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Tenille Townes Tenille Townes

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Music

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I am inspired by people and their stories. I am so grateful for music and the way it makes us feel like we are never alone. I believe we have everything we need inside of us to be a light for the world. We make each other braver. We’re in this together.

FULL BIO

One minute with Tenille Townes and it’s instantly clear that she doesn’t see, or hear, the world like everyone else. Maybe it comes through in how she learned to read by pouring through lyric sheets and liner notes, or how she starting singing by belting along to U2 and Shania Twain in the back of her parents’ car. Or maybe it will come to light in the thousands she’s raised and the miles she’s logged supporting the charitable initiatives she created while still a teenager. Or maybe it will simply come across in her stunning voice and wise, insightful lyricism, all infinitely beguiling for someone of her young age. But that’s the thing about Townes. She’s never operated by the clock or the calendar. She operates from her heart, and from her soul. The Canadian-born Townes, isn’t quite like anyone else who has graced the city’s stages. With the lyrical fortitude of Griffin or Lori McKenna, the soulful nature of Chris Stapleton or even Adele, Townes is paving ground all her own. Working on her debut LP with Jay Joyce, the Nashville-based Townes started her journey to becoming one of country’s most promising new artists back in rural Canada, in the backseat of a car. “I would obsess in the back seat over lyrics,” says Townes, who recalls drives in her home of Grande Prairie, a small town in Alberta, Canada, with her parents. “I would follow along to all of the words and sing along, and call out my favorites. Eventually, I started to learn all of the writer and producer names, just soaking it all up.” Townes insisted that her parents – supportive, hard-working local entrepreneurs – sign her up for singing lessons at the age of five, which led to owning her first guitar from her grandparents at fourteen. It was perfect timing, as Townes had already started to explore what it would be like to set her poetry to music. While other kids were reading Shakespeare and studying, Townes added the craft of famed songwriters like Carolyn Dawn Johnson to her workload, developing her own narrative style before most other teenagers even headed to prom. “There were a lot of things to write about at fourteen,” Townes says. “I’ve always craved what it felt like to step into other people’s shoes. And if songwriting was a way to step into character and make someone feel less alone, then I was all in.” It’s telling that Townes’ first song came from a conversation in social studies class – she thought about it on the entire bus ride home and hurried to her bedroom to put her feeling to words. Ever since then, so many of her lyrics have come from that place of empathy and observance – a few years later, moments she’s seen in passing or discussed at the dinner table with her family or wept about alongside strangers have worked their way into her sonic perspectives. Soon, she was traveling to Nashville regularly to exercise this developing talent and falling in love with everything Music City had to offer. “Coming here for the first time felt like walking into a dreamland,” she says. She made the move to Nashville permanently four years ago, at just nineteen – driving 45 hours from Grande Prairie. Once settled in Nashville, Townes spent her days songwriting and her nights at guitar pulls or at the Bluebird, studying everything she could. Eventually, she scored a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog, and headed into the studio with Joyce to record her debut.  Together, they tapped into her organic nature and her sheer ability to tell a story and emote it through the visceral range of her vocals – tender, bluesy, wise and full of wonder but never naive. “He has a way of pulling out people’s most honest self,” says Townes of her experience working with Joyce. “I always loved telling stories and writing songs, and a lot of these songs deal with things that are hard to talk about. Concepts about losing someone and asking hard questions and about seeking whatever your sense of faith is. Songs about looking for love.” Songs, most importantly, from the heart. And that’s because Townes’ heart is huge. At fifteen, she organized a fundraiser called Big Hearts For Big Kids benefiting a youth shelter in her home town. To this day, they’ve continued it yearly and raised over $1.5 million dollars – Townes was inspired to start the event by a pamphlet her mother brought home one day, not an uncommon occurrence at her house. “We’d sit around the dinner table and talk about what was going on in the world, homelessness and loneliness,” she says, “and I grew up being aware of those things. The parts of human existence that remind us we are all more similar than we think we are. And those stories need to be told.” After school, she continued this ethos by launching a tour called Play It Forward, where she spent 32 weeks on the road, visiting 106 schools and playing music for over 35,000 students. Meant to encourage leadership and inspire youth, it was a huge success and completely born out of Townes’ own scrappy sense of “anything is possible.”  Some of the stories she heard along the way even inspire songs on her debut LP. The idea of community that she grew up with comes through, too. Her music is that kitchen table, her words are the experiences and struggles and moments of joy she wants to share, packed with her dynamic vocals and, at the core, that heart. “Music pushes walls down you didn’t know were up,” she says. “A song will take you places you didn’t even ask it to, and I’m always thankful that it does.”

