Sunday 30 June 2013

Kelly Clarkson - “Tie It Up“ (Single Review)

Kelly Clarkson – “Tie It Up“ (Single Review)
Released June 25, 2013
Writers: Ashley Arrison, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne
Label - RCA Records
Total Time: 2:47
Rating (out of 100): 72

Kelly Clarkson
Single artwork (Amazon)

The “Miss Independent” Fort Worth Texas 31-year-old hitmaker is throwing down big-time with her triumphal anthem and latest single, "Tie It Up," It's the follow-up to her soulful single "Don't Rush" (featuring Vince Gill on backing vocals), which made the Top 30 on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs chart.
She continues in the vien of balancing both her pop and country side.

In 2007, her co-write "Because Of You" was recorded by Reba McEntire as a duet with Clarkson, which appeared as a lead single for McEntire's album Reba "Duets". In November 2010 Jason Aldean and Kelly released what was to become a huge crossover smash with “Don't You Wanna Stay” garnering the Musical Event of the Year at the 2011 CMA Awards. Kelly has re-cut her song “Mr. Know It All” for Country radio with Dann Huff and in 2012 she received a surprise CMA Female Vocalist nomination.

Inching closer to becoming a bona fide country music star despite her allegiance to the Lone Star State she found love and announced plans to become a Music City resident.

Kelly has admitted that she would dabble in country music when the material felt right whilst continuing to release pop songs. In 2012 Kelly speaking to The Huffington Post spilled: “I’m not ever gonna be one thing, I want great music. I don’t care what it is. I’m not gonna record a country song just to be on country radio. I want it to be something I’d legitimately have on my album, if I’m having a pop, R&B, whatever album...I don’t want to be pigeonholed 

Here on the countrified song RCA Columbia released "Tie It Up" (written by Ashley Arrison, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne) Clarkson feels at home on a track replete with gritty twangy guitar and includes a banjo solo!
Given that the "Tie It Up" subject matter (free of the whipped cream) is about getting hitched and this bouncy upbeat ditty could find its way to being a fun DJ favourite at weddings.
She premiered the song at the 2013 CMA Music Festival, the studio version of the track hit was sent to radio June 24th.
On the country song that boasts electric and acoustic guitar, hand claps and a driving kick-drum, Clarkson sings about a love-at-first sight encounter that quickly progressed to marriage -
First date first kiss, we were checkin’ off the list/ Then you were gettin’ down on your knee

Something borrowed, something blue? Well there are hints of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" in the wedding cake mix.
On this rather wordy and rocky ballsy number which is full of hand-on-the-hip sass Kelly shows no Bridezilla tendencies as she happily sings, with a big strident and powerful voice about the joys of planning her special day -
Let's set the date/let's hire a band/let's cut the cake/tie up the cans Kelly cheerily sings. "

It seems the "Mr. Know It All" pop-crooner is seriously hearing wedding bells already, share her life and tie up those loose ends as she chimes:
I love the ring of your name/ You're the ying to my yang/ Oh baby let's give it a shot."
"Every wall needs a frame/ Every ball needs a chain/ I'm talkin bout tying the knot/ Tie It Up

Kelly & Brandon
at the 2013 ACM's
According to reports, Kelly and Brandon Blackstock (son of Kelly’s manager, Narvel Blackstock, Reba McEntire’s husband) are scheduled to wed on October 20th in Nashville. Kelly announced the engagement last December. Blackstock proposed to Clarkson about a year after they began dating.
The bride-to-be and Brandan had known each other for six years but he was married and luckily for her, later became suddenly single.

For the Season One American Idol winner her 20 to 30 years has been a who-am-I-and-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life decade.
She has been picked apart for being too fat, too thin, too normal and it took her 10 years to say: ‘I’m just me – take it or leave it!
I'm sure come the Wedding day Brandon will be eager to hitch a ride with Reba's NASCAR racing son Shelby and race to the church to say "YES"!

Country Radio Programmers if asked will "Tie It Up" make their playlists, will hopefully respond - "I Will"! Let's set that ADD date.
It may not "alter" the opinions of the country traditionalists but the more open-minded country-ish fans will want to raise a glass, lock it on down because it's a lotta fun, love it! Tyin' the knot feels so good!

"Tie It Up" (w/ Lyrics) >>  YouTube

Available on Amazon UK - - UK iTunes

Related News:
On the Billboard Country Airplay Chart (Week of July 6, 2013) it claimed the Hot Shot Debut” of the week at No.52 receiving 76 fresh plays.

Amazon UK Country Download Chart Screenshots (July 8, 2013) :

Reba McEntire doesn't have a huge role in the upcoming wedding of her stepson, Brandon Blackstock, and his bride-to-be, Kelly Clarkson, but she does have to look the part. Speaking with Country Weekly, she admitted she didn't have a dress yet. However, she also revealed, "Kelly is a huge fan of Jane Austen so I may surprise her and come with a period piece."
Are Brandon and Kelly experiencing any pre-marital stress? No way, according to Reba. "They're really excited and still madly in love and just silly giddy," she says. "Kelly's doing her Christmas album right now, so she's in L.A. and working hard on that, so we've been going out to dinner with them and hanging out."

Monday 24 June 2013

Country Bites News snippets June 17 - June 23, 2013

Country Bites News snippets June 17 - June 23, 2013



Zac Brown Band with "Jump Right In" have been added to the BBC Radio 2 "B" playlist for Week Commencing 22 June 2013

Lisa McHugh is looking forward to her homecoming performance on Sunday 30 June in Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock, Glasgow where she has invited BBC Radio Ulster’s Hugo Duncan to be her stage guest.
Tickets are now available at the Eastwood Theatre on 0141 577 4956 and online here and also at Lisa’s website.
Lisa, one of Ireland’s most popular Country music stars at present, was brought up in Glasgow, but moved to Donegal to pursue her musical career a couple of years ago.
Listen to her phone interview (Sunday June 23) with Stewart Fenwick on Celtic Music Radio who hosts "Celtic Country" every Sunday afternoon 12Noon-2pm.

