Saturday, 18 May 2013

Country Bites News snippets May 6 - May 12, 2013

Country Bites News snippets May 6 – May 12, 2013

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

The Haley Sisters have released a new video promoting their new single "Sweet Music Man" on Comet Records
The song was originally released on October 10, 1977 which was written and recorded by Kenny Rogers appearing on his 1977 album “Daytime Friends”.
Later in 1977, Dolly Parton included the song as a bookend track on her album “Here You Come Again”. I became aware of it when Reba McEntire also made it a final cut on her “Greatest Hits Volume III: I'm a Survivor” released in October 2001 and the song received spins on BBC Radio 2 on Terry Wogan's show.
The Haley Sisters single is available for download at Amazon UK and CD Baby

** The Mavericks have announced an additional 4 Dates in the UK:
Mon 22nd July 2013  (Liverpool Philharmonic Hall), Tues 23rd July 2013 (Sheffield City Hall), Weds 24th July 2013( De Montfort Hall, Leicester) and Thurs 25th July 2013 (Plymouth Pavilions) sale: Fri 10/05/13)

(May 10, 2013) Johnny Reid has been confirmed to perform 3 rare intimate shows in Scotland in September.
Tickets for all three shows went on sale Friday May 10th 2013.
Dates: Friday 20th Sept 2013 (Oran Mo, Glasgow), Sat. 21st Sept 2013 (The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh) and Sun 22nd Sept 2013 (Lemon Tree, Aberdeen)- Buy tickets for Johnny Reid on ticketmaster.co.uk
Full details on the UK Tour Page
Johnny Reid, born August 21, 1974 in Lanark, Scotland has charted several hit singles and 3 Top 3 albums in Canada.
Reid moved to Canada in July, 1988 when he was 13. 
His albums "Kicking Stones"(2007), "A Place Called Love" (2010) and "Dance With Me" (2009) have earned 2× Platinum certifications and "Fire It Up" (2012) won Top Selling Canadian Album at the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards and Country Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2013. He has won 17 awards at CCMA's including the much coveted Fans'Choice Award 4 times from 2009 to 2012 and was named Male Artist of the Year 3 times in 2008, 2009 and 2011.

A new website All British Country is being constructed with the aim to provide full listings for Country Music clubs, gigs and artists across the UK with a regional Monthly Calendar.
So far listings for:
London South East (Berks, Bucks, Hampshire & IOW, Kent, London, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex)
The West (Bristol & Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Somerset, Wilts)
The East (Beds, Cambs, Essex, Herts, Norfolk, Suffolk)
They are asking permission for Country Music clubs to publish their full gig listings on the site.
Any club organisers are more than welcome to make Contact by Email - allbritishcountry@gmail.com

Review/Setlist: Eric Church The Forum, Kentish Town, London Weds April 24, 2013 (debut performance in the UK)..No blood, but sweat and a few beers sees Eric Church through his UK debut! …Read this excellent write up at UK Country Music.net

Josh Doyle a British-born Nashville transplant is taking the "next big thing" buzz to another level. Doyle will make his Hard Rock Calling debut in London on Sunday, June 30, 2013, at one of the UK’s most iconic venues, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Alabama Shakes, The Black Crowes, Kasabian, Zac Brown Band and more will join Josh at the biggest, most-anticipated Hard Rock Calling to date. To see the full line-up and to purchase
tickets, visit: hardrockcalling.co.uk. On June 29, 2013, the day before his Hard Rock Calling debut, Josh Doyle hits the historic Glastonbury Festival stage - Webster & Associates Press

Beats on Breakfast: The Band Perry performed "Better Dig Two" on May 10th on BBC Breakfast - BBC Show Page
Presenters Charlie Stayt and Louise Minchin found out whether being in a band that sings and tours together is stressful.
The band's new album PIONEER gets its UK release on the 10th June.
Recently The Band Perry performed record-breaking crowds in Texas and Mississippi over the weekend. They started their trek with a sold out show at Graham Central Station in Odessa, Texas then headed to Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth, Texas. They then played for an recording-setting crowd at Nutty Jerry’s in Winnie, Texas before returning to their birth state of Mississippi for a sold out show in Jackson at Thalia Mara Hall

It seems you're never too old to realise your dream, as Dubliner Carmel Silver, aged 77, in spite of recent serious health problems released her first album, HE'LL BETHERE (Songs of Hope and Inspiration).It includes songs such as "The Old Rugged Cross" and "How Great Thou Art". She worked on the album with Terry Bradford, who produced most of Charlie Landsborough's biggest hits, including What Colour Is The Wind?
Despite her sunny disposition, life hasn't been easy for Carmel. She was born into dreadful poverty in the 1930s in Dublin, when she was just 17, Carmel lost her mum to cancer.Carmel emigrated to England where she became a nurse and worked at Coventry's main hospital for 18 years. Then an accident at work caused a debilitating spinal injury which ended her nursing career.
She's had a double by-pass and is currently recovering after breast cancer.
Listen to the opening track "As I Kneel Before You" >> YouTube - Product Detail

UK CHART NEWS
On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week May 18, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s new UK single “22” dropped 26-28 in its 12th week. Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, dropped 47-56 on its 31st chart week.

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week May 18, 2013)
Lady Antebellum debuted at No.7 with new album GOLDEN with sales of 11,784.
It is the trio’s 3rd UK Top 10 album, following NEED YOU NOW (No.8, 2010) and OWN THE NIGHT (No.4, 2011 with debut week sales of 26,434). Their Christmas seasonal set 2012’s ON THIS WINTER'S NIGHT, debuted and peaked at No.56 last November (Debut week 3,783 sales). NEED YOU NOW is their biggest selling album by far, with sales to date of 323,431, while the title cut is their biggest selling, with sales of 456,920, despite peaking no higher than No.15. It debuted at No.28 with sales of 9,375 joining an elite of US country acts to have a UK Top 40 hit. In the previous 12 years Taylor Swift, Lonestar, Miley Cyrus, Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, LeAnn Womack, Shania Twain, Kid Rock and Dixie Chicks charted with what were mostly the least countrified tracks for UK market release and in some cases songs were remixed (particularly in LeAnn Womack's case) and stripped of the country element.
Taylor Swift’s RED was down 9 places 17-26 in its 29th chart week.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week May 18, 2013)
Lady Antebellum debut at No.1 (11,784 sales) with GOLDEN (Decca)
Pistol Annies debut at No.2 with their second album ANNIE UP (RCA) .Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK dropped 2-3 in her 4th week. Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses) last weeks No.1 fell to No.4 with THE LOW HIGHWAY (New West)
Kenny Chesney with LIFE ON A ROCK (Blue Chair) fell back in his second week 3-9.

On the Hotdisc Chart (May 12, 2013 Chart) 
Billy Yates (No.1 for 6 weeks) and Hayley Oliver Band (No.1 for 4 weeks) continue their hold at the top of both the Hotdisc Top 40 and British & Irish Hotdisc charts this week despite the appearance in the charts of the new music released on May's #173 Hotdisc (Rush Released), and credit too to Ray Scott who holds at No.2 with the humourous "Those Jeans" for the sixth week (No.1 for 4 weeks) having been blocked by Yates' tribute "There's Only One George Jones" .
The Lawrence John Project landed the highest new entry this week with the self penned cajun offering "Louisiana Love" at No.3.
Australian Nicki Gillis debuts at No.5 with her latest co-write offering, "I'll Go My Own Way," which is her highest chart placing for some time. Frank Ifield is also inside the Top 10 with the old track "Just Let Me Make Believe For A While" (written by R.Blackwell) which is taken from his compilation album on EMI Gold "Treasures" featuring hard-to-get-hold-of gems.
The Roys made it into the Top 10 this week with their new single, "Gypsy Runaway Train." which bows at No.10
Newcomer Del Robbins (No.11) along with fellow Americans Jeff Griffith (No.14), David Wood (No.19) and Fletcher Avant (No.20) land themselves new entries inside the Top 20 while British act The Diablos have a good opening week with “Wrong Guy” at No.18 on the Top 40 and snag a No.4 British & Irish placing.

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES
(29 April 2013) History Of The Eagles [3 Disc DVD Deluxe Edition] [2013] Amazon UK
This three-disc set includes “History of the Eagles Part One” and “Part Two”, as well as “Eagles Live At The Capital Centre - March 1977”, featuring never-before-released performances from the Eagles’ two-night stand at Washington, D.C.’s Capital Center during the legendary Hotel California tour.

(29 April 2013) Kenny Chesney - Life On A Rock (Blue Chair Records) 10 Tracks / Time: 42:19
(30 April 2013) David Allan Coe - Texas Moon [Import] - Amazon UK CD
(13 May 2013) Ruth Moody - These Wilder Things (True North Records)
10 Tracks Time: 46:15
'These Wilder Things' follows her critically-acclaimed CD 'The Garden', which was nominated for a Juno Award, a Western Canadian Music Award and three Canadian Folk Music Awards.

(May 14, 2013) Trace Adkins - Love Will...(Show Dog Universal Music) Time: 41:40
(May 14, 2013) George Strait - Love Is Everything 13 Tracks Time: 47:51- Amazon UK CD

AUSSIE NEWS
Some of the biggest names in Australia are leading a campaign to have Slim Dusty's June 13 birthday officially recognised as Australia's National Slim Dusty Day.The campaign centres around a petition which will be presented to members of the nation's Federal Parliament.
Music historian Glenn A Baker said: "Slim Dusty Day is a day to celebrate our musical heritage. Slim Dusty articulated the very essence of Australia for a great many Australians."
With 2013 marking the 10th anniversary of Slim's passing (September 19, 2003), identities from across Australia and around the world have united to pay tribute and support the proposed National Slim Dusty Day initiative.
Stars already backing and supporting the proposal include Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Ray Hadley, Adam Harvey, Lee Kernaghan, Dick Smith and Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.

