Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Country Bites News snippets September 30 – October 6, 2013

Country Bites News snippets September 30 – October 6, 2013



The UK Tour Page has been updated with more October dates right through to new additions in 2014

Of note:
UPDATE (Oct 7, 2013) – Due to overwhelming popular demand Taylor Swift announced she has added two further dates to the UK leg of THE RED Tour next year:
Click to
London's The O2 will now host Taylor Swift's blockbuster THE RED TOUR on Monday 10th February and Tuesday 11th February in addition to the earlier announced 1st, 2nd and 4th February 2014 dates.
This means she will perform live in concert in front of almost 100,000 fans in February 2014!
Check checking the Official Red Tour Dates for updates
Ticket prices for the above dates range from:
£29.75 Upper Tier (£25.00 Ticket + £4.75 Fees), £37.50 (+ £5.50 fees) and £54.00 Lower Tier (£47.50 Ticket + £6.50 Fees)
Tickets are available to purchase from Ticketmaster UK

Who is the support? - Indie Pop Band The Vamps (EMI Records, Universal Music Group) who hail from the UK are the special guests at all 5 shows
The band who comprise Bradley Will Simpson, aged 18, from Birmingham (Lead Vocals, Guitar), 19 year old James McVey from Bournemouth (Guitar, Vocals), Connor Ball, aged 17, from Aberdeen (Bass, Vocals) and 19 year old Tristan Evans (Drums, Vocals) cite Taylor Swift!, The Kooks, The Script, Adele and the Arctic Monkeys as influences.

They signed to Mercury Records in late 2012. The band started to grow a fan base by supporting pop punk band McFly in early 2013 on their Memory Lane Tour. At festivals they supported The Wanted, JLS and Little Mix. The Vamps released their 4 track debut EP CAN WE DANCE on Sept 29, 2013 (iTunes - Amazon UK ).
They will also be releasing a full album in 2014. They gained further recognition in September 2013, when supporting Taylor's pal Selena Gomez on her Stars Dance Tour at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on 7 and 8 September 2013.
Their single "Can We Dance" (new on the BBC Radio 1 playlist) was released in the UK on Sept 28th and has debuted at No.2 on the Official UK Singles Chart on sales of 66,730 copies. The video has so far received 2.8 million views. Eager to avoid being branded as the “new One Direction”, The Vamps point out that they actually play on their songs.
They also write most of their songs apparently, but not “Can We Dance”, which was written by their Norwegian producers Espionage, alongside Domino Go (a duo comprising Irishman Karl Michael and Londoner Timz Aluo) and Bruno Mars.
www.thevamps – Find them on  Facebook and Twitter

WIN tickets
a) Capital FM are running a competition from Monday 30th September to Monday 21st October 2013. The prize will consist of a pair of tickets to see Taylor Swift live at the London’s O2 Arena on with 1st/2nd or 4th Feb 2014 (Date TBC).
b) To celebrate Glamour UK’s fabulous November cover star they’re giving away 5 pairs of tickets to her show at The O2, London on 4th February 2014 - www.glamourmagazine.co.uk

C2C Country to Country (#C2C2014) announced the day splits schedule across the weekend - Event Line Up
Saturday March 15, 2014: Zac Brown Band (Headliners), Dixie Chicks
Martina McBride (* added Oct 10) and Dierks Bentley
Sunday March 16, 2014: Brad Paisley (headline), Rascal Flatts, Chris Young + special guest to be announced (Sunday ONLY)
A Day Ticket costs:  £56.00 or £78.00  (including booking fee). 
A Weekend Pass is: £128.50 or £150.50 (including booking fee).
Tickets go on sale from 9am Friday 11th October and can be purchased from:
Ticketmaster UK or the official C2C Country to Country website 
BBC Radio 2 is the broadcast partner of the festival, and will be broadcasting highlights of the shows on March 20th and 27th 2014.
>> Full details in this Blog Post

C2C2014 announced for Ireland!
When: Friday 14 and Saturday 15 March 2014 
Where: At The O2, Dublin (situated in the heart of Dublin’s docklands: North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
Ticket information: Tickets for each day are priced from €49.50 including booking fee go on sale Friday, 11th October at 9am from Ticketmaster outlets and online at Ticketmaster IE
Friday Line Up:
Dixie Chicks, Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley
Saturday Line Up
Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Chris Young

The huge two-day music festival extravaganza will also take place in Ireland for the first time at The O2, Dublin
Brad Paisley returns to Dublin following a hugely successful arena show last year as part of the Virtual Reality World Tour. Rascal Flatts join the lineup after their “phenomenal” Olympia Theatre show in Dublin this summer.

In the latest Oct 2013 issue Country Routes Magazine celebrated the "news of the decade for Brit Country":
Tim McKay (front cover) and his band McKAY have signed to a major worldwide label EMI/UNIVERSAL.
In 2012 Tim McKay, who was on the bill at the Wembley Festival of Country Music, was in interview with Allan Watkiss on BBC Radio Sheffield (April 1) and he spoke of keeping in contact with festival performer Richie McDonald of Lonestar for songwriting sessions. In June 2012 McKay went on a mini tour in Europe with Dwight Yoakham (headliner), Laura Bell Bundy and Joey & Rory with dates in Scandinavian including Oslo, Norway and the famous High Chaparral Country Music Festival in Sweden. In May 2012 well known UK country artist Darren Busby became Tim's father-in-law!

The McKay Band were then slated to open for Brad Paisley and The Band Perry on the European leg of Brad Paisleys Virtual Reality World Tour in November 2012 but sadly due to staging issues, production complications and show timings beyond their control this never materialized.
In Oct 2012 they were due to head to a studio to work on an album and songs with a major label. Regarding their progression Tim McKay said they have become “bigger, better and stronger” and he believes they have the songs and the talent as a band to do it. McKay are 6 best friends who “instantly gelled”, 2 are twins. Its members consist of Tim McKay (Lead Vocals), Arthur (Keyboards), Henry (Lead Guitar), Jack (Rhythm Guitar), Milo (Bass Guitar) and Nick (Drums). McKay have the backing of a big team from CMA industry people, the CMA President of Europe and Garth Brooks and The Band Perry’s managers - “The right people loved us and like what we do” said Tim speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield’s Allan Watkiss.
On March 16th 2013 McKay opened for Brantley Gilbert at the Manchester Academy and in July supported Rascal Flatts on their UK and European dates Shepherds Bush Empire on 10th & 11th July.

  • New To You: Jess Hearn a Country-Pop/Acoustic/Singer-Songwriter who hails from Woking, Surrey and is currently studying at The Academy of Contemporary Music shares a demo track 'Baby Love’, an original song recorded a home. Listen at soundcloud.com you can visit this cool looking young lady on Facebook
  • Country Routes Magazine now has a Facebook Page
  • The next Country Routes' Honky-Tonk show takes place on Saturday, October 26th at 7:30pm with the Hanks Trio and PJ. Amazing venue, fab music in a good timey atmosphere at Great Ouseburn, Lightmire Lane, Nth Yorkshire YO26 9RL (Just off the A1 at junctions 47 or 48) - See Flyer. The Fans enjoyed having a bop at last event! "Bringing the Best Country music to a fabulous large venue located in a beautiful village" - See Facebook Group
  • BBC Introducing took three artists, nominated by their local BBC Introducing show and selected by Radio 2's Bob Harris, to the Americana Music Festival & Conference. The artists selected were Emily Barker, Eloise Rees and Blue Rose Code. >> Watch their Hard Rock Cafe Nashville showcases at bbc.co.uk
  • The Examiner: Jeannine Barry: 3 reasons why she wants to come to Nashville from the UK
  • Hampshire female duo Ward-Thomas (Twin sisters Lizzy and Catherine) who represented the UK at the Aristo Global Artist event in Nashville in June are now finalizing dates for a short US Tour in October and November.
  • Singer/songwriter Jo-Leah (Wallace Tilbury) has landed an album nomination via Album of The Year for November's BCMAwards. The song, titled "Crazy Country Girl", is featured on Nashville Sessions Vol.2 by Ireland's Pete Kennedy. They wrote the song together back in May 2012. See press cutting
  • The Zac Brown Band with “Island Song” enjoy a 2nd week on the BBC Radio 2 B-Playlist , they were added the week commencing of Sept 28th, 2013. It currently holds a #17 slot on the iTunes UK Country Single Chart. 
  • BBC Radio 2 Country now has a Facebook Page
  • Laura Cantrell was live in session for Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2 - bbc.co.uk

Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week Ending October 12, 2013)
Taylor Swift’s RED was up 3 slots 97-94 in its 50th chart week.
Sammy Hagar with SAMMY HAGAR & FRIENDS (tagged Hard Rock) containing contributions from Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Ronnie Dunn and Kid Rock made a debut at #92

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending October 12, 2013)
Tony Joe White with HOODOO (Yec Rock) remains at No.1 for a third week.
Lady Antebellum with GOLDEN made a 5-2 hop in their 22nd chart week.
Laura Cantrell moved 2-3 in her 2nd chart week with NO WAY THERE FROM HERE (Spit & Polish). On its debut week it charted at #151 on the Top 200 Official Uk Album chart.
My Darling Clementine with their highly praised 5 STAR rated album THE RECONCILiATION debut at No.10
Keith Urban’s FUSE (Capitol) continues to take a tumble moving 11-20 in its third week and is still without a UK digital release.

On the Hotdisc Chart (October 6, 2013 Chart)

Chris Higbee’sLiving The Dream” co-written with Tommy Hardin and Doug Stokes took over the #1 slot from Toby Keith after 3 weeks at the top with "Drinks After Work" (written by Natalie Hemby/Luke Laird/Barry Dean) which dropped to No.2 on the Hotdisc Top 40.
Lost Hollow’s “Drifting” moved up 2 places 5-3 with Josh Thompson holding at #4with “Cold Beer With Your Name On It” .
The Lawrence John Project fell back 3-5 rounding out the Top 5 with his self penned “We’re On Our Way To Heaven”.
Denae Gardner (#7), Allan Craig Miller (#8) and Mountain Rio (#9) all climbed into the Top 10. 
The Hayley Oliver Band’s Good Old Days” fell 2 places 8-10 but Fergal Flaherty’sI Won’t Let You Down” fared worse with a 7-12 slide (#2 British & Irish Chart). This results in the Hayley Oliver Band being declared “without doubt the most successful British or Irish act ever in Hotdisc chart history”,  gaining their ninth No.1 single on the British & Irish Chart as "Good Old Days" crept past the Irishman who now resides in Spain. Tony Clarke with “Here Comes That Song Again” (Remix) stayed at No.13 on the Top 40 (#3 British & Irish Chart).

