New Music Monday: Judah & the Lion- Sweet Tennessee EP

If you know me personally or you’ve seen anything I’ve posted on Twitter for the past, oh, two months or so, you know that I’m living in Nashville, Tennessee for the summer. I don’t care if this sounds cheesy– living in Music City, even for just a few months, has literally been one of my biggest dreams come true. Why? I’m surrounded by music. Good music. AWESOME music. All the time. I can honestly say that every single day I discover a new sound or new artists that I fall in love with.

One of those artists is Judah & the Lion. A few weeks ago, my friend Kate convinced me and a few other friends to go and see them play at an event hosted by Nashville’s independent radio station, Lightning 100. The band was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, the place was packed, and I couldn’t even see the stage from where I was sitting on top of the back of a booth at the Tin Roof. Their live performance was this super-energetic mix of folk and old-fashioned bluegrass jam.


Earlier this year, Judah & the Lion released a six-song EP, Sweet Tennessee. I bought the EP after hearing their set at Tin Roof, and it’s been on repeat everywhere I go ever since. Maybe their EP isn’t necessarily a “brand new” release, but for the purposes of blogging, it’s new to me, and completely worth attention. My favorite two tracks on the EP are “Hesitate” and “Southern Ground,” but truly, every song has its undeniably wonderful moments.

Here’s a video of Judah & the Lion playing “Southern Ground” live at Nashville’s 12th and Porter in April. Be prepared to tap your feet uncontrollably as soon as you hit play…

And as if their sound isn’t enough to have going for them, their attitudes are in the right place as well. The band was hanging out after the show, so I got the chance to chat with a few of them and they were very friendly, and humble despite their obvious talent. So here’s to hoping that these guys get all the attention they deserve in the awesome future they have ahead of them. And here’s also to hoping they come to Athens, Georgia to play a show in the near future… (pretty please!)

Find Sweet Tennessee on iTunes and stream it on Spotify. You won’t regret it.


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New Music Monday- Music from “Nashville”

As you may have heard, there’s a new TV series on ABC called “Nashville.” Because I am in love with Music City, I inevitably had to watch the premiere. I loved being able to point out the places I (somewhat) know and definitely love in my favorite city, but I was also intrigued by how good the music was. I didn’t expect for the music to sound all that genuine, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s obvious that the actors spent time making their voices sound just right, and it really added an extra good finishing touch to the show.

Hayden Panetierre’s (as Juliette Barnes) voice fits well with the driven, up-tempo “Love Like Mine,” and Charles Esten (as Deacon Claybourne) also plays quite a convincing role as a legendary songwriter with his heartfelt performance “Back Home.” In the end, though, the one song that had me completely floored was Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen’s (as Gunnar Scott and Scarlett O’Connor) version of “If I Didn’t Know Better,” which was made famous by the Civil Wars. I most definitely do love the Civil Wars, but this version could definitely put up some competition to theirs! Whenever I first recognized the guitar part to the song as the show’s first episode was coming to a close, I didn’t expect much, but it was actually pretty incredible. Their voices are somewhat similar to those of John Paul White and Joy Williams (The Civil Wars), but they were just unique enough to make me fall in love with the song all over again. It’s definitely worth a listen, and I hope those two characters have many duets to come on the show!

Find the music from the first episode of Nashville here:

“Love Like Mine” by Hayden Panetierre
“Back Home” by Charles Esten
“If I Didn’t Know Better” by Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen

You can watch “Nashville” Wednesday nights at 10/9c on ABC.

Keep talkin’ twangy!


Music City, baby!

It’s July 6th, 2012 and I’ve been counting down to this day for at least two months. I’m writing this post from Nashville, Tennessee, and for obvious reasons I’m quite excited. Being in the heart of Music City always revitalizes my passion for country music and sparks my mind to keep creatively exploring how I’ll get to where I want to be professionally and personally when I finish my college degree. For me, it’s literally the city of dreams. My dreams.

As a celebration of this trip, here are a few of my favorite country music videos that were filmed in downtown Music City!

Song: “Hello World”
Artist: Lady Antebellum
Album: Need You Now
“Hello World” was filmed very close to the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Deaderick Street, and you can see the War Memorial building in the background any time Dave is shown playing the piano. The video itself is incredibly powerful and is definitely my favorite Lady A video. If you watch one video in this post, make it this one.

Song: “Ours”
Artist: Taylor Swift
Album: Ours- Single
According to Taste of Country, the Nashville airport was shut down for this video! I guess if you’re as famous as Taylor Swift, you can’t risk thousands of passerby recognizing you in the time it takes you to shoot a music video in an airport. The entire video was shot around Nashville, but the airport is the most recognizable location that’s shown.

Song: “Take It Off”
Artist: Joe Nichols
Album: It’s All Good
I was able to figure out that part of this video was filmed on Third Avenue North downtown, but I can’t seem to figure out where the rest of it is shot. I’m not familiar with the building that’s in the background during the park scenes, so if you do know, leave a comment and help me learn my Nashville geography!

Song: “Temporary Home”
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Album: Play On
Like “Hello World,” this one is amazingly emotional. This video won “Inspirational Music Video of the Year” at the 16th Inspirational Country Music Awards in 2010, and for good reason. I cry every single time I watch this video, so if you watch it and the same happens to you, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Song: “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
Artist: Eli Young Band
Album: Life at Best
This video was filmed at Gruhn Guitars (on the corner of 4th and Broadway) in downtown Nashville (source: Taste of Country). In the time since this song was released, it has more or less become my theme song. Chasing big dreams can bring proportionately big heartbreak, and I’m learning that I have to keep going after what’s in my heart even when I seem to hit roadblocks and letdowns along the way.

Keep talkin’ twangy!