Tag Archives: Jeremy Spillman

MEADOWS, TRAVIS SOLITUDE

A CONVERSATION WITH SONGWRITER, TRAVIS MEADOWS

   ONE MAN. ONE GUITAR. AND THE TRUTH.

     Jason Aldean’s hit song about Nashville, “Crazy Town,” describes rolling into town and shaking off the “where you came from dust” so you can become somebody famous. “It’s a crazy town full of neon dreams, Everybody plays everybody sings.” That’s the artist side of things. Sell your soul to the devil for a hit record. For every artist who comes to Nashville hoping the city is a dream catcher, there’s a songwriter who moves there to tell stories. He’s not looking to shake off where he came from because that’s the foundation of his character and the source of his inspiration. While an artist may be willing to edit his image, a songwriter is only as good as the truth he can tell. Travis Meadows didn’t come to Nashville with aspirations of standing in a neon spotlight or becoming a songwriter. He was a songwriter long before he set foot in Music City and fame wasn’t something he coveted. His craft is dependent on taking life’s moments of stark reality and turning them into lyrics. “Davidson County Police” is a song Travis wrote that describes some of his truth. Blue lights shining in his face, it’s as if he was asked to take a songwriter’s oath: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” Hand on the Bible, Travis answers in the affirmative. The truth is all he knows.

     To be a songwriter, you must first be a writer. In Travis’ words, “You either are or you aren’t a writer. You don’t become one.” For Travis, the writing started around age six or seven when be began rhyming things, writing poems. His progression from poetry to songwriting took place casually in his childhood. He grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, the dirt beneath his songwriting roots. About the age of ten, he started playing drums and learning rock songs. KISS’ “Detroit Rock City” and Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” were among the first he recalled having played. Around eleven, he connected the dots between poetry and songwriting. He wrote a poem and started making up words. “Lonely Heart” was his first song. A tectonic shift in his life happened when he was eleven, the age he remembers his first addiction started. He describes himself as having an addictive personality. When he does something, it’s all or nothing. His songwriting would become a product of those addictions and an addiction in itself. This was the beginning of Travis’ lifelong need to write songs.

     You might expect that Travis Meadows cut his songwriting teeth and his performance skills in Nashville. He didn’t. When Travis stepped off the bus, or got out of the car, the sign he saw said ‘Gatlinburg.’ Around the age of 21, Travis moved to Gatlinburg and learned to play the guitar. This would be no casual MEADOWS, TRAVIS GUITAR CLOSE UP EYES CLOSEDpreoccupation. When he was learning something new, it consumed him. He would play a song for 24 hours, marking it indelibly in his mind. One of those he learned was “Helpless” by Neil Young. Travis said he never followed bands much. He was more a fan of the singer/songwriters like Neil Young and Bob Dylan. What led to his taking a seat behind a microphone, putting a guitar in his hands, and singing his songs to entertain people wasn’t emulating those musicians he admired. It was a fellow Mississippian turned Tennessee resident that caught his eye. Watching Elvis movies, Travis saw a regular guy going about his life turn into something special when he picked up a guitar and started to sing. People suddenly paid attention to him. Encouraged, Travis started performing for the lunch crowd at a deli in Gatlinburg. He says he started out playing just three songs. He added a fourth and eventually was able to make selections from 100 songs he knew. This was the beginning of a dream for Travis that would lead to his making a bucket list move a few years down the road.

     Travis didn’t move to Nashville to become a famous songwriter. He moved to Nashville because he wanted to write with the best songwriters. Starting out an unknown entity in Music City, he went about trying to get a publishing deal. He’d had a few hits on Christian radio but now had to get the guys in the country market to pay attention to him. He had a series of meetings where he was playing some Christian songs while the guy that was supposed to be listening to him was otherwise occupied checking his email. At the last of these meetings, he decided to play some country tunes. This made the listener start taking notes. A day or two later, he had three publishers meetings. He said the first two went so bad he didn’t bother to go to the third one. He left demoralized. Songwriting was what he’d come to Nashville to do. There was no plan B. What happened next he describes as “the beginning of the end that started the beginning.”

     After an unplanned hiatus from songwriting, Travis found his way back to his passion. He says he traded dingy, dank bars for open mic and writer’s nights at more reputable establishments. These places are the proving grounds for some of Nashville’s best songwriters. Surrounding himself with new walls and new MEADOWS, TRAVIS SINGINGfaces was the inspiration he needed to write again on a level that might just land him a publishing deal. He described this new source of inspiration as “digging water from a different well.” Travis had been writing songs for an Australian country singer named Adam Brand. On the day that Scott Gunter from Universal came to see him perform, he played three of those songs. Unlike his previous experiences, this turned out to be a life changing day in a good way. Scott loved the performance and signed him to a publishing contract. He also learned that day that Adam Brand had recorded one of his songs. I doubt it happens often that a newly signed songwriter has a recorded song on the first day of his publishing contract. This would be his lucky day. If you ask Travis how he landed this deal, he’ll attribute it to luck as much as his credentials as a songwriter. He says landing a deal is a crap shoot based on the particular day and whose ear is doing the listening. Music is subjective by nature. Just as we choose music based on what we’re in the mood to hear at a given time, so might the guy whose job it is to decide the fate of your deal. Your future as a professional songwriter may be at the mercy of his mood.

     So Travis Meadows is now a professional songwriter living in Nashville. His dream come true! I’d always wondered how songwriters make money, so I took this opportunity to ask one. Travis’ response: “Hell if I know.” He says quarterly checks appear in his mailbox and calls it “magic money.” Explaining what he did know, he summarized the two types of royalties that songwriters earn. Performance Royalties are paid when music is performed publicly. This would include radio, in a bar, over Spotify and Pandora, etc. PROs (performance rights organizations) such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, collect performance royalties from music users and subsequently pay the songwriters and publishers. Mechanical Royalties are paid to songwriters and artists whenever music is sold. This would include vinyl and CD sales as well as streaming. For songwriters, mechanical royalties are set by the government (9 cents for every dollar earned via sale).  To receive his royalty check, Travis had to decide which PRO he wished to join. He was with ASCAP for 15 years before switching to BMI. The rate of payout fluctuates and often determines which PRO a songwriter will sign with. Travis doesn’t dwell on the subject of money when talking about songwriting. He says if you got into songwriting to make money, you’d be better off as a plumber. For him, it’s never been about making money. Commercial success rarely happens to writers. In his words, “Writers write because there’s something on the inside that needs to get out.”

     While songwriting is Travis Meadows’ occupation, it’s not a nine to five gig. Inspiration can come at all hours to a writer and may strike when you have nothing more than a napkin to write on. Creative passion doesn’t punch a time clock, nor can it be ordered up like a hamburger with toppings that suit the consumer. Songwriters have taken a beating for the cliched sound of country radio these days, lambasted as if they’ve suddenly run out of words. Travis says he pays no attention to country radio. He keeps busy – “head down and hands on the plow.” His spark comes from inside and his songs reflect the truth that built the man. He quoted Harlan Perry Howard, a hall of fame songwriter, when relating the belief from which he writes. “Country music is three chords and the truth.” Travis understands the role radio plays, often filling commute time with non-thinking music. Someone has to write the music to fill that spot and there are songwriters who do that exceptionally well. For something deeper, you’ll have to look outside the box. Many have been quick to report the demise of  good songwriting in country music, never having looked past the store window that radio represents. Great songs are written every day by truth tellers like Travis Meadows, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever hear them. Travis says that sometimes great songs slip through to country radio, but historically, the best cuts never do. For the holy grail of Nashville songwriting, attend a Writers’ Round.