It starts half way through the final hour Podcast Link

The Band Perry have so far announced 12 European dates on their 2013 “We Are Pioneers” World Tour 2013.
4 UK and 2 Irish dates have now appeared (updated June 25):
Friday 29th November 2013 - The Institute, Birmingham
(78 Digbeth High Street, Birmingham, B5 6DY) Price £19
Saturday 30th November 2013 O2 ABC, Glasgow
(300 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JA) Price £19.25
Sunday 1st December 2013 - The Ritz, Manchester
(Whitworth Street West, Manchester, M1 5NQ)
Monday 2nd December 2013 - The Forum, London
(The Forum, 9 - 17 Highgate RD, Kentish Town, NW5 1JY)

Wednesday 4th December 2013 - Vicar Street, Dublin, IE
Thursday 5th December 2013 - Mandela Hall, Belfast (75-87 University Road, Co. Antrim, Belfast NI  BT7 1NF)
(pre sale begins:Thu 27/06/2013) Buy on Ticketmaster UK
Other European dates are:
Mon 18th Nov 2013 (Stadtgarten Cologne, Germany); Tuesday 19th Nov 2013 (Knust Hamburg, Germany); Weds 20th Nov 2013 (C-Club Berlin, Germany); Fri 22nd Nov 2013 (Strom Linienclub Munich, Germany);
Mon 25th Nov 2013 (Le Divan du Monde Paris, France) and Tuesday 26th Nov 2013 (Melkweg Oude Zaal Amsterdam, Netherlands)

For Lincolnshire born Callaghan, now based in America, House concerts are providing DIY-inclined singer/songwriters, like her a way to earn a living at their craft by bringing music to fans in the purest, most intimate way and thus helping reshape the business of touring. 
Georgina Callaghan's US journey began with an email to Shawn Mullins and BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris (OBE) has endorsed her music through radio airplay. Callaghan will release a new live record “Live in America” on July 1st. Side A offering 5 songs taken from a rocking full band show in Atlanta and side B offering an acoustic session from the famous Quad Studios in Nashville.

The Haley Sisters album When I Reach The Place I’m Going was Album of the Week on BBC Radio Essex from 2-4pm.
Presenter Mark Punter played a track each day on his afternoon show. On Friday June 21st there was a live phone interview with the lovely Joanne & Becky Haley at 2:20pm
 >> Listen
Thanks to Mark Punter, Steve Cherelle & all at BBC Essex for featuring Yorkshire’s very own Fab 3's music!

Unfortunately Will Banister and Moe Bandy will not be appearing at the Americana CMF at Newark Notts on July 11th to 15th 2013 (circumstances beyond their control). There is no explaination on their respective websites.
Andrew Fairweather Low and the Low Riders will now be performing who recently finished touring with Eric Clapton.
See the ammended flyer here (JPEG) Watch out for south based Pig Earth who will appear on the Sunday the slot before the afternoon headline.

Shelby Lynne has cancelled the whole of her summer tour including her performance at Gateshead at the SummerTyne Americana Festival 2013. Please contact the ticket office for a full refund.

Mindy Smith comes to the UK very soon with Matthew Perryman Jones and loads of "baggage", appearing at:
Friday, June 28: Bristol (St. Bonaventure's Club), Sat June 29 Leeds (Seven Arts), Sun June 30 London (Bush Hall), Tues July 2nd Sheffield (Greystones), Weds July 3 Glasgow (St Andrews in the Square), Thurs July 4 Gateshead (Caedmon Hall), Sat July 6  Woodbridge (Easton Farm Park) and Sun July 7 Nottingham (Glee Club)

Rascal Flatts head to Europe over to headline seven shows in Norway, Sweden, England and Ireland.
Kicking off right after the Fourth of July holiday, the Flatts’ European concerts will occur during a two-week break from their U.S. Farmers Insurance Presents Rascal Flatts “LIVE & LOUD TOUR.”
The performances will be the second time the band has played in London but a first in all the other countries. Due to fan demand for the London date, the quick sell out resulted in a second concert being added to the schedule.
Laura Bell Bundy & UK band McKay are the support on the European legs
Sweden country artist Jill Johnson will be supporting Rascal Flatts at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 10th & 11th July
In Nov 2012 she released a duet single with Rascal Flatts called “Come Wake Me Up”. On January 11, 2013, “Changed” debuted on the Swedish Albums Chart at No.14. It is the band's first appearance and highest position on the Swedish Albums Chart to date
European Dates:
5 July Vinstra, Norway (Country Music Festival Vinstra), 6 July Gothenburg, Sweden (Tradgarn), 7 July Stockholm, Sweden (Cirkus), 10th & 11th July London (Shepherd’s Bush Empire), 13th July Killarney, Ireland (INEC) and 14th July Dublin (Olympia Theatre)

