Born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas, Bailey grew up in a home filled with musicians and music lovers. Singing from a very early age, she possessed an innate desire to perform. As she matured, she graduated from living room performances to singing at school functions, talent shows, weddings, and local festivals.
At the age of 12, Bailey bowed to the urging of fans and family and recorded her first album at Rosewood Studios in Tyler, Texas with famed producers Greg Hunt and Gary Leach. Choosing a mixture of her own compositions and personal favorites, Bailey presciently named her album Exit. As it turned out, the album marked her exit from gifted amateur to determined professional. Exit not only earned her opening spots for numerous country headliners, but also caught the attention of distributors. Bailey became the first artist to be picked up for distribution by Wal-Mart.
With the success of her first album to fuel her, Bailey began writing and in the fall of 2006, established her own record label, Bailey Entertainment Group (BEG) Records, for which she cut her second album, Don’t Look Down. With that album, she released her records to radio for the first time which garnered her play on 105+ radio stations around the country.
Since the creation of BEG Records, Bailey has scored three Top 15 hits on the Texas Music Chart, three Top 5 hits on the National Independent Country Music Chart and, in 2007 alone, 28,000 radio spins for the Music Row Chart. It was this last accomplishment that won her the “Breakout Artist of the Year” award. Without delay, Bailey jumped headfirst into the next test. In 2009, Bailey released her first single “Beach Weekend” to stations that report to Billboard, the music industry’s standard of airplay popularity. Within only a few short months, Bailey made her mark by holding her position at 52 on the charts, and being the country’s most added 15 weeks in a row.
In the spring of 2010, Bailey sat down with Terry London of London Broadcasting and Tim Dubois, the president of ASCAP, to discuss pulling out all the stops. Not even out of the gate yet with her third album, she has already received national exposure as a multi-season regular on the television show “The Country Vibe”, as well as, a spot as the featured artist on the CW’s new show “The Troubador”, which is set to air in the fall of 2011. Bailey just finished recording her next two singles and the first of two upcoming music videos, all of which are set to be released in the summer of 2011. In preparation of this release, Bailey is touring her favorite hotspots nationwide, keeping fans excited.
Picture a home-body with an ever-present wanderlust, an introvert with a passion for performing, a creative free-spirit with enough discipline to rework her dream year after year, calloused little hands and a big pile of curly hair…and you’ve got Beth Wood, modern-day troubadour.
Picture a tumbleweed blowing across the plains of west Texas, and another musician-songwriter is born! Beth Wood began her musical journey in Lubbock, a high plains Texas town with a uniquely rich musical heritage that includes Buddy Holly, Natalie and Lloyd Maines, Mac Davis, and Joe Ely to name a few. When she wasn’t dodging tornados and dust storms, Beth was studying classical piano, violin, harp, and voice and contemplating the greatness of her Dad’s Willie Nelson records.
With grandiose dreams of becoming a musician, a baker, or a cowgirl, Beth left west Texas to study voice and piano at Brevard College in North Carolina. A detour from her classical studies led her to Austin, where she picked up a degree in literature and a guitar. Beth began writing her own songs and quickly discovered a feeling of musical freedom that she has been hooked on ever since. Fifteen years, thousands of shows, nine albums, three cars, and numerous awards later, Beth has never looked back. Beth’s exceptional musicianship, crafty songwriting, and engaging, energetic stage presence have been winning over audiences from coast to coast.
“The Weather Inside,” Beth’s eighth studio release, is a case study in contrast. A coming-of-age statement record from a veteran artist, Beth’s latest work embraces strength and tenderness, the polished and the well-worn, the broken and the hopeful heart. Produced by Billy Crockett at Blue Rock Studio in Wimberley, TX, “The Weather Inside” delves deep into Beth’s creative reserves and delivers a strong collection of songs and performances to remember.
Beth and her husband and their sweet dog Marble now live in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. Beth is settling in to the Northwest music scene, where she has been featured on OPB’s “Artbeat” tv show, Ninkasi’s Northwest Music sampler, and the Sisters Folk Festival and Song Academy.
Andie Kay Joyner and Heather Stalling had to experience life before they felt ready to write about it. When they met in the early 1990′s, both were already accomplished musician/vocalists. Stalling was an award winning fiddler, coming off a two-year run as a support player in Branson, MO. Joyner was still a teenager, but had sung in front of thousands of people at countless performances. Each had grown up in musical families that exposed them to bluegrass, folk, and traditional country music.
For the next decade, the girls further groomed themselves for their own band by separately backing Texas artists, such as Mark David Manders, Max Stalling, Johnny Lee, Tommy Alverson, Bob Schneider, and others. The girls took a Tuesday night residency at the legendary Dallas honky-tonk, Adair’s Saloon for almost a year. After several failed relationships, a handful of song-worthy misfortunes, and countless all-night jam sessions, their songwriting began to draw from very specific situations. Soon, there was more than enough material to complete an album. Stalling and Joyner even co-produced their debut CD, blacktopGYPSY, with Austin resident Adam Odor at famed Cedar Creek Studios. The album is a montage of styles representing the songwriters’ varied influences and phases of musical interest. The traditional country material one might expect of a fiddler and country vocalist is certainly there. blacktopGYPSY moved from the studio to the stage early 2006, and with the addtions of stellar musicians, Steven Cooper on lead guitar, Phillip Cardon on drums/percussion, Jay New on bass guitar, and Darcy Starcher on background vocals, are turning the page to a new era in Americana music.
Born and raised in Dallas, singer-songwriter Brice Beaird began writing songs when he was ten years old. With the help of his musical mentor, world-renowned church choirmaster, Dr. Paul Thomas, he gained a true appreciation for classical music, songwriting and performing, singing lead parts in church productions with the Dallas Symphony. In high school, he teamed with famed Texas singer/songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey and continued writing and performing. Willis Alan Ramsey recalls, “I started writing songs when I was in high school, I was in a folk duo with Brice Beaird. He’d go ‘Here’s another song I wrote.’ I got tired of hearing that and decided to write some songs so I could say, ‘here’s one I wrote.’ Brice was a big inspiration for me.” -Express News. One year older, Willis graduated from high school and began playing the folk music circuit. He soon after recorded his legendary solo album Willis Alan Ramsey.
After graduating from Texas Tech University, Brice co-founded the very successful rock group, The Coconuts, along with several friends from high school and college in Dallas. The Coconuts toured the southwest and became increasingly popular with college campuses and local club venues. While in Coconuts, Beaird signed a songwriting contract with United Artists Publishing in Nashville. After prospects for a record deal faded in Los Angeles, he left the music business to open his own advertising agency in Dallas. However, he continued his songwriting and performing, both in church, as the director of music for the family service, and in an acoustic group known as Beaird Brown and Williams. Through this association, Brice was able to perform his songs and realize their popularity, all in an effort to begin production of his solo CD, Another Side. Released in December 2001, Brice performed all the music from the CD at the Granada Theater in Dallas to a very receptive audience of over 500 friends. He continues to perform with his nine-piece band, featuring most of the artists who played on the CD. Although he still owns and manages the ad agency, he is excited to keep the musical journey alive, and is currently scheduling more shows and festivals to promote his music. His songwriting efforts will take on a new dimension as his trips to Nashville increase.
Cary Cooper has been working. Working hard. And it’s showing in every career move she makes.
In early 2011, Cary was spotted by the producers of Troubadour, Tx, a new TV docu/drama set to premiere in September 2011 on the CW network. Along with several other Texas songwriters (including her husband, Tom Prasada-Rao), Cary was cast on the show. Part of her appeal is the unique songs she’s been writing on her cute little pineapple ukulele.
Cary picked up the uke in the summer of 2010 and it blew open the door to a brand new batch of songs that are featured on her new CD, “Pink Umbrella”. Produced by Jagoda & Tom Prasada-Rao (and featuring the incredible musicianship of Radoslav Lorkovic, Jeffrey Barnes of Brave Combo, Jason Rafalak and Brad Yoder), “Pink Umbrella” is light and whimsical in nature, these songs reflect what make Cary stand out in a crowd. She draws you in with her own sense of charm then hits you over the head with lyrics that are deceptively deep. Songs like “Suzanne”, about a 43 year old woman who takes a brief reprieve from the drudgeries of her life to join the circus; and “Jimmy Stewart”, a sweet natured yet angsty song, about the differences in real life love and the love you find in old movies. “Pink Umbrella” is set to release in the fall of 2011 coinciding with her main stage set at the Kerrville Wine & Music Festival and the premiere of Troubadour, Tx.
For the bulk of her career as a performing songwriter, Cary has toured with her husband, Tom Prasada-Rao; first as the duo, The Dreamsicles, and more recently as solo artists sharing shows. 2011 marks the year that Cary will begin to tour primarily as her own solo act. She will be opening for larger acts and splitting bills with other songwriters across the country. Be sure to catch her when she’s in your area. You won’t want to miss this rising star.
Cary met Mary Gauthier in 2007 at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival where Cary was a finalist in the Songwriters Showcase. Mary sings background vocals on one of the songs on Cary’s 2009 release, Dirty Little Secret, and has this to say about it:
“Cary Cooper’s new CD has captured me. It is so very well written, well sung and well recorded that I’ve found myself listening over and over again for the sheer pleasure of it, and the songs now sit in my heart like old friends. Her song stories are tales of a woman’s hard earned wisdom as she embarks on that lonely spiritual journey that leads her to her self. Cary’s voice is disarming and seductive, beautiful and inviting, but beware, these tales are not all easy to swallow. The road is rocky and the lessons come hard. But what an honest ride she takes us on! This is a wonderful record, and I hope that people will discover it and fall in love with it like I have.” (Mary Gauthier)
In addition to being named a 2007 finalist at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase, Cary has also been an Emerging Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, a finalist at the Mountain Stage Newsong Contest and a 2004 WINNER of the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition.
Cary loves to teach almost as much as she loves to write and perform, and has had many opportunities around the country to hone her teaching skills. She has served as one of the songwriting teachers for Young Writer’s Workshop at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She has taught at Summersongs both in New York and California and at the Grunewald Guild in Washington State. She has worked with Paul Reisler helping conduct “Kid Pan Alley” workshops across the country as well as with the Dallas writer’s organization, Writer’s Garret where she is an artist in residence. She currently teaches music two days a week at White Rock Montessori School in Dallas.
She makes her home in Dallas, TX with her husband and musical partner, Tom Prasada-Rao, her daughters, 14 year old Caroline and 10 year old Hannah Kate, and Thurman, an obnoxiously large and unusually lovable, Goldendoodle.
Cary Pierce is a Producer, Songwriter and Performer. His mission is to connect with millions and millions of people and make their lives better through his music, performance and production. His songs and co-writes have appeared onalmost 4 million records. He has shared stages with John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Train, Matchbox Twenty, Counting Crows, Wallflowers, Vertical Horizon, Sheryl Crow, Mat Kearney, Jewel, Lyle Lovett, No Doubt, Collective Soul, – to name a few. Cary also played the largest one-day ticketed event of all time, BlockBuster Rockfest in Dallas with almost 500,000 people in attendance. He has appeared on Rosie O’Donnell, Conan O’Brien and countless other national and local TV shows. He has written songs with Katy Perry, Brandon Heath, Stan Lynch (Don Henley, The Eagles, Tom Petty, the Mavericks), Franne Golde (Faith Hill, Randy Travis), Jamie Houston (Jessica Simpson, Santana, Jon McLaughlin) and many others. He has recorded with John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band), Grammy Award winner, T Bone Burnett (Wallflowers, Counting Crows, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss), Neal Avron (Everclear, Semisonic), Justin Niebank (Eric Clapton, Rascal Flats, Blues Traveler), John Fields (Switchfoot, Jonas Bros) and others. Cary was instrumental in the early development of Vertical Horizon, Evan & Jaron, Jack Ingram and Guster. He has produced and/or co-written records for Chris Tomlin (7x Dove Award, 2x Grammy nominated, cert Platinum & Gold, several no. 1 chart positions), Graham Colton (Universal), Jack Ingram (Universal/Big Machine), Jon Abel, Patrick Ryan Clark, American Royal, Creede Williams, Jay Quinn Band, Kai Brown, Jenny Kirtland and others (most avail at their sites or on iTunes. In addition to his solo debut, You Are Here (Aware Records), Cary has released foreverything vol.1 and vol 2 and Live at Schubas on his own foreverything records. All are available at carypierce.com.
Cary is on the Creative Council for Art House Dallas, and has been commissioned by the highly acclaimed Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts to work with hand-selected kids, write and produce songs for commercial release. Cary spent 2 years as the Artist in Residence at St John’s Episcopal School in the Lakewood area of Dallas.
Cary leads music regularly at the Great Hall at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas and plays regularly for cancer patients at Baylor Hospital in Dallas.
