Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fiery sky

Howdy y'all. I know it's been a while. Life has me going in many directions right now. One of them is working on my photography. Over the past couple of weeks the sunsets here in Texas have just been spectacular. I have taken pictures almost every night. This particular one made me think of my Mom. I wrote a short little thought for her and thought I'd share.


Next time you're out about sunset time, take a look at the sky. You might feel the presence of a loved one, like I did on this night.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A lot of stress, a couple of friends and a simple message

I know I haven’t posted much in the way of poems or song lyrics, lately. I have written a few things, but my decision to post them has been harder to make each day. Over the past few months I have been under an enormous amount of stress for several reasons. The hardest part is, it’s going to get worse before it can finally get better. Every time I think I’m ready to dive into the dark, I get scared and hesitate. I know now that I must make the jump whether I’m ready or not. It must be done. I can say that I have high hopes that this one big move will make many things better on the other side.

Unfortunately, all this stress and decision making has drained me emotionally and physically. It has also depleted most of the self-confidence I had built up this year. Every time I wrote something, blog post, poem or even email, I questioned everything about it. Some days I won’t even respond on Twitter or Facebook, because I just know it won’t be funny or understood. I even convinced myself that those that supported me had abandoned me and my fellow writers were better off without me cluttering up the better articles. I have let myself sit here and talk myself into shutting down all my creative projects. I didn’t even want to talk to my friends about it, because I knew they would sugar coat my work to make me feel better. I was never able to actually stop writing, I just stop wanting to share. I didn’t shut anything down either, because I knew my vulnerability was driving my emotions. But I did seem to be stuck in a place that was making me feel invisible and useless. My saving grace is my kids. I could never let myself fall too far down, because they need me and I need them, every day.

Well, I finally reached out to someone, who I can honestly call a gift from God. I met her through the Home Free fan group and it was a meeting that had destiny written all over it. I gave her a quick overview of what I said above. Her response was brilliant and true. She asked me if I still enjoyed writing. It didn’t matter the response or who supported me or how many people read the blog. What mattered was did writing the blog or the poems or the song lyrics still give me peace and enjoyment. And the answer is, without hesitation or question, yes. I have so many things written down that I have no intention of sharing, it’s just for me. It helps clear all the craziness in my head, so I can focus and do what needs to be done. But, nonetheless, I have to write. And there was my answer. It’s like she hit me with a book, right between the eyes. Writing is my tool, my peace, my inner strength and my way of dealing with the world around me, good or bad. My friend is very wise. Funny thing is I have another friend who has told me the very same thing, only writing wasn’t the topic. But the answer and message was the same. So I have two gifts from God, called friends. One is a childhood friend and one is a new friend.

Life will never give us the perfect opportunity to do anything. There will always be something, no matter how small, in the way of where we want to be. Is what you want something you enjoy and something that will benefit you? Then say a little prayer, take a deep breath, close your eyes and grab onto your faith with all your might and jump. 

I may have to slow down on writing until my big personal endeavor is over, but I will not stop writing. I hope that even if you don’t ready everything I write, you at least read the paragraph above and keep it with you always. I know many have said the same thing in their own way, but I think I finally believe it, in my heart.

Thank you to my friends, my followers and any other stranger that stops by for taking time out of your day to read the insanity I call my thoughts. Maybe some day, when I grow up, I'll be able to do this nonsense for a living! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

A day to remember and we'll never forget any of you

Here's my teenie tiny contribution to Remembering the fallen on 9/11

I still get chills and tears well in my eyes when I hear people say where they were and how they felt as they heard the news of the first plane hitting and then the second plane. I get that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach and my chest when I see footage of the buildings fall. I was thousands of miles away and only watched on TV and yet if I felt helpless, lost and shattered, imagine how those felt who were standing right there. To say my heart goes out to them, just doesn’t seem like enough. I can only pray that God will touch each one of them and let them know he’s there.

I kept saying over and over, WHY? I'm not a political person, so I'm naive when it comes to foreign affairs. Or maybe I intentionally stay out of it, because I know my heart can’t take the horror. I just didn't understand why anyone could or would take completely innocent lives, in the name of religion, politics or because a so called leader said no lives matter, only my cause. I am befuddled at the idea that human lives don’t matter, for any reason. And yes, I’m fool-hearted, I know.

My heart goes out to the amazingly brave people on the plane that took action, knowing it was the last thing they would ever do. Who knows how many lives they saved with their own. That's a hero, that's having the heart and strength of a warrior. And to each and every person that dug out people, alive or dead, and had to see the devastation left behind. God bless them all. And God bless those left behind. I hope, for at least today, we can remember a day when we all stood together and helped each other survive, physically and emotionally. They hugged, cried, screamed, pulled with every ounce of strength and rejoiced when they found a survivor. Those terrorists didn't care who was on those planes, what they did for a living or where their families where from or what religion they were, the terrorists were going to kill them all. Let's not let them take our dignity too, they took enough.

So to the firemen, policemen, doctors, nurses, by standers, bus drivers, pilots, passengers, construction workers and every other person in New York that day I say I’m so sorry for your loss and the tragedy you had to endure. And Thank You to you and all the other people from around the country and the world that went to New York to help. I believe this is what any God would want man to do, help each other.

The world will never be perfect and may never see full peace, but at least it’s comforting to know that when a tragedy of this magnitude hits, we can all come together and survive. May God bless us all!

Monday, August 17, 2015

A year of enjoying Home Free and Home Fries

July 2014 five highly talented young men (with a featured guest, so six really) released a video to the world that would go viral. I’m sure it was a turning point in their career. However, this simplistic, yet stunning video also changed my life. Home Free’s cover of Ring of Fire, featuring Avi Kaplan, seems to be a pivotal moment in the lives of so many people, many of whom I have either met or become friends with over the past year. I don’t know the exact date I watched the video, due to when I saw it I went on a Home Free hunt and didn’t stop for several days! I know it was within a week or two of my birthday, because I bought the Home Free Crazy Life CD and Tim Foust’s The Best That I Could Do CD for my birthday. What I think is so fantastic is how many fries have recently written or posted about their one year “Fryniversary”, with no intentions of slowing down. I guess I’ll join them.

I know most of you have heard the story of how Home Free and more specifically Tim’s song I’ve Seen inspired me to start writing again. So today I will tell all the other things that have come from Home Free’s music.

The most rewarding thing is that I now have friends all over the world ranging in age from 17 to those in their 60’s. I have met a few of them and they will always have me as a friend, whenever they need me. The first fry I virtually met was an awesome girl of 17 that lives in Brazil. I felt so ridiculous going gaga over Home Free at my age and then I found out her age and she made me feel like a kid again. As the days went on and we all goofed around about Home Free, I realized these a guys just inspire youth, smiles, giddiness and pure adrenaline. I have been encouraged and inspired by so many wonderful people and I hope to meet them all one day. I’ve cried with them, laughed until my side hurt, felt embarrassed and completely vulnerable, not to mention felt a little drunk after seeing them live. Yes, Home Free is a strong source and the Home Fries cling to that source and each other with all our hearts and souls.

