Elizabeth Lyons~ "Q&A"

Hello Elizabeth, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Born and raised in the Midwest… I’ve always had a love for music and performing. I’ve always had a town of energy and when I put my mind to something I do everything to try to get it done. 

What was the first country concert you ever attended?
Kenny Chesney at Soldier’s Field with Luke Bryan as the opener!

What is the background story behind your brand new song “24?”

“24” is an ode to being in your twenties and not knowing what is next in life. I wrote the lyrics when I was 24 in Nashville and finished ’24’ when I was 27 with co-writers in New York City. There aren’t enough songs about being in your twenties and wanted to tap into those feelings and emotions of this chapter of life. Listen HERE

Many are prepared for the transition between high school and college, but few are ready for the real world after graduating college” It’s the first time in your life when everyone is in different stages of their life; some of my friends are in relationships, some are completely single, some have defined dreams, some are still figuring out their passions, some people are making money, some are struggling.

“24” has been 4 years in the making and a fan favorite during Lyons live show. “24” is about feeling lost and not knowing what will happen in the future but following your heart even when there’s no clear road and finding out where you’re supposed to be and who you’re supposed to be. We did a lot of stack percussive and toms stuff playing around with keys and guitar throughout evoking and the confusion one has in life.

Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? Yes! I’m super excited about the next single! It’s my always been a favorite of mine.

What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I recently had the privilege of singing the National anthem at Yankee Stadium Playoff Game and it was a dream come true. Its important to honor our country and veterans.

How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Empowering, Inspiring, Real

.If you could sing a duet with any singer or group who would it be and why? I got to open up for Little Big Town at one of my favorite festivals Country Fest. They called me the girl that sang in the rain because I did my entire set regardless of the rain. “Boondocks” was one of the first country songs I could not stop replaying over and over again. It would be a dream come true to do a duet with them because I love how they use their music to spread a message.

What is one of your favorite quotes? “STOP TRYING TO PREDICT THE FUTURE!  Stop wasting your time thinking about what CAN happen and start spending your time MAKING SOMETHING HAPPEN TODAY!”

Is there anything else you would like to share? I’m so grateful to record and release this new single communicating my struggles as I know all 20 somethings experience and where I’ve been personally and continue to go through. My single’s goal is to try and help other 20 somethings know they’re not alone – we all feel it. Putting this message into music is a real gift. These songs feel more personal and more rooted in my truth than ever before and I’m so excited and nervous to share them with you. Thanks for being on this journey with me and being patient while I focused on writing and what I wanted to say to the world. I also thought would be cool given it’s 2020 – to release my ode to the 20’s in the 20s!

This is a twenty-year old’s anthem “24” I co-wrote with Charlie Brennan, Jonny Fung, and JD Pinto in New York City, produced by Johnny Dibb (produced Lacy Cavalier, Taylor Edwards and more), mixed by Jonathan Roye (Kelsea Ballerini, Jana Kramer, and more), and mastered by Daniel Bacigalupi (Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and more) in Nashville. I worked with Nashville photographer Alex Berger (Abby Anderson, Jon Langston and more) on album art and the music video shot in New Orleans to be released on January 31.

Sarah Morey~ "Q&A"

  1. Hello Sarah, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer? I actually started songwriting when I was only seven years old, so there wasn’t much time in my life before I began to dream about being an artist/songwriter.  However, I did not start pursuing my dreams professionally until high school.  Before high school, I attended my neighborhood elementary school in Tampa, FL (where I lived my whole life before moving to Nashville) and took piano lessons starting in kindergarten.  My first big inspiration was Hannah Montana (haha, keep in mind I was seven years old at the time) and she inspired me to start writing songs and dreaming about becoming a performer!  I was also inspired by the songs I grew up listening to on country radio.  Then, when I was ten years old, I had to do a school project on a public figure and I chose Taylor Swift.  For this project, I read books and watched videos on Taylor’s life and career.  This was the first time that I started learning about the music business in Nashville and I decided when I was only ten years old that Nashville was the place for me.  At this point in my life, I had been writing all of my songs a capella or with a piano because I had not yet learned guitar.  I started guitar lessons at the same time I started middle school and that was a big time in my life because I began attending performing arts school in Tampa.  This was a great step for me because I felt out of place at a “normal” public school because I was writing songs all the time and no one else around me really had the same goals as I did.  However, at a performing arts middle school, I was surrounded by other kids my age who wanted to pursue creative careers which provided great support for me at a young age.  Throughout middle school, I continued to work on my craft of songwriting and performing.  The summer between middle school and high school, I was accepted into Grammy Camp Nashville 2015.  This was my first time going to Nashville to work on music.  This camp was eye opening to me because I got to meet other kids from all over the country who specifically wanted to pursue a career in the music business.  I also got to meet and work with industry professionals on music row for the first time.  When I went back home after the camp ended, I began playing live regularly in Tampa, releasing music, and working harder than ever on my career.  After high school, I finally moved to Nashville, which is where I am now!
  1. What was the first country album you ever bought? Wow, that’s a tough question!  I am going to say that it was most likely Fearless by Taylor Swift.
  2. What is the background story behind your brand new single “Drive Fast?” I wrote “Drive Fast” shortly before moving to Nashville, so I have had that song for a couple of years.  When I was writing “Drive Fast” it was the summer between high school and college, so I was reminiscing a lot on life at home because I knew that was going to be ending very soon for me.  In high school, I had a boyfriend who didn’t live in my neighborhood, so I always had to take the interstate to get to his house.  However, I also had a curfew, and instead of cutting down time with my boyfriend, I would try to cut down on the drive time between my house and his.  As you can probably guess, this resulted in a lot of speeding (which I do not recommend! but it’s still a fun memory I have from high school).  There is a behind the scenes video from when we filmed the “Drive Fast” music video and I explain the song in that video, as well.  Here is the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbenbyoXPlM
  3. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? Yes!  I have so much more music coming very soon that I can’t wait to share with you all!  You can follow me @sarahmoreymusic and sign up for my mailing list at https://sarahmoreymusic.com to get the latest updates!
  4. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Story-telling, country, and catchy!
  5. What are a few of your favorite events or venues to play at? One of my favorite places I ever played was Gasparilla Music Festival in Tampa, FL.  The crowd was so much fun and they were all so into it!  Another Tampa venue that I love playing is The Attic in Ybor City.  That venue has a really cool energy and the crowd is always there for the music.  So far my favorite venue in Nashville is Live Oak (I have a show coming up there very soon…).  However, I’ve heard that The Listening Room is a lot of people’s favorite venue to play in Nashville and I also have a show coming up there very soon!
  6. What made you want to become a country musician? I wanted to become a country musician because I love how it is a story-telling genre.  Country music allows me to say what I want to say in the way that I want to say it.  Country music is also the first thing I turn to whether I’m having my best day or my worst day.  It is my go-to genre and makes me feel better no matter what.  I also have always had a slight twang in my voice that makes almost anything I sing sound country.
  7. What is one of your favorite quotes? This is another hard one!  Quotes have always been a big source of encouragement for me, so there are a lot of quotes I love.  However, the quote from Theodore Roosevelt that says, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there” is something that has had a huge impact on my life and I try to always remember that.
  8. Is there anything else you would like to share? Thank you so much for taking the time to read my answers!  If you’ve gotten this far and want to know more about me and my music, follow me @sarahmoreymusic 🙂

The Joy Reunion (Q&A)

Hello Robert, Gentry and Neil how did you come up with the name “The Joy Reunion,” for your country music group?

             Our band’s name gets back to the root of what music is for – joy, pleasure, connecting with emotion, connecting with people, creation, artistry and fulfilling our purpose! Being an artist can be kind of torturous sometimes – and in the past, we were all in different musical projects and although fulfilling, came with this sense of striving, trying to fit a mold, trying to be something, trying to “make it” – and when you have those kinds of influences in your creation, it can be toxic and it can rob you of the joy that comes with simply letting all of that go, and just writing-creating whatever the heck you want because it feels good, it’s fulfilling! The three of us found ourselves really enjoying our relationship as friends, really trusting each other as artists, musicians and songwriters, without the toxicity of striving to fit a certain mold. We were reunited with the joy of music – and that’s when we decided to call ourselves; The Joy Reunion. 

 How did you guys form your music group? Honestly, the 3 of us have been friends for years and have each dabbled in different musical projects separately. In 2017 we began writing songs together and hanging out every Sunday evening. We called it our “Sesh” We would hang, eat good food and just write songs. It was a total no pressure atmosphere. It was so freeing to be in that kind of atmosphere. It led to being able to write some very authentic and honest songs. During that time we fell in love with the songs we were writing together and the way our voices sounded together as we sang these songs. We started playing some local open mic nights just for the fun of it and the response we got was amazing. We quickly realized we had something special and decided to form The Joy Reunion. We have made The Joy Reunion our sole musical focus since that time and we are really beginning to see the fruits of our labor.

Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020? We are very excited about 2020! We released our debut album in late 2019 and we are still riding that wave so to speak. We do have plans to release a summer single and then later towards fall 2020 we will be releasing a brand new EP! You heard it here first!  

