Songs For The Cure Benefit

Songs For The Cure a benefit for Relay For Life
Oct 29th a benefit for the American Cancer Society was held at the Listening Room Cafe in Nashville TN . From left to right. Back row: Hack Andrews,Nile"Big Daddy"Peaytt,Ray Scott,Buddy Jewell,Rich Miller,Aaron Benward,Dean Sams Middle row...Mark(Listening Room),Josh Carroll,Dan Shafer,Misty Rae,Cody Collins,Ashley Hewitt,Katie Armiger Front,,, Chris(Listening room),Titans cheerleaders and Eddie Heinzlman. (Photo Credit: Bev Moser)

INTERVIEW: Zachary Hunter 'In Your Dreams"

Zachary Hunter's dream has always been to "move" people with his music, and now, with In Your Dreams, it is clear that he is achieving his dream. With the release of his third album, In Your Dreams, Zachary is beginning to reap the rewards of his hard work and devotion. He wrote all 13 songs on the disc, which weaves in and out of traditional and modern country music with seamless ease.

Bev: Zachary, thank you for taking time from your schedule to visit with me. How does it feel to have this project completed and on radio?

Zachary: This project took almost two years to complete, so it feels really good. It is out there and doing well, so it feels great.

Bev: What were the obstacles that it took two years?

Zachary: Several things really. One is our recording is done in Colorado and some in Nashville, so coordinating schedules is always challenge. The other thing is I was unable to sing for eight or nine months while I dealt with some issues with my vocal chords.

Bev: You wrote every song on this project, over what kind of time span?

Zachary: It is mostly work I have been saving and then there are several I wrote for this project. I went back over a ten year period and I pulled out the best of my work that I had been saving for a time when I was ready to put this CD out.

Bev: This is your third CD, how is this project different than the others?

Zachary: This is my third, but the first one of this stature and that I am releasing to radio and really pushing. The production value on this CD is amazing and we were able to really pull together some big names on the studio musicians and it makes all the difference in the world.

Bev: You been performing a majority of your life, but have taken songwriting to the next level on this album, how does it make you feel to be the singer and the songwriter?

Zachary: I have done a lot over the years, and have put a lot of focus on my songwriting, going to seminars and being around the Nashville songwriters, so seeing all my hard work and patience culminate to this is a good feeling. Being both the artist singing and knowing I wrote it and to have it accepted and receive the good comments on it is really making it worth everything.

Bev: When you read the reviews from the various publications, do you take each one to heart, whether it is good or bad, or do you try not to let the opinions of others affect you and how YOU feel about the project?

Zachary: I think I have carried forward my experience from being around seasoned songwriters and learning to utilize constructive criticism and their suggestions on making a good thing better. I have been fortunate that all the reviews seem to be positive so that makes it easier to handle.

Bev: Which do you get the most satisfaction from - Performing or song-writing?

Zachary: I would have to say performing. It is a thrill for me to watch the audience connect. And if you perform a song you have written and get that same response, it is a double thrill.

Bev: Has anyone else every recorded anything you have written?

Zachary: I have never published anything or gone that route, but I would welcome it if it presented itself.

Bev: Who are some of you favorite songwriters?

Zachary: I always enjoyed Bob DiPiero and especially some from the 90’s who were big at the time.

Bev: Who would you most love to write with?

Zachary: There is really not anyone. I seem to write better alone than with a co-writer.

Bev: What kind of song do you connect with better? A rip it up and tear it down kind or a tender ballad?

Zachary: I think it depends on the material, but I lean towards the ballads as they tend to grasp the emotions of the audience more.

Bev: What inspires you when writing a song?

Zachary: I listen to a lot of other material and evaluate what others do and listen to lyrics. So I am constantly thinking of ideas and being inspired by what I am listening too.

Bev: There are so many talented female singers in country. Who would you like to duet with?

Zachary: I enjoyed the work Kathie Ballie did while we were recording this CD, so I would like to do something with her. Of course if I ever get to a point where I can pick and choose, I would love to do work with Martina McBride.

Bev: Where do you envision the direction of country music to be in the next five years?

Zachary: I think with anything there is a pendulum and it seems there is a change in tastes of the listeners, how soon it comes back to the traditional country music I don’t know. I think with the emergence of the crossover artists right now we will have some mixture in the country music scene for awhile.

Bev: Are you political? What do you think of the political candidates using artist's songs as they campaign?

Zachary: From an artist standpoint it is great to have your music heard, but I would want it to reflect the values and meaning of the song as intended when written.

Bev: If you had not chosen country music what would it have been?

Zachary: I think I would stay in the family so to speak and go with Bluegrass or Folk.

Bev: Do you think the turn in the economy will hurt the industry as far as CD sales, touring etc..?

Zachary: I think so. I believe it is unavoidable as everything is taking a hit right now. I think good music will always prevail as it is a communicator and helps people deal with tough times, so people respond to that and it acts like an insulator.

Bev: How are you getting this CD out to the public? Plans of touring with anyone or utilizing the websites?

Zachary: I am utilizing all of the websites and hoping there is enough impact to generate the demand for touring. My CD’s are in stores, we have not thought of all the opportunities to expose it as of it, but we are working hard on it.

Bev: Do you play regularly anywhere?

Zachary: I was up until about six months ago in CO at the Wildhorse Saloon in Durango, but recently no, I have been focusing on finalizing the details on this project.

Bev: Thank you very much your time and good luck on everything with this and all future projects.

Zachary: I appreciate that and enjoyed talking with you as well. It means a lot to have you take the time to get to know me and let me share a little about the CD and the songs on it.

For more information find Zachary Hunter at and

ARTICLE: Alayna Kraye "Sinners Child" Showcase

Imagine a stage complete with ramps, a multitude of stage lighting, complete with fog machines, back-up singers dressed in skimpy form fitting costumes and out of nowhere, emerging from the rafters is a beautiful artist, dressed in a black and white striped tuxedo cut to expose the mid-drift and accented with a top hat. This is not your ordinary Nashville artist showcase. This is the next rock’n sensation to hit the music scene.
On October 14th, Twenty-five year old Alayna Krye entertained invited guests at an exclusive showcase premier held at Soundcheck Studios in Nashville. Friends and Nashville music executives experienced a show complete with colorful costume changes, non-stop action, filled with over sized sledge hammer smashing, chains and a lot of leather and spike accessories.
A female version of Alice Cooper meets Steven Tyler would best describe the atmosphere. Her bio says it all about her musical talent .“With every note from the haunting piano ballad of "Sinner’s Child" to the guitar wrenching "Liar," her voice is like a freight train on a collision course with your soul.”

Alayna can nail the high notes, and soften it up on her ballads. Her vocal abilities were able to shine through while performing her action packed showcase. I must say her choice of songs were chosen well, written and delivered with a passion. Alayna stands out from the crowd with her originality and delivers an outstanding performance from the dark ballads to the energized opening act.There is no doubt she can entertain by herself, but she also had her dancers and band, and all together it forms and act you do not want to miss.If you have an opportunity to see Alayna Krye perform, drop everything else on your schedule and go!

