Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Country Bites News snippets June 24 - June 30, 2013

Country Bites News snippets June 24 – June 30, 2013

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

Kenny Rogers was the "Glastonbury legend slot” on Sunday afternoon (June 30th). Over 6 decades he has released 120 singles and more than 65 albums and gained a Country Music Hall of Fame place.
Rogers took to the Pilton stage amid his latest European tour. See Setlist, photos, Jo Whiley interview and video of his 1hr 15 Glasto set at www.bbc.co.uk.
The "Ruby sing-a-long" just didn't happen!
Ahead of his Glastonbury appearance, the country legend talked to the Guardian about telling jokes onstage, being huge in Jamaica, and having a higher tennis ranking than Björn Borg.
Another veteran performance came via Sir Bruce "Nice To See U To See U Nice" Forsyth.

The Band Perry announced more UK dates for their “We Are Pioneers” World Tour 2013.
UK tour dates added for: The Band Perry, Tom Russell, Eric Bibb, Be Good Tanyas, Slaid Cleaves and Madison Violet on the Tour Dates Page

Ward Thomas (twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy) were the support for Mindy Smith on Sun 30th June 2013 at The Bush Hall in London: A big thanks to everyone who came along to bush hall last night! Was our favorite gig yet!!! - See Photo
Ward Thomas, who hail from Petersfield represented the UK at the “CMA Presents The Aristo Global Show” in Nashville on Tuesday, June 4.

UKCountryRadio.com have announced that tickets for their Sixth Birthday Party and Listeners' Club Award Final will go on general sale on Monday 1st July, priced £35. The event takes place at The Best Western Yew Lodge Hotel, Kegworth, Derby on Saturday 7th September. The Kerr Donnelly Band and the Annie Duggan Band will perform live along with the Listeners' Club Award Finalists - Details - Newsletter

Southport, England native Abi Bridgeman made her American debut at June’s CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Hot off a nomination for Horizon Award at the 2013 British Country Music Awards, Abi flew to Nashville to take part in country music’s largest festival.
She performed at the CMR Nashville International Artist Party at Whiskey Bent Saloon on Lower Broadway .and was the backing singer for Irish singer/songwriter Pete Kennedy during his set on the CMA Chevrolet Stage
- I’ll be spending as much time in Nashville as I can over the next year to help me further my career.” she said
Abi’s appearances in Nashville were the first opportunities for audiences to hear her new song, “Without You” (written and produced by Pete Kennedy).
Released on 13 May 2013 “Without You" (2013 Kemc Records) is available on Amazon UK and UK ITunes
Abi was recently signed to KEMC Records on an artist development deal.
So what’s next for Abi Bridgeman? She’ll join up with Pete Kennedy in mid-July to appear as featured artist on Pete’s US tour, which includes Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Chicago, and wraps up in Nashville in early September.
In 2010, aged 18, scooped the coveted Miss Southport and in June took part in the Miss England semi finals in Leicestershire.
As a qualified lifeguard, she came to the rescue of a fellow model on a photo shoot in Italy. Read more on her website  
Now the former seaside beauty is aiming to establish herself among the elite of country music.
Watch this video of Pete Kennedy feat. Abi Bridgeman "Forever And A Day"
Ali described her first Nashville experience as “magical, amazing, absolutely incredible” and her first time on stage as “overwhelming, a moment I will always remember, it was amazing, absolutely sensational
Listen to an edited Nashville interview with Pete Kennedy & Abi talking to the honoured 2013 CMA International Broadcaster Lee Williams on CMR Nashville about their reflections of the 2013 CMA Festival experience. 



Ali Bridgeman Booking Agent (Lee Williams Django Promotions - djangoproms@btinternet.com)

New to me is a UK Americana/Alt-Country artist Danni Nicholls who hails from Bedford.
Her 10 track debut album A LITTLE REDEMPTION recorded in Nashville, TN has now been released.
In December 2012, Danni recorded the crowd-funded [Pledge Music] album with Chris Donohue (Emmylou Harris, The Civil Wars, Robert Plant). The album features world class musicians such as Al Perkins (Bob Dylan, the Eagles, Dolly Parton, the Rolling Stones) and Steve Fishell (Albert Lee, Kris Kristopherson, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt).
In Feb 2013 Danni also released a 4 track EP called Time which was produced by Iain Archer (Snow Patrol, Jake Bugg, Tired Pony) 
About/ Bio:  Danni has been writing and performing original songs since she inherited her uncle Heathcliff's 1962 Burns London Shortscale Jazz guitar (rumoured to have belonged to Billy Fury!) aged 16. As soon as she had figured out the chord of G she was off writing her own material. Since then, with a few more chords under her belt, this "hard-working sweetheart of the rodeo" has been honing her craft, gigging and touring the UK (and USA) with her trusty Tanglewood parlour guitar wooing audiences with her emotionally charged Americana songs.
Danni's music is an eclectic mix styles which range from sultry Jazz/Blues ballads to rip roaring Rock n Roll with some vibey Alt-Country thrown in for good measure. She has been invited to support acts as diverse as Todd Snider, Angus & Julia Stone, Jim Lauderdale, Bobby Bare Jr, Mark Olson, Kate Walsh, Otis Gibbs, Nell Bryden and Diana Jones.
"an expressive voice that has ample power, but with a breathiness that can exude vulnerability or sensuality depending on the context. That is not to say that she can’t crank her voice up to full power...an artist with bags of potential...she is already delivering the goods on an accomplished debut where she can proudly hold her own amongst some of Nashville’s most talented musicians." Michael Hingston - Country Music People Magazine (April 2013)
Danni will be supporting Tift Merrit Thurs July 4th at The Haunt, Brighton. She plays the Maverick Music Festival (Sat July 6) and the Secret Garden Party (Sun July 28th) in Huntingdon - See Gigs
To celebrate the release of the album for an email share you can get 4 FREE songs from transmissionrecordings.co.uk
They consist of  "Six Pack" (Acoustic), 2 acoustic tracks from the album "Hey There Sunshine", "Beautiful Game" and Track 4 "The Next One" (MP3 all 320kbps Insane quality)
Watch her Promo Video >> YouTube For more details visit her Facebook Page

