Saturday, 4 February 2012

Country Bites News snippets Jan 30 - Feb 3, 2012

Country Bites News snippets Jan 30 - Feb 3, 2012

Links / Sources shown in RED

Gretchen Peters The Hello Cruel World Tour starts February 1 in Santa Ynez, California she arrives in early spring for the UK/Europe dates touring with Barry Walsh (keyboards) and Christine Bougie.   (lap steel, electric guitar and percussion)
Christine Bougie is one of Canada’s most in-demand session musicians, but she should be a household name in her own right.” NOW Magazine ....“…one of the most interesting and versatile guitarists in CanadaRon Sexsmith
Support for Gretchen will be Canadian singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson (Mar 1 – Mar 8) and  Lisbee Stainton for dates (Mar 16 – April 5), a London-based 23 year-old singer-songwriter known as, ‘The English Rose With The 8-String Guitar' who has been writing songs for almost 14 years. Lisbee originally launched her career five years ago, when she became the first unsigned singer-songwriter to play London's O2 Arena, performing to a 30,000 strong audience. On 30th April she’ll be recording a session for BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris. "   See all the GP Tour Dates

Reba McEntire single“Turn On The Radio” has been added to the BBC Radio 2 Playlist as Gretchen Peters her 6th week on the “B” List.

Nashville duo  The Civil Wars release their single Barton Hollow, in the UK on March 5th through Columbia Records. Their debut album, also called Barton Hollow is released in the UK on the same day.. With flavours of blues, folk, Americana, country and classic singer-songwriter their sound is firmly rooted in the gothic American South.  UK & Europe Tour DatesJools Holland Show Video

Miranda Lambert postponed a concert in Tallahassee, Fla., to attend the funeral of Mark "Tex" Adams, a childhood friend who she became friends with a 9 years old.  Adams, 28, was killed early Thursday morning (Jan. 26) in Florida after he was struck by an SUV while helping a driver who had run out of gas, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
I have lost a friend I’ve had since 3rd grade today in a tragic accident,” a somber Lambert tweeted late on Thursday 26 Jan - . “When will this pain end 

The Eli Young Band who are nominated for 3 ACM’s: Single Record of the Year - "Crazy Girl", Song of the Year - "Crazy Girl" and Vocal Group of the Year Last night, the band kicked off the first leg of their “Keep On Dreamin’ Tour” in West Palm Beach, FL. Special guest, Capitol Records recording artist Eric Paslay, will join the tour for select dates, beginning this Friday (1/27).
In March, EYB will take a break from their tour to fly to the land down under for two weeks as the sole support for the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill nationwide Australian tour. Upon returning to the U.S, EYB will make a stop in Vegas on April 1 for the ACM Awards prior to resuming their scheduled dates for the “Keep On Dreamin’ Tour.”

A Special Message from Carrie Underwood – Youtube 

Carrie Underwood will release a new album on May 1, the title not yet been revealed. It was produced by Mark Bright. Her February schedule includes “CMT CROSSROADS” with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, which airs on CMT on Saturday (2/4) and she is due to make an appearance at the 54th GRAMMY AWARDS.

Music icon Lionel Richie will release TUSKEGEE, a collection of 13 of his international hits recorded with some of the biggest names in country music, on March 27 on Mercury Nashville. His duet partners on Tuskegee include Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington and Little Big Town.

The Ryman

The Ryman Auditorium, the 120-year old iconic venue that witnessed the evolution of country music will replace its stage for the first time since 1951. The new stage will feature an eighteen inch section cut from the existing stage running across the front to honor the historical significance of past performances. A now famous circle of the same Ryman stage wood resides center-stage at the Grand Ole Opry House.
The project will begin on Saturday, February 4 and the final events on the current stage will be the return of  Dierks Bentley will return on Thursday, February 2 with a special concert celebrating the release of “Home,” his brand new album. “I’ve told the story a million times about how I used to walk down the alley and touch the bricks of the Ryman on my way home from playing the bars on lower Broadway…it has always been one of the most precious places in Nashville and in country music to me,” said Bentley.  “
The project will be completed within two weeks and the first public performance on the new stage will take place on February 20 as Grammy® nominees, The Band Perry make their sold-out Ryman headlining debut. “To play the Ryman is to step into country music’s rich history and we are honored to perform there. Now, as the venue makes plans for its future, we promise to inaugurate the new stage with all the respect and reverence it deserves,” said Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry.

