Sunday, June 29, 2008

Busy with Blessings

I sang on the praise team at Redeemer today, so the morning began very early for me. That seems to have been a theme lately, so when the afternoon hit, I just took the time to relax.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that today was my first half-day-off for weeks! Since the Single Release Party, things have just been crazy. I’m working almost full-time hours for Ben right now (Stamps-Baxter is only 2 weeks away!), so that eats up a lot of time. I’ve had several requests for “Shepherd of the Hills” (yay!) and most of those people want liners as well. (A ‘liner’ is “Hi, this is Allison Lynn and you’re listening to VOCM.") Then I had the Ozark concert and some more singing that needed rehearsal and prep time. We’ve also had company all that time - first Mom and Dad, then our friend, Don, and then we had more friends stay in the house this weekend to care for the puppies. And because I’m my mother’s child, that means lots of cleaning!

I’m extremely behind in my email, which always feels terrible for me. I’m sure people think I’m ignoring them, and I hate that. My internet is down tonight, so hopefully, I’ll get caught up in that over the next day or so. (I'm writing on ipages so I can post later...praying for internet tomorrow!)

We’ve planned a trip home in August, so now that means lots of work trying to book dates in Ontario.

But, quite frankly, I just need a little quiet time. So for the rest of tonight, I’m breathing deeply, cuddling the puppies, and thanking God that I have so many blessings to keep me so busy!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Klondyke Gospel Music Center, Ozark, AL

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the back area of the Klondyke Gospel Music Center in Ozark, Alabama. Tara did a concert here two weeks ago, and that night the organizer announced, “I need to cancel the concert on the 27th because we have no one to perform.” Tara’s hand shot up, “I have someone.”

We left this morning for the six hour drive. The Klondyke Gospel Music Center has been hosting Southern Gospel concerts for over sixteen years. The first year, they booked 48 concerts. By the third year, they were doing a hundred. Every Friday and Saturday night, people gather in this small building to hear Gospel music and praise the Lord. The walls are lined with 8x10 autographed photos of all the artists who have graced this stage. Some are local artists that have never left their own region. Some were just starting out when they did their first concert here, and are now in solid standing within the SG community. And some are recognizable artists who make regular appearances on the NQC main stage.

The crowd was a bit small due to severe thunder storm warnings, but the faithful core audience showed up at 7pm for the concert. Actually, we found out later that one man had driven over 100 miles just to see me tonight! He heard the concert announced at a singing last weekend, and he made the trip just for the show. Amazing!

Gerald wasn’t able to come tonight, and as I’m writing this, I can’t remember the last time I did a solo concert without him. I actually think it must have been before we met, because not long after we became friends, I invited him to join me in a show I was doing, and then he just became part of everything I did. I guess marriage was inevitable...

I did several songs from the CD, opening with “Neighbour,” “Wedding,” “Sin Ain't’ Nothing,” and “Abide.” Tara and Kyle had driven me to Ozark and brought their sound system, but we didn’t have the right equipment to mic the guitar. The church isn’t very big, so mid-concert, I grabbed my guitar and walked down the aisle into the audience. It made things very casual, which was great. I did “Jesus Loves Me” and “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” People started to sing along on that one, so I also invited them to sing along on “I Call Out Your Name.” After “Real Big Fan,” they took the love offering and Tara sang “God’s Got a Word.” I finished with “Gloryland,” “Shepherd,” and “Faith With Take You Farther.”

They closed with a time a prayer and a blessing, and we got the chance to chat with several people on the way out. After a quick change into comfy clothes, we all went off to the Waffle King for a late night dinner. We were treated by Ron Jeffers, the concert organizer, and several audience members were also at the restaurant. Ron has been in Gospel music for ages, and we could have sat there all night listening to his stories.

It’s now very late, and I’m very happy I don’t have to do any of the driving tomorrow. I’m also anxious to get home to my family and show them the pictures of today. They videotaped the concert, so I’m hoping I may have a bit of video to post soon. But for now, I’m just so happy for a great night in Ozark, Alabama.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Single Release Party!!!

Tonight was the night! It's late as I'm writing, and I don't mind telling you that I'm completely exhausted, and completely happy!!!

We never had an official CD release party, so I thought releasing the first single would be a good excuse for an event. One of the biggest challenges was finding the right venue for such a night. I finally booked the Edgehill Cafe, one of my favourite cafes for live music. From a practical point of view, I liked that people could order food, drinks, etc, but from a ministry point of view, the venue also made lots of sense. I love the idea that someone who was just walking by had the chance to drop in and hear the Gospel in song.

Dad opened the night in prayer, followed by Gerald with 3 of his songs:
- Hallelujah, I Remember
- Never Wait Until Tomorrow
- A Church Song Broke Me Down

Tara followed with 3 songs from her CD:
- God's Got a Word for You
- Except for Grace
- Wonder Working Power.

After an generous introduction by Tara, I took the stage for my set. I was so nervous all day, but once I hit the stage, I felt great. I opened with "Do You Wanna Be My Neighbour in Gloryland" and "Wedding at Cana". Next I spoke about receiving my call to ministry at Stamps-Baxter, which lead into "Sin Ain't Nothing But the Blues". Next came the single, "Shepherd of the Hills". This went really well!!! I told the story of meeting with Joel for the pitch, and how everyone in my family knew I had to sing it! I didn't realize it at the time, but Tara recorded part of it on her phone. (see below)

I followed it with "Real Big Fan". Several people in the audience were familiar with Gerald's version, so it was neat to get their reaction to my version. Some day, we'll have to do the two back-to-back in a concert and get people to vote! I ended with "Faith Will Take You Farther", which got a great response.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with tonight! Of course, we always want more people to show up, but I had a good crowd and the people who came couldn't have been more excited or supportive. It was also cool that there was a whole range of people there - church people, CWE people, SG people, Shoutlife people, and family. Having Mom and Dad there just made everything better, and it was so good have Gerald and Tara share their talents.

*sigh* Tired and happy and very, very satisfied!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Gerald's Bluebird Debut!!!

Gerald just made his debut at the infamous Bluebird Cafe!!!

Okay, yes, a few months ago, he did get up and play a song at his friend's show, but this was different - Tonight, he was a scheduled performer! Writer's Night features nine or ten writers who each do 3 songs (their own originals, of course!). The night ends with a set by a 'pro-writer', who tonight was Jon Robbin.

The nine writers who performed tonight were vastly different, everything from country to blues to funny, cool stuff. A lot of people brought along instrumentalists to fill out their sound, the most elaborate being the bass/fiddle/hammer-dulcimer combo.

Gerald performed mid-show, which was great timing. He opened with his party song, "The Brakes are Gone" - very fun!! His middle song was his co-write with Tom Manning called "How's Your Heart Today?". I love this song, and Gerald performed it with a lot of sincerity. For his final song, I jumped up on stage to join him on harmonies. In addition to Mom and Dad, we were so blessed to have some wonderful friends in the audience tonight, including Ben Speer. Gerald made a point of dedicating his last song "Me and Elvis Say Hi" to Mom, the world's biggest Elvis fan, and Ben, who actually sang with Elvis. The song went really well, and within a few short minutes, Gerald's debut was complete and successful.

Since marrying Gerald, I have a new appreciation for what Mom goes through every time I sing. For the first two songs, while I was in the audience and Gerald was singing, I was a total wreck! So nervous, and praying for Gerald every second of the song. Of course, once I got on stage I was fine, but those first two songs - nervous, nervous girl!

So how do you get a second show at the Bluebird? On Tuesday, all tonight's performers have to call the Bluebird to ask if they can come back again. Praying for him.... but already, just so proud of him!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Jackson Ridge Fish Fry

Jackson Ridge is the beautiful little country church where I sang a few weeks ago. Tara was booked to do an event there tonight, and when the pastor heard I'd be coming to watch the show, he invited me to sing a few songs as well.

So I rehearsed a 'few' songs, and sat down to enjoy a great meal. Tonight's event was a fish fry (amazing fish!!!) and then a concert with 2 Gospel artists. I wasn't officially on the program, which actually made it all much more relaxing. Well, fifteen minutes to showtime there was still no second group, so we came up with a Plan B of me and Tara splitting the show between us. Then the other group walks in, only to announce that they also brought another soloist who also wanted to be on the program. So we're sort of back to Plan A, but with the addendum of the fourth performer.

The show started with each of us doing one set of 3 songs each. Tara nailed her stuff and sounded great. I did "Moving Up to Gloryland", "Shepherd of the Hills", and "Real Big Fan". It all went well, and I was happy to relax and enjoy the rest of the night. They took the love offering and then the pastor announced that everyone was going to do another set of songs.

Um, another set?

Let's remember, I had only practiced three songs. Yes, I know my other songs, but I just really felt unprepared all of a sudden. I choose "Do You Wanna Be My Neighbour in Gloryland" and "Abide With Me". I know both of them really well, and I always love singing them. I think this put us on Plan C.

