Friday 30 March 2012

Country Bites News snippets March 26 – March 30, 2012

Country Bites News snippets March 26 – March 30, 2012

UK & Irish NEWS
New tour dates added for The Band Perry, Justin Townes Earle, Punch Brothers and Ron Sexsmith

Easter Bargains:
Lady Antebellum NEED YOU NOW £3.79 + Free delivery
Country Strong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) £5.99 + Free Delivery on

Daniel O’Donnell has admitted he feels “strange” about having his own visitor’s centre.
The world’s first Daniel O’Donnell Visitor’s Centre will open in Dungloe on May 6th. The millionaire singer, 50, will officially open the centre but admits it will be an unusual occasion. “It seems really strange to have a Visitors Centre in my name but I was approached about it sometime ago and I thought that it would be a good place to house all the awards and discs I have received over the years so that any fans that are interested can see them too,” said Daniel. The centre, which will also have a restaurant, is being built in an old National Irish Bank building.
Daniel  has become so popular in Australia that he’s finding it difficult to go to mass in peace. The Kincasslagh singer has just finished a tour Down Under where is nothing short of huge. So much so that Daniel was literally mobbed by mass-goers at St.Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane.
The singer tried to slip out quietly at the end of mass but found a huge crowd waiting outside for autographs and pictures.
It was amazing. Daniel is used to people asking him for autographs but he wasn’t expecting such a large crowd outside mass.“It was crazy stuff and they wouldn’t leave until they got a picture or an autograph,” said one mass-goer.
Word has also spread that although Daniel does not drink, he likes a slice of cake with a cup of tea before after his shows.
Now fans are literally baking dozens of buns and cakes for Daniel and his band!

DOMINIC Kirwan has released his first inspirational album, LORD, I HOPE THIS DAY IS GOOD. It includes Dominic's personal favourites including You Raise Me Up, Bridge Over Troubled Water, How Great Thou Art,You've Got A Friend. The title track, Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good, is an uplifting song of hope, originally recorded by Don Williams. Kirwin, who formed his first band,The Melody Boys, in 1979, was honoured with a Hall Of Fame award at the Sunday World All-Ireland Country Music Awards in Mullingar in January. Dominic got his big break in 1988 when he won two local radio talent shows and landed a recording contract with Ritz Records.

The Tompkins Square label, based in San Francisco, has chosen a fun way to celebrate Record Store Day this year.
Where many record companies highlight the long term contribution of record stores by re-releasing albums on vinyl, Tompkins Square is going one step further and dropping a pair of 10 inch, 78 RPM records. Each of these discs will be limited to pressings of 500 units. One of the big ten inchers comes from Ralph Stanley (disc image), and features a previously unreleased cut of “Single Girl” as the A side, with “Little Birdie” on the flip. Both were recorded in the mid 2000s. The Ralph Stanley 78 comes out on April 21.

Tim McGraw and  wife Faith Hill whirlwind Australian tour has ended performing to sold-out crowds and helped set an attendance record at the CMC Rocks the Hunter festival.  The final show at the Allphones Arena in Sydney found McGraw rocking through a set consisting of only No. one hits and Hill dazzling fans with her breath-taking vocal performance. (2 Page Live Review)
I’ve toured Australia before, and each time it gets better and better,” said McGraw.  We had an awesome time traveling around the country and getting to meet and play for so many fans…they love their country music, and they really showed us a great time.”
“If he can keep connecting with material as strong as this, the next 20 years of his career might prove to be as successful as the first 20.”- The Brisbane Courier-Mail
Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill are country music royalty…they still look and sound so darn good.”- Adelaide Advertiser
Tim now heads to Las Vegas where he will perform at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 1 on CBS and will perform on the ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends In Concert airing on Friday, April 13 on CBS. He then with old friend Kenny Chesney on  The ‘Brothers of the Sun’ Tour.
Tim & Faith’s Australia Tour Diary – Melbourne >   YouTube

COUNTRY PROUD, the second album from country duo McAlister Kemp, has debuted on top of the ARIA country albums chart.
The duo officially released their second record with a main stage performance at last week's CMC Rocks The Hunter festival.
Country Proud overhauled recent Oz tourer Tim McGraw's latest album EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC, and also landed at #18 on the overall ARIA album chart, a great debut for a country act.
The album's strong debut can be accredited to the record's rocking title cut
 (>>  video) which has already become some what of an anthem amongst Australian country music fans.

The ARIA Top 10 Country Albums Chart:
1. (-) Country Proud - McAlister Kemp (ABC/UMA)
2. (4) Emotional Traffic - Tim McGraw (CURB/SME)
3. (3) Home - Troy Cassar-Daley (LIB/UMA)
4. (2) Speak Now - Taylor Swift (BIG/UMA)
5. (12) Home - Dierks Bentley (CAP/EMI)
6. (5) Fearless - Taylor Swift (BIG/UMA)
7. (1) Speak Now World Tour Live - Taylor Swift (BIG/UMA)
8. (-) The Hits - Faith Hill (WRN/WAR)
9. (-) CMC Rocks The Hunter 2012 - Various (UTV/UMA)
10. (-) Number One Hits - Tim McGraw (CURB/SME)

Dierks Bentley Presents Australia's Felicity Urquhart with CMAInternational Country Broadcaster Award
by CMA News  Mar 29, 2012 CMA Press Release
HUNTER VALLEY, AUSTRALIA - Dierks Bentley surprised Felicity Urquhart backstage before his performance at the CMC Rocks the Hunter Festival on March 17, when he presented her with the 2011 CMA International Country Broadcaster Award. CMA Board member Rob Potts, CEO of Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, and GAC's "Headline Country" host/executive producer Storme Warren were both on hand for the presentation.

