Lucky 13 with Daydream Catapult

Daydream Catapult Lucky 13 with NMG

“Without music I would be a bit lost. Music is a mysterious language. My music makes me feel more human. I write the songs because I simply have to. Support music because it enriches and connects people’s lives.” ~ Tom Johnson, Daydream Catapult

Daydream Catapult is a Nashville-based pop trio consisting of founding members Chris Ray, Elle Bijet, and Tom Johnson. Anchored by acoustic and electronic influences, the band’s sound is a concoction of dynamic musical escapes for the discerning listener. Since their formation in 2012, Daydream Catapult has been evolving their own unique take on pop. From the acoustic guitar and vocal mix of their early days, the trio has since added subtlety and depth to their original compositions. Through their use of modern electronic production, the band’s emerging sound is rich and layered with strong rhythmic underpinnings and orchestral accents.

This Nashville-based pop trio devoted to the concoction of dynamic musical escapes, anchored by acoustic and electronic influences encompass the true ideals of music beyond boundaries. Their latest single is “Love Jumping” and the official video for “Catnip” was released this week on their Vevo channel.

Daydream Catapult will be performing in Nashville on Saturday, October 3rd at Fogatas Mexican Restaurant (5560 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211) at 5PM.

Nashville Music Guide had the opportunity to do our Lucky 13 with Daydream Catapult so that we could share a little bit more about this local band with their fans and our audience.

Lucky 13 with Daydream Catapult


“Without music, there would not be a powerful challenge to your heart’s status quo. Music is a friend speaking the truth you need to hear in a kind and gentle way. My music makes me feel part of the whole. I write the songs that show up on my doorstep, in the rain. Support music because kibble for our pets is expensive.” ~ Elle Bijet, Daydream Catapult

NMG: What was the first song you ever performed? 

Tom Johnson: “Once in Royal David’s City” for a second-grade Christmas pageant.

NMG: Did you come from a musical background? 

Elle Bijet: My mom loves to sing and she used to bribe my siblings and me with candy when we practiced three-part harmony to be performed for our church. Singing was a path to sugar in my family. We often had to eat health food, stuff like lecithin, until we had a holiday or a song to sing at church.

NMG: What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career? 

Chris Ray: One thing I would say is to work on separating your artist side from your business side. If you are only an artist, then you have to rely on someone else to monetize your art form. Similarly, if you take on too much of the business side of things, then your art could suffer. The way the artist side of you views your music may or may not necessarily be the way your business side should look at it. Separating and balancing these two worlds takes patience and dedication on all fronts.

NMG: What are 3 things that you have to have with you at all times/never leave home without? 

Tom Johnson: Phone, keys, and wallet (which contains at least one guitar pick).

NMG: If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it? 

Chris Ray: “Yard gnome discovers purpose”

Elle front Tracks

Without music, I have no excuse for not being a doctor or lawyer. Music is color and I am part of the greatest kaleidoscope. My music makes me feel like I have a winning lottery ticket in my pocket. I write the songs, play the guitar, produce the sound, and eat the sushi.  Support music because one day you may be a lowly musician too. ~ Chris Ray, Daydream Catapult

NMG: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?) 

Elle Bijet: I tend to write about over-thinking things, uncertainty in taking action, and surrendering to the only easy answer: love.

NMG: What do you feel distinguishes “an artist” from just a musician? 

Elle Bijet: Musicians feel music just as deeply as an “artist,” and the way in which they express themselves comes from a profound knowledge of what they and their instrument can do for a song. An “artist” may or may not possess the high level of technical know-how and musicality to connect to an audience as purely a “musician.” The artist’s connection to music and to other people comes from having a creative itch to scratch, and then making oneself vulnerable enough to share it, knowing that other people might not like that extension of themselves.

NMG: If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what would it be? 

Elle Bijet: I both like and lament that music seems to be dwindling as a cash cow. The way people consume music is forever changing and the ways to have a steady income are less reliable than ever. While easy online access to new music is a great thing, I believe that artists and songwriters should be paid for their hard work. Maybe we could go back to some sort of thing like they had in the Renaissance: patrons could sponsor musicians while they focus on the creations that can be shared by all.

NMG: How do you like to enjoy your relaxation time away from the music? 

Elle Bijet: I like to hang out with my cat, throw the Frisbee with my dog, and watch the cheesiest and most melodramatic Telenovelas in Spanish that are currently on T.V. or Netflix.

NMG: Who does most of the songwriting? 