Rascal Flatts release their eighth studio album CHANGED officially in the UK on July 8th. The album includes their first UK single "Sunrise" (Promo single artwork) watch them talk about the single >> YouTube
Also it includes "Come Wake Me Up" feat. Sweden’s Jill Johnson and the title track "Changed" (Decca). It has 4 bonus tracks "Friday", "Fall Here", "Right One Time" and Track 15 "Next To You, Next To Me" ( No.1 in 1990 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles)
CHANGED, was first released in America by Big Machine Records on April 3, 2012. It debuted at No.3 on the Billboard Top 200 and No.1 on Billboard Top Country Albums selling 129,569 copies. As of the chart week June 13, 2013 the now RIAA Gold album has sold 525,710 copies and was No.38 on the Country chart. Chart Singles: Lead off single "Banjo" (No.1 on US Hot Country Songs May 12, 2012), second single "Come Wake Me Up" (No 4 Billboard Country Airplay/ No.8 Hot Country Songs) and title cut "Changed" (No.20 peak on Billboard Country Airplay)
The Country trio are comprised of Jay DeMarcus, who handles bass and vocals, along with guitarist/vocalist Joe Don Rooney and lead vocalist extraordinaire Gary LeVox.
The band have now sold more than 21 million albums and 25 million digital downloads, seeing 13 singles hit the top of the US charts, spending more than eight months collectively at #1 and winning over 40 major awards.
Listen to 4 x 30/40 sec samples at
It’s available to pre-order at Amazon UK (£13.99!) - UK iTunes (£7.99) Sainsburys (8.99 + 16 Nectar Points!)

Acoustic singer-songwriter Emily Maguire has announced the launch of her new albumBird Inside A Cage’ which will take place at Hoxton Hall in London on Friday 12th July. She’ll be performing songs from the new album with a 7-piece band including a string quartet. She is due to do a special preview show to the London album launch at Chapel Arts Centre (Event Detail) in Bath on Friday 5th July featuring the same line-up of musicians.
Book tickets for the London launch - Link
Emily's 4th album on Shaktu Records will be released on July 15th. She toured
extensively with some of the world’s great singer-songwriters including Don McLean, Eric Bibb, Paul Brady, Dennis Locorriere and Roddy Frame.

Her third album ‘Believer’, was described as a “masterpiece” according to Maverick Magazine and several of her songs have been playlisted on BBC Radio 2.
The 10-track CD ‘Bird Inside A Cage’ has been entirely financed by her fanbase after a direct video appeal which by-passed the well-known fan-funded music platforms. It has been produced by Nigel Butler (One of the producers on X Factor). The title track of the album was inspired by Melanie Reid, a Times journalist who was paralysed in a horse-riding accident in 2010 and who writes the paper’s regular “Spinal Column”. On reading Melanie’s article describing her first year in a wheelchair, Emily was moved to write ‘Bird Inside a Cage’ for her.
Watch the soulful “Beautiful” >> YouTube


On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week Ending June 29, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s new single Everything Has Changed” (Mercury) feat. Ed Sheeran, which is Now on BBC Radio 2’s “A” playlist -7-9 in its 5th retail week. Taylor’s other singles from RED saw “22” to down 13 places 53-66 in its 18th chart week. Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, fell 12 slots (59-71) on its 37th chart week

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week Ending June 29, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s RED was down 3 places (18-21) in its 35th chart week.
Lady Antebellum was down 14 slots,  65-79 in their seventh week with new album GOLDEN.
The Band Perry who debuted at No.94 last week have fallen off the chart.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending June 29, 2013)
Lady Antebellum remain at No.1 with GOLDEN (Decca) for a 7th consecutive week
The Band Perry stay at No.2 with PIONEER.
Slaid Cleaves with STILL FIGHTING THE WAR (Music Road) debuts at No.3

On the Hotdisc Chart (June 23, 2013 Chart) 

David Shelby, retained the No.1 for a third week with his debut European single, "Kick A Little Dirt Around".
Hayley Oliver Band's song, "Could I Be More Blue," makes a big move jumping up 5 places, 7-,2 and tops the British and Irish Top 10 for a second straight week
Andy Griggs’I Don’t Let Go” is one place behind at No.3 climbing 3 slots 6-3.

WANITA with “Too Country For Country” the single taken off Country Music People’s June Album of the Month THE ORIGINAL WANITA has made little impression so far and stands at No.26 up just 2 slots.  


(21 May 2013) Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally - House & Garden [Import]
13 tracks / Time: 33:51 CD - MP3  - CDBABY - UK iTunes  
See their 5 STAR review in the June issue of Country Music People
Musical partners Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally have composed a pastoral song-set that tends to a metaphorical garden, tracing life’s natural ups and downs through music, living at the intersection of bluegrass, country, folk and Americana. Their first duet CD combines the charming,effervescent wit of June Carter Cash, gracefully colliding with the shimmering vocals of Emmylou Harris - that’s only how one begins to describe Nell Robinson....One Sheet PDF File
(10 June 2013) Woody Guthrie: At 100! (Live At The Kennedy Center) [CD+DVD] 2 Discs
2 x disc set. Live 2012 tribute concert with bonus DVD. Covers by Donovan, Lucinda Williams, Judy Collins, Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, John Mellencamp, Ani DiFranco and others - Amazon UK

(13 June 2013) Autumn Rose - Autumn Rose EP (Sabrentertainment)
5 Tracks/ Time: 17:01 - MP3 

(17 June 2013) Slaid Cleaves - Still Fighting The War (Music Road Records)
13 Tracks - CD
 When Slaid Cleaves wrote the title track for his new album 'Still Fighting The War,' he had a specific subject in mind. Inspired by a Pulitzer-winning series of photos on an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD, he sought to address the plight of those returning from war and struggling to readjust to society.

