Tag Archive: Dixie Chicks

Overcoats1Overcoats, the singing and songwriting duo of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell have released their debut album “Young” on the Arts & Crafts label. Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Daughter) and Autre Ne Veut joined the duo in co-production. “Young” follows on their self-titled debut EP released in June 2015, which was instrumental in their meteoric rise. It is impossible to ignore the creative power behind the full, rich and pleasing consonance of their voices leaving the listener with a salient tingling sensation. Their arrangements give cohesion to multiple genres including electronica, pop, folk, soul and even jazz. Overcoats begins their European tour in Dublin on 16 May. They perform in Paris on 23 May.

HVUM: This afternoon we have the opportunity to visit with the female duo Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell – together known as Overcoats. It’s a real pleasure for HorizonVU Music to have the chance to visit today and we look forward to hearing you live. Let’s talk a bit about your background, what’s been going on with Overcoats.

We’ve been to your site and to the many profiles and announcements found online (LA Music Blog. For Folk’s Sake, Drunken Werewolf, All Songs Considered and many more). We know that you are NYC-based and that you are one-time college roommates while attending Wesleyan University. After graduating in 2015, you moved to Dublin for a few months and really got into the Irish music scene. We have a following of promising young female want-to-be professional musicians and they appreciate success stories. So, let’s hang for a moment on the backstory.

Take us through your decision to come together as Overcoats, how you launched your project and came to sign on with Gaby Alvarez and Thomas Winkler at Votiv Management as well as your label Arts & Crafts. We know that’s a lot to talk about, so please hit the bullet points for us.

H: Thanks so much! We’ve had a really wild couple years. We graduated from Wesleyan University in 2015. We had startedOvercoats3 writing music our final year there. All of our friends were looking for jobs after college, making plans…and all we could do was write. It inspired and fulfilled us so much. We recorded our EP at college, put it online, and got good responses. We decided to go for it, and moved to Dublin to write and figure out what we really wanted to sound like.
J: Dublin was really formative for our music. We were going to folk shows and open mics during the evening, and then dancing in clubs at night. The combination of folk storytelling and songwriting and the corporeal, repetitive nature of electronic music was really influential for us.
H: We moved to New York a few months later and kept working at it. At SXSW, we met Tom and Gaby (our managers), who helped us put a team of people together that could help us achieve our goals. We signed to Arts & Crafts (record label) last summer, made our album in the fall of 2016, and now we’re here. It’s all been kind of a whirlwind, with some very slow pockets of time in there.
J: Our advice to people pursuing this would be, just keep working at it. We worked hard whether or not we were getting recognized for it because we believed in what we were doing. And that’s what made other people believe too.

HVUM: What made you gravitate to NYC? Why not (say) California?

H: New York was definitely more comfortable for us. I was born there and had spent time there in college –
J: And I’m from there.
H: We had family and friends there, which sounded very appealing after stranding ourselves in Ireland – haha!

HVUM: It’s been written that your Hozier cover “Cherry Wine” ties to your relationship? Tell us about that connection.

J: Cherry Wine is a song we started covering in Dublin. For us, the song represents friendship and unconditional love. Hana and I have a foundation of love and support for each other.
H: “Way she shows me I’m hers she’s mine / open hand or closed fist would be fine” – for us, means, I will take you any way you are. It’s about being there for that person no matter what.

HVUM: Briefly tell us a bit about your music backgrounds. Do you have formal training or do you consider yourselves to be self-taught?

H: A bit of both. I played a lot of instruments growing up. I started with piano, then moved to guitar, and later dabbled in banjo and harp. Singing has always been a passion, though.
J: I had no musical training growing up. I’m teaching myself piano and bass right now. If you can sing, you can make any instrument with your voice. You don’t need training!

HVUM: Reflecting back on your career development thus far, what do you consider to be your keys to success as well as the most difficult barriers you have encountered?

H: Something that has been difficult is that there’s not much certainty or stability in this industry. It can be really difficult to take care of yourself and staying stable when everything around you is always changing.
J: For example, last summer, we decided to leave to New York and move to Northampton – we complete moved out of our apartments and arrived in Northampton. 3 days later, we found out we were going on tour for 2 months with Matt Corby. We had to move out.
H: Everything happens really fast. But I think one of our keys to success has been being able to roll with the punches. JJ and I both traveled a lot in our childhoods and have talked before about how it made us really adaptable. It helps to be able to go with the flow and trust the process.

HVUM: What advice can you give to a young woman wanting to be in the music business?

H: I think women who are headed for the music industry should do it. There needs to be more of us! My advice would be persevere!! It takes hard work but if you keep going you can find success.
J: I agree. In the industry women often have to create space for themselves and for each other. The industry is inherently male dominated, so it can be hard to achieve your goals, sonically, aesthetically etc. So my advice is to believe in your vision and fight for it.

Overcoats2HVUM: Some of your music has been compared to the sounds of Chet Faker and Simon and Garfunkel (for example). Do you have specific influences in your minds? Do you share influences or do you have to reconcile differences in co-creation?

J: Those two are a couple of our favorites! I think we also feel that we were influenced by Amy Winehouse, Bob Dylan, the Dixie Chicks, Coldplay…who else?
H: More contemporary artists would include Sylvan Esso, Ibeyi, Jamie XX, Lapsley, Joseph, Hinds, Margaret Glaspy.
J: Yes, we share most of the same influences and very rarely disagree about the way we want something in our music to sound. We share one vision and occasionally take different sonic paths but for the most part we’re on the same page. And if we’re not, we embrace the tension created by two differing choices.

HVUM: In addition to your incredible and widely recognized harmonies there is a lot going on in your music from folk to electronica – folktronica. How do you describe your music and the cohesion of genres we identify with your songs? Or do you?

H: I think we described ourselves as folktronica pretty early on when we were releasing our debut EP. We felt like we were bringing storytelling into electronic music and bringing 808s and moog bass lines into folk music.
J: So it felt like we were straddling the two genres. We actually feel like a song is finished and ready for release when you can no longer define its genre. It feels like we focus more on the songwriting than what genre it’s fitting into.

HVUM: Let’s take time out for “Little Memory” recorded on the April release, “Young”.

HVUM: Has your perspective on music and working together changed between the release of your EP in 2015 and “Young”?

J: We never really had any idea what it would be like. We had nothing to go off. So it’s been a steep learning curve. Figuring out the music business and touring. Parts of it have been harder than I imagined. Recording our album and touring so often we’re really taxing. But simultaneously, parts of this career have exceeded my wildest dreams — connections with fans, incredible performances, holding your own vinyl in your hands.
H: Yeah, that was pretty nuts. We’ve definitely learned so much about the industry that we couldn’t have possibly known before diving head first into it.. In terms of working together, I think we’ve only gotten better at it. Better at reading one another, communicating, sharing ideas. We’ve been working together almost every day for 2 years now. And we’ve known each other for 6 years.

HVUM: On the production side you’ve worked with Nicolas Vernhes and Autre Ne Veut. Tell us a little about your relationship with your producers. As far as Overcoats is concerned, what makes for a good producer or producers?

J: They were both incredible to work with. As was Myles Avery who we worked with on the debut EP. A good producer, in our opinion, walks a fine line and needs to let us remain at the helm while offering us the resources to create the sound we are striving for. Offering creative ideas, pushing us to expand arrangements, be more adventurous with percussion, or with sounds.
H: Also crucial to this album was our producers pushing us and creating an environment in which we could give the best vocal performances possible.
J: Arthur and Nicolas are both incredibly talented, insightful, and think outside the box. They respected our vision, helped us achieve it and made sure we all pushed ourselves to the limit.

Overcoats4HVUM: Are there any particular interests along social or political lines that particularly important to you?

H: I was a religion major in college so discrimination along religious lines, religious freedom, and islamophobia are of interest to me, especially given the current political climate.
J: I studied Middle East history and politics in college and that still remains important to me. I follow what’s happening in Palestine and when we’re not touring I volunteer at the Arab American Family Support Center in Brooklyn which has a free immigration clinic to help folks with their legal questions. Both of us try to remain politically and socially engaged or at least conscious.
H: When we’re touring, it’s hard to do anything except survive- eat, sleep, drive, play a show… then repeat. The interesting thing about touring post Trump election is that we are heading to a lot of cities where many folks voted for him. And we wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to travel to so many of these cities . It feels especially important to play in these places for anyone who wants to be there with us. And it feels important and good to yell “the future is female” at the beginning of The Fog, given that women’s futures are being controlled by the current administration. There is a lot at stake.

HVUM: Finally, what outside of music do you consider fun? What do you do for “kicks”?

H: We’re both visual artists as well as musicians so we often paint or draw for fun. For real fun, we love bowling.
J: Yeah sorry, we’re losers. Our hobbies include painting, bowling and going to concerts and I think that’s about it!

HVUM: Losers? No way! Painting and bowling are very cool! Hana Elion, JJ, l thank you very much for taking time twith us. We know that you’ll continue to perform and release exciting new work in the near future, so let’s stay in contact. We’ll see you in Paris very soon!

Visit Overcoats at http://www.overcoatsmusic.com/

Hello! My name is Alison. I’ve been passionate about country music since I was very young. I got to know music by following styles – rock, southern rock and the country music styles of today – and by cruising through the USA. I’ve also bought a lot of CDs! In recent years, I started broadcasting the “Les News de Nashville” on the Big Cactus Country presented by my friend Johnny Da Piedade. You can read my blog post on the Big Cactus Country site as well as here on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP!

