Born in Chicago, Andrew Belle is a recent addition to the Nashville artist community. He released his debut EP All Those Pretty Lights in 2008, and has since had songs featured in hit TV shows including CW’s “90210” and MTV’s “The Real World.” His song “I’ll Be Your Breeze” garnered nationwide radio airplay including steady rotation on Los Angeles tastemaker station KCRW’s critically acclaimed show “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” Belle’s debut full-length release, The Ladder, will be released this fall.
Location: Knoxville, TN
Venue: The Square Room
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Venue: The Southern
Location: Washington D.C.
Location: New York, NY
Venue: Highline Ballroom
Location: Boston, MA
Venue: Brighton Music Hall
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Venue: World Cafe Life
Location: Baltimore, MD
Venue: Ram’s Head Live
Location: Louisville, KY
Location: Chicago, IL
Venue: Park West
Location: St. Louis, MO
Venue: Old Rock House
Location: Oxford, MS
Venue: Proud Larry’s
Location: Jackson, MS
Venue: Hal & Mal’s
Location: Birmingham, AL
Venue: Workplay Theater
Location: Nashville, TN
Venue: Live On The Green
Location: Charlotte, NC
Venue: Neighborhood Theatre
Location: Atlanta, GA
Venue: Variety Playhouse
An Independent songwriter, living in Nashville, who has had her songs featured on more than 20 TV shows (Parenthood, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars) as well as National TV ads for Eharmony and Walmart. Amy has released 3 digital EPs and two nationally distributed full length solo recorded entitled The Other Side of Love Sessions and most recently Tunnel.
In 2012 Trent Dabbs and Stroup released a self titled band project called Sugar & The Hi-Lows. Billboard magazine called the project ‘Sweet Stuff.’ USA Today said,’The only thing better than the bluesy, garage-rock guitars is Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup’s vocal chemistry.’ Marie Claire magazine stated, ‘This Nashville duo’s sultry garage rock comes in like a lion, thanks to fuzzy guitars and Amy Stroup’s salted-caramel voice.’ She is currently on tour with Sugar and The Hi-Lows .
Andrew Belle is a Chicago based singer-songwriter. He released his debut album, The Ladder, in 2010 and its follow up, Black Bear, in 2013. Along with these albums, Andrew has self-released two EPs, All Those Pretty Lights and The Daylight.
On the theme of his upcoming release of Black Bear, Andrew refers to an excerpt from Clive Staples Lewis’s 1955 autobiography, Surprised by Joy:
The odd thing was that before God closed in on me, I was in fact offered what now appears a moment of wholly free choice. I became aware that I was holding something at bay, or shutting something out. I could open the door or keep it shut. I chose to open. I say, “I chose,” yet it did not really seem possible to do the opposite.
While Andrew’s early vocal performances have drawn comparisons to Mat Kearney and Greg Laswell, his newest work shows strong musical influence from alternative artists such as Beach House, Washed Out, M83, and Bon Iver.
Andrew’s nuanced melodies are strengthened by thoughtful, contemplative lyrics, and have served as a soundtrack to numerous hit television shows, including: Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, Castle, and Vampire Diaries. In 2009, Andrew was presented with awards for John Lennon Pop-Songwriting and MTV Chicago’s Best Breakout Artist. Black Bear was acknowledged by iTunes as a part of their Rewind: Best of 2013 list; The Ladder was acknowledged by iTunes as a part of their Rewind: Best of 2010 list.
Additionally, Andrew has spent the past four years traveling and performing with friends such as Katie Herzig, Greg Laswell, Ben Rector, Madi Diaz, The Milk Carton Kids, and is thrilled to be a part of the critically acclaimed national touring group Ten Out Of Tenn.
Andy Davis’s smart and seductive blue-eyed soul music weds indelible hooks to sly, incisive lyrics, creating songs that sound like newly minted pop-soul classics.
A Louisiana native, Davis released his first album, “Thinks of Her,” in 2004. “Thinks of Her” struck a chord on college campuses, selling out its initial print run. The original pressing of the CD — with Davis’s hand-written lyrics and stenciled cover art — became a collector’s item within months of its release.
In 2005, the remastered rerelease of “Thinks of Her” gained Davis national exposure and brought him to the attention of legendary music producer Mitchell Froom (Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello). The result of their collaboration was “Let the Woman,” a sophisticated, sonically adventurous album that ignited a bidding war. Barnes and Noble won the exclusive rights to distribute “Let the Woman” online and and in their stores all over the world. The album’s single, “Brown Eyes,” became a staple on AAA radio stations nationwide, and “Let the Woman” became a #4 bestseller.
