Born in California, Megan Moreaux found country music as an escape from her traumatic childhood. Coming from an unstable family environment, a Mom who left her at an early age, a father who sold drugs for a living, and a childhood full of physical and mental abuse, abandonment, and neglect, Megan found solace with her Aunt when she was five. For the few months she spent with her, her aunt introduced her to country music. Megan’s journey, one of courage, perseverance and faith ultimately led her to a career in music. In addition to releasing her debut EP Praying For Rain in 2014, she found herself opening for Martina McBride. With what looks to be a big year, Megan took the time to speak about her past, wanting to inspire, the music and more.
You had a very traumatic childhood and a lot of times people in those situations tend to go in one of two directions. Where you are now and what you have accomplished really are testaments to your strength.
Thank you. I wrote “Finding My Own Voice” for that reason. People can go off the deep end and blame their past when they don’t realize they can choose to make their lives different and not be a victim of their past. The whole goal of why I want to do music is to help inspire people, to let them know that they have hope and that when something bad happens it’s not the end of the line.
Megan's struggles continued throughout her childhood. With the combination of needing 24 hour bodyguards because angry drug dealers were attempting to kidnap her to get to her dad, being held at gun point and questioned by the DEA, her father being arrested and put into federal prison, and being in abusive relationships, Megan temporarily lost her strength. She decided she wasn't able to deal with everything, so she attempted to take her own life. In this attempt she had a realization that something was seriously wrong. There was something missing, but there was hope. A few days later she was called out in a crowd where she knew no one, and no one knew her, by a pastor who said the Lord told him she was attempting to take her life but God wanted to redeem her. After a struggle with embarrassment and hesitation, she found redemption, love, joy, hope, and purpose in Jesus and devoted her life to Him from that moment.
A turning point for you seemed to be that moment when you were in the crowd and the pastor called you out about taking your own life. That seemed to be divine intervention.
It was miraculous to say the least and it’s all been a crazy miracle since then as well. I had tried to take my life the week prior and that was God saying “if you don’t want your life then why don’t you try giving it to me and try seeing what I can do with it.” It was ultimate divine intervention.
For British singer songwriter Sasha McVeigh, music was an integral part of her life from a very young age. Ever since making a two week trip to Nashville in 2012 and playing places like Tootsies and The Rutledge Sasha's career has been on a quick ascent both in the UK and US. Most recently, she released her well received record, I Stand Alone, and is currently in the US playing numerous festivals and winning over fans at every performance. A day after playing at the Taste of Country Festival in New York state, Sasha graciously took the time to talk about the record, reaching fans in the US and more.
We last spoke about a year ago and since that time your career has really taken off! Has it been a whirlwind for you?
It has been absolutely incredible! The other day at the festival [Taste of Country in NY] was one of those moments that you can’t quite believe. Everything that has been happening in the UK has been phenomenal, but to have it happen here [in America], it feels like one of those out of body experiences. The boys and I were the first act of the day and being a new artist, by most standards, we didn’t know what to expect from the crowd. It turned out to be insane, just fantastic. We were doing original songs and there were people in the audience that knew the words to my songs….it was crazy! Then we did “Country Roads” and people were running to the stage to sing along! After, I did meet and greets and there were about 150 people to meet me! The festival said they’ve never seen this many people for a newer artist. Then, I was asked to perform the National Anthem right before Toby Keith’s set. There were over twenty thousand people there singing the anthem with me. I have never experienced anything like that before. It was unbelievable!
Many were introduced to Courtney Patton's easily identifiable and easily embraced voice from her first album Triggering A Flood. Her eagerly awaited follow-up, So This Is Life, is due to be released on June 9th. The record is comprised of twelve original story songs that under the production of Drew Kennedy, are beautiful and simple, scaled back and gracious. In advance of the album release, Courtney kindly took the time to talk in depth and detail about the album, the stories behind the songs and more.
Congratulations on your win a few weeks back at Golf & Guitars. You played for Meals on Wheels of Erath County and your team won the entire event!
Isn’t that awesome?! Meals on Wheels is something near and dear to my heart. I used to be on the board of directors, so I know about funding cuts and just how hard it is to get grants. I don’t live in that town anymore but my kids go to school there. I played for them and thought if by chance I win anything that would be great, but we had the best team and we won the whole thing! I’m not by any means a golf pro; I’m decent at it and enjoy it.
