Now Hear This

Since 2010, Musicians Corner has showcased over 750 artists on our stage in Centennial Park. Now we're showcasing artists throughout the year as part of our "Now Hear This" Artist Spotlights. Check this site for ongoing song and video premieres to discover the finest talent coming out of Music City and beyond. We are "The City That Listens" and certainly hope you like what you hear.

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We caught up with singer-songwriter Gabe Dixon during a night off from touring behind his brilliant new album Turn To Gold. Dixon, a hardcore Paul Simon fan, will play Musicians Corner’s 75th birthday tribute to Simon at City Winery on October 24.

What’s your Nashville story?

I grew up here, and, after attending college in Miami, and living in New York City for a year and a half, I decided that the people, the music scene, and the friendly laid-back vibe of Nashville felt more like home to me than anywhere else. Also, it seemed like somewhere I could make a living at music. Fortunately, my wife took a liking to it as well. When I first moved back, 13 years ago, we found a really cute cottage on the Harpeth River, which gave us the perfect balance of city and country life. We’ve enjoyed the diversity of Nashville’s music and artistic community. It’s not too big, not too small, and it's a nice place to raise a family.

Where would you take an out-of-towner?

I'd start downtown at lower...

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Indie "supergroup" The Daybreaks have a lot of love for Musicians Corner, and we love them right back. The Nashville band -- comprised of Kaleb Jones, Heather Bond and producer Bobby Holland -- are only a few months old, but they've already brightened up the local scene with plenty of great music. You can get a taste of their powerful, frequently haunting sound by listening to the debut of their latest single, "Stranger," below.

Lighting 100 has dubbed you a "supergroup," which sort of makes you superheroes. What's your origin story?

Heather: Kaleb and I met at a studio about a year ago and started writing together. We later demoed a few songs with Bobby, who then suggested making an album with us! We never had any intentions of becoming a band, but once we started working on the project it all came together pretty magically so we decided to go for it.

What's the story behind "Stranger?"

Kaleb: "Stranger" is...


"You can't have these lips cause they're telling you off, you can't have these legs because they're already crossed," sings Larissia Murphy on "Cold Shoulder," her brilliant kiss-off of a country song. You can find it on her lovely EP, Speak Your Mind, available for download here. Murphy chatted with us about working with John Prine, growing up a coal miner's daughter, Kraftwerk, Nashville pizza spots and more.

You grew up in East Kentucky, and you're the daughter of a coal miner turned preacher. What was your childhood like?

Oh man. My childhood was really great. My parents are big music lovers and I have three siblings and I feel like music was piped into our lives at every turn; from cleaning house, having living room dance parties, and (one of my favorite things to do) singing to coal truckers over the CB radio from the bed of my Dad’s Mack truck.

My Dad is a huge Elvis fan, and Loretta Lynn is my Mama’s hero (she was a member of her fan club!)...


It's not every day we get to interview an Americana band who formed in New York City and emigrated to the UK. Mahoney & The Moment (the project of British musician Steve Mahoney and Boston-born singer Emily Moment) are determined to be a big deal on both sides of the pond, and frankly, they deserve to be. The pair cut their teeth in the Anti-Folk scene in the East Village in 2011, and moved to London the following year. They currently run the Chalk Farm Folk Americana night at The Monarch club in Camden.

Get better acquainted with them by checking out our exclusive premiere of the video for "Kiss My Frowning Face," from their upcoming album Confession Note, below. If you can't make it out to their CD release show on March 5 at The Slaughtered Lamb in London, you can hopefully see them during their next trip stateside, later this year.



Jameson Elder heard Tom Petty's Greatest Hits in high school, and it instantly changed his life. Since leaving Atlanta for Nashville in 2007, this incisive singer-songwriter has forged an impressive reputation for himself. Take a listen to "In My Mother's Arms," the moving conclusion to his latest album Prodigals & Thieves. Preorder it on iTunes here, and catch the album release show at The Basement on Sunday, February 28.

