Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Country Bites News snippets May 27 - June 2, 2013

Country Bites News snippets May 27 - June 2, 2013

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

Daniel O’Donnell has been taking a break and will be back touring in Ireland in August, Canada in September, the UK in October and Branson in November later this year. A tour of Australia and New Zealand is planned for February/March next year.
During this “busy” break, Daniel has been in the recording studio working on his new album, which is due for release in the Autumn, he has been appearing at various charity events and also spending time with Majella in Tenerife.

Daniel’s 13 UK October dates begin on Saturday 5th October (Inverness, Edencourt) and continue to Monday 21st October 2013 (Llandudno Venue Cymru).
For full details danielodonnell.org  + UK Tour Blog Page updated                                       
The 5 finalists (photo) for UKCountryRadio.com Listeners' Club Award were revealed on Sunday June 2, 2013:
1) “Beautiful World” - Chris Green Project >> YouTube - UK iTunes - Amazon UK 
2) “The Goodbye Song” - Ray Peters Band
3)  “Josie” - Sharon King & The Reckless Angels - Audio Track - UK iTunes - Amazon UK
4) “Help Me Find The Strength” - Thorne Hill  >> YouTube - UK iTunes - Amazon UK 
5) “I Want My Daddy” - Wayne Jacobs >> YouTube - UK iTunes - Amazon UK

The final will take place at UKCountryRadio’s sixth Birthday Party in September.
Congratulations to all those nominated and to their respective fanbases who took the time to vote.

Image - UKCR.com 2013 nominees montage.

The Band Perry with “Done” enjoy their 3rd week on the BBC Radio 2 B-Playlist which commenced the week of May 18th.  Lady Antebellum with “Downtown” who were added to it on 27th April have now been withdrawn by the playlist commitee.

The Texas Tornados grace the 2013 June cover issue of the Southern Country Magazine - Image
The late George Jones will be the cover feature for Country Music People’s June issue “which is a “massive feature as befits a singer of his magnitude” writes editor Duncan Warwick.

Hal Ketchum has announced one UK date so far on Monday 21 October 2013 at the Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton
(Advance Ticket Price: £21.50, Door Price: £23.00 - Event Detail)

The Nathan Carter Show rolls into Dundee on November 8, 2013 at the Whitehall Theatre - Ticketmaster UK

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”
Laura Bell Bundy is also due to appear to support. UK Country band McKay (fronted by Tim McKay) tweeted: Not that we're counting or anything but it’s only 35 days till we leave England for the start of the Rascal Flatts European Tour. Getting excited now!!
Jill has been invited to be one of eleven artists to perform at the kick off for the CMA Music Festival in Nashville June 3rd. She will do a 20 minutes performance with a full band. Rascal Flatts latest album CHANGED gets an official UK album release on 1st July

Grand Union Promotions announced their inaugural Grand Union Songwriter’s Evening which will take place on Sunday 10th November 2013 at Bush Hall in London. The event will showcase four extremely talented British country music singer/songwriters: – Raintown, Gary Quinn, Jeannine Barry and Hannah Jane Lewis. Tickets are £10 -

Raintown will be live in Manchester at the Night & Day Cafe (26 Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JN) on Friday 5th July when their
special guests will be Gary Quinn & Rick Kevill

Jeannine Barry will play 2 London dates. Firstly at Roadtrip & The Workshop on Saturday 8th June
Where: 243 Old Street, London, City of London, EC1V 9EY
This is a full band gig Facebook Event Detail and she will be playing songs from her upcoming EP as well as a few cover songs.
Then on Friday June 14th she plays The Maple Leaf, 41 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LJ - Facebook Event Detail
All proceeds will go to the children of the Great Ormond Hospital! Jeannine will be supported by her band including: Alan Richardson (acoustic guitar), Nelson Schipper (lead guitar), Andrzej Pawlowski (bass), Moneer Seify (drums) and Annie Geraldine Devisme (BV). This is one of the last shows she’ll be doing before her short Canadian tour with Ryan Kennedy, a country musician from Montreal.
Last month Jeannine performed her original song 'Give Me Something' at a Ont'Sofa Gibson session (photo) which is a new music video channel and production company >> YouTube - www.ontsofa.com/play

** The ABC of British Country Music Live listings for Artists, Bands & Clubs What's On - www.allbritishcountry.co.uk

UK CHART NEWS
On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week June 8, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s22” fell 8 slots 42-50 in its 15th chart week. Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, moved up 61-52 on its 34th chart week.

Lennon & Maisy Stella debut at No.87, moving 111-87 in their second week with their cover of the Lumineers hit “Ho Hey” (Big Machine). The real-life sisters who play Rayna James' (Connie Britton), daughters on "Nashville" on ABC are most well known for playing Maddie & Daphne Conrad and performed this on a late May episode. This is the second time Lennon and Maisy have had a full on-screen performance on "Nashville": They previously covered Juliette Barnes' (Hayden Panettiere) "Telescope" for their characters' school talent show.
13 year old Lennon Ray Louise Stella (born August 13, 1999) hails from Oshawa, Ontario and currently resides in Nashville, TN. She started singing at age 5 and is currently in 8th grade. Maisy is 9 years old and the adorable Stella girls are offspring of The Stellas, vintage-country husband-and-wife team Brad and Marylynne Stella, originally based in Whitby, Ont. At the recent 2013 Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards saw Brad and Marylynne win Group/Duo of the Year honours.

