Trying to get all of Logan Mize’s backstory straight is a little bit like herding cats. But it makes for some great songwriting material.
It involves stories about him living in his Suburban, Justin Timberlake being a fan, his great uncle discovering Buck Owens back in Bakersfield, selling out 2,000-seat venues with no record label behind him, driving a dump truck, wooing his now wife with sushi and a bucket of chicken wings, filming a commercial with Hayden Panettiere, getting a smile and a nod from Merle Haggard during a performance and being named the tourism ambassador by the Governor of the state of Kansas.
All true stories. And there are more where those came from.
There was that show he booked before any of his records came out. He and his band sold out a 600-person capacity club. “We tried out all the songs,” Mize remembers. “They sold out of beer three times that night and they didn’t pay us much of anything because I didn’t even know you had contracts for that sort of thing. That was my crash course in touring and playing clubs. All my old friends, teachers, all the people who laughed at me for going to Nashville — all of a sudden, we held their attention. For three hours. That night I was like ‘this might actually work.’”
But before any of the musical momentum, a young Mize would sing Elton John songs on a karaoke machine in his bedroom, but refused to sing in front of anyone. But after a Kenny Chesney concert in Wichita, the course of this 16-year-old kid’s life was forever changed.
“I have gone through waves of what I want to happen with my career,” Mize says. “Sometimes I forget about the 16-year-old kid who wanted to be Kenny Chesney. But ultimately at the end of the day I am still that kid sitting in the nose-bleed section seeing all the semis parked out front of the arena. I wish I could say I’m just happy to be in the game, but that’s not true. If we aren’t going to shoot for the biggest outcome possible, why do anything?”
That’s precisely why Logan Mize hasn’t let any of the pitfalls that have been sprinkled throughout his musical journey slow him down. And why his new record, Come Back Road, is his best one to date. He has endured bands breaking up. Drummers moving away. Recording projects with big names going unfinished. He’s been homeless, he’s been turned down multiple times up and down Music Row, and he’s come out on top with a project chock full of great songs that is already generating more great stories to add to the story that is his life.
“This record has modern feels to it, but sounds a bit more Midwestern,” he said. “There are a lot of ethereal sounds that represent that open prairie to me. It’s more of a heartland record than a southern record. It’s a record I am super proud of.”
And if the success of the record’s first single, It Ain’t Always Pretty is any indication, this album is poised to be his biggest one yet. After being played on the nationally syndicated morning radio show, The Bobby Bones Show, the song catapulted to #2 on the iTunes chart and has been streamed more than 20 million times on Spotify.
Show host Bobby Bones told his massive audience after playing the song, “That’s a jam, dude! I get chill bumps from that song. That is a Hit. I’ve never even met the guy. I just think it’s the jam. I have handed every record label a hit! If you don’t sign this guy and put him on the radio – I quit!”
Suddenly, all those years of sleeping on people’s floors and driving 6-hour round trips to Nashville to maybe get a chance to play at The Bluebird, seem to begin paying off.
“I knew a fiddle player who had moved to Nashville and he told me if I ever came to town I could stay with him,” Mize remembers. “One day I loaded up my truck and had just enough gas to get to Nashville and $60 left over. I got into town about 3 a.m. and drove to his apartment. His light was on so I pounded on the glass and he let me in. I slept on the floor in his laundry room for a while.”
Before music would pay the bills, Mize worked in excavating, drove a dump truck, mowed grass, drove a party bus, worked security at Coyote Ugly, delivered furniture and weed whacked ditches.
But then one day he started a band that couldn’t keep a rehearsal space because there was no money to pay the rent. Not long after that was the house party at the rental he was living in where someone burned down the barn while he was on a beer run. But during this time, he met a girl named Jill Martin, who would become his wife, he got a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog, started selling out venues, and in 2016 embarked on a social media-guided acoustic concert trek across the country in his 1989 station wagon he coined “Glenn.” A road trip he says will go down as quite possibly the most fun he’s had in his music career.
“As a 32-year-old with a wife and two kids, the typical thing would be for me to go get a job, but I just want to do my job from a sold-out stadium stage. What I really want to do is entertain people. Make them smile and enjoy themselves.”
Santa Barbara born and now Nashville based trio Fairground Saints create their warm and wistful sound by playing off the delicate contradictions at the heart oftheir music. Their unique California country sound, layered three part harmonies and solid musicianship is impressive beyond their years. With each member sharing songwriting duties, Mason Van Valin and Elijah Edwards impart a starkly literate, sometimes-gritty sense of introspection informed by artists like Bob Dylan and Jim Messina, while their fellow vocalist Megan McAllister lends a soulful vulnerability and gutsy intimacy inspired by everyone from Shania Twain to Stevie Nicks. “We each bring in our own different elements, but what connects us is the level of honesty that we go for in our songs,” says McAllister. And in achieving that honesty, Fairground Saints infuse their music with intense emotional power. “All of us in the band believe in being as real as possible with our music, and not shying away from wherever a song is trying to take us,” Van Valin says. Fairground Saints’ easy chemistry and a shared sensibility feels beamed in from the golden era of singer-songwriters.
When North met South in 2014, Spencer Bartoletti and Presley Tucker became the creative core of REVERIE LANE.
Like some of the greatest country stories, Spencer and Presley’s began in a bar. The earliest idea of forming the band began when Presley and Spencer met in a downtown Nashville dive, which is now the George Jones museum. Both appreciating the other’s singing and songwriting talent, they decided to write together. Writing together became singing, and singing together led to forming their own group. They assembled a collection of players around them and Reverie Lane was complete.
Through the faith of Ginny Johnson, the two ladies were previously signed to Wolftracks Music Publishing company alongside the great, late Bill Ham. Their equal belief in them has led to Spencer and Presley writing with some of Nashville’s foremost songwriters including Matraca Berg, Marcus Hummon, Leslie Satcher, Rob Crosby, Brad Crisler, Lance Carpenter, Keesy Timmer and many more.
In their most recent venture, they have signed with Dan Hodge’s Music Publishing.
REVERIE LANE is now ready to introduce themselves and their music to the world. Incidentally, Presley Tucker is following in the footsteps of her mother, Tanya Tucker.