Beaufort songstress Samee Cannon is set to release her debut album, "Pretty Artillery," with two evening shows Dec. 20 at Q on Bay in downtown Beaufort.
The seven-track EP is the first step toward a musical career for the 23-year-old country singer, who put her classes at the Technical College of the Lowcountry on hold to focus on music.
"I'm still in the process of making my dream come true," Cannon said.
That dream wouldn't be possible without her family, friends and Beaufort roots, she added.
Although Cannon has been singing since age 2, she didn't learn to play guitar until a few years ago. Her sister-in-law Lauren taught her and was the first person to encourage her to write songs.
Cannon's mother has always been a big factor in her singing career, too. She was the one who bought Cannon her first karaoke machine as a kid, and is now the person Cannon goes to for "brutally honest" feedback.
"I'll sing a song for my mom and she will tell me, flat-out, 'Nope, I don't like it,' or 'That lyric doesn't make sense.' I'll complain about it, but then realize she was right."
Her mom's candor is balanced by the assurances from Cannon's oldest brother Sean, who "will find the most positive thing about everything I do," she said.
For "Pretty Artillery," Cannon recorded with producer Alan Price in Charleston and Columbia. Jim "Soni" Sonefeld from the band Hootie and the Blowfish played drums on the album.
The result was a mix of catchy country tunes with sincere and earnest lyrics.
"Her songs are very simple and from the heart and plainly spoken," Price said. He described Cannon as a "modern-day Patsy Cline" and her album as "a fusion old-school Nashville and new-school country."
Cannon has never been to Nashville, but it's a place she would love to visit and play in, she said. But she also thinks it's good that she's stayed in Beaufort, where she can do her own thing and not worry about comparing herself to other musicians on the gig-to-gig grind.
"Even if the album takes off, I would still want to live in Beaufort," she said. "I wouldn't be who I am without being from Beaufort."
Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin Shaw.