July 6, 2006

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From karaoke to album
Singing mom lives her dream
By Richie Victorino rvictorino@hippopress.com

Shortly after her divorce, Deb Soucy got a tattoo of an ivy plant running down her back. The ivy plant has 13 leaves.

"Each leaf signifies someone who's impacted my life," Soucy said.

Not every leaf represents a positive moment in her life. But regardless of how these people impacted her life, Soucy understands one thing.

"They all helped shape me to who I am today," she said.

There is still one leaf missing on that plant, the one that represents her current boyfriend/fiancé/other half.

Soucy's boyfriend is just one of the many people in her life who have helped her achieve a lifelong dream: Soucy, 34, is recording an album.

Recording an album is a feat of its own. But Soucy's life adds more drama to this equation. She's a single mother (she has an eight-year-old daughter), with a full-time job at a law firm. She's also two classes away from graduating from law school with a paralegal degree.

Her daily schedule hardly leaves time for her to breathe. She's up at 5 a.m., dropping her daughter off at school by 7:15 and in the office by 7:45. Her lunch breaks often consists of her taking care of errands or doing some food shopping. At 5 p.m. she clocks out of work, picks up her daughter, gets her ready for bed and then goes to school from 8 to 11 p.m.

That schedule might seem hectic, but in Soucy's mind, her schedule finally gives her enough time to achieve her dream of making an album.

"I have such an amazing support system," Soucy said.

Her family has given Soucy their full support in making this album. But her family hasn't always been close.

For years Soucy and her sisters were not close. After Soucy's mother died of leukemia, when Soucy was 16, the family began getting closer, but not as much as Soucy wanted.

Shortly after Soucy's twenty-first birthday, all that changed. Soucy's sister invited Soucy out to a bar one night. Unbeknownst to Soucy, her sister had signed her up for a karaoke contest. It was her first-ever singing performance.

"I sang 'I Will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor because I was sifting through the book, and it was the only song I knew," she said. "I ended up winning that night."

From that point on, it seemed to Soucy that her sisters and she began getting closer.

Now, as she embarks on a recording career, her entire family plays a pivotal role in her life.

Her father is her manager — "I couldn't imagine anyone else looking out for me" — and her sister is helping to design the album cover. "The whole family is getting involved."

Soucy wants to make this album, not for the money or the fame, but for her family.

"My goal is to have a legacy for my family and my daughter," she said, "and to say ˜I did it.'"

Soucy's family has a long relationship with music. Her grandmother opened up once for Johnny Cash at his only appearance at the Lone Star Ranch in Merrimack.

"She remembers that he pulled up in a red convertible with bull horns on it," Soucy said. "She remembers that he was so proud of that car."

Her grandfather was musically gifted; it seemed that he could pick up any instrument and play it for the first time as if he had been playing it for years.

And in a bittersweet moment, her grandfather died on stage, while playing at a show in Groton, Mass.

Dave Navarro and the birth of a music career
Dave Navarro is the reason why Soucy is in the recording studio.

She wanted to try out for Rock Star, the talent-search show starring Dave Navarro. She ended up nixing her plan to try out for the show, but the producer she worked with in making a demo for the show loved her voice. He convinced her that she should make an album on her own.

She had her doubts — she didn't have money, she didn't have time.

But the producer, Steve Devino, worked with her on the costs. Her other half, Rick, pushed her to go for her dreams.

"He told me 'I think this is the right time'," Soucy said.

And so she took a chance.

Now she finds herself on the cusp of laying down the vocal tracks for her eight-track album, which will be titled Vines of Life. It includes three tracks written by Soucy, as well as a cover of Janis Joplin's Me and Bobby McGee.

She teamed up with a group of professional musicians from across the country for her album. And she's teamed up with local rock band Project Mess, who will perform with Soucy when she starts playing live.


Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

Catch It
Deb Soucy's album, Vines of Life should be available this fall. Soucy will go by the stage name Ivee when performing. Keep an eye out for her performances, with Project Mess, starting this summer