Introducing Jett Holden

Jett Holden makes a living at a call center in Elizabethton, Tennessee. When he’s not there, he’s at home singing tunes with a voice that will knock you completely off your feet.

 

Holden grew up in a musical family of singers and players of various instruments from drums to brass.

 

“I took to guitar after falling in love with songs by Tracy Chapman and Garth Brooks, like Fast Car and Thunder Rolls,” Holden says.

 

You can hear those influences, as well as his own unique approach, in his music. Combined with his unprecedented talent, what you get from Holden is a sound that, we think, will land him among legends.

"Toxic" - Britney Spears

"Hey Ya" - Outkast

"The Great Divide" - Luke Combs, Billy Strings

"The Joke" - Brandi Carlile

As if that voice was not enough; Holden is also a phenomenal songwriter. “Taxidermy” is a chilling response to the frustration and helplessness he feels in the face of the police brutality that is killing so many Black Americans.

 

“It gets treated like a trend on social media a lot, but little change is actually made,” says Holden. He is currently working on a second verse to the song and we look forward to sharing when it’s complete.

"Taxidermy - Jett Holden

Ruthie Foster

Ruthie Foster was born into a family of gospel singers and used that foundation to pave her own way with a musical sound that spans time and many genres.

 

Foster has an 11 album discography  that dates back to 1997. Her consistent body of work has garnered fans and praise from all over the world. Most recently, “Live At The Paramount” , was released in 2020.

 

Foster is a three time Grammy Award nominee, and a Blues Music Awards winner many times over. She’s also been a nominee and winner at the Living Blues Critics’ Polls. In 2019, Foster was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame.

Valerie June

Valerie June is a singer-songwriter from Humboldt, Tennessee who the New York Times described as having a “time-warped charm”.

 

Since 2007, June has released two EPs and five full length albums. The latest of which, “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers”, released in 2021 to critical acclaim.

 

June has performed all over the country; melting and mending hearts with her magical sound. In addition to her musical success, June has just released her first book, “Maps for the Modern World”.

“Ok, Here’s The Truth” About Javier Colon

About 10 years ago I had the pleasure of representing my university at the NACA conventions. The NACA conference is like the Super Bowl for university campus activities counsels.

 

That year, it was held at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, which, let’s be honest is an experience in itself. There were entire conference rooms filled with photo booths and snack machines, magicians and monkeys (yes, real monkeys). Ruthie from MTV’s “The Real World” was there on the public speaking circuit, as was one of the actors from “Saved by the Bell”.  Zac Brown Band got the whole crowd on their feet with a performance of their hit “Chicken Fried”. 

 

Everyone who’s got an act and wants to perform at universities across the country comes to this conference and “auditions” for the university students who are lucky enough to attend and help plan the student activities that they will bring to their school for the upcoming year.

 

Each day there were scheduled musical acts. Some we knew and some we didn’t but my friends and I made sure to be there for the musical acts we recognized. That’s how we saw Javier Colon; the one performance that sticks with me to this day. I was very familiar with his hit single “Crazy” and was looking forward to seeing what he was up to. What he ended up performing was nothing I ever would’ve expected.

 

Instead of the smooth R&B track I was prepared for, Javier performed a ballad that stilled the buzz of the entire room and brought most of us to tears. A song, a COUNTRY song, titled “Ok Here’s The Truth”. 

 

I’ve been waiting and hoping all this time that there would be a full country album to follow. No luck yet, but in the meantime check out the song below. 

Javier Colon - "Ok, Here's The Truth"

Javier Colon - "Ok, Here's The Truth" with Commentary

Dom Flemons

Known as “The American Songster”, Dom Flemons has certainly earned the name. Flemons is a multi-instrumentalist, a brilliant singer-songwriter, and a fountain of information on American music history.

 

From 2005 to 2013 Flemons was a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. As a solo artist, Flemons has released 6 albums including collaborations with Boo Hanks and Martin Simpson.

 

His latest album, “Black Cowboys”, was nominated for a Best Folk Album Grammy as well as a Blues Music Award in the Acoustic Album category.

A Look Back, Blanco & Tim

Last Sunday at the ACM awards Blanco Brown returned to the spotlight for the first time since being injured in a head on collision in August of 2020. He looked great and seemed to be in good spirits. It was quite a relief to see him up and walking after such an unfortunate accident.

 

We are so excited to see what’s next for Blanco Brown. In the meantime, here’s a look back at one of our favorite moments. Blanco Brown and Tim McGraw singing McGraw’s timeless hit, “Don’t Take The Girl.”

Yola

UK born singer songwriter, Yola is a powerhouse. With a soulful voice and style that she describes as “musically genre fluid”, Yola pays tribute to inspirations from Aretha Franklin to Dolly Parton.

 

She got her start as a front woman for hire working with DJs and producers such as Bugz in the Attic, Duke Dumont, Massive Attack and Sub Focus. Yola also spent 8 years in a band called Phantom Limb that released two studio albums.

 

After a hiatus, she returned with a more personal sound and released an EP, “Orphan Offering”, in 2016. Her 2019 album “Walk Through Fire” got three Grammy nominations : Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Song and Best American Roots Performance. Additionally, Yola was nominated for Best New Artist.

 

Yola’s latest album,  “Stand for Myself”, will be released on July 30,2021

Britti Guerin Will Blow You Away

Now here’s a voice you won’t soon forget. We found Britti Guerin on Youtube and just can’t get enough of her ethereal covers of our favorite songs. Here are five of the best that’ll end up stuck in your head, in the very best way.

 

With a voice like that, we can only hope there’ll be some original music to jam to one day.

Ebony Hillbillies

The premier African-American string band in America, the Ebony Hillbillies are a force. They started out playing on NYC street corners and have now played on some of the biggest stages in the world.  A musical machine, they’ve  released over 10 albums between 2004 and 2020. 

 

The music feels like a time machine, with songs like “Another Man Done Gone (Hands up Don’t Shoot)” crafting commentary on the tragedies of our time with what sounds like music from the past. 

 

In addition to making music that feeds your soul, The Ebony Hillbillies have created The EH Kids Program to educate children on music and culture through interactive performances and story telling.

In loving memory of "rebel soldier", Mr. Norris Washington.

Allison Russell Introduces Us To Her First Love

In “Persephone”, Allison Russell gently grabs your hand and guides you through that first time in love feeling. It’s a soundtrack to the memory of the first time you ever felt that you truly needed someone. The first time you realized that another human being could be solace. She paints a picture of a young girl, an “outside child”, innocence lost to a hard life, who finds herself showing up at the home of the person she hopes will let her into their home and their heart. It’s the type of story telling that draws you close like a warm fire on a cold night.

 

Meet Persephone and follow along with the lyric video.