Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss a trio that is quickly making their way to becoming country music superstars. Please allow me to ask y’all a question. When you think of Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, and The Band Perry what comes to mind? Talent, great artistry, amazing vocals, all around awesomeness? Well be prepared to add another INCREDIBLE trio to that list very soon. People of the internet please allow me to introduce Restless Road.
Restless Road began their journey as contestants on season 3 of the X Factor USA. The three original members: Zach Beeken, Colton Pack, and Andrew Scholz originally auditioned as solo artists, but eventually were combined as a group and mentored by Simon Cowell. As they began to compete as a group, Restless Road made it into the ‘Four Chair Challenge’ portion of the competition (which was a section in which the acts competed, and their mentors choose four acts to take into the live shows portion of the show). During the ‘Four Chair Challenge’ of the competition, Restless Road dazzled the judges with their rendition of Keith Urban’s hit ‘Somebody Like You’. This well executed performance propelled them to the live shows. In the live shows, the trio showed off their advanced level of artistry by performing a country version of Katy Perry’s hit track ‘Roar’. Restless Road advanced to the top 12, and treated their fans to their rendition of the beloved song ‘Easy’ by the Commodores (in honor of ‘Motown’ week). Unfortunately due to a graphics error that nullified the votes, Restless Road was forced to sing a different song in the re-vote show. They stayed true to their country roots by choosing the track ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’ by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. The next show had an ’80’s’ theme, so Restless Road decided to incorporate their country roots into the performance by selecting country superstar Blake Shelton version of the 1984 hit ‘Footloose’ ( originally performed by Kenny Loggins, who sang the song for the 1980s classic musical ‘Footloose’). The next challenge the trio took on was ‘British Invasion’ night. Restless Road room on this challenge like pros, and performed a country rendition of Coldplay’s mega hit ‘Fix You’. This choice ended up being a crowd favorite, and definitely proved that Restless Road can handle emotional ballads. Next up was ‘Big Band’ night, in which the trio covered Rascal Flatts’ version of the 1991 Tom Cochrane hit, “Life Is a Highway”. The next competition night was ‘Divas/Unplugged’ night, and the trios choose to perform ‘Red’ by Taylor Swift as their “diva” song. Their ‘unplugged’ song was ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii (Restless Road’s version of this track reached #1 on the iTunes country chart). After conquering every test the show threw at them, Restless Roads entered the semi finals, where they performed ‘That’s My Kind of Night’ by Luke Bryan (which the public chose), and ‘Wanted’ by Hunter Hayes (which the trio chose). Unfortunately Restless Road was eliminated the next night and finished 4th in the competition (but considering all of the thousands of people they had to beat out, and the fact that they were not a trio before the competition, finishing 4th is pretty impressive!).
On February 25th, 2014, Restless Road uploaded their first YouTube video since Colton’s departure. The video was a cover of Keith Urban’s hit song ‘Cop Car’ (Restless Road Cop Car), off of his latest album ‘Fuse’. I really enjoyed this cover because it allowed fans to see how much Zach and Andrew grew vocally, since there time on The X Factor ended. I also liked that they didn’t perform any harmonies on this track, because you were really able to hear how strong their vocals are individually, and this excited me for how amazing they will now sound together. All in all, they performed an excellent rendition of a very difficult song (because Keith Urban is AMAZING!), and thus proved that they are ready to compete in mainstream country music. On May 28th, 2014 Restless Road uploaded their version of One Direction’s latest hit ‘You & I'(Restless Road You & I), with new group member Jared Keim. I have to say that this is definitely one of my favorite Restless Road covers ever, because it really demonstrates how far the trio has come. In this song all 3 guys proved that they are talented vocalist (and Jared proved that he is an AMAZING guitarist), and have the potential and meticulous hard work to only get better and better. I really loved the chemistry that the three members share, and am excited to see what they release next. I really enjoy that Restless Road continues to impress me time after time, and I know that these YouTube covers are just a small taste of what this powerhouse trio has in store (yay!!!).
In 2014, Andrew and Zach announced that Colton had left the group, but that they would both continue in the group. On May 28, 2014, Andrew and Zach posted their rendition of the One Direction song ‘You and I’, and in doing so, officially introduced their fans to the newest member of Restless Road, Jared Keim. Restless Road has stated through their social media sites that they are currently writing and recording new original music for their fans. On June 3rd, 2014, Restless Road uploaded a Ustream session (a website that allows people to hold Q&A and/or performance sessions) to YouTube. In this Ustream session they discussed the future of Restless Road, answered questions, and really allowed their fans to see their true personalities (BTW they are really funny guys, y’all should definitely check out the video).
So as you can see, Restless Road is on their way to becoming country music’s next super trio. With talent, ambition, charisma, and a loyal fan base, there is no stopping these superstars. I can definitely see them performing on numerous large scale platforms (stadiums, award shows, etc.) one day, and their sound and vocal versatility is also very radio friendly. It seems as if the stars are aligning perfectly for this power trio, and I for one am excited to see where their “Restless Road” takes them.
Stay in touch with Restless Road:
YouTube: Restless Road
Andrew’s Twitter: Andrew Scholz (Andrew_Scholz) on Twitter
Zach’s Twitter: Zach Beeken (zachbeeken) on Twitter
Jared’s Twitter: Jared Keim (JaredKeim) on Twitter
Facebook: Restless Road | Facebook
Instagram: restlessrdmusic on Instagram
Andrew’s Instagram: andrewscholz on Instagram
Zach’s Instagram: zbeeken on Instagram
Jared’s Instagram: Jared has an Instagram but I couldn’t get a link for it on my computer, but his username is jaredkeimofficial
Hello people of the internet!!! I want to start off by saying that I think that ALL of the nominees are awesome in their own ways, and my picks are based off of my opinion, and should not be taken as a jab to other nominees. Also, there are A LOT of categories that are eligible for Grammys, so I just choose a few to cover in this blog. If you guys have a different opinion about any of the categories in this blog, or if a category you love is not mentioned, please comment in the comments section below. OK, now shall we begin? Great! Here we go!
Record of the Year: ‘Locked out of Heaven’-Bruno Mars
Late 2012-2013 was certainly a HUGE year for Bruno Mars. His album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, produced numerous hits for Bruno, and this lead track off of the album definitely began the momentum needed to make Bruno an unstoppable force on the charts. I predict that ‘Locked out of Heaven’ will win this category, because the track dominated the charts, was covered by just about every YouTuber imaginable, as well as on the popular FOX show ‘Glee’. The song shows off Bruno’s unbelievable vocal and writing ability, and is a song that I believe will continue to be a radio favorite for years to come.
Album of the Year: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
The golden girl strikes again! Ever since the release of her infectious 2006 hit ‘Our Song’ (which at 16 years old made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a song that reached #1 on the Country chart), Taylor has had an iron grip on the music industry and our hearts. Due to her ability to perfectly capture every human emotion into an insanely catchy song, Taylor has already won 7 Grammys, and I predict that she will continue this trend at this year’s show (C’mon you know you agree…don’t be mean).
– Song of the Year: ‘Roar’- Katy Perry
Now if you owned a radio this year, then you know this song. Although Katy has had numerous hits, her 2010 album ‘Teenage Dream’ set her off on a ride of unstoppable hits. The lead single off of her next album ‘Prism’ continued this trend, with her hit ‘Roar’, which is the definition of the perfect “I don’t care what anyone says about me, I’m awesome, and now I’m going to let you know by rolling down all my windows and singing this song really loud” song…I mean everyone does that right?…Oh it’s just me? O…K..moving on! Anyway, Roar had such an iron grip on radio this year that I can’t believe any other song could win this award…let them hear you roar Katy!
Best New Artist: Kacey Musgraves
This was such a hard category for me, because there were so many amazing nominees this year. I kept going back and forth between whether Kacey Musgraves or Ed Sheeran would win this award, however I finally decided on Kacey. Although Ed had a phenomenal year, I think Kacey will take the award. If you’re next question is ‘Why?’, well I’ll tell you. Kacey had hit after hit this year, due to her ability to produce catchy tracks about ordinary people living with everyday problems. I truly appreciate how honest and blunt Kacey is, as well as how her voice doesn’t have any genre boundaries, making her likable to a wide range of music fans. Kacey also proved that she can write hits for other artists, due to her work on Miranda Lambert’s hit song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’. Although I think that Ed could definitely win this award (and honestly I would be happy with either of them winning), I think that Kacey will take home the Grammy.
