Local Artist of the Week

Lightning 100 highlights local artist  in a new way each week on 100.1 FM.  We spin a lot of local tunes, but now we are featuring Local Artist of the Week sponsored by Fork’s Drum Closet in heavy rotation.  Tune in Lightning 100 to hear a new local artists and then join Wells Adams for a live broadcast every Pour House Nashville  for a special Happy Hour from 4:45-6:30pm followed by a performance from the featured artist of the week!  Click here to find out how to submit your music to the local guys at the615.

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Vinyl Thief debuts “Middle Of The Night” on WRLT

Vinyl Thief Smooth

Vinyl Thief drinking coffee

 Since their 2010 release of the Control EP – followed by singles White Light (2011), Rebel Hill (2012) and latest Smooth (2013) – they have garnered much attention from Nashville and fans beyond. Grayson hasn’t found his favorite track on the album yet but he said he knows it will happen once they begin playing it live.
“I am really proud of the entire record though, front to back. There’s a lot of heart and soul laid out pretty clearly. It goes through loss, avoidance, and acceptance, in a lot of different forms. We’re trying to get it out as soon as possible.” – Grayson
So, with much anticipation we wait to bath in the pool where Vinyl Thief’s distinct sounds and creativity have collected. In the meantime, Lightning 100 has helped us to revel in older tracks, especially as they gave the featured artist of the week extra air time and made plenty of “Smooth” picks for local audiences.
“Lightning 100 is no doubt one of the biggest influences on Nashville’s music culture. If you look at how big the crowds were at Live on the Green this year, there’s no doubt about that. High five on that one Lightning!” – Grayson
There’s also no doubt that Nashville is loving these guys for what they’ve made together, but each member of the band brings a unique something that makes the whole thing work. To say the least, Vinyl Thief is one energetic, diverse compilation of kindred spirits.
Grayson – Singin’, dancin’, and synthesizin – “I grew up in Texas. I wasn’t country enough for Texas, so I moved to Nashvillle… smart thinking. My mom and I shared a love for anyone with a serious voice and a serious attitude: Steven Tyler, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, and the like. She had Toys In The Attic by Aerosmith on vinyl, but we didn’t have a record player because it was the 90′s and that wasn’t cool anymore/yet. But I had it in my room and would listen to the tape while looking at the record.”
Logan – guitars – “I grew up going to see KISS with my dad one month, and then seeing U2 the next. If that doesn’t make you want to be a musician, who knows what will. I would listen to records on repeat, while reading a book about the record I was listening to.”

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Artist of the Week: Future Thieves

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Future Thieves

One of Nashville’s most exciting emerging acts, Future Thieves, comprised of Elliot Collet (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gianni Gibson (drums), Nick Goss (bass), Stan Nickell (lead guitar) and Austin McCool (lead guitar) formed in the fall of 2013. The American rock band can trace their beginnings to previous endeavors between Collet and Nickell, who played an Americana/blues style focused around Collet’s singer/songwriter mentality. After moving to Nashville, the two teamed up with McCool and Goss to form a sound influenced by classic rock and big indie rock. Gibson then joined on and meshed immediately as the group began rehearsing and writing.

Collet, a coal miner’s son from Kentucky, teamed up with the heavily blues influenced Nickell after running live sound for numerous artists and traveling to play shows in and around Nashville. Before moving to Tennessee with Nickell, Collet graduated with an audio engineering degree in Lexington, KY. Nickell’s blues background comes from a similar small town upbringing where his father’s taste in music led Stan to create his own style of guitar phrasing while developing a love of guitar repair and technical work.

McCool and Goss both hail from southern Indiana, dating back to the sixth grade together and continuing on through college at Purdue University. They both grew up playing the guitar after stealing tablature books and bouncing ideas off of friends down the street. After graduating college the two moved to Nashville to pursue music.

For Gianni, growing up in Los Angeles offered the perfect blend of culture and music for Gibson to focus on his skills as a percussionist. Having both parents in the music industry, he realized his passion for music at a very young age.

The band’s instrumentation is written collectively, while Collet spreads his melodies and storytelling across the tracks. Future Thieves brings a big indie rock/americana sound with a powerful rhythm section, fresh guitar melodies, and singer/songwriter style vocals. All tracks are impressively played, engineered and produced by Future Thieves in their home studio Nashville Music House in Nashville, TN.

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Stacey Randol – Fables

Photo by The Lady & Rock

Photo by The Lady & Rock

Biography

After studying music at Millikin University, the pieces began to fall in place and Stacey’s musical career took her on travels to Italy, China, and throughout the USA, only to find herself settling down in Music City.
In the summer of 2011, Stacey recorded her debut album Steady Rhythm. Indie Music Reviewer writes, “Every song on the album is memorable and catchy. After one listen you will be left feeling enchanted and re-energized. Her vocals are warm and inviting, gentle yet hearty. Steady Rhythm is an eleven- song remedy guaranteed to bring some sunshine in your life.”

American Songwriter writes, “Stacey Randol is a pop artist that sprinkles in some folk for good measure. Her influences span the past and present, a list including Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Harry Nilsson, Vampire Weekend, Beach House, and Brandi Carlile. All great American songwriters, we see “Fragile Forest” channeling Carlile in the best of ways, both lyrically and musically.”

Stacey’s second album Fables was released February 2014. Fables was recorded in a home studio and takes a different approach than the first album. After listening to Fables, Randol hopes the album takes the listener on a relatable journey, where they are not bored with one particular sound or subject. Chuck Dauphin with Music News Nashville compares her style of song to the melancholy sadness of Orbison and writes, “At the end of the day, I don’t really know how to categorize this music – other than simply say it’s good. It’s a little bit of everything stylistically, and will keep you guessing what is coming next from track to track, but Randol is definitely onto something, and that is very evident!”

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Safe in Blue

10411417_681639198591570_6262284424030202667_nSafe in Blue is the music of going home. Like Coldplay and Death Cab, Safe in Blue strives for lyrical heartfelt poetry and strong melodies. A few years ago, South African musician Vian (like ‘neon’ with a ‘V’) went backpacking through Europe and Africa. A giant green bag, his brother, and a small travel guitar were all that accompanied him. As he sat on the cliffs of the Mediterranean drinking wine and watching the moon glide over the water, he wrote of home, of love, and of all the bittersweet things. Africa brought about early morning coffee in remote savannah bungalows. With the coffee came the rain and more songs about the rain, history, and memories.

As soon as Vian returned he shared his music with multi-instrumentalist Phillip Englehart. The two clicked as Phillip helped Vian finish the writing process. After narrowing all the songs down to the ten favorites, the boys invested in a studio on the historic Music Row in Nashville TN. From November 2012 they disappeared into their new creative space to self-record and produce the album. Inviting Grammy winning friends and veteran session musicians on board, Safe in Blue watched the songs come to life.

Safe in Blue released Song I Believe In, their first single, with a music video depicting the duo being showered with colored powder on September 3, 2013. Three days after it’s release Coldplay, ironically, featured the video on the Hypnofeed: A part of their website dedicated to things they think are cool. The Hypnofeed kept Song I Believe In up for three days. Safe in Blue rode the momentum of this honor by booking live shows in Nashville. The album was released and a few weeks later Marble Floors, the second song on the album, was licensed to Restoration Hardware stores nationwide.

