Hornblower is excited to announce that the NASH FM Holiday Bash line up is rapidly growing!
Now featuring special performances by Parmalee, Ricky Young, Kristian Bush and Rodney Atkins, this country concert cruise on December 9, 2014 aboard the Hornblower Hybrid is not to be missed! Plus, meet the NASH Dancers, Santa Claus, Jesse Addy and Kelly Ford of NASH FM. Kicking off at 6PM on Tuesday, December 9 from NYC’s Pier 40 in the West Village, the Infinity sets sail into New York Harbor from 7-10PM.
Additional Event Information:
Date: Tuesday, December, 9, 2014
Location: Hornblower Infinity, 353 West Street, Pier 40 (@ West Houston St.), NY, NY 10014
Event Time: 6:00PM – 10:00PM
Sail Time: 7:00P – 10:00PM
– BBQ chicken breast boneless
– Pulled pork sliders
– Southern style slaw
– Country potato salad
– Cornbread and biscuits with assorted jams and jellies
– Carved Texas rubbed tenderloin
– BBQ Chicken breast boneless
– Creole shrimp salad
– Southern Style slaw
– Country style sweet potato mash
– Cornbread and biscuits with assorted jams and jellies
Here’s a little more about the performing artists…
Ricky Young: Like many before him, South Carolina native Ricky Young traveled a long and winding road to Nashville. As a former University of South Carolina alum and baseball player, he spent five years after college in the minor leagues, playing gigs anywhere he could find a stage and the time.
As fate would have it, in 2011 he met Grammy winning producer, Nick Autry at a benefit show in North Carolina. The pair hit it off instantaneously and Young began traveling to Nashville from Carolina to record Spinning My Wheels with Autry—a 16 track, soulful country record that plays like an ode to Carolina, written with some of Music Row’s biggest names: Lee Brice, Jon Stone and Jeffery Steele, to name a few.
If there is a “correct way” to come to Nashville, Young is textbook. He has established himself as a student of the craft of songwriting, securing coveted co-writes with Zac Brown Band, Lee Brice, Dave Gibson, Steven Williams and Stephen Allen Davis.
Young’s first single “Could You Love Me Again” hit radio in February of 2013. His YouTube channel has over a million views, the video for “Could You Love Me Again” went viral, garnering 100,000 views in its first week. Young’s next single “I Carry It With Me” was a duo with fellow Carolina crooner and long time friend Lee Brice.
Young has pounded the pavement over the last 3 years on a 55 city Honky Tonkin’ University Tour in 2013, and the Bud Light ROWDYLOUD Tour, hitting 46 cities. Young has opened up for Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Reba McEntire, Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, Jerrod Niemann, Tyler Farr, Eli Young Band, Craig Campbell, Colt Ford, Chase Rice and many more. His tenacious touring has established Young as one of Nashville’s hottest up-and-comers and his fan base is building everyday, now with over 61,000 likes on his Facebook music page and over 16,000 Twitter followers.
In August, Young released his follow-up EP, “Feels Damn Good,” and is currently touring the Southeast and Midwest on The Jose Cuervo Cinge Feels Damn Good Tour. The first single “Baby Wussup,” featuring Bubba Sparxxx hit Sirius XM The Highway in September.
Check out “Baby Wussup” and the “Feels Damn Good” EP on iTunes, and stay up to date on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RYmusic and Twitter and Instagram @RickyYoungMusic.
Parmalee: Parmalee’s country rock sound has its roots in the bluegrass, traditional country, southern rock and blues covers the guys grew up hearing their families play.
Matt and Scott Thomas grew up near Greenville, NC watching their father Jerry front a popular local southern rock blues band. The boys watched and learned, picking up their own instruments and jamming along with their dad’s band. From this they learned how to integrate their own style into the songs they were playing. Barry Knox, who played drums for the church choir, loved what his cousins were doing and soon joined them.
All that practice paid off one night when Matt and Scott, then teenagers, snuck into a club to watch their father perform. “The guitar player got too drunk before the gig and didn’t show,” Matt explains. “I knew all the songs so my dad called me on stage. I was in the band from that point on.” Scott replaced the drummer, and Barry learned bass in order to secure his spot in the band. The line-up became the newly minted The Thomas Brothers Band.
The Thomas Brothers Band cut their teeth on the local club circuit and would often share the same marquee with a cover band that starred their friend Josh McSwain on guitar and keys. Josh’s upbringing paralleled Matt, Scott and Barry’s. Josh also traveled and played with his father who was in a bluegrass band called “Get Honked.” A fan of Josh’s musical prowess, Matt invited Josh to play with Barry, Scott and himself. The foursome clicked immediately on stage. Their first gig was held at local watering hole, Corrigans, near East Carolina University where the guys went to school. From this moment in 2001 Parmalee was born.
The band set up camp every Tuesday and Thursday evening in the Parmele, NC barn they named Studio B after its original builder Mark Bryant. They added an extra “e” to the band’s name to make it easier for those outside the area to pronounce it. “Tuesdays and Thursdays were the only nights we could all get together and rehearse – the rest of the time we were each out working in order to fund Parmalee,” Matt says. “Every person in town could hear us practice in the barn, so we also had to stop at 11 p.m. to be considerate of the neighborhood.”
The residents of Parmele weren’t the only ones within earshot. The band developed a devout regional following based on the intensity of their live shows. But, the guys knew to turn their dreams into reality they would have to leave North Carolina. Their journey took them all over the country including New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta as they tried to find their musical direction. All of the producers, managers, and label representatives said the same thing: “you guys need to be in Nashville.”
Matt, Barry and Josh parked their RV, which doubled as their studio, in the Comfort Inn parking lot on Nashville’s famed Demonbreun Street near Music Row. For the next month the parking lot was home and office. They began writing new material and networking. Their new connections led to a co-writing session with David Fanning, who is part of the celebrated production team New Voice with Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy and Rich Redmond. “Going into these appointments, you never know who you’re going to meet or how it’s going to go,” Matt explains. “But when I wrote with David, we hit it off.”
During the same weekend as the infamous Nashville flood, Parmalee and Fanning wrote “Musta Had a Good Time” – even recording the demo in the RV’s recording “studio” – oblivious to the devastation that was happening to the city around them. After the “Flood Sessions,” Parmalee went into the studio with New Voice to record some sides, including “Carolina,” and “Musta Had a Good Time.” NV played the songs for BBR Music Group President/CEO Benny Brown who was impressed and asked to see a showcase as soon as the band returned to Nashville.
Parmalee put together a short tour in North Carolina to fund the trip back to Music City. But after the first show, plans changed.
After their September 21, 2010 show, Josh and Barry were packing gear in the venue while Matt and Scott were outside loading their RV when two armed men knocked on the door. The men put a gun to Matt’s head and demanded money. Shots were fired. Scott, who possessed a concealed weapons license, fired back. One of the gunmen died and Scott was shot three times. One bullet hit Scott’s femoral artery causing him to nearly bleed to death. “He bled out on the air flight to Charlotte, and his heart stopped twice,” Matt recalls. “When we got to the hospital, the doctor gave him a five percent chance to live.”
Scott was hospitalized in Charlotte, NC for 35 days – 10 of which he spent in a coma. News of the shooting spread like wildfire and the local news stations carried weekly reports on Scott’s progress. Parmalee’s fans turned out in droves to show their support. Through Facebook campaigns and benefits they raised enough money to help cover Scott’s medical bills. The Nashville community also rallied behind Parmalee donating autographed items and VIP packages to help cover Scott’s medical expenses. “We knew we had a lot of friends and fans,” Josh says. “But we found out exactly how many we had.”
By February 2011, Scott was well enough to get behind a drum kit for the first time and the band finally performed their promised label showcase. “We wouldn’t tell everybody how bad off I was because there was no way I wasn’t going to play that show,” Scott says. “I was in a leg brace, but I only had to get through six songs. Parmalee had fought for so much for so long that we decided we hadn’t come this far to stop now.” Through sheer willpower, the band nailed the set and landed a deal with Stoney Creek Records, home to ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Thompson Square and chart-topper Randy Houser.
Looking back on their experiences, the members of Parmalee have no regrets about the path they chose. “All the obstacles and craziness we’ve been through allowed us to help find our home in Nashville,” Matt says. “It took us going through all that to mold us,” Barry continues. “In Hollywood and New York we were always pushed in opposite directions. But Nashville helped us capture our sound – a sound that’s authentic to who we are as both artists and as people.”
“Artists like Jason Aldean and Eric Church helped pave the way for our country rock sound. If you think of Jason Aldean as the rockin’ side of country then think of Parmalee as the country side of rock,” Matt explains.
All of Parmalee’s hard work, dedication and perseverance is paying off in a big way. Country fans voted the band’s debut single, “Musta Had A Good Time,” #1 for 4 consecutive weeks on SiriusXM’s The Highway “Hot 30 LIVE” countdown and the song became a Top 40 hit on mainstream country radio. The fun-loving party anthem has been featured in national sporting event broadcasts from the PGA to MLB. Parmalee was named a “Bubbling Under Artist” by Billboard magazine (June 2013) and one of Clear Channel’s NEW! Artists to Watch in 2013. MTV Networks also hand picked Parmalee to perform as part of its 2013 O Music Awards and the foursome recently appeared on the 4th Annual American Country Awards.
Parmalee recently made history when its multi-week #1 smash “Carolina” became the longest climbing single by a duo or group in the 24-year history of the Billboard Country Airplay Chart. Parmalee was also the first multi-member Country act to garner a #1 single on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase/ Country Aircheck charts since Florida Georgia Line. “Carolina” was recently certified GOLD (for over 500,000 in sales) by the RIAA.
Parmalee’s debut country album, FEELS LIKE CAROLINA, has earned critical praise from People, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, Billboard and more. A 2014 semi-finalist for the Academy of Country Music’s coveted “New Artist of the Year” award, Parmalee recently joined one of country’s leading male vocalists, Jake Owen, on his Days Of Gold Tour as the band’s new single, “Close Your Eyes” climbs the country radio charts. (http://parmalee.com/)
Kristian Bush: For a decade, Kristian Bush built his reputation as one half of the multi-platinum, Grammy-winning country duo Sugarland. He wasn’t the group’s lead singer — that role went to his big-voiced partner, Jennifer Nettles — but he steered the ship in other ways: playing multiple instruments, singing harmonies, co-producing the group’s platinum-selling albums, and co-writing an award-winning catalog of songs (including five No. 1 singles and nearly a dozen Top 10 hits) about life and love in the American South.
On Southern Gravity, his first release as a solo artist, Bush occupies the spotlight himself, juggling the roles of vocalist, songwriter, bandleader and producer. The new album draws on the 300+ songs that Bush wrote during the past two years, after Sugarland embarked on an open-ended hiatus. Included in the mix is Southern Gravity‘s lead single, “Trailer Hitch,”written with Tim Owens and Bush’s brother, Brandon.
“That song starts in your hips,” Kristian explains. “It makes you dance, but after a few listens, you realize it’s got something to tell you, too. The image in the chorus — I’ve never seen a hearse with a trailer hitch — is hilarious. Why do we collect so many things? We don’t need them… and we can’t take them with us when we go.”
Anchored by a mix of groove and twang, “Trailer Hitch” rustles up memories of Bush’s past hits, including the double-platinum Sugarland smash “Stuck Like Glue.” Southern Gravity isn’t a side project, though. It’s a parallel project, a natural move for a songwriter who’s been making records since he turned 13 years old. For the first time in his career, Bush is singing his own songs without a duo partner by his side, giving fans an unfiltered view of an artist who’s always shared the spotlight in the past.
“This first album is my nametag,” says Bush, who recorded many of the songs in his own studio, often the same day they were written. “It basically says, ‘Hello, my name is Kristian. I’m introducing you to my voice, even though you’ve heard it all along.’ For more than 20 years, I’ve been someone co-creating with someone else. This time, I’m launching my own voice into the world.”
Bush kickstarted his career in the early ’90s, when he formed the folk rock duo Billy Pilgrim with Andrew Hyra. Together, the two released a pair of critically-acclaimed albums (1994’s self-titled Billy Pilgrim and 1995’s Bloom), enjoyed regular rotation on VH-1, and earned multiple Top 5 hits on the AAA charts. Bush’s success continued with Sugarland, a coed country duo that formed in 2002 and sold more than 22 million albums during the ten years that followed. Along the way, Bush and Nettles launched five No. 1 singles, earned a well-deserved induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and took home trophies from the Grammys, AMAs, ACM Awards, CMT Music Awards and CMA Awards.
Although the writing sessions for Southern Gravity were sparked by Sugarland’s hiatus, they coincided with a period of intense, industry-spanning activity for Bush. He founded the music publishing and songwriting collective Songs of the Architect in 2011, kicking off a series of production/songwriting collaborations with artists like Rita Wilson, the dBs, Lucy Hale, Ellis Paul, and Natalie Stovall. He teamed up with his brother, Brandon, to score the music for a Turner Classic Movies network promo. He even contributed music to the popular mobile app My Singing Monsters, making an appearance in the game as a furry, fedora-wearing monster called “Shugabush.”
Southern Gravity will be released by Streamsound Records, an independent label co-owned by Jim Wilkes, Tim McHugh and Bush’s longtime friend and collaborator, Byron Gallimore. The producer of Sugarland’s last three albums, Gallimore encouraged Bush to record a solo album after coming across the 300+ songs Bush had written during the band’s hiatus. And despite a songwriting journey that took him around the globe from Los Angeles to Stockholm, Southern Gravity is an album steeped in the sounds of Bush’s adopted hometown: Atlanta, GA.
“This is southern roots rock,” he says of the album’s earthy, old-meets-new sound. “We’re part of a generation of people facing forward, but looking back. You can hear the town’s influence on this album. It’s got that barbecue on it. You’ll hear stuff that sounds like the Allman Brothers, stuff that sounds like Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, stuff that sounds like modern country. People ask me to explain Atlanta, to tell them why the food is so good, or how the women are so beautiful, or what makes the culture so vibrant. I don’t know how to answer that, but I can try to write it into a song.”
On an album filled with some of the best songs of his career, though, the real highlight of Southern Gravity is Bush’s voice, a lived-in baritone that sounds both new and familiar… like the pen pal you’ve been writing for years, only to finally meet in person.
“I love it when a song can be two things at the same time,” Bush says, alluding again to the hip-shaking, heart-expanding message of “Trailer Hitch.” “This album feels the same way,” he continues. “People know me and they know my music, but they don’t know it like this. I’ve had a record deal since I was 22, and it’s been the dream I always wanted, but never believed in my wildest imagination that it would really come true. Somehow, it keeps coming true. Southern Gravity is one more wish, one more hope to keep the dream moving forward.” (http://www.kristianbush.com/)
Rodney Atkins: Rodney Atkins knows the value of taking the long way home, of veering off the beaten path onto that road less traveled once in a while. You can hear it in his music, in the lyrics of his smash single, “Take A Back Road,” a song that celebrates that feeling of getting away from the noise of everyday life, really living in the moment, and getting right with your soul. Rodney always remains true to himself and constantly strives to evolve and find unique ways of expressing himself through the music he puts out into the world. It’s a philosophy he tries to employ throughout his life, and it has led him to some amazing places.
“What does it mean to follow your own path? I try to think about that a lot when I’m making an album,” explains Rodney, describing the journey he took in making his fourth album, TAKE A BACK ROAD. “To me, it’s going somewhere you’ve never been, because when you do that, you wind up seeing things that no one has seen before, which means you can paint the picture differently.”
The hardworking artist gathered up a whole new set of colors when he set about creating his latest masterpiece and he cranked the whole recording process up a notch in intensity — which is saying something for a guy who is pretty darned intense to begin with. Rodney wanted this project, his first in nearly three years, to convey and express some emotions and feelings in an authentic yet different way. Simply put — Rodney had a lot to say musically, and he wanted to say it in exactly the right way.
The east Tennessee native has an impressive track record with hitting on sentiments that strike a chord with the country listener: he’s had six number one hits from his first three albums, from “Watching You” and “These Are My People” to his most recent smashes, “Take A Back Road,” and “Farmer’s Daughter,” (which quickly skyrocketed to platinum,) and he’s sold over four million singles in the past five years alone. The lead single and title track, “Take A Back Road,” has propelled him to even bigger heights with its irresistibly catchy chorus and easygoing, windows down, breezy summer vibe. Rodney knew he had to record the Rhett Akins and Luke Laird song from the beginning. “It’s one of those songs that the first time I heard it I thought, ‘Boy, that feels good.’ It’s catchy and something you want to just crank up, but then, the more you hear it, you realize it’s not just a ditty – it’s about life. If you want it to be just summer ear candy, it can just be that, but also it’s about getting right with your soul, coming down to earth.” The public obviously agreed, as the tune reached platinum status just weeks after its release.
To capture just the right vibe for his new CD, TAKE A BACK ROAD, Rodney teamed up once again with producer Ted Hewitt, who co-produced both the platinum IF YOU’RE GOING THROUGH HELL (which featured the title track hit and 2006’s most-played song of the year) and IT’S AMERICA. The two spent hours in Rodney’s home studio painstakingly crafting each vocal and track, with Rodney paying attention to every minute detail on song after song. It’s a process he cherishes almost as much as being onstage and one he takes extremely seriously.
“The biggest challenge is finding the kind of songs that really set you apart. Ted and I have talked about the accountability for the music – what works and what doesn’t. You have to figure out what it is you came here to say and stick to that. I think you live and learn. I want to record songs that won’t just be around for a little while. I look for stories people relate to – you don’t want to be thinking about listening to a song, you want to be inside of it. It’s like watching a movie.”
The songs on TAKE A BACK ROAD are undeniably relatable — from the sweetly honest battling couple who’ve drawn the lines down the middle of the bed in “Feet,” to the fiercely parental pride-even-through-the-tough-times in “He’s Mine.” the tunes are chock full of emotions that any couple or family in modern-day America can identify with and find themselves experiencing and for Rodney, that real emotion is what he strives for in each and every note.
“With any successful song, you’ve got to sit back and ask yourself, why did this song connect? With a lot of songs, the approach is about how perfect things are or how messed up things are – it’s one or the other. For me, real life is the ups and downs, and if I can, I like to get both sides of that in a song.” Rodney also covers some new ground musically on the project with several tender love songs. Reluctant in the past to record them because many tend to express the same sentiments in the same predictable way, he found several songs for this record that capture the romance between a woman and a man in a unique, genuine way, without the sugar-coating. Tunes like “She’s A Girl,” about the mystery and power a female can wield over a male, and “Cabin In The Woods,” about the beauty of stealing away to a remote place, approach the age-old subject in ways he could not only relate to, but felt fans would gravitate towards as well.
“I’ve never recorded love songs before. My love songs have been ‘These Are My People’ and ‘Watching You’ and ‘Cleaning This Gun.’ I’ve never gone down that road, because I wanted to find or write the type of song that was about something I can really relate to. Love is not all blue skies and no bills, it’s gutters leaking and the cat messed in the fireplace. It’s not convenient at all and you’ve got to make time for it – that’s the toughest part of it.”
Rodney also takes on subject of parenting in the tune “He’s Mine.” “While talking to my boy Elijah, who’s nine, I started thinking about my teenage years and what all I put my parents through and what Elijah’s gonna be like. I started thinking, ‘Well it doesn’t matter…I’m gonna be there for him and I’m gonna try my best.’ “He’s Mine is about unconditional love and it’s one of the most diverse songs – it’s kind of a “Watching You” for the teenage years, but completely different.”
Although he can be soft-spoken and serious, Rodney demonstrates his appreciation for the funnier side of life through tunes like the warm and witty, “Family,” about a quirky clan of characters gathered at a family reunion, and the laugh-out-loud, “She’d Rather Fight.” The CD definitely features glimpses into Rodney’s wild side, a side most often seen onstage during his energetic live shows where he jokes he “lets his shadow come out to play.” Rodney took pains to ensure he captured that raw, live energy this time around. “This album is different in that it’s got more edge on it; it’s got a lot more dive-bombs. We recorded with a smaller band, so songs like ‘Back Road’ feel like they’re right up in your face. Overall, it’s a more soulful album.”
Though his new crop of songs has some edge and the vocal energy may be amped up a notch, Rodney is still the same, hard-working, patriotic, rock-solid country boy that fans have grown to know and love since his debut with 2003’s HONESTY. Rodney always makes time for volunteer opportunities amidst his touring schedule, as well as for visits to the Holston Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville, TN, where he was adopted as a small child. After all, the road back to the tiny hometown where he got his start may be a long one, but for Rodney, nothing could ever beat the power returning hometo your roots. (http://www.rodneyatkins.com/)