Saturday, 16 June 2012

Country Bites News snippets June 11 – June 15, 2012

Country Bites News snippets June 11 – June 15, 2012

Links / Sources shown in RED

Jimmy Hendry, who plays in John McNicholl's band, has just released an album called THE TIME HAS COME. Jimmy is one of the hugely respected musicians and singers on the Irish scene. And he has also been given the thumbs-up by one of his great admirers, the legendary American country singer Gene Watson. Jimmy has shared the stage with Gene Watson many times. "I've a lot of friends but I'm short on buddies, Jimmy is a buddy," Gene has said

Nashville TN (Monday, June 11, 2012) – Universal Music Group Nashville recording artist, Texas native Kacey Musgraves, 23, will open for Lady Antebellum in select cities on their record-breaking Own The Night 2012 World Tour in Europe this summer. (PHOTO)
I feel so lucky and excited to be going out on the road - and halfway around the world - with Lady Antebellum,” exclaimed Musgraves. “I'm gonna bring my Lady-A game!"
Kacey with Loretta Lynn
Kacey is a really talented singer/songwriter, and we’re just big fans of her music,” said Lady A’s Charles Kelley.  Keith Urban was gracious enough to invite us to Australia with him a few years ago, so we know what a big opportunity it is for a new artist to be able to go tour overseas.   We’re excited to take Kacey with us!”
Musgraves is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on her debut album, which she is co-producing with Shane McAnally and Luke Laird.  Her debut single will be released later this year.
Kacey, a Texas native, began singing publicly at 8-years-old and wrote her first song at 9-years-old. To date, that talent has produced cuts for multi-platinum artists such as Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert. Miranda’s current album includes Kacey’s co-written track “Mama’s Broken Heart” which Rolling Stone Magazine ranked #26 in their “50 Best Singles of 2011” list.
Musical influences include Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, Lee Ann Womack, Ryan Adams, John Prine and Willie Nelson.  Kacey was honoured to open for Willie Nelson last year and was just announced as the only opening act on John Mayer’s 2012 US tour.

Matraca Berg has announced some UK Dates -
Sunday, November 4th - The Arches, Glasgow
Monday, November 5th - The Sage, Gateshead
Tuesday, November 6th -Memorial Hall,Barkers Pool,Sheffield
Thursday, November 8th - The Stables, Wavendon
Friday, November 9th - Bush Hall, London
Saturday, November 10th - The Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd 
Sunday, November 11th - The Assembly, Leamington Spa
Wednesday, November 14th - Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton
Matraca - “I am bringing along an amazing trio. can't wait to rehearse and record! “

The Band Perry have announced that due to delays finishing their new album, the band will be unable to meet their July touring commitments. This affects those with tickets to see them in Empire Music Hall on July 4th. That date is now cancelled and a new date in Mandela Hall on 14th November 2012 will take its place. The July 3rd Vicar Street is now cancelled but the band now hope to get back to Dublin another time. Refunds are available at point of purchase.

Will Banister has added a 5th UK show playing in Basildon, Essex on 19th September, 2012 at The Towngate Theatre, Basildon, Essex SS14 1DL -

Mayor of Donegal, Cllr Noel Mc Bride, will bestow Freedom of the County on Daniel O’Donnell on Friday 22nd June at 3pm in County House Lifford. Freedom of the County is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a citizen of Donegal. Mayor Cllr Noel Mc Bride said he would be honoured to grant Freedom of the County to Daniel O’Donnell in recognition for his contribution to the music industry, his work for charity and the great ambassador he is for our county on the world stage. Daniel never forgets his roots and as he puts it himself, “there’s always a fire in the kitchen, there’s always a kettle on the boil”. That sums up the Donegal Cead Mile Failte!

Daniel O'Donell signing
Meanwhile The Pets In Distress charity have got their hands on one of Daniel’s waistcoats which they plan to auction.
The waistcoat was donated by the singer himself. But not even he could have expected to see an opening asking bid of £5,000.
The bidding has been put on ebay in a bid to see how many Daniel fans around the globe are prepared to dig deep.

