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My Partnership With Kendra Scott

As a country music recording artist, style matters.  Every time I step out onto a stage to sing, I communicate with my audience before I even utter a single note.  I communicate with how I walk out onto the stage.  I communicate with my facial expressions.  And I communicate with my wardrobe.  What I wear, from my boot choice to what dangles from my ears, matters.  

So a lot goes into what I choose to wear at a performance, award show, or TV appearance.  Contrary to what some people think, I do not have a stylist.  While on Season 4's The Voice, I did have some help with wardrobe.  A major perk of being a Top Finalist on the show is that the show has a whole hair/makeup/style team dedicated to making all of the contestants look their absolute best at all times.  It was pretty awesome, actually.  Imagine a closet as large as four bedrooms filled with clothing from what I would consider conservative everyday wear, to the more outlandish star-studded standout pieces.  I'm not gonna lie.  It was super fun!  It was also reassuring to have a second set of eyes or hands pulling pieces that an "expert" sees fitting for a performance or for me.  It was a short-lived luxury for this Waco, Texas born country girl.  (If anyone does this for a living and wants to volunteer their styling services, hit me up in an email or in comments below!)

However, for now, as an Independent Country Music Artist who hits the pavement running, everyday, chasing after her much loved passion and career, I pick out my own clothing.  Head to toe - Hair, makeup, and accessories, such as my jewelry.

Let's talk about jewelry.  This can be a tough one for me.  I pretty much love it all - the blingier the better!  I also love jewelry with meaning, hence the purity ring on my left finger you rarely see me go without.  I feel comfortable in more delicate jewelry such as small necklaces and stud earrings.  And, I get excited over big and bright statement pieces.  It is the latter that I am most drawn to for on-stage performances.  I also feel like it best compliments my brand as not only a Country Music Artist - but a Texas Country Music Artist.   Ya know, everything's bigger in Texas, y'all, right! 

Now, when I think Texas jewelry, one brand comes to mind - Kendra Scott.

If I were a betting girl, I would wager that most Texas females know and love the name Kendra Scott.  I assume several men know it well too and I imagine Kendra Scott has often come to the rescue for important celebrations, anniversaries, and pleas for forgiveness.  Kendra Scott is a name I associate with style, grace, boldness, femininity, and quality.  When I see that bright yellow box with the distinct Kendra Scott emblem and logo, I get goosebumps.  When my birthday month rolls along and I know I can shop Kendra Scott and get 50% off one item, a rush of anticipation and total internal giddiness takes over my body.  I call it the Kendra Scott high!  You might know it too.

I first became introduced to Kendra Scott, the jewelry, in college while at Baylor University.  I noticed so many friends and girls on campus accessorized in these beautifully delicate pendant necklaces and drop earrings.  Y'all, it was love at first sight.  For several months I admired these Kendra Scott pieces from afar, putting them atop any holiday or gift-giving list I might have secretly made.  Then, much to my surprise, a dear family friend, familiar with my affection for Kendra Scott, surprised me at a gig with the most beautiful earrings.  They gifted me the simply stunning Alex silver drop earrings in white.  They were, and are, still among one of my most cherished pieces of jewelry.  These earrings have since traveled far and wide with me - on stage and onto television news sets - to interviews and on red carpets.  I consider Kendra Scott a part of my signature style.

What is especially cool about Kendra Scott is the story behind her billion-dollar brand.  Many of us know Scott got her big start in Austin.  You might already know that her first big break came along in 2005 when her designs were chosen to accessorize Oscar de la Renta's Spring 2006 Runway Show.  A somewhat lesser known fact about this fashion designer, however, is that Kendra Scott actually started in a different kind of accessory - hats!  Inspired by a family member's battle with brain cancer, Scott opened her first business, The Hat Box, several years before launching her now famous jewelry line, helping to dress women going through chemotherapy.  Kendra Scott has always been involved with charity and giving back to her community which I find tremendously uplifting and inspirational.  

