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Now Hear This Entertainment


Now Hear This Entertainment features interviews with guests who are having success in the entertainment business, with the content presented in a way that not only entertains fans of that guest and fans of good music interviews in general, but in a manner that educates musicians, singers, songwriters – entertainers who want to learn from those who are being interviewed each week by Bruce Wawrzyniak, president of Now Hear This, Inc. The guests come from a wide array of genres and locales.


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Now Hear This Entertainment features interviews with guests who are having success in the entertainment business, with the content presented in a way that not only entertains fans of that guest and fans of good music interviews in general, but in a manner that educates musicians, singers, songwriters – entertainers who want to learn from those who are being interviewed each week by Bruce Wawrzyniak, president of Now Hear This, Inc. The guests come from a wide array of genres and locales.






NHTE 502 Claire Khodara and Ken Stacey

They are currently working together as artist and producer on an upcoming new album and are up for consideration for the GRAMMYs next February. She has done everything from sing for popes to appearing on “American Idol” to founding her own production company. She has trained in Rome, lived in London and New York, and, of course, released her own original music, all in addition to being an activist. He was a guest on this show more than a year-and-a-half ago on Episode 422 and since then has continued working as a vocal coach with Kenny Loggins, Richard Marx, and more, and recently sang at a David Crosby tribute alongside some key members of the music world. His background ranges from work with household names ranging from Elton John to Michael Jackson to pop supergroup Ambrosia.


NHTE 501 Best Of Volume 5

The biggest episode ever. Clearly the guests have only gotten better and better as evidenced by how many from the last hundred episodes are featured in this look back at a good number of "Now Hear This Entertainment" episodes since NHTE 401 Best Of Volume 4. On this edition you'll hear everything from befriending actor John Malkovich to thinking a call from Kenny Loggins was a prank to meeting Kris Kristofferson in a back alley to meeting Michael Jackson to getting hired to play in Taylor Swift's band to performing in Las Vegas the night of a sibling's passing, and much, much (much) more. In total, there are 27 past guests you'll hear from, plus two more who are represented by way of their music being played.


NHTE 500 Kenny Wayne Shepherd

A renowned guitarist and vocalist who has sold millions of albums. From 1995 on, he took seven singles into the Top 10, and holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard Blues Charts. He has been nominated for five GRAMMY Awards and has received two Billboard Music Awards, two Blues Music Awards, and two Orville H. Gibson Awards. In September 2008, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. released a Signature Series Stratocaster that he designed exclusively. In 2013 he, along with Stephen Stills and Barry Goldberg formed a band called The Rides. Throughout his career he has opened up for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, and The Eagles. From television performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to The Late Show with David Letterman to Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to features in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Maxim Magazine, Blender, Spin, USA Today and more, his musical career has been nothing short of phenomenal. He has a new album coming in November, with a new song coming each month between now and then.


NHTE 499 Ava Kolker

Singer, songwriter, actress, and influencer who just put out a six-song EP in late June. The title track from that release reached number 11 on the iTunes charts and she has gotten airplay on iHeartRadio. She lives in Los Angeles and is known for her roles as Olive on Disney Channel’s “Sydney to the Max” and as Ava on Disney’s Emmy-nominated “Girl Meets World.” She has also appeared in multiple major feature films. She is a Sony Electronics audio ambassador and has amassed a tremendous following, including 4.3 million followers on TikTok, one million followers on Instagram, and a combined total of more than 4.2 million video views on her official YouTube channel.


NHTE 498 Stefan Benz

Singer, songwriter, guitar and player who has a new album coming out next week Friday, September 8th, which follows four singles that he has already released this year. Earlier this year he appeared on “American Idol,” and he has been hailed by Us Weekly as “One of the hottest young rising stars to watch in music right now.” Originally from South Africa, he recently became the youngest artist in the history of that country to have a number 1 hit. He has a combined total of more than 14 million video views on his official YouTube channel and between Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok alone he has a combined following of well over half a million.


NHTE 497 Jennifer Alvarado

Award-winning singer, songwriter, guitar player who just last month put out a seven-song EP. She is also beginning work on a new album as well as a separate EP, both of which she talks about here. She regularly travels back and forth to Nashville and was named “One to Watch” by Nashville Songwriters Association International in Spring 2021 and Spring 2022. Earlier this month she took home the silver for “USA Entertainer of the Year” at the 2023 International Singer-Songwriters Association awards. Her top five songs on Spotify alone have a combined total of almost 440 thousand streams and she has more than 13 thousand monthly listeners on that platform.


NHTE 496 William Michael Morgan

Singer, songwriter, guitar player whose newest single was just released five days ago. In April he was signed by ONErpm, which operates one of the world’s largest music distribution platforms and YouTube multi-channel networks. He has drawn praise from the New York Times, and his debut album back in 2016 opened in the Top 5 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart and landed him on countless year-end best album lists, including Rolling Stone and iTunes. He had signed a major label deal at the age of just 19 and landed at Number 1 on Mediabase with the Gold certified, “I Met a Girl.” He was at CMA Fest this past June and has performed more than 50 times on the Grand Ole Opry, plus he was featured by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as a highlighted artist in the 2017 American Currents exhibit. That same year he joined Maren Morris and three others in being named New Faces of Country Music in conjunction with the annual Country Radio Seminar.


NHTE 495 Bridgette Tatum

Award-winning, Nashville-based singer, songwriter, guitar player, and producer who co-wrote Jason Aldean’s hit, “She’s Country,” which was the most played song on country radio across the U.S. in 2009 and held the number 1 position on the chart for two consecutive weeks and has had 181 million streams on Spotify alone. Her song “Loud” was selected as the official theme song for ACC football’s 2010 season. She has also had cuts with Randy Houser and George Clinton, among others, and, of course, as a recording artist, has released her own original music along the way as well. Meanwhile, she is vice president of SoNash Publishing and also serves on the board of The Charley Foundation, which she also talks about here.


NHTE 494 Townsend

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist who has a new single coming out this Friday, August 4th to begin a single each month through and including December for a total of five singles, which will culminate in an EP. She was invited to do one of the coveted performance slots at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, in April, and has partnerships with multiple companies in that space. As a mental health advocate, she is also the host of a weekly podcast, called, “You’re Not Alone.” And, she is also active as a speaker. She was previously a guest on this show approximately a year-and-a-half ago on Episode 417 in February 2022.


NHTE 493 Walter Kenul

New York-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist who is one of the founders of the eight-piece roots rock band, American Nomads. He has toured internationally as well as written and recorded multiple film soundtracks, plus he had a song chosen for a movie trailer and played on a French film. Early in his career he had founded another band, and, present day, American Nomads has a new single that was just released last month, plus they’ll be releasing a new album in September and another in January. The band’s music has received national radio play, reached number 6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and passed the first round of GRAMMY nominations for one of their songs.


NHTE 492 Eric Alexandrakis

A two-time GRAMMY-nominated classically trained musician and composer. Also a singer, songwriter, and producer, he has had two hit songs on the Adult Contemporary charts and a hit on the Billboard Indicator Chart. He has done work for brands ranging from NBC to MTV to the History Channel, the NBA, CBS, Nike, Pepsi, the Discovery Channel, and more. He has also worked with William Shatner, John Malkovich, David Lynch, and others. Plus, he has collaborated with and created content for the likes of Depeche Mode, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Duran Duran, and many more. He is even a music industry contributor to Recording Magazine.


NHTE 491 Jeffrey Steele

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist with over 65 million airplays of his songs. He has gotten three GRAMMY nominations as a writer and as a musician and earned a Golden Globe nomination as well. He has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, is a two-time BMI Songwriter of the Year, and a three-time NSAI Songwriter of the Year. He was one of Billboard magazine’s top five writers eight years in a row. At one point he had over 500 songs cut in an eight-year period, by over 100 artists, with 95 singles released, off more than 75 gold and platinum records, with over 50 million records sold.


NHTE 490 Clare Cunningham

Nashville-based singer, songwriter, guitar player who is releasing a new album just two days from now. Last year she was the Artist of the Year in the annual Josie Awards, and a few months ago made her Grand Ole Opry debut, plus last month she performed at CMA Fest. In 2021 she won awards for Songwriter of the Year and Vocalist of the Year. She has a whopping twelve nominations for the 2023 Josie Awards that will take place in October. She tours extensively and her upcoming shows calendar will see her perform in the likes of Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, and the 3rd Lake Martin Songwriters Festival late this month in Alabama. She is originally from Ireland and before coming to America was part of an all-female Swedish quintet. She released two albums and was signed to Warner Music Sweden.


NHTE 489 Adam Hood

Alabama-based singer, songwriter, guitar player who just released a new single earlier this month, already his fourth new song of 2023. As a songwriter, he has had songs recorded by the likes of Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Kid Rock, Travis Tritt, Lee Ann Womack, and more. He has his own record label and last September released an album that hit number 10 on the Americana chart, plus he’ll be releasing another album this coming September. Last October he made his Grand Ole Opry debut and then made a return appearance four months ago. Between this recording and early November he will perform in Georgia, Texas, Colorado, South Carolina, Idaho, and at the 3rd Lake Martin Songwriters Festival in Alabama. His top five songs on Spotify have a combined 5.3 million streams and his official YouTube channel has a combined total of over 1.1 million video views.


NHTE 488 Rebecca Ray

UK-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, vocal coach, mentor, YouTuber, and entertainer. A song that she performed on with a past guest from this show is currently at number six on the Billboard charts. Plus, another artist has released two other singles this year that she is on. She has been featured in FORBES and has become well known from her YouTube channel, which has 1.25 million subscribers and a combined total of almost 274 million video views. She is currently working on an EP and has developed a program called Vocal Athlete, which she talks about during this interview.


NHTE 487 Will Thompson

A singer, songwriter, recording artist, and producer who, in March, released a new single that already has over 134 thousand streams on Spotify alone. He has more new music coming in the form of singles that will be compiled for an album release. He is a fifth-generation musician who has shared the stage with artists such as Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, Death Cab for Cutie, and many others. He performs with his band in the Florida panhandle where they’ve been named the Best Band on the Emerald Coast by several publications. He also runs both a songwriters festival and a non-profit.


NHTE 486 Dave Isaacs

He has been called “a musician’s musician.” He has become known as the “Nashville Guitar Guru” for his work as a teacher and coach to professional performers, hit songwriters, and the next generation of Nashville’s rising stars. Six months ago, he released an album of twelve instrumental tracks and now he’s getting ready to release an online guitar course series. In 2019 he put out a book called, “The Perpetual Beginner: A Musician’s Path to Lifelong Learning.” On the performance side he has rocked a muddy crowd at Woodstock and played the blues with Les Paul on a Manhattan nightclub stage.


NHTE 485 John Mlynczak

He is not only a musician, but he is the new President & CEO of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). Previously he served as Vice President of Music Education & Technology at Hal Leonard, and he is the immediate Past-President of the Technology Institute of Music Educators. He has taught online graduate courses at VanderCook College and served as Director of Education for PreSonus Audio. As a performer he had been playing first trumpet in the MetWinds in Boston and has enjoyed a long career of performing in symphony orchestras, pit orchestras, and top 40 bands.


NHTE 484 Duncan MacLeod

A Los Angeles-based musician, filmmaker, writer, and podcaster. He was lead singer and autoharpist in a band called The Acres, which had a large following in Europe, Australia, and Latin America, and did a mix of bluegrass, hymns, and neo-folk. He still plays autoharp for guest appearances on albums, with his latest appearance being on an album by Omewenne. His film “La Lucha” was an official selection in the Reading, Pennsylvania, Mexican Film Festival. And, he has published five memoirs, with a sixth on the way.


NHTE 483 Ali Handal

A singer, songwriter, guitar player who is also part of an all-female Aerosmith tribute band. She has toured Australia, Japan and beyond, and has gotten accolades from the likes of Guitar Player Magazine, American Songwriter Magazine, Guitar World, and Vintage Guitar Magazine. She is having success with both video and audio streaming to the tune of over 1.2 million video views on her YouTube channel and more than 13,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, plus, her songs have been featured in numerous films and hit TV shows. In addition, one of her albums charted on Billboard. She is also a published author and has even done backing vocals for Neil Young AND was a featured singer for Paul Williams. She and has a new album coming in the fall, which is being produced by a four-time GRAMMY Award-winning engineer and producer.