How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Honest, Authentic, Vulnerable

What are a few of your guys favorite venues or events to play at? We absolutely love playing at the Hotel Café in Hollywood. Marko has been nothing but great to us and is always very supportive. In fact we will be there with some of our friends (Rob Mayes, Melissa Farrior, Payton Howie)  on Feb 28th.  By far the best event we have ever been apart of was the 2019 “California Country Christmas” It was so much fun getting to hang with the “Cali Country” family and play for a sold out crowd at The House of Blues!

A.C. Jones~ Q&A!!!

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

My family had always been a musical family, but the first time I ever really performed was when I was eight years old in church. My pastor needed a young girl to sing “Where Are You Christmas” and he asked me to do it. From there, I started playing in the worship band at church and performing in musicals at my school and in the community. I started out writing contemporary Christian music, and that sort of slowly evolved into writing country songs.  Upon high school graduation, I went to The University of Mount Union and got my degree in biochemistry all while playing shows on the weekends. I was looking at grad schools where I could get my M.D. / Ph.D., and I filled out the necessary applications, but I just couldn’t find the desire to turn them in. It was then and there that I realized that I really wanted to pursue my love for writing and performing.

  1. What was one of the first country album you ever bought?

Oh, that’s a hard one! We always had country music playing in our house, so we had a ton of albums, but I think one of the first albums that I very intentionally and specifically sought out was Sugarland’s Enjoy the Ridealbum. I heard “Want To” on the radio, and I just couldn’t get enough of Jennifer and Kristian’s writing.

  1. What is the background story behind your latest “Different Kind of Christmas?”

A few years ago around Christmas time, I was watching someone fill up a glass of eggnog, and as they (heavy handedly) poured the rum into the cup, I laughed and said, “A little less eggnog, and a little more rum, huh?” I laughed and then thought, “Oh! I need to save that line for a song!” Given that the line was about eggnog, I knew it had to be a Christmas tune. I’ve always loved the bluesy I’m-all-alone-at-Christmas type songs like “Please Come Home for Christmas” and “Blue Christmas”, so I decided that I wanted to write one of my own. I wrote that song back in 2014. It just goes to show how long it sometimes takes for music to get out into the world. I’m so glad that it finally is. 

  1. Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020?

I have four new songs coming out in 2020! I’ve been working with a producer at The Record Shop down in Nashville to really develop and hone in on my sound. At least one of these tunes is destined to be my next radio single in 2020. I’m so excited for everyone to hear this music, and I’ve never been more proud of a collection of works. I went through a very personal journey of discovering and rebuilding my own self-worth and self-esteem through these songs, and I really hope that they can do the same for someone else.

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

I love playing the fair and festival circuit in the summer! This past summer tour, I was so blessed to be able to play three state fairs (MN, OH, and NE) and countless other county fairs. I feel like a fair really tells you a lot about the community in which you’re performing, and expresses the uniqueness of the area. I love experiencing the sights, smells, and sounds of somewhere new and learning about each town I visit. The fair and festival setting really helps to immerse you in that. 

  1. If you could sing a duet with any singer or group, who would it be and why?

Oh my, this is another hard question! If I’m stepping outside of the country genre, it’s a toss-up between John Fogerty and Amos Lee. I’ve had the chance to see both of them live, and each of their shows were incredible. They’re both fantastic writers and performers, and I enjoy their unique vocal styles. If I’m staying within the country genre, I’d have to go withChris Stapleton. I absolutely love his voice, his writing, and his live performance. 

  1. Do you have any New Year resolutions for this year?

I don’t necessarily make a New Year’s Resolution, but I do use New Year’s Eve to assess where I’ve been and where I want to go. This year, I plan on releasing my next single to radio, touring throughout the United States, and recording/releasing the second volume EP of Campfire Sessions. I’d also love to try and set up a small Christmas tour. I host a Christmas benefit for the Salvation Army every year, and I’d love to take that show on the road as well.

  1. What is of one of your favorite quotes?

I have so many favorite quotes, but since we’re at the very beginning of the year with a blank page and a fresh start, I’ll give you the one I think about as the new year comes around. The full quote is much longer, but my favorite excerpt from it is this:

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. . . I hope you live a life you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

It’s from the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but it is frequently attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald, as he wrote the short story bearing the title, but not the quote.

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

I have a live EP out on Spotify and iTunes right now called Campfire Sessions. It was recorded around a bonfire at a KOA Campground in Waterloo, IA this year during my summer tour. I’m hoping to record a new volume every year in the same way. I’ve always appreciated the raw and real, and this EP is a very authentic reflection of my writing, my voice, and the incredible musicians I get to tour with!

Stephanie Ryann~ "Q&A"

1.    Hello Stephanie, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?I grew up in a small town in New York with music having a huge impact on my life. My mom would sing around the house growing up, which led my sisters and I to start singing and putting on shows for the family. From there, I was in every choir a person could possibly be a part of. Before pursuing my music career, I went to college to receive my Bachelors and Masters degrees, I was a volunteer firefighter for several years and I have been working in the fashion industry for 10 years. In recent past, I’ve auditioned for American Idol, Nashville Star and The Voice until I finally decided to write, record and release my music as an independent artist. 
2.    What was the first concert you ever attended? My first concert was the Backstreet Boys back in 1998. My first country concert was Rascal Flatts…best night of my life!
3.    What made you choose to record “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas?” It’s an iconic and classic Christmas song, one that reminds me of holiday past with my family and one that I hold close to my heart. So many artists have recorded it in their own way…that made it intriguing to give it my own spin. 
4.    Do you have family traditions during the holiday season? In years past, my siblings and I would go to my parents house to decorate the family tree and then come back on Christmas Eve to celebrate with the family.  I recently got married and I’m excited to see what traditions my husband and I start for ourselves.
5.    Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020?Yes! I plan to keep releasing singles in 2020 while also expanding my touring reach to different states in the US. I’m excited to see where the new year takes me!
6.    How would you describe in your music in 3 to 5 words? Rocking contemporary country!
7.    What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I’m still a pretty new artist, but the coolest place I’ve performed thus far was at Live Oak in Nashville, TN. I had been planning to go to Nashville at some point this year, hoping to have a gig while I was in town, and thankfully, my manager Scott Lehr at B Chord Management hooked me up with that gig.  It was an awesome night and it was great to meet and interact with new people.
8.    What is one of your favorite quotes? “It’s going to be hard, but hard is not impossible.”
9.    Is there anything else you would like to share? My music is available on most music platforms so if you like it, please share it. I love interacting with fans, so please link up with me on Instagram (@stephanieryannmusic), Facebook (@stephanieryannmusic), and on my website (www.stephanieryann.com). I look forward to hearing from you and thank you Danaille for including me in your blog!

Bailey Tomkinson~ "Q&A"

1.    Hello Bailey, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
Well, i’ve just turned 20 years old and have pretty much always wanted to be a musician, As a child we moved around quite a lot, I’ve lived in Italy and Belgium as well as the UK before settling in St Ives, Cornwall. I’ve been performing on stage and writing since I was 11 so I don’t really know any different. When I finished my A Levels I had a pretty difficult decision to make, either go to Uni and study the music industry or throw myself right into and see if I could swim! As it turns out I was offered a record deal around that same time so I guess I’m very lucky to be doing what I love!

2.    What was the first country album you ever bought?I remember finding a Sheryl Crow CD in a fair. ‘If It Makes You Happy’ is one of my all-time favourite songs! My Dad used to play it in the car when I was like 5 and I knew all the words haha. Sheryl Crow is awesome.

3.    What is the background story behind your new single “I Wish (It Didn’t End Like This)?” I wrote this song about my old best friend and actually he’s the same guy that I wrote ‘Hey Ace’ about. I sneaked in a reference to that song in the middle 8!  Basically it was one of those “Will they, won’t they” kind of situations for a while and then we kissed…and it totally ruined our friendship!! We went from seeing each other everyday to like never! I was feeling really quite sad about the whole situation when I wrote this song and it poured out of me in 20 minutes while I sat crying on the bathroom floor!

4.    How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Fearless, whimsical, narrative, emotive and nostalgic.

5.    What are some of your favourite venues or events to play at? I’ve played at some really cool places! One of them being The Water Rats in London. I also really love performing at festivals, The Great Estate in Cornwall is an upcoming festival thats getting bigger each year, I think thats the most beautiful festival I’ve played at – one of the stages I performed on was in a secret forrest with dreamcatchers hanging from the trees.

6.    Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020?I’ve written a song with another female country artist in the UK, so something exciting is happening there!! I’m looking forward to festival season and releasing some more songs! Maybe another EP? not sure yet though.

7.    Do you have any family traditions for the holiday season? Because we live by the beach, we usually have a walk on Christmas day with the dog on Porthmeor, but I guess we have a pretty traditional Christmas! We have the presents under the tree, watch Love Actually and eat loads of food! Christmas Eve is really fun in St Ives too so I go out with my friends and NYE is massive here, so everyone dresses up, Im super excited.

8.    What is one of your favorite quotes? “Cous cous, the food so nice they named it twice” – Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express.

9.    Is there anything else you would like to share? I have some really cool gigs in London in the new year! My first being a headline at The O2 Academy Islington with my band on the 18th of Jan, the lineup is awesome! You can buy tickets on my website: www.baileytomkinson.com

Dan Lawrence~ Q&A!!!

  1. 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. 
  2. What was the first country album you ever bought? Sinners Like Me by Eric Church. Still love that album, especially the songwriting.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Boot-stomping country rock
  8. 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