Prodigals & Thieves sounds great. How are you feeling about it?

It's sort of an arrival for me. Lyrically, I feel like I’m finally saying all the things I’ve tried to say since I started writing songs, and musically, it’s the sound I’ve been reaching for since the first time I heard a copy of Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits that my guitar teacher lent me. Prodigals & Thieves is an album about the lost finding...


Beloved Bay Area newgrass outfit Hot Buttered Rum get back to their string-band roots on The Kite & The Key: Part 2. The new EP (out February 5) is a tribute to bluegrass pioneer Ralph Stanley, who graced our stage in 2015 with an unforgettable performance.

“Ralph Stanley is an inspiration to me on so many levels," says guitarist and vocalist Nat Keefe. "My dad has a dozen of his albums on vinyl and I grew up listening to these on Sunday mornings, his lonesome mountain tones contrasting with my warm suburban Californian childhood. Out of all the bluegrass music founding fathers, his is the sound that makes my hair stand up on end. There’s the driving groove, and the soulful, tuneful way the songs are put together. It was a pleasure to have to listen though hundreds of Stanley tunes and a struggle to decide which to record with HBR."


On February 5, award-winning singer-songwriter Elise Davis will take the stage at City Winery for Band Together, a tribute to Taylor Swift's game-changing 1989 album and the hit singles from that year. Hits like Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," a sultry pop trifle that ruled the airwaves at a time when the Berlin Wall was collapsing, Back To The Future II was in theaters, and the internet was beginning to bloom. Davis has recorded her own unique, grown-up spin on the song, which she'll perform at Band Together. And while we've heard the original a million times, we could listen to Davis' arresting take all day long. Take a listen below.

How old were you in 1989?

I was two years old.

What made you want to cover Paula Abdul's "Straight Up?"

I've always been attracted to well written sassy songs. I feel like this song has a killer chorus,...

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We're always hungry for some good music, and Colorado bluegrass band Trout Steak Revival serve that up in spades on their latest album Brighter Every Day. The group won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition in 2014, and picked up an Emmy for their work with PBS.

Check out the live video for their song "They Sang To Us," filmed thousands of feet above sea level for an installment of the Gondola Sessions. The series features artists like Shakey Graves, Nathaniel Rateliff and Cracker giving stripped-down performances while suspended in mid-air.

Fix yourself a cup of cocoa, bundle up, and feel the warmth radiating from TSR's dancing strings and intertwining vocals.

Trout Steak Revival will play 3rd and Lindsley with Yonder Mountain String Band on February 14th.


On November 23, the frontman for Nashville rock band Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes will step into Bob Dylan's shoes when he performs with the Last Waltz Ensemble at City Winery Nashville in a special fundraiser show for Musicians Corner. "I remember seeing The Last Waltz when I was young and thinking, 'Man, this is what playing music is supposed to be about,' says Ellsworth. Check out the band's new single, ""Always/Never," below, and get your tickets to the Last Waltz here.

Tell us about the new single. It's pretty great.

It’s called "Always/Never," and it's from an EP we will be releasing in early 2016 called Bemidji. It's an upbeat, high-energy, unapologetically catchy song about unrequited love. It also might accidentally be about a stalker, though. Your choice.

What have been some of your career highlights this year?

The first...


Country rocker David Lane has a new EP out, and we can't stop spinning it. Hello Georgia was produced by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Roger Murrah (Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Alabama), who co-wrote five out of the six tracks. These two great minds from two great states have teamed up to produce some quality heartland Americana. From "Recession" to "Modern Day Hemingway," Hello Georgia is a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Listen to the Hello Georgia in full below.

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This Saturday, Nashville alternative rockers The Lonely Biscuits will headline a special Halloween edition of Musicians Corner. Since graduating from Belmont University in 2011, they've become festival veterans, and have already played Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Hangout Fest, Austin City Limits, LouFest and South by Southwest. So we couldn't think of a better band to close out our Fall Season.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

You can expect a lot of new tunes and a lot of energy. A little bit of boogie woogie too.