Felicity was selected as the Award recipient in late 2011, but the announcement and presentation were saved to be made during the CMC Rocks the Hunter Festival, which is produced by Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, Chugg Entertainment, and CMC (Country Music Channel). Bentley headlined the Saturday night show as part of the Australian leg of his "Country and Cold Cans Tour." Warren, whose "Headline Country" airs on CMC in Australia, hosted the main stage. 

Urquhart became the host of ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio's long-running national Country Music program, "Saturday Night Country," three years ago. A Golden Guitar Award-winning singer/songwriter, Urquhart is credited with re-energizing the program with her fresh spin and contemporary approach. Under her guidance, "Saturday Night Country" has reclaimed its top position among Country Music media outlets in Australia.
"I am truly shocked by this Award and consider it such an honor," said Urquhart. "Thank you CMA for this acknowledgement. Presenting 'Saturday Night Country' nationally every week is a passion and brings me great enjoyment. The support of ABC local radio makes Country Music accessible and current from anywhere in Australia. It is wonderful to be part of their programming. I must importantly thank John Nutting who handed his show to me after 17 years. His faith in me is the reason I am in radio."

"'Saturday Night Country' is an institution on Australian radio," said Potts. "Felicity took on the hosting role three years ago. It was a huge challenge for her to take over from the 17-year host and legendary broadcaster John Nutting, a former winner of the CMA International Country Broadcaster Award. However, she has proven totally up to the task and has now stamped her own style and feel on the show, achieving additional ratings success. She is a very worthy winner of this important international CMA Award"

The CMA International Broadcaster Award recognizes outstanding achievement by radio broadcasters outside the United States who have made important contributions toward the development of Country Music in their country. 

Jason Aldean’s 2012 MY KINDA PARTY TOUR has sold out 18 Shows so far. The ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee Aldean broke venue attendance records at New York metro area’s IZOD Center and Charlottesville, VA’s John Paul Jones Arena.  At Rodeo Houston at Reliant Stadium he set the all-time record with 74,901 fans and the IZOD Center he set a new record for a Country concert with more than 19,000 fans, breaking Shania Twain's previous record of 15,749 in 2003.

Cold River Records artist Katie Armiger has begun working on her new album with Reigning CMA Musician of The Year, Mac McAnally and two time Grammy Winner, Chad Carlson at the Blackbird Studio in Nashville. “To begin work on my next album with Chad and such amazing musicians is so exciting…and to be able to write all of the songs for this album is an amazing feeling,” exclaimed Armiger (Industry Snap)

The 2nd Annual Texas Regional Music Awards Show were held at the Arlington Music Hall (3/25). Republic Nashville group THE ELI YOUNG BAND were the night’s big winner, with 4 trophies:  “Group of The Year,” “Single of the Year for Crazy Girl, “Song of the Year Crazy Girl,” and “Video of the Year Crazy Girl.” The band was unable to attend because they were on tour with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw In Australia.

Carol Lee Cooper, long-time Grand Ole Opry background vocalist, brought her Opry career to a close on Saturday, March 24. A portion of the show, hosted by her friend Marty Stuart, was performed in her honor. During the segment, Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher presented Carol Lee with a framed print commemorating her years of service.
Carol Lee first appeared on the Opry Stage with her parents, Opry members Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, in 1956. She formed and has led the Carol Lee Singers, named by Opry great Roy Acuff, on Opry background vocals since 1972. The Carol Lee Singers’ other members, Norah Lee Allen, Rod Fletcher, and Dennis McCall, will continue performing at the Opry as ‘The Opry Singers.’

Kelly Clarkson recently took to her FACEBOOK page to announce she has re-cut her song “Mr. Know It All” for Country radio. “Hey everybody, I got to work with DANN HUFF and recut 'Mr. Know It All' for Country radio! I hope y'all like it!! I had a lot of fun recutting the song and getting the opportunity to work with DANN! It will be available on iTUNES APRIL 3rd,” posted KELLY.

An argument about country music stars Reba McEntire and Loretta Lynn escalated into a domestic dispute that has Savannah-Chatham police looking for a man believed to have attacked two people with a hammer Tuesday 20 March.
The alleged assaults happened in the 2200 block of East 60th Street about 10:20 a.m. According to a police report, Michael Allen Parrish and his girlfriend had lived together until a few days prior, when an argument over the two long-time country singers caused a rift in their relationship.

Taylor Swift has collaborated with rapper B.o.B & she’ll be on his new album ‘STRANGE CLOUDS,’ out May 1.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Train singer Pat Monahan and Martina McBride
will serenade a couple getting married at the
American Country Music Awards on Sunday.

(Reuters) Couple to wed live on Country Music Awards show - A New Jersey couple, who unexpectedly found love during the grief of bereavement, plan to marry on a country music awards show on Sunday and be serenaded by Martina McBride who is nominated for female vocalist of the year at the ACM awards.
Country fans Christina Davidson, 31, and Frank Tucci, 33, will exchange wedding vows live on television during the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, show organizers said.
Martina McBride and Train frontman Pat Monahan will perform their new single "Marry Me" as the couple marry onstage in what is thought to be a first live wedding during an awards show.
Davidson lost her husband Paul in a drowning accident in 2009 when she was 29-years-old and pregnant with their second child. She founded a support group for young widows and widowers in her Washington Township hometown, where she met Tucci, whose wife Danielle had died in the same year from thyroid cancer, leaving him with a young son.
The pair became friends, supported each other and later fell in love. They were picked to be married on the awards show by McBride.
"When I was asked to perform 'Marry Me' with Pat on the ACM's, the first thought that popped into my head was, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we actually had a couple get married live on the show while we sang the song?' I think it's so special that we will be witnessing the union of these two wonderful people and that we will all be sharing that moment together," McBride said.

Earl Scruggs, Country Music Hall of Famer and bluegrass innovator, dies at age 88.
The Country Music Hall of Famer, a singular talent of collective impact, died Wednesday morning (March 28, 2012) at a Nashville hospital of natural causes.  More on Blog Post

Academy Of Country Music

The Academy of Country Music announced (March 28, 2012) that Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley are scheduled to perform as part of the 47th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS.  In addition, Lionel Richie and Taylor Swift are scheduled as presenters.

On March 29, 2012 they also announced that Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton & Lionel Richie, Rascal Flatts & Steve Martin, and Toby Keith with surprise Las Vegas guest performers are set to perform a variety of special duets and collaborations. Steve Martin will showcase the banjo on a unique collaboration with ACM "Vocal Group of the Year" nominees Rascal Flatts during a performance of their new single "Banjo. Martin is a four-time Grammy® winner, the latest for The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, which won Best Bluegrass Album (2009), in addition he won for his collaboration with Earl Scruggs on Foggy Mountain Breakdown (2001) and two for comedy albums Wild and Crazy Guy (1978) and Let’s Get Small (1977.)

Listen to the ACM 2012 nominee presentations with Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Love & Theft, Miranda Lambert, Sara Evans and Kenny Chesney. >>   Audio Link

The Mavericks Back To Work After 7 Year Hiatus
After a seven year hiatus, The Mavericks have re-grouped and have a new album coming out this summer and a new tour launching next month but Robert Reynolds would prefer not to call what’s happening a “reunion”. While it is the 20th anniversary of The Mavericks becoming a group, he stresses that is not the reason for the timing of this new chapter in their career. “I promise you, from everything I can tell in my heart of hearts, if it even began for a moment to be about celebrating 20th anniversary and all of that music that was once made, we quickly put that behind us,” says Robert. “

CMT reports that Jamey Johnson is completing a duets tribute album to songwriter Hank Cochran that will team him vocally with Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Leon Russell, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard. Cochran died in 2010 at age 74.

First Lady Michelle Obama is making an appearance at The Kids' Choice Awards to celebrate Taylor Swift for her charity work.
She will present Taylor Swift with The Big Help Award. Swift raised $750,000 with her "Speak Now" tour to benefit U.S. tornado victims and is active with The Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Medical Center and Habitat for Humanity charity.

Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones is hospitalized with an upper respiratory infection. A statement from his publicist, Kirt Webster, says the 80-year-old Jones was admitted into a Nashville area hospital on Thursday and will stay overnight for observation. He is scheduled to be released Friday. ( NASHVILLE, Tenn. March 29, 2012 (AP)

Kenny Chesney's new and 13th studio album will be titled WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL, he announced Thursday (March 29) it  will be released June 19 on BNA Records.  (See Cover Art)

ACM Vocal Duo of the Year nominee Love and Theft, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, is thrilled to be releasing their new album on June 5 on RCA Records. Love and Theft is a bit different from the group that scored a Top 10 hit two years ago with “Runaway.” But the changes that have affected the group—most notably, signing with RCA Records and downsizing to a duo—have actually brought Love and Theft closer to what it originally set out to be: a band that writes, records and performs honest, soulful country music  >   [LISTEN] to their latest single at radio "Angel Eyes". Album pre-order is at

Dierks Bentley will release “5-1-5-0” (written by Dierks, Brett Beavers and Jim Beavers) as the next single from his critically acclaimed new album HOME.  The foot-stomping new song officially goes for adds at country radio on April 9. “I was a huge fan of Van Halen growing up, and this song was definitely inspired by those guys…they taught me a lot about power chords and girls," said Bentley.  "Getting 5-1-5-0 has become slang on the bus for some of the crazy things that happen out on the road.  I love that fans are using it back to me now…the spring Country & Cold Cans Tour is definitely gonna be 5-1-5-0."
Urban Dictionary Definition of 5-1-5-0 (fahyv-wuhn-fahyv-oh): Police code for crazy one on the loose. Danger to property, danger to others and danger to themselves. He tweets: just heard #5-1-5-0 for the first time on Country Radio.... crazy feeling. you all heard it yet?

