Tag Archives | Interview

Artist Spotlight: Get To Know Airpark

Photo credit: Melissa Madison Fuller

Nashville-indie rock duo, Airpark, will release their second EP entitled, ‘Early Works Vol. 2’ on September 15th.  They’ll celebrate with a show at The High Watt in Nashville on September 20th.  Don’t miss it!

The Nashville-based duo is made up of brothers Michael and Ben Ford, who formed the band after their previous project, The Apache Relay, called it quits.  With Airpark, the brothers create deconstructed pop music, focusing on songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients.

1) How did you get together as a group?

 

“We’re brothers and have been playing music together since we were 11 and 12. Our previous project disbanded in 2015 and we took a solid year to write and record with no preconceived notions. The formation of our duo came out of that time and we formed officially in late 2016.”

 

2) Where are you from?

 

“We grew up right outside of New Orleans. It was awesome to be exposed to all the music of that area while growing up. It’s something I have only become more thankful for the older I get.”

 

3) How would you describe your sound?

 

“Our taste is pretty eclectic and it’s always tricky trying to be objective about your own art. We consider it to be groove focused, alternative pop.”

 

4) What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as artists?

 

“I think continuing to be vulnerable with your writing and knowing that your letting people into the most personal aspects of your life. That’s also what seems to make for the best art though…”

 

5) What has been your favorite, most memorable experience so far?

 

“We recently did a run of dates with Tennis. Not only are we fans of their art but they were wonderful people to be around.  Their crowds were also very receptive to our tunes.”

 

6) What do you like to do when not making music?

 

“We’re both big film nerds these days. We love going to the Belcourt Theater to see movies and documentaries. We also go to 3rd Coast Comedy occasionally to check out their improv.”  

 

7) Tell us about your newest song and/or album out.

 

“It feels like a continuation of our first EP but more filled out sonically. On our first release we really kept it very intentionally minimalistic. With this collection of songs it naturally wanted to grow and we allowed that to happen.”

 

8) Do you enjoy the songwriting process and do you write your own songs?

 

“We’ve been writing our own songs since we were 11 and 12. I’ve always found the process of songwriting to be pretty elusive. Every song seems to come together differently and often times seemingly at it’s own pace. It can be the most rewarding thing in the world and the next moment, the most frustrating. For us, that’s what keeps the process intriguing.” 

 

9) What’s next for you?

 

“Heavy, heavy touring behind the new release. We’ll be on the road pretty regularly from now until Thanksgiving. A lot of these shows will be our first time playing some of these cities. We’re looking forward to seeing how the new songs come across.” 

 

10) Favorite place to eat in Nashville.

 

“Dino’s! The Porter Road Butcher burger with their fries. It’s a glorious thing.” 

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Artist Spotlight: Sandra Lynn Talks About Newest Single, “Hey California”, And Much More

Photo credit: Jean Claude

Get to know this California native and talented country artist. Hear all about her newest single and much more below!

What’s the name of your new single and what is it about?

“My latest single is called, ‘Hey California.’ It debuted on Radio Disney during their ‘Country Spotlight’ hour, and its the first single off of my upcoming debut full-length album that’s in the works to release soon. It’s a song that I co-wrote with songwriter/producer, Dave Brainard. When Dave and I first sat down together to write it, I told him I wanted to write a song that had a little bit of a Beach Boys vibe to it. My parents always listened to the Beach Boys’ records when I was a child, and I remember especially loving their Endless Summer album. I also wanted to write a country song that gave a nod to my Southern California roots—a song that has a Summertime, playful, California dreamin,’ vibe to it.”

Did you write the song? 

“Yes, I co-wrote it with Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter, Dave Brainard.”

What artists inspire you most musically?

“As a child, I always looked up to female country music artists such as Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, and Sara Evans. The list goes on…I always remember hearing these powerful female voices on country radio when I was a kid. I remember the first time I heard Deana Carter’s song, ‘Strawberry Wine’, come on the radio. I remember exactly where I was at the time—out in Chino, CA in the car with my mom, parked at a stoplight, and that song came on the radio…it’s the song that made we want to sing and write country music. I also looked up to artists such as the Beach Boys, Sheryl Crow, and Michelle Branch, and I think you can hear some of those influences in my latest single.”

What lead you to pursue music? How did you get your start?

