Music Spotlight: Nashvillains

Nashvillains

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.

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Music Spotlight: Tera Townsend

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Since my “other” job is working with educators, I am keenly aware of bullying and the effects it has on a person.

Tera Townsend is a singer, songwriter, and musician from small-town in Tennessee. She grew up with a speaking disability and ADHD and was mocked and bullied as a child/teen because of her disability.

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Song Suffragettes Celebrate Seventh Anniversary

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.

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Music Spotlight: Brett Kissel

If there were ever a darling of the Canadian Country Airwaves, it would be Brett Kissel. Not only has the 30-year-old won numerous Canadian Country Music Association Awards, but he also has three number one hits and numerous top-tens on Canadian Radio.

But the main reason I wanted to interview him was because his music really is that good. His songs are all over the spectrum sonically but they resonate with the listeners.

Kissel admits that absolutely no one in his family is musical. “Not a grandpa, not a dad, an uncle, an auntie, nobody ever played music, period.”

The fact that he picked up a guitar, the fact that he can sing, the fact that he can write songs, and the fact that he moved to Nashville and made a go of it, is nothing short of remarkable.

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Music Spotlight: Sam Hatmaker

The first time I saw Sam Hatmaker was with the Song Suffragettes before COVID. Every songwriter who is part of the Song Suffragettes collective is amazing, but Hatmaker was unique and different. I knew even back then, I wanted to interview her.

It turns out that Hatmaker is from Knoxville, Tennessee. Her mom did theater and her dad was a performer too. It was natural for her to want to be on stage. When she was ten-years-old, she auditioned and was cast in a Christmas show at Dollywood. That ended up with her working at Dollywood for three years.

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Music Spotlight: Amanda Cooksey

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.

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Music Spotlight: Emily Brooke

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  No one in Emily Brooke’s family was musical. Young Brooke was a cheerleader, not a singer. But like many preteen girls twelve years ago, Brooke was super into Taylor Swift and Hannah Montana. She wanted to learn to play guitar as they did.

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Music Spotlight: Taylor Hughes

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Taylor Hughes was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. Although she always loved music and did choirs and shows, her mother was an R & B singer was considered the musical one in the family.

Hughes was an athlete with a scholarship to attend college as a volleyball player when she blew her knee out her junior year of high school and the hope of attending college on a sports scholarship was over.

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Music Spotlight: Becca Bowen

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Becca Bowen is an up-and-coming country artist whose Southern Belle exterior and tomboy personality have earned her the nickname “Country Barbie.” This personal fitness instructor is the single mother of two teenage girls.

Raised in South Carolina, as a child, she participated in pageants and talent shows – but her weekends were spent fishing and enjoying the outdoors with her grandfather. She is a true tomboy with a tiara.

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Music Spotlight: Daniel Borge

Daniel Borge is an up-and-coming country music star. When I heard his single, “There I Was” I could tell this song offered the classical country story with a more modern sound. What I didn’t realize was that Borge is from Norway and English is not his first language.

In many ways, Borge’s journey to country music is one of the most unique stories I have heard. However, his path follows one of the most common themes. He learned to sing in church. His dad is a preacher and even though they live in Norway, they played/sang American gospel music.

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Nashville Bomber Anthony Warner Reportedly Wrote to Acquaintances About Lizard People

Nashville bomber Anthony Warner reportedly mailed packages to people he knew before the attack with pages containing nonsensical rambling statements about lizard people and UFOs.

NewsChannel 5 reported on the development in the Christmas Day bombing case.

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Nashville Police Confirm Anthony Quinn Warner ‘Is Under Investigation’ for Christmas Day Bombing

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Sunday morning confirmed to The Tennessee Star that Anthony Quinn Warner is officially under investigation in the Christmas morning explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, injuring three people.

“That person is under investigation,” Don Aaron, MNPD Public Affairs Manager said by email. 

