Patrick Thomas~ Q&A!!!

1.     Hello Patrick, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country music artist?

I have been making music for as long as I can remember.  The story my parents tell is taking me to see Titanic in theaters when I was about 7 years old. They whisked me away for “bathroom breaks” when the content became too inappropriate, but that didn’t stop me from soaking up all of the wonderful music in that film.  When we came home they found me at the piano playing the underscoring from the movie.  I don’t think country music really happened until I was sixteen and started singing in a country show at six flags over texas. I heard Lonestar’s “Amazed” on CMT and couldn’t believe that those kind of straight-forward, romantic lyrics could go with such beautiful music. By the time I was in college I had picked up a guitar, and that’s really when the country started flowing out.

2.     What made you want to have a career in country music?

Honestly, it kind of fell into my lap.  I always wanted to be someone who could bridge genres. A country Michael Buble, or a country Coldplay, but I didn’t really identify as a “country artist” until my late teenage years. One day I woke up and thought, “hey I drive a truck, I wear cowboy boots, I’m from Texas, I write songs from the heart…aww what the hell…I think I’m a country artist!”

3.     What is one of your all-time favorite country music albums?

Pure B.S. by Blake Shelton is sure up there for me. He was still singing a lot of those rangey ballads that first put him on the map and I couldn’t get over it. That whole record was just fantastic. This is a huge throwback, but I’m also a big fan of Ray Charles’ country record. Oh, and really anything Brooks and Dunn. 

4.     What is the background story behind your latest single “On My Way To You?”

This is one of the first songs I have released that I did not write.  I have said from the beginning, may the best song win, and I’ve always believed it. I didn’t want to be one of those artists who refuses to release a song unless he or she can change a line to get some writer credit (yes it happens.) I just want to record GREAT songs.  In my opinion, love songs don’t get much better than this. One day, probably five years ago, my girlfriend at the time (now fiancé) and I were going through old demos I had in my itunes folder. We stumbled upon this song that another industry friend had played me and instantly fell in love.  Well before I decided to cut it, Lauren had made the decision that this song (and not my version mind you…the demo version sang by one of the writers), would be our first dance.  I just hope I did it justice. 

5.     What is your recording process like when creating and making new music?

I’m a live performance guy through and through, so I won’t act like the recording studio is my absolute favorite place in the world, but it does come close.  There is nothing like closing your eyes with some great headphones on and getting lost in a song. I like to pull up an image or some words on my phone that inspire me, look at that a few moments before I begin, and then just let it flow out.  I really prefer full takes and think that’s how we make the real magic happen. I’m also lucky to work with a producer who happens to be the best vocal engineer in town as well.  He can read my mind and makes things happen without me having to ask him. It’s wonderful!

6.     How was your experience on The Voice?

Honestly, it feels like a lifetime ago. That said, my experience was wonderful.  To fly cross country at twenty years old and get a crash course in the entertainment business, all the while rubbing shoulders with my heroes, is a blessing beyond description. I will always be grateful for the show and the opportunities it brought me.

7.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?

Soulful country for the heart

8.     What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?

I LOVE “The Listening Room” in downtown Nashville. When the Bluebird Cafe became a tourist attraction, (after the show “Nashvillle” on ABC), The Listening Room really stepped in to cater to larger audiences.  They have some amazing FOH sound engineers and it’s always a pleasure playing there. I also got the opportunity to play the historic Ryman Auditorium.  I’ll save that story for another time. Truly, an other-worldly experience.  Lastly, I’ve played a number of symphony halls across the country with my show “Country Legends.”  Each hall is different, but they are all equally spectacular and beautiful. 

9.     Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’d just like to encourage folks who are fans of my music, to follow me on Spotify/Instagram, etc.  Those follows, and pre-saves of music, pre-purchases on itunes…they are all VERY helpful for an emerging artist’s career. Can’t thank you enough for that!

10.  What is one of your favorite quotes? 

I’m embarrassed to say this, but I really don’t have a favorite quote. At least not something that wouldn’t sound super cliché! I guess I’ll quote my mother and her mother as well who would always say, “This too shall pass.”  Seems fitting during these trying times. 

Patrick Thomas~ Artist Spotlight

            The offspring of two Broadway singers, Patrick Thomas grew up in Colleyville, Texas bounded by music. At a young age, he was taken to see the famous movie Titanic. After the film, he returned home and started playing the underscoring from the movie on piano. Continuing to show huge high levels of music-making and the skill to convey himself by ear, Thomas started a life of many public performances. From international cooperate events to singing at major league national anthems, to being on television shows at Johnny High’s Country Music Revue. Thomas kept working on his craft of singing and playing the piano and also adding songwriting to the mix by the time he was a pre-teen.

