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?