• Alan Wayne

The Barrie Busker: Madison Mueller's Meteoric Rise

There is a sense of pride that comes with this work; not just in a job well done, but the immense pleasure of seeing artists mature and grow as musicians and as people. When I first spoke with Madison Mueller, now forever "Maddie" in my eyes, she was a reserved and shy teenager whose single "Breath of Air" captured my ears with its floating, ethereal lyrics and its excellent quality. The musicianship displayed, come to find out, was from a lifelong love affair with music and a prodigal knowledge of her craft that led her to stand out in her field at such a young age that led her to be giving music lessons when she was 12. I knew from the very first time we spoke during our interview for Indie Star Insider that she was something special.

Since that first interview in late 2017, Madison Mueller has seen her music take her to local fame in her hometown of Barrie, Ontario Canada; she's been featured in local television, newspapers, and supported by a growing scene that supports music and artists with a palpable fervor. Beyond local fame, Madison's music has been heard around the world, and she has received acclaim from every corner of the globe. Yet despite her notoriety and growing base of fans, Maddie retains an incredible sense of humility.

One time, she came into the chat room that connected to a live broadcast on Indie Star Radio and mentioned that she would be "Busking" the following day and had to leave before the show ended. Now, I've been around music for a long time, yet I'd never heard the term "Busking". Naturally, being rather protective of our younger artists, I asked with genuine concern if she would be safe doing this "Busking". Come to find out, its what our friends and I called a street gig or cash jam. Only Maddie, being the smart one she is, had all the proper permits to perform live whereas all my friends and I had were beat up instruments, a case, and enough gas to get us to Old Town Pasadena and MAYBE home, depending on our haul. She could not wait to take her guitar to a quaint spot along the shore, open the case, and play her music to anyone lucky enough to pass by. Some would consider this dangerous, perhaps even scary. However Maddie was thoroughly excited, and even had some stories to share from the experience that were rather comical. This young lady, who by this time had another impeccably performed and produced single out titled "Got This Way", who was receiving accolades from all over this great planet of ours, found the simple joy of playing on a patch of grass for passersby, guitar case open, to be exhilarating and fun. This. Right here. Is what its all about.

It is my hope that all of us who have a passion continue to enjoy the simple pleasure of just doing it for the love of it. If one is lucky to make a career out of music, it is easy to get trapped in the minutia of numbers, stats, ticks and tallies that could grow to make up ones self worth if they let it. But if we can still sit down and do what we enjoy, something that drives us, for the sheer kicks of it with no thought of monetary compensation or gain, then we are the lucky ones. We have found our joy and our passion, something far too many of us either lack or long since have given up on to pursue a cubicle job because its what society wants them to do. Money is important, don't get me wrong. But it is my hope that all who read this, even those reading from a cubicle or on a smoke break, can still get pure and unadulterated joy from their craft, whatever that may be.

I had the honor of meeting Maddie and her father at the ISSA events the first weekend of August. They were two of the most genuine and kind souls I've ever met. Maddie has a single out, Exhale, part of her EP of the same name. Her genuine vulnerability shows through in one of the lines "I'm such a wimp", sung with a charming self deprecation that draws a listener in, and makes them feel right at home listening. The song is damn good; everything on point with a chorus to sing along to and a melody that keeps the feet tapping. At the party following the event, at which she had won a well deserved award, I had the pleasure of watching her perform "Big Yellow Taxi" live on stage. In that moment, while she did justice to a classic and, in ways, made it her own and even better,that pride that I spoke about earlier in this piece traveled from my heart to my eyes, and fell down my cheek. This shy girl I had met a little under two years ago was blossoming into a star before my eyes. But no matter where she goes or what she does or where her music takes her, I'll always remember the Barrie Busker, the girl I call Maddie. We're all pulling for ya.

From Left to Right: Jennifer Mlott, Madison Mueller, Myself, Steve and Dianne Moore aka The Cranberry Merchants. The ISR Dream Team.

Check out Madison Mueller: http://maddiemakesmusic.com/

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