October Music Column 2015
Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / Preshiaswriter@hotmail.com TN/USA. Google “Preshias”
VERSE OF THE MONTH: My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. – Psalm 108:1
ALBUM NEWS: On September 25th Rock Icon – Don Henley honored his Texas roots and released his much anticipated album titled “Cass Country” on Capitol Records. It’s his first solo album in fifteen years. Guests artist include Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Mick Jagger. … Thirty Tigers record label has two albums dropping in seven days, with the release of Patty Griffin’s ‘Servant Of Love’ and Bart Crow’s “The Parade.” It’s good to see these three artists back with new albums: Lauren Alaina “Lauren Alaina [EP].” And on Oct 9th, Toby Keith “35 mph Town” and Josh Thompson “Change: The Lost Record, Volume One [EP]” will have theirs available on iTunes.
AMERICANA MUSIC NEWS: With events ranging from intimate showcases to insightful panels to a sold-out, nationally broadcast awards show, the Americana Music Association’s annual Festival, Conference and Honors & Awards, presented by Nissan, drew thousands to Nashville to explore the past, present and future of roots music. Highlights included: NPR’s debut Nashville event with its “Songs We Love: Americana Edition,” and the sold-out Honors & Awards show at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, which was streamed live via NPR, Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country and WSM-AM 650. The program will be digitally re-mastered for broadcast in an edited form later this season as part of PBS’ ACL Presents series on November 21, 2015 and on Australia’s Country Music Channel (CMC). The festival’s music programming featured more than 225 official events and showcases attracting an aggregate 30,000 attendance and more than 1,800 registrants during the week-long celebration. AmericanaFest garnered tremendous international attention as well with attendees, performers and panelists from Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, the UK and other parts of the globe. The dates for the 2016 Americana Music Festival & Conference will be Tuesday, September 20 through Sunday, September 25. More info at americanamusic.org.
ARTIST NEWS: Television celebrity and recording artist, Brooke Hogan, accepted a special invitation to attend and participate in the Agape Animal Rescue’s seventh annual dog and fashion show, Glitter & Glam, held last month at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. She wasn’t planning on becoming a parent that night to one of the rescue dogs up for adoption. The star-studded gala, hosted by CMT’s Katie Cook, spotlighted local and national celebrities who walked the “catwalk” accompanied by furry canine friends from the local Agape Animal Rescue. Each celebrity model donned “Hollywood Glam” attire provided by Glitz Nashville and gems from Platinum Jewelers, while canine models walked in luxury clothing provided by Yvette Ruta in partnership with Winston Dog Boutique. Agape Rescue is hopeful, with the money raised from Glitter and Glam, that more than 85 dogs will be rescued, vetted, fostered or placed. More at agaperescue.org and brookehogan.com.
BOOK NEWS: Bobby Braddock, one of Country’s most prolific songwriters, shares stories of his life and work in a new memoir, “A Life On Nashville’s Music Row.” The man whom Dolly Parton called “a true poet” wrote or co-wrote hits such as “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Golden Ring,” “I Wanna Talk About Me,” “People Are Crazy” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” Braddock also secured a recording deal for Blake Shelton and produced several of Shelton’s hits. The book, set for release October 6, 2015, is co-published by Vanderbilt Univ Press and the Country Music Foundation Press…. Jewel’s new album, “Picking Up the Pieces”, is a personal return to her roots as a folk- and country-influenced singer-songwriter. The New York Times’ Best Selling author and poet is also sharing her story through her new Blue Rider Press memoir, “Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story.” Jewel will celebrate the releases with a number of television appearances and book signings in the coming weeks, including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Oct. 1 and Steve Harvey on Oct. 22. For more info check in at www.JewelJK.com.
BOOKING NEWS: Buddy Lee Attractions (BLA) has added two recording artists to its roster. Andy Griggs and Mark Wills – who have become staples in the country music scene since the launch of their respective chart-topping careers—will join the iconic booking agency’s roster of notable country music entertainers including Darryl Worley, Daryle Singletary, Halfway to Hazard, Radio Romance and more. “The Country music sector has long provided a venue for a wide variety of musical styles,” said Donna Lee, Owner and CEO, Buddy Lee Attractions. “Griggs and Wills have made it evident, with their consistent demand, that their style of music can put bodies in seats at any venue. Promoters recognize their ‘test of time’ entertainment value.” Details at buddyleeattractions.com.
