5-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough
1. In a large plastic resealable container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm (about 100 degrees) water. Using a large spoon, stir in flour, mixing until mixture is uniformly moist with no dry patches. Do not knead. Dough will be wet and loose enough to conform to shape of plastic container. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. 2. Let dough rise at room temperature, until dough begins to flatten on top or collapse, at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks; refrigerated dough is easier to work with than room-temperature dough, so the authors recommend that first-time bakers refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours.) 3. When ready to bake, sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel. Place a broiler pan on bottom rack of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees, preheating baking stone for at least 20 minutes. 4. Sprinkle a little flour on dough and on your hands. Pull dough up and, using a serrated knife, cut off a grapefruit-size piece (about 1 pound). Working for 30 to 60 seconds (and adding flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands; most dusting flour will fall off, it’s not intended to be incorporated into dough), turn dough in hands, gently stretching surface of dough, rotating ball a quarter-turn as you go, creating a rounded top and a bunched bottom. 5. Place shaped dough on prepared pizza peel and let rest, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it in lidded container. (Even one day’s storage improves flavor and texture of bread. Dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in airtight containers and defrosted overnight in refrigerator prior to baking day.) Dust dough with flour. 6. Using a serrated knife, slash top of dough in three parallel, 1/4-inch deep cuts (or in a tic-tac-toe pattern). Slide dough onto preheated baking stone. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into broiler pan and quickly close oven door to trap steam. Bake until crust is well-browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool completely.
1. Hello Rayne, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before becoming a country musician?I grew up as an only child with two wonderful parents in a fairly small town in southwest Ohio! I spent most of my youth outside trecking through whatever woods, and creeks I could find. I also spent a lot of time playing baseball on traveling teams. As I got into my later teens I began to get really engrossed in hunting “mostly waterfowl”, fishing and outdoors! That has really become one of the things I’m most passionate about in my free time! 2. When did you start listening to country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it? I feel like I didn’t really get deep into music in general until I started driving. I can remember when I bought my first car (4×4 GMC Jimmy) before I even had my license I’d just go sit out in the garage, hop in and listen to the radio. I finally upgraded to a Pioneer CD player and it was on after that! I still have all my CDs I bought and burned from back in the day! When it comes to country music I’m kinda all over the place! I learned basic guitar listening to Haggard, Cash, Willie, Waylon…all the classics! I also love Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, FGL, Kane Brown… the list would go on forever if I tried to list everyone I’ve loved over the years and now! I don’t think there was ever a moment when I just said “I wanted to be a country artist per say” I just have always loved performing and writing music and country is just where I always felt at home! My life and the way I live is country so this is where I landed! 3. What is background story behind your latest single “Lips Like Liquor?” Lips Like Liquor is a track that we felt we needed to put out for the really vested Rayne fans…they have been here from the beginning and they were begging for it after hearing it out live so much! We wanted to kind of give them a thank you treat for being so committed!…LAID BACK is still the single we are pushing. “Laid Back” came about when a buddy of mine was just coming out of a somewhat serious relationship. So we were all sitting around having a few drinks in my garage “one of the guys was the most recent member of the broken hearted club”. He had been moping around all night so we all said “come on man we gotta get you out of this funk you’re in, let’s head out get a few drinks and hit up the Waffle House!! His response was like “nah I just want to (lay back) and chill! The guy that I write with (and a good friend) looked at me with that light bulb going off look, and needless to say LAID BACK was written that night! 4. What is your favorite thing performing live to an audience? I love the give and take from an audience and artist! I take a lot of pride in giving all I’ve got to an audience but man when they are out there giving you high energy back it just takes things to a whole new level and is so fun!! 5. Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2019?Laid Back is the first release from my EP – look for the full EP out late 2nd quarter of 2019 6. What are your favorite top 3 venues to play at? Ooooh this is a tough one! I don’t think I can pick…..the folks that have come out to every venue have been so supportive it’s been a pleasure across the board! I will say though there are two places that have been really very supportive early in my career and will always be special…”The Monkey Bar and Grill” where I filmed my single “Laid Back” music video and JD Legends. Both the owners have believed in me and been very kind on this journey!! They will alway hold a spot in my heart. 7. Who are some of your musical icons? Not to sound cliché but Haggard is my go to! I always loved his voice the most out of all the classics! But I love me some Cash, Highway Men, Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, McGraw, A. Jackson….I mean how long do we want this answer to be because we could go all night! Lol 8. What is one of your favorite quotes? “I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.” Denzel Washington
Rayne Johnson is a fresh and new country musician and his music is a combination of soul, pop and with a lot of down home wow. Johnson’s musical trail has discovered him opening for some of the hugest country performers and television appearances to strike. His occupation started as a demo singer, but after performing a couple original songs, he was signed on the spot.
