Sometimes good things come in pairs, and the singing and playing of Sara Zebley and Hayley Prosser, better known as Steel Blossoms, is a fine example. If their vocal harmonizing sounds like they have sung together for a long time, it’s because these two long-time friends have done just that.
Sara and Hayley are also worthy songwriters and have just released their latest single, “You’re the Reason I Drink.” In this cute and clever countrified little ditty, they combine two of the genre’s favorite topics: a bad relationship and alcohol! Here’s a recent clip of them singing the song downtown at AJ’s Good Time Bar.
Steel Blossoms have made themselves known around town burning up the clubs down on Lower Broad and playing intimate house concerts. Check www.steelblossoms.com for plenty of upcoming local activity as well as how to host a Steel Blossoms gig in your own home while you still can.
Thanks to these talented young ladies for working through the 11 Questions. We look forward to their self-titled second long player later this year on April 26. Steel Blossoms are the first act signed to award-winning songwriter Jerry Salley’s new Americana label, Billy Jam Records.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
We are both originally from around the Pittsburgh, PA area. We have both always dreamed of moving to Nashville to pursue a career in music, and we finally moved in September 2014, after Hayley graduated college. There was a lot more opportunity here for musicians, and we would see that when we would visit so we felt it was the best move for the career we wanted.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
Hayley: The first record I ever got was the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium album, and that was on a CD. The last record I bought was Ruston Kelly’s Dying Star album. I bought that digitally.
Sara: The first record I ever bought was Leann Rimes Blue in 1996 on a CD. She wasn’t that much older than me, and I remember thinking that maybe I could do that someday. The last record I bought was Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s The Nashville Sound. I bought it digitally on iTunes.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
Hayley: The first concert I went to was the Backstreet Boys Millennium concert (I guess you could say I was a fan.), and the last concert I went to was Ashley Monroe at the Station Inn. She’s magical.
Sara: The first concert I went to was child country stars Billy Gilman and Jessica Andrews at the Washington County Fair in Pennsylvania. (It’s as small town as it sounds.) There was a huge thunderstorm, and the show was delayed for a long time, but my family and I waited it out because I had the biggest crush on Billy. I took so many pictures on several disposable cameras that night! The last concert was with Hayley at the Station Inn to see Ashley Monroe (goddess) for Americanafest, but we’ll have a new last concert in a few weeks when we see Kacey Musgraves at the Ryman! 🙂
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Hayley: I seriously don’t feel like I have any credentials to even have an opinion on this.
Sara: I have no idea what the criteria is but while browsing over the list of people who have a star already, I was surprised to not see George Jones!
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Hayley: For coffee, Caliber Coffee Co. all the way. That place is amazing. Pizza is Five Points Pizza. I think I could eat their pizza for the rest of my life.
Sara: Bella Napoli has my favorite pizza ever! It’s called the “Parma,” and it’ll change your life. The servers there know that I’m going to order that as soon as I sit down! I usually only drink my own coffee at home, but I occasionally treat myself to a good Starbucks coffee in Hermitage when I’m running errands. (Such a basic millennial girl response, I know.)
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Hayley: Miranda Lambert’s Platinum album. It’s one of my all-time favorite albums. It’s got songs like “Girls,” which brings out the feminist in me, “Gravity is a B**ch,” which makes me laugh EVERY TIME, and “Bathroom Sink” (which she wrote by herself) which makes me cry and wonder how she can be so damn relatable.
Sara: It’s hard to pick a favorite but Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free comes to mind. It’s raw, honest and insightful, and one of my favorite songs of all time is on there, called “Speed Trap Town.”
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Hayley: If I’m playing late, sleep is always the next thing on my mind.
Sara: the best place to eat is AT your show at Puckett’s. The meatloaf is to die for, and Puckett’s pays musicians with a free meal. Such a win-win.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Hayley: Ah, we love hosting writers rounds because then we get to listen to the music of others who consistently inspire us and make us better writers. I would have to choose our good friends, Megan Katarina, Jerry Salley, and Ryan Larkins.
Sara: Megan Katarina, Ryan Larkins and Jerry Salley.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
Hayley: Analog at the Hutton Hotel has been one of my favorite places we’ve ever played. It looks like it’s straight out of a movie, and the sound is incredible.
Sara: Puckett’s, Ole Red, and Mellow Mushroom are favorites of mine, all for different reasons. Puckett’s is so authentic and “vibey,” Ole Red makes you feel like you’re a superstar, and Mellow Mushroom is laid back and fun.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Hayley: Sara has this friend from college, Susan, who is an incredible songwriter and musician. She has this ability to keep you completely drawn to her when she sings. I’d love to see her move here, and we like hanging out with her so that’s a huge bonus!
Sara: Emily Scott Robinson for sure. I got my hands on an advanced copy of her new album Traveling Mercies (it’s official release was on February 22) and I can’t stop listening. She’s killing it out-of-state, but I’d love to be able to hear her in person more often!
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Hayley: We are coming out with our first full band album (YAY!) in April of this year, and we just signed with Billy Jam Records as their first Americana act. We are really excited about the opportunities ahead of us. We have started transitioning some cities from many house concerts to small theaters, and that’s been really exciting. Our career has always been very grassroots style, so we plan to keep meeting fans one at a time!
Sara: Making honest music that we believe in will always be at the forefront when looking to the future. We are working on an April 2019 album release, and the goal is to spread our music to as many people as possible, even if it is one person at a time! We already travel and tour pretty frequently, but we want to buy a van and expand the possibilities of that this year! I can see us eventually performing at theaters and Americana/Roots festivals as well as continuing to perform intimate house concerts.