Preorder for MY KINDA CITY available MAY 1st, read on to learn more!
Danny McMahon | Artist Introduction
When we listen to music we often build a connection to that artist, sometimes we relate to the song, sometimes their story inspires us to chase our own dreams. For Danny McMahon, a UK singer-songwriter, he connected with the music of Brad Paisley, this connection led to him developing a great passion for country music. The stories behind the songs of artists like Brad Paisley carried strong emotions and covered topics Danny could relate to. If you have heard any of the music Danny himself has released you will know that he aims to create similar music with strong emotion and relatable stories. Danny started his career as a songwriter a number of years ago working as a commercial writer for Paramount Songwriting. After attending the UK Country to Country music festival in 2017 Danny was motivated to develop his music further.
Music Career & Growth
With his new found inspiration in addition to his growing passion for country music Danny released his debut EP, Making Memories, in November 2017. Less than a year later in June 2018 he released his second EP, Momentarily, this was followed by his single, When I See You, just a few months later. That single became his first number one in the UK country music charts – it was nominated for BCMA video of the year as well as winning country song of the year award. 2018 was an extremely busy year for him with a headline a tour across the UK, a slot at buckle & boots as well as support slots for a number US artists such as Canaan Cox and Charlie Worsham. Ending that year on a high Danny visited Nashville where he recorded with 5-time Grammy nominated & 27 dove nominated songwriter & producer Billy Smiley!
Building on the momentum 2019 saw the release of yet another amazing EP, Boys Cry Too, which included the number 1 song, When I See You. As well as that song receiving awards Danny himself was recognised as the UK Country artist of the year! He continued to play shows across the world with appearances in Italy, Sweden, Nashville and more! November saw the release of his single, Lonely, another wonderful piece of music, which reached number 4 in the UK country music charts!
Storytelling and Songwriting
One thing that has become apparent in all of his music is that he is extremely gifted in the art of storytelling, music and performing. As a songwriter he has the ability to create a clear picture for the listeners which takes them on a journey through the story of that specific track. The fact he brings out new music fairly regularly suggests that he has a lot to say whether it be linked romance, reflection or other aspects of life which are easy for us all to relate too. Although he is inspired by a range of artists such as Brad Paisley, Russell Dickerson and Sam Hunt, he creates a sound that is unique to him, a sound so distinctive that when you hear his music, you just know its him!
Danny McMahon | My Kinda City | New Release
The last twelve months have been heavily focused travelling across the world to perform, a concept that his new upcoming single, My Kinda City, explores. The track was written during the last trip Danny took to Nashville in October 2019 with an amazing Nashville based singer-songwriter, Tyler Bank. Its a modern country pop upbeat track that has you hooked from the moment the music starts until the moment it ends. The story is about more than just travelling around the world, its about having that special somebody or place that to call home. The beat is enough alone to capture your attention but the lyrics as well as how Danny performs it have you mesmerised. The incredible thing about Danny is that he is not just a singer-songwriter, he produced this track himself too and has produced music for other artists such as Bob Fitzgerald who was featured in my last post! Pre-order starts tomorrow with the release date set or May 15th, so be sure to head to spotify, apple music or amazon music tomorrow so you can be amongst the first to hear this spectacular single.
PREORDER: TOMORROW (MAY 1st 2020)
Release date: May 15th 2020
To join Danny on his adventure in the country music world then follow him on his social accounts which are linked at the start of this post, download his music and preorder MY KINDA CITY! Let me know below who your special person or place is!
Debut EP, Another Highway, was released on April 24th – check it out!
Bob Fitzgerald | Artist Introductions
When we think of country music we often think of Nashville, otherwise known as music city – but in recent years the industry has seen tremendous growth across the UK and Europe. Its hard to pinpoint the exact reason for the growth over the last ten or so years, there are a number of aspects that could have played a role in it. The show ‘Nashville’ first hit our screens in 2012 followed by the launch of a popular country music festival, country to country, in 2013. A number of US artists such as Carrie Underwood, Kip Moore and more have even headlined their own tours here in the UK over the years. New US artists also can’t wait to come over to the UK as they hear nothing but good vibes from artists who have played shows here!
