New York state native Bobby McGrath is a contemporary country music singer songwriter who now lives in New York City and performs throughout the Northeast with his band “The Brothers.” In 2013, he released a five track EP and this past month he performed on The Today Show. This Thursday, Bobby and The Brothers will open for Frankie Ballard at the Highline Ballroom in NYC. Bobby graciously took the time to chat with us about his influences, the EP, playing on The Today Show and more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself including when you decided to pursue music professionally.
Well, I grew up in a small town outside of Albany [NY] and I attended college in Hartford [CT]. My older brother was already living in New York City, so about six years ago I decided to move there.
My parents were lifelong musicians; I grew up with different types of music around me all the time. My mom was a folk singer songwriter and my dad played the guitar and sang. We always had tons of instruments around the house that I was constantly picking up and playing. Once I graduated college, I knew that I wanted to write songs and play music in some capacity. Being from upstate, I thought the city would be a good place to start.
Being that your parents were musicians, were they a big influence on you?
Absolutely! My mom brought the folk influence, of course, and my dad was more into rock and roll. His favorite band is The Doors.
My parents have always been very supportive, especially of my songwriting, which began at a young age, but really became a passion in college. When I got to college, songwriting really went from being a hobby to being something I needed to do. I would constantly have song ideas in my head that I would need to write down. It was at this point that I began writing country music exclusively. I just really connected to country music as a songwriter. I really gravitated to country music because of the story telling in the songs.
Who are some of your musical influences?
I always consider myself a songwriter first and foremost. As a writer, I am drawn to 90's country, as well as songwriters such as Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip [the trio comprise the group The Peach Pickers]. I enjoy following what they do. Other influences include George Jones and George Strait, who can tell a great story and draw an audience in like no one else.
As a kid I was a blues-hound, so my influences as a guitar player include Stevie Ray Vaughn, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King.
When did you start playing guitar?
Since instruments were always in the house and I was always picking them up, it's really hard to pin point when I formally started playing. I think that I really started focusing on playing around middle school. My parents taught me the basics and some chords. I ran with it from there.
In September of 2013, you released your debut EP. Talk a little bit about that.
Well, it took about six months to record, which we did in Nashville. I was lucky enough to work with Russell Wolff as my producer on the project. We had Martina McBride's touring band play on the record, as well as other musicians such as Jenee Fleenor, who is the fiddle player for Blake Shelton.
I wrote all five tracks on the EP, three independently, and two with Russell.
Recently you were on The Today Show. Tell us about that experience.
The Today Show was looking for a house band for a southern cooking segment, and they asked us, which was incredible. We were able to perform one full song, but we have not been able to see it yet. Hopefully we will get the footage soon, and once we do we will put it up for everyone to see.
This Thursday (April 24th) you are opening for Frankie Ballard at The Highline Ballroom in New York City.
We're pretty excited! This will be our first time opening for a national act. We are so fortunate to get to open for Frankie, whose song just went to #1 [Helluva Life].
Previously, we have played at The Cutting Room, The Bitter End and B.B. Kings in NYC, but have not played The Highline, which is an awesome venue. We were at a show there last year and thought to ourselves 'wouldn't it be great to play here someday.' Now we have our chance and we are really very excited!
Your band is called "The Brothers." Are you related?
Tommy McGrath, my older brother, plays bass. Trevor Collins is our lead guitarist. He came into the band about a year and a half ago and really helped us pull our sound together. Billy Trimarchi, who is our drummer, grew up playing music with me. We also have a keyboard player, Aaron Brady who is spending time with his newborn, but will be with us at The Highline show.
What are your plans for 2014?
We are working on a few opportunities. After The Highline, we will go to Key West in June to play some shows, which we are really looking forward to! We are letting everything come together and are really excited about the future.
What are you currently listening to?
I just love Craig Campbell's new song, "Keep Them Kisses Comin'." In fact, I woke up to that song this morning. When NASH FM [the country radio station in NYC] came to New York City my world changed because now I have country radio on all the time!
For more information visit Bobby's official website
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Listen to "Gasoline" below
Hailing from Eastern Kentucky, Sundy Best makes honest music. They blend the sounds of 70’s rock with bluegrass and country into something uniquely their own. Comprised of Nick Jamerson on guitar and lead vocals, and Kris Bentley on cajon, the duo’s single “Until I Met You” can be heard in regular rotation on Sirius XM’s The Highway. Kris was gracious enough to take the time to chat with us about their current single, playing the Opry, and more.
You and Nick are childhood friends. Can you tell us how and when you both decided to pursue music professionally?
Music was prevalent in both of our childhoods. We always had a passion for it; you could say music was our first love. We weren’t sure we would be doing it at the capacity we are now, but we knew it would always be a part of our lives, whether it was a hobby or a profession.
You both went to college and were very active in sports [Nick played football at Pikeville College, while Kris played basketball at Centre College]. Did you study music in college?
No, we didn’t study music. I was an English major and Nick was a history major.
What types of music did you listen to growing up? Who are your influences?
I listened mostly to classic rock. I liked Bob Seger, The Eagles and The Allman Brothers. I also listened to Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Nick was more into bluegrass. We draw from all of those artists in our music; they are definitely our influences.
When did you start playing your instruments?
I was playing drums when I was eight or nine and Nick was singing at church from a very early age. He learned guitar in high school and I learned guitar in college.
What made you gravitate to the cajon? It is not an instrument you often see.
In 2010 when we started playing in a lot in restaurants, I realized there was no volume behind a drum set; you can’t turn it up or down. I saw the cajon in a You Tube video; I bought one and taught myself. The instrument really works with what we are doing. The cajon doesn’t sound forced; it’s very natural and organic, like our sound.
Talk about the name Sundy Best.
It really goes back to where we started, in church, and having to “put on our Sunday best.” But it’s also the way we talk “Sundy, Mondy, Tuesdy.”
Your single “Until I Met You” was a Highway Find on Sirius XM radio. Now it is in regular rotation. How did Sirius get the song and what does it mean to you to have them play it?
We met John Marks in Nashville last year and gave him the new cd. He really liked it and he made the decision to play the song.
Having our song on The Highway is a huge deal for us. For The Highway to take our song, play it and now have it in regular rotation is so cool! It will certainly help us grow our base and hopefully they will keep playing our songs.
The video for the song, which can be seen on CMT, is really fun. Have you made many videos or was this your first?
We have made a lot of videos actually. Being independent artists, videos are a big part of what we do. There is a guy we work with in Lexington who is extremely talented. His name is Coleman Saunders and he has done all of our videos, including the video for “Until I Met You.” The video is different from what we have done before and we really like the way it turned out.
In March, you released your new album, Bring Up the Sun. Talk about the album a little bit.
It is our second album and we wrote all of the fifteen songs that are on it. The artists I mentioned earlier, such as The Eagles, and The Allman Brothers, definitely influenced us in that regard [writing our own songs for the record]. It is important for us to continue to write our own material. We believe that as long as we can write our own music, and people dig it, we can do this for a long time. We want to make music that is relevant thirty years from now.
“I Wanna Go Home,” a track on the album, is an ode to your home state of Kentucky and in the liner notes of the album, you both specifically thank the state.
Our first album was even more Kentucky centric than Bring Up the Sun. We are very proud to be from Kentucky, where we still live, and this state is proud of us. We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing without the people of that state’s support, especially those who helped us get started and spread the word about us.
In 2013, you played the Opry for the first time. How was that experience?
We played the Opry on November 13th . We have played there a total of four times now. The experience is just really hard to put into words. As kids, we watched and listened to the Opry. We never, ever imagined getting the opportunity to play there. To get an invitation to play there so early on in our career was really, really special. We will play there as much as we can, with our next visit being in the summer.
What are your plans for 2014?
We will be touring a lot. Last year we played almost two hundred dates and this year we will be playing pretty close to that too. We have been growing the music, doing more traveling and going to places we’ve never been. This year we will travel to New York, Baltimore, Texas and Colorado.
We will be playing at CMA Fest and attending the CMT Awards as well.
