My friends try to cheer me up get together at the Pizza Hut
I didn’t have the heart to tell them that was our place
These sleepy streetlights on every sidewalk side street
Shed a light on everything that used to be

Give me back my hometown
‘Cause this is my hometown

You can have my grandma’s locket
The knife out of my grandpa’s pocket
Yeah my state champion jacket
I don’t care you can have it
 Every made memory
Every picture, every broken dream
Yeah everything, everything, everything

Give me back my hometown
‘Cause this is my hometown

Sunday, September 1, 2013

"Church Clothes"

Credit: Kelleigh Bannen

Regardless of the words I write on this little blog, I don't think anything can do justice to the sound Kelleigh Bannen's voice.  I've seen more singers than I can remember live, and I've never heard a voice like this.  Her tone is so unique that their is no one is comparison.  As the opening act for Luke Bryan, Kelliegh had the audience in the palm of her hand.  I need at least 100 songs of her on my iPod, now.  Oh and on top of that voice, she is also an incredible songwriter in her own right.  I've been fascinated with this girl ever since I discovered her last year - "Why Now Why"  

Inevitably, I've followed everything she's ever done.  So to see her live...oh & meet her...beyond words, one of the best nights, ever.  This was by no means an "opening act."  As a singer/songwriter, watching Kelleigh's set was literally like seeing a little ray of God.  I feel nothing but inspired and know that my life will never be complete unless I can affect someone the way she touched me that night.  I feel ready to take on the world.

Every so often a song comes along that takes the breath out of you; this was that song for me.  This song speaks for itself but of course that will not stop me.  I have been singing this song ever since I heard the Opry performance, ahhmazing.  The verses hesitate in a way that makes the story come more to life.  The choruses have just a few simple lyric changes that propel the story yet relive the agonizing pain in this 'church' life.  In my opinion, it's the details like "curl in my hair," or "Slipped a five in the offering plate."  I can really lose my mind over this song.   The marriage of melody and lyrics in this song are the driving force for why I will spend forever trying to replicate the same.  Like they were just made for each other.  Although she didn't have a hand in writing this masterpiece of a song, her vulnerability makes her delivery feel as if she lived it.  Brilliant.  I promise you've never heard anything like this.  Country music needs Kelleigh Bannen.

Find Kelleigh Bannen:
www.kelleighbannen.com
www.twitter.com/kelleighbannen


My video, the beginning got cut off:



FM Radio:
Singer: Kelleigh Bannen
Song: "Church Clothes"

A pressed shirt, you tuck it in
You tie your tie, and tie it again
I put a little curl in my hair
Pink on my cheeks barely there

A proper skirt, hits at the knee
A good sweater in winter green
You shake the keys, downstairs
I hit the lights not a minute to spare

Slipped a five in the bible for the offering plate
What a beautiful picture we both made

            You drive, I look out the window
            It’s not right but nobody said so
            We walk in and head to the same pew
            And hold hands, just like we’re supposed to
            But last night you slept on the sofa
            And these days I don’t even know ya 
            We fight like hell but nobody knows
            When we’re wearing our church clothes

We stand up we sing a hymn
We say a prayer for other friends
We’re turning to the book of John
I’m thinking how I can’t go on

But we smile and we give it our Sunday best
If we’re lost couldn’t tell by the way we dressed

            You drive, I look out the window
            It’s not right but nobody said so
            We walk in, I head to the bedroom
            But you don’t, you do what you want to
            Like last week when you packed a suitcase
            And came close to getting your own place
            Oh that’s the stuff nobody knows
            When we’re wearing our church clothes

Oh we don’t speak
Don’t touch as if nobody’s watching us
Lord knows we got it down
What would they say if we gave up

            You drive, I look out the window
            It’s not right but nobody said so
            We walk in like we’ve never been so close
            Miles apart but careful that it don’t show
            When we’re wearing our church clothes



Dirt Road Diaries Tour/"Country Girl (Shake It For Me)"



Nothing like this song to make you wish you grew up on dirt roads.  I love within one line, a song can instantly transport you from your car, living room, wherever, right onto the exact location of the song.  
So amazing to watch Luke Bryan carve out a place for himself in country music. 

So unreal that here we are Labor Day weekend, which means that summer is officially over.  Crazy to think that I am a junior in college now.  Ridiculous.  Well, I feel like the pinnacle of my summer was 8/29 when we went to see Luke's Dirt Road Diaries tour at the NYS Fair, which featured Thompson Square and Kelleigh Bannen (My favorite person ever!)  Ever since that concert ended, all I want to do is go back.  Regardless of the overly-intoxicated and way too obnoxious people that obstructed my view, hands down, this is one of the best concerts I've ever been to.  Amazing, amazing, amazing!

