Tin Pan South Night Two: busbee, Ryan Griffin, Emily Shackelton, and Carly Pearce

Ryan Griffin, busbee, Emily Shackelton, and Carly Pearce took the stage Wednesday night at Third and Lindsley to start off the second night of Tin Pan South.

busbee is based in LA, but Nashville has adopted him over the years. If you don’t know busbee, he’s a songwriter, producer, and musician who has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Lady Antebellum, Pink, Lennon Stella, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Kelly Clarkson, and many more. He also has worked/is working with everyone in this round. He’s basically a musical genius. He started off the round with introducing “My Church” cut by Maren Morris. Morris walked into the co-write saying “I was just driving up the PCH and I was in my car listening to music and I just felt like that was my church.” He picked up a guitar and sang the chorus right to her and started singing the rest of the melody. In addition, busbee sang his co-write of the smash single “H.O.L.Y.” by Florida Georgia Line, which quickly reached #1 on the Billboard country chart. He brought up sixteen-year-old Lindsey Lomis who shocked the crowd with her strong, bright voice. She sang her songs “Quit On Us” and “Simple Love.” He also brought up Cameron Jaymes, a part of Altadena, to sing his tracks “You Should See Her” and “Summer Forever.”

Newly signed to Warner Music Nashville and Altadena, Ryan Griffin’s talent recognition is long overdue. His voice is a mix of country, soul, and a touch of R&B that’s ready for the world to hear. He performed his songs “Best Cold Beer,” “Nothing Looks Good On You,” and of course his #1 song, “Dibs” performed by Kelsea Ballerini. In addition, he sang his new track “If You Were My Girl” dedicated to his wife. “It was the moment that I met my wife, I told busbee and Emily Shackelton about it; everything I wish I could have said to my wife when she was with somebody else,” Griffin says. “I went home and I was thinking about her, If I could tell her everything that was on my heart, this would be it.” Because of Griffin’s pure talent and refreshing tracks, his album he’s recording with busbee is going to be something special.

Emily Shackelton played her track “Doing Fine” cut by Lauren Alaina and performed a Runaway’s June cut called “Unbreak Your Heart.” Shackelton performed her next song “Dashboard Jesus” and said she wrote it in 2011 and it came back to life this year thanks to Carly Pearce. Pearce cut the song for her new record and man is it the perfect track for her. Shackelton and Pearce performed it together to give us a little tease to Pearce’s next album. The song’s about how hard it is following your dreams and being crazy for believing in them. Pearce jumped into the second chorus, taking over with her powerful vocals.

Pearce gave us another hint of a track on her next record called “It Won’t Always Be Like This.” “I thought since we’re all friends maybe I can share a new baby with you,” Pearce says. “I wrote this song with Sam Ellis and Natalie Hemby. I think so many things in 2018 have taught me that pain takes you somewhere, heartache takes you somewhere, struggles take you somewhere, where you come from, the people in your life that built you and made you who you are; don’t take those for granted. I thought about that sweet sixteen-year-old artist up here and I remember being her. If I could go back and explain to her the things that’s she’s going to experience are all on the path to be where she should be and that it’s all going to be ok.”

“I had big wings / But didn’t have a sky / Just a front row view of everybody flying high / Waiting for my time”

“It Won’t Always Be Like This” – Carly Pearce

Night two of Tin Pan South was full of unexpected song teasers and smash hits. You can find out more about Tin Pan South and when you can catch a show here.

Tin Pan South Night One: Jordan Walker, Tyler Rich, John Gurney, and Adam Doleac

To kick off Tin Pan South on a Tuesday night, I attended my first round including Tyler Rich, Jordan Walker, John Gurney, and a special guest Adam Doleac.

