Mike Thomas~ Q&A!!!

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

I grew up just outside of Knoxville, TN and developed a love for music early on. My parents enrolled my sister and I in piano lessons and always encouraged us to be involved in music. My grandfather played guitar, sang and wrote songs. He was the one who bought me my first guitar long before I ever had the desire to learn to play. Whether I was pursuing it fulltime or hardly pursuing it at all, music has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember.

In addition to being a musician, and more importantly, I am a husband, a father of three, and a small business owner. Over the last couple of years, those closest to me have encouraged me to spend more time on my music. I am fortunate to have those folks in my life and I’m grateful to be at a point where I’m able to spend a little more time writing, recording and performing. 

2.     What was the first country concert you ever attended?

 I’d say the first country concert I ever attended was probably Robert Earl Keen or Steve Earle. I know those guys are on the edge of what many might consider “country,” but to me they have always been primarily country artists.

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

I have heard my music called “Eclectic Country.” I don’t think I have a better description than that.

4.     What is the background story behind your latest single “Sure Feels Right?” 

Like many folks in this town, I moved to Nashville in 2004 with hopes of making a career out of writing songs. It didn’t take me long to realize that my writing style and process were not a natural fit on Music Row. I did not listen to the modern country music of the day and therefore had no frame of reference for the types of songs that publishers and artists were looking for. I was naïve and I learned some tough lessons. I quickly decided to get a job and put my music on the shelf. Over the next several years, I hardly wrote at all until I wrote “Sure Feels Right.” This was the song that ultimately reignited my passion for writing. As I look back now, this song was a turning point for me in many ways. Our best laid plans often don’t work out like we plan and sometimes that’s exactly what we need. 

5.     Is there anything else new coming up with your music career?

I will be releasing my first studio album, “Three Reasons” in June 2020. We will celebrate the release with two shows in the Nashville area. The first will be June 19 at the Mockingbird Theater at the Factory in Franklin and the second will be at Douglas Corner Café on June 20. We had several other regional shows scheduled to help support the release, but those have all been postponed as a result of COVID-19.

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

My recording process is probably quite different than most… In addition to writing songs and playing in a band, I own and operate a small business and it’s challenging for me to take extended periods of time off. So rather than blocking off a week or two to write and record, I simply just try to squeeze it in when I can. We actually recorded the upcoming record over the span of about a year. We’d often joke at the end of a day in the studio that we’d see each other in a month!

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

 I have had the privilege to play so many great places over the years, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I tend to be drawn to venues that just have a cool vibe. I like smaller rooms that feel more intimate and I absolutely love a good dive bar.

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?

 John Prine was perhaps my all-time favorite songwriter and we just lost him… Kris Kristofferson once said, “If God’s got a favorite songwriter, I think it’s John Prine.” 

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

I’d just like to encourage folks to support their favorite artists right now more than ever. With the current pandemic situation, there are many musicians who have lost a huge portion of their livelihood. If you value their music, show them some love by attending their Livestreams, buying some merch or just sending a simple word of encouragement.

Chloe Collins~ Q&A!!!

1.     Hello Chloe, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Hello, thank you for having me! I have been singing since before I could talk. I would always be humming a tune on the swings in my backyard or in the school cafeteria. My parents used to play The Beatles and The Beach Boys around the house so I grew up listening to good music. When I was eight years old I started teaching myself chords on the guitar and writing songs. I performed “The Sound of Music” at my school talent show that year and once I heard the applause from the audience I realized music was what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. Now I am a singer-songwriter based in Nashville. One of my songs was featured on the 100th episode of the TV show Nashville, and many of my other songs have been featured on TV shows such as HeartlandThe Vineyard, Bellevue, and Hudson & Rex. My music has also been on Spotify editor-curated playlists such as Wild Country and New Music Nashville

2.     What was one of the first country album you ever bought? One of the first country albums I ever bought was “Fearless” by Taylor Swift. I was a big Taylor Swift fan when I was young, and I went to almost all of her concerts. 

3.     What is the background story behind your latest single “Didn’t Want You?” When I was writing this song with Smith Curry and Tiffany Goss, we all had this moment when we came up with the title and we looked at each other and realized all of us—and, probably, everyone else who would listen to this song—had been in a position where you want to love someone but that person’s mind is somewhere else. Every time I play “Didn’t Want You” at a live show people come up to me and share their stories and express how much they can relate to the song. Though it is a difficult situation to be in, so many people have felt that way and by putting it into a song we are basically saying, “you are not alone.”