The Liverpool Americana Weekend runs from July 26-28 at the Philharmonic Hall, the Rodewald Suite and the newly saved Caledonia Pub. There will be sets from BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys and Chris Moreton. Read more: Liverpool Daily Post

Country Rockers Medicine Hat return to do a couple of London shows with outlaw countrystyle boys the Snakeoil Rattlers on Friday 2nd August 2013 (The Big Red, Holloway Road) and on Thurs 19th September (The Surya club, Pentonville Road)

Jerry Kilgore’s July appearances in the UK are NOT going ahead. He was due to play (with Sarah Jory And The Music Road Pilots) on Thur July 18th (Apollo Club, Harlesden, Norfolk), Fri 19th July (Moss Bank, Labour Club, St. Helens), Sat 20th July (Norfolk CMF, Norwich) and Sun 21st July (Freds Place, Mapperley)

Singer-songwriter Emily Maguire shows at Chapel Arts Centre (Bath) and her album launch at Hoxton Hall (London) have both now SOLD OUT. However you can still see her performing as a trio in Twickenham at Twickfolk on Sunday 7th July. Emily will be interviewed by Clare Balding on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 14th July (about 7.30am) prior to the BIRD INSIDE A CAGE album release the following day.

Zac Brown Band were in the UK to sing at a big festival on Sunday (June 30th) playing London's Hard Rock Calling with Bruce Springsteen. Check out the Setlist and Photo Gallery . The guys are also busy working on two albums that'll be out sometime later this year.
Zac Brown Band with "Jump Right In" have hopped up to the "A"-List on the BBC Radio 2 playlist (week commencing 29 June 2013) joining "Everything Has Changed" by Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran. The Court Yard Hounds with "Sunshine" remain on the "C"-List for a third week who are the cover feature for the July issue of Country Music People - Image

Daniels was such a great Rol model – “When I was growing up, Roly Daniels was one of the biggest country music stars on the showband scene” says Daniel O'Donnell read the article

Mick Hanly will open a brand new music festival to be held in the idyllic setting of Cloghane and Brandon, Co. Kerry, next month. The festival, from July 5-7, also features Sean Keane and a host of musicians playing local pubs – O’Connor’s and O’Donnell’s – over the weekend.

UK CHART NEWS

On the Official UK Singles Top 100 Chart (Week Ending July 6, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s new single Everything Has Changed” (Mercury) feat. Ed Sheeran, which is still on BBC Radio 2’s “A” playlist fell 9-13 in its 6th retail week. Taylor’s other singles from RED saw “22” to down 17 places 66-83 in its 18th chart week. Swift’sI Knew You Were Trouble” (Mercury) which peaked at #2, fell 6 slots (71-77) on its 38th chart week. As of last week “Trouble” had sold 718,800 units in the UK!

On the Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week Ending July 6, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s RED was up 3 places (21-18) in its 36th chart week.
Lady Antebellum was down 8 slots (79-87) in their eighth week with new album GOLDEN

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending July 6, 2013)
Lady Antebellum remain at No.1 with GOLDEN (Decca) for a 8th consecutive week
The Band Perry stay at No.2 with PIONEER.
Ben Miller Band with HEAVY LOAD are new on the chart at No.11. The album was first released on Aug 7, 2012. They have just finished touring in Ireland and the UK and head for Germany, Austria The Czech Rebpulic and France for more European dates. Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, The Ben Miller Band is a one-of-a kind trio that combines the frenetic energy of bluegrass, the soul of the delta blues and the haunted spirit of Appalachian mountain music - Amazon UK

On the Hotdisc Chart (June 23, 2013 Chart) 

David Shelby, retained the No.1 for a fourth week with his debut European single, "Kick A Little Dirt Around".
Hayley Oliver Band's song, "Could I Be More Blue," stays at No.2 for a second week and tops the British and Irish Top 10 for a third straight week. Andy Griggs’I Don’t Let Go” remains at No.3
The lovely Aussie artist Stephanie Jansen moves up 9-6 with “Risky” and Joanna Mosca with her catchy new single “Dream On Savannah”, written by ace trio Troy Verges, Hilary Lindsey and Marv Green, enters the Top 10 moving 11-7.
Cerrito with “Hot Pepper Doll” is just outside the Top 10 having moved up 6 slots (18-12)
Tracks from the July Hotdisc #175 should start to impact the chart next week as the promo disc lands on the DJ’s doormats.
Do you listen to Stuart Cameron's Hotdisc Top 40 Show?
It's broadcast on CMR Nashville Radio on Sundays at Mid-day and repeated every Monday at 10am.
It is also available in the UK and Ireland on TD1 Radio (Sun at Mid-day), Strabane Radio (Sun 5pm), NI Country Radio (Sun 7pm), East Coast FM Radio (Sun 10pm) and Ears Radio (USA).
Listen to the excitement on this weeks show as the No.1 is announced.



You can also check out UKCountryRadio.com with Phil Butler's British & Irish Hotdisc Independent Top 10 Show on Mondays at 8pm.

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

(17 Jun 2013) George Jones / Merle Haggard / Johnny Paycheck - Double Trouble / A Taste Of Yesterday's Wine (Morello) CD
(18 Jun 2013) Green River Ordinance - Chasing Down The Wind
EP 7 Tracks / Time: 27:03 Genres: Country Indie & Alternative MP3
(24 Jun 2013) Lynn Miles - Downpour (Continental Song City) CD - MP3  

(25 Jun 2013) Hank Williams: Sacred Songs II the Unreleased Rec [Import] (Time Life Records) - CD
(25 Jun 2013) Steve Earle - Warner Bros Years 5 Disc Box set (Shout Factory) Amazon
(25 Jun 2013) 650 AM WSM Live From the Archives 1 [Import]  (Red River Entertaint) CD

(1 July 2013) Danni Nicholls - A Little Redemption (Transmission Recordings) 10 tracks / Time: 35:44  MP3 - UK iTunes - Brand new Alt-Country/Folk/Americana album recorded in Nashville from the Bedford UK artist

(2 July 2013) Darden Smith - Love Calling (Compass Records) Time: 39:35
MP3 - The album is produced by Jon Randall Stewart and Gary Paczosa and according to the label, represents the culmination of his work as an artist and global philanthropist. MP3's are available with an Official release date set at July 30. 2013
“Love Calling” (Deluxe Edition) will be released on September 2, 2013 (Propermusic.com) - soundcloud.com

(15 July 2013) Court Yard Hounds - Amelita (Sony Music CMG) 11 tracks CD
Court Yard Hounds “Sunshine” 4 Track EP - MP3 - US iTunes
Court Yard Hounds “Amelita” (Pseudo Video) >> YouTube

BLUEGRASS NEWS

Former Cumberland River bass player Joey Jones takes his place on stage as a member of The Roys’ band officially on Saturday, July 6 at the 14th Annual Oats Bluegrass Festival in Benton, PA.

Ralph Stanley the Country Music Hall of Fame member has announced plans for his final tour which will conclude in December 2014. The 86-year-old singer and musician will be backed by his longtime band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, for the performances billed as Man of Constant Sorrow Tour: The Dr.'s Farewell. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music degree from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., in 1976. The start of the tour on Oct. 18 in Rocky Mount, N.C., coincides with his 67th anniversary as a professional performer. He began his career in 1946 with his older sibling Carter as a member of the Stanley Brothers. [Morris PR Press]

What’s ‘Mangrass’? Bluegrass Gals Della Mae Rock Out With Unique Sound ..interview and feature on Yahoo Music

AUSSIE NEWS

Kaylee Bell the 2013 Toyota Star Maker Winner and 2013 CMA Aristo Global artist, will release her sophomore album, HEARTFIRST, on Friday, July 5. Far more than mere tales of life, love and living in the moment, the songs comprising HeartFirst are a bold mirror of self. The 12 fresh, melody-heavy tracks are a window to the essence of a young woman, keen to rejoice and reflect in equal share.

Sara Storer’s new album LOVEGRASS will be released on August 23, 2013 through ABC Music/Universal Music Australia. Since the release of ‘Calling Me Home: The Best Of Sara Storer’ in 2010, Sara Storer married and had her second and third children. The album’s opening single and title track ‘Lovegrass’ is a song written about her husband Dave. This is my love song for Dave. How lucky is he to have a song written for him about a noxious weed,” she jokes. ‘Lovegrass’ features 12 original tracks including songs with John Williamson and Greg Storer, and sees multi-award winning producer Matt Fell take the reigns in the producer’s seat. "Lovegrass" Lyric video >> YouTube
Sara Storer has gone on to become one of the most respected singer/songwriters in Australia. She has a won a staggering 14 Golden Guitar Awards in addition to her Platinum and Gold records.

There is a new CD out for Diana Corcoran on August 9, 2013. Although known in her homeland as a multi award winning vocalist and writer within the country music industry, Corcoran lives a life as a producer outside of the public domain. Producing projects both in the Pop and Country genre in America and Europe, Dianna finally brings her production skills back home with the highly anticipated release from new country group, The Fairground (Katrina Burgoyne, Paul Cowderoy and Will Osland). Their debut single “Burn The Room” is very different to that of their solo careers. It’s loud with a full sound and edgy lyrics. Written by hit songwriters Megan Connor (Rascal Flatts, Chris Young, Johnny Diaz) 
and Shane Hines (Steve Holy, Jeff Jankins, MTV) it undoubtedly has a heavy American influence. It was recorded at Ocean Way Studios Nashville with Eric Legg.

Award-winning Australian duo McAlister Kemp is set to perform at 3rd & Lindsley on Thursday, July 18th in front of Nashville media and Industry Executives.



CANADIAN NEWS


Jess Moskaluke, crowned the 2013 Female Vocalist of the Year by the Saskatchewan Country Music Association has released a new single “Everything Falls” (MDM Recordings Inc./Universal Music Canada) to Canadian country radio.  Produced by Mitch Merrett and written by Katrina Elam, Ben Glover and Andrew Dorff, the track explores the distress of unrequited love, and the intense feeling of longing fueled by unfulfilled desires, as Moskaluke’s evocative vocals sing  “I wanna be the one running through your mind, every little part of me memorized….”.  The single will be released to iTunes on July 16, 2013.

On June 22nd, 2013 country-recording artist Codie Prevost married his hometown sweetheart Ashley Schurko at a ceremony held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Family, Friends and industry colleagues gathered to celebrate their union. The Honeymoon for the new couple will have to wait as Prevost is hitting the road starting tonight with a show opening for Nashville's hottest act Florida Georgia Line. He will also be opening shows this summer for Streetheart in Medicine Hat for Canada Day, Dean Brody at their Centennial Celebration & Prism at the Yorkton Exhibition. Prevost will be also putting the finishing touches on his fourth album, which he plans to release late this fall or in early 2014. [Source- Press Release]


Terri Clark is selling limited edition t-shirts via her website to raise money for Alberta Flood Relief.



NEWS


Changing Room: "Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "22" aren't Taylor Swift's most country-ish hits, but her fans and the country music community remain loyal. I think one of the things that I’m happiest with, in the last year, is the acceptance level in country music for me experimenting and for me trying to evolve and challenge myself musically," she explains. "I think it’s never felt better to be on that stadium stage performing knowing that everyone’s been so welcoming of change."

Before Drinks After Work: Your boss thinks you're doing spreadsheets, but with pong skills at 88% and an intoxication level of 5% ... no.


You're into your fifth round of Toby Keith's Drinks After Work Beer Pong Challenge. The latest promotion from Toby allows fans to bounce ping pong balls into red solo cups from the comfort of their computers all while listening to his new song "Drinks After Work." drinksafterworktobykeith.com -

Click "Play Without Losing Your Score"



Jo Dee Messina and Tracy Lawrence may have ushered in a new era in recording economics for country artists. Both of them met their goals on the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter during the weekend. Messina raised $122,000—surpassing her goal by more than $20,000—to finance her new album, “My Time. Our Music”.  1,017 Backers pledged $121,743 of a $100,000 target during a funding period May 24, 2013 - Jun 23, 2013.

Lawrence amassed $52,779 of a $50,000 goal thanks to 279 Backers which was 6% more than his stated goal—to fund Headlights, Taillights and Radios. While Kickstarter has existed since April 2009, this appears to be the first time that established country hitmakers have used the platform to fund new albums.

John Oates of Hall & Oates fame has a new project and he's enlisted the help of two of country's biggest names to help him out. John recently launched “Good Road to Follow”, a project which will have the singer releasing a single per month for the next year. Joining him on the project will be Vince Gill and Taylor Swift.

Julie Roberts has signed with Sun Records, and her “Good Wine And Bad Decisions” will be the company's first new release in 27 years. Out Oct. 29, the album will be available via pre-sales through Pledge Music.



Roots Canal:  Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood will star in their own episodes of the upcoming season of TLC's Who Do You Think You Are? The show, which helps celebrities trace their ancestry, premiers July 23 .

ASCAP, BMI and the CMA hosted a #1 Party on Monday, June 24th to celebrate the team behind George Strait‘s 60th #1 single, “Give It All We Got Tonight” which hit No.1 on the  Mediabase charts for the week of May 12th – 18th, 2013 — just days before Strait’s 61st birthday. (what a coincidence!?)

It’s a round Dozen for Vinny - Vince Gill will begin his 12th consecutive term as the President of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum board.

Dinner With Dierks: A Fried Pickle Burger and a Dierks Lemonade will set you back about 22 bucks, unless you dine and ditch, at Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row restaurant. Following in the footsteps of Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse and Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill, Dierks' new eatery opens July 4 in Scottsdale, AZ with a performance by Jon Pardi and appetizers that include Grilled Whiskey Wings. View upcoming events and menu items here.

US Tours
Easy Riders:  Gary Allan and Sheryl Crow will co-headline the misleadingly named "Free And Easy" tour opening Sept. 13 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. "Sheryl and I met while doing some guitar pulls earlier this year and started talking about doing something together," Gary says. "The timing seemed right and Free And Easy just came natural to us both"

Holly Williams announced on Facebook (Sat June 22nd) that she is taking a two-week break from touring to recover from polyps on her vocal cords.Her last show was June 23rd in London at The Borderline.

More than 80,000 tickets were sold in about 2 1/2 hours for the July 6 blowout (Tornado Relief) that will include Toby Keith and will be the first Oklahoma concert for country star Garth Brooks since 1997. Other performers include Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Mel Tillis and John Anderson.
Direct To Toby: "I got old memories of that place," Toby Keith says regarding the University of Oklahoma's Stadium. "I was raised inside of 10 miles of that stadium, I sold Cokes in that stadium when I was 13."

Satellite Dish: Carrie Underwood has been added to the lineup for the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert on July 6. Due to a previously scheduled show at the Grand Ole Opry, the Oklahoma native’s performance will be aired via satellite from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville to the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.

The electrifying Americana duo Shovels & Rope (husband & wife combo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent) have announced dates for their fall headlining US tour, running September 6 – October 12, in support of their critically acclaimed album O’ Be Joyful.

Kacey Musgraves is among the performers announced for the 2013 edition of FARM AID, scheduled for Saturday, September 21st at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. She will join members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews.

Rascal Flatts were forced to cancel their show Thursday (June 27) at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI due to severe thunderstorms. They have rescheduled for Aug. 15.

An early morning crash set a tour bus belonging to county music singer Toby Keith afire Monday (July 1). Witnesses called 911 to report a burning RV on Interstate 65 near Lebanon. It was later determined the RV belonged to Keith. He was not on board, and no injuries were reported.

No Shoes, No Shirts, and LOTS of Problems - Kenny Chesney Concert Ends With Fights, Arrests + Huge Mess!
Kenny "Have Another Beer" Chesney’s concert at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field led to 73 arrests, an ocean of garbage, and the lingering stench of domestic beer and/or urine etc.
City leaders say this year’s concert was among the rowdiest and dirtiest since Chesney started playing Pittsburgh in 2005.
Officials said the Kenny Chesney [booze bash] concert drew 58,000 people to Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field.
Bloody displays of red-blooded countrified Pirate Flag savagery saw No Shoes Nation denizens leave behind a mess the likes of which the Keystone State hasn’t seen since Three Mile Island!
The excitement over Kenny "When I See This Bar" Chesney proved to be a little too much for some people with the night ending with several fights.
At least 10 large fights broke out and 150 people were treated for various medical needs.
Additionally, 43 minors were cited for underage drinking and about 200 people were treated for medical needs or transported to medical facilities.
It took cleanup crews several hours to tackle the mess, which was just out of the way in time for the Monday morning commute.
"People make their own toilets. Lots of those. Five-gallon buckets and cardboard boxes.” said Stotler [president of ALCO Parking], whose company leads the cleanup operation. “I'll leave that up to your imagination.”
He estimated crews hauled off 45,000 to 60,000 pounds of garbage, not counting recyclables. Now some angry Pittsburghers are calling for an end to Kenny Chesney concerts in their city.
Read the report and see the video at pittsburgh.cbslocal.com

The Band Perry will be headliningMusic City 4th of July: Let Freedom Sing” in downtown Nashville this year and Reid Perry says, “We’re so excited to take part in the festivities here in Music City for 4th of July. But also for the chance that we also get to play three of our songs with the Nashville Orchestra as well, which will be the first time that we’ve played with an orchestra or marching band of any kind. So we’re really looking forward to that.”

TV
Shepherds Pie Anyone? - Ashton Shepherd announced on Facebook that she's getting a new cooking show on eWave TV.
Other happy news!!!! I have a brand new cooking show "cookin country" that will be airing on the Foodie Network Online ewave TV! Cooking is apparently the new acting for country stars getting their own cooking shows, websites, and name-brand food.
Trace Adkins has his sausage. There's Trisha Yearwood's cooking show "Trisha's Southern Kitchen", and Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman has "Kimberly's Simply Southern". Toby Keith has his "I Love This Bar & Grill" restaurant chain and his daughter has her recipe website.

BABY NEWS

Knute little boy: The Dukes of Hazzard star Jessica Simpson had her second child by fiance Eric Johnson on Sunday – and named him Ace Knute Johnson.
The 32-year-old, who has a 13-month-old daughter called Maxwell, had a caesarean in Los Angeles. A spokeswoman said: “Ace Knute (pronounced Ka-nute) Johnson has arrived! Mom and baby are doing great.
“Jessica, Eric and Maxwell are thrilled to welcome the new addition to their family.”
The “Come On Over” pop-country-singer-turned-fashion designer accidentally revealed the baby’s sex in an interview in March, on Jimmy Kimmel’s chat show. Read more: thesun.co.uk

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS

Ashton Shepherd is bringing back her authentic country sound with the release her new single, “This Is America”, just in time for the Fourth of July holiday. It was released digitally Friday, June 28th and included on CDX #575 (distributed July 22nd).
This new single, which will be off her upcoming album set to be released late July, is something she is very proud of. “There’s also a special surprise duet that I can’t wait for everyone to hear,” says Ashton.

Tim McGraw's "Southern Girl" is being released to radio as the fourth single from his Big Machine Records debut, TWO LANES OF FREEDOM. The "seductively melodic" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) track has had an infectious reaction from fans on the TWO LANES OF FREEDOM 2013 Tour.

Toby Keith’s new single "Drinks After Work," the from his upcoming, currently untitled album, superstar singer-songwriter gets to the heart of happy hour. The relaxed, catchy track captures the essence of bellying up to the bar with friends after a hectic day.

Kelly Clarkson is in a country wedding mode. 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.
"Love it! It’s rocking and plays to the Country lane!"  Clay Hunnicutt – SVPP Clear Channel Media + Entertainment

Rachel Dampier recently made her debut on Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Radio with her upcoming single, “Strong Heart.” The single was released by the ICMA as a test run digital download for June, and debuted at # 77 and has since climbed to #61.

Tyler Farr’s current hit on the rise, "Redneck Crazy," entered the Top 20 on the country singles chart and he has announced the release date for his “highly-anticipated” debut album. REDNECK CRAZY will hit stores on Tuesday, October 15.

Sam's Club: Not only will Sammy Hagar perform at Toby's Twister Relief Concert, his work with country artists continues to extend beyond tequila tastings with Kenny Chesney. Ronnie Dunn and Kid Rock will contribute to the upcoming Sammy Hagar And Friends album. The collection's 10 tracks of cover songs and original material includes Sammy's "Knockdown Dragout" with Kid and "Bad On Fords And Chevrolets" with Ronnie. It's set for release Sept. 24.

Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay’s album“BEFORE THE WORLD WAS MADE (produced by Gurf Morlix) will be released on September 17th. Take a listen to “Let’s Go to Lubbock on Vacation” - brennenleigh-noelmckay.bandcamp.com

For the first time in its 87 year history, 650 AM WSM has released a compilation volume of live, in-station performances by world renowned artists and writers.  This 16-track release, titled LIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES OF 650 AM WSM - VOLUME ONE (Red River Entertainment / RED Distribution) is available now on CD and digitally.  A limited, numbered edition two-jacket vinyl release will be available in August.

PRESS RELEASES

Nashville, HitShop Records President Skip Bishop announced the signing of an exclusive recording agreement with dynamic new talent, Natalie Stovall and The Drive. Stovall, a Tennessee native, is a relentless performer, amassing over 200 dates each year across college campuses, clubs and military bases around the globe.

Lady A Online Team members are getting an exclusive first look at a studio performance video and Summer Mondays!
Starting Monday, July 1st, Lady A will be posting something brand new every week until the end of July!

Legendary musician Earl Scruggs’ Gibson RB-Granada Mastertone banjo will become part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Precious Jewels” display, museum officials announced . This banjo, which was Scruggs’ primary instrument and has never before been exhibited, will go on display July 12.
The “Precious Jewels” display, which is located on the third floor within the museum’s core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music, spotlights a handful of seminal instruments upon which much of the foundation of American music was created. 

The Americana Music Association will spotlight “The Music of New Orleans” at their 2013 Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, September 18-22 in Nashville. The announcement was made at the Old US Mint in New Orleans during a special reception hosted by the Louisiana State Museum on Wednesday June 26.

Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood and more are set for performance shows and special events at the Grand Ole Opry July 2 – 6, making it an “All-American All-Star Week.”

Hit-makers Little River Band are gearing up for their latest album release of AOR masters Cuts Like A Diamond for Frontiers Records on August 24th in Europe and August 27th in North America. The group will be releasing a digital only single “The Lost and the Lonely,” on July 8th.

Nashville's newly-launched XYQ Artist Management celebrates the addition of country music star Danielle Peck to its roster. XYQ manager Lee Willard, will handle her personal day-to-day and career management, with the company spearheading the release of her third studio album, HOW FREEDOM FEELS. - "We are very excited to be working with one of country music's brightest female stars," says Willard. "Danielle has an exciting future ahead, and with her impeccable talent, charm and charisma, the skies are the limit."

The Inspirational Country Music Association celebrates its 21st anniversary during ‘country music month’ in Nashville, Tenn., with newly-announced expansion of award show categories. The 2013 ICM Faith, Family and Country Convention and Awards will take place at Two Rivers at Opryland in Music City on Oct 20-24, 2013; with the 19th annual Inspirational Country Music Awards taking place on October 24, 2013, at Two Rivers....Webster & Associates Press

The Country Music Association (CMA) Board of Directors announced today (July 1) that Steve Moore has submitted his resignation as Chief Executive Officer, effective June 30, 2013. Moore said, “After nearly four years in this position, and given the phenomenal success that the CMA team has achieved, this seemed like an appropriate time to step aside and pursue other corporate and philanthropic opportunities.”


ARTICLES
CMA Close Up (by Bob Doerschuk) New Artist Spotlight: The Sins Country....Extract: Yet here they are, joined in marriage and music on one of the strongest duo debuts of recent years. Joe has a little grit and twang in his tenor, while Kristen stretches from honeyed intimacy to dramatic upper-register flights….

REVIEWS
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  Kenny Chesney doesn't disappoint with hits at Heinz Field....Extract: Picture a Steelers tailgate party with young people in summer cowboy wear in place of older black-and-golders. Now subtract the people who come for the football not the drinking. Then, add 50 or 60 degrees of hot sun to make that alcohol boil up inside. That's the pre-game of the Kenny Chesney No Shoes Nation tour that rolled though Heinz Field. Part of the game is managing to stagger through the aluminum-and-glass-strewn parking lot -- preferably with shoes on -- to actually make it into the concert....

The (Vancouver) Province - Taylor Swift paints Vancouver RED with big-spectacle, family-friendly extravaganza..."delivers one of the best big-spectacle, family-friendly extravaganzas touring today."...read review and setlist   

Gretchen Peters at The High Barn, Essex - Gig Review

BOOKS

Ricky Skaggs has just about done it all over the course of his 50+ years in music. With hundreds of career accolades and countless life experiences under his belt, Skaggs certainly has a story to tell.
Now, for the first time, Skaggs is ready to tell the story of his life with the release of his personal autobiography, “KENTUCKY TRAVELER” (It Books).  Skaggs will release this unprecedented piece of Bluegrass and Country Music literature on August 13, 2013. Kentucky Traveler” is available for pre-order now Amazon.com

MAGAZINES

Power Play: Billed as "Country's $500 Million Man," Toby Keith is on the cover of Forbes' Celebrity 100 issue. "The most vertically integrated performer in the music business" details his rise from oil rigs to the stage, getting a record deal, investment in Taylor Swift's label and other successful ventures, often providing dollar figures.
Also in the issue, the celebrity power list finds Taylor Swift at No. 6, Keith at No. 43, Carrie Underwood at No. 46, Kenny Chesney at No. 47 and, at No. 1, Oprah Winfrey.
Extract: FORBES estimates that Keith pulled in $65 million over the last 12 months–more than any musician not named Madonna, Lady Gaga or Bon Jovi, and easily outpacing masters of product extension like Jay-Z ($42 million), Beyoncé ($53 million) and Jennifer Lopez ($45 million). The long-term figures are even more impressive. Over the past five years, FORBES estimates, Keith has never earned less than $48 million in a year. His cumulative take over that period: $270 million. Over his entire career–Keith has written a No. 1 country hit every year for the past two decades–his total earnings surpass $500 million......Read the cover story here

Download the June Issue of Magazine Of Country Music

LISTEN
Michelle Wright has a sample track "Back To You" from her forthcoming STRONG album (set for Canadian release on July 9). Along with 3 other songs on STRONG, Michelle co-wrote it with Eric Silver, who also produced four songs.

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?

Cash for Questions? - On BBC 2’s Newsnight (Mon July 1) Jeremy Paxman was questioning Universities and Science minister Rt Hon David Willetts MP for Havant about "Moocs” [online learning course]. Willets claimed that they “are going to be a big part of the educational landscape" and using an analogy said “We’ve all got SPOTIFY and we’re all listening to music online but 100’s of thousands of people went to Glastonbury” = Ummm have we ALL got Spotify and is the cheque in the post from his Swedish friends?!

As of Tuesday (June 25), The Eagles catalog will be available to subscription music services including Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio and Deezer. Nine Eagles titles available for streaming include Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Eagles Greatest Hits Volume 2, Hotel California and The Long Run. The release of the catalog to subscription services comes after the group’s catalog appeared, then disappeared from Rdio in May 2013 - Eagles
The Eagles were part of a small number of prominent artists still holding out from subscription services, including The Beatles, Led Zepplin, AC/DC and Garth Brooks.

Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally – House & Garden - Country Music People 5 STAR Review June Issue
Court Yard Hounds – Sunshine4 track EP contains the current Radio 2 single
Mud Digger – Mud Digger 4 The DREADFUL brand new Average Joes Entertainment Country/Rap compilation

Pete Kennedy – Pete KennedyIrish singer-songwriter and BCMAward Album of the Year Winner 2012

Danni Nicholls – A Little Redemption - Bedford UK singer-songwriter brand new eclectic album, Playing Maverick Festival
Elizabeth Price "Kiss Up Time" - 12 years old, Album recorded in Nashville!
Taylor Swift – Red - Finally released by Big Machine Records, Taylor’s 4x Platinum 2012 release

FREE DOWNLOADS

Americana – Ashleigh Flynn's “See That Light" from her May 14, 2013 release "A Million Stars" - soundcloud.com

Gretchen Peters July’s free download is “Paradise Found”, recorded live at The Glee Club in Nottingham, UK on April 5, 2012, on the last night of the UK leg of the Hello Cruel World Tour.


When you register on Gretchen Peters' Mailing List you will be able to download the free monthly MP3.


WATCH

You Be The Judd: "I can't even explain how much of an impact The Judds were on my life," says American Idol runner-up Kree Harrison. "My mom, my sister and I were like … it's us. The Judds."
Watch Kree join Wynnona for "Love Is Alive" >> YouTube

Luke Bryan's new vid "Crash My Party" >> YouTube
The Civil Wars "The One That Got Away" >> YouTube
Aussie Kaylee Bell's new vid "Heart First" >> YouTube

Michelle Wright’s brand new "Strong" video >> YouTube
Tracy Lawrence "Footprints On The Moon" >> Lyric Video

Michaelis Lyric Video "Shoot Straight" >> YouTube
Michaelis are an up-and-coming country band comprised of three sisters from Texas; Meagan (lead vocals), Mallory (rhythm guitar/vocals), and Madeline (guitar/mandolin/vocals). the slow grooving track “Shoot Straight.” Their sound is distinctly country, with a low, slow burning old school vibe  that’s piled high with dynamic harmonies. “Shoot Straight” itself has something of 1990's Sheryl Crow vibe to it, twinged with a bit of steel guitar and country flavored finger picking.
While the group has been working hard on their debut album with producer David Brainard (Jerrod Niemann, Brandy Clark), they’ve been hitting the tour circuit for years in their native Texas and beyond [Source jukeboxmixtape.com]

Dancing Man at Gretchen Peters Beverley Festival gig during the "England Blues" number! Sometimes when the music takes you, you just have to dance! >> YouTube

Teea Goans, a Missouri native who gives traditional country a boost with her lilting voice, dropped by the Country Weekly conference room to perform T. Graham Brown's ”Overboard.” 

COUNTRY FASHION

Taylor Swift posed for Diet Coke wearing a Corina Short Trapeze Dress by Alice + Olivia ($297.00). You can get the look with the La Redoute Silver Dress (£22.00)

Taylor Swift greeted fans backstage at Club RED wearing a Kate Spade Picnic Floral Martin Dress ($256.00) - Image
Click to Enlarge
Taylor + Miley
Renowned fashion designer Manuel Cuevas will open a new retail space at 800 Broadway in downtown Nashville on July 15.
The 3100 sq. ft. space is currently undergoing renovation to accommodate Manual’s iconic designs, worn by some of country music’s most legendary stars, as well as a studio for designing and manufacturing the first run of products from the upcoming ‘New Vision’ collection...Read More at gactv.com

Little Big Town recently performed their new single “Your Side of the Bed” on The View and Karen Fairchild displayed her unique fashion sense in a horizontal-striped blazer, screen tee and black skinny jeans. Her mesh booties were the stars!  “Calzature” by Carmen Marc Valvo-the mesh cutout booties feature a tie in the back and stiletto heels - Image

Miley Cyrus making her way to the SiriusXM Studios in New York City, to promote her new single “We Can’t Stop” wore an Emilio Pucci Spring 2013 ensemble consisting of a blue silk tiger-embroidered cropped bomber jacket (from – Stylebop.com) with the sleeves adjoined with knots and a blue silk layered skirt with intricate buttons on both sides. White Celine pumps complete her look - Fashion pic

COUNTRY GOSSIP

Taylor Swift is the princess of country music, who mostly can do no wrong but to the controversial Westboro Baptist Church she is “the whorish face of doomed America
According to Radar Online Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Taylor’s concert on August 3 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ben Phelps, the leader of this ridiculous organization that calls themselves a church, gave RadarOnline.com a rash of harsh words for the country cutie - ” What she’s famous for is hopping around from one bed from another.” “This girl is a whore,” he insists. “Who else is gonna say that if it’s not the church of the Lord Jesus?
Taylor tries to pretend that she’s a good Christian,” he continues. “But she’s not. When she has a huge platform like that, a huge influence on young women like that, she’s got a duty to tell about God’s standards. And she has absolutely failed.”

Julianne Hough wants to go camping for her birthday next month. The 'Safe Haven' star loves glitzy parties but wants to celebrate her 25th birthday on July 20 under the stars with some of her friends.
The blonde beauty said: "It's my birthday next month and I'm wanting to do a lake birthday because that's kind of how I grew up, camping, boating and wakeboarding, stuff like that”. The "Footloose" actress has embraced the Hollywood party scene since breaking up with her boyfriend Ryan Seacrest after three years of dating in April and enjoyed a night out with her older brother, Derek, 28, at the Svedka Splash of Summer party in Los Angeles on Tuesday (25.06.13).

Kimberly Perry and her brothers try and coordinate their stage outfits but they also don't want to look like triplets. Right now they're into black leather and gold and they try and weave that in without looking overly matching. Their mom also still picks out all their clothes.

Keith Urban heads out soon on tour and his road "must haves" include a Frisbee over a basketball. He also brings a motorcycle with him on tour and an old boom box from the 80's that Keith says he bought off eBay.

Lady A's Hilary Scott says the drug store beauty product she can't live without is Secret deodorant in Va Va Vanilla. She loves the smell and says she's sad if she can't find it.

Since ABC's 'Nashville' was picked up for season two, Rascal Flatts Jay DeMarcus wants to be on. He's met with casting directors and they're trying to find him a part. Jay says it could be a one-time thing but he hopes it'll be recurring.
Charles 'Chip' Esten appears in Rascal Flatts 'Changed'video

Gwyneth Paltrow strips down to saucy undies to seduce a sex addict in the trailer to her latest movie. The 40-year-old "Country Strong" beauty – who stars as Pepper Potts in the Iron Man movies – poses in black bra and knickers with stockings and suspenders in a bid to bed Mark Ruffalo in “Thanks For Sharing”….Read more: The Sun

TWEETS
Taylor Swift @taylorswift occasionally gets philosophical “I’m beginning to think that you don’t find happiness from living your life looking ahead or back..that you find it when you look around.”

Cat Food: "Just realized you guys got my twitter up to 30 million followers," Taylor Swift tweeted Saturday (6/29). "So cool considering I only tweet about my cat and food." The cat Taylor tweets most about is her laid back travel companion, a Scottish Fold named Meredith. "She really doesn't care where she is," says Taylor. "She’s like, 'Oh, I guess I'm on a plane now. Oh I guess I'm in a dressing room now. Oh I guess I'm in a hotel room now; don't care.'" Taylor and Meredith are on the road through Sept. 21 as they continue the North American leg of her Red Tour.

Victoria Banks - I don't care how cool of a concept Pandora internet radio is. I refuse to use a service that royally screws songwriters. They just paid one of my cowriters $9.62 for 771,000 spins of a song.
[Pandora and musicians to discuss royalty settlement as war of words heats up....In 2012, Pandora paid 0.11 cents per stream. Next year, the cost goes up to 0.13 cents, and 0.14 cents the following year. These costs add up fast.]

PHOTO
Margaritaville: "My husband's birthday is June 26th & mine is June 28th, so we decided to take a little trip," tweets Kellie Pickler while on vacation in Mexico, wearing the type of hat that can hold chips and salsa - Image

CMA Fest: Gloriana on the Riverfront - Photo sets
Taylor Swift performing at the Rogers Center Toronto, ON June 2013 Photo Gallery (photographer Kelly E Schultz, Magazine of Country Music)

Gretchen Peters Post-show at Glastonbury (June 30, 2013) - Image
Teea Goans: If you love the music, support the artists and writers that create it...makes sense to me (And don't steal from the people you love. That's just not very nice!) - GRAPHIC

BIRTHDATES
Happy Birthday this week to:
Keith Whitley (July 1, 1955), Michelle Wright (July 1, 1961),
Aaron Tippin (July 3, 1958), Sarah Buxton (July 3, 1980),
Trent Tomlinson (July 3, 1975), Charlie Louvin (July 7, 1927) 

R.I.P
Woodlawn Memorial Park: Where Country Legends Rest ...The final resting place of a music legend can exert a strong pull on diehard fans, general pop culture junkies and history buffs alike - cmtedge.com

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