Jordan Walker, who was previously a part of Walker Mcguire, sang his smash hit “When It Rains It Pours” that changed his life for the better. “This was my first ever hit and it got me a wife and a house. I wrote this song with one of my best friends in the world, Ray Fulcher and a guy named Luke Combs,” Walker says. “The day we wrote this song Luke I had known for about 2 hours and he said he wanted to write a song about his ex-girlfriend and I go yeah I can write a breakup song. Then he says I really wanna write it about her mom though. And I said alright, now I’m very interested. I say let’s write a song about your ex-future mother-in-law” and the rest is history. Walker also performed his Walker Mcguire track “Mysteries Of The World” along with a song he penned with Mitchell Tenpenny called “Mixed Drinks” that’s currently on Tenpenny’s EP.

John Gurney is an artist you need to keep an eye on. He currently has singles you can stream and buy. “Home With Her” has over 11 million streams and his new track just released in January “That’s How You Got It” has 700,000 streams and counting. Gurney also performed his track that’s released called “Fairytale Dress.” “I was fortunate to win the 2018 NSAI Song Contest, presented by CMT with this one,” Gurney says. “It did a lot for me in the last year. It’s all about holding onto the look of innocence that we hold onto when we’re young and trying to bring that into adulthood.” He also played a clever track I hope he releases soon called “Drink I Think.” The chorus says “I could use a drink I think / but every time I drink I think of you” and he explained that it was inspired by a late-night conversation on Broadway.

“Drink I Think” – John Gurney

California native Tyler Rich started off his turn by introducing “Made For A Small Town” that he comes from a little town north of Sacramento; where the only thing it’s famous for is the feral chickens that run around on the highway. Rich also brought out an old song he has never played before called “Lost Time.” He played his potential single that he just recorded and it’s a fan favorite, “Leave Her Wild.” It’s about Rich being in a controlling relationship and him realizing she was turning him into something he’s not. “I’ve realized this thing about relationships, I see friends that meet someone and they like them and they spend an entire relationship trying to change them into their vision rather than just letting a person be themselves,” Rich says. “My buddy in the writer’s room said if you’re going to make a woman do something, make her smile. I said to write that down and then the whole chorus poured out. As they say, happy wife happy life.” Lastly, Adam Doleac was a surprise addition to this round. He first played his track cut by Darius Rucker called “Don’t” along with his songs released “Famous,” “Whiskey’s Fine,” and “Mom and Daddy’s Money.”

It was the perfect round mixed of talent and humor to keep the audience entertained. You can find out more about Tin Pan South and when you can catch a show here.

Tin Pan South: The Inside Scoop


The 27th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival Presented by Regions Bank is set for March 26-30. The festival includes almost 400 songwriters with a variation of genres, playing their songs at Nashville’s top music venues. The schedule has been released on the app and you’re able to find your favorite writers and add it to your OWN schedule.

Some artists playing are Carly Pearce, Ryan Griffin, Busbee, Emily Shackelton, Emily Weisband, RaeLynn, Rodney Atkins, Dave Barnes, and many more. There will be new Tin Pan South venues including the Analog at Hutton Hotel, The Lounge at City Winery and TRUE Music Room was added to The Bluebird Cafe, Douglas Corner Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe, The Listening Room Cafe, Station Inn and 3rd and Lindsley. Also, Nashville’s most famous hit makers Buddy Cannon, Kara DioGuardi, Barry Dean, Nicolle Galyon, Lori McKenna, Luke Laird, Amy Wadge and Rivers Rutherford are hitting the stage. To have the true Nashville experience, you can see your favorite artist and the genius behind your favorite song. This is something you don’t want to miss.

Fast Access Passes tickets sold out, but there’s the option of buying tickets at the door for most shows. Single show tickets at the door will range from $10 – 25. Make sure to download the app and check out https://tinpansouth.com/ for more information. If you can’t make it, check back HERE this week to have behind the scenes access to Tin Pan South.

