Interview date: June 21, 2019
Country: Virginia – USA
Photos by Cory Brandon Clay
~ I love country music for so many reasons… mostly because the country music genre has a way of telling stories unlike any other kind of music. Although the production style has evolved over the years, the art of song-craftsmanship is at the core of country music. It always has been, and always will be. That same art is what made me know without a doubt that I wanted to sing country music for the rest of my life when I heard Jo Dee Messina’s song “I’m Alright” when I was 10 years old, and it is the same art that country music fans today continue to connect with. It is what drives them to support us like they do. The country music fanbase is passionate, loyal, and full of so much love. All because of the stories we get to tell through our music, and how dedicated country music songwriters are to their craft. It truly does all begin with a song.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Ahh that’s such a hard question! We have (and have had) so many incredible vocalists. If it was up to me though, I would really love to hear Patsy Cline and Dolly do a duet.
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ Probably my song “Daddy’s Medicine.” That song was the hardest song for me to write, and it was even harder to muster up the courage to put it out into the world. It means so much to me because of the healing it brought to my family, and how it continues to be a healing tool for others as well.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ I would love to cut a Lori McKenna song. Her songwriting is so honest and clever. Also on that list would be Emily Saliers from the Indigo Girls. She has a way of telling stories through music that I haven’t heard from anyone else.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ Probably that I played the French Horn for 4 years and was 1st chair in my school district. Haha. Good thing I traded it for a guitar. I don’t think there are many of those used in Country Music.
Give us one country song you never want to hear on radio anymore and tell us why.
~ I really can’t think of just one. I love all country songs.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and…you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Love it. That’s a super creative question! I’d have to say this one. I’m pretty much an open book, so I’ve had every interview question under the sun, but no one has ever asked me this one!
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I haven’t been in Ocean Way before, but to me, that would be the ultimate recording studio. It is a historic church on Music Row that has stained glass windows in the main room, and the best of the best as far as recording equipment goes. I grew up singing in my church, so I can only imagine that recording there would make me feel right at home. It’s on my bucket list for sure.
Johnny or June ?
~ June! Because she is like our country music wonder woman. Not only was she able to raise a beautiful family, but she was able to carve her own way into country music history despite the bright star that was Johnny – and leave an incredible legacy for herself.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any “rituals” to calm you nerves.
~ I think there’s a healthy dose of nervous excitement that I feel before going on stage, but I usually take a moment to pray and ask God to use me as a vessel during the moments I am on the stage, and help me to be as present as possible for the people in the audience.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ There have been so many amazing days so far in my career, and I try not to take any of them for granted, BUT I’d have to say that debuting at the Ryman was a day that I still have to pinch myself over. I had just lost both my fiancé and my Grandmother 3 months before, so I was really sad that they weren’t there like they had planned to be, but as soon as we played the first note on that stage, all of my grief faded away, and this incredible spiritual experience happened between the audience and the band and me. When we walked off stage, my heart had a sense of renewal, and I knew everything was going to be okay.
Have a look at the complete lists of all Country Music Artists below: