Show Reviews

Show Review: Brickshore Media’s 615 Live! ft. Bryan White, Molly Lovette, Andrea Vasquez, Mark Taylor, Williams Honor, and more!

 

Brickshore Media’s 615 Live!

Ft. Bryan White, Molly Lovette, Andrea Vasquez, Mark Taylor, Williams Honor, and more!

Thursday June 9, 2022

@ True Music Room in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

With all the opening day CMA Fest activities popping off in every corner of Music City, there becomes an overwhelming number of choices to make. While many people fight their own calendars with the mentality of you can’t be in every place at one time, truthfully, if you were looking for some of the hottest emerging talent on the country music scene today, a variety of different styles within the genre, and an icon of the heavily popular 90’s country era, then your choice was very easy!

Inside the Cambria Hotel’s True Music Room, Brickshore Media hosted 615 Live! An incredible event that acted as a perfect showcase of their client roster, while also giving the stage to some of their closest friends for an entire day worth of great music from start to finish with a little bit of something for everyone.

Emily Blackbird, who caught media buzz when she released “Ordinary Dream Girl” earlier this year, had the tough task of taking on the first set of the day but rose to the occasion.

Opening with “Keep on Keeping on,” Blackbird quickly introduced the crowd to her amazing voice and positive energy as she sang us through poetic lyrics that compared elements of a broken record playing, to pushing through the tough moments that life gives you.

The catchy guitar lick of “Memories” had the crowd bouncing along with the rhythm, while “Love You Anyway,” and set closer “I Wanna Love” both added a softer, tug at your heart pace to the setlist.

However, it was “Needle in the Haystack,” a summery tilted song which she co-wrote with Pierre of Simple Plan, that would act as the catchy highlight of her performance as it gave her a different, refreshingly unexpected dynamic, earning much love and praise in response from the very receptive crowd when the final note was played. 

FULL SET LIST

1) Keep on Keeping on

2) Memories

3) Love You Anyway

4) Needle in the Haystack

5) One Night Stand

6) I Wanna Love

Chris Moreno brought a cool singer/songwriter vibe to the stage that teetered on the line of 90’s era adult contemporary rock that he then skillfully smashed into a modern touched country vibe to give him a great balance that showed why he’s been a viral sensation on social media.

Opening with “Someone Like You” and “I Believe in Us,” he quickly gave the crowd a look at both sides of his style and allowed his vocals to stand in the spotlight as diehard fans down in front danced along.

“This is a song about living your life how you want to live it and blocking out the noise,” said Moreno as he introduced his catchy next single “Million Reasons,” before rounding out his set with the viral hits “Running In Place” and “Used To This,” the latter which is the first of his songs to ever hit one million streams which he gratefully thanked the crowd for making that happen.

FULL SET LIST

1) Someone Like You

2) I Believe in Us

3) Million Reasons

4) Running In Place

5) Used To This

Husband and wife duo Hemp & Denim brought their folksy, California meets British Invasion throwback sound to the stage and changed the whole vibe of the room as they transported us to a much more innocent time for the next 20 minutes.

Though they started out solid with “Change Her Plans” and “Take My Breath Away,” it was the last two songs of their set that struck the right chord with the audience.

“This next song is a song we both love that means a lot to us. Hemp wrote it and it’s really about anybody that loves somebody,” began Denim before playing “Ride,” which Hemp gave the background on why he wrote it when he said, “We’ve all got relationships that didn’t work out for one reason or another, and sometimes we look back on it and there’s just no way to get it back to how it was.”

Like any smart act knows, it’s the last impression you make that’s your lasting impression, and so it makes sense that “Step Over the Line” closed their set; a song that spoke right to the heart of navigating the confusion that life inevitably brings while encouraging us to keep pushing through.

FULL SET LIST

1) Change Her Plans

2) Take My Breath Away

3) Ride

4) Step Over the Line

“I co-wrote this in 2020 during the craziness, and we talked about all the wildness going on,” Began Tera Lynne Fister. “We said although alone we can’t do anything, together we can shut up and listen to each other and just be there for each other and support each other no matter what we’re going through,” she finished as she played “I Understand, I’ll Never Understand,” immediately quieting the crowd as she pulled them in with her raspy voice that tilted towards bluesy country and sang us through the poignant, meaningful lyrics.

“This is an ode to all my little dreamers out there. This is a song for all of us when we’re feeling like what the heck are we doing with our lives, and why do I have no money in my bank account. It’s a little song to help keep the faith,” Fister introduced as she encouraged through “Fly Before I Fall.”