For more on Alayna, check out or

INTERVIEW: Michael Austin Lead Singer of Austin Law

By Bev Moser, Moments By Moser

Austin Law calls it “California Country”; a country-rock group from Southern California releases its debut CD, titled Neon Halo, with the same name as their 1st release which has been receiving welcoming reviews and radio requests. I had an opportunity to chat with Michael Austin, lead singer, about the band, the music and the story behind this new group moving up the industry ladder two rungs at a time.

Bev: I am very happy to have this opportunity to visit with you. Neon Halo is out and is getting good reviews, requests for air play on radio, tell me how did you choose this song to be your debut?

Michael: When we were in the process of song selection, this song actually almost did not make the album cut, but I had good vibes about it and knew it was one that a lot of people could connect with. I knew it had a story I could deliver and kept seeing things in my mind, so I pushed for it. And we also then decided to name the album the same name.

Bev: How does it feel to finally hear your song on the radio?

Michael: It is so amazing. I have had this dream since I was a young kid and it is surreal. The first couple times I heard it I was driving and I had to pull over and make sure it was not my cd playing by accident. It is every feeling possible all at one time.

Bev: You have a “who’s who” list of some of Nashville’s best songwriters on this project. How did that come to be?

Michael: I have been working with Eddie Gore for some time doing demos for other artists and as we began discussing this project, we used my three song demo to shop for other writers and we were able to dip into the “A List” writers. I feel very fortunate for that. Nashville is a very family oriented city and once you are embraced by this, you want to give right back. So we really worked hard to put a voice to the songs and make the writers proud of what we did with their work.

Bev: When choosing the songs for this project did you try and incorporate a certain flow of similarity or did you simply pick the songs based on personal opinions?

Michael: It is exciting to say this album has something for everyone. We did not want it to be a project with one or two great songs and the rest tempted the listener to hit the fast forward button. I feel the tie in is that all the songs have great stories to tell and mean something. When recording a song if the artist does not feel some relationship in some form or fashion or a connection to it, it is not going to sound good to the listener. We really looked for songs that have good stories and something that all of us in the band can relate to somehow.

Bev: Eight musicians make up Austin Law, that is a pretty big hurdle in today’s music society, how did you arrive at a group this big versus you as a lead singer and a back up band?

Michael: I think the closest successful group to us would be Asleep at the Wheel, so yeah, we are bigger than most out there right now. I come from a big family and I think it takes a lot of people to make things work, there are so many parts that are crucial to getting the sound you want and I wanted that to come out in the music. We are all “family” now; we really did bond and have the connection. We want to share our talent, not become millionaires, but, if it happens, great! We really wanted the live sound to be what you hear on the album, and to do that, you need all the same contributions that go into making the album in the studio.

Bev: Had you considered being solo with a backup band?

Michael: In the beginning we did discuss it, but once we knew everyone, it did not seem right to me because they are putting just as much into it and sacrificing just as much, so in order to keep the values and connection, we opted to be a group.

Bev: How did you come together as a group and how long have you played together?

Michael: I had been in Los Angeles and was in line at the Nashville Star auditions and met a fiddle player named Aubrey Richmond and we got along great, sang a lot in line and chatted while we waited our turns. We both ended up making it through to the next couple rounds, and we spoke more at each one, and I brought up the band idea and she knew some people who were looking to put a band together too. We started the audition process small and it ended up almost like American Idol with numbers and name tags to keep track of them. By the end of the day, we had the line up we have now. So all this came to be because Aubrey and I met in line chasing other dreams.

Bev: The name of the Group is “Austin Law” based on your duties as a San Bernardino County Sheriff and Austin after your last name, had you considered any other names or how did you arrive at this name for the group?

Michael: We did consider others, but when we were going through the process of thinking of names as a group, everyone kept using Austin in the name and eventually we arrived at the combination we have now and it just felt right. It is an honor that everyone wanted to use my name in the group, but we truly are ONE and it is not just about me.

Bev: How long has the band been together?

Michael: We started in March of this year and for us to have put things together and arrive where we are already has really blown people away. We are having fun and working hard, but the greatest feeling is to silence the doubters when we play. We are a very tight group that blends together naturally. Everyone shines and I love each one to death, I am proud to be part of this group.

Bev: How did you choose to use Eddie Gore to produce this project when you are from California and he is a Nashville producer?

Michael: I had been doing demos in Nashville for awhile, and met him at a studio and had a very comfortable feeling. We decided to do a couple projects together and things just went from there.

Bev: When you play live, what is the most requested song?

Michael: There are two songs we have right now that people sing back to us, one is “You Had Me From Hell-No” and “Friend of Sinners”. Both are great songs.

Bev: As a group, or individuals, do you write as well as sing and play?

Michael: Everyone is a writer, some have degrees and can compose symphony music, they are awesome and amazing, and it brings so much to the table collectively. We only put one cut of our own on this project because I am a firm believer in supporting the writers in this community.

Bev: You have been in the Air Force and served during the Panama Crisis, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, you are an active member of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office and now releasing a country CD – how does all of the life experiences you have been through come through in the music?

Michael: I think that with me seeing life on both sides of the fence you see everything so much differently. I have seen the bad, ugly and negative sides of our society in war and daily in my job, but I also see and experience how music can balance that out and bring joy and peace to people. I explain it as DUALITY. I have support on both sides so the realist in me knows that you work what you have as best you can and as long as you can and see where it takes you. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the world.

Bev: Had you played in bands prior to forming Austin Law?

Michael: There were a couple hometown local bands I had played with and we did well for where we were, all professional people who did not want to explore the next level.

Bev: Who have you enjoyed sharing stages with, or been the opening act for so far?

Michael: I have opened for Michael Peterson and Ty Herndon, Keith Urban way, way back. I have been on the same line up with some major artists, which exposed me to the dream I am following now.

Bev: Future plans? What is all in the works?

Michael: We have ten dates at the National Finals Rodeo and have some great offers for New Years, then some fairs and festivals coming up, including the Wagon Wheel festival working with Miranda Lambert.

Bev: Focusing on you a little, since you have ties with both the military and law enforcement they both tie in somewhat with our political system. What are your personal feelings on politicians using a song in their campaign?

Michael: Well if it fits and makes sense, then I am for it. I do not think anyone should just use a song without the artist or writer’s blessing and being behind them. If there is a writer and artist who agree with the values a politician stands for and it enforces those values, then music is a great voice and can reach people far and wide.

Bev: I know you have a bonus track on the CD, is there a story about the bonus song?
Michael: There is an interesting story behind this. We just were invited to the White House to sing a song called “In America” that I wrote and it is going to be the bonus track on our CD. I had been out one night at a night club and heard these four guys bad mouthing our country and I went home disgruntled and upset with what I heard. I am a very patriotic person. When I woke up the next day, one of my guitar players called me with a melody in his head and together we wrote this song. It was one of those moments when we knew we had a good song. We laid the tracks live for the demo version and it had so much impact we really knew it had to go on the album.

