Her band The Drive featuring Miguel Cancino (guitar), Zach Morse (bass), Joel Dormer (guitar, vocals), and James Bavendam (drums) for new music this year and being on NBC’s The Voice.
She and the band had released two EP’s. They play songs live from other bands such as Kansas, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Adele, Garth Brooks, Pistol Annies and others. She performed with Charlie Daniels for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. It shows her and the band diversity when performing.
IMM: Hi Natalie, I’m happy to get to talk you and what is new on the music and the band The Drive that is? What I’ve seen you are on the three lady violinist/ fiddle players that are energized moving across the stage. The other two are Mairead Nesbitt (Ex-Celtic Woman, Rocktopia) and Lindsey Sterling. You make the instrument almost talk when performing Kansas’s “Carry on Wayward Son”.
Natalie: Thank you for putting me in that company! The fiddle has always been a huge part of my show and music. The violin was the first instrument I ever learned. And I have always loved finding new and interesting ways to make it speak with the electric guitars in my band.
IMM: The new song Wine & Whiskey, who wrote it and the musicians who played on it?
Natalie: Wine or Whiskey was written by Lori McKenna, Jimi Westbrook (from Little Big Town) and the late, great Andrew Dorff. I was thrilled they trusted me with this song. Jimi even sang the backgrounds on the recording which definitely took the song to another level. And then “Makin Out In Cars” was written by Natalie Hemby, Barry Dean, and Troy Verges. I heard this song years ago and have always wanted to record it.
My band – James Bavendam (drums) Joel Dormer (guitar) and Adam Beard (bass) all played on it plus we had Rob McNelley on guitars and David Dorn on keys in the studio with us for both songs. Brad Hill was my producer for these songs and I had been wanting to work with him for a long time, so I was delighted that he loved these songs as much as I did!
IMM: To follow up on that song, will a new album to be released this year with your band? And other songs and videos till the album release?
Natalie: Right now I’m really focused on singles. I’ve loved the freedom it’s given me. I will always be an album girl – I love them. But for right now, singles just feel so good.
IMM: At what age you started to learn to play the violin, sing and you also play guitar? And the musicians influence you on the violin?
Natalie: Natalie: I started playing violin at age 4. I started in classical music and then at about age 8 I started taking fiddle lessons as well. I loved being able to play both styles on the same instrument and immediately fell in love with fiddle music. I didn’t start singing professionally until I was 10, but once I realized the strength in the combo of singing and playing, I was hooked! I always played guitar a bit, but didn’t ever really start playing until i got more serious about writing after college. My influences have ranged from Mark O’Connor, Rob Hajacos, and Charlie Daniels… and then of course trying to immolate guitar sounds from my favorite rock bands on the fiddle.
IMM: Which music groups your influence by?
Natalie: I grew up obsessing over Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks. And these days I can’t get enough of John Mayer, Keith Urban, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and Chris Stapleton.
IMM: You were on the season 13 of NBC’s The Voice on the Blind Audition. Did you submit for that? The show is for amateurs and novices which you’re neither?
Natalie: It was such a rollercoaster! The Voice had reached out and asked me to audition for past seasons and it never felt like the right time. But something told me that I should audition this last season and it turned out to be quite the adventure. It reinforced something that I’ve always known and preached which is to Never Give Up. Just as you think things may be coming to a close – that’s when your COMEBACK happens. And I was overwhelmed with the support of the Stovall Army that banded together during the course of the show!
IMM: You performed Adele’s “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” and you joined Team Blake Shelton then you went into the battles singing Little Big Town’s song “Boondocks” and lost against Adam Cunningham. Yet, Blake brought you back you performed Garth Brook’s “Callin’ Baton Rouge” for the playoffs. The show got you more exposure and request from other music groups to record and tour with?
Natalie: It was wild that at the exact moment I was on stage rehearsing to sing Little Big Town’s song on the show in Los Angeles, Jimi Westbrook from Little Big Town was back in Nashville putting his voice on Wine or Whiskey in the studio. That was one of those crazy coincidences that felt like a little wink from the universe. I met a lot of great people on the show, and I can’t tell you the number of fans that come up to me in the meet and greet lines at my shows now and say they saw me on the Voice!
IMM: And for this year about how many shows are planned as a headliner and opening group? And performing at other countries?
Natalie: The first tour I had when I got off the show was a European Tour for Navy Entertainment in Spain, Greece, Italy and Sicily. And this summer is a little bit of everything! I have opening slots, headlining shows, fairs, and festivals. And we keep adding more all the time. I LOVE being on the road!
IMM: So many opportunities for you for music and other stage and film productions. Thanks again for your time.
Natalie: There are a lot of great opportunities in the works and I am so thankful for all that is coming. My new song “Can’t Love You No More” is coming out June 8, just in time for summer!