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Powerhouse Vocalist, Lara Johnston, Performs At AURORA Nashville

Lara Johnston performing at AURORA Nashville.
Photo credit: Patrice Majors

California native and powerhouse vocalist, Lara Johnston, recently performed a full band show on April 26th at the beautiful AURORA Nashville hosted by Caroline Hobby from Nashville Insider and “The Amazing Race”.

With her soulful pop sound and a voice reminiscent of today’s music greats like Kelly Clarkson or Pink, Johnston entertained a packed audience inside the AURORA Nashville studio while streaming live to an audience around the country through the AURORA site.

Johnston, just recently off the road after a world tour as backing vocalist for the iconic Don Henley, is confident, entertaining and takes full command of the stage.

Photo credit: Patrice Majors

Her songs are full of soul with her own pop mixture added and inspired by her musical influences of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and many more Motown musical greats.

This is an artist to watch and one to see live as she delivers her original tunes with such an incredibly-strong voice that very few can muster.  Certainly a standout and a cut above many young artists today as she basically delivers what can only be described as a masterclass of voice & overall performance as she takes the stage.

She is a seasoned and polished performer who should be a household name already.  Think only time will tell for this star in the making who is making a buzz in Nashville.

Watch for her new album to be released very soon.

Lara Johnston and band pose with Caroline Hobby and staff member of AURORA Nashville following performance.
Photo credit: Patrice Majors

 

About AURORA Nashville

AURORA Nashville, a division of renowned audio and technology company THIEL Audio, is an entertainment solutions provider that combines award-winning production with today’s digital world for the ultimate fan experience.  AURORA Nashville owns and operates a state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD production studio in downtown Nashville that provides a truly customizable experience.  From premiere live stream concerts to sit-down interviews, record release parties and industry events, the studio is the perfect venue for artists to connect with their fans with high-quality content.  It is also home to their own weekly live-stream concert series AURORA Live, which has featured artists such as Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina, Muddy Magnolias, Rhonda Vincent, Jerrod Niemann and many more.

About Lara Johnston

Lara Johnston is emerging as one of pop music’s most dynamic voices.

She is friendly, optimistic and driven to succeed, whether she’s performing her captivating music, touring the world as a singer in Don Henley’s band, or collaborating with Nashville’s songwriting community.

On her new EP recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles, Lara taps into her own personal and professional experiences while drawing on the R&B influences that shaped her musical aspirations.

“When I’m writing, it always reflects what I’m going through at that time,” she says. “This has definitely been a time of change for me. I’ve written and experimented with a lot of different sounds. All of them are extensions of what I love, and now I have music that I’m excited to share.”

Lara plans to release new music in the summer of 2017.

Get to know this dynamic, new artist in this video: https://youtu.be/qNKm3UI3QeQ

 

 

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10 Questions With Temecula Road: Getting To Know Them

Temecula Road: Emma, Maddie & Dawson Photo credit: Shayla Eddins

Temecula Road is a young country trio comprised of Emma, Dawson & Maddie from California.

Newly-signed to Disney Music Group’s Buena Vista Records, they are Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing featured artists.

With their fresh faces, sound and strong harmonies, this is just the beginning of their careers and we look forward to hearing much more from them.

We want our readers to get to know this talented group, so here are 10 questions with Temecula Road!

1) How did you get the name for the group?

Emma: We wanted our name to represent our roots. We’re all from Temecula, California. That’s where we met and started this crazy journey, so it speaks to where we came from.

2) How did you come together as a group? Your story for when decided to pursue a career in music?

Dawson: We all were living in Temecula, but went to different schools, so our paths first crossed at vocal lessons. We started singing together right after we met and the rest is history!

Maddie: Emma and I are sisters and our parents always had CMT on in the house when we were growing up. We would always sing-a-long and Emma would harmonize with me. That’s where it all started for us.

3) Musical influences?

Dawson: I love so many people. Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay, Lady Antebellum. The list goes on!

Emma: I love Dan + Shay, too! We’re all obsessed with them. Their harmonies are amazing.

Maddie: Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, and Maren Morris are my favorites. I love females with big voices.

4) How would you describe your music?

Emma: There’s a big focus on harmonies in our music. The blend of our three voices has become our signature thing.

Dawson: I play acoustic guitar and Emma plays mandolin, so those sounds are always incorporated into our music.

5) If you could go on tour with anyone, who would it be?

Emma: Dan + Shay for sure!

Dawson: Thomas Rhett or Luke Bryan.

Maddie: Carrie Underwood! I would die.