After some local and national exposure, the duo asked three good friends to flush out a live set for future gigs. These three guys took the music from the album to a whole new level with their musicality. Paul Fenner, the drummer, first learned the drum parts exactly as they were played on the album. Phillip and Vian neglected to tell him that some of the tunes had more than one drum take making some of the beats quite impossible to play as a single drummer. Somehow Paul figured out a way to do it. He has since improved and put more power behind the beats. Chris Bates assisted as bassist. He likewise has made the rhythm section come to life by adding little melodic flourishes and powerful starts and stops. He seems to recognize the importance of both playing and not playing to build suspense.

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The Whistles and the Bells

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The Whistles and the Bells is the redirection of artist Bryan Simpson. The forthcoming eponymous debut was engineered by multi-Grammy winner Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Thile, Keb Mo, Jars of Clay). Tune in all week to hear “Mercy Please” on 100.1 FM.

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Farewell Flight – Scarecrow

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Farewell Flight is an independent, melodic indie-rock band, originally from the heart of Central Pennsylvania; living what at times feels like a Bruce Springsteen song: where farm boys and sons of blue collar factory workers abandon college pursuits and steady jobs to chase down the dream of rock stardom on a level that no musician ever openly admits to. Alternating between guitar and piano, singer Luke Foley is joined by lead guitarist Rabbit Campbell, and drummer Caleb Allensworth. The band strives to impact a wide audience with intelligent, relatable lyrics fused by smart song structures; often evoking the response from listeners, ‘How is this not already a song?’ These anthems of personal failure and redeeming triumphs are presented with an impassioned and sweeping live performance that resonates with any crowd, especially if they’ve had a few drinks.

Recently named one of AP magazine’s 100 Bands You Need To Know In 2012, the group embodies the spirit of true traveling musicians, having played over 700 shows from coast to coast over the last six years and 29 tours of their existence. Through their music and lyrics, the band brings accessible songs with an anthemic flavor that play like the cinematic soundtrack of a movie, featuring the highs, lows, anguish, ecstasy and sometimes boredom of a life lived by normal, average people. Drawing from personal experiences to which almost anyone can relate, they appeal to a wide variety of dedicated fans; from grizzled middle-aged alcoholics, to teenagers in angst, to hipster taste-making bloggers, but most especially to those going through a quarter-life crisis. Currently, the band is resides in it’s favorite town in America: Nashville, TN.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the band was able to independently fund, record and release I Was A Ghost; a 30 minute soundtrack tinged with nostalgia and memories of what once was, as interpreted by Luke Foley. I Was A Ghost is the highly anticipated follow up to the critical darling, Out For Blood. I Was A Ghost is, in singer-songwriter Foley’s words, ‘either the greatest or last or next album we’ll ever make.’

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Juliana – Red Hot Blues

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Juliana is a coffee-drinking, cat-loving, toe-tapping, bird-chirping wordsmith who is handy with the guitar and tickling the ivories…..and now she is on Lightning 100!  Tune in all this week to hear “Red Hot Blues” by Juliana. Originally hailing from Upstate New York, she now calls Nashville, TN home. She is on the musical adventure of a lifetime and is glad to have you and your ears on board for one hell of a ride.

 

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Sexx – Surf City

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Photographer Unknown

No one knows much about Sexx (band) at Lightning 100….because they forgot to send us a bio.  Tune in to hear “Surf City” all this week on 100.1 FM and come check them out at Pour House this Friday.

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Lightning 100 debuts “Spitfire” by INTL

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Lightning 100 debuts “Spitfire” by INTL on 100.1 FM.  It’s been nearly one year since fans have heard from the ground-breaking alternative rock outfit INTL, the band has emerged. Teaming up with young hungry producer, Joshua Niles, INTL is proud to announce the release of their single, “Spitfire.”
After releasing their self-titled EP in 2011, INTL went on to release several singles, new material, score multiple spots on several national television shows, and successfully preserver through a name change. This past year the band teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer, Vance Powell, to promote Universal Audio’s interface, Apollo 16. The band hid away in an effort to master a new and authentic sound. “Our goal and our hope as musicians is to speak truth and enter conversation with anyone who listens,” lead singer Kaleb Jones confesses.
Individually, INTL’s four members are incredibly talented, but collectively, their musicianship and influence is undeniable. Their ingenuity comes through in the distinct brand of rock they have carefully developed over the past few years. INTL has cultivated a sound all their own, a sound that allows them to stand out in a city full of fellow creatives.  Tune in all this week to hear “Spitfire” by INTL on Lightning 100.
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Trade us an email and get a free download! (https://intlofficial.bandcamp.com/track/spitfire)

You can also preorder the album now and receive the record before anyone else

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Casio Showcase this Friday!

Casio America, Inc. and radio station Lightning 100 have once again teamed up for a partnership promotion in conjunction with the Summer NAMM show in Nashville, TN, which takes place July 17-19, 2014.

Casio and Lightning 100 will facilitate a giveaway and other on-air promotions, culminating with a live broadcast from the floor of the Summer NAMM show at the Nashville Music City Center on Friday, July 18 from 11am – 1pm. Listeners can tune in to Lightning100 at 100.1FM in Nashville or worldwide at lightning100.com. The broadcast will include live, in-booth interviews and performances from Daniel Ellsworth and Marie Hines.

Later that evening, Casio and Lightning100 will sponsor a live music event at Nashville venue The Pour House (730 8th Ave S) from 7pm – 10pm. Open to the public and free, admittance to the event is on a first come, first serve basis. Showcasing some of Nashville’s best talent, the event will feature popular artists Marie Hines, Tom Brislin and Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes, and spotlight Casio‘s Privia Pro PX-5S keyboard.

Singer/songwriter Marie Hines has earned critical praise for the heartfelt, piano-driven pop sounds found on her latest release, The Tide and the Sea. Hines’ music has been heard on such television shows as MTV’s Awkward and ABC’s The Fosters, and showcased in various capacities by MTV, iTunes, Hallmark, Delta Airlines, Spotify and Forever 21.

A native of New Jersey, musician, songwriter and producer Tom Brislin relocated to Nashville to record his debut solo album, Hurry Up and Smell the Roses. In addition to a successful solo career, Brislin’s work as a professional keyboardist has landed him on tours and recordings by notable artists including Yes, Debbie Harry, Meat Loaf, OK Go, Josh Kelley, Renaissance, and Glen Burtnik.

Formed in Nashville in 2010, Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes are winning audiences around the country with their brand of high-energy, keyboard-fronted indie rock. Named one of the 15 Bands to Watch in 2014 by Esquire, their highly buzzed sophomore release Kid Tiger was recorded by Vance Powell (Jack White, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs).

 

Listeners will also have the opportunity to win a Casio Privia PX-350 keyboard by entering to win at www.facebook.com/wrltlightning100 between July 14 – July 28, 2014. A winner will be selected at random at the end of this submission period.

 

For additional information regarding Casio’s portfolio of electronic musical instruments, stop by booth# 534 (Hall A) at the Summer NAMM show or visit www.CasioMusicGear.com.

