Farrar back in Franklin for Brittany’s Project Saturday
Jillian Romero Farrar, singer, songwriter, owner and chief executive officer of Bella Lyrics, will perform Saturday from 10 p.m. to midnight during Brittany’s Project on the grounds of the old Oaklawn Sugar property near Franklin.
“When Ms. Sandra Saucier invited me to perform for the second annual Brittany’s Project I jumped at the opportunity,” the Franklin native Farrar said. “It is always such an honor to return back to my roots and perform, even better when it’s for such a great cause. It’s my chance to give back to the community that I grew up in and to those in need, as well as, bring a little taste of Nashville back home.”
Farrar is a graduate of Hanson Memorial High School’s 1989 class and the daughter of Eunice Romero Pellerin and L.J. Romero.
She left Louisiana in 1998 bound for Nashville, Tenn., and never looked back. Farrar said, “I moved here in pursuit of a record deal but my musical path would change after the losses of my father and sister back in 2001 and once again in July 2011 when my dear friend, mentor and producer of 13 years, Charlie Craig (songwriter on “Wanted” by Alan Jackson, “Between An Old Memory And Me” by Travis Tritt and countless others) lost his battle with cancer. Realizing that the years past and those losses had taken its toll on me while sitting at Charlie’s side in the month before he passed, I knew that my path would now be song writing and publishing and not singing as planned.”
Although that decision came unexpectedly, it was a new phase in her life and she was excited about it. “I’ve done it for a long time but it was never really my focus because I only saw myself as a singer,” Farrar said. “When I first met Charlie years ago he would throw me into these writer rooms with several great writers in some of the biggest publishing houses on Music Row. I was completely intimidated. I knew that I could sing what these guys were writing but I hadn’t exactly honed in on my own craft of song writing at that time so it was all very overwhelming. Many of those guys have gone on to write many of the hit songs we’ve heard over the years on country music radio. Looking back on that now most people would have killed to be in that position but I was scared of the unknown. Songwriters are faced daily with having to tell a story in a way in which no one else has then with having to put a melody to it to make those words unforgettable. It’s a tough job but it can be extremely rewarding in so many ways. I knew this when I started. One of my favorite quotes ever is ‘There are only two mistakes that one can make along the road; not going all the way, and not starting.’ This has never meant more to me than it has the past few years. Sure, some days come with challenges but every day is a blessing. I live with the attitude of ‘eat this world or this world is going to eat you.’ This same concept applies to the music business as well.”
From the small town of Franklin, all the way to big city lights of Nashville, Farrar says that, like her father, she was a dreamer. “When Ms. Sandra and I began to discuss ideas for this year’s benefit it was important for me to do something a little different. I want to give the community something that they won’t forget. My dear friend and co-writer Ashley Helms will be performing with me. She’s a 22-year-old singer/songwriter out of Fayetteville, Georgia and truly one of the most amazing talents that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Being able to do this every day is really a dream come true. She will be graduating from Middle Tennessee State University in May and will begin working full-time on her music career. I’m trying to teach her the ropes just as Charlie Craig did for me.”
Also performing with Farrar will be 11-year-old, Tayah Ratcliff, daughter of Dr. Shade Ratcliff, of Franklin and Barkley Booker of Baton Rouge. She is the granddaughter of Ruthie Haydel and Dennis Foreman and Kathleen Hebert of Franklin and Lionel Smith of Baton Rouge.
“Tayah is another child that is clearly blessed with the gift of music,” Farrar said. “It has been one year since I heard this little girl sing and I was blown away by how much she has grown as a singer. I want her to be a part of the show and for her to really get to see what it’s like. The common thread between each of us, besides our passion for music, are the parents behind it and the support given to each of us in an area than many don’t or won’t ever understand. It’s a brutal industry but our parents give us roots and then they give us wings to fly.”
The band will contain local musicians to Timmy Courville (drums), Glenn Delaune (guitar), Beau Thomas (fiddle), Bryan Perrin (keyboard) and Tracy Menard (bass). There will be an acoustic set as well.
“We’ll be opening the show with a song that was written specifically for the benefit so I hope that everyone will come out in support of that and Brittany’s Project,” Farrar concluded. “What Mr. Bruce and Ms. Sandra Saucier are trying to do is such a wonderful thing and from what I understand is much needed. I’m really looking forward to seeing many friends, family and familiar faces.”
Brittany’s Project second annual Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Tractor, and Special Interest Show opens early in the morning on Saturday, March 23.
Gates open at 9 a.m. with a $5 per car entry fee, and the event kicks off immediately with bands, activities, storytelling and much more.
Live music for Saturday will be:
—9-11 a.m.: Johnny Firmin & the Mike Weaver Duo; Franklin Line Dancers
—11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Danny Crochet & the Cajun Ramblers
—2-2:30 p.m.: Jason Todd (Louisiana Hall of Fame musician) and Rockin’ Randal
—2:30 p.m.: Full Force Dance Team
—3-5 p.m. Cliff Hillibran & the Anytime Band with special guest Don Rich
—5:30-6 p.m.: Jason Todd & Rockin’ Randal
—6:15- 7:45 p.m.: Band Vertigo
—8-10 p.m.: Shawn Christian & the Copperline Band
—10 p.m. to midnight: Franklin native Jillian Romero Farrar, Ashley Helms and Dannie Hannah
There will be activities throughout the day all over the event grounds:
—9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Kiddie Coral (face painting, fun jumps, barrel train, rocking farm train). The Sonic Drive-In’s Coney Dog will be visiting.
—11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Petting zoo
—1 p.m. Storyteller Clint Robin
—9-11:30 a.m.: Lawn and garden tractor races (must register)
—Noon to 4 p.m.: Rat Rod races (must register)
Tractor Pulls, burnouts throughout the day and the lighting of bonfire at dusk are also slated.
Awards for the show are:
—Best of Show GM Car & Truck
—Best of Show Ford Car & Truck
—Best of Show Mopar
—Best of Show Import
—Best of Show Mini Truck
—Best of Show Bagged
—Under Construction (50% primer)
—Best of Show Rat Rod
—Best of Show Rattiest Rod
—Best Street Rod
—Best Pro Street
—Best of Show Corvette
—Best of Show Camaro
—Best of Show Mustang
—Best of Special Interest
—Best Antique (pre-40’s) Club Participation
—Longest Distance Driven
—Most Unusual Paint
—Best Flame Thrower
—Most Original Tractor
—Best of Show Tractor
—2nd Place Tractor
—Best Lawn & Garden Tractor Race
—2nd Place Lawn & Garden Tractor Race
—Best of Show Cruiser
—Best of Show Trike
—Best of Show Sport Bike
—Best of Show Street Bike
—Second Place Special Interest
Food opportunities include:
Jambalaya by Theo Verette and crew; chicken and sausage gumbo by Coastal Spray Foam Insulation; boudin by Two Brothers; Knights of Columbus will have hamburgers, hotdogs, hotlinks and chili; Phil Gilligan and his crew the Brats serving Cajun sausage, funnel cakes, frozen lemonade and nachos.
For more information, contact Sandra Saucier at 337-828-2284 Volunteers may contact me as well or Facebook: Brittany’s Project Car Show/March 23, 2013.
Attendants are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to help stock the local food pantry.