Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog we are going to discuss a band that is on the verge of becoming a huge force in the country music scene. I recently discovered this band on twitter after they followed me (thank you twitter!!!). Fronted by the incredibly unique vocalist Morgan Leigh Boberg, ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ has already performed all over the United States , and in doing so have obtained a fiercely loyal fanbase. One of the band’s greatest strengths is certainly Morgan’s outstanding vocals, which contain the perfect blend of country and pop tones. Because of this perfect blend of tones from both genres of music, ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ will certainly become a huge radio friendly band, and I anticipate them breaking out into the mainstream country music scene very soon. Right now is the time in which great bands with phenomenal lead singers are taking over the airwaves both in country and pop music. However, what makes certain bands rise above the rest is their ability to appeal to both genres. So if you’ve never heard of this amazing band then please read on, because you will certainly hear A LOT from them in the years to come.
Morgan Leigh has quite an impressive catalog of cover and original songs that she has uploaded onto her YouTube account. When I listened to Morgan’s covers, I was very impressed by them because these covers serve as a small gauge of just what she is capable of as an entertainer. Morgan’s first video on her channel is a cover of Colbie Callait’s hit track ‘I Never Told You’ Morgan Leigh “I Never Told You” . I really enjoyed this cover because Morgan was really able to tap into the emotion behind the lyrics of the song, and convey these emotions through her performance. Although this song is technically considered a Pop song, it does contained many country undertones and Morgan further brings out these undertones though her performance. I really loved how she was able to add her own flair to the song, while also keeping the aspects of the songs that fans love. Another cover that I really loved, was Morgan’s rendition of ‘Many the Miles’ by Sara Bareilles Many the Miles-Sara Bareilles(Cover by Morgan Leigh) – YouTube. I really loved that this track allowed Morgan to show an R&B element to her voice, while still giving her license to keep her country roots intact. In this performance, Morgan was also able to have fun with the notes within the song, truly allowing her personality to shine through. Although Colbie Callait and Sara Bareilles are very difficult vocalists to compete with, I found that Morgan did a very good job not only covering these songs, but also adding her own unique artistry to these tracks.
Not only has Morgan Leigh covered numerous amazing songs, but she has also released several original songs that further prove that this artist and her band are ready to find a permanent spot on your favorite playlists. One of Morgan’s original songs (which was uploaded on YouTube on June 23rd, 2011),is entitled ‘Runaway Love’ “Runaway Love” Live original by Morgan Leigh, and tells the story of a young girl in search of love. This young girl never felt truly loved by her parents, so she sought love in a relationship. Unfortunately, the relationship did not end the way the girl anticipated, and as a result, her search for love continued. This song is not only emotionally charged, but it also has a very old country soulful tone, which is often a difficult style for many vocalists to pull off. Morgan’s performance of this song is so honest that it causes the listener to feel every word, and share the pain that the girl in the song feels. Another one of Morgan’s songs, which is entitled ‘Foolish’ “Foolish” by The Morgan Leigh Band (original) , is definitely one of my favorite songs that she has uploaded on YouTube. The song is about a girl in a relationship with an unfaithful guy. She tries to leave him, but when she tries to do so he tells her that he loves her to try to keep her in the relationship. This hot and cold type of relationship is a common theme in numerous songs, because it is a problem that many people can relate too. ‘Foolish’ was co-written by Morgan and as such, certainly shows she has cracked the secret of successful songwriting, which is writing music that is universally relatable. I really love the new country meets old country feel that this song has, I can definitely see this song on the radio. After listening to Morgan’s original songs, I am very excited to see how she will grow as a writer. As Morgan continues to grow within her artistry, her songs will only become better, and more infectious.
Now that you know how amazing Morgan’s music is, please allow me to tell you more about her. Morgan Leigh Boberg (the mastermind behind ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’) is a singer/songwriter from Southern California. She has performed and excelled in numerous singing competitions such as: IPOP, Texaco Country Showdown (in Arizona), Artist to Watch of 2013, etc. Morgan is also well known for her participation in the 12th Season of the acclaimed show ‘American Idol’. During her run on ‘American Idol’, Morgan had to pass several preliminary auditions, in order to audition in front of the final panel of esteemed judges, which included: Grammy Award winner/superstar Mariah Carey, multiple award winner/country star Keith Urban, hip-hop/pop star Nicki Minaj, and bassist/record producer/TV personality Randy Jackson. Morgan was able to make it to Hollywood Week, but was eliminated at the end of Hollywood Week, when the contestants were trimmed to the Top 40 contestants. After American Idol, Morgan and her band continued to perform, and soon built up the dedicated fan base they have now. In fact, the band’s fans are so supportive, that they helped ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ win a contest that offered up and coming bands the opportunity to open for legendary rock star Pat Benatar (the vocalist behind hits such as ‘Hit me with your best shot’), and Loverboy (a successful Canadian rock band that was largely successful in the 80s). The band released their debut EP ‘Sugar’ in 2011 with the assistance of Grammy nominated writer Jamie O’Neal and well known producer Rodney Good. The band is currently in production of their new full studio album (which was funded through a Kickstarter account by fans).
