Local musicians look back on 2016 and make resolutions for 2017

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

To coincide with the end of 2016 and the start of a fresh, new year, Limelight Magazine spoke with ten local musicians about what they were most grateful for in 2016 and their New Year’s resolutions for 2017 both within their personal lives and their music careers. We’d like to thank each of them for participating in our short survey. We’d also like to wish our readers a very happy, healthy, safe, and prosperous 2017!

What were you most grateful for in 2016?

Sarah Barrios

Sarah Barrios (PHOTO BY DAWN KINGSTON PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY SARAH BARRIOS)
Sarah Barrios (PHOTO BY DAWN KINGSTON PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY SARAH BARRIOS)

“I think I’m feeling most grateful for my friends, family, and the endless support from those who follow my career. 2016 has been a year of real self-reflecting for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself as an artist, who I want to be, what kinds of music I want to make, what topics to write about and I think that’s given me a new perspective of my career and how I want to move forward. I started making consistent YouTube videos twice a week and it’s really helped me connect even more so with the lovely people who help support my music. Without them, I truly would not be where I am today. I can’t imagine doing anything else, so the fact that I have the opportunity to pursue my dreams is something that I am very grateful for.

On a more personal note, I have always been someone who enjoys to be alone, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you need your space, but for the past few years, I just couldn’t be bothered to really put myself out there…until now. I have made and strengthened such incredible friendships this past year and I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like to be surrounded by truly kind, talented and inspiring people. As for my family, they are my rock and my home and I have learned that no matter how annoying your brothers may get or how frustrating your parents can be, your family will always be there to support you at any stage of your life and I am very lucky to have the fun and loving family that I do.”

Liz Bills (of Analog Heart)

Liz Bills (center) with Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGARPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)
Liz Bills (center) with Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGARPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)

“I have so many things to be grateful for! Here are a few. I am grateful for my loving and supportive boyfriend. The health of my family and friends. My own physical and mental health. My wonderful band Analog Heart who have stuck with me through thick and thin. The freedom to express myself and to shoot for the stars. My amazing students who teach me more and more about myself and give me purpose and balance in my life. The love that surrounds me.”

Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton)

Shaun Hague
Shaun Hague (PHOTO BY ERIC SCHMIDT, SUBMITTED BY SHAUN HAGUE)

“I am most grateful for two things in 2016. My beautiful family which grew even bigger this year as we welcomed our second daughter into the world. Everyone is healthy, happy and doing well. I am also grateful for the amount of professional booking and touring work that landed on my plate this year from lots of hard work, with even more coming in 2017 and beyond!”

Ashley Jordan

Ashley Jordan (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY ASHLEY JORDAN)
Ashley Jordan (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY ASHLEY JORDAN)

“I am most grateful for my family. They are wonderful, loving and supportive and I can’t imagine my crazy life without them!! It will be nice to spend some extra time with my family over the holiday season!!”

Jenna Lotti

Jenna Lotti (PHOTO BY KIERA SLYE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BYJENNA LOTTI)
Jenna Lotti (PHOTO BY KIERA SLYE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BYJENNA LOTTI)

“I’m grateful to be a part of the Boston music community.”

Dan Masterson

Dan Masterson and his band after winning The Last Band Standing Competition. From left, Jamie Howell, Alec Gaston, Dan Masterson, & Matthew Silva. (PHOTO BY PATRICK CREAN, SUBMITTED BY HAILEY MAGEE)
Dan Masterson and his band after winning The Last Band Standing Competition. From left, Jamie Howell, Alec Gaston, Dan Masterson, & Matthew Silva. (PHOTO BY PATRICK CREAN, SUBMITTED BY HAILEY MAGEE)

“I’m most grateful for getting out my bed-bug ridden apartment and moving into a new place in Brighton without going completely broke or insane. I never take a good night’s sleep for granted. I’m also grateful for discovering EBASS (Emerging Boston Area Singer Songwriters) which has been an incredible community and source of support as a performer and I’m thankful to the New England Music Awards and all my friends and fans who came out and propelled us to a win at this year’s Last Band Standing in New England Competition.”

Erin Ollis (of Thirty 6 Red)

Erin Ollis ( (PHOTO BY SYDNEY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ERIN OLLIS)
Erin Ollis ( (PHOTO BY SYDNEY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY ERIN OLLIS)

“2016 has been one of the best years thus far. I’ve been very grateful to be part of a wonderful band, Thirty 6 Red, who I can also call a second family. We’ve performed at so many wonderful events this past year and we’ve been so fortunate to have the support of family, friends and fans. We ended this year by performing at Gillette Stadium on Christmas Eve before the Patriots took the field…We were also lucky enough to choose a fan to join us for the entire day and invite them to watch the Patriots game afterwards with us.”

