Thursday, 23 May 2013

Country Bites News snippets May 13 - May 19, 2013

Country Bites News snippets May 13 - May 19, 2013

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

A BBC Radio 4 panel got “bombed” recently when reviewing the Sunday papers.
The programme suddenly cut to a 10 second extract of gospel song “Jesus Put a Yodel in my Soul”. Broadcasting House presenter Paddy O'Connell later apologized
 >> YouTube

BBC Radio 2 Playlist - Since the Week commencing April 27th 2013 Lady Antebellum continue to enjoy around 10 spins/week for their single “Downtown”. Joining them on the “B” Playlist, week commencing May 18th, are The Band Perry with their single
Done” a song they recently performed on BBC Breakfast. So it’s double D’s in the absence of Dolly!

UK Tour news:
Kris Kristofferson, one of the giants of contemporary American music will make a welcome return to the UK.
The Grammy award winning songwriter and musician, has announced six UK dates this Autumn.
His 2013 live show, “An Evening With”, is described as “an honest, intimate affair - a master class in authentic songwriting and performance”.
This tour will see him play tracks from his latest critically acclaimed studio album 'Feeling Mortal', which was released at the end of 2012, as well as his back catalogue of classic American songs including 'Me And Bobby McGee', 'Sunday Morning Coming Down', 'For The Good Times' and 'Help Me Make It Through The Night'
Dates: Sunday 22nd Sept 2013 (Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre), Mon 23rd Sept (Cambridge Corn Exchange), Tues 24th Sept (Cardiff St David's Hall), Thurs 26th Sept (London Union Chapel), Fri 27th Sept (Manchester Bridgewater Hall) and Sat 28th Sept (O2 ABC, Glasgow). Ticket prices range from £33.25 (Cardiff) to £39 (London) and include the booking fees.
** Presale started Weds May 22nd at 09:00 and go onsale to General Public Fri. May 24th at 09:00 - Available on Ticketmaster UK

Kacey Musgraves tweeted she added 2 more UK dates: Thurs 10th Oct (Academy 3, Manchester University Union) and Wednesday 9th Oct 2013 (Oran Mor, Glasgow).  Tickets for Manchester (Standing £14.85) and  Oran Mor (£18.50) went on sale Friday, 17 May 2013 - Ticketmaster UK

Brennen Leigh, a songwriter, multi instrumentalist and singer who's to-the-point storytelling style has elevated her to newfound cult status in Europe, across the United States, South America and most notably in her native Austin, Texas will be playing 7 UK dates in July starting at The Green Note in London (14th July) to the Southern Fried Festival in Perth (21st July)

Check the Blog UK Tour Page for full details and updates on:
a) UK Tours Dates b) LONDON Concert & Gig Dates c) Major Festival Events d) Norfolk Festivals and Show Guide
Local country club and gig dates for Cleveland, Durham and Tyne & Wear have been added to the North East Show and Gig Guide Blog

UK CHART NEWS

On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week May 25, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s new UK single “22” dropped 28-42 in its 13th week. Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, dropped 56-69 on its 32nd chart week.

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week May 25, 2013)
Lady Antebellum fell back 12 places (7-19) in their second week with new album GOLDEN.
Taylor Swift’s RED was down 12 slots 26-38 in its 30th chart week.
Patty Griffin enters the chart at No.83 with her 7th solo project AMERICAN KID.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week May 25, 2013)
Lady Antebellum remain at No.1 with GOLDEN (Decca)
Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK changed places (3-2) in her 5th week with last weeks debut Pistol Annies ANNIE UP (RCA) which moved 2-3.
George Strait with LOVE IS EVERYTHING (Humphead) debuts at No.4. Trace Adkins makes his bow at No.10 with LOVE WILL (Humphead) and The Handsome Family with WILDERNESS (Loose Music) enter at No.12

On the Hotdisc Chart (May 19, 2013 Chart)  
Billy Yates (No.1 for 6 weeks) fell back to No.3 as The Lawrence John Project move to the Top of the Hotdisc Top 40 with the self penned cajun offering "Louisiana Love". His "Project" consists of American session musicians who enhance his work.
Australian Nicki Gillis is up to No.2 from No.5 with "I'll Go My Own Way".
Hayley Oliver Band (No.1 for 5 weeks on British & Irish Hotdisc chart) hold at No.4 on the Top 40. Frank Ifield moves 8-5 with “Just Let Me Make Believe For A While", The Roys advance 10-7 with new single, "Gypsy Runaway Train" with fellow American Jeff Griffith making the Top 10 moving up 4 slots (14-10).
David Wood’sFollowing A Full Moon” is the climber of the week, up 8 places (19-11)
Have Pig Earth got 'Nil points' in Eurovision week? Their super track “Here With You” is yet to show on both charts!

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES
14 May 2013) Amy Grant - How Mercy Looks From Here (13 Tracks/ Time: 49:43)
(20 May 2013) Darius Rucker- TRUE BELIEVERS (Wrasse Records) 12 Tracks/46:25

(20 May 2013) Various Artists - The Music of Nashville Original Soundtrack, Volume 2 (Universal Music)
16 Tracks/Time: 55:33  Amazon UK CD - Amazon UK MP3

(20 May 2013) The Handsome Family - Wilderness (Loose Music ) 12 Tracks / Time:52:42
Amazon UK CD - Amazon UK MP3  The Handsome Family is a 20-year old songwriting collaboration between husband and wife, Brett (music) and Rennie Sparks (words). Their lyrics and music are very intense, highly descriptive.

AUSSIE NEWS
Alan Jackson will embark on a multi-date tour of Australia this September and October, playing six arena and outdoor shows up and down the east coast of the country. The tour will start September 26 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, the scene of his three-show sell-out on his last swing around these parts in 2011. Dates will include a headline set at the CMC Rocks North Queensland Festival in Townsville on Sept. 28, and there's newly-announced shows at Sydney’s Allphones Arena, Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena and the Deni Ute Muster in the state of New South Wales.

Lee Kernaghan's latest single “Flying With The King”, from his BEAUTIFUL NOISE album is a personal tribute to Australia's late King of Country Slim Dusty.
The release marks the 10th anniversary year of the passing of the iconic Australian country music legend and also comes in the form of a >> music video. Flying With The King tells the story of one of Lee's most cherished memories with Slim... the story of an unforgettable Ansett flight from Sydney to Perth in the mid 1990s. Slim, who was by complete co-incidence seated alongside Lee, shared classic stories with him about his life and career.

CANADIAN NEWS
Kree Harrison, runner up on American Idol signed to 19 Entertainmentand has released a single “All Cried Out”. It was written by Canadian hit writer Gordie Sampson (“Jesus Take The Wheel” - Carrie Underwood) and Katrina Elam and Steve McEwan

NEWS
Under Cover: Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour exhibition opens at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum June 5. There will be costumes, set pieces and a tribute to the fans. According to Carrie Underwood's upcoming cover article in Marie Claire, she doesn't believe she's museum material. "Maybe my kids will have fun playing dress up in the clothes," she tells the magazine. "I can’t see saving the stuff for a museum [or] some giant monument to my awesomeness. That's Dolly. That's Loretta. Not me." Sorry, Carrie. Too late.The exhibition runs through Nov. 10

The Country Music Hall of Fame and museum prepares for CMA Festival with packed lineups, autograph signings and artist performances. Among the museum's Music Fest-week events is the return of its series Live from the Museum Store, presented by CMT, which will include autograph signings with CMT host Katie Cook, Lee Greenwood and Thompson Square; and free performances and autograph signings with Craig Campbell, Kristen Kelly, Love and Theft and Tate Stevens.
The museum will also present a special Songwriter Session with Brett James and a tribute to hit songwriter Hank Cochran by Jamey Johnson - Full details/timings at countrymusichalloffame.org

Judith Durham, lead singer of ARIA Hall of Fame-inducted Australian folk group the Seekers, has suffered a brain hemorrhage while on tour Down Under. Durham fell ill after a show in the band’s hometown of Melbourne on Tuesday May 14 night. The 69-year-old artist was admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with a small cerebral hemorrhage. She’s apparently on the mend. The Seekers became the first Australian act to top the U.K. singles chart when their 1965 song “I’ll Never Find Another You” peaked out at No. 1. Later that year, they hit the top spot again in Britain with “The Carnival Is Over.” In the space of just two years, they grabbed six top 10 hits in Britain, including their best-known track "Georgy Girl," which was nominated for an Academy Award for original song

Randy Travis has taken legal action to prevent the release of a patrol car video of his 2012 drunken-driving arrest near his home in Tioga, Texas. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday (May 14) in Austin against the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas attorney general’s office. Police reports indicated Travis was found naked by the road after crashing his Pontiac Trans Am. He pleaded guilty in January to driving while intoxicated and was sentenced to two years’ probation

Kree Harrison may not have been named the winner on the American Idol season finale last night (May 16), but that doesn't mean her journey has ended. Just in time for CMA Music Festival, the talented singer has been added to the Grand Ole Opry lineup for Tuesday, June 4. “I’m speechless. It has been my lifelong dream to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. I am so honored to be invited!” said Kree upon finding out she would be playing the Opry. Kree’s debut single, “All Cried Out,” is now available on iTunes.

Billy Ray Cyrus (Blue Cadillac Music) will be in Nashville until Friday, MAY 31st filming a motion picture called "Like A Country Song." The film, which will benefit Music City, was inspired by the lyrics of Cyrus' song, which is also named "Like A Country Song." The film release date is mid-Nov 2013, with three preview screenings scheduled.

Taylor Swift and Rebecca Minkoff have partnered with Diet Coke to find the next great Fashion Designer. The second season of the Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge opens to aspiring designers nationwide - www.dietcoke.com

“High" School: Willie Nelson received his honorary doctor of music degree from the Berklee College of Music Saturday (May 11th). Also collecting a diploma was Carole King and Annie Lennox.

Jo Dee Messina has announced that she has rescheduled her Canadian tour dates. The shows, originally set to take place at the end of May, have now been postponed to October. Tickets previously purchased will be honored at the rescheduled date.
As her Facebook and Twitter followers have read in recent posts, Jo Dee’s mother has been hospitalized following heart complications. Because of the ongoing recovery, the “My Give A Damn's Busted” singer is unable to leave the country for an extended period of time.

Country music and hunting go hand in hand. The two can be used to raise money for a great cause, and an ongoing list of celebrities are ready to get involved. In La Cygne, Kansas, that is just what happened when the first annual World Turkey Hunting Championship took place. Andy Griggs, Rhett Akins, BMI's Songwriter of the Year Dallas Davidson, former MLB star Ryan Klesko and some of turkey hunting's biggest names such as Preston Pittman, Eddie Saulter, Mike Wolfe and Ricky Joe Bishop all went head to head with each other to not only place in the competition, but to also help benefit Keeping Warriors Outdoors (KWO), designed to give wounded warriors opportunities to continue their passion for the great outdoors.

Sunny Sweeney has signed with Thirty Tigers, an independent Nashville label. Sunny, formerly of republic nashville, is about to begin recording for her next album."I have long been a fan of THIRTY TIGERS and the amazing roster of talent they have worked with through the years, and am thrilled to become part of their family," she shared.

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame after wandering in the figurative wilderness for more than 40 years, finally has a physical location. At least seven living inductees—including Bill Anderson,Don Schlitz (“The Gambler”) and Thom Schuyler (“16th Avenue”)—will be present on May 19 during a grand-opening event at the sprawling Music City Center. The songwriters exhibit occupies a relatively small portion of the convention center’s 1.2 million square feet, though its presence is a highly visible one.

Hunter Hayes, Pistol Annies, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, and Taylor Swift will perform at the CMT Awards on June 5.  -
For those attending the CMA Music Festival/42nd Fan Fair theres a chance to catch 2 shows at the Grand Ole Opry!
On Tuesday, June 4 there is a choice from two shows at 7:00 PM & 9:30 PM featuring performances from Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Kellie Pickler, Lennon & Maisy, Ricky Skaggs, Diamond Rio, and more, including the Opry debut of Idol finalist Kree Harrison! Plus, enjoy a FREE Opry Plaza Party presented by Humana including live entertainment on the Opry Plaza stage before the show from Lee Brice and Tyler Farr!
The Opry at the Ryman matinee Saturday, June 8 at 3:00 PM includes Mark Wills, The Oak Ridge Boys, Joey+Rory, and more! Details - www.opry.com

COUNTRY / Americana  AWARDS

The Americana Music Association announced the nominees on Tuesday May 14 for the 2013 Honors & Awards in Los Angeles at the Grammy Museum. The ceremony featured performances by now nominated artists Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, T Bone Burnett with Lisa Marie Presley, Elizabeth Cook and The Milk Carton Kids. 
Shovels & Rope, with four nominations, followed by Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller, with three each, lead the nominee slate.
Winners will be announced live at the annual Americana Honors and Awards, presented by Nissan, on September 18th live on AXS TV from the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.(Source Press Release)

MUSIC NEWS
Guess which ATO Records stately band has earned its very first RIAA Gold album award for selling 500,000 + records in the United States? = Alabama Shakes!

BABY NEWS
Chick Mag Net: "So much love and joy on my first Mother's Day!" tweeted Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles with one of the first public pics of her and son Magnus. "A very Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas!"
Now, a month may not seem like a long time but trust me, when one is gigantron pregnant, even a week is a long time. And so, 4 weeks and several, several packs of Pillsbury break and bake cookies later, Magnus made his big debut. Since that time I have been enjoying snuggling and feeding and learning. Big time. About myself....Read Jennifers Blog 



SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS

On June 25, 2013 Reviver Records will release Let Us In Americana, it's the second album from the "Let Us In" series, which follows the success of 2011's "Let Us In Nashville".

Luke Bryan "Crash My Party" (Capitol Nashville) new album due to drop August 13th

Let Us In Americana features prolific Americana artists including Steve Earle, The Wood Brothers, Buddy Miller, Lee Ann Womack, Will Hoge and many more delving into a rich selection of songs written by Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Each artist chose a composition to record and the proceeds will go to the Women And Cancer Fund established in the memory of Linda McCartney.
June 25th 2013, the release day of Let Us In Americana, is a significant day in Beatles history. On that day in 1967, The Beatles performed “live” thanks to the BBC on the first global TV music special entitled, “Our World”.
The 16 track album is distributed by BDG via RED Distribution and was primarily produced by Phil Madeira in Nashville. Bruce Cockburn's take of " Fool On The Hill" and Ollabelle's "Get Back" were recorded in San Francisco whilst Steve Earle & Allison Moorer ("I Will") and Teddy Thompson ("Let Me Roll It") were tracked in New York.