“I started performing from a young age. I began dancing when I was three, acting when I was five, and singing when I was seven. Performing has always been in my blood, and I’ve always loved country music. As I said previously, when I heard ‘Strawberry Wine’ first come on the radio, that was when I knew I wanted to sing and write country music. In fact, I definitely had one of my childhood dreams fulfilled recently when I got to write with Deana Carter. It was such a surreal experience, and when we first met, I told her I was having a ‘geek-out’ moment with her because she’s the reason I wanted to sing country music ;).”

What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome as an artist?

“Being true to who I am as a person in my artistry. In other words, the common phrase, “be yourself.” It sounds cliché, but I 100% believe it. As human beings, we all want to connect with one another—we all want someone to relate to us in one way or the other—and we all live in a fickle, on-demand world these days. Music is subjective, but music is also an escape. The artists and music I’ve always connected to are the ones that lay it all out on the line—the ones that are vulnerable, where I feel like I can relate to them in some way. That’s what I strive to do with my own music in the hopes that it will resonate with new listeners and fans.”

Three words to describe yourself. 

“Charismatic, funny, kind”

What do you like to do when not making music?

“My husband and I love traveling, hiking, wine tasting, game nights with friends, visiting with family, and our five cats.”

What’s coming up next for you?

“My official music video for “Hey California” will be releasing really soon, so I’ll be excited for you to check that out! We filmed it out in Los Angeles, CA in iconic locations such as the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame,’ the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and up and down the coast of Malibu. It also features my friend and actor, Liam McNeill as our ‘Mr. Hey California’ in the video (Manchester by the Sea). We’ve got some live dates booked out on the road as well that are coming up, and lots more music coming for ya! I’ll be sharing all of these updates and more on my social media (@sandralynnmusic) and my website (www.sandralynnmusic.com) so make sure to check those out, as well as head over to Spotify to hear ‘Hey California!'”

Watch talented country artist Sandra Lynn’s playful tune called, “Hey California” by clicking here.  Love the vibe to this one, and like holding on to a little bit of summer as we start to change seasons!

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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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A Closer Look @ Sister Hazel As They Discuss Their 13th Studio Album, Live Performance DVD

We sat down recently with the platinum-selling band, Sister Hazel, as they discuss their newest release and 13th studio album in the video interview below.

Here’s a little throwback and my personal favorite pop hit of theirs when they first came on the music scene.

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In their second showing on the country music charts this year, platinum-selling band, Sister Hazel, makes another strong debut with the stunning 14-track live performance DVD, “Unplugged From Daryl’s House Club,” which features their classic hits and new offerings for a one-of-a-kind intimate live experience. The album debuted at #75 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.

In February, Sister Hazel debuted “Lighter In The Dark” at #4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, #6 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart, #30 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums chart and #79 on the Billboard 200 album chart. First week sales of the new CD were 8,352 units.

Commenting on this year’s success of two Billboard charting albums, Ken Block, Sister Hazel’s lead singer said, “It’s crazy exciting to us that we’ve had TWO new CD’s on the Billboard charts is less than a year! Huge thanks to all the Hazelnuts – And especially to all the new fans out there who are just now discovering Sister Hazel’s music, live shows, and our signature events. We’re having a Blast!”

For more information on Sister Hazel visit http://www.sisterhazel.com. Follow Sister Hazel @SisterHazelBand, Instagram/sisterhazelband and Facebook.com/SisterHazel. **Suggested Tweet: @SisterHazelBand Debuts on Billboard Country Albums Chart at #75 with #Unplugged @DarylsHouseClub and at #4 with “Lighter in the Dark”

ABOUT SISTER HAZEL:

Originating from Gainesville, FL, Sister Hazel is comprised of five gifted, seasoned musicians whose well-spring of natural talent has been called “one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years” by Performing Songwriter Magazine. Song “All for You” topped the adult alternative charts during the summer of 1997 and the success propelled their album to platinum status. Sister Hazel has been equally attentive to connecting with their audience through social media. In their first showing on the country music charts they made a strong debut with “Lighter In The Dark” at #4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, #6 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart, #30 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums chart and #79 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Living up to their fan-centered reputation, the band hosts annual events like “Hazelnut Hang,” that focuses on fan involvement and are co-founders of the “Rockboat,” a cruise featuring nonstop opportunities for fan/artist interaction. In addition to the events and touring, the band also gives back with “Lyrics For Life.” Founded by singer Ken Block, the charity unites musicians and celebrities for concerts and auctions to benefit cancer research and patient-care charities.

