Exclusive: Rachel Holder talks Curb Records, Carrie Underwood co-write and discovering her four-octave range

Rachel Holder
Spitfire and Tennessee native Rachel Holder owes her budding career, in part, to such musical influences as Dolly Parton, Lady Gaga and Nashville tunesmith Katrina Elam. In fact, the singer's current single, "Lord Help Me," is an Elam co-write, which also enlists the superstar power of Carrie Underwood and Ashley Monroe (of the Miranda Lambert-helmed trio Pistol Annies, now on hiatus). Possessing a four-octave range, Holder goes for the punches in a vocal performance that is in a masterclass all its own. However, her voice isn't something she always had control over. 

"It wasn’t until two years ago that I found out that I had a four-octave range. It’s definitely been a gradual process," she tells NashvilleGab. "It keeps growing every single day. We keep working on it. It’s not like we hit four, and we’re done. It’s more like ‘hey, let’s go for five.’"

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Rachel Holder talks Curb Records, Carrie Underwood co-write and discovering her four-octave range

Exclusive: Striking Matches says signing a major label record deal came as a ‘surprise’

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Striking Matches has a nearly cult-like following, carving out an indie-folk niche throughout Nashville and even landing several song features on ABC's hit Music City drama. The dynamic duo is the remarkably talented and self-proclaimed "guitar nerds" Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis, who have been gaining steady traction in the industry through backing of the Grand Ole Opry and a parternship with the CMT Network.

Recently, the traditionally electric musicians signed a major label record deal with Capitol Records’ new Nashville label, I.R.S. Records Nashville, something that actually came as a bit of a surprise. "Our fanbase had started growing in a way that we could see it, [especially] with the help of the ‘Nashville’ show and being on the Grand Ole Opry and how they gotten behind us," Davis tells NashvilleGab. "CMT is such an amazing partner, too, even without a label."

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Striking Matches says signing a major label record deal came as a ‘surprise’

Exclusive: “Little Bit Of Everything” writer Kevin Rudolf talks blending hip-hop with country music, songwriting & Keith Urban

Kevin Rudolf

Kevin Rudolf, most known for his 2008 smash hit "Let It Rock" (featuring Lil Wayne), is an accomplished producer, songwriter, musician and performer. Through the years, he has worked on such projects for Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and the Black Eyed Peas, flexing his producer muscles and urban know how. However, Rudolf recently made headlines with his first-ever country No. 1 hit with Keith Urban's "Little Bit Of Everything," which he co-wrote with Brett and Brad Warren.

With roots firmly planted in classic rock, citing such influences as U2, he made the decision to branch into country music because "[the genre] is in a place right now where it’s feeling a lot like the rock-n-roll I grew up on," the singer-songwriter tells NashvilleGab. "[Rock has] found its way into the country world, and it’s good to see great musicians, great writers, and a really high level of talent."

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Continue ReadingExclusive: “Little Bit Of Everything” writer Kevin Rudolf talks blending hip-hop with country music, songwriting & Keith Urban

Exclusive: Rachel Farley stirs up dust on a “Midnight Road,” doesn’t waste any time on forging her own path

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Newcomer Rachel Farley was recently named one of CMT's Next Women of Country, and rightfully so. Her brand new single "Midnight Road" samples definitive rock and pop influences, melding into the singer's charming and unique brand of modern country. Spinning a rather darker production to the typical relationship drama, Rachel is a tour de force of sass and powerhouse vocals, often earning her comparisons to pop-turned-country belter Kelly Clarkson. "To be compared to her is amazing. I never thought of living up to that. If that’s what people are hearing out of little ole me, I’ll take it!" she laughs in an exclusive interview with Nashville Gab, adding, "I’ve always loved Kelly Clarkson. Her ‘Thankful’ record is still one of my favorite pieces of work ever."

With her sights set on her debut Red Bow Records project, the budding talent has put together a bloated 16-track record, including nearly 10 songs from her previous record deal.

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Rachel Farley stirs up dust on a “Midnight Road,” doesn’t waste any time on forging her own path

Exclusive: Phoenix Stone to release new single in September

Kim

Disclaimer: All posts written by guest writers on this website are solely that writer's opinion and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the other writers and site owner. I respect their opinions and so should you, even if you don't agree with it.

Country singer Phoenix Stone hit the red carpet on Sunday, July 18, at the 5th Annual Glittler & Glam event, sponsored by the Agape Animal Rescure. Shedding light on the importance of taking care of man's best friend, Phoenix was also on hand to emcee the evening with "American Idol" Season 2 alum Kimberley Locke.

Before the event was underway, the crooner took the red carpet to talk to reporters. Nashville Gab caught up with him to chat about his upcoming new music, his recent concerts in West Virginia and what fans can expect from "Next Great Family Band," when it returns mid-August.

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Phoenix Stone to release new single in September

Exclusive: “American Idol” alum Kimberley Locke remembers “Glee” star Cory Monteith

Kim

Disclaimer: All posts written by guest writers on this website are solely that writer's opinion and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the other writers and site owner. I respect their opinions and so should you, even if you don't agree with it.

"American Idol" Season 2 alum Kimberley Locke strutted her stuff in a gorgeous gown at the 5th Annual Glitter & Glam event in Nashville on Sunday, July 28. Sponsored by Agape Animal Rescue, the whole evening took place at The Hutton Hotel and featured a night of fashion, wine tasting and plenty of appearances by man's best friend. Kimberley co-hosted the evening alongside country singer Phoenix Stone, and moments before taking the stage, both performers sauntered down the red carpet to pose and catch up with reporters.