Davis toured extensively in support of “Let the Woman”, both headlining and opening for Colbie Caliat, Jakob Dylan, Mat Kearney, Will Hoge, Howie Day, and NEEDTOBREATHE.
The following year, Davis became a prominent member of Ten Out of Tenn, a critically acclaimed collective of Nashville singer/songwriters who joined forces for a collaborative tour that was documented in the award-winning documentary film, “Any Day Now.”
In 2009, Davis returned to Nashville to record his latest EP, “New History,” which was featured in — and inspired — a recent episode of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”
In March of 2011 Davis broke back onto the scene launching a Kickstarter campaign, asking fans to help fund his next album. He ended up raising over $41,000 in 30 days, and went to LA to make another album with Mitchell Froom and David Boucher. Bringing in acclaimed studio musicians Matt Chamberlain and David LaBruyere, Davis captured an album’s worth of songs in an oldschool style, abandoning the click track and focusing on real, live musical moments between he and the musicians. The result was a new full-length album, called Heartbreak Yellow.
Heartbreak Yellow was released on iTunes Jan 3, 2012, and was immediately in the top rankings of the Singer/Songwriter genre.
A thoroughly contemporary artist raised on old-school rock and soul, Andy Davis’s infallible ear for hooks — for a well-turned phrase — and for the often irregular heartbeat of human relationships continues to engage longtime fans and win him new ones.
“This is a new era for me, being independent and calling my own shots,” says Butterfly Boucher of her self-titled album out April 10. Originally signed to the now-defunct but once mighty A&M records, her ‘03 debut Flutterby drew notable mentions from David Bowie, Madonna, Ben Folds and Sarah McLachlan. But Boucher was caught up in the decade’s label maelstrom, and was unable to release her second album until 09. Now, as not only a performing artist, but also a multi-instrumentalist, writer, arranger, and producer – she’s funneled her multiple creative outlets into the making of Butterfly Boucher with an adventurous and experimental spirit, crafting smart indie-pop with alt rock muscle.
Boucher recorded in Nashville with co-producer Jamie Kenney, and she played most of the instruments — including guitar, bass, drum, piano, synthesizers, and other odds and ends. “While making this record, I found that child-like joyful to creating music again, which I’d been craving,” she shares of her lushly layered, yet not overly ornate album.
Her joy in the process is evident on the lead track “5678!” “This song makes me super happy. I wrote it with my friend Katie Herzig — we decided to take on the challenge of writing a dance song. A couple of my sisters have mentioned that it reminds them of the music I used to make when I was ten years old, when I was just messing around and having fun with a 4-track cassette recorder. It made me so happy to hear them say that.”
“The Weather” and “I Wanted To Be The Sun” were the first songs she started recording for the album. “I was originally set on the album having a three-piece band sound to it, so it started out that way with me just playing guitar, bass and drums. However, my friend David Mead approached me about starting a 3-piece band with him and Lindsay Jamieson, and the band Elle Macho was born. It changed the whole direction of my solo album — it freed me up to experiment with no limitations on what instruments I let myself use. I started looking at each song as though I was scoring a short film, each one having it’s own world and emotions.”
And she’s not limiting her talents to her own solo work. She spent much of 2011 producing fellow Aussie Missy Higgins forthcoming album, touring as a bass player and vocalist with McLachlan, as well as working with a new pop trio Elle Macho. “Everything broadened when I allowed myself to go beyond my solo music, collaborating with others has been key to keeping my own creativity bubbling as well as my sanity!”
Boucher is dedicated to continue producing, writing and playing for other artists but it is her own music that exposes the depth of her talent. Like her previous album Scary Fragile, Television and Film have already began picking up her original songs both in the US and abroad. Stretching the gamut from sincere to playful, her high voltage electric pop inhabits a world of pure creativity where fragility and force are complementary, where indie rock accompanies heartfelt vulnerability.