 

About Casio America, Inc.
Casio America, Inc., Dover, N.J., is the U.S. subsidiary of Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of consumer electronics and business equipment solutions. Established in 1957, Casio America, Inc. markets calculators, keyboards, mobile presentation devices, disc title and label printers, watches, cash registers and other consumer electronic products. Casio has strived to fulfill its corporate creed of “creativity and contribution” through the introduction of innovative and imaginative products. For more information, visit www.casiousa.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lauren Farrah

971675_553039468079873_846341767_n“Lauren Farrah is a singer-songwriter currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Let us first put special emphasis on the “singer” half of that title, as Farrah was gifted with a truly lovely voice, a warm velvety alto, as rich as chocolate, as smokey as bourbon. The skill she’s acquired in wielding such a voice is no less striking. Farrah’s singing is passionate with an expressiveness ranging from vulnerable, to commanding, to haunting, permiated by a sweet, nameless sadness.Her tone is that of intense sincerity and earnestness. Certainly she can be playful, but even at play there is a gravity, a certain seriousness, underscoring each line.

The songs and their treatments are kind of a nouveau-Americana fare, with certain overtures toward pop. The arrangements evoke the sense of raw space, the crossing of vast tracts of eart. Across these distances, each instrument calls out, a cry as catchy and melodious as it is mournful.

Farrah has described herself as “just a girl who’s trying to figure out the ‘why’s’ of life.” But, in truth, her writing shows her to be at least equally preoccupied with life’s “how’s” and “ought’s”. Farrah’s songs portray a deep concern with morality, dignity, and integrity. Thesse are brought to the fore by various situations and crises of the soul which challenge and threaten to annul them. Indeed, the many vicissitudes of life- interpersonal struggles, the steady receding of youth and innocence, dissapointment, betrayal despair- make their villainous cameos, while waylaying our heroine in her quest for the ideal. But even in her puzzlement, even when she is lost, Farrah retains the faith of a seeker, if only by the earnestness of her search, the continual grasping for meaning. Like a true pilgrim, she is unswervingly devoted to her
destination, to her ideal. Each doubt, each dissapointment, each dark night of the soul turns out not to be a roadblock, but a signpost, a mileage marker on the road to glory.”

“Great Expectations” is Lauren’s debut EP on River Jones Music label, and is now available on iTunes, and Amazon worldwide!

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Afterlife Parade

Afterlife Parade is a Nashville based indie rock collective of songwriters and musicians joining together to create one big sound.

Along with touring all over the U.S., Afterlife Parade has spent the last three years building an impressive resume for such a young act including being named a local lightning artist by Lightning 100, Nashville’s local independent radio station, headlining The University of Southern Mississippi’s inaugural tailgate series, gaining prominent placements for “Black Woods, White Beach” on the series premiere of MTV’s Underemployed and a St. Baldrick’s Foundation PSA announcement on Hulu, and most recently, being named a new and notable artist by Noisetrade.

Most recently, Afterlife Parade has been hard at work in the studio putting the finishing touches on AP’s newest project, a three song E.P. titled A Million Miles Away. June 24, 2014 will mark the release of this engaging and exciting new E.P. A Million Miles Away will include two previously released songs, the rock anthem “Break Away” and the soulful rock and roll heavy “Conquer It All,” and will be rounded out by the larger than life and atmospheric title track, “A Million Miles Away.”

AMMA is a follow up E.P. to the previously released concept album Death and Rebirth. AP is hoping that their newest E.P. will show fans their range as well give a glimpse into the future of the direction of AP’s future projects. AP is aiming high and longing for much larger stages as they continue to “conquer” new territory and A Million Miles Away is a taste of the future for the kind of sound that belongs in those larger arenas.

But as always, AP’s most important message is that of community. Lead singer Quinn Erwin states, “We believe in community… and the kind of music that we make fosters connectedness…what better way to grow a following than to start off in small spaces really getting to know our fans, them getting to know us, and then our ‘family’ gets so big overtime that we fill arenas?”

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Justin Klump

justin klumpAfter growing up in a musical family, it was only natural that Justin Klump would follow the family tradition. After his initial release of Sticks and Stones (2012) he gathered more fans while he perfecting his craft, this year releasing The Night is Young. He has played all across the country , even Nashville’s own Bluebird Cafe, and been featured in many publications including Entertainment World and IndieMusic.com

In order to pursue his music career as a singer/songwriter, the newly married Justin Klump moved from Vancouver, Washington, to Nashville back in 2012.  He established himself in the Nashville community, working on perfecting his music and teaching himself everything he needed to know about the business. Klump ensures that his music is authentic, everything he sings about being drawn from his own life and experiences.

Klump’s childhood was drenched in music and songs, his own family being members in the local orchestra. After hearing Dave Matthews Band, Klump taught himself how to play guitar. That, along with his training in piano and voice, led him down the road that eventually led to Nashville.

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Learn more about Justin Klump at http://justinklump.com/

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Local Spotlight: Elise Davis

Elise DavisLocal Artist of The Week: Elise Davis By Charli Bray

Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Elise Davis is making waves in the Nashville music scene with her honest, relatable, and slightly sassy lyrics. Although Davis never planned on being a singer when she first began guitar lessons at age 11, she quickly discovered her voice and talent for song writing and was instantly hooked. Davis made the move to Nashville in late 2011 and has been calling Music City home ever since. During her interview, Elise stated that the things she writes “are all just very true, literal stories about my life.” Indeed, Elise captivates her listeners with raw and inspiring storytelling and leaves her audience reflecting on their own similar stories.

Q: When did you start making music?

A: “I always was interested in music. When I was 11 I started taking guitar lessons. I never really thought I was a singer and I thought that I was just learning to play guitar but when I was 12 years old I wanted to go to a Bush concert in downtown Little Rock with my friends and my parents didn’t want me to go and I got really upset about it and ran away from home for a little bit. Nobody came looking for me and I walked back home and I was really upset that my parents didn’t come looking for me so went up in my room and I knew a few chords well enough and I didn’t think about it or plan to do it but I picked up the guitar and wrote a song about being lonely in a big house and it felt so good and every single day since then I have written songs.”

Q: What genre would you place your music under?

A: “That’s hard for me because I don’t write straight up country music but some of the songs fall into the country genre. But I have recently found that my songs are very Americana; kinda gritty Americana sounding singer songwriter.”

Q: What artists inspire your music?

A:“I’m a super freakish fan of Lucinda Williams. I started listening to her in college and I am such a fan of the way that she writes lyrics and melody and everything. So John Prine and Lucinda Williams are probably the two biggest influences of my music.”

Q: As an Americana artist with a tinge of country, was moving to Nashville always a dream or a plan?

A: “It actually wasn’t. My first record was out when I was a senior in high school and then every year that I was in college; I was lucky to have band mates that worked in a little studio so that I could affordably record. And then I graduated college and went out on the road with my band; The way that I wanted to do it was just to be on the road all the time; then I realized that if I

stayed in Arkansas I was never going to get to the level I want to be at because there is no music industry in Arkansas. So when I thought about it Nashville was the closest and most affordable choice versus somewhere like LA, and so I packed up and came.”

Q: And are you loving Nashville?

A: “Moving was literally the best decision I have ever made in my entire life. I’ve learned an incredible amount of things since moving here and the industry here has been incredibly kind to me. I got a publishing deal last year and it has just been a really good choice to come here.”

