Get your Spotify ready – you're gonna want to listen to these tunes ASAP
Sure, Nashville‘s a show that isn’t afraid of a little soapy drama (and it’s one of the reasons we love it!). But underneath all that Hollywood-crafted heartbreak and twangst, there’s a fundamental respect for the Music City credo that “three chords and the truth will set you free.”
When the Nashville cast isn’t crooning for the TV cameras, they’re real-life musicians – and music lovers – themselves. So PEOPLE asked the show’s stars to share a few of their favorite new artists and bands that would click with fans of the show.
Chip Esten (Deacon):
“I just wrote with Chris Janson. That kid is flat-out talented and he is a showman in the truest, oldest sense of the word. There’s this slow waltz song he does, ‘When I’m Holding Her,’ telling the story of meeting his wife. That’s his showstopper.”
Sam Palladio (Gunnar):
“I do a lot of writing with my great friends Striking Matches and they’re about to have a record released in March. Sarah [Zimmermann] is the most amazing guitar player and Justin [Davis] is on par and their voices are incredible.
“Their record is cross-genre – it’s country and rock and slightly poppy – so they aren’t putting themselves in one bracket. It’s a little Ryan Adams in terms of production and sound, it’s a little John Mayer and it’s got the tenderness of maybe the Civil Wars.”
Will Chase (Luke):
“I love Frankie Ballard. He’s got a killer voice and he’s a great guitarist. I’ve seen him perform and there’s something about him that you can tell he’s steeped in country but there’s this blues and rock ‘n’ roll too. And I like his band – they’re all young and hip and cool.”
Clare Bowen (Scarlett):
“My brother Timothy James Bowen has just come to Nashville and I’ve written with him a few times and his EP is out. His music is kind of like mine – people have to decide what it is!
“Then there’s Brandon Robert Young. Some of his stuff is Sun-record-style love songs. It’s like old Elvis and it’s gorgeous. And anybody who is young and listening to country music should listen to Loretta Lynn and Alison Krauss and Vince Gill and Buddy Miller. Listen to where it all came from.”
Chris Carmack (Will):
“The guy I can’t wait for is Chris Stapleton. He’s got an album out in May. I go to his shows here in town and he blows me away. His voice is otherworldly and his control over it … he channels something raw and emotional when he sings and also when he plays the guitar. He’s an incredible musician head to toe.”
Aubrey Peeples (Layla):
“I’m a big blues fanatic – that’s what I do and that’s kind of where country came from. So I’d tell country fans to check out some blues. She’s not really undiscovered but I feel like the country audience doesn’t really listen to Susan Tedeschi and I really like her. She’s a big musical inspiration – a female blues rocker. And T Bone Burnett, who is married to the creator of our show, Callie Khouri, he’s developing a band right now called the Muddy Magnolias. We got to hear a snippet of some of their upcoming songs and they are going to be incredible.”