Like a kangaroo, Taylor Swift will hop on a plane and perform country music like a Keith Urban as she takes her RED Tour to the land of Outback Steakhouses. Stadium shows dates are set for Taylor in Australia and New Zealand. She'll play Sydney (Dec 4th - Allianz Stadium), Melbourne (Dec 14th - Etihad Stadium), Brisbane (Dec 7th - Suncorp Stadium), Perth (Dec 11th - NIB Stadium), and an arena date to kick it off in Auckland (Nov 29th - Vector Arena) - taylorswift.com/events
Tickets for AU/NZ RED Tour were available in a pre-sale for members of Taylor’s email list (that’s fans!). All pre-sale tickets went on sale on Tuesday, May 14 - premier.ticketek.com.au

NEWS
Miranda Lambert notched a fifth #1 with "Mama's Broken Heart" on Country Aircheck. She quickly tweeted, "It never gets old knowing that people enjoy my music. Thanks for playing it, buying it and coming to see it live."
Miranda knew she wanted to record the song the moment she heard it. "The reason I love this song is because it's about how sometimes when you get your heart broken, you kinda go a little bit crazy," admitted the 3 time and current CMA Female Vocalist of the Year. "You drink too much, you smoke too much, you cut your hair ... you find a rebound. Sometimes your mama, if she's like my mama, has to slap you around and say, 'Straighten up, girl!'" - Sony Press

Morgan Frazier, Sidewalk Records recording artist, has won the legendary John Lennon Songwriting Contest.  Morgan was selected among thousands of submissions, and represents the very best of those who pen songs in the country music format.  She teamed up with Jim Bennett to write the winning offering, “All We Never Had Is Gone,” a momentous ballad that encompasses the roller-coaster ride that is heartbreak.
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, has inspired an exclusive competition on her social media sites - Press

Family trio The Henningsens celebrated a special event this past Saturday (May 4) when lead singer Clara Henningsen married Jacob Calaway on the family farm in Illinois. Clara, her brother Aaron and their father, Brian, make up the trio, which is currently enjoying a hit debut single with “American Beautiful.”.
Clara and Jacob have been engaged since last September and decided on a springtime wedding. “It was really cool because I got to be married on our family farm,” Clara said. “It’s really where I wanted to get married.” Clara added that the wedding party consisted of 14 people, “not including the bride and the groom and the little ring-bearers and the flower girls. It was very special.”.
There won’t be much time for a honeymoon, though, as the band is preparing to hit the road with Brad Paisley on his Beat This Summer Tour, which kicks off May 9 - Sony Press

The Grand Ole Opry presented by Humana will honor six-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood on her 5th anniversary as an Opry member on Fri., June 7. Underwood will celebrate five years with a special segment closing the evening’s Opry performance - www.opry.com - Event Detail

On Ramp Records is pleased to announce the signing of multiple CCMA Award winner, Jessie Farrell, with new music slated for release this summer. “Jessie is an unmistakable brand in the landscape of Canadian country music,” says On Ramp Vice President, Scotty Kipfer. “She’s at a unique point in her life and career following the birth of her first child, and we are very excited to be part of her reintroduction to the marketplace.”
Farrell has had seven Top 20 radio hits, two CCMA Awards, a Juno nomination, and an impressive live resume including slots on tours with Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and Johnny Reid.

Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and Lennon and Maisy from ABC’s Nashville will kick off CMA Music Fest Week in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry June 4. Other Opry performances during CMA Fest include Tyler Farr opening for Lee Brice at the Opry Plaza the afternoon of June 4 and Carrie Underwood celebrating her fifth anniversary as an Opry member June 7.

Yards Per Carrie: Carrie Underwood will succeed Faith Hill to perform the NBC-TV show's “Sunday Night Football” opening theme. Producer Fred Gaudelli said "I only had one person in my sights and that was Carrie" and she agreed. "I think it's a perfect fit," Carrie said. "I am a sports fan, a football fan, and we love Sunday nights around my household, so for me to be a part of it is something really special." "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night," set to the Joan Jett tune "I Hate Myself for Loving You," belonged to Faith for six seasons, and started with Pink's rendition in 2006.

Darius Rucker urged USC grads to serve and follow their dreams when he became “Dr. Gamecock” Saturday May 11th as the University of South Carolina awarded degrees to graduates of its prestigious Honors College and its College of Arts and Sciences.
Rucker, a founding member of the homegrown S.C. band Hootie & The Blowfish received an honorary doctor-of-music degree and a standing ovation at the conclusion of a upbeat commencement address.
I want you to take time, take some real time,” said Rucker, who spoke at the second of USC’s three weekend graduation ceremonies. “Find something that makes you want to give ‘til it hurts”.

Shania Twain has announced a new set of concerts this fall as part of her two-year Las Vegas Strip residency.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, 47-year-old Twain has scheduled 22 additional performances between mid-October and mid-December. Tickets went on sale Friday (May 10) - www.shaniainvegas.com .She’s sold out her first 24 performances of “Shania: Still the One” at Caesars Palace, and begins another set of 12 shows on May 14. The nearly 4,300-seat Colosseum also hosts entertainers Celine Dion, Elton John, Jerry Seinfeld and others.