Its easy to say that the last ten years have seen a growing audience – this has resulted in a number of home grown UK country artists such as Ward Thomas, Laura Oakes, Holloway Road and more. Born and raised in South Wales, singer-songwriter Bob Fitzgerald, is one of the newest UK artists to break into the UK country music scene! In 1984 his parents bought a cassette tape of the Eagles – Greatest hits, its one that he believes is the soundtrack to his life – including his career in music. To think this cassette tape led him to where he is in life today is a little crazy – it shows how the small things can change your life.
Running from the Rain | Debut Single
Running from the Rain was released on March 6th 2020 giving us a taste of what to expect from him as an artist. Running from the Rain also provided us with an opportunity to listen to how Bob would mix different genres of music to create a sound unique to him. His aim with his music is to create music that would stick in the minds of all those who listen to his music, whether it be the catchy lyrics or phenomenal vocal performance – he certainly did that with Running from the Rain. The single was recorded and produced at Puzzle Maker Studios where Bobs single, along with his EP, were produced by an award winning team – fellow country artist Danny McMahon (who will be featured in a few days) and Andrea Succi. In addition to working with Puzzle Maker Studios, he also started collaborating with Scarlet River Management to make plans for a UK tour which would promote his debut EP.
As an artist Bob is focused on creating a sound that is unique. If you take different aspects from artists like Eagles, Keith Urban, George Straight, Midland as well as Bon Jovi and mix them together then you have an insight to the sort of sound you can expect. As discussed previously in this post its the right mixture of different genres but with a real authentic country twist. Lyrically speaking his songs tell a story whether it be of a good time, a loss, love or life in general – the music he creates is something we can all relate too one way or another.
Another Highway | Debut EP
April 24th 2020 saw the release of his debut EP, Another Highway, which received an excellent reception! On release day his EP went in a number 2 on country music charts and number 29 on the main album charts, this means he was top 40 for both on Itunes! As a new artist releasing his first ever EP this was incredible alone but it was about to get much better, on April 25th, so one day after release his EP jumped into the number 1 spot ahead of artists such as The Shires and Lucinda Williams! To finish this post lets talk about the different songs on the EP!
One of These Nights You may be looking for a song to add to your road trip play list – look no further, this catchy tune is exactly what you need. Its one of those feel good kinda songs. Running from the Rain This is the single he released in March, starting with the sound of rain helps us paint a clear image of the story behind the song. The perfect mix of guitar and vocals to create a perfect country tune! She’ll Do My personal favourite from the EP is this acoustic track, it starts and remains much calmer then the first two tracks but still showcases Bobs amazing musical ability. The lyrics tell a story that many could relate too. Run The beat reminded me of artists like Keith Urban or Kip Moore, its one of those songs that you will find yourself humming along with, maybe add this one to your road trip play list as well!
Listen to his EP and single on your favourite streaming platform now!
To get new updates regarding music, tours or his career in general you can follow him on the links above! If this is the first time you’ve heard about him then give his music a listen and let me know what you think below! As mentioned before, Danny McMahon, who was part of the team who worked with Bob to produce his wonderful debut EP, will be featured in my blog later this week! Be sure to check back – you won’t regret it!
Singing around the house is something a number of us are guilty of doing (I know I am) but for some that is exactly how they started out. Liv Dawn admits that from a young age she was always singing but until late in her school life she would only do so in front of her family. During high school however this all changed when she studied music and eventually grew the confidence to sing solo – from there it just progressed. In the years that followed that confidence grew which led her to achieving some remarkable accomplishments in her music career.
Music is often a powerful tool which allows the artist to create a special connection with their audience – for Liv, like many artists this connection is extremely valuable. The lyrics of the song often tell a story of a situation the audience will relate too in some way, for example – relationships, love or even just day to day life, these are topics which Liv often covers in her music. Music however, as we know, is not just about the story behind it, the way its performed is also vital – the performance Liv makes when she sing is nothing shy of incredible.One of the aspects that she keeps the same across her lyrics and performances is the emotion, that element alone is enough to captivate the audience without mentioning her incredibly strong vocal performance.