“I wrote this song a few days ago and it’s about that time in a relationship when you are very aware of what’s actually going on and you know you shouldn’t be in it anymore, but you just can’t get out of it. It’s not bad. It’s comfortable and you’re just kind of chilling,” she said as she played “I’m Not Ready,” before closing her set with the gritty, swampy, sway along with 1970’s kissed anthem “Born to Rock,” a song which Fister told has been recorded as she teased new music being on the way.

FULL SET LIST

1) I Understand, I Will Never Understand

2) Fly Before I Fall

3) I’m Not Ready

4) Born to Rock

When you hear that a band has opened for Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, while also sharing time with Lisa Loeb, Les Paul, and Jessie James Decker, you already know you’re in for something special. However, I don’t think that anyone in the venue was quite ready for when Williams Honor (comprised of Reagan Richards and Gordon Brown) took the stage and stole the show!

As they opened with “Can’t Wait to Be Ashamed,” the show instantly turned from a subtle acoustic gig to what felt like a full-blown arena rock show, that Richards skillfully kept right on the edge of country as she patrolled the stage pulling the audience in with her incredible vocal performance.

The bluesy, honky-tonk kissed sound of “I’ll Be Damned” leaned on a souped-up Johnny Cash kind of style in the guitar riff as the built-in rasp of Richards vocals dragged us to the clap along, boot stomping rhythm of the bridge and straight into the final chorus.

Sliding into softer paced songs that hit a deeper emotional stride, Williams Honor delivered “No Umbrella,” a song that reached #27 on the Music Row charts that Reagan introduced as being “one that gets you through loss.” Likewise, “Learn to Walk,” which Reagan dedicated to her own mom, saw the duo sing an ode to that somebody special in your life that’s always helped you get through tough times.

But now that they had effectively tugged on emotional heartstrings, Williams Honor left a strong lasting impression on the stunned crowd who clearly knew they had just witnessed something so special when they played “Step,” an ultra-catchy, up-tempo number that had the crowd dancing and swaying along with them from first note to last.

FULL SET LIST 

1) Can’t Wait to Be Ashamed

2) I’ll Be Damned

3) No Umbrella

4) Learn To Walk

5) Step

“I moved to Nashville about 74 hours ago,” stated Mark Taylor, but by the modern country kissed vibe of his 4-song set, you’d think he’d been living here and writing in the Nashville music community for the last decade.

“Dust Off That Dirt” and “Cigarettes and Sunsets,” the 1-2 punch that Taylor opened his set with both provided the perfect glimpse into why he is becoming one of the most sought-after newcomers in town as his crisp, clean voice wrapped around a catchy melody and crafty, thought-out lyrics that easily walk alongside any number of songs you’re hearing on the Top 40.

“We wrote this song in the hotel room at the Holiday Inn a couple months ago when I was not living down here and was coming back and forth between here and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I’m a recent graduate of Wake Forest University,” he proudly said while introducing a piece of his personal life to the audience as he played “Leaving Lonely,” a toe-tapping rhythm led song that had everyone bouncing their heads along with it.

“I get an email from an old publisher that I used to work for as an internship that said Amy Stewart’s looking to cut a new record and we want you to help write the single for it. Amy sang that song “Knock on Wood” back in the 1970’s and she took that to #1 and it’s gone platinum. She came to us and said we want to do something upbeat, poppy, and something we could put to radio. So, this is my first cut and the reason for my first single song pub deal here and it sounds like this,” he finished as he closed his set with “Perfectly Beautiful.”

FULL SET LIST 

1) Dust Off That Dirt

2) Cigarettes and Sunsets

3) Leaving Lonely

4) Perfectly Beautiful

The first time that we caught Latin-country sensation Andrea Vasquez during her Song Suffragettes debut, it was subtle performance with just her and her guitar while her stellar vocals carried the emotional punch of each song. During 615 Live! however, she offered a bit of a different styled performance in that she was backed by a second guitar and cajon, but by having that accompaniment, she also raised the bar high in comparison to that first performance by elevating her vocals to a superior level while allowing the impact of the songs to be felt that much more inside the True Music Room as they struck the listener.

“How’s It going CMA Fest?” Vasquez asked as the crowded room cheered. “We’ve waited over 2 years for this, and I am so excited to be here. This is the first song I ever released,” she introduced as she opened her set with the vibey, catchy “Sugar Coat It” and instantly had the crowd clapping along with her.

“I released this last year and it’s a true story….and I’m gonna leave it there,” Vasquez stated as she turned up the emotional tilt while delivering “The Bed You Made.”