The first time I actually met fries was when I had plans to see Home Free in Dallas. Well, a couple weeks before that concert an extremely kind fry offered me a VIP ticket to the concert in Oklahoma City, which was a few days before the Dallas concert. Well, how could possibly say no? I made my arrangements and the next thing I knew, I had made plans to drive to Oklahoma City with two ladies I had never met before. I joked about how my mom had done this years before, by going to California to meet fans of a soap opera, that she had never met, and we teased her that one of them could be an ax murderer! Well, these ladies assured me they had no axes! Two concerts and a great trip to Oklahoma later, we’ve all become good friends. I know I would do anything for any of them. And we have planned to see four Home Free concerts together in October! I met so many other fries at these two concerts and hope to see them again and meet other fries, I haven’t met yet!

As for my writing, since hearing I’ve Seen, I have written twenty nine song lyrics, twenty poems, one children's story and started the second story in the adventures, created two blogs and have had the honor of playing a small role in helping an incredible lady and dedicated fry create some extraordinary tribute videos for each of the members of Home Free. Plus, I’ve volunteered for other small writing “assignments” at work and for our Girl Scout troop. My hope is to, someday, get paid to write!  

Let’s not forget the guys that started me down this unbelievable trek, Home Free. Their music has so much to offer and I find it hard, at times, to find the right words. Their voices alone are remarkable and together they are this perfectly put together 3D puzzle. Their sound is rich, vibrant and full of life and energy. You want to hear the song over and over again. Their arranging talents have blossomed over the past year and the fries continue to be amazed with each new song. I’m so excited for the new album, I could just bust! If they don’t hurry and release it, the fries are going to hunt them down (visions of Young Frankenstein where the villagers are breaking down the door with Inspector Kemp’s wooden arm). Hurry, Home Free, hurry!

Happy “Fryniversary” to all my fellow fries that found Home Free around this time last year!

How long have you been a Home Fry?

I've Seen by Home Free (written by Tim Foust) https://youtu.be/u_v_5Jr8bx0?list=PLfWdh4XTtIqnVcLdXTjXzvv_ahtWOC2S7


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Determination, Pride and Passion

Today's post is about determination, pride and passion. I felt this a long time ago, when my friend and I were writing and performing my songs. I was determined to get the song where I wanted it and took great pride in the songs when we were done, all because I was passionate about the words and the way it made me feel to write a song!

This summer, my twenty year old son took a journey down a road I would have run from, and fast! All in the name of determination, pride and passion. He is determined to be a high school marching band or drumline instructor. Part of the road to being a drumline instructor is to march in Drum Corp. If you don't know what a Drum & Bugle Corp is, it's non profit marching band on a competitive level, with only brass, percussion and color guard. There are different classes, the Open Class and the World Class. There are twenty two corps in World Class and about twenty six in Open Class. My son played Bass 5 drum with the World Class Boston Crusaders, who celebrated their 75th Anniversary this year. They finished in tenth place in the 2015 DCI Series.

Now, being in a drum corp means sleeping on school gymnasium floors on blow up mattresses, eating meals that the corp can afford or that are donated, practicing 12 hours a day, sometimes in over 100 degree heat, and when the are competing they travel overnight, sleep a few  hours and then begin practice. Sometimes their overnight trips are 3 hours meaning they have to unload at 3 or 4am, blow up their mattress, sleep a few hours and then get up around 8 or 9am and practice. Sometimes their overnight ride is 8 hours. They don't always sleep on the bus, no these kids practice on their overnight drives. My son is about six foot two and he said when he did sleep on the bus, he slept in the aisle, because he didn't fit well in the seat. They did laundry every two weeks and got 3 count them 1,2,3 all day, day offs in three months.

Yes, it was hard and yes the kids joked about the heat, being stuck in a bathroom when a storm came up suddenly on their practice, loading and unloading equipment daily and showering in groups and in about 5 minutes. But these kids always had smiles on their faces and got up the next day ready to work. When they put on a show, they were dramatic and hungry. You could see it in their faces, their movements and that they improved their score with every show! My son told me that they would make changes to the routine the day of a competition and nail it! Theses kids work harder than most adults at the careers they chose. It's inspiring and uplifting.

I was not just proud of my son for have the determination, pride and passion to complete this awesome journey, but I was proud of every one of those kids. They are not all kids, they range in age from 15-21, and they all worked equally as hard, in the name of their Drum Corp. I took my son a whole bunch of beef jerky and Twizzlers (mainly for if they didn't like what food was served) so he and the bassline (5 kids) would have enough to keep them satisfied. I also got them animal sponge water toys they could get wet and throw at each other to keep cool. These type of things meant the world to these kids. But still, they rarely complained, unless you were messing with their practice time!

These kids have inspired me to work a little harder to achieve my passion in life. I have a new found desire and push to finish writing the stories for my daughter. Losing my dog really affected my ability to write about her, but now I know I have to finish. So, book two here I come!

Congratulations and Happy 75th Anniversary to the Boston Crusaders, y'all were truly awesome this year! I can't wait for next year and hopefully, my son will be marching with you for his last year.











Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sharing random poems

Occasionally I get these random poetic ideas and write poems that I find to be impractical, but I jot them down anyway. Then I throw them on one of my pictures and hope to make someone smile or laugh, sometimes cry. Here's a few of those poems.


Above poem written by Michelle Gallardo August 8, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Deep in thought today

I know I haven't posted much lately, but I am still around. I've been pretty busy with my son being in a Drum Corp this summer. I follow them on social media every time they compete or perform. Plus, I have been writing a lot lately, just not as many song lyrics or poems. I wish it were a paying gig, but I'm just happy to be writing  regularly. It makes me feel accomplished.

Today I need to take a moment to express my feelings. In the past year I have had four friends lose their spouses. It just so happens they are all women who have lost their husbands. Two had ill husbands and two were very unexpected. I didn't know the husbands, but when I found out about the loss, I felt it in a way I didn't expect. First, my heart goes out to these women, who now have to face life as usual without the person that helped get them there. All these ladies were happily married, so I can't even begin to imagine the pain this must have caused them. I think about them and pray that they will find strength and happiness.These women have lost the men they loved and built a family and life with and yet, they have given me hope and some extra oomph to fight for myself. Love is so much more than a couple being in love or a parent/child's love or love for an irreplaceable friend. Love is life. You have to love everything in and about life to succeed. I don't mean succeed like a highly profitable business or love everything down to the smallest creatures. I mean, love starts with you, loving yourself enough to be able to love others. Loving life and all that happens in life, good and bad, enough to fight for your well being. These women are confident and strong on any given day, but when you lose the one that stands beside you, it can hurt and cause doubt. These ladies have carried on, missing their husbands, but living life. I am so lucky to have women like them in my life to remind me that life goes on and you will be happy and whole again.

So tell your loved ones you love them, share a smile with a stranger, call an old friend or relative just to say hi, sit in the park alone for lunch and take in the world or sit with your kids and listen to them babble about nothing and watch their faces. We can all prevail, if we have hope and love.




Thursday, June 25, 2015

Back to my poems

Good afternoon. I know it's been a while since I posted a poem or song lyrics out here, but things got crazy. I'm still sorting them out. I have a new blog to put all my posts about Home Free. There might still be one or two posts here, but Home Free In My Words is the new blog to find all my Home Free fun! Check it out from the link on right side.