Next week will see new tracks from the October 2013 Hotdisc #178 (Rush Released), which landed on DJ’s doormats this week, impact the chart.


(23 Sep 2013) Music of Nashville Season One: The Complete Collection:
4CD Soundtrack, Box set (Decca) 63 tracks, Time: 3:34:11! 
Get the 4CD deluxe soundtrack now with over 30 previously unreleased or on MP3 

(24 Sep 2013) Dim Lights Thick Smoke & Hillbilly Music 1970 [Collector's Edition, Original Recording Remastered] (Bear Family Germany)
(30 Sep 2013) Alan Jackson - Bluegrass Album  
14 tracks / Time: 1:01:57 CD - MP3 
(30 Sep 2013) Sammy Hagar - Sammy Hagar & Friends 
(Limited CD+DVD) CD - MP3 

(7 Oct 2013) Hank 3 - Brothers Of The 4x4 (Megaforce) 16 Tracks CD

  • The 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) World of Bluegrass, held Sept. 24-28, 2013 in Raleigh, N.C., generated an estimated $10 million in direct visitor spending for Raleigh and Wake County, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB).
  • Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out - World of Bluegrass Recap (Raleigh, NC) and a Down Home Contest!!


  • Adam Brand has announced the release date and track listing for his new 15 track album, MY ACOUSTIC DIARY. The album, which is a retrospective collection of thirteen carefully selected songs that span the entirety of Brand's career (from 1998-now), as well as two newly-penned tracks, is set for release November 8. Listen to the first single titled > "Freedom Rebels"
  • Lee Kernaghan is still at number one after three weeks on this week's national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with his latest hit Flying With The King.

Cassadee Pope, winner of The Voice (season 3), releases her debut album Frame By Frame on October 8 (Republic Nashville/Big Machine Label Group/Universal Music Canada) and this winter she will join Canada’s Dean Brody on his Crop Circles & Tractor Beams Jan/Feb 2014 arena tour, marking the first time a winner of The Voice will tour Canada.-


  • Alan Jackson will play next year’s 27th MerleFest (slated for April 24-27, 2014), Jackson will be part of the festival’s Thursday schedule.
  • Luke Bryan's album Crash My Party has been certified platinum in just six weeks.
  • Kimberly Perry is engaged to Toronto Blue Jays starting catcher J.P. Arencibia. The blond spitfire lead singer in The Band Perry said “yes” on Monday night (Sept 30th) when her boyfriend of a year-and-a-half proposed at Perry’s parent’s house in Greeneville, Tenn. Perry and Arencibia plan to wed next summer. Done Deal:  When J.P. Arencibia popped the question, he made her childhood dreams come true by proposing under the oak tree in her family's Greeneville, TN front yard. The baller had one of his own come true, as well, having scored a backstage meet-and-greet with the singer after being smitten by her in the "If I Die Young" video. "In the immortal words of Anne Of Green Gables – this makes up for every unfulfilled dream we ever contemplated," Perry shared. The Band Perry bros were thrilled. “We’re really excited about it. We’ve gotten to know him over the past year and a half and it’s really great to include him as part of the family,” Reid told Country Weekly. Later this month, the brothers are solidifying their bond with Kimberly’s fiancé by taking him on a hunting trip—and Reid warns that J.P. had better be careful. “It’s probably a good thing, the brothers-in-law Neil and I having a gun in our hands,” he jokes, “in case we need to just pass on a little friendly vice.”
  • Willie Nelson reported that a stuffed armadillo that belonged to a member of Nelson’s audio crew had been stolen from a theater in New York State. The toy has been returned – unharmed. The toy animal known to the band as Ol’ Dillo disappeared after a September 19 show in Port Chester, New York.
  • Brad Paisley will receive the Nashville Symphony’s 2013 Harmony Award at their annual Ball December 14. The award’s given to someone "who exemplifies the harmonious spirit of Nashville’s musical community." Past recipients include Keith Urban and Taylor Swift.
  • While Carrie Underwood warms up viewers on the couch at home with the theme music for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” in-the-stands fans will get a performance from fellow Sony Music Nashville artist Sara Evans when the Indianapolis Colts host the Denver Broncos on Oct. 20. Evans will sing the national anthem and also perform at half-time.
  • Down Came A Blackbird:  Martina McBride and her husband John have launched sound-engineering school The Blackbird Academy with its inaugural six-month Studio Engineering program. TBA utilizes the couple's Blackbird Studio in Nashville and offers programs for studio and live-sound engineering - Enrollment
  • Heavy Metal:  A country duo rapping in front of a hard rock band = That's about the best way to describe Florida Georgia Line's tour, which opened Thursday in South Dakota (10/3). Fans and music industry pros were invited to a preview of their first major headlining tour in Nashville earlier this week.
  • Joe Nichols teamed up with Randy Travis for the new George Jones tribute "Tonight I'm Playin' Possum."  The song is included on Randy's just-released covers album, Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am, and Joe tells ABC News Radio it was a no-brainer to say yes to this collaboration. "When I listened to the song, I thought, 'Man, this is exactly how I feel as a George Jones fan.  It's exactly what I was feeling when I heard he passed away,'" Joe says.  "Love the way the song came out.  It's exactly what we hoped for being a traditional country song.  A great tribute to one of the greatest of all time
  • What's Julie Andrews' reaction to Carrie Underwood starring in a remake of The Sound of Music? "It's going to be the original show, I believe, and I think after 40 or 50 years, it's probably time somebody else had a crack at it," Andrews said in a recent interview. Andrews also said she thinks Underwood is going to be great in her role as Maria von Trapp, the governess Andrews portrayed in the 1965 film.-
  • Sarah Darling celebrated her birthday (Friday Oct 4th) by performing at the Grand Ole Opry on two shows this Saturday Not a bad way to celebrate!
  • Kacey Musgraves has released her latest single, “Follow Your Arrow,” to country radio. The song is about being who you are and living your life and has already inspired a number of Kacey’s fans. Co-written by Kacey, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, the track is near and dear to Kacey’s heart as it started as a gesture for a close friend.“It started off as a poem, honestly, for this friend who was going off to Paris for four months studying and she was leaving everything she knew behind, going to a foreign country [and] didn’t know the language,” Kacey said.


Spoiler - ‘The Nashville’ ABC TV drama returned to screens in America, Season 2, Episode 1 – RECAP
Episode 2 was shown Wednesday, October 2 at 10/9c on ABC. Its not been shown in UK until a later date (early 2014?) on More4.
Spoiler - Season 2, Episode 2 – RECAP  New Enemies Move Into ABC’s ‘Nashville’ -
Digs fit for a music diva! Super-sleek home of Hayden Panettiere's Nashville character hits the market for $2.1million. Those with house envy while watching Hayden Panettiere‘s character Juliette Barnes stomp and skulk around her ultra-sleek digs during episodes of Nashville will be happy to know they can actually purchase the 5,300 square-foot modern mansion now, according to the Dailymail. The striking home, which was the scene of some key Nashville shots, was designed by the late architect Stephen Kanner, who co-founded the A+D Museum of L.A. The home sits on nearly three acres in a gated community on Overton Lea Road, and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, an infinity pool, breathtaking views of the Tennessee countryside, along with four bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

X Factor USA Recap: Four Chair Challenge Week 1 – Over 25s And Girls
On Wednesdays show, judge Kelly Rowland was first to narrow down the Over 25 Top 10. Her group included Nashville bartender Rachel Potter. With the first three chairs filled, Rachel Potter was fourth to hit the stage. Potter took on Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable.” Demi Lovato asked how she felt about the performance. Potter replied, ”To be quite honest with you, I’ve been sick. I don’t feel like it was my best.” Lovato agreed, saying “I feel like you can do a lot better than that, but that was kind of rough.” Simon Cowell praised Potters song selection and said it was a brave choice. Rowland was somewhat disappointed in Potters performance, but told knows that when Potter is 100 percent, she has “serious, serious pipes.” Following a very dramatic round and ten impressive performers, Rowland saved Potter, despite the rough performance and boos from the audience.
Rowland’s Top 4 in the Over 25 category includes Potter, Lillie McCloud, Jeff Gutt, and James Kenney. >> Video

The first round of CMA Awards performers hitting the stage this year was announced they include Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.

  • Country newcomer Chris Janson and his lovely wife, Kelly Lynn (who presents Inside Music Row on Sky/Showcasse TV), are expecting a baby boy this spring. The couple made the announcement via press release this week, also revealing that the baby is expected to arrive on April 2, which also happens to be Janson’s birthday. The addition will join the couples daughter together, and his two step-children. “Kids really changed my world, for the better,” Janson shares. “When we got married I took on two wonderful kids and that was awesome"
  • Joey+Rory... + a new BABY!!! So... the biggest news of the year, was on the final episode this season of The Joey+Rory Show on RFD-TV, is that Joey+Rory are having
    a baby!!!   Yes, Joey is expecting a little one in February.  And as you can imagine, they are as thrilled and excited!  Having a new baby at the farm is going to be life-changing for them, their girls and all their family. God is so good!!  Joey is planning to have baby at home with a midwife, so they won't be finding out if it's a boy or girl until the big day comes.                               

Article: An inconvenient truth: Why music sounds bad
The Audiophiliac thinks the root cause is that bands mix their music to sound 'good' over tiny wireless speakers, streaming music services, and cheap ear buds. CNN recently reported on the "death" of the home stereo system, and while that's an exaggeration, few people -- young or old -- have "stereos" anymore. CNN was asleep at the wheel on this one; precious few folks have had stereos for decades. Music is now almost always consumed in cars, and over phones and plastic computer or Bluetooth speakers…. Today's bands and record labels know their audiences aren't listening at home on a stereo, so they have to make sure the music's volume never changes. That way the listeners can hear it well enough in the noisiest of places. That's why engineers compress music, compression boosts the softer sounds, and flattens the really loud bits, so it all comes out sounding the same.