            A favorite and live finalist on the first season of NBC’s The Voice (Team Blake), Thomas was seen and signed by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Brett James and Cornman Music where he advanced more as a songwriter, writing over 200 songs in his first year. 

            For the next couple of years, Thomas toured the United States singing classic country songs with huge symphony size orchestras (over thirty to date) and played at a dueling piano bar when home in Nashville. In September of 2018, he put out his first self-titled EP produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Will Bowen.)

            In addition, of his career country artist Thomas has also written a full-length musical, “The Battle of Franklin,” which debuted to sell-out audiences in Franklin, TN, also breaking gross ticket sales records for the producing company, Studio Tenn. As a keyboard player, he has played on many sessions and has also toured as a bandleader and multi-instrumentalist for a variety of Nashville artists. Lastly, he is a well-known demo-vocalist for many songwriters and publishing companies in the city. 

            On October 9, 2020, Thomas put out his latest single “On My Way To You.” This great single is available to listen on both Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about Patrick Thomas then check out his website at (

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Austin Merrill~ Q&A

1. Hi Austin, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?

Well, I started singing and writing country songs when I was 18, so I guess before that I was a professional child. But more recently, I was a lieutenant in the Tennessee Army National Guard prior to becoming a full-time musician. I actually just finished up my time in uniform. It was the honor of a lifetime to serve this great nation, but I am happy to close that chapter of my life and focus entirely on music.

2. What made you decide to have a career in country music?

Music has always been a passion of mine. My mom and dad played almost exclusively country music in the car and at home, so when I started expressing myself through original songs it was only natural that I drifted toward the genre that I knew best. I love country music, both old and new, and I try to show that through the songs I write.

3. Do you have a favorite lyric in your new single “All In?” 

“You’re the jackpot, I’m a longshot. I might win, then again I might not, but I’m all in.” I think those two lines sum up the story as good as any others. Love is a gamble, and sometimes you have to risk it all by putting yourself out there for someone. You might win. You might lose. But you’ll never know until you try. 

4. Who are some of your musical icons?

I grew up on all the 90’s country greats. Basically, every artist from that era and beyond had at least a couple of hits that have influenced my sound and style. If I had to choose a few in particular, I’d say Vince Gill, Alan Jackson and Keith Urban are the artists that drew me in the most. They each have very definable, unique sounds, and I enjoy and appreciate their music to this day.

5. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?

Haha, that’s a tough one. I guess I’ll choose the words: different, new, and familiar. I think my voice and songwriting style live in their own space and have a uniqueness to them, but listeners will still hear elements of traditional country music that are very familiar to them. I may bring a fresh sound, but people can tell I’m a country boy at heart.

6. What are a few of your favorite venues or events to play at?

The coolest show I’ve ever played was in downtown Nashville at a venue called Acme Feed & Seed. I got to open a sold-out show for the band Shenandoah, who is one of my all-time favorite bands. That was a surreal moment. Marty [the lead singer] even brought me back up on stage to help them sing their classic hit “Church on Cumberland Road.” It doesn’t get any better than that.

7. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not working on your music?

I think it’s important for an artist to have hobbies completely unrelated to music. It helps provide balance. I’m a lifelong snowboarder, and I play a lot of disc golf when the weather is nice. I’m also a good hackeysacker. If I’m walking by and I see a good hack circle going on, I’m absolutely joining in. But try as I might, even during my free time I’ve got a song in my head I’m working on.

8. What is one of your favorite quotes?

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Unless a man is master of his soul, all other kinds of mastery amount to little.” A career as a recording artist can be a rather selfish endeavor, and I believe it’s important to pursue anything in this life only for the right reasons. If the music I create helps someone through a tough time in their life or helps them process certain emotions, then it’s all worth it. Whatever we do in life, it has to be with others in mind.

9. Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’m really excited to release my new track “All In” to the world, and thank you for the interview. If people want to join me on this crazy journey I’m on, follow me at @austinmerrillmusic for updates on new songs, videos, tour dates, and everything else Austin. Take care and stay safe out there. 

Austin Merrill~ Artist Spotlight

Having an amusing, unique voice and a skill for writing strong songs with memorable melodies, singer and songwriter Austin Merrill is showing to be one of country music’s brightest uprising acts. His rare sound is both traditional and new, a smooth combo with a huge charm that feels just as much at home on a stage as it does on the farm.

Showcasing the Top 30 title track, Merrill’s debut EP “Whiskey & Water,” was released last spring was high praise. Working together with Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Bright, Austin has created an inspiring 5-track project that both showcases his 90’s Country background and also his contemporary songwriting that easily changes to the ears of today’s Country listener. 

            Every song on the project was written by Merrill. Music played a big role from a small age for the Oregon local, helping shape a tough sense of individualism and originality in a diverse family. Country music was family music for Merrill, and the impacts of his favorite childhood singers such as Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, and Shenandoah, can still be listened in the music he writes and sings about today. Merrill first came to town as a prize-winning upright bassist and skillful sax player.

