Fans of Country Music are in for a treat this month when Soul Street Productions present Made in Tennessee at Cranleigh Arts.
Destination Cranleigh spoke to Lewis Codling, director at Soul Street Productions, to find out what we might expect.
High-end theatre tribute shows
We love to recreate the music to a high level, as close as possible to the originals in both arrangement and feel of the music.
Made in Tennessee is probably my favourite of the four shows we’ve produced. It’s a beautiful show with a well-dressed stage.
The show’s vibe feels like you’ve walked into a barn in the southern states of America, with a fantastic country band playing.
Incredible country musicians
We’re lucky to have some incredible country musicians in this production, including a fiddle player and a pedal steel player. Not many people in the UK can play the pedal steel, it’s a complex instrument, but we’ve got a fantastic player.
The best of country music
Each production usually starts with an idea of the music we feel isn’t represented fairly. We’re big country music fans, and there aren’t many people out there who do what we do. Many tribute acts pay homage to Dolly Parton or Johnny Cash, trying to impersonate an artist, and they are excellent in their own right. But we don’t attempt to copy anyone. Our show is about getting the best of country music into one night.
An extensive network of musicians
When it comes to finding musicians, we’re fortunate that we’ve been around for a long time, so we know a lot of musicians.
Generally, our musicians across all shows come from recommendations. We rarely audition because we’ve got an extensive network of musicians, and the country scene, in particular, is a close-knit network. If you’re good in the country scene, you probably know everyone else that’s good.
Relating to stories
Country music is a lot about trucks and boots and booze. And most country music is based on a story, and you can relate to most songs. People have such an affinity for songs about heartbreak or something happening in their lives. The songs strike a chord with so many people.
Nashville and Taylor Swift
The genre has grown in the past decade thanks to TV shows like Nashville, introducing a younger audience to country music. Some crossover artists have moved from country to pop and back again, taking their fans with them. Even huge artists like Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus come from the world of country music.
There’s romance and heartbreak, and we have some fun with our songs. We play Chicken Fried in this show, a really fun song about America.
Mostly though, the songs we choose are lovely to listen to, and I think that’s what attracts people to country music.
Sense of community
The show is a mix of original country songs from the older artists to the newer stuff, including things like Chris Stapleton.
We’re looking forward to coming to Cranleigh and feeling the energy in the room. There’s something about playing to a room full of people who are so invested in what we’re playing. Everyone is entirely behind the music and loves the music, creating nice energy for the band and audience.
I think people enjoy liking music that’s slightly out there, away from mainstream pop. Enjoying a genre outside the norm creates a bit of a community for the evening and this lovely energy.
Made in Tennessee is at Cranleigh Arts on Saturday, 17th September 2022, at 8pm. Tickets are £22.50 and are available here.