Undiscovered Nashville is celebrating our 1st anniversary this December, and to commemorate that, we bring you the year in review. Undiscovered Nashville was an idea that was inspired by all the talented singer/songwriters chasing their dreams. Every writer’s night we have been to throughout the year, we heard incredible songs. Songs that make you happy and songs that make you cry. The beauty of music lies in its ability to make you feel something. The stories behind the music and the songwriters are fascinating. It was our goal to share those stories with you this year, and we hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.
The Beginning and The Year in Review: January to March
The journey began on December 21, 2018, with a post providing my backstory and what led to launch Undiscovered Nashville. Early on, we brought you reviews on shows we attended at the Belcourt Taps and the Listening Room. We began our artists’ features with a story on Ashley Taylor‘s EP release. January also marked our feature on Stevie Rae Stephens, whose story inspires us, but especially women, to be strong. Stevie Rae recently completed her ambitious project called “Ladylike,” by release an album. If you missed those stories, go back and check them out.
In February, we featured Melanie Meriney. Melanie was one of the earliest supporters of Undiscovered Nashville. I stand by my statement I made in February that Melanie is a rising star. I also wrote a reaction to “The Vagina Monologues,” which was directed by Stevie Rae Stephens. If you have never seen that production, I encourage you to go this coming February. Stevie Rae is once again leading another cast of ladies, and I am confident they will be fabulous.
In March, we reviewed NashUp 615, a writer’s night hosted by Ajaye Jardine at Alley Taps. This fall, NashUp moved to Tuesday nights. We also wrote about a typical week for Undiscovered Nashville and all the shows we attend during the week. Voice Alum, Teresa Guidry, was the focus of our artist feature in March. Teresa impressed me with her sultry vocals and continues to impress every time I see her play.
The Year in Review: April
In April, we brought you the story of Natalee Falk. Natalee and her sister Alexa Shea spent their childhood chasing the dream of a music career. Alexa would tell us her version of the story in September. It was at a writer’s night watching them and hearing their story that sparked the idea for Undiscovered Nashville. Natalee’s song “Can’t Stand the Rain” made me realize that it was okay to be vulnerable and admit that sometimes you have to ask for a little help. Her latest release, “Diamond,” was another inspirational tune.
We also had coffee with Bella Raye to learn what inspired Bella to start writing songs. She shared her story of bullying and how her song “Dear 17” was inspired by her personal experiences in high school. Since moving to Nashville at age seventeen, Bella Raye has grown as a songwriter and as an artist. We think she has a bright future ahead of her.
The Year in Review: May
The month of May was busy for Undiscovered Nashville. We featured three artists: Mary Kutter, Daniel Neihoff, and Hudson Valley. A few times this year, after seeing someone play, I have thought “Holy Forking Shirtballs” (The Good Place). Daniel Neihoff makes me feel that way every time I see him play. His raw and heartfelt songs delivered with such power. If you like Jason Isbell, you would love Daniel Neihoff.
Sarah Owens from Hudson Valley’s vocals on “Run Mascara Run” also blew me away. If you have not listened to Hudson Valley‘s debut EP, “Seven,” you are missing out. Every song is terrific, including the latest single from that EP, “Unmistakable Signs of a Bad Boyfriend.”
We also had a great time talking with Mary Kutter in May. Our conversation centered around Mary’s two favorite things, music, and tacos. Undiscovered Nashville is thankful for Mary’s support in our early months. We miss Mary’s OMG I’m a songwriter show on Thursday nights. Mary Kutter introduced us to a lot of talented singer/songwriters.
The Year in Review: June
The summer was jam-packed for Undiscovered Nashville, especially since I was free from my day job. CMA week was incredible. We saw so many incredible shows for free. There are a lot of free concerts during the week, so if you can’t spend the money on the nightly stadium shows, you can still see incredible performances. Check out our “CMA week in review” article to learn about all the astonishing artists we saw.
In June, we also featured Joybeth Taylor, Aaron Clafton, and Rachel Horter. All three singer/songwriters are gaining momentum in town. Joybeth Taylor‘s raw, emotional lyrics can bring tears to your eyes. Taylor seemed destined for Nashville. The singer/songwriter knew wanted to come to Nashville before really knowing what Nashville was.
Aaron Clafton impressed with the first single he has released since moving to Nashville. “Spare Key” has become a crowd favorite at writer’s nights around town. Clafton recently made his Whiskey Jam debut on Thanksgiving night. Of course, Whiskey Jam is the premier band showcase in Nashville. For many artists and singer/songwriters, it is a goal to play that show.
Rachel Horter’s EP release this year was impressive. Her soulful and powerful lyrics do not disappoint. She is a terrific performer on stage as well. It was her on-stage performance that caught our attention. Rachel is also one of the most genuine people I have met in Nashville, and we want to support people like that. We are glad Rachel Horter found a home in Nashville.