(17 June 2013) Donna the Buffalo - Tonight Tomorrow & Yesterday [Import] (Welk Records/Sugar Hill Records)
14 Tracks / Time: 53:14 - CD - MP3 - UK iTunes

(18 June 2013) Hunter Hayes - Hunter Hayes (Encore) (Atlantic) Import - CD
(18 June 2013) LoCash Cowboys - Locash Cowboys (Average Joes Entertainment)
12 Tracks/ Time: 39:08 - CD - MP3

(18 June 2013) Adam Steffey - New Primitive (Organic Records)
13 Tracks/ Time: 39:24 - MP3 - UK iTunes

(24 June 2013) Lynn Miles - Downpour (Continental Song City) CD - MP3
(25 Jun 2013) Donna Ulisse - I Am a Child of God (Hadley Music) 10 Tracks / Time: 35:03 - MP3

(24 June 2013) Bill Kirchen - Seeds And Stems (Proper Records) 13 tracks - CD
Seeds And Stems is Bill Kirchen's fresh take on the roots and branches of a career that spans 45 years and began with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, founding architects of what came to be called Americana and Roots Rock 'n' Roll.
Among his dates scheduled are the SummerTyne Festival, Sage, Gateshead. See CD Review by Maurice Hope.


In their first APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) win THE McClymonts have received the Country Work of the Year award. Co-written by Samantha McClymont and respected songwriters Frank Myers and Lindsay Rimes, the song ‘Piece of Me’ has struck a chord with music critics and countless fans of the band’s country pop sound.  >> YouTube

Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey released their new album The Great Country Songbook. They joined forces to record a collection of timeless country music classics, some sung individually and others as duets. The album is collection of songs, featuring some of their biggest influences, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Hank Williams, Glen Campbell, and Aussie country icon Slim Dusty.
Here is a clip of the duo performing an intimate version of ' Slim Dusty's 'Lights On The Hill' >> YouTube


Patty Loveless was honoured by The Grand Ole Opry on her 25th Anniversary as an Opry member with memorable performances by Loveless, fellow Opry members Vince Gill and Loretta Lynn, and more. 
Loveless was inducted as an Opry member on June 11, 1988. Following an hour of Loveless solo hits, vocal collaborations, and performances by good friends of the guest of honor in front of a sold-out Opry House Saturday night, Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher honored the 25-year member with a commemorative print and words about her career. “This has been an absolutely magical night at the Grand Ole Opry. I think we have heard everything that makes country music great,” Fisher said. “If I was to describe what makes country music great, I would use the name Patty Loveless,” he continued, describing Loveless as doing everything with “grace, humility, and excellence.” more at

Sony/ATV has signed singer-songwriter Jack Ingram to a publishing deal. Ingram notched three Top 10 singles as a recording artist and is currently finishing up a new album project. Ingram splits his time between Austin, Texas and Nashville.

Keith Urban will get a chance to display a very different side to his musicianship when blues great Buddy Guy releases his next album, titled 'Rhythm & Blues,' in July. Urban appears with Guy on a track titled 'One Day Away.'
The pair have collaborated before, teaming up with blues pioneer B. B. King and John Mayer for a performance at the Grammy Awards in 2009.

Jimmy Wayne’s rescued Chihuahua, Ruby (image), is the inspiration behind the singer/songwriter’s new line of dog snacks and toys, Ruby’s Pet Treats are available in his online store. A percentage of each item sold benefits both The Humane Society of Genesee County in Michigan (a no-kill animal shelter) and Wayne’s charity, Project Meet me Halfway, which helps care for teens in foster care programs who are at risk for homelessness.
Jimmy spent much of his childhood in and out of foster homes and has become an advocate for foster children and the foster care system. Wayne is best known for his hits “Do You Believe Me Now,” “Stay Gone,” and “I Love You This Much.” He adopted Ruby in 2010.
Ruby’s Pet Treats offers Peanut Butter Biscuits (Ruby’s favorite snack! - Image)

Country duo LoCash Cowboys were involved in a serious bus accident Friday, June 14. The duo was on the interstate enroute to a show in Marinette, Wisconsin when the right front tire popped propelling the bus across a 10-foot median, two lanes of traffic, and over a 4-foot wall into a ditch. No serious injuries to the band and crew were reported, and all remaining shows throughout the weekend went off without a hitch thanks to the band’s determination and several rental cars.
The bus driver was really the hero in all of this,” said the duo’s Chris Lucas. "He manhandled the bus and miraculously somehow kept it from flipping over." LoCash’s Preston Brust added, "It was unbelievable. The driver literally saved our lives."
Their new self titled debut is now out (June 18th) produced by Jeffrey Steele, Noah Gordon and Shannon “Fat Shan” Houchins. Locash’s Preston Brust and Chris Lucas co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks on the offering.

Little Big Town and Trisha Yearwood both snagged Daytime Emmy Awards. 'Trisha's Southern Kitchen,' (in its third season) tied for the Outstanding Culinary Program while Little Big Town got Outstanding Original Song for the tune they wrote for 'Good Afternoon America. This has been a great year for Yearwood, as she not only has seen success in her cooking show, but also in her confidence. After losing two dress sizes, she has newfound strength — and it’s infiltrating every aspect of her life.

Dr Pepper is highlighting TNA Impact Wrestling star/country music artist/equestrian Mickie James as a One of a Kind personality as part of its “/1” advertising campaign. In a new video breaking this week and airing exclusively online, Dr Pepper highlights the eight-time women’s champion in the ring, on the stage and riding horseback.
The Dallas Cowboys official magazine (Swimsuit  June issue) have flagged Mickie as a Star Watch feature

Danielle Bradbery has been crowned champion of "The Voice" Season 4. This season was heavily country music centric as the show's Top 6 featured 4 country artists then the top 5 featured 4 country artists and the top 3 featured two.
Danielle joins Cassadee Pope as Country winners from Team Blake [Shelton]. Bradberry wins a UMG Record deal (not Republic as in years past)
Danielle talks Shy Beginnings! >> YouTube

He's stolen her heart! Love and Theft's Stephen Barker Liles popped the question (June 18) to longtime love Jenna Michelle Kennedy in Fort Myers, Fla., the singer told PEOPLE exclusively.
"I had one of my closest friends, Justin Ross Ward, drive down and set up cameras," says Liles, 29, about the surprise proposal. "Jenna and I were planning on a sunset dinner at Fresh Catch Bistro, and I called ahead and told them … to say that the table wouldn't be ready for 30 minutes so that we had to kill some time and walk on the beach."
After convincing his bride-to-be to "take her wedges off," the couple strolled to the beach, where Kennedy, 26, saw the cameras set up.

