Sunday, 31 March 2013

Country Bites News snippets March 11 - March 17, 2013

Country Bites News snippets March 11 – March 17, 2013


Lisa Stanley was UK Country Radio's spotlight artist over the weekend March 16 – 17. Hear her editted conversation with Jerry Scott on the UK Country Showcase >> Audio
Lisa was born in to the music business as both her parents were very successful and well known in the Irish entertainment business. Lisa's mother was country singer the late Maisie McDaniel and her father is world class accordionist Fintan Stanley.
Lisa Stanley

Lisa has been writing songs and performing on the music scene for the past number of years and will be well known to many as the lovely smiling face as a TV presenter on The Phil Mack Country Show shown on Showcase TV. In June 2012 together with Dave Sheriff she spent 2 weeks at No.1 on the UK & Irish Hotdisc Chart with the song "End In Tears" penned by Sherriff. Fans can also vote for her for UKCR's Listeners' Club Award for her nominated song 'Love Me A Little Bit Longer'

Military ID holders who attended Brantley Gilbert’s Glasgow and Manchester shows had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive meet & greet with Gilbert. “Man you know we sing about Country being Country wide, but we are taking it to the next level this time,” said Gilbert. “I’m excited to meet all of the Country fans in Europe
He wrapped up the UK trek on Sunday (3/17) at London’s O2 Arena for the Country 2 Country Festival and following the UK stops, Gilbert will continue his journey overseas with a USO tour.

Social Worker: Sugarland’s Kristian Bush who has been spent three weeks overseas as a country music ambassador visiting Dublin, Belfast, London, and Paris with the CMA Songwriters Series, decided he needed to ramp up his networking skills to share his adventures with the fans back home, so he started an Instagram account (@kristianbush), began posting via WhoSay, and launched his official YouTube channel.
The first two videos posted feature footage from the #EuroCMA tour. His first KB TV webisode, featuring snippets of his travels alongside fellow Nashville hitmakers Bob DiPiero, Brett James, and Chris Young >> YouTube (webisode) Appearing in the video is Wigan based Gary Quinn, who wrote: Never had so much fun in my musical journey! Sharing the stage with KB, Brandon and Bob DiPiero was amazing and listening to Love or money
Watch 'Love Or Money' (Live) at CMA Songwriters Series London >> YouTube
Kristian’s Saturday, March 16 appearance at the inaugural C2C: Country to Country Festival at London’s O2 Arena marked the debut of Kristian’s new backing band, featuring Rebecca and Megan Lovell of acclaimed roots music duo Larkin Poe (who recently backed Elvis Costello), bassist Tim Smith (Noel Gallagher), drummer Travis McNabb (Sugarland, Better Than Ezra), and keyboardist Brandon Bush (Sugarland, Train).

On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week March 23, 2013)
Taylor Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, dropped 10-14 on its 23rd chart week selling 19,300 copies with a total to date of 606,549. Her new UK single “22” bullets 66-26 (4,012 sales) in its 4th week selling 10,590 copies and a total so far of 20,302. Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was down 12 slots 69-81 in its 30th chart week selling 2,950 copies with a new tally of 533,602.

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week March 23, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s RED was down 21-27 in its 21st chart week selling 4,852 copies with a total to date of 323,738
New at No.43 selling over 2,500 copies is Tim McGraw with TWO LANES OF FREEDOM (Big Machine) coinciding with his co-headlining at the C2C Country to Country Festival at the O2 in London and appearing on the BBC Breakfast. Mumford & Sons' debut album SIGH NO MORE at No.47 saw sales up 7.80% at 2,481.
Last weeks chart entry at No.42 OLD YELLOW MOON from Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell freefalls 54 places 42-96 in its second week.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week March 23, 2013)
Tim McGraw with TWO LANES OF FREEDOM (Big Machine) debuts at No.1 as his Tim McGraw & Friends (Curb) moves 3-7
Last weeks No.1 Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell with OLD YELLOW MOON (Nonesuch) drops one place to No.2.
Ashley Monroe bows at No.9 with LIKE A ROSE (Warner Bros).
The Billboard Top 200 No.1 Luke Bryan with SPRING BREAK - HERE TO PARTY which entered at No.6 on the UK Chart dropped to No.15 with no sign of Spring as Winter continues on this side of the pond    

On the Hotdisc Chart (March 17, 2013 Chart)
Ray Scott's "Those Jeans" remains at No.1 on the Hotdisc Top 40 chart, Rusty Rierson stayed at #2 and Bart Connell (pronounced Cun-ail) with "The Grass Ain't All That's Blue" moved 4-3. Ring O'Bells Band climbed 7 notches from 22 to 15. Swedish band Crash n Recovery leapt 9-17 with "Anna Lee" and remarkable all girl band, Mustang Sally, with the rather cheeky and below par "Jiggle It A Little" were the biggest movers, up eleven places 30-11. 
George Inglis’ remains No.1 on the British & Irish Top 10 for a fifth week.