As you can see, this is certainly a band to keep an eye on (or two…trust me they’re worth it). With an exceptionally unique vocalist, a greatly devoted fanbase, and the ears of Nashville industry professionals, I see no reason as to why ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’ will not become a worldwide phenomenon. So if you haven’t discovered the many reasons as to why this band is so awesome, you definitely need to check out their YouTube videos. Also keep an eye out for the band’s future projects, trust me they are going places fast…don’t get left behind.
Keep in touch with ‘The Morgan Leigh Band’:
Facebook: Morgan Leigh
Website: The Morgan Leigh Band
Hello people of the Internet!!! Last Thursday (January 16th, 2014), I had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing band Rivers Monroe (cue the clapping….ok let’s continue!). I already knew that these guys were phenomenally gifted musicians, but my experience interviewing them led me to find out that they are also really funny, cool guys. The band was very enthusiastic to share details about their music, memories of past tours, and future dreams with all of their fans. So, if you’ve just joined the “Rivers Monroe Family” (a term the guys use to describe their unwavering supportive fans), or if you’ve known about these guys for years, please allow me to help you become better acquainted with Mat, Mike, Doc, Kirby, and Dan, the masterminds behind music’s newest sensation. Also, remember to pick up their album, which drops digitally on February 18th, 2014.
Celinda: I noticed that you guys are signed to a label now, so that’s exciting right!? How did that happen?
Rivers Monroe: A girl named Jenny that was a big fan of our band,worked at a jewelry store in Philadelphia, and Pat (O’Connor, Rivers Monroe’s manager) walked into the store to buy his wife a necklace for their anniversary, and he mentioned something about working in the music industry. So Jenny said “you gotta check out this band Rivers Monroe, they’re really awesome”. So when he came back into the store to pick up the necklace, she reiterated the fact, and I guess after that he did check us out. So Jenny gave us Pat’s number, and we reached out to him at that point, and that’s how everything got started. That’s the story of how we got our manager, but as far as how we got a deal, it’s really been a lot of hard work over the past few years. We’ve just been able to gain enough traction to release the album through the label. We’ve really just tried to hit the social media as much as possible, and we try to reach out to a lot of people who we think might be interested in checking out our music.
Celinda: Yeah they say that it takes 10 years to be an overnight sensation, so I think that you guys are a little ahead of the curve.
Rivers Monroe: Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. We’ve heard before that if you were locked in a jail cell, and you had a very dull spoon, and you basically dug your way out through the wall with the spoon, that’s basically what it’s like. There’s no quick way from point A to point B, you just gotta chip away little pieces at a time, and if you’re patient enough then you’ll get there.
Celinda: Now I know that your new album is going to be released on February 18th through The Phosphorylative Entertainment Group, Inc. (with digital distribution through Universal Music Group), but is that just a digital release or will it be in stores as well?
Rivers Monroe: I think we’re really going to try to push the digital, because everything is digital. I mean we might do some physical copies that we can sell at the shows, and we may get some in stores.
Celinda: What’s the theme of the album?
Rivers Monroe: Lots of colors! I don’t know if there’s a general theme, we would say we’ve just kinda been writing about what we’ve been going through the last couple of years, you know relationships, being on the road, struggling, the good and bad of life.
Celinda: Awesome, so what’s your favorite track on the album?
Rivers Monroe: Moments is a good one. We love playing ‘Moments’ live. But honestly when you choose, it’s kinda like saying which one of your children you love the most. It’s like you don’t wanna choose, because you know one of them is a brat, and one’s an honor role student, and you know one of them is just definitely going to make enough money for you to retire on them.
Rivers Monroe: Celinda I have a question for you, what’s your favorite song?
Celinda: I’m glad you asked that, no body mentioned my favorite song.My favorite is ‘Chasing Sunsets’. I was hoping somebody would say that one. I guess that’s just the child left alone in the dark, that you’re like “oh yeah you’re here too!”
Rivers Monroe: That’s a good one. We love that song, the intro is really cool. You know we spent like a month writing the music for that song, and we went back and forth hating each other every night, but to actually write the lyrics, it only took like under an hour. Yeah, but we still hate each other! We wrote that song when we had just gotten off tour, so we had a lot to write. That song is definitely all about the first east coast tour that we did, which was a very cool experience.