Now back to my poems and song lyrics. This morning I had a short conversation with my 7 year old daughter about writing songs. She wants to write a song so bad and has already written lyrics. I guess I need to get her into piano lessons, asap! When I got to work this morning, it happened. Words started flowing. It makes it difficult to work and write at the same time. In between some mandatory training classes I put together these 3 poems. I hope you like them.



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Does your brow or crinkle have a Twitter account?

My last blog post talked about how excited we get when someone famous favorites or retweets our posts. I love the energy and excitement that builds around a fan base when it comes to their chosen famous personality. Today I have decided to stretch out to Twitter accounts that represent famous people’s physical attributes. Since I am a fan of the country a cappella group, Home Free, I’m going to explore their specific quality accounts. They have built up such a big fan following, you would think they were the real people.

There are five sweet, talented and generous guys in Home Free. And although I enjoy writing about them, today I’m going to talk about Crinkles, Austin’s Abs, Foust Brow, Rupps Guns, Adam’s Ting and Rob’s Beard. These are all Twitter accounts for physical attributes of the Home Free Guys. They are entertaining and yet hold true to being what they say they are; a crinkle, abs, brow, guns, ting and a beard.

Foust Brow is the first feature account I remember seeing and I couldn’t help but laugh when he insisted, he’s just a brow, Tim Foust’s brow that is. But the voice behind Foust Brow is very adamant that he is not Tim, just Tim’s fabulous brow. He has quite a following, too. I remember one Friday, which in Twitterland is Follow Friday, he had tons of requests, including mine, for him to follow them. We knew this wasn’t Tim, but why did so many ladies want to be followed by a brow? Foust brow is grateful to his followers, but he's also a little full of himself. However, if you're a Home Fry, you wouldn't have any other way. The brow is intriguing and quite the lady killer.

Crinkles has become another “famous” personal trait account. Crinkles represents the adorable crinkles on the heartthrob, Austin’s, nose when he sings. Haven’t seen them? Check out the Home Free O Holy Night video for a close up. Bossman or Austin has another trait account called Austin’s Abs. Both of these “boys” play their role as Austin’s crinkles and abs very well. They are funny, personal and love teasing their fans. Crinkles and Abs have gained a dedicated group of followers and interacts with them every day. Most of the time, it’s good clean fun, but these guys know what Fry buttons to push to get Twitter a flame. Honestly, I never knew how much trouble a crinkle could get into, until now! I might add that the Home Fries are a willing and vocal group of ladies that revel in helping the proverbial “train wreck!”

Rupps Guns is, of course, Chris Rupp’s marvelous guns that he loves to show and the ladies love to admire. This account was a bit of a late comer to the party, but has quickly become very popular. Not sure if it’s because the guns are nice to look at or because he is cool and keeps the Home Fries thinking and on their toes with questions and games, daily. These guns, like the others, enjoy talking with the fans, spreading the word of Home Free and well, occasionally misbehaving. Not the real Chris Rupp, but his guns have his fans following him any where he goes!

I am not hip enough to know what Adam’s Ting represents, nor am I brave enough to make a guess. Adam Rupp is the beatboxer of Home Free (and a damn good one), so we’ll just go with his ting being a beatboxing term, and leave it at that. There was a Twitter convo about this, but I'm sorry (#notsorry) to say, I missed it. Adam’s Ting is fairly new to the personal feature group, but is quickly joining the ranks of the other “guys.” Like Adam, his Twitter trait personality is a little quiet, but when he does tweet, you can bet it’s going to cause a raucous. You can’t throw out a name like Adam’s Ting and not get a big Home Fry reaction! Kind of like when Adam does his drum solo, the crowd goes wild.

Rob’s Beard is the quietest one of the group, the Twitter groups, not Home Free. Rob Lundquist, is very conversational and a joy to talk with during the concert experience. Listen to me, like I know them or something, ha! His beard, however, likes to be seen and admired, not so much heard. The Home Fries will bring Rob’s beard out of his shy cocoon. After all, we must have a complete set of Home Free characteristics represented. These personalities interact with each other as if they were really “on” the Home Free guys at concerts, parties or other gatherings. Well played!

Now don’t get me wrong here, yes, these boys are not afraid to stir up trouble and get the fans riled up and just have fun. And boy do they ever stir up trouble! But they also promote Home Free and make friends with fans. These account keepers are clever and well versed in all things Home Free. These Twitterlings, to the fans, are almost like having a little slice of the guys all to ourselves. We find them all irresistible and we are very glad, whoever they are, that they have chosen to bring the Home Fries into their Twitter world. I wonder what the real Home Free guys think of their physical attributes “exposing themselves” in Twitter (oops, I might have led this train down the wrong track with that comment)? If you don't follow these guys, you should, join the party: @CrinklesCrew, @FoustBrow, @RuppsGuns, @_theAustinsAbs, @Adams_Ting and @BeardFree

What would your physical attribute Twitter account be called?

Friday, June 12, 2015

I got a fave!!! YEA!!!!!

I haven’t been Twittering very long, I’m sure that is obvious, but I’m working on it. I do wonder, though, why we get so giddy when someone famous fave’s our tweets. I decided to dive into Twitter last summer when I became a big Home Free fan. Twitter is more interactive on fan pages than Facebook, so I thought I’d give it a try. I instantly made great new friends and got some very odd followers too. I found all the well-known folks I wanted to follow, along with sports teams and music related pages and then sat back and monitored the fast paced, madness known as Twitter.

As some of you may know, my son is a drummer in marching band and all around musician. I had followed his college band and some drum companies. I started retweeting when I found something funny or interesting and then it happened. Lonestar Percussion fave’d one of my tweets and followed me. I was so excited I texted my son right away. And yes, he thought I was a complete goof! Come to think of it, so do I, well now I do. Being noticed by the organization or person you are referring to, makes you feel accomplished and happy. Just last night I posted about a concert in the park my son was in, with no tagging and I got retweeted by four organizations in Boston, about the concert. I still think that’s cool!

Of course, my BIG fave came from Tim Foust of Home Free. Yes, I’ve mentioned it before, but since this is all about the fave’s, you’ll hear it again. Home Free was on tour and Tim had posted information about a concert in Nederland, Texas. A fan responded with something like, “Why couldn’t I live in Texas?” With no expectations, just a simple reaction, I tweeted, “I do, I do!” Well Tim fave’d my response, which triggered a ridiculously loud and giddy school girl screech from me. I laughed for an hour and then sat there and wondered what the hell was wrong with me. However, with credit to Tim for his timely fave, it convinced me to buy tickets to that very concert. I’ve had a few fave’s from Home Free and its members since then and it still makes me smile and happy, but I don’t screech anymore.

I’ve never been an over excitable fan. I lived in Burbank, California for several years and met many actors, musicians and sports figures. Between working in a hotel and my mom being a fan club president for two actors from General Hospital, meeting actors was second nature to me. But get someone famous to fave a tweet and the whole Twitter world sees that, right? OK, maybe not, but it feels that way. Even on Facebook, there are friends of mine that I truly respect and when they comment on one of my write ups or a photo I’ve taken, I am ecstatic. It’s not only acceptance, but a little recognition too.

