1. Hi Ashley, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Well I started playing Guitar at age 17. When I picked it up my life changed. So before that I was a pretty normal kid. I loved school & hanging out with my friends & like most kids couldn’t wait to be older haha.
2. What was the first country album you ever bought? I went to Wal Mart & bought Gretchen Wilson’s “Here For The Party”. That record changed my life.
3. How did you come up the with the name of your latest EP “Bakersfield?” I come from Bakersfield, California. When trying to decide a name for my Debut EP I couldn’t think of a better one then naming it after it being the place that gave me my start in life, Music & helped make m the artist & person I am.
4. What is the your favorite song off your EP “Bakersfield?” Oh boy, That’s a tough one! So I wrote or co-wrote all 7 songs on the project. They all hold a very dear place to me. My song ” The Man that Prays For Me” always gets me. I also really like “Cake’. Every one always sings that back to me at shows & “Play Like Ken” is just a sassy good time.
5. What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I love to travel to new places & meet new people. So I try to travel & play shows as much as possible. In Nashville though I do love to Play Revival 615, The Bluebird Cafe & a few other venues in town.
6. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Real life, Good People.
7. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not working on your music? Haha That is not often but I have a Golden Retriever Puppy Named “Melody”. I love to hang with her & go on long hikes. I love just hanging out with friends. Traveling & every now & then binge watching a show on Netflix.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes? ” If you talk bad about my Momma or Country Music.. Them are fighting words! ” – Dolly Parton.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share? Well on Nov. 22nd I am releasing a brand new song called “Family”. I am just really happy & blessed to do what I do. I really appreciate people supporting me & my music & allowing me to live the dream. I hope people enjoy it. I am really proud of this song.
1. Hello Mercy Shine, can you guys tell me a little bit about yourselves before you became a country duo?
Jason grew up in a little town called Ivor,VA & Matt grew up in a little town called Dendron,VA in the tidewater area of VA. Jason and Matt were introduced at age 17 by a mutual friend which at the time was the drummer for the rock band they were in along with another childhood friend who was the guitarist for the band. Jason & Matt spent years in the rock arena, playing with some of the biggest names in the industry such as; KISS, GodSmack, Fuel, Saliva, & Deep Purple to name a few.
2. How you guys become a country music group and how did you come up with the name of your group “Mercy Shine?”
Jason called Matt one day & ask if he would be interested in recording some country-rock songs as a duo.
A friend of Matt’s came up with the name Mercy Shine years ago. Matt reached out to him and ask if we could use the name & he said sure.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
Keith Whitley, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, Robert Plant, & Paul Stanley
4. What is the background story behind your latest single “Curves?”
We sent out emails to songwriters & publishing companies saying that we were looking for songs to cut for a EP. We received 62 songs and Curves was one of the 5 that we recorded. We decided to release it as a our single because it is a very catchy, was able to sing along to and a song that you can dance to. The song was written by: Jason Matthews, Joel Shewmake, and Country music artist William Michael Morgan. It was Produced by: Kimo Forrest Guitarist for the group Alabama
5. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?
We are working on recording 5 more songs for a full length album. Our booking agent is also working on putting a tour together.
6. Where are a few of your guys’ favorite venues or events to play at?
They are all our favorite. We are humbled, blessed, and honored to be able to do what we do. We enjoy every opportunity we get to perform; getting to see people happy and having a good time.
7. If you had to describe your music in 3 to 5 words, which words would you choose?
It leaves you wanting more
8. What was the first conercts you guys ever attended?
Jason was Ozzy Osbourne.
Matt was Skinny Puppy.
9. What is a few of your guys favorite quotes a good time?
Having fun and being yourself is more than ok.
10. Is there anything else you two would like to share?
Hi Amanda, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I’ve always loved country music and have been performing apparently since I was in the crib! At 18 months old, my caregiver told my mom she heard me singing “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” by Patsy Cline and later that day, she realized it was on one of my nursery rhyme tapes.
In elementary school, I had a band with my friends, which was a lot of fun. I later auditioned for and was accepted into Canterbury High School, an arts school in Ottawa. This meant that I was travelling for about 4 hours a day but it was fun to do what I love. From there, I joined the music/singer songwriter stream at Carleton University, but was drawn to Nashville and moved there earlier this year. Since moving to Nashville, I’ve been working on my music career, but I also completed the last semester of my degree program online and graduated in June.
What was the first country album you bought?
