You’ll kinda dig The Railers after you hear their music. Comprised of band members, Jonathan, Cassandra, Jordan and Tyler – the Railers bring a fun eccentric vibe with their music to fans. They’ve toured and played with Sara Evans, Justin Moore, Hunter Hayes and will no doubt continue to gain popularity among the masses.
The Railers debuted their EP, The Geraldine Sessions, last August and then released their single Kinda Dig the Feeling in September. I spoke with Cassandra Lawson, one fourth of The Railers and asked her how the two back to back releases by Warner Nashville has launched them out in front of country music fans. She said, “Warner Nashville has been so good about keeping the pace. We really like the run and stay super busy, so they’ve been great partners for us to have to connect us with music fans from all over the nation. Keeping that kind of schedule keeps us creative and right there with the fans. I don’t think we could have it any other way.”
In the Beginning
The Railers average about 150 to 200 shows a year, and enjoy staying super busy. They originally started out playing in random places including coffee shops and Irish pubs and have progressed into playing arenas with the likes of Hunter Hayes. But, how did they get their start? Well Sara Evans is actually the one to gave them their first start by letting them open up for her for two tours, after they all quit their real jobs. (Jonathan worked for Sara Evans, Jordan had a gig with Josh Turner, Tyler played drums with several artists and Cassandra worked for a publishing house)
Cassandra said they’ve been able to run the gamut of size of venues and says performing is really about the fans and connections they’ve had. “We’ve had some of the best shows with 20 people crammed into a living room and then we’ve gone and watched the entire arena light up and come to life with the Hunter Hayes tour. It really is about the response of the fans,” said Cassandra.
In their songwriting, The Railers do things a little backwards than what is normal in the music industry. They write their songs for performances and then record them. Cassandra said what is so fun about what they do and the way they do it is because it keeps their music fresh and when they come into the studio, all they are really trying to capture is the last challenge.
“Which is why that EP (The Geraldine Sessions) is like if we were in someone’s living room. We just wanted it to be super organic and have people feel really connected to it,” said Cassandra. “I think it’s a really good exercise for us. We just want to make sure that the music that we play on the road everyday is something that someone can put into their car, or CD player or online and listen to it and feel like they are at a show.”
Shake and Bake!
Their single, Kinda Dig the Feeling is almost like an anthem to dance. It’s a fun song and rumor has it it’s been called their “Shake and Bake” song. The reason? Well, Cassandra plays a shaker on that song, and she’s admitted to breaking three or four shakers while playing that song. Joking around one day, someone yelled “Shake and Bake” and it stuck. She’s not quite sure if it’s a blessing or a curse – but if she’s playing that hard, she must be doing something right! She said, “We just kind of named it after that, because it’s reckless, crazy and super fun and you want to go wild on it when you listen to it.”
Shaky Boots Music Festival
The Railers are performing on Saturday, May 16 at 1:15 p.m. at the Shaky Boots Music Festival just outside of Atlanta, Ga. There is a full line up of powerhouse artists including Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Sara Evans and more.
Cassandra said that they are hoping to run into Sara Evans while at the festival. “To able to read the lineup for Shaky Boots is just so surreal and cool. We’re getting these really great shows and beginning to feel like peers. Because when you first start out as a band, you have all these hopes and dreams and then when you actually let that start happening and then you see your name next to someone like Dierks, it’s ridiculous.”
The Railers are excited about coming to Shaky Boot in its first year. Cassandra said, “There is so much heart behind the planning, the excitement and all the details. Everyone wants the first year to go so well, so to be able to be on the rooster for the first year is killer and it’s going to be so much fun!”
Currently out is their EP, The Geraldine Sessions and their single, Kinda Dig the Feeling and soon there will be a full debut album from The Railers. Cassandra said about the album, “It’s all locked and loaded and ready to go. It’s been a two and a half year process just to really start honing in on our songs, writing and trying to really find the heart of what our sound is and what we want to say as artists and how we want to connect with our fans.”
The next single will come out in the near future and then after the single, the album should be released. If you’re itching for new music, check out their Pandora station. There are two or three unreleased songs on that channel including one called Mug Shots. “Fans have really started latching onto those songs and we’re trying to get them familiar with the music so when the album comes out everyone can just sing along in their car and at the shows. We’re trying to give out teasers,” she said.
The album will have 11 songs on it but they will have recorded 18 or maybe even 20 songs by the time it’s done. They’ll still have to narrow down the record to 11 songs by picking their favorites. She said she’s sure there will be some arm-wrestling over certain songs, but it’s almost completed and said it’s fun to have that much material to work with.
“For the first record, we really wanted to let the best song win and whether that’s something that we’ve written or from another writer,” she said. “We really don’t have any rules at this point because we just really want to be able to give our fans a solid album and something that they don’t press fast forward on and that’s a fun challenge for us.”
The Great Thing About Country Music
My favorite quote from Cassandra, “That’s what so great about country music is that writing a song is still the heart of our genre. To be able to be able to focus on that in country music is great.” Preach it, sister!
Don’t miss The Railers at Shaky Boots Music Festival this weekend in Kennesaw, Ga.