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At 1PM Saturday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Says No Person or Persons of Interest Identified as Responsible for Christmas Morning Bombing

  During an early afternoon press conference in Nashville Saturday, authorities asserted that investigators had not identified a person or persons of interest in the Christmas morning bombing. Shortly before the press briefing, CBSNews.com reported that person of interest had been identified: “A law enforcement source told CBS News a…

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Six Officers Hailed as Heroes for Running Into Nashville Blast Site Prior to Explosion

Six Nashville police officers were hailed as heroes on Christmas Day after they rushed to evacuate a downtown area of the city prior to an explosion, a law enforcement official said.

“These officers didn’t care about themselves,” Metro Police Chief John Drake said, according to Fox 17. “They didn’t think about that. They cared about the citizens of Nashville. They went in and we’d be talking not about the debris that we have here but potential people.”

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Christmas Day Bombing in Nashville Prompts Curfew as Surrounding Buildings Still in Possible Danger

Metro Nashville authorities have imposed a curfew on parts of downtown Nashville after a massive Christmas Day explosion damaged at least 41 businesses on Second Avenue and collapsed one building. Nashville Mayor John Cooper, Nashville Fire Chief William Swann, and Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake updated the public at a Friday evening press conference.

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Music Spotlight: Lilly Winwood

NASHVILLE, Tennesse-  I am often sent songs to review to see if I want to feature the song(s) and/or artist in my column. When I heard Lilly Winwood’s song “Few More Records” I knew this singer/songwriter was talented. But surely this Nashville girl wasn’t related to the Brit rocker, Steve Winwood.

It turns out, surely, she is. Lilly Winwood is the 25-year-old daughter of famed rock and roller, Steve Winwood.

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Music Spotlight: Ethan Payne

NASHVILLE, Tennesse – Years ago, I vaguely remember Luke Bryan giving his guitar to a 13-year-old kid on stage who he met via the Make-a-Wish Foundation. That night, a fire was lit in young Ethan Payne. He knew then that performing country music was what he was born to do.

Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis as a toddler (18-months-old), Payne was faced with an uphill battle early on. However, that didn’t stop him from following his passions and pursuing a career in country music. I wanted to find out more about this American Idol alum.

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Music Spotlight: Cole Bradley

Country singer and songwriter, Cole Bradley, is a rising star in the North American music scene.

Even though his parents weren’t musical, Bradley’s grandparents were and he started singing at age five. One of his first memories was singing along to Garth Brooks in the back of his Mom’s Toyota.

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Citizens Concerned About Election Integrity to March for Trump in Every State Capitol, Washington on Saturday

A series of marches supporting President Donald Trump and to demand election integrity are being held throughout the country at noon local time on Saturday.

The March for Trump will be held in every state capitol as well as at Freedom Plaza, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., according to the event website. The website links to America First Projects.

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Recall Cooper Effort is ‘Issue of Right and Wrong,’ Organizer Says

Citizens opposing Mayor John Cooper’s property tax hike and war against bars and restaurants filed a petition to recall him and seven Metro Council members Monday.

Restore Nashville and Re-open Nashville, were among the groups that held the “Recall Mayor Cooper Petition Kickoff Rally” Monday at Public Square Nashville.

Stop Mayor Cooper was another group on Facebook organizing the rally.

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Music Spotlight: Jordan Tice

What happens when you take a person who was raised in a bluegrass family and give him a degree in jazz/classical guitar? Jordan Tice, a musician’s musician, is what you get.

Tice grew up in Annapolis, Maryland where both of his parents played bluegrass. His mother played fiddle and his dad played banjo and they were involved with the local bluegrass scene.

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Nashville Metro Council Gives Mayor John Cooper the Power to Deputize Certain City Employees to Cite Bars and Restaurants That Violate Coronavirus Rules

The Nashville Metro Council on Tuesday gave Mayor John Cooper the authority to deputize certain city workers to issue citations against bars and restaurants that violate his coronavirus restrictions, The Tennessean reported.

Metro Health Department employees are overworked in trying to combat businesses, the newspaper said. Only workers who already have citation powers will be authorized to serve as restaurant police, according to the bill that passed on third reading. The mayor must still given written permission to workers to use this new power.