4.     Is there anything new coming up with your music in 2020? I am currently working in the studio to create new music! I am so excited to share these new songs with the world because I feel like they share truths that people can connect with, just like what has already happened with “Didn’t Want You.” Stay tuned on social media and other platforms to learn about release dates!

5.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? In 3 to 5 words, I would describe my music as edgy modern country. It has a Billie Eilish pop flair with classic country themes. Besides Billie Eilish, one of the artists who has influenced both me and my music the most is Maren Morris. She took the country music scene by storm with her unique sound and honest lyrics. I wish to create songs that are as raw and real as those she has released.

6.     What are some of your favorite events or venues to play at? I have performed at such legendary venues as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, the Opry City Stage and The Bitter End in New York, and the House of Blues in New Orleans. Whiskey Jam is one of my favorite events to play in Nashville because the crowd is so lively and responsive to the music!

7.     What is your recording process like when making new music? Each song I’ve written has had a different writing and recording process. I want to always write lyrics that are relatable for others, because hearing songs that seemed to be about the exact situations I was going through is the reason I fell in love with country music. I always want to make sure that the sound of the record reflects the mood of the song so it can emphasize the emotional impact of the lyrics.

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes? One of my favorite quotes is “Music is the strongest form of magic” (Marilyn Manson). There is nothing more supernatural to me than starting with a blank page and ending with lyrics and a melody. 

9.     Is there anything else you would like share? If you want to stay up to date with my music, my Instagram, FaceBook, and Twitter are all under Chloe Collins Music! My songs are also available on Spotify and Apple Music!

Alexandria Corn~ Q&A

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

I grew up in a small town in Upstate NY.  My parents divorced when I was very young, and I have a sister who is a year younger than me. I was raised in a Catholic household so family values are very important to me. I was raised to be very polite, respect your elders, and all in all, do good. I think those values have definitely set the stone for my career.

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

Shania Twain! & Faith Hill. I believe I got them both at the same time for Easter from my father.

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

I’m focusing on writing a lot more during these times. I will be releasing a few more singles before releasing a full EP. I did have some shows and festivals booked for 2020, but now they are all postponed. I will share those dates with everyone as soon as I know them 🙂

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

Well, I like to think of Country, pop and alternative all compressed into one genre. I would say it’s pretty rich, and moody but it really depends on the song or the type of mood I am in when I’m writing. 

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

Once the song is all written, usually that day, we create a demo. Most of my demos are just acoustic with a guitar. Pretty stripped down. Everyone does it different. I have a lot go friends who demo the track pretty fully with most instruments. But I like mine stripped down. That way I don’t feel any ties to something. Then, on the day of recording, I work with the instrumentalists on the track with the sound. We record full band first. Then I will go in and lay down the vocal track.

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

Festivals hands down. I think I am more of a festival player than anything else. I have a lot of energy on stage. I like being able to jump around. My favorite stages have the catwalk (LOL). The vibe and energy from people at festivals is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced! It really gets me amped up! But, I’ve also played many stripped down acoustic shows. Those are a lot more chill, stress free. 

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?

Quote- I have a lot. But my absolute favorite poem is “Footsteps in the Sand.” My mom gave me a giant poster with the poem on it when I was in college.

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

I want to thank you so much for having me! You have always shown me so much support throughout the years and I want to make sure that you know, you are appreciated! ❤

Taylor Hughes~ Q&A

  1. Hello Taylor, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Hey Danielle, thank you so much for the feature on Dixiedee blog and for allowing me to share my story and music. I’ve always wanted to be a country artist but let me give you a little insight on who and what made me the person I am today. Born and raised in Lexingotn, KY with one older brother and two amazingly supportive parents. Growing up, I was very involved with sports. I played volleyball from the 6th grade till my junior year of high school, school teams and travel. It basically consumed my life, but I really did love it. My junior year I blew my knee out and was unable to play which led me to dive deeper into my passion for music. I was involved with choir, sang in church, and was always singing for friends, or really anyone who would listen. We always had great music like Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, even some southern rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Feat, etc playing in the house… guess you could say I was raised right haha.  I was a senior in high school when I told my dad I wanted to take guitar lessons and this is where it all really began. My guitar teacher, Paulie Felice, told my dad he wanted to take me to Nashville after having only a few lessons. My parents couldn’t believe that I was already able to play but Paulie said, “no, Taylor can sing and I want to take her there to perform on Nashville Spotlight (a TV comcast.)” Still confused, because they had never really heard me before, agreed and the were so surprised. My parents actually thought I was lip syncing! From that moment on, is when I really started pursing my dreams. I fell in love with performing, interacting with the fans, and being able to use the gift God gave me in a way that people could connect with. After working hard on my craft and passion for music, I got married in September of 2017 and we moved to Nashville in December of 2017 in order for me to really move forward in my career. I haven’t looked back since and feel so blessed for the opportunities and people God and music have brought into my life. 
  • What was the first country concert you ever attended?