     Travis played a Writers’ Round at Douglas Corner recently with friends, Lucie Silvas and Tyler Bryant. Patti McClintic was there for that event and had this to say about the experience: “Travis is enjoying commercial success with hit songs he’s written for Jake Owen, “What We Ain’t Got,” and Dierks Bentley, “Riser.” He played both of those songs for the crowd gathered at Douglas Corner and they were well received, but it was his lesser known songs that brought down the house.” Patti said it was difficult to choose which songs she felt most impacted by and which she would talk about because all of his MEADOWS, TRAVIS GUITAR FINGER UPselections deserved a mention. The two she settled on were “Minefield” from Travis’ 2011 album, Killin’ Uncle Buzzy, and “Black” from his 2007 album, My Life 101. In her words, ““Minefield” speaks to anyone who has ever found themselves in a dark place, found the light, and succumbed to the darkness once again, generally thanks to one’s own poor decisions. To hear Meadows explain how this song came about, reveals how honest he is about his own difficult past. He makes no apologies for that past, and rightfully so. “Black” is a song written for a grandfather that served as a surrogate father for Meadows as a boy. The relationship was a good one and left him with fond memories. The title refers to the black coffee that “granddaddy” used to drink. “Real men drink their coffee black.” This song was so powerful, as I glanced across the capacity crowd, I could see people trying to nonchalantly wipe tears from their cheeks. Rare is the writer that can evoke such raw emotions from the listener.” In such a setting, Travis has the opportunity to explain his connection to the song and the  circumstances that inspired its writing. Being in a room with several songwriters, all performing their powerful truths, is a cataclysmic experience. Patti called this the “perfect storm of songwriting” and summed up her review by saying, “It was the best ten bucks I ever spent.”

     Outside the Writers’ Rounds, where the truth is less self evident, country music is a changing genre. There’s been a lot of debate about the sound of country music and where it’s headed in the future. Traditionalists want to pull the genre back to its roots while others think the time is right to push the boundaries. Travis keeps an open mind about the music and doesn’t see the need to compartmentalize it. He referenced Eric Church when talking about this subject, saying that his fans aren’t necessarily country fans. Eric has amassed a following based on his music and who he is. If this were a game of rock, paper, scissors, music beats genre. The impact of the digital age on music hasn’t been lost on Travis either. He says that people buy songs these days, not albums, and they make playlists that include different genres of music. He isn’t surprised that this type of genreless listening has found its way into the music and thinks it may not be such a bad thing. He also reminded me that this isn’t the first time country music has had its boundaries tested. In the 60s, Ray Price added orchestral parts to the music, breaking from the traditional honky tonk sounding arrangements that were the accepted norm of the day. Travis sees country as a genre in a box, imposing its own growth restrictions. As a songwriter whose craft depends on his growth as a person, he relishes the artistic freedom that growth allows.

     Travis Meadows says he’s growing as a person and channeling that growth into a new album. There’s no time limit on the project and he’s not sure what the finished product will look like. As of now, he has about 17 songs for it but admits he has no idea what will end up on the record. What he does know is that MEADOWS, TRAVIS WITH HARMONICAthis album will definitely be lighter than the first two. When he wrote Killin’ Uncle Buzzy, he says the purpose was to save a life. He never intended for it to be heard. When it was so overwhelmingly accepted and lauded for the truths it told, it cast a long shadow on what was to follow. Travis says just to get past the reverberations of Uncle Buzzy, he wrote and released Old Ghosts & Unfinished Business. He admits there was no other reason for it. This time, he wants things to happen organically. He’s playing shows, going about his daily life, and thinking about what he needs to say. In order to say something new, he says he has to answer the question, “Who is Travis today?” The music will reflect that personal growth.

     For Travis Meadows, his life and his life’s work is in the songs he’s written, and he says he loves them all. I asked a hard question of a songwriter, to choose a few of his favorites from among the vast catalog. Travis said the list would change daily, but these rose to the top on this day: “Learning How To Live Alone” (Killin’ Uncle Buzzy), “Davidson County Police” (Killin’ Uncle Buzzy) because it was heavy and life changing, “Lucky One” (My Life 101), “My Life 101” (My Life 101) because it was his truth, not what they wanted to hear, “Old Ghosts” (Old Ghosts & Unfinished Business) because he made peace with the ghosts of his past by turning and looking at them, “Riser” (Dierks Bentley, Riser), and “What We Ain’t Got” (Jake Owen, Days Of Gold). Having come to Nashville to write with some of the best songwriters, I asked who he most enjoyed writing with. He said there were many, so just to name a few he listed Jeremy Spillman, Tony Lane, Tom Douglas, and Melissa Peirce. Travis said you never know what’s going to come out of a writing session, sometimes you come up empty, but every once in a while you come up with something great. With characteristic humility he said, “As a songwriter, you have to smile at heaven when you write something bigger than you because it’s too clever for you to have written.”

MEADOWS, TRAVIS WITH JAKE OWEN BLOCK PARTY

     I requested an interview with Travis Meadows the songwriter, what I got as a bonus was a conversation with Travis the man. There is no separating the man from his work. His work is merely a manifestation of the the life he’s lived and the man he’s become. He spent a good many years of his life learning to be comfortable in his own skin. As he put it, “I had to learn to be me.” His MEADOWS, TRAVIS WAIST UPsongwriting is the embodiment of all that he’s learned and the truth of his actions. Commercial success is not what motivates him. He told me that he writes what he loves, not what you want to hear. At the end of the day, when he signs his name to a song he’s written, he does so knowing it was the best he could do that day. He’s become known for writing good songs. Even with the spotlight that writing hit songs for Jake Owen and Dierks Bentley has given him, Travis is most at home where songwriters gather. He said playing at the Ryman was not the pinnacle for him. Playing the 9 o’clock show at the Bluebird Cafe is a gratifying pat on the back that says he’s made it in a songwriter’s town, where the best of the best come to tell their truths. His was not a neon dream. Travis has found that success for a humble man is simply three chords and the truth.

From WAY North of Nashville……..Bev Miskus

Watch the video for Jake Owen’s “What We Ain’t Got”!

Songwriters: Travis Meadows, Travis Jerome Goff

Travis said when they wrote the song, it was with the idea that it would be a guy and a girl song. Jake’s video gave it new life. He said he never envisioned it like that and it’s become bigger than he ever thought it could be.

Visit Travis Meadows’ website: http://travismeadows.com/

MEADOWS, TRAVIS MY LIFE 101

Download My Life 101 on iTunes: HERE

MEADOWS, TRAVIS KILLIN UNCLE BUZZY

Download Killin’ Uncle Buzzy on iTunes: HERE

MEADOWS, TRAVIS OLD GHOSTS & UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Download Old Ghosts & Unfinished Business on iTunes: HERE

MEADOWS, TRAVIS SOLITUDE

Photographs courtesy of Bill McClintic at 90 East Photography.

Visit his website for contact information: http://www.90eastphotography.com/home.html

The essential Travis Meadows playlist!

Learning How To Live Alone” – Killin’ Uncle Buzzy

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

Davidson County Police” – Killin’ Uncle Buzzy

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

Lucky One” – My Life 101

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

My Life 101” – My Life 101

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

Old Ghosts” – Old Ghosts & Unfinished Business

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

Black” – My Life 101

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

Minefield” – Killin’ Uncle Buzzy

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

What We Ain’t Got” – Jake Owen – Days Of Gold

Songwriters: Travis Meadows, Travis Jerome Goff

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

Dark Side” – Eric Church – The Outsiders

Songwriters: Eric Church, Travis Meadows, Jeremy Spillman

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

Riser” – Dierks Bentley – Riser

Songwriters: Travis Meadows, Steve Moakler

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

©2015Bev Miskus

WORSHAM, CHARLIE - FEATURED

COVERING CHARLIE WORSHAM

Singer. Songwriter. Extraordinary musician.

WORSHAM, CHARLIE - WANT ME TOO

CHARLIE WORSHAM – WANT ME TOO – RUBBERBAND

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

     What do Charlie Worsham, Katy Perry, Ozzy Osbourne, Gangnam Style, ZZ Top, and The Steve Miller Band have in common? If you’re a fan of Charlie Worsham, you probably know the answer to this. If you asked, “Who’s Charlie Worsham?,” he is one of Nashville’s finest young musicians and a name that should have all the tongues in Music City wagging. Visit Charlie’s website and WORSHAM, CHARLIEyou’ll see a tab on the far right side of the menu bar that says ‘Watch The New Cover Challenge!‘ I clicked on that tab and opened up a Charlie and the Music Factory world of instruments and sounds like you’ve never heard them combined before. The tunes are familiar, but the arrangements are a sensation for the ears. A few years ago, a friend of Charlie’s suggested he challenge himself to doing a cover song in a 24-hour period. One guy. One song. One day. He would have 24 hours to write the arrangement, play all the instruments, build the track, and record the finished product. He enlisted the help of his twitter followers to make song suggestions and he chose from the list. There are 13 of these on his YouTube channel and I opened each one like the holy grail might be locked inside a Charlie Worsham cover song. It seems everyone is asking what happened to real country music and where have all the songwriters gone? If Nashville’s holy grail contains the answer to those two questions, then yes, I found it, in a cover song and the extraordinary musician who took me to Mississippi in July.

     I had the opportunity to see Charlie Worsham perform live on the last night of Brad Paisley’s Country Nation World Tour just last month. He was one of the opening acts and I didn’t know all that much about him. It didn’t take long to figure out that he was far above the caliber of an opener. I couldn’t wait to get home and download his debut album, Rubberband. Listening intently to those tracks, it was apparent that this was no ordinary debut album and Charlie was not a novice musician. When he graciously agreed to this interview, I started doing my homework and followed my intuition. On his website, I WORSHAM, CHARLIE - IN STUDIOdiscovered the link to the covers he’d done. Watching these was like seeing inside the mind of Einstein if he’d been a musician. We don’t often get to see our favorite artists at work, behind the scenes of those songs we love, where the magic happens. Only in this instance, Charlie didn’t have the luxury of a pimped out recording studio or a posse of professionals and assistants to make things come together. He was alone in his house turned music lab and had to engineer things of his own accord. After watching him work diligently in a couple of these, I could literally see his passion for music consume the process and materialize in the finished product. He is NOT a casual musician. I’d heard of the music bug biting people, but Charlie must have been bitten by the likes of Jaws, and I couldn’t wait to ask when it happened.

     It wouldn’t have surprised me if Charlie had said that he’d learned to play an instrument before he learned how to walk or talk. He was born and raised in Mississippi by parents who valued education, travel, and music. His father was a drummer by choice and a banker by necessity. His mother was a teacher. Both Charlie Worsham Live In Studioof them would have a major influence on his eventual path to Nashville and the well-rounded musician he’s become. When he was very young, he said he did all the usual things kids do like T-ball and karate. Watching and listening to his father play with bands on the local scene, it didn’t take long before Charlie knew that neither baseball nor martial arts would satisfy his growing passion. He started with piano lessons in elementary school and eventually wanted what every budding rock star wants – a guitar. Trying to point her son in a somewhat WORSHAM, CHARLIE - GRAND OLE OPRYless Motley Crue direction, his mother took him to Nashville when he was seven years old. During that trip, he saw Mike Snider play the banjo at the Grand Ole Opry. Mike is a National Banjo Champion and a member of the Grand Ole Opry. This experience inspired Charlie to pick up a banjo and master it. He joined a bluegrass band with some of his dad’s old bandmates called The Wabash Cannibals, and by the age of 12, he was a Junior National Banjo Champion. In 1998, he made his Opry debut alongside his muse, Mike Snider, and received a standing ovation, wowing his very first Nashville audience. Nice work mom!

