Meaghan Blanchard wrote her first song at age 11. She couldn’t play guitar yet, so took her piece of paper with her song scrawled in crayon to her dad and got him to play music to it. Of course, to get into an 11-year-old’s head is a challenge at the best of times. Not happy with dad’s efforts, she stormed off and learned how to play herself.
For her whole life, Meaghan has been surrounded by music. Her grandparents were in a country band which played on weekends. Listening to Dolly Parton and Patty Griffin also guided her along the way. It’s no surprise that music, especially song writing, has taken up a pretty big part of Meaghan’s time. Bits of songs can be forming at any given moment.
“I’ll be walking down the street, and I have an iphone that you can record voice memos on. So I’m just constantly recording those voice memos and not putting any pressure to finish it. I’m just always open to it, always having a way to record it. I always have a journal on me, so it all kinda starts like that. There are a lot of little puzzle pieces of things, I look at it as a puzzle. You really have to put the time into those pieces if you really want to figure it out. Sometimes you just can’t finish it. Just write and write and piece things together. Sometimes it’s really labourious, and sometimes it just…falls out of me.”
With two successful albums already under her belt, Meaghan decided to do something big for her next one. The thing is, recording an album is really expensive. So Meaghan and her manager came up with a brilliant fundraising idea, called Music Angels. It would help her travel to Athens, Georgia so she could work with producer John Keane (R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs, Cowboy Junkies) for a month. She likes to dream huge, and this pretty much fits that bill. “This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done!” she says. It’s brilliant on a couple of levels, it helped off-set the cost for Meaghan, and it gave her fans a chance to get to know her on a more personal level—which also gave her the chance to say “Thank You.”
It was a very successful venture; a lot of hard work and a huge learning experience. Meaghan also met some amazing people who might have been less accessible otherwise. While going over the album tracks, her producer said “Y’know what? Elton John’s backup singer’s might be in town next week. Why don’t we give ’em a call? I think Bonnie Raitt’s organist is around, why don’t we get her in here?” And Meaghan’s answer—”Sure, why not!”
When asked about the results of her hard work, Meaghan said, “Well, I got some songs back and I’ve been dancing around in my room to them, so that’s a good sign!”
There’s still some work left to do on some of the songs, adding tracks and some back up, mixing, mastering—the usual. The release is in the spring of 2013, hopefully. Meaghan also has a Christmas album on the plate for next year. To find out what Meaghan is up to, check out meaghanblanchard.com or catch up with her on facebook.