BOMSHEL are a couple of very hard working and very funny women that are the total package. Not only do Kristy O and Buffy Lawson write their own songs but their stage shows are high caliber as well. Backed by a top notch band, Buffy leads the way in vocals, captivating and commanding the audience from her first word while Kristy is a “non-stop ball of platinum energy”…climbing lighting rigs and running into the crowd to play. Although they have been together a little over three years they play like they’ve been together for decades. The two of them mesh together like gears in a precision time piece…reacting upon the other ones’ actions both on stage and off. Their smash hit “BOMSHEL Stomp” has become quite a heavy hitter in Country radio play as well as spawning a line dance phenomenon.
The girls invited me on the bus to talk before the first of two full sets packed with both originals and covers that they were playing that night at the
“Country Concert ’07 in Ft. Loramie, Ohio.
The Entertainment Nexus-What have the two of you been up to lately?
Buffy Lawson- We are out on the road touring doing fairs and festivals. On our days off, we’re home writing songs. It’s all about the music. We get to bring our friends and family out on the bus with us for some good quality time. We’re in “high gear” right now.
TEN- When will the new cd be released?
BL- Hopefully this summer. It’s been done for 243 years. (Laughs) What we’re tryin’ to do is get a single up on the charts in radio. We are coming out with a brand new single called; “The Power of One” and you can come to BOMSHEL.com and check out the single and there is the promotional video. It’s a really incredible song. We are going out through radio at the end of this month on that song and hopefully it climbs the charts enough to let us release our record.
TEN-The song is kind of in demand right now isn’t it? It’s on the “Evan Almighty” soundtrack and also the “Presidential Conference” will use the video to kick it off. How does that make you feel?
Kristy O- Incredible!
BL- It’s great! A lot of our career has been sort of an “organic grass roots following.” We just had a song “BOMSHEL Stomp” that sort of took a life of its own. We never intended for that to even happen. Our fans have been such a huge part of every step that we’ve made so far. Ya know, you still have the “machine part” of your career but right now…what has been has been huge for us I think. We’re hopin’ that when we do finally release our record everyone will go out and buy it.
That’ll be a fun day for us for sure! It’s gonna be a big party the day the BOMSHEL album comes out. (Laughs)
TEN- How do you explain the phenomenon with “BOMSHEL Stomp” and how it’s taken off with the line dance and the instructional video for the dance?
KO- It’s really amazing ‘cause like she said; BOMSHEL has evolved very differently than I think any other act coming out of Nashville that I have known in the past fifteen years… as far as the fans really have spoken in what they want. It’s not as much a “corporate thing.” We started out playing at “Tootsies” and we’ve really let our audience pick our singles and songs that went on the record. We are very into listening to what our fans want. It’s funny, our record label would have definitely gone with something completely different but our fans spoke and we went with the “BOMSHEL Stomp” and unfortunately “Country Radio” wasn’t quite as keen on that song. (Laughs) But ya know…”It’s all good.” We’ve stayed working with that song and we are headed over to Europe the beginning of August and doing a few countries over there. It’s (“BOMSHEL Stomp”) done really well in Europe. We are also going to Japan and Korea to promote us…as well as releasing the new single. Hopefully “Country Radio” will like this one. (Laughs)
BL- Our projects have so much to do with our live shows and our live shows are fun! We always say; “We don’t glisten…we sweat!” Our shows are very, very “Country” but they’re also very “Rock N Roll.” We have never looked at ourselves like “Female Empowerment” we just love to go out there and let all of our influences that have made us entertainers over the years…just come seepin’ through our pores. Our live show has really been a huge part in the direction of our album. There is a system where a lot of times, people will go in and sit in publishing houses and find their singles and their songs. We wrote the record ourselves. We recorded it without our record labels’ permission basically. We turned it in and said; “Here’s who it is…here’s who we are. This is what our name is and this is how we dress…hope ya like it!” (Laughs) And fortunately our label has embraced that but I think it’s made it a little bit harder to know exactly what to do with us because there has not been a “formula” that kinda happens in any industry…not just the music business. There is a formula on how to sell Pepsi products or hair products or cheeseburgers or an act. We didn’t have any kind of formula so it’s taken us a little bit longer to get where we’re goin.’ But, I think there’s an honesty and there’s a sincerity with our project too that really speaks as to who we are as people and who we are as musicians.
TEN- How did BOMSHEL evolve from when you started out to what we see today with you (Buffy) being a singer and you (Kristy) playing a fiddle.
