Monday, July 25, 2011

Chicks Who Slap-a De Bass

I originally didn't want to play the bass guitar. Only later in life did I realize I had been influenced by my dad's view of bass players as
This is me!
"lazy lead guitarists." He, of course, is a lead guitarist. (The apple didn't fall far from the tree.) Once I discovered the joy of harmony, depth, and rhythm incorporated with the bass guitar, it was hard to follow in the footsteps of the "over-zelous melody player." (Love you, dad) And let me not forget my mom, who helped me learn how to harmonize with my voice. She was so very patient, as I was virtually unable to match my voice to whatever key the music was being played in until I was 11 years old.

I was often asked to play bass in various bands, as it was an anomaly to see a girl playing any instrument besides the piano, much less a rhythm instrument. Apparently, I wasn't bad at it either. I ended up filling the space as the original bass player for ENATION because of a recommendation via one of my previous band mates. It really is a fun instrument.

It seems now, that what once was an anomaly is more common, as young women all over the world are finding the courage to be themselves and pick up the tools they feel can best express the story they wish to tell, whether it's their voice, an instrument, a pen, a hammer, a camera, or a racket.

This is Annie Clements!
One of those women that have come to encourage and inspire my world is none other than Annie Clements, bass player for Sugarland. I had the privilege of working with Annie when she played bass and sang back up for us (Everly) last summer at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. We met Annie through a friend of Joy's about a month before the show we were asked to play, and right away felt the nudge to ask if she would consider playing with us for the hour and a half set we were in the middle of preparing. It was a long shot, but if you don't ask you can't receive. It just so happened that her schedule was open when we needed her, and she happily agreed to join us. We struck gold here, because this girl is not only incredibly talented, professional, and hard working, but she is also humble, hilarious, and honest. She helped hold together and direct the incredible team we were fortunate to have with us, without our asking. She was simply being herself.

I got to see Annie the other night while she performed with her current gig (watch out Sugarland... Hehehe). My friends and I drove the three hours north to Everett, WA to say hello and catch up, which would have been more than worth the drive itself, but we were also blessed with the opportunity to watch Annie, her husband, and the rest of the incredible musicians sharing the coolest stage ever, put on one of the best shows I have ever seen. (I know I said this about Sarah McLachlan, but "one of" isn't THE's one of...right?!)  It was a blast! You have to catch this tour before it's over. So moving, so fun, and so makes me excited for Everly to hit the road!

Anyway,  I love that this girl had a dream in her heart and she followed it. She graduated from Berkelee College of Music and is recording and performing as a vocalist and bassist for one of today's most successful country bands, as well as other artists and performers. And she's damn good! (check out her website: ) Her story is again proof that a: if it's your calling, you just gotta walk towards it and let the good Lord guide you through those doors He opened for you, and b: you don't have to sacrifice who you are, your class, your integrity, or your soul in order to inherit the life you were destined for.

Thank you, Annie Clements for simply being you!


Melissa said...

I commented via Twitter about this but it deserves to be said again, thanks for sharing more about you and how you came to play bass (love the pics) as well as more about Annie! I'll definitely have to check her site out once the server hosting it is done maintenance (boo on them!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Amber!
I'm so glad that you decided to have a blog and share your memorable experiences and knowledge to us. I loved that you mentioned about being former bass player and back up vocals for Enation. I heart that amazing boys so much as much as I love the Everly. I know about Annie...she's so talented and amazing too as well as her band.It's so cool that you're also friends with her.

Thanks for sharing and God bless.

P.S I love your leather jeans. You rocked it!xoxo