Joe Hanson

1.     Hi Joe, can you tell us a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I grew up in Naperville IL all my life and come from a family of seven. I have four other siblings plus out family dog. Growing up I was really into baseball till around sophomore year of high school, that’s really when I got into music. Before I pursued country music as a solo artist, I got my start in music playing drums (drums was my first instrument) in a worship band that my brother and I started, playing on mission trips and retreats. 
2.     How did you get into country music and what made you want a career in it?
I got into country music from a very young age. My parents pretty much brainwashed me with old school Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and early Rascall Flatts and Keith Urban and that’s how I originally fell in love with the genre and music itself. I really wanted a career in country music because I love the storytelling. I think there is incredible power when you can bring unity to a group of people through a shared experience or story. That for me is my mission statement as an artist, to being unity through my stories and give people hope to know that whatever shoes they’re walking in whether it’s about losing a loved one, reminiscing on old memories, relationships, breakups, love, having a party, whatever it is they are not the only ones going through it. 
3.     Who are some of your musical icons?
My musical icon is Keith Urban. His level of musicianship and ability as an entertainer is incredible and really inspiring to me. 
4.     What is the background story behind your brand-new track “Wishlist?”
Wishlist actually has a funny story behind it. I was window shopping with my girlfriend and we wound up in a Kohls one night and came across this massive stuffed alpaca. It’s kind of a running joke between her and I because she jokes about wanting to have alpacas one day and so I impulse bought it, not thinking. This stuffed llama is almost taller than I am, and I am 5’10 if that gives you a reference to how massive this thing was. Anyways after I bought it I didn’t wanna return it so I decided it would be my mission to write a smash song sitting on the back of it (it was super sturdy so it was practically a seat as well). So i brought the llama to my zoom write that day and i sat on it the entire time and we ended up writing Wishlist! Can’t help but think it went so well because of the llama haha. 
But for me, Wishlist is simply a song about being thankful. Looking around I see that Christmas has become so materialistic and often times we forget just how many blessings we actually already have. The eyes of the fool are on the ends of the earth, always seeking more, never content with what God has given them. Being human I sometimes find myself forgetting that and for me this is my way of bringing back joy into the Christmas season by making a list of things I’m thankful for instead of things I want or need. My hope is that it can inspire those who listen to really take the time to count their blessings rather than their wants.
5.     What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? 
The recording process is really fun for me because I get to make it with one of my very best friends, Austin Shawn. He was the first person I actually met when I moved to Nashville three years ago and he’s been producing me every since. It’s a great vibe when we create and his house studio is really a place where I can comfortably be myself. 
6.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Honest, authentic, hopeful 
7.     What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?
My favorite venue that I’ve played at is Joe’s Live in Chicago. It was the last place we played opening up for Russell Dickerson and Lindsay Ell before quarantine shut everything down. 
8.     What do you like to do in your free time?
I love getting outdoors, anything with hiking or getting out in nature is my favorite. 
9.     What is one of your favorite quotes?
One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t tell God how big your mountain is, tell your mountain how big your God is” for me my faith in Jesus Christ is the single most important thing and for me being able to spread his gospel is my main mission in every aspect of my life. I encourage people that are going through a storm or facing a mountain in life whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual to remember who’s child you are. Don’t let the mountain do all the talking, talk back to it and speak life to yourself and self encourage yourself because verbal expression has more power than people realize. God loves each and every person he created, has sent his son to forgive them of all their sins and make them a brand new creation. God also gave them a very specific purpose and assignment that nobody else has ever had nor will ever have, so I would just encourage them to remember that quote! 
10.  Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am currently working on my debut EP and have a new music video coming out soon so make sure y’all stay on the lookout for it on my social media!! 

Joe Hanson~ Artist Spotlight

Joe Hanson is already breaking the surface, and he is brand new to the country music world. He is ready with an outstanding tenor voice and a talent for creating a melody like a painter with a brush: classy and vividly.

