The country music genre has been criticized in recent years for churning out too many songs about trucks, whiskey, and women and not enough traditional tales of small towns and people with grit. Those stories of real people making their way in the world have somewhat fallen by the wayside in the mainstream. But if you're one of those country music fans pining for the days of Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, look no further than Nashville-based artist Sarah Gayle Meech. Meech's style is rooted in the country storytelling tradition with a modern sound and a gusty spirit. If you haven't heard the name before, then you might've seen her cameo in season three of ABC's hit series Nashville.
On her upcoming album Tennessee Love Song, Meech explores themes of love, heartache, loss, and loneliness. But despite those at-times darker themes, the record is booming with energy.
"When I set out to write this album in summer of 2013, I had a strong vision of what the album would be comprised of," she told us. "I wanted to capture a moment of my time spent in Tennessee. I've always been intrigued by Nashville's history and it's spiritual energy -- there are many ghosts here. The landscape, the crazy unpredictable weather and seasons, the smell of chimney smoke and leaves in Fall, the humid summer nights, all became much of my inspiration for these 15 songs.
"I wanted to portray the mood of it all, mixed with a healthy dose of all the high and lows I've gone through in the last four years. The recording process for the album was much more spontaneous and relaxed than my first album. We took more chances experimenting with sounds and instruments. I just cut loose -- complete creative freedom."
The 15-track effort is due out March 31 and follows up 2012's One Good Thing. In celebration of the release, Meech is streaming Tennessee Love Song a week early exclusively on Music Times. She's also giving away five copies of the album to lucky fans who enter our #MeechMT contest. All you have to do is...
1. Follow @TheMusicTimes on Twitter (so we can DM you if you win)
2. Tweet us your response to the following prompt: What place would you write a love song for?
3. Include the hashtag #MeechMT (so we can track your responses)
Stream the album in full below, and don't forget to pick it up when it's officially released next week. It is now available for pre-order on iTunes.
How to Enter:
No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.
ELIGIBILITY: : Open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. Employees and their immediate families (and those living in their same households, whether or not related) of Music Times, LLC and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies are not eligible to enter or win. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and/or Sponsor, which are binding and final on matters relating to this sweepstakes.
HOW TO ENTER: Between 12 a.m. Eastern Time ("ET") on Tuesday, March, 24, 2015 and 12 a.m. ET on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (the "Entry Period"), Online: visit www.musictimes.com's "Stream Sarah Gayle Meech's 'Tennessee Love Song' Early Exclusively At Music Times: Enter To Win A Free Copy Of The New Album" article for rules. Follow @TheMusicTimes on Twitter and tweet us your response to the following prompt: What place would you write a love song for? All submissions must include the hashtag #MeechMT. Multiple entries will be void.
DRAWING: Potential winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries received by an independent judging agency. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
WINNER NOTIFICATION: Potential winners will be notified by Twitter direct message. Note that the applicant must be following @TheMusicTimes on Twitter to be contacted. If sponsor is unable to contact a potential winner or a potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor's discretion, an alternate winner selected. If a potential winner is an eligible minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, prize may be awarded in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winner set forth herein.
PRIZES: Five (5) winners will each a copy of Sarah Gayle Meech's Tennessee Love Song. Approximate Retail Value ("ARV") is $10. Total ARV of all prizes: $50. Prizes are awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by Sponsor. Winners may not substitute, assign or transfer prize or redeem prize for cash, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided. All prize details are at Sponsor's sole discretion.
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WINNERS' LIST: For the names of the winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 61 Broadway Suite A, New York, NY, 10007 for receipt no later than May 1, 2015.