6) When not making music or performing, what do you like to do?

Maddie: I love watching makeup tutorials and Netflix.

Emma: I love photography, spending time with my boyfriend, and playing with my dog, Wilson.

Dawson: Hanging with my friends and playing any sport.

7) If you were not in music, what would each of you like to do?

Emma: I would be a neonatal intensive care nurse.

Maddie: I would be a makeup artist.

Dawson: An actor or firefighter.

8) What/who are each of you listening to?

Maddie: Maren Morris! I’m in love with her whole album.

Emma: I love Brett Young’s new album. And of course Dan + Shay.

Dawson: Dan + Shay for me, too. I also love Levi Hummon’s new single.

9) What has been your most memorable experience so far as a group and what’s next for you?

Dawson: Randomly meeting Luke Bryan and getting to talk to him at CMA Fest last year was probably the most memorable. We were warming up in an empty room that was apparently his dressing room and he just walked in. He was the nicest guy and told us to keep warming up.

Maddie: Meeting Carrie Underwood and opening up for Martina McBride. Both dreams come true!

Emma: We’ve met Dan + Shay a few times and they’re just my favorites. We got to see their set when we both performed at C2C in London and it was amazing.

10) Tell us about your new single.  

Maddie: Our current single is “What If I Kissed You” and it’s just so relatable. It’s about that moment of anticipation between two people waiting to see who will make the first move.

Dawson: It’s one of our favorites and we’re so glad people are loving it! So thankful for all the love and support.

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 Watch their video & current single below for “What If I Kissed You”:

About Temecula Road:

Named after the town they grew up in (Temecula, CA), Dawson, Maddie, and Emma are ready to bring their brand of country music from SoCal to the rest of the world. Sisters Maddie Salute, 16, and Emma Salute, 17, have been singing together for years, and joined forces with longtime friend, Dawson Anderson, 17, to form Temecula Road. Noted for their impeccable three-part harmonies, the trio writes their own original material, backed by Dawson on guitar and Emma on mandolin.

Called out by The Huffington Post as one of the top country artists to watch in 2016, Temecula Road spent the year opening for Martina McBride, Josh Turner, Joe Nichols, Sara Evans, Eli Young Band and Love And Theft and joined Jessie James Decker on a nationwide, sold out tour. They also supported Kenny Rogers for select dates on his farewell tour.

Kicking off 2017, Radio Disney named Temecula Road it’s newest Next Big Thing featured artist, one of only two breakout country acts since the program’s inception. Following in the footsteps of Next Big Thing alums Kelsea Ballerini, Shawn Mendes, and Alessia Cara, the group will be presented nationally on Radio Disney, Disney Channel, and across Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country’s digital platforms.

With talent far beyond their teenage years and an infectious, youthful energy, Temecula Road has already amassed a sizeable and loyal following online with their series of song covers. A recent mashup video of the trio singing portions of 2016’s top 20 country songs in a mere 3 minutes garnered them over 7 million views online and 89,000 shares on Facebook alone. Their covers have also earned praise from Carrie Underwood, Brett Eldredge, Dan + Shay, Cam, and RaeLynn.

Signed to Disney Music Group’s Buena Vista Records, Temecula Road’s first single, “What If I Kissed You” (written by Jimmy Robbins, Sara Haze and Mike Daly), was released on February 17.

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Video Premiere Of “Shattered Glass” By Brett Sheroky

Watch this video premiere from new country artist Brett Sheroky with the debut of his song & video “Shattered Glass” here on FOCUS on the 615.  We think you’ll like his music as much as we do!

About Brett Sheroky 

Originally from a small suburb just across the water from St. Louis, Missouri, Brett Sheroky made the move to Nashville the day after his wedding in 2009 at the request of his wife to pursue his dreams.

Leaving his past of playing in pop/rock bands behind, Brett knew the Nashville scene wasn’t going to be easy, but some unexpected news made things a bit harder for Brett throughout his early years in town. Brett was diagnosed with Cancer in November of 2009, just a few short months before making his move to Nashville. Seemingly putting his music on hold to some and spending his months undergoing chemotherapy, Brett was doing anything but resting. With any energy he had left from treatment and the frustrations of trying to start a family with his wife (which doctors said they would never be able to do), Brett devoted his time to perfecting his craft. “I take a lot of pride in my songwriting. I want to be known as a guy that writes a song. Not a guy that puts words to music.” And boy can this guy write a song. His talent has been recognized by songwriters throughout Nashville, as well as some “higher ups.” Despite Brett’s sole focus on being strictly a writer in town for the last seven years, he has recently signed a production deal with Torrez Music Group and has been working tirelessly to finish the project. It’s not easy when you’re working two jobs trying to provide for a family at home while simultaneously attempting to make a splash in the music industry. That’s right, I said family.”