Is there one record that you are currently listening to on repeat?
I am late to the game on new music because we have been so busy writing. There are a few songs I really dig on Eric Church’s new record, like “Talladega,” and the Kings of Leon record never gets old to me.
For more information visit the Sundy Best official website
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You can watch the official video for "Until I Met You" below.
Georgia Middleman is one Nashville's most accomplished singer/songwriters. She has had songs recorded by Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and Keith Urban, who in 2010 took "I'm In," which she co-wrote with Radney Foster, to the top of the country charts. Originally from Texas, Georgia earned a degree in acting from NYU and then moved to Nashville.
She earned a publishing deal with Polygram and then a record deal with Giant Records. Her solo records include Endless Possibilites on Giant Records and the independent Unchanged and Things I Didn't Know I Knew.
She and husband Gary Burr recently began “Nashville to New York.” The series brings esteemed Nashville songwriters to New York City for an evening of songs and stories in an intimate setting. Georgia graciously took time to chat with us about the series as well as songwriting and much more.
You started writing songs at a very young age. Did you know then that music was what you wanted to do professionally?
You know what’s funny? My songwriting came out of a fear of singing. I was singing on stage in different honky tonks and clubs throughout Texas when I was ten years. I had to get up there in front of a live audience and it scared me! I was terrified of the stage because I never got to rehearse with a band. People said to me ‘well you just need to know the standards, just sing those; the band will know the music to those songs.’ It made me so anxiety ridden that I thought to myself ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ And I was ten!
So then I started writing songs, I guess just 'cause I wanted to express myself. By the time I got into my teens, I suddenly felt that I needed to sing and that need came out of songwriting, which was so natural for me. I felt that singing was now something I had to do, which made it necessary and fun. All of a sudden I had a voice to sing from because I was a songwriter. Songwriting actually helped me on so many levels.
You must have overcome that anxiety because at seventeen years old you were opening for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
I was actually fourteen so I was still in that same nerve-wrecking place! But when I opened for them I sang the same four songs I always sang: "Delta Dawn," "The Gambler," "Texas" (When I Die), and "Coal Miner's Daughter." I sang those songs everywhere, so by the time I was a teenager I was really good at them.
Having started writing and performing so young, who were your influences?
It’s funny because when I took my first guitar lesson at age ten I just couldn’t learn how to read music. I wasn’t a good student and I got bored. When I was twelve, I had a teacher, named Melody, who really spoke my language and understood me. She taught me a Joni Mitchell song via tablature, which is a different way of learning guitar, and I just loved it. You know, a student learns however they do and when I started learning that way it became fun for me and I began experimenting with chords. Learning the guitar is what really brought out my songwriting.
Growing up, we had a mix of traditional pop and country in our house. My family were big country music fans. We loved Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Patsy Cline. In addition to those artists, I listened to Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Burt Bacharach and James Taylor. Between the pop and country, I really learned to appreciate the structure of a song at ten years old. From country music, I really got a sense of story telling and lyrics. From pop, I learned about melody. As a songwriter, I tried to put them both together.
From Texas you came to NYU for college. How did you get from New York to Nashville?
When I lived in New York, I had friend in Nashville who knew how much I liked to write and how much I just loved songs. He told me that I had to come visit him because they had songwriters’ nights in Nashville and I would love it. I went for a visit and brought my guitar. We went to a writers’ night and I couldn’t believe the camaraderie between the writers, some of whom were professionals and some of whom were still aspiring writers. I wasn’t ready to go on stage yet, but I learned so much! I would sit there enraptured, and just be in awe. I then went to the Bluebird Cafe, where all of the late shows were the pros, and knew I had to live in Nashville because I had to be surrounded by that energy.
So, after I graduated NYU, I moved to Nashville. In Nashville, I was surrounded by amazingly brilliant songwriters, like Don Schlitz and Gary Burr. The writers in Nashville, to me, are the best anywhere. This is why I chose Nashville to learn my craft.
It was a magical time, but the irony is that all of the businesses at the time were run in houses, which looked very accessible. I thought I could knock on doors and people would let me in, but in actuality it was so much harder than that. However, I did the work and eventually I got a publishing deal, started getting cuts and it went really well. But it’s a learning curve.
You have such an amazingly successful career. Is there anyone that you want to co-write with or write for that you haven’t?
Wow that’s a really good question. I’m so lucky I write with people whom I adore and respect. I’m sure there are, but I honestly can’t think of anyone right now.
You wrote the song “When the Right One Comes Along,” which was featured on the television show Nashville, with newcomers Striking Matches. Who do you think are the up and coming singer songwriters in Nashville?
Striking Matches, definitely. I am really excited for them because they just signed their first record deal. There’s a girl named Karla Davis who is from North Carolina and now lives in Nashville. She is pop country, and has such a beautiful voice. I have high hopes for her. Also, Gary and I are working with Hannah Baldwin who has a very traditional voice. She's kind of a throwback to the old country and a little powerhouse. I see her doing very well.
In addition to all that you do, you are also one third of the trio Blue Sky Riders, along with Gary Burr and Kenny Loggins. You released an album in 2013. Are you working on anything new?
We are writing for our second record and this summer we will hit the road opening for Kenny Loggins solo tour. We’re very busy!
Is there one record that you are listening to right now on repeat?
I love Sara Barallies; I think she is so good! I listen to her song “Brave” for inspiration because lyrically and melodically, it’s just so well written. There's also a ballad I love to put on called “Christine’s Refrigerator,” which is the most stunning song and is written by John Margolis and Don Rosler. It is a great study on writing and just so beautiful. Check out that song because it’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.
Earlier this year, in March, Georgia and Gary premiered “Nashville to New York." Patterned after the famous "In The Round" nights at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, "Nashville to New York" brings Nashville’s top songwriters to the Big Apple to play and tell the stories behind the songs.
Congratulations on the first show of the series! It was a huge success!
Thank you! They [The Cutting Room] told us that if we get seventy people they would be happy. We were so happy to work with the club; we didn’t want to let them down. Well, that night, we had almost three hundred people at the show! I always knew it, but it goes to prove that there is a country music audience in New York.
Talk a little about why you started “Nashville to New York.”
We really wanted to honor the songwriter. These people are known for being behind the scenes and we wanted to bring them to the forefront because so many of them are excellent performers as well. It's always cool to hear an artist play his or her hit song, but there's nothing quite like hearing it sung by the guy or girl who created it. There's something really special about that.
What made you decide to bring the series to New York City?
Because I love New York! I adore the city, and any chance I get I want to come back and visit. We have a friend who runs the CMA Songwriters Series [at Joe’s Pub] and another who has a songwriter show at Birdland. I have never been to Joe’s and done that, but Gary has. Every time we see a listing for that series, we get so jealous (laughing) because they are so lucky to come to NYC and do that.
We always wanted to do a songwriters’ show and when The Cutting Room approached us we were so excited! “Nashville to New York” is an outlet for what we love and a great opportunity to bring writers to New York. It is a way to combine the two cities with something special to it.
How often do you plan on having the series?
We plan on doing the series every three months; so four times a year. Our next show is June 10th with Gretchen Peters and Dave Berg. I am a huge fan of Gretchen, but have never met her. I do know Dave and he’s just awesome and amazing.
I imagine you have a tremendous pool of writer friends to choose from. How will you decide who to bring along?
We have a wish list that Gary and I sat down and wrote. We want to mix it up with people who don’t normally play together and people we have never worked with, which will be fun. In Nashville a lot of time I play with the people I’m comfortable with. It’s fun to stir it up because you never know what’s going to happen in a show when people meet each other for the first time. We hope everybody [on our list] will agree to do it. The writers we bring along are people who we are huge fans of and who we love. We feel like we have a front row seat, too. We are playing on stage, but we are also listening to these amazing writers. We love what they do and I think the audience will too.
How do you decide what to play?
