The family trio Angel Mary & The Tennessee Werewolves recently picked up a career boost from the pages of Billboard Magazine. In the July 26 edition which discussed new sounds and trends in country music, Ray Waddell said the group was "A rocking country act, ready to turn up the volume…" and "…poised to move up the ladder and the Billboard country charts."
That sounded like music to their ears. Member Christian Wolf said "They had seen the 'Cowboy' video, and that's what led to them researching us and giving us a call. We had no idea what they were going to say," he admits, while father Antoine Wolf said it provided a definite career boost. "That's every artist's dream to be making that next step. Getting that recognition and being seen and heard, and to be in such great company as Florida Georgia Line is exciting."
When asked to describe their eclectic musical sound, charismatic lead singer Angel Mary offered one of the most unique descriptions to come out of an artists' mouth in quite some time. "It's a chocolate chip cookie with the barbwire wrapped around it. It's a mix of the sweet and the toughness," she stated.
The natives of Hendersonville, TN have only been performing as a family since November 2011, but music is something that flows through their blood. Collectively, their influences range from Motley Crue to Waylon Jennings to the Marshall Tucker Band. However, if there's one artist whose music made more of an impact than any other, it would have to be Johnny Cash.
What was it about the music of the "Man In Black?" Angel Mary says anyone can relate. "I feel like he didn't edit himself," she says. "What he said was real. If someone told him to do it different, he wasn't going to do it different. He was going to do it his way. Just listening to his lyrics alone reaches everyone, because we've all gone through certain heartbreaks. He's touched everyone in that way – country, rock and roll, and even rap. The things that Johnny Cash has said is what a rapper would say today. He touched such a broad base of people, and I would hope that with our music, we could touch someone who might not listen to country."
In fact, their latest single is a rollicking cover of the Cash standard "Folsom Prison Blues," co-produced by John Carter Cash. Christian says there are several connections between them and the Cash sound – and family. "The name Angel Mary & The Tennessee Werewolves derived from Johnny Cash's song 'The Beast In Me,' which is where the werewolf side comes from. When we were in between houses, my parents started taking us to Cowboy Church, and it was there that we became friends with Joanne, Johnny's sister. She opened up her home to us, and let us live there for awhile."
That led to an interesting experience, according to Antoine. "The first night we were there, we got some coffee. She asked us how we slept, and I said great. She told us that we had slept in Mama Cash's bed – where she and Johnny had both slept. It's ironic that at this point, we do the song with John Carter Cash co-producing the track. It just all kind of fell into place suddenly."
Christian picks up the story. "I had met John Carter in town, and told him about the name of the band, and how it was derived from his dad. He looked up our music, and liked it, Angel Mary wrote him a letter one day, asking if we could record it, and he gave us permission. He invited us to record it at Cash Cabin, co-produced it, and played acoustic guitar on it."
Currently, the group is working on their debut album, and is on the road visiting radio stations – something that Christian says they each love getting to do.
"You see small town America, which is what America is made of," he says. "We have seen so many town squares, and the history of them is so cool. There are thriving places where people love music, and some of the people have been there for years. It's fun to connect with them."