Benefiting City of Hope
CountryMusicIsLove Concert feat Greg Bates, Joel Crouse, Rose Falcon, The Henningsens, & moreCountry
Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, it makes sense that I would want to write and sing Country Music. I grew up listening to the legends and because of their influence, I have the rare opportunity of making music for a living. If I owe Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Dwight Yoakam for kicking off these dreams, then I also owe a lot of people who are helping me follow them. Things are really exciting these days and they are just getting started. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out the music. There's much more to come and I hope you'll come along for the ride!
By the age of 20, Show Dog - Universal Music's Joel Crouse has already accomplished more than many artists ever dream of doing. He wrote his first song at the age of 14, started a band when he was 15, graduated from high school at the age of 16 and was signed to his record deal not long after his 19th birthday. He has opened shows for Toby Keith, Darius Rucker, Rodney Atkins, Sara Evans and Goo Goo Dolls.
Joel and his grandfather share a strong bond, which is where his love for country music began. His grandfather lived with his family off and on throughout his childhood and during that time Joel was introduced to the music of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Crouse also grew to love classic rock music from the 70s, particularly story songs like those performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, to name a few. At the young age of 20, Crouse is an old soul who loves the classics and thinks there's no better sound than listening to a vinyl recording.
As a songwriter, Crouse feels and writes with a a lot of emotion, which he reelects on his debut album as a co-writer on all of the tracks. He has written with some of the biggest songwriters in Nashville including BMI Songwriter of the Year, Luke Laird ("Pontoon," "Drink In My Hand"), Craig Wiseman ("Live Like You Were Dying," "Summertime") and Bob DiPiero ("Gone," "Southern Voice"). His debut single will be released in early 2013 to country radio and with the buzz already starting about this artists you can expect to hear a lot more about him in the near future.
Nashville TN | Rock
Rose Falcon (Born May 2 1984 in New York City, New York and raised in Nashville) is an American singer/songwriter. As well as being an artist, her songs have been recorded by Faith Hill, Lady Antebellum, Day of Fire, and Jessie James. Rose has also written and performed songs which are included in the soundtracks of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Master of Disguise, Raising Helen, Dawson's Creek, and Inspector Gadget 2 and have also been used in ad campaigns for Verizon Wireless, JC Penney, The Build a Bear Workshop, and Estée Lauder. Rose is currently signed to Cal IV Entertainment out of Nashville, TN as a songwriter  and to Show Dog-Universal Music as a recording artist, with a new release scheduled for 2012.
Primm Springs TN | Country
Arista recording artists, The Henningsens have come a long way in a few short years. First, this farm family from Illinois, including Brian (dad), Aaron (eldest son) and Clara (daughter) achieved something that many new writers in Nashville only dream of. They have had eight of their songs recorded by major artists. Their cuts include the super group Band Perry's You Lie which reached a near chart topping #2 and the the two week #1 smash All Your Life. They also wrote Alone, recorded by Sara Evans, the title cut of country legend Highway 101's Christmas album, Six Gold Coins and Love Out Loud recorded by the legendary Wynona Judd as a tribute to her mother Naomi, and appeared on The Judd's Oprah Network television series.
While honing his songwriting skills, this performer with an unwavering competitive spirit landed a slot on the hit TV show Survivor. Viewers tuned in each week to see the southern bred relentless participant blaze through each challenge taking him through to the final episode. The program would serve as a spring board bringing Chase to his current home in Music City where he continues to pierce through the sea of rising acts and stake career benchmarks within the industry. “We had a great introduction with the EP Country As Me last year and the video for ’Buzz Back,’ so I expect Dirt Road Communion will continue to validate my grassroots approach. As my belt buckle beckons, ’Cowboy Up!’ and just enjoy the ride.”
Cool and confident, yet warm and approachable with a laugh that’s as melodic as the songs she sings, it’s difficult to look at Maggie Rose and not think that she was born under a very special star. And maybe she was. How else can you explain her journey from Potomac, Maryland—hardly a mecca for country music—to Nashville by way of storied record executive Tommy Mottola (Celine Dion, Mariah Carey)?
Mottola wasn’t a friend, or even a family friend. More like a friend of a friend of a friend. But Maggie’s biggest supporter and business partner, Tom Natelli, who had encouraged and nurtured the young songbird’s talent early on, had the chutzpah to ask around until he found someone who knew someone, who knew someone, who lived next door to Tommy. The music executive was impressed enough to encourage Maggie to pursue her music, but since country wasn’t his forte, he equipped the aspiring star with a handful of contacts and enough information to make her way to Nashville. It didn’t take any persuading though. Singing was her dream. She stepped away from Clemson University, where she performed with a Bruce Springsteen cover band, and into her career with encouragement of her parents and Natelli.
Tommy may have knocked on doors, specifically producer James Stroud’s (Willie Nelson, Chris Young, Tim McGraw), but Maggie kicked them down all by herself. And despite the connection to Mottola and the rock cover band experience, she kicked them down country style. Country by choice.
