Temecula Road gets Opry call, excited about future

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Temecula Road’s Emma Salute, Dawson Anderson and Maddie Salute will play their first performance at the Grand Ole Opry on Nov. 1. John Shearer photo

Temecula Road got some big news a couple of weeks ago. 

Maddie and Emma Salute and Dawson Anderson, all of whom grew up in Temecula, are likely the first group formed locally to go from The Merc to the Grand Ole Opry.

The trio that now lives in Nashville announced in an Instagram post that the band has been selected to make their Grand Ole Opry debut on Nov. 1 at the first weekend of the show’s annual winter run of Opry At The Ryman in downtown Nashville.

In the video, the group looks stunned and emotional when they learned the news. 

“That was a real reaction — our manager said we’re going to do a video for what’s coming up in the UK and stuff,” said Maddie in a phone interview with all three members of the band. “Then he said that and I was, I’m still like, I can’t believe it. It’s just so crazy. This has been on our bucket list forever. Like it’s here, it’s happening.”

“We’ve been coming to Nashville for the past four years and every chance we get we would go and try to swing by the Opry if we had time and see our favorite artists perform and just kinda get to experience that,” Dawson said. “To be able to come full circle and be on the other end of that where we will be performing for the first time, it’s just like, it’s still a surreal moment and we didn’t expect it to happen so quick. I mean, we’ve only lived here for four months, so it’s just insane.”

The Opry performance will come when the group gets back from an overseas tour stint with Scotty McCreery in late October where they will be performing in Great Britain and Germany. 

“This will be our third time back to the UK and our first time to Germany,” Emma said. “We’re so excited. We haven’t been back in about two years, so it’s going to be a lot of fun. And we’ve opened for Scottie in the past and he was amazing. We’re really excited to be back on the road with him and the fans over there and just unreal. They are true die-hard fans of every country artist. It’s Crazy. We went like two years ago and they were singing unreleased songs and everything.”

“People told us that before we went the first time,” Dawson said. “This is a couple of years ago and they said just be prepared because you’re going to be blown away by how impacted they are by the genre and how much they love it. They do their homework for sure. I mean, we had to ask them like, where did you find (those songs)? They would say, ‘Like you know, your mom did a Facebook live the other day or whatever.’”

In December, they will tour with Sara Evans throughout the midwest. They are scheduled to perform at the Novo in Los Angeles on Thursday, Oct. 3. 

The band’s latest track, “Never Knew I Needed You,” is a Rolling Stone “10 Best Country Song To Hear Now.” The new tune was written by Dawson with Ben Goldsmith and Lindsay Rimes. It is the group’s second new song over the past two months, following up “Fades” which hit No. 3 on Radio Disney Country’s Top 50 Chart.

The new material reflects the direction that the band is now headed in. All three decided to take a step back from making new music for about a year to reflect on what each of them wanted going forward. 

Though they weren’t making new music, they were performing. They played some of the biggest shows of their career during that time period. 

After forming in 2014 and getting signed a short time later, they released three original singles in 2017 — “Everything Without You,” “Hoping” and “What If I Kissed You” — which have amassed more than 5 million streams. 

But something wasn’t sitting right with the group. So they took some time off. 

“We were trying to search for a new sound and new producer,” Dawson said. “We were writing a ton in the studio a lot, like really kind of digging deep when we started, we were really, really young and when we signed we were really young too. We were just kind of trying to evolve into that next level of sound for us.”

“I think the older we’re getting the more we know what we want,” Emma said. “Just in life and what we do. So, it’s kind of cool. We’re kind of the driver of this train now, which feels so good.”

More than anything else, the trio got even closer and became more focused. 

“I think during that time of not releasing music, we really realized that like, we’re all in this together,” Emma said. “So, like, if I want to sing lead on a song and Maddie sounds better on it, than so be it. We’re all a team. If it sounds better then we’re all winning at that point. So, I think that was one of the big things that we learned during that time.”

“We all have the same vision, which makes things so much easier,” Maddie added. 

The trio has a Christmas song that is coming out very soon and then another single after that. The plan is to continue to keep cranking out new music. 

“We’re just going to keep the singles coming out every eight weeks,” Emma said. “Just be on the lookout for new music. We’re writing all the time here in Nashville, so we’ll be in the studio next month, which we’re really excited about. The stuff just feels like so …  just so us. So, we’re really excited to get it out there.”

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com