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 29, 2012 – Kenny Rogers will bring his signature soulful voice, his catalog of hits and the stories behind the music when he takes the Ford Theater stage as the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s 2012 Artist-in-Residence. Rogers will present two intimate evening performances on May 9 and 10 at 7:00 p.m that Will Mark the 10th Anniversary of the Museum’s Annual Residency Program.Established in 2003, the museum’s residency program annually honors a musical master who can be credited with contributing a large and significant body of work to the canon of American popular music.

RCA recording artist Chris Young and songwriter Luke Laird celebrated their recent co-written No. 1 hit "You" during a party held in the CMA Atrium on March 27. The soiree marked the first industry event held in the newly renovated space.
"We're thrilled that Chris and Luke decided to share their celebration with us," said CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore. "We updated our Atrium so we could play host to more industry events such as this, and honoring the success of 'You' is a great way to christen our new event space." Young, an EMI Music Publishing writer and ASCAP member, is a two-time CMA Award nominee and has already charted four additional No. 1 hits including "Gettin' You Home," "The Man I Want To Be," "Voices," and "Tomorrow." Young is currently a part of reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert's "On Fire" tour.

Rolling Stone got an exclusive Q&A with Glenn Frey from the Eagles. He talks about his solo LP, the Eagles' 40th Anniversary plans and the bands two-DVD documentary project. On May 8th Frey is releasing AFTER HOURS.

Bonnie Raitt talks to The Wall Street Journal about how she chooses songs to record: Bonnie Raitt: A Singer Praises Other People's Songs

Scotty McCreery returned to the American Idol stage on Thursday, 29 March to perform his new single, “Water Tower Town.”
’Water Tower Town’ is my GARNER song on the album, my hometown song. It reminds me of GARNER, which has a big water tower right across from the baseball fields where I grew up playing ball. It has a lot of elements in there that remind me of GARNER. The first lyric in the chorus is, ‘FRIDAY night football is king,’ and that is true in GARNER. Everybody stops what they’re doing in GARNER to go to the game. It was tough on me missing some of the games being out here on the road, but I was able to make it back for a few. The song says, ‘Sweet tea goes good with anything,’ and that is all we drink back home. All of the lyrics really relate to my hometown,” SCOTTY said.   Video hosted on The Boot

Soundcloud are hosting “When It Pleases You,” the first single from ex Nickel Creeker  Sara Watkins’ from her upcoming album, SUN MIDNIGHT SUN, due to drop May 8.

>>    Matraca Berg – “Dreaming Fields”   (Video Director: Jon Morgan, from the album THE DREAMING FIELDS)
>>    Trisha Yearwood performs the "Dreaming Fields"[Live] Steve Cox plays on piano.

Lionel Richie duets with Jason Aldean “Say You, Say Me” on the David Letterman Show “7March on ©CBS >>  YouTube

Joan Osborne recently previewed Bring It On Home on CBS This Morning - The New York Daily News named the album to its “Top Ten” in music list, noting that “she recasts the blues with her own grind and shout” and the New Yorker delighted in her “voice containing a rich mixture of colors….now she’s come back to the blues

Songwriters' Circle - Bill Anderson, Clint Black and Bob DiPiero - three giants of the American country music scene - bring the Nashville 'guitar pull' to London's Bush Hall and showcase their trademark songs – BBC iPlayer.

Gamma Blast director Jeff Johnson, who has directed projects for Keith Urban, Billy Currington, and Lady Antebellum recently completed a music video for new country artist Brynn Marie. The video for her debut single, “Bandaid On A Bullet Hole” was shot on location at Silver Pointe studios in Nashville. Johnson commented, “First and foremost, Brynn is a great live performer, so I really wanted to capture the essence of her “live” show. She’s also a trained dancer and we enlisted some Tennessee Titans cheerleaders to appear with her in the dance sequence.  = Wow!  (Photo)

Saturday 24 March 2012

Country Bites News snippets March 19 – March 23, 2012

Country Bites News snippets March 19 – March 23, 2012
Links / Sources in RED

After a long and very successful career Clive & Sandra Country Company are to retire from the Country Music scene.
There final performance will be at our Daffodil Breaks Weekend in Didsbury Manchester on the 1st - 3rd February 2013.
Although 10 months away it provides advance notice to all their fans & friends that 2012 will be their last Full year of touring and an opportunity to catch them live before they hand up their guitars and retire completely. (See Gig Guide)
By the time 2013 comes around they will have both been in the business for over 40 years. For nearly 35 years Clive and Sandra who hail from Crossgates, near Llandrindod Well, in the heart of mid-Wales have been a popular act on the British Country Music scene. They have received over 70 awards and were voted British Country Music's "Most Popular British Duo" three times since 1994. In 1979 they formed Country Company as a trio and spent the next ten years working all over the country as a semi- professional act and with increasing workloads became fully-professional in 1989. >    YouTube

