Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Country Bites News snippets December 16 - December 31, 2013

Country Bites News snippets December 16 – December 31, 2013

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

Annabelle
2013 Juno Award and Canadian Folk Music Award nominee Annabelle Chvostek is returning to the UK with her band in January and February 2014, including Out To Lunch Festival in Belfast and Celtic Connections in Glasgow. See Video - See Tour dates

The Phil Mack International Country Show Irish Tour June 2014 [ 25th - 30th ] >> Promo Video

Watch back the 5th Episode of the Smith and Rogers TV show which was first broadcast on 29th Dec on Showcase tV (Freesat 400) >> vimeo.com  It features the Steve Lovett and Texas Tornados live from (Pentney Bowls Club) interviews with Darren Busby and Pete Stothard, a Taylor Swift segment along with newbie Canadian artist Madison Kozak (Download stream her songs: "So Not The Same" & "Truth About Lies")

Jeannine Barry is on the front cover of Southern Country  2014 (I'm coming!!) The mag previously announced that it will cease to exist after March 2014: Southern Country Magazine fell on hard times, so after nearly 35 years of publications they announced the news earlier in 2013 (due to rising costs and a fall in sales and advertising)

Over many months the presenters of UKCountryRadio.com  talked about their search for the Greatest Country Hits of all time. In conjunction with a country magazine they asked listeners/ readers to send in their all time favourite three country songs to help compile a definitive chart – See separate Blog Post.

UK CHART NEWS

Official UK Singles Top 100 (Weeks Ending December 28, 2013 and January 4, 2014)
Pop/country crossover artist Kelly Clarkson with “Underneath The Tree” moved 46-30 in her third chart week and in her fourth week fell back 30-55

Official UK Albums Top 100 (Weeks Ending December 28, 2013 and January 4, 2014)
Daniel O’Donnell with A PICTURE OF YOU (DMGTV) fell 3 places 55-58 in his 6th chart week and in the following week (Jan 4) fell back 28 slots 58-86  - CD - MP3
Taylor Swift’s RED moved back 2 slots from 89-91 on her 61st chart week and recovered in chart week Jan 4 moving up 6 places 91-85.

Official UK Country Album Chart  (Weeks Ending December 28, 2013 and January 4, 2014)
Billie Joe (Armstrong) + Norah (Jones) with their 12 track FOREVERLY (Warner Bros) remained at No.1 for a five straight weeks.
Lady Antebellum were a non-movers at No.2 with GOLDEN and Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) held firm at No.3 in her 37th week.
Derek Ryan stays at No.4 with COUNTRY SOUL (Sharp Music) in his 8th chart week falling back just one place to No.5 for week Jan 4th.
After 21 weeks on the Top 20 Nathan Carter’s WHERE I WANNA BE held at No.6

On the Hotdisc Chart (December 22, 2013 Chart) 

Ray Scott with his new self penned single  "My Kind Of Music" secured a third week at No.1 on Hotdisc Top 40 and a guaranteed fourth week as he claimed the Christmas Number 1 slot. Note there is no chart published on 29th December which means he will bag a 4th straight week at the summit by default. 
David Shelby held the No.2 slot with “Stealing Honey” taken from his album RUST BELT COWBOY.
Toby Keith’sShut Up And Hold On” edged up on notch to reach a new No.3 peak.
The Phoenix Stone BandWhen The Whiskey Doesn’t Work” moved closer to the top with a 5-4 climb with US act M Callaghan with “Baptized By Your Love” making a similar 6-5 hop to round out the Christmas Top 5.
Erica Sunshine’sDrinking And Driving Me Crazy” from the November Hotdisc 179 promo release made a late 2013 resurgence making a 2 place leap 10-8.
American artist Laurie Shaw entered the Top 10 with a 3 place jump as “Breathless” marched up 12-9

The Hayley Oliver Band with “The Hand That Rocked The Cradle” fell back 2 more places 9-11 but successfully held hold the No.1 on the Hotdisc British & Irish Chart for a remarkable seventh straight week once more holding off the challenge from Kickin’ Country with “Rock It Megamix” who fared worst with a 11-15 drop on the Top 40.

Hotdisc (December 29) 
Hotdisc published the Top 30 chart of 2013, counting down the 30 most popular songs from this calendar year.
Topping the "End of Year" countdown list was David Shelby's "Kick A Little Dirt Around" which was the most popular track of the year on the Hotdisc Top 40, as voted for by European DJs from all the singles released on Hotdisc's Rush Released promotional CD this year. It spent an impressive seven weeks at Number 1 on the charts.
Billy Yates ranked No.2 with his "There's Only One George Jones" single.
Ray Scott landed all three of his number 1 singles inside the Top 10 of 2013 (“Still Screamin' My Name” at #3 (6 weeks at #1); “Those Jeans” at No.4 (4 weeks at #1) and “My Kind Of Music” at No.6 (3 weeks at #1)

In the British & Irish Top 10 of 2013 Hayley Oliver Band dominated with three inside the top four, enjoying the number 1, 2 and 4 slots: "Right Person At The Right Time" came out at the top of the pile (8 weeks at #1); The Hand That Rocked The Cradle (8 weeks at #1) and “Could I Be More Blue” (5 weeks at #1) . None of  the singles topped the Hotdisc Top 40  with peaks of #3, #2 and #2 respectively.
George Inglis with “The Old Time Rock n' Roll”  has the #3 position and is ranked #29 on the overall Top 30 year end chart. The song peaked at No.3 on the Top 40 but enjoyed a 7-week No.1 run on the British & Irish chart.
Graham Clark with “I'm Not Inclined” secured the #6 position and is ranked #7 on the overall Top 30 year end chart. The reason being is that he topped both the Top 40 chart for 4 weeks and the British chart with a 5 week run. He is the only British artist to release a promo Hotdisc track in 2013 to land a Top 40 No.1 after it climbed to the summit from its #7 chart debut back on Dec 9, 2012. 

Listen to Stuart Cameron (Hotdisc Chart Show on CMR Nashville) and Phil Butler (British & Irish Hotdisc Chart Show on UKCountryRadio.com) announce the Top 30 and Top 3 respective end of year charts.




Check out the full 2013 End Of Year Hotdisc listings here
Rush Released is taking bookings for February 2014 as they go into their 16th year promoting country music in Europe. Best wishes to Stuart Cameron and to all the Hotdisc 2013 artists for their participation. Good luck to everyone submitting tracks for 2014.

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas (International Version)
15 Tracks/ Time: 49:09 MP3

AUSSIE NEWS

Jayne Denham has another hit on her hands, this time with a Christmas special release Truckin' Santa (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). It's Jayne's first ever Christmas song on record and to say she's pretty pleased with the reaction would be an understatement. The song released  Dec 6, 2013 is only available via iTunes download

After a year based in the United States, Kristy Cox is returning to Australia for a special show at the 2014 Tamworth Country Music Festival to showcase tracks from her forthcoming album LIVING FOR THE MOMENT. The album is due for world-wide release on February 18 through US bluegrass label Pisgah Ridge and is described as "a perfect representation of where this
talented singer/songwriter is in her personal and professional life". First single from the album – One Heartbreak Away – hit the airwaves earlier this month.

Dianna Corcoran enjoyed a third week atop the national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart with her latest hit “Therapy”.
Troy Cassar-Daley/Adam Harvey cover of "Good Hearted Woman" stays at No.2 for a second week. McAlister Kemp's Harder To Tame edged up one place to No.3. The Jayne Denham/ Shannon Noll duet of “Beyond These City Lights” climbed two places (6-4) Allan Caswell's “The Next Time That You Hear” jumped up two places to number five.

CANADIAN NEWS

  • Caesars Windsor, Ontario is thrilled to welcome one of country music's most beloved artists, Trisha Yearwood, to the Colosseum stage on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 9pm. Trisha is going to be performing select tour dates in the spring of 2014! They start on February 19, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, FL at Broward Center for the Performing Arts. ending on April 11, 2014 at Caesars Windsor.
  • Canadian country music star George Canyon says he’s devastated to learn that his friend and fellow pilot crashed into a house and died shortly after flying him to a show in northeastern Alberta. Mr. Canyon’s publicist, Anya Wilson, says the singer was dropped off with his tour manager in Lloydminster on Saturday for a performance of “The Huron Carole” in the city that evening. The pilot then took off for High River, south of Calgary, but the Cessna 210 slammed into the ground shortly after takeoff and slid into a house. A person who was in the house wasn’t hurt, but the pilot was killed.

NEWS
  • Snapshot News: Country Aircheck Insider Artist News: December 20, 2013 Newsletter
  • Blake Shelton will join Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson for a performance on The 56th Annual Grammy Awards. The collaboration is billed as a "Grammy Moment" on the show, broadcasting live from Los Angeles Sunday, January 26 on CBS. Blake is nominated this year for Best Country Solo Performance with "Mine Would Be You."
  • Blake Shelton said his favorite time of the year is late December because he and wife Miranda Lambert always hunt on Christmas Day. They go out early that morning then come home and have dinner and they sometimes go back out that evening. Blake will return to The Voice for season six in February along with Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher. Miranda will also be on as the mentor for Team Shakira.
  • Tyler Farr is an avid outdoorsman, so it's no surprise he splurged on a new gun to celebrate his first #1 hit, "Redneck Crazy." This particular gun, a Smith & Wesson 500, is a favorite of Alaskan wilderness guides looking to defend themselves from grizzly bears. Tyler says, "I know the grizzly bear population is on the decline here in Tennessee. So, I don't think I'll be using it very much, but it's fun to shoot." You're more likely to find Tyler in a deer stand than hunting grizzly bears anyway. "The only bears I've seen is myself at about five in the morning when I wake up and get ready," Tyler jokes. "That's about as close to a grizzly bear as I'm gonna get."
  • The holidays are a time of giving, and Taylor Swift didn’t forget that. Neither did the 10,000 people who came together to sing Christmas carols for Laney Brown, an 8-year-old little girl who was dying of Leukemia.
    Little Laney loves music, Taylor Swift and carols, and she got to enjoy all three things as part of her last wish. She wanted to meet Swift and have people come visit her while singing Christmas carols — both wishes came true over the weekend of Friday, Dec. 20 (Laney’s birthday), Swift phoned the little girl, who lives in West Reading, Pa., and they talked via FaceTime so that they could see one another during their chat. Swift was born in Reading, Pa., so Laney’s plight hit close to home — literally. Update: With great sadness Laney has died. Meeting Swift was one of her dying wishes. Brown passed on Christmas morning. The Team Laney Facebook page announced the news early Wednesday: My heart breaks right now. Our little angel on earth earned her pink glittery angel wings in heaven. She took her last breath at home in her bed at 3:10 surrounded by all her family and friends. I miss her so much already. Battling Leukemia and not expected to live long when Swift phoned her.
  • For the second year in a row, Taylor Swift has topped the “Top 20 Celebs Gone Good” list put together by DoSomething.org, which encourages young folks to help others.
  • Taylor Swift has added to her mantle of awards and honors as she has been named Tennessean of the Year by Nashville's daily newspaper,The Tennessean. In a front-page article in the paper's Sunday (Dec. 29) edition, the editors noted Taylor's generosity to the city and her positive role-model image as the main reasons for her selection.
  • On Dec.13, Taylor's 24th birthday, the acclaimed star donated $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony, which has undergone some financial difficulties during the past year. "I would not be the same kind of person without Nashville," Taylor told The Tennessean. "It has shaped me into who I am." Dolly Parton and husband-and-wife Vince Gill and Amy Grant have also been honored with the Tennessean of the Year designation in recent years.
  • Dolly Parton has been married to her husband Carl Dean for almost 50 years, and to celebrate five decades of matrimony, they’re renewing their vows. The happy couple have one of the longest standing marriages in the industry and are excited about the prospect of another wedding in 2016.
  • Garth Brooks has something under his cowboy hat and up his sleeve regarding new music in 2014. Exactly what he is planning remains a bit of a mystery, intentionally so. He did say that something he may do between now and fall 2014 is the biggest thing he’s ever attempted! New music from the country star remains a bit of an iffy situation. One of the obstacles is the fact that he won’t budge on his position regarding iTunes. The digital service sells individual songs, while Brooks wants his albums sold as is, not in piecemeal fashion.
  • Mandolinist Chris Thile and actress Claire Coffee (Photo). The two reportedly tied the knot in a nuptials ceremony at lackberry Farm in Tennessee on Monday, December 23. Thile and Coffee have been a couple for over a year. They have been seen together at various events and engagements for a while now
TV
Kelly Clarkson is heading down to Nashville to play the role she was born to play: herself. After Nashville’s mid-season finale, the ABC drama confirmed that Clarkson would appear in an episode of the show where she’ll record Mazzy Star’s hit “Fade
Into You” with characters Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Scarlett (Clare Bowen).

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest saw reigning CMA Vocal Duo of the Year and Country music’s biggest “Party boys” Florida Georgia Line perform their fourth consecutive #1 smash "Stay," gold-certified "Round Here" and multi-platinum breakout debut "Cruise" from their platinum Republic Nashville album >> YouTube. HERE'S TO THE GOOD TIMES Ring in the New Year on Twitter with @FLAGALine and @BigMachine! #RockinEve . See report at ew.com

BABY NEWS
Bournemouth Acoustic Folk Duo Tinderbox (Monique & Dan) introduced their new arrival: Aidan Lewis Tucker who was born on December 13th; weighing in at a tiny 5 pounds 3 oz. See their Nov/Dec Newsletter with 2014 gig dates. 


MUSIC NEWS
Barely a week after winning The X Factor, Leicester prisoner officer/housewife Sam Bailey won the battle for the Christmas number one, debuting in pole position with her cover of Demi Lovato's hit, “Skyscraper”, while Lovato's original - a number seven hit last year - re-entered at number 37 (9,213 sales).
It is the 10th time in as many seasons that the winner's coronation single has reached number one - but only the sixth time that an X Factor act has had the Christmas number one. Although selling well over twice as many copies as runner-up Pharrell Williams' Happy, Bailey's debut came with sales of just 148,853 - a modest introductory total for an X Factor coronation single.
The only one to sell fewer copies on its debut was the very first - Steve Brookstein's version of Phil Collins ' Against All Odds’.
A long range bet for the 2014 Christmas #1 could be BAND AID 30!

Pharrell Williams’ accession to the throne this week was at the expense of new X Factor champion’s coronation song as declining sales for Sam’s Skyscraper, which dipped 1-2 (85,283 sales; off 42.70% week-on-week)
Voting Results for the X Factor UK 2013 series Final was: Sam Bailey 53.4%, Nicholas McDonald 36.3%, Luke Friend 10.3%

Simon Cowell has signed a new three-year deal with ITV to keep X Factor and Britain's Got Talent on the air until 2016.
The current tenth run of The X Factor was rumoured to be the last, but in June ITV boss Adam Crozier restated the broadcaster's commitment to what he called "a very important programme for ITV".

Fewer than 200 sales prevented The X Factor from providing the UK Christmas #1 single and album for only the second time in its history. After running a little ahead of Robbie Williams' Swings Both Ways all week, One Direction - who finished third in the 2010 competition - faltered at the final hurdle, with third album Midnight Memories remaining at number two instead of reclaiming the throne. Ironically, the programme which has served to damage The X Factor's Saturday night dominance all year - Strictly Come Dancing - undoubtedly provided the necessary swing for Williams to ease past One Direction. With the end of the sales week just 160 minutes away, Williams took to the screen to perform Puttin' On The Ritz, helping to boost last minute digital downloads of the album
#1 Robbie Williams 126,330 (5-week Total 535,527), #2 One Direction 126,146 (4-week total 608,932), #3 Gary Barlow 116,730 (4-week Total 415,583), #4 Olly Murs 98,249 (56-week Total 1,130,446) and #5 Beyoncé 67,856 (2-week Total 135,714)

Topping the compilation chart for the sixth straight week, and remaining atop the overall album chart, Now That’s What I Call Music! 86 sold a further 138,364 copies last week. Becoming the only million selling album of 2013, it has a to-date sales tally of 1,111,701.
After two weeks at number one and a further fortnight at number two, One Direction’s third album, MIDNIGHT MEMORIES, dips to third place on sales of 75,822 copies. It was just enough for the album to claim the honour of being the UK’s 2013’s biggest selling album preventing, at the very last gasp, Emeli Sande’s Our Version Of Events from topping the list for two years in a row. Sande’s album sold 682,908 copies in 2013 to raise its career (98 week) tally to 2,075,777. Midnight Memories has sold 684,754 copies in five weeks. Back in 1999 Shania Twain with “Come On Over” sold 2.201 million and in 2011 Adele’s “21” shifted  3.772 million copies.

Overall UK album sales last week were up 13.21% at 4,598,813. However, they are 16.80% below same week 2012 sales of 5,527,603. In the same week in 2005, album sales reached their all-time peak of 10,581,571 - 120.09% higher than last week. In that week, 16 artist albums topped the 100,000 sales mark, compared to just three last week.

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
  • Reuben Records is proud to announce the release of acclaimed singer/songwriter Amy Black’sTHIS IS HOME” on Feb 4, 2014. “THIS IS HOME,” Amy Black’s second solo release, was produced by Lex Price (Mindy Smith, Peter Bradley Adams) and recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Ben’s Studio on Music Row (formerly historic RCA STUDIO A.). The Pledgemusic  fan funded project has received 151 pledges, reaching 99% of the goal.
  • The ancient and the modern converge to create the timeless in Side By Side, the new Rebel Records album from vocal titan Ralph Stanley and his gifted son and musical heir apparent, Ralph Stanley II. Co-produced by the younger Stanley and John Rigsby, a former member of the elder Stanley’s fabled Clinch Mountain Boys band, Side By Side is a compelling collection of 14 new and traditional songs. It will be released Feb. 18. Read more and see track list 
  • Charlie Farley, blending southern swagger with a backwoods twist, will see Average Joes Entertainment / BackRoad Records country artist, , debut album “HOG HEAVEN,”  released January 14, 2014. Executive produced by Phivestarr Productions and Shannon “Fat Shan” Houchins, fans can pre-order the new album hereon iTunes.
  • Eliza Gilkyson’s label Red House Records were pleased to announce the March 18, 2014 release of THE NOCTURNE DIARIES, the first new album in three years from the Grammy-nominated, Austin Music Hall of Fame member. 
  • Rosanne Cash’s new album, THE RIVER & THE THREAD, comes out January 14 on Blue Note Records and she will be celebrating with a series of high profile media appearances and performances. Week of release, she will perform on “Late Show with David Letterman” (Thursday, January 16), NPR’s “Morning Edition” will profile the album and Cash will be doing an in-store performance and signing at the Barnes & Noble in NYC’s Union Square. Other release week activities include a special live hour-long broadcast on New York station WFUV (January 13th at 8 PM) and appearances on NPR’s “World Café,” the syndicated show “Acoustic Café” and the talk radio institution “Imus in the Morning.”
  • Gloriana is currently in the studio working on their next studio album, but they gave fans a little taste of what to expect with the new song "Best Night Ever." The track was released Dec 17, 2013 (Emblem Records) to US iTunes in time for Christmas. Gloriana's Rachel Reinert says, "We really wanted to give our fans something new before the end of the year. I hope you like it as much as we do!”
  • Taylor Swift recently sat down for an interview with Entertainment Weekly,
    in which she dished on a few details about her in-the-works fifth studio album, which is said to be ahead of schedule. Of course, at this stage she can't reveal too much. "They would be so mad at me if I told you what I have in my head as far as the plan goes," Swift explains, "and I hate to say a plan and then change it. A great deal of what will happen this year has to do with what will happen this next month. But for me writing the next record, it usually takes me awhile to find the new sound. It usually takes me a year to shed the last album’s sound and start anew. And this one just started on new territory."
  • While Darius Rucker is putting the game plan together for work on his next studio album, he knows one thing for sure ... the sound and style will be true to the genre that has embraced him. "We kind of wait until the songs start coming [to determine the direction of the music]," Rucker tells Roughstock. "A big part of me wants to make a real old-school record, but you know ... even if you think you're making an old-school record, when it's done and after the production these days, nothing seems old-school. Country is always important to me, and it's always going to be a country record. So that's what I'm telling people ... it's going to be a country record."
  • Joe Nichols was back on the radio this year with a new #1 hit, "Sunny and 75," but he has even bigger plans for his next single, "Yeah." Joe is already calling the song the "money single" from his latest album, Crickets. He told ABC News Radio, "It has something special to it. I'm as excited about this as I've ever been from any song I've ever had, from 'Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off' to 'Sunny and 75,' and I think it's a bigger song than 'Sunny and 75.'"

PRESS RELEASES

  • Rhonda Vincent, the New Queen of Bluegrass as deemed by the Wall Street Journal, is clearing the lane for her upcoming 2-Disc combination release that includes six-songs each of Bluegrass and Country.
  • Kenny Rogers Children's Center receives $500,000 grant from Missouri Foundation for Health
  • Ring in the New Year at Larry's Country Diner, line up includes: January 4 (Ricky Skaggs), Jan 11 (The Isaacs), Jan 18 (Suzy Bogguss) and Jan 26 (Bill and McKenna Medley). 
ARTICLES

  • The Tennessean: Deana Carter mulls move home to Nashville
  • Maverick July/ August issue [PDF] Behind The Scenes: Rebecca Kemp: Queen Of Logistics....If you go to a lot of music gigs that are held, away from the Arena’s and football stadiums, in a multitude of small venues and festivals around the world you may wonder who that person is flitting between backstage, tour van and merchandise stall. 

NPR Quiet As Kept, Women Dominated Country Music In 2013....New York Magazine music critic Jody Rosen is absolutely nuts for commercial country. This year, he's dug albums by Ashley Monroe, Kellie Pickler, the Pistol Annies and the Court Yard Hounds — the group that's two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks. But one album in particular has had his full attention all year: 12 Stories by Brandy Clark. Download [MP3]

Country music's 'year of women' myth (excerpt from CBC Music Magazine issue 1) But if you’re looking to find those names on the airwaves, or the names of chart newcomers like Kacey Musgraves and female-fronted acts like Lady Antebellum or the Band Perry, you’re looking for the needle in country radio’s haystack…..Of the first 48 weeks in 2013, zero solo female acts held the number one spot on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. Two number one songs during that period featured a female artist (Tim McGraw and Swift with “Highway Don’t Care” and Blake Shelton with Pistol Annies on “Boys ’Round Here”), for a total of three weeks at number one.......But what’s dominating the charts is something Jody Rosen, a writer for New York Magazine’s arts and culture site, Vulture, coined “bro-country” earlier this year: “music by and of the tatted, gym-toned, party-hearty young American white dude.” He’s describing Florida Georgia Line, a male duo that has been atop multiple country charts with “Cruise” — a song about bikini-clad women with long, tanned legs that make the two men want to “Cruise.” 
  • EW - Legacies '13: Stars Pay Tribute: George Jones (Sept. 12, 1931–April 26, 2013) by Brad Paisley
  • Billboard 615: Suzy Bogguss Shines Light on Merle Haggard the Songwriter With 'Lucky' Album….On February 4, Suzy Bogguss will release "Lucky," a collection of songs from the pen of country music legend Merle Haggard. However, don't tell her that it is a tribute record. She looks at it a little differently. "The truth is that Merle Haggard made records of his songs that are going to live forever," she told Billboard. "What I was trying to do was show people what an amazing songwriter he is. I didn't know if some people might find that his artistry overwhelms that. I wanted to show that his songs are so universal that a woman can sing them, and still get across the real life messages and stories that he tells in his songs." Bogguss admits that Haggard has been a part of her career story from the beginning – going back to her very first hit from 1989. "I had cut 'Somewhere Between,' and it was the title cut from my first album. It was actually my first single to chart, and I actually got to meet Merle and do a few shows with him. I've been a big fan of his since my dad played all of his songs on the 8-track player." Suzy’s new album "Lucky" was Fan Funded! This Kickstarter project was successfully funded on Dec 9, 2013 (964 backers; $75,211 pledged; of a $50,000 goal)
  • Taste Of Country: Kacey Musgraves Dishes on Her Family’s Christmas Scavenger Hunt
  • A (Sarah) Darling Christmas 
  • Country Weekly’s Top 10 Albums of 2013  1. Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves 2. 12 Stories by Brandy Clark 5. Like a Rose by Ashley Monroe
  • Taste Of Country - 2013 in Country Music: Tragedy, Bro-Country, a Nub + Luke Bryan’s Hip-Shakin’
  • Taste of Country 10 Biggest Stories of 2013
  • Year In Review: 2013 Country Babies
  • Year In Review: 2013 Country Weddings
  • Roughstock's Ones To Watch For In 2014: The New Artists

REVIEWS
INTERVIEWS

Q&A: ‘Strawberry Wine’ Singer Deana Carter on Her New Album, Writing with Kacey Musgraves & Watching ‘Nashville’

BOOKS
Country star Trisha Yearwood’s two bestselling cookbooks, Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen (2008) and Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood (2010), led to her own highly rated Food Network show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. Previously available only in hardcover, Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood by Trisha, her late mother Gwen Yearwood and sister Beth Yearwood Bernard, is now available in paperback (Clarkson Potter Publishers) Click to look inside
Recently Trisha appeared on The Rachael Ray Show making holiday cookies, including snickerdoodles and crescent cookies!


MAGAZINES

The January/February 2014 issue of Maverick Magazine features an exclusive face to face interview with Taylor Swift (Front Cover) in Nashville, after a whirlwind year for the country/pop superstar. This issue includes a FREE 18 track MAVERICK MUSIC Volume 8 CD, which includes artists such as Lisbee Stainton, Tony McLoughlin, Timm Grimm, M Callahan, Fran McGillivray Band and many more. Articles include: Deana Carter: The Star Returns, Rose Maddox, Toby Keith: Twenty Years in the Game, Will Hoge: Never Giving In, Scotty McCreery: That Traditional Sound and Danielle Bradbery: Heart of Dixie. Preview 6 pages here and here

Magazine Of Country Music Dec 2013 Issue [PDF] File
Read the Country Muse UK Special Launch Edition (Abi Bridgeman Front Cover)

LISTEN

  • Roughstock: Christmas Playlist: A Country Christmas
  • Sugar High” (Acoustic Demo) by Stephanie Quayle recorded a few weeks ago with Ilya Toshinsky producing and playing. Written by Lovelace/Gorley/McEwan this will be a strong contented for her first single of the new year
  • Ronnie Dunn new track "Grown Damn Man"
  • Sam Hunt "Raised On It" .Lots of name-checking on this good time song, should help the "bro-country" movement continue in 2014.
  • Kelleigh Bannen "Famous" released 
  • Nov 25, 2013 on EMI Records being played on SiriusXM The Highway and available on ITunes . Listen to Kelleigh' (see ACM 48th Awards photo) and her 5 Song Sampler  
  • For many people around the world, A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 from the candlelit Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, marks the beginning of Christmas >> Listen Back  The service includes carols and readings from the Bible. The opening carol is always 'Once in Royal David's City', and there is always a new, specially commissioned carol. Download the 2013 service booklet [PDF] - www.kings.cam.ac.uk
SPOTIFY COUNTRY

This 125 songlist is what Engine 145 Blog thought were the year’s best roots songs – whether you’re a fan of traditional country, mainstream country, bluegrass, Americana, roots rock, or even the occasional bit of experimental folk, there’s something here for everyone.

FREE DOWNLOADS

Ashley Winters has a Free song “For The Ride” (320kbps MP3) on her Reverbnation Page. It’s taken from her 5 Track EP Country Noir released digitally in June 2013 on UK iTunes and Amazon UK . The Nashville based singer-songwriter calls it a throwback approach spotlighted by her traditional bluesy vocals.

Southern Californian native Morgan Leigh has a free original track titled “Foolish” (320kbps MP3) available on reverbnation.com  The country/pop singer-songwriter was on Season 12 of American Idol making it to the semi finals as one of the top 40 girls in the country. >> Watch the video on YouTube , join her on Facebook and download her stunning promo Photo

WATCH

  • Aussie female trio The McClymonts "How Long"
  • "Stupid and Seventeen" Lindsay Bruce (Aug 2011) = Sounds like Taylor Swift
  • Holly May "Go Big Or Go Home" (another Taylor Swift wanabee?)
  • The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired Dec 10th on CBS and you can watch Taylor Swift's performance of “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark
  • Taylor Swift received her first-ever Worldwide Artist Award at 2013 ACAs via satelite video link up. Watch her acceptance speech
  • "Sunshine" by Canadian Amy Rose taken from her forthcoming release, The Beginning.
  • Meghan Linsey, one half of the CMT-nominated country duo Steel Magnolia, is going solo, and with "Counting Stars" she's giving fans an exclusive taste of what's to come in 2014.
  • Tigirlily  "Don't Worry 'Bout Tomorrow" Official Music Video: North Dakota sisters, Kendra and Krista, combine distinctive talents to comprise the genre-bending duo, Tigirlily. Singing since they were talking, blending their voices was a natural step. In an astonishingly short time, the siblings have progressed from sharing in church to sharing the stage with national acts. Diversely influenced and hard to box in, the pair have crafted a remarkable sound, appealing to pop, folk and country audiences alike. Think Taylor Swift as a duo, Colbie Caillat with some swagger and Adele with a li'l twang and you're on the right path! Find them on Facebook
  • Why Country Was Awful in 2013: Country Music in 2013 became rather cookie-cutter and formulaic with the “Bro-country”  movement taking a firm hold and country radio endorsing such male dominated derivative junk >> YouTube Clips
Christmas Crackers or a bad joke? You Decide! :

Santa ClausOn The Throne Again” released to country radio as an official single by David Joseph Music! Available on iTunes and Amazon UK . Jinglin' bells, Santa's in a Christmas Eve predicament! Something has left him with his pants down, and his sleigh waiting! The old North wind has nothing on him, as he considers his dilemma in "On the Throne Again." Written as a parody to Willie Nelson’s "On the Road Again," "On The Throne Again" is sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you with a jolly holiday smile on your face??!! This hilarious Christmas song tells the true tale of what sometimes happens to Santa when he eats all those Christmas cookies and drinks all that milk!!

COUNTRY FASHION
Julianne Hough, Country/pop singer and former Dancing With The Stars champ and “Footloose” actress was spotted Out & about in LA wearing J Brand ‘Anja’ cuffed leather pants available from (Shopbop.com, Net-A-Porter US, Barneys.com, RevolveClothing.com) - Fashion Pic
She was also seen wearing Rachel Zoe leather ‘Suzie’ pants (available from Stylebop.com US, Stylebop.com UK) - Fashion Pic

Hayden Panettiere was spotted at the 2013 CMT Artists Of The Year, Tennessee wearing a Lover ‘Commune’ lace top jumpsuit
(Shop:   Matches Fashion Global, Matches Fashion UK) - Fashion Pic

Nicole Kidman (aka Mrs Keith Urban) has long been a red carpet favourite, from when she was first introduced on Tom Cruise’s arm in the ’90s. She dazzled in Dior, Gucci, Versace, YSL, and Nina Ricci, to name a few. Then she kinda lost her fizz. This year Nicole was back to her best, giving fans drop-dead-gorgeous look after drop-dead-gorgeous look, starting with Alexander McQueen at the Golden Globe Awards, then onto Vivienne Westwood at the SAG Awards before her epic run during Cannes Film Festival. She said that she fell out of love with fashion, but thanks to her starring role as fashion icon Grace Kelly in ‘Grace of Monaco’ that passion has been ignited once again - Fashion Pic - Image

Kelleigh Bannen – Hair & Makeup Ideas pinterest.com

Hot on the heels of Wynonna Judd, Miranda Lambert has announced on Facebook that she, too, has designed a line of shoes.
She writes, “I am so excited I can finally share with y'all .  I designed my own shoe line! And you can get them now - Image

RCFA: Designer of the Year & Couturier of the Year 2013 goes to Elie Saab - Fashion Pic
The king of the red carpet is none other than Elie Saab. This is the third year of his ravishing reign atop their Best Of list, scooping up the honour. The fashion darling of the celebrity set, the Lebanese designer consistently dazzles with looks that are trendsetting without being try-hard—and that are uncompromisingly beautiful. Nearly every major event, soiree and awards show has his name on it. With his sweeping gowns, deliciously embellished dresses and other magical confections, they are practically fit for royalty.
Country/Pop’s “very own princess”, the now 24-year old Miss Taylor Swift, who wore a captivating crimson gown from her go-to designer at the 47th annual CMA Awards - Image - Image
Taylor Swift dressed in Elie Saab, Voted Designer Of The Year
by RCFA (click image to view FULL SIZE)
a) Miss Swift made a dramatic entrance , when the “I Knew You Were Trouble” singer oozed confidence when she arrived onto the red carpet at the 02 arena attending the 2013 Brit Awards on February 20, 2013 to present Emeli Sande with the British Female Solo Artist. Judging by Taylor's super-sexy appearance, she speed-dialled Elie Saab, saying something along the lines of: 'Get me the hottest LBD you've got' to show so Harry [Styles] knew exactly what he was missing! She wore a sleek Elie Saab Pre-Fall 2013 gown with sequins. The gorgeous black sleeveless gown had sheer panels in the shoulders and skirt was accented with a gold belt for a touch of bling.
b) The “22" CMT Music Awards performer rocked a Gatsby-inspired cream strapless Elie Saab Spring 2013 embellished dress with a rise-and-fall hemline at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday June 5, 2013.
Taylor glittered in her nude Elie Saab gown with six 47th Annual CMA noms she completely dazzled wearing a big wine-coloured Haute Couture gown (made to order) with light embellishments. One of the top fashion highlights of 2013! - Fashion Pic
c) Taylor was featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists issue. She was seen posing in a gorgeous Elie Saab yellow dress with a thigh-high slit and metallic heels along with her stylist Joseph Cassell. Taylor commented about her stylist, saying, “There are times that he will have just steamed a dress and put me in it, and he’ll crank the seat all the way
back in the car and make me lie down all the way to the event so it doesn’t wrinkle before I get to the red carpet.”
d) Taylor officially opened the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN on Saturday 12th October. She looked chic wearing an Elie Saab Fall 2013 three-quarter-sleeve dress with a sheer neckline, fitted bodice and slightly flared skirt.
e) Taylor Swift pulling out all the stops on the red carpet at the 2013 NRJ Music Awards, held at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes and showed a young man [1D’s Harry Styles] exactly what he was missing when she again stunned in Elie Saab’s Spring 2013 dress.

COUNTRY GOSSIP

(19 Dec) Luke Bryan’s secret to a happy marriage is out. Every night before bed, he rubs his wife's feet.  She says they're the best foot rubs on earth. Luke also says one more secret is he doesn’t let her know how much he spends on fishing.

Kimberly Perry from The Band Perry will tie the knot with fiancé J.P. Arencibia next summer and because he plays baseball for the Rangers they’re both busy so Kimberly says, “we’ll have one 24-hour period to get it all DONE”.

It's no surprise Tim McGraw's house is always decked out for the holidays since his wife, Faith Hill, is very into interior design. Tim says, "Holidays [are] really big around our house. Having three daughters, then my wife too, she’s really big on the holidays, so everything’s decorated." Beyond the lights and tinsel, Tim and Faith make sure they take time out to reconnect with their daughters and count their blessings at Christmastime.

Faith Hill added a holiday recipe to Pinterest - Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Fantasy Cake! Yummy!

Sheryl Crow went country in 2013, but she's singing the blues these days over her Tennessee farm. According to RealtyToday.com, Sheryl has slashed the price on her 51-acre spread from $4.5 million to $3.8 million. She originally listed all 147acres of her Nashville-area property for $7.5 million in 2010, but Sheryl decided to reduce the lot size after the property failed to sell. The current offering includes the more than 10,000-square-foot main residence, a 14-stall horse barn, and an outdoor pool. The other 96 acres and a guest house are being sold separately.

Keith Urban moved behind the American Idol judges table in 2013, along with Randy Jackson and the constantly-fueding Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. Video of those two ladies involved in a war of words at the audition table overshadowed the season, but Keith thrived as a mentor to the up-and-coming talent, including country-flavored finalists Kree Harrison and Janelle Arthur. As a result, Keith is the only judge from 2013 returning for the 2014 season. He'll be sitting alongside returning judge Jennifer Lopez and American Idol newcomer Harry Connick, Jr. for the upcoming 11th season, kicking off in January.

Keith Urban was interviewed by Rolling Stone and he said “Eric Church's single ‘Outsiders’ is the equivalent of Shania's midriff. It comes along and disrupts the status quo.”

Kelly Clarkson has been very open about all the physical ailments she's had as a result of her pregnancy, including non-stop nausea. But the singer has found a good way to distract herself: by making new music with her pal Martina McBride. Kelly, who obviously doesn't believe in taking Christmas week off, tweeted on Thursday, "Recorded a soulful song with @martinamcbride and I have to say, it's pretty bad ass :) A nice distraction from being pregnant! Thanks girl!"

Martina McBride is releasing an album of cover songs in March called EVERLASTING, and she's already recorded a duet with Gavin DeGraw for the project.  It's likely that this duet with Kelly will appear on that disc, which will feature songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, The Supremes, Elvis Presley and other legendary acts.

2013, a BUM year?
  • We had “Bro-Country” and we saw several former major label artists fall down flat on with poor album sales.
  • Blake Shelton called Classic Country Fans “Old Farts” & “Jackasses”.
  • ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan and ‘Country Girl (Shake It For Me)’ hitmaker gained popularity from his female fans and became recognized for his killer booty dance moves. The proof came via mash-up videos (Warning: Contains nasty language some viewers may find offensive).
  • The new butt on the block:
    Up-and-coming country star Cassadee Pope (left), The Voice season 3 winner didn't shy away from showing off her best assets at the CMA Awards. The gorgeous 24-year-old "Wasting All These Tears" songbird not only showed off her arm inking singer but rocked a Jovani number that was just sheer enough to show off her enviable behind!
  • Jake Owen officially won Throwback Thursday in late October by posting a photo to Facebook of him and his brother in their younger, more innocent days.  Here's a photo from the "Days of Gold"... The innocence of peeing in the lake with my twin bro Jarrod... SWORDS! #ThrowbackThursday.
  • The Lone Bellow core trio, Zach Williams, Kanene Donehey Pipkin and Brian Elmquist sat down with CBC Music at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival to revisit their first full summer performing at music festivals all over the world. They learned a lot in a few short months, including the downside of fancy porta-potties, where to scope out a “sea of butts". Williams: "Oh! Outside Lands in San Francisco. The people in the woods didn’t know there was a bathroom beyond this 10-foot section of trees that they drove all the artists and the lighting guys down and the lady in the golf cart was like, "Don’t look to your right for the next two minutes," so of course we’re all looking and it was just ding-dong after ding-dong after ding-dong. Pipkin: "A sea of butts. I guess people didn’t want to wait in line for the bathroom so they all thought this three-tree-deep woods offered enough comfort".
  • In other news: "Bum" Phillips, the former NFL football coach who led the Houston Oilers to glory and struggled with the New Orleans Saints, died in October at age 90.
  • Cheryl Cole sang to cope with the pain of having a huge tattoo on her bum. The 'Fight For This Love' and ’Need You Know’ singer belted out her favourite songs to deal with the pain inflicted during the inking sessions (believed the star paid £14,000), in which she had two large red roses drawn onto her buttocks to merge with the pair of roses already had on her lower back!
  • Kelly Brook is clearly a fan of Kim Kardashian's very curvy bum. The brunette beauty cheekily decided to enhance her butt after seeing Kim, 33, show off her voluptuous body in a swimsuit selfie. Kelly edited a photo of herself wearing a black bikini to make her behind look larger and posted the results on Instagram @kimkardashian I've seen that shot somewhere before HA!!' wrote Kelly, 33.
  • Kelly Osbourne rejected Lady Gaga's peace offering. The 'Fashion Police' star was fuming when the singer tried to make amends with her mum Sharon Osbourne following her performance on 'The X Factor' UK on Sunday Oct 27th by presenting her with a birthday cake for Kelly, and immediately took to Twitter to inform Gaga she could "eat my s**t". Suffice to say she was bummed!
  • Bah, humbug! Christmas music was unavoidable in December. The problem is, most Christmas songs can’t match your mood. They’re either unabashedly joyful while you’re stressed out, or manipulatively sad. Feelings are stirred up by nostalgia, stress, exhaustion, Jesus, Santa, sugar, travel, poverty, charity, family and everything else! -  10 songs that bum everyone out the right amount ?!!
TWEETS

  • BigMachine @BigMachine The cast of @Nashville ABC picked up their copies, have you? Get THE MUSIC OF NASHVILLE today! http://pbs.twimg.com on iTunes
  • Kacey Musgraves  @KaceyMusgraves Happy 2014!! I don't contain the words to express my gratitude for this past year.
  • Danielle Bradbery @DBradbery Have had an unforgettable 2013 with Brent and hope for many more to come...really THE most amazing guy right here!!
  • The Band Perry 2014 - The future of us all rests on the shoulders of your heart! #HappyNewYear

PHOTO

  • Taylor Swift: American Music Awards Portraits (HI RES) – Image - Image
  • The Band Perry shared photos from European Leg of their We Are Pioneers World Tour which brought their much-anticipated We Are Pioneers World Tour through Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and more beginning November 8 and wrapping up
  • December 5.
  • Kellie Pickler shared Photos of Seventh USO Tour. Currently overseas visiting US Troops in the Middle East on her seventh USO Tour. The “Little Bit Gypsy” singer, who will return to the US after the nine-day holiday tour, is bringing fans along for the ride by sharing photos from her trip with fans via Twitter.
  • Seasonal Offerings: The McClymonts - Merry Christmas everybody! We hope you're all having a wonderful day - Image
  • Ashton Lane (Ester O'Connor) This years best Christmas present... Lovely kiss from my Christmas Belle - Image
  • Carolyn Dawn Johnson - The stockings are hung Image
  • Gretchen Peters - Merry Christmas from Nashville - Image
  • Jaida Dreyer: 2013 was filled to the brim with many special memories that I will hold onto forever. As the year comes to an end, I'd like to let you know that your support has meant the world to me. I hope you have a safe holiday filled with friends, family and all the blessings of the season - Graphic
  • 2013 Annual Childhelp Toy Run with TNA Wrestler/ Country singer Mickie James - Image - Image
  • Sarah Darling: Heading to the UK for New Years Eve! So Excited!! - Image
  • Sarah Darling: Ice Skating in Hampton Court - where Henry VIII lived! #london - Image  Wishing you all an AMAZING New Year's Eve and a blessed 2014! Happy New Year from London! - Image
  • TBPerry H Xmas - Image
  • Merry Christmas from the Perrys & the 1st place winner of the Perry Cookie Cook Off! Love, TBP - Image
  • Templeton Thompson - Peace Love, Light & Joy - Image
  • Taylor Swift - Matching Christmas onesies is a thing that's happening right now. - Image
  • Reba McEntire: Merry Christmas!!! Happy Birthday Jesus!!! Praying for Peace - Image
  • Reba McEntire #throwbackthursday 1993!!! #tbt - Image
  • The Musicians Friend or Foe?: Spotify Merry Christmas to all! Image
  • Reba McEntire Happy New Year from Narvel ,@Shelbilly and me. See you all in 2014 - Image
  • Taylor Swift RINGING IN 2014 - Image
BIRTHDAYS

December 30: Suzy Bogguss (1956), John Hartford (1937)
December 31: John Denver (1943 - Died October 12, 1997 (aged 53)), Catherine Britt
January 4: Deana Carter (1966), Patty Loveless (1957), Lorene Mann (1937 - Died May 24, 2013 (aged 76)), Kathy Forester (Forester Sisters) (1955)
January 5: Iris Dement (1961)

R.I.P
Steel Guitar Hall of Famer John Sibert, whose tone and musicality were central to the appeal of top-charting country hits for Carl Smith, Kitty Wells and Little Jimmy Dickens, died Saturday (Dec 21) at age 80, after years of declining health.
Mr. Sibert joined Smith’s band, The Tunesmiths, in October 1951, when he was 17, and quickly became an identifying element of Smith’s sound. In 1998, Smith told The Tennessean that Mr. Sibert “set the style for the music on my records for years and years.” Mr. Sibert’s solos were tasteful endeavors that drove home each song’s melody, and his goal as an instrumentalist was to support rather than distract from the song.
Born in Indianapolis, Mr. Sibert was raised in Nashville. He sat in the front row of Ryman Auditorium for a “Grand Ole Opry” show as a 12-year-old, and the experience sparked a love for country music. He was particularly drawn to Roy Wiggins, who played steel for Roy Acuff.  Read more...tennessean.com


Thank You for supporting the Blog during 2013. I hope you have enjoyed the features in our snippets posts. Please follow us in 2014 with new Blog projects in the pipeline.

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