Tag Archives: The Brewhouse Music andGrill

Lyrical Lists- Them Dirty Roses

What can I say about this next band? I heard them on the Pepsi On The Rise tour as it made its final stop in Rome, Ga.  Their sound was a complete throwback to my preteen and teenage years, yet it was fresh and new.  The band I am talking about is a 4 member band from Gadsden, AL called Them Dirty Roses.  The guys have been friends for most their lives, went to high school together, and now all live together in Nashville, TN.  Them Dirty Roses are made up of 4 colorful, wonderful, and southern charming guys: Ben Crain, James Ford, Frank Ford, and Andrew Davis.  They have been together only a year and half and have one of the bests sounds that I have heard in a very long time.  They have a sound, showmanship, and electrifying stage show well beyond the time the band has been together.  I can honestly say that this band has whatever “it” is.  Every time I play their EP to someone, they automatically want to know who they are and where can they find more music.

Them Dirty Roses has a strong Southern Rock sound that has been lacking in the music industry since the late 1970’s.  Their influences range from The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band, Black Crowes, Grand Funk Railroad, Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers, and many others.  Though they have a sound influenced by many but you really can’t compare them to anyone but Them Dirty Roses.  Their stage show is engaging, in your face, and non-stop energy from start to finish.  I cannot praise this band enough.  They are one of the most talented bands that I have come across.  If you ask Them Dirty Roses how they would classify their music they would say “southern roots rock and roll”.  They are trying paint a picture with their music and take you back to a “time when music was important”.  One of the coolest things they told me about their goals with their sound was to take you back to when music was “a movement”. “Music was Facebook, Twitter, and text messages.”  They just want to make music that tells a story and go back to the roots of music from decades ago.

When going through the song writing process, the range is all over the place.  It comes from someone humming a tune, a chord or musical progressions, anything.  The song writing comes from having something to say and telling story.  The intent when making their first EP was making something that you just want to put in the CD player and let it play.  They are all about the old school way of promotion of hanging the flyers, word of mouth, calling venues, and letting the hype of the band grow organically.   They told me that social media is a great avenue to promote the band, but there is nothing better than to “have someone in your face, telling you what you missed by not being at the show”.  Word of mouth is the best way to grow your band.

We talked at length about bands not playing Southern Rock anymore.  They are seeing some small pockets of radio play but they feel that there is a great need and they are filling that hole.  YouTube has been a great way for bands these days, but playing shows non-stop is still the best way to grow the fan base and that radio will catch up.

They have seen a great increase in the band’s name since being on the Pepsi On The Rise Tour.  They feel that the tour has been a great learning experience.  They are able to do music fulltime.  Them Dirty Roses will be joining many other bands at the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam and will be opening for Miranda Lambert.  I am in hopes that the readers of Lyrical Lists by Layla will also help get the name, Them Dirty Roses out there as well.  We know that Southern Rock is not dead and these guys are bringing that sound back.  I love that they are unapologetic of being “in your face.

The best way I can describe the live show is a full set of balls to the wall music, with hair slinging, crowd interaction, and unbridled fun.  They truly have a good time and are high energy.  Their goal is to make people to forget everything but the music for the length of their set and “dance like no one is watching”  Them Dirty Roses will continue to play their music and know that eventually radio will catch up.  They will always be true to their sound and the fans will show up.  Them Dirty Roses and I agree that there is a huge need for their music and have plugged into the hole that is missing.  Southern Rock is a staple of music that appeals to the working class that want to rock out after a long week a work.  It is a distinctive sound and Them Dirty Roses are true, new ambassadors to the sound.  Them Dirty Roses are writing, recording, and performing music that are the type of songs that will stand the test of time and not just be a splash in pan.  I told the band that I can hear, in their sound, that this will be the music that we are singing in 2015 and will be singing in 2045.

