Friday, 30 May 2014

Country Bites News snippets May 12 - May 18, 2014

Country Bites News snippets May 12 – May 18, 2014



UK country duo The Shires with “Nashville Grey Skies” remained and Dolly Parton with “Home” was added to the BBC Radio 2 "A" playlist for the week commencing Saturday 17th May 2014. Miranda Lambert with "Automatic" stayed on the "B" playlist.

Phil Mack & Lisa Stanley
Click to ENLARGE
Phil Mack announced a “new” Keep It Country Music show. This show will feature the absolute cream of American Country music on Thursday 5th June Sky 192 & Freesat 402. There will be also repeats and a plus 1 channel. All news will be posted on our KEEP IT COUNTRY MUSIC Facebook page . ICYMI - Archive Phil Mack Country shows can be viewed at
Frankie Davies "Superman" (published on May 11, 2014) is the debut single from 21 year old C2C2014 Pop Up stage Jersey based Singer/Songwriter. To be released Fathers Day (15th June 2014), "Superman", was filmed entirely on location in The Jersey Opera House, St Helier, is a tribute, a song full of hope, written by a daughter for her Father as he battled through cancer treatment.  Pre-order on UK iTunes . Frankie will be playing the Fort San Antone Festival (Great Birchwood Country Park, Lytham Road, Warton, PR4 1TE) this year with her all female band during Fri 17th - Sun 19th October 2014. The festival line up announced so far includes: 
>> McKay, Emma Stevens, Hannah Jane Lewis, Frankie Davies, Sara Crockett, Laura Oakes and Emma Jade Garbutt. See Poster Graphic EARLYBIRD TICKETS cost £20.00 + £2.00 Booking fee from
Nearest hotels are in Lytham or the Birley Arms just outside Wrea Green both of which are a couple of miles away from the venue.

CMA presented Duncan Warwick, the editor of noted British Country Music magazine Country Music People, with the Wesley Rose Media Achievement Award Friday in Norwich, England. The Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the media, which contribute to the development of Country Music outside the United States. Radio, TV, print journalists, authors, editors, television writers, producers, and PR companies who reside outside the United States are eligible to win this award. Past UK recepients include: Wally Whyton, BBC Radio 2 (1992), Tony Byworth, Byworth Wootton (1993), Mark Hagen, VH-1 (1996), Terry Wogan and Paul Walters (2005), Alan Cackett editor of Maverick Magazine (2008), Al Booth, BBC Radio 2 (2010) and Bob Harris OBE, BBC Radio 2 (2013).
Duncan Warwick CMP Editor
with his Wesley Rose Award
“Ever since George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, and Randy Travis came into my life it has never been the same. I totally immersed myself in Country Music, and there are not words to explain how important it has been in my life". Therefore I am honoured and humbled to be recognized by my peers to be the recipient of the CMA Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award,” Warwick said. 

Duncan began his career in music at Impulse Promotions, a division of Zomba Records, where he worked as a promotions representative. Warwick was later named Promotions Manager at Zomba Records overseeing the Jive division. He began contributing to Country Music People in the early ‘90s and helped introduce the Kickin’ Cuts chart that continues to be a feature of the magazine. Warwick was named editor of Country Music People in 2009 and continues to helm the publication, which has published more than 500 issues. The magazine continues to cover not only major label releases, but also traditional and classic Country Music, Americana, rockabilly, bluegrass, and Western swing. In addition to his work at Country Music People, Warwick is a regular guest on Keith Greentree's BBC Radio Norfolk Country show and has worked to expand Country Music’s radio presence in the U.K - “The way that country music is perceived in the U.K. has always been of concern to me and over the years I have done anything I could to further the cause,” said Warwick...Read more in the Full CMA Press Release  

In Case You Missed It: C2C Country To Country March Festival 2014 Review London O2 Arena: In Country Music People p54 April 2014 Issue Duncan wrote - "I really don't think I've ever enjoyed live music less..Sorry folks, I couldn't face the second day"....Read the Whole one page review! …."was I annoyed with myself for even going"..."things move on and evolve always have, always will..but now it has really gone too far"..."I'm probably about 30 years older for what passes as country these days"..."to them this is actually country music, or what the CMA, the major record labels, country radio, and now even the BBC have convinced the public is country music in their lust for world fame.
Country Music People have contributed a meagre 3 whole pages covering both the 2013 & 2014 C2C festivals. However the late George Jones who was their 13 page cover feature for June 2013 issue received a “massive feature as befits a singer of his magnitude” wrote Warwick.
The Sony 2-CD "American Heartland" compilation drew this response from CMP’s esteemed editor: "the C2C crowd will love this triumph of marketing over substance."
Last year April 21, 2013 Warwick joined presenter Keith Greentree in the BBC Radio Norfolk studio to talk about the 2013 C2C Country To Country March Festival (