10 Questions with Ryan Clackner and Lucy Cochran of Stump Tail Dolly


by Ryan Meehan

Ryan Clackner and Lucy Cochran (sometimes separately, sometimes together) have toured, performed or recorded with Bob Wayne, Fifth on the Floor, Shooter Jennings, JD Wilkes, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Sarah Gayle Meech, Red Simpson, Travis Harris and many others. They’ve opened for Social Distortion, Tiger Army, Hank III, George Thorogood, Unknown Hinson, Roger Clyne, JJ Grey, Scott Biram and more. Ryan has appeared in multiple music videos, including “Hush Hush” by The Pistol Annies. The purpose of Stump Tail Dolly is to mess your head up with an off-center mix of metal and country with other influences snuck in for good measure. They’ll be performing at Awesometown in Fulton, Illinois on Sunday October 9th and we are thrilled to have Ryan Clackner and Lucy Cochran of Stump Tail Dolly as our guest today in 10 questions.  Continue reading

10 Questions with Anna M’Queen of Five Knives

Five Knives @ Barton Hall, 10/18/2014. Photo by Cameron Pollack, Sun Staff Photographer.

by Ryan Meehan

Evictions, hooded masks, secret passwords, basement bootleg tiki bars, fire axes, superstar rappers…These spectacles—some planned, some not—were all part of the live shows that Nashville’s Five Knives played throughout their hometown upon forming in 2012. “Our second show we played a rooftop and set off the smoke alarms. When the fire department turned up with axes during the set everyone thought they were part of the show,” says programmer Nathan Barlowe. “We had our masks on; they had their masks on, they had their axes and people thought they were part of some kind of weird rave. It wasn’t hard for us to book shows after that”. Even though there are two resident programmers and producers in Five Knives, the band sought an outsider’s guidance and opted for producer Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons)  for their new album “Savages”. As the songs were nearly complete by the time they got to Needham’s studio, his experienced hand proved the perfect finishing touch. “He let us do our thing, and made it sound bigger and better,” says multi-instrumentalist Nathan Barlowe. “Mark’s a sound sculptor, and we were able to collaborate together to breathe even more life into the music.” The result is 13 tracks of bombastic, heart-skipping density, raw power, and laser-honed electric bursts. We are delighted to have vocalist Anna M’Queen as our guest today in 10 questions.  Continue reading

7 Questions with Anna Haas


By Ryan Meehan

With red-hot moxie to match her crimson tresses, Anna Haas is the exemplar triple threat whose dramatic appeal scintillates on her records and especially through her live performances. Her upcoming EP, PASSION/POISON was recorded in Shreveport, Louisiana at Blade Studios with world renowned producer and drummer, Brady Blade (Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Jewel, Buddy Miller) and Grammy nominated engineer Chris Bell (Erykah Badu, Destiny’s Child , U2, The Eagles). Haas moves into new territory, melding organic and electronic sounds with her signature powerhouse voice. Her sound is dynamic, with intelligent lyrics that resonate through expressive vocals and complex arrangements. Haas has reached a level of vocal and musical maturity with this sophomore release that is hard pressed to find among the up-and-coming. From orchestral to pop to blues and heart wrenching ballads, Haas’ influences span decades and genres, creating threads that tie together to make her an artist you won’t be able to forget.  When not in the studio, Haas has been taking the world by storm, touring regularly and obtaining a loyal following across the country; Her roots in both Nashville and New York are apparent in her eclectic style, “A Thousand Lifetimes” and “Eyes Open” with a Nashville influence, and tracks like “Woman of the Wild” and “Game Over” resounding of New York. Anna’s full band live show, complete with horns and fiddle, is nothing short of mesmerizing, drenched with intensity and soul. She leads her band with grace and authority, commanding the stage like Janis Joplin or Freddie Mercury, using her voice, her eyes and her body to tell her stories. Simply put, she puts on a show. No Country for New Nashville says, “Anna’s powerful onstage presence and vocal prowess is undeniable, her energy is contagious.”  Haas was winner of the Deli Magazine’s 2012 Best Emerging Artist of Nashville Year End Reader’s Poll; she sizzled with the release of her debut album, Crazy Is, which critics called “remarkable,” and “timeless and fascinating;” and is gearing up for the release of PASSION/POISON in Spring 2015, along with two accompanying music videos.  This flaming redhead has left the ground running, turning heads and melting hearts, and doesn’t seem to have any intention of slowing down.  We are very happy to have Anna Haas as our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