So we can expect Them Dirty Roses to be here a while and leave their mark.  They are wanting to bring the soul back to music and make good music.  If Rock and Roll is trying to roll over, Them Dirty Roses is here to bring the fun vibe, roll your window down, and jam out rock back.  Them Dirty Roses refuse to let Rock and Roll lay down and fade away.  The guys are going to be constantly touring, recording new music, and continue bringing Southern Rock to a town near you.  I have linked a couple of my favorite songs, ways to find out more information on the band, and their social media.  Like I said, these guys are one of my favorites that I have ever interviewed and one that is a daily play in my song list.  You can purchase Them Dirty Roses’ EP on I Tunes now.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themdirtyroses?fref=ts

Website: http://themdirtyroses.com/

You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kA31jdEgsq7bN3ukqvg5w

“Shake It”: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kA31jdEgsq7bN3ukqvg5w

“Cocaine and Whiskey” Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3fO4IfgfmI

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Lyrical Lists-Brewhouse Music and Grill

If you are looking for a place to grab a great meal, catch the latest sporting event, and see a great concert, I have the place for you to visit! Brewhouse Music and Grill is located at 325 Broad Street in Historic Downtown Rome, GA and offers a full menu of delicious food for lunch and dinner.  After dinner hours you have the options of seeing a fantastic band or dancing the night away.

Owner Jay Shell is a good friend of mine and has been a tremendous asset to Downtown Rome as well as the entire community.  Jay started his business adventures in Rome by opening a restaurant a few years back called 333 on Broad.  The idea of opening was 333 on Broad was to have a business so that he could continue performing with his band KneckDown.  Shortly after opening 333 on Broad, Jay and his wife Melissa found out that they were expanding their family from one beautiful daughter, Madalyn, to another awesome son, Jackson.  Jay had to evaluate his love of family and providing stability to their growing family. Jay was able to grow 333 on Broad as a must visit restaurant in Rome with a small venue upstairs for the night scene.

333 on Broad quickly outgrew their space and with a building, that has been almost every form of short-lived night venue, just a few doors down, was transformed into one of the hottest places in Northwest Georgia.  Once The Brewhouse Music Grill made it mark on the area, 333 on Broad was merged in with The Brewhouse Music and Grill.  Jay’s goal was to provide great, affordable food with a place to catch the sporting events of the day, and provide hot music acts.  He has achieved that goal and then some.

I asked Jay about his ability to bring acts that were on the verge of breaking big and his answer was shocking, “I wish I could I say that I was that smart, but it is mostly luck.”  If you have heard of acts like Florida/Georgia Line, Old Dominion, Sam Hunt,Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr, The Chris Lane Band, Brett Eldridge, Jana Kramer to name just a very few, then you have heard of acts that have graced the stage of The Brewhouse Music and Grill.  The 500 person capacity venue has sold out numerous shows with what were then up and coming artists, but are now some of the hottest acts in the country.  The Brewhouse doesn’t stop at just having upcoming artists or local musicians, they have also had some great acts that have been household names for years.  I have seen Emerson Hart (lead singer of Tonic), Confederate Railroad, Joe Diffie, Doug Stone,Ed Kowalczyk (former lead singer of Live), Drivin’ N Cryin’, Sister Hazel, Shawn Mullins, Jason Isbell, and the list could go on for pages.  Jay Shell has brought Rome, GA to forefront of the music scene.  Old Dominion was interviewed recently by Rolling Stone Magazine about where their favorite place to play and their answer was “Rome, GA”.

I asked Jay what type amenities does he offer the bands when they play The Brewhouse.  He told me he has a green room with washer and dryer so the band can do laundry, full cable television, and a place that the band can get off their tour bus and just chill out.  I also asked Jay if he thought The Brewhouse was providing an economic boost for Historic Downtown Rome outside of just his business and he answered, “Absolutely! We hear from the other restaurants downtown and nearby hotels that when we have big shows, they see an increase in their business and hotels are seeing more guests.”  To me, that is exactly part of the revitalization of Downtown Rome.

If you haven’t eaten at The Brewhouse Music and Grill, let me recommend any of the items on the menu.  I think they have the best hamburgers but you can also get a perfectly cooked steak, several salad options, sandwiches, pasta, and my personal favorite shrimp and grits, just to name a few of the items on the menu.  The Brewhouse is also available for private parties or large group gatherings.  I can’t brag enough at the phenomenal job that Jay Shell and his staff do for their customers.

