Artist: Brad Blackburn
Venue: The Bluebird Cafe
Date: Monday, June 27, 2016
Winner: See Brad Blackburn here!
Brad has been developing his own style of writing and performing since he was 12 years old. Now a student at Belmont University, Brad frequently plays around Nashville. In early 2014 Brad released his debut album, Color Coded – a unique blend of pop, soul, and country. Moving forward Brad plans to tour, record, write and nurture his love for the studio and stage. He is currently recording his new album, Black.
Artist: Mack Sterr & Mark Dennison
Venue: Elbo Room
Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Mack has been writing his own music seriously for a few years, but has been passionate about creating and performing music since he started singing as a toddler. Originally from Motown, Mack cut his chops in dive bars and small music venues from Indiana to San Francisco, and now Chicago. He pulls from these unique influences to develop his own brand of Indie/Folk/Pop. Mack and Mark linked up in Windy City after Mark finished his trip to Europe, busking on the streets and collaborating with musicians using his unique take on the Cajon. Mack is planning to write and record his first full album in Chicago, and hopes that having an opportunity to play the Live Wholly Festival will help him achieve those goals.
New Orleans, LA
Artist: Love Evolution
Date: Thursday, July 21, 2016
Winner: See Love Evolution here!
Love Evolution is the voice of Semaj & Mr. Lorrius. The name symbolizes the mission of this extraordinary duet. They are united in love, life, creating family and in their purpose to musically motivate the world to move beyond destructive revolution to peaceful evolution.
These entrepreneurs embody the “One Love” soulful message of Bob Marley, the urban hip-hop bop of the Fugees, eccentric smooth sex appeal of Prince, the undeniable energy and emotion of James Brown, the acoustic drive of Richie Havens, the tactful sing-along lyrics of Michael Jackson, with the harmonizing mechanics of Simon & Garfunkel. They have boiled their genre down to it’s most natural form, Urban-Folk.
Artist: Nici Peper
Venue: Riverview Café
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2016
Winner: See Nici Peper here!
Wisconsin-born Nici Peper is a roaming, writing songbird. Her acoustic Americana has been described as vintage and soulful and her lyrics are open and honest. Whether solo or with her band, The Big Smooch, she draws from influences ranging from John Prine to the Temptations.
Los Angeles, CA
Artist: Vanessa Wheeler
Venue: El Cid
Date: Monday, August 8, 2016
Winner: See Vanessa Wheeler here!
Vanessa Wheeler is a composer and singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. Her band, Leo*Leo makes gaze pop with riff & rhythmically driven song-scapes aplenty. Wheeler (songs/guitars/lead vocals) and Sarah Hope (drums/electronics/production) launched a two-person operation to compose, record, produce, and mix a wide variety of music and sonic endeavors. From fast-paced rock songs to dreamy soundscapes, the duo creates music that draws in all types of listeners.
Artist: Olivia Thai
Venue: Online Submission
Winner: See Olivia Thai here!
Olivia Thai grew up in San Gabriel, CA and has been playing music since she was five years old and singing since the age of two. She began her career online in MySpace, and in 2007 moved over to YouTube. She has now written over 100 songs, and performed in a handful of cities. Thai is now a full-time singer, songwriter and entrepreneur.