Lightning 100 highlights local artist each week on 100.1 FM. We spin a lot of local tunes, but now we are featuring one local artist in heavy rotation. Tune into Lightning 100 to hear a new local artists and then join Wells Adams for a live broadcast every at Soulshine Pizza for a special Happy Hour from 5 – 7:00pm 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. Friday Afternoon Live is sponsored by Sugarlands Distillery and Abita Beer.
Since their inception in 2012, The Aquaducks have been bringing the party to the southeast with their unique blend of funk, rock, and reggae. Combining catchy hooks with impressive instrumental work and relentless jams, the Ducks are constantly improving their sound and making each show more memorable than the last. They can make you laugh, they might make you cry, but they will most definitely make you dance. Dishing out one of the most high-energy experiences around, The Aquaducks will find a way to get your feet moving—so please, don’t try to resist.
Elliot Root is an american alternative music group based in the heart of Music City Nashville. Challenged by the surrounding music scene, Elliot Root has received attention for their eclectic mix-up of impactful melodies and an ever changing variety of soundscapes inﬂuenced by the bands many musical heroes of all genres.
“I reached some plains so vast, that I did not find their limit anywhere I went . . . with no more land marks than if we had been swallowed up by the sea . . . . there was not a stone, nor bit of rising ground, nor a tree, nor a shrub, nor anything to go by.”—Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, 1541
Ryan Culwell grew up in a forgotten place. His songs were forged in the great void that is the panhandle of Texas—The Great In-Between, a land so desolate that few even thought to settle there until oil was discovered beneath the emptiness. And the solitude of the plains comes pouring out of him when he opens his mouth to sing. Like an approaching dust storm, Culwell’s songs whisper and howl and embed the dirt of the flatlands deep into your skin.
Growing up in the middle of all that flatness seems to have amplified Culwell’s soul; his songs shine forth like the stars in West Texas on a clear night. Culwell spent most his life among the company of roughneck oilfield men in a small town near the epicenter of the Dust Bowl. “My dad and brother have always worked the kind of jobs that required them to wake up at three in the morning to fix whatever went wrong, even if the wind was blowing sixty miles per hour and it was five degrees. People think I exaggerate this kind of work ethic, and they damn sure think I exaggerate the weather in the panhandle.”
Like an oil rigger drilling for crude, Culwell’s songs penetrate deep into the essence of the Great Plains. In “Darkness” he sings: “Wind ain’t blown here in days, it’s strange and lonely/
the only sound is some old men in the diner talkin bout rain/ but that’s only hearsay/ don’t believe we’ll see no rain/ then again I seen stranger things/ like a whole world that’s flat.”
Despite hailing from a place that ignores the presence of the outside world, Culwell has become something of a searcher, an intellectual nomad. Amid his tales of oilfields and honky- tonks, he’s likely to quote the poet Geoffrey Hill (“Can Absence be a god, or have we made an idol of our emptiness?”) or the French mystic Simone Weil: “We must be rooted in the absence of a place. We must take the feeling of being home into exile.”
It was only when Culwell went into exile in Nashville that he truly got in touch with the “absence of place” that is his home. Ryan Culwell is no rhinestoned Texas troubadour—he counts Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, and Woody Guthrie as influences. In fact, Culwell hails from the same stretch of prairie where Guthrie spent his most formative years, and like Guthrie, he has emerged as a poet of the plains. Of the legendary songwriter from Pampa Culwell says: “Guthrie was defined by the whole experience [of the Dust Bowl in the Texas Panhandle] but expressed that identity in leaving. We hear a lot about the trail of people leaving. We know the sound of exodus, but what does it sound like to stay?”
At the age of thirty-one, after moving from Amarillo Texas to Music City, Culwell began playing what he calls “bigger” songs. But he heard the flatlands calling to him, and he found himself writing secret songs about his roots on the open plains—songs about “what it sounds like to stay,” thought he hadn’t. Soon enough, these were the only tunes anyone wanted to hear. These songs became Flatlands, Culwell’s debut album from Lightning Rod Records (Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Billy Joe Shaver, James McMurtry).
On the opening track of the record, “Amarillo,” Ryan comes out swinging: “What am I gonna do with this? Just walk around waving two white fists?/ Am I throwing punches or singing
songs?/ Have I been here for way too long?” The song is a paean to those who choose to live their whole lives in a place where “most people won’t even stay the night.” Songs like this have garnered Culwell almost prophet-like status among the disaffected youth of the Llano Estacado. But his songs are not regional. The high plains are Solitude Amplified; we have all, at one time or another, felt the kind of epic absence that Culwell spins so effortlessly into song.
Listening to these songs about the empty plains, we also encounter something unexpected: hope. In many ways, Flatlands is an optimistic record, like a lighted window seen from many miles away. On the eponymous track Culwell sings: “The earth can break a man/ But I will take my stand/ I’ll climb my mountains/ Out in the Flatlands.” And on “I Will Come For You” when he cajoles, “Let’s head on out to the front porch/ And wait for the cold to come,” an almost giddy joy can be heard behind his lonesome Texas drawl.
The tenderness on this record will surprise listeners who first encounter Culwell’s weather-beaten resolve. But this, too, comes from Culwell’s dualistic relationship with his home. Like many from West Texas, he loves this land and he hates it. He’s not unlike Tom Joad: tough, but gentle. But tough. A Culwell song brings to mind an old sharecropper who limps into the town diner on a Sunday morning. The man’s weary face commands respect, but his limp puts you at ease somehow.
While Culwell is poised to take American music halls by storm with these “secret” songs, he remains humble: a man devoted to his wife and daughters and enthralled by the art of songcraft. “I don’t want to tell the world that I’ve worked harder than other artists. I probably haven’t. But I have kept my head in the game long enough to write a couple of decent songs. It’s not really different than the farmers who stuck it out in years of drought or just pushed their necks out when the wind blew all their topsoil away.”
Twenty one-year-old Kirsten Arian has been singing her entire life. At the age of seventeen, she sang in front of an audience for the first time. From then on, she dabbled in music—everything from touring the Los Angeles nightclub scene to serenading herself, with only her guitar for company. It wasn’t a lonely occasion, because she discovered her love for creating and not just singing.
In August 2012, she spontaneously decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee. The songs she creates and writes simply happen. An idea strikes, inspiration will take hold of her, or passion will well up and a song is born. She never sets out with a goal in mind, but her unique sounds, melodies, and voice seem to come from another place. “I write songs,” she says, “from an overwhelming emotion. The music as well as the lyrics are meant to convey that emotion or passion.” There is no formula. There is only what works and truth.
Other than a grandmother who enjoyed singing, Kirsten Arian has no musical pedigree or background: she was born to a family with an unlikely gift. The gift is not only her voice, but her ability to capture the intangible in a new way, provoking others to inspiration of their own and to the beauty that comes even from out of pain.
Fans of Kirsten Arian typically remark on the continuity of her sound, but at the same time seeing how different each song is by itself. “Yeah, they sound so similar, like, I can tell it’s the same artist, but I don’t feel like I could get songs on the album mixed up you know? They’re different but still Kirsten. And truly inspiring.” “I just want to make something stunning,” Kirsten says. “Something that moves people to reevaluate, their life? I want the music to go a little deeper than normal.”
Award-‐winning producer/publisher Charlie Peacock has signed singer-‐songwriter Peyton Parker to an exclusive artist development agreement with his company Twenty Ten Music. Peyton is a bright light among Nashville’s developing talent. A native of Georgia, she moved to Nashville in 2013 to pursue her musical path. She has appeared in concert with Walker Hayes, Jana Kramer, Parmalee and David Nail. In addition to winning the Southern Ground Social Club’s Open Mic Showdown, Peyton was a recent finalist in Puckett’s Rising Star Singer Songwriter contest. Peyton is currently co-‐writing, performing, and preparing for her country music debut.
With a unique voice and an easy charm, Peyton Parker knew what she wanted to be at a young age and is quickly establishing herself as a rising folk/americana artist.
