Tommy Stanley and Pearl Heart dish on their 'Nashville Star' journeys
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/10/2008
John Rich thought Tommy Stanley needed to concentrate more on country music, a comment that didn't sit too well with the oustedNashville Star sixth-season finalist.
"My comment to that is pretty much John Rich being himself on TV," Stanley told reporters during a Tuesday conference call.
"He's trying to get the real true country out of someone, and I can really see that. I can understand where he's coming from. But what he's really got to do is look at what he's doing -- driving Bentleys and wearing cow fur on his slacks. That's pretty much what he's got to do. He's got to think about what he does in music and what other people are trying to do in music, and become country. And it's so amazing how he has changed country music in so many ways. It's so amazing."
The 23-year-old Navy serviceman from Cushing, OK who currently resides on the USS Kitty Hawk was eliminated at the onset of Monday night's Nashville Star sixth-season broadcast based on home viewer votes cast immediately following the June 30 episode.
While Stanley may have had some harsh words for Rich, he was much kinder to fellow sixth-season mentor and judge Jewel
"Having Jewel as a mentor was another step for me. I saw how Jeffrey Steele and how John Rich did their mentoring, which they did so good, and well the one thing that I really was happy about the way Jewel did her mentoring, she let you be the musician," explained Stanley.
"She stepped in and said whichever song you do -- she didn't choose a song, she didn't say, 'Hey, I was thinking this song is better.' She said, 'This is a great direction.' She let you pretty much choose what song and let you be pretty much the musician -- just pretty much to how you're going to do through life. You're going to have to choose your songs through life and what's good and what's bad. You have to make those decisions and she let, you know, she let us pick. And that's what I respect her, you know, a lot on and with her mentoring sessions and all."
Stanley wasn't the only finalist ousted during Monday night's episode as Pearl Heart -- a trio from Florissant, MO that currently resides in Thompson's Station, TN and consists of 20-year-old twins Amy and Angela Krechel and their 17-year-old sister Courtney -- was also booted at the broadcast's conclusion.
During the conference call, Amy said she and her sisters took all that the Nashville Star judges had to say and used it to improve themselves as musicians.
"Every time they critiqued us on something we made sure that we worked on it," Amy told reporters. "We strived to improve each week that we were on the show and we're still going to do that. Being eliminated from the show, we're still going to work hard and improve on areas that we need work on. These people know what they're doing. They've done this a long time, so they're smart people."
Angela specifically singled out Steele for his help.
"I'm so happy that he was our mentor," she said. "We just have a special connection with him. We just have a special connection with him and he told us that on the show that, you know, call him up and knock on his door. We talked to him after the show about that and we're all over that. I mean, we're going to start working tomorrow. We're ready to just start working really hard. We want to make it. It's just the beginning for Pearl Heart."
Stanley echoed Angela about plans on continuing his own musical aspirations, however he added he also plans on continuing what he started before being cast for the show.
"Being in the Kitty Hawk was a big experience for me and even when I do go back, it's going to be a great experience. Just being a part of what I have been -- it's the before and after," Stanley told reporters before explaining what it was like to be a musician on the Kitty Hawk.
"I remember sitting on the ground in my birthing where everyone sleeps. They're sleeping... Whenever I play guitar down there they always sit around or even if they're sleeping they don't bother me - just let me play in there. They're so supportive in every situation that I'm in and everything that's going on in their lives. I like to hear the stories and it helps me to write better songs and allows me to be a better person, and have better character about the world and how I'm seeing things. It's just a great experience at all."
Stanley said it was especially nice to his family members and several of his fellow servicemen in the studio audience during a recent Nashville Star broadcast.
"It kind of brought me back pretty much to back being on the ship and even being on my back porch performing for my family all those years that I have," he recalled.
As for his prediction on who will win, Stanley said he thinks Gabe Garcia is going to take the title "hands down."
"Everyone else, they're really good performers and there's either one way or the other for the others, but for Gabe Garcia it's just straight forward," he said. "He's country to the bone. He's true to himself. He doesn't worry about much. He's himself every week."