            After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Merrill responded to another lifelong dream that he could no longer overlook, as he joined the U.S. Army and is now appointed as a  Lieutenant in the Tennessee Army National Guard. Being able to be an officer in the Army has trained him many life lessons and granted him the chance to help the common good while chasing a growing music career. The first single off the EP, “You’ll Come Knocking,” was introduced on Spotify’s New Boots Playlist and has gathered over 400,000 streams.

Today on October 16, 2020, Merrill brand new great single “All In,” came out and you can listen to his new tune on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube and Amazon. If you would like to find out more about country singer and songwriter Austin Merrill then check out his website at (

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Paige King Johnson~ Q&A!!!

1.     Hello Paige, can you tell a little bit about yourself before you became a country artist?I grew up in a small North Carolina town listening to all the classic country artists that paved the way for people like me today, including Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard & Waylon Jennings. I loved music even as a little kid and was always singing something around the house or in my car seat. When I was 10 years old I got my first guitar as a Christmas present from my Papa and instantly fell in love with performing, playing and everything in between. The rest was history!

2.     Who are some of your musical icons?I look up to all the strong women in country music who have had such remarkable careers over the years like Loretta, Patsy, Dolly, Reba, Shania, and so many more! I also love current artists who are doing their best to keep that spirit alive like Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, and Lori McKenna to name a few.

3.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?Modern Retro Country

4.     What is the background story behind your brand new single “Just Like You?”I wrote this song in April of 2019 with a dear friend of mine from college, Regan Rousseau, about the give and takes of a relationship. I think the beauty in being loved by someone is that they accept you each day for all the parts of you, good and bad. And that’s when relationships work – when both people commit to loving each other a little more every day. I hoped to capture in this song each act of kindness, appreciation, and altruistic behavior shown to me to highlight the fact that the simple ways of loving someone can be the most beautiful things in life to them.

5.     What is your recording process like when making and creating new music?I love getting in the studio with my producer, Bill McDermott, because we get each other on every level musically. Our relationship was founded on our shared love for so many artists and their styles, so it was only fitting that we worked together. I had a pretty good idea of the general sound I was going for with this record, but Bill really helped bring all those ideas to life through the speakers which was so fun to watch. It’s truly a process to get everything just like you want it, and for me I knew I wanted it to sound like me and I knew I wanted it to sound country. As long as we had some steel guitar, I was happy! 

6.     What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?This is a hard question because I love to travel and this job of mine takes me to so many new places all the time! Still though, out of all the venues I’ve seen, some of my favorite places to play are still the local places back in my hometown in North Carolina where I cut my teeth as a performer. Any chance I get to go back home and play for people back in the places I grew up playing is so special to me.

7.     What do you like to do in your free time when not working on your music? When I’m not working on music, I really really enjoy both being active – preferably outdoors – by running or hiking, and also experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes. I’m such a foodie, which is the main reason why I have to be so active.

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?“If you see someone without a smile today, give ’em yours.” – Dolly PartonI try to stay on the optimistic side of most things just because I don’t enjoy being a sad person.
9.     Is there anything else you would like to share?Along with the song that released on Friday, October 2 and the lyric video on my YouTube page, I’m also very excited to be releasing the official music video for “Just Like You” very soon! Keep an eye out on my Facebook page and website for more updates.

Paige King Johnson~ “Artist Spotlight”!!!

In a peaceful North Carolina 22 miles south of Raleigh, as a little 9 years old girl, Paige King Johnson spent her summers under the crepe myrtles copying the patterns of Loretta, Pasty, Waylon, and Merle. Johnson’s biggest fan was her grandpa and he gifted her first guitar. The guitar was a baby Taylor and after receiving it she was enrolled in guitar lessons. After her grandpa passed away, the full of life dreamer carried on his memory by bringing her brand-new discovery to local fairs, festivals, and any other stage she was permitted to play on. As she got older, Johnson added “opening act” to her resume, supporting country artists like Scott McCreery, Neal McCoy, Luke Pell and James. When she was about to graduate from high school she realizes that this was more than just a little hobby. The Angier local swapped in horse pastures and back roads for the colorful lights of Music City in 2015. Before starting college at Belmont University for Music Business, Johnson enhanced in on the magic that had deeply inspired her as a kid: the love of storytelling by writing songs. Johnson states that she “started finding my own voice thru writing, becoming more confident, and owning the fact that my personal feelings and experiences were worth talking about, singing about, and putting on paper.”

