Live Your Dreams!

Julie and DeWayne

Dreams. We all have them. The question is do we ever really get to live them? I’m going to admit something I probably never admitted before, but I always dreamed of being a backup singer for Ann Murray!! I didn’t want to be the star…just wanted to be a part of it all. I love music, and I have always loved music. I love to sing and some of my fondest memories are the time I was part of the group Joyful Noise at church. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to attend the Michigan Fair Convention with husband who is President of our local Fairboard. At convention they have showcases of performers that would like you to hire them to play at your fair. From the minute DeWayne Spaw took the stage I was captivated. He could SING!!! Not only could he sing, but he was an awesome performer! He was all over that room singing and getting the crowd in an uproar. I told Mr. President right then and there…you will bring this guy to our fair!!! And since he knows better than to argue, DeWayne was hired that night!

We have come to know DeWayne Spaw on a personal basis over the last couple of years and can now call him friend. This past weekend I took the opportunity to sit down with him and do a little interview. I wanted to hear about how he not only followed his dream but how he is getting to live a life that many people (me) only dream about:

Julie: My sister and I are dreamers. We have been looking for awhile for our niche. You seem to have found yours and are living your dream. When did you first realize that music was what you wanted to do with your life?

DeWayne: I was a sophomore in high school and was in the school musical (laughing)! Once I performed there I knew that is what I wanted to do with my life!

Julie: Was there someone in your life who really influenced the music part of you?

DeWayne: That would be my Grandpa Vic. He was a farmer, but he sang all the time, and he was a poet. My father worked in the coal mine and was gone a lot. My Grandpa was kind of the glue that held our family together. He was my buddy, and I loved working on the farm with him. I was around music all my life, but Grandpa, he put the music in my heart.

Julie: So what does your family think about you making music your career?

DeWayne: Mom and Grandpa were always supportive. My mom is an excellent piano player and sang and played at church. My dad was the type who didn’t say a lot. I’m not sure what he thought about it, but after he saw “The Storm Before the Calm” he said, now that is you, that sounds like DeWayne, and I knew that was his way of giving me the thumbs up. I have two sisters, and I really think they are still waiting for me to get a “real job!!”

Julie: Your sisters are probably just jealous! I mean, look at the fun you are having!! So, you have done rodeos, fairs and festivals. Did you give Nashville a run? Because frankly, I think you are as good as Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton or any of the “Nashville Stars!”

DeWayne: I moved to Nashville in 1990. In 1997 I came close to being signed. It came down to 3 of us, myself, Billy Montana and Montgomery Gentry. I guess we know who got picked!! After that I decided I had to find a way to make money and still make my music. In 1998 I was at a rodeo at the Loretta Lynn Ranch. During the breaks I thought, this would be a great place to play. I gave them a CD and never expected to hear anything. A week later they called and said, “man, you are good!” I played 8 shows that year. So I started pursing more outlets. I bet I sent close to a 100 letters out and only got back 2 responses. But that year I played 30 shows. In 2000 I signed on with a rodeo in Michigan and things kind of took off from there. I probably played 80 some shows then and have been going ever since. I did take one more run at Nashville in 1997. While everyone said I was good, they also said I was too old. I think I was 37. They wanted young talent. So I never looked back and I’m doing what I love to do. I don’t need Nashville!

Julie: Well, Nashville’s loss is our gain! So what advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue their own dream?

DeWayne: I say, work hard, be creative and know your limitations. You have to set your goals high, but don’t go over your head. You don’t have to be a big shot, just do what you do. And keep it real. If it’s going to work out it will.

Julie: How important has your faith been through all of this? And have you ever considered recording a Christian album?

DeWayne: Faith has been a very important part of my life. I was raised in the church. I would love to record a Christian album and considered it before recording my recent album “Let the Cowboys Rock. It is hard to find good tracks though. Because I am a one man show and don’t have a band, I have to find good tracks to record and right now I haven’t found them, but it is certainly not out of the questions.

Julie: While it looks like lots of fun, doing what you do, do you ever just get tired?

DeWayne: Well, I’m getting older; my son used to travel with me and help with set up and tear down. That was really helpful. But he grew up, went to college and just got married last week! And I admit it can get a little lonely traveling alone. Recently, I’ve met a special lady. She comes with me when she can, but she has her own career and can’t always be with me. But I have to say, when I start to perform, it’s there, the spark ignites, the show begins and I love it. It’s who I am, and it’s what I do.

Julie: And I can testify he does it very well! Even though I’ve seen him do it many times now, when he rises up out of that trailer and its show time, I get goosebumps. He is living his dream, and he is doing it very well. (FYI – He has many shows throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and more. Check out his schedule at www.dewaynespaw.com. You can also listen to samples of his music and buy it right from there!

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