Rooted in three-part vocal harmonies, southern twang, and pop hooks, Honey County is a female country trio formed by singer/songwriter Dani Rose, featuring the stacked voices and layered guitar work of bandmates Devon Jane and Katie Stump. As one of Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Artists You Need to Know, the band has maintained a busy schedule, both onstage and in the studio, sharing shows with artists like Lady Antebellum, Brett Eldredge, Jake Owen, and Easton Corbin, while also crafting modern, melody-based country songs. With a prestigious placement of their song “Love Someone” featured in an episode of CMT’s Nashville this past summer, the band is excited to be working on new music and plans to release an EP in late 2018. This is countrywide country music, presented in three-part harmony.
What music and artists influenced you each as you grew up?
Dani: Boyz II Men, Tim McGraw, and all Disney soundtracks
Katie: John Mayer, James Taylor, Taylor Swift
Devon: Keith Urban, KT Tunstall, Fleetwood Mac
How have your families supported your careers?
Katie: My parents have always been crazy supportive of my music, and they have definitely become band parents for all of us. They come to every show they can — even when we play out in Nashville — and help us with so much. My mom has even taken it upon herself to be in charge of all the merch, and she has a blast with it! We’re so fortunate to have them on our team.
What are your fondest musical memories?
Dani: Our first rehearsal together as a band was a really special moment for me. The first time we all sang in harmony, it was just magical. The three of our voices blended so perfectly, and the energy was so great — I knew right then it was the beginning of something special.
Can you remember the first times you wrote a song?
Katie: I vividly remember writing one of my first songs with my dad when I was about six. I danced around the playroom singing nonsensical lyrics while my dad furiously typed them into the computer, helping me document my song about some sort of purple horse.
Where do your writing ideas come from?
Katie: I feel like my best ideas present themselves when I’m out for a walk, or driving in my car with no music playing. My mind has time and space to wander, and I’m able to find melodies and lyric ideas that end up turning into some of my favorite songs.
Devon: My favorite way to write is just sitting down with my guitar, jamming out and discovering cool instrumental hooks I can center a song around.
Dani: I love coming up with lyrical concepts based on things I go through in my life. It’s really therapeutic to be so honest in our songs and I feel like those concepts resonate with people the most.
How did you come to form a country trio while based in Los Angeles?
Katie: All of us have a love for country music, especially in our upbringings, and the way the three of our voices blend together on three-part harmonies is just unlike anything else any of us had ever done musically. Even though there isn’t a huge scene for country music in Los Angeles, it was a natural fit for the kind of music we all love and gravitate towards.
You were semi-finalists on VH1’s Make A Band Famous competition — what was it like to be part of the reality show?
Dani: It was definitely an awesome experience. We learned a lot from it, and were able to implement some new valuable things into our live set.
What is the backstory to your new song “Sale of the Summer”? Did you plan out the music video?
Dani: I came up with the title for that song driving around LA seeing signs in store windows advertising summer sales. I thought to myself, that would be an amazing concept for a song, where a girl gets screwed over by a guy and decides to sell all of his stuff as payback.
Katie: As far as the video goes, we were definitely involved with all the planning and logistics of everything, and we knew we wanted Jade to be our star, but when it came to the story of it all and actually having it play out on film, that was all the work of our amazing director, Jay Diaz.
Love how your music incorporates not only your songwriting abilities, but also spotlights your abilities as instrumentalists. Great to see!
Devon: Thank you so much! That’s something we really value as a band — not just being great singers and songwriters, but also badass musicians that are very involved in all of the arrangements, both on stage and in the studio.
If you were to compare yourself to another female artist who would it be and why?
Katie: We get compared to the Dixie Chicks a lot because they’re also a female trio, but we also LOVE Little Big Town and would be honored to be compared to them. Even though they’re not an all-female group, they’re as badass as it gets with their vocals, songs, studio arrangements, and live show. Also, I know Dani LOVES everything about Karen Fairchild, and people mistake Devon for Kimberly all the time because they have the same hair!
Who are each of you big fans of and what do you find most inspiring about their music?
Katie: I’ve always been a deep-down Taylor Swift fan, mostly because I love her songs. I am particularly stoked about how she is starting to make a comeback in the country world through the back door, writing songs for other artists (Little Big Town, Sugarland). It’s really reminiscent of her early records, which are the ones that I still love the most of hers.
Dani: As Katie said, I’m a huge Karen Fairchild (and Little Big Town in general) fan. I love the way she carries herself on stage with this immense confidence that’s so captivating. Also, of course, her voice is magical.
Devon: I have always been and always will be a huge Keith Urban fan. His voice, his guitar skills, his energy on stage — all of it I’m so 100% down with. I always find myself super inspired by his guitar tones, too, and definitely try to incorporate some of what he does into my own tones.
Playing Stagecoach and CMA Fest — very impressive for any act, but especially an independent artist. How do the streaming and online services, like Apple Music’s Cool Country Playlist or iTunes Country Music Hot Tracks, help promote independents?
Dani: Both Spotify and Apple Music have been so wonderful to us. Being on iTunes’s Country Music Hot Tracks was definitely a huge honor, and no doubt it helped boost our downloads and streams. The great thing about the streaming services is that no matter who you are, signed or unsigned, if you have a great song that people love, they’ll put it in the spotlight and get more people listening.
Also, how have SoCal country radio station Radio Disney Country and E! News helped get your music heard?
Dani: Phil Guerini at Radio Disney Country has been one of our biggest champions the last couple of years, and his support of all our latest releases has meant everything to us. And Jackie Burke at E! News has been incredible with supporting every music video we put out. Having our music on both of these outlets has helped us reach so many new people and grow our audience more than we could imagine.
What’s it like to be growing in popularity and more recognized, with being named on Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Artists You Need to Know and having your song “Love Someone” featured in a summer episode of CMT’s Nashville?
Dani: It’s so incredible! All of us work so hard putting our hearts into what we’re doing, so it’s really amazing to get some solid validation.
Katie: The Nashville placement was especially exciting for me, because I was obsessed with that show when it first started airing. I would listen to all the songs they had on the show and just be in awe at how amazing the songwriting was. So, to be included in that mix is really awesome both as a songwriter, and as a fan of the show.
What’s the best concert each of you have ever seen and what made them special?
Katie: Hunter Hayes at the Santa Barbara Bowl. His energy onstage was absolutely insane and infectious, and every moment with his band was so tight and well put together.
Dani: Getting to see Little Big Town play live at Country Summer this year (having just opened for them) was amazing. Their whole show was so intentional and well-done. They obviously sounded incredible, and their presence on stage was so captivating. I learned so much watching them, and would love to see that whole show all over again.
Devon: I got to see KT Tunstall play at Hotel Cafe in LA last year (a small venue that holds maybe 200 people), and the way she captivated the room was so incredible. It may have been a small venue, but she played like she had 10,000 people in front of her.
How is it different playing in Southern California, since you’re based here, versus in Nashville?
Dani: We love playing shows in both places, but we especially love the California shows because we get to see our local fans, friends and families come out!
Katie: There are actually a lot of country music fans in Southern California, despite what people may think, and because of that, we’re fortunate to get to play a lot of shows right around where we live.
Devon: There’s definitely also something great about playing in Nashville too though, being surrounded by all this insane talent. Like you could be playing a tiny little bar in a round with someone that has written some of your favorite songs. It’s crazy intimidating in a way, but also totally inspiring.
What is touring like for you? Something you enjoy — best and worst parts?
What’s in store on this tour with Thompson Square?
Katie: It’s crazy and exhausting, but when everything goes right, it’s so fun. There are so many moments where I’ve been on a plane and thought to myself “I’m sitting here because someone thousands of miles away wants to hear me play songs that I’ve written.” That’s still so crazy to me and such a cool feeling.
Dani: Besides being on stage, some of my favorite moments are when we’re traveling, all just hanging out, getting from point A to B and having a blast together. Obviously, some of the worst moments include travel delays/cancellations, bag mix-ups, or trying to get guitars on board the plane. But we always seem to make it through just fine.
Devon: We’re so excited to tour with Thompson Square. We played a couple shows with them already, and they are just the nicest, warmest people. Not to mention they slay on stage. Besides the winery, we’re doing all army base shows with them, which is awesome because those audiences are always so supportive and the most fun to play to.
What’s something you wished people asked you in an interview?
“How does it feel to have just won your first Grammy?” ;)
What do you each like to do when you aren’t playing or on tour?
Katie: I love spending time with my family and friends, just hanging out, going out to dinner, drinking wine, etc.
Dani: I love shopping and playing with our new puppy!
Devon: I enjoy getting back out to Temecula and hanging with my family, going for the occasional hike, playing the occasional video game.
Honey County Tour Dates:
Sept. 15 — Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. — Remember The Music
Oct. 2 — Houston, Texas — Sam Houston State University
Oct. 3 — Aberdeen, Md. — Proving Ground (w/Thompson Square)
Oct. 4 — Port St. Lucie, Fla. — Chillin’ on the Lucie festival
Oct. 5 — Fort Stewart, Ga. — Club Stewart (w/Thompson Square)
Oct. 13 — Columbia, S.C. — Solomon Center (w/Thompson Square)
Oct. 21 — New Orleans, La. — Country Smooth Festival (w/ Justin Moore)
Oct. 22 — Natchitoches, La. — Northwestern State University
Oct. 25 — Grand Rapids, Mich. — NACA Mid America Showcase
Nov. 1 — Rock Hill, S.C. — Winthrop University
Nov. 3 — Fort Rucker, Ala. — Aviators Landing (w/Thompson Square)
Nov. 16 — Fort Knox, Ky. — Godman Airfield (w/Thompson Square)
Keep up with their tour dates on their website at www.honeycounty.com.