I have been looking forward to this live all week! If you’ve been following along the past few months then you probably had the chance to listen to Janice At The Hotel Bar or maybe you even made a cameo in the lyric video! My friend, Hailey Whitters wrote that song with Lori McKenna after one night they saw my IG stories about an interaction with a woman in a hotel bar named Janice. Hailey has written songs for Little Big Town and Alan Jackson. She has also toured with Little Big Town, and opened for Maren Morris on her 2019 Girl: The World Tour. The Dream, Hailey’s latest album, has received praise and great reviews from Garden and Gun, NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Paste magazine. Also, I love the song Heartland
I love the song Heartland, tell us a little bit about it-
I wrote that with Nicolle Gaylon and I was in this place where I was feeling all over the place personally and professionally. We wrote that song about settling back in who you are and re-discovering your roots. You know, stay true to the path of where you’re from and who you are.
I was flipping through a Free People magazine and they had all these girls – “Night Girl” “Day Girl” “Dream Girl” and I thought that was interesting. The idea spun from that – No matter what just know that you’re special and that you’re someone else Dream girl.
Nashville is kinda known to be a 10 year town, and when I wrote that I was frustrated with where I was and not where I wanted to be. I wanted to figure out why I was in Nashville and exactly what I loved. I was writing with Brandy Clark and her and I had similar stories. We had a writing therapy session one day and we wrote that song, in a very candid way and what it’s like to take a chance on yourself as a dreamer.
How is your new album – The Dream going?!
The album has gone so so well! It’s been so special, we were supposed to be on Seth Myers before the quarantine. But hey, it’s just so special to me, especially since I did it all my own and published it myself.
How are you filling your days, what have you been up to right now? Writing?
Thank goodness the sun is out in Nashville, it’s lifted my spirits. I’m reading a lot and listening to a lot of music. Yeah, it’s so nice because this has kinda made me sit down with my guitar and try to write solo again – which I love to do. A lot of writers in Nashville are starting to do zoom sessions, so that’s definitely making due right now.
How do you start when you write a song?
I find that I am lyric centric – so I like to start with words. Whether its a few words that pop into my head or title, then I will take it from there.
Tell us the story about Janice in the Hotel bar?
I was writing with Lori in Feb. of 2018, in Boston in her basement. We were just talking about women who were bad asses, women who had sound and solid advice. I was thinking how do we write a song about a woman giving a younger woman advice? Lori said “Do you know who Living With Landyn is?” and she brought up this post you had posted about how you had sat in a hotel bar with a woman named Janice. You had put together a list of advice that she has give you – so we pulled from what you had talked about with Janice and then I took from my own grandmother and I, and built it from there.
We wrote it in about a day/day and a half and then I recorded it about a month later. I really wanted people to hear what the words were and not be cluttered by production.
What are your plans? What’s coming up next?
Well, we were the middle of tour with Jordan Davis and I am also doing some dates with Tanya Tucker. We are also set for Stagecoach + Windy City. You can find all my future dates on my website.
OKAY – What is your most favorite meal to cook at home right now or your favorite place to snag take out?
Cheese Plates are my jam – we have a mutual from, Nashville Cheese Gal. Gummmmmmmy bears are my weakness. I love red wine and I am an early bird. Also, YES, Tiger King on Netflix right now is everything.
some of my favorite quotes
I have felt a connection for women who had walked before me
everyone has a Janice
I call these things a god wink
giving this one last shoot to the wind