Saturday, 7 April 2012

Country Bites News snippets April 2 – April 6, 2012

Country Bites News snippets April 2 – April 6, 2012

Tim McKay who was on the bill at the Wembley Festival of Country Music was in interview with Allan Watkiss on BBC Radio Sheffield (April 1) and he spoke of keeping in contact with festival performer Richie McDonald of Lonestar. When Tim goes to Nashville in June he plans to meet up with him for songwriting sessions with potentially a duet or Lonestar collaboration in the pipeline. Also in June Tim and his band will be on a mini tour in Europe with Dwight Yoakham (headliner), Laura Bell Bundy and Joey & Rory.
Tim will get married on Friday 11 May and UK country artist Darren Busby will become his father-in-law.

Dr. Jim Marshall OBE, founder of amplification company Marshall, has died. He was 88.
The familiar Marshall logo is one of the most iconic names in music, gracing thousands of stages across the globe from small pub venues to huge arenas. Although widely used in jazz, blues and country music (wouldn’t of had the same twang without the power of a stack or two!), Marshall is more associated with the sound of rock and endorsed by countless guitar legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Joe Bonamassa, Ritchie Blackmore, Pete Townsend, Jimi Page and Slash. Jim Marshall invented the ‘Rock’ sound.
Known as the 'father of loud', Marshall was a music teacher in London before he created his iconic guitar amplifier, made famous by the likes of The Who and Guns'n'Roses.
In a statement, the company he founded said in a statement:
"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.
"Jim’s ascent into the history books as ‘the Father of Loud’ and the man responsible for ‘the Sound of Rock’ is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born.”

UK female duo Travellin Rose are nominated for the Most Promising New Country Artist (18 and up) and Best International Country Artist by the Independent Country Music Association. Voting ends April 30th, 2012.
CMR Nashville is nominated in the Most Indie Friendly Internet/Satellite Country Radio Station. On the panel of judges is Mr Lee Williams the owner of django promotions (one of leading music management and promotions agencies, Owner of Internet station CMR Nashville (“Europe’s #1 country music station”) and President of the British Country Music Awards. Al Shephard, President of the ICMA, announces the names  >>   YouTube

Did you miss out on your Wembley Festival of Country Music merch ? Ebay are selling off Hoodies, t-shirts,baseball caps,  belt buckles and official programme

Three days of toe-tappin’ tunes on the south bank of the Tyne returns Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd July. Back for its 7th year, SummerTyne Americana Festival is a celebration of Americana music in and around the spectacular setting of The Sage Gateshead. So far announced to appear the legendary Americana star John Hiatt & The Combo. Also confirmed is legendary queen of rockabilly Wanda Jackson and multi-talented American musician Darrell Scott along with hip-shaking rhythm and soul band Vintage Trouble supported by American soul singer and songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols

Jacqui Sharkey

Donegal solicitor Jacqui Sharkey is about to make ‘waves’ at the National Concert Hall. The West Donegal legal eagle is well known and respected around the courts of Donegal. But she is becoming increasingly well-known as a singer.
The singer has just released her new album ‘A New Dawn’ to critical acclaim. And now she has been chosen to perform as a special guest for legendary singer Billy Ocean when he performs in Dublin on May 7th. Supporting Billy Ocean on tour – Jacqui’s entertainment career really is on the crest of a wave!

Award-winning folk outfit THE UNTHANKS are to perform intimate spring shows plus summer dates in various guises. They are to play intimate close-up as a creative quintet, 5 Piece and dates with Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band!  See Tour dates Page

Barney McKenna of The Dubliners in
Windmill Lane Studio, Dublin, earlier this year to
 record Ireland's official Euro 2012 song.
 Photograph: David Sleator

"Banjo" Barney McKenna, 72, the last original member of the Irish folk band The Dubliners, died Thursday (5 April) while having a morning cup of tea with a friend. He had just marked his 50th year with the troupe.
Irish classical guitarist Michael Howard, who was with Mr. McKenna when he died, said he was talking with his longtime friend at his kitchen table, when "all of a sudden Barney's head dropped down to his chest. It looked as if he'd nodded off." Howard said paramedics over the phone talked him through emergency revival procedures, but Mr. McKenna "was pretty much gone." He was pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. His family released a statement on Thursday afternoon confirming his death. McKenna (72) had not been in good health in recent years, having suffered a stroke, loss of sight in one eye and diabetes.
Mr. McKenna, a jovial musician, was considered the most influential banjo player in Irish folk music. He spent a half-century performing, recording and touring with the band ever since its 1962 creation in the Dublin pub O'Donoghue's. The other three founders - Ronnie Drew, Ciaran Bourke and Luke Kelly - died in 2008, 1988 and 1984, respectively.