Sweet November: The final Nashville concert the late George Jones had been planning for months leading up to his death will go on, now as a tribute. "Everyone has been asking if we will still do the  show," says his widow, Nancy Jones. "I have asked Garth, Kid Rock, Travis Tritt, The Oak Ridge Boys, Montgomery Gentry, Sam Moore, Charlie Daniels, Jamey Johnson and others, and they all said, 'Yes, I am still going to do it.’ So with all the artists still planning on coming, we are going to honor George one final time." The show happens Nov. 22 at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

Lauren Alaina has partnered with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to perform the official theme song for the new attraction at SeaWorld Orlando, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, set to open May 24.
Lauren recorded two tracks for SeaWorld, including the theme song and a remix called “Antarctica: One World, One Family.”
I have such great memories of growing up and going to SeaWorld with my family, so being a part of the theme park and their new attraction is so exciting,” Lauren said. “Recording the official theme song for the ride was so much fun – SeaWorld even brought a penguin named Pete to the studio to help inspire me!

Pistol Annies will perform at the Ram Country Live! On Yahoo! Music May 15 (US times: 7 pm PT/ 9 pm CT/ 10 pm ET). The concert will be exclusively streamed live, so grab your boots, it's time to ANNIE UP! 

TV
Stealing Angel's Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth finished The Amazing Race in fourth place on the May 5th season finale.

Kenny Chesney will joinKatie Couric” on May 13th with almost the entire show devoted to Life On A Rock and the Spread the Love Fund. The show, which also features two segments of First Responders in the Boston Marathon Bombing and a mother/daughter who were both injured, focuses on Chesney’s Spread The Love Fund.

Keith Urban will broadcast the TV premiere of his new song, "Little Bit Of Everything," Thurs May 16 on FOX network's "American Idol". "'Little Bit Of Everything’ conveys a sentiment that's always felt right to me,” said Keith. “I connected with that from the first time I heard it. I "felt it and I loved it." The song is available on US iTunes

ABC TV has renewed the "Nashville" fictionalized TV drama but has cancelled Reba McEntire’s fictionalized sitcom "Malibu Country"
“Nashville” was about the stars and citizens of the city whilst the other, "Malibu Country," is a set around a retired country singer divorcee and her family. Unfortunately for Reba and her co-stars of "Malibu Country" they will not be returning in 2013 as the show was cancelled after not attracting enough viewers on Friday nights. Meanwhile, "Nashville," which features a boatload of "Country Music" and is actually filmed in the city, will return for a second season thanks to decent Wednesday nights ratings.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB) was honoured by The Swon Brothers’ performance of one of their classic hits, “Fishin’ in the Dark,” May 7th on NBC’s The Voice, and classified it as a “job well done.” The comments from judges Usher and Adam Levine about not knowing the classic country anthem made the band members all chuckle a bit, and also glad that they as well as many more Americans, are now more aware of the song.

The twefth season of American Idol offered so much promise talent wise, particularly on the female side as the show reached the final five without one male contestant left.  The final 5 included Country singers Janelle Arthur and Kree Harrison with Harrison landing in the finale of Season 12 with Gospel/R&B vocalist Candice Glover.
Harrison remained the most consistent and is all but assured of garnering a record deal with Interscope and one of the Universal Music Group's labels in Nashville.  
News broke that in addition to Randy Jackson leaving the show after 12 years, the other judges Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj are expected to leave the show after one season as the show looks to re-jig the panel once again, to revive their flagging ratings.

Kellie Pickler took to the dance floor for the eighth week of competition for ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The stars had to take on two full routines in the ballroom. As one of the highest scoring couples of the season, Pickler and her professional dancer partner, Derek Hough, were ready to hit the floor.
For her first dance, Pickler took on the Viennese Waltz. The judges praised Pickler’s mirror-themed dance. Judge Bruno Tonioli said: ”Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all? It is you princess Kellie. Actually, you were a queen tonight!” He then added that her dance “was a thing of beauty.”
For their first dance, Kellie and Derek took home a score of 28/30 (Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Bruno- 10) 
In the second round of dances, the stars were given another tough challenge. Each couple had to dance with an extra professional dance partner. Along with Pickler and Hough, pro Tristan MacManus took on the Paso Doble.
Tonioli again praised her dance, calling it “masterpiece theater” with “high art and high drama.” He also said that it was so engrossing, that he “wanted to be part of it.” Inaba agreed, saying “it was incredible” and that Pickler “took her breath away.”  Cranky head judge Len Goodman, however, did not agree, he thought that the dance was too gimmicky for his taste. “I was expecting more than flashing lights and crashing music,” Goodman scowled. “It was a hodgepodge of moves just out there to titillate the taste buds.”
But instead of deducting a mere point or two from his score, the persnickety judge awarded the trio a spiteful 7.
Inaba and Tonioli were so shocked by Goodman’s reaction, the judging panel devolved into a finger-pointing, foul-mouthed screaming match. The judges score for the Paso Doble was a 27/30 with a grand total of 55/60.

