Tag Archive: Nashville

The Women’s International Music Network Announces 2015 She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase Performers

She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase performers Grace and Chelsea Constable (top left); Pearl (top right); Katie Garibaldi (bottom left); Bryce Hitchcock (center); and Taylor Tote (bottom right).

She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase performers Grace and Chelsea Constable (top left); Pearl (top right); Katie Garibaldi (bottom left); Bryce Hitchcock (center); and Taylor Tote (bottom right).

June 15, 2015, Nashville, Tenn. The Women’s International Music Network (WiMN) is pleased to announce the finalists selected to perform at the 2015 She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase, taking place Thursday, July 9, 2015, from 8:30-10:30 p.m., at The Listening Room Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee, during the 2015 Summer NAMM trade show.

Featured performers include singer-songwriter and guitarist sister duo Grace and Chelsea Constable from Jonesborough, Tennessee; Chicago-based singer-songwriter Pearl; San Francisco-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Katie Garibaldi; Nashville-based singer-songwriter and actress Bryce Hitchcock; and singer-songwriter Taylor Tote from New Jersey. The performers were chosen based on their submissions to thewimn.com.

The selection process for the 2015 She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase was difficult but extremely inspiring, as we received a lot of submissions from tremendously talented women from all over the country. We are very excited to showcase talented women spanning multiple genres,” said WiMN Founder Laura B. Whitmore.

Grace and Chelsea Constable started playing guitar when they were 9 and 10, respectively, and are a powerfully dynamic sister duo. At 13, Grace has just completed writing, arranging, and producing her debut CD. With her Taylor 812ce in hand, Grace has set goals to make a living as a singer/songwriter/guitarist, and is truly honored to have an association with her favorite guitar manufacturer, Taylor Guitars. Chelsea was considered a prodigy at 11 years old, filming an instructional video and demoing products for several different companies. She’s been featured and advertised in many major guitar publications, and at 13, closed the show at Muriel Anderson’s All-Star Guitar Night featuring Les Paul and Steve Morse. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/chelseaconstablemuzak.

Pearl is a Chicago-based singer-songwriter whose voice is reminiscent of Corrine Bailey Rae’s richness and style. In early 2013, she shined as one half of an acoustic duo performing covers during the Common Ground Foundation gala – an event and organization founded by hip hop artist and Chicago native, Common. Find out more about Pearl at www.pearlprojects.org.

Katie Garibaldi is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who lives in the golden city of San Francisco. With her seventh full-length album, Follow Your Heart, and an endorsement deal with Breedlove Stringed Instruments, she has proven to be an artist with staying power. Garibaldi has a characteristic musical style wherein her equally pop and country-tinged folk-rock give her a distinguished and soul, Americana sound. Visit www.katiegaribaldi.com for more information.

Bryce Hitchcock is a singer-songwriter and actress from Nashville. Hitchcock started performing at the age of 7 and was doing session work in Nashville for major labels at 8. Her sound is a blending of folk, blues, jazz, pop, with a hint of country. She has written songs for TV and film, and her voice can be heard as the character of Deuce in the newly released Final Fantasy Type-0 HD video game. Find out more about Hitchcock at www.brycehitchcock.com.

Taylor Tote is a singer-songwriter who hails from New Jersey. At 19, Tote was named by NJ.com as one of the “25 Must-Hear Local Bands for her big voice, old soul style.” “She is dominating, empowering, strong, soft, sexy, and insanely fun”, writes the Aquarian Weekly. Her self-titled four-song debut EP was released this past February, and her songs are her heart. Visit www.taylortote.com for more information.

The She Rocks Summer NAMM Showcase will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, July 9, 2015, from 8:30-10:30 p.m. at The Listening Room Cafe, located at 217 2nd Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37201, a short walk from the Summer NAMM convention at the Music City Center. There is a suggested $5 donation.

