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10 Nashville artists on the rise

India Ramey
Jeff Fasano
Courtesy of the artist
India Ramey

As the host of WMOT's The Local Brew Hour, it's my passion and mission to discover those creating music here in Nashville, Tenn. Early in the pandemic, as artists were processing it all, something remarkable started happening. I found artists I'd never heard of, and they would refer friends and collaborators as new bands and recording projects were formed. When the rest of the world paused, the music makers of Nashville ramped things up. Here's a small sampling, and for more "Music City" sounds and stories I invite you to listen to The Local Brew Hour at 89.5 WMOT, Sundays at 8 a.m., Mondays at 7 p.m. Central and on demand via the WMOT app.

Kyshona Armstrong

Kyshona Armstrong started her career as a music therapist and now combines that skill with her own songwriting as a staff member of the non-profit Your Song, working with adults and youth experiencing homelessness, trauma, incarceration and isolation. "Worried Mind" is on Listen.

Kashena Sampson

Kashena Sampson released Time Machine last fall. The songs were written and recorded pre-pandemic, but many of the themes are fitting for these times. "Whole Lot Better" is an upbeat, self-assured celebration of new beginnings.

Brandon Jesse

Brandon Jesse has quite a voice, sonically and in his lyrics. Some songs remind me of a young Johnny Cash. He's released a couple of records over the last two years and his latest, A Different Shade, includes "Getting Dirty Don't Get Old."

Yonder Grove

Yonder Grove is a four-piece band from Columbia, Tenn., about half an hour south of Nashville. Its sound is a blend of strong harmony vocals and groove-filled jams. "Houston" is on the band's debut, All Is Well.

The Woods

The Woods is a trio of harmony singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, formed in the early days of the pandemic by Dan O'Rourke, Raquel Cole and Leland Rooney. "World's On Fire" is out now.

India Ramey

India Ramey was a prosecutor in Alabama working with domestic violence victims before following her songwriting dream to Nashville. She just played SXSW and "King of the Ashes" is on her album Shallow Graves.


Co-lead singers and songwriters Allen Thompson and Keshia Bailey make up LadyCouch. The combination of these two longtime Nashville creative forces is funky, soul filled rock and roll, best experienced with their 11 piece band. "Free To Breathe" is from The Future Looks Fine.

Madeleine Kelson

Chicago native Madeleine Kelson just released her debut album, While I Was Away, born out of her college thesis. "Joker" showcases Madeleine's songwriting and unique voice.

Chloe Kimes

Chloe Kimes is a weekend DJ at WMOT and a Middle Tennessee State University graduate. "Stand to Gain" is out now and will be on Kimes' self-titled debut due in July.

Rude Music

Formed by brothers Kevin and Matt Nolan, Rude Music includes childhood bandmate Tyler Bartram and Marty MacMillan, a master luthier from Detroit. Rich vocals, incredibly catchy melodies and a classic '70s sound reminiscent of Moby Grape. "Angeline" is a road trip rocker from Dog Days.

Copyright 2022 WMOT

Ana Lee
Ana Lee is the host and producer of "The Local Brew," a weekly radio show plus a live showcase for Nashville based artists. She hosts mid-days on 89.5 WMOT Roots Radio, Nashville, is a voice over artist and curator of musical experiences for events.