CMT Rolls Out New Round of Artist Discovery

Brennin, Sarah Lake, Jacob Bryant, Henley Make the List

Powerful ballads, sassy vocals, and fresh sounds abound on CMT’s latest list of artists you need to know


You may have seen Brennin on the X Factor in 2011 or even as the character Sullivan Fitzgerald on the Nashville TV series, where he proved he’s a multi-talented artist destined for big things. Now, the singer is putting his best musical self forward with his latest EP and single, which features none other than Vince Gill. Snagging Gill for a track is quite a coup. The two collaborate on Brennin’s “Rip Off the Rearview,” a powerful and very real story of a woman escaping an abusive relationship and the mixed emotions that often rise to the surface in such heartbreaking situations.

Sarah Lake

All you sassy and strong girls out there are going to love Sarah Lake. She was a finalist on season four of American Idol before moving to New York, where she met her hubby, Grammy-winning producer Ernie Lake. Motherhood came next, which led to a brief hiatus to focus on her children. But now she’s back with her soulful and gritty country sound and a brand new EP titled The Ride, now available on iTunes. Between touring (she’s opened for Sam Hunt and Lindsay Ell, among others), recording and family, Lake is proof that, ladies, you can in fact have it all. It’s all about enjoying the ride.

Jacob Bryant

Jacob Bryant has one of those tried-and-true country voices you know is just brimming with stories to be told. His song “A Woman’s Touch” melds Southern rock with steel guitar and sexy, yet ominous lyrics about the spell of a woman and the aftermath that often follows. However, Bryant’s best story may be his own. It’s a hard and very important one of overcoming addiction, loss and divorce and coming out on the other side. His deeply honest and autobiographical music will serve as beacon for others who desperately seek light in their darkness.


Newnan, Georgia-born duo Henley share a hometown with country icon Alan Jackson. But it wasn’t until Shea and Sayre Henley “got some life under their belts” at college in Texas that they began writing music together. The result is a fresh and contemporary sound and style, perfectly summed up with their single “As Young as We Are,” an anthem to carefree youth and living loud, encouraging us to take chances, make mistakes, even stock up on a few regrets. Because they know that’s part of the stories and the memories that never grow old.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.