Celinda: I saw on your Facebook page that there are a lot of really cool rock bands that you guys look up to. Are there any bands or artists that influence you that may be surprising to your fans?
Rivers Monroe: I would say Prince for Mat Rivers. I think people would be surprised at this, but a big influence for Mike is Barbara Streisand. Kirby what do you got man? Well what I’m listening to right now, is Parachute, Coldplay, The Script, anything with the world “the” in front of it could possibly be on my iPod right now. But I’m definitely listening to a lot of slower songs, getting ideas for the next album. I’ll then pitch all of the ideas to the band, they’ll say that they all suck except for one, and we’ll proceed from there, and I’ll be great. Michael Jackson is another surprising influence on our music. Outside of the rock genre I would probably say Eminem.
Celinda: How have you evolved musically throughout this whole process?
Rivers Monroe: Well we’ve definitely become better musicians than when we first started. We practice a lot more, and we’re a lot more focused. Focus is huge because when you’re not out on the road all of the time doing shows, sometimes when you’re at home, you can lose focus because there’s so much other stuff going on in your life. If you can stay focused every day, and keep practicing as a band, then you get better. Now that we’re signed and we don’t have day job, all we have to worry about is making music, and going on tour. I think we’ve really learned a lot from each other as far as songwriting, and writing as a unit. We know who has strengths where, and we know each other so well that we’ve become a family of brothers.
Celinda: You guys have opened on tour for a lot of bands such as Paramore, Fun, All Time Low, Relient K, etc., are there any bands or artists that you’d love to go on a dream tour with?
Rivers Monroe: I think Jimmy Eat World would be awesome and maybe 30 Seconds to Mars. I would also say Anberlin; I’m a huge fan of them.
Rivers Monroe: Let me ask you this though, if we were gonna go on tour with any band, what band would you match us up to go with? Counter Question!
Celinda: Let’s see, well I know that you’ve already opened for them, but selfishly I would love for you to go on tour with Paramore, just because I love them. This is a really obvious answer but Fall Out Boy would be cool. I do have one that may not be so obvious; I would really like you to go on tour with Switchfoot.
Rivers Monroe: Yeah, I will tell you one thing though, if we could go on tour for any band we’ve played for, it would be All Time Low. We got to play a really cool show with them a couple of months ago, and they were awesome. They were literally the nicest, coolest guys.
Celinda: Is there anybody that’s already dead, that if they were alive, you guys would like to tour with?
Rivers Monroe: The Beatles and I would say Michael Jackson as well.
Celinda: Personally I see a lot of the same characteristics in you as successful bands such as; Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds to Mars, and We The Kings, musically is that the direction you would like to go in eventually?
Rivers Monroe: Yeah, definitely! All of those bands that you mentioned are bands that we listen to, and it’s not like we try to write music that sounds exactly like them, but that’s the kind of music that we listen to, so naturally we write music that sounds like that.
Celinda: Ok, here’s a fun question. What’s your favorite memory of past tours you’ve been on?
Rivers Monroe: I think the first stop we had on the first tour was like one of those things were you’re out of your element, and you’ve slept on a bus all night long, and you wake up in a funk, and you’re like “Oh my god where are we?”. It’s hard to explain it, but it’s like a good and unfamiliar feeling. We’ve had a lot of really great experiences, I mean every place that we went was cool and unique in its’ own way, because we were in so many different towns, and the culture in those towns is very different. We had a really good time in Nashville, and I think one of the reasons for that was because we actually stayed there a little bit longer than some of the other places, so we were able to kind of get out and explore the town a little bit. Here in the northeast when you go out they have cover bands that will play Top 40 music, but down there, it’s all country, and they all had on their cowboy hats and boots so that was cool. That was definitely one of the more fun experiences on tour. Everywhere we went into, everyone was so nice. Even the bad stuff that happens when you’re on tour is good stuff, because you can look back and laugh. One time we ran out of gas, and we were like “did we seriously just run out of gas?”, but looking back on it now, it’s pretty funny.
Celinda: If you had a crystal ball, where would you see Rivers Monroe in 10 years?
Rivers Monroe: Wow 10 years, that’s a long time. I would like to say that we’re playing on Top 40 radio stations, we’re doing national tours, and we’re playing with some of the bands that we previously spoke about. Maybe we could have one or two “Best Of” albums. We hope for that, but at the same time we see that happening, because we know how hard all of us have worked to be successful, and we know that we’re gonna do it. I think a lot of bands don’t see the bigger picture, and we want to be very successful, to just write and record, and just reach out with our music to as many people as we can.