The first country concert I ever went to was a Tim McGraw concert at Rupp arena and Lady Antebellum was the opener! 

  • What is the background story behind your brand new single “Good Taste,” coming out on April 10, 2020? I had this hook, “Blame my good taste in music, for my bad taste in men” in my head and just knew there was a song to be made from it. I held onto the idea for a little bit, wanting to take it to the right cowriter. I had written with my friend, Stefanie Joyce, quite a few times and always loved what we would create. Our mutual love for the same artists and style of country music makes writing together effortless so I decided she was the best songwriter to bring the idea to. “Good Taste” is a tribute to the classic, outlaws of country music. Artists like Cash, Waylon, and Haggard are definitely the definition of “bad boys” so loving them and their music makes you want to date a “bad boy” even when you know it’s not a good idea. I mean, I think all of us ladies have fallen for a bad boy at least once in our life and this song is just a fun way of admitting that. It’s a fun, rocking song with a modern, classic country sound with southern rock vibes.
  • What is your recording process like when creating new music?

Honestly, it’s different for every song. For a fun song like “Good Taste”, I go in just trying to imagine that I am performing LIVE for a crowd; they’re singing the words back to me, and it’s just a big party. It’s so important to have fun with it and not get in your own head. I’m a big overthinker and sometimes I have to remind myself that yes, this is my JOB, BUT I do this because I love it and I enjoy it… relax and have a good time! If I’m doing something more serious, I have to put myself in the story, even if that means taking my mind back to a place that isn’t comfortable. Music for me is all about being honest and real. If I don’t believe what I’m singing/writing then how can I expect my audience to do the same?  

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

I’ve played a lot of different venues and hundreds of shows! Each one has either helped me grow as an artist, meet new cowriters/ friends, and allowed me to connect with new and old fans. I love living in Nashville of course; so many opportunities and venues to play but there is something special about playing in your hometown or state. One of my favorite venues to play in Lexingotn, KY is Cocktails Too. The venue is always packed, the crowd brings the energy, and the owners/ employees are the best to work with! It always feels like a party when I play there. One of my favorite events/shows to play has been Chasin’ Melodies on Thursday nights at Dawghouse Saloon right here in Nashville. My good friend Bryant is the host of the show and if it wasn’t for him taking a chance on me, I may have never met the friends and cowriters that I have. This show allows artists to share not only their craft but the passion they have for music. It’s helped me to create the music that I have since moving here. 

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

REAL, HONEST, UNIQUE, ROCKING COUNTRY MUSIC

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

If I could sing a duet with any singer, it would absolutely be Miranda Lambert. I am a HUGE fan of her music. Her artistry is like no other artist out there. Her lyrics are raw, honest, vulnerable and she doesn’t care if it rubs people the wrong way. This is me, take it or leave it kind of attitude. This is something I and I think her fans truly appreciate. When she performs, she gives it her all. She lays it all on the stage for her fans and she really is the best entertainer I’ve ever seen. She has a song I can connect to for every situation, every emotion. She also has a beautiful voice and her style is fire!

  • What is one of your favorite quotes?

There are so many that I like but one that really sticks with me is “ I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

  • Is there anything else you would like to share?

“Good Taste” is my debut single that will be available everywhere you can stream music on April 10, 2020. A lot of hard work and passion goes into the music I create for my fans. I hope that “Good Taste” can help people take their minds off the trying times we are all experience now and to just have fun! I know when you hear “Good Taste” (and the other songs I plan to release this year) you will have no question on who I am as an artist. I hope everyone loves it as much as I did writing it. 

Tera Lynne Fister~ Q&A!!!

1. Hello Tera Lynne, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Heck ya! I’ve always made music but before I was a full time musician. I worked at Dave Sinclair Ford in St. Louis, Missouri. I worked in the aftermarket department. I really enjoyed my time there with my Dave Sinclair family. I also worked at my local music store, Tower Music, all throughout high-school in Fenton MO where I am from. I actually had to get a work permit because I wanted to work there so badly, but I was too young! I took all my lessons growing up there as well…piano, guitar, drums, vocal, etc. Outside of work I always loved the outdoors. I was always on four wheelers going down to the river banks with friends or on horses with my mom. Lots of soccer was played. I loved going to concerts. I was a wild child in the best sense. I had a wonderful time growing up in MO. I moved to Nashville right after I turned 21, so I’ve been doing music full time basically my entire adult life.
2. What made you want a career in country music? It is not really a “want,” it’s who I am. If nobody ever heard my music it would still be my peace of mind. My therapist. My Friday night track. My solace. Music is truly ingrained in me to my very core. I never really had a drive for anything else. I’ve just always known that this is what I am here to do. No questions asked. The fact that it pays my bills is just a blessing.  3. What is the background story behind your latest single “Hell Raiser?” “Hell Raiser” was written at a time in my life where I was single and happy to be! Then, as they do, along came this guy, trying to get all up in my business, and I was not sure I was ready for it. So my immediate reaction was to tell him flaws thinking it would deter him. I think it only gave him more fuel to the fire. He pursued and pursued and pursued with every curve ball I threw at him. I am happy to state I am actually still with that gentleman. His name is Tommy and we are going on three years.  4. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? I know you have more music scheduled to be released. Yes! More music to come, more shows to play, more videos to release, more fans to shake hands and sing to! This train is rolling with hot coal! 
5. What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?I am absolutely stoked to play in Switzerland this coming August. I will be playing at a ten day festival called BadenfHart. Festivals are my absolute favorite.  
6. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Sassy. Honest. Raw.
7. What is your recording process like when creating new tunes? It usually starts with a poem if I am writing by myself, which usually sprouts from a single phrase or line that I have been mulling over in my brain for a couple days. After the poem is written, I pick up the guitar and see where my hands take me. I close my eyes and just fumble around until I find something in stride that seems to speak to the words and service what they are trying to convey.  Once that is sorted, the words rearranged to match the melody and vice versa. Then it’s onto the studio to make the magic if the songs a keeper (which not all are, some are just therapy on a page that needed to come out).  8. What is one of your favorite quotes? The definition of hell: On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.  9. Is there anything else you would like to share? Fall in love with everything and be grateful for it all. I’d be especially grateful if you joined my journey on social media! Follow me @iamfister

Elora Taylor ~ Q&A!!!

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

I grew up in competitive figure skating and at the age of sixteen I was told I was no longer able to continue in the sport due to an injury. I spent a week or so laying on the couch, devastated, which is when I turned to songwriting. I put all her focus into singing and writing songs. Later on I formed the all girl pop/rock band called “Tallulah Darling”. We played many of the major venues in Toronto Ontario, played festivals and showcased for Sony Records in New York City. We also had songs on national radio here in Canada.  We eventually went our separate ways and I began focusing back on my solo career and my love for country music.

2.     What was the first country album you ever bought?

I can’t remember the first one I bought, (I think it was Miranda Lambert’s “Revolution”)but I remember being given Shania Twain’s “Come On Over” CD when I was a kid. I LOVED that album and there was many a dance routine made to it… lol I still remember all the words to that album!

3.     What is the background story behind your latest single “My Broken Heart?”

The song is about how sometimes you need to fall apart to put yourself back together again. It is written around a break up type scenario, but it came about after my mother passed away unexpectedly 2 years ago. It was that idea that you need to grieve what is lost so that you can heal and keep living life which was very true for me after that. 

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

I am releasing an acoutsic version of “My Broken Heart” on April 16th and will be releasing a new single hopefully in May! 

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

I love playing writers rounds wether it be here in Canada or down in Nashville. I love hearing other peoples songs and supporting each other in that way!

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

Modern country music with an outlaw twist. That’s a little more than 5 words, conjunctions don’t count right? lol

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

We usually start by doing a demo version of the song at home so we can work out how we want it to sound. My boyfriend, well now, fiance (ah! I feel so grown up!), produces my songs. We will then take it to an actual recording studio, one that is not in the basement, although it’s pretty good actually, and record the full version there. I love the process of going from a song with just vocals and acoustic guitar and seeing it become something so much bigger! 

