- Access to Songwriter Showcases at 5 Shoals Music Venues on November 5th & 6th
- Access to Marriott Shoals Ballroom Showcases on Nov 5 & 6 (Headliners TBA)
- Complementary VIP Seating at each venue (first come, first serve)
- After Party Events with Shoals DJ at Swampers Bar and Grille on November 5th & 6th
- Click here to view Festival Schedule
- (2) Night Stay at the Marriott Hotel (1 ROOM ONLY)
- (2) VIP tickets to Songwriter Showcases (30+ Shows across 4 Shoals Music Venues feat. Hit Songwriters)
- Access to Marriott Shoals Ballroom Showcases on Nov 5 & 6 (Headliners TBA)
- VIP Seating at each venue (first come, first serve)
- After Party Events at Swampers Bar and Grille
John Paul White is an American singer-songwriter, and was a member of the Grammy Award-winning duo The Civil Wars. He restarted his solo career with his 2016 release, “Beulah”. White is a co-owner of Single Lock Records, which he founded in his hometown of Florence, Alabama, together with Ben Tanner (of the Alabama Shakes) and Florence financial consultant, Will Trapp. The label has signed multiple artists from the Muscle Shoals area, including the legendary "Funky" Donnie Fritts, along with indie standouts like Lera Lynn. White often collaborates with the artists on the Single Lock label.
His album, "Beulah", was released on August 19, 2016. In 2017, White guested on the song "It Ain't Over Yet" with Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash. The track appeared on Crowell's album Close Ties. In 2018, White embarked on a little publicized house concert tour to get feedback on new material. His loyal fans obliged, and this culminated with the April 2019 release of his album, "The Hurting Kind."
The LeBlanc Family includes Hit Songwriter James LeBlanc, Angela Hacker, Dylan LeBlanc and Bay Simpson. James co-wrote the hit song “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” for Travis Tritt. He also co-wrote the hits “Relentless” for Jason Aldean and “Learning How to Bend” for and with Gary Allan.
James’ songs have been on records which have sold over 25 million copies. Angela Hacker was a singer on Nashville Star and gained a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records. She now tours with James LeBlanc. Dylan LeBlanc is a singer/songwriter who has toured with acts such as Lucinda Williams, The Civil Wars, Laura Marling, George Ezra, and Calexico. Dylan LeBlanc's third studio album, Cautionary Tale, was released January 15, 2016, on Single Lock Records. His fourth studio album, Renegade, was released June 7, 2019, on ATO Records. Bay Simpson is a singer/songwriter from Florence, Alabama. His band, “Outlaw Apostles” is based in the Shoals area and they currently working on their newest record, recording several projects at FAME Recording Studios and the Nutthouse Studio in The Shoals, AL.
Monument Records recording artist Walker Hayes is a singer/songwriter originally from Mobile, Alabama. Hayes recently released his single, "Don’t Let Her," a devastatingly powerful love letter about his wife, illustrated through a heartfelt conversation between Hayes and the hypothetical man that may take his place should anything happen to him. The single follows Hayes' latest hit, “90’s Country.” His debut album boom. was released in December 2017, which he co-produced with GRAMMY Award-winning producer and songwriter, Shane McAnally. The 10 track album includes the RIAA certified Platinum Top 10 hit, “You Broke Up With Me” as well as the highly anticipated follow up single, “Craig,” which was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2018 AIMP Nashville Awards.
During the fall of 2018, Walker headed overseas with Old Dominion for his first-ever European tour. Hayes has joined the likes of Kelsea Ballerini's Unapologetically Tour and been on the road with Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and more. In January 2019, Walker set out on his headlining, Dream On It tour.
Anthony Smith is a versatile songwriter, producer and arranger who has achieved great success in many genres, including Country, Pop, R&B, and Jazz. Artists who have recorded his songs include Chris Young, Reba, Parmalee, Lauren Alaina, Ben Gallerher, Bucky Covington, Lonestar, Clay Walker, Rodney Atkins, Joanna Smith, Regina Belle, Vince Gill, Jo Dee Messina, Neal McCoy, RBD, Emerson Drive, Adam Gregory, Heartland, Donna Summer, Shane Yellowbird, Jaydee Bixby, Trent Tomlinson, Rio Grand, The Wilkinsons, Kirk Whalum, Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers, Ash Bowers, Aleksander With, John & Audrey Wiggins, Julie Reeves and Anita Cochran. Smith's hit songs include “Tomorrow” – Chris Young (SESAC Song Of The Year 2011), “What About Now” – Lonestar (also used in a national "Toyota" campaign), “I Want My Life Back” – Bucky Covington and several others. Smith is VP / Partner of Porchlight Music.
