Monday, 10 March 2014

Country Bites News snippets March 3, 2014 - March 9, 2014

Country Bites News snippets March 3, 2014 - March 9, 2014

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

UK sensational talent Sam Hollyman has just signed a deal with KEMC Records (Republic of Ireland) who will help Sam develop his career and launch his music to the commercial market in The UK and Ireland in the coming weeks. Sam caught the attention of CMR Nashville CEO Lee Williams "The first time I met Sam was at the 2013 BCM Awards with his American producer Justin Johnson. It was also great to see that this sound was actually recorded in Liverpool with British musicians" states Lee who met with Sam and his family and agreed to manage him. (Via Press Release).

For the week commencing Saturday 8st March 2014 on the BBC Radio 2 Playlist C2C headliners Brad Paisley with “Mona Lisa”and  Zac Brown Band's "All Alright" from The GROHL SESSIONS EP remain on the Radio 2 “A” and "B" playlists respectively , Rascal Flatts “Rewind” satys on the “C” list.

The Phil Mack Show announced on Facebook (after completing negotiations on Friday Feb 28th) big changes for April 1st. They will be working with a new Channel and intend to produce two Phil Mack International Country Shows each week, going out at peak viewing times. Each will be a new show. One of the worlds largest Music labels are coming on board, giving the show the access to the biggest names in Country music.















New Maverick Magazine editor Laura Bethell wished Alan Cackett a “long and happy retirement” in her forward on the latest issue. In reply Alan writes : Contrary to a recently published article where I was wished a happy retirement, I want to make it very clear that I am far from retired and want you all to know that I am as busy as ever writing about music and publishing features and reviews on my website - www.alancackett.com and also working on CD compilations and liner notes for various labels with more than 60 titles commissioned for 2014 already.
Cackett has just published his review of Eric Church's “amazing concert” at London's O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire that took place on Sunday March 2, 2014. This includes some “amazing photos” taken by frography.xthefrog.com

Adrian Duffy & The Mayo Brothers and their single "United We Fall" was played on the March 2nd Bob Harris Sunday Show (graveyard shift) in the early hours as part of his "listening Booth" show segment. "It's a great record" said Bob.
Listen:



Their great video “Someone Like You” has been shown on The Phil Mack International show this week.
UKCountryRadio.com announced in their Listeners' Club Newsletter for March 2014 that they will be Spotlight UK Artists over Friday March 14th – Sunday 16th.

Dierks Bentley: Riser At Cineworld At The O2 London: See the 45 minute screening of RISER, with Dierks Bentley in attendance, at 12:30pm on Saturday 15th March at Cineworld at The O2. The screening is FREE for 50 lucky fans on a first come, first served basis. Simply show up at level one of Cineworld at The O2 between 11am and 12.15pm to get your ticket!

Country To Country (C2C) announced the Mainstage and Pop Up Stage timings
There was no sign of popular Swedish country star Jill Johnson who according to her website now has a concert in Stockholm, Sweden on March 15th!

C2C 2014 Arena Stage Times, THE O2, LONDON  

Saturday 15th March 2014
Doors    15:45
Martina McBride: 16:45 - 17:30 / Dierks Bentley: 18:00 - 19:00 /
Dixie Chicks: 19:30 - 20:45 and Zac Brown Band: 21:15 - 22:45
                             
Sunday 16th March 2014
Doors    15:30
Chris Young: 16:15 - 17:00 / The Band Perry 17:30 - 18:30 /
Rascal Flatts 19:00 - 20:15 and Brad Paisley 20:45 - 22:15

People attending the C2C event in Dublin feel like the poor relations and somewhat short changed with no Pop-Up artists and no Martina McBride (London only)  
Country fan Chris Harris writes and points out: Well that just adds to the annoyance I feel about the Dublin event and adds to the disappointment. So not only does Dublin not get any of the Popup acts or stalls, we actually get 80 mins less of the main acts compared to London, taking into account that Dublin seems to get 30 mins more of Zac Brown.
Anne Laure comments: WTF with Dublin's shorter concerts ???!!! Are there any reasons? It's totally unfair !