Florida Georgia Line announced via Facebook that they will be releasing a brand-new deluxe version of their debut album, titled Here’s To The Good Times…This is How We Roll. The new album will contain five new songs, the “Cruise (Remix)” featuring Nelly, every music video they’ve ever done and a ton of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. This fall the buzzworthy newcomers will celebrate with their fans nationwide on their first headline run -- HERE'S TO THE GOOD TIMES TOUR 2013. The 32-city tour features openers Colt Ford, Tyler Farr (select dates) and Dallas Smith (select dates)

Shelby Lynne will release THANKS, a five-song EP, featuring five brand new songs, on November 19. The collection is her latest release on EVERSO Records, the independent label she founded in 2010. Lynne recorded Thanks at EVERSO Studio in Palm Desert, CA with co-producer Ben Peeler, who also played lap steel and guitars and contributed background vocals. In addition, the EP features the legendary Maxine Waters on piano and vocals, Michael Jerome on drums/percussion and Ed Maxwell on upright and electric bass, Wurlitzer, Moog and background vocals. Read more/ track listing in the press release -
Danielle Bradbery, the  Season 4 winner of The Voice hosted a Facebook chat sharing big news about her debut album. The seventeen-year-old will release her self-titled project on Big Machine Records November 19. The record was produced by prominent musician Dann Huff in Nashville. Watch her perform "Never Like This" after the ad at Ram Country

Joey+Rory are entering the wholly independent phase of their career (after releasing a handful of albums with Sugar Hill/Vanguard Records) with the release of MADE TO LAST (on their own label Farmhouse Recordings). 
It's the husband and wife duo's fourth full-length album of Country Music and sixth overall, with 2013's inspirational album  Inspired: Songs of Faith & Family (via Gaither Music Group) and their 2011 Christmas album A Farmhouse Christmas. The new album (available on CD and Vinyl) features a dozen tracks, most of them featured on their RFD Network television show The Joey+Rory Show. “This album is the most personal project we’ve ever worked on,” explains Feek. “With this record, we had the freedom to record anything we wanted. We chose these songs solely because we loved them and wanted to sing them. I know the fans will be able to feel that intimacy when they listen to these tracks."
It contains a handful of covers on the album with Towns Van Zant's "If I Needed You," George Jones' "50,000 Names" and Alan Jackson's "To Do What I Do," a song written by the duo's close friend Tim Johnson, who passed away after battling cancer last year. In fact, every track comes complete with its own personal back-story about why it was included on the record, providing listeners with a glimpse into the heart and soul of the tender duo.
An album release launch took place along with daughter's Heidi Feek at the Historic Belcourt Theater on Oct 2nd (soundcheck -   Image) In addition, the duo will be performing at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in support of Don Williams on October 6th and 7th, right before Made to Last hits stores on October 8th.

Joey+Rory's "Inspired" DVD is now available in Walmart and Cracker Barrel stores and through Joey+Rory's webstore. See email update  
David Shelby (Highway South Records) artist continues his momentum to stake his claim as a masterful instrumentalist, composer and rocker in the country music format with his latest radio releaseMoonshine,” the second single from his debut CD project entitled RUST BELT COWBOY. Written by F.J.Turner (and co-produced by Shelby, Turner and Chris Virzi) the cut lends insight to Shelby’s playful character in lyrics and reinforces his serious talents as a producer and songcrafter. Listen to the single on soundcloud.com

Bill Anderson announced info about his new Album 'LIFE'. As in real life...Anderson's new CD, "Life", is full of surprises - including guest performances by Willie Nelson, John Anderson, Vince Gill, Dailey & Vincent, and Joey+Rory, as well as The Great American Choir - while this Country Music Hall of Famer takes his listeners on a musical journey through various "slices of life" that are uniquely punctuated by Anderson's own sense of style and humor. It will be released digitally by RED RIVER RECORDS on Nov. 12th with an in-store release date of March 4, 2014.

There has been minimal fanfare about Disney’s formal return to the world of country music. Lucy Hale, of ABC Family’s ‘Pretty Little Liars’ will be one of  the label’s first artists, releasing a country music album in 2014. More than four years ago, Disney Music Group closed the doors of its country music label, Lyric Street Records. Despite its size, it represented some of the largest acts in country music including SHeDAISY and — most notably — Rascal Flatts. While Disney attempted to shift most of its acts to other music divisions, the most successful of the lot took the news by leaving Disney altogether.

George Strait, Luke Bryan, Josh Turner and Alison Krauss are teaming up with the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty for the new holiday album, Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. It comes out October 29 featuring the Robertson’s' take on holiday classics like "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," as well as original tracks such as "Hairy Christmas" featuring Luke Bryan, "Christmas Cookies" with George Strait, and "Why I Love Christmas" with Josh Turner. >> Promo Video

Gretchen Wilson's first holiday album, the 10 track CHRISTMAS IN MY HEART is out Oct 08, 2013 on Redneck Records
It will include traditional carols, holiday favorites and a few new tunes. The project is Gretchen’s third album release this year on her own Redneck Records.  “This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Gretchen said. “We really took our time and came up with a fun mix of classic songs and found some great new songs to record.”
The Greg Barnhill-composed title track kicks of the album and is followed by the fun "Santa I've Been Naughty" written by Robert Simbeck and Frank Michels. The slightly irreverent "If You See Rudolph," by Trent Willmon, Jenee Fleenor and Rob Byus, rounds out the original offerings on the CD. Kids will love Gretchen's versions of "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas," "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas" and "Nuttin' For Christmas," and her renditions of classics like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "Blue Christmas," "The Christmas Song" and "Silent Night" are sure to delight listeners throughout the holiday season?!
Christmas In My Heart is available for pre-order through US iTunes
She will return to The Pageant nightclub in St. Louis on October 15 to celebrate the 10-year-anniversary of her groundbreaking album, Here For The Party. The performance will be filmed for a live CD and DVD, STILL Here For The Party, which will be released in May 2014.

Heather McCready has a new single coming out, a love song, titled "Love Takes Time" produced and arranged by Milo Deering. It will be available to the general public on October 14th. It will be debuted live on Fox 4's "Good Day Dallas"


  • Marty Raybon wins his first IBMA AWARD when presented with the “Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year” Award for “Beulah Land”
  • Randy Travis’ new album Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am came out Oct 1st. This album marks the first time in Travis’ career to record a studio album with his touring band.
  • Steve Wariner released lyric videos on VEVO for all 12 songs on his new album, It Ain’t All Bad.
  • Kevin Fowler was chosen as the NRA (National Rifle Association) Country Artist Of The Month for October. Just a month away from his highly anticipated November 12th album release, How Country Are Ya?, featuring his hit single and title track. The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is nonprofit organization that promotes firearm competency, safety and ownership. The NRA's political activity is based on the tenet that firearm ownership is a civil right protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Related News: NBC Sports Network recently canceled a  controversial NRA-sponsored show 'Under Wild Skies' in which host Tony Makris kills an elephant in Botswana shooting it several times before it dies and celebrated the hunt by drinking champagne.
  • Kellie Pickler and her BF appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Oct 1 to perform "Someone Somewhere Tonight”  and revealed new album artwork for her upcoming fourth studio album, The Woman I Am, due in-stores Nov. 11.
  • Hank Williams Jr. the Grammy award-winning country singer/songwriter will headline the fifth annual Music City New Year’s Eve ‘Bash on Broadway’ event in downtown Nashville. Sponsors include: Miller Lite, Coors Light, Jack Daniel’s, Advance Financial 24/7 and McDonald’s.
  • Brand New Music from Sarah Jarosz, Brian Wright & The Deep Dark Woods on Sugarhill Records
  • Nashville’s Johnny Cash Museum is ranked #1 on Forbes and National Geographic Travel lists in just a short five months after its grand opening.
  • Larry’s Country Diner” October Line-Up is “Spook-tacular” featuring Ricky Skaggs, The Isaacs, Jeff & Sherry Easter and Billy Yates.
  • Kenny Rogers celebrates release of you CAN’T MAKE OLD FRIENDS, due out October 8th on Warner Bros. records with media tour. Performances and appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Extra!, Home & Family, CBS This Morning, Fox & Friends, The Rachael Ray Show, Bloomberg TV and The Today Show.
  • Tickets for the last leg of George Strait’s two-year The Cowboy Rides Away Tour continue to sell out fast
  • Kix Brooks will present the 2013 SRO Awards at the IEBA Honors and Awards Dinner Oct. 22, during “The 43rd Annual IEBA Conference,” which will be held Oct. 19-22 in Nashville, Tenn. “The SRO Awards honor those that are the unsung heroes of the touring industry,” said Ed Hardy, President of the CMA Board of Directors.
  • Morgan Frazier & Stand for The Silent hit the road for Multi-State, Anti-Bullying Tour of Schools.
  • Rural Rhythm announced long-term deal with Steve Gulley.The first album will be a gospel album titled FAMILY,FRIENDS & FELLOWSHIP, and is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2014.
  • Canadian Country supergroup The Road Hammers release their first single in 4 Years
  • Vote for Pope:  Big Machine's Cassadee Pope needs your help to become the next VevoLift Artist
  • Newcomer Sherry Lynn and country legend Crystal Gayle experience a "Beautiful Life" with new single
  • Josh Ritter announced a brand new set of acoustic dates for his Autumn and Winter European/ World Tour. Josh, Zack Hickman, and Josh Kaufman have put together some new arrangements spanning Josh’s entire catalog.
  • Ricky Skaggs is selected as 2013 artist-in-residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Special guests include Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Peter Frampton, Bruce Hornsby, Gordon Kennedy, Kentucky Thunder, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Del McCoury and The Whites. Skaggs will present two intimate evening performances, each with its own theme and lineup of guest artists, on November 18 and 19.
  • Curb Records’ Rodney Atkins is coming to country fans, Oct. 8, as Atkins’ upbeat single “Doin’ It Right” is now available to download exclusively on iTunes. Written by Jay Knowles, the song is the lead single from Atkins’ forthcoming fifth studio album and will be released to radio the week of October 14.


  • CMA CLose Up: Sheryl Crow Crosses the Country Divide
  • The Examiner : Sheryl Crow on country music: 'Art has gone the way of commerce  "I don't know why that is," she says of the genre's male dominance. "I do think in the last 10 or 15 years, art has gone the way of commerce. Whenever there's money involved, you figure out what's going to bring in sponsors and what's going to resonate with people and what's going to sell records." She adds, "I'd love to see [this] change, selfishly." On what makes the country format so special, she says, "I think what really sets country apart is that tear in the voice. I think the greatest country singers have been men and women who you really believed what they were singing, and there was a lot of emotion in it..
  • Chicago Tribune: Linda Ronstadt on Hall of Fame induction  Extract: 'I don't care'..she has never seen American Idol, and isn’t sure where her Grammy Awards are...“I don’t know where they are,” she said. “The first one I left in the back seat of a rental car. I’d rented a car to go to the show, and tossed it in the back when I left. I forgot about it and left it there in the back seat.” Music, she said, is about something else for her. Her two children — 22-year-old Mary and 19-year-old Carlos — “they use music the way all people should use music: to help you process your feelings and to help you get on with your life.” That’s why she pays no attention to “American Idol,” “The Voice” and other reality singing competitions. “I’ve never seen ‘American Idol,’” she said with more than a hint of pride.
  • Wall Street Journal: Patty Griffin Lets Sorrow Well Up in ‘Top of the World’ (Song Premiere)....Any songwriter as active as Patty Griffin is bound to have a trove of unreleased tracks. In Griffin’s case, though, 14 of them weren’t supposed to be unreleased: they’re songs from “Silver Bell,” an album Griffin recorded in 2000 that was caught in limbo when her label at the time changed ownership...
  • Times Colonist Marketplace: Are There Too Many Headline Tours In Country Music?....Nowadays, though, it seems as if Headlining has become something every artist starts to do after hitting Gold/Platinum status. While the talent is there, should there be so many headlining tours? what does it mean for the market of country music? is it too much? Late last week, Reba McEntire talked to Times Colonist writer Mike Devilin about her 10 city tour of Canada and the star had some revealing news about 2014's country Headlining tours stating, "there are something like 27 headline tours for 2014….


Artist Interview: Georgette Jones keeping memories alive through music. What would you say is the biggest misconception others would have of having parents that were considered country music legends?: I think automatically when people hear my parents' names and they think about us, they think we're very spoiled and we're very over privileged; that we are spoon-fed, so to speak, people, that we would be stuck up. I think there are a lot of stereotypes that are put on, especially of children. They expect their children to have been really spoiled. Mom did not raise us that way. I'm not going to say or tell a lie. We had nice things. We lived in a nice home. But at the same time, mom had very strict rules at home. We had very old fashioned and strict rules to an extent that we all had chores to do to earn our allowance...Having toured overseas, how would you compare the sound of country music and the fans as compared to here in America?: It’s very different. If you go to some place like Ireland, they really don’t care for any country music past 1980. They are really more into the older style, 60s-70s, and traditional style of country music. They love it. If you play something more modern, they are not at all interested. If you go to some places in
England and some places in Europe, they have that culture that while they do love that older traditional country music, but they also have a culture that they don’t know what that is


Maverick Magazine and Country Music People go head to head on the country battle for W.H.Smith’s bottom shelf.

The Maverick November/December 2013 issue features Alan Jackson on the cover, after his recent bluegrass album.
It includes a FREE 18 track MAVERICK MUSIC Volume 5 CD, - Image which includes artists such as Steve Azar, The Rising, Gary Fletcher, Jesse and Noah und Nina, Joanna Mosca, The Self Help Group, Jamie Smith's Mabon and many more...
There are featured articles: Reggae's gone country for UB40, New To You… Amber Hayes, Mickie James / Obituaries: Tompall Glaser,  Jack Clement ....etc The Pickin’ and Grinnin’ live review section features the Cambridge Folk Festival, Didmarton Bluegrass Festival 2013, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Purbeck Folk Festival, Fairport's Cropredy Convention, Carrie Rodriguez & Luke Jacobs, Steve Payne and The Milk Carton Kids. The issue features over 100 CD reviews and highlights include the Editor’s Top Picks. Preview (6 pages) at HERE – More details at maverick-country.com

Country Music People October 2013 issue  - Image In this issue: Amber Digby is the cover feature!! Adam Brand, Rance Norton & Chris Shiflett Plus: The latest CD, book and DVD reviews, along with latest news, Americana and UK country charts, and a guide to the latest tours in the UK.

This week Amazon have a great offer from their Kindle team - Save £40 on the Kindle Fire HD Tablet from Amazon.co.uk. With a stunning 7 HD display, Kindle Fire HD is ideal for video, apps, games, reading and more. You can enjoy over 500 magazines in brilliant HD, with beautifully detailed illustrations and glossy full-colour layouts 7" HD display with anti-glare technology for rich colour and deep contrast from any viewing angle; customised Dolby audio with dual-driver stereo speakers for immersive, virtual surround sound Ultra-fast web browsing and video streaming thanks to dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi. 16 GB on device plus free Cloud storage for all Amazon content.

'Do Si Do' (Hick-Hop-Rap&Roll-Country style) is the first in a series of mixtapes entitled 'Beats & Banjos' that Laura Bell Bundy & Huff D have produced.
Preview all te Songs from Miley Cyrus’ ‘Bangerz’: The Good, The Bad & The Ratchet > YouTube


  • Craig Campbell "Outta My Head" as seen on the Lawrence John Show on Sky/Fresat Showcase TV) -
  • "Mad" by Tom T. Hall performed by Eric Brace & Peter Cooper, with Mac Wiseman, Duane Eddy, & Marty Stuart from "The Comeback Album" (2013)
  • Deric Ruttan "Take The Week Off" = Hot Couple! 
  • The Civil Wars Crumble in "Dust to Dust" - http://vevo.ly/1gCuPd  - "When John Paul and I wrote this late one night in Birmingham, England, we decided to change the pronoun at the end of the song. We wanted to represent that we all experience loneliness in our lives.
  • Kacey Musgraves/2Pac Mashup.
  • A recap of Taylor Swift's North American RED Tour finale with three sold-out shows in Nashville, Tennessee. Featuring Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Hunter Hayes and a surprise appearance by Ed Sheeran >> YouTube Vid
  • Want to know more about Krystal Keith? Watch her new EPK