BL- A lot of really bad hairdos along the way! (Busts out laughing)
KO- Are you talking about as far as starting out at “Tootsie’s” and getting here?
TEN- Yeah, from then to today.
KO- My philosophy in my career personally has always been; “Go with the people that really have a passion for what you do.” And, I think that’s what the people are that’s on our team. They’re so passionate about it. I mean three years later and they are still as passionate as the day we started. Our booking agent is like unbelievable! She came out to “Tootsie’s” and just went “over the moon” and the next day…had a big gig for us. That’s why we’re here today. She pushes the heck out of us.
BL- Yeah, we’re with the William Morris Agency out of Nashville. Abbey Wells and Berry Jefferies are two people that are like family to us! We don’t feel like we are: “How ya doin’ it’s Buffy with BOMSHEL.” We’re like: “Sister Love come on over we’re gonna have some margaritas…how ya doin?” It’s the same thing with our business managers who handle our bills. They’ve been there from the very beginning. We found each other at “Tootsie’s” just when we were there playin’ and they’ve never wavered. We’ve never had one meeting in the three years that we’ve been together where they’ve sat us down and said “Guys we’re getting’ concerned or when is the album comin’ out?” They are just goin’ “Well you know what? We’re here…we’re gonna keep goin’…we’re movin’ forward…we’re right there with ya.” That’s a really rare thing because so often times if the dollar signs don’t show up real quick, the quote: “friends” run away and you don’t get nice little Christmas gifts anymore. That’s not been the case. It’s the same thing with our band. We have almost the exact same band. We’ve had to make a couple of changes of guys that have needed to pursue their own careers. But, we have the same guys that were with us the first day we were at “Tootsie’s.” That’s very special because they are our “road family” out here. I think what keeps us together in terms of our moral is our band and our road manager…he’s unbelievable. These guys make you feel like you’re campin’ and just constantly on vacation instead of workin’ one hundred and fifty days a year. We feel like we’re out havin’ a great time! People are so respectful and they’re responsible and really take care of themselves. We all take care of each other and it’s a family. I used to hear about that. Years ago you would hear about Loretta Lynn talk about her family on the road. You’d hear Willie Nelson speakin’ about that. Neil Diamond and all of these people that stuck around and are still out there. A lot of those guys still have the same band and they’ve always talked about them like they were family. You can’t understand that unless you’re in this type of quarters with people day in and day out. We see each other go through so much…we’ve got each others’ backs.
KO- We’ve had weddings…we’ve had babies. Our guitar player just had the first “BOMSHEL Baby” that would not be here if it weren’t for BOMSHEL. He met his wife at a gig…got engaged to her at a gig on stage at a show and there ya go nine months later…
BL- I get to hold the baby tomorrow for the first time!
BL- We feel very fortunate ‘cause we’ve heard a lot of horror stories out there. We’re out with so many different acts which are another very special part of where we are right now. I’m really one to look at where you are right now…be in the moment. It’s important to look at your future and see where ya wanna go but I think it’s equally important just as a human being to look at where you are and take in all those moments. And, we’re getting’ to do that. We’re out there on the road with gosh…
KO- Miranda Lambert…
BL- Yeah, Miranda Lambert. We’ve been out there with pretty much everybody. Billy Currington…Danielle Peck. We’ve opened for Trace Adkins. Now he has a little bit fancier bus. (Both laugh) He still comes over and hangs out under the BOMSHEL tent. But especially those acts that are kinda where we are where they’re hopefully “on the verge” and we’re all out there together and we watch each others’ shows…it’s such a strong support system. We really get excited when we see some fellow folks that have kinda been workin forever like “Little Big Town” we were on the road with them for several dates. They had been out there for years workin’ so hard on their careers and it just wasn’t breakin’ then all of a sudden…BOOM there it went and it was exciting to watch. Because, they know what it’s like to be on “this side.” It’s a sweet success when you see people like that after you’ve kinda shared some wine and tequila and all that together. You get to know each other in a really cool way.
So, when I think when you finally get up there to the different place that’s when you hear stories about Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn bein’ good friends because it is a bizarre life style. It’s a hard thing sometimes. For example; when you walk off your bus…you’ve just rolled out of your bunk…you’re not wearing your sunglasses and you’ve just stepped outside to let your dog out and there’s fifteen people that want to tell ya “Good Morning” and want to take your picture. That’s an unusual thing and when you have each other to kinda talk to about that kinda thing and laugh about people hangin’ out in the trees tryin’ to get your picture. (Laughs)
We all trade war and joy stories together.
TEN- Your “Wicked Women” tour is sponsored by Tequila Rose. How did that all come about?
KO- They’ve been amazing to us! They have been so supportive from early on. We do love our Tequila Rose! The new definition of the word BOMSHEL as you know is; “A woman who ain’t afraid to go to the grocery store…wearin no make up…and who can eat her chocolate and mashed potatoes!” So, I think Tequila Rose found that it went along with what they are: it’s a chocolate flavored tequila. That may sound scary but I’m tellin’ ya, they have chocolate, strawberry and coffee java and it is so good you can pour it over ice cream. You can pour it on your cereal…no I’m just kidding. They have been incredible to us and we are actually getting ready to do a “Roadie for the Week” contest. Whoever wins this contest at www.tequilarosetour.com gets to come out with their very own fully loaded BOMSHEL bus and follow us around for a week and stay “as happy as they can” the entire week. (Laughs)
BL- That Tequila Rose is tricky that first night though because it tastes like ice cream! (Laughs) You have to pace yourself ‘cause it’s good stuff. They have been incredible. They’ve wrapped our bus which means that they have faith in us and put our pictures on the outside of the bus along with their logo and stuff. They’ve made that happen. They pay for this bus so we can be out here.
KO- If it weren’t for Tequila Rose we would not be on the road. They’ve been really…really incredible. We are very grateful to them.
TEN- Could you guys pull some strings and get me the roadie gig?
KO- Well, we’ll work on that. (Laughing)
BL- We’ll definitely get you a bottle of Tequila Rose! (Laughing)
TEN- You’ve also incorporated the tour to raise money and awareness for the fight against Cancer with the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Talk about that if you would.
BL- That was the first major benefit that we’ve been a part of. It was really an incredible experience for us because we got to go tour the facility and see exactly what it was that we were doing. It wasn’t just something that we read in a pamphlet or a booklet. We got to really see what the money was gonna be doing that was raised by the auctioned bike. It was a very…very rewarding and very touching deal for us and to be able to have your music open doors to be able to raise money for Cancer is pretty incredible.
KO- We raised $25,000 which was a steal for that bike because it was a pretty unbelievable bike! It was for such an amazing cause and it was such an amazing bike…whew!
TEN- If you were to do a CMT Crossroads show…who would it be with?
KO- This may have already have been done but I would like to do one with Heart. I’m a huge fan of Heart. I love what they do. I’ve always admired everything about them and their music and songwriting and musicianship. But, I think somebody already did that so let me think.
KO- (Looking at Buffy) who would you say?
BL- I would probably do it with either Prince or Elton John or Stevie Wonder. I would like to do something that had total funk…total that sort of thing. Those are some of my favorite “all time” brilliant guys that are so creative that I think they would have fun figuring out how to “countrify” something and we could “funkify” it back.
KO- I think it would be fun to do one with Justin Timberlake. I don’t know. There are so many people…Good Lord!
BL- I bet Prince could come up with a really “badass” version of “BOMSHEL Stomp.” (Both laugh)
TEN- Tell me something disturbing about yourself that you’ve never told anyone before.
BL-(After a long, long pause) if I told ya…I’d have to kill ya. (Laughs)
KO- I have moments of absolute stage fright/terror. Where I’ll have paralyzing and thank goodness it’s only lasted a few seconds on stage. Usually I can just look at her and it kinda brings me back. I’m always kinda worried that I’ll be in the middle of something and become paralyzed. I remember growing up in high school and all through high school, performing was something I always wanted to do and never could do it ‘cause I had so much stage fright. It’s funny cause for years that we’ve been doin’ this…every now and then, I’ll kinda have a minute of that come back like right before we go on or in the early stages of the set. It’s like clenching and then it’s like ya just gotta whew… I don’t know if that’s like a disturbing fact though. I’ve got some serious mosquito bites that are very disturbing right now. (Laughs)
BL- On a show level, I am so tacky and I just cannot help it. No matter what kind of fancy…rich stylist we can get…I’ll screw it up every last time with too much bling! (Laughs)
TEN- Is there anything else that you want to add or say?
BL- We love our fans! They have been so faithful to us from the beginning. We really hope that we can get “The Power of One” up the charts high enough to be able to get our music out there. We want to thank them for bein’ with us through “thick and thin.” We’re gonna have a big year…hopefully.
For more information on BOMSHEL please visit the artists’ link via the Link section.
I would like to thank Kristy and Buffy for takin’ the time to talk and tour manager Don Muzquiz for being so cool with this interview.