Queen Elizabeth II must have been suitably impressed by Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow’s duet covering Lady Antebellums’ “Need You Now” ! Today Sat 16 June,  Gary Barlow, who organized a Diamond Jubilee concert for the queen this month featuring Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Elton John, was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, for his services to entertainment and to charity.

Ron Block has a CD/DVD in the works. He has started work on a new solo recording as he has breaks in the Alison Krauss & Union Station tour schedule this summer. He says that the theme of this album will be an artistic collaboration with a new co-writer. “The CD is made up mostly of secular songs co-written with Rebecca Reynolds, a poet, writer, and lyricist from Kentucky living in East Tennessee. She is exceptionally gifted with creating pictures with words in the listener’s mind.
We’ve written more than twenty-five songs since August, and have culled those down to those which fit a more bluegrass/acoustic music recording. We’ve also written a Gospel song for the record, and I’ll also include one of mine. (Bluegrass Today)

Michelle Wright is currently on a radio tour in Canada promoting her brand new single “Another Good Day”. She catches up with her latest news with AM1380’s David Georgeff in Brantford Ontario and showcases a brand new song “Back To You  live in the studio >>   Audio Link

The CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL, held last week in Nashville, from Thursday, JUNE 7th - Sunday, June 10th, set a new attendance record for the festival with a total of 71,000 fans. That's a 9.2 percent increase over the 2011 total of 65,000, and a sell out for the 3rd consecutive year at LP FIELD. This year's increase was attributed to expanded seating at LP FIELD for the nightly concerts and milder than normal temperatures. The 2013 dates for the festival have already been announced for Thurs June 6th to Sunday June 9th.

The heat was on and the fans felt it despite cooler weather than 2011, more people were treated during the first day of this year’s CMA Music Festival than during last year’s festival.according to Vanderbilt LifeFlight officials.On Thursday 7 June, LifeFlight Event Medicine treated 163 people for heat-related illness in downtown Nashville. Five were taken to area hospitals.

Reba with the
Annie Oakley Society Award

On Thursday June 7, Reba McEntire the Country Music Hall of Famer, 57, returned to her home state to receive the Annie Oakley Society Award at a luncheon at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Gov. Mary Fallin, the state’s first female governor, called McEntire a “shining star of Oklahoma” as she presented the multi-talented entertainer with the award, a bronze statuette of the Western legend that was designed by Deborah Fellows.“Reba McEntire embodies the spirit of Oklahoma and certainly upholds the Annie Oakley Society’s name and all that it stands for. Reba has been a true trailblazer throughout her entire career in entertainment, in business, as a wife and as a mother. She has been able to do all these things while breaking through many barriers,” Fallin said.

Reba's favourite role of her career, which ranges from music and movies to TV and fashion design, was playing her heroine Annie Oakle on Broadway - “I got to play a character whom I admired. I got to be playing with other folks on the stage. I got to act in costume, change costumes a lot and dance and sing. So it was always the things I love to do wrapped up in one package,” McEntire said.

After meeting and greeting with fans for more than nine hours on Thursday (6/7) at CMA Music Festival between signings in Fan Fair Hall and the full capacity crowd at his fan club party, RCA Recording artist Chris Young had to leave home to play a full weekend of shows.Despite the miles between them, the Grammy-nominated singer still wanted to do more to show his appreciation over the four-day festival to the people who have loyally supported his music and career. While waiting to take the stage for Miranda Lambert’s “On Fire” tour in Indianapolis on Friday (6/8), Young employed Netwave Technology so that he could spend another hour hosting a virtual meet & greet with his fans back in Nashville. As fans waited in line at Young’s booth at CMA Music Festival, the singer video chatted with each person individually and signed a digital photo. Young was the only artist this year to host a virtual meet-and-greet from Fan Fair Hall at CMA Music Festival.

In a recent interview with England’s The Independent, Carrie Underwood has expressed her support of gay marriage. Carrie is described as “the musical darling of American conservatives”: a God-fearing farm girl from Oklahoma who became a music phenomenon on the back of wholesome hit records about faith, family and the greatness of the US. With this development are things set to change? It could potentially outrage her many fans on the religious right.

Carrie Underwood
All American Girl

She cited her marriage to pro hockey player Mike Fisher and her Christian faith as encouraging her to speak out about her beliefs, reports Billboard. "As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry," she said. "I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love."

The endorsement, in interview with The Independent, puts Underwood in the line of fire of one of America's most divisive social debates. President Barack Obama recently endorsed same-sex unions, indicating that he wishes to make the subject a key talking point in the forthcoming presidential election. Carrie is due to arrive in England, in preparation for Thursday 21 June, when the Royal Albert Hall will host her first-ever UK concert.
Carrie’s next single is to be the title cut “Blown Away” which follows her No. 1 hit last week, "Good Girl." Her label, 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville, will begin seeking airplay for the new single on July 9.

Frances Wiliams Preston
(Billboard Photo)

Frances Williams Preston, longtime president/CEO of BMI, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a pioneering executive in the music industry, died on June 13 morning in Nashville from congestive heart failure, according to a release from a representative for her family. She was 83.Preston, who founded BMI's Nashville office in 1958, was the first female executive in the country music industry and rose through the ranks to become the New York-based BMI president for 18 years before retiring in 2004. In the process, she influenced the careers of multitudes of artists and songwriters, including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Brian Wilson, Hank Williams, Isaac Hayes and Johnny Cash.
In her role, Preston fought vigorously to defend songwriters' copyrights and maximize their earnings.Preston is credited with coining the Nashville music community's unofficial mantra - "It all begins with a song" - and her own attachment to words and music, and the people who create them, began early in her career.(Read more on the story at Billboard)

Jewel is normally known as a beautiful blonde-haired, hazel-eyed singer. But thank to a little hair dye and blue-tinted contacts, she has made a successful transformation to the late wife of Johnny Cash. Jewel will be playing June Carter Cash, the wife of legendary singer Johnny Cash, in a Lifetime biopic about the late ‘Jackson’ songstress. “Here I am as June in my trailer with her blue eyes and perfect teeth,” Jewel tweeted. Last month, she also shared that she was being fitted for prosthetic straight teeth.

Ronnie Dunn is no longer with Arista. The singer apparently made the announcement via Facebook. Dunn, who released an album last year on the label, said, "Deal with Sony is over. Next chapter. Moving on," according to The Boot,

Selena Gomez & Taylor Swift
Justin Bieber's girlfriend Selena Gomez is eyeing collaborations with Taylor Swift and pop rockers Fun as she prepares to resume her music career after a short hiatus. She put her singing aspirations on hold to boost her acting resume, taking roles in teen comedy Spring Breakers, Adam Sandler's animated movie Hotel Transylvania, and an action film with Ethan Hawke.

The 19-year-old star also wants a more mature sound when she begins working on a follow-up to her last release, When The Sun Goes Down. She adds, "I want to go for producers that probably wouldn't want me to do their songs.... I just want to knock on their door. I also want to work with Fun. I want to work with just different styles of music. "I also want to work with Taylor (Swift) too. So I just want to do different things for this album”.

Average Joes Entertainment's Colt Ford has shipped his lead single, "Back," from his forthcoming album DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, to country radio. The new single, with its standout and relatable lyrics, features Colt Ford with RCA Records Label Nashville star Jake Owen.
Written by Colt Ford, Shannon Houchins, Noah Gordon, and Mike Hartnett, "Back" is a compelling single filled with meaningful lyrics that come straight out of Colt Ford's childhood memories. "This is such a personal song for me.  It’s my life.  It’s about my past and my future.  I talk about friends that are no longer here and I talk about the way I grew up,” explains Ford.  "To have one of my best friends in the music business, Jake Owen, be a part of this song with me is a big deal.  It's a song that I wanted a friend of mine to be a part of and Jake is just on fire and one of my favorite singers. He captured the emotion that I had in this song.  I think everyone, when they hear this song, will want to call home” (Nashville, TN (June 12, 2012) -- Press Release)

Bobby Bare, who just turned 77 years old is readying a new yet-untitled project. A couple of the songs are actual Bare originals, along with songs written by Tom Waits, Alejandro Escovedo, Bob Dylan and Leadbelly.
Bobby Bare
(courtesy CMT photo)
It was a scene that made country legend Bobby Bare have a little bit of déjà vu. After all, he had been here before -- many times. "Shame On Me," "Detroit City," "500 Miles Away From Home," and so many others from his RCA years were all recorded at the label's historic Studio B on Nashville's historic Music Row. That is also the location where Bare is recording his forthcoming album for Plowboy Records.

As Bare showed up to the studio last week for a session, he simply summed up his emotions by saying "It's a weird feeling. Very weird."
Though five decades have passed since his first session, the singer remembers that first time - in very vivid detail. "I see Chet Atkins all over the place," he says referring the legendary guitarist, RCA label head, and producer. "When I look out in the studio, I still remember where everybody was supposed to be sitting. For instance, I know the piano should be turned around because Floyd Cramer used to sit with his back to the wall. It's all kind of spooky."
He also remembers his first record cut at the studio, "Shame On Me," a top ten record form 1962. "That was my first record in the studio. When I opened my mouth, that's what came out - 'Shame On Me.' Bare reflected the song came along at a great time. "You talk about luck. I was broke and needed money. But, I was never in debt to RCA. They owed me from the day they released the records," he says with a grin. (To read Chuck Dauphin’s article in full visit

Josh Turner
Cover Art (Amazon)
Josh Turner celebrated the release of his fifth studio album, PUNCHING BAG (MCA Nashville), to stores on Tuesday June 12.
The UK's MAVERICK magazine says, "It's always tough to bring something new to a musical genre, but Josh Turner has achieved that near-impossible task again and again, yet has never overlooked just where country music has come from. It's [his] skill at taking stock of everyday situations...some of them quite mundane... and turning them into musical classics that makes him possibly the most important artist to have emerged in country music for years and years."  (Full details on EB Media)
The first single from the new album, "Time Is Love," is the fastest moving single of Josh's career. Josh co-wrote eight of the 11 tracks on Punching Bag, many penned within the four walls of his newly built cabin located on his property behind his home to serve as a 'songwriter's den' and personal getaway. The cabin is inspired by his homestate of South Carolina and, Josh admits, contains some of his most prized possessions. 

** “Punching above her radio station" ? Tune into BBC Radio Shropshire's lovely Marie Crichton to listen to a recorded interview with the country music heavyweight Josh “'Tornado of Testosterone” Turner regarding the album this Monday June 18, between 7 -9pm UK Time (available for 7 days - Showpage) Musically Marie’s show packs a punch, it would be a blow to miss it!

LEBANON, Tenn. (June 12, 2012) – The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive music program, have released of Edens Edge – Deluxe Edition CD. The release includes three additional exclusive tracks and coincides with the hot newcomers’
with the hot newcomers’ self-titled, standard edition on Big Machine Records.
Edens Edge performing Too Good To Be True. (C) 2012 Big Machine Records, LLC.
 >>   YouTube

19 Recordings/BNA Records’ Casey James is releasing his new single “Crying On A Suitcase” to radio. This is the follow-up to his Top 20 debut single, “Let’s Don’t Call It A Night” from his self-titled debut album. “I’m excited that ‘Crying On A Suitcase’ is my new single,” shares Casey. “This song is so intense and emotional. The idea of someone right on the verge of losing their loved one, and doing everything to keep it from happening. Who hasn’t been there?”

Mindy Smith's Self-Titled FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM and her First Independent Release comes out on Giant Leap/TVX REcords June 26th. Her 21 date CLOSER TOUR in support of the album starts in America July 1st 2012 with supporting acts Rosi Golan and Angel Snow. EPK >>  YouTube

Jason Aldean’s next album is slated to be out in October. When he returns from touring mid July he’ll cut new music and start gearing up for a new single as well.

Jake Owen is currently working on a summer-themed EP he plans a digital release on iTunes.

With many countries celebrating Father's Day on the third Sunday of June (16th, 2012) share:

1) OFFSTAGE: Top 10 Fatherhood Moments in Recent Country Music History - Link

2) Daddy Songs: CMT list a Dozen Memorable Salutes and Smacks to the Old Man and some honourable mentions - Link

Ourstage had an Exclusive Q and A: Darius Rucker Talks Prince, His Next Album and “Hootie”
OS: I understand you’ve almost completed your next album. What can you tell us about that?
DR: We have already cut about six songs and I’m always writing. We will go back in a week or so and cut. And we should have a single coming out ["True Believers"] in a week or two. I am very, very, very excited about that. We’ve really stepped it up. It doesn’t sound like the first two records. I was writing the song and [my co writer] came in with this great idea. The great thing about working with him is that he and I are in the same place in our lives. The whole song is a country story and I’ve never sung a song like this before. The chorus is so different from anything I have ever done before.He had this great idea and he had the first verse and part of the chorus and then we got really deep into it. I said “I think we got a single.”

