Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Country Bites News snippets February 17 – February 23, 2014

Country Bites News snippets February 17 – February 23, 2014



For the week commencing 22 February 2014 on the BBC Radio 2 Playlist saw C2C Country to Country 2014 Festival (sponsored by Radio 2) headliner Brad Paisley remain on the “A” playlist for a second week with “The Mona Lisa”.  C2C 2014 performers Rascal Flatts have been added to the “C” playlist with their latest single “Rewind”. Another cheque in the post to Bob Harris (OBE) and his Radio 2 production team courtesy of Big Machine Records! “Rewind” is to feature on an exclusive Walmart 4 Track EP to release 3rd April 2014 with a full new album due to drop on May 13th.

UK Gig and Tour dates added for: Anais Mitchell, Alan West, The Webb Sisters, Iain Matthews, Jessica Campbell, Sandi Thom, Sam Baker, Dougie Maclean and Eve Selis.

3 more acts have been added to the C2C Country Festival Pop-Up acts line up:
Frankie Davies an Isle of Jersey singer-songwriter, West Country singer-songwriter Alan West and Carolynne Poole of Fame Academy and X Factor fame. See updated Blog post for profiles.

The winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 were announced in a ceremony held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Feb 19, 2014. Celebrating their 15th anniversary, the Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 were presented by Radio 2 Folk Show host, Mark Radcliffe, and folk singer Julie Fowlis live from London in front of an audience of over 4,500 people.
The night saw a host of folk luminaries gather under one roof, and included performances by Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega, Clannad, Martin Simpson, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, The Full English and shanty singers from Port Isaac, Cornwall, The Fisherman’s Friends who performed for the first time since the tragic deaths of their band member Trevor Grills and tour manager, Paul McMullen, in 2013. The event culminated in a performance by American folk singer Peggy Seeger - who led a tribute to her late half-brother Pete Seeger, who died last month. Joined on stage by a number of performers, Peggy sang one of his most well-known songs, Quite Early Morning.
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are an annual celebration, bringing together some of the biggest names in folk music to recognise achievements over the past 12 months in the UK’s thriving folk scene, as well as giving awards to honour outstanding lifetime contributions. Singer/songwriter Bella Hardy scooped the accolade for Folk Singer of the Year.
Folk super group The Full English (Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson and Fay Hield ) received two awards, recognized for Best Group and Best Album.
Lifetime Achievement Award Winners were Clannad & Martin Carthy. Read on for details of the all the nominees and winners of the 2014 Folk Awards and video clips here


Official UK Singles Top 100 (Weeks Ending March 1, 2014)
Avicii‘sHey Brother” which features uncredited vocals from Dan Tyminski fell one slot 13-14

Official UK Albums Top 100 (Weeks Ending March 1, 2014)
US country rock band Blackberry Smoke with the Deluxe album THE WHIPPOORWILL (Earache) make a debut at No.30 with sales of 2,973 copies.
Rosanne Cash’s THE RIVER & THE THREAD (Decca) slipped back 25-47 in her second week with her first career album to appear on the UK Album chart.
Sheryl Crowe’s FEELS LIKE HOME (First released Sept 10th by Warner Brothers) slipped back 28 places 51-79 in her fourth week on the chart. 
Taylor Swift’s RED fell back 34 slots, 60-94, in her 70th chart week.  

Official UK Country Album Chart  (Week Ending March 1, 2014)
Blackberry Smoke with the Deluxe album THE WHIPPOORWILL debut at No.1
Rosanne Cash new album THE RIVER & THE THREAD moved 1-2 in her second week.
Sheryl Crowe with FEELS LIKE HOME (Warner Brothers) moved 2-3 on her 9th chart week.
Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) slipped by one place 3-4 in her 45th week.
Other debuts on the chart were Suzy Bogguss with her $75,000 Kickstarter fan funded album of Merle Haggard songs LUCKY (Proper) at No.6 and Sturgill Simpson’s HIGH TOP MOUNTAIN landing at No.19

On the Hotdisc Chart (February 23, 2014 Chart) - 
Billy Yates retained the No.1 spot on the Hotdisc Top 40 for a third week with his self penned “The Man I Used To Be"
Branch & Dean held at No.2 with "Glad She's Not An Angel “. Andy Griggs cover of the Hank Williams song “Ramblin’ Man” was another non-mover at #3.
Fergal Flaherty made a five place hop (9-4) with "Hey Son" (writer Brenda Lee Heathcote) which secured the British & Irish Chart No.1 for a third week by a country mile with his nearest challenger, former No1 Sam Hollyman’s 3-week No.1 “Where I Wanna Be”, now some 14 places further down the top 40.