The showcase is sponsored by 108 Rock Star Guitars, Taylor Guitars, Lightning 100, and Guitar World magazine’s Acoustic Nation. To learn more, visit www.thewimn.com/the-2015-she-rocks-summer-namm-showcase.
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About The Women’s International Music Network (WiMN)

Founded in 2012, the Women’s International Music Network unites women who work within all facets of the music and audio industries. With thewimn.com as its hub, the WiMN provides a community for women within the industry while enriching their careers and musical experiences through networking and sharing. The Women’s International Music Network produces events such as the Women’s Music Summit, the WiMN She Rocks Showcases, and the She Rocks Awards, and is founded by music industry veteran Laura B. Whitmore. For more information, visit www.thewimn.com.


Pauline France
The Women’s International Music Network

Photo by Art Heffron

Photo by Art Heffron

Denver-based Folk-pop songstress Katey Laurel grew up drawing pictures, writing stories, riding horses and playing in the woods in the Colorado mountains. This is the idyllic foundation from which she crafts her life and her music. Katey’s songs range from radio-friendly pop tunes to lush, cinematic songs for film and television. With background in Classical piano and French horn as well as guitar and voice, her artistic roots are both deep and diverse. Laurel draws her musical inspiration as a songwriter from many musical styles including bluegrass, classic rock, alternative, country, and even 80s dance-pop.

Katey has performed hundreds of shows via venues, radio, television stations and festivals in Colorado and around the US, including Hotel Cafe (LA), The Bitter End (NYC), Bluebird Cafe (Nashville), Hard Rock Café Denver and Nashville, Colorado State Fair and the Greeley Stampede. She has built a solid fan base with her unique voice and a satisfying blend of folk and pop, garnering airplay on Triple A and AC radio stations around the country including KALC, KMNT, KBCO, KFMU and KOTO. Most recently she is a Great American Song Contest Top 5 Winner and NPR Mountain Stage NewSong Contest Regional Finalist, and has had two songs in rotation on Starbucks overhead programming.

As a live performer, she has shared the stage with Howie Day, Bill Mallonee, Katie Herzig, Matt Morris, Trevor Hall and others. With her latest album “Periscope” produced by industry veteran Warren Huart (The Fray, Aerosmith), Katey Laurel is now poised to reach an even larger audience in the days ahead. Here’s your chance to get three of her songs free!

Walnut Valley Festival New Song Winner
Tucson Folk Festival National Finalist
Great American Song Contest Finalist
NPR Mountain Stage NewSong Southwest Regional Finalist
Texaco Country Showdown Southwest Regional Finalist
International Songwriting Competition Semi-Finalist

Visit Katie at

Official Website: www.kateylaurel.com
Facebook: Facebook
Twitter Twitter

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.

It has been some months since I presented the first CD of the soundtrack from Season 1 of the American series “Nashville.”

For Those Who Have the opportunity to follow the second season on the web, you’ll soon be able to get “The Music Of Nashville: Original Soundtracks Volume 1 Season 2”! Its release is scheduled just before Christmas on December 10th! This album is produced by the famous Buddy Miller on Big Machine Records.


There are 13 tracks on this album. There are, of course, key artists of the series – Connie Britton, Hayden Pannetière, the charming Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, the young and talented Lennon and Maisy Stella, and two new actresses freshly landed in the series, Chaley Rose in the role of Zoey and Aubrey Peeples in the role of Layla!

Chaley Rose

Chaley Rose

Audrey Peeples

Audrey Peeples

All these people together to make for a superb album! “Nashville” season 1 has finally arrived in France on the pay channel Canal +, TF6, Sunday at 20:40.

What’s The Buzz ?

Hi y’all. Fresh back from a whirlwind month or so, from The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival to Storyhill Festival to Sisters Folk Festival, home to Nashville to move to a new house and showcase at The Americana Festival and then off to Europe to tour with the incredible John Fullbright, one of my favorite Okies (Parker Milsaps being another, Jimmy Webb, another and Laurie and Curley and that strange ballet sequence in the red dust). That’s me up there in that photo on a day off with John and our good friend AJ Roach outside the castle in Edinburgh. If you’re just joining the list having found me on the European tour, thanks for swinging by. We played to sold out audiences from London to Utrecht to Belfast to Edinburgh and it was thrilling. I’m coming back in January to headline my own tour, so keep in touch.