Bev: Are you hoping or planning to write with anyone specific now that you are more familiar in the music circle?

Michael: I have written with Randy Hauser, and am working on locking down a couple sessions with John Rich soon, I will write with anyone who has a story to tell. Gary Hanna is a great writer, I would love to write with him. Troy and Eddie of Montgomery Gentry are a couple more I would enjoy writing with.

Bev: The infamous question of what you want people to say about you 50 years from now, what is the impression you want Austin Law to leave behind?

Michael: I would love to have a song like the impact the song “The Dance” has on people, but as a group image, I hope people will see how we made an impact on society. I hope we are known as the band that remembers everyone, and we made no one feel little.

Bev: If you could pick someone to do a CMT Crossroads show with, who would you want to be your opposite from the Rock world or a different genre than country?
Michael: I would have to say, the original group of Journey. “Faithfully” is like the anthem of this business. Sharing the stage with them would fulfill my dreams. I think we could do some great things together.

Bev: Michael, I really want to say thank you very much for your time, and again for inviting me to share this time with you. I want to wish you much success with the CD project and your future in country music. I look forward to meeting everyone in the group and seeing the show live.

Michael: Bev, you are so welcome and I look forward to talking again soon and thank you for your time and interest in Austin Law.

For more information, visit or

REVIEW: The Springs, Teens On A Mission

On a recent trip to Nashville to attend the Inspirational Country Music Awards, this young group of artists and musicians played several showcases introducing themselves to the music industry and giving the audiences a taste of their amazing talents. The Springs, is a group of young music artists currently ranging in age from 16 to 19 and their mission is to bring listeners back to family friendly Christian and Christian Country Music.

I attended one of their showcases and was very impressed with the range of music this young group brought to the stage, and obviously so were those who cast their votes for the ICM Awards, as they walked away with the 2008 Inspirational Country Youth Artist of The Year Award.

Teens on a Mission is the name of their debut CD, and it is filled with positive messages concerning the tough choices and difficult situations we face as we travel this journey we call life on earth. “You Are An Angel” was recently released to radio and is about the need to help one another during the hard times.

“They Chose Love” is a personal favorite of mine, which I can hardly listen to without it tugging at my heartstrings. It is about a young girl’s decision to give her child up for adoption when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The lyrics are delivered with compassion, hope and courage by 16 year old Kristie DeWolfe.

Another song which is easy to relate to and showcases the vocal talents of 18 year old Stewart Holcomb is called “Ugly” as it relates to the images young girls see on billboards and in magazines and how they compare themselves to these photo perfect models when beauty actually comes from the inside.

The Springs are very busy playing music festivals and opening concerts for well recognized artist such as Sara Evans, Aaron Tippin, Craig Morgan, Steve Holy and Kid Rock. Soon to be a household name themselves, these young artist hold promise not only in achieving their goals to make great music with the harmony of their musical talents, but also to fulfill their mission to spread the messages of hope, peace and love to listeners around the world.

For more information on The Springs you can find them at and

INTERVIEW: Charlie Allen

Charlie Allen has been around the music business all his life. At a very young age he was opening and working with acts who are now country legends, artists such as Loretta Lynn, Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr. only to name a few. Charlie and I settled into some comfy corner chairs in a local coffee shop to discuss his career, past and present. His new CD is called “That Was Then, This Is Now” and we took some time to dig a little deeper into some of the lyrics and meanings behind the music.

Bev: I am so excited to have this opportunity to sit down and share conversation with you. Your musical career has spanned many years and you have had success and seen the down side as well. How has each contributed to the current project?

Charlie Allen: I have been around forever; I have seen the good side and the bad side. All of it was a lesson. Through the good and the bad I have learned a lesson. One thing I learned was that you learn who to trust in this business, because sometimes people know what they are talking about and other times they do not.

Bev: You were seven when you seriously got into the music business. Nowadays it is more or less unheard of with all the changes in society to allow someone so young to be working as hard as you did at that age. Do you think if then was now, the outcome would be the same or have things changed a lot over the years?

Charlie Allen: I was seven; I jumped into this business head first. I think it does not matter if you are seven or fifteen, when you really look at it. There are so many people out there who are dreaming of reaching for the stars, but only a few know how to really reach and be able to grab them. As a kid, all I knew was being a childhood star and had the world in my palm thanks to my dad and mom and my uncle who put me out there. I really did not know what was going on, I was just working. I was hanging out with all the stars and it was a very fun part of my life.

Bev: You signed your very first recording contract with Decca Records when you were very young, how old were you?

Charlie Allen: I think if I remember correct maybe around 12 years old. It has been awhile. (laughing) I do remember they came to see me one night and I really did not think much of it, I was just singing and they said they were interested in signing me on their label. We actually had another label too, but dad signed with Decca. And not too long after that, my mom pulled the plug and said she did not want me to be working so much at such a young age. It was hard, I had already been doing it for several years at that point and she just was taking it away from me, but I know she had my best interest at heart. She saw I was working harder than most adults at that time.

Bev: I know you also hosted a television show – probably before you were old enough to shave, how old were you? Do you still have tapes of those shows?

Charlie: I hosted a show out of Bristol, TN for awhile and had a really good time but I would always hear people asking me “shouldn’t I be hosting you instead of you hosting me?” I was about 12 or 13. I do have copies of them somewhere, the crazy thing was, that it really was more and more of a job for me every day and it was fun, I learned a lot from it.

Bev: Coming from a family who was very involved in the business, your mom is a member of the Bristol Hall of Fame and your dad was an artist manager, how has that impacted your career?

Charlie Allen: I heard mom singing all the time and I guess I became involved as I listened to her sing and write, then I began to sing around the house too and next thing I know dad comes in the house and says, “son I got you on stage with Hank Jr tonight, opening the show for him”. I had no clue what to say. I had to practice with tapes for three or four hours before every show and then climb up on stage with a live band and do it.

Bev: I know you play a variety of musical instruments, the guitar, piano, steel guitar and drums, do you have a favorite?

Charlie Allen: I love the steel guitar and enjoy the keyboard .. but any guitar really, it is been part of my heart for years, so it is my favorite of all I play.

Bev: Of all the songs on the new album, which is getting the most popular or favorable response and most requested and why?

Charlie Allen: It is hard to say which is a fan favorite or radio favorite. I have to say my favorite is “I Don’t Have Forever” .. and I also like “I Did This To Me” and we have had a lot of positive reaction from it. “See If I Care” is another one getting a lot of talk. I feel like I am very lucky to have so many great songs on this record, because they do not just come easy like that. The best feeling is when you arrive at a radio station and they have been playing the CD and you start playing and they actually know the lyrics and can sing along with you.

Bev: I know you have written many songs over the time span of your career, which is your favorite ?

Charlie: One is “Grandpa’s Recipe For Life”. It is a song I co-wrote with Tommy Stampley in New York City on the 30th floor in Manhattan. Several people have wanted to cut the song, but we keep putting off releasing it. It will be a great song for my next project.