Cary is also half of the band Jackopierce (Jack ONeill & Cary Pierce). For twenty three years, Jackopierce has toured the world in 44 states, 10 countries, on 3 continents. They’ve recorded 10 records (2 for A&M). JP reunited in 02 and play most major cities once a year. In Sept 08, they released their first record in 12 years called “Promise of Summer.” Their latest album, “Everywhere All The Time,” comes out Aug 28, 2012 on Be Music & Entertainment.
Chacho and Brance
Chacho and Brance
C&B have been writing, recording, and performing regionally, everywhere from Mississippi to Mexico, since the late 1990s. The duo is all about pure sincerity and unabridged passion. Their songs are expressions and reflections of the world as they perceive and experience it.
If you haven’t yet caught her engaging and disarming live show, take a chance on Ellis and you’ll become a lifelong fan. Her fans describe her as not only a talented folk musician, but also as a supportive friend who offers encouraging words and humor alongside her compelling songs. She leaves audiences better than she finds them, with softened edges & opened hearts. With wholehearted songs that capture deep wisdom as well as a childlike joy, Ellis’ music is being spread across the globe by fans who are so moved that they have to share it others.
A native of Texas, Ellis moved to Minneapolis at the age of 16, where she quickly built a local following that blossomed into a nationwide presence, with extensive touring and seven albums released in the last sixteen years. In addition to selling more than 40,000 copies of her CDs independently, Ellis has accrued a wealth of accomplishments including winning the 2011 Midwest Regional Round of the Mountain Stage New Song contest, and the 2009 Just Plain Folks Best Female Singer Songwriter Award. She also received Top 5 recognition in the Telluride Troubadour Song Contest and the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Song Contest was voted “Most Wanted To Return” at both the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and Sisters Folk Festival.
Gary Lynn Floyd
Gary Lynn Floyd
Gary is a singer/songwriter/actor from Conroe, Tx. He was four years old when he began picking out melodies on the piano, and he’s been making music ever since. His soulful blend of pop, country, and r&b has been critically acclaimed, and the Dallas Observer says, “his original ballads pound with soul and fire”. His most recent CD, Then + Now, is a retrospective of most requested songs over the past decade, with five fresh, new songs, including a duet with best friend and fellow recording artist, Denise Lee. Later this fall, Gary will be featured on the CW television series, TroubadourTx, a music documentary following Texas singer/songwriters, which airs Sundays nationwide.
Gary is also an award winning actor. His theatrical credits include Next To Normal, Grey Gardens, AIDA, Crimes of the Heart, The Big Bang, and Pumpboys & Dinettes.
Green River Ordinance
Green River Ordinance
Green River Ordinance Josh Jenkins, Lead Vocals Jamey Ice, Guitar Joshua Wilkerson, Guitar Geoff Ice, Bass Denton Hunker, Drums. Over the decade-long journey from their first incarnation as kids in Fort Worth, Texas to the upcoming release of their latest album, Under Fire, Green River Ordinance has evolved steadily. The powerful five-piece’s message on their upcoming release evokes the challenges and triumphs of its members as they continue to grow personally and artistically. In 2007, GRO’s intensity and strong fan connection prompted EMI to sign them to Capitol Records. In 2009, out of our hands, the band’s debut album shot to No. 10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart and catapulted two singles, “Come On” and “On Your Own,” into the top 40. GRO Shared stages with Bon Jovi, Train, Counting Crows, Gavin DeGraw and other headliners; earned press coverage from CNN, Billboard and Alternative Press and got their music played on 56 network and cable shows along with three films.
And then, in July 2010, they walked away to start anew.
Working with producers Jordan Critz, Chad Copelin and Jarod Evans, GRO recorded under fire at studios in Texas and Oklahoma. For this album, the band wrote all songs built on a foundation of strong, solid, high-impact music – walls of guitar, hushed and intimate acoustic moments and rousing harmonized vocals. Their search to find and communicate answers will guide GRO through years to come, beginning with their Under Fire North American tour beginning Feb. 29 in Houston. But wherever their explorations take them, Under Fire may be the star that charts their course.
By the age of 14, he was playing with friend and fellow musician Joe Russell in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. He left home to travel to Atlanta, Georgia, where Joe was signed with the Bill Lowery Agency, whose roster included artists such as Billy Joe Royal, Classics IV, and Joe South. In Atlanta, Guthrie met people who were successful doing what they loved to do; his path was chosen.
Guthrie’s Daddy eventually called the authorities to get him home and back in school, but Guthrie just wanted to play music. Back in Richmond, Guthrie formed the band Studio B with Mike Deep, Mike Parker, Linwood Bell, and Jimmy Langlious, and had his first opportunity to get serious and grow musically. Southside Johnny (of Asbury Jukes) later moved down from Jersey and became the band’s lead singer.
Guthrie originally came west in 1968 to stay with his Texas cousins and to be with a friend who was stationed in El Paso, waiting to be shipped out to Vietnam. He bounced between Texas and Virginia for a couple of years, but decided he was a Texas boy at heart and moved here to stay in ’71. During this time he started playing with Smokin’ Joe Kubek. His first “official” Texas band was Big D Stuff with singer Larry Samford, who is now with the Rocky Athas Group.
The next few years were filled with great music and great musicians. He recorded with Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Doyle Bramhall, Sr. on Bird Records, and opened for numerous national touring acts, including Robin Trower, John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, and Donovan. He toured Europe with Grammy winner Marc Benno, and co-wrote “Laverne” on Benno’s album Snake Charmer. While in Europe, they performed on Ohne Filter, Germany’s top televised music show.
By the early 80s, Guthrie was playing with Rocky Hill, along with Brett Reid & ‘Uncle John’ Turner. Rocky and the band opened for such Texas music legends as ZZ Top, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, and Ray Wylie Hubbard.
Guthrie and Brett joined up with drummer Jimmy ‘Blueshoes’ Pendleton to form The Hippie Dogs, a band with “the soul of a hippie and the howl of a dog.” The Dogs recorded a self-titled CD in 1994, and opened for Lee Rocker and Delbert McClinton. Buddy Magazine named all three-band members “Texas Tornados,” calling them “the best musicians in Texas, perhaps in the world.”
Guthrie has also played with Buddy Miles, Jack Morgan, Curly ‘Barefoot’ Miller, Jim Suhler, and Robert Ealey. He has toured extensively through Europe with Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Eddie Martin, and Marc Benno, playing some great venues like the Womad Festival, the Colne Festival, Nuits de Blues, and the International Music Festival in Turkey.
After a career of collaboration with some great musicians, Guthrie is finally breaking out on his own as a singer / songwriter to tell his own story in the new CD ‘Ranch Road 12′ produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard. Have a listen.
