Hometown: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Genre: Alternative Rock, Blues Rock, Indie Rock
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“With this record, we wanted to be more transparent,” says Matt Shultz, lead singer of Cage the Elephant. “We wanted to capture the sentiment of each song, and whatever emotional response it provoked, to be really honest to that.”
With their Grammy Win for Best Rock Album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, Cage the Elephant are pushing the advances they made with their last record—2013’s Melophobia, which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Album—while also drawing from the sounds that initially inspired them to start making music back in their hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The results are the band’s most forceful and focused songs yet, a set of concise, punchy garage-pop with a feel that guitarist Brad Shultz describes as “a psychedelic John Wayne at an Iggy Pop show.”
Long celebrated as one of the most explosive live bands in the world, Melophobia took the band to new heights, spinning off two Number One singles on the Alternative charts, “Come a Little Closer” and “Cigarette Daydreams.” The group felt a new liberation during the course of making that record, a confidence that carried over into the sessions for Pretty.
“The last record was such a big breakthrough for us that it spilled over into this one, and allowed us to work freely from the very start,” says Brad. “Usually I feel so empty after each record—like we’ve poured everything out and there’s nothing left in the tank. But I was so inspired that I just continued to write, and it was really natural and enjoyable.”
Matt claims that some of the album’s direction can be traced to a blistering performance he gave at Bonnaroo in 2013, singing “Break On Through (to the Other Side)” at the late-night SuperJam backed by an all-star band including Robbie Krieger of the Doors. “It was a massive affirmative,” he says. “Rock and roll has become somewhat of an uncool thing to talk about in the mainstream world, almost as if it's a dirty word. With that performance, I could clearly see that it to be a hole that’s missing in music today—that classic sound and energy that people are dying for. We definitely wanted to pay homage to that, to the bands we discovered rock and roll through, the music we cut our teeth on.”
“When me and Matt started writing,” says Brad, “it was because of our father, who was a songwriter. We listened to Tommy James and the Shondells, the Beatles, Chuck Berry, the Stones. That’s what came natural to us. We were maybe fighting that on our previous records, but this time, the approach for me was that it’s sometimes better to take a step back to move forward.”
Even the lyrics came to Matt with a new sense of purpose and clarity. Two of the first songs he wrote were “Sweetie Little Jean” (based on a true episode from the Shultz’s youth, when a childhood playmate was abducted and murdered) and “Cold Cold Cold,”which developed from the idea of seeking medical treatment—not for an illness, but from life’s travails.
“It was apparent that a lot of the lyrics were going to be very personal and very story-based,” he says. “It felt way too revealing sometimes, but I wanted them to be real, with different layers, and to write songs about the scariest things to talk about—the things that everyone relates to.”
Tell Me I’m Pretty also involved major changes in the band’s roster and process. Lead guitarist Lincoln Parish left the group in 2013 to pursue a career as a producer; Nick Bockrath took over the spot, while keyboardist Matthan Minster concurrently joined the line-up.
“Going into the writing sessions I was feeling uncertain, because we had a formula with the first three albums that worked,” says bassist Daniel Tichenor. “A few days into writing, things began to click and we seemed to be developing a totally new and different sound. A new bond and friendship rekindled between us, and also, bringing in some new faces changed the dynamics and everything kind of felt like a fresh new start.”
The album also sees Cage the Elephant working with a new producer, their long-time fan and sometimes tour-mate Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. “We set out to have a classic-sounding record but with a modern sonic depth, like hip-hop or dance music,” says Matt. “Working with Dan was great. He has an incredible concept of atmosphere and vibe, and capturing the raw, first response.”
“With Dan, you may not always get the most perfect playing,” adds Brad, noting that unlike their previous albums, these songs were mostly tracked live, some on the very first take. “But he picks out the emotion and the realness, the take that evokes something within you.”
Rooted in both tradition and experimentation, Tell Me I’m Pretty marks the most definitive statement yet from a band that fought hard to stake out its own territory in the music world. “When we were younger,” says Matt, “we had this picture of what a rock and roll band was supposed to be, and we were trying to live up to a persona.”
Inexperienced and impressionable, they headed from Kentucky to nearby Nashville, signing a production deal without even having a manager representing them. Trying to elbow through the hierarchy of local bands, they eventually decamped to London, where they lived hand-to-mouth in a neighborhood so dangerous that someone was murdered outside their front door.
When they finally acquired a manager and signed to then Jive, now RCA Records, they still didn’t see a single dollar from the deal—but they did quickly connect with the platinum-selling 2008 hit “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” from their self-titled debut album.
Over time, though, Cage the Elephant grew increasingly sure of themselves and and, according to Matt, became determined to create music based on their own creative decisions, “not for commerciality or for obscurity for obscurity’s sake”.Thank You, Happy Birthday came out in 2011, reaching Number Two on the album charts, but it was with Melophobia, the members all agree, that the band truly came into its own—and on Tell Me I’m Pretty, they build on that assurance and enthusiasm.
“Within three hours of walking into the studio, we had ourselves a pretty unique, amazing track,” says Tichenor. “After that, each and every day I felt we were onto something, creating what I believe is our best work thus far.”
“I think that finally we all came together as a band,” says Brad. “For the first time, it just felt like those kids in Bowling Green, Kentucky coming to a practice space, jamming and having a good time.”
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Genre: Southern Soul
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Sea of Noise, the second full-length album by St. Paul and the Broken Bones, marks a quantum leap in sound and style for the high-voltage Birmingham, Alabama-based band.
Produced by Paul Butler and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium, the group’s sophomore effort features an expanded eight-piece lineup of the widely praised soul-based rock unit. Longtime members Paul Janeway (lead vocals), Jesse Phillips (bass, guitar), Browan Lollar (guitars), Andrew Lee (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), and Allen Branstetter (trumpet) are joined by Jason Mingledorff (saxophone, clarinet, flute), and Chad Fisher (trombone).
The collection of new original songs is the group’s first release on RECORDS, a joint venture of SONGS Publishing, winner of ASCAP’s 2016 independent publisher of the year award, and veteran label executive Barry Weiss.
Sea of Noise is a successor to the Broken Bones’ 2013 debut album Half the City, which introduced the group’s blazing mating of ‘60s soul fire – daubed with latter-day influences like Sly Stone, David Bowie, and Prince — to Janeway’s impassioned singing and writing. The new album witnesses a deepening and broadening of the unit’s musical reach and lyrical concerns.
“It felt like it happened organically,” Janeway says of the band’s development. “With the last record, it was like doing things with your hair on fire – going in, recording it live. There’s a sense of urgency to having a record like that. We were only a band for about five months at that point. I didn’t know my voice – I’d never done this professionally. I was just learning more nuance, and about carrying a melody. You don’t have to go for it 100% all the time. You can draw people in by giving and taking.”
Janeway says that he and his close musical associate Phillips began to ponder the direction of the band’s second album a year and a half ago. “If we had been forced to go into a studio a year and a half ago, we probably would have done a better version of Half the City,” he says. “There would have been nothing wrong with that. But we started evolving, or changing.”
Work began in earnest during last year’s Coachella festival in California: “We rented a house in San Bernardino Valley National Park. The week in between the two weekends, we really started to hash things out. Then we rented out a very hot warehouse in Birmingham where we could write. And me and Jesse and a few of us would send stuff back and forth via Dropbox. That gave me the ability to work on harmonies on the vocals. I wanted to take it up a notch, in all realms.”
Looking to such inspirations as Tom Waits and Nick Cave, Janeway was intent on lifting his game as a songwriter on material for the second album. “I’m married to a woman with a masters in literature, and I can’t show her lyrics unless I’m pretty proud of ‘em,” he says. “I had to sit and think about what I’m saying – what do I want to say, is there anything to say? What’s my perspective as this Southern kid who’s watching the modern world and feeling very much like an alien in a lot of ways. This is more personal. If you’re going to say something, say something, and don’t waste your breath unless you feel like you’re saying something.”