So there it is, from my perspective, accomplishment in getting the object of your tweet and documented proof that they noticed you and/or your comment equals giddiness (how many times have you screen shot a fave or retweet, be honest).  I’m sure well known people get thrilled when their tweet is well received too. After all they are people and they are networking, just like we are. I don’t picture them getting giddy, but you never know. Whether it’s a simple question, complaint or topic you feel deeply about, we all like to know that our friends listen to us, even in social media. So here’s to a fave from someone special, for you, today. And go fave someone else’s tweet, maybe you’ll bring a smile to their face this fantastic Friday.

*Two things (Home Fries will get that one): 1. This post was a little hard to write as there are so many spelling error lines in my document, due to all the Twitter terms used here. 2. I have never used the word or a form of the word tweet so much, ever!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Summer fun and unknown love lyrics

I thought I'd share a couple of recent song lyrics I've written. The first one is about some summer fun. It's seems like there are a lot of new songs about summer coming out, so I thought I'd share this one I wrote back in March, called "Come Get Ya Some."

This next one is a new one I just wrote yesterday about unrealized love. These lyrics are inspired by a dream I had. One of those odd dreams that stayed with me and became this story or song lyrics. It's called "My Mind, My Heart."


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Did Home Free just release 2 new videos?

Hi faithful followers and newcomers! A new video by Home Free or is that two? These guys never cease to amaze me. They have released ten videos in 2015 and each video has been better, in its own way, than the one before. Their videos, to date, have featured an adorable teddy bear, concert footage, amazing vocals and arrangements, foot stomping and seat wiggling beats, tears of joy and even Home Free Lego dudes! Wow, how the hell do you beat all that?

Well, this is how. Home Free and FifGen have put together a video that includes serene country side scenery and a perfectly sung medley of Wagon Wheel and Song of the South. It starts off on an empty railroad track cast in a beautiful country setting. Moving back and forth from flat country lightly covered in snow to a dry summer backdrop. And, of course, that south bound train hustling past behind Home Free as they sing. And boy, do these five talented and cute guys know how to sing a country story, a cappella style. But, here is the best part. As they incorporate Song of the South into the medley, they add a quaint home town bar with live music, which of course, is Home Free. This charming bar is filled with patrons, who are actually Home Fries! That’s right, the dedicated and certainly excited Home Free fans were given the opportunity to partake in the filming of this video! Awesome job Fries!

Then, after a short teasing countdown, they made a big announcement and released a second new video. And this video is not only filled with a great day of summer fun with family and friends, but it’s a new song! “Summer in the Country,” has a fun small town beat and makes you feel like planning a big picnic that lasts all weekend. I know we all remember those weekends! Another winning video and song that brings back memories and leaves you wanting to make more.

How do you top eight fantastic music videos that have already thrilled Home Fries around the world? You ask them be on one video. The Wagon Wheel video by Home Free is beautiful scenery + a great song + suave, smooth vocals + Home Free + Home Fries = pure perfection. Throw in a surprise song, video and fall tour dates and now the Home Fries are squealing with joy, literally! And just a little tidbit here, did you know there is a cameo appearance by a sassy little chicken in each of these ten videos (except "Mom")? It’s always a game to see who finds it and who needs a hint. He has become affectionately known, as Stealth Chicken. Home Free’s merchandise man, Nate, named him Albert. Can you find the chicken?
 Stealth Chicken from Full of Cheer video

Check out Wagon Wheel video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVakU9TYRDw
See their newest video and song Summer in the Country: https://youtu.be/QbwIFEhrFzw

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why does Home Free's music touch so many people?

Over the past year I have joined several Home Free fan groups and the one common denominator in most of these groups is how Home Free’s music got them through tough times, myself included. I’m certain that most musicians inspire hope, love and some tears in songs they perform, whether they wrote them or not. And I know that musicians, sports figures and actors have their dedicated followers. So, why do I think Home Free is a little different? Why do Home Free fans, or Home Fries, work so hard to let the world know about these five guys? Let me share what I’ve heard and seen this last year, and maybe you’ll understand too.

The first thing that grabs you and doesn’t let you go, is how Home Free delivers a song. It doesn’t matter if they are singing about love, losing love, a wife that spends too much, moms, being faithful, Christmas carols or their butts, they have your attention. Each man has his own unique quality and whether they are showing off one man’s talent or all five are showing off, you can’t help but listen to the end, so you don’t miss anything.

Chris and Adam Rupp, Rob Lundquist, Tim Foust and Austin Brown could each wow you individually, and they do so without musical instruments. Chris knows how to sing to the ladies and make them sigh with his smooth, charming voice and the cowboy hat is just a bonus. Adam will blow your mind with his jaw dropping vocal percussion and beatboxing, plus his dance moves will leave you wanting more, a lot more. Rob can sing the hell out of any song you give him, whether it’s an angelic carol or a rap song, he does it all and he does it well. Tim’s playful, but alluring deep bass voice will rock your world, but don’t count him out of a sweet ballad, his tenor voice will make the ladies swoon every time. Austin, well he knows how to give a song life, his youthful vigor gives his singing multiple dimensions that will leave you awe-struck. I know, I've seen them in concert and their live performance is astonishing!

That’s their talents, which are obvious in all they do. Now let’s talk about the effect their music has on their fans. I have heard stories of how their music has helped young people better deal with disorders, ill or injured people fight harder through recovery, those who have lost smile in tough times, and give those with a lack of confidence a little more oomph to keep trying. Maybe it’s because Home Free has been at this for almost fifteen years and has never stopped working hard, or because these guys are incredibly personable and inviting in their VIP sessions or because they love to show their fans that they are having a great time and how much they appreciate our support. Not to mention how they support so many other artists, family and friends in social media on a regular basis. It could also be that they are just plain fantastic musicians, fun and adorable and fans just want to get to their next concert!

So, from all of this, you can pick a reason as to why these guys are so inspirational to their fans. They encourage never giving up, stay true to yourself, treat people the way you want to be treated, stay humble and appreciate the little things in life. Add all that to some amazing fans, who have the same beliefs and appreciate damn good music and you get an unbreakable bond between Home Free and Home Fries around the world. Home Fries feel that the least they could do for Home Free, after all they do for us, is spread the word about their exceptional music.

Check them out on YouTube. If you’re not already a Home Fry, you might just want to become one! https://www.youtube.com/user/HomeFreeVocalBand



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thank you friends, social media, online games and Home Fries!

I know social media has been getting some bad press lately, and taken to the extreme, it’s just like anything else, it can be harmful. However, social media came into my life at a low point for me and helped bring me back into the living.

I joined Facebook shortly after I lost one of my best friends from high school. As tough as that loss was for me, the fact that I had so many people, that I hadn’t talked to in years, “friend” me, made me smile. And we all know that when you talk with old or new friends about their lives, it often helps you get past the bumps in your life. I spent time catching up with people from high school, kids I used to babysit and co-workers. There were lots of wide-eyed, whoa moments, and plenty of fun too.