Jennifer Nettles (Mercury Nashville) from duo Sugarland announced on 17th May she will release her first solo album later this Autumn. Producer Rick Rubin will work with her on the record.
"I am absolutely thrilled and wholly proud to be working with Rick”, said Jen. “If you ask any musician who is on their producer ‘bucket list’, Rick would be on each and every one." While no title has been given for the release, Jennifer and Rick spent a month at Malibu, Calif.-based Shangri-La Studios to work on the project, according to Rolling Stone. Session pros including Ian McLagan (Faces, The Rolling Stones), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Smokey Hormel (Beck, Tom Waits) have contributed their talents as well.

Are You A Riser? Dierks Bentley’s latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due this Autumn that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Dierks.
 >> Video

Chris Young has releases a new single “AW NAW” to Radio.
For a guy whose focus and passion since grade school has been country music, there's nothing better than writing, recording and releasing new music. With "Aw Naw," the first single from his upcoming fourth album, Chris Young is ready to go. "I've been working on the new music for a while now, so I'm really excited to finally get it out there to radio and the fans!"
Written by Young, Ashley Gorley and Chris DeStefano, "Aw Naw" hit country radio Monday May 13 with a lot of early praise. (Really?!!) …Read the Sony Press Blurb

Trio The Henningsens are due to release a self-titled EP on May 28. It features their Hit debut single, “American Beautiful,” is at #18 and #20, respectively, on the Country Aircheck and Billboard country airplay charts.
The EP arrives as The Henningsens play for packed houses on Brad Paisley’s Beat This Summer Tour.
Each of the tracks on the four-song EP was co-written by Clara, Aaron, and Brian Henningsen, together with some of Nashville’s top tunesmiths, including Lisa Carver, Don Poythress, Jimmy Yeary, and Brett Beavers, with whom The Henningsens penned “American Beautiful.”
The Henningsens’ previously announced a full-length album release will be rescheduled from July 2 to a new date to be announced. SONY Press

Joe Nichols had the biggest country radio add week of his career this week with “Sunny and 75,” his lead single for Red Bow Records. This latest hit for Nichols got 52 first week adds, making it not only the biggest add week of his career, but also the second most added song at country radio this week. (Note: This is Mediabase/Country Aircheck radio adds, his single is a re-entry at No.56 on Billboard Country Airplay chart, published May 13th, with 137radio plays). Nichols was one of the first artists signed to Red Bow Records when it opened in October 2012.
 “Sunny and 75” was written by Michael Delaney, Paul Jenkins and Jason Sellers and is the lead single from Nichols’ upcoming, as yet untitled CD, set for release this Autumn.

Portland, Oregon-based Ashleigh Flynn celebrates her latest Americana/Skiffle styled CD, A Million Stars. Set for national release on May 14, 2013, Flynn’s fourth studio effort on her own Home Perm Records, is produced by Chris Funk, her longtime friend and musical collaborator, best-known as the Decemberists’ multi-instrumentalist.
All 12 songs are written by Ashleigh.
"Ashleigh Flynn awakens your soul like the new spring breeze rising from the dead of winter"
“If you enjoy the music of Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin or Nanci Griffith, you’re sure to fall in love with singer/songwriter Ashleigh Flynn. Not only is Flynn a talented musician, with stellar vocals, she’s most notably gifted storyteller with a vibrant and upbeat stage personality.” – Kathy Belge, LesbianLife
Ashleigh Flynn represents the next generation of true songwriters. She rules!” – Nanci Griffith
Top Tracks: "The Devil Called Your Name","Dirty Hands and Dirty Feet", "Rainy Days"
Listen to the album in full at soundcloud.com - Buy on CD BABY

Keith Urban, four-time Grammy Award winner and American Idol judge released his brand new single “Little Bit Of Everything”, which saw its broadcast television premiere Thursday, May 16th on the Season 12 finale.  
“‘Little Bit Of Everything’ conveys a sentiment that’s always felt right to me,” said Urban of what attracted him to the song.  “I connected with that from the first time I heard it. I “felt it’ and I loved it.”
The song shows an evolved musical progression for Urban that brings together his already undeniable ability to create infectious songs with a new infusion of rhythmic elementsthat augment his signature country sound.
I gravitate towards the sound of a song and it’s instrumentation,” adds Urban. “On this song I was able to take the elements of sound that I’ve used before and blend them together into a fusion of spirit and energy.”
“Little Bit of Everything” was written by Brad and Brett Warren and Kevin Rudolf and co-produced by Urban and Nathan Chapman.
“comforting country rounded by electronic touches” ?! >> Audio - US iTunes

