NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Before I got the email, I thought it was about time for some new Chris Janson music because it had been a few years since he put new music out. Fueled by Mountain Dew®, Janson’s high-octane show puts this human hummingbird right at the top of my all-time favorite live performers.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I think of what country music ought to sound like, a voice like Emily Ann Roberts’ comes to mind. I suppose part of the reason she sings and talks “right” to me is that she was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, not too far from where I was reared.
Naturally, I wanted to learn more about this gifted Tennessee girl.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Colton James hails from a small town near Franklin, Virginia. Both of his grandmothers played piano and organ at church, while his mother had a strong singing voice. James started singing at church at age four and continued making music at church and in plays at his Christian school.
“My mother sang in church but my Granny on my dad’s side was a West Virginia honky tonk granny, and she might have a little drink here and there,” he said.Read More
A new country music label is recruiting and promoting anti-woke artists, launched by the young founder of The Post-Millennial. Matthew Azrieli, who is also a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, started Baste Records to promote talented country singers who are struggling to survive in the mainstream music business due to their right-leaning political and cultural views. He’s brought on talent like Chris Wallin, also a singer and songwriter who has written music for some of the biggest country stars, including Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Trace Adkins.
Azrieli told The Arizona Sun Times that he started Baste Records because music is a passion. He wanted to “provide a healthy outlet for conservatives, instead of just complaining.” Baste Records intends to appeal to a certain niche, the center right, instead of attempting to have a broad appeal that risks alienating factions. He pointed out Netflix is an example of an entertainment company that is engaging in the latter, angering both conservatives and the transgender community, causing it to lose market share. He said, “Cultural and political identities are driving entertainment media.”Read More
Several years in the making, Music Spotlight artist Becca Bowen has released her debut album, Like You’ve Never Been Loved, and it is not to be missed.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After hearing her on Sirius XM the Highway and seeing her fun and vibrant social media posts, I was instantly drawn to Ashley Cooke. I was excited to feature her in my column.
After winning the coveted Country Showcase at Belmont College, the communications major was just starting her new career path when the pandemic hit and forced the recent college graduate to temporarily move back home.Read More
Kimberly Dawn is setting out to change lives for the better this holiday season with her new single, “Life Changing.”Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Shaylen grew up in Allen, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. It was there that she first began performing, singing in church, and acting in local children’s theater. She also sang in her school choir and took private vocal, piano, and guitar lessons.Read More
After a detour that took her to Somalia, Jo Smith is back with her debut full-length album, ‘Wyoming,’ a sweet and somber record that will bring you all the feels.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – WhistlePig Whiskey and Grammy Award-winning country music duo and reigning CMA Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are celebrating 100 for all, all for 100 this holiday season with the launch of their new whiskey collaboration. The WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne Barrel is a single barrel, limited-edition 100% Rye Whiskey, created for and selected by John and TJ Osborne, to celebrate those who give 100% in the name of greatness.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of my previous Music Spotlight artists, Norwegian-born Daniel Borge, has one of the most interesting “how I got to country music/Nashville” stories of anyone I have ever interviewed.
Unfortunately, when the ball had just begun rolling, the pandemic hit, and he could not travel and pursue his dream.Read More
Julie Roberts returns to country music with a powerful new album on ONErpm’s distribution and marketing services. Listen to ‘Ain’t In No Hurry’ available now.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Leah Marie Mason is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter from North Carolina. She comes from a musical family, and her dad was a drummer.
“We were always around music. My dad loves rock music,” she said.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Although she only vaguely remembers it, I met Erin Kinsey at a Writer’s Round in a side room at the Bavarian Bierhaus at Opry Mills in March of 2021 and we still weren’t sure if we should even be gathering.
Long before Kinsey officially launched her country music career, the Texas girl was already a full decade into it. Her parents had her in every sport, club, and extra-curricular activity they could think of. She played tennis, basketball, and soccer and even took piano lessons. They wanted to help her figure out what she loved. Their goal was to help her find a career born out of passion.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Ian Munsick comes from a musical ranching family. They were and are real-life singing cowboys. Under the tutelage of their fiddle-playing father, Munsick and his two older brothers grew up playing everything from bluegrass to The Beatles.
Ranching was how their father provided for them, but in the evenings, the family would often play music around town. They did rodeos and private events while traveling around the Rocky Mountain region.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee –Before the rest of the world discovered Chapel Hart this summer on America’s Got Talent, I was a fan. They had come across my newsfeed, and I sent an email inquiring about a possible interview in 2021. When I never heard back, other artists got pushed to the forefront.
This summer Chapel Hart electrified America with the original hit “You Can Have Him, Jolene.” Multiple people contacted me asking if I had heard them sing. I determined then that I had to interview this dynamic trio because they truly were unlike any other group I had ever featured.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- If there is one thing that means something to me in country music, it is authenticity. Are you singing your truths or just latching onto the newest country fad?