Then, by my son’s doing, I started playing games. That brought a whole new world into my social media life. I started talking with people from all over the world, and many of them, quickly became my friends. I’ve never met any of them and probably never will. That was six years ago and I’m still friends with many of them. When I lost my mom, I had so many more people there for me, and that was priceless.

Recently, as many of you know, I have become a HUGE Home Free fan, and again social media has brought me many new friends. Home Free is a country a cappella group that will get you hooked on a cappella music. However, something else they have is the greatest fans in the world. I joined several fan groups, which, at first seemed odd at my age. But in time I got comfortable and started talking with many fans. Plus, this time, I actually got to meet some of my online friends! A few Home Fries are local to me and that led to concerts in Oklahoma and Texas and some great times. One sweet lady flew all the way from Germany to Dallas, Texas to see a Home Free concert! I have a whole new set of friends that have put me on a path to writing again, sharing, crying and laughing until my sides ache. It’s been an amazing nine months getting to know Home Fries from around the world.

Now, so you don’t think I sit in front of my computer all the time and type my life away, I have plenty to keep me busy. My son has been in a marching band, playing Bass drum, for the last 6 years, in high school and college. I’ve been to almost every home game he marched in and a few competitions. Plus many concerts, like Barbershop chorus, Cuban drums and Men’s choir. My daughter and I are very active in Girl Scouts. She becomes a Brownie this year with a great cookie selling track record. I am a volunteer photographer for our troop and our service unit and I’m the Cookie Momster for our troop. My kids, band and Girl Scouts have also brought many new friends into my life.

So you see, social media really can be a great source of meeting people and learning amazing things. When I say learning new things, I don’t mean believing everything you read and the drama, I mean talking with people of all ages and from all over the world. I have learned about conditions I never knew existed, triumphs that shouldn’t have happened and the endless amount of strength and hope that people possess. Men, women and children alike. And let's not forget some of the funniest jokes too! Social media doesn’t have to be your only source of socializing, but it can make what you have even better. However, as we’ve all heard before, all things in moderation.


So this goes out to all my social media friends, the ones I’ve been lucky enough to meet and the many I haven’t met. You have all enriched my life in ways that are hard to describe, but easy to know. And to all of my family and friends, on social media or not, thank you for being a part of my life and best wishes to you all! And now, since I don't get paid to blog, I guess I should get back to work and so should you! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Featured song lyrics "The Studio"

Today's featured song lyrics are from a song called "The Studio." Back in March I mentioned that I entered a writing contest in one of the Home Free fan groups. I wrote a short article about how Home Free inspired me to start writing again. I have featured two of the three songs lyrics mentioned in that article, and today is the third song lyrics. "Homeward Bound in Texas," was the first one and it can be found on the New Song lyrics page. "Mae," was the second one and it can be found on the Out of the Box Song Lyrics page. Today it's "The Studio." The inspiration for these song lyrics came from a single short post by Tim Foust earlier this year. He simply posted, "Back to the studio." That simple post got me thinking about how hard it must be for musicians that tour or live in one state, but work in another state, feel when they have to leave their families and loved ones behind. And there was my inspiration for the lyrics to "The Studio." Thanks, again, for the inspiration, Home Free and Tim Foust.

The Studio
The winter brings in the cold and snow
I’m here with you and I don’t want to go
But it’s back to work and back on the road
It could be months before I get back home

(chorus)
Time to get to the studio and write some new songs
Not leaving for good, but right now it’s where I belong
I’ll get back when I can, to make right what’s wrong

It gets lonely in the bus, driving all night
I close my eyes and see your smile, feels so right
I want to get home and hold you real tight
But my music calls, I get on stage under the lights

(chorus)
Time to get to the studio and write some new songs
Not leaving for good, right now it’s where I belong
I’ll get back when I can, to make right what’s wrong

The fans kept us on the stage tonight, real late
It was an awesome show, the new songs went great
Now it’s time for a rest, two day trip to the next state
I’ll call in the morning, I hope you don’t mind the wait

(chorus)
Time to get to the studio and write some new songs
Not leaving for good, right now it’s where I belong
I’ll get back when I can, to make right what’s wrong

Written by Michelle Gallardo February 15, 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Home Free ROCKS the Dallas audience

Good Wednesday afternoon everybody! I had a great end to the week and weekend. It was filled with Home Fries and Home Free! I bought VIP tickets to the Dallas show back in December, but, by some great stroke of luck, a Home Fry offered me an extra VIP ticket she had to the Oklahoma City show four days before Dallas. Well, I just couldn't say no (that would be rude, right?)! I met a great group of Home Fries and shared my first VIP experience with friends. I was so nervous, but I was put at ease by Austin and Rob, almost immediately. They were all very sweet. I commend them all for their patience and never ending smiles. If only there was a way to bottle their compassionate country gentlemen attitudes!

Since I had the great fortune to see two shows in four days, but I don't want this to be too long, I am going to concentrate on the Dallas Show. Mainly because the Dallas show was simply out of this world.

First, about twenty or so Home Fries met at Campisi's in downtown Dallas for an early dinner. We all had the pleasure of meeting a truly dedicated fan that flew all the way from Germany JUST to see the Home Free concert. She was sweet, excited, overwhelmed and just a pleasure to meet. I found myself very excited that she was going to meet Home Free.

In the VIP session we started with autographs and to my complete amazement, Rob remembered me from the OKC show. How cool is that!? I took my seven year old daughter and my twenty year old musician son with me. My daughter gave the guys Girl Scout cookies and I had to laugh a little at Adam. He was very hopeful that we had included the peanut butter cookies. Again, so personable and fun, all of them. We took our VIP pictures with the guys and then had a Q & A. It was refreshing and enjoyable hearing them talk comfortably about their lives and plans.

Now on to the show itself. I'm not sure I can find the best words to describe this show, but I will try. The moment they walked on the stage, the crowd went crazy! "Life Is A Highway," is such a great song and their version is filled with energy, personality and of course, bass! Afterwards Tim was talking about how great it was to be home, back in the south and proceeded to sing "The stars at night are big and bright." From what I heard, every person in that theater sang loud and proud "Deep in the Heart of Texas!" It was an awesome moment! That set the energy level for the rest of the show, both from Home Free and the audience.

Home Free then put on the show of a lifetime, my lifetime anyway. They were on fire all night! From the heartfelt song "Mom" to the seat wiggling "Butt Remix, to the ground rumbling "Ring of Fire" and right down to Adam's exceptionally superior beatboxing solo. I felt every angelic and rocking note Rob projected, absorbed every beautiful and powerful note Austin wailed, loved and held on to each note Chris sang like he was singing just to me, and closed my eyes and felt every rumble Tim produced and savored his sweet tenor voice too. I sang every song with them, danced in my seat, laughed, cried and cheered my fool head off! I don't know how they do it, night after night, but these five gentlemen will capture your heart and soul when you see them live. If you've never seen them live, you really need too, period.

