Our next LCM featured band are in town tonight headlining their first UK tour at The Garage, Islington. Support comes from another firm LCM favourite Jeannine Barry and her band. Southern Halo (Natalia, Christina & Hannah Morris) are a soulful sister trio hailing from the small town of Cleveland, Mississippi. We had the great pleasure to meet these very talented young ladies at a London press launch yesterday. Our LCM #TrackOfTheDay is their brand new single the very catchy 'Living Like That'. https://youtu.be/Gmdhvzk34Ng
The Mississippi Delta is revered as the birthplace of the Blues and Rock & Roll. Soon, it will also be recognized as the home of Southern Halo, a soulful sister trio hailing from the small town of Cleveland, Mississippi. Growing up in an area so rich in musical history had its benefits for Natalia, Christina and Hannah Morris: a close-knit family nurtured the girls love of music and community support helped boost the siblings’ confidence. Their first live performance was in Cleveland - at the Airport Grocery - when Hannah, the youngest, was just nine years old.
In the years since, Southern Halo has crafted a blend of “new” Country and Classic Country with a dash of Southern Rock to create CPR: Country/Pop/Rock. It’s a youthful, signature sound made immediately recognizable by the sweet sibling harmonies that are fast-becoming their trademark. The girls lay it all out on the line during their high-energy stage shows, honing their chops as openers for top-tier acts Brantley Gilbert, Eric Paslay, Tyler Farr, Randy Houser, John Michael Montgomery, Parmalee, Old Dominion, Jamie Lynn Spears, Craig Campbell, Uncle Kracker, Julie Roberts and B.B. King.
The stars aligned early for these three sisters: in 2014, Southern Halo made the National finals of the Texaco Country Showdown at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium® and recorded their first EP with Alabama’s Jeff Cook. Since then, they have headlined Sara Evans’ Rock The South Festival in Cullman, Alabama, walked the red carpet at the CMT Music Awards and secured an endorsement from Gibson Guitars. Earlier this year, the trio performed at an elite pre-GRAMMY Awards show on the rooftop terrace of the GRAMMY Museum ® at LA Live in Los Angeles and filmed a series for online distribution. They are featured on RADIO COUNTRY DISNEY and their music video can be seen on CMT, MTV and THE COUNTRY NETWORK. Southern Halo is one of a handful of all-female bands listed in a recent BILLBOARD article highlighting the next hottest Country music
“We’re still learning and we know it,” admits Natalia, who’s written with Mike Daly (Jason Mraz, Alanis Morissette), SESAC’s 2012 Writer of the Year Catt Gravitt (Kelly Clarkson, Jake Owen) and others. “We’re working hard and having a blast. This is what we all want – and we understand it has to be earned.” At 18, Natalia (pronounced Na ta Lee’ Ya) is the trio’s lead vocalist, primary songwriter, guitarist and principal spokesperson. Although when the sisters are together the words flow quickly from all three.
The music flows as well: their self-titled debut album, co-produced by Catt Gravitt and Gerald O’Brien, was released late last year. The disc is a mix of tempos and attitudes: happiness exudes from the grooves, and even heartache is uplifted by lively rhythmic treatments. MusicRow’s Robert K. Oermann says the sisters “harmonize like angels.” The trio’s current single, “Rewind,” follows the international success of their hypnotically-upbeat Country radio debut, “Little White Dress” (written by N. Morris, Gravitt and O’Brien).
“It’s been kind of insane,” confesses 17-year-old “wild child” drummer Christina. “We play out as much as we can, from coffee bars to big festivals to little listening rooms. Basically, we’re on stage as much as possible, but our biggest thrill to date was playing the Ryman Auditorium.”
For 16-year-old bassist Hannah the road is a way a life she embraces. The laid-back, free-spirited “baby” of the family can’t imagine life without music. “We’re in this together,” she says reflectively. “We don’t attend regular classes; we study intensively online. Everything is geared to give us more time to work on the music.”
No one can say the girls aren’t “working it.” Musical tastes differ – even among sisters. With a range of influences that runs the gamut from Vince Gill and Justin Timberlake (Natalia) to Dave Grohl and Pink (Christina) to Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber (Hannah), the creative forces in play are diverse.
The girls love to play – onstage and off – managing to live a basic teenage “experience.” Time is spent with family and friends and a menagerie that includes horses, dogs, cats, ducks, numerous fish, turtles and a hamster. Natalia enjoys running, while Christina loves to fish and go “mudding.” Hannah is an experienced equestrian who loves Hunter Jumpers. If music were off the table? “Nata” would work in music marketing, “Tinka” would take to outer space as a Cosmologist and Hannah would become a veterinarian.
In the meantime, compromise and balance carry the day – allowing Southern Halo to keep reaching for those perfectly-aligned stars.