But as I'm sitting there waiting to go on, I start thinking, "You know, I really haven't been practicing these songs, and I hope I remember the tracks as well as I think I do..." Panic! So, I looked at the schedule, and realized I had about 5 minutes left before my turn. I grabbed my car keys and my tracks and ran out to the parking lot. I turned on the CD player and the air conditioning and had an impromptu rehearsal just there in my car!

Within minutes it was my turn to sing again. Both songs went really well, and I was very relieved!

After the show, we enjoyed more fish, as well as some awesome homemade chocolate pie. Mom and Dad (who are here for the weekend) got the chance to talk with people before the show, and one person told Mom something pretty awesome. It kind of went like this: "You know, I love traditional Gospel music, so when I first heard Allison's music, I didn't think I was going to like it. But you know, I listened to it, and I just love it!". Isn't that cool? I know my sound is going to be a little different for some people, but I love that she listened, only to discover that she loves it!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Shepherd of the Hills" - The Press Release

It's official!! "Shepherd of the Hills" has now had its public announcement of its new 'single' status!

Here's the press release as put out by JMA:

Celebrating Release with Free Concert

NASHVILLE, TN (Press Release) - June 4, 2008 - Allison Lynn has released her new single, "Shepherd of the Hills," through Radioactive Airplay.

"Shepherd of the Hills," which debuted in the Top 30 on the Radioactive Airplay chart, is the first release from Allison Lynn's CD, Real Big Fan. Written by Joel Lindsey and Tony Wood, "Shepherd of the Hills" is a soothing ballad that evokes images from the 23rd Psalm. "I love the message of this song," says Allison. "It has received wonderful response from live audiences and fans of the CD, and I'm really excited about giving other people the chance to hear it through Radioactive Airplay."

Radioactive Airplay's Charles Brady had much to say when asked about working with Allison Lynn, "Allison is a beautiful and vibrant young lady who is full of talent and creativity. She loves the music and it shows. "Shepherd of the Hills" was a great choice for Allison to record. It is a beautiful song that is captured by a young lady with a beautiful voice."

To celebrate the release, Allison is hosting a Single Release Party in Nashville. Guest appearances include Southern Gospel soloist Tara Jackson and Christian songwriter Gerald Flemming.

Monday, June 9, 7:00pm
Edgehill Cafe, 1201 Villa Place, Nashville, TN 37212

Radio stations interested in downloading "Shepherd of the Hills" can visit

For more information about Allison Lynn and Real Big Fan, please visit

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Shepherd of the Hills" - my first single!

What a day! My first single has been released, and I've just finished twelve solid hours of promotional work. Exhausted, but very happy indeed!

Here's what filled the day:

- I've released "Shepherd of the Hills" through Radioactive Airplay. Each week, they do their own chart, and I've debuted at #30. Whoo-hoo! (UPDATE: I just visited the page again, and I've moved up to #27!)

- I posted the song on my Shoutlife page and my MySpace. Feel free to visit and take a listen!

- No official results yet from last week's "Make It or Break It" - Hopefully, soon!

- My Dottie Rambo article was posted today, so I emailed all the people who gave me quotes to thank them and send them the link.

- Tara and Kyle are sending out my press release for the single through JMA, so Tara and I spent a good bit of time working on that today. It was sent out tonight, so hopefully, it will get some notice tomorrow!

- The largest part of today was letting people know about my Single Release Party next Monday. I'm posting lots of public notices for it, but I also wanted to send out invites to people I know in Nashville - over 120 personalized invites! Yes, it took hours!

That said, the event is very public, and if you're in the Nashville area, please drop by!

Here are the details:

Monday, June 9, at 7:00pm
Edgehill Cafe, 1201 Villa Place, Nashville, TN 37212
With special performances by Allison Lynn, Tara Jackson, and Gerald Flemming.

And very special news: Mom and Dad are coming down for the weekend! They wanted to be here for Gerald's Bluebird debut on Sunday and my show on Monday. So awesome!!

Oh, so that was the other thing that filled the day - cleaning the house for company!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Dottie Rambo Tribute on SGM

For this month's SGM article, I was honoured to write a tribute to the great Dottie Rambo.

I collected quotes from some today's best artists and songwriters, such as Allison Durham Speer, Gordon Mote, and Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision, and asked them, "How did Dottie Rambo influence your singing and/or songwriting?"

To read their answers, and a few thoughts of my own, please visit here.

While on the site, you can also read Lorraine Walker's beautiful memories of watching Miss Dottie perform live.

Thanks to everyone who sent me a quote!