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.

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.

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?