Up & Coming Artist: Matt Gorman

Growing up in Philadelphia, Matt Gorman was raised a city boy with no country lifestyle. He picked up his first guitar in 2nd grade, but he didn’t find his true passion for it until about six years later. Gorman found his love for songwriting during his junior year of high school. A portion of his English class consisted of poetry, and while writing a poem, Gorman got the idea to turn it into a song. Little did he know, recording that song on the GarageBand app on his phone and sending it to his closest friends would have a monumental impact on the future of his musical career.

Country music wasn’t a part of Gorman’s life until he was about 12 years old. As a kid, Gorman had a natural inclination towards country culture that most other kids growing up in Philly didn’t have. When the television was on, Gorman was rarely plopped down in front of a cartoon like other kids his age. “I used to watch John Wayne with my grand-pop and uncle and my favorites were Western movies like McLintock, El Dorado, and The Cowboys,” Gorman explained. “ I always loved wearing a cowboy hat and a rubber pair of fireman boots that I used to pretend were the boots John Wayne wore on the TV. I didn’t know any different because I was young, but I think my parents would say that they knew I was going to be a little different compared to the other city kids when I grew up.” 

Along with being a musician, playing college baseball has been a goal of Gorman’s for as long as he can remember. After two years of playing junior college baseball, he was interested in playing for Lipscomb University after a friend’s advice. “I had an old summer ball coach reach out because he knew one of the Lipscomb coaches,” Gorman said. “He said it didn’t seem realistic because of timing and money, however, I was hopeful and I truly gave it to God that he would place me in the perfect place.” Once he visited Lipscomb, he knew it was the place for him.

“I get to play Division I baseball at Lipscomb University with incredible teammates and great coaches, and in my spare time, I get to record my music and work alongside people who I truly love in Nashville, Tennessee.” 

– Matt Gorman

Gorman’s first single, “Back To You,” was written this past summer and took just a few days. “It’s one of those songs that just came to me because it is based on a real-life experience that I had with a girl that I thought was going to be the one,” Gorman said. “The songs that I write all come from some kind of experience that I’ve had because I can’t write about pick up trucks in a field down south and doing a lot of the stuff that most country artists have experienced because I grew up in a big city.” 

The lyrics in “Back To You” tell the story of being blindsided by a breakup and continuously telling oneself that you’ll be back with that person until you realize it’s best if you aren’t. He wrote the song by himself and brought it to Lipscomb student/producer Joey Liechty. His favorite part of the process is that the song, production, promotion, and videography are all done by Lipscomb students. 

“Back To You” is available now to buy or stream on all digital platforms. Make sure to check out Gorman’s social media for more updates. 

Instagram | Twitter | Photography credits

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.

Cale Dodds Has People Watching

It was about two years ago when I first ran into Cale Dodds at a juice shop. I stared at him for way too long to figure out that I was listening to his music on Spotify. I went up to him holding my phone with his Spotify profile showing and asked, “Is this you?” Oh how far we’ve come, from the juice bar to watching him perform at CMA fest as many times as I could.

The Georgia native is just starting to showcase what he’s capable of. Having written a hit for A Thousand Horses, he has also released an independent EP “People Watching”. All of his songs have over a million streams and aren’t stopping there. He’s now signed to Warner Music Nashville and has released more than a few singles. His latest single “Take You Back” no doubt will take over country airplay.

Behind every artist is their story of how music came into the picture, and Cale’s is a little different than having a musical family background.

“I, my brother, and my parents loved music,” Cale says. “We’re always playing records and taking us to concerts. I always make the joke with my dad that he couldn’t even play the radio. It was one of those things where we just loved music. We’ve loved it as young kids and as we got older it was like we wanna do that, you know? My dad was an athlete and my mom was a nurse so they bought us this starter kit and after that, we didn’t care about sports or school, we just wanted to play music.”

And here he is at CMA fest doing what he was born to do. Cale doesn’t only have the musical talent to make it big, but his humbleness and perseverance are what is going to get him to the top. He’s the most personable artist I’ve ever met and I know fans are going to notice that as he grows into the superstar he strives to be.