Bev: You chose the name of the new album to be “That Was Then, This Is Now” which describes your life, or your career in general, are you trying to send out a message to the music industry and the country fans with this?

Charlie: Diane’s (Diane Delena, River Run Records) brain actually caught that and came up with the album title. I was so busy writing songs for this project and for other artist’s that I did not take time and I think she did a fabulous job with it.

Bev: You made a comment about a song “having a hook that speaks to people’s hearts and that it is what keeps you going” … can you elaborate on that comment?

Charlie: I find often when your heart starts to talk out loud, it is when it is happiest or when it is down. And when you are writing songs, you have to take a hold of that and run with it when you are listening to your heart. Those truly are the best songs. Sometimes I am too hard on myself when it comes to writing songs because I want them to be like me, but not every artist can be me or sing like me or be who I am, so I have to let go of that.

Bev: Do you find yourself writing so true to yourself, that your music tends to be autobiographical?

Charlie: Oh yeah, definitely. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you just don’t know what you will write that day. Or if you are collaborating with another writer, we never know what we will come up with, we are just trying to break the glass and come up with a big cut just like everyone else is.

Bev: How many projects have you released total?

Charlie: I have 5 CD’s, but singles I have released 15 to 18.

Bev: Let’s talk marketing. There have been so many changes in how an artist is promoted and the music is made available to the fans that purchase it, what are your thoughts and feelings on the digital world we find ourselves in right now?

Charlie Allen: It is a door open to everyone in the industry that gives everyone a chance. When it comes to radio it is so cut throat. The ability to be online and listen to other artists and get to know them and listen to their music gives everyone a chance to breathe in this world, instead of just having ten major labels pushing their artists and that is all we hear. And it is such a got-to-have-it-now world, that the digital availability makes it wonderful for the fan who just heard you sing a song live and wants to get it for their ipod.

Bev: What has been your most difficult hurdle this far in your career?

Charlie Allen: I think when you have been at a place in your life when you feel like all is going great and then suddenly it is taken away from you. You never know what is going to happen.

Bev: If you had your choice of anyone to write with who would it be?

Charlie Allen: My favorite for the longest time was Earl Thomas Connelly, but I have been writing with Brian G. White, who is just a fun loving, happy go-lucky person and you go in there and do the song writing session and you walk out with a smile on your face knowing you just wrote a good song. He does a really good job of that.

Bev: Same questions, but performing, anyone past or present you would love to perform with?

Charlie Allen: Without any hesitation, I would choose Willie Nelson. I had that chance many years ago in Ft. Worth when I was a kid, but I have not since and I would love to be on stage and perform with him again. Willie is an inspiring writer and he has an ability to really paint a picture when he performs a song.

Bev: Worst experience on the road?

Charlie Allen: About 10 or 15 years ago we were coming back from a show, and we had this big old green station wagon that we called the gator. We broke down and the tire had blown on one side, so we had to take out all of the equipment in the back so we could change the tire and the other tire went BOOM. I had a 1966 Stratocaster, the prettiest guitar you have ever seen, and I had to give it up to trade for new tires because I had no other choice and had to get to the next show. There have been so many crazy things that have happened in all the years I have been out there.

Bev: As both an artist who performs and write – if you had to choose to do one or the other which would you choose? Or could you only do one?

Charlie Allen: Ohhhh man, that is such a big part of who I am. I would have to say performer, but my heart is in writing, so it would be tough.

Bev: Any embarrassing stage stories?

Charlie Allen: One time in Daytona Beach at the Rockin’ Ranch, I got wild one night and started jumping up and down and I went through the stage. I could not get out. I guess people thought it was part of the show for me to be stuck like that, but I was really hurt. It was an old wooden floor and all I can remember is I was just trying to get out.

Bev: What do you enjoy most about being in the entertainment industry?

Charlie Allen: I really enjoy the people I get to meet and listening to other acts. I really enjoy a lot about the business. I have seen and experienced so much in the span of my career. I truly feel God has blessed me.

Bev: Is there any aspect of the business side of things you wish you did not have to contend with?

Charlie Allen: When you have a song, and you feel you are ready to run for radio and you hire promoters, and they do not do their job, then you get cheated, because what people do not realize is the industry and business side is such a money hungry animal. You spend thousands and thousands to get a song done and then you just spent a lot of money and get nothing back for what you have just put your heart and soul into. So I have learned to ask my team if they like my music or do they love my music, because I really need to be partnered with people who believe in the song and believe in me as an artist.

Bev: Not to say you are old by any means now, but you have already been in the business a long time, but, looking back at the life of Charlie Allen, what do you want to be remembered for most?

Charlie Allen: I want people to ask “who is this guy behind the glasses, and who has been out on the road since he was seven years old.” I get to live the dream people do not get to do everyday. So I want to be remembered for being the one who God really gave a blessing to and put out here to sing all my life.

Bev: Is there anything else you would like to add or say about the album we did not cover?

Charlie Allen: I was at a point not long ago when I was really feeling like my career was over. I mean I just really felt like I could not get a break. And I sat down one night and wrote “I Don’t Have Forever” and the very next morning, I made one phone call, and everything started to fall back in place. So the old saying of when you least expect it, expect it, because it is so true. You just have to believe.

Bev: Charlie, I have really enjoyed our time together today, and wish you great success with you career and this CD. Thanks so much for asking me to join you.

Charlie Allen: Bev, I really appreciate your time too, and happy you really love the CD. I look forward to seeing you again. Thank you so much.

For more information on Charlie Allen check out his website or

INTERVIEW: Thompson Square

“Not Far Enough” the new CD project released by the new country duo, Thompson Square hit the shelves in August. I caught up with the couple and chatted with them about music, love and how combining both makes a difference in their lives. We started at the beginning and looked to the future as we spoke of how everything in life has a meaning and a purpose, and what it feels like the moment you understand some of the special moments we are given.

Bev: Shawna & Keifer thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with you about your new CD. Your first release as husband and wife is called “Not Far Enough” , which came out at the end of August. What has been the biggest and most common reaction to the song when people hear it?

Thompson Square: It’s all been good. It is very exciting. One of the things we do get quite often is that people cannot really express or decide who we sound like and that is the point we are very proud of that. If people compare you to other artists and say you are unique in the way you sound, then that is just a great compliment.

Bev: In a sense, your story of following your dreams and finding love along the way is a song in itself. Are any of the songs on your CD auto-biographical?

Thompson Square: We think so. “Little White House” especially is a reflection of who we are and how we feel and about our relationship. “Keep on Keepin’ On” is another written during a time we were apart a lot as our career was just starting and how hard it was to be doing what we love and yet missing the person we are in love with. Our relationship works best when we are together most of the time, because our desires are to do the same things. “Then There’s You” is written about Shawna, so yeah there are a lot of songs on here that are very personal.

Bev: Do you both write songs ?

Thompson Square: Both of us write and one or both of us had a hand in writing the songs on this project. We have found that the songs you have lived and been through are easier to write and perform because you can put so much of your own emotion in them.