Noah Hicks is probably the most authentic country guy I have ever interviewed. He is a fifth-generation farmer from Carrolton, Georgia. The land he tilled with an air-conditioned tractor is the land his grandfathers plowed with a mule.Read More
Brei Carter has established herself in the songwriters’ community as a smooth and sometimes edgy songstress who melds country, soul, and southern pop into one fused style as shown in her debut album ‘Brand New Country.’Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee –In the past few years, a name that kept showing up in my feed was Chase Wright. (Not to be confused with another country singer/songwriter, Chase Rice.) Recently, as I was driving to work, I heard SiriusXM The Highway’s Storme Warren talking to Chase Wright. He invited him to become SXM The Highway’s next “Highway Find,” a platform that has launched many artists’ careers from Florida-Georgia Line to Carly Pearce.Read More
The Buckleys family band from Australia is a distinctive, original trio whose music brings hope back to the currently stale popular music scene with their newest EP, ‘Take It As It Comes.’Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Known among country fans and fellow artists as the “singer’s singer,” Gene Watson is celebrating 60 years in the music business – and shows no signs of slowing down.
Watson has more than 75 charted titles, 23 Top 10 hits, six Number 1 country singles, and five Number 1 gospel hits. I asked the Opry legend why, at age 78, he felt the need to make another record.Read More
Not only is Drake Milligan a finalist on American’s Got Talent, his full-length debut album Dallas/Fort Worth’ is coming out September 15th.Read More
Accomplished musicians, Maggie McClure and Shane Henry have formed a duo known as the Imaginaries. Married for 11 years, the chemistry and deep commitment they share are evident in their music.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- The Beasley Brothers are a country duo formerly from North Alabama but now based out of Nashville. They are comprised of Lawson and Jackson Beasley. Being only 18 months apart, the pair grew up doing everything together.Read More
I first featured Devon Beck in April of 2021, after being immediately drawn to her developed sense of songwriting. At the time, she was 18 years old and had only been performing publically since she was 16. But to hear her songs, it was like she was born to be a singer/songwriter from the get-go.Read More
Bailey James’ new single “Don’t Need Ya,” was written and produced by the incredible Nolan Neal Seals of The Voice and America’s Got Talent, who recently passed away.Read More
Donny Van Slee is a Florida boy from the rural town of Weeki Wachee Springs, home of the famous live mermaids. Growing up, Van Slee was shy and his dad bought him a guitar to help him. Later, influenced by the bands he loved – Led Zeppelin and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – he took lessons, but his main focus in school was soccer.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Grace Leer is a country music singer from Danville, California. She is an American Idol alumnus who started singing at the young age of six. She recalls entering a talent show and singing Selena’s “Dreaming of You.” That was when she fell in love with being on stage.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee -When I discovered Charly Reynolds on Instagram nearly two years ago via live stream, she had an infectious energy that made me want to learn more about her.
Now on the cusp of her newest release, “Rodeo,” I was able to learn more about this charismatic country artist.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- It’s been seven years since singers Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles, collectively known as country duo Love and Theft, released a record or EP.
Liles talked to me and told me that they are “back in action.”Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Randy Houser has earned four Number One singles, including three consecutive hits: “How Country Feels,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” and “Goodnight Kiss.” “We Went” marked his fourth number one song. He has also had two Top 5 hits: “Boots On” and “Like A Cowboy.”Read More
As much as I may like an artist’s music, their story often intrigues me more. When I heard that Johnny Day recently left a job working in the Colorado oil fields to move to Nashville, I wanted to learn more.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I first heard Katrina Burgoyne’s song, “I Wanna Get Away With You,” there was something infectious about the spirited song that made me want to learn more about the artist.
Australian-born Katrina Burgoyne is from a musical family. Both of her grandfathers were performing musicians.Read More
When I interviewed Sweet Tea Trio earlier this year, I knew they had a new EP in the works, but they were unsure of the release date. So I waited until Sugar Rush was released to share their story.
Alabama natives Victoria Camp, Kate Falcon, and Charity Bowden make up an all-female harmony group called Sweet Tea Trio. They met through a mutual vocal coach in Alabama.Read More
With over 100 million views on YouTube and counting, Indiana natives Aaron Gray and Josh Arnett have combined their innate musical ability with their strong work ethic to create the viral sensational duo known as ‘The Singing Contractors.’Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Once my friend told me about a tribute that Scott Stevens had written about his grandfather and uncle, I knew I had found the perfect song to share on Memorial Day.