Janeway adds that his reading of the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, played a role in the direction of the work: “I didn’t want it to be an overly political record, but I feel it shows up a little bit on the album.”
With a full complement of new songs in hand, St. Paul and the Broken Bones entered the studio with Butler, leader of the British band the Bees and producer of Devendra Banhart and Michael Kiwanuka.
“Jesse was listening to one of his records and he said, ‘Everything sounds great,’” Janeway recalls. “It sounded like a real record – everything had depth, and was expansive-sounding. Butler ended up being the guy that we wanted to use. Producer-wise, I think we knocked a home run. He is very meticulous.”
On Sea of Noise, the band’s brawny horn-driven sound is augmented – and displaced — by the use of a string quartet and a vocal choir. The strings – recorded at Memphis’ historic Sam Phillips Recording by engineer Jeff Powell – were arranged by Lester Snell, a veteran of Stax Records sessions by Isaac Hayes, Shirley Brown, Albert King, and the Staple Singers, among many others. Janeway says of Snell, “He did all these classic, great records in Memphis – he did the string arrangements on them. The strings, for us, supply a darker tone. Horns sometimes can’t portray a certain darkness. We thought that would be the best option, instead of horn lines. We have songs on this record that don’t have any horns at all.”
Employed on “Crumbling Light Posts,” the recurring motif that appears three times on the album, Jason Clark and the Tennessee Mass Choir were recorded in another legendary Memphis facility. “The Stax Museum let us go in there after hours and record the choir,” Janeway says, adding with a laugh. “We said, ‘Well, hell, we’re in Memphis, let’s just see if they’ll do it.’ It was pretty neat, I’m not gonna lie.”
He says of the finished work, “Sea of Noise is not quite a full-blown concept record. It is focused in terms of subject matter – finding redemption and salvation and hope. ‘Crumbling Light Posts’ comes from an old Winston Churchill quote, in which he said England was a crumbling lighthouse in a sea of darkness. I always thought that was a really interesting concept – that we’re falling anyway. In this day and age, it is the noise that has defined so many things. We’re going to fall to it eventually, but for now we feel like our heads are above water. It felt anthemic.”
The album’s lyrical and emotional richness is heard loudly in stunning new compositions like “Burning Rome” (which Janeway describes as “a letter to God, if I could write it”) and the startling “I’ll Be Your Woman,” which knocks traditional soul music gender roles on their heads. Janeway says of the latter song, “I wrote that with Jesse, and he said, ‘If I can write that song, I can die a happy man, because I’ve finally made something that I feel can stand up to my standards.’”
St. Paul and the Broken Bones, which toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe behind their debut album, will put their take-no-prisoners live show on the road this fall. Their most recent concert work included arena dates opening for the Rolling Stones in Atlanta and Buffalo. Some acts may have been daunted by such a task, but not this one.
“It was pretty neat, it was pretty crazy,” Janeway says. “I love the Rolling Stones, but my train of thought is, you gotta try and blow ‘em off the stage. And that’s still my goal.”
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Genre: Country Rock, Southern Rock, Hard Rock, Country
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Blackberry Smoke has evolved from rough-edged club act to arena-ready rock 'n' roll juggernauts, while steadily extending and expanding the Southern rock tradition. Since the group’s formation in 2000, the band has never shied away from hard work, playing more than 250 shows a year and building an everexpanding audience on the strength of its live shows. In addition to winning fans and friends throughout the United States, they've toured Europe multiple times and performed for the first time ever in Australia in 2016 to sold-out crowds. Along the way, Blackberry Smoke has found time to record a handful of independent releases, including the albums Bad Luck Ain't No Crime, Little Piece of Dixie and The Whippoorwill, plus a pair of EPs, the concert DVD “Live at the Georgia Theatre,” the live CD/DVD set Leave A Scar and their latest project Holding All the Roses, the first album the band feels properly captured their musical essence. Additionally, the band has had songs featured in movie and video game soundtracks, including EA Sports’ Madden NFL 16, performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Conan and toured with and befriended idols such as The Marshall Tucker Band, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and George Jones. For more info on Blackberry Smoke, visit blackberrysmoke.com, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @blackberrysmoke.
