Friday, February 2

Center Stage - Mac McDaniel

Meet Mac McDanielBorn and raised in Memphis, TN, a country singer songwriter with songs rooted in hometown blues intertwined with traditional country melodies. Mac has influences from rock cover bands back at Auburn University to 90's country. Traditional country music mixed with blues and a hint of modern country give Mac's music a unique sound compared to other artists today. 

Get to know Mac a little better, what he's been up to and what he's got in store for his music career in our latest Center Stage Q&A:

Can you describe your sound in one ramble-on sentence? 
Traditional country melodies mixed with rock and and a little blues.

What's your earliest music-related memory growing up? 
Most of my dad's side of the family lives in Nashville, TN. My uncle, Sam Wellington, was the host of The Grand Ole Opry when I was young and he would always tell me about the country acts that he would get to introduce on the show. I also remember meeting my great aunt Minnie Pearl. I didn't really know at the time what she did besides say "Howdy" on a TV show. My Nashville family has always been a big influence for my music as well as the Beale Street blues in my hometown of Memphis, TN.

If you were to cover another band/artist's album, which would you pick and why? 
I have always been an acoustic guitarist and have been listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton lately. The sound of the acoustic guitar in "Broken Halos" and "Millionaire" are incredible and although no one can in my opinion can out sign Stapleton, I have a good time covering his songs.

Do you write/compose your own songs? Briefly describe your songwriting process 
I write all of my own songs. Some of my songs are co-writes with my buddy Josh Brown. My songwriting method changes a lot. Sometimes I'll come up with a cool riff and then add in lyrics and melody, but I think the best songs come from when I start my songs from a general song idea and add in the lyrics and melody.

What was the highlight for you in 2017? Either personally or for your music career? 
The highlight of 2017 is when I found out my wife and I our having our second son. My son Graham is 3 and we are looking forward to meeting his baby brother.

What have you been working on recently? Can you give us a hint for whats to come in 2018? 

2018 is starting out great. I have new song called "Rebel Heart" that will be available the beginning of February. It's similar to "Here in Memphis" in some regards, but it explains more about my music journey from a teenager to now and even though I'm a family man who lives in Memphis, I intend to keep "spinning my wheels on that music road". Also, Josh Brown and I will be releasing another song we co-wrote called "From Johnny to June" some time in February.

What do you like more: Performing live or recording in the studio?
I enjoy playing live and recording in the studio. Live music is more carefree and fun, but when you record in the studio you are creating a sound and emotion you can always go back to and relive.

What are some artists/bands that you're into at the moment? Or any particular song you find yourself listening to over and over?
I listen to a lot of new up-and-coming country artists, and although I tend to listen to more male vocalists, I have been listening to Hailey Steele's song "Wandering Heart". I love the melody and lead guitar and relate to drive and passion of creating music. It has a similar vibe to my new song "Rebel Heart".

Any embarrassing on stage moments you'd like to share? C’mon, don’t be shy.
No matter how many times I covered "Chicken Fried" I forget the lyrics at some part of the song when I'm playing it live. It's such a simple song but it never fails.

What's one thing people should know about you?
Ever since i was teenager, I have always wanted to create music and share it with the world. Unfortunately, it took me 20 years to figure out my sound and write songs that I feel are worthy of releasing.

What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Does your hobby rejuvenate your creativity? 

 Having a 3 year old son takes up most of my time, but when I'm not writing songs or hanging out with my family, I enjoy running. It gives me time to escape, think and relax.

What do you like the most about Radio Airplay? 
Radio Airplay is great tool to not only get exposure to your music but get feedback as well. You can determine which songs are performing the best which helps you determine where you should focus your promotion time and money.