Singer-songwriter and guitarist Jeremy Nail's newest album, My Mountain, will be released May 3rd. The Alejandro Escovedo produced project is a personal, thought provoking and emotional album that quite simply, touches. In advance of its release, Nail kindly took time to answer a few questions via email about the album, the stories behind the songs and more.
You initially connected with Alejandro in 2013, then reconnected in 2015. How did it come about that the two of you developed a friendship and mentoring relationship?
I played guitar in Alejandro’s band for one gig around the time his last record, Big Station, came out. I had always had an affinity for his songwriting and his band was always great. When we met, hung out and played that show we had great time. It was a really cool thing for me to get to play those songs. We stayed in touch over those years when I was sick. I would get messages from time to time and we also had a mutual friend, Michael Lahrman, who helped us stay connected. Once I was on the mend from all of that, we started hanging out a lot more and he took me under his wing.
Did you approach him about producing the record?
It was January 2015, he invited me to his Moody Theater show. After the show Alejandro said, “Let’s make a record”. A few months went by and I went to inpatient rehab to train with my prosthetic. I kept writing and developing the songs I had been working on. After I got out, we started shaping the songs together.
A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, CJ Solar moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University where, before graduation, he was offered a job as a songwriter for Sea Gayle Music. While there, Solar honed his craft while penning songs for artists like Jerrod Niemann. Now, Solar is ready to shine as an artist in his own right. On April 15th, he will release his EP, Hard One To Turn Down whose first single, “Tall Boy” was already featured in Country Weekly and the Boot. In advance of the release, Solar kindly took the time to talk about the song, the EP and more.
You grew up in Louisiana and moved to Nashville to attend Belmont. So music was something you knew you wanted to pursue professionally from an early age?
Yes, I start playing guitar when I was eight years old. When I got older, I played with my brothers - one played drums and another played bass. They eventually quit, but I decided to pursue music and move to Nashville. I graduated Belmont in 2014 with a degree in songwriting and a minor in music business. I was a writer at Sea Gayle, but knew I always wanted to be an artist in some capacity.
So after two years writing what spurred the leap to concentrate on being an artist?
Well, people would say they love my voice and my songs and that I should make a record. I always wanted to do it, but was holding off until I had the right songs. When I finally got all of these songs together, I thought they were a really good group that represented who I am, and that made me ready to take the next step.