I’m pleased to share the following Catholic Music Spotlight with Billie Tarascio, highlighting the release of her new CD Send Me. Billie’s music is both inspirational and infectious – I know you’re going to love it!
Q: Congratulations Billie on the release of your wonderful new CD, Send Me. Please briefly introduce yourself and your family to our readers.
I am a 28 yr old catholic mom of an 8 year old step-daughter and two boys 4 and 2. My husband Tony and I have been married almost 7 years. I’m also an attorney and own a legal firm that offers limited legal representation at affordable rates.
Q: How did you get started in music and specifically life as a Catholic recording artist?
I have always been a singer, and have briefly explored everything from Broadway to opera to country music. In 2001, I stumbled upon Lifeteen and was asked to join the band. It literally changed my whole life. My Catholic faith came alive largely through worship music. It wasn’t until I found music ministry that it finally clicked what I was suppose to be doing with my voice. Then, while my husband was deployed to Iraq I began writing music. He came home and we both felt called to meet God halfway so to speak. He had given us all these gifts, the largest of which was an intact family, so we decided to take a huge leap of faith and make a CD. Since the release, things have been a bit crazy, we are getting radio play all over the country and even in Spain. We have had lots of local requests for our band to come play at schools or retreats. Its been fun.
Q: As a mom, I have to ask how you balance the many demands upon your time as wife, mother, attorney and musician? What do your kids and colleagues think about you being a Catholic rocker?
It’s pretty funny. I do feel compartmentalized in my three roles, at least when it comes to wardrobe. I only work part-time as an attorney while my son is in pre-school. Luckily the practice I have created is conducive to a part-time schedule. Other than that, I have a very supportive husband and very musical children. They all pick up their instruments and practice right along with us! It isn’t easy, but we have only been given one life and many responsibilities to do God’s will. My kids think it is awesome that mommy has concerts. They watch the tape over and over and even pretend to be different members of the band. My attorney colleagues probably think I’m nuts, but other moms are typically very supportive.
Q: Please tell us about your experience composing the songs for this CD and share the stories behind a few of your favorites.
During Tony’s deployment I felt like I was drowning. Isaiah was born about six months before Tony came home. Sebastian was a very difficult toddler who missed his dad immensely. The only thing I did outside of take care of them, was Lifeteen music and it was literally my lifeline. My relationship with God grew exponentially during that time. I never knew I could write music and then one day a song popped out and I couldn’t stop. I remember specifically being on a long walk with my two little boys in their double stroller trying the pray the rosary when I wrote the Hail Mary. When I hear it I can hear the steps I was taking in rhythm while writing it. Those hard months were the first time in my life I needed God enough to really feel him, and the songs on the album are my prayers of thanks, laments, and songs for my church.
Q: Could you please introduce us to the other members of your band and tell us a bit about the actual making of the CD?
The CD was produced by David Smith of Icon Music Studio. He did all the instrumentation on the CD and I think he did a superb job. My band is made up of my husband Tony on guitar, and many other fellow life-teeners from my church. Caitlin Lindahl is a core member, in our Lifeteen band and my bass player. She actually learned the bass in record time for our band. James Duchateau is our drummer and one of my boys heroes. Josh Laguana is our fantastic piano player. He live in Portland about two hours away and comes down every weekend for rehearsals, and our newest addition plays electric guitar and teaches junior high math. Russ Hunt has an amazing story. He suffered a terrible accident years ago that left his left hand disabled. He has managed to create a completely new way of playing guitar and is nothing short of fantastic. The best part about my band is that we pray together for our ministry, ourselves and our families. We are a very close group.
Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians, both Catholic and secular, and who would we find on your iPod?
I like a really wide variety of music including everything from Taylor Swift to Daughtry, the Fray, Jackie Franscios, Matt Maher, Sean Clive, Ceili Rain and more. I think U2 is fabulous and really like casting crowns and Natalie Grant. Currently, I’ve been listening to cold play on my ipod.
Q: How does your Catholic faith inspire and impact upon the music you are creating?
My faith is the center of all the music I create. Only in that context does it feel right to parade around on stage inviting applause. We were created to worship the Lord and our band loves to lead worship. I also hope that my music will help people, especially youth, to come closer to Christ. Music certainly had that effect for me, and I’m trying to pay it forward.
Q: With the release of the CD, what’s next for you and the band?
That really remains to be seen. We do lots of local youth ministry events and are hoping to do more both statewide and beyond. We would love to have some of the music published in Spirit and Song or by GIA, and have also talked about other christian publishers. Many of the songs were written to serve the liturgy and we would love to see the songs being used to complement our holy mass.
Q: How can people learn more about your music and upcoming appearances?