What started as a jam session with musicians and songwriters in a stable on the outskirts of Nashville has morphed into the concept for a new TV series that will begin airing nationwide in January 2020. The Song will be co-hosted by Krista Marie and Damien Horne – members of the singer-songwriter duo New North.
Two years ago, Krista and her husband purchased a 15-acre farm in Hendersonville, about 20 miles north of Music City. “We would invite some of our friends that Damien and I used to play with and have a good ol’ time... everyone would just show up and bring their instruments.” Before long, the impromptu events were attracting 250+ people and included food trucks and bartenders, as well as some celebrities who are personal friends -- Gretchen Wilson, Big Kenny, and John Rich (from the country music duo Big & Rich).
Family friend and TV/entertainment executive Cary Glotzer, along with TGL Farms co-owner Marc Oswald, saw the potential for a TV program that would showcase the unique chemistry between Krista and Damien (Krista describes Damien as her “brother from another mother”) as well as the great rapport they had with their musician friends and guests. Krista says the concept evolved, “and now Damien and I are cohosting just like we did in the barn. It was kind of like a 3-ring circus. He’d invite somebody up, I’d invite somebody up, and we’d jam together, and they’d jam with somebody else. We just kind of ran the show, and that’s where it all spawned from.”
Each episode of The Song will center around a specific hit song and include interviews and performances by the artists who recorded them. The featured songs will span decades and genres. Damien says the producers were looking for songs that were “even bigger than the artist.” He adds, “What songs are iconic songs that really affected people, culture, the soundtracks of our lives? Finding those songs first, like American Pie.” He says many people, like himself, who didn’t necessarily grow up listening to that style of music still know that song. “When that happens, the song has power that transcends demographics and generations.”
Some of the songs and stars that are part of the lineup include American Pie/Don McLean; Redneck Woman/Gretchen Wilson; Jessie’s Girl/Rick Springfield; I Swear/All-4-One; Crazy/Gnarls Barkley/Cee Lo Green.
Damien and Krista will take turns interviewing the guests to uncover the stories behind the songs, as well as how the success of those songs impacted their lives. Krista says, “Hopefully we can dig deep and find some elements and pieces and layers that haven’t been peeled back yet. I want to find some of the juicy details.” Krista and Damien have spent months preparing for the show. Damien confesses, “Homework has never been one of my strong suits.” But he says it’s been fun studying the artists’ backgrounds “to be able to have enough information when I co-host and ask questions to take things deeper.”
Krista has had an additional challenge because her home, TGL Farms, is the actual set for the TV show. She’s been getting her hands dirty and working alongside farm manager Brent Ballweg to get the property ready. “When we first moved to this property, it was dilapidated and run down. We knew it had a special soul to it, but I never could have imagined it would become our very own TV set less than two years later.”
Even before the TV show was in the works, Krista had a vision for a zen-like garden where she could sit and have morning coffee. “I wanted a structure that brought the outside inside.” That “song garden” is where Krista and Damien will interview the show’s musical guests. The live performance segment of the show will take place in a section of the stable that includes a stage.
When they moved to the farm, Krista says a lot of work needed to be done to transform the carriage house into a guest house. “I’ve learned how to drywall, wire, paint -- you name it. I feel like I could build a house right now!” The newly remodeled carriage house will temporarily be used as the “green room,” where the show’s guests can relax before filming or even spend the night.
One of the more fun aspects of getting ready for the show has been going through their closets to pull together pieces for their on-set wardrobes. “Being on the road touring for as many years as we have, Damien and I have both accumulated some cool pieces along the way.” Mandy Burnett of Harper & Olive will be the show’s stylist (as well as doing hair and makeup for the co-hosts and celebrity guests). Additional outfits will be provided by the local apparel store, Two Old Hippies. Riveter Nashville will supply “some cool jewelry pieces.”
Three Friesian horses that were imported from Holland – Palo Alto, Christiaan, and Kai -- are the unsung stars of the show. Christiaan is a champion horse that has won as many awards as some of the show’s celebrity guests! Since Krista will be busy with production and not able to spend as much time with her horses as she usually does, horse-trainer Kelsey Baird (co-owner of Friesian Marketplace in South Carolina) is spending two weeks at TGL Farms during the taping of The Song. She explains the role the horses will play in the video clip below.
The Song will be directed by Trey Fanjoy, who has created music videos for more than 200 major label artists, including Taylor Swift (Love Story), Miranda Lambert (The House That Built Me), and Carrie Underwood (Something in the Water). Fanjoy is also one of the executive producers, along with Marc Oswald and Cary Glotzer. The Song will air locally in Nashville on WZTV Fox 17 beginning January 4, 2020.
Krista says she is grateful for all the people who have shared the vision and pitched in behind the scenes. “Teamwork makes the dream work. With help from friends and our production family, we’re ready for a TV show!”
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FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA
Krista and Damien were both members of the country band The Farm before creating the duo New North.
Krista is from NEW York and Damien is from NORTH Carolina.
They will be recording more of their new music (a diverse variety of pop, country, jazz, and blues) after they wrap production on The Song. Expect a release in early 2020.
Damien grew up playing whatever instrument was needed in church when they didn’t have musicians available (mainly guitar, keys, vocals)
Krista has classical training in opera and musical theater.
Krista: Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Simon and Garfunkle, old school folk, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash
Damien: Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, Chris Cornell, Chris Stapleton, Fred Hammond, Michael Jackson
FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT
Damien: Loveless Café (breakfast is his favorite meal)
Krista: Italian food and Sperry’s Steak House
FAVORITE TV SHOWS
Damien: Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad
Krista: Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy
Photo credit: Laurel Moore