Guthrie has also played on Take Your Best Shot – Smokin’ Joe Kubek, Bullseye Something’s Gotta Change – Kenny Traylor, Topcat Records Pillowcase Blues – Eddie Martin & the Texas Blues Kings, Blueblood Jump the Joint – Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, Armadillo Without Further Adieu – Paul Byrd, Bluestone I’m Not Saying I’m Just Saying – Dynamo Rhythm Aces The Hippie Dogs – The Hippie Dogs Miracle – The Rocky Athas Group, Armadillo Live at the Crossroads – Jack Morgan Voodoo Moon – The Rocky Athas Group, Armadillo Coming Home – Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, Armadillo
Jon Christopher Davis
Jon Christopher Davis
I’ve been in the music industry for over twenty years now. As a songwriter, I’ve been fortunate enough to have written for two of the largest music publishers in the world, Warner Chappell and BMG (Nashville). There I penned songs for major-label artists, such as Dolly Parton, Hal Ketchum, Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sherrie Austin and Tammy Cochran. “Little Bird,” as recorded by Sherrie Austin, peaked at number 4 on Billboard’s Top Country Singles Sales Chart.
In 2006, I moved back home to Texas to start my own company,JustCoolMusic.com, where I now create music for myself as well as write and produce theme songs for various organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, National PTA, Liberty Institute, American Fallen Soldiers Project and the Texas Tourism Department. My latest project consisted of writing and producing “Power of a Girl” for the Girl Scouts 100 year anniversary. The track features members from the pop-country group, Lakoda Rayne, as seen on The X Factor.
Shortly after moving, I had a top 40 hit on the TX Music Chart called “Lone Star Attitude®.” The song has now transitioned into a trademarked brand. Next time you’re walking through DFW International Airport’s terminal C, stop by gate 33 and check out the Lone Star Attitude® store. You can’t miss it, it’s the largest store in the terminal. Talk about a cosmic joke!
As an artist, I’ve recorded for Warner Brothers, Sony, MCA and Palo Duro Records and have been featured on, or in, ABC, CBS, FOX, the Style Network, Pentagon Network, CW Network, Oxygen Channel, USA Today, Billboard Magazine, the Washington Post and Huffington Post. I have collaborated with several of my peers, such as Vince Gill, Radney Foster, Rodney Crowell, Steve Lukather of Toto, Stan Lynch of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Go-Go’s as well as mega-hit producers, Dann Huff (Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban) and David Z (Prince, Jonny Lang).
As a studio session singer, my voice has been featured on over 500 radio and TV commercials for brands, such as TXU Energy, Ford and American Country Countdown (hosted by Kix Brooks).
For me, music is not a hobby, it’s my life. I believe music is the universal language that connects us beyond country and culture. For a small-town Texas boy, with a vinyl dream, I’m now learning how to survive in a digital world. Thank God, I’ve got an analog girl by my side!
With disarming lyrics that speak to the realities of love both found and lost, and songs that tell stories of a life that isn’t always perfect (but sometimes comes close) Kirk Thurmond’s smooth and soulful voice draws the listener into a world where problems can be honestly and earnestly expressed, and where you feel that it’s ok to not always be completely content. With songs such as “Like My Love,” “Leave that Girl Alone,” and “Superlover,” Kirk’s music can simply be described as honest. Seeking to convey an emotional rawness in his music that can all too often be lost as artists try to pursue the next crowd-pleasing hit, Kirk aims for one thing- genuinity (a word he made up). “I want people to know that when they listen to my songs, they’re hearing what I really feel – no holds barred,” says Kirk. “I try not to pull any punches in my writing, even if it makes me seem broken, because all too often that’s what we are- fragile and in pieces. If we were more honest with each other about how we don’t have it all together, I really believe things could change for all of us.” Kirk aims to let his friends and his fans know that the experiences they encounter are not theirs alone, that there is someone who understands the struggles and the pains of the everyday. He is more than willing to share his experiences with the world.
Kylie Rae Harris
Kylie Rae Harris
Kylie Rae Harris remembers family road trips that resembled a country concert on wheels. Her parents would turn up the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker and Radney Foster, each family member would pick a part and sing harmonies. That music sank deep into her soul as a seven year old. It’s what comes out now.
“You can just feel something about somebody when they mean what they are singing,” Kylie says. “That’s so important to me…It’s why I love music.”
She’s never strayed from those early influences. Throw in singer/songwriters Walt Wilkins and Patty Griffin and you begin to understand why her lyrics sound so….real.
Those influences drove her to sing and a vocal camp at age 12 threw kerosene on a growing flame. She began crafting her own songs and playing guitar. By the time she’d graduated from high school she earned a music scholarship – and a
welding scholarship – but took neither. She decided to press ahead with a music career instead. Songs like “All the Right Reasons” and “Change” are soul music; straight from Kylie Rae’s soul to listeners.
“Music has always been in me,” Kylie Rae said. “To me, songs are supposed to have a purpose,” I’m going to be writing and singing music the rest of my life whether I’m broke or not so I might as well go for it.”
Little Brave is the new alias of Stephanie Briggs. Stephanie has been performing since 2000, first in Rodger Wilko releasing 3 albums, then as Stephanie Briggs releasing 2 albums, and now as Little Brave. She released her third album, Wound & Will, on March 5, 2011, under the moniker Little Brave.
To celebrate the release of the album, Stephanie decided to create an event unlike any other. She called it “Wound & Will: The Musical.” The San Antonio Current said, “This was easily the best show I’ve seen so far this year, and it wasn’t about the confetti: it was about the songs and the vision of a top-notch all-around artist the regional music scene should be proud of.”
Stephanie recently stepped into the studio to create an EP with producer Matt Noveskey. The EP is set to be released by fall 2012.
Little Brave has performed with Quiet Company, Bob Schneider, Suzanna Choffel, Dan Dyer, Javi Garcia, and many more. She has graced such venues as Momo’s in Austin, TX; Texas Music Theater in San Marcos, TX; Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonio, TX; Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta, GA; Room 5 in Los Angeles, CA; and Plush in Tucson, AZ.
Wandering the streets of Houston, playing regular gigs at bars like the Continental Club, or settling down for drinks with the kinds of characters that populate poetry (but rarely read it), Mando Saenz wrote it all down – in melody, on little scraps of paper, or in his head. Like the gloriously disorganized life he observed in his former neighborhood, his songs usually aren’t about linear expectations or predictable narratives, they are flashes of emotion, snapshots of time reassembled in his songs with rhyme and melody to make uncommon, musical sense.
