In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with two amazing singer-songwriters; Kylie Sackley and Anthony Smith.

This was a favorite episode for me because I was able to get different perspectives from both of these artists since they don’t sing together and are in two separate bands.

I hope you enjoy it!!

More on Kylie Sackley

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/kyliesackley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kyliesackleymusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kyliesackley

For award-winning songwriter Kylie Sackley, it’s always been about the songs first. As a wunderkind performer in her birthplace of Australia, Kylie dazzled audiences with her authentic grasp of country, her gorgeously expressive vocals, and her electrifying stage presence. When she won Australia’s most prestigious country music talent search, Star Maker (Keith Urban was a previous winner), she made the fateful decision to go the route of being a professional songwriter, and she hasn’t looked back since.

“First and foremost, I’ve always been a songwriter. Writing songs was just something I had to do,” Kylie states. Throughout Australia, Kylie won numerous country music competitions, but her victory in the Star Maker competition proved to be life-changing in that it required her to make a songwriting trip to Nashville as an artist. “When I got there, I just fell in love. It was incredible having access to such amazing musicians, poets, and song craftsman. I extended my stay for 10 weeks and then went back home and applied for a U.S. work visa. With two suitcases I moved to Nashville.”

Kylie’s first year on the Nashville scene was astounding. That year she co-wrote Leann Rimes country comeback smash “Nothin’ ‘bout Love Makes Sense” with highly sought-after writers Gary Burr and Joel Feeney. “I thank my lucky stars for that single, it helped me get my foot in the door and get momentum as a writer,” Kylie reveals. That track and her next co-write—Faith Hill’s “Sunshine and Summertime”—went Top 5.

Kylie also co-wrote Troy Cassar Daley’s “The Sunshine Club,” Alan Jackson’s “It’s Just That Way,” and has penned songs for Thompson Square, John Rich, Lee Brice, and Jodee Messina. Kylie co-wrote the track “Young In America” recorded by Danielle Bradbery, the 2013 US winner of the reality TV show, The Voice. That track landed in the Billboard Hot Country Song Chart and reached Number 53 on the US Country Airplay Chart. Kylie’s songwriting also appears on the first single from US country duo, American Young. She co-wrote the duo’s song “Love is War” which reached Number 44 on the US Country Airplay Chart. Kylie was nominated by the APRA (Australian performing rights association) for the “Breakthrough Songwriter Of The Year” award in 2014. Most recently, Kylie wrote Sam Hunt’s “Speakers,” on his certified double-platinum album Montevallo.

Kylie is adept at all facets of songwriting, comfortable writing lyrics, melodies, music, and contributing production ideas. “It all depends on the day. Much like a performer has to read the audience, when you’re a songwriter, you read the room. If someone really excels at composing melodies, I’ll focus on writing lyrics. I’m like a chameleon—I can do it all—but I enjoy reading the room, being open to the creative flow, and then providing what is needed,” she says.

Reflecting back on it all, Kylie says thoughtfully: “On any given day of the week, I look up at the amazing talent in the room where I’m collaborating, and I pinch myself. I feel so lucky to work with these greats on a daily basis.

More on Anthony Smith

Website: https://www.anthonysmith.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anthonysmithhq

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnthonySmithNashville/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anthonysmithhq

Songs written by Anthony Smith are weaved into the fabric of country music.  His songs have shaped the careers for some of the most iconic country music artists like George Strait, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Montgomery Gentry and others.

He has won numerous awards from BMI, ASCAP, and NSAI as well as the prestigious Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year award by Music Row Magazine.  As a recording artist, his critically acclaimed record “If That Ain’t Country” produced three Billboard top 40 singles.

Anthony has the uncanny and rare talent of writing songs in ways that have never been written before, that generates visuals and impacts emotions for listeners.  With memorable song titles like “Cowboy’s Like Us”, “Who Invented The Wheel”, “Half a Man”, “Run”, “I’m Tryin’”, “Up To The Depths”, “Infinity” and more, you know Anthony’s songs are interesting and capture the imagination of the listener.

