Performing locally for years when a chance encounter

She landed a blind audition on Season 10 of NBC’s The Voice. The then 17-year-old blew away the judges with her folk-tinged version of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Indeed, she had the honor of performing songs from some of her greatest inspirations, including Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Jeff Buckley. That got her to the 11th spot of the season before exiting the show.

But, instead of taking advantage of her newfound celebrity and moving to Los Angeles or New York, Keener returned to her small community and began to organically cultivate her fan base. A true DIY move.

Read More: New Music Critique: Emily Keener

Teaming up with local producer Dalton Brand, instead of a Hollywood hit-maker, allowed her to stay true to her roots as she recorded, co-produced and released her album Breakfast in November of 2016.

With the help of a PR firm, but no management or agent, Keener has since gone on to sell out shows in the Midwest and has begun to venture even farther, playing shows in larger cities such as Los Angeles and Nashville.

As she gears up for more self-booked tours in 2017, Keener will be rolling out self-produced and self-funded music videos to keep that organic momentum flowing.

At this point, I had begun to discover many things about the physiology of the voice, or how the voice is supposed to work. I struck up a conversation with Dr. Alessi, who was impressed enough with my knowledge to offer to take me even further. He began to refer some of his patients to me who had experienced vocal damage and were in need of rehabilitation. Most times, the vocal problems could be corrected with surgery or drugs, but those solutions might only be temporary if the patient does not change the vocal habits that caused the problem in the first place.

When a new client came from Dr. Alessi, they would come with a letter that described their condition. The letters were written in medical terminology, which I did not understand at all. Now this was well before the resources we have now on the Internet, so I had to go to the library to research these terms so that I could understand them and come up with an individual plan for each client.