Ed and I have been loyal listeners to SiriusXM The Highway for a very long time. I hardly ever turn the dial to anything else! The DJ’s on there are fantastic. You have Storme Warren, Jessica Wade, Buzz Brainard, Al Skop, Betsy Spina and Kim Ashley. Those DJs feel like family where we listen to them so much. They all are great to interact with listeners via Twitter too. We tweet them alot and Jessica and Betsy always tweet back and I’ve actually gotten tweets back from Storme, Al and Buzz, I think once.
Every Friday afternoon Buzz does the Music Row Happy Hour (please see the bottom of the post for MRHH reservation info) and we’ve heard it several Fridays as we’ve been out driving. He lets guests come into the studio and he talks to them and tells things going on in Nashville. Last weekend Ed and I decided to getaway for the weekend and Buzz talked us into heading to Nashville for our destination!
The Highway broadcasts from inside Bridgestone Arena (the part with all the blue windows) in Nashville, as well as studios in New York City. Last year during CMAFest we went to a Superfan concert that Parmalee was doing at the studio and it was awesome. After the concert we met and talked with John Marks for a little while. He’s the programmer! Super nice guy AFTER he realized we were only teasing about being upset they weren’t playing some new songs we wanted to hear. We hope this year during CMAFest to get to go to another one, or two or three!
So last weekend we get to Nashville, parking was easy to find and we get inside Bridgestone a little after 4. There was a line of about 20 people waiting to go up to the studio. A real nice older gentleman had us sign a form and then a woman, who we later found out was Producer J came down and told us she’d be taking us up a few at a time.
We were in the last group to go up but that was okay. It worked out for us because we got to stay in there I think longer than the other groups did. They first put us in a “holding room” and Buzz came out and said he was going to the bathroom but would be right back and what do you know he sounded just like he does on the radio. So I guess I was a little star struck with Buzz!!
His bathroom break was over and we got to go in the studio. It was just a relaxed thing, like sitting around talking with friends. We met and chatted with some nice people from Denver and there were some Canadians in there.
While music was playing Buzz told some funny stories, answered any questions and told us a little bit of what goes on in the studio. He recognized who we were once we mentioned us tweeting quite often, especially about a show he does called “On the Horizon”.
It was a lot of fun getting to see where the magic of The Highway happens. We bumped into Producer J getting off the elevator as we were leaving and we asked if that was who she was. When you tweet just to @SXMTheHighway, Producer J is actually the one who responds. We introduced ourselves and she knew us too from our tweets. She took the time out of her busy day and talked to us for probably 20 minutes about artists and music. We told her a little bit about how we got started with this music obsession. She was so friendly, nice and great to talk with. If you are ever in Nashville and you listen to The Highway, go by the studios and see if anything is going on to where you can take a tour. Everyone working there is so friendly!
Last year during CMAFest The Highway had a “Highway Finds” stage and an acoustic “On the Horizon” stage set up in front of Hard Rock. We got there early and stayed there most of the day without moving from our spot. It was one of the best events at CMAFest in my opinion. It was to showcase artists who were basically only being played on The Highway. Such artists as Cole Swindell, Chase Rice, Tyler Farr, Parmalee who were first played on The Highway.
We are hopeful they will have this stage set up again this year during CMAFest. We love listening to Highway Finds and On the Horizon. As Producer J told us we have very strong opinions about what they play. We never get angry though, just give our opinions.
There are a few that come to mind that we would love to see on this stage if they do it this year. Here are a few of our suggestions:
Chris Janson – he was there last year, first time we ever saw him, loved him and have gone to see him a couple times since. Very entertaining.
Rachele Lynae – Saw her on this stage last year but she hasn’t seemed to do much since then and she has a new song being played On the Horizon that is pretty good.
Leah Turner – Take the Keys, her first single last year, got some terrestrial airplay and she has a new EP out now.
Payton Rae – I’m so glad the Highway works to feature new female artists. I am the first to admit I don’t always like the gals as much as the guys, but first time I heard “Gone Girl”, I was blown away. She really rocks it and I hope we see more of girls like her in Nashville.
Dylan Scott – Really like his single that The Highway has been playing and it seems to be doing well on Itunes. We heard a few of his songs while he took over on the countdown for Storme a few weeks ago.
Ryan Kinder – I think I want to see him more than I want to see anyone else. The first time I heard “Kiss Me When I’m Down”, I came right home and bought the single. His voice gives me chills and I would love to see him on the Highway stage to see what some of his other songs sounds like.
Outshyne – The Highway has been playing Moonlight Crush for a few months and finally has moved from On The Horizon to being played regularly. Great melody and vocal harmonies.
Old Dominion – They caused quite the controversy with “Dirt On a Road” on the Highways facebook page and Twitter. I love the song and hey, the controversy definitely got them noticed and the song played, so not a bad thing. Would love to hear some of their other songs.
Tim Dugger – His song on the Highway is about NASCAR and even got a plug from Danica Patrick, what’s more country than that.
Jamie Lynn Spears – Her voice is amazing, puts her more famous sister to shame. We are glad she is country and making her own music and hope more people give her a listen.
Lindsay Ell – A Canadian artist who got good exposure on the recently completed The Band Perry tour.
Erik Dylan – He has to be one of the more active guys on social media, always responds when you tweet him and has gone on and chatted on the Highway’s FB wall. Where the Party At is such a fun and current song and the others we have heard he has got a great sound and lyrical sensibility.
Adam Craig Band – Already knew him for his songwriting for a Parmalee song, but glad to hear him cut his own music. Ed wasn’t crazy about at first, but the more we hear it, the more we like “Little Bit More of You”.
Glen Templeton – Who doesn’t love the opening lyric “Baby Got Her Ball Cap On….” There is something about this song that just makes you want to turn the radio up and sing at the top of your lungs. We saw Glen about 3 years ago and thought he was really good then but after that didn’t hear much out of him until the Highway started playing “Ball Cap”.
Clare Dunn – We saw Clare in Indy opening up for Parmalee last November and we liked her so much we bought her EP. Wow, were we happy when we heard, just recently, the Highway playing “Get Out”.
John King Band – love “Tonight, Tonight” and think it would be great to hear more from them during CMAFest.
lastly, Parmalee – if not for The Highway, where would they be? Maybe the same place they are now BUT I still think they owe a lot of their success to the Highway so they should play again on this stage just because!
These are just a few of the ones we would like to see on the Highway Finds/On the Horizon stage and there may be a few more that we have forgotten. No matter who is there playing we will definitely be there listening!
If you don’t have SiriusXM The Highway, you need to get a subscription. If you do have it then listen, listen, listen to all the greatest new music, and a lot of it you won’t hear anywhere else!
***** SUMMER 2016 Update *****
Currently, Music Row Happy Hour is at Margaritaville from 4-7 CT on Fridays, no reservation needed, open to everyone, stop in and say hi to Buzz and they also have guests occasionally.
REVISED – 1/27/2015 – MUSIC ROW HAPPY HOUR RESERVATIONS
So many of you end up here to get information about visiting the studio and seeing Buzz Brainard and Producer J on Friday afternoons for the Music Row Happy Hour. We have been twice now and is always fun (and you never know who might be there), so here is some info on reservations/hopeful line from Producer J herself.
Additional MRHH Info April, 2015