Brett Sheroky lives cancer-free out in Bellevue with his three little girls and his wife, Christy, and makes daily trips to Nashville to write, work, and record. His self-titled debut album is due out Summer 2017, and with songs like “Alcoholiday,” it’s bound to not leave your speaker system.

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Mary Sarah Captures The Hearts Of Viewers On “The Voice”

THE VOICE -- "Live Top 12" Episode 1013A -- Pictured: -- Mary Sarah (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

THE VOICE — “Live Top 12” Episode 1013A — Pictured: — Mary Sarah (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Texas native and country sweetheart Mary Sarah advances this week to the top 11 on NBC’s “The Voice” as she paid a heartfelt tribute to her brother with an emotional performance of Carrie Underwood’s “So Small”.

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[Video] Watch This New Video From Home Free “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Home FreeColumbia Records’ country sensation Home Free’s new music video for the Christmas classic “Do You Hear What I Hear?” has hit over 130,000 real-time views in under 48 hours. The harmony-rich arrangement of the holiday favorite is featured on the band’s Christmas release, FULL OF CHEER. The stunning video was filmed at night in the frigid cold at an ice castle in Eden Prairie, MN.

Check out Home Free at www.homefreemusic.com

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[Video] #CoversGoneCountry Series From Carissa Leigh!

wpid-screen-shot-2015-04-03-at-9.03.01-am.png.pngCheck out this fun cover from new country artist, Carissa Leigh! We’re diggin’ it! Here’s Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” from the #CoversGoneCountry series.   Please share if you’re diggin’ it, too!

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[Video] Check Out This New Rockin’ Country Band, The Last Bandoleros!

The Last BandolerosHow about a little something new from this rockin’ country band, The Last Bandoleros? We’re loving this live performance video of “Take Me To It” filmed at Webster Hall! Check it out! Just the thing to get your Friday off to a great start and your blood pumping!

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My Top 10 Picks In Country Music For 2014

FOCUS on the 615Well, it’s that time of year that I thought I would reflect on the top 10 artists in country music that I think you should be listening to and worth some time.  Obviously, these are not based on anything but my subjective taste.

Give them a listen and hope you enjoy!  Continue Reading →

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Brian Milson To Release “Nothing Grows In Shadows” In Cooperation With National Bullying Month [VIDEO]

He is one of country’s brightest young stars – and he is a man on a mission.

Brian Milson, who has ridden an electric stage presence and an enviable road apprenticeship into the national spotlight, is well aware of country music’s affiliation with good causes. Few artists, though, ever embrace one so early and so effectively.

Brian’s breakthrough single, “Nothing Grows In Shadows,” not only establishes him as a singer to be reckoned with, it makes a powerful and compelling statement about a genuine societal plague – bullying.

“I was bullied as a kid,” says the Odessa, TX-born singer, “and I’m afraid I did a little of it myself, so this song means a great deal to me. The statistics are just horrendous–one out of four kids is bullied.  On any given day, kids just stay home out of a fear of bullying. And 85 percent of the time, there’s no intervention. This is a song that addresses that.”

“Nothing Grows in Shadows” tackles the subject head-on, challenging those who perpetuate it and offering support to those who fall victim, before wrapping it up in a verse that makes the subject spine-tinglingly personal.

As in the best songs, though, it is effective because of Brian’s delivery. His is an honest, straightforward style perfectly suited to the dramatic storyline and the admonition that it’s up to all of us to make a difference. The song is a stirring blend of craft and emotion, displaying the kind of vocal power and integrity that mark all of Brian’s work.

“Nothing Grows in Shadows” is the public’s first taste of an album Brian cut in Nashville with one of the all-time great producers, James Stroud (Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Chris Young).

“Brian can just flat out sing,” says Stroud, with an air of authority on the topic.  “There’s a power and a depth to his voice that’s extremely rare and just draws you in to these songs.”

It’s easy, hearing Brian on record or watching him live, to understand why he’s gotten the call to open for the likes of Joe Nichols, Easton Corbin and Neal McCoy, or for his idol Willie Nelson, a gig that found Brian “in front of three thousand of the most diverse audience members you could run across. They had all come to see a musical icon and for me to be a part of that was really something special.”