Maggie explains that in her home, she was exposed to an array of musical offerings: “My mom loved certain artists and I think the people she actually played are clearly influences of mine. She loved Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman. She loved the Beatles, which everyone loves the Beatles, but their sense of melody is so strong. And I loved Dixie Chicks. There was a really good mix of music. The fact that I gravitated toward country when there were so many other options shows that’s where I belong. Because it’s not like that’s all I was exposed to, that’s what I wanted to listen to.”
Why? The singer-songwriter smiles and simply says, “You can hear the story.” It’s that mindset and a healthy dose of diligence that kept Maggie in Nashville since the age of 19. Starry-eyed and a bit naïve, her first run at commercial success positioned her as a voice to be heard and gave her a foothold in Music City, but the songs weren’t quite what she needed. Even she admits, “I just wasn’t ready. I think that was the only difference between then and now is that I’m just ready. In fact, I’m chomping at the bit to get this album out. And before, I wasn’t excited about what I had to share yet. I was excited about being able to sing and do what I love, but I wasn’t totally connected to a body of work. I had singles here and there, but that doesn’t make an artist. I wanted to do something that people could latch on to, and I wanted to start a conversation with my music that people could be a part of.”
With iconic country music producers Blake Chancey and James Stroud at the helm, Maggie starts the conversation on Cut To Impress by writing almost half of the songs on the album. The remaining cuts are tunes that she has been performing for the past five years—songs that not only survived her evolution from the young girl, Margaret, to the young woman, Maggie, but became part of her musical make-up.
And they are KILLER tracks. Killer. Yes, there’s a body count on this album. From the flirtatious “Fall Madly In Love With You,” to the musical mini-movie “Looking Back Now,” Maggie shows she has a bit of a dark side, but she doesn’t dwell on it because she has sass, too. From the opening swampy, gospel-tinted track, “Preacher’s Daughter,” to the debut single, “I Ain’t Your Mama,” she reveals a delightful blend of feminine attitude that will empower her female fans and bring the boys to their knees with desire.
It isn’t all serious though. Humor is a tricky maneuver for any recording artist, but in the tongue-in-cheek “Hollywood,” Maggie is guaranteed to capture a grin, giggle or guffaw with clever lyrics like, “Tiny dogs in little bitty purses, cosmos everybody nurses, they get as trashed as we do…”
But give the girl a chance to wail, like she does in “Put Yourself in My Blues,” or the beseeching second single, “Better,” and that’s when you realize what she’s had all along. That’s when you see what brought her to Nashville. Songwriting can be learned, but to be able to convey a heartbreak, to sing a tear, that is a gift. And Maggie’s voice can soar without overpowering the listener. She’s not singing at you, she’s singing to you. She’s making that connection that she so desperately wants to make.
Maggie is committed to this career. Much like her very successful contemporaries, there was never a Plan B. “It even scares me to think about it,” she shudders. “I was lucky and crazy enough to make the move at a pretty young age, so before any serious decision making had to be done—is it this or this?” Even with the disappointments that face any new artist—promises broken, faith rattled, hopes shattered, dreams dashed—Maggie persevered. And she sees now where her experiences hold the promise of longevity. “If I’ve learned this much in five years, 20 years down the road, I’m going to be dangerous. So, I think that music will always be part of my life.”
It’s Maggie’s turn now. Meticulously choosing her album title from a song she co-penned, “Mostly Bad," is the best representation of where the ingénue is at both musically and emotionally. “That one is a really playful, fun song. ’Cut to impress’ is a line from the second verse and it jumped out to me because it represents so much about this album. It’s a really confident statement about all the album cuts—play on words. But it’s also that I’ve finally cut out a place for myself as an artist that is unique and real.”
A little good, a little bad, a lot confident and very much intentional. That’s her word. Maggie says, “That has been my keyword for this whole process, ’intentional.’ I think that everything I do as an artist now should be with a purpose. I think that the way I write should be with intent behind it. It can serve different purposes, but make sure that every word written is intentional.”
For the last seven years, singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham has devoted himself to honing his musical vision by collaborating with many of the most innovative musicians in Nashville today, working as both a session player and writer, while serving as a central member of a high-profile band of players. Now, the 27-year-old multi-instrumentalist is gearing up to release his debut album - Rubberband on August 20th via Warner Bros. Records - which not only reveals his refined musical talent, but announces Worsham as a country artist of uncommon ingenuity, substance, and soul. Joined by musicians carefully assembled through his years of dedication to the Nashville scene, as well as through his studies at Berklee College of Music, Worsham infuses each track on Rubberband with a reverence for country's rich heritage while ultimately delivering a bold sound entirely his own.