            Even today, Hanson understands how to write the kind of songs that stays in your head, with lyrics that reflect both negative and positive things that he has experience in his own life. While it seems that Hanson have been born to sing country music- true, he perhaps was- it took him a while to decide whether his purpose was in Christian music, on which he grew up listening to in Naperville, Illinois and also to country greats like Randy Travis, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and John Denver. After testing with many sounds and projects, Hanson knew that his calling was to make country music, so he moved to Nashville to make his country music dreams come true. 

            Since moving to Nashville, he had the chance to attend writers’ retreats, he met Keesy Timmer, who’d wrote Kelsea Ballerini’s song “Yeah Boy.” Hanson has also had the opportunity to be an opening act for some of Nashville’s finest including Brantley Gilbert, Randy Houser, Russell Dickerson and Lindsay Ell. 

            On December 4, 2020, Hanson put out his latest single “Wishlist.” This song is a great single to add your favorite Holiday playlist. His music is available both on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about Joe Hanson then please go take a look at his website (

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Steven Cade~ Q&A!!!

Hello Steven, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?Before I came a country musician I was teenager who just moved from Houston, Texas to California. That was a bit of a culture shock only being 15. My parents unfortunately divorced and we moved California to be close to my grandmother. My grandmother lived 2 miles from the beach so naturally I spent many days sitting in a line up waiting for a wave. I learned to swim in the ocean, boogie board and surf, and then on to skateboarding and snowboarding. I loved the outdoors, but who wouldn’t when you live in sunny and 71. What made you want a career in country music?Nothing necessarily made me, it was more of a byproduct of growing up and being born in the south. I was around country people and music from the start and I loved the stories behind the songs. 
What was your favorite song?  My favorite right now is my single I just released on Thanksgiving, “Still Find Christmas.”

What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? My recording process has been done in multiple ways but one way that is proving to be effective is when I go in a cut a single with a full band assembled, then take the tracks to an engineer who can also produce tracks if needed. 

How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Uplifting, Clean Country, Music with a meaningful message.
What are a few of your favorite venues to play at?Listening Room, 3rd and Lindsley, Blue Bird Café.

Who are some of your musical icons? Keith Urban, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson

What is one of your favorite quotes? Philippians 4:13″I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Is there anything else you would like to share? Please check out our family VLOG about a songwriter moving from so cal to Nashville to attain success in the music industry:

Steven Cade~ Artist Spotlight

Huston, Texas-born country musician Steven Cade has charmed and motivated audiences across North America with his unique sound. He blends contemporary pop elements into country-inspired songs, making a different kind of traditional country music. 

            Cade is now living in Nashville and is also an award-winning modern country artist and singer/songwriter. He is originally from Texas; Cade came to Nashville by way of California. His sound can be compared to Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes, and Rascal Flatts. 

            His CD “I Really Want to Say,” debuted in the iTunes Top 100 Country Chart. Cade won the Durango Songwriter’s Expo for the song “Sum of Two Hearts,” and he also won “Best Country at the Wine Country Music Awards. “What I Really Want to Say,” landed #1 for 4 straight weeks on the New Country Artist Radio, and the video aired on GAC and Heartland. Cade has been considered for 6 Grammy nominations. 

            Cade has been a co-writer with industry greats like Skip Black (LoCash, Tyler Farr, Craig Morgan, Eric Paslay, Emerson Drive), Liz Hengber (Sara Evans, Easton Corbin, Brooks & Dunn), Brian Maher (Taylor Swift, Emerson Drive, Justin Moore, Gwen Sebastian), and Jeff Cohen (The Band Perry, Sugarland, Big & Rich, Santana). His last CD and new upcoming songs were recorded in Nashville, including new video footage from Blackbird Studios. 

            Cade is also a 4-times San Diego Music Award winner, of the Country Music Association Academy of Country Music and Grammy Recording Academy. He toured nationally and has been featured with country acts like Frankie Ballard, Eric Church, Billy Currington, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain and Gavin DeGraw). He also went on tour to promote his single “Two Less Lonely People,” and also in 2019 he promotes for his upcoming 2019 “Boots on The Beach tour that was a total of 18 shows. 