I know they have fans around the world and I hope someday every fan gets a chance to see their show live. These five gentlemen will take all the worries out of your life and give you music the way it was originally given to us, just our voices. Chris, Adam, Rob, Tim and Austin are music. From the soft and loving to the completely care free and can't keep your feet still songs, they can do it all. Thank you Home Fries and Home Free for a week and weekend I will never forget, it was simply awesome!

Addendum: I also wanted to give a special thanks to the Home Free crew. They made the VIP experience fun and kept things moving. I always knew where I should be and what was next. I have some great VIP pictures, plenty of autographs and great merchandise. Let's not forget the remarkable light show and the impressive sound, from the bottom to the top. So Thank You Nate, Heather, Johnny and Allen for making the show even better!


Monday, April 27, 2015

My sweet Delilah

I'm sorry to say that we finally had to put my sweet girl, Delilah, our Border Collie, down this morning. She was having seizures and not eating. We didn't want her suffering, so we made the extremely difficult decision. I wanted to be there for her, but I didn't know if I had the strength to be there. Then I went outside to tell her good bye and I knew I couldn't leave her. In the few minutes I had to tell her good bye, I remembered so many wonderful things. Sharing my pillow and my side of the bed with her, the way she would ask my permission to be close to me, they way she hid in the corner when she stole food that wasn't hers, the way she watched over my daughter when she was a baby, the way she always trusted me and the way she stayed close when she didn't feel good. I've had dogs my whole life, but Delilah was the first dog that gave herself to me and became MY dog. We had an instant connection. She knew I was going to let her sleep with me, give her table scraps, pet her to sleep, and let her manipulate my hand to her head. And I knew she would ask me, in her way, if it was ok to do all those things. Even though we both knew it was going to happen, she needed me to know that she didn't expect it and that she had my blessing. She was my pet, my friend and my guardian angel. She would leave the room if I got upset or uttered a cuss word, which made me more aware of tone and language. She went outside when the kids were too wild, so I would know she wasn't scared. When I cried she snuggled up next to me and gave me kisses or just put her head on my lap. She seemed to always know what I needed and in return she got my love and attention, well and snacks too! There is a kids cartoon about finding a dog their perfect person. Well, I know today that I was Delilah's perfect person. Somehow she knew how much doggie love and attention each one of us needed and gave just that much, never too much and never not enough. So when the time came, I didn't think I could handle it, but I looked into her beautiful brown eyes and knew I had to be there for her, as she had been there for me (for 15 years). Most people know that pets are part of our families, but every now and then a pet is a such an amazing gift from God and they fill our hearts so there are no empty places. I will miss my sweet Delilah more than even I know. I will miss this non verbal, but highly expressive innocent and pure soul. But through my tears and pain, how could I feel anything, other than blessed for having Delilah in my life. Your soul is free now, to run and play and feel the wind in your face. You take a piece of my heart with you, but it will always be filled with the love you leave behind. I love you, my sweet Delilah.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Featured Song Lyrics "Always Be Here"

Happy Monday! Today’s featured song lyrics come from a group of lyrics and poems I wrote at the beginning of Spring. The weather was getting nice and I felt really strong. I wrote several song lyrics and poems at the end of March and beginning of April. This was one of those that just flowed. These lyrics are filled with new love, just like the Spring is fill with new flowers and life. I’ve added some new things in Poems, Lyric/Photo Fun, New Song Lyrics and New Song Lyrics 2. I’ve been working on a "for fun" project for my poems, a few articles to keep my writing and thinking broad and the adventure series for my daughter. I hope you enjoy the lyrics for “Always Be Here.”

Always Be Here
What is it about you that struck me so hard? 
Is it your laugh or eyes that broke down my guard?
You made me forget my heart had been scarred. 
How I feel when I see your smile, I cannot discard
I get a little flustered, my whole world is jarred

(chorus)
I just want sit close to you and talk all day. Be wrapped in your arms and never be afraid.
Pressed against you and feel your lips touch mine. My head on your chest, your heart beating wild.
Don’t ever let me go, I want to always be here. I’m going to make loving you my new career.

The first time we met, I was caught unaware
I could tell there was something, it was in the air
I couldn’t stop smiling, I had chills everywhere
I didn’t think my heart was ready to share
You reached for my hand, we fell into a stare

(chorus)
I just want sit close to you and talk all day. Be wrapped in your arms and never be afraid.
Pressed against you and feel your lips touch mine. My head on your chest, your heart beating wild.
Don’t ever let me go, I want to always be here. I’m going to make loving you my new career.

When we are near I want to be touching you
A simple brush of our arms in passing will do
When I feel I can’t breathe you come to my rescue
You’re a gift to me and my emotional curfew
I’m lost in your smile, can our love be this true?

(chorus)
I just want sit close to you and talk all day. Be wrapped in your arms and never be afraid.
Pressed against you and feel your lips touch mine. My head on your chest, your heart beating wild.
Don’t ever let me go, I want to always be here. I’m going to make loving you my new career.


Written by Michelle Gallardo, April 7, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Home Free video, "Honey, I'm Good, and yes, they are!

Good morning all! If you’ve been out to my blog before, you know I’m more of a poem and song lyric writer, so today I'm writing something out of my comfort zone, but about something I love! You guessed it, Home Free. They have a new video, a cover of “Honey, I’m Good,” by Andy Grammar. Every time Home Free comes out with a new song or video, whether it’s a cover or an original, they continue to amaze me in one way or another. This video is fun, upbeat and a lot of laughs, with a good message to go along with all that fun. It’s a great song to start with, then you add the extraordinary talent of Home Free and their jaunty personalities, to the impressive arrangement and video concept, from FifGen Films, and you end up with a playful toe tapping video. Rob's voice is an exact match for this song and it's great hearing him take the lead. The kidding and comradery in this video is how I imagine these guys are every day. And let me just say that they all get an A+ in the art of making faces! Adam and Tim are the kings of making faces, but Rob, Chris and Austin are quickly catching up. I should also mention that Tim Foust has said that he recorded the lowest note he’s hit so far, in this song. Yeah, it rocks (the floor)! 

The first video I saw by Home Free was their cover of “Ring of Fire,” featuring Avi Kaplan from Pentatonix. Every video since then has had something memorable about it. I won’t go over them all, but here are a few of my favorites. “All About the Bass,” featuring Tim’s vocal range and silliness of all of them. “This is How We Roll,” features the guys doing a great likeness of a scene from “The Big Lebowski.” Adam gets the gold star in that video for his amazing imitation of Steve Buscemi! Let’s jump to the Christmas song video of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” This one has so many qualities to point out, such as the clean, sweet vocals of all of the members of Home Free, yes, even Adam (no beatboxing there). Then you add the beautiful church and simple but stunning video itself, and again perfection.

From the start of 2015, each video and the song that goes with it, have had the Home Fries going crazy. A good crazy, but crazy, nonetheless. “Everything Will Be Okay,” and the adorable teddy bear; “I’ve Seen,” with the Home Fry cameos; “Thinking Out Loud/Let’s Get It On,” well, can you say swooning Home Fries; “What We Ain’t Got,” just stunned all who saw it; “The Butt Remix,” had everyone dancing in their seat and tapping their feet. Now it’s “Honey I’m Good,” and it has also created quite a stir, already. The good spirited song, low bass notes, energetic vocals, funny faces, oh and a cameo by Rob’s wife at the end, make this another video homerun for Home Free.

