Following Her Voice . . .
Gwen Sebastian grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota. Along with being farmers & ranchers, her parents were in a local band and she began performing with them at an early age. After high school, Gwen continued her education, enrolling in nursing school, but her exposure to music instilled a lifelong dream of singing, songwriting and performing and gave her the courage to pack up her car and move to Nashville, TN.
In Nashville, Gwen wanted to jump in head first, but instead found herself “paying the bills” as a property manager at a real estate company. Her drive to perform music never diminished, so she quit her day job and began performing at songwriter’s nights around Nashville, including the famous Blue Bird Cafe and the Wildhorse Saloon. While she loved the music scene of Nashville, she felt the urge to tour the country with her own band and performed over 250 days per year at bars, fairs and festivals, opening for artists such as Taylor Swift, Sugarland and Dierks Bentley.
After ten years of extensive touring, she decided to roll the dice and auditioned for Season 2 of NBC’s ‘The Voice’. Three big red chairs turned and she chose Blake Shelton as her coach. Along with being a part of his Voice team, Shelton asked Gwen to become a part of his band and tour alongside him. It was with Shelton that she had her first number one song, “My Eyes”.
During that season of ‘The Voice’, Gwen met Miranda Lambert, who was a mentor on the show and asked Gwen to open for her on the ‘Locked and Re-loaded’ tour. “The Voice definitely catapulted my career and it was very validating”, she explains. She also credits Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert with helping her along the way and “can’t thank them enough”. Gwen currently tours with Lambert as a member of her band and has co-written three songs on Lambert’s highly acclaimed album, ‘The Weight of These Wings’.
2017 was a big year for Gwen as her album “Once Upon a Time in the West-ACT I” reached high acclaim, including being named one of Rolling Stone’s ‘top Americana albums’. Her first single off the album, “Cadillac”, is a song she penned with Miranda Lambert & April Lewis on a trip to California. Gwen co-wrote all of the tracks and says that it encompasses all of her musical influences and describes it as if “Quentin Tarantino met Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris & Brandy Carlisle and they made a record.” She hopes that the album’s “haunting melody & lyrics” will move you and provoke your imagination.
Gwen says that she’s been “really lucky” to record her fifth studio album and will be releasing ACT II the summer of 2019. While she loves being in the studio, her favorite thing to do is perform live. Whether it be at the Grand Ol Opry, the CMA’s or back home in North Dakota, as long as there’s a stage, that’s where Gwen will always be.