Mr. McKenna completed a United Kingdom tour with the Dubliners last month and performed Wednesday night at a Dublin funeral. Howard, who also performed there and drove Mr. McKenna home afterward, said his friend performed "absolutely beautifully. When he finished, there was a spontaneous, thunderous round of applause in the church.
Only a few weeks ago McKenna was involved in the making of the official Irish single for Euro 2012, which is inspired by The Rocky Road to Dublin, a song made famous by the band.
His sudden death means The Dubliners’ planned 10-date tour of Denmark next month is in doubt.
The funeral will be held on Monday April 9 with a burial in Trim, Co Meath, where his family is originally from. Brian Hand, agent for The Dubliners, said it was McKenna’s wish to be buried in Trim where he had a little hideaway.

The Sunday World's Eddie Rowley caught up with The Band Perry trio in Dublin last weekend when they came to town to introduce themselves to audiences in this part of the world -  "People think we are an overnight success, but we have a decade behind us, which started when I was 15 and Reid was 10," Kimberly pointed out. "Our Mom was our first bus driver and Dad worked on our first shows as well." It was their parents, Steve and Marie Perry, who insisted that their children should quit education to concentrate on a career in music. "Instead of going to college, we chose to have no back-up plan and that was Mom and Dad's influence," Kimberly reveals.
"They instilled in us that if you have a fall back plan you're going to fall back on it. It was like role reversal because most parents advise their children to get an education to fall back on. I don't think our parents ever thought the dream would let us down."
With Garth Brooks's manager, Bob Doyle, behind them,The Band Perry is now taking their music around the world.
Coming to the attention of their manager, Bob Doyle, was the turning point. "What we really love about Bob is that he loves to foster young people," Kimberly said. "And one of the first things he told us is that it's about being entertainers as much as being musicians. It's the one thing Garth Brooks was great at: he was an entertainer and that's what we strive to be as well."
Their mother travels with her three offspring on tour. "Dad is a paediatrician who takes care of kids in East Tennessee, but he'd really love to come on the road with us as a roadie," Reid says.

(March 30, 2012) Banjo legend Doug Dillard is hospitalized in Nashville. When first admitted earlier this week, he was put on a ventilator because he couldn’t breathe. His family reports that he no longer needs the vent, and is in stable condition, but no further prognosis is available. Doug had also been hospitalized in 2011 with a collapsed lung.

Terri Clark took home Country Album of the Year for ROOTS AND WINGS and The Wailin’ Jennys’ BRIGHT MORNING STARS won Roots and Traditional Album of the Year by a Group at The Juno Awards

Fresh from her 2 wins for Female Vocalist and Album of the Year from the Academy of Country Music Miranda Lambert is now looking towards her next goal: a new album for her trio, Pistol Annies. - "After my current On Fire tour with Jerrod Niemann and Chris Young, which is awesome, the Pistol Annies will come out with me this summer," Miranda tells The Boot. "We go out in May and we'll be doing more amphitheatres and arenas through December. We'll be working on a new record this fall ... I'm so thankful for everything that's happened to me solo, and now all I can think about is my girls and developing my band."
Miranda, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley will no doubt take some time while on tour to write a few songs for the upcoming project. "Our goal on this next record is to write everything in our family, just the three of us girls again," Miranda confirms. "The new album will be what you expect: three country girls singing about three country girls' lives. I'm looking forward to getting back in the studio with them. That will be our focus after the summer tour."

CMT reported that Jason Aldean has completed his next album and expects to release it in the Autumn, he told reporters backstage at the ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 1). Aldean said the first single will be released this summer.
"We went in and cut this record like we have every other record," he said. "It starts with finding great songs. That's number one. We were able to do that. We found some songs that I think are not right-down-the-middle, mainstream things. They're things that allowed us to branch out a little more, which we did on the My Kinda Party album. "It's just about pushing and trying new things but also not ever getting away completely from what got you to this point. I think there's a very fine line right there," he added

Country music legend George Jones is out of the hospital after nearly a week of treatment for an upper respiratory infection.
A statement from Jones' publicist, Kirt Webster, says Jones "wants to thank all his friends and fans for their prayers and well wishes over the past few days." The statement says Jones will be resting at home until his next concert on April 20 in Mahnomen, Minn

Jessie James
SHOW DOG- UNIVERSAL artist Jessie James has just announced her engagement to DENVER BROCOS receiver Eric Decker. Jessie announced the engagement on April Fools Day via Twitter.
In case anyone was wondering whether it was a Fool's gag, she tweeted multiple pictures that showed her wearing an engagement ring. James and Decker then celebrated their upcoming nuptials by attending the Academy of Country Music Awards. In her new video for "When You Say My Name," James is seen sliding through a house in her underwear, a la Tom Cruise from "Risky Business

Country Music Hall of Famer Emmylou Harris turned 65 on April 2, 2012 and another “great” Merle Haggard turned 75 on Fri April 6, 2012.