The current oak plank stage will be replaced with Brazilian teak certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the same type of wood used to replace the Grand Ole Opry House stage after the 2010 flood. Currently, the Ryman’s oak stage can bear 40,000 pounds of weight. By using teak products, one of the hardest woods available in the world, the new stage will be able to support up to 120,000 pounds. The size of the stage will remain unchanged at 60.5’ by 36.5’.

Taylor Swift
Grammy Awards Promo Shoot

Documentary filmmaker and producer Rory Kennedy, the youngest of the eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy extended an invitation to Taylor Swift to come to the Sundance premiere of “Ethel,” Kennedy’s HBO documentary about her mother. Apparently Taylor has a ton of books on The Kennedys and has written a song about the iconic American family.

Taylor Swift will not be starring in Les Miserables after all. Although the songstress auditioned for the coveted role of Eponine and was reportedly, it was announced on Jan 31, 2012 that Samantha Barks will fill that spot. It’s not clear if it was Taylor’s decision to not star in the production or that of producer Cameron Mckintosh. Taylor was spotted visiting Mckintosh’s office last week while visiting London. Barks will join already confirmed stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crow, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried in Les Miserables.

Meanwhile Swift's album, Speak Now has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 4 million units.

Taylor Swift: McCartney's My Idol -  is deeply inspired by Sir Paul McCartney's music. The 22-year-old singer has been a big fan of the Beatles musician all her life and is in awe of what McCartney has achieved during his career.
"His music makes me feel there's more good in the world than we think, and maybe love can really exist in a pure form," Swift told People magazine.
"And isn't that what we want to feel when we listen to music? To see Paul doing what he's doing at 69 is so inspiring. He's out there continuing to make his fans so happy. Any musician could only dream of a legacy like that."
Swift went on to reveal that McCartney has been a huge influence on her own work.
The singer-songwriter spent her childhood listening to his impressive back catalogue of hits.
"I discovered his music on my own as a child, then bought all of the Beatles and Paul McCartney tapes and CDs I could find," Swift shared. "Paul writes about his life and the things he's learned about love in such a brilliantly simple way. I feel as if I've been let into his heart and his mind."
Swift was thrilled when she got the opportunity to meet her idol. She says the legend was nicer in person than she could have dreamed. "When I met him backstage at his 2010 concert in Nashville, I remember being excited that he was such a kind person," she recalled."Seeing him sing Blackbird live will always be a moment I won't forget."

Multiple RIAA certifications were recently awarded to Jerrod Niemann scoring Platinum certification for his single, “Lover, Lover” while Jason Aldean’s “Tattoos On This Town,” and The Band Perry’s single “All Your Life” were awarded Gold for digital sales of over 500,000 copies.

Blake Shelton has gained PLATINUM certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for his single “God Gave Me You”. In addition, Blake’s Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton and Red River Blue albums have simultaneously earned GOLD certification (shipped units) by the RIAA. John Esposito, President and CEO of Warner Music Nashville and Staff surprised Blake at his sold-out show in Duluth, GA this past Friday, January 27 with three plaques (picture) to commemorate the most successful year of Blake's career.

Blake Shelton will take the stage with GRAMMY® winner, Miranda Lambert at Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th, 2012. The couple will open the event by singing a duet version of “America the Beautiful”. Superbowl XLVI will mark Miranda and Blake’s first TV performance since their top-headlining nuptials in May 2011. It’s available for download on iTunes. Watch the Superbowl on BBC 1 Sun 10:55pm – Mon 4am - BBC Page

Darryl Worley has signed a recording contract with Tenacity Records/Crazytown and will release his first single, “You Still Got It,” in March.

Sunny Sweeney
Sunny Sweeney shares a story regarding her several tattoos, but she doesn’t get new ink just for fun. Instead of random hearts or flowers, each of her tattoos has meaning -
They all have significance,” she said. “I have one that says, ‘Mama Tried’. One that’s a Chinese symbol for entertainer. One that says, ‘Believe’ in a leaf that’s turning over. And then a star. And then I have ‘Patience’ in my mom’s handwriting. And I have a cross. And I have a dove with an olive branch.”

