Kristen Hall has been one of my favorite performing songwriters for a long time. I discovered her music in 1994 at one of those local listening sections in the Best Buy of Lexington, KY. If I hadn't visited a friend after playing a gig in Louiville, I'd have never known about her. The CD was "Careful What You Wish For" and it has been in my CD player ever since. And, over the past few years, I've watched her site hoping that I would get to hear her live and maybe even meet her. But... there's been no luck in that area.
Obviously, I haven't looked for her in the last year or so (what with all the distractions of going out to see other songwriters and writing my own songs). If I had, I would have realized that she was part of Sugarland. Of course, I noticed that she was the co-write /writer on their songs... but I was an idiot and just didn't make the connection that she was in the group. HA!
So, when I saw a press release on Tuesday, announcing Kristen's departure from the group, I was both sad and elated at the same time. Sad, because I'm sure that was a hard decision for her and I can only guess about what factors surrounded the decision. Elated because I knew where she was and that she's in Nashville! Yay!
For the record, I've been thinking for more than six months now that it is only a matter of time before Jennifer Nettles (lead vox) does her own thing. While I'm sure there is no malicious intent on Jennifer's part, from what I can tell from watching the videos and publicity about the group, it looks like "the biz" is putting all the focus on her... not the group. No surprise... that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes, but I don't blame Kristen for "wanting to get off the road". My guess is that Kristen was a driving force in the group on many levels, but was getting pushed to the side... and that's too bad. I hope that isn't the case... I hope I'm absolutely 100% wrong. But if I'm not, I hope that it doesn't derail Kristen Hall's own music path. (Hear that Kristen?! E-mail me... LET'S WRITE! Or at least get together for a cup o' joe or something.)
ANYWAY... please send Kristen Hall some blog love! And, goodluck to "Sugarland". For Kristian's sake (mandolin / guitar player) I hope I'm wrong about the solo thing, too.