Features Interviews

Mary Bragg Releases New Album ‘Lucky Strike’

Mary Bragg

Credit:  Alex Berger

Mary Bragg grew up surrounded by music at her home in Georgia. Her father is a musician and choir director at her hometown church, so she and her family spent Sunday mornings singing together. While she credits church for her musical education, she also has vivid memories singing along to the radio and trying to harmonize Alabama songs as a youngster. It wasn’t until her first trip to Nashville following high school graduation that Mary was introduced to Americana music. A colleague at an internship handed her a Patty Griffin album and soon she delved into the works of other artists like Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt and Lucinda Williams. After 10 years living in New York City and navigating the music scene there, Mary moved to Nashville and will release her latest project, Lucky Strike, on Friday, May 5. Her fourth full-length project, Lucky Strike, is her first album recorded in Music City.

Navigating Nashville

“When I first came to Nashville, I just wanted to write great songs. I did continue playing shows and toured, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make a career as an artist work. I’d go to shows all the time and it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the amount of talent here. What I’ve learned from writing every day was that writing is just as fulfilling to me as playing shows and so I let that temporarily dictate how I directed my time. I continued writing every day, not thinking about touring as much, and really not thinking about making records. It was Jim [Reilley], my co-producer [who said], ‘Stop it. It doesn’t have to be this or that. You are great and you need to make this record.’”

The Big Apple

“As much as I loved living in New York City for so long, I did feel like an afterthought to the city, because really everything is an afterthought to the city. [The song] ‘Lucky Strike’ is how I feel about my career and my struggle because it’s about believing in something despite not being dealt the hand that you wanted to have been dealt. Somehow you’re still believing that it is possible, that it can happen, that you can find some semblance of success as you go along. It’s not that you’re suddenly successful, it’s that your definition of success is changing. I feel like my current measure of success is unrelated to what the outward impression of success appears like.”

Honest Writing

“In pinpointing sadness, which can often feel isolating, we’re telling that listener out there, ‘Hey, you’re not alone. You’re not the only person who’s felt invisible in a sea of 8 million people in New York City. You’re not the only person who’s lost a parent.’ That’s the beauty of music—that people can feel comforted by hearing someone else’s pain, which might be much like their own. Every now and then, somebody’s listening close enough where they’re like, ‘Oh, man. That really got me just then,’ and that’s the moment that I’m always looking for.”

For more of my interview with Mary Bragg, visit Nash Country Daily.


Nashville Meets New York: Thank You!

Nashville Meets New York 2

It’s been over a week, but I still can’t stop smiling after the show on March 13 at Highline Ballroom. Thank you to the 200+ people who came out and celebrated these three talented ladies from Nashville pictured above, Michaela Anne, Mary Bragg and Caitlyn Smith as well as Your Ex-Girlfriends and Abby Hollander Band who opened the show.

It’s always my goal to put together a show where you walk away wanting to know more about the artists playing, buy a CD and plan to see them the next time they’re in town. The response to my Nashville Meets New York: Women of Country to Watch showcase was incredible and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve declared 2015 as the year females take back country radio and with artists like the five who played last week I think my prediction is close to coming true.

Thanks again to everyone who came out! Below are a few videos from the show.

“Wildfire” by @marybragg. I’ll never forget first hearing her perform this at The Bluebird last year. Incredible!

A video posted by Annie Reuter (@yousingiwrite) on


Caitlyn Smith playing “Tacoma,” a song she wrote and was recorded by Garth Brooks on his latest album! A video posted by Annie Reuter (@yousingiwrite) on


Love ladies collaborating! @marybragg and Michaela Anne singing “Can’t Afford To,” a song they wrote together.

A video posted by Annie Reuter (@yousingiwrite) on


Who doesn’t like a Hank Williams cover? Michaela Anne is killing it right now.

A video posted by Annie Reuter (@yousingiwrite) on


nashville meets new york


Contest Features

Win Two Tickets to Nashville Meets New York On Friday!

nashville meets new york

I’m beyond excited to be hosting an evening of live music with some very talented ladies. This Friday, March 13, join me at Highline Ballroom for Nashville Meets New York, a concert featuring some of country music’s best up-and-coming talent.

I’ll also be giving away a pair of tickets to the show. Do you want to go? Send me a tweet @yousingiwrite or a Facebook message and tell me why you want to attend the showcase to enter for a chance to win.

More details on the show are below. Visit Highline Ballroom for more info and to purchase tickets. See you Friday!


Who: Caitlyn Smith, Mary Bragg, Michaela Anne, Your-Ex Girlfriends, Abby Hollander Band
What: A female country showcase you won’t forget
Where: Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. Between 9th Ave and 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011
When: Friday, March 13, 2015 from 7pm-10pm
Why: To celebrate the brightest talent in country music!
How Much: $15-$18

Features News

Celebrate 5 Years of You Sing I Write Saturday!

This month You Sing I Write turns 5-years-old! I’ve come a long way from writing about bands in my dorm room at Rutgers and couldn’t be happier. To celebrate, this year I have an amazing line-up with some of my favorite New York bands that I’ve covered in the past for YSIW including Mary Bragg and The Ramblers.

The venue itself is W.i.P., the place where Chris Brown and Drake had their infamous fight a few months back. While we won’t be throwing bottles, I can promise you a fun time with solid music. And who knows, maybe a celebrity spotting or two?

Come join me Saturday in New York at 7 p.m. All the details are below and feel free to RSVP on Facebook. Hope to see you there!


Concert Reviews

Mary Bragg, Adam Levy Impress at the Living Room

I first met Mary Bragg in December at Galuminum Foil Studios while she was recording on the A Holiday Benefit, vol 5 album. As she sang her part on “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” the whole studio went silent in awe of her beautiful vocals.

The Georgia native moved to New York eight years ago to pursue music and in an interview with her I learned about her songwriting start with famous friend Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum and her recording process. This year, Bragg has a monthly residency at the Living Room where for two hours she showcases her own material and invites a collaborator to share the stage.

Last Tuesday her guest was Adam Levy. Known for his collaborations with Norah Jones, Amber Rubarth and Amos Lee among others, Levy admitted that his first show as a singer was at the Living Room.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Bragg took the stage. Having just spent the weekend in Georgia, she began the evening with a song about where she is from. Alone onstage with acoustic guitar her beautiful vocals stood out. “Orange” followed suit as her whispered singing style captivated.

Soon after, her guitarist and bassist joined the stage for the soulful and bluesy “Leave Tonight” before Levy joined her for the darker “Circle the Night.” With a distinct twang and bluesy guitar interludes from Levy, the track stood out. Bragg left the stage while Levy remained performing five songs of his own. The comical “You’re Not My Baby” had the room laughing along with deep vocals and lighthearted lyrics.

“I love singing here at the Living Room because it’s the first place I ever sang,” Levy admitted. “I used to stand in the shadows and play guitar.” Levy then performed a “love song to my home state” of California before Bragg rejoined him onstage and sang the song they first wrote together. With reverberating vocals and a wavering electric guitar interlude by Levy, the track was memorable. Slower ballad “Wildflower” followed while the poignant “Tattoos and Bruises” struck a chord.

Afterward, Bragg confessed she never intended to be a country singer. “For a long time I didn’t think I was going to be a country singer and that was a mistake,” she admitted. “I didn’t start writing until I was 22. My second record got more folky and poppy. Having that fore into folk and pop music allowed me to be honest with who I am and where I’m from and I stopped being afraid to write country songs.”

Next track, “When Your Heart Belongs To Another,” was “a shore-fire example of me embracing my country roots,” Bragg said as the twangy number impressed and hushed the crowd.

The remainder of her two hour set had the entire room entranced with her soaring vocals and quirky anecdotes. For more on Mary Bragg, visit her Website and catch her live at the Living Room March 20.

Related Links:
Mary Bragg Credits Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood For Songwriting Chops
Mary Bragg Performs at Rockwood Music Hall
Night in the Studio at Brooklyn’s Galuminum Foil Studios
Lady Antebellum Talk Dating, Drunk Dialing and Dylan
Features News

You Sing I Write's Weekly Wrap Up

The music world faced a major loss over a week ago when Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room. Just a day before the Grammys, rumors of several award show tributes abounded. While Adele‘s comeback performance was definitely one show highlight, Jennifer Hudson’s poignant cover of Houston’s infamous hit, “I Will Always Love You” was breathtaking.

On Monday, I started a new job at CBS Radio. Given the previous day’s events, my week had no shortage of news stories to be written. Whether it was NBA darling Jeremy Lin sharing his music taste with Fuse, or the rumors of a Chris Brown and Rihanna collaboration, I wrote about it. Since I’m still getting used to the rhythm of a full-time job my posts here might slow, but I’ll be sure to fill you in on all of my adventures on Twitter.

I was beyond excited to hear a preview of John Mayer’s new album when he posted a stream of one of the tracks Thursday. With wavering pedal steel, his familiar vocals and heartfelt lyrics, I’m anxiously awaiting his upcoming LP due out later in 2012. With so much new music due for release this year, I’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date. In the meantime, here are a few shows I’ll be catching this week and artists to have on your radar.

Mary Bragg – Tuesday 7pm @ The Living Room

This Americana songstress has a year-long residency at the Living Room titled “Mary Bragg With…” Each month, she performs two hours with a friend, showcasing new and old material as well as a collaboration with a new guest. I interviewed Bragg last year for CBS and Billboard where she filled me in on her songwriting and recording process as well as the evolution of her writing, which was originally inspired by her friend Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum.

When Your Heart Belongs to Another from Mary Bragg on Vimeo.

Nic Cowan – Tuesday 9:30pm @ Rockwood Music Hall

This Southern rocker has major support from some of country and rock’s biggest names including Zac Brown, who produced his latest release, and Kid Rock. Cowan has songwriting credits on each of Hardheaded‘s 13 tracks, two of which feature Brown and Kid Rock.

Tragedy – Friday 11:30pm @ Brooklyn Bowl

Words can’t even begin to explain what one can expect at this band’s show. Glitter, spandex and cover songs abound. Not to mention, scantily clad personal trainers jump around onstage while other members of the entourage blow glitter into the crowd. Finally, fans are brought onstage for an impromptu dance party. These are just a few of the elements that make for a truly unique show. Did I mention they’re an all metal tribute band to the Bee Gees?

What albums are you most excited to hear this year? Which bands are on your radar to see live? Let me know!