That is why I am beyond honored and thrilled to have recently partnered with Kendra Scott, San Antonio.  The Alamo City shops, hearing about my passion for wearing Kendra Scott designs, offered to dress me in my favorite jewelry designer's brand. So, earlier this the summer I met a Kendra Scott representative in the Quarry Village Shops.  If you have yet to visit this particular shop, I highly recommend it.  The shop sits nestled among a variety of fun shops and unique eateries.  The layout of this particular Kendra Scott boutique is really cool.  The stones and shine from the gold, silver, and rose gold pieces are illuminated by the all glass windows and ornate glass drawers.  When I walked in, I honestly felt like a kid in her favorite candy shop.  I wasn't sure where to go first because I wanted to see it all!  Fortunately, for me, Blair, my new Kendra Scott "bff" as I like to think of her, helped direct me to pieces of the current Kendra Scott Summer Collection that she thought would be particularly fun for me to wear on stage.  Knowing I have a summer filled with festivals and outdoor performances, I wanted something fun.  Something perhaps bright.  And big.  I wanted pieces that could be versatile and able to be seen on stage and through my hair extensions.  (Why, yes, I do wear hair extensions sometimes!)

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After looking at several stunning pieces, I ultimately went with the Kendra Scott Denise Gold Statement Earrings In Red Mother Of Pearl.  I was very close to choosing the lavender earrings!  I just loved them both! But ultimately, I decided that the Red Mother Of Pearl would better compliment several of my favorite outfits that I planned to wear on stage this summer.  Blair also styled me with the most beautiful Diane Silver Statement Earrings in Abalone Shell. 

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These.  Just these.  I have found these earrings to both dress up and down a particular outfit.  They are both elegant and eye-catching.  My favorite look is to wear these with a simple black dress or top.  

In addition to having been gifted three dazzling pieces for personal and professional wear, this San Antonio shop also offered to gift me with a striking piece that I get to giveaway, possibly to you!

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One of the summer's most popular pieces is the impressive Betsy Adjustable Fringe Pendant Necklace in Aqua Howlite.  This blue, y'all is one of my favorite colors to accessorize with!  I think it screams Texas, Fiesta, beach-bound and more! It is a $150 value and I am going to give this fun statement piece away, online!  To be entered into the drawing for this Betsy Adjustable Fringe Pendant Necklace, go to the home page of my website and enter your email in the pop-up window to sign up for my newsletter - that easy!  Those who have previously signed up will also be entered to win the piece. I will be announcing the winner in two weeks via email on Monday, July 9th! (Good Luck!) 

So, on this warm day in San Antonio, at the Quarry Village Kendra Scott store, my heart was on fire and full.  I was both touched and honored to be styled by these passionate and knowledgable Kendra Scott brand ambassadors.  And they were just the cutest things too. It was almost as if these sweet and stylish women and I,  along with my publicist, had coordinated our clothing for a fun photo opportunity together.   

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Each time I now wear one of my new or beloved Kendra Scott pieces, I am reminded of my  whirlwind day of accessorizing with everything Kendra Scott in San Antonio.  I am grateful for the opportunity and inspired by the woman behind the beautiful designs.  Talented, compassionate, and hard-working, Kendra Scott turned $500 worth of jewelry designs into a dazzling empire of inspiration.    

~ Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

XOXO,

Holly

Why 2017 May Have Been My Best Year Yet & How 2018 Could Top It

Wouldn't it be incredible if we could look into the future?  Just a teeny, tiny, little bit?  Imagine the guidance and clarity we would have.  Then again, Forrest Gump's much-loved quote, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get" wouldn't be so true, would it.  Clarity, or, surprises?  I'm not sure which I would prefer, honestly.  Take a look at my 2017 year, for example.  If someone had told me I would win multiple Female Vocalist Of the Year awards in 2017, I am not sure I would have believed them.  To win Texas Country Music Awards' Female Vocalist of the Year and East Texas Music Awards' Female Vocalist Of the Year, along with several other awe-inspiring awards was hands-down the most thrilling experience of my 2017 for me and my music team.  And, it came as a surprise, which made the honor all the more sweet.  

Yes, 2017 was full of sweet surprises.  It was also a year in which I experienced growth.  I grew as an artist, and, I grew as a person.  My entire team at Holly Tucker Music grew.  Together.   And for that, we feel incredibly blessed.

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Here's a look at some of my proudest 2017 highlights:

  • TCMA Female Vocalist of the Year
  • Winner of four ETX Music Awards: Music Video of the Year (You’re In Texas), Song of the Year (You’re In Texas), Songwriter of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Year
  • Two charting singles in Texas: You're In Texas at #40 and Dallas On Your Boots at #30
  • ”Dallas On Your Boots” played internationally in over 30 countries and its music video premiered on Great American Country (GAC) 
  • Texas Music Pickers Top Pick Songwriter
  • Top 8 Finalist in Texas Songwriter U
  • Over 150 live shows, including my debut at the historic Gruene Hall
  • 75 media appearances (newspaper/magazine interviews, radio tours, TV and news)

In 2017, I also had the proud opportunity to sing the National Anthem for several sporting events, including the US Women's Nationals Soccer Team, Texas Rangers, University of Texas and Baylor University.  How incredibly humbled I was to look at our nation's Stars and Stripes, hand over heart, and sing to its beautiful glory.  

