Echo Mountain Recording Studio
|Leigh Glass Band|
Asheville-based blues troubadour Leigh Glass put the first lineup of her band together in 2003, but her own musical history goes back much farther. "I took piano lessons when I was little...but it didn't stick," she laughs. Leigh's original songs are built upon an electric blues musical foundation, with healthy ladles of country (and country-blues) influences added. A list of her musical heroes covers a wide spectrum of American artists and genres: Ann Wilson (rock), Gillian Welch (Americana), Tina Turner (blues and soul), Emmylou Harris (country) and Leontyne Price (opera). Leigh's style distills all of these and more into the blues idiom, but her lyrics are always prominent in the mix. Leigh offers, "My songs are all stories that run the gamut of emotions and characters." Audiences follow her lyrics closely, and onstage Leigh delivers them with gusto: "I tell people, if you sit in the front row, you're gonna get (accidentally) spit on!"
The spastic indie rock trio White Denim hail from Austin, Texas, where bandmates Josh Block (drums), Steve Terebecki (bass), and James Petralli (guitars, vocals) first set up shop in 2005. All three members were veterans of the Austin scene; Block and Petralli had previously played together in the alt-rock band Parque Torche, while Terebecki was a member of Peach Train.
Drawing from a number of punk and garage rock influences, the group fashioned a hard-hitting sound with crunchy guitar riffs and frantic energy. Let's Talk About It, a 7" EP, marked the band's studio debut in 2007. After releasing another EP in 2008, the group retooled many of its older songs for Explosion, White Denim's first full-length release.
The band had amassed a sizable audience in the U.K. by this point, prompting the sophomore album Fits to hit British shores several months before its American release in October 2009. The following year, the band expanded its lineup to include second guitarist Austin Jenkins, and shortly afterwards self-released Last Day of Summer, as a way for the bandmembers to clear out song ideas they'd been bouncing around for the past four years. In 2011, the band released its fourth full-length album, D, on Downtown Records. The following year they fleshed out their sound with fourth member Austin Jenkins (guitar) and embarked on a tour with Wilco. After some late-night conversations, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy agreed to lend a hand in the production of their fifth full-length release, Corsicana Lemonade, which was released in late 2013. White Denim quickly followed up with The Pretty Green EP in 2014.
The Whiskey Gentry
Amongst many attempts to describe The Whiskey Gentry, perhaps the best take was from Paste Magazine who called them a “toe-tapping, steamrolling kind of band, its fingers picking deep into fields of bluegrass…with a punk-inspired kick drum.”
The Whiskey Gentry’s catchy tunes reel in listeners spanning from music novices to mainstream audiences, while their musical mastery garners the professional praise and respect of those with the most sophisticated of musical palates.
Two albums in, both co-produced by John Keane (R.E.M., Uncle Tupelo), they recently gained official recognition as a finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition held at MerleFest. From local haunts to the Nashville music industry’s elite, the band’s burgeoning followers and supporters have quite literally set the stage for nationwide venues and air waves.
Initially a quintet formed by husband and wife duo Lauren Staley and Jason Morrow, the band’s debut album in 2011 Please Make Welcome became a critically-acclaimed success, quickly launching the Atlanta-based band into markets from Tampa to NYC, and at festivals priding themselves as the first to showcase the next best thing.
They have since expanded on both a physical and geographic level, becoming a septet comprised of Chesley Lowe on banjo, Sammy Griffin on bass, Price Cannon on drums, Michael Smith on mandolin, and Rurik Nunan on fiddle.
Country singer Kree Harrison had more than a few brushes with success before she finally caught the attention of music fans with her appearance on Season 12 of the television talent competition American Idol. Born in Port Arthur, Texas on May 17, 1990, Harrison began singing in church when she was only three years old, and was soon appearing at talent shows around the Lone Star state. When Harrison was 10, someone videotaped one of her performances and sent a copy to The Rosie O'Donnell Show, which was airing a regular segment on talented kids. O'Donnell and her staff liked Harrison's singing enough that she appeared on the show four times.
By the time Harrison was 12, a deal with Lyric Street Records was in the offing, but after the unexpected death of her father, Harrison chose to step back from her musical career. Harrison began writing songs as a means of dealing with her feelings, and by age 16 she had landed a publishing deal with Chrysalis and had moved to Nashville. Harrison was playing showcases in Music City and started work on an album, but history sadly repeated itself when her mother died in an auto accident, and Harrison returned home to Texas to be with her family.
At 21, Harrison was back in Nashville, writing songs and playing club dates, and in 2013, she traveled to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to audition for American Idol. Showing an easy familiarity with rock & roll but shining brightest with country material, Harrison became a favorite with judges and viewers, and was the runner-up for the 2013 season. In July 2013, Harrison hit the road as part of the American Idol LIVE concert tour, and she released her first single, an original tune called "All Cried Out."