He carried most of the songs from Houston to his new home in Nashville, finishing out a few of them with co-writers like Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey and R.S Field, a first for the previously lone writer. The songs on his new album Bucket, are still populated with life’s losers, soul-searchers, and dreamers – the kind songwriting that won him praise for his more acoustic-tinged debut, Watertown. But this time, he leaves the Texas imagery behind.
For his second album Mando distanced himself musically and thematically from his past. Partnered with some of roots-rock’s most potent musicians – Kenny Vaughn, Richard Bennett, Tony Crow, Jason Lehning, and Chris Carmichael — and helmed by producer R.S. Field, Bucket’s distorted guitars and chiming acoustics punctuate Mando’s haunting tenor and unexpected phrases.
Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and raised in Corpus Christi by his music-loving parents on an eclectic diet of 60s-era songwriters, traditional Mexican music and the Everly brothers, Mando Saenz began guitar lessons at the age of 11. But the realization that he could write and perform music for a living didn’t hit until he had done the ‘responsible thing’ and earned an MBA – if only to stick it in his back pocket.
He began playing live full-time and the response was encouragement enough to launch his career in DIY fashion. Soon, he joined the line of notable singer-songwriters to chronicle their lives in Texas via Watertown – originally self-released until landing in the hands of Carnival Music.
“Watertown had a definite underlying theme, and in some sense was almost a concept record – kind of revealing a lot of hidden truths,” he says. “Bucket changes gears a bit more and I wasn’t afraid into slipping into a love song”
The opening track of Bucket begins with exotic strumming and thumping tablas, matched with a drum loop and chiming, echoing guitar coming in slowly. “Wrong Guy” juxtaposes mellow mid-tempo pop-country with the macho, defiant stance of the narrator who is warning that he’s a difficult person to be in a relationship — saying “And don’t call my name / Cause I’ll be right there with a bucket of hate.”
Texas based songwriter, Max Stalling, had no expectation of ever being in the music business. “I didn’t even pick up a guitar until graduate school,” notes Stalling. After attending high school in South Texas, Stalling studied at Texas A&M – College Station, where he earned a masters degree in Food Science. He followed the corporate road from there and eventually landed in Dallas working in product development for Frito-Lay.
During this time, Stalling discovered the Three Teardrops Tavern and Dallas community radio station KNON. These outlets exposed a musical heritage to which Stalling had been nearly oblivious. Inspired by artists like Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett, and Jerry Jeff Walker, Stalling started writing songs, recording albums, and eventually touring with a full band to back him. In June 2008, Stalling joined musical greats Kris Kristofferson, Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, Selena, Guy Clark and many others when he received a star on the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in Corpus Christi.
Stalling’s style is modern with a vintage feel. With Jeff Howe on drums and percussion, Bryce Clarke on nylon-string guitar, electric guitar and mandolin, and Jason Steinsultz swapping between stand-up and electric bass, Stalling creates a dynamic live show that’s smart, charming and as listenable as it is danceable. Stalling and troupe are equally at home on a huge concert stage in front of thousands or playing an acoustic set for a hundred. Attendance numbers at shows have continued to rise. “I chalk it up to the strength of the songs and the strength of my band”, comments Max.
Despite playing the same circuit as many household names in Texas country, grouping Stalling with them would be premature. His unique voice and amusingly clever song lyrics pull him in a different direction – a direction most obviously evident in his newest record Home to You.
Stalling has put together an elite team for his newest project, including recording heavyweight and Grammy winner Lloyd Maines. Maines has been instrumental in developing the sounds of some of the best artists in music and has worked with industry giants including the Dixie Chicks, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Bruce Robison. Band members Steinsultz, Howe and Clark are featured prominently on the recordings as well as Stalling’s wife Heather. “I’m very proud of the life that everyone has given these songs,” says Max. “They poured their hearts and souls into this project and I think people will be wowed by what they can do.”
Home to You may be the best and most well rounded collection of songs that Stalling has released to date. The opening track is an unexpected tune borrowed from Austin music fixture Bob Schneider, which Stalling makes his own by staying true to his rootsy, Americana vibe which is evident throughout the entire album. Next, we hear fan favorite “I Aint Drinking Alone” and a surprising revisited version of a previous Stalling track. With songs about love, love lost, and the road, the album is a perfect candidate for the repeat button on any music player. The collection wraps up with, “The Fantasy Dinner,” which is a light-hearted, story song that captures Stalling’s creative mind in a way that will keep the listener intrigued and singing along by the second chorus. Matched with master musicianship and production, this album will keep your foot tapping, heart pounding, and dancing shoes worn.
Somewhere in between a deep dark-holler, a Texas road-house and a Manhattan bound F-Train, you’ll find singer-songwriter Melissa Greener, picking a guitar and singing her truth. Inspired by modernist poets & literate folk singers, Greener’s songs are exquisitely crafted portraits of the human condition – hers and ours. Melodic, rhythmic and quirky, they captivate with dynamic ranges and moody tones, in a unique language all her own.
Growing up with an intoxicating potion of Mo-town, crooner tunes and 60’s Laurel Canyon folkies, Greener’s signature phrasing evolved. By way of a classically trained soprano mother, who sang in the lounge of the Playboy Club in Detroit, and a socialist hippie father, a unique and beautiful brew emerged.
Ever after the next adventure, Greener has trekked mountain ranges in the Alps, Slovakia and Tibet. She’s pedaled a bicycle across Canada and lived in a rural village in China. “I once sailed so far into the Mediterranean Sea I couldn’t see land, and have seen so many stars in an Egyptian desert I couldn’t see the sky.” Her current adventure is a full time schedule of international touring, performing in theaters, festivals and house concerts alike.
Greener is currently in production on her third album Transistor Corazon which will be released in the spring of 2013. Her sophomore release, Dwelling, was helmed by acclaimed producer John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter) and has won awards and glowing reviews throughout the music industry. Fall From the Sky, Greener’s debut, continues to receive attention from an international music community. While her recordings are beautiful documentaries, Greener’s music becomes fully realized before a live audience. Be sure to catch her next concert!
Nicolette Good owes interstate I-10 a lot of material, and she’s got the lyrics to prove it. The 2012 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Winner has done most of her best writing behind the wheel. She plays at the intersection of Americana and indie-folk, which has led fans to describe her sound as “melancholy, but hip,” and “unique when compared to other female Texas artists.”
