Hello Sarah, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer? I actually started songwriting when I was only seven years old, so there wasn’t much time in my life before I began to dream about being an artist/songwriter. However, I did not start pursuing my dreams professionally until high school. Before high school, I attended my neighborhood elementary school in Tampa, FL (where I lived my whole life before moving to Nashville) and took piano lessons starting in kindergarten. My first big inspiration was Hannah Montana (haha, keep in mind I was seven years old at the time) and she inspired me to start writing songs and dreaming about becoming a performer! I was also inspired by the songs I grew up listening to on country radio. Then, when I was ten years old, I had to do a school project on a public figure and I chose Taylor Swift. For this project, I read books and watched videos on Taylor’s life and career. This was the first time that I started learning about the music business in Nashville and I decided when I was only ten years old that Nashville was the place for me. At this point in my life, I had been writing all of my songs a capella or with a piano because I had not yet learned guitar. I started guitar lessons at the same time I started middle school and that was a big time in my life because I began attending performing arts school in Tampa. This was a great step for me because I felt out of place at a “normal” public school because I was writing songs all the time and no one else around me really had the same goals as I did. However, at a performing arts middle school, I was surrounded by other kids my age who wanted to pursue creative careers which provided great support for me at a young age. Throughout middle school, I continued to work on my craft of songwriting and performing. The summer between middle school and high school, I was accepted into Grammy Camp Nashville 2015. This was my first time going to Nashville to work on music. This camp was eye opening to me because I got to meet other kids from all over the country who specifically wanted to pursue a career in the music business. I also got to meet and work with industry professionals on music row for the first time. When I went back home after the camp ended, I began playing live regularly in Tampa, releasing music, and working harder than ever on my career. After high school, I finally moved to Nashville, which is where I am now!
What was the first country album you ever bought? Wow, that’s a tough question! I am going to say that it was most likely Fearless by Taylor Swift.
What is the background story behind your brand new single “Drive Fast?” I wrote “Drive Fast” shortly before moving to Nashville, so I have had that song for a couple of years. When I was writing “Drive Fast” it was the summer between high school and college, so I was reminiscing a lot on life at home because I knew that was going to be ending very soon for me. In high school, I had a boyfriend who didn’t live in my neighborhood, so I always had to take the interstate to get to his house. However, I also had a curfew, and instead of cutting down time with my boyfriend, I would try to cut down on the drive time between my house and his. As you can probably guess, this resulted in a lot of speeding (which I do not recommend! but it’s still a fun memory I have from high school). There is a behind the scenes video from when we filmed the “Drive Fast” music video and I explain the song in that video, as well. Here is the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbenbyoXPlM
Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? Yes! I have so much more music coming very soon that I can’t wait to share with you all! You can follow me @sarahmoreymusic and sign up for my mailing list at https://sarahmoreymusic.com to get the latest updates!
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Story-telling, country, and catchy!
What are a few of your favorite events or venues to play at? One of my favorite places I ever played was Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa, FL. The crowd was so much fun and they were all so into it! Another Tampa venue that I love playing is The Attic in Ybor City. That venue has a really cool energy and the crowd is always there for the music. So far my favorite venue in Nashville is Live Oak (I have a show coming up there very soon…). However, I’ve heard that The Listening Room is a lot of people’s favorite venue to play in Nashville and I also have a show coming up there very soon!
What made you want to become a country musician? I wanted to become a country musician because I love how it is a story-telling genre. Country music allows me to say what I want to say in the way that I want to say it. Country music is also the first thing I turn to whether I’m having my best day or my worst day. It is my go-to genre and makes me feel better no matter what. I also have always had a slight twang in my voice that makes almost anything I sing sound country.
What is one of your favorite quotes? This is another hard one! Quotes have always been a big source of encouragement for me, so there are a lot of quotes I love. However, the quote from Theodore Roosevelt that says, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” is something that has had a huge impact on my life and I try to always remember that.
Is there anything else you would like to share? Thank you so much for taking the time to read my answers! If you’ve gotten this far and want to know more about me and my music, follow me @sarahmoreymusic 🙂
In the summer of 2015, country musician Sarah Morey was picked to attend Grammy Camp Nashville (2015). The camp is put on by the Grammy Foundation. After attending the camp, Morey has been chosen to be a Hard Rock Cafe Ambassador, has also opened for The Bellamy Brothers and was featured on FOX 13 News with Charley Belcher at Creative Souls Cafe. She also plays a lot around the greater Tampa Bay Area and has appeared on Tampa’s local radio station, 88.5 WMNF, many times. She has also played at many different music festivals including The Florida Strawberry Festival and The Gasparilla Music Festival.
In 2016, Morey put out her first self-titled EP showcasing 5 of her songs which were recorded at Hideaway Recording Studios in St. Pete, Flordia along with producer/engineer John Kelly. In 2017, she released an original single titled “Up All Night,” which was recorded at Jagged Audioworks in Tampa, Florida along with producer/engineer Jay Barnett. Morey released her second EP titled “Dust,” in the summer of 2018, She also recorded the “Dust EP at Jagged Audioworks with Jay Barnett. Some of her closet pals were featured on the “Dust” EP for instrumentals including Jacob Fleming (lead guitar, piano, and banjo), Brent Johns (Harmonica), and Katherine Peterson (violin). In the fall of 2018, Morey attended Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business in Nashville, TN as a songwriting major.
On January 10, 2020, Morey put out her brand new single “Drive Fast,” and you can stream it on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about the great and talented Sarah Morey then check out her website at (https://sarahmoreymusic.com).
Hello Robert, Gentry and Neil how did you come up with the name “The Joy Reunion,” for your country music group?
Our band’s name gets back to the root of what music is for – joy, pleasure, connecting with emotion, connecting with people, creation, artistry and fulfilling our purpose! Being an artist can be kind of torturous sometimes – and in the past, we were all in different musical projects and although fulfilling, came with this sense of striving, trying to fit a mold, trying to be something, trying to “make it” – and when you have those kinds of influences in your creation, it can be toxic and it can rob you of the joy that comes with simply letting all of that go, and just writing-creating whatever the heck you want because it feels good, it’s fulfilling! The three of us found ourselves really enjoying our relationship as friends, really trusting each other as artists, musicians and songwriters, without the toxicity of striving to fit a certain mold. We were reunited with the joy of music – and that’s when we decided to call ourselves; The Joy Reunion.
How did you guys form your music group? Honestly, the 3 of us have been friends for years and have each dabbled in different musical projects separately. In 2017 we began writing songs together and hanging out every Sunday evening. We called it our “Sesh” We would hang, eat good food and just write songs. It was a total no pressure atmosphere. It was so freeing to be in that kind of atmosphere. It led to being able to write some very authentic and honest songs. During that time we fell in love with the songs we were writing together and the way our voices sounded together as we sang these songs. We started playing some local open mic nights just for the fun of it and the response we got was amazing. We quickly realized we had something special and decided to form The Joy Reunion. We have made The Joy Reunion our sole musical focus since that time and we are really beginning to see the fruits of our labor.
Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020? We are very excited about 2020! We released our debut album in late 2019 and we are still riding that wave so to speak. We do have plans to release a summer single and then later towards fall 2020 we will be releasing a brand new EP! You heard it here first!
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Honest, Authentic, Vulnerable
What are a few of your guys favorite venues or events to play at? We absolutely love playing at the Hotel Café in Hollywood. Marko has been nothing but great to us and is always very supportive. In fact we will be there with some of our friends (Rob Mayes, Melissa Farrior, Payton Howie) on Feb 28th. By far the best event we have ever been apart of was the 2019 “California Country Christmas” It was so much fun getting to hang with the “Cali Country” family and play for a sold out crowd at The House of Blues!
Robert Easley and Gentry Monreal have been performing together for over 20 years as worship leaders at a church called “The Packinghouse” in Redlands, California. California based Guitarist Neil Morrison joined the worship team in 2008 where there was an instant connection among the three of them, and for over 11 years, the three of them have been inseparable.
Independently, each group member has enjoyed many great musical accomplishments in their projects- from playing alongside blues greats Joe Bonomassa and Kenny Wayne Shepherd to working with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Easley, Monreal and Morrison have performed together not only just at their home church but also with many other bands throughout the year. In 2017, The Joy Reunion was formed and work began on writing songs for their debut album.
The Joy Reunion is a mix of musical influence. Easley brings an influence of pop and rock, and you can hear the influence of 90’s country in his songwriting and melodies. Monreal brings classical country, folk and roots to the table similar to Patty Griffin, Alison Kraus ,and Emmylou Harris. Morrison brings in the blues, southern rock and folk similar to The Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton. Morrison is a wonderful guitar player and all also just a great musician that wants all your attention the minute you start to hear him play the first chord.
In 2019. the trio debut album “We’ve Come Too Far,” came out you can listen to it on Spotify and iTunes. “We’ve Come Too Far,” is a musical story about love, loss, passion, heartbreak and grift, family and faith. If you would like to find out more The Joy Reunion then check out their website at (https://www.thejoyreunion.com).
Hi A.C., can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
My family had always been a musical family, but the first time I ever really performed was when I was eight years old in church. My pastor needed a young girl to sing “Where Are You Christmas” and he asked me to do it. From there, I started playing in the worship band at church and performing in musicals at my school and in the community. I started out writing contemporary Christian music, and that sort of slowly evolved into writing country songs. Upon high school graduation, I went to The University of Mount Union and got my degree in biochemistry all while playing shows on the weekends. I was looking at grad schools where I could get my M.D. / Ph.D., and I filled out the necessary applications, but I just couldn’t find the desire to turn them in. It was then and there that I realized that I really wanted to pursue my love for writing and performing.
