JUNE REVIEW- SONGLAND SEASON 2.
The marvelous second season has begun on NBC’s SONGLAND and I am proud to share my review on episode 6 which was judged by, left to right, singer, songwriter, producer, and lead singer of the pop band OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder, singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress-Ester Dean (#1 hits for Rihanna and Katy Perry,) country music singer, songwriter, and record producer Shane McAnally, which featured Eight-time ACM and seven-time CMT Award-winning country duo, Florida Georgia Line in the centre of the photo.
Songland allows songwriters to pitch their compositions to the guest artists and the panel of top music producers, who work to creatively adapt the songs to the stars, where guest artists
This episode was close to my heart as a fellow Muskokan and BMLSS High School friend, Victoria Banks, made an incredible appearance. Here’s what I know about this Canadian born, Muskoka raised and now Nashville resident superstar, Victoria Banks. She is no stranger to the stage! Is one who has never been idle since both her, Deric Ruttan and I went to high school at Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School (BMLSS), where we were all apart of the same music programs, and The Rock n Roll Review where Banks and Ruttan performed in the band together. She went on to complete a degree in Zoology/Anthropology at the University of Toronto before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 1998, where she was a staff songwriter for Fame Music (aka House of Fame), a writer for Full Circle Music (Circle C Songs), and in 2007, she signed her first deal with Nashville’s Sony/ATV Publishing. Victoria Banks has been nominated for a total of 11 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards and was named CCMA Female Artist of the Year and CCMA Songwriter of the Year in 2010. She has been labeled “one of the best songwriters in the business” and she has written ASCAP, SOCAN, CCMA, and covenant-award-winning songs for more than 50 artists including Jessica Simpson, Sara Evans, Cowboy Crush, Marty Raybon, 3 of Hearts, One More Girl, Doc Walker, and Johnny Reid and has played acoustic guitar for Pam Tillis, Crystal Shawanda and Rachel Proctor, shared the performing stage with Julie Roberts, Jamie O’Neal, Alabama, and Billy Currington, and has co-written with artists such as Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jessica Simpson, Gretchen Wilson, Danielle Peck, Amy Dalley, Julie Roberts, and Gary Nichols. As a staff songwriter in the country music market, she has had songs featured in movies and TV and has won International Unisong and USA Songwriting Competitions in 2006 and 2007. She co-wrote the top Canadian country singles of 2009: Johnny Reid’s “Dance With Me” and One More Girl’s “When it Ain’t Raining” as well, “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” for Doc Walker. She is best known for her Jessica Simpson hit “Come on Over,” which was the highest-debuting first single for a new country artist in the Billboard chart history and earned her a 2009 ASCAP Country Music Award. Plus her solo-written Sara Evans hit “Saints & Angels” earned her a 2003 ASCAP Country Music Award and a SOCAN International Achievement Award. In May 2010, after completing a tour in Canada, Banks penned the song City Of Dreams whilst traveling back home to the devastating and historic Nashville flood. Her song came to life in a video, when two weeks later, over 40 Nashville artists and musicians, from legendary voices to new faces, joined forces with a production/engineering team and film crew to record it as a flood relief song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjoDpmNYaas Brought an overwhelming warmth to my heart and a tear to my eye seeing mutual High School friend and Nashville songwriter Deric Ruttan appearing inside this video, where all participants and facilities donated their services and all proceeds from the song and music video for the City Of Dreams-Artists for Tennessee Flood Relief also benefited the American Red Cross.
CONGRATULATIONS to all 4 participants who performed their original songs for the judges and Florida Georgia Line on May 18th where only 3 were selected after their performance, to go into the studio paired with 1 of the 3 judges/mentors.
Vancouver’s Shawn Austin and his Ain’t Going Nowhere www.youtube.com/watch?v=csE40WdxH5E went 1st and was selected to move on to work with legend singer/songwriter Ester Dean to change up the song a little bit just to fit what FGL was looking for, keep up to speed and visit him at http://shawnaustinmusic.com
Next up was Westminster USA’s
Victoria Banks presented on guitar, her stupendous piece, That’s A Country Song www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaa6bUMQs0Q&feature=emb_logo and although Victoria’s song was not chosen, NBC Songland’s judge and mentor Shane McAnally reminded her, “you’re the real deal!” and those very words ring true of this songwriter, musician, and vocalist since birth. This new song & her 5th Album Uncovered (just released in May), are prime examples of her non-stop outstanding accomplishments within the last 22 + years in this career. Victoria shared, “It’s finally HEEEERE!! Not only does my “Uncovered” record feature some of my most requested songs previously covered by other artists, but I wrote, produced, arranged, engineered, and played every instrument on every track (except Larry Franklin’s awesome guest fiddle part)! It’s got my heart and soul all over it. I hope you enjoy it!. Victoria shot the cover pic on the living room floor with my hubby David Petrelli, some flashlights and an iPhone camera. Take that, COVID-19 lockdown! 🤣💪 Shout-outs to the artists who originally cut these songs (Sara Evans, Mickey Guyton, Hunter Brothers, Johnny Reid Karyn Williams, Sister C Tate Stevens) and to co-writers Emily Shackelton-James, Phil Barton, Joe Ginsberg, Mickey Guyton, Sister C Johnny Reid, Tia Sillers, Nathan Spicer, Riley Roth, Rachel Proctor, publishers RareSpark Media Group, Inc. , Sony Music Nashville, mixer Brad Winters and graphic designer Mary Sue Englund.” Introducing her first single released “Want” from ‘Uncovered’ https://www.facebook.com/vbanks/videos/957146564729812 Victoria states, “wrote this with Emily Shackelton-James & Joe Ginsberg, recorded it in my home studio…..played all the instruments…engineered all the tracks….sang all the vocals….and did my own dang cover pic. (TAKE THAT, pandemic lockdown).” https://music.apple.com/us/album/uncovered/1515278462
Victoria’s masterpieces have changed the lives of many artists and fans along the way, from her humble musical beginnings at The Station Restaurant & BMLSS Rock n Roll Review in Bracebridge all the way to Nashville, TN. Banks has ever stopped ceasing to amaze while she creates magnificent musical gems! Stay in tune with Victoria Banks at http://www.victoriabanks.net
Last up was Pickering, Ontario now Nashville’s Griffen Palmer. He performed his song Second Guessing. www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF2b7HS-WRQ This managed to impress the musician duo FGL with his lyrics and got to work with Producer Shane McAnally who helped Griffen refine the song to better suit Florida Georgia Line’s vibe, which ultimately helped his song to get picked as the duo’s next big track. Visit Griffen on both Facebook and Instagram @griffenpalmer
When Florida Georgia Line came to Songland they shared, “we’re looking for something with energy….something that’s us,” but ultimately, ended up connecting with Palmer’s romantic ballad. “We’re leaving with a love song, and it feels good for us now,” it’ll be good for us 50 years from now. It feels timeless,” Kelley said. Following the show, FGL aired their new music video for this song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTPyKVC5pdA Keep informed on Florida Georgia Line by dropping by https://floridageorgialine.com
NBC Songland Season 2 continues till mid-July 2020 and the next episode appears Monday, June 1st at 10 pm featuring guest artist Bebe Rexha https://www.beberexha.com who is a multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated pop singer/songwriter, who is coming to “Songland” to hear unknown songwriters pitch their original
Visit https://www.nbc.com/songland for insight on future episodes.