Sunny’s newest one is in an inconspicuous place that she was excited about getting tatted, but she didn’t reveal what the tattoo was.

Lady Antebellum capped off the opening weekend of their OWN THE NIGHT 2012 WORLD TOUR sponsored by GAC on Sunday by setting an all-time venue attendance record at Bloomington, IL's U.S. Cellular Coliseum, breaking the previous record held by superstar Kenny Chesney.  More than 32,000 fans packed arenas this weekend for the first three dates of the tour.
"Opening weekend was more than we ever could have dreamed," said Lady A's Charles Kelley.  "There's been so much anticipation and nervous excitement leading up to our first big arena tour. So much work and preparation goes into putting it together, and then you have to let go and just hope the fans show up.   They didn't let us down!   We're honestly blown away."

Amy Dalley to release album on March 27, 2012
Nashville-based country singer / songwriter Amy Dalley is set to release her new album, Coming Out Of The Pain, via Rock Ridge Music on March 27, 2012.  Coming Out Of The Pain is Dalley’s second full-length and combines classic pop-country with the edge of heartland rock, as well as Dalley’s intimate lyrics and dulcet vocals.  The album was produced by Dalley and husband/engineer/writing partner Jack Sizemore (also a member of Jason Aldean’s band), along with New Voice Entertainment.

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2012 - Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, has entered into a historic new record deal with American legend and innovator Willie Nelson.  The deal marks a label homecoming for Nelson, who, from 1975-1993, cut a phenomenal string of top-selling singles and albums for Columbia Records, beginning with 1975's seminal smash Red Headed Stranger.
Forthcoming Willie Nelson titles under the Legacy imprint will include newly recorded songs and performances as well as archival releases, personally curated by the artist, drawn from all phases of his career including his recordings for RCA Records and others.
As curator of his catalog, Willie will work with label archivists to select recordings, including previously released and previously unreleased tracks, for release in newly compiled collections and as bonus material on new editions of existing titles. 

The Del McCoury Band's bluegrass music tribute to Bill Monroe, Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe, was released on CD January 31, 2012 just in time for the Grammy Awards. The album was previously released digitally and on vinyl in September 2011 and received a Grammy nomination for "Best Bluegrass Album" in December. 
Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have been added to the lineup for the 54th Annual GRAMMY which take place live on Sunday, Feb. 12 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Nashville, Tenn. – Feb 1, 2012)  Country artist Adam Gregory is set to release his new single and six-song album, Different Places, in the U.S. and Canada on Feb. 28. The first single, “High On You,” ships to Country radio the same day Different Places is released on Feb. 28.  Gregory co-wrote four of the six songs on the album, including the “High On You” single.  Chart-topping songwriters Victoria Shaw, Frank Myers, James Dean Hicks, Steve Bogard and Clay Mills also contribute co-writes on the project.  Listen to the single in full at -

Mercyland Compilation  Features Civil Wars, Harris, and More - Some of the bright lights of Americana and beyond are contributing songs to Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest of Us, a collection of songs of personal faith. Due out April 10, Mercyland is the vision of songwriter/musician/producer Phil Madeira, and features performances by The Civil Wars, Shawn Mullins, Buddy Miller, Mat Kearney, Emmylou Harris and more. Full track list 

Grammy voters don't know what to do with The Civil Wars. The duo has been nominated for best folk album and best country duo/group performance, two categories that bear little resemblance to each other. Fellow nominees run the spectrum from Kenny Chesney to Eddie Vedder to Gillian Welch and Fleet Foxes. And John Paul White and Joy Williams love it."We kind of had a little bit of a grin between the two of us and our team as well about that, too," Williams said. "I think it's fun the fact that we can't be pigeon-holed into one or the other. That's just fine with us." "We're going for best dance recording next year. We're going to do a dubstep record," White joked.
Craig Morgan reveals the track listing and CD Cover Artwork for upcoming sixth studio album THIS OLE BOY” due for release Feb 28, 2012. 

Chris Young has two nominations for the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in the categories of Male Vocalist of the Year and Single Record and now he finds himself in elite company as he joins Blake Shelton as one of only two solo artists to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart with their five most recent singles. Chris with  “You” (penned by Young with Luke Laird) has hit the top spot  this week - “I am ecstatic,” says Chris after hearing the news. “I’ve been excited for each #1 and to have five in a row feels amazing!” The song has received over 350,000 downloads. 

