Sunday, 12 January 2014

Country Bites News snippets January 1 - January 6, 2014

Country Bites News snippets January 1 – January 6, 2014

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

Having a Ball At Kennys: There’s a guy at a Consibrough chip shop swears he’s Elvis – If you have listened to Internet Station UKCountryRadio.com in recent weeks you will have heard the advert for Kennys “superb” Fish and chips more times than I’ve had hot dinners!
Glen Blow, of Kenny's Fish and Chips,
pictured with Simon Large,
UK Country Radio.com presenter.
Photo: Marie Caley S1015MC
Fish and chip whiz Ken Blow is striking a chord with his customers by cooking up a mixture of country music and rockabilly nights at his Conisbrough restaurant. 
The owner of the 150-seater of Kenny’s on Doncaster Road (18 Doncaster Rd, Conisbrough DN12 3AG; Phone:01709 863030) has launched a series of live country music nights on Sunday which started with trio the Voodoo Katz (formerly known as Red Rock County) who took to the stage. They performed a blend of country and ’50s and ’60s rock ’n’ roll and as well as the music, the audience will be treated to a portion of Kenny’s fish and chips.

Nashville it ain’t, so what inspired him to create his own version of the Grand Ole Opry in, of all places, a Conisbrough fish and chip shop?
Said Ken:”I think the mixture of country music and fish and chips will be something unique and different for music and food lovers to enjoy together. “We have a regular cabaret shows at Kenny’s – it has 150 seats – and I was chatting to a keyboard player who helps run runs a country music radio station UKCountryRadio.com.
“He had plans to bring quality country music artists to new audiences in different settings and we fitted the bill perfectly.”
Ken hopes the nights will revive the live music tradition which is slowly being abandoned by working mens’ clubs, who can no longer afford to put on acts.
Will this mean a return to the clubland tradition of Stetson-wearing country fans toting toy revolvers, firing blanks and whooping and hollering?
“Well a few months ago we had a country and western act Carolann B from Mexborough. A group of followers came to see them – and one of them was about 90 years old. He never stopped dancing and he had a cowboy hat on..”
Alan Watkiss, who runs UKCountryRadio.com, said: “We are organising the night for Kenny trying to establish a series of country music nights. We have artists from the UK and America who ask if we can get them concerts in the UK and we have usually had to say no. I perform with a duo in Rotherham and we played at Kenny’s and were really impressed with the audience who were very attentive. You don’t expect that in a chip shop. It was a really good crowd. I know Country and Western is very popular in South Yorkshire and we are really keen to get a regular night.” (Source www.doncasterfreepress )

Kenny’s have confirmed on their Facebook Page the first of their acts for the cabaret nights in the New year:
Sunday 12th Jan Country night with the brilliant Masters of Mellow
Sunday 2nd Feb Comedy + singing with an hilarious tribute to Mrs Brown!
Sunday 2nd March A tribute to the fantastic Robbie Williams
Sunday 13th April Country night with the terrific Lynne Butler Band
Tickets from £9.00 to inc one course meal and all events 7.00pm - 10.00pm usual number for enquiries 01709 863030.
More details at kennysfishandchips.co.uk
No news yet whether singer-songwriter Chip Taylor has booked his Plaice for a future gig – Watch this space!

Country music in America in 2013 witnessed a greater landscape of blending various genres in the mix and Eric Church declaring in a CMT quote: “I think genres are dead” …... “There’s good music. There’s bad music.”
Taylor Swift was a big hit on pop radio on both sides of the pond, Hunter Hayes’ new song, “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me,” was a collaboration with pop musician Jason Mraz, Florida Georgia Line’s remix with rapper Nelly helped to bag them 6.1 million downloads of the record breaking Hot Country Songs single “Cruise” were just three very high-profile examples.
Taylor in a BBC Radio 2 CMA interview with Musician/ Journalist Peter Cooper said: "I think its definitely a creative time. It's a time really exciting in music where you have a lot of genres blending into one another. You have a lot of country that's also Folk/Americana you have country that's also pop, and country that is rock infleunced. Most of the country you hear on the radio today of is a blend country and something else which to me is a really progressive step to getting more fans to acknowledge country and love country because I think the more you experiment musically the better a genre gets"…. I don't think you need to label as much anymore in the generation that everybody has got an IPod everyone's got their own customized playlists.
We want to listen to everything we love , not just select lists”. Something I've been very grateful of is still to be welcomed into my home which is Nashville and still to be welcomed on country radio and also get to go out and experiment and that's one of my favourite things that's happened this year.” (2013)
With that in mind will the Country Radio presenters/ broadcasters in the UK embrace such change and try and expand their listener base or will they play it safe so as not to upset their loyal, traditionalist but every ageing and diminishing audience?
One Scottish country presenter has regarding duos Florida Georgia Line and Love And Theft given their radio singles a spin around the impact date only then to say - “That is the first and only time you will hear them on my show

So a New Year has arrived and here are 2 new UK discoveries which as far as we are concerned are well worth seeking out:

1) Philippa Hanna – Sheffield based Acoustic/Indie/Gospel singer-songwriter did release OUT OF THE BLUE a 7 track EP Country/ Pop live studio acoustic album back in 2011. 2012 saw her busiest year of touring, leading to an invitation to opening for soul legend turned Country crossover artist Lionel Richie on his 11 UK arena date TUSKEGEE Tour in which she delivered a eclectic collection of mainly folk and pop pieces. 
On her latest album THROUGH THE WOODS, released in July 2013, a Kickstarter Funded album (314 backers; £14,331 pledged of £10,000 goal), it explores country music, celtic music and blues as well, spiced up by classy arrangements with her lovely voice shining through. The Sheffield artist worked with Grammy Award winning producer Eliot Kennedy (Bryan Adams, Spice Girls) and his team.
The lead single "Lighthouse" has already been played live on BBC 2 in 2013.
Full of folk, pop, CCM, tinges of country and moments of Irish music, the differing styles all packed into the set makes for us an album which excites full of inspiration and motivation.
This folk-inspired adventure album is a soundtrack to the next chapter of her career. Some of the tracks on the album have heavy banjo presence. In a Cross Rhythms album review it describes: Opening track Lighthouse is what I would call classic Philippa. This solid single has some great country and folk inspired moments but most of all, the song is the complete package. There is a great melody that sets the stall for the whole album....Apples is another strong track that holds the album together, it's the core of the album. This gentle folk track has a nice flow to it, swaying across your ears like a fresh summer's morning.
In December 2013 Philippa bagged 10 dates supporting Wet Wet Wet on their Greatest Hits Tour.
Listen to her songs: “Lighthouse” - “Hollywood - “Cherry Coloured Coat” on Youtube
Buy the album: CD - MP3 - UK iTunes
Visit her WEBSITE find her on - FACEBOOK - TWITTER and check out her Church tour for 2014

2) Adrian Duffy & The Mayo Brothers - Hometown - London & Mayo (Ireland), Genre: Singer-Songwriter/ Indie/Alt/Folk/Rock.
The brothers worked on Folk/ Rock new 5 Track EP SOMEONE LIKE YOU, released Dec 1, 2013 on Inde Symphony Ray Records. They comprise Adrian (acoustic guitar, vocals, bass & mandolin), Chris (drums & percussion) and Melvin Duffy (pedal steel, slide & electric guitars, bass & vocals). Matt Kemp (Ry Cooder, The Chieftains), brought his production and mix skills to bear upon "Someone Like You" and "Push Those Keys".
Their new single "Someone Like You" (writer Adrian Duffy) was playlisted for a 7 weeks on Ireland's national RTE Radio 1 and has also had some support on BBC Introducing in Suffolk, BBC Radio 2 (Alex Lester, Oct 22, 2013), 6 Music (Tom Robinson), BBC Radio Scotland (Iain Anderson, "Push Those Keys" on Oct 21, 2013), BBC Radio Ulster (Cherrie McIllwaine, (Oct 17 & 22, 2013) " United We Fall" and "Push Those Keys” )
A while back on a live studio session for Janice Long on BBC Radio 2 she kindly gave them a "hotly tipped" tag.
Maverick Magazine (Jan/Feb issue) recently reviewed the EP added the vid to their website rubbing shoulders with the lovely Taylor Swift!
Listen to Someone Like You” on Youtube, Spotify or Soundcloud
In view of the recent weather lashing the UK “Storm Breaking” released Nov 28, 2011 is well worth seeking out on UK iTunes
Buy the EP: Amazon UK - UK iTunes
Visit their WEBSITE find their FACEBOOK - TWITTER    

BBC Radio 2 Playlist - Since the Week commencing 14 December 2013 Beth Nielsen Chapman with “Simple Things” has been on the C and “B” playlist. Kacey Musgraves with her now 4th Radio 2 track “Step Off” was added to the “B” list since the week commencing 26 December 2013.

UK singer-songwriter Callaghan left the stormy UK last Monday and was due to fly back into Chicago, but the polar vortex got her re-routed to Houston and then Atlanta. Lincolnshire born Callaghan who celebrated a birthday on January 10, 1983 (age 31), has been in the studio recording new material working towards her second studio album. 
Her first album was embraced by BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris with a live session and interview on his show during Americana week last September. She's now out on the road again for tour dates across the USA.

In A Spin – The much hyped Scottish duo Raintown winners of the 2013 BCMAwards Duo of the Year who comprise Claire McArthur and Paul Bain have a 13th March 2014 London gig “Country Collective At Canary Wharf” (East Wintergarden, 43 Bank Street) with Hannah Jane Lewis and Gary Quinn
The duo are being championed by UKCountryRadio.com’s Simon Large & Will Downie, Steve Cherelle (BBC Radio Essex, BCMAward compere), Stewart Fenwick (Celtic Music Radio) and Emily Saxton (Maverick Magazine). 
In their Blurb Raintown write: Country Collective introduces its main act, Raintown, with its strong country vocals and its hearty country band.  Paul and Claire, both from Glasgow, are the hottest new duo to the Country/Americana scene in the UK and performed at the inaugural Country2Country Festival in London with headliners Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood.
Raintown formerly under the name of pop act "OMNI" Myspace  won two awards at the criticized and now defunct Scottish New Music Awards, including Record of the Year (Traditional Folk) are now it seems embracing a “Country/Americana” stance.
They did not share the same stage as superstars Tim & Carrie at the Country2Country Festival but played the sidelined busking/ Pop Up Stages in the town square /  O2 Complex in March 2013. 
Raintown will also be performing as a full band on Friday 7th March 2014 as part of the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival (Tickets) with special guests Gary Quinn & Sara Crockett at The Black Box - Read the Multi award winners and history making blurb and event info here

BBC ALBA celebrated one of Scotland's most successful traditional bands Capercaille with a Christmas Eve screening of the documentary Capercaillie@30. The programme accompanied the band to international gigs on their 30th anniversary year, offering a unique glimpse of life on tour, and set out to tell two remarkable, parallel stories.

The Northern Nashville Caithness Country Music Festival (NNCCMF), will take place from 18th to 20th April 2014 at the Halkirk Riding Centre. Headlining are US acts Suzy Bogguss, Radney Foster and Rusty Rierson. See full line up for details

The ABC of British Country Music Live listings for Artists, Bands & Clubs - What's On Contact allbritishcountry@gmail.com
with event details.    
Scottish Country gigs - scotcountryconcerts.blogspot

UK CHART NEWS

Official UK Albums Top 100 (Week Ending January 11, 2014)
Taylor Swift’s RED rebounded from 85-65 on her 63rd chart week.
Daniel O’Donnell with A PICTURE OF YOU (DMGTV) fell off the Top 100 from his previous week (Jan 4) at #86. However for fans it’s now at the bargain price of £5.99 including delivery - CD - MP3

Official UK Country Album Chart  (Week Ending January 11, 2014)
Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) returned to No.1 in her 38th week as Billie Joe (Armstrong) + Norah (Jones) with their 12 track FOREVERLY (Warner Bros) fell back to No.2 after a five week run at No.1..
Lady Antebellum moved 2-3 with GOLDEN and Derek Ryan dropped 5-7 with COUNTRY SOUL (Sharp Music) in his 10th chart week.  Nathan Carter’s WHERE I WANNA BE also fell back 6-12 but his 62 week set WAGON WHEEL still posts a Top 20 slot one place above at No.11

Which Country/ Americana Albums charted 
on the Official UK Albums Top 100 during 2013? 
(Recap)

16 Country/ Americana Albums made the Top 100. With the highest debut logged by The Civil Wars at No.2 (9,825 sales) followed by Lady Antebellum at No.7 (11,784 sales) making it the trio’s 3rd UK Top 10 album, following NEED YOU NOW (No.8, 2010) and OWN THE NIGHT (No.4, 2011 with debut week sales of 26,434).
Lady A’s 8 week chart run was easily the best with other major names only able to log 1 or 2 weeks on the Top 100. 
Taylor Swift’s RED is not classed as a country release by the Official Chart Company spent the whole of 2013 on the UK Top 100 Albums chart and has enjoyed a 63 week run on the placing since it sold 61,779 copies in its first week in 2012 to give her first UK No.1 going on to sell over 252,000 copies in 12 weeks.
John Fogerty with WROTE A SONG FOR EVERYONE (Columbia) made a bow at No.75. His album was classified as a "Rock" set though 5 of the tracks were country collaborations.

With BBC Radio 2 one of the sponsors of the March 2013 Country To Country (C2C) two day festival they were happy to oblige three of the artists a place on the BBC Radio 2 playlist. The Playlist Committee, made up of producers and chaired by Jeff Smith, Head of Music Radio 2, meet each week to decide which new releases will be added to the station's playlist. “A” listed artists receive the most plays, between 15 and 20 per week; B list between 5 and 10 plays and up to 5 plays per week for the C list.
Tim McGraw with “Nashville Without You” was B/C play listed (9 Feb-23 March).
Carrie Underwood with “Before He Cheats” ( 16 Feb-23 March), and Little Big Town “Leavin In Your Eyes” (23 Feb-23 March) found themselves playlisted ahead of the festival. Tim also appeared on BBC Breakfast to promote his album.
Those set to appear at C2C 2014 have already found airplay on Radio 2. The Band Perry with “Done” was B playlisted (which they performed on BBC Breakfast) and ”Don't Let Me Be Lonely” was playlisted for 5 weeks in November. Their June 10th UK release of PIONEER (Decca) made their debut at No.94 which fared a lot worse than their self titled titled debut peaked at No.46 on the UK Official 100 chart on March 31, 2012.
Rascal Flatts made an appearance on BBC Breakfast to coincide with the release of CHANGED (Big Machine).
Zac Brown Band’s were “A” playlisted with “Jump Right In” (29 June-17 Aug) and were made Album of the Week with UNCAGED. Additionally they were “B” playlisted with “Island Song” (28 Sept-26 Oct 2013).