She used her powerful emotional performances along with her captivating lyrics to her advantage when she took part in the BBC Radio Scotland Singer/Songwriter of the year awards 2019! Taking part in the awards catapulted her into the middle of the Scottish music scene and gained her a lot of additional press as they were promoted across the BBC Radio Scotland platforms. She has performed at many venues and festivals across Scotland, including Saint Lukes in Glasgow where she performed as a finalist of the BBC Radio Scotland Singer/Songwriter of the Year Awards 2019!
Taking inspiration from popular artists such as Dermot Kennedy, Ed Sheeran and more she was able to develop a songwriting technique that worked well for her. This was showcased in her debut single ‘Reason’ that was released in the summer of 2019, shortly before her participation in the BBC Radio Scotland Singer/Songwriter of the Year Awards. Following the release of her debut single plus the additional press from the awards she was invited to open at the Forres show for Tom Walker which was part of his ‘Home Run’ acoustic tour.
2019 seen a lot of changes and press attention for Liv Dawn which she hopes to continue to build on by becoming a honest artist that the audience or listeners can connect or relate too. In addition to becoming an honest artist she has plans to tour, release albums and create a future for herself in the music industry.
Basically, I genuinely believe that 2019 was only a insight into the career that this incredibly talented artist is going to have – you will be seeing a lot more of Liv Dawn – In my opinion she is one to watch! Be sure to check out her social media links that I added above so you can keep up to date with any news relating to her music!
For now; download and stream her single, Reason, and let me know what you think.
Each person in this world has a story to tell; a series of events and choices which led them to the very place they are in today. The beautiful yet chaotic thing about life however is that in just a blink of an eye your life can change. Your path is never set in stone, you always have the choice to change your direction – to begin a new journey that will lead you to the destination you are searching for.
There are many ways in which individual people or groups can choose to share their story; luckily in life we meet people who have been on a similar journey – people who want to share their story the same we want to share ours. I’ve likely mentioned before that the use of music to share an individuals story is something which I find incredible; musicians have this power to make us as listeners know that we are not alone in our journey. Elliot Joseph was fortunate enough to find four other people who had been on similar journeys in life. These four individuals; Rio Hanan, George Pickering, Max Tatton as well as Matthew Brook, shared his talent along with his passion for story telling through the use of music. Its obvious in the way that Elliot speaks of his fellow musicians that he understands the connection they share as individuals.
“I know it is our story, our heritage, and our life lessons that underline these melodies” – Elliot Joseph
Some of you may remember a blog post I posted in July featuring Elliot when the single from this EP “While We’re Young” was released. For those who haven’t seen that here’s a little information on Elliot!
He was born in the south of England and in 2018 he released an EP called “Wild Atlantic Heart” which focused on three of his main inspirations both in life as well as in his music; love, life and travel. His most recent record “Band of Outsiders” which was released in August also touches on those three topics.
“This record encompasses everything from love, family, and brotherhood. Inspiration and adventure. The limits we strive to push every day, and the hope that guides us all towards a life that thrills us, and takes us to places we would never expect to go” – Elliot Joseph
Before you read on here’s what you should do! Head over to the social pages I shared above so you can stay up to date with any news on his career such as new music or upcoming shows – you’ll be happy to know he does have a few coming up! As to be expected as its my typical practice, I’ve separated this review into two elements; overview and details; however each track will have an individual overall rating followed by my thoughts in the detail section.
Gimme Some Soul: 10/10
While We’re Young: 10/10
Dancing We Will Go: 10/10
From the start when this record was just an idea to the end product you can tell that Elliot and the band knew what they were aiming for – in my opinion they far exceeded even what they expected. On the other hand – its obvious everybody involved on this project worked hard so its no surprise that it turned out as perfectly as it did. The feeling I get from this record is that it tells a story of the factors or people that inspired, challenged and pushed Elliot (along with his band members) to seek new opportunities or adventures. Carry on reading to get my thoughts on each of the tracks!