Billy Dean turned 50 on Monday 2 April , 2012. "My wife Stephanie and I have started hosting some farm-to-table dinners and music events out on our farm," Billy told The Boot. "On March 31, we're having a special one because we're celebrating me turning the big 5-0. It's gonna be fun."

Little Big Town says their upcoming album will be “louder, bigger and more excitable."

Sugarland will now have to take part in a court-ordered deposition April 12 and 13 in regards to that Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

Reba is auctioning off her cobalt blue silk dress from last week's Academy of Country Music Awards. All proceeds from the sale of the dress benefit Feeding America

ASHES AND ROSES, the new album from acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter, will be released June 12 on Zoë/Rounder Records. This is Carpenter’s twelfth studio album and features a special duet with James Taylor on the track “Soul Companion.” In advance of the release, Carpenter will join Shawn Colvin on a series of tour dates this spring.
Recorded in Nashville, the new 13-track album was produced by Carpenter and long-time collaborator Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett, Keith Urban) and recorded and mixed by Chuck Ainlay (Mark Knopfler, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson). Carpenter was backed by a band that included Rollings (piano, B-3 organ), Russ Kunkel (drums), Duke Levine (electric and acoustic guitar) and Glenn Worf (bass). Of making the record, Carpenter notes, “I was so fortunate to work again with these seminal musicians. Our history of making records together serves us in the most wonderful ways. Getting back into the studio this time felt as exciting as the very first opportunity we had to gather together.”

Merle Haggard talks to Suite101 about his current tour, proudest professional accomplishments, and latest studio album "Working in Tennessee."

(Nashville, TN) – The AristoMedia Group has issued the first Country International Report for 2012.  The company has been issuing this quarterly review of global activities since 2008. Highlights in this issue include a Q&A with the Country Music Association CEO Steve Moore, who discusses some of the organizations current global initiatives. He talks about nurturing relationships with the BBC other broadcast companies. Read the 5 page Aristo newsletter -

John Fogerty has a new album, WROTE A SONG FOR EVERYONE, that will be released on Vanguard Records in the Autumn. The album is a celebration of Fogerty’s iconic songbook -- it is a collection of classics and deep tracks from his remarkable canon of hits as well as some brand new songs, performed alongside an array of today’s biggest superstars, including Foo Fighters (“Fortunate Son”), Bob Seger (“Who’ll Stop The Rain”), Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, My Morning Jacket, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and more.

Victorio Records traditional country music singer/songwriter Michelle Turley adds a benchmark in her career with the release of her highly-anticipated new album Lovely In Blue released , Tuesday, April 3rd on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby. This album which has had some promotion on local BBC country programmes features thirteen tracks co-written by Michelle Turley and includes the critically-acclaimed hit, My X Husband and the newest single, Orange Blossoms In Phoenix.
Since my last single, I’ve enjoyed some time off with family and wrote all new material for this new album,” says Turley. “I’m very proud of this record and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed recording it.”
Turley grew up on a ranch where country music was a huge part of her life. She later became a top international fashion model for the Ford Agency in New York, which included clients like Valentino, Armani, Versace and Donna Karan. Throughout her modeling career, Turley continued to write and record music.

LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2012) – Although a new voice in country music, Tiffany Kuenzi is a stunning artist that is already establishing her place within the industry. After releasing her single, "Tonight," Tiffany has received a continued wave of support and praise for the track, gaining recognition as she steps into the spotlight. With her continued successes, Tiffany's acclaimed "Tonight" has now been nominated as "Best Country Song" for the Indie Music Awards in LA!  Stream her songs at

Edens Edge
Album Artwork

Nashville, TN (April 4, 2012) – Arkansas-bred trio and hot newcomers, Edens Edge, will release their Big Machine Records self-titled, debut album on June 12. Comprised of Hannah Blaylock (lead vocalist), Dean Berner (harmony vocals, guitar, dobro) and Cherrill Green (harmony vocals, mandolin, banjo and guitar), Edens Edge possess a unique musical blend deeply rooted in Country music, acoustic instrumentation and pure vocal harmonies.
The trio has been in the studio perfecting their rootsy signature style, which is evident on their Top 20 debut single, “Amen,” as well as the sassy follow-up, “Too Good To Be True.” Award-winning producers Mark Bright and Dann Huff have each produced tracks for the project.
For years we played music in our hometowns so it’s been thrilling to do what we love on a broader scale, traveling across the country. And now, to release our first album and share our music with so many new fans and our friends at radio is just ‘too good to be true!’” exclaimed Blaylock. “Since releasing our digital EP last year, we’ve been looking forward to this next step and it’s finally here! We couldn’t have predicted the success we’d have with our first single, ‘Amen,’ and hope that our fans fall in love with the new songs, just as we did writing and recording them,” continued Green.

Ramblin’ Music recently launched its Young Guns Publishing division, and company president Cliff Downs announced today singer/songwriter Cyndi Thomson has been signed to the Young Guns roster. Music company Ramblin’ Music, was co-founded by the Atlanta business couple, Gene and Donna Brooks.
Cyndi signed to Capitol Records in 2000, and her debut album, MY WORLD, was released in July 2001. Her first single, “What I Really Meant to Say,” spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart. She co-wrote eight of the eleven songs on the gold-certified album including the debut single. MY WORLD became the best-selling debut album by a female country singer since LeAnn Rimes’ album Blue 1996 and was certified gold within 10 months. Outside of her own recordings, Cyndi co-wrote “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” which became a top five hit for Gary Allan in 2006.
“Having written and worked with Cyndi in the past I can honestly say she is one of the most unique and talented artists I’ve ever met,” said Downs. “We are thrilled that she will be part of our staff and we look forward to the new music that she will be creating with us.”
Her self-imposed hiatus from recording and touring also included writing, and she felt the time was right to again share her work.
I am so happy to call Young Guns my publishing home – they are such a forward thinking company and I am humbled to be surrounded by such creativity and talent,” said Cyndi. “Signing this deal is a new beginning for me and my music. Although I have missed the business, the past few years away have given me invaluable moments and a lot to say! I am approaching this phase of my career with a renewed strength and drive for which I am grateful. I look forward to recording my new music and sharing it.”

Kathy Mattea has signed with Sugar Hill Records. The label has plans to release Calling Me Home, what Mattea describes as a love letter to her home state of West Virginia, later this year. “Signing at Sugar Hill is like coming home. It’s a wonderful fit for the music I am making these days, and I’m so excited to be there,” says Mattea, whose last release COAL was a rootsy tribute to the mining traditions of Appalachia.

Loretta Lynn's Honky Tonk Girl: My Life in Lyrics [Hardcover] (240 pages)] - One of the most beloved country music stars of all time gives us the first collection of her lyrics and, in her own words, tells the stories that inspired her most popular songs, such as "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Don't Come Home A' Drinkin'," and, of course, "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl.

A bit off the country music path but NPR “First Listen” feature currently have full streaming of new albums in their entirety from Bonnie Raitt  and Alabama Shakes
Rough Trade will release Alabama shakes'album BOYS & GIRLS, recorded at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, internationally on April 9. Alabama Shakes are a group covering the Southern rock, soul, Americana, blues rock and garage rock spectrum. They comprise:  vocalist/guitarist Brittany Howard, guitarist Heath Fogg, drummer Steve Johnson, and bassist Zac Cockrell – are based in Athens, AL and began playing together when they were in high school. Official music video for first single "Hold On" >>   YouTube

Listen to the 650 AM WSM Celebration of Life for Earl Scruggs from the Ryman Auditorium here

Stream full tracks at by Shawn Mullins (“Give God The Blues”), Buddy Miller (“I Believe In You”), Carolina Chocolate Drops (“Lights In The Valley”) and Amy Stroup (“Fell Like A Feather) from the album Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us to be released April 24, 2012. They share songs of personal faith - "Not all hymns are found in the pocket on the back of the church pew. Here are some for your consideration from folks who set up their tent out in the left part of the field." Emmylou Harris
Producer and writer Phil Madeira set out with the initiative to find that loving and nourishing part of faith that has become obscured anytime religion reaches mainstream media. In an expansive and spacious conversation of personal belief through song, artists The Civil Wars, Shawn Mullins, Buddy Miller, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mat Kearney, Cindy Morgan, The North Mississippi Allstars, Dan Tyminski, Emmylou Harris, John Scofield, Amy Stroup, and Phil Madeira answer the call.
Enjoy the fab Buddy Miller track, check out the track listing and read more @

Expatriate Australian duo O'Shea perform 'Back To Me' at CMC Rocks The Hunter 2012 >>   YouTube

Season 5's Kellie Pickler returned to the American Idol stage at the Top 8 results show to perform the lead track off her new album 100 Proof. Watch Kellie perform "Where's Tammy Wynette” >>     YouTube

Brad Paisley and Zac Brown Band teamed up a the 2012 ACM Awards an energetic performance of ZBB’s “Whiskey’s Gone.” Paisley, who is known for his great sense of humor, took the stage donning Zac Brown’s signature look- a beanie. Wearing matching caps, the two showcased their guitar skills from the ACM Fan Jam at Mandalay Bay. – Backstage Photo

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