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In addition, 2017 delivered bucket-list experiences to me.  I got to shared the stage with some of my musical heroes; Restless Heart, Kevin Fowler, Roger Creager, Curtis Grimes, Wade Bowen, Tracy Byrd, Parker McCollum, Ray Johnston Band, Bri Bagwell, and more.  Now those were major moments.

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In 2017, not only did we play over 150 live shows, we got to these venues on some new digs!  We got a killer deal on tour bus that enables my team to travel, create, problem-solve, and laugh together as we roll down I-35 or across Texas on Highway 90.

 Meet Silas, our new Tour Bus affectionately named after my Grandpa who inspired my family and I to all follow this road that leads to music.  Also pictures: Gemma, whose yawn is much scarier than she.  

Meet Silas, our new Tour Bus affectionately named after my Grandpa who inspired my family and I to all follow this road that leads to music.  Also pictures: Gemma, whose yawn is much scarier than she.  

2017 also brought me the chance to do some serious reflection on my music, career, and most passionate goals.  As I scratched each one off my list, only to create a larger, more dynamic goal, I saw progress and improvement. 

To know me is to know I am very tough on myself - on my craft.  Anyone else like that too?

When I hear video playbacks of my shows or come across my song on the radio, I listen with critical ears looking to hear, not perfection, but growth.  When I catch a glimpse of my Dallas On Your Boots video, I watch with the eyes of a hawk.  Did we get the lighting right?  Did our story board convey the song well?  How is the video being interpreted by others?  Was my hair and makeup on "fleek"?!  Total girl thoughts.  Bottom line, though, I provide, and I ask my team to provide, constant checks and balances on our work.  Our ultimate goal is to make music that you want to listen to, while remaining true to who we are at the very core. 

All this personal reflection I do at a year's end isn't always easy but it is necessary.  It helps me grow and dream of new goals and plan even larger musical endeavors in the days ahead.

2018

A banner year in 2017 only set the stage (with full lights of course) for an even better, 2018.

It is already off to an awesome start.

In January, the Holly Tucker Music team raised $4,300 in a campaign we called #MartinGoesToHarvey for Hurricane Harvey relief funds.  I relentlessly reminded as many people possible (thank you for watching, sharing, and showing my social media posts so much love) of the continued needs of our neighbors in Houston and along the Texas Coast who, today, as I write this, are tirelessly working to rebuild,  months after Hurricane Harvey swept through.  I wanted them to know that we haven't forgotten them.

In case you did not hear or see #MartinGoesToHarvey, the story went like this:

After Harvey wreaked havoc on our coast, I happen to be gifted a gorgeous Martin guitar and a simple request to "do something good with it".  My "do something good with it" was this idea to gather signatures from as many Texas Country Artists possible on that guitar.  Everywhere my Steel Tour took me, so went the Martin.  After nearly four months of gathering signatures from some pretty amazing and generous artists, I set up an online raffle site and campaign asking folks to purchase raffle tickets for the Martin.  And they did.  One of these generous purchasers was Jorge Uresti, of Houston.  On January 28, Jorge's name was randomly drawn to win the Martin!  I think it's very fitting that this beautiful guitar go back "home" in a sense. We have special plans to celebrate with Jorge and his family, and I will keep y'all updated on my socials!

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Looking forward, 2018 has some killer surprises in store...

Remember, surprises make every wait so worth it, don't they?

First and foremost, you can expect new music from me!  It is in the works and will be shaped, cultivated, and crafted throughout this year.  I cannot  say too much (though I so want to!) but let's just say I happen to be talking with some incredible talent whose gift to produce music is above and beyond.  Remember that goal-setting and dream-making I like to do?  This is definitely bucket-list worthy, y'all.

