Tag Archives: Them Dirty Roses

Taylor Cromer: The Struggle Is Real, But The Payoff Is Great

There is an old saying that “The Struggle Is Real”, but for Taylor Cromer, he has lived it. Deciding to chase his dreams and taking the plunge to move to Nashville, Taylor spent time living out of his car and grinding away to make it.  After the struggles and sacrifices, Taylor has become a staple in the Nashville music scene. The road wasn’t easy, but chasing his dreams were worth it.

At 18 years old, Taylor became interested in music after seeing a friend learning to play the guitar.  After his friend learned to play, Taylor asked him to teach him a few chords.  Taylor practiced the guitar, learned some songs, and found himself at a bonfire a few weeks later.  A few friends and Taylor played a few songs and then convinced him to go to an open mic.  Taylor found acceptance from those in attendance and the passion grew from there.  Taylor would go to every open mic he could and began honing his craft.

Taylor has a strong belief in working hard and learning your craft.  With acceptance comes failures, but his drive and determination fueled his passion for music.  Each performance became better than the last as Taylor’s confidence grew.

After his band dispersed and working a day job, Taylor found that his music was at a standstill in Georgia and he was running out of fumes.  He decided that it was time to leave town, take a chance, and go somewhere else.  Taylor headed to Nashville with the attitude that “no matter what happened, he wouldn’t stop and come home”.

He got his first gig about 3 days after moving, but Taylor found himself with no place to live and his money was running out.  Taylor said that at his first gig, he made $12 after singing for 3 hours.  He played a continued playing, but would only make a few dollars each time.

Now broke, sleeping in his car in a recording studio parking lot, he gets up one morning and went to downtown Nashville.  Taylor starts walking around, hungry, broke, and walks into Tootsie’s.  He saw a friend playing and his friend takes him to meet Scott Collier.  After his friend told Scott that Taylor needed work, he got an audition.  Taylor plays a song and Scott asks him to come outside to talk.  Scott asked Taylor to be back the next morning.  John Taylor, who runs Tootsie’s, not only asked Taylor to play, he told Taylor that he wanted him to go to all the stages and sit in with everyone.

Now with a place to play, Taylor began living inside the studio on a couch.  After staying there for a month, Taylor found a place to live and was able to focus on getting his feet planted in Nashville.  He truly lived the life of the starving musician.  Taylor is grateful for all the help he had to keep his dreams alive.

Taylor still plays in Nashville, but now he has started to get back out on the road to expand his fanbase.  Taylor is now writing more and has enough material for a new CD.  Taylor is trying to find the money to self fund the project.

Taylor talked about his song writing process.  He is not a fan of co-writing because he has his own process. Some songs starts from humming or an emotion, others start from a guitar riff.  Taylor finds that constant reading and increasing his vocabulary is very beneficial to writing.  Taylor only wants to put out quality songs, still using a pen and paper, and only writing songs that are songs worth keeping.

Taylor is a big believer in promoting himself, working hard, and trying to make things happen.  Technology is allowing more artists to self record, self promote, and being able to do things their own way.  If Taylor makes it big in the industry, he is good with that, but he is more concerned in putting out quality music and making a living doing what he loves to do.  Taylor is influenced by bands like Them Dirty Roses, Bennie Gray and The Trailer Park Cowboys, Jason Isbell, and many others in the Texas Red Dirt Scene.  He also highlights that Bennie Grey really showed him how to write songs.  He credits Brad Wolf to helping him learn how to be a better stage performer.

Taylor is an amazing artist, with a powerful voice.  One of the biggest things I love about Taylor’s music, is that is doesn’t have to be polished.  Taylor desire to put out great quality music is more impressive than produced, polished records. Taylor says that he is going to play music until he dies and if commercial success follows, he is good with it.

I can’t give enough praise to Taylor Cromer.  He is a true fan of music and that shows each time he takes the stage.  He cares so much about the craft, the quality, and always learning.  If you are visiting Nashville, be sure to find where Taylor is playing.  I can promise you that you will be so impressed.  You can follow Taylor and learn more about where to find him and upcoming projects on his Facebook page.

 

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Them Dirty Roses-Trouble

After two years from releasing their first EP, Them Dirty Roses released their second EP, Trouble.  It is a self funded project that tops the first EP by leaps and bounds. (If that is at all possible.) I have made no secret that these guys are one of my favorite bands out there today.  I call them Southern Soul with Gritty Rock and Roll.  I was fortunate to be one of the firsts to receive the new EP and I cannot begin to put into words how great this music is to roll your windows down and jam to.  I spoke to the guys a couple of months ago to talk about the new music and what is next for the Roses.