Bobby has had over two hundred of his songs recorded by country music superstars such as Toby Keith, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton, Cole Swindell, Sugarland, Brantley Gilbert, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunn, Tracy Lawrence, Trace Adkins, LeAnn Rimes, Montgomery Gentry, Van Zant and many more. Bobby has written over thirty Top 40 hits, including ten number-one singles. Bobby’s celebrated songs have earned him 2009 BMI Songwriter of the Year, two CMA Triple Play awards, a Grammy nomination for 2020 Country Song of the Year, CMA and ACM Single and Song of the Year nominations, seventeen BMI awards, and five NSAI (Songs I Wish I’d Written) awards.
A Virginia native, Emily Weisband moved to Nashville, TN to pursue a career in songwriting and has since proven to be a driving force. During her years as a songwriting major at Belmont University, Emily met Rusty Gaston, General Manager and co-owner of THiS Music Publishing. She signed her very first publishing deal with THiS Music/Warner Chappell in early 2014. She has since had songs recorded by various artists including Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Danielle Bradbery, Lauren Alaina, Hunter Hayes, Natalie Grant, Hillary Scott and Family, Pink, Lady Antebellum, Thomas Rhett, Camilla Cabello, Selena Gomez, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Raelynn, Danny Gokey , etc.
In 2017 Weisband took home a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Performance/Song, along with fellow co-writers Hillary Scott and Bernie Herms, for “Thy Will” performed by Hillary Scott and Family.
Ryan Beaver is a country singer/songwriter signed to SMACKSongs. The Texas native moved to Nashville in 2013 to continue pursuing his songwriting and artist career. His latest album, Rx, was critically acclaimed for its “visceral emotional work” (NPR) and Beaver has been heralded as an “Artist You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone. He has written songs for artists such as Ryan Hurd (“Platonic”), Steve Moakler (“Breaking New Ground”), HARDY (“4X4”), Larry Fleet (“Mix ‘Em With Whiskey”), and more. Beaver is currently in studio working on his forthcoming album, due later this year.
Josh Dorr was born and raised in the coal mining town of Gillette, Wyoming. He moved to Nashville in January 2010. Dorr has released 2 EP’s of his own since moving to Nashville. The first “self titled” and second “Sundancer” which was released in November of 2017. Since then, Dorr has been writing and working on his upcoming release which will be expected early 2020.
Born and raised in Pittsburg, Kansas, Jenn Schott was destined to have a career in music. Jenn made the move to Nashville to pursue a career as a songwriter. Since then, her songs have been recorded by artists including Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, The Eli Young Band, Gloriana, Jana Kramer, Lucy Hale, Francesca Battistelli, Jamie Lynn Spears, Billy Ray Cyrus, Pam Tillis, Lonestar, Kelleigh Bannen, and Restless Heart. Jenn co-wrote Mickey Guyton’s debut single, “Better Than You Left Me,” which was named one of Billboard’s 10 Best Country Songs of 2015. She also penned the title track of Tim McGraw’s Grammy nominated album, “Two Lanes of Freedom,” which was the namesake of McGraw’s 2013 summer tour.
Jenn’s other past radio singles include Restless Heart’s “Feel My Way To You”, Katie Armiger’s “Unseen,” Billy Ray Cyrus’ “A Good Day,” and pop artist Lucy Walsh’s “1882.” In addition to her success in the U.S. country market, Jenn has also had songs released by top-selling artists in Canada and Australia.
The Grammy nominated songwriter, Clint Daniels, was born and raised in the Florida panhandle. He gained an interest in music as a child, singing with his sister in church. Inspired by bluegrass, Daniels taught himself to play guitar by the time he turned 12. After graduating high school he moved to Nashville, TN in pursuit of a career in the country music industry. In 1998, he signed a record deal with Arista. Since that time he's continued working with various labels and publishing companies. Daniels has co-written songs for other country artists, including the following Billboard No. 1 Hits: "Some Of It" by Eric Church in 2019, "Brokenheartsville" by Joe Nichols and "Roll with Me" by Montgomery Gentry. Daniels has also penned award winning songs such as: "God Must Be Busy" by Brooks and Dunn, and "Ready For The End Of The World" by George Strait.
