Thursday, 25 April 2013

Country Bites News snippets April 8 - April 14, 2013

Country Bites News snippets April 8 – April 14, 2013

UK & IRISH News

Mumford & Sons will play Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London (E20 2ST) on Saturday 6 July 2013 and headline at T InThe Park Festival at Balado, Kinross-Shire over the weekend of 12 July - 14 July 2013 details at Ticketmaster UK

Rising folk star Sarah McQuaid sets out on a tour across Ireland and the UK with dates starting on Thurs April 18 at the New Music Club (Tipperary, Ireland) through to Saturday September 21, 2013 at the The Bridge Inn (Topsham, Exeter, Devon)

The Unthanks are to perform a special trilogy of shows for Festival of the North East, The Unthanks bring Songs from the Shipyards on successive days, to locations on all three North-East rivers – the Tyne, Wear, Tees:
WEAR Thursday 13th June Sunderland Minster, TEES Friday 14th June The Ballroom, Preston Park Museum and TYNE
Saturday 15th June 2013 at The Customs House, South Shields. For details and tickets - www.the-unthanks.com

Fancy WINNING one of C2C’s 6ft high vinyl C2C Country to Country 2013 lamp-post banners? You could have an official piece of memorabilia in your home!
 They have got one of each up for grabs so for a chance to WIN simply tell them a fact about country music. Best 2 facts WIN! Email competitions@sjmconcerts.com to claim your prize with email subject C2C COMPETITION and include your full name and address

The May/June 2013 issue of Maverick Magazine is now in the shops. It features The Band Perry on the cover. The issue also features Steve Earle, Mindy McCready, C2C review, Wilko Johnson, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell and Shawn Jones plus many, many more. Preview 6 pages online at www.magzter.com  and yudu.com

Maverick Festival Preview Part 1 - Canadian Artists ...So hot on the heels of last year’s attendees – Sarah McDougall, Cara Luft, Amelia Curran, Rose Cousins, Ladies of the Canyon and Corb Lund, in 2013 we have Ruth Moody, Good Lovelies, Old Man Luedecke, Leeroy Stagger and Dennis Ellsworth…

Listen to CMR Nashville CEO Lee Williams in interview with Brad Paisley talking about his new album WHEELHOUSE
>> Audio Link  (It was first broadcast on April 12, 2013)

Gig Reviews
Larkin Poe Venue: The Cornerstone Arts Centre Town: Didcot (6th April 2013)

Jess Morgan: Katie Fitzgerald's, Stourbridge (Tues 16th April 2013) - threechordsandthetruthuk Extract: Some great music is emerging on either side of the Atlantic where artists draw their creative influences from those roots cousins of folk and country. While we are currently enjoying a fruitful period of US and Canadian visitors expertly practising this craft, it would be remiss to not champion the fine British artists who can give their transatlantic peers a run for their money. Another name to add to this growing list, if you are not already acquainted, is Norwich based singer-songwriter Jess Morgan.

Jess Klein: Ort Cafe, Birmingham (Weds 17th April 2013) - threechordsandthetruthuk Extract: The absolute crime was that she remained Birmingham’s  best kept secret on this spring Wednesday evening. This is not to denounce the Ort Café which hosted Jess and guitar picking sidekick Bill Masters but how on earth the second city’s Americana music community didn’t give her a more populous welcome is a sad state of affairs....So there was at least some consolation in that Jess was invited, leading to an extremely intimate show which still was a treasure to behold.

UK CHART NEWS
On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week April 20, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s new UK single “22” moves 12-9 in its 8th week. Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, drops 22-28 on its 27th chart week.  

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week April 20, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s RED was up 23-21 in its 25th chart week.
Brad Paisley with WHEELHOUSE debuts at No.69 with 1,582 copies sold. His last album THIS IS COUNTRY MUSIC peaked at #86

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week April 20, 2013)
Brad Paisley with WHEELHOUSE debuts at No.1. Lady Antebellum in their 85th chart week were at No.2 with NEED YOU NOW. Tim McGraw with TWO LANES OF FREEDOM (Big Machine) drops 2-3 in his 5th retail week.