Q: Do you think that living here and living in Nashville has influenced your music at all?

A: “Yeah definitely. I think that I always try to really stay true to the style that I have always loved since I started writing songs, but before I moved here all of my old band mates were indie rocker guys, so some of my older albums have touches of indie rock around my singer songwriter songs. So since I’ve been here there have been country elements that have come out in me, and I’ve always loved country music so I have no problem with my music leaning that way; it just feels right for me.”

Q: What do you hope to bring to Nashville through your music?

A: “Lyrics are my favorite part of what I do; I try not to hold a damn thing back. It would be cool to use my lyrics to push the boundaries of music more than anything.”

Q: What are your plans for the immediate future?

A: “The plan right now is to tour my ass off all Summer. I want to get this new EP to as many people as I can.”

Davis’s EP “Life” debuted May 27th and was her 7th release. A free download of Davis’s song “Honest Woman” is available on Noisetrade. Free and easy listening of all of Davis’s music can also be heard on Spotify and Soundcloud.

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Oliver & the Spectacles

oliver and the spectaclesOliver & The Spectacles Interview

With Chris Swartwood, Lead Singer

Oliver & The Spectacles bring back a distinctive look and excitement reminiscent of the time when mono was king and the 7 inch 45 ruled the airwaves. They have the lyrics and grooves that make a strong case for the next chapter of the soul-sound revival. The Spectacles bring a live show that never fails to get the crowd up out their seat and puts a groove in their feet. From the first break beat that opens the show, The Spectacles sound grabs the audience by the collar and doesn’t let go until they’re doing “The Spectacle Shake”. They respectfully nod their heads to the time of America’s love affair with the turntable and the artists it delivered. Good music is alive and well in the world…let the music and showmanship of Oliver & The Spectacles help show you where it has been living.

Cory: Are you currently working on new music?

Chris: “We are slowly, things are being written as time is available and as inspiration strikes. We’ve got some stuff, an EP’s worth of tracks that have been recorded and are in various stages of production and mixing. We don’t have any official plans of launching an album or anything, but we will have a seven inch that will be coming out here pretty soon called hit the ground running and another tune take a step.”

Cory: Are you excited about playing the Hootenanny on the 28th?

Chris: “Yeah, absolutely we’ve been looking forward to that. Robert Hamm has been super nice to the band and has gotten us a lot of cool shows, so were excited to see what type of relationship we forge between you guys, Robert Ham and other influential guys here in town.”

Cory: It’s been a little over a year exactly since the Basement Bootleg was released. Do you see a progression within your unique style continuing throughout the new projects?

Chris: “What has been most prevalent with me has been the cohesion of different versions of the band and because of that I don’t get to have a band photo, the line up is different for every show. So I’ve got like five versions of the band and each one has presented its own energy and style. So depending on whatever show you go to really dictates the kind of show your going to get, which used to be very scary to me but now I’ve learned to become excited to play with different sets of guys and girls.”

Cory: Who writes the songs typically?

Chris: “I generally come to the band with song ideas, lyrically and melodically. I generally do vocal demos for each part, just because I’m not a multi instrumentalist. So ill do vocal recordings on how I think the parts should sound. That will then get the juices flowing for everyone else. It is true that depending on who is playing that particular show, the song may change. Because we have so many people coming in or out, we only get about one dress rehearsal before a show, sometimes not even that. Literally when we play a show you are seeing the rawest form of the band, but because the level of musicianship is such great quality you don’t really feel that when you see it.”

Cory: Where do you get your inspiration?

Chris: “We listen to a lot of Stacks recordings, 60’s Stacks which we all have an affection for, and definitely comes through in the sound. But in the contrary to that we love pop, 70s funk, 80’s pop and 90’s R&B, so a lot of that comes into how it sounds. It used to feel like we were a 60’s soul band, but there’s only so many styles of songs that you can right until your completely pigeon holed with the sound. Trying to do that would just put you in the corner. We’ve tried to reach out and take more influence from what we currently listen to rather than what we are expected to listen to and sound like.”

Cory: Are you guys currently looking to do a tour?

Chris: “It really depends on whether there is a need for it. This band formed out of a musicians therapy group in a sense. A Lot of the players are with other groups and those groups are what pay their bills, so there is no money to speak of in this band. It became a way for them to play in a group where they could breath and have fun while playing and not have to worry about anything that’s going on other than enjoying the music. So touring would be possible if there was a need for it. When your talking about six plus players there really needs to be a need for that. You really don’t want it to cost you to leave town. Nashville is such a big town that if we feel that we’ve satisfied the needs of Nashville, we may consider it. Nashville is a hard cookie to crack. It’s a feel good band for feel good people. This needs to be as low stress as possible, but if it gets bigger than that, then so be it, were just trying to have a good time.”

Cory: Do you think Oliver & The Spectacles is taking a step in making Nashville a more diverse town musically?

Chris: “If we were than it would be unintentionally, because I feel like everyone that lives here is aware that there is something more than country music here. The most rewarding thing is playing for people who don’t necessarily know who you are but came to the event for someone else and enjoyed what you did. That is a really fundamental part of local music in Nashville as a whole. You are sharing a musical experience with somebody else and a lot of bands in town we know and play with and were friends with. You’re sharing an audience and your sharing a stage, and that’s what makes Nashville so cool. Everyone is happy for each other’s accomplishments, and its cool to be in the mix, and your not really asking for anything more than that.”

 

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All Them Witches

all them witches nashvilleNashville-based ALL THEM WITCHES impress in both their cohesiveness of sound and their obvious drive toward an individual approach. Their blend of blues rocking grooves and heavy psych-derived jamming comes through clearly, and has wasted no time in getting to the public’s ears thanks to two stunning albums.

 

Their debut LP, Our Mother Electricity was released in early 2012, making them the first American band to release an album through Germany’s Elektrohasch, heavy psyche innovator Stefan Koglek’s personal imprint. They soon became known for their engaging live shows. They quickly followed this up in July of 2013 with the Extra Pleasant EP, recorded direct to a four-track cassette tape with two microphones with their DIY aesthetic firmly established.

 

When their sophomore effort, Lightning At The Door, was informally released as a surprise to hungry fans in November of 2013, they quickly sold through their physical stock of discs, receiving more praise for their ability to balance dense, chugging tracks like “Swallowed by the Sea” with soulful, bluesy ones like “The Marriage of Coyote Woman.”

 

Not ones for taking a break, ATW recorded a live album in early March of 2014 to fully reflect the raw and unyielding nature of their stage show. ATM is not slowing down, and that’s just the way they like it. They’re hitting the road hard in the coming months, we’ll see if the road can take it.

 

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Benjy Davis – Here I Go

1010732_381965495274057_1580048252_nBenjy Davis is a singer-songwriter with roots in Louisiana, with influences that range from Motown to rock, country and folk music. He characterizes his style as “pop music that tells a story, and usually a pretty personal one.” In the summer of 2011, after 10 years of touring with his band The Benjy Davis Project, Benjy moved to Nashville to immerse himself in the writing scene, and has expanded his fan base in playing live shows at popular Nashville venues. Currently Benjy is recording his first solo album, to be released in January 2014.