That is indeed awesome. So onto the new record. Congratulations! So This Is Life is such a lovely album. You funded the project via Kickstarter, which you did with the previous record.
I did. Being independent, I don’t even have a booking agent; I do everything on my own, so this is really the only way I can make a record without having to go to a bank and take out a loan or find a private investor. I’m just not quite there yet you know, so I did it and had a great response. I asked for more than I did last time and I received more than I asked for, so it was really great.
When a record gets successfully funded, and surpasses its goal, that really speaks to the power of a fan base.
Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. The last two years have been really, really good. I traveled across the states and even did a little tour in Europe and Canada with my husband, which we have never done before. We have a pretty solid duo-acoustic show where we sing on each other’s tracks and some we’ve written together. It’s really good because he’s been doing it a little bit longer than I have so the people that know me already know him. Getting out, leaving your comfort zone and playing in different areas, it works. It really does touch people and grows [a fan base] one at a time. In fact, I recently mailed the very last reward packages and I had a couple being sent to Japan, Canada and Switzerland.
Being that both albums were Kickstarter funded, what, if anything, did you do differently for this record than the last?
I went into this one feeling like I knew better the direction I was going. Last time when I made the record I was working a day job and wasn’t able to be as big a part of it as I wanted to be. It was my first full length record and I didn’t understand the process. This time I worked with my friend Drew Kennedy, who produced it. I love his record and that mellow sound he gets. I like how he makes songs sound so big with very little production. So I went to him and said "I want what you do but it’s got to be country," so we went into the studio with that in mind. He picked great players that were very good at being subtle. The album breathes a lot; there’s a lot of space, and there’s not so many instruments going at one time. I really wanted it to feel like when Willie Nelson was doing his own songwriting and had these concept records that were so beautifully arranged. I reference Merle Haggard’s Serving 190 Proof record a lot--it’s what I was going for with this one, to have the drum be the groove behind the slow songs, to make them not feel as slow as they really are (laughing). I wanted to do something that was reminiscent of the old Merle and Willie that I grew up listening to.
A constant on the Texas music scene for over a decade, Kevin Fowler has a large and loyal fan base who enjoy his music as well as his high energy, fun live shows. Now, NYC music fans can get a serving of what he does best when he plays Hill Country Live on June 6th. In advance of the show, Fowler graciously took the time to talk about spreading the gospel of Texas country, "Daddies and Daughters" and more.
Back in 2014 you were part of the Texas Independence Day Show here in NYC. Was that your first time playing in the Big Apple?
You know, I think that was the first time we played up here. We don’t do the Northeast as much as other parts of the country, but we are spreading our wings in that territory a little more. That was a really cool show, and a neat venue. Everywhere you go there are displaced Texans or someone who has listened to this music growing up or went to college and heard it…..we’re everywhere! (laughing)
So then will your show at Hill Country on June 6th be the first time you headline in the city?
Yeah, it will be. I hear it’s [Hill Country] a great venue that has good food, cold beer and live music! I’m looking forward to it. It’s exciting for me to go that far away from home and spread the gospel of the Texas country scene! We’re always conquering new ground, but the region around Texas is our home turf. If you think about it, Texas is about the size of the Midwest, so we have a lot of ground to tend, but we always like to hit new places and meet new people.
We’re excited to have you!
You really seem at home on the stage and one can tell that you enjoy the live show. You make it a point to connect with the fans and make sure everyone has a good time.
I do, I love it. For me, that’s been the end game. I wanna get up there, drink a beer and make some noise. Our genre, the regional Texas/Red Dirt scene, is all about the fan base and the live show. We build it [the fan base] one person at a time. We don’t have the pleasure of a huge radio machine to push our music. We get some radio play, but it’s not like those Nashville guys. It’s all word of mouth and online; it’s shaking hands and kissing babies that keeps our genre where it is.
We are so blessed to have the scene that we have; it just doesn’t exist anywhere else. There is nowhere else I’ve been where a regional music scene is supported so well by the general population. I really believe our scene is what music should be about. It’s got that vibe and that’s why it’s been so prolific. It’s been around, and strong, since the days of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. I’m blessed and lucky to be even a blade of grass in the scene. It’s a really cool deal what we have.