US Tours
Crash His Party: "My favorite kind of party is just being on stage," says Luke Bryan, if you're looking to crash it. He's currently crisscrossing the country with the Dirt Road Diaries Tour and Luke is making sure everyone is high on summertime, by sticking with spring. "We try to turn all our shows into a kind of Spring Break feel, so that’s my deal. You know, just have some beer, some sunshine and some pretty country girls out there shaking it a little

A horrific Midwest Storm could not stop Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Nation tour as over 50,000 converge at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. So when the torrential rain started falling, the songwriter/entertainer from Luttrell, TN kept close watch on the weather - ultimately, delaying the start time by 30 minutes. Read more SONY Press 
Kenny Chesney hit Platinum Tickets in early June. He’s already at 1,089,000 tickets & still selling - Press Release

CMA Songwriters Series will return to the Royale Boston Nightclub in Boston on July 11 to celebrate nine years. Miranda Lambert, Kip Moore, Brett James and Bob DiPiero, who will also serve as the evening’s host, will perform, sharing stories behind their hit songs.

Republic Nashville duo Florida Georgia Line appeared on the season finale of NBC-TV’s "THE VOICE" . The pair performed
"Cruise" with NELLY on June 18. It was also happy 37th birthday to judge Blake Shelton. Hunter Hayes did a duet with one of the finalists.

Kellie Pickler (Black River Entertainment) co-hosted ABC Television’s “The View” on June 18, 2013 alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, where she discussed her recent win on Dancing With The Stars and her upcoming new album, due to be released later this year. During the show, Pickler performed her new single, “Someone Somewhere Tonight,” for the first time on television - EB Media

Buddy Miller is to replace T Bone Burnett as the executive music producer of TV show “Nashville”.
According to The Hollywood Reporter T Bone Burnett will not return for the show’s second season. Buddy Miller, who worked alongside Burnett during season one, will take over Burnett’s role. Burnett is married to Nashville creator Callie Khouri, and also produced and co-produced songs featured on the show. “T Bone’s schedule this year is so overwhelming with the Llweyn Davis movie coming out and several other producing projects that he has: Elton John’s record and so on,” Khouri told The Hollywood Reporter.

Hayden Panettiere wants P. Diddy to appear on 'Nashville'. The 23-year-old actress - who plays damaged but driven country singer Juliette Barnes on the TV show - has already been confirmed for the second series, and she wants the 'Hello Good Morning' rapper to guest star and do a duet with her. She said: "I want P. Diddy to be on the show. I was like, 'Let's mix it up a bit, we could do a duet! That would be pressure."


Blaster Records singer and songwriter Jared Ashley and his wife Taylor welcomed their first child, daughter Georgia McClain Ashley, to the family on Fathers Day 2013! The couple, who have been married since May 2011,. The 7 lb. 2 oz. 19” baby girl was born the evening of Sunday, June 9 in Nashville to the first time parents.
This whole process has been and continues to be such an amazing experience,” confides Ashley to Country Weekly.I never imagined I could love someone so much in an instant.  I just pray she grows up to look like her mother!
Jared and his wife Taylor both grew up in Georgia - the namesake of their first-born. Ashley’s just released single, “Last Train To Memphis,” is currently at radio and iTunes now. (Source: Monarch Publicity)

Congratulations to Clay Walker and wife Jessica on the birth of their son Saturday (June 15th).
It’s a boy for Clay Walker! according to a tweet issued by the singer. So, Father’s Day came a day early for the country star. What a terrific present! "Happy Fathers Day to me," tweeted Walker. "Elijah Craig Walker ... 7.8 lbs. ... a blessing to his mama and me ...God bless u Fathers."


"Red" the title track of Taylor Swift's latest album will impact radio June 24th

Hit songwriter Chris Stapleton released his debut solo single to radio on Monday June 17.
The Grammy-nominated musician has had more than 170 song cuts by artists as diverse as Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Adele, as well as co-writing with such luminaries as Vince Gill, Peter Frampton and Sheryl Crow.
'What Are You Listening To?'(Live Performance - Cover Art is Stapleton's first solo single for Mercury Nashville, and it's already receiving acclaim from noted Nashville critic Robert Oermann, who called it "sublimely soulful" and dubbed Stapleton "the Next Great Vocalist in country music...his powerful singing has always deserved its own spotlight." Stapleton has just landed a slot on the fall leg of the Locked and Reloaded tour with Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley, kicking off Oct. 10 in Lincoln, Neb.

Stephanie Quayle, following an enthusiastic performance to record crowds at this year’s CMA Music Festival, rising talent, Montana native, has digitally released her brand new single “Stand Back.” Set to hit radio waves this August, “Stand Back” (co-written by Quayle), is an up-tempo testament to the strength of a woman. Celebrating the release, Billboard has featured Quayle in the 615 Spotlight: CLICK HERE
It’s written by Stephanie Quayle, Mindy Ellis Campbell and Mark Carson. Lyric video >> YouTube

Donna Ulisse will release a collection of her favorite gospel songs on June 25; the release, called I AM A CHILD OF GOD, includes two new songs (which she co-produced with guitar virtuoso Bryan Sutton), “Wait a Little Longer, Please, Jesus” (Bluegrass artist Larry Stephenson guests) and “This is My Father’s World.” - Cover Art
The CD will include gospel songs from “When I Look Back”, “Walk This Mountain Down” and An Easy Climb and will be titled I Am A Child of God which was a song
 harmonies on Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus with her while The Isaacs made a guest appearance on the latter.

Travis Tritt will release "THE CALM AFTER.." (Post Oak Recordings) on July 9th. This is a re-release 4 of 2007 album THE STORM with 2 additional new songs "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" (New single recorded with his daughter, Tyler Reese) and "Stay With Me" (a cover of the Patty Smyth and Don Henley duet).In 2013, Tritt acquired the rights to "The Storm", his tenth studio album, in order to re-release it.

29-year-old Miranda Lambert is beginning to work on her fifth album, and she says she feels the pressure now more than ever. I freak out every time. I'm like a basket case when it's time to make a record," she tells AZ Central. "I get so nervous as to 'Is this gonna work? Is this gonna be the album that stops selling, that stops getting nominated?' I know that I can't live like that. I can't do my whole career like that. But it definitely crosses my mind." The singer-songwriter hints that the new set of tunes will be different from her FOUR THE RECORD album - "I think I'm just gonna have fun because I've been serious a lot," she notes. "I've written songs about killing people and sad songs, and I really want to do a tour that's just a lot of fun, so I want to do an album with more fun songs."
Lambert will head into the studio in August to record the new album. She has a full summer schedule, including taking over dates that were originally scheduled for the Pistol Annies.

Joey+Rory will release a brand new studio recording titled "SONGS OF FAITH & FAMILY" set to release July 16. It is comprised of tried-and-true gospel favorites combined with newer songs, written fresh from their own experiences.
They bring together songs that uniquely express the couple's journey of faith, honesty, country living and love of gospel.
Listen to a song sampler -

Sarah Jarosz, the acclaimed 22-year-old singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is to release BUILD ME UP FROM BONES on October 1st via Sugar Hill Records. “Build Me Up From Bones” was recorded in the midst of Jarosz’s final semester at the prestigious New England Conservatory (where she graduated with honours) and a rigorous touring schedule.  Following her mid-May graduation, she flew straight to Nashville to put the finishing touches on the album.

Brett Eldredge (Atlantic Records) revealed the artwork and track listing for his debut album, BRING YOU BACK. The "powerhouse vocalist" wrote 11 of the 12 songs featured on the album due August 6 including his current hit single, “Don’t Ya,” which is closing in on the Top 10 at country radio.

Big Machine Records has released the DANCE Y’ALL (Volume 1) EP, a digital compilation featuring amped up mixes. The five-song project, which showcases buoyant tunes from Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) artists Florida Georgia Line (" Party People"), Thomas Rhett ("Front Porch Junkies"), Laura Bell Bundy ("Two Step ") and Greg Bates ("Go Time" & "Did It For The Girl"), is available now on iTunes &

Gwen Sebastian will release her SELF-TITLED CD (Warner Music Nashville) on Tuesday, June 25 and it will be distributed by. 
Sebastian's new CD contains the hit single "Suitcase" which she co-wrote with songwriter Nicole Witt and is gaining high praise from radio and journalists alike.  "As usual, Gwen sings with loads of moxie, fire and personality. As both a performer and a writer, she's  a talent to be reckoned with," Robert K. Oermann, Music Row wrote. 
"This is a game-changing record! This is absolutely one of the best written songs I've heard in years, and Gwen absolutely knocks it out of the park! This is "song of the year" caliber! I can't wait to be a part of the story with this record!"  J.R. Schumann - WWKA/Orlando, FL stated.
The album includes special guests such as Miranda Lambert and Gwen's parents who sing background vocals on "One Like That."

Jo Dee Messina has officially surpassed her goal on her Kickstarter campaign with three days to spare.
867 backers contributed $112,448 of a $100,000 pledge goal
It’s a Delicious Surprise for Jo Dee! - Critics and some fans may have chastised multi-platinum recording artist Jo Dee for launching a Kickstarter to raise $100,000 in a month to fund her new album project, but her loyal fans opened their wallets. She tweeted Jo Dee Messina @jodeemessina  WE HAVE A RECORD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU DID IT! THE GREATEST FREAKIN FANS ON THE PLANET!!!
The project would only be funded if at least $100,000 was pledged by Sunday June 23. With a few days to go to try to reach the target on Facebook she posted: Hmmmmm.  My husband just had a good point. If 5 thousand people backed at $5 we would be able to make record. We have 80,000 followers
The money over the $100,000 will now go to marketing and promotion.

Upon reaching the goal, an excited Messina noted that the project has become more than backing an album; it’s a testament to the limitless possibilities of artist and fan collaboration.
The people are the ones that make music possible.  They are the ones that come to the shows, request the songs, and get the records. When I first started the campaign, many folks didn’t get it. The ones that took the time to learn about it got that this project is something we are all doing together. Once again the fans have shown their love and loyalty. I am truly grateful.”

Less than 200 fans backed the $1 and $5 pledges. Here is the breakdown:
34 backers $1 (tier 1 , name on a wall mural), 163 backers at $5 (Tier 2; exclusive early download of new single "Woman's Rant") , 180 backers at $25 (Tier 3; exclusive first download of album + 8x10 photo), 253 backers at $50 (early copy of CD + backer-exclusive limited edition t-Shirt) , 172 backers $100 (Tier 5; personally signed new CD + exclusive 8x10 photo from the recording session), 12 backers at  $500 (personal phone call with Jo Dee + signed limited edition 18x24 poster), 13 backers at $1000 (Tier 7, Meet & Greet hang out, signed scrapbook, 2 show tickets), 6 backers at $2,500 and more, 2 backers at $7,500 (tier 10, dinner at your house with Jo Dee cooked by her hubby Chris) , 2 backers at $10,000 (Tier 1- 5 + Tier 11, Acoustic House Concert, a night you won't forget (in a good way!)


