14 independent artists. Each week we will have a top 10 plus new songs to try and break into that top 10 this week's artists are 10. Miles Landrum "Child of Wonder" 9. Sarah Faith "Angels We Have Heard on High" 8. Jason Adams "Forbidden Fruit" 7. Clayton Smalley "Dirt Road Therapy" 6. Holly Deihl "Mammaws Song" New Artist Thomas Hinds "She Thinks She Loves Me More" New Artist Arnold Connelly "It's Not Easy Going Home" 5. Jerry Willis "Always One" 4. Darren Parry "The Grass Ain't Always Greener" 3. Rick Snider "Helluva Night" New Artist Sam Phelps "Talking to a Friend" New Artist Blake Pettis "Dear Jesus" 2. Meagan Allen "Even Rain" 1. Sam Roark "G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised in the South) --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thegeorgiasongbirds/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thegeorgiasongbirds/support
Meagan is a singer-songwriter from Tennessee. She has a high influence in Jazz, and she has been chasing her dreams out in Nashville making contacts, cowriting, and soaking up as much info as she can. Recently she was in the The Georgia Songbirds Weekly Top 10 Countdown for 12 weeks and reaching number 1 along the way. Her song "Even Rain" is available for download
Sam Phelps is a Kentucky born singer - song writer currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. His love for Country, Bluegrass, Americana and Folk music led him to his career in music. Sam shares his life stories of growing up in rural Appalachia, and moving to New York through his music. His gentle harmonies, and powerful guitar solos are what creates his distinct and undeniable sound. The bucolic rolling Kentucky hills bleeding the American Country life meets New York gritty edge is felt throughout Sam Phelps’ music.
Sarah Faith is a Nashville-based artist/songwriter newly transplanted from southeastern Michigan, about 45 minutes north of Detroit. She draws inspiration from a diverse musical background to make a sound of her own – classic rock, americana, and country music have all played a role in shaping Sarah as an artist and writer. Her warm, soulful vocal tone delivers songs written about close-to-the-heart true stories and she carries an energy that can only be described as contagious.
Sarah’s love of songwriting began when she was very young. She would journal and write poetry, using ink and paper as a tool to cope with her difficult childhood. Sarah has always felt that writing is one of the best ways to make sense of her life. Her mother was an abusive alcoholic and ultimately lost her life to addiction in February 2017. Having dealt with anxiety and depression most of her life, Sarah aims to show her audience that she is living proof of a bold choice to change a family legacy and a firm stance to turn imperfect circumstances into light and hope. Her ambitions are ever-evolving but one thing remains a constant; “I want to show people that no matter how dark your story is or how ridiculous and crazy your family is, you have the choice and the power to turn your struggles into good things.”
Sarah has always had a unique way of carving her own path, and music has been no different. At the age of 13, she began teaching herself the guitar and piano, learning “enough to be dangerous.” All the while, she was performing in any choir or honor’s choir she could participate in or audition for. Add to that her constant habit of journaling and writing poetry as an outlet, and songwriting has evolved into a very natural fit for Sarah Faith.
In 2018, Sarah Faith was given the opportunity to audition for Alan Turner and the Steel Horse Band, a Michigan-based country rock group. During her time with Alan Turner, she saw many stage lights, including The Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan and numerous festivals around the Midwest, reigniting her childhood dreams of being an artist. “I think I was like a lot of seven year olds – don’t we all use our hairbrushes as microphones and make up dances in our rooms in front of the mirror?… Being on stage in this capacity really set my dreams on fire.”
Everything began to make sense over the two years that would follow – having taken up guitar more seriously, she paired musicianship with her writing skills and vulnerable storytelling and headed to Nashville to share her stories with Music City.
The choice to make the official move to Nashville came in 2019 when Sarah decided to put wheels in motion toward her childhood dream of being a musician. Sarah is currently recording music and will release a debut single in early 2020.
The Cliff Notes
» Featured in Lula 1892 blog twice for songs, “Jump” and “Gun Shy”
» Featured in Female Music Nation’s Acoustic April 2019 for “Sound
of Moving On”
» Re-located to Nashville from Michigan August 2019
» Performed as part of the Summer NAMM 2019 with Gibson Guitars on the Tootsie’s Welcome Stage
» Landed a performance spot on the Southeastern International Film Festival in November 2019 held in downtown Nashville at The Valentine
» Supported David Lee Murphy, The James Barker Band, and The Frontmen as part of Alan Turner and the Steel Horse Band
» Direct support for The Gasoline Gypsies and Corey Dakota as a solo artist
» Performed at The Fillmore Detroit, Coyote Joe’s – Michigan, Hollywood Casino – Toledo, Blue Chip Casino – Indiana
» Since being in Nashville, has performed popular writer’s rounds such as Revival (Tin Roof), Nashville Tour Stop (Belcourt Taps), and Women Crush It Wednesday (Live Oak), to name a few.