Martina McBride 45 mins London only (45mins lost)
Dierks Bentley 1hr London, 1hr Dublin
Dixie Chicks 1hr 15 London, 1hr Dublin (15 mins less)
Zac Brown 1hr 30 London, 2hrs Dublin (+30mins)
Chris Young 45 mins London, 40 mins Dublin (-5 mins)
The Band Perry 1 hr London, 50 mins Dublin (-10mins)
Rascal Flatts 1hr 15 London, 55 mins Dublin (-20mins)
Brad Paisley 1hr 30 London, 1hr 15 Dublin (-15 mins)

Country / Americana duo Ward Thomas with their new radio single “The Good and the Right “ were played on Weekend Wogan on Sunday March 9th (see playlist) and will be appearing on the show on Sunday March 23rd! Listen to the clip here:

>> Listen to the track in full on soundcloud.com
The English Hampshire duo who comprise 19-year old test tube twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas will be appearing at the C2C Pop Stages and will release their first UK EP on 7th April (iTunes) with a debut full length album due to drop this Summer. Ward Thomas embarked on a UK tour in February 2014.
The 4-song EP features three original songs co-written by the girls and recorded out in Nashville and a cover of Dougie MacLean’s classic ‘Caledonia’. Musicians include Dan Dugmore and Chris Rodriquez (Keith Urban) with guest appearances from Michael Omartian and Vince Gill. Unusual for two British 19-year olds to be so into Country music but we love the sound and the stories – and cows, chickens and goats have the same language in rural Hampshire as they do below the Mason-Dixon line!” they share.
CONNECT with Ward Thomas: WEBSITE - FACEBOOK - TWITTER


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.
On March 5th Raintown announced that BBC Essex Radio Presenter, Steve Cherelle will be joining them at the 'Country Collective'. Steve will be compering the evening and will also be performing on the night. Cherelle has already previously championed the duo on his “Big Country” BBC show. 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 (fan voted), including Record of the Year (Traditional Folk) embrace a “Country/Americana” stance in the publicity for the Country Collective” event. They did not share the same stage as superstars Tim & Carrie at the Country2Country Festival but played the sidelined busking/ Pop Up Stages at the O2 Complex in March 2013.
It did not come as a great surprise that Steve dedicated a large chunk on his first hour inviting Claire and Paul to join him on Sunday’s show (March 9th) to talk about their music, awards and goals for the future. 
In the phone interview Steve asked:
Is this your full time work Claire, music, singing and songwriting, is this ALL that you do?
Claire McArthur: We get to play and write songs for a living. We’re touring all the time, we’re really busy, we’re really lucky, we’re really fortunate to be travelling around with a great band behind us as well. There are seven of us that get out on the road and we love what we do.
Trying to get a band of that size together is difficult and the logistics of it all, so does it pay OK, are you making a living from this?
Paul Bain: What it is we view everything as an investment for the future. So every time we do a gig and an opportunity we get to play in front of people our country music and original country music then its always worth doing so. Its about investment and re-investment and we just try and keep going.
Would you say you’re a country or folk act, what would you describe yourself as Paul?
Paul Bain: I think we’re proudly a CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY act that’s what we are. We got some great advice early on in Nashville from a record company CLEARLY mark your door who you are and stand up and be proud about and that’s what we've done from the start.
With what aim, what is the ultimate goal of this would you say?
Our goal is constantly to increase our standards and increase what we’re doing and try and represent British Country music as the very best we can. We want to play on the International Stage. We make no bones about it. Our goal, I’m looking in our office here at our goal chart and the top goal is to represent and win a CMA Award.
Of the UK?
Paul Bain: CMA fest thing in Nashville Tennessee  

UK CHART NEWS

Official UK Albums Top 100 (Weeks Ending March 15, 2014)
Rosanne Cash’s THE RIVER & THE THREAD and Eric Church with THE OUTSIDERS fell of the Top 100.

