All-Star Band The Likely Culprits Release Debut Album
The Likely Culprits, a seven-member group of close friends who are also some of the most in-demand A-list musicians and artists in Nashville, release their self-titled debut album today.
The release is a joint venture between Euphony Records and Jamey Johnson’s Big Gassed Records. “Having known most of them since I first moved to Nashville nearly 20 years ago, I love the Likely Culprits like family and I’m quite proud to have them on my label,” Johnson says. “I hope you enjoy their new album as much as I do.”
The rowdy rebels of the Likely Culprits are:
--Ronnie Bowman, an award-winning country and bluegrass songwriter and bluegrass artist. He has won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Male Vocalist Award three times and won its Song of the Year twice for “Three Rusty Nails” and “Cold Virginia Night.” In addition to penning No. 1 hits for Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney, he wrote three songs on Chris Stapleton’s multi-platinum album, Traveller, including the Academy of Country Music’s Song of the Year, “Nobody to Blame.”
--Melonie Cannon, a country solo artist who serves as a powerful bridge between traditional country/bluegrass and contemporary country. In addition to her impressive solo recordings, she has been asked to provide background vocals for artists ranging from Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss to Jamey Johnson, Shania Twain and Sammy Kershaw.
--Deanie Richardson, who is one of the most respected bluegrass and country fiddle players in Nashville. She has performed with artists including Patty Loveless, Vince Gill, The Chieftains, Emmylou Harris, Bob Seger, Ry Cooder, Hank Williams Jr., Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart and many more.
--Brandon Bostic, who sings and plays acoustic and electric guitar and dobro in bluegrass, country and Americana genres. He has performed in Grammy winner Valerie Smith’s Liberty Pike Band and is a member of Patty Loveless’ esteemed band. He won an IBMA Award for Gospel Recorded Performance for “Speakin’ to That Mountain” as part of the Becky Buller Band.
--Ashby Frank, a roots music vocalist and mandolin player, has recently toured with Mountain Heart, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers and Jerry Douglas’ Earls of Leicester. In addition to performing with Special Consensus, Michael Cleveland, Ilse DeLange and many others, he has written four Top 5 hits, including “The Story of the Day That I Died,” which was recorded by Junior Sisk and nominated for IBMA Song of the Year.
--Garnet Imes Bowman,She started her music career in Nashville as a session singer, and quickly became a “go to” for top country producers and artists alike. She has worked with Buddy Cannon, Byron Gallimore and Don Cook, to name a few. Her vocals have been heard in the company of countless artists for studio projects and live shows, including Kenny Chesney, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley and more.
--Austin Ward, who is one of the most sought-after bass players in Nashville. He toured with Kenny and Amanda Smith and the award-winning band Mountain Heart.
“It is music that makes people feel good,” Cannon says. “All different kinds of people will like it because there is something for everybody on there. It is just music that’s fun.
“It was a dream because they are truly six of my best friends of my whole life. We always say that if people could feel what we feel when we get to sing and make music together, they would be happier. It is like getting together to give the united part of us. When you get to make music with people you love, it is just special.”
The Likely Culprits officially formed in 2011, but they have been making music together for more than a decade.
“We started out as seven friends," Richardson says. “Most of us have known each other our whole lives. We used to do these songwriting guitar pulls at one of our houses and played music that we loved.”
Their music defies genre or description. It’s a blend of Americana songwriting and R&B influences mixed with bluegrass, folk and country.
The band’s first performance was at the legendary Station Inn and they have continued to perform there whenever their hectic touring schedules allowed. “We finally decided that we have a built-in fan base, so we needed to cut some of these tunes,” Richardson says. “We got in the studio and laid out all of our favorites from our set list, and that is the record.”
“Jamey Johnson comes to some of our shows at The Station Inn,” she says. “He called me up one day and said, ‘I am interested in helping you all get this record out. I am a very blessed man who has done a lot of things in my life, and now I would love to pass it on.’ It was a very generous offer from him.”
Renowned producer Buddy Cannon (Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss) produced the album, so he and Johnson also appear in the band’s cover photo. Johnson plays the role of the judge and Buddy Cannon serves as the bailiff in the picture shot at the Cheatham County Courthouse. “Jamey surprised us and said, ‘You are going to need a lawyer,’ so he brought Ron White.”
The album includes versions of Brandy Clark’s “Get High" and Matraca Berg’s “Your Husband’s Cheating on Us.” One of the album’s most memorable songs is the band’s version of the Bonnie Raitt hit, “Papa Come Quick.” “Melonie brought this song in and it was one she wanted to sing,” Richardson says. “It is the essential Likely Culprits song; it sums up what we do. It is rowdy and rocking and there is some great playing and singing on it. We aren’t afraid to play or sing about anything, obviously. It is a great lead-off song to say, ‘This is what these guys are about.’”