So, you want to know a little more about “My Big Sister.” Well, that’s great! I’ll start with the most important thing first: the kids on the cover. Yes, those are my kids watching TV in our living room, just like my big sister and I used to do 35 years ago. They are actually watching the same program! If you buy the CD and check out the other images, you will see more of them.
Now to the song selection. These are songs that I sing to my kids at nap and bedtime, or we sing together. I chose songs that can be listened to 10 or more times in a row without wanting to pull your hair out because once it’s in the CD player your kids will ask you repeatedly to “PLAY IT AGAIN.” The songs on the CD that you haven’t heard before are bound to be classics and may even become your favorites.
A quick note: I would suggest buying the physical CD instead of the downloads—not because of the money, which is about the same, and not because the CD has a richer quality sound, but because this CD is more than a collection of songs. Every time you put the CD into your car stereo and see my little girl swinging carefree on that rope swing, I hope it inspires you to love your kids a little more, be more patient, and preserve their innocence a little longer.
Since you can’t hold the CD in your hand and look at the credits and such right now, let me tell you about the musicians who play on this CD. They are the finest A-list session musicians in Nashville, Tenn. Five of the 9 songs have a full band, and each of those band members has a portfolio of songs and hits a mile long. I won’t try to mention them all, but I am going to drop some names to give you a feel for the talent behind this CD.
THE DRUMMERS: BRIAN PRUITT, DAN NEEDHAM, AND TOMMY HARDEN. Some of the artists they have played with are: LeAnn Rimes, Aaron Neville, Vanessa Williams, Chris Rice and Amy Grant.
THE PIANO PLAYERS: GARY SMITH AND MIKE ROJAS. Some of the artists they have played with are: Patty Loveless, Travis Tritt, Big & Rich and George Jones.
THE STEEL GUITAR PLAYERS: DAN DUGMORE AND RUSS PAHL. Some of the artists they have played with are: James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Kenny Rogers, Bon Jovi, Kenny Loggins, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, and Kathy Mattea.
THE ELECTRIC AND BASS GUITAR PLAYERS: TROY LANCASTER, PAT BUCHANAN AND ELI BEAIRD. Some of the artists they have played with are: Hank Williams Jr., Trisha Yearwood, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Jo Dee Messina, and Hall & Oates.
LARRY BEAIRD plays Acoustic Guitar on all of the songs and Mandolin on “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” He is one of the most sought after studio musicians in Nashville, and has played with artists such as: Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Randy Travis, Art Garfunkel and Porter Wagoner. He is also a talented producer and recently produced a song with Dolly Parton, the entire Nashville Symphony, and the Fisk Jubilee Singers.
Larry is the producer of this CD as well as owner of Beaird Music Group (www.beairdmusicgroup.com), where we did all of the recording and mixing. His engineers, JIM DEBLANC, ROB LANE and ERIC TONKIN, took all of the raw material and mixed and molded it into this masterpiece.
There are a couple more folks I need to tell you about: the back-up vocal singers! They are an amazingly talented group of people. DANNY GREGG and his wife, LISA GREGG, are friends of mine who graciously agreed to sing with me, even though they had no idea what they were getting into. They have both been in bands locally and on tour. Lisa is a sought-after studio singer and has sung with Reba McEntire, Faith Hill and Little River Band.
MARY-KYLE BARTLETT and JOHN MARK BARTLETT are a brother and sister duo destined for greatness. I first heard their voices while visiting their church outside of Atlanta, and I knew I had to have them sing the children parts. This is their debut album, and I was truly amazed with their professionalism and courage. They came in knowing their parts and sang out. Thanks for the wonderful job, guys!
I need to thank a great friend and photographer, MANDY JOHNSON, for the photos on the CD and back panel of the jewel case. She has photographed our children from the start. Visit her at (www.mandyjohnsonphotography.com), she is local to Nashville, but I know she travels for clients!
Special thanks to my lovely wife, LAURA BETH OLIVER, who shares my hopes and dreams for our wonderful children, HOLLAND and GREELEY, and who took the cover photo and many of the images inside the CD.
OK, so you made it to the end, and you might be thinking, “Who is BRIAN OLIVER?” When I'm not singing, besides being a doting father to my kids, and hopefully a good husband to my wife, I’m an Architect. I’ve owned a commercial architecture firm in Nashville, Tenn., for six years.
Thanks again for buying my CD!