Born in 2014, Nashville’s all-female singer-songwriter collective, Song Suffragettes has taken place every Monday night at The Listening Room Café in Nashville, Tennessee. As the night approaches its tenth birthday which now features two separate shows each Monday, the collective has showcased more than 400 talented women out of over 3,000 who have submitted to play the show. With weekly sell-outs, it vocally combats widespread discrimination against women in the music industry by giving female talent a place to play, grow and evolve with fellow creatives. Since its inception, 37 Song Suffragettes have gone on to receive record deals and over 60 have landed music publishing deals.
In October 2022, founder Todd Cassetty brought the show to a new audience for the first time for a UK tour during Country Music Week which featured Twinnie, Robyn Ottolini, Carter Faith and Kalie Shorr before a monthly night began through the early part of 2023 at the Camden Club in London began to continue the message internationally. This year, the show returned to Bush Hall for a special London performance as part of Country Music Week 2023 which featured: Brooke Eden, Harper Grace, Catherine McGrath and Simeon Hammond Dallas.
Amazingly considering she is one of London’s most recognisable Americana voices the show was the first time that Simeon Hammond Dallas had played Bush Hall, so ahead of the round Jamie hung out with the AMA-UK UK Americana Award nominated songwriter to find out what the Camden native has coming up on the horizon.
How are you doing mate? This is like the first time we have done something properly and talking music. “First time officially!”
Yeah, officially is good after numerous unofficial times I suppose. “It makes a change from it being randomness with beers in hand.”
I think the last time may have been at The Roundhouse which seems like ages ago. It’s always lovely to see you though and great to have you here as part of this Song Suffragettes line-up, your second time playing Song Suffragettes because you did one of the shows up in your part of town at The Camden Club. This is going to be fun because we’ve got some friends over from the States and this is a really cool room to play too. “Yeah, it’s really nice. Bush Hall is so beautiful and somewhere that I have always wanted to play.”
You have never played here before? “Never played here before so this is my first time.
Seriously? I can’t believe that. “I Know! I’ve been to gigs here before and it’s been on my list of things to do and places to play.” Awh, that’s cool. I love history of the place with how this guy built three ballrooms for his three daughters and Bush Hall is the only one that survived the war, then got used for so many different purposes before it became used as this stunning venue again. I love coming to gigs here too because the sound is always so good as well as being a really pretty venue.
Coming back to you though, we haven’t had anything new from you for a little while so, what have you been up to Simeon? Where have you been hiding away? “Don’t judge me, ha ha. ‘Make It Romantic’ came out a year ago and since then I have had quite a busy live year doing a lot of festivals and went to Nashville to be part of Americana Fest. In between I have been writing and I have a whole project in my back pocket which is coming along. There is new stuff on the way that will arrive at a time that I’m not going to specify to you right now.”
That’s cool, we like a mystery but good to know that new songs are on the horizon. “Yes, very soon on the horizon. I’m entirely independent so, a lot of it is working out what to do because I don’t have those people that tell me the decisions that I’m going to make. I’m writing and also having a bit of a new term that I have learnt recently called “Analysis Paralysis” which is when you analyse all the options so much that you are paralysed. I feel like I am coming out of that now and whilst I don’t have anyone officially on my team, I have a lot of people that I know who are like clever ha ha.”
Clever people are always good to know. “Yes, there are people that I know, who like me and when I ask them questions they can give me an opinion. I’ve just been figuring out how to finance things and the best way to release stuff in 2024 which is different to how you would release stuff even in 2019.”
With playing Song Suffragettes tonight, to me and most people that know your music, I would associate you with Americana because that is typically the circles that you run in, where Catherine (McGrath) I see as more as a UK country artist if I was trying to describe your sound and do that dirty thing of placing you both in a box. With that, for you it does I guess to an extent create an opportunity to introduce yourself to an audience that might not ordinarily come to see you because of that. “Yes, I get that and I’m happy for other people to put my music in whatever box they want. Everyone reaches for their own conclusion about what things sound like to them but for me I just like making music. Some of that music has loose influences from country music but it also has influences from other places and I think after this year with going around doing a lot of genre specific gigs and festivals it has been really well received. You will always have those people that say this is this kind of music and can only be that but also it is very stressful to think that way so, it's nice to be able to be a little bit more open minded. Country is such a big genre in itself with country rock being very different to country pop and everything in between to the acoustic stuff to the whole Bluegrass type sound along with the newer more produced stuff in there too. There is such a wide range within the genre itself so why not stick a little Simeon Hammond Dallas in there as well?”
I’m glad you’re here and getting to play this. I’m looking forward to you being able to prove that I know what I’m talking about because when me and Todd (Cassetty) were talking at the back end of last year and sharing some names of artists to have a listen to, I was mentioning some British artists and I said you. I can’t remember exactly who else I said, it was probably Elles (Bailey) because if in doubt she is usually the answer but I’m glad you got to play once before and you’re a great person so I love to see you thrive. “Awh, thank you. I think you’re a great person too!”
Well, we do know each other through someone who is probably both the best and the worst character reference in the world for each other but hopefully you will get to play more and more cool festivals going forward. “That’s nice, thanks for shoving my name out there. Todd and I actually met on Zoom as well, back in 2019. They were going to do a Song Suffragettes UK tour.”
Ah, ok. I remember now, that was before the pandemic when my friend Candi (Carpenter) was due to come over for the first time. “It was all set to go and then the pandemic hit because I was going to be the special guest in London but they had to cancel it all but they look to tour it again because that would be fun!”
To make sure you are the first to hear about new music from Simeon Hammond Dallas, check out her WEBSITE or follow along with her on INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK & TWITTER. You can find more information on upcoming Song Suffragettes shows in Nashville HERE or you can stream the shows live on YOUTUBE (along with checking out a huge amount of past content) and you can find plenty more exciting content and news of their upcoming line-ups on INSTAGRAMFACEBOOK & TWITTER.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks