Last week I announced that NashvilleGab would be featuring a new and/or little known country artist in our new weekly #FeaturedFriday series.
I had quite a few entries for consideration so it was a tough call on who to feature first, but I finally narrowed it down to one person, or at least one band.
So without further ado, meet Tyler and the Little Mountain Band.
Or re-meet I should say.
Photo Copyright: Robert Chavers
So there I was minding my own business on twitter one day when Justin Timberlake posts an almost interesting tweet:
My initial reaction was well yeah that makes two of us, but then I deciced to investigate this a lil bit further. Who was this guy that was brave enough to take a Justin Timberlake song and turn it country? I mean, we know his name, but really who was he? He obviously oozed talent. Like real deal, talent, too. Not that manufactured stuff they sell in stores. No, his talent is genuine. He took a popular pop song and made it undeniable country. He literally did what I woulda' deemed the impossible...he made the song his own. And a fair warning to all the ladies out there...the way he sings the line "I just can't forget the way we turned out this bed" will make your heart skip a beat. Wanna know more? Find out after the JUMP
Ashley Gearing is currently on a radio tour to promote her new single Boomerang. Well I liked the song when they played it on the radio this morning and wanted to hear it again so I went searching for it. And I searched and searched and searched.
I had the worst time finding anything about Ashley, so this post actually started out as a gripe aimed towards record labels to say if you're going to send someone out on a radio tour, don't make it so dang hard to find info about them. But then I ended up coming across Ashley's Facebook and Twitter and website, so the griping I started out doing ended up being kinda stupid so I deleted it all and started over.
Alabama native Weston Burt has his eye on becoming country music's next big thing. A product of Fort Payne, AL which is home to legendary group Alabama, Weston was naturally born with an advantage. His authentic country sound, hard work ethic, and the gift of amazing vocals is what makes Weston the total package. In Jan, 2013 he set out on a radio tour to promote his then newly single "Lucky Sometimes." However, his latest single "Smile That Smile" is a song of pure musical genius. When I learned Rhett Akins was involved in co-writing the song, I wasn't surprised. Rhett is one of the best song writers of today's time. The song is on my top ten list of 2013. Weston Burt is talented beyond belief but I figured it was time to get to know this up and coming star just a little bit better.
Let's face it, no matter how talented you are there will always be someone out there more talented. That goes for looks, money, skills, and many other things - no matter how much you have of something, someone else out there will have more.
That's when being creative and having a good understanding of thinking outside of the box sometimes comes in handy.
Yesterday, Jake Owen tweeted a funny picture (or scary depending on how you look at it) of something unexpected he came across in his fuel tank.
Only in Nashville will someone leave you their CD and biz card in your fuel tank... Just found this.. Smooth move!! pic.twitter.com/OIUUD7V5QM
Too funny! I enlarged the photo and the business card is for Tyler and The Little Mountain Band. A quick Google search turned up a Facebook for the band and a YouTube account. It also turned up Tyler Hatley's Twitter account (@TylerHatley). I followed him and quickly got a message directly from Tyler.
I asked him about the card and CD and he says that he and his drummer were at Jake's block party on Monday in Nashville and they thought it might be a good way to get a foot in the door.
As for how he knew it was Jake's pickup ... that's easy, he had spotted pictures of it that Jake had posted in the past.
Twitter ... helping stalkers and aspiring artists since 2006.
Tyler says that he hasn't gotten a phone call from Jake yet, but watching the video below for Good Life, I have a feeling someone will be calling in the very near future.
The Band Perry are the stars of this week’s chart roundup, as they can add another radio #1 to the list with ‘DONE.’. Elsewhere they’re not managing to break the monopoly on the top 10, however, falling one place to #11 on Hot Country Songs and all the way to #21 on Country Digital Songs. ‘Pioneer’ rises 4 places to #7 on Top Country Albums. Florida Georgia Line naturally head this aforementioned monopoly with ‘Cruise’, breaking record after record with their run at #1 across Hot Country Songs and Country Digital Songs that continues this week, with their album ‘Here’s To The Good Times’, also holding out at the top. Their newest single ‘Round Here’ is at #12 on Country Airplay, #7 on Hot Country Songs and Country Digital Songs, and their previous single ‘Get Your Shine On’ is still performing, now at #20 on Hot Country Songs and Country Digital Songs.
Posted by Vickye on July 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM in Billy Currington, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Carrie Underwood, Danielle Bradbery, Darius Rucker, Easton Corbin, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Joey and Rory, Justin Moore, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Music News, New Music, Randy Houser, The Band Perry, The Zac Brown Band, Thomas Rhett, Up and Comers | Permalink | Comments (14)
All artist's of any genre have to start somewhere. We have all seen them, heard them, liked them, loved them with our support or simply thought; "What the heck was that all about?" It is important to support local talent that you believe in; fans are what help get them on the path to their dreams.
We hear of success stories but do we ever truly realize how tough it is and how hard their determination pushes them? I realized it after meeting Georgia native, Ben Dukes. At first you may think; "Oh he is just another guy talking a big game," but soon find out how wrong you were. Ben currently lives in Los Angeles and we all know how tough that is for country music. Even though great strides have been made, it just never seems to hold the same balance as it would if it were Nashville, or Texas. I think this only adds to Ben's determination.
Singer/songwriter Dukes does not shy away from his beliefs that there is still room for a true traditional country sound that is missing today, and I tend to agree with him. He holds strong respect for the influences of Garth Brooks, Hank Williams, Waylon, Merle and Johnny Cash. This quote taken from an indepth interview with Blog site No Depression: The Roots Music Authority will sum up who Ben Dukes is: http://www.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/ben-dukes-from-garth-brooks-to-the-late-late-show-with-craig
"I came upon chasing music for a living in a bit of an interesting way. When my father died, I found myself lost, confused and angry. I didn't know how to feel, and had nowhere to direct my emotions. The last gift he had given me was the money to go on a retreat with my church. The retreat focused on prayer, and while I was there, I couldn't find a way to focus at all. We were told to go out and pray for an hour, and instead of that, I sat on a stump and penned the song, "I Can't Pray." I couple of years later, I was with a producer friend of mine, and I sang him the song. He told me I needed to cut it, and that he thought I might have a future in songwriting. We cut the song. It was played over 20,000 times online, and a video for it was played on GAC as a "fan favorite" in their Next GAC Star competition. After that, I simply kept writing and started playing everywhere I could. I played open mics, solo acoustic shows, fronted various cover bands, etc. With every performance, I came to realize more and more that there really is nothing else in the world for me to do than entertain."
After releasing a five cut EP in 2012, which brought to light to the very likeable kickin song, "Down In Flames", Dukes was given the chance to go to Nashville to record his first country music album with veteran producer Chip Hardy. "“Chip brings over 20 years of Country Music experience to the table, and his ear for lyrics is unparalleled,” said Dukes. “As owner and operator of The515 studio, Chip takes an active role in building the song from the ground up, working with me every step of the way from initial concept and acoustic demo all the way to the final mix and master.” Hence the full length "Walkin Through Hell" CD became a reality with all the tracks written by Ben himself, which was released on March 30th.
Dukes got his first taste of the annual SXSW Festival in Austin, TX this year to support the release of the new CD, and there he wowed the crowds with his creative, rockin pure country sound. His first big national exposure came about on his first appearance in June of 2012 when he performed "Down In Flames" on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson which lead to a second appearance this year to premier his new song "Old Fixer Upper" from the "Walkin Through Hell" CD.
As is for any artist working his way towards his goals and dreams, Dukes plays locally at every chance he gets, be it the near by bar, honky tonk, or charity event. After his gig with SXSW he scheduled a tour which took him to more shows in TX, moving along to Nashville and Georgia. August 26th Ben and his Band, will be returning to the Silver Dollar Saloon in Nashville to participate in the American Star Competiton.
"It doesn’t matter how well you promote, how many people you get to put eyes and ears on your act, if you fall short in the performance, you’re not going to be memorable. You have to bring something to table."
I have grown to admire this young man. It is not an easy task to undertake when you want to get back the sound of country music that seems to be lost right now. Ben's sound is similiar to some old school artist's yet unique with his own twist of down home pride in telling a story one song at a time. After seeing his lively rockin shows it only solidifies to me that this will be another story of a local artist who finally get's to that level they have worked so hard to achieve. And I can and will say, "I knew them when."
To find our more about Ben Dukes and his music please check out this link:
John Mcdonald is your average West Virginia boy, however, when he is not working at the strip mine he is singing Lady Gaga covers. Oh come on, it's not country music but at least this version I can stomach. This 26-year-old Trace Creeker grew up listening to Hank Sr, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. His current influences are Eric Church, Justin Moore, and Jamey Johnson. He grew up in the backwoods and got his first guitar at fourteen, he wanted to be just like Lynard Skynard he says. He even won a talent contest during the Freedom Festival in Logan, WV a few years ago. His prize? $250 and a trophy. He also claims he will win again this year and I believe it. Family, friends and coal mines...that's what John Mcdonald is about, oh and Lady Gaga! :)
For more country music gossip follow me on twitter @brittwv
If you haven’t yet heard of The Cadillac Black, you have a lot of catching up to do. They’re already making huge waves in Nashville with their unique brand of Southern rock, and fans in the likes of Eric Church and Dierks Bentley, both of whom they’ve toured with. In addition, their first ever show was opening up for ZZ Top, and they’ve also toured with Lynyrd Skynyrd (“it certainly has helped us open some doors”), and they have Billy Gibbon’s cell phone number, to name but a few. If that isn’t enough, no less than three of the songs from their self-titled debut album were featured on a recent episode of ABC’s ‘Nashville’ (including the cover of Ring of Fire that character Scarlett sang on). Their tracks have also been featured on The Vampire Diaries, Hart of Dixie and CSI Miami, not to mention a host of others.
Yet The Cadillac Black isn’t a five-piece supergroup, but three ordinary guys from Nashville who accidentally became a three-piece and found a way to make it work, even with such a wide host of instruments utilised in their music. These clearly talented musicians have only been together for just over a year, but Kelby Ray, Jaren Johnston and Neil Mason (described by Jaren as a ‘long-haired hippie drummer’) have already built up a great reputation on the live circuit and their support from such big artists and mainstream TV shows mean they have a big year ahead that is bound to see them every success. But it’s not just about their music. Jaren, the lead singer and guitarist, produced Dierks Bentley’s ‘Country & Cold Cans’ EP, and he has penned tracks for Dierks, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Keith Urban (the #1 hit ‘You Gonna Fly’) and Tim McGraw. He’s also been nominated for Music Row Magazine’s 2012 Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year. All this means you’re in safe hands when choosing to listen to such an already accomplished band, so early in their career.
I interviewed Jaren and I loved how genuine and real he came across as. The three band members grew up together in Nashville and they’ve been friends as long as they can remember, playing together in a very organic process. In an industry where so much is manufactured, it doesn’t get much better than this. In fact, their album was thrown together totally organically in a couple of days at Sound Emporium in Nashville, recorded live with their engineer Ryan Gore. Jaren grew up watching his dad play drums at the Grand Ole Opry, and even saw Garth Brooks play the legendary stage for the first time – so it was only natural that his musical influences ranged from those popular during the 1990s, to more traditional artists such as Keith Whitley (inspired by his parents) to the classics such as Willie. But the music Jaren actually owned strayed a little. “My first cassette tapes were Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest hits and Metallica's "And Justice For All"... I think I was like thirteen or something. I never thought about that before this band but that honestly explains our sound almost to the T!” Jaren also cites bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Tom Petty, Nirvana and the Rolling Stones as huge influences on The Cadillac Black’s music, among others.