- Hi Dan, can you tell me a little about yourself before you became a country musician? I grew up in Oaks, Pennsylvania. As a kid, I played sports and always enjoyed fishing, camping, and spending time outside. As far as music goes, I started taking drum lessons when I was 6 and by fifth grade, I was playing drums and singing in a classic rock cover band with my brother and two neighborhood buddies (brothers Andy and Gary who now live in Nashville). We played songs by bands like the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and CCR. When my brother went to Vanderbilt for school, I started making trips to Nashville. Around that time, I tore my ACL playing football and spent my newfound free time learning to play guitar. I attended Tulane University in New Orleans. I spent played rugby and performed with a rock band at fraternity parties and college bars. I also spent my summers living and performing original songs with my brother in Nashville. After college, I became a permanent Nashville and attended Vanderbilt Law School. Living here has helped me develop my singing and songwriting chops because I am constantly inspired by the talent in this town.
- What was the first country album you ever bought? Sinners Like Me by Eric Church. Still love that album, especially the songwriting.
- What is the background story behind your latest single “Louisiana Looking Back?” Louisiana Looking Back is about my time as a college student in New Orleans. The song is a nostalgic reflection on a relationship I had back then. I had fun weaving Louisiana imagery throughout the lyrics with lines about fishing in Delacroix, watching LSU football in the rain, and two-stepping at the Bourbon Cowboy, a country bar on Bourbon Street. Like a lot of my songs, Louisiana Looking Back is very autobiographical. I find that songs written from experience connect with people the most. The audience can always tell when you aren’t being genuine.
- Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019? Ihave a new song called Goodbye Rodeo that I’ll release as a single, but it probably won’t be until early 2020. I also play songwriters rounds in Nashville from time to time and plan on continuing that. Even though I wrote Louisiana Looking Back and the majority of my EP by myself, I plan to schedule some more co-writes with other songwriters in town.
- What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I’ve performed at Winners Bar, Belcourt Taps, Alley Taps, the Local, the Dogwood, and a number of other venues in Nashville. One of my favorite spots, Bobby’s Idle Hour on music row, unfortunately closed down. That place was so iconic. I also got to play at the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans with my college band. That was a really cool experience.
- What is your recording process like when making new music? For me, the recording process always revolves around the song. We think about what the song needs and what will enhance, rather than distract from, the lyrics and melody. In particular, we think about the instruments we want to include, whether it’s fiddle, pedal steel, banjo, a female harmony part, etc. By the time I get into the studio, I usually have an idea of what I want the finished product to sound like, but I still rely a great deal on input from the producers, sound engineer, and session musicians. I recorded my EP at a studio in Nashville called the Amber Sound. My old band mate, Andy, introduced me to the owner of the studio and also hooked me up with some great studio musicians. Those guys really captured the sound I was looking for. Louisiana Looking Back and my upcoming single Goodbye Rodeo were recorded with my other former band mate, Gary. He and his brother Andy co-produced the project. It’s easy to be creative when you’re working with friends you know and trust. I’ve been fortunate enough to record with some great friends who happen to be great musicians as well.
- How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Boot-stomping country rock
- What is one of your favorite quotes? Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. Mark Twain
Dan Lawrence is a country music songwriter/singer and he is in living in Nashville, Tennessee. Lawrence was born and grew up in Oaks, Pennsylvania. He started a band with his brother and two of his neighborhood friends that went to middle school with him. While attending high school, he started to write his songs and sing them with his band in different places such as coffee shops, bars and festivals around his hometown and also different cities and towns in the Philadelphia area.
He went to Tulane University and that is where Lawrence sang and played drums for a southern rock group that played for different college bars, and fraternity parties in New Orleans and Louisiana. In the summers his spent time living, playing and working on his songwriting skills in Nashville. After graduating from Tulane in 2016, Lawrence moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt Law School. He kept writing and playing his kind of country music in Music City.
Some of his favorite music groups and singers are the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen, he also enjoys listening to classical singers like Merle Haggard and George Strait, and today country rock singers such as Jon Pardi, Eric Church, Kip Moore, Cody Johnson, and Turnpike Troubadours.
Lawrence’s first single “Matthews on the Map,” and it is a part of his first EP titled “Dan Lawrence,” and it came out on October 26, 2018. On November 1, 2019, his brand new and latest single “Louisiana Looking Back,” came out and it is available on Spotify and iTunes.
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Country singer/songwriter Hailey Miller is from Eugene, Oregon. She has been singing since before she spoke a word. She has also started writing when she learned to hold a pencil and picked up a guitar to write her first official song at 11 years old. Miller has written hundreds of songs and is chasing her musical career in Nashville Tennessee in her music. Some of her early music influences are Sheryl Crow and Fleetwood Mac and one of her favorite today country artist is Miranda Lambert. Her early introduction to variety musical genres such as country, rock, pop, and soul takes clear form in the form of her unique sound. Miller shares she writes and sings “primary Pop and Country with a splash of Soul.” She is ambitious by being truthful, having honest lyrics and loves making music that tells a story and makes individuals feel heard.
Miller’s first independent release, “The One,” came out this year and she continues to work on her upcoming EP. She has also worked with other writers’ and producers around Nashville, and played many writers rounds and shows around town.
Her brand new single “Boy Toy,” came out today (11/15/2019), it the perfect pop/country anthem. It is available to listen to both on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about Hailey Miller then check out her website at (https://www.haileyemillermusic.com).
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1. Hi Ashley, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Well I started playing Guitar at age 17. When I picked it up my life changed. So before that I was a pretty normal kid. I loved school & hanging out with my friends & like most kids couldn’t wait to be older haha.
2. What was the first country album you ever bought? I went to Wal Mart & bought Gretchen Wilson’s “Here For The Party”. That record changed my life.
3. How did you come up the with the name of your latest EP “Bakersfield?” I come from Bakersfield, California. When trying to decide a name for my Debut EP I couldn’t think of a better one then naming it after it being the place that gave me my start in life, Music & helped make m the artist & person I am.
4. What is the your favorite song off your EP “Bakersfield?” Oh boy, That’s a tough one! So I wrote or co-wrote all 7 songs on the project. They all hold a very dear place to me. My song ” The Man that Prays For Me” always gets me. I also really like “Cake’. Every one always sings that back to me at shows & “Play Like Ken” is just a sassy good time.
5. What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I love to travel to new places & meet new people. So I try to travel & play shows as much as possible. In Nashville though I do love to Play Revival 615, The Bluebird Cafe & a few other venues in town.
6. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Real life, Good People.
7. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not working on your music? Haha That is not often but I have a Golden Retriever Puppy Named “Melody”. I love to hang with her & go on long hikes. I love just hanging out with friends. Traveling & every now & then binge watching a show on Netflix.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes? ” If you talk bad about my Momma or Country Music.. Them are fighting words! ” – Dolly Parton.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share? Well on Nov. 22nd I am releasing a brand new song called “Family”. I am just really happy & blessed to do what I do. I really appreciate people supporting me & my music & allowing me to live the dream. I hope people enjoy it. I am really proud of this song.
Singer and songwriter Ashley Taylor grew up in Bakersfield, California. Thanks to her grandma’s CD collection connected with the ironic musical history of her hometown and the “Bakersfield Sound,” Taylor got her first guitar when she was 17 years old and has been making music ever since.
Yet, it was not until Taylor became friends with known songwriter Clay Mills (“Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It”) by Darius Rucker, that Taylor made the decision to sell everything she had, and moved to Nashville, Tennessee to start her country music career.
Taylor has been working constantly in different writing rooms on Music Row. She has written many songs by different recording artists including A&E TV Star & Warner Chapel Recording Artist Big SMO, American Idol’s Matt Wynn, Jenna Lea, and Ryan Larkins.
The Nashville Songwriter Association International also named Taylor “One To Watch,” Her singles have been placed in many songwriting competitions including “Write About Jesus,” NSAI pitch to a publisher, and TOP 40 and Man Verses Row. People can also see Taylor was also in many episodes of the hit TV show Nashville which used to be on the CMT Network.
