Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Musical Monday: NEELY & a Giveaway!

**Disclaimer: I have received products to try from NEELY & am simply sharing my personal opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.


When the hubs & I first met, our musical tastes were opposite to say the least. He was a country boy & I would rather head bang to screaming rock. Yep, little ol' me was a rocker chick. (Can you believe it?!) But fast forward over a decade, add three kids & our musical tastes have changed a bit. Of course he's still a country boy & I'm still a rocker, but we now have more appreciation for each others musical tastes. Except for the screaming rock, the hubs likes to actually hear words. 

Lately, we've both been jamming to NEELY, a husband & wife duo that breaks the genre barriers with their own mix of...well, whatever they feel like at the moment. 

Jeremy & Kaci Neely
Photo credit: ReverbNation

"Industry folk have tried to pigeon hole us as Rock, Pop-Rock, Christian and now Country. That's junk! We are NEELY!"

Actually, it's their latest single "Kiss My Grits" that has been playing practically nonstop in my house lately. The hubs loves it (of course), the kids love it & even I love it with it's catchy chorus & rebel attitude.


But I also love "Everything I Am". This song is downright intoxicating how it starts off with the guitar (forgive me if it's a specific kind of guitar - I'm not that musically inclined) & then Kaci subtly cuts in singing. 


But what sets Jeremy & Kaci Neely apart from just about every other recording artist out there, is how incredibly down to earth & independent they are! And I can tell you that I know this first hand after having a Q&A with Jeremy Neely himself!

How was it that you & your wife came to working together?
This is an interesting story. Kaci and I were married in 1996. At the time I performed more classic country in any venue I could find in the Salina, KS area (where we lived at the time). It wasn't until I started helping on a Church worship team that I even discovered that Kaci could sing. As I was preparing a few songs I was not confident when Kaci sat down beside me and began harmonizing. This was in 2001. By 2003 a friend and I wrote "Peace Be Still" and I gave Kaci a gentle nudge out front. The rest you can say, is history :)

Where do you find the inspiration for your songs?
All of the songs I've written thus far has some kind of personal, emotional connection. It isn't always our story but it's always something that either hits me deep or I relate to in some intimate way. For instance, I had problems with addictions. One day I hear this young lady speaking on her struggles with cutting and how her emotional\self esteem problems drove her addiction to self hurt. That hit pretty close to home and from that moment the song "I'm Alive" just flowed out of me. I could tell you an intimate story like that about every song I've written.

How do you set yourself apart from other musicians?
Honesty. I know that might sound like a simple answer but when you really begin to dig it is huge! In today's music industry not many artists are as good or better than their CD\recording. Even some of these YouTube sensations who make you think they are doing live videos of songs are really pre recording, mixing, auto tuning, mastering, etc before they play it back and lip sync to it. Everyone uses auto tune, it saves on studio time and on vocal wear and tear. However, some people take it over board and correct vocal pitch for artists that can't hear\control their pitch. We take this on step further, we mostly travel as an acoustic troupe so that people know that they are getting the real deal. This also allows us to share the stories\inspiration for the songs so our audience can connect not only with our music but with us. For us it is all about honesty and relationship. Which brings up another point: we are becoming more comfortable being who we are honestly. So many artists out there are trying to fit a genre and dress with the trends and sound like such and such to obtain fame and fortune. This is why you'll hear a ballad like "Complete", a rocker like "Move", and now our country rock (aka southern rock) single "Kiss My Grits". My playlist is not confined to one specific genre...it's not who I am, so why should the music that flows from me be? If it's great music, who cares?

How do you balance a working relationship while being married to each other?
From 1998 to 2010 I worked in the corporate world as a Network Engineer (fancy term for a computer geek). I can honestly say what Kaci and I have now is easier than "the old life". Now I'm with Kaci and our 4 daughters nearly 24/7. In the past I was separated from them 10+ hours a day and it was like our family was going in 6 different directions. To be far though, it was tough starting out full time in 2010. It's not just the adjustment of a new town every day and being away from home but finding your place\role in this thing. After four years we've all found those roles and when we tour across the country people are in awe of how efficiently we operate. To top it all off, each of us feel blessed that we get to spend so much time with the love of our life.