            On November 24, 2020 Cade put out his brand-new single called “Still Find Christmas. It is available to listen to on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about Steven Cade then please go take a look at his website (

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Nate Barnes~ Q&A!!!

Photo Taken By: Jason Myers

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

I’m originally from South Haven, Michigan.  Previously, I was a  nuclear power plant worker but I’ve been playing music since I was a very young kid.

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

Well, I’ve always wanted to play music ever since I could remember. My grandad was the man who inspired me. He would sit and tell us stories of blues musicians and of life. I fell in love with wanting to tell stories and play music right away. When I was 21, my dear friend Dennis – who’s also a blueberry farmer – introduced me to country music in a way I’d never heard it before. From then on I knew country music was where I needed to be. It just felt like home – like something I’d been missing my whole life.

3.     Who are some of your musical icons?

BB King, Prince, Elvis, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Keith Whitley and many more.

4.     What is the background story behind your latest single “You Ain’t Pretty?”

It was written by Jimmy Yeary, Jason Sellers, and myself. The true meaning behind this song is about building people up and not tearing them down.  It talks about the inner beauty in a woman. It’s not about the hair or make up.

5.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Strong. Honest. Real. Grit.

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

Foundry Hall and the Park Theatre in Michigan. Also – any small town venue.

7.     What is your recording process like when making new music?

Cut the song in the studio with an amazing band, then work on overdubs and vocals. It’s an honor to work with my producers Mickey Jack Cones and Derek George who truly bring these songs to life. I love every minute of it. I’m a new artist and it’s been great learning all that I can from the very best. 

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Don’t die with your music still inside you.”   ~ Wayne Dyer

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

I feel so blessed for this opportunity and for the amazing team I get to be a part of at Quartz Hill Records. It’s truly a dream come true.  Thank you to Benny Brown, Jason Sellers and Paul Brown for believing in me. It’s gonna be an amazing year for all of us!

Nate Barnes~ “Artist Spotlight”!!!

Photo By: Jason Myers

            It is told that storytellers are their greatest when they write about what they know. Quartz Hill Records up and coming country artist Nate Barnes is no exception. The blue-collar power plant worker writes and sings about the work and the everyday life he is a part of in the small town of South Haven, Michigan. Barnes sings about God, family, hard-work, heartache, love and the simple kind of life. He also sings about how to get by and the blood, sweat and tears that get us there. The honestly which Barnes sings stories of the every-day life, working class Americans is sincere (because he is also one, too). 

            Barnes started working at only 13 years old, he helped at a youth camp. His work ethic was strongly inspired by his mom who had three jobs, as well as his stepdad who worked double duty at both the local power plant and on a blueberry farm to make ends meet. By 14, Barnes was working on roofs and building houses with his uncle. Then at 18, he started his stepdad’s footsteps, by receiving an entry level job at the power plant by cleaning toilets and driving buses. He worked his way up through the levels of manual labor- making scaffolding, pouring concrete, shoveling and digging trenches, putting down pipelines, and working on mechanical maintenance for sometimes 14 hours in one day, working in heavy suits, helmets, often times in high cold or heat. 

            During the long hours of manual labor, music was never far away from Barnes’ heart. The small-town boy and dreamer first started playing at church in sixth grade and later at parties and small gatherings. His mom would take him all over town and sit through each show. As time went on, Barnes started performing at bars and venues every night and weekends. 

            He was musically influenced by both of his grandparents; Barnes grew up singing with his family after Sunday dinners. Barnes and his family would join around his grandmother as she played hymns on the blues on the family piano. Barnes remembers how, after each session, his grandfather would sit in his recliner with blues on the radio and a western on TV while he amused his grandkids of stories about growing up and working in the fields in Tupelo, Mississippi. 

             When Barnes was 21, a close friend and mentor introduced him to the music and stories of Keith Whitley, George Strait, Alabama and Brooks & Dunn. As he dove more and more into the world of country music, he found out that these were the passages of his own life- the lessons he had learned, the individuals he had love, the sorrows he had tolerated – the stories speak in a way that felt like home. 