Elle Bijet: Chris does the lion’s share of the songwriting because he is the most action-oriented, whereas Tom and I like to think things through and ponder for a while (an eternity). Moreover, Chris’ command of midi-programming and production in general allows him to conceive many layers that were not in the original song.

NMG: When things seem to go negatively at times, how o you turn things into something positive? 

Chris Ray: Beer.

NMG: What are your up-to-date performance plans? New Releases? Tours ? News? 

Chris Ray: Our single “Love Jumping” recently hit iTunes, and we have a super fun video we just released  for our song “Catnip.” Please give our Youtube channel a listen!

NMG: Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc that you want to give a shout out to? 

Chris Ray: Carey James is our financier, music video director, PR professional, tech savant, promoter, and head chef. He has believed in us since day one and has been an invaluable source of knowledge and at times extreme frustration. We love you bro!

Check out Daydream Catapult’s Video for “Catnip”

For more information on Daydream Catapult:

26th Annual International Bluegrass Awards to be Live Streamed by Music City Roots Thursday Night

26th Annual International Bluegrass Awards to be Streamed Live Online by Music City Roots

SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, WUNC TV to Also Carry Live Broadcast 

Thursday Night’s Show at Raleigh’s Duke Energy Center Will Feature Performances by the Earls of Leicester, Del McCoury Band, Hot Rize, The Gibson Brothers, Larry Sparks,

Steep Canyon Rangers with Edie Brickell, Flatt Lonesome, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Balsam Range, and an all-star closing jam. 

IBMA AwardsThursday night’s 26th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards will be live streamed online by Music City Roots on their website, This is in addition to the live broadcast on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction) which was previously announced, as well as the live broadcast throughout North Carolina by WUNC-TV. Sponsors making this possible include Acceptance Auto Insurance, BMI, Compass Records, Deering Banjos, and the International Bluegrass Music Museum and Mountain Home Music Company. The show will be hosted by The Gibson Brothers and begins at7:30 p.m./EDT and takes place at Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, N.C. Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the IBMA.

“We’ll be airing highlights from the show in this fall’s APT series, but there’s something magical about the live experience,” said Music City Roots Executive Producer John Walker. Some moments only happen once in a lifetime, like the Tony Rice speech in 2013. We’re so thankful to the folks at Acceptance Insurance for stepping up and making this possible.”

IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger added, “We are excited to once again partner with Music City Roots to offer live online streaming of the IBMA Awards Show. While there is nothing like being there in person, it is great to have online viewing available for those fans who can’t be Raleigh for this spectacular evening of musical celebration.”

In addition to the Awards Show, IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event – presented by Chiesi USA – consists of: the IBMA Business Conference, September 29 – October 1; Wide Open Bluegrass, presented by PNC, October 2-3 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 29 – October 1 in various Raleigh venues.


IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone – The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Limited tickets to the Awards Show remain and those wishing to obtain Awards Show tickets, Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes, IBMA Business Conference registration, tickets for the ticketed portion of Wide Open Bluegrass (which takes place at Red Hat Amphitheater) and hotel reservations should go to IBMA’s website, for additional details and pricing information.

A complete list of nominees, this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, and the recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award can also be found at


Official hashtags: #WOB, #IBMA, #Raleigh


Stephen Inglis releases “Learning You By Heart”

Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

“Learning You By Heart” is 13 tracks of one of kind musical magic that will take you on a journey of old Mexico, the islands of Oahu and Hawaii, then back to Ole El Paso. It touches on the spirit of Americana Country.


I’ve been listening to music my entire life but I’ve never really heard of Slack Key guitar. This is Stephen’s unique gift. His style of guitar playing originated in Hawaii and was inspired by music that came from North America, Portugal, Puerto Rico and the Samoan and Tahitian Islands.


Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

It is a beautiful and elegant style of playing because of it’s intricate and detailed yet free flowing form.


Stephen is in keeping with some exceptional company such as legendary artists Jerry Garcia, country artist Chet Atkins, Gram Parsons, and Sonny Chillingworth who by some reports, has been regarded as the most influential slack key guitarist in history.


Soon to embark on a tour of Tokyo, Japan, Stephen will be performing at the Hawaiian Slack Guitar Festival and then move on throughout the Pacific Northwest.


“Learning You By Hand” is an eclectic blend of folk, blue grass, country, and folk/rock. It exudes happiness, freedom and


Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

His accomplishments are a testimony to his many talents and how dedicated he is to his musical career. Stephen has toured with some of the most talented of musicians in their field. Bill Kreutzmann, 30 year career drummer for the Greatful Dead, and Grammy award winning Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, legendary Hawaiian slack key recording artist. The album recorded with iconic guitarist Dennis Kamakahi won the Na Hoku Hanohano Award, similar to our Grammy’s, and that album currently is available to view on display permanently in the Washington DC Smithsonian Institute.


In 2009 Stephen was nominated for a Grammy for his song Redwood Slack Key that was featured on a collection called Hawaiian Slack Key Kings Compilation. In 2011 he received the Hawaii Music Award for Folk Album of the year “Slackin’ in Dylan. 201 was an exciting year when he received the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Waimaka Helelei, Slack Key Album of the Year. Bringing up the following year in 2013 for Hip Hop Album of the year Evasive Species Lie at Soulsound.


Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

“Maria Luisa” is easy listening and soft dancing with intimate sashays of prose. Loved this song, it took me to the islands and back across the waters to Old Mexico. This EP gives you the ability to use your imagination along with the song and have your fantasy’s come to life.


Stephen Inglis is one of the most versitle artists on the scene at this time. Fresh out of his teens and into his twentys Stephen was taking a huge leap by starting a band with Bill Kreutzmann. He’s on top of what the fans and listeners want and he knows how to bring them back for more.


His music is fresh, clean and genuine not redundant. A lot of the groups and independent artists on the music scene today use a lot of prefabricated tracks and loops, not Stephen. He dedicates true talent to this album and it shows with his collaboration with Gavan Daws who is a world legendary writer and film maker. Their collaboration on “Learning You By Heart” and three other songs on the album is epic.


Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Stephen Inglis courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

“Lay Your Dagger Down” could be described as Americana Rhythm & Blues/Folk Rock. It jumps, bumps, and keeps your feet tapping.


Stephen has opened for iconic performers Diamond Rio, Sublime, and The Specials along with playing sold out shows in the US. For more information on Stephen Inglis and this new collection of tunes please visit the following sites.






Local Company Designed All Merchandise for the Pilgrimage Music Festival

Thousands will make the pilgrimage to Franklin, Tennessee this weekend to attend the Pilgrimage Festival to see a diverse lineup of musical talent including Cage the Elephant, Chris Stapleton, Steven Tyler, Wilco and Willie Nelson.

If you stop by the merchandise tent to buy a shirt as a token to remember the experience, you will be wearing the handiwork of Manhead Merchandise.

Patrick Mahoney, executive vice president and general manager of Manhead Merchandise, said they designed all merchandise for the Pilgrimage Festival.

He said they met the producers and they really hit it off. “Our initial design package impressed them,” Mahoney said.

According to Mahoney, the Pilgrimage Festival used as much local vendors as possible. He said they have an office in Nashville on Edgehill off of Music Row.

Next month will mark a year since Manhead Merchandise moved to Nashville. Mahoney said he move here earlier this year. Mahoney said they are thrilled to be here, adding that this is where they all want to work and live.

Mahoney said they did a 10-day initial design package with the festival. He said when they sent the designs in for the Pilgrimage Festival. He said when they sent it in for approval, they were 80 percent there already. “Over the course of two weeks, we designed the entire line,” he said.

Items available this weekend will include -shirts, fleece, water bottles, hat, writing journals, cutting boards, soap, mason jars and more.

Mahoney said the festival’s producers are happy with the items. He said he hopes everyone comes in and sees something they like.


Lucky 13 with Kayla Calabrese

Kayla CalabreseWith her Jersey-girl attitude and romantic Italian soul, Kayla Calabrese brings her own flair to the country music scene.  This down-to-earth artist has a sassy edge that shines through her lyrics, stage presence, and fresh demeanor.

Being an artist has always been an aspiration of Kayla’s.  It wasn’t until age 16 that this “hairbrush singer” made the bold decision to make her dreams a reality.  With a go-getter spirit, Kayla decided to take voice lessons, and a few years later, made the brave move to Music City to pursue her passion for music.

Upon moving to Nashville, Kayla began recording with Grammy nominated music producer Kent Wells, best known for producing Dolly Parton.  Wells produced Kayla’s first EP Kayla Calabrese, featuring her first single “Kiss Me,” and was a great experience she describes as something she will never forget.  Pleased by the success, Kayla was determined to keep pushing forward.  A few years later, after teaming up with producer Jimmy Nichols, Kayla was ready to release a project she had been developing, starting with her Fall 2014 release “Whisper.”  Kayla wasn’t the only one moved by the creation with Jimmy Nichols—Jimmy was equally impressed.

As a musician, Kayla can show her strong disposition in one song, yet become vulnerable with the next.  “My favorite part about being an artist is that I can express my feelings and emotions in a song that not only means something to me but others can relate in their own personal way,” says Calabrese.  This raw emotion can be found in her newest single “Give,” on radio now.

Lucky 13 with Kayla Calabrese

Kayla Calabrese Give

NMG: What was the first song you ever performed? 

 Kayla Calabrese: The first song I ever performed was the duet ‘For Good’ from Wicked. I sung Glinda’s part and my friend Leanne Sung Elphaba’s. My music teacher wanted my first performance to be a duet so I wouldn’t be as nervous going up on stage for the first time at 17 years old. 

NMG: What are your musical influences? 

Kayla Calabrese: My musical influences are Idina Menzel, Martina McBride, Sara Evans, Carrie Underwood, Sara Bareilles and Loretta Lynn. I love how different they all are from each other and how different their songwriting is. I learn a lot and am inspired by all of them in different ways. 

NMG: How do you balance your music career with your other obligations in life? 

Kayla Calabrese:  I balance my career and other obligations in life by perfecting time management. I am also an ER nurse, so i have 3 days a week where I am in the hospital for 12+ hours taking care of patients, some in some pretty bad circumstances, so being able to balance my music career with that is really a great release. I love being able to work one day and then go to a radio station or perform the next. It’s a busy life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

NMG: What are 3 things that you have to have with you at all times/never leave home without? 

Kayla Calabrese: 3 things that I never leave home without are 1. my phone 2. my wallet 3. lotion. 

NMG: As a child growing up, music surrounds us; What type of music did you hear the most back then? How does it differ from what you listen to now? 

Kayla Calabrese: As a child growing up I listened to a lot of what my friend listened to. I was a huge Hanson, N’Sync, and Backstreet Boys fan. I actually thought for a year straight that I was going to marry Zac Hanson. My friend and I got into arguments over who was going to marry him. haha. I also loved Clay Aiken growing up. Clay Aiken was the first concert I ever attended. Music I listened to back then is different from what I listen to now because now I actually LISTEN to the music, lyrics and what message the artist is saying. I listen to lyrics first, instead of primarily just how the song sounds.

NMG: What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music? 

Kayla Calabrese: I always wanted to sing and perform, but I was too scared to tell any one. My mom took me to see Wicked on Broadway with the original Broadway cast (Idina Menzel) and I remember thinking throughout the entire show that I wanted to be on stage performing. When the show was over I turned to my mom and asked for voice lessons. The rest is history :) 

NMG: What do you feel distinguishes “an artist” from just a musician?

Kayla Calabrese: I feel like an artist is someone who is sure of who they are and how they want to be portrayed. An artist sings and writes from their heart and wants to move people through what they create. For me if I can touch one person each time I perform, then I did my job as an artist. 

NMG: If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what would it be?

Kayla Calabrese: I would give new artists a fair opportunity to be heard and to be taken seriously. I would also given women in country more of a voice, after all tomatoes make a salad more colorful 😉

NMG: How do you like to enjoy your relaxation time away from the music?

Kayla Calabrese: In the summer I love going to the beach. Southport, NC, Wilmington, NC, and my hometown in NJ are some of my favorite places. I love to relax by reading a book, or traveling to see family. I’m an outdoor person so if I can be outside whether that be going to collect my own spring water, or just going on a hike, I’m happy. 

NMG: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us? 

Kayla Calabrese: I can walk on my hands! :) I also play the guitar, drums, piano, mandolin and ukulele.

NMG: If you could perform with anyone in the world – either dead, alive, or broke up – who would it be? Why? (Name up to 3) 

Kayla Calabrese: Idina Menzel (hands down!), Martina McBride, and Sara Bareilles 

NMG: What are your up-to-date performance plans? New Releases? Tours ? News? 

Kayla Calabrese: I am promoting my new single “Give.” I have a new EP titled Glass Stiletto coming out SOON! And I’m gearing up to go into the studio to record a Christmas EP :) SO keep an eye and ear out for new music! 

NMG: How do you think you would like to be remembered by everyone if something were to happen to you suddenly? 

 Kayla Calabrese:  I want to be remembered as someone who stayed true to who I am. A happy-go-lucky, go with the flow type of person. I would want to be remembered as someone who made a difference for doing all of the right things :)

Check out Kayla’s Single “Give” Now 


Without music, I would be lost
Music is my life
My music makes me feel every emotion sometimes all at once
I write the songs because I love to share my stories and thoughts 
Support music because without it the world would be a boring place! 
For more information on Kayla: | | Twitter: @kaylacalabrese | Instagram: @kaylacmusic