            The world-famous Bluebird Café was just one of the countless writers’ circuits around Nashville that offered a safe area for Johnson to meet and connect with other writers, try out new songs, and get feedback. In return, Johnson started charming audiences with her down-home stage attendance, cut right to the jaw stories and rare country voice, meaningful of the classic country period. In the last 4 years, Johnson has traveled back and forth between Nashville and the Carolinas, playing shows like the North Carolina State Fair and running her dinner theatre, Country on the Outskirts of Town, that she started in high school. Johnson’s quarterly performance offers an environment for locals to enjoy some yummy Southern cooking, fellowship with friends, and the sounds of old and new country music with some gospel combined with it. A three-time Carolina Music Awards Nominee for Best Country Female Artist, Johnson’s dedicated homegrown fan support continues to grow further than just her backyard.

            After expanding her wings with her debut single “Water Down The Whiskey,” rising to the #29 spot on Music Row charts, and with a debut music video following that wowed her fans. Paige’s second single “Just Like You,” came out on October 2, 2020. This genuine song does not start like most other love songs but has a surprising turn of calmness and sentimentality that will make anyone want to fall in love while listening to it. Unlike the sass and harshness of her first single, Johnson is happy to expose a more sensitive and loving side of her as both a singer and songwriter with the release of the second single. With an honest belief to write truthful songs, she can be proud for many years to come. Johnson is ready to go down any trail that calls her name, as long as she can it in her favorite boots. 

            If you would like to find out more about Paige King Johnson check out her website at ( 

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Dani Taylor~ Q&A!!!

Hi Dani Taylor, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?

Hi! Before I became a country musician I was in college and got my bachelor’s in English literature. I also used to work at a golf hitting range before I became a full-time country artist. I never learned to golf even though I was offered free lessons.

2. Who are some of your favorite music artists of all time?

Kacey Musgraves, Patsy Cline, Sam Smith and Joy Williams.

3. What is the background story behind your brand new single “Man of Few Words?”

“Man of Few Words” was the first song I’ve ever written out of pure imagination. My co-writers Will Rambeaux and Sherrie Austin and I rewrote the song 2 times to make it perfect. I had the hook for a while and Will rambled off “he’s a man of few words and he saves the three best for me” and I said “SOLD!” And we wrote the song but ended up rewriting it another day and then once more because my intuition told me it wasn’t just right yet. I wrote the song about dating a type of man I’ve never dated before but would love to be with one day. I put myself in the shoes of a woman who recognizes her partner is quiet but his actions speak his love louder than any words could.

4. What is your recording process like when creating new music?

Luckily, I was able to record “Man of Few Words” before the pandemic hit. It was finished beforehand by my amazing producers Brad Hill and Dave Thompson. They knew exactly what to do with the song without overpowering it. They are so talented and I am very grateful to have worked with them.

5. How would you describe your music in only 3 to 5 words?

Positive, introspective, uplifting and supportive.

6. What are a few of your favorite venues to perform at?

I miss performing so much. The first venue I’ve ever performed at was the Commodore Grille, which will always hold a special place in my heart. I had a couple of shows planned that were canceled because of the pandemic. But I hope to perform at the Analog one day soon when it’s safe to do so.

7. What do you like to do in your free time when not working on your music?

I love baking, painting, watching historical documentaries and/or crime mystery shows. 

8. What is one of your favorite quotes?

“If it is meant for you, you won’t have to beg for it. You will never have to sacrifice your dignity for your destiny.”

– Edgar Allen Poe 

9. Is there anything else you would like share?

I have a Christmas song called “Does It Snow in Nashville” scheduled to be released November 6th! 🙂 I’ve been holding onto this song for a few years and I’m so ready to release it! I was born a week before Christmas and my middle name is Noelle so it’s only natural that I write and release Christmas music.

Dani Taylor~ “Artist Spotlight”

            Dani Taylor is an up and coming country/pop artist and currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. Taylor is known for her beloved, rising vocal skills and high-spirited lyrics. Her sound is half country and pop and is combined with fun musical instruments like the banjo, guitar, and mandolin. Having played at acoustic sets and writers’ rounds around Nashville’s country scene, the official worldwide release of Taylor’s debut single “Girl Most Likely,” came out on August 28, 2020. Her first single gained over 39,000 streams on Spotify and also received love from other music outlets like CMT, American Songwriter, and Country Sway. Taylor’s second single “Man of Few Words,” will be out on October 9, 2020.

            Taylor was born and grew up in Arizona, she moved to Nashville to pursue her country music career in 2018. As a child, she performed in choir and participated in musical theatre, but it was only in high school that she found her love and talent for music again. After working with a vocal coach, Taylor found a discovery after she started listening to country music and doing her covers like Patsy Cline, which gained traction on social media site Facebook. After that Taylor understood her song ideas and writing skills were decisive of the country genre. Taylor has been motivated by a lot of hard moments in her life, from tough experiences to breakups. She found making music to help her and turn those hard times into better situations. She started to write songs each day after a terrible breakup.

            If you would like to find out more about the talented Dani Taylor then check out her website (

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