Rising Australian country star Stephanie Jansen has been presented with the Frank Ifield International Spur Award at presentation during Canterbury Country in Sydney. Frank had released Stephanie's single "Shoes" off her 2012 Australian debut EP Risky to more than a thousand radio stations across the United Kingdom and Europe.It appears on the March 2013 promotional HotDisc #171 (Rush Released) and entered the UK and European Country Music Charts at No.9.
Stephanie joins a long list of awardees: Emma Hannah (2012), John Stephan (2011), Johanna Hemara (2010), Nicki Gillis (2009), Kirsty Akers (2008) and Karen Lynne (2007) being the most recent

In its sixth year CMC ROCKS THE HUNTER continued to deliver a world-class mix of Aussie and International talent over 3 days against the picturesque backdrop of the Hope Estate in The Hunter Valley, NSW
With the C2C Festival also on the same weekend in London music City USA found itself somewhat depleted of big name acts.
CMC Rocks The Hunter 2013 - Collage (Click to Enlarge)
 Rascal Flatts and the Band Perry presented their first Australian shows in Brisbane on March 13. Both acts were slated to perform during the weekend at CMC Rocks the Hunter, a festival that would also mark the Aussie debuts of Chris Young and Love and Theft.
Rascal Flatts has been in Australia for a series of shows, and both Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus tweeted the scenes with enthusiasm. "You're beautiful Melbourne," wrote Joe Don with an Instagram picture of the coastal city. Jay offered up a shot of Sydney Harbor, with its iconic Opera House in view. "Right outside my window… Sydney, what a beautiful city!" he tweeted.
The Band Perry also tweeted photos from their Aussie adventures.
Billy Ray Cyrus, was due to appear at The Hunter but pulled out for "medical reasons". Cyrus had not revealed the nature of his illness, but reports suggest he is suffering an ear condition.
McAlister Kemp have already had a spectacular year. The weekend saw the guys collect the award for CMC Australian Video of
The duo proved that Australia has home grown talent who can well and truly hold their own against international acts.
The boys even showed some good old Aussie hospitality getting Stephen Barker Liles from Love and Theft up on stage during their set. Love and Theft were scheduled to perform at CMC but when the wife of Stephen's band mate Eric Gunderson went into labour 10 weeks early. Eric raced home to be with her and Stephen was here with his boots on, guitar at the ready and eager to get in front of an the Australian crowd. McAlister Kemp were more than happy to oblige.The trio cranked out Brooks & Dunn's "Play Something Country". Eric and Wife Emily had a gorgeous baby boy who they named Camden so good news all around.
The Band Perry’s set included a full on country version of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" mixed in with the driving sound and raunchy voice of Kimberly. Watch TBP CMC Interview - YouTube  - CMC Interview list

It was 82-year old Australian-born twins Tom and Ted LeGarde stole the show at this year’s CMC Rocks The Hunter festival, despite blistering sets from both headliners Big & Rich and Rascal Flatts. The LeGarde Twins back into the country from their Nashville base were honoured by Foxtel’s Country Music Channel with the CMC Lifetime Achievement Award. Regarded as the first Australian country export to America, the twins grew up on a farm in Mackay, Queensland, and by age 17 were believed to have been two of the youngest professional rodeo riders in the country.
Their love of music took over though, and after years of toiling in Australia they left for Canada in 1957. The rest of their sometimes-overlooked career is history, and to this day they’re still active.
Read the rest of the report at
Other CMC Music Award Winners went to:
International Artist: Keith Urban
International Video: Keith Urban
Oz Artist: The McClymonts
Australian Video: McAlister Kemp ('Country Proud')
New Oz Artist: Morgan Evans
Lifetime Achievement Award: The LeGarde Twins

CMCRocks the Hunter will return on March 14, 15 and 16, 2014

Angela Hesse’s breakthru new single release, "Which One Of You Boys (Wants To  Buy Me A Beer?)"  has the potential of soon finding the guys fighting for spots in line for the privilege of ‘popping a top’ with the beautiful, blonde Angie.
It’s a song that holds the pedigree of being co-written by Pistol Annie’s Angaleena Presley and multi-Grammy winner Mark D. Sanders whose extensive catalogue of more than a dozen #1 hits includes ‘girl friendly’ chart toppers for a litany of ladies—including Faith, Martina, and Reba.
A major eblast to radio hit the week of March 4 with an official add date is April 1. Set for Angie in April is an ambitious ‘get acquainted’ radio tour with initial market visits now being finalized by Grassroots and there are plans for Angela’s involvement in CMA Country Music Fest are also underway. You can listen to her new single and music at

The next Taylor Swift ?
Torri Melhart or Maria Sarah ?
1) Meet Torri Melhart, a 14-year-old Country singer and songwriter from the Philadelphia area who is having a great year. More than 50,000 Twitter followers and 3,000 Facebook fans make up her “Melhearts” and are helping her generate tremendous buzz as a young performer trying to prove herself on the national country music scene.....Torri spent her early childhood in Corpus Christi, Texas – immersed in country music and a strong Christian faith by her parents and grandparents. After a move to West Chester, Pennsylvania, she became active in the music program at Advent Lutheran Church, where a family friend who is a vocal coach discovered her (
Torri Melhart

"In today’s music business, full of so many mass-produced Disney wannabes and cookie-cutter teen idols, young Torri Melhart breaks through with a refreshingly honest, country-soaked voice that can best be described as girlish, vulnerable, and utterly unique."
Asked if she’s going to be the next Taylor Swift, a question she hears quite often, Torri’s response underscores her “do-it-herself” attitude: “I really don’t want to be the next anyone. I want to be the first ‘me.’”
Watch her official Video for "Letting Go" by Torri Melhart, taken from her CD, "The Acoustic Sessions EP" >> YouTube

2) Next up Maria Sarah, 14 year-old singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who was slated to perform on the TODAY Show on Friday, March 15th.
Maria began performing as a singer and training in classical piano at four years old. By seven she was teaching herself guitar and soon incorporated mandolin into her repertoire. She has won countless talent contests and played for literally hundreds of festival, charity events and popular venues throughout her home state of Indiana and Tennessee.
Maria Sarah

After attending a writer’s conference at NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International), eleven-year-old, Maria wrote “Sometimes”, an inspirational song reviving hope that in time the answers will come.
The piece was so compelling her parents knew it was time to enlist the aid of those who could help make Maria’s vision a reality.
As a Country /Pop artist she lists her Influences as Ed Sheeran, Adele, Sugarland and The Zac Brown Band.
She recently released a self-titled pop album of her original songs available on iTunes as well as a world premiere video of her song “Sometimes” >> YouTube 
More details in this Webster & Associates Press Release

Houston Press - Blake Shelton Has Helped Country's "Old Farts" More Than They Seem to Know.."
Can't they just shut up?" Extract: That's the question many country music fans proffer when musicians publicly express opinions that dare venture outside of….Recently, a specific sect of fans felt their tighty-whities twist when a prominent contemporary artist went rogue while discussing his musical offerings in a manner that offended them. Sticks and stones still break bones, but name-calling has evidently gained a great deal of destructive power.
A slight storm of controversy has surrounded television personality -- sorry, I mean, country artist -- Blake Shelton since the December airing of an episode of cable network GAC-TV's Backstory devoted to the "Ol' Red" and "Sure Be Cool If You Did" singer............Now, in a desperate attempt to get some unearned shine Bob Everhart of the National Traditional Country Music Association announced the manner in which his organization will, finally, let Shelton have it good.
On April 17, a multi-organizational march is scheduled to take place in Nashville to have Shelton's membership in the Grand Ole Opry revoked.......With that stated, had Shelton not said what he said -- if he had just "shut up" when pointing to the jackasses, then a lot of old farts out there wouldn't be receiving the attention they're getting now. Read more in the 3 page artircle at

Six weeks after Blake Shelton made disparaging comments as published on “If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying”.
The “Old Farts & Jackasses,” issue has not gone away with Bob Everhart, a traditional country musician, and the President of the NTCMA since 1976, along with Maggie Penn at the Traditional Music Foundation banding together with other organizations and individuals to launch an initiative to attempt to remove Blake Shelton from the Grand Ole Opry, and get more traditional country played on the radio. The group launched an online petition and are planning a march, protest, and concert in Nashville on April 17 starting at Tony Rose Park (located at 8 Music Circle East) with the march going down Music Row, ending at the offices of the Country Music Association (CMA). There will also be a free concert of traditional American music by participating musicians. Thier goal is to reach 1,000 signatures, so far in 3 weeks they have over 500.
Bob Everhart who writes a journal each week titled “On The Road With The Everharts” which is published by the Country Music News International blog.
In his own blog Everhart writes:
 When Blake Shelton made the incredibly ignorant and stupid statement that old people who didn’t buy his cd’s and concert tickets were ‘old farts and jackasses,’ he made it perfectly clear how very little he understands the music world, the evolution of music, the history of music, the business of music, and the longivity of music, especially ‘country’ music. Fact number one deals with Mr. Shelton. His initials are B.S. a perfect fit for him because that’s exactly what I think he is full of. As President of the National Traditional Country Music Association, since 1976, I not only take offense to his insults, the ‘record’ needs to be set straight on his lack of intelligence............Anyone with enough money can buy a ‘male vocalist of the year’ award, anywhere, anytime, anyday. To be the kind of non-vocalist that Mr. Shelton is, as Willie Nelson so plainly pointed out….”he lip syncs his songs” means only one ‘true’ thing about Shelton. He can’t really sing. If anyone knows the reality of this, Shelton does. How true it is.. “If you got the money honey Nashville’s got the time… couldn’t be truer, as Shelton has discovered. Everything is for sale in Nashville, including Shelton…..Shelton is a reflection, a very clear one, of what it was like when radio came into existence all those years ago. A licensing agency was immediately set up to ‘collect the money’ for playing recordings on radio. Known as ASCAP, like Mr. Shelton, this group took it upon themselves to be the ‘judge and jury’ of what music the American public could hear on radio. Guess what? They banned anything they considered hillbilly, or mountain, or folk, or downhome rural music. Why? In their own words they didn’t feel the American public should be exposed to such vulgar music…… My recordings with the Smithsonian will stay there into perpetuity. Can you say the same for your recording company? No you cannot. Why? Because you are already a victim of your own stupidity. Yes, Mr. Shelton, you are already dying just as you predicted you would be. I’m so glad your initials are B.S. In the rural country, where I’m from, that’s perfectly fitting....

In answer to this Barry Mazor of the Wall Street Journal wrote: Whatever the CMA protest does or doesn't accomplish, the Shelton campaign is dumb, under-informed, and pointless. He shot his mouth off. What could be more country? He's also been, in fact, a supporter, lover and recorder of more traditional country music throughout his career--which started, btw, under the tutelage of Mae Axton and Bobby Braddock. The whole "countrier than thou" thing is repulsive for many who love country; maybe the people involved might consider raising the standard for what they love without feeling compelled to bash what they don't. Might even when friends instead of just posturing and self-"branding".

Note: Despite the “Old Farts” backlash from traditional quarters Blake Shelton’s lastest single “Sure Would Be Cool If You Did” has sold over 715,000 copies in 10 weeks and topped the Hot Country Songs Chart and Billboard Country Digital Songs Chart for 4 and 3 weeks respectively.

The Band Perry will preview new music from their forthcoming album PIONEER to family, friends and fans in their hometown of Greeneville, TN on Saturday, March 30. The FREE concert and signing – presented by the Greene County Partnership to raise awareness for “Outnumber Hunger
Anyone who knows us knows how much we love our hometown. We have been traveling so much the past several years that we wanted to bring our new music and our new show back home to the folks in Greeneville to say how much we appreciate their support, just like we did with our first record. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you,’” says Neil Perry.

Call Me, Maybe? Maggie ("I Ain't Your Mama") Rose has started a campaign that allows fans to connect with her and her music via mobile phones. Calling the number 442-333-ROSE lets you hear her new single "Better" and gain access to exclusive content. Maggie's NEW Album, CUT TO IMPRESS, drops on Tuesday, March 26.

Former Stealing Angels band members Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth survived another week on CBS reality competition The Amazing Race.

Tuesday Night Country Club: Sheryl Crow showcased her country side to a crowd of industry folks earlier this month and, backstage, showcased smiles with Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley

Last year (Feb. 22, 2012) Vince Gill hit the Ryman Auditorium stage to perform as part of a luncheon at Nashville's annual Country Radio Seminar (CRS), hosted by his longtime record company, Universal Music Group. Before singing 'The Red Words,' the country music icon made the surprising announcement that, after more than two decades with his label, he would no longer be on their artist roster. Fast forward to February 2013 at CRS and he appeared on stage to explain he’s back and working on new music with the label. Gill dedicated his performance of “Go Rest High on That Mountain” to the late Mindy McCready saying he didn’t know her well but “she was part of our family, part of the history of country music and that mattered.”

Was the Postie a Carrie Underwood fan? Piles of unread Taylor Swift Fan letters were found in Nashville Dumpster. The multi-platinum singer-songwriter and heroine to teenage girls across the world, never fails to offer shout-outs to her fans, professing her love and gratitude for the people who buy her albums and concert tickets. WKRN-TV in Nashville reported that a woman found hundreds of unopened fan letters, many covered in glitter and heart stickers, in a dumpster behind a school. She scooped up the letters and brought them to the news network, which contacted Swift's record label.
"Taylor gets thousands of fan letters every day, and they are delivered to her management office. After the letters are opened and read, they are recycled," her spokesperson, Paula Erickson, told the network.
As for how this batch went ignored, Erickson says it was simply an oversight. "The only explanation for any letters being unopened would be that a small batch of mail that was supposed to be delivered to Taylor was accidentally put with letters headed for the recycling center.

Parade magazine had their annual ‘What People Earn’ issue out and Taylor Swift’s the 3rd highest paid entertainer in the world making $57 million in 2012 ( #1 and 2 are Oprah and Britney Spears). Blake Shelton made $20 million last year and that includes $75,000 per episode for ‘The Voice."

Shooter Jennings The Other Life (released March 12) - Accompanying a film by the same name, the new album from Waylon's son features appearances from Patty Griffin, Scott H. Biram and Black Oak Arkansas frontman Jim "Dandy" Mangrum as well as Jennings' backing band The Triple Crown. In the movie, Jennings embarks on a supernatural journey that leads him to face his destiny - Amazon UK

HEM are very much looking forward to the release of their our new album DEPARTURE AND FAREWELL on April 2nd! They were due to perform a special hometown preview show this Friday, March 15th, at the Bell House in Brooklyn

Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt's new album, NIGHT, came out March 19.
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt join forces for the first time in "Night", a unique collaboration merging classical, folk, and rock worlds, exploring common terrain and uncovering new musical landscape. Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt met when Tift interviewed Simone in 2008. It was released in UK on March 18, 2013 - Amazon UK
Watch the Night EPK Video -
** Free Download/Stream (128kbps MP3) - Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt, "Night and Dreams" >>
"We recorded this record in a gorgeous theater at the Academy of Arts & Letters in NYC.  It was a challenge and a revelation to collaborate with Simone -- I learned so much and I'm very proud of the sound we made" shares Tift

Mercury Records singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves will release her debut album, Same Trailer Different Park, on March 19th.  The album is co-produced by Musgraves, Shane McAnally and Luke Laird and features her current single and top 15 hit “Merry Go ‘Round.” Musgraves wrote or co-wrote all tracks on the album.
"The making of this record was such a fun and meaningful time for me," said Musgraves. "As a writer, singer and producer I learned so much throughout the whole process. I am proud and excited to present a project alongside Shane McAnally and Luke Laird that came from a very real and inspired place in my brain and heart." - NPR First Listen - Amazon UK CD - MP3 -

Trace Adkins’ 11th studio album, LOVE WILL..." will be released May 14 on Show Dog-Universal Music described as a  collection of sexy grooves and  heart-wrenching ballads, see track listing at

The trio Pistol Annies is readying its sophomore album, ANNIE UP, for a May 7 release. Comprised of singer/songwriters Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, the group released its debut album, “Hell On Heels,” in August 2011 and it was met with widespread critical acclaim, and as a then Digital only release, topped the Billboard Country Album chart.

In a recent interview with MSN Music, Monroe expressed her excitement about the group’s new album and revealed that the band would begin touring together again in June.
She also said of her band mates, “When we three get together, I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s like we’re all three directly plugged into a higher power or something. Songs come out of us. It’s literally like our body is being used, and songs just pour out of us and they mean so much.
“We wrote every song on [the album] and it’s just so personal, so real,” she added. “I really think our fans will get it. I hope so.
In a press release announcing the album’s release date, Lambert said of the project, “We laid it on the line with ‘Hell On Heels’ and we wanted to bring it again on this album. The goal of our music is to have people feel like they’re having a conversation with us.
The album’s debut single, “Hush, Hush,” has shipped to country radio. The band members wrote another album track, “Unhappily Married,” last June while they were getting their hair and makeup done for a performance at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
After we came back from the holidays we were talking about how horrible it was,” laughed Miranda as she described the inspiration for the song. “So we took a little bit of truth from each of our family experiences and wrote this song,” said Ashley. “It’s about the truth. The truth is so much easier than lie on top of lie on top of secrets,” said Angaleena. “The truth will set you free.”
(Source - Sony Press Release)
Ronnie Dunn unveiled “Country This,” the first song from his upcoming, currently untitled album.
Want a taste of brand new Ronnie Dunn music? Well, today’s your lucky day. The singer previewed the rowdy and thoroughly rocking’ new track ‘Country This.’ Dunn himself labeled it as one of the “edgier” tracks on his upcoming record and it’s certainly a different sound for him. So how does it stack up?
Dunn also posted a lengthy response to a Facebook post someone wrote about people loving Dunn’s voice when they hear it, but they don’t realize he is the Dunn of the now-defunct Brooks & Dunn. Listen at

Taylor Swift has been named the Recording Industry of America’s top-selling Digital Singles Artist with 39.5 million singles sales certified to date. Taylor also holds the record for the biggest digital sales week ever for a song by a woman, and for the second-largest song sales week overall. So far, she has scored 13 No. 1 singles across multiple radio formats.

Wynonna Judd and husband Cactus Moser are on the cover of US Weekly. Six months after the tragic crash -- in which Moser lost his leg -- the 48-year-old singer and her 55-year-old drummer husband sat down with Us Weekly entertainment director Ian Drew to share their story for the first time.

"I remember standing over Cactus, wondering whether he was alive or not," Judd recalls in the new issue of Us Weekly. "I kept saying to myself, 'Be calm, be calm.' When I realized he was still alive, I noticed the leg was gone. I saw remnants of it, um, all over the highway. I just stood there, trying to make sense of it all." Read more:

Five-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman shows his roots in faith and family run deep on the latest exclusive CD release from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®.  DEEP ROOTS, a 12-track collection of newly recorded hymns and Chapman’s fan-favorite hits, was recorded in Chapman’s hometown of Lexington, Ky., and features guest vocal appearances from his father, Herb Chapman Sr., brother Herb Chapman Jr., son Caleb Chapman and daughter-in-law, Jillian Edwards Chapman. Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs also contributed his stand-out talent on the song  “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” details / track listing at Essential Broadcast Media

Lady Antebellum are the first artists to appear at All-New AT&T U-verse (R) Fan Fair X Blurb: The all-new AT&T U-verse® Fan Fair X features all fans love from past Fan Fair eXperiences and "eXpands it to create the most eXceptional, eXciting and eXtraordinary artist-fan encounters"! Fan Fair X takes over Nashville's newest, most state-of-the-art venue - the Music City Center!
Leading the way is Lady Antebellum with “Lady A Day at FFX.” To kick the week off, the group will cut the ribbon when the doors officially open to the FFX on Thursday, June 6, 2013. From the new Fan Fair X, Lady A will perform, sign autographs in their custom “backstage” booth @ClubLabellum, answer questions from fans in an interview segment called CMA Close Up, and is launching their PING PONG & SONGS event to include the thousands of fans in town for the Festival - CMA World

Country newcomer Lisa Matassa made her national television debut on the Hallmark Channel's MARIE show March 13 at 12 noon ET / 11 am CT.  Lisa and her band perform her current hit single, the high-energy "Somebody's Baby," and Lisa and Marie chat about the "adventures" involved in mixing a music career with motherhood.
"Marie is absolutely charming, gorgeous and gracious in person," notes Matassa.  "I have been a fan of the show since it started last year and am so excited that I was invited to be on.  Marie is undoubtedly an entertainment icon, but she is also an amazing woman." Webster & Associates

Natalie Manes has a new song "Without You" from her forthcoming album MOTHER out May 7. Listen at

Natalie now moving on as a solo artist started out nervous on stage at the South by Southwest Festival. On this night she barely speaks between songs.Her hair slicks up in a punkish pompadour. She looks slimmer than when the Dixie Chicks began a hiatus in 2007 that may never end. The crowd at the music festival came to hear Maines, now 38, perform her solo debut "Mother" for only the second time is a healthy size, but it is also far from a packed house. "We missed you, Natalie!" one fan hollers.Maines smiles but doesn't banter back.
Maines is candid about the past and guarded about the future. Ask whether the Dixie Chicks will ever record new music again, she curls in her chair with tense energy and declines to predictmusic festival to hear Maines perform her solo debut "Mother" for only the second time is a healthy size, but it is also far from a packed house

