• Hello Noelle, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I’ve always sang and wrote country songs. I grew up in a small town in Oregon, singing in choir and performing in musical theatre. I spent a summer studying voice at Berklee College of Music when I was 15 and went on to earn my B.A. in history and theatre arts at Loyola Marymount University. I recently relocated to Nashville two years ago to create the country music I’ve dreamt my whole life.
• What made you want a career in country music?
I’m from a small town in Oregon and I grew up listening to country radio. I always resonated with the stories country songs told and I fell in love with the voices of Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Reba, and Shania Twain. I dreamed of one day singing songs just like them.
• Who are some OF your musical icons?
Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Reba, Shania Twain, Patsy Cline
• What is the background story behind your brand-new single “Limbo?”
The verses in LIMBO came to me first. I started writing a story about a girl who is frustrated in a relationship and wants some clarity. The word LIMBO came later in the writing process and it happened to fit perfectly – it rhymed with the word JOE that I had for the character I was writing about.
• What is your recording process like when making and creating new music?
I go in with the live band and record a scratch vocal first. Then I like to take my time listening back to the recording and find the emotional touchstones of the story, the ebbs and flows of what is happening in the song. Then I go in and make adjustments so that the emotion is there in every line.
• How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
‘90s country with a little soul, a little rock n’ roll.
• What are a few of your favorite venues to play live music at?
The Viper Room is the most iconic place I’ve ever played and I also love playing writers rounds at places like Commodore Grille and The Cambria in Nashville.
• What is one of your favorite quotes?
Veni, Vidi, Vici
• Is there anything else you would like to share?
Keep an eye out for the music video for LIMBO – its coming out soon!!
Nashville resident singer/songwriter Noelle Toland wants to update and make her own old-school country music. While many may think the genre’s audience is restricted only to the South, Toland, who comes from 2,000 residents city in North Plains, Oregon confirmation that simply is not always true. “We tailgated, horsed around on farms, and loved the heartbreak behind the stories we grew up listening to,” shares Toland, who states completely with the genre.
By going back to her roots and visiting again the music from her youth, Toland started the unique alchemy that is the 2021 EP, “The Sun Will Rise.” The four-song EP, which was recorded at the famous RCA Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, and was produced by Chris Condon, is a mix of 90’s country and invities all types of souls to her music. It showcases the earth like and power of classic country music with staple instruments like pedal steel and contributions from legends such as guitarist Steve Cropper, founding member of the Stax Records House Band and Booker T. And the M.G.’s.
Toland is delighted to have such an inspirational team, whom she grew up listening to, and is thankful for the chance to make this 90’s country influenced record, which is an appreciation to admired artists like Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill. “Hopefully this record, which I’ve long envisioned, inspires people to take chances, be bold, and place bets on themselves,” she explains, “because that is the only thing that has gotten me through ups and downs.”
At a time when the world is in a nonstop state of fear, Toland’s calmness when it comes to surfing the wave of life is just what others need to hear.
On January 27, 2023 Toland put out her latest single “Limbo.” If you would like to find out more about the great and talented Noelle Toland then please check out her website (https://www.noelletoland.com/).
Hi Lance + Lea, can you tell us all a little bit about yourselves before you became a country music duo? Hello! Thank you for having us. So Lance grew up in TX and cut his teeth playing in a rock band pretty much from high school all the way through college. I on the other hand grew up on gospel and country music, singing in church and harmonizing with my sisters. I was born in Ohio but then moved to Colorado as a kid. We always joke that Lance grew up singing in the clubs and I grew up singing in church 🙂
What made you two decide to have careers in country music? For me (Lea) it started when my dad passed away and I wrote my first song, about him. I was absolutely hooked on songwriting from that moment on and because I was so influenced by country music growing up, and loved it so much, that was just the natural progression. For Lance it started when he picked up the guitar at age 13. He was pretty much addicted from the beginning and although his start was more in rock, like most artists his sound evolved over the years which eventually led to us meeting and starting a country duo. We love blending our two backgrounds into the music we create!
Who are some of your musical icons? Oh man. There’s so many! To name a few… mine would be Dolly, Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty, Whitney Houston, Grace Potter, Willie Nelson. Lance’s are Axl Rose, Steven Tyler, Tom Petty, Metallica, Ronnie Dunn, Keith Urban, John Mayer, Mick Jagger.
What is the background story behind your last single “Ego?” Over the years we’ve had so many conversations about the human ego. How damaging it can be, yet how needed it is in so many ways. We all have one, some show it more than others. We definitely both have one lol. One day Lance picked up the guitar and this song just kind of “fell out.” I feel like it was inspired from all those conversations and of course both of our personal journeys with our own egos. It was a quick write. Like under an hour if I remember correctly.