Fans have been waiting for two years for the new music and of course I had to ask, “Why did it take so long?”  The guys told me that they have been so busy on the road, spreading the name for the last 2 years, and self funded the EP.  They are so proud to do things on their own terms and put out quality music.  The writing on this EP was more personal.  Everyone would work together to get behind what was being written.

I have my favorite on the EP, which is “Fix You”, but of course I had to ask the guys which were their favorites.  “Back Home” and “Fix You” seem to be the common song among the guys.  Andrew and Ben told me that “when they laid it down in the studio, it surprised us.”  Frank told me that “Songs About You” was a fun song to play on drums, which I will say he does a phenomenal job on.  James said his favorite was “Fix You” because “that is the only song I wrote by myself and is more personal to me.” James also said that it turned out as close as it could to the way he heard it in his.  (I am glad that it was in his head, because the song kicks ass.)

I asked the guys to go through each song and the writing process.  James told me the inspiration for “Fix You” comes from having those people you have in your life and seeing the problems they have.  You beat yourself up because you can’t seem to make them happy and in hindsight as you get older, you realize it still isn’t you.

“Songs About You” was co-written by Brian Wesley as well as The Roses.  Andrew had the first line about the girl and the guys started throwing out things and changed it up to be about life.  So many songs are written about a girl and this one is for people who have that “southern belief” even if they are not from the south.

“Trouble” was written by a friend of theirs.  They listened to the song, tweaked it here and there and is about planning on doing the right thing but end up doing the wrong thing.  It is a song that anyone can relate too.

“Molly”, another one of my favorites, is an older song that was written a while back.  The idea of having a girl’s name, but didn’t want to use a name of a girl he knew.  (Please think back to “You’re So Vain”)  We can thank Molly, the Maltese puppy, for running into the room.

“Back Home” was written awhile back.  It deals with being away from home, not knowing anyone as well as contemplating the moves you made.  It is one of those homesick songs that make you think about life’s choices and decisions.

So what can we expect from Them Dirty Roses in the upcoming year? More touring, more songs.  The guys want to get better as writers and musicians.  They performed at Spring Jam in Panama City the early part of April with several big name artist.  The Roses are looking to get on XM and continue to expand the fan base.  The guys are always working in collaboration together trying to use everyone’s idea.  The Roses have seen the growth from the first EP to Trouble.  They are hearing a lot of feedback at how they have grown and want to always put out the best music for the fans.

I see the growth in the band.  I feel that being on the road together for the last 2 years has made the band a cohesive unit.  They have really gotten to know each other and helped with the growth.   In a world of cookie cutter, over produced music, people are starving for real meaningful music.  Them Dirty Roses is a band that is ready to bring back that music that has heart and soul.  They are bringing the music that makes you feel something and can I get a big “Amen” for bringing back songs with meaning.

If you haven’t checked out Them Dirty Roses, please visit their website, buy their EP, go to their shows.  I promise you this is one band that will not disappoint. I have played this EP on loop for a long time.  The music is well written, meaningful, gritty, true life Southern Rock. Trouble is a great representation of all that is Them Dirty Roses.

http://www.themdirtyroses.com/

Lyrical Lists- “Head On” Video Review

So my two favorite music acts team up to produce one of the hottest videos I have seen in a long time.  The song co-written by Kirstie Lovelady and James Ford, from Them Dirty Roses, is proof once again, these musicians, are doing things on their own terms, in their own way.  Two unknown singers, team up to release a hot new video… “No one does that!” A female, trying to break into country music shoots a video in a boxing ring because that is how she sees the video…. “No one does that!”  Well whoever “no one” is has never met Kirstie Lovelady and Them Dirty Roses.  Just as the song’s message is about doing things, your way, not the way everyone else does it, this video follows that message.

When I talked to Kirstie yesterday, I told her “No one has done it this way, because they have been waiting on YOU to do it”.  This video was shot at GetFit615 and Music City Boxing and the locations could not tell the story any better than Kirstie and James do in the song writing.  The guys were lucky to have the video directed by Preston Leatherman who took the vision and brought it to life.

I cannot say enough good things about the first cut “Head On” from Kirstie Lovelady’s new EP “Weeds”.  The video is a clear portrayal of the fight to be your own artist, in your own way, in your own time, and feeling that strong about being you and not someone who the industry expects.

I hope that CMT and GAC will pick the video up and give their viewers the opportunity to see what a total badass, rocking lady looks like and how awesome Them Dirty Roses are and the void they will in fill in music today.

Give it a listen, call your radio stations, and music channels and let’s get this some airplay.  I love they did this their way.

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