A music student since the age of 5, Nicolette grew up in Houston, Texas where she studied piano through high school and eventually through college at Trinity University, but ultimately she found the guitar, her voice, and the pen and paper to be more compelling (and portable). She stayed in San Antonio, which she now calls home, after graduating. There, she practiced performing at open mics and as a back-up singer and keys player for the Melissa Ludwig Band, in addition to other friends’ projects.
As a songwriter, Nicolette leans heavily on the subtle twists of a story that keep listeners on tilt. 41Entertainment said it best, “Nicolette writes like butter melts.” With influences as diverse as Neko Case, Joni Mitchell, Gillian Welch, and the Felice Brothers, her music is at once rich and haunting. She was a winner in the 2012 Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Contest. As a singer, she has been called “exacting,” “adventurous,” and “strong as radishes.”
Nicolette self-produced her debut mini-CD at a recording studio / yoga den / sustainability compound called The Farm (R.I.P.) with session players backing her up, including Grammy-award winning Joe Reyes on lead guitar. During that time, the San Antonio Current named her its 2010 Best Singer/Songwriter.
After the mini-CD was completed, she needed a band to bring the recording to life. So, she turned to Craigslist, where she found electric guitarist Jesse Basham, an East-Texas transplant, who shared her indie-infused influences.
After her first CD release in March 2011, Nicolette was picked to perform as a Regional New Folk Ballad Tree Performer at the Kerrville Folk Festival, and was a semifinalist during the 2011 Songwriter Serenade competition in Hallettsville, Texas.
The documentary-reality television show, Troubadour, TX, spotted her in 2011 and made her a cast member of the 22-episode series. She played the show’s series premier performance at the Kessler Theatre in Dallas, and has given audiences a taste of what it’s like to be an independent musician.
In late 2011, Nicolette began recording her first full-length, 10-track album, titled Monarch. With help from co-producers Britton Biesenherz of Ramble Creek Studio and Jesse Basham, the record features songs like “Marathon” and “Hurricane Caroline,” and it revisits “Son of My Sister” from her debut project. From cello to banjo, micro-Korg to baritone guitar, the rich instrumentation and arrangements in these collection of songs toe the line between the folk genre and indie-folk. It’s set to be released in July, with a CD release on July 13 at 502 Bar in San Antonio, followed by a mini-tour of Texas cities.
She’s shared bills with Bettysoo, David Ramirez, Lincoln Durham, Doug Burr and Seryn, to name a few.
She writes music every day—yes, usually while driving.
Nicolette can be heard as an acoustic/electric duo playing venues such as Uncle Calvin’s, the Olmos Bharmacy, Anderson Fair, and house concerts throughout the region.
In her hometown of Dallas, Texas, singer/songwriter Phoenix Hart has garnered a loyal following from her live performances, and has been heralded as one of the truly promising new artists. With the forthcoming release of her debut CD, “SAVE LOVE,” and subsequent touring plans, she is destined for widespread acclaim.
Phoenix is a charismatic performer – whether solo, accompanying herself on guitar, or with a band. She has been inspired by some of her favorite artists – Sheryl Crow, Natalie Merchant, KT Tunstall and Rachel Yamagata – but there is no mistaking her own unique style.
Rohn Bailey is an accomplished singer, songwriter, recording artist and in-demand studio musician who has performed to audiences worldwide. Rohn’s first foray as a touring musician was as the keyboard player and vocalist with several contemporary christian bands. Then came his first solo album, which got the attention of the manager of a fast-rising Texas pop/rock band named Backstreet that led to him joining the group. After 3 years playing with these talented musicians, opening for a number of national rock acts and competing on Ed McMahon’s national television show “Star Search”, the management company refocused the band’s direction changing their name to Boyfriend, positioning Rohn as the principle writer and front man of the group. The band secured a new recording contract and gained a national reputation as a hot band to watch. Their debut album featured the single DFW Girls, which went to be a #1 song at a numerous stations across TX.
Shortly thereafter, Rohn felt a calling back to his gospel roots and recorded several albums of praise & worship music opening the door for him to travel internationally as a featured praise & worship leader in large crusades and revivals. Since then he has served several large churches as music director and featured praise & worship performer.
Rohn currently is refocusing in his writing and performance style to that of a contemporary singer/songwriter and is soon to release a new record showcasing 10 piano based Americana / Acoustic Pop style songs reminiscent of early Billy Joel and Leon Russell with a mix of Gino Vanelli added for cool texture. Rohn’s silky smooth vocals will remind you of the feeling you get when you’re wearing a favorite pair of jeans, sipping a glass of wine with your loved one sitting around a roaring fire. Warm and friendly, yet so fresh and exciting.
Stephanie Urbina Jones
Stephanie Urbina Jones
Stephanie Urbina Jones was born in a bi-cultural home in San Antonio, Texas where she grew up hearing sounds from both sides of the border. Her Texicana tapestry of music combines her life experiences and the sounds that influenced her soul. As a child, many evenings were spent two-stepping at the famous honky-tonk Luckenbach where the sheriff and bartender of the one horse town “Margie” was h
er babysitter. On Sunday afternoons poets with guitars would sit around the campfire trying out new songs and Jones learned early on the power of storytelling. From country rock to latin blues-pop, she has created a style all her own. This unique artist is poised to be the very first Hispanic American female to break through country music. Drawing from her passion to honor her heritage through her music she became the first independent female to reach #1 on the Texas Music chart.
She is not only a proven songwriter and vocalist; she is a passionate performer with a presence and spirit that is infectious. Her Mexican heritage plays a strong role in her music, but does not limit her in any way as she transcends all borders of the musical world. Her writing is fiery yet vulnerable, intelligent yet simple and down right funny at times with a feisty spicy rockin edge that comes from living and learning a lot from life’s ups and downs, and growing up in Texas of course.
At this point this latina is committed to joy, laughter, gratitude, and living more and more in the mystery where life actually lives! “I’ve spent most of my life so far being serious….and now I intend to not take myself or anyone else so seriously. They say laughter is the best medicine and after the last few years I am ready to cut loose and have some fun!” Jones says. This upcoming album loosely referred to as “The Texicana Sessions” is just that…. a horn filled fiesta platter of passion, romance and a party in a song! Songs like “Revolucion en mi Corazon”, “Como Se Llama, Mama?” ( featuring Texas legend Augie Meyers) and “I’m Not a Pinata” are sure to make you laugh and give you a little south of the border getaway without going anywhere.
This saucy Texicana Mama is hitting the road and shakin things up……Vamanos Ya’ll!