Like a character in a dreary West Coast short story by Raymond Carver, Nashville songwriter Andrew Combs moves through a hazy modern world, trying to find the meaning in life on his sophomore album, All These Dreams. “I sometimes find myself wondering what the hell I am doing with my life and what it all amounts to,” Combs says, explaining the album’s opening track, “Rainy Day Song,” which sets the narrative tone for the album.
“Although I don’t know the answer to this, I believe it lies in the path I take, not the actual destination,” says Combs. “I can’t say whether I’m looking for a god, or love, or art, or all of the above, all I know is I am wading through some murky water trying to find the answer.”
While the album may adhere to this darker internal script, its musical inspiration comes from vintage 1970s production: California-tinged AM Gold; the Laurel Canyon tones of Jackson Browne and The Eagles; and Paul Simon’s Muscle Shoals-laced R&B funk.
And with its sweeping string arrangements and sophisticated charm, the album evokes other earlier eras, like 1960s Hollywood or Roy Orbison-era Nashville Sound. Listeners may also hear the faint glimmer of male vocalists like Jim Reeves, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, perhaps even Frank Sinatra.
All of it amounts to a huge step forward for the Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who released his debut album, Worried Man, in 2012, which American Songwriter named one of the year’s best, while Southern Living praised Combs for being “well on his way to becoming a preeminent voice in his genre.”
For the new album, Combs worked with producers Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson — who recently co-produced Caitlin Rose’s The Stand-In and have worked with Justin Townes Earle — and recorded the album in Nashville with many of his longtime musical collaborators, including lead guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel guitarist Spencer Cullum Jr. (of the instrumental duo Steelism).
“I feel like this record has a much different thread that ties the songs together than my first album, Worried Man, which was more raw and bare-bones, in songwriting as well as production,” says Combs. “All These Dreams explores more complex arrangements, lyrics and musical tones.
With straight-talking narrators and glimpses of poetic realism, All These Dreams at times might recall the gritty Southern literature of writers like Larry Brown and Barry Hannah, both of whom Combs cites as influences. On “Pearl,” the songwriter celebrates the underbelly of society, while on “Suwannee County,” his narrator strikes up a mundane conversation with a Florida fisherman at a gas station, which leads to a deeper discussion about spirituality.
There’s plenty of dark humor here too. On “Strange Bird,” Combs sings about an elusive lover, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, and uses a buoyant arrangement to explore some unusual musical effects, such as a whistling solo.
Combs has been identified with a new crop of Nashville-based songwriters, who have also looked back to the ’70s for songwriting inspiration. Combs is featured in the upcoming documentary Heartworn Highways Revisited, alongside Nashville-based songwriters like John McCauley, Jonny Fritz and Robert Ellis — as well as one of his heroes, Guy Clark.
While he acknowledges his debt to fellow Texans like Clark, Mickey Newbury and Townes Van Zandt, Combs is also moving in a new direction, carving out his own singular path as an artist. The 28-year-old songwriter is also quick to point out that though there is a similar sense of camaraderie in Nashville today, “The songs and writers were much better in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.”
“I’m not saying there aren’t talented people in Nashville now, but I don’t think we pay near as much attention to the song as they did back then,” adds Combs. “Maybe it’s ’cause we’re too busy tweeting about our latest gig or wardrobe purchase.”
Ultimately, All These Dreams finds Combs in a league of his own, wholly focused on perfecting his own songwriting and storytelling, and delivering it all in a rich musical style that’s much more than the sum of its parts.
Lucie Silvas’ new self-titled EP is out now on Furthestpoint Records viaCaroline. In celebration of the release, Silvas will perform a special show with James Bay at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom on March 16. Additional tour dates to be announced shortly.
The 5-song EP was recorded in Nashville and was produced by Silvas, John Osborne (Brothers Osborne) and Ian Fitchuk (Mindy Smith, Griffin House). Of the new material, Silvas comments, “While I am so involved both emotionally and personally with each song, individually, on the entire album, I really think the EP is a solid sign and a great sampling of what is to follow on the full length release. These songs all really belong together—more than I ever thought they would. Every bit of everything I’ve got in myself went into this music; the energy, the emotion and the story. Writing and making an album with all the people I love was the only thing that made it possible. I never felt the same freedom to tell the truth about myself before—the good and bad— and that’s the only way I want to make music, from a genuine place. Every artist and musician I’ve been inspired by has influenced the sound of this record and many people that have come in and out of my life inspired the stories.”
