Shooting the Music Video for My Single “Me Time” In Nashville

Shooting a scene for the “Me Time” music video

We braved Hurricane Irene to drive down to Nashville for the music video shoot for my single “Me Time” which is currently spinning on more than 40 country format radio stations across the U.S. :)! We were working with a top creative team and there was no way we were re-scheduling this shoot, so we defied Irene!!

Upon our arrival in Nashville on August 28th it also happened to be my 19th wedding anniversary and we got to spend it in one of my favorite cities as a family. After an anniversary dinner with my husband and kids, we immediately started preparing for production for the “Me Time” music video shoot to take place the next day, on Monday the 29th. In the early morning hours, I began getting ready with the help of makeup artist, Brady Wardlaw, who has done makeup for Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and so many other artists. Brady is a true artist with makeup! In addition, we worked with music video director Traci Goudie, a wonderfully talented director with incredible vision for “Me Time.” Traci has directed music videos for Merle Haggard, Diamond Rio, Patty Loveless, Shawn Colvin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Keith Anderson and Buddy Miller… to name a few of her credits.

Our video shoot started at the White Elephant Emporium in Watertown, Tennessee, which is known as “Ruby’s Place” by the locals. Ruby, the owner, is such a nice woman, and Watertown has seen so many great artists come and go. Fun fact: Justin Bieber shot his very first music video in Watertown.

The “Me Time” music video opens with me as a harried 1950s housewife, struggling to hold it all together as I tend to the house, my husband and three children, and the crew set up a great replica of a 1950s kitchen, complete with all of the pastel appliances and décor. My look in this part of the music video is very reminiscent of Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy.

From the first location, we headed over to the town of Mt. Juliet where we filmed on a suburban residential block. I emerge from my “house” in ripped up blue jeans. I spot an unattended 1965 white corvette with keys in the ignition and defiantly take off in that corvette for some “Me Time.” Residents from that Mt. Juliet, Tennessee block were excited to witness a country music video being shot right in their own backyard. I took a lot of pictures and signed autographs for everyone. The high that I get from that kind of outpouring of support is truly indescribable!

Our last location for the shoot was a picturesque hilltop property owned by White Elephant Emporium owner, Ruby, who was kind enough to let us shoot there, the next day, as the sun was setting. We also shot scenes where I am at the beauty salon, in a dress shop and in a coffee shop in Lebanon, Tennessee. My kids got to have cameos in the video, and that was an exciting experience for them.

The “Me Time” music video shoot was a wonderful experience and I cannot wait for all of you to see the finished product!

Performing Live on CW Network’s “The Daily Buzz” In Orlando, Florida

On August 18th The CW Network in Orlando, Florida did a segment on my life and music career on their morning show, The Daily Buzz. The live television segment opened with a montage about my life and early music career, showing video clips of my days on the dance pop charts as “Lysa Lynn.” As the voiceover told my story about transitioning from a young dance pop artist to a stay-at-home mom, and now a country recording artist, I felt the weight of how far I’ve come. After that opening montage, musician Joey Sykes and I performed a live rendition of “Wouldn’t You Like to Know” on the air.

After our live performance, I sat down for an on-air interview with CW anchor, Andy Campbell. We discussed my earlier incarnation as Lysa Lynn, taking time out to raise my kids on Long Island, and now re-emerging as a country recording artist; my dream come true :)! Andy made me laugh when he told me that he looked at pictures of me from back in the day as “Lysa Lynn,” saying that I’ve aged “like a fine wine.” Ha ha, that was very sweet.

As we were chatting about my upbringing in South Florida, how much country music has influenced my life, and how good it feels to be recording and performing country music, it dawned on me that I am incredibly blessed to be doing exactly what I want to do in this life. I’m singing and recording the kind of music I am passionate about, “country rock,” as I told Andy during our interview. We also spoke about my upcoming LP, Sunrise Highway, which will be out this fall.

After I left the sound stage, CW reporter Mitch English came up to me backstage with a cameraman filming at his side. He kept asking me, “’So, sup? ‘sup?” trying to get a reaction out of me, on camera! Apparently, he does this little routine to many of the guests that come on the show. I didn’t expect it, so it was pretty awkward at first, but it was VERY funny! Everyone working at the Daily Buzz have terrific personalities and seem to really enjoy their jobs! I had a blast at this station! After the interview, me and musician Joey Sykes filmed a “Lisa Matassa Minute” for my YouTube channel backstage at the CW Network studios.