George Strait’s 40th Album LOVE IS EVERYTHING released on his longstanding label home, MCA Nashville.
Love Is Everything features Strait’s current hit “Give It All We Got Tonight” written by Mark Bright, Tim James and Phil O’Donnell. For Love Is Everything, Strait again joined forces with longtime friend and producer Tony Brown.  Providing a more personal feel, this album holds four songs written or co-written by Strait with son Bubba and legendary songwriter Dean Dillon – Read the Press Release

Chelsea Bain approaches her career as a singer, songwriter and entertainer with the fire of an athlete, and her scorching new uptempo new single, “James Dean,” impacted to country radio on May 13th, is testament to that fact. Written by Luke Sheets and Kata Rhe Gillespie, the new release fits Chelsea like she had written it herself and is the first single from an upcoming album on Jobe Entertainment.
I didn’t write ‘James Dean,’ but I’m glad it was written because I’ve fallen in love with it,” said Chelsea. ”It’s a sassy fun song that is extremely relatable.” The 10-time equestrian champion is as comfortable on a horse as she is on a motorcycle racing through the Arizona desert.Chelsea is firmly entrenched in the auto racing world, spending close to 30 weekends a year performing on the Coca Cola stage at NASCAR and NHRA races.

Black River Entertainment announced the release of Kellie Pickler’s debut single, “Someone Somewhere Tonight
The lyric video for the single made its exclusive debut on Artists.CMT, the recently launched CMT Artist Platform.
Written by Walt Wilkins and Davis Raines, “Someone Somewhere Tonight” is a song about the human spirit as well as the power of love and redemption.
 This may be my favorite song I’ve ever recorded, and I am so proud to share it with my fans,” said Pickler. “I think we can all relate to this message of hope found in ‘Someone Somewhere Tonight,’ which is what makes it so special to me.”
“Someone Somewhere Tonight” made its streaming premiere on PerezHilton.com where Hilton wrote about the "sweet slice of heaven" songstress - “Kellie Pickler may be amazing on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ but let’s not forget what made her a star in the first place – that voice!” Watch an exclusive interview with her at perezhilton.com
Currently a front-runner on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” (with 3 episodes remaining) Kellie is also collaborating on a forthcoming album with famed producers Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, Eli Young Band) and Luke Wooten (Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley) due this Autumn - Essential Broadcast Media
Released: May 14, 2013 (Black River) US iTunes - UK iTunes - Amazon UK MP3 - Amazon.com MP3  

PRESS RELEASES
Rural Rhythm Records announced a new archival digital download album series that will focus on “classic album reissues” and “best of” artist collections.  The newly created RURAL ROOTS Digital series will help keep traditional roots music alive and preserved for future generations. Two titles from the new series now available, with many more planned throughout the year including classic recordings from Hylo Brown, Jim Eanes, Dale Potter, Lee Moore, Mac Martin, J.E. Mainer, Clarence “Hound Dog” Jackson and Jim Greer. - Press

APA Nashville saluted Lee Greenwood upon the opening of the country music legend’s spotlight exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the 30th anniversary of his iconic heartfelt anthem, "God Bless The USA," and his return to CMA Music Festival with a performance in June.....
Country Music Hall of Fame Trade Photo - Exhibit photo - Webster Press

Joel Crouse was overwhelmed with his Opry debut -  I was overwhelmed with emotions that I don't even know how to describe," a demure Crouse reflects. "There's something about the moment you step on its stage...for me, it was the first time I've truly felt like a part of the country music community. I'll never forget that moment."
Crouse will step from the Opry stage to a Red stage as he joins Taylor Swift's Red Tour beginning May 28 in Glendale, Ariz. at Jobing Arena. His single, "If You Want Some," is at country radio - Essential Broadcast Media

ARTICLES
CMT Nashville Skyline: Pistol Annies Hit the Bull's-Eye ...Chet Flippo praised the Annies in his new Nashville Skyline column: “I’m glad we have a present-day trio of women with a large amount of attitude to sort of fill that job slot of chicks who are pissed off about things and who aim to do something about it…The fact that three such free spirits can create something that is both artistically and commercially successful is about as heartening a development as country music has seen in many years.”...

Billboard: Patty Griffin put the Robert Plant rumours to rest  ..Studios are designed to pull out all of that beautiful ambience you get from singing in a room, and then the engineer puts it back in digitally or through whatever machinery you've got," says Griffin, speaking from her home in Austin. "But I wanted it to be a little rough around the edges. I didn't want it to be slicked up; I didn't want the life all drained out of it." With its hypnotic rhythms and varied textures, first single "Ohio," inspired by the Toni Morrison book "Beloved," was a natural pick to set up the album. The track is one of three that features Robert Plant. The Led Zeppelin frontman, whom Griffin is dating and with whom she collaborates in the rootsy Band of Joy, sings harmony and gets a co-writing credit for rearranging the track………..Griffin seems bemused by the subject of online speculation about whether the two are married or not. "We're not legally married, no," she says, putting rumors to rest. However, their romantic and professional partnership means she spends more time in the United Kingdom when they're not hunkered down in Austin, leading to the decision to release "American Kid" overseas, which hasn't been the case for several of her prior records.

Allaccess - Rumbles From The Row ..On May 3, 2013 Nashville correspondent Jimmy Carter from his Nashville homebase shared some opinions on the George Jones funeral: Rebooting your inner Jones ... Country music stations were shamed a bit in the last week when they really couldn't honestly salute George Jones.
2013 Country radio rarely dips into its past. Kind of like a divorcee with four ex-husbands, looking for husband #5 just trying to make a new start. With Country radio stations' on-air people knowing the death should be acknowledged but scared to play one of his songs. Not in computer ... not on automated playlist.
Ultimately, all the TV networks with "Country" in their name felt they had to carry the funeral/memorial service. It was not their first thought on Friday. Many stations couldn't even find a Jones song in their computer system….The biggest shame of the week was the lack of young artist support at the funeral. I'm not naming names, but Thompson Square was at the service and that's
about it. Respect ... everyone mourns in their own way, but Brad, Kenny, Alan, Randy, Travis Tritt all knew they needed to be in or at the funeral.
Respect for someone who laid the foundation for the multi-billion dollar Country music industry ... the young artists' need good leadership that is sorely lacking on the management side. Alan Jackson cancelled two dates to be there. Alan is one of the great ones! Country music is a great American art form. We saw that with the dozen of so artists who walked on that sacred Opry stage and sang their hearts out. It was sad that so many young singers missed such an important day at Country music school.
Much of the Country music aired now is sweet as a sugar bowl and equally fattening. There is always a place in your heart and mind for a slice of cake. But the vitamins and life sustaining proteins come from the main food groups -- Cash, Jones, Haggard, Jackson, Lynn ... Five of the main food groups you need to be Country healthy….
Candy-coated Country has its place ... Just not as the whole meal ... eat too much and your teeth fall out!

REVIEWS
Houston Chronicle - Concert review/ photos: Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran at Toyota Center ..Extract: Taylor Swift does it every time she’s onstage. And it always works.One verse and one chorus into booming opener “State of Grace,” she turned to give the crowd a steely gaze. It grew into a wry smile, then her eyes darted from left to right. It was all Toyota Center needed to erupt into a chorus of ear-piercing screams that rarely subsided during her set.Swift’s gift has always been her ability to connect, both in lyrics and onstage. ...

INTERVIEWS
news.radio.com - Natalie Maines as lead vocalist for the 13-time GRAMMY-winning Dixie Chicks, she was once among the leading voices in country music, mainstream or otherwise. She told CBS Sunday Morning‘s Lee Cowan she was never really a fan of the genre. Maines didn’t simply dislike country, she said “it burned my ears.” Ouch.
The revelation comes as Maines is emerging with a new focus as a solo artist–her debut solo album Mother was released May 7. The Chicks are still performing occasional dates, but they have not released any new music since 2006.
And the material on Mother is aimed not at her country fans but at rock audiences. It includes covers of songs by Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Jeff Buckley, and others–not a single country song or lick to be found, let alone fiddles and banjos

Craig Campbell the Bigger Picture Group artist visited ABC-TV's "ABC NEWS" and talked about his new album NEVER REGRET. They also discussed a song on his new album called "Topless," which he wrote with his wife. "It means just what you think it means," he explained about the title. To watch the NEW YORK CITY CENTRAL PARK special visit abcnews :
Everything is better topless a beer, a car and a woman

LISTEN 
Austin’s Cody Bryan Band is making its own bit of history with the release of its debut album, WRECK ME, on May 14 and the single, “If I’m Going Nowhere,” to Texas radio stations. Co-produced by Kevin Butler and Blue October bassist Matt Noveskey, and recorded in Austin at Test Tube Audio, WRECK ME showcases Bryan’s considerable vocal and songwriting skills.
Wreck Me's first single is the perfect-for-summer tune, “If I’m Going Nowhere,” which, Bryan says, is about “just living life for the moment, not planning for the future. Check it out on soundcloud.com

Going to Radio ADDS on May 20th is Jana Kramer with "I Hope It Rains", Click for a downpour - soundcloud.com
 ‘I Hope It Rains’ makes three heartbreaks in three singles for Jana Kramer. The new track from her self-titled debut album is more fun than the bittersweet ‘Why Ya Wanna’ and catchier than her Top 30 hit ‘Whiskey.’ The singer finds that sweet spot between revenge and psycho and works the vocals into a potential hit.
Fans can already purchase the single on UK iTunes
Kramer is currently on tour with Darius Rucker through June; joining Blake Shelton on the “Ten Times Crazier Tour” this July.
See North American and US tour dates

SPOTIFY COUNTRY
For users of this online music streaming service here are some of the more recent additions and recommendations.
When it’s free and easy on Spotify who needs music piracy?

May 2013 album releases:
Lenny Cooper – Mud Dynasty - Worst country album contender for 2013?

Candidates nominated by the Americana Music Association membership. Voting for the “Best of” categories began on Wednesday, May 22. Listen to a 19 track playlist sampler

"The Gospel According to George" a tribute single to George Jones by My Darling Clementine is now available on Spotify.
Includes a live recording of "A Good Year For The Roses" on BBC Radio Scotland

WATCH
Check out the latest from Canada's Beverley Mahood, “Hope and Gasoline
 >> YouTube
HOPE AND GASOLINE - LYRICS
Released May 01, 2013 on Spin Music is available on UK iTunes - CA iTunes
It began video airplay, on CMT Canada, Monday, April 29, 2013. Beverley says "I wrote this song with my best friend, singer songwriter, Patricia Conroy and Danick Dupelle from Emerson Drive.The video was shot in Mexico in mid-March over a 4 day period."
Now aged 38 the beautiful Beverley was born 2 November 1974 in Belfast and emigrated to Canada as a child. Regina, Saskatchewan was home - "I pretty much haven't had a gifted life.I've had ups and downs, I had a pretty troubled childhood, I guess what I've learned is every day trying to be a better person" she told VerbNews.com
Now based in Nashville the successful singer, songwriter, actress, model, and TV host chapters of her past musical journey include being part of the all-female trio Lace (1999), produced by the renowned Los Angeles producer, David Foster.Lace (1999).
Mahood’s career is set for a new beginning in 2013 with an exclusive management deal with Nashville-based All Entertainment promises a new foray for her into the competitive US market, a step she has been preparing for since the release of her award-winning debut album "Girl Out of the Ordinary" in 1998 winning CCMA Independent Female Artist.

Jason McGilligan 'Broken Engagement' is his latest radio single, Official video >> YouTube
Jason was voted Best Emerging Star at the Hot Country Awards and Best Northern Band and Performer at the Sunday World Country Music Awards. “Jason McGilligan is a young man set to make a big impact on the Irish music scene ....he has a gorgeous voice...A cousin of well-known country signer Kieran McGilligan, Jason is already making his mark in the top dancehalls” wrote Daniel O'Donnell

TV
Keith Urban announced when he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 14th that he is replacing Randy Jackson on American Idol for season 13. Jackson announced his departure after numerous reports stated that all four ‘Idol’ judges will be fired and replaced for next season. In an appearance on ‘Ellen’ Tuesday (May 14), Urban defused a question about the situation with humor. “Of course Randy’s leaving, as he said,” he acknowledged. “And I’m here to announce that I’m gonna be replacing Randy, which is fantastic.” Urban said he will miss Jackson when he’s gone. >> YouTube

Kellie Pickler rode a crazy emotional roller coaster in the semi-final round of Dancing With the Stars Monday night (May 13).
She started off with an incredible Argentine tango that earned her her first perfect score—three 10s. Judge Len Goodman, who chided Kellie last week for too much flash and not enough substance, stood up, pounded the table and declared, “That was fantastic!” Judge Bruno Tonioli told Pickler the routine was "superb," while Carrie Ann Inaba called it "perfection." Pickler earned 30 out of a possible 30 points.
Kellie’s Argentine tango >> YouTube
But the moment was short-lived: Judges also handed out three more 30s to competitors throughout the night.
Right after that soaring piece, Kellie came back down to earth quickly after her second dance, an Flamenco. Two of three judges said she tightened up halfway through, earning a 28 of 30 and robbing herself of a second perfect score.
Kellie’s explanation: “This dress weighs 5,000 pounds!”
Goodman told Pickler she had a huge talent, despite her small size. Tonioli said Pickler got the spirit of the flamenco, but said there were a few moments when she "tightened up" and lost the flow characteristic of the Spanish dance (he gave her a 9 out of 10, but displayed his "10? paddle by accident). Inaba agreed that Pickler's performance changed at the half-way point, and that it appeared she tensed up. Pickler earned 28 points.
In all, Kellie got an amazing 58 of 60 for the night—but she finished third, behind Olympic gold medalist Alexandra Raisman and football player Jacoby Jones. The DWTS finals happen May 20.
kellie pickler @kelliepickler Everyone wish my D-rock (@DerekHough) a Happy Birthday!!! #BdayBoy
Kellie Pickler learned she'd was the second contestant of the remaining five deemed as safe. For the first time ever, four dancers will compete during the show's final week.
Joining Zendaya and Pickler in the finals will be NFL wide receiver Jacoby Jones (the lone celebrity guy) and Alexandra Raisman. There’s 16-year-old Zendaya Coleman, who plays an aspiring dancer on the Disney Channel. Gymnast Aly Raisman, who claims winning an Olympic gold medal in tumbling doesn’t give her an edge.
Without a doubt Kellie has the best legs of any celeb that has ever been on “DWTS”!

