Monday, 17 June 2013

Country Bites News snippets June 10 - June 16, 2013

Country Bites News snippets June 10 – June 16, 2013



Josh Ritter is heading out on an acoustic tour in Europe this Autumn with Zack Hickman and Josh Kaufman. Josh, Josh, & Zack will be playing new acoustic arrangements of favourite songs >> YouTube
Tickets went on sale Friday June 14. Dates include: Oct 27 Pocklington (Center for the Arts), Oct 28 Manchester (Royal Northern College of Music), Oct 29 Glasgow  (Old Fruitmarket), Oct 30 Bristol  (St. George's Church) and Nov 10th London (Barbican) supporting Tift Merritt.

Country/Folk/ Jazz artist Rebecca Hollweg celebrates her birthday on Sunday 30th June with a band gig that night at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean St, Soho, London W1.
This is a return for her to the flagship Pizza Express music venue after many years. She’ll be playing with a full band: Andy Hamill on bass, Phil Peskett on piano, Mike Outram on guitar and Justin Woodward on drums.

Court Yard Hounds new single "Sunshine" has been added to the BBC Radio 2 "C" playlist for the Week commencing June 15, 2013. The Band Perry "Done" which was on the B-list for some 4 weeks was been pulled.

BBC Radio 2's Record of the Week is Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran "Everything Has Changed" (Big Machine / Universal) with an official single release date of 15th July 2013. It can be heard every day this week on the Ken Bruce (showpage) and Alex Lester (2-5am) shows.

U.S. singer Bob Dylan will embark on a 33-date tour of Europe starting in Oslo on Oct. 10 and ending at London's Royal Albert Hall on Nov. 28, a statement on his website said.


On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week Ending June 22, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s new single Everything Has Changed” (Mercury) feat. Ed Sheeran, which is BBC Radio 2’s record of the week, jumped up 46 places moving 53-7 in its 4th retail week. The duo performed it on last weekend’s final of Britain’s Got Talent. Taylor’s other singles from RED saw “22” go up 15 places 68-53 in its 17th chart week. Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, also moved up 78-59 on its 36th chart week.

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week Ending June 22, 2013)

Taylor Swift’s RED was up 7 places, moving 25-18 in its 34th chart week.
Lady Antebellum was up one place 66-65 in their sixth week with new album GOLDEN.
The Band Perry with their June 10th UK release with PIONEER (Decca) made their debut at No.94. Their self titled titled debut peaked at No.46 on the UK Official 100 chart on March 31, 2012.

Of note remarkably frontman Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler (along with Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk) made chart history with “13” Black Sabbath's first No.1 album in nearly 43 years on sales of 47,694 copies.After a closely fought battle, the heavy metal legends finished the week a rather apt 13,000 copies ahead of BE by Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye (Number 2).
The last time Black Sabbath were Number 1 in the UK was 42 years and eight months ago in October 1970, with their second album, Paranoid. Sabbath now hold the Official Albums Chart record for the biggest gap between Number 1 albums.
Total UK album sales for the week 15 June ammounted to 1,501,016 (-4.02%)
After The Eagles BBC2's screening of their documentary feature History Of The Eagles helped their 2003 compilation The Complete Greatest Hits to vault 61-9 to equal its 2006 peak. It sold 14,192 copies last week to raise its overall sales to 512,491.
Rascal Flatts has an official full UK release date on July 1st for their album CHANGED

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending June 22, 2013)

Lady Antebellum remain at No.1 with GOLDEN (Decca) for a 6th week
The Band Perry debut at No.2 with PIONEER.
Last weeks No.2 Lonestar with LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (4 STAR) fell back 8 places, moving 2-10.
Former No.1 Tim McGraw’s TWO LANES OF FREEDOM rebounds 5-3 in its 14th chart week. While Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) slipped back 3-6 in her 9th week.
Eliza Gilkyson with PARADISE HOTEL reappears on the chart at No.14.

