by Erin Sullivan
“Sometimes you have to take a chance”.
We all at some point have taken a chance to get what we want out of life. The quote represents the moment when Jeff Todd, the lead singer of Meadows Fortune, stood in Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee with his self-recorded demo, talking to music producers Scott Phillips and David Hall. Now Meadows Fortune has a debut album, music videos and countless fans on ReverbNation and Facebook and many things to come in the near future.
Long before Todd took a chance, his music career started with piano lessons. “It’s definitely been a long journey, but I know it’s still only the beginning. I have to credit my mom for starting me in piano lessons when I was young. I wasn’t a big fan of practicing, but looking back now, I’m so grateful that she kept pushing me to better myself,” says Todd.
It wasn’t until many years later, that Todd had his Aha! moment at a Creed concert. The moment he realized music would be his career happened like this: “The guitarist, Mark Tremonti, was playing the opening riff to the song “One Last Breath” and there was a closeup of him on the big screen. I just remember looking around and seeing how mesmerized everyone was by just a few notes. I actually got a little choked up, and it was such an overwhelming feeling. I knew then that I wanted to be the guy on the big screen some day and move people emotionally with my music.”
On the Meadows Fortune Facebook page, a long list of musical influences are mentioned- Staind, Matchbox 20, Gavin Degraw, The Fray and John Mayer. But one band may catch readers off guard- Hanson. Nine times out of ten, they’re made funof because of their long blonde hair and boy band roots, but they have come a long way since then and Todd agrees. “Regardless of whether you like the song (MMMBop) or not, I have yet to meet someone who has never heard it. To me, that is pretty impressive. I think it’s kind of baffling that artists who actually write their own songs, play their own instruments and sing live sometimes get so much negativity. As Hanson matured as a band and broke free from the corporate mold of the record industry, they became a really solid indie rock group. They have a great sense of melody and a knack for great hooks and song structure. They’re able to blend rock and pop music together but still make it cool and fun. Trust me, that’s not easy to do,” says Todd.
Todd’s next project is his sophomore album which is in the making for the coming year. “I’m currently finishing demos and pre-production for my next record, Shadows of the Fall, with Grammy winning engineer/producer, David Hall and in the late spring I’ll be heading back to Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee to start recording. I’m really excited about this new album. It’s more uptempo and rock oriented than Reckless Believer. I truly believe it’s the best set of songs I’ve ever written and they’re going to be a blast to play live.
A lot has happened for Meadows Fortune in the past year thanks to ReverbNation and Guitar Center. ReverbNation announced they would be partnering with various charities and Todd jumped at the chance to give back to Love Hope Strength, because it hits close to home. A father of a high school friend is battling cancer and they use contributions to purchase medical equipment, build cancer centers and raise awareness. “When you purchase “Last Goodbye” through ReverbNation, 50% of the proceeds go directly to Love Hope Strength. I chose that song because it was dedicated to a friend who passed away in a drunk driving accident. It’s about finding strength in moments of sadness, and I felt like it really represented the underlying message of Love Hope Strength. I would love to continue supporting the cause, so hopefully some of the readers can head over to ReverbNation and join me!”
Recently, Guitar Center started their second season of Singer Songwriter which is their search for America’s next great songwriter. Todd read about it in a magazine, realized his strength is songwriting and melody and decided to enter. Artists connect their social media accounts with their entry and their fan base online determines their ranking. Thanks to his fan following, he started jumping up the leader board. By the end of the competition Meadows Fortune was third. “It was a really indescribable feeling and I’m incredibly blessed to have such loyal fans. The contest is still ongoing, and it’s up to a panel of judges to pick the finalists. I’ve got my fingers crossed!” Meadows Fortune didn’t make the finalists for the competition, but that won’t stop them from making amazing music.
Todd would like to send the following message out to readers, “I want to say thank you to That Music Mag for this great opportunity. To the readers, please support local and unsigned artists. If you enjoy their music, take a minute to visit their website, like them on Facebook, subscribe on YouTube, join a mailing list and buy a song or two. All of those things are noticed by record labels, managers and promoters. It really can make the difference in an artist getting discovered.”
To find more information about Meadows Fortune, it’s obvious where to go- iTunes, Amazon or at meadowsfortune.com! Todd personally respond to everyone who messages him and enjoys hearing from his fans.
Todd said something that was even more profound than the first quote about taking chances, some advice that every musician should take and learn from. The following quote will represent his future after taking chances. “I wish I could say it was all luck, it would have been a lot easier! In reality though, it was a very thought out plan. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and slightly stubborn, but I think that’s what it takes to be a musician.
“You have to know what you want, roll with the punches, and constantly try to out do what you did before.”