The McClymonts’ new single, “I Could Be A Cowboy,” from their album Wrapped Up Good, shipped to radio on January 27. The sweet ballad, produced by Taylor Swift collaborator Nathan Chapman, was written by both Chapman and The McClymonts. The trio will perform at Margaritaville in Nashville on February 21st during the 10th Annual MusicRow CRS Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards.Commenting about the single, Sam McClymont said, “‘I Could Be A Cowboy’ shows our softer side and vulnerability. You can choose to be independent and strong but sometimes you just need love and to be in someone else's arms.” and Music News Nashville writer, Chuck Dauphin, noted the song is a “Grand Slam out of the ballpark

Kellie Pickler’s third album, 100 Proof, debuts at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and at No. 7 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. “I'm so proud of this album,” shares Pickler. “I want to thank the fans so much for buying it and supporting country music. I know these are hard times economically and the fact that people spend their hard earned money on 100 Proof is humbling.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn., January 31, 2012 - The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum set an all-time attendance record in 2011, museum officials announced today.  The 2011 attendance total of 507,510 people is the largest in the institution's 44-year history.  "We would like to thank our local, national and international visitors for such strong support," said Museum Director Kyle Young.  "Our attendance revenue last year increased nearly 30% over 2010, and our Museum Store and events revenues were up by 18% and 23%, respectively, over the prior year, as well.  In today's challenging economic climate, we don't take this for granted”.

Bill Anderson: The Measure of Songwriting Excellence - Read Deborah Evans Price © CMA Close up review

CMAA Golden Guitar Group or Duo of the Year Jetty Road’s  - "I'm A Dreamer" official video clip
CMAA Golden Guitar  Female Artist of the Year Beccy Cole - “Shiny Things”  - Youtube

Susan Enan's House Concert Tour Official Video, 84,000 miles travelled covering 18 countries - Youtube

BBC Radio’s 2 Bob Harris has a session with Clint Black recorded at Audio Productions, Nashville Tennessee 9th November 2011

BBC Radio 2 - Ricky Ross brings you highlights of Celtic Connections 2012 from Glasgow. Featuring live music from The Louisiana Connection with the Aaron Neville Band, Tom Russell, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Eleanor McEvoy and highlights from the Woody Guthrie At 100 tribute show. (Available until Tues Feb 7)  

Billy Ray Cyrus plans to release his memoir, Hillbilly Heart [Amazon publishing] in hardcover and ebook formats in the Spring 2013.
“This is my chance to set the record straight,” said Cyrus. “I realized that over the years that there have been untruths and misconceptions about me, my music, my life, my family and our dreams. I’m going to lay out the facts starting from August 25th, 1961 and work my way to the present, even if it stings a little.”
Cyrus will open up about the life-changing success of his first album, the toll that fame has taken on his personal life and family and the challenges of parenting his superstar daughter Miley Cyrus.
The book will chronicle from the age of 5 when Cyrus took the stage with his father’s gospel quartet, The Crownsmen, and by 20, an inner voice told him he would find his life purpose through music if he bought a guitar and started a band. Cyrus found he was “too country” for L.A., and “too rock” for Nashville. 

When the crew of Radio station B104 heard that Hillary Scott’s band mates, Charles Kelly and Dave Haywood, were not able to attend her recent wedding, the idea was born to give them a chance to celebrate the special life event. To commemorate Hillary Scott and Chris Tyrrell’s wedding, B104 contacted Janet’s Cakes to make a special wedding cake.
The B104 staff then brought the cake to US Cellular Coliseum and presented it to Lady Antebellum back stage – See Photo. Tyrrell plays drums for Lady Antebellum, so he was on hand to accept the gift.

But then Hobbs who is Hillary and husband Chris Tyrrell’s Goldendoodle, was caught giving the pastry a taste before the newlyweds could cut the first slice. The pup has a face that will surely allow him to get away with a lot more than plunging face first into an expensive three-tiered cake. “Thanks @WBWN for the reception cake since Dave & Charles couldn’t make it to ours…too bad Hobbs beat you it!” Scott wrote on the Lady Antebellum Twitter page – See Photo.

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