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius

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

I also co-host a country music podcast called The Country Music Show! We play established and up and coming artists, give some background/history on them and talk about whatever the shows theme is! It is out every other Sunday and available where ever you listen to podcasts!

Summer Overstreet~ Q&A

            Bio: Nashville resident, Summer Overstreet, is an extremely gifted singer/songwriter. Being from a huge artistic family- daughter of songwriter Paul Overstreet-Overstreet began writing songs at a young age. The past years she has been actively refining her vocals in town and cowriting in the community with groups like Avenue Beat and Endless Summer.On March 13, 2020, Summer Overstreet latest single “Get My Shit Together,” and it is avivlable on Spotify & iTunes. 

Social Media Accounts: 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/summeroverstreet/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SummerOverstree?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/summeroverstreet/

Q&A:

1.     Hello Summer, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country singer? I was born and raised in Nashville. My father is a Grammy Winning songwriter and encouraged myself and my other 5 siblings (yes six kids) to lean towards all things music. I think only one sibling is not actively working in the music business in some way. Mostly my life has consisted of music (as boring as that is,) although I did use to breed and show dairy goats. 
2.     What was the first country concert you ever attended?             Um….this is both really bad and maybe really good? Dan and Shay March 6th, 2020.  I don’t know why, but that was the first country concert I can remember.
3.     What is the background story behind your latest single “Get My Shit Together?” GMST was a song that I felt we ( me and my co-writers ) were compelled to write kind of as a hot mess anthem. I think in today’s world it’s easy to compare yourself to others and set imaginary deadlines that can really steal a lot of the fun out of life. We wanted to say “we ain’t got shit figured out! But that’s ok. Maybe tomorrow “ 
4.     How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Unapologetic. Adventurous. Honest. FUN!
5.     Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2020? I have two more songs I’m releasing in April  and May! I am so excited for them as well!
6.     What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I love the Basement, the Analog, the listening room, and Grey’s on Main
7.     What advice would you give to a up and coming country artist?              Show up every day. Ten minutes early. Learn to love the word “No.”  It’s always a fun challenge!
8.     What is one of your favorite quotes? You gotta keep trying to find your niche and trying to fit into whatever slot that’s left for you or to make one of your own. – Dolly Parton
9.  Is there anything else you would like to share?Just to keep eyes peeled for new music!! 

Lauren Jaimes~ Q&A

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

I grew up in a musical household and have always loved writing songs. Before I was born, my Dad was a touring musician and missionary in South America. My love for music definitely comes from him, but I didn’t decide to focus on music as a career until I moved to NYC.  When I was in college, I had a lot of trouble trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I think I actually switched majors five or six times! I ended up graduating with a degree in English Literature because I absolutely love writing. When I moved to NYC, I met my fiancé Forrest, and about a year into dating I played a few of my songs for him. He was like “What?!? You’ve been hiding that from me this whole time?” After that he really encouraged me to pursue music and I started playing around The City. Once I started doing that, everything sort of seemed to click into place and make sense to me. I’m so grateful because, without him, I don’t know that I ever would have gone down this road that led me to performing country music. 

2.     What was the first country concert you ever attended?

I think the first country concert I ever attended was Lee Brice. He is such an incredibly talented musician, and he makes it look so easy up there! Watching him was like watching an old friend play a few tunes around a campfire. You know what I mean? Warms the soul! 

            3.        Can you talk about the inspiration behind your new single “Home Is Where You Are”?

            I’d love to! The melody hit me first, and I subsequently tried out a few           different lyric options. My last EP, “Here To Stay” is full of sad, sentimental,       and introspective songs, and I really wanted this next project to be the total             opposite of that. I wanted to produce something that would be fun,    upbeat, and bright. It took me a couple of tries lyrically, but with some help       from Forrest we finally landed on something fun and meaningful.

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

            Yes! I am currently working on my debut album Constellations. I’m excited   to finalize the track list and the artists I will be working with. For the release   we are planning an accompanying tour, so I’m especially looking forward to hitting the road toward the end of the year and playing in cities like Nashville and Austin. 

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

Hmm… I’d say my music has a “dreamy vintage western vibe.”