Bev: Do you feel a connection with your fans and audience as you perform certain songs?

Thompson Square: Ohhhh yeah. Especially songs like “Keepin’ Up With The Jonese’s”. We have friends who have or have had addiction problems and have had them tell us how this particular song really hit home with them. One show an older man came up to us and you could tell he had been crying and was on the verge of crying again and he was so emotional and said “you just sang my life story in three minutes”. His wife was an alcoholic and he had battled her addiction with her. Those are the moments that make such a difference.

Bev: Do you feel you have any added pressure filling the shoes of past country couples?

Thompson Square: There is a pre-conceived notion that if you are a married duet singing couple that you are expected to sing these sappy love songs to each other. As far as added pressure, no. The thing about us is there is nothing out there like Thompson Square. We are starting out from the beginning of our careers as this, not coming together after both having established our own individual careers. We were really careful not to do that as we put this project together and feel the power we have and what makes it fun, is the ability to sing guy songs, girl songs, and can also do something and look into each others eyes and mean every single word of it. We both can sing lead as well as harmonize and what we have is refreshing and new.

Bev: When you are not on the road, what do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax?

Thompson Square: Relax? What is that? I don’t relax much (Keifer). I love what I do, but I have recently bought a motorcycle, so I am enjoying working on that. Shawna says, I love photography so I will go do some of that and I am into beading and making jewelry. We do love to watch the TV show “Lost” we are very addicted to that. We have a studio we have just completed in our home, and that has been our project away from work, not sure how relaxing it is, but it is what we have been doing.

Bev: Since you both have leads on different cuts throughout your project, is there any friendly battles that go on when deciding who gets the lead vocal and who will harmonize or do you flip a coin?

Thompson Square: When we were working on the record, I (Shawna) really wanted to do the lead on “Keepin’ Up With The Joneses” and in the past Keifer had always done the song, but I begged him to let me do this one because there are women alcoholics too and you do not hear as much about that. So eventually we recorded it that way.

Bev: How long did it take you to complete this CD?

Thompson Square: It took well over seven months. We took every song and tried it out both ways with each of us doing the lead, and same with instruments we really gave attention to the detail of every aspect of the production to make the song the best it could be.

Bev: I am sure this is not the first time you have been asked this, but, how did you arrive at the name Thompson Square?

Thompson Square: We battled this out a long time trying out different combinations and this just came back to us time after time and the more we said it sounded good. The Square part can be a metaphor for many things, from the mathematical concept of two of us so “squared” and the square as a box or a home and being a place of comfort, and it is also a landmark so it represents a lot of facets of who we are and want to be. It is a symbol of a town square and small places, where we both come from so it is many things.

Bev: Most of the songs on your cd have messages of simple lifestyles, falling in love or a “feel good” quality about them, do you intentionally write and record this kind of music or did it just happen on this CD?

Thompson Square: Subconsciously it came out that way. It is the kind of people we are and it shows in our work. We were at a time and place that things were great and are great and it just all worked out.

Bev: Each of you came to Nashville separately to land a career in music, did either of you ever have a duet in mind?

Thompson Square: Never. We always imagined solo careers and it is not fun anymore to get up there and sing without each other. I think when you realize your purpose and can honestly say you have found what you were meant to do, then you know it. We are so much stronger and better together.

Bev: How did you know or when did you realize that you had something magical when you sang together?

Thompson Square: We had done our own shows separately and then once in awhile when one of us was at a showcase or a show, the other would join them on stage and we would do a George Jones and Tammy Wynette song or something and the room would go quiet and we had everyone’s attention and afterwards people would approach us and encourage us to more together. One specific time was when were doing a show, and a good friend of mine in the industry who I respect with utmost sincerity heard us and he told me how it just grabbed him when he heard us perform together and his words had a major impact on our decision that we should be duet partners and not try and be solo artists.

Bev: If you could change any one thing in the country music industry, what would you change?

Thompson Square: We wish that it could be a little more like it used to be, for example Coal Miner’s Daughter when they went around from radio station to radio station and if they liked it, they played it. There was not so much political involvement. But we think that the internet has opened up that free enterprise aspect again and people are able to sell worldwide. We literally have music in every corner of the globe and that in itself is just really cool, because we would not have had that chance to let that many people hear our music let alone sell music to them.

Bev: Besides the music, do you have any other aspirations in the entertainment industry? Acting or producing?

Thompson Square: Keifer, yes! I always aspire to do more. I actually am going to take on some producing soon, so once this project is kind of out of our hands, then I will move on to that. And acting is possibly in our future very soon. We are working on a project to do some TV to add to our exposure as artists, there is some things in the works already. So sure we aspire to grow and do more.

Bev: What is the most commonly asked question when you are interviewed or by the fans when you meet them?

Thompson Square: We are always asked if we are brother and sister or married. We joke that we are both.

Bev: If you were given the opportunity to be on the stage performing with any one artist, who would you choose? And a writer?

Thompson Square: Keifer answers quickly and without hesitation, Bruce Springsteen for both. Shawna replies with Reba to perform with and Merle Haggard to write with.

Bev: What is the funniest gift a fan has given you so far?

Thompson Square: We have gotten a lot of really cool gifts that we are very appreciative of, but the only funny one I can think of is bear from Build-A-Bear that had a recorder inside that said something like Hi We Are Thompson Square or something like that, it is really cute.

Bev: Shawna & Keifer, I have truly enjoyed sitting here today and getting to know you both and want to say thanks for your time and most of all I wish you all the success in the world as you follow your hearts together and make your dreams come true. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about you.

Thompson Square: Thank you so much and it has been great to get to know you too. I hope we see you again soon.

For more information on Thompson Square you can check them out online at or

INTERVIEW: Michael Scott

Michael Scott Interview
Interview by Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
October 9, 2008

Michael Scott is hitting the airwaves with his current release, “Ray Rays Juke Joint” and hitting the road with Tracy Lawrence who signed Scott to a record deal earlier this year on his own label, Rocky Comfort Records. I visited with him about what it took to get this far and where he would like to go in his music career.

Bev: Michael thanks you so much for the opportunity to visit with you about your new project. Your schedule has been very busy, have you had time to catch your breath and slow down enough to let all of this sink in yet?

Michael: It has been moving right along, but really I have been preparing for this a long time, so I was kind of ready for it.

Bev: Your story, like many who choose this career, is growing up listening to the greats of country music while your father played their songs and then finding yourself as an adult moving to Nashville to try and land a music deal, do you think without that background you would still be here now?

Michael: I think that they influenced me quite a bit. I was born in Milwaukee, but all of my family was from Tennessee and Kentucky so family was definitely a big influence.

Bev: Your debut CD is called “Bring It On”; do you have a release date set yet?

Michael: Originally was supposed to be just after Christmas, but now there is talk of moving it up earlier, so all we can do is see what happens.

Bev: Your single is out on radio now, what is the one question you get most about the song?

Michael: I get asked if I have a personal “Ray Ray’s”

Bev: “Ray Ray’s Juke Joint,” written by James Edward and Wade Battle, did you know them or how did you come to have the opportunity to record this song?

Michael: The gentleman who was originally going to produce my album, Chris Luisinger had a connection with Wade Battle, so that is how it came to me. I started this project three or four years prior to signing with Tracy Lawrence.

Bev: You love to entertain – absolutely enjoy every second and it shows in your live performances, what motivates you when you are in the spotlight singing? Do you get inspiration from anyone else you have seen or been on stage with?

Michael: I think people pay a lot of money to see performers, and it does not matter if they are coming to see me, Tracy Lawrence, Garth Brooks or George Strait. Now, especially with the economy where it is, I want the audience to forget about everyday life and just have a good time, and put a smile on their face and they are not alone.

Bev: Garth Brooks is an influence on many young artists, I hear his name come up in almost every interview I do, but your story is a little different in regards to him and your career. Do you think he knows how much that day of literally bumping into him has changed the outcome of your music endeavors?

Michael: I do not know if he does or not. We have had some brief moments, but I hope one day to have time to sit down and tell him.

Bev: Do you try and incorporate anything you have seen another successful performer do into your show?

Michael: I think you pick things up from everyone you see. I love George Strait and so do a lot of other people so I hope that I can bring out his “good guy” image, Tracy is very passionate about his music and performing, and I am picking up on how to express that passion in my music, Garth is one heck of an entertainer and I can only hope to one day be half the entertainer he is.

Bev: Tracy Lawrence signed you to his RCR (Rocky Comfort Records) label earlier this year. Is it hard to work with someone who has been so successful in the music business or does it make it less hard on you, because they have already endured the hardships and made the mistakes, and you get to benefit from them?

Michael: I definitely have benefited from working with Tracy. I am actually a part of his show right now as we are out on the road together. Each night when we get off the stage we can talk about what went wrong or right and how we can make certain things better. I was very nervous the first time I sang with him, I grabbed the mic and remember thinking to myself “oh my God, I am singing with Tracy Lawrence” and now, I get out there and I am very comfortable and I am singing with my friend, Tracy Lawrence.

Bev: What was the very first song you sang with him?

Michael: Sweet Home Alabama

Bev: What has been your most difficult hurdle this far in your career?

Michael: There are so many great acts out there and so much talent that getting the radio play you need is harder to come by.

Bev: Do you think that the availability of the digital music downloads and fans’ being able to access their favorite songs on demand has an impact on radio programming?

Michael: Definitely. It is great for the public and sales, but from the industry side and being able to book shows and things of that nature it is a huge factor. The music venues and entertainment buyers for fairs and shows base their wants on the Top 20 artists, so if people are not calling radio and requesting their favorite songs then you won’t be in the Top 20.

Bev: You also write songs, have you had anything recorded by another artist?

Michael: No, but I never tried. I have been a little selfish with my music up until this point, but I am starting to open up and put some things out there.

Bev: I know you have played in some of the top venues all over the country opening for some of the biggest artist’s in country music; do you have any favorite cities or venues you love to perform at?

Michael: I really like Oklahoma, and also Texas. I just played Billy Bob’s for the first time, and it is just the best honky tonk venue ever to play in. Oklahoma has been great for my career so if I had to choose only one I would say Oklahoma.

Bev: What instruments do you play? Did you take lessons or have you got a natural talent and feel for playing?

Michael: I play acoustic guitar, I am a wannabe lead guitarist and wanna be drummer. Most of it is self taught, but on the road some of the guys in my band and in Tracy’s band have been showing me some licks and how to do a few things.

Bev: If you had your choice of anyone to write with who would it be? And Why?

Michael: I have always been a huge fan of Dean Dillon, but there is an artist who had a single awhile back called, “That’s Just Jesse”, his name is Kevin Denney and he is one person who is a great writer. I actually may get the opportunity in the very near future to sit down with him and write, so that would be a dream come true for me.

Bev: Same questions, but performing, anyone past or present you would love to perform with?

Michael: I think Elvis and I would have had a great time. I would love to perform with George Strait.

Bev: Worst experience on the road?

Michael: I have a long list. I bought my own tour bus, so that has been an experience in itself with tires blowing at 4:00 am or the radiator go out. I am not a mechanic, but I am a hands on person and we had to rebuild it in below zero weather in Wisconsin. On the upside, I have learned a lot because over all it makes me a better person being hands on in the business.

Bev: Any embarrassing stage stories?

Michael: I did have one night where I forgot the words and I made something up and the band knew but the audience never figured it out. Probably the most embarrassing thing was once when two women rushed up on stage and started to remove articles of their clothing. I was definitely not ready for that.

Bev: How about pet peeves of being an artist?

Michael: The only thing that irritates me is there are so many changes going on and when someone has a fresh and new idea, people are so quick to put it down because they are afraid of the change.

Bev: What do you enjoy most about being in the entertainment industry?

Michael: Meeting the people and the fans and seeing how from one part of the country to the next the culture may be different, but the people themselves share many of the same problems. I am a story teller, so I love hearing their stories on how my songs affected their lives.

Bev: Have you found that you tend to have a certain pattern in your following and fan base?

Michael: I have a wide variety because I really mix it up in my show.

Bev: In 50 years, looking back at the life of Michael Scott, what do you want to be remembered for most?

Michael: I have a goal to be Entertainer of the Year someday, but if that never happens, I would hope people would say I worked hard and never gave up, and that I never did any dirty business. I want to be remembered for just giving it my all.

Bev: Is there any one song that you absolutely love to perform, not necessarily one you have recorded, but any song that you just really love.

Michael: I always enjoy performing George Strait’s song, “The Chair”. I especially enjoy doing it when there are older folks in the audience, because in today’s country music the people who are in that generation feel that today’s country music is moving away from that sound and I like to sing this tune to show people that I can do all kinds.

Bev: Traveling from venue to venue, when you arrive in a new city, do you consistently have one of the 1st thing you look for to make you comfortable?

Michael: Absolutely, and you probably will laugh at me, but I love to shop. I look for a shopping mall. I like hanging out there.

Bev: Are you recognized now that you have been in the public eye?

Michael: It depends what I am wearing and if I have my contacts in and my hair done, then I will usually get stopped and people will approach me. I love to kid around and pretend I am not me. I am a prankster, in a good way, but I love to kid around and have fun.

Bev: Is there anything in particular about this upcoming album you really want to say about it?

Michael: This is a nice blend of music. There are not a lot of CD’s out there you can pop in and really like every song on there. I tried to accomplish that. There are a lot of messages in the songs. One song is called “I hear you now” and it is about a son and his relationship with his father and how he finally hears what his dad has been saying, and the words are sinking in.

Bev: It has been such a pleasure to talk to you and I want to say thank you for your time and wish you great success as both a song writer and a performer. I look forward to visiting with you again. In closing, anything else you want to add?

Michael: I would love to hear what people think of my CD, so please visit my website and myspace and let me know what you like or don’t like. I have enjoyed visiting with you too.