There’s a flow to a show like this. We don’t come in with a set list, and nothing is scripted. Because we have never played with the combination of people who we bring, we don’t know exactly what they'll sing. We don’t have anything written down; we just kind of go off the person who just played before us, which really is how a song gets written. There may be something a co-writer says to trigger something and bring that something out of you. This is the same exact philosophy. If the person before me plays a song and the audience is laughing, that may make me want to play a certain song. If there are too many ballads, it gets boring. We want the audience to have fun, so our job is to keep mixing it up.
The writers who we bring are people who can keep a show interesting because they write all kinds of songs. We will have up-tempo songs, ballads, hit songs you know, and songs you haven’t heard yet that may one day be hits. We like to keep it balanced and include whatever the energy of the show calls for. Basically, the goal for the show is to keep it engaging for the audience, to keep them interested, and of course to have fun.
For more information on Georgia, visit her official website
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Atlanta native Sonia Leigh has been bringing her unique style of music and powerful live performances to fans for over a decade. Recently relocated to Nashville, Sonia is readying the release of a new EP after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Sonia graciously took the time to chat with us about Counting Skeletons, her fans and what's ahead.
You have been making music for over ten years. Can you give us a little background on what drew you to music as a profession?
Sure. My father played guitar, wrote songs and sang, as did my grandfather. There were a lot of musicians in my family on my father’s side, including an uncle who played the drums. I was raised in a Pentecostal church as well, so there was always music around. I started guitar at the age of five, but really started learning around the age of ten, when my Dad started teaching me. I started writing songs immediately after that.
Do you have any particular musical influences?
Initially it was my dad, watching him play and sing. We listened to a lot of Willie Nelson, CCR, Hank and a lot of old time country. Then in my early teens, I was into rock and roll. Really, I love all kinds of music. I write all kinds of music. I’m a diverse artist.
Your music definitely cannot be pigeonholed into a specific genre. How do your diverse influences impact your sound?
I’m constantly evolving as a writer and an artist. As times change you get influenced by the music around you and what you’re exposed to. I’m continuously growing and as life goes on I get inspired by different things.
You are a BMI award winning songwriter for co-writing “Goodbye In her Eyes” and you also co-wrote the #1 song “Sweet Annie.” Is co-writing something you enjoy?
Initially, I was a writer for myself, but as I was out on road touring with other musicians on the label and touring with Zac, I would get to collaborate. I moved to Nashville a year and a half ago and have gotten into co-writing a lot more, which has been a growing experience. I am stretching my legs and learning to become a writer in that aspect [writing for others].
You recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for your new album. That speaks to a very loyal fan base.
You know, my fans are the ones that encouraged me to do it. When I parted with Southern Ground my fans still wanted new music. They were the ones that let me know about Kickstarter. They told me they had my back and wanted to help me make a record. They were really behind me and I am so thankful. My fans are just amazing. I love them.
Can you tell us about your new album?
It’s called Counting Skeletons, which is also a song on the album. It is a collection of work about different moments in my life and throughout my career. I thought Counting Skeletons would be a nice reflective title.
We just finished the artwork for the album. The hard copies of the EP will be in Thursday [April 17th] and the EP will be available at the show that same night when we play at the Exit/In in Nashville. I haven’t even announced that it will just be available, so it will be kind of a surprise.
How many songs are on the EP and how involved were you in writing them?
It is a six song EP, which I hope to have available on iTunes. For those who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign, I am doing something special. They will get four bonus tracks along with their EP package. In July, I plan on going back into the studio to start work on a full length album.
I wrote all of the songs on the EP. For the bonus tracks, I have one co-write with Zac Brown and one with Nick Cowan.
You mentioned that your sound is evolving. How would you describe the sound of the EP?
We joked around in the studio that it is “du wop/pop rock,” which is interesting. But for this particular EP, the sound is more pop/rock. I really wanted to capture moments in my writing. I worked with Eric Massey and Jordan Lemming in the studio and our philosophy was just to let the songs breathe and be whatever they were meant to be.
Your last album [1978 December] was released on the Southern Ground label. You are releasing Counting Skeletons independently. Can you talk a little bit about the freedoms and pressures releasing an album as an independent artist?
I was an independent artist before Southern Ground, so I learned how to handle, manage and book myself. Right now I am building my team and getting to the next step. There is definitely more freedom when you do things independently. You can create and release music however you want; it doesn’t have to be within any guidelines. I’m free to be an artist and I’m enjoying it.
You have toured with Zac Brown Band and Eric Church and have played with Loretta Lynn.
I got to meet and play with the queen a couple times. Loretta Lynn is a sweetheart. I’m so lucky and thankful to have been able to meet and play with her. My first concert when I was five years old was a Loretta Lynn concert. At that moment when I saw her for the first time, I knew that was what I wanted to do. To be able to share the stage with her was a big moment for me.
Do you have any touring plans for the year?
I am touring regionally at the moment. I know I have a lot of fans on the east coast that really want us to come back up there, so we are working on that. I think once we get a full length record out touring plans will fall into place.
What are you currently listening to?
I'm really all over the map when it comes to music. I think the new Eric Church record is great. There is an artist out in LA, Ben Burgess, who I like a lot. I also listen to a lot of European artists as well. Josh Kumra, an artist who is from England, is coming over to do some shows with me. I’m lucky to be able to play with people who I not only know, but am a fan of; that’s the best part of what I do.
Sonia Leigh will play the Exit/In in Nashville on April 17th and Eddie's Attic in Georgia on April 18th.
For more information visit Sonia Leigh's official website
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Watch "My Name is Money" below.
California native Sandra Lynn is ready to make her mark on country music. Currently, she is busy readying her debut EP, which is being produced by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts. Sandra graciously took some time to talk about her EP, her new video for "You Belong" and what's ahead.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Definitely! I was born and raised in California. From a very early age I always loved music and performing; it has always been in my blood. My parents always had records on in the house and music playing all the time. I was singing since I was seven years old, dancing since I was three and acting since I was 5. I performed at festivals, fairs and sang the National Anthem for major league baseball games. I went to Pepperdine University and majored in theater and television production. Once I graduated, I knew I wanted to write, sing and perform country music.
For two years I worked with different writers in LA, spent time in the studio and recorded demos. All the while I was a tap dance teacher for kids and an actor in commercials and independent films. In 2010, I met producer and songwriter David Foster and he introduced me to different collaborators in Nashville. That was the first time I came to Nashville and started writing with people. I was offered a publishing deal, but I felt that it wasn't the right time for me. In 2012, I started working on my current project.
Being from California, are you based in Nashville now?
My husband works in film and so his career keeps us in LA part of the time and my career keeps us in Nashville part of the time. We have a place in both cities.
Why did you gravitate to singing country music as a profession?
Throughout middle school, I really grew to love different singer songwriters like Jewel, Michelle Branch, and Sara Evans. I really enjoyed listening to Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill and Shania Twain. l loved female powerhouse vocalists; their songs resonated with me on an emotional level. I wanted to grow up and sing songs like them. They impacted me and the music I am making now.
In college, I watched the country music channel and started listening to Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and Tim McGraw. I also was introduced to more traditional artists like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and the Judds. I really grew to appreciate their music and honest storytelling.
Do you have a specific artist that stands out as a major influence on you professionally?
It's so hard to pick just one! But I would have to say Sara Evans, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, Michelle Branch and Jewel all impacted me. Those are the records I would listen to the most. I loved their songs and videos.
Tell us a little bit about the EP you are working on.
I am working on the EP with Jay DeMarcus [of Rascal Flatts]. We met last year, which was really exciting for me as a fan, and we just clicked. I felt like he understood where I was coming from and what I wanted to do. We sat down and heard a bunch of songs then narrowed it down to the ones which emotionally resonated with me and I personally connected with. We went into the studio with some amazing musicians and now we are getting ready to release the music very soon.
Were you involved in writing for the EP?
I was not involved in writing for record. For this record, the songs are written by all different talented Nashville songwriters. Although I do write, it is somewhat of a new frontier for me and something I'm continually doing. I love writing. I always wrote in high school whether it was poetry or lyrics. I wrote more after college when I knew that I needed to start writing, putting lyrics to melody, creating my own music and finding my own voice.
It has been inspiring to come to Nashville and write with people. It's such a different format to go into a session and get a song written in three hours. Everyone here in Nashville really wants to work to make good music, get songs written and support one another while doing it.
Talk about your song "You Belong" and the video you recently completed for it.
It is the first track from the EP. I had an idea for a story for the video, so I wrote a treatment. I was really hoping to have Trey Fanjoy direct it. Trey has worked on some of my favorite videos, like Miranda Lambert's "Over You." I knew she could take the idea I had and build on it to create an amazing story and visual piece. My management sent the treatment over to her and within a few hours she called and said she wanted to do it. Trey took the initial vision I had and really made large scope video. We shot the video in January in Malibu, which was just really exciting. I cannot wait for it to be released and for everyone to see it.
In addition to the album and song, what are your plans for 2014?
I am busy, but it's good. We will release a lyric video for "You Belong" to support the music video and we are in rehearsals for exciting events which we will get to announce soon. We will also play local shows in town [Nashville].
Is there one album you are listening to now that you cannot get enough of?
I really love Sara Evans new album and her single "Slow Me Down."
For more information visit Sandra Lynn's official website
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Brittany Bexton knew what her calling was from a very young age; at two years old she picked up a microphone at a campout and sang for the campers. As she grew, so did her love of music. Brittany attended PCPA and studied singing with four master voice teachers, each of whom specialized in different styles. Fifteen years later, her training remains evident in her powerful and smooth vocals.
Brittany graciously took the time to talk with us about her background, her new single and what's ahead.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! I grew up in northern California and about two years ago I made the move to Nashville. I really am one of those people who were born knowing what they wanted to do. Music came along with breathing to me and I started singing as soon as I could talk. I didn't take singing lessons until I was about twelve years old, but I grew up singing everywhere I could. I even sang in church choirs just to sing; not because my family went to church. I went to college at PCPA, which is a two year musical theater conservatory. I studied singing, acting and dance. I was a member of a theater company and had a professional theater career after I graduated.
So then why make the move to country music?
I really was not fulfilled. I missed writing and performing my own music, so I shifted my focus. I always listened to a variety of music, but I fell in love with country in college. I liked the music not only because of its great voices, but particularly for the way country music told stories, the same way that theater does.
Do you have any particular influences?
I grew up listening to Patsy Cline, although I did not know she was country at the time because I did not focus on genres. I also really liked Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn and Randy Travis. Currently, I really like the music of Little Big Town and Casey James. I have a lot of influences; I don't think I could chose just one if I wanted to.
Do you write your own material?
Yes, I do. I started writing early. I can't say it was good, but I certainly tried! When I was young, I used to go on bike rides, make up songs and write them down. However, it took me a long time to finish a song and to this day that is probably the most difficult part of writing for me.
In California, no one really co-writes so I did not know much about it. When I came to Nashville, I was both excited and terrified to have my first co-writing session. I was afraid that it would be awkward to be in a room with someone I didn't know and try to write a song. But, it turned out great and it is something I really enjoy. I find that people bring different strengths and weaknesses to a co-write that can really balance one another out. A co-writer can bring in ideas for a song, help you finish it and be a great teacher.
What are your plans for 2014?
Well, I just released a new single called "Free Fall." I plan to promote the single with a secondary and small market radio campaign and I am about to launch an indiegogo fundraiser.
I am recording new songs for the Free Fall EP and touring regularly. I am in California a lot, as well as Texas, Iowa and Illinois. I love touring because it is a great way to meet people and spread the word about my music. My favorite part is performing live, interacting with the fans and getting to know them. There is just a level of connection that goes along with that that I love. I feel that my theater background allows me to bring a little something more to table, too. I consider singing live like acting because each song tells story and if you can't tell story then you are not doing the song justice.
One final question, what are you listening to now?
That's a hard one because I don't have new music I am listening to. I really love Pink's album The Truth About Love; there are some terrific ballads on there. I also really like Casey James album and the Brett Eldredge song "One Mississippi."
For more information and to watch Brittany sing "Free Fall," visit Brittany's official website
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