Official UK Country Album Chart  (Week Ending March 15, 2014)
Eric Church with THE OUTSIDERS moved up 2-1 to top the chart.
Rosanne Cash new album THE RIVER & THE THREAD switched places with Church slipping back 1-2 in her 4th week.
Sheryl Crowe with FEELS LIKE HOME (Warner Brothers) held at No.3 on her 11th chart week.
Singer/Songwriter, Alt/ Country/ Americana artist Dawn Landes is new on the chart at No.13 with BLUEBIRD (Western Vinyl) - Review - Watch the Title cut

On the Hotdisc Chart (March 9, 2014 Chart)
Branch & Dean climbed 2-1 with "Glad She's Not An Angel “to snag their third Hotdisc Top 40 number No.1.
They replaced Billy Yates with his self penned “The Man I Used To Be" who fell back 1-3 after spending four weeks atop the summit.
Fergal Flaherty made a 3-2 hop and enjoyed a sixth week at No1 on the British & Irish Chart list with "Hey Son”.

As the brand new tracks from the Hotdisc #183 March 2014 promo disc began to impact saw M Callahan take home the Hotshot Debut trophy landing at No.5 with “Chicken On A Chain”, the title of a new EP, co-written with Michael Hunter Ochs. 

Bertie Higgins (USA) made his British comeback at No.7 with "Just Another Day In Paradise" (co-written with Sonny Limbo), a newly re-recorded country version of one of his big American hits from the 1980s.
Notable new entries in the Top 20:
American artist Chuck Hancock with his self penned “Sometimes Me And My Conscience Disagree” made a bow at No.12.
British singer-songwriter Katie Nicholas with her self written “Chemistry” arrived at No.13
Dutch band Ezzcape celebrated with “What Lies Beneath” (written by R Wezenbeek and H Hendriks) which flew in at #20. The track is drawn from their album Head Over Heels.

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

(10 Feb 2014) Jarrod Dickenson - Songs from Willow St (EP - self release)
4 Tracks/ Time: 13:53 MP3 - UK iTunes  

(March 3, 2014) Bill Anderson - Life! (Red River Entertainment)
10 Tracks CD - Amazon.com  
(4 March 2014) John Gorka - Bright Side of Down (Red House)
12 Tracks/ Time 34:57 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
(March 4, 2014) Jim & Jesse & The Virginia Boys - Radio Shows (24 Fan Favorites Recorded in 1962) (Rural Rhythm)
26 Tracks CD - MP3 - Amazon.com
(10 March 2014) Brad Paisley - Wheelhouse UK Tour Edition (Sony Music CMG) CD
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-

(10 March 2014) Sara Evans - Slow Me Down (Sony Music CMG)
(10 March 2014) David Nail - I'm A Fire (Wrasse/Humphead)

CANADIAN NEWS
Codie Prevost has done the Unthinkable! The Independent Canadian country artist reached the Top 10 on Itunes, music's largest online store situating himself next to household names like Eric Church, Keith Urban & Luke Bryan. After hosting a 12 hour online CD release party on March 1st the independently released album “All Kinds Of Crazy” debuted at #6 on the Itunes Canada Country Album Chart. The online CD release party included giveaways, chats, and 4 mini concerts on Ustream. (via Press Release)

NEWS

  • Snapshot Country Aircheck's Insider News: March 4, 2014March 7,  2014
  • Country Star Trivia - What is Carrie Underwood's middle name? ANSWER: Marie.
  • Rascal Flatts' new song, "Compass," will be featured in the upcoming film, Heaven Is for Real, hitting theaters Wednesday, April 16. The song will be included on the new album, Rewind, due out May 13. Heaven Is for Real stars Greg Kinnear and is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name.
  • Vince Gill, Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney, Craig Campbell, and Alabama's Teddy Gentry are among the artists on the bill for the 22nd Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival in Nashville (March 25 - 29) in clubs all over Music City. Country newcomer Leah Turner is also participating.
  • CMT's Next Women of Country campaign continues with Lucy Hale, Angaleena Presley, Lindsay Ell, Natalie Stovall and the Drive, and Nikki Lane joining the initiative.
  • APA has signed the sister trio Michaelis.
    The Michaelis sisters – Meagan (25), Mallory (21) and Madeline (18) – are currently featured in Season 3 of the national syndicated documentary series, Troubadour, TX, where they appear along with Kris Kristofferson, Wade Bowen, Roger Creager, Randy Rogers and others. APA Nashville’s Cass Scripps has signed on as the trio’s agent. “These young ladies are a breath of fresh air,” he says. “Incredible harmonies, stand-out songwriting and a vibrant stage presence are the trio’s calling cards, and we’re excited to be on board so early in their career.” Michaelis collaborated with producer Dave Brainard (Jerrod Niemann, Brandy Clark) before releasing their single, “Shoot Straight,” in July 2013. It’s impossible to manufacture something as genuine or as damn-straight cool as the sister trio Michaelis.
CONNECT with Michaelis: WEBSITEFACEBOOK - TWITTER

TOURS
  • Toby Keith launches his Shut Up and Hold On tour May 25 with special guests Colt Ford and his daughter, Krystal Keith. The trek runs all summer long through a September 27 show in Philadelphia.
  • Keith Urban will head out on the road this year and the Raise ‘Em Up Tour will have openers Jerrod Niemann and Brett Eldredge.

MUSIC NEWS
Sam Bailey the 2013 'X Factor' winner discovered she was expecting her third child after taking a pregnancy test in an ASDA supermarket and couldn't wait to tell her husband Craig. The former prison officer  told The Sun newspaper: "I went and did it in the toilet while he was getting all the food. "I came out and went, 'Yep - I'm pregnant'. It wasn't planned." Sam, who is ten weeks pregnant, has had to delay her tour, which was planned for October, and feared her management would be disappointed by the news. She said: "When I got into the car I was really upset because I thought I'd let everyone at my management and the record label down.
"But they were really good about it. I was going to go on tour solo at the end of October - but I have to move it until January."
The songbird, who also has daughter Brooke, eight, and son Tommy, five, with Craig, 40, insists despite their initial shock, her and her husband are excited about the pregnancy.
She said: "He thinks it's a New Year's Eve baby and he could be right. I've always wanted three kids. "Obviously I'm getting bigger. I didn't want people to think I'd just got far. That would make me feel insecure again."
Sam, who will release her debut album THE POWER OF LOVE (Syco) on March 24th (Perfectly timed for Mothering Sunday on the 30th surprise surprise not!), revealed one of the first people she told was 'X Factor' mentor Sharon Osbourne.
The record from the 36-year old Bexley "Cell Block Songstress" includes covers of Jennifer Rush's 'The Power of Love', Brenda Russell's "Get Here", Faith Hill's 'There You'll Be', Shania Twain's "From This Moment On" and her latest single Compass' (written by Diane Warren). The Power of Love also features collaborations with Michael Bolton on 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and Nicole Scherzinger on the Dreamgirls song 'And I'm Telling You'. "The whole experience was a really chilled affair as we worked on it with people from the show," .
Supertramp's "Lord Is It Mine", was chosen in memory of Sam's father, Ronnie, who died from cancer in 2008. "It was played her dad's funeral. Bailey recently told Digital Spy of recording the album. "The album itself is a mixture of everything. There are new songs and covers, but I think they'll be covers that people won't have heard in a long time."
Bailey recently supported a Beyoncé gig in Birmingham, where she wowed the crowd with her rendition of 'And I'm Telling You'.
>> Listen to a 10 min Album sampler
PledgeMusic's new redesign shifts the focus away from crowd-funding and back towards more traditional direct-to-fan commerce as people begin to fatigue of an endless parade of campaigns (Here, Here !!!).
PledgeMusic on Monday rolled out a redesign that de-emphasizes the crowdfunding features of its platform, a sign that crowdfunding has potentially reached the limit of its utility for musicians as they seek new ways to generate revenue directly from fans.
The new site instead lets artists offer a "bento box" menu of merchandise, limited edition memorabilia, private concerts, tickets and, of course, music. Artists can still hold crowdfunding campaigns to help finance the production of new albums, but that is now just one of several direct-to-fan options bands can raise money on the PledgeMusic platform.

