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.

Mike Thomas~ “Artist Spotlight”!!!

Growing up in the plush musical crossways of East Tennessee, country musician Mike Thomas started performing at a young age in some of the section’s most popular clubs. During the late ’90s and early 2000’s, he was a regular feature on Knoxville, TN’s booming music scene. Thomas moved to Nashville in 2004 to focus on his songwriting career. Rapidly, finding out that his songwriting type and process were not suitable on Music Row, Thomas took a decade off- for a long break from writing and performing to start a family and pursued a career in another trade. Never really losing the passion to write and perform, Thomas started his new band in 2017 at the urging of his close friend and current bandmate, Donald T. Bright. The band started building a following making regular appearances at popular venues such as Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor, Douglas Corner Café, B.B. Kings and at the Mercy Lounge. Next, Thomas met musician and producer, Tres Sasser, who was active in convincing Thomas to go back into the studio to start working on an album. Thomas’ music has been described as an “electric country with a vintage vibe.” His voice can be sometimes raw, growling and also sometimes tender, but is always truly honest and genuine. This June Thomas is set to release his new LP “Three Reasons.” On April 10, 2020, he released his latest single “Sure Feels Rights,” and this wonderful tune is both on Spotify and iTunes. This single was written by Thomas and it is to remind listeners of the things that matter most to them. Also, Thomas hopes his listeners find joy and are thankful for the simple things in life such as friends, family, a day of work and joining together as one community. If you would like to find out more about Mike Thomas then check out his website at (https://mikethomasmusic.com).

Social Media Accounts: 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MikeThomasBand/

Chloe Collins~ (Christmas Cookies Recipe)

Christmas Cookies Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 package Chocolate chips

1 package butterscotch chips

1 cup peanut butter

Directions:

Put it all in boiler pot, over medium heat, mixing constantly so it doesn’t burn. 

When all melted together, pour in 1 cup peanuts into the mixture and  stir them through. 

Place foil or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, pour out the mixture and even it out with a spatula.

Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top of the entire pan of cookies.

Place in refrigerator overnight. 

In the morning, use a sharp, thick knife to cut cookies into pieces.

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!

Chloe Collins~ “Artist Spotlight”!!

Chole Collins is a Nashville country singer and songwriter. Her single “Forget Your Name,” was played on the 100thepisode of the television show Nashville, and several of her other singles have been played on TV shows such as Heartland, The Vineyard, Bellevue and Hudson & Rex. 

            The music video for her song “Didn’t Want You,” was featured on CMT and also shown in American Songwriter Magazine. Collins’ music has been on Spotify editor-curated playlists like Wild Country and New Music Nashville. Collins was also a Nash Next top 10 finalist in 2019 and she has played at such famous venues as The Bluebird Café in Nashville, the Opry City Stage and, The Bitter End in New York, and the House of Blues in New Orleans.

            She maintains to play at many Nashville events such as Whiskey Jam and Nashville Tour Stop. Nashville Songwriters Association International named her “One to Watch” in 2019 and her music has gone to as high as #1 on New Music Weekly and the Music Row Magazine “Country Breakout Chart.”

Social Media Accounts: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chloecollinsmusic/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chloecollinsmus

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNZ625Yxdfc0n08DQPYPHVQ

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! ❤

Alexandria Corn~ Artist Spotlight

Alexandria Corn is an up and coming Country/Pop singer and songwriter. She was born and grew up in Upstate New York, Corn always has a love for performing which established her move to Los Angeles after auditioning for the famous TV show American Idol. Corn made it through the TV aired round before ending her journey at just 17 years old. A little bit after that, she traveled to Nashville to attend the CMA Awards. In Nashville she met writer and publisher Jillian Farrar, this is where they wrote Corn’s first single “Say It Again.” “Say It Again” was a part of the top 40 Country charts on The Iceman Show (CMA affiliated) for 4 weeks and was also featured on VEVO Country.
Also, Corn started to work with Curt Chambers (Grammy-nominated Producer and Songwriter), and together they made Corn’s next single “Beach Town Sunrise.” Her song caught the interest of many festival bookers all around the United States. The summer of 2017, Corn was an opening act for Jake Owen in Huntington Beach (Coastal Country Jam), and Chris Janson in New York (Big Frog 104 Frog Fest), Stagecoach VIP with Boots on Stage (featured in iHeart.com, Style and Society, Bazaar) and has been a part of the stage at Country Fest in Wisconsin with Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Dan and Shay, Cam and Lucie Silvas. She has also opened for California’s Country festival “Shipkicker” for Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, The Swon Brother,s and Honey County. She has also got to share the stage with Toby Keith, Frankie Ballard, and Granger Smith.
Corn has played at many venues all around Northern and Southern California, New York and Nashville. She has played at numerous “Boots On Stage” showcases and even entered into the Nash Next 2017 Country Competition, taking place as a finalist for the Ventura Country with KHAY FM. Corn was also nominated for three California Country Music Awards that place on December 16th (Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Best Song of the Year).
Shortly after moving to Nashville, she put out her debut Nashville single “Same Tattoo” and it has taken off at 110,000 plays in under 3 months and has placed her on some of Spotify’S most known Country playlists. Corn is currently working and recording her first E.P. Her upcoming features Average Joes Entertainment (Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert) and artist Sam Grow. Corn will also be joining the Eli Young Band on some of their tour dates in 2020.

On March 13, 2020, Corn put out her newest single “Cheated Better.” Her new single “Cheated Better” and other music can be found on Spotify and iTunes. If you would like to find out more about Alexandria Corn then check out her website at (https://alexandriacornmusic.com).

Social Media Accounts:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexandriaCornMusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexandriacorn
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexandriacornmusic/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/alexandriacorn

Taylor Hughes’:(Old Fashioned w/ Red Eye Whiskey)~ Recipe

Old Fashioned with Red Eye Whiskey

  1. 3oz of Red Eye Whiskey 
  2. 2-3 dashes of orange bitters
  3. .5-1 teaspoon of Simple syrup 
  4. 1 orange peel for garnish
  5. Maraschino cherry (optional) 
  6. 1 large ice cube (I recommend buying the sphere ice cubes) 
  7. Rocks glass 

                  DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put simple syrup and bitters in glass. Mix together
  2. Add ice to glass
  3. Pour Red Eye on top and mix with bar spoon (this drink is not shaken!) 
  4. Add orange peel and optional cherry
  5. Enjoy! 

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.