The snarl in his voice sets the tone for Jon Pardi’s California Sunrise. He’s a traditional country singer, bred in the West Coast honky tonks, and he won’t apologize for chasing the dream on his own terms.
It might be considered contemporary cool to inject country songs with programmed drums, rap phrasing and poppy melodies. But Pardi isn’t worried about what’s trendy. He’s more concerned with making country music that will last, and California Sunrise successfully hits that target. It’s stocked with classic Nashville melody, blue-collar lyrical themes and authentic country instrumentation – real drums, loud-and-proud fiddles and tangy steel guitar. The album’s 12 songs draw a direct link to such forbearers as Dwight Yoakam, George Strait and Marty Stuart, and it’s intentional.
“We work all week, in a smokestack town. ‘Til the freakin’ weekend comes rolling around!” Brandon Ray belts out intermixed with infectious handclaps on the chorus of his 2016 release “American Way,” a song that encapsulates the best elements of country and good ole rock n’ roll.
The West-Texas native knows a thing or two about the American Way. At a young age his parents instilled the notion to follow his passion while emphasizing the importance of hard work. “In the early days I used to barricade myself in my room for hours and emerge with a horrible excuse for a song and annoy my parents with it. They did nothing but encourage me to keep going. In a way, they were my first publishers,”
Stephanie Quayle’s new much anticipated album LOVE THE WAY YOU SEE ME captures the heart of storytelling as she offers the genre a fresh sound, relatable storylines and an invigorating presence that is unmatched in today’s musical spectrum. Harnessing her signature passion and pairing it with an authentic artistry, fans can expect to hear and feel exactly what they didn’t know they were missing.
When rising country singer Michael Ray made his first exploratory trip to Nashville, he got a life-changing piece of advice from an industry insider.
“He said, ‘Don’t move. The way the music industry’s going to become, you’re not going to be able to get a record deal just doing a showcase anymore. You’ve got to bring something to the table,’” Ray said. “He said, ‘I want to you to go back to Florida, grab a band and become the biggest you can be in Florida on your own, and then I want you to come back.’ So I put a band together of friends of mine and we started to play.”
Turns out it was the best thing Ray ever did. He built a rowdy fan base tilling the same fertile Southeastern soil Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan used to start their careers and returned to Nashville three years later to claim a record deal, a publishing contract and a few unexpected opportunities along the way.
After meeting onstage at a writers round just days after moving to Nashville, Jordan – the “super country” guy, raised in Texas with a love for classics like Keith Whitley and Dan Seals – and Johnny – the quintessential “rootsy” guy, a Kansas City native schooled by left-of-center icons like Tom Petty and John Prine – discovered a yin-and-yang musical connection that fit together like puzzle pieces – and the duo Walker McGuire was born.
LOCASH is a Country music duo made up of singer-songwriters Chris Lucas and Preston Brust, natives of Baltimore, Maryland, and Indianapolis, Indiana, respectively. With a sound that fuses modern Country and classic heartland Rock with an edgy vocal blend, the independently-minded partners are revered as “one of Nashville’s hardest-working acts” (Rolling Stone) whose live show “has consistently been among the most energetic and entertaining in the country music genre”
Austin Jenckes was born and raised outside of Seattle in the small town of Duvall, Washington.
He relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in January of 2012 and now calls Nashville home with his wife, Brittany, and their one year old daughter, Ravenna, where they live on a quiet two acres of land on the outskirts of town.
To hear Austin sing could be equated to being taken to church due to his songs being laced with dynamic soaring melodies, introspective life-lived lyrics. Stylistically his music makes you long for a simpler time when the world moved a little slower and things felt a bit more pure.
boom. Walker Hayes uses the word often. “It just felt right,” the breakout country singer says of the title for his highly-anticipated new album. It’s a celebratory sort of thing, he’ll tell you. A new radio station adds his buzzing single, “You Broke Up With Me.” boom. He links up for a national tour with Thomas Rhett. boom. That rowdy performance at CMA Fest –the one that had the crowd singing every word of his music back to him? boom. It wasn’t always this way. Not by a long shot. Lately, though, Hayes has had occasion to bust out the word often. And he’s not complaining.
