Saturday, 9 June 2012

Country Bites News snippets June 4 – June 8, 2012

Country Bites News snippets June 4 – June 8, 2012

UK & IRISH News
Congratulations to the five finalists for the UKCountryRadio.com Listeners' Club Award 2012: Finalist #1 Carmen by Ian Highland & Twilight Country, Finalist #2 Come Undone by Thorne Hill, Finalist #3 Don't Tell Me You're Not In Love by Carolann B, Finalist #4 Kentucky Whiskey by Wayne Jacobs and Finalist #5 That Thing You Do by Belle Cannon. More Here

Pictured after the Aristo Global Show at The Second Fiddle
 during CMA Music Fest 2012 are ( L-R):
 Jeff Walker (The AristoMedia Group),
Mark Wayne Glasmire,
Martha Moore (so much MOORE media
 and Lee Williams ( CMR Nashville) 
Photo Credit: Dan Harr

Nashville, TN (June 5, 2012) Mark Wayne Glasmire received a "world class" honor during the Aristo Global Show today: the award-winning singer/songwriter accepted a plaque to commemorate his nine weeks at #1 as voted by European DJs (who are responsible for compiling the Hotdisc Top 40 Chart).
Lee Williams of CMR Nashville was on hand at The Second Fiddle to make the presentation on Stuart Cameron's behalf at the Aristo Show. Glasmire won the award based upon the popularity of his International hit, "I Like You." The breezy, light-hearted track took the chart's #1 spot in a few short weeks and retained that position for a record-tying nine week run. Managing Director of Hotdisc, Stuart Cameron, says "It is unusual for a song to gain as much unprecedented reaction from the DJs in Europe as 'I Like You' received." Cameron adds, "Only one other song (by Billy Yates) has made it to #1 one for nine weeks since we began in 2007."

CMA Week Kicks Off with Party at AristoMedia's Jeff Walker's House - AristoMedia CEO Jeff Walker and his wife Terri welcomed international artists and executives to CMA Music Fest with a party Sunday night (June 4). The large contingent of international artists included Irelands Pete Kennedy and England’s hot duo Travellin Rose.
Guests feasted on a tasty Mexican food spread while mingling around the pool and discussing country music's global opportunities.
Walker, a native Australian who moved to Nashville in 1974, has hosted this gathering of international movers and shakers at his home for the past nine years. "A real passion of mine has been growing country music internationally," says Walker, who founded AristoMedia in 1980. "At this time, the Internet is making it a level playing field. You can press a button, particularly if you are independent, and send your music out worldwide through iTunes or one of the various carriers. That's certainly going to help the globalization of country music."

Walker has seen an increased interest in international artists looking to perform at CMA Music Fest. "This year we went through 160 submissions, compared to 110 last year," he says of artists seeking performance slots on the two international showcases. "There is more and more interest in people coming to the events. It's exciting to see it grow, and we're getting calls from tour operators saying they want to integrate these two shows as part of their agenda. So we reserved a couple hundred tickets for these tour groups that are coming through." 
Lee Williams, CEO/founder Django Promotions and CMR Nashville;
 Irish artist Pete Kennedy; Talia Smith of Travellin Rose,
CMA CEO Steve Moore, Kelly Lee of Travellin Rose,
 Rob Potts, CMA VP/Strategic Partnerships Sheri Warnke,
 and Jeff Walker. (Photo: Deborah Evans Price)

Pete Kennedy was excited about performing for the first time at CMA Music Fest. The Irishman arrived a week early to spend time in the studio working on his upcoming album. "I've been in Sound Control Studio with producer Mark Moseley," Kennedy tells Billboard. "I came in town about six weeks ago to co-write and we've been cutting this week. It looks like recording will wrap in September. In October, I'll go on tour opening for Neil Sedaka in the U.K. and in November and December I'll be on tour with the Stylistics. Then we look forward to coming back here [Nashville] in January."
UK duo Travellin Rose says they always look forward to visiting Music City. "We love Nashville," says Kelly Lee. "It's like a second home."
"Crowds here are so much more accepting of country music," Travellin Rose's Talia Smith adds. "It's refreshing to come here and everyone knows country music whereas in England that's not always the case."
"We'll sing Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert and try to incorporate some covers into our set at home," says Lee, "and people will be like, 'No, stick to people we know.' We're like, 'How come you don't know these girls? They are amazing!'" (Full Billboard Story)

Twenty-one international Country artists representing five different territories performed in downtown Nashville at the annual Global Events showcases, held June 4-5 during CMA Music Festival week.
The Chevrolet Presents: 2012 CMA Global Artist Party was held Monday, June 4, at The Stage on Broadway and included a performance by Gary Quinn from the UK. American Country icon and special guest Gene Watson also performed a set during the CMA Global Artist Party when his scheduled duet partner, Ireland’s Lisa McHugh, was forced to withdraw from the lineup due to emergency back surgery she was hospitalized shortly before showtime, the veteran headliner dedicated a solo set to her and wowed the crowd. Belfast’s Gary Quinn brought everyone back to reality with “This Cowboy’s Heart,” a ballad animated by rich traditional imagery. Looking relaxed and at home in the spotlight, he ended with a power-punching up-tempo closer, “Watching You.”

The annual CMA Presents: Aristo Global Show, hosted by Australian Adam Harvey, was held Tuesday afternoon, June 5, at The Second Fiddle.  Performers included Pete Kennedy (Ireland), Colm Kirwan (Ireland), Scotland's duo Raintown and Travellin Rose (UK).
Travellin Rose took the stage, decked out in red sequins and primed to show the audience a good time with songs such as “Made Up My Mind” and “VIP Room.”
Armed with a true Country Celtic vibe, Ireland’s Colm Kirwan joined a violinist and guitar player for an international jam featuring songs including “A Whole Lotta You” and “The Lumber Song.” Kirwan drew the biggest laugh of the day when he mistakenly referred to producer Victoria Shaw as former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. “I was thinking about Victoria Beckham earlier. You are so much prettier than Victoria Beckham!” he laughed.”
Scotland’s Raintown, a modern Country duo consisting of Claire McArthur and Paul Bain, impressed with songs such as “Love’s Got a Hold on You.” They were followed by the towering Irishman Pete Kennedy, who ended his four-song set with special thanks to the people of Nashville
Both Global Events performances were streamed online via Nashville-based new media and marketing company AristoWorks.
This year’s Global Events showcases were a huge success as we enjoyed some fantastic music from nearly two dozen different artists,” said AristoMedia President/CEO Jeff Walker.  The shows were extremely well-attended and, for the second year in a row, we streamed both events live around the world, which gave our performers’ fans a chance to celebrate with us

Charley Pride has 6 dates in Ireland ( Oct 26 - Nov 5, 2012) Details and Tickets availability on Ticketmaster.co.uk

Hank Williams III Tickets
Saturday June 23 -  Limelight ,Belfast, ND 19:00
Sunday June 24 -The Button Factory, Dublin, IE  19:30
Details and Tickets availability on Ticketmaster.co.uk


AUSSIE / KIWI NEWS
The New Zealand Country Music Awards were held May 31, 2012 in Gore resulting in some much deserved love for Delaney Davidson who took out APRA Best Song for 'You're A Loser' from his sixth album Bad Luck Man. Also receiving her third award was Tami Neilson who took out Best Album for The Kitchen Table Sessions Vol II.
An accomplished artist with six solo albums under his belt, Delaney spends his time between his hometown of Christchurch and living and touring in Europe. He is also part of musical collective The Harbour Union.
There is an honesty and integrity to all Delaney’s songs and is evidenced in spades in “You’re a Loser”. This song is anything but a loser and we are immensely proud of the reputation Delaney has achieved both internationally and at home”, says Anthony Healey, APRA’s Director of NZ Operations.
Canadian-born Tami Neilson now lives in Auckland. The Kitchen Table Sessions Vol II builds on her successful previous Sessions album with her trademark raw energy and music that is a hybrid of acoustic torch and stripped-bare country blues.
Tami Neilson’s The Kitchen Table Sessions Vol II is her third finals berth and her third best album award, repeating her wins from 2009 (“Red Dirt Angel”) and 2010 (“The Kitchen Table Sessions”).

Nelson country musician Aly Cook has found success in Australia, but you won't hear her music on New Zealand radio.
Cook has hit out at the NZ On Air (NZOA) funding scheme as having a ''bad attitude'' to Kiwi country music, describing the organisation as ''ageist''.
'My comment is about nationwide commercial radio airplay and the New Zealand music industry at large, and its bad attitude to New Zealand commercial country music,'' she said. ''They are very integrated. I have had some funding back in 2004 with my song I Wonder, which did go on to have NZOA 'hit status' at the time. "I received a new-artist recording grant for this song... The song went on to be nominated APRA Country Song of the Year 2005. ''Since then I tried repeatedly and failed to get any NZOA funding to record or make videos with, though they did put my songs on the NZOA hit disc.''
Aly Cook   (Promo Photo)


Last month, the country music star trod the red carpet at the Sydney Opera House as one of 10 finalists for international artist at Australia's 2012 MusicOZ Awards, which celebrates the best of independent music. The award was won by fellow Kiwi Tim Walker.
Cook uses social media to promote her music and raised $30,000 through crowd funding to record her BRAND NEW DAY album and to produce a video for her single, Midnight Sun. Now that NZOA funding largely depends on ''the song'' and passing a 10-step tick-box programme to be eligible, including having the requisite number of followers on Facebook and Twitter, Cook said she was baffled by the organisation's interpretation of what makes a ''good'' song. ''It's a bit like beauty in the eye of the beholder,'' she said.
''I find that whole system also fairly ageist. Take a look at the kiwihits.co.nz site. You will only see young faces getting the money, unless they are major record company-signed, more mature faces”…..
Cook said that a radio programmer told her that he could not risk playing her music and alienating listeners.
''A programmer actually said to me that even one wrong song choice can turn listeners off and this is why he would not play Midnight Sun.  Even though it's on the country airplay charts in Australia in the top 20; even though this station had a country dedicated show and even  though country artists like Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are on that same playlist,'' she said.

''Australia and Canada  have compulsory music quotas for local music. This is one of the reasons they have booming music industries and hear their own culture on radio. ''As I understand it, the National government in the 1990s signed a document that would prevent New Zealand from ever having a compulsory music quota.  This way the United States market could dominate our airwaves. "Do the public realise that royalties leave the country for every foreign-written song played? When a Kiwi writer's song is played, that money stays in New Zealand.  ''We are culturally suppressing great music from being played here ... telling our stories and it's really tragic.''
Cook believed that the way music funding was distributed in New Zealand was ''grossly unfair'' and ''not helpful to genres like country music which are in the minority in New Zealand but not in other countries.


NEWS
(May 30, 2012) Chely Wright: Nashville's quietly rejected me. Two years ago, Chely Wright became the first major country music artist to reveal that she's gay. Wednesday 30th May on "CBS This Morning" Wright said, "As my friend (Rodney Crowell) said, 'I don't think (the rejection is) going to be fire and brimstone, I think they're going to freeze her out.'" Wright said she understands there has been a changing of the guard since she shared the spotlight with the likes of Shania Twain and Faith Hill in the mid- to late-1990s, but she said she's recently experienced a "rejection of silence."
She said, "It's not my belief that I should be performing on every awards show. ... Now it's the new Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood and Lady Antebellum, that's a natural part of entertaining. (But) there's an institutionalized friendship within country music, once you're in, once you're one of us, you're always invited to certain things to present or be a part of it or chair a committee for the Country Music Hall of Fame, which I used to do things like that”. She continued, "And so, it's...a rejection mostly because I would like to hear a country music artist, the big ones, not just say, 'Well, I like Chely. I like her even though she's gay.' I need a country artist who is a big deal, like Jay-Z in his community; He came forward and said, 'I believe in equality for all.' I'm struggling because I have not heard that from the big stars in country music."

Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow has revealed that a brain tumor is what has been causing recent memory lapses. The star and longtime friend to country music recently told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she visited a doctor after becoming frustrated with her dulled memory. “In November, I found out I have a brain tumor,” Crow says. “But it’s benign, so I don’t have to worry about it. But it gives me a fit.” Sheryl’s country album should be out in October.

Alan Jackson shares a personal song about his wife Denise struggle with cancer on his new album. Jackson first recorded “When I Saw You Leaving (For Nisey),” a tribute to his wife Denise written while she was fighting cancer..“When we went out to track it, it was a very gripping, emotional moment for everybody,” Jackson’s producer Keith Stegall said. “I think it touched everyone. We came back in and listened to the playback in the studio and there was a lot of wet eyes in the control room.”
That was the first time anyone had heard the song, which appears on Jackson’s new album “THIRTY MILES WEST,” out this week, out on his own imprint, ACR.
The singer wasn’t sure initially he wanted to share it with anybody, though. When he brought it to the studio, he’d never even played it for Denise.
 It’s pretty emotional,” Jackson said. “She already had enough to deal with and I didn’t know if it would make her feel better or worse. I didn’t share it with anybody. Just didn’t want to, until we did it in the session that day.”
The release of “Thirty Miles West” caps an emotional period for the 53-year-old and his family. His wife has now been cancer free for a year. And Jackson split with Arista Nashville, ending a two-decade partnership that produced more than 43 million albums sold. He signed with Capitol/EMI Records Nashville and “Thirty Miles West” is out on his own imprint, ACR.
The Jacksons’ three daughters also are growing up. His oldest has graduated from college and his middle daughter is out of high school.
It’s been a lot for Jackson and his wife to absorb -I think it definitely affected us both in more ways than we can understand,” Jackson said. “You don’t take anything for granted. Life is so fragile. You hear that people can survive any kind of trauma. It made us look at our values more — what was important to us in our lives and what our plans are for the future and the rest of our lives. All that is affected by it. There can be some good that comes from all of it"

Sony/Nashville and Kenny Chesney have extended their worldwide recording agreement, with future Chesney recordings to be released on Blue Chair/Columbia. Concurrently, the BNA imprint is being retired, with artists and employees now working under the Columbia banner. "We are very happy to be renewing our worldwide partnership with Kenny Chesney," says Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris. "He is a tremendous superstar with a unique creative vision and we look forward to sharing continued success with him in the years ahead."

Got a few spare million pounds? Will you make showing to view George Jones property when it goes up for sale?
On July 7, country music legend George Jones will sell his timeless Franklin, Tenn., estate at a real estate auction conducted by J. P. King Auction Company. "George and Nancy bought this property 20 years ago. They used it for riding horses, fishing and a place for their grandkids to play, and they have kept it in perfect condition ever since," said Terry Ivey, who has partnered with J. P. King to sell the property. "His infamous riding mower lives on in many hit songs, and he still loves mowing and maintaining the andscaping himself, but when you are 80 years old, 78 acres is a lot of land to maintain."

(Associated Press BUFFALO, N.Y) — Fans of the country music singer Eric Church smashed chairs and threw bottles and cans after his planned concert in Buffalo was canceled due to bad weather.
The Buffalo News reported organizers of the WYRK Taste of Country concert decided to halt the multi-act show at around 11 p.m. Friday after strong winds threatened the stage at Buffalo’s Coca Cola Field.Church had originally been scheduled to go on at about 9:45 p.m. Some fans, who had been waiting in heavy rain, responded by hurling chairs onto the stage, or dumping them into large piles. Some witnesses described the scene as frightening.

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: John Mayer and Taylor Swift perform
 onstage during Z100's Jingle Ball 2009 at Madison Square Garden
on December 11, 2009 in New York City.
 (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

John Mayer criticizes Taylor Swift for her ‘Dear John’ song - Taylor Swift has never revealed her target in the scathing song “Dear John,” but John Mayer’s pretty sure it was about him — and he doesn’t think that’s cool. In a new Rolling Stone interview, Mayer called “Dear John” cheap songwriting and said it made him feel terrible — and he didn’t deserve it. Swift’s song from the multiplatinum “Speak Now” album dresses down a former boyfriend. Swift has never confirmed that the pair dated and when asked pointedly refused to say that song was about Mayer.

Mayer says he did nothing to deserve the song and says Swift, his former musical collaborator , kicked him when he was down.

Miley Cyrus has got engaged to her actor boyfriend Liam Hemsworth. 19-year-old Cyrus has been dating Aussie star Hemsworth for three years.The two of them met in 2009 on the set of The Last Song, in which they co-starred, and split briefly in 2010 before reconciling a month later. Cyrus tells People.com, “I’m so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam.”
Hemsworth proposed last Thursday (May 31, 2012) and has given his fiancee a 3.5-carat diamond ring.

The Mavericks take the largest step in its return Sunday at LP Field during CMA Music Fest when the band will play in front of more than 60,000. The quartet (original members Malo, bassist Robert Reynolds and drummer Paul Deakin with guitarist Eddie Perez) have a new single, "Born To Be Blue," a five-song EP called "Suited Up and Ready" and the new untitled album on the way in September.

Though they are newlyweds, as a celebrity couple, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton haven't had the most traditional first year of matrimony. They spend very little time together with two bustling careers that sometimes have them on the other side of the country from each other. This week's CMA Fest will be one of those fleeting moments when both are in the same town at the same time. Lambert ended up in the emergency room due to dehydration and exhaustion during her first festival experience. She's learned how to handle the heat these days, but it remains a pretty intense experience -  "When you walk out onto the stage at LP Field it's very overwhelming, the amount of people and the energy," Lambert said. "Everybody in there is there because they love country music. And it's a (lot) of people that love country music. And it's cool to see them all at one time."
It's another celebration Lambert and Shelton, who despite seeing very little of each other over the last year feel even more strongly about their marriage. "Man, you know what? I think Miranda is a keeper," he said, then joked: "At first I married her just because of her looks, but since then I've realized how rich she is. You know, that equals out to many years of happy marriage."

The long-anticipated 2012 CMA Music Festival LP Field concerts have kicked off. Country Music icon Glen Campbell was the second star to take the stage on Thursday night, returning to LP Field for the first time since 2004. His resilience was beautifully displayed through impeccable deliveries of timeless classics that included “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman.” Campbell’s Southern Pride was on display, his shouts of “Are we in the South? Where my cowboys at?” causing an eruption of yeehaws among the excited crowd.
For the third consecutive year, the CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL has sold out of all available seats for the Nightly Concerts at LP FIELD for all four nights, June 7th-10th. Follow all the CMA Fest events check out: http://blog.cmafest.com/

Former “American Idol” finalist Lauren Alaina sold out her autograph signing Thursday afternoon at the Opry Originals retail store on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. The event required a voucher to attend and topped out at 100 fans, who the “Georgia Peaches” singer took nearly two hours to greet. “I try to spend time with everybody because, well, one guy came 35 hours to meet me,” said Alaina, referring to a gentleman who admitted to flying from his home in New Zealand specifically for her.  “When I met Carrie Underwood – she’s my favorite artist – she was extremely nice to me and took time to talk to me, and I want people to say that about me.”

During the event, her self-titled debut album played over the speakers of the store, allowing the 17-year-old the opportunity to serenade fans as they came to get their autographs. Alaina didn’t limit herself to only singing her own songs, though. When one attendee walked up wearing a Jana Kramer shirt, the Georgia native busted into the actress’ single, “Why You Wanna.”

Shania Twain’s Las Vegas show SHANIA: STILL THE ONE opens Dec. 1 at The Colosseum at Caesars. She has now added Spring shows for 2013 and tickets went on sale Friday June 8 , prices from $55 to $350!  http://www.shaniainvegas.com/
Shania and a white horse were spotted last week in. the lobby at Caesars Palace. They were shooting a commercial to promote her upcoming residency there starting December 1.



Wynonna Judd has joined with KRAFT FOORDS, to film a public service announcement, defending MIRACLE WHIP.
KRAFT has produced a series of PSAs in support of the salad dressing. Hilarious !  >>  YouTube

Country music fans are faring well financially, optimistic about the future and engaged with popular digital technologies, according to a survey by the Country Music Association (CMA). = Count me out!

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
The pre-sale has begun on Mindy Smith's 5th studio album her first independent release.

LEBANON, Tenn. (June 1, 2012) – The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive music program is set to release a deluxe edition of hot newcomers Edens Edge’s debut album.The release of Edens Edge - Deluxe Edition coincides with Big Machine Records’ self-titled, standard edition - both will be available beginning June 12. The Arkansas-bred band is comprised of lead vocalist Hannah Blaylock; harmony vocals, guitar and dobro player Dean Berner; and harmony singer, mandolin, banjo and guitar player Cherrill Green. Collectively, they penned half of the songs on the project as well as three exclusive tracks for the deluxe version. 
Growing up in small towns, we’re huge fans of home cooking and a family-style environment. Now that we’re on the road most of the year, we often find ourselves seated at Cracker Barrels across the country. It’s so exciting that one of our favorite places has asked us to be a part of their exclusive music program and give our mutual fans an extra helping of our favorite songs,” said Green.
Our working with Cracker Barrel is a perfect fit. We started pickin’ and singing music with friends and family on front porches in our home state of Arkansas. And they’re a lot like the front porches at Cracker Barrel stores that we see across the country.  Every time we stop at a Cracker Barrel it feels like home to us!” said Blaylock.(Press Release)

Jerrod Niemann, ten is a magic number. He began performing at the young age of ten, was nominated as the ACM New Artist Of The Year after ten years of songwriting in the music business, and Monday night, signed autographs for a full ten hours after his Fan Club Party at the 2012 CMA Festival. Now, the platinum-selling, "Lover, Lover" hit-maker will release his sophomore major label album release, FREE THE MUSIC, in the tenth month, on October 2 (on Sea Gayle Records/Arista Nashville).

The word from Nashville is that Blake Shelton’s in the studio working on a Christmas album.

Jennette McCurdy's new SELF TITLED album was released on June 5 by CAPITOL NASHVILLE available on Amazon.uk & Amazon.com

Joey+Rory
CD Artwork
(Sugarhill Records)

Joey + Rory "HIS AND HERS" (Sugar Hill Records) Release Date: July 31. It sadly doesn’t contain the fun single “Headache” which didn't chart on radio. With HIS AND HERS listeners will get fully acquainted with both Joey and Rory as individually arresting lead singers, Joey taking the fore on half of the album’s tracks, Rory’s warm, approachable vocal helming the others.
Track List:
1. Josephine  2. Waiting for Someone 
 3. Someday When I Grow Up 4. Let’s Pretend We Never Met  5. A Bible and a Belt 
6. When I’m Gone 7. Your Man Loves You Honey 
8. Love Your Man 9. Cryin’ Smile   10. He’s a Cowboy
11. Teaching Me How to Love You  12. His and Hers

Joey + Rory at the Roper Apparel booth during the 2012 CMA Music Festival  >>  YouTube


PRESS RELEASES
Hank Williams, Jr. and Brad Paisley wowed a national television audience performing their duet, “I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams” at the CMT Awards. Hank and Brad performed to a crowd of approximately 30,000 on the streets of downtown Nashville.“I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams” is featured on Hank’s new album, “Old School, New Rules” available everywhere on July 10.
Tonight was a special night!  Having Brad perform with me and especially on my new album is something special,” Williams said.  It’s a good ‘ole honky-tonk song that Brad-cephus and Bocephus had a lot of fun playing tonight!”
I count as one of my greatest blessings in this career being able to get to know Hank,” Paisley said.  When I heard the song, I said, ‘This is perfect’.  It’s such a great tribute to his dad.  The idea that two of us from this generation are getting together to forget a woman with the music of his father is too much fun!  It’s a highlight for me!”   

ARTICLES
Peter Cooper writing for the Tennessean - Remember Marty Stuart?  Country singer Marty Stuart was a major label star in the 1990s. But the poor guy hasn’t had a Top 40 country hit in 15 years. Fifteen years was seven albums ago. It was 1997, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple Computer and Princess Diana died, and Rebecca Black of “Friday” YouTube fame was born (OMG!!!) and Sony Records released music from newly signed band The Dixie Chicks. Fifteen years ago is, as Darrell Scott later wrote for those same Dixie Chicks, “a long time gone.And so Marty Stuart won’t be playing the big LP Field stage at this week’s CMA Music Festival, where the hot contemporary country stars frolic and wave.  Read more

Peter Cooper journalist writing for the Tennessean takes a look at the history of the CMA Festival:
CMA fest has come jolly long way  -   It was Fan Fair, and it was halting and a little haphazard, and it ran from April 12 through April 15, which turned out to be a bad idea: Kids were still in school, folks were filing their taxes, and only 5,000 fans showed up in Nashville to hear and greet stars of the day like Bill Anderson, Lynn Anderson and non-Andersons including Roy Acuff, Tom T. Hall, Bill Monroe, Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb, Dolly Parton, Jeannie Seely, George Jones and George Hamilton IV.
It was sad, because every artist in the book performed but there weren’t many people there,” says Jo Walker-Meador, who was then the Country Music Association’s executive director. “We asked Fort Campbell to send down as many service men as they could, to try to fill the Municipal Auditorium.”…..Fan Fair is now CMA Music Festival, and it has moved from Municipal Auditorium to the sweat-stained fairgrounds and back downtown, with nightly, star-packed and sold-out concerts at massive LP Field. It returns this week as what Mayor Karl Dean calls Nashville’s signature event ….
Fan Fair began with the International Festival of Country Music, at Wembley in London,” says Grand Ole Opry star Hamilton IV. “This music we call American country music had its cradle days in the British Isles. It had its childhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it came of age in Nashville.”
Yes, the roots of country music are international. Ballads from England, Ireland and Scotland. Banjos from Africa, and you can look it up. But surely Hamilton’s wrong about Fan Fair, a festival of music and corn dogs and Chicken Fryz, of autograph lines filled with people wearing Billy Crash Craddock “Rub It In, Rub It In” ball caps and “Cissy Lynn: The Coal Miner’s Daughter’s Daughter” T-shirts … surely, Fan Fair’s conception was all-American…Read More

LISTEN
Gretchen Peters talks to The Tennessean's Kevin Walters about her new album, HELLO CRUEL WORLD, being the parent of a transgendered child, and memories of Nashville in the 1980s >> Podcast Listen

Stream Alan Jackson’s new album THIRTY MILES WEST in full on music.aol.com 
It out in the UK on June 11 available on Amazon.uk

WATCH
Gary Barlow & Cheryl Cole perform a delightful cover of the famed Lady Antebellums’s “Need You Now” at the Diamond Jubilee Concert. A bad “song choice” by the X Factor mentor? Cheryl is no Hillary Scott and Gary is no Charles Kelly! Somehow in the absence of The Queen they escaped being thrown in the Tower. >>  YouTube
Cheryl was terribly out of tune though she dressed to impress looking very attractive wearing a big gown to distract from her lack of vocal aptitude. She wore an Eva Minge Spring 2012 Couture gown (fashion image). Her black strapless sequin mermaid gown with an ombre train also had velvet details on the bust and around the skirt, de Grisogono jewels and wavy ponytail completed her look.
Cheryl & Gary sing(?) "Need You Now"
(Photo-Daily Mail)
Alledgely Kate Middleton was seen waving her British flag with plenty of enthusiasm? However, a lot of the audience felt underwhelmed with her performance which was a departure from Cheryl's usual dance tracks that require less vocal range. On media and Twitter sites comments keep coming criticizing the singer:
Oh, Darling Chezza… we HOPE this is just strained-throat syndrome and not a case of the "I-can’t-actually-sing-live" sickness!
“ The Girls Aloud beauty failed to hit a majority of her notes “
 “ I've come to the conclusion that Cheryl Cole couldn't carry a tune if it had a bloody handle,' one of the audience tweeted.
'Wow is she an awful singer, talentless,' said another.

As a native of Sydney, Australia, Craig Morrison had big dreams of a career in music. He moved to Music City last year to make a go of it.  His self-titled U-S debut was released about a month ago, and the single 'Fences' has already hit the Top Five on the Australian Country Music Tracks chart. Kelly Lynn from Inside Music Row caught up with Craig to hear all about his new music  >>   YouTube

In his new video for "Just Breathe," country legend Willie Nelson shares a road trip with his son Lukas. The 2009 Pearl Jam single gets a soothing, touching rendition, with touches of harmonica and dueling vocals from the father and son, adding new dimensions to the original. Towards the end, Lukas picks up an electric guitar, playing a short solo that shines through the gentle track. >>  YouTube 

CMA Music Fest Kick-Off Parade 2012 Highlights >>  YouTube

FREE DOWNLOAD
Comprised of songs inspired by faith, heartache, addiction, childhood, accidental piano chords and thunderstorms, BEAR CREEK, Brandi Carlile's fourth studio album released on June 5, promises to be her most revealing and personal record to date “It scares me how much of who we are is in this album". Carlile and is now eager to introduce BEAR CREEK to her audience. Summer 2012 will see her biggest headlining tour to date. For fans of Avett Brothers, Ray LaMontagne, Indigo Girls and Grace Potter & Noturnals in exchange for an email share Brandi offers a FREE 3 track Live At Bear Creek EP (192kbps MP3) on noisetrade.com
Listen Bear Creek on Spotify - Brandi Carlile – Bear Creek .
Available for Download on UK iTunes and Amazon.uk
Brandi is on the cover of this month's issue of Paste Magazine - Image

PHOTO
CMT.com are sharing some photos of the new Taylor Swift exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Photo Gallery

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