Monday, 10 September 2012

Country Bites News snippets September 3 – September 8, 2012

Country Bites News snippets September 3 – September 8, 2012


UK & IRISH News
Wayne Jacobs, was the winner of UK Country.Radio.com Listeners' Club Award 2012 with his original song "Kentucky Whiskey". It is the latest in a string of accolades for the London-based songwriter, who has enjoyed previous successes in songwriting competitions around the world. Wayne's song was one of five Finalists for the award which included Carmen - Ian Highland & Twilight Country, “Come Undone” (Thorne Hill), “Don't Tell Me You're Not In Love” (Carolann B) and “That Thing You Do2 (Belle Cannon)

Winners of 2012 British Country Music Awards Included: Pete Kennedy Album of the Year,  Travellin Rose for UK Horizon Act of the Year, Nancy Ann Lee for UK Female Vocalist of the Year and Toby Keith for International Act of the Year.
Pete was presented UK Album of the Year for his EP The Nashville Sessions Volume 1 by the special guest of the evening and country music sensation, Sonia Leigh. “To be awarded for doing what I love is a dream come true,” said Pete. “My fellow nominees all have great albums as well and I was truly humbled to have taken home the award.”

Pete Kennedy
PLA Media image


Pete travelled to Nashville, TN on Wednesday, September 5th to shoot his official music video for the BCM Song of the Year nomination “I Am The One.” The video is set to be released in late September along with The Nashville Sessions Volume 1 on September 17th to UK radio.

For a full report on all the winners follow this Blog Link

Glasgow Country/Pop duo Raintown were winners of FOLK TRADITIONAL RECORDING of the YEAR, for their album HOPE IN TROUBLED TIMES at The Scottish New Music Awards held on 2nd Sept 2012 



AUSSIE NEWS
2013 CMAA Awards Nominations are now open. The CMAA is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2013 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, with nominations closing at 5pm (EST) Tuesday 2 October 2012

"Showcase Australia" celebrated it’s first anniversary on Saturday Sept 8th. The show with Connie Kis Andersen, a one hour weekly radio program showcasing Australian country music to the world via Country Music Radio (CMR) Nashville.
It was almost 16 months ago, Connie said, during the American Country Music Association's Music Festival in Nashville that she was approached by Lee Williams, Chief Executive of CMR Nashville to present a one hour radio program playing Australian country music to the station's world-wide listening audience.
As a huge believer in supporting her industry, her peers and growing audiences to do so, Connie Kis hesitantly agreed to do the job and on September 8, 2011, her first radio show went to air.
"I must admit it was one of the hardest jobs I have ever taken on," Connie said, "especially having had no experience in the world of radio apart from being on the other side as a performer!"
"A year later and it's a little bit easier but I still have absolutely no idea how presenters manage to do it live. Now, having had a taste of how much work and preparation goes into putting a show together, I pay my humblest respect to DJs and extend my sincerest thanks to them for all the effort they put in on behalf of us artists." 

Details have been announced for the 2012 Australian artist events and performances surrounding the annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, held Sept. 12-15 in downtown Nashville, Tenn.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Felicity Urquhart, Caitlin Harnett and Jordie Lane will each perform at official Americana Conference-sanctioned showcases, while additional Aussie events kick off Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Bluebird Café.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11 is Tamworth Presents “A Taste of Australia” showcase at the Bluebird Café.  Performing: Karl Broadie, Lachlan Bryan, John Flanagan, Damian Howard, Jordie Lane, Kelly Menhennett, Jen Mize, Melody Pool, Sue Ray, Andrew Redford, Lianna Rose, Ruby Boots, Sons of Summer, Catherine Traicos and Felicity Urquhart.
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, there is an official showcase performance by Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson at The Station Inn.

Kaylens Rain (Facebook promo)

Rising country star duo Kaylens Rain will release their long awaited debut album on Friday October 19.
After three years of eager learning and craft refinement, brother and sister Kaylee and Glen Harrison from Sydney’s northwest are poised to take their place in the spotlight, with a new name and clear focus on the future.
They have named their new album FOUND which has already gained plenty of attention via the single release, Outta Here which has been gaining widespread airplay in Australia.
FOUND is described as "an album that will take you on a journey, from driving guitar riffs to beautiful sibling harmonies, from heartbreaking love songs to inspirational lyrics".

"Kaylens Rain is the most exciting young act in Australian country music," said Garry Hoffman from Australian cap city digital radio station The Buckle. "Their first single Is That All There Is set a benchmark for contemporary country here on every level, and their new single proves it was no fluke. "There's no reason at all Kaylens Rain can't cut it on the world stage."

"We're serious about what we do," said Glen, "and we want to make good music. This album has been a long time in the making, writing songs, sourcing songs that we could relate to and working with producer Andrew Cochrane to develop our own sound."

"With their sights set firmly on the future, Kaylee is keen to see what the coming year holds for the duo. "Getting this album out is so exciting for us... and we're looking forward to touring and playing to new fans," she said. "There is nothing like the buzz you get when someone comes up and says we've made their day.  It makes it all worthwhile. - www.kaylensrain.com
 In Brisbane putting the finishing touches on the album!! @travistoy your steel guitar and dobro sound AMAZING!! Loving it!!”
Check out Kaylens Rain single “Outta Here (Produced by Andrew Cochrane - FX Productions) >> YouTube


CANADIAN NEWS
Taylor Swift is to receive First-Ever Generation Trophy at 2012 Canadian Country Music Association Awards. The CCMA Generation Award was designed to honor country music stars whose talent has propelled them onto an international stage. Not only is Ms. Swift the top-selling artist in Canada, but the sweet songstress has had singles top the country and pop radio charts all around the globe.
With her increased and continual success on the international scene, Taylor Swift embodies every aspect of the CCMA Generation Award,” said Ted Ellis, Chair of CCMA Board of Directors, in a statement. “Since 2010, she has not only become the biggest selling country artist in Canada, she is also one of the top selling artists in the world, across all genres. Taylor has already been recognized with over 100 prestigious international industry honors (including three previous CCMA awards for Top Selling Album) and she maintains a connection with her 200 million fans online daily. We look forward to this presentation during the 2012 CCMA Awards broadcast.” Swift has single-handedly converted a lot of pop music lovers to country music since she has become one of the most influential artists of her generation. It only makes sense that the CCMA would choose country music’s sweetheart as this year’s recipient of the CCMA Generation Award!

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) celebrated the first of four of its 2012 CCMA Awards on 7 Sept with ceremonies being held this week at Saskatoon's TCU Place's Grand Hall.
The Industry Brunch and Awards was a morning of great presentations and outstanding musical performances. Kicking off the event were hosts Kortney and Dave Wilson with performances by Victoria Banks, Kira Isabella, Ryan Laird & Leah Daniels, Codie Prevost and High Valley. 
The Industry Brunch and Awards recognizes some of Canada's most deserving industry professionals in the areas of radio, retailer, album design, video director and record producer among other achievements. This year's winners included Dean Brody, Gord Bamford, iTunes, RGK Entertainment Group Inc. and The Agency Group  among many more. - www.ccma.org/press

On Thursday, September 6, in Saskatoon Michelle Wright hosted the CCMA New Artist Showcase at the TCU Place Arts & Convention Centre. She will participate in multiple events throughout Canada's Country Music Week, culminating with an appearance at the 2012 Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Sunday, September 9, where she is a nominee for the Female Artist of the Year Award.
Wright was due to appear at CCMA FanFest at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Prairieland Park, where she will perform "in the round" with fellow Canadian country artists Gord  Bamford, George Canyon, and Aaron Pritchett. Wright will wrap up the weekend at the 2012 Canadian Country Music Awards, where she is both an award presenter and a nominee for the Female Artist of the Year Award.
The 2012 CCMA Awards will air on Sunday, September 9 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Terri Clark is in the midst of recording a new album of classic country covers and duets, as a way to wind down from the deeply personal nature of her last album. She tried to take a sample of country songs from each decade starting in the ‘50s.
I basically chose a bunch of songs by artists who were heavily influential on me when I was learning to play guitar.”
Duets include Leavin’ On Your Mind by Patsy Cline, sung with Jan Arden; Golden Ring by George Jones, with Dierks Bently; and she’ll be singing a Reba McEntire song with Reba herself. Other songs on the upcoming album include Swinging Doors by Merle Haggard, Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ by Loretta Lynn, and Love is a Rose by Neil Young.
I’ve been wanting to do a classics record for five or six years,” she said. “Because I think nostalgia is important to us as human beings, and where were we in our life the first time we heard something. It’s part of the tapestry of who we are and paints a picture of our lives." Starphoenix.com

BLUEGRASS NEWS
Siblings The Roys are in the running for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Duo of the Year & Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Year Awards. The reigning Inspirational Country Music Bluegrass Artist of the Year, brother and sister duo THE ROYS, are among the Top 5 nominees in three categories for the 18th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards, scheduled to be held October 18 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.  "Folks always say how humbled they are to be nominated, and I know it's true for us," says Lee Roy.  Adds Elaine, "To be in the company of artists we have admired for many years is incredible."(Rural Rhythm Records)

An initial list of performers for IBMA’s 22nd International Bluegrass Music Awards has been confirmed for the Thursday, September 29 event.  The Awards Show, held at Nashville, Tennessee’s historic Ryman Auditorium, will feature performances from nominees Balsam Range, The Boxcars, Dailey & Vincent, The Grascals, The Gibson Brothers, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Lonesome River Band, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Sierra Hull & Highway 111 and Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers.  Also performing is Awards Show host, Sam Bush. More performers, as well as the line-up of presenters, will be announced in the coming weeks. A complete list of nominees, this year’s Hall of Fame inductees and the recipients of the Distinguished Achievement Award can be found at ibmaawards.org (IBMA Press).

UNEVEN ROAD by Mark Houser & Bluegrass Drive releases on Rural Rhythm Records, September 11, 2012.  The label recently released the first single, “River of Regret” written by Mark Houser, Arlo Gilliam, and Carrie Hassler. Blurb: This exciting new album features the talents of: Rhonda Vincent, Andy Leftwich, Cody Kilby, Barry Bales, Cory Walker, Scotty Sanders, Paul Brewster, Dawn Sears, and more. The album was co-produced by Mark Houser and Little River Band guitarist, Rich Herring.

Mountain Fever Records announces the release of"Columbus Stockade Blues", the first single from newly signed artist Delta Reign, available today.
Calm Before The Storm, the band's debut CD on Mountain Fever Records will be released October 9th
Formed in the fall of 2004 by husband and wife team Pat and Benita Murphy, Alabama-based Delta Reign considers themselves just a bit different from the norm.
"Delta Reign brings together the musical influences of each of our members; bluegrass, western swing, blues and jazz," states Benita. "We like to call it Delta Bluegrass." – More details www.prescriptionbluegrassblog.com

NEWS
Another Dixie Chick has arrived! Emily Robison gave birth to her fourth child, on Sept 4th. The singer delivered Violet Isabel Strayer at 3:01AM. A note at the trio’s page on Facebook says: Emily Robison and Martin Strayer are ecstatic to announce the birth of their new baby girl, Violet Isabel Strayer. Violet was born at 3:01am on September 4, 2012 weighing 8.5 lbs. Mom and baby Violet are doing well and Dad couldn't be happier”
This is the first child for Robison and her boyfriend. The singer’s previous three were with ex-husband Charlie Robison, whom she divorced in 2008. Seven-year-old twins Juliana and Henry and 9-year-old Charles are Violet’s older siblings.
Should the Dixie Chicks reunite, it will take a small stable of tour buses to house the group and their ever-growing brood. This makes nine kids between Robison, Natalie Maines (two sons) and Martie Maguire (three daughters).

Baby Violet Isabel Strayer  (Twitter image)




Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have said their new Las Vegas show, Soul2Soul, will be all about the two of them together on stage, which means they won’t be singing a lot of their individual hits. Instead, they’ll be finding songs they can sing together, like perhaps some country classics from Loretta and Conway or George and Tammy.
Tim says, “We’re going to do some different stuff, there’s a list of those kind of songs that we want to figure out what’s the coolest thing for us to do and the most fun that we’ll have doing the things the audience will enjoy hear-ing the most. But, I mean, God, there’s so many great duets out there that are fun to do.”

George Jones is alive and well, and despite recent Facebook rumours, “The Possum” is happy to be touring.  After performing two successful shows last weekend, Jones is scheduled to appear on average six to eight more shows each month continuing into 2013.
The legend states, "I love the road. I love the fans. I am just a singer and love to sing my songs.  Until I'm done I still don't need no rockin' chair.  Just gimme' that stage and I'll have at it".
After Jones' Saturday night concert in Massachusetts, MassLive.com reviewer George Lenker had this to say about Jones' fans: "They were there to share the space, be in the same room, and breathe the same air as a country music icon who they cherish." "Jones entered to a standing ovation and left to one..." Lenker continued, "He [is] also clearly still sharp mentally for his age and engaged in great stage banter with both his band and the audience." (Despite weakened voice, George Jones still wows Calvin crowd Review ) For George's 2012 American tourdates and more read this Webster & Associates Press Release

A&M/Octone Records' Miss Willie Brown returned to the popular US show Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC) on Wed., Sept. 5. The duo made their late night debut two years ago as the first unsigned act ever to perform on the show. With raw, honk-tonk-style emotion and irresistible rock & roll swagger, Miss Willie Brown is both a reminder of the classic power of a song and a fresh look toward music's future.
The two girls met in California waiting tables at a BBQ restaurant and bonded over their shared love of songwriting and country music. That first night, the pair wrote four songs together and things took off like a rocket ship. In true DIY fashion, they started booking their own shows, recorded an EP, got their music placed on the TV show Army Wives and landed slots at major festivals all without a manager or a record label. It was during one of their early shows in LA, that the booker for Jimmy Kimmel Live! caught the girls' electric live show and gave them a shot at their first national TV debut. Shortly after, they inked a deal with A&M/Octone Records, as the New York based label’s first country act.

Jason Aldean was is in New York City this week for a string of appearances ahead of his highly anticipated new release NIGHT TRAIN, out Oct. 16.  These include announcing the final CMA Award nominations on Good Morning America with Lady Antebellum before heading to perform on The Late Show with David Letterman (airing 9/6)

Ronnie Dunn and the PBR are to release New Video at Nashville’s Jack Daniel’s Invitational
Country star Ronnie Dunn remixed the single “Let The Cowboy Rock” specially for the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) and during a two-day event that will bring together country music, Jack Daniel’s, and bull riding, Dunn will debut the raucous new music video for the song. On Saturday, September 8 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena – night two of the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series Jack Daniel’s Invitational – Dunn will be on-hand for the debut.
 “Let The Cowboy Rock (PBR Remix),” complete with rewritten lyrics by Dunn, will be available for download soon.  The original lyrics to the song, as heard on Dunn’s self-titled solo debut as well as the 2012 Cracker Barrel exclusive version read: “Let the cowboy rock / Let the good times roll / this is where the hurt stops / Where the whiskey flows.” More at Music News Nashville

Chris Young announced to he fans via exclusive video that he will make his first Nashville headlining appearance from the Mother Church of Country Music, the historic Ryman Auditorium, on November 15, 2012. The premiere headlining appearance, which includes special guests Thomas Rhett and Joanna Smith, is the first stop on Chris’ upcoming Liquid Neon Tour.  
The first time I set foot on the Ryman stage was an unbelievable experience,” says Young. “I am so grateful for the support of my hometown crowd all of these years and saying I can’t wait for this show is an obvious understatement.”  Monarch Publicity

Joe South died on September 5, 2012 of heart failure. He was 72.
Singer-songwriter Joe South, who performed hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s such as "Games People Play" and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" ,” (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden” and also penned songs including "Down in the Boondocks" for other artists, died Wednesday, his music publisher said. South was 72.
South, whose real name was Joseph Alfred Souter, died at his home in Buford, Ga., northeast of Atlanta, according to Marion Merck of the Hall County Coroner's office. Merck said South died after having a heart attack.
"He's one of the greatest songwriters of all time," said Butch Lowery, president of the Lowery Group, which published South's music. "His songs have touched so many lives. He's such a wonderful guy and loved by many."
He is perhaps best known for the song "Games People Play," which reached No. 12 on the Billboard charts in 1969 and won him two Grammys for Best Contemporary Song and Song of the Year.
Mr. South’s best-known song became a hit when it was recorded by someone else. “Rose Garden,” sung by Lynn Anderson, reached No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart in 1971, four years after Mr. South wrote it. The chorus — “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden/Along with the sunshine there’s gotta be a little rain sometime” — reflected a world-weariness characteristic of his writing.
Mr. South largely disappeared from public view after his brother, Tommy, a drummer with whom he often recorded, committed suicide in 1971. In 2009 he released a new song for the first time in many years, “Oprah Cried.” He is survived by a son, Craig, and a granddaughter. His first marriage ended in divorce. His second wife died in the late 1990s. Full story at NY Times

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Hal David has died at age 91.
Due to a series of strokes, he had been in ill health for several months. He died on Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Lyricist Hal David is best known for many huge pop hits by artists such as Dionne Warwick, Gene Pitney, Dusty Springfield and B.J. Thomas that he co-wrote with Burt Bacharach. Their Broadway musical Promises, Promises won Tony Awards, and their “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” earned the team an Oscar.
But David’s catalog also includes a string of country successes in Nashville, including the evergreen “Sea of Heartbreak.” Several of these were written with collaborators other than Bacharach.
Dottie West, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Cash, Brenda Lee, Wynonna Judd, Bobby Goldsboro, The Anita Kerr Singers, The Everly Brothers, Billie Jo Spears, Tony Joe White, Nat Stuckey, Chet Atkins(“This Guy's in Love With You”), Bobbie Gentry, Mary Chapin Carpenter (I'll Never Fall in Love Again from My Best Friend's Wedding [Original Soundtrack]), Ray Stevens, Ferlin Husky, Barbara Mandrell, Merle Haggard, Highway 101, Rosanne Cash and Alan Jackson have all recorded David’s songs. Read more at MusicRow.com  

The Americana Music Association has announced the list of performers and presenters to appear on the 11th annual Americana Honors & Awards, presented by Nissan, Wednesday, September 12 at the historic Ryman Auditorium. 
The performer list includes the best and brightest icons and rising stars: Bonnie Raitt, Alabama Shakes, Booker T. Jones, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Deep Dark Woods, Hayes Carll with Cary Ann Hearst, Guy Clark, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, John Hiatt, Justin Townes Earle, Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson, Punch Brothers, Tom T. Hall with Lee Ann Womack and Peter Cooper, Robert Ellis, Sarah Jarosz, The Mavericks, Richard Thompson, and an all-star finale tribute to Levon Helm.
Presenters of the awards include: The Civil Wars, Patterson Hood, Sara Watkins, Brandi Carlile, Amy Helm, Sam Bush, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, Allison Moorer, Rodney Crowell, Mike Mills, Jody Stephens and The Wallflowers.

Taylor Swift‘s ‘Ronan’ and Tim McGraw‘s ‘Live Like Your Were Dying’ were two of the select songs performed during the ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ special on all major television networks Friday night. Both country stars were clearly moved by the overwhelmingly emotional hour of television. Both sang bittersweet notes in an effort to get viewers to stand up to cancer.

Taylor Swift paid tribute to a young cancer victim with a special song on Friday's "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon.
"Ronan" is dedicated to a 3-year-old boy who died last year of neuroblastoma. Swift wrote the song after reading the blog of Ronan's mother, Maya Thompson, who is credited as a co-writer.
Taylor appeared on stage looking as if she’d already shed a few tears in the show’s first 25 minutes
“I remember your bare feet down the hallway … I love you to the moon and back,” Swift sang to open the song, backed gently by her band on stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Calif. Later, she drew tears with lines like, “You fought it hard like an Army guy” and ”It’s about to be Halloween / You could be anything you wanted if you were still here.”
Come on baby we’re gonna fly away from here / You were my best four years.”

It was clear Swift was just the voice for Maya Thompson, who passionately blogged about how Swift helped her get through her son’s death.
Immediately following her performance, ‘Ronan’ went on sale at US iTunes with all proceeds going to cancer-related charities.
Watch Taylor’s performance  >>   YouTube

Tim McGraw‘s ‘Live Like Your Were Dying’ was the scondsong performed during the ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ special.
Michael Douglas, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Sofia Vergara and Country Strong singer/actress Gwyneth Paltrow were among dozens of stars who appeared Friday on the third Stand Up to Cancer telethon.
Paltrow, who was an executive producer for the telethon, talked before the broadcast about her father, director Bruce Paltrow, who lost his life to cancer - "It's been almost a decade now and I'm sort of more used to the fact that he's not here in physical body," she said. "But I definitely feel his presence, and I think he would be really happy that I'm here tonight doing this and trying to spare other people from what he went through."

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
Eric Church has a Live Album slated for 2013. NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the fall leg of his arena headlining tour, The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour, kicking off Sept. 13, Eric Church reveals plans for an early 2013 live album release. For his first-ever live album, Church will record back-to-back shows in Chattanooga, Tenn. at Tivoli Theatre on Oct. 8-9, 2012. For more details and check out Eric Church’s numerous remaining 2012 US tour dates read this EB Media Press Release 

Hot off the heels of her current single, “Dream On Savannah”, contemporary country songstress and Dolce Diva Music recording artist Joanna Mosca adds a benchmark in her career with the release of her new EP, Let It All Begin. This album is digitally available on CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon and for CD purchase on her website.
This 6 song EP is receiving rave reviews, in which The Examiner compared Joanna’s soaring vocals to country songstress Reba McEntire. This album, which was produced by Grammy award-winning country artist Bryan White, includes “a little bit for everyone,” shares Joanna. “There are a couple up-tempo tunes to sing along with as well as those ballad songs that will rip your heart out. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”
Her single, Dream On Savannah, which is climbing the Music Row charts, talks about encouragement and inspiration. It’s the female spin-off of Travis Tritt’s hit, I’m Gonna Be Somebody. The song was penned by chart topping songwriters Troy Verges (Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, etc), Hilary Lindsey (Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, etc) and Marvin Green (Jimmy Wayne, etc).  (PLA Media Press )

Whether it is visiting her family on the beach of the Jersey shore or out promoting her honeysuckle hit, “Take Ya Back”, country music’s latest rockin’ phenomenon Corey Wagar is in it for the long haul.
This sweet and sassy song is soaring up in the Top 50 of the Music Row CountryBreakout Chart and currently #11 on the
Renegade Radio Nashville/Nashville.com Hot 40 Countdown. Penned by Corey and established songwriters Beau Fuller and Cece DuBois, this tune showcases Corey’s true dedication to country music and is guaranteed to get toes tapping with the fiddles and steel guitar.
This song takes me back to my childhood days listening to country music and singing along with a hairbrush microphone,” grins Corey. “I can’t thank you all enough for the amazing support. I am doing what I love and loving what I do!”
Press Blurb: With her career accelerating rapidly at every turn, she made her way to Hollywood this past season of American Idol and with a rapidly growing fan base, killer talent, and crowd-stopping vocal ability, country music’s latest spitfire is bound to have wildfire success. - Music Industry News Network
These PSA muscle ads have been appearing in video, radio and national print publications including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, Newsweek, Martha Stewart Living, PARADE Magazine, etc.

Well the school holidays are over and the shops are decked with Christmas cards! Already in the spirit after the success of his debut album, Clear as Day, Scotty McCreery is ready to celebrate his "favorite time of year."Christmas with Scotty McCreery is the "American Idol" winner's first holiday album, set for release on Oct. 16. >>  YouTube  

"I wanted it to be holly and jolly and really lift people's spirits in the Christmas season, because it's supposed to be a really happy time," the 18-year-old says of the 11-song collection. "But I also wanted to get across the real reason for the season. 'Christmas in Heaven' is my favorite song on the album and it really speaks to that." That song is one of two originals that made it on the project of primarily Christmas standards. "I knew of a few that I just had to do, like 'Mary, Did You Know?' and 'The First Noel,'" Scotty explains. "Then we heard some originals that blew me away and it was a no-brainer to put them on the album. When I heard 'Christmas in Heaven,' I listened to the first verse and automatically said, 'You can stop it. That is on the album.'

"The other new song is called 'Christmas Is Coming Around,'" he continues. "That's a great story about Christmas time and lifting people's spirits. Times may be tough, but during Christmas it needs to be a happy time."
Other more familiar songs fans can expect to hear include "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," "Let it Snow," "The Christmas Song" and "O Holy Night." "With me being such a huge Elvis fan, I had to have one Elvis song, so I chose 'Santa Claus Is Back in Town,'" the singer adds

Multi-platinum recording artist Billy Ray Cyrus is unleashing his brand new single, "Change My Mind," to iTunes on  Tuesday (
Written by Cyrus and Michael Joe Sagraves, "Change My Mind," is an infectious, country rock gem about the roller coaster ride of love that showcases his smoldering, swaggering voice. The song is the lead single and title track from Cyrus’ forthcoming thirteenth studio album produced by the award-winning Brandon Friesen. CHANGE MY MIND is set for release on October 23 via Blue Cadillac Music.

Kix Brooks, of the legendary duo Brooks and Dunn, releases his highly anticipated solo album, NEW TO THIS TOWN on September 11th featuring the debut single and title track "New To This Town," and the new “smash” single "Bring It On Home."

Columbia Nashville’s Tyler Farr says “Hello” to becoming the most added song on the Mediabase singles chart with his powerful ballad “Hello Goodbye.” The autobiographical song, written by Farr, Kris Bergsnes and Skip Black, is about the realization of the end of a relationship. “Hello Goodbye” will be featured on Farr’s debut album to be released in early 2013.

PRESS RELEASES
40 years after his iconic “American Pie” reached #1 on the Billboard pop singles chart, Don McLean will be the subject of a new and authorized documentary, DON McLEAN: AMERICAN TROUBADOUR.  Due out on September 11, 2012 (Time Life), McLean 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.  
In a promotional effort, Don McLean will embark on a media tour that will include stops at CBS This Morning, Access Hollywood, AOL “You’ve Got…” series, SiriusXM, The Better Show, Huckabee, Fox & Friends, NY Profiles, FoxNews.com Live, Red Eye, AP TV, along with a Premiere satellite radio tour.  Don’s media appearances kick off on this coming week Sept 10th in New York City!
 McLean will make a number of television and radio appearances throughout the fall to promote the film and double CD set before embarking on a European tour. More at Webster & Associates

INTERVIEWS
Did you miss Kenny Rogers in conversation with Aled Jones on BBC Radio 2 ? Yes, Fear not, catch it here on this BBC Page

Drinks with The Secret Sisters - Skip Matheny, currently a songwriter in the band Roman Candle and former bartender in a retirement community, was recently able to catch up with The Secret Sisters at The Holland House in Nashville, to talk about their creative process, and the collaboration involved in creating their debut record. Visit www.americansongwriter.com

Julie Roberts, in an exclusive series of interviews with The Boot has opened up about her struggle to stay healthy in spite of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and shared candid details about the difficulties of growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father. She also updated them on the made-for-TV movie that will chronicle her upbringing, her rise to stardom and the 2010 Nashville flood which Julie escaped, with a sprained foot -- losing her home and many of her possessions in the process. In the third and final installment she spills about the new music she's working on, how the recording is bringing her full circle. Extract: How far along are you with the new album? Half of my new record is done. All of it is written. I love steel guitar, so we've got some steel guitar to add to it. I'm just doing music that I love. We're doing two Buddy Miller songs. I'm a huge fan of his. I'm trying to get him to sing on my record, too. We've reached out to his management. I'm excited about my new music. It feels like it would fall into the Buddy Miller genre. Read more at The Boot

LISTEN
Preview Tift Merritt's TRAVELING ALONE Album out Oct 2nd. Given 5 Stars in Septembers Country Music People Traveling Alone was recorded in Brooklyn with Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Spoon) and features a guest appearance by Andrew Bird.  I really wanted to make a record that was real and raw,” notes Merritt. “I wanted to put together my dream cast and see if I could hold my own with them. To me, Traveling Alone is about the roads on the inside–those places that are hard to see and not easy to send postcards from.” - YouTube 

Rollingstone.com premier  Ryan Bingham’s 'Guess Who’s Knocking' from his upcoming album Tomorrowland, out September 18th.

Kacey Musgraves lead single “Merry Go Round” , now at copuntry radio, who is named as one of the 2012 Artists to Watch. Signed to Mercury Nashville, the artist has experienced a little chart succes in Texas as a co-vocalist on a pair of Josh Abbott Band tracks. Listen at soundcloud.com

 
LiveWire has been making some media waves in the vast sea of country music with their brand of tight, harmony driven country music. Take a listen to this single “Lies” from their upcoming debut for Way Out West Records -  soundcloud.com 

WATCH
Maggie Rose - I Ain't Your Mama (Official Video) >> YouTube 

Keith Urban and "Sound of a Million Dreams" singer David Nail partnered for a cover of Brooks & Dunn's "Brand New Man" during a show in New Hampshire on Sunday (Sept. 2). Watch their performance  >>   YouTube

Taylor Swift dived into the crowd during her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). Closing the ceremony Thursday night (Sept 6) with a performance of her new single "We Are Never Getting Back Together," she was joined by a troupe of dancers in brightly-colored casual outfits and sunglasses.
Taylor Swift
attends the MTV Video Awards


Taylor - who arrived at the ceremony in a sleek, white J. Mendel silk crepe pantsuit  tuxedo but switched to a red and white striped T-shirt, tiny denim shorts and red brogues for her performance - began by singing into a mock studio before stepping out onto the stage for a high energy routine, which she finished with her leap into the audience.
>>  YouTube

The blond beauty enjoyed her evening at the awards - particularly the hospitality.
She tweeted: ''VMA dressing room report: exceptional snack selection. SCORE. (sic)''


FREE DOWNLOADS
Through Monday, September 10 fans (for an Email share) can download Jerrod Niemann's Top 20 hit “Shinin’ On Me” by going to www.jerrodniemannofficial.com. Check Jerrod's website often during his #FreeTheMusic month to learn about 10 days of giveaways and more.

COUNTRY GOSSIP
Kellie Pickler has stood beside her best friend—a childhood friend who Pickler refers to as her “sister”—Summer Holt Miller throughout her breast cancer prognosis and subsequent treatment since receiving word of the diagnosis in June of this year. This week, the inseparable duo took their stance against cancer one step further when they both shaved their hair to bring awareness to the importance of early detection. 

 Cancer does not discriminate,” an emphatic Pickler shared with viewers. “If this compels even one person to change their mentality toward waiting until the age of 40 for their mammogram, then it will be worth it,” Miller echoed.

Summer Holt Miller (on left) and Kellie Pickler (on right).
Photo courtesy Russ Harrington

George Strait Facebook team posted: “From Team Strait: Hey George Strait Fans! It is time to get excited about the 2013 George Strait Tour. George will be holding a press conference in late September and will be announcing his tour dates for next year. Rumor has it that other major announcements may be made as well. Stay tuned for further updates

LeAnn Rimes is "worried" husband Eddie Cibrian is cheating on her.
The 'Can't Fight the Moonlight' hitmaker - who checked into rehab to deal with "anxiety and stress" late last month, one day after her 30th birthday - has reportedly got "major insecurity issues" and is feeling "stressed" about still being branded a home-wrecker for embarking on a relationship with Eddie in 2009 while she was married to chef Dean Sheremet and he was wed to Brandi Glanville.
A friend of the couple told Us Weekly magazine: "LeAnn has had major insecurity issues since she first got together with Eddie.
She's been stressed about always being called a home-wrecker and also worried that Eddie is cheating on her. She's been on a downward spiral."

Regarding Taylor Swift’s new radio single ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.’ A Nashville source says it’s definitely about actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

Keith Urban played for high school music students this week. One of them asked if he wanted to be a judge on ‘Idol.’ Keith said, "I’d love to do it and hopefully that happens.”  At the event dubbed "All Access: Keith Urban" (quote via The Tennessean newspaper). "I did get to do a similar role in Australia for 'The Voice,' and I really enjoyed it. The thing about those shows is that mentoring aspect; it's all about passing it on”  TMZ says he’ll be replacing Randy Jackson and he hasn't officially signed as he's still working out contract issues, but it's pretty much a done deal.

Alan Jackson's 22-year-old daughter Mattie was arrested and charged with drunk driving last month. She was two times over the legal limit and her court date is November 20.

A man allegedly clutching a pair of scissors was arrested after police say he tried to force himself inside the Los Angeles home of Miley Cyrus.
Los Angeles police Lt. Brian Wendling says that employees inside the house in the Studio City area called police around 4 a.m. Saturday after the man came to the door and claimed to be a friend of the 19-year-old singer-actress.
Wendling says the suspect then repeatedly threw himself against an outside wall as if he was trying to break into the house. Cyrus was not home at the time. ( LOS ANGELES (AP) )

TWEETS
Josh TurnerJoshTurnerMusic: Me & an 88 yr old lady. It was her first concert, married for 71 yrs, & her shirt says The Future Mrs Josh Turner LOL!

PHOTO
Vince Gill got a new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with kisses from wife Amy [Grant] and daughter Jenny! - PHOTO

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