Brian is a product of Odessa, the West Texas town that gave the world “Friday Night Lights,” about Permian High School, the town’s football powerhouse and embodiment of the quasi-religious phenomenon known as Texas football. Brian played for a year, but baseball and golf were his sports. But it was actually music that captured much of his time and attention from an early age.

“The very first song I knew the words to was ‘Blue Skies,’ which was on Willie’s Stardust album,” he says. “There’s a home video of me singing it back when I was four or five years old.” Brian developed a love for his father’s favorites, Hank Sr. and Ernest Tubb, and went on to become a fan of music that embraced Motown, classic and current rock and even classical music.

“I joined the choir,” he says, “and I came to appreciate Beethoven. Not every seventh-grader enjoys that sort of thing, but it’s cool when you know how to sing something in a different language.” By the time he was a senior in high school, he had auditioned successfully for Permian High’s Black Magic show choir, a select group that performs widely in the area.

“It was the finest year of my life to that point,” he says. “I can’t describe how much fun it was. The other members became like my extended family–the way no one except my current band mates ever has. And the education was priceless – we did everything from Handel’s ‘Messiah’ to Marvin Gaye’s ‘How Sweet It Is.’”

That year, the choir was voted the state’s #1 mixed chorus by Texas Music Educators Association.  Meanwhile, Brian was drawn into popular music by two guitar-playing friends who helped spur him to learn to play. One friend was a classic rocker and the other was, he says, “as country as you can get. The first song I heard him play was ‘Amarillo By Morning.’ It really hit home to me how true country music is and what it can do to your emotions.”

His first performance outside of the show choir was at Permian’s Cinco de Mayo festival.  “I did, ‘I Can Still Make Cheyenne,'” he says, “and it was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I had to keep my knees bent just to keep from getting light-headed, but the reception I got was unreal. It was better than any buzz I’ve ever had.”

He began playing house parties during his freshman year at Texas Tech. He was majoring in music and learning theory but,” he says, “I was always trying to learn the new Strait and Garth songs.”

Before long, he got the chance to open a show for a friend in Lubbock.

“It was so much fun, I knew right then there was not another option besides making music for me,” he says. He opened more shows and then put his own band together.

The band recorded a self-produced album called Walking A Thin Line in 2008–by then, Brian was writing, thanks in part to a break-up he decided to commit to paper. In 2010, he recorded two singles in Nashville, using session players and learning more about the studio and his own singing ability.  Both hit the Top 40 on the Texas charts.

That education, in fact, has been non-stop since those early days of hearing Hank Sr. and Ernest Tubb in his dad’s truck.

“I pay attention to everything,” he says of the music of his idols, “and I try to let it help shape the way I express myself vocally and on stage.”

The resulting growth has been phenomenal.

“I’ll never forget that first gig I did,” he says. “I’ll bet I didn’t move two inches in the entire set. These days I like to consider myself more of a high-energy performer, someone who’s braver and a lot more confident. When it comes down to it, it’s all about emotion. Technique is always there in the back of my mind, but it’s the feeling that carries it. That’s what delivers a song.”

He has toured throughout the Southwest with his band and done acoustic shows across the country, introducing himself and his music to fans and radio stations alike.

Now, with the release of “Nothing Grows In Shadows,” all that education and experience has come together. For the young man from Odessa, the journey is just beginning.

Brian Milson

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Rising Singer-Songwriter Ann Marie Releases Debut Single “Cowboy Up”

Ann MarieCountry music singer-songwriter Ann Marie is releasing her highly anticipated debut single “Cowboy Up.” Co-penned by Ann Marie and hit songwriter Danny Myrick (Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country” Craig Morgan’s “International Harvester”), “Cowboy Up” showcases Ann Marie’s powerful vocals and lively persona.

Alongside the release of “Cowboy Up,” Ann Marie will be opening for Darius Rucker on Thursday, August 15th in Paso Robles, CA and Friday, August 16th in Lancaster, CA. The music video for “Cowboy Up” is set to be released in September along with Ann Marie’s debut EP.

California native Ann Marie has shared the stage with artists such as Adele, Richard Marx, Brian McKnight and opened for Josh Turner, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Big & Rich and many other celebrated country music artists.  The video for “Cowboy Up,” directed by renowned music video producer Shaun Silva (Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts) is set to hit major networks in the fall of 2013. Currently signed to William Morris Endeavor booking agency and Pat Finch Music Publishing/Southern Crossroads Music, Ann Marie can be seen performing at venues across the country. “Cowboy Up” can be downloaded via iTunes and the sneak peak promotional video can be seen here.

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