Brice has enjoyed a successful 25 year music career. As a songwriter he has had cuts with Garth Brooks, George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Hank Williams Jr, Randy Houser, Josh Turner, Reba McEntire, Gary Allan, Chris Young, Jon Pardi, The Grascals, Casey James, Darryl Worley, Randy Travis, Craig Campbell, Gretchen Wilson, John Michael Montgomery, Porter Wagoner and many more.
Brice’s songwriting hits include the #1 singles “Heartache On The Dance Floor” by Jon Pardi and “Nothing On But The Radio” by Gary Allan. Randy Houser’s “Like a Cowboy”, a song that also garnered Brice a CMA nomination for Song of the Year. Other recent chart toppers are Randy Houser’s debut single, “Anything Goes”, “Today” from Gary Allan, Casey James’ “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night” and Jon Pardi’s, “What I Can’t Put Down”.
Brice Long is signed to Sony Music Publishing. He is a native of Hopkinsville, KY. His self-titled album is available on iTunes or wherever digital music is streamed and sold.
Emily Shackelton is a songwriter and performer from Biwabik, Minnesota. After studying at Berklee College of Music, during which time she won the coveted BMI John Lennon Songwriting Competition, Emily made the move to Nashville. She’s penned the #1 Carly Pearce single, Every Little Thing, along with singles and cuts with Pearce, Lauren Alaina, Runaway June, Cassadee Pope, the Civil Wars’ Joy Williams, Reba McEntire, Jennifer Nettles, Seth Ennis, Sara Evans, Jana Kramer, David Cook, and more.
Several of her songs have also been featured on TV shows like Nashville, American Idol, and Dancing With the Stars. She won Music Row’s 2018 Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year award, and “Every Little Thing” was recognized as one of NSAI’s 2018 Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written.
She currently serves on the NSAI board and just signed a new worldwide publishing deal with Winsongs Music Publishing.
With the fuel of both Southern rock and country music influences pumping through his veins, it’s no surprise that Sea Gayle Music’s CJ Solar is a natural at fusing the two worlds. Combine that with Delta blues, compliments of a childhood spent in Cajun country, and you’ve got one badass up-and-comer, with the pure musical talent and vocal chops to back him up. Already turning heads throughout Nashville, Baton Rouge and beyond, having been named one of the“New Artists You Need To Know” by Rolling Stone Country, Solar says the driving force behind his untimely success isn’t fame nor fortune – it’s just a diehard infatuation with the music he grew up on.
As a songwriter, Solar had a #1 hit as a co-writer on Morgan Wallen's "Up Down" and Jameson Rodgers “Some Girls.” He has written songs for Jason Aldean, Jerrod Niemann, Justin Moore, and others. As an artist, Solar was named by Rolling Stone as a "New Artist you Need To Know" and has opened for acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, Gary Allan, Chris Janson, and Hank Williams Jr.
Curt Chambers is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, producer, and guitarist from Philadelphia who has gained notoriety for his blending of rock, soul, country music and hip hop. As a guitar player he has played and toured the world with Eminem, Dr. Dre, Jerry Douglas, Travis Barker, Rihanna, Mac Miller, Tyler Rich, Jay-Z, Eric Roberson and others.
Emily Falvey is a singer/songwriter based in Nashville, TN.She signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with SMACKSongs in April 2018. The single she penned for Big Loud artist MacKenzie Porter, “Seeing Other People,” recently reached #1 on the Canadian Country Airplay chart. Falvey has other recent and upcoming releases with artists such as Vicetone, Nightly, Josh Kerr, Jake Scott, Katelyn Tarver, Twinnie, Gatlin, Summer Overstreet, and more. Falvey was recently nominated for a 2020 AIMP award in the category of “Publisher’s Pick” for “Seeing Other People,” and was named as a member of the AIMP Nashville Songwriter Series Class of 2019, which has been categorized by MusicRow Magazine as “an indicator of what’s to come from the thriving independent music publishing community.”
