Karissa Ella Puts Her Own Twist On “You Can’t Make Old Friends” With Johnny Gates As Part Of The Acoustic Sessions
Karissa Ella takes on the famous Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’s hit “You Can't Make Old Friends'' with Johnny Gates for the third release of her collection of songs, The Acoustic Sessions. Ella’s powerful voice takes an exciting spin on the song that continues to show that a deep friendship comes with time, growth and true enjoyment for who a person is. The artist’s youthful take on the classic song makes you think about the friendships that you have had since the original release of the song.
“When I first heard this song, it almost brought me to tears. The heartfelt message this song sends really hits home especially with the recent passing of Kenny Rogers. I am honored to cover this Kenny and Dolly Parton duet and to sing with my talented friend, Johnny Gates!,” said Karissa Ella.
“It’s really cool to be a part of this song, not only because Dolly and Kenny are legends, but also because I’ve known one of the writers, Caitlyn Smith, for a while now and we’ve written one of my favorite songs, 'break' together. Karissa sounds incredible and was such a blast to work with and we’ve become 'new friends' really quickly,” said Johnny Gates.
In choosing the songs to cover for The Acoustic Sessions, Ella picked out songs that have influenced her musically. These songs are some she grew up listening to and have inspired her to pursue a career in country music, including “Who I Am,” “Maybe It Was Memphis,” this song and “Blame It On Your Heart” rounding out the project in mid-April. Getting back to her roots, the budding country songstress is writing and recording new music to be released later this year.
Ashley McBryde Receives “Song Suffragettes Yellow Rose Of Inspiration Award” At Song Suffragettes’ 7th Anniversary Celebration
Last night at The Listening Room Café, Nashville’s all-female, singer-songwriter collective Song Suffragettes celebrated its 7th Anniversary with a sold-out show and livestream featuring special guests and a special announcement.
The night kicked off with a writers’ round hosted by original Song Suffragette and TMWRK Records recording artist Kalie Shorr performing with Madeline Finn, Livy Jeanne, Mia Morris and first-time Song Suffragette Brittney Spencer. The first round’s special guest was 19th & Grand Records’ Tenille Arts who has been part of the Song Suffragettes collective since 2016 and currently has a Top 10 country radio single with “Somebody Like That.”
After the first round, Song Suffragettes’ Founder Todd Cassetty took the stage along with Event Director Taylor Fair to welcome everyone and to note the successes of Song Suffragettes over the past seven years. Said Cassetty, “It has been my profound honor to be surrounded by so much talent in the past 7 years, and it gives me great pride to know that we have played a part in the lives and careers of over 300 singer-songwriters - 21 who have gone on to receive recording contracts and 49 who have landed publishing deals. Most of all, I am most proud of the sense of community we’ve engendered among female creatives that I hope will continue to affect today’s generation of talented women as well as the next.”
Cassetty then announced that The LSS Group, an all-female, entertainment-industry-focused wealth management team led by Eden Lopez, Leslie Schwartz and Paula Steinberg would continue its year-long Presenting Sponsorship of Song Suffragettes. The LSS Group is part of RBC Wealth Management and splits its time between New York, Nashville, LA and other major entertainment cities throughout the U.S. This special announcement was capped off by a statement from The LSS Group read by Cassetty’s 9-year-old daughter, Kate.
Next, esteemed music journalist and All Access Nashville Senior Editor Phyllis Stark was welcomed to the stage where Stark in turn introduced CMA, ACM winner and current four-time nominee Ashley McBryde. After a 30-minute live interview that covered everything from her songwriting process to superstitions, Warner Music Nashville’s McBryde took the stage alone and performed “Girl Goin' Nowhere”, an unreleased song, “Whiskey and Country Music,” and her recent Top 10 RIAA Gold-Certified single “One Night Standards” to the delight of the audience.
Cassetty and Fair then returned to the stage to present McBryde with the “Song Suffragettes Yellow Rose of Inspiration Award,” an honor bestowed on a female songwriter who has inspired the many Song Suffragette women who one day hope to follow in McBryde’s successful footsteps. "I've said just about everything funny and sentimental I can say," said McBryde. “You must be present to win, ladies. And the gal that quits last, won..."