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Genre: Folk Hop N Roll
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Years before forming one of Nashville's most genre-bending bands, the members of Judah & the Lion grew up in separate corners of the U.S., listening to every type of music that came their way. They loved it all: the twang of folk, the beat of hip-hop, the drive of rock & roll, the punch of pop. Later, after college brought all four musicians to Tennessee, it only made sense to combine those different backgrounds — and different sounds — together.
With their second full-length album Folk Hop N Roll, the guys shine a light on the place where their influences overlap. It's a wide-ranging sound, with fuzz bass, hip-hop percussion, distorted banjo riffs, and super-sized melodies all stirred into the same mixing pot.
"There's no boundaries," says front man Judah Akers, who shares the band's lineup with drummer Spencer Cross, mandolin player Brian Macdonald, and banjo wiz Nate Zuercher. "We wanted to make something raw, something with attitude. We all grew up loving these hip-hop beats, so why not make an album that has the grit of Run DMC or Beastie Boys, along with all the folk instruments that we play?"
Like Kids These Days — the band's debut record, which climbed to number four on the Billboard Folk Chart and number two on the genre-wide Heatseekers chart after its release in September 2014 — Folk Hop N Roll was produced by award winner Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton). Cobb captured the band's new songs in a series of quick, inspired takes, aiming for performances that sounded real and raw rather than polished and perfect. Everything was done in just two weeks. The goal was to fuel the album with the same electricity that fills the band's live show.
An independent band whose success has arrived not on the back of some big budget major label, but through the band's own touring, Judah & the Lion have built a large, loyal fanbase on the road. They played 150 shows in 2015 alone, stretching their gigs all across America and Scandinavia. Along the way, they shared stages with artists like Mat Kearney, Drew Holcomb, and Ben Rector. That sort of drive — the commitment to chasing down their dreams, one encore at a time — also fuels the lyrics that appear on Folk Hop N Roll, a record whose songs spin stories of struggle, triumph, and all points in between.
"This record was made for the live show," Akers promises. "Our shows are all about the experience we share with our fans. We know that people work everyday jobs or go to school, and they're dealing with life, and yet they're still choosing to spend the night with us. We don't take that lightly. We give them an experience. We throw an absolute rage. And all the songs were made with that in mind. They're fun, carefree, and youthful, and we live our lives that way, too."
Anthemic and wildly creative, Folk Hop N Roll is unlike anything else in modern music. It's a rulebreaking record, with Judah & the Lion creating a sound that belongs entirely to them. From the earthy stomp of roots music to the bold bounce of hip-hop, Folk Hop N Roll casts a wide net, proof that Judah & the Lion — who are now four releases into their career — have developed quite the roar.
Judah & the Lion followed the release of Folk Hop N Roll with a massive tour spanning most of 2016. Late in the year, after being named iHeartRadio’s Artist on the Verge, their single “Take It All Back” began to climb the ranks at Alternative Radio, eventually culminating in a three week stint in the #1 spot to kick off 2017. In tandem with their first #1 song, Judah & the Lion also kicked off a tour as support for Twenty One Pilots which brought them to arenas all across the US.
Inspired by how their genre-blending style was connecting with fans, Judah & the Lion headed back into the studio in early 2017 to record 4 brand new songs dubbed the Going to Mars Collection, which, when combined with Folk Hop N Roll, make up Folk Hop N Roll Deluxe. The rebooted version of the album includes the band’s follow up to “Take It All Back,” the equally high energy and anthemic “Suit and Jacket” which is impacting Alternative Radio now.
With no intention of slowing down anytime soon, Judah & the Lion will embark on the Going to Mars headlining tour this Spring and Fall. In between, they have planned select dates with Kaleo before hitting summer festivals and embarking on an amphitheater tour with Jimmy Eat World and Incubus.