Staying perfectly embedded in the emotional, Vasquez then delivered her uber powerful “Made Me Cry,” a song which saw its accompanying music video make its debut on CMT earlier this year.

“I just released a single this past Friday,” Vasquez excitedly shared, pausing as the crowd responded. “It’s about looking back at a relationship when it’s over and you just kind of want to rewind certain parts,” she finished as she played “Reverse,” her powerful new single which really allowed Vasquez to hit all the incredible ranges that her voice naturally travels to, enticing the audience as they listened intently to each line and every lyric she sang as they connected with it.

“My birthday is this weekend, and it would be really fricken cool if y’all could just save that last song you heard on your playlists and share it with your friends,” Vasquez said enthusiastically with a smile across her face before she closed her set with “Never Into Me.”

FULL SET LIST

1) Sugar Coat It

2) The Bed You Made

3) Made Me Cry

4) Reverse

5) Never Into Me


Clad all in black, sporting her Johnny Cash t-shirt and sunglasses, Jordan Rainer took the stage with an outlaw country kind of cool as she invited us straight into her life through song, while dropping in bits and pieces of who she is and where comes from during each introduction between.

“I am your resident handful for the day,” Rainer said as she introduced herself. “I wrote a little song about getting into trouble because that’s what I do best, so I’m gonna play it for ya,” she finished as she picked her guitar furiously through the mud-stomping rhythm of “Ain’t Been Done” to open her set.

“I am a preacher’s daughter. I’m also a newly ex-wife, and that provides a hell of a lot of song material! There are a few things when your ex-husband gets remarried, you have this little switch that goes off in your head and you want to know everything about this woman and kind of find out what her deal is, what she does for work, if she deserves him…she does! And the new wife doesn’t know everything that the ex-wife knows, so I thought I’d be fitting for me to write a song for all us ex-wives as we’re watching the trainwreck happen,” she explained as she delivered “Ex Mrs. Right” to a solid ovation from the crowd, providing a clear-cut signal that she was already resonating with the fans.

“This is a naughty little song that keeps me out of heaven, but it does keep me in Nashville,” Rainer transparently shared. “I’ve always had a troublemaker side mixed with the faith I was raised on. I was always the middle ground,” she confessed as she played “Dust on My Wings,” a song brought to prominence by American Blonde, that took on a different perspective as Rainer connected to it in a much different way emotionally which help it transcend the audience and pull them into the heartfelt, autobiographical masterpiece.

“I had an amazing opportunity not long ago to write with one of my heroes, Dean Dillon,” Rainer humbly stated. “Anyone who knows anything about songwriting in this town, knows that Dean Dillon is the end all/be all for how a song oughta be written, and this was one of the first songs I wrote with him,” she said as she continued to keep the crowd well-invested into her incredible lyrics on “Wearing Out Angels.”

“I just recently released a new single; it dropped last Friday, and this is actually the first song I’ve released that I myself did not write,” revealed Rainer. “This was a demo that I got hired to do, but me and my team loved it so much that we decided to keep it and put it out,” she exclaimed as she closed with “Damn Sandwich,” a toe-tapping, tongue and cheek, classic country vibed song co-written by the legendary Bill Anderson, Bobby Tomberlin, and Matt Wynn.

FULL SET LIST (Jordan Rainer)

1) Ain’t Been Done

2) Ex Mrs. Right

3) Dust on My Wings

4) Wearing Out Angels

5) Damn Sandwich

As Molly Lovette’s star begins to shine and catch industry buzz, the crowd that packed inside the True Music Room is already ahead of the curve on this country sweetheart and can see the writing on the wall for what big things are just ahead for her and her brand of catchy, modern pop country.

“This is my very first CMA Fest, so I am so excited,” gushed Lovette as she took the stage with “Hey Hey,” her up-tempo summery single from 2021 that had the crowd singing and bopping along with the song she said to be one of her favorites before playing.

“This is the very first song that I recorded here in Nashville,” said Lovette as she delivered “Lovin’ You,” during which she held an incredible note at the end that elicited a deafening number of cheers from the crowd as she put on a bold display of her amazing vocal range.

“Seasons,” one of Lovette’s latest singles, slowed down the set for the first time while pulling the crowd into the vulnerability and flood of emotions that Molly skillfully carried with her vocal prowess as she sang us through lyrics focused on the toughness that comes with letting go of a relationship that has simply grown apart.

