KEWADIN CASINOS, Featuring Up & Coming Stars

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BEN GALLAHER – OCTOBER 11th & 12th

10:00 PM

With Ben Gallaher what you see is what you get. His songs are autobiographical anthems of growing up in South Central Pennsylvania with a passion for ‘90s country, a reverence for the guitar masters, and a self-awareness that connects like super glue with his growing fan base.

Genuine in his songwriting, gifted in his self-taught musicianship, and energetic in his stage performance, Gallaher doesn’t just understand his fans: he is cut from the same cloth. Whether he is performing in a dusty roadhouse or state prison he delivers his truth in songs that reflect the dignity of simple things and a deeply-rooted respect for what matters.

He mines those concepts in his self-titled debut EP. From the first searing guitar riff, Gallaher comes across as an artist with confidence and a keen sense of what he wants to say.

His voice is as raw as unvarnished wood with a smoky texture reflective of the backwoods bars where he honed his unbridled stage craft. He commits completely to the emotional quality of each cut and his vocals are earnest and believable.

“Conway Twitty said something like ‘A good country song takes a page out of someone’s life and puts it to music,’” Gallaher recalled. “I thought about that with every song. I want someone to hear this record, relate to it, and have it make a positive impact. That’s my goal.”

From diving “head first” into life and young love with “Against the World”; the power of sticking to your purpose in “Good Guys Win”; the lament of what’s lost to time in “You Can’t Do That Anymore”; finding “Heaven in a shotgun seat” with “American Angel,”; and the self-portrait “If You’re Like Me,” Gallaher removes the artifice and focuses on the stripped-down reality of the moment. Which is a stark contrast to his elevated, otherworldly guitar playing.

Gallaher was a toddler when he started banging Campbell’s soup cans with pencils as drumsticks. He grew up in Camp Hill, PA. His family wasn’t musical, but they recognized musical talent and bought him his first guitar when he was 6 years old. He still has it.

“I fell in love with it,” Gallaher said. “I always felt that music was instilled in me; it was God’s plan. It just fit me. I didn’t have a choice. I had to play music.”

He is equally obsessive about the outdoors. He grew up hunting and fishing and eventually earned the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout. The designation was founded more than 100 years ago and only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this honor.

He brought that passion and dedication to Nashville. After a year at his family’s alma mater Penn State, he enrolled at Belmont University to learn everything he could about the music business. He quickly formed a four-piece band, played weekend gigs up the Eastern corridor, and showed up for class on Monday morning.

“Talk about two different worlds,” he laughed. “Here I was renting a van before I could buy one. I was just so enamored by the whole road thing and how to work a crowd. You can’t learn that in a classroom, you have to do it.”

What it taught him was an appreciation for hard work, preparation, and an even deeper fondness for the foundation of the format including the icons of the ‘90s who influenced his childhood musical manna: Brooks & Dunn, Clint Black and Tim McGraw.

“The dream as a kid was to be a country music singer,” he said. “There is a point when the switch goes from that idea being a dream that is unchaseable, to thinking, ‘I could really give this thing a shot and make the move.”

Early on, he connected with some of Nashville’s top writers including many who contributed to the EP including Neil Thrasher, Ben Hayslip, Jimmy Yeary and Brett Beavers, among others. He applied his uncompromising work ethic to song writing with co-writes four days a week for two years, jotting ideas and titles in a leather notebook, pen on paper.

“I have so much respect for all the writers in this town and I was fortunate, and lucky, and blessed to get to write with some of the very ones I grew up listening to and loving their songs,” Gallaher said.

So, when it was time to record the EP he had an astounding, 150 songs to cull through for the final five cuts. “All of the songs say something about me,” he said. “There isn’t a song on there that doesn’t represent me.”

And like Gallaher, with his debut EP, what you see is what you get.

https://www.bengallaher.com/

 

 

 

DILLON CARMICHAEL – NOVEMBER 8th & 9th

10:00 PM

Critics and fans from across the musical spectrum found much to fall in love with this past fall when Dillon Carmichael unleashed his brilliant debut, ‘Hell On An Angel.’ Produced by Dave Cobb—the studio guru behind country radio powerhouses like Chris Stapleton and Zac Brown Band—the album merged a sonically progressive palette with a tasteful reverence for the past and wrapped it all up with a director’s eye for detail, creating a stunning collection that was at once old-school and modern, traditional and contemporary, timeless and timely. The New York Times compared Carmichael to Randy Travis and said his rich baritone voice “moves with the heft and certainty of a tractor-trailer,” while NPR praised his “deep holler,” and Parade raved that “Carmichael defines pure country.” He landed on Artist To Watch lists from Billboard, Rolling Stone, Taste of Country, Pandora, and more, reached #2 at Country radio’s Most Added chart with his debut radio single, “Dancing Away With My Heart,” electrified festival crowds from CMA Fest to Dierks Bentley’s Seven Peaks, and earned tour dates with Aaron Lewis, Dwight Yoakam, Trace Adkins, The Cadillac Three, and A Thousand Horses among others.

