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.
“When I moved to Nashville, I went the Bluebird Cafe one night to see what the deal was. I listened to four songs by four different songwriters, the last of whom was Eric Paslay. He was awesome. I went home immediately after his song and started writing. It was going to take a lot of work for me to succeed. The level of songwriting in Nashville is truly remarkable.”
That hard work eventually started to pay off, landing Isaac opening spots for Keb Mo, Martin Sexton, Fitz and the Tantrums, Toni Joe White, Ricky Lee Jones, Chuck Prophet, Big Head Todd, Shelly Fairchild, and Sam & Ruby, among others. His live shows also started to garner a lot of attention around Nashville.
“I was fortunate to cross paths with a great Australian drummer, Jared Kneale. Jared was able to bring a certain style and rhythm to the music that took the songs to a whole other level, and it was cool to see people really respond to his influence.”
Isaac and Jared’s intriguing live show and new set of songs caught the ear of Artist Revolution Records founder Sam Brooker, who signed Isaac to an artist development and publishing deal in 2013. Artist Revolution is also publisher of Florida Georgia Line’s Billboard record setting #1 song, “Cruise.” Sam and Isaac are currently finishing work on Isaac’s debut album, a collection of songs written over the last six years. The album includes cameos from some awesome local and national talent, like The McCrary Sisters, Jeremy Lister, Daniel Ellsworth, trumpeter Quentin Ware, Jimmy Wallace, Tyler Cain, Jerry Navarro, and Jared Kneale, who is now playing drums for Kacey Musgraves.
When asked what he loves most about playing live, Isaac says, “getting to the place where I’m able to perform with the same energy and emotion that I feel exists in the song.” It’s a testament to the value he puts on human emotion. And that’s just what fans will hear in Isaac’s music.
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.
Baby Teeth by Boom Forest from Elder on Vimeo.
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
Now as a freshman at University of Texas-Austin, Juhi has found herself surrounded by great musicians, but still fits in time to come home to visit her family and practice with her band in Nashville. Around the age of thirteen, she discovered a love of music through camps every summer, Juhi admitted, “Nirvana is the reason I started playing guitar in the first place, but the music I make is really a combination of everything I’m listening to at the moment, such as The Gorillaz and Beck.” Growing up in Nashville also made Juhi an avid Lightning 100 fan, “I was so excited. I wanted to tell everyone here in Austin, but they just don’t get it! It’s so exciting, this has to be the highlight of my week.” Juhi’s EP, Stress Case will mesmerize you with the unique futuristic melodies heard throughout, accompanied by her stunning vocals piercing through, urging you to sing along with as much passion as she does.
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.”
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.
Photo by The Lady & Rock
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!”
Safe 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.
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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.
You can also preorder the album now and receive the record before anyone else
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.
“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!
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?”
After 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.
Learn more about Justin Klump at http://justinklump.com/
Local 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.
Oliver & 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.”
Nashville-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.
Benjy 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
Shane 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!