Category Archives: Women

Nashville’s Newest Stars: A Closer Look at the Dynamic Duo, Lennon & Maisy

lennonmaisy-4_3The casting directors of the hit show Nashville had a moment of genius when casting the roles of Rayna James’s daughters. They selected none other than the Canadian sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella. Who are they you might ask? Well, Lennon (16) and Maisy (12) started their singing career by performing covers for hit songs such as “Call Your Girlfriend” and “Ho Hey” on their YouTube channel. So, lets take a closer look at these young stars.

Born into a musical family, with both parents in the music business, the girls became interested in the music world from a very early age. Lennon even got her first guitar when she was five. Her father, an experienced guitarist taught her how to play and from then on she was hooked. The most surprising fact about the sisters is that neither of them has ever received lessons or professional vocal training, they both play numerous instruments and sing in two-part harmony without prior instruction. The girls have written songs together in their early years and played at various shows and festivals alongside their parents before being discovered by Nashville.

NASHVILLE - "Someday You'll Call My Name" - Rayna immerses herself in her kids' lives and her husband's campaign, and is sobered to learn that she and Teddy are facing financial ruin; Juliette offers Deacon an exclusive contract to write and tour with her; and Juliette's troubled mother, Jolene, re-enters her daughter's life in dramatic fashion. Meanwhile, Scarlett and Gunnar's big break with Watty is threatened, on "Nashville," WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/KATHERINE BOMBOY-THORNTON) LENNON STELLA, MAISY STELLAAlthough music was the girls’ true passion, Maisy had always been interested in acting and decided to try it out. She had been featured in several different commercials and music videos growing up so acting became her second love. When her agent became aware of a role in a new ABC show that was being filmed in Nashville, Maisy immediately saw it as a a sign and auditioned. During the final stages of the auditioning process, the casting agents discovered that Maisy had an older sister, Lennon, and decided that the girls would be a dynamic duo on the show. Lennon & Maisy began starring in the ABC drama Nashville in October 2012 and have become a nationwide hit. Their sweet and innocent sound as captivated viewers. They have truly become some of the most popular young artists in the Nashville scene. If you haven’t heard them sing before, trust me you will be listening for hours.

Their first hit, Lennon and Maisy’s cover of “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn and Erato showed their potential as artists and hooked viewers on their sound. Using empty containers of butter as musical instruments, the girls displayed an aspect of creativity that was hard to match.

Their cover of “I Wont Give Up” by Jason Mraz shows the range of their voices and the beauty of their two part harmony.

Finally Maisy’s performance of “Have a Little Faith in Me”, by John Hiatt, shows the 12 year olds ability to harmonize with any voice.

I hope you have become interested in these young artists, because trust me they are taking not only the country music world, but entire musical kingdom by storm.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Movies and TV, Nashville Sound, New Country, Women

Cam: The New Up-And-Coming Country Singer

Some people may think that seeing female artists become popular in country music is a rare sight. However, over the years, more women have been increasing their presence within this genre despite the difficulties of doing so. Everyone can agree that we have seen Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, etc. come to fame with their songs hitting number 1 in country music charts. But recently, there has been a new and upcoming female country music singer who is said to have her new single “Burning House” become a number 1 hit as well.

31957468_800_800Camaron Ochs, or more commonly known as Cam, is an American country singer born and raised in San Francisco, California. Country music for Cam has always been a passion of hers as she grew up listening to Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt, and Willie Nelson. With this passion for country music, she decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee to begin a career as a singer/songwriter. She released her debut song “My Mistake” in 2014 and it was featured at No. 58 on Billboard’s Country Airplay. But, more recently, Cam has come out with her second (and more popular) single “Burning House” that has reached the top 20 on Country Airplay and is already No. 4 on Billboard’s US Hot Country Songs. Last week her single was No. 7 and is up 3 spots, expected to hit No. 1 soon! “Burning House” has been on the charts for 18 weeks straight, and is looking to continue its streak within the next coming weeks. Part of the reason for its popularity is that it has caught the attention of all teenage girls because of its unique and emotionally intense dream sequence about clinging to a former lover.

This song uses the imagery of a house fire as a metaphor for Cam’s previous dying relationship. Years after the couple had been separated, Cam was invited to a party that her ex would be attending. All night she tried to come up with ways on how to apologize for her actions in the past. She opens with the first verse of the song stating that she “had a dream about a burning house/you were stuck inside/I couldn’t get you out/I laid beside you and pulled you close/And the two of us went up in smoke.” This song was written and based off a dream she had one night about him burning up in a house of flames, and her rushing into the house ready to die alongside him. She continues by stating, “Love isn’t all that it seems I did you wrong,” where she explains how she is the one at fault for how poorly the relationship had ended. This is an uncommon stance for most women when they sing about love and their past relationships because most of the time you hear them singing about revenge on another instead of admitting their own mistakes. Songs like “Before He Cheats,” “Two Black Cadillacs,” and “Gunpowder and Lead” all show a different perspective on how women typically sing about their past relationships. That is exactly why this song by Cam is so unique and relates to so many girls who are experiencing the same thing she is.

Throughout this entire song you can see how Cam wants to make things right between her and her ex again. She is at a loss of how to fix it, and ultimately realizes that its best to hold on until the flames have died. With this song already taking off and becoming increasingly popular, who knows what to expect next from Cam!

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Filed under Blog Post 3, Song Analysis, Women

“Fly”ing to the Top of the Charts: Maddie and Tae’s Big Break

After much discussion in class on how country music typically can be male dominated and slightly degrading towards women, I began to realize that it is important to highlight someone who has chosen to fight back against female stereotypes. I began this hunt by examining the top 20 songs in country music today. The song “Fly” by Maddie and Tae caught my eye because it seemed familiar, so I gave it a listen.

maddie-tae-fly-video-teaser-imageMaddie and Tae’s single “Fly” offers a breathe of fresh air to country music. Amidst the ballads for lost lovers and tunes about trucks, Maddie and Tae offer some variety by showing off their beautiful melodies while uplifting the listeners. The young duet’s unique style shines through the song’s genuine lyrics. Unlike the typical style of country music that tells a story, this song does not specifically speak to one situation. It instead finds a way to reach out to each and every person wherever they are at in life.

So keep on climbing, though the ground might shake 
Just keep on reaching though the limb might break
We’ve come this far, don’t you be scared now
‘Cause you can learn to fly on the way down 

These words can comfort people in different stages of life: from someone who is overcoming heartbreak to someone who is struggling to find the motivation to continue living. This song outshines other top hits today because it chooses to address the human condition rather than the obvious topics that are easy to write about like love and drinking.

Fly is not the only song Maddie and Tae have stunned audiences with over the past few years. This duo debuted their career with Girl in a Country song in 2014 right after they both graduated high school. This all-too-catchy tune shoots daggers right into the heart of many country songs that stereotype women. Many artists today and throughout the decades pin women as sexual objects that are only good for one night. Maddie and Tae nail it when they argue that men think that “all [women are] good for is looking good for [them] and [their] friends on the weekend.” It is truly encouraging to see these women fearlessly tell it like it is and uplift women in doing so.

Maddie and Tae have definitely set the bar for young men and women alike with their unique perspective on life and I personally look forward to seeing what they come up with next to stun the world of country music.

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Filed under Blog Post 3, Country Pop, Women

How Sara Evans Helped Me Get Over My First Breakup

So picture this: I’m 14 years old, I’ve been in high school for 6 months, and am awkward as can be. I still hadn’t quite figured out how the whole public school thing worked and I missed the 43 people I’d gone to school with for the past 10 years. Dressing myself was still a struggle because I’d only ever worn a uniform, and I was only so good at making new friends. I blame all of this on private school, but that’s beside the point.

Lets rewind to October 2010, my second month of high school. Enter the boy…we’ll call him Charlie. Charlie asked me to homecoming after I only knew him for two weeks and it was a HUGE deal. A boy? Liked me? It was crazy! The homecoming date progressed into a five-month relationship- this was monumentally long considering it was basically a middle school level relationship.

Unfortunately for my freshman year self and fortunately my future self, the relationship ended. At the time, it felt like the sky was falling. How could I possibly recover from being broken up with? I wallowed in self-pity for way to long, going over and over the heartbreak of the breakup.

That is, until one morning while I was getting ready for school and listening to Today’s Country Radio on Pandora, Sara Evans’ “A Little Bit Stronger” came on. This is the song that changed it all. Her country twang and singing style was different from most other female country singers so it caught my attention. This song in particular was exactly what I needed to hear. I guess you could say it “spoke” to me. The line “Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger” ,in particular, got me out of bed and pepped up that day.

For about a month after that, I listened to that song every morning, day, and night. I would belt out the song along with her, I’m pretty sure the entire neighborhood could hear me singing “I’m better off without baby” at the top of my lungs. I credit this song as the inspiration for my high school comeback. From here on it got better. I figured out how to dress myself and made amazing friends, but I couldn’t have done it without Sara.

As my one-sided relationship with Sara Evans progressed, I discovered I identify with her a lot. She’s got opinions about country music that I can’t say I disagree with, mainly that there needs to be more equality in the genre, which is seemingly dominated by male artists. I loved a quote I found from her saying that she’s “excited to hear any song that’s not about drinking, or beer, or trucks, or partying, or jeans…” which can be found in this Rolling Stone Article here. I find her music refreshing, it’s different from most other songs on country radio stations right now. Not saying that every song about beer and trucks are horrible, but her music offers a nice reprieve from the common themes.

Lucky for me, these opinions of hers have led her to write songs that speak to people. Songs that tell a story and lift people up. And that help a teenage girl get over her first breakup and conquer the world of public high school.


Filed under Blog Post 2, Country Pop, Reflection, Song Analysis, Women

Young Country

Most people assume that being the youngest child of a family is synonymous with being a spoiled brat, but I think otherwise.  Has anyone ever thought that maybe a child is a spoiled brat because their parents allow that? I, for one, am the youngest of four children and work for everything in life. For me, this is easily relatable to classic country music. Many songs like Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” express hardworking woman, without discriminating against age or what number child you are.  dolly-parton-press-2014-650-430

Sure, there will be spoiled brats that just so happen to be the youngest child, but that goes for all stereotypes.

There’s more to being the youngest than just getting people to see you for you. Some of the biggest issues of being the youngest child are “How will I get people to stop stereotyping me?” or “Will I ever be able to break out of the shadows of my older siblings?”

Frankly, I can’t help if my parents look at me as their “baby” because I am. I’ll admit that, but it doesn’t mean I had any control over the matter. As soon as people hear I’m the youngest of four kids, they automatically begin to assume I’m either a trouble maker (which in fact is my sister-number 3) or I get what I want. While “The Baby” by Blake Shelton tunes into the youngest child stereotype, it also does a great job of describing how my mother sees me.

635511422966331949-XXX-GARTH-BROOKS-MUS-jy-0170-The same concept could go for people who are only children or the middle child. No matter where you are in the pecking order, it seems like you have a stereotype. Truth be told, I did tattle when I was younger, but as far as I’m concerned everyone has at some point or another. It even seems like youngest children get the most grief from their older siblings when they get older about their past. However, I’ve always found comfort in country music growing up. No matter how much my siblings and I fought, when we turned on Garth Brooks or the Dixie Chicks, we put all matters aside.

Despite what others may think, I know many youngest children who actually end up baring the most responsibility of any of their siblings. Getting a job and paying for my own things came naturally to me, but when I’d treat myself to things, I still would get stereotypical thoughts that my parents paid for it. If there is one thing that country music has taught me, and that I’ve been able to relate to my situation, is that hard work won’t always go unnoticed. If I keep fighting against these stereotypes, people may see me for me, not as the youngest child.

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Filed under Blog Post 1, Reflection, Song Analysis, Women