"They say you've got your whole life to make your first record, and that couldn't ring more true for me," says Worsham of Rubberband, which he co-produced with Ryan Tyndell and recorded at engineer Eric Masse's East Nashville studio. "On this album I took so many things I'd wanted to say in song form for years, and channeled them into lyrics and melodies and guitar solos in a way that shows my influences but also takes some crazy turns." Worsham also draws immense inspiration from artists of remarkable longevity, such as Vince Gill and Marty Stuart (who once gave Worsham an autograph reading "Follow your heart"-a message Worsham later tattooed onto his arm).
Boundary-pushing but endlessly catchy, Rubberband offers a selection of songs that integrate elements of bluegrass, country, pop and rock and roll. The album also finds Worsham revamping classic country with intricate arrangements, left-of-center flourishes (including guest vocals by indie vocalist Madi Diaz), and deeply inventive riffs. On the album's title track, "Rubberband," for instance, Worsham sets the groove with a low-toned guitar lick created by the extremely-warped loose tuning of his E string. "Could It Be," the album's first single, opens with a shimmering, delicate tumble of notes achieved with an in-studio experiment playing slide on the mandolin, leading into soaring harmonies. An incurable self-proclaimed gear hound, Worsham favors playing his 1963 Martin D-28 through a pedal board and amplifying the guitar, resulting in a sound that's a startling departure from traditional acoustic playing.
Along with creating the lushly textured soundscapes on the album, each of Worsham's songs have a heart-on-your-sleeve emotionalism that showcases his natural storytelling ability. On "Trouble Is," he weaves scorching electric guitar into delicate acoustic plucking while detailing an encounter with a dangerously irresistible object of affection ("I spend days building up walls/Just for you to tear down/With one touch of your hand"). And on "Mississippi in July," Worsham spins a gorgeously rendered and regret-soaked tale of returning home for an old flame's wedding ("My heart might as well be one of those cans tied to the back of your limousine/It was hanging by a thread so I went ahead and cut the string").
As a songwriter, Worsham builds those varied moods and sounds by mining his expansive musical background and venturing into new sonic territory at the same time. According to Worsham, that sense of adventurousness is fueled by a passion for music that arose at a very early age. "One of my earliest memories of music is going to see my dad play in a local band-he's a banker by trade, but a drummer at heart," says Worsham, who grew up 100 miles south of Memphis in Grenada, Mississippi. "During sound check I sat in his lap and hit the drums, and that's the first time I got the bug to make music." Worsham began taking piano lessons in kindergarten, and in second grade caught a performance by bluegrass banjo player Mike Snider while visiting Opryland with his family. "When we got home my parents bought me a banjo and got me lessons. After that, I got into the habit of taking on a new instrument every year, including the guitar, mandolin and fiddle," Worsham recalls. He won the Junior National Banjo Championship at age 12 and later that year, joined Snider on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.
In high school, Worsham scored his first electric guitar by busking in front of a guitar shop to raise the final hundred bucks on the price tag and joined a band. After graduating, he headed for Berklee, but left after two and a half years to move to Nashville to pursue music. Along with working as a writer-as well as a session musician for Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, and others artists-Worsham continued penning his own songs and recording demos, eventually landing a deal with Warner Music Nashville and opening on tour for the likes of Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert.
Considering Worsham's musical history, it's no wonder that Rubberband emerges as such a sophisticated yet refreshingly simple collection of songs. "For me, the best songwriting comes when you get out of your own way and let the lyrics and music happen together," he says. "Those moments are pretty elusive-they kind of strike like lightning-but when it happens, it's amazing." And in the recording studio, he adds, a number of "beautiful accidents" went a long way in helping to shape the album's sound. "It's that sort of unplanned thing that happens when old friends and new friends get in a room and make music together," Worsham explains.
That sense of community-and the creativity it breeds-is crucial to Worsham as he forges ahead with his musical career. "I feel really lucky to have been a part of the Nashville music scene for a while now and have worn all these different hats. I gained a broader perspective on the importance of surrounding yourself with other musicians you know and trust," he says. "One of my main goals as a musician is to respect the past of country music as well as its future." Worsham adds, "I hope that I can someday be one of those folks who represent the music in a greater sense, and carry it somewhere forward that's different and exciting."
Nashville TN | Rock
Corey Crowder is a singer/songwriter from the small town of Covington, GA. Corey first reached national attention when his song, “Here’s Looking at You Kid,” was placed on the season finale of MTV reality series The Real World. More of Crowder’s tunes have appeared on such TV shows as One Tree Hill, Bad Girls, The Biggest Loser, and One Ocean View.
Corey is now living in Nashville where he is now a staff artist/writer at Universal Music Publishing Nashville. He is currently writing and recording for a release that is TBA and touring with national acts such as Willie Nelson, Joe Nichols, Billy Currington, Lady Antebellum, and many others.
Born to the bluegrass sounds of Kentucky in the land that Keith Whitley, Bill Monroe, and the Judds hail from. She's been on stage more in her 21 years than most artists twice her age. A tone that's unforgettable, a delivery as pure as it is believable. A voice made for millions. Carly Pearce is something from country music's past with a future as bright as Opry lights.