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Hailey Steele ‘Small Town Soul’

KIKN-FM / Kickin' 100.5

In Jason Aldean’s song ‘Crazy Town’ the line speaks…

One day they repossess your truck, and the next you make a couple million bucks.

Yes, the world of Country Music and the Country Stars is fascinating.

Equally intriguing are the life paths and worlds of the people who write the songs. (I know, it’s hard to believe that not every country star, writes their own music.)

I personally love following the writers the stories we call Country Music.

These are the people who ‘live the song,’ before radio or anyone, anywhere hears the song. One of those people, is Hailey Steele. Hailey grew up here in Kickin’ Country. The first time I met Hailey, she was a 4th or 5th grader standing in line with her family for Faith Hill tickets at Lewis Drug on 41st street. I was there for a radio broadcast. She sang that day, on the phone and people loved it.

Fast forward to 2014. I notice on twitter that Gwen Sebastian (another great story with a local angle) is performing a song that Steele co-wrote Tuesday night (July 15, 2014). At the Grand ‘Ol Opry. The name of the song is Small Town Soul.

More Gwen Sebastian Here

Here’s where the story takes on a cool spider web feel.

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Gwen Sebastian was a contestant on The Voice. Team Blake to be exact.(Recently sang on Blake Shelton’s Number One Smash, ‘My Eyes)

Hailey Steele was a contestant on The Voice (Steele chose to be team Blonde Lady) Even though Hailey didn’t go as far in the show, she obviously made some great connections. And some of those people have ‘teamed up’ with other awesome people and the story grows.


Hailey co-wrote Small Town Soul with Nicolle Galyon. Yep, Nicolle was on The Voice too. (Season Two) You could imagine that in itself would be a pretty good writing combination. Two young musicians who are building their careers on Country Music.

I mentioned earlier that I’m a big fan of the ‘writers’ of Country Music. I Googled up Nicolle Galyon. She recently married a guy named Rodney Clawson.

So, who is Rodney Clawson?

In South Dakota most people would say, ‘heck I don’t know.’ But in Nashville, yes in Nashville where ‘who writes’ the songs is just as big as ‘who performs the songs,’ people know.  Clawson’s name is on a lot of songs I bet you know!

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Amarillo Sky for Jason Aldean. Bartender for Lady Antebellum. Crash My Party for Luke Bryan, Crazy Town, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Drink On It, Get your Shine On, I Saw God Today, Southern Girl, heck, even Sweet Southern Comfort for Buddy Jewel. And most recently, a song I think will be up for ‘Song of the Year, ‘Dirt’ by Florida Georgia Line.

No, the story isn’t about Rodney Clawson. It’s not about Nicolle Galyon. The story is about a young woman from South Dakota who’s taken what she’s lived and taken what she’s learned and has it pointed in the right direction. The wheels are starting to get some traction. Connections are being made. More important, relationships are being formed with some folks who have been a lot of places and done a lot of that.

Give Gwen Sebastian’s new song a listen. And when you do, remember that the co-writer of the song, that’s being sung tonight at the Opry, got her start and still calls South Dakota….where her Small Town Soul still lives.

Thanks for ‘sharing’ this story with your Facebook and Twitter Friends.

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