In November 2017, Taylor was privileged by the Bakersfield Country Music Awards for her achievements and contributions to her hometown and the famous Bakersfield Sound. Taylor was also nominated for rising female artist and song of the year for her song “Cake,” at the 2019 Josie Music Awards. She was also nominated that year for an Outstanding 7 KICMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year, Song of the Year and Top Female Vocalist.
Taylor put out her debut EP “Bakersfield,” on January 18, 2019. This EP had great success and charted to number 60 on the iTunes Top 100 Country Album Charts and was met with great reviews by fans and industry experts.
When Taylor is not writing songs, she is touring on the road and making new fans and friends all the country and performing in Nashville’s most popular venues such as Douglas Corner and The Bluebird Café, and also she appears on TV news segments and in radio interviews locally and nationally. Her music is down-tow-earth and has lyrics that many people can relate to. Taylor connects with her fans everywhere by bringing together the sounds and subjects of real-life situations and good people wherever she travels to.
If you would like to find out more about Ashley Taylor then check out her website at (https://www.ashleytaylormusic.com).
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1. Hello Mercy Shine, can you guys tell me a little bit about yourselves before you became a country duo?
Jason grew up in a little town called Ivor,VA & Matt grew up in a little town called Dendron,VA in the tidewater area of VA. Jason and Matt were introduced at age 17 by a mutual friend which at the time was the drummer for the rock band they were in along with another childhood friend who was the guitarist for the band. Jason & Matt spent years in the rock arena, playing with some of the biggest names in the industry such as; KISS, GodSmack, Fuel, Saliva, & Deep Purple to name a few.
2. How you guys become a country music group and how did you come up with the name of your group “Mercy Shine?”
Jason called Matt one day & ask if he would be interested in recording some country-rock songs as a duo.
A friend of Matt’s came up with the name Mercy Shine years ago. Matt reached out to him and ask if we could use the name & he said sure.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
Keith Whitley, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Robert Plant, & Paul Stanley
4. What is the background story behind your latest single “Curves?”
We sent out emails to songwriters & publishing companies saying that we were looking for songs to cut for a EP. We received 62 songs and Curves was one of the 5 that we recorded. We decided to release it as a our single because it is a very catchy, was able to sing along to and a song that you can dance to. The song was written by: Jason Matthews, Joel Shewmake, and Country music artist William Michael Morgan. It was Produced by: Kimo Forrest Guitarist for the group Alabama
5. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?
We are working on recording 5 more songs for a full length album. Our booking agent is also working on putting a tour together.
6. Where are a few of your guys’ favorite venues or events to play at?
They are all our favorite. We are humbled, blessed, and honored to be able to do what we do. We enjoy every opportunity we get to perform; getting to see people happy and having a good time.
7. If you had to describe your music in 3 to 5 words, which words would you choose?
It leaves you wanting more
8. What was the first conercts you guys ever attended?
Jason was Ozzy Osbourne.
Matt was Skinny Puppy.
9. What is a few of your guys favorite quotes a good time?
Having fun and being yourself is more than ok.
10. Is there anything else you two would like to share?
We wanna thank everyone for the love and support.
Swing by and say hi at the links below
Country duo Mercy Shine is an award winning Nashville Entertainment Weekly Records recording artist. Contained of Jason Clark and Matt Barfield, Mercy Shine is unrepentantly truthful and honest individuals. They were born and raised in the tidewater part of Virginia. Clark and Barfield have spent many years in the rock arena, performing shows with some of the biggest bands in the music business such as, KISS, Godsmack, Fuel, Saliva and Deep Purple.
They are happy to bring their country/rock alteration to many different audiences in the country music world. In August 2019, they released their single “Curves,” along with their self-titled EP, which, was produced by Kimo Forrest (guitarist for the group Alabama).
Mercy Shine has been nominated this year at the Josie Music Awards. The Josie Music Awards is a brand of The Josie Network, LCC and is the biggest independent artists awards show in the world. The nominations were for Duo of the Year and Fan Choice of the Year (Winning the Duo of the Year Award). They was also nominated for two KICMA Awards for Duo of the Year and Single of the Year. They also won the SB Productions Rising Star of the Year Awards.
If you would like to find out more about Mercy Shine then check out their website at https://tjtvnetwork.wixsite.com/mercy-shine.
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