I would be remiss if I didn’t add just a little paragraph about one of the hottest yearly events that Jay Shell has brought to Rome for several years ago, Rome River Jam.  Rome River Jam is a combination of local music acts with big name headliners in an all day musical festival format.  Some of the big names that have played on the Rome River Jam stage are Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, Sammy Kershaw, Cole Swindell, Jon Pardi, Craig Morgan, Ashley Monroe, and many more.  Rome River Jam is usually held in May but this year it will be moved to September due to the other music festivals in the area, but I promise you that this is one all day festival that you should not miss.  I tried to get a hint of who we can expect this year but Jay is still tight-lipped.

I can’t begin to thank Jay Shell enough for seeing a need for a great restaurant that provides a wonderful musical venue for our local musicians as well as well-known artists to come to Rome, GA and putting Rome, GA on the map for a must stop for musicians.  Please find the link to The Brewhouse Music and Grill’s website to keep up to date on who is coming to play and check out the awesome menu.  The Brewhouse Music and Grill is a must stop place in Rome. I have also included some YouTube videos of some acts playing the stage at The Brewhouse Music and Grill.

http://romebrewhouse.com/

Old Dominion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Apky3IXJg

Sam Hunt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Apky3IXJg

Shawn Mullins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqiy9z1O7RA

Florida/Georgia Line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uPMruwsH5s

Confederate Railroad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpGalZJHY6I

Jason Isbell:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvLGMGw5aek

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xanDX8M-40

Lyrical Lists-Preston Summerville

This 24-year-old man who grew up on his grandfather’s farm in Polk County, GA is poised to take country music by storm by having his first independent 5 Song EP debuting at #72 on the iTunes country chart and being featured in the Pepsi’s Up and Rising Stars multi-state tour.  All of the success coming his way is because he is doing his thing, writing songs he feels, and just being Preston Summerville. Preston is spending time in Nashville writing part-time but is looking for an apartment to rent while he is working in Nashville.  Preston has just released a 5 song EP on I tunes as an independent artist and if being an independent, unsigned artist helps write and record songs like are on the EP, I say stay independent.

Preston Summerville was born in Carrollton, GA but lived to Rockmart until he was 10 and his family built chicken houses on his great grandfather’s property in Cedartown.  He grew up on the farm in Cedartown.  He attended Cedar Lake Christian Center Christian School  until his senior  year when the school closed down.  He went back to Rockmart High School to graduate and considers himself just a good ol’ Polk County boy.

Music seems to have been around Preston his whole life.  Preston’s dad knew 3 or 4 chords that he use to pick around on the guitar and make up songs about the boys Preston had over to spend the night.  His dad would make up silly songs.  At church, Preston wanted to play drums.  While is father was working at a hurricane clean-up his dad bought him his first set of drums at age 12 .  Preston would play “Old Time Rock and Roll” over and over until taught himself the drum parts perfect on that song.  He got his first guitar at 6 but at 11-12 he played more for his friends.  He would sometimes find himself sitting at school wishing it would hurry up so he could go play is guitar and drums.

Preston and his buddies started a christian rock band at the age of 15.  He said “we would go to these little venues with 8 other bands.  We had a 30 minute slot, set up, and bang out 3 songs as fast as we could.”  This is where the love of performing comes from for Preston.  He said, “I just loved to be on the stage”.   Growing up on a farm inspired Preston to start writing about his life at 14-15.  Listening back to the songs he thought were “cool songs then” shows him just how far he has come,but as Preston added “You’ve got to start somewhere.”

Preston and I talked about influences and favorite singers.  “The Highwaymen and The Outlaws are definitely my favorite.”, Preston told me.  Then the list of singers that we talked about next made me love Preston just a little more than I already did before the interview.  Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Hank Jr are who Preston was drawn to but also growing up and finding favorite songs, he loved Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn.  He feels the influence from all of these powerhouse country singers but if you ask him who he admires the most in today’s music, Preston will tell you Eric Church.  Preston said he is a fan of an artist that writes their own songs.  He told me, “being a song writer, I know how good it feels to write a really good song, play it in a different state, and have fans tell you that the song meant something to them. I find it just as pleasing to the heart.”

