LIVE FROM OUR STUDIOS AT ALTERNATIVE PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL
IN THE GREAT NORTHWEST. ENJOY OUR MARCH LINEUP.
Klassika Trio (Clint Shepherd, Jolanda Nel, Chris Romeo) - March 5, 2015; Matt Farris - March 9th, 2015; James Robert Webb - March 12th, 2015; Bernie Nelson - March 16th, 2015; Morgan Riley - March 19th, 2015; Kacey Smith - March 23rd, 2015; Sean Patrick McGraw - March 26th, 2015. All showtimes are from 7 pm pacific to 9 pm pacific. Show information for each show is listed below with pictures for each interview. Direct links for shows to follow.
March 5th, 2015: Kiler Davenport Live: Interview with Klassika Trio
March 9th, 2015: Kiler Davenport Live: Interview with Matt Farris
instantaneously taken away.
Entertaining family and friends from the moment he spoke his first word, Farris's passion for
entertainment has always been apparent. With an early exchange of lullabies for classic country tunes sung by his mother Sandra, the Lake Havasu City, Arizonanative has ever since gravitated toward the genre.
March 12th, 2015: Kiler Davenport Live: Interview with James Robert Webb
With all that height, one would have expected Webb to be pursuing some sort of athletic career, but music had a greater calling on his life. Growing up in rural Oklahoma in a small town called Kellyville, Webb quickly started experimenting with music. At 7, he began to teach himself how to play piano. In his teens, he added guitar to his instrumental repertoire. He learned both instruments by ear, giving him the skills necessary to excel at jazz music later on, becoming an Oklahoma All-State Jazz pianist in high school. He also applied his ear training to other improvisational genres such as Western swing.
In 2010, Webb began to pursue songwriting. Drawing inspiration from his favorite artists, including Garth Brooks, The Rolling Stones, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill and more, Webb’s music gives a modern take on traditional country. He blends the best of the music genres to create a unique country flavor.
"I listen to virtually every kind of music there is, but when it comes to country music, I am mostly moved by the traditional country music and honky tonk, as well as the vocal stylists. Garth Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill—these are the kinds of artists that I relate to the most. In my personal opinion, that’s what’s missing from country radio today—country music. Namely, fiddle and steel.”
March 16th, 2015: Kiler Davenport Live: Interview with Bernie Nelson
March 19th, 2015: Kiler Davenport Live: Interview with Morgan Riley
A Maryland native, Riley knew she was destined to be a singer from the start. “One day when I was younger, I started singing a Mariah Carey song… My brother heard, grabbed my parents and said, ‘you’ve got to hear this!’” Impressed by their daughter’s obvious talents, Riley’s parents quickly became the greatest support in her pursuit of a career in music – a dream inherited by her grandmother, who also sang. At five, Riley began performing at weddings and anniversary parties and by 15, she was recording at a local studio. Confident in years of practice and experience gained in live and studio performance, she made the move to New York City at 18.
In New York City, Riley found herself regularly performing with a pop-R&B group and recording at the city’s legendary Hit Factory Studio. In a struggle to find her true sound, she moved back south to Greenville, South Carolina and began to perfect her country edge. “I’m generally undeterred by any type of hardship or roadblock. My dad has been a huge inspiration when it comes to this. He won’t let me give up…” Auditioning for the Pride of Carolinas, she beat out 4,300 people and received single placement on the competition’s compilation album by Koch New York, featuring the best artists in North and South Carolina. Shortly after, she began working with producer Chris Clay (TLC) on her album Affinity. “Chris has always been such an incredible supporter of me and what I do and, of course, is an incredible talent. I so enjoyed working with him on Affinity. The album really represented where I was at the time… Still, I felt I had a bit more country in me that needed to come out.”
Affinity landed in the lap of veteran producer and engineer Frank Green, whose track record includes multiple #1’s and just as many gold and platinum albums. Riley met with Green, performed a few of her originals and was quickly signed to his label, Skytone Entertainment. “My whole life I’ve dreamed of being signed to a label by someone that believes in me and all I do. I’ve certainly found that in Skytone and Frank.” The deal was made sweeter yet when Riley and Green began writing together for Collage material – a writing relationship whose chemistry she describes as “off the chart”. Drawing inspiration from her top musical influences – everyone from Carrie Underwood to Alanis Morrisette, Evanescence to Jewel – has given her unparalleled flexibility when it comes to writing. “I find I can write any kind of genre. I’ve also taken bits and pieces from different genres and pulled them into my writing. Collage is very much a product of that.”
Until the album’s release – set for early spring – Riley continues to write, perform and work with children aged two through five at New Springs Church. “I’m really blessed to be where I’m at in life. I have no doubt given the team I’ve surrounded myself with that this release has the potential for great success. I feel like Collage is me – the first project I’ve done that truly represents my voice. While all other genres play a part in this album, my dad always encouraged my country side. Now that I’ve found it, I can’t wait to share it with fans.”
March 23rd, 2015: Kiler Davenport Live: Interview with Kacey Smith
Currently Kacey is a full time student majoring in Music Business at Middle Tennessee State University. She has already completed her Associates Degree at Motlow Community College, Lynchburg TN.
She is taking her music abilities to the next level by writing songs, recording in the studio and performing often. In December of 2010, Kacey signed a publishing and management contract with Banner Music of Shelbyville/Nashville. Since that time, Kacey has performed in OK, MO, AR, MS, TX and AL. And for events/venues such as, Jack Daniel’s International BBQ Competition, Texas Songwriter’s Cruise, St. Jude Radio/Cablethon, The Billy Block Show, Nashville Humane’s Dog Days Festival, World Famous Bluebird Café.
From children to the more mature audience member, Kacey’s performances are a hit because she tries to fashion her performance set list to best approach her audience. Whether it is a county fair or a private house concert, the audience finds themselves drawn into Kacey’s show and feels a real connection with her as a person and an artist. Kacey is putting herself out there working toward accomplishing her goals in making a big music dream a reality.
March 26th, 2015: Kiler Davenport Live: Interview with Sean Patrick McGraw
According to August Brown of the Los Angeles Times, “His early contender of a hit, ‘A Dollar Ain’t Worth a Dime,’ is one of the first of what will surely be many recession themed laments, but unlike John Rich’s ‘Shutting Detroit Down,’ McGraw keeps his sociology enticingly vague, warning that ‘People do desperate things in desperate times/ if a man don’t turn to Jesus, he’ll turn to crime,’ but it doesn’t feel like Christian proselytizing — more an acknowledgment that neither course of action is likely to help in the long run.”
Indeed, McGraw handles the subject of recession with the earnest understanding of a man who’s been on the front lines. “Last summer just clobbered me,” McGraw explains. “Between the poor exchange rate with Canada, where we did a bunch of shows, and gas being almost $5 a gallon, by the time I got off a West Coast run I was losing money on the road.” The resulting stress and frustration inspired “Dollar Ain’t Worth A Dime,” equal parts simmering rage and quiet resignation, as much an invitation to commiserate as a celebration of the American worker’s unfailing fortitude.
While McGraw’s performance proved to be an unexpected hit at Stagecaoch this year, an overnight success he is not. This road warrior and his “band of brothers” have spent the last few years playing upwards of 150 dates a year, last year alone racking up 80,000 miles on his new SUV (not bus, as McGraw is quick to point out). Though he’s well seasoned as an opening act, sharing the stage with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Patty Loveless, Pat Green, and Miranda Lambert, he’s not above gratis gigs in grungy clubs along the way, playing for nothing more than the hope of selling five CDs or winning a handful of new fans.
“For all the good days I ever had working in a factory,” McGraw says, “I’d rather have a lousy day in the middle of nowhere singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ anytime. Not out of laziness—” he adds, “I’m all about hard work. I just want that hard work done with a guitar in my hand as opposed to a hammer or a shovel.” Hard work it is, and not just up on stage. Whether behind the wheel or on the phone booking gigs, McGraw creates his own success with the tenacity to never give up.
Call it Irish grit. “If you grew up where I grew up,” McGraw recalls, “you were automatically hyphenated either Irish, Polish, or Italian, and your dad worked in the mill, that was a given.” Hailing from a small steel industry town about 50 miles outside of Buffalo, New York, McGraw was raised on Hee-Haw (“We loved Conway Twitty, or at least his haircut”) and rough games of hockey and football. Small for his age and showing little athletic promise, he gravitated towards music, and good thing: “If I’d have stuck with the sports I liked any longer I might have ended up getting my head taken off. We never wore pads, let alone helmets.” Instead, McGraw grew out his hair, picked up a cheap Japanese guitar, and at 13 started a rock band with friends, playing in bars a couple of nights a week—with a note from his mother in hand, in case the cops asked any questions.
As soon as he finished high school, McGraw hightailed it to Los Angeles with rock star dreams and a country sensibility. Wearing out records by Dwight Yoakam and Steve Earle, and “digging through stacks of junk at the Pasadena flea market looking for old Buck Owens and Johnny Cash on vinyl,” he developed his own unique hard-core hillbilly sound. His van at the time got only two AM radio stations, classic country and R&B, “So besides being a little too familiar with some old Cat Stevens songs, I got a heavy dose of Vern Gosdin long after he was happening, not to mention the Chi-lites and the Stylistics. I love that stuff.”
It soon became evident that Nashville was where McGraw belonged, so after a two-week trip and a couple nights at The Bluebird Café, McGraw made the move to Music City and hit the ground running. He soon signed a publishing deal with Liz Rose, and went on to write for Curb Magnatone. Despite some disappointments, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stint on Nashville Star and as a member of the Brett Beavers band The Unforgiven (“We had some buzz for about a minute”), McGraw always found a way to pay the bills with music, impersonating Glenn Frye in an Eagles tribute band, taking sideman gigs with Dean Miller and Steve Holy, doing session work and continuing to write songs.
This “whatever it takes” mentality stands front and center in “Dollar Ain’t Worth A Dime,” and it’s what eventually got him his chance at Stagecoach, where McGraw began to gain traction on the national stage. His performance there earned him a spot on the summer 2009 Toby Keith tour, and his debut album has been picked up for release later this year by Little Engine Records and their partner, CMT. Previously recorded with producer Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift’s go-to guy), and remixed and remastered by Spencer Proffer, the album reflects the hurdles and highs of a musician’s existence with gritty realism and good fun.
It’s a crazy life, and McGraw looks upon it with bemused satisfaction in “My So Called Life,” reflecting, “Some days I own this town, other days it shoots me down/Always I’m still hanging round, holdin’ on to hope.” Expertly depicting the driving pace of his “Honky Tonk Life,” McGraw stubbornly continues to hope: “I could quit all this road stuff, go back to my real job, put in a straight 9 to 5/But I love the neon, I love the people, and I love the Honky Tonk Life.” For Sean Patrick McGraw, the honky tonk life is the only life. “I never gave myself a plan B,” he says. “I never decided to grow up. I never got anything the easy way, and I’m proud of that.”