Nashville-based keyboardist and songwriter Kory Caudill's music marries folk, Americana and more. Get to know our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the week.

NAME: Kory Caudill

HOMETOWN: Nashville, TN via Prestonsburg, KY.

MUSICAL TRAINING: I've played by ear and have been musically guided or mentored since I was around three years old. My formal training includes studying classical piano with Jennifer Hughes Bersalgia, and majoring in piano performance at Belmont University, where I studied with Bruce Dudley. I also like to consider my many years spent gigging before going "pro'' as a vital part of my education.

FIRST GIGS: The Kentucky Opry in eastern Kentucky. If you're not from the area, you'd be shocked at the caliber of musicians involved in that show. The players were kind enough to take me under their wing when I was very young, but they were still tough on me in all the right ways.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Pat Metheny, Bruce Hornsby, Billy Preston, Billy Powell, Oscar Peterson, Sting, Jerry Lee Lewis. It's a lengthy list, as I'm sure it is with everybody, but those are some of the big ones.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Relentless by Danny Gatton and Joey DeFrancesco. I'm also in love with the new Dave Matthews Band album Come Tomorrow.

MY BIG BREAK: In regards to my career as a solo artist, my biggest break came when I met my management team. It's not easy to find folks willing to navigate a career with an instrumentalist, so I'm very fortunate. They helped land my first record deal, and they're constantly challenging me to become a better musician.

LATEST PROJECTS: We recently tracked a jazz Christmas record live to tape, using only four mics on the album. I'm also working on a follow up to my debut album Tree of Life which will be a heavy blend of digital textures and live recording. Lastly, this fall I'll be releasing an album of soft piano tunes that I originally wrote for my first child, Annaleigh.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? Like most keyboard players, I've slowly migrated to a computer based rig over the last few years, although I still prefer the action of my Korn Triton Extreme 88 as a controller. I absolutely love anything that the software developer Output designs. I'm constantly writing entire tunes just based around the stock presets in Signal and Exhale. Other than that, my prized possession is our white Kawai grand piano that was recently passed down to me. There's a massive hole in the bench from Jerry Lee Lewis kicking it during a show at the nightclub my parents bought the piano from!

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Whatever your goal is, you have to learn to enjoy the process of chasing it as much as you think you'll enjoy actually achieving the goal. Your career might break early on, or it might take ten years. If it takes a while, it's important to be able to stop and be thankful for where your at and to recognize when you're having fun. Both of my grandfathers fought wars and mined coal for a living, so I've grown to understand what a privilege it is to make music.

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