Preston talked about being a fan of Brantley Gilbert as well as Eric Church.  We talked about the split in country music right now.  Preston says that he tends to take the more rock side of country.  Preston says he will write any style of song because he likes to challenge himself but also “a good song writer should be able to write anything.”  He takes such pride in song writing that he is always pushing himself and stepping out of the box. Preston truly feels that a lasting song is not writing about what everyone else is writing but is writing more about what he feels.  He does get some ideas from people but he never sets out to write a “radio song”.  He doesn’t want to sound like everyone else but writing about he feels because he has to feel, believe, and lived what he is writing.  The real songs are the songs that he feels will be “standing last” and not always writing the catchy radio trends.   I asked the all important question if he was interested in selling any of his songs or would he prefer to keep them all for himself? Preston responded,”I am definitely interested in having someone cut one of my songs.”  I asked Preston would it be a dream for Eric Church to cut one of his songs and he said “that would be top-notch”.

Preston has gotten to play some really awesome places and with the new Pepsi On The Rise Tour he is seeing other people singing his songs back to him.  He finds it so rewarding that people are relating to his songs.  He feels that you spend so much time working to have the crowds hear your songs and finally they are relating to them validates the hard work.  He told me that having people sing the songs, love the songs, and relate to the songs gives him “assurance that what I am out here doing really makes sense and has a purpose.”  He wants his listeners to feel his music. (This is my favorite thing about this entire interview.)  Preston told me, “the day I have 10,000 people singing my songs back to me, I am probably going to hit my knees and cry like a baby.”  He said it is that “awesome feeling you get deep that makes you feel appreciated”.

We talked a little about one of the songs on the EP he has out now.  We talked about his song “Bow My Head” (which is a phenomenal song).  He said that he didn’t write it as a christian song but wrote it about his faith, life, and experiences.  He feels that the song tells the listener exactly who he is and what he is about.   We also talked about the song writing process for Preston.  He talked about he doesn’t have a formula that he uses every time.  He sometimes writes down titles of songs and develops around that title.  Sometimes he sits down with a piece of paper and writes out some that are goofy, serious, complicated and sometimes he has a verse pop in his head that fits in with one of the titles he wrote earlier.  The process always varies.  He talked about some of the songwriters that have been taught the structure and feel like there are rules to writing a song.  He adds of course there is a song structure but he writes it as it comes to him.

Preston talked about his wife and being a newlywed.  He told me that his wife 100% supports what he does and sees how hard he works.  He told me she “loves me for who I am and I am as real with her as I can be.”  He has written several songs inspired by her.

Preston would like to stay independent for a while.  When he makes the decision to sign with a label he wants to be real picky.  He wants to make the right decision and not just jump on the first deal that he is offered.  If being independent allows Preston to open for some of the folks he has opened and record the music he is recording, I say stay be picky.  He has opened for Glen Templeton, he opened for GA/FLA Line and Sam Hunt when they played in Rome.  You can add to list acts like Thomas Rhett, Joe Diffie, Frankie Ballard, Parmalee, Chris Lane Band.  He is coming back on the Pepsi On The Rise Tour to Rome at the Brewhouse on March 14th, 2015.  Also listen out to 94.9 The Bull Backyard Country Saturday night for the song “Home Town Pride” as well as a station in Augusta, GA and a couple of stations in Kentucky.  I say this a lot about the articles I write, but I want everyone that reads this to remember the name Preston Summerville.  He is going to be blowing up your radio for years to come.  I have posted links below to Preston’s website, YouTube, and Facebook.

http://www.prestonsummerville.com

https://www.facebook.com/prestonsummervillemusic

https://www.youtube.com/user/psummerville4

Video for “Bow My Head”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64saexU7_Oc

YouTube for “Home Town Pride”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JebAnLeuwkQ

Lyrical Lists-Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys

All of my interviews are fun in their own special way, but interviewing Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys last Saturday was a blast!  I came in to The Brewhouse Bar and Grill watch part of their sound check and to interview the band.  I heard the band perform one of my all-time favorite songs, “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis and it was awesome.  I headed back to introduce myself to the colorful cast that makes up The Trailer Park Cowboys, to see that they were in a circle working on harmonies, again Awesome.  We exchanged introductions but I will use the introductions that are on the inside of their new CD “Because of Drinking”.  Bennie Gray is listed as Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, and CEO of all things trailer park.  Joining Bennie is Shannon “Beef” Wilson (Bass Guitar, Harmony Vocals, and Hair Care Products), Dida Knight (Drums and Yelps), Scotty Knight (Guitar and Brilliant Ideas), Dave Harper (Guitar, Lap Steel, Keyboards, Percussion, Shotguns, and Tough Decisions), and last but not least Austin Harper (Guitar, Pedal Steel, Mandolin, Baritone Guitar, and Luxurious Hair).  Of course all of the fun is certainly translated to the stage as it was adorned with the ever so important Pink Flamingo.  (Full disclosure, they told me his name but I can’t find where I wrote that down.)  We had a good time joking and laughing as they told me I was their first real interview. (Oh boy, someone didn’t tell them that I am not a real interviewer.)

All joking aside, as big as their personalities are, the music is just as big.  Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys classify their genre as “Americana” and say they have a very loyal fan base.  They are 5 local guys and one rocking lady from Rockmart, Dallas, Cleveland, Cedartown, and Yorkville.  Some band members were thinking of retiring, others were just getting started, but what they have found coming together, is a sound that is all their own.  You will catch the occasional cover at their show, but with a building repertoire of original music, the fans would rather request their favorite Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys song.

The origin of the band’s name is pretty easy, Bennie Gray is the lead singer.  The Trailer Park Cowboys is the fun part to explain.  The band told me about a bar they played in the earlier days that was across the street from a trailer park.  The loyal patrons of the bar would walk from the trailer park to the bar, stay until closing, and walk back to the trailer park.  The band started referring to the bar as “The Trailer Park Club” and from that the Trailer Park Cowboys were born.  Bennie told me that “we have all known each other for a long time and always wanted to play together, but the timing was always off.”  The timing is on now!  The band has a CD that is full from start to finish with smartly written lyrics, fun sing-along, deep thoughts, and everything in between. (Full review of the CD coming soon, but I have been playing “Wasted Time”, “Because of Drinking” and “Bitch” a lot.)

The band has opened for Jason Isbell, Drivin’ and Cryin’ among others in the 3 years they have been playing together but they have also transitioned nicely to drawing their own crowd.  At their past Saturday night show, the band was recording a video to one of the songs off of the “Because of Drinking” CD and the recording was done in the big style that Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys are known for perfecting.  They band asked the crowd to film with their cellphones and submit the footage to the band.  That footage would be edited to make the video.

Song writing duties fall mostly on Bennie Gray.  He told me that it is hard for him to write the songs down but the rest of the band are making him write things down for use in the studio.   Bennie has been writing for years and sees that his songs are getting better.  Bennie begins writing on the acoustic guitar because if “it doesn’t sound good on the acoustic, it isn’t going to sound good with the full band”.  Songs come from experiences that he may be going through but  he draws from experiences of friends especially in “Because of Drinking”.  Bennie told me that they must “keep writing original music, continue to show growth, and travel to different venues” and the band will continue to grow.  Bennie has written the majority of songs on the new CD with some help from Dave Harper.  Bennie isn’t your traditional put the pen to paper type of writer.  The majority of the songs are stored in his head.  He hears a note or two and the songs just seem to develop on their own.

These guys do not want to just gig around on the weekend, these guys want to make this their career.   The band loves getting request of their originals and love it even more to see the crowd sing back to them.  Bennie said, “it has to be one of the coolest feelings”.  You can catch Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys playing all around the place and can pick up their debut CD “Because of Drinking” and t-shirts at the shows.   I can say that if they keep the formula they have now, this band has a bright future.  I would like to end by given Dida Knight a big shout out.  I have mad respect for a woman playing drums, and you sister play the heck out of the drums! Visit the links below to see Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys’s Facebook Page and a few links to some songs.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bennie-Gray-The-Trailer-Park-Cowboys/141316549217881

