Well, it didn’t happen.

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(Thanks to Kathy for taking this!)

The second we missed the pit (by five people, mind you), I felt that sinking feeling that I had not felt since about 5 minutes into the ND/Bama National Championship game. This was not going to be my night.

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I can’t begin to explain how close things were. The stars seemed to be lining up all week. There was chatter (not the terrorist kind). And then, nothing. I got hundreds of messages the day of the show, and I still haven’t had the heart to read through them all, because I know they’ll make me emotional. In fact, I still tear up just typing this. I wanted so badly to make it happen, not just for me, but everyone at home and Bruce fans everywhere.

But after sitting with it for a few days, and this message from my uncle, I have decided it is not time to throw in the towel.

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I will keep trying. I will keep recording, and I will keep writing. Thanks to everyone for the kind words. The absolute highlight of my day was meeting Bruce Buds from all over the country (continent really!) I really wish I could have gotten up there, for all of us.

Oh! In case you missed me on the news, here is the link:

http://www.jrn.com/newschannel5/news/255740471.html?lc=Smart

atlantic city: play

dancing in the dark: play

fade away: play

if i should fall behind: play

my love will not let you down: play

no surrender: play

paradise: play

play around: play 

secret garden: play

thunder road: play

tougher than the rest: play

used cars: play

 

It’s crunch time. We are less than 72 hours away from Bruce gracing Nashville with his presence, and while I feel a little anxious, mostly I am feeling thankful. I really feel compelled to share this all with you now, no matter what happens on Thursday night.

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I want to firstly thank God for picking me to be a vessel for the incredible gift of music.

I want to thank Blogness for not turning me away, and being the first and only Springsteen outlet to take me seriously.

I want to thank Gretchen Peters, for always being a mentor and a cheerleader. She’s one of the rare gems in this town who thinks there’s enough success to go around for everyone, and who also taught me that life is about so much more than success.

I want to thank my parents, who were always “meh” on Bruce. “That was more of a Shenandoah thing,” said my dad once. Only about 5% of you readers will understand that. Thanks for Billy Joel, Van Morrison and Neil Young, I got that from you.

Thanks to my fiance, who believes in me more than I believe in myself. Who fronted me money for recording sessions without a second thought. Who would always suggest I “keep putting songs up.” Who chooses to marry a person who has a blog to sing with Springsteen to begin with.

To my friends, especially Erin who in the past week took this to the next level. I appreciate your music business mentality, because I daydreamed through that 101 class in college. And to my friend and first roommate Kristine who took all the pictures and set up the blog for me.

To my voice teacher at Belmont-the other Bruce. Who reads and listens still.

To every one of you who followed me along the way, whether it be from day one or just yesterday. Thank you for all the tweets, retweets, posts on Facebook, emailing Ellen (she must not be a Springsteen fan?) and kind words.

I am thankful for everyone I wouldn’t have known had it not been for this blog. Again, the crew at Blogness. We found interests that go past Springsteen and his music including, but not limited to dogs, football, baseball, tv shows. You guys helped me hang in there when I would get a nasty email. You guys offered me condolences when my grandfathers died and congratulations when I got engaged. And that’s the thing about music, isn’t it? How a group of people moved by an artist can become friends.

Lastly, to Bruce. I don’t know if you saw the blog or not, but I want to thank you for writing the songs that have been a part of the hardest musical process I’ve ever attempted. Thank you for writing music so compelling that it’s worth doing again and again. Thank you for still touring even though most would have hung it up and taken residence on an island somewhere by now if they had even one tenth of the success you had. You get it. Thank you for giving me such a high standard to measure up to.

 

Dream baby, dream.

 

What an appropriate song for right now.

Is she talking about singing with Bruce, or the Phillies?

This has been one of the most requested songs I’ve had on the blog. I recorded this almost two months ago, and it wasn’t my favorite. The Rising has such great production and miles and miles of sound…this is a simple guitar/vocal. It was vocally challenging to sing and by the end of the session I was spent. I put it on the back burner because I thought my version sounded bare, and vulnerable.

But then I realized, that is exactly what I am.

That’s what we all are at some point, really. Yes, I am counting on a miracle to get to sing with Bruce when he comes here in T-minus 14 days, 5 hours and 46 minutes BUT WHO’S COUNTING. But I also was when I auditioned for the school of music. When I started this blog. And both of those things have been life changing.

Whether it be job success, relationships, friendships, especially as an artist; great, fantastic, wonderful things usually come from vulnerability. I’ve even learned that with this blog, reception is better when I’m honest and open up to all of you. You get nowhere by being afraid.

So here’s my last offering (for now, maybe I’ll try for Hershey if I don’t get to him here. As the wise Charlie Manuel once said, “I ain’t never quit nothin!”)

So Bruce, I AM counting on a miracle.

Good thing I’ve always believed in them.

 

PS: I survived my 30th birthday and did not turn into a pumpkin. Thanks to my sis-in-law for this pic.

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Next month, I’m turning 30. And I’m sort of freaking out.

Now, I know some of you are rolling your eyes the same way I do when one of my skinny friends says she “feels fat today.” I know I’m (hopefully) not even to the halfway point of my life. I never had the quarter life crisis, so I don’t know why this one feels so huge.

Also, life has been good to me lately. 2013 was extra hard, but 2014 is looking good. I have a place to live. Two awesome dogs. Lots of wonderful friends. I live in a great city. The Eagles actually made it to the playoffs. And last but not least,  I recently got engaged!

(here is my ring in case you missed one of the 200,000 times I’ve posted a picture of it on twitter.)

So this will not only be the year I turn 30, it will be the year I get married…and maybe, JUST MAYBE, the year I sing with Bruce.

However, this post and this song are not about looking forward, but more about looking back. I will say that while I’m dreading the big 3-0, you couldn’t pay me to be 20 again.

As far as The Promise goes, this has always been way up there in the Bruce repertoire for me. It’s one of the major ones that reminds me of choices I’ve made thus far, and you know what they say about songs- the only thing people want to hear about is themselves. Anyway, most likely you have been told to go for your dreams, reach for the stars, yadda yadda. But no one tells you what happens when they don’t work out. I followed that dream just like those guys did, too. I’ve seen that dream work out for people around me. I’ve been SO CLOSE, yet so far. I’ve not been able to fall asleep many nights wondering, “why?” And while the stars seem to be aligning in every other facet of my life right now, there is still a pull- a hurt actually- where that dream once was.

“and everyday it just gets harder to live with the dreams you’re believing in.”

So I’m going to let you in on a secret: the panic is not in me turning 30. It’s there because I always thought I would have “made it” by now. Because, there is an unknown in “what am I supposed to be doing if it’s not music!?” Just the other day I was questioning if I should “give up” and if I already had. I’m a real pain in the ass as far as praying goes, and I know some of you aren’t down with that and that’s fine too. I know that God’s often like “come on Bridget, I have wars and famine to deal with. You getting a publishing deal/Notre Dame winning is not that important.” But He also knows I’m stubborn too. So I pulled the old “give me a sign its not time to quit.”

And then Bruce released his tour dates.

So Bruce, or people who know him, if you’re reading, I am coming to the show in Nashville. If there’s any way we could sing together, even if it’s just during sound check, I would forever be grateful. It would be great to win big, once.

Note: Thank you for all the condolences on my last post. Every one of them meant so much to me. I will miss him forever but it was good to share a small part of him with all of you.

Eleven years ago this weekend I moved to Nashville.

I was eighteen years old and about to begin my first year at Belmont University, majoring in unemployment music with an emphasis in vocal performance.  The years that followed would change my life forever.

I moved here because I loved country music and my voice loved to sing it. When I was in about 7th grade, I bought a Shania Twain album on a whim and it was my gateway drug. Soon I was listening to everything from George Strait to Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash (pre-Walk the Line fame). I learned of the college I would attend because it was my favorite female vocalist, Trisha Yearwood’s, alma mater.

