We head back to Sam Ash Music to meet up with new country sensation Halle Kearns and Canadian Country Artist Parker Graye. Halle tells us about getting the call to go on tour with Tim McGraw as well as tales of her atrocious driving skills! Parker talks “Saddies for the Baddies,” reveals a new song and the power of mental and physical health.

Sue Bonzell  00:03

It’s the open country show where the heart of Nashville matches thrilling adventures with rising country artists. I’m your host Sue Bonzell. Join us as we explore the vibrant Nashville area alongside talented musicians combining exhilarating escapades with exclusive interviews and energetic live performances. Each week we dive into the captivating world of country music, showcasing the next generation of artists who are poised to make their mark on the industry. Let’s get it started. I paid a visit back to Sam ash music outside of Nashville to meet up with country Dynamo Halle Kearns. She tried out a couple of new guitars, and we got to talk about her upcoming tour and her very unique paths. Then I’ll spend some time with Canadian artists Parker Graye, talking about her sad song style, and the worst physical pain she’s ever been in. Plus the importance of physical and mental health. God only knows let’s kick off this episode with Hallie Kearns. All right, Hallie Kearns is joining us today at Sam ash music in Madison just outside of Nashville. So welcome. Thank you Nick dropping me okay. I’m excited to see you again that because we had some we have history we do. No way we go way back, way back to June. So you, you got to play my event that we did our 90s Country event songwriter round in Healdsburg, California wine country. Down in Tennessee, baby you’re how was that for you?


Halle Kearns  01:56

Is I mean, literally, it’s country music and wine country. And dream is Berkeley.


Sue Bonzell  02:01

And you got to do some wine tasting while you were there too. All right, like same simultaneously just got skills that you were also there for country summer, the Big Country Music Festival in Santa Rosa, California. Was that the first year you’ve done your summer


Halle Kearns  02:14

 Was your show was my first performance in California. Yeah, yeah. I guess my first countries and other races


Sue Bonzell  02:21

and how was it for you?


Halle Kearns  02:23

Oh, it’s perfect. I mean, again, I would give anything just go back again and do all over it’s best of both worlds. You get the perfect weather, perfect scenery and then you’re going to like country music. That’s just a great, I’m just hanging out here country.


Sue Bonzell  02:35

So this year is this kind of working more of the festivals for you that now you’ve done those in the past years is really the big year for a festival.


Halle Kearns  02:46

I’ve done some little fairs and that sort of thing. And then I played one festival before so this is my first year like all out during the festival tour. So it’s Brandon.


Sue Bonzell  02:57

 Yeah, and you were at CMA Fest on a pretty big stage and don’t even know how tiny Stage or Stage


Halle Kearns  03:03

of lower ions that will have no idea how big of a cyborg Oh, this little make sure so wide right side all of a sudden, you know, it’s great. It was really well


Sue Bonzell  03:11

let’s talk about the pants. Like I talked about your pants. I don’t even know if we could vote for you. But check this out as I said unit eight the


Halle Kearns  03:19

I did I don’t anyone get the wrong question though. I did saw these however, I have not sewn anything else since then. So it was a one and done situation. Okay, I would love to get more into it’s just,


Sue Bonzell  03:30

I was gonna say like, is that kind of like a side hobby? And where do you have time to do that?


Halle Kearns  03:34

I love it. I spend a lot of time right now. But I hope one day like you.


Sue Bonzell  03:37

Well, you know what I’m feeling like a clothing line. Coming right off.


Halle Kearns  03:44

You’ve literally as like a thrift flip situation. I would love it. What like idea would take so much light left. Okay, next next trip. We’re gonna go on a trip Oh, I love it. Got it all the book. So that like words?


Sue Bonzell  04:01

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, let’s talk about your music. I saw this beautiful video of you playing a song for your mom and emphasis on the Fairmont. Tell us about that song.


Halle Kearns  04:11

Yeah, absolutely. It’s called like her and it’s a Moto Z song for came out on Mother’s Day weekend. And it’s just kind of a way to honor our relationship we had kind of a rocky relationship growing up and so when we were able to reconnect last night teen we’ve been like best friends since then. So I really wanted something that kind of honored where we’ve been but also where we are now and just nodded at her and told her a little a little better. And that’s one thing to know other people just love their moms so much I do so give them something that given to them to say oh,


Sue Bonzell  04:39

yeah, you kind of like the music that I’ve seen that you’re you’re doing really I feel like resonates with your audience. So you know, you’ve got that you got a mom song right? You got got that fine too. So let’s talk about the depths on to that is


Halle Kearns  04:53

my best friend in the world. He’s incredible. He just gave whoever I end up with like some really, really good She’s a fourth I wrote a song called just that and I wanted to do the same thing just honor him and when he’s after me and my sisters all growing up,


Sue Bonzell  05:06

I love the videos that you have of you and your dad and you can really see that relationship. So tell me about like the initial contact or the phone call or whatever you received from Tim McGraw


Halle Kearns  05:20

that so I knew he was gonna freak out when we burn CDs and I was little Tim was always on there in some form or another whether it’s like whole CD or just a few songs. We listen to him a whole life so that was one on I got that email. I was like, Okay, how am I gonna? I met him guess didn’t guest him earlier on because he thought it was just like to write to be like, Oh, water there’s just so far out there’s I have news I’m opening for someone and I want you to guess



Hey everybody it is I used to be on our old CD that we burn. If you’re you are they


Halle Kearns  06:12

Baby, I love this. Oh my god. Oh, no. He’s been cheering me on since I was playing little dive bars and little, like coffee shops and that kind of thing since I was 18. So he’s, he’s gonna walk the whole journey and cheering me on ever since.


Sue Bonzell  06:31

So I think I feel like Tim McGraw really is one of those. It’s like really stepped up to give a lot of you artists a chance. I’ve seen a lot. We’ve actually had a lot of artists. Alexandra K. Yes. Brandon Davis, who was touring with him last year. They’ve been on our show, too. And I really appreciate that. Yeah, about him feel like a huge champion. For sure. Now, I did see that when he was on tour with Brandon Davis. They did a lot of working out you’re going to be working out with Tim McGraw.


Halle Kearns  06:59

I would give anything to do a workout with Tim McGraw that he went live but but often is I have to sort of play off


Sue Bonzell  07:07

I saw this adorable video. And I believe it was your Bible study group where you were holding up hobbies. And and every one of the girls came in one at a time and you captured their reaction. Tell me what was going on with all of that.


Halle Kearns  07:23

Oh, one of my friends got a new Golden Retriever puppy. He was the cutest lazy was Nash was classic, Naughty Dog. And he was perfect. And he’s like 11 weeks old or something like that. Just a little baby. And I knew that every single one of those girls would have some kind of perfect reaction. So just wanted to capture it as they were walking in. It was great. It was so cute. So if you’re not following her like her, make sure you follow her and you might get one of the dollies and dads crying like that because it’s truth or truth.


Sue Bonzell  07:23

Are you ready to play true? Okay, she saw the cards and she was like a random. Like, let’s go it’s exciting stuff. Learning I’m gonna get I didn’t like it. I didn’t know they’re not stacked at all. You’re in it.


Halle Kearns  08:06

Yep. Have you ever broke through the law? I probably did driving. Speed. Genuinely everywhere.


Sue Bonzell  08:18

Are you kind of a wet foot?


Halle Kearns  08:19

Yeah, it’s really really bad. Any speeding ticket? Oh. A lot of speeding warnings. I mean, probably. I think I’ve gotten three tickets. Okay, gotten to be sticky, but I probably pull over. Well, that’s me say like,


Sue Bonzell  08:33

How many times do you talk your way out of it? Is there any you’re like all sorry, parents dilemma.


Halle Kearns  08:41

You know, I was on my way to a very important interview with up and country. Yeah, I get that from my dad the like road aggression. Like on a racetrack all of a sudden.


Sue Bonzell  08:52

I’m impressed that you’ve talked your way out of that big ticket.


Halle Kearns  08:55

I don’t I think it’s just like a, a luck thing. I’d put it off put it on the resume. Just you know. Yeah, that’s I think that’s a that’s a notable I have this theory that all my bad luck in the world comes out in cars. I’ve had so many cars break down. Like just tired. I think there were nine tires that popped in the last three years. And so just I mean, I’ve had like really, really bad luck. There’s a whole slew of things with cars, but you haven’t wrecked any car. I’ve read three grades.


Sue Bonzell  09:24

Here don’t get to like, like he’s gonna say I’m like, I’m not sure I want to ride with Halle when we’re going shopping. All right. Okay, well, we got the scoop. We’re gonna we’re gonna hopefully get you. We’re gonna get you so much fame and fortune that we’re just gonna get you a driver. Halle needs a driver. She might be taking resumes. I don’t know. It’d be an accept resumes from drivers and a little bit of backseat.


Halle Kearns  09:49

Who won’t like me much but it’s okay. But a partition. That’s some booty. That’s a mobile I don’t even know about. If he’s so fun. I think that’d be Yeah.


Sue Bonzell  10:00

All right, well we got a little inside scoop on the driving skills of Halle Kearns dress. We’re gonna do cowboy wisdom This is another set of cards that I made you can get them at up in country.com So we’re gonna get your your daily cowboy boots done


Halle Kearns  10:18

Okay, number 1.3 It’s okay for you to believe what you believe it’s not okay for you to demand others believe the same way. Lawson Kirby could want it doesn’t look so cool. We all like that. I mean, it’s not a specific date.


Sue Bonzell  10:35

Is there anything that you’re you’re very passionate about about your beliefs?


Halle Kearns  10:39

What would you say drive faster? You’re not driving you’re driving. You need to try so no judgment. No judgment. And we’re like, yeah, exactly.


Sue Bonzell  10:52

You’re right. You’re a regular national driver, Raj. Yeah. Nashville. Chill out is what really bought one. Well, I want to thank you so much for being here taking the time to chat with me. And of course really following you on all the socials and all of the things that you’re doing and the the events and your shows and festivals and all of that and all the new music so make sure you’re streaming that as well.



days get shorter you moved on


Sue Bonzell  11:25

All right, I am excited that my I’m going to call her my good friend Parker Graye here. We’ve been friends on online on the interweb you know Sal, great to see you too. And it is it’s weird The Internet is a wild place but it brings amazing people together exactly like I followed you for a long time and I’ve been there like you don’t want to get on my show and like you were in Canada and now so you just moved to Nashville this rain right


Parker Graye  11:48

I did I just moved in April then it’s I’ve been back and forth for like two and a half years. So it’s good to just finally like get here and be here so it’s now the new home. I drove a feat 500 sport so a chiclet front on that Vancouver, Canada in three days and it was though I was just tunnel vision all the I got my visa and I got waiting to get it it was this whole thing and then I got it and I packed up my island seven hours. And then I drove by myself it


Sue Bonzell  12:20

was awful. And on here and now I’m here that was worth every mile every mile and it’s not the tagline on your Instagram is really was it like bringing the sadness value added


Parker Graye  12:32

making country music sad again, it can catch up with the other and is that in Saturday’s for the baddies?


Sue Bonzell  12:37

Yes. Tell me about that. Yeah, so


Parker Graye  12:39

making country music sad again was a funny like mistake. It happened because of clubhouse and I joined clubhouse and I was like you need a cool tagline and I was like cool and I thought this would be great and a really stuck and then everyone and people need me they like you will see very sad. And I’m like yeah, I’m bad be and I’m like but it’s sad is for the baddies so you know you can be you can be like killin it and be stoked online.


Sue Bonzell  13:08

Tell us about that song so I think it has to do with the relationship Correct? Yeah, it’s


Parker Graye  13:14

don’t they all? Yeah, so one that got away is one that I kind of I started writing it on guitar book of it didn’t happen until we were in the room and I didn’t really know where to go with it and person it was half about you’re not the one that got away but that’s okay



junk NGO we’re still in



shame if


Parker Graye  14:04

it’s a bit more like up tempo more like, like good summer pop bonds. Yeah, compared to all my like really sad mellow ballads, but I’m really excited for this one, then it seems like the folks on Tik Tok are kind of starting to get excited about it, too. So yeah, I’m really excited to release that.


Sue Bonzell  14:21

You’re affiliated with a cable company. I am though. Tell us about your very special panel. Yeah, so


Parker Graye  14:27

all country news has an amazing organization called good sentiments. And they asked me to come on board to do a candle. It’s called Saudis for the baddies. It’s a tobacco vanilla scent. It smells like a like vibey Western dream. What’s amazing about it is that every artist that comes on to do that program with them, you get to pick a charity of your choice and I selected the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Care Center. So $5 of every candle benefits that that organization.


Sue Bonzell  14:54

So you are Canadian. How has that been in your country? Music career lighting. How do you feel like it’s been a benefit to you? I know there’s a lot of country artists that have come out of Canada obviously, like Shania Twain land by the biggest one that everybody knows. Yeah. Probably a lot more that they don’t know. Yeah. But how is your feeling with that like being Canadian and coming to Nashville, you know, country music, what’s been


Parker Graye  15:20

your experience? It’s been, you know what really cool. And I think there’s been an interesting kind of wave of new artists can be like young Canadian, ours, and quite a bit of female artists who are really starting to like, come up right now. And Canada is doing some really cool stuff. Shout out piano. First, when I started writing, I was writing on Zoom mostly. And most of the people I collaborated with were all Canadians. And it really wasn’t until I started making shirts to Nashville that I started to, like, expand by people to these amazing talent that’s here. When did you start really like getting serious about your music? So I have absolutely been doing this for over 10 years. But I started in rock Electro. Oh, really? Yeah. When I have a note, do I know what that is? I know that you don’t even know what I don’t know what it would be now. But at that time, it was like, these bands like bat for lashes and Phantogram. And like these really cool, like indie rock pop fives and it was really awesome. And, and a band in Vancouver. And that’s how it all kind of started. And I grew up on country music, and I just never could figure out how to like, connect the dots. And I ended up going solo and did pop music. Which was fine, but it never felt super genuine. And I never felt like I connected with my own lyrics, which was also really strange. And it wasn’t until 2017 I was producing a single or, and was super the country scene and gospel scene. And we ended up connecting and we wrote do over which was my debut single. And when we were writing that I was like it was like just as massive epiphany. I’m like, all this is what I’m supposed to be doing like and it was just this full circle moment of like thinking about being in my mom’s like Vitara Jeep thing and, like, listening to shumai and like Reba and all that being like, Oh, I’m I’m here I am at the destination. So that kind of like really kicked up country. So I’ve really only been doing country properly since like, 2017. Okay, so it’s been amazing. And I’ve been very lucky to, you know, fall into amazing people who have like, really lifted me up and supported my music, but


Sue Bonzell  17:33

I feel come home good every night. Well, and you’re telling great stories and that either? Yeah, that’s the I call it I feel like that’s kind of the power of country music words that you really, you know, not say other music doesn’t have stories? It just seems like it’s more of a storyteller genre. Yes. And so when you get those songwriters together, where you got kind of an experience, if somebody’s got something similar, and you’re like, hey, let’s, let’s do this. And then it’s just like,


Parker Graye  18:00

magic totally. And I like I’m the person that like wears my heart on my sleeve. And what you see is what you get, there’s not really a lot of like, like, oh, I had no idea you felt that way. Like I’m definitely very emotional. And so it’s been one of those things where it’s made songwriting so much easier to just be like, incredibly vulnerable, and tell the story and like, just make it as real and raw as possible. And it’s definitely paid off. For me too, though. All the feelings all the times, I fell into some new pockets of people who have been amazing. And I’ve written some of my favorite songs I’ve ever written in the last two months. You just keep this going. But I’ve, if there’s anybody who’s like, hey, look, let’s write I’m like, Oh my gosh, let’s do it. Like, I’m the nerd at the writers rounds that’s sitting in the back, like looking at people’s Instagrams, and then like, creeping their life and being like, Hey, I’m crazy. I’m kidding. Yeah. That’s rolling all the way around. It doesn’t make a difference. But they’re like, cool. It’s truth or truth.