The evening closed out with a second writers’ round hosted by long-time Song Suffragette Candi Carpenter along with singer-songwriters Mia Mantia, Mia Morris, Kaylin Roberson and Sophia Scott, plus first-time Song Suffragette Allie Dunn.
The entire sold-out show and livestream is still available for viewing on the Song Suffragettes’ YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/gqhxY5Aigzw.
Utah native, Maddie Wilson returns with her mature single “Wounded.” An honest conversation about infertility, “Wounded” speaks from her own experience with feeling hopeless in the presence of her nieces and nephews. Maddie reflecting, “It’s a trial we never thought we would have to go through, but here we are. I wrote this song in August 2020 when I felt so broken. The only thing I could do is write a song about my feelings.” Originally meant for her and her husband, Maddie decided to release the song to reach those who had a similar experience with infertility and remind them that they’re not alone.
Maddie herself has been performing and writing since a young age. Maddie would record covers of Taylor Swift and Hannah Montana to post to YouTube and quickly turned heads. Her YouTube channel has 240,000 subscribers and growing. Writing poems in elementary school, songwriting came easy to her. She released her debut EP in 2012 and won Best Artist Under 18 at the Utah Music Awards two years later.
A huge part of her success is performing. Having had the chance to share the stage with Chris Young, Imagine Dragons, and Danielle Bradbery, among others every performance is an energy boost. You can listen to “Wounded” on all digital platforms and on her website here.
You too will be moved by Julie Williams. Releasing her highly anticipated single “Southern Curls” today, the song reflects on her experience as a Black female artist in country music. Originally coming to Nashville Julie felt lonely, unable to see artists who looked like her. In attempt to “fit in” Julie changed her hairstyle daily, hair straightened only to curl it again into waves. However, this year has brought to the spotlight Black singers including Rissi Palmer, Mickey Guyton, and Brittney Spencer who Julie is lucky to call her sisters. Embracing her natural beauty and her own southern curls, Julie wants people to understand the struggle many Black girls have with their hair and not seeing people who look like them. She also hopes “Southern Curls” is able to resonate with anyone who doesn’t see themselves as “beautiful,” telling listeners to learn to love themselves for who they are, and others will too.
Julie has had the opportunity to perform “Southern Curls” during Song Suffragettes at the Listening Room. Looking around the room, the reaction has been nothing but positive. Often bringing people to tears. She also went live on our Instagram page in celebration of Black History Month, and you can re-watch it on IGTV here.
In addition to releasing the single, Julie released the music video. Funded in less than a week after dropping a GoFundMe link, Julie was overwhelmed by the support. She hired a team of all Black creatives and paid them graciously. Wanting to do the song justice, the video follows her story from a young age until now. Julie also asked her great aunt to be in the video to tell the story of Black strength being passed down through generations. You can watch the full video below.
With gratitude to the Black artists who came before her Julie says, “Thank you for holding the door to those who come next” and she plans to do the same. You can hear “Southern Curls” on all digital platforms here.
Author: Nicole Marchesi
Callie Twisselman is gearing up for the release of “Two Hands” on April 9th. Written about a girl who may be a handful, but her man loves her anyway, “Two Hands” reminds girls not to change for anyone else. The fun, upbeat track is the perfect mood booster and can be pre-ordered on all digital platforms here.
Callie put her two hands to work growing up on her family’s grain and cattle ranch. Rooted in country music, she was inspired by her mom who toured in a local country band. “My mom shined on-stage. It was a happy escape for her. She always told me that if this is what I wanted to do, that I had to enjoy myself and not try to be something I’m not.” Callie also looked up to Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, and George Strait for their artistry. By the age of fifteen she was writing her own music and playing the guitar. In high school, she made her first trip to Nashville and knew it was where she was destined to be. A permanent resident since 2017, Callie is working with well-known manager, Danny Nozell, who has also worked with Dolly Parton. With his help, she’s spent her time in quarantine honing on her songwriting skills and has signed her first publishing deal with Vintern Songs and eone Music Publishing.
Looking forward, Callie is excited to feel the rush of performing on stage again. In the meantime, you can pre-order “Two Hands” and follow her on social media at @callietwiss.