By Amelia Rose Smith
Brian Kelley is an American musician, best known as a member of the Nashville-based duo Florida Georgia Line (FGL). In addition to his success as an artist and music producer, Brian is the co-producer of May We All, a country music musical set to debut at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on June 15th. May We All takes the audience to “the town that sings,” called Harmony, Tennessee. The story follows Jenna Coates, a local sensation who left her hometown of Harmony, to pursue her dreams of stardom in Nashville. Four years later, Jenna still has not landed a record deal nor has a dime to spare, so she returns home. The musical follows Jenna as she reconnects with those she loved, makes peace with her past and fights to save the small town she loves!
The idea of May We All came about in 2017 when Michael Barret from Lively McCabe Entertainment approached Brian and his cousin, Stephen Snedden (co-owner of CuzBro Productions), about creating a country music musical. Between Michael’s expertise in Broadway, musical licensing and everything the industry entails, and Brian’s success as an artist and music producer, it seemed like the perfect opportunity! Immediately, Brian and Stephen were intrigued by this fresh, new concept that had never been done before. “It was a no-brainer; blending both worlds felt like the perfect fit and the pieces to the puzzle were connecting so easily,” explains Brian.
Brian tells how the process of creating this musical has been different than creating an album. “It’s a longer game than making a record; In the past, it has taken about one or two years at most, which is a quicker turnaround than a show of this magnitude.” He goes on to say: “This musical is a different process. We are always editing the script and story and really fine-tuning everything. It takes patience.”
The musical takes a twist on the traditional casting of a show by incorporating a rotating lineup of country music guest artists who will step into the role of “Bailey Stone.” Brian Kelley will make his debut as Bailey on June 15th, the musical’s opening night. The star-studded roster expected to perform includes: Alana Springsteen, Alexandra Kay, BRELAND, Canaan Smith, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Chris Ruediger, Cooper Alan, Danielle Bradbery, Jamie O’Neal, Lainey Wilson, Lindsay Ell, LOCASH, Nick Fradiani, Robyn Ottolini, Scarlett Burke, Thomas Mac, Tigirlily, Trent Harmon and many more.
The show includes an authentic country score of songs by Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, Johnny Cash, Kasey Musgraves, Keith Urban and more top chart country songs. The set list also includes two original songs written by FGL’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. Brian explains that hearing these songs live a different life through the story of May We All allows the audience to find different perspectives.
It takes a team, and this crew is working hard to create a musical for people of all ages to enjoy! Brian, along with the rest of the cast, hopes to see May We All evolve into a touring show, traveling to places where country music tours go. So, bring your kids, grandparents, siblings and friends to enjoy a night of song, story and a taste of Nashville’s country music culture!
Photogrpahy By: Ben Christensen & Jenny Anderson