O’ Mice an’ Men

In 1785, Robert Burns famously wrote “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley”. John Steinbeck modernized that in 1937 to “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”, or as we are more likely say in 2015, “Shit happens”.

Julie moved back to Atlanta to focus more on acting while continuing to write, record, and perform her music. Sustaining injuries from an auto accident was not part of Julie’s best-laid plan. Unfortunately, with the accident things have gang aft agley and Julie’s had to re-work her plan a bit. The injuries have required some significant treatments the last several weeks.

But Julie’s one of the more resilient people I’ve met – you probably have to be to be a musician and actor – and she’s working through her physical limitations to reach out to her audience as best she can. She’s recording, preparing for a music video, writing songs and collaborating on a screenplay. That’s a lot more than I usually take on, but for Julie that constitutes slowing down.

Julie’s continuing perform when she’s able – and has shows upcoming in Brookhaven (March 17), Alpharetta (March 20), and Chattanooga (March 21). Check out the Calendar page for show details.

Songs, Stories, Hope and Encouragement

Julie at TPW

Courtesy of Spectrum Health Systems

Artists have performed at prisons before, and surely will do so in the future, but with the possible exception of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, it’s usually not a career-enhancing gig. A show within prison walls probably won’t sell many CDs.

In October, Julie accepted an invitation to perform at the Tennessee Prison for Women (TPW), as part of a program put on by Spectrum Health Systems. I asked her why she did.

“I feel that anytime you have the chance to help people with your music, you have to do it,” Julie told me. “The Spectrum program was a great opportunity to do this in a very positive way.”

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Settling In

Julie’s been back in Atlanta for a couple of months now, and being back on her home turf is sitting well with her.

Her frenetic touring schedule hasn’t let up, and she’s been working on new music. “I’ve been writing some,” Julie told me recently. “And I recorded four songs – some acoustic stuff.”

Those songs Julie laid down in the studio include Coming Home (click here to watch Julie perform it live) and two new ones. She’s working towards putting out a new album, but, she says, “We’re doing it slowly.”

Although the album is not being rushed, Julie told me she’s not one to do take after take after take when she’s recording. “When you’re in the studio you have to get to a point where you let it go. You have to realize when it’s done and it’s not going to get any better.”

But that doesn’t mean Julie doesn’t strive to get it right. For example, she likes to record the vocal takes for her songs all the way through. Other artists will re-record single lines of the vocals if they’re not happy with a take, but Julie thinks the song loses something that way. “If you try to do it one line at a time, it takes away from the whole feeling and emotion of the song.”

And if all that isn’t enough to get you excited about her new work, how about this preview from Ms. Gribble? “This album’s going to be a little different,” she said. “Some weird stuff. You know, just for fun.”

I. Can’t. Wait.

Back in the ATL

After living in Nashville for several years, Julie has moved back to Atlanta. “I want to focus on my acting for a little while,” Julie told me. “So I came back here for those opportunities. Atlanta has gotten to be a new, smaller, Hollywood.”

There’s an impressive list of films that have recently been shot in Georgia and the Atlanta area. It includes “Selma”, “Blended”, “Sabotage”, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”, “42” and many others. Several TV shows are filmed in the Peach State as well, including “The Walking Dead”. (I wonder if they know Julie’s been a zombie before? In a movie I mean, not in real life. Or would that be in real death for a zombie?)

But fear not music fans, there will still be lots of music coming from Ms. Gribble. Julie says she will continue writing, performing, and recording here in Atlanta. “Nashville has amazing production facilities but I like recording in Atlanta too. Plus the musicians I work with most often are in Atlanta.”

And don’t be surprised if Julie’s two interests merge. She anticipates having more opportunities to write songs for film and television, which she’s already done. “I like writing music for TV and films,” Julie said. “You can challenge yourself. They’ll call you and give you like two days to come up with something for a specific scene.” Sounds difficult to me, but Julie looks forward to the challenge.

Of course, you can also count on Julie’s prolific touring schedule to continue to be prolific. Following up several Georgia performances in December, Julie will be in North Carolina and South Carolina in January. Be sure to check the Calendar page to get the details on upcoming shows.