Zack Turner wrote for some of the biggest names in country music!
He started playing at the age of 14 professionally.
Zack wrote the 1994 Country classic “Watermelon Crawl.” He is also one half of the duo Turner Nichols, whose other half is fellow singer-songwriter Tim Nichols. The duo released their first album in 1993.
Handpicked by the group Alabama to replace them at the world famous Bowery in Myrtle Beach, SC.
After a successful run in SC, Zack made the move to Nashville in 1987 writing for Ten Ten for 5 years. There, the late great Keith Whitley heard ‘I’m Over You’ - He recorded it and a few months later died an untimely death.
RCA released ‘I’m Over You’ and in no time it was a major hit.
6 more BMI award winning songs
Damien Horne, Co-Host the TV series "The Song"
He is a member of the trio The Farm, as well as Nashville's MuzikMafia,
He became a member of the MuzikMafia in 2001, and recorded his first album Somebody's Hero in 2008 under the direction and production of Big Kenny of Big & Rich. When asked about the project, Big Kenny said
He has collaborated and performed with Melissa Manchester, Bon Jovi, Kid Rock, John Legend, Hank Williams, Jr. The Commodores, 3 Doors Down, Faith Hill, Big & Rich, Shemekia Copeland, Robert Randolph, Jewel, Josh Kelley, Gretchen Wilson, Velvet Revolver, and The Neville Brothers.
PAIGE KING JOHNSON
In a quiet North Carolina town 22 miles south of Raleigh, as a young 9-year-old girl, Paige King Johnson spent her summers under the crepe myrtles imitating the styles of Loretta, Patsy, Waylon, and Merle. Having a grandpa as her biggest fan also meant receiving the gift of her first guitar – a baby Taylor - and enrolling in lessons. After her grandpa passed, the bright-eyed dreamer carried on his memory by taking her newfound discovery to local fairs, festivals, and any other stage she was allowed to stand on. As she grew older, Johnson added “opening act” to her resume, supporting chart topping artists like Scotty McCreery, Neal McCoy, Luke Pell, and James Otto. And with high school graduation came the realization that this was more than a hobby. The Angier native traded in horse pastures and back roads for the bright lights of Music City in 2015. Upon starting school at Belmont University for Music Business, Johnson honed in on the magic that had heavily influenced her as a child: the art of storytelling thru songwriting.
“I started finding my own voice thru writing, becoming more confident, and owning the fact that my personal feelings and experiences were worth talking about, singing about, and putting on paper,” Johnson reflects.
The famous Bluebird Café was just one of many writers’ circuits around Nashville that provided a safe space for Johnson to meet other writers, try out new tunes, and get feedback. In return, Johnson began captivating audiences with her down-home stage presence, cut straight to the bone stories and raw country voice, reminiscent of the classic country era. In the last four years, Johnson has traveled back and forth between Nashville and the Carolinas, playing shows like the North Carolina State Fair and running her dinner theatre, Country on the Outskirts of Town, that she founded in high school. Johnson’s quarterly show provides an atmosphere for locals to enjoy Southern cooking, fellowship with friends, and the sounds of classic and current country music with some gospel thrown in. A three-time Carolina Music Awards Nominee for Best Country Female Artist, Johnson’s devoted homegrown fan base continues to expand farther than just her backyard.
And now the recent college graduate is ready to spread her wings and chart new territory with grit and honesty. Her current single, “Water Down the Whiskey” channels the sensitivity of Kacey Musgraves while dishing out the unapologetic nerve of Miranda Lambert. The modern day break up tale is pouring more than just a whiskey shot with a completed fall radio tour and an upcoming music video. Johnson’s confident ownership of her craft is a direct result of the compelling female staples she grew up on—females who have at times strayed from the mainstream path to carve their own. With a heartfelt conviction to write genuine songs she can be proud of for years to come, Johnson is ready to go down any path that calls her name – as long as she can walk it in her favorite pair of boots.
“My main goal with music is to keep it authentically me and authentically country. As long as I continue to achieve those two things, I will remain satisfied and happy on this journey, no matter where it takes me.”
22-year-old rising country music artist, Taylor Mason, comes from the small-ish town of Wallburg, North Carolina. Currently in her senior year of college, she is studying Environment & Sustainability, while concentrating in Natural Resource Management with minors in Biology and Communication. She plans to not use her anticipated degree in lieu of pursuing a music career.
