Kent Blazy, growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, became musically inspired when he heard Roger McGuinn playing his Rickenbacker guitar on "Mr. Tamborine Man." This created a new choice and Kent traded in his baseball glove for a guitar. He began his musical journey playing with a series of bands all over the eastern half of the country.
By the mid-70’s, Kent was band leader, playing guitar and touring with Canadian legend, Ian Tyson. Sound advice and the timely first place win in a national songwriting contest persuaded him to move to Nashville in 1980. Kent’s commitment was now to focus his efforts at the craft of songwriting. It was a very fine decision.
In 1982, sooner than expected, Gary Morris took "Headed for a Heartache" to number 5 on the charts. In the years that followed other artists, such as The Forrester Sisters, T. Graham Brown, Donna Fargo and Moe Bandy recorded Kent’s tunes.
In an effort to develop more knowledge of the recording side of music and for the benefits of a “day job,” Kent opened a home recording studio. The studio offered an option for Kent’s demos as well as a demo service to other writers. This studio introduced Kent to some of the new demo singers and songwriters of Nashville; names like Randy Travis, Billy Dean, Trisha Yearwood, Joe Diffie, and Martina McBride, now well-known country artists.
In 1987, Kent was introduced to a new demo singer by Bob Doyle, then with ASCAP, soon to be the manager for this emerging talent, Garth Brooks. Garth became Kent’s most requested demo singer and Bob Doyle also advised, “Garth writes a little bit too.”
The first song Garth and Kent penned together was "If Tomorrow Never Comes" which became the first number one song for both. The friendship and writing partnership continued as Garth included eight more of their songs on his albums. Four more captured the number one slot: "Somewhere Other Than the Night," "Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)," "It’s Midnight Cinderella," and "She’s Gonna Make It."
Garth’s newest CD, "The Lost Sessions," includes another Kent and Garth song, "For a Minute There," written for their fathers. Kent and fellow songwriter Pat Alger co-produced a CD titled "In the Beginning: A Songwriter’s Tribute to Garth Brooks."
This project is a collective of 6 other songwriters who composed songs on Garth’s first two albums. The focus was to present the songs in the original acoustic and authentic sound form as Garth first heard them. The CD was originally planned as a gift to Garth during his 100 million party in 2000. An independent recording label saw the potential and released the CD in 2001, resulting in 50,000+ copies sold to date.
An added benefit of this CD included a tour in Ireland for Kent and 3 other Garth writers. In Ireland, Kent discovered that "If Tomorrow Never Comes" was released in Europe, Japan, Australia and The United Kingdom by an Irish artist, Ronan Keating. His recording became a successful number one song in many countries.
Kent’s songwriting continues with established writing partnerships, as well as developing partnerships with new writers and artists. Many of his crafted works continue to be recorded by artists such as Diamond Rio, Kenny Chesney, Terri Clark, Clay Walker, Patty Loveless, Julie Roberts, Andy Griggs and Blaine Larsen, a new recording artist on RCA. Kent's latest #1 hit is "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)," recorded by Chris Young.
Few female Nashville singer-songwriters are more respected or more revered than the stunning talent that is Leslie Satcher. At the age of 26, the native Texan made the move to Nashville in pursuit of a singing career and was quickly recognized for her gift with lyric and melody. After being mentored at a smaller publisher by many of the music industry’s legendary songwriters, she made the move to Sony Music Publishing where she would stay for nearly 15 years. During this time, she was also signed as an artist at Warner Brothers. While recording her critically acclaimed debut album, “Love Letters,” her songs were growing in demand.
Though Leslie is primarily known as a country singer and songwriter, her talents cross all genres. She has written or co-written songs that have been recorded by everyone from Willie Nelson to Ariana Grande; Vince Gill to Sheila E.; George Strait to Sheryl Crow; Martina McBride to Keb’Mo; Blake Shelton to Bonnie Raitt and many, many more. Leslie co-wrote Josh Kelley’s current single “Loves You Like Me.” She has received multiple BMI “Million-Air” awards recognizing a song’s one millionth airplay and her incomparable vocals contribute to an astounding number of Grammy, CMA & ACM award winning projects.