COUNTRY AWARDS
Nominations for the 2013 CMT Music Awards were revealed (May 6), and Eric Church, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert lead the pack of artists with four nods apiece. Fan voting started at cmt.com through to Sunday, June 2, at midnight ET.
Miranda's "Mama's Broken Heart" earned nominations for Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year and she picked up additional nods for Group Video of the Year (for Pistol Annies' "Takin' Pills") and CMT Performance of the Year (for "Over You" from 2012 CMT Artists of the Year).
Luke's "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" got two nominations, for Video of the Year and Male Video. Additionally, Luke's participation in Jason Aldean's "The Only Way I Know" earned him a third, and his performance of "Drunk on You/Feel Again" with Ryan Tedder at 2012 CMT Artists of the Year got his fourth.
Eric Church appearance on Jason Aldean’s "The Only Way I Know" got him a nomination, while "Springsteen" got a Video of the Year nod and "Creepin'" earned him one for Male Video of the Year. His fourth was from the CMT Artists of the Year special, when he performed his hit "Homeboy."
Other multiple nominees include Jason, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Florida Georgia Line, each with three.
The 2013 CMT Awards airs live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Wednesday, June 5 at 8 p.m. ET.
Country superstar Randy Travis is listed among nominees. - “It’s an honor to be nominated for Collaborative Video of the Year with The Avett Brothers.  I really enjoyed working with them and everyone on the CMT Crossroads project,” said Travis.-
The final nominees listing in each of the 2013 CMT MUSIC AWARDS categories is here: Sony Press

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
Acclaimed bluegrass singer-songwriter Claire Lynch presents her much-anticipated Compass Records debut album DEAR SISTER, arriving May 28th. The roots music world’s A-lister accolades include:
2 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Female Vocalist of the Year Awards, 2 GRAMMY nominations for Best Bluegrass Album, songs recorded by such luminaries as Patty Loveless, The Seldom Scene, Cherryholmes, Kathy Mattea, the Whites and Stephanie Davis, and now the 2012 United States Artists $50,000 Walker Fellowship.
Listen to all 10 tracks at soundcloud.com

The Secret Sisters spilled: "We are planning on putting out our second album this summer. We worked with T Bone Burnett, and it turned out great. I think it will be a little more rock and roll than the first record was. We're really pumped about it."
The new album will be “a little more rock and roll” than their first record.

Backing a Baker - Austin Texas singer-songwriter Sam Baker has launched a Kickstarter project for his upcoming 14 track album 'Say Grace' "This record, the one I need money to release, is called SAY GRACE. It is the same as the other records but different. Just like life. The same but different" he says.In just 48 hours it received 396 Backers and has raised $29,792 exceeding its $20,000 goal! - Kickstarter.com

Lady Antebellum released “Goodbye Town” as a new radio single.

Curb Records and Lee Brice light things up with his new summer anthem, "Parking Lot Party" which will be released on May 13th, 2013 and comes on the heels of his third #1 single in a row, "I Drive Your Truck" which was recently certified Gold by the RIAA. After 53 weeks Brice's album HARD 2 LOVE sits at No.23 on The Billbnoard Country Chart with sales nearing 400,000 copies (391K). More details + US Tour dates – Press Release

Kellie Pickler, the Black River Entertainment singer/songwriter, is pleased to announce the release of her eagerly awaited debut single, "Someone Somewhere Tonight."  The song was delivered to country radio on Friday May 10. "It is such an honor to bring this new Kellie Pickler music to country radio," shared Black River Entertainment’s Vice President of Promotion, Bill Macky. 

"This is the vocal performance of her career and she gives this song such an emotional punch!  I can't wait for listeners to hear this hit."
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. Currently a front-runner on ABC's Dancing With The Stars, Kellie will once again collaborate on a forthcoming album with famed producers Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, Eli Young Band) and Luke Wooten (Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley) while competing on the show.
Watch the story behind Kellie’s new single >> YouTube

MUSIC NEWS
The Folk Years (Starvista Entertainment/Time Life) Singular CD Collection brings together over 120 Original, Classic Songs and the Legendary Artists Who Performed them, Including The Weavers, Pete Seeger, The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Seekers, Simon and Garfunkel, Judy Collins, The Byrds and More; Also Included in this Handsome Collector’s Set is a 52-page Lyric Book and the Bonus DVD “Legends of Folk: The Village Scene” Featuring 19 Legendary Performances
120 Songs on 8 CDs $119.96/ 222 Songs on 16 CDs $191.92 - timelife.com

PRESS RELEASES:
In honor of the late George Jones, country music star Sammy Kershaw released his latest single and music video, "The
Route That I Took" (Big Hit Records / RED).
"George was a major part of my life for many years," notes Kershaw.  "He was my friend and mentor and I wrote this
song with him in mind a while back and hoped that he one day might record it.  I couldn't think of a more appropriate time to put it out.  God Bless you, Possum and see you again someday my friend." See Video >> YouTube
A portion of song's proceeds will go to charity. Amazon.com - US iTunes

Randy Houser proclaimed as “one of Nashville’s best voices,” is back with the follow-up to his No. 1 smash hit “How Country Feels” with a new music video for Top 30-and-climbing single “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” The latest music video from the “pitch-perfect” (Washington Post) singer debuted May 10 on CMT.com.“Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” penned by writers Dallas Davidson, Ashley Gorley and Kelly Lovelace, is off Houser's Jan. 22 Stoney Creek Records release, How Country Feels.
The lead single and title track, “How Country Feels,” became Houser’s first RIAA Gold-certified record and now, Houser has earned a Breakthrough Video of the Year CMT Award nomination for the “How Country Feels” video – directed by Wes Edwards.

