Sitting on the land that Brit Taylor calls home is a series of stairs that stand up against a tree that she refers to as her ‘staircase to nowhere.’
“It’s been out there since I got the place,” the Kentucky native remarks during a recent interview with The Boot. “Somebody just stuck a staircase out in the woods that has turned into my little meditation place to read a book or go out to pray or just chill.”
Mere steps from that mysterious stairway sits Taylor’s home, which she has lived in for the past 11 years, where she has experienced love, battled hardship, and found solace.
“I feel like I was always meant to be here,” she says of the property just 20 miles outside of Nashville. “I’ve been in love with this place since I found it, and since then, I’ve grown a lot here. I’ve become a completely different person than I was when I first found it. Even if I had all the money in the world, I don’t think I would ever leave it.”
This home is also the place that has inspired so much of her music, including her highly anticipated sophomore album, Kentucky Blue.
“This album serves as the continuation of the story,” explains Taylor of the story that began back in 2020 with the release of her self-reflective debut album, Real Me. “There are still sad songs on there, but these songs are happier. They are more fun.”
Take, for example, the frolicking album cut “Cabin in the Woods,” which she wrote back in 2018 alongside Jason White.
“I was just turning a corner when I wrote that song,” remembers Taylor, who grew up on a hearty dose of artists such as Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs. “I was shifting into a new phase of life. I had just started to date, and I was having friends over and everybody just loves it out here. It just has such good vibes.”
Adam Chaffins, the guy she was dating who eventually became her husband, provides background vocals throughout Kentucky Blue. Other pivotal collaborators on the new album include Grammy-winners Sturgill Simpson and renowned engineer and producer David Ferguson.
“I still can’t believe I got to work with them,” she exclaims.
Indeed, Taylor says it was their influence that helped shape the entirety of Kentucky Blue, as they both essentially gave their blessing to Taylor to follow the old Appalachian sound she grew up on and infuse it into songs such as “No Cowboys” and her latest single “Ain’t A Hard Livin’.”
“I’m at a place where I’m not trying to be anyone else but me,” she concludes. “And that feels so good.”
Top 10 Billy Strings Songs
While to some, it may have seemed like Strings appeared on the bluegrass scene suddenly, his connection to the genre was far from new. Strings began playing guitar at five years old, thanks to the influence of his father, Terry Barber. Strings learned the bluegrass songs that were the soundtrack to his rowdy family’s life, along with metal and classic rock favorites.
Born and raised in a small town in Michigan, Strings’ childhood was marked by difficult losses and hard times as his parents struggled with meth addiction. As a young adult, Strings dealt with his own addiction issues but was later able to find sobriety.
He eventually left home and found his way to Nashville, where he gained his first exposure playing with mandolin player Don Julin. After four years with Julin, Strings went solo. Critical acclaim quickly followed.
From 2016 to 2022, Strings released one EP and four albums. Two of his records, 2019’s Home and 2021’s Renewal, have been nominated for Grammy Awards, with Home earning the top prize. He has also won an Americana Music Award and numerous International Bluegrass Music Awards, among other significant accolades.
At the young age of 30, Strings has created a remarkable legacy, and we can’t wait to see where he goes from here.