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Dolly Parton’s “Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love” Available On DVD Dec. 20th

Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of LoveBeginning Dec. 20th, Dolly Parton fans can buy their very own copy of “Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love” if you didn’t get a chance to see it on tv or if you just want to have your own copy to keep.  Continue Reading →

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A Closer Look @ The California Honeydrops

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The California Honeydrops based in the Bay area seems primed and ready to explode onto the music scene with their special fusion of jazz, blues, funk, R&B, Southern soul, and American.

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[Video] A Closer Look @ Home Free | Interview & Show Review

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Photo credit: Patrice Majors

Yesterday we sat down with country sensation Home Free just before their show at TPAC in Nashville on Dec. 13th to discuss their new album, favorite Christmas memories, favorite holiday dishes, and much more!

Get to know this incredible country vocal group who first gained national attention and won fans’  hearts as the winners of NBC’s “The Sing Off” in the video below.

The show itself was a great mix of country classics with a new twist, original tunes, and Christmas favorites.  Their delivery was absolutely mesmerizing with solid harmonies all throughout their performance.  It’s pretty incredible what they are capable of doing with just their voices alone.  In-between songs, they light-heartedly interacted with the crowd keeping the concert going at a great pace and effortless flow.

@homefreeguys singing a Christmas favorite tonight at TPAC in Nashville! #HomeFree #Christmas

A video posted by FOCUS on the 615 (@focus_on_the_615) on

A highlight of the evening was the drum solo segment minus the actual drums featuring the beatboxer of the group, Adam Rupp, that was met with a standing ovation.

Some amazing beatboxing from @homefreeguys tonight! #HomeFree Watch them tomorrow on #TheTonightShow!

A video posted by FOCUS on the 615 (@focus_on_the_615) on

Definitely a show worth every penny that I would gladly see again!

Rated 5 out of 5 stars. 

Watch them tonight on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” as they join icon Kenny Rogers for a music performance that you don’t want to miss!

Don’t forget their new album, COUNTRY EVOLUTION, is in stores now, and available at all digital retailers.

For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

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About Home Free:
Since being crowned NBC’s “The Sing-Off” victors, Home Free has made their mark on the music scene selling more than 150,000 copies combined of their popular albums, CRAZY LIFE and FULL OF CHEER, embarking on two major national tours and amassing over 53 million YouTube views. The five-man band from Minnesota, comprised of Austin Brown (high tenor), Tim Foust (bass), Rob Lundquist (tenor), Adam Rupp (vocal percussion/beat boxer) and Chris Rupp (baritone), dropped their debut album CRAZY LIFE in 2014, which hit No. 1 on iTunes Country chart and No. 4 overall. The release of their third studio album, COUNTRY EVOLUTION has elevated the band “from auxiliary entertainment to headlining attraction” (Times Leader) and hit No. 4 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Produced by longtime collaborator Darren Rust, the deluxe version includes five originals and nine new renditions of hit songs that showcase the band’s extraordinary talents, tight harmonies and intelligent arrangements that are uniquely their own. Founded in 2000 during collegiate years, Home Free has been perfecting their live show for nearly a decade performing together for packed crowds at major fairs, colleges and theatres. Their experiences on the road helped carry them to the Sing-Off victory, build a loyal fan base and bring their homegrown country style into the national spotlight.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE INDIGO GIRLS AT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM

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On Wednesday, September 23, 2015, journalist Jewly Hight will interview the Indigo Girls in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford Theater about their creative inspiration, musical influences, and recording their latest album, One Lost Day, in Nashville.

 

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[Video] A Closer Look @ The Doobie Brothers

Photo credit:  Patrice Majors

Photo credit: Patrice Majors

FOCUS on the 615 had the pleasure of catching up with Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons of The Doobie Brothers when they were in Nashville. And yes, Nicki D. definitely brought out The Red Towel (her version of The Red Carpet) for this special moment. The Doobies chat about their 14th album Southbound, which features several collaborations with your favorite country artists. Johnston and Simmons reveal what they think of Blake Shelton, things they have on their tour bus, and their secret to longevity in the music business. Plus: boxers, briefs, or banana hammocks? The rockstars answer this and more in our hilarious segment called The Doobie Deets Lightning Round!

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9 Questions With Logan Mize

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Get to know new country artist, Logan Mize, a little better with these 9 questions! Continue Reading →

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