Honey County’s career is finally starting to hit a sweet spot. In the last year, the three-piece band from Southern California has garnered national attention with a performance at Stagecoach, packed shows across the U.S. and the respect of the country community from the West Coast all the way to Nashville when they got to play the legendary Bluebird Cafe, popularized by the beloved TV show Nashville which airs tonight as part of the series finale. If you’re paying attention you’ll also hear the band’s single “Love Someone” playing in the background tonight as well–not for local gals Dani Rose, Katie Stump and Devon Jane. It’s not everyday you get one of your songs played on the biggest country music show in America. Recently, we talked to Rose and Stump about their recent success, being honored at the Cali Country Awards and their plans to keep their train to stardom on the right track.
OC Weekly: What is it like to be at this stage in your career where people are starting to see you at a national level?
Dani Rose: It’s really exciting, we’ve been working for a long time. It’s cool to have this kind of recognition in the country community, not just in California but in Nashville as well to recognize our work.
Talk about the sound of California country and how that style comes out in your sound.
Katie Stump: Our harmonies are a really big part of our sound for sure. Dani and I come from an extensive pop background while Devon enjoys more off beat kinds of music so she brings a lot more edge to what we do and helps us think outside of the box. All three of our tastes create this really unique thing along with our harmonies and Devon’s unique guitar playing. We help balance each other out really well.
Katie how did you come into the group?
KS: Devon and I both went to college together at USC. From the moment I saw her play for the first time I knew I had to be musical soulmates with her. I absolutely adored everything about what she did and was constantly in awe of her whole vibe. I wanted to have her in my band so I begged her to be in my band at the time and she said no a couple times but she agreed to play a couple shows with me and we bonded and she played in my band for several years. She graduated a couple years ahead of me and started playing with Honey County and there was a point where they were looking for someone new and Devon said “Oh my God we should get Katie!” So Dani asked if I would rehearse with them and do a show at Hotel Cafe with them and then we rehearsed together and this blend happened that kinda worked so we just kept playing together.
DR: I any band you have to work to find out who the right members are and who is gonna take it to the next level. When Devon joined it already helped with that and then Katie really completed the trifecta. We are our own self contained running machine, we’re also our own management company, our own social media promotion, Katie is our music director and makes a lot of the production decisions. We have members of the team that join on, but we’re a self running ship, without each of us being in this thing for really it wouldn’t work.
Talk about how the song “Love Someone” came about.
DR: It’s a song that Katie had originally written two years ago and then when Devon and I heard it we fell in love and with a couple tweaks to the chorus and lyrics it became a Honey County song. Now it gives us more credibility because we get to have it on one of the biggest shows in country music.
KS: I would say THE biggest show in country music, other than the CMT awards or something
DR: Nashville kind of gave country this renaissance where all of the sudden that show came on and boom, the Bluebird became this huge place–where we actually just played for the first time in February this year. Without that TV show I don’t think there would be as much of an allure and a drawing to Nashville as there is currently for the general public.
What’s one of the more surreal parts of your growing career so far?
DR: We’re doing a show in Kansas on June 23 and there are four huge billboards up in Kansas of our faces. Millions of people drive by them and people are tagging us in photos. My mom’s friends driving through Kansas or just fans are like “Did I just see your faces huge on a billboard in Kansas?” and then they’ll backup and take pictures of it.
Any new projects coming up this summer?
DR: We have a new single that we’ll be releasing called “Sale of the Summer.” It’s a really fun song all about a guy who does something terrible to a girl and instead of being sad about it she get a genius idea to take all of his things and sell them.”
What was it like to be big winners with “Love Someone” at the first annual Cali Country awards in Long Beach?
KS: I thought it was a really well done event. People decided to create this thing out of thin air and it was a really fun evening and we were so shocked to win so many things.
DR: To see the outpouring from the country community was really special, it had been through so much with the Route 91 Festival shooting and there were heavy feelings, it wasn’t close to being normal at that point but people came out because they were trying to get back to feeling normal and I think the awards really helped bring the community together and celebrating country music.
What’s next for the band?
DR: We’re gonna be doing an Army tour with Thompson Square in the fall and while that’s happening we are really looking forward to hopping on another tour and releasing new music and keeping our eye on the prize for that No.1 and I think we have it in us.
Honey County’s song “Love Someone” airs tonight on Nashville at 9p.m. For more info on the band, click here.
Nate Jackson is the gatekeeper to your dreams of local dive bar stardom. If he writes about you, expect your band to be offered at least one more drink ticket than the rest of the bands on the bill. Get his attention with some groovy tunes and he might just do it. Then, boy will you feel special.