Award-winning Bluegrass duo The Roys join Krossroad Guitars in offering fans a chance to win an autographed camouflaged guitar via a special Facebook contest sponsored by Andy Ross.In honor of St. Patrick's Day, all "lucky leprechauns" can enter for a chance to win from now until April 17.  To enter the contest, Bluegrass and hunting fans have to LIKE three Facebook pages and SHARE THE PIC. Details in Press Release

Rural Rhythm Records is extremely proud to announce the new album “God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories About Real People” debuts at #6 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart. This special project has been all over Amazon Best Sellers charts over the last week – reaching #1 on the Folk/Traditional Folk numerous times and ranking as high as #115 in music for all genres. Read more at Press Release

Who isn't appearing at George Jones’ final Nashville concert?
Cyndi Lauper, Don McLean, Billy Ray Cyrus are the latest to be added to the Bridgestone Arena concert on Friday, November 22, 2013. It brings the current total to 50+ musical guests.
Commenting on the added performers George Jones says, “Now, people may not know this, but I have been a fan of Cyndi’s since I first saw her years ago at the Grammy awards, what a thrill it was to hear she will be part of this final celebration.  Don McLean and I first met in the ‘70s, here in Nashville, and I love his singing, his songwriting, and I know his performance will be just as special as when I first saw him sing. Billy Ray is an old friend and someone I have spent many times together, bless his heart for wanting to be with me on this show.  I love and respect all these singers.” - Webster & Associates

Peter Cooper on Music: The curious case of the Dixie Chicks (The implosion that happened a decade ago) .Ten years and one day ago was a good time to be a Dixie Chick. Nine years and 364 days ago, not so much.
The trio of Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie McGuire had sold 22 million albums and notched six No. 1 country hits, including then-current chart-topper “Travelin’ Soldier.”......

Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe, Caitlin Rose take country by stormThe singer-songwriters are separately delivering fresh ideas about how women relate to traditional country music subjects…Read more at the  LA Times

Wall Street Journal - The Unflinching Ashley Monroe (By Barry Mazor)

Nashville music industry shifting away from Music Row - The

Concerts Reviews:
Review: Taylor Swift connects with fans - - Slideshow - ….The explosion of sound that greeted Taylor Swift on Wednesday night, March 13 [Well it had to be her lucky No.13), in Omaha quickly proved how much pop superstars on tour rely on the soundtrack inside their fans' heads.
Tweet Taylor Swift: To everyone who came to see us these past 2 nights in Omaha, thank you for your screaming and dancing and singing. I'm driving away smiling.

Taylor Swift-Live-RED Tour-Omaha-Wallpaper
(Click to Enlarge Image)
 Burning Red: "It's quite possible you're going to see a lot of one color tonight," Taylor Swift said while kicking off The Red Tour in Omaha, NE (3/13-14). "It's mostly because of the [University of Nebraska] Huskers," she joked. Cue audience mania.
A first-look at the 66-date North American leg provided a view that was, not surprisingly, elaborate, more mature and very, very red. Like, very.

Tom Petty's "American Girl," which was piped through the PA just prior to curtain on the Speak Now Tour, has been replaced by Lenny Kravitz's version of "American Woman." Swift's entrance finds her silhouetted behind a curtain – red, of course – before it rises dramatically and she descends the stairs to the main stage during "State Of Grace." Her dancers carry her through the arena to sing several songs at the back of the house, including a duet with tour guest Ed Sheeran ("Everything Has Changed").
Those who watched her Grammy-opening performance this year will find those images echoed in the closing number, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." As the song draws down and thank-yous pour forth from Swift and her screens, the performing multitudes take their bows and Taylor sinks out of sight. The lights rise quickly in the house, refreshingly ignoring the custom of trolling for an encore that in most shows is already part of the set list.

Blake Shelton was "effortless, engaging" at RodeoHouston on Friday March 15. – Houston Chronicle Review + photo gallery

Review: Kenny Chesney greets No Shoes Nation at Tampa concert on March 16 -
News Extract: In a big week for country tours, Kenny Chesney let his pirate flag fly at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium as the No Shoes Nation Tour kicked off for 48,000 swashbucklers. And why not there, considering the hometown Buccaneers have an actual pirate ship in one end zone? Kacey Musgraves ("Merry Go Round") opened, followed by Eli Young Band and Eric Church. "Eric is a rocked-up bar party, and Kenny is more laid-back island fun," our insider says. Kenny Chesney "seemed to be savoring" his return to the stage.

Kenny Chesney Rocks “No Shoes Nation” -- Kicks Off 2013 Tour with 26 Song Set at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, FL: They were waving pirates flags in Section 303 and 334, at the top of Raymond James Stadium when the lights came up and Kenny Chesney strode to the mic to kick off his 2013 tour in the home of the Buccaneers. For the next two-plus hours, Chesney played old songs, his brand new song and some real surprises...- Sony Press

Unfortunately Fake Photo from the
Houston Livestock Show
Luke Bryan's songs were "a blast of energy" Saturday March 16 in Houston. – Houston Chronicle ….He was in much stronger voice than last year and strutted confidently across the entirety of the stage. Every song was a blast of energy. Even the ballads seemed upbeat.“ This is the biggest crowd of my life,” he said to the 75,242 fans in attendance, now the second-largest in RodeoHouston history. (He bested Shelton’s record by four people.)

