As we celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Undiscovered Nashville, we wanted to look back at our featured artists. We are grateful to everyone who has trusted us to interview them and tell their story. We are proud of all the artists we have featured since the website’s launch in December 2018. But, we begin with the singer/songwriters we featured in 2019.
January 2019: Stevie Rae Stephens
Before launching the website, I spent a lot of time going to different writer’s nights. The stories and music I heard inspired me to share the stories of Nashville’s “Pre-famous.” Stevie Rae Stephens blew me away with her raw, emotional lyrics. Stephens is a passionate performer, and I was immediately a fan, and three years later, I still am. In 2019, Stephens redefined “Ladylike” with an ambitious project released in four parts; three themed EPs and the entire album. The album included an intro track that tied each EP together. Stephens has been writing for a new project and hosting a writer’s night at Belcourt and Cabana Taps. We hope new music is coming soon for Steve Rae Stephens. Stay tuned!
February 2019: Melanie Meriney
Melanie Meriney was one of the first artists I saw when I began attending writer’s nights. So naturally, I was impressed by her music, a collection of fun and heart-tugging songs. Meriney released a fantastic song called “Sober You.” Of all her songs, I think this one is still my favorite. It hits you in your feels, especially if you have ever been heartbroken and couldn’t seem to move forward. Unfortunately, Meriney, like many others, did not release any music in 2020. However, this year has brought us three new songs from Meriney: “Cool Girl,” “Damn Good Story,” and “Voodoo Doll.”
March 2019: Teresa Guidry
The first time I saw Teresa Guidry perform in a writer’s round, I was immediately drawn in by her sultry voice and well-crafted lyrics. I wondered why she looked so familiar the whole time, and it all made sense when she told me she had been on Season 10 of The Voice. Guidry has overcome some personal struggles, but she has continued to write new music. The singer/songwriter is currently planning a wedding and working on a new project. We cannot wait to hear what Teresa is working on, but in the meantime, you can listen to Guidry’s single “Paris,” released in 2021.
April 2019: Natalee Falk and Bella Raye
Natalee Falk and Bella Raye were amazing songwriters I met before deciding to launch Undiscovered Nashville. Natalee Falk’s unique vocal tones impressed me, and her lyrics moved me. Her song, “Can’t Stop the Rain,” was a song that I needed to hear at that point in my life. It helped me realize that I couldn’t dwell on events I could not control. Natalee and her sister Alexa, who we featured in later in the year, had a story filled with disappointments chasing the dream of a music career. However, Natalee’s perspective was somewhat different than her sister’s. Natalee Falk’s “Diamond” was one of my favorite songs from 2019. It’s a song that reminds us that we are diamonds, and we can overcome adversity and come out shining. In 2020, Falk repackaged her previously released singles into an EP titled “Burning Rain.”
Bella Raye inspired me with her story of being bullied in high school. After launching the website, I knew I wanted to tell the story behind her EP “Dear 17.” Bella moved to Nashville at the age of seventeen after graduating high school a year early to chase her music dreams. Over the past three years, I have continued to be impressed with her growth as a songwriter and performer. Bella Raye is still one of my favorite young writers and performers in Nashville. Check out her latest releases, “Better With a Girl” and “Hell You Go Through.”
May 2019 Featured Artists: Mary Kutter, Daniel Neihoff, and Hudson Valley
In May, we shared the stories of two Kentucky natives, Mary Kutter and Daniel Neihoff, and a band named after the Hudson Valley of New York. I owe Mary Kutter a lot of credit for helping me discover many of the early songwriters we featured through the writer’s night she hosted. So, we sat down to talk about Kutter’s two favorite things, tacos and music. Unfortunately, you will no longer find any of Kutter’s music online, but rest assured, she is still busy as a songwriter. Kutter has been co-writer on several songs over the past three years. Also, she still loves Tacos!
Daniel Neihoff is one of my favorite singer/songwriters I have had the opportunity to interview. Someone once told me Neihoff’s music reminded them of Jason Isbell, which is high praise. Neihoff is not afraid to take on unique subjects in his songs like the civil war, coal mining towns, a house full of junk, and a child forced to grow up to fast. His songs are a masterclass of storytelling in music. Since we featured Neihoff, he has been on the road a lot. Daniel said, “I’ve played around 115 shows this year, and expect about the same next year.” He won the Kerrville Folk Competition in 2019 and placed third in the Woody Guthrie songwriting competition. I, for one, cannot wait to hear what new songs Neihoff has been writing.
Hudson Valley is a band front by an outstanding vocalist, Sarah Owens. I love their harmonies and their relatable song lyrics. When we shared Hudson Valley’s story, they had released their incredible debut EP, “Seven.” In my opinion, there was not a bad song on this EP, but my favorites were “Can’t Have Nothin’ Nice,” “Run Mascara Run,” and “When The Right One Comes Along.” Since 2019, Hudson Valley has impressed crowds at its live shows. In 2020, they released “Right Place Now.” Their latest single, “Tell Him,” came out in October of this year. I believe they have what it takes to make it in this crazy business. So, if you love Hudson Valley as much as I do, share their music with your friends.
June 2019 Featured Artists: Joybeth Taylor, Aaron Clafton, and Rachel Horter
The month of June was busy for Undiscovered Nashville. In addition to these artists, we also shared an article about CMA week’s discoveries.
Joybeth Taylor, who seemed destined for Nashville, was the first artist featured in June. Taylor is a skilled songwriter who signed a publishing deal with Verse 2 Music. I am thrilled that someone saw the same talent Undiscovered Nashville did. If you did not hear Taylor’s debut EP, “I See Memories,” you should! Joybeth co-wrote the title track with Daniel Neihoff, who also released the song. Check out both versions! It’s only a matter of time before Joybeth pens a big hit!
We were thrilled to introduce Aaron Clafton to you as he released his debut single, “Spare Key,” in June 2019. Since then, Clafton has become a regular face at writer’s showcases around town and getting on the festival circuit. In 2020, he released “Kentucky Avenue,” a four-song EP. My favorite from that EP, “We Should’ve Stayed In,” features Rosemary Joaquin. Clafton continues to write good music, so if you get the chance to see him live, do it. Listen to Aaron Clafton on Spotify or Apple Music.
Rachel Horter completed our artist features in June 2019. The first time I saw Rachel perform, I was impressed by her vocal control. We are lucky Rachel found a home in Nashville. Her debut EP, “Lucky,” was one of our favorites of 2019. Since we talked to her, Horter has continued to perform at Ole Red and Whiskey Row in Nashville. However, she is moving toward a pop/r&b sound in her music. In 2020, she released an EDM version of her song, “Fire.” Rachel also released “Hard Place,” which dives into the R&B genre. Be on the lookout for new music from Horter in 2022.
July 2019 Featured Artists: JessLee, The Springs, and Nicole Miller
JessLee began our July by sharing her story when she released her single “Over Him.” But, JessLee is more than the powerhouse vocalist who turned heads on The Voice. She has improved as a songwriter and has released new music since our interview. JessLee has also been active in playing shows around the country. In 2020, she released two singles, “Do It Like” and “Christmas with My Ghosts.” This year she has released a lot of music, starting with the EP “21 Jump Start” JessLee has also released collaborations with Ryan Clark, Nico Brey, and Radio Romance. One of the most recent songs, “John Doe,” is an alternative track, which departs from what we are used to from the singer/songwriter.
The Springs are one of my favorite duos in town, and I was happy to include them as one of our July featured artists. My first experience with their music was at a sold-out fan club show at The Listening Room Cafe during CMA Week 2019. This show also introduced me to one of our 2020 featured artists, Emily Rose, who co-writes with The Springs. I love the article we shared in 2019, but Stewart and Holly have continued to release music since our interview. But, most importantly, the couple welcomed a new baby into their lives.
Nicole Miller quickly became one of my favorite singer/songwriters in town after I saw her playing at a Nashville Tour Stop show at Belcourt Taps. We introduced her when she released her debut single, “Strangers Again,” in 2019. However, Miller followed her debut single with her five-song EP “Lonely on the Weekend” before Covid in 2020. We wrote a review about the EP, which you can read here. Her melodies and hooks are incredible. I would put money on Miller to land a publishing deal soon if I were a betting man. We will be anxiously awaiting new music from the Iowa native.
