Tenille Townes Talks Poutine, Her Charity For At-Risk Youth, and Her Road to Nashville

The country singer joins us on Biscuits & Jam to talk growing up in Canada, living in Nashville, food, and more.

Tenille Towns
Photo: Matthew Berinato

In this week's episode, Sid Evans talks to singer/songwriter Tenille Townes about the long road from Canada to Nashville, her charity work for at-risk youth, and some unforgettable moments she's had with heroes like Shania Twain and Keith Urban.

Episode 16: September 29, 2020

Tenille Townes grew up in the spacious farmland of Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada. At just 19 years old, she loaded up a pick-up truck with her dad and made a 45 hour journey to Nashville, to make her dreams of being a singer/songwriter a reality. Fast-forward to 2020 and she's hit it big with her proper debut album "The Lemonade Stand," as well as an ACM award win for New Female Artist of the Year, and a CMA nomination. But aside from the empathetic storytelling of her songs, Tenille has also stood out as an artist who consistently gives back to her community. On today's show, you'll hear how she's recently partnered with the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee to fight homelessness, and the millions she's helped raise over the years to help at-risk youth back home in Alberta.

On Growing Up in Canada

"I grew up in a wonderful community, a lot of people looking out for one another. It's kind of tucked between some rivers and valleys, and it's a lot of wide open spaces where you can stare up at the sky and see the whole circle around you, where it meets the horizon…It goes on forever in the best way."

On the Cook In Her Family

"My mom is a great cook and did a lot of the cooking. My dad loves to barbecue. But, my Mémère is definitely our family's head chef, it's her way of just taking care of everybody. She's got a beautiful garden and in springtime, which is a bit of a shorter season, she loves to feed everyone her carrots and her lettuce and her homegrown potatoes are so tasty. Nothing like it."

On Her Song "In My Blood"

"I grew up surrounded by incredibly strong empowered women and by men who absolutely respected and let those women be the fierce forces that they are. I got to spend 20 years of my life with both of my great grandmothers, and really just loved getting to hear their wisdom and, learning from their character. And I see patterns of that in my Mémère and in my mom. It's kind of fun to really honor that through the song."

On Her Favorite Things About Living in Nashville

"I really do love Southern hospitality. I think that statement feels very true here. And it definitely makes me think of home, too. And I think the Nashville community and the music songwriting community has very much been that. It feels like people remember what it was like when they first got to town and they remember the people who helped them along."

About Biscuits & Jam

In the South, talking about food is personal. It's a way of sharing your history, your family, your culture, and yourself. Each week Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living, will sit down with celebrity musicians to hear stories of how they grew up, what inspired them, and how they've been shaped by Southern culture. Sid will take us back to some of their most cherished memories and traditions, the family meals they still think about, and their favorite places to eat on the road.

Listen to the full interview on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere podcasts are available.

Get a transcript of the full interview with Tenille Townes.

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