John Karl – The Journey From Albany To Nashville
New York native John Karl is building a career in Country Music that all started right here in the Albany area. Now, Nashville is Karl’s new home and he’s ‘Country Star’ bound!
What was your ultimate decision in making the move to Nashville?
It was after I talked with Heath Wright of Ricochet back in 2000. I had done a show at Northern Lights with them and Heath and I where at the bar talking. He told me he really enjoyed my sound and said I should be in Nashville, not just performing at home. That night when I went to bed I thought long and hard about what was next and realized that my career could not grow if I stayed in the Capital District. Nashville offered so many more opportunities. Since that day I have toured with Ricochet as their 5th member on a fill-in basis for 2 years (If someone was sick or could not make the date) and still to this day have stayed friends with them all.
What’s been your biggest accomplishment while living in Nashville?
That’s a hard question to answer. In my eyes I have accomplished so much. House artist at the World Famous Wildhorse Saloon (243 days in 2008-2009), House artist at Legends Corner and The Stage on Broadway’s Honky Tonk Row (Current), 200 shows a year for the past 7 years within 43 different states. Song (Small Town Thing) in the movie “American Reunion”, Number one Song on MP3.com with “There Goes The Neighborhood”, Top 10 song on the Christian Country Charts “Just Love Her” and of course Charting (Song is still Climbing) with my first Country Radio Release “Redneck Rich”. But to me accomplishments are not just music related. My wife and I are still married and in love after 15 years. I have the best core of friends anyone could ask for and I have influenced countless artists in Nashville that have been there for me as I have been there for them. To me that is more of an accomplishment then the rest, especially in this business.
Have you had any good encounters with other singers in the business?
I have had the privilege of performing with a wide range of country acts some of which are very close friends today. Of course starting with Ricochet, Zac Brown, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert just to name a few. I have done 18 shows with Luke Bryan over the past 3 years and have become good friends off the circuit, Josh Thompson and I used to have BBQ’s or we call them GuitarBQ’s every Sunday Night for 3 years when I first moved to Nashville with guest writers like Jarrod Niemann, Kip Moore to name a few. I have been very fortunate to have some of my 80’s idols become good friends like Kip Winger (WINGER), Mark Slaughter (Slaughter), Bret Michaels (Poison) and Richard Marx. The cool thing about Nashville is how small of a knit community it is. We all get to know each other over the years.
How does it feel to have your own Nashville album out with a single that’s started to get some airplay called ‘Redneck Rich?’
My goal when moving to Nashville was to let the public hear my music. It is a hard and sometimes heart breaking business. Drive, heart and determination is what it takes. I have been working towards my Radio Release for 10 years. Now it has come to light, has been spinning over 2800 times a week across the country and is still picking up speed. Reaching the Music Row Main Charts for me has been a milestone and it seams to be growing weekly. I can’t thank the Fan’s enough for requesting it and letting me know that all the late night shows, Thousands of miles of travel and time away from home has been worth it. After the first of the year I will be releasing my second single “That’s What I Believe” and can’t wait for the public to respond to it. I do not do this to get rich or famous, I want to have a legacy for my family. I want to hear people sing the songs I write and record, as if they have live it themselves.
How did you land an appearance on the ABC show ‘Nashville?’
Funny Story. The producers had been at one of my shows at The Stage on Broadway and approached me for a card. The next day the casting department emailed me to see if I would be interested in being in the show. As of right now I have been an extra in episode 4 and 5 and have been asked to do some more with the band which will be filmed soon. You can see me as a “Hip Bar Patron” and a “Coffee Shop Patron”. Who knows whats next.
What does John Karl hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?
I am hoping to continue my career in Country Music as a writer/performer/artist but I have a few things extra things I would like to do. I want to give back to the newbies to Nashville by teaching a performance class on how to entertain and connect with your listeners. I never had anyone help me and I know how hard it is to learn. Then I want to…….. No laughing…… write a 4 movement symphony. Music comes from your heart whether you understand it or not and I feel that all styles of music are within each and every one of us. As they say “Life is a Highway, I want to ride it all night long!