It’s always nice to win things. Of course it is. But whether you’ve hit the jackpot on the lottery or bagged a goldfish at the fun fair, what matters next is what you do with your new found good fortune. For Logan Shook, the deserved winner of our inaugural Holler Songwriting Competition, it’s just the beginning.
Growing up in the small town of Cumming, Georgia, Shook’s parents bought him a guitar in the second grade, and he saw a way out of small-town life.
After moving across the country to Los Angeles with a vision to bring some eccentric flair to the city’s burgeoning country music scene, Shook’s band, Sweet Nothin’s, have been blowing up at hot spots across town like Grand Ole Country Bunker and Desert 5, making a name for themselves as the keepers of a flame lit by Gram Parson & The Fallen Angels over 50 years ago.
Imagine a cross between Buck Owens’ Bakersfield twang and the bubblegum rock ‘n’ roll of Starcrawler and you’d still only be halfway there. Influenced as much by British glam icons like T-Rex and David Bowie as they are Elvis Presley and Gram Parsons.
“It’s very inclusive,” says Shook about the LA country scene. “It’s like a big family. Everyone knows everyone in the scene. It’s cool. I’m very grateful to be a part of it. I’ve never been a part of a music scene before. I used to play metal music when I was younger, but everyone in this scene is so nice and welcoming and warm and no one is trying to cool guy you.”
It's a scene that’s slowly making its way out of the cooler zip codes of California and popping up all over the country. This year Logan Shook and Sweet Nothin’s were invited along to the Stagecoach Festival in Coachella Valley by Nikki Lane to play a Saturday afternoon slot on the Horseshoe Stage.
For the Holler Songwriting Competition, Shook performed solo with nothing but an acoustic guitar for a stripped back version of the Sweet Nothin’s song ‘Back to Georgia.’
We sat down with Logan Shook to find out a bit more about the songwriter who blew us all away with his entry.
What did you grow up listening to?
Like anyone, I grew up listening to things that my parents listened to. I listened to Linkin Park, Oasis, and Green Day with my mom. I listened to Metallica, AC/DC, and Kid Rock with my dad. I came upon country music completely by chance.
How would you describe your sound?
If the Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders of the Purple Sage birthed a child with a voice that’s reminiscent of Hank Williams.
Who are your biggest influences?
Elvis Presley, Gram Parsons, Hank Williams, T-Rex and David Bowie, to name a few.
What can you tell us about the 'Back to Georgia' which won our Holler Songwriter Competition?
About three or four years ago I moved to Los Angeles from Georgia. Within about a year or year and a half, both of my grandparents on my dad’s side died less than a year apart. I didn’t get to see either of them or talk to them before their deaths. The song is about flying back to Georgia for a double funeral and about dealing with the feeling of not being able to see my grandparents before they died because I packed up and moved across the country. My band, Sweet Nothin’s, is actually putting out ‘Back to Georgia’ later this fall!
Where’s the most unexpected place music has taken you?
How did you end up playing there?
A lot of the credit goes to Nikki Lane and our friends at Desert 5 Spot.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
There is nothing else is the world I could see myself doing besides playing music. It’s what brings me the most joy.
If you could time travel back to any time, when would you travel back to?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but the 60’s and 70’s parties and lifestyle would have been really fun to experience.
Which person from history would you most like to meet?
Elvis Presley seemed like a really fun, crazy guy. I would have liked to meet him.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can bend both pinky fingers all the way back to touch the back of my hand!
What’s next for you?
We’re putting out ‘Back To Georgia’ in the next few months and then hopefully planning to put out an EP next year. We also really want to start touring. If anyone seeing this and needs tour support please get in contact!
Logan Shook took home the prize of a brand spanking new Taylor 214ce guitar as his prize for winning the Holler Songwriter Competition, so keep your eyes peeled for more competitions from Holler soon!