Leaving San Diego

"We sold our house, all our furniture, and my wedding ring to make the move to Nashville," says San Diego singer/songwriter Erin McCarley. After three years of playing venues such as 'Canes, the Casbah, and Twiggs, McCarley moved with her husband last June to Nashville to put together an album.

"We had a few rough starts," she says as we sit in a trendy Nashville bar.

Before she moved to San Diego in 2003, McCarley spent two years in Nashville, recording several songs with a Nashville producer. Eventually, the two had a falling out.

"It was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, knowing how much we had both invested with money and time into creating the five songs we did together. The project we did together is now just a memory...no product was ever published."

Upon her return to Nashville, McCarley found producer Jamie Kenney, who has spent the past several years writing, producing, programming, and playing keys for artists whose musical styles range from indie rock to Christian to country. (He worked as Carrie Underwood's keyboard player on her last tour.)

"Finding a good producer is like trying to find a husband.... With us, things just clicked. We cowrite songs, and we trust each other."

Kenney isn't being paid for his work; he won't be reimbursed if the album doesn't get picked up by a label. To make ends meet, McCarley paints friends' houses and works occasionally as a personal assistant.

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