The Mavericks were playlisted 3 times starting with “Back In Your Arms Again” (5 Jan-2 Feb), “C” listed “Born To Be Blue” and “ Come Unto Me” (13 July-10 Aug, 2013).
Kacey Musgraves also found favour with the playlist committee who championed Merry Go ‘Round “C”  (6 April-11 May), “Silver Lining” B/C (20 July-17 Aug) and “Follow Your Arrow” (26 Oct-9 Nov 2013). Kacey too stopped by on a Saturday morning BBC Breakfast slot whilst on her UK Tour.
Others that the Radio 2 audience heard during 2013 included: Lady Antebellum “Downtown” B (27 April - May 25), Court Yard Hounds “Sunshine” (15 June-13 July) Glen Campbell “Postcard from Paris” C-List (20 July-17 Aug), Florida Georgia Line with “Cruise” (feat. Nelly) A/B-List (24 Aug-14 Sept) which also made a Radio 2 Record of the Week.
Before Christmas Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped In Red” was flagged up for an Album of the Week.

Charting Albums in 2013:
The Mavericks "IN TIME" debut at No.37 (3,521 sales; Chart Week February 16, 2013 ), then #67, then #98
Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell "Old Yellow Moon" debut at No.42 (4,077 sales; Chart week March 16, 2013) then #42- #96
Tim McGraw with TWO LANES OF FREEDOM debut No.43 (2,500+ copies sold; chart week March 23, 2013 = based on Mumford & Sons' at #47 with sales of 2,481) then #42-#61, then #61-#96
Brad Paisley WHEELHOUSE - debut at No.69 (1,582 sales; chart week April 20, 2013) then off the Top 100 (#6 UK Country Album Chart)
Steve Earle & backing band The Dukes (& Duchesses) THE LOW HIGHWAY - debut at No.30 (3,229 sales; chart week April 20, 2013) then #73
Kacey Musgraves SAME TRAILER, DIFFERENT PARK - debut at No.39 (2,634 sales; chart week April 20, 2013), then #63, 86 RE Oct 19th chart
Lady Antebellum GOLDEN - debut at No.7 (11,784 sales; chart week May 18, 2013), then #19, then #36, then #54, then #66, then #65, then #79, then 87, then off the chart in week 9.
Patty Griffin AMERICAN KID - debut at No.83
Darius Rucker "TRUE BELIEVERS" debut at No.89 (chart week June 1, 2013), then off the Top 100 chart
The Band Perry PIONEER -  No.94 (chart week June 22, 2013)
Rascal Flatts CHANGED - No.87 (chart week July 20, 2013)
Zac Brown Band UNCAGED - No.92 moved up 32 places from No.124 (chart week July 27, 2013). Sales? Well possibly around 1,000 copies based on Style Council who at #67 sold 1,442.
The Civil Wars - eponymous album debut at No.2 (9,825 sales; chart week Aug 17, 2013) 
Glen Campbell SEE YOU THERE - debut at No.35 (2,682 sales chart week Aug 24, 2013 ), then #66, then off the chart
Willie Nelson TO ALL THE GIRLS - debut at No.72 (1,452 sales; chart week ending Oct 26, 2013 ) , then off the chart
Daniel O’Donnell A PICTURE OF YOU - debut at No.16 (10,363 sales; chart week ending Nov 23, 2013)

On the Hotdisc Chart (January 5, 2014 Chart) 

In the first chart of 2014 Ray Scott with his new self penned single  "My Kind Of Music" secured a fifth week at No.1 on Hotdisc Top 40. The top 5 remained the same with David Shelby with “Stealing Honey” at #2, Toby Keith’sShut Up And Hold On” (#3), The Phoenix Stone BandWhen The Whiskey Doesn’t Work” (#4) and US act M Callaghan with “Baptized By Your Love” rounded out the top 5.
American artist Laurie Shaw reached a new peak at #8 with a 1 place hop for “Breathless”. Fellow US country act Jeff Griffith with “She’s Killing Me” also set a new 5-week high entering the upper Top 40 tier with a 12-9 climb.

The Hayley Oliver Band with “The Hand That Rocked The Cradle” moved back up to No.10 to successfully hold the No.1 on the Hotdisc British & Irish Chart for a now record breaking 9-week straight run thus matching the record of Rob Allen's "Pale Rider" single from the chart issued 8th July 2012. The band logged 23 weeks at the British & Irish summit during 2013 with 4 Hotdisc singles with “Cradle” now surpassing the popular “Right Person At The Right Time” which enjoyed 8-weeks in the top spot from April 21, 2013 and the beautiful “Could I Be More Blue” which started a 5-week #1 run from June 16, 2013.

British band The Diablos reached new heights as “Bad Chrome Job” made a 5 slot jump (18-13) and went to No.2 on the British & Irish placings.
By default the sprinkling of Hotdisc Christmas records departed the chart which meant the re-entry of an influx of climbers back onto the Top 40.
Next week will see the impact of new tracks from the January 2014 #181 Promo Disc which landed on the doormats of the Euro DJ’s which has already seen airplay and many new fresh artist intros for their hungry listeners.
Good luck to Hotdisc and all the artists who will participate during this new calender year!

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

Daniel O'Donnell - A Picture of You £5.99 sale incl postage CD

(1 Jan 2014) Erica Sunshine Lee - The South Will Rise Again (Orsley Entertainment)
13 Tracks/ Total Length: 44:32 MP3 - UK iTunes 

(6 Jan 2014) Mike Denver - There's Only One Mike Denver (Sharpe Music) CD 

(13 Jan 2014) Rosanne Cash - The River & The Thread ( Blue Note Records) (Decca UMO)
14 Tracks/ Time: 47:14 CD [Deluxe Edition] (10 Feb) - MP3 - US iTunes - Amazon.com 

* Good News!: Amazon UK's Super Saver Delivery service has changed. From 7th January 2014, all UK orders fulfilled by Amazon, with a total value of at least £10, will qualify for FREE Super Saver Delivery

AUSSIE NEWS
The Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) compilation returns for another year, showcasing finalists from the 42nd annual Country Music Awards; the very best of Australian country music. Set for release on January 10, 2014, - the ‘CMAA: The Winners 2014’ compilation will comprise both CD and DVD, featuring established local artists Sara Storer, Lee Kernaghan, The McClymonts, and Jasmine Rae alongside breaking acts like The Adam Eckersley Band, Ashleigh Dallas, Kaylens Rain and many more. The 42nd CMAA Awards will be awarded on Saturday, 25th January 2014 in Tamworth. The DVD component is the video clips to the songs listed - See Tracklisting

New 92.9 FM Tamworth breakfast duo Rebs and LJ are getting their country on for the 2014 Toyota Country Music Festival, being held in Tamworth from Friday January 17. Both first timers to the festival, Rebs and LJ have been practising their boot scooting and line dancing. No stranger to the country music scene, LJ has been educating Rebs in the world of Australian Country Music. CRA CEO Joan Warner is set to be the keynote speaker at this year's Country Music Festival radio seminar. Warner will lead a panel of industry hard hitters including superstar Lee Kernaghan.At a time when country music is growing in profile, particularly amongst a younger demographic, radio programmers, the country music industry and country artists are coming together to explore how rising country artists can secure radio airplay which is critical to a successful music career. The festival will include 800 performers and 4,000 shows across 120 different venues. There are over 600 buskers Tamworth's main
street, Peel Street, providing a diverse range of entertainment each day. Over 55,000 visitors are expected to attend this year.

Country rockers McAlister Kemp, have released an official >> preview video of their new record HARDER TO TAME, featuring snippets of all 10 tracks on the album. McAlister Kemp are set release the new record with a launch party at the Blazes Showroom at West Tamworth Leagues as part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival on January 25.

Dianna Corcoran's latest hit "Therapy" is number one for the fifth week in succession on the national Country Tracks Top 30 singles chart.

CANADIAN NEWS

Gord Bamford’s  #1 single "When Your Lips Are So Close" on Canadian country radio charts has been CERTIFIED GOLD in sales in Canada.

Bobby Wills, a Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards Rising Star Award-Winner has signed a two year production and distribution deal (inclusive of back catalogue) with leading Canadian country music label MDM Recordings Inc. (MDM/Universal Music Canada).  As part of the deal Wills has secured management with powerhouse partners and industry veterans Mike Denney and CCMA award-winner Mitch Merrett.

Toby Keith, Hunter Hayes and Lee Brice have been added to the lineup for the Boots and Hearts Music Festival in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada July 31 through August 3.

Codie Provost listed some of his 2013 highlights:
Opened for Florida Georgia Line, Big and Rich, Joe Nichols, Streetheart, Prism
Nominated for 2013 CCMA “Interactive Artist Of The Year”
SCMA “Entertainer Of The Year” & “Male Vocalist Of The Year”
Showcased in Nashville in September as part of the Americana Music Conference
Married Ashley Schurko in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in June.
He has now launched the brand new website www.codieprevost.com with the pre-order of his new album “All Kinds
Of Crazy” which is set to be released March 1, 2014. A brand new single will be released to country radio in January followed by a cross-country radio tour in February

NEWS

  • Snapshot News: Country Aircheck's Insider News January 7, 2014 - January 10, 2014
  • Eve Selis will release 2 new projects that are not Eve Selis Band albums. She has recorded a CD (Project) with her longtime friend, musician, co-songwriter and producer Kim McLean . They are calling themselves Cactus Honey and the CD is titled "Groovy Life" with a slated March 2014 release date. Another of Eve's long-time band members and collaborator's  Marc Twang and their pals Berkley Hart (Jeff Berkley & Calman Hart) have been writing songs for a year and they have a full length album recorded to be released by June/July of this year. They are calling their group Berkley Hart Selis Twang. You can download their 5 song EP recorded earlier and released May 18, 2013 for a taste of what's to come. This collaboration between four of San Diego's finest singer/songwriters, a duo of duos is described on the website as "a joyous celebration of love, life and music".
  • Lee Brice surprised the town on Milligan, Nebraska on Thursday Jan 2nd 2014, who were baffled when free Pepsi products started showing up there then Saturday morning they found out was going to be shooting a commercial for Pepsi. The town of 200 swelled to 5,000 that day and after he shot the spot, Lee performed ten more songs for the crowd. The commercial will debut on the Superbowl Feb. 2 on FOX.
  • Terrible news out of Nashville, as longtime radio host, event emcee, session drummer and tireless advocate for struggling country musicians Billy Block announced that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Block, 58, went public with the diagnosis yesterday in a letter to friends and family written by his wife, Jill Block.
  • Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney join an all-star list of artists who had the highest-grossing worldwide tours for 2013, according to Pollstar. Swift comes in at No. 8 on the list, making an astonishing $131 million from touring thanks to her global Red Tour, which toured all over North America, as well as several shows in Australia. The songstress sold 1,481,900 tickets, playing 73 shows in 52 cities. Chesney secures the No.15 spot, with his No Shoes Nation Tour grossing $90.9 million. The singer sold 1,186,925 tickets in the previous year, with 44 shows in 41 cities.
  • Taylor Swift and Hunter Hayes are among the stars who've made this year's Forbes "30 Under 30" List, highlighting the brightest stars in music who are under the age of 30.Other who made the publication's list include Lady Gaga, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and "Royals" singer Lorde. They were all included thanks to their critical and commercial success from albums, touring and endorsements, as well as their visibility from prestigious, high-profile gigs like the Grammy Awards and the upcoming ACM Awards.
TOURS

Opry At The Ryman
Fri Jan 3, 2014: Charles Esten, Del McCoury Band, Chuck Wicks, Joanna Smith, Wade Hayes, John Conlee, Elizabeth Cook, Connie Smith, and more.
Sat Jan 4, 2014: Del McCoury Band, Greg Bates, Elizabeth Cook, Francesca Battistelli, Billy Dean, Connie Smith, John Conlee, Jean Shepard, and more.
Fri Jan 10, 2014: Ashley Monroe, Sundy Best, The Grascals, and more to be added
Sat Jan 11, 2014: Eric Church, Parmalee, Will Hoge, Morgan Frazier, and more to be added.
Sat Jan 18, 2014: Clare Bowen, Sarah Darling and more to be added.
Fri Jan 24, 2014: Charley Pride, Hal Ketchum, Leah Turner, and more to be added.
Fri Jan 31, 2014:Craig Morgan, Oak Ridge Boys, The Black Lillies, and more to be added.
>> Best Of 2013 at the Grand Ole Opry Videos

Dee Jay Silver, noted DJ/remixer/producer and RCA Nashville recording artist and the first country DJ to be signed to a major Nashville label will hit the road with superstar Brad Paisley when Paisley launches his Beat This Winter Tour presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store beginning January 10.

Jake Owen chart-topping vocalist, saw 2013 filled with golden times; earning his fourth consecutive #1 with “Anywhere With You,”. This spring Jake will celebrate with his fans on his second major nationwide headline run JAKE OWEN’S DAYS OF GOLD TOUR 2014 (March 20 - Oct 25).
The Band Perry after a short holiday break, one of the hardest working bands in music today, will pick up where they left off at the end of 2013.  Days into the New Year, the award-winning sibling trio kicked off the North American leg of their first headlining tour – WE ARE PIONEERS WORLD TOUR on Thursday, January 9th in Penticton, BC at the South Okanagan Events Centre and will continue well into the spring - See more 

TV
Keith Urban will perform with John Mayer as part of The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles Feb. 9 on CBS. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatle’s U.S. debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.

BABY NEWS
Lucy Angel And the "cutest almost 1 year old" award goes to ....McCartney Blaze! - Image

MUSIC NEWS

Facilitated by its low price point and the ongoing presence of latest hit How Long Will I Love You in the Top 10, Ellie Goulding's second album, Halcyon, reached the top of the UK Official Album chart for the first time.
It jumping 6-1 (37,507 sales) having previously peaked at #2 in October 2012, and has remained on the chart continuously ever since, without falling below number 61. It fist debuted on Oct 20, 2012 and has sold 627,400 copies in 65 weeks.

The highest selling UK single in 2013 and ranked at #1 with 1,472,681 copies sold is Robin Thicke ft Pharrell with “Blurred Lines”. Further down the rakings was Taylor Swift with “I Knew You Were Trouble” at #17 (557,200 copies sold, highest chart postion #2) and “22” at #76 (262,800 copies sold, highest chart postion #9)
The highest selling UK album in 2013 with 684,754 copies sold was One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” and they have shifted 715,000 copies in its six weeks on the market.
Taylor’s album RED sold 244,700 copies in 2013 with a #27 rank and a sales total since Nov 3, 2012 of 475,800.
Her single “You Belong With Me”  released back on 9th March 2009 has now received a BPI Silver Certification for sales of 200,000;

Congrats to Abba! 'Gold - Greatest Hits' reached a milestone as it spent its 1,000th week this week inside the Top 200 of the Album charts as the album climbs back up to number 49 thanks to their special documentary on BBC 4.

UK albums and singles sales dip as Streaming value shots up in 2013: UK retailers have blamed a decline in both albums and singles sales in 2013 on a “weak” music release schedule. Across physical and digital, UK album unit sales declined 6.4% to 94 million last year, while single sales dropped for the first time in recent history by 3.4% to 182.2m.
Annual revenue generated by singles sales was down 1.6% to £167.8m, while the albums market dropped 3.6% to £772.1m.
Sales of CD albums were down sharply yet again, by 12.8%.
However, according to BPI/Official Charts Company data, cash generated by premium music streaming subscriptions rocketed by more than 33% to £103m in 2013, around 10% of the UK’s total recorded music haul in the year.


UK Album Sales 2013 CLICK to ENLARGE

The UK recorded music market’s value was roughly flat year-on-year, down just 0.5% - largely thanks to streaming’s significant contribution making up for some of the albums/singles sales shortfall.
Although that may lead some to conclude that streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer had ‘cannibalised’ sales by tempting consumers away from downloading or buying music in stores. UK retail body ERA represents music retailers such as HMV, Rough Trade, Amazon and Tesco as well as streaming platforms Spotify, Deezer, O2 Tracks and Bloom.fm.

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
As one-half of the successful country duo Steel Magnolia, Joshua Scott Jones is no stranger to hit songs. The singer celebrates the worldwide launch of his new solo single “Honk (If You’re Tonky).” The single, available on US iTunes makes its radio debut on SIRIUS XM’s The Highway on Saturday, January 11th, is already generating buzz among music’s top insiders as ‘one to watch in 2014.

Joe Nichols is hitting Country radio with a brand new single release, "Yeah," which goes for adds January 27. "Yeah" is the second single from Joe Nichols recently released eighth studio album CRICKETS, which is his first new album since signing with Red Bow Records in 2012. "Yeah" is an up-tempo track written by Ashley Gorley and Bryan Simpson. The new single comes on the heels of Nichols' recent Billboard Country Airplay chart-topper "Sunny and 75," which is his first number-one single since 2009's "Gimmie That Girl."

Eli Young Band will release their new album, 10,000 Towns, on March 4 featuring their latest hit, "Drunk Last Night", which sold more than 600,000 downloads so far. The guys in the band wrote about half of the project's 11 songs, but "Drunk Last Night" was one of the many songs they found from other writers. The band had a large pile of songs to choose from for this album, which made the finished product that much stronger. 

On Friday, January 3, Hunter Hayes shared the following message with his nearly 1.4 million Facebook fans: "I can't tell you how good it feels to have two months of solid studio time on my schedule right in front of me. Thank Heavens! NEW MUSIC!!!"

Bekka Bramlett, the former lead singer of Fleetwood Mac and formerly one halve of duo Bekka and Billy (Burnette), is going to perform her new soon-to-be released CD, B-B 13-13, live at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville TN, on Januray 2, 2014.  Being one of the most credited singer/songwriters in Nashville with performances on numerous top-ten singles, the release of B-B 13-13 has been highly anticipated due to Ms. Bramlett’s  down-to-earth keep-it-real attitude that fosters the respect of several Nashville icons such as Faith Hill, Alison Krauss, and Vince Gill.

Frankie Ballard (Warner Bros. Records) guitarist-vocalist is kicking off the New Year with Country Weekly magazine, by exclusively revealing the cover art and track listing of his upcoming album, SUNSHINE & WHISKEY. The project will be available on Feb 11th, and the title couldn’t be more fitting for the rising newcomer, who has launched into the Top 15 at Country radio with the smash >> “Helluva Life”. Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and Bob Seger have previously selected him for coveted opening slots nationwide.

Francesca Battistelli, a GRAMMY nominated artist and 42nd Annual Dove Awards’ “Artist of the Year” and “Female Vocalist of the Year,”, is slated to release her third studio album, IF WE’RE HONEST, on April 22. Produced by GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award-winning producer and her longtime collaborator Ian Eskelin, the album features 11 tracks all co-written by Battistelli.

Each of singer / songwriter Dierks Bentley’s six previous albums has a unique sound reflecting his creative state of mind at that particular moment in time. The story continues on Feb. 25, 2014 when Bentley will release RISER, a country project grounded in lyrical substance with a new sonic power that spotlights Bentley’s distinctive gravelly voice, one of the most original and recognizable in the genre. “I named the album RISER because the lyrics in that song perfectly articulate who I want to be, who I try to be,” Bentley explains.

David Nail (MCA Nashville) recording artist will release his third album, I’M A FIRE, on March 4. Nail collaborated with Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay and Glenn Worf on the 11-track project. I’m A Fire features Nail’s former tourmates Little Big Town lending harmonies to the song “When They’re Gone (Lyle County),” while Lee Ann Womack joins him for a duet of Glen Campbell’s “Galveston.”

PRESS RELEASES

  • Missy Robertson, Reality TV Celebrity, debuts Women’s clothing line in collaboration with Southern Fashion House – Missy Robertson by Southern Fashion House. Missy Robertson has always been busy long before the fame of A&E’s Duck Dynasty came knocking on her door. As the wife of Jase Robertson, her growing schedule demanded numerous public appearances and beckoned her to fill a void in the fashion industry – a stylish yet comfortable and age-appropriate clothing line
  • Lucy Hale releases debut single and video January 7th. “You Sound Good To Me” video is to world-premiere during the winter premiere of ABC Family’s hit original series “Pretty Little Liars”
  • Natalie Stovall And The Drive, dynamic new talent are starting the new year with a bang by releasing their debut single, “Baby Come On With It,” to country radio. The lead single from the recently released self-titled HitShop Records EP, available now at iTunes, is an up-tempo toe-tapper and urges everyone to let the stresses of life go and have a good time. “Baby Come On With It,” written by Chris Destefano, Jerry Flowers, and Bobby Hamrick and produced by GRAMMY winner Paul Worley (The Band Perry, Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum), has an infectious hook that is sure to get you singing along by the first chorus and throbbing banjo and electric guitar as Natalie shows her musical prowess on the fiddle.
  • Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, the most awarded band in bluegrass, could be adding more awards to their prestigious list of honors as they have been nominated for 6 SPBGMA awards.  These nominations come as Vincent readies the release of her forthcoming album ONLY ME, which is set for release on January 28th.
  • Tim Hicks (Open Roards Recording Artist) has a new single with "Got A Feeling" featuring Blackjack Billy
  • Charley Pride maintains International focus with Upcoming Tour of Canada (May - June, 2014)
  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will release Bakersfield: Deluxe Edition, an exclusive and expanded version of the critically-acclaimed Vince Gill and Paul Franklin album, on Jan 27. The album pays tribute to the “Bakersfield” sound by performing songs from two of Bakersfield’s favorite musical sons, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Bakersfield: Deluxe Edition will contain four additional songs (for a total of 14): “Your Tender Loving Care” (Written by Buck Owens), “Buckin’ Merle”  Instrumental (Written by Vince Gill), “I Threw Away the Rose” (Written by Merle Haggard) and “High on a Hilltop” (Written by Tommy Collins) 
ARTICLES

CMA Close Up by Bob Doerschuk: New Artist Spotlight: Kayla Calabrese
Pop Matters Picks: The Best Music of 2013 -The Best Country Music of 2013…My Darling Clementine, Brandy Clark , Kellie Pickler...see their Top 10.

CMA Close Up by Bob Doerschuk - New Artist Spotlight: Brandy Clark

INTERVIEWS

The Hollywood Reporter - Brandy Clark: From Songwriter-For-Hire to Critics' Darling, A Nashville Fairytale (Q&A)
The Hollywood Reporter recently caught up with Clark in Nashville to find out where she thinks she does or doesn’t fit into the shifting country landscape. Extract: People say this album sounds like classic country, but sometimes there’s disagreement about when the classic eras of country were. It’s usually assumed to mean Hank, George, and Merle. But there’s also a nostalgia among some for the country music of the ‘90s, which was a time when female artists were more viable, too. I’ve heard people dis that era and say the ‘90s is when country music became whatever white people listen to. But I loved that era. I think, was that music great, or was it just a formative time in my life right then? I personally think it was really great, and I feel lucky that I was influenced by it. My grandparents lived next door to us, so I know a lot of older country that a lot of people my age don’t know. But when I was in junior high and high school is when Trisha Yearwood came out, [along with] Kathy Mattea, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Suzy Bogguss, Pam Tillis, Wynonna, and my favorite, Patty Loveless. I’m just as influenced by them as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. To me, we’re just not far enough away from the music they made to hold it in that high a regard, but to me it stands up there with that. When I made a record, I thought, I want to make a record as good as Patty Loveless’ When Fallen Angels Fly. I think the guys were making really good music then, too. We had Alan Jackson and Vince Gill and Garth [Brooks]. I think people miss that as much as they miss Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. If this were a time like 20 years ago when Trisha Yearwood were still a superstar, do you feel like some of the songs from this album would have been easily cut and been top 10 hits? I don’t want to date this album by saying that. But I think that was a time when great songs ruled, and I think a lot of these are great songs. So, I think…yes!

Sara at the famed WSM 
Belfast, Northern Ireland Country artist Sara Crockett was interviewed in December on the 'In The Country' Radio Show broadcasting from Canada
She performs music that blends honest story telling and playful melodies in a mix of Country & Pop. After supporting Nanci Griffith in the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival in February 2013, Sara was invited to play as part of the Festival's Showcase in Nashville alongside hit songwriters in venues such as The Bluebird Cafe (>> Video), and sang live on WSM 650 AM radio. 
Her debut EP Better Be Gone is now available on iTunes. Its 5 tracks tackles bitchy girl drama, young love and telling that cheating boy to stuff it!

Sara is currently attending Belfast University to qualify as a dentist by the end of 2014.
>> Listen to her Interview:


Backstage at Glasgow Grand Ole Opry Sara also had a quick chat with Graham Dryburgh of East Coast FM, broadcast on the airwaves at 106.7fm listen back on Soundcloud.com

The Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival and Conference returns in 2014 to celebrate it's tenth birthday, with more than 50 events taking place in the Holiday Inn Belfast and Empire Music Hall from February 28 to March 9. With support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the 2014 festival has a focus on Northern Irish artists, with Sara Crockett slated to perform once again on Friday 7th March with headliners Raintown and special guest Gary Quinn at The Black Box (See Flyer).

Check Sara’s website www.saracrockett.com and visit her on Facebook

MAGAZINES

























US Weekly Duck Dynasty disgace, Miley Cyrus (Jan 6, 2014 Issue 986)
Sparkly Magazine Especial Diciembre Nº30 (Great creative photos and pics of Taylor Swift

RED magazine December 2013: Gwyneth Paltrow (Christmas with Gwyneth) -

Vegas Magazine December 2013 (Tim McGraw & Faith Hill)
Vanity Fair Feature (Dec 2013): Nicole Kidman

Redbook Magazine page 46 onwards: Carrie Underwood Keep Calm And Carry On

International Bluegrass January 2014 : The newsletter that brings you the freshest, ripest bluegrass industry news on the planet has now gone digital, with a beautiful full-color interactive magazine that looks and behaves like a print magazine!

Irish Show Cruise 2014: Cruise118.com and Michael Magill Entertainments present... The Irish Show Cruise 2014 8 NIGHT ROUND-TRIP FROM DUBLIN Christmas Market Cruise aboard Boudicca Departing 10th December 2014 Featuring: Derek Ryan ,Mike Denver, Robert Mizzell, Hugo Duncan, Philomena Begley, Conal Gallen & many more

Billboard Magazine Grammy Voter Guide Jan 2014
Proper Records NEW RELEASES 20 - 27 JANUARY 2014.pdf (Beth Nielsen Chapman, Tex Ritter, Show Of Hands...)

Classic Rock Country Magazine No2 Jan 2014 (12 Page sampler): From ‘Backwoods Barbie’ to iconic one-woman industry, a candid and hilarious Dolly Parton tells Country Music Magazine about her struggles, triumphs and why she’s not about to quit any time soon: “I’ll sell records out of the trunk of my car if I have to!”  Country Music Magazine are offering an exclusive 25% discount on copies ordered via http://bit.ly/1ac9z5e  just enter the code 25COUNTRY .

Looking for inspiration/ tips on an album cover shoot? 500 poses for photographing women a visual sourcebook for portrait photographers.
Good Housekeeping UK February 2014

LISTEN
AGR Television Records artists Wallek Bros "One Out of Three". This track (available on UK iTunes) was showcased on CMR NASHVILLE "Europe's #1 Country Music Radio Station". 
The song "One Out of Three" is about friendship and a vacation three guys spend together at the Black Sea in Bulgaria. Oh, a chaotic vacation that was. At one time the ways of the three guys split, but each guys knows that he can call any other of the gang and the friendship would still be there. The song was written by the twin brothers David (vocals and piano) and Jan Wallek (guitar and vocals). When they written the song they weren’t sure if the ever will return to Bulgaria.
Jan and David Wallek stand together on stage since now more than ten years. Quickly Wallek Bros. established in the regional Cologne music scene. But soon the brothers strove not only regionally, but to play in Germany - www.wallek-bros.com

Keith Urban is starting off the new year with a new single >> “Cop Car” is the latest release from his Fuse album and is the follow-up to his previous two No.1 singles, “Little Bit of Everything” and “We Were Us.” Urban co-wrote the song with Zach Crowell, Matt Jenkins and Sam Hunt, and always knew the song would make one of his records. “It’s a beautiful song about a guy and girl, falling in love in the back of a cop car while they’re getting arrested,” says Urban. “I’d never heard a song written from this perspective before. But it was so visual, it was such a cinematic, visual song, and God, I love this song so much. I love the melody, the lyric of course, and I know this girl, and I know this crazy girl in the song too. Sad to say, I know that crazy, psychotic girl. I just absolutely had to cut this song.” After the holidays, Urban's schedule will be quite hectic as he returns to the road January 9 in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the next leg of his Light the Fuse Tour, as well returning to American Idol starting January 15.

On Songs from the Movie, Mary Chapin Carpenter collaborated with six-time Grammy winner Vince Mendoza, who scored the songs and conducted. The result is a breathtaking transformation of her intimate songs into a sweeping soundtrack of her life. On the eve of her first international tour with live orchestral backing, she talks with ASCAP about the album, its surprises and challenges, and how it exceeded her wildest expectations. Songs from the Movie is due out on January 14th.
Listen to the whole album and Pre-order for just $10 at Amazon.com
                                                           
SPOTIFY COUNTRY

Hit rewind with Spotify's Year in Review, and take a look at the biggest tracks and artists of 2013. Oh, you can also see your own personal year in music!

NEWS: Soundcloud's VP of business development Dave Haynes is leaving the digital music company for "new challenges".
Haynes first joined the platform in 2008, broke the news on his own blog .

In mid December Spotify announced that it was bringing a free service to mobile devices has inevitably raised a few concerns amongst managers and artists - primarily that by giving away more for nothing, consumers will now have even less incentive to pay money for music. The company has reached out directly to artists to address the subject, claiming that the free mobile service will substantially increase its premium subscriber base, and therefore royalties being paid to labels and artists.
Although it does not offer the unlimited, on-demand and offline functionality of Spotify's Premium plan, free Spotify users can now listen to their playlists and specific artists in a randomised 'Shuffle Mode'.
Writing on the SpotifyArtists.com blog, the company said that the "world had changed", and not offering a free tier on mobile would drive away customers to services that pay significantly less to artists - once again pointing the finger at YouTube in particular.
"The vast majority of mobile music consumption is taking place through services that pay little or nothing back to the music industry in royalties," said the statement. "Just ask any teenager how they listen to music on their phone, and they’re likely to show you an app for ripping music videos from YouTube. "Spotify’s mobile free tier enables us to compete with mobile piracy and other services that are free on mobile. From there, we will continue to convert free listeners to paying customers and continue to pay higher rates to artists than other services."
The company admitted that its overall per stream rate was just $0.007, but argued that this figure was far more generous than some other services - and that it could grow dramatically in future. Some may argue that music artist album sales have been eroded by streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer. Premium UK music streaming subscriptions generated £103m in 2013, growing 33% year-on-year.

FREE DOWNLOADS

International Bluegrass Music Association: BLUEGRASS RAMBLE (24 tracks) Download from Noisetrade for an email share
Every September, the International Bluegrass Music Association produces the Bluegrass Ramble during its week long World of Bluegrass festival & convention in Raleigh, NC showcasing new bands and/or projects.

There is something so sweet about a good story and Maggie Chapman is one gifted storyteller. That’s exactly what you’ll hear in her Novella release, aptly titled after the literary term for a written piece longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. Maggie Chapman – Novella Edition offers a glimpse into the singer / songwriter’s EP release later next month with four never before released songs including an exclusive bonus track only available on NoiseTrade.

Canadian country singer Tanya Marie Harris "Second Hand Dreams" (Single) - Nashville Country Recording Artist and Toronto area native released this on iTunes on May 31, 2013


WATCH
Watch Brandy Clark’s performance of “Stripes” on the Late Show with David Letterman (her CBS network TV debut) on January 6th 2014
She also performed "Hold My Hand" in New York on Imus in the Morning on the Fox Business Channel
Related post: CMT Five Reasons Why Brandy Clark Could Kill You

COUNTRY FASHION

Newcomer Jon Pardi's Sharp, Sparkly Suit Was His Backstage Pass at the CMA Awards:
Newcomer Jon Pardi's music is heavily influenced by country music's Bakersfield sound popularized by the late Buck Owens in the '60s and later revived by '90s hitmaker Dwight Yoakam. 
Since he's got the sound down pat, Jon wanted to capture a little bit of Buck and Dwight's flashy fashion sense for his appearance at the CMA Awards last November. So, he enlisted their designer, Manuel, to make him a custom, rhinestone-encrusted suit. 
Jon's latest single, "Up All Night," was well on its way up the country chart back then, but he insists it was the fancy suit that made him feel he really belonged backstage at the big show. "Nobody asked me for my pass," Jon told ABC News Radio. ""I just went back there and just owned it, and everybody loved it. It's an all-access pass. I mean, [it's like] 'This guy has to be here. His jacket is sparkling. Come on. Come on in here!'"
Manuel has been known to go over-the-top with the rhinestones, but Jon was able to rein him in on the sparkles.

>> Watch him speaking to Froggy TV

Taylor Swift was spotted Out & About in LA wearing Charlotte Olympia ‘Sagittarius’ birthday loafers available from Bergdorf Goodman, Matches Fashion Global, Farfetch US, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom.com – Fashion Pic
Where: 

Lucy Hale made a colourful splash on the red carpet of the 40th annual People’s Choice Awards, hosted Wednesday evening (January 8) at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California.
The ‘Pretty Little Liars’ starlet, who is also up for the Favourite Cable TV Actress prize, wore an asymmetrical, one-shoulder design from Gabriela Cadena’s Spring 2014 collection in a painterly, abstract print of exploded flowers.
Taking the dress’s black sequin shoulder embellishment into consideration, she paired the dress with a crystallized black clutch and similarly sparkling, black Jerome C. Rousseau ‘Aizza’ pumps, also accessorizing with a range of jewels from Dana Rebecca Designs, EF Collection and Graziela Gems. She completed the pretty picture with a loosely tied, low updo with face-framing tendrils, along with a smokey bronze eye and rosy mauve lip - Fashion Pic

Laura Bell Bundy - REMARK Photoshoot
CLICK to view FULL SIZE
The fun, lovely, talented and very beautiful Laura Bell Bundy is on the cover of the latest Remark Magazine and took part in an exclusive photoshoot.  
>> Watch the Behind The Scenes footage for the Jan/Feb 2014 issue. 
The Stylish Life Magazine try to enrich their readers by connecting them to the most unique statements made in any category from food, health, fitness to travel, makeup and even night life activities.
Details of LBB shoot:
Front Cover: Photographer: Malachi Banales / Stylist: Suzi Grgurich
Hair: Paul Norton Makeup: Desirae Cherman  Dress: Cameo  Shoes: Alejandra G
Page 42/P43 Dress: Parker Shoes: Charles Jordan Bracelet: Vahan Jewelry  Ring: Vahan Jewelry
Page 44 - Sweater: Zara Bra: Kahlo Skirt: Cameo  Ring: Misahara Jewelry
Page 45 - Dress: Karen Zambros  Shoes: Aldo   Ring: L'Dezen
Page 46 - Dress: Ekaterina Kukhareva  Shoes: Alejandra G  Necklace: JNB Ring: L'Dezen Jewelry Bracelet: Vahan Jewelry

The 2013 Miss Arizona United States titleholders took time out of their schedules for a fab photoshoot with valley photographer, Barbara Trainor modelling Red cocktail dress from local boutique, Glam Squad in the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. See pages 74 onwards in GIR (Get Image Ready)

COUNTRY GOSSIP
(Taste Of Country) Reba McEntire Getting Juicy in 2014: With every new year comes resolutions, and one of the biggest is continually healthy eating. If you’re one of the millions who are saying ‘no’ to junk in 2014, take a few tips from legend Reba McEntire. She’s focusing on drinking … but not the kind you’d expect!
The redhead is a huge fan of juicing and tells Country Weekly that it’s a part of her daily routine. “I do it every morning,” McEntire says. “I try to stay more vegetable than fruit because there’s more sugar in fruit.” The country star explains why she’s chosen to become more juicy, replacing one of her meals with liquid, saying, “Also, the reason that it’s so important is because your digestive system needs a break and it doesn’t have to digest the juice. You need one meal a day that is a liquid.

Jessica Simpson, the "Come on Over" country/pop singer and "Daisy Duke" actress hasn't set a date for her wedding. The 33-year-old fashion mogul got engaged to Eric Johnson in November 2010 and the couple, who have a 20-month-old daughter, Maxwell, and six-month-old son, Ace, together are hoping to finally tie the knot later this year after postponing their nuptials twice
in the past. The blonde beauty told 'Good Morning America' on Tuesday (Jan 7, 2014): "We don't have an actual [wedding] date, but we do know that we want it to be this year. We need to get married!"

No Listening Booth - Taylor Swift has been given the cold shoulder by 21-year old Douglas Booth, despite her strong advances at a party last November. 
The singer approached the British actor in at a party in Hollywood last November, but he initially rebuffed her advances. A source told the New York Daily News newspaper: "Taylor kept on making an effort to flirt with Douglas, but he gave her the cold shoulder and was extremely dismissive towards her. "She would get a drink and then approach him; she would chat with [actress] Hailee Steinfeld and then re-approach him; she was even trying to chat him up near the flowers on display. It was all very funny for those of us watching."
The source explained that while Booth finally caved and hung out with her a few times, Swift just scared him off.
“Doug is a young guy and is enjoying the single life,” Booth’s friend dished. “He was quite taken aback about how keen Taylor was. She has been in touch with him, but he just wants to be friends.” According to The Sun in November 2013, T-Swizzle and Booth who was said to have split from girlfriend and Great Expectations co-star Vanessa Kirby in October went on a secret date at the weekend.

PHOTO
Dierks Bentley’s annual icy New Year’s Day plunge into the lake looked a little different this year. Dierks found himself in Orlando instead of Nashville, and the Florida pond he has used in years past had an “Alligator Warning” sign posted. So Dierks improvised with a plastic kiddie pool and several bags of ice - Image

BIRTHDAYS
January 6: Earl Scruggs (1924 - Died March 28, 2012 (aged 88)), Jett Williams (1953)
January 7: Jack Greene (1930 - Died March 14, 2013 (aged 83)), Leona Wiliams (1943), David Lee Murphy (1959),  John Rich (ex Lonestar - Big & Rich) (1974), Rachele Lynae (1988)
January 8: Tift Merritt (1975), Elvis Presley (1935 - Died August 16, 1977 (aged 42)) 
January 9: Crystal Gayle (1951), Joan Baez (1941)
January 10: Kelly Lang (1967)
January 11: Naomi Judd (1946), Robert Earl Keen (1956)
January 12: Ray Price (1926 – Died December 16, 2013 (aged 87)), Tex Ritter (1905 – Died January 2, 1974 (aged 68)),
Ricky Van Shelton (1952), Claudia Church 

R.I.P
Ronald C. "Ronnie" Gant, the music publishing visionary who pitched the song "Elvira" to The Oak Ridge Boys, died Saturday (Jan. 4) at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. He was 69. The Nashville native and younger brother of singer and producer Don Gant worked for the Acuff-Rose music publishing company for 22 years, then moved on with the company for another three years after it became a part of the Opryland Music Group. While with Acuff-Rose and Opryland, he signed such writer-performers
as Patty Loveless and Skip Ewing and the songwriting team of Mike Geiger and Woody Mullis.

Phil Everly, the younger member of the fabled singing duo the Everly Brothers, died Friday (Jan. 3) in Burbank, Calif. He was 74. His wife Patti told the Los Angeles Times he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a result of a lifetime of smoking.
  • The duo was a major force during the pioneering years of rock — The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel were both influenced by the Everly sound—but the brothers also provided a boost to the cash flow and reputation of country music’s capital, Nashville, during their heyday.
  • Everly was born Jan. 19, 1939, in Chicago, where his parents, Ike and Margaret, had gone to continue their career in radio as a family singing group. Phil and his brother, Don, who was two years older, joined the group while they were still kids.
  • The Everly family moved to Nashville in 1955. That same year, Don and Phil signed to Columbia Records but were unable to make a breakthrough on that label.
  • In 1957, the brothers resurfaced on Cadence Records in a deal brokered by Wesley Rose of the Acuff-Rose music publishing company, for which Don had achieved a few cuts as a songwriter.
  • First single for Cadence, "Bye Bye Love," written by Acuff-Rose's Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, entered the country charts in May 1957 and quickly rose to the top, where it stayed for seven weeks. It also went to No. 2 on the pop chart, clearly establishing the brothers as a crossover act.
  • Over the next three years, the Everlys saturated both charts with teen-angst hits, most of them written by the Bryants. "Wake Up Little Susie," their second Cadence single, stayed at No.1 on the country charts for eight weeks and became their first No. 1 pop hit. There followed the country No. 1's "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "Bird Dog" and the Top 10 "This Little Girl of Mine," "Should We Tell Him," "Devoted to You" and "('Til) I Kissed You."
  • The Everlys were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1957, and many years later, their recordings of "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have to Do Is Dream" were added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.
  • Gradually, the brothers began to have more success as pop than country artists. Their last single on the country charts (until they reunited in 1984) came in 1961 with "Ebony Eyes," which peaked at No.25.
  • After their volatile tempers and different career goals drove them apart, the two brothers did not return to the country and pop charts as a duo until 1984, when they made a mild comeback with "On the Wings of a Nightingale," (written by Paul McCartney).
  • Even during that absence, the Everlys influenced country’s direction: Linda Ronstadt’s version of the Phil-penned “When Will I Be Loved” went to No.1 in 1975, and Everly covers subsequently included Connie Smith’s "(Til) I Kissed You” (No.10, 1976), Anne Murray’s “Walk Right Back” (No.4, 1978), Tammy Wynette’s “Crying in the Rain” (No,18, 1981), Willie Nelson’s “Let It Be Me" (No.2, 1982), Reba McEntire’s “Cathy’s Clown” (No.1, 1989) and and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’ much-played video “Gone Gone Gone" (Done Moved On)" (2007).
  • In 2001, the brothers were made members both of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. (Written by Edward Morris - CMT)
  • Two generations later, artists are still finding inspiration in the music. Most recently, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones lovingly recorded a tribute to the Everlys and their unique album “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.”
  • There’s so much darkness in those old songs,” Armstrong said recently. “I think mainly that’s just how people communicated when it came to mourning and loss. Then with the Everly Brothers it sounds like these two little angels that sing.”
  • Phil Everly last performed in public in 2011, but his son Jason told The Associated Press he had been actively writing songs, living part of the year in Burbank and the rest in Nashville. He said his father had been in the hospital for about two weeks when he passed away.
  • Though the COPD caused by smoking affected his health, Jason Everly said it never affected that voice. “He sang like an angel,” his son said. “It was pretty surprising how he could still get those notes. We would still talk about it and sing together.” AP -  www.legacy.com/obituaries/

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