Scott Kurt & Memphis 59

Scott Kurt wears many hats. Singer, songwriter, producer, and frontman for his hard charging Country band Memphis 59. "I love playing different roles in my music," says Kurt. "Some nights it's great to walk onstage with nothing but my acoustic guitar and voice to entertain an audience. But there are also nights when I plug in my Telecaster to a cranked up Vox amp - and when the band is playing at full throttle, there is no bigger rush."

"Down This Road" is Scott's new album and the follow-up to 2010's "Ragged But Right," which was produced and engineered by Grammy winners John Jennings and Bob Dawson. "As I evolve as a songwriter, I am digging deeper into the lyrics and melodies. The first record was a great experience, but it didn't have as much of a lyrical focus on certain songs. This time around it's about striking a chord that resonates with listeners and evokes emotion."

While Scott was working with Grammy winners both onstage and in the studio, he also caught the attention of local industry insiders by earning six award nominations from the Washington Area Music Association.

South Rail

Some voices were just meant for each other. Jay Byrd and Lara Supan blend to make South Rail’s sound undoubtedly their own. Robust harmonies backed by solid songwriting and musicianship define the band’s original music, steeped in a fusion of authentic Americana and Rock and Roll.

South Rail’s melding of genres and styles is attributed to the diverse backgrounds and influences of its members. Lara, originally from the DC area, studied vocal Jazz at Ithaca College in upstate NY. Before joining South Rail she had been singing and performing since the age of three in various settings ranging from a short stint in musical theatre to solo gigs supporting her own album recorded in Ithaca.

Jay was raised in North Carolina, where he began his professional music career in his late teens. He co-founded a blues-rock trio The Groov, then joined a Grateful Dead cover band named Wavy Train. After moving to the DC area in 2001, Jay began his journey into the Americana style. Since then, Jay has won multiple awards from NewSong, and also won the Gold BMI Songwriter Award in the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest for his original works.

Keeping South Rail in time is drummer Ben Potok. Ben was born and raised in the tri-state area, studied drum set at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and played in multiple regionally touring bands.

South Rail’s recent EP consists of songs written independently by Jay and Lara. While Lara’s material tends to lean autobiographical in nature, she cites “how poignant the art of storytelling can be” when referring to Jay’s lyrics. The combination of Jay’s roots style, influenced by artists such as Bob Dylan, Wilco, and Levon Helm, with Lara’s Jazz and Soul influences, more akin to Norah Jones and Adele, comprise South Rail’s distinctive music. Ben produced the EP, which was recorded, mixed, and mastered in the DC area.

South Rail’s collection of original songs, whether heard live or on their EP, is sure to captivate audiences everywhere.

“South Rail is the total package. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing them and hearing them sound fantastic in person and on recordings. The music and performance are a true reflection of their likeable, down-to-earth personalities, poised with their stunning talent, and brilliant songs.” – A. Jones (Ageowns, DC Decibel contributer)

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