Thursday, 28 February 2013

Country Bites News snippets Feb 18 - Feb 24, 2013

Country Bites News snippets February 18 - February 24, 2013

SOURCES/LINKS show in
RED

UK & IRISH News
Eric Church, the 2012 CMA Album of the Year winner will make his debut performance in the UK.
Where: The Forum London (9 - 17 Highgate RD, Kentish Town, London, NW5 1JY
When: Wednesday 24 April 2013
Tickets: Are available from Ticketmaster UK priced £25.75 (£22.50 + £3.25 booking fee)
Eric Church UK bound
Additionally his first live album, "Caught In The Act: Live", will be released ahead of the show on 22 April. And features songs from his three albums "Sinners Like Me", "Carolina" and "CHIEF".

UPDATES: The North East Show and Gig Guide - Blog Page Link + UK Tours - UK Tour Blog Page

Sandy Kelly and John McNicholl have teamed up to present a new onehour TV show, Celtic Note, on Showcase TV, Sky Channel 191 and FreeSat 400.
The series, which started Tuesday night, will feature “top quality concerts” and documentary programmes from a range of Irish music stars, including my sister Margo, The Dubliners, Horslips, Robert Mizzell, Sharon Shannon and Johnny McEvoy.

Dover, Kent based record label BACM Records boasts over 400 CD releases, covering the period from the 1920s to the early ‘60s. It was created by collector/archivist David Barnes and stalwart country musician Brian Golbey, and is an offshoot of Barnes’ British Archive of Country Music, a vast museum of recordings and artefacts that matured out of his exhaustive 60 year personal collection. The Archive has over 500,000 recordings and everything, including artists and songs, is listed on its extensive database.
Now into the second month of 2013, BACM has already a further six cds to its credit:
EDDIE ZACK & His Dude Ranchers (30 tracks) – BACM CD D400
SHELLY LEE ALLEY & His Alley Cats (27 tracks) – BACM CD D401
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Custom Made Gospel (30 tracks) – BACM CD D402
CONNIE HALL – Heartache Avenue (28 tracks) – BACM CD D403
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Colorado Country (28 tracks) – BACM CD D404
THE JONES BOYS (Neal Jones & Oakie Jones) (26 tracks) – BACM CD D405
The complete detailed catalogue with track listings is available: www.bacm-cds.co.uk/cd-cat

Raintown’s Paul Bain & Claire McArthur made their concert at Oran Mor in Scotland on 23rd Feb a double celebration as Paul asked Claire to marry him and she said YES :-) so happy right.

Travellin Rose’s new debut album CINDERELLA DREAMING (Eversholt Music) which was released February 4th is now available on UK iTunes and in CD Digi-pac Format (UPC 5024545656121) directly from their website store (PayPal)

A flyer (see image) has appeared for Wolvestock 19 being held over the weekend of Sat 27th - Sun 28th July at East Park Hickman Avenue in  Wolverhampton.
The line up includes Cajun band Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys (USA) along with the Ann Duggan Band, The James Gang, Donna Wylde, The Gary Quinn Band, Henry Smith's Country Band, Pig Earth, Raintown, The Diablo's and many more.
 This year there is an entrance fee of  £6 per day for an adult or £10 for the weekend. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster UK

UK CHART NEWS
On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week March 2, 2013)
Taylor Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) moves up 12-7 boosted by her live appearance at the Brit Awards where she was nominated as Best International Female Solo Artist
In its 20th chart week it sold 41,158 copies, up 184% on last week (22,350) and has a new total of 515,148.
Her worldwide hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was up one place, 65-53 in its 27th chart week, selling 5,870 copies, up 29% on the previous week (4,550) and has now reached a UK tally to date of 521,652.
Her official music video and Brits performance have added about 3.5 million more YouTube hits for IKYWT.
The Nashville TV drama being shown on More4 is having some effect with new at No.150, the track ”If I Didn't Know Better” by Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen which made a Top 200 debut

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week March 2, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s RED is up 18 places to enter the Top 10 once again moving 25-7, it sold 14,747copies, up 256% compared to the previous week (5,750), reaching a total of 301,548. It was discounted on UK iTunes for a short period
The Mavericks who debuted at No.37 (3,521 sales) with IN TIME drop down another 31 places in their 3rd week to No.98
Expecting album sales to climb week-on-week, thanks to the Brits effect?
Sadly, they actually fell a hefty 11.90% compared to the previous week - which included Valentine's Day.At 1,550,228, they are at their lowest level for 18 weeks, and 7.55% below same week 2012 sales of 1,676,770.

Official UK Country Album (Week March 2, 2013)
The Mavericks remain seated at No.1 with IN TIME (Valory Music) in their third week at retail.
Lady Antebellum stay at No.2 with NEED YOU NOW and Carrie Underwood’s BLOWN AWAY stays at No.3.
Miranda Lamberts’ REVOLUTION at No.7 and FOUR THE RECORD at No.12 have re-entered the Top 20

On the Hotdisc Chart (Feb 24, 2013 Chart)
Rusty Rierson (pronounced RYE-ER-SON) stays at No.1 with “Souvenirs” on the Hotdisc Top 40 in his third week of release. He holds off Toby Keith who is a non mover at No.2 with the album title cut “Hope On The Rocks”
George Inglis’ climbs to number 3 on the Top 40 with “The Old Time Rock n’ Roll” and stays atop the British & Irish Top 10. 
Blackberry Smoke with “Pretty Little Lie” at No. 8 and Wesley Parker’s “Warm On Your Mind”  both climb inside the Top 10 on the Hotdisc Top 40

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES
(4 Feb 2013) Various Artists - The Music of Nashville [Soundtrack] (Decca (UMO) (C) 2013 Lions Gate Television Inc.)
Time: 36:12  11 Tracks Amazon UK CD - Amazon UK MP3 UK iTunes (15 Tracks )
- UK iTunes  Sainsbury (9 tracks) CD - £8.99 Nector Points: 16!

(11 Feb 2013) Love and Theft - Love and Theft (Sony Music CMG) Amazon UK CD - Amazon MP3
(11 Feb 2013) Lizanne Knott - Standing In The English Rain (Self Release) - Amazon UK

(25 Feb 2013) Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In (NAMES RECORDS) Time 39:32

GERMAN NEWS
Jetset Getset, a harmonizing trio Sadie Loveland, Tori Little, Avery Eliason backed up by five musicians are due to play at Strassenfest, a German festival in the city of Jasper, Indiana. The festival will take place August 1-4. They are scheduled to perform on Saturday, August 3, 2013  - www.jasperstrassenfest.org

The annual Trucker & Country Festival Interlaken has for many years been a must-attend event. The 20th will take place in Switzerland to Interlaken at the beautiful Bernese Oberland. This years line up includes The Bellamys with special guests - including their sons Jesse and Noah Bellamy, Carlene Carter and Nina and Peter Reber.

Trucker & Country Festival Interlaken

Headlining on Friday and Saturday will see Sammy Kershaw and Pat Green take the stage.There will be Pat Green and Carlene Carter anniversary show. In addition, are the regulars the Country Sisters along with many acts including the Switzerland Swiss Highwaymen, the Frisky Bandits and Dustyboots. It all takes place between 28th to 30th June 2013 - www.trucker-festival.ch

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell play the Admiralspalast, Berlin on May 30 and Laeizhalle, Hamburg on May 31 as part of their European tour

NEWS
Billy Dean has signed on with Nashville-based Flying Island Entertainment for radio promotion representation on his first single since 2006. "I Can't Leave a Good Thing" impacts country radio on March 12.
"I am so honored that my team is working the radio promotion on Billy's new project," notes Flying Island President Shelia Shipley Biddy

George Jones’ last Nashville concert is turning out to be one hell of a finale. Dierks Bentley, Kenny Rogers, Josh Turner and Montgomery Gentry have all signed up for the Nov. 22 stop at Bridgestone Arena for Jones’ final set of one-nighters, the Grand tour. The announced lineup already included Randy Travis, Jamey Johnson, Lorrie Morgan, Charlie Daniels and Gene Watson.

Taylor Swift is being sued over what TMZ calls an “epic Canadian hoedown disaster.” Swift was paid $2.5 million up front to headline the Capital Hoedown in August 2012, but when the event was canceled, Swift allegedly kept the money.The ticket company, “which had to refund $1.8 million in tickets, thinks she should foot the bill.”

Lady Antebellum the Grammy Award-winning, hit-making machine, is moving full-speed ahead to deliver its next record before singer Hillary Scott delivers her first baby. The country/pop group known for lush harmonies and multi-platinum ballads such as "Need You Now" is going back to the basics with its fourth studio album. GOLDEN, which will be released May 7 on Capitol Nashville. There will be 11 or 12 songs. Among them is the title track the three wrote with friend and label-mate Eric Pasley over a bottle a wine in a cozy library room at Charles Kelley's house.

Paul Worley once again produced with Lady Antebellum at the Warner/Chappell studios where they made the three previous albums - Expect a more uptempo, "roll-down-your-window type of record" that's kind of a throwback which, Kelley promised, is "a little more organic and less polished."

Sour Cream And Clive's: "So I just heard Clive Davis is releasing a memoir [The Soundtrack of My Life] and spreading false information about me and my music," stated Kelly Clarkson Tuesday (2/19) on her whosay blog. "I refuse to be bullied and I just have to clear up his memory lapses and misinformation for myself and for my fans. It feels like a violation. Growing up is awesome because you learn you don’t have to cower to anyone – even Clive Davis." 
Davis signed Clarkson to RCA Records after her American Idol win and his book The Soundtrack of My Life includes a bit about the dispute they had regarding Clarkson's 2007 album My December.
Extract from Kelly's side of the story : First, he says I burst into "hysterical sobbing" in his office when he demanded Since You Been Gone be on my album. Not true at all. His stories and songs are mixed up. I did want more guitars added to the original demo and Clive did not. Max, Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn't be more proud of the life of that song. I resent him dampening that song in any way.
But, yes, I did cry in his office once. I cried after I played him a song I had written about my life called "Because Of You." I cried because he hated it and told me verbatim that I was a "sh*tty writer who should be grateful for the gifts that he bestows upon me." He continued on about how the song didn't rhyme and how I should just shut up and sing. This was devastating coming from a man who I, as a young girl, considered a musical hero and was so honored to work with. But I continued to fight for the song and the label relented. And it became a worldwide hit. He didn't include that in the book...More at - www.whosay.com/kellyclarkson -

The Kentucky Headhunters, Exile, Skeeter Davis and more will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum April 12 Robert Lawson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, announced;
On behalf of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum board of directors and staff I am honored to announce the 2013 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Class,” said Lawson. “The 2013 class showcases why the state of Kentucky has produced some of the world's greatest music achievers in all genres of music, and I am truly honored to recognize them with induction into the Hall of Fame." Past inductees include musical legends such as Loretta Lynn, Patty Loveless, Steve Wariner, Keith Whitley,Crystal Gayle, Dwight Yoakam, Wynonna & Naomi Judd, Ricky Skaggs, Tom T.Hall, Bill Monroe and many more

Country’s move into the Big Apple is becoming more concrete. WNSH New York kicked off three nights of live shows on Feb. 18 featuring 11 acts, including Blake Shelton, Gary Allan, Randy Houser, Lady Antebellum and Sara Evans, with Kix Brooks hosting each show at the Roseland Ballroom.

Also, Cumulus/New York added Maire Mason as general sales manager for its three stations, including WNSH. The station’s impact will be discussed in a Feb. 28 Country Radio Seminar panel, “Country Comes to New York—A Conversation with Lew Dickey.” Other recent CRS announcements include a bundle of songwriters set to play for “Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley” on Feb.28.
Among them are Rhett Akins (“Honey Bee”), Tom Douglas (“The House That Built Me”), Natalie Hemby (“Downtown”) and Luke Laird (“Baggage Claim”). Also named were 22 acts at two Universal Music Group Nashville lunch events. The list includes Billy Currington, David Nail, Vince Gill, Little Big Town and Jon Pardi. Photo's at www.countryweekly.com -  Blake Shelton proved a popular act !

Live Nation and ACM Promoter of the Year Brian O’Connell announced more details about the upcoming Faster Horses Festival.
The inaugural event will feature top acts including Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Kix Brooks, Chris Young, Colt Ford, Thompson Square, Jerrod Niemann and more July 19, 20, 21 in Brooklyn, MI
Live Nation Country president Brian O'Connell will launch the inaugural Faster Horses camping and country music "three-day hillbilly sleepover" in a field adjacent to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., July 19-21. This will be the second major country music fest produced by O'Connell and Live Nation, which launched Watershed in 2012 at the Gorge amphitheater in George, Wash., last year, drawing 60,000 over three days
The festival site is currently an empty field in the scenic Irish Hills area of Michigan, adjacent to the speedway. "The speedway provides us with a dot on the map, if you will," O'Connell says.

Sarah Darling is taking yet another step on the national television stage with her upcoming late night debut on CONAN. 
Sarah will perform her hit single, “Home To Me,” March 4 on TBS.
Earlier in February, Sarah made her debut performance on ABC’s hit romance reality series The Bachelor. Fans of Sarah have a second opportunity to see her on The Bachelor as Darling is featured a second time during “The Bachelor: Sean Tells All Special” on Tuesday, February 19. Her  February 4 episode performance of ABC’s The Bachelor translated to a 220% increase in “Home To Me” sales. With more than 15,500 units sold in the week following her appearance on the show, her single tally has topped 75,000 downloads. THE HOME TO ME EP was digitally released on January 29.

Keith Urban has been throwing a massive concert in Nashville to benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It's called We’re All for the Hall and this year's theme is "Rebels and Renegades, the Outlaws are In." That means Urban and Vince Gill are going to serve as musical directors, and the lineup includes performances from Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Rosanne Cash, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver. The roof raising show happens April 16.

Jude Johnson has finished a brand new album titled "SHATTER" that will be released in May. “I am beginning to book gigs for the summer months and am planning a Fall European Tour”
“The idea behind Shatter,” says Johnstone, “is that in order to find one’s better self, one needs to ‘shatter’ the old one and begin the process re-invention. It’s about that moment of clarity in which change can take place.”
It will be her most diverse collection so far, spanning several musical genres, detals at judejohnstone.com

Julianne Hough made a stop by Chelsea Lately (E!) on Friday (2/22), to chat about her new movie Safe Haven as well as her boyfriend, Ryan Seacrest. She opened up to Chelsea Handler about making Ryan more masculine and explained how the couple met and eventually fell in love, watch the video at www.popsugar.com
Ashley Monroe, of the critically acclaimed trio Pistol Annies, will perform the title track, “Like A Rose,” from her forthcoming March 5th Warner Bros. Records release on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 11

Big Machine Label Group has signed The Cadillac Three (formerly known as The Cadillac Black) to its Big Machine Records imprint. The Cadillac Three will join fellow artists Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and others as part of the Big Machine Records label.
The Cadillac Three includes a trio of Nashville natives–Jaren Johnston (guitar & lead vocals), Kelby Ray (bass steel guitar, dobro, acoustic and vocals) and Neil Mason (drums, percussion and vocals) - www.facebook.com/thecadillacthree
Johnston is known for penning Keith Urban’s No. 1 smash “You Gonna Fly,” two new cuts on McGraw’s latest record Two Lanes of Freedom and several other tunes for acts like Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans and Dierks Bentley.
Cadillac Three

Collectively, their experience as musicians stretches from having written hit songs to opening shows for acts like ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Church and Eli Young Band
We’re excited to be a part of the Big Machine Label Group and to have found a team that supports the music we’ve been making and playing across the country. We think it is a match made in ‘country fuzz heaven’  for three guys born and raised in Music City,” said The Cadillac Three.
We are thrilled that The Cadillac Three will now call Big Machine their home,” said BMLG President/CEO Scott Borchetta. “Their songs are infectious. Their live show is captivating. We expect many great things to come for these guys.”

RIAA certifications:
Jake Owen celebrated the GOLD certification in the U.S. for his single “The One That Got Away.” The RIAA has acknowledged the No. 1 smash single for selling over 500,000 copies, marking his first GOLD record that he co-penned. Label executives and management surprised Jake with the shiny news and a special plaque to commemorate the occasion.
SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
Vince Gill and Paul Franklin recorded a duets album, reports Chuck Dauphin of Billboard. Gill also says he’ll “probably” also make a bluegrass record this year.
"There's a little bit of everything going on," Gill tells Billboard. "Next month, I'm starting a new record on me. I've also just recorded a duet album with Paul Franklin that is a real traditional country record. We did five Buck Owens songs and five Merle Haggard songs that really feature the steel guitar, my telecaster playing, and me singing, so it's turning out so good. I'm having so much fun re-discovering these old songs. I'll probably also do a bluegrass record this year, as well. I've just got the bug to be creative in a bunch of different places

Chuck Wicks is releasing a new EP, ROUGH, on April 2.

Whitney Duncan returns after a stint on the CBS competitive reality competition show, Survivor, and has headed back into the studio and released a brand new EP called ONE SHOT.
The independent release features eight new tracks including a duet with fellow indie country singer/songwriter/artist Jonathan Singleton. Duncan is one of 16 contestants who trekked to Samoa (2011) to film the Survivor: South Pacific. She siad she came back a changed person. It came out Feb 12 an is available on UK iTunes / US iTunes
Lyric vid to the song “Since” new EP "One Shot" >> YouTube

Brad Paisley has announced his next single, “Beat This Summer” from his forthcoming WHEELHOUSE album will hit country radio on Monday, February 25th, this follow-up to his #1 hit, “Southern Comfort Zone,” was co-written by Paisley, Chris DuBois and Luke Laird. Listen >> Audio
Brad Paisley artwork

This song is about that feeling we’ve all had at some point in our lives – when you’re young, you’ve fallen in love, maybe you’re on the beach or working near the boardwalk,” explains Paisley. “You’re thinking there may never be a summer to compare.”

“Beat This Summer” was produced by Brad Paisley, as were all the songs on his 8th studio album.





PRESS RELEASES
Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the release of new music from The Expedition Show.  "Stormy Horizons",the first single from the band's soon-to-be-released CD of the same title has hit radio.
Consisting of Blake Williams on banjo and vocals; Wayne Southards on guitar and vocals; Kimberly Williams on bass and vocals; and Alex Hibbitts on mandolin and vocals; The Expedition Show has been a fan and festival favorite since their beginning in early 2002 as Williams & Clark Expedition. During the band's nearly 12 year tenure, the entertaining group has been nominated twice by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for Emerging Artist of the Year (2005 and 2007). The band has performed all over the world including a tour with country music artist Darryl Worley to Japan as well as an extensive
headlining tour in Canada. Check out the Press Release and click on the Audio Link

Country band LiveWire celebrates two "firsts" this week: the group is showcased with a "Debut Artist Spotlight" in the February/March issue of CMA Close Up magazine and makes its national debut on the Billboard "New and Active" radio chart.
Calling them "the pride of Joplin, Missouri," the official publication of the Country Music Association documents LiveWire's 15-year-long journey to make a name for itself in the Country music world and calls its sound "raw, honest and as American as can be."  (Press Release)
Dolly Parton Episode of Dr. Steve has received a Regional Emmy® Nomination. The Dr. Steve Show, Tribune Broadcasting’s nationally syndicated health, wellness and lifestyle program, received the nomination from The New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the “Down Home With Dolly” episode.
The Dr. Steve Show paid a visit to Nashville last spring where host Dr. Steve Salvatore got personal with Dolly Parton to discuss down home mountain medicine from her Appalachian youth. Webster & Associates

Renegade Radio Nashville has partnered with Curb Records for an informative music industry radio show, The Road To Music Row. It will feature Taylor Childress, VP of Curb and Sidewalk Records, as well as station co-owner and voice Captain Jack Aponte and country recording artist Lindsay Lawler. www.renegaderadionashville.com (Nashville Music Media)

Curb Records artist Marie Miller’s video for her debut single, “You’re Not Alone”, made its world premiere jointly on CMT and VH1. The video was shot at the historic Glen Leven Estate in Nashville and was directed by David McClister. Miller says, “You’re Not Alone” was “written as a battle cry for a friend who was going through a really tough time, and he felt incredibly alone.  I wanted to fight for him and somehow take away his loneliness”.
It’s available on UK iTunes  Lyric Video >> YouTube

Sheila Marshall’s resume includes performing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo — and as a top 10 finalist on TV’s “Nashville Star” talent show. The alluring, bluesy-voiced Houstonite is celebrating the release of her new EP - UK iTunes
Blurb: Her follow-up to 2009’s WHAT IF I WAS, further showcases her passionate vocals and accomplished song craft. Produced by Ken Tondre (Kevin Fowler Band) at the Compound Recording Studio in Austin, it features renowned guitarist David Grissom on “Can’t Let Go,” a sexy, slide-filled rendition of the Randy Weeks song made famous by Lucinda Williams, though Marshall’s groove-filled country-funk version is more likely to conjure visions of Bonnie Bramlett. Press Release

ARTICLES
CMA Close Up CMA New Artist of the Year Hunter Hayes (By Bob Doerschuk)

CMT.com NASHVILLE SKYLINE: Mindy McCready Coulda Been a Contender But She Took Herself Out of the Match ... Early  (by Chet Flippo)
Extract: It's not often you see a career self-destructing before your eyes in an astonishing matter of moments, even seconds. It was hard for me to believe what I was hearing and seeing.It very much disturbed me, and I was concerned for Mindy McCready and tried to reason with her about the wisdom of attacking her record label BNA and especially about savaging RCA Label Group head Joe Galante publicly. Galante was the man who had auditioned her in his office when she was 17 and signed her to his BNA label.
This was in 1997, and I was interviewing her for Billboard magazine. She would hear none of what I was saying. She said I didn't understand, that Joe didn't understand, that no one understood her greatness................

LISTEN
Album stream: Caitlin Rose'sTHE STAND IN”, listen to the Nashville folkstress' new album at www.independent.co.uk

Song premiere: You Ain't Dolly (And You Ain't Porter), a new track from Ashley Monroe and Blake Shelton, follows in the tradition of classic country duets like Johnny Cash and June Carter's Jackson or Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn's You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly.
On the honky-tonk shuffle from Monroe's album Like a Rose, out March 5, the two swap mischievous barbs, including assessments of the other's physical endowments.
"It's borderline mean, but we love each other, so it isn't," says Monroe, who's also a member of the trio Pistol Annies with Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, and Angeleena Presley.
The song's title alludes to Dolly Parton and the late Porter Wagoner, who recorded many hits together during the '60s and '70s. Monroe says she knew Shelton would be her perfect Porter for the song. "He's country as dirt, and he's a walking encyclopedia of country music," she says. "He sang the hell out of it."
Monroe wrote You Ain't Dolly with Vince Gill, who also produced her album. She says they had the coach of The Voice in mind the whole time they were working on the song. "Blake's voice just slays me, but he's also a great friend, and we have that kind of playful relationship," Monroe says. "When Vince and I were writing it, we knew that we wanted him from the beginning

FREE DOWNLOADS
Formed in 1999, HEM self-released their profoundly beautiful debut Rabbit Songs (a word of mouth classic) in 2002 to critical acclaim, establishing themselves as one of the most promising bands to emerge from Brooklyn. Since then, they’ve released four full-length albums, including the music for the 2009 Public Theatre production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Hem’s extravagantly bittersweet five-years-in-the-making album, DEPARTURE AND FAREWELL will be released on April 2nd. It’s a perfect summation of this unusual chapter in the band’s life, which started as a breakup before becoming a rebirth—a point lost on none of the members.

Get unreleased tracks from Hem's soon to be released album "Departure and Farewell" along with their last full-length album, FUNNEL CLOUD (5 Sep 2006)
For Fans of: The Lumineers, The Carpenters, Ollabelle, Over the Rhine, Cowboy Junkies
The Funnel Cloud tracks are 160kbps and the 2 new songs are 192kbps MP3’s for an email share from www.noisetrade.com
Hem's album, Departure And Farewell, is due out April 2 on Waveland Records.
Watch the music video for “Tourniquet” by Hem at http://vimeo.com/56755711
Interview with Hem by Will Hodge at blog.noisetrade.com

WATCH
Christie Lamb's video “Mr. Wrong” >> YouTube
Christie Lamb was announced as The Most Impressive new Talent on Country Music Radio Australia in 2012. She is a high energy and passionate performer

Hitting a merch desk in a town near you:
Gretchen Peters is set to release ‘WOMAN ON THE WHEEL: LIVE FROM THE HELLO CRUEL WORLD TOUR 2012, described as “a tour journal of sorts; a snapshot of a very busy and rewarding year, a sampling of the shows, a peek backstage – all of that and then some.” It’s a 60 page hardcover book, Live CD and DVD and will be available only at shows for the time being including Gretchen’s upcoming UK tour which has begun in February in Ireland  - I can’t wait to share it with you. It’s an exclusive, limited edition release, for now only available at shows.
The CD was recorded in April 2012 at Hugh’s Room, the famed Toronto listening venue, with Barry Walsh and Christine Bougie. It contains live versions of all eleven songs from Hello Cruel World plus three bonus tracks: “On A Bus To St. Cloud”, “To Say Goodbye” and the Jagger/Richards classic “Wild Horses”.
Live DVD sneak preview >> YouTube
Related: Elizabeth McGovern, who plays Cora, Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey, will be supporting Gretchen Peters on the London date of her upcoming tour. Elizabeth’s band Sadie and the Hotheads have been together since 2007 when she took guitar lessons from Steve Nelson who encouraged her to write her own songs. The support slot came about when Elizabeth mentioned in an interview with Country Life magazine, that Gretchen’s song “Five Minutes” (taken from Hello Cruel World) was her favorite song.

Thomas Rhett appreciated the opportunity to open for Dierks Bentley much, he had to pay tribute to the man. And he did it the only way he knew how ... he wrote a song about it. Watch Rhett's "Dierkin' It" >> YouTube

Taylor Swift visited the Graham Norton Show in London for an interview and a live performance of "I Knew You Were Trouble."
+ Taylor's interview on KISS FM Radio in the UK >> YouTube

COUNTRY FASHION
Taylor Swift made a dramatic entrance , when the 23-year-old “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer oozed confidence as she arrived onto the red carpet at the 02 arena whilst attending the 2013 Brit Awards on February 20, 2013.
She presented Emeli Sande with the British Female Solo Artist.
Judging by Taylor's super-sexy appearance, she speed-dialled Elie Saab, saying something along the lines of: 'Get me the hottest LBD you've got' to show Harry [Styles] exactly what he's missing!
She wore a sleek Elie Saab Pre-Fall 2013 gown with sequins (Fashion Pic). The gorgeous black sleeveless gown had sheer panels in the shoulders and skirt was accented with a gold belt for a touch of bling.

She opted for neutral makeup, without her signature red lippie with smoky eyes and a dark manicure. She added a little bronze on her cheeks and lips to compliment the metallic elements of the outfit before completing her look with long lightly waved tresses (loving the bangs Tay!), a gold cuff, metallic nails and Neil Lane gold earrings. Tay wore Giuseppe Zanotti black sandals with gold snake detail (www.barneys.com). The heels are from the Fall 2012 collection featuring black suede and gold tone wave that wraps up the foot. They’re available online at FarFetch

With her country pop songs and girl-next-door look, Taylor Swift isn't exactly considered edgy by the music industry.
However, the blonde star attempted to give herself a bad girl makeover as she put on a sexier, rockier performance than usual.
The singer, 23, arrived on stage in a white floor-length gown, before stripping off to reveal a racy black playsuit
Black and gold: Taylor certainly put her all into the energetic performance, lots of photos at www.dailymail.co.uk
Other Brit Award pictures at www.dailymail.co.uk
Stealing the red carpet show on this occasion was Bérénice Marlohe who brought the va-va-voom to the O2 red carpet.She was definitely licensed to thrill wearing a Donna Karan Atelier gown. Her draped lamé gown, which managed to contained her ample bust and flattered around the waist, makes Berenice look like she’s dripping with liquid gold – OMG – Photo!.

Pop/country princess Taylor Swift graced the newest cover girl for Elle Magazine. Her latest spread for the fashion mag was chalk-filled with photos of the country sweetheart looking fresh, colorful, and fashion forward. 
Taylor Swift-Magazine-Elle-montage
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One of spring’s best and brightest fashion trends is colored metallics in sophisticated silhouettes, and ELLE Creative Director Joe Zee immediately knew that no one could rock the sparkle and shine like Taylor Swift. After arriving at our set in New York City dressed casually chic in a Topshop jacket and Chanel oxfords, Swift took on the DJ role, blasting a hip-hop playlist on her iPod and inspiring hairstylist Ken O’Rourke to pump up the volume on the star’s fine blond hair with René Furterer’s Anti-Dehydrating Volumizing Mousse.

LV Beauty – Taylor Swift graces the March issue of Elle US, wearing a yellow checkered dress from Louis Vuitton’s spring-summer 2013 collection, a white gold necklace with onyx and diamonds from Van Cleef & Arpels, and a diamond bracelet from Harry Winston.
Swift’s long limbs and model features made her an ideal subject for Zee and photographer Carter Smith, who transformed the crossover wunderkind into a different high-fashion incarnation for each take. The singer effortlessly shifted from supercool to whimsical to daring, styled in best-of-the-season looks from Burberry Prorsum (elle.com)
  • Metallic leather and bonded jersey bomber jacket, Burberry Prorsum, $3,395, visit burberry.com
  • Printed double-faced satin dress, sandals $1,895, both, Proenza Schouler, at Proenza Schouler, NYC
  • Pink latex emroidered caraco, silk faille shorts, $690, both, Oscar de la Renta, visit oscardelarenta.com. Cotton tank top, Calvin Klein Underwear, $28.
  • Beaded cape, gloves, prices on request, jeans, $490, hat, $995, leather belt, $395, pumps, $825, all, Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, at Saint Laurent, NYC.
Inside the magazine, the blonde beauty poses for Carter Smith with styling by Joe Zee showcasing looks from the new season Taylor also opens up about her song-writing process to Elle, “To me it’s just writing songs the way I always have. It’s me sitting on my bed feeling pain I didn’t understand, writing a song, and understanding it better. If people want to dissect the lyrics, that’s their right, but it’s all coming from the exact same place as where I started. It’s just something I do to feel better.”
Swift also managed to look stunning on the sidelines while staying as low-key and friendly as ever—and even took time out to catch up with pal and Glee star Dianna Agron, who stopped by the shoot for an impromptu hangout.
Quotes/ Slideshow visit - www.elle.com

COUNTRY GOSSIP
On 11 Feb tabloids circulated rumours that Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift had to be kept separate at the 2013 Grammys because of a feud between the two country superstars. Anonymous ”sources” said the two “hate each other” and executives at the awards show had to make sure they didn’t cross paths. According to Underwood herself none of it’s true.
Can a picture lie? After Carrie finished singing at the Grammy’s. You can see her get a standing ovation except for one person in the front row…Taylor – she was clapping but she was also sitting.

It's been a little over a month since Taylor Swift and Harry Styles decided to call it quits. But the One Directioner is still dealing with the repercussions of the breakup.
In a radio interview with London's Capital FM on Feb. 17, Styles, 18, spoke about what life has been like since his split from the 23-year-old country pop star.
"I'm okay, thank you for asking," he said when asked about the breakup. "I'm good."
Styles even opened up about Swift's dig at him during the Grammy Awards on Feb. 10 -- you know, the one where she mocked his British accent while performing "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."
"She's a great performer and she always performs great," Styles said. "She's always good on the stage. She's been doing it a long time. She knows what she's doing on stage. It was just another good Taylor Swift performance. It was good."
As for how he feels about the media attention surrounding his and Swift's relationship woes, Styles admits it's a little weird ... but he gets it.
The former couple kept their distance after the star-studded awards ceremony, with Harry heading to the Sony party with his mother Anne Cox as his date, while Taylor was seen enjoying a DJ session with James Corden at the Universal bash at a Soho House pop-up party.

(22 Feb) Taylor Swift has been on a date with rising new British musician Tom Odell.
The 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' singer went for dinner and drinks with Tom - who won the BRITs Critics Choice Award - in London on Thursday night (Feb 21, 2013).
The pair met at the BRIT Awards on Wednesday evening (20.02.13) and got on so well they decided to meet up the day after.
Taylor and Tom were spotted at a local pub in Hackney, east London, before moving onto private members' club Groucho in Soho. The 23-year-old country star kept the cold London weather at bay by wearing a red and navy tartan duffle coat over the top of a black lace dress and tights. Taylor was grinning from ear-to-ear as she left the pub to get into her waiting car with Tom following behind her.

Miranda's Big Top: Animal lover Miranda Lambert has a dream pet. Because of course she does. "A baby kangaroo,".. "Or an elephant. Elephants are really loving. They can do tricks and they like to be loved on and even though they're huge ... they don't really know it” Miranda's next tour: The Greatest Show on Earth?

Reba McEntire said her 1st childhood memory was at 3 years old. She drank some coffee then promptly threw up.

Hunter Hayes and actress Selena Gomez were seen flirting at a concert recently in L.A. and they also exchanged phone numbers. Selena just ended her 2-year romance with Justin Bieber.

LeAnn Rimes and husband Eddie just bought a mansion for $3 million in L.A.'s celebrity-inhabited Hidden Hills. It’s 8,642 sq. ft and has 9 bathrooms!
Rumors on the internet say LeAnn Rimes may be pregnant. She's been spotted wearing baggy clothes and looking fuller around the middle. Her rep says LeAnn is not pregnant.

On March 2 Taylor Swift will appear on the BBC’s, ‘Let’s Dance for Comic Relief,’ where stars perform dance routines in front of judges and viewers vote for their favorites. All proceeds will go to the charity.

TWEETS
Dolly Parton – Dolly_Parton: My weaknesses have always been food and men – in that order.

Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum – HillaryScottLA: I’ve never dreamed weirder dreams than I have pregnant…if I could only recall all the details. It would make a killer movie!

PHOTO
Tania Kernaghan – Australian Country Singer and Civil Celebrant!
Services Include:  Wedding Ceremonies, Commitment Ceremonies, Renewal of Vows, Baby Naming, MC & maybe a wedding singer?!

Thank you Tony and Leanne for the privilege of being your Civil Celebrant for your wedding yesterday.
A truly magical day. Wishing you love and happiness, Tania.







R.I.P
Songwriter Diane Lampert died Feb. 22 of heart failure in New York, the Associated Press reported. Although primarily a pop composer, she also netted a handful of country hits, led by Juice Newton’s “Break It to Me Gently” (Diane Lampert / Joe Seneca).
Other credits
George Jones: Nothin' Shakin' (But the Leaves on the Trees) Cirino Colacrai / Eddie Fontaine / Diane Lampert
Brenda Lee:  “Break It to Me Gently” (Diane Lampert / Joe Seneca)
Sonny James: “I Truly Do Diane” (Lampert)
Dallas Frazier: “Nothin' Shakin' (But the Leaves on the Trees) Cirino Colacrai / Eddie Fontaine / Diane Lampert / K. Zanchi
The Seekers: “The Olive Tree” (Diane Lampert / Tom Springfield) 

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