During Nashville’s Snowpocalypse, JD McPherson squeezed his entire band into the LC Studio to help warm up the city via the Lightning 100 air waves. Click here to watch JD McPherson perform “North Side Gal”, “Dimes for Nickels”, and “Bossy”. Stay tuned, we have more videos on the way!
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.”
Brandi Carlile made a special stop to Nashville to perform a secret show for Lightning 100. Brandi performed five songs for a few extremely lucky listeners backstage at 3rd and Lindsley. Setlist includes “The Things I Regret”, “The Eye”, “Wilder (We’re Chained)”, “Wherever is Your Heart” and she covered “Murder in the City” by The Avett Brothers. Click here for photos from the show.
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.
Hope you enjoy this free download of “Baby Britain” from Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield upcoming release Sing Elliott Smith. Get the full album on March 17th. Tickets are still available for their show at TPAC on March 17th.
Click here to print off your bracket. Please write Lightning 100 on the bracket for extra prizes. Registration for Sam’s Mad Marchness Contest begins March 16, 2015 at 11 a.m. CST at each location
(Hillsboro Village, Hendersonville, Old Hickory and Murfreesboro) and the deadline for registering
and submitting a bracket is March 17, 2015 at 10 p.m. CST. Completed brackets and registration form
will NOT be accepted at any location after this specified cut-off time.
How to Play:
Sam’s Mad Marchness Contest is open only to adults 18 years of age or older. Entrants under the age of
18 are not eligible to win any prizes. Only ONE entry per person, per Sam’s location (Hillsboro Village,
Hendersonville, Old Hickory and Murfreesboro) is allowed.
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.
Lightning 100 was pretty excited to get Sturgill Simpson on Nashville Sunday Night. Sturgill quickly sold out two nights over at 3rd and Lindsley. Nashville Sunday Night is WRLT’s oldest running live broadcast featuring national and local talent.
Sturgill performs tracks from his critically acclaimed debut High Top Mountain and captivating and unique sophomore album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Click here to listen to the full concert.
Laura Reed stopped to debut a few tunes with producer Shannon Sanders. Laura just released The Awakening on vinyl. Check out this video performance of “Wake Up” and “Struggle” live on 100.1 FM. If you want to hear more from Laura Reed, click here to listen to the full audio interview.
It all started over four years ago as a solo visual music project led by singer-songwriter Ben Schneider. After moving out to LA to pursue a career in visual arts, Schneider quickly found that his passion for music was leading him in a slightly different creative direction. In 2010, Schneider took a week off from his life in Los Angeles to return to his home state of Michigan. He recorded several songs during his stay at Lake Huron, and created the visuals for what would later act as the artwork for his newest project. Realizing that he needed a band, Schneider called up all of the musicians that he knew, which included a group of his childhood friends from Okemos.
While his visual artwork may have taken a backseat to his music, his artistic background continues to have a huge influence on his albums. Over the years, he’s found that the two passions seem to complement one another. In an interview with Songwriting Magazine, he explains how he developed images to accompany the music while he was in the process of writing new songs.
Growing up, Schneider had an interest in world music as well as American folk music. He credits artists such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young as musical influences. Lord Huron’s newest single, “Fool For Love,” tells the tale of a man fighting to win a woman’s heart. The lyrics depict the heartache and hopefulness that come with the pursuit of love. “I’m leaving this place behind, and I’m heading out on the road tonight,” sings lead vocalist Ben Schneider. “Before I commence my ride, I’m askin’ Lily to be my bride.” The full-length album, “Strange Trails,” is set to be released on April 7th, 2015.
Lucie Silvas stops by the studio before her show at Soulshine Pizza for Friday Afternoon Live. Check out this performance with Lightning 100’s local artist of the week performing her single “Letters to Ghost”. Lucie Silvas also performs “How to Lose It All” from her self-titled EP and a cover of “You Got It” by Roy Orbison.
Grammy nominated artist Bernhoft joins us in the LC studio before his show at The High Watt. Jarle Bernhoft is a multi-instrumentalist from Norway. Bernhoft performs “Come Around” and “Esiwalk” from his recent release Islander. Are you amazed at Jarle’s looping skills?
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.
Where you lucky enough to get tickets to Punch Brothers sold out show at Ryman Auditorium? Lightning 100 had the guys back into the LC studio to debut a few new songs off their recent release The Phosphorescent Blues. Listen to the full interview below or watch the HD in-studio videos from the band. Want more in-studio videos from Punch Brothers? We’ve also got videos from “Rye Whiskey“, “You Are“, “Patchwork Girlfriend” and “Movement and Location“.
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.
Local rockers Turbo Fruits stopped by the studio to debut two new tracks off their upcoming release No Control. Their fourth album will drop on 4/20/15. Check out “The Way I Want You” and “No Reason to Stay” live from the LC studio! Turbo Fruits will be playing a free show for record store day at The Basement East.
After their recent debut on Family Guy, Guster stopped by the studio to debut some new songs off their latest release Evermotion. Check out Guster performing “Simple Machine” and “Long Night” live at LC studio. What do you think of the new tracks? Let us know in a comment below if you want to hear these tunes on Lightning 100.