Nashville Gab had a chance for a quick chat with Kimberley about the event, as well as her thoughts on the late "Glee" star Cory Monteith, with whom she had a passing connection.

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Continue ReadingExclusive: “American Idol” alum Kimberley Locke remembers “Glee” star Cory Monteith

Exclusive: Parmalee on surviving a tragic gunfight, remembering “Carolina” and touring in the air

Parmalee

Parmalee is a testament to survival.

After suffering a crippling incident involving a gunfight in 2010, the band — comprised of Matt Thomas, Scott Thomas, Barry Knox and Josh McSwain — bounced back, stronger and more resilient than ever. Last year, their "Musta Had a Good Time" set their budding career in motion. Their 2013 followup "Carolina" takes their superstar potential to dizzying heights and signals a breakthrough for the practically-family band.

Nashville Gab recently spoke with Parmalee about the aforementioned tragedy that sent Scott into the hospital (with three gunshot wounds), their current single "Carolina" and their Grand Ole Opry debut earlier this year (and much more).

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Parmalee on surviving a tragic gunfight, remembering “Carolina” and touring in the air

Exclusive: Songwriter Travis Meadows on writing Dierks Bentley’s “Riser,” his tragic past and finding redemption

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Travis Meadows is one of the most promising (and truly talented) songwriters to ever come out of Nashville.

His tragic past, including his first memory of his brother drowning to his drug addictions over the years, has led him to where he is today. With a cut on Dierks Bentley's upcoming record called "Riser," Travis finds that he is the happiest now than he has ever been in his life. Earlier this year, he released "Old Ghosts and Unfinished Business," an emotionally-charged seven-song set making peace with his mistakes. Previously, he released "Killin' Uncle Buzzy" in 2011, a gripping EP that helped the singer claw his way back to redemption.

Nashville Gab recently spoke with the songwriter about writing "Riser," his deep well of inspiration and how suffering changed his life for the better (and much more).

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Songwriter Travis Meadows on writing Dierks Bentley’s “Riser,” his tragic past and finding redemption

Exclusive: Julie Roberts on signing with Sun Records, ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’ and doing ‘The Voice’

Julie Roberts

Julie Roberts makes history this year as the first artist to release new music on the legendary label, Sun Records, in over 40 years. Located in the heart of Nashville, it is where such icons as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison got their start. With 16 songs in various stages of production, Julie will release her brand new record, titled Good Wine and Bad Decisions, on October 29 and promises that fans will not be disappointed, even hinting at a few once-in-a-lifetime collaborations.

Nashvilel Gab recently spoke with the singer about her new project, how it feels to sign with Sun, her favorite songwriting partner (accomplished tunesmith Chris Stapleton) and what it was like to audition on NBC's hit TV show, The Voice (and much more).

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Julie Roberts on signing with Sun Records, ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’ and doing ‘The Voice’

Exclusive: Sweetwater Rain on overcoming stage fright, love of Don Knotts and opening for The Band Perry & Little Big Town

Sweetwater Rain

Sweetwater Rain have only been together for two short years, but the band — comprised of Danny Rivera, Fred Stallcup and Thomas Hewlett — has already racked up over 100,000 Youtube views on their single "Starshine." Plus, the trio opened for The Band Perry and Little Big Town on select dates throughout the year. It would seem that such quick success would have inflated their sense of self, but that is not the case. They remain down-home boys simply making the music they love.

Nashville Gab recently spoke with the band about their upcoming album, musical influences, love of Don Knotts and the first record they ever listened to. They also opened up about which Country megastar's concert they once snuck into (and much more).

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Sweetwater Rain on overcoming stage fright, love of Don Knotts and opening for The Band Perry & Little Big Town

Exclusive: The Coleman Brothers reveal song cut from Chris Young demo, new music and more

Coleman Brothers

The Coleman Brothers have a sound firmly rooted in the traditions of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson but have mixed in sensibilities from the current trend of Country-pop. Recently, Greg and Denny Coleman opened for Dierks Bentley, who they cite as a major influence on their new music, at the Texas Toyota Bass Classic. Their chart-topping hit "Ghost Town" spent an impressive five weeks at No. 1 on the New Music Weekly Chart earlier this year, and their followup "Lonely in a Lonestar State" looks to achieve the same feat.

Nashville Gab recently spoke with the Brothers, as well as longtime musician and collaboratorDon Hutchko, who has played with many of the greats in music, including Nelson, Roy Head & The Traits and Clint Black (among others). Greg, Denny and Hutchko opened up about their musical upbringing, cutting a song from a Chris Young demo and what the future holds (and much more).

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Continue ReadingExclusive: The Coleman Brothers reveal song cut from Chris Young demo, new music and more

Exclusive: Frank Ortega dishes on a new revealing documentary, his forthcoming album and love of Lee Ann Womack

Frank Ortega

Singer-songwriter Frank Ortega hails from Phoenix, Ariz., a city that supplied him with a promising (and wholesome) all-American lifestyle. Early on, in fifth grade, he and his buddies decided to become the "three trumpeteers" and pick up the brass instrument. While his friends quit two weeks later, he continued to nurture his love of music and that soon lead him to teach himself guitar and piano, fueling his talents as a true musician.

Nashville Gab recently spoke with Ortega about his "awesome" upbringing, as well as his forthcoming album (set for this fall) and a documentary featuring some of the most prominent studio musicians in Music City (and much more).

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Continue ReadingExclusive: Frank Ortega dishes on a new revealing documentary, his forthcoming album and love of Lee Ann Womack