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEn4ngsVYlE (Because of Drinking)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW6pd1Uz_DA (Something I Ain’t)

Lyrical Lists-Five40

If you like great reggae, ska, mixed with rock, Five40 is the band for you.  Five40 is a unique band from Calhoun, GA that have been influenced by bands like The Mighty,Mighty Bosstones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, and 311, while keeping a sound all their own.  I had the opportunity to speak with MJ Johnson, front-man, trumpet player, rhythm guitar player, songwriter, and all around cool guy.  MJ and I discussed all things Five40 and I have found a band that I can honestly say has made it into my playlist. Five40 is made up of Matt “MJ” Johnson (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Trumpet), Stewart Davis (Bass), Wyman Balcom (Drums), Dustin Massingill (Lead Guitar), and Joe Harley (Keyboards). These guys are all around 25 years old, and have been playing together over a year.  They have found a sound that is true to who they are and the fans are growing by the show.  The band has been playing in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North and South Carolina.  The band calls Charleston their second home, where they see crowds just as large as playing back home.  They are tapping into the reggae market and are finding success at each turn.  They are also winners of the Battle of the Bands in Rome, GA as well as the winners of Atlanta’s Best Bands. Five40 have played the stages of both Rome River Jam and Riverbend as well as venues all over the South.

MJ and I spoke for a while on Saturday about what makes FIve40 so unique and so well received.  MJ told me that it’s a “certain vibe that makes the band so awesome”.  They have been able to tap into the reggae/ska/rock market with a very warm welcome. They have a debut of three songs on SoundCloud out now but look for a full CD to be released in May 2015 and it will be available on ITunes and Spotify.  I personally can’t wait for the release because if songs like “Breathe” and “Skarma” are any indication of the upcoming CD, this band will blow up overnight.  Also look for a video to “Skarma” that is being filmed in Texas next month.

The band finds it rewarding that the fan base is growing and people are actually coming up to them to request songs and sing their lyrics back to them.  MJ told me about a recent show that they performed at the Masquerade with Passafire.  He said that the crowd was close to 400 people and “they knew the words to our songs”.  After mingling with the crowd after their set, MJ asked people “how did you know our songs?”  The answer was simple.  People heard that Five40 were opening for Passafire, so they “went online and listened to everything that they could find.”  There was even a joke at that show that the next night they would let Joe out and when they arrived at their next gig, people were asking for Joe.  (Perks of the job, I guess.)

With a sound as unique as Five40, the name stems from the same unique thought process.  Of course there is one story about drinking a lot of 40 ounce beers, which is pretty cool, but the real meaning behind the name is so much better.  MJ told me the story about a triangle having 3 sides that equal 180-degrees.  The sides of the triangle have a base, structure, and strength.  The band sees the 3 styles of music to each contain the components of the triangle.  When you have a base, strength, and structure in each of the ska, rock, and reggae, you get 540-degrees or Five40.  (I told you guys that everything about this band is cool and unique.)

Anyone that reads my blog, will know that I have to know about the song writing process.  MJ told me that a song has to come from a “vibe” and “it is never the same”.  Five40 writes from personal experiences be it good or bad, but it has to honest.  Every song must inspire the band and listener.  Five40 wants to be known for writing a CD that the listener will “feel the need to let to ride from beginning to end.”  They do not want to write just a single but a cohesive body of music.  I say, AMEN to that.  The song writing duties does not fall onto one member but the entire band collaborates to insure that the listener gets the full feeling behind Five40.

MJ told me that the Five40 wants this to be their career and are gearing to play more venues instead of just bar gigs.  However, do not worry, they will be playing at Scores in Calhoun, GA February 6, 2015 and at The Brewhouse Bar and Grill in Rome, GA on March 28, 2015.  I asked MJ if he wanted to add anything to our interview and he told me “listen to something you have not listened to before.  Find a new band and support them.”  I would agree 100% with that statement.  Be sure you follow the links below to hear some really awesome music.  Five40 is one of these bands that I consider myself lucky to have written about now because I am not sure that they will be so accessible in the very near future.  For the record, “Skarma” has become a permanent song on my playlist and my daughter Rosa Kathryn can’t stop playing the 3 songs we have.

