Back in 1996, O’Donnell was a relative newlywed in her mid-twenties, going from gig to gig in a mini-van with a mattress tossed in the back for overnight runs. Today, her mini-van is still full -- of car seats, Cheerios and crumpled coloring pages -- and clocking more miles than ever. With all the bumps and detours in the road, Erin O’Donnell has found that she got it right the very first time -- there is truly No Better Place than where she is now.
She’s also found a new voice. While on the radio, she’s known for her melodic vocals, at home she’s just a mom who is trying to get dinner ready and the kids bathed and to bed on time. Both are talents she’s using to the glory of God, reaching out to women all over the country in speaking and performance engagements to remind them that their very lives -- even as stressed and tired moms -- are an act of worship.
Every song on her 2006 album No Better Place is a mark along the road, from her very first number one song, “No Better Place,” to the beautiful ballads written for her daughters at their births, “Hold On To Jesus” for Quinn, and “Fallon’s Lullaby,” for Fallon. True to Erin’s deeply personal style, each tune is not only part of her musical journey, it journals her life from then to now.
She’s been making music as long as she can remember, with her public singing debut at the age of 10 years, singing songs from “Annie” for the troops at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. A man in the front row stood up to sing along with her, and by the end of the song, this Broadway baby had the whole crowd singing along. “I was hooked!” she says.
Music was always a passion for Erin, and she followed that passion to the University of Miami, where she not only graduated with a degree in jazz vocal performance, but also met her husband Brad. He, an aspiring songwriter and producer, as well as a talented musician, shared her musical aspirations, and the two were married in 1994.
It was soon after that the two were surfing the internet and came upon a fledgling Christian recording label in Nashville looking for talent. Erin became the first recording artist signed through the internet, and the couple moved to Nashville. With Erin’s vocals and Brad’s songwriting talents, her debut album, A Scrapbook Of Sorts, shipped to stores nationwide in 1996, immediately racking up two number one radio hits.
Erin and her band toured the country with such Christian music favorites as Susan Ashton and NewSong, taking a break when they celebrated the birth of their first daughter in 2000. But it wasn’t long before the new mom was in the studio, reflecting on the incredible changes in her life in her third album, No Place So Far.
For years, Erin’s life had been reflected in song through the eyes of her award-winning songwriter husband, Brad. But not content to sit on the sidelines, Erin flexed her writing muscles and collaborated with Cindy Morgan and Mark Hammond for Wide Wide World in 2003. The catchy, upbeat title cut was soon blanketing radio. With Christmas Time Is Here, released for the holiday season in 2004, the talented vocalist returned to her jazz roots. She teamed with two-time Producer Of The Year winner Ed Cash for the stripped-down album that brought her favorite Christmas songs to life.
After the birth of their second daughter in February 2005, Erin was again eager to return to the studio. Brad had written a beautiful cut for their daughter, and fans were clamoring for recordings of her earlier hit songs that were no longer available in print.
Taking a musical cue from her Christmas album, she returned to work again with Ed Cash and from the ground up, rebuilt the fan and concert favorites from the past ten years. With a clean sound and, in some cases, nearly a decade of performance history, the songs have found a new life and new passion on her project No Better Place. “I felt like I was looking through a musical scrapbook everyday -- each song reminding me of where we were and what we were doing when it was written,” she says. “I never could have imagined where God would have taken us when we began. But I am grateful for every step of the journey.”
Erin celebrates her history just as she welcomes in the future. Instead of a crowded room of teens, she is singing to thankful rooms of moms at women’s conferences. Instead of working a second job at a factory to pay the bills, today she juggles hats as a full-time wife, mother of three, recording artist and speaker.
“It’s so important to remind women that what they are doing -- as moms, sisters, daughters, caregivers -- has value and real eternal meaning,” says Erin. “Sometimes we need to be reminded that God sees every nose wiped, meal made, and hand held. When we do these things, we are living a life of worship by caring for the things God loves -- His creation, His people.”
Higher notoriety| Posted December 07, 2017
Talented people besides their wonderful gift have the role to inspire others, they have passion and strength, that's something that comes with the package of talent apparently. We are lucky to have Erin to enchant us, she really know how to reach people's hearts. She would definitely rank high on Broadway play reviews, more people should hear her wonderful voice.
Nice Musci| Posted July 21, 2017
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