The Ride - Kyshona
Completing our trio of very talented and lovely ladies, we turn our attention to a Nashville based singer-songwriter Kyshona Music. Kyshona has just released her new album and our LCM #TrackOfTheDay is the excellent title track, which is guaranteed to get your head bopping and toes tapping. This is lovely rootsy, bluesy soul with loads of added funk. We love the sentiments in the lyrics too.
"For a singer-songwriter, there's no more basic function than getting onstage and getting something personal off your chest. The therapeutic qualities of the experience have seduced countless confessional composers, some of whom make known that they hold unfiltered expression as their highest artistic aim.
Kyshona Armstrong started out enabling others to enjoy the healing properties of songwriting, and keeping her thoughts to herself. When you're a music therapist to incarcerated and institutionalized adults and school children with emotional behavior disorders, artistic considerations aren't even on the table.
When Armstrong worked first in the state mental hospital, then the public school system in Georgia, she found that her co-writers often clung to chant-like, circular song ideas. "They would find this melody they liked and they would stick to it," she explains. "It was theirs to keep. It wasn't hard to hold onto."
Armstrong had focused on oboe at the University of Georgia — that and steel drums, which she played in the college's Hawaiian-shirt-sporting ensemble, Tropical Breeze. But since neither instrument was all that well suited to coaxing patients into musical self-expression, she got into singing, playing acoustic guitar and songwriting.
So Armstrong got on the college singer-songwriter circuit, blending skills of empathizing and entertaining. Her set lists might put a strummy version of Britney Spears' "Toxic" next to "Confined," a song she'd written with a couple of 20-somethings in the mental hospital. They were the hip-hop heads in the patients' band — otherwise made up of Elvis-obsessed middle-aged men — and they'd wanted a song in the group repertoire that spoke to their own experience.
Besides teaching institutionalized adults and emotionally troubled school kids how to have healthy interactions with instruments in hand, Armstrong served a similar mission on the board of the Southern Girls Rock Camp in Athens, Ga. And that made her a shoo-in to volunteer at last summer's Tennessee Teens Rock Camp, where she met a bunch of the women with whom she'll perform at the girl group tribute She's a Rebel a few days after playing her own show at 12th & Porter.
Armstrong moved to Nashville in January 2014, spending the first couple months commuting back to Athens to record her album Go, but easily made friends and landed bookings in local folk singer-songwriter, pop and soul scenes once she was around more.
Armstrong has reached the point where she embraces repetitive internal rhythms that emerge in some of her songwriting — likening them to both gospel spirituals and the viscerally simplistic utterances of her former patients — and she's delivering her roots-soul originals with articulate warmth and newly claimed authority".
written by Jewly Hight // Nashville Scene // February 2015