Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Voice Auditions and Chadd Perry: You Can Help!

Nothing can bring me to an emotional place of happy, sad, excited or even tears like music. I feel music is in the soul of us all and when my dear friend at work told me her daughter Cara, who I also worked with before, that her son in law Chadd was going to be auditioning for The Voice I squealed with joy. I have heard recordings of Chadd and Cara singing and its beautiful! I knew I wanted to do my part to help spread the word about Chadd's efforts to get to the audition in L.A. Chadd and Cara are expecting a baby and have started an Indiegogo campaign to help him get there.

You can check it out here to donate

I find it exciting to believe in someones dream along with them and I thank you for any amount you can donate to send Chadd to The Voice auditions. With his talents, love of his family and a little help from the community I am hoping we will get to see him on the show.

Here is a bio of Chadd and how his love of music has been a life long pursuit:

Chadd was born in Florida and lived there until his parents moved with him to California. He grew up in a musical family, with his parents being founding members of a copycat band themselves. His nights were spent listening to endless choruses of Fleetwood Mac, Doobie Brothers, James Taylor and Cindi Lauper… It wasn’t until he was in his late teens that he began to enjoy singing himself. Even though he grew up with Classic Rock, Folk and Pop, he found something meaningful in the lyrics of Country music.

In his early singing career he devoted his time to singing Travis Tritt, Randy Travis, and his favorite, Garth Brooks. Although he enjoyed singing and enjoyed mimicking his favorite artists, his first form of validation for his passion came when he was in his early 20’s and was out with friends singing karaoke at a local dinner house and lounge. After singing “The Dance” by Garth Brooks, he was approached by an elderly couple whom had just attended their sons Funeral and Wake. With tears in their eyes they let him know that Garth was their sons favorite and that they had played that very song earlier that day at his Funeral. They claimed that they could imagine their son, boots up, head back and singing along with me at the top of his lungs! The ability to affect people so profoundly made a fundamental change in Chadd. No longer was he content with singing karaoke a couple nights a month while out with buddies! He wanted a career singing! Performing up on stage!

As life carried on, and bills began to amass, he quickly realized how difficult it would be to follow his dreams and still enjoy a roof over his head, food in the refrigerator, a running vehicle and all the other amenities that come from working a job where you actually get paid! Quickly a career in music began to fade into a dream.  He continued to sing karaoke and local singing competitions while mainly working construction. When he was in his late 20’s he began singing with a local band at The Valencia Club in Penryn as a walk on artist.

After several years singing with talented, and in some instances famous people, Chadd decided to take a leap and embark on an adventure to Nashville, TN to pursue his dream to get a recording contract. He quit his job, sold all of his belongings and took the 2,300 mile trip driving a 1967 Mustang packed with everything he owned; a computer, his clothes, $5,000 and three guitars that he really couldn’t play.

The drummer for his band back home, Biff Adam, was Merle Haggard’s drummer for the past fifty some odd years and one of the original Strangers band members. The guitar player, and leader of the band, Jim Baughman, was a guitar prodigy and had his own list of musical milestones, including being a studio musician in Nashville, a traveling musician, playing guitar for Merle Haggard, being great friends with Chet Atkins in the early 70’s and opening on the Grand Ole Opry before he was a teen! Between the two legends of country music, they sent Chadd to Nashville with several pages of names, addresses and phone numbers of several influential people in the music scene to help him get a foot in the door. Whether it be for fear of failure… Fear of success… Or plain stubborn pride, Chadd never called a number. He never visited an address. He never knocked on any doors. Instead he began doing what he knew best and hooked up with a local building contractor and began working 90 plus hours a week.

At the age of 33, with a long distance relationship on the rocks, he took a “vacation” back to California, and never returned to Nashville… He did begin playing fulltime with his old band mates and in the evenings played as the “house” band at the Valencia Club for almost 8 years. During this time he met Cara and the two became friends. Most nights she would get up with the band and belt out a powerful song or two then disappear back into the crowd.

Personal loss of family members for some of the band spelled a noticeable decline in desire to continue with the late nights and an eventual demise of the band altogether. They occasionally still perform together, but only a few times a year which left an open hole in Chadd’s desire to sing.

After a failed long term relationship, Chadd spent a year traveling and working long hours with no interest in music or company. He would travel with his 130 pound German Shepherd and constant companion, Thor, with  4 or 5 nights a week spent in hotels while working all across California, Utah, Arizona and Washington. At one point a tally of his consecutive days worked reached 183.

Due to conflicting scheduling and missing parts for a jobsite, Chadd had an unusual week off and took the opportunity to reach out to an old friend to do some singing. Having sung with her on stage, and sung against her in singing competitions, he couldn’t think of anyone better than Cara.

After meeting at a local pizza parlor (which Chadd was late showing up for) where his old guitar player was hosting karaoke,  and seeing each other for the first time in over a year, they fell into a familiar pattern of singing together and reminisced about days in the past… They agreed to get together again and made tentative plans for dinner… Both promising “soon.” Holding to their plans, “soon” came fairly quickly and they set a day for dinner out, and although they were just old friends, Chadd was uncharacteristically nervous about their impending date and even took refuge in the wisdom of a close friend whom he called on the drive to pick her up in an attempt to bolster his courage.

Throughout dinner, and the Sake they had to hide their obvious nervousness, they talked of the past. They talked about where their lives had led them to this point… And Briefly they talked of the future. They both left their date with unexpected attraction and unwanted desire for more. Up to this point they mistakenly believed they had a firm grasp on their lives, and neither would admit that something was missing. Both were content to be miserable in their isolation… And they both were wrong.

They both enjoyed their date, and Chadd found a local Flower Shop that would order something special… Something exotic… Something expensive!!!... So after a couple visits looking for that special flower he found the one… Ordered it… And created a card from a “secret admirer” to send with the flowers to her place of work… The flowers were a surprise, but not NEARLY as surprising as Cara’s reaction!... Without warning, she simply… Disappeared!

After some time, and with much apology, Cara sought him out. With explanations of confusion and fear, she agreed to date again… After several months of dating, it was obvious that each of their experiences with failed relationships  had given them a finite view of what they wanted from a relationship. They found a quite comfort in how they interacted in each others lives… Fast forward two years later… And a blended family of one boy, one girl, one man, one woman, two lizards, one rat, and two dogs…. Chadd remembers those fateful words from Cara extolling “Houston! We have a problem!” that signaled the sign that another baby was on the way… And all of a sudden, almost 8 months later, Chadd comes to the realization that he never would have thought he could love anything as much as he loved music… Until now… This family. His family. THEIR family!

Through discussions about not going… Not spending the money… Not taking the time away from the family… Not traveling so far, so close to her due date, Chadd realized that he ultimately had no say in the matter, and his audition date for The Voice television show was scheduled. Now, just a few weeks away from his audition he realizes several truths:

He’s not in his 20’s any longer… Not his 30’s… Not even FORTY! He’s the ripe old age of 43… He’s not been singing PROFESSIONALLY for a couple years… He spends more time swinging a hammer than he ever does playing his guitars… And no matter how much he complains… Or argues… Or tries to find a way out… He’s on his way to Los Angeles...


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