1019 Mediterranean Ave.
583 E. Broad St.
"Gritty Pretty" is the way this three piece country act from Columbus, Ohio, describes their music. "We love those down and dirty country songs, and we like writing about whiskey almost as much as we like drinking it', singer Marti Dodson laughs, when asked about the group's rowdy singalong 'North of Dixie', and spirited footstomper 'Bootleggers and Baptists'. But Union Rose has a soft side, too. Ballads like 'America's Sweetheart' and 'Long Shot' are exposed, emotional hymns for anyone who's ever had a desire to be seen and loved for who they are. This band has captured something many artists strive for years to achieve: They are driven. They are talented. But more than anything, they are raw and real. And anybody who hears their music feels compelled to ask..who is Union Rose?
Marti Dodson is a BMI award winning singer/songwriter from the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Franklin Furnace, Ohio. She studied Social Work at The Ohio State University, where she founded pop/rock band Saving Jane in 2000. Saving Jane went on to become one of the highest charting indie bands of the last decade, with over 100,000 Mediabase spins at CHR radio. Marti penned and performed 2 RIAA Certified Gold Singles, and her music has been featured in shows and commercials on NBC, ABC, MTV USA, MTV Italy, the WE network, and TLC. Her music was also used as theme music for TV personality/chef Rachael Ray, NASCAR and Indy race car driver Danica Patrick, and Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin, who went on to found a clothing line with Warner Brothers based on her connection to Marti's song "Supergirl".
When asked about her transition into country music, Marti says it's simply a return to her roots. "Where I grew up, most of what we heard and listened to was country. My dad has begged me for years to make the career move from rock into country, and the first time he heard me sing this new material,he just gave me that look and said, "yep..'bout time!'...I've always been into all kinds of music, but the music we're writing and playing now...it just feels right."
Nate McDonough hails from the city of Springfield, Ohio. Some of Nate's earliest memories are of sitting at the feet of his father and listening to him play guitar, while his mother sang along to songs by John Denver. At age 13, Nate picked up a guitar, and was headlining his own shows by the age of 15. North High School, where Nate was a student, was a then-untapped well of talent, and as a teenager he studied and played music alongside six time Grammy Award winner John Legend and national headlining singer/songwriter Griffin House. As Nate's Springfield classmates began to break into stardom, Nate was writing and recording his own original material, which eventually led to his solo album release, the southern-rock leaning "New Day". The album was met with critical acclaim, comparing Nate's working-class, everyman-style lyrics to a 'southern Bruce Springsteen', and hailing him as 'the next legend to light up the music scene'. The positive reception of Nate's solo material earned him regional airplay for the songs "New Day" and 'She's Down", and opening slots touring across the country for various national acts.
Born and raised in Union, South Carolina, Brandon Hagan cut his teeth..literally..at a ZZ Top concert at the age of 2. At home, he entertained his grandmother by singing along to every word of her record collection, from The Beatles to Merle Haggard. Music was a part of his life from the very beginning, but he didn't take up the guitar until age 14, when he figured out that girls thought it was a little cooler than playing trumpet in the marching band. He cut grass for a summer to save the money to buy his first guitar, formed his first band "Jade", rocked out hard for one show, and promptly broke up. But that one show was all it took for Brandon to know that music was all he ever wanted to do. His next band, Cadillac High, outlasted Jade by about 8 years, and showed him the inside of every hole, honky tonk, and dive bar in the southern states. After that, Brandon played lead guitar in a female fronted country band and taught lessons in the music store he managed until the fall of 2005, when he met the members of Saving Jane at a show in Charleston, South Carolina. At the time, neither Brandon nor the band knew that they'd be searching for a new lead guitar player in just few months, but when that time came, Brandon was invited to audition. He landed the job when the band was in the midst of touring to support their highest charting single, "Girl Next Door", and was quickly thrown into the world of touring and recording. Brandon made the move to Columbus, Ohio, and performed with Saving Jane for four years, all the while working on his songwriting skills. Recently one of Brandon's original songs, 'Tear It Off", was featured on the Fox TV show "The Good Guys".
When Saving Jane decided to disband in June of 2010, the band members knew that Marti had already been pursuing plans to seek a solo career as a country artist. "By that time, I had been writing and making connections in Nashville for about 2 years. I was mentally checked out of Saving Jane and pop music altogether, but one day, sitting at a Golden Corral on the road with Brandon and our friend Pat, it hit me that I didn't want to do this without my best friends. We talked about it right then and there, and Brandon and I decided we were gonna stay together and go after it as a team."
The pair began a writing relationship with their Saving Jane bandmate Pat, but Pat was not interested in going back on the road, so they began their search for a third member who would round out the vocal trio. In the meantime, on a quest for a name, they figured out that both of them grew up near areas called Rose Hill. One day on the phone, Marti and her mom were talking about potential names for the band, and remembering Brandon's hometown, and the uniting of Brandon's southern musical influences with Marti's northern Appalachian roots, Marti's mom suggested "Union Rose".
Marti and Brandon, now known as Union Rose, called up their friend and sometimes co-headliner, Nate, to see if he had any suggestions for another singer. He did..himself. The first time the three sang together in Brandon's living room, they knew they were onto something special, and after just a few weeks, Nate was asked to officially become the third member of Union Rose. The trio immediately began recording and making plans to seek a new record deal in Nashville.
"This is an exciting time for us in every way", says Marti. "For the first time in a long time, we are totally unencumbered...we have no management, no label, no anybody telling us anything about how we should sound, or what we should look like, or who we should try to be. The only goal we have is to make music that's sincere, that we're proud of, that we love to play, and that our audience will love to hear."
So far, so good...
Nate McDonough Q&Anate@unionroseband.com
Describe yourself in three words.
Motivated, Prompt, Goal-oriented...wait..this isn't a job interview, is it?
What movie line do you quote until people want to punch you in the face?
"GET TO THE CHOPPA!"
If you could only eat one food for 37 days in a row while watching the Biggest Loser on repeat, what would it be?
Pizza. No question.
What's a book you can read over and over (assuming you know how to read..)?
What's one place you always have to go when you're on the road?
If Jesus wasn't available, which two people, one alive and one dead, would you want to play Scrabble with?
Sammy Davis Jr. and Donald Trump.
What's your beverage of choice?
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Beer
Marti Dodson Q&Amarti@unionroseband.com
What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to you on the road?
I had a man who started following our band, he'd get to the venue before us and pretend to be my 'security guard', asking for access to my dressing rooms and hotels! We got him arrested.
Describe yourself using only words that start with the letter S.
Superawesome, sometimes stupid singer seeking stardom.. sans suckerpunches.
What's inside your your dream home?
Kittens, cupcakes, and shoes. So many shoes.
Name five of your all-time favorite songs.
"Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips, "Strange Condition" by Pete Yorn, "I'm on Fire" by Bruce Springsteen, "Walking After Midnight" by Patsy Cline, "Baton Rouge" by Garth Brooks.
What movie do you love that other people think is for wussies?
I LOVE "Hope Floats" with Sandra Bullock. Love. It.
Which Golden Girl are you?
Dorothy. But with less shoulder pads.
Brandon Hagan Q&Abrandon@unionroseband.com
If you could only afford one sentence, what would your personal ad say about you?
I'd have to roll with excerpts from my chinese zodiac.."Inventive and intelligent while easily distracted and confused".
What 3 albums changed your life?
The Ultimate Experience (Jimi Hendrix), Led Zeppelin 4, Siamese Dream (Smashing Pumpkins)
What myth would you like to see disproved on Mythbusters?
Could a man drink himself out of a whiskey barrel without dying? No, I really need to know. Seriously.
What's the most shocking thing about moving from the south to the north?
WINTER! Yankee Bastards!
Is there a movie you've seen more than 10 times?
The Scent of a Woman
If a giant velociraptor dropped a firebomb on your bedroom and you only had time to save one thing, what would it be?
My great uncle's hand carved Indian statue.