Shades of Green
The first thing that hits you when meeting Karissa la Cour is the question \'Where does it come from?\' Hailing from a cloistered world in rural Wyoming, home schooled, and looking young and wide- eyed, you don\'t expect to hear the eclectic, edgy, slightly off-the-wall artist that you eventually realize she is. Things started emerging for Karissa when at 18, she experienced an epiphany at her first concert, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, in Rapids City, SD and was overwhelmed with the notion of doing the same thing for a living. Karissa explains, \'I came out of that show and thought, I\'d love to do this but I never really felt I could." After a few gigs singing in coffee shops and the odd college event Karissa still lacked the confidence to go for it. But in her junior year at University of Wyoming, she heard that one of her friends headed to Nashville in an attempt to launch a music career and realized that she might have the same option. After strong support from family and friends, Karissa left college as a junior with friend Bob Proffitt, who steered his Jeep in a beeline for Music City USA.\' Karissa continues, \'we crashed at Bob\'s parents home in Nashville and surprisingly, through his father\'s business association with music industry veteran Robb Royer, I was offered a meeting. Little did I know at the time that he was the co-founder of the renowned 70\'s super-group Bread and a Academy Award Winning songwriter,\' she laughs. Unbeknownst to Royer, Karissa was more intent on singing, writing and seeking artist advice than talking about the business side of music. She sang three songs before he stopped her saying, \'Well, there\'s no doubt you can sing.\' \'Robb said that he\'d be willing to go in the studio and see what happened,\' Karissa continues, \'so, I went back to Wyoming to regroup, earn some additional money, and bought a return trip flight to Nashville in December 2006, just in time for a very lonely first Christmas in Nashville. When I arrived back on Music Row we sat down at NashFilms Records studio and I played \'Shades of Green\' and the rest is kind of a blur,\' she laughs. Robb added, \'I think I had tears in my eyes when she played it (Shades of Green), and said something like, \'okay, you\'re the real thing\' and took her into the studio the first of the year (2007) and we started to write songs outrageously fast. She accelerated me to her pace and we enjoyed a cross generational writing relationship where I had all the experience and she had the floodgates open. It was hard enough for her to walk into the studio on this level for the first time, yet she exceeded all my expectations. I recall telling her, \'Now look, if we're going to do this, we\'ll need to write and cut for one full year.\' I thought that implied a languid pace. It didn\'t end up that way. I wanted to experiment, try several styles, and every time I gave her a challenge she\'d knock it out of the park!