Next, Spotify, Spotify, Spotify.  While I spent much of 2017 on stages and in venues throughout Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and more, I will be making my music more virtually available in 2018.  Much of this year will focus on releasing cover singles exclusively on Spotify.  These are song favorites like Tennessee Whiskey and I Will Always Love You.  I am releasing a new cover single each Friday though March.  #EverySingleFriday.  Before, you would have to head to YouTube and hit refresh or replay over and over again to hear my version of these covers.  Now, you can stream your favorites and put them right into your playlist for your listening convenience all day, everyday! (hint, hint) If you are not already on Spotify, what are you waiting for?  It has become my go-to to stream my favorite new artists and latest song obsessions.  It's free (or you can pay a small monthly fee to remove ads).  It's convenient.  It's where so many rising artists are placing their music.  

Before I sign off having talked about 2017 highlights and what's to come in 2018, I cannot do either without saying thank you.  Thank you, #Hollstars.  Thank you, friends.  Thank you, family.  Thank you, Waco, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Gruene, East Texas, College Station, and beyond.  Your interest in my music, your following of my often silly antics on social media, your support for me as I navigate this wonderfully challenging choice to be pursue country music and live out my passion fuels me to do better each day.  

Tell me, what would you like to see from me in 2018?  Hit me up in the comments.  I want to know!

XOXO, Holly

#MartinGoesToHarvey Needs Your Help

I'm going to be very straight forward.  I need your help.

I know!  I have asked for help from my always-thoughtful fans and friends before.  Often. 

And, I thank you with my entire being for always answering my calls for support, whether it is to listen to a new song of mine, nominate/vote for an award, watch my cover videos on YouTube, add me to your Spotify list (have you done this yet, btw?), or, to come out and catch one of my shows.

Man, I ask a lot of y'all.

But here's the thing.  I wouldn't ask something of you that I was not passionate about.  By now, you know my heart.  You know me.  So you know that I have trouble turning a blind eye to those in need, especially if there is something I might be able to do to help.  Something we can do to help.

Today, I'm passionately asking you to buy one raffle ticket for the #MartinGoesToHarvey campaign where proceeds go towards helping our neighbors along the Texas Coast who are still rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey ripped through their seemingly normal lives, last fall.   

I realize that our neighbors are no longer the top story on our social news feeds and the images of them trying to piece back together their businesses and homes no longer grace the covers of newspapers in cities like Waco, San Antonio, or Dallas.  

But guess what.  They still need us.  I saw their need first-hand, last week.  I had the opportunity to walk through an area in North Texas, hard hit by Harvey's floodwaters.  When I saw the boards that have yet to go up, the drywall ready to be installed, the community that is still out there working toward a common goal, I could feel their pain of yesterday, strength of today, and hope for tomorrow.  It was like this ironic beauty beyond the ruin.  These Texans are strong.  They'll be even stronger.  

You can help these communities so important to Texas - so important to us - by buying one raffle ticket.  One ticket is ten dollars.   Imagine if nearly every person I know or engage with on social media were to purchase one raffle ticket.  Wow.  

Your ten dollar ticket enters you into a drawing for this beautiful Martin guitar valued at over $1500.  It is signed by over 25 Texas country music artists which increases its value ten-fold.  This beautiful instrument and now piece of history has been in my hands for months now.  I carried this Martin with me for throughout my Steel Tour asking fellow artists to lend their signature and support towards this incredible cause.  I'm grateful to them for doing so.

But I also understand that to buy one raffle ticket is not something everyone can do.  I 100% get that.  Trust me.  I am a independent artist more often than not struggling to make ends meet.  So, in that case, I ask for your support in sharing this blog and #MartinGoesToHarvey campaign on your social media or by word of mouth.  Please.  And, thank you.  Very much.

I also want you to know the whole story behind Martin Goes To Harvey.  I want to answer each and every question you might have.  

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So, here's how #MartinGoesToHarvey was born y'all.

👉🏼 Right after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, my heart went out to those affected.  Like so many others, I wanted to help.  That's when (and I do not believe by coincidence) a Facebook friend messaged me saying that he had this brand new Martin guitar that he wanted to give to me with the intention of me autographing it, playing it live, and auctioning it off.

How cool is that?

I thought, why not take that idea even further!

At the time, I was on a really busy run of my #SteelTour where I was opening for and coming into contact with a lot of really big Texas artists.  Perfect timing, right?  So, everywhere I went so did the Martin. Now, the guitar has over 25 major autographs!

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 Who all has autographed the guitar?