Although based in Nashville, singer/songwriter Erin McCarley cut her teeth on the San Diego circuit, where she sang in a country cover band and spent her free time writing songs. She later partnered with producer/composer Jamie Kenney and relocated to Nashville, which brought her closer to her native Texas. Combining uplifting pop/rock hooks with McCarley’s wide-ranging vocals, the duo wrote an album’s worth of material before McCarley decamped to Austin for the 2008 South by Southwest Festival. Over the course of several days, she wowed enough industry personnel to secure a record deal with Universal Republic, which readied the release of her endearing debut album, Love, Save the Empty, for January 2009. Meanwhile, song placements in several TV shows (as well as a spot in the movie trailer for He’s Just Not That into You) helped promote the upcoming record, resulting in its debut at number 82 on the Billboard charts.
Nashville-based Jeremy Lister started connecting with music from early childhood while growing up in the middle of Mississippi. A son of a preacher, he began singing and learning harmonies in church at the age of two. Jeremy moved to Nashville in 2003, bringing his first EP, ‘Shooting Star’, with him. In 2005, he released his second EP, ‘So Far’, followed by the ‘Just One Day’ EP, released by Warner Bros. In support of that album, he toured with Brett Dennen and Colbie Caillat, broadening his fan base and making him a staple of singer/songwriters to watch.
In May of 2010, Jeremy joined the Nashville-based a cappella group, Street Corner Symphony, for NBC’s second season of The Sing-Off. As soon as The Sing-Off aired, Street Corner Symphony became a fan-favorite, eventually claiming the second place title in the competition. Immediately following their success on the show, The Sing-Off judge Ben Folds invited them out on the road to tour throughout the mid-west. Currently, Street Corner Symphony is headlining shows all across the globe.
Jeremy released his most recent LP, The Bed You Made, in 2011. The song ‘Sinking Stone’ was recorded by Alison Krauss and Union Station on their Grammy-Award winning album ‘Paper Airplane’. The album also features a duet by Lister and Krauss, ‘You and I’. He toured with AKUS throughout the Summer and Fall of 2011. Between touring and recording a new Street Corner album, Jeremy is currently working on his newest project ‘Set Us Free’. The title track of the album will be the theme song for the MTV show ‘The World Of Jenks’, which premieres its second season on November 12, 2012.
After the critical and commercial success of her 2011 album, The Waking Sleep, and its subsequent packed-out tours, Katie Herzig will finally releases her new record, Walk Through Walls on April 8. A celebratory, love-struck album of sublime dream pop. Herzig has spent years playing festivals such as Bonnaroo and Summerfest and touring as a headliner and as support for Brandi Carlile, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, The Fray, and as a member of 10 out of Tenn. She has had her music licensed for innumerable film, TV and commercial uses. Including over 10 songs on Grey’s Anatomy and most recently her song “Lost and Found” was featured in the trailer for Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks and in a commercial for Carnival Cruises. Herzig can be heard on RAC’s new EP with their song collaboration “We Belong,” featured on KCRW. Herzig also co-produced songs on Ingrid Michaelson’s forthcoming 2014 Lights Out album, including her first single “Girls Chase Boys.” To put Herzig in any sort of box is for it to be broken as she continues to outdo herself with each new release. Her live show is a dynamic full-band set that is as intimate as it is epic, what listeners have come to expect of Herzig, who toured Walk Through Walls this spring with her band throughout the US.
Since the release of his critically lauded debut album, Dead Language, in 2007, k.s. Rhoads has become one of Nashville’s most sought after collaborators. Whether as a string arranger, co-¬songwriter, producer, or multi-¬instrumentalist, he has come to be regarded as one of the most creative minds in all of Music City. For the past few years, when Rhoads wasn’t working on other artist’s projects, he has been meticulously crafting new songs in his pursuit of a bolder, more explosive sound. Now, with his sophomore album due out March 5th, fans will certainly not be disappointed. The Wilderness is a brave exploration of K.S. Rhoads’ rare and expansive musical ideas.
In 2008, Rhoads was asked to be one of the artists, as well as the bandleader of a highly regarded tour of Nashville musicians called Ten Out of Tenn, and this tour became the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary entitled Any Day Now. Other Ten Out of Tenn alumni include Joy Williams of The Civil Wars, Mikky Ekko, Ashley Monroe of the Pistol Annies, Butterfly Boucher and Gabe Dixon, among others.
In summer 2011, Rhoads was invited to perform with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra at WRLT’s, Live On The Green. In front several thousand people, K.S. Rhoads and The Nashville Symphony Orchestra hammered out over an hour of Rhoads’ music, all of which was composed, written and arranged for the orchestra by Rhoads himself. It was a first for both he and the orchestra.