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Black Lives Matter Plans to Paint Street Mural in Nashville

Black Lives Matter organizers plan to paint a street mural in Nashville on Saturday.

Muralist Thaxton Waters II and other artists plan to paint the mural along Woodland Avenue, the same day as the Women’s March in Nashville, Fox 17 News reported. Organizers say they soon will announce events for that day, and they expect over 10,000 to attend.

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s Restaurant Police Cite Two Downtown Bars For Having Too Many Customers

Informants reportedly helped Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s restaurant police cite two downtown bars over the weekend.

WSMV reported that a task force cited Dogwood and Rebar, both on Division Street, on Saturday for having too many patrons, including on the patio. The task force had members from Metro Public Health Department, the Metro Nashville Police Department and the Metro Beer Board. The task force checked on Dogwood again on Sunday.

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Fox 17 Reports Nashville Bars and Restaurants Account for Less Than One-Half of One Percent of Virus Cases

Dennis Ferrier of Fox News 17 continues his reporting on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s overreach in closing restaurants and bars, which account for only a fraction of coronavirus cases even as that industry continues to suffer.

Ferrier has been digging into the story for some time to gain the actual number of cases.

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Fox 17 Reports Nashville Bars and Restaurants Account for Less Than One-Half of One Percent of Virus Cases

Dennis Ferrier of Fox News 17 continues his reporting on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s overreach in closing restaurants and bars, which account for only a fraction of coronavirus cases even as that industry continues to suffer.

Ferrier has been digging into the story for some time to gain the actual number of cases.

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Metro Nashville Coronavirus Task Force Chair Dr. Alex Jahangir on July 2: ‘Saturday I Got A Call . . . 30 People Confirmed That Have Tested Positive . . . So This Was Atypical, Right?’

As The Tennessee Star reported on Monday, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference he was turning the city back to Phase Two from Phase Three, shutting all bars down for 14 days, temporarily shutting down all entertainment and event venues, and reducing restaurant capacity from to 75 percent to 50 percent due to “record numbers” of COVID-19 cases traceable back to bars and restaurants.

Mayor Cooper did not provide any specific details to substantiate his assertion of “record numbers.”

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No Credible Evidence to Support Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s July Shutdown of Bars and Reduction of Restaurant Capacity, Despite Bullying Tactics by His Administration

When Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference that he was shutting down all the city’s bars for 14 days, reducing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, and temporarily closing event venues and entertainment venues, all due to “record” cases of COVID-19 traceable to restaurants and bars, he apparently knew that his own Metro Health Department said less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments. But he failed to disclose that the “record” of bar and restaurant traceable cases to which he referred to was about one tenth of one percent of Davidson County’s 20,000 cases of COVID-19.

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Music Spotlight: Highway Women

The Highway Women is an all-female country blend (country, rock, pop) music band like no other bringing a musical movement to support other women in country music and beyond. They are comprised of singers Kristen Kae, Drew Haley, Bailey James, and Heather Harper.

The group started in 2016 and has had various members since then, but the current group has been together for about a year. They don’t have a lead singer as they try to equally share the singing responsibilities.

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Tennessee Businessman and Former Convict Says a Pardon from Donald Trump Could Complete His Path to Redemption

Robert Sherrill, a 37-year-old Madison resident, today is a successful businessman who works with at-risk children and runs a local company with nearly $1 million in revenue.

Sherrill has enough clout to have a face-to-face meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

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Music Spotlight: Jamie O’Neal

Those who have been following country music their whole lives know already who Jamie O’Neal is as an artist. Off her first album, Shiver, released in 2000, she had two number one hits, “There Is No Arizona,” and “When I Think About Angels.” Her next top ten hit came in 2005, “Somebody’s Hero.”

I wanted to find out more about this country star who was born in Australia. Having no Australian accent, O’Neal said, “I was born in Sydney, Australia, where my parents (Jimmy and Julie Murphy) were performers who moved to America when I was two. I always say that I am the opposite of Nicole Kidman who was born in Hawaii and was raised in Australia. It was the opposite for me, I was born there but raised in the U.S.”