https://www.facebook.com/five40BAND

https://www.facebook.com/five40BAND/videos

http://five40music.com/

https://soundcloud.com/five40official

Lyrical Lists Featuring Savannah Leighton

It isn’t everyday when you can be directly involved with someone who has all the makings of the next big thing but I can say that I did. I can tell you the exact moment that I first heard the voice that I truly feel should be recording music right now. I had my back turned to the stage at The Voice of Rome, I heard the music to “Wrecking Ball”, and had the shock of my life when I turned around.  Savannah Leighton, who was 13 when I met her, blew me away.  I had chill bumps, I was excited,I begged her to be on my team.  Savannah went on to be the runner-up but in my book she finished first place and is first class.

Savannah began singing at age 2 with her grandfather.  They sang in church together and she learned to be the performer she is today.  By the time she was 7, she was able to sing at church alone.  Savannah has gone on to learn how to play the piano and guitar.  She started writing songs at age 8 and now at 14, she is writing full songs with mature lyrics and great music.

This 8th grader is the constant professional.  As part of her being part of The Voice of Rome, she sang at Rome River Jam in front of thousands of people.  She can add to her list, at age 14, that she has been the opening act for Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi.  Savannah told me that being on the stage at River Jam was the greatest experience of her life, next to being on #TeamLayla at The Voice of Rome.  She can even brag that Cole Swindell told her she was a bad a** singer, which she is!

Savannah also won a contest at Songbird Recording Studios where the prize was recording a professional CD. Savannah told me today that she “wants to finish her CD soon and maybe send it to Nashville”.  She has plans when she turns 15 to audition of the real, television show The Voice.  She is hoping to have Adam Levine’s chair turn because she thinks she is more in the genre of his music.  She also added that it “wouldn’t be as awesome as being on #TeamLayla”.  (Somehow I think she isn’t telling me the truth. I mean #TeamLayla or #TeamAdam? I even pick #TeamAdam over me.)  Savannah has also sang for The Floyd County Republican Party at the Reagan Day dinner, where she left the keynote speaker, Col. Alan West, speechless.  When Savannah performed for the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, she said that she enjoyed being on the stage and singing for all the attendees of the event.  Another sign that Savannah is serious about pursuing her dreams, she performed at the Centre, Alabama Fall Festival, on her 14th birthday, before she had her own birthday party.  She told me that it felt comfortable singing there because that is where she grew up.  She was a little embarrassed that the Mayor of Centre told everyone that it was her birthday.

So, when you are 14, in the 8th grade a Spring Garden Middle School, and singing for all these people, who do you like?  Savannah told me that she likes Demi Lovato.  Savannah told me that she just “loves her powerful lyrics” and she “wants to be that kind of singer”.  Theresa, Savannah’s mother, likes for her to sing country music, but Savannah wants to be a pop star.

Savannah Leighton is a name I want you all to remember because she has “it”.  She has brought me to tears with her music, she has made me smile with her music, and she has made me excited about music.  Isn’t that what music is all about?  Savannah has a YouTube channel where she posts her performances and her mother posts on Facebook all kinds of performances.  I am linking the YouTube Channel and a few of my favorite performances of hers, including her latest original song about the loss of her cousin John. (Grab a Kleenex on this one!) I promise you that we will be buying tickets to the Savannah Leighton Tour soon. (#TeamLayla should get at least one free ticket.) This girl has the stuff stars are made of and I am a huge fan.  I should end with full disclosure that I grew to love Savannah during the process of The Voice of Rome and I have grown to love her entire family.  I think that she is AMAZING and I am sure that you will too.  Please let her know what you think by commenting on this post and her YouTube Channel.  I hope you enjoy the links I have shared as well!

Original Song by Savannah Leighton: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=812026185509966&set=vb.100001077754426&type=2&theater

The Voice of Rome: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=769317083112754&set=vb.100001034085642&type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=776882502356212&set=vb.100001034085642&type=3&theater

MissSavannahJo (YouTube Channel): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnbUD1imJqmShdMl_ChXTrA