The songs she has been a part of have garnered over 18 million streams on Spotify to date, and recent collaborators include Shane McAnally, Amy Wadge, Maddie & Tae, Sasha Sloan, Charles Kelley, MacKenzie Porter, Josh Kerr, Danielle Bradbery, RaeLynn, Avenue Beat, Tommy Lee James, Stuart Crichton, David Hodges, Walker Hayes, Nate Cyphert, Tofer Brown, Paul DiGiovanni, Troy Verges, Matt McGinn and Gordie Sampson.
Phillip White is a three time number one hit songwriter, an Academy of Country Music award winner, and Grammy nominated songwriter and producer that writes songs for some of the biggest artists in the business. George Strait, Luke Bryan, Chris Ledoux, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Reba, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, and Jake Owen are some of the artists that have recorded Phillip's work. Among these include the 2003 ACM Song of the Year, the Rascal Flatts smash "I'm Movin' On," the theme song for Reba's self titled hit TV show "I'm A Survivor," and Blake Shelton's "Nobody But Me."
As a performer, White has played some of the most legendary venues in the nation, including the Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ol Opry House, The Station Inn, The Louisiana Hayride, The Bluebird Cafe, The Disney Theater, and The Florida Theater, just to name a few. Phillip’s debut album, Movin’ On Sessions Vol. 1, was released on June 21st, 2019 and Movin’ On Sessions Vol. 2 was released this year. Phillip is also a board member on the Muscle Shoals Songwriters Foundation.
Another in the long line of great Texas writer/artists, Mark Nesler writes honest, heartfelt country songs in the spirit of all the country music greats-with a definite focus on today’s contemporary sound. Artists that have benefited from his songwriting talent are George Strait and Tim McGraw in particular. McGraw had a six week #1 single with the Nesler penned song “Just to See You Smile” on his multi-platinum selling “Everywhere” album.
George Strait has two #1 singles, thanks to the songwriting talent of Mark Nesler: “Go On” and “Living And Living Well.” Nesler also co-wrote Darryl Worley’s #1 hit, “I Miss My Friend.” Other hit singles include: “For You I Will”- Aaron Tippin, “Heaven In My Women’s Eyes” and “Just Let Me Be In Love”- Tracy Byrd, “Why, Why, Why”- Billy Currington, American Idol finalist Bucky Covington’s debut single, “A Different World,” and Keith Urban’s #1 single release, “You Look Good In My Shirt.”
In 2010, Nesler’s music broke new ground when one of his songs was selected as the title track for the movie, Country Strong. He also wrote Billy Currington’s #1 hit, “Let Me Down Easy” and Josh Turner’s hit, “Time Is Love”, Billboard’s most played country single of 2012. Mark continues to write every day and is one of Nashville’s most successful and respected songwriters and artists.
Hit Songwriter Billy Lawson was born and raised in the Muscle Shoals area of Northwest Alabama in a little town called Zip City. Billy had two #1 hits: ”Learning As You Go” by Rick Trevino, and “I Left Something Turned on at Home” by Trace Adkins. He also scored at #20 hit with “Irresistible You” by Ty England. Billy's song "He Ain't Even Cold Yet," recorded by Gretchen Wilson, was played in an episode of HBO's The Sopranos.
Billy was one of the 14 songwriters hand-picked by John Rich for CMT's "Gone Country," hosted by John Rich and starring Jermaine Jackson, Taylor Dane, Bobby Brown, Maureen McCormick, Sisqo, Dee Snyder, Diana DeGarmo, Carnie Wilson & Julio Iglesias Jr.
Grammy-nominated songwriter Ed Hill had his first major label single in 1989 with Reba McEntire’s “’Til Love Comes Again.” Since then, he’s received multi-million sales awards for the singles "It Matters To Me” by Faith Hill, “Be My Baby Tonight” by John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, Tim McGraw & Kenny Chesney’s “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” which was the Academy of Country Music’s Vocal Event of the Year in 2008, “Runnin’ Behind,” also by Tracy Lawrence, “Just Fishin’” and “Songs About Me” by Trace Adkins, “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” by George Strait, “Whatever You Say” and “There You Are” by Martina McBride and “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” by Reba McEntire.
He’s had other cuts on many of these same artists plus cuts on Chris Young, Sara Evans, Rascal Flatts, Gary Allen and LeAnn Rimes just to name a few. He has won numerous BMI awards and was nominated for the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2018.