COUNTRY FASHION
Kellie Pickler attended the Maxim Hot 100 Party at Vanguard on May 15, 2013 in Hollywood, California.
She arrived with her Dancing With the Stars" partner Derek Hough. Kellie who looked absolutely stunning and is No. 96 on the 2013 Maxim Hot 100 list wore a longsleeved Herve Leger dress.

Carrie Underwood was Marie Claire’s June Cover Shoot Feature.
The Carrie Diaries:
1) Dress, $1,795, Michael Kors; chain-link bracelet, $3,850, Pomellato; triple-bangle bracelet, price upon request, Cartier; sunglasses, $21.95, ICU Eyewear.
2) Swimsuit, $1,995, Burberry Prorsum; stacked rings, $700 to $4,450, gold circle ring, $2,600, De Beers; band ring, Underwood's own. On nails: OPI Nail Lacquer in Who Needs a Prince.
3) Boudoir shot: Top & skirt Giambattista Valli; ring, from $3,300, Piaget; shoes, $795, Jimmy Choo.
On hair: TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray.
4) Hair Clip shot: Top, Oscar de la Renta; hair clip, editor's own.
On lips: Maybelline New York Color Whisper by Color Sensational Lipcolour in Pin Up Peach
Check out the Slide features at www.marieclaire.com
 

Carrie Underwood: Full Disclosure: What she wrote in her high school yearbook: "You were supposed to say what you would be doing in 10 years, and I said, 'I will be rich, famous, and married to a hot guy.' I guess I should have added a few more things."
Secret talent: "I can eat any man under the table."……Carrie Underwood did not see Les Misérables. She says she will eventually, but this is likely a lie. The 30-year-old country megastar is not much for girly, heart-tugging movies. While all her girlfriends went en masse to watch Anne Hathaway weep amid the ruins, Underwood bought a ticket for Texas Chainsaw 3D.
"I'm not a mushy person at all," she confesses,
Underwood acknowledges that at times, her reserve has been misinterpreted as chilliness, even by her hockey-player husband, Mike Fisher, a Canadian center for the Nashville Predators. "He is Mr. Nicest Guy on the Planet. I skew the other way."
Read the Carrie Underwood Interview - www.marieclaire.com

Nicole Kidman, the Oscar-winning actress, 45, attended Day 5 of Cannes Film Festival in another stunning piece of couture from L'Wren Scott which is her favourite designer.
The 5ft 11in star showed off her lithe figure in the blue, red and black strapless, figure-hugging gown with a slight train.
Nicole inspired with a Sergio Rossi tri-colour sandal selection providing a classic, contemporary edge, colourful and bold.
She had her hair slightly backcombed with loose curls tumbling over her left shoulder.
Nicole arrived with hubby Keith Urban at the star-studded screening, the couple - who have been married for nearly seven years - kissed, cuddled and gazed into each others' eyes.
American Idol judge Keith, 45, had flown in a day earlier to support his wife, who would have to stay in Cannes for the full-length of the festival for her role as juror. He told the Mail: '(I'm here) to keep Nic company and watch movies in the back with her.'
She added: 'I've been waiting for my man to walk me up all those steps', referring to the famous red carpeted steps of the Palais Des Festivals. Read more/photos:


COUNTRY GOSSIP
Carrie Underwood pranked Hunter Hayes at his last Blown Away tour show.
In the clip, Hayes is performing as usual when about thirty seconds into it, a goat appears on the large screen to the side of the stage. It can be heard “singing” along with the young performer briefly, then vanishes, only to re-appear and scream a few more wordless lines in unison, much to the delight of the audience.
The prank is part of a strange internet trend called “goating,” in which a screaming goat is randomly added to a musical performance. It’s seemingly been sweeping the world, with a number of viral videos featuring goat versions of top songs. Underwood planned the prank in advance and posted about it to Twitter, writing:
 Hunter Hayes’ last show on the #BlownAwayTour = time for pranks!” A couple of minutes later she added a picture of the goat on the screen and wrote, “Need I say more?”
Later that night Underwood posted a link to the fan video of the prank, writing, “Tee hee! Thanks @HunterHayes for being on the road with us! You will be missed!”
Of course, turnabout is fair play; Underwood herself has been goated along with Taylor Swift, in a couple of hilarious viral videos.

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