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Tyler Farr – New Artist Spotlight – CMA Closeup

Tyler Farr

Tyler FarrNEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Tyler Farr

By Bob Doerschuk

Tyler Farr celebrates girls and trucks. Just what Country Music needs, right?

In Farr’s case, absolutely. He follows a familiar path through much of Redneck Crazy, his Columbia Nashville debut. But every now and then he slams on the brakes and veers in an unexpected direction.

Farr’s drawl draws from somewhere south of his hometown, Garden City, Mo. He rasps too, whether it’s from loving the outdoorsman’s lifestyle or working four nights each week at Tootsies Orchid Lounge. (The legendary Nashville venue hired him originally as a bouncer.)

His music is catchy, riff-heavy and steeped deep in tradition. He knows what kind of image he projects. But he has fun with it too, on “Wish I Had a Boat,” which is all about … wishing he had a boat. On various tracks, he compliments his ladies by comparing them to moonshine.

Then hold on for those sudden turns. The title track, let’s be honest, paints a scary picture of a jilted lover beaming his truck’s lights into his ex’s window at 3 AM and hurling empty beer cans at “both of your shadows” inside. This guy sounds dangerous; but on the other hand, Farr fully conveys his raw fury and pain without apology.

Yet on the last track, “Living With the Blues,” Farr goes solo, just acoustic guitar and a near-whispered lyric that reflects fragility and doubt. These yin and yang performances suggest there’s much more in Farr’s artistry than mere boat lust.

For more on Tyler Farr, visit www.CMACloseUp.com.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

MUSICAL HERO
“George Jones.”

DREAM DUET PARTNER
“Hank Williams Jr.”

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
“The Bible.”

PET PEEVE
“People posting food on Instagram.”

WORD YOU SAY OVER AND OVER AGAIN
“Damnit.”

FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
“My truck.”

MOMENT YOU’D LOVE TO RELIVE
“The last day is spent with my grandpa.”

FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
“Vienna sausages.”

TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
One Hell of a Ride.”

ITEMS FOR YOUR TIME CAPSULE
“What the hell is a time capsule?”

SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
“I buy things at Bed Bath & Beyond.”

On the Web: www.TylerFarr.com

On Twitter: @TylerFarr

© 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

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Angie Johnson – New Artist Spotlight

Angie Johnson by Alan Matthews

Angie Johnson

– New Artist Spotlight
Apparently, it’s not enough for Missouri-born Angie Johnson to have served as an intelligence analyst in the United States Air Force; she also sang and toured with The Air Force Band. Then, following an initial attempt to find a break in Nashville, she studied psychology at Columbia State Community College in Franklin, Tenn., to help children and veterans struggling with PTSD.

When a soldier posted his video of Staff Sgt. Johnson performing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for troops in a spirited acoustic performance on YouTube, it eventually drew more than 3 million views. Millions more watched her during Season 2 of “The Voice.”

That’s only the beginning. On May 21, Sony Music Nashville released her debut EP, Sing for You, produced by Josh Leo. On these four tracks, she doesn’t just sing the lyrics – she inhabits them. On “Grandpa’s Farm” (written by Brent Cobb, Adam Hood and Jason Saenz), a slide guitar shimmers like heat from a sun-baked field as Johnson evokes a lazy day, which transforms on the bridge, as the drums drop out, into a whispered promise, as if behind Grandpa’s back, to turn up the temperature in a different way.

In dramatic contrast, the deep feeling of the title track (Johnson, Catt Gravitt and Leo) chills the listener. Here, Johnson offers a different gift, a soft and soothing song, to a young man bloodied and broken most likely in battle. Never mind her impressive technique; Johnson has a gift for bringing beauty to a story, even one of unfathomable sadness.

IN HER OWN WORDS

DREAM DUET PARTNER

“Garth Brooks or Keith Urban. I have harmonized with both of them repeatedly via the CD player in my car, and I can already tell you that we sound fabulous together!”

MUSICAL HERO

“I can’t name just one. The people who inspired me early on and made me really want to pursue a career in music were Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Reba McEntire and Wynonna Judd, in that order.”

FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD

“First, carbs. Next, carbs. And then probably carbs. Did I mention carbs?”

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND

“My CMA notebook that I got in my CMA membership package!”

On the Web: www.OfficialAngieJohnson.com

On Twitter: @AngieJohnson

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