Note: We received this email from Hannah, one of Vicci Martinez’s younger fans. It seems that no matter what challenges we face, or who we are, Vicci’s fans all seems to find a spark of strength and hope in Vicci and her music.
I live in Absarokee a small town in Montana. It is so small that there are only 100 kids in our school and that is 7th grade through 12th grade! There are 1,300 people in our town! So in a small school things get around fast and this will have something to do with my story! My story is about how a few words Vicci said in an interview inspired me!
I have had the toughest year of my life. If you were to ask people who know me they would say I had a great year, because I had great grades all year, I beat someone I despise at winning my chapter star greenhand and placing second at districts for my FFA chapter, the only reason I beat her is because of my SAE which was my science project “internal parasites of horses” which I got first at the state science fair out of the ninth grade ( I would call myself a nerd if I did not want to be a veterinarian when I get older), I also taught middle school kids about tobacco use and how it harms you for FCCLA and won 1,ooo dollars for my chapter, and to top it all off was when the Stillwater Renegades won there 4th state championship in 5 years and I was apart of it. They are a softball co-op of Absarokee, Columbus, and Park City. That sounds like a great year and it was except for one thing changed it all!
I play two sports basketball and softball. My “friend” played basketball, volleyball , and softball. Since I did not play volleyball with her, she started hanging out with the older girls and was a jerk to me. She would tell a lie about me in one class and by the next class it was all over the school! That is why it sucks bieng in such a small school. I ignored it and didn’t say anything even when she was making fun of me when my 14 year old dog died. I am 15, I was 14 when she died. I only lived a couple months of my life without that dog. It killed me when she died and all this “friend” did was make fun of me because I was upset! Like I said before I want to be a veterinarian when I get older so I can help animals. Even after that I didn’t say anything to her!
Finally, when we were at state softball, she was making fun of me in our hotel room when two of the older girls were about to come in. Our softball teams saying was “One Team, One Family.” So when they heard what she said they got my sister to talk to her. I tackled my sister in the hotel hallway trying to stop her but the varsity catcher ,my idol, pulled me into her hotel room and held me down. They got my stuff and put it in their room, and me being a freshman I had to sleep with the seniors. Later the next day I got a text from one of my friends who said I am only telling you this because so-and-so(my “friend”) is making fun of me, she told me she hates you! I asked, why is she making fun of you, and she said “because I am Mexican”. I thought that’s not unusuall she always makes fun of me for being Canadian. The one thing I couldn’t realize was that a lifelong friendship ended with a few words! I tried to talk to her and all she did was laugh. It killed me! Ever since state softball I had been sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. This is where Vicci helped me.
One day I was watching tv and one of my sisters said lets watch The Voice, I said no it is just another stupid singing show! But there was one person who could get me to watch music on tv and that is Reba McEntire! She was on, so I was watching it and as soon as I found out Reba wasn’t singing I was getting up to leave when Vicci’s battle came on. It was odd because I have only ever liked country music, but Vicci changed that. Right after Vicci sang I went straight to the computer and watched her during the blind auditions and in some interviews. When Vicci said in one of her interviews “I am just living in the present moment”, I took that to heart and I decided to not let this girl ruin my summer. I am glad this girl is no longer in my life because I found out she has been drinking and smoking at parties and if I was still friends with her I am sure she could have convinced me to do it to!
Now it is a new school year and she has moved to Columbus. That is a good thing except I still have to play softball with her. So far this school year it has been great. Since I don’t play volleyball I am a football manager which is fun. I am also volunteering at an animal shelter with a local veterinarian and helping her with the animals. I also got 4th row tickets to a Reba McEntire concert!
Now all I need is to meet or see Vicci in concert!
Picture this, I’m riding in my car and pop in my new CD “I Love You In The Morning” by Vicci Martinez and all of a sudden I realize I am listening to a musical poet. My first thought consisted of “how in the world does Vicci do that…” you know make notes almost dance together against beats and tones. I found myself instantly relaxing and feeling happy. I felt like I had just taken some magical pill that cured what ailed me that day.
In thinking about how amazing the healing power of Vicci’s music had on me, I decided to loan my CD to a Doctor friend of mine. She treats kids with ADHD, Autism, and all kinds of learning disabilities. I guess you could say she works on treatment based programs to assist kids with social aspects of everyday life. Simple social skills that you and I take for granted because being social just comes natural to us.
After my Doc friend listened to Vicci’s “I love you in the morning” album of course an instant fan was born. The next day the Doc played the CD while she was mentoring a group of kids during an hour session in her office. Guess what? Instant success was noted in the behavior of the kids. Attention spans increased, behavioral outburst ceased to exist and two of the kids started to hum with the music. It was if Vicci’s notes from her heart were just what the Doctor ordered. The Doc mentioned to me that she has tried all kinds of music for therapy with her patients but had never seen such a positive response as she did with Vicci’s album. To date the Doc has used Vicci’s music for over one hundred kids within her practice.
I feel it is so important for me to report back to Vicc’s Army and Vicci what a great gift she gives. I am sure when Vicci composed the music and songs on the “I love you in the morning” album for the MLK Ballet she never thought her album would be played in a small Doctor’s office in North Carolina as a treatment protocol for kids.
On a side note, a few of the parents mentioned to the Doctor that they wanted to know why their kids were humming constantly on the car ride home from the Doctor’s office. The Doctor filled the parents in on the CD being played at the office, and the Mom’s immediately wanted to buy copies to play at home with their children. Guess what? One Mom reported that her child now falls asleep to the sounds of Vicci Martinez.
I’ll have to say when I heard of this great story I felt so proud of our Warrior Vicci Martinez. I hope by recapping just a small accomplishment of Vicci’s that she will continue to provide wonderful lyrics and beautiful music for years to come. The Doctor which can’t be named because of strict confidentiality laws wanted me to convey to the world “What a hero Vicci Martinez is for providing such a healing tool in medicine today.” Congratulations Vicci Martinez and keep up the creativity and healing power from your heart! As Adam Levine said on NBC’s The Voice, “Vicci you are a powerful little thing!!!”
I remember the first time I saw Vicci Martinez perform live. I will never forget it. In Tacoma there is a church, Immanuel Presbyterian, where Rev. Dave Brown has a monthly event called Blues Vespers. He usually has a blues band come in and perform for a crowd that may be as many as 300 people,. I got word that blues guitarist Rod Cook was going to perform with Vicci Martinez.. I had heard of her before and was curious. I knew how great Rod was. All blues fans in the region respect him. If he was performing with Vicci Martinez, then that was one more reason to be there.
I am a frequent visitor to Blues Vespers and Rev. Dave and I have known each other for years. After Vicci’s first set Rev. Dave was speaking from the podium, and mentioned me saying that “someone like Bob Horn may have wanted more blues.” I was impressed by Vicci’s singing though and had no complaints. Vicci’s music is not rigidly blues or rock or soul or folk, but something that seems to live along the borderline of several genres.
Next to me was another blues musician who has won many awards in the region. I was looking forward to talking to him about the amazing performance we were hearing and seeing. It was a long time before I could talk to him though because the crowd grew to maximum capacity, standing room only with more people outside. Did I say there can be as many as 300 people at a Blues Vespers? On this occasion, as often happens at Vicci Martinez performances, they were giving standing ovations that seemed to never end and demanded multiple encores. There was so much emotion flowing back and forth between performer and audience that it felt like there were a thousand people there. When I finally got to speak with the musician near me I commented on the powerful crescendos in many of her songs that were not just at the end but often in the middle, lifting the listener up and setting them back down again. I asked him what kind of music he thinks she does. He said “There are only two kinds of music: good and bad, and she is good.”
Since that time I have seen a lot more of Vicci. I’ve followed her on The Voice, listened to many of her songs, have watched many YouTube videos of her and have became a passionate fan of her music. You can’t put Vicci’s music into a neat little slot. Although Vicci may be small, her music is big and spans several genres.
I’m particularly interested in Blues music and the effect it has on people. I put on a series of events on the topic of The Healing Power of Blues which you can learn more about at www.healingpowerofblues.com. I’ve had music therapists, musicians, and writers make presentations on that topic from different fields of expertise. One of the things discussed at the forums I chair is how music can connect with people because of the emotional or life issue a song is dealing with. We’ve all experienced that; a song that reminds us of a past experience… a piece of music that brings a certain life event to mind. But in some music, something else happens. Something even greater. Some music can take that emotional connection and raise it to a resolution, or perhaps better said, a healing. It is not just blues that does that. Of course Aretha Franklin does that, and Beethoven’s 9th does it very well too. Vicci does this so well that in my opinion, she is in the same league as the two giants just mentioned.
