The future of Country Music looks like it is going to be ah-MAZE-ing! There are so many great new artists out right now, and my favorite of them all is Caylee Hammack. The first time I had ever heard of Caylee was when we were split-second introduced at a St. Jude event in Memphis in January of 2019. A guy from her record label (Capitol Records) quickly introduced us, gave me a digital download card with a handful of songs on it, and told me to check it out. I slipped it in my purse and frankly, I forgot about it.
A couple of weeks later, I was at iHeart meetings in Nashville and we were taken to The Stage for a showcase of a handful of artists. Caylee came in and performed a few songs for us and I was INSTANTLY a fan! Wow! Her voice, her songs, the way she commanded the stage...everything about her screamed SUPER FREAKIN' STAR. And this was a tough crowd, mind you. I can't imagine how scary it would be for a newly-signed artist to take the stage in front of anybody, let alone 50 or so passionate-yet-jaded radio people who have been to a million concerts, seen a million acts, and are generally hard to impress. But she knocked the socks off of every single one of us that night. We were still talking about her commanding performance many days later. She owned us, totally had us in the palm of her hand. Amazing!
A few months later, her record label brought her to the radio station on her radio tour- it is pretty common for labels to take new artists around the Country and introduce them to radio. I was so excited for her to come by. I had just found that digital download card in my purse a few days prior to her visit and familiarized myself with her recorded music. As much as I was looking forward to hearing her perform some of those great songs, I was REALLY looking forward to hearing her perform them with just an acoustic guitar, which was a complete 180 from that performance at The Stage a few months back where her and her band blew everyone's face off. I love hearing artists stripped down like that because you can really hear them, and she did not disappoint. Her voice is so beautiful, so pure, and at times might slightly remind you of a young Dolly Parton, which is glorious. She colorfully told the story behind the songs that she played for us that day, and I quickly learned that not only is she incredibly talented and beautiful, but she is HILARIOUS as well.
Not long after that, Caylee played Speed Street in Uptown Charlotte on Coke 600 weekend. It was crazy hot outside, she was the first artist to go on stage on a long day, and between the heat and being first, there were not a lot of people there yet... which was a shame, because Caylee put 110% into that performance and may as well have been playing to a sold out stadium of 50,000 people. Anyone who wasn't there missed out BIG TIME. Later in the year, I saw her play again at the Barbecue Festival in Lexington, NC, in front of tens of thousands of people, and it was another stunning performance. At this point I was starting to feel like a stalker haha, but seriously, she is THAT amazing that any chance I had to see her perform, I went!
2020 was going to be a huge year for Caylee, as she was all set to go out on tour with Reba earlier in the year and was slated as the opening act on Luke Bryan's summer tour, but unfortunately, the pandemic got in the way and postponed plans. I can only imagine how disappointed Caylee must've been. As a fan, I was disappointed for her! But Caylee has been using the time at home wisely to finish up her debut album and has been connecting with fans on social media. She is on social media a LOT, and every single one of her posts are always entertaining. If you are not following her, you NEED to be! And as for those tours, it looks like they are going to happen in 2021, so that's awesome! But the best news of all is that her debut album If It Wasn't For You is coming out a week from Friday, August 14th. I already have it pre-ordered on iTunes, and I think you should do the same!
Caylee was nice enough to call today to talk about the album, recording her song "Redhead" with Reba and the Don Williams classic "Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good" with Alan Jackson, plus she has a song on the album with her friends Tenille Townes and Ashley McBryde that we chatted about... and we even had some other fun stuff to talk about too, like taking Trisha Yearwood sweaty biscuits! Here is our chat in it's entirety. Enjoy, and be sure to get that album next week!
Here is a fun picture of Caylee and I at the Barbecue Festival in Lexington, NC last October