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (Saturday, March 16). Miranda Lambert a refreshing breath of genuine country -  Miranda Lambert was "practically peeling the paint off the walls."

Rising Aussie sister duo, Baylou, have been wowing audiences around the country over the last few years with their breath-taking harmonies and exquisite song writing.
Now Barb and Victoria Baillie are set to release their debut album, GO TO HELL & I LOVE YOU on March 15 through Universal/ABC Music just in time for CMC Rocks 2013 where they performed.
Go To Hell & I Love You features 11 original tracks including tracks co-written with chart-topping international writers Eric Paslay, Emily Shackelton, Ira Dean and Jamie Paulin, as well as recent US #1 Australian songwriter Phil Barton.
Listen to 11 tracks -

An Introduction to Joe Pug: For Fans Of Josh Ritter, M. Ward, John Prine, Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen
After dropping out of college the day before his senior year, Joe Pug moved to Chicago and started writing the songs that would eventually become the Nation of Heat EP.  Three years later, with tours with Josh Ritter, M. Ward and Steve Earle to his credit, his thoughtful, moving and literate songs have put him at the forefront of the indie-folk movement.  He has also earned a reputation for being a powerful live performer, which has only grown following his appearances at festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, The Newport Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass, and the Cambridge Folk Festival. His first full-length album, Messenger, was released in 2010 on Lightning Rod Records, and the follow up "The Great Despiser" was released in 2012

Kacey Musgraves performing Follow Your Arrow" (Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally & Brandy Clark) in Huntington, WV on 3/1/13 >> YouTube - Lyric Video >> YouTube

Music video by Haley & Michaels - "The Price I Pay" - from their upcoming 2013 debut album.
Directed by Annie Price (Faith Hill’s “This Kiss”) >> YouTube  It was written by Shannon Haley, Ryan Michaels & Tova Litvin / and produced by Mikal Blue. Shannon Haley and Ryan Michaels, known as Haley & Michaels, are an award winning country duo based in Nashville. When the two first met, they discovered that not only did they share nearly identical musical influences, but also that they were practically neighbors growing up and never knew it. San Francisco Bay Area

Pistol Annies took the Opry stage with Loretta Lynn sitting front-row to perform her song "Fist City" as part of GAC's Noteworthy at the Opry series >> YouTube

Overdrive’ the debut single from Aussie Newcastle native Kristy James was born out of frustration and sending a message of not giving in. At a time when Kristy felt her hands were tied and her options were limited she put pen to paper resulting in this fiery country-rock track. Assembling a star-studded cast for her first professional outing, the track was produced by Hillbilly Hut’s Simon Johnson (Adam Harvey, Travis Collins, Buddy Goode), guitars and banjo courtesy of Glen Hannah, drums – Pete Drummond, fiddle - Mick Albeck, steel – Dave Ristrim, bass – Simon Johnson with backing vocals by Mike Carr & Aleyce Simmonds. The accompanying video clip was produced by Golden Guitar winning producer Glenn Wilson (Felicity Urquhart’s ‘Big Black Cloud’) >> YouTube

Music video by Taylor Swift performing "22" (2013 Big Machine) >> YouTube
Taylor Swift's performance of "22" at the "Let's Dance for Comic Relief" Show at London, UK (February 22nd 2013) >> YouTube
The 22 video premieres AND the Red Tour starts on March 13, Wednesday! Yes, that's the 13th. Yes, that's on purpose.

Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan arm wrestle - Twitter Link

Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Cowboy Copas were at the height of their careers when their lives were taken in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee just over fifty years ago. A special three-day event was held there this year to celebrate the lives of the three stars, plus pilot Randy Hughes. Inside Music Row had a chance to catch up with Mandy Barnett and Bill Anderson before the 'Gone But Not Forgotten' event to talk about the 50 year anniversary and their special memories >> YouTube

Elizabeth Cook performed "If I Had A Way" from her EP Gospel Plow on the David Letterman show (March 14) >> YouTube

Pistol Annie Ashley Monroe performed "Like A Rose" Monday (3/11) on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. (American Viewers only) at

Hayden Panettiere, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC)..Hayden shows a little leg during her appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Friday (March 15) in New York City. The 23-year-old actress chatted with Jimmy Fallon about her hit show Nashville -


Taylor Swift was featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists issue. She was seen posing in a gorgeous yellow dress and metallic heels along with her stylist Joseph Cassell.
She was wearing Prada peep-toe platform pumps (Fashion pic). These heels feature mirrored silver patent leather, 5" heel and 1" platform. They’re available online in gold & silver at Nordstrom, and gold/silver/purple at Saks Fifth Avenue.
She posed on the cover (one out of four total covers) with her long-time stylist, Joseph Cassell. Taylor wore a dandelion yellow gown with a thigh-high slit by one of her favorite designers, Elie Saab.
Taylor commented about her stylist, saying, “There are times that he will have just steamed a dress and put me in it, and he’ll crank the seat all the way back in the car and make me lie down all the way to the event so it doesn’t wrinkle before I get to the red carpet.”