The Roys' GYPSY RUNAWAY TRAIN project continues to build steam as the duo's new video made its world premiere

28 Entertainment announced the acquisition of the story rights to George Jones and his wife Nancy for a feature film project about the incredible life and career of the iconic country singer.  The project, written by Dennis L. Baxter and produced by Baxter and 28 Entertainment’s Jay Hoffman and Brian A.Hoffman, depicts George's life as a country music legend while battling his personal demons..

Virginia-based singer/songwriter Mike Aiken's "Save The Whales" video offers compelling vintage film clips and photos interspersed with more modern images to drive home the deadly-serious issue of whale extinction. 
This song captures a subtle mix of the romance of the sea and the reality of modern day slaughter. It can be found on his sixth album CAPTAINS & COWBOYS on Amazon UK - Read full Press Release

Dierks Bentley on a short break from the Miranda Lambert and: Locked & Reloaded Tour dates, is headlining some of the summer’s biggest festivals with a hit-packed show that has the capacity crowds on their feet from the first notes of “Am I the Only One” at the top through the final patriotic chants of the crowd with the emotional closing song “Home.” 

Joel Crouse (Show Dog Universal Music) debuted his first music video, “If You Want Some,” on (Thursday, June 20) - EB Media

Dolly Parton is featured in a second of a series of Ringgold, Georgia popular history markers. The Ringgold Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) recently unveiled the second in a series of historical narrative tablets. They highlight the unique wedding history of Ringgold and the first included connections with Country Music Hall of Famer Gov. Jimmie Davis, Gospel Music Hall of Famer Anna Carter Gordon Davis and Jefferson Airplane musician Bob Harvey.
Georgia Dolly Parton was married in the church on May 30, 1966 - Image

Released June 18th, TONIGHT, TOMORROW AND YESTERDAY finds Donna the Buffalo more energized and focused than ever before in their near 25-year career.


CMA Close Up by Sarah Skates - Thompson Square Downplays Duets on Just Feels GoodKeifer and Shawna Thompson explore new avenues and share stories of their personal and professional voyage on Just Feels Good, the second album they’ve
released as Thompson Square. “We wanted to really open up our lives to everybody on this album,” Keifer explained. “It’s literally a soundtrack to our lives over the last 13 or 15 years.”.....Read More


Fatea Album Review - The Good Intentions  Album: Travelling Companion (Drumfire)…Call me partisan but I have to say that the far North West of England, between the Mersey and the Ribble Estuaries has produced some of the finest writers of Americana music this country has ever had. I'm thinking here of Michael Weston King [Southport], Gary Hall [Preston] and last but not least Peter Davies [Liverpool]……Amazon UK

Jetset Magazine - Reba McEntire interview: Reba A Powerhouse of Talent and Heart

Texas Music: Jason Boland's voice always reminds me of classic country artists like Alan Jackson, Don Williams or even Bobby Bare. His style is pure country. And his new single "Dark and Dirty Mile" continues the tradition of great Country music!
>> Audio

Sarah Darling broke the Top 40 at Country Radio with her last single, "Home To Me," she's back with "Little Umbrellas," a spirited and light-hearted, groove-filled summer -

Listen to  Kiss Up Time” >> Audio  Impressed?
This is Elizabeth Price, a country-pop singer from Kerrville, Texas. She is only 12-years-old and has already recorded a full debut album in Nashville!
She has a record deal and signed with Playback Records Nashville the youngest artist they have ever signed.
Over the years President of Playback Records Jack Gale has produced artists from  Kitty Wells and Frankie Lane through to Johnny Cash, Del Reeves and Johnny Paycheck, and in the sixties produced ‘Mr Bassman’ for a sixteen year old rising star called Johnny Cymbal. Some months ago he heard Elizabeth for the first time and was so impressed that along with colleague and fellow producer Jim Pierce they sought her out and recorded her in Nashville, with the resulting ‘Kiss Up Time’ album release.
The album released back on Nov 8, 2012 is available digitally on Amazon UK and UK iTunes and available to stream on or
Spotify - Elizabeth Price – Kiss Up Time 
New meets Old! -  The Price was right for Brian Clough
Elizabeth Price (L)

It was made Album Of The Week on June 15, 2013 on the American Connection Country Music Radio Show and she was the youngest artist Brian Clough has ever played in 30 years of broadcasting country music.
About - The American Connection Country Show goes live each Saturday morning 6am GMT and you can listen back/download the podcast shows at anytime. It is presented by broadcaster Brian Clough who has been the voice of country in North East England for years, working for many of the local and regional stations. In May 2010 CMA International Director Bobbi Boyce presented Brian with the CMA International Country Broadcaster Award for outstanding services to Country Music.
Description The American Connection is an across the board look at country music old and new with an eclectic mix of all genres from country folk, rock, bluegrass, contemporary, traditional, to Cajun and tex mex.
For the latest show go to
** If you join the American Connection Facebook Page and Click “Like” you automatically go into a free monthly draw. The latest prize is a pair of tickets for the opening night of the SummerTyne Americana Festival at The Sage in Gateshead to see The Mavericks!


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?

LoCash Cowboys – LoCash Cowboys - Debut album released 18th June

Kayla Taylor – Watch Me Fly - EP - Her debut single "See You In Summer" has been sent to radio and has a Impact date of July 15, 2013
Rachelle Lamb – L-O-V-E - Rachelle Lamb, former "American Idol" Contestant turned Recording Artist for 80 Proof Music Group, brings you her new single "L-O-V-E". This self-penned saga packed full of humor and laced with truth is sure to leave an impression. You’re gonna L-O-V-E it ? The Single Impacted radio on June 12, 2013

Lynn Miles – Downpour – The Canadian singer-songwriter brand new June 24th release
Gwen Sebastian – Gwen Sebastian - Brand new SELF-TITLED album out June 25.

Stephanie Quayle "Love You Like That" (256kbps MP3) -

The way to go with for those beer drinking country songs? Check out The first playable beer. 19th Century technology meets 21st Century music over a bottle of beer in the latest extension to the Beck’s Record Label project.
This time, the art label has evolved, and been replaced by the grooves of Auckland band Ghost Wave. Their new single was inscribed into the surface of a Beck’s beer bottle which could then be played on a specially-built device based on Thomas Edison’s original cylindrical phonograph -

Travis Tritt featuring his daughter Tyler Reese Tritt “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough" >> YouTube

New video from Kaylee Bell "Heart First" (2013 Australian Toyota Star Maker Video)
 >> YouTube

Patty Griffin Video Clips from Another Country with Ricky Ross on BBC Radio Scotland -
Amanda Shires trailer for her upcoming album, Down Fell the Doves -

They've penned hits for artists like The Band Perry, - and now family band The Henningsens are garnering acclaim on their own. See why everyone's (I wish!) buzzing about this trio with this performance of "I Miss You" from their self-titled EP.
Watch Arista Nashville trio The Henningsens perform it and Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" on Yahoo! Music's Ram Country

Baby A: "Next show ... I'll be a mom," said Hillary Scott before Lady Antebellum took the stage Saturday (6/15) in Hunter, NY. They performed their last show together before Hillary takes maternity leave and the band decided to document the occasion with a Webisode Wednesday. Apologies to Fleetwood Mac for their treatment of “Landslide” 
>> YouTube


In the “Taylor by Taylor Swift” perfume advert shoot, Taylor is seen wearing a Free People Juliet Off Shoulder Dress ($148.00). You can get a similar dress from Thread Sence ($44.00).

Miley Cyrus has dismissed rumours she has sided with her mother in the wake of her parents' split.

Jake Owen says he punched a kid in the 4th grade once because he stole his Capri Sun out of his lunch bag

Hayden Panettiere has revealed her favourite pub belongs to a Southern "Santa Claus". The 'Nashville' says the place she most likes to drink at in Tennessee is run by a Father Christmas lookalike in a trailer because it has a fantastic atmosphere and karaoke. Hayden, 23, is a fan of Santa's Pub because she doesn't get bothered there by paparazzi. She told Stylist magazine: "We have this amazing place in Nashville called Santa's Pub. It's literally a double-wide trailer. "The guy who runs it has a white beard and looks just like Santa Claus, minus the belly”

The Giving Tree: "I'm off to work on some songwriting under a tree," tweeted Shania Twain with a pic of herself doing the job. "I will spend a lot of the summer thinking about my next album." - Image

Taylor Swift - Happy Father's Day and a shout out to my fantastic dad for loving me even when I wore outfits like this -Image

Florida Georgia Line Press Photo

Gretchen Wilson (Age 40 - June 26, 1973), Lorrie Morgan (Age 54, June 27, 1959), George Morgan (June 28, 1925),
Kellie Pickler (Age 27, June 28, 1986) 


Slim Whitman, the yodeller/singer known for the 1952 hit "Indian Love Call," died Wednesday (June 19th) in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 90. His death from heart failure was confirmed by his son-in-law.
Read the Obituary Blog Review, looking at his career highlights, International fame and UK chart success.

Fletcher “Keith” Adkinson, who was the attorney for the Estate of Hank Williams, passed away Wednesday (June 19) at the age of 69. Adkinson was also husband to entertainer Jett Williams.

Chet Flippo, Editorial Director of CMT and, passed away, at age 69 early in the morning of Wednesday (June 19). The revered journalist helped shine a national spotlight on country music.
Flippo’s wife Martha Hume, also a noted music journalist and author, died on December 17, 2012. Friends believe he never recovered from the loss. “Chet Flippo is the man who took country music out of the country and sent it around the world through Rolling Stone magazine,” explains journalist and friend Hazel Smith. “He knew that country music was a good as any other kind of music and he represented it 100 percent.”

This is a stunning loss to all of us,” says CMT President Brian Philips. “Chet was a stoic Texan, fiercely loyal and intensely private. He was honest to the core and widely regarded as a bit enigmatic, even among his closest colleagues. For all, it was a terrific privilege to work with Chet Flippo”.
Flippo was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism.
From 1991 to 1994 Flippo was a lecturer in journalism at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, before moving to Nashville to work for Billboard. He has received the Country Music Association’s 1998 CMA Media Achievement Award.
In 2006, The International Country Music Conference (ICMC) honored Flippo with the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism.

Alan Jackson - “Chet respected the importance of real country music – he had a genuine understanding of its history and a true appreciation for it,” Jackson told Billboard in an exclusive statement “He was out there telling the world about country music long before it was the ‘cool’ thing to talk about. He told it like he saw it, and I’m glad he did.”
Taylor Swift offered her condolences through Twitter. “We’ve lost Chet Flippo, one of my favorite journalists, who devoted his life to writing about music from a place of integrity. So sad,” she wrote.
Kenny Chesney - “Chet Flippo may be best known as one of Rolling Stone’s most famous critics, but he was also a smart, willing-to-tell-the-truth advocate of country music,” said in a statement.
Brad Paisley - “Oh man, just found out Chet Flippo, a great country music journalist, has died. He was brilliant. He will be missed,”