Kendal Conrad~ “Q&A”

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

Hi!  Before I was a country musician, I was a kid who used to take her boombox out to the barn and perform for the chickens and the horses.  I always loved to sing, even if no one was listening.  I then segued into local talent competitions and teen idol contests.  It wasn’t until high school that I taught myself how to play guitar and started writing songs.    

2.  What was the first country album you bought?

The first country album I bought was Taylor Swift’s debut album, and boy, was that a defining moment.  I was shocked to discover that a girl my age, who grew up near me (Wyomissing, PA), wrote her own songs and played guitar.  To say I was inspired is an understatement.  “Tim McGraw” made me want to be a songwriter.

3.  What is the background story behind your latest track “Come to Your Senses?”

“Come to Your Senses” vents my frustrations with dating.  I’m basically leveling with the guy across the room: look, the ball is in your court.  Are we going to sit here and make eyes at each other all night or are you going to come talk to me?  You can’t make a connection with someone without communication. 

4.  Is there anything else coming up with your music in 2019?

I will definitely be releasing more music from the EP that I just finished recording with Matt McVaney earlier this year!  There aren’t any songs on there as bright as “Senses,” but there is a fun dance-type track, a ballad, a song about revenge.  I’m excited to see the reaction when I put out the rest of the songs.

5.  What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?

I love playing Jenks Club in Point Pleasant, NJ.  It’s on Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, and the crowd is always super pumped and high energy.  I’ve played there a few times, and this year I’m opening for Adam Doleac August 21.  If anyone wants to go, message me — I have a limited number of free tickets!  

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

Vulnerable.  Empowering.  Edgy.  

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

I’m a big horror buff, so I like to keep up with the latest horror movie releases.  I’m also an obnoxious photographer of food, so I like to try different restaurants and different kinds of food.  I’ve learned that I like escargot and grilled cactus.  

8.  What is one of your favorite quotes?

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”  This is a paraphrase from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.  I feel like it suits my mindset and the way I approach life in general.

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

Make sure to follow me on my socials!  I follow back on Twitter and Instagram.  

Patrick Carpenter~ “Q&A”!!!

1. Hello Patrick can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?Well, I’ve pretty much always been a musician. I began playing guitar around 11 and before that, I was a pretty average kid always playing soccer and stuff. Before I began pursuing the artist thing, I spent a few years as a lead guitar player for a few acts around town. In 2018, I broke off to do my own thing, but I still will join in with my friends as their guitar player here in there. Over the past few years I have also been pursuing a football-coaching career as well. I spent 3 seasons at Franklin High School in Franklin, TN and recently, I was hired at Lipscomb Academy for the 2019 season. Outside of country, I have a heart for worship music. I played at my home church St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Madison, MS my whole life and I still do when I go home. When I came to Nashville, I really looked hard for a church to assist in Worship with. That lead me to Brentwood UMC and Otter Creek in Brentwood, TN. I am very thankful for my musical gifts and playing in worship has been such a great way to give back. 

2.When did you realize you wanted a career in country music? Probably when I was really young. Almost immediately after I began playing guitar, I knew I wanted to do this. I remember watching Kenny Chesney’s “I Go Back” video one summer and saying “I wanna do that!” I remember seeing Bon Jovi and just being blown away by their presence and ability to have the crowd feeding from the whole band and I knew I wanted to be those guys. 

3. How did you come up with the name of your most recent album “Friday Night Hallelujah?”Haha so that’s a funny story. I had heard the phrase in another song and I thought that was such an interesting idea because it could be it’s own song and everyone has his or her own version of a “Friday Night Hallelujah.” Whether it’s a beach, a bar, a farm, everyone has their own escape. The idea then grew to were the songs on this album the songs that you would hear on your Friday Night escape? It’s a soundtrack to a Friday night party. 

4What is your favorite song off your newest album?. Ooh good question, I love so many of these songs for so many reasons. I do favor “Daydream” quite a bit. Daydream is a total beach party anthem about living your best life and forgetting about the constant drag of living a life that you don’t want. The funny story about this song was that I actually wrote the majority of the song at work while I was sitting at my desk. Haha guess I was literally daydreaming about my daydream! 