The rest of this month is pretty much a writing and recouping time for me, but if any of you out there are songwriters, I work (in these off times) as a coach on Songwriting, Performance and Career Goal Setting for the Indie Songwriter. My rates are reasonable and we can work via phone or Skype, so please email me at amy@amyspeace.com to set up a time and we can talk. I’ve been teaching my Performance class at Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Song School for 7 years now and have also taught at Sisters Folk Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival Song School, Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters, NERFA, NAFA, through NSAI and various other places. I love doing this, so don’t hesitate to contact me.

November I head up to the Northeast (LOOK LEFT AND YOU’LL SEE THE TOURDATES — PLEASE BUY TIX IN ADVANCE). I have a few openings for potential House Concerts if anyone is interested in hosting. If you’re curious, head HERE and there’s a link to my House Concert Info Sheet (which I adapted from my friend Danny Schmidt’s). It’s the All You Need To Know To Host an Amy Speace Concert In Your Home. 🙂

Here are my free dates for Fan Based House Concerts.

The rest of October – anywhere within reasonable driving distance to Nashville – GA, TN, Etc.
Wed. 11/6 – PA, MD, NY, NJ
Tues 11/12 – MD, DC, PA, NJ
Thu 11/14 – MD, PA, NJ, DC
Sun 11/17 – PA, WV, MD

So please don’t hesitate to contact me. House Concerts are fun for me and fun for you and they are very simple to put on and make a really cool event for your friends and neighbors.

Stay in touch with me via Facebook and Twitter. And a reminder that not only are ALL of my CD’s for sale on the OFFICIAL AMY SPEACE STORE (which is the best way to get my merchandise direct), also T Shirts are there.

Tourdates to the left…jokers to the right…here I am…


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 networtk is 120 affiliated radio stations in France, Reunion Island, St-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec and more.

Alison and Ryman Auditorium

Alison and Ryman Auditorium

This information concerns all Nashville and its temple of Country Music. Last week the Nashville announced terrible news, which could have been tragic!

On August 18, a disturbed resident, known as 52-year-old Jeffrey Parsley, tried to set fire to one of the emblems of Music City, «The Mother Church of Country Music», legendary Ryman Auditorium» for still unknown reasons.

Jeff Parsley

The arsonist piled newspapers at the entrance of Ryman and set them on fire, quickly harming the door. Fortunately, the security service viewed the act on the cameras of Ryman. The police and fire depepartment reacted right away.

Burned Doors

Reassure yourselves. Thanks to the quick intervention of the firemen, the fire was very quickly stopped and there were no injuries. The security service was supported and the arsonist warned in view on 27 August with a$20 000 fine. Nashville without Ryman Auditorium wouldn’t really be Nashville. Doors harmed by the fire were immediately replaced and concerts are going to resume from September 8th.

Ryman Auditorium

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 networtk is 120 affiliated radio stations in France, Reunion Island, St-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec and more.

Everyone, or almost everyone, now knows the “Nashville” American drama series in which the main actors are, but not limited to: Hayden Panettiere, Connie Britton, Charles Esten, and the two famous sisters Lennon and Maisy.

Connie Britton

Connie Britton

Lennon and Maisy

Lennon and Maisy

Charles Esten

Charles Esten

We’ve learned that the actress of flagship Nashville, Connie Britton, who plays Ryana James, has been nominated for the Emmy Awards. The Emmy Awards takes place this September 22 in Los Angeles. Britton is nominated in the category of best actress drama. For those who do not know the Emmy Awards, the ceremony recognizes the best performers in a television series or genre.

Regarding Connie Britton, she plays a country superstar, married to the mayor of the Music City, Nashville, then divorced. Connie Britton is facing Juliette Barnes, another superstar in Nashville, who is younger and whose style is more pop country, played on screen by Hayden Panettiere.

Connie Britton, Eric Close and Hayden Panettiere

Connie Britton, Eric Close and Hayden Panettiere

Connie is nominated and she hopes to win this award. Those who have had the chance to follow the “Nashville” series know that a second season is planned from the autumn in September, with more Country Music and the arrival of two new female characters, Zoey and Layla.

What’s The Buzz ?