How would you guys describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Country singer/songwriter with a little rock n roll
What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? We usually start by recording guitars and vocals at our home studio (either at home or on tour) then we send those tracks to our producer Evan Sieling and he adds a ton of instrumentation and production and puts his magic on em. Or we’ll go over to his studio in East Nashville and actually record everything there. Kinda depends on the album and wether or not we’re at home or on the road
What are few of your favorite venues to play live music at? Oooh this is tough. A few favorites are The Analog Room here in Nashville, The High Dive in Gainesville, FL and Indian Roller in Austin, TX.
What are a few of your favorite quotes? “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
Is there anything else you two would like to share? Something we’ve been stoked about is getting on several Spotify editorial playlists for the first time ever with our new album!! Woohoooo! Follow us on Spotify to join the fun and keep up with all our new releases coming up this year!
“Dream loud,” is the way Texas native Lance Kotara & Colorado cowgirl LeAnna Kaufman live their lives. It was no shock that these two songwriters would find each other in Nashville, the up and coming country duo “Lance and Lea.
Inked by heart pounding harmonies, catchy guitars and passion lyrics and melodies, their collaborative intellect is on blast, with over 400 songs already written together. Their first album “There Goes My Heart,” with Grammy award winning producer Paul Worley was released in late 2018 and their music has collected airplay in the UK, Ireland, and in Music City, Nashville Tennessee.
The duo has already won an award, “New Artist Of The Year” at the 2019 iHeart Radio Rocky Mountain Country Music Awards in Lea’s home state of Colorado. “There Goes My Heart” was also nominated for Album Of The Year at 2020 iHeart Radio RMCMA’s.
In 2020 the couple raised over “16K on a fan funded crowdfunding campaign for their album “Great Big World” which was released in early 2021. That same year, in the middle of a pandemic, they booked a 31 date Backyard PopUp Tour all over the United States covering 26 states and more than 12,000 miles in an effort to generate love and live music back to the public.
In 2021, they finished an 80 date, four month long Summer Tour, playing to even more fans across the United States- this time traveling in an old-time RV aka “The Honeybee” and putting 24,000 through 38 states.
In December 2022, the duo put out their latest single “Ego,” and it is available to listen to on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about this up and coming country duo then check out this website at (https://lanceandleamusic.com/).
1. Hi Rachel, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country artist? I grew up in St. Louis Missouri and lived in Missouri my entire life until this past year. Growing up I played lots of sports, focusing more on cheerleading and dance when I got to high school. I have always loved performing and being the center of attention! I took piano lessons for a few years and then taught myself guitar. That then grew into singing and songwriting. In high school I had a job working at a doggy daycare, so I decided to pursue a veterinary path in college. I went to the University of Missouri and majored in Animal Science. I loved it at first, but after working as a vet assistant for a few years I felt very burnt out. I then decided to focus more on my music, which had been more of a side hobby my whole life. I got a new job working at a local concert venue and started performing at the bars in town.
2. What made you want a career in country music? Country music has been my favorite genre of music for a long time. I think it stemmed from listening to Taylor Swift’s early albums and then being introduced to Dolly Parton when I saw her on “Hannah Montana.” I love how country music is so diverse. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s sad, but it usually tells a great story.
3. Who are some of your musical icons? Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Reba, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood
4. What is the background story behind your latest single “Maybe I’m Crazy?” I wrote it a few years ago when I decided that I really wanted to pursue music as an actual career. I felt like everyone was giving me a side eye and acting like I was crazy for wanting to give it a shot. I also was aware that pursuing a dream like this is really difficult so maybe I was a little crazy. It’s better to just embrace it and make a song out of it.
5. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Way too honest!
6. What is your recording process like when making and creating new music? I usually start by recording a worktape on my phone of me singing and playing the guitar chords to a song I wrote. I then send that recording as well as the lyrics to my producers and they get going doing the instruments. We pay professional studio musicians to record the guitar, drums, piano, bass, or whatever we need for that specific track. After that, I go into the studio and do the vocals. I also usually have someone else singing background harmonies to give it a little something more. It’s very subtle, but makes a huge difference in the long run.The producers then mix and master everything and make it sound amazing. They’re honestly doing way more of the work than I am.