Tiffany Goss is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Montgomery, Alabama. Known for her playful approach to writing and natural melodic sense, Tiffany never fails to draw out the best in her co-writers. After graduating from Troy University with a degree in public relations and journalism, Tiffany made the move to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry. She landed her first job in 1997 as the receptionist at Warner Brothers Records. It was at the front desk of Warner that Tiffany found one of her biggest Champions, then CEO Jim Ed Norman. With Jim Ed’s encouragement and support, Tiffany signed her first publishing deal at EMI Music Publishing.
Over the span of her career she has had stops at Buddy Killen Publishing as a staff writer and Curb Music Publishing as both Creative Director and a staff writer. Tiffany’s songs have been recorded by artists like Brooks and Dunn, Brett Young, Clay Walker, Delta Rae, and Chris Janson. Her talents have brought her into the world of television with placements on shows like The Bachelor, Hart of Dixie, Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, and Fox News.
From the tender age of three, Ronnie Bowman has been performing music. Starting in a family band playing churches in North Carolina and Virginia, he eventually joined the acclaimed Bluegrass band The Lost & Found. Shortly after Ronnie joined The Lonesome River Band, and became a participant in the band’s recording of "Carrying the Tradition"; an album that was named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Album of the Year in 1991. It wasn't long before Ronnie Bowman became a household name in the Bluegrass community. With the release of an additional four albums as a member of the Lonesome River Band, Ronnie also recorded four solo projects. He has been awarded IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year three times, has twice earned the IBMA song of the Year award ("Three Rusty Nails", and "Cold Virginia Night"), and was awarded the Gospel Performance of the Year award for "Three Rusty Nails".
As a songwriter Ronnie has earned a great deal of respect not only among Bluegrass professionals, but also in Country Music. Both Brooks & Dunn, and Kenny Chesney have brought Ronnie Bowman originals to #1, and Lee Ann Womack also included a song by Ronnie on the multiplatinum selling album "I Hope You Dance". He has seen continued songwriting success with three songs on Chris Stapleton's multiplatinum selling album "Traveller". The single "Nobody To Blame" won Ronnie the ACM "Song of the Year". The album received the ACM and CMA "Album of the Year" award as well as a Grammy for "Country Album of the Year".
Ronnie Bowman has achieved remarkable heights in his musical career as an award-winning Bluegrass songwriter and vocalist, as well as an award-winning songwriter in Country music. Continuing to play the festivals that endear him to the music he loves, (and has contributed so much to over the years) remains an important focal point for him.
Roxie Dean is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she earned her degree in Broadcast Journalism from Louisiana State University. The day after graduating, she moved to Nashville to pursue her music dreams. Her songwriting career includes a 2001 Nashville Songwriters Association International “Top 10 Songs That You Wish You’d Written” award for Lee Ann Womack’s single “Why They Call It Falling”(with Don Schlitz), and a Grammy nomination for co-writing “When I Think About Angels, #1 single for Jamie O’Neal.” She has also had top charting recordings by Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Sara Evans, Tracy Lawrence, Lorrie Morgan, and countless others.
A staple on the country music scene, Roxie has served on the boards of NARAS (Grammy’s) and NSAI (Nashville Songwriter’s Association International). She is still writing songs and getting them recorded! A natural on stage and behind the camera, Roxie keeps busy performing around the country on a steady basis. Dean currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee with her firefighter husband of 15 years and their 8-year old daughter.
Singer / Songwriter Barrett Baber gave millions of viewers an unforgettable introduction to a rising new artist and entertainer on the country music scene when he appeared on Season 9 of The Voice. Baber consistently delivered powerful performances captivating audiences nationwide. When the dust settled, the engaging performer from Arkansas finished in 3rd place overall logging weekly
top 10 iTunes performances and a #1 Billboard Music Charts single with his reinvented cover of the Country classic "I'd Just Love To Lay You Down."
Speaking of Baber, Blake Shelton said, "Barrett sounds like no one else on country radio. He can be a star in country music.” On the heels of a successful US tour, Baber’s full-length album "A Room Full Of Fighters" debuted in the top 10 on iTunes Top 100 Album Charts, and was featured in Walmart Super Centers nationwide as part of Coca-Cola's Summer campaign in 2017. Baber released the single "Fight On" in April of 2018 and is currently working on a new recording project tentatively set for release in early 2019.