The first track on the “Band of Outsiders” EP is titled “Lions” captures your attention with the use of drums and tambourine immediately. Mix in the rest of the instruments as well as Elliot’s incredible voice and the song takes you on a journey. This track is has one clear message which is that we have one song; one journey; one life. What’s especially amazing about this track is that the lyrical content can be applied to most situations in any individuals life; not just Elliot’s life, therefore it could provide the motivation, inspiration and push one needs to achieve their own dreams in life. Moreover, that is exactly what Elliot is singing about, he is singing about the different things which have encouraged him to keep going on this adventure. The track throughout is universal, upbeat and unique; everybody needs motivation, everybody needs inspiration; not only that but everybody has the right to be themselves. Its a wonderful track and a great way to start of the EP.
“We only get one song so let’s all sing to the rhythm of the heart”
SIDE NOTE: It gives you a taste of what’s to come on the record including some of Elliot’s Celtic roots, his vocal skills and much more!
If you’re looking for a song that regardless of your mood can gets you on your feet dancing and singing along then look no further. The second track “Gimme Some Soul” is exactly the song you need to download right now! There is no hidden surprises with this track (I would say apart from how amazing it is but we knew that it would be anyway); its asking for some soul but then its giving us the soul right back. From the music to the lyrics to how Elliot sings it this song could easily become a favourite at live shows. To add to that, its one of those songs that could go anywhere on the setlist; its a way to get the party started, to keep the crowd dancing and its even a great way to leave the crowd wanting more.
“Gimme some soul tonight and one more drink”
SIDE NOTE: I love how “Gimme Some Soul” showcases the wide vocal range that Elliot has; its absolutely incredible. Its also super catchy and will get stuck in your head!
The third song on the EP, ‘While We’re Young’ is a track you may remember from my last review; it was released a couple of months ago as the single of this wonderful EP. CLICK HERE FOR MY THOUGHTS ON THIS TRACK.
“Wherever we go we go with nothing to lose, in the back of my mind I know I owe it all to you”
SIDE NOTE: You will see at the end of that review that I mention the most exciting thing about the track is that it was the start of a journey; the introduction to this amazing EP. I also originally remember thinking that Elliot could not possibly follow that, but every song on this EP is uniquely amazing in its own way.
Its no surprise that one of my personal favourites off the EP is the fourth track “Afterglow” as I’m a huge country music fan. I could keep this short by simply saying that this song is an example of how sometimes less is more. However, I feel I need to explain how. As a listener I feel this song is very simple yet still very powerful, it takes you on a journey of peace, acceptance and new beginnings. Its important to note that although its completely different to the others on the record Elliot still performs it with such passion which implies he has a personal connection to the story this song tells.
“All the pieces of the puzzle started to adjust and fit”
SIDE NOTE: The whole EP is wonderful however this song, in my opinion, is a contender for the best on the record.
The fifth track on the record “Brothers” is the track I personally relate to the most. To me this song represents those people who have provided us with love, guidance and support through many different things in our life. These same people are the ones who have in one way or another shaped us into the people we are today. Some of Elliot’s “Brothers” are his band members; they share not only this musical journey together but the ideas, talent as well as passion to share their stories. In a world that will constantly challenge us we need all our “brothers” to keep us focused on our dreams, life and goals. The lyrics to this track hit me hard for personal reasons but that only shows the talent that Elliot has. IT also shows how songs can take on a whole new meaning to every listener. Great work Elliot!
“But remember when we were still young and life was just a straight line, now were grown up if you need a helping hand just take mine…”
SIDE NOTE: The song may be a fast paced happy song however it also took me on an emotional journey through my memories due to personal reasons. I may write a full blog post on this track discussing the beautiful yet emotional journey it took me on. The connection I felt to this song just goes to show that music is a powerful tool for both musicians and listeners to understand each other.