BUSINESS NEWS: Publicity veteran and former television news producer Kay Waggoner has signed on with Absolute Publicity as Senior Publicist. “It is, indeed, an honor to team with Don Murry Grubbs and his exceptional clients at Absolute Publicity,” says Waggoner. “I look forward to accomplishing great things with the company.” Reach Kay at email@example.com… Former Sr. Music Writer for USA Today Brian Mansfield will start with Shore Fire Media in the newly created role of Dir./Content on October 13th. He has spent 18 years with USA Today and cherishes every year he spent there.
CD RELEASES: TG Sheppard has done it all. He scored a job as a promotions executive for RCA Records, where he became friends with Elvis Presley who believed in his talent so much that he gave him his first tour bus, topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart an astonishing 21 times, and left an everlasting mark on Country music. Over the years, the smooth singer/songwriter has made a lot of impressive friends, which inspired the vision for his upcoming album, ‘Legendary Friends & Country Duets,’ set for release Oct. 30 via Cleopatra Records. On the album, TG collaborates with some of the most influential artists of all-time including: Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, The Oak Ridge Boys, Mickey Gilley, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Delbert McClinton and more.
CHARITY NEWS: The private celebrity fashion show Off The Record will be held Nov. 1 in Nashville benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle TN. Celebrity guests and performers include Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and wife Brittney, Chase Bryant, Chase Rice, Kelsea Ballerini, Old Dominion, Phil Vassar and The Cadillac Three. Christiev Alphin, wife of Big & Rich’s Big Kenny, is the event’s director, and Kelley’s Tribe Kelley clothing line is among those featured. Tickets are $500.00 per person and can be purchased at http://www.offtherecordnashville.com.
DVD NEWS: From his Urban Cowboy honky tonk days, to the largest honky tonk in the Lone Star State, Billy Bob’s Texas, Charlie Daniels brings his career spanning over 50 years full circle and is set to release Live At Billy Bob’s Texas CD and DVD on October 16, 2015. Recorded on February 20, 2015, the 14-track project joins The Charlie Daniels Band with the likes of legendary country artists like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Gary Stewart, David Allan Coe, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, Charlie Robison and many others. The CD and DVD, (that features exclusive behind-the-scenes interview footage), will be available in stores nationwide and on iTunes, Amazon and everywhere digital music is sold.
GRAND OLE OPRY NEWS: Jeannie Seely celebrated her 48 years at the Grand Ole Opry on September 25th. “The Grand Ole Opry has been a part of my life since I first heard it at four years old,” said Jeannie. So in September 1967 that dream became a reality. Jeannie’s first number one was “Don’t Touch Me”, and even won her a Grammy award in March 1967 for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. More important than that, however, “Don’t Touch Me” brought Jeannie to the attention of the country music industry and was a catalyst toward her achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Jeannie can hardly believe that dream has continued all this time.
GARTH NEWS: On September 18th, a demand for Garth Brooks tickets in San Diego shut down the AXS ticket system. A third show was added to try and meet demand but the system still could not meet it. The shows currently scheduled are Friday, November 6th, 7:00 PM and Saturday, November 7th, 7:00 PM and 10:30 PM at Valley View Casino Center. On Tuesday, November 11th, Garth released MAN AGAINST MACHINE, his first new studio album in 13 years. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA, making Garth once again the #1-selling solo artist in US history with 136 million sold. You can follow him at: https://twitter.com/garthbrooks — https://www.facebook.com/GarthBrooks
http://instagram.com/garthbrooks — https://vine.co/GarthBrooks .. For more info please visit www.garthbrooks.com.
GOSPEL MUSIC ASSOC NEWS: The Oak Ridge Boys received two nominations for the 2015 Gospel Music Association (GMA) DOVE Awards, scheduled for October 13 in Nashville. The award-winning quartet received a nod for Bluegrass/Country Album of the Year for their recent gospel recording, which hit the street on May 26th. ‘Rock of Ages, Hymns and Gospel Favorites’ (Gaither Music Group), a 15-song project produced by Ben Isaacs and group member Duane Allen, showcases the group’s acclaimed four-part harmonies and celebrates their musical roots. The Oaks were also honored with a nomination for Country Song of the Year for their recent country single, “Sweet Jesus,” an original song co-written by Kenny Vernon and Merle Haggard, who joined the group for the recording of the song. More at oakridgeboys.com.
ICM NEWS: The Inspirational Country Music Association announced the top-5 finalists for the 21st Annual Inspirational Faith, Family & Country Awards™, to be held at Cornerstone Nashville (726 W. Old Hickory Blvd., Madison, Tenn.) on Thursday, October 22 at 7:00 P.M. Each year, the awards honor and showcase the biggest names and emerging talent among artists who perform Inspirational and Christian Country music. This year’s finalists include such notables as Rhonda Vincent, Hunter Hayes, RaeLynn, Joey + Rory, Craig Wayne Boyd, Mary James, Laura Dodd, Kristina Craig & Exit 148, Chonda Pierce and more. For a full list of ‘Top 5’ finalists, go to faithfamilycountry.com and click on ‘2015 ICM Week.’
