“I work for me,” Sarah Potenza declares at the beginning of Road to Rome, kicking off her second solo album — a record of self-empowered R&B, swaggering soul, and contemporary blues — with her own declaration of independence.
Filled with messages of self-worth, determination, and drive, Road to Rome shines new light on a songwriter whose career already includes multiple albums as front-woman of Sarah and the Tall Boys, a game-changing appearance on The Voice, and an acclaimed solo debut titled Monster. Released one year after she sang in front of 12 million people during The Voice‘s eighth season, 2016’s Monster prompted Rolling Stone to gush, “Potenza is to the blues what Adele is to pop: a colossal-voiced singer who merges her old-school influences with a modernistic sound.” Three years later, that sound deepens and intensifies with Road to Rome, an album that shows the full scope of Potenza’s aims and ambitions.
BANDITOS' new album Visionland is coming June 23rd, 2017. Produced by Israel Nash and Ted Young, the Birmingham/Nashville-based group’s second full-length has one foot firmly planted in reality as the other tip-toes in and out of mental complexities, self-perception and altered-state illusions. The results are revealing, exhilarating and profound.
The group has been praised by NPR (“Three vocalists, a wicked guitarist who also plays pedal steel, a banjo, an upright bass and a hot-footed drummer guarantee that every song they play is stuffed with crazy rhythms and melodic energy.”), Rolling Stone (“Equal parts alt-country twang and garage rock bang...recalling everything from ZZ Top's greasy boogie to the Alabama Shakes' coed soul”), and Garden & Gun (“These six keyed-up twentysomethings mix a hodgepodge of sounds. Sometimes it’s barroom country backed by a rogue kazoo, and other times it’s a chicken-picking version of slow-burning soul behind the Janis Joplin–esque wail of Mary Beth Richardson”). They have performed across the world supporting acts like St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Blackberry Smoke, and Old 97’s, and notably at prominent events like Newport Folk Festival, Hangout Fest, and Rachael Ray’s Feedback.
LUTHI routinely brings the party, and it’s a big one. “Boogie Circus” is the most colorful description of their sound so far. “We like the term Cumberland Funk too,” says frontman Christian Luthi, an homage to the river that flows through its Nashville home and a sound that blends the city's often under-appreciated musical history. What’s very evident in talking with (what they call) “The LUTHI Crew” is the shared passion for helping others let loose.
And let loose they will. Traveling in a pack that can be likened to big bands of days gone by, LUTHI has honed in on the one thing that all of them can agree on; “keeping it weird”. Drawing from influences that include soul and R&B acts from the 1960’s, psychedelic funk and groove from the 70’s, and New Wave rock and roll from the 80’s. LUTHI then turns the ingredients into their own stew of modern dance music, with lyrics and melodies that only continue to open themselves up to listeners with each new spin.
If you read the liner notes on Nashville’s biggest albums, you’ll come across a name that is impossible to mistake: Mando Saenz.
He’s become one of the most notable songwriters in country music and is establishing a sound uniquely his own. Hailing from Texas, Saenz is able to balance outlaw influences with melodic harmonies that are destined to be stuck in your head. There’s no question as to why he has over 50 cuts from some of today’s biggest artists (like Lee Ann Womack and Miranda Lambert). If there’s one thing that is definite about Mando Saenz, it’s his ability to be completely versatile, yet uniquely Mando.
4 SOUND / Empire Records recording artist and Black River Publishing songwriter Willie Jones just released his first single, "Runs In Our Blood", premiered exclusively on TheBoot.com. “Willie Jones breaks the country music mold on many levels as a fresh new face in the industry,” stated The Boot earlier this summer. Breaking into Country music, Jones has already been featured on top Country music playlists from Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Spotify, TIDAL and YouTube Music.
Jones has toured on the MAGcon Tour featuring artists including Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, Shawn Mendes and more.
FOREST FIRE GOSPEL CHOIR
Forest Fire Gospel Choir is reinvigorating the once popular love for rock n' roll by injecting their old souls into a new sound that combines emotional, gritty vocals with contemporary grooves. Five phenomenal musicians hailing from all over the country - lead vocalist & bassist Will McGee from Memphis, TN, guitarist Nick Fields from Rochester, NY, keyboardist Will Lynde from Houston, TX, guitarist Sam Hunt from Los Angeles, CA, and drummer Daniel Closser from Boulder, CO.
(pronounced SLA-HET-KA) draws your gaze back to a simpler time when music was less about stylized production and more about its experiential nature. His songwriting finds inspiration in the threads that connect us, weaving a tapestry of familiar moments that pay homage to the past while leaning into a future that promises both wonder and grace. Now based in Nashville, SZLACHETKA grew up in New England and began his career as the frontman for the acclaimed roots-rock band, The Northstar Session, with whom he recorded five albums and appeared in the second season of NBC’s “Parenthood”.
After nearly a decade of touring he left the band and struck out on his own, releasing his first solo album in 2014, “Waits for a Storm to Find”. Rolling Stone hailed SZLACHETKA as one of the “10 New Artists You Need to Know”, describing his forthcoming album as “a soundtrack for both the highway and the heartland… a collection of road-dog roots-rockers and Americana ballads inspired by the people (and places) he’s left behind in the rearview mirror.”
Ni/Co’s sound is a blend of Pop and R&B with a throwback vibe. From Atlanta, Dani immersed herself in the entertainment industry. She performed with a dance troupe, acted with inner city networks and recorded at local studios. Shortly after relocating to Nashville, she met Colton.
At age 16 in the small town of Kettering, Ohio, Colton was featured on the second season of NBC’s The Sing Off. The two have combined their early music influences such as Boyz II Men, JoJo, and Usher. Since forming, Ni/Co has worked with some of the best producers of the New Nashville to shape their sound, and their music has been heard on NBC’s The Today Show and World of Dance.
A uniquely gifted songwriter and performer, Melody Guy continues to reach fans and inspire them to follow her through a life’s journey of love, loss and independent triumph of the spirit. Artists of varying genres have recorded her songs from Sherrie Austin to Jesse James.
Melody currently tours the country as a troubadour, visiting fans and weaving tales that resonate with music lovers across a wide range of styles. Her live performances with her band have garnered even more attention, sharing the stage with Keith Urban, The Avett Brothers, Leon Russell and Tanya Tucker, where Melody earned a standing ovation at the famed Ryman Auditorium.
Originally from Northern California and an NYC & Brooklyn transplant, Sarah now lives In Nashville, TN where she finds herself amongst fellow artists, songwriters, writers and actors alike.
Sarah has spent a majority of her professional career in recording studios recording her own music or singing demos for others as well as on stage in various theatrical plays and musicals over the years. A true triple threat, Sarah has a handful of projects going at any given time. Currently Sarah is working on an original musical with co-writer Eric Erdman, a one woman show & album with hit songwriter and artist Radney Foster as well as a Folk-Americana Music Project with co-writer Wilson Harwood.
HUNTER TYNAN DAVIS
Writers of all stripes are often told to “write what they know.” For Nashville songwriter Hunter Tynan Davis, that opens up a whole lot of territory fertile for musical ideas. On his new album Ferris Wheel, produced by Wilco’s Ken Coomer, Davis offers up a stirring collection of songs that draw from his myriad eclectic influences, both musical and familial. After forging a musical kinship, Davis and Coomer, who also lent drums to Ferris Wheel, went into the studio, recruiting players Guthrie Trapp (Vince Gill, John Oates, Dolly Parton) on lead guitar, Maureen Murphy (Zac Brown Band, Will Hoge) on background vocals, and Laur Joamets (Sturgill Simpson) on steel and slide guitar. This album, along with Davis’ breakout, is set for 2019.
As Southern Americana continues to grow, Nashville based, Cody Huggins is firing on all cylinders. Being both solid in the craft of song-writing and heavily talented in guitar work, he brings to mind the rock and roll sound of Neil Young. All of which is backed lyrically with the sorrowful longings that are found somewhere between Tom Petty and The Boss. All of that being said, he still brings something fresh and original with his songs. If you get the opportunity to see or hear him play, heed this advice: do not miss it.
"SHōTA’s sound blurs genres of “acoustic, neo-soul, and pop,” finding hints of hip-hop layered over what is now known as his quintessential acoustic foundation. An accomplished clarinetist and pianist, SHōTA is a self-taught singer, songwriter, and guitarist, with a voice that boasts a raspy, edgy quality with a smooth, melodic touch. Influenced by 60’s era rootsy rock musical interests like The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Bob Dylan that he explains were brought on by his father’s music collection - and citing artists like J. Cole, John Mayer, and Ed Sheeran as people he’d love. Recently, SHōTA has collaborated with electronic DJs and his featured song “Party Girl” with *Groovy workshop. made #1 on the iTunes Japan EP chart. “Time Was On Our Side” ft. The Golden Pony came in at 3rd on Spotify Norway Viral Chart TOP50 and found itself at 9th Place on the Spotify Taiwan Viral Chart TOP50. The song was also recently picked up and shared by The Chainsmokers on their official SoundCloud page. Lastly, his debut single “18” has already eclipsed over 100k streams on Spotify organically along with over 20k organic views on the music video as well. A humble and grateful musician, making music is - and has always been - about “flying towards the future” for SHōTA, which is exactly what his name means in Japanese. With all of his recent success - including a highly-anticipated and memorable performance at The Peppermint Club in LA - and the promise of a new EP later this year, it’s full speed ahead in 2019"
Nashville pop/rock songsmith Chip Greene's new album 'In My Town' prompted local music blog powerhouse No Country For New Nashville to exclaim "Chip Greene is poised to show Music City he’s as good as they come!” Chip's emotionally candid songs have charted in CMJ, been featured on SiriusXM and heard in projects by MTV, Sprite, Delta Airlines, Eddie Bauer and more. He’s played everywhere from SXSW to NXNE, at some of the best venues around, including Rockwood Music Hall (New York), Smith’s Olde Bar (Atlanta), World Cafe Live (Philadelphia) and Cameron House (Toronto). He is a long-time volunteer piano teacher for children from low-income families at Nashville’s W.O. Smith Community Music School, and is a regular performer for the Songs for Kids Foundation.