We had a great finish to the open-mic potion of this series of Nashville Rising Star! We had 32 songwriters come out, and we random picked 21 to share their song. We heard many really good songs and performances at this round. But one song captured our industry judges attention! We’re looking forward to the semi-final round!
Here’s a recap of Preliminary Round 7:
1- Tim Walpole
2- Jase Hackman
3- LeBanter Grande
4- Stevie Oruska
5- Steve Hiatt
6- Justin Love
7- Holly Winter
8- Taylor Dukes
9- Michael Wessner
10- Michael Handley
11- Zack Edington
12- Tonya Noga
13- Kaila Dakota
14- Amanda Jo
15- Katie Harrah
16- Doobie Jones
17- Michael Scott
18- Meg Williams
19- Ryan Winslow
20- Ben Wilson
21- Kassie Wilson
Amanda Jo (Audience Winner)
Taylor Dukes (Judges Winner)
Amanda Jo and Taylor will come back and join 12 other writers for the semi-final round to be held Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at Wild Wing Cafe. The finals will be held Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at Wild Wing Cafe.
James Lugo – James has been singing and playing music since he was 6 years old. His career as a singer / guitarist / songwriter / producer spans decades and coasts.
Cutting his teeth in the late 70’s playing in country and rock bands in Fort Lauderdale to headlining LA’s Sunset Strip in the late 80’s, later playing guitar with Dokken and singing with Nazareth.
He toured for years, playing and living in Los Angeles, Nashville & Austin and wrote countless songs professionally in all genres with much commercial success and TV and film placement.
While living and working in Los Angeles his skill as a vocal coach and music producer came to the forefront in 2001 when he began working as a vocal analyst and coach with American Idol. He was involved with the show for 10 years and directly worked on show for 3 seasons.
His years on screen and behind the scenes with Idol made him a household name in the Hollywood music and vocal coaching scene and landed him on the rosters of almost every major label as a vocal coach and producer, for many people in the industry he was their go-to guy! James and his studio are currently based in East Nashville.
Andy Sheridan – Andy is a musician and producer in Franklin, TN. Andy toured with Phil Vassar as his full-time keyboardist for 4 years. He is now the full time band leader, keyboardist/acoustic guitar player for Hunter Hayes and has had the opportunity of performing with well-known artist such as the legendary Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Ashley Monroe and Patrick Monahan from Train.
Andy has also shared the stage with Jennifer Nettles from SugarLand, Charles Kelley from Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown, Will Hoge, Danielle Bradbery, Chris Janson, Will Hoge, Cole Swindell, Eric Paslay, Dan + Shay, Charlie Worsham and countless more!
Billy Smiley – Billy is a musician, songwriter, producer, and Founder of the group “WhiteHeart.” Billy has 5 Grammy Award Nominees, 27 Dove Award Nominees, He was GMA Song Writer of the Year 1988. Billy has penned 27 #1 Songs. He received Soul 2 Soul Honors Award 2006. White Heart was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame 2010
Most recently, Billy has put together a new band with former members of Petra and Whiteheart called “The Union of Sinners and Saints” touring the globe!