Taylor Swift-The Hollywood Reporter-Collage

Taylor and Jennifer Lopez took separate covers of THR‘s issue with their style-gurus Joseph Cassell, and Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn, respectively.
Newcomer Joseph Cassell (No. 13, yes he comes in on the list at lucky #13!) notably landed his gig styling Taylor Swift by showing up for a steam-and-press job at a shoot with fully loaded clothing racks and accessory options for the singer. “I’m an organized hoarder,” he admits. “That’s the quote they’ll use for you,” Swift dryly follows up.
Obviously, Swifty is beautiful, but he can certainly turn her into a superstar! And she gives him all the credit too. Earlier, she tweeted out: "Cool! Proud of you, Joseph."
Behind the scenes of THR's Style Issue -
Client: Taylor Swift  WHY HE MATTERS: Cassell styles music’s most visible crossover phenomenon, Taylor Swift, for the red carpet, concert tours, album covers and advertising campaigns. He and Swift have moved into sophisticated territory for the 23-year-old star with daring looks like her custom wine-colored Donna Karan gown with sheer side panels for the Golden Globes…Read the full article at
THR's 25 Most Powerful Stylists 2013 Slideshow -

OMG! Yvette Fielding claims: One Direction's Harry Styles sent me disgusting texts when he was 16. The former Blue Peter host says she was propositioned by Taylor Swifts ex 1D's Harry -
'He's a Romeo, he's very romantic. When there's a love interest, Harry will go all out to get the girl. He's totally obsessed. I think that's what Simon Cowell saw in him, the cheeky chappy charm.'
Harry, now 19, is known for liking older women and has enjoyed flings with cougars including Caroline Flack and radio presenter Lucy Horobin, both 33. A spokesman for Harry denied to the Daily Mail last night that he sent Yvette any messages.
'Harry has never sent any rude or inappropriate texts to Yvette Fielding,' said the spokesman.

Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran
Getty Image-Kevin Mazur
Seems whenever Taylor Swift is in a room with a guy "sparks fly" with rumours of a romance - the latest being British singer, songwriter Ed Sheeran. Ed is in fact Taylor's "Red" tour mate. However he says it's definitely not the worst rumour to be linked to. Ed says the thing that impressed him with the media is that because they wrote about it, his mates believed it - even though it wasn't true the fact that people can believe it makes him feel like a bit of a stud!

TOWIE star Billie Faiers when asked who she had a girl crush on at the moment, she answered Taylor Swift.
Dressed in stockings and stilettos and posing provocatively the 21-year-old The Only Way Is Essex blonde bombshell told Nuts magazine: "She’s looking pretty amazing recently. Her image, her hair… she’s really upped her game in just about every department" She also has a major soft spot for the Kim Kardashian US TV star’s curvy physique raving: "She’s got curves and everything is very well proportioned"

64-year-old rocker Steven Tyler likes Taylor Swift. He says, “she’s hot and I have to write a song with her one day.” 

Jason Aldean has said he’d never even consider eating potato salad.

Reba [McEntire] Says No to Assault Rifles: She owns quite a few guns but does not have an assault rifle and says people should not be able to own them because they have way too much power and boundaries make it safer for everyone.

Country legend Jack Greene has passed away. The 83-year-old entertainer, who was the first CMA Male Vocalist of the Year and earned the nickname “the Jolly Green Giant,” died on Thursday (March 14) after a battle with Alzheimer’s. Grand Ole Opry spokeswoman Jessie Schmidt said that Greene died in his sleep from complications of the disease.
Jack Greene in 2005

Greene got his start in country music in his hometown of Maryville, Tenn., where he played on local radio station WGAP-AM as a teenager. He performed with a string of bands in Atlanta before hiring on with Ernest Tubb’s Texas Troubadours as a drummer and singer in 1962. According to USA Today, Greene — who had learned about diesel motors while serving in the Army — also repaired the group’s tour bus as part of his duties.
Greene scored a solo deal with Decca Records after one of the tracks he sang with Tubb, titled ‘The Last Letter,’ got the attention of label head Owen Bradley, one of the most influential producers in country music. His single ‘There Goes My Everything’ launched him to solo stardom, landing at No. 1 for seven weeks, and earning him Male Vocalist, Single and Album of the Year at the first-ever CMA Awards in 1967.
The next few years brought a run of meteoric success that included additional No. 1 hitsYou Are My Treasure, ‘Until My Dreams Come True’ and ‘Statue of a Fool,’ which would go on to become one of his signature hits along with ‘There Goes My Everything.’ He also recorded a string of successful duets with Jeannie Seely, including "Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You",with whom he toured extensively in the early and mid-’70s.
He was nominated for a Grammy award three straight years."There was a whirlwind of events," he recalled in a 1992 Associated Press interview. "I'd go from one town to another, one radio station to another, one event to another. It was the highlight of my career." His "There Goes My Everything" even spawned a competing pop version by Englebert Humperdinck
His commercial success cooled considerably toward the end of the ’70s, but Greene continued to record and appear on the Grand Ole Opry, where he had been a member since 1967, until he retired in 2011. He sang ‘There Goes My Everything ‘ at his final Opry performance on Dec. 16, 2011.
Country stars like Charlie Daniels, Sunny Sweeney and Chris Young expressed their condolences and thoughts on the singer via Twitter: “Very sad to hear about the passing of Jack Green,” Blake Shelton tweeted. “He and I performed his song ‘Statue of a
Fool’ at the Opry years ago. True hero.”
Photo Galleries -

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