Big Cactus Country Radio Show!!! The best of American Country presented by Johnny Da Piedade and Alison Hebert! The BCC is a syndicated radio Show presented by Johnny Da Piedade and Alison Hebert broadcast weekly more than 250 times. The BCC network is 120 affiliated radio stations in France, Reunion Island, St-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec and more.

Held from March 14 to 16 in Dublin, Ireland and also in London in the UK, the C2C (Country To Country), arrived in Europe for the second consecutive year!

The country stars who have made the trip to Dublin are big: Dierks Bentley, the female trio, Dixie Chicks, the great Zac Brown Band, the pop country trio Rascal Flatts, Cowboy Chris Young, the manic and guitar virtuoso Brad Paisley and the surprise guest was the pop country trio The Band Perry! On this occasion the News from Nashville team were welcomed in the City of Dublin in Ireland to attend this mega show. It was fantastic and tailored to the beautiful O2 containing 14000 places and somd out both nights!

Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley

Dixie Chicks

Dixie Chicks

Friday night, Dierks Bentley opened the festivities with a fairly classical repertoire. We were able to enjoy all the best tracks. So we enjoyed a Dierks Bentley performance. The evening continued with the arrival on scene of the female trio, The Dixie Chicks. Obviously the Irish public loved and knew the lyrics of all their songs, even the rock and the unexpected cover of Miley Cyrus. Headining the show on Friday: ZBB otherwise Zac Brown Band!

ZBB Photo: Marlène Willemy (C2C Dublin 2014)

ZBB Photo: Marlène Willemy (C2C Dublin 2014)

Zac Brown began by taking the front of the stage and thanking the audience for making the financial effort, despite the crisis, coming to C2C and saying he was very honored to be here in Europe. This talented group showed a high color mixture of Country and Southern Rock, the hard rock of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and a great surprise medley title Uncaged , Kashmire of Led Zeppelin and the Mega Hit of the Charlie Daniels Band “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – the group appeared dressed as skeletons to finish the show!

Chris Young

Chris Young

Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts

The artist who opened Saturday was Cowboy Chris Young giving a superb performance with his professionalism and his powerful voice that has had its effect on the Irish public. The Rascal Flatts followed. It as a very good concert with beautiful vocal harmonies and again a mix of rock and pop country, the audience really loved them. Then there was the surprise guest who appeared in the form of a trio, The Band Perry with their country rock sound, always full of energy, perhaps too much because the singer Kimberly Perry jumped and ran around from one end to the other of the great stage of the O2 Dublin tending to shout rather than actually sing, too bad.

The Band Perry

The Band Perry

But the best is yet to come up with the headline that alone was worth the trip, Mister Brad Paisley! We were able to attend a very different show from what we had seen previously in London and even Nashville.

Brad arrived in Europe with all his paraphernalia of video material, full of visual effects, lasers and very professional technical giving his show a dramatic side, but also with a lot of humor, jokes, funny video clips including a goat as a vocalist who brought much laughter to the Irish public, really fun!

Brad Paisley Photo: Marlène Willemy (C2C Dublin 2014)

Brad Paisley Photo: Marlène Willemy (C2C Dublin 2014)

Brad Paisley Photo: Marlène Willemy (C2C Dublin 2014)

Brad Paisley Photo: Marlène Willemy (C2C Dublin 2014)

Brad has also performed hard rock with his interprtation of Van Halen “Hot For Teacher”! It was short weekend that we will not soon forget!

It’s our pleasure to welcome back Karen Waldrup to HorizonVU Music. We’ve been following Karen for a few years now and today we’re excited to talk to her about Midtown Violets. Midtown Violets is Karen and Rocky Mountain Woman Ashlee K Thomas. Although they are from very different parts of the country (Louisiana and Utah), they make music and tour out of Nashville, TN. As Midtown Violets, Karen and Ashlee have played over 500 live shows nationwide and are known for their tight blend of harmonies and an interactive show that brings people to the edge of their seat. They have shared the stage with Gloriana, Josh Thompson, Sara Evans, Rodney Atkins, Alana Davis, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Terri Clark & Joe Diffie. Their unique perspectives and collaboration allow them to constantly grow musically. They combine violin, guitar, and two fabulous voices. Their sound has been described as the Dixie Chicks meets Alanis Morrisette.

Midtown Violets_006HVUM: Karen, it’s a real pleasure to be talking with you. Last time you were with us you had released “With Love, Karen” (2009). You were touring and recording on your own. Obviously a lot has happened…Give us a rundown on the highlights!

