Getting signed by Billy Jam Records, releasing a debut album and touring with Alan Jackson would be any country band’s dream come true, but few know the work it takes to achieve that.
Fortunately for Sara Zebley and Hayley Prosser of Steel Blossoms, they can tell you exactly what it took.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, the two musicians crossed paths when Zebley called Prosser to fill in for a singer. Describing it as “instant magic,” Zebley knew they were destined to perform together from the moment their voices harmonized.
“I’ve sang harmony with lots of people in my life, but the blend that happened the first time we sang together — you couldn’t ignore it. We just had this chemistry on stage and even now people ask us if we’re sisters or if we’re related,” she said.
The duo brought their effortless chemistry to honky-tonks and house shows in Nashville, joining the stage alongside artists like Rhona Vincent and Collin Raye. Following the release of an EP and a full length album, the pair caught the attention of Jerry Salley, A&R Director at Billy Jam Records. In the spring of 2019, Zebly and Prosser signed a deal with Billy Jam and released a self-titled album with the label.
After years of house shows, van tours and bar gigs, signing with Billy Jam was validation that they’ve been the right thing the entire time.
“For years everyone just kept telling us, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing,’ and that was so frustrating. But we did. We just kept doing what we were doing and trying to write as much as possible and so it was an honor when they were interested in signing us,” Prosser said.
The duo draws inspiration from country artists past and present, especially trailblazing female artists like Loretta Lynn, Kacey Musgraves and Brandi Carlile. In similar fashion, Zebley and Prosser hold little back when it comes to crafting their songs, with both witty and endearing lyrics throughout their self-titled record.
Ranging from the pains and revelations of addiction on “Heroine,” to the playful yet spiteful “You’re the Reason I Drink,” Prosser and Zebly don’t pull any punches when it comes to what they say and how they say it.
“We both grew up on older country and it’s really cool to see a female that’s not afraid to say what she feels,” Prosser said. “That’s pretty inspiring to us.”
Steel Blossoms are starting off the new year with a bang, playing several dates with country legend Alan Jackson. Their album, “Steel Blossoms,” can be found on all platforms.