Interview by Alexa
May 30, 2011

Estrella: Could you please state your name?
Heather: This is Heather Morgan and we are in York, Pennsylvania.

Estrella: This is your second year on Country Throwdown… are you on the whole tour this year?
Heather: I’m only on part of it. I’m apart of the alumni program now. Sarah Baer who started the tour this past spring decided that she wanted to incorporate somehow the songwriters who played last year and wanted to bring us out, kind of as like a big brother/big sister situation for the newbies. Since I’m somebody’s who kind of been through it, I volunteered to do it. So I’ve done the past four shows and I think I’ll be doing the next three. Then I will pass the torch to Brad Tursi from last year.

Estrella: How has Country Throwdown from last year, helped you prepare for this year?
Heather: I knew what to bring and how to pack this time. Last time, I had no idea how to pack and I knew coming up here there might be a chance that it might rain and that it was going to be cold at night, so I kind of got that down. Just as far as, I knew to bring snacks on the bus because we weren’t gonna have anything. I knew to bring the right blankets this year. It’s just as far as packing that was a huge help. Just as far as what to expect, I kind of already figured out what songs I wanted to sing that I’ve written over the past year. So I’m playing one this year I’m singing a new song called “Speckled Bird” on the main stage and last year, I played one called “Bring Me Up” every night. So it was cool the other night, in New Hampshire two girls ran up singing “Bring Me Up” one of my songs they had been at the show last year, and they told me they didn’t know that I was going to be there and I said well neither did I.. So that was a really cool moment, they knew every word, it was crazy, I loved it.

Estrella: Has being on Country Throwdown last year, given you the kick into the right direction you wanted to go?
Heather: Just as far as experience levels, it’s connected me with a lot of artists for songwriting where after last year, I went home to Texas and spent a few days with the Eli Young Band writing and then got to know them from the songwriter’s side of things, it’s really helped me as far as getting to know people to write with. Then, just as far as getting to perform in other venues, last year in October – Ashley Ray and I drove to North Carolina and drove to a spot in Rahleigh, from someone we met on the tour, so it’s gotten us some more shows and new friends, so you don’t know what to expect but it’s all good.

Estrella: What have you been doing for the past year?
Heather: Songwriting. I write for Sony ATV, that’s a publishing company – Miranda Lambert’s there, Taylor Swift’s there, a whole bunch of people. Kenny Chesney, I think. I have a song recorded by Trisha Yearwood, that’ll be on her next album, called “Fall Like Rain.” I have a song on Billy Ray Cyrus’ new album called “We Fought Hard.” Then, I have a song on the radio right now by a girl named Jeanette McCurdy, who’s from iCarly called, “Generation Love” that I wrote. So, it’s been a good year. I’ve been writing with a bunch of new people. There’s a new group called Eden’s Edge that I’ve been writing with. They’re opening for Brad Paisley this summer, so kind of my main thing usually, songwriting so this gets me out in that world and I get to go play and sing, I love singing more than anything. It let’s me play both sides.

Estrella: What are your upcoming plans after this part of tour?
Heather: I will probably go back to writing. But I actually might do a tour with a girl named Jessica Campbell. We are talking about playing stores or restaurants or something like that. Like Anthropologie type store throughout the Southeast and Chicago and we’re girly girls, so we thought it would be fun to play day time stuff and then maybe play bars at night. Travel in our own cars and do it the old fashioned way. And then, Jonathan Singleton from the tour last year, we’ve been talking about making a record together, we wrote the song “Speckled Bird”, that I’m going to sing tonight, and that was a result of touring with him last year because I didn’t know him before that. I walked up to him at an alumni party from Throwdown in September or October of 2010 and I said, I have this song I started called “Speckled Bird” and will you please write it with me and I’m sure he was like that sounds like a weird title to a song. We ended up writing it and I made a video in the studio that’s on YouTube now, if you look up “Speckled Bird” by Heather Morgan so it’s been good. So, it’s on hold for Miranda Lambert, so we’ll see what happens. Something hopefully will happen, a lot of great things have come from touring with it, besides just great food and great people.

Estrella: What was your best Halloween costume?
Heather: This year! This year I was Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, I had a black long sleeve t shirt that was really long and I put clouds on and then I put diamonds on it, little fake diamonds.

Estrella: Three items that can always be found in your fridge?
Heather: Soy milk, kiwis, and avocados.

Estrella: If you were stuck on a desert island, what are the three things you’d take with you?
Heather: A guitar, duh. Running shoes and maybe my Iphone? I don’t have an Iphone, I have an Android, but if I had an Iphone, I would take it.

Estrella: Do you have any crazy tour stories that you’re willing to share?
Heather: Last year, I was so determined to go to the beach that I spent $30 round trip which doesn’t seem like a lot but we went to Virginia last year, to the beach… What beach were we at?
Estrella: Virginia Beach?
Heather: Yup, that would be it. Really hard to remember. But last year, we played New Hampshire I decided to jump in the car with somebody that I do not know and I knew from a friend of a friend of a friend and I left New Hampshire and drove with them to New York and they dropped me off at the New Jersey shore which I had never been to and I kind of just stayed there and I had to figure out the ferry and everything. We drove it in the morning, we were so tired, we stayed up the night before, all night. I was trying to be a good passenger and keep the driver awake. She just dropped me off and told me to have a good time. So, I got there and called a friend and managed to see about four friends that I knew. I kind of just walked around New York for three days and then flew back to Virginia Beach, then the next day we had three hours in the morning, I snuck out of the hotel and went to the beach and laid on the beach, literally with all my stuff, I looked like I was homeless, for like an hour and people were like what is this girl doing and I took a cab back and I barely made it back on time but I just really wanted to see the beach. So that was really fun. But it was cool because I got to stick my toes in that water and then at the end of it, we were out in California! Then I randomly ended up on a motorcycle in Utah with some person that I do not know and it was their birthday and they were just going to take me around the parking lot and they ended up driving up a cliff and I thought I was going to die.

Estrella: Do you have any advice for anyone who is going to be on Country Throwdown?
Heather: Yes. I do. Bring lots of deodorant. Get to know as many people as you can because even though you have a lot of shows, some people forget to get to know everybody and that’s one of the best parts is getting to really know everybody because when you see them in town in Nashville you kind of feel like you’re related. Like you have this great experience with them and you have that in common. I can be shy sometimes and so I have to make myself be like “Hi, I’m Heather, you’re Willie Nelson and it’s really nice to meet you.” I asked him to sign my guitar the other night and that was really scary but he did it, I just think reaching out to people and taking advantage of being here that go on the tour, whoever they are.

Estrella: Any closing statements?
Heather: Country Throwdown 2012 is going to be just as great as 2011. Closing statements, this has been an amazing year to tour with Willie Nelson and to watch him play every night and if you get a chance to come out, come out and see it wherever it is, it’s totally worth seeing a legend, do what he does best, he is amazing, referring to Willie. Everybody on the line up is awesome this year, they walk off stage totally sweating because they’re giving it their all. It’s worth everything. The parking and all that!

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