York County musicians, director collaborate for bluegrass music video
Bluegrass musician Troy Engle at his home studio in Glen Rock, Pa., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. York Dispatch
Bluegrass band Troy Engle and Southern Skies partnered with award-winning music video director Brian Lazzaro to bring Engle's 2018 song “Haunting Me” to life.
The video for “Haunting Me,” a song off Engle’s first album, “Southern Skies,” is Engle’s first and Lazzaro’s first for bluegrass music.
Engle spent 12 years in Nashville, Tennessee, as a musician and moved to the Glen Rock area in 2015. Lazzaro has won CMT awards for his work in videos with bands including Florida Georgia Line, and he now lives in Railroad.
Engle was born and raised in York County, and like many kids, he started playing the guitar at a young age, he said.
“My parents aren’t musicians, but my dad is from Kentucky, so he listened to a lot of bluegrass music,” Engle said. “That was my first exposure to it.”
York County has a history of bluegrass musicians, but Engle said he didn’t find it until after he decided to pursue a career in music and moved to Nashville.
“I looked around and experimented a lot, but then I ended up doing a lot of studio work with other bluegrass artists,” Engle said.
In his 12 years in Nashville, Engle toured with a number of artists, including Patty
Loveless, Buddy Jewell and Larry Sparks.
In 2015, he and his wife moved to the Glen Rock area to be close to family, and in 2018 he released his first album.
“My wife encouraged me to have my own album,” Engle said. “It was great to make it at home in every sense of the word.”
“Southern Skies” was created in Engle’s home studio, and he wrote, sang and produced all 12 songs on the album himself.
“Haunting Me” was inspired by “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis and “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, Engle said.
“Everyone has a little demon keeping you from getting through your day,” he said. “A demon kind of holding you back from your full potential.”
Soon after, Engle formed the band Southern Skies with his wife and three other musicians, all but one of whom are also from southern York County, and they began playing the album live.
“It’s amazing that we have such great talent so close to home,” Engle said. “We have a great time bringing my album to life.”
Engle met Lazzaro about six months later through a mutual friend, and Engle said after Lazzaro listened to "Haunting Me," he agreed to work on the video.
“I’m just glad he agreed to do it,” Engle said. “It was a big deal for us.”
Lazzaro spent 10 years in Los Angeles, directing videos for artists such as Good Charlotte, The Deftones and Joe Nichois, he said.
“Country guys go pretty big with their videos these days,” Lazzaro said. “You get to make a mini movie every time.”
VIDEO: Troy Engle and Southern Skies, "Haunting Me" York Dispatch
Lazzaro won two CMT Music Awards — Breakthrough Video of the Year and Duo Video of the Year — with his work on Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” in 2013, he said.
Lazzaro’s wife is from northern Baltimore County, and they moved to Railroad in southern York County in 2014 to “settle down,” according to Lazzaro.
“Filming in places like Nashville and LA, there isn’t a lot of material anymore,” Lazzaro said. “It’s cool to get out of the bubble.”
The music video was shot right before Halloween in about two afternoons — one with the band and another for locations around York County, Lazzaro said.
“It was definitely a collaboration with Troy,” Lazzaro said. “We talked about this image of him being haunted by the shadow of himself, but at the same time, we wanted it to be as simple as possible, so people can read into it what they want.”
Engle is working on his next album, and he said he’s looking forward to the possibility of more music videos in the future.
“People can now associate who they hear with who they see,” Engle said.
Watch Brian Lazzaro’s music video for “Haunting Me” on Troy Engle and Southern Skies’ YouTube channel.