INDIE NEWS: LANco’s eponymous debut EP, produced by Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban), was recently released and the lead single “Trouble Maker” debuted on Spotify’s Global and National Viral 50 charts and is steadily climbing SiriusXM’s The Highway’s Hot 45 Countdown. After appearing at CMA Fest 2015, the band went on to open dates for The Band Perry, The Swon Brothers, and others. Their fall club run finds them headlining at the venerable Smith’s Olde Bar and sharing the stage with Old Dominion at City Limits Saloon in Raleigh. LANco has a jumpstart on 2016 with major festivals already on the books.
LABEL NEWS: (BMLG Records) Rascal Flatts have revealed that “I Like The Sound Of That” will be the fourth single taken from their current album REWIND (Big Machine Records), which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, making them one of only four acts during the SoundScan era to have eight consecutive studio albums debut in the top spot. The track is co-written by Jesse Frasure, Shay Mooney and Megan Trainor. The trio is currently out on the road with their headlining ‘Riot Tour 2015.’ More info and tour dates at rascalflatts.com.
(Valory Records) CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Thomas Rhett earned his fourth consecutive No. one hit with “Crash and Burn,” topping the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase radio charts with the lead single from his upcoming sophomore release, TANGLED UP (The Valory Music Co.). Even before the album’s Sept. 25 release, the Gold-certified single marks the fastest rising single of his career. “’Crash’ was a really fun way for me to introduce this album and for it to already be No. one is completely crazy,” said Thomas Rhett. “I want to give a huge thanks to everyone for taking a chance on this song and record so far.” For a full list of upcoming tour dates and appearances, visit www.thomasrhett.com.
LEGEND NEWS: Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson has announced the renaming of a portion of TN State Route 96 after country music icon, George Jones. The mayor also announced that George Jones Day will be set to commemorate the Grammy award winner, whose career in country music spanned fifty-nine years, which included the sales of Millions of albums and multiple hit singles. Throughout his career, George Jones influenced countless country artists, and even after his death in 2013 at the age of 81, his legacy still lives on worldwide.
MAPLE STAR NEWS: Congrats to all the winners of the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. Here’s a list of winners, courtesy of Maplestar Music & Media:
FANS’ CHOICE AWARD: Johnny Reid, ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Lifted – Dallas Smith, FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Jess Moskaluke, MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Gord Bamford,
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR: High Valley, SINGLE OF THE YEAR: Where A Farm Used To Be – Gord Bamford, VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Upside Down – Dean Brody, RISING STAR: Madeline Merlo.
MEDIA NEWS: John Berry knows a thing or two about putting on a show. With his upcoming Tour Bus Cover series of videos, fans will get a chance to see intimate performances by the chart-topper while he spends his free time creatively learning music from some of his inspirations. StrictlyCountry.com gives fans a first look of what to expect with upcoming releases, as they have posted a performance video for Berry’s deep sing-along, “Sanctuary,” which he penned. With more Tour Bus Covers to come, Berry will tackle some of the biggest Country hits of all-time including “To Make You Feel My Love” by Garth Brooks, while also tackling other rock classics like “Fire” by Bruce Springsteen. More details at johnberry.com.
MUSIC NEWS: I know Chris Janson (WAR) is sending kudos out to his promotion team! His team, Kevin Herring, Chris Palmer, Tom Martens and the whole WAR promotion team for landing him, with his first No. 1 with “Buy Me A Boat.” The CD “Buy Me A Boat” hits stores on October 30th.
NUMBER ONE NEWS: Country Music History was made September 24 on the patio at “Losers” as Blake Shelton celebrated his last five No. 1 songs — “Sangria,” “My Eyes” (Shelton’s duet w/ Gwen Sebastian), “Lonely Tonight” (Shelton’s duet w/ Ashley Monroe), “Doin’ What She Likes” and “Neon Light” — and the eleven writers who wrote them. I was blessed to be one of the hundreds of people that filled the patio and the parking lot at the Music Row bar to honor the songs’ writers Brent Anderson, JT Harding, Ryan Hurd, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Josh Osborne, Wade Kirby, Philip O’Donnell, Tommy Lee James and Andrew Dorff. Writer Trevor Rosen couldn’t attend. Each writer also took turns speaking at the microphone. After about 90 minutes of speeches from songwriters and their publishers, John Esposito, President and CEO of Shelton’s record label Warner Music Nashville, called Shelton a “blood brother” and told the crowd he loved the singer “as deeply as it gets.” John handed the mic to Shelton (he promised to keep his speech short). Blake acknowledged his duet partners then turned the attention back to the songwriters in attendance. “I’m literally nothing, I don’t even exist, without these songwriters who write songs for me,” Shelton said. “Thank you, Nashville. Thank you songwriters for pushing yourselves and giving me a chance to record your songs.”
