Steel Blossoms, with roots in Western Pa., sign record deal
There was a definite spark the first time Sara Zebley and Hayley Amour performed together inside the Pleasant Hills American Legion.
They knew they had something special.
Fast forward a few years, and the two were packing up their bags and moving to Nashville to form Steel Blossoms, an Americana duo, where they write and perform songs that speak to people’s life experiences.
“It’s real,” Amour said of their music.
In January, the duo was signed to Billy Jam Records and on April 26 released their self-titled album, their first with a label. Their music can be found on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
“The response has been amazing,” Amour said. “Just having people relate to it is really neat.”
Amour, a 2010 Thomas Jefferson High School graduate whose maiden name is Prosser, and Zebley, a 2007 Frazier graduate, met for the first time at a community event in Jefferson Hills in 2008 where they were singing with different groups.
When the lead singer of Zebley’s band, Girls in Black Hats, left the group in 2011, Amour joined the band. They performed with the full band but on occasion, they played as a duo. And each time, they thought it was something special.
Amour always had aspirations of becoming a singer. Zebley said it took her until high school for the dream to take hold.
Both went to college for education, and Zebley took a job as an elementary music teacher in Frazier where she worked for three years.
Amour, who graduated with a degree in early childhood education, decided to move to Nashville after college. She knew it was either go then or wait until she was 40, have a midlife crisis and head to Nashville with her young children in tow.
“I always had this terrible fear of, ‘What if?’ ” she said. “And even if it didn’t work out, at least I could I could say that I tried.”
The band’s name pays tribute to Pittsburgh, the city where they “blossomed,” Amour said.
Both play guitar, Zebley plays the fiddle and Amour sings lead, while Zebley sings harmony.
Their story is not the one true for many performers who move to Nashville with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The women had a plan.
They started working shifts at bars on Broadway Street and later began performing in house concerts. They released four records on their own, without a label.
All of their music is original, and since moving to Nashville, they agree they’ve found their true sound writing together.
Their songs don’t shy away from the difficulties of life.
They delve into topics like addiction and small-town dynamics.
“Trailer Neighbor” is about “that person that you go to for milk and gossip and eggs and alcohol,” Amour said. “Killed A Man” is “an ode to our best friend’s ex-boyfriend.”
Their music now is played on some Americana radio stations. For the two, that’s everything they ever imagined — and more.
To debut their new album, they held a release party at the Hard Rock in Pittsburgh.
“We wanted to make sure we were home for this important day,” Amour said.
Next up, they purchased a 15-passenger van and plan to tour the country and spread their music.
This summer, they’re taking a drive from Nashville to Orange County, Calif., in the van.
“There’s still plenty of work to be done to get our name out there,” Zebley said.
For more on Steel Blossoms or to check out their music, visit steelblossoms.com.