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week June 8, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s RED was up 7 places, moving 41-34 in its 32nd chart week.
Lady Antebellum fell back 18 places (36-5436) in their fourth week with new album GOLDEN.
John Fogerty with WROTE A SONG FOR EVERYONE (Columbia) is a new entry at No.75. Classified as a "Rock" set 5 of the tracks are country collaborations: “Almost Saturday Night” (with Keith Urban), “Wrote a Song for Everyone” (with Miranda Lambert, feat. Tom Morello), “Bad Moon Rising” (with Zac Brown Band), “Hot Rod Heart” (with Brad Paisley) and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” (with Alan Jackson)

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week June 8, 2013)
Lady Antebellum remain at No.1 with GOLDEN (Decca) for a 4th week.
Steve Earle & The Dukes & Duchesses moved back up 4-2 with THE LOW HIGHWAY (New West)
Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) moves up 3 slots (6-3) in her 7th week.
USA 2013 X Factor winner Tate Stevens with his self titled debut (Syco Music) fell 14-19 which surprisingly is one place above 
Kenny Chesney’s LIFE ON A ROCK, which on his 5th week at retail, rounds out the Top 20.

On the Hotdisc Chart (June 2, 2013 Chart) 
The Lawrence John Project remain atop the Hotdisc Top 40 for a third week with the self penned cajun offering "Louisiana Love". Nicki Gillis holds at No.2 and there is no move at No.3 for the Hayley Oliver Band (No.1 for 7 weeks on British & Irish Hotdisc chart), Avrio with emotional song “Sorrow” enters the top 10,  moving up 3 places (13-10)

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

(27 May 2013) John Denver - The Real...John Denver (Sony Music CMG) 3 CD Box set / 53 tracks
Amazon UK  This budget priced three CD box set includes essential John Denver tracks. It made its debut on the Official UK Album Chart at No.97 on June 2nd
(6 May 2013) John Denver - The RCA Albums Collection (Sony Legacy) [25 CD Box set, Limited Edition]
It contains 24 original RCA albums released between 1969 and 1986, including Denver’s rare privately pressed 1966 LP, John Denver Sings. Many of these albums have never been available on CD. Each individual album is packaged in a replica mini-LP sleeve reproducing that album’s original cover art. Product Detail - Amazon UK

(28 May 2013) John Fogerty - Wrote A Song For Everyone (Vanguard Records)
14 tracks/ Time: 59:25  CD - MP3 - UK iTunes
(May 28, 2013) Gretchen Wilson - Under the Covers (Redneck Records)
12 Tracks/ Time: 49:10 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes

(28 May 2013) Rebecca Frazier - When We Fall (Amtoco Records/Compass Records Group) 12 Tracks/ Time: 41:05
Rebecca Frazier achieved notoriety in the bluegrass world as the first woman ever to appear on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. But it is her vocal prowess and song writing chops that make her one of the most exciting new artists to emerge on the national bluegrass stage. WHEN WE FALL is her long awaited solo debut and it is already garnering praise from bluegrass fans and critics in the know. It features twelve tracks, of which ten are original compositions including three instrumentals plus a cover of Neil Young’s “Human Highway”.
The project is superbly supported throughout by a strong producer and by a stellar cast of musicians that largely need little introduction, including Ron Block and Scott Vestal on banjo, Barry Bales on bass, Shad Cobb on fiddle, Andy Hall on resonator guitar and husband John Frazier on mandolin. Rebecca plays guitar on all cuts. Review
Listen to "When We Fall" soundcloud.com available at CD - MP3 - UK iTunes

(May 28, 2013) Claire Lynch - Dear Sister (Compass Records)
10 tracks / Time: 38:12 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes
(4 June 2013) Lonestar - Life As We Know It (4 Star Records)
12 Tracks / Time: 42:59 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes

BLUEGRASS NEWS
18-year old Daniel Patrick will join the award-winning The Roys on stage for the first time in Auburn, AL at the University Station Bluegrass Festival (May 30-31). Starting out his music career at age three, Daniel Patrick has been around the music all his life. Blessed with a wonderful family he has played professionally as “The Daniel Patrick and Family” Bluegrass and Gospel band for 11 years. Now at the age of 18, Daniel is looking to take a bigger step in his career.

AUSSIE NEWS
Alan Jackson will be headlining the CMC Rocks North Queensland 2013 Festival at Reid Park, Townsville, on Saturday 28 September. Sara Evans (USA) and Corb Lund (Canada), will be joining him, along with National artists, Jasmine Rae, Morgan Evans and more to be announced.

CANADIAN NEWS
On Tuesday, May 21st, Canadian country singer, Tanya Marie Harris released her debut single “A Woman Scorned”; it will be released to major Canadian radio stations on Friday, June 7th. The track was one of 2 songs she recorded with the Daredevil Production team of Kelly Schoenfeld (whose name appears on over 70 million records as an engineer or producer credit) and Johnny Dwinell. The second track, “Secondhand Dreams” was co-written by David Norris of Norrisong Productions.
I chose Daredevil because I really felt it was time to do something different artistically and that’s exactly what I got, I couldn’t be more thrilled, “Tanya relates.

NEWS

When Brantley Gilbert was out on tour with Eric Church last year, they spent some time together doing some song writing. “Eric and I actually formed a friendship and we did sit down and write a song together,” reveals Brantley. “It was pretty funny. It’s called, “I’m Already Broke”. We wrote it about a friend of his.”
Although he is preparing to release his third album soon, Brantley says, “When I looked at (the song), it didn’t really fit in the song list. It didn’t really fit into the story of the next chapter of my life… It was a fun song to write though.”
Since it didn’t fit on his next project, Brantley says he’s hoping Eric will use it on his next album that he’s releasing this fall. If not, Brantley says it may find its place on his fourth album in the future.

The ABC drama Nashville just finished its first season and will be back in the fall for a second season, and Eric Close, who plays Mayor Teddy Conrad on the show, says he hopes good things are in store for his character and the rest of the characters on the show.

Country at heart: Sheryl Crow starts next chapter as she undergoes a country music conversion.
For a couple of months now, she has been loading her two young boys aboard a bus and taking off on a tour of country music radio stations around the country.
She’s visiting with DJs and programming directors, playing a few songs live, then hopping back on the bus to do it again a few hours down the road. It reminds her, fittingly, of a scene from “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” the life story of Loretta Lynn.
"It really is like the scene where Doo zips up Loretta's dress and she runs in with her new acetate, her 45, and says, `Here's my new record,' and she plays something on air, shakes a few hands and leaves," Crow said. "It really is a throwback to that and it's the most organic thing I've done in years."
Sheryl is set to release her first dedicated country music album in September via Warner Bros.
The LP, titled FEELS LIKE HOME, is a 12-track collection that has been entirely co-written by Crow and also features a track co-written with Brad Paisley, reports Music Row.
The American musician has previously released seven studio albums, two compilations, a live album and has contributed to a number of film soundtracks. She has sold over 50 million albums globally and has nine Grammy Awards.

Joey+Rory, for many America’s favourite country duo, has partnered with Crosley Radio, the manufacturer of antique reproductions of consumer electronics with modern technology. Crosley Radio will be the presenting sponsor of the duo’s new radio show which debuts on Saturday, July 6 on the classic 650 AM WSM. The “Joey+Rory Radio Show” will be the weekly lead in to the live radio broadcast of the world famous Grand Ole Opry and will feature old-time radio show clips

If I Didn't Have Two: Thompson Square cancelled this weekend's performances opening for Luke Bryan's “Dirt Road Diaries Tour”. Several weeks ago, the duo's Keifer Thompson was urged by doctors to call off all shows and go on complete vocal rest. "What many of you may not know is that I have recently been battling a very serious vocal condition," Keifer says, noting the call he made with wife Shawna to continue performing despite his doctor's recommendation.

R Kelly has revealed that he has been writing "a lot of country songs"! The R&B singer, who released his 11th studio album 'Write Me Back' in June last year, told Vibe that his genre-hopping was an attempt to prove that he has a talent that's "more than just sexual songs".
"I've really been writing a lot of country songs," he said. "I used to get criticised for doing a 'Bump & Grind' then turning around and doing a gospel song. But the truth is I'm glad I have a gift that allows me to switch lanes
Ronan Keating cut R. Kelly’s "I Believe I Can Fly" on his SONGS FOR MY MOTHER album.

Taylor Are You All Write? Taylor Swift spent about two years working on her RED album, writing dozens and dozens of songs. There was a point at which her label thought she had enough material to release an album, but Taylor wasn’t done writing. For a while she couldn’t stop. But eventually she found her stopping point. “I wrote for two years and I wrote until I couldn’t write anymore. That was the stopping point for this album. I knew when I couldn’t think of one more thing that I needed to write about, couldn’t conjure up one more emotion that hadn’t already been conveyed on the album somehow.”
Taylor says she eventually got to a point where she had to tell herself, “Put the guitar down. We’re done,” and that’s when the album was finished. Needless to say, for someone like Taylor it didn’t take long for the urge to write to come again, which she has been doing in the last few months, for her next album, which will be released sometime in the future, when she reaches that stopping point once again.

Scratch & Swift: Taylor Swift is set to release her third fragrance, “Taylor by Taylor Swift”.
In between songwriting, partnering with Keds, and performing at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, she found the time to launch this new fragrance. The new perfume, "Taylor by Taylor Swift", follows in the footsteps of her past scents “Wonderstruck” and “Wonderstruck Enchanted”, but focuses more on the singer’s personal style rather than a magical world where chandeliers dangle out of the sky.
My first two fragrances were more about fairytales,” Taylor told StyleWatch.  But this fragrance is more about my own style, so I wanted the name to be more personal.”
The bottle design is simple and modern, reflecting the singer’s own quirky and retro style, crowned with a ring of pearls. "Pearls are the one the fashion accessories that never seems to go out of style,” she said. “I keep a strand in my purse, and throw them on whenever I need to dress up my outfit."
So what does Swifts new fragrance smell like?
The singer calls the perfume “a mix of a lot of things: It’s sweet, it’s sophisticated, it draws you in. It’s really my way of translating classic, yet modern, into a perfume.”
The new scent blends top notes of lychee, sparkling tangerine and magnolia petals, and a base of sandalwood, apricot nectar, and a blend of woods. Taylor by Taylor Swift will hit Ulta and Ulta.com in late June.

In September of 2012, the King of Country Music, George Strait, announced his final two-year U.S. jaunt, “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour”, with 21 dates in 2013 and a similar schedule expected for 2014. Strait performed his final show of the year to a sold-out capacity crowd of 73,086 attendees at the Alamodome in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas with special guests Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert--breaking his own attendance record previously set in 2010. 
For setlists and more read the EB Media Press Release

Rum Runner: Kenny Chesney accepted an invitation from Seattle Seahawks' coach Pete Carroll to join the team for practice Friday (5/31). “Sports is such a big part of my life," says Chesney. "It’s a huge rush to be out on the field with such world class athletes.” Watch him run drills here and huddle up with the entire team - www.seahawks.com

Tour News
Cassadee Pope embarked on her first major tour on May 31st when she joins Rascal Flatts as the opener for their all new Live and Loud Tour. She met them once previously when they performed on The Voice, and she says, “They were really, really, awesome guys.” She knows that her job is to kick things off and get the crowd fired up for The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts, so when it comes to actually hanging out with the guys when they’re not on stage she says, “I think I’m just gonna, kind of, stay out of their way and if they wanna hang, I will be delighted to.”
She does know The Band Perry a little more because she says, “We’re on the same label. I went to the ACM’s and got to hang out with them during that weekend in Vegas. So, it’s gonna be a good tour.