👉🏼 Restless Heart, Mo Pitney, Koe Wetzel, Parker McCollum, Kevin Fowler, Zane Williams, Josh Ward, Ted Nugent, Chad Prather, “Cowboy Bill” Martin,  Doug Supernaw, Bryan White, Roger Creager, Jack Ingram, Sam Riggs, Brandon Rhyder, Bri Bagwell, Adrian Johnston, Kimberly Dunn, Kaitlin Butts, Kensie Coppin, Ray Johnston Band, Jordan Lee and The Revelry, The Gibbonses, Brian Chance Band, Justin Todd Herod, Cody Wayne Band, Darrin Morris Band, Freddie Pate, Kevin Jackson Music, Derek Anthony, Jamie Talbert, and more to come...

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 How much is a raffle ticket?

👉🏼 ONLY $10! 

How much is the guitar worth?

👉🏼 It has been valued at over $1500 on its own.

Where does the money go?

👉🏼 I have partnered with the Bowen Family Foundation to collect the funds through the online raffle. 100% of the money raised will go to the Rebuild Texas Fund, which also gives 100% of its money as an organization directly to areas STILL affected by Hurricane Harvey and needing help.

When is the deadline to buy tickets?

👉🏼JAN 31 at midnight when the winner of the guitar is randomly drawn! 

My dear friends, my CALL TO ACTION is simple: Donate today by buying a raffle ticket.  Together, we can show our neighbors - those families and businesses in Houston, Corpus, Port Aransas and more, that we haven't forgotten. 

Buy raffle ticket(s) HERE:  https://raffles.ticketprinting.com/?r=6857

Thank you. #TexasStrong

Forever Grateful, 

Holly XO

 

It’s a Holly Jolly Christmas (and Birthday): Pros & Cons Of Being A December Baby

Oh What Fun ... to be a December baby!  Or not?  It's an age-old debate whether being a Christmas or December baby is all that it's cracked up to be!  Not only am I a Texas Country Music Artist, I am also an official December baby.  I even had my first baby photo make the front of the newspaper in 1992.  I have fun digging into the Pros and Cons Of Being A December Baby on my blog!

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Behind the Scenes: Dallas On Your Boots Music Video

Well, here it is! Now you've seen "Dallas On Your Boots"--maybe a couple of times! If not, that's okay, just click here and give it a view or two and a share! (Thank you, in advance.  Sharing my blog and social media posts means the world to independent artists like me!) If you're reading this I know you have questions about me and my music.  Let's see if I can answer some of those ... 

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 Q: How did Dallas On Your Boots end up as a song on the Steel album?

A: This song has been special from the very beginning. It was penned by some very talented Nashville writers: Lucie Silvas, Caitlyn Smith, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts. My producer, Sean Neff, pitched me the song in our initial consideration process, thinking that the subject matter would be very relatable to others and perfect for my voice. He was right! I listened to it and it really grew on me.  I mean, really, who hasn't been a "Dallas" at some point in their love life.  Or, maybe you've had one too many Dallas on your own boots.  Hmmmm.  

Dallas On Your Boots is my third single released to Texas Country radio from the Steel album.

 

Q:  What does "Dallas On Your Boots" actually mean?

A:  In the context of the song, you'll find that Dallas does not literally mean the city itself. "Dallas" is really about baggage.  You know, the stuff from a past relationship that one just can't shake.  You know, when you believe you've moved on and there is someone you really like - you want to like - but that person from the past just keeps coming out from the dark.  The shadows.  The past.  

Who's been there?  

In the video Dallas On Your Boots we see a girl who exists only in the past of the guy who is trying to love her.   But because of that memory, the couple is likely doomed from the beginning.  In the video, my character senses that this guy - a guy she really wants to like - didn't get closure from his past relationship.  She desperately wants to be with him, but the other girl - his past - remains in the way.   He hasn't shaken the "Dallas" off of his boots.  My character isn't sure she can wait around for him until he does.  

Pretty powerful, isn't it.  Relatable.  Anyone been there? (Let me know in the comments!)

 

Q: In the video, which girl do you play, the "Dallas", or the "new"?

A: When we first shot Dallas On Your Boots, I played both roles.  This was done on purpose so as to leave it up to the viewers' imagination.

Personally, I relate more with the girl who is so obviously right for him.  The "new".  Maybe because I've experienced that situation.  (Hmmm more on that, perhaps for another more juicy blog).

 

Q: How did you like shooting the music video which requires a little, ahem, acting?