Another highlight of my visit to Orlando, was when I FINALLY got to visit the Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Studios!! People who know me, know I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, so right after my appearance on CW’s The Daily Buzz, I went back to the hotel, changed into shorts and went straight to Harry Potter. The exhibit is a replica of the story’s fictional town of Hogsmeade. We drank Harry Potter Butterbeer (which was amazing, by the way) and one of the rides made me a bit queasy, but it was worth it. You go through the whole Harry Potter experience and get transported into another world. I LOVED every minute of my visit to Orlando and can’t wait to go back!

Taking Our “Me Time” Radio Tour to Michigan and Back Through Indiana

I hit Detroit’s 8 Mile Road at WCEN The Moose 94.5 in Saginaw, Michigan, where I met with on air personalities Joby Phillips and Jim Biggins, and sang for them. Both guys were really nice. They asked me about my music, my family, and how it is juggling a country music career with being a wife and mom. I told them that it’s all about the support I get from my family. I can’t overemphasize how lucky I am to have my family behind me. After my performance we all took some pictures in the lobby before heading out to our next radio station appearance.

We moved on to WKCQ 98 Country, which was also in Saginaw, Michigan where we met with on air personality Greg Cole and his staff for another performance. When I commented to Greg about what a pleasing and gifted radio voice he had, he told me it was thanks to a special hospital in Tennessee that saved his voice after a serious throat condition that almost threatened to silence him. After my performance at WKCQ I did a Q&A with the staff. When I left the radio station I checked my Facebook wall and they had posted a thank you note to me expressing that they loved my voice and my music.

Afterwards we stopped at WKOA K105 in Lafayette, Indiana. At WKOA I net Shamus who plays guitar professionally and Annie who writes and sings in her spare time. Since Shamus and Annie are also musicians we had quite a lot to talk about. I absolutely love that WKOA does a lot of charitable work within their community, like donating prom dresses to local high school students who aren’t able to afford them. The radio station also showcases local talent. They are such great people. Before saying goodbye to Shamus and Annie, I pre-recorded a performance of “Me Time” for them to play on the air during their upcoming shows.

Back At Home & Hanging Out With Trace Adkins on Long Island!

Hanging out with Trace Adkins in Long Island, NY

Just got back from being on the road and yesterday evening I was invited to Long Island’s NYCB Theater at Westbury to meet country music star Trace Adkins backstage. My Country 96.1 WJVC had a promotional table at the concert and invited me down for a meet and greet with Trace.

As Long Island’s first country format radio station, JVC gets a lot of local support at shows. They were able to set up shop at Trace’s concert with giveaways and radio station contests for the NYCB Theater audience. Trace Adkins, apart from being extremely tall, is a super nice guy and one of my favorite country artists. All in all, it was a great night!

Now that I’m back home I’m taking this opportunity to work in my home recording studio, finishing up the vocals on my upcoming LP, Sunrise Highway, and doing a ton of radio interviews all over the country. At this point I feel like an old pro at doing press (it starts to become second nature after awhile :)), but I’m always amazed that people want to know all of the details about what’s going on with my career and my life. Journalists also find it fascinating that I made the transition from a 1980s dance pop artist to a country artist. I grew up in the south with country music, but when I moved back to New York as a teen, country music had not yet developed a large following up north, so back then a country music recording career was not feasible. Times have changed quite a bit and I am so proud to see all of the support for country music in New York these days. I’d like to think I am a part of that exciting music

Taking Our Show on the Road to Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, Cleveland & Rochester…

We covered quite a bit of ground on our last radio tour, with the first stop at WDSY Y108 in Pittsburgh. At Y108 we met up with on-air personality and program director, Stoney Richards, who does the weekly drivetime show. Musician Joey Sykes and my record promoter, Larry Pareigis, President of Nine North Records / Turnpike Music, both accompanied me on this radio tour and it was great to have that kind of support around me. Larry commands a tremendous amount of respect in country radio, dating back to when he helped to break The Dixie Chicks. Joey Sykes and I performed for everyone down at WDSY and we gifted Stoney Richards with our promotional “Me Time” and “I Don’t Feel Anything” t-shirts.

Next, it was off to “Froggy” 94.9 (they also broadcast on 103.5 and 104.3 in their region). Everything over at “Froggyland” radio is frog themed, even down to the deejays’ names. We hung out with deejay, David Hopperfield, who was very sweet. After a lively conference room performance for the Froggy crew, we joined them for dinner. David was a professional drummer at one time in his career, so we had that musical kinship. Before leaving Froggy, the station had me record a station ID promo where the written copy actually required me to “ribbit” like a frog. I felt better when I was told that Carrie Underwood and many of the biggest artists who had come through their doors were also compelled to croak the radio station’s famous “ribbit,” so I’m in good company! Afterwards they gave me a fun swag bag full of stuff from “Froggyland,” including a giant coffee mug that I use every morning :).

When we moved on to Cleveland, Program Director Charlie Connelly and DJ Chuck Collier, at WGAR 99.5, had me perform a live acoustic set in their radio station’s studio. Charlie and Chuck were very sweet and receptive, and since Charlie is originally from Long Island and misses his NY Islanders hockey team, I brought him a goodie bag full of Islanders gear, which he loved.

After Cleveland we moved on to Fort Wayne, Indiana and WBTU U.S. 93.3 where we were greeted by Assistant Program Director AJ Maguire and Colin, the station’s music director. I pre-recorded an on-air performance of “Me Time” for WBTU and AJ told me about a recent contest the station had where they offered a generous reward for whoever could locate and recover the “9” that was mysteriously stolen from their 93.3 sign out front. The listener who found and returned the station’s missing 9 donated his reward of $10,000 to a local homeless shelter.

WBEE 92.5 in Rochester, NY actually invited their listeners to come down to the radio station to watch me and Joey Sykes perform. After performing for their listeners I did a Q&A and autographed photos for everyone. These spontaneous concerts are some of my favorite radio appearances because I actually get to meet country music fans and thank them for their support and enthusiasm for my music. And it was on the Rochester stop on our radio tour where I created my “Lisa Matassa Minute” video blog where I began posting video journals of my experiences on the road and posting them to my YouTube channel. We shoot the Lisa Matassa Minute right on my iPhone and it’s pretty raw and organic; a video journal of this amazing journey I am on.

Performing at Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund’s 1st Annual Pink Penguin Bash

As everyone knows, I feel a strong sense of pride and commitment when it comes to supporting important causes and events on Long Island. When I got a request to perform at the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund’s 1st annual Pink Penguin Bash, I said “yes” right away! I was so honored to be invited and asked to perform by the Baldwin family, and for a cause that is very close to my heart. One of my favorite aunt’s lost her battle with breast cancer last November.

For those who aren’t familiar with Carol Baldwin, she is the mother of actors Alec, Billy, Stephen and Daniel Baldwin, and she is a breast cancer survivor and breast cancer awareness advocate. The family originates from Massapequa, NY, and all four Baldwin brothers established the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund in their mother’s name.

The Pink Penguin Bash took place on July 30th at the Long Island Atlantis Marine World Aquarium and Exhibition Center in Riverhead, NY and was emceed by WBAB 102.3 FM on air personality, Fingers. I performed a five song set along with JD Leonard who is a super talented guitarist. JD and I performed 3 songs from my EP, Me Time, including: “I Don’t Feel Anything,” “Wouldn’t Like to Know?”, and the title track, “Me Time.” We also performed two songs from my upcoming LP, Sunrise Highway: the songs “Somebody’s Baby” and the title track, “Sunrise Highway.”

The other great performers at the event were legendary rock n’ roll singer, Lita Ford; American Idol season 10 finalist, Robbie Rosen, who is so talented and such a sweet kid; and Randy Jackson from the group, Zebra, who performed an amazing rendition of “Stairway to Heaven.” Robbie Rosen sang first, followed by Randy Jackson of Zebra who invited Lita Ford up on stage with him. Lita Ford then did her set, and I went on as the final act. My guitarist, JD Leonard, picked up the harmonies for my songs beautifully, and the crowd was very receptive to us.

During the event I had the opportunity to speak with Billy Baldwin, Stephen Baldwin, and their mom, Carol Baldwin. The Baldwin family was so kind and the work they are doing for breast cancer research is remarkable. I was informed that since its inception, the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund has given out $6 million in grant funding with a large portion of that grant funding having gone to breast cancer research at Upstate Medical University. In addition, the Carol M. Baldwin Fund awards multiple $50,000 grants each year to breast cancer research at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University and University Hospital in Syracuse.

For the event, the Atlantis Aquarium was transformed into a catering hall. Many of the aquatic exhibits were table-side. They did a beautiful job decorating with pink and purple lights and penguins were dressed in pink bowties. There was also an organization at the event that was there with exotic looking rescue birds that you could stop and take pictures with.

I posed for pictures and signed plenty of autographs throughout the night, and there was a fun casino area and a Chinese auction. All in all, a very rewarding night!

Before we left, Atlantis Marine World’s curator and co-founder, Joseph Yaiullo, told me that he enjoyed my performance and he offered me a private VIP tour with my family for a private session with the penguins and seals, which sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to take him up on his offer!!