“This next one is an unreleased song, so I gotta know what you think,” instructed Lovette. “We wrote this one a couple months ago, and we actually started writing this song as kind of a joke but I think it turned out not too bad,” she finished with a smile as she played “Birthday Hangover,” an insanely catchy song that had everyone clapping along with it and singing by its final chorus; an easy to read signal that gave a resounding yes to Molly’s question as to what the crowd thought of it.

“This is very special to me. It’s my girl power song. I wrote this song right before I moved to Nashville, kind of  as a reminder to myself that it’s gonna be okay, that I got this! But it’s also a song for anyone out there who has a dream or is just trying to get through life,” she encouraged as she finished with “One Woman Show.” 

By bringing a fiddle player into the mix for this performance, Lovette added a different dynamic to her songs than we have heard from her in the past. However, that also stood as just another example of her thinking outside the box mentality to bring another layer to her already rich, decisively modern sound. That type of innovative thinking combining with songs that are already built for the current Top 40, are just two of the factors that have already helped create the buzz she’s currently experiencing, but they will also be the catalyst as she bursts into her next exciting chapter. 

 FULL SET LIST

1) Hey Hey

2) Lovin’ You

3) Seasons

4) Birthday Hangover

5) One Woman Show

Grammy nominated, award winning, and 6 number one songs are just scratching the surface when you begin to talk about all the accomplishments that Bryan White has experienced. However, by playing 615 Live! he could also add that he’s provided the country music fans with an “Only in Nashville” moment as he took the stage for an intimate acoustic performance that included some of his biggest hits, the stories behind the songs, and a meet-n-greet after with a line that stretched across the venue and out the door.

He quickly brought the excited crowd into his set and had them singing along with him as he launched into it with one of those #1 songs, “Sitting on Go.”

“I’m gonna take you guys back to the glorious 90’s for a little bit, if you guys want to go on a trip,” White asked as cheers came from the crowd in approval. “This was my first Top 20 record. It was right around a time when I had no money and this came out on radio, and I couldn’t believe that I had a song on radio, but I could barely pay my rent. When it got in the Top 20 , I remember I got this check in the mail and it saved me for the next 5 or 6 months, and I’m grateful for this song. Hopefully you remember the song, and hopefully you forget all about the mullet I had at the time,” he finished with a laugh as he played “Look At Me Now.”

“When I’m not travelling and playing shows, I’m home writing quite a bit and I’m very proud of this song,” began Bryan. “It’s been cut by a lot of people, and it represents really what we’re all doing here today; trying to unplug and escape for a little bit,” he concluded as he dove into the rhythm of “Amen” and had the crowd softly swaying along with the groove.

“I’m honored to be here during CMA Music Fest week and want to thank everyone for being here today and helping all these songs become successful over the years,” he gratefully thanked as he played another number one, “Rebecca Lynn.”

“How many of you are here at CMA Fest for the first time?” White asked as he was met by several members of the audience cheering. “Congratulations and welcome to Nashville, and I know a lot of other artists would agree with me when I say that we really are fortunate to do this for a living. I’m just grateful to be given another day to be doing this because even on the worst day it’s still awesome,” he humbly said as he kept the hits coming with “I’m Not Supposed to Love You Anymore.”

Looking back over the years of being at CMA Fest White shared, “I remember my very first CMA Fest…well it was called Fan Fair back then. It was at the fairgrounds, and I don’t know, I guess that makes me kind of aged or seasoned if I like the fairgrounds days.”

“I debuted this song on The Tonight Show back in the day and I love this song still to this day. It’s a crazy world and we’re all wading through a lot these days; everybody’s struggling with something. One of my favorite quotes is “be kind always, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It is definitely a crazy world but the one thing I can hang my hat on at the end of every day is that I’m loved by a big God and an amazing God,” he faithfully shared as he encouraged through “Love Is the Right Place.”

After covering The Beatles “Get Back,” White satisfied a request for “You’re Still Beautiful to Me,” a tremendous song that appeared on Bryan Adams 18 ‘til I Die album as well as White’s How Lucky I Am album in 1999. 

“I co-wrote this one with two of my buddies. We wrote this song rolling down the road one day and it ended up being a number one record for a couple weeks in a row,” White said as he rounded out his set with his biggest hit thus far, “So Much for Pretending” as the crowd clapped, danced, and sang along to cap off a tremendous day of music.

FULL SET LIST

1) Sitting on Go

2) Look At Me Now

3) Amen

4) Rebecca Lynn

5) I’m Not Supposed to Love You Anymore

6) Love Is the Right Place

7) Get Back (Beatles cover)

8) You’re Still Beautiful to Me

9) So Much for Pretending

 

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