Michael Hardy (known on stage as simply Hardy) moved to Nashville at 19-years-old with dreams of becoming a songwriter. He had grown up in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town of about 8,000 not known for much beyond Marty Stuart and casinos. But it didn’t take long for him to make some noise, penning songs for Florida-Georgia Line and Morgan Wallen among others. Continue reading
Trae Crowder grew up in rural Tennessee, a little town called Celina that’s not near anything, really. It’s situated a few miles south of the Kentucky state line, and it’s about as far northeast of Nashville as it is northwest of Knoxville. Crowder parlayed that life into viral fame as “The Liberal Redneck,” a series of videos on YouTube and Facebook in which he discussed his political views; views that often sounded strange coming from his accent, at least, to people not from around here.
Along with his writing partners and comedy team, Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester, he published a book titled Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin Dixie Outta the Dark. The trio has toured non-stop in recent years, and they’ve been featured on The View, Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. They also have a podcast and a live album. They’ve stayed busy. Continue reading
Hayes Carll is an honorary Alabamian of sorts, having married his longtime partner and Monroeville native Allison Moorer earlier this year. But he’s a Texan at heart. He was raised on Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt before making his way to Nashville, where the couple now resides. Continue reading
Jo Dee Messina moved to Nashville when she was 19-years-old. By 1996, she had become a household name among country radio fans with her first single, “Heads Carolina, Tails California.” Her sophomore album, I’m Alright, featured three singles that stayed atop the country charts for multiple weeks: the title track, “Bye, Bye” and “Stand Beside Me.” She was the first female country artist to accomplish the feat. Continue reading
Alabama has known about John Moreland long before he was collecting praise from the likes of Miranda Lambert and Rachel Maddow. The Tulsa-based singer-songwriter began playing shows at Standard Deluxe in Waverly, Alabama years ago, behind his earlier works like In the Throes.
Much was made of how “sad” that record and High on Tulsa Heat, its successor, were. And when Moreland found love and released his 2017 album, Big Bad Luv, much was made of the contrast in mood; much was credited to finding that love. He spent time in that press cycle distancing himself from those narratives, asserting that the first two records shouldn’t be labeled as “sad” ones, nor should the latter be labeled “happy.” Now two years removed from the last one and with a new one in the can, he’s 34-years-old, and he asserts that age has made him less concerned with how any of it is perceived. Continue reading
Sarah Shook is punk rock, but not punk rock in the way that the Sex Pistols were punk rock. Shook is punk rock in the way that Johnny Cash was punk rock. The Chapel Hill native has a twang and is backed by the occasional pedal steel, so it’s easy to throw the music into “Americana.” That’s what we do these days when we don’t know how to define a sound and it comes from the South – Americana. Continue reading
John Paul White looked to many of his heroes when he sat down to write The Hurting Kind, the follow-up to 2016’s Beulah. Opry legends like Bill Anderson. Guys like Bobby Braddock, who notably co-wrote the George Jones classic “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and the 2009 Billy Currington hit “People Are Crazy.” White knew that he wanted to make a country record, and he knew that if he challenged himself by writing alongside some of the best, he would quickly learn if his aim was on target. Continue reading
Adia Victoria was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The 32-year-old has spent much of her life in the South, and much of that has been by choice despite the title of her 2016 single “Stuck in the South.” Now, she calls Nashville home, and it’s a place that she finds herself grappling with the realities of the impact rapid development has on the lower class. It’s within that space that she has found her identity as an artist on this year’s sophomore effort, Silences. Continue reading
Taylor Hicks stays pretty busy. Since winning the fifth Season of American Idol, he has toured nationally in a production of Grease, hosted the food and travel show State Plate and released three studio albums. He just wrapped a run portraying Charlie Anderson in the Serenbe Playhouse production of Shenandoah. And somewhere in there, he found time to monitor his investment in Saw’s BBQ and record and produce a new record that he hopes to share soon. Continue reading
Influenced by Todd Snider much the way Snider was influenced by Jerry Jeff Walker, Aaron Lee Tasjan’s sound is constantly evolving. He’s lumped into Americana, but he assures that’s just rock and roll. His latest effort, Karma for Cheap, was praised as one of 2018’s best efforts, and he already has plans to reimagine the record and re-release a new version; more acoustic, grittier and raw. The prolific artist that is spending some of this run of shows opening for Alabama’s Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (New Orleans on Friday, Tupelo on Sunday) also already has a follow-up record ready to go, and he says to expect that by 2020. Continue reading