What was one of the first country album you ever bought?
Oh, that’s a hard one! We always had country music playing in our house, so we had a ton of albums, but I think one of the first albums that I very intentionally and specifically sought out was Sugarland’s Enjoy the Ridealbum. I heard “Want To” on the radio, and I just couldn’t get enough of Jennifer and Kristian’s writing.
What is the background story behind your latest “Different Kind of Christmas?”
A few years ago around Christmas time, I was watching someone fill up a glass of eggnog, and as they (heavy handedly) poured the rum into the cup, I laughed and said, “A little less eggnog, and a little more rum, huh?” I laughed and then thought, “Oh! I need to save that line for a song!” Given that the line was about eggnog, I knew it had to be a Christmas tune. I’ve always loved the bluesy I’m-all-alone-at-Christmas type songs like “Please Come Home for Christmas” and “Blue Christmas”, so I decided that I wanted to write one of my own. I wrote that song back in 2014. It just goes to show how long it sometimes takes for music to get out into the world. I’m so glad that it finally is.
Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020?
I have four new songs coming out in 2020! I’ve been working with a producer at The Record Shop down in Nashville to really develop and hone in on my sound. At least one of these tunes is destined to be my next radio single in 2020. I’m so excited for everyone to hear this music, and I’ve never been more proud of a collection of works. I went through a very personal journey of discovering and rebuilding my own self-worth and self-esteem through these songs, and I really hope that they can do the same for someone else.
What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?
I love playing the fair and festival circuit in the summer! This past summer tour, I was so blessed to be able to play three state fairs (MN, OH, and NE) and countless other county fairs. I feel like a fair really tells you a lot about the community in which you’re performing, and expresses the uniqueness of the area. I love experiencing the sights, smells, and sounds of somewhere new and learning about each town I visit. The fair and festival setting really helps to immerse you in that.
If you could sing a duet with any singer or group, who would it be and why?
Oh my, this is another hard question! If I’m stepping outside of the country genre, it’s a toss-up between John Fogerty and Amos Lee. I’ve had the chance to see both of them live, and each of their shows were incredible. They’re both fantastic writers and performers, and I enjoy their unique vocal styles. If I’m staying within the country genre, I’d have to go withChris Stapleton. I absolutely love his voice, his writing, and his live performance.
Do you have any New Year resolutions for this year?
I don’t necessarily make a New Year’s Resolution, but I do use New Year’s Eve to assess where I’ve been and where I want to go. This year, I plan on releasing my next single to radio, touring throughout the United States, and recording/releasing the second volume EP of Campfire Sessions. I’d also love to try and set up a small Christmas tour. I host a Christmas benefit for the Salvation Army every year, and I’d love to take that show on the road as well.
What is of one of your favorite quotes?
I have so many favorite quotes, but since we’re at the very beginning of the year with a blank page and a fresh start, I’ll give you the one I think about as the new year comes around. The full quote is much longer, but my favorite excerpt from it is this:
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. . . I hope you live a life you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
It’s from the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but it is frequently attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald, as he wrote the short story bearing the title, but not the quote.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I have a live EP out on Spotify and iTunes right now called Campfire Sessions. It was recorded around a bonfire at a KOA Campground in Waterloo, IA this year during my summer tour. I’m hoping to record a new volume every year in the same way. I’ve always appreciated the raw and real, and this EP is a very authentic reflection of my writing, my voice, and the incredible musicians I get to tour with!
Country musician A.C. Jones is an Ohio native but is currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. After four years of juggling a musical career and attending college in biochemistry, Jones dive into country music career full steam. Her debut single, “Buses and Trains,” peaked at #33, giving it Top 40 status on Music Row CountryBreakout Chart. Her next single, “Mr. Moon,” also gained Top 40 status on Music Row CountryBreakout Chart and reached #57 on the Billboard Country Indicator Chart. Jones is working now on a live EP and a studio EP and is also planning a third radio release for early 2020. Throughout her music career, she has got the chance to toured in the United States and has even made a few appearances in Scotland and Canada. She has been an opening act for acts like Kentucky Headhunters, Marty Stuart, Molly Hatchet ,and The Oak Ridge Boys.
In the summer of 2014, Jone’s infant niece was diagnosed with type one diabetes inspiring her support and advocacy of JDRF. She is also a supporter of the Salvation Army and, as of 2018, has raised over $17,000 for her hometown Salvation Army chapter through her annual Christmas concert benefit. In her downtime, Jones enjoys creating and testing new recipes for her YouTube channel “AC Jones Kitchen.” She also likes running, kayaking and cuddling up to her beagle/blue heeler mix “Andie.”
On December 7, 2019, Jones released her latest single “Different Kind of Christmas,” and it is on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about A.C. Jones then check out her website at (https://www.acjonesmusicepk.com.).