For starters, although I love Luke, the second I saw Kelleigh's name on that bill, I bought the tickets.  This girl is too amazing for words...she's getting her own entry.  

I guess my seats were actually meant to be.  Although we've sat in the grandstand for almost every show we've seen at the fair (not intentionally), the one thing I've never realized until this time is that I first-handedly had the ability to witness the power of a song.  Literally.  Amazing how once you're older, you realize everything you knew all along.  Honestly, I don't know what was louder, Luke himself, or 17,000 people singing along.  Unreal, out of body experience.  

  
Country Girl (Shake It For Me) - Syracuse, NY



FM Radio:
Singer: Luke Bryan
Songwriters: Luke Bryan, Dallas Davidson
Song: "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)"


Got a little boom in my big truck

Gonna open up the doors and turn it up
Gonna stomp my boots in the Georgia mud,
Gonna watch you make me fall in love




Get up on the hood of my daddy's tractor,
up on the toolbox it don't matter
Down on the tailgate girl i can't wait
To watch you do your thing




Shake it for the young bucks sittin' in the honky-tonks
For the rednecks rockin' 'till the break of dawn
For the DJ spinning that country song
c'mon c'mon c'mon
Shake it for the birds
Shake it for the bees
Shake it for the catfish swimming down deep in the creek
For the crickets
and the critters
and the squirrels
Shake it for the moon
Shake it for me girl
Country girl shake it for me
girl shake it for me
girl shake it for me

Somebody's sweet little farmer child
She got it in her blood to get a little wild
Pony tail and a pretty smile
Roped me in from a country mile

So come on over here and get in my arms
Spin me around this big ol' barn
Tangle me up like grandma's yarn
yeah yeah yeah

Shake it for the young bucks sittin' in the honky-tonks
For the rednecks rockin' 'till the break of dawn
For the DJ spinning that country song
c'mon c'mon c'mon
Shake it for the birds
Shake it for the bees
Shake it for the catfish swimming down deep in the creek
For the crickets
And the critters
And the squirrels
Shake it for the moon
Shake it for me girl
Country girl shake it for me
girl shake it for me
girl shake it for me
Country girl shake it for me
girl shake it for me
girl shake it for me

Now dance like a dandelion
In the wind, on the hill underneath the pines
Yeah move like the river flow
Feel the kick drum down deep in your toes
All I wanna do is get to holdin' you
And get to knowin' you
And get to showin' you
And get to lovin' you 'fore the night is through
Baby you know what to do!

Shake it for the young bucks sittin' in the honky-tonks
For the rednecks rockin' 'till the break of dawn
For the DJ spinning that country song
c'mon c'mon c'mon
Shake it for the birds
Shake it for the bees
Shake it for the catfish swimming down deep in the creek
For the crickets
And the critters
And the squirrels
Shake it for the moon
Shake it for me girl
Country girl shake it for me
Girl shake it for me
Girl shake it for me
Country girl shake it for me
Girl shake it for me
Girl shake it for me

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Slow Me Down"

I know it's been a while since I've shared what I'm listening to, but there's a few changes coming to SongBird that are definitely worth the wait...stay tuned. 


So excited for new Sara Evans.  I am loving how social networking has the ability to bring you new music.  As with this song, it was one of those, retweet & share, complete part of the puzzle-type marketing brilliance.  And let me say, it was definitely worth waiting for.  This song is fantastic.

I tend to gravitate more towards ballads because of the raw story-telling, vulnerability that comes with 3:50 and a slower tempo.  With that said, you know an up-tempo song is good when I'm chasing after it.  First, as soon as I saw this title, I had to hear it ASAP.  I've had this title saved in my phone forever!  Never quite knew which story route to take with it...Well, I guess that can get deleted because this song says exactly what I wished I could've put into that title.  You know an amazing ballad writer...a la Heather Morgan had to be a factor in this gem.  Such depth in these simple lyrics, "If there's something you still need to say, you need to say it now.  Hurry up and slow me down."  I'm such a wordie that it's kind of weird.  But, I love the contrast in the hook, ahh.  Anyways, this is such a different sound for Sara.  This is modern, fresh, and propelling, yet, at the same time, the production reminds me of great 70's records.   
  
  
 FM Radio:
Songwriters: Marv Green, Jimmy Rabbins, Heather Morgan
Singer: Sara Evans
Song: "Slow Me Down"



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"I Want Crazy"



If you haven't fallen in love with Hunter Hayes by now, you do not have a heart.  Ahh I love him.  His album, Encore, came out today and it is ahhmazing.  This kid is so talented it kind of makes me sick.  

To contextually capture emotion is indescribable for me.  This song does it so effortlessly.  And its uptempo.  Total summer anthem right here.  Plus, Troy Verges + Lori McKenna, my hearts already broken, could you imagine if this co-write was a ballad?     
FM Radio:
Singer: Hunter Hayes
Songwriters: Hunter Hayes, Troy Verges, Lori McKenna
Song: "I Want Crazy"
Buy it here: iTunes


I'm booking myself a one way flight
I gotta see the color in your eyes
I'm telling myself I'm gonna be alright
Without you baby is a waste of time

Yeah, our first date, girl, the seasons changed
It got washed away in a summer rain
You can't undo a fall like this
'Cause love don't know what distance is
Yeah, I know it's crazy

But I don't want "good" and I don't want "good enough"
I want "can't sleep, can't breathe without you" love
Front porch and one more kiss, it doesn't make sense to anybody else
Who cares if you're all I think about,
I've searched the world and I know now,
It ain't right if you ain't lost your mind
Yeah, I don't want easy, I want crazy
Are you with me baby? Let's be crazy

Yeah

I wanna be scared, don't wanna know why
Wanna feel good, don't have to be right
The world makes all kinds of rules for love
I say you gotta let it do what it does

I don't want just another hug and a kiss goodnight
Catchin' up calls and a date sometimes
I love that we're rebels, and we still believe
We're the kind of crazy people wish that they could be, yeah

Oh, I know we're crazy, yeah

But I don't want "good" and I don't want "good enough"
I want "can't sleep, can't breathe without you" love
Front porch and one more kiss, it doesn't make sense to anybody else
Who cares if you're all I think about,
I've searched the world and I know now,
It ain't right if you ain't lost your mind
Yeah, I don't want easy, I want crazy
You with me baby? Let's be crazy

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na

No, I don't want "good" and I don't want "good enough"
I want "can't sleep, can't breathe without you" love
Front porch and one more kiss, it doesn't make sense to anybody else
Who cares if you're all I think about,
I've searched the world and I know now,
It ain't right if you ain't lost your mind
Yeah, I don't want easy, I want crazy

Yeah, look at us baby, tonight the midnight rules are breaking
There's no such thing as wild enough, and maybe we just think too much
Who needs to play it safe in love?
Let's be crazy!

Who cares if we're crazy? We gotta be crazy
I know that we're crazy, so let's be crazy
Yeah…

>

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Blessed"

Since today marks my 21st, I am making a promise to myself to track this next chapter of my life because God knows, it's gonna be a big one.  It feels like a lifetime ago that I've written one of these.
Reflecting back on my year, I have been so fortunate it's kind of nauseating.  Anyways, I had a great pre-birthday weekend in Boston seeing my songwriting idols, Music City Hitmakers, perform with the Boston Pops Orchestra.  Ahh what a 'moment.'  I know I can go on like a broken record how amazing Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, Troy Verges, and Brett James are, but, an experience like this has to be witnessed.  Words cannot describe seeing a MCHM show.  You've never experienced or felt a so-called 'concert' like this before.

Words + Music = A Song.  Lies.  Words + Music + Emotion = A Song.  Writing a song is the most emotionally draining and satisfying thing I've ever experienced.  Once you realize what true 'music' is, your eyes instantaneously open.  I couldn't imagine my life without music.  Being able to play and create is what I will spend the rest of my life chasing after.  At 21, I've learned to not care about what the ideal career would be.  I believe that if I could do this forever, I somehow have that ability to capture lightning.  Yeah, I probably sound like a nut right now but hey, this is my blog.  Haha!

Listen to this song and feel every emotion and beautifully done string arrangement.    
 
FM Radio:
Singer: Martina McBride/Hillary Lindsey
Songwriters: Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges, Brett James
Song: "Blessed"

I get kissed by the sun each morning
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing
Down the hall through the bedroom door
Sometimes I sit on my front porch swing
Just soaking up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself
This world is a beautiful place

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

Across a crowded room
I know you know what I'm thinking
By the way I look at you
And when we're lying in the quiet
And no words have to be said
I think to myself, I think to myself
This love is a beautiful gift

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

When I'm singing my kids to sleep
When I feel you holding me
I know

I have been blessed
And I feel like I've found my way
I thank God for all I've been given
At the end of every day
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed


Friday, October 26, 2012

"How Country Feels"

As much as I complain about country radio...I never say how in love I am with Sirius XM.  They have really brought me out of songwriters demos shell.  I've always been one of those shallow fans of Randy Houser fans.  Fantastic talent but I never really knew a lot about him...so I never bought an album.  BUT, this song made me totally start to fall for him.  Another dream team of songwriters here!
I want to live one day of this song.  Amazing.  I don't know where to start.  The addictive chorus, the amazing hook that comes before the chorus, rare I know, the truck, ahh just watch the video already.

FM Radio:
Singer: Randy Houser
Songwriters: Wendell Mobeley, Neil Thrasher, Vickie McGehee
Song: "How Country Feels"