Q & A
Q // Where does your musical influence come from?
A // Some of my earliest music memories are singing in the backseat of my mom’s car wherever we would go. both of my parents played a very contrasting yet important role in my love of music; mom was a country fan and dad taught me all kinds of stuff about classic and 90s rock and alternative. i love it all! i can rock out to Rush, Foo Fighters, and Arctic Monkeys one minute and then go completely old school with some Motown, or mainstream with pop music. i’m always adding new stuff to my playlists and gaining inspiration from lots of different things!
Q // What does music mean to you?
A // Music has provided me with outlets in good, bad, and mediocre times – it’s the best way i know to express myself where words fall short. i really believe that my life makes a whole lot more sense when i write it in a song.
Q // What’s your earliest memory of performing?
A // My first taste and love of performing came very young when my mom forced me into karaoke singing one of her favorite songs “Forever + Ever Amen” by Randy Travis – at first i wanted nothing to do with being on that stage, but about 30 seconds in, i never wanted to come down. i performed in choir throughout my middle school, high school, and college years, earning multiple opportunities in honors choirs and a collegiate vocal scholarship.
Country artist Clayton Smalley is the epitome of Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues”. Other than the nine kids Merle references, the song could be the Spanish Fork, Utah based singer-songwriter’s autobiography. A welder by trade, Clayton, a blue collar family man, is a throwback to when artists balanced the responsibilities of working, helping provide for a family, and pursuing a passion for music.
Born and raised in Southern California, Clayton grew up listening to artists like George Strait, Keith Whitley and Reba McEntire, which galvanized his love of traditional country music. As a teen he discovered his ability to sing, and with the encouragement of his friends and family, began singing publicly in church musicals and school talent shows. By his early 20s Clayton was fronting a local country cover band and singing karaoke every chance he could get. This is also when he began trying his hand at songwriting, even recording a CD of original songs.
At age 22 Clayton married his wife, Shannon, and with the birth of their daughter, Cheyeanne, made the decision to focus on raising a family and put music on hold. A few years later their son Austin would arrive, completing their family of four.
In 2018, with both kids in their teens, Clayton began to rekindle his pursuit of music by starting a YouTube channel and Facebook artist page where he quickly grew an online fan base by posting covers of his favorite country songs. Around the same time, Clayton formed the band Nebo Road. Along with playing regionally at fairs and festivals the band opened for national touring acts such as Charlie Worsham and Ned Ledoux.
In February 2019 Clayton friended Nashville songwriter John Griffin from an Instagram follow recommendation. The two teamed up and began weekly co-writing sessions over FaceTime. By July Clayton had enough songs to travel to Nashville and record a debut EP.
Whiskey Sunrise, produced by music veteran David Flint, was released on November 1st , and with the support of his fans, debuted at #11 on the iTunes Country Albums chart. The EP was also selected by the iTunes editorial team for feature on iTunes Country Main Page and Apple Music. Songs from Whiskey Sunrise have received airplay across the country and abroad and the EP was even named by Country Music France as one of the Top 10 Country Music EP’s of 2019.
Clayton is wasting no time capitalizing on his momentum. He continues to write songs, drawing from life experience and plans to release new music in early 2020.
Thomas Hinds is a singer/songwriter out of the four corners area of New Mexico. He has been playing and writing since high school and life has given him the opportunity to get out and support his new album "Resurrection Road". "Resurrection Road" is his third independant release, recorded at Kitchen Sink Studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico with Jono Manson behind the board. This release is a step forward in letting the songs speak for themselves, a stripped down collection of thirteen tracks that show you the bones that inspired the stories found on this record.
Thomas will be on the road most of 2020. He has a catalog of originals that reflect a life filled with love, loss, and the phases of heartache. Hinds' first release "Ghosts and Lamentations" was released in 2015, then in late 2017 he released an EP titled "Barbwire Bouquet" with two songs recorded with Jono on that release, "Keep On" and a reworked "Favorite Hello" that was originally on "Ghosts and Lamentations", who according to Jeffrey Foucault, "showed a lot of growth in the songwriting". So, now with "Resurrection Road" a step towards solidifying his writing ability with a touch of Ray Lamontagne and Steve Earle in the fabric of the songs stretching out in this collection.
Thomas has relocated to northern Georgia and will be playing a lot of shows in that area, while working on a Midwest tour in March and an east coast run followed by a tour across the country and back starting in June. Be sure to catch a show if he is in your area and contact him if you are interested in hosting a house concert or have a venue looking for an original artist to play along his route.
Thomas wrote a book filled with Poetry & Prose published on September 17, 2020 titled "In the Details" now available for purchase on Amazon. For a limited time only, signed copies of the book are also available direct from Thomas via PayPal.