7 Questions with Jason Sutton of Brother Trouble


By Ryan Meehan

The only “trouble” brothers Mark and Jason Sutton are about to encounter in the near future is the head-spinning dilemma on how to cope with the side-effects of super-stardom in country music. Lavish caravan of tour buses, hit music, world-class venues, millions of fans –count the ways Brother Trouble are about to face the ‘realities’ of life…Endorsements from world-class entertainers like Kenny Chesney don’t come every day, but they did come to this brotherhood. “We had the Big Star competition goin’ on, and these guys were by far the best,” Chesney told a throng of screaming supporters as Brother Trouble blew all the competition out the doors on Chesney’s much publicized “Next Big Star” national talent search. With the praise, the brothers landed a $25,000 paycheck and the hallowed ground onstage of opening spot on the closing dates of Kenny Chesney’s jammed to the rafters, Poets & Pirates tour. A far cry from the Sutton brothers early career experience of singing for tips on the Honky Tonk circuit. Fresh on the scene in Nashville just a few short years ago, Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon put gas in their tank—both literally and creatively—when the brothers landed the rarified spot of a regular gig–allowing them to showcase their original music in one of the town’s hottest clubs. “It was like a chance to ‘go viral’ with our sound and songs,” noted Jason in a recent interview with Ellen Barnes of Gibson.com “It was one of the biggest tourist spots in Nashville and the weekend audience would take our music back to Texas or Illinois or wherever they came from.” “Nobody today is just one genre,” notes Mark in talking about the amalgamation of early influences the brother’s developmental musical chops paid homage to. Cutting their teeth early-on on the Myrtle Beach club circuit the brothers showed flashes of a creative heritage that included influences like Hank Jr.’s hard-edged honky-tonk, with pop-tinged shadings of Alabama. A shaker of Joe Walsh riff-and-hook laden blues made love to the southern fried rock of ZZ Top, 38 Special and Skynyrd. What emerged from the sands of South Carolina summers was a very unique sound that Brother Trouble solidly owned. Today, songs like Summer’s Little Angel, and Get It, Get It have pre-built a fan base for the brothers’ distinctive sound and musical vibe long before the thought of ‘radio impact’ ever had a chance to cross their minds. What has impacted with their audiences is their uniqueness. Brother Trouble has consistently stamped their brand on a free-wheeling approach to music that authentically brings the too often missed bona fide ‘kick-back and party down’ fun roaring back into the fabric of country music. With rarefied success just ahead, the Sutton brothers have hit the re-set button on a fresh wave of energy in country music! They’ve officially left ‘trouble’ in their dust, and Jason Sutton of Brother Trouble is my guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

7 Questions with Colin Linden of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings


by Ryan Meehan

Blackie & the Rodeo Kings is Colin Linden (The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn), Stephen Fearing (multiple Juno award winner), and Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Lee Harvey Osmond) — they’re all known to have successful careers of their own.  Colin has also been involved with the ABC show, Nashville since the inaugural season. His friends T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller asked him to play a tune by Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne. (He played a version of the old Blind Lemon Jefferson song, “Matchbox Blues.”) His role evolved into “guitar coach” for a number of the young actors . . .all of whom by the way, sing and play their own parts. Eventually, Colin was asked to supervise the music shoots and he continues to appear in many episodes.  There are many reasons to rip open South and review it — AllMusic described the band as, “one of Canada’s leading roots rock acts…a collaboration between three well-respected blues, folk, and rock musicians.” South marks the band’s eighth studio album and follows their ambitious Kings & Queens, which was deemed “a truly great male-female duets album” by the Nashville Scene, and featured Lucinda WIlliams, Emmlou Harris, Roseane Cash, Amy Helm, Mary Margaret O’Hara and others.  We were fortunate enough to have Colin Linden is our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading