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Exclusive "O&AN" Contest: "Out & About Newspaper" and Mercury Nashville are offering "O&AN" readers the chance to enter to win a copy of Sugarland’s upcoming album “Enjoy the Ride.” Enter by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and mailing address in the body and the word “Ride” in the subject line. Winners will be drawn at random from all entries and notified via e-mail. Prizes will be mailed to winners via US postal service.
Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles weren’t asking for much. They only wanted the simple things in life - like being able to balance being in a band and having a family, getting a Grammy nomination and selling a million records.
Peanuts, really in the grand scheme of things. Their Mercury Nashville debut “Twice the Speed of Life” surpassed all expectations selling a mammoth three million copies. The duo has been honored with an American Music Award, an Academy of Country Music Award, a Grammy nomination and six CMA nods. They have toured packed arenas on both coasts and have appeared on "The Tonight Show" and "Good Morning America" and are getting set to wow the country music world again with their follow-up “Enjoy the Ride”, due out on the Mercury Nashville label on November 7.
Sugarland has proven without a doubt that the sophomore album curse is a fallacy with this outing. The album is nothing short of a roller-coaster ride of fun foot-tappin’ country anthems (Mean Girls, County Line, Everyday America, One Blue Sky) alongside introspective moving ballads that tug the heartstrings and bring a tear to the eye (Stay, Happy Ending, These Are The Days).
Nettles’ vocal range is unsettlingly wide, belting out dead-on soul and power in one instant then dropping to a whisper and a sigh the next with equal depth and clarity. Her voice brings to mind the gutsy growl of a youthful Reba with the sultry sass of Gretchen Wilson.
The big burly beasts to Nettles’ heavenly beauty, Kristian Bush’s vocals are deep and masculine without being overbearing. The duo harmonizes flawlessly complimenting each other in ways that highlight the strengths of both. In his cowboy hat and bearded grin, Bush is the perfect counterpoint to the smaller feminine presence of Nettles as they both complete a sort of perfect yin and yang in their music as well as their stage presence. One cannot be easily imagined without the other and together they are a force that cannot easily be resisted or met with anything but rapt attention and awe. Recently, Jennifer Nettles took a few brief moments of time off from Sugarland’s whirlwind tour of the Great Northwest in order to talk with "O&AN."
O&AN: It’s a real pleasure to chat with you, Jennifer. You have definitely become a certifiable superstar of country music now, and I’m convinced, based on conversations that I’ve had with friends, of the possibility that every lesbian in Nashville is madly in love with you.
JN: That’s a huge ego boost! I’ll take it!
O&AN: It’s refreshing that you are actually proud of the fact that you have a large gay and lesbian following—an attitude that is very much unlike most mainstream country acts. Why do you feel that it’s important for you to embrace your gay audience?
JN: We have an ethos here that we try to apply to our lives in all aspects. With Sugarland we are all about opening up boundaries and crossing lines in order to celebrate the human condition. Regardless of where we come from, what we do for a living, who we love, how we love, or how we choose to live—we all live the same kinds of lives emotionally. We all celebrate victories. We all weep over heartaches. We all get our hearts broken. We all have great times with friends and loved ones. That universalism is the message we try to communicate when we tell our stories through our songwriting. We want to celebrate the fact that we are not alone here and that we can all validate each other by saying that we are all the same.
O&AN: You and Kristian seem to be having the time of your lives on the road. What is it like for you to live in the middle of a whirlwind like this?
JN: We really are enjoying the ride, no pun intended. Just like with our first album “Twice the Speed of Life” we are approaching it all from the perspective that we get back what we put out there. We wanted the album to have a positive message that was a sort of invitation for people to come along with us on this crazy ride that Kristian and I call a life and career. Intent is an important thing for us in our lives. We set our goals for what we wanted and we went after them until they happened. We wanted to really evolve our sound this time around in order to give our listeners something from us that they haven’t gotten before. We wanted to raise the bar not only for our songwriting, but also for our performances. We’ve been on the road now for almost four years, and it was important to us to demonstrate the evolution that we have experienced over that time.
O&AN: Your new album isn’t due until November 7, but you have been touring for a while now. How have the crowds responded to the new material?
JN: The audiences have been awesome. It’s been such a good time because when we write songs we attach our own meanings to them, but when we let those songs go and let the crowd have them it’s up to them then to attach whatever meanings they want to the songs. It’s a really great experience each night to see which parts of which songs new people latch onto. We have a lot of fun.
O&AN: With all of the constant traveling how did you ever make time to write a whole new album with such incredibly strong songs?
JN: We wrote most of the album on the road. We had a couple of weeks at home in Atlanta at the beginning of the year. For the next several months into the spring we wrote on the back of a tour bus and hotel rooms here, there and everywhere—anywhere inspiration hit us.
O&AN: You had a lot of time to yourselves to write “Twice the Speed of Life.” Did you find it difficult to write the new album under such different circumstances? How did the different environment set this album apart from its predecessor?
JN: It was a real lesson in flexibility. I’m really a cat, and I like for things to stay the same so I had to get myself into a creative space no matter what the environment is.
The emotion is a little bit different than on our previous work. It’s a little more mature. Now that isn’t to say that there isn’t fun and light and sass and youthful lightheartedness because there is. That can all be seen in the music and the lyrical content as far as the stories are concerned, but there is a real maturity at the same time that shows how we’ve grown. We experimented playing with new sounds, and I’ve really learned to stretch my voice in ways that challenge me to develop richer and deeper vocal textures.
We took some production risks that we hadn’t before but there really isn’t a departure. We’re still the same band only more seasoned than we were before.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.