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Nearly as nervous as I was about the Bulls/Heat playoff series, I answered the phone call from the foreign Arizona area code. To my relief, I was greeted by upbeat, girly, resonant voices which indicated the beginning of a dynamic conversation. Hello? Hi!! This is Melanie…we’re all here! Glad you’re still up, thanks for talking with us! Although I was two hours ahead of the MDT (Mountain Daylight Time) whilst in the CST (Central Standard Time), I felt as if I was sipping homemade lemonade and reclined on a couch in the living room with Melanie, McKenzie, and Maddie, a.k.a. Firefly. After trading many words and laughs with the band members of Firefly I felt further honored to not only be conversing with the requested band that opened for Leanne Rimes, Martina McBride, Nickel Creek, Carrie Underwood, Zach Brown, and even Justin Bieber, but genuine, passion-filled, selfless, and very humble musicians. Via the phone call, I couldn’t help but be convinced of their musical talent. Melanie, McKenzie, Maddie and the other mem- bers of their family, over 10 in the home, are naturally musically-inclined. Guitar, cello, mando- lin, fiddle, piano, voice – you name it, and it’s more than likely that they perform with it in their concerts! With a true love for music, they’ve played dozens of self-composed songs from their personal library of music (that’s right, they write their own music, too) to covers of previously written pieces. From café requests to regional competitions to of course, opening for the big-


Photographs by: Michael Merchant and Lisa Barnes By: Kelly Gabriel



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