Mark was raised and still resides in Center Star, Alabama, in the shadow of the music mecca of Muscle Shoals. He grew up loving and emulating the sounds from those Shoals studios and has had a 33 year career as a songwriter. He graduated from Brooks High in 1983, then attended the University Of North Alabama where he received a degree in commercial music in 1988.
Mark also worked locally as a radio announcer. He has had songs recorded by Josh Turner, Brandy Clark, Reba, Alabama, John Michael Montgomery, Shenandoah, Blackhawk, Terri Clark, Craig Morgan, Carly Pearce and many others. His song "That's What I Love About Sunday" was the most performed song at country radio in 2005 according to Billboard magazine and spent five weeks at number one. Also it was the #8 Billboard country song of the 2000's decade, and achieved gold sales status. His first cut was on the Shoals supergroup Shenandoah -- the solely penned "Moon Over Georgia" became a top five hit nationally. Mark was also co-writer along with Walt Aldridge on the number two country hit by Blackhawk, "Like There Ain't No Yesterday".
Mark has had 14 songs co-written with and recorded by Josh Turner. In 2016, Mark appeared as a songwriter on records by Brandy Clark and Shenandoah respectively that were nominated for both Grammy and Dove awards.
Jay Knowles was born in Texas, raised in Tennessee and educated in Connecticut. Over the last 20 years, his songs have been recorded by classic singers like George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Harry Connick, Jr. as well as today's hottest Country stars like Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, and David Nail and Raffi. His song "If I Could Kiss You Tonight" was a record song for David Nail.
Jay's professional honors include Number One songs on multiple charts, a BMI Million Air Award, and a Grammy nomination for Country Song of the Year.
Tony Lane, born in Comanche, Texas, is an American singer and songwriter. He was signed to Famous Music Publishing in 1997 and has since written songs for Lee Ann Womack, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sara Evans, and Randy Travis, among others. His noted songs include “Run” by George Strait, “I Need You” by Tim and Faith, and “Hello World” by Lady A.
We’ve all heard the story of the preacher’s musical son before: the Stetson Stratoliner-wearing, bearded dreamer who up and moved to Nashville with nothing more than a Martin and a prayer. Caleb Elliott isn’t that. His story is something wilder. It comes from some place deeper. It’s a story the lanky, long-haired Louisianan has begun to tell on his debut album Forever to Fade. The swamp-art-rock record bridges the distance between the classically-trained sideman he was to the songwriting frontman he’s become; the 480 miles between his musical origins in Natchitoches and Lafayette to his new home in The Shoals of Alabama; and the shift between a gothic upbringing inside a cult-style religion to finding mental and artistic liberation.
While riding in the backseats of tour vans with Nicole Atkins, Dylan LeBlanc, and Travis Meadows, and backing other artists like Lera Lynn, John Paul White, Donnie Fritts, and Sean McConnell in the studio, Caleb never stopped writing his own material. Along with producer Ben Tanner (Single Lock Records co-founder and keyboardist for Alabama Shakes), Caleb layers soulful string scores over that booming, dirty-sweet groove that gave name to the Muscle Shoals Sound and John Cale-inspired arrangements. Forever to Fade shows he’s ready to take the wheel.
2020 initiated a series of disappearances – beloved haunts, live shows, and our favorite bars. Among the lost things are, of course, deeper elements vanishing, some of which are barely remembered and others that are more sinister. Choirs went missing and, more to the point, became dangerous. These days, most people wouldn’t darken the door of a church to see one anyway. And so The Kernal has traded his red suit for a choir robe to announce his bracing new single “U Do U.” The color? Probably not wine. Dried blood? It makes sense. Without an ensemble in the loft, Kern has been known to conduct a seance or two.
Recalling his red-suit-clad previous incarnation “as another Gibson-flashing upstart, tinged in some vintage style,” The Kernal chronicles his misadventures on the road trying to be seen and heard. What has been lost along the way? That’s for you to know and him to find out. Maybe this is his way of coaxing a little solidarity out of us while we’re on this planet, since it’s narcissists from the Oval Office all the way down. Whatever the case, the question stands . . . “How long since you loved somebody, a little more than you do you?” “The song's about the kind of man we see a lot nowadays,” says The Kernal. “Full of himself and no one else--until he winds up on the wrong side of an HVAC man in a bar in Indiana and gets cracked across the jaw with an igloo cooler.”