Tune in all this week for “Here I  Go” by Benjy Davis sponsored by CollegeBookRenter.com

 

Written & performed by Benjy Davis
Get it on iTunes now at http://bit.ly/benjydavissolo
Video by J.P. & Hunter Dice for ComeTogetherCreate.com

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Shane Piasecki – Feels Alright

shane piaseckiShane Piasecki (pi-a-SEK-ee) grew up just outside of Toledo, Ohio in a small town called Liberty Center. Country roads were the norm and cornfields grew for miles. Those same roads are where he found his love for music while cruising with his father, listening to the sounds of CCR and Eric Clapton. His father realized how much he liked music and surprised Shane with a guitar when he was five years old.

Growing up in a small town, there weren’t many places available for him to play music. Shane took up some other hobbies such as football, boxing, and working at his dad’s company. However, these weren’t just hobbies to Shane; they were lessons, lessons about working hard and achieving goals. He had witnessed a lot of people in his life become successful and realized after a year of college that he wanted something greater. He needed to chase that feeling he got when he first held that guitar in his hands.

He released his first independent album in 2004, All For Coffee. This earned him a spot as an opener on the Hanson tour at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio. Critics took notice after hearing he had sold more albums in a single night than any other band that had ever opened up for the platinum pop trio. This success caused Shane to head west to San Diego with nothing but a suitcase full of books, clothes, and his guitar. His second independent album, You’re Here and I’m A Mess, followed soon after.

By that time, YouTube was beginning to become popular, propelling Shane’s exposure to new heights, and creating a fan base as far away as Australia. His singles “My Two Cents” and “Sweetest Thing” hit views and downloads of over one million. His album, All For Coffee, would later move 10,000 units, reaching number one on the Detroit Music Retail Collective Chart and peaking at number 19 on the National Alliance of Independent Media Stores sales chart.

After a visit back home to Ohio, he decided not to return to California, but instead write and record his third album, Monday Creek, in Nashville. This album was special to Shane because he recorded it with some of his favorite musicians that he grew up listening to. Headed by producer Doug Lancio (John Hiatt and Patty Griffin), the album featured an All-Star lineup including Dave Roe (Johnny Cash), Jerry Roe (Greg Laswell), Patrick Keeler (The Raconteurs), Sam Huff, and Mike Schrimpf. The album would showcase Piasecki’s traditional folk and Americana sound. During the recording process, he became good friends with another writer, Chris Gantry. Gantry would introduce him to Everett Lowe, who owned a publishing company on Music Row. After listening to Monday Creek, Everett signed Shane to his first publishing deal at Faverett Entertainment.

Now, three years later, Shane has signed a record deal with LandStar Entertainment and is set to release his label debut, Set You Free, in 2014. Produced by Nathan Meckel, Set You Free finds Shane exploring an undeniable blend of R&B, pop, rock, folk and blues. Recorded at The Sound Emporium Studio B and The Lab, Shane was once again joined by Dave and Jerry Roe, along with some of Nashville’s best instrumental talent: John Deaderick (Dixie Chicks), Layne Ihde, and Maurice “Bow Tie” Farmer.

Key tracks off the album include “Jackie O,” “Feels Alright,” and the title cut. Listen for Set You Free at Triple A and Americana radio later this year. In the meantime, Shane Piasecki is fired up to work with his backup band, The Cuts, preparing for a tour that will take them across the US and Australia, once his most anticipated album to date is released!

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AJ and the Jiggawatts

aj-and-the-jiggawatts

Sponsored by CollegeBookRenter.com

If you are familiar with the soul scene of Nashville, then you have heard about AJ & The Jiggawatts. Born and raised in the south, AJ Eason has played in a number of bands ranging from The Spades to Space Capone since 1998 and his latest work helps spread the group’s groovy funk-rock from East Nashville to Murfreesboro and beyond. The Jiggawatts all play with other bands in the funk-soul genre, and use that musical experience to bring a deeper element to AJ & The Jiggawatt’s sound. A few days after releasing their first full-length album, which is self-titled, I had the chance to catch up with AJ of AJ & The Jiggawatts.

Q: What path did you take to get in to music?

A: I was born in Atlanta and raised in Memphis since the age of 5. I started singing around campfires and had a little bit of church in there. I went to University of Tennessee to study business and started playing drums. I released an album with a three piece band, Hitch, around 2005. Around that time I got tied in with the G.E.D. Soul Records crowd and was able to tour with the band Sky Hi in Atlanta. I then moved to Clarksville for a job, and later traveled with other bands. I moved to Nashville around 2008 and started playing with Space Capone after begging them to play percussion. I toured with them from 2009-2011and got to play a lot of festivals, including Bonnaroo. AJ & The Jiggawatts formed soon after with G.E.D. Soul Records founder Nick DeVan. DeVan plays drums, Andrew Muller, who plays with Deep Fried 5 is on guitar, and Tim Hawkins is on bass, while I made the move to the front of the stage. We pick up players along the way and for certain performances. Austin Little joins us on trombone, and Andrew Hagen joins us on saxophone. We have had the chance to tour the St. Louis and Chicago circuits, as well as the southern circuit, opening for acts such as Nappy Roots and Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Q: How would you describe your style from your past work to your most current work?

A: My experiences in the last two years have shaped the songs on our latest album. We actually have a full second album ready which has a different vibe because it is more focused on horn, and we’re possibly recording it this summer. Two songs from our EP are bonus tracks on the full length and may sound different production-wise. This CD is really raw and recorded straight to tape. We added violin and cello for the song “Once in a Lifetime.” We made it to tell a story and to be able to listen straight through.

Q: How has Nashville influenced your style?

A: After moving here, I really immersed myself in the scene. I’m out and about so much that people have started to call me a “soul-cialite.” I keep my head in what is going on at the forefront which helps me know people in different walks of life.

Q: Who is your favorite collaborator?

A: Paul Gibson, out of Knoxville, Tennessee. He was my co-writer from 1998-2007 and is the most natural songwriter. He could always hear what I meant and build on top of small elements.

Q: Who are your influences?

A: James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc, Trombone Shorty, Lee Fields, Black Crowes, Black Joe Lewis, Dap-Kings, and Grateful Dead, among others.

Click here for the full interview at CollegeBookRenter.com

Q: What are your long-term goals as a musician?

A: I want to focus on being a lyricist, getting published, and getting four songs licensed. I want to keep writing horn lines for our songs, which I often do with a handheld recorder. I’d also love to collaborate outside of our genre.

Q: What is a highlight of your career so far?

A: I was touring with The Spades, an all-star group out of Knoxville, and we had the chance to open for Al Green. I had been drumming, but was able to step out of the back and sing lead with this band. Other highlights include sharing the stage with North Mississippi All-Stars and Black Crowes.

Q: What is your advice to others in and outside of the music realm?

A: Listen to yourself and get to know yourself. Trust your gut. You are your destiny and life is now.

Written by: Lexie Deeb

 

 

 

 

 

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Dean Fields

1174522_10151892026188706_689486206_nCompiled by Sam Walker

Over 1000 shows, 10 years, and 200,000 miles have passed since Dean Fields went on the road to pursue a career in music. During that time his address changed from Richmond VA to Miami to Boston until most recently settling in Nashville TN. Now, he hits the road again to promote his most recent release “Any Minute Now.”