ARTICLES
Detroit Free Press - Taylor Swift charms friends at Ford Field concert… Extract: With a cheery pep to go with her chirpy pop, Taylor Swift lit up Ford Field on Saturday in the first stadium show of her Red Tour.
Like the big sister and bestie at a ginormous Saturday night slumber party, Swift cemented her bond with the tween and teen girls who dominated the crowd of more than 48,000.It was a night that melded Swift’s soft-lit winsome spirit with a high-end spectacle of dangling drummers, elevating runways, quick outfit changes, bursts of  confetti and even one of the best sound mixes you’re apt to hear in a cavernous stadium....

Rolling Stone: Merle Haggard Remembers George Jones…'He was the Babe Ruth of country music, and people expected a home run every time' ..Extract: His voice was like a Stradivarius violin: one of the greatest instruments ever made. He could interpret any given set of words better than anybody I've ever heard. You'd have to go back to Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb to compare, and he may have outdone them both. Someone asked me recently, "How did he do it?" George Jones went to the grave with that secret.........On 1999's "Choices," he sang, "By an early age I found/I liked drinkin'/And I never turned it down.
Now I'm living and dying with the choices I've made." It was a summary of his mistakes, and it was perfect. But George's greatest song was 1980's "He Stopped Loving Her Today." It's like Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues": You can play it 100 years from now and it'll still sound good. We recorded two albums together, and it was about as much fun as a singer could have. Every singer in the goddamn world would like to get up there and sing with George, listening to him innovate.

REVIEWS
Tampa Tribune: Tim McGraw gives crowd a "flawless performance." …Tim McGraw brought his Two Lanes of Freedom tour to Tampa Saturday – switching gears from sexy to sweet and back again – revving up generations of fans with a sly smile and a flawless performance.

Charleston Gazette May 8, 2013 Carrie Underwood Concert Review: Underwood's whirlwind of wail blows Civic Center audience away....Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" tour roared through the Charleston Civic Center last night, leaving a wild and animated crowd in its wake…

INTERVIEWS
CountryMusicNewsBlog Krystal Keith Talks Music, College and the Country Scene...Extract: A lot of folks probably assume that when you have a famous parent, life is going to be a cake walk. Well, for Krystal Keith, having Toby Keith for a father no doubt helped open a few doors or window, but this is one new artist that is hard at work on her own terms. She recently debuted with her four song EP which features current single “Daddy Dance with Me.”....

MAGAZINES
Marty Raybon is on the cover of The Direct Buzz as the “Artist Feature."  The feature focuses on the release of Marty's new CD, THE BACK FORTY and his 40 years entertaining audiences around the world - issuu.com

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?

The RIAA is awarding new "combined" digital single awards which count both downloads and streams.
This includes on-demand services like MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music and others, plus video streaming services like MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music, YouTube and more.
If there were RIAA Gold and Platinum Spotify certifications it would mean almost nothing as each singer only makes about $0.009 from each Spotify stream and there maybe 3 or 4 record label middle men that get part of that!

Listen to the UK's David Bradley "Get A Hero Home" - Spotify LINK

FREE DOWNLOADS
Whatever happened to Sandra McCracken?
You may remember years ago she could be heard on BBC Radio 2 during the daytime and Bob Harris played her many times, the last being "Head Over Heel" from Gravity Love Album in Aug 2006.
The Nashville-based independent singer/songwriter has a “Desire Like Dynamite” (Sampler) with tracks from her newest release, (Feb 12, 2013). The 5 tracks available on www.noisetrade.com are:
 "Go", "Gridlock" and "Dynamite" + "Hourglass" (Acoustic Version) and "The Wait" (Early Piano Version) they are all top quality 320kbps MP3's.  The whole album is on UK iTunes

WATCH
Blake SheltonBoys 'Round Here” feat. Pistol Annies & Friends (Official Music Video) >> YouTube
Immediately following the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, co-host Blake Shelton flew to The Walt Disney Golden Oak Ranch in Santa Clarita joining his friends the Pistol Annies and country singer Raelynn to film the new music video for his current smash hit “Boys ‘Round Here.” Artists and extras filmed in 50mph winds the entire day with scenes featuring a red pick-up truck which was over 4 feet just to step into, and the original Chik-Fil-A cow making a cameo appearance - http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Cows/Gallery

Amber HayesAny Day Is A Good Day’ Lyric Video >> YouTube

Robyn & Ryleigh - "Just Another Sundown" (Official Video) Farting Puppy Productions! >> YouTube
Released: 11 March 2013 (Raincoast Music) – UK iTunes
Country/Pop singer-songwriter sisters Robyn Gillespie and Ryleigh Gillespie are a talented emerging country/pop duo hailing from Langley, British Columbia.
Blurb: Their sound is a reflection of their favorite musical influences the energy of modern rock blended with traditional country elements of acoustic instruments, meaningful lyrics, and sibling harmonies.“R and R”, as their friends and family lovingly tag them, are true Canadian country girls in daily life, growing up in a serene setting on the family property in BC’s Fraser Valley. Robyn and Ryleigh are authentic country girls – singing about fast cars, boys, and hot summer nights. Part mud, part makeup, part glamorous, part funny. The perfect recipe for a couple of girls you’d like to get to know better? 