Louis St. August (of MASS)

Louis St. August (of MASS) (PHOTO BY MICAH GUMMEL FOR NEW ENGLAND CONCERT REVIEWS, SUBMITTED BY LOUIS ST. AUGUST)
Louis St. August (of MASS) (PHOTO BY MICAH GUMMEL FOR NEW ENGLAND CONCERT REVIEWS, SUBMITTED BY LOUIS ST. AUGUST)

“I didn’t have to give this one too much thought because I am so grateful for many things in 2016. Mostly for my family who have always been supportive in all that I do and understand that there may be times when our family plans may need to be altered. I’m very grateful for their love and understanding. Secondly, I’m very grateful that most, if not all, of my family and friends have stayed relatively healthy and happy in 2016. I’m also very grateful for our amazing fans that continue to support me and MASS music over the many years. I’ve been blessed to still have the passion and desire to create and perform the music that still burns in my heart and soul.”

Matt York

Matt York (PHOTO BY MEG MAKEIJ, SUBMITTED BY MATT YORK)
Matt York (PHOTO BY MEG MAKEIJ, SUBMITTED BY MATT YORK)

“I’m most grateful for my wife because honestly, that’s never not the right answer. However, in this case it’s actually true. I’ve had a pretty wild year musically and got to travel to some cool spots, experience some cool things and none of that would have been possible without her support. We have two young daughters and trying to coordinate the schedules of two people who both work full-time along with all the things that come along with parenting could be challenging but we’ve made it work.”

What are your resolutions for 2017?

Sarah Barrios

“I don’t think I’ve ever made a New Year’s resolution but like they say, ‘there’s a first time for everything.’ One of my resolutions for this coming year is to take more risks. I tend to let my fears, many being ones that have been created purely from my own imagination, control my life and the decisions I make. I’ve let these fears rule over me because I was more comfortable not taking risks and complaining about it, than taking the risk and seeing where the journey took me. While that wasn’t a huge deal when I was younger, I’m now pursuing a career that requires you to really step outside the box and out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s because I’ve reflected over it or maybe it’s because I’m getting older but I’ve grown tired of feeling caged in by walls that I’ve put up all on my own. I want to step outside of my comfort zone and create without fear. To make content that is unapologetically honest, to travel more, make new friends, strengthen my musical abilities, make videos that are different from my current content. I want this year to be the year that I get out of my own way and start to live less for my fears and more for my dreams.”

Liz Bills (of Analog Heart)

“I don’t like to do New Year’s resolutions but if I had to have one it would be to continue to always learn and grow and expand. To strive for balance and happiness and to have the wisdom to stay calm and patient in times when I am sad, angry, sick or in pain.”

Shaun Hague (of Journeyman – A Tribute to Eric Clapton)

“My New Year’s resolution is to get things done and not leave them for another day. I do that too often whether it’s work related or even a house chore. I have had two ballerina prints sitting in my office for my oldest daughter’s room that should have been in there months ago. Lazy dad! Well not really lazy, I just have so much going on family/work wise and I’m not prioritizing my time well enough this year.”

Ashley Jordan

“My New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to officially release my newest album He’s Crazy and to get it out there in a new and unique way. I also want to do some music videos for my songs on my new album.”

Jenna Lotti

“I don’t really have a specific resolution but I have a goal of making 2017 my best year yet, music wise. I’ve been working on new music that is very different from anything I’ve put out yet and I’m very excited for people to hear it! I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can in 2017.”

Dan Masterson

“My first and most important resolution this year is to do anything and everything possible to defend and support my LGBTQ friends, friends of color, and female/non-binary friends — and to not be silent when I see any kind of intimidation directed toward folks simply for who they are or how they look. I feel strongly that this is a resolution that I must commit to without exception.”

Erin Ollis (of Thirty 6 Red)

“I’m sure 2017 will be jammed packed with more music and exciting memories. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to take more risks. I want to expand my music repertoire and create more original music to showcase to the public.”

Louis St. August (of MASS)

“My resolution is simply to try and be the very best human being possibly and to spread the word of hope and love through my daily actions and of course through song.”

Matt York

“For 2017, one of things I really want to do is work more to support local artists. I think with the way the landscape has changed in recent years, it’s harder for musicians to find an audience, sell merchandise and so on. So, if I can help that, even in a tiny way, by seeing more shows, buying more CDs and letting people know about acts that really impress me, I’d like think that could help a little bit.”

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