As country’s newest family trio, Angel Mary and the Tennessee Werewolves (AMTW) is no-doubt offering up a rebel yell to the genre. Described by Billboard Magazine as “A rocking country act ready to turn up the volume,” and “poised to move up the ladder and the Billboard country charts,” their unique sound–a blend of old-fashioned Dixie roots, bluegrass picking, and Haggard-styled lyrics–has already commanded the attention of fellow artists, industry tastemakers, and fans alike.
Though only recently establishing themselves as a trio in November of 2011, the Hendersonville, Tennessee natives have spent years perfecting their sound in a household where music was a prevalent part of everyday life. Drawing from an eclectic mix of musical influences – everything from Johnny Cash to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Motley Crew–Angel Mary (lead vocals and guitar), Christian (vocals and drums), and Antoine (vocals and bass guitar) pay tribute to those icons, both in sound, self-described as a “chocolate chip cookie wrapped in barbed wire,” and name.
“When we were younger and between houses in Hendersonville, Johnny Cash’s sister Joann Cash opened her home to us. So Johnny has been a part of our lives from the start,” explains Angel Mary. “When it came to choosing a name for the band, we wanted to pay homage to the man that’s inspired us so greatly. Johnny started his musical career as ‘Johnny and the Tennessee Two’ and, later, ‘Johnny and the Tennessee Three’ – that’s where ‘Angel Mary and the Tennessee’ comes from. ‘Werewolves’ was inspired by Johnny’s song ‘The Beast In Me’ from his American Recordings.”
Spending much of 2012 in the studio working on material for their self-titled EP, AMTW enlisted the help of friend and fellow musician Doug Phelps (Kentucky Headhunters). “We’d invited Doug to stop in and check out what we were doing,” said Antoine. “He loved what he heard and ended up singing on track six on our EP, ‘Waiting On You’” Debut single “Cowboy” released in October 2012 to rave reviews. The music video for the single made it into TNT’s coveted top 10 video spot three weeks in a row. Shortly thereafter, AMTW released their first EP to iTunes.
No strangers to risk, the trio released their second single, a cover of Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” to radio on July 30th, 2013. Veteran programmer and Country Radio Hall of Fame member Ed Salamon immediately declared, “Angel Mary and the Tennessee Werewolves have done for that song what Elvis did for Bill Monroe’s ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ in Sun Studios so many years ago.” That same week, Billboard Magazine included AMTW in an article detailing the next wave of country music. “We’re taking a huge step into the unknown releasing a Johnny Cash hit…” said Angel Mary. “But Folsom Prison Blues is a song we hold close to our hearts. We’ve all had our struggles, ups and downs, and times we feel we can’t be free. But there’s always that light of forgiveness at the end of the track.”