Mason takes pride in her songwriting and enjoys sharing her stories through live shows. She arrived on the music scene in 2019 with her debut single release, “Wallburg”. 2020 CCMA Tour of the Year nominee spent 2019 learning the ropes of playing acoustic gigs. Mason intends on continuing her acoustic gig schedule through graduation. When she is not playing music, you can find her: duck hunting, offshore fishing, burning gas, drinking coffee, or cooking.
20-year-old (Singer/Songwriter) John Norris was born and raised in Sanford, North Carolina. John found his love for music at a young age singing in church. He started songwriting when he was around 14 years old. When he turned 16 years old, he started doing gigs across the state of North Carolina. At 18, John decided to take the Nashville route, and since then he has been playing shows, songwriting, and networking out in Nashville. Connect and follow John's journey as he continues his series of theatre concerts.
Brian Hilligoss was raised in Archdale, North Carolina and was singing on the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, by the time he was twenty-one, sharing the stage with Roy Acuff, Porter Wagoner, Connie Smith, and performing stand-up comedy with his friend and mentor, Minnie Pearl.
The years he spent in Nashville, and at Opryland U.S.A., as a performer and musician, were the most valuable he will say. “I learned from so many crazy-talented folks about musicianship, performing, and how to read an audience and get in their hearts.”
Brian went on to be a published songwriter and tour as a bass player and vocalist, with Louise Mandrell, Alan Jackson, and other headline artists while enjoying numerous appearances on television and in Las Vegas with the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr., Ray Stevens, George Burns, Mickey Gilley, Roy Clark, Ralph Emory, and others.
After years in Nashville, Brian made the move to Chicago to raise his three boys and transitioned into executive producer and writer for corporate theater and destination attraction shows, globally. “Eventually, after surviving prostate cancer, divorce, and snow shoveling, I decided to take a chance on the truth. For years, I was always living something different than what my southern musical soul was screaming. I had to get back behind the microphone.” Today, Brian has set out to reclaim his authenticity, as well as the road back (yes, back) to the Opry via Asheville, North Carolina.
With new music, reared acoustically, some gently laced with socially-conscious lyrics, Brian weaves stories of his disparate lives and observations into a single focus…to share his voice with the world in hopes of making a difference, whether it’s at a festival, concert venue, or corporate theater.
Brian has written and directed others, from Fortune 100 CEOs to GAC-TV’s Great American Country Show at Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN) in the last decade or so, and is putting that experience to new performance platforms for himself through music, inspirational speaking, writing, and workshops.
In the western North Carolina mountains, life is softer, creative, and more conscious for Hilligoss. “I could have gone back to Nashville, but Asheville seems to align with my journey best, for now. I am inspired by so many artists and others who have journeyed here to reinvent…to resurrect, to heal, and create,” he says. “Sometimes, you have to go home.”
Small towns in Texas are rich in life experiences and a unique culture that is hard to put into words. Families are close, friendships are lifelong, laughter is loud and abundant, and love is limitless. Countless country songs have been made about it and the appeal of the lifestyle never wanes. One such artist who brings this life to the forefront is singer/songwriter Josh Fuller. Fuller, who was raised on a dairy farm in New Waverly, Texas, learned the value of respect, hard work, and the benefits of a strong faith and carries those traits with him to this day. He married his high school sweetheart, is raising their two sons to be “country to the bone,” and has a band of friends who happen to be talented and hardworking to boot!
As Fuller gears up for the release of his second studio album, KEEP ON BEIN’ ME (Sept. 4, 2015), audiences can expect songs that are very personal reflections on the southern way of life. Inspired by Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson, Chris LeDoux, Robert Earl Keen, Keith Whitley, and other musical storytellers, Fuller’s songs showcase a quick-wit and clever mind. Fuller’s often humorous perspective has earned him a loyal following, four radio singles (“Road Trip,” “Old Whiskey,” “Gringo Loco,” and “On The Radio” from KEEP ON BEIN’ ME), and a career path that began when his father bought him a guitar.
“The strings were plastic like you use in a weed-eater,” Fuller jokes. “I bought a bunch of songbooks of my favorite singers at the time; the first Texas Country song I learned to play was Charlie Robinson’s ‘My Hometown’ and I learned to play harmonica by listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed’s ‘Boy’s from Oklahoma,” over and over again. I slowly but surely learned to play the chords by matching the strumming together to make what was loosely considered, music.”
Singing in competitions (including a gig in Las Vegas), Fuller was introduced to Texas Country by co-workers. Seeing a place for artists to be singer/ songwriters, his first paid gig was a trial by fire as he opened for Stoney LaRue and Brandon Jenkins. Playing in various formations of a band until 2012, Fuller’s big break came when Michael Berry, “The Czar of Talk Radio,” offered support as a mentor and sponsor, and a performance residency alongside Texas Legend Dub Miller at his Stafford venue, Redneck Country Club.
“Michael challenged me to write him a theme song,” Fuller recalls. “I sold everything I had to pay for one day of studio time and it worked; Michael still uses that song! He took me under his wing and was tough on me, when I needed it. I learned so much from him about life and business. I am forever grateful for his generosity and friendship.”
In January of 2013, Fuller debuted DIRT AND DIESEL, a Phil Pritchett produced effort, and took his music to radio. Texas Country was introduced to this high-octane artist with heart, one who takes the word friendship seriously, and one who credits his success to his band – his drummer and lead guitarist have stuck it out over the years and his current line-up has been solid for the last five.
“They are a tight, cohesive unit and have jumped through every fiery hoop that has been dangled in front of us,” Fuller states. “They have risen to every challenge and I owe all my recent success to their loyalty, talent and friendship.”
Fuller’s live shows are something to see and he has shared the stage with such artists as Billy Joe Shaver, Charlie Daniels, Cory Morrow, Roger Creager, Bleu Edmonson, Tracy Byrd, Rick Trevino, David Allen Coe, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Charlie Robison, Cody Canada, Johnny Lee, David Lee Murphy, Little Texas, Robert Earl Keen, Brandon Rhyder, and more.
With energy to spare, it is obvious Fuller is on a mission to make the shows personal and unique. Taking the time to get to know their audience and tailor each show, they work hard to never repeat a performance.
“I find that it doesn’t matter what mood I am in, or how hard my day or week was, when I strum the first chord, all my troubles go away and I am ready to put on as high of an energy show as I can for the people listening,” he states. “I want them to be able to forget everything for an hour or two and just enjoy being alive, the way I feel when I strap on the guitar.”
Fuller’s small town roots are ever present and his charm and zest for life, and music, is contagious. As he works to release his second album, KEEP ON BEIN’ ME, he is reminded of why he pursues this dream. And, he hopes you come along for the ride!
“When I see a husband and wife dancing and holding hands, or families at a show where the kids are dancing with their parents, it makes me feel good. The world can be so full of stress and distraction, it’s nice to see that my music can give people an excuse to come together for a positive reason and enjoy each other.”
Pearl Street Records Outlaw Country Band Whits End from Upstate South Carolina.
Faith Bardill is a multi-award winning singer/songwriter who has developed her sound and style over the years by performing live on the East Coast and in recent years across and outside of the U.S. In addition to performing solo and full band shows, she’s also a Nashville recording artist with multiple EPs with original music available on various music platforms. Faith has shared the stage with numerous renowned national acts such as Justin Moore, Craig Campbell, Michael Ray and many more.
Faith was adopted by her grandparents and raised in the Carolinas. Music was a part of her life from a young age with her grandparents being a major influence on her music style. When you listen to her music, you can tell she has the heart of an old soul. One of her very first performances was her kindergarten graduation. Having sang at church and several school functions in the years following, she joined the Temple Teens at Sanford’s Temple Theatre when she was thirteen years old. She went on to perform in numerous plays at Temple Theatre before learning to play the guitar and forming her first band at fifteen. Now, she travels the nation to perform her music.
Having been brought up listening to artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Miranda Lambert, The Eagles, Aretha Franklin, and many more, Faith quickly found a love and appreciation for all kinds of music with Country being her favorite. She states that “Country music has always told the truth and told a story. If you make someone feel what you’re singing, to me, that’s country. No matter who’s singing it.”
Jordan Pickett is 17 years old with two older brothers and a younger sister. He attends Chatham Central High School. He has been raised in Silk Hope, in rural Chatham County North Carolina. Silk Hope is known for beautiful farm land and friendly folks where everybody knows everybody.