President and Founder Benji Rogers said crowdfunding also limits the type of things bands can sell, usually to finished albums and some accompanying merchandise. Instead, PledgeMusic has redesigned its platform to let artists capture revenue even as they're making the album, through update releases or VIP access to studio recording sessions, for example. "Our new motto is 'music as it happens,'" Rogers said in an interview.  

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee John Oates (Hall & Oates Fame) will release his latest solo project GOOD ROAD TO FOLLOW on MARCH 18th.  What started as a year long series of digital singles has turned into a three-disc set of genre-specific EPs aptly named Route 1, Route 2 and Route 3. The country "carpet bagger" Oates collaborated with a broad variety of music makers on the cross-genre musical trip, ranging from songwriter-producer-rocker Ryan Tedder (Onerepublic), to Pop Band Hot Chelle Rae to Country music icon Vince Gill, to Americana legends Jerry Douglas and Jim Lauderdale.
  • Jewel launches a crowdfunding campaign to bring fans to Nashville to watch her "make a record that is really pure and me" … The singer-songwriter also tells Billboard she's writing an autobiography. Jewel's next album will be a companion piece to her 12-times platinum 1995 debut "Pieces of You," "kind of like 'Harvest' and 'Harvest Moon' were for Neil (Young)," she tells Billboard.
  • Miranda Lambert’s new album, PLATINUM, will be released on June 3. She wrote or co-wrote eight songs and chose the others based on how they reflected her personality or world view. The first single, "Automatic," suggests returning to a slower time and way of thinking. She contemplates her self-image in "Bathroom Mirror," takes on tabloid scrutiny in "Priscilla" and teams up with several guests on songs that underscore her range and willingness to experiment. The collaboration with Carrie Underwood on "Something Bad" brings together two of country's most popular stars. (Source Chris Talbott Associated Press)
  • Here' comes another one: Jason Michael Carroll has launched a new Kickstarter campaign to fund his upcoming fourth album. So far 182 backers have pledged $20,988 of a $40,000 goal with 24 days left
  • On April 15th Marty Stuart will be releasing a new collection of gospel songs titled "The Gospel Songs of Marty Stuart".
PRESS RELEASES