Growing up, I was more likely to listen to individual songs more than any particular album. I grew up listening to Taylor Swift when she was getting started in country music and I remember listening to songs like “Teardrops on My Guitar” over and over when my twin brother and I were driving to music lessons in Ottawa on Saturdays.
What made you decide to become a country musician?
The country genre seemed to fit the stories and songs that I wanted to write best. You could also say that it runs in the family, so to speak. My parents and grandma always listened to Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, so country was a natural fit for me.
What is the background story behind your latest single “Driving in the Dark?”
The story comes from the first time I went to Nashville for songwriting. I was driving down with my twin brother, Thomas. He started talking about how he loved to drive on the open highway at night and into the sunrise. The song started from there. While writing it with Jason Matthews and Phil Barton, they helped turn it into a song about the excitement you feel when you start a new relationship. The demo tape then went to Jason Barry from Barrytone Studios back in Canada and he worked his magic to make it into the song it is today.
Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?
“Driving in the Dark” was released to Canadian radio on September 30th. I was also part of the Wild West Songwriters Festival a few weeks ago in South Dakota, which was an incredible time.
Right now, I’m touring back in Canada before returning to Nashville. I’m really excited!
Where are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?
One of my favorite spots to play is back in Canada at a restaurant and bar near the Rideau Lakes in Ontario called CCs On The Rideau. It’s a cute little spot and I usually play outside on the patio as the boats go up and down the Rideau Canal. The crowd is always really welcoming. In September, I also played a Diamonds in the Rough showcase during Canadian Country Music Week in Calgary, which was also a blast.
In Nashville, I’ve played at The Bluebird Café, which I loved, and I also enjoy playing on the SongBird Tour Bus.
What is your recording process like when creating new music?
Jason Barry – my producer on “Driving in the Dark” – is one of my favorite people! He makes the recording process an positive experience and gets the best song out of me. He has a really good heart and always makes me feel comfortable and we have a lot of laughs. In the recording booth, I can undo any buckles or buttons to get the best sound. Jason always asks what I’m hearing already for the song and what instruments should be included. He takes it from there and when I get a song back from him, it feels like Christmas morning!
What is one of your favorite quotes?
One of my favorite quotes is “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” Sometimes we need a reminder (myself included) that when we judge others, it’s because of our own insecurities and setbacks. If you’re going to look down on somebody, you better be helping them up. Life is short. We’re all struggling in our own way and we’re all getting older together and nobody deserves negative energy in their life. You’re not doing yourself any favors by bringing people down.
1. Hi Amanda, can you tell me a little bit about you before you became a country musician?I have been writing songs since I was nine years old, but I was making them up long before that! Music was always the end goal, but I have always been fascinated with how the body works, so in college, I majored in Exercise and Sport Sciences: athletic training. I have always been “cursed and blessed” with well-roundness, so music and athletics have both been a big part of my life. 2. What was one of the first country album you ever bought?I’m not 100% sure, but the first few albums I remember really impacting me, that I wore out, would be:- Tanya Tucker’s “Greatest Country Hits”,- The Judds “Greatest Hits”- Travis Tritt “Country Club”- Charlie Daniels & Hank Williams Jr. albums 3. What is the background story behind your brand new single “Throw A Lil’ Gas?”My co-writer, Steve Goodie, and I got together to write, and I had just gotten my first electric guitar, my Elvis pink Squire. Typically, we write comedy songs, but when Steve started playing “Rosie”, “Throw A Lil Gas” just came pouring out as a cool, passionate song. 4. Is there anything else coming up with your music in 2019?In addition to new videos and gigs, I’m working to build up my fan site on Patreon, where fans can access exclusive material and feel they are really on this journey with me. 5. How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Southern Rock n Soul 6. What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? Anywhere my band and I get to play is amazing. The Almost Angels band, a sibling trio, and I have been playing together for over 8 years. When we are playing, whether in a club or festival or house party, it’s almost impossible for everyone in the room to not have a blast! 7. What do you hope your listeners and fans take away from your new song?I hope “Throw A Lil Gas” sparks passion in folks, whether in their careers or love lives. If we all dig deep to enjoy and experience life, this would be a happier world! 8. What is one of your favorite quotes?“If only each day were like a Bible bath; hot, sensual, fully exposed, and at the end, all the dirt were washed away.” ~me 9. Is there anything else you would like to share? I would love to share the advice that life is too short to not follow your dreams and go after what makes you feel alive!
1. Hello Charles, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I have been playing many different styles of music over the years. Rock bands and tribute bands mostly. I have a Kiss Tribute, a Beatles Tribute, Beach Boys / Jimmy Buffett Tribute, and an 80’s Tribute. Whatever it takes to keep working as a musician. It seemed that the songs I was writing fit more in the Country & Americana market, so I have sort of gone over to the other side. Country is my new place now.
2. What was the first country concert you ever attended? With such a hectic touring schedule, I don’t get much of a chance to see other bands. I did get to see Alan Jackson a couple years ago. Also, Chris Stapleton with Marty Stuart – great show.
3. What is the background story behind your latest single “Love Is Us?” It was around Valentine’s Day last year when I came up with this “Love Is Us” idea. I wanted to pay homage to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” since I had heard it so much growing up, so I used the characters of Tommy & Gina to kick off the song. Not that it has much more to do with the Bon Jovi song other than the idea that no matter where you are or what you have, as long as you have each other, that’s all you will ever really need.
4. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019? We just started recording a new single that will come out just before the new year. It’s a topic I have never covered before, but it has a great message to it. I’ll be sending it to you as soon as it’s done.
5. Where are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? We’ve played so many places over the years. The best places are where the people are having a good time and totally into what we are doing. It doesn’t matter to me if there are 40 people or 4,000. I’d rather play to a crowd that is enjoying what we are doing. We always do two festivals every year which are Spring Fest & Sunfest in Ocean City, Maryland. Huge, very responsive crowds.
6. If you could sing a duet with any singer or group who would it be and why? Paul McCartney! I play the John Lennon character in my Beatles Tribute band. I can’t imagine how cool it would be to sing Beatle songs with the real Paul!
7. What is your recording process like when creating new music? Recording is such a journey for us. I’m in Baltimore, so I go into the studio with the guys in my band here and lay down the drums, bass, guitar and lead vocal. Then I send it to Nashville where I get my friend Brent Mason to put guitar tracks and solos on. After that, it goes to Florida where I have my Engineer/Producer add keyboards, back-up vocals, and any orchestration. After the edits, mixing, and mastering are done it comes back to me. ProTools and the Internet are a wonderful invention. Saves a lot on airline tickets!
8. What is one of your favorite quotes? Jim Valvano’s “never give up”. In this business everyone will tell you what you can’t do. It’s a good thing I don’t listen to anyone.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share? I always ask the fans or people that may happen to hear my music or any new music – just give it a listen! If you don’t like it at least you gave it a try. Growing up, there was such great music that we found by picking up an album cover that looked cool. I found some of the best artists and inspirations doing this. Everyone needs a chance to be heard. You can always hear me at www.charlesparkermusic.com
Country singer Liz Anne Hill was born by the California coast and grew up both in a suburb in Los Angels and a rural mining town in Arizona. Hill learned to sing, write her songs and ride at a very young age. She is more comfortable riding a horse in muddy boots and blue jeans than being beachside in a yellow bikini and white Ray-Bans, Hill combines down-home country roots with rock energy for different and rhythmic sound. After providing her powerhouse vocals as a demo singer for top Los Angeles producers, and then toured nationwide as a bass player and backup for different pop singers.
Many songs that were written by Hill have charted on Billboard, been showcased in animated films and by many airlines. While Hill liked commercial success as in Hollywood as a pop singer she keeps writing her songs, similar to the songs she heard playing out of her grandma’s Cochise old radio. Hill grandma’s radio was located in her County kitchen.
In 2017, Hill moved to Nashville. She put out an EP under the help from the producer, Louis Nerman. On September 13, 2019, Hill wonderful brand new single “The Desert.”
1. Hello Liz, how have you grown as a country musician in 2019?
Moving to Nashville in late 2017 and immersing myself in the songwriting community here has been incredible. In the past two years, I’ve written over 500 songs and really honed in on my craft as a songwriter and my vision as an artist.
2. How did you come up with the name of your brand new EP “The Desert?”
When I began working with my producer Louis Newman, I brought him a batch of 30 or so songs that I felt pretty confident about. He listened to them all, and believed I was on the right track but could dig deeper. The next song I wrote after that feedback was The Desert, and it felt like something had shifted, like I found where I was supposed to be. The song set the tone for the entire project, both lyrically and sonically, and it only seemed fitting that it be the title of the EP.