What are a few of your highlights from this year?

We just finished our summer tour which was a great experience and accomplishment. We got to play all over the country in cities we've never been to before and were stoked on how many people came out and the times that were shared.

What's been your favorite festival experience?

Our set at Bonnaroo in 2014 was wild. We played the...


Martin Sexton has the voice of an angel and a poet's pen. Since releasing his first album in 1992, he's been hypnotizing audiences with his remarkable songs, This Saturday, he'll grace the stage at Musicians Corner, along with The Vepsers, Magnolia Sons and Ivory Layne, and his tourmates Brothers McCann.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

I'll be playing songs from the new record Mixtape of the Open Road as well as some from other tunes from my catalog long with a few surprises - all in a solo fashion with a sit-in from Brothers McCann.

What have been some of your career highlights this year?

Let's see, it's been an exciting year with some great press, charting at radio, and the double rainbow and lightning during my set at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest.

What places do you like to visit when you're in Nashville?

Hattie B's, baby.



If you watched The Voice this year, you'll remember powerhouse vocalist Sarah Potenza, who blew the judges away during her blind audition. She'll play Musicians Corner this Sunday, and we couldn't be more excited.We talked to Potenza about her wild year, her go-to spots in Nashville and more.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

A slammin’ show of roots rock and soul. Mostly originals, maybe a cover song, something by David Bowie or The Talking Heads. A five-piece band full of bearded dudes, and I'll be in a crazy outfit.

What were some of the career highlights for you this year?

God, where do I start! What a crazy year. Obviously getting a four chair turn on The Voice was very validating and so special for me. But getting a standing ovation on the Grand Ole Opry wait... is this happening?! How did I get here, after all these years of pushing and working, and I am singing on the Opry. And looking over and...


Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown combine crunchy blues riffs with a vintage rock bite and plenty of swagger. Vince Gill once called their frontman a "future guitar god." We're excited to hear them strut their stuff this Saturday at Musicians Corner, when they front a diverse bill that includes gospel legends The Fairfield Four and singer-songwriters Liz Longley, Kirsten Arian and Matt Brown.

What can we expect from your set this Saturday?

You can expect to hear the energy of four guys who are very excited to be playing at home again amplified in a very loud, rock and roll kind of way.

What have been a few of your musical highlights in 2015?

We were all jazzed to sign a record deal with John Varvatos and Republic records this year, and to record a bunch of new music. Touring with Jeff Beck and ZZ Top this year was also pretty exciting.

What’s your favorite festival experience?

Standing in the rain with my best friends...


Much of Jessie Baylin's ethereal, emotionally gripping new album Dark Place was inspired by her journey into motherhood. You'll hear some of those songs when she headlines her first Musicians Corner this Saturday. We chatted with the Nashville-based singer-songwriter about her favorite festival experience, dancing to Steely Dan and more.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

An even number of songs from Little Spark and Dark Place. I am extra excited for this show because The Watson Twins will be joining me to sing on stage. We met while I was recording Little Spark in Los Angeles and they provided the dreamy back up vocals on the album. They are now more than just my girlfriends, they are family to me.

What's been your favorite festival experience?

Austin City Limits is hard to beat for me. I love Austin, Texas and its a nice feeling to be able to spend the day out in the field and then return to your hotel...

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Daphne Willis is known for her trademark goggles, a fitting accessory for such an insightful songwriter. We spoke with the upbeat Texas transplant as she gears up for her debut appearance at Musicians Corner, which happens to fall on our 100th Event Celebration. Thankfully, she knows how to throw a party.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

High energy, up tempo happy songs! I have a ridiculously talented band and if I didn't just have to be on stage with them I'd be in the audience dancing.

What’s been one of your career highlights this year?

I recently signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV- NYC! It's very exciting as they have actual moved A&R badass Mark Abramowitz to Nashville to start hitting the pop scene hard. So we are doing just that, and I'm so excited to be part of the team! BAM!

What’s your favorite festival experience?

None has been better than another that I can really mention. They are all...

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If you haven't heard Angaleena Presley's debut album American Middle Class yet, stop reading this interview and go hunt down a copy. Here, the singer-songwriter and one third of The Pistol Annies answers our questions about what we can expect from her appearance at Musicians Corner this Saturday, her favorite Nashville hot spots and more.

You're playing Musicians Corner during AmericanaFest. What do you like about Americana music? Who are some Americana artists you're a fan of?

I'm nuts for Sturgill Simpson and Robert Ellis. I think the records they put out last year were modern masterpieces. From a production standpoint, both records were cutting edge and classically timeless. And the songs... Don't even get me started. These guys are, in my humble opinion, pioneers in uncensored honesty from the male perspective. Probably best of all, they can both flat pick a guitar like it's nobody's business. I'm talking smoke rolling off the fingers... Having grown up on...


When Aubrie Sellers plays Musicians Corner this Saturday, the Nashville native will be reunited with one of her favorite artists – bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley. Stanley invited Sellers to sing on his new album A Man Of Constant Sorrow, a star-studded affair with guests like Robert Plant, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Elvis Costello and Dierks Bentley. We asked the country singer-songwriter about her favorite spots around town, having fun at music festivals and more.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

A bunch of songs I wrote about my life for my upcoming record, which somebody called “garage country” and I’d say that’s pretty accurate.

What is your favorite festival experience?

I love Americana Fest and other festivals where there’s a bunch of great people to see, but you don’t have to die in the heat all day long. Although, I had a fun experience at Bonnaroo this year, and Sturgill Simpson was killer.



Matthew Perryman Jones, one of our all-time favorite singer-songwriters, will help kick off our Fall Season this Saturday, along with Marc Broussard, McCrary Sisters and Castro The Band. We talked to handsome irishman about his love of the Pixies, his favorite local eateries and more. Watch the video for "Long Way Home From Here," shot in a sweltering abandoned train car in Nashville, below.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

Well, being that it's an outdoor daytime show, I'll be playing my more upbeat songs with a band. No shoe-gazers at this one.

You sang "You Wreck Me" at our Tom Petty tribute show last night. Why'd you pick that song? Are you a big fan?

I wanted to sing that one because it's fun. Yes, I love Petty.

Where are some of the places to hang out at, drink or eat when in Nashville?

I love the Treehouse in East Nashville for food and drink. Charlie Bob's on Dickerson for breakfast....

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Instrumentalist, producer and, last but not least, singer-songwriter Dustin Ransom has played Musicians Corner thirteen times in the past three years -- as a sideman to artists like Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz, Erin McCarley, K.S. Rhoads, and Andrew Ripp.

The multi-talented Nashvillian is gearing up to release the EP Thread On Fire, and he's shared with us a a standout track, "No One's Gonna Love Me (Like The Way You Do)."

We talked to Ransom about being a Musicians Corner superstar, getting over insecurities, and how mastering Nintendo can prepare you for a career as a musician.

You've played Musicians Corner thirteen times. That must be a record. What are a few of your standout memories?

There are so many, it's honestly hard to narrow them down. There are three that stick out to me though.

The first was playing keys and singing background vocals with Dave Barnes and Matt Wertz for the opening show of the 2015 season. Both of those guys are such good...

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When Eric Clapton taps you to open for him on tour, you know you're on to something good. That's what happened to Hunter and the Bear, purveyors of a genre best described as "British Americana." The band from London, England has gifted us with the exclusive premiere of the live video for their single "Burn It Up," from their latest EP Wildfire. Watch the video and read our interview with the band below.

Tell us about "Burn It Up."

The song is all about circumstance. It's a special one for us, we really let go with our writing and ended up with something that really worked with a full rock band set up. We'd been listening to a lot of old rock at the time and I guess that filtered through somehow. We recorded it as live as we possibly could which was an epic way to capture the energy of the track. We're really proud of it and want to replicate that live. It seems to be a bit of a dying art that we're keen on reviving.