I think the reason I was drawn to country music as well as Bruce’s music was because they both come down to songwriting. I recall Bruce saying something like this when he played here a few years back. I don’t think he ever referred to it being the home of country music, so much as it being the home to “many great songwriters.”  That really resonated with me. Later in the show he did an impromptu “I Walk the Line” into “I’m on Fire” and my head almost exploded. It was also an a-ha moment, as I’ve always suspected the DNA of a good (once again stressing good)country song and a Bruce song were the same.

So, all that to say, I always thought “Hearts of Stone” would be fun to do with some country flair to it. It has that same pull as a “Whoever’s in New England” or “I Still Miss Someone.”  The simplistic words that pack so much punch without a need for cliches. These songs are conversational and relatable. This is a song we all want to write.

Speaking of Nashville, people are saying it is the “it city” these days, but I refuse to believe it until Bruce plays here again.

You probably know my grandfather passed away this Spring. He went from having a stroke, to kind of getting better, to taking a turn for the worst and passing away just a few weeks’ time.

It is hard to sit down and portray to you what my Grandpa was like in a simple blog post. It’s still hard for me to grasp that he is not here.

My grandparent’s house has always been a house full of people, laughter, food, and booze. I spent a great part of my childhood summers there, because at one point in my Grandpa’s retirement he deemed it a good idea to get a pool. Also because your grandparent’s house is always cooler when you’re a kid (and an adult, really). Me and my cousins were there more than we were our own houses sometimes.

The thing about my Grandpa was that he was pretty quiet. I still have yet to figure out if that was because he didn’t have a whole lot to say, or because he couldn’t get a word in. He would sit on a chair in the living room, watching TV, usually sports. I swear, that man would watch any sport that was on TV. Football and baseball of course. But fencing? Bowling? You name it. He’d watch it. On mute. And he was a stats master.

When I got to their house for his funeral, I couldn’t get over the fact that he wasn’t there. And even though I was there for that very reason, I kept finding myself forgetting that he wasn’t. Over and over in my mind I kept thinking, “you’re house is waiting for you to walk in.” I kept waiting for him to ask me how Nashville was and how my car was running.

So there we were, gathered at the kitchen table, eating, drinking and reminiscing, and he was missing.

I wanted to ask him about Chip Kelly. Where Manti would go in the draft. If Cole Hamels would get out of his slump. I wanted to ask him if he wanted something to eat or drink. And he was missing.

People kept coming in and out. People he loved. People who loved him, and he was missing.

Flowers and food, food and flowers, sometimes a case of beer, and he was missing.

Some songs you listen to hundreds of times, and then something like this happens and it’s like hearing it with a whole new set of ears. That’s how I was with this one.  There were many times I considered this song for the blog, but I think it was meant to wait until now.

Every time something like this happens, music is hard for me. It’s hard to listen to, it’s hard to write. It’s hard to share. It’s hard to sing. My piano and guitar collect dust. Sometimes I think it’s because that’s where my greatest joy lies, and I can’t go back to it. But I know my Grandpa would want me to.

All you have to do is look at the comments under any YouTube video of this song, and you see that it means a lot to a lot of people. Bruce has said the best music is there to give you something to face the world with.

Thanks for listening, and I hope to get better about posting on here more often.

Sometimes, because of his God given, natural yet supernatural way of performing we can forget about the force that is Bruce, the songwriter.

Almost every day, I sit at the piano and try to create magic. Some days are luckier than others, for sure. But I can’t help but wonder, while I’m sitting at my old upright facing the front window of my house, if Bruce had these moments too. Moments when he was writing and writing, pouring his heart out all the while being unsure it would ever be heard by anyone beside himself.

For You is a masterpiece. I love a song that requires some digging, some actual listening to, to get to the root of it. Too often in popular music we are spoon fed lyrics that mean little to nothing. Too often when I’m writing I find myself more worried about getting to the chorus fast enough for country radio rather than really say what I want to say.