I always wonder how they are going to top the most recent video/song, but I now have complete confidence that they will. They have won the hearts of all their dedicated followers, the Home Fries. But everyday Chris, Adam, Rob, Tim and Austin continue to grow their fan base with their talent, good looks, dynamic personalities and willingness to go the extra mile, to make what they do, fantastic. Enjoy the new video! https://youtu.be/rCLW7Xm1DXs




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Featured Poem is for Dog lovers

I have a beautiful Border Collie, named Delilah. She is so very sweet. She is 18 years old and I know in my heart that the day will be here soon for her to leave us. She's in pretty good health, but her back legs don't work very well. It breaks my heart to see her stumble and I wonder if she is in pain. I can't make that decision. So I put off thinking about it and wrote this instead. Many of you will understand, if you feel about dogs they way I do. Especially if you've ever had one this long! She is also one of the staring characters in the adventure stories I am writing for my daughter.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Featured song lyrics "Still Here"

Earlier this year I asked some Home Fries (Home Free fans) to critique some of my song lyrics. One of these very kind ladies, emailed me back a challenge. She gave me one line that had been in her mind for a while, but she couldn't seem to get any further (boy, do I know how that feels!). She gave me the line and said play with it. This is what came to my head, after she mentioned her first husband played guitar. This is a first draft of these lyrics and I've gone over them, but no big changes have come to my mind. I'll revisit them later to see how they can be perfected. But for now, the lyrics to "Still Here."

Still Here
We met on the road, while filling in with the band, you had a wild side that I didn’t understand
During that tour we were always together, couldn’t stay away from you, we needed each other
When the tour was over, you left without a word, you were just having some fun, is what I heard

(chorus)
And I’m still here not waiting for you, still here not feeling blue
I’m still here not losing hope, still here not at the end of my rope
I’m still here not crying any tears, still here not needing you near

Soon I went off with another band to sing, hoping not to run into you, in this musical ring
I found my love again, being back on the road, making sure a smile is all that showed
By the time I got home, I didn’t miss you anymore, I know now, I never needed you to soar

(chorus)
And I’m still here not waiting for you, still here not feeling blue
I’m still here not losing hope, still here not at the end of my rope
I’m still here not crying any tears, still here not needing you near

Lyrics written by Michelle Gallardo
Inspired by Dane


January 16, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Get to know and love Home Free...country a cappella at it's best!

Do you love a great guitar riff, bass line or drum solo? Yeah, me too. I’ve always had a great appreciation for spectacular vocals, though. Whether they are big and bold, sweet and simple or unique and emotional, it’s more work than most know. A cappella groups, in my opinion, have always been under rated and misjudged. I’m certainly not an A cappella connoisseur, but I know what sounds good. I have recently discovered A cappella groups such as Pentatonix, Home Free and many more. I’ve heard some amazing singers and vocal percussionists (now that is mind blowing). But one of these A cappella groups stands out to me and their many fans.

Home Free is a county A cappella group and is five guys and only five guys. The talent these five gentlemen possess is something you have to hear to understand. Not to mention they are easy on the eyes, but I won’t go there, wink. Home Free has actually been around for about fifteen years and the two founding members are brothers, Chris and Adam Rupp. Chris is one of the main arrangers and the baritone. I can’t honestly say which he does better. His voice is one that catches your attention and reels you in and his arranging is nothing less than amazing. Chris is the most interactive with the fans and I know the fans appreciate him and all he does. Adam is the vocal percussionist and may I say, “OMG are you serious," good at what he does. Even though I’ve heard his solo in person, I still get blown away when I hear him. You have to see and hear him, to really appreciate Adam’s talent.

Rob Lundquist, tenor, joined the group in 2008. Rob is usually introduced as the man with the voice of angel and the beard of a real man. I would classify him as a cuddly teddy bear that could sing to me all night and I’d just want more. I’ve heard this big, jovial man sing the lead, do incredible whistle solos, beautifully interpret Christmas songs, like an angel and then rap until he just couldn’t rap anymore, and rock all of them. Rob is truly a perfect addition to this group.

Austin Brown, Home Free heart throb and youngest member. He is the high tenor and will knock your socks off when you hear him go for it. One of my favorite songs to hear Austin sing is “I Want Crazy”, by Hunter Hayes. He has so much energy and soul. Austin joined the group in 2013 after meeting them while performing on a cruise ship, and it was a great find for Home Free. He can break your heart in one song and have you ready to take on the world in the next song. Mr. Brown is full of life and it shows in his vocals.

Tim Foust, the bass, well and baritone and tenor, oh, he can sing all the parts with his five octave range. But, his bass voice is what all the ladies want to hear. Tim’s sophisticated arrangements set them apart from other groups. But before Home Free, he recorded a solo country album and Home Free has added three of those original songs to their playlist. Tim’s childlike personality goes perfect with his flirty, fun and moving performances.  Still, the best part is when Super Bass, literally, makes you feel the rumble with his low notes. Just pure awesomeness!

Individually, these guys stand out. Put them together and the result is a range of addictive music and pure entertainment. Their “Crazy Life” CD is a mix of covers that some would say are better than the originals, and original songs that will melt your heart and make you want to slap your boyfriend. Seeing them live in concert is an absolute must, in order to know, you will never miss the instruments! You’ll be pulled in, like so many of their fans. Not all their songs are for everyone, but I guarantee there is at least one song of theirs that will make you say, “Whoa, that was phenomenal!”  Or, if you’re more urban than I am, “Whoa, that was sic!”

A few final thoughts about Home Free is that these guys are generous to a fault, grateful beyond words, humble and funny, even at their own expense, not to mention extremely talented. I look forward to each song, video, concert and album they do. If they come to your city, go see them, you’ll be glad you did.

Check them out on YouTube. Some of their covers are “All About The Bass,” “Wake Me Up,” “Story of My Life,” “Thinking Out Loud/Let’s Get It On” and of course, “Ring of Fire.” Their original songs are “I’ve Seen,” “Everything Will Be Okay,” and “Champagne Taste (on a beer budget).” They have a couple of great medleys too, “Hunter Hayes Medley” and “Butts Medley.” You won’t regret it and just might get hooked on Home Free. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTFuNYrqAcsmSjgqYMvxOqw


Photo taken at a concert in Nederland, TX. by Michelle Gallardo 10/26/2014

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A fun writing contest, sure, why not?

