Music Spotlight: Slash

Slash’s sixth solo project, a blues album entitled Orgy of the Damned, is out on Gibson Records. To celebrate, the iconic Grammy-winning guitarist and songwriter has curated an all-star Blues lineup for the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Blues Festival touring North America this summer. His tour includes locations across the USA, including a stint in Franklin, Tennessee, on August 14 at the FirstBank Amphitheatre.

When asked how he came up with the title for his latest blues album, Slash told Germany’s Rock Antenne, “Blues and Rock n Roll have long been considered taboo and devil’s music—hide your kids from it —especially the Blues…”

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Music Spotlight: Pryor Baird

One of my favorite groups to interview is the music competition show’s finalists. To make it to the finales of any of the shows, artists normally have talent in spades. The actual winners are often untouchable, but those who rank in the top 10 are usually fabulous performers.

Pryor Baird is no exception. From Season 14 of NBC’s The Voice in 2018, Baird had all four judges vying for him to be their team. While he would ultimately go with Blake, it didn’t really matter because not only could he sing with a bluesy, Muddy Waters grit, he was different. And more importantly, he was memorable.

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Opry Member Gene Watson Releases ‘Outside the Box’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Known among country fans and fellow artists as the “singer’s singer,” Gene Watson is celebrating 60 years in the music business – and shows no signs of slowing down.

Watson has more than 75 charted titles, 23 Top 10 hits, six Number 1 country singles, and five Number 1 gospel hits. I asked the Opry legend why, at age 78, he felt the need to make another record.

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Music Spotlight: A Tale of Two

If Bonnie and Clyde had been musicians instead of bank robbers, they would have been the vocal duo, A Tale Of Two. Combining the best of Americana and Blues melodies with timeless “Southern Gothic” storytelling, Nashville-based A Tale Of Two is an undeniable rising duo in today’s Roots Music scene. Meeting in the local Nashville Jazz venues, Award-Winning vocalist Stephanie Adlington and guitarist Aaron Lessard began performing and writing together, recognizing their artistic chemistry.

A Tale of Two’s inspiration comes from an earlier time and place. In the 1930s, Adlington affirms that “the culture of the time was a lot more interesting than it is now. But of course, we romanticize it. We weren’t there.”

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Music Spotlight: Bailey James

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I first heard Bailey James’ voice, I wondered how does a 16-year-old know how to sing like that? She is now 18 and her vocals are even more powerful. I was pleased to finally get an interview arranged.

James has been singing for almost as long as she has been speaking. Her first memory of music was while riding in the car with her father. He took her to ballet and played “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Walk The Line.”

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Music Spotlight: Max Gomez

Being a journalist from Nashville, there plenty of talented guitar players that I meet and interview. But I don’t find many traditional, western folk stylists who appreciate the old sound of blues mixed with some Americana. Max Gomez is the exception to the rule.

Gomez was raised in the rarefied musical micro-climate of northern New Mexico. He got a job playing guitar alone and singing when he was 15 in his hometown of Taos, New Mexico. His job was to play at this fancy steak house bar where people would come out to dance. He was supposed to play the guitar in such a way so they could dance.

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Music Spotlight: Cristina Vane

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Since I live in Nashville, in my Music Spotlight column I often tell how people ended up here. Americana/Blues/Folk musician Cristina Vane may have the most unique story of anyone I have interviewed.

Born in Italy to a Sicilian-American father and a Guatemalan mother, Vane has always had a tenuous relationship with identity and place. Even though her parents met in America while attending college, she grew up between England, France, and Italy, and was fluent in four languages by the time she moved to her father’s native United States for university at 18.

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Music Spotlight: Chris Pierce

Chris Pierce is one of the most accomplished artists I have interviewed. He has opened for legends, like BB King, Al Green, Seal, Aaron Neville, and Colbie Callait. He has a big imprint in the sync world with his music being featured on shows like Brothers and Sisters, In Plain Sight, Eli Stone, What About Brian, and Army Wives to name a few. Most recently, the songwriter gained national attention with “We Can Always Come Back To This”, a song he co-wrote for the #1 NBC primetime series This is Us, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart.

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Heidi Newfield Releases the Highly Anticipated Barfly Sessions, Vol. 1

When I interviewed Heidi Newfield in April 2020, I provided the “where she came from” story of this Northern California horsewoman and how she learned the harmonica, became part of the group Trick Pony and wrote the timeless lyrics to Johnny and June.

Now, on August 28, after releasing multiple singles, she has finally released her sophomore solo album and it is well worth the wait.

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