By Jamison Hooks
You may have turned on the radio and heard the catchy and upbeat song Red Hot American Summer sang by female trio Post Monroe and produced by Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum.
Among the three artists in the band is lifelong Madison resident and Morgan County High School graduate, Shelby McLeod.
McLeod grew up with musical aspirations and was always performing in some way shape or form.
Little did she know, she would eventually perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville Tennessee.
“I grew up with a really musical dad and sister. Dad would have us up on stage or have us sing in church and I’ve been hooked on music and performing ever since,” said McLeod.
McLeod describes herself as a normal small town girl who loved 90’s country and singing along to her favorites such as Shania Twain, Faith Hill and Patty Loveless just to name a few.
“I love and will forever cherish growing up in a place like Madison. I have many fond memories growing up singing in the choir, cheerleading, being in GA 4-H, doing community theatre- doing all the things girls from small towns do!” said McLeod.
The Madison native admits that her childhood town has inspired much of her songwriting, hinting that a song off the band’s extended play, “Dixie Dust” is a great example.
“That small town way of life always sneaks into what I’m writing,” noted McLeod.
McLeod always planned to move to Nashville right after graduating from MCHS, however with much guidance from her father, she decided to pursue a degree in Communications first.
Only two months after receiving her Bachelors, McLeod landed her dream job in the Music City working for Reba McEntire’s Starstruck Entertainment.
What McLeod didn’t know yet, was this job would lead her to something even more magical.
She reflects on her run in with now band mate Whitney Duncan and chalks it all up to fate.
“I met Whitney at my first job in Nashville. I was working for Reba and ran into Whitney in the lobby. I knew of her and when we met, we really hit it off. She and Ashlee (Hewitt) had already been writing and brought me in for a write. When we sang together for the first time, it felt super natural and like it was supposed to happen. As they say, the rest is history,” said McLeod.
McLeod and the rest of Post Monroe will be performing at Hotel Indigo in Athens on July 8 and McLeod can’t wait to share her hometown with her band mates.
“We’ve played a show in Minnesota and several in Tennessee, so Ash and Whit have gotten have some ‘home town shows.’ I can’t wait to show them Athens and Madison and where I grew up! I’m definitely biased, but I think it’s the sweetest place on earth. It’s also such a great feeling to see people you know at your shows,” said McLeod.
When asked where she sees herself and Post Monroe in the next five years McLeod answered without hesitation.
“Hopefully on a really, really, really big stage with really, really, bright lights!”