     So where does a 12 year old go from being a banjo champ and a Grand Ole Opry veteran? Naturally, to the local high school marching band. Throughout his high school years, Charlie played tenor sax in the band and picked up the electric guitar. He said he was always trying to start a band, and in high school, WORSHAM, CHARLIE - THE PLAYERSThe Players was his weekend bar gig. By the time he left for college, he was able to play a variety of instruments and took his vast experience to Boston, where he attended the Berklee College of Music. Charlie traveled extensively with his mother growing up. As a teacher, she led many school trips, and he got to accompany her and see the world. He said he fell in love with Boston, and Berklee is one of the world’s best music schools. It was the perfect place to continue his music education in a very cosmopolitan environment. He spent several years there until he decided to make the move to Nashville and pursue his dream of being a professional musician. Moving to  Nashville was always Charlie’s plan; it was just a matter of when.

WORSHAM, CHARLIE - OFFICIAL PIC

     Even the most talented musicians don’t move to Nashville and sign a lease on a shiny new career.  It’s going to be a long haul for most and everything will eventually come down to the relationships you build and your experiences along the way. Charlie joined a band called KingBilly when he first came to KINGBILLYMusic City. He shared a house with the guys in the band and they toured out of a 15-passenger van all across the country. During his three years with them, Charlie said he learned a lot about the industry and making music in general. He got to experiment with his musicianship, his vocals, stage presence, songwriting, and all the aspects that go into developing a performer and potential solo artist. When they disbanded, he decided to pursue a solo career, already having a good foundation and the skill set to push himself further. He did some session work that included Eric Church’s award winning album, Chief, released in 2011. On three of the songs – “Keep On,” “Like Jesus Does,” and “Over When It’s Over,” he played various instruments. He started playing shows doing a lot of cover songs, quite capably I’m sure, and said he only started writing more because he ran out of cover songs. He had the good fortune of meeting a guy from his hometown that sold him some recording gear and got him started in the producing and recording side of things. Norbert Putnam is a record producer, musician, and well know WORSHAM, CHARLIE - NORBERT PUTNAMsession player in Nashville. In 1965, he was brought into the studio as a bass player to record on Elvis Presley’s sessions, and added to his impressive resume with other big names of the day that included Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to name just a few. So Charlie’s new equipment wasn’t just garage sale quality. These pieces had some hall of fame miles on them, and with Norbert’s mentoring, it’s no surprise that Charlie’s sound would soon have a polished, roots edge to it.

     When Warner Music Nashville signed Charlie as a solo artist, he started working on his debut album. The fact that Warner gave him the freedom to release a full length album instead of an EP, speaks volumes about the confidence they had in their newly signed artist. Charlie was light years ahead of where most young artists are when they start working on that first record. His education, well-rounded music experiences, and natural ability had given him the tools he needed to fully immerse himself in the content and production of this first project. He partnered with Ryan Tyndell on the album, both as a co-producer and a songwriter. Together, Charlie and Ryan were co-writers on WORSHAM, CHARLIE - WITH RYAN TYNDELLnine of the eleven tracks. Charlie had a hand in writing every song on the album and I asked him about the songwriting process with his co-writers. He described it as being in a room full of very talented people when ideas are tossed out and the lyrics and music develop through a piecing together, much like you’d build a puzzle. Sometimes, he said you’re fully engaged in every aspect of what that song becomes. On others, you may be part of the initial idea but someone else breathes life into the song and you get to witness its creation. You often see songwriter pairings that reappear frequently on hit songs. People get to know who they write well with and you can count on something magical happening almost every time they get together. For this album, a large part of that magical process came from Charlie and Ryan.

     Rubberband is simplicity and complexity tightly woven together in a collective love song. You don’t have to listen to the tracks on this album in any particular order, but listen to it entirely to feel the depth of the love it conveys. The passion in these sonWORSHAM, CHARLIE - DEBUT ALBUM 1gs is not the steam up the glass kind that results in a raunchy video. Lyrically, there’s a sweetness and simple message written here. The many layers of musical complexity in each song add depth and passion to the written word. Charlie’s vocal delivery ties the two together, as lovers would be, and demonstrates the ups and downs, twists and turns that are inevitable when you’ve searched for, found, and lost love. Whether it’s a personal relationship or a passion for something that moves you, following that passion carries risks and the ultimate reward. Rubberband is an ode to just those feelings.

     “Could It BeandWant Me Tooare the two singles that have been released to radio from this record, in that order. They’re both easy to sing along to, feel good songs that provide an empowering soundtrack if your weekend plans WORSHAM, CHARLIE - COULD IT BEinclude finding love. Charlie’s vocal falls into the just right category on these two, exhibiting a hint of shyness, confidence, and hopefulness presented like a bouquet on a first date. Who knows, we might go down in flames/Then again I might just change your name” is truth speakin’ about the leap of faith required in any new relationship. Young To Seehas a freedom about it that’s exactly what the lyrics talk about. It’s a light, lively song with a hint of melancholy in its classic country roots. It encourages free living and following your heart so you don’t end up regretting the chances you never took. Great advice in this song! Trouble Isdescribes the tumultuous feelings we’ve all felt trying to separate your heart from your head and the weakness of the human spirit for giving in to temptation. The complexity of those feelings is felt through the instrumentation in this song. This is a beautiful example of lyrics and music in perfect harmony to convey a message.

     The next four songs on this album, each in their own right, are award winning recordings. The title track,Rubberband,” is a musical odyssey that takes you through the journey of a relationship and several decades of musical influences. WORSHAM, CHARLIE - RUBBERBANDSLyrically, it’s contemporary, but instrumentally it’s supported by country, rock, and blues. The production on this song is extraordinary. Charlie’s vocals are smooth throughout and he slides perfectly with the force of the music between crescendo and decrescendo. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the feeling of this song, much like the force of some relationships. And from the strength of that song,How I Learned To Praywill bring you to your knees. This one gives me chills from the start. It’s largely an acoustic arrangement with light touches throughout that give it wings. The lyrics are beautiful and a testament to the power of great songwriting. Jeremy Spillman and Ryan Tyndell co-wrote this one with Charlie and it is a stunner. The hint of an angelic chorus at the end of the song supports the idea that less is more and the strength of this one is in its breathtaking simplicity.

     Charlie’s musical influences are largely found in some of country’s finest musicians. Two of them joined him for one of the standout tracks on the album, Tools of the Trade.” In uncovering the holy grail of country music sounds, this may well be it. Vince Gill and Marty Stuart added their vocals and WORSHAM, CHARLIE - VINCE GILL AND MARTY STUARTmusicianship to this one and it is a perfect blend of something old, something new, something borrowed, and words so true. This is a tribute to the past and a handshake with the future showcased in a seamless production of vocals and instrumental brilliance. All the talk around country music circles wants to divide Nashville into two camps – old school or new school country. If they’d stop listening solely to what’s on the radio, they’d hear songs like this one and discover that the tools of the trade are the same for everyone. Charlie told me that part of the excitement of recording this track was getting to spend time with Vince and Marty. These two bring years of experience, both musically and otherwise, and there’s nothing money can buy that’s worth more. This song is a musician’s dream because it celebrates music and what goes into the making, playing, and performing of it. This one should have been performed on an awards stage. Equally impressive is WORSHAM. CHARLIE - MISSISSIPPIMississippi In July.” When I asked Charlie what his favorite song was that he’d written, this was it. This is what soulful songwriting feels like. From the instrumental opening, you’re transported. You feel the warmth of the breeze, smell the honeysuckle, and count the miles between the present and a lost love from years past. The blending of Charlie’s simple melody with a female harmony creates a musical relationship that illustrates the love they sing about. The guitar accompaniment, acoustic and then electric, plays like a country version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” throughout. This song was made to be played on the radio.

Listen to “Mississippi In July!”

