Country music has a new, photogenic face in an artist named Logan Brill. The 22-year-old has garnered praise for her debut album “Walking Wires,” which does not sound much like a modern, commercial country music record. Instead, it fits in nicely with a playlist that includes Lucinda Williams, Lissie, or Nanci Griffith.
We wanted to talk to her before things got too busy for her.
We ran across an item about you, but didn’t have much information in our database. Can you please tell our readers where you’re at in your career?
I guess I can start out with how I got in touch with the publishing company and label I’m with. I’m lucky because the label is also my publishing company. My publisher is also my manager, so it’s sort of a one-stop shop.
I actually found them through a mutual friend who was interning in their office a few years ago. Everybody told me, before I started in the music business, and I never fully understood until I was involved in it, is that networking is all that it’s about. It’s who you know and getting to know people; sitting down and having coffee or drinks. That’s what I did with Carnival Music. I’ve been with them for two years on the publishing side and I just switched to their label side.
I grew up in Knoxville, Tenn. Being close to Nashville, I traveled back and forth with my parents and siblings. None of my family are professional musicians but they’re all music lovers. Out activities around the dinner table were to eat dinner, then grab the guitars and jam. I decided when I was 18 to move to Nashville to study music at Belmont University, a small music school. I studied voice but felt I didn’t have much time to do music while I was studying it, so I switched degrees, getting one in science eventually.
I wanted to go out and do music more often. But being in Nashville I started writing with different people and networking.
Can you go into more detail?
The publishing company I’m with is owned by Frank Liddell, who’s very well respected and produced Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack, and several others. My manager, Matthew Miller, has been there for a long time. He used to be at William Morris. So I got to know Matthew first through my friend the intern. Once I knew him, William Morris helped book shows for a few months at the beginning of my career. Frank has been a great mentor. It’s all interconnected in some way!
Bobby Roberts Company is your agency?
Yes, William Morris was with me for a while. Now Josh Garrett is my agent. He’s fantastic.
Who have you toured with?
I’ve played with so many people, across the board. Josh has done a great job of setting me up with all sorts of acts. I’m so new in my career that I’m trying to find my markets. This last year has been a lot of trial and error, playing to different audiences to see where I fit. We’ve played with Josh Turner, Sara Evans, Jerry Douglas, Pam Tillis, and even local acts like the Hacksaw Boys. We even played with Carbon Leaf. I think we’ll have done about 180 shows by the end of the year.
Carbon Leaf? That’s interesting.
It’s so across the board. The Josh Turner audience is so different than the Carbon Leaf audience. I really enjoy playing for both. It’s been interesting finding out who I mesh with.
So where do you think you’ll wind up?
I’m more geared to a theatre audience. I’ve played at a lot of bars. They’re fun gigs but the album has a lot of slower, sentimental songs. I really like when people can hear what I’m saying. I think the best gigs have been with Pam Tillis and Jerry Douglas. Audiences that are sitting down. My audience enjoys song content over jamming out, you know?
What’s in store for the next 12 months?
Just continuing to tour as much as I can. I’m taking January off to write. I haven’t had much time for it. It’s crazy considering the album just came out, but I’m always looking forward. I like to constantly create things. That’s what I do.
Are you touring with a band or is it solo?
I’ll tour with a band if I can make it work but mostly it’s solo, with one other acoustic player. We can make decent sound. We’ve got two guitars and a Mississippi stomp box – a 45-degree wooden wedge. You plug a D.I. into it and give it some reverb and it sounds just like a kick drum. It’s crazy. And I’ll break out the tambourine every once in a while. You gotta make it sound as big as you can with two people.
Hopefully we’ll have more headlining shows. I’m working on getting one in my hometown at The Square Room sometime in the next five months or so.
So how are you building a fan base?
Social media is such a huge thing. And I’m not a big social-media fan. I’ve never been huge on Facebook and just started using Twitter when touring because I knew how important that would be. It’s a great way to connect with a large amount of people in a short amount of time. I like to share photos from the road and albums I’ve enjoyed recently.
Are you doing meet-and-greets?
After every show I try to go to the merch table and say hey to everybody. We don’t do anything too official but I’m always out after the show to say hello.
It’s interesting to me how the album turned out, knowing my influences. I grew up singing in blues bands in Knoxville. I enjoyed singing Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy, so I think the album has elements of blues in it. Then when I came to Nashville, I wasn’t a huge fan of country music. I liked it, but didn’t listen to it. I think once we got the musicians in the studio and my producers had their Americana singer/songwriter influences, the musicians made it sound more country than I expected. That’s what they usually play. The blues element is there because that’s what I’m used to singing. I just think it has a lot of angles and facets to it, and I’m happy it turned out that way.
It’s not often artists in Nashville say they grew up without country music.
Yeah, I feel like I’m one of the rare ones! I didn’t grow up listening to country all the time. But I absolutely love it.
I get the impression that the more “coached” you are in Nashville, the less you talk about influences outside of country music. Kristian Bush of Sugarland is a big fan of R.E.M. and The Replacements, but it doesn’t come up very often.
No, it’s interesting. I think a lot of country artists genuinely did grow up listening to country music, but I know everyone has tons of different influences. I know a handful of people who are straight-up only country singers, but they love R&B. Every influence can only make your music more unique.
It should never be something you need to hide. Unfortunately I think sometimes it is.
I think the best gigs have been with Pam Tillis and Jerry Douglas. Audiences that are sitting down. My audience enjoys song content over jamming out, you know?
For more information please visit Logan Brill’s website and be sure to check her out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.