New Andrew Peterson Album!

StSL has been on a bit of hiatus lately, which may or may not come to an end soon. But I couldn't pass up the chance to post about Andrew Peterson's new album, Counting Stars, coming July 27. Check this out...

Questions w/ Trent Dabbs (part two)

Here is part two of Questions w/ . Enjoy the interview and be sure to visit the links at the bottom to learn more about Trent and grab some of his music for yourself. Also, keep an eye out here at Saving the Set List for more news and updates on Trent and the rest of the Ten Out of Tenn gang.

StSL – (TOT) is a pretty regular topic on this site. How did it all come about?

Trent – One car ride to Jackson. Two people (my wife and I) started to dream big about putting a compilation together of all the music we love in town. Then that graduated into the idea of a tour. After that tour we took a break and tried just having multi-instrumental solo artists play and back each other up. I thought people would get bored if the show was too long. So everyone plays two songs at different times in the set and everyone has a draw because they have been working hard to get to the place where they are. So honestly, it broadens the scope of people’s assumptions regarding Nashville music. From that point we made a film and had several more tours.

StSL – TOT continues to see more and more success and the L.A. Christmas show definitely stands out as one of my favorite concert experiences. What’s on tap for TOT in 2010?

Trent – I would love to push the film we made called , a documentary about the first tour in old bus. Also we are throwing a joined party with at this year. It should be a huge event. As for the fall, we are working on that now.

StSL – Doors continue to open up more and more for independent artists thanks to the internet, TV show placements, and digital music sales. Along with that comes a whole new set of freedoms and challenges. How has your experience been navigating those waters?

Trent – I look at them as freedoms for sure. I am so fortunate to have a team in LA working for my TV placements. I have said this many times lately, but I have the greatest job in the world. I get to wake up and create something and try to watch it move into others lives. I never thought I would see the day where having my songs on TV would allow me to pursue being an artist rather than the other way around. People are more concerned with the music and what fits the scene rather than how popular someone’s music may be; at least I feel that way. It’s still who you know when you really look into it. I mean…of course I would want to hear music referred to me by some one I trust rather than randomly hearing it. That is still how the business works.

Life is too short as an artist to sit around and feel sorry for yourself for not having something. I think the biggest challenge for me in having success with TV & film placements is trying to be open with people about how it can be done but give a list of contacts because we are in the same field. Everyone is looking for a shortcut.

StSL – Let’s step away from music for a second. What’s your favorite movie quote?

Trent – "Come on in and try not to ruin everything by being you." from As good as It Gets. Its kind of mean…but I feel like down deep that is what everyone tries to do. You know…give the best version of themselves.

StSL – In addition to your work with TOT, what does the near future hold for Trent Dabbs?

Trent – I want to broaden my goals. I really want to extend other peoples music that I believe in and push my own at the same time. So I basically want to be a folk-pop small-scale version of . Nothing wrong with dreaming, right?

Thanks so much to Trent Dabbs for taking the time to answer our questions! Check out the links below and join us back here in two weeks when Questions returns with .

Questions w/ Trent Dabbs (part one)

I know it's way too early to start talking about a 2010 favorites list, but I have a good feeling that you'll see singer/songwriter and (TOT) founder, , on my list in December. His new album, , is just plain great. You can head on over to and hear it for yourself right now! As a big Trent Dabbs and TOT fan, I've really been looking forward to posting this interview. So, without further delay, enjoy part one of Questions w/ Trent Dabbs...

StSL – Your brand new album, Your Side Now, was released last month. How was your experience making this album?

Trent – It was simple. Usually I have a band and we rehearse and then track in the studio, but this record was basically me, two producers, and a handful of musicians. I tried not to over think much of anything on the album. I spent serious time with friends to inspire me and translate certain stories into songs. If you surround yourself with people who inspire the music the songs start to unfold.

StSL – I have to say that I’m completely hooked on Inside These Lines. I think I’ve listened to it at least fifty times since picking up the new album. Can you share the story behind that song?

Trent – Wow. That is great to hear. I told the producer that I know my own weakness in writing songs and I wish that these simple songs could sound bigger and more timeless. Jamie nailed that song and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that he wrote it with me. If I remember correctly, I think I told him that I liked the name "Something Along Those Lines" for a song. We started sharing stories about how hard relationships truly can be and what it would sound like to be overly honest.

I have a few friends who struggled through divorce and it was the kind of pain I could only try to express through a song. I wanted to be honest but not overexpose a close friends story. I mean…the concept is basic…but the dealing with the struggle is not something everybody wants to hear in a song. Glad you think we pulled it off.

StSL – Let’s talk a bit about your songwriting process. Do you have any specific methods or places you go to for inspiration?

Trent – I listen to conversations. I ask questions and hear what people are going through whether in a novel, a movie, or a coffee shop.

StSL – Do you have a favorite song on Your Side Now?

Trent – I think Your Side Now (the title track) is my favorite. Just because it sonically feels like the next level for me as an artist and it is so simple yet interesting.

StSL – A stranger comes up to you and says, “Play me the best song ever written.” What do you play?

Trent – Honestly…I would probably play "Happy Birthday" just to be funny and give myself longer to think about the actual answer. I might even play one of my songs to see if they laughed. They would think I was a jerk. If I really had to say something off the top of my head it would probably be Imagine.

Visit for more info and be sure to join us right back here tomorrow for part two!

Questions Coming Soon

The Questions interview series is still going strong and there are some really great artists coming your way in the next few months! Check out the list below to see what you can expect, and stay tuned for even more announcements in the near future.

AOTW / Joel Hanson

You may recognize singer/songwriter from his time as one third of the band . Joel is now making great music as a solo artist and his brand new album, , was just recently released. It's full of catchy and insightful songs and showcases his signature voice perfectly. Joel was kind enough to provide us with a free download of his song, Something. Enjoy the download and be sure to visit to learn more! Also, keep an eye out for a Questions interview with Joel right here in March!


from the album
What If It Is

Questions w/ Jeremy Casella (part two)

Here is part two of Questions w/ . Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the links at the bottom to learn more about Jeremy!

StSL – Let’s talk a bit about your songwriting process. Do you have any specific methods or places you go to for inspiration?

Jeremy – I write on guitar and piano. Usually starting there while getting whatever I’ve been hearing in my head out on a certain instrument. It’s usually music first and then the words for me. Often times I’ll have all the music written, even backing parts and melodies before the lyrics start to materialize. And then I edit edit edit.

Honesty is your best ally in songwriting. That’s where the good stuff is—and if you are doing your job it will move people. It has to move me first though if it’s something I want to share with someone else. I want my songs to feel a certain way. Hard to describe beyond that.

StSL – Who would you count as some of your influences?

Jeremy – was a big one. Especially his later material. Also , , , , , , , . Those are some of the foundational influences. Lately I’m listening to , , , and .

StSL – Whether a song is labeled as “Christian” or not, faith and art are certainly often intertwined. How does that dynamic play out for you?

Jeremy – I think it’s pretty simple—if a piece of art is great then it’s probably extraordinarily honest and particularly beautiful. Everyone has a worldview including artists, of in my life and work, I’m trying to reflect the world that is and create the world that ought to be. I want to live in Truth. Breathe it deep and sing it out. In the last few years, my music has some of that in it—Truth, Beauty—I want more! So that’s what I’m after.

StSL – Let’s step away from music for a second. What’s your favorite movie quote?

Jeremy – “I saved Latin. What did you ever do?” -Max Fischer, Rushmore.

StSL – I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several members of the Square Peg Alliance. What’s it like for you to be a part of that community?

Jeremy – I’m thankful for my friends. We’re all such different writers and artists and the mutual respect runs deep. We’ve had some great times together—like last Summer we played Cornerstone Festival—and all rode up together in a rental van. Felt like summer camp condensed into 48 hours of laughter and music! And then last August we all gathered at ’ house for a huge party to celebrate the release of Chrome. I loved it!

Kierstin (my wife) and I are about to invite all the Pegs over for an Italian feast at our house next month. I was waiting until , , and got back from tracking Andrew’s new record.

So—it’s good to be connected and in community with those folks. I love them a lot. And personally—I’m sort of an introvert artistically so I really need those relationships more than I often realize.

Thanks so much to Jeremy Casella for taking the time to talk with us. Visit the links below to keep up to date on his upcoming new E.P., and join us right back here in two weeks when Questions returns with founder, !

Questions w/ Jeremy Casella (part one)

Singer/songwriter has been making great music for more than ten years and has released a trio of thoroughly enjoyable studio albums. He's also a family man and a card-carrying member of the mighty . With new material on the horizon, 2010 looks to be a great year for Jeremy, and he's taken some time to tell us about it. Here is part one of Questions w/ Jeremy Casella...

StSL – It’s been a couple years since your last album, , was released, and I know you’ve been hard at work on some new music. What can you tell us about that?

Jeremy – I’ve been writing and working on a lot of new material these past couple years in addition to touring quite a bit last Fall. I’m hitting it hard again this Spring and planning on releasing an EP this May. Sessions for that will start in March and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

The delay in releasing a new project since Recovery came from a lot of life changes for my family—we bought a 110 year old house and renovated it, I got involved with helping to get a church plant off the ground and then we had our second child last Fall. We’ve been super busy building our life and home…but things have finally settled in again and my focus is now on recording the new material.

StSL – Have you been seeing any overarching themes in your new material?

Jeremy – Joy, friendship and resurrection are some themes I’ve noticed running through my new songs. After Recovery, writing songs has started to feel like painting to me—or at least there’s a visual thing I’m trying to communicate or connect with.

I want the music to be like a canvas that stretches out in front of you and shows you something gorgeous that you get absorbed into. I love the feeling that music gives me when it deeply moves me both lyrically and musically. It may sound lofty – and it looks funny having even typed all that out! But it’s really what I’m shooting for.

StSL – One of my favorite songs of yours is Distress Signal. Can you share the story behind that song?

Jeremy – It’s a plea to a loved one to let down their guard and actually deal with a broken relationship rather than fake it and talk about the weather. It’s also sort of a reflection on forgiveness and what it looks like.

StSL – A stranger comes up to you and says, “Play me the best song ever written.” What do you play?

Jeremy – Man. How do I answer this?! I’ll pick one of my favorites because there are so many…God Only Knows from Pet Sounds by .

StSL – How challenging has it been for you to balance your professional life with being a husband and a father?

Jeremy – Great question. It’s been a challenge for sure. Thankfully my wife is behind me 100% and really gets what it is that I do for a living. We’ve got a real team approach to things where we rely on each other for support and are always trying to sharpen our schedules so that we don’t neglect the important things like time with each other, our children and our friends. We don’t always get it right but we’re learning. My biggest challenge personally is the all the traveling for touring. When things are really busy it’s a constant state of going and not really resting too much. But then the touring season ends and everything comes to a halt.

It’s a bit crazy but we’re used to it after all these years. I suspect it’s the same for other families too—just trying to make everything go. A lot of prayer helps…but truly my wife is awesome. She’s the backbone of our home life especially when I’m traveling a lot.

Be sure to check out for more info and join us right here tomorrow for part two!
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