What a start to the week! I belong to several Home Free fan pages and one of them announced a writing contest a few weeks back. Writers were asked to write a one page Home Free related article, story or poem. A few days before the deadline to submit an idea, I emailed my idea and it was accepted. Now comes the hard part, putting my long winded idea in a one page article. I knew what I wanted to write and just started typing. A page and a half later I knew I was in trouble. I was able to make the edits needed to keep it to one page and submitted it. In all honesty, I didn't think I stood a chance, as many of the writers I'd run across were closer to professionals than I am and very good. But I didn't see the harm in submitting an article. If I'm going to try to get my writings out there, then I need to get my writings out there, right? Admittedly so, I was checking all day the day they were supposed to announce the winner, but nothing. My allergies had me feeling very tired by the end of the day, so I went to bed early. I heard my phone going crazy after I was in bed, but I was too tired to check my phone, it can wait until tomorrow. The next morning I checked my  phone to see what all the noise was about and there it was, they announced the winner of the writing contest. Me. I thought I was seeing things, so I gave myself a couple minutes to wake up. I sat down and read it again and yes, I had won the writing contest. All the beeps on my phone were people congratulating me. I was speechless, but at the same time giddy like a teenage girl! Yes, it's a contest in fan group, not a magazine, but it might as well have been to me! So Home Free has not only inspired me to write again, but they have also helped me pull out a win! I know the people who also entered and I hope we get to read them all, as they are all great writers. So here it is, my first "award" winning article (she says with a silly grin).

How Home Free Inspired Me  written by Michelle Gallardo

How many times have you heard a song that made you cry or saw an elderly couple holding hands that made you smile or a heard a baby cry that made you want to comfort that baby? We all get inspired by the simple things in life that go on around us every day. I started writing at the age of twelve, when I made some great friends from Germany. When they left, I missed them so much that poems and songs were racing through my head so fast, some nights I couldn’t sleep. I stopped writing at some point due to life in general. Recently, while scrolling in Facebook, I came across this video of “Ring of Fire” by Home Free. I became fascinated with these guys and their amazing talent. These five guys can accomplish what other bands, with or without instruments, can’t quite capture. The perfect combination of talent in Home Free is pure magic. After watching every video I could find for about a week, I bought their Crazy Life CD.

When I heard “I’ve Seen,” I stopped what I was doing and listened to that song about five times. Listening to that song took me back to when I wrote and sang my own songs. I heard my friend and me singing, and laughing when we messed up. The words I’d written came into my head, as if I had just written them yesterday. This song, “I’ve Seen,” brought back all the rhythmic, poetic words that used to run free in my crazy brain and I began writing again.

After finding some fellow “Home Fries” online, I slowly became a part of many Home Free fan pages on Twitter and Facebook. Every person I came in contact with, was all too happy to share their Home Free experiences. After Tim Foust favorited a comment of mine in Twitter, I fan-girled for a short time and decided to get tickets to their concert in Nederland, TX.  Nederland has a small town, welcoming atmosphere, like where I grew up. The concert was, needless to say, spellbinding. I played it back in mind, for weeks! On the drive back from Nederland, we took the back roads instead of going through Houston. It was absolutely gorgeous. “Driving the back roads of Texas, trees as far as I can see.” And there it was, my inspiration for song lyrics for “Homeward Bound in Texas”

Another song I just love is “Champagne Taste.” Such a guy song, but very funny! I challenge myself to write things out of my comfort zone as much as I can. This song inspired me to write a silly song from a man’s point of view. So again, with a little Home Free inspiration, I wrote song lyrics about a guy crying in his beer when his girl left him, but what hurt him more, was she took his truck and his tools. The song is called “Mae.” Mae is the truck.

The latest inspiration came from Tim and social media. Home Free had been on “vacation” after Christmas. When the time came, Tim posted a simple “Back to the studio” in Facebook and Twitter. Once again, his words, along with some complaining about the weather, inspired me to write song lyrics. “The Studio” is about an artist going back on the road after a winter break.

Home Free grabbed my heart last summer when I heard them sing “Ring of Fire.” They continue to inspire me with simple posts, making music that can make you laugh and cry and just being themselves. Not to mention the inspiration I get from their equally amazing fans, the Home Fries. I even wrote a poem for the Home Fries and how they make me feel every day. So be sure to look around you, every place you go. There’s something out there that you feel strongly about, that can inspire you, like Home Free inspired me.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Today's featured song lyrics is a double feature!

Today’s featured song lyrics happened while I was trying to update/modernize some older lyrics and is a double feature. I never did update the lyrics to “When the Sun Goes Down” (found on the Older Song Lyrics page). I realized how much I liked that song as is, so it turned into a new song. After working on these “new” song lyrics for several days, I’m not sure why, but the chorus partially popped into my head (maybe a subliminal idea from TV or something). Meeting in an elevator, kind of different but fun idea, and off I went. After writing “Elevator Ride”, I was immediately able to finish the lyrics to “Someday”, which can be found on the New Song Lyrics page. Both are posted below. And just as a side note here, finishing these two also led to finishing “Same Club, Same Time” (found New Song Style page). I also want to give a shout out and Thank You to my fellow Home Fries (Home Free fans). I reached out to several of them for their opinion on some of these song lyrics and they were amazing. They gave some fantastic feedback and suggestions and it was greatly appreciated! And now “Elevator Ride” and “Someday.” I hope you like them and have a great weekend!

Elevator ride
What a wild ride, the past few years have been, often wonder if it’s real.
It seems like only yesterday, I thought being single was a sweet deal.
I played when I wanted, stayed alone when I needed and never had to feel.
Clubs and parties, a date here and there, my freedom had a thrilling appeal.

(chorus)
I pressed the up button and heard someone say, “Hold the door, please”
She smiled at me and pressed seven, all I could was stare and hope she doesn’t see
As the doors closed, there she was, workout clothes, ponytail and no make up
The elevator ride to the seventh floor made me feel like a boy, a little love struck

That day, three years ago, changed my life girl, tomorrow we say I do
Clubs and parties and quiet nights at home, I now get spend with you
That elevator ride was more than a lift up, that day you came to my rescue
I was on my own, nothing to tie me down and now I’m part of something new

(chorus)
I pressed the up button and heard someone say, “Hold the door, please”
She smiled at me and pressed seven, all I could was stare and hope she doesn’t see
As the doors closed, there she was, workout clothes, ponytail and no make up
The elevator ride to the seventh floor made me feel like a boy, a little love struck

(ending short chorus)
As the doors slowly closed, I heard the preacher say, “You may kiss the bride”
This elevator ride to the seventh floor is our first one as husband and wife

Written by Michelle Gallardo
 January 28, 2015

Someday
I never had time to spend on love, working on my dreams took all my time
I had control of my own world, my heart, my work and this crazy life of mine.
My friends used to say, don’t wait too long, you don’t want love to pass you by
Then, one day, I bumped into you and in that instant, you changed my life

(chorus)
Why did my heart open up that day?
One look at you and I didn’t know what to say.
My stomach got a tingle, your eyes, I can’t look away.
My knees went weak, did I really just laugh that way?
Oh Lord, what’s happening, is this my someday?

We spilled our coffee and had a laugh, we sat and talked for what seemed like forever
I missed a meeting and didn’t answer my phone, I messaged that I’m under the weather
Did we both just take the day off, and make plans to see a matinee together?
I’m not sure what happened that day, but when I look at you, my world is better

(chorus)
Why did my heart open up that day?
One look at you and I didn’t know what to say.
My stomach got a tingle, your eyes, I can’t look away.
My knees went weak, did I really just laugh that way?
Oh Lord, what’s happening, is this my someday?

Fate took over when we walked in that café
I believe I’ll take a chance that this is my someday

Written by Michelle Gallardo

January 28, 2015