November is shaping up to be an amazing month for local alt-country songstress Whitney Mann. Mann and her band just completed their second gig supporting country music icon Willie Nelson, and they will open for another country legend, George Jones, this Friday and Saturday in Rockford, Ill.
These gigs resulted from a few earnest emails and a lot of hard work creating music and building a presence online. One email went to NiteLite Promotions, whose staff quickly became fans of Mann's songs and invited her to open for Nelson's La Crosse appearance in March, then again on Nov. 1 in Joliet, Ill.
"When we got to the La Crosse Center, we had dinner with Willie's band," Mann recalls. "Then his drummer, Paul [English], and his bass player, Bee [Spears], chatted us up. We played for about 25 minutes, and as we left the stage, they smiled and gave me bear hugs."
After that, the band signed autographs and spent some time on the tour bus, where they got to meet Willie himself.
"It was a dream come true," Mann says of meeting her idol. "I was really excited when I found out I was playing two shows with him, and then the George Jones show. I want to tell everyone I know."