I’m so thankful to be doing what I love. I have a hunger for a life full of making music and more so, I have a desire to reach people through music. Songs are a powerful way to tell stories- their ability to spread awareness on a topic, to take a stand, to make people feel like they belong in the world, to help them feel they are not alone, and remind them they are loved, continually inspires me. That’s why I write music. Why I play. Why I sing.
Eric Paslay, delivers a powerful punch as a renowned, Platinum-selling, hit songwriter and dynamic performer. Paslay has celebrated five No. 1 hits including “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jake Owen), “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft), “Rewind” (Rascal Flatts) and “FridayNight,” the smash lead single from his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The Temple, Texas native is a recent GRAMMY nominee (first as a recording artist) in the Best Country Duo/Group category for “The Driver,” performed by Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, featuring Eric and Dierks Bentley and a current “Song of The Year” nominee for “She Don’t Love You” at the upcoming ACM Awards on April 3. A true artist’s artist, USA Today calls Paslay “flat out-brilliant” and American Songwriter names him an influencer of country music. Paslay recently released his back beat-driven groove “High Class,” the lead single from his highly-anticipated sophomore album, and takes the stage on tour with Brad Paisley this winter.
I was raised on a farm just west of the Twin Cities in Hamel, Minnesota. My dad Steve, and uncle Bob, farmed together with my grandfather, Hunk Scherer. Bob and Steve had a southern rock band called “Stampede” who played upwards of 5 nights a week along with farming full time. This is where my musical life began at a young age, watching my dad play old southern rock classics from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet, Bob Seger, and many others.
High Valley’s major label debut single “Make You Mine” (Atlantic / Warner Music Nashville) is an exercise in balance and purity of expression. By combining their bluegrass roots with a modern pulse, brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel have created something that feels simultaneously fresh and timeless.
Beginning with a burst of turbocharged acoustic guitar, the tune builds momentum with a four-on-the-floor kick drum and rousing group choruses that beg to be shouted at full-volume. This energetic attack is mirrored by the determination and confidence in the lyrics, aimed at winning over a “soul miner’s daughter.” Also remarkable is how “Make You Mine” refuses to be overwhelmed by electric instrumentation, staying close to its acoustic core.
SmithField was founded in 2011 with a dream as big as their home state of Texas. Comprised of vocalists Trey and Jennifer, SmithField took the stage by storm with their memorable music and stunning harmonies. Having grown up together, their on-stage chemistry is undeniably genuine and natural.
A native of Southern Delaware – the “slower, lower” part of the state, he explains – Allen has carried that mantra with him through good times and bad, whether than meant living in his car or rocking amphitheaters on Toby Keith’s Interstates & Tailgates Tour.
He’s poured out his soul at Music City’s famous Bluebird Cafe, wrote a song that was featured in a Super Bowl commercial, and appeared in a Diet Coke ad with superstar Taylor Swift. But now with the BBR Music Group debut of his self-titled EP, a lifetime of never giving up has brought him full circle.
Some people are just born communicators and Lucas Hoge has that gift. Fans know this because Hoge’s new album Dirty South ascended to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Album Sales chart during its debut week. Hoge’s title track “Dirty South” is also currently climbing the charts and gaining momentum at country radio. Whether he’s performing for troops overseas, sharing his love for the great outdoors with fellow sportsmen at a Cabela’s gathering or writing another song for a hit TV show, Hoge has that rare ability to find common ground with just about anyone and draw them into his world. Hoge’s creative universe has long revolved around music, and his latest offering DIRTY SOUTH, on Rebel Engine Entertainment showcases a songwriter of considerable depth and a singer with an enviable skill for interpreting a lyric.
I stumbled into the best thing that ever happened to me: my wife. A stalwart companion, a great human being, a lover, a feeler, my better half. I cannot overstate the importance of finding this person in your life. They will be strong where you are weak. They will fill you up when you are empty. Sometimes you will both be empty, and you will have a friend in the truth that neither of you can go on. And you will break, and you will sigh, and you will be filled up from that experience, and after a brief respite, will continue on again somehow stronger. Somehow better. Together. Whole.
The artist/songwriter grew up surrounded by all things music. Mom led the church choir, Dad played with the Talking Heads and Joe Walsh of the Eagles. “My mom was always singing and my dad had his guitars, a couple Les Pauls, hanging up on the wall, and I wanted to be like them” Scott says.