Music City Roots hosted by Jim Lauderdale feat. Two Story Road, Roots of a Rebellion, Vickie Vaughn Band, Elenowen & Josh MirendaPop/Rock
Jim Lauderdale is a Grammy® Award winning musician and one of the most respected artists working the Bluegrass, Country and Americana music communities today. He is considered one of Nashville's "A" list of songwriters with songs recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, Shelby Lynne, Solomon Burke, The Dixie Chicks and George Strait, who has had numerous hits with Jim’s songs. Jim’s music has been featured recently on the ABC hit show “Nashville” and he had several tracks on the soundtrack of the successful film “Pure Country.” Jim is also in high demand as a player, touring with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello.
Jim, who frequently collaborates with legends like Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello, is also a critically acclaimed solo artist with dozens of studio releases, including his latest Carolina Moonrise, written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and Buddy and Jim the critically acclaimed new duets album recorded with long time friend Buddy Miller of which Mojo states: “Miller and Lauderdale's duets has both the easy familiarity of old friends and the musicianship of old pros.”
In addition to making music together, Buddy and Jim also co-host “The Buddy & Jim Show,” recently described as “…highly entertaining…” by NPR’s Fresh Air. Each week Buddy and Jim invite artists to Buddy’s home studio in Nashville, where they tape performances and in depth interviews with a wide variety of artists and friends. Jim also hosts the popular Music City Roots each week from the Loveless Barn in Nashville and since winning "Artist of the Year" and "Song of the Year" at the first "Honors and Awards Show" held by the Americana Music Association in 2002, he has subsequently hosted the show each year.
Jim is the subject of a new documentary, directed by Australian filmmaker Jeremy Dylan called “The King Of Broken Hearts.” The feature length documentary tells Jim’s unconventional and prolific story from his North Carolina roots, being immersed in the country music scenes in both New York City and Los Angeles, to breaking through in Nashville as a songwriter.
Jim's musical influences, including the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones, can be heard in his songs with his unique sense of melody and lyrical expertise. He won his first Grammy Award in 2002 with Dr. Ralph Stanley for Lost in the Lonesome Pines (Dualtone) and then for The Bluegrass Diaries (Yep Roc) in 2007. In addition to previously mentioned releases, as a performer Jim is credited with production, writing and collaborating on over two dozen albums including Wait ’Til Spring (SkyCrunch/Dualtone 2003) with Donna the Buffalo and Headed for the Hills (Dualtone 2004) his first total project with Robert Hunter, Planet of Love (Reprise 1991,) Pretty Close to the Truth (Atlantic 1994,) Every Second Counts (Atlantic 1995,) Persimmons (Upstart 1998,) Whisper (BNA 1998,) Onward Through It All (RCA 1999,) The Other Sessions (Dualtone 2001,) The Hummingbirds (Dualtone 2002,) Bluegrass (Yep Roc 2006,) Country Super Hits, Volume 1 (Yep Roc 2006,) Honey Songs (Yep Roc 2008), Could We Get Any Closer? (SkyCrunch 2009,) Patchwork River (Thirty Tigers 2010) and Reason and Rhyme (Sugar Hill Records 2011.)
Jim's musical influences include the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones. These influences and his unique sense of melody and lyric help forge a sound that is truly his own. As a performer his credits include production, writing and collaborating on albums such as, "Wait 'Til Spring" with Donna the Buffalo, "Headed for the Hills” with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, "I Feel Like Singing Today" and the Grammy winning “Lost in the Lonesome Pines” with Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys.
His second solo bluegrass album, “Bluegrass Diaries” (Yep Roc 2007) won a Grammy in the “Bluegrass Album of the Year” category. His next album, “Honey Songs” was released in February 2008, and features an incredible lineup of musicians including James Burton, Garry Tallent, Al Perkins, Glen D. Hardin, Ron Tutt, Emmy Lou Harris, Patty Loveless, and many more.
Jim’s solo albums include “The Hummingbirds” (Dualtone 2002), “The Other Sessions” (Dualtone 2001), “Onward Through it All” (RCA 1999), “Whisper” (BNA 1998), “Persimmons” (Upstart 1996), “Every Second Counts” (Atlantic 1995), “Pretty Close to the Truth” (Atlantic 1994), and “Planet of Love” (Reprise 1991), as well as two releases in 2006, “Country Super Hits, Volume 1” and “Bluegrass” (Yep Roc), Grammy winner "The Bluegrass Diaries" (Yep Roc 2007), "Honey Songs" (Yep Roc 2008) "Could We Get Any Closer?" (Sky Crunch 2009) and "Patchwork River" (Thirty Tigers 2010).
"It's been a particularly great period for me," says Lauderdale. "Thanks to the records - I'm performing more and more, which I love. And I love that I can play the Opry one weekend, a jam-band festival the next and then a bluegrass festival the following week. That's really inspiring to me and I think there's a real thread there. The roots are the same for all of them and that's the music I'm interested in."
Two Story Road
Two Story Road is a new country duo that is already gaining some serious attention in Nashville because honestly, they aren't that new.
Jamelle and Brandon Fraley have been making music together as long as they've been married. While attending Belmont University, these two vocal majors quickly became each other’s biggest fans, but they also started making an impression on Nashville before they even graduated. Brandon's early songwriting and producing caught the eye of Mike Doyle (VP of Major Bob Music) who helped him sign his first songwriting deal with Sony Music Publishing right out of college. It didn't take long for Jamelle to be noticed either. Before graduating, her voice caught the ear of Grammy Award winning writer/producer Tommy Sims (Garth Brooks, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow) and she began working with him in the studio on his records.
In 2005, Brandon started traveling with country giant Gretchen Wilson. He dove into the high-paced tour schedule and got a taste of what it felt like to do over 120 shows a year and live on a tour bus. While out with Gretchen, he played arenas and stadiums with such artists as Kenny Chesney, Trace Adkins, and Kid Rock to name a few. In addition to playing piano for Gretchen, he also doubled as her main background vocalist and later sang on her 3rd album, "One Of The Boys." In 2010, Brandon became the band leader for American Idol alum, Danny Gokey where he found himself on tours with artists such as Taylor Swift, Sugarland, and Tim McGraw.
Jamelle is certainly no stranger to country music either. In 2008 she landed her biggest tour yet, singing background vocals for county superstar Carrie Underwood. It's no secret to anyone that Carrie is second to none when it comes to raw vocal power, and Jamelle has been right there with her belting away for the past 5 years. Touring with Carrie, she's shared the stage with artists like Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, and Hunter Hayes.
When you sit down and look at what these two have accomplished individually in country music, it's pretty impressive. Their tours have put them on the same ticket with pretty much any country artist you can think of, and they've performed on almost every TV and award show out there. Between the two of them, they have well over 1000 shows under their belt and have already graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry more than 100 times!
Over the years, Brandon and Jamelle's talents have paved separate roads, usually parallel, but often winding, with detours and the occasional intersection. Two Story Road might be new to country music, but you couldn't find two people more seasoned, and as you can imagine, they've built quite a few amazing relationships. Working in the studio along side of good friends Tommy Sims and veteran country producer Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Sara Evans), Two Story Road is ready to make a name for themselves and take their much deserved turn in the spotlight. For years now, they've been performing just a few feet from center stage, and now they are taking the lead.
The story began years ago and is still being written today, citing lots of hard work, a huge passion for music, so much time on the road, and too many months spent apart. There have been occasional twists and turns with many blessings along the way. Jamelle and Brandon have grown to realize that when they sing together it literally sounds like one voice, and they are better singing together than they ever were apart. Hence, Two Story Road is born. Two incredible stories, finally traveling down the same road.
Vickie Vaughn Band
Nashville TN | Americana
Vickie Vaughn started singing when she was knee-high to a grasshopper. At the age of 9, she was hired as a background vocalist at the Kentucky Opry in Draffenville, KY, where she grew to love Classic Country and Bluegrass. At sixteen she challenged herself to learn stand-up bass and after graduating high school she moved to Nashville, TN to study Commercial Voice at Belmont University. In 2010 she released her 4-song EP, which features acclaimed pickers and longtime friends Josh Williams and Clayton Campbell performing three Vickie Vaughn originals and Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind.” Touring fulltime, Vickie plays bass and sings with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike and HanaLena, but she still finds time to pursue her solo career with her best friends:
Maggie Estes (fiddle) performed at the IBMA Awards Show in Louisville, KY as one of the “Young American Bluegrass Idols” when she was only thirteen. She has also appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with banjoist Mike Snider and the Nashville Irish Step Dancers. She currently tours with the Peter Mayer Group and Keith and Kristyn Getty
Zach White (guitar) was trained classically in cello, piano, and voice before picking up the guitar in high school. Inspired by Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, Nickel Creek, and others he founded a bluegrass-inspired folk group and quickly gained a large fan base in his hometown of St. Louis, MO. He released his first solo album, "Songs About You" in January 2012.
Casey Campbell (mandolin) was born and raised in the sounds of Bluegrass; his first steps were taken backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in Bill Monroe's dressing room. Recently he has shared the stage with the Del McCoury Band, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, the Infamous Stringdusters, and Dale Ann Bradley along with many others.
Justin Hiltner (banjo) grew up playing bluegrass with his family band, The Hiltner Brothers; their self released album was recorded when he was only twelve years old. In 2011 he made the move to Nashville and within a year’s time he has performed with Roland White, Mike Compton, the Dixie Bee-Liners, David Grier, and many more.
Nashville TN | Singer-Songwriter
It’s called ’chemistry’, an elusive quality that can be part history, part mystery and all intangible until the moment that you feel it. It’s a meant-to-be melding of the emotional and creative that can happen between songwriters, performers, best friends or life partners. For Josh and Nicole Johnson – the duo Elenowen – that connection is all of the above and much more. And on their self-titled EP, the chemistry they share is as rare – and real – as it gets.
Though emerging from the same Nashville-based Americana-folk scene as The Civil Wars, Elenowen deliver a sonic glow all their own. Amidst haunting harmonies and elegiac lyrics, their songs flow with an undercurrent of yearning, surrender and unexpectedly sharp edges. “We strive to maintain a certain vulnerability in our music,” Josh says. “We write a lot about our own lives as well as the truths about relationships that we relate to. We think it creates an intimacy that’s totally connected to the music.” The sound itself is roots-driven, with accents of cello and pedal steel cutting a deeply evocative facet. Even the name Elenowen is an authentic nod to heritage, with Ellen being Josh’s mom’s middle name and Owen being the middle name of Nicole’s dad. “They’re the sides of the family we each got our music from,” explains Josh. “What’s in our hearts will always come out in what we do.”
The singular power of Elenowen comes from the bond that can only exist between two people who’ve known – and loved – each other for most of their lives. “We were 15 and 16 when we met,” explains Nicole. “We dated for a year, broke up for a year and a half, then got back together and have been together ever since. After that first breakup, I think we both still knew that we were meant for each other, but we also knew that we weren’t what each other needed at that point in our lives.” At 18, Josh moved from Knoxville to Nashville to be with Nicole, writing songs and pursuing a music degree at Belmont University while Nicole worked as a homecare attendant, back-up singer and barista. Within a year of Josh’s graduation, the starkly candid debut album Pulling Back The Veil chronicled their first year of marriage with songs that were subsequently showcased on TV shows like ’One Tree Hill’ and MTV’s ’World Of Jenks’. Josh and Nicole began filming impromptu performances in their small basement apartment, with the resulting clips – called ’The Basement Sessions’ – quickly garnering a following on YouTube and the No Depression website. In 2011, Elenowen made their national television debut on the top-rated premiere season of NBC’s ’The Voice’. But it’s the five tracks on their new EP that now mean the most to the couple and convey what’s most real to audiences.