5What was the first country album you ever bought?Wow I haven’t thought about that in a while. I’m pretty sure it was “When the Sun Goes Down” by Kenny Chesney. I mentioned how “I Go Back” was the song that made me want to pursue this and that was on that album. Pretty soon after that I bought “Mud on the Tires” by Brad Paisley and that album really inspired me to hone in on my guitar skills and between guys like Brad, Keith Urban, Richie Sambora, they are why there are so many guitar antics throughout my music.

6. What are a few of your favorite venues or events to play at?Well I’m fresh off playing at Duling Hall in Jackson, MS. That was my first venue to headline and I had a great buddy and talented musician, Anse Rigby, open for me. We had an incredible night. It was so cool to go back home after the success of this album and celebrate with my friends and family from my whole life. Around Nashville, I really love playing writers nights. I’m a big fan of the Bluebird Café’ and the Listening Room. Last year we hit the festival circuit pretty hard and had a chance to play at the Franklin BBQ Festival and they were so welcoming and took great care of the band and me.

7. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?I’m working on a doing a Christmas release this fall/winter. I’m pretty sure what I’m going to do, but I can absolutely promise it’s going to be so guitar-driven it’s not even funny haha. I am working on a music video as well, that feels like the next best step for me. I’m always writing and working on new stuff, but it’ll probably be next year before I release anything new. I don’t wanna diminish the importance and the success of “Friday Night Hallelujah.” 

8. What is one of your favorite quotes?“If you see a turtle on a fence post, it probably had help getting there.”– Brad Paisley. Brad said that during his CMA Entertainer of the year speech and I’ve always loved it. I used to think that all of this was based off one person, but it truly takes a team of great people that work together and collaborate well for this to really work. 

9. Is there anything else you would like to share?I’m just grateful for where this is all headed. It has almost been a year since I released my first EP. I remember hoping that people would just like it; I didn’t think it would ever chart on iTunes and take me places like it has so fast. I’m truly grateful and blessed for where I’m at and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

Tori Martin~ “Q&A”!!

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

I grew up a military brat born on the Eglin Air Force base in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. I lived in 5 different states before moving to Texas at the age of 7.

Even though I’ve moved around so much, Texas has always felt like home. I have 10 siblings so my life has never been boring, and oddly I don’t come from a musical family. Growing up I was very athletic, (a major tomboy) and a track star in high school. It’s funny because now I’m super-girly even though I’m outdoorsy. At the age of 14, I began singing in our church choir, which led me to pursuing my dreams in music! 

2.Who are some of your musical icons?

First and foremost, Dolly Parton is my queen. I always tell everyone she can’t go to heaven until I sing with her at least one time! I’m a huge Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James fan. Stevie Nicks is definitely my second queen. 

3.What is the background story behind your latest song “Living the Dream?”

I wrote this song with my friend, Lyndsey Highlander right when I moved to Nashville 2 years ago. Prior to moving, I had been in the music industry since I was 16 years old. We wrote this song as an anthem for ourselves and for all dreamers. So many times you are told “no” and doors are shut, but then they are opened. It takes tenacity and determination to keep going. Through the years, I’ve missed out on a lot of happiness always living for “the future” and not loving where I am at. When we got together to write a song this poured out. We realized that we’re already “doing it,” we’re already “living the dream” and that’s so easy to lose sight of. 

4.Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?

Yes! The music video for “Living the Dream” coming out very soon. I can’t wait to share it with y’all. I’m also in the studio gearing up for a new album!

5.What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?

In Nashville, so far one of my favorite venues to play at is The Listening Room. It’s kind of refreshing because people from all over come there to hear original artists and songwriters. I love that! My favorite venue I’ve probably ever played (so far) is the Chevrolet Main Stage at the State Fair of Texas. It’s a massive stage where artists like Kid Rock, Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson have all played, in fact, the same year I did. The lights, the stage, and the crowd… it was nothing short of amazing! 

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

I have two golden retrievers (who just turned one) so they keep me SUPER busy. I love to cook/bake, enjoy the outdoors, and hang with the hubs! 

7.What is your recording process like when working on new material?

I really like bringing my songs to the table and to be involved in the creative process with my producer. Many times the songs are just acoustic/vocal demos and have tons of room for creativity. So, I love having a pre-production to dream and scheme. Then, hitting the studio after! 