Kenny Chesney is the "king of the road." – Wall Street Journal: Never mind the Stones, U2 and Springsteen. Kenny Chesney has sold more concert tickets than anyone else in the past 10 years. A look inside the complex machinery of the country star's mega-concert touring operation. Through relentless touring year after year, Mr. Chesney (who seldom performs overseas) has sold 9.8 million concert tickets since 2003, the year he graduated to stadiums, for a gross of $608.6 million, according to Pollstar

The Rolling Stones continue to collaborate with country artists on their 50 & Counting Tour, announcing Monday (June 3rd) via Twitter, "Tonight's special guest will be @taylorswift13! #Stones50 #Chicago."
Sheryl Crow joined them for "All Down The Line" Friday (5/31) in Chicago (combined age 276)
Carrie Underwood in Toronto May 25th for "It's Only Rock 'N Roll (But I Like It)"
>> YouTube and Keith Urban helped them kick it off in Los Angeles 5/3 with "Respectable."
Honky Tonk Woman:
"8 years ago today, I won @AmericanIdol," Carrie tweeted after her performance. "Tonight, I sang with the @RollingStones! Wow, so much has happened! #Thankful." - Sony Press - Press Photo - Backstage Photo

Taylor Swift, the 'I Knew You Were Trouble' singer tweeted fans to say it had been a dream come true to join the rock band on stage in Chicago for a duet of their song 'As Tears Go By'. Taylor and frontman Mick Jagger sung a stripped back version of the track, originally a hit for them back in 1964, for the band's concert at the United Center in Chicago.
"Filing this under 'never in my wildest dreams'," Taylor tweeted after the concert, alongside a picture of her with the legendary rock band. "Thank you @RollingStones for inviting m me to Chicago to sing with you. "Filing this under 'friends forever'. @MickJagger," the '22' singer added. Watch Rolling Stones’ “As Tears Go By” with Taylor Swift >> YouTube

Wheels are in motion to make Adele the big-name guest on the bill at The Stones Hyde Park concert. The source said: “The Stones would love to get Adele on with them. It would be a massive coup, even for them, because she’s been a bit reclusive since her son Angelo James was born. “She is the name they want to announce as their special guest — and their invite should be special enough to get her out on stage.
The source added: “The group think female performers are a great complement for Mick ever since Florence Welch got on stage with them at London’s O2 Arena last year for “Gimme Shelter”
The Rolling Stones will make their Glastonbury debut this summer, headlining the festival's famous Pyramid Stage on Saturday June 27. However, despite Glastonbury's media partnership with the BBC, the band's performance may not be televised at the Rolling Stones' request. Mark Cooper, the BBC's head of music television, was in discussions with the band to organise coverage. According to The Independent the BBC was told by the band that only the opening four songs of their set could be televised.

Please Move: If you're the type of concert-goer that likes to stand still and drink 15 beers, make sure you catch Farmers Insurance Dance Y'all Experience.  
With Special Guest Laura Bell Bundy: United We Dance (video). The Dance Y'all Crew, choreographed by four-time World Country Dance Champion Robert Royston, has a supporting slot on Rascal Flatts' Live & Loud Tour this summer. Their mission ... to get a million people dancing by teaching the audience new steps at each stop.
Those first steps were taken in Jones Beach, NYat a tailgate. Their dancers along with Big Machine recording artist Laura Bell Bundy led the crowd in several line dances including the official line dance to Laura Bell's new single, "Two Step".
Later in the night, Dance Y'all rocked the stage in front of 15,000 fans for their first performance on the Rascal Flatts tour joined by Cassadee Pope and The Band Perry. Flickr Stream

(L) Jessi, Lakelyn, Curtis, Dakota, Robert, Crishon from the Dance Y'all Crew

TV
Cassadee Pope is to return to "The Voice" on June 4 with a live performance of her first single, "Wasting All These Tears."
Pope, who will release her first Country album later this year on Republic Nashville, was a member of Blake Shelton’s team and covered such artists as Keith Urban, Faith Hill and Miranda Lambert on her way to the title. It was Pope’s version of Lambert’s hit “Over You” that helped catapult her to the No. 1 spot on the iTunes all-genre chart. Less than a week after her victory on the show, “The Voice: The Complete Season 3 Collection” climbed to No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart.
>> signing with Republic Nashville - Press Release

CMA 2013 Festival / 42nd Fan Fair

The largest privately-owned collection of Dolly Parton stagewear and memorabilia is just one of the exciting exhibits awaiting visitors to the 2013 Country Music Association’s CMA Music Festival 2013, set for June 6-9 in Nashville, TN. The exhibit will be staged by Rockology LLC, one of the entertainment industry’s leading authorities on the collection, appraisal, brokerage and exhibition of music and pop-culture memorabilia. Also key to the FFX exhibit are items from contemporary Country Stars Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and more. utm

The 16th Annual Moore & Moore Fan Club Party takes place on June 6 at theNashville Palace 6:00 p.m! Party Time performances by Moore & Moore and special guests, T. Graham Brown, Georgette Jones, Kelly Lang, Kate Murphy, Randi Perkins, T.G. Sheppard, Jenny Tolman, Billy Yates and more surprises!
The Aristo Global Shows (see flyer) kicks off on Monday, June 3rd at The Stage on Broadway and Tuesday, June 4th at Second Fiddle. They celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 'CMA Global Artist Party' on Monday night. Both shows feature country music artists from all over the world. Countries represented at this year's events are Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK (Ward Thmas & David Bradley)

With constant, non-stop excitement happening everywhere the CMA is bringing photos, features and updates from every hot spot on the Festival footprint to one place. From June 6-9th browse CMA's Flickr feed and read the CMA Blog with Festival features at CMA World
Click here to see the full Big Machine Label Group artists at CMA Fest schedule.

Six Degrees Of Country Music: The 2013 CMT Music Awards take place Wednesday, June 5 at 8:00 p.m., ET/PT) and, in addition to being hosted by Jason Aldean and Kristen Bell, appearances have been added by Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery, Larry the Cable Guy, Lisa Marie Presley, Nashville's Charles Esten, the Bacon Brothers and Duane “Dog” and Beth Chapman. Other additions to an already-packed night of music are Ashley Monroe, Cassadee Pope, Dustin Lynch, Kree Harrison, Love and Theft and Randy Houser who are set to perform on the Nationwide Insurance stage.