For the production on The Wilderness, Rhoads chose to collaborate with Cason Cooley (Matthew Perryman Jones, Derek Webb, Katie Herzig). Though they had known each other for years, this was the first time they joined together on a major project. With Cooley’s subjective ear, Rhoads found the perfect musical sparring partner, and over the course of a year, they finished Rhoads second album.
Refreshingly sincere, ferocious, and imaginative, The Wilderness offers impressionable and uniquely relatable stories about life. Rhoads’ mastery of words along with his instinctive gift of composing confirms his exquisite skills as a writer, arranger and producer. To no surprise, he was recently honored with the ASCAP Foundation’s prestigious 2012 Sammy Cahn Lyricist Award, and was asked to perform in spring 2012 for the much-¬celebrated TEDx talks.
On the eve of the album’s March 5th release, K.S. Rhoads hopes fans and listeners will get to the heart of the album, which he says, ʺis about the grappling with mankindʹs feeling of abandonment in this universe, and the hope that against all odds, we can, and will, be illuminated.”
MATTHEY PERRYMAN JONES
Matthew Perryman Jones has a voice that calls out with intensity, truth and emotion. Jones began his career in 1997 in Decatur, GA, and then, after moving to Nashville to pursue music full-time, he issued his first solo release, Nowhere Else But Here, in 2000. As American Songwriter describes, “Matthew’s voice ensnares listeners with a rare authenticity and gritty strength.”
In 2006, Jones released Throwing Punches in the Dark, a departure from his previous Folk/Americana sound toward Pop Rock. In 2008, Swallow the Sea with break-out hit “Save You,” solidified Jones as an artist worth watching. Performing Songwriter Magazine noted Jones as a talent that follows “in the footsteps of Leonard Cohen and John Lennon.”
In 2011, Jones released Until The Dawn Appears which contains retellings of his most popular songs including “Save You,” whose video features Jaimie Alexander (Kyle XY, Thor, The Last Stand). Written shortly after his father’s death, Jones’ latest CD, Land Of The Living, is a courageous personal Odyssey through life’s most troubled waters of love and loss.
One of the most sought-after songwriters in Nashville, Jones builds on his accomplishments with his 2013 single, “Anymore of This.” The duet, written and recorded with Mindy Smith, was featured on ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth” in January.
Jones’ songs have also been featured in television shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Bones, Pretty Little Liars, NY Med, Flash Point, One Tree Hill, The Hills, and Eli Stone as well as in the 2012 movie release What To Expect When You Are Expecting.
In addition to Jones’ own headline tours, he has shared the bill with Katie Herzig, Matthew Mayfield, and Joshua James and has opened for such artists as Ingrid Michaelson, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Paula Cole. Jones is also an original member of the nationally acclaimed Nashville collaborative artist group “Ten Out of Tenn”.
Growing up in the rich literary and religious environment of Mississippi, and then moving straight to the country-soaked musical world of Nashville, Trent Dabbs has many stories to tell. Like Flannery O’Connor with her short story collection, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, Dabbs pieces his own spiritual and relational questions into well-crafted folk-pop albums. The ghosts of Johnny Cash, old gospel choirs, Neil Young and Nick Drake can be heard roaming the halls of his songs.
With many stories come many different sounds as well. Dabbs is the kind of artist who can reinvent himself and his sound with every record. His newest collection of stories and eighth full-length release, The Way We Look At Horses, is more reminiscent of his 2011 Southerner, which American Songwriter described as “a loosely conceptual album about his southern origins.”
Dabbs says the concept for The Way We Look At Horses came from the idea of equine therapy, or horse-assisted therapy.
“It is said that horses help us connect with buried feelings from the past and provide healing,” he explains. “Many of the themes throughout this album deal with death, love, change and the patterns we’ve adopted to help us deal with difficult times. I love the image of the horse being strong and steady and using that as a formidable metaphor to get us through.”
An artist with a unique business sense, Dabbs has forged his way through an ever-changing music industry by uniting some of Nashville’s best up-and-coming musicians in the touring and recording collective Ten Out of Tenn. Many of these artists such as Mikky Ekko, Erin McCarley, Andrew Belle and Joy Williams of The Civil Wars, among others, have gone on to have critically and commercially successful careers as performers and songwriters.
