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MVP3 rising star Vanessa Winter returns to Neil's in Memphis

Jack Rowell and Vanessa Winter
Jack Rowell and Vanessa Winter
Janet Raper

MVP3 rising star Vanessa Winter returns to Neil's Thursday. If you have never seen Vanessa Winter perform make it a point to be at Neil's.

I saw something this week that I have never seen before. In all my years as a radio DJ and just being around my musician friends, I have never seen anyone write a song. That changed this week as I watched Vanessa Winter write a new song. It wasn’t just a song, it was a great song.

I never knew all the steps that a songwriter goes through to write a song. As I was writing Radio Daze, every time I read it I found something that I wanted to change. If I read it again there will still be things I want to change, a better word or phrase. Vanessa was doing the same thing. The major difference is she had so many more things to consider. Music, tempo, words that rhyme, words with better imagery were all things she thought about. Things she played with until she got it just the way she wanted it.

As the song came together I could hear that it was going to be something special. The song is called “Real Love” and tells the story of a lifelong love affair. Vanessa is a young mom and like any mom even though she was deep into developing a song she was also aware of her surroundings. She was singing “Real Love” jerks her head around, tells her daughter, “No, get down from there” and continues singing without missing a beat “nothing between her and him but a little pink sheet....” It was an amazing thing to witness. The next morning as I was going about my business of shaving and getting ready for my day, I realized that this new song was going through my head. That is a sign of a really good song.

Vanessa is going to be at Neil’s this Thursday night with Jack Rowell Jr. In fact, every Thursday Jack plays at Neil’s. Jack has a new CD called “Sleeping with the Blues” and does several songs from the CD. The title always grabs me, it’s a great traditional blues song. He also does a few others from the CD like “Mississippi Man” that has a great Delta Blues feel to it. “Missing My Baby” is another song that sticks in your head. It’s a killer blues song that is destined to be a blues classic coved by many other artists.

Jack Rowell is also one the most gracious musicians around inviting others to join him on stage and jam to showcase their talents. He has been a big believer in Vanessa Winter since he first heard her sing. In addition to her songwriting skills she has the voice of an angel and an on stage presence that pulls you in like a moth to the porch light. She doesn't talk at the audience, she communicates with them. She’s 100% real and introduces her songs by telling you what she was feeling when she wrote them. Vanessa walks a fine line between wide-eyed innocence and the experience of a woman well beyond her years. Because she’s so real, you pull for her, you want her to do well and she doesn't disappoint. Hairstylist and local photographer Feras at Elliot Salons has created a new chic look for Vanessa but maintaining her real and natural look.

Neil’s is the place to be this and every Thursday night to see Memphis music’s finest. From veterans like The Jack Rowell Jr. Band to those coming up like Vanessa Winter. Vanessa is working with Jeremiah Tucker a local songwriter/producer to create her EP "Dreams" slated for a spring release. Vanessa Winter is a name you will hear for years to come.

For booking and more information on Vanessa Winter call MVP3 Management at 901 634 1724 or visit her website at


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