From the stinkin’ heat of Nashville, TN…

This mid-July posting will be brief, I promise, as I have been off the road most of this month, writing and training my new dog Flo how to sit, stay and leave me a tiny bit of room in my own bed. She’s a Redbone Coonhound rescue from the woods of East Tennessee and already thinks she owns the place. I’m heading out this weekend to Salt Lake City, Utah to play a few shows, teach a few classes and if you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. If you’re not, please check in on my TOURDATES on my website, as chances are I’m heading your way soon. Here’s the lowdown on what’s coming up!

August: Indiana, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest and Music City Roots in Nashville!
September: Sisters Folk Festival, OR, Americana Music Fest in Nashville, then off to Europe with John Fullbright
October: Europe
November: Northeast
December: Decembersongs ’13!

Buy the new record. Also, t shirts are coming very soon to the STORE on my website!

Tourdates to the left…jokers to the right…here I am


What’s The Buzz ?

Welcome Spring…it’s a beautiful day here in Nashville and I’m about to head out to a baseball game so I want to keep this brief, because there’s nothing like a minor league baseball game in the cool sunshine with a hotdog and some friends..

What an amazing Spring this has been so far. I’ve got a NEW RECORD, a NEW WEBSITE, and so much news since the last tour. Just in the past few weeks, the record was launched, we’ve been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, The New York Times and The Tennessean and great reviews have been pouring in from American Songwriter to The Nashville Scene. The day after the NPR piece aired, “Stormy Boat” shot up to #1 on Amazon’s “Movers & Shakers” charts and to #24 overall. ITunes featured the record in it’s “New & Noteworthy” section. And it’s just been extraordinary. We played to wonderful audiences from New York to Boston in the midst of chaos to a beautiful taping of “Mountain Stage” (I’ll let you know the air date) to a sold out show at The Bluebird Cafe this past week. I am beyond grateful for all the good wishes and support of YOU. If you have not yet picked up your copy of the new record, now is the time, as Amazon is running a May Special and you can get it for under $10!!!

So, onto May, which brings me to Knoxville then Texas then back home again. The summer is still working itself out, but I have great news that “Stormy Boat” will officially release overseas (UK/Europe) in September and I’ll be joining John Fullbright on his tour there in September and October. Keep posted here for dates.

In the meantime, check out the website store where you can buy the new record and soon there will be T Shirts as well (for now you can get the new t shirts at shows).

Lastly, it is with a heavy heart that I let you know that my dear friend and touring partner from 2010, Sid Selvidge, passed away a few days ago. I was lucky enough to have shared the experience of making his last record, “I Should Be Blue” (Ardent Records). We sang a few duets. He covered my song “Two”. And we spent the summer of 2010 touring around the country playing shows together. I loved Sid very much. He was a friend and a mentor. I will miss him. If you don’t know about Sid, please check out his music. He was one of the greats. A Memphis-based folk/blues master.

Tourdates to the left…jokers to the right…here I am


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

Today we’re joined by Jenna Epkey! Jenna’s no stranger to HorizonVU Music. Her cross-genre, emotion driven pop and country first caught our ears a couple of years ago. Jenna’s a singer/songwriter from Indiana, and when it comes to talking about the heartland – we look to the Midwest and think Jenna. What sets Jenna apart is the passion and emotion that goes into her music – emotions that we all know from our daily lives – the ups and the downs.

Jenna Epkey

Jenna Epkey

Hi Jenna! It’s a real pleasure to have this opportunity to get together. I think you’ve been pretty busy lately. Our followers might remember that we first got to know you when you were working out of Nashville. You’ve relocated to Indiana. Tell us a little bit about where you’ve been and where you are now.

JE: Thanks so much Phil for taking time to interview me! I’m excited to share what’s been going on in my little world since I moved back to Indiana in 2010.

Since then, I released an unplugged acoustic record (Change) and my single “Steel Heart” with friend and producer, Billy Smiley (from the band Whiteheart).

We don’t know much about your musical background. How did you find the path to a music career and do you have any teachers or mentors that really motivated you from the beginning?