A: Music videos are always a different experience! So much is dependent upon the song! Zack Morris and Evan Kaufmann co-produced and shot Dallas On Your Boots the video in one day. FUN FACT: we shot it in Austin on 6th street, not somewhere in Dallas like you might expect.  It was fun, but serious work too. The subject matter of the song calls for a vibe of attitude and power.  I did my best as a singer/songwriter not actor to channel that.  (How'd I do? LMK in the comments please!)  But, I also had to play the other role, the "Dallas".   In doing such, I got to be a little more lighthearted with my love interest where you see him reflecting on memories of our past.  That was fun.  I found it much easier to play a light-hearted and smiling character which probably reveals more about me, Holly, than you might think.

 

Q: Speaking of the GUY, who is this cutie?

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A: Our Dallas On Your Boots "guy" is Charles Conoly! He's a really talented actor working out of Austin and now LA. As you can probably imagine, it can be awkward trying to act like you're in love with someone you literally just met!  (Thought, um, look at him - maybe not that difficult), ha.  Charles made me feel comfortable.  He encouraged me.  He coached me.   I tried to not overthink it and just have fun.  Our on-camera chemistry came across exactly how we wanted.  FUN FACT: When it came time for me to switch roles, there was a part where my character, the "new girl",  had to kinda push her guy away.   Charles' character got this look on his face that was perfectly heartbroken.  Charles nailed it. 

 

Q:  Who styled you, especially those sparkly boots you're wearing?

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 A:  My clothes are from Macy's, Charlotte Russe, and H&M. Jewelry is from Charming Charlie. Hair and makeup done by Mischa Fruge. My boots are designed by Jacqi Bling in Sweetwater, TX, an amazing artist whom I have been blessed to have a partnership with since my days on The Voice. The boots story in great detail... is to be continued on my next blog... 

So there you have it!

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to share Dallas On Your Boots the video with you since May.  Have you ever bought a gift for someone months ahead of time because you feel it is "the perfect gift" and that excitement is so difficult to conceal?  That's exactly how I have felt about Dallas On Your Boots the video.   I am over the moon to finally be able to share it with you.  

Now my question for you: What do YOU think of Dallas On Your Boots the video? 

Please hit that cute little share button right below and let me know your thoughts - every single last one - in the comments below!  

XOXO, Holly

Let's Talk About Streaming and Why You Should Just Do It

We all know that the way we listen to music is ever growing and changing with time and new inventions. 

Not sure?  Well, let's go back.  Way back.  Who remembers listening to 8-tracks in their vehicle?  At 24 years old, I don't, of course.  But I do remember hearing about them from my parents, especially how large they were!  If you were born in the late seventies or were an 80's kid, you are all too familiar with records and that always nervous feeling of dropping the needle on the record and leaving a forever scratch!  Or, perhaps when I write the words mix tape or sony walkman that's more your love language of music.  For me, it was all about CD's growing up.  

 My CD collection! There's just something about thumbing through a collection of my favorite artists that I can see and touch!

My CD collection! There's just something about thumbing through a collection of my favorite artists that I can see and touch!

Perhaps that's why I still have this affection for them.  I also know that as an artist, having fans purchase your CD is not only one of the greatest compliments, but is one of the better ways we (as up and coming, independent, or heck, starving artists) get paid.  (Click here to purchase your own autographed Holly Tucker CD!)  

Today, however, we are seeing and many of us, using, a whole new medium for listening to music - streaming.  Think of streaming as a "celestial jukebox".  (I love that term as mentioned here!)

What is music streaming? In a nutshell streaming audio means getting your music from the internet which you can listen to on your computer, phone, or other web-based devices such as a smart TV.   Some streaming services are free to a degree, such as Spotify, where you are subjected to listening to advertisements sprinkled between tracks.  Streaming services such as Apple Music offer subscriptions for a fee of around ten dollars a month.  If you're a student, Apple Music actually offers an Apple Music Student Membership for a discounted price!  Spotify and Apple Music are by far two of the most popular streaming services.  I found this article for you that compares the two to help you decide which is right for you.  But interestingly enough, there are actually at least 11 subscription music services available around the world!  Read more about them, here.  

I have to admit, I've become a big fan of music streaming in recent months.  Mostly because, as a music fan myself,  I get to create the playlist of my choice and change it often.  For free! (I don't mind the advertisements sprinkled in between songs).  I cannot begin to explain how much I love my Spotify play lists.  I listen to it while I'm working (like writing this blog) and updating my social media.  I listen to my Spotify playlist during my gym workouts, and, I listen to my Spotify playlists while I'm cooking and doing my weekly meal prepping in my home.  As an artist, it is crucial for me to stay atop of the latest music trends.  And this is one of them.  In fact, you can find me, Holly Tucker, and my music on both Spotify and Apple Music!  

 Look! Here I am on Spotify Music! Underneath my name it says FOLLOWING.   I'm asking all my #Hollstars, friends, family, fans, heck - even strangers - to download Spotify, find me, and  follow  me!  Gracias!

Look! Here I am on Spotify Music! Underneath my name it says FOLLOWING.  I'm asking all my #Hollstars, friends, family, fans, heck - even strangers - to download Spotify, find me, and follow me!  Gracias!

In fact, I will be debuting my next single release on Spotify and Apple Music. This is huge!  This is exciting!

As I mention that I am on both Spotify and Apple Music,  I need you to do something for me.  Yes, right now.  I promise it will only take a second.  As you read this, open another window on your computer/phone/device.  Or, save this blog (and come back to it) but click on over to Spotify, download the app, and then follow the "Holly Tucker" artist page.  When you do so, it will show a "following" circle under my name and picture to show that you're following me.  This is huge. This is so important to my growth as an artist.  

Why? Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  A little behind-the-scenes music industry stuff.

When venues go to book me, or, when other artists look me up to consider asking me to tour with them or open for them, they are looking at how many followers I have on Spotify.  I know.  Talk about pressure, right?  Industry experts and those who have control over my future and gigs and labels consider how often an artist's music is added to playlists, or basically, streamed.  That's a whole lotta information that, I know, may not interest you. However, I share this with you so that you know that something as simple as following an artist on social media or streaming service sites is important. Super, super important.  People are always watching and forming opinions on that artist based on such social sharing or music streaming-based numbers! 

To clue you in even more on how we, as artists make a living: Artists make what they do from several sources: Music sales (digital and physical), merchandise sales, royalties, sponsorships, and live gigs. The main objective is to get the music out there to as many people as possible, and the way to do that is through radio and live gigs. Nowadays, with social media tools and these streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music, however, it's easier than ever to get our music out there. Therefore, if an artist is an independent artist (unsigned to a record label), venue owners place a high value on these artists' social media following and number of streams on streaming sites like Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify. To them, these numbers are the benchmark for how well an artist is expected to do with ticket and food/alcohol sales.

So basically, no high numbers = no gigs.

No gigs = no fans.

No fans = no high numbers. 

When it comes down to it, the music industry is like any other industry, a business.  Athletes go into sports and professional sports because first and foremost, they love what they do and love playing, I assume.  But their performance is always being judged, rated, and followed.  The music industry is no different.  So to win at it - and I define winning as being my best and happiest sharing my music - we, as artists have to play by the rules of the industry.  As artists, we are subjected to guidelines established by people, places, and things way out of our control.  

But guess what?

All this talk about streaming music does not mean you have to break up with your current way of listening to your favorite music.  In fact, I implore you not to.  I will still be releasing my next single on radio.  I will still be selling CDs.  In fact, I hope my next single release will climb even higher on the charts (y'all have to call or email your regional radio stations you know to request to hear more Holly Tucker!) and that more of you will want to have my CD based on what you discover by streaming your music.  Streaming just gives us all one more option to allow us to fill our environment - wherever that may be - with music.  Music all the time.  Music everywhere.  That's music to my ears.

When it is all said and done, whether you get your music by listening to the mainstream and regional radio, streaming and creating playlists of Spotify, listening to satellite radio, or, by thumbing through your most proud collection of CDs, what matters most is that you're listening.  You are opening your heart, mind, and soul to the sounds created by talented and passionate musical artists.  Despite how fast technology and industries change, that is something that I hope and believe will forever remain constant. 

XOXO,

Holly

 

 

New Blog | New Year: What you Will and Won't See Me Doing In 2017

 

I can still remember the moment I stepped out onto that big The Voice stage for the first time.   It’s funny how difficult it can be now, some four years later, to remember exactly what I may have been thinking at that single blind audition.  I remember looking beyond the stage out into the audience.  The stage lights were so bright.   Curious eyes glistened like jewels in front of me. It was quiet except for the beating of my heart, which I was sure the microphones would pick up and reveal. 

I inhaled.  

I closed my eyes for a moment.

I thought to myself, "Okay, you’ve got this Holly." 

