Lauren Alexander & Jeff Odom give you a behind the scenes look into the lives of the people that make up the music industry. From the artists and musicians, to the people working behind the scenes, Groove Lab will give you a chance to hear their stories, learn their secrets to success, and keep the world of music alive.
It's the season 1 finale! On this episode, I got to chat with Bailey James and Kristen Kae, two of the four members of the female fronted country/rock/pop group The Highway Women. We chat about their new music and girl power. Check out their music here - https://www.highwaywomen.com
In this episode, Lauren Alexander talks with brother/sister pop country duo Juna N Joey about their Youtube career, and their new Christmas singles. These two have had quite a bit of success, with their Youtube covers reaching over 5 million views! Check them out at www.junanjoey.com and be sure to follow them on Tik Tok!
From professional MMA fighting, to country music. This week, Lauren Alexander talks with Canadian country music artist Manny Blu about his interesting introduction into the music industry, and his new EP "New Ink"
YEARS BEFORE HE CRISS-CROSSED NORTH AMERICA AS AN ACCLAIMED COUNTRY SINGER AND A TRUE ROAD WARRIOR—PLAYING NIGHTLY SHOWS IN SUPPORT OF HIS 2019 DEBUT ALBUM LEAVE IT LIKE IT IS, WHILE ALSO SHARPENING THE LARGER-THAN-LIFE SOUND THAT WOULD FILL HIS 2020 FOLLOW-UP EP NEW INK—MANNY SPENT HIS DAYS IN THE GYM, TRAINING FOR A CAREER AS AN MMA FIGHTER. WHEN A LEG INJURY LEFT HIM UNABLE TO COMPETE IN PROFESSIONAL MATCHES, BLU FOUND HIMSELF AT HOME IN MONTREAL, RECOVERING FROM A TORN QUADRICEP AND LOOKING FOR A NEW PASSION TO PASS THE TIME. WHAT HE FOUND WAS A RENEWED APPRECIATION FOR MUSIC: FIRST, THE GUITAR-DRIVEN BLUES OF B.B. KING, STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN, AND JOHN MAYER; NEXT, THE EASYGOING SWAGGER AND RELATABLE STORYTELLING OF MODERN COUNTRY.
ACCOMPANYING HIMSELF ON THE GUITAR AND SINGING IN AN EXPRESSIVE VOICE, MANNY BEGAN TAKING REQUESTS FROM THE FRIENDS WHO'D COME OVER TO THE HOUSE TO VISIT. THOSE CASUAL PERFORMANCES MARKED HIS FIRST TIME PLAYING MUSIC FOR ANYONE, AND THE EXPERIENCE LEFT A PERMANENT MARK.
"THAT WAS HOW IT ALL STARTED," MANNY REMEMBERS. "ALL OF MY FRIENDS WERE LIVING IN OTHER TOWNS, PLAYING HOCKEY. THEY'D COME BACK TO MONTREAL DURING THE SUMMER, ONCE HOCKEY SEASON WAS OVER, AND THEY'D ASK ME TO PLAY THE COUNTRY SONGS THEY'D BEEN LISTENING TO. I LEARNED ALL THE HITS…AND I LEARNED THERE'S A CULTURE AND A VIBE TO COUNTRY MUSIC THAT'S LIKE NOTHING ELSE."
MANNY NOW CONTINUES TO BRING HIS OWN VIBE TO COUNTRY MUSIC, CREATING AN ORIGINAL SOUND THAT MAKES ROOM FOR HIS BLUES AND ROCK & ROLL INFLUENCES. HE INTRODUCED THAT SOUND WITH LEAVE IT LIKE IT IS, A DEBUT RECORD THAT EARNED HIM THOUSANDS OF NEW FANS AND PRESENTED HIM WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO HIT THE ROAD. MANNY SUBSEQUENTLY SPENT TIME IN NASHVILLE, IMMERSING HIMSELF IN MUSIC CITY, BEFORE HEADING BACK UP NORTH ONCE AGAIN--THIS TIME WITH HIS BAND OF HARD-EDGED COUNTRY ROCKERS IN TOW—TO SERVE AS FELLOW CANADIAN COUNTRY ARTIST GEORGE CANYON’S OPENING ACT DURING A TWO-MONTH TOUR. NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, MANNY HIT THE STAGE WITH A MISSION, AIMING TO WIN OVER THE CROWD WITH AN UNDENIABLE LIVE SHOW. THE GUITARS GOT LOUDER. THE DRUMS GREW EVEN MORE PUMMELING. AND THE SONGS BECAME EVEN MORE ANTHEMIC.
IN NASHVILLE, HE BEGAN PIECING TOGETHER A NEW RECORD—ONE THAT SHOWCASED THE LESSONS HE LEARNED ON THE ROAD. WORKING WITH PRODUCER AARON ESHUIS AND HIT SONGWRITERS LIKE JOSH OSBORNE, RHETT ATKINS, AND ROSS COPPERMAN, MANNY BLU EMERGED FROM NASHVILLE'S OMNISOUND STUDIOS WITH NEW INK. FROM “BORN TO RIDE” TO "SINK," THESE NEW SONGS TELL RELATABLE STORIES ABOUT LOVE, LOSS, BREAKUPS, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, ROOTED IN AN AMPLIFIED MIX OF COUNTRY TWANG AND HEAVY ROCK & ROLL ATTITUDE.
"I WANTED THE ALBUM TO SOUND THE WAY WE DO LIVE," SAYS MANNY. "THERE'S MORE ROCK, MORE SOUL, AND MORE VOLUME THIS TIME AROUND. IT'S BIGGER AND LOUDER, BUT IT'S STILL ME. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT'S STILL FUN."
RAISED AS A VERSATILE ATHLETE WHO PLAYED HOCKEY, SOCCER, AND FOOTBALL BEFORE KICKSTARTING HIS MMA TRAINING AT 16-YEARS-OLD, MANNY BLU HASN'T LOST THAT FIGHTING SPIRIT. IF ANYTHING, HE'S GOTTEN STRONGER, LEARNING TO ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES AND KNOCK DOWN ANY OBSTACLES IN HIS PATH. NEW INK, WITH ITS HARD-HITTING HOOKS AND COUNTRY-ROCK EDGE, IS THE SOUNDTRACK TO A CAREER ON THE RISE--AND MANNY BLU IS READY TO DELIVER A KNOCKOUT BLOW.
"I'm gonna be a singer! I'm gonna take Michael Jacksons Place!"
Connor Christian, front man and main songwriter of the Nashville based band The Southern Gothic talks about childhood dreams & the bands new EP "Burnin' Moonlight" www.thesoutherngothicmusic.com
For Connor Christian, frontman & principal songwriter of The Southern Gothic, life has always been about the journey. The son of an American serviceman & diplomat, that journey started at 6 months old, when his family moved from Los Angeles to Jakarta, Indonesia and from there on to places such as Singapore, South Korea, and Belgium, as well as stints all over the US. “I never lived anywhere long enough to think of it as a hometown, to make those lifelong memories and associations, so I learned to take little pieces from every stop and make them part of my story”
That story led Connor to Atlanta GA as a young adult. Stints in several other bands led to the formation of The Southern Gothic with former Truckadelic drummer Shawn Thacker. What started as a high energy, house cover band at venerated Atlanta dive bar, Dixie Tavern, grew along with Connor’s writing to become the band that Billboard Magazine called it’s ‘Band on the Verge’. Ten months later, the band’s second album, ‘New Hometown’ debuted #1 on Billboard’s Heatseeker chart and #17 on it’s country albums chart. The same month, the first single from the record, “Sheets Down” reached #1 on CMT’s Pure Country 12-Pack Countdown, a spot it held for 4 weeks. The album, a 20-song semi-autobiographical opus, equal parts Tennessee Williams & Homer, “Tumbleweed Connection” era Elton John, Guns n Roses and Chris Stapleton - tells the story of a man looking for a home, and artist searching for his muse, and a band finding its own way.
People surprised by the band’s ‘overnight’ chart success hadn’t been paying attention to the way the band built that excitement. Averaging almost 200 shows per year for the previous 4 years, the band built a chemistry with each other and a reputation for an electric live show – even the acoustic ones. Sharing stages with bands as diverse as Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Uncle Kracker, Styx, Zac Brown Band, and Heart, SoGo’s honest lyrics, heartfelt melodies, and stellar musicianship cut through to appeal to fans across the world without regard to genre, age, or locale.
With the 2020 release of the Southern Gothic’s New EP, Burnin’ Moonlight, Connor, Thacker and the band prove again that they will continue to evolve, unbound and unafraid to explore new territory every time out. Working with Grammy-winning producer Jonathan Roye (Kelsey Ballerini) and Grammy-nominated producer Keith Hetrick (Charlie Wilson) SoGo explores the intersection of Americana, Pop, and Rock n’ Roll to create something uniquely now and undeniably, The Southern Gothic.
On this weeks episode, Lauren Alexander chats with Ana Cristina Cash about her take on the Hawaiian Christmas classic, "Mele Kalikimaka".
Ana Cristina Cash is an American singer-songwriter, raised in Miami, Florida by her Cuban parents who moved to the United States in the early 1960s during the onset of the revolution. Growing up listening to a multitude of genres, Cash’s sound was influenced by an eclectic array of inspiration from gritty Blues and Jazz to Pop-Country. Writing directly from the heart, the singer-songwriter’s recordings exhibit a broad vocal range, spanning from an expressive and resonating contralto to a soaring coloratura soprano, otherwise known as the “whistle register.”
At the young age of 19, Cash was given the honor of singing “ The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 2005 Presidential Inauguration, making her the first Hispanic in history to do so. Cash was then asked to return in 2006 as she was invited to perform at the White House for the President of the United States, the Crowned Prince of Spain and notable world ambassadors. That same year, she released “You Can Change the World” as a duet with Michaelangelo. The song’s bilingual counterpart, “El Mundo Puedes Cambiar,” went on to become the theme song for the World Cup Germany 2006.
Writing from her heart first, all of Ana’s projects reflect her connection to Rockabilly and gritty Blues, along with a flavor of Country and Soul.
On this episode of Groove Lab, Lauren Alexander talks to Grammy award winner Tim Kimsey about the pro's & Cons of his Grammy, reinventing yourself, and keeping up with the times. Tim Kimsey is a multi-platinum mixing engineer and audio engineer. He has worked with artists like Vanilla Ice, Pantera, and Steve Perry, just to name a few. He currently teaches at Media Tech Institute in Dallas, TX.
On this weeks episode of Groove Lab, Lauren Alexander talks with Sean Giovanni, record producer, audio engineer, educator, and and owner of The Record Shop, a recording studio and multi-media company in Nashville, TN. He's worked with artists like John Legend, Juicy J, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw, and The Wallflowers, just to name a few. He talks about getting creative during challenging times, staying inspired, and gives his tips on reaching and maintaining your goals.
On this weeks episode of the podcast, Lauren chats with HAGER about her new album, Miscellaneous Melodies. -
Recording artist and songwriter, Hager has been songwriting for seventeen years, and along the way she fell in love with learning to produce her own music. Female producers make up just 4% of the music industry and now Hager is part of that very small percentage.
Hager's music is intrinsic to who she is as a person, artist and producer. Her music displays her heart, tells the story of her journey and where she is presently. With Coldplay and One Republic dreamy/atmospheric vibes and melodies, Hager's music takes you to a place of peace, reflection, solitude and joy.
Hager truly stands out, dives deep into her music, and works everyday to improve it.
Quarantine proved to be a productive time for Hager, giving her the opportunity to produce her first full length album, releasing October 2020.
Hager is in love with melodies that grab your attention, cause you to sing along and you'll find to yourself singing later even after the song is over.
Hager writes about her own experiences in a way that draws you in, connects with your heart, and in turn, makes them your own.
Hager has always used her music as a coping agent and that clearly comes through all of her songs and it takes the listener to a whole new level.
Whimsical & nostalgic. Those are the best words to describe the work of Luke Harvey from Mossflower Pictures. Lauren & Luke chat about the parenting/worklife balance of a creative, the approach he takes to transform songs into film, and his advice for musicians looking to make a music video. Check out his work at https://mossflowerpictures.com
•Groove Lab Song of The Week - "Reach or Reason" by Josh Rennie-Hynes
•Song of The Week Playlist - https://open.spotify.com/user/12163279759/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=75m5J-yuQ4S4e_3DDrsZ1g •Josh Rennie-Hynes Groove Lab Episode: https://open.spotify.com/episode/48xq7Sx8xbFFSsz5vzk4Xe?si=OLTbmsnTSSCLidV9sEr8xw
Lauren Alexander talks with Heather Batchelor about her new EP 'Who We Are Deep Down'
Make a donation to the Tennessee Equality Project - https://www.tnep.org/1timetepdonation
Groove Lab Song Of The Week Playlist - https://open.spotify.com/user/12163279759/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=TrbZXgJcTZOTkEoUi1rRQw
Lauren Alexander talks to a couple of the members of the band YEARLØVE. Check out their music & new merch here: https://www.yearlovemusic.com Song Of The Week Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/12163279759/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=lP4wVXM-TJuMN5tKZHwqqQ Ele Ivory A Little More music video: https://youtu.be/Zer-b6URvxE
Lauren Alexander talks to Natalie Bailey of Lady Savage Management. https://www.ladysavagemanagement.com Song of the week - Higher by HAGER https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=0ejb78c0QCWKNqMTkHDnbQ
Lauren Alexander chats with Nashville singer/songwriter Sarah Harralson about upcoming music, and her time working for BMI. Check out Sarah's music here: https://open.spotify.com/track/20Vz7oTYTyZlvBzG0dwjIL?si=pWOSQdP2QliqKpjgLUR-Bw
Pre save her new song "Get Lost In Some Rock N' Roll" - https://ditto.fm/get-lost-in-some-rock-n-roll
Song Of The Week Playlist - https://open.spotify.com/user/12163279759/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=D14StHruSbaabWMuZvP4yw
Song Of The Week : Moonlight Night - Atlantis Aquarius - https://youtu.be/4JJz-MdWn0A
Lauren Alexander and Daniel Westmoreland talk about the magic wonderland that is the Marshmellow Jam - Where all the hippies in East Texas go to enjoy a weekend of music, art, and camping.
***Don't miss the Harvest Moon Dance Marshmellow Jam! October 2nd & 3rd.***
Groove Lab Song Of The Week : Going In by WILD CHILD - https://open.spotify.com/user/12163279759/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=rZtUrHgkS9uTmLZs-g1wqw
Song Confessional Podcast - https://open.spotify.com/artist/3zM0frH8HgM7cK5OXpHu4E?si=WciQnmH0QdSAqsBqlk4KGQ
Lauren Alexander talks with Ethan Harris about what it was like being on Season 13 of American Idol, how he got to Nashville, and his plans going forward.
Check out Ethans music on Spotify here : https://open.spotify.com/artist/1iZJEDqsFJTV4UxGGTI78L?si=YRMzKSBoRbGmx3qoNCaijw
Song Of The Week Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=W4ER_HUITaa34YV2P7Zrcg
Lauren talks to Phillip Cardon about his new adventure, Universal Language. Find them at https://www.facebook.com/universallanguagelive & check out the Groove Lab Song of The Week Playlist here - https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=SBceXCM4S6e1A3OhwpH9IQ
Space suits & Disco Balls.
Nashville Pop/Country artist, Tezza, talks about her new single, and plans for the future.
Groove Lab Song Of The Week Playlist - https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Wq28X4ObMeOCCaFjHotN9?si=3_i8YD9JRH-hzCRTGvzXnA
Lauren and Josh have a quick chat about his new album ‘Patterns’ and his love for cats 😜 Check out Josh’s album ‘Patterns’ here - https://open.spotify.com/artist/3YRZWrA1WzMaDfOPoQVHCp?si=t2woHdBlR4SEFuZfxiLkew
Lauren chats with Heather Little about motherhood, how she got her start in music, and why the golden ticket isn't made of gold.
Be sure to check out Heather's Album ' Wings Like These' here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0AI8quAUK6zGBBGJLVQJPy?si=1xFAvPbhRYWdrcQ8pinTYg
Lauren talks with Nancy Giammarco about quarantine life, what to do if you’re ever locked inside of a night club in Finland (Use the margarita machine, duh), and why you should never ever mess with your sound woman. Check out Nancy’s new book Under The Purple Sea: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08G18C6V2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_rYNoFbA4CC2B2
Lauren chats with Justin Cash about his creative journey. Follow Justin online at www.gojustincash.com and on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/artist/0AAfXmezKCTs1lMOsa8EbL?si=dilMHQpdR52joi8GKjbZvA