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

(15 April 2013) Steve Earle - The Low Highway (Discs: 2; CD+DVD) - 

(15 April 2013) Kim Richey - Thorn in My Heart (Lojinx) Time: 50:06 Amazon CD - Amazon MP3
Country Music People 4 STARS – Review JPG,
Maverick Magazine 5 STARS – Review JPG. Guests on this Album include: Trisha Yearwood, Jason Isbell, Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket), Pat Sansone (Wilco), Nielson Hubbard, Dan Mitchell and was produced by Nielson Hubbard. Richey tours the UK in May - dates

(15 April 2013) Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park (Decca)

(15 April 2013) Willie Nelson - Let's Face The Music And Dance (Sony Music CMG)

(20 April 2013) Leann Rimes – Spitfire (Rhino) 13 Tracks Amazon CD

(23 April 2013) Eric Brace & Peter Cooper - The Comeback Album (Red Beet Records) - Amazon MP3


NEWS
The Band Perry just released their new album, Pioneer, featuring their latest single, “DONE,” and Kimberly acknowledges, “With a title like Pioneer, we understand that sometimes when we hear that word, there’s a tendency to feel that it’s very antiquated or out of date, when in fact, Pioneer couldn’t be any more of a modern word than it is.” She explains that to the band, “It’s about discovery. There is still so much left to be discovered. Yes, in the world around us, but especially a personal discovery. And the three of us learned so much about ourselves and each other and our music in the making of Pioneer. So it was really important to us to have a cover that put a very modern image with the word Pioneer.
The siblings say that when making this album they had this vision of people marching forward, like a marching band or an Army and Neil points out, “If you look on the cover of the album, the three of us are kinda leaning forward. We have very purposeful facial expressions and we wanted that to come across as well.”

The superstar-sibling trio, recentlyannounced the release of an exclusive deluxe edition of the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album. The exclusive version of the album features four original, unreleased songs. The bonus songs on Target’s deluxe exclusive edition of the album include four new, original tracks – “Gonna Be OK,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Lucky Ones,” and “Peaches and Caroline.” A limited quantity of CDs signed by the sibling trio, are available for purchase. The magic number is 22,222 to be exact, all personally signed by The Band Perry themselves! -  We devised a plan among ourselves and came up with a good system on how to get through all of the CD inserts in the limited amount of time we had to get them all signed. Anytime we were not onstage or sleeping we were signing CDs!” says Neil Perry.

Better Frost Two: Now there's Very Perry Chocolate Cherry flavored cupcakes. It's the latest from Gigi's Cupcakes and was inspired by The Band Perry. "When we heard that we might have a Gigi's cupcake named after us we knew right away what the flavor would be," says Kimberly Perry. "There is a song on our new album that has a line in it that says, 'I’m gonna change my name to Cherry.'" The siblings could actually only dig one after Gigi presented them with two options, so they helped her customize the flavor. "We decided to take both versions of the cherry cupcakes and combine them. What came out of that is a cherry batter cake, with chunks of cherry topped with chocolate icing, and a cherry on top," explains Reid. "They are so delicious,

Swingers: Jake Owen, Scotty McCreery, Brett Eldredge, Charles Kelley and Darius Rucker set fashion trends at the ACM Lifting Lives Golf Classic.

Jewel, after a period of relative inactivity, is getting back to work in a big way. She plays country legend June Carter Cash in the upcoming television movie ‘Ring of Fire.’ She’s also been back on the road for the first time since the birth of her son, and while she was in Las Vegas for the ACMs she talked to Taste of Country about balancing work and family.
He’s a year-and-a-half now. I really wanted to get my Mom legs under me,” the singer-songwriter shares. “They’re just little for such a short period of time. I didn’t want to miss it, and I thought, ‘What’s the point of having money and success if you don’t just tell the whole world to stop and enjoy that baby?’ So that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Jewel has been easing back into her music by releasing a greatest hits album, which she is touring to promote.

All Dreams for Jason Aldean with a career moment: "Seeing everything come together the way it did tonight and feeling the energy of the crowd is something I will never forget," Jason Aldean said after his sold-out show at the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium Saturday (4/13).
 "When my mom got here last night, we took a walk around the stadium, and it was really emotional for both of us. This place has always meant so much to me, but when I was a kid, we were flat broke and my mom couldn't afford to buy tickets for us to go to a game. So I watched on TV and dreamed about one day seeing it in person. Tonight was beyond my wildest dreams ... the whole thing has honestly shaken me a little bit."

The Country Music Association announced on April 10, that Bobby Bare, “Cowboy” Jack Clement, and Kenny Rogers will become the newest members of the revered Country Music Hall of Fame. All were born in the 30's during the Great Depression and country music's formative years.

Rogers will be inducted in the “Modern Era Artist” category, while Bare will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category. Clement will be inducted in the “Non-Performer” category, which is awarded every third year in a rotation with the “Recording and/or Touring Musician Active Prior to 1980,” and “Songwriter” categories.
Bare, Clement, and Rogers will increase membership in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame from 118 to 121 members.
The highest musical honor achievable for a Country Music artist or industry leader is to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and these are all outstanding and highly deserving individuals,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “‘Cowboy’ has been responsible for producing many of the iconic songs in Country Music. Bobby pioneered the Country concept album and was one of the first artists to take the format to Europe. And Kenny’s crossover success throughout a lengthy career introduced Country Music to a much wider audience.
More info and artist bio's at CMA World -  CMA World
Watch Bill Anderson announce the CMA Hall of Fame 2013 inductees in this video: http://bcove.me/dlhwtags

Country music crooner Billy Dean is gearing up for his annual birthday celebration, held each year at his very own home concert venue, 'Dean Acres.'  "Billy's Birthday Bash" is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at 5:00 PM.  'Dean Acres' is nestled in Liberty, Tennessee, about 40 miles outside of Nashville. This year, in celebration of his 51st birthday, Dean has tapped fellow country star James Otto as a special guest performer.

Faith Hill announced on Twitter and Facebook that after six years of singing the opening number for Sunday Night Football on NBC that she will not be returning this season.
She wrote, “Amazing 2 have been part of SNF – an honor. I’ve just let everyone there know it’s time 2 let someone else rock the open… Difficult decision. Kinda emotional. Love all u guys at SNF – I’ll b watching!!!” 

No further explanation was given as to why Faith felt now was the time to end her relationship with the franchise, but Fred Gaudelli, the lead producer for Sunday Night Football tweeted, “Great love and appreciation to @FaithHill for six great years of rocking the SNF open.”
Hill has provided the theme for the network’s NFL games—“Waitin’ All Day for Sunday Night,” a reworking of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You” since 2007.

US Tours
Aaron Lewis is to Headline The 2013 Jägermeister Country Tour. The tour kicks off May 1st with each show featuring special guest support acts including Jägermeister artist and emcee, Rick Monroe - Press Release

Little Big Town & Hunter Hayes will play the Blue Ridge Music Festival (June 1 in Salem, Va) - Press Release

Jo Dee Messina will showcase new music for fans during a special performance at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville on April 16.  The show will be a “live rehearsal” before Jo Dee hits the road on a 30+ date spring/summer tour. “I’m so excited about making a new record and I’m loving the songs we’re recording,” Jo Dee said

TV
Kellie Pickler announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she and her dance partner, Derek Hough, would dance to a very special song on Monday night’s Dancing With The Stars. In honor of the show’s theme of the week, “Most Memorable Year,” Pickler chose to dance to one from 2011— the year she married her husband, Nashville songwriter, Kyle Jacobs.
Pickler and Hough will dance the rumba to “Say I Do,” a romantic ballad written by Jacobs for Pickler shortly before their wedding day – and to top it off, Jacobs performed the song in person on the show with the help of the Dancing With The Stars house band. DWTS Season 16, Week 4 they scored 26/30 >> YouTube

MUSIC NEWS
Adele, Maroon 5 and Gotye lead the way as 1 billionth singles download is sold in the UK.
The music industry celebrated a major milestone in its digital evolution, with the total number of digital singles sold in the UK hitting one billion – according to data tracked by the Official Charts Company.
The 1 billion landmark was reached nine years after legal downloads launched in the UK. This period has seen a revolution in music consumption for music fans, artists, record labels and digital services alike.
Adele’s “Someone Like You” was also confirmed as the most downloaded single of all time followed closely by “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 FT Christina Aguilera, and Gotye FT Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”.

Somewhat ahead on the November timeline, “Childhood's End” (J.F.K. Assassination 50th Anniversary Memorial & Tribute) performed by Danya River and written by Rick Ryan and Melissa Ryan has been released as a musical tribute to President John F. Kennedy. It is a reflection on the lasting effect that his assassination had. John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963. The single is available on CD Baby and Amazon UK

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
George Strait is set to release his highly anticipated 40th studio album, LOVE IS EVERYTHING, on May 14th on longtime label home MCA Nashville. The King of Country music rejoined veteran producer Tony Brown to co-produce the album, which features 13 new tracks, including the Top 15 and climbing current single “Give It All We Got Tonight.” Love Is Everything includes four songs written or co-written by Strait, who penned many alongside his son Bubba Strait and legendary songwriter Dean Dillon. -

Joey+Rory have just wrapped-up work on an “inspirational” set of gospel standards and new “faith-based” songs.
It’s kind of an inspirational album, of old gospel songs that I grew up singing and listening to my mum sing,” Joey Martin told Billboard on the ACM Awards red carpet. “It’s an album I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” she adds. With a fourth in the can, the country duo have partnered in a “neat marriage” with Gaither Music for its release. The new album is due to arrive in July.

New artist Shannon Selig, who recently relocated to Nashville from the two places she called home – Maine and Nova Scotia – has completed all the production on her debut album, PERFECTLY IMPERFECT, which is due out April 16. A CD Release Party is set for April 18 at The Rutledge.The 11-track release, co-produced by Selig and Music Row veteran Gary Sadker of Red Ridge Entertainment, combines songs written by the American/Canadian singer/songwriter with songs from top Music City tunesmiths for a fresh collection of music with a purpose.

New Arista Nashville trio The Henningsens (Brian Henningsen, his son Aaron, and daughter Clara) will have a tough summer to beat this year, as the multi-talented family band releases their debut album, titled AMERICAN BEAUTIFUL, on July 2, and prepares to join superstar Brad Paisley as a guest on his Beat This Summer Tour presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, beginning May 9. They wrote the singles "You Lie" and "All Your Life" for The Band Perry (and co-wrote with The Band Perry the album cuts "Miss You Being Gone," "Independence", and "Lasso") and co-wrote 6 tracks on The Band Perry's new debut No.1 albuum PIONEER.
With GRAMMY winning, multi-million-selling producer Paul Worley (Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride) at the helm, The Henningsens’ American Beautiful album spotlights not only singer Clara Henningsen’s beautiful and expressive lead vocals together with incredible family harmonies and the musicianship of brother Aaron and father Brian, but also the trio’s gifts for vibrant and picturesque songwriting, with one or more of the family co-writing every track on American Beautiful.
The Henningsens continue to climb the country airplay charts with the fresh energy of their title track and debut single, “American Beautiful,” now on the verge of the Top 20. Co-written by Clara, Aaron, and Brian Henningsen and Brett Beavers, “American Beautiful” is perched this week at #25 in Billboard. Watch "American Beautiful" Behind The Song www.vevo.com

Jefferson Ross and co-producer, Thomm Jutz, have finished recording a new album ISLE OF HOPE. It was recorded live in his studio with no studio tricks like auto-tuning and with very few overdubs…just two guys in a room playing and singing original songs. Most songs were recorded in only one take! With 16 full length numbers, it comes in at right around 53 minutes. 
RAW Sample >> Audio Link - Press Release

Angie Johnson will release an EP "Sing For You" (Columbia Nashville) on May 21. One of the 4 cuts "Grandpa's Farm" appeared on David Nail's The Sound Of A Million Dreams album.

Hunter Hayes will release "Hunter Hayes (Encore)" (Atlantic Records/Warner Music Nashville) on June 18. Track 10 titled “What You Gonna Do” is a duet with Ashley Monroe.

Kelly Clarkson has a Christmas album coming out this holiday season. It's about half finished. Ronnie Dunn is slated as singing on the album.

Krystal Keith (label founder Toby Keith’s daughter) will release a full length country music debut album WHISKEY & LACE (Show Dog Universal Music) in a few months time.
Krystal (L) with dad Toby Keith  
Her record label is readying the release of an EP on April 16 as the song "Daddy Dance With Me" builds a buzz. You may remember that back on November 9, 2004, Keith released a remake of James Taylor and Carly Simon's "Mockingbird", a duet with his daughter, Krystal. They performed the song on the 2004 Country Music Awards, the song reached top 25 on the charts.

Tracy Delucia releases her single “Night Swim” (GTR Records) to radio on April 8, 2013. It’s available on CD Baby.com
"Tracy makes her music come to life in concert with infectious energy and her pure joy in performing for a live crowd." – WTBQ DJ Frank Fornario. "Simply put, Delucia has attitude – and plenty of it." -Chuck Dauphin / Billboard.com

PRESS RELEASES
Brad Paisley’s WHEELHOUSE – SPECIAL EDITION CD Now Available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s in America. It includes all tracks on WHEELHOUSE as well as three additional never-before-recorded songs for a total of 20 tracks priced at just $11.99 - EB Media

Morgan Frazier, Sidewalk Records recording artist, enjoyed her first Academy of Country Music awards week with multiple appearances and performances. Morgan’s debut single “Yellow Brick Road,” a cleverly written, tongue-in-cheek tune that details a story about relationships to the character traits of the Wizard Of Oz, will be released to radio later this month - Sidewalk Records Press

The Oak Ridge Boys remember former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - Press Release

Madison McKenzie releases a debut album entitled A PART OF ME. Blurb: A uniquely gifted contemporary singer, songwriter and performer from the fertile farmlands of western Illinois, makes her footprint in the country music genre with her debut album.The musical composition (produced by Bob Bullock of Shania Twain, Reba McEntire, George Strait and George Jones fame) comes from her own independent label, Madi M Music, and is set for a May 28, 2013 release.
“Give Me A Reason” video >> YouTube - Press Release

Lee Brice earned a third consecutive No.1 Hit with his powerful single “I Drive Your Truck”, off his sophomore release HARD 2 LOVE on Curb Records, topping both the Billboard Airplay and Mediabase charts. - Press Release

Hot new duo American Young performed at the ACM Songwriter Show. Lee Brice’s Hard 2 Love album included several songs co-written and co-produced by label mate, Jon Stone of new duo American Young, which also includes Kristy Osmunson.
Before attending the awards, the duo walked the ACM  red carpet where Jon spoke about his Song of the Year nomination for Brice’s “A Woman Like You” and they both fielded questions about their highly anticipated new album, which will be co-produced by Lee Brice and Justin Neibank. The duo, who have a list of songwriting and producer credits among them, will release their debut single “Love Is War” to radio this summer - Press Release

Eric Church's first live Album 'CAUGHT IN THE ACT: Live' is released April 9th. The 17-track live concert was recorded over the course of two nights at Chattanooga’s Tivoli Theatre in October 2012 and features songs from Sinners Like Me, Carolina and his award-winning 2011 release, CHIEF. A double gatefold vinyl version of the record will be made available on National Record Store Day, Saturday, April 20. The package will include four additional tracks and a special whiskey-infused 7-inch.
View EPK footage from the recording - EB Media Press

ARTICLES
CMA Close Up: Tim McGraw: Shifts Gears on Two Lanes of Freedom by Deborah Evans Price

CBS News Kacey Musgraves: More to country than trucks, tailgates (2 page feature, background and Grand Ole Opry debut videos)

NPR - Brad Paisley: Ventures Out Of Country's 'Wheelhouse' >>  Audio Link

NPR - Brad Paisley's 'Accidental Racist' And The History Of White Southern Musical Identity

Accidental Publicist: He's, "... just a white man coming to you from the Southland," to promote his new album Wheelhouse, but instead Brad Paisley is spending the week answering questions about his song "Accidental Racist." The collaboration with LL Cool J has everyone talking. Read article by Randy McMullen from the Contra Costa Times at mercurynews.com

CMT NASHVILLE SKYLINE: Brad Paisley's Risky "Accidental Racist"

The Tennessean: Tim McGraw’s concert special is a wrap. Extract: Around four hours into what was billed as a two-hour television taping, more than half the crowd was gone from the “ACM presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night” concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.But the group that was left was mighty, and McGraw was sure happy they stuck around until the end.

BOOKS
New Harvest published Billy Ray Cyrus’ autobiography on April 16, titled “Hillbilly Heart”. Cyrus will perform on the Grand Ole Opry on April 20 and will sign copies of the 288-page book that afternoon at Parnassus Bookstore.
Hillbilly Heart opens during Cyrus’s turbulent childhood in Kentucky, where he sought refuge in music and sports after his parents’ divorce. He was a troublemaker in training, known more for pulling pranks than for following in his preacher grandfather’s much-vaunted footsteps. But when he heard a voice telling him to get a left-handed guitar and start a band, this rebel found his cause. Ten years later, after tirelessly working the club circuit and knocking on the closed doors of music executives from Nashville to Los Angeles, Cyrus finally made a stratospheric breakthrough, becoming a multi-platinum selling artist and taking his rock-and-roll twist on country music to the world’s stage.
Paperback: 292 pages / ISBN-10: 1477800727.
Available on Amazon UK Kindle Version £3.99 at Amazon UK

LISTEN
Willie Nelson‘s 80th birthday celebration begins with the release of a new album, his second album on Legacy on April 16. The country music legend will reveal ‘LET’S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE,’ which you can listen to in full in advance
He plays these pop and country classics with his Family Band. Sister Bobbie Nelson backs Nelson on piano. Paul English and Mickey Raphael round out the steady group with Billy English, Kevin Smith and Jim “Moose” Brown.
Willie’s son Micah appears on a few of the 14 tracks. The title track is an Iving Berlin classic from 1935. ‘Matchbox’ is a Carl Perkins song from 1957. ‘Nuages’ is by Django Reinhardt, and ‘Shame on You’ is from Spade Cooley from 1944. Also included is a re-cut of ‘Is the Better Part Over,’ a Nelson song from 1989. Listen at soundcloud.com

Accidental Racist”, featuring LL COOL J, this is the controversial track that Brad Paisley knew would garner plenty of attention: both good and bad. Bringing up a topic that is rarely touched upon in country music, Paisley's honest songwriting is heavy hitting. Alongside LL COOL J's heated raps, the duo address racism loud and clear. Lyrics like "If you don't judge my do-rag/I won't judge your red flag," have everyone talking but that was exactly the goal - soundcloud.com

Natalie Maines is rockin' with her first solo singleWithout You”'. It's a bit ironic that Natalie Maines' first solo single (Columbia Records) has the same title as a Dixie Chicks song, especially since the feisty singer is quite vocal about her divorce from country music. Listen at soundcloud.com

Maggie Rose "Better" (Radio Edit) >> YouTube  It’s a HIT!