TJ Broscoff is often described as an old soul in a young body. His music and lyrics range from everyday life experiences, to the joy of a new love, to the devastation of finding oneself at the losing end of an addiction. His newest album READY TO FLY brings us full circle to a young man whose hard knocks and deeply set scars reveal a songwriting talent that is both painfully authentic and emotionally robust. Produced by Bill Green, READY TO FLY is an exposed diary that signifies a remarkable journey that most of us cannot imagine. The album had generated much deserved acclaim garnering him a spot on the Texas Music Chart’s top 30 with his first single “Hold” and on the Texas Regional Radio Chart’s Top 30 with his second single “Pillow,” TJ was recently nominated for Best New Male Vocalist of the Year at the Texas Regional Radio music Awards. He will also be a featured artist on the upcoming TV series Troubadour Texas that will air in September on the CW Network. With venue owners phoning in offers for repeat performances and peers deeming him “The Dave Matthews of Texas country,” TJ Broscoff is a gale force wind to be reckoned with.
The New Orleans-born singer/songwriter knew by age 5 that music would be the fascination of his life. He graduated from Dallas’ Highland Park High School and, after earning a degree in philosophy from Washington & Lee University, settled in Dallas and put together a band, The Coconuts, and achieved rapid regional success. A subsequent move to Los Angeles proved to everyone involved that record company promises can be as ethereal as vapor. Coconuts came home, disillusioned, and the band broke up shortly thereafter.
“I said whatever I do next I’m going to do it for me,” he remembers. “I had always wanted to own my own studio and produce my own music. My experience in LA just solidified my resolve to finally do it.” He methodically set out to assemble what has become one of the finest state-of-the-art recording facilities in Texas. His intention: to create his album, and hopefully produce others in the process. Faulkner didn’t set out to create a concept album, but its inevitability soon became apparent. Lost in the Land of Texico arose from the memories of his travels over the backroads of the Southwest. His unique blend of Texas rock, blues, Cajun and Tejano music is a heartfelt abandonment of musical trends and a passionate embrace of the rich ethnic heritage of “Texico.”
What is “Texico”? As Faulkner explains it, the State of Texas grew out of the areas that surround it — most notably, Mexico, Louisiana and New Mexico. Most of the songs on the album were written in, or near, the places to which they refer. They convey a sense of romance that overwhelms him everytime he travels through a wonderfully diverse world all its own. Producing his own material meant he didn’t have to compromise on any of it, and the result is a solid, full-strength collection of Texas rooted music.
“Hopefully each song I create will paint a picture for someone, somewhere… and they can go back to it again and again”
Tom Prasada-Rao is a musician’s musician – an unassuming presence on the folk scene since the early nineties. His voice belies his musicianship and his extraordinary songs. From Rishi’s Garden with it’s homage to Ravi Shankar to the groove of Sleeping Beauty , Tom’s music is melodic, ambitious, and reverent. He’s starting to tour again and is currently featured on the nationally syndicated TV show Troubadour Texas.
In the fall of 2007 Tom quit the road to produce records, raise two stepdaughters, and walk a rather large Golden Doodle named Thurman twice a day. In addition to producing, he took a job teaching music at White Rock Montessori in Dallas – TPR was formerly the songwriting teacher at The University of Virginia’s Young Writer’s Workshops - where he created the songwriting curriculum and taught for eight years.
From headlining major festivals 15 years ago, to the relative obscurity of his recording studio – Tom has continued to mature as an artist. That work has blossomed into an impressive resume of producing credits as well as cuts (his songs covered by other artists). This year (2012) will mark Tom’s first solo release in 10 years – featuring bass guitar legend Chuck Rainey, and piano virtuoso Julie Bonk who was Norah Jones teacher – all masterfully produced by Jagoda.
Tom Prasada-Rao was born in Ethiopia of Indian parents and raised in Washington DC. He moved to Texas in 2003 and is married to singer-songwriter Cary Cooper.
The four principal members of Austin’s The Trishas would have you believe that they’re not blood related. But a DNA test might be in order. True, their individual bios may support their claims of having all had separate lives before meeting each other; but to hear them sing together, you’d swear they were harmonizing from the womb.
Then again, sometimes luck and fate sing in perfect harmony, too, and uncontested magic just happens — just as it did the very first time Jamie Wilson, Kelley Mickwee, Liz Foster and Savannah Welch ever shared a stage together. It was ostensibly supposed to be a one-off gig — two songs as part of a tribute to Savannah’s father, famed songwriter Kevin Welch, at the 2009 MusicFest in Steamboat Springs, Colo. But midway through their first practice, it became clear to all in the room that they were on to something good. Goosebumps don’t lie.
“I remember we were at Kevin’s house, working up one of his songs — I think it was ‘Satan’s Paradise’ — when I first heard it,” Wilson recalls. “We were going over the song, figuring out our parts and everything, and we tried it and didn’t hit it, tried it again and didn’t hit it … until one time, finally, we actually got it, and I thought, ‘Cool!’ And then we worked up the whole song, and all of us were like, ‘You know, this is actually pretty good. We’re actually going to be pretty good — if we can pull this off.’”
By all accounts, they did indeed pull off “Satan’s Paradise” at the Welch tribute. But it was their gorgeous way with “Till I’m Too Old to Die Young” that really killed — and still does, on the rare occasions when they still perform it. “We only do it now at a certain kind of special gigs, if the mood feels right,” explains Savannah. Fortunately, they captured it perfectly in the studio for their self-released debut, They Call Us The Trishas. The five-song “mini album” (don’t call it an EP!) is the perfect calling card for the Trishas, distilling the essence of their full live show into a svelte 20 minutes that also proves they can write songs every bit as striking as their voices, as shown by the sterling originals “Give It Away,” “Rise Above” and “So Blue.”
They Call Us The Trishas was released to warm reviews and enthusiastic fan reaction in August 2010, after the group had already chased their successful MusicFest debut with nearly two solid years’ worth of buzz- and confidence-building shows. Most of those were in and around their home base of Austin (the self-styled “Live Music Capital of the World”), but there were also strategic forays throughout the rest of Texas and points beyond. It wasn’t long before they began nabbing plumb opening-act gigs with the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Raul Malo, Rodney Crowell, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Todd Snider, as well as studio work singing on two of 2010’s most acclaimed Americana releases, Kevin Welch’s A Patch of Blue Sky and Ray Wylie Hubbard’s A. Enlightenment, B. Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C). Hubbard also secured them a spot onstage singing backup for Joe Walsh at his 2011 Grit ’N Groove Festival in the Texas Hill Country.
As potent as they all are as a unit, it’s the combo plate of unique styles and personalities each Trisha brings to the table that makes the group truly, well, sing. “We all have different strengths,” says Liz, “and because of that we’ve been able to educate each other in a lot of different things. I think that’s what’s really connected us more and made us stronger, being able to feed off each other.”