7. What are a few of your favorite venues to play live at? In Nashville I love to play at Casa Rosa and Jason Aldean’s. In Missouri I love “The Honkytonk Stl” and “NashVegas Honky Tonk” in Columbia.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes? “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.” -Dolly Parton
9. Is there anything else you would like to share? I just got done recording a new song that I’m hoping to have out around the end of 2022 or early 2023!
Country singer/songwriter Rachel Schumacher is from St. Louis, Missouri and is 22 years old. She moved to Nashville in 2022 to pursue her dreams in the country music scene, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri.
Her current job right is performing, mainly on Broadway in Nashville, however, she also travels back to her home state to play shows and do some private events. When Schumacher is not singing she loves walking her dog, shopping and taking lots of naps.
Schumacher’s brand-new single “Maybe I’m Crazy,” came out this year and is available on both Spotify and Apple Music. If you would like to find out more about up-and-coming country artist Rachel Schumacher then please go take a look at her Instagram (link) down below.
• Hello Drew, can you tell us all about yourself before you became a country musician?
I’ve played instruments and sang since I can remember and the band formed when I was in high school. Most of hobbies from then are still my hobbies now. I’m a huge fan of the outdoors. I enjoy being outside whether it is hunting, hiking, fishing, riding ATVs, boating, scuba diving, biking… When I have time off, it’s a safe bet that I’m spending time in the wilderness.
• Who are some of your musical icons?
I grew up listening to a wide variety of music, everything from Elvis Presley to Blink 182, Patsy Cline to Queen, and Roy Rogers to Frank Sinatra. I have a lot of respect for people who really created their own sound. There are so many iconic country artists from the 80s and 90s that when a song comes on, you know exactly who the artist is even if you haven’t heard the song before. There are too many amazing artists to name them all, but two of my favorites are Keith Whitley and Randy Travis.
• What made you decide to have a career in country music?
Cory Morrow invited our family out to a show and asked me if I wanted to get up on stage and play “Drink One More Round” with him. I had played songs in front of a person here and there before, but had never been on a stage or played for a crowd. The rush that I got from being on stage was something that I had never experienced before. That sparked me finding a couple of friends from high school that played drums and bass and the Drew Fish Band was born.
• What is the background story behind your latest single “Friday Beers?”
There is an Instagram account called @Friday.beers that I have followed for a couple of years. I was sitting down with Kyle Level and David Banning one day to write and threw the idea out to make a theme song for their page. I like cracking a cold beer open on a Friday and I think that most of our fans do too. After we wrote the song, I sent it to my brother to get his opinion on it and he happened to know one of the guys who started the page. He got us in contact, they loved the song, so we teamed up with them for the release.
• How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Fun, positive, good timing, sincere
• What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
I was born and raised in Austin and hometown shows are always special. I went to Stubb’s to see a bunch of shows growing up. We’ve had every one of our album release parties there and we usually have my birthday show there. Coupland Dance Hall and Gruene Hall are also places that I grew up going to and will always bring back those memories. One of the coolest venues that I can think of is Old Saloon in Emigrant, MT. It’s a little place that’s 120 years old sitting just north of Yellowstone National Park in Paradise Valley. Standing on the outdoor stage and looking at the mountains around you is pretty incredible.
• What is your recording process like when creating and making new music?
Everything comes down to the song. We are currently working on a new record and in the process of narrowing down songs and writing new ones right now. It’s all about finding the right songs that represent you as an artist, fit your sound, and compliment the record. Just because a song is a great song, doesn’t mean it’s the right song for you as an artist and just because a song works for you as an artist, doesn’t mean it’s the right song for a certain record. We start the recording process by looking at what songs we already have written, figuring out which of those songs will work for the album, and then writing what is missing.
• What is one of your favorite quotes?
“What did you do today to set you up for tomorrow?” I’m not sure where it came from, but it has been one that has stayed with me for years. I believe that the only way that you can create success (whatever that success may be for you), is to work towards it every day and actively pursue your goal.
• Is there anything else you would like to share?
We do a lot of work with military based charities and released a song called ’Stories Left Untold’ this past Memorial Day Weekend. 100% of the revenue from that song through the end of the year is going to Special Forces Charitable Trust to support our country’s Heroes. We have six Special Operations veterans in the video, one of whom was shot in the head in 2011 serving our country in Afghanistan. His treatments are not covered by the VA, so he has had to rely on donations and assistance from organizations like Special Forces Charitable Trust to recover from his injuries. Watch the video, stream the song, and donate if you can to support those who have dedicated their lives to preserving our freedoms.