“Dancing We Will Go” is the sixth and final track on this wonderful EP – what a way to end an EP; leaving us listeners wanting more! Once again, this track is very catchy and if you don’t find yourself on your feet dancing I’ll be surprised! Some of Elliot’s roots are definitely present in this track, the instrumentation gives a very Celtic feel. This song is full of fun and is definitely one to get any party going!
“Just kick of your shoes, let your hair down and dancing we will go”
SIDE NOTE: Its a very uplifting and positive track that has already made my playlist for my journey to work!
To put it simply the record “Band of Outsiders” is perfect from the stories that Elliot shares, the way in which the band perform them all the way to how it was produced. I honestly feel that each song tells part of Elliot’s journey in life and how he became the musician, writer and performer he is today. To add to that, I personally don’t have any recommendations as to how this EP could have been better – the only criticism I have is that I could have done with another 6 more songs!
Furthermore, although I have two personal favourites; Afterglow and Brothers; the rest of them have also found their way onto my playlists for one thing or another. You will be missing out if you don’t download this EP on spotify now.
Great work to Elliot and all his band (or should we say “brothers”). I can’t wait to see what you have for us in the future!
What are your thoughts on this EP, do you have a favourite track; let me know below!?
The opener of the show was Emily Faye, a UK based country singer-songwriter. When your inspiration creates a platform for you to share your story that’s when you know you have found your strength. Emily Faye is one of those artists who’s story began with a simple passion and desire yet now has blossomed into this wonderful career.
She began her set with a song called Open Road. To put it simply, I was hooked. It’s one of those songs which takes the listener on a journey through Emily’s life allowing them to build a connection with her as a person. Its the right mixture of British and American country sound. This was the one song during her set which caught my attention the most however her whole set was incredible. I would definitely see her again and can imagine soon enough that she will be invited to play at popular events such as Country to Country or buckle and boots.
Be sure to check her out on her social media accounts.
Next up was Laura Oakes, she seemed to be the topic of conversation prior to the event started with people excited to see her once again. This was my first time seeing her live, although she did play at Country to Country earlier this year in London. I was excited to see what she could bring to the stage.
What became obvious is that this northern UK country star likes to make her own rules. Liverpool born Laura is the total opposite of the typical sounds you would expect to come out of the city and has used this to her advantage. A few minutes into her set I realised what all the excitement was about; as well as realised why she is a British country music award winner. There were so many wonderful songs during her including welcome to the family, better in blue jeans and how big is your world. The future is bright for Laura’s career and in my opinion she is the one to watch for this year and next. This year alone she has played or will play some of the most popular country music related festivals in the UK which goes to show just how popular she is.
For your chance to learn more about Laura check out her social media accounts.
The headlining act, Holloway Road, consists of vocalist and multi-instrumentalists Jack Cooper & Robert Gulston, two friends who have played together since before Holloway Road was formed. There was a clear chemistry between the two of them as a duo that made the songs sound all that more special.
If She Falls, Get The Girl, Lightening and We Said So were some of the songs which stood out most to me during their set. However, the most beautiful moment that I experienced at this small intimate gig was the moment they welcome Laura back to the stage. The duo along with Laura performed and incredible new track that they had wrote together recently, even admitting they may forget it. They didn’t however and the song was absolutely breathtaking; It was called Is She Brick Or Water.
The crowds response to the duo was warm, positive and clear – they have their fan base, they have their talent and they are more than ready to leave their own unique quirks on the industry. They have worked hard to get to the point they are at now in their career which is incredible to see; they’ve shared the stage with a number of huge artists as well as being invited to play festivals across the UK such as Country to Country.
If you are looking for a new sound; artists who will stop at nothing to achieve their dreams and people who exceed all expectations – then follow Holloway Road and get yourself to one of their upcoming shows.
The venue was perfect for the intimate kind of shows; the only negative comment I have about the venue is that it was a little dark. Overall though I would visit this venue again for a show. I would also see Holloway Road again given the opportunity.