KW: In 2009, I released ‘With Love, Karen’ which was a personal diary type album that talked about choosing music over my military love and signing my album ‘With Love, Karen’ as if the listener was reading my diary. In 2010, I released “Karen Waldrup” self-titled which were songs about New Orleans and more of a rocking country record. In 2011, a magical opportunity came my way to be on Bravo TVs ‘Platinum Hit’ as a songwriter and it gave me the exposure I needed to quit my day job and take a leap of faith at music. Without the help of my dear friend at the time, Ashlee K Thomas, I don’t know that I would have had the fire in me to get where I am today. We were just friends that both loved music. And it slowly & naturally turned into a musical duo.

HVUM: So, Midtown Violets was born in 2011. Give us some background on the collaboration. How did you meet up with Ashlee. What made the sparks fly? What convinced you two that it was time to do serious work together?

Karen Waldrup

Karen Waldrup

KW: Artist Ashlee K Thomas and I were friends for 2 years before considering teaming up. When I quit my day job, she was ready to embark on a tour too. It was my first tour ever, but she had toured in the west for years and came to the table with knowledge about touring that I did not know. Neither of us had really tapped into the southeast touring region where our first tour developed. The tour routed itself naturally with help from booking agent Rachel Futch and the efforts of both Ashlee and I. It started with a show in Hot Springs, AR and a show in Madisonville, LA. We just needed to connect them somehow.

We never meant to merge our music at all. In fact, we each went on to release another solo record- Karen Waldrup’s “The Beginning” May 2012, and Ashlee K Thomas “Just got Started” 2013. We kept writing on our own and recording on our own because we were such different acts. It was not until November 2012, when I found out that my ex boyfriend from the military was engaged to be married. When I lost him forever, I realized the last thing I ever wanted to do was lose Ashlee in my life and music forever. I was very fortunate that she was in the same place in her life- wanting to merge her violin, guitar and harmony singing skills with another

Ashlee K Thomas

Ashlee K Thomas

act. We were both on the same page and decided to create a country duo project that’s purpose was to spread joy through live music across the southeast. We came up with a name, a geographical target region for touring and then started writing our new album “Don’t Give Up” in January 2013. Every song was written or co-written by the 2 of us. Ashlee was the fire behind the creative process of the record. She kept pushing us to keep writing- even when I thought we were done writing. When I was happy with songs, she challenged me to keep writing with her so that we could develop more of a Midtown Violets sound. She was right. The 7 song album is exactly what Midtown Violets is. It’s a female country duo that sings about meaningful adult like topics like- “Don’t Give Up” – encouraging others to never give up on their dreams the way we haven’t given up on ours.

HVUM: Joint efforts can be tricky. Is there any one factor that really stands out in working with Ashlee?

KW: Ashlee K Thomas is a laid back yogi that feels music from an internal place and follows the heartbeat of music throughout her life. She works hard in everything she does and believes in being considerate of others and aware of her surroundings. I am a songwriter that loves to push the business aspect of music from running a business to networking to staying organized. If either of us were the same, we wouldn’t both be needed. It’s because our strengths are so different, both on and off stage, that we are able to successfully run a touring business. We never really argue about tasks because we typically are drawn to opposite ones. The things she finds challenging and fun I think are a headache and vise versa.

HVUM: Joint efforts can be tricky. Is there any one factor that really stands out in working with Ashlee?

KW: Ashlee K Thomas is a laid back yogi that feels music from an internal place and follows the heartbeat of music throughout her life. She works hard in everything she does and believes in being considerate of others and aware of her surroundings. I am a songwriter that loves to push the business aspect of music from running a business to networking to staying organized. If either of us were the same, we wouldn’t both be needed. It’s because our strengths are so different, both on and off stage, that we are able to successfully run a touring business. We never really argue about tasks because we typically are drawn to opposite ones. The things she finds challenging and fun I think are a headache and vise versa. There have been many times where I’ve thought “Thank God Ashlee is so good at that task because I would have never done it if it wasn’t for her” -Karen Waldrup

HVUM: Now, we’ve been following your music and in particular, “Single Girl”. You’ve done well with that single.

KW: We were in the studio working so hard on the new album, but we wanted to give the fans an exciting, fun, joyful single. “Single Girl” is such a fun song about letting go and being free and we felt it was parallel with our free spirit on the road. It is a single that lives on it’s own. We gave it away to fans “free” as an effort to get folks excited about the 2014 record and also collect emails for the release of our new album. “Single Girl” is a good enough song to live on it’s own as a single…forever. We felt it could live on it’s own. It’s so fun to play live!

HVUM: Super! Great performance and great band! Now, you have a new release out today “Don’t Give Up”! Give us your take on the release. What’s it about? Is there a message you want to get across with this release?

