In the 17 years or so that I have been attending, I still never get bored with the Nashville scene. There is simply no other format of music that is created and distributed in such a small market. Most other formats are bicoastal and, indeed, even international — but to make it in Country, you have to be in Nashville.
As you walk down Broadway, you wonder just how the singers and bands in the 10 or so bars got there in the first place. You wonder if you are ever going to hear them again, or if the dreams they are chasing will die a step or two short of the really big stage.
Plus, everyone knows everyone. It is a very small town. The writers, producers, publishers, artists, label execs…everyone knows someone, and knows what is hot. That is probably the best part to us. We have been doing this long enough to get some inside scoop on what the hot new artists and trends are going to be.
So with that in mind, here are two names to remember. Look them up, or come see them live.
Thomas Rhett is the first one. He’s kind of a cross between Eric Church and Jason Aldean. This coming Monday night, March 5, we are doing a free acoustic set with Thomas at 1st St. Billiards (420 South 1st Street) in San Jose. If you want to see the next big star in this format, don’t miss it. He might have a little head start — his dad is Rhett Akins, who was an artist in the early ’90s — but this kid has already written many Top 10 hits, including Blake Shelton’s "Honey Bee."
Kristen Kelly is a singer/songwriter that I don’t really know that much about except she can flat-out sing. She will be appearing on a concourse stage at the Miranda Lambert Show at Shoreline Amphitheatre on April 27. This show is not free, but Miranda alone is worth the admission price, so Kristen will be a great addition.
It’s Country, and it’s cool!