Check out this intimate interview with Billy Dean and Emma King and The Heartsets! They were extremely honoured to be Billy Dean's very first Featured Artist at his birthday party this month (It’s the big 50 on April 2nd) >    YouTube

The Band Perry
BBC Breakfast Screenshot
The Band Perry
(brothers Neil and Reid and big sister Kimberley) described as "the hardest working band in country music" joined Bill Turnbull and Susanna Ried (no relation!) on the BBC Breakfast sofa to talk about their career and self titled album prior to playing a full band show at King’s College London (Tutu's, Macadam Building, Strand campus) on Tuesday 20 March 2012.
(Studio 7 Picture)

Watch their interview on the BBC Breakfast Page or on  >   YouTube
 T-minus 1 hr and 30 minutes till our first UK show!!! Who else is as excited as me”? – Neil Perry
London, you have given us a night we will never forget. "THANK YOU" (said in our best English accents). Goodnight, & much love from the3ofUS
The Band Perry @ at King’s College London
“All Your Life” (Filmed by   >   YouTube
“Under the Bus” in London (Filmed by  >  YouTube
The Band Perry - Debut New Song “It Burns For You” exclusively Live In London (restricted view)  >    YouTube
The Band Perry backstage at The Kings College in London with the 2country team 
Photo and playing  Live

The Band Perry chat to Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2 - BBC Clip

This New South Wales SONY MUSIC country artist Troy Cassar-Daley new single “Live and Learn” taken from his album 'Home' – I LOVE IT!  >   YouTube

(Nashville, TN – March 19, 2012) – It was announced that seven time GRAMMY winning trio Lady Antebellum will open for American music icon Bruce Springsteen on July 14th for a sold out concert at Hyde Park as part of this year’s Hard Rock Calling festival in London, UK.  
"It's Springsteen…there is no entertainer we look up to more than him," said Lady A's Charles Kelley. "I'm going to be like a little kid at Christmas watching his show.  It's the biggest honor for us to be invited to play this festival…the entire lineup is awesome!"
High demand overseas of previously announced Own The Night 2012 World Tour dates has also prompted Lady A to make special arrangements to accommodate more fans. The July 13th date in Glasgow, UK has moved to a bigger venue, the Clyde Auditorium, and the group recently added a second night in Dublin, Ireland at the Olympia Theatre.

Tom Gossin of the country band Gloriana has announced his engaged to longtime girlfriend Jamie Moffett during a hometown show in upstate New York. His publicist, Denise Carberry, confirmed the news.
Gossin popped the question March 1 on the couple's 10-year anniversary. He says in a statement that the timing couldn't have been more perfect since they were with close friends on their anniversary. Gossin says he dropped to one knee with the ring and asked Moffett to marry him, adding that she was "caught totally by surprise" but said yes.
Gloriana also includes Gossin's brother, Mike, and Rachel Reinert. A fourth member, Cheyenne Kimball, abruptly left the group last July. The band's hits include "Wild at Heart" and "How Far Do You Wanna Go."

George Strait current single 'Love's Gonna Make It Alright' off his latest CD HERE FOR A GOOD TIME lands the Number One spot this week on Mediabase Radio Chart. This feat ironically marks his 59th career number one hit for the 59 year old country music superstar - one per year of his life! 'Love's Gonna Make It Alright' written by Al Anderson and Chris Stapleton is one of the few Strait did not write with son Bubba and longtime pal Dean Dillon for this album. 'You know, I’ve always thought that whether I’m writing or not, I’ve gotta pick the best songs, whether or not they’re mine,' says Strait. 'I’m not gonna sing ‘em just because I wrote ‘em. I’ve gotta find the best songs to make the best record I can. I think all of these songs deserve to be on the record.' (Nashville, TN – March 20, 2012)
**   NOTE !  - It is placed at #3 on The Billboard Hot Country Song Chart.   ***
Taylor Swift holds the top spot with “Ours” and Jake Owen with “Alone With You” is one ahead of George at #2.  
His last single "Here For A God Time" peaked at #2 on Billboard when Blake Shelton's wonderful single "God Gave Me You" blocked his path in the 3rd week of October 2011.

Kix Brooks
Artwork - Amazon
 Kix Brooks’ first Arista Nashville solo single (post Brooks & Dunn), “New To This Town” (featuring Joe Walsh), officially hit the airwaves this week becoming Billboard’s most added song and Country Aircheck’s second most added song on the country airplay charts with a combined 48 reporting stations playing the song.

“The single’s title, ‘New To This Town,’ pretty much says it all,” explains Kix. “I’d written the song with some old friends and wanted to put it down while it was fresh in my mind. It was as if it were meant to be. Then it was mentioned, ‘some Joe Walsh sounding slide’ would sound great on the track. What are the chances the man himself would be generous enough to help me out!! What you hear today is a lotta luck....and a little bit of magic. You can't go back, but finding a place to start over is what makes life worth living - I'm really excited!!"

USA Today names “New To This Town” (Featuring Joe Walsh) as their “Pick of the Week” in their current issue . Co-written by Brooks and longtime friends Marv Green and Terry McBride its an impressive debut. It's kind of weird just saying the word 'debut' with Kix, who had a 20-plus year career with Ronnie Dunn, but also had a good amount of solo stuff even before that. As for Joe Walsh, who comes along for the ride here, adding some trademark tasty guitar runs--he has seen his share of duty. He was an ex member of The James Gang which was his band before going solo. He formed the group Barnstorm, although their albums credited Walsh as a solo artist. In December 1975 he joined The Eagles as Bernie Leadon's replacement. Walsh toured with Ringo Starr in 1989 as a member of the "All Starr" band.  
So we have two veterans here coming together for this Country debut. >      LISTEN
It was released in the UK on Sunday 18 March 2012 - Available on  
Joe Walsh has announced the June 5 release of "ANALOG MAN", his first solo record in 20 years. The 10-track Fantasy/Concord album was produced by Walsh and Jeff Lynne. Nashville-based Tommy Lee James, who penned hits for Taylor Swift and Reba McEntire, co-wrote some of the songs and Walsh's brother-in-law Ringo Starr plays on the record. Walsh married Marjorie Bach (sister of Barbara Bach) in Los Angeles on December 13, 2008, making him related to Ringo (see photo).

The CMA Songwriters Series returns once again to New York City's Joe's Pub on Weds, MAY 9th Phil Vassar, Al Anderson and Craig Wiseman will be performing.

The Academy of Country Music announced March 22, 2012 that Sara Evans, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are scheduled to perform as part of the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

CBS NEWS (23 March, 2012)  is reporting that two men allegedly exploited Big Machine star Taylor Swift’s name to promote a bogus concert and steal nearly $225,000 from a California investor. Derrick "Suits" Robinson, 29, and Emmanuel "Kojo" Bentil,47, are charged with grand larceny and forgery for falsely claiming they were affiliated with agents for Swift and planned to put on a concert. The men convinced CEO of Omega Alpha Enterprises Kachik Mouradian to invest $375,000 for a fake concert in Phoenix. Robinson and Bentil are set to appear in court next month. If convicted, the pair face up to 15 years in state prison.

Arizona Daily Star PHOENIX (AP) — A pregnant Jessica Simpson on the cover of Elle magazine was apparently too much for some customers of a Tucson Safeway store, where a worker covered it with cardboard.
The April edition features the photo of the singer/actress/fashion designer with one hand over her breast and another wrapped around her nude belly. The Arizona Daily Star  reported the manager of the store received multiple complaints, prompting a worker to cover the image with cardboard.
"The sign was up for a short time and removed," Teena Massingill, director of corporate public affairs for Safeway Inc., told The Associated Press. "This was one store employee's response to some customer complaints. This was by no means a company-wide directive."
Elle Magazine released a statement Friday to the AP: "We've received an overwhelmingly positive response to Jessica Simpson's cover," it said. "She's celebrating her body during this joyous time in her life and we couldn't be happier for her."

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Singer Jennifer Nettles of the country duo Sugarland has been ordered to give a deposition next month in lawsuits filed over August's deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse. Attorneys for stage builder Mid-America Sound Corp. had wanted Nettles and fellow band member Kristian Bush to begin providing depositions starting Monday, but Marion Superior Court Judge Theodore Sosin on Friday approved a request by the band's attorneys to reject that timetable.
Sugarland's attorneys had proposed holding depositions in May, but the judge ordered them to provide dates and times between April 1 and April 15 in which only Nettles can testify.
Mid-America built the roof and rigging used to hold lights and sound equipment that collapsed Aug. 13 before the scheduled Sugarland concert. Seven people died and dozens were injured.

Kenny Chesney will debut new music on April 1 when he performs the first single off his upcoming album at the ACM Awards.

A few weeks ago Sara Evans got a Jeep from Rascal Flatts after touring with them & just days before that, she gave them watches so when she heard they were bringing a gift over, she’s thinking flowers or something. They came on her bus, handed her a key & she saw the Jeep, Sara said she felt like a dork cause she only gave them watches

Randy Travis co-hosted TODAY, America’s most-watched morning show, on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, teaming up with Hoda Kotb during the fourth hour on NBC.  The Grammy-winning singer filled the chair for Kathie Lee Gifford. It’s all part of Randy’s phenomenal silver milestone in the music industry - “Having appeared and performed on the “Today” show many times, I am honored to co-host.  I look forward to teaming with Hoda Kotb and the NBC crew during my visit to New York” said Travis.
Josh Turner co-hosted the 4th hour of the ‘Today’ show (Mon March 19) with Hoda & on Tuesday 21st it was Lee Brice’s turn.

Nashville, TN (March 19, 2012) – Texas Todd Fritsch is back in the saddle. His new single, "Calls I Haven't Made,"  is now impacting Country Radio. After a roping accident on the family cattle ranch left him with a crippling leg injury three years ago.  "It was a long road to recovery," says the engaging Texan. "But I had my second surgery this past December and I'm rehabbed and ready to go." "Calls I Haven't Made" is an outstanding song choice; Todd's rich voice resonates throughout this intriguing tale of redemption, and he's supported by top-drawer production and talented players.
Listen to the single at or  on Todd’s Facebook Page.
** Fans can purchase the new single from UK iTunes (£0.79) or the US iTunes stores. (so much MOORE media)

D.J. Ötzi & the Bellamy Brothers:
 Simply The Best
D.J. Ötzi and The Bellamy Brothers  have spent the last six months hard at work in the studio, recording their upcoming European release, D.J. Ötzi & the Bellamy Brothers: Simply The Best (Universal Music Germany).  The album features Ötzi and the Bellamys singing together on some of their biggest hits, as well as several American classics.  Tracks include, “Crossfire,” “The Gambler,” “Islands In The Stream” and “Sweet Caroline,” among others. The marriage is already proving to be a success, with "I Need More of You" at #1 followed by four of the album's recently released singles topping Germany's Top 100 Single Download Chart and the album at #29 on the Top 100 Album Download Chart.
It's been very exciting working with D.J. Ötzi,” says Howard Bellamy. “He's into every aspect of the process from choosing the songs and recording them to the making of the videos and the doing TV appearances. It's been loads of fun.”
D.J. Ötzi & the Bellamy Brothers: Simply The Best is available in European retail outlets this Friday, March 23.  In support of the release, David and Howard are currently en route to Germany for several national television appearances and performances with Ötzi.
Tomorrow night in Berlin, the Bellamys and Ötzi will walk the red carpet and attend the 2012 International ECHO Awards.
David Bellamy notes, “We're just on our way to Germany with quick side trips to the Canary Islands, Austria and Switzerland for an international television tour, so the news of the songs and album charting in the Top 100 on the German charts couldn't come at a better time.

(March 20, 2012)
On June 5th, Neil Young & Crazy Horse will release a very special album titled AMERICANA, which is the first Neil Young & Crazy Horse in nearly nine years.  AMERICANA is collection of classic, American folk songs. In their day, some of these may have been referred to as "protest songs", "murder ballads", or campfire-type songs passed down with universal, relatable tales for everyman.
Tracklisting :  Oh Susannah / Clementine / Tom Dula / Gallows Pole /  Get A Job / Travel On /  High Flyin' Bird /  Jesus' Chariot /      This Land Is Your Land / Wayfarin' Stranger /  God Save The Queen

Brandi Carlile has announced the release of her fourth studio album BEAR CREEK for June 5 via Columbia Records. The new project is her fourth studio album and first since 2009's Giving Up the Ghost. Carlile released her concert album Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony last year

Glen Campbell is lost. (Little Creek Casino Resort Review Fri 16 March 2012)
Opening number Gentle on My Mind turns into a cruel joke as the singer mumbles and motions angrily at the amps. He tries to lighten the mood but is greeted by unsure titters from the crowd of 1,600: "I'm a country boy — I just don't know what country yet."

In the middle of a cut from his new album, he stops, looks around frantically as his band plays on and murmurs something about "the bass."  The Rhinestone Cowboy has been in the music biz for almost 60 years, performing the same songs on thousands of stages like the one here at Little Creek Casino Resort. But on this Friday in March, the stage, for so long his second home, is alien; the hits of his life and ours are jigsaw puzzles.
When Campbell and his daughter are supposed to duet on bluegrass classic Dueling Banjos, Campbell misses his cue. "Dad, aren't you going to introduce me?" He lets out a small laugh, looks down and, in a vaguely apologetic tone, tells her, "I really want to."
Her father has forgotten her name. So Ashley Campbell, trying to smile, introduces herself. …Read More

Gretchen Peters UK Interview (March 18, 2012) at More Than The Music
Interview: Sherrie Austin: The Sydney-born singer and songwriter, now based in Nashville, talks about her return to Oz for CMC Rocks The Hunter.

The Sunny Cowgirls new CD 'Live Wires' out now is testament to their reputation as one of Australia’s greatest live country music acts. Featuring all their greatest hits including ‘Summer’, ‘Dancing on the Darling’, ‘Little bit Rusty’, ‘Cuttin’ Up B&S Style’, ‘Acting Stupid’ and ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’, this 20 track live CD captures all the energy and passion synonymous with “The Sunnies” dynamic live shows.
Check out the ‘Good Spot Here’ vid  >    YouTube

Crystal Gale & Peggie Sue in a tribute to Buck Owens sing a medley : "Together Again", "Tiger By The Tail",  "Act Naturally" and  “Crying Time” at Butlins The Great British Country & Western Festival Weekend held at Skegness Lincolnshire in England (filmed by  >    YouTube  

Collin Raye performs "Little Rock" at Butlins in Minehead, Somerset, England (filmed by >    YouTube

Universal/Beladroit’s sibling music duo, The Secret Sisters,performed their self-penned ballad, “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder,” on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno onThurs March 22nd. Sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers wrote the song while on tour in Australia, and after T Bone Burnett, executive producer of The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond, heard it recorded, he immediately knew it was a perfect fit for the soundtrack.
We were in Australia, and there, Lydia sat down and wrote a  ‘Tomorrow Will Be Kinder.’ Even though it came from thinking about a really dark circumstance, it is about looking forward to better days. In that sense, it really ties into the characters’ experience in The Hunger Games,” Laura says.
The song was recorded in a New York City studio with Burnett, who burned balsa wood in the room for atmosphere, as the Sisters harmonized: "It’s true I’ve seen it before / a brighter day is coming my way / yes, tomorrow will be kinder."
Speaking to Rolling Stone Magazine Laura said of Burnett "You feel safe around him," who also executive produced their debut album, The Secret Sisters, released in late 2010. "His presence is so comforting.