KW: It seems that something inside all of us talks us out of following our dreams and going after that one thing we’ve always wanted to do. If it’s not something within, it’s someone else telling us that our ideas are silly and to play it on the safe side. Midtown Violets believe that no matter how hard the journey may be and how many times we get told “no”…we “Don’t Give Up”. We want to encourage others to do whatever they feel called to do in this life. If we do what we love whether it’s opening up a new business or trying something risky like touring this country, we are bound to succeed.

Ashlee is a huge fan of the book The Alchemist written by Paulo Ceolho. I am currently reading it and enjoying it! The idea behind the book is that if you go after your personal legend, than you are bound to succeed. We are going after our dream and have found that no matter how many obstacles get in the way, we are bound to succeed because we are meant to. Our mission with this album in 2014 is to tell other people they can do the same. If you’re following your “personal legend”, than the Universe wants you to succeed. We have really found that to be true! It’s unbelievable how people support people that are following their dreams.

HVUM: We’d like to let our readers in on another video – “10,000 Angels”.

HVUM: So who worked with you both in and out of the studio? Any special people you’d like to mention?

KW: Tyler Cain with Cain Productions is the producer of this album and he is hands down one of the most talented men either Ashlee or I have ever met. He has toured with Big & Rich, Thompson Square and more and has produced records for country acts Steel Magnolia and my dear friend Jordan Pruitt from Disney which told me about Tyler’s hard work and musicianship. Writers on the album include Troy Johnson who has had cuts with The Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney and more and was able to share his gift of songwriting with us. Steve O’Brien- co-writer of the song “Roll Around” has had cuts with various artists throughout his career and wrote the “Rock my World (Little Country Girl)” by Brooks & Dunn. Ashlee and I were honored to work with Jordan Lawhead whom is a dear friend and has had a solo career and a publishing deal with Sony. Due to his intellectual approach, he brought a clever and profound musical approach. He co-wrote 3 of the songs with us including “Don’t Give Up”, “Like 10,000 Angels” and “Out of the Dark Ages”.

HVUM: Is Midtown Violets a full-time project or do you plan to continue working independently as well?

KW: Ashlee and I will always have our solo careers because they are how we started and when we are 50 years old no matter what we will still be playing music. We just feel like Midtown Violets is our ticket because it is so much fun and it is so tight and the harmonies are angelic!

HVUM: What’s next for Midtown Violets – Karen and Ashlee? Are you planning to tour? Europe?

KW: Great ass stuff! Trust us.

Karen, you have my trust. Thanks so much for taking time out to talk with us. It’s really appreciated. We wish you, Ashlee and Midtown Violets the best of luck going forward we hope you’ll stay in touch.

Visit Midtown Violets at http://www.midtownviolets.com/

Download “Don’t Give Up” https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dont-give-up/id796459277

What’s The Buzz ?

September 19, 2013 — 9:51 am PDT

Carole King Photo: Elissa Kline

Carole King Photo: Elissa Kline

Carole King will be honored as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year on Jan. 24, 2014, it was announced today by Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy, and Bill Silva, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board.

Multi-GRAMMY-winning artists the Dixie Chicks, Lady Gaga, Bette Midler, Jason Mraz, James Taylor, and Steven Tyler will perform in King’s honor. Music industry veterans Lou Adler, Martin Bandier and Rob Light along with Taylor are tribute chairs. Composer and arranger Robbie Kondor will be the evening’s musical director. Additional performers will be announced in the coming months.

Proceeds from the 24th annual benefit gala dinner and concert — to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week two days prior to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards — will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.

King is being honored as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of her extraordinary creative

James Taylor Photo: Christopher Polk/WireImage.com

James Taylor Photo: Christopher Polk/WireImage.com

accomplishments as well as her significant charitable work, which has included a range of philanthropic activities over the years. In addition to her continuously evolving musical career, King is actively involved with environmental organizations in support of forest ecosystem protection as well as a range of political causes.

“We are honored to celebrate Carole King as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year,” said Portnow. “Her contributions as a songwriter and performer have truly changed the landscape of pop music, and her philanthropy speaks volumes about her generosity and personal passions. We are also grateful to the extraordinary artists who have announced their desire to be a part of what will undoubtedly be a magical and inspiring evening.”

“Carole’s artistic output is remarkable in its depth. Her influence and charitable legacy are equally impressive, and her approach to art and life is enthusiastic and joyous,” said Silva. “It is going to be an exceptional MusiCares Person of the Year tribute, and we also want to express our gratitude to our tribute chairs and musical director whose participation will ensure the success of our annual benefit.”

King wrote her first No. 1 hit at age 17, penning “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” for the Shirelles with then-husband Gerry Goffin. The dozens of chart hits Goffin and King wrote during this period have become part of music legend, including “Take Good Care Of My Baby” and “Run To Him” (No. 1 and No. 2 hits, respectively, for Bobby Vee, 1961); “Crying In The Rain” (the Everly Brothers, No. 6, 1962); “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva, No. 1, 1962); “Up On The Roof” (the Drifters, No. 5, 1963); “Chains” (the Cookies, No. 17, 1962; the Beatles, 1963); “One Fine Day” (the Chiffons, No. 5, 1963); “Hey, Girl” (Freddie Scott, No. 10, 1963; also recorded by Vee and the Righteous Brothers); “I’m Into Something Good” (Herman’s Hermits, No. 13, 1964); “Just Once In My Life” (written with Phil Spector for the Righteous Brothers, No. 9, 1965); and “Don’t Bring Me Down” (the Animals, No. 12, 1966).

The Dixie Chicks  Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

The Dixie Chicks Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

In 1967 Goffin and King’s “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)” was immortalized by Aretha Franklin. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles.

King’s 1971 solo album Tapestry is arguably her pinnacle career achievement. While King was in the studio recording Tapestry, Taylor recorded King’s “You’ve Got A Friend,” taking the song to No. 1. In a first for a female writer/artist, Tapestry spawned four GRAMMY Awards — Record, Song and Album Of The Year as well as Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female honors for King. With more than 25 million units sold worldwide, Tapestry remained the best-selling album by a female artist for a quarter century, and King went on to amass three other platinum and eight gold albums. Tapestry was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1998.

In 1987 King was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and, a year later, Goffin and King were awarded the National Academy of Songwriters’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990 the duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2002, King was honored with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Two years later, Goffin and King received the Trustees Award from The Recording Academy. In 2004 King was honored with a Recording Academy Trustees Award and in 2013 was the recipient of a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award.

With a career spanning more than five decades, the GRAMMY winner has rarely been more active than during the last five years. King’s late-career whirlwind began in November 2007, when she and longtime friend and musical partner Taylor returned to the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif., for a three-night, six-show run to celebrate the venue’s 50th anniversary. Those historic performances were documented in the RIAA gold-certified Live At The Troubadour. This event was the inspiration for the pair’s 60-concert Troubadour Reunion world tour in 2010, which included three sold-out concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and another trio of sellouts at Madison Square Garden. The Troubadour shows also inspired the Morgan Neville-directed feature-length documentary Troubadours: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise Of The Singer-Songwriter, which made its TV premiere in March 2011 on PBS’ “American Masters,” shortly after being released on DVD.

King’s 2012 memoir, A Natural Woman. In A Natural Woman, which she wrote completely on her own, shares her incredible story from her beginnings in Brooklyn, N.Y., to her groundbreaking achievements as a songwriter, as well as her first major performances with Taylor and her many years of environmental and political activism. Upon publication, King’s memoir instantly cracked the Top 10 on The New York Times’ best-sellers list. In May 2013 King became the first woman to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, presented by the Library of Congress, and was also honored by remarks from President Barack Obama at an all-star White House gala. A highly anticipated new Broadway musical based on King’s life, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” will begin preview performances on Nov. 21 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, with the official opening night set for Jan. 12, 2014.

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

HorizonVU Music is proud to support MusiCares

What’s The Buzz ?


CALICO the band, the California Country female Americana trio kicks off the summer tour season announcing 18 West Coast shows starting in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 21st at The Grande Ole Echo followed by appearances at notable venues, Sweetwater Music Hall, McMenamins, Moe’s Alley and more. CALICO the band is a singer-songwriter “supergroup” that formed in late 2012 combining the talents of troubadours Kirsten Proffit, Jaime Wyatt, and Manda Mosher to create a refreshing lush 3-part harmony vocal sound reminiscent of an earthier Dixie Chicks mixed with Crosby, Stills, and Nash. CALICO represents GRETSCH Guitar’s roots instrument line collectively playing acoustic guitar, resonator, mandolin, banjo and harmonica.

Since forming at the end of 2012, CALICO has quickly become one of the most popularly requested acts in the Southern California and Arizona live music scenes. The girls are putting finishing touches on their first EP while keeping up with an aggressive tour schedule, which has had them playing over 50 shows already this year.