It’s been a whirlwind ride for Carmichael, but the 25-year-old was born for this stuff. Growing up in the small town of Burgin, KY, he absorbed the musical life through osmosis: his father and uncles performed in a Southern Gospel Quartet, his mother sang all over the eastern part of the state, and her brothers (John Michael and Eddie Montgomery) both enjoyed massive chart success. Carmichael fell in love with country legends like Waylon Jennings and Vern Gosdin alongside the rock and roll he heard on the radio as a kid, and by the time he hit his teens, he was writing his own songs and performing live.
“I didn’t at any point consciously decide I was going to be a musician,” says Carmichael. “It just happened naturally. I found a kind of truth in country music that I couldn’t get anywhere else.”
After finishing high school, Carmichael relocated to Nashville, where he earned a publishing deal at the tender age of 18. It was his first experience living in a city, and the discovery of a whole universe of like-minded artists whose lives revolved around making music thrilled him. Carmichael began collaborating with some of country’s most talented writers, but no Nashville resident had a bigger influence than Cobb, whose stewardship helped guide ‘Hell On An Angel’ from a dream to a reality.

“Dave just immediately understood my vision,” says Carmichael. “He helped me zero in on my truth.”

It was that quest for truth that led Carmichael and Cobb to begin their studio sessions with a freshly-penned tune called “What Would Hank Do?” Written just two weeks before recording began, the song harkens back to a question that Carmichael would often ask himself before making major decisions. “He’d shoot you straight like his whiskey / Put pedal steel on everything / Write a song with three chords and the truth,” Carmichael sings. “Make you believe it when he sings / Like he’s talking straight to you / That’s what Hank would do.”
“When I got to Nashville, I wasn’t exactly sure who I was or what I wanted to say with my songs,” explains Carmichael. “I found myself jokingly asking what Hank would do, and I let that guide me because the answer always pointed towards the truth. Recording that song first put me in the zone to be honest for the rest of the album.”

The record opens with the slow-and-steady power of “Natural Disaster,” an Anthony Smith track that feels tailor-made for Carmichael’s “aged liked a fine bourbon” (CMT) vocals. The track sets the stage perfectly for an album ready to face down hard times and pain with equal parts humor and heart, and it reveals Carmichael to be just as gifted at interpreting songs as he is at writing them, delivering his lines here with the hard-earned grit and sage perspective of a veteran twice his age. The driving title track pays tribute to the mothers and sisters and lovers who stand by their men through even the roughest of patches, while the tender waltz of “Might Be A Cowboy” turns the western trope of riding off into the sunset on its head, and the shuffling “Hard On A Hangover” showcases Carmichael’s sparkling lyrical wit on top of the brilliant pedal steel work of Robby Turner (Waylon Jennings, George Jones).

“I actually wrote that song with my mom,” explains Carmichael with a laugh. “She’s not a professional songwriter or anything and we’d never collaborated before, but we were driving in the car and she hit something in the road that made us bounce, and her boyfriend looked at her and said, ‘Baby, you sure are hard on a hangover.’ My mom and I immediately made eye contact in the mirror because we both knew that was a song title, so we went back to the house and wrote the whole thing together.”

It’s a fitting musical partnership for an album that draws so much of its strength from reflecting on the meaning of family and home. From the funky “Country Women” to the soulful “Dixie Again,” ‘Hell On An Angel’ is a celebration of roots, those earthly tethers that both bind and sustain us. The songs capture vivid snapshots of the kind of men and women Carmichael grew up around: hardworking, bighearted folks taking life one day at a time, sticking together through the good times and the bad with honesty, dignity, and faith.
“Love is for making / Kids are for raising / And home is that place in your heart,” he sings on lead single “It’s Simple,” a track Rolling Stone hailed for its “swooning, cinematic sweep.” “Don’t over think it / Don’t complicate it / The secret to life ain’t that hard / It’s simple.”

https://www.dilloncarmichael.com

 

 

 

KYLIE MORGAN – DECEMBER 13th & 14th

10:00 PM

Nashville-based singer/songwriter, Kylie Morgan, began writing songs in her hometown of Newcastle, OK when she was 12 years old. Morgan began making regular trips to Nashville to continue writing, ultimately making Nashville home as soon as she turned 18. With tremendous talent and a unique style, Morgan joined the SMACKSongs team to refine and release her music, under the guidance of GRAMMY Award winning songwriters, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. Morgan just released “Easy To Forget,” which is the first song from her forthcoming EP, produced by McAnally, due at the top of 2019.

http://www.kyliemorgan.com/

 

 

***For more information or to hear more music from the above featured artists, head over to www.kewadin.com and Tomorrow’s Country Today or “click” on the below images:

 

 

 

 

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