Leslie’s next two albums, “Creation” and “Gypsy Boots,” were recorded independently and truly exhibit the diversity of her Texas roots and Delta soul. They are available on iTunes, CDBaby and every other major digital distributor.
Aside from writing hit songs for some of music’s most iconic artists; Leslie is in high demand as a performer known for her angelic voice, funny stories, the unique playing style and sound of her guitar; but mostly, her uncanny ability to connect with audiences of any size or demographic. Her typical year will include more than 150 songwriting sessions and 65 live performances all over the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
Leslie has recently completed her fourth album; “Leslie Satcher & The Electric Honey Badgers – 2 Days In Muscle Shoals” for NHMM/Kobalt. This incredible collection of songs features an All-Star band and guest appearances from Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood and Heidi Newfield.
Something's happening in country music. Newer artists and younger audiences are embracing instrumentation, vocal stylings and song structures long thought drowned in the ocean of slick, snap-track productions. Not easily dismissed as merely regional or a novelty throwback, the trend could be on its way to full-blown movement. If so, Kimberly Kelly's Show Dog Nashville debut album may prove to be the clarion call. Either way ... she's not asking.
I'll Tell You What's Gonna Happen is more than her (abbreviated) album title, more than a reference to her connection with a Country Music Hall of Famer, and much more than a historical footnote. Rather, it's a statement of musical confidence earned the only way that happens: talent, work ethic, experience, vulnerability, and courage. For Kelly, it's all of a piece. "I like to think of it as a sub-genre of country music called 'country music,'" she says with a wink.
A native of Lorena, Texas, Kelly has multiple connections to the Nashville industry. She has also been unafraid to defy convention. "This is not my first rodeo," she says of her label debut. "I worked really hard in Texas before I came to Nashville. I wrote songs, put out records, did a radio tour, and played every weekend while earning a Master's degree. They say don't have a 'plan B,' but I watched my mom struggle to get that next level of pay. My mom earned her bachelor's degree when she was 60, so school was important to me to know I could take care of myself."
Her sister Kristen signed to a Nashville label and charted a single in 2012, which gave Kimberly an early education. "I got to sing harmony with her on tours with Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Alan Jackson. I learned so much watching her and the crowd. A lot of my confidence onstage comes from that."
Developing as an artist and making her own music meant circling back to her youth. "Growing up, I focused more on the artist when I was listening to records, then learned that not every artist wrote their songs. I went through a phase thinking I needed to write everything I sing. Maturity helped me realize sometimes the truest artist is one who can take what someone else wrote and elevate that story."
Meeting with publishers, Kelly dove into a process favored by many of the genre's most successful artists. "I went back to some of my favorite albums to look up writer names so I could ask for songs from their back catalogs," she says. "When something hit me, I'd put it in a group and eventually play what I'd found for Brett."
That's Brett Tyler – No. 1 songwriter ("Cold Beer Calling My Name"), producer and Kelly's husband. Together, they crafted the independently released Don't Blame It On Me EP, released in 2018. "I can write a song, but I tried to make a record like the ones I grew up on – may the best songs win," she says. "That's how I approached my EP, which ultimately led to me signing a record deal."
Signed to Show Dog Nashville in partnership with Thirty Tigers in 2021, Kelly doubled down on finding songs. "A longtime Music Row executive told me that knowing how to A&R an album is just as important as being able to write," she explains. "He said he knew I could write, but having the ability to choose songs that fit together and represent what I want to say is just as important for an artist." Indeed.