Born in London, raised in New Zealand and now calling Nashville home, Silvas has enjoyed massive critical and commercial acclaim since she debuting at age 17—selling over 1 million albums in Europe alone and achieving success as both a musician and songwriter. She has also shared the stage with numerous acclaimed artists, including Elton John, Jamie Cullum, Lionel Richie, Kacey Musgraves, Tom Jones and Jamiroquai.
Waterfall Wash is a quirky, catchy mesh of folk, gospel, and indie rock. The five-piece lets steel guitar and autoharp coexist alongside colorful layers of synthesizer, glockenspiel, and three-part vocal harmonies.
With an air of unpredictability, Waterfall Wash’s live show experiments with alternate arrangements of their songs. The band has opened for indie folk powerhouse Lord Huron, as well as Bonnaroo standouts EL EL, Kansas Bible Company, and Ranch Ghost. Following a performance at the East Nashville Underground festival, No Country For New Nashville noted Waterfall Wash have “consistently impressed, showcased a dynamic and ever-expanding range, and have matured into one of the best up and coming live acts in town.”
The sound of Foreign Chords has attracted the attention of Nashville folk revivalists as well as fans of rock, gospel and even pop punk. In 2013 and 2014, the Wash ran the gamut of Nashville venues and festivals, including East Nashville Underground, Mercy Lounge, Tomato Fest, Capitol District Street Fair, 5 Spot, fooBAR and more.
Their debut EP, Foreign Chords, was mixed at Burning Bridge Recordings in the latter months of 2014 and released to the world on January 27, 2015. It is available on Soundstamp, Bandcamp and iTunes.
Longley has a gift for culling musical treasures as though straight from thin air. And now, the Berklee College of Music graduate and award-winning songwriter is set to share them with listeners on her self-titled album—her first after signing with Sugar Hill Records in December 2014.
While Longley’s songs and vocals invite complimentary comparisons to Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole and Nanci Griffith—all artists she’s supported live—her latest effort spotlights a style and confidence that’s all her own. You can hear it in the subtle-yet-soaring vocals on “Memphis,” the dagger directness of “Skin and Bones,” the bittersweet farewell that drives “This Is Not the End” (featured in the 2012 season finale of Lifetime’s Army Wives). They’re all cuts that dare you to hold back the goosebumps.
In fact, Longley’s singing never fails to thrill and enthrall. Her voice and tone, touched with the slightest of country inflections, pours out like clean, crystalline water. Still, she can roar like a waterfall or flow effortlessly along the bed her backing band lays down, as on “Peace of Mind.” The track showcases Longley yearning after silence and stillness to beat back demons of self-doubt.
The new songs grew amidst a period of transition and travel in her life; moving between Boston and New York before finally settling in Nashville, and spending much of her life on the road in a succession of minivans. To that end, the songs have been road tested at Longley’s live shows, their power to connect with fans beyond question.
These numbers pack the punch of pages torn from Longley’s journal. And fans have rewarded her transparency with tangible loyalty. For while many acts have no clue how an album will be received, Longley started her project knowing just how much her fans wanted her to succeed.
It’s like this: Her Kickstarter campaign, which set $35,000 as an album-funding goal, exceeded that amount by nearly 60 percent, raising $55,000. “We reached the mark so quickly and I’m just really, really lucky to be connected to my fans,” she says. “ I feel like they’ve adopted me—like I have this big supportive family.”
And to that end, Longley confides with you as though you’re sitting on the sofa with her in a talk that’s intimate and vulnerable. “Bad Habit” strides the valley road of heartbreak, its pounding toms and plaintive electric guitar providing an ideal frame for Longley’s vocal, the very portrait of love’s rock bottom: “I couldn’t stand the smell of smoke ’til he lit that cigarette/ Never felt the temptation ’til I smelled it on his breath.”
