Release Parties



Kentucky Blue Album Release Party w/ Harper O’Neill

Saturday February 4, 2023

@ The Basement in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

As you make your way through the iron gates that outline the back parking lot, and step onto the hallowed ground of one of Nashville’s most historic venues, you’re engulfed by the aura and history of the bands that have called the stage at The Basement their one-night home since the venue first opened their doors in 1972.

A full 40-minutes before the doors officially opened, a growing line of fans snaked its way across the porch, down the stairs, and stretched out along the fence line; a visual reminder that this night at The Basement was going to be more than just another show, but that it would be something truly special as Americana realist Brit Taylor threw the official release party for her sophomore album, Kentucky Blue.

As her soundcheck poured out the half-open side door, the anticipation reverberated the waiting crowd outside as they begun to sing along with “Ain’t A Hard Livin’” while she double checked microphones and sound levels.

With drinks now in hand and a noticeable buzz floating through the air inside the venue, the rock kissed honky-tonk riff of “You Don’t Love Me” from opening act Harper O’Neill, slapped the crowd with a modernized Bakersfield kick that allowed the raspier tilt of her voice to surround the 1970’s infused vibe of the song.

But proving to have many more layers in her arsenal, Harper enticed the crowd with her range of sonic styles over just 7 songs in thirty minutes, giving them a taste of what she brings to the table while leaving just enough room to whet the appetite and make you want to come back to another show to hear more.

Her newest single, “Somebody,” softened the pace to a light’s turned down style that allowed O’Neill to add a sultry flare to the lusting lyric, while she stayed in more of an unbridled emotional range through the groove laden, singer-songwriter feel of “It Only Hurts When You Love Me” and “I’m Not Her,” the latter which she introduced as being one of her favorites from the full-length album that she’s currently working on.

With vastly distinctive styles already well on display, Harper O’Neill placed her impressively gifted vocals in the forefront to give her a signature characteristic as she walked along several different genre lines, which all perfectly intersected at a golden era, traditional country influence on songs such as “The Bottom Line” and set closer, “Guilty.”


1)  You Don't Love Me

2) Somebody

3) I’m Not Her

4) The Bottom Line

5) It Only Hurts When You Love Me

6) Dark Bar Daisy

7) Guilty

As her backing band refreshingly melded together modern tallied instruments with traditional kissed steel, banjo, fiddle, and stand-up bass, they surrounded Brit Taylor’s incredible voice as she smashed her classic country flare into an Americana bent style, opening with “Cabin in the Woods” and setting the overall vibe on a night that that would see her playing her entire new album Kentucky Blue from top to bottom.

The insatiable catchiness of the song combined perfectly with the amped excitement to electrify the crowd as Taylor instantly had them bopping along with the melody; something she continued doing with the two-stepping, honky-tonk infused, “Anything But You,” which saw her bouncing center stage with a smile plastered to her face as the crowd screamed along with the lyrics and popped their hips in rhythm.

“Oh my gosh, it’s so packed in here!” Brit excitedly exclaimed. “Thank you so much for showing up for me and this new album tonight. It’s been a wild, crazy ride, but boy am I happy to be here!” she gratefully shared as she slowed the pace with the soft waltz styled melody of the title track, “Kentucky Blue,” hushing the crowd to a silence as she dripped her vocals into the heart tugging, classic country heartbreaker.

“I got to town when I was 17 years old, and this man in the music industry said to me that I wasn’t ready and still had to pay my dues,” Taylor shared as the crowd grumbled. “Hell, I thought, I know how to practice hard and write the songs, but 15 years later and I finally understood that paying your dues actually meant “paying” your dues. I have friends who paint houses and wait tables; I clean houses and churches. I tell y’all this to say that we will do anything and whatever it takes to get to play country music for you, but I do wonder sometimes what it ‘d be like to be a rich little girl,” she pondered with a sly grin as she brought the danceable, country rhythm back into her set with the blue-collar anthem, “Rich Little Girls,” which instantly had the crowd slapping boot heels against the concrete floor while bopping along as Brit sang through the struggles that the working girl faces versus the trust fund types who never have to work.

“We were headed into town one day, and have y’all seen those pedal taverns?” Taylor asked as the crowd sighed, clearly a sign that they had in fact seen them. “It was 10:30 in the morning and there was this group of bachelorettes already drunk as hell on one of those things, and I got catty and said, “I hope they ain’t here looking for cowboys, cause there ain’t none here,”” she told with a shrug of her shoulders as the band encased a dusty, cowboy styled melody around “No Cowboys,” a song which plays out much like an open apology letter to those gals who are looking for a “real” cowboy in Nashville when all that the city has to offer are the fake types.

Launching into the second half of her set with “If You Don’t Wanna Love Me,” Taylor pumped her voice against the beat and groove of the bass, which added a funky vibe to her otherwise strong country foundation as she kicked up her soulful side while the crowd swayed with the rhythm and aptly responded when asked to slide in on harmony for an audience participation near the end of the song.

After plugging Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country for playing the heck out of it, Brit Taylor had the crowd singing along with her as she delivered the obvious fan favorite, “Ain’t A Hard Livin’,” before slowing the pace into a purely traditional country style that allowed the steel guitar to initially grab you as she then elevated her voice to capture the feelings of falling in love with the right one as your walls start to break on “Love’s Never Been That Good To Me,” a song that she declared before playing as being one that’s real special to her.

“So, this next song kind of fits a new genre that I like to call hillbilly disco,” Taylor said with a waver in her voice. “I almost didn’t put this one into the pile of songs we were picking for the album, but it stayed stuck in my head,” she confessed as she continued to showcase her versatility with “For A Night,” the curveball of the album that saw her impressively moving her voice into a different vibe as she pounded hard hitting notes through the chorus while pushing to edges of her range to impressively hold long notes at the tail end of the hook.

“This last song is a good one for life in general. You can’t have a perfect life all the time, but the best we can do is to love ourselves and the people around us,” encouragingly shared Taylor as the softer paced “Best We Can Do” put an appropriate exclamation point on an amazing night of music as she left a lasting impression on the crowd through ideals of peace, love, and understanding.

The wait is over! Kentucky Blue is here! And as Brit displayed over the past few months prior to its release, you can certainly pluck specific songs to listen to. However, by now hearing the album played front to back, she’s absolutely proved that this is the type of album that you put in, press play, and just let go all the way through without ever having to hit the skip button.


1) Cabin in the Woods

2) Anything But You

3) Kentucky Blue

4)Rich Little Girls

5) No Cowboys

6) If You Don’t Wanna Love Me

7) Ain’t A Hard Livin’

8) Love’s Never Been That Good To Me

9) For A Night

10) Best We Can Do




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