Morgan Frazier’s ‘Yellow Brick Road” - soundcloud.com
It produced by Buddy Cannon and written by Morgan Frazier,Jim Brown and Steve Clark.

After two succesful independent records, Australian Jayne Denham released her third record, RENEGADE, through ABC Music Friday, April 12. She worked closely in the studio with award-winning producer Garth Porter (Lee Kernaghan, Sara Storer, James Blundell) to capture the excitement and electricity of her live show.
Listen at soundcloud.com – it is available on UK iTunes

FREE DOWNLOADS
Lori McKenna picked these 5 songs because to her they run the gamut of emotional conversations.  From "I don't ever want you back" to "God, please come back". Her 6th full length studio album, 'Massachusetts' is out this month - www.noisetrade.com

Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band played songs from the new release, THE BEAST IN ITS TRACKS, during their soundcheck at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR a couple weeks ago. Hear the entire session (performances + interview), download "Hopeful" for free - www.opbmusic.org For US and European Tour dates - www.joshritter.com

If you are looking for fresh traditional country then you are going to love The Cactus Blossoms’ self titled album. Brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum hail from Minnesota yet their music is faithful to country sounds of yesteryear, complete with finger-picking, twang, and soaring harmonies. Stream “Song Of The Bird”, "Cold Foot Boogie" and “Blue Railroad Train” (144kbps) and “
A Sad Day to be You” (224kbps) at hymiesrecords.com Full album available at Amazon UK
"Stunning debut [5 stars]” - Duncan Warwick, Country Music People (UK)
"An absolute gem - a completely stunning debut album" - Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

WATCH
Quite Contrary: "The realization that you don't have to necessarily sing about trucks and tailgates to be a country artist" is what Kacey Musgraves says will help change country music. But what about dirt roads, boondocks, seven day weekends and moonshine jello shots? Where will they go? Musgraves appeared on CBS Sunday Morning (4/7) to discuss how she might be leading the way towards a better world of country music. "I want it to change. There is a younger mindset coming in. So I do think there is an influx of a little bit of change, but I want there to be more." Kacey Musgrave is a rising star in country music, singing about more adult themes than conservative country radio is used to. She talked to Anthony Mason about her songwriting and the family that helped inspire her. Watch at CBS News

Kacey Musgraves went "Blowin' Smoke" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday April 10th. Kacey co-wrote “Blowin’ Smoke” with Shane McAnally and Luke Laird >> YouTube

Hunter HayesI Want Crazy” (Studio Version) >> YouTube

Joey & Rory sing their new song "Enough" for the Kraft Food, Walmart, for their "Fighting Hunger Together Campaign" Programme >> YouTube

HERRICK "Do You Love Me" (Written by Donna & Kerry Herrick)
 >> YouTube = More miss than Hit? What ya think?
I only needed one listen to tell you that Herrick is the real deal, and may very well contain the next great female voice of this generation in Donna Herrick” - Chuck Dauphin, Billboard Magazine

When Mickie James first heard the Jamie Hartford version of "Somebody's Gonna Pay," she wasn't too keen on recording the song herself.
"My producer, R.S. Field, played it for me. It was really traditional, old-style country, and I told R.S. that I didn't think it was right for me," Mickie admits to The Boot. "But R.S. said, 'We're gonna put some guitars on it, modernize it and really rock it.'"

And rock it, they did. The TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Impact Wrestling superstar and multi-time world champion makes her country music debut with the sassy tune, showing a lot of her own personality on the track and its accompanying video. The song is the title track to the raven-haired beauty's album, due in stores May 7
The video, shot at the Red Rooster bar in Nashville, is Mickie's first video of her own (she appeared in Bucky's "Drinking Side of Country"), and she's joined by friends, rather than actors, in the clip. Fellow wrestlers Trish Stratus and Nick Aldis, TNA Wrestling's Magnus, appear in the video, as do some of Mickie's buddies in the music industry >> YouTube

COUNTRY FASHION
Taylor Swift wears the Modcloth Yes-Girl Top ($32.99) in some shots of her video “22”. This whimsical, sheer blouse has a charming color scheme of seafoam and smoky rose.