Make sure you spin, request, and blast his new single “Take You Back,” because he’s just getting started.

Jordan Davis Album Debut “Home State”

Jordan Davis debuted his album for UMG Nashville called, “Home State.”  It dropped March 23 that’s full of potential hits that everyone needs to hear. We all know his single “Singles You Up,” which currently just hit No. 1 on Billboard country airplay. It’s only matter of time before his career takes off with this entire album.

There are 12 tracks of creative sounds; I am addicted. Jordan’s focus on lyrics through this album seemed most important to him. I’m not complaining, they are golden. Especially in “Tough To Tie Down,” written by Jordan Davis, Ben Daniel, Pavel Dovgalyuk. Hands down the top respected song on this album. For once the girl’s in control and I’m obsessed. Thanks, Jordan.

“She’s got too much run and too much wild,

She don’t hold back, no she don’t hide

She’s always drifted and always dreaming

She’s good at loving but better at leaving”

Next, that’s coming close to most played in a day is “Made That Way,” written by Jordan Davis, Paul DiGiovanni, and Scooter Carusoe. These lyrics are a gem. They’re killing the detailed quirks about what makes a girl the way she is. I’m completely obsessed. It’s a different kind of love song that’s ready to tear up the charts. This has been probably the most looped on my Spotify. I might be half the loops, it’s alright.

“You don’t overthink

But you’re a complicated mess

Not afraid to make mistakes

Hold your cards close to your chest..”

Producer and songwriter, Paul DiGiovanni, is ALL over this album. Producing albums from Dan & Shay to Blake Shelton, he didn’t disappoint in these tracks. These are only a couple of songs I’ve constantly been listening to the past few weeks. It’s been awhile since an album has caught my attention to listen to non-stop, and I finally found an album for the summer.

Make sure you give his album a listen and check out his future tour dates here!

 

Devin Dawson Sells Out Exit/In

Devin Dawson’s soldout show last night should be the talk of the town. Devin’s album “Dark Horse” dropped in January and at least almost every song has been stuck in my head for the past three months. He played his entire album head to toe and as much as I love his recorded album, it doesn’t do him justice. His stage presence and unique voice is something special I think everyone needs to admire.

If you first listen to his album from not knowing who he is at all, you’ll probably question the sounds throughout the entire tracks. It even took me awhile to get used to it. But when music grows on you, it’s a beautiful thing. Especially his track “Secondhand Hurt;” I was sold right when he started playing it. Like I said, studio version doesn’t do him justice. Take a listen for yourself.

Next, let’s just talk about the track “Dark Horse.” I remember hearing this track long before it came out and kept tweeting the crap out of him to release it. He says this track is his whole heart but I think he jumped into mine and stole the words right out of who I am along with him. This song is the most truthful sound out in country music right now. There’s something so mysterious about it, yet so safe and relatable. The lyrics are pure and you know exactly what kind of artist he is and hopes to become. This track hits close to home for me.

Not to sound high and mighty or anything but Devin’s in my Artists To Watch 2018 article, and damn was I right. His talent and honestly is exactly what the music industry needs. I have never felt more inspired and excited leaving a show. Devin Dawson is the real deal and I can’t wait for the world to finally acknowledge it. My heart bleeds for country music, and artists like Devin is exactly why.

You can purchase “Dark Horse” here. Make sure you check out his future tour dates, too!

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.

 

The Secrets Of SoundCloud: My 2017 Playlist

Whether it’s a weekday or Friday night, if these songs aren’t played in the first 10 minutes of my friends and I sitting in my dorm room, something’s wrong. My friends and I might be the only ones who do this, but it’s fine because after this post you’ll be doing it too.

You’re heading over to SoundCloud. Yes, you heard right, SoundCloud. Some people love it, others might think it’s all about dropping mixtapes. However, you have to do what you have to do to hear songs that aren’t released yet.

These songs and artists you’re going to be hearing are going to be stuck in your head forever because they’ve been stuck in mine for way too long. I’m not complaining though because that’s when you know it’s clearly something special, well in my head it is. Here are my go-to SoundCloud songs on repeat:

“I Wish You Would” – Abby Cone

https://soundcloud.com/abbeyconemusic/wish-you-would

First of all, Abbey is a complete goddess. Secondly, All of her songs on SoundCloud will be in your head, especially this one. I’m constantly singing it in my head throughout the day. Seeing and hearing her live is an experience I’m all for 25/8. If you see her playing a round in Nashville; go. You won’t be disappointed.

“Just Asking To Dance” – Nicholas Wayne

https://soundcloud.com/nickolaswayne/just-asking-to-dance-jdurrett-jduke-hellis-nwayne

If there’s anyone who’s going to have a year next year, It’s Nick Wayne. His voice is just.. you have to listen. From seeing him play writers rounds to SoundCloud, he gets you in your feels really quick. Not in a bad way of course. He’ll have you thinking about that ex you don’t even have kind of feels. It’s only a matter of time before Nick makes his mark when his album drops in 2018.

“Holdin’ Up” – Trannie Stevens 

I first heard this song with Trannie singing it at Song Suffragettes and fell in love with it. I immediately went to SoundCloud right after hoping to find a demo, and luckily it was there. I never looked back after that.

“We Got All Night” – Jordan Reynolds 

Jordan has been a favorite going to writers rounds. I can’t get enough of his voice. This song has been a feel-good hopeless romantic jam that’s been on repeat for my semester. I’ll probably be saying this a lot for other artists too, but all of his songs are too damn good not to listen. He has cuts on Dan & Shay’s new project coming out next year. Oh, you bet they’re gems.

“Now” – Josh Kerr

https://soundcloud.com/josh-kerr-4/now-kerr-douglas

This is the most nostalgic sad song but for some reason, you want to play it over-and-over. You know that song that makes you want to look out a car window and feel like you’re in a movie? This is that song. Yes, this is what I think about. This song is honestly crack. I think my friends and I are half of these loops. I’m not even sorry if you get addicted.

“At The Bottom” – Sydney Cubit

https://soundcloud.com/sydney-cubit/bottle-working-title-s-cubit

I had to add this in because it’s been on repeat for the last week. It’s the most lyrical genius song I’ve ever heard. She’s preaching what every girl is thinking. Take a listen to this one. Actually just do yourself a favor and listen to her entire SoundCloud, thanks.

These were only a select few that have been on constant repeat, there’s so much more I could babble on about. I probably sound like I’m geeking out over this, however, I don’t care. These artists have been a major savior for me when I get bored with listening to Spotify or Apple Music, so give them the loops they deserve because I said so.

 

 

 

Artists To Watch 2018

This year has been a breakthrough for many artists including Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradberry with their chart crushing albums. Now, it’s only a matter of time before some of my favorite artists I’ve seen live at writers rounds for the longest time get their chance to shine. These are some of my picks for artists to watch for 2018:

  1. Devin Dawson 

Devin is changing the contemporary country music game. From the beginning when I heard his song “Dark Horse” played live at his shows, I knew he was something special. His original song ‘All On Me” has over 36 million streams on spotify. Now, his other single he has released, “I Don’t Care Who Sees” has over 4 million streams. His unique sound to country music is not only refreshing, but is going to make his career take off. His debut album Dark Horse will be released Jan 19; watch out.

     2. Abby Andersen

The idea of people not knowing or hearing who Abby is hurts my heart. Abby has the voice of an angel and her single “This Feeling” is my top played on spotify this year, and should’ve been yours too. It has half a million loops on spotify and I wouldn’t be surprised If I was 25% of the loops because of the amount of times I listen to it. Hearing her new content live at rounds in Nashville gets me overly excited for her. 2018 doesn’t know what’s about to hit, Abby’s coming in hot.