The Secret Sisters “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”  on NBC’s The Tonight Show >     YouTube
Listen to The Secret Sisters + other artists on the Soundtrack – The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond on Spotify

Currently, The Secret Sisters are in the process of writing new material for their sophomore album, recently meeting up with renowned songwriter Dan Wilson who has co-written three songs on Adele’s GRAMMY-winning album, 21. Fans can expect their next release to show more influence of the Everly Brothers and the Delta Blues.(EB Media)

Singer/songwriter Jessica Rae originally from Chicago, currently living in Nashville TN releases her second music video featuring her song "24 Hour Church (in Memphis)". Written by Jessica Rae and Glen Mitchell  >   YouTube

The latest Video from husband & wife Duo, Mark & Jay O'SHEA. Co-written with Shawn Colvin & Josh Leo and featuring Amber Lawrence, Jasmine Rae, Dianna Corcoran, The Harmonators and Shea Fisher.

About O’Shea: Nashville, Tennessee-based, Australian-born country-pop duo O'Shea formed in 2007 after singer/songwriters Mark (Originally from Dalby, Queensland) and Jay O'Shea (Nee Smith, who hails from Adelaide) made their 15-year love affair official and tied the knot. After meeting in a Balmain pub in 1996 and spending 15 years together as a couple, one may well ask what took them so long to finally make the relatively recent decision to become a duo? - “I guess we were always scared there would be two chiefs and no Indians,” laughs Mark. “But after spending a few years playing a regular gig together in Nashville, we realized how much fun we actually have on stage!” Jay adds
Mark, who began his musical career at the age of 16 after winning a talent quest, spent the late '90s and early 2000s atop the Australian country music charts as both a writer and a performer, sharing the stage with the likes of Keith Urban, Trisha Yearwood, and Switchfoot, while Jay spent her formative years as a backup singer for INXS and Tim Rice, and worked as a staff writer in London, Los Angeles, and Nashville, where she landed a number one European single with “Little Miss H” for Spanish megastar Chenoa.
The pair began singing and playing together live shortly after their nuptials, and released their debut album under the O'Shea moniker, the aptly titled Mr. and Mrs., in 2011.
They finished 5th on Season Two (2009) of CMT's American reality-competition show "Can You Duet" .

Rachel Holder's own rendition of Lady GAGA's, of "Edge Of Glory". No instruments required >   YouTube

Sample Marty Stuart’s new record by listening to  The Lonely Kind.” from forthcoming album "Nashville, Volume 1: Tear The Woodpile Down", available everywhere April 24th 2012. -

Sugar Hill Records is both humbled and incredibly proud to release Don Williams first new album in 8 years.
So it’s both exciting and a very welcome surprise to announce the release of the brand new Don Williams album AND SO IT GOES, on Sugar Hill Records on June 19th!!
>   Here is a track from the record entitled
     "What if It Worked Like That"

Mindy Smith will release her self-titled Album on Giant Leap/TVX Records June 26. This her fifth studio Album is the acclaimed Singer-Songwriter's First Independent Release. . The self-titled effort is her first album of new material since 2009’s Stupid Love and her first as an independent artist.
Listen to "Closer" the first single from Mindy Smith's upcoming NEW ALBUM
>>       Mindy Smith 'Closer'

Of “Closer,” Mindy says, “Many times in life’s journey, we find ourselves disoriented. For me, I make destructive decisions that can distract me from my ultimate goal. I think I am making the right choices and staying close to my agenda but I just run off course. In “Closer,” I see the North Star as the prize. One that I am always getting so close to but unable to grab a hold of and then it eludes me. Personally this song paints a picture of how I see my musical career and that I see NOW is my moment. Taking the time to listen for the answers to my questions. I guess NOW is always our moment even if it is only etching out one little piece of the bigger picture.”
Track List:
1.Closer  2.Take Me Back  3.Pretending The Stars 4.Don’t Mind Me  5.Tin Can
6.Everything Here Will Be Fine  7.Sober  8.Devil’s Inside  9. Cure For Love 10.When You’re Waking On My Grave  11. If I

 Justin Townes Earle album Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now drops on March 27 (Bloodshot) "If you listen to a lot of soul music," says Earle, "especially the Stax Records stuff, the chord progressions are just like country music"...we hear that particular R+B feel throughout Nothing's Gonna Change, a love of streetwise soul that echoes early Jersey-centric, pre-Guthrie Bruce Springsteen and the gospel-flavored fervor of Mike Farris...Quote: "I think that it's the job of the artist to be in transition and constantly learn more. The new record is completely different than my last one, Harlem River Blues”