  • Chris Young goes global, packs his bags for return trip overseas
  • Americana act The Howlin’ Brothers Ian Craft (Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Kick-drum, Vocals), Jared Green (Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Vocals) and Ben Plasse (Upright Bass, Vocals) are to release a new album TROUBLE April 29 in the U.S. and Canada. A year after the release of their critically acclaimed HOWL, acoustic trio with indie edge returns with 13 new original songs >> Exclusive stream
  • Country’s Family Reunion: Simply Bluegrass to Premiere on RFD-TV March 7. The series includes performances by Dierks Bentley, Dailey & Vincent, The Whites, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Rhonda Vincent, The Roys (Lee & Elaine), Jerry Douglas, The Grascals etc
  • Last year’s Toyota Star Maker winner New Zealander Kaylee Bell and ARIA award winner, singer songwriter Mike Carr have been announced as finalists in the country category of the International Songwriting Competition 2013 with "Little Bit Small Town", the second single Kaylee’s Star Maker album Heart First. See all the categories and nominated artists/songs - You need to "Like" the Facebook Page to vote. Kaylee will perform on the CMC Oz Artist Stage following Nashville stars Thompson Square [Main Stage] at CMC Rocks The Hunter, Saturday, March 15
  • Tori Martin has a big voice and an undeniable Country music presence. Tori has recently been selected and added to Big Fuss Records roster as an "Artist To Watch" for 2014 in favor of her single "Restless Soul". Tori Martin's rich tonal clarity can squeeze coal into diamonds. She stands out among the fray of upcoming Country artists in the stampede for center stage with unadulterated vocals and songwriting that can light a fire under the coldest heart.
  • Dolly Parton has topped the New Zealand all-genre album chart with the release of her latest album Blue Smoke. In addition, the musical masterpiece topped the Australian Country album chart for four consecutive weeks and hit #7 on the overall all genre album chart. Blue Smoke will be released in the United States on May 13, 2014.
  • Shantell Ogden a Nashville-based singer-songwriter is releasingLooking for My Last” from her new album BETTER AT GOODBYE as a single to European radio. The single (included on the March promo Hotdisc 183) will be promoted by Lee Williams of CMR Nashville/Django Promotions, a UK based company. “The best thing about making music is sharing it with others, and I’m so excited to be releasing a single with the help of CMR Nashville,” said Shantell. “Looking for My Last is about being a ‘last love’ for someone instead of a first.
  • On April 15th The Oak Ridge Boys first live album Boys Night Out is released on Cleopatra Records.
  • Mel Tillis the Country Music Hall of Famer is recovering in Nashville following heart surgery.
ARTICLES
Billboard 615 Spotlight: Sundy Best Shine on 'Until I Met You,' Talk Eclectic New Album
Sundy Best's Kris Bentley and Nick Jamerson know that their musical blend covers much musical ground. "That's what we were shooting for," says Kris. "We've been influenced by so many different sounds that it just comes out in our writing and singing. We don't want to be in a box." Jamerson says that fans who pick up their new album, "Bring Up The Sun" (out this week) will definitely find something to their liking – no matter their musical taste.....

REVIEWS

NY Times: The Philharmonic and Friends Go for a Ride in the Country...Mary Chapin Carpenter Performs Her Latest Songs in Concert
Eric Church & The Cadillac Three at The Ritz, Manchester, UK (March 1st, 2014) – Review

Ags Connolly - How About Now – Read the 5 STAR CD of the Month Review from Country Music People. Editor Duncan Warwick reviewed the album as being “one of the best records you are likely to hear this year” while stating that “Ags Connolly is the closest we’ve ever come to an English Willie Nelson”.  “a masterpiece of British country” - Maverick Magazine.

BOOKS
Country Music Broke My Brain: A Behind-the-Microphone Peek at Nashville's Famous and Fabulous Stars [Kindle Edition]
Gerry House (Author), Reba McEntire (Foreword) Nashville is filled with stars and lovers and writers and dreamers. Nashville is also teeming with lunatics and grifters and dip wads and moochers. Gerry House fits easily into at least half of those categories. Someone would probably have to be brain-damaged or really damn talented to try to entertain professional entertainers over a decades-long radio show in Music City, USA. Kindle/ Hardback - Amazon.com

MAGAZINES
Dustin Lynch in the March 2014 issue of NKD Naked Magaz (p56 – 61)

LISTEN

Country / Americana / Folk outfit New Reveille was founded by songwriter Daniel Cook and vocalist Amy Kamm in late 2012. They were soon joined by Autumn Rose on violin, Kaitlin Grady on cello, and George Hage on guitar. Their debut "Cannonball LP" is now available on iTunes, and received praise from Country Music Magazine. Listen to "Babylon" now on reverbnation or stream the Official video
midtownraleighnews Article - Raleigh bluegrass-country band sees ‘so much potential’ after debut (Published Feb 25)
CONNECT with New Reveille on: FACEBOOK

Waco, TX native and Nashville, TN based Mickey Guyton "Unbreakable" (EP) >> YouTube Preview
Born in Arlington, Texas, Mickey Guyton moved around the Lone Star state due to her father’s job but music was a constant in her nomadic life. She began singing in church and was drawn to a variety of artists including John Denver, Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston and BeBe and CeCe Winans. Mickey’s first national television appearance was an all-star concert at the White House captured by PBS. Her riveting rendition of Patsy Cline's classic "Crazy" was one of the highlights of the night.