Born in Lawrence, KS and raised in the small midwestern Kansas town of St. John; Tyler has always had a song to sing.
When Tyler was still in grade school he was putting on shows for thousands of make believe fans in his bedroom. According to Tyler he would dress up in his best George Strait outfit, hold a fake blow up guitar, and sing his heart out to a beat up Pure Country cassette. “No one could ever find a flashlight in our house because they were all being used as spotlights in my room,” says Tyler.
Now 24 and all grown up, Tyler doesn’t have to raid the junk drawers for spotlights anymore. Tyler cut his teeth playing the college bar scene in Manhattan, KS. He made quite a name for himself around the KSU campus, and every now and then he goes back to play the old bars in that gave him his first gigs. Tyler spent a few years as a weekend warrior in the Dallas music scene, until relocating to Nashville, TN with his beautiful wife Chelsey. Tyler made some contacts in Nashville that led to his most recent project; a part in the upcoming television series “Troubadour TX”. Troubadour follows the lives of Texas singer/songwriters as they carve their path across the Texas landscape and beyond. The show debuts late September 2011 on the CW network.
A skilled performer and blooming songwriter; this is an exciting time for Tyler. He’s back in the Dallas area with a new baby boy and TV show airing every week. “When I was a kid I wanted to be a superstar; the next George Strait” says Hammond. “Now that I’m older I only want to live a life of love for my family and do what I do best. Make music!”
Critically acclaimed guitarist, singer and songwriter, Woody Russell, has released a body of recorded work that spans from the folk infused songwriter fare of his first album, …as simple as that(1996), to his IMA nomination of “Album Of The Year” for Salt (2005), to the highly praised Texas blues and soul release, Up Against It(2010).
For years, however, privately exploring his own creative impulses, Russell has composed and recorded music influenced by his love and respect for jazz, film music and other styles beyond that for which he is most recognized. His multi-instrumental talents continue to produce music that is vastly different from what he has released commercially as a recording artist since 1996.
But now, fans finally have an opportunity to hear the full spectrum of his expansive and diverse musical offerings with Big Sky - a collection of Woody’s select instrumental recordings from his mostly “private” repertoire, dating back to a track from the late 90′s. As evidenced in the music presented in this collection, he continues to explore more adventurous and sophisticated compositions involving, not only his highly crafted guitar playing, but also elaborate orchestration. Jazz, ambient electronic, orchestral, acoustic and world music are all present in his instrumental work.
This project is designed to be a “digital only” album that is ever-expanding. It will be updated with new recordings as they are released to the public. In this way, it remains as open, in the context of an “album” release, as does the creative process by which the music is composed and recorded. Without limits, Big Sky promises to be a unique recording endeavor; continuously presenting new music to WR’s loyal and musically adventurous fans.
Additionally, he is writing and recording another album centered around his singer-songwriter work. A release date is likely by mid-2013.
Zane Williams (born 1977) is a native of Abilene, Texas. He is now a Texas Country singer/songwriter in McKinney, Texas.
Zane’s 2003 collection of music prompted a string of national awards for the relatively unknown artist. Zane was a finalist in an unprecedented three categories at MerleFest’s Chris Austin Song Contest, claiming top slots in both the Country and General categories. “Hurry Home” was also selected as the $20,000 Maxell Song of the Year in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Williams released the album Hurry Home in 2006. He signed a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog Music in 2007. The album’s title track was released as a single by Jason Michael Carroll in 2009.
Williams has toured extensively throughout the United States, including Missouri, Alabama, and Texas.
In January 2010, Williams released an album titled The Right Place, which he co-produced with Radney Foster. Jessica Phillips of Country Weekly magazine gave the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, saying, “If you’re in the mood for true honky-tonk music, you’re in the right place.”
From Zane’s website:
It didn’t make any difference how Zane Williams went about writing a song, it just came out country. You might say Zane didn’t so much find country as country found him.
And that suits him just fine.
“Everything I wrote just sounded country because I was telling stories that I could relate to; that other people relate to,” he said. “I believe that’s what makes a great country song.”
You don’t have to listen to Zane’s music long to recognize he reaches deep within his soul to pour out songs like, “Pablo and Maria.” But if you listen to his, “99 Bottles,” you also know Zane likes everybody to kick up their heels and have a good time on a Friday night.
“When I moved back to Texas I knew I was going to be playing honky-tonks so I figured I needed a good beer-drinking song,” he said. “The only beer-drinking song I knew when I was growing up was ‘99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,’ so this is my take on it.”
Zane nearly gave up songwriting the year before producing “99 Bottles.” He hadmoved to Nashville shortly after graduating from college and started chasing his dream to be a singer/songwriter. Nine years later, Zane was still cranking out songs, including Jason Michael Carroll’s 2010 top 15 hit, “Hurry Home.” He had other songs – award-winning songs – recognized for their craftsmanship and thoughtful ideas, but he was only scratching out a living. Time to move on, he finally decided, but then he got a second unexpected boost…
…from the real estate industry.
He enrolled in a seminar to learn how to make money through revitalizing entire neighborhoods then selling the houses. Helping people and providing a better life for his family; it sounded like something about which he could get passionate. On the conference’s final day, the presenters spoke about work that aligned with your passion. It reminded Zane of a song; one of his songs.
“I said, ‘Hey you guys want to hear a song I wrote about chasing your dreams and the difference between who you are now and who you want to be?’ I got out my guitar and sang this song for this group of 30 or 40 people, and when I got done they were like, ‘Why are you here? If you can write and sing like that, you need to go do that!’”
So he did. Zane packed his family’s belongings and moved back to Texas. The real estate conference rekindled the dream into a blaze, and he wasn’t going to doubt again. The move proved to be the best career decision to date, mostly because the simplicity of life found around family, close friends and hunting and fishing connects Zane with “what’s real in life.”
“It was wonderful to be back close to our families,” he said. “My first gig was at an open mic night, and I met a local DJ there who started playing my music that very week. I started making fans right away, and there was so much appreciation for my style of music down here in Texas, almost reverence. For the first time in my life, I started to feel the momentum building.”
The momentum has certainly picked-up. Zane has received consistent radio airplay on country stations across Texas that led to his first entry on the Texas Music Chart with “Ride With Me,” from the 2011 album with the same title. Zane is also one of the featured artists on Troubadour Texas, a television show documenting his rising career.
“I can honestly say I’m doing what I love,” Zane said. “and I’m where I need to be,”