8.What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Bukowski

Karissa Ella~ Q&A!!!

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

Hi!! Growing up, I loved all genres of music and really used music as a crutch to get me through the ups and downs of school. I’ve been singing since I was little and always dreamed of being on stage. My EP titled, “Blossom” is a prime example of this. I titled my new EP after the music venue in my hometown, Blossom Music Center. This place has been a constant source of inspiration for me. It is where I have seen my idols perform and is where I hope to someday rock the stage.

2.    Who are some of your musical icons?

Some of my musical icons include: Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Shania Twain, Zac Brown Band,  Adele and so many more.

3.    What was the first country CD you ever bought?

I honestly can’t think of the first CD but it was probably Gretchen Wilson.  I have a lot of George Strait and Garth Brooks CD’s as well.

4.    What is the background story behind your newest single “Me and Luke?”

I was in the writing room with Leslie Satcher and Alex Seier and I started showing Leslie some of the music I released last year. As I was showing her she was like, “You are kind of like a female Luke Bryan”. I was grinning ear to ear, it was one of the best compliments I have ever received. From there we decided to write a song about Luke Bryan and his fans. All of us were Luke Bryan fan’s, so this song was easy to write. There were a lot of laughs involved in creating this song!

5.    How have you grown as a musician in 2019?

2019, was a huge growing period for me. I am releasing new music and making new friendships in the music industry. I can only hope to keep growing and learning as an artist and person. This year has been nothing but positive for me and I hope it only goes up from here!

6.    Is there anything new else coming up with your music in 2019?

In May, the first single off my EP titled “Blossom”was released called, “Vacay” and in June the second single, “Me and Luke”.  My EP will be fully released in July and I am so excited to have this project out there in the world. I have worked so hard on it and really love each song on the EP. I hope others can love and relate to my songs! The work never stops so I am still writing and playing new music constantly in hopes to keep releasing music.

7.    What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?

In Nashville, I love playing writers rounds at venues like, The Listening Room, Belcourt Taps, The Local, Douglas Corner, The Back Corner and more!

8.    What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

-Mother Theresa

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

For more information please visit karissaella.com or follow me on social media at karissaellamusic! Thanks!

Braxton Keith~ “Q&A”!!

1.    Hi Braxton, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Well when I was a little boy I took piano lessons, and those lessons lasted for about ten years. The reason I quit piano was because of my little brother, he played guitar and told me that I couldn’t play “his instrument” . Naturally being the competitive brother I am I picked up one of his guitars and haven’t put it down since. My dream has always been to be a musician, I love making music, and entertaining others. In fact it has been a running joke in my family that since I was little I would tell people “I wanna be a Rockstar”. So to answer your question I’ve always been a country musician to the best of my knowledge, the only difference between then and now is a waist size and a leg length. 

 2.    When did you start listening country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it? I’ve really always listened to country music, but I will listen to any kind of music as long as it is good music. I started when I was younger listening to any country music that was on the local radio, and as I got older I found a love for the older style of country music. I was interested in the stories that these old songs would tell and the message that they were trying to convey. 3. Who are some of your musical icons? My musical icons consist of the older country stars such as: Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Bob Wills, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and some of the newer artist such as: George Strait, Dwight Yoakum, Chris LeDoux, Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn, Cody Johnson, and Flatland Cavalry.

4.    What is the background story behind your latest single “Make Up Your Mind?” Make Up Your Mind was written about a girl who lived in fort worth and i was trying to date her but she was about to move out of Texas, so she was faced with this dilemma and I wrote the song because she had a difficult time trying to make up her mind, we are still friends.

5.    What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I enjoy playing everywhere because singing and playing is what I love to do. If I wasn’t playing at a bar or a wedding, I would be doing the same thing in my Livingroom.

 6.    Is there anything else coming up with your music in 2019? Yes, I am in the middle of a new project at the moment and I hope to release that sometime soon. I will also hopefully start the recording of my first EP this fall, so be on the lookout for some big things.

7.    How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?Meaningful, with some old school.

8.    What is one of your favorite quotes? My favorite quote is really more of a statement and is the title to one of Merle Haggards most popular songs, “Mama Tried”.

9.    Is there anything else you would like to share? Choose a career in life that you love, so that it doesn’t feel like work. You can follow me on all social medias and YouTube @ Braxton Keith, and keep your eyes open for my new music coming out soon.

Eric Burgett~ (Q&A)

1.   Hi Eric, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I was your typical rowdy country kid growing up just outside of the great small town of Latham, Illinois on the family farm. We grew corn & soybeans and operated a greenhouse business with trees, shrubs, and all kinds of plants. I grew up working around all that, while being a member of the local 4-H Club, marching band, church youth group, and being strong advocate for bonfires on the weekends (still am!) 😉 I started taking piano lessons at the age of 5 and studied classically before drifting into playing country music.
2.   What is the first country album you ever bought and when did you know you wanted a career in it?The first country album I remember purchasing was Lonestar’s “I’m Already There.” I later became obsessed with their version of Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis.” My mom took me to a ‘Sam Goody’ store at the mall. Country music was always in my veins, growing up and listening to it on the farm, but I remember loving the music that Phil Vassar was releasing, especially since he was a piano player. His song “Carlene” was a feel-good story song about old high school friends reconnecting after many years…That opening piano riff had me from the start! 
3.   Who are some of your musical icons?
Billy Joel, Bruce Hornsby, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Phil Vassar
4.   What is the background story behind your brand new single “Swing Low, Sweet Old Cadillac?”
Swing Low, Sweet Old Cadillac evolved from an idea one of my co-writers brought to our writing session. I immediately gravitated toward the idea because it sounded like a really cool title…(Plus, I’m a big fan of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” having played it on the piano thousands of times at church, so it was another reason it resonated with me). My co-writers and I wanted to paint a fun, energetic picture of a modern, small town date night in a classic car: cruising down main street, swinging by the local Hardee’s, parking at the local drive-in movie and stealing kisses from your significant other. While the “party” is happening in the car, we incorporated all the “topical” features of the throwback “time machine” that make the Cadillac what it is: fins on the back, hank on the radio, and whitewall tires. Also in the chorus, we reference “The Jeffersons,” a popular sitcom from the 70’s and 80’s that also ties in the “throwback” factor. “Swing Low, Sweet Old Cadillac” is a feel-good song that anyone can dance and sing along to.
5.   Is there anything new else coming up in your career in 2019?
I’ll be following up my single with an EP, and I am excited to be out on the road promoting my new music, making new country fans! I have some really cool things in the works with Hardee’s fast food chains. We have partnered together to create my first music video, and I’m fortunate to have been chosen as one of their brand ambassadors. 
6.   Where are some of your of favorite venues or events to play at?
My all-time favorite venue to play is The Bluebird Cafe, here in Nashville, TN. It’s such a historical place to play as a songwriter and is a true “listening room” where the audience listens intently to every word you sing. It’s awesome to be able to share music with folks from all over the world who come to Music City for THE MUSIC! 
7.   How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
Energetic, Vivid, Soulful, Empowering, Piano-centric
8.   What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Surround yourself with good people” (My dad)

Clay Page~ “Q&A”!!

1.    Hello Clay, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? 
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 9 years old so I don’t really remember a whole lot about life before music. I grew up like any other kid in my area. We loved riding bikes, playing with friends and getting into trouble. 
2.    Who are some of your musical icons? Musically: Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, CCR Jason Aldean and Kid Rock.
3.    What was the first country album you ever bought? Jason Aldean or Corey Smith
4.    What is the background story behind your latest single “Crickets?”
I wrote this song with my buddy Adam Shoenfeld. We were just trying to create a song that was real and relatable to most listeners of Country Radio. I try to write music that is most relevant to my life as well.
5.    Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?
LOTS OF IT! New music is fixing to be in the works! 
6.    How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words?
New Old School Country Music
7.    Where are some of your favorite venues or events to perform live?
The Listening Room Cafe – Nashville and Tin Roof – Nashville on Tuesday nights for Rob Snyder’s Revival night. I really like anything The Song Mill puts on too. Jaddis is a long time friend and is always fun to be around. 
8.    Is there anything else you would like to share?
I want to thank everyone that’s been following my journey. I’ve been extremely blessed my Gods been good. 
9.    What is one of your favorite quotes?
As long as I’m doing better today than I was yesterday I’m doing alright. – CP