TV
Hillary Scott received Pop-Tarts and a miniature drum set for her baby when Lady Antebellum stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday (5/7) - www.ellentv.com

COUNTRY FASHION
Katie Armiger has been chosen as the newest brand ambassador for Pastry (Website). The brand focuses on "Sweet, Chic and Unique" apparel, accessories and and footwear for junior girls worldwide. Armiger is the first country singer chosen to be a face of Pastry and she joins current standout celeb brand ambassadors Cody Simpson, Alli Simpson, Madison Pettis, Jessica Jarrell, MZ Bratt, Colette Carr, Vanessa Simmons and Angela Simmons.
I am so honored and excited to join the Pastry family,” says Armiger. “Not only do I love the shoes, I love the message Pastry sends to young girls encouraging them to express themselves in a unique and fun way. I'm excited for the future of this new relationship and can't wait to start promoting this terrific line.”
With the increasing mainstream popularity of country music, we knew introducing Pastry to that market would be very beneficial,” states Donna Grecco, Sr Director of Marketing of Pastry Brand. “Katie is the perfect blend of mainstream and country, so we knew she would be the perfect artist to represent our brand in that arena. We are more than excited to have her on board.” -

All sorts of celebrities flocked to Churchill Downs to celebrate the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan were among the stars who walked the red carpet and signed a 6-litre bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial for the brand’s ‘Sign for the Roses’ philanthropic initiative, which raises money for the Churchill Downs foundation.
Though it was pouring down rain, the celebrity attendees stayed dry on the tent covered red carpet, which provided shelter from storm.
Hats off to them! Spectators at Kentucky Derby didn’t let the rain spoil their fashion display as they watched 5-favorite Orb triumph Read more: Daily Mail UK

Miranda Lambert brought country to Churchill Downs in an elegant almost Victorian dress. She topped (literally) the outfit off with a great, off-kilter hat. She stunned in the strapless minidress with a full skirt and intricate cutouts. Stepping away from brights and heading to softer, gentler hues she paired sky blue with peachy beige. She donned tan-colored confection adorned with feathers.
 

Martina McBride
Where: 139th Kentucky Derby with Moet & Chandon at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.    When: May 4, 2013
The multi Award-winning country music star was there to sing the US National anthem before the 139th running of the Derby, presented by Yum! The four-time Country Music Association “Female Vocalist of the Year” belted out the “The Star-Spangled Banner” shortly after 5 p.m. in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle on the presentation stand.
The performance was carried live on NBC’s coverage.
She looked race-day chic with a sleek peplum dress with a black hat and smart a pair of heels and minimized with accessories  finishing off her outfit with a few silver bracelets and a ring.

Dreams came true for a local milliner Britni Lynn Knable of HeadCandi.
The Floyds Knobs, Ind., woman’s Derby hats and fascinators have been a favorite of local women since 2003. But Knable, who is also the manager and assistant buyer for Dress & Dwell boutique, has always wanted to create a chapeau for one of the stars in town for the first Saturday in May.
This year her wishes were answered. Caroline Bryan, wife of Luke Bryan, the Academy of Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year, was such a fan of Knable’s designs that she wore two of them — a custom fascinator to Oaks and a hat to Derby.
Knable also made sure Luke was equally stylish and found him a Stetson to wear to Derby that she embellished with feathers.
Luke Bryan sported a dashing J. Lindberg suit of with coordinating under shirt, clean white and baby blue, a plaid pocket square, sharp tan shoes, and a white Stetson fedora. This look was a far cry from the more accustomed reverse baseball cap, cowboy boots, tattered jeans Luke look!
Caroline and Luke Bryan

His lovely wife Caroline was his classic complement in a pretty floral Roland Mouret dress and the beautiful chapeau by HeadCandi with a teal ribbon, purple flowers and magenta feathers that brought out the colors in her shift.  They were sophisticated and southern, without making a mockery of themselves, like so many other stars did by trying to stand out from the crowd.
With dreamy thoughts of wraparound porches, southern belles, sweeping plantations and living below the Mason-Dixon Line the Bryans’ won the best-dressed pair cup, they nailed it! - Photo
It was a 1st Derby for Luke he explained in this video

Jo Dee Messina's thin strap printed maxi dress may well inspire race fans at future events wearing a face-framing hat with fowl feathers. (Pheasant?). The chic chapeau that she wore on Derby Day was also courtesy of the HeadCandi designer. The singer even gave a shout-out to Knable while being interviewed on the red carpet.



The Metropolitan Museum’s Annual Costume Gala took place in New York on May 6, 2013 and this year’s theme was : “Punk: From Chaos to Couture.”
Sadly few of the attendees actually participated in spirit of the theme!
The 24 year old actress, Country/Pop singer Julianne Hough was one of the best dressed with an edgy and adorable look wearing a strapless, gray and black spiderweb tulle TopShop dress, spiked Giuseppe Zanotti heels, and had her blond locks up in lots of black bobby pins.
The “Footloose” and “Dancing With The Stars” star cut a few punk accents with the high-low hemline to showcase her studded pointed toe, ankle strap pumps, and dark stud earrings (Jacob & Co jewels). She wore dark on her nails but remained minimal and luminescent in the makeup department.


Taylor Swift fully embraced the 2013 Met Gala, channelling her inner punk rocker, donning another stunning J. Mendel gown and shockingly, a little pink in her frizzy hairdo. She attended the event with one of her favourite designers, Gilles Mendel.
Like many other attendees, she was able to still work an uber feminine look whilst, wearing this J. Mendel gown.
The gown, which featured lace insets and a dramatic embellished neckline, was styled with a J. Mendel minaudiere and Lorraine Schwartz jewels. The singer further channeled the punk fashion with dramatic smoky eyes and dark nails.