Dabbs’ own songs have found a home on television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, So You Think You Can Dance, Hawaii Five-0, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars and many others as well as in feature films. He recently saw his song “Undermine,” co-written with country music’s new golden girl Kacey Musgraves, playing behind ABC’s hit show Nashville.
Rolling Stone described the Hayden Panettiere/Charles Esten duet as “steamy,” going on to mention that it debuted at No. 7 on the iTunes country chart and sold 22,000 copies in its first week. In an interview with the magazine, Dabbs said, “Having [songs] in the show has just been incredible, because it highlights the authenticity of the song and even gives the writer that much credit.”
Despite these successes, Dabbs remains a humble and avid supporter of his fellow musicians and anyone who is looking to create authentic art. As noted in Athens Blur Magazine, “As beautiful as the talent Trent Dabbs helps introduce to the masses, it’s his own music that merits the most attention.”
Dabbs’ desire is that his audience will take the time to listen to The Way We Look At Horses as a whole work. Though many of the tracks stand on their own and will surely find their way into scripts and onto screens, it is the full story that concerns Dabbs the most. In a time of limitless distraction and instant gratification, perhaps this is what our generation needs most: to sit on the porch with a glass of tea, take a deep breath and just listen.
Tyler James is a Nashville, TN based producer/songwriter and one-half of the band Escondido. He released a number of solo-albums in the 2000s before joining Grammy Award-winning Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros in 2010 as their keyboardist. Launching Escondido in 2013 with collaborator Jessica Maros, the bands critically acclaimed debut album was followed by an appearance on Conan O’Brien and tours with Lord Huron and Wild Cub. James’ songs have been used in a number of Films & TV shows including Sony Pictures’ Sex Tape, New Girl, Brothers & Sisters, The Hills, and Disney’s Bridge to Terabithia. Recently his song “I Will Fall” was performed on ABC’s Nashville by characters Scarlett & Gunnar and debuted at No. 8 on iTunes country charts. James is one of the original members of Ten Out of Tenn dating back to it’s first tour in 2005.
Nashville. Music City USA. Most people think cowboy hats and honky tonks. However, those who really know Nashville know it’s one of the best emerging artist scenes in the country. A community of artists making their own unique brands of diverse, organic pop music in the shadows of today’s slick commercial country music industry. At the forefront of this community are ten artists who have banded together to form Ten Out Of Tenn, a collective of incredibly talented friends who, as individual artists, have released over thirty albums, had song placements in countless television programs & films and shared the stage with musicians such as REM, Sarah McLachlan and John Mayer.
Ten Out Of Tenn Volume II is comprised of Katie Herzig, Andy Davis, Tyler James, Trent Dabbs, K.S. Rhoads, Griffin House, Matthew Perryman Jones, Butterfly Boucher, Jeremy Lister and Erin McCarley. A sort of singer-songwriter supergroup, born out of an idea by Kristin and Trent Dabbs while on the road between Jackson, Miss. and Nashville. “We were thinking about how much music we like that happens to be our friends’,” says Trent. “There’s a community of people here with a lot of talent.” Helmed by Kristen, Ten Out Of Tenn has produced a compilation album, a Christmas album, three tours, showcases at music festivals like SXSW and an awarding winning documentary, Any Day Now, that debuted during the 2009 Nashville Film Festival.
No longer spinning their wheels on their own, the artists now travel down the highway together in one tour bus. They are the cream of the crop from a city of troubadours who have relocated to the Volunteer State to pursue their passion and create their art. A Ten Out Of Tenn show typically consists of each artist playing two songs, acting as their own house band, along with their backbeat, drummer Will Sayles. They say the whole is the sum of its parts, and as individual parts, these ten artists have their own successful careers and fan bases. Bring them together and their true artistry shines as they swap vocals and instruments during their shows for a unique twist on each other’s creative work.
Who knows where the road leads for the individual artists. To quote K.S. Rhoads “It’s not the road you take. It’s the direction you’re headed,” and any day now, one of them may be the next big thing. However, when you hear their music or see them perform, you realize that their real priority is not likely fame and fortune, but creating and sharing their music with people. As Matthew Perryman Jones sums it up about the artists in Any Day Now, “It’s their life. It’s what they’re made for. They’re wired that way.” And the road warriors in Tenn Out Of Tenn will continue to make their mark and lay the path for the next generation of Tennessee troubadours.
-John Tumminello, Music City Unsigned