On the Hotdisc Chart (June 16, 2013 Chart) 

David Shelby, retained the No.1 for a second week with his debut European single, "Kick A Little Dirt Around". Former No.1 “Louisiana Love” by the Lawrence John Project, moved 2-3 while Nicki Gillis switched places as she slipped 2-3.
Andy Griggs’ “I Don’t Let Go” (10-6) and the Hayley Oliver Band (11-7) all climb inside the Top 10 while Mike Aiken with “Coal Train” is the only debutant in the top 20, moving up two slots 21-19.
Hayley Oliver Band's song, "Could I Be More Blue," which features legendary guitarist Albert Lee, moved up one slot to the Top of the British and Irish Top 10. Ironically The Hayley Oliver Band have overtaken her own song "Right Person At The Right Time" (#2) which spent 8 weeks at the top (April 21 – June 9, 2013). It has destroyed her chances of becoming the Hotdisc track of the year which goes to the song which spends the longest amount of weeks at number 1 in the homegrown chart. So it's a bittersweet week for the lovely and popular female singer.
Rob Allen with “Pale Rider” held the No.1 for nine weeks beginning on the chart week of July 8, 2012.


(May 20, 2013) Various Artists - The Music of Nashville Original Soundtrack, Volume 2
11 tracks / Time: 37:17 CD - MP3

(27 May 2013) The Henningsens - The Henningsens EP 4 tracks Time: 15:19 (£2.49) MP3

(10 Jun 2013) The Band Perry - Pioneer (Decca)
12 tracks/ Time: 46:11 CD - MP3
The Guardian (Rating: 3 Stars) - On the evidence of their second album, sibling trio The Band Perry are held together by both blood and bluster. Unlike their country peers who trade on finely turned lyricism, the Perrys embrace old-fashioned rocking out, and relish sinking their teeth into meaty hooks. Thanks to Kimberly Perry's lusty, belting voice, they're at their best when they whip up an emotional storm she can lose herself in. On Pioneer's finest moments, she plays the wronged woman with ferocity. Cleverly, the violence inherent in Better Dig Two (co-written by Brandy Clark, a very gifted young songwriter) and Chainsaw is deflected away from their ex-lovers – but the menace in her voice is unmistakeable. Elsewhere, the album sags when the songs fall back on traditional tropes and are unable to match the performative bombast – but the glam stomp of Done and the uncharacteristically fancy-free I'm a Keeper demonstrate exactly where the Band Perry's strengths lie.

(11 Jun 2013) Jason Isbell - Southeastern [Import] (Southeastern Records) - CD 

(24 Jun 2013) Court Yard Hounds - Sunshine (Columbia) 4 track EP / Time: 15:25 - MP3   US iTunes


Ron Block’s new album, WALKING SONG, is coming out on Rounder Records, July 30, 2013. In recent years, he has also come to prominence for his writings about Christian theology and spirituality.

Over six months after its official release, Lee Kernaghan’s latest Hit album, BEAUTIFUL NOISE is the #1 Australian Artist release on this week’s ARIA Country Album Sales Chart. At No.3 behind Taylor Swift and John Fogerty (#1), “Beautiful Noise” features the #1 Australian Country Singles ‘Beautiful Noise’ and ‘Ute Me’ and the album’s latest single ‘Flying With The King’, which has already climbed to #4 on the CMC Top 30 Countdown.


The Pistol Annies has canceled its upcoming appearances and Miranda Lambert has absorbed the trio’s performance dates as a solo act. A statement from the promoter sent to local media explains: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Pistol Annies are unable to appear on any dates in June but Miranda Lambert will perform instead.” The trio is expected to continue making music and touring.

Tate Stevens the Syco Music/RCA Nashville recording artist and FOX Television’s “The X Factor” Season 2 winner made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry last Saturday (June 8). The show segment featuring Stevens was hosted by Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member Mel Tillis.

Award-winning trio Gloriana (Tom Gossin, Rachel Reinert and Mike Gossin) celebrated their first platinum certified hit single “(Kissed You) Good Night” with fans last week during CMA Music Fest. Gloriana celebrated career success with “(Kissed You) Good Night” as the most played single by a group at Country Radio in 2012.

