Music Spotlight: Country Radio Seminar

Country Radio Seminar is one of the most significant events in Nashville, as it brings country radio and music industry professionals together to educate each other, enhance skills, facilitate business, and promote the growth of the industry.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Hippies and Cowboys

Hippies and Cowboys bring a fresh vintage flair in their new single, taking you back to the days of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, CCR, and Aerosmith. Recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, the band’s debut single, “20 to Life” is not to be missed.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Josh Kiser

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I went to the Project K-9 Hero fundraiser at the Nashville Palace, besides meeting some precious canines, I got to see some of the artists I had previously interviewed and learn about some new singers/songwriters who also performed in the famed songwriters’ rounds. One who particularly stood out to me was Josh Kiser. Even at his young age, he had that traditional country vibe that I favor, and the songs he sang had clever lyrics, like they were written by a veteran songwriter.

Read More

Jasmin Bade Premieres Lyric Video ‘Rent’ with The Tennessee Star

After previously being featured in a Music Spotlight column, Australian singer/songwriter Jasmin Bade released her new single, “Rent,” and its accompanying lyric video today with The Tennessee Star. “Rent” provides a bittersweet twist on the struggle to move on from a past relationship. Bade co-wrote the song with Emily Kroll, who penned the No. 1 hit “Just About Over You” by Priscilla Block, and Brian McKenna, son of Nashville songwriting legend Lori McKenna.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Brooklyn Summer

The first time I saw Brooklyn Summer was on Instagram. Something about her made me stop to find out more about her. When I heard a few songs and found it she was just 11, I was blown away.

Even though she is from Los Angeles and has quite a different accent, the energy that Summer puts in her performances reminds me of a mix between a young Brenda Lee and today’s Calista Clark.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Rob Mayes

I attended RomaDrama Live! last year initially because several of the artists I had featured in my column were part of the entertainment. And of course, it was fun to see and meet the popular actors of favorite romance dramas and Hallmark movies. But what I wasn’t expecting was for one of the actors to be a genuinely talented country music singer/songwriter.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Lockwood Barr

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  Several months ago, I heard a crazy good banjo player on Instagram. The musician was CMA Fest performer, Lockwood Barr. A few weeks ago when she posted her original holiday duet with Barrett Baber’s “Christmas in Memphis,” I knew it was time to interview the multi-talented artist.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Gracee Shriver

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Belmont student and former NBC’s The Voice contestant Gracee Shriver hails from Owasso, Oklahoma.

Shriver started singing lessons at age nine to give herself something to do. About a year after starting lessons, she got her first guitar and began writing songs.

Read More

Ryan Weaver Releases ‘Let’s Talk About Heroes’ for Veteran’s Day

Ryan Weaver is a high-energy, all-American, rockin’ country music artist who proudly served as an active-duty Black Hawk Aviator, Chief Warrant Officer 3 in the United States Army.

Although he had a short history of playing the violin as a child/teen, everyone in his family was in the military so that is the path he initially chose for his career. (Weaver’s grandfather was in WWII and his dad was a Marine along with two brothers and a sister who also served.)

Read More

Music Spotlight: Kolby Cooper

Musician Kolby Cooper smiling

Kolby Cooper is among the best songwriters I have ever interviewed. I wanted to find out how this 22-year-old got so talented so quickly.

Cooper got interested in country music as a child while riding around in a cattle truck with his dad. They would listen to artists like Waylon Jennings, Chris LeDoux, and Randy Rogers. He picked up a guitar at around age ten. When he learned to play he began writing as well. He was 12 years old when he wrote his first s

Read More

Tennessee Legend Dolly Parton Set to Hold First Concert Since 2016 to Raise Money for Breast Cancer Victims

Tennessee native and famous country music singer Dolly Parton is set to hold her first concert since 2016 that will raise money for breast cancer victims. All of the proceeds from Parton’s “Kiss Cancer Goodbye Benefit Concert” on October 24th will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Read More

Travis Tritt Cancels Multiple Concerts Due to COVID-19 Vaccine and Mask Requirements

On Monday, multi-platinum selling and award-winning country music artist Travis Tritt announced he will not perform at venues that require proof of COVID vaccination, mask mandates, or testing. As a result, Tritt’s shows in Muncie, Indiana on Oct. 23, Philadelphia, Mississippi on November 6, Peoria, Illinois on Nov 11, and Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 13 have been canceled.