Johnson’s debut song “Laid Back,” is not the typical country breakup tune. He takes a more different method than drowning his burdens at a local bar. Johnson’s latest single “Lips Like Liquor,” came out on December 1, 2018 and it is available on Spotify. If you would like to find out more about Rayne Johnson then checkout his website at (http://raynejohnson.com).
1. Hello Melanie, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my parents and two siblings. I was kind of a tomboy growing up. I liked dressing up, but I preferred jeans and hoodies. I played travel AAA ice hockey as well as played for my school’s field hockey team. My parents were awesome supporters growing up. They always encouraged me and my siblings to pursue whatever interests we had and were actively involved with most of our sports/activities.
2. When did you start listening to country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it?
I listened to country radio around the house because my mom would always play it while she was cooking or working from home. I remember my mom telling me to listen to this song “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain because she really loved it. After listening to the song, I caught wind of the fact that my dad had been planning to take my mom to a Shania concert for her birthday. I talked them into taking me with them and fell in love with everything about music at that concert. The next day, my mom signed me up for voice lessons and I soon began writing and playing guitar.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
Shania is my first and foremost! If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know that I would’ve begun pursuing music. I grew up on 90s country, so I loved all of the female powerhouses like Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, LeAnn Rimes, etc. As I got older, I listened to a bunch of Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. My dad was also a big 80s rock fan, so we listened to a lot of Van Halen & Fleetwood Mac. Today, I’m inspired by artists like Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, and Kelleigh Bannen (although I love my guy country artists too!).
4. What is the background story behind your latest single “Sober You?”
“Sober You” was one I wrote with two of my best friends and fellow artists here in Nashville, AJ Kross and Krista Angelucci. Somebody came with the hook “I’ll never get sober you” (playing off “I’ll never get over you”) and we just kind of ran from there. We got the chorus pretty quickly and I think finished up the verses on another day. From the start, I began playing it out and got a great response. I knew it was pretty special.
5. What is your recording process like when creating new music?
I was blessed to be able to have some of the best session musicians in Nashville play on it. The vibe that they all create so effortlessly in a room together is incredible. The song basically recorded itself. We did our live session with Chris Utley at Benchmark, and then during the process, I worked with Michael Funk at Funk Studio (www.funkstudionashville.com). We have a great dynamic because we’re very honest with each other and he knows how to get the best vocal takes from me. I like when the producer can put his own creativity into the song because it usually is cooler than what I would have thought up on my own. He really did a great job and we had fun with it.
6. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?
Yes! Hopefully a lot. Since the start of the year, I’ve already released a music video as well as put out “Sober You” as a single. I’d like to promote it on radio, so we are figuring out the details for that. In addition, I am booking some summer dates for shows and I hope to eventually compile “Flame”, “Sober You”, and a couple others into a full blown project. There will definitely be another release this year!
7. What are a few of your favorite venues or events to play at?
I love playing venues in Nashville like The Listening Room and The Bluebird, because they are very personal, listening venues where people are genuinely interested in the songs and the songwriters. Outside of that, it’s a blast to play festivals because you get the energy of the crowd and the band behind you. I think music is made to move people (whether emotionally, or to dance!), and any time I’m doing this, I’m doing what I feel I need to do!
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Everything happens for a reason”- I know it’s a common one, but I truly believe in it. So many things, people, and events in my life have led me to where I am right now, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I trust in God’s path and even when things are looking down, I have to believe I’m where I’m supposed to be at this particular time in my life.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Check out my music on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, etc, and my social media accounts @melaniemeriney to follow along with new, exciting things happening! My website (www.melaniemeriney.com) has links to everything as well as my calendar for shows!
Melanie Meriney’s sophomore EP “Up In Lights,” was released in May 2017 and it showcase the travel of self-discovery that has originate with navigating the music world as a emerging pop country singer since her move to Nashville where she attended Belmont University as a songwriting and English major.
As a child in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Meriney’s enjoyed playing ice hockey, reading books and writing her own songs. She became a keen fan of country music, quoting influences like Shania Twain, Phil Vassar, Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac and Miranda Lambert. Although her mom always played country music in her house, her dad introduced her love of rock music. Surrounded by Pittsburgh’s metal, rock and pop music, Meriney’s songwriting and singing became a creation of her setting: mostly country with an urban, pop/rock texture that comes from growing up in a Northern City.
