Monday, 25 November 2013

Country Bites News snippets November 18 - November 24, 2013

Country Bites News snippets November 18 – November 24, 2013

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

Ward-Thomas Signs With BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc) : On November 19th singer-songwriters Ward Thomas stopped by BMI Nashville to become a part of the BMI family. 
(back row, l-r): BMI’s David Preston and producers
 Bobby Blazer and Chris Rodriguez;
 (front row, l-r): BMI’s Clay Bradley and Ward Thomas’
Lizzy and Catherine. (Photo by Drew Maynard)
The lovely Lizzy and Catherine, twins hailing from Hampshire, England, recently recorded an album in Nashville, promoting themselves on a US radio tour and have played a number of shows in the Country Music Capital.
About: BMI was founded in 1939 by forward-thinkers who wanted to represent songwriters in emerging genres, like jazz, blues and country, and protect the public performances of their music. Operating on a non-profit-making basis, BMI is now the largest music rights organization in the U.S. and is still nurturing new talent and new music. BMI is the bridge between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly. As a global leader in music rights management, BMI serves as an advocate for the value of music, representing more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers

20 years old Cardiff based Welsh lass Krystal (Jordane) Mills released her song “Bang Bang Bang” accompanied by the her band The Rhinestones (Krystal Mills - Guitar/Main Vocals/Songwriter; Richard - Rhythm Guitar/Lead; Chris Sklavounos – Drums and Chris Hood - Bass). The song, originally self released on 20th March 2013, (available on Amazon UK, UK iTunes  Amazon.com) was accepted as a contender for Swiss Eurovision Entry 2014 in October 2013 (see Graphic) and she has spent time in Geneva promoting her entry. She faced two weeks of online voting which started on 4th November ending on 18th November with the top 10 songs going through to a live TV show with broadcaster SRF in February – visit  http://www.eurovisionplattform.sf.tv

Krystal Mills - CLICK to ENLAGE

Her mother and manager, Sharon, told BBC Wales: "It just doesn't seem real somehow”. Krystal who describes her style as "country and folky, with a bit of psychedelia thrown in"played the Millennium Stadium in August as part of a concert for Cardiff's Mardi Gras Festival, around 18 months after she made her busking debut (photo) on the street outside. She dropped out of a hairdressing course to take up busking, after winning a pub karaoke competition. But even with all this “success”, her mother never imagined that one day her daughter could be competing in Eurovision, and far less for Switzerland.
"It was when we were watching this year's Eurovision that Krystal piped up that she'd like to give it a go. She'd just written Bang Bang Bang and thought it'd tap into the Bond craze around Sky Fall”.
Krystal continues to pursue her contemporary country music career writing and producing her own music and performs solo with acoustic guitar. She cites her inspirations for song-writing and styles of music from Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Adele, Katy Perry, Jessy J and Lady Gaga.
She released her debut 7 track mini album "Rodeo Clown" on 20th March 2013, mainly recorded at the famous Monnow Valley Studios, a mix of originals and covers, which is available to download on UK iTunes, Amazon UK, Spotify and emusic.
Find out more about Krystal on her website, Facebook Page and sample on Reverbnation (Country ranking #2 Cardiff), soundcloud.com

Phil Mack Show Events - (includes Nathan Carter + full supporting cast at The Circus Tavern, Purfleet Essex Saturday 29th March 2014 Tickets £25 Doors open 7pm - Show starts 8.30pm)

Lucy Ward, Linda Thompson and Anais Mitchell are among the nominees for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. They will be held  Wednesday February 19, 2014 at London's Albert Hall.

Collin Raye will be returning to Ireland in 2014. Dates include Weds 19th Feb 2014 (Great Northern Hotel, Donegal), Thurs 20th Feb (Millennium Forum Theatre Derry; £22.50), Fri 21st Feb (Royal Dublin Society, Dublin) and Sunday 23rd Feb (City Hotel, Armagh). Billy Yates is slated be touring with Collin Raye TBA. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster

Beth Nielsen Chapman will play Celtic Connections at the Grand Hall, Glasgow on 18th Jan 2014 and will follow that up with her UK  “Uncovered Tour” which starts out on 13th Feb 2014 (Harrogate - Royal Hall, North Yorkshire) and ends on 1st March 2014 (Basingstoke, The Anvil, Hampshire). Her show on 24th Feb 2014 at The Barbican, London will include special guest Red Sky July. She will roll out a batch of premium songs she’s written but never recorded that have already been hits or covered by other artists. Most were top ten hits, seven of which topped the charts. See dates and more artists touring on the UK Tour Page

The ABC of British Country Music Live listings for Artists, Bands & Clubs

UK CHART NEWS
Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week Ending November 30, 2013)
Daniel O’Donnell with A PICTURE OF YOU (DMGTV) dropped 12 places, 16-28, in his 2nd week at retail for his latest and 30th UK Top 40 album. - CD - MP3
Taylor Swift’s RED slipped back 9 places from 51-60 on her 57th chart week.

Official UK Country Album Chart  (Week Ending November 30, 2013)
Kacey Musgraves with SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARKHOODOO (Decca) stays at No.1 in her 32nd week.
Lady Antebellum’s NEED YOU NOW (104 chart weeks) moved 2-3 and GOLDEN climbed 4-3 in its 29th chart week
Derek Ryan fell back 2 places to No.4 with COUNTRY SOUL (Sharp Music)
Lindi Ortega made a debut at No.8 with TIN STAR

On the Hotdisc Chart (November 24, 2013 Chart)  
After 6 weeks at No.1 on the Hotdisc Top 40 Ray ScottStill Screamin’ My Name” falls to No.4 and is replaced by Billy Yates with “The House That Jack Built” which made a 2-1 hop. The Hayley Oliver Band with “The Hand That Rocked The Cradle” moved up one slot to No.2 to hold the No.1 on the Hotdisc British & Irish Chart for a third straight week.

Michelle Wright’s title cut single “Strong” has made a recovery with a 4-3 rebound.
Ally Harron’s singleMarions Road”, from the previous month’s Hotdisc 178, held and rounded out the Top 5.
David Wood with “I’ll Bet My Life On Love” moved up 3 places 10-7.
Moving into the Top 10 is Britain’s Kickin’ Country with “Rock It Megamix” with a 5 place climb (13-8) and Tennessee Country Orchestra with “Hooked On Country” grabbed the No.9 slot (11-9)
Continuing her upward stride from the Hotdisc 179 is Erica Sunshine’sDrinking And Driving Me Crazy” (15-12).

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES
(19 Nov 2013) The Grascals - When I Get My Pay (Mountain Home Music)
13 Tracks/ Time: 37:49 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com

(19 Nov 2013) Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute to Jack White - Various artists (Cleopatra Records)
14 Tracks/ Time: 48:59 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com Artists from the formative years of rock, rockabilly and punk such as old-timey rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson (who released the White-produced album The Party Ain’t Over in 2011) and Gary US Bonds have all contributed to 'Rockin’ Legends Pay Tribute to Jack White' (includes Bobby Vee 'We're Going to Be Friends', Rosie Flores 'Blunderbuss') Read more at nme.com

AUSSIE NEWS
The 2nd line-up announcement for "Rocks the Hunter" has been revealed and it includes Gretchen Wilson, Thompson Square and Clay Walker – See Graphic

NRMA BusinessWise will be a first-time sponsor of country music at Tamworth 2014 as the company supports a concert starring Dianna Corcoran and Aleyce Simmonds.The concert with two-time Golden Guitar winner Dianna and rising star Aleyce will be staged at the city's Capitol Theatre on Friday January 24 at 8pm.Both  Dianna and Aleyce have been announced as finalists in the Female Artist of the Year category in the 2014 Golden Guitar Awards and both currently have strong performing albums, LOVE & THERAPY for Dianna and BELIEVE for Aleyce.

CANADIAN NEWS
Michelle Wright releases her highly anticipated new album, STRONG, through Proper Music in the United Kingdom and Eire on December 9, 2013. Featuring her current single, "Strong," co-written with fellow singer/songwriters Deric Ruttan and Melissa Peirce, the new album presents original music from Wright for the first time in seven years.
Capturing Wright's distinctive style and expressive voice, Strong showcases her remarkable growth as a singer and songwriter - inspired by the perseverance and strength that she has witnessed in friends, family and strangers over the years. Recorded in Ontario and Tennessee, the album was produced by Jason Barry (Dean Brody, Terri Clark, Jason Blaine), Eric Silver (Neal McCoy, Ricochet) and Danick Dupelle (Emerson Drive). Wright’s passion for songwriting has grown with her newest project, for which she co-wrote 10 of its 11 songs.
"I created this record with a group of friends that I admire as writers, singers and producers. We had a lot of fun," says Wright. "The songs are a collection of my observations about life and the people around me and how we're all just stumbling through it. At times there is laughter and joy; at other times, pain and disappointment. Overall, I hope this record is inspiring and relatable to my fans."
To listen to Strong in its entirety and view the album’s video material, visit Wright’s online press kitCurrently you’ll find it on UK iTunesAmazon UK and Smart Choice Music

Dean Brody set a new record this weekend, becoming the first male Canadian artist to earn two #1 songs at Country radio, in BDS and Mediabase history. Brody’s 2012 anthem, “Canadian Girls,” and his latest smash “Bounty” (feat. Lindi Ortega) were both #1 Most Added (All formats) upon release, #1 selling Country singles at iTunes Canada, and spent multiple weeks at #1 on CMT Canada’s Top 20 Countdown. (via Press Release)

NEWS
  • Snapshot Country News: Country Aircheck's Insider News: November 22, 2013 - November 26, 2013
  • Pop, The Question:  Taylor Swift says "The role in the movie is a character named Rosemary," of her part in The Giver starring Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Jeff Bridges and others. "It's the ideal situation for me because it’s a great cast, incredible movie, wonderful script, amazing director, small role." Taylor says her time spent with the actors has been a learning experience. "I did all my scenes with Jeff Bridges," she says. "He is just a master.  Learning from someone like that on set I was just, 'How did I get here?'"
  • George Jones’ family, friends and fans gathered Monday afternoon at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Memorial Park for the unveiling of a monument at Jones’ graveside >> Video Country Music Hall of Famer Billy Sherrill, who produced numerous Jones hits, including the masterwork “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” was there to stand beside Jones’ wife, Nancy Jones, as the monument was revealed. At the unveiling of the monument, she also announced the creation of a George Jones scholarship fund at Middle Tennessee State University…read more at The Tennessean 
  • The CMA Board of Directors has named music and television industry veteran Sarah Trahern as CMA’s Chief Executive Officer, effective January, 2014. She joins CMA from Scripps Networks Interactive’s Great American Country (GAC) where she has been Senior Vice President and General Manager.
  • Voting for CRS 2014 New Faces of Country Music Show performers opened Nov. 19, to all Country radio station employees.This year’s nominees are: Frankie Ballard (Warner Bros./WAR), Craig Campbell (Bigger Picture) Brett Eldredge (Atlantic/WMN), Tyler Farr (Columbia), The Henningsens (Arista), Dustin Lynch (Broken Bow), Jon Pardi (Capitol), Parmalee (Stoney Creek), Eric Paslay (EMI Nashville), Cassadee Pope (Republic Nashville), Thomas Rhett (Valory) and Charlie Worsham (Warner Bros./ WAR). The New Faces of Country Music Show will be held Feb. 21, 2014 at the Nashville Convention Center, is co-sponsored by the Academy of Country Music and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Country Weekly’s readers name Shania Twain as "Most Beautiful Woman" this year's winner IS “STILL THE ONE.”  The brunette beauty remains as breathtaking as she was when she hit the scene more than 20 years ago.


The World's Highest-Paid Musicians 2013: On the latest listing from Forbes
Road warrior Toby Keith pulled in $65 million to land the No.4 slot. Product extensions can provide a major boost to an artist’s bottom line as well, and few do it better than Keith. Country’s cash king has his own record label, mescal line and restaurant chain; each outlet has its own stage. Country’s top earner pulled in $270 million over the past five years from millions of records sold, hundreds of concerts played, 18 restaurants opened and one mescal line launched. “The beauty is where it synergizes with my label,” he explained to Forbes earlier this year.
At No.8 is Taylor Swift ($55 million). Swift released her fourth studio album, Red, in October 2012 and sold 1.2 million copies in week one. The album's first single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," became her first to top Billboard's Hot 100 chart. She parlayed that success into endorsement deals with Diet Coke, Sony and Covergirl, not to mention big bucks on the road.
Kenny Chesney ties at No.10 ($53 million, tie) .The country superstar continues to outpace some of pop's top-earning acts, pulling in more than the likes of Jay Z, Katy Perry or Rihanna. Chesney's millions come mostly from his summer stadium tours and, to a lesser extent, his annual albums, most recently Life on a Rock. The Tennessee native spends his scant free time at his vacation home in the Virgin Islands, which inspired him to launch his own rum, Blue Chair Bay, in early 2013. “I own it 100%,” he told FORBES. “It was important to me, it’s my inspiration, my story.”
Tim McGraw comes in at No.25: ($33 million, tie). A move to Big Machine Records boosted McGraw’s new album Two Lanes of Freedom to a No. 2 debut on the charts and a lucrative tour padded his coffers; he’s the fourth-ranked earner in all of country music. Madonna is the highest-paid musician in the world for 2013, according to a new ranking in Forbes, besting runner-up Lady Gaga by $45 million. Madonna has made an estimated $125 million over the past year, the majority of which came at the end of her MDNA tour, which grossed $305 million.
Methodology: In order to form their list, Forbes looked at income from June 1st, 2012 through June 1st, 2013, using data sources including Pollstar, the RIAA, Nielsen SoundScan, managers, lawyers and many of the artists themselves. They took into account concert ticket sales, royalties for recorded music and publishing, merchandise sales, endorsement deals and other business ventures.

Loretta Lynn was honored at the White House on Wednesday (Nov. 20) where she received the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. The President announced the 16 medal recipients in August including former President Bill Clinton, talk show host and humanitarian Oprah Winfrey, baseball player Ernie Banks and female astronaut Sally Ride. President Obama commended the recipients, saying, “I hope we carry away from this a reminder of what JFK understood to be the essence of the American spirit. Some of us may be less talented, but we all have the opportunity to serve and to open people’s hearts and minds in our smaller orbits. So I hope that everybody’s been inspired as I have been, participating in being with these people here today.”

Justin Timberlake says he's going to have a crack at country music in the future. Timberlake, who grew up listening to country music in Memphis, Tennessee, says he's always been a fan of the genre - saying it's a part of his identity.
"I’m America, that’s what I am’ – in all sense of the word. I grew up outside of Memphis, Tennessee, and I listened to country music, R&B music, classic rock… everything,” he said in an interview with SiriusXM Radio. He added he also doesn't want to just try his hand at the genre, but wants to dominate it. “I still got my eyes on a Best Country Album. There’s time for that.”
Justin made a surprise visit to the SiriusXM Studios in Nashville and dropped in on Storme Warren's show. In the midst of making history on The Highway, Justin and Storme discussed how >> "Drink You Away" on Justin's newest album is actually a country song, "Honky tonk feeling and a little bit of gospel."

A note on the 67-year-old John Prine's website says he will undergo surgery next month, forcing the postponement of two dates in Louisville, Ky. Prine says in the note that doctors found the cancer early and "see no reason why I won't fully recover.

Young New York country/pop artist Ali Isabella returned from a great trip to London in mid November after meetings with theatre producers, artists, and publishers, discussing exciting projects. Now she announces that she’s heading back to England in early 2014 to play the role of Norma Jeane in Norma Jeane The Musical. She will be releasing the first single from the musical called 'Too Many Norma Jeanes' written by Andy Street and sung by Ali. The song will be available from Feb 1st 2014.

TOURS
Three people were hospitalized after Willie Nelson‘s band’s tour bus slammed into a bridge pillar on I-30 in Sulphur Springs, Texas early Saturday morning (Nov. 23). The singer was not on board, but the incident has resulted in the postponement of several tour dates. No serious injuries were sustained. A note on Nelson’s website clarifies earlier reports that one band member had broken a hip.

TV
Sheryl Crow stopped by Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (11/14) to play "Callin' Me When I'm Lonely" 
Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale, the singer's holiday TV special, is out next month. Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and William Shatner will make appearances . Joining them will be Danica Patrick, Heidi Klum and Jay Leno as well as a bevy of country stars, including Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood, according to The Associated Press. The show is set to air on NBC at 10 p.m. EST on December 11th.

Awards
Taylor Swift's fans have done it again, voting her the American Music Awards Artist of the Year for a third time on Sunday Nov 24th. Swift won the night's top honor, giving her a leading four trophies.  Florida Georgia Line snagged Single of the Year with Luke Bryan won Favorite Male Country Artist.
See separate Blog post on the awards and fashion.

BABY NEWS
  • Kelly Clarkson, who wed Brandon Blackstock just last month, announced via Twitter that she and her new husband are expecting their first child together. Clarkson, 31, has been anything but shy about her desire to start a family with Blackstock. She recently played coy on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” when asked if she was pregnant during her interview with Leno. She answered with, “Practice makes perfect! We’re trying, trying, trying … like rabbits!” Blackstock, who manages superstar Blake Shelton and is also Reba McEntire‘s stepson, also has two children from a previous marriage.Kelly Clarkson @kelly_clarkson  I'm pregnant!!! Brandon and I are so excited! Best early Christmas present ever :)
  • Austin, Texas singer-songwriter recording artist Bart Crow and supermodel wife/roomie Brooke welcomed twins with two boys, Baby A and Baby B (no names decided yet). One little bird weighed in at 6 pounds 2 ounces and the bigger bird weighed in at 6 pounds 7 ounces.
  • When Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum and husband Chris Tyrell welcomed little Eisele in the world she was showered with gifts from friends and artists. But the best she said was from Darius Rucker - “Darius and his wife Beth sent the new parents a rocking chair that has wagon wheels as the arms and has a pillow that says ‘Rock Me Momma Like A Wagon Wheel". 
MUSIC NEWS
Cher Lloyd has only gone and got married - at the tender age of 20. Let's hope that love lasts for X Factor's young bride and new hubby Craig Monk. Stars do often tend to get married young - maybe because they've done so well so early on career wise. Next step? Marriage, I guess - whilst us mere mortals are struggling to get a foot on the career ladder - or move out of home. But 20 is very young.

Variety.com Katy Perry’s ‘Prism’ a Good Example of How Albums Don’t Work Anymore…Extract: In other words, what kind of screwed up world do we live in where Katy Perry’s new album “Prism” sells only 287,000 copies in its debut? One in which everybody’s interested in the single, and no one’s got time to sit and hear your hour-plus statement.
This is not emotion, this is statistics. The shelf life of news is shorter than ever. The shelf life of art. … You blink and it’s done....
I’m fine with you preaching to the choir, making an album for your fans. You gotta go where you wanna go, do what you wanna do. But if your plan is to increase your audience, spread the word and make money, suddenly the album just isn’t working anymore. The youngsters are streaming singles and the oldsters are staying home.....If you’ve got a concept album, go ahead and record it. If you’re only interested in selling a little, be my guest. But if you want to penetrate the consciousness of a large group of people and grow the pie, an album isn’t working. Hell, it’s not even working as a revenue model!
Labels are no longer in the record business, they’re in the star business. How to maximize the revenue of an individual or band in as many media as possible, in as many ways as possible. Yes, while you were bitching about piracy, your whole business model disappeared. You put out these albums, and in almost every case, the public moves on in a matter of WEEKS. A few bought it, they heard it, and they’re satisfied — and left waiting for years until you grace them with a new release. The rest of the public is just waiting for a hit single to burble, and if it does, they’ll tap their toes and snap their fingers and ask, “WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT?” And what you’ve got had better be just as good as the hit....So it’s not only classic rock acts who have stopped putting out albums; eventually, no one will do it. Oh, it won’t be soon, because artists think making albums is part of their DNA, going into the studio and making a 10-track statement. But that’s like saying typewriters have to be an office fixture. And you can’t post online unless you write in multiple paragraphs. And texting must be abandoned because it’s not in-depth enough. The goal of a musician is to be AHEAD of the audience. Right now everybody’s behind.

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
EMI Records Nashville’s Eric Paslay (pass-lay) will release his self-titled debut album on February 4.  The album features Eric’s Top 15 hit single “Friday Night” which he co-wrote with Rose Falcon and Rob Crosby.  “Friday Night” has been featured in weekly ESPN College Football Friday Primetime Broadcasts this fall.
The Texas native has influenced the sound of country music over the last few years with co-penned No. 1 singles including "Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jake Owen), “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft), as well as, other album cuts including the title track of Lady Antebellum’s album Golden which he co-wrote with the band. Eric worked with multiple producers (Marshall Altman and Daniel Hill/Billy Lynn for Cal IV Productions) on his debut album which features 11 tracks that he wrote or co-wrote. Little Big Town provides vocals on “Country Side of Heaven” and Eric wrote “Less Than Whole” with Big Kenny of Big & Rich.

PRESS RELEASES

Kira
Isabella
  • The Global Women’s Empowerment Network announced that Lizzie Sider, 15-year old emerging country artist, is nominated for a 2013 Hollywood Music in Media Award for her accomplishments as a national spokesperson for the GWEN (Global Women’s Empowerment Network). The winners were announced on Thursday, November 21 live at The Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California. Lizzie won in the Best Americana category(see photos).
  • Kelly Clarkson helped Musicians On Call (MOC) Nashville raise over $106,000, making it the highest-earning single event ever for the branch. In a rare, intimate setting for the superstar, Clarkson performed to a sold-out crowd at Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Nashville.
  • High Valley the twenty-something sibling trio are marking their U.S. debut with the release of their very first EP, RESCUE YOU, on iTunes.
  • Sarah Darling from happily announcing her marriage to her long-time boyfriend on People.com to receiving the heartbreaking news that her beloved grandfather, for whom she wrote the songs “Knowing What I Know About Heaven,” and “All You’ve Got,” passed away, it’s been an emotionally turbulent week for rising country artist. She now holds her head high celebrating the worldwide release of her first Christmas E.P., aptly titled, Have A Merry Little Christmas Darling.
  • George Strait will play his final concert June 7, 2014 at the 100,000-seat capacity AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The show, which is the last date for Quicken Loans Presents George Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away Tour 2014, will include an all-star lineup of guest artists (performing three songs each) including Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride and Lee Ann Womack. Fittingly, the opening act for Strait’s final concert will be the “Kings of Texas Swing” and six-time Grammy Award-winning group, Asleep At The Wheel.
  • Ronnie Dunn released a new tune “Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes” (penned by Luke Laird, Lori McKenna and Barry Dean) on iTunes , November 19, 2013.
  • HitShop Records President Skip Bishop announces the signing of an exclusive recording agreement with award winning star and rising country singer, Kira Isabella, for her U.S. music debut. Her dreams of stardom have begun to take shape as she spent this fall opening for superstar Carrie Underwood on her Blown Away Tour in the market. In 2012 she won the “Rising Star” award at the Canadian Country Music Awards, and went on to earn the coveted “Female Artist of The Year” award this year.  Kira is now poised to embark on her U.S. music debut. Kira celebrates the signing and the season with a special holiday treat for fans.  “A Country Boy For Christmas,” written by Kira along with Jason Phelps, was just shipped to country radio and is available on CA iTunes on November 26th.
  • IBMA Broadcaster Of The Year Ronnie Reno and Rural Rhythm join forces for old time music
  • Tyler Farr was surprised with a plaque commemorating his RIAA platinum certification for his hit #1 single, “Redneck Crazy,” at the Sony Music Nashville CMA party.
  • Brad Paisley will receive the Video Visionary Award during the American Country Awards airing live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Tuesday, Dec. 10 on FOX. Paisley, who also will perform his new single, “The Mona Lisa,” will receive the award in recognition of his nearly 15 years pairing amazing songs with creative, immensely entertaining music videos that have truly run the gamut, from heartbreaking to hilarious.
  • Heidi Feek Newsletter
  • Country singer/songwriter, Robby Johnson official music video for his debut single, “South of Me”, surpassed over a million YouTube views and it’s still climbing.
  • Kellie Pickler, the reigning Mirror Ball Champion returns to ABC Television’s “Dancing with the Stars” during its Finale Week to perform her single “Little Bit Gypsy.” Then she will perform on ABC Television’s “The View” (Nov. 26) and on Thanksgiving Day, Kellie will make her debut riding a float and performing on “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” (carried live on NBC Television). Her new version of the holiday classic "The Man with the Bag" (released 25 November 2013 on Black River Entertainment) is available for purchase on iTunes and she will perform the song on "CMA Country Christmas," airing on Monday, Dec. 2
  • Chase Rice’s full EP Ready Set Roll has hits stores (Nov 25, 2013). The album, which features the bonus acoustic track “Jack Daniel’s and Jesus,” is released on Rice’s own Dack Janiels label in partnership with T8 Records and distributed by RED and Thirty Tigers.
  • Free Domestic Shipping (United States) Nov 29 - Dec 2nd on Lady Antebellum's products. Use the Free Code: THANKS2013 on their online shop
ARTICLES
American Songwriter Alabama: A Tale of Two Tributes...the two Alabama tribute albums that came out this year....Alabama’s music merged a sense of rock-driven fun with a firm base in southern roots – the fiddle was a permanent resident on their records, not just a trend-induced guest – and they sang about the lives they knew, the places where they grew up and learned to be men, the strange plight of being a steadfast American who loves, loses and plays the circle game. They went from being rule-breakers to one of the best selling acts of all time, a dichotomy that only adds to their undying appeal and unique niche in the evolving tale of country music.....
CMA Close Up: New Artist Spotlight[updated]: Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay

'Playin' Possum: The Final No Show', The Bridgestone Arena, Friday, November 22nd, 2013
CLICK to ENLARGE 
The George Jones tribute concert opened Friday night with Big & Rich rolling onto the stage on riding lawn mowers. Sam Moore serenaded Jones' widow, Nancy. And Megadeth rocked in memory of "King George." Dozens of artists from all over the musical map participated in "Playin' Possum: The Final No Show," a marathon salute to Jones at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The show was originally planned as Jones' final performance of his last tour, but the revered vocalist and Country Music Hall of Fame member passed away in April at 81. "During the funeral, we mourned George," host Keith Bilbery said. "Tonight we celebrate him." Jones' rocking chair was placed stage right symbolically, and a sold-out crowd of 16,000 listened to stars play their favorites with the help of Jones' touring band and a teleprompter. Read all the reports and articles:

The Tennessean by Jessica Bliss Live blog: George Jones tribute concert ‘Playin’ Possum! The Final No Show’.                                                                                                                                
The Tennessean: George Jones celebrated at Nashville tribute concert..... Before the Country Music Hall of Famer’s death in April at age 81, he and his management were planning a Nov. 22 farewell concert at the Nashville venue with dozens of guest performers — friends that he couldn’t stand to leave out of the occasion. Soon, that final concert before Jones’ retirement turned into a tribute to the late country legend, and the guestlist only grew....
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Thompson Square, Martina, Dierks, Reba, Alabama, Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, Megadeth were among more than 100 performers (Press Release) who took the stage at Bridgestone during the almost-four-hour concert to sing more than 40 songs made famous by the “King of Broken Hearts. See photo of the line up
>> "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes? (fan video)
>> Rehearsals and backstage interviews video for “The Possum” George Jones Tribute Show (Fox News)
A host of Fan YouTube Videos are on twangnation.com
Linda Davis(l), Teea Goans, Mandy Barnett (R), & others
 
sing a rendition  of "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes
" at the 'Playin' Possum
John Partipilo / The Tennessean

Billboard 615 by Chuck Dauphin: George Jones Gets Epic Tribute With Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Megadeth
+ Playin' Possum! The Final No Show Tribute To George Jones Setlist

Rollingstone.com (Review and photos) Stars Honor George Jones at Massive Nashville Tribute Concert…. Extract: Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Kid Rock and more than a hundred others turn out for the Possum's final 'no show'......Later on, former Arkansas Governor and Jones chum Mike Huckabee – one of a handful of emcees hosting the show – had a rather unfortunate, albeit timely, gaff when praising the performances and musing on the event’s significance."You're going to remember where you were November 22, 1963," he said without skipping a beat. Jaws briefly dropped by the thousands, but everybody knew what he meant, and they all agreed……

Peter Cooper on Music: George Jones knew he would be a no-show tonight…Extract: Tonight was supposed to be George Jones’ farewell concert. He was in on the planning, agreeing last year that he’d be at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for days of rehearsals, and for dozens of interviews.His wife and constant companion of three decades, Nancy Jones, thought it strange that her husband — normally reluctant to practice or gab — was saying a quick “yes” at each of his publicist’s numerous requests for November of 2013. “I said, ‘Why are you agreeing to everything?’ ” Nancy Jones remembers. “He said, ‘’Cause I’m not going to be here. I’m going to agree to anything they ask. Promise me you’ll make a tribute show out of it, and I’ll see it from heaven.’ ”..........

REVIEWS
CMT: Ricky Skaggs Revisits Country Hits During Hall of Fame Performance He Plugs In With Peter Frampton, Brad Paisley as Museum's Artist-in-Residence
Lady Antebellum ‘Golden (DELUXE ONLY)’ – Review
Spoiler: "Nashville" TV Drama Recap: Hank Panky Woman
Country Weekly : Kacey Musgraves single "Follow Your Arrow" 

INTERVIEWS
Pop Shade (UK): Introducing  Ali Isabella + Exclusive Interview. As a 16-year old Ali played the International Wembley Country Music Festival back in February 2012 at Wembley Arena. In this update she talks about her new single ""Taking My Own Sweet Time" and what we can expect in the future.
Playboy.com: Femme On Fire: Laura Bell Bundy Talks about the Anger Management TV show, music and new dance song “Two Step”....Extract: Sketch comedy is a massive passion
for me. My dream is to be the country music [version of] Carol Burnett. I’m like a one-woman variety show already, so that’s what I want! The ultimate for me is making people laugh and feel good; it’s all about having fun. I’ve done voices and imitated people since I was a kid. My parents just let me go with it instead of putting me on Ritalin and so Cooter County is this little town I created where all of my characters can live, including Shocantelle Brown....First memory of Playboy: This is amazing, actually. My first real memory of Playboy is of my dad reading it. The magazines were hidden on the side of his La-Z-Boy; there was a drawer he’d tuck them into. But my first situation with the magazine was when I got them out one day to look at them. I remember being on the living room floor, looking through all of them. Don’t get me wrong, I was seven; I couldn’t read them, I was just looking at the boobies!  So then my mom came down the stairs and yelled, “Laura, what are you reading!” I was fascinated, like, "Am I going to get those [boobies]?" And it never really worked out for me since I didn’t really get them! But yeah, my first memory is getting caught reading Playboy when I was seven years old.

MAGAZINES

  • Taylor Swift is currently featured on the cover of New York magazine. The article asks, "How, why, is Taylor Swift the world's biggest pop star?" Read the article Platinum Underdog: Why Taylor Swift Is the Biggest Pop Star in the World by Jody Rosen .
  • What's on at The Stables (Wavendon, Milton Keynes) December 2013 - March 2014
  • Tickle the imagination magazine, issue14 Christmas 2013 filled with creative projects, ideas and inspiration for a handmade Christmas. 
LISTEN
NPR: Brandy Clark: Country Music For Drinking And Thinking

Jaida Dreyer performs "This Town," featured in the ABC Series NASHVILLE (performed by Clare Bowen and Chip Esten) a couple episodes ago on Season 2. It was written by Jaida Dreyer, Cory Mayo, and Andrew Rollins.
Streamsound recording artist Jaida will have another song featured in the hit television series, Nashville, airing on Nov. 20. The song, “Dreams,” (US iTunes)will be performed by Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere).

Duncan Warwick the Editor and Owner of Country Music People Magazine was a guest on Steve Cherelle's Big Country Show (with Keith Greentree sitting in) playing Duncan's favourite SIX songs of 2013. His top twenty or so looks like this.
Duncan selecting songs from Amber Digby, My Darling Clementine (UK) his song of the year, Robert Vincent (UK), Texan Chuck Cusimano, George Strait and the UK's Ags Connolly (Duncan's tip for 2014).
The Country Music People's Critics Choice will be included in the January issue and can be found in W.H.Smith stores
Duncan took issue with Florida Georgia Line who were the front cover feature of the CMP September issue - "That single ("Cruise"), it absolutely horrible, it's not country, it's not even good pop or good hip-hop, it's not good anything, that's the trouble, I wouldn't mind if was a good hip-hop record or a good rock record but its NONE of those. It doesn't even have a good melody". Cruise was #1 for 6 months [6.2 million sales to date] and I've no idea why or how? It's the lack of melody that bugs me" he shared  
Duncan likes the real and classic traditional country and many have had full page 5 STAR Album of the Month features in Country Music People during the year. 
Despite the critical acclaim they don't seem to sell very well in the UK with VERY TINY retail sales. Why is that that?
Artist and Album                                      iTunes UK Top 1500 Country   Amazon UK ranking
My Darling Clementine "The Reconciliation?"  not charting                               #5,063
Amber Digby The World You're Living In         not charting                               #33,678
Chuck Cusimano                                          not charting                               #202,884
Ags Connolly                                               not charting                               #205,133
Wanita - The Original Wanita                        not charting                               #87,301
The 800 Hotdisc DJ's were NOT feeling it with Wanita either with a debut at #32 and peak #25.
Stu Edwards & Gone Country whose album received ZERO stars (referred to in interview) in Country Music People got to #11 on the Hotdisc Top 40 and one week #1 on British & Irish Chart. It's all horses for courses. Listen to the Interview:



What is your favourite country song or album in 2013?

WATCH

  • UK artist Jeannine Barry: “Give Me Something” Live live at Bush Hall (Lewis Rogers at LR Productions)
  • Laura Bell Bundy mixes it up on new vid "Kentucky Dirty" (Big Machine Records)
  • Flashback: Michelle Wright's "Joy To The World" from her "A Wright Christmas" album  (Inlay)
  • Go on the set of Leah Turner’s new music video for her debut single "Take The Keys!" which debuted last Thursday. After 7 chart weeks the single is #44 on Billboard Country Airplay Chart (Chart week Nov 30, 2013).Leah Turner's "Take the Keys"
  • Jana KramerI Still Believe In Love”,  slated to be her next single
  • USA Today premiered Deana Carter's 'Do or Die' video. The "Strawberry Wine" singer returns with her first new music in six years. The singer-songwriters forthcoming Southern Way of Life, drops Dec. 2. Kenny Chesney recording of "You and Tequila" (written by Carter and Matraca Berg) wound up topping the country charts and earning a CMA nomination and pair of Grammy nominations. This led to a new song-publishing deal and writing sessions with the likes of The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry and a
  • then-unsigned Kacey Musgraves. Both have songs on Southern Way of Life, which Carter will release on her own Little Nuggets Records label.
  • Mindy Smith’s official lyric video for "Tomorrow Is Christmas Day"
  • Jillette Johnson "True North". “True North is an inner compass. It's the road that you carve out by following your gut and your heart. I'm always finding true north because I am always finding myself.” - Jillette 
  • Watch "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" the All-Star Finale from ACL Presents: Americana Music Festival 2013
  • The Grand Ole Opry shared some live performance videos: Sarah Darling performing “Landslide,” Kacey Musgraves performing“Are You Lonesome Tonight” and Little Big Town singing George Jones “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.”

COUNTRY FASHION
Taylor Swift opened up to author Jody Rosen for New York magazine and talked about her perception in the media, her writing process, her success and her plans for her fifth album. She wore a Roksanda Ilincic Spring 2013 RTW ‘Laminated Chiffon Dress’
The image actually originally appeared in Taylor’s spread for InStyle U.K. magazine from earlier this year - Fashion Pic
Taylor Swift donned Prada ‘Suede Peep Toe Pump’ ($650.00) to accessorize her floaty lace dress at the press conference, (November 22, 2013) for the film One Chance. Her song “Sweeter Than Fiction” is the featured single from the movie. Image

Taylor Swift recently rocked a sexy body concious dress to The Weinstein Company’s Holiday Party held on November 21, 2013. She has participated in two productions from the company so far: The Giver and her musical contribution to the film One Chance. She cut a sexy silhouette making a sultry style statement in Hervé Leroux’s showstopping maroon signature wrap bandage style. Taylor finished off her sexy sophisticated look with fishnet Christian Louboutin ‘Fillette Patent/Mesh Glitter Heel Booties ($945.00) Her jewels for the night were provided by Neil Lane  and completed her look with red lipstick and tousled locks - Image. If you want to channel a sassy yet sophisticated aesthetic, but without the designer price tag, then check out the pick of sleek styles below from ASOS Read more: dailymail.co.uk

Taylor played the ultimate golden girl looking gorgeous and sexy on the red carpet of the 2013 American Music Awards, hosted on Sunday evening at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. The five-time nominee and big winner gave us the Midas touch in a Julien Macdonald Fall 2013 mini-dress. See separate Blog post on the awards and fashion.

Cassadee Pope wowed the red carpet at ABC’s The 47th Annual CMA Awards earlier this month wearing a Jovani 73081 Black & Nude Gown ($570.00) and carried a Lauren Merkin Grace Black Crinkle Patent Clutch ($285.00).

Miley Cyrus posed backstage (image) on The X Factor UK wearing a Marc Jacobs Silk Lamé Cross-Back Dress ($3.372). You can find similar dresses at Rare London ($75.93) and Missguided ($123.23)

COUNTRY GOSSIP
Miley Cyrus seems determined to shock us with her wild antics, even lighting up what looked like a joint on stage at the MTV EMAs on 10 November. But while Miley might be making headlines, worried doctors tell Now that the star's persistent partying is putting her life in danger - due to an underlying heart condition that could kill her if her health's pushed to the limit.
Miley hasn't slowed down since she and Liam Hemsworth, 23, announced on 16 September that they'd ended their engagement.
She's been on a mission to party, made no secret of her love for marijuana and even raved about molly, the street name for MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy.  According to doctors, whether or not she's attention seeking, this could pose a serious threat to her health. That's because the 20-year-old suffers with tachycardia, a condition where the heart beats faster than normal.
Read more at
Kelly Clarkson likes a good cook: She's been busy making a baby and now the newlywed got some cooking tips from Trisha Yearwood in Saturday’s episode of “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” on the Food Network. “I’m 31 years old, I should be able to cook, right?” Clarkson says at one point in the show.

Taylor Swift told New York Magazine: "I only write songs about crazy love. If I go on two dates with a guy and we don't click, I'm not writing a song about that. "It didn't matter in the emotional grand scheme of things. There's a lot that goes on in daily life that isn't really worth turning into a verse and a chorus." The 23-year-old country singer admits not all her beaus have been receptive to her music, although the ex her latest album was about - widely thought to be actor Jake Gyllenhaal - was very complimentary.
Taylor said: "I heard from the guy that most of 'Red' is about. He was like, 'I just listened to the album, and that was a really bittersweet experience for me. It was like going through a photo album.' That was nice. Nicer than, like, the ranting, crazy e-mails I got from this one dude."

Kacey Musgraves had her harmonica stolen by a “fan” after a show in Nacogdoches, TX on Friday night and then she checkily tweeted a picture of herself with the evidence to Musgraves (later shamed by Kacey’s fans)

Taylor Swift was named next of kin by a pilot who died in a Nashville plane crash. The '22' singer reportedly didn't know Canadian pilot Michael Callan, who died three weeks ago, despite him naming her on official forms as his person to contact in case of an emergency. Paula Erickson, the star's publicist, wrote in an email to news website The Tennessean: "Taylor does not known this person. “The first we heard of this was when the appropriate authorities contacted Taylor's management about the crash." Authorities heard from the Federal Aviation Administration that Michael had listed the 23-year-old as his next of kin with his flying club in Canada and that information was relayed to Taylor. Michael's plane went down on October 29 at Nashville International Airport, 500 miles from where he planned to land.

Taylor Swift is reportedly growing close to hunky British actor Douglas Booth and the pair reportedly hired the back room of a British bar to spend time alone last week. The 'I Knew
You Were Trouble' hitmaker and the 'Romeo and Juliet' actor spent time alone in The Holly Bush, a quiet pub in Hampstead, north London on Friday (15th Nov) and even hired a room to ensure extra privacy. A source told People: "They hired the back room and were in there alone. They looked very happy [and] were smiling and laughing, just like any other customers." Taylor, 23, was previously seen flirting with the 21-year-old British actor at the 'Romeo and Juliet' afterparty in Los Angeles, where they hung out with a number of friends, including his co-star Hailee Steinfeld - a long-term friend of the singer - and took a series of pictures in a photo booth.

TWEETS
Yes, Deer: "Great week hangin with my boys at Double Dime Ranch," tweets Jason Aldean. "Another one down." Photo

PHOTO
Nashville star Jonathan Jackson (aka Avery Barkley on the hit ABC series), stopped by the ASCAP offices (Nov 21) to meet the creative team and talk about acting and music. The Emmy-winning actor has fronted his own rock band, Jonathan Jackson and Enation, for over a decade and has been an ASCAP member since 1996 - Photo

BIRTHDAYS
November 25: Eddie Stubbs (Johnson Mountain Boys) (1961), Erin Hay (1970) 
November 26: Joe Nichols (1976), Linda Davis (1962)
November 27: Eddie Rabbitt (1941)
November 28: Janis Gill (Sweethearts Of The Rodeo) (1955), Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town) (1967) 
November 29: Merle Travis (1917) 
November 30: Frank Ifield (1937), Mindy McCready (1975), Jeannie Kendall (Kendalls) (1954) 
December 1: Kim Richey (1956)

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