JE: I started to sing around eight years old. It was around that time when my family, friends, and people at church started to notice I could sing as well. Growing up I always knew I wanted to do something in the entertainment world. This may sound funny, but from the moment I was introduced to Michael Jackson and his music I knew I wanted to be a performer/entertainer of some sort.

We want to get the full picture in our minds. You obviously collaborate with Tony Epke on your recordings. We note that while your on vocals, guitar and piano, Tony’s with you on guitar. Tell us about the collaboration and how the two of you work together.

JE: Tony Epkey is my husband and we play out all the time together. This wasn’t always the case, but for the last couple years we’ve found a unique bond and sound all our own. He plays on the “Steel Heart” track too. We play a nice acoustic show!

In March 2011, you released you EP, “A Little at a Time”. First, give us some background behind the release. How did it come to be?

JE: A Little at a Time is where it all began for me. In 2008, I decided I wanted to take my career to the next level, so I recorded a fully produced, top quality country EP that I still sell to this day. Some of the best musicians in Nashville played on it, and it has opened many doors for me in the music industry. I took a big leap of faith recording that record, and I am still trying to figure out how to market it…and how to get more people to hear it.

Second, reading the titles to the tracks (there are six of them) and having a listen, it’s had not to feel something’s going on with Jenna….”Miserable Girl”, “A Little At A Time”, “The Verge”…What’s going on there…what’s the storyline?

JE: Well…some of the tracks on the record aren’t my originals. I chose them because they are good songs and I could sing them well. But I can assure you as an artist there is always something going on with me internally, 🙂 I’m terribly deep and sensitive… One thing is for certain: when you get a Jenna Epkey record you’re going to get a smorgasbord of emotion! haha

On a light note, you put together a really great jingle for Folger’s. Tell us about that.

JE: My good friend (Vance Lambert) and I did the jingle in 2011. Vance wrote the tune, and we recorded it in Indianapolis where I’m from. It was a lot of fun! I think we should have won:)

Yeah, we think you should have won! Today’s a very special day. You’re releasing your video, “Steel Heart”. It’s an original single and Winner of the 2012 Blooming-Tunes Songwriter Competition. Pretty catchy song with a heavy title, tell us about the song and the video. What went into writing the song and how has it translated to video?

We’re going to take a look and listen to the video in just a second, but first, can you give us an introduction to the how it came about – production, direction and storyline?

JE: Yes. I wrote “Steel Heart” early -mid 2012. I knew it needed to be recorded right away. I believe the song really captures my voice, influences, and everything I’ve learned up to this point about writing.

The song itself is about being vulnerable with your needs and desires as a human being. We all want to be seen, heard, and loved for who we “really” are. “Steel Heart” is about realizing what you want, and the video helps reveal your role in discovering it.

In the music video I’m on a quest in the woods with a key literally around my neck searching for a treasure. The whole concept is based around finding this treasure and knowing I have the key (within) to find it.

The video was directed by Tyler Holbein. He is a young photographer from New York and this was our first project together. Tyler and a few students from Huntington University helped make this video come alive. We had great fun filming in the woods that day.

Alright, let’s have a look and listen!

Wow! That’s really fantastic! You deserve to be very happy and congrats to Tyler. So, what’s next for Jenna? Do you have some projets underway? Where are you heading in the months ahead?

JE: I’m currently writing my new record. I have a new song I’ll hopefully be releasing early 2013. It should be a very eventful and fun year ahead!

I Have to ask you my favorite question…no one gets away…Do you have a particular superhero that keeps you going or gives you inspiration?

JE: Oh jeez- favorite superhero? I don’t really have one. I do think Spiderman is really inspiring and cool though. I like the quote: “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Thanks so much, Jenna. We’ve really enjoyed talking with you and we know you’re on a roll. We’re looking forward to hearing a lot more from you in 2013, so we hope you’ll stay in touch. Let us know how the new record is comining along! That’s the latest from our friend Jenna Epskey.

You can visit Jenna at http://www.jennaepkey.com. Download the mp3 version of “Steel Heart” at http://www.jennaepkey.com/fr_home.cfm or click on the Amazon.com link on this HorizonVU Music page!

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