Scott Stevens is a country music singer/songwriter from East Tennessee who recently released the single “Missin’ You” to country radio off his debut country record Every Hat Is A Cowboy Hat. He is also a Civil Rights attorney and lawyer.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A lot of people, myself included, are trying to wrap their heads around Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and exactly how they work. When I got asked to interview a country artist, Sammy Arriaga, who was successfully using NFTs in promoting his music, I was interested.
Sammy Arriaga is a Miami-born Cuban American. While his father occasionally sang and played guitar, he discovered his love for music on his own. He has been writing lyrics and downloading instrumentals from the internet since his early teens. He taught himself how to play guitar by watching YouTube videos.Read More
Adam Warner hails from the farm country of southern Illinois, quite near to where my mother and her family lived. This area is so consumed by farming, specifically corn and soybeans, that you really do feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere.
Just like my mother and aunts, both of Warner’s grandmothers played piano and sang at church. His mother was involved in theater and singing as well. He was certainly not the only one in the family who did music but would be the only one who chose it as a career path.Read More
When I heard “Growing Old With You” by Restless Road on the radio, I was not familiar with the group, but their song really resonated with me. When I was given the chance to feature them in my column, I jumped at it.
Restless Road is comprised of Zach Beeken, Garrett Nichols, and Colton Pack who did not grow up together and are actually from three different states. Beeken is from Iowa, Nichols is from Alabama and Pack is from West Virginia. Almost nine years ago, Pack and Beeken were on a show called The X Factor. (The third member, Andrew Scholz, would eventually be replaced with Nichols.) They started the band on that TV show. They met Kane Brown on that show as well.Read More
When I heard that the Canadian Country Music multi-award winner, Brett Kissel was releasing a song with 98°, I was excited and curious at the same time. The group’s song, “Ain’t the Same” isn’t exactly country, pop, or R & B, but it is fantastic. Once I heard it, it went straight to my Beach playlist.Read More
Dustin Collins had been around music his whole life. His dad and uncle were musicians. They were in and out of the recording studios in Kentucky and Nashville when Collins was a child.
He recalls, “I just kind of grew up around it and learned how to sing and play guitar when I was, 10 and 11 years old. It’s always been something that I love to do. I kind of fell into this job when I started writing songs and I met some other songwriters in Nashville.”Read More
The Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival (TMMR) is a unique, four-day event held in central Tennessee that’s all about motorcycles, music, comradery, and the outdoors. It will be held at the majestic 3,500-acre Loretta Lynn’s ranch and campground just an hour west of Nashville on held May 19 – 22 and will be the first big event to take place at Loretta Lynn’s ranch since the catastrophic floods from last August. TMMR is presented by Harley-Davidson® and produced in partnership by the Loretta Lynn family and R&R Promotions, a specialty agency with decades of motorcycle event promotions and deep ties in the national motorcycle family.Read More
From Maple Valley, Washington, 29-year-old singer/songwriter Dakota Poorman is a breath of fresh air in the stale pop-country atmosphere.
As a child he recalls, “I really loved music. I was bathed in a very eclectic taste in music. I listened to Bob Seger, John Fogerty, Pink Floyd, The Doors, the Eagles, and even Patsy Cline and Muddy Waters. I was exposed to a ton of great music back when music was music and had meaning.”Read More
Out today, Gavin Lee’s latest single, “All You Gotta Do is Dance” is a throwback to signature 90s country tunes that brought folks to their feet on the dance floor to step into the most popular line dances.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first time I recall seeing Michael Rix was when he played banjo in the Bank of America marketing campaign commercial for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Country Music. Even though the banjo originated in Africa, seeing a black, banjo-playing country musician in the 21st century is/was not very common.Read More
With Tyler Braden’s newest hits, “Try Losing One,” and “Seventeen”, he has proven that his star is on the rise. You will be hearing a lot more from this singer/songwriter in the future.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Even though I am not much of a whiskey drinker, I am always drawn to a good whiskey song. Something about the solace of sipping the stuff leads to a deeper examination of one’s true self.
Karissa Ella’s newest single “Whiskey Whispers Your Name” is all that and more. They led me to further delve into this rising singer/songwriter and find out what drives her.Read More
Ian Flanigan hails from Hudson Valley’s Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, not far from the site of the famed Woodstock festival.
But where you might remember him is from Season 19 of NBC’s The Voice.
I wanted to find out how he got from there to The Voice and now living just outside of Nashville.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Wade Bowen grew up in Waco, Texas with three sisters who always had music on and took him to concerts. Growing up, Bowen played sports and knew he always wanted to do music but didn’t know how to go about doing it.Read More
Houston Bernard draws upon his family’s rich country and rockabilly musical roots by bringing upbeat and relatable music with powerhouse vocals. His newest single, “Hangover,” is not to be missed.Read More