I’ve always taken this song to be about a girl who has problems that are out of her control and the man who loves her for it and through it.  Coming from a girl who’s life can also be seen as one long emergency (although, no where near as bad as the girl’s in the song), this song guts me. This is said to be Bruce’s first attempt at a love song, and I believe he far surpassed that. Yes it’s easy to write love songs about butterflies and sunshine, but a true, deep love is one that is there through the worst of it. Not just the easy days. The days when it’s hard to get out of bed. Days when the bank account is low. The days when you’re mad because your partner lacks the organizational gene. Days when Notre Dame/the Eagles/the Phillies lose.

I’d like to thank my friend’s Kevin and Rachel for their help on this one. I’d also like to tell you that I flubbed a lyric or two. One I flubbed on purpose (it has to do with a medal I also wear) and one was by accident. So, you can find the other one on your own. Consider it a Bridget & Bruce game of Where’s Waldo.

 

Also, unrelated to the song but just for fun: HAPPY FOOTBALL SEASON! Below are some of my favorite pictures from this time of year.

Greetings from Nashville, where we are supposed to reach the cool temp of 108 today. Good times.

When I started the blog, I had a few songs on a list of songs I didn’t want to or couldn’t do. Born to Run, of course was number one, because really, no one wants to hear Born to Run covered. Then I added Because the Night and Stolen Car since females have already so awesomely covered them.

Except then I got a REAL PIANO in my house and found myself playing around with Because the Night. Just for fun at first, and then I really remembered how much I love the song. Firstly, I am a child of the 90s, so the 10,000 Maniacs version makes me feel like a kid again and brings me back to the sweet time when I wasn’t responsible for anything important like driving or buying my own toilet paper.

This is a killer part of Bruce’s live show, and I was lucky to see him play this once or twice, including the Meadowlands show where I believe Nils did a back-flip for the first time (?). I could be completely wrong there but I like to pretend the Bruce shows I saw were all historic in some fashion.

So then it came down to what lyrics to sing. I used some of Bruce, some of Patti Smiths, because honestly, I’m a girl and Patti’s words apply more to a female singing the song. “I work all day out in the hot sun,” is kind of funny, because I can’t stand to be out in the hot sun for more than 3 seconds at a time. I’m not fooling anyone there.

Lastly, it’s just piano/vocal because to get an orchestra to play on this thing would have cost me a few month’s salary and then some. Oh! And I played piano on it. Nope, I’m not going to blame that piano playing on anyone else. I even left a glitch in the bridge to prove it’s true. I really wanted the recording to sound as if I were playing it for you in my living room, because until now I’ve only played it for my dogs.

Hope you all like it, everyone stay cool!

And Bruce, if you’re reading, I’m planning on one of the Citizen’s Bank Park shows. Just FYI. I’m from PA and the Phillies are my favorite and, let’s be honest, your show there is going to be as spectacular as Chase Utley’s home run at his first at bat the other night. We could do this one:

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I remember seeing the track list for Devils and Dust, I was anxious to hear this one. Mainly because I knew Bruce grew up, as I did, in Catholic school (picture above to prove it), so I expected his knowledge on this subject to be legit.  Bruce could have done a lot of things with this song’s structure, but I appreciated that he kept it simple. It’s really not that different than a hymn you would sing in church. There’s not a chorus and melodically, it sort of stays the same.  The last verse is perfection. I remind myself of that verse when I am tense and feel like the world is going insane.

I am normally good at Lent. One year I gave up Facebook. In high school I gave up diet coke and chocolate. This year, I gave up nothing. I kept meaning to come up with something, but always came up short. This post isn’t to preach or to tell you what to believe. It is just my offering on this Good Friday, because I spend my time singing for a lot of people. I sing for you, I sing for Bruce, I sing for Nashville hot shots, I sing for strangers. Today, I wanted to sing for the person who gave me my voice.

I don’t know what I will do when my bathroom, with all it’s awesome acoustics, is finished. I will have no place to record videos.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I wanted to do a song for you guys that I grew up singing in bars this time and many other times of the year.

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