Songs Vicci has written, from “Fire In Her Eyes” to “Leave The Light On” offer that emotional resolution. But in Vicci we see that it’s not just the written music that can do this, it can also be the performance. On The Voice she used some songs written by others to take us on that emotional journey. I thought her performances of “Rolling In The Deep”, “Jolene”, and “Dog Days Are Over” were more powerful than those of the original artists.
In Vicci’s music and performances she is able to take us into songs that go deeper into the life experience of most all people and express what Rev. Dave refers to as “the joy, and the pain, of being alive.” It is there that she connects with millions when she sings and takes them to the triumphant resolution through those crescendos that are so powerful. She heals and liberates through song.
Her genre is not simply rock, not simply soul, and not simply blues. That is not unusual for artistic geniuses. Stevie Ray Vaughn grew up in an area where he heard rock, country, blues, Mexican music, and music from the Cajun population of East Texas. It all was in his head as he learned guitar licks from several cultures and then revolutionized blues. It is along the borderline of different genres where greatness often comes from. As she goes back and forth across those genre borders Vicci Martinez is finding her greatness, and making her contribution. And in her ever growing audiences the tears of inspiration flow from the eyes of people who didn’t know they had so much in common. This could be pretty profound.
If you were to tell me two weeks ago that I would be going to NY to see Vicci Martinez ,on the last stop of ‘The Voice” tour, I would have said “Yeah Right!” Then out of the blue a very good friend, whom I never met ,but work with from CA bought me tickets to the only venue that sold out! I told her she was crazy! She then turned around and said to me, “it feels like the right thing to do at the right time.” I am still not sure if she knows what kind of gift she really gave me. I am from NJ and most of you will probably laugh when I say I have truly never even been to NY! That’s insane right?! So now I had 2 tickets to NY and my mission was to meet the one and only Vicci Martinez. I contacted Vicci’s managers and even one of her friends that follows our army on twitter. I asked them all if they thought I had a shot at finally meeting the singer who changed my life. To my surprise I had 3 almost Yes’. So for the next week I continued to contact these wonderful people until a few days before the concert when they gave me a definite YES! So now I had tickets to NY and after show passes to meet my hero Vicci Martinez. The day before the concert I even got a lucky Direct Message on Twitter from Vicci telling me that she was happy that she would finally get to meet me. For once in my life everything was lineing up perfectly, so perfect it was still hard for me to believe.
Now its Friday night and “Baby I was afraid to sleep” for I may wake up and it be all a dream. Fast forward to Saturday, now I am on my way to NY to hear 8 of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. And I was going to finally meet my hero. I get to NY with no problems, head on into ‘The Beacon Theater” to grab my passes, and then head for the concert hall. I have been to many concerts before, but there was something so special about these 8 amazing singers. They took stage and I was blown away. I have never seen and felt so much love in my life. There on stage in front of me was a family. I have never felt as much love and positive energy in my life as there was up on that stage and throughout the audience. The concert was amazing, it wasn’t like “other” show tours that just send their singers out one by one. They each complimented one another throughout the entire show. One of my favorite highlights was when Vicci and Bev came out with buckets for drums and played them while Casey sang! Vicci sang her 3 most popular songs from the show. “Rolling in the Deep”, “Jolene”, and “Dog Days are Over.” She danced her little 5’1 butt all over that stage! She was running around doing her famous “War dance” and connecting with the band and the crowd. For the last performance of the night all 8 finalist came together and sang Micheal Jackson’s famous song “Man in the Mirror.” Once again they showed the audience just how much they really do love each other and how much of a family they have all become.