“Country Strong” singer Gwyneth Paltrow was in attendance but sported a horrible attitude showing up in a hot pink Valentino gown, with simple hair/makeup, and was quoted as saying, “I think we’re all a bit old to dress up punk,” and that the evening, “sucked.”  - PHOTO
The 'Iron Man 3' actress insisted it would be her last time because she hated every minute of it.
Gwyneth told USA Today: "I'm never going again. It was so un-fun. It was boiling. It was too crowded. I did not enjoy it at all."
However, 40-year-old Gwyneth admitted she did enjoy spending time with her fellow celebrities and despite recently being voted the World's Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine, was struck by supermodel Miranda Kerr's beauty.

Miley Cyrus has been building her punk sartorial cred for a while now, and she dressed 100% appropriate for the Met Gala theme. She vamped it up in a look from Marc Jacobs Fall 2013. Her long-sleeved black mesh gown and nude underpinning was a straight shot ode to the punk era. It was mostly edgy with a hint of sex appeal. The dress grazed over her curves for a sexy, yet covered feel.
The singer thanked fans for making her this years number one on Maxims Hot 100. The gratitude was a bit premature, when she took to Twitter, since the magazine had not actually revealed their annual list!
Didnt know this was coming out yet! Im so happy to be #1 on Maxims HOT 100! #myfanskickass #dreamsdocometrue
This year's collection of wicked hotties included Taylor Swift at her lucky No. 13, Hayden Panettiere at No. 30, Julianne Hough at No. 40 and Kellie Pickler at No. 96. The 20-year-old actress Miley takes the Maxim title from Bar Refaeli, who topped the Hot 100 list in 2012.
Miley actually posted a photo with her announcement, in the photo, the 20-year-old posed in a gold one-piece that matches her platinum blonde pixie. It follows a number of racy fashion spreads from Miley, most recently in V magazine and Elle UK.
The star struck a bold, brassiere-less pose for her ELLE UK debut cover. Cyrus confidently channels her new-found punk style for the British magazine's June 2013 issue, donning a silky, sleeveless Lanvin top with a simple Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane gold vermeil pendant dangling down her chest.
After a years-long hiatus from the radio airwaves, the singer-actress is expected to make her grand return to music this summer with a highly-anticipated album, which she has promised is "coming soon
The smoldering photo from inside the mag, shows the former Disney star lying on her side in a gold bathing suit.
Miley went bra-less for the ELLE shoot and pushed things even further in her new shoot for V magazine, the Lady Gaga of country music?! - Image




COUNTRY GOSSIP
Into The Black on the RED Tour:
Ed Sheeran's phone bill reached £5,000 while supporting Taylor Swift in the US.
The 'Lego House' hitmaker has been supporting the singer on her US tour and revealed over the first four weeks phone calls home piled up to cost thousands of pounds. Speaking to The Sun newspaper, he said: "I used my UK phone over here for about a month and the bill was five grand when I got home."I am not going to use my UK phone any more and my bill's only about $60 a month now, that's around £40."
Rumours had circulated Ed and the 'I Knew You Were Trouble' musician were dating, but the singer recently moved to dismiss those claims as "idiotic."

TWEETS
Miranda Lambert – MirandaLambert: Yes..That’s right folks! Pistol Annies officially have a GOLD album! What a great week! #annieup

PHOTO
Theresa Nelson and Travis Tritt pictured on the The Barnstable Brown Gala red carpet on May 3, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. - PHOTO
Travis married model Theresa Nelson on April 12, 1997.
They have two sons: Tristan James (born June 16, 1999) and Tarian Nathaniel (born November 25, 2003) and one daughter, Tyler Reese (born February 18, 1998) . Travis has recorded a song "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" with his 15-year-old daughter Tyler to be released June 16, Father's Day.

Pistol Annies (Ashley Monroe, Miranda Lambert and Anagleena Presley) were seen on a video shoot, just in time for the release of their second album, ANNIE UP. They unveiled the brand new music video for their single “Hush Hush”.
The sassy trio filmed at the historic Johnson’s Chapel in Nashville. Directed by the award winning director Trey Fanjoy, the video features legendary singer Brenda Lee, Grammy Award winning artist Jim Lauderdale and many of the Pistol Annies family members.
Pistol Annies with Trey Fanjoy (Director) and Jim Lauderdale and Brenda Lee taken on April 22, 2013 - PHOTO

R.I.P
Long-time Canadian Country music producer Bill Langstroth died, Weds May 8, 2013 in a Moncton hospital, he was 81 year old.
Langstroth, raised in Montreal, joined the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011 and was best known for his work for hosting "Singalong Jubilee", the CBC variety show celebrating folk and country music that ran 1961 to 1974.
He married Nova Scotian singer Anne Murray in 1975. They had two children together, William and Dawn, before their divorce decades later.
Langstroth later remarried. He leaves behind his wife, Fran.
On its website, the CCMA described Langstroth as "one of the country’s first and best industry leaders.” 

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