Steel Blos­soms wait­ing to greet fans at Puck­ett’s

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - MUSIC - STAFF RE­PORT

Sara Ze­b­ley and Hay­ley Prosser be­gan play­ing mu­sic to­gether in 2011 and writ­ing to­gether a year later. But it wasn’t un­til they moved to Nash­ville three years ago that they be­came the Steel Blos­soms — an ob­vi­ous nod to their home­town Pittsburgh, Pa.

The de­ci­sion to leave Pittsburgh more than 500 miles in the rear- view mir­ror has given Ze­b­ley and Prosser a lot to write about as the coun­try-folk duo chase their dreams in Mu­sic City.

Fri­day night, July 28, the Steel Blos­soms have a gig at Puck­ett’s, 2 W. Aquar­ium Way. Don’t be sur­prised if they stop in their set to chat with their au­di­ence.

“We love laugh­ing and hav­ing fun with the audi- ence,” says Ze­b­ley. “We are def­i­nitely se­ri­ous about our mu­sic ca­reers but our live shows still have com­edy and sub­stance.”

The duo moved to Nash­ville on Aug. 29, 2014 and three days later had re-branded them­selves as the Steel Blos­soms.

Mak­ing the move a lit­tle bit eas­ier was the fact that the two had al­ready made sev­eral i n- roads with folks liv­ing in Nash­ville, one of whom was for­mer Tay­lor Swift man­ager Rick Barker.

Barker is also the cre­ator of Mu­sic In­dus­try Blueprint, a de­vel­op­ment ser­vice teach­ing singers and mu­si­cians about the i nner- work­ings of the mu­sic in­dus­try and how to mar­ket them­selves via so­cial me­dia.

“The big­gest thing that we learned from Rick,” says Prosser, “is that this busi­ness is all about re­la­tion­ships, re­la­tion­ships, re­la­tion­ships.

“He also taught us how to use so­cial me­dia as a tool to con­nect with fans that don’t live near us,” claims Ze­b­ley. “We want to know who they are and what they like so that our mu­sic can re­late to what they are go­ing through.”

That em­pha­sis on com­mu­ni­cat­ing with fans and build­ing re­la­tion­ships doesn’t ap­pear only on so­cial me­dia; it also shines through when Steel Blos­soms per­form live.

Both women point out that the per­sonal touch is some­thing they are us­ing to sep­a­rate them­selves from ev­ery­body else in a very crowded mu­sic in­dus­try.

“The shows are con­ver­sa­tional,” de­scribes Prosser. “We re­ally fo­cus on pos­i­tive vibes and greet ev­ery­one when they walk in the doors. We are there to make them happy and we aren’t afraid to tell peo­ple in the au­di­ence about our own lives and strug­gles.”

In Oc­to­ber 2015, Steel Blos­soms re­leased their f irst EP, “Year Num­ber One,” which was funded en­tirely by fan pre-or­ders. They’ve spent a good deal of time trav­el­ing the coun­try per­form­ing “house con­certs” for fam­i­lies they have met while per­form­ing in Nash­ville.

“This town is full of in­cred­i­ble mu­si­cians and thou­sands of peo­ple who have the same goal as you,” says Prosser. “The big­gest pres­sure is stand­ing out.”

But they are do­ing just that. One show at a time. One laugh at a time. One hand­shake at the door at a time.

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Steel Blos­soms

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