Caylee Hammack’s Acoustic ‘Family Tree’ Is Rooted in Country Truth [Watch]
Meet Caylee Hammack, an artist who has as much conviction in her voice when she's telling a story as she does when she sings songs like "Family Tree," her Top 40 radio hit. The Georgia native is the newest 2019 Taste of Country RISERS rising star.
Hammack bowed into country music with her debut single "Family Tree," and when she sings "nothing's gonna shake our family tree," it's not just a hook — it's an important part of who she is as a person.
Growing up in Ellaville, Ga., Hammack was raised by a cast of characters: her mother, a former geologist-turned-"busy bee" with a jungle of plants in her home and always something on the stove; her father, a hard worker who's skilled at building with his hands; a brother who teaches earth science and physics and coaches football at her local high school; and a sister she compares to the Energizer bunny, who always has a smile on her face.
"My family is a cast of some type of sitcom that hasn't been released yet, I think," Hammack tells Taste of Country. "Everyone is weird in their own way."
Before sitting down for an in-depth interview, Hammack delivered a rousing performance of the observant, upbeat tune — her soulful voice matching her vibrant expressions. The lyrics nod to each of her family member's quirks, like how her father is asleep in his armchair with the game on TV while her mom is burning chicken. And if opening line "sister smoked all the Camels in the county last week" isn't enough to make you chuckle, Hammack throws in a joke about her grandma selling her Maytag dryer to post her uncle's bail for good measure.
"Some of us got problems / But they love us anyway / Through think and thin / Hell we're still kin / At the end of the day," she chants.
"I feel like my family has always been a very strong family, we're very close. Whenever someone's hurt, everyone knows about it. If someone has a sinus infection in our family, everyone knows about it and we're praying," the singer explains. "I'm surrounded by good people. All of us have our flaws, all of us have our weird spots and our dark places, but I'm surrounded continually by people that are smiling for the most part."
Hammack is the fourth artist to be selected as part of the RISERS class of 2019. We pick an up-and-coming act who is poised for a breakthrough in country music and ask them to perform a few songs: Their current single and a cover of a song that's meaningful to them. Over the course of the next few months, you'll learn why Hammack fell in love with classic country music, how a cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" helped launch her career and how a fire that destroyed her home also gave her a positive perspective on life.
Riley Green, Jimmie Allen and Cody Johnson are the previous 2019 RISER inductees. Lindsay Ell and Morgan Wallen were part of the program in 2018, while the inaugural 2017 class featured the likes of Brett Young and Runaway June.
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