Saturday, 25 August 2012

Country Bites News snippets August 20 – August 24, 2012

Country Bites News snippets August 20 – August 24, 2012

SOURCES & Links shown in RED 

Singer/songwriter Justin McGurk will launch his latest album, TAKE YOUR PLACE, at the Bank Holiday Boogie in The Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone on Sunday Aug 26. Justin co-wrote the title track with Shay Healy, who penned Johnny Logan's Eurovision winner “What's Another Year?” Justin was inspired to write this very personal ballad after watching a loved one struggle with a life-threatening illness.

POPULAR duo Thomas Maguire and Fhiona Ennis have a new single out called “I Wanna Be Married  (Cover Art)
The song was recorded at their very own recording facility “Blacksmith Studio’s” in Co Fermanagh and their next album is expected to be released in Dec 2012.
 >> Listen a Sample Clip
Thomas & Fhiona ( Photo) were voted "Vocal Duo Of The Year" at the Hot Country Television Award Ceremony  and voted "Country & Irish Duo Of The Year 2012" at The Tipp FM Awards held in May. This Co Fermanagh/Co Wexford combination was born in 2005 with the release of their very first duet “Promised To John”.

Thomas & Fhiona

At that time both artists were working separately with their own bands but as time would tell both artists would combine their talents to form Irelands current only male/female country duo on the bigger touring scene.

Before teaming up with Thomas, Fhiona Ennis has enjoyed great success with her own solo career having fronted her own five piece band. In that period she toured with USA singer/songwriter legend Leona Williams and Moe Bandy as part of their Irish schedules. Fhiona also joined Leona in Nashville for some concerts during the CMA Festival 2005 including a live broadcast on The legendary Ernest Tubb’s Midnight Jamboree Radio Show.
They front their own Country Band have some mainland UK dates coming up: Sept Sat 8  MIMF - Weston Super Mare England, Sept Sun 9  Fisher Theatre, Bungay, Suffolk England, Oct Fri 19  Shamrock Club, Puriton, Somerset and Oct Sat 20 at the Croydon Irish Club.   

Daniel O’Donnell is singing all the way to the bank after his company almost doubled its profits in the past three years to €4.9 million. The 50-year-old entertainer has many other interests but this impressive profit relates to his main company.
Returns recently filed by the Kincasslagh star’s main entertainment firm, DOD Promotions Ltd, for 2011, 2010 and 2009, show its profits have increased by 67 per cent over the period, climbing from €2.92 million in 2009 to €4.98 million at the end of last October.
However Daniel says that money is not a motivating factor for him:
I’ve never sung to make money. When I’m performing, I never think about how much I’m making on the night. I sing because I love it and the money is just a by-product of what I do. “My biggest payment is being on the stage and that is a big part of the secret of my success. If it all ended tomorrow, I couldn’t say there is anything the world could have offered me that is better than what I have.”

Will Banister the Country music traditionist and Wembley sensation flew into London earlier this week to perform at Channel 5′s launch party for Dallas, the new series marking the return of the immensely popular, long-running tv soap opera.
Especially requested to perform at the event – staged at London’s Old Billingsgate on Tuesday, September 21 – the 23 year singer-songwriter’s music added to the evening’s Texas flavour, as celebrity guests mingled with the show’s stars that included original favourites Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy as well as new cast members.
“It was a great experience and I was overwhelmed that the organisers wanted me to appear at this special event”, said Banister. “Now I’m looking forward to return to Britain next month and meeting the country music fans on my first UK tour”.
The tour, which was set up by promoter Nicky James following Will Banister’s sensation appearance at Wembley’s International Festival of Country Music in February, finds Banister reunited with the musicians who backed him at the Channel 5 party (Music News Nashville)  
(21 Aug 2012) JT Hodges -  JT Hodges (Show Dog-Universal) - Amazon UK CD Import
(21 Aug 2012) Dustin Lynch -  Dustin Lynch  (Broken Bow) -  Amazon UK CD Import
(21 Aug 2012) The World Famous Headliners (Big Al Anderson, Shawn Camp, Pat McLaughlin, Michael Rhodes, Greg Morrow) Label - Big Yellow Dog Music, Time 56:13 - Amazon UK MP3 Downloads

The McClymonts' are at the top of the national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart for the third straight week this week with their latest hit Piece Of Me.

Lee Kernaghan announced to fans via his Facebook fan page that he will release his new album BEAUTIFUL NOISE on October 19 through ABC Music/Universal Music Australia.
This will be the first album of new material from Lee since the release of his multi-award winning Planet Country in 2009

R. I. P. BURKHARD "LUCIUS" REICHLING (Truck Stop)  Mar 08, 1947 - † Aug 14, 2012
"Truck Stop" veteran Burkhard "Lucius" Reichling is dead! Born in Berlin in March 1947 singer and violinist in the Hamburg country band died on the evening of 14 August 2012 at the age of 65, the cause of death as a result of pneumonia and a late cancer. Lucius B. Reichling co-founded the cowboy country band Truckstop in 1973. The band have been a popular in the European music world for almost 40 years with hits like "The Wild, Wild West”,  "Arizona Arizona","Take it  Easy Old Man", "Hilly Billy Country Lilly" and "Big City Beat". Truck Stop recently released a new CD called COUNTRY BAND.  (

The CMA recently bestowed posthumous honors to the family of international journalist Rineke Van Beek with the presentation of the Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award. The presentation took place on August 20th in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, by CMA Director of International Relations Bobbi Boyce.
Van Beek, who passed away in 2011 after a brave battle with cancer, worked in the Country music industry in the Netherlands for more than 25 years as the International Director for Country Gazette magazine and Nashville FM. For Rineke Van Beek, “the reward for all her hard work was always the interviews with the artists and she was always thinking about the people who made it possible because those people did all the work for her,” said her husband. “Thank you to CMA for this lovely surprise.

Cactus” Moser the husband of country legend Wynonna Judd was involved in a serious motorcycle accident on Saturday night (Aug 18), shortly before the singer was set to begin performing in Deadwood, S.D. Michael “Cactus” Moser is also Judd’s drummer. The two were riding separate motorcycles when he crossed the center line and hit a car.
The Associated Press reports that Moser was air-lifted to the Rapid City Regional Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. He was cited for not having a license to operate a motorcycle and for crossing the center line. Judd was riding ahead of the 55-year-old on U.S. Highway 16 in the Black Hills. The driver of the other vehicle was not injured.
The outpouring of prayer and support from friends, family and fans has been a blessing to both Cactus and I,” Judd said in a statement. “Cactus is a champion. I love him deeply and I will not leave his side.”
The two who live together in Nashville were married in June in a private family ceremony.
Celebrity celebrity news and gossip website TMZ has learned that Moser’s left leg had to be amputated following the crash. Judd's rep told TMZ ... Michael Scott Moser "severed" his leg in the crash ... and when he was transported to a hospital in Rapid City, SD doctors determined it was necessary to amputate the leg above the knee.
The rep also says Moser had to undergo surgery on his hand, which is of particular concern because he is the drummer in Judd's band.

For Chris Young the Summer heat continues  as single “Tomorrow” reaches PLATINUM selling Status
The Sony ATV staff invited Chris, his management team (photo), and Sony executives to celebrate Chris’ five consecutive No. 1 singles (“You,” “Tomorrow,” “Gettin’ You Home,” “Voices,” and “The Man I Want To Be”). The day prior to the already scheduled event, mega-hit “Tomorrow,” (written by Young, Frank Myers, and Anthony Smith) was certified PLATINUM by the RIAA for sales exceeding one million downloads. (Monarch Publicity)

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame announced on August 20th that Mary Chapin Carpenter is among its 2012 inductees into their Hall fo Fame! Along with Mary Chapin Carpenter, other inductees include Tony Arata, Larry Henly and Kim Williams.  All inductees will be welcomed into this elite songwriting community during the 42nd Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony on Sunday, October 7, at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. 
Among all the great songwriters who have put the music in Music City, only a select few are elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame,” said John Van Mol , chairman of the foundation’s board of directors.  We are delighted to accord this honor to Tony, Kim and Mary Chapin, and pleased as well to recognize Larry as the first inductee in the Veteran Songwriter category.”

To celebrate his 4-song Country & Cold Cans EP (out Aug 28 in UK) and the kick off of his Back To College Tour, Dierks Bentley is holding an Instagram contest where fans can post Country & Cold Can themed images to Instagram with the hashtag #ColdCans  
I remember being young and barely being able to scrape up enough money from the tip jar to put gas in my truck and cold beer in my fridge, so I thought the prize for this was pretty perfect. I don't know anyone who couldn't use extra cash," laughed Dierks. “I love seeing the photos that fans post online, so this will be a little incentive to keep 'em coming!"

The BBC reports (Aug 20) Scott McKenzie, who sang the 1960s hit “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)”, has died aged 73. McKenzie had been suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system.
McKenzie was born Philip Wallach Blondheim and grew up in North Carolina. He and John Phillips, who later formed the Mamas and the Papas, played together as teens in a doowop act called the Abstracts and moved to New York, where Blondheim changed his name after comedian Jackie Curtis noted that the singer resembled a Scottie dog. With the rise of folk music, McKenzie and Phillips switched their focus, forming the Journeymen with banjo player Dick Weissman and recording three albums before splitting in 1964.
San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair), penned by Phillips and featuring him on guitar, was McKenzie's only significant hit.The single is said to have sold over 7 million copies worldwide.It song rose to number one in the United Kingdom and most of Europe.
Texan superstar Tanya Tucker included a hoarse segue of “San Francisco” with “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.” On her tenth album the 1979 rock oriented album TEAR ME APART.  >>   YouTube 
Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum will announce the final nominees for “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” on Wednesday, Sept. 5 from “Good Morning America” and the Hard Rock Cafe located in Times Square in New York City.
Aldean and Lady Antebellum will announce the final nominees in five CMA Awards categories live from the “Good Morning America” studios on ABC. Lee Brice will be on hand in Nashville to announce the finalists for the 2012 CMA Broadcast Award Personality and Radio Station of the Year in four categories (small, medium, large, and major markets) – CMA World

Barack Obama won in the state Iowa in 2008, but given the local reaction to what Hank Williams Jr. said Friday at theIowa State Fair, he might be in trouble this November."We've got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him," the country star said, drawing cheers from the audience, according to the Des Moines Metromix.
Brad Anderson, an Obama campaign rep in Iowa said - "That type of absurd nonsense doesn't really deserve a response" 

Mark Chesnutt will become the first in the country music genre to introduce an innovative, one-of-a-kind Blu-Ray 3D disc bringing the intimate feel and excitement of “live moments” to fan living rooms across the world. In collaboration with AIX Records (California), Chesnutt will release the 3D country music album entitled YOUR ROOM on August 28, 2012.

Mark Chesnutt
Blu-ray Artwork
"Your Room"

AIX Records filmed a live performance by Chesnutt and his band in Los Angeles using 3D cameras and AIX proprietary HD-audio recording techniques specifically designed to bring the professional honky-tonker’s performance to life in the comfort of home theaters and living rooms at the touch of a button.
Fans can enjoy the private and intimate experience while Chesnutt performs 15 of his greatest hits including “It’s A Little Too Late,” “Too Cold At Home,” “Bubba Shot The Jukebox,” “Going Through The Big D” and “Rollin’ With The Flow.
As a fan of country music and Mark, I asked his manager if Mark and the band would be interested in participating in a series of 3D video shoots that we would be doing in June. He was immediately interested and the rest is history.
They flew from Texas and Nashville to southern California and played 15 of Mark's hits for our audio and video equipment. This project is the first 3D Music Album(tm) of a major country artist. It is not a live concert. There is not audience…unless you count yourself in your own home theater as an audience of one. (Producer Mark Waldrep)
This is the world's first country music Blu-ray 3D disc (Run Time 48 minutes).
It is compatible with both 2D and 3D Blu-ray players and TVs.
The music was recorded in REAL HD-Audio at 96 kHz/24-bit PCM and is presented in DOLBY TrueHD.
Video users can select from 3 different audio mixes. It contains bonus features including channel identification tones, additional video, a photo gallery, liner notes, and musician bios.
Audio files on the disc can be copied as MP3 files, FLAC files (higher audio resolution) Note: You need a BD drive attached to your PC.
Music News Nashville

EMI Records Nashville recording artist Eric Paslay is inviting fans to sign-up to participate in a new share-to-win contest to celebrate this acoustic performance video for “Amarillo Rain.” You have to “like” his Facebook page to view it -
“’Amarillo Rain’ has been a fan favorite in my live shows for some time,” explains the 6' 4" singer/songwriter Paslay with Irish roots and an Texan upbringing. “I am excited to give fans a way to share this special song.”
Eric Paslay and his cowriter Will Hoge celebrated a #1 with Eli Young Band's “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”, , as well as Jake Owen's #1 smash "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" which he co-wrote with Dylan Altman and Terry Sawchuk. Most recently he penned the latest #1 single for Love and Theft ("Angel Eyes") and he co-wrote "Friday Night" on the latest Lady Antebellum album.
More trouble for Randy Travis – TMZ has learned the embattled singer was involved in a fight in a church parking lot in Texas early this morning. Law enforcement sources told TMZ that cops responded to the church around 1 AM after receiving a tip about two men fighting in the parking lot.
Cops said Travis was taken to the hospital after the fight. One source tells us Randy appeared to be “extremely intoxicated.” The fight was apparently over a girl.
People [Magazine]spoke to Plano police officer David Tilley, who explained that the scuffle was reported around 10 p.m. Thursday night, and that Travis was fighting with his alleged girlfriend's estranged husband.
The beleaguered country singer was cited for a Class C simple assault, "which is a minor misdemeanor offense similar to a traffic violation," Tilley told PEOPLE. Afterward, he says, everyone refused transportation to the hospital.
As for speculation that Travis might have been under the influence of alcohol, Tilley said, "There was no indication that he was intoxicated on the report. I'm not sure where these stories are coming from. It's nothing more than what we run into on a regular basis." -  

Actress and country singer Jana Kramer just grabbed her first Top 10 single with “Why Ya Wanna,” along with a gold record. Kramer’s record label, Warner Music Nashville, surprised her with the honour on Thursday during a party at the Warner office. With its current position inside the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, “Why Ya Wanna” is the highest-charting female debut since Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw” in 2006.
I’m super lucky to have had this fast of a pace at a label, because usually it takes people a lot longer to get going,” Kramer says. “I never thought in a million years I’d go Top 10 on my first single. Everyone told me there was like a one percent chance. They were like, ‘It’s not going to happen.’ I was like, ‘Wow, guys.’ But they worked their (butts) off. Now I want to beat Taylor.”
Kramer says she thinks “Why Ya Wanna” is successful because it’s “super relatable

Steve Earle the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, and published author, has a two-book deal with Twelve, the publisher announced Friday. Earle will write a memoir, scheduled for 2014, and a novel set in the 19th century about an escaped slave. (AP)

Lisa Marie Presley made her Grand Ole Opry debut on August 21. She wowed the audience with performances of “Over Me,” “Storm of Nails” and “Weary,” all of which are found on her latest album STORM & GRACE., produced by 12-time Grammy-winner T Bone Burnett. “It’s an honor for me to be here,” she said as she took the stage. “Thank you for having me.” Backstage she added, “I grew up not far away and am a huge fan of so many who have been here. I know how important this is.”

Vocal trio Blue Sky Riders, comprised of Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr, will headline its first national tour in America this fall to support the self-titled debut album expected Jan. 22, 2013.

Taylor Swift has set the record for the biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman.
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" sold 623,000 in the week ending Aug. 19, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and it thus debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Digital Songs chart.
Not only is it the best week ever for a woman, but the second largest ever. Only Flo Rida's "Right Round" has sold more in a week, when it debuted at No. 1 with 636,000 on the Digital Songs chart dated Feb. 28, 200.
The previous high-water mark among female acts was Ke$ha's "TiK ToK," which moved 610,000 on the chart dated Jan. 9, 2010 (Note: reflecting the busy post-Christmas week of 2009). Swift also nets the largest debut week among women.

Taylor Swift, Princess Of Punk?
Extract: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" creates a mood of uplift — even joy — around emotions that are, in life, not pretty

. The latest in the young post-country star's growing portfolio of breakup songs isn't earnest like "Dear John" or wistful like "Back To December" — nor is it explosive, like the revenge wails of Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert.
Instead, Swift's song spins sugar from spit. Its sneeringly derisive tone is rooted in its stomping four-on-the-floor beat and builds through Swift's clipped guitar strums and a vocal marked by Valley Girl-style vocal asides and a whistle-while-you-trash-him melodic hook. In other words, it's pop-punk, like a Blink-182 song. Or an Avril Lavigne song — which it could have been, had its co-writer Max Martin been working with another of the ingenues he's aided (say, Lavigne herself). Read more at

Taylor Swift will join One Direction, Conor Maynard and Little Mix at BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards which is back and will take place on Sunday 7th October 2012 at Wembley Arena in London. The event, which is exclusively for 14-17 year olds, will take place at Wembley Arena. Tickets are free (but subject to a booking fee) and will be released on the Radio 1 website on September 22nd so make sure you get online then!

In addition to a new RED album and single, Taylor Swift is also releasing a new perfume! Wonderstruck Enchanted will be available in Macy’s department and specialty stores in September 2012. It it will retail for $49.50-$59.50, with body lotion available for $29. The new fragrance is described as a ‘blend of luscious wild berries and sugar-glazed petals, wrapped in a touch of sensuality for a captivating signature.’
Photo courtesy
 of Coburn Communication.

Taylor worked with KraftWorks NYC and Elizabeth Arden to develop the advertising concept for her new fragrance. For the ad shoot, “Lady in Red” Taylor wore a cascading rose-print gown designed by Monique Lhuillier at the Magnolia Plantation in New Orleans – choosing the same venue photoshooot of her original fragrance.
 “I love the look of my Wonderstruck Enchanted ad!” Taylor told “I’m wearing this amazing red gown that I loved as soon as I put it on. It’s a classic look, and that's been my recent style obsession. Anything classic and timeless.” Wonderstruck Enchanted is the next chapter in the story of my Wonderstruck fragrance,” Taylor said.
Wonderstruck is about that moment when you instantly feel a connection to someone, but then there’s that feeling of being completely enamored – enchanted – when you know a little more about that someone and still feel that strong connection.”

Jason Aldean has unveiled his new album details. It will hit store shelves and digital retailers on Oct. 16!
The lead Single "Take A Little Ride" raced up the charts in, to excuse the pun,  “record time” . For Aldean it was an easy task to pick a name for his fifth album for Broken Bow Records. One of its 15 songs, “Night Train,” perfectly embodied the tone of his career. The train is moving, and it’s moving at a rapid pace.
NIGHT TRAIN's lead single, driving country/rocker “Take A Little Ride,” sold more digital downloads in its first week than any male country artist in history.
"I feel really great about the songs we recorded for this album," said Aldean. "There are some surprises on there that might raise a few eyebrows, and there's also some more traditional stuff too. I don't like being put in a box, and I think with every record, we've had a lot of variety…'Night Train' is no different. I got to do a cool uptempo song with Luke (Bryan) and Eric (Church), who've both been out with me over the last two years. I love collaborations like that, and I think the fans dig it when artists get together…it keeps it interesting."  (more info, track list and writers at  Broken Bow Records)

Terri Clark has released the Tracking list for her classic record (and not in this order) : It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels ( Kitty Wells), Leavin On Your Mind  (Patsy Cline), Love Is A Rose (Linda Ronstadt), Gentle On My Mind (Glen Campbell), Swingin Doors (Merle haggard), Two More Bottles Of Wine (Emmylou Harris), Delta Dawn (Tanya Tucker), Golden Ring (George and Tammy), Don't Come Home A Drinkin (Loretta Lynn) and How Blue (Reba McEntire) and Movin On  (Hank Snow)

Vanguard Records will release The Essential Mindy Smith, on October 9 in CD, LP, and digital formats. The 13 track collection features songs from the highly acclaimed singer-songwriter’s three Vanguard Records studio albums One Moment More, Long Island Shores and Stupid Love. This compilation will include “Little Lies,”  Smith’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s song which previously appeared only as an iTunes bonus track.

Lady Antebellum‘s songbird Hillary Scott took to Twitter on Monday to share some exciting news with fans.
GUESS WHAT?!?!? Album 4 is in the works! Day 1 in the studio for pre-production! Here we go!!!!” she wrote.
The trio, who is currently climbing the charts at country radio (#22 Billboard Hot Country Songs) with “Wanted You More,” the fourth single from their 2011 release Own The Night, says they are going in to this album feeling a closer bond than ever.

Little Big Town Unleashes “Tornado” in Nashville - LBT’s full-length album, Tornado, is predicted to hit the nation on Sept. 11 in the wake of major hit single “Pontoon.” Last night (8/23) Capitol Records reined in a slew of Nashville who’s who for a soiree to where the ever-impressive foursome performed the album in its entirety. Report & Track listing

Cover Art for Jamey Johnson's Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran (out Oct 16)

Read about Ringo Starr’s country music receptiveness: Book Excerpt: Ringo Starr Realizes a Dream With His 1970 Country Album
Ringo Starr had always loved country and western music. Back in 1959, he had joined an English group called The Raving Texans. He took the stage name Ringo not only because of the rings he wore, but also in honor of "Johnny Ringo," a real life cowboy involved in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral…..When the Beatles and Rolling Stones barnstormed across America in 1964 and 1965, many parts of the US only had country radio stations. The exposure deepened the bands' affection for the genre.
Starr went on to cover country artist Buck Owens' "Act Naturally" on the Help! album, co-wrote with Lennon-McCartney (supposedly) the country-inflected "What Goes On" on Rubber Soul, and wrote the country "Don't Pass Me By" on the White Album.
Read more at –

Barry Mazor wrote a Wall Street Journal feature on Joey + Rory. Extract: Both Feeks, who've been married for 10 years, emphasize that they'd not planned to be any style of performing duo originally, or made any systematic study of the classic male-female teams for ideas about how to go about it. They see the strong, clear personalities and styles of the two individual artists in the classic pairings as important—and crucial for themselves today.
"We both grew up fans of true country artists, ones that stood out," Mr. Feek said. "With Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton, nobody considered trying to make 50 of those at the time. They were already characters before they combined into duos that were bigger than two of them alone. Well, I'm already a character; I know I am, and Joey's the same way. For us, a drawback to country music these days was that we couldn't tell the difference between one voice and another, or between the duos or groups. I know they haven't all lived the same life; they're not married to the same people or living in the same houses in the same part of town, yet they all seem to say the exact same thing. It's important to us to be sure that we were singing about what we know, understand and are living."

USA Today Column: Real cost of 'free' downloads
Extract: Nashville's Craig Carothers is a singer-songwriter whose livelihood depends on concerts and CD sales. Yet sometimes, his biggest fans make that job tougher."I've had the experience more than once of having someone come up to me and — completely pure of heart — excitedly tell me they bought copies of my CDs when I was last in town and they enjoyed them so much they made copies for 15 or so of their friends," said Carothers.There goes the revenue stream.............
.........Most illegally downloaded songs come from major stars and labels, but the food chain surrounding major artists includes songwriters, producers and musicians who are trying to get by in a ravaged industry.
Unauthorized downloading is a global challenge, and no one nation will provide the solution, but America's origins suggest we should care more than most. In the end, this is not about business models or emerging technology. It's about living up to the promise we made to Webster and the first generation of Americans who believed that art should be free, but not necessarily free of charge.


Sugarland keeps it simple and casual at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Concert review by Melissa Ruggieri

Photo (left)  by Robb D. Cohen

Presently, Ray Price notes that he is working on a new studio album which will consist of approximately ten to twelve tracks. “I’m 86 years old and my voice is better now than it ever has been. The crowds seem to like me better and all of a sudden it’s beginning to swell,” he says. “They have called me the ‘Sinatra" more Catching up with Ray Price: Country Music Icon Suite101 Interview
Price is best-known for such beloved country classics as “Heartaches by the Number” and “For the Good Times.”

Loretta Lynn: ‘I’m as country as cornbread’- Q & A interview with Atlanta Music Scene
Extract: Q. Your last album was almost a decade ago…A. Was it, really? With Jack [White]? Q. Well, it was 2004, so almost a decade ago.
A. Whew. Well, I’ve got 60-something things cut already. I’ve got a Christmas album, two religious albums. I’m gonna put ‘em out and get ‘em on the radio.
Q. Working with Jack White turned out to be a success. Are there any other young artists you admire creatively?........
A. Carrie Underwood. I think she is one of the best girl singers today. She can sing anything.
Q. What do you think about the current Nashville scene?
A. Country today is like pop music was 40 years ago, that’s the way I see it. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I like the polished sound of country, even though I’m as country as cornbread....
Q. What do you still want to accomplish?
A. I want to have more hits. Giving up is for quitters! No one says anything anymore [in songs]. They need me out there.

Exclusive: Listen to Dierks Bentley's New EP at

Dwight Yoakam is preparing to release 3 PEARS on September 18th, his first new studio album in seven years.
Yoakam produced the entirety of 3 Pears, but he brought in some unexpected help on two tracks: Beck, who co-produced "A Heart Like Mine" and "Missing Heart." - On "A Heart Like Mine," Yoakam reaches for love, reflecting on the inner workings of his heart with yearning calls and an energetic punch. "I tried to encourage him to just let it have his personality and just be what it is," Beck says.
Stream the song at

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

Taylor Swift "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (New Single) - Spotify Link

Amy Speace - Land Like A Bird - Spotify Link
Act Of Valor Various Artists  - Spotify Link

Elizabeth Cook - Gospel Plow (2012) 7 track EP
Flynnville Train "The One You Love" (2012 Remix) Single  - Spotify Link

Red Roots - The Middle Of Nowhere  - Spotify Link

For an email share fans of singer-songwriter Tift Merritt they can get a feel for her upcoming album with 2 new songs "Sweet Spot" and "In The Way," (160kbps MP3’) and an acoustic 3-song EP (320kbps MP3). For new album TRAVELING ALONE, out Oct. 2, Merritt knew—and got—exactly the journeymen she wanted: guitarist Marc Ribot, Calexico drummer John Convertino, steel player Eric Heywood, multi-instrumentalist Rob Burger, and Jay Brown on bass. As captured by producer Tucker Martine (known for working with the Decemberists) the sound is both spare and luxurious. Visit -

Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” has been the huge 2012 summer hit with country fans & county artists. In this video several artists join forces putting their twist on the popular song, including Wynnona, Sara Evans, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes, Darius Rucker, Thompson Square and sooo many more. LBT seem to do well with one word song titles that have 3 o’s. Their 2005 single "Boondocks" from their album THE ROAD TO HERE reached #9 on the Hot Country song chart and acheived Gold certification. “Pontoon” is rapidly heading for platinum status, as of August 15 it had sold 883, 000 copies holding the #1 slot on the Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart. It’s the debut single from LBT’s forthcoming album TORNADO due out on September 11.
Larry Gatlin gets
in the Pontoon Spirit!

It was released in May 2005 as the first single released.
One of the country stars to join this all-star lineup of country music celebs is Larry Gatlin  -"My friend Charlie Daniels and I made the others in the video look young... OOPS... I forgot... they ARE young!" says Gatlin.  "Thanks for lettin' us old geezers take a ride on the pontoon!" (Absolute Publicity
Watch the Video here >>  YouTube 

Sarah Darling digitally releases “Home To Me,” the lead single from the upcoming album being produced by Dann Huff. The release of “Home To Me” comes on the heels of Sarah’s twentieth performance at the Grand Ole Opry since her debut in February 2011.
The lyric video for “Home To Me” premiered at Country Weekly and the track is available on UK iTunes.
 “Home To Me” was written by Caitlyn Smith & Bobby Hamrick and will be released to radio this fall. The song is a breezy mid-tempo track that takes the listener on a lyrical journey comparing her love interest to the beauty of America’s landscape as she finds “home” in that person.
Sarah is currently in the studio working on her upcoming album to be released in the first quarter of 2013. Country Music Is Love
Watch the Video >>  YouTube

Taylor Swift and Conor Kennedy were caught on camera hand holding hands and smooching last weekend in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. - Photo - Photo 2

Hunter Hayes plays over 20 instruments but he’s afraid of the fiddle. He says he failed a few years ago trying to play it and says, “I’m even afraid to be in a same room as a fiddle.” 

Taylor SwiftTaylorSwift13: #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100!!?! This has been the most amazing week. I can’t believe how incredible you guys are. (Jumping up and down)
Will HogeWillHoge: 4yrs ago 2nite I was in a coma at VUMC after my wreck. 2nite I’m celebrating my 1st #1 song with family and friends. I’m the luckiest guy.

Easton Corbin has shot a steamy video for "Are You With Me." People Country has this exclusive photo from the set.
Easton will release his highly anticipated 11-song set second album titled ALL OVER THE ROAD, on Sept. 18.

Nothing to do with country music BUT, Oh! hang on, haven’t Prince Harry and a certain country star called Travis got a few things in common. The naked truth is: Both are randy and making the TMZ news for all the wrong reasons, they’re heavy drinkers and have a liking for a Las Vegas Strip!
This cartoon by Mac from The Daily Mail imagines the scene at Buckingham Palace. A naked Harry wearing only a panama hat asks the Queen, his grandmother, "But what's upset you Grandma? Was it something I've said?" The Queen and Prince Philip, her husband, are not amused, while the royal butler spills tea all over the coffee table ! Hilarious! - Image
Harry, an officer in the British Army Air Corps, might consider a new job: poster boy for Vegas. Britain's Daily Mail reports that Virgin Holidays is seeing increased demand for Sin City air/hotel packages since Harry cavorted in party pools and cued up in the buff.
Among those weighing in: Lady Gaga, who wrote on Twitter:
HOLY MOTHER HARRY LOOKS FIT. hope no ones mad at him for that, I'm certainly not #RoyalsArePeopleToo
She added a not-so-nice wish to "whatever (expletive) friend took those pictures and leaked them."
Piers Morgan also commented on the shots, saying, "I'm shocked and disgusted by the Prince Harry party photos in Vegas. Why the hell wasn't I invited????

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