When Drew Fish was a sophomore in high school, he was asked to play by talented Texas singer/songwriter Cory Morrow. There were almost 1,000 fans that gathered for Morrow’s and Tyler’s Texas show. Backstage, before the show started, Fish played a few songs for Morrow, who later surprised Fish by asking him to join him to sing on the stage with him. When Fish went off the stage everything changed for him.
Fish thought it was neat to get a band together, that was the moment he knew he wanted to have a career in music. He started a band and he and his pals started playing through high school and college, getting gigs at fraternity and sorority parties while in college and traveling throughout Texas and neighboring to play music for people who quickly became fans after seeing their high energy, and down to earth show.
After college, Fish’s mom and dad, both of who came from musical backgrounds, told him he had to get a job. He and his band talked it over and decided they wanted music to be their career, so they made their first album, which Fish describes as having “a rough and real,” sound. Many people enjoyed it, more dates came along too, and a second album, which was somewhat smoother and more poetic, arrived. Along with it came lot of interest in the band for bookings, radio and television. Having just put out his third record, produced by five-time Grammy winner Adam Odor (known for his work with the Dixie Chicks, Pat Green and the Randy Rogers Band), Fish is well on his way into that career in music. He wrote all the songs for “Wishful Drinkin,” which came out in 2020. The music has become more traditional with a honky tonk sound.
The sing/songwriter co-wrote many of the songs with popular songwriters Tommy Conners (“The Last Ten Years (Superman)” by Kenny Rogers; “Last Of A Dying Breed” by Neil McCoy), Roger Brown (“She Gets That Way” by Kenny Chesney; “We Must Be Loving Right” by George Strait and Barbara Streisand_ and Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame member Byron Hill (Fool Hearted Memory” by George Strait; “Nothin’ On But The Radio” by Gary Allan).
Fish wanted to grow the music he had been doing, and he thought this new record shows growth. He also wanted songs that sounded like him, but not for them to be alike. He thinks they came up with some terrific songs, and some great honky tonk tracks, and he was very excited for everyone to hear the album.
Fish explains one of the things that made a big difference for this album is that he has continued to grow throughout his musical career as a singer, entertainer and songwriter. Also, he put a lot of time into pre-production before he, Odor and the musicians went into the studio to record.
Fish shares also that “the studio was a blast.” They were throwing ideas out and trying different things. The band was willing to go out on a wing to try different things, and the results are just what Fish was hoping for.
“Lone Star Saturday Night,” was a wonderful example of what Fish was showcasing when he went in to record, a song he considers to be true country. It’s a honky tonk song with a driving rhythm that gets listeners in the mood to party. “Better Place,” was the first single released to radio and Fish’s second to go to number 1 on Texas Regional Radio Report. Bryan and Fish wrote it in about 30 minutes and right after thought it should come out first because it was such a positive message song, something they thought people would like hearing in this time of hardships. Fish is also proud of “Every Damn Time,” the first waltz song he recorded. It was also a duet with Pam Tillis, which he says he still cannot believe what happened. “High Rolling Home,” a song inspired by Willie Nelson and “On The Road Again.” Listen carefully and you will hear references to Honeysuckle Rose, and the Outlaws and guitar riffs that sound much like those you might hear from Nelson too.
In 2022, Fish and his band put out a brand-new song “Friday Beers,” and it is available on both Spotify and Apple Music. If you would like to find out more about the Drew Fish band then check out their website (https://drewfish.com/).
Hello, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I’ve been playing guitar and piano since the age of 5 and the first real song I learned on piano was a country song called Rebecca Lynn by Bryan White.So I guess you could say I’ve always played country music. I was side man in a country group in 2008-2013. 2013 I started doing more pop and rnb. 2021 I was inspired to get back to the country music I loved.
Who are some of your musical icons? Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, George Strait, John Coltrane, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan and The Beatles
What made you want a career in country music? It’s just the music that feels right. Great songwriting and great storytelling.
What is the background story behind your brand-new single “Stronger Than She Looks?” Sometimes you meet a girl that you just can’t hold on to. A wild one.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? authentic heartfelt meaningful
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? The American Gardens Theatre at EPCOT, St Augustine Amphitheatre, The Bijou Theater, The Green Valley Ranch
What is your recording process when creating and making new music? Putting together one of Nashville’s top session groups, in a top studio. Doing a lot of prep work before entering the room. That’s the most important part. Working with a vocal coach, practicing the songs, making sure I like the key and tempo. That’s most of the battle right there.
What is one of your favorite quotes? Luck is the moment of hardwork meeting opportunity.
Is there anything else you would like to share? New music will be out in September! Keep an eye out at @matthewwayne on instagram!