Hometown: Mobile, AL
Genre: Southern Rock
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Wet Willie formed in Mobile, Alabama in 1969 when brothers Jack and Jimmy Hall teamed with drummer Lewis Ross, keyboardist John Anthony, and guitarist Ricky Hirsch to form a group originally called Fox. They relocated to Macon, Georgia in 1970 and joined forces with songwriter Frank Friedman, before signing a contract with Capricorn Records. Soon after, Fox was reborn as Wet Willie.
“What the band was all about was energetic, funky, greasy, bluesy, R&B-based rock,” bassist Jack Hall explained. In its review of their self-titled debut album, Rolling Stone magazine declared that Jimmy had “a voice strut and an air of raucous elegance not unlike Jagger.” Guitarist Wick Larsen replaced Friedman before the first album was released and, after a second studio LP, performed with the group on 1973’s live album, Drippin’ Wet. It was the first of their releases to appear on national sales charts.
Wet Willie’s major breakthrough came with 1974’s “Keep On Smilin’,” which reached the Top 10 on the Billboard singles chart. The accompanying album officially introduced the Williettes, the two-woman backup vocal team that included Jack and Jimmy’s sister, Donna Hall. Donna was joined, in succession, by Ella Avery, Elkie Brooks, and Leslie Hawkins, who would later work with Lynyrd Skynyrd.
After five albums with Capricorn, Wet Willie relocated to Atlanta. By the time they signed with Epic Records in 1977, Jack and Jimmy Hall were the sole original members. Along with keyboardist Mike Duke, who had joined the previous year, the Halls rebuilt the band with Marshall Smith, T.K. Lively, and Larry Berwald. They carried the singles “Street Corner Serenade” and “Weekend” to the Top 40, but after two albums with Epic, the band members went their separate ways.
After a hiatus in the 1980s, Wet Willie regrouped, and continues to perform.
Hometown: Mobile, AL
Genre: Country Rock, Southern Rock, Country
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Unapologetically Alabama. There’s a new force making major waves in country music. Natives of Mobile Alabama, Gary Stanton and Charlie Muncaster came together to form Muscadine Bloodline in early 2016. With three single releases under their belt and a schedule full of shows spanning from coast to coast, they’ve hit the ground running from day 1. Nashville took notice the first time these two stepped on the stage and it’s no surprise the rest of the music world is quickly catching on. Charlie’s [contemporary] vocals complimented by Gary’s harmonies and masterful guitar licks, MB is a powerfully refreshing mix of talent, passion and unfiltered authenticity. Infamously undaunted by the big stage, their sound intertwines the brash irreverence of early southern rockers with the seductive quality of 90s country love songs. Captivating hooks heard in songs like “Porch Swing Angel” and the aggressively anthemic “Shut Your Mouth” stand as a testament to MB’s wide ranging music-making capability. Every song and every show is a moving experience but at the same time, unmistakably Muscadine Bloodline.
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Genre: Power Pop, Alternative Rock
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Raised on a steady supply of power-pop and alternative rock, Birmingham, Alabama’s Riverbend brings a live show full of mile-wide riffs and impassioned choruses. Formed in 2013 by childhood friends, Riverbend consists of Stanton Langley, Max Simon, Price Pewitt, and Sims Ruffino. The four-piece released an EP in early 2016 and is building their fan-base throughout the Southeast.
Vocals, Guitar / Stanton Langley
Guitar / Max Simon
Bass, Vocals / Price Pewitt
Drums, Percussion / Sims Ruffino
Hometown: Jacksonville, AL
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If Riley Green isn’t strumming a six-string and singing, chances are you’ll find him dropping a line in the Ohatchee River, deep sea fishing in Orange Beach, AL, turkey hunting at his primitive camp in Arkansas, or deer hunting at his ‘Back 40 Bash’ property. For this 6’4, blue-eyed, country crooner from Jacksonville, AL it’s not just a “Country State of Mind” - it’s a lifestyle.
Riley has achieved an incredible amount of success for someone doing it all on their own. Though you wouldn’t know it by talking to him, Green is as humble as they come for someone who has released three popular EP’s, stars in two TV shows (Winner of Redneck Island on CMT and his very own hunting show on DirtRoadTV), thousands of social media fans/followers, and has played across the southeast for the last 5 years to hordes of music lovers singing the words of his Alabama anthem (“Bury Me In Dixie”) back to him. People don’t even realize Riley’s an accomplished musician when meeting him. He’s not inclined to brag or talk about himself.
Riley was born into songwriting and performing; spending days and nights with his grandfather, Bufford Green. “My PawPaw opened a music hall in 2003, where he’d always say music goes from ‘The Bar Room to The Pulpit and Back’ each Friday Night. My Granddaddy Buford taught me a love for the sound of old traditional country, bluegrass, and southern gospel music,” explains Riley. The youngster performed at the Golden Saw Music Hall, singing songs like “Wreck on the Highway” and “Precious Jewel” by Roy Acuff with his grandfather and other men of his generation. “My Best Friend” was written as a tribute to his Granddaddy Bufford and the influence he had on Riley’s life & music. “Line in the Water” was inspired by fishing trips with his other grandfather, Granddaddy Lendon, who left a mark on the southern boy by showing him how to truly relax and enjoy the southern lifestyle.
Outside of music, Riley always found time for athletics. Riley, a three sport athlete in high school and a walk-on quarterback at Jacksonville State University understands the importance that comes from playing sports and being part of a team.
Many of Riley’s next generation of songs reflect on the experiences of a young southern man trying to find his place in the world. With a mixture of outlaw-rebellion and respect for tradition, Riley combined these values to create his own style. “’A Little Hank’ and ‘Almost’ reflect the battle of values and what my grandfather referred to as ‘the fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning,’” he explains. Green’s latest EP titled “County Line” which was released earlier this year and reached #14 on the iTunes Country Chart. He has also been recognized by BuzzFeed and Whiskey Riff as an up-and-comer to keep an eye on. At the end of the day, Riley Green is still that Alabama boy grounded in the values instilled by generations of southern gentlemen. The outdoors man (who is more than likely to address you by Sir or Mam) remains true to himself whether he’s headlining his annual homecoming show (Back 40 Bash) in front of thousands of fans or tending his deer plots as his golden Labrador (Sadie) follows close behind. This is only the beginning for the next country music star from Dixie! For more information on Riley Green visit www.rileygreenmusic.com
Hometown: Mobile, AL
Genre: Pop / Rock
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Well hi :) I'm Elley Duhé and I'm an artist/songwriter from the Gulf Coast and I've been making songs for 11 years.
Well i grew up in Alabama and Mississippi both areas 45 min apart but it's home... it was wonderful in the sense of the beauty... and that beauty of living on the coast goes from growing up side by side with the Gulf of Mexico and the rivers and creeks, the food, southern art and music which has had a impact on not just who I am as a person but who I am as a artist. But it was also tough growing up in a small town I was always a bit different from most kids... once i found music at 14 it was like therapy for that pain and judgement i always felt and even though more ridicule and bullying came with embracing music it was the only thing i had and i wasn't going to let anyone take that love away from me.
My love for music started with my father and my family who are a gang of music lovers. Days and nights of jams sessions with the whole family! Uncles and fathers -- one on the bass the other on drums two people playing guitar and the rest of us singing and dancing into the night. Now my father was always playing his classical guitar since as early as i can remember so once i could start joining in i did! I would dance and sing around the house but i never liked learning covers especially at 6 and 7 so I would make up my own words and melodies to what he was playing not thinking anything of it. Then when I was 14 he bought me a guitar for Christmas and I didn't get the incentive to actually start playing until I got grounded that summer. Within one week I learned 3 or 4 chords from my dad and wrote my first song :) Now I don't know anything about music theory or half the time what I'm playing on guitar or piano everything is by ear, same as my father.
I got discovered more from the music world when I was 17. I started out in coffee shops at 15 then started getting actual paying gigs (bars, private parties, restaurants) that same year which is how i made most of my money, and l then it turned into opening for larger national acts which was my favorite through those bigger shows and myspace music at the time I was able to make connections to Nashville then through the next couple years I really worked on my craft traveling and writing through Nashville, Austin, and L.A.
I worked with a group of people out of Austin for about 3 years it was not the best experience but I learned a lot from it even through that confusing time I was still evolving slowly musically and when that ended I hit rock bottom had to start over again back in Alabama and its the thing that propelled me once again to find my voice which is how the track Immortal came to be.
Then a year ago, i came out to LA and signed with Universal Music Publising.Through the rest of the year I worked as a songwriter and put out Immortal which caused a buzz throughout the industry and labels got interested and RCA was the one that I really connected with so I signed with them at the top of this year with them and now we're gearing up to release new music!
Once immortal came out I think the thing that really drew in RCA was the fact that there wasn't anything out there like it from the production to the emotion in my voice and what my message was.
Well its a melting pot of styles and sound one minute you could hear a hiphop driven record the next more organic like country then it could go into rock blues Enya stylings but i feel like what brings and draws people in the most is the emotional delivery because they don't just hear me and the words but they feel me.
I usually tend to write in the form of dark and light with shades of gray haha like the yin and the yang of life but I always try to put a positive twist on it to give people hope throughout these dark times we all face.
I grew up listening to almost every main genre so I was exposed to all of the best music through each decade and style. a few on the list are U2, Michael Jackson, The Police, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Jewel, Alanis Morissette, Kurt Cobain, Counting Crows, Jimi Hendrix, all of Motown, Dolly Parton, Enya, and then Mystikal, Biggie, Tupac, Missy Elliot/Timbaland and Pharrell.
I was at rockbottom when I wrote Immortal. I drove 6 hours to Atlanta to meet J. Hill (one of the producers of Immortal who is also my manager now) and I had so much to get off my chest that the same night I came into ATL which was the same night we laid down the first scratch of the song.
Determined is the right word. I was going to press on through music like a survivor I had nothing to lose.
Both are songs about struggle in different forms but are also fun to sing along with and have that positive uplift to them as well
Well I like to say every time I go into the studio its like a new puzzle to put together I'm never quite sure what I'm going to end up with and then when I finally finish a song I'm like how did I get here haha but my process rarely is mapped out.
We're gearing up to put more music out and then have a album out by the top of the year but really just focusing on creating the best art I can one day at a time.
J. Hill/ACMG and all of the amazing talent affiliated with us then theres Illangelo (the weekends producer), Jesse Shatkin, Justin Parker, Arcade, and many more.
I really hope to impact in the world in a positive way, I want to be a safe haven for others with their emotions and feelings I believe music is meant to heal people and I hope that my music can heal those who are broken.
Honestly thats tough for me. I say that because I'm always experimenting with my song writing and even with how I sing. I don't believe that there are any limits when it comes to music and I refuse to be tied down to a certain genre.
My weight was a big issue and struggle for me. I was an over weight child and in todays society it's so easy to hurt someone because of that. It wasn't just at school even in the entertainment industry. I was told I was over weight and it hurt me a lot.
Absolutely music has healed me and continues too.I'm diagnosed with ADD and this was a struggle growing up at home and in school. I was picked on a lot through out middle school and through high school. I was one of those kids that was very gullible and a lot of people would take advantage of that. Eventually this turned into depression I cried A LOT! It got to the point I was eating lunch in the bathroom from all the bullying.
100% I want to be a voice for those kids who ate lunch in the bathroom because they were different or don't look like everyone else. I want them to know its okay and they are not a bad person because for so long I thought I was. Theres no need to feel guilt because you might not know how to make it better.
I want them to know they are not alone and there's more people all over the world who have the same feelings and I was one of them but I also would like to help and I plan on doing this through my music.