CRS Week Kick-off Is For The Girls

One of my favorite line-up’s for CRS week: Abby Andersen, Hannah Ellis, Jesse Lee, and Abbey Cone. I was way too excited to see this happening. All of my favorite girls into one writers round at The Listening Room Cafe. What more can I ask for?

Starting off with the young and beautiful booming voice, Abby Andersen, who was in my Artists To Watch article (shameless plug). I am SO excited for her. She sang her soon to be hit “Let Him Wait.” This song is such a powerful message for young girls in this generation nowadays. It’s only a matter of time before this song is blasting in every girl’s bedroom. If you think girls were playing hard to get, this song just made guys lives 100 times more difficult. Sorry boys, Abby’s telling us who’s boss.

From Hannah’s E.P. dropping last fall, to having co-writes for album’s like Russel Dickerson and Danielle Bradberry; Hannah has been on her game lately and isn’t turning back. Her positive attitude and stunning voice make the songs she’s been a part of honestly sound better than the original. As much as I do love “Messy” on Danielle Bradberry’s new album, Hannah’s twist on it was extra special. Take a listen for yourself.

Everyone knows Jesse Lee is a talented songwriter, just ask her co-writers: Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young. Coming off her two #1’s, “Peter Pan” and “Like I Loved You,” you can certainly say Jesse is just getting started. She’s just as talented behind the microphone as she is behind the song lyrics. Here’s one of my favorites from the night, “Life Is Pretty Damn Good.”

Seeing Abbey Cone for the first time in forever has been long overdue. Hearing her new songs did not disappoint. Her voice is electric and I can’t get over how obsessed I am with her. There’s no doubt in my mind she’s clearly going places. She will always be one of my favorites and this song of hers I am sharing is exactly why. Here’s “I Never Asked You.”

Even though I wasn’t able to attend most of CRS week events, I was satisfied with catching this round with most of the girls I’d pick myself to see in a writers round. Supporting women songwriters and artists is most important nowadays and always. These four talented ladies will be taking over country airplay before you know it. Keep your eyes out.

 

Girls Of Nashville: Reminding Music Who’s Boss

A seasonal songwriting show, Girls Of Nashville, showed just what women in music are made of. Every year these girls come together celebrating artists and songwriters, and it doesn’t disappoint. Colbie Caillat was there, so obviously it can’t even be close to disappointment. Do you believe me now?

Maddie Larkin started the first round, and at the end of the night became one of my favorites. Her debut single “45” that released in August, has quickly looped over 50,000 plays on Spotify. I’ve heard many stories from my friends on how talented she is, but have never had the chance to see her until this night; I’m glad I did. She did sing her single “45,” but another song she sang “Expectations,” is a future hit.

Warner/Chappel and THiS music writer Emily Weisband has been killing the music industry lately. She earned her first Grammy for Contemporary Christian Music Performance/song, along with her first Dove Awards MusicRow Award nomination. Did I mention she recently just announced she’s being featured on Luke Bryan’s new album? She’s been one of my favorites for a long-time now, so just being able to finally meet and see her made my night. She sang her co-write “Good Time To Be Alive,” recently cut and on Lady Antebellum’s new album. Additionally, she sang one of her new songs “Naked,” that she wrote for her little sister whom was comparing herself to other girls that her “boyfriend” was seeing. One of my favorite qualities about Emily is how up-front and real she is with her lyrics, and “Naked” exemplifies perfectly what I’m talking about.

If you don’t know Caitlyn Smith, what are you doing with your life? After years being spent in Nashville writing songs for Garth Brooks, Meghan Trainor, and Dolly Parton, she’s finally having the big break she deserves with her EP “Starfire.” Caitlyn has that voice where she can sing the alphabet and it would still blow my mind on how good she is. She was hitting notes I didn’t even think were possible. She made it look easy and was a total natural. Here she is singing her song off her EP, “Tacoma.” 

I have to throw Colbie Caillat in here because my middle-school self was freaking out right when she started singing “Bubbly.” She told her story on how this song came about; how she recorded a bunch of songs not even thinking she was making an album. Her friend put all her demos on Myspace and it quickly became popular. Hearing her story intrigued me because even though I’ve listened to her music constantly, I never knew the exact story on how she started. She moved to Nashville one-year-ago and says its the best decision she has ever made. Here’s Colbie singing “Bubbly,” you’re welcome.

Girls Of Nashville season showcases exactly what people need to see when they come to Nashville. Every women who was on that stage killed it and showed people what women in music are made of. This is only the beginning for women in music, and these ladies proved that during this round. Each year it gets better and better even when you think it can’t. If you live in Nashville or are coming to visit, make sure you come to one of these show’s. Women in music are taking over, you heard it here first.

Association Of Independent Music Publishers: 3rd Annual Songwriter Series Takes The Country

I think the title of this is pretty interesting. I mean, Independent Music Publishers, what isn’t eye catching about that? The third-annual AIMP Songwriter Series was held at The Country on Monday, Sept 25. Shout-out to my mom for sending me important writers rounds she knows I wouldn’t want to miss. Yes, I just shouted-out my mom.

The round included Hannah Ellis, Ross Ellis, Michael Hardy, Daniel Ross, and Sarah Turner. It was short, but sweet, and just the right amount you needed to hear in a night. It started out with Ross Ellis, Hannah Ellis, and Daniel Ross in the first round.

I had never heard of Ross Ellis before this night, and for sure I thought Hannah and he were related because what did I know? Long story short, they weren’t even related. Yes, it was bothering me the entire show. I’ll get to the point now.

Ross Ellis was born and raised in Monterey, Louisiana. He got the attention of BMI’s Bradley Collins after playing writers rounds in Nashville. Long story short, Ross signed with Big Deal Music, and now he’s writing and playing shows. His voice reminded me of Kip Moore at the end of the night. Then I went to his Soundcloud and got even more of a Kip Moore meets Brett Young sound, if that’s even possible. Here’s a snip of his song “Neon Church.”

Hannah Ellis is that singer/songwriter you can just relate to every song she comes out with. She has a special voice, and it just makes you never want to stop listening to her. Her single, “Temporary Feeling,” was just released last Friday and already has over 400,000 loops on Spotify. Also, she just came out with “ILYSoWhat” that’s an absolute jam. However, as much as I am in love with “Temporary Feeling” and “ILYSoWhat,” the song that stood out to me the most was the second one she sang, “Never In Love.” She said she wrote it with Josh Kerr and how it basically “spilled out in conversation.” I wish my conversations spilled out like this…

Look out for Hannah Ellis, because she’s going places with her new EP coming out soon. Especially touring with Russel Dickerson this fall, things are just getting started for her.

Daniel Ross, Big Machine Music and Tree Vibez Music signee, moved to Nashville after graduating from Western Carolina University in 2015 and quickly put himself into the songwriting scene. My first time ever seeing him was summer of 2016 here in Nashville, and I remember him saying it was his first time playing a round, being fairly new to him. Even though he says he doesn’t play rounds often, I don’t believe him for one second. I see your Instagram posts; Ross, you can’t hide from me when you post when you’re playing. Here’s one of my favorites he sang, “Break It In.”

Sarah Allison Turner and Michael Hardy played in the next round, and if you haven’t heard “I Should Go To Church Sometime” sung by Tyler Farr, these two geniuses wrote it along with Brinley Addington. Rolling Stone explains the song as “A Christian-specific view of guilt, with Farr figuring the answer to his torment in a Church pew, but it asks bigger questions about how and why we put off our opportunities to heal.” This song puts a different perspective on break-ups, which is why it’s so successful. Here’s a snip of Sarah and Michael’s version of “I Should Go To Church Sometime.”

These five artists are just beginning to leave their mark in the Nashville music scene. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Which of the artists were your favorites after listening to the snips?