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White Singing Group Formerly Known as Lady Antebellum Seeks Legal Ruling to Confirm Appropriation of Name ‘Lady A’ from Black Singer

The white country band formerly known as Lady Antebellum has chosen to show racial “sensitivity” by suing to appropriate the name “Lady A” from Anita White, a black singer who has used the moniker for decades.

Lady Antebellum on June 11 said they would start going by the name Lady A since “antebellum” carried racial connotations, Billboard said. The suit was filed July 8 in Nashville’s U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

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NASCAR Ready for Long-Term Commitment in Nashville

Here’s what NASCAR hopes is the honky tonk truth — that a Nashville reboot is good enough this time to make the sport a tough ticket in the heart of one of the entertainment hot spots of the south.

The first step? Convincing its star drivers the trip to Nashville Superspeedway in 2021 is the spark of a motorsports rebirth in the area and not just another lazy ride on an intermediate concrete track.

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Music Spotlight: Brian Callihan

Born and raised on a small farm in South Georgia, Brian Callihan was your typical country boy as he hunted and played baseball and football. However, he found his true passion when he started listening to Keith Whitley.

Callihan said when he was around 10 or 11 years old he got a “Keith Whitley’s Greatest Hits for Christmas,” which was his dad’s favorite singer.

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Student of German Philosopher Werner Stegmaier Will Serve as Executive Director of Hodges Foundation

Dr. Reinhard Mueller just completed his PhD program in comparative literature at the University of Texas at Austin with a dissertation on “philosophical reorentations in the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and James Joyce.” His unlikely relationship with Nashville businessman Mike Hodges led to his new position as executive director of the Hodges Foundation for Philosophical Orientation, which officially launched Friday night at The Parthenon.

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The Hodges Foundation: the Product of a Successful Nashville Businessman Who Fell in Love with Philosophy

By all outward appearances, Mike and Tina Hodges, chairman and CEO of Advance Financial, respectively, have lived the American dream. They run their own business (and a highly-successful one at that) have children and a happy marriage, and are respected in their community.

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Nashville Mayoral Candidates Want More Accountability for Schools

  The top four candidates running for mayor of Nashville said Tuesday that, if elected, they will play a greater role holding the Metro School Board accountable. Some even said they want a greater role selecting the next school superintendent. Candidates debated at Belmont University. Former Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain…

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While Visiting Nashville, Beto O’Rourke Says America and Confederate States Were Founded on White Supremacy

  During a campaign visit in Nashville Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said that Nashville and Texas and other “places that formed the Confederacy” are bigoted and America was formed on white supremacy. In the same breath as mentioning Nashville, he mentioned his home state of Texas and linked…

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Lee Beaman Commentary: Green Space Is Vital to a City’s Success

by Lee Beaman   We hear often the laments of the challenges that urban growth brings. From challenges with school systems to rising prices and reduced availability of homes, Nashvillians’ concerns over our growth are valid.  But one of the aspects of urban growth is the appreciation of our green…

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Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke Visits Nashville

  Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was welcomed by a large, raucous crowd during his Nashville campaign stop Sunday afternoon. Former U.S. Rep. O’Rourke (R-TN-16) tweeted a video from the rally. Nashville! pic.twitter.com/Gx6aGYvvPY — Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 7, 2019 In promoting the event, the Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “2020 Democratic…

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Audit: Nashville Mismanages Affordable Housing Fund

  Metro Nashville officials are doing a less than stellar job monitoring the city’s affordable housing fund, according to a new internal audit. Members of a seven-member commission overseeing the money, among other things, don’t follow proper policies and procedures, don’t have clear enough goals and objectives, and aren’t cautious…

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Thales Academy, High Quality and Affordable Private School, Is Coming to Nashville

  Thales Academy, a non-profit company that owns and operates eight private schools in North Carolina, is coming to Nashville. Founder and CEO Bob Luddy, the entrepreneur who also owns CaptiveAire, the nation’s leading provider of commercial kitchen ventilation equipment, and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Tim Hall will be among…

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