Watch Now: Cracker Barrel Sends Viral Waitress Marion To Record EP With Band | Local News
A local waitress and singer who went viral this summer after wowing guests at the Marion Cracker Barrel says she and her band just finished a “dream come true” recording session in Nashville.
Miranda Joy Willmore, lead singer of U-Foria, was filmed this summer performing “Happy Birthday” at the local restaurant.
The group recently completed a four-song Extended Play recording session at the popular Blackbird recording studio in Nashville – a project fully funded by Cracker Barrel Restaurants as part of the chain’s Care It Forward program.
During recording sessions in Nashville, members of U-Foria performed with some of country music’s greatest musicians and met John McBride, studio owner and husband of country superstar Martina McBride. Willmore said the studio has been used by singers and musicians ranging from Garth Brooks to Kid Rock.
“When we walked into the studio it was overwhelming and mind-blowing… It was just amazing to be able to walk into the studio and realize that we were recording there,” she said. “The whole experience was amazing and great. It was just a dream come true for us.
She said Cracker Barrel was instrumental in the project. While the video has garnered over a million views, Willmore has been booked to appear on “Today with Hoda & Jenna” television. During the show, he was told that the company would send the band to Nashville to record; all underwritten by the restaurant chain.
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“Cracker Barrel is just amazing. They have been there every step of the way, ”said Willmore. “They really showed us some love.”
Now, as the EP draws to a close, the group is calling for nominations to serve as the art of the project.
“We’re running a contest on our Facebook page for our coverage. We need help designing the cover for our album, ”says Willmore.
Willmore said the winner of the contest will not only see his artwork featured on the album, but a prize package that includes a cash award and merchandise as well. Contest details are on the group’s Facebook page.
“The idea for the album cover is a gig on a farm,” Willmore explained, adding that the title of the project is “Small Town Famous,” which is also the name of one of the songs that the band recorded in Nashville.
Willmore said plans for the contest include the selection of semi-finalists whose work will be posted online or the final fan vote. The chosen art will be included on CDs, which Willmore says will be shown at a special gathering in the area when the project is completed. Submissions are due October 30.
The members of U-Foria are Jimmy Thompson of Metropolis, Frank Infranca of Kansas City, Shawn Harmon of Vienna and Wilmore of Marion.
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