Saturday, 28 April 2012

Country Bites News snippets April 23 – April 27, 2012

Country Bites News snippets April 23 – April 27, 2012

Links / Sources shown in RED

UK & IRISH News have designed and built a new website for UK artist Tim McKay.
They first heard Tim when they were photographing the International Festival of Country Music at Wembley in February. Tim loved the initial visual mockups and the explanation of the site architecture and gave the nod to start building his site. Tim jets off to Nashville for several important meetings that will carve the path of his career. In seven weeks Tim and his band go to Europe to play with Dwight Yoakam, Joey & Rory and Laura Bell Bundy. Featuring dates on the Scandinavian subcontinent including Oslo, Norway and the famous High Chaparral Country Music Festival in Sweden, the boys are gearing up for a great summer.
Tim Mckay – “Goodbye Would Go” from Tim’s album, CHASING DREAMS (Video By Don Binns Clear Cut) >>    YouTube

Lee Williams owner of CMR Nashville talks to new UK country duo Travellin Rose (Kelly Lee and Talia Smith) at a London Hotel about their recently recorded Nashville album to be called OMG (OH MY GOSH ) and their plans to represent the UK at the CMA Arists Global Artist Showcase event in June. Also they are to take part at a Fashion and music event at The Hard Rock in Nashville.
Listen to some of their new songs and interview on

Christy Moore has announced a one-off date for Dunlewey Theatre on Friday, June 15th next.
The former lead-vocalist and chief song-writer of Planxty and Moving Hearts, Moore helped to bring the musical traditions of Ireland up to modern standards and he has been a major inspiration to many modern Irish artists.

Billy Yates is coming to Ireland in May to perform 5 Concerts of Traditional American Country Music and will be joined on all five concerts by Robert Mizzell and on some by Matt Leavy, CC Cooper (photo) and Donegal's newest Country sensation, Sarah-Louise.
The following are the venues: Thursday 17th May - Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny,  Sunday 20th - Red Cow Inn, Dublin, Tuesday 22nd - Riverbank House Hotel, Wexford, Wednesday 23rd - Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan and Thursday 24th - Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran
Making sure Donegal is well represented is young Sarah Louise from Gweedore, whose bi lingual country renditions have just got her noticed in all the right circles.
The announcement of this special evening at the Great Northern Hotel comes after the release of a duet by Mizzel and Yates “Just Be You”, which is getting lots of airplay. Yates' songs have been recorded by the who’s who of Country Music all over the world, including George Jones, Gene Watson, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Sarah Evans, Tracy Lawrence, The Oak Ridge Boys, Robert Mizzell. Yates has built a large and loyal fan-base in Ireland and is, as he says himself, long overdue a trip to the ‘True Home of Country Music”.
Donegal’s own Sarah Louise has been steeped in country music from an early age. Her earliest memory is attending Line Dance Classes at the tender age of 5 and getting a taste for American Country Music. Ever since then, Sarah Louise has been a natural performer, singing and playing the guitar to her family, peers and just about anyone who’d call to her house to hear her play!
Sarah Louise has been gifted with the type of voice you’d only hear in Tennessee or Texas, and not her native Gaoith Dobhair! But ask her who her influences are and she’ll tell you straight – anything American Country! Where else can you hear Bi-Lingual American Country Music?
Sarah Louise has one of those rare qualities these days, an old fashioned sweetness that truly endears her to your heart. Well, Sarah Louise’s dream came true this Year when she recorded her first single, ‘Biouchas Do Dhia Ar Do Shon’(Thank God For You’) and is set to shoot a video in her native Donegal. Sarah Louise sang alongside Tammy Wynette’s daughter, Georgette Jones, when she played in Donegal earlier in 2012

Carrie Underwood Graphi

Carrie Underwood, 29, who has sold 13 million albums will perform at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday June 21, 2012.
She said: “It will be my first time with a UK audience. There needs to be a few country artists out here, to let people know what they’re missing. "I really hope to be one of those voices and show everyone this great genre of music. There is so much talent in country music and I’d love to be an ambassador for it.“I like to think that I play everyone’s country music. It’s a great show and it’s high energy. I think that people can come out and dance"

Carrie told “I’ve heard that it’s quite the big deal. I’ve only been to London as a tourist before.” She added: 'I'm a huge fan of George Michael, Annie Lennox, The Rolling Stones, and of course, Adele.  I want to do that tradition proud. 
'There are so many great British artists doing well in the US at the moment; I want to show the UK another side of America.'
Tickets went on general sale at 10:00 on Friday 27th April.
Standing and Seating £30.25 (£27.50 Ticket + £2.75 Fees) and £49.50 (£45.00 Ticket + £4.50 Fees) – Buy on

Blown Away
Cover Art (Sony Music)

Carrie Underwood's fourth studio album delivers a 14-song collection, BLOWN AWAY, will be released May 1 in America and on June 18th in the UK just 3 days before her London show. ** NOTE * - The Blown Away: Special Edition: UK Version will have 4 bonus tracks
15. Cowboy Casanova (from 'Play On') , 16. Before He Cheats (from 'Some Hearts'), 17. Last Name (from 'Carnival Ride')  &
18. Jesus, Take The Wheel (from 'Some Hearts') – See Full tracklisting
 "I'm excited about Blown Away because I really think it will blow people away," Carrie says. "I felt so great writing for this album. I feel like we really just took it to new places. I feel like I have better stuff than ever and the songs are incredible. There's something for everybody on this album, and I am very excited."

The Country star talks about a song with ABC news that touched her hear on the new album >>  Audio Link
She said one of the writers wrote the song about his mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, but Underwood said it reminds her of her grandmother’s death.“I get emotional even talking about this song to be honest. It’s just beautiful,” Underwood said, tears welling up. “It just becomes very real… and I remember my grandmother at the end of her life, looking at my dad and thinking that that was my grandfather.” “I can never sing this song, like on stage in front of people. I could barely get through it in the studio,” she added.
Carrie Underwood called into KILT’s Foley & Thunder Show to talk about her new album they audio bombed her with David Lee Roth and his screams from the Van Halen song Runnin’ With The Devil… >>  Audio

Canadian singer-songwriter and 2010 CCMA Female Vocalist Victoria Banks has a  NEW single "Jackson" hitting radio in Canada May 1st!  Says Victoria of her new tune, "If this song leaves you with an image of a rusty dark blue 1964 Cadillac Deville speeding through southern Mississippi at midnight with a bloody handprint smeared across the trunk lid, then I've done my job.  I can't say that I'd advocate fighting firepower with firepower, but if you've got any stored up tension or frustrated dreams of avenging an injustice. just sing along with this song as loud as you can and it should clear them right up."
The song is drawn from from 2011 album Never Be the Same
In the Autumn Victoria heads out on her first tour in the United States kicking off in Marysville, OH September 13, and includes dates throughout New England and the Midwest.

Little Big Town (nominated in the CMT performance of the year category) along with Today host Hoda Kotb and guest co-host Willie Geist revealed the 2012 CMT Music Awards Nominations. Carrie Underwood leads the way with five nominations, Miranda Lambert got 4 (two as a member of country trio and first-time nominees Pistol Annies), Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars and Thompson Square are next in line, tied for three nominations each.
The 2012 CMT Music Awards marks the 11th anniversary of the show and will air live from Nashville on June 6
(UKPA) Taylor Swift could be playing legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell on the big screen. The US country music star - who has previously appeared in romantic comedy Valentine's Day - is currently in talks about portraying the music icon in upcoming drama Girls Like Us, reports Variety.The film will follow the careers of Mitchell, Carly Simon, and Carole King.

Austin American-Statesman, Jay Janner
 (Associated Press )

Willie Nelson helped unveil a statue honouring him in downtown Austin by singing his new song "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die."The faint smell of marijuana smoke wafted through a crowd of about 2,000 people as Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell accepted on the privately funded statue as a gift from a private arts group. Organizers said they didn't intentionally choose April 20 for the event, but once they found out, they scheduled the unveiling at 4:20 p.m. as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Nelson's openness about his marijuana use and advocacy for its legalization.The statute stands in front of the Moody Theater, where the Austin City Limits Studio is now located. Nelson, a 10-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 40 million copies of his 150 albums, appeared on the first episode of the public television show in 1974."He is the man who more than other made Austin the live music capital of the world," Leffingwell said.
 - Country singer Willie Nelson looks at his statue during the unveiling of an eight-foot statue of himself, Friday, April 20, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The privately-funded monument near the new Moody Theater shows Nelson in a relaxed, standing pose and holding his guitar to the side, as if in conversation."
The Willie Monument is the third statue put up by Capital Area Statues Inc., a group of prominent Texas writers, film producers and musicians. Lawrence Wright, one of the group’s founders, said April 20 was chosen because Nelson was scheduled to perform at a tribute to Johnny Cash in Austin that night, not because of the counterculture significance. “We didn’t know anything about it; it seems everyone else knew the story on this,” Wright said, laughing. He said he didn’t think Nelson was doing it intentionally either, but said the group decided to embrace the city’s unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird” by scheduling the unveiling at 4:20 p.m. (Associated Press –

The Band Perry are building their International fan base, after playing a couple of shows in Europe earlier this year and they head back overseas for some shows in July, which they're very excited about because, as Kimberly Perry explains,"We're just kind of getting to know the international community.  That's a big goal of ours this year is to begin to collect fans overseas." The Band Perry has five shows planned in Ireland and the UK in early July, so unfortunately they won't be able to send home a "Postcard From Paris," but they might be able to drop some in the mail from Dublin or London. (Neil Haislop - Country Forever Productions)

It's been seven years since The Mavericks played a live show as a group and now that they are back together and have recorded a new album they are about to hit the stage in a pretty big way.  Their first official show, aside from a few industry showcases and charity events, will be at Southern California's Stagecoach Festival (Fri 27 April – Sun 29 April - See Flyer) , an event that draws over 100,000 people annually.  Robert Reynolds explains, "Well we committed to Stagecoach because A, it's a prestigious festival that we respect … and also committed to it being our coming out party and it is that.  So we didn't want to compromise that by doing a private ten day sweep through the Midwest to get ready.  So we are really gonna go out with nervous energy.  But when we hit Stagecoach Festival it will really be, 'Are we on? I think we are, let's go,' you know?"  The first new Mavericks single is due to drop in coming weeks. (Neil Haislop - Country Forever Productions)

Keith Urban, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Croc Dundee are personalities you might not expect to see sharing the same stage. But in the wax world anything can happen. Madame Tussauds wax museum opened it’s doors down under in Sydney, Australia last week. Among the usual suspects of Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth is Keith Urban and his famous actress of a wife Nicole Kidman.

Keith’s doppelganger took 60 artists close to 800 hours to finish and is worth about $220,000, according to the museum.
Meanwhile in London England Keith’s “You’re My Better Halve” wife is a lone figure at Madame Tussauds. (See Flickr Photo)
Urban married Kidman in 2006.

The wax model of Keith Urban.

(Left) A model of Angelina Jolie gets a finishing touch as Zoe Walton fixes her makeup.
Picture: John Grainger Source: The Daily Telegraph

Country music Hall of Fame member George Jones is recuperating from upper respiratory infection and continues to rest at his Franklin, Tennessee home.  Although, George is doing much better, doctors are ordering mandatory recovery time forcing all tour dates through May 20th, including the entire Canadian run to be postponed - Nashville, Tenn(April 26, 2012)
Meanwhile The Tennesan reports that George Jones and daughter Georgette Lennon are in the middle of a now-public family feud
"I would like to apologize for my daughter Georgette and her new husband (Jamie Lennon) for putting so much bad things about me on the Internet and Facebook," said Jones in the video. "None of these things are true. They are all about money. I have gave and gave until I can no longer give. I will never let her go hungry, but I am tired of putting out, and I am not the person they claim I am."
Georgette Jones & husband
Jamie Lennon
 photo by Jerry overcast

Lennon, 41, said she is "completely devastated" by his message and denies making any negative statements about him. Georgette’s mother was country singer Tammy Wynette, who died in 1998.

"All I've ever wanted is to have a relationship with my dad and for him to know how much I love him and for him to love me and want to be a part of my life," she told The Associated Press. "I had hoped that we could resolve this between the two of us privately and at some point he would talk to me. Unfortunately, things have escalated even further."
Lennon said their relationship became strained a couple years ago when she became friends with her two brothers from Jones' second marriage. She said Jones had a falling out with his two sons about 20 years ago, and does not communicate with them.
She said her relationship with her father reached a breaking point last year when she was planning her Oct. 29 wedding.

Bonnie Raitt
Photo by: Marina Chavez

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) April 26, 2012 – The  Americana Music Association announced the selection of  Bonnie Raitt to receive its coveted Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance at the Association’s 11th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony, slated for Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.  As this year’s honoree, Raitt joins a distinguished list of previous recipients, which includes Gregg Allman, Wanda Jackson, Asleep at the Wheel, Jason & the Scorchers, Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Chris Hillman, Levon Helm and Emmylou Harris. 
Raitt will also participate in the Artist Keynote Interview during the Americana Music Festival & Conference. The in-depth interview, hosted by NPR Music’s Ann Powers, is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 12 and is open to conference attendees.
Throughout her career, Bonnie Raitt has celebrated and shaped American roots music. More than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer and accomplished songwriter, Raitt has become an institution in American music. A nine-time GRAMMY winner, Raitt was named one of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" by Rolling Stone and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Throughout her career, she’s combined old-school, country-blues grounding with a contemporary outlook and a willingness to experiment.  Bonnie Raitt has left an indelible mark Americana Music as we know it today.

Miranda Lambert side project girl group the Pistol Annies will perform on her ‘On Fire’ tour starting April 26, so in effect Miranda will now be opening for herself!
Miranda also made People’s Most Beautiful list this week. She said she knows that being a country superstar comes with pressure to look a certain way. "All these stars are so tiny, and they spend their lives trying to be skinny," she told Health in 2011. "I'm representing normal girls. It's OK to have a little bit of curve. I'm happy with my body. So many girls come up to me and say, 'Thank you for being normal,' and I'm proud of that." the California, online magazine publisher has announced their 4th Annual list of 100 Hottest Celebrity Couples.
What makes a couple hot? Well in the case of their listing, they loked at four criteria:
 Popularity, Success, Attractiveness, and Staying Power. Through a complicated system best described as "science," they have come up with a score for each category and compiled a total score for each couple, which ultimately decides their rankings.

LeAnn Rimes & Eddie Cibrian
 Bonafide country couple Faith Hill & Tim McGraw (#28) top the listing with new music out and hot off an Australian tour. CMA’s reigning Female and Male award winners Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton (#50) have moved up 8 places. London, England bound Carrie Underwood and her Canadian ice hockey player Mike Fisher who plays for Nashville Predators are at #39 down from last years #22. The couple met at one of Underwood's concerts in Toronto in 2008
Josh Kelley, (the brother of Charles Kelley from member of Lady Antebellum) who is married to American actress and producer Katherine Heigl made a bid to break into the country scene in 2011 and met with limited success. They are the proud parents of one daughter, 3-year-old Naleigh, who they adopted from South Korea. Now the couple have reportedly expanded their family with the adoption of another little girl. The news was confirmed by Heigl’s rep Jill Fritzo to People saying only, “Yes they have adopted a baby”. No further details available at this time.
Julianne Hough the former Dancing with the Stars pro tried breaking into the country music scene in 2010, but didn't gain commercial success. She scored better on the big screen as danced through 2011's Footloose. American Idol TV host and personality Ryan Seacrest has been romancing her.
LeAnn Rimes released a critically acclaimed covers project LADY & GENTLEMEN and has another new album slated for release in the pipeline. LeAnn Rimes and her American actor husband Eddie Cibrian are celebrating one year of wedded bliss. They met when they starred in the 2009 made-for-tv movie Northern Lights. The two exchanged gifts of jewelry, a ring for her and a watch for him, enjoyed romantic meals, and stayed at the house they got married in. The couple were even presented with a tiny replica of their wedding cake. See the Full listing at

Of Country interest on the Top 100:
12. Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth (Photo by Getty Images)
18. Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin, Last year's rank: 50 (Photo by Getty Images)
24. Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban,  Last year's rank: 26  (Photo by Getty Images)
28. Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Last year's rank: 19 (Photo by FameFlynet Pictures)
39. Carrie Underwood & Mike Fisher, Last year's rank: 22 (Photo by Getty Images)
47. Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley, Last year's rank: 75 (Photo by Getty Images)
50. Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton, Last year's rank: 58  (Photo by Getty Images)
52. Ryan Seacrest & Julianne Hough, Last year's rank: 52  (Photo by Getty Images)
96. LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian, (Photo by Bauer Griffin)

Instagram photos

Taylor Swift and her friends got all dressed up for a party now and then. No black miniskirts and red high heels but opting for ribbons and lace, looking more like something out of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ than ‘Sex and the City.’ Swift and friend Claire Kislinger hit the town adorned in more vintage lace dresses accompanied by two friends — one of whom was Dianna Agron from ‘Glee’ — to celebrate the 77th birthday of actress Shirley MacLaine. “We dressed up full-time fancy and went out in celebration of Shirley MacLaine’s birthday,” Swift shared.

She got legs and she knows how to use em’ but now Hollywood plastic surgeons are speculating that Taylor Swift may have breast implants or could it be she is wearing a special bra? The Hollywood lifestyle may finally be rubbing off on Tay Tay. Recent photos of the 22-year-old singer suggest she may have undergone breast augmentation — and experts agree!
The country star appears to be following in the footsteps of another female country singer, Dolly Parton, and enhanced her breasts,” plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn tells
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Fleming agrees, adding, “I think it’s pretty obvious that’s she’s had breast enhancement. It looks very nice and proportional.” Dr. Youn believes Taylor increased her cup size from a small A to a striking.
Before and after - photo

Alan Jackson‘s lake house is back on the market. Several years ago, the house went up for sale for $3.9 Million. Now, the house is about 6,100 square feet and boasts a theater room and a new kitchen. The house has stunning views, stone fireplaces, and a helicopter pad. The 3.6-acre estate, on a gated, private peninsula near Smithville, Tenn., is now listed for $4,995,000 !!  Take a look around the property at the

Brad Paisley  made a guest appearance as an animated version of himself on South Park. Over the weekend, Paisley visited the South Park Studios in California and was invited to be part of the next episode. Paisley's cartoon likeness was seen twice in the episode, first while singing the national anthem at a Denver Nuggets game and again in a duet with Cartman, one of the main characters.

BNA/COLUMBIA RECORDS artist Joanna Smith, is participating in the Country Music Marathon in Nashville this weekend, running her very first half marathon (13.1 miles), and will also be singing the “National Anthem,” to kick off the race for 30,000 runners and walkers, who will be converging on MUSIC CITY for the big event. JOANNA is supporting St. Jude Children’s Research.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Chris Talbott, AP) - Zac Brown Band's new album UNCAGED out July 10, 2012.
Describing the new Zac Brown Band album is anything but simple."It's your basic country-Southern rock-bluegrass-reggae-jam record," Brown joked. Brown says its 11 tracks further push the boundaries of what fans can expect from the Atlanta-based band.
He said the group has added Daniel de los Reyes, a percussionist who's worked with Earth, Wind & Fire, Sting and Jennifer Lopez among others. His addition to the already existing rhythm section of bassist John Driskell Hopkins and drummer Chris Fryar has allowed the band to expand its sound into new territory.

