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The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 1/31 – Bruce & Pat / Fish Fisher & EmiSunshine
January 31 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rolling Stone named EmiSunshine among “10 new country artists you need to know,” but she is much more than country. With a musical style described as “old-timey,” the East Tennessee native performs her own unique contemporary blend of roots music that is equal parts Americana, Bluegrass, Gospel, Blues and Jazz.
Known for her powerful voice and masterful ukulele-playing, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter has been attracting national attention since she was 9 years old, with appearances on Today, NBC’s Little Big Shots, Pickler & Ben, Song of the Mountains, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour the Grand Ole Opry and elsewhere. In 2018, she was featured in the Grammy-nominated Elvis Presley documentary film The King, for which she wrote and performed two original songs—“Johnny, June and Jesus” and “Danny Ray.” In 2019, she received the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Desmond Child Anthem Award for musical excellence.
With 10 albums released under own name and guest appearances on other projects, EmiSunshine’s evolution as a singer, songwriter and musician is on full display. Her latest album, SIDESHOW (to be released on October 6, 2023), explores themes of lost love, diversity, independence and more.
Likewise, her 2022 album, DIAMONDS, explores themes of love, loss, self-esteem and misogyny. In a review, No Depression described the album as filtering “traditional sounds of roots music through pop…into a bluegrass state of mind.” American Songwriter called it “an ambitious offering from an artist whose talent and ambition reside well beyond her years.”
Emi’s 2019 album, FAMILY WARS, which was produced by 4-time Grammy-winner Tony Brown in Nashville, also received outstanding reviews in leading music publications. No Depression wrote that the album “establishes EmiSunshine as a strong creative force… someone bold and talented enough to tackle today’s issues while honoring yesterday’s folk traditions.” Country Standard Time called it, simply, “a superb album.”
Emi has opened for, or shared the stage with the likes of Loretta Lynn, Rhonda Vincent, Vince Gill, Tanya Tucker and more. A true prodigy, she began writing songs at the age of 5 with help from her mother, Alisha Hamilton, with whom she still regularly writes. Many of her songs deal with serious themes like domestic violence and addiction, but she is equally drawn to uplifting stories that celebrate equality and offer encouragement to anyone facing challenges in life. Her ideas come from many sources, including watching the news and sometimes even listening to other people’s conversations. “I don’t intentionally eavesdrop, but sometimes it just happens,” she admits.
Emi regularly co-writes with other acclaimed songwriters, including Jim Lauderdale, Vicky McGehee, Leslie Satcher and more. In 2020, she collaborated with Grammy-winning funk music legend Bootsy Collins on the song “Stars” to benefit the Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Fish Fisher is an award winning songwriter, singer & producer based out of both Gatlinburg TN & Toledo Oh. He regularly plays his special hybrid of original music across the country but is especially fond of touring all of southern Appalachia.
Fish has co-written with hundreds of other songwriters and in all genres. Many artists have cut his songs from his catalog of approximately 1,800 works. He literally has over 200 released songs available on spotify & other popular streaming platforms written & recorded by himself or other artists & bands, .
Fish’s signature sound is always gruff, rootsy and down-home, but genre-hopping is his specialty. Call his style whatever you want, he’s just happy you’re listening.
Fisher was born & raised by a southern family of West Virginia roots in a poor but hard working northern neighborhood in Toledo, a blue collar city within the shadow of Detroit. He’s an anomaly of a country music singer who has never claimed to be raised on a farm, worn a cowboy boot on a dirt road or lived in a small town. This may explain his proclivity for more urban subject matters, aggressive rhythms and howling vocal deliveries to working-class stories and lyrics.
He currently lives in Gatlinburg TN and still maintains a home in Toledo to be near his family whenever he gets a break. For over 10 years he simply continues to travel various highways and stages back & forth to both “homes” while also keeping regular presence in Nashville too.
Having cultivated a loyal following by touring the Great Lakes region and southern Appalachia nonstop for over a decade, Fisher offers something for outlaw-country fans everywhere. His live performances encapsulate his unique blend of where “the Rust Belt meets the Coal Belt.”
NASHVILLAIN is Fisher’s seventh full-length solo album, with numerous other endeavors released with other bands and side projects within the Southern rock, country and alt-folk genres. It will drop on November 10 through most digital music outlets, with CDs available at live shows and at FishFisher.net.
Fish performs & records as a solo artist but is also found in several other bands & projects like:
EmiSunshine – Guitarist for EmiSunshine; a renowned singer in the Americana, Bluegrass & Country music market. At 19 years old she has already spent over 10 years touring the nation & beyond, released 10 full length albums and performed multiple times on shows like the Grand Ole Opry. EmiSunshine & Fish also tour periodically as a duo.
Wilkins/Fisher – Nashville-based touring Country music duo featuring Alexis Wilkins & Fish Fisher. Alexis is a powerhouse Country music singer.
Sam Hatmaker Project – Sam is a popular Nashville based singer-songwriter. Fish co-wrote & Produced her newest album Trailer Park Traitor. They tour as a duo, primarily the songwriter rounds circuit.
S.C.U.M. (Sevier County United Musicians) – East Tennessee’s local super-group featuring many of Gatlinburg’s top solo frontmen assembled Avengers-style. Band consits of Hendry Bombat, Luke Walker, Danny 10Beers, Nick Martineau & Fish Fisher with occasional other special guests from the local scene.
STRONG ARMED ROBBERS – Outlaw-Country music team-up with EmiSunshine, Big Diddy & Fish Fisher plus surprise new members announced soon. Based out of east TN.
S.U.S. – Hard Rock band from Toledo OH with Fisher as the frontman featuring over 10 albums worth of songs released.
Brother John – Guitarist for Brother John; Americana and alt-Folk singer out of Maryland.
Distinguished Bastards of the Foothills – Singer for this Detroit based band with that garage-Rock sound with 2 full length albums released on all major music platforms.
Fish Fisher & The Hired Guns – Fish tours special shows feature this full band ensemble.
Bruce Forman and Pat Bergeson . A hectic touring schedule; twenty-one recordings as a leader, countless sideman recordings including Ray Brown, Bobby Hutcherson, Roger Kellaway; soundtrack performances on three of Clint Eastwood’s distinguished films—most notably Academy Award-winning Million Dollar Baby; raconteur, arranger, acclaimed educator, in residence at USC’s Studio/Jazz Guitar Dept., when does Bruce Forman rest?
Deep immersion in American culture inspires Forman to contribute to the traditions that he draws from. Reunion! (the newest project) revisits the famed Poll Winners sessions with cohorts John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, playing instruments owned by Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne; Formanism (his trio project); original works like The Red Guitar; his high-rated podcast, GuitarWank; Cow Bop and the “road challenges” down historic byways like Route 66; JazzMasters Workshop; Junkyard Duo; GrumpsTV (a fifty episode YouTube variety show during the lockdown), the popular ‘first chorus of the day’ series on Instagram…these are only the latest answers to the endless question that underlies Bruce Forman’s creativity. His music and life reflect every step of his journey, and demonstrate the awareness of an artist who’s very much at home in the world, and at the top of his form.
The Red Guitar is serious one-man theater, incorporating great musical virtuosity and storytelling skills to explore the obsessive demands that music places on its truest followers. Junkyard Duo, scavenging music from the edge of sound, uses an unusual sonic landscape to create a rich and exciting musical palette…hobo chic at it’s most utmost. And though he can shred bebop at blistering tempos with the best of ‘em, he is no urban snob. Cow Bop, Forman’s unique “western bebop” band, hit four separate charts with its CDs, Swingin’ Out West, Route 66, Too Hick for the Room and Cowlifornia Swing. Having won the Route 66 Challenge three times with Cow Bop, he created a linear music festival in 2013, establishing a new paradigm for touring and the use of social media, which included a collaborative mentoring model for young musicians.
Bruce Forman’s life and musical journey provide an American saga that is still in full swing. His Texas origins, his early career in San Francisco and New York, and his years on the road, all contribute to the unique and highly personal vision that he demonstrates today.