My music. Having ADD means my song writing process is unorthodox. It means the way I record isn't your average and I firmly believe thats why I've become successful with my career thus far, because of how creative I am, even though I do have ADD I was able to channel it and turn it into something positive to benefit me.
I'm excited for people to hear different sides of me and Im hoping this new music really connects with everyone and I know you can't please everybody but the more that connect with it the better. I can't wait to perform as well, I love getting that experience with music lovers.
I hope to bring out visuals that enhance the music as I'm performing into an experience that everyone leaves going wow that was moving.
Hometown: Escatawpa, MI
Genre: Contemporary Country
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Derek Norsworthy is not your typical singer-songwriter but rather unique modern artist and performer. Derek has shared the stage with some of the industries most prominent artists such as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Eli Young Band, Frankie Ballard, Thompson Square, David Nail, Parmalee, Dustin Lynch, Brantley Gilbert, Chris Janson, Charlie Daniels, 3 Doors Down and Alabama to name a few.
In July of 2015, Derek celebrated his third song licensing contract, writing the official fight sonf for a 3-time National Champion college football team featured on the Netflix Original series "Last Chance U". The well-versed writer has also pinned numerous film scores, with his most recent being aired nationally on PBS and the CW Television Network. Derek's success has earned notable features on CMT, American Songwriter Magazine, solidified a USO Ambassador Representative position and endorsements with Kyser Products, 64 Audio and McPherson Guitars.
Derek is the Founder of Roots Foundation, a philanthropic group that focuses on providing assistance to charity organizations on providing assistance to charity organizations and promoting music education to schools. The Mississippi native has been validated as one of the country music's Rising Stars by some of the industries toughest critics, through developing an all ages, global fan base.
Hometown: Seattle, WA
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Seven years ago while visiting New Orleans in the springtime, Seattle native Colin Lake met his future wife in the airport. The meeting sparked a cosmic chain reaction that would change his life forever. Overwhelmed by the gravity that seemed to be drawing him to the city, Lake moved to town less than a year later and his passion and innate feel for roots music would find fertile ground from which to spring. While his powerful vocal style and soulful touch on the guitar and lap steel owe heavily to countless blues greats, it’s Lake’s knack for song craft that sets him apart from almost anyone in that genre.
Lake’s forthcoming album, One Thing That’s For Sure, captures the songwriter’s unique musical vision, delivering penetrating lyrics with soul and gritty sincerity. On the album’s eleven original songs, Lake sings of love and longing, truth and transcendence, hope and struggle. These are love songs, but not just in the romantic sense — these are songs that celebrate love’s well earned triumph over fear and tread the territory where light and shadows meet.
On songs like “I’m Trying to Tell You” and the heavily distorted “Pay the Price”, Lake sings in desperate pleas, reminiscent of a man fighting for his life, while in the chorus of the laid back title track and the sun-soaked refrain of “She’s Mine”, the singer swells with joy as he revels in the spoils of love. And why shouldn’t he; these songs were born in New Orleans — the world capital of revelry & joyful expression. And while Lake may not have been born there, you could say that in New Orleans he was born again.
In the past year, Lake has opened for acts like Dr. John and Gary Clark Jr, and performed at festivals around the country, including the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival, Alabama’s Hangout Beach, Music and Arts Festival, the Key West Songwriters Festival and New Orleans’ French Quarter Festival.
Hometown: Mobile, AL
Genre: Rock / Jam Band
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Slide Bayou is Mobile's premier supergroup, consisting of three of the areas most prolific singer/songwriters, Harrison McInnis, Lee Yankie, and Ryan Balthrop. All three, write and take turns singing lead, which creates an in the round vibe like one would witness at a songwriters festival, utilizing three part harmonies, and multi-instrumentation, and epic guitar solos, Slide Bayou is backed by the tightest, funkiest rhythm section in the land, Winter Baynes on drums, and Marc Hendrix on bass, the band brings a whole new level of southern funk and soul to the stage every time they perform.