Taylor Swift was spotted filming a commercial for Keds. She wore a Mercerized Cotton Cable Sweater from 525 America ($80.00), the Amen Flared A-Line Skirt ($265.28), the Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses ($150.00) and a pair of Champion Original Shoes by Keds ($40.00). You can find a similar sweater for $32.42 at Asos and a similar skirt for $20.00 at Boohoo.

Taylor went all retro for the  Wonderland Magazine April / May 2013 issue. The pop/country singer wore cute dress and colorful accessories.

Taylor in Giles for Cutler and Gross ‘Baitors’ Sunglasses and Versus 2013 spring 2013 sleeveless printed dress



Following the 2013 ACM Awards, Taylor was the headline performer alongside Tim McGraw, who held his massive Superstar Summer Night in Las Vegas last night. Joined by country legends Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Jason Aldean, and Dierks Bentley, Taylor took the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena wearing an Elizabeth and James ‘Roxy LBD - Fashion Pic
Her foxy ‘Roxy’ bodcon frock features mesh inserts at the sides and an open back for added interest.
Taylor in Elizabeth &
James (CLICK to Enlarge)

Back to sporting her trademark red lip, the country singer completed her look with Jean-Michel Cazabat ‘Orla’ black suede sandals.
Elizabeth and James ‘Roxy’ Dress can be found at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Sesnse.com, farfetch US and the Jean-Michel Cazabat ‘Orla’ Sandals are at Barneys.com

Cowgirls In Style: Spring Fashions, The Cowboy Rides Away, an evening with George Strait, Spring Beauty Tips, Latest fashions, Rodeo Runway etc at cowgirlsinstyle/docs

“On the Range" turquoise ranger buckles - These buckle are inspired, artful creations and look amazing with any belt combination, especially the Wild West Turquoise Concho. They are a fine combination of several American mines, including Fox, Kingman, Emerald Valley, Carico Lake, Boulder Opal, and Sleeping Beauty - www.britwest.net

TWEETS
Miranda Lambert wrote on Facebook the day after the ACM show. ‘It was amazing! I love country music so much! God is good.”
Little Big Town: “Can’t tell you what it means to us to take home two ACM awards. Thank you to our fans for taking us to the party again!”
Luke Bryan: He took to Twitter to express his gratitude - “Dear everyone. Just got back to my phone. What happened tonight was truly incredible. I have no words to describe my feelings,” Luke wrote. He later returned to Twitter to write ‘Still smiling y’all. Whew what a night.”

Bronco Boys: Jason Aldean thanks Luke Bryan for his Sanford Stadium pre-show gift via Twitter, "Check out my new toy courtesy of @LukeBryanOnline 76 Bronco!!! Thanx homey. #AldeanUGA

LeAnn Rimes tweeted about her new album Spitfire: @leannrimes 6/4/13 is the official US release date for "Spitfire" it starts to roll out 4/14/13 in the UK

PHOTO
Warner Music Nashville ACM After Party at the MGM Blue Room on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attending were
Brett Eldredge, Blake Shelton, Sheryl Crow and The Farms, Damien Home, Krista Marie and Nick Hoffman
Ashley Monroe and Scott Hendricks attend Warner Music Nashville ACM After Party - Photo

Country queens were in abundance at Shania Twain’s resident show “Still the One” at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace on Saturday night.
Photographer Denise Truscello had exclusive backstage access post-show of Shania with Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley - Photo



I Knew We Were Trouble: Taylor Swift hits that high note on the Rock 'N' Roller Coaster alongside Ed Sheeran at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Red Tour tourmates and friends recently enjoyed some downtime at the happiest place on earth - PHOTO

Jamie Frontz photoshoot “Me & Barbie” (Laura McClure Photography AKA "Cowgirl Glitterati"www.cowgirlglitterati.com

Photo kindly used with permission
©2013 Laura McClure

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