Mickey will release an acoustic EP, Unbreakable, in conjunction with her iTunes Festival performance in Austin, TX on March 15. She is currently working on her debut album with producer Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum).
CONNECT with Mickey: WEBSITEFACEBOOK (620 Likes only remarkably) - TWITTER

WATCH
Jessie Lee Cates promotional Video "Scotland", a Top 5 hit on the Hotdisc Top 40 chart.

COUNTRY FASHION
Taylor Swift and Keds continue their footwear collaboration with a new line of shoes in time for spring. The new designs (image) include oversized polka dots, nautical stripes, and a chevron pattern with a scribble edge. A floral-print shoe features a blooming peony while another design boasts an animated songbird taking flight. Taylor says of the new designs, "I think it's fun to experiment with your style. Shoes are an opportunity to add a pop of color or something unexpected."
Each shoe comes with a special charm incorporating Taylor's favorite number, 13, or her logo. The shoes come out this month -

COUNTRY GOSSIP
Taylor Swift has obtained a temporary restraining order (image) against a man who claims to be her husband.
In court documents obtained by TMZ, Swift claims Timothy Sweet has been harassing her with a barrage of letters, emails and social media posts since January 2011.According to Swift’s legal documents, one of Sweet’s messages reads, “My wife, Taylor Swift (Sweet) and I live in Beverly Hills.  I am in love with her. In conclusion, we treat each other with dignity and respect.  I will carry a gun to protect her the rest of my life.”

Blake Shelton and Miranda's home near Nashville in Brentwood has 5 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 11,000-sq-ft, an outdoor pool and it’s on an Arnold Palmer golf course. They paid over $2.2 million - Image

Carrie Underwood got her amazing legs by squats, lunges, cherry pickers, skater hops, jumping up a flight of stairs and pulsing Sumo Squats. To get those incredible stems, Carrie works out with her longtime trainer, Erin Oprea, several times a week. Check out her Workout Moves for Miniskirt-Ready Legs at glamour.com

Johnny Cash's son says another film about his father's life could be made. John Carter Cash says he would be open to another film being made about the life of his country musician father Johnny Cash. John Carter believes there could be another movie made about his legendary dad - who died in 2003 at the age of 71 - and he would like to see a biopic made that focused on his father's latter years.

Hayden Panettiere has "always dreamed" of her wedding day. Hayden (Juliette Barnes in the Nashville ABC drama) hasn't started planning her wedding yet, but she has "always dreamed" about her big day. Actress/ singer Panettiere is engaged to boxer Wladimir Klitschko, 37, and though they haven't yet started planning their nuptials, she already has some ideas of what she wants for her big day. She told People magazine: "I have always dreamed of a wedding day! Not over the top or crazy, but yeah, I've always thought about it”.

Post Jana Kramer: Brantley Gilbert now has a new best friend named, Sylo. The country star got the puppy in December, and Brantley has been documenting Silo's growth on social media...Zzzzzzzz

Chris Young, on his first trek across the pond last year, made the mistake of randomly choosing a cheese sandwich from the menu at a London hotel. He explained, "I'm like -- cheese, pickle, bread. Can't mess that up, right?" When the sandwich arrived, Chris was surprised to see shredded cheese on the sandwich along with an odd pickle spread. "It wasn't like a pickle," Chris says. "It was pickled chutney or something. So, I basically opened it, looked at it, and went, "I'm not eating that," and went back to sleep. I was just like, 'Well, that's a swing and a miss.'"

BIRTHDAYS
March 10: Ralph Emery (1933), Daryle Singletary (1971), Carrie Underwood (1983)
March 11: Darden Smith (1962)
March 13: Liz Anderson (1930), Jan Howard (1930), Michael Martin Murphey (1945), Billy Yates (1963)
March 15: Meredith Edwards (1984)
March 16: Ray Benson (1951), Tim O'Brien (Hot Rize) (1954), Patty Griffin (1964), Sasha McVeigh (1994) UK

R.I.P
Nashville woke up in mourning of March 6th as the news of fellow singer songwriter Lorna Flowers passing travelled through Facebook and over the telephone.
Lorna was a huge presence in Nashville. The former teacher arrived in Nashville in 2004 from Sheffield, England with her British accent and huge contagious smile. She quickly made her way into the hearts of many of the other songwriters with her warm spirit and kind ways. She was always there to help everyone and did.