Bobby Long's new album, Ode to Thinking, comes out on August 7 via Compass Records. Below, the British singer-songwriter who calls New York City home shares a track from the album, "Hideaway," a kiss-off to a wayward lover that splits the difference between The Beatles and Joe Cocker.

How did you write "Hideaway?"

Originally, I wrote the chorus as something different. I always loved it, but it never clicked into place. I was mucking around with the riff that underlines the chorus part, and I wanted to write something that was a bit raggedy like "Dig a Pony." I just started playing the chorus again so it came together really well.

I was actually inspired to write this about this person that I knew who just seemed to love scorching myself and people around her. So it's kind of a distant finger in her general direction.

How would you describe the new record?

It's always hard to describe, but I guess the whole album is about the songs....


Texas songwriting legend Ray Wylie Hubbard will help send Musicians Corner's Spring Season out with a bang on Sunday, June 28. The 68-year-old music veteran has been on the road touring behind The Ruffian's Misfortune, his often brilliant new album. We caught up with Ray to discuss the show, his upcoming autobiography and more.

How's the tour going? Has life on the road gotten easier or harder?

The 'Ruffian's' tour has been pretty damn great. Full houses of nice audiences who are knowledgeable about the songs and seem really appreciative of me showing up outside of Texas and Oklahoma. I enjoy everything bout touring except flying of course ... delays and having to run to barely make the next connecting flight and $9 for a sandwich at LaGuardia airport puts a damper on it.

We're thrilled that you're performing at Musicians Corner. What can we expect from your show?

I guess you would expect me to be pretty good. Of course I'll do songs that I think...


Back in April, we caught up with Andrew Combs, one of our favorite purveyors of modern-day Americana. Combs will play Musicians Corner this Sunday, on the closing date of our Spring 2015 Season. His must-hear album All These Dreams is available now.

You're touring through May and June. How are you getting around, are you driving yourself? Is there anywhere or anything you're particularly looking forward to?

Yeah, the band and I are just cruising around in a van right now. I do a lot of the driving, but I enjoy it. My tour in early May is going to be solo, so I'm looking forward to doing some fishing on those dates.

Whose music do you like to cover when your playing for your own enjoyment?

I've been trying to learn some Greg Brown songs recently.

What are some of your favorite places to eat and drink in Nashville?

I like to eat at Thai Phooket, and drink at Mickey's Tavern.



Ben and Emily Roberts of Carolina Story are married to their music, and each other. We asked the East Nashville folk duo, who will kick off Musicians Corner this Saturday with a special Main Stage acoustic performance, about maintaining the magic, their food truck fantasies and more.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

We've got a lot of new material that we've been starting to test out on our fans so you can expect some new tunes along with oldies. After playing as a duo for six years we've also been experimenting with adding other musicians and instruments into the mix so you can expect to see more than just the two of us up there.

You've played the Grand Ole Opry. What was that like?

We've had the chance to play four times. It was a dream come true. We consider it our greatest moment as a band and songwriters to have stood on one of the most notable stages in the world of music. Standing in that sacred circle where some of our...


Nashville indie folk band Humming House will return to the Musicians Corner stage this Saturday. The fun-loving, genre-blending quintet are currently touring behind their masterful third album, Revelries. We asked them about life on the road with Kacey Musgraves, rehearsal time, putting on a memorable live show and more.

How does it feel to be on album number three?

Justin Wade Tam: Like I'm 12 years old at Six Flags Magic Mountain again! It's been an amazing roller coaster ride since we started this project 4 years ago. We're very proud of this new album and are thrilled to finally have it out in the world.

What's touring with Kacey Musgraves been like? Have you gotten to know her personally?

Leslie Rodriguez: Touring with Kacey Musgraves and her whole crew was a great experience. We were so impressed by how diverse her fanbase is, and they all were so excited to see her that it made it a great experience for us because the...


