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Artist Spotlight

Three Artists Paving Their Unique Paths In Nashville

Grace Bowers

Grace is from California, but has lived in Nashville for almost two years. "Being surrounded by music and a musical community every day greatly motivates me to create."

She says Leslie West, Marc Bolan, Jimi Hendrix and Santana are players she looks up to when it comes to guitar. "They all have something unique and different about their sound and technique, and I really admire the authenticity of it."

Grace says she finds inspiration all around her every day in the Music City. "I find that living in Nashville makes it very easy to find inspiration from many forms. Seek it out, and you’ll find it."

Her favorite guitar is a 1961 Gibson SG. "I play it on almost everything; it’s got such a unique sound, and I just feel really connected to the guitar. I have plenty of other guitars that I really like but I always find myself going back to the SG."

Grace Bowers & Friends recently raised more than $21,000, and counting, in support of Covenant Heals and MusiCares in recognition of the Covenant School Family. They're grateful to the sold-out crowd that showed up for the July 10 benefit show at The Basement East in Nashville, as well as everyone who generously donated to the accompanying fundraiser on GoFundMe (donations still being accepted). 

Ashley Walls

Where are you from and how does that affect your work?

"I’m from Marietta to Georgia. I was in-between the city and country growing up. I call myself a concrete cowgirl because I got to experience both going to Atlanta and going mudding with my country friends."

How would you describe your personal style? 

"I call it elevated Western wear. I like to pair high and low items. So, it'll be like a rodeo jacket that's bedazzled out with some western jeans and then some Gucci tennis shoes. I blend a bunch of different things. Cowgirl aesthetic but elevated with like one little designer item."

What is your favorite place you have performed and why?

"It was at Ole Smokey, and it was right after COVID. It was the first show people could go outside. It felt really cool cause everyone was so excited to be there and thankful to hear live music, and I was thankful I could be on stage and get to play. It was so magical."

Johnny Gates

Where are you from and how does that affect your work? 

"I'm from Providence, Rhode Island. Which is a tougher town weather-wise. Tough winters, a lot of strong work ethic. That's what Providence is about. And for me, I pour that into my work. I feel like it's that relentless work ethic that I get that from home."

From where do you find inspiration for your work?

"I try to pull from real life as much as possible. It gives a unique tone if it is really your experience. Honestly observing, too, walking around Brooklyn, or sitting in Washington Square Park, or sitting on a plane and just kind of observing life."

Where has been your favorite place to perform? 

"Hotel Café in L A. When I lived in L.A., I would always hear about the Hotel Café, and it seemed like this impossible place to play. Then it turned into my home away from home as I played there, and I feel like nothing is impossible now."

How would you describe your personal style?

"I pull from the grungy thing or street wear. My girlfriend has helped me discover not dressing so grunge. We bought this vintage Stetson cowboy hat, that we share custody of, that has become a staple for me."

"You have to go for it. I love to play where I feel like the standards are high." ~Johnny Gates

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