SINGLE / ALBUM/ DVD NEWS

Crowd-funding website Kickstarter is receiving higher-profile attention in country music, as two artists who reeled off a string of hits in the 1990's and the 2000s both launched projects in the last week.
a) Jo Dee Messina is seeking to raise $100,000 by June 23 to record My Time.Our Music. If you pledge $500 you’ll get a phone call from Jo Dee herself.
b) Tracy Lawrence is seeking $50,000 to cut “Headlights, Taillights and Radios”.

Nu Toy recording artists and sister duo, The Lockets, announce their debut single entitled “Stepping Stone.” Ashley (15) and Jennifer Cooke (17) spend most of their time between Parkland, FL and Nashville, TN. The duo is currently in the studio writing and recording with producer/writer Bridgette Tatum ("She's Country" Jason Aldean) on their debut album.
While this is The Lockets' first official radio release, they have already generated an impressive number of views on YouTube with their official >> music video. Jennifer says, “’Stepping Stone’ is a song that is relatable to so many. We were in love
with the song as soon as Bridgette played it for us, and we still cannot believe that she wrote this beautiful song for us." Ashley adds, "It means a lot to record a song like this when so many people are telling us it's been on constant 'repeat' after downloading it!”

Adrianna Freeman has released the music video for her new singleJust A Girl,” about a child whose mother is an alcoholic and whose father abandoned the family. Hardly an uplifting subject, Freeman hopes it will nevertheless inspire people to think about the effects that their personal decisions can have on children - “Half of American children grow up in broken homes, and I believe it is detrimental to our country,” Freeman said. “The family is the stepping stone to how a child turns out. What will be the state of our world, with so many children not getting the proper guidance? We see it in high school dropout rates, crime, substance abuse and teen pregnancy.”
Written by Bart Butler and Karyn Rochelle, “Just A Girl” is the first single to be released on Freeman’s independent record label, AFM Entertainment. It will be included on a new EP, to be released later this year. Watch the video >> YouTube

Sarah Darling‘s upbeat and breezy summertime track ”Little Umbrellas which leads listeners to a carefree escape from heartbreak, made its exclusive World Premiere on Sirius XM ’s “The Highway” . The song will be available for download on US iTunes beginning Tuesday, June 4.
Co-written alongside Rob Crosby and Doug Johnson, “Little Umbrellas” is Darling’s first single release since parting ways with her former label. Sarah and her manager since 2011, John Alexander, formerly Vice President of Artist Management at Black River Entertainment, both left the company earlier this year. A 30-year entertainment marketing veteran, Alexander will use his newly-launched company, Alexander Music Marketing & Management, to help bring “Little Umbrellas” direct to fans.
Audio >> YouTube

Dee Jay Silver, noted DJ/remixer/producer announced (on May 31) the June 4th release date of his “eagerly anticipated” 4 Track EP, titled COUNTRY CLUB (RCA). The four-song EP features country mash-ups of some of the format's most popular and beloved stars, including Alabama, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen, and Love and Theft. Dee Jay Silver will make several appearances the week of CMA Fest. Dee Jay Silver has entertained millions of listeners with his unique brand of party rock country style of music mixing as a top touring DJ/remixer/producer for more than 10 years....Read more Sony Press
Carrie Underwood - "Two Black Cadillacs" (remix by Dee Jay Silver) ft. Dolly Parton
 >> YouTube

Court Yard Hounds, two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks, aka Court Yard Hounds, announced the duo will release a new album in July. Emily Robison and Martie Maguire announced via Facebook, "We're excited to announce our new album, AMELITA is out July 16th on Columbia Records!  
The sister released their debut under Court Yard Hounds moniker on May 4, 2010 and toured behind the disc. They released three singles, but none charted.

Gwen Sebastian's past two years have found the singer's profile raised from 'just another' strong-voiced singer to on the verge of stardom after appearing on NBC's "The Voice." The singer was part of Blake Shelton's team and while she didn't win the program, Gwen and her record label Flying Island Entertainment have announced the upcoming release of her label debut GWEN SEBASTIAN.
Featuring 15 tracks, the album was produced by Gwen's fiancee Louis Newman and co-produced by Gwen herself. Gwen co-wrote 10 of the 15 tracks on the self titled album with co-writers like Nicole Witt, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Brady Seals, Dean Maher, Brian Eckert, Philip White, Jamie O'Hara and Neal Coty. Miranda Lambert joins Gwen for a bonus track version of the Emily West-penned "Annie's New Gun."  The album's lead single is "Suitcase" which is out at Country Radio right now. 

Carrie Underwood, Pollstar's Top Female Country Touring Artist of 2012 will be bringing her stage show to DVD with the August 13 release of The Blown Away Tour:  LIVE. Filmed at Underwood's Ontario, California, concert this past March, The Blown Away Tour:  LIVE features performance of a dozen of Underwood's #1 hits, including fan favorites "Before He Cheats," "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Two Black Cadillacs," and the album title track that gives its name to the tour, "Blown Away."
The DVD features nearly 100 minutes of performance footage as well as exclusive bonus material taking fans behind the scenes into the making of Underwood's smash tour.  The bonus clips will include interviews with Underwood and her tour director Raj Kapoor.

PRESS RELEASES

Kenny Chesney graces PEOPLE Country’s June Cover who name him “Country’s Hottest Guy”. It hits newsstands May 31.  COVER IMAGE

Kenny Chesney doesn’t just play NFL Stadiums, the man recently deemed “The King of the Road” by The Wall Street Journal is also known to play with the NFL teams as he makes his way across the nation. In preparation for his Saturday, June 1 show at the CenturyLink Field, Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll invited the 4-time Country Music Association and 4-consecutive Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year to join the team for their Friday practice. Watch the video - www.seahawks.com

“One piece at a time,” The Johnny Cash Museum (JCM) has culminated into an amazing celebration of The Man in Black. JCM celebrated its Grand Opening with a day full of prizes and limited time offers to fans and patrons on Thursday, May 30th. Located at 119 Third Avenue South between Demonbreun and Broadway, the museum is en route between the tourist circulated Broadway strip and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Music Row Magazine writes, “The New Johnny Cash Museum is awesome!” “An extraordinary collection!” writes Peter Cooper of the Tennessean. - PLA Media

The United States Postal Service, John Carter Cash and other members of the Cash family celebrate the legacy of the Man in Black with the release of a limited-edition Johnny Cash Forever stamp June 5, 2013 at Ryman Auditorium (116 Fifth Avenue, Nashville) at 10:30 a.m. CDT. Artists set to appear, perform or speak at the first-day-of-issuance ceremony include John Carter Cash, Carlene Carter, Larry Gatlin, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Roys, Marty Stuart and Randy Travis among others. 650AM WSM personality Bill Cody will serve as emcee of the event...IMAGE - Press

The Marshall Tucker Band (MTB), the Southern Rock icons have gone into the vault and emerged with never-before-heard live concert recordings from their 1995 South Carolina Music Hall of Fame induction.
LIVE! FROM SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA is exclusively available for purchase May 28, 2013. The eleven-track album, recorded live on September 19, 1995 at Spartanburg, South Carolina's Memorial Auditorium, features the MTB performing their biggest hits with musical accompaniment from Charlie Daniels, Jamioe and Butch Trucks of The Allman Brothers Band, The Outlaws, Firefall and Wet Willie. Track Listing and more details Absolute Pubicity

Rural Rhythm Records announced the digital album release of TEN by Nu-Blu. The digital album is available now on iTunes, Amazon UK, Google Play and other digital stores. The physical CD will be available on July 16th. Nu-Blu was founded ten years ago by husband and wife team, Carolyn and Daniel Routh, who are joined by long time band members Levi Austin and Austin Koerner to comprise one of today’s most popular bluegrass groups…Press

The Hank Williams Estate has signed an exclusive agreement with MusicSynk, the next generation sync rights company, for representation of licensing its music for film, television and digital video. This agreement includes over 150 previously unreleased live Hank Williams recordings, containing such iconic songs as “Lovesick Blues,” “There’s a Tear in My Beer,” “Hey Good Looking,” “I’m a Long Gone Daddy,” and numerous other timeless classics. This year marks the 90th anniversary of country giant Hank Williams’ birth and the 60th year remembrance of his tragic death - Webster & Associates

LANTANA, the female Texas group will be in Nashville during CMA Music Festival week to record their upcoming CD with producer Johnny Garcia (Collin Raye, Mindy McCready, Sherrie Austin). They'll break from the studio just long enough for a 60-minute acoustic performance from noon - 1 p.m. CDT on Saturday, June 8 at NIXA Country's Worlds Largest Fan Club Party located at Big Shotz (115 Second Avenue North). Formed as a trio in 2006 and known for their intricate harmonies, LANTANA now features just two vocalists: Texan native Biz Haddock and Canadian musician Dalene Richelle.  Joined together, the two friends create an intriguing musical mix that engages audiences wherever they perform - Press

The new label Red River Entertainment has launched in Nashville with an impressive initial list of veteran artists including Michael Martin Murphey, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis and, for the first time ever, will release material from the archives of WSM Radio.

For US viewers of RFD-TV’s "Larry’s Country Diner" here is the Hot June TV Schedule featuring Texas Tenors, Joey + Rory, Bradley Walker, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Roy Clark and Dailey & Vincent!!

ARTICLES

CMA CLOSE UP New Artist Spotlight: Angie Johnson by Bob Doerschuk

American Songwriter Natalie Maines: A Dixie Chick declares war on Nashville (Rolling Stone June 6 cover)
Natalie Maines is over country music. Particularly and specifically the explicit or obvious style of songwriting that leaves nothing to the imagination and everything said out loud. You might think that, in addition to her own history in the genre, country would be in the former Dixie Chick’s blood, what with her being the daughter of Grammy-winning producer Lloyd Maines, a man who has worked with the likes of country legends like Flatlanders members Butch Hancock, Joe Ely and Jimmy Dale Gilmore.
But Maines has no interest in the nuance-less twang produced by her former peers. She made this, perhaps ironically, explicit in a recent story in the June 6 Rolling Stone: “I just didn’t like how blatant country was. Nothing seemed poetic or subtle. Nothing could be interpreted two different ways!” The crux of her complaint lies with the songwriting, where “James Taylor can write “Fire and Rain” and tell you it’s about a mental institution, this and that – and you listen to it, and you’re trying to decipher it all. And, you know, a country song would be like [sings twangily], “I’m in a mental institution!”"
Take, say, “Accidental Racist” by Brad Paisley. Says Maines, “it just sounds like an out-of-touch white guy making an observation that I feel like we all made in junior high or high school.” Yet this makes for an interesting conversation given how much controversy Paisley’s collaboration with LL Cool J generated around its meaning. Subtle maybe not, but it did result in multiple interpretations.