We're excited to premiere "Without You," the new single from Heather Bond's upcoming album So Long. The Nashville-based, piano-playing singer-songwriter and Musicians Corner veteran teamed up with fellow songwriter Gabe Dixon for the plaintive, heart-string-tugging ballad. Look for So Long on September 25.

Tell us the story behind "Without You."

I wrote "Without You" when I was home alone, missing someone. I've always thought that it's easy to miss someone when you're lonely, but when you truly care for someone you miss them when you're happy. The melody line of the piano came to me first. I pictured that little ballerina in a box twirling around all by herself and wanted to create that sort of music box feel. The lyrics followed, and it wasn't really until I got in the studio with my Producer, Matthew Odmark that we thought it would work well as a duet. Gabe Dixon came to the studio and sang so beautifully on the song that it was then I felt the emotion was truly...


When he's not playing Avery on the hit show Nashville, Jonathan Jackson is focused on his real life band, Jonathan Jackson + Enation.

The anthemic rock group, which includes his brother Richard Lee Jackson on drums, are a tight and versatile unit, and have been playing together for over ten years. On Friday at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville, they'll kickstart the Radio Cinematic tour in support of their fourth studio album. We asked Jackson about what to expect from their set list, his predictions for the next season of Nashville and more.

It's the eve of the tour. How are you feeling?

I'm feeling great. It's been kind of a whirlwind of getting ready and preparing the various songs and everything. But we're excited. We released the album in October and I've been itching to get out on the road, once my schedule opened up, so we're thrilled.

What can fans expect from the show?

We're gonna play a lot off of the new record. We'll probably be...


Musical/marital duo Elenowen (singer-songwriters Josh and Nicole Johnson) will play Musicians Corner for the second time on May 23. They're currently touring behind their second full-length album, For The Taking, which features more of their boldly intertwining vocals and smart, confessional lyrics. We asked Josh Johnson about the songs they play when no one's listening, their food truck fantasies and more.

How did you get your band name, and how do you pronounce it?

Our band name is taken from our parent's middles names. My mom's middle name is Ellen, and I got the musical gene from her side of the family. Nicole's dad's middle name is Owen, and she got music from his side of the family. Put Ellen and Owen together and you get Elenowen.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

We'll have a full band with us, playing nearly all the songs from our record For the Taking, which we released back in January through Ready Set Records. We'll also...


Trent Dabbs must never sleep. The acclaimed singer-songwriter recently released his ninth solo album, Believer, and performed at the Ryman Auditorium with Ten out of Tenn, a tight-knit collective of Nashville artists he helped assemble ten years ago.

He also runs his own record label, produces other artists, and is one half of the popular Americana duo Sugar + The Hi-Lows. In his spare time, he co-writes hit songs with everyone from Ingrid Michaelson to Kacey Musgraves.

We asked "Tireless" Trent Dabbs about his new album, his connections to Musicians Corner, his food truck predilections and more.

How would you describe your new album Believer?

I would describe it as Hymns for the hopeless. I don't mean that in a dark way because I wanted to write songs that challenged my own thoughts and yet felt true to what I believe. Sometimes I feel like we as artists have to cater to what everyone wants to hear rather than maybe an instant creative choice that comes suddenly. I know for me, I needed to hear simple,...


Christian Lopez has been described as "a 19-year-old with the soul of a 65-year-old Appalachian mountain bluegrass musician hidden away." This week, his popular roots rock outfit Christian Lopez Band released their debut album ONWARD, which was produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Dara Sisterhen) In recent years, the West Virginia native has opened up for both the Zac Brown Band and Dave Matthews Band; because bands with their singer's name in the title need to stick together. You can catch Christian Lopez at Musicians Corner, along with The Secret Sisters, Sol Cat, Clemency and more.

We're excited to have you at Musicians Corner. What can we expect from your set?

