The Cadillac Three

Hannah Dasher

Austin Jenckes

Fri, November 1, 2019

8:00 pm


This event is all ages

Facebook comments:

The Cadillac Three
The Cadillac Three
It may be a ballsy move for The Cadillac Three to name their new album LEGACY, but if any country band has
the shared history to lay claim to such a weighty title, it's the longhaired trio of Nashville natives.
Singer-guitarist Jaren Johnston, drummer Neil Mason and lap-steel player Kelby Ray have known one another
since they were teens and have been sharing stages together for nearly 15 years. This summer, they'll headline
their hometown's most famous venue, the Ryman Auditorium, just a few blocks from where Johnston and Ray
sat in high-school math class daydreaming about one day playing the legendary hall. Johnston's connection to
the Ryman goes back even further: his father has been a drummer at the Grand Ole Opry since Jaren was a
child. And now he has a son of his own, who, like his old man, will be well-versed in all the sounds that make up
both Music City and The Cadillac Three, from country and blues to rock & roll.
So, yeah, "legacy" looks good on this band.
"We're trying to build something and do it our way, which is always harder," says Johnston. "If you're going to
leave something that people are actually going to remember, you can't take the easy way. So we took all of our
history, mixed it with the energy of The Cadillac Three and put it into a record that makes sense of where we've
been and where we're going."
After nearly a full year on the road in support of 2016's BURY ME IN MY BOOTS, their first full-length album
recorded for Big Machine Records, the group returns with a more mature perspective. Johnston, Mason and Ray
have experienced a lot on tour, whether opening arenas across the country on Florida Georgia Line's Dig Your
Roots Tour or headlining their own consistently sold-out string of sweaty club and theater shows in the U.K. and
Europe. As they prepare to head back in November for another big run, for The Cadillac Three, the old saying
really is true: this band is huge overseas.
"Europe showed us that we should bet on ourselves. It was a big gamble the first time we went over there," says
Mason, "but the shows and the fans have continued to grow."
"And going overseas reinforced that we wanted to get more music out more quickly," adds Ray. "They go through
singles really quickly over there. They want more, more, more and that encouraged us to go into the studio,
knock this album out and keep going."
All that travel, from city to state, country to continent, could decimate a lesser band, but it only served to
creatively inspire the mighty TC3. They wrote many of the 11 songs that make up LEGACY on the road, cut the
tracks on rare days off in Nashville and then recorded all of Johnston's vocals – one of the most "country" voices
in the genre – in the back lounge of their bus in between shows, adding a crackling sense of vitality to LEGACY.
They also produced the album themselves.
"We knew what we wanted to do with this record. Instead of putting it together in bits and pieces, we started with
a batch of songs and then picked a single," Johnston says. "That's how this shit should be done."
That back-to-basics approach to making music yielded the band's most infectious single to date: the woozy sing-
along "Dang If We Didn't." Written, as is most of the album, by Johnston and Mason (here, with Jonathan
Singleton; other times with songwriters like Laura Veltz and Angelo Petraglia), "Dang If We Didn't" teases fans
with its ambiguous title, before revealing what the guys actually did in the chorus: get drunk last night.
"When you're a songwriter, you can be critical of song titles," says Johnston. "But with 'Dang If We Didn't,' I
thought it was a little bit mysterious. It makes you wonder, 'Dang if we didn't do what?'"
"Eat pizza last night," quips Mason. "It could be anything."
"American Slang" rivals "Dang If We Didn't" in its grandeur. It's a huge song, akin to Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" or
The Cadillac Three's own "Graffiti," off BURY ME IN MY BOOTS. Lori McKenna (Little Big Town's "Girl Crush")
began writing the tune with the intention of having The Cadillac Three finish it. "We are vampires on Hollywood

Boulevard / angels and sinners of our hometown streets," go the lyrics, painting a picture of life's rebels, before a
massive country-radio chorus kicks in: "We are the back roads, dirty water shore banks…we are born and raised
on American slang."
The constant throughout LEGACY, however, lies in the players: as on all three of The Cadillac Three's albums,
only Johnston, Mason and Ray are the musicians. There's no guest keyboard player, no second percussionist
and certainly no bassist. Ray holds down the low end on his lap steel.
Especially on the standout LEGACY track "Take Me to the Bottom," which features Johnston reaching high for a
breathtaking falsetto. "'Take Me to the Bottom' has the best bass sound of anything I've ever done," says Ray,
who also keeps things greasy on the intense "Tennessee." A thrashing love song, it evokes the stomp of ZZ Top
– a favorite of TC3 – and features a lyrical shout-out to progressive country hero Sturgill Simpson, a kindred spirit
of the band.
No matter the influence, though, the trio stays faithful to their own unique sound throughout LEGACY. "Hank &
Jesus" glides along with Tennessee twang; "Demolition Man" is distinguished by the space between the notes;
and the swaggering "Cadillacin'" is a band anthem. "We don't put anything on our albums that we can't re-create
live," says Mason. "If there is a TC3 rule, it's that: keep it honest."
Honesty, or authenticity, is a favorite buzzword around Nashville. But few artists come to it as naturally as The
Cadillac Three. These guys couldn't fake it if they tried. In the album's title track, they offer a heart-on-the-sleeve
testimony to what's really important at the end of one's days: love and a family tree.
When Mason and Ray heard "Legacy," co-written by Johnston, they flipped, and pushed for it to be the title of the
record. "We're far enough along in our careers where doing an album called LEGACY doesn't feel presumptuous
to me," says Mason.
Not when you run through The Cadillac Three's milestones. It's all there, from boundary-pushing albums,
Grammy-nominated No. 1 songwriting across genres and fan-favorite singles to sold-out club shows and massive
festival gigs alongside Aerosmith.
"With this album, we're continuing to build this thing we've created. We're touring nonstop, headlining shows in
the U.K., playing the Ryman, and putting out a new record," says Johnston. "Shit, that's a pretty good legacy so
Hannah Dasher
Hannah Dasher
Hannah Dasher has a voice and personality I feel the country format desperately needs,” said Johnston. “Her ‘Dolly Parton on cocaine’ vibe puts her in a league of her own. She is a rock star plain and simple.”

Hannah recently celebrated her first songwriting cut on Brad Paisley's new Love and War album. The track entitled, "Go To Bed Early”, also features Hannah on background vocals. Hannah is currently writing for Sony/ATV Nashville and Two Black Dogs Publishing, a new company formed by Jaren Johnston (multi-platinum hit songwriter, rock’n'roll guitar slinger, and frontman of the Cadillac Three). Over the last year, Dasher and Johnston have been working on her debut record, Heavy. With influences ranging from Dolly and Aretha to Eric Church and Tom Petty, some compare Hannah Dasher's sound to "Hot Chicken with Honey.”

In November of 2018, Hannah signed with Sony Music Nashville and is currently in the studio recording her highly-anticipated album Heavy, which set to release in the fall of 2019. You can catch Hannah Dasher out on this year!
Austin Jenckes
Austin Jenckes
“Sounds Like: A gnarly, but vulnerable, country-blues singer with the introspective songwriting chops Nashville thankfully continues to reward.”

— Rolling Stone

Ask Austin Jenckes about his unwavering need to write and perform music, and as he pauses to gather his thoughts, you can practically see a montage of the country singer-songwriter’s life playing before him: a childhood spent watching his father play guitar in the park; high school talent shows; dingy bar gigs; televised singing competitions; publishing deals; Nashville writing rooms; a forthcoming debut album. “But at the root, it’s always been me trying to move somebody enough emotionally to pay attention to what I’m singing about,” Jenckes says. “Music’s always been a way for me to observe and process the world around me.”

Melody. Message. That moment in a song when a listener sees his or her life reflected back at them like a mirror—Jenckes lives in service of the song, and it’s why he spends every day tirelessly perfecting his craft. The endlessly humble Jenckes will tell you, “I’m just a guy with a guitar singing songs.” But his work tells a far more nuanced tale. To hear Jenckes perform is to hear the roots of country music brought into the modern age: all soul and blues and that brand of lyrical honesty and palpable emotion that’s long defined the genre’s most celebrated artists. From the serene send-off “In My Head” to the rearview reflection “Fat Kid,” Jenckes’ best songs are direct dispatches from the never easy but unquestionably rich life he’s lived.

“I’ve always been the type to pay attention to what other people are doing and learn from their lives and my own,” Jenckes offers of his songwriting inspiration, “Take in not only the successes but more importantly the mistakes.”

“But I feel really fortunate right now,” adds Jenckes, whose long-awaited debut album is set for release in 2019. He smiles and adds, “This is what I’ve always wanted for my life.

If Jenckes appears ever appreciative it’s because, like so many supreme songwriters with wisdom gained from hardship, he’s lived a lot of life. Growing up in small-town Washington, Jenckes’ parents divorced when he was 13, and three years later his father took his own life. Much as he’d always done, Jenckes turned to music as his principal refuge. “I really felt I had everybody in that town supporting me,” he says of staking out a reputation early on as a supremely skilled singer with a powerful and passionate voice that combined his equal-parts love of Southern rock and folk music. “It was always really important to me that my music felt emotional and felt like it was telling a story,” he notes, and upon graduating from college the musician doubled down on his dream and moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music.

“I was struggling in a lot of ways because I just felt lost,” he recalls of that time period. “I still was this kid that wanted this big unattainable thing but I was putting a lot of my self worth in that. It felt like I wasn’t going to be happy or successful unless I could be a full-time musician.” There were detours, to be sure, from short-lived publishing deals to landing a sport on the hit TV show The Voice. And he admits, for a time, he figured he’d just be a songwriter for other artists. But Jenckes forever made it his mission to continuing evolving as both musician and songwriter. Looking back, he admits, “That whole time I was trying to figure out what kind of music I wanted to put out. I didn’t know if it was pop, rock, country or soul. So I was just writing a ton.”

But after getting married and then becoming a father, Jenckes says he realized, “I wasn’t going to be happy unless I was putting my whole heart into putting my own music out and performing.” Looking back now, he adds, “Any previous uncertainty about my future was me just being afraid to do anything at all. At the end of the day I just needed to commit. I remember telling my wife, “I’m going in all the way.”

His ever-growing fanbase speaks to the wisdom behind that decision. Whether playing headline or opening shows, touring with a six-piece band or stage-center, just the man and his guitar, Jenckes is reminded daily of how many people have and continue to be inspired by his music. “I still don’t feel like I know how to do it completely on purpose,” he says with a laugh of his innate ability to pen authentic, sincere and supremely hooky songs. “But all I can do is focus on telling my story.”
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change