From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the plains of Illinois, authentic country music is being performed by the rising duo that is Carolina Pine. Carolina Pine is made up of Woody James and Kennedy Fitzsimmons, friends that became a musical team. This dynamic duo formed after meeting and discovering a common love for original country music.
After playing a random gig together a few years ago, Woody and Kennedy realized they shared that common bond and more of the Willie and Waylon style of country music, not the cookie-cutter country often heard today. Through this chance encounter, they immediately became close friends, and from there they’ve released one song after another, each building on the success of the previous.
After a successful Facebook Live show that got resounding feedback, they decided to cement their status as Carolina Pine. They’ve since been traveling all over the USA sharing their love of original country music. Carolina Pine has released a few singles this year that when closing your eyes, one might mistake it for a country song from 1963. Their intoxicating harmonies and vintage style make their sound absolutely captivating.
When seeing their live show, you are bound to get all the feels. They play popular songs for folks to sing along to, as well as their originals mixed in that display their personal expressions, and bring a sense of closeness to their crowds. Here at Music Mecca, we got a chance to sit down with Woody and Kennedy to get the inside scoop on their story, successes, and what the future may hold.
Music Mecca: I know y’all are from North Carolina and Illinois. How did you meet?
Carolina Pine: We met at Tootsies World Famous Orchid Lounge. We got thrown into a band situation where neither of us knew anybody on stage. This is when we discovered we both had similar backgrounds in traditional country music. We decided to do a Facebook video a few weeks later and we were surprised by the response! This lead to a few shows together, which lead to Carolina Pine.
MM: You guys just signed a publishing deal and have released a few singles. What was the process y’all went through to get that deal and get your songs on the radio?
CP: We met Matt Lindsey, our publisher, through submitting our song through Sandy Pro Company, which is basically a plugging company. Matt liked our song, and has a big background in classic country as well, so we just clicked. As far as getting our songs on the radio, this is where networking came into play. We’ve met radio friends over the years, in many random situations, and those friends lead to more radio friends, and we just met the right people who believed in us. We are thankful for that.
MM: What made you decide to be a duo, and would you be interested in developing a full band eventually?
CP: Are you asking because you want to be our fiddle player? Because in that case, yes we’re so down! Haha. Absolutely, we play with a full band in many situations and consider that band to be just as much a part of Carolina Pine as we both are!
MM: What’s been your favorite venue to play and why?
CP: Man, we love theatre shows. The more intimate, the better.
MM: You guys have brought back the original way of doing country music. How did you go about getting the millennial generation to respond to that style of country music?
CP: I wouldn’t even say millennials have responded yet, really. But a lot of other generations have. I think we’ve learned that fans come in all shapes and sizes and we just love when people appreciate what we do.
MM: If you could have a shot, a beer, and dinner with three different idols of yours alive or dead, who would you choose and for which?
CP: Most of our idols are dead. Haha. But for Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is so inspiring. I feel like she is so in tune to who she is. I’d love to know all her secrets to life.
MM: Do you both write your own songs?
CP: Yes. We write separately and we write together and we write with other people. We are all about finding a song that speaks to us and has something to say to the world. Our record has songs Woody has written, songs I have written, and even a cover song neither one of us wrote.
MM: Do you ever get on each other’s nerves when going on the road with just the two of you? Any funny or interesting road stories?
CP: Yes! I actually just called Woody annoying the other day, and he got so mad! Haha!
Woody is really the funny one. When I play without Woody, I steal all of his jokes and everyone thinks I’m hilarious haha.
Here’s some of Woody’s one liners:
“Ladies, please, please, not in front of your husbands.”
“ I don’t wanna brag, but I literally did nothing to get this body.”
MM: What are some exciting things that y’all have in store for the rest of 2019?
CP: We are releasing our EP! We actually have one of our hero’s singing with us on one of the songs, Jim Lauderdale, and it’s being put in for final mixing as we speak! As artists, this is one of the most exciting times!
MM: Do y’all have any upcoming shows/releases fans should know about?
CP: Yes, the release as well as we have a few cool shows! We’ll be opening up for Mountain Heart in October, and we’re really excited about this one. Josh Shilling, the lead singer and keys player played on our track “What I’m About to Say” that will be released with the EP, and these guys are super down to earth! Were excited to share a stage with them.
For more on Carolina Pine, be sure to visit their Facebook page HERE.