Now that North Dakotan Gwen Sebastian has become known from her appearance on "The Voice," and many other shows the Season 2 contestant became the first from Team Blake Shelton to release new music. While she wasn’t a finalist, the exposure is helping: Single "Met Him In A Hotel Room," is a classic kind of theme from country music with a  Lee Ann Womack meets Dolly Parton vibe. 
 >> YouTube

When Kenny Chesney cold-called Grace Potter in 2009 to join him on “You & Tequila,” which went on to be a CMA-Award winning, Grammy-nominated, platinum- selling song, the two clicked immediately. Their musical bond continues with Grace Potter & The Nocturnals on the ‘Brothers of the Sun’ Tour, with Chesney and Tim McGraw and on both of their new albums.
With his longtime co-producer Buddy Cannon, Chesney produced “Stars” and “Ragged Company” on the deluxe version of Potter’s The Lion The Beast The Beat album which was released this week. Chesney first heard “Stars” in February. “We were hanging out in her kitchen and she grabbed her guitar and played me a verse and chorus of the song which she was still writing,” recalls Chesney. “I love the creative process. I was there when the song was born and we nurtured it through the studio and onto the record. That’s pretty cool.” Chesney and Alison Krauss also provide background vocals on the song.
Listen to “Stars” on the Listen Party at

The beautiful Elizabeth Cook has a new album out. Hear “Jerusalem Calling” performed on the David Letterman show June 14, 2012 broadcast on CBS TV
 >>    YouTube

In Kenny Chesney‘s new video for ‘Come Over,’ it features Kenny reminiscing over an ex who he just can’t shake. The single was released May 14, 2012 as the second single from his album WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL. The song was written by Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
Director Shaun Silva said, “"It's clear within the first five seconds of this video that Kenny is committed to his character in the video and was more than willing to open up to the vulnerabilities associated with this tortured love story.”
Kenny is on this sleek black yacht and turns out it’s his. It was seen parked at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas recently. It’s a 63’ Riva Virtus. It features 2 large sundecks, 4 cabins – all for just 3.7 million dollars. "Come Over" asserts that Kenny Chesney is very rich, very straight and is in very good shape.
The Shaun Silva-directed clip was shot in Miami. It co-stars a beautiful young woman who suffers from poverty, as she appears to own no clothes besides lingerie and bikinis! This steamy video will appeal to both sexes !  So who is the mysterious lady from Chesney’s new music video? - ” She’s tall, thin, tan, and gorgeous. Courtney McCann is a 26-year old Los Angeles based model, actress, self proclaimed health nut who has experience as a fashion model (photo - photo). Nashville wardrobe stylist Amber Lehman recently worked with Courtney and Kenny during the steamy vid shoot (Source - - Music video by Kenny Chesney performing Come Over. (C) 2012 Blue Chair Records, LLC   >>   YouTube 

Published on June 14 "A Better Place" is the second video from Glen Campbell's critically acclaimed album GHOST ON THE CANVAS. The video features a special guest appearance from Joshua Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Them Crooked Vultures), and is directed by Kii Arens and Jason Tucco. It is poignant and moving farewell video. Glen  who is battling Alzheimer’s, flips through photos of his life, reminiscing about the good times as Josh Homme hovers nearby. “A Better Place” is intended to be Campbell’s last video, and is the single off his final album Ghost On The Canvas. >>   YouTube


Courtesy of Sony Music Nashville
Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl” has been certified Platinum by the RIAA for more than 1 million digital downloads. “Good Girl,” the lead single from

Underwood’s latest album, Blown Away, marks Underwood’s tenth Platinum or Multi Platinum digital single.

Carrie is gearing up for the UK launch of her Blown Away album and to perform a sold out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 21.

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