 

 

 

 

Guys And Guitars: Bluebird Cafe Edition

Let me just start off with this.. going on The Bluebird Cafe website and looking for shows is sometimes like Christmas morning. As a fan of country music, you always have a wish-list of artists you are hoping to catch live, and oh boy did The Bluebird Cafe’s schedule did a great job catching my eye.

It was the night before I found out one of my favorites, Ryan Griffin, was playing at The Bluebird Cafe. However, there were no tickets left. We had to go an extra two hours early to wait on the line for wait-listers. Finally we got in and sat in the pews all the way in the back. As long as I was there that’s what mattered to me.

The round included Josh London, Steven McMorran (who has now gained a new fan… me duh), Ryan Griffin, and Taylor Davis.

It started off with the guy I was initially coming for, Ryan Griffin. Ryan climbed the country charts with co-writing Kelsea Ballerini’s hit single “Dibs,” that he sang during the round yet also said he felt awkward because.. well.. just listen to “Dibs” and you’ll get the point. Ryan has also dropped his EP in March of 2017 and you bet every single song on there is a HIT. His recent single “I Would’ve Left Me Too” has almost 3 million plays on Spotify, and you could hear for yourself on why that is..

You’re welcome after hearing that beauty acoustic. Like he said, “It was kind of terrifying to release honestly, but It was cool because they said that viral chart is no manipulation.. it’s just people are connecting to the music..” This song sat on the Spotify charts for awhile, but finally took off like it was meant to.

One of my new favorites after the show was over was 100% Steven McMorran. I don’t know where he has been hiding from me all this time but I’m glad the wait is over. His voice just echoes throughout the room; he doesn’t even need a microphone. It’s a completely different and unique sound that you can’t compare much to. From growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, to taking his songwriting career to Los Angeles.. I’m glad he ended up in Nashville. Here’s just a little take on what Steven brought to the table..

Next up was Taylor Davis, and man did I get a Chris Young meets Zac Brown vibe. Magic Mustang Music signed Taylor to its publishing roster in 2015. Taylor recently just got his first cut on Big & Rich’s new album “Did It For the Party,” called “Long Way Home.” He said he’s been in Nashville for 10 years.. a 10 WHOLE years and this is his first cut. Well watch out Nashville, because this guy has an even more cuts coming. I have a snip of him singing one of my favorites “Make Her Change Her Mind”, it’s a classy-country-bop for sure. Give it a listen.

BBR Music Group signee, Jimmie Allen, who was supposed to play the round originally that night but cancelled, came and played a song with Josh London. It was honestly the most perfect collaboration i’ve ever heard. Jimmie Allen, who I met over one year ago at a round in Nashville, has one of the best up-coming voices in the music industry. Not only is he the sweetest human but he takes the time to make sure his fans feel like they’re friends, and that’s the most important part of trying to grow your fan-base. Here’s a little snip of “Best Shot” that Jimmie and Josh wrote together.

Josh London is a singer/songwriter from Kentucky who has been labeled as “up-and-coming-songwriter/artist” by Music Row magazine. He’s co-written a song with Sam Riggs called “Waiting For The Fall” that has over 50,000 plays on spotify and soon will be making its way up the charts.

This writers-round was one of the best ones i’ve been to since i’ve moved down here. There wasn’t one song I didn’t like. I’m pretty positive my phone storage is close to being full after seeing how many videos/audio I recorded. I don’t regret a thing. All five of these guys brought something different to the round and not surprisingly, it was music to my ears — sorry that was an awful pun. If you haven’t checked out The Bluebird Cafe’s schedule, let’s change that. If you haven’t been to a writers-round ever in Nashville, like, ever… what are you doing? No, but seriously, grab a group of friends and make a reservation or wait on the wait-list line. I think some of you would be surprised on how much you’d appreciate local songwriters/artists.

Which song was your favorite out of the four?