            Even though, he has spent many years playing bars, coffee shops, small venues and festivals in and close to his hometown, Barnes was discovered as result of a fluke, he met chart-topping songwriter Jason Sellers, while passing through Nashville on his way to vacation in Gatlinburg. A conversation led to a song and Sellers knew right away that he had met a true original musician. Sellers introduce Barnes to Benny and Paul Brown. Working with the Brown’s was the start of his country music career. 

            On October 30, 2020, Barnes newest single came out “You Ain’t Pretty.” If you would like to find out more Nate Barnes then check out his website ( 

Bear Redell~ Q&A!!!

1.     Hello Bear, can you tell us all a little about yourself before you became a country musician?  Hi! I grew up in Solvang, CA and I’ve always been musical. I took piano lessons as a kid and I performed in all the talent shows. I was also very interested in football so I played for about 10 years. I graduated high school and proceeded to attend UCLA for 4 years. I was a walk-on linebacker for the bruins and kept up with songwriting/music classes on the side. I joined songwriting classes at UCLA and I knew I wanted to move to Nashville to better my writing. I graduated last year in 2019 and moved to Nashville in January 2020 right before COVID. I’m been writing a lot and working on new music – church & cash is my new single and I’m really proud of it!

2.     What made you want a career in music?   I’ve always been passionate about music in all capacities. I keep up with charts and new music – I even like the artwork associated with songs. I get hired to cover songs at bars, weddings and private parties. I have a interest in a wide variety of musical genres including country, rock, to even hip-hop/rap. Music as a whole is a a great unifier through social and political division. I have always loved storytelling and country music is the genre that embodies that action. We have a fundraiser in my hometown called Nashville Nights where #1 Hit Nashville writers play a round in the local amphitheater. This whole show is very personal and intimate because the stories behind the song are told. It’s an amazing act of artistry to move people through stories and lyrics and because of this I wanted to move to Nashville. My dream is to play a whole set of originals to an audience that sings back every word. I just know I organically surround myself with music so I had to follow music in any capacity as a career path.

3.     Who are some of your music idols? Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton & Tom Petty

4.     What is the background story behind your latest single “Church & Cash?” I met Stephen Ray back in August 2020 and I had this idea in my phone for a year with the hook “a whole lotta church and a little bit of cash.” I knew I wanted to play on the double meaning by telling a story but also utilizing Eric Church and Johnny Cash song titles in the process. Stephen helped me make the song what it is and I’m very grateful for our relationship. It’s a breakup song and the only things that will get someone through the severe drinking at bars is “a whole lotta church and a little bit of cash,” as well as subtly mentioning music as a key healer in heartache (Eric Church/Johnny Cash). 

5.     What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? I worked with Shayne Hill to help produce this track. He hired his team of amazing musicians and they really gave this song life. The whole process at Omni Studios was amazing because it provided a little insight to how Nashville recording studios are operated. When writing new music, I usually record a crappy GarageBand demo and make sure the lyrics are really clear for revisiting.

6.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Country Storytelling Rock

7.     What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? Bluebird Cafe, Tootsies, Live Oak, Kid Rock’s Rooftop

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

I saw Tom Petty’s last concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 2017. He played American Girl with his band and got a standing ovation. He died 7 days later. He is a huge influence on my music. One of the best of all time.

I’m a huge Office fan – my college roommate and I can quote the whole series front to back. We competed in LA on Trivia nights about the show and we take it very seriously. I can play the theme song on the piano.

9.     What is one of your favorite quotes? “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden

Bear Redell~ Artist Spotlight!!!

Brett Redell is a singer and songwriter. Redell is from Solvang, California. As a teen, he played football and also took piano lessons. Redell won the 2011 Santa Barbara Teen Star Competition when he was in the 8th grade, with his own cover of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” While attending high school, he played at weddings, bars, restaurants, and wineries. Redell then went to UCLA, he was a walk-on football player for the Bruins. He graduated in 2019 and moved to Nashville, TN in 2020. He plans to pursue a career in the music world as an artist and writer. Redell release his single “Church & Cash,” in November 2020. 

            If you would like to find out more about Bear Redell then check out his website at ( 

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