We've got some new things planned. Piano being one of them. But of course we plan to have nothing but sweat and broken strings when we leave the stage.

What's it like being a touring artist who's yet to turn 21? Are there special challenges?

Touring is my favorite thing...


We're excited to welcome Jason Eskridge back to Musicians Corner. The soulful Tennessee native and occasional backup singer to the stars will play this Saturday's Spring 2015 Kick Off Celebration, along with Kris Allen, Viva Mexico, and Dave Barnes & Matt Wertz. Eskridge chatted with us about his recent pilgrimage to see Stevie Wonder, the secret to backing up big name musicians and more.

What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?

Some of my original songs as well as a cover or two that we enjoy playing.

You’re known for your powerful voice. Have you ever taken lessons? Do you do anything to maintain it?

I've never taken any formal lessons, but I've been singing my whole life and was very fortunate to have been surrounded by amazing music from an early age. The main things I do to maintain my voice is warm up before performances and sessions and rest it whenever I can.



On May 9, Kris Allen will help kick off Musicians Corner's Spring Season, along with Dave Barnes and Matt Wertz, Jason Eskridge and Viva Mexico. The American Idol winner turned indie musician will dip into songs from his soulful 2014 album, Horizons, produced by Civil Wars/Switchfoot producer Charlie Peacock, as well as tunes which span his entire career. We asked the affable singer-songwriter about making his home in Nashville, his recent foray into fatherhood, and the status of his next record.

How's the new record shaping up? Will it be a big departure from your last album?

I feel like each record has been a little different. I'm in the middle of the writing process right now for a fourth one and the main thing that keeps coming out is just being simply soulful. Not being afraid of that part of what I do. Having that in the back of my mind this time has really helped with writing songs for a new project. It's kept me focused. As far as it being a departure from the last record...


Now Hear This typically features Nashville-based artists, but today we're pumped to bring you a premiere from one of our favorite San Francisco folk singers, the inimitable Rachel Garlin. Garlin is a big fan of the City That Listens, and shares her unique perspective on it in this interview.

Listen to the lively "Spin," from her 5th independent album, Wink At July, out 4/21, below.

Tell us about the song "Spin," and what inspired it.

Car door open, ready to say goodbye, I was standing in the street with an old friend. She was visiting from out of town (spontaneously), and I was able to meet up with her on short notice. We were musing about how lives can get so busy, how time passes and we miss opportunities to just stop and visit. She said something like "after all, you're a human BEING not a human DOING." And as I drove away, I kept thinking about that comment, how we spend so much time doing things and getting places and sometimes we forget to just BE. And that's how I wrote the first...


We first heard Ryan Culwell on the Born In The U.S.A. tribute album Dead Man's Town, where he wrings all the pathos and vulnerability out of Bruce Springsteen's "Bobby Jean." This year he released the critically acclaimed album Flatlands, and earned raves from Rolling Stone Country and NPR.

Culwell will play a benefit for Musicians Corner at The Bluebird this Saturday, performing in the round with his friends Robby Hecht, Caitlin Canty and Aaron Lee Tasjan.

We're excited to premiere his this live video for "Amarillo," which strips the Flatlands song as bare as the building he shot it in.

Where did you shoot the video?

We recorded this video in the construction site next to the Hutton on Broadway in Nashville. We had borrowed a camera rig and only had a few minutes to use it, so nothing is planned. We just pulled in and started walking through. You don't see it here, but we had an audience of construction workers.



Will Hoge's latest album Small Town Dreams is set in his hometown of Franklin, Tennessee. It's a reflection of the critically-acclaimed songwriter's upbringing some 25 miles out of Music City. It also captures his life now, as a family man and artist, and hints at where he's going.

Hoge has always been one of our favorite storytellers, and we're thrilled to bring you the premiere of Small Town Dreams ' "They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To." It's a poignant heartland rocker that speaks directly to his roots.

What's the story behind "They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To?"

I wrote the song with Sean McConnell and as soon as we started writing it, the lyrics immediately struck a chord with me. We ended up with a song that has some of my favorite lyrics on the album.