Sue Bonzell  19:00

You want to know, it’s great. Oh, no, it’s like, then I guess it’s right. This is not rigged. So this is just like, so these are all questions that I’ve found or I thought would be kind of cool questions. I made the deck myself. It’s true to choose and get it up and country.com so that there’s so you get to pick read. I don’t get out there. Oh, no. I’ll go. I don’t want to be in a race yet. And you’ll read it.


Parker Graye  19:28

Really great. What’s the worst physical pain you’ve ever experienced? Oh, I used to be very much in the snowboarding world. So I was a competitive snowboarder for a while and I was the person checking myself up like 30 foot jumps and like hitting rails and doing that stuff. And I was in a competition. And I like on a snowboard. You use it like a gas pedal essentially. So if you hit your edge, you fall over. I was like not paying attention and I went forward and I like just fished Nail, but I snapped my collarbones so badly. It was not great. And I’d had some like really bad spills. But the collarbone break was one of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life because not only was it bad in the moment, but it was bad until it was fall like until it hit fully heal. Like I was just in a sling.


Sue Bonzell  20:19

I was gonna say you can’t really do anything No, I


Parker Graye  20:22

and it was my it was this side. So I like I just can’t sleep on it, you can’t move and they don’t give you like didn’t really give you any painkillers because so like they’ll be like, I hadn’t thought about that. But that was awful. And every small movement because you just don’t realize how much you’d like shipped, Your Honor. It’s like when you like stub your toe. And you’re like I didn’t realize I used to but yet only slightly worse only slightly. Yeah, it was that was terrible. I would not wish that upon anybody coming up on like 10 years of doing it eight years of coaching. And I fell into that very oddly as well. It was like they were doing great classes and I never looked back and big, big big big chunky poor fitness and I think it’s important for our mental health and our our overall well being especially if you’re if you struggle with any sort of mental health issues with me when like I really didn’t have a lot going on and it I’m very grateful for finding it. I always did sports as a kid but like the community of adults exercising together and kind of going into a pain cave every now and again. was sudden some fun about it. Like find ways to stay in shape and healthy both like mentally physically, emotionally and just love it. Find whatever you like. You know what other thing


Sue Bonzell  21:40

listen to more country music, preferably Parker Graye Sandow. So listen to sad music and then choose RPS do some burpees that’s the prescription for today. Cowboy wisdom cards so this is your cards for inspiration. Inspiration around day


Parker Graye  21:58

in still keep our your word a smile and a great heart.


Sue Bonzell  22:03

That sounds like a great card for you.


Parker Graye  22:05

I love this app just take a picture of this picture I believe she picked


Sue Bonzell  22:08

a good one up step one two you can get your own deck at open country.com Thank you so much for taking the time to come and hang out with me to have some fun today at Sam ash music and of course we’re going to be following you on all socials and getting all the new music that’s coming our way thank you so much for having me it’s I’m so grateful to be here I owe so I’m basically to Nullabor so I’m basically it tick tock thank you I take it


Parker Graye  22:45

okay we’ve got it


Sue Bonzell  22:48

yeah as you can probably hear or hear at Sam ash it’s a little bit busy there’s a lot going on here people are


Parker Graye  22:55

excited to be here as well. The marching bands coming in for us


Sue Bonzell  23:01

to warm it up okay and he made it they’re gonna cover like you guys are so excited to see me Yeah, it’s amazing put together marching band just because Parker Graye here. It’s all happening right now. Shoot, shoot mystery was to join me Sue Bonzell every week for interviews and adventures with rising country artists on up in country