Kasey Chambers’ writes on her  Facebook page: Shane [Nicholson] and I are heading into the studio on Monday to start recording another album together!

Jana Kramer
Album Artwork

Nashville’s newest breakout singer/songwriter, Jana Kramer, will release her self-titled debut album on June 5th, 2012, which she is currently finishing with award-winning producer Scott Hendricks (Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn). With an audience over 10.6 million in only 10 weeks since it’s country radio debut, “Why Ya Wanna” continues to climb the chart at a record setting pace, already moving to the Top 25 on the charts.
Kramer, who starred as Alex Dupre on the CW hit One Tree Hill, has sold almost 250,000 digital singles to date, including “Why Ya Wanna” which racked up an impressive 55 radio adds upon release and solidified her as the most added debut artist in the history of Country Aircheck. The country newcomer made her Grand Ole Opry debut when she took the legendary stage on April 13th.
“Why Ya Wanna” Official Video >>   YouTube

The Boot reports Lee Ann Womack is back in the studio doing what she does best: putting vocals on a set of carefully-chosen songs for an upcoming album.
Picking songs for the new project was an interesting process for the singer. "I didn't write anything on it," Lee Ann tells The Boot. "It's funny, I was feeling weird about that and my husband (producer Frank Liddell) said, 'If outside songs are good enough for Willie Nelson, they should be good enough for you!' I had to agree with that."
"When we sat down to meet with her before we began recording," Frank recalls, "she was sitting there ... and my wife's not the tallest person in the world. She was swinging her feet and she said, 'I've never made a record where it was all about me'! As you grow as an artist, you want to do different things. Lee Ann wanted something wide open ... so we immediately tracked the record with a handful of sides, just six people, and the rest of it with four people. So it's a very sparse record and hopefully her voice is wide open and right in the middle of it. That's our focus. We didn't get too worried about songs or what she needed to say. We just took a bunch of great songs we'd amassed over the years and went into the studio. We've always gotten along real well song-wise."

Lee Ann Womack
at TheNashville Film Festival

While the new album doesn't have a release date yet, it does have a title: THE WAY THAT I'M LIVING. "That probably tells you right there it's a classic record dealing with the themes I always sing about, which is real life," she notes.

On Wednesday night (April 25) Lee Ann walked the red carpet at the Nashville Film Festival for the world premiere of "Hank Cochran: Livin' for a Song." When asked if there was one of the late songwriter's tunes on her new CD, Lee Ann had to stop and think a moment, since she's recorded his tunes in the past and also shared a friendship with him until his death in 2010. "No not this time. I met Hank through our mutual friend Dale Dodson. The three of us would write or go to eat or I'd go out to Hank's house to hang out and talk about music and just listen to Hank's stories." Cochran, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer who composed “I Fall to Pieces” and “Make the World Go Away,” died in 2010 at 74“
It’s a very special event for me because I get to see other people see Hank Cochran’s story,” said Lee Ann Womack, who counted cut his “He’ll Be Back.” ..“Hank is truly a superstar in this town. ... He was one of the people that made Nashville what it is.”

Inside Music Row

(Nashville, Tenn. – April 25, 2012) Country music news and entertainment program Inside Music Row is celebrating the airing of its 250th episode this week, April 23-29. With the recent addition of Rural TV network to its list of affiliates, the Nashville-based television show now broadcasts to more than 83 million U.S. households via a cross-section of  major network affiliates, satellite and cable systems.  This week’s episode of Inside Music Row includes coverage of the ACM Awards, Darryl Worley and the new Grascals CD release.
We pride ourselves on bringing a variety of stories and unique events to the fans each week on Inside Music Row,” says Inside Music Row Director Brian Covert.  I think it’s particularly gratifying to watch the careers of new artists take off.  To think that we may have helped to expose them to new audiences around the world is a great feeling.”
In addition to its list of U.S. affiliates, the weekly program also airs internationally in more than 40 million households overseas.  It is currently available through Sky/Showcase TV (403) in the UK (Monday) and Ireland, CMC Australia and Country 99 TV in New Zealand. Inside Music Row News - Week of April 23, 2012  >>   YouTube
I’m really proud of our entire team at Inside Music Row. They all work very hard and are dedicated to bringing viewers all over the world the latest happenings and Country music news each week,” says IMR Executive Producer Jeff Moseley.  “After 250 episodes, we are still breaking new ground and watching our viewership expand, which means a lot to us.”

Nashville, Tenn. Curb Records – (April 25, 2012) – Award-winning singer/songwriter, Lee Brice, launches his new album, Hard 2 Love, with the lead single, “A Woman Like You,” having reached No. 1 and the next single, “Hard to Love,” hitting radio now. With Hard 2 Love, an ACM Award for “Song of the Year,” and his first No. 1 as a vocalist, Brice’s career is soaring to new heights.
HARD 2 LOVE gives audiences a glimpse into Brice’s current place in life.  In addition to songs explicitly written by Brice for his fiancé and son, the album contains an assortment of songs that cover a multitude of emotions from boisterous party songs to songs about coping with the loss of a loved one.
Brice commented on the selection of tracks: “Everything on the new album is very pertinent to who I am right now and where I am in my life. I have some very personal stuff on there, and had to be really honest with it. Hopefully, folks will see that.”
In addition to co-producing the album, Brice has co-written eight of the 13 tracks. 12 of these songs are currently charting inside the iTunes Top 200 songs on the Country chart.

Journalist Peter Cooper has a Tennessean article which features Phil Madeira, the man behind the new MERCYLAND: HYMNS FOR THE REST OF US project , which includes contributing artists Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris and the Carolina Chocolate Drops..

CMT/ NASHVILLE SKYLINE columnist Chet Flippo writes about the ebb and flow of country music over past decades, its innovators and the primitive touring conditions and situations of country music's true pioneers.

Released this week (25 April 2012) by publisher  University of Illinois Press in hardback is the 304 page Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins (Music in American Life) . It is the first biography of this legendary country music artist and NASCAR driver who scored sixteen number-one hits and two Grammy awards"The e arly years of Marty's career are well covered and he topped the country charts for 13 weeks with Singing the Blues in 1956... It is a well-told and informative biography of a great but over looked country star." - Spencer Leigh, Country Music People, February 2012.

Carrie Underwood
Billboard Q & A Interview

Before Carrie Underwood's hotly anticipated fourth album release (Tuesday 1 May, 2012) she sat down with Chuck Dauphin for a Billboard Live Q&A on April 27.

She answered fan questions live on camera, discussed her album and chatted about life on the road.

Peter Cooper of The Tennessean talks with Tim O’Brien about his family bandYou read about the average American family, and that’s so many times equated with normal,” says O’Brien, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, who with his kids, sister, brother-in-law and nieces has just recorded an album of Roger Miller songs called REINCARNATION under the name O’Brien, Party of 7. “But have you ever met the average person?”

Darryl Worley’s first album in two years, ONE TIME AROUND, is slated for June release, the same month he’ll host the three-day BamaJam music extravaganza, and that’s just for starters.The man behind more than twenty charted hit singles including “A Good Day to Run,” “I Miss My Friend,” “Have you Forgotten” and more took some time from his busy schedule to talk to OurStage for an exclusive Q & A about his latest single, his new album and more.

Americana act Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three drop into the Proper Music studio to chat to Trevor Dann and play some live tracks from their latest album Middle Of Everywhere. Pokey & Adam talk archtop guitars, Joey unveils the Chadwick folding bass and Ryan gives us the low-down on his customised washboard - Listen on

Aussie duo McAlister Kemp’s (Drew McAlister and Troy Kemp) new video “Cold Beer, Hot Women” from the ARIA #1 Country album COUNTRY PROUD through ABC Music/Universal Music >>    YouTube

The video features a number of exciting cameos including an appearance from Australian born Italian Playboy Playmate of the Year, Lauren Vickers (pictured).

Keith Urban was formerly inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Keith cutting the cake with the knife Marty Stuart gave him that night - Photo

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