Read More

Music Spotlight: The Woods

Nashville, Tennessee – The Woods comprised of Raquel Cole, Dan O’Rourke, Leland Rooney are all incredible musicians, songwriters, and singers in their own right – and when they come together the sound is truly magical – think Little Big Town meets Midland. After hearing them play together at the Analog Room in the Hutton Hotel, I wanted to find out how this eclectic and diverse trio discovered each other.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Creed Fisher

Creed Fisher

With over 22 million combined streams on Spotify and over 17 million views on YouTube with past releases like “Life of A Workin’ Man,” “The Way That I Am,” and “Old School” Texas-born and bred southern rock artist Creed Fisher is one of the most streamed and popular artists I have ever featured.

Fisher hails from Odessa, Texas, where his family’s roots trace back to his granddad, who was highly involved in the oil game back in the fifties. He started writing songs/poems at age nine. He states that “it wasn’t very good” but it was the beginning of his fruitful songwriting career.

Read More

James Robert Webb Releases ‘Stealing Home’

Dr. James Robert Webb is a successful radiologist who just happens to be an accomplished country music singer/songwriter. When I interviewed him in April of 2020, he was getting ready to release a self-titled album as the nation was going into lockdown.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Bridget Caldwell

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Singer-songwriter Bridget Caldwell does not come from a musical family. They loved music, but did not play or create music.  Her mother had “exquisite” taste in music and would play anything from Bonnie Raitt and Hank Williams to Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald.

Caldwell said she has always been a loud, boisterous kid and in third grade when she was cast as Snow White in the school play, her love for musical theater began. One day she started singing, her teacher ran down the hall to get her mother who was a special needs teacher, and said, “You have to come to hear this.”

Read More

Music Spotlight: Jasmin Bade – Exclusive First Listen Premiere of ‘X’s & Y’s’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  –  Jasmin Bade first discovered country music when she was six years old. It was Christmas time and she heard the Australian-country artist Kasey Chambers. Her aunt and uncle were playing her record and “fell in love with it” and wouldn’t stop singing her songs all the way home.

Besides Chambers, her mother would play Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley and the (Dixie) Chicks. Bade soon started guitar lessons and would take any chance she could to play. She would play on the streets (called busking in Australia) for pocket money. By ages 7 and 8, young Bade was singing in shopping centers.

Read More

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.”

Read More

Music Spotlight: Minnie Murphy

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first time I heard Minnie Murphy sing was when Jamie O’Neal was performing at RomaDrama in Franklin. O’Neal said, “Come on up and join me.” Murphy was holding her one-year-old son, but that didn’t matter. She just belted out her part with ease. Her love of music and singing rang true. I was even more excited to get to interview her.

Read More

Music Spotlight: The Hobbs Sisters

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  When I first heard The Hobb Sisters, I stopped dead in my tracks. I am all about family harmonies but these two were next level. I guess that’s what happens when you have identical twins who are naturally gifted singers.

Lauren and Hannah Hobbs were encouraged to sing as young children by their grandfather, Pappaw John. He played the guitar and banjo by ear and would sing along with them.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Gracie Carol

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Gracie Carol is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. As an athlete, Carol only remembers hearing her parents play country music as a child.

She recalled, “Every time we played games or practiced, my parents would be in the car just blaring new Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson and George Strait and all the late 90s and early 2000s songs from country radio.”

Read More

Music Spotlight: Hope Blanchard

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Hope Blanchard is from Falmouth, Massachusetts. She grew up with her mother being a huge country music fan. When she was very young, not many from her town listened to country music.

She recalled, “My mom stayed at home and took care of us and that (country music) was what was always on.”

Read More

Music Spotlight: Alannah McCready

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Alannah McCready had two passions growing up: singing and playing hockey. Growing up in Minnesota and getting her first pair of skates at the age of three, it was inevitable that McCready was going to become a hockey star. “It’s called the state of hockey for a reason,” she noted.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Devon Beck

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  When I listened to songs from Devon Beck’s first EP, One Sided Expectations, the first thing I thought was she sounds like an American version of Adele. Not only that, Beck’s songwriting ability is mature beyond her years and is reminiscent of the songs in Adele’s 21 album. I found out that Beck is just 18 years old and has only been performing for a little over two years.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Rhonda Vincent

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Playing music is as natural to Rhonda Vincent as breathing air. She was born into a musical family from Kirksville, Missouri. The Sally Mountain Show, then later the Bluegrass Festival was hosted by her mom and dad and grandparents and aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She picked up the mandolin at eight and the fiddle at twelve and was performing with the family band at festivals on weekends. They also had a TV and radio show that she sang in as a child.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Halle Kearns

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Halle Kearns is an artist who always knew what she wanted to do. Her family usually had country music playing in her house and she remembers singing along to 90s country in her car seat.