When are you coming to Canton, OH?!
Anytime! Most people have this perception that we are some kind of big time music group that is too big for their britches. The honest to goodness is: we are down to earth folks who are trying to make a living like everyone else. What you see on American Idol is not reality for 95% of artists out there making a living. We will actually come and play a concert in your living room! Yep, we do that. Hosts will get anywhere from 10 - 50 friends together who will each chip in anywhere from $10 - $20 a piece and we will do an intimate, story telling concert right in your home. Now granted, we mostly work through an organization called concertsinyourhome.com but there are times we work outside of that organization (a lot of communication and homework for safety reasons). Other than that we play coffee houses, listening room, Churches...anywhere we can take our family :)

Kaci & Jeremy Neely
Photo credit: ReverbNation

See, down to earth REAL people, making REAL music! Which, honestly, makes NEELY that much better! (I'm a total fan, can you tell?)

 
One lucky winner will receive a Kiss My Grits T-Shirt & CD pack (includes the Kiss My Grits CD, Everything I Am CD, and Colorblind - an acoustic CD). 

And a second lucky winner will receive a CD pack.


The giveaway will conclude on at 12:00 a.m. est on Tuesday 5/13/14. Winners will be announced via rafflecopter & in a separate blog post which will be published no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday 5/13/14. Winners will also be notified via email & announced on the Smith and Blessings facebook page. Winners will have 48 hours to submit shipping information, which will then be passed on to Neely Music for distribution of product. If 48 hours has lapsed, a new winner will be picked & then will also have 48 hours to submit their information. Smith and Blessings is not responsible for prize shipment.
*Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also be sure to check out NEELY's online store for CD's, clothing & more.


Keep up with the latest from NEELY on Facebook & Twitter.


 

48 comments:

  1. I like the inspirational songs that have meaning and give their listeners hope and make them feel upbeat and that is what Neely does to its listeners. They are amazing musicians.

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  2. I'm interested... couples who sing together seem to make better music... example - Thompson Square

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  3. Their songs are very inspiring!

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  4. I like female and male singing duos.

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  5. I LOVE a female and male band like Lady Antebelum! They sounds great.

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  6. I like that they are a couple also and think it's very inspirational!

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  7. That they're a couple I've never heard until now

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  8. This duo is always in sync. They just fit together.

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  9. I love the tittle of kiss my grits!

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  10. I love that they are married!

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  12. I love that it's a couple that sings together. :)

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  13. I never heard of them but, I'm always looking for new music to listen too!

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  14. Never heard of them but i really like people who can just be themselves no matter what.

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  15. I never heard of them but I liked the some Who I am

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  16. I like that they're living the dream as a couple. That's tough with creative people sometimes.

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  17. How have I not heard about them until now --- wow - love the harmony!

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  18. I have known Jeremy now for a few months already and me and some other folks in our country have been punting and promoting their music. That is how much we love it and love them as people. Keep it rocking.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more. Jeremy is awesome!

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  19. I like that its a couple doing their own thing

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  20. love that they are a married pair!

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  21. That their music crosses boundries and isn't cookie cutter.

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  22. Very unique style plus you don't see a male female duo that often.

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  23. awesome to see a married couple as a duo

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  24. I like that they are down to earth and would even come and play a concert in your living room if you wanted them to.

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  25. I LOVE their sound... and lately I've been looking for some good, new music! :)

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  26. What is most appealing to me is that their music/songs are inspiiring!

    andysavi.mom@gmail.com

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  27. What appeals to me is they're music is awesome and they're down to earth. Thank you for the chance and the awesome giveaway :)
    tigers3450(at)att(dot)net

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  28. Their music is inspirational and I like that , plus the are a male/female duo.

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  29. I never heard of them but I liked the song Who I am

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  30. They seem pretty wholesome.

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  31. Songs and singing together, pretty cool.

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  32. I think it might be something I could share with my daughter without having to worry about giving her bad messages.

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  33. I have not heard of them before reading this, but I think it's awesome with the duo!

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  34. Never heard before but would love to share your music with my girls.

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  35. What is appealing to me about Neely is their music. I love their songs and how they sound together!

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  36. They are appealing because I love country music but I love a little twist. Great songs! kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

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  37. They look like they could be my neighbors (just everyday people). Thank you

    candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

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  38. Their catchy tunes are what I love the most about them.

    wenbudro@aol.com

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  39. I think it is great that they are husband and wife.

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  40. Because they are so down to earth

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