“I wrote it after dating a guy who had a lot of bad habits, and somehow he became my bad habit,” Longley recalls. “He was just one of those people—a smoker and a drinker who also had a habit of cheating. When I broke up with him and wrote the song, it was hugely therapeutic for me. It cleansed him from my system. And when I started playing it live, I realized that so many others had toxic people in their lives.”
Why write and sing songs so transparent and confessional? For Longley, it boils down to the simple truth of authenticity. “I just try to be myself,” she says. “If I feel like a song is not genuine to me, I absolutely do not present it because people see right through it. It’s all about the honesty, and I try not to overthink it—then it would lose some of the magic.”
Longley first felt the magic while growing up outside of Philadelphia. A song she wrote in ninth grade—her first ever—earned a standing ovation when she performed it for the student body: “I was unprepared for that sort of reaction and it was life-changing moment,” she says. “That’s when I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life.”
The track record she’s assembled since shows just how much Longley grew into her dream. She’s taken home top prizes at some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country, including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition, the International Acoustic Music Awards and the Rocky Mountain Folk Fest Songwriting Competition.
But it all traces straight back to Longley’s first song. She says she’ll continue to open her soul in the service of her art because that’s what matters most to her. “Every time I get into these songs they resonate with me, lock with me, because they’re based on something I went through,” she says of the new collection. “I hope they connect with people and that they’ll help with whatever they’ve gone through. That’s what music does for me, and I hope I can do that for someone else.”
After all, what better way to fill an empty room than with fully realized music?
Most musicians who move to Nashville to pursue music probably credit James Taylor as an inspiration. It’s quite another thing to open your mouth and sound just like him.
Zach Torres’ voice has been compared to James Taylor, Vince Gill and other old souls. No small feat to be certain, but his voice delivers. In today’s sea of grating voices and beats, Torres’ voice is deceptively simplistic, resonating deep long after the last chord fades out.
It’s always been music. He learned piano at age 8 and picked up a few more instruments and places along the way. He lived in Nashville briefly for his first year of college, before moving back to his native Texas to play shows in Austin and later studying guitar at a prestigious music college in Boston.
“A Bit Like Home” was recorded in Boston amongst friends, written over the course of Torres’ meanderings the past five years. He’s still finding his voice, some days channeling old Texas troubadours and others a more piano-based beat. He’s figuring it out and for once, laying down shallow roots in East Nashville, which feels like home these days… until his nationwide tour starts in March.
Tune into Lightning 100 to hear “Worn Down Woman” and see him play as their artist of the week this Friday February 6th at Soulshine Pizza.
Smooth Hound Smith is a foot stompin’ American roots duo comprised of “One-Man-Band” Zack Smith (guitars/vocals/foot drums/harmonicas) and Caitlin Doyle (vocals/percussion). Established in 2012, and currently based in East Nashville, TN, they record and perform a varied and unique style of folky, garage-infused rhythm & blues. Using primal foot percussion, complex, fuzzed-out, finger-picked guitar patterns, warbled harmonicas, tasty harmonies and A LOT of tambourine, they are able to create something rugged and visceral- a modern interpretation of early blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll music that harkens back to the traditions of hazy front porch folk songs as well as raucous back-alley juke joints.
The duo has traveled over 70,000 road miles, playing over 500 shows in over 30 states in the last two years. They’ve shared the stage with artists such as Robert Earl Keen, The David Mayfield Parade, Matthew Perryman Jones, Charlie Parr, Possessed By Paul James, Shawn Mullins, and more. Their self-titled debut album received “top adds” on Americana Radio in early 2014, as well as garnered attention from media outlets such as Nashville’s independent radio, WRLT Lightning 100, and publications like American Songwriter and RELIX Magazine. Their music has also recently been featured on MTV’s The Real World. They are set to record their second full-length record in early 2015 at Welcome To 1979 Studios with producer Chris Mara at the helm (Jason Isbell, North Mississippi Allstars, Keane), and will be touring heavily throughout 2015.
Lightning 100 debuts “Make Your Colors Run” by The Daily Howl on the615.
The Daily Howl encapsulates Nashville’s rising rock scene. Steeped in the Southern swagger only native Nashvillians can radiate and pushing the boundaries of pop music, The Daily Howl interweaves their Southern charm and raucous personalities with rich, harmonically complex pop music.