Download the song through iTunes: HERE

WORSHAM, CHARLIE - WITH ORANGE GLASSES

     “Break What’s Brokenis a banjo-infused ode to a broken heart. If you need a good cry, this is your song. They don’t come any more pour your heart out than this.Someone Like Mehas the feel of an acoustic ballad with a beat. It’s a plea for love to someone not likely to let you in. You can almost hear this echo WORSHAM, CHARLIE - WITH SHERYL CROWoff the walls the object of his love has built. Maybe if it resonates loudly enough, she’ll let him in. On the strength of this song, he just might have a shot. The album ends withLove Don’t Die Easyand it’s a beautiful tribute to the power of love. Sheryl Crow joins Charlie on this one to empower the vocal on an even par with the love they sing about. The steady drumbeat resembles a heartbeat and the accompanying music salutes its resilience. It’s a strong closer on a love-themed album.

     Charlie Worsham finished Brad Paisley’s tour one weekend and was out on another the following weekend. He is currently on the Up In Smoke Tour with WORSHAM, CHARLIE - UP IN SMOKE TOURKip Moore and Sam Hunt. In early 2015, he heads to Canada to open for Dallas Smith on the Tippin’ Point Tour. There’s a reason he’s such a sought after opener. Quite simply, he’s one of the best you’ll ever see. Charlie is the complete package. He’s great vocally, has tremendous stage presence, an engaging connection with the audience, and extraordinary musicianship. You can’t create that, nor can you fake it. As a new artist (by Nashville’s standards), he should have been nominated in that category multiple times. His debut album is flawless WORSHAM, CHARLIE - ON STAGEand everything country music should celebrate. He builds on the roots of country music, giving them a place to shine in each song alongside the more contemporary country sounds that have followed. The songwriting on the album is a tribute to the storytelling country is known for. The support the production gives to the lyrics through the diverse instrumentation that accompanies it, is far beyond typical new artist capabilities and something that should be recognized for its excellence. I asked Charlie about the plans for his next album and how much WORSHAM. CHARLIE - WARNER MUSIC NASHfreedom Warner was giving him to create it. He’s pleased with the creative license he’s been given, but something he said stuck with me. He mentioned having to be mindful of where art and commerce intersect. My interpretation of that is – make what sells. Country music going forward has a broad latitude based on current trends in the market, yet those most concerned with protecting its heritage don’t like what they’re hearing. Charlie Worsham respects that heritage by making it a part of the modern music he makes, but more importantly, he embodies the passion for music that’s required to make it exceptional. What Nashville claims to lack, they may already have, and country music fans would all know his name if country radio would start covering Charlie instead of asking him to cover what they’ve already played – repeatedly. Are you holding Nashville, what you’ve been hoping for? Is Charlie Worsham your holy grail….or could he be?

WORSHAM, CHARLIE - GREELEY STAMPEDE

FROM WAYNORTHOFNASHVILLEBev Miskus

WORSHAM, CHARLIE - DEBUT ALBUM 1

Preview and download Rubberband through iTunes: HERE

The next time someone in Nashville asks where all the great songwriters have gone, please show them this list – all of which contributed to the outstanding songs on this album: Steve Bogard, Marty Dodson, Chris DuBois, Ben Ford, Jeff Hyde, Kyle Jacobs, Quinn Loggins, Shane McAnally, Lee Thomas Miller, Josh Osborne, John Ozier, Jeremy Spillman, Ryan Tyndell, and Charlie Worsham.

The executive producer on Rubberband was Arturo Buenahora, Jr.

Watch the video for Charlie’s hit single, “Could It Be!”

Visit Charlie’s website for news and information: http://www.charlieworsham.com/

Check out Charlie’s upcoming tour dates: http://www.charlieworsham.com/#shows

WORSHAM, CHARLIE - WANT ME TOO COVER ART

Visit Charlie’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thecharlieworsham

Follow Charlie on Twitter @charlieworsham

Join Club C-Dub: http://charlieworsham.us3.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=84457d11250e5d6eab2fc97b8&id=5a86ae32ec

Follow Charlie on Instagram: http://instagram.com/charlieworsham/

Subscribe to Charlie’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/charlieworsham

©2014 Bev Miskus