As the show was closing my sister ,whom I took with me, and I proceeded to the “After Party.” At first we weren’t sure where to go or what to do, but them I got in contact with one of Vicci’s managers, Miki. When I met Miki she welcomed me into her arms with one of the warmest embraces I have ever gotten. She took us into the bar and grill and was still awaiting word on Vicci’s arrival. We talked about the web site and Twitter page that myself and Val had created. Miki told me that we were doing an amazing job and that it doesn’t go unnoticed. I had the biggest smile on my face as we talked about Vicci’s career and how she got to the point that she is at right now. I learned that she never had a “real job”, singing is all she ever knew and thats what she was. I met some of Vicci’s friends and we chatted about how I found out about her and about what the goals were for the web page Val and I created. As I was waiting for Vicci to arrive one by one the top 8 were filing into the after party. I got to meet each and everyone of them, take pictures with them, and even get in a word or two. I couldn’t believe how down to earth they all were. They never turned down any photo or autograph opportunity. I was blown away! Finally the moment I have been waiting for since I first saw ‘The Voice”, Vicci “freaking” Martinez walks in the building. People surround her very quickly asking for photos and autographs. She took a few then told us that she needed to get her Tequila. I walked up to her and said “Wait! I’m your Army leader!” she turned and looked at me and said “Christina?!” All I could think was, “wow she remembers my name.” She then put everything and everyone aside for a moment and shouted “This is the girl that made me a freaking website and twitter page!!”
She then stopped and talked with me as she signed some autographs for myself and the web site. I then proceeded to give her a gift I had gotten made just for her. Her own set of “Vicci Martinez Army” dog tags. She was stoked and put them on right away after reading with they said. “Enjoy the Ride” she said as she smiled at me and said “No one ever get’s me a gift I like.” I told her they came from my heart and that she has touched my soul in so many ways.
I was face to face with my hero. The singer from Tacoma, WA that stole my heart and changed my thinking. Before Vicci I was a very negative person. I never felt like anything went right for me. I never saw the positive side to anything in life. Then I leared all about Vicci Martinez. Who she was, where she came from, and her ever so positive words like “love and light.” She was the person that everyone told me she would be. She was kind, funny, and willing to do anything you asked. You can tell by looking in her eyes how huge her heart is for such a small warrior. As the night went on, and she made her rounds, I had conversations with her about her music, her life, and what’s to come. I told her how she brought over 1000 people on twitter together and how much we all love and respect each other. Viccis Army is filled with amazing people from all over the world that want to share one thing. We want to share the love and kindness that Vicci has taught us. She never once pushed me away or said she was too busy to talk. Meeting her in person was by far the greatest gift I could have ever gotten. She was just like you or me. She wasn’t some stuck up celebrity who pushes her fans away. She took time with each and every person in that room.
It was getting late and I still had a 3 hour drive home so it was time to say my goodbyes. I walked over to her manager Miki and thanked her for the opportunity to meet Vicci. She said “No, Thank You for doing what you are doing!” I asked if I was going to be able to meet up with her and Vicci again after her album comes out. She looked and me and said “DUH! You are helping us and we appreciate everything you do.” For the first time in my life I felt like I was right where I belonged. It was the greatest feeling in the world. I then walked up to Vicci and said my goodbyes.
She gave me a huge hug and promised to stay in touch. After I turned and walked towards the door I heard a voice call my name. “Christina.” Vicci said. I turned around and walked towards her as she told one of her friends to give me the bracelet that she was wearing. I said, “I cant take that!” She told her friend, “I’ll get you another one give that to Christina.” Her friend handed me her glass and took off the bracelet and put in on my wrist. I teared up as I read it. One side said ”Enjoy the Ride…while the other side said Vicci. I walked over to Vicci and gave her the biggest hug ever and told her thank you. I said thank you for touching my heart and thank you for meeting me. She smiled and hugged me back twice as hard. I then left the bar and grill out into the rainy streets of NY with the biggest smile on my face. I told my sister “this made my life.” This was the greatest gift I could ever have asked for. I got to meet my hero, the person who changed the way I think and look at the world. Vicci has touched my heart and soul and I dont even think that she knows how many lives she has touched and saved. Vicci is one of the most incredible people I have ever gotten to meet in my life. She may only be 5’1, but this girl’s heart is as big as the world. She has love for all and that’s why we love her. “Live your truth!” That’s one of Vicci’s sayings…it is also what I got engraved on the box that her dog tags were in. Vicci if you ever read this I would like to thank you for being you. Just being you brightens the day of many people I know from coast to coast. We have united as one because of you. We will continue to love and help one another just as you would want us to. Thank you! Just thanks for being the one and only Vicci “freaking” Martinez!
Light & Love to you all!
See more pictures from Christina’s visit with Vicci Martinez in our photo gallery.