August 2019: Bailey James
August was a slower month for us, but it brought the fantastic story of Bailey James. At the time of the article, James was sixteen and still finding her sound. Much like others who were writing and recording at that age, your influences change, and your writing matures. One thing was sure, James showed polish in her songwriting even at a young age. Since our interview, Bailey James has released several songs. James also made her Whiskey Jam debut, and I watched her crush it. I believe James has found her sound, and I still believe the sky is the limit for this talented young lady.
September 2019 Featured Artists: Alexa Shea, Maggie Baugh, and Juno
Alexa Shea led off our September featured artists. After interviewing her sister, Natalee Falk, I knew I wanted to sit down with Alexa Shea as well. But Alexa’s music moved me too. Alexa’s songwriting is empowering and emotional. Since our article on Alexa, she has continued to write new music, and she became a mother in the past year. Follow Alexa Shea on Instagram to keep up with everything she is doing.
Maggie Baugh is a gifted performer on stage, which piqued my interest in featuring the young singer-songwriter. Maggie impressed me with her 2019 release, “Fire Me Up.” Last year, like many others, did not release any new music. However, this year, Baugh dropped two incredible songs, “Think About Me” and “Drinking to the Broken Hearts.” I believe the sky is the limit for Maggie Baugh. She is undoubtedly an artist to watch going forward.
Juno completed our artist features in September. After randomly meeting Juno while moonlighting as an Uber driver, I decided to sit down with the unique artist. Juno’s story is inspirational and shows us what is possible in life. The singer/songwriter’s heartfelt lyrics and larger-than-life personality draw you into her music. Since our interview with Juno, she has continued sharing her passion for guitar. She is teaching alongside Keith Urban on his Urban Guitar Lesson app. Juno is also working on new music. I hope everyone else is as curious about her new music as I am.
October 2019: Olivia Lane and SixForty1
October began with Olivia Lane, who continues to be one of my favorite artists. Lane’s heartfelt lyrics and beautiful melodies continue to impress. Moreover, Lane did not take a break from releasing music in 2020. The singer/songwriter’s album, “The One,” revisited her previous singles. Lane continued to release heartfelt, relatable music in 2021. In September of this year, the singer/songwriter released “Heart Change.” The title track was probably my favorite song on an album filled with ten other tracks.
The last of our October featured artists was one of our favorite duos, SixForty1. The duo has not disappointed since our interview with Austin and Brooks. They have continued to release outstanding music and tour with Brantley Gilbert in 2021. So it’s only a matter of time before SixForty1 is headlining a tour of their own. The duo released their “Started Right Here” EP in October. It’s terrific!
November 2021: Alyssa Trahan and Nashville Tour Stop
Undiscovered Nashville capped our first year with a feature article on Alyssa Trahan. Trahan’s co-writers dropped her name frequently at songwriter nights. After seeing her play, I understood why. Since our feature article on Trahan, the singer/songwriter released a few singles in 2020. In March of this year, her album, “Baby Blues and Stilettos,” hit streaming platforms. Most recently, Trahan dropped the holiday EP, “Gingerbread House.” Check out her latest releases on Apple Music and Spotify.
Undiscovered Nashville finished the month of November with an article about Nashville Tour Stop, a songwriter showcase/community. It was appropriate since we had discovered several of the artists we had featured at Nashville Tour Stop at Belcourt Taps. In addition, our friends at NTS have been massive supporters of Undiscovered Nashville since we began. Undiscovered Nashville finished our first year by celebrating several of our featured artists with a takeover of Nashville Tour Stop. Congratulations to Aaron Schilb on his continued success with NTS.
As I reflect on the first year of Undiscovered Nashville three years later, I could not have imagined the growth we have seen. All the featured artists trusted us to tell their story in that first year when many had never heard of Undiscovered Nashville. I am forever grateful for their trust and believe my work is a privilege. I continue to believe in the talent all these artists possess. So for our new readers, please go back and learn about these artists from our first year.