This article by Lauren Tingle was originally published on CMT’s website.
This is why Kelleigh Bannen is such a boss.
Owning one of country music’s smokiest voices, the Nashville native has never compromised the integrity of her sound or her point of view as a storyteller. Throughout her career, she has developed a professional reputation for delivering music with an edge that arrests the soul of any listener and inspires music’s hardest working minds to want to work with her.
Fellow Nashvillian Jaren Johnston, who fronts The Cadillac Three (a band known for its country fuzz), is the producer behind her forthcoming album. Exhibiting an insurmountable amount of attitude, “Deluxe” is their first release and a solid indication that the music they’re sitting on is going to be fire.
“I’d had the title ‘Deluxe’ for a while and loved the idea of writing a love story that was extra but was also relatable,” Bannen tells CMT.com. “Danielle Blakey and I wrote this song in a tiny little windowless room at the Sony Firehall. We were talking through the descriptions of ‘deluxe’ scenarios, and I loved the idea that they would be these kind of retro references like a motel that has an AC and cable TV. I think we felt a lot of freedom to just be playful with it, and not overthink [it].”
The line “some things get better with time” can directly apply Bannen’s approach to her craft, and it shows in the way she transposes her storytelling. She is a respected social media influencer as the host of the popular podcast, This Nashville Life, a devoted pug mom, arguably one of the most loyal friends one could ever have.
Bannen’s full tour schedule is available through her website. Get to know Bannen more in her own words below.
The first artist to really believe in me was probably Lee Brice. He heard a song I had written and invited me to come out and write with him on the road. It was my first time on a tour bus.
When others recognize themselves in your art, that is the greatest compliment. When someone sees themselves in your song, you know you’ve said something true.
Luke Bryan once said that he takes his work seriously, but tries not to take himself too seriously. I think that’s amazing advice.
[This] may not be the last musically sacred experience, but it’s one of the most powerful [I remember]: when I opened for Little Big Town at the Ryman we went out of Church Clothes into “How Great Thou Art” the whole room was singing with me, and when the song ended, everyone was on their feet. It was my first standing ovation, and it was at the Ryman.