Rivers Monroe: Let me ask you a question, where do you see Rivers Monroe in 10 years?
Celinda: I see you guys as a really huge band being played all over the radio, with shelves and shelves of Grammys and all of those awards. I see a lot of supermodels in your future. I just see a lot of success for you guys, and I’m excited. Honestly I don’t see a reason why in 10 years, you guys aren’t a household name. When I first heard your music, I downloaded it, and have had it constantly on repeat. I actually played your songs for my dad who was a DJ in the 80s and he played with MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and a lot of other acts that were popular in the 80s, and when he heard your music, he said that if he was still on the radio your music would definitely be the kind of stuff he would put on rotation.
Rivers Monroe: That really means a lot! It’s really cool to get respect from an older crowd that might be into other genres. I think we definitely are influenced by a lot of classic rock, even though you may not hear it in our music.
Celinda: I can definitely hear in your music how dedicated and meticulous you are with your work. I think when you listen to different artists; you can tell how dedicated and involved they are in the process, just by the sounds that they come up with, how each track differs, and how they grow over time. Especially with a band like you guys, where each member is playing an instrument or lending vocals, you can predict the ones who are going to make it, and the ones who are just around for now.
Rivers Monroe: We agree. There’s a lot more to it when it comes to songwriting, than just getting together in a room and playing a lot of loud music for an hour a week. I mean we do that a lot, but there’s also a lot of different songwriting, producing, and recording that we do on our own. The way that we put different tones together, I don’t think we’ve ever written two songs the same way. You definitely have to be able to write in different ways in order to be a successful band.
Celinda: I think that this mentality is something that sets you guys apart from other established bands, and some bands that are up and coming. You can hear differences between each of the tracks on your album, and I think that when someone can buy a band’s full album and listen to it from start to finish without feeling like they’re listening to the same track over and over, then that’s what gives you staying power.
Rivers Monroe: We definitely appreciate you saying that! That was actually one of the things that I thought was really cool when I read your original write-up, the fact that you said that you could listen to the album from start to finish. I think that it really shows how much effort we put into the production and songwriting. As far as the production and stuff goes, Mat Rivers has really gotten good at producing and recording at home. Because of this, when we write songs we don’t just go and practice them, we get the guys together, record some stuff, and Mat will add a lot to make the music different, and this extra effort really sets us apart.
Celinda: Is there anything else you’d like to add for your fans, or for people who are just discovering your music?
Rivers Monroe: We would encourage fans to reach out to us, because we love to take time for fans and people who want to be a part of what we’re doing. First and foremost, we appreciate everyone who supports our music, because the fans and family are the basis of any band. Anyone who knows us knows that we’re positive guys, and you have to surround yourself with positive people, because there are so many negative people out there who are jealous of what you’re doing, or are just haters. The crazy thing about some bands is that some of them aren’t super social, and we’ve different, we’re all really outgoing and we just love talking to people. It’s all about being able to interact with your fans, and we take a lot of pride in reaching out to people and making them feel like they’re a part of our breaking out, because they are a part of it.
Celinda: Yeah, just speaking to you guys for a little while now, I can tell that you’re all really nice guys. I really appreciate that you took an interest in the write-up I posted about you, and I think that this shows that you are really nice guys who care about their fans. I definitely see you guys becoming a huge, widely known band, and I’m just excited that I was able to talk to you just when everything is about to change for your band. I’m really excited for you guys!
Rivers Monroe: Yeah we’re really excited too, because we feel that this is finally our time to really shine. This is just the start of everything, so we’re really excited to drop the album, and get it out to as many people as possible.
Celinda: I think that this is all of the questions that I have for you guys, but thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I’m really excited that I had the opportunity to meet you guys. Are there any last minute things you guys want to add?
Rivers Monroe: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! We don’t have anything else to add, we just hope that everyone loves the album, and continues to support our future projects.
Here are the links to stay in touch with Rivers Monroe, and PLEASE remember that their album drops digitally on February 18th, 2014:
Website: Rivers Monroe
Facebook: Rivers Monroe | Facebook
YouTube: RIVERS MONROE – YouTube
* All photos and information used in this blog belong to Rivers Monroe, Mat Rivers, Mike Monroe, Doc, Kirby, Dan, any and all managers, labels, lawyers, and publicists involved with Rivers Monroe, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, bistroonbridge.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
Hello people of the internet! For this ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, I am going to introduce you to a group that I have recently become obsessed with. I first heard of them, when they started following me on Twitter, so I decided to listen to their YouTube covers and original music. I have to say that my first impression of them was surprise…as to why I hadn’t ever heard of them before! Luckily, after reading this blog, I know that you’ll check them out and became as obsessed with them as I am ( you’re welcome). If you like country super groups such as Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, then you’ll love Ashton Lane. They are a country group from Scotland, which consists of lead singer Ester O’Connor, her brother, and her husband. I wasn’t able to find too much more biographical information about them however; I will tell you what I think of their music, and their overall sound as a group. Shall we begin? Great, let’s go!
