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article imageInterview with Jaren Johnston from The Cadillac Three Special

By Markos Papadatos     Dec 26, 2013 in Entertainment
Orlando - Country group The Cadillac Three is made up of Jaren Johnston on lead vocals and guitar, Kelby Rae on dobro, acoustic guitar, lap steel and vocals, as well as Neil Mason on percussion and vocals.
All three band members are natives of Nashville, Tennessee, and they have been friends, as well as musical co-conspirators since they were kids. "When Kelby was 14, he was wearing a Jimi Hendrix shirt, so I thought he would be cool to hang out with. He would play pretty much anything with strings on it. Neil is a great drummer and we all started hanging out together and we have been playing together ever since then," Johnston said.
They are signed to Big Machine Records, a major record label is home to such musical acts as Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Danielle Bradbery, the season four winner of The Voice. "It's awesome," he exclaimed. "I love how different their roster is. They have Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and they have people like us. It's kinda different."
Johnston cited his musical influences as his father (who is a drummer), as well as such male country artists as Garth Brooks, Keith Whitley and Clint Black. "I would watch them come through the Grand Ole Opry and play, and I would fall in love with those records," he said.
His inspirations were not only limited to country singers. "I grew up at a time where Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine and Metallica were such a huge influences on kids. Obviously, I loved Lynyrd Skynyrd and I was a huge Tom Petty fan," he added.
On December 31, they will be playing their New Year's Eve show at Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida, along with country star Dierks Bentley. "It's going to be us and Dierks and we will probably get up and do a few songs with him," he said. "It's going to be a great time, since in the past we toured with Dierks for a whole summer and a half. He has helped us out and he has a great single out now that we love called 'I Hold On.'"
Their latest single "The South" was sent to country radio. It is a collaboration with such country acts as Florida Georgia Line, Mike Eli from the Eli Young Band and Dierks Bentley. "Those guys are all dear friends of ours. We have known Dierks for years. All of a sudden, I was with Brian and Tyler from Florida Georgia Line and they were asking what our first single was going to be and they loved the idea. We invited them to sing on it. Then, we were out with Mike Eli on the road and it all came together," he said. "We are pretty excited about it."
"The South" debuted at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot Country Airplay charts, and it is making its way up the charts. "It is doing good," he said. "It is something different for country radio, and so far the people are liking it."
When asked what motivates him every day, Johnston remarked, "We are all huge music fans in general and it is really cool to wake up and know that this is our job. It's amazing to see different cities and meet the different people in different towns. It's a blessing to travel the world and do what we love."
As part of their pre-show rituals, The Cadillac Three turns on some loud music on the bus, in an effort to get them "pumped up" for the show before they take the stage. "We write a lot on the road too, so I am singing all day," he said.
He shared that last year alone, The Cadillac Three played over 200 live shows. "Constant touring is the best way to stay connected with the fans. People come to the show, they like it and they connect with it," he said.
The Cadillac Three have opened for such iconic bands as ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd and they even played a few shows with The Marshall Tucker Band last year in Florida. "The Marshall Tucker Band was great," he said. "That was a lot of fun. They have great songs and they rock."
A notable songwriter, Johnston has penned songs for such superstars as Keith Urban (his chart-topping single "You Gonna Fly"), Tim McGraw ("Southern Girl") and Jake Owen ("Days of Gold").
For their fans, Johnston concluded, "We will see you in 2014."
For more information on country trio The Cadillac Three and their music, visit their official website.
More about jaren johnston, the cadillac three, big machine records, Jake Owen, tim mcgraw
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