His recent homecoming has found Fields selling out shows in Richmond VA, as well as nearby Washington DC. “Dean Fields writes lyrics like Leonard Cohen and sings like Jeff Buckley. It’s no surprise that there’s a serious buzz on this Virginia singer-songwriter.” (Free Times) While continuing to feed his passion for music, Dean is fueled by a single-minded love to perform, sharing the stage with KT TunstallBlues TravelerRosanne CashEric HutchinsonColin HayBob Schneider,AuqualungHootie and the BlowfishJohn HiattCakeBruce HornsbyRusted RootMadeleine PeyrouxCarbon Leaf, among others. In addition, Fields’ maturity as a writer and performer is brought to the fore by some of the region’s finest musicians. The band features members of Mandy Moore, Sparklehorse, Agents of Good Roots, KD Lang, Carbonleaf and Modern Groove Syndicate.

Q:  Where were you born?

A:  I was born and raised in Virginia, right outside of Richmond.

Q:  How and when did you start playing music?

A:  I started playing piano when I was four or five years old, and grew up playing classical music.  My dad got a guitar for a Christmas present when I was fourteen years old.  I stole his guitar and played it all the time.

Q:  When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?

A:  I grew up wanting to be a runner.  I ran competitively at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, but I got injured.  So then I decided to go to grad school at the University of Miami to study music.  I didn’t want to go but its what everyone was doing.  However, as soon as I found my voice as a songwriter I was out of there.

Q: What was your major in Grad School?

A:  I studied MBEI.  Which is Music Business Entertainment Industry.  Not many schools were offering solely Music Business back then.  I also studied Audio Engineering.

Q:  What are the steps of your songwriting process?

A:  It used to just be messing around until I found something cool, but now its much more simplified.  Musically, my classical background helps me construct a melody, and lyrically it’s my love for reading.  If I’m co-writing I usually come with a hook ready, and if I’m not I’ve just developed the discipline to knock out a song in four hours or so.

Q:  Do you currently have a publishing deal?

A:  Nope, I don’t have anything.  I pitch all my own songs and book all my own shows.  I appreciate anyone’s help, but I’ve realized that no one will work as hard as I will because it is my music.  I know me and know what I want to do and think about it all day and night, I can’t expect that from someone else.

Q: What has been your favorite recording experience?

A:  The first record I made, I was in the studio with Alan Weatherhead who used to be in a band called Sparklehorse.  He’s a great engineer, who kind of fly’s under the radar.  He is like the secret weapon of Richmond, Virginia.  The studio is called Sound of Music.  I knew nothing about what I was doing.  I was just winging it.  Alan was awesome; he had this idea to just have everyone in the room be a part of the record. We made it sound like the recording was in a bar, with all this background noise, and people telling jokes in the background.  It was really cool; we were all singing around the same mic, it was very spontaneous.  It was fun, it sounded like garbage, but it was great for that song.

Q:  What has been your favorite live performance experience?

A:  I like it when there is a super loud crowd that I can shut up with my music.  I think that’s amazing, now when it is the other way around it sucks.  I just played this show with Levi Lowrey in Atlanta and that happened there.  None of the crowd was ready for my sound, but it worked.  It was weird when I used to play college gigs because I had to make them feel like they were having an awesome time, while satisfying my need to be heard.

Q:  Do you have any summer touring plans coming up?

A:  I actually have a big tour coming up.  My home market in Virginia is solid; I can sell out venues there.  I have other friends who can do the same in other markets.  I reached out to them and said I’ve worked twelve years to get to this point, I’ll trade you my twelve years for your twelve years.  So we put together a twelve-gig tour, and we expect to sell out at least four venues.  That tour starts in June and spans from Georgia to New Hampshire, we’re playing Atlanta, Charlotte, Richmond, Washington DC, Philly, New York, Boston, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Click here for the full interview at CollegeBookRenter.com

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Justin Forrest

Justin ForrestDescribed as the next guitar phenomenon, Nashville Singer/Songwriter and guitarist, Justin Forrest, 21, brings a breath of fresh air to today’s music industry. Since winning the 2012 SESAC Project Next Showcase, Justin has started to build quite a reputation on the Nashville music scene and gained a good following here in the southeast. The Project Next Showcase is sponsored by SESAC to put a spotlight on up & coming writers and or Artists and it found a gem in Justin. After winning the showcase, Justin went on to debut himself at Hard Rock Nashville and sold out the venue. Since the beginning of 2013, Justin has been in a hiatus creating the groundwork to his career, and recording his debut album entitled “Chapters.”

Q: How long have you been in Nashville playing music?

A: First time was when I was 11 and have just been doing it ever since. Around 15 years now.

Q: Who are the biggest musical influences, and who do you think you sound like?

A: Before my father passed away he put in  a DVD of Stevie Ray Vaughan. This was probably when I was about 6 or 7 years old. After watching him on the DVD player it moved me and I knew I wanted more of it, so that’s what I think really influenced me first. As far as songwriting goes, definitely Bob Dylan, John Mayer, and even Jay-Z because of his empire that he’s built and his determination that he has with his music.

Q: Since winning the 2012 SESAC Project Next Showcase, how has things changed?

A: Once I won the showcase I no longer felt like I had to prove myself because I had producers and other music industry professionals from SESAC backing me. It was just the validation that people actually liked my stuff. After the showcase I got a fire lit under my belt that I can actually do this.

Q: Tell us the process you take to write music.

A: I definitely always write music from the heart. I am firm believer that if an artist is singing a song, you can’t sing it unless you have some sort of special relationship to it. For instance, when I wrote “City Life” in the LA airport, I was searching for a fresh start, or a new chapter in my life. A chapter to just be anonymous in LA but still struggling with leaving Nashville because I love it so much. But, I still had that urge to try something new.

Q: Do you have a favorite track off “Chapters,” if so what is it?

A: Saved by the sun is probably my favorite, because I go wild every time I play it live for a crowd. Pulling out Hendrix moves and what not. I just connect so well with it because it reminds me of when I first picked up the guitar and played blues and R&B.

Q: What are your long-term goals as an artist?

A: I just want to keep pushing forward, making good music so I can continue to connect to a wide audience. I want to keep the intimate vibe, whether it be at Exit-In, The Ryman, or even the Bridgestone Arena. Hopefully 5 years from now I’ll be touring the US and maybe even internationally. Whether it be signing a record deal with Sony or small independent label.

Q: What is your advice for others following their dreams? (not just in music)

A: I think society puts it in people’s heads that you graduate high school, then go to college, then get a white picket fence and get married. But every single person is different and they walk their own path. My heart desired to play music, so that’s what I did. I believe people need to take leaps and go towards the happiness that their heart tells them, and not just what people expect them to do. For the last couple years I’ve been blessed to work for a ma and pa music shop here in town and my boss taught me to just go for it and follow what you think it right. We only live once and when I am 80 years old, I want to say I lived a life that was meaningful. Even if I have had failures, I just kept moving forward on to the next chapter.

Interviewed by Mitchell Manning

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Artist of the Week: Forlorn Strangers

942245_529069903826945_486815161_nForlorn Strangers is made up of Ben, Chris, Jesse, Hannah and Abigail. Hailing from different states around the country, they are united by their love for Americana music and their passion for songwriting. They are a heavy, harmony based, Americana influenced group that brings positive vibes to every show they play. Their first CD “While The Grass Grows” was released in September and they have since been touring the east coast. The writing and recording process is something special to them as they all contribute and get to watch a song come to life.

You are from Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia, how did you all meet and form?

Chris: Ben, Hannah and I met at a college in West Palm Beach, FL called Palm Beach Atlantic University. Then we moved to Waco, TX and worked on a farm before making the move to Nashville.

Hannah: We met Jesse as soon as we moved to Nashville last Fall, a little over a year ago. Then we begged my sister Abigail to move here to be in the band. We were like “We need you!”

Abigail: We are kind of like a family band. Ben and Hannah are getting married in late April.

 

Why did you make the decision to move to Nashville?

Hannah: Nashville is kind of hub. We were from cool places like the middle of Texas and south Florida, but there wasn’t much of a music scene or room for growth as a band. Nashville seemed like the most central.

Jesse: There are a lot of people making music right now in Nashville and it is good to be around it.

What would you most compare your sound to? Most similar artist?

Jesse: I feel like it’s like Americana music.

Hannah: That’s a hard question.

Abigail: We did get Fleetwood Mac once.

Jesse: Yes, we got Fleetwood Mac.

Ben: The sound is vocal harmonies based.

Jesse: If there is a current artist we would like to be compared to it is Pokey LaFarge.

Ben: It’s a weird animal because it’s not a bluegrass band, but we have bluegrass instrumentation. It’s not gospel or barber shop or any of those vocal close harmony styles.

Jesse: It’s not pop, but some of it is written like pop songs.

Hannah: All in all, we want to be a mix of Pokey LaFarge and Fleetwood Mac.

How do you start writing a song?

Hannah: All five of us write so it’s different for each person. We all bring something to the table. I think the idea behind the band was as songwriters. I think we start with a song lyrically and bring it to the rest of the band to flesh out.

Jesse: And then I tear it down.

Abigail: But we do call it a skeleton. Somebody has a melody and maybe acoustic guitar and brings the skeleton to the band to fit in the other instrumentation and harmonies. Whoever writes a song sings lead.

Jesse: It ends up being a pretty beautiful process, like to learn about yourself and to learn about your family.

Hannah: I wrote “While The Grass Grows” after listening to a harp player and wrote it as a slow, minor song and we brought it and it was super fun the way everyone heard it different than I thought it would be.

Jesse: The way you wrote it was banging on a wall and singing.

Can you tell us about “While The Grass Grows” and how recording the album has been for you?

Hannah: It was great. Jesse our bass player let us record it in his home studio.

ForlornStrangers02Ben and Jesse: Yeah, Jesse recorded, mixed and mastered it.

Hannah: It was a fun process because talking about the songwriting we just trust one another. We are willing to give, in the creative process, control to everybody and even if it’s your song it is still everybody’s song. It’s fun to see the work come together and take shape in the studio.

Chris: Abby hadn’t come down here yet, so she came down for a week and we all took off to work on it.

You have been touring a lot on the east coast, where has your favorite place been and what has been your favorite part of touring?

Hannah: Oh man, we got back last night at 10 or 11 from tour.

Ben: My favorite part is thinking about all the logistics like talking to venues and figuring out driving and gas. You think it will be negative sometimes, but we experienced a minimum of that. We thought we would be eating like birds, and we just got stuff thrown at us.

Chris: Yeah, we went into some venues that didn’t seem friendly or hospitable but our music seemed to cut through. We played at this one venue where the opening bands were both punk and by the end of the night we were all hanging out and drinking together.

What are your summer plans?

Ben: First and foremost, I’m getting hitched. Then we are recording and focusing on a fall tour.

Click here for the full interview at CollegeBookRenter.com

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Kate Tucker & Sons of Sweden

KTSOS web IMG_8926Seattle-born, Nashville-based Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden have characteristics of The Cardigans, Cocteau Twins, and early U2 on their new album The Shape the Color The Feel. 

It began with a rebirth, as Tucker moved from Seattle to Nashville via NYC, where she met Wes Chandler and Ethan Place, two musicians recently relocated from southern Illinois. Their combined sound was closer to the first KT+SOS record than it was to Tucker’s solo Americana work, so with the blessing of the original Seattle lineup, the Sons of Sweden name was resurrected. 

Produced by Konrad Snyder (Kopecky Family Band) at The Brown Owl in Nashville, with additional production from Jordan Lehning, The Shape The Color The Feel was a collaborative effort from the beginning. Original Son of Sweden Nic Danielson joined the new lineup in Nashville to put his signature spin on the tracks, and singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones lent his voice to a song, as did Wilder Embry, and Hannah Holbrook of SHEL. 

Q: Tell us about your sound. Who do you sound like?

A: We play thickly layered ‘indie rock’ with sparkling melodies and shimmering soundscapes. We have some electronic synthy things happening, a little like Metric and Phantogram, and our songs are moody and often dark in the vein of The National and Interpol. We tend toward guitar over synth, but we like using them both.

Q: Tell us about the path you took to get where you are now?

A: I started Sons of Sweden in Seattle, and then I moved to NYC to make a solo record. In New York, I learned that the New York I wanted to live in was Patti Smith’s and Bob Dylan’s NYC in the seventies, and not what it is now. I was looking for a place where I’d have a little more creative space.

Q: Why did you choose Nashville over other cities?

A: My lease was up in NYC, so I packed all my belongings in a car and was traveling back home to Seattle, but decided to stay in Nashville for a week. In less than a week’s time I fell in love with the city. I met so many amazing people and wrote some good songs with them, so I knew it was where I wanted to be.

Q: How would you describe your writing process?

A: Usually Wes Chandler, our guitar player, and I sit down with our guitars and start with an idea, chasing melodies. We get the structure sorted out and then we bring it to the band with whatever visual and sonic ideas we have to help take the song in the direction it wants to go. Then with those cues, we arrange the song and give it its texture and feel.

Q: Do you have a favorite track off the new album?

A: I would say Wide Open Plain is my favorite. I love how the chorus opens up like a highway with nothing on it and everything moves so quickly. I also really love singing about Orion the constellation, speeding in a car on the interstate. It feels like a movie I’d want to watch.  

Q: Could you tell us a little about The Shape The Color The Feel visual exhibit that goes with the album?

A: We asked Australian artist Jessie English to create a series of wet process photograms based on the songs and then form the album art from that series. The Shape The Color The Feel visual exhibit opened in Nashville on February 16, 2014 and is currently on display at Crema. You can see the mini-doc about the installation on our youtube channel. The exhibit will travel across the country to several cities throughout 2014.

Q: Will you about the Kickstarter project, and the short films that go along with the album?

A: We launched the The Shape The Color The Feel, on Kickstarter, to raise funds for the album and the production. In an effort to stand out among the myriad of bands looking to fund a record, we decided to make it more collaborative and since our songs often begin with film references and visual ideas, we thought, why not see if some of our favorite filmmakers might want to take the songs and give them their own unique visual form. We enlisted 10 filmmakers to each choose a song from the record and make a music video or short film based on it. The first of these, by Silver Point Studios owner Jason Smythe, premiered on the Vinyl District in November and the most recent, ‘Best Friends’ Love’, shot at the Cannery, premiered on Esquire. Overall, the project includes 10 music videos, 3 short films, and a documentary in addition to the full length album out now on vinyl and CD.