Naomi Judd Speaks Out Against CMT. In a letter to Nashville newspaper The Tennesseean she took issue at the way CMT handled the mention of George Jones’ death and the continuous “blending” of multiple genres and more at the annual CMT Music Awards -"George Jones is to country music what The Beatles are to pop, the Rolling Stones to rock, Elvis to rockabilly, Mozart to classical and Aretha to soul. Yet, the “Country” Music Television awards show allowed only a “by the way” mention of Jones’ death and legacy. Incongruously, they chose alternative music group the Mavericks to perform their short version of George’s “The Race Is On.”...I realize speaking out will cause me to now be forever banned by CMT. But I’m tired of folks messing with my country music. Especially when it involves my dear friend George Jones"

15-year old Lizzie Sider wowed the crowd at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon when she and her full band took the stage to perform an hour-and-a-half set of impressive original tunes and polished covers... Despite her young age, Lizzie already exhibits the poise of a seasoned entertainer. Well-written but youthful original tunes, reminiscent of early Taylor Swift.

Toby Keith will bring in friends Garth Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson and Trisha Yearwood to help him perform at the July 6 Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert. The show will be held at the University of Oklahoma's Memorial Stadium in Norman, with proceeds to benefit the United Way Of Central Oklahoma's May Tornadoes Relief Fund.

The 44th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame ceremony was full of star power that included Alison Krauss and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Holly Knight, JD Souther and Tony Hatch were inducted Thursday into the Songwriters Hall 2013 class in New York City.

Live performances during the 2013 CMT Music Awards saw digital sales spikes for every artist on the show which aired June 5. The biggest gainers were Kacey Musgraves, "Blowin' Smoke" (up 118%), Lady Antebellum, "Goodbye Town" (88%), Taylor Swift, "Red" (84%) and Carrie Underwood, "See You Again"(69%). Ashley Monroe, who was of the six acts featured on the Nationwide Insurance side stage saw sales for her song "Weed Instead of Roses" rise by 882%!

Brad Paisley will take the stage with the Rolling Stones on June 18th for the first of their two shows at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Smell Of Fame: Taylor Swift was named 2013 Fragrance Celebrity of the Year at the Fragrance Foundation Awards Wednesday night (6/12) at Lincoln Center in New York. Taylor was honored for her “Taylor by Taylor Swift”, “Wonderstruck” and “Wonderstruck Enchanted” perfumes.

Kellie Pickler the now Black River Entertainment recording artist will co-host and perform on ABC Television’s The View on Tuesday, June 18. Fresh off her win of ABC’s "Dancing With The Stars," the starlet will talk about her own hot topics alongside
Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Additionally, Pickler will perform her new single, “Someone Somewhere Tonight,” for the first time on television. The song will be featured on her upcoming new album, which will be released later this year. (Source EB Media )

US Tour News
This past weekend Brad Paisley’s Beat This Summer Tour presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store played to over 52,000 fans in Cincinnati.

Toby Keith has begun his Hammer Down Tour, and will be visiting the Detroit area on June the 16th - Setlist Image-
Additionally new music from chart-topping singer-songwriter Toby Keith will delight his fans and music lovers beginning June 11 as “Drinks After Work” arrives at country radio. The single is the first release from an as-yet untitled album due later this year.
“Drinks After Work” celebrates “havin’ fun, two-for-one” and the end of the “ball and chain for the suits and skirts – it’s just drinks after work.” The new song is sure to be an immediate favorite at Keith’s standing-room-only live shows, which resume June 8 in Ozark, AR as he puts the hammer down on the Hammer Down Tour, presented by Ford F-Series. Joining him are Kip Moore and Drake White

The CMA Songwriters Series returns to the acclaimed Joe's Pub in New York City for a special two-night event on Tuesday, July 23 and Wednesday, July 24. Celebrating nine remarkable years, the CMA Songwriters Series features special guests Brett Eldredge, Steve Wariner, and songwriter Bob DiPiero, who will also serve as the evening’s host. Read more at CMA

MUSIC NEWS Myspace returns with new streaming capabilities, mobile app, and star-curated radio. Extract: Don’t look now, but Myspace is back — for real this time. The old social network is now Myspace (no capital S), a full-scale music destination designed to bring artists and fans together.
When we bought it in 2011, it was so mismanaged, I don’t know what it was,” says Tim Vanderhook, who purchased Myspace with his brother Chris and now serves as its CEO….Justin Timberlake, operates as the creative director and has an ownership stake in the company...Chris Vanderhook told EW. “We have over 53 million songs, with all the majors and indies, plus we have five million unsigned artists who upload millions of songs. That’s what gives us the largest library in the world.”


Dierks Bentley’s wife Cassidy is having their third child this fall and he just told everyone it’ll be a boy. He’ll join big sisters Evie and Jordan.


Randy Travis has delivered a hit with the surprise debut of the George Jones tribute song, “Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum.”  The heartfelt single is now available on iTunes.  “Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum” was recently recorded by the country icon and singer Joe Nichols. This is the first song from Randy’s new album that’s set to be released this fall. “Thanks to Joe Nichols for coming in and helping on this project,” says Randy Travis. The Grammy winner provided fans with the first public hearing of “Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum” at the CMA Music Festival.  It happened during the CMA Close Up Remembering George Jones panel session. Listen in full at Read the Full Source: Webster PR Press release - US iTunes

Cassadee Pope’s debut Country single, “Wasting All These Tears” (US iTunes) has officially sold over 125,000 digital copies in the first week of release. The impressive feat comes on the heels of a return to THE VOICE stage, where she won in Season 3 of the hit NBC show. Watch after the advert at

Miranda Lambert still isn’t done releasing singles from 2011's FOUR THE RECORD, with the current ACM Female Vocalist of the Year announcing that the colorful “All Kinds of Kinds” will serve as the disc’s fifth single.
Sony’s confirmed a radio add date of June 24, and also released what must be the worst cover art of 2013.
She takes a risk with the final single from the album. Just how receptive will the conservative country fans in the honky tonks be to Miranda’s lyrics about a cross-dressing congressmen and a pharmacist who drugs her kids with Ritalin.

Rising country starlet Rachele Lynae is gearing up for the release of her highly anticipated new single, “Fishin’ for Something” impacting country radio on June 24. The song is a cleverly-penned song that shows a strong and sassy side to the beautiful brunette. “It’s funny … even the guys love the song, even though it says, ‘Dude, you’re not gettin’ what you’re fishin’ for,’ but they still like it,” Rachele says with a smile of the song she co-wrote with good friend and fellow songwriter Hannah Bethel. “Fishin’ for Something” is one of six tracks included on Rachele’s new Party Pack EP set for a digital release on Tuesday, June 18. - Amazon UK
Clinton Gregory announced the release of “You Smile,” the third track from his 2012 CD project entitled TOO MUCH AIN’T ENOUGH (from Melody Roundup Music). Written by Pebe Sebert and Gerald Smith, the cut highlights a “do what you gotta do to muster through” storyline.

"Sound Of A Woman Sayin Goodbye" is 21 year old Denae Gardner’s 5th Nationally released single since 2011. Produced by Dave Smith and Grammy nominee Dave Mcafee, this is a rockin’ Country dance single. Gardner continues to show her penchant for hard rockin’ Country with just a hint of traditional country/bluegrass flavoring. It impacts as radio add on July 8, 2013
Preview the single at

Jason Sturgeon the Petersburg, Indiana born and raised recording artist releases his single "Angel Eyes" (Radio Edit ) on Toolpusher Records from his forthcoming album CORNFIELDS AND COAL. Its radio impact date is slated as July 22, 2013.

Bettendorf, IA based Logan Tudeen released her debut single "Circles" (Go Time Records) written by Kent Wells and Logan.
It impacted radio on June 17. >> Audio


Autumn Rose is set to launch their debut album with a much anticipated FREE album release party at the legendary 3rd and Lindsley. Produced by one of country music’s most respected producers – Garth Fundis (Trisha Yearwood, Don Williams, Alabama, Keith Whitley, Sugarland). The album features “tight harmonies and stories that will make you cry, smile, and get up and dance!” said Alicia Beale and Rachael Schleicher. The debut album includes a diverse range of songs written by Brett James, Hillary Lindsay, Jessi Alexander, Gordie Sampson, Lori McKenna, and Ashley Monroe. Source: Press Release - UK iTunes

The Civil Wars' highly anticipated sophomore self-titled album will be released August 6 on Sensibility Music/Columbia Records. This is the follow up to the three-time Grammy Award-winning duo's acclaimed debut, Barton Hollow, which is now certified RIAA Gold in the U.S. The Civil Wars was recorded in Nashville between August 2012 and January 2013. Charlie Peacock was once again at the helm as producer for the album.
Pre-order at UK iTunes and you'll also get an instant download of the first track, "The One That Got Away."

Julie Roberts announced that she has been signed to Sun Records, making her the first artist to release a new album for the label in almost three decades.
The album will be called GOOD WINE AND BAD DECISIONS and will be released this fall.
“I have just signed on to be the first artist in decades to release new music on the legendary Sun Records Label. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!! Again, I have to keep pinching myself here!! Yes, this is the label of the great artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and so many others!!!! She shared on her Pledge Music Page

Ashton Shepherd has signed with public relations and marketing firm PLA Media. Shepherd, formerly with MCA Nashville, released her debut album Sounds So Good in 2008. In 2011, she released her second album, Where Country Grows, which featured “Look It Up.” Shepherd is expected to release a new independent project in July 2013.

Mercury Records has set a release date for the latest album from Billy Currington. WE ARE TONIGHT, his first project in three years, will be available Sept 17th. Lead single “Hey Girl” is in the Top 25 and climbing. Currington worked with three producers on We Are Tonight including longtime collaborator Carson Chamberlain, as well as Dann Huff and Shy Carter. Among the tracks are “It’s Hard To Be A Hippie” with guest Willie Nelson, and a cover of Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes.”

Jenn Bostic, the critically acclaimed, Nashville-based, singer songwriter has now released her album JEALOUS in America. It features the hit single, “Jealous of the Angels,” (#1 UK singer-songwriter charts) produced by Barrett Yertesian (Christina Perri, Andy Grammer), is a very personal track – a loving tribute to her father, whom she lost at the age of 10. Bostic was playlisted in November 2012 by BBC Radio 2 - UK Itunes

The Americana Music Association unveils its first round of artists to perform during the 14th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, Sept. 18 - 22, 2013.  The early lineup features icons, innovators and up-and-comers and underscores Americana's perennially formative place in the world's musical landscape. - Press

Andy Ross, star of Maximum Archery, a top-rated program on the Sportsman Channel, releases his sophomore album, COLD DEAD HAND, today to eagerly awaiting fans. Ross’ intentions for the project were not aimed at the mainstream country listener, but rather a reflection of his personal experiences and beliefs as one of the most successful hunters in the world, one of the most hated men in the world (by animal rights activists) and his down-to-earth country upbringing….  
 “Cold Dead Hand,” which was released in May, is being widely adopted by country conservatives as an anthem for gun rights, and recently hit #10 on Play MPE Country Top-20 Downloads - Webster Associates Press 

Lisa Matassa made her Ryman debut last week as she entertained fans with the Cash classic, “Home Of The Blues,” during the Cash Family’s celebration of the U.S. Postal Service’s limited-edition Johnny Cash Forever stamp. She connected her fans via social media & exhibit Hall appearances at The 2013 CMA Music Festival. Read the report and photos (Source: So Much Moore Media)

Country Band LiveWire releases new Single "Whiskey Sunday" via CDX Volume #572, and digitally at CD Tex."The rhythmic Whiskey Sunday, is a sad-edged song with an upbeat arrangement, though the chorus is so damn infectious you just can't help but be seduced by it." said Maverick magazine. "The message and the sound are raw, honest and American as can be." (CMA Close Up) Press

Singer Weston Burt will be heating up the airwaves this summer with the exclusive worldwide debut of the cutting edge video, “Lucky Sometimes” on multiple platforms - Webster Press

More energized and focused than ever before in their near 25-year career, roots-music troubadours Donna the Buffalo will debut their first studio album in five years, Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday, on June 18 via Sugar Hill Records. -

Rural Rhythm Records announced Dave Adkins & Republik Steele made their debut at #7 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart with THAT’S JUST THE WAY I ROLL.  Media has certainly welcomed this album with Cybergrass exclaiming, “This release isn’t HOT – it’s EXTREMELY HOT! 

Lee Greenwood will release a GREATEST HITS: LIVE CD later this year. This project will be recorded between July 3rd and July 6th during his summer touring schedule. Said Greenwood of the upcoming project, "This is 100% about the fans. We will let the fans choose the songs that will be included on the recording and we will let the fans submit their very own concert photos to be included in the cover artwork - Webster & Associates Press

Craig Morgan announced the return of his hit TV, “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors,” to Outdoor Channel. The fourth season will premiere on July 7th - Monarch Publicity

Darius Rucker lit up the stage at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville on June 3 for his fourth annual “Darius And Friends” concert to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The concert, auction and golf tournament raised $95,260 to help St. Jude provide the best care possible to children with cancer at no cost to their families. The benefit concert line-up included an introduction from GAC’s Suzanne Alexander and performances from Luke Bryan, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Radney Foster, Mallary Hope, Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch and Justin Moore.
Darius Rucker will have a street named after him in his hometown of Charleston, SC. Mayor Keith Summey delared the entry road to the North Charleston Coliseum will be called Darius Rucker Boulevard. Formerly Coliseum Drive, the stretch of pavement honors Darius for his ongoing charitable work in the town.
The Award-winning multi-Platinum singer/songwriter will also be featured in an upcoming episode of The Bachelorette. The episode will feature a special one-on-one date at which Rucker will give a private concert for the newest Bachelorette, Desiree Hartsock and a few special guests. Rucker performs two songs from his recently released album True Believers including “Lost In You” and the album’s title track....Read more

Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out had a big time at CMA Music Fest, photos & news - Press

Joanna Mosca embraced the 2013 CMA Music Festival with performances, interviews and more.  Describing the week, the New York songstress declared, "It was like Disneyland for Country music lovers.  What a pleasure to meet legendary stars like Brenda Lee and see the enthusiasm of the fans." ..Read Moore Media Press
Craig Campbell kicked off CMA Fest with a bang by hosting his inaugural Celebrity Cornhole Challenge. Craig and his celebrity friends competed in a cornhole tournament to raise money for the TJ Martell Foundation’s colon cancer research in honor of Craig’s late father who passed away from colon cancer at the age of 36...The event was a huge success, collecting more than $15,000 with proceeds benefitting the TJ Martell Foundation - Monarch Publicity


Rolling Stone - Lenny Kravitz Struggles at Surprise CMA Fest Appearance..Extract: Could Lenny Kravitz become the next rocker to attempt a country crossover? It's a question on the minds of many after the "Are You Gonna Go My Way" singer made a surprise appearance at the CMA Music Festival Saturday night in Nashville, where he turned in a determined but ultimately deflating five-song set of his hardest-rocking hits.
"I'm sure you weren't expecting me to play right here," Kravitz said, addressing the 50,000-strong crowd of hardcore country fans assembled at Music City's LP Field.....But Kravitz had a harder time getting the country-strong crowd to eat from the palm of his hand during an inexplicably near-15-minute-long extended performance of his 1989 retro-psych debut single "Let Love Rule," which closed what was supposed to be a 30-minute set. "You can join in, c'mon," the singer said after the first chorus, looking surprised and disappointed when it was crickets in place of the inevitable roaring sing-along he's used to hearing. >> YouTube

CMA Close Up (by Erin Duvall): Lady Antebellum’s Strategy for Song Selection...Extract: During the Golden sessions, though, sales and crossover possibilities were far from top priorities We talk a lot about wanting more and more tempo songs, especially as singles, and that’s what drove us to release ‘Downtown’ (Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Natalie Hemby). As our live show grows, you really want songs that get people out of their seats.”The key to achieving that was to channel the energy from their tour into jamming with their road band whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Parade Magazine - Darius Rucker Is On the Right Course  Extract: A hardscrabble childhood helped Darius Rucker find his passion for music—and a desire to be the kind of father he never had.....Rucker thinks a lot about the parent who raised him. 
Rucker at his Charleston home with daughter
Cary (middle), wife Beth, and their two kids,
Jack and Daniela. (Travis Dew)

His mother, Carolyn, a nurse, took care of him and his five half-siblings with help from Rucker’s grandmother and, at times, her two sisters and their families. At one point, there were 18 people living in a three-bedroom house in Charleston. “We didn’t have a lot, but we had everything we needed,” he says. Rucker’s mother was steadfast in her support of her son’s musical aspirations, even when Rucker dropped out of the University of South Carolina to focus on Hootie.


Vince Gill and Paul Franklin talked with Billboard about their fantastic forthcoming album, BAKERSFIELD, with Chuck Dauphin of The 615.

CMT: LeAnn Rimes Addresses Scandal on Spitfire...Extract: Yeah, self-control is something I've learned. To bite my tongue so many times is hard. For a human being, I think, you can never really wrap your head around being lied about like that and to have to pick and choose what battles you're gonna fight. It's carried into my relationships, and that's a good thing….


Blake Shelton the CMA Entertainer of the Year and The Voice TV coach calls in a list of celebrities to join him on the new mix of his hit “Boys ‘Round Here.” The song features Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Ronnie Dunn, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Reba, Josh Turner, Keith Urban and Hank Williams, Jr., along with the Pistol Annies singing harmonies. >> YouTube


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

US Spotify Chart  Week Ending June 2, 2013
#25 "Cruise" Florida Georgia Line 540,930 plays
#36 "22" Taylor Swift 457,516 plays
#39 “Wagon Wheel" Darius Rucker 446,600 plays

Spotify Groups:
The Band Perry - Pioneer - June 10, 2013 UK release
The Henningsens – The Henningsens EP - 4 track EP, May 2013 release
Lonestar - Life As We Know It  - June 4 UK release
Blackjack Billy "The Booze Cruise" (Single) - Redneck Country = Booze cruise, summer groove, I wanna see your booty move.

Spotify Ladies:
Alexandra Lee – "Dancin' Round the Fire" (Single) - May 2013 Debut single from an upcoming 6 track EP
Ali Dee – It Ain't (single) - The Texas singer/songwriter's May single from a forthcoming soon-to-be titled album
Colby Dee – "I Will Fight On" (Single) - Georgia artist has a new single at radio called "He Don’t Know"
Jaida Dreyer – "I Am Jaida Dreyer" - Country Music People 5 Stars June 2013
Justine Blazer – "Gasoline" - New Single “Amen For the Weekend” at radio , described as the female version of Jason Aldean or a modern day Shania Twain
Rachele Lynae – Fishin' for Something (Single) - Rachele’s new May self penned single
Wanita – The Original Wanita - 12 tracks, Country Music People’s 5 STAR Album of the Month June 2013

Spotify Gents:
Chris Young – "Aw Naw" - His dreadful new single at country radio!
Dee Jay Silver – Country Club - June 2013 4 track EP release
Dylan Scott – "Makin' This Boy Go Crazy" (Single) - New single Impact date June 24, 2013
Jason Sturgeon – "Angel Eyes" - New single , Impact date July 22, 2013
John Fogerty – Wrote A Song For Everyone - 14 track  June 2013 release
Jessta James - Time To Get Right - Country meets Rap May 2013 release
Ry Bradley – Ry Bradley (2012) - Has a new single "New Kind of Lonely" at radio the debut single off his new EP titled Freedom Like This.

Bluegrass Picks:
The Roys – Gypsy Runaway Train - June 2013 release, 13 tracks

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


Steve Martin & Edie Brickell - "Love Has Come For You" (Lyric Video)
 >> YouTube
Mixing the traditional with the modern, Brickell and Martin find a comfortable groove on what may seem like an unlikely collaboration but that turns out to be a perfect fit. Brickell's ability to create vivid characters and spin a tale in the confines of a 3-minute song melds well with Martin's five-string banjo stylings." - Associated Press


Hayden Panettiere was on the promo trail when the 23-year-old looked pretty for her appearance on BBC Breakfast on June 6, in a Jonathan Simkhai pink, white and grey striped sleeveless a-line dress from the designer’s Resort 2013 collection.
To keep warm in the chilly weather, Hayden toughened her dress up with a warm–yet cool, leather draped jacket. A pink hued makeup palette, softy wavy tresses, and a pair of nude patent platform pumps completed her talk show look - Fashion Pic

Taylor Swift did an interview with eTalk Canada backstage of her Toronto concert last night wearing an Anthropologie Dandelion Glow Dress ($148.00) -

Taylor met fans backstage at Club RED in Toronto wearing a BB Dakota Whispering Blossoms Dress ($84.99) from ModCloth. - Fashion Image

Taylor attended the 2013 Fragrance Foundation Awards on June 12, 2013 in NYC.
She made an glamorous arrival on the red carpet wearing a ethereal white gown by
Emilio Pucci. The “Everything Has Changed” singer was in attendance to celebrate her “Wonderstruck Enchanted” scent, which was up for the award of Women’s Media Campaign of the Year. Opting for simple elegance, Taylor wore her long blonde locks in a twisted bun–reminiscent of Tinker Bell’s famous ‘do, before completing her look with shimmering aqua-lined eyes, Lorraine Schwartz jewels, and a pair of René Caovilla embellished t-strap sandals to match - Fashion Pic

Oww, oww, Taylor Swift! She was a busy girl this weekend, performing two shows. The 23-year-old “Red” singer rocked quite the sexy look attending the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards (above right) held at Bell Media Headquarters in Toronto, Canada on Sunday evening (June 16). Tay accepted the award for 'Favourite International Artist' of the Year – Award Winners
It was yet another white frock for the country/pop singer, but this time her white Herve Leger by Max Azria bandage dress featured black stripes so it was very much on trend for summer. She left no curve unnoticed in Her Pre-Fall 2013 dress, flaunting her long legs, styled with strappy sky-high heels Christian Louboutin ‘Karina’ caged booties (image) and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.
Taylor’s signature red lippie was back, plus she also sported heavy kohl-rimmed eyes and tousled tresses to give her sexy look even more of an edge - Fashion Pic


Billy Ray Cyrus's marriage seems to once again be on the rocks. According to TMZ, Billy Ray's wife Tish has filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” This marks the second time Billy Ray and Tish have been at divorce's door.
In 2011, Billy Ray filed but later withdrew the papers in an attempt at reconciliation.

When The Band Perry looks at themselves to determine who inherited which trait from their parents they all are in agreement that Neil is most like their father. “Their mannerisms are just alike,” Reid Perry said. “Not only the way that they’ll talk and walk and sit, but even their hobbies. Both of them are gadget guys. As far as they have the iPad and iPad Mini and the iPhone as well.”

Duck Tale: Duck Dynasty's Si Robertson found Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town backstage at CMA Fest to let her know he was born on a pontoon and raised in the boondocks - Image


B J Cole (17 June 1946), Julie Reeves (18 June 1974), Blake Shelton (18 June 1976) , 
Lester Flatt (19 June 1914), Doug Stone (19 June 1956),  Anne Murray (20 June 1945), Chet Atkins (20 June 1924), Allison Moorer (21 June 1972),
Kathy Mattea (21 June 1959), Kris Kristofferson (22 June 1936),
Roy Drusky (22 June 1930), Pake McEntire (23 June 1953), Diane Trask (23 June 1940), June Carter (23 June 1929), Katie Armiger (23 June 1991) 

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