3. What is was your process when creating this new EP?
After writing The Desert, I had a trip planned back to my hometown in Arizona. It’s a tiny mining town and has always inspired me. As crazy as it sounds, I had the most vivid dreams while I was there, and several songs (Your Ghost, Border, Feel Something) were direct results of that trip. When I came back to Nashville, I had all these ideas to bring into my cowrites, and the songs all complimented each other. We recorded the band at Black River and it was incredible to hear the worktapes come to life. After spending about a week cutting vocals, I took a month or so to plan the video concept, and flew out to California to shoot under the direction of Collective Films. They did any incredible job, and I’m so proud of how the concept came together, and much the visuals add to the EP
4. What is your favorite song off your EP?
Border or Your Ghost. There’s something about Border that gives me chills every time I hear it, and I love how Louis let me get a little “metal” on the arrangement of Your Ghost. There’s some chromatic movements in the chorus that aren’t your typical chords for a country song, and I love that.
5. Is there something you wish your fans would take away from the EP?
The four-part video series is a cycle; the first video begins where the final video ends. Without giving too much away, the visuals follow the cycle of falling in love. We pick ourselves back up from heartbreak, we catch a spark and follow our hearts, we get in too deep, and sometimes it rips us up… but then we regain composure and try again. While the lyrics of the individual songs leave room for interpretation, they’re all deeply personal and autobiographical in a sense. I feel like if you’re going to put yourself out there, you may as well be as real as it gets, and these songs are definitely raw and unfiltered me.
6. Was there any other artists or producers that helped to create your EP with you?
Yes! I was so fortunate to have a dream-team work with me on this EP. Louis Newman produced and Greg Striezec engineered the project. Hit songwriters Jen Adan and Stefanie Rydell teamed up with me on several tracks (and lended BGV’s), Robert Ford, Kris Bradley and Joe Sly also helped me pen several tunes, and “The Desert” was actually a co-write with my sister Allison Hill-Huynh. It is really special to me that she was a part of this project.
7. Is there anything else coming up with your music in 2019?
I’ll be releasing a new video from the four part saga every 4-6 weeks, and will be playing select tour dates TBD!
8. Is there anything else you would like to share?
In addition to my solo music, I also have a YouTube channel dedicated to covers. My duo partner, Greg, and I release new videos every week and it’s so much fun! You can check us out by searching B0b & NaN-Z.
Hi Charly, Can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? Hi Danaille! Thanks for having me. When I was younger, I always sang and knew that I wanted to be a singer, but I didn’t always want to be a country singer. I used to sing a lot of Broadway music from Wicked, Bye Bye Birdie and Funny Girl. That is what I loved to sing. Then, it started transitioning into Taylor Swift with “You Belong with Me,” and “Our Song,” which definitely put the country idea in my head! It was during the Carrie Underwood Blown Away tour back in 2012, however, that it really hit me. It was then that I realized this was exactly what I wanted to do.
What is the background story behind your latest single “We Need to Talk?” When I sat down in a writing session with my friends, Kelly Seidel, Nicole Croteau, and Dave Mohr, we were discussing ideas and Kelly came up with “I Think We Need To Talk.” Usually, when you hear someone say that, it means someone is in a bit of trouble or about to be in an argument. But, we discussed it as a twist where it’s a good thing where you see someone that you really want to go up to and talk to. Sometimes girls, including myself, see a guy in public that upon first impression looks like a great catch and is worth taking more time to get to know. So that’s how we came up with “We Need To Talk.”
Who are some of your musical icons? I have always loved Carrie Underwood, as I said earlier. I think she had a lot to do with me seeing a future career in country music beginning at 12 years old. I also love Blake Shelton, I have called him my “famous boyfriend” for probably 7 years now and he doesn’t even know it! My biggest inspiration and icon is Shania Twain. I started listening to her music when I was about 15 and I couldn’t stop. Then, I learned about what a hard life she has had and the fact that she still works so hard to do what she loves was so inspiring to me.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Original, Country, Genuine, Relatable, and Unique.
What was the first country concert you ever been to? My first country concert was Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away tour which was definitely life changing!
What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at? I love playing at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville, it is always such a fun time and I love that there is a dance floor so people can dance and have a great time with me! I also loved playing Song Suffragettes at the Listening Room. It has been a goal of mine to be a part of Song Suffragettes since I had heard of it and finally was able to make that happen, I also love the listening room because unlike some other writer’s rounds, people are truly there to listen to the songs you have written.
Is there anything else coming up with your music in 2019? I am currently working on an album and the goal for that is 2020, but I could surprise you!
What is one of your favorite quotes? I don’t have many favorite quotes, but I have a favorite Bible verse that is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, Declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Is there anything else you would like to share? I just want to thank everyone for all the love on “We Need To Talk”. The sound is so different than my other music so I was a little bit nervous with putting it out. But with all the overwhelming support I am so glad to see that people seem to love it as much as I do!