David Wood with his cover of an old Dean Martin song, "Memories Are Made Of This" is finding favour with Hotdisc radio DJ’s and industry folks rating it positively as he leapt (8-5)
David Starr moved up one notch (7-6) with "Way Past Ready" in his third week.
Levi Riggs with his title cut “I’m Good” made another advance in the upper tier with a 10-8 stride.
Female duo Moore & Moore with “Mississippi Missing You” are now just outside the Top 10 with a 14-11 move.
Lisa Lambert’s title cut “Come On Home”, co-written with Scott Nunley improved further with a 2 slot jump (16-14)


(11 Feb 2014) Frankie Ballard - Sunshine & Whiskey (Warner Bros.)
11 Tracks/ Time: 37:43  MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
(11 Feb 2014) Dylan Scott - Dylan Scott EP (Curb)
5 tracks / Time: 15:55 MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com

(17 Feb 2014) Sturgill Simpson - High Top Mountain (Loose Music)
12 Tracks/ Time: 37:35 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes
(18 Feb 2014) Ralph Stanley & Ralph Stanley II - Side by Side (Rebel Records)
14 Tracks/ Time: 39:07 CD - MP3 - US iTunes - Amazon.com

(24 Feb 2014) Eric Church - The Outsiders (Decca (UMO)
12 Tracks/ Time: 50:39 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com

(24 Feb 2014) Garth Brooks - Ultimate Hits(Region 1) 2007 three disc set (two CDs + DVD).

(24 Feb 2014) Ags Connolly - How About Now (Wrasse Records)
11 Tracks/ Time: 35:20   CD - MP3 - UK iTunes
Ags Connolly is a singer-songwriter from Oxfordshire, and he describes his style not as country or Americana but as Ameripolitan (proud supporter of Dale Watson). Ags says, "My songs are mainly in the style of traditional country rather than the mostly unrelated pop version of the genre that exists today.  "A masterpiece of British country" - Maverick

(24 Feb 2014) Chris Janson - Take It to the Bank (EP)
5 Tracks / Time: 17:57 MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com

(10 March 2014) Brad Paisley - Wheelhouse UK Tour Edition (Sony Music CMG)
This special UK Tour Edition bundles Wheelhouse into a 2CD set, which comes complete with a bonus disc of 14 of his best-loved Studio Hits CD

RGK Entertainment Group and CCMA Record Company of the Year, Open Road Recordings, are pleased to announce the signing of B.C. based artist Madeline Merlo.
Merlo’s first single “Sinking Like A Stone” hit iTunes worldwide this week and will be released to country radio next Tuesday, February 25th. Merlo heads to Nashville to perform at CRS (Country Radio Seminar), before traveling back home to prepare for her biggest gig to date: Opening for Dean Brody on his Crop Circles & Tractor Beams Tour, on February 22nd in Abbotsford, BC. “To think that I have a single on iTunes this week and will be opening for Dean Brody on Saturday is beyond comprehension,” says Merlo, who was playing coffee houses in 2012.  (Via Press Release) Listen to “Sinking Like A Stone” - Purchase iTUNES UK


  • Snapshot Country Aircheck's Insider News: February 18, 2014 - February 21, 2014 - February 25, 2014  
  • Elizabeth Cook stars in Swedish comedy series Long Way Home as Molly Rhodes, a country star who quits her career in the middle of her European tour and gets a job at a Swedish grocery store.
  • Blaster Records has signed Montgomery Gentry to their artist roster, with new music to be released later this year.
  • Urban Apple:  Keith Urban will perform at the first Apple iTunes Festival March 11-15 at SXSW in Austin. Urban joins Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull, ZEDD and more for the event, which will be available free, live and on-demand, via the iTunes store on any iOS device. It's also viewable through the iTunes Festival app and with Apple TV. More here
  • Singer/actress Lucy Hale after battling flu symptoms all week, has been forced to cancel her debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry set for Feb 21st.
  • American Idol‘s house record label 19 Recordings is suing Sony Music for allegedly cheating its artists — including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, and plenty of others you barely remember — out of royalties worth millions of dollars. The suit focuses mainly on issues of accounting. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint accuses Sony of treating master recordings streamed on services such as Spotify as “sales” or “distributions” rather than “broadcasts” or “transmissions,” allowing the company to pay significantly less than it should under the terms of its recording agreements.
Last week, Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" music video was teased as a deliciously campy send-up of the Egyptian ruler Cleopatra. That's exactly what the pop superstar bestowed her fans on Thursday (Feb. 20), as the No. 1 single, featuring Juicy J, has been given a quirky, neon-colored >> video that portrays Perry as a mystic queen no mere mortal can win over. The day before the "Dark Horse" video, Perry previewed the clip's Egyptian vibe during a >> performance at the BRIT Awards in London.


  • Lucy Hale, the Memphis born-and-raised 24-year old singer and “Pretty Little Liars" actress named one of 2014’s Ones To Watch by the likes of Billboard, Country Weekly and Rolling Stone has revealed plans to release her highly anticipated country debut album in late spring. Her debut record, ROAD BETWEEN, will release June 3rd on DMG Nashville/Bigger Picture Group.  (Via Press Release)
  • Luke Bryan (still reliving his youth) will release his new, digital spring break EP, Spring Break 6Like We Ain't Ever, on March 11. The project comes out the same day as Luke kicks off his annual two-day run of free concerts at Spinnakers in Panama City Beach, FL. Luke says, "These special EP’s all began as a way to get new music out to the fans between studio projects.  I feel like year after year we get a little bit better at writing for this.  I think with these new songs I would be proud to put them on any album we release.
  • Sturgill Simpson has announced the release of his sophomore record, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (10 tracks) which is set for release May 13 via High Top Mountain Records. Simpson’s longtime friend Jason Seiler, known for his illustration of Pope Francis XV1 for Time Magazine, was recruited for the album’s cover art. Check out his single “Living The Dream” 
  • Out April 8: Linda Ronstadt’s THE DUETS, a compilation that includes collaborations with Dolly Parton (“I Will Never Marry”) and Emmylou Harris (“I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)”
  • Sara Evans will throw an exclusive SLOW ME DOWN album release concert and party in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama on March 6th at Iron City. The event, will be hosted by Sirius XM for a concert special to air the following week. Read a review of the album by Billboard's Chuck Dauphin.
  • Nickel Creek’s first new album in nearly a decade, A DOTTED LINE, will be released on Nonesuch Records April 1. Stream “Love of Mine,” from it here.
  • Bigger Picture Group recently signed one of Country music’s foremost female rockers, Chelsea Bain, and has shipped her new single “Cowboy In A Cadillac.” The label will be going for airplay at Music Row stations on February 27, 2014.“I’m all about having fun songs that make people feel good or feel something powerful,” said Chelsea. “I wrote ‘Cowboy in a Cadillac’ with all my fellow women in mind. We girls love bein’ in charge, and I feel ‘Cowboy in a Cadillac’ is definitely about a woman in charge and knowing what she wants.”
  • Chuck Mead has announced U.S. tour dates in support of his debut album for Nashville’s Plowboy Records, Free State Serenade, a wild ride of hillbilly blues and honky-tonk.
  • On Record Store Day (April 19, 2014), Omnivore Recordings will release Hank Williams’ The Garden Spot Programs — 1950 as a 10” brown vinyl EP.
  • Danielle Peck will appear and perform on ABC's hit business reality TV show Shark Tank (Feb 28) in support of her partnership with Kisstixx® Lip Balm and new single, "Kiss Me Like You Miss Me"  available on US iTunes.
  • Nickel Creek: Chris Thile (mandolin/vocals), Sara Watkins (fiddle/vocals), and Sean Watkins (guitar/vocals) are reuniting with new US Tour dates
  • The Mavericks will embark on the Twenty-five Live Tour in America starting February 27
  • Reba McEntire, Bobby Bare and Loretta Lynn will perform at this year’s Johnny Cash Music Festival on August 15th at Arkansas State University’s Convocation Center in Jonesboro, AR.
CMA Close Up by Bob Doerschuk: New Artist Spotlight: Parmalee

The Hayley Oliver Band ABINGER GROVE CD Review Maverick Magazine p100 (5 STARS)


Radio.com Interview: Eric Church on ‘The Outsiders’ & the Album-Making Process: ‘It’s Brutal’...."This album from a creative standpoint is pretty far out there. It was made that way, it was a conscious thing."

Leigh Loyd a 22-year old Paducah, KY born (8 August 1991) and Nashville based Christian Country singer is supporting the international release of “Love, Love, Love” with her first music video.
Leigh explains, “Ironically, the video shoot was delayed because of the bitter winter weather, and now it’s done just in time for Valentine’s Day! Though we hadn’t planned it that way…the act of love is something we all need 365 days a year. I hope that this video is shared as a kind of greeting card for this special time.
Leigh is a 2013 graduate of Belmont University, majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Music Business. Her 11 track album POSITIVELY LEIGH self released on Jan 14, 2014 which features a collection of songs that best suit Leigh’s vocals, personality and principles. On the compilation you will identify her musical influences: The Band Perry, Eden’s Edge and Taylor Swift.
>> Listen to her Nashville interview with Lee Williams first broadcast on CMR Nashville on Feb 21, 2014



Julianne Hough, the “Footloose” and “Dancing With The Stars” Country/ Pop star shows off her fabulous figure on the cover of Self magazine's March 2014 issue www.self.com. Steal Julianne's Fitness and Beauty Secrets on P96 - 99.

  • Cover - Dress, Lacoste (Lacoste.com.) Earrings, $2,995; EffyJewelry.com. Cuff, Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry, $308; Ring, $230; LivHaley.com
  • Fitness Top, DKNY,. Pants, DKNY, $335  (Net-A-Porter.com)
  • Tangerine coloured Dress:  Victoria Beckham, $2,695; Bergdorf Goodman. Cuff, Fallon, $275;
  • Sweater, DKNY, $195;
  • Striped Black & White Dress, T by Alexander Wang, $210  (AlexanderWang.com) Earrings, $2,995; EffyJewelry.com. Cuff, Elizabeth and James, $550 (NeimanMarcus.com). Shoes, 10 Crosby Derek Lam, $395;
Julianne Hough shows off taut tummy in Self magazine... as boyfriend Brooks Laich gushes about their new relationship. Pictures and story at www.dailymail.co.uk

  • Hear Dierks Bentley's 'Most Personal' Album Yet: Stream 'Riser' …"I've been very conscious about making the most honest records I can," country star tells Rolling Stone
  • BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour: Rosanne Cash talks about her musical and personal journeys across the deep South to make her new album, The River & The Thread, dealing with her father’s legacy, and writing again after surviving brain surgery.
  • Ronnie Dunn’s new ballad "Romeo and Juliet"
Early Winters the Alternative/ Americana rising band from acclaimed UK singer Carina Round (Puscifer/Tears for Fears), two time Juno nominated Justin Rutledge, Grammy Nominated L.A. producer/musician Dan Burns and highly acclaimed musician Zac Rae (Lana Del Ray, Gotye) are offering an exclusive EP (4 MP3’s 192kbps) to NoiseTrade readers for an email share.

  • Joel Crouse Lyric Video for "Why God Made Love Songs"
  • Deana Carter has a new single and video out , "Do Or Die" from her December release CD "Southern Way Of Life"
  • Aleyce Simmonds' brand new radio single "Stronger", lifted from her Aussie Golden Guitar nominated album, Believe.
  • Irene Kelley Lyric video by: Ivan Raveane "You Don't Run Across My Mind" (written by Irene Kelley/Peter Cooper). Bluegrass banjo pickin' heart is animated to the beat & lyric of this 'love-lost-but-never-forgotten-or-regret­ted' song from her album, "Pennsylvania Coal".
  • Cassadee Pope "I Wish I Could Break Your Heart” Official Music Video.
  • Blake Shelton "Doin' What She Likes" [Official Video]
  • Ashton Lane Kitchen Sessions song request "Clarity zedd ft foxes" cover.
  •  Move over, Miley. There's a new Cyrus making waves on social media … or rather, an older one: her father, Billy Ray Cyrus.......
On Feb. 11, rapper Buck 22 released "Achy Breaky 2," a modernized dubstep-infused reworking of Cyrus' 1992 breakthrough smash "Achy Breaky Heart." The new version bows at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and No. 11 on Hot Rap Songs), with nearly all its chart points owed to streaming. A total of 2.9 million U.S. YouTube streams of the song in the week ending Feb. 16, according to Nielsen BDS, spur its debut at No.16 on the Streaming Songs chart.
The "Achy Breaky 2" vid opens with a staged "breaking news" broadcast hosted by Larry King, who reports that an unidentified flying object is hovering over Daniel Boone National Forest over eastern Kentucky (which lies in between Nashville, Tenn., and Flatwoods, Ky., where Cyrus was born). Viewers are then transported to a spacecraft filled with (in true modern Cyrus form) scantily-clad twerking alien women. Cyrus asserts himself as the patriarch of Miley's  twerking empire, exclaiming "wrecking ball!" after Buck 22 raps, "Miley's still twerkin', daddy's song is workin' … now Billy sing that crazy hook again!"
Meanwhile Miley Cyrus' Bangerz has gone Platinum (1,000,000 sales) eligible for RIAA US certification and just being Miley, y’all! Cyrus is going wigged and topless on the new cover art for her single Adore You.


Taylor Swift: Arrived at a dance studio on Feb 17th in Los Angeles wearing a Stone Dancewear Chic V-Neck Translucent Sleeve Leotard (€34.96) - Fashion Image

Taylor Swift: When / Where: Arriving at dance class in Los Angeles, CA on February 21, 2014
Wearing: Wildfox Couture ‘Seeing Stars Lennon Sweater’ ($229.00) Worn with Keds Champion Tie sneakers ($29.95) - Fashion Image

Sheryl Crow graces the cover of the March 2014 copy of Country Music People magazine.
Click to Enlarge
Country Music People Cover Image
Nine time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow is so much more to us than a music icon. The signature Sheryl “Easy” elegance speaks volumes, making her a classy style icon. In the cover art for her new album Feels Like Home she displays a modestly sexy style donning a cream lace confection: a maxi dress with gorgeous flutter sleeves and overall full-coverage that tastefully hugs the curves. She sets it off with a large striking gold bangle. See Sheryl Crow’s favorite Country Outfitter boots here.

The 51-year-old singer-songwriter who underwent a country conversion visited the UK in late January to promote Feels Like Home, with appearances scheduled on The Graham Norton Show (January 31), Sunday Brunch (February 2) and BBC Breakfast (February 3). The singer officially released the album in the UK on January 27, following its release in the US last September 10th.

Taylor Swift sent an Olympian a personal good luck message. The '22' hitmaker reached out to American freestyle skier Torin Yater-Wallace to wish him well at the Winter games in Sochi, Russia, after he named her as his celebrity crush and revealed he listens to her music during his training sessions.

February 24: Sammy Kershaw (1958)
February 25: Ralph Stanley (1927), The late Faron Young (1932; died Dec 10, 1996 (aged 64)), Shawna Thompson (Thompson Square) (1978) 
February 26: The late Johnny Cash  (1932; died Sept 12, 2003 (aged 71))
February 28: Jason Aldean (1977)
March 1: Kristine Arnold (Sweethearts Of The Rodeo) 

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