Let’s dive in shall we? I conducted an interview with Amber Leigh that started out on Twitter and she graciously agreed to answer some questions for me. Now, I promised Amber Leigh that I would make at least 4 to 5 posts on this here Country blog so here is the first of what I hope to be 5 posts concerning Amber Leigh and the Amber Leigh Band.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I have enjoyed getting to know this amazing musician from Florida.
Country Christo: “What are 5 tips you would give to aspiring musicians BEFORE they launch their music career and dive into the music industry?“
Amber Leigh: “Know how you want to sound- more importantly, embrace that you sound original- don’t try to copy anyone else’s sound, because it is individuality that fans love. Use your influences to enhance your sound, not define it.
Know what demographic you are wanting to hit- If you want to hit Taylor Swift fans, play venues that cater to that age group- like family friendly fairs and festivals. Having your merchandise and music readily available to sell to the right demographic is important and helpful.
Be ready- Realize that there are no real “overnight successes”. There are however, ”overnight success” that have been
12 years in the making- that finally popped. To the consumer it may seem like the next new thing came from nowhere. It is a long road, longer for some than others. But, if your are playing music everyday and really live for it, it is easy to enjoy the ride.
Practice. There is always someone younger, prettier, and more talented than you waiting in the wings. So why not be the
best you can be all the time?
Have a good attitude- Making music is a gift that only a small number of us are blessed with. Always have fun when you are performing, writing, practicing or recording. Know the sometimes music turns into work when you are doing it everyday – but, think of how lucky you are to be doing MUSIC EVERYDAY.“
Country Christo: “ In 50 Words or less per person, can you describe each member of your band including sound and lighting? Starting with their names , after that get descriptive. “
Amber Leigh: “First off, let me say, that in my opinion, I have the most amazing band and crew ever! My band is extremely talented and diverse… They are my best friends and family – literally.
Let’s starts with the Band-
Randy James – ( acoustic guitar & vocals )
My dad. We call my dad “the hulk“. He is a 6’2 powerhouse that should be on the cover of workout & GQ magazines. We have been playing music together since I was 4 years old. The women that come to see the band always fall head over heels for my dad which is hilarious to watch. I think his fan club is as big as mine.
Sean Radford – (electric guitar, mandolin and vocals- aka “seattle“)
You can guess where he is from. Sean is a monster on guitar and absolutely killer on mandolin. Sean is the other book end to my father- with huge muscles they both balance out both sides of the stage and put me in the middle.
Ralph Cenilli - (bass- we refer to him as “rockin ralph“)
Before I was born, my dad had a rock band called Randy James and the Availables. Rockin Ralph was the bass player for that band. When my first band was formed, I was 8 years old and Rocking Ralph was the bass player then. He always says, “I knew Amber when she was in 2 pieces”.
Matt Crowning – (drums- matt is also my husband)
Matt is the musical director for the band. Matt and I have been married for 2 years and have been together for 6 years (playing music & dating). We do a lot of the song writing together. I am usually the one to get the song started, and when I get stuck, Matt finishes my sentences- or songs. On stage Matt is known for his legendary drum solos. He is a blast to watch live. I always want to turn myself around with my back to the audience just so I can see the show too.
Now onto sound and crew-
Matt Hyman – (everything we need – “Matty” is our guitar tech, drum tech, stage hand, merchandise manager, cable wrapper, water getter, make -up fixer, fiddle tuner, grab a sharpie, take a picture, hang the banner, one man do-it-all kinda guy.
Matty has been with us for over 8 years and we couldn’t live without him. Matty likes to drink Captain Morgan and is
always telling jokes with the rest of the band boys.
Holland Ryan – (sound engineer)
This guy is the most important piece of the puzzle. He runs front of house sound and our ear-monitors. Holland also does all the live recordings for all our live tracks that are released. Holland is the most, calm, sweet, amazing guy. Even if we get to a show, and all the back line is wrong, Holland always is like ” don’t worry, it’s fine, I will fix it.” He has been running our sound for over 10 years and he is just as big a part of the band as I am.
Hanna Rachael – (“hanna- bear” – Merchandise)
My best friend since middle school. A blonde bombshell- everyone loves to go to the merch table to chat with her. Bear is super organized and because of that, we thought merchandise would be the job for her. Hanna travels everywhere with me and is really more of a life line to protect me from all the boys we have to hang with all the time.“
Country Christo: “ Who are your top 5 musical influences?“
Amber Leigh: “Mark O’Connor, The Corrs, Shania Twain, Patsy Cline, My dad“
Country Christo: “How many songs do you perform on stage for a Amber Leigh Band show and do you have a set list?“
Amber Leigh: “Set list! Ha ha ha- that is a running joke- I try, try, try. Every show I hand out the show list, and I can never seem to keep to it. I always feel that every venue we do, the audience is different. I feel out the the crowd, and of they are digging’ the fiddle music, I will throw some extra Irish tunes in, or if they loved to slow dance, or if they like to rock…. It’s easier for me to keep a master list near me and a “guideline” list as well. The band hates it, but I think it’s good to keep them on their toes. I think the only time in 15 years I stuck to a list was because we were live on tv….. Don’t want to throw any curve balls then. We do a 2 hour show.
Country Christo: “How is the search for a major record label going OR are you happy with being ” REBEL INDEPENDENT ” ? (that would be the name of my music company but I digress.“
Amber Leigh: “We are definitely on the hunt for the RIGHT major label. We are very grateful for how successful we have been being a Indie act, but I feel the major would help us with the big push.“
Country Christo: “This is the first 5 questions for now Amber Leigh, thanks for playing along. I’m writing a book called the “ORANGE RACE” to go along with my National Debt Training. It’s geared toward Women Entrepreneurs who can kick it into high gear when it comes to being successful. I think you fit right into this category. Thanks again go out to Amber Leigh for this interview.
Respectfully in TRUTH,