Tour

Mar 07
Verti Music Hall
(C2C Festival / Introducing Nashville)
Berlin, DE
Mar 08
AFAS Live
(C2C Festival / Introducing Nashville)
Amsterdam, NL
Mar 10
Club Volta
(Writers Round with Abby Anderson & Noah Schnacky)
Cologne, DEU
Mar 11
Hansa39
(Writers Round with Abby Anderson & Noah Schnacky)
Munich, DEU
Mar 13
The O2
(C2C Festival / Introducing Nashville)
London, UK
Mar 14
SSE Hydro
(C2C Festival / Introducing Nashville)
Glasgow, UK
Mar 15
3Arena
(C2C Festival / Introducing Nashville)
Dublin, IRL
Mar 26
BOK Center
(Alan Jackson Tour)
Tulsa, OK
Mar 27
JQH Arena
(Alan Jackson Tour)
Springfield, MO
Mar 28
Country Thunder Festival
Kissimmee, FL
Apr 08
Clay County Fair
Green Cove Springs, FL
Apr 10
Zydeco
(Full Band Headlining Show)
Birmingham, AL
Apr 16
40 Watt
(Full Band Headlining Show)
Athens, GA
Apr 17
Crawfish Music Festival
Biloxi, MS
Apr 19
Country Thunder Festival
Florence, AZ
Apr 25
Stagecoach Festival
Indio, CA
Apr 30
Carol's Pub
(Road to the Lemonade Stand Acoustic Tour)
Chicago, IL
May 01
The Stache @ The Intersection
(Road to the Lemonade Stand Acoustic Tour)
Grand Rapids, MI
May 02
Lo-Fi Lounge
(Road to the Lemonade Stand Acoustic Tour)
Indianapolis, IN
May 06
City Winery
(Road to the Lemonade Stand Acoustic Tour)
Boston, MA
May 07
Rockwood Music Hall
(Road to the Lemonade Stand Acoustic Tour)
New York, NY
May 08
City Winery
(Road to the Lemonade Stand Acoustic Tour)
Washington, DC
May 09
Jammin Java
(Road to the Lemonade Stand Acoustic Tour)
Vienna, VA
Jun 04
Budweiser Stage
(Sugarland Tour)
Toronto, ON
Jun 05
St. Joseph's Health Amphitheater at Lakeview
(Sugarland Tour)
Syracuse, NY
Jun 06
Xfinity Theatre
(Sugarland Tour)
Hartford, CT
Jun 12
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Presented by Huntsman
(Sugarland Tour)
Houston, TX
Jun 13
Dos Equis Pavilion
(Sugarland Tour)
Dallas, TX
Jun 14
Germania Insurance Amphitheater
(Sugarland Tour)
Austin, TX
Jun 18
Isleta Amphitheater
(Sugarland Tour)
Albuquerque, NM
Jun 19
Ak-Chin Pavilion
(Sugarland Tour)
Phoenix, AZ
Jun 20
North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre
(Sugarland Tour)
San Diego, CA
Jun 25
Toyota Amphitheater
(Sugarland Tour)
Sacramento, CA
Jun 26
Shoreline Amphitheatre
(Sugarland Tour)
Mountain View, CA
Jul 02
River Edge Park
(Sugarland Tour)
Aurora, IL
Jul 03
Mystic Lake Casino Amphitheater
(Sugarland Tour)
Prior Lake, MN
Jul 10
XFINITY Center
(Sugarland Tour)
Mansfield, MA
Jul 11
BB&T Pavilion
(Sugarland Tour)
Philadelphia, PA
Jul 12
Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
(Sugarland Tour)
Wantagh, NY
Jul 16
PNC Bank Arts Center
(Sugarland Tour)
Holmdel, NJ
Jul 18
Darling's Waterfront Pavilion
(Sugarland Tour)
Bangor, ME
Jul 19
Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
(Sugarland Tour)
Gilford, NH
Jul 30
Riverbend Music Center
(Sugarland Tour)
Cincinnati, OH
Jul 31
Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
(Sugarland Tour)
Atlanta, GA
Aug 01
PNC Music Pavilion
(Sugarland Tour)
Charlotte, NC
Aug 07
Bridgestone Arena
(Alan Jackson Tour)
Nashville, TN
Aug 22
Northwest Washington Fair
Lynden, WA
Aug 23
Country Thunder Alberta
Calgary, Alberta, CA
Aug 28
Little Caesars Arena
(Alan Jackson Tour)
Detroit, MI
Aug 29
Resch Center
(Alan Jackson Tour)
Green Bay, WI
Oct 02
Vivint Smart Home Arena
(Alan Jackson Tour)
Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 03
Pepsi Center
(Alan Jackson Tour)
Denver, CO