     3. Cale Dodds

Warner Music signee, Cale Dodds, has been killing the country spotify charts in the last year having over 5 million loops for “People Watching” and “Lying”. “All Over,” being his first official single with Warner Music, has over half a million streams and isn’t stopping there. He hasn’t disappeared on Spotify’s playlist “New Boots,” this entire year, and it’s only a short amount of time until he gets the recognition he deserves. The future is only bright for Cale. Listening to his music and randomly bumping into him at Urban Juicer in Nashville has made me curious on what’s to come. Yes, we’re basically best friends now because I ran into him in Nashville. Try not to be jealous.

     4. Ryan Griffin

I cannot talk-up Ryan Griffin enough. This guy is crazy talented. From watching him live at CMA fest to the Listening Room Cafe, he deserves big-time. Ryan has just entered into a well deserving joint publishing and development deal with the one-and-only songwriter/producer busbee and BMG Nashville. Even though we all know that Ryan is the co-writer of Kelsea Ballerini’s hit single “Dibs;” Ryan’s heart wrenching song “Woulda Left Me Too” has over 3 million streams on Spotify. It’s time for the world to discover Ryan Griffin. 2018 is his.

   5. Tyler Rich

California grown Tyler Rich has been up-and-coming the last couple years, but 2018 is going to be his big break. The first time I ever heard of Tyler was when he opened up for Dustin Lynch in 2015 and my mom literally went on stage and took shots with him. Yes, you heard that correctly. After that show, I had his EP “Valerie” on repeat. Now, here we are in 2017 and he just recently signed with Big Machine Label Group. Ladies, if you want a bop, I suggest blasting “Teach Ya Girl” as loud as you can in your car. You’re welcome.

    6. Emma White

Baltimore born and raised, Emma never saw herself in the Nashville scene. Her R&B route somehow went the country route, and I’m not opposed to it. Emma’s self titled EP has been my go-to this past year. Her voice is so soothing you can listen to her on repeat and I’m living proof of it. Her single “OVERTHINK IT” was one of my most played on Spotify this year, do you believe me yet? Getting to know her this past year was a privilege. She’s a class act and most certainly the most humble human I’ve ever met. This year was just the beginning for Emma, and I’m excited to see the big things in store for her in 2018.

If I’m right about all of these, which I will be, you’re welcome for giving you the heads-up.

Brett Young: Behind The Caliville Tour

On Nov 17, I had the privilege of attending Brett Young’s Caliville tour as a VIP. The man, the myth, the legend, Brett Young never lets you down meet & greet and performance wise. You may say I’m a tad biased because of how many times I’ve seen Brett live, but if you’ve experienced what I have then you’d be too.

The VIP included an acoustic show, meet & greets, and a poster. Well worth the money if you like hearing a heavenly voice while staring at eye candy. No, but honestly, Brett is the sweetest most down-to-earth human you will ever meet. He doesn’t have one bad bone in his body. It also helps that he’s better live than studio.

I haven’t heard some of his new songs on his self-titled album that dropped in February of 2017 until this night, and it was well worth the wait. But first, let’s talk about VIP.

Brett played two of his hit songs “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Like I Loved You;” he also he answered some questions from fans. The VIP was small and acoustic-style with just him and his guitar. When it’s just Brett and his guitar, this happens..

You can’t dislike “Memory Won’t Let Me,” and if you do, I dislike you. Written by Brett Young, Justin Ebach and Steven Dale Jones, It has a California-summer vibe when you give it a listen. This song has single & hit written all over it from start to finish.

One of the best heartbreak song’s of the year is “Mercy” on his self-titled album. Written by Brett Young and Sean McConnell.  It’s heart-rending, yet you don’t want to stop listening to it. I think this might be one of my top favorites from Brett. The lyrics are so vulnerable, which makes it a fan favorite. He had the crowd belting this song out for his encore.

 

Brett Young’s Caliville tour is just the beginning of his career. He’s been up-and-coming since last year, but I think he’s ready to break out into the superstar he is. His humbleness and perseverance put together brings out the person he is today. Make sure you keep an eye out, Brett Young’s destined for nothing but great things.