Jordan has a passion for music. He is completely self-taught and began writing original songs roughly two years ago after his grandpa passed away. Jordan’s first song was for him and entitled “I Will Never Forget You.” Since then he has been writing songs or “stories” as he calls them, about his own life and things he sees happening in others’ lives around him. To date he has at least 16 originals. Although, his songs were never intended to be shared with anyone but his family, recent opportunities have him sharing his passion with others. They were not written to see how many fans he could gain or see if they could make it to the radio. They were simply written because he enjoys everything about songwriting and it has become his way of releasing his feelings.
Jordan has been playing small gigs at local venues around his hometown to include Pittsboro Roadhouse, Silk Hope Winery & Elizabeth’s Pizza. One of his first experiences as a songwriter was Angier Unplugged hosted by Paige King Johnson. He and Faith Bardill were highlighted as local songwriters for the evening. He was honored to be chosen to open for Nashville recording artist Tim Elliot at X-treme Wings & Things Summer Party. He just placed second in Asheboro Idol held at Lucky’s Bar & Tap and performed a Ritchie Valen original at their History of Rock show at the Sunset Theatre in Asheboro. He is currently working on new material including many covers to add to his originals. As expected, he is excited to see where the future takes him with music!
CMA Member and Texas-born Country artist Sierra Bernal is a Southern Belle with Texas grit. As an entertainer, vocalist, musician, and songwriter with a love for storytelling who is quickly changing the landscape of Country Music, her talent earns her the ability to hold her own among veteran artists. She’s written with notable songwriters such as Clay Mills, Kevin Brandt and Bobby Terry, and performed on legendary stages such as The Fontanel, Nashville’s Bluebird Café, and Commodore Grill, as well as many in and around Texas such as the Outlaws & Legends Festival in Abilene, playing for as many as 8,500 people. Her high-energy sets have also graced the stages at Dosey Doe’s Big Barn, Main Street Crossing, Mo’s Place in Katy and at noted events like Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Cook-off.
Sierra’s musical journey began when, at age 5, she stated that if she couldn’t be a crocodile hunter (yes, just like Steve Irwin) she would become a Country Music Artist. At age 10, she overcame a case of stage fright to sing an a cappella version of Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” in a talent show. Stunning the audience into silence as they listened, the thrill of being on the stage set in and she was hooked.
Blending elements of dark alternative pop with orchestral instrumentation and electronic production, LISETTE creates colorful, cinematic soundscapes that are enhanced by her powerful vocals. She is a singer-songwriter born from early influences of rock, alternative, indie pop, and her love for classical music and film scores. Her music is comparable to the likes of Evanescence and BANKS.
She began writing songs at 15 and performed at music venues and open mics around her home state of North Carolina. While studying music business and popular music in college, she stumbled upon her love for producing and she released her debut single Run This Far in 2018. This past August, Lisette won ‘Best Rock Female’ at the 2019 Carolina Music Awards.
LISETTE captivates audiences with her haunting voice and lyrical poetry that flows within her songs. Her debut EP Beneath the Surface released November 1, 2019.
Dustin Chapman is a young singer/songwriter who has climbed hills and entered valleys, as he is in the midst of a budding country music career, but also in the middle of an extreme medical battle with a disease called achalasia; however, Chapman uses his talents to praise God and to uplift others who are fighting their own battles. A mixture of country, gospel, and blues comes together to create his signature soulful southern sound. Writing lyrics that make people examine a variety of situations taking place in their own lives, Chapman is showing that life is expelled through the moments when we take the biggest risks and to never truly discredit anyone’s ability to win a fight. In 2017, Chapman released his debut EP which charted #52 on the iTunes Country Charts and afterwards, was nominated for various country music awards, including Christian Country Song of the Year for his original songs "Set Me Free" and "Lead the Way" at the 2018 and 2020 Carolina Country Music Awards and four 2019 Josie Music Awards. Currently, Chapman is releasing new music all throughout 2020 with his overall goal being to show that his songs, lyrics, and musical ventures are not about him, but about the power of music—the power it has to restore brokenness, encourage hopefulness, and breathe life into the lifeless. It was just Chapman who allowed himself to break down walls and enter a place of vulnerability that would eventually result in others doing the same.