 Q: How have you separated yourself from all the other bands here in Nashville?

A: I don’t know, I think we sound like we sound and they sound how they sound. It’s kind of like a bunch of different families on the same street.

Q: What’s your advice for others following their dreams?

A: Know your story and stick to it. Whatever is unique to your experience, whatever is honestly and truly you, that’s what you do best and that’s what you know best. No one will believe you unless you do. You have to believe in yourself first and show everyone else how to do it.

Interview by Mitchell Manning.

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Jillian Edwards – Apologies

jillian edwards nashville

Jillian Edwards is a 25-year old Nashville based singer-songwriter originally from Dallas, TX. Edwards has had the chance to work with or open for a number of acts, including: Drew & Ellie Holcomb, Josh Garrels, Ben Rector, David Ramirez, The Civil Wars, and Bethany Dillon. Edwards released her first EP, Galaxies & Such, Edwards’ in 2009 and released her second effort, Headfirst, in 2011, which held the #1 spot on singer-songwriter charts for its entire release week. She married Will Franklin Chapman and the pair along with her brother-in-law, Caleb Chapman, both members of the band Colony House, created an indie-folk side project called “The Inlaws.” Edwards co-wrote and sang on the title track of Ellie Holcomb’s latest album, “With You Now.” She also sang vocals on “How Great Thou Art,” a track from Steven Curtis Chapman’s bluegrass record, “Deep Roots.”  The title track from her latest work, “Daydream,” is featured on an iTunes compilation album and her most recent effort was released on March 11, 2014. I had the chance to chat with Lightning’s artist of the week about her latest piece of work and how this Texas native made her way to Nashville.

Q: You are originally from Dallas, TX and recently moved to Nashville. How does the music scene differ in these two cities and how has it influenced your style of music?

A: My transition was more from college to Nashville because I started playing shows while in college. There is a combination of growing up in Dallas and the college culture. It’s more common for people to make a living through music in Nashville. You can view it either as encouraging or be intimidated and act competitively. Everyone wants to help people here.

Q: How did you get to where you are now?

A: I grew up singing in school and church, and had parents who sang. Music has always been in my family’s blood. I have always known that’s what I wanted to do, but also wanted to go to college. I went to college knowing that I wanted to be an artist, as I believe that to be my purpose, but studied communication. I had planned to move to Nashville as soon as possible. I lived in Nashville summer before my senior year at Waco. There were a few mentors that encouraged and believed in me. Being a student highlighted my desire to pursue being an artist full time. It felt like the right time and I was ready to go. Moving to Nashville was the natural next step in my career. Now living in Nashville and not being a student, it feels like home.

Q: You’ve worked with or opened for a range of artists (Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Ben Rector, The Civil Wars, David Ramirez, etc.), who is your favorite collaborator?

A: Ellie Holcomb is one of my favorite people to write with. If I write with her, I know I am going to like the outcome of it. I was able to open for those artists on their tour stops through Texas. There was one venue in Waco, called Common Ground, that these artists played at and I made myself available to open for any artists of the artists coming through.

Q: Your last EP was released two years ago, how does it differ from your new EP, if at all?

A: I really love the sound on this record. It matches what I hoped it to be and it feels very organic. There are things about each record that I want to keep progressing. This 8-song EP was produced by Joe Causey, and he was able to capture my sound and highlight it.

Q: Do you have a favorite track?

A: There is a live version of “In Just A Little While,” which is a song I wrote for my husband. It’s sort of me speaking to him and speaking words that both of us live by. They are all special to me, but that one stands out because of its truth.

Q: Some of your influences are Allison Krauss, Patty Smith, and Mindy Smith. Would you consider these your influences or consider yourself in the same genre?

A: I consider my genre as singer/songwriter. I don’t like to label my music as pop, folk, or country as some songs vary in their sound.

Q: Your voice and style have been described as a blend between Allison Krauss and Norah Jones, how would you describe your sound?

A: I am really delighted to hear that someone would complement my voice to that degree. I would love for that to be true! I hope that’s true, but I also hope to be my own unique voice. I could see similarities vocally. There are parts of their voices that I am definitely influenced by.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: Everything I surround myself with influences or inspire my songwriting. Basically, I am inspired by people who run after their sound. If it moves me, I am going to be inspired by it. Allison Krauss has one of my favorite voices, and there’s an element of respect attached to her name.

Q: Your husband is in a band and your father-in law is artist Steven Curtis Chapman. How is the dynamic of being in a musical family?

A: I couldn’t have imagined a better combination of elements in my family. It works really well to work in the same industry as my husband, but doing different things (he is the drummer for Colony House). Going into our relationship, we both felt strongly that performing was our purpose. The understanding of that has helped our relationship. One of my favorite songwriters is my dad. Having a musical family encourages and fuels me more and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Q: What is your long-term goal as a musician?

A: I want to be able to sustain a career in music for my whole life. Right now, I am in a place in my life where I am ready to put in the work. In a few years, we will definitely want to have kids, but I hope to be writing and releasing records for the rest of my life.

Q: Describe your writing process.

A: I kind of go with the flow. It ends up being relational songs, love songs, some of my songs are prayers, but most are about life. I never sit down with the intention to write a song, but let something come to me and write about it

Q: What is a personal highlight of your career?

A: My latest album is something I’m very proud of. Since Will and I got married (the couple just celebrated a year in December), he has been involved in the process of this album and having that to share is special. Right now I am most grateful for where I am at in my career. I’m not sure what the future will look like, but I know that I am blessed.

Q: What is your advice for others following their dreams? (not just in music).

  Value yourself in what you’re running after. If it’s something that is life giving to  you, putting in the hours will be worth it. Make sure that what you are doing is for the right reasons. Don’t look for the end product, but for the journey.

Jillian Edwards Interview conducted and written by: Lexie Deeb 

 

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Lewis – Flex

LEWIS 2

Both raised in Indianapolis, IN they unknowingly attended the same high school. Chris left to study music in Bloomington, IN, and Peter to study music in Evanston, IL. They met through a mutual friend and relocated to Chicago where they formed Peter Terry & The City Profits in 2010, having set out to find a blend between folk/rock & soul. In 2011 they relocated once again to Nashville, TN. As PTCP, the guys began receiving acclaim after being featured on indie radio station, Lightning 100, with their single “The Lawyer”. After 3 years of being on the scene, they soon realized their sound was evolving into what is now known as “LEWIS”.

As a duo, LEWIS released their debut self-titled EP in February 2014 with help from former member Stephen Juergensen on cello and Zach Allen at the production helm.
LEWIS is a bit more electronic and fresh compared to their first album “I Am Jackson” when they were known as PTCP. Mixing their numerous musical influences (from jazz, classical, rock, blues, electronic, to folk) has produced a fresh, adventurous sound. They’re using their roots of blues, soul, and rock as a foundation to further explore afro-beat and synth pop. LEWIS is very excited to share their latest EP as they delve into this new chapter.

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