From Girlz in Black Hats to Steel Blossoms, Sara Zebley (fiddle, guitar and harmonies) and Hayley Prosser (vocals and guitar) have been making their mark on the Nashville country scene.
Their latest album “Country Enough,” was just released at the beginning of the month and the band is busy touring the south before they return to their hometown area for a performance after Thanksgiving.
On road to one of their performances, Prosser had a one-on-one conversation with Go! Magazine about the latest album, the inspiration behind their music and the importance of following life’s passions.
This is an excerpt of the conversation. Hear the full interview in the podcast ‘GO Q&A with Tara Rack-Amber’ at heraldstandard.com.
Q: How long has Steel Blossoms been performing?
A: Sara and I we started performing together six years ago. We were originally in a girl band called Girls in Black Hats and we turned into Steel Blossoms when we moved to Nashville two years ago.
Q: Who would you say are the musical influences for Steel Blossoms?
A: Definitely, Loretta Lynn, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe; people who really have their own style of country music and who have done their own thing in the industry. It is something that we really respect and something we really want to represent in our music as well.
Q: What made you want to move, you both are from the southwestern area of Pennsylvania, so what made you want to make that move to Nashville?
A: I think that we both knew there was more opportunity there and Sara had always talked about moving there, and I had always talked about moving there. I was graduating college and Sara was teaching in the Fraizer School District and I called her and said ‘If I don’t do it now, I am never going to do it. Why don’t you think about it, but I would love for you to come with me.’ We both knew this was a huge risk for her because she already had a great job in her hometown. We had both been there (Nashville) a couple of times and had just seen the lifestyle and the music scene there and we knew that if there was ever any kind of chance of doing the kind of music that we wanted to play we would have to move there to do it.
Q: When you made that transition from southwestern Pennsylvania to Nashville, what were some of the biggest changes you had to adjust to when you made the move?
A: Playing music everyday, that was a huge adjustment. It was definitely difficult living away from our friends and family, we were both pretty homesick. I don’t think that is something that ever goes away, we still get homesick. Playing music everyday was the biggest adjustment. We got a job very quickly playing on Broadway, which is a street lined with honky-tonks, and if you work on Broadway, as we did, you play for four hours with no break. That was pretty exhausting at first, which was interesting to us because we were used to the four hour days, but we weren’t used to them everyday.
We ended up tapering back, we did that for about the first year that we lived there, and we ended up tapering back to four days a week. We did that for about seven months.
Q: Would you say that your songwriting changed once you made the transition to Nashville?
A: Absolutely. Almost from day one. Playing music in southwestern Pennsylvania is kind of, like a big bubble, everyone knows each other. It is kind of like that in Nashville, but I feel like you have a lot more creative freedom because there are so many people you can kind of do what you want to do. Kind of from day one we found our sound and our songwriting developed. I mean every song that you write is going to be better than your last. So we found that with co-writing a lot more, which was a big step for us. Trying to find writers that write the kind of more traditional country/folk music that we write. That has been a challenge, but finding our sound was something that kind of came early on.
Q: Speaking of song writing, you have a new album out this month titled “Country Enough” can you tell me a little about where the inspiration for that album came from?
A: The album just came out Nov. 1 it is something we are incredibly proud of. These songs are songs we have written over the past year and a half and we would space them out a lot. Kind of the whole theme of the album is much more of a homegrown feel. We kind of have a comedy vibe to our songs so we have that going through this album and we like to write about all of the (things) relatable to people and write about things that maybe not everyone else writes about. If you order the album you will find our song ‘Dancing in the Kitchen’ it is just about a date night in instead of wanting to go out. Our title track of the album called ‘Country Enough’ is just about the music business right now and how it is a lot more pop instead of more traditional country. We have a song on there called ‘Twenty Something’ about the struggles of being in your 20s and how people view millennials these days. So, the inspiration for that album has come from everyday life and things we have experienced.
Q: I saw that you have a show coming up at 8 p.m. Nov. 26 at Lady Luck Casino at Nemacolin Woodlands, how does it feel to return back to your hometown area?
A: We love it. We love coming home. We love playing to people from our hometown. It is funny, we have been playing at Lady Luck for a really, really long time and the last time we played there, there were so many more people then there were before and I am hoping that (it) grew.
Q: What would you say is the future of Steel Blossoms, or what is next for the band?
A: Right now we do have concerts and we have been doing house tours, which is where we are on our way right now, where we go to people’s living rooms and backyards and we play all original music for their friends and family. When we talk about our future we see us doing that on a larger scale. We can do a small theater or a club instead of a living room or a backyard and having a bigger audience.
Q: Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for others that want to pursue their musical passions?
A: I would just say do it. You are never going to say that now is the right time but once you are in that place if you can’t really see yourself doing anything else then you will know it is the career path for you.
Hear the full interview with Hayley Prosser of Steel Blossoms on the podcast ‘Q&A with Tara Rack-Amber’ at heraldstandard.com.