Launching with the call-and-response guitar licks that open "Honky Tonk Town," the album draws the listener in and doesn't let go. The melody of "Some Things Have A Name" is perfectly suited to Kelly's voice. Beyond the sonic quality of her vocals, it is how she sings that evokes some of the genre's most revered music. "Summers Like That" enhances its title-dropping with a musical bed that creates its own level of nostalgic emotion. "Why Can't I," "Blue Jean Country Queen," "No Thanks" and "First Fool In Line" anchor deep in country bedrock; "Don't Blame It On Me" is a smoldering dance hall ballad and "Forget The Alamo" is the lone nod to Texas. But it is "Remember That Woman" and "Person That You Marry" that elevate the entire project. One she wrote, one she didn't, yet both highlight a through-line of strength and maturity of perspective. By the time the cover of the late Billy Joe Shaver's "Black Rose" draws to a surprising close, the listener has been taken on a thoroughly cohesive journey.
The final song connects to the album's title in the person of Shaver, who Kelly met while still in college. "Billy Joe lived near us and told a family friend he owed her for helping him out of a bad real estate deal," Kimberly says. "She called me while I was making work tapes with some friends and brought him over to the studio we were in. He handed me a $500 check – the earnest money that family friend helped him get back – signed a copy of his autobiography, sat on a bucket, and asked me to play him a song. I had no idea who he was, but my friends were flipping out."
The family friend later brought Kimberly some marked-up CDs and said, "Learn these songs. You're playing mandolin with Billy Joe at Antone's in Austin this Saturday." She did, nailed the performance and met Dan Rather, who was doing a 60 Minutes special on the iconic Shaver. "Ever since, he's been a musical grandfather to me," Kelly says. "I opened shows for him, took him food over the holidays and introduced him to the Lorena, Texas bar where he, unfortunately, had to shoot a man in self defense several years later."
Kelly's album title is a quote from the mythical-if-it-weren't-true story of Shaver forcing his way into a Waylon Jennings recording session after the star tried to renege on recording some of his songs. Brushing off a $100 bill to go away, Shaver said to Jennings, "I'll tell you what's gonna happen. You're gonna either listen to these songs or I'm gonna whip your ass." Waylon agreed to listen to one. The rest is history in the form of Jennings' 1973 Honky Tonk Heroes album, on which every song but one was written by Shaver. Both men are in the Hall of Fame.
"David Macias of Thirty Tigers dared me to use the quote as my album title," Kelly says. "I was like, 'Sure. What do I care?' I did the Texas music scene, I’ve done time in Nashville, and I thought my time had passed when I got offered my deal. My husband could keep writing songs and I'd just be a speech therapist.”
"I made this record like it's the last one I'll ever get to make, and I have no problem telling people they need to listen to it. They can even skip the two I wrote; these are great songs. It's a good album. Country music."
To be clear, neither Kelly nor her music are casting aspersions at those who lean towards different sounds. "That's somebody's baby, too," she says. "They've got a mama and daddy who are super proud of them for chasing their dreams, so let them have it. It might not be your favorite, but it's somebody's. There's room for all of it."
That said, "I would love nothing more than to carry the neo-traditional torch," she admits. And she might just whip some ass for the privilege.
As an artist, White has played some of the most legendary venues in the nation, including the Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ol Opry House, The Station Inn, The Louisiana Hayride, The Bluebird Cafe, The Disney Theater, and The Florida Theater, just to name a few.
Phillip White and Friends Movin’ On Sessions Vol. 2 studio album is loaded with talented musicians, singers and songwriters. It was the first post-national Covid shut down recording at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. The debut single, Any Less video premiered on CMT.com on November 17th and the song is currently available on all platforms. The album is available now on all platforms.
Phillip’s debut album, Movin’ On Sessions Vol. 1, was released on June 21st, 2019.
Phillip White is a three time number one hit songwriter, an Academy of Country Music award winner, and Grammy nominated songwriter and producer that writes songs for some of the biggest artists in the business. George Strait, Luke Bryan, Chris Ledoux, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Reba, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, and Jake Owen are some of the artists that have recorded Phillip's work.
Among these include the 2003 ACM Song of the Year, the Rascal Flatts smash "I'm Movin' On," the theme song for Reba's self titled hit TV show "I'm A Survivor," and Blake Shelton's "Nobody But Me."