She stated, “I grew up on Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Faith Hill (Ladies of the 90s). The very first song I ever got caught singing on video was the Dixie Chicks song, “If I Fall.”

Read More

Music Spotlight: Tyler Kohrs

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  The first time I heard Tyler Kohrs sing was on an Instagram video. He has a beautiful, bright voice and his country covers were spot on. But that wasn’t unusual. What was unusual was that he sounded country and talked with a slight southern accent, but is actually Asian-American. That piqued my interest so much that I contacted him directly.

Those of you who watch The Voice may recognize Tyler Kohrs from his tryout this past March. He didn’t get through, but he still did very well where people remarked about it. The story he shares about his experience is one you will want to hear.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Alex Kline

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  With both of Alex Kline’s parents being attorneys, writing/playing country music wasn’t even on the radar for the teen growing up in California. No one she knew even listened to country music.

Kline’s grandmother was a skillful classical pianist and her father grew up playing piano as well. Her dad would occasionally play classical pieces for the family and her grandmother encouraged her to play as well.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Rhonda Towns

Dawn Records announces a new release from its flagship artist Rhonda Towns, titled “Walking In Your Wonderful Light.” Written by Teddy Hayes and produced by Billy Sherrill in collaboration with Towns, the long-awaited and welcomed single serves as a preview to the Christian, country, and gospel music entertainer’s forthcoming six-track EP anticipated later this year.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Presley and Taylor

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Even though they are only 23 and 22, the sister duo known as Presley and Taylor have been a part of the music business for over eight years. And even with the pair being reared in the town of Middlefield, Connecticut, they grew up in a household where Tammy Wynette, Alan Jackson, and Randy Travis played on a constant loop, and weekend trips to their grandparents meant family singalongs of Loretta Lynn standards.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Morgan Wade

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  As an avid supporter of female singers/songwriters, I always pay attention to emerging new artists. When I listened to Morgan Wade’s music, I liked her immediately because she was different, and that I found her music refreshing.

There is an edge to Wade’s country/rock/pop vocals that sets her apart. And the lyrics to her songs are not that of some bubble gum pop-country princess, but someone who has been there, done that, struggled, and come out stronger in the long run.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Nashvillains

Nashvillains

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  When I interviewed the Nashvillains I mentioned that they were like a modern country music supergroup. Turns out they agree.  Signed to Fate Entertainment, the newly formed country-rock-infused band is made up of veteran musicians Troy Johnson, Brett Boyett, and Scott Lindsey.

Read More

Exclusive: Dani Taylor Debuts New Single, ‘You Can Thank Me Later’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  “You Can Thank Me Later” is being exclusively premiered in The Tennessee Star today. The introspective song from Dani Taylor’s self-titled EP  (also released today) is a message reminding her (and the listener) not to continue making poor decisions especially when it comes to dating someone who should be avoided.

The lyrics of the sassy song are reminiscent of a young Taylor Swift but her voice has the sweetness of Alison Krauss mixed in with Emmy Lou Harris’ intentionality.

Read More

Song Suffragettes Celebrate Seventh Anniversary

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Nashville is famous for its writers’ rounds. The Song Suffragettes is the only all-female writers’ round and they have been consistently performing at the Listening Room on Monday nights for seven years.

Todd Cassetty founded Song Suffragettes for the simple reason of giving female singer-songwriters a place to play their music and be heard. Those who follow country music know that it is not an even playing field when it comes to women getting record deals and having their music played on country radio.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Even though I often interview up-and-coming artists, Craig Campbell has been on my radar for a while and he has an interesting story as well.

The Georgia boy is a self-taught pianist. He recalled, “I was captivated by the piano and every spare minute I was at it. After church on Sunday, I would go and pick out the melodies to the songs we sang in church that day.”

Read More