Saturday, 18 August 2012

Country Bites News snippets August 13 – August 17, 2012

Country Bites News snippets August 13 – August 17, 2012

Sources / Links shown in RED

I Draw Slow and Niall Toner, both musical acts from Ireland, bring their music to America this Fall for a two week tour.  Call it the “Irish Acoustic Music Invasion” if you would like to label it or simply call it good music from Ireland teaming up with some of the best acoustic artists in the United States. They bring their respective talents in songwriting and musicianship to a Fall Tour that will place them with many great artists in some of America’s top venues. Beginning at the International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass. I Draw Slow wrap up their legs a festival in South Carolina and Niall Toner will end his tour performing at the award winning Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series. Read More at

Emma King and the Heartsets are quickly establishing themselves as the sound of 'New Country'. Since forming in 2006, the band has undertaken successive European tours before signing to PLC Records in Nashville having bravely left jobs and family behind to relocate to America. 
Emma King and the Heartsets in the
BBC Radio Lancashire Studio

Emma King and the Heartsets are: Emma King (Vocals), Ritch Spence (Piano & Guitars), Ian Harrison (Lead Guitar) and Will Stanley (Drums). The last 2 weeks they have been back in the UK on a radio promotional tour. Listen to their story and music in this interview in the second hour on BBC Radio Lancashire with Joe Fish -

Carlow native Derek Ryan has a new summer single out called “It's Friday”.
"As soon as I heard the song I was hooked on it immediately," Derek says. "I could visualise dancers on the floor having a good time to its melody."It's Friday has a traditional country sound featuring an array of Irish musicians and instruments, including tin whistle, mandolin, fiddle and accordion. Derek adapted the sound to suit what his loyal country dancers like to hear."We have already tried it out at a number of our gigs and it has been getting the thumbs up from fans," he says.
Derek started out in showbusiness as a pop idol when he shot to fame as lead singer with boyband D-Side. The pop outfit enjoyed three top 10 hits in the British charts and performed on Top Of The Pops and other major TV shows before eventually splitting up

TV Alert! Tune into The Phil Mack Country show on Monday night (Aug 20) 9pm UK time when hot UK duo Travellin Rose (Kelly Lee and Talia Smith) will have a feature on the show. The Phil Mack show broadcasts on Showcase TV going out on Sky channel 191and Freesat 403. There are repeat showings on Wedsnesday (20:00), Saturday (13:00) and Sundays (22:00)
Radio Alert! - Starting this Monday night (22:00) Aug. 20, for 4 nights running, listeners of BBC Radio 2 can join former BR5-49 frontman Chuck Mead for a 4 part series of highlights from this year's Country Music Association Music Festival - Radio 2 Showpage 
Listen to Magherafelt, Derry based country artist Maggie Young and her new single  Dream Like This” at
Tweet - Maggie Young @Mystic_Maggie No 1 on the ReverbNation Country charts for Northern Ireland.  Thank You all for your continued support xx

(14 Aug 2012) Susan Cattaneo Little Big Sky (Jersey Girl Music) Time 24:55 (7 track EP) –
Listen to the title cut >>  YouTube  - Album Review

(14 Aug 2012) Blackberry Smoke Whippoorwill [Import] (Label: Southern Ground Arti)

The McClymonts' latest hit Piece Of Me remains at number one on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart.
Top 10:
#1 The McClymonts "Piece Of Me"
#2 McAlister Kemp "Cool Beer Hot Women"
#3 Lady Antebellum "Dancin' Away With My Heart"
#4 Craig Morrison "Just Another Sundown"
#5 Josh Turner "Time Is Love"
#6 Jetty Road  "Sweet Goodbye"
#7 Catherine Britt "Always Never Enough"
#8 O'Shea "Every Day Is A Good Day"
#9 Paul Cowderoy "Need To Need You"
#10 Amber Lawrence "The Man Across The Street

Australian songwriter Colin Buchanan's new album and DVD 'The Songwriter Sessions' was released August 17 through EMI Music Australia.It is a unique celebration of the contribution Colin has made as a songwriter and go-to co-writer for over two decades.
Recorded live to tape, Colin is joined by some of the biggest names in country music as guests, including John Williamson, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, Sara Storer, Dianna Corcoran, Anne Kirkpatrick, Dobe Newton, Peter Denahy and Markus Meier for a journey through the places, faces and stories of Australia.
Buchanan says about the album, “Each song has a story and it was a pleasure to bring my friends into the studio for what became an amazing recording journey." Listen in Full to all the tracks

The acclaimed Australian country singer Adam Harvey talks Aussie country and Nashville with Suite 101.
Extract: "Yes modern Aussie country is defiantly more traditional in sound," muses the versatile vocalist, who has collaborated with a wide range of artists over the years, including Troy Cassar-Daley, John Williamson and Guy Sebastian, when asked to compare the type of country music currently favoured in his native land with its modern Nashville equivalent.
"I think that’s because the American audience in general is much younger, so to appeal to that audience the young American singers feel they need to 'rock it up'. Some of the new acts I watched in Nashville recently were nothing more than bad heavy metal bands!"

Harmony James was named winner of the Country category at the Queensland Music Awards in Brisbane on Tuesday night (aug 14). The award was presented for her song “Precious Little”

The Roys ramp up to the August 28 launch of their new Rural Rhythm Records' CD, NEW DAY DAWNING, with exclusive promotions on PRESCRIPTION BLUEGRASS and BLUEGRASS JUNCTION, SiriusXM 61 Track -By-Track.
Fans can catch a first for Bluegrass artists as PB debuts a Lyric Video for the duo's current single, "Still Standing." According to the site's Brian McNeal, "Lyric videos aren't a new thing, but with some sleuthing we've discovered that they are new to Bluegrass. We've been in this trend-setting duo's fan-camp since their first album, so we're extremely proud to help them launch this CD with this first-of-its-kind for Bluegrass lyric video."  >>  YouTube 
Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe’s KENTUCKY cabin will be re-built as an attraction for fans of the deceased OPRY member.
The 24x20 foot, two-room log cabin is the subject of his song, “Uncle Pen”. It sits on nearly three acres of land and will include photos of the artist, as well as Monroe’s fiddles and other artifacts. While the original logs had rotted, a few pieces of salvageable wood will be used in various places throughout the home. The attraction will be located in ROSINE, a small town in Western Kentucky. Read more at

Ricky Skaggs is to release his all-new album project, MUSIC TO MY EARS (Skaggs Family Records) on September 25th  ( Absolute Publicity Press)

For one night, Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Gospel — not just Soul. Franklin has been inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame along with country and bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs, singer-songwriter Dallas Holm, family group The Hoppers, the late televangelist Rex Humbard and Christian rockers Love Song. Christian stars Jaci Velasquez and Jason Crabb, who performed Skagg's signature song "Somebody's Prayin'," hosted the event.

German Bluegrass Band called Covered Grass are getting ready for their American debut by posting a new video "Gute Nacht John-Boy" (Translation “Good Night John Boy”)  singing about John Boy Walton and the whole Walton TV Gang.
This hot bluegrass band from Germany debut at the IBMA’s World Of Bluegrass next month in Nashville (Sept. 24th – Sept. 30th 2012).This bluegrass tribute is an originalto the famous TV-series from the early 1970s. "The Waltons" ran weekly on German television and the goodnight ritual at the end of each episode was the inspiration for this song.
"Goodnight John-Boy" will make its bow on Covered Grass' upcoming album "Toogaroo" >>  YouTube

Perennial favorites Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out and Alison Krauss & Union Station lead nominations for the International Bluegrass Music Awards. Moore and his buddies earned nine group and individual nominations, Krauss & Union Station had eight and Blue Highway and The Boxcars had seven apiece. The nominations were announced Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.
The IBMA also announced Doyle Lawson and the late Ralph Rinzler will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The awards will be held Sept. 27 at Ryman Auditorium. For a complete list of the 2012 International Bluegrass Music Award Nominees – Visit  

Saturday night's (Aug 11) sold-out 'Brothers of the Sun' show, with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, at NJ's MetLife Stadium set the record as the largest ticketed country event in NYC/NJ history, with 56,285 tickets sold. "The excitement and buzz for this show was through the roof since the day it was announced," said Interim MetLife Stadium President Ron VanDeVeen. "We couldn't imagine how last year's 'Goin' Coastal' show could be topped, but this truly was the biggest country show we've ever seen."

Georgia sweetheart Joanna Smith is back! Midway through a nationwide tour promoting her “We Can’t Be Friends” single (A song which was on hold for Kenny Chesney that she waited patiently for) RCA Records artist Joanna Smith has launched an interactive “150 Things About Joanna” series.
After some time away from the country music scene, the blonde spunky singer is now more excited than ever to make her way to fans with this series which launched Friday, August 3rd. Each day via Twitter & Facebook you will learn something new about Joanna ranging from her favorite songs, artists and memories to her biggest pet peeve. The series will include photos, videos and general fun facts running all the way through 12/31/12 ending in her New Year’s resolution.

A&M Octone Records’ Miss Willie Brown made their debut at the Grand Ole Opry on Sat., Aug. 11.  The duo, comprised of Kasey Buckley and Amanda Watkins, performed “Bonafide” and the emotionally charged ballad “Let Me In,” which prompted a standing ovation from the crowd. “I remember being a little girl and taking a tour of the Opry with my parents, so to be standing on that stage was beyond humbling for me.   It was a moment I’ve dreamed about since I was 10 years old,” said Watkins.“This is, hands down, one of the greatest experiences we have had since we started playing music,” added Buckley. (Music News Nashville)

Carrie Underwood made an appearance on NBC’s THE TODAY SHOW (Aug 15). As well as answering questions from her fans she well as performed her singles “Blown Away” and “Good Girl.” For a clip of her visit to THE TODAY SHOW >  -   
Carrie Underwood is in New York to film an intimate concert that will be part of her VH-1 ‘Behind the Music’ airing this fall and she’s also doing ‘Unplugged” for them October 2nd.

Keith Urban has invited his fans to play “photographer,” by contributing photos that appear in his annual calendar. Keith is currently accepting fan photo submissions for his 2013 calendar. Each person may submit up to 15 photos that show Keith Urban in concert. The calendar will be sold, with proceeds going to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For specific details and photo guidelines visit -

Oh Dear! MSN Entertainment reports that Warner Bros Records/Nashville duo The Janedear Girls have parted ways.
There were rumors of the split earlier this spring due to numerous cancellations of performances. This seems to be confirmed as one half of the duo, Susie Brown, recently announced work on her solo Country album. On her Tweeter @SusieBrownMusic she tweetsIt's Susie New Music Wednesday! Help me spread the word by sharing with your friends! Here is the secret link: to a brand new demo/song I wrote called "Sassy"! Watch it here >>   YouTube
Danielle Leverett
(aka Nelly Joy) artwork

Amarillo, Texas born Danielle Leverett the other half of The Janedear Girls who celebrated her 29th birthday on August 16th is also currently working on a pop-oriented solo project. On that album, she goes by the name of Nelly Joy.

To follow Danielle, a.k.a. NELLY JOY, join her on TWITTER @NellyJoyMusic  

Ashton Shepherd, who celebrated her 26th birthday on Aug 16th, has parted ways with MCA Nashville, a label spokesperson has confirmed. She released two albums for the label: Sounds So Good in 2008 and Where Country Grows in 2011. Her singles included "Takin' Off This Pain,"(#20 peak) "Sounds So Good" (#21 peak),  "Look It Up" (#19 peak Hot Country Songs) and "Where Country Grows." (#42 peak Hot Country Songs) Her album WHERE COUNTRY GROWS debutted at #36 on the Top 200 with the 11th best-selling country record selling 10,885 copies in its first week on the 20 July 2011 chart . By August 13th 2011 it had fallen off the Top 200 and Top 25 Country albums.
Shepherd is looking for material for an upcoming album produced by Shenandoah drummer Mike McGuire, according to the industry publication RowFax. No label has been announced for that project (CMT) Last week Lee Ann Womack also left the MCA Nashville label. She too celebrates a birthday this week (46) on August 19th. There must be a moral to this story 

Elvis Presley's ex-wife Priscilla and their only daughter Lisa Marie stunned a crowd of thousands Wednesday night when they unexpectedly greeted fans who had flocked to Graceland for a candlelight vigil marking the 35th anniversary of the singer's death. The vigil began Wednesday night after Priscilla Presley and her daughter made the unscheduled and impromptu appearance on a stage set up just inside the walls of Graceland, Elvis' Memphis mansion. Together they briefly thanked the crowd for their undying admiration. It was the first time both women had appeared together at the annual gathering, which became an official event in 1980 ( Read more at Denver PostPhoto)

Jake Owen and RCA Nashville announced that they will release a four-song EP entitled ENDLESS SUMMER on September 25, which will be available digitally and at most retailers. “It’s been almost a year since our album, Barefoot Blue Jean Night, came out,” says Jake. “And, I started thinking that I really wanted to put out a few new tunes that had a summer vibe. So, we decided to cut four songs and put out an EP entitled Endless Summer. No one ever really wants the summer to end, right? Hopefully, these songs will be ones that keep the party going into the fall and people will crank them up loud when they are out on the water enjoying their own Endless Summer.” For EP artwork and more info go to
Jake unofficially announced that he was recording a four-song EP at his Fan Club party during CMA Music Fest. At the party, he let his fans hear a sneak peek of the EP by playing them one song that he had already recorded entitled “Summer Jam,” which was written by the duo Florida Georgia Line along with award-winning songwriter Craig Wiseman

Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien, known for their solo work as well as for stints in high-profile bands, have united for a live album. Titled WE’RE USUALLY A LOT BETTER THAN THIS, and due for release October 9, 2012 on the Full Light Records label through Thirty Tigers, the album was recorded during two separate concerts at the Grey Eagle in Asheville, N.C. in 2005 and 2006.

Sibling trio High Valley consisting of brothers Brad Rempel (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Bryan (harmony vocals, bass guitar) and Curtis (harmony vocals, mandolin) are partnering with Rodeowave Entertainment to launch the band’s first U.S. single, “Love You For A Long Time,” written by lead singer Brad Rempel with Jared Crump and Ben Stennis. The song is available now via PlayMPE with a September 10 impact date.
All in their twenties High Valley found inspiration in the music of country music icons Alabama, Rascal Flatts, Diamond Rio and Shenandoah while growing up listening to their older sisters’ records. After sixteen years of touring and opening for the likes of superstars Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Reba McEntire in their northern homeland, Canadian CMA Awards “Group of the Year” nominees High Valley are preparing to make their U.S. debut. They TWEET:  @HighValley is ready to take over the US airwaves as they release their new single #loveyouforalongtime to country radio!!! #loveisalongroad  (Monarch Publicity)
High Valley - Love You For A Long Time (Live)  >> YouTube

Columbia Nashville singer-songwriter newcomer Tyler Farr, heralded as a “New Artist To Watch” by both Country Weekly and Roughstock, is releasing his powerful new single, “Hello Goodbye.” The ballad of a man facing the emotional road at the end of a relationship, “Hello Goodbye” is a song that Tyler wrote following a real-life experience. “I caught an ex-girlfriend of mine cheating on me, and the next day we (Kris Bergsnes and Skip Black) wrote this song,” said Tyler. “Songwriting is like therapy, and thanks to Kris, Skip and a few drinks, I got some good counseling,” he laughed.
A native of Garden City, MO, Tyler’s love of country music was set after going on the road with his step father, who played guitar for George Jones. Tyler will perform the song on the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday Aug 18. Read more at , Listen to the song in full at

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Lynyrd Skynyrd are set to perform during events outside of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida  on Sunday, August 26 as part of the fundraising event Citizens Helping Heroes presents Southern Tribute IV Honoring America’s Heroes. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s show launches the four-day event which also includes performances by Trace Adkins (8/28) and Kid Rock (8/29). (Webster & Associates)

Don McLean will be the subject of a new and authorized documentary, DON McLEAN: AMERICAN TROUBADOUR. On the DVD due out on September 11, 2012 (Time Life), the iconic “American Pie” singer-songwriter granted unprecedented access and interviews for the film, revealing his personal account of a career spanning over four decades and performing songs that have become integral parts of American pop culture. On the same date, a double CD of McLean’s biggest hits will also be released.  Also titled Don McLean: American Troubadour, the CD set will include live performances as well as a special duet of “And I Love You So” with Nanci Griffith. DON McLEAN: AMERICAN TROUBADOUR is produced and directed by four-time Emmy® award-winning Jim Brown whose work includes: Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, The Weavers: Wasn’t That A Time, and A Vision Shared: Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly.  "I let Jim Brown into my life because I respect him and trust him,” explains McLean.  We’ve known each other for forty years and he allowed my ideas to be fully realized while telling my story accurately and poetically." (Webster & Associates)

Craig Morgan will release his latest single “More Trucks Than Cars” , written by Morgan with Phil O’Donnell and Craig Wiseman from his recent album THIS OLE BOY. The song which has a August 27th country radio impact date, is an anthem for the southern lifestyle, depicted in stars that light the night sky, biscuits, grits and gravy, ‘Ole Glory’ flying high and a landscape where you’ll sooner spot a truck before you see a car. Morgan can wholeheartedly relate to his lyric - “meanwhile back in Tennessee we’re raising our babies and our own green beans.” Craig believes the song is equally relatable to metropolitan areas of the U.S. where there is no shortage of hard-working Americans ad a touch of the southern lifestyle is a hot commodity. While in New York earlier this year, Morgan was surprised at the number of trucks he spotted amongst the sea of yellow cabs in Manhattan! (Monarch Publicity)
Ummmmmm …More Miss than Hit? See what you think >>  MP3 Audio LINK

Martina McBride is sharing her time and talents in a special concert from Nashville’s Loveless Barn to benefit THE SHALOM FOUNDATION and its medical program in Guatemala. (Monarch Publicity)

George Jones, the country music icon often referred to as the "the greatest living country singer" will mark the end of an era with a 2013 farewell tour for his fans titled "The Grand Tour". After a brief bout with an upper respiratory infection earlier this year, Jones has returned to the road.  George Jones on Tour (2012) dates and more: Webster & Associates

Chet Flippo questions , “what’s happening over in what we fondly used to call ‘country music’?” Extract: Well, the sky officially fell this week. The No. 1 country album is pretty much a rap album. Country rapper Colt Ford's Declaration of Independence is also No. 2 on the rap chart. Something that's either profoundly schizoid or extremely progressive is going on here.
And the No. 1 downloaded country single -- which even impartial observers agree has absolutely no country elements to it at all -- is also well on its way to being the most downloaded single by any female artist ever. Ever, ever. Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is a well-crafted and shrewdly put together pop powerhouse …Read More at
(NASHVILLE SKYLINE is a column by CMT/ Editorial Director Chet Flippo.)

Ourstage Exclusive Q and A: Elizabeth Cook takes up the ‘Gospel Plow’ . Extract: OS: I bet some fans are surprised by the change in theme of your music? EC: It definitely has raised some eyebrows and many people question where I am going. Anyone who comes to a live show and knows me and knows my records probably isn’t surprised. They know we all come from a place where we are all walking contradictions. My voice applies to a lot of different perspectives and it’s important that I round out what I am bringing. I don’t want to make Welder again and I don’t want to make Balls again or Gospel Plow again. I don’t want to be redundant. This perhaps takes a little more patience but people are interested in accepting it and even feel it represents a little more complex narrative. I don’t want to always project a message that I’m this way or that way. I am not there yet. I want to keep the ball in play. Full Interview at

Interview: Zoe Muth Digs "Old Gold" -

Rounder Records are sharing some full track samplers are allowing fans an exclusive opportunity to hear rising star Dustin Lynch’s new album first before it lands on store shelves on Aug 21 – as part of CW on the DL: FIRST LISTEN. -

For users of this online music streaming service here are some of the more recent addditions

Bob Harris Country BBC Radio 2 playlist based on music featured from the 9th August show - Spotify Link
Kate Campbell – 1000 Pound Machine - Spotify Link
Susan Cattaneo – Little Big Sky - Spotify Link

Various Artists – The Johnny Cash Music Festival 2011 - Spotify Link

Tim Culpepper – Pourin' Whiskey On Pain - Spotify Link
Lisa McHugh – Dreams Come To Life - Spotify Link

Jaida Dreyer – Confessions (Single) - Spotify Link
Colt Ford – Declaration of Independence (Deluxe Edition) - Spotify Link

Arista Nashville’s Kristen Kelly released the video for her debut single “Ex-Old Man” on August 13. Fans can watch the video on VEVO (after a short ad)at . Filmed in Nashville, the video takes a lighthearted look at a relationship gone awry.
"I had a great time working with Anna Mastro on this video,” shares Kristen. “I feel like she ‘got me’ and the true message behind the song. When life brings you a lemon...make some lemonade and add some vodka.”
Earlier this summer Kristen made history when her debut single, “Ex-Old Man,” became the most added song on Country Aircheck making it the first time in Country Aircheck history a new female artist’s debut single tops the most added list.
Kristen has had a busy summer out on the road with Brad Paisley on his Virtual Reality World Tour.
The track “Ex-Old Man” is available to dowload on Amazon UK and UK iTunes

Lydia Loveless "Back On The Bottle" . Lydia channels the Patsy Cline on this song which contains some bad language
>>   YouTube 

According to PEOPLE Magazine Taylor Swift has purchased a home in Hyannis Port, MA.  A Hyannis Port realtor has confirmed that SWIFT purchased the home last week, and that it is located right across the street from members of the KENNEDY family. 
Taylor Swift's Hyannis home
The property had been on the market for the past two to four years, originally listed at $14 million. 

It includes seven bedrooms, and five bathrooms. Taylor reportedly only paid $4.9 million for the home that overlooks Nantucket Sound. (Photo 1Photo 2)

She has been seen with reported 18-year old “boyfriend” Conor Kennedy, including a visit to Nashville where he met her parents last week.

Los Angeles prosecutors are charging the father of singers Jessica and Ashley Simpson with two counts of drunken driving after his arrest earlier this month. 54-year-old Joe Simpson faces a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail, 36 months of probation and a $1,000 fine. Simpson is a former minister. He helped make stars of his two daughters by managing their singing careers.

Philanthropist told cops Taylor Swift was at wheel - Two days after George Boedecker Jr.'s arrest in Boulder, Colorado on suspicion of driving under the influence, a public relations firm representing the Crocs Inc. co-founder [of the Crocs shoe empire] issued a statement expressing "regret" over the incident.

Picture: AP/

The 51-year-old reportedly was uncooperative with police during his arrest, refusing to perform roadside maneuvers, and at one point insinuating that he was dating country music superstar Taylor Swift, who he said had been driving the car instead of him!

When asked about (his “girlfriend”) Taylor Swift’s whereabouts, Boedecker said she’d run off after an argument. Then he motioned in the direction of a neighboring yard, which he equated with Nashville!

Reba McEntire tweets "Watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. They were great!!!! Yay USA!!!!"

Love and TheftLNTweet: We love u all!! We are so humbled and grateful to have our first number one ever!! Million thanks to our theft heads for being awesome and stickin by us through all the hurdles. And thank you country radiooooo!! One of the best days of our life !

Pistol Annies - PistolAnnies: Oops….    (See photo)

Jana KramerKramerGirl: I honestly think people would want to sit next to a crying baby than my laugh on an airplane. #sorryimnotsorry

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