Life has a way of shaping our lives in ways we never imagined. At the age of 6 years old, Arnold lost his father to a heart attack. His father was 43 years old. Arnold’s mother moved the family from Michigan to Western Kentucky in 1979 to begin a new life. His mother struggled along with Arnold’s two younger brothers and an older sister. His new life was on a 6 ½ acre farm living with Grandma and Grandpa and relatives in a humble environment. His mother later purchased a single wide trailer and placed it on the farm. It was common at that time for Arnold’s family to put trailers on the farm when people were married or starting out in life. It was an inexpensive means of independence but a way to keep the family together.
In the early 1980’s, Arnold’s mother remarried. His step father was a retired sergeant from the US Army. The family added step brothers and a sister. In addition, the family moved to Calvert City, Kentucky. The three-bedroom one bath home would be a place of refuge on Chestnut Street not only for the 7 people who lived there but friends as well. It was a wonderful home full of love and good memories. However, his step father passed away on December 10, 1987 at the age of 51 years old. Arnold was the oldest son at that time at the age of 15. He had began working around the age of 12 cutting shad in Gilbertsville, Kentucky with Jackie Dedmon’s fish company. Now, he had to use his money to support the family and keep the lights on.
Arnold was married in 1994 at the age of 21. He would work the coal mines of Illinois, East Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee from May of 1992 until April of 1996. He left the coal industry and began mining stone in Georgia on April 23, 1996. His mining career which he still enjoys today would take him to Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. He worked from the bottom up into management. He earned positions of leadership as a supervisor, plant manager, area manager and currently is a General Manager for a large aggregate company in New York.
Arnold loves mining, but his passion was always music. At the age of 43, he decided he would go to a music store to take guitar lessons and meet other likeminded musicians. The store owner quickly admired his style of playing and song writing. He introduced Arnold to some guys who were looking for a singer songwriter of country music. On a Friday night in June 2016, Arnold, Charles Wilson, and Tom Kopsco would play music for the first time at Mr. Music in Washington, New Jersey. This new relationship would be the beginning of the band “Fire On The Wire”. The name came from one of the songs that Arnold wrote.
The dream of recording music and being a songwriter was burnt deep in Arnold’s heart. In February of 2017, he made a comment about it on a social media site. It was by coincidence that one of Arnold’s friends mention to him that she has a cousin in the music industry in Nashville. She would introduce Arnold to La Donna Brewer-Capps. Arnold called La Donna and spoke to her about his ambitions and influences. She asked Arnold who was his favorite country music artist which he said was Conway Twitty. To his surprise, La Donna commented that she had written one of Conway’s songs “I’m So Tired of Being Something that Means Nothing to You”. Furthermore, she and Joni Twitty kind of grew up together. That stunned Arnold. At that moment, he knew this was a special moment and relationship.
Summer Sky Music Group is La Donna’s business. The company has contacts throughout the music world and particularly in Country Music in Nashville, Tennessee. On July 5, 2017, Arnold would live one of his dreams by recording his first professional record with Summer Sky and ToneSlinger Recording Studio in Nashville. The members of “Fire On The Wire” did not want to travel to Nashville. Arnold’s dream was to go, but he would not record any songs the band plays out. However, Arnold did ask for permission to record one song that the band plays called, “Single Wide Trailer”. The permission was professional courtesy as Arnold wrote and owns the songs. The band agreed.
The morning of July 5, 2017 was magic. Arnold would record with Eddie Lange, Eugene Moles, Ronnie McDowell Jr., Anthony Valentine, Tim Atwood, Barry Wayne and La Donna Brewer-Capps. The session would go from 9:30 am until 12:40 am the next morning. The 5 Song EP that was recorded would go on to become One of The Best New Releases of 2017 on the “My Kind of Country Show” with host Scott Wikle. Scott’s station My Kind Of Country was voted the 2017 & 2018 North American Country Music Association’s International Radio Station of the Year. The songs on the Album include “The Cowboy Dance, My Eyes Are Only On You, I See You, Saying Goodbye & Single Wide Trailer”. The Cowboy Dance would later chart in 2017 on the Top 20 chart on Phil Kranz’s “The Blackdog Morning Show” on WAAK 94.7 FM in Ringgold, Georgia.
Arnold Connelly often says that he is living The American Dream. He has a home full of love, a wonderful job, been married over 23 years and has persevered through tragedy at a tender age. He is a person who believes in Dreaming and Dreaming Big. Arnold is living his passion and dream of becoming a legend and One of The Greats in Country Music. His hope is to inspire many others to Never Give Up and Live Life to the Fullest while helping many others along the way.
Country Roads Records Artist Jerry Willis Music is a true to the heart style music, country with some southern rock style. Born in Michigan City, In I listened to the old 8 track tapes of Elvis learning how to sound like Elvis but with being around 6-7 years old that wasn’t possible. I started singing openly in my early 20’s and have been singing the music I love the most , that’s the true life songs that all the great artist tell stories and sing.