Best Pop Solo Performance: ‘Mirrors’- Justin Timberlake
Again, this is such a difficult category full of deserving artist however, I can’t see anyone other than the one and only Justin Timberlake winning this award. Whenever Justin is nominated for an award, I just naturally assume he’s going to win, because the man has the Midas touch when it comes to music. ‘Mirrors’ was just one of those songs that you couldn’t escape this year, and honestly no one wanted to! The track definitely shows Justin’s amazing vocals, and once again proves that he has cemented his place in music history.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Suit & Tie’- Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z
‘Mirrors’ showed Justin’s ability to fully connect to the emotional aspects of a track however, ‘Suit & Tie’ contains elements which show why fans continue to swoon over the superstar. Although Justin’s vocals on this track are incredibly impressive, the song’s greatest strengths lie in its cool tone. Just add in hit maker Jay-z to the track, stir, and you have a recipe for Grammy gold. Although this is a tough category, these two have proven time and time again that when they team up, the result is pop perfection.
Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘The 20/20 Experience- The Complete Experience’- Justin Timberlake
This album was so amazing I need a moment to process my thought…OK I’m ready, wait…ok I’m really ready now let’s continue. I’m the kind of person who loves buying full albums, however I’m often afraid to do this, because there are always a few tracks that I skip. When I saw this album, I bought it right away, and I still haven’t grown tired of it. All of these reasons make me believe that ‘The 20/20 Experience’ WAS the album of the year.
Best Dance Recording: ‘Clarity’- Zedd Feat. Foxes
Zedd’s song ‘Clarity’ is another one that I can listen to constantly and never get tired of it. Admittedly this song is what got me interested in EDM (Electronic Dance Music), so thank you Zedd. Although there are so many amazing nominees this year, I definitely believe that Zedd will walk away with the Grammy (fingers crossed!). Zedd’s tracks are fun, infectious, and written in such a way that they are radio friendly, as well as malleable club tracks. I believe that Zedd’s ability to produce such great songs stems from his background as a classically trained pianist, and a former rock drummer. His understanding of the structure of musical theory has allowed him the expertise to carve his own path in music, and makes his future free of boundaries.
Best Rock Performance: ‘Radioactive’ –Imagine Dragons
This has defiantly been a good year to be Imagine Dragons. They have not only ruled rock radio, but have also found a home within the rotation of mainstream pop stations. Imagine Dragons don’t just produce songs, they produce experiences. The band is able to take the listener into a different world within the span of a few minutes, which has caused them to resonate in the souls of a wide variety of music lovers. I don’t think any other rock group had this big of an impact this year, so because of this, Imagine Dragons certainly deserves the Grammy this year.
Best Country Solo Performance: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Miranda has been able to charm audiences for years, due to the cantor in her songs. Her tough as nails attitude has also given her tracks a slight rock influence, making her tracks the perfect road trip music. The insanely catchy song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ has certainly been a great addition to Miranda’s already impressive repertoire. This song’s greatest attribute (besides Miranda’s awesome vocals) is the honest way in which she delivers the song (which is made even more impressive, due to the fact that Miranda didn’t write this song, Best New Artist nominee Kacey Musgraves did (see I told you Kacey was awesome). Because of all of these reasons, I think that Miranda will definitely win this category.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: ‘Highway Don’t Care’- Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
This emotional song has taken country radio by the horns, ever since its release. Honestly this shouldn’t come as a surprise, due to the star power on the track. Tim and Taylor use this track as a vehicle in which to showcase their amazing vocals, and Keith blows listeners away with his amazing guitar skills ( I mean have you heard this guy’s guitar solo on this track, it’s absolutely breathtaking). Although the completion for this category is stiff, I don’t see how these three superstars could lose (and if they do win, maybe they will record more music together…so actually everyone wins!).
Best Country Song: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Grammy’s why are you doing this to me this year? I mean seriously, all of these categories have such amazing performers, I wish we could just give them all Grammys. But since we can’t, I see Miranda Lambert taking home this award. Like I mentioned earlier, this track is just pure country gold. From the lyrical content, to the delivery of the song, this track doesn’t miss a beat, and showcases Miranda as the super star she is.
Best Country Album: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
Honestly, you just can’t beat Taylor. She has a way in telling a story through music in such a way, that the listener becomes entranced in the album, and before you know it your sad because the album is through (that’s why we must all be thankful for the replay button). ‘Red’ is another album that I can listen to from beginning to end multiple times, without becoming bored,. One of the things I’ve always loved about Taylor (besides her ability to steal my diary and write hit songs about it…by the way Taylor I’m going to need that back please), is her ability to write tracks that have no genre limitations. I like it when an artist is so in touch with their craft that they can reach people who normally wouldn’t be into their music. You go Taylor; Glenn Coco has nothing on you.