Lorna hosted songwriter nights and when she was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago, she announced she would fight for her life with everything she was and she did. 

She always had a great attitude and fought the monster with everything she had inside of her.
Robyn Taylor Drake from Lorna’s publishing company had this to say: “Last evening we lost our friend—our hero—Lorna Flowers. She entered Sarah Cannon Hospital for a biopsy but her body was too weak to recover from the procedure. She left the way she lived; surrounded by loving friends. Her family has now been notified and per her wishes, she will be buried in her beloved Nashville Friday March 7th”.

Lorna has written mostly in the pop and country genres, with her most frequent successes being in country music. Voted NCM magazine Country Songwriter of the Year in 1998 and several songs hitting the European Country Radio charts (including 3 #1 songs and several top 10s) .

Lorna began to work out of Nashville as often as possible, starting to write with name and hit writers such as Bob Welch (ex Fleetwood Mac), Hall of Fame writer Roger Cook, Grammy Winner John Peppard and others such as Jim Femino, Joie Scott, Dwight Liles, Michael Puryear and others.
  • Flowers had produced demo projects since 1997, and was a co-producer on Sue James‘ UK debut 5 Stars and the Moon. She was producer for Blue Orchid‘s UK release of “Slow Down For A While,” which gained a Best Album nomination at the UK Country Radio Awards in 2004.
  • She performed in UK/Europe on tours and festivals with Charley Pride, Gail Davies, George Hamilton V, Rivers Rutherford.
  • She gained a staff writing deal in May 2005, Lorna continued to write with name and hit writers such as Brian White, Jon Robbin, Kirsti Manna, the late Tim Johnson, Arlos Smith, Steve Dean and others.
  • In 2007, Lorna had another ‘first’ with a #1 song in Australia (and #2 in Poland) via Lucie Diamond’s recording of “Don’t Even Think About It” (written by Shelley Jacobson and Lorna Flowers) and had her first US cuts in 2008 (adding to her 40 cuts worldwide) with world renowned Bluegrass artist Kathy Chiavola and LA artist Heather Wilkins.
  • Lorna was a UK Country Radio Song of the Year Winner (sponsored by Southern Country Magazine) in February 4th 2007. The song "Touch Me With Your Tenderness" was co-written with the late John McCane.
  • Lorna set up her own demo production company – Lorna Flowers Productions
  • In 2012, she made her debut on the prestigious Pensacola and Frank Brown International songwriter festivals.
  • PROs: SESAC (N.America) / PRS (rest of world). Other: NSAI, CMA, WMBA.
A graveside service was held Friday, March 7th at Sherith Israel cemetery, 2111 15th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208. Hundreds of Lorna’s friends attended the service. The Nashville music community and others touched by Lorna’s life are honoured their friend and family member. Read the tributes Music Community Pays Tribute To Nashville Songwriter Lorna Flowers
>> Watch Lorna Flowers - On Songwriting
In Memory of Lorna Flowers 3-6-2014 - YouTube

Fellow Yorkshire songwriter Edwina Hayes paid tribute: So very sad and shocked to hear that the lovely Lorna Flowers passed away suddenly yesterday. A colleague and a friend for many years and the hardest working songwriter I ever met, she will be very much missed xx — Photo with Edwina Hayes and Lorna Flowers.

>> Listen to two archived Lorna Flowers interviews with Allan Watkiss on the former "Your Country" show on BBC Radio Sheffield
First broadcast 13th September 2009 she talks about cutting demos and recording in Nashville and playing songs written by Lorna.



First broadcast on 23rd January 2011 on a visit to the UK she updates her progress after 6.1/2 years living in Nashville.

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