“We wrote all these songs around the same time,” explains Josh, “when Nicole and I were walking through similar issues and feelings. Most marriages are not all lovey-dovey, like most love songs claim. For us, these songs are as much about love as they are about the struggle of keeping love alive.” The EP’s opening track, “Flying For The First Time”, is co-written with acclaimed singer/songwriter Trent Dabbs and soars with uninhibited vocal harmony and lyrical beauty. “Blood And Bones”, also co-written with Dabbs, is a towering paean to the physical and emotional bonds of desire. “Head To My Heart”, co-written with EP co-producer Philip LaRue, reconciles intuition with passion via Nicole’s potent vocals. “We Were Better Off” is a shimmering reflection of lost innocence and mislaid dreams. And “Bittersweet” is a hushed and moody twist on traditional love songs in which a couple affirm they are ’all I want/and nothing that I need’. “I absolutely believe in true love,” explains Nicole. “I also believe,” she adds with a laugh, “that true love is never easy.”
More and more, Elenowen are discovering that the truth of what they do is bringing them new fans nationwide. “I think audiences respond to our honesty,” says Josh. “When we perform these songs, people get the feeling they know who we are, because that’s what we’re putting out there. We are the heart behind our music.” For Nicole, the journey both starts and grows in a place of instinctive sharing. “When it’s 3 AM and I have an idea for a song,” she explains, “my best friend/music partner/husband can grab his guitar and the idea takes off. The songs that come out of those moments are part me, part him, and all us. When we formed Elenowen, I realized that I’m no longer a singer in the shadows. I’m now a half of something that means so much not only to us, but to other people as well.”
But what about that thing called chemistry? For Elenowen, it’s a one-of-a-kind formula that is about to become bigger than the both of them. “I think our chemistry is what keeps us going,” says Nicole. “We fight for it in our marriage, in our friendship and our music. These songs are so much a part of us and the emotion is so real, that every time we sing them its almost as if we’re feeling them for the first time. What Josh and I ultimately want is for people to get inspired and connected by what we do.” And for Elenowen, it’s a promise you can take to heart.
2011 was a big year for up and coming country singer/songwriter JOSH MIRENDA, as this Pre-Dental student began to spend more time with his guitar and the chance to break his way into the country music industry. Having spent much of his childhood in the studio with his aunt, Nashville singer Gina Dylon and legendary manager Hazel Smith, Josh developed a love for country music and the art of writing at a young age. He was only five when Smith introduced him to revered vocal coach Rene Grant Williams, who instantly agreed to take him on as a student, impressed with his range of natural talent at such a young age. Before long, Josh had gotten his hands on a guitar and had taught himself how to play, sparking a life-long love for writing.
Roots of a Rebellion
Nashville TN | Rock
It is in the very house that once belonged to Hank Williams Sr. that has risen up a new spirit, a new generation, and a new sound. In a town filled with country music comes a sound so unique and diverse that attention must be shifted. Having shared the stage with such acts as The Wailers, Iration, Zach Deputy, Ashes of Babylon, and The Movement, Roots of a Rebellion actively seeks the hearts and ears of its fans everywhere.
Combining elements of reggae, soul, rock, dub, and mixed with a tight horn section and melodic vocal lines, R.O.A.R. has created a sound that is wholeheartedly unique. Hailing from various corners of the United States, each member brings something special to the table. Austin Smith, Alec Newnam, Troy Wiggins, Marco Martinez, Jeremyck Smith, Justin Smith, and Paul Violante all have relocated to Nashville to blend unique musical styles and passion into the souls of the southeast. Fueled by conscious lyrics and a groove that won't let you sit still, Roots of a Rebellion wants you to become a part of something original and positive.
Roots of a Rebellion, along with its loyal Roots Crew fan base, will continue marching on representing truth and love wherever they go. Be on the look out for future R.O.A.R. shows coming through your town soon!