7/21 – The Grande Ole Echo: Los Angeles CA
7/22 – Sweetwater Music Hall: Mill Valley CA w/ Crosby Tyler
7/23 – The Convent: San Francisco CA
7/24 – Brothers: South Lake Tahoe NV w/ Crosby Tyler
7/25 – Sidelines: Sparks NV w/ Crosby Tyler
7/26 – The Naked Lounge: Sacramento CA
7/27 – Vintage Wine Bar: Redding CA w/ Crosby Tyler
7/28 – The Playwright: Ashland OR w/ Crosby Tyler
7/29 – Johnny B’s: Medford, OR w/ Crosby Tyler
7/30 – Private House Concert: Portland OR
7/31 – McMenamins White Eagle: Portland, OR
8/1 – Lucid Lounge: Seattle, WA
8/2 – Moroso Wine Bar: Gig Harbor, WA
8/4 – McMenamins Edgefield: Troutdale, OR
8/5 – Landmark: Portland, OR
8/7 – Bocci Cellar: Santa Cruz, CA
8/8 – Moe’s Alley: Santa Cruz CA
8/9 – KZSC 88.1FM Radio Appearance: Santa Cruz CA
8/11 – Westwood Music: Los Angeles CA

Visit CALICO The Band at www.calicotheband.com

Press contact: info@calicotheband.com

Visit Women of Substance Radio at www.wosradio.com and listen in live on the HorizonVU Music Blog!

Kelly Tillotson

Kelly Tillotson

We have the pleasure of visiting with Kelly Tillotson. We first got to know Kelly when she was a student at Belmont University and working at The Recording Academy. Born and raised in Maryland, Kelly grew up listening to 90′s country in the car with her grandmother, a native Tennessean herself, and she became hooked to iconic artists like Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Lonestar, Reba, Faith Hill, Alison Krauss, and the Dixie Chicks…among many others. She sings and writes music that aims to inspire others and empower them to be themselves, chase their dreams, change the world, laugh, cry, dance, forgive, sing, and dare to love. She’s released her music video “Betting On You” and she will be releasing her first album next month!

Kelly, thanks so much for joining us. We’ve been following your career for a while now, but let’s bring everybody up to speed and and start out by finding out a bit more about you and your background. Tell us how you got into music and some details about the road to your upcoming self-titled album.

KT: Of course, I’m so excited to be able to talk to you guys! Okay, well I have always been musically driven, taking piano lessons, voice lessons, guitar lessons, participating in school choirs, musicals, and things like that, but I didn’t become serious about my music or realize I could make a career out of it until I was a senior in high school. I had a wonderful music teacher and a fabulous voice coach at the time who were both instrumental in encouraging me to chase my dreams. With their support I decided to put aside my plans of going to medical school and pursue my one true passion: music. Figuring I had to go big or go home, I only applied to one college, Belmont University, because I knew I had to be in Nashville, and wanted to study commercial music. Thankfully, I was accepted as a Vocal major and spent the next four years growing as an artist, performing, songwriting, and working in the industry. My senior year, I knew I wanted to put together an EP to officially “launch” myself as an artist and kick start my career. A year and a half of hard work later, I am now preparing to release the album on Valentine’s Day and could not be more excited to share my new music with my friends, family, and fans! All you lovebirds out there, there’s no better way to say “I love you” than with a couple of love songs, right?

Absolutely! So what drew you to music and country music in particular?

KT: Not unlike most people, there was something about music I always connected with. Being able to relate to an emotion through a song is an irreplaceable feeling. Not only that, singing along to my favorite songs has always been an incredibly fun, liberating experience! Much to my sister’s dismay, I would spend hours and hours with a microphone hooked up to our stereo system, belting out every song on the Shania Twain album. After that, I’d whip out my other favorites…Celine Dion, Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, and on and on. My poor family probably regrets the day they purchased that microphone…quiet afternoons or evenings around the house became a distant memory. In regards to my particular love of country music, as I mentioned, my grandmother was always blasting country music in her car, and she would drive us around a good amount, so there must have been something about it that stuck with me. I loved the emotion behind country songs, and I loved the stories. It was as if every song was a three-minute movie, or a brief glimpse into someone else’s life.

In listening to your music, it seems pretty clear that in addition to your love of country, you’re drawn to love songs. For example, you’ve performed “Marry You”, “Your Love Feels Like Home” and your latest single, “Betting On You”. Is there anything in particular that makes you want to sing about love or is love just one of several themes?

KT: That’s definitely true! I’m pretty much your typical girl…in love with love, and not only in a romantic sense. Most things people do or don’t do are from either an overflow or lack of love…it’s such a powerful experience and emotion, so it’s understandable why so many songs in the world are written about love. My songs are usually an outpouring of experiences and emotions in my life, so I can only hope there’s a lot more love songs to come, because that means there will be lots of love in my life! Through my songs, I hope to be able to spread that love around to everyone else. I guess since I have so many love songs, Valentine’s Day was the perfect day to release my EP!

We mentioned that you were drawn to Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Reba and other country greats. When you get right down to it, is there one, or maybe two, of these stars that really captured your spirit and really influenced your career? Is there that special song that you played over-and-over?