Shelton’s newest single “Gonna” is playing on country radio now. His greatest hits package “Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits” will be available on October 23. Fans can also catch Shelton on “The Voice,” which airs 7 p.m. Mondays and 8 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.
PINK NEWS: On October 27th, The Grand Ole Opry is joining Women Rock For The Cure in the fight against breast cancer with its seventh annual Opry Goes Pink show. Kacey Musgraves will flip the switch on the Opry’s signature barn backdrop, turning it pink for the night. Others scheduled to perform are: Terri Clark, Montgomery Gentry and surprise guests will perform in support of breast cancer awareness.
RADIO NEWS: Hannah Bethel has been out on the road on a radio tour. Her latest country radio release, ‘You Wanna Be My Man,’ was co-written by Bethel and David Myhre, and shows her sassy, pop-country vibe. This single is off her newest album ‘Never Ending Sky,’ which includes 8 songs which were written/co-written by Hannah, co-produced by Bethel and multi-instrumentalist Brennin Hunt. More at HannahBethel.com.
RFD-TV NEWS: The fall lineup of Larry’s Country Diner on RFD-TV features new episodes of the hit music and comedy variety show, featuring performances from artists like Ronnie Reno, Moe Bandy, Exile, Randy Owen and David Ball. In October, celebrity guests fill in for the diner’s beloved host, Larry Black as he continues his recovery from a serious ATV accident. Guest hosts include Adam Black, Bill Anderson, Larry Gatlin, Mark Wills and T. Graham Brown. Larry’s Country Diner airs on Saturday nights and Sunday evenings on RFD-TV. Find your local channel listing for the show at rfdtv.com
ROAD NEWS: Daryle Singletary, described as a ‘hard-core traditional stylist’, is entertaining loyal country fans in 10 cities on the Campbell’s Soup Country Concert Tour. Singletary says that he has more fun at these shows because he knows he is singing for folks that appreciate steel guitars, fiddle and lyrics that paint a picture. The FREE shows take place in select Walmart parking lots across the country and are sponsored by the Campbell Soup Company. Tour info at darylesingletary.net.
SINGLE NEWS: On the heels of his fourth consecutive No. One, CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Thomas Rhett is giving fans more new music as he announces “Die A Happy Man” as the second single from TANGLED UP (The Valory Music Co.). Co-written with Sean Douglas and Joe Spargur, Thomas Rhett has partnered with People magazine to premiere the official music video for “Die A Happy Man” at people.com. Directed by TK McKamy, the video was shot on a Hawaiian getaway with his wife Lauren over the summer. For a full list of upcoming tour dates and appearances, visit thomasrhett.com.
TOUR NEWS: Dierks Bentley wrapped his highly acclaimed ‘2015 Sounds of Summer Tour in Atlanta, GA, September 19, described as “the ultimate summer party” with Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith rounding out the bill. Bentley’s seventh studio album RISER debuted at the No. One position on the Billboard Country Albums chart, becoming his fifth career debut in the top spot. The CMA, ACM and GRAMMY nominated album earned 15 award nods since its release, including this year’s “Male Vocalist of the Year” nomination at the upcoming 49th Annual CMA Awards. To date, RISER has notched more than 2.8 million in track sales and more than 149 million streams. More at dierks.com.
VIDEO NEWS: Erica Nicole has mobilized fans as well as critics to help her set a new chart record. With the release of “I’m Making Mine,” the title cut from her upcoming album, she becomes the first female on an independent label to release three consecutive Top 20 singles onto the MusicRow CountryBreakout™ Chart, following “I Listen To My Bad Girl” and “It’s Comin’ Down.” For the “I’m Making Mine” music video, Erica not only directed the filming, she crafted the treatment, acted, and performed in the video as well. Shot at various locations in Thomaston, Georgia under the guidance of Pulitzer Prize-nominated photographer and Producer Shane Durrance, the video shows a marriage broken by faithlessness – and portrayed in vignettes of guilt, anger, loss and separation. More at ericanicolemusic.com
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING: Allison Bray, Borrowed Blue, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Mike Short and Jason Aldean .
Have a great day!!!!