Upon clicking on Ashton Lane’s YouTube page, I decided to listen to their cover of Rascal Flatts hit song ‘Come Wake Me Up’ Come Wake Me Up Rascal Flatts- Rascal Flatts Come Wake Me Up ASHTON LANE COVER – YouTube, because honestly I thought that if they could do a good job on this cover, then I would have a good idea of their vocal talents. I used this song as a way to measure how good the group is, because Gary LeVox (the guy who usually sings the lead vocals in Rascal Flatts’ songs) is a phenomenal vocalist, so I thought that if Ester O’Connor could handle the same notes, then that would show us how good the band is. After I listened to their take on the hit track, I decided that this group is definitely the real deal. First of all, O’Connor has a beautiful voice. Not only is her voice technically correct, but she is also able to perfectly express the emotions within the songs she sings. The group’s harmonies were also very tight (which honestly can be a very difficult task to master), and shows how meticulous and serious the group is about their craft. The next cover song I listened too was the group’s cover of Katy Perry’s hit ‘Wide Awake’ Wide Awake- Katy Perry Wide Awake- Wide Awake Katy Perry (ASHTON LANE KITCHEN SESSIONS) – YouTube. Now I know that you’re probably wondering why I listened to this cover if Ashton Lane is a country group (just stay with me, I promise I’ll connect the importance of this cover back to the group’s primary genre), well the answer is simple…I wanted to see the group’s emotion depth. Now I know that I just raved about the group’s lead singer’s ability to capture emotion in her vocal delivery however, I wanted to see if she could really tap into the vulnerability that Katy Perry shows in the song. O’Connor definitely demonstrated that she is not afraid to completely commit to the emotional content of a track, which is a trait that is absolutely necessary in country music (see, I told you that I would connect this cover back to the group’s primary genre). The final cover video that I listened to was the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s infectious track ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – YouTube, (on a side not, I only looked at three cover videos, for the purpose of reviewing the group’s musical abilities…later on I listened to all of the group’s videos and my obsession with them only grew J). My reasoning for choosing this cover, is that I wanted to see if they could cover a fun song. At this point I knew that Ashton Lane could make me cry, and could make me look deep within myself for the answers to life’s problems however, I wanted to see if the group could make me want to dance…as excepted, they did not disappoint! The group’s execution of this sassy tune showed me that they can certainly handle producing a good quality mainstream country hit.
Now that I knew that Ashton Lane could put a cool spin on an already popular song, I was curious as to whether they could create original music that would have the same effect. Luckily, the group has a link on their videos which allows you to receive 7 free songs from their album ‘Magic in the Air’. Upon listening to three of these songs, I realized that there is no reason why this group is not already famous. Their original material is honestly very good, and I found myself humming along to the catchy tracks within a few rotations of the songs. The group has their full album available for purchase on ITunes, as well as another album entitled ‘Other Side’, and several singles. I would suggest purchasing all of the music that Ashton Lane has put out, because you will quickly become OBSESSED with them.
When I first decided to listen to Ashton Lane’s YouTube videos, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I hoped that I would find a good emerging country band that I could introduce to all of you, and that would be that. After listening to their music, I came to the conclusion that I had no idea what I had stumbled upon. I can say with a great deal of confidence that Ashton Lane will soon become a household name. I can definitely picture hearing their music on mainstream and country radio, as well as seeing them on every major award show…yea they are just that AMAZING! This group certainly showed me that they deserve to be in the fore front of everyone’s mind, and if a group can perform this amazingly with live vocals and two guitars, can you imagine what they can do with a full band and a lot of production behind them!? I personally cannot wait for Ashton Lane to become the next country super group. Trust me, the question is not a matter of IF the group will become a worldwide phenomenon, but rather WHEN this will happen. The group currently (as of December 17, 2013) has 45,659 Twitter followers, 10,487 likes on Facebook, and 7,225 subscribers on YouTube. My guess is they will become inescapable very soon, and you can say that you knew them when they were still music’s most well kept secret.
Here are some links so you can keep up with the group’s career J:
Facebook: Ashton Lane
YouTube: Ashton Lane – YouTube
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to Ashton Lane, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, countryschatter.com, eventim.co.uk, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.