KT: That’s a great question. There are too many to count!! There have been so many songs I have played repeatedly over the years that have meant to so much to me. I have always been incredibly inspired by Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack, and Martina McBride. “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack was the first song that I would play and sing over and over. The message of the song was incredible….”and when you get the choice, to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance”. Simple, but brilliant! Living my life to the fullest, and encouraging others to do the same is an integral part of who I am as an artist. As much as I love inspirational and empowering songs, I also love songs that are sassy and fun…that make people want to get up and dance! Shania was my go-to for those kinds of songs.

Turning to your current work, you’ve just released a super video for the single “Betting On You”. Give us a little background on the video. How did it come to be? Who worked with you and how do you see the video in partnership with the music?

KT:Yes, I am so excited about it! I worked with an amazingly talented videographer named Thomas Gentry, who went to Belmont with me and is a good friend. He did such a stellar job and deserves absolutely all of the credit for this video. The actual process of shooting the video was relatively short. I organized the band and the extras in the span of a week (while I was on vacation in Minnesota with no cell reception – minor detail!) and we shot the entire video a week later in just one day. It was probably the most thrilling, exhausting day of my life. Although we actually had one big scare…the concert scene was at an outdoor venue and naturally; the weather forecast was predicting a huge storm that night. Fortunately, by the grace of God, the rain held off the entire night until the exact time we started packing up…around 10:30pm, when it started to pour! The video was also really special because everyone in the video is a dear friend of mine. It meant so much to have them all be a part of it, and share in the excitement of seeing the video for the first time.

Great! I thinks it’s time to take a look and listen…”Betting On You”!

Bravo! That’s fantastic…well done! Your self-titled album is coming out in February. Tell us about the release. What’s the story or message you want us to take away?

KT: It is, only a couple days away now…on February 14th, Valentine’s Day! Hooray! The EP will be available on my iTunes, my website(http://kellytillotson.com/), Amazon, Rhapsody, Spotify, and more! I will also be doing a release show, the night before, on February 13th, at The Listening Room in Nashville…which will be so much fun. I’ve been working on this project for the last year and a half, so I could not be more excited to finally be able to share what I’ve been working on. Not only do I want people to be able to relate to the songs, enjoy them, blast them in their car, be entertained and encouraged, but I also want people to be inspired to chase their dreams, in the same way that I chased mine. When I started this process, I felt like there was no way in the world I could undertake such a huge project, but here I am today my own CD, website, and music video! It took a ton of hard work and faith, as well as a lot of help from family, friends, musicians, designers, and photographers, but it happened! I feel so blessed, and I really hope this can be an encouragement to others to do all those things they thought were never possible!

Do you have one or two favorite tracks?

KT: Probably “Betting On You” and “Coming Home.” It was an awesome experience to have written both of them, because I saw them go from a simple idea to a fully produced song. With the help of a talented producer, engineer and skilled musicians, they changed a lot musically, and turned out better than I could have ever imagined! I’m really excited to get the album out and see what everyone’s favorite songs are.

Okay. Looking out onto the horizon, what’s next for Kelly? Any special projects you’d like to pursue?

KT: I would love to do a bunch of shows outside of Nashville and really begin to connect with, and grow my fan base. I am also really excited about co-writing more and getting ready to record another EP! I also have a couple of side projects that include an online craft show called Kelly’s Krafts (on my YouTube channel), and have actually started singing and performing in a trio with two other guys, which has been a really fun experience. I’m just going to keep working hard, singing, writing, enjoying this amazing journey, and seeing where it takes me!

And my last (and my favorite) question. Do you have any superheros? What’s the story?

KT: My number one superhero would be God; I truly could not embark on this crazy journey without faith and trust in Him. My Mom and Dad are two of my superheroes…my Mom runs a non-profit for homeless youth in Orange County, CA called Build Futures and is a wonderful woman, and my Dad is one of the most loving, patient people I have ever met. I look up to them so much!!
Other super-heroes would probably be…my songwriting heroes Natalie Hemby, Lori McKenna, and Melissa Pierce. They are all awesome women and unbelievably talented. If you haven’t heard their music, you will want to check it out! I work part time at a music publishing/management company called Creative Nation, run by a woman named Beth Laird and her husband (a songwriter), Luke Laird. They are both brilliant, talented, and some of the kindest, most generous people I know, so they would definitely fall under the category of super-heroes as well!

Thanks very much, Kelly Tillotson. It’s been fabulous visiting with you and we wish you all the best for success. We hope to see you back with HorizonVU Music!

KT: Thank YOU so much!! Thank you for all your support over the last couple months, it has meant so much. Thank you for all you do for independent artists!!

Visit Kelly at www.kellytillotson.com and “Like” her Facebook page at Facebook.com/kellytillotson
Follower her on Twitter: @KellyTillotson

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