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Liner Notes

Sterling Drake Releases “Best of Tennessee” Ahead Of Debut Album

courtesy of the artist
Sterling Drake and Rojo

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if it was the song, “Roll the Dice” or the images of horses on Sterling Drake’s Instagram that first caught my attention, probably the horses. But when I listened to the music, I had to find out more about this singing cowboy. Drake splits time between his ranch work in Montana and his music work in Nashville. His debut album is due October 1st, but he’s been treating us to singles along the way. “Roll The Dice” has an old-time western swing vibe and it piqued my interest in what else Drake had to offer. “Best of Tennessee” is out today.

AnaLee: Nice to meet another equine loving music person here in Nashville! You currently split your time between Montana and Nashville, I’m guessing so you can continue to live and work on both of your passions, horses and music. I hear traditional country and western swing in your songs. Did you grow up around horses in Montana and was there a strong music presence in your early life?
Sterling: I was actually introduced to ranching and livestock on my family’s cattle ranch in southern Florida, where I was born. My family ran Brahma cattle through the big cypress National preserve since the late 50s. It wasn’t until my teens when we moved that I was introduced to any real disciplined horsemanship. As for music, I was introduced to all sorts of music as a kid. My grandfather introduced me to the country classics.

AnaLee: Your YouTube page has a mix of originals, some finished, some you’re working on and some covers from artists such as Bob Wills and Ray Price. Several feature mandolin and vocals from Mary Meyer and others with a band including electric guitar, drums, bass, pedal steel and fiddle. How does splitting time between Montana and Nashville work for you, do you have two groups of musicians you play with or is it mostly writing in Montana and playing and recording here? 
Sterling: I have a few different musicians that I can call on in Montana, Nashville and Texas. That makes it a bit easier to travel! I’ll play shows and write in both Montana and Tennessee but I definitely do more writing in Montana.

courtesy of the artist
Sterling Drake

AnaLee: The new single, “Best of Tennessee” is out today. Talk a little about the inspiration for this track and about the album, Roll The Dice coming October 1st.
Sterling: Best of Tennessee is a song about my experience as a musician trying to make a career in Nashville. Music City has so much to offer but it can easily become overwhelming. Living in this town can definitely take a toll on you!

AnaLee: Not only are you creating your own music in Nashville, you and a partner have also started a music publishing company focusing on American roots music for Nashville based songwriters and producers. Tell us about Calusa.
Sterling: Calusa Music is our publishing arm! We work with independent roots artists and provide synchronized licensing (film placement) as well as conventional licensing and artist development services. We operate as a digital distributor. 

“Best of Tennessee”

“Roll The Dice”

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