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
Michael Ray grew up in a family compound off a dirt road in the small town of Eustis, Florida, just a few miles from a tiny old country church where Sunday service would be held, where communion often carried over to tall tales of his grandparents’ days running moonshine up the East Coast.
And even though he did not write the song, when he first heard “Holy Water” it took him right back to being a boy in that church, sitting in a wooden pew listening to some of the greatest truths that he holds onto to this day. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee -The first time I heard of Alyssa Bonagura was when she played with Ruby Stewart as part of The Sisterhood band when Ruby’s dad, Rod Stewart, played Bridgestone Arena in August of 2018. The two performed their tune “Half Way” with Stewart’s band before dad returned to sing “Forever Young” with them. They also sang with Cyndi Lauper on her iconic hit “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” Read More
Jenny Tolman releases her sophomore album Married in a Honky Tonk, where she not only expands on her tales about the fictional town of Jennyville, she offers a new depth and range that signals her growing maturity as an artist. Read More
Country Radio Seminar is one of the most significant events in Nashville, as it brings country radio and music industry professionals together to educate each other, enhance skills, facilitate business, and promote the growth of the industry. Read More
Hippies and Cowboys bring a fresh vintage flair in their new single, taking you back to the days of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, CCR, and Aerosmith. Recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, the band’s debut single, “20 to Life” is not to be missed. Read More
Country-rocker Jacob Bryant earns a standing ovation at Grand Ole Opry debut. Read More
After previously being featured in a Music Spotlight column, Australian singer/songwriter Jasmin Bade released her new single, “Rent,” and its accompanying lyric video today with The Tennessee Star. “Rent” provides a bittersweet twist on the struggle to move on from a past relationship. Bade co-wrote the song with Emily Kroll, who penned the No. 1 hit “Just About Over You” by Priscilla Block, and Brian McKenna, son of Nashville songwriting legend Lori McKenna. Read More
American Idol alum and CMT’s Next Women of Country member Laci Kaye Booth combines soulful, smooth vocals with honest, heartfelt lyrics that make the country crooner stand out in the crowded pool of aspiring artists. Read More
I attended RomaDrama Live! last year initially because several of the artists I had featured in my column were part of the entertainment. And of course, it was fun to see and meet the popular actors of favorite romance dramas and Hallmark movies. But what I wasn’t expecting was for one of the actors to be a genuinely talented country music singer/songwriter. Read More
Prolific urban-country singer/songwriter Julia Cole delivers something for everyone with her innate ability to relate to her audience via her original music. Read More
One of the first questions I ask an artist is if they come from a musical family. Since Anthony Nix was a foster kid who got adopted at age seven, his answer to that question was “I don’t know.” Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Dennis Quaid concluded his fall musical tour on November 15th when he played the Nashville City Winery to a sold-out crowd. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Belmont student and former NBC’s The Voice contestant Gracee Shriver hails from Owasso, Oklahoma.
Shriver started singing lessons at age nine to give herself something to do. About a year after starting lessons, she got her first guitar and began writing songs. Read More
Ryan Weaver is a high-energy, all-American, rockin’ country music artist who proudly served as an active-duty Black Hawk Aviator, Chief Warrant Officer 3 in the United States Army.
Although he had a short history of playing the violin as a child/teen, everyone in his family was in the military so that is the path he initially chose for his career. (Weaver’s grandfather was in WWII and his dad was a Marine along with two brothers and a sister who also served.) Read More
Nashville, Tennessee – The Woods comprised of Raquel Cole, Dan O’Rourke, Leland Rooney are all incredible musicians, songwriters, and singers in their own right – and when they come together the sound is truly magical – think Little Big Town meets Midland. After hearing them play together at the Analog Room in the Hutton Hotel, I wanted to find out how this eclectic and diverse trio discovered each other. Read More
On par with Erin Enderlin’s previous records of Whiskeytown Crier and Faulkner County, fans will be just as invested in the six heartfelt songs found on her upcoming Barroom Mirrors EP. Read More
With over 22 million combined streams on Spotify and over 17 million views on YouTube with past releases like “Life of A Workin’ Man,” “The Way That I Am,” and “Old School” Texas-born and bred southern rock artist Creed Fisher is one of the most streamed and popular artists I have ever featured.
Fisher hails from Odessa, Texas, where his family’s roots trace back to his granddad, who was highly involved in the oil game back in the fifties. He started writing songs/poems at age nine. He states that “it wasn’t very good” but it was the beginning of his fruitful songwriting career. Read More
Dr. James Robert Webb is a successful radiologist who just happens to be an accomplished country music singer/songwriter. When I interviewed him in April of 2020, he was getting ready to release a self-titled album as the nation was going into lockdown. Read More
Ryan Curtis is a gifted singer/songwriter whose newest debut solo album, ‘Rust Belt, Broken Heart’ is sure to strike a chord in the working man who has been there and done that. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Singer-songwriter Bridget Caldwell does not come from a musical family. They loved music, but did not play or create music. Her mother had “exquisite” taste in music and would play anything from Bonnie Raitt and Hank Williams to Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald.
Caldwell said she has always been a loud, boisterous kid and in third grade when she was cast as Snow White in the school play, her love for musical theater began. One day she started singing, her teacher ran down the hall to get her mother who was a special needs teacher, and said, “You have to come to hear this.” Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Jasmin Bade first discovered country music when she was six years old. It was Christmas time and she heard the Australian-country artist Kasey Chambers. Her aunt and uncle were playing her record and “fell in love with it” and wouldn’t stop singing her songs all the way home.
Besides Chambers, her mother would play Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley and the (Dixie) Chicks. Bade soon started guitar lessons and would take any chance she could to play. She would play on the streets (called busking in Australia) for pocket money. By ages 7 and 8, young Bade was singing in shopping centers. Read More
Multi-Grammy nominated duo and Opry members, Dailey & Vincent are one of the most popular bands in contemporary American music, embracing bluegrass, country, and gospel. Read More
Texas rancher, songwriter, and artist Jenna Paulette recently released her newest single, “Girl in the Country”, a song that is dedicated to country girls everywhere. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Until I started writing this column, I had no idea of Canadian musicians’ influence on the country music industry. Country music is as big in Canada as it is in America. Tebey is a prime example. Read More
Excerpt. Bailey Callahan released a new country-rock album, ‘The A & B Sides’ on June 4th. She will be touring to promote the record throughout the summer. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I listened to songs from Devon Beck’s first EP, One Sided Expectations, the first thing I thought was she sounds like an American version of Adele. Not only that, Beck’s songwriting ability is mature beyond her years and is reminiscent of the songs in Adele’s 21 album. I found out that Beck is just 18 years old and has only been performing for a little over two years. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Playing music is as natural to Rhonda Vincent as breathing air. She was born into a musical family from Kirksville, Missouri. The Sally Mountain Show, then later the Bluegrass Festival was hosted by her mom and dad and grandparents and aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She picked up the mandolin at eight and the fiddle at twelve and was performing with the family band at festivals on weekends. They also had a TV and radio show that she sang in as a child. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Reared in Santa Barbara, California, Crystal Leigh hails from a vibrant musical family. Her dad played in bands all around town. Her mom loved to dance and was an avid supporter of music. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Halle Kearns is an artist who always knew what she wanted to do. Her family usually had country music playing in her house and she remembers singing along to 90s country in her car seat.
She stated, “I grew up on Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Faith Hill (Ladies of the 90s). The very first song I ever got caught singing on video was the Dixie Chicks song, “If I Fall.” Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- The first time I heard Tyler Kohrs sing was on an Instagram video. He has a beautiful, bright voice and his country covers were spot on. But that wasn’t unusual. What was unusual was that he sounded country and talked with a slight southern accent, but is actually Asian-American. That piqued my interest so much that I contacted him directly.
Those of you who watch The Voice may recognize Tyler Kohrs from his tryout this past March. He didn’t get through, but he still did very well where people remarked about it. The story he shares about his experience is one you will want to hear. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- With both of Alex Kline’s parents being attorneys, writing/playing country music wasn’t even on the radar for the teen growing up in California. No one she knew even listened to country music.
Kline’s grandmother was a skillful classical pianist and her father grew up playing piano as well. Her dad would occasionally play classical pieces for the family and her grandmother encouraged her to play as well. Read More
Dawn Records announces a new release from its flagship artist Rhonda Towns, titled “Walking In Your Wonderful Light.” Written by Teddy Hayes and produced by Billy Sherrill in collaboration with Towns, the long-awaited and welcomed single serves as a preview to the Christian, country, and gospel music entertainer’s forthcoming six-track EP anticipated later this year. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Even though they are only 23 and 22, the sister duo known as Presley and Taylor have been a part of the music business for over eight years. And even with the pair being reared in the town of Middlefield, Connecticut, they grew up in a household where Tammy Wynette, Alan Jackson, and Randy Travis played on a constant loop, and weekend trips to their grandparents meant family singalongs of Loretta Lynn standards. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I interviewed the Nashvillains I mentioned that they were like a modern country music supergroup. Turns out they agree. Signed to Fate Entertainment, the newly formed country-rock-infused band is made up of veteran musicians Troy Johnson, Brett Boyett, and Scott Lindsey. Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Nashville is famous for its writers’ rounds. The Song Suffragettes is the only all-female writers’ round and they have been consistently performing at the Listening Room on Monday nights for seven years.
Todd Cassetty founded Song Suffragettes for the simple reason of giving female singer-songwriters a place to play their music and be heard. Those who follow country music know that it is not an even playing field when it comes to women getting record deals and having their music played on country radio. Read More
Like me, Amanda Cooksey was not raised on country music. Cooksey started playing piano at the early age of six and began learning classical music. Later on, she took voice lessons and started singing in church in middle school. However, this “super shy” kid did not want to be in the spotlight.
Even though being in front of people wasn’t easy for her, Cooksey always loved music. As a young girl, she found a piano/vocal instructor, Ron Feldman, who changed her life. Read More