Nashville is mostly thought of as the home of up-and-coming country acts, but one duo has its roots in Los Angeles, even though Nashville figures prominently into their game plan. Featuring singer/keyboardist Dani Rose and singer/guitarist Sofie Lynn, Honey County is a harmony-heavy country-pop duo with an international reputation, doing what is most necessary to capture the brass ring – namely, they “work their butts off.”
“A lot of people do think we’re a Nashville act,” Virginia native Rose told American Songwriter by phone from LA’s eastern suburbs where she and Lynn, a lifelong Angeleno, currently make their homes. “People in Nashville reach out to us to write and we tell them we’ll do it on Zoom, and they say ‘We’re here in town,’ and we have to tell them we’re based in LA. But we spend at least a week and a half of every month in Nashville. Our main goal when we visit Nashville is to do writing. On our last trip we wrote with [Canadian singer-songwriter] Meghan Patrick – we’re constantly writing with friends in Nashville.”
Honey County was a trio for years before two members left and founding member Rose stayed on, enlisting Lynn soon after. “I started the band in 2014,” Rose said, “and the two girls that were in the band decided they didn’t want to do it anymore. Touring and traveling, it really takes a toll on you. This is very hard work. Sometimes it’s bar gigs, sometimes you’re flying across the country and playing for 150 people at a college and you’re making like $50.00 because of how much it costs to travel. It’s taxing on your body and you have to absolutely love it.”
“Sofie had reached out to me just to write,” she continued, “and I told her what was going on with the band and that I would be holding auditions. And she came over, and out of the 10 girls who auditioned she was the only one I really felt connected to. Honey County morphed and changed into something different because of Sofie’s personality and the energy that she brought into the band.”
That was a year ago, and the revamped Honey County has been active ever since, most recently releasing “Cry Wolf,” a new single about a serial drunk-dialing ex written by Rose and Lynn with Katelyn Clampett (Selena Gomez, Victoria Justice) and Maks Gabriel (Mia Martina, Jordan McIntosh). The duo shot a video for the song in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, which premiered on People magazine’s People Country site. They also recorded an acoustic “Cry Wolf” video at sunrise in Joshua Tree, which they plan to post before the end of the year.
Where the Covid-19 pandemic has put some careers on hold, Honey County has been more active than many acts. “It really hasn’t put a damper on things for us at all,” Rose said. “If anything, it’s given us more time to work on our songs and our craft, and we’ve also been able to play quite a few shows. I know that’s not the norm – we were lucky, we kept getting opportunities. We were asked to play Stagecoach, which was named Stagecouch this year because of everything being shut down, and we were one of nine live acts to do a Stagecouch livestream. We played an outdoor show that was socially distanced with 600 people, and from there we played a private show in Utah, then we flew straight to Nashville because we had a songwriter round show at the Listening Room with the Outdoors Channel. We’ve been working our butts off.”
Honey County has done well with TV placements, with songs on the Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, HBO’s True Blood, the final season of Nashville and more. “Music supervisors find the music,” Rose said, “and in the case of Nashville they just ended up calling us, a very random call but very welcome. On Yellowstone, the music supervisor is someone who is very supportive of women in country music and women who work very hard, and we work our butts off. It’s just been bonkers to look at the list of songs that have been played in film and on TV out of the Honey County catalog.”
Having opened for some of Nashville’s biggest major label acts, Honey County plans to release more new music after the first of the year. “We’ve just been very lucky,” Rose said. “It’s all about being pleasantly persistent but not being overly-annoying.”
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