THE BLUE PICKUPS
The Blue Pickups Band is a Nashville recording Country Rock band from Columbia, SC currently writing new music on the farm at the home of bass player Donny Rogers. The concept for the band was conceived by three original members -Jimmy Rogers (guitarist), Mike Danielson (Drummer), and Donny Rogers (Bass Player.)In 2016 lead vocalist Kelly Wyatt brought his unique entertainment style to the group.
They’ve won multiple awards and opened for various artists including Darius Rucker, Parmalee, Tucker Beathard, Russell Dickerson The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Mother’s Finest, and Hootie and The Blowfish.
Their songs pour out from the heart and soul of the life experiences of each band member.
Born and bred in the Carolinas, their music represents blue collar, hardworking American families. Their energy is igniting and their love for music is evident in all of their well attended performances.
2017 “Nash Next” North Carolina winner for his song Judgment Day. 2017 Music Mafia’s 2017 Artist of the Year first runner up. Nashville Universe 2018 nominee for Song Writer of the Year and Rising Star. 2019 International Singer-Songwriter Association’s Entertainer of the Year. 2019 Music Mafia’s Band of the Year. Carolina Country Music Association 2019 Songwriter of the Year nominee. Since the Cliff Wheeler Band formed in 2017, they have traveled the southeastern US building a reputation as a great live act with meaningful songs. With two albums and multiple singles to his credit, Cliff’s songs have made indie charts around the world with over a dozen number ones.
Born and raised in Manning, SC, Shawn started to
share his musical talents at a local church where his
grandma inspired him to sing with the church choir.
Shawn is known for his acoustic country rock blend with a unique edge
and undeniable passion in every song he sings.
Shawn continues to live locally with his wife Brandy and their wonderful
son Jaxson who they were blessed with in the summer of 2018.
Just a few highlights of Shawns music career include:
• Opened for major artists such as Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Zac
Brown Band, and many others
• Performing at The Carolina Country Music Festival for the past four
• Participating in the line up on the inaugural Carolina Country Music
Cruise that included the likes of Joe Diffie, Lee Brice, Cole Swindell and
• Winning The Carolina Country Music Association (Award) for the month
of January and is in the running for Carolina Country Music Association
Entertainer of the Year for 2020.
Currently available on Reverbnation.com/shawnbilton are his singles
• Memory, This Dirt Road, 29, Turn the Radio On
Minnesota bred. Country music raised. A workin’ man with a little soul in his soul.
Dave McElroy is here for the fun and the fans! Following his sexy sincerity in his radio-loved “BULLETPROOF” (2018) and his turn it up, suntanned summer song “CHILL” (2019), he’s bringing his artistic energy again with his NEW speaker-shakin’ single “TRUCKER HAT”! (Bridgette Tatum/Jason Matthews/Jayce Hein)
The song’s energetic production by Bridgette Tatum (“She’s Country”) combined with Dave’s raspy, recognizable twang gives listeners a new side of McElroy. “It’s a rip-the-knob off tune that’s gonna take you to eleven and give you a reason to roll your windows down and throw some dust around!” says Tatum.
When asked why he chose this song, McElroy simply replied with a half-cocked grin, “it made me turn my head…just like the girls in those trucks do.”
Fresh off his 2019 tour, he’s ready to bring the fans new energy and fresh production to take ‘em straight on over to a good time in 2020!
Native Nashvillian, Jimmy Nash, the son of 2 staff writers for Sony, was immersed in the Nashville songwriting scene from a very early age. He says, “I had a pretty good understanding of copyright law by the time I was 10, & I distinctly remember yelling at the radio saying, ‘You’re not supporting your hook!”’
Nash’s debut album, “The Road to 33”, blended Country, Rock, & Pop. It was produced by Todd Hannigan (Jack Johnson), and picked as “New & Noteworthy” by iTunes.
In 2019, Nash signed with AWAL, the rapidly-expanding, artist-focused distribution arm of Kobalt Music. He released two singles, “Til The River Runs Out” and “Burritos and Tito’s.” The latter received attention from Country and Trop Rock stations all over, even making the “Trop 40” at Radio A1A. He was also able to play it as an official performer at BMI’s Key West Songwriters Festival, as well as their 1st Annual Downtown St. Petersburg Songwriters Festival.
Nash is currently preparing new singles for 2020 for release with AWAL.