What advice would you give someone who was going to visit Franklin? Where should they visit, and where should they eat?

It's all changed so much since I've lived there. I'd...


Bradley Warren Jr. came to Nashville by way of Fayetteville, North Carolina. His spellbinding eponymous debut album was produced by in-demand arranger and composer Dustin Ransom (Emily West, Ryan Bingham), and can be found on iTunes. Warren Jr. wrote one of the album's highlights, "Green and Red," about a girl he pined for for two years.

We're enamored with his raw, emotional sound, which melds elements of vintage rock with Nashville-style Americana. Plus, he's got a great head of hair.

Tell us a bit about "Green and Red."

A good portion of "Green and Red" was written in a little stone house over in Woodbine. I lived there for a few years. My roommates and I didn't own a kitchen table for the first year, so I'd sit on the linoleum floor and write music. I miss that house.

There was a girl I was into back then who wasn't really into me. We worked together at a place in town. It was one of those things...


You'll be hearing Dara Sisterhen's name a lot this year. The 18-year-old's debut EP Boom was produced by Dave Cobb, the man behind critically acclaimed albums by Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson.

Sisterhen's gorgeous music blends Americana, pop, and British invasion hooks with just a twinge of country. Get a sneak peak of "Easy To Fool" before the EP drops next month.

Tell us about "Easy To Fool."

I wrote "Easy To Fool" in my bedroom (like most of the time) when I was 15 years old. I put myself in the shoes of a heartbroken woman whose love went wrong because of another woman. I haven't necessarily been through it myself, but I understand how hard it must be so I created a story.

What's it like being in the studio with Dave Cobb? Is he laid back? High energy? I've heard he likes to work fast.

I guess you could say studio time with Dave is both laid back and fast. I told him my vision and he got it right away so we were on the same page and just knocked it...


When pressed, Nashville singer-songwriter Tom Young describes his music as "accidentally upbeat and ambiguously Christian." We're excited to bring you the official premiere of the video for Young's achingly gorgeous "I've Got Time," which you should make time to watch immediately.

Tell us the story behind "I've Got Time."

The song kinda takes on a double meaning, but really it's the idea of waking up to your faith after maybe a time of spiritual struggle or neglect... that is the inspiration I drew from my own life. The lyrics "they say, oh, I've got time" implies the pressure of pushing faith aside at a younger age (really at any age) to follow the status quo. However, it's also meant to be viewed as being thankful for the time given.

I had the verse riff written for a couple of months and sort of tucked it away, waiting for the right inspiration or moment to finish it. So, when I became stuck in a basement with co-writer Greg Herndon during a...


Cotton Mill Live bills itself as "a one of a kind space that showcases the best of what makes Nashville 'Music City.'"

Think of it as a super-sized house concert. Performers set up shop in an actual cotton mill-turned-residential home, and ply their trade in front of a small, appreciative audience.

Each show is filmed and later broadcast on Zuus TV. Artists like Keb Mo, Andrew Ripp, Elenowen and Mockingbird Sun have all stopped by.

Enter Alyssa Bonagura, a local songstress whose passionate fanbase includes the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb and Songwriters Hall of Famer Jeffrey Steele. The Nashville native has been performing live since the age of 3, and hit the road with Marty Stuart when she was just 13.

In this exclusive premiere, Bonagura performs the unreleased song "Gold."

Here's an interview with Cotton Mill co-founder Gavin O'Neill about life at the Mill, discovering fresh talent, his fashion tips for musicians and more.



Justin Klump is a rising Nashville singer-songwriter who originally hails from Vancouver, Washington. He's been called one of the Best Emerging Artists of 2014 by the music industry site Kings Of A&R. His current single The Night is Young has been heard on Sirius XM's Coffee House and his EP cracked the top 10 on iTunes' Singer-Songwriter Chart. Watch a brand-new live performance video of his song "Sticks & Stones" below.