When you hear Anthony Smith perform his original songs and take in the lyrics, you can see why he is an award-winning songwriter.  When you take in an Anthony Smith show as he entertains a sold-out crowd, you can see why he is a highly favored performer. When you hear an Anthony Smith production you become a believer in all things Anthony Smith.

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Key West local musician Jason Lamson.

We talk about how he got started in the business, where he is at in his career, where he plays regularly, and where he is headed.

More on Jason Lamson

Soul-filling, southern vocalist fusing island style, down-home soul, and a touch of funky personality to create a unique sound filling the streets of Key West.

Jason Lamson Key West

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jlamsonmusic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jlamsonmusic

In this episode, Mark Baratto sings down with musician Joal Rush to talk about his musical origin story (more than 20 years ago), the time he puts into his music, and where he is headed.

We recorded this podcast for the Songwriters Podcast many months before the COVID-19 lockdown.

More on Joal Rush

Born & raised in Camden, South Carolina, Joal Rush began his musical quest at an early age(singing, drumming, playing guitar & bass, as well as dabbling on piano), and has been performing live for the past two decades, sharing the stage with nationally renowned artists Zac Brown Band, Jason Isbell, Darius Rucker, Lee Brice, Shovels & Rope, Sister Hazel, Drivin’ n Cryin’, Edwin McCain, Jay Clifford(Jump, Little Children), Jakob Dylan, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Styx, and Foreigner, while releasing a handful of albums along the way(Delightful Things, Imagination, Wares).

Rush relocated to Nashville, TN in the summer of 2014, to focus on writing/recording the songs for his upcoming album, Kaleidoscope Emotions. Joal Rush uniquely blends influences of Folk/Pop/Rock & Soul, to create a style all his own.

Website: http://www.joalrush.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joalrush

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joalrush 

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/JoalRushMusic

In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with Key West local Nick Norman to talk about where he started, and where he is going.

We find out how he got started with music and how he is constantly working to “sharpen the sword” of his craft.

This is one of my favorite interviews so far because Nick is so easy to talk to and talks about his career as an open book. 

More on Nick Norman

Immediately recognizable, Nick is known for two distinctive gifts: his soulful voice and infectious smile. It’s hard to imagine that as a young boy he was told he would never be good enough to sing in the church’s youth ensemble in Columbia, South Carolina where he grew up. Today he is truly the man with a golden voice; a talented singer/songwriter who delights his audiences with soulful and inspirational performances. 

It was during his childhood when Nick first acquired his passion for music; his father played guitar, while his mother encouraged him to write. Attending Baptist church exposed him to the awe-inspiring power of the choir. “It was how I first learned that you can truly make people feel what you feel, by believing in what you are singing. They sang from their hearts and that is something I believe that cannot be faked.”

As a young man listening to South Carolina’s emerging musicians of the time, such as Edwin McCain and Hootie and the Blowfish, he was also drawing from the styles of legendary artists including Stevie Wonder and The Band. Inspired by an eclectic array of influences Nick created a sound all his own.

Branching out from his home state he performed on stages all over the southeast, eventually finding his way to the Southernmost City of Key West in 2006. As his solo acoustic shows were drawing crowds, Nick’s songwriting was steadily being fueled by the artistic vibe of the island blending with his native southern roots.  

In 2010,  Nick collaborated with longtime friends Jon Stone & Lee Brice resulting in the recording of his first studio album Hey Cheater. This heartfelt album gave fans a raw look into the personal hardships of Nick’s life by putting his heart on his sleeve in songs such as  “Libba Don’t Call” and “Varela St”. Quickly becoming a Key West anthem, “Good Whiskey” can be heard by local musicians throughout Key West on any given evening. 

He has performed his original music on stages across the country that include City Winery, The Filmore, Listening Room Nashville, Key West Theater, Rams Head, Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Melody Tent and Island Time Music Festival. He has opened for acts such as Lee Brice, Lee Ann Womack, Edwin McCain, The Wailers, and The Doobie Brothers and founded the highly sought after “Sunday Ramble” concert that features local Key West musicians.

Website: https://www.nicknormanmusic.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicknormanmusic

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicknormanmusic