PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- In a relatively short time, Yorktown's Jessica Lynn Calamera has gone from playing local gigs and dreaming of making it big, to a tour that's seen her play more than 20 states -- with some of country music's biggest names -- and being on the verge of seeing her dreams come true.
Fresh off the biggest tour of her young career, and home for a few days before embarking on another 10-day tour, Calamera thrilled her home fans with a free show Wednesday night at the Peekskill Riverfront Green.
Calamera, a 2008 Lakeland High graduate, is loved by her enthusiastic fans, and pretty much all who come across her - she and her band are all about family, friends and keeping it real. How real? Her mom, Victoria, and dad, Peter, are both in her band (backup singer and bass guitarist, respectively), as is her fiance, guitarist Steve Sterlacci.
"I've been dreaming of doing this my whole life, really," Calamera told Daily Voice just before going on stage Wednesday night. "This has really gone past my wildest expectations... the most recent tour has been so exciting. I can't even describe the feeling of being at those huge festivals - on the same bill with people who I have looked up to, heard on the radio since I was a little girl...
"I always knew I would get here, but you come across obstacles, things take time, and you have your doubts," she admitted. "But if you really work hard at something, I believe you can do anything you set your mind to."
Calamera is still looking for that ultimate musician's dream - a recording contract. And she believes that will also happen.
"It's definitely not easy - especially because I'm an independent artist," she said. "I have a publishing deal down in Nashville, but I'm not signed to a record label yet. That would really be the cherry on top of all this."
Having family with her on tour gives the whole band, show, and tour, a real family feeling. "It's so cool," Calamera said. "It definitely makes you feel like you're not far from home."
The Peekskill concert also raised funds for two causes near to Calamera's heart - United for the Troops and Hearts for Heroes - both supporting veterans. Calamera's grandfather served in Vietnam.
At Wednesday's show, self-described 'super fans' Lauren Argo and Joe Priscsak - who have followed Jessica Lynn around for about a year now, seeing at least 10 shows - told DV once they saw her, they were hooked.
"We saw her at Daryl's House (where she's done two recent shows) and loved her immediately," Argo said. "We come to see her shows whenever we can. She's so down-to-earth. The whole dynamic is family, and down to earth. They recognize us and treat us like family, and the music is fabulous. I'm actually trying to write a song for her... she's inspired me. Her and her family and her band - they just have us addicted! She'll be a star, she'll make it. She's like a fish out of water - a country star from Yorktown. And she's gonna be big."
Jessica Lynn's live DVD, 'Takin' Over,' as well as her CD 'This Much Fun,' and lots of other merchandise and tour info, is all available at www.jessicalynnmusic.org.
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