For more information on Michael Scott visit him online at or


(Re-Posted with permission Music Row Magazine)

Adam Gregory Plays To Packed House at Grand Ole Opry Studio A

Big Machine/No Strings Attached/Midas Records artist Adam Gregory played to an enthusiastic audience at the Grand Ole Opry's famed Studio A on Oct. 6. Industry execs, dedicated fans, radio personnel and contest winners made up the majority of the crowd. The 60-minute, high-energy set included Gregory's newest single, “What It Takes,” which goes for adds Oct. 27.

(L-R): WGAR/Cleveland PD Brian Jennings, KFDI/Wichita PD Beverlee Brannigan, Gregory, KILT/Houston MD Greg Frey, WKLB/Boston MD Ginny Rogers, Key Market Stations VP/Programming Frank Bell, KTEX/McAllen MD Patches, and KTEX/McAllen PD JoJo Cerda.

Photo: Bev Moser.

PRESS RELEASE: Adam Gregory Plays To Packed House at Grand Ole Opry's Studio A

(Reprinted with permission from The AristoMedia Group )


Adam Gregory Plays To Packed House at Grand Ole Opry's Studio A

(Nashville, TN - October 7, 2008) Big Machine/No Strings Attached/Midas Records' rising country star Adam Gregory played to an enthusiastic audience last night at the Grand Ole Opry's famed Studio A. Industry execs, dedicated fans, radio personnel and contest winners made up the majority of the crowd. The 60-minute, high-energy set included Gregory's newest single, "What it Takes," which goes for adds October 27th.
Pictured L to R: WGAR/Cleveland PD, Brian Jennings; KFDI/Wichita PD, Beverlee Brannigan; Adam; KILT/Houston MD, Greg Frey; WKLB/Boston MD, Ginny Rogers; Key Market Stations VP/Programming, Frank Bell; KTEX/McAllen MD, Patches; and KTEX/McAllen PD, JoJo Cerda.
Photo by Bev Moser.

INTERVIEW: Shawna Russell

Interview by Bev Moser, Moments By Moser
Sept. 29, 2008

Shawna Russell shares some time with me as she celebrates the release of her debut CD "Goddess" and talks about the fan reaction to the hard work she has put into her work, her performance and the project.

Bev: Great to have a moment to visit with you Shawna, I know you have been very busy promoting your debut CD “Goddess” since its release in March. What have you found has surprised you the most since the CD was released?

Shawna: I think the one thing that surprised me the most was that so many different people have listened to it and they all like such a wide variety in their choice of favorite song and I think that in itself is a great testament in the writing and the production of the CD. There are not only one or two real good ones, but many that people can relate to and want to hear.

Bev: Of all the songs on the new album, which is getting the most popular or favorable response and most requested and why?

Shawna: Well, again I am getting a lot of requests, but the single is out right now, “I Should Have Been Born With Wheels” so I am getting a great response to that particular cut. It is a very personal song about my life and my travels and trips on the road, so it means a lot to me that they are receiving this song so well.

Bev: Traveling from venue to venue, when you arrive in a new city, what is one of the 1st things you look for?

Shawna: Right now we are doing a lot of venues I have played before, so we know the area and we are all big college football fans, so we will hang out and watch a game together and that is very relaxing for everyone. It is like family all sitting down and watching a game in the living room at home.

Bev: I know you wrote or co-wrote many of the songs on this CD, anything in particular that inspires your writing or is it random thoughts and feelings? When you have a block, what do you do to refresh yourself and get back into the mode of writing?

Shawna: I do have a lot of random thoughts, and so do my co-writers and when we get together to write we can bounce these ideas off one another, and it might change the initial concept but that is what makes co-writing so great. A lot of times for me, songs come quickly, but there are also times when we just have to take a few minutes and turn something into a silly situation to get the lyrics flowing again. That really works for me and my co-writers. It really relaxes us.

Bev: What has been your most difficult hurdle this far in your career?

Shawna: Being independent has been the hardest for me, because you are up against the giant names on a big label and we are making strides, but it is a long hard haul.

Bev: You just signed a two year promotional deal with a venue in Oklahoma where you are from, have you performed at the Little River Music Valley and Music 4 Life concert facility before?

Shawna: I have. I opened a show for Jeff Bates there, and I just was there for the Oklahoma Rising Star Contest and I was the headliner. I was not participating, but performed while votes were being talented. This venue is an outdoor amphitheatre in a very beautiful setting with a pond and I am so proud to be part of it.

Bev: I know you have played in some of the top venues all over the country and just finished a tour with Ty England, and now are going out on tour on your own to promote this project, do you have any favorite cities or venues you love to perform at?

Shawna: I remember one show in Aspen Wyoming that was also an outdoor show and it was beautiful outside and near the mountains so it is just gorgeous. Ogden Utah also has a great venue. I also enjoy the Grizzly Rose in Denver, or Billy Bobs in Texas.

Bev: You sing, play acoustic rhythm, lead guitar, and occasionally saxophone – are you finding you have any favorite role on stage or do you enjoy mixing it up?

Shawna: I like mixing it up. I also like to play guitar while I am singing on stage so I feel a part of the band and we are a whole, not just me being out there as a lead singer. I like doing all of it.

Bev: If you had your choice of anyone to write with who would it be? And Why?

Shawna: I was always a big fan of the late Dan Fogelberg, so if I could've written with Dan during his life, oh wow, that would top my list. I always appreciated his abilities to write and would've loved to just be able to have learned from him.

Bev: Same questions, but performing, anyone past or present you would love to perform with?

Shawna: Keith Urban would be my 1st choice, because he is so fun to watch perform. He is an incredible performer, and is inspiring to watch and so into what he is doing and so talented.

Bev: Worst experience on the road?

Shawna: We could write a book on that subject. We travel in a motor home, so there are a million experiences. On stage I do not have any bad experiences, I have been lucky not to have any mishaps or fallen on my face on stage, but riding across country in a motor home is not exactly conducive to comfort.

Bev: As both an artist who performs and writes – if you had to choose to do one or the other which would you choose?

Shawna: I would rather perform. I really love singing and sometimes when I am on stage, I will look out there and just take a moment and savor it, because I am so thankful I get to do that. It is a strange wonderful that when you open your mouth and sound comes out and people love it.

Bev: Any embarrassing stage stories?

Shawna: I am very lucky that I have not had anything bad happen on stage.

Bev: How about pet peeves of being an artist?

Shawna: No, I cannot say I have too many at all. I try to take everything as it comes and not let things get to me, I enjoy it when people want to have a picture made or ask me to autograph a napkin or something. Nothing is bothering me.

Bev: What do you enjoy most about being in the entertainment industry? Dislike?

Shawna: Everything. I love to travel, I have always been a gypsy at heart and moved around a lot as a child, so it is in my bones to pick up and see new things and do new things. And being a performer and meet all the new people is amazing. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself because it just does not seem real.

Bev: In 50 years, looking back at the life of Shawna Russell, what do you want to be remembered for most?

