It’s been an exciting few weeks for Stoney Creek Records recording artist Lindsay Ell. She released her brand new single, “By The Way,” which made an impressive debut at country radio, and spent time (a lot of time) on the streets of Nashville!
Ell took the popular street of Broadway in downtown Nashville to raise money for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. The singer/songwriter/musician busked for 24 hours straight! We chatted with Lindsay about this experience as well as her brand new single, “By The Way,” and much more! Check out our exclusive interview below.
CountryMusicRocks (CMR): You just released your new single “By The Way” to country radio. Tell us a little about that new song.
Lindsay Ell: We are really excited about “By The Way.” I wanted a song that is about female empowerment. I remember when I was a little girl, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, and all these strong females had such an incredible influence on me because they had something to say in their songs. They were classy and strong female role models while doing it, but still had a little sass at the same time. I really wanted to write a song that could do that to other young females listening to country music and have a little fun at the same time.
CMR: In addition to the new single, you also just recently took to the streets of Nashville and busked on Broadway for 24 hours straight. Tell us a little about it, what was that experience like?
Lindsay Ell: It was crazy! I’ve never heard of somebody doing a 24 hour concert before. Originally when we decided to do it, I was like I’m not doing something this outrageous without being able to do something really good, without being able to give back. We were able to raise money all day for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville which was just so incredible. If anything kept me going, it was that that kept me going. I was humbled all day by the people that came down. So many fans came down to watch us, to hear a song and bring us coffee & donuts, and throw money in my guitar case for the kids. It was such a crazy, good day. I was exhausted by the end of it, but I was just so happy that for 24 hours those people wanted to take a part of the positivity and be able to give back.
CMR: After you performed for 24 hours, were you completely exhausted and went straight to bed, or were you still wired?
Lindsay Ell: I went straight to bed. I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to because I had so much caffeine in my system from coffee to 5-hour energy, to red bull, I had a lot of caffeine! Those last 2 hours were the hardest of the whole day. The minute I got home, I took a shower and went right to bed.
CMR: You had several guests make appearances throughout your time on Broadway. Did you know they were going to be there or did they just randomly show up?
Lindsay Ell: We had some random ones throughout the night. When we set up there were other performers/buskers performing across the street. Throughout the course of the night they would walk by and specifically one guitar player, we got talking a little bit and I was in the middle of looping something and I was like why don’t you sit down and we’ll jam a little bit. We played guitar back and forth for almost an hour. It was a lot of fun. All the guests that came out throughout the day, I did know who were coming. I invited them out because I knew I needed something to help pace me. I played guitar with all of them so I was still up there braving the elements. It was so special to me to have Charlie Worsham, Lucie Silvas, Brooke Eden, Megan and Liz, The Raging Idiots, Chuck Wicks, all these people come and support this good cause and support me. I was so, so grateful.
CMR: If the opportunity came up, would you do it again?
Lindsay Ell: I definitely don’t see this becoming an annual event, but for the time being I’ve definitely got my “t-shirt.” The fact that I had to be on a week vocal rest after the fact because I gave it a little to much of my all…. We’ll see, maybe next year we can find an interesting way to spin it and still do something crazy, but a little bit safer.
CMR: Women in country are starting to take a strong role once again in the genre, and you yourself have a part in this. What’s it been like for you watching this movement grow?
Lindsay Ell: It’s so exciting. For so long there were two females really holding down the fort. Although they did an amazing job, it’s really exciting and cool for me to be able to see more of us writing great music. A bunch of my friends are doing so well and I’m so happy for them. And fans wanting to hear from females again, it’s really, really cool! Even more so the fact they are wanting to hear from female musicians!! I’m happy as a guitar player that I can lead part of that way, and pave the route for female musicians knowing that girls can play guitar too or other instruments. You can do whatever you set your mind to.
CMR: You always look so great both on and off stage. Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
Lindsay Ell: I shop a lot on the road. I shop a lot at random places that we are in. I have a very large weakness for Free People. I love Free People so much. Urban Outfitters I shop at a lot. Shoes and guitar pedals are things that I can drop money on in an instant. Any shoe store, regardless of where it is, I usually need to go in and take a little look.
CMR: We all have wish lists & bucket lists, as an artist what is something that is still pretty high up there on your country music bucket list?
Lindsay Ell: Even looking back in the past 5 years it’s been crazy the amount of people I’ve got to meet and share the stage with. I would love to be able to tour with Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton one day. I would love to be able to stand on stage and play guitar with Eric Clapton. I would love to play Madison Square Garden one day. My bucket list is very long, but it’s all about just putting one foot in front of the other and knowing that you are doing what’s in your heart and working hard. The rest will eventually find a way to fall in to place.
CMR: Music consistently evolves and grows and especially country music lately. In your opinion, what do you think separates country from any other genre?
Lindsay Ell: That people can be real, that people can be human beings, and that fans & audiences will accept them for that. You can write a real song and talk about real feelings as angry or happy as they are, and the audience will hear what you have to say. I don’t think another genre really allows the same humanity that country music does.
Lindsay Ell’s new single, “By The Way,” is at country radio now! Be sure to call in and request at your local country radio station. The new song is also available on iTunes HERE.