Meriney’s first EP “All the Good Songs,” was produced by Phil Ricciardi and Mike Puwal in 2012 and it was her first try at distinguishing a rare sound for herself, the songs drawing upon her own real life experiences at first love, loss, and self-reflection. In the Spring of 2012, Meriney was chosen to play a live set on the Billy Block Show, after she had been feature for 4 consecutive weeks with both showcased songs off her EP and live interviews/performances on Nashville’s WSIX Locals Only radio show. In the Fall of 2013, Meriney was nominated for Nashville Independent for Music Award Award (NIMA) for Best Female Country Artist. She has had the honor of being a opening act for artists and groups like Little Big Town, the Commodores, Ricky Vito of Fleetwood Mac, and Steve Augeri of Journey and as well as headlining many festivals around PA, OH and TN.
She signed her first publishing deal with Dune Grass Music in February 2016, and Meriney was mentioned in Billboard, of Country Aircheck and Music Row Magazine as a rising pop/country scene candidate. She directly started writing her second EP, working with producers Joshua Mendez and Michael Funk. Her debut single “Lifeboat,” went #2 on the UK Hot Disc chart, as well as decently on the Music Row chart. The music video for this song premiered on Great American Country (GAC), and also on smaller and global organizations. Increasing many publicity mentions as an “Artist to Watch in 2018,” in the Fall of 2018 the release of “Up in Lights,” music video came out. Also in November Meriney’s single “Flame,” came out.
In 2019, Meriney wants to tour, as well as release more new music and media. On February 8, 2019 Meriney released her newest single “Sober You,” and it is available to listen and download on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more Melanie Meriney then check out her website at (http://www.melaniemeriney.com).
With a confident and rare voice mixed with an involving stage attendance, singer and songwriter and artist Chris Ruediger is from Boston, MA, is now making his mark on the country music scene. Ruediger has varied musical interests and a robust love for country music, as showed by his latest songs, “Drunk Cigarette,” “Country at Heart,” and “One More Night,” which have been played on radio stations such as 101.7 The Bull, The Iceman Top 40, and 95.9 WATD FM.
Ruediger started training on the piano then discovered and picked up the acoustic guitar in 2012. As a teen, he started going to local open mic nights to share his talent. Over the past couple years, Ruediger has converted in a popular up and coming star with performances at New England events, festivals, and venues, such as The Hard Rock Café Boston, Loretta’s Last Call, Faneuil Hall MIXX360, The Burren, Bleacher Bar and the Slyvan Street Grille with 101.7 The Bull. He plays also in Nashville on Broadway and other venues.
Ruediger is following his music career across many states, traveling among his home state of Massachusetts and Nashville, where his attending Vanderbilt University. He is continually writing, performing and working on a larger project that should be out in 2019.
Ruediger put out his latest single “Country at Heart,” on November 16, 2018 and it is available to download and listen to on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about Chris Ruediger then check out his website at (https://www.chrisruediger.com).
Background Story: Trevor Hewitt is a country singe and songwriter from Spartanburg, SC. He delivers a high energy to the stage with a combination of country, southern rock and witty tunes. On February 8, 2019 Hewitt put out his newest single “I’m Jumpin’ Too” and it is available to listen and download on Spotify and iTunes.Background Story: Trevor Hewitt is a country singe and songwriter from Spartanburg, SC. He delivers a high energy to the stage with a combination of country, southern rock and witty tunes. On February 8, 2019 Hewitt put out his newest single “I’m Jumpin’ Too” and it is available to listen and download on Spotify and iTunes.
1. Hi Trevor, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Before I started my country music journey I served in the United States Marines Reserves as an Ammo Technician. After the Marine Corps I lead the praise and worship at a small local church for close to a year before I decided to take the leap and try country music.
2. When did you start listening to country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it? I was singing Garth Brooks at the top of my lungs when I was in grade school. He was my all time favorite. I knew I wanted to be like him at an early age. I sang “The Dance” at my first 9th grade recital.
3. Who are some of your musical icons? Garth of course. I grew up on The Marshall Tucker Band who is from my hometown. I spent a few years traveling with them and opening for them when I first got started. Toy Caldwell was my hero. The way he played and sang mesmerized me.
4. What is your favorite song off your latest EP “It Is What It Is?” My favorite song off the EP was “Stay”. It was one of the first songs I wrote to my beautiful wife Leslie and it will always hold a special place in my heart.
5. Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2019? I plan on releasing a new EP in the summer of 2019. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes trying to get this music ready.
6. What is your process when recording music?I like to use my own musicians in the studio. A lot of people hire big time Nashville musicians which is an awesome thing to do but I like to have the guys who grind with me week in and week out on my music. It’s a different feeling when the song comes out. It’s weird but you can just feel it.
7. What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?I love playing weddings the most but my favorite place I’ve played so far would be the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC opening for Marshall Tucker. It was special.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott
9. Is there anything else you would like to share? I love country music and everything about it. I hope that shows in my music and I hope everyone enjoys the new track. …