Natalie Stovall Talks About Guitars and Women in Music
By Team HC |
by Anne Erickson
“Girl Tonight” comes off Stovall’s EP, Heartbreak. While she’s known for her violin playing, Stovall displays keen songwriting chops and twangy vocals on the set. She spoke about her favorite guitars and what it’s like being a woman in the music business.
What are your first memories of making music?
Oh, my goodness! I started playing violin when I was 4 years old, so from a very early age, I remember practicing violin and trying to figure out how to make noise on the instrument. I didn’t really enjoy practicing a lot. I don’t think any kid does! So, my mom would try to come up with ways to get me to practice more. She would take me to the park, because if I could draw a crowd, I would want to play all day. Those are some of my first memories: going to Woodland Park in Columbia, Tennessee, practicing my violin and having people stop by and watch.
Regarding Your album Heartbreak. Would you say this is a good breakup album?
It is mostly about heartbreak and about a lot of different forms of heartbreak. For the title track, I was writing about how heartbreaking it was in my career at the time and my experience being with record labels. For me, I was using my label as a relationship, because it sounds like a relationship song! A lot of what I was writing about was not giving up and not giving in, and there are some songs that are obviously about relationships, too.
Do you have a favorite song off the album?
I don’t know! (Laughs) “We Are” is one of my favorites, because it’s about not giving up, and I never will give up or give in on things or dreams I’m chasing down. Lately, one of my favorites to perform is “Girl Tonight.” It’s a really powerful song to sing, and I really enjoy playing it.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a woman in the music industry?
Well, one of the biggest right now is simply radio in country music. It has been a very large topic of conversations over the past few years, and it’s apparent to fans that there’s not a lot of women on country radio. It has started to get better, and I think a lot of it is cyclical. In the ‘90s, women dominated country radio. Now, a lot of it is the dude country songs. But one of the best things is that there is all this great music coming out. Some of the women have been killing it.
Let’s talk guitars! What are your go-to guitars on the road?
I have a Gibson Nighthawk that I won when I was 12 in a talent competition, and it’s the only electric guitar I play on stage. I think the Gibson J-45 is the most incredible guitar in the world, as far as acoustics go. I’m more of an acoustic person. It’s always been fun for me to play the Nighthawk, because that’s the first guitar I ever owned. It’s black and has gold hardware. It’s beautiful. She’s a sexy little guitar, and I love the way she looks holding her.
You only mention your two guitars as Gibsons. What draws you to the Gibson?
The quality! Gibson has been making guitars for so long, and it’s one of the most stellar brands. Even when I was a kid, I didn’t know what it was I was looking for in guitars, but the first guitars I ever had in my hand were Gibson guitars. The quality is so incredible, and I have fallen in love with the guitars. If I can help it, I’ll have my Nighthawk with me my entire life.
Natalie Stovall and the Drive have Gibson to thank for their first experience with 360 degree video. “Gibson called us and asked us if we wanted to do a 360 degree video for our song, ‘Girl Tonight,’ and of could we did!” Stovall said. “It was really cool! I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
You can watch the video
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Anne Erickson holds years of bylines in Gannett Media publications, as well as music magazines Premier Guitar, Guitar Edge and more. She also hosts radio shows with iHeartRadio and has been syndicated in Seattle, Dayton, Central Coast California and beyond. Anne is a loyal Spartan and holds a Master’s degree from MSU. She resides in Lansing, Michigan.