Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How Gigi Love Got Her Start

By Melissa Scott

This is a performing artist who is the original Trails & Rails Troubadour. Trails & Rails is a program that has been organized by both the National Park Service and Amtrak as a way of getting people to enjoy the natural wonders of national parks all from the comfort of an Amtrak train. As a part of this program, Gigi Love performs both on these long train rides and at breathtaking performance sites in many parks across the country.

Between the years of 2015 and 2017, this modern troubadour spent her time traveling to over twenty national parks in different parts of the country. While she was there, she was focused on learning everything she could about her surroundings including the history and the general vibe of the area. Through the process of taking many notes, she was able to use her observations as a basis for many of the songs that appear in National Parks Centennial Songs.

People who listen to her songs say that they feel transported to a different place. Because her lyrics are often depicting the many travels she has gone on, the songs themselves often feel like a journey. In her music, Gigi has a way of making the listener see what she sees and go with her on this journey.

Gigi's place of birth was Dallas, Texas, and that is where she was raised and was first introduced to music. It didn't take her long for her to get her start. After learning how to sing and play the guitar when she was seven, she quickly went on to play at a number of prestigious local venues by age twelve.

A lot of people have heard her name before because of the widespread public exposure she attained after performing at some very big events for extremely large audiences. One of her big breakthrough events was opening for the Dave Matthews Band at the Columbia River Gorge. Her performance at the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Closing Ceremonies led to many opportunities in her career.

The NRFA gave Love her debut at a Folk DJ Showcase for Suzi Wollenberg in 2016. She has also toured with Kate McLeod, as well as the band Burns on the Plush. This is a Utah Phillips cover band that she toured with alongside Duncan Phillips, and her voice perfectly fits into these songs.

This particular album and project was always about Love's passion for these beautiful parks. She wanted to use the power of songwriting and use it to convey the beauty, history, and importance of these natural wonders. By performing this music that she has specifically crafted for each park in the parks themselves, she has effectively created a soundtrack for nature.

Yosemite Gold is Love's first song that was written about a national park. The story goes that she performed at Yosemite, and came across a rock climber who needed gas money and was offering to sell his mandolin. She bought the mandolin and took it to El Capitan Meadow, where she sat and wrote Yosemite Gold.

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