The Year in Review: July
July marked another busy month for Undiscovered Nashville. In July, we featured some of our favorite artists in Nashville: JessLee, The Springs, and Nicole Miller. JessLee’s vulnerability opening up about her struggle weight was admirable and relatable. JessLee is an excellent songwriter with incredible vocals, but she is also a great person. Stay tuned for news on her next single release; it is going to blow you away.
The Springs, a husband and wife duo, each had pursued music separately before forming a duo. However, we are glad they joined their musical talents. We hope 2020 means new music from Stewart and Holly. If you are a stranger to their music, they have an album out called “Old Fashioned.” They also released a single this past summer, entitled “Someone.”
It is safe to say Undiscovered Nashville is still hung up on Nicole Miller‘s music. Her music is authentic, emotional, and relatable. We are excited about her upcoming EP release. In the meantime, check out the two singles she released in 2019. “Strangers Again” and “Hung Up” are two amazing songs and worthy of your time listening to them.
The Year in Review: August and September
In August and September, we featured Bailey James, Alexa Shea, Maggie Baugh, and Juno. I immediately wanted to meet Bailey James after hearing her tell the story of her brother at a writer’s round one night. Bailey and I can share the grief of losing a sibling. I was impressed by her resilience and by her passion for suicide prevention. Bailey is a talented young songwriter who will only improve.
Earlier in the year, we featured Natalee Falk’s story, and in September, we told the story of the other half of the Falk sisters, Alexa Shea. It was interesting to hear the story of a shared background from a different perspective. The story of a childhood chasing a dream, but ending in several disappointments. The impact Alexa’s music made on me was tremendous. “The Other Side” is a song Alexa has previously released. The song has a powerful message and one that I needed to hear the night she sang it. I encourage you to check out Alexa’s music on your streaming service of choice.
We also enjoyed getting to know Maggie Baugh. We learned that Maggie is all about music. If Maggie is not a massive star in the future, then people are not paying attention. The young singer/songwriter is one of the most musically gifted people I have ever seen. She plays multiple instruments, is a great vocalist, and a good songwriter too. Her single “Fire Me Up” will have you fired up.
We finished September with a feature on Juno. Juno, who previously played guitar for Camila Cabello, left her job as a touring musician to do her own thing. Juno’s captivating personality immediately catches your attention. Her personal story was improbable, but she persevered. We are anxious to see what Juno will accomplish in the coming year. In the meantime, read our feature on her.
October to the Present
In October, we featured Olivia Lane fresh off her appearance on NBC’s “Songland.” Also, we featured a fantastic duo, SixForty1. Olivia Lane’s music beams with positivity, and she also brings that same energy in her social media posts. Her song, “Perfect Skin,” is a shining example of her passion for spreading a positive message through music. She reminds people you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
SixForty1 is one of the hottest duos in town. Their catchy hooks will have you singing along and bobbing your head. Their latest releases, “I Get That” and “Show You Around,” are as good as anything I have heard on the radio lately. Do yourself a favor and read our feature on Austin and Brooks. Be sure to check their music online under 641 and SixForty1.
In November, we featured a story on Alyssa Trahan and Nashville Tour Stop. Alyssa has released several singles this year and recently released an EP as well. Undiscovered Nashville is excited to see what 2020 has in store for Alyssa. Therefore, if she picks up in where 2019 left off, then 2020 will be like “Blue Fire” for Alyssa Trahan.
Our most recent article was featuring what is probably our favorite writer’s night in town. Nashville Tour Stop created a community of songwriters in town. However, the popularity of the show has opened opportunities to take Tour Stop on the road. In the last month, Nashville Tour Stop hosted shows in New York City and Columbia, Missouri. If you have never been to one of their Sunday night shows at Belcourt Taps, you should go soon. If you come, you will likely find Undiscovered Nashville there. Also, look for NTS at other venues around town.
Undiscovered Nashville Takes Over Nashville Tour Stop
On December 8, Undiscovered Nashville took over Nashville Tour Stop for two hours to celebrate our first anniversary. We were thankful to have the opportunity to present several of the artists we have featured this year. Joining us were Melanie Meriney, Joybeth Taylor, Hudson Valley, Maggie Baugh, Aaron Clafton, Teresa Guidry, and JessLee. Also, Alyssa Trahan was booked by NTS to play a feature set the same night. Thank you to all who came out to support these artists and us.
We look forward to doing more nights like this. Nashville Tour Stop has graciously allowed us an hour in January and February to bring you some fantastic undiscovered talent in Nashville. Stay tuned for announcements of those lineups.
The Journey Continues
In the coming year, we plan on bringing you more restaurant reviews and recommendations. We will always keep telling the stories behind Nashville’s best-undiscovered talent. Plans are in the works to continue presenting writer’s nights and showcases in 2020. We will be booking a writer’s round at Radio SoBro’s writer’s night at Tin Roof Broadway in January. Please keep reading and sharing our content. We appreciate our readers and those who have helped us get through some of the growing pains this year. Please follow us on social media for the latest news.
We hope you have enjoyed the year in review. Have a happy holiday season and we look forward to bringing you more content in 2020. Happy reading!