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Wells Smells a Hitmaker

Lightning 100 DJ Wells Adams handpicked his favorite rising local acts just for us.

Written By:  Katy Lindenmuth

Photographers:  Shannon Fontaine

In the spirit of his weekly “Wells Smells a Hit” feature, Lightning 100 DJ Wells Adams handpicked six of his favorite rising local acts—just for us.


Elliot Root

I’m fairly certain this band is gonna be the next big thing. The lead singer can crow like Caleb Followill but with an amazing upper register.
Watch:Punks and Poets

Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes

There are some bands whose fame far outreaches their talent level…and this is not one of those bands. Extremely tight musicians with a frontman who writes hit after hit after hit after hit. If they don’t become famous, I will have lost faith in the consumers of music.
Watch: Sun Goes Out,” “Bleeding Tongue

Anderson East

It’s hard to hold a candle to the songwriting power of Jason Isbell these days. If anyone has a puncher’s chance, it is Anderson. I’ve known the kid for three or four years now, and I always walk away from his shows teary-eyed and laughter-ridden. Poets are supposed to elicit emotion. That’s what he is, a poet who is also really good at singing and playing a guitar.
Watch:Satisfy Me

Liza Anne

This girl doesn’t know how talented she is. But I do. Her new record is called Two, and it is too freaking good not to buy.
Watch: Take It Back,” “Northern Wind

RayLand Baxter

Son of the ultra-talented pedal steel player Bucky Baxter (Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, and...seriously, do you want more?). Yeah, great, his dad is a talented guy—but I’m not telling you about him because of his pops. I’m telling you about him ’cause he is one of my favorite songwriters. Like, not in Nashville, but in the world. His last record was called Feathers and Fishhooks, and it was so good that I’m gonna tell you to buy his new record before I’ve even heard it.
Listen to:Yellow Eyes

Great Peacock

The duo of Andrew Nelson and Blount Floyd have been teasing us with the thought of a full LP for a couple years now. Now that Making Ghosts is out, I can say without a doubt it’s one of the best records I’ve heard this year.
Watch:Making Ghosts,” “Take Me to the Mountain,” Desert Lark”—shoot, just listen to the whole thing.

July 2015

More with Wells in this month's Nashville Moment.

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