Shawna: I want people to say I never gave up and I gave it all to pursue my dreams. No matter how hard it was, how low the lows were or how high the highs got, I always kept on in pursuit of reaching my goals.

Bev: Is there any one song that you absolutely love to perform, not necessarily one you have recorded, but any song that you just really love.

Shawna: I truly love all of them on my album, but there is a song by Bonnie Raitt called “Angel From Montgomery” that I really love to sing every night in my show.

Bev: Is there anything in particular about this album you really want to say about it or about yourself that no one ever asks you in an interview ?

Shawna: When an artist puts out a new album, and especially a new artist, I hope people really listen to this. I put a piece of me in this, my blood, sweat and tears, so I hope they can feel and see they are getting a piece of my soul in this project and if they do, then I want them to know that makes me very happy when they take that time to really listen.

Bev: I did notice in reviewing your cd that two of your co-writers share the same last name as you, any relation?

Shawna: They are my uncle, Tim, and my dad, Keith. That has been very special too that I get to share this experience with them. I have grown up performing along side them, since I was about 13, so it has been a family affair for us.

Bev: In closing I would like to thank you for your time and wish you great success as both a song writer and a performer. I look forward to visiting with you again and watching you perform.

Shawna: Thanks so much Bev, I have appreciated you taking your time to take interest in me and has been great sharing this time with you as well.

For more information on Shawna Russell visit her online at or

INTERVIEW: River County

From a high school talent contest to center stage, River County’s Derek Wylie (lead singer), Chris Presley (lead and rhythm guitar/background vocals) and Jake Hehman (keyboards & harmonies) formed a bond in musical kinship a long, long time ago that was destined “to be.”Welcome to River County - where the music runs wide and the energy is deep.. an excerpt from their bio says it all about these three talented young men. We sat down for a visit the night before the CD Release Party for their self titled debut CD.

Bev: Great to have a moment to visit with you guys, I know you have been very busy promoting your debut CD “Rockin The Country” which is out today! How exciting – what feelings are you experiencing knowing the hard work you have put into this has finally paid off with the release?

River County: We are very excited!! It is a huge load taken off our shoulders, but then a different huge load put back on now to promote it. We had five minutes to catch our breath. There is so much more to come.

Bev: Tomorrow night is the CD Release Party at the Rutledge, what are your feelings and fears?

River County: We try to not have fears and worry about things. Really, things like this interview make us more nervous than anything to do with performing.

Bev: I know you all attended high school together and got your start by winning a local talent contest, so you know a lot about one another, do you think that benefits the group?

River County: We think benefits us, because we have the chemistry and we just know what they will do or say and how they will react to situations, so it really helps.

Bev: You have a quote that says "If Lynyrd Skynyrd put on a cowboy hat and had a lovechild with Rascal Flatts, that’s River County!" Can you explain what that means?

River County: Well, honestly, it came during the middle of the night and it just is the energy and showmanship and harmonies of Rascal Flatts mixed with the edginess and raw energy of Skynyrd, that is who we are.

Bev: Of all the songs on the new album, which is getting the most popular or favorable response and most requested and why?

River County: “It's Alright to Cry"” used to be the most requested, but now that we have “Rockin’ The Country” on the charts, we have people upset when we wait til the end of the set to perform that song. So both are very popular.

Bev: Are these songs also the two you enjoy performing the most or do you have a particular song that you can really let go and just have a fun time with?

River County: We do a medley with two of our songs and we really like how we connect and transition them and the reaction we get from the crowd, it is a fun part of our show. “Rockin The Country” explains us as a group, and it is fun too.

Bev: Traveling from venue to venue, when you arrive in a new city, what is one of the 1st things you look for?

River County: A Cracker Barrell. Good ole home cookin’ comfort.

Bev: I know you wrote or co-wrote many of the songs on this CD, anything in particular that inspires your writing or is it random thoughts and feelings? When you have a block what do you do to refresh yourself and get back into the mode of writing?

River County: Jake replies, since he is the main writer in the group, and says I get so much from my daughter who is five so reality plays a big part in how I come up with ideas.

Bev: What has been your most difficult hurdle this far in your career?

River County: Personally is when we went to China, we left family behind and it was hard. And you get a funny feeling knowing you are performing to people who cannot understand a word.

Bev: I know you have played all over the country and abroad, so far who have you had the most fun opening for ?

River County: We opened for Andy Griggs and he is so much fun. Jimmy Wayne was a blast. Rascal Flatts was fun, so it is hard to choose.

Bev: Many of your songs have meanings and messages, do you prefer to perform these kinds of songs that connects you to the audience, or do enjoy the ones that just have a lot of fun connected to them and get the crowd going crazy?

River County: We enjoy anything that makes a connection – regardless of if it is a party connection or one where they have tears streaming down their faces. And when you have a song where they are clapping and cheering so loud as you hit the last note because the enjoyed it so much, that is fun too.

Bev: If you had your choice of anyone to write with who would it be? And Why?

River County: Chris – Jerry Reed, Jake – Jeffrey Steele or Garth Brooks, Derek - Tim McGraw

Bev: Same questions, but performing, anyone past or present you would love to perform with?

River County: Derek – Tim McGraw, Jake – Billy Joel, Chris – any of the Van Zant Boys

Bev: Worst experience on the road?

River County: There was one club in China where we could not get the power cords converted and it was all a nightmare and huge headache. But in the same breathe, performing for them was very cool, so it was all worth it once we got things taken care of.

Bev: As both artist’s who perform and write – if you had to choose to do one or the other which would you choose? Or Could you only do one?

River County: Chris – perform, Jake – Write, Derek – perform.

Bev: Any embarrassing stage stories?

River County: How long do you have? Jakes birthday was funny. We are kind of known to assist in playing a prank on people during our show where we put the birthday person in a chair, start playing “My Girl” and then simulate a lap dance .. well when Jake had his, we put him in a chair and then Derek came out in his wife’s Daisy Dukes and a sexy shirt and skipped over to Jake, it was pretty hilarious.

Bev: How about pet peeves of being an artist or in the entertainment industry.

River County: Small clubs you tend to get people who get too close and knock over our instruments or lean on them, spill their drinks.

Bev: What do you enjoy most about being in the entertainment industry?

River County: The fans. We are nothing with out our fans. So that is the best part. Getting to know people and having them love what you do.

Bev: In 50 years, looking back at the life of River County, what do you want to be remembered for most?

River County: We want to do what we love and have fun, and have people remember us for that. We want to be the fans band where they know they come 1st.

Bev: Is there anything in particular about this album you really want to say about it or about yourselves?

River County: When you listen to the album, really listen. We have a lot of hidden messages and meanings, so you have to hear it and listen. But go to a live show and then you will want to buy 30 CD’s.

Bev: I have really enjoyed our time together today, and wish you all great success with you career and this CD. Thanks so much for asking me to join you.

River County: Thanks so much for letting us visit with you, we had so much fun, you made this easy, now we are not scared of interviews.

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