Julianne Hough slinked onto the red (ahem, pink) carpet at the QVC Presents ‘FFANY Shoes on Sale’ gala, which was hosted by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
The country-pop-singer-dancer-cum-actress brought on the drama in a Marc Jacobs Fall 2013 midnight-blue, backless gown, which she accessorized without the runway’s full-on fur but with a single tassel necklace. The rich tones continued in her oxblood lip, with her asymmetrical, retro waves completing the vintage-glam effect. - Fashion Pic

Taylor Swift
Click to ENLARGE
Taylor Swift took a break from the gym when she spent the day (Oct 2) baking with good friends Kelly Osbourne and Claire Winter. She wore a Free People ‘Penny Lane Chiffon Dress in Red Combo’ - $128.00 (Fashion Pic).
She donned a girly Anthropologie ‘Tea and Crumpets Apron’ - $32.00 (Fashion Pic)

For Taylor Swift’s cover shoot for Glamour U.K’s November 2013 issue she wore Rochas ‘Casual Pants’ - $930.00, a Michael Kors sweater (image) with a Emilio Pucci Fall 2013 hat and wore charotte Olympia shoes
GET THE LOOK: ASOS ‘Baker Boy Cap’ - $30.38 (Image)


  • Diet Coke has created a limited edition “Sleek Can” just for Taylor Swift. The can is longer and slimmer than the regular version, and features Taylor’s autograph and a quote. Although the style/packaging of the "Sleek Can" is nothing new, the autograph is - Image
  • Stephen Barker Liles from Love & Theft has also weighed on the Zac Brown/Luke Bryan debate saying, “I thought it was kinda rude and to throw a fellow country artist under the bus just seemed wrong to me.”
  • No matter what she does, Miley Cyrus is a daddy’s girl. Her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, once again stood up for his little girl, who is grabbing lots of headlines with her twerking, sticking out her tongue and her controversial MTV VMA performance.
  • LeAnn Rimes to “Flip The Switch” on the Opry’s signature barn as “Opry Goes Pink” in support of the fight against breast cancer!
  • Looks like Keith Urban's new line of guitars is heading to on the Home Shopping Network.

  • Luke Bryan posted a pic of his soggy pickup truck in a pond this week (Sept. 30) on Twitter. He explained what happened in the caption: “Before y’all get out of your truck. Make sure you put it in park. Trust me.” - Image
  • Canadian singer-songwriter Victoria Banks tweeted: Congratulations @dericruttan for writing a Billboard #1 with "Mine Would be You" (Blake Shelton)! One of the very few really well crafted songs I've heard in the top 20 in a long time. Go DR!

  • Batter Up: "You guys have no idea how good Taylor [Swift] is at cooking," Kelly Osbourne tweets as she posted pictures from a chocolate-peppermint cookie baking session. "#NewGirlGroup, we are #TheCulinaryPatienceTurtles." Pictured are Taylor Swift, Osbourne and Claire Winter. - Image
  • Flashback Friday! The McClymonts circa 1989 - Image
  • Just in Time For Fall Fairs and Carnivals! - Parody Image
Same 18 Trailers, Different Park:
Has country music entered the “Tales from Topographic Oceans YES territory”?
BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris
The Taylor Swift concert - one of my favourite gigs ev-ER! - Image  
Describing Taylor Swift’s massive Nashville concert at the Bridgestone Arena “Spectacular, spectacular stuff” said Bob Harris on his BBC Radio 2 Sunday show on Oct 6, 2013. Speaking with Ross Wilson a member of Blue Rose Code, Ross explained his tweet referring to Taylor Swift as “Trailer Swift” when she had “perhaps 15 dedicated Taylor Swift lorries” lined up outside the Nashville Arena.

Listen to a clip from the interview:

Rockin' In My Trucks: In the middle of his Farm Tour, Luke Bryan takes a moment to Instagram his crop of 18-wheelers - Image

Seeing both of these images made me wonder:
Has country music got so far away from the "It's all about the song” roots and real life concept with such massive modern day stage productions!?

On a BBC 4 documentary titled “When Albums Ruled the World” Bob described how ridiculous and extravagant the prog-rock era had eventually become:
 “I went to see Yes in Madison Square Garden in 1974 and the drummer came down in a pod, stepping out into dry ice. I recognized that we really did need punk rock to come and blast it all to bits.” - (Bob Harris, Telegraph UK) -  YouTube

October 7:  Dale Watson (1963) Kieran Kane (1949)
October 10: Tony Arata (1957), John Prine (1946), Tanya Tucker (1958)
October 11: Todd Snider (1966), Paulette Carlson (1952), Gene Watson (1943) Dottie West (1932)
October 12 :Martie Erwin (Dixie Chicks) (1969), Shane MacAnally (1974)
October 13: Marie Osmond (1959), Rhett Akins (1969), Lacy J Dalton (1946), John Wiggins (1962)

Ramblin’ Tommy Scott, billed as America’s last medicine-show performer, was buried on Friday, Oct. 4, in his hometown of Toccoa, Ga. The 96-year-old Scott died on Sept. 30 as a result of injuries he sustained in an automobile accident on Aug. 10. He was a singer, songwriter, ventriloquist, comic, actor and show business entrepreneur. During his career, he wrote more than 500 songs, including the bluegrass favorite “You Are the Rainbow of My Dreams.”
His most successful song was “Rosebuds and You.” It became a regional success for him in 1950, and was also recorded by George Morgan, The Willis Brothers and Red Sovine. Fiddler/singer Benny Martin had a country hit with the song when he revived it in 1963.

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