As a published singer/songwriter Darren has a renowned reputation for writing well crafted, melodic songs that have caught the attention of some of the biggest names in the songwriting world. Darren beat over 6000 entries from around the globe to win the 2004 UK Songwriting Contest with his song, “Reality”; judged by members of ‘The Brit Panel’ (of ‘BRIT AWARD’ fame).
He has been recognised with prestigious honourable mentions in the USA ‘Billboard’ contest and in 2008 achieved similar recognition in the USA ‘Song Of The Year’ and USA ‘Unisong’ contests (with his song, “Slippin’ Away”). Judges included members of Rolling Stone Magazine and guest judge, Beyonce. 2014 saw him achieve a runner up position in the USA 'Song Of The Year' with his contagious track "So Into You" (judges included Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, Don Henley, Phil Collins and Gwen Stefani).
Darren has toured all over the world over the past 10 years, especially the USA (40 of the 50 USA states), Hong Kong, Britain and France, including singing as a tenor with the famous Black Mountain Male Chorus Of Wales (patron, Bryn Terfel), The Graceland Band and Sounds Familiar band. Born in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, the only child of Bill and Diane, he was obsessed with music from an early age. His mother would play Motown records that became part of his DNA and fuelled his love for melodic, hook laden songs that was embellished by him growing up with 80's Rock and Pop. He became fascinated not just by the singers and musicians of these songs but by the songwriters and producers that were behind the hits. Darren soon studied the songwriting magic of Desmond Child, Diane Warren and the production talents of Mutt Lange and others that inspired him to write his own self-penned songs.
Darren is no stranger to appearing on our screens having appeared /performed on TV shows such as; BBC 1’s “Test The Nation” (with Phillip Schofield and Anne Robinson), BBC 2’s “Let Me Entertain You” (with Brian Conley), BBC2’s “Identity” (with Donny Osmond), BBC “Music Under The Stars” (with Bryn Terfel and Michael Ball), "Cuppa TV" (breakfast show). Other performances include an ITV Christmas Special production from Cardiff Castle, BBC/S4C broadcasts of Welsh Rugby matches (singing on the Millennium Stadium pitch in front of 70,000 fans) and various appearances on Welsh BBC/ITV news bulletins.
Darren has performed with/shared the bill with amongst others...Michael Ball, Bryn Terfel, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Scouting for Girls, Steve Balsamo, The Story's, Simon Bowman, The Sweet Inspirations (Elvis' female backing singers), D.J. Fontana (Elvis' original drummer), Chris Needs (MBE), John Barrowman, Peter Karrie, Dave Sharp (The Alarm) and Henry Priestman (The Christians). Darren (Feb 2013) lent his vocals to a charity single called "A Miner's Song" (written by his friends Dan & Laura Curtis) to help raise money for the Welsh Miners Memorial Fund. Other Welsh artists/celebrities on the single include, Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Sheen, Jonathan Pryce, Aled Jones, Joe Calzaghe, Matthew Rhys, Dennis O'Neil, Wynne Evans and many more.
As well as being a successful solo artist in his own right Darren has written songs and produced for other artists such as Andrew Mark Jones ("Hit You In The Heart"), Nina Jones ("Never Let You Go", "Promises") and Lee Gilbert ("Soar", "Take Me As I Am"). Darren has co-written with renowned songwriters James Warren (The Korgis), writer of worldwide hit "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime", Steve Balsamo (Slash, Cliff Richard, Meatloaf), Larry Williams/Dazzle Music (worked with Charlotte Church), Juan Lozano and Dan & Laura Curtis (written for Ramin Karimloo, Lea Salonga, Paul Potts etc.). Darren's songs have featured many times on BBC radio, SKY TV, Freeview, Freesat, Lufthansa Airlines, The FOX network, Big Centre TV, Nation Radio and on radio stations all over the world. He is diverse a singer/songwriter as he is prolific, having written songs that continue to appear on... Country radio, Pop radio, R&B radio, Rock radio, AC radio, AOR radio, Soul radio, Easy Listening and more!
Rick Snider is a Country Singer/Songwriter out of Nova Scotia Canada. Rick recently released his first CD, Beat up Truck, with multiple songs reaching number 1 on multiple radio stations. Rick’s music can be found on most musical platforms as well as his CD is available for purchase.
Combining energetic performance with raw talent, Sam Roark is paving the way as an influential Musician in the modern generation of music. Music saved Sam's life, now she is connecting with others through her music. Music is healing, music is POWERFUL. Sam has the most powerful vocals, that will give you chills. Since embarking on her career in 2000, Sam Roark continues to captivate fans with her signature sound, fierce passion, and unique performances. You will be hooked from the first note. Read on to learn more about this talented musician.