The Tennessean Peter Cooper pens an open letter as he 'Goes to battle with Natalie Maines’ ‘War on Nashville’
Extract: You were a victim of knee-jerk ridiculousness. Ten years later, you are a perpetrator of knee-jerk ridiculousness, as highlighted in a new “Rolling Stone” article teased on the front cover as “Natalie Maines Declares War On Nashville.”
Can’t we just let our knees rest for a while?
I get that you were hurt and wronged by everything that went down a decade ago. And I’m not advocating that anyone stay away from your new solo album, “Mother,” because of the comments you’ve made about Music City music......Then, after the Paisley snarl, you say, “I just didn’t like how blatant country music was. Nothing seemed poetic or subtle.”
No country music seems poetic or subtle? Well, you can say some song on the radio isn’t poetic or subtle. You can say “The Accidental Racist” isn’t poetic or subtle. You can, and did, say anything you like, and it should have no bearing on whether your music gets played. But, come on, Natalie Maines, you are wrong……

Taste Of Country - Ronnie Dunn’s Country This: What Is ‘Country’? Extract: I’m repeatedly asked why country music isn’t “country” anymore, but that very question has been asked since someone tagged the genre “COUNTRY” … my math is bad, what — three, maybe four generations ago? Cash was as rock as he was country. One of his many successful career defining songs was the Trent Reznor song ‘Hurt.’
I think, maybe, it’s ultimately about lifestyle? It defines, in many ways, who we are, what we believe in, how we choose to live our lives down to the clothes we wear and the people that we work and hang out with.
I read not long ago that the last thing that a conquered society or people give up is their music. It’s an innate core expression of who we are.
 
REVIEWS
Salt Lake Tribune - Taylor Swift delivers a Red hot show in Salt Lake City...Few can match Taylor Swift's "unmistakable charisma and ability to connect"

INTERVIEWS
Rolling Stone: John Fogerty Celebrates Birthday, New Album in L.A. ...I'm just about out of the awkward 60s,' he jokes....Extract: There are a lot of country artists performing with you on the new record. Do you feel a kinship with country artists? Answer: I've always had reverence for country music, going back to Merle [Haggard] and Buck [Owens] and Hank [Williams]. These people on the album I really love. I really wanted Miranda [Lambert] on the record. Keith Urban has been a friend for many years. He may be the most gifted musician on the whole record. And anybody who can play guitar like Brad Paisley, I'm seeking an audience, and probably a lesson. Alan Jackson came along 20 years after me, but because of his stature, I didn't dare to hope that he would say yes. To me, it's like having Lincoln on your record...

MAGAZINES
Taylor Swift was on the cover of the June 1st Billboard Magazine spotlighting Taylors 8 wins at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards! - Image

LISTEN
Della Mae - 'This World Oft Can Be' (Full Album) >> YouTubeAlbum Bundles

SPOTIFY COUNTRY
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?

Gretchen Wilson – Under the Covers - May 28, 2013 release 12 tracks
Taylor Made – Taylor County Line – New release 15 tracks

Fill your UKCountryRadio.com 2013 Finalist boots. Check out the nominees

NY Times Digital Credit Where It’s Due: For old-timers who still go to record stores, flip through bins, buy albums and dig into the liner notes, the experience of streaming songs on a service like Spotify or Rhapsody can be dismaying. Listen, say, to Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall,” and you see only a track listing and a link to a cursory biography of the King of Pop....

FREE DOWNLOADS
Folk/Rock duo Shovels & Rope will make their performance debut at the Ryman Auditorium on Sunday, June 9 in part of an opening tour with Dawes. In celebration of their dates together, the bands recently released a collection of their songs: Noise Trade Dawes / Shovels & Rope Summer Tour Sampler.
With their most critically acclaimed album, O’ Be Joyful, Charleston, SC’s Shovels and Rope (Cary Ann Hearst & Michael Trent) have made their network television debut on The Late Show With David Letterman (Video), debut on Billboard‘s Heatseekers and debut as #1 Brand New Artist on Soundscan. Earlier this month, The Americana Music Association announced that Shovels and Rope will lead the 2013 Honors & Awards in September with FOUR nominations in the categories of: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Emerging Artist of the Year, and Duo / Group of the Year

WATCH
Gorgeous Aussie duo Baylou, have released a brand-new video for their song, 'Novocaine.'
Set in colonial times, the clip is a departure from the more contemporary clips the duo is renowned for and features some amazing costumes and beautiful locations.The song is itself is one of the morealt country numbers from their debut record, GO TO HELL AND I LOVE YOU, and highlights their diversity as song writers >> YouTube

Trisha Yearwood covered “So Far Away” and served up some Shirelles with Gloria Estefan and Emeli Sande at the In Performance at the White House program honoring Gershwin Prize recipient Carole King. >> YouTube

The Band Perry shared an acoustic video for the band's hit single 'DONE.'– Link
The album gets a UK release on June 10th, featuring a collection of rock tinged country crossover stompers, such as forthcoming single 'DONE.', and the Queen-influenced, 'Forever Mine Nevermind'. Other highlights include more vulnerable, pensive songs such as title track 'Pioneer', 'Don't let Me Be Lonely', and 'Mother Like Mine', alongside the Southern Gothic culture influenced, 'Better Dig Two'.

TV
Heart Touching: Blake Shelton held his Healing in the Heartland benefit concert Wednesday night (5/30) in Oklahoma City to raise money for the United Way's Oklahoma relief fund. Shelton introduced his wife Miranda Lambert, whose performance of "The House That Built Me" was the evening's most emotional moment. The crowd helped her make it through the song while she fought back tears. The night also featured performances from Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, Reba, Vince Gill, Luke Bryan and Usher joining Shelton for "Home," along with video messages from Alica Keys, NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood and Toby Keith. Watch it at

Sheryl Crow made it look "Easy" performing with contestants on The Voice May 28th (American Region-www.nbc.com)

COUNTRY FASHION

Katie Armiger donated her infamous black dress to the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas on Wednesday, May 22nd. Armiger wore the black dress on the historic Opry stage in August 2012, the night her “Better In A Black Dress” music video went #1 on GAC’s Top 20 Countdown. “I am a longtime fan of Hard Rock Cafe,” said Armiger.  Ever since I was little girl I can remember visiting the restaurants around the country and admiring the eclectic array of memorabilia that graced the walls.  Being asked to include one of my dresses to display alongside all of the superstars of music for thousands of people to see at such a well-respected franchise is such a great honor. Aristo PR

On May 25th Nicole Kidman made her fourth red carpet appearance as a juror of Cannes Film Festival, attending the ‘La Venus a la Fourrure’ premiere.
The actress and wife of Keith Urban selected a look from the Chanel Resort 2014 collection (Fashion Pic) . She snagged this dress embroidered in white sequins right-off-the-runway as it was just presented in Singapore.
Red Christian Louboutin ‘Decollete 554 pumps enhanced the overall look
(Fashion pic). This style debuted in Fall 2012 collection featuring red patent leater and 100mm heel
Light make up, a rolled, braided messy updo and Fred Leighton black enamel and gold cuff bracelets provided the finishing touches.
Nicole Kidman wore Jimmy Choo Senora ankle-strap d’Orsay sandals to the 2013 premiere of ‘Zulu’ and Cannes Film Festival Closing Ceremony. (Fashion Pic)
The heels are from an older collection featuring champagne glitter fabric and light gold textured leather. Shop the latest collections & styles at Jimmy Choo & Jimmy Choo UK
She ended out the festival wearing a custom Giorgio Armani strapless bustier white silk cady gown with a deep plunging notch and Swarovski crystal-embellished faux sash wrapped around the front of her. She styled with dazzling Harry Winston jewelry and sported a cinnamon bun swirling braided updo with a red lip colour completing her look.

COUNTRY GOSSIP
Kellie Pickler says a role on Broadway may just be in her future.

30-year-old singer Leann Rimes is creating a TV show based on her marriage. She and her husband Eddie Cibrian have been shopping around a comedy series based on their real life because they want to "take control" of how the public sees them.
LeAnn told People.com: "We're doing a TV show based on our reality. We'll take things out of our lives and elaborate them and make them funny. People have been laughing at us - we want them to laugh with us!

Leann Rimes wants a baby. While the 30-year-old singer would love to conceive her own child with husband Eddie Cibrian, 39 - who has sons Mason, nine and Jake, six, with former wife Brandi Glanville - she would turn to surrogacy or adoption if she failed to get pregnant. LeAnn told People magazine: "We have a lot on our plates. But whenever I talk about kids, I'm like, 'Let's have one!' I have a lot of work to do now but I'm totally ready if it happens”.

Jessica Simpson wants to get married after her baby is born. The Daisy Duke actress and “Come On Over” singer has had to cancel her wedding plans twice due to surprise baby news - hopes to walk up the aisle with her fiancé Eric Johnson as soon as possible after the couple's second child arrives.
A source told Us Weekly magazine: "[Jessica] was telling friends she wanted to get married a few months after the baby is born."
The insider claims Jessica was joking during her baby shower on April 14, "Let's have this wedding already before I get pregnant with another one!'" The 32-year-old blonde already has 12-month-old daughter Maxwell with Eric, and the pair were surprised to discover she was expecting another child, a boy, due to arrive in July.

Smells Like Twain Spirit: Shania Twain took home the Smitty Award for Most Innovative Use of Scent Marketing. Her Las Vegas show Shania: Still The One infuses the air inside The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during her performance with various scents including her fragrances Still The One: Day and Still The One: Night.

Ed Sheeran’s friendship with Taylor Swift is doing wonders for his bank balance. Not only has the singer got a healthy wage and some widespread publicity from being the support act on her North America tour, he’ll also be saving on hotel bills soon as well. Taylor has got the interior designers in to redecorate her £11million Rhode Island home after buying it in March.
And the star has promised Ed that she will decorate a boys’ room so he will have somewhere to stay when he comes to visit.
A source said: “Taylor and Ed are really good pals and their friendship has grown even stronger since they started the tour...Read more The Sun

PHOTO
Tape Measure: "Talk about full circle!" Reba tweeted with a picture. "A tornado cleanup volunteer found a Reba tape in the midst of the wreckage."


BIRTHDAYS
Jamie O'Neal (June 3, 1968), Freddy Fender (June 4, 1937), Kasey Chambers (June 4, 1976)
Don Reid (June 5, 1945/ The Statler Brothers ) , Brett James (June 5, 1968 / Songwriter)
Lisa Brokop (June 6, 1973/ Canadian singer-songwriter), Uncle Kracker (June 6, 1974)
M C Potts (June 7, 1968), Sara Watkins (June 8, 1981/ Nickel Creek), Vernon Oxford (June 8, 1941) 

R.I.P

Thomas “Tony” Autry Pickens died May 23 after a two-year battle with obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74.
A passionate fiddler for 60 years who backed countless country musicians, is remembered for his humility and a sense of humor he shared with everyone he met. “He was as happy as he was big, full of happiness and life,” his wife Brenda Pickens said.
Tony Pickens. Growing up in Carlsbad, N.M., Pickens began playing the fiddle when he was 10. His wife said he played so well that at 13 he joined his father's band, The Pecos Valley Playboys.
Pickens played backup for numerous artists including Hank Thompson, Johnny Bush and John Conlee. “There's not a whole lot of people he didn't play music with at one time or another,” his wife said. Read more: mysanantonio.com/obituaries

Larry Wayne Clark Songwriter, producer and journalist has passed after an extended battle with cancer.
Clark, a Canadian native, is a former editorial contributor to MusicRow Magazine, in addition other media outlets.
As a songwriter, Clark co-penned Chris Young’s breakout Nashville Star single, “Drinkin’ Me Lonely,” Lee Greenwood’s “Between A Rock And A Heartache,” The Statler Brothers’ “To Make A Long Story Short” and Buddy Jewell’s “Addicted To The Rain.”
His publishing company is Brainchild Music, his website is www.larrywayneclark.com
In 1995 he left Vancouver with his partner Maggie Ross and moved Brainchild Music’s Canadian operation to Barrie, Ontario and also bought a house in Nashville. Clark was inducted into the British Columbia Country Music Hall of Fame in April 2011
Listen to songs by Larry Wayne Clark and read is profile at www.songwriters.ca and larrywayneclark.com

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