A country girl with big dreams: Whitney Mann - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

A country girl with big dreams: Whitney Mann

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MADISON (WKOW) --  There are millions of aspiring musicians across the country, all hoping to make it big someday.

27 News talked with one Madison musician who has gotten some big exposure lately.

Whitney Mann is content with just her guitar and her words, but lately, she's been rocking it out with some of Nashville's biggest names.

Mann grew up on a farm in Michigan. She said, "I started writing songs when I was five, in the bathroom, singing to the mirror."

She got into musical theater in high school, but in college at the University of Michigan, her passion for song-writing blossomed.

Mann said, "Words carry a different weight to me. I really like stories, and I really like songs that tell stories and meaningful phrases."

She started opening for a friend at coffee houses, sharing herself, her words, with others.

Mann said, "You're playing songs that you wrote, for people you don't know. It's kind of this weird naked experience where you feel like you're exposing yourself. But now it's different."

It's different because of her now-husband, Kyle Jacobson, who noticed a certain spark- about Mann.

Jacobson said, "If you hand Whitney an instrument she's never played before and give her a couple hours, she could write a song on it."

The couple met in Rockford, IL, as photographers for a local TV station, and moved to Madison shortly after, building a relationship rooted in a shared love for music.

It's become a weekend business, performing throughout the Midwest, landing the opening act for big country names like George Jones, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson.

Mann said, "The next thing you know I'm on Willie's bus, talking to him and talking to his sister. It was really crazy.. since then, the whole thing has really snowballed"

Jacobson added, "This wasn't just a hobby. We weren't going to be just a local band that you have to beg your friends to come out to see you. You put a lot of time and effort into rehearsing songs, writing songs, we want to put the best show on that we can."

As for now, Whitney and Kyle are content just riding this wave.

Mann said, "I can't really describe the feeling. I just feel really lucky that I am able to open for people that I listened to when I was little and to do the things that I'm doing."

A songwriter welcoming whatever the future may hold.

Mann said, "Whether it's in my basement, to my grand kids, or standing on a stage singing, I feel like music is a really big part of who I am, so it's something I'll have around."

On 27 News at 10, Teresa Mackin introduces our viewers to Whitney Mann, a Madison country singer who's opened for some big names in the past couple years.

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