 I kept a daily journal of my The Voice experience!

I kept a daily journal of my The Voice experience!

 

After all,  I had practiced for months for this moment.  I was prepared, and, I had said my prayers.  Many, many prayers. Yeah, Jesus and I had had some serious conversations about The Voice.  

Only seconds into "To Make Your Feel My Love" I saw that first chair turn.  A chair was turning around for me.  For me!   Inwardly, I jumped up and down.  Now, imagine how hard it was to maintain composure.  However, as a singer, where any slight loss of focus or feeling can throw off your tempo or key, I knew I had to remain calm.  

From the very beginning on The Voice Blinds, producers told those auditioning that a "4-chair turn" is great, but, one is all you need. I had made it. Then, as I kept singing, another chair turned. Adam Levine, with his cute squinty eyes was now looking at me.  Then another chair turned.  And another.  Finally, a fourth chair turned - Blake Shelton.  This was a man and artist for whom I was a big fan.  Huge fan.  I was a Blake Shelton fan since his long-haired mullet and “Austin” days.  

My dreams were literally coming true right before my eyes.


 

Today, looking back, as a now independent artist - always a singer, but now a true, defined artist—and Baylor University graduate, I can’t imagine being any more humbled and grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. Since that The Voice debut now four years ago I’ve gotten to open for some of my biggest musical heroes -  Willie Nelson, Neal McCoy, Tracy Byrd, and Linda Davis.  I’m hearing songs I’ve co-written being played on the radio and watching them climb the Texas music charts. I’m getting to give back to my community by taking on a new role as the spokeswoman for The Community Cancer Association in Waco.  I’ve got a hot album out called "Steel".  And I have a single ("You’re In Texas") climbing the Texas Radio chart ever closer to the Top 35.  As if that’s not already a ton of new, exhilarating stuff, my latest and greatest news to share is that my first ever tour, the Steel Tour, kicks off March 1 with dates in Forth Worth, Lindale and College Station.

A Tour.

 

That’s a heck of a lot of new.  New music, new people, and new cities.  New chances to be taken and new opportunities to be had.  New mountains to climb.

Welcome to Holly’s {Voice}.  My official blog.  This is where I can bare my soul in the most simplest of ways to you.  As I think about it, it’s not too different from what I do through my music.  I also want to use this platform as a place where I can go into deeper detail over lyrics I may be pondering or perhaps introduce you to artists new and old who never cease to amaze, enlighten, or even mystify me.  I hope to talk a little about life as a female independent artist sharing information and updates on Holly Tucker music.  And I will get personal, letting you in on my life outside of work as a country recording artist.  

10 Things You’ll See Me Doing In 2017

  • STEEL Tour (Every weekend March-December 2017)
  • Perform with top Texas Artists (Cody Johnson, Aaron Watson, Randy Rogers, Josh Abbott, Granger Smith, etc.)
  • Perform in iconic Texas venues (Gruene Hall, Billy Bob’s Texas, Love & War, House Of Blues, Cowboys Dancehall, Midnight Rodeo, etc)
  • Sing background vocals for other artists in the recording studio
  • Release a new music video
  • Road trip to Nashville for writing new material and connecting with industry experts 
  • Add another pair of iconic custom made boots to my stage ensemble
  • Eat right and work out [a lot] to be healthy, and, to be the best possible version of myself (and, let’s be honest, to look hot on stage)
  • Post silly Snapchat videos on social media (and let’s be honest, to embarrass myself a little)

 

 My boots!  I became known for my beautiful boots on The Voice.  Designer, 

 

What You Won’t See Me Doing in 2017

  • Buy a pet monkey (They don’t tour well)
  • Open a Tinder account (Unless you can convince me otherwise)
  • Skydive (I have an extreme fear of heights)
  • Chop off my locks (My hair grows extremely s-l-o-w)

If you have ever attended one of my shows (and if you haven’t, well, I certainly suggest you check out my Steel Tour), you know that I close every single set I do, whenever possible, with How Great Thou Art.  It was when I sang that song on The Voice that I knew without a doubt I was doing exactly what God intends me to do with my life.  To know me is to know that I have deep faith.  I have a deep and meaningful faith in people, in humanity, and, in God.  As such, I cannot close my first official blog without giving props to Him.   I’m continuously amazed by the fact that God has placed so many new and incredible people in my life and on my musical team in this new year.  

New is good.  It is very very good.

XOXO, Holly