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Ever since a Christmas Day open mic four years ago in her hometown of Cave Creek, Arizona, 17-year-old Cali Rodi has been rocking stages with her powerful style of country music. Cali’s influences range from the guitar licks of Keith Urban, to the pure country of Miranda Lambert, to the soulful sounds of Grace Potter. Playing guitar since age 9, and writing her own songs since age 12, Cali is well on her way to becoming a major force in country music.

Cali landed her first paying gig at the Buffalo Chip Saloon at age 12, and has been steadily performing at Arizona venues ever since. Last year she was selected out of hundreds of artists for the Tempe Center for the Arts Songwriters’ Showcase, with her interview and performance airing on PBS in September of 2011.

But as much as Cali loves Arizona and her fans that have been with her from the beginning, it has always been her dream to play in the home of country music-Nashville, Tennessee. Thanks to her incredible work ethic and talent, that dream has begun to take shape. During CMA Music Fest, Cali performed for the past three years at Darryl Worley’s benefit for Cystic Fibrosis at The Stage on Broadway, with this year’s show being especially fun when she did an impromptu duet with Kellie Pickler. Cali has also been asked by Little Big Town for four years running to kick off their Ride For A Cure event, benefiting the T.J. Martell Foundation, and this year she joined them on stage to perform their hit, “Good as Gone”. Event emcee Storme Warren admiringly referred to her as “the fifth new member of the band”. The Foundation is especially close to Cali’s heart, as she lost her grandmother (her best friend and musical inspiration) to cancer on the very day she first performed at the Ride, at age 14. Also in 2011, Cali took her talents to the baseball field, performing the National Anthem at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Back at home in Arizona, Cali recently recorded a song she co-wrote with X-Factor contestant, and local favorite, Ryan Sims. Titled “Dodging Bullets,” it’s a tribute to the power of love during times of war. With more than 50 songs under her belt so far, Cali says, “In country music, the song is what it’s all about. When I write a song that people connect to, I know I have created something special. Writers out there who I love, like Lori McKenna or Eric Church or Merle Haggard, have that ability to make their audience feel something. I strive to be that kind of writer.”

Whether in Arizona or Nashville, Cali is most at home on stage. “I’m not your typical high school party girl-the stage is my party! If you come to one of my shows, I will give you an experience that makes you feel something: charged up, vulnerable, or passionate, you name it, I have a song for you.”

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