The band was founded in 2009 by Matthew and Aaron Cates, Kodi Temes, and Blake Burton– musicians intimately familiar with both current and classic rock music. Within their first release The Revolver E.P. are nods to past and present: The lyric of “Make Your Colors Run” echoes 1960s surrealism, the guitar solo calling to mind “Taxman” from the classic Beatles album to which their E.P.’s title makes a nod. The album’s fifth track, “First World Problems,” artfully combines Nirvana’s lyrical irony with lush vocal harmony. “Turn off Your Radio” and “Stoney Bitch” emulate the garage rock revival of the 2000s and incorporate elements of Chess Records era blues. The sound is unashamedly commercial, yet unbelievably raw.
Live, the band pulls no punches. The Daily Howl is easily garnering a reputation as having the preeminent stage show in Nashville, possessing an incomparable energy derived from a decade of close friendship and trust which allows for six foot high scissor kicks and ceaseless spasmodic convulsions. The stage show is interactive and makes the crowd a vital part of the performance.
With their sound, their swagger, and their stage show, The Daily Howl represents Nashville’s music scene at its absolute best.
The modern Royals started from a digital glitch in the modern struggle to 5ind analog. Far into the ground they search for a 5irm grip on the emotional value of veracity. Like worms and dirt, they lay foundation to a more complex and ruling art in which they consider to be the holy grail of music at whole. Together they 5ind connection to everyday life that the average listener sometimes needs help hearing. Like a baby starling, these songbirds are harmonious with the 5iner things in life.
South African born singer/songwriter Laura Reed has been making a name for herself globally with her powerhouse vocals, thought provoking lyricism, and captivating performances. Most recently having the honor of singing our National Anthem on more than one occasion at Madison Square Garden. Her musical journey started as a teen, where she played open mics and coffee shops around North Carolina and the South Eastern United States. Her original focus was as a poet and storyteller, however over time Laura developed a strong unique voice that was all her own, an empowering message of Unity, and the experience to translate her message through music. Not to mention being a self taught multi-instrumentalist- most notably wailing and stomping on blues harmonica. Laura toured relentlessly as the front woman of the South Eastern based band, Laura Reed and Deep Pocket, as well as recording and performing with various other projects and artists such as George Clinton, Killer Mike, Karl Denson, The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown and even Jewel.
Laura is currently based in Raleigh, North Carolina and uses Nashville, TN as a platform for her art; where she garnered a publishing deal with EMI/SONY-ATV as well as winning a NIMA AWARD for “BEST R&B SOLO ARTIST 2014″ and Local Artist spotlight with Lightning 100 Nashville Radio. Laura was encouraged to make the move to Nashville by mentor, former music executive and Grammy award winning producer, Paul Worley (Lady Antebellum/The Band Perry/The Dixie Chicks). It was Paul who introduced Laura to the producer of her upcoming project, “The Awakening”, 2X Grammy award winner Shannon Sanders (India.Arie, Robert Randolph, John Legend).
Laura opted to release the record on her very own label entitled “FIVE FOOT GIANT RECORDS”, with the help of experienced ex-Apple Creative Coordinator Patryk Larney of Hope Tree Entertainment. Read more
Forlorn Strangers is an independent Nashville, TN, based Americana quintet leaning heavily on bluegrass & drenched in four part harmony. Forlorn Strangers is an all acoustic band using guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, upright bass, a stomp box, and some percussion. Our sound is based on the roots of American music, leaning heavily on bluegrass, drenched in four part harmony and added elements from blues, jazz, and some rock & roll. We bring a high-energy set designed to engage listeners and participants in an exciting yet introspective experience.
There was a moment when Steve walked out on stage in Chicago at his sold out, first ever headlining club tour that took his breath away. It had been a long road up to this point, one with empty rooms and unmet expectations, but if you asked him, he wouldn’t change a thing. A handful of odd jobs, hundreds of shows and a thousand songs later, the Pittsburgh native, is three records in with no signs of slowing down. Moakler’s highly embraced album, Wide Open, was released Spring 2014 and follows the success of his previous records, Watching Time Run (2011) and All the Faint Lights (2009). Watching Time Run debuted at No. 1 on the Singer/Songwriter chart and Top 50 on the Overall iTunes® chart.
On the road, Moakler is known to take on a unique touring approach. Last fall, Moakler embarked on the “Hometowns & Campgrounds Tour,” where he hit 40 different cities in 50 days. He revived the concept last month with the “Tailgate Tour,” touring around the country and performing private house concerts. In March, Steve embarked on his first headlining club tour, the “Wide Open Road Tour,” where he hit major cities including his hometown of Pittsburgh, Nashville and a sold-out date in Chicago. The outpouring from Wide Open and the support of his fans all across the country is one of the many reasons why Steve continues to be named one of the leading independent musicians in his genre. His music has been recorded by esteemed artists such as Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Kellie Picker, Ben Rector and Matt Wertz, and Moakler has had music featured on a variety of national commercials and networks including MTV, FOX and ABC, among others. It’s hard to believe it has been nearly a decade since his drive into Nashville, but if his career is any indication, Moakler’s on the ride of his life.
Bearheart is a Nashville based band whose song writing and instrumentation often defies the Alternative Country label that is usually assigned to them. Their musical influences range from traditional bluegrass and folk to classic country and Indie Americana rock.
Within the same set, traditional bluegrass instrumentation gives way to lap steel and heavily effected electric guitar, each of which serve the unique and emotional songwriting talents of two Alabamans, lead singer Matthew Leonhardt and multi-instrumentalist Taylor McMillen.
Mobile, AL raised McMillen is a sonic chameleon, jumping between mandolin, guitar, lap steel and occasionally has even been seen playing a length of galvanized chain. Simultaneously, he contributes back up vocals and harmonies, which are a perfect counterpoint to Leonhardt’s clear tenor voice.
In 2007, a chance encounter in a Tennessee university between Nashville native percussionist Chris Barrett and Huntsville, AL born Leonhardt began a long friendship and musical collaboration. Six years later, McMillen and Los Angeles transplant and upright bass player Craig Higgins joined, and Bearheart was formed. Between the addition of Higgins and the driving beats of Barrett, came a solidified rhythm section which filled out the band’s sound to create a well balanced experience. In early 2014, Jon Galletti, on banjo, and Brenna Fitzgerald, on fiddle, joined the ranks, which helped drive Bearheart further toward their bluegrass and folk endeavors.
Since releasing their debut self-titled EP in September 2013, they have been featured on Brite Revolution’s weekly sampler, featured on American Songwriter’s Daily Discovery page, and were selected as one of Nashville’s top 32 bands to participate in Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem 2014.
Bearheart is becoming well known and loved around Middle Tennessee with new songs that provide an old sense of familiarity.
From a childhood on San Juan island in Washington State and in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Isaac’s songs all promote a realness that touches on both where he comes from and what stirs the soul.
“Growing up on an island was incredible. Me and my buds would hang on the docks and catch shrimp, build tunnels and forts through the vines in the forest, or help my Mom pick blackberries for her famous jam. It was a magical place. When my family moved to Wyoming, it was a whole new kind of magic… wide open, and big.”
Isaac began learning guitar while attending a small liberal arts college in Spokane where he also played for the basketball team. It wasn’t long before his academic education began to take a backseat to his musical one.
“A good friend in Wyoming had heard a couple of my songs, and he offered to record a demo for me, so I went and recorded six songs. That was my start in music. I started writing songs more proactively from that point on, and I started playing shows. It was an exciting time for me because no one I knew really thought of me as a musician, so there was a lot of ‘What!? I didn’t know you could sing!'”
Isaac took some time to travel landing in several different cities including San Diego, and then Nashville, where he’s lived the last five years.
Boom Forest is the spiritual wailings of John Paul Roney from the automated woods of Tomorrow…..and that’s all we know about Boom Forest. Wanting to know more? Come see Boom Forest at 12th and Porter for a FREE show for Friday Afternoon Live.
Everyone is curious to what the Future will bring. Is it honest? Is it urgent? Is it enduring? The Future brings all this and more with their contagious, tightly layered tracks that will force even the most inept soul to cut a rug.
If you fused the dynamic vocal style of Prince with Spoon’s tight minimalist pop hooks and a bit of Arcade Fire’s heights of grandeur, you’d kindle a spark that is the Future.
The indie-pop quartet is made up of brothers, Adam and Jordan Culver, and childhood friend Eric Sadowsky, who left their native North Dakota to pursue their music careers. Picking up Bryan Feece in Bloomington, Indiana, the foursome then settled into the intimate, yet competitive Nashville music scene.
“Being in a band with my brother and two life-long friends is great because we don’t have any problems with ego or arguing. Everyone just wants what’s best for the song,” says bassist Jordan Culver.
Frontman, Adam Culver’s compelling vocal caliber and volatile stage presence is tempered by Jordan Culver’s smooth bass melodies and slow builds. Guitarist, Eric Sadowsky’s artistry provides a sturdy yet delicate touch, reflective of his classic rock and funk influences, while drummer Bryan Feece’s expertise stems from a passion for precision and improvisation of art rock. Together, the Future produces a powerful and engaging listening experience, be it live or from the studio.
“The live shows are like an eruption to me,” says singer Adam Culver. “I don’t know what it feels like for the crowd, but for us it’s all spasm and catharsis. We don’t have any choice in the matter, we have to play these songs like our lives depend on it. Which I guess they do.” The Future plans to release a single each month, which will be available in a limited physical run of 25 artistic handmade covers each. “If one person will sing the song back at me, all is right in the world for those three minutes,” Adam says.
Kink Ador is the rock band of artist and songwriter Sharon Koltick. The singer-bassist-trumpet-blowing empress spent her youth raging along the Indiana highways in a slick Camaro with T-tops. She cruised those highways with no turns, listening at full volume to the folk music of her Midwestern tribe, classic rock and roll. Sharon was raised by two emotional and sensitive scientists who had an obsession with the music of Bob Dylan. This life led to the spiritual awakening of the rocker babe within. The urges inside her heart had to be felt out loud.
Influenced by bands such as The Talking Heads, Queens of the Stone Age, The Police, Lou Reed, PJ Harvey, The Clash, David Bowie, The Dead Weather, Elvis Costello, and Nick Cave, Kink Ador’s music delivers with a driving, straight-ahead clarity hard to find in a post-pop wasteland. Koltick brings a sense of purpose and controlled fury to the fore. Her voice conjures the hiding spirit, both power-packed and expressive.
The band is based out of Nashville, TN, with Michael Kisak on guitar, and Jon Mann on drums, the trio has shared the stage with bands such as Wye Oak, Mona, Chancellor Warhol, Empires, Clinic, and performed at US Festivals CMJ, Summerfest, Oranje, Snowball, and in Canada at CMW and Indie Music Week. In Rome, Italy Sharon has collaborated with Italian composer Andrea Farri and their music has appeared in Italian films and theater productions.
Kink Ador’s latest release “Free World” (2013) produced by Ken Coomer is a righteous ride through the American dream with songs like “Pilgrim Song” a moody soaring anthem which sounds like a Pink Floyd song from the future, with gospel singers on the chorus singing “across the land/across the sea/ some lay above/some lay below.” the lyrics discuss the idea of finding home. The record is also highlighted by the punk riff-rock hyper ballad, “Road to Hell,” which describes the dark downward spiral of love, with cheerful lyrics “with my girls we talk/we love to people watch/when were on the road.” For the latest news go to: http://www.kinkador.com
Since her debut on Season Five of NBC’s The Voice, the name Juhi has rung a bell in many households. Although the show was a major part of her life, the young singer-songwriter does not feel defined by it. Rather, it gave her a fan base to anxiously await the release of her EP. Juhi, born in Norfolk, VA calls Nashville home, and as of February 2014, at only age seventeen, has already released her first EP, Stress Case.
“It all came from a really raw place. All of it has a spur of the moment kind of feel. When people listen to it, I want them to feel that genuineness. The cool thing about music is that lyrics are kind of like poetry, meant to be interpreted however people want to. I want them to listen to the words with the music and translate their feelings into the music off the EP.” – Juhi