6.     What was your favorite part about recording your first music video?

My favorite part about recording my first music video was getting to work with all of my very talented friends! NYC has such a great artist community and everyone is so willing and able to help each other with artistic projects. The network here is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and we all support each other’s goals and aspirations.

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

My favorite venue I’ve ever played at was The Triad Theatre located in New York’s Upper West Side. It is such a beautiful space and has hosted so many great musical legends. I was on-stage one night after Lenny Kravitz! My favorite music to listen to is generally from the 60s and 70s, so when I found out Air Supply had played there, I was freaking out!

8.     What is one of your favorite quotes?

            I’m a huge fan of literature from the Beat Generation, so my favorite quote is from Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”, written in 1957. I even have part of it tattooed on me! “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who    are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the      same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders   across the stars.”

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

I was set to perform and debut “Home Is Where You Are” at the New Jersey Folk Festival in April, but the festival has been cancelled due to safety concerns amid the Coronavirus Outbreak. To stay up to date on a new time and location for the live debut of “Home Is Where You Are” you can join my email list at www.laurenjaimesmusic.com or follow @laurenjaimesmusic on Instagram. Stay safe lovies! 

Few Miles South~ Q&A

1.    Hello Blake & Tori, can you tell me about yourselves before you formed your country duo group “Few Miles South?”

Tori: We met in Los Angeles about six – seven years ago. We were both playing at a church. Blake was playing guitar and running sound and I was singing with the choir. I taught voice and piano as well as a yoga. Blake had his own recording studio and worked as a songwriter for a few different publishers. My background is mostly classical/formal training and Blake’s background is everything else. He learned guitar from his daddy and left home (GA) when he was 17 to pursue a music career in L.A. When we met, we found out we both loved country music and took things from there. 

2.    How did you guys form your group?

Tori: We started writing together to shop songs to other artists, but quickly changed our minds and decided to have a go at it ourselves. Blake had been in bands his whole life and I had sung with a cover band but never had my own project.

Blake: We recruited some local guys and started rehearsing and playing out. 

3.    How did you two come up with the name “Few Miles South” and were there any other choices you were going to choose instead?

Blake: The name just represents where we come from. Tori’s from Southern California and I’m from South Georgia, so “Few Miles South” just made sense. We had a list of other names, but I can’t remember them now. We even used band name generators online to try to give us some ideas. 

Tori: “Few Miles South” just seemed natural because it’s something we both have said often in conversation, mostly when giving directions.  

4.    What are your favorite songs off your brand-new EP Wiregrass?

Blake: All of ‘em, but my favorite to play live is “Grand Ole Time” and “Test of Time”. 

Tori: “$40 Room” and “Wiregrass” are my favorites. $40 makes me laugh and Wiregrass is so moody. 

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

Tori: Festivals are always the most fun because of the energy. Anytime folks are engaged or dancing it’s contagious and that energy just gets passed back and forth. 

Blake: There’s also been some small bars and honky-tonks that have shown us a lot of love. We play a lot out in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region. It’s beautiful out there. 

6.    Is there anything else coming up with your music in 2020?

Tori: We just got a side stage slot at Red Ants Pants Music Festival in Montana this summer. That’s a pretty big opportunity for us we’re really excited about. 

Blake: We have a UK radio campaign currently running to promote our EP, specifically the single “Let Me Come Back Home”. Also, since it’s looking like we will have a lot of downtime on account of the coronavirus we got plenty of time to write and will probably have another full-length album ready before the year is finished. 

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

Tori: We’re fortunate to have a home studio so we can record whenever we feel like it. We try to pick one song to work on per day when we’re finishing a project. 

Blake: I engineer and record. 

Tori: He also plays most of the instruments. 

Blake: We hire friends and other musicians to play too. We were very lucky to get Michael Cleveland to play fiddle on four out of the five tracks on Wiregrass. If folks are unfamiliar with him, he just won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year, (Tall Fiddler). He’s a beast. 

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

Tori: We bring our dogs, Tater and Tot, with us everywhere we go. They’re a big part of our band behind the scenes. 

Blake: Check us out on our websitelisten, follow and share please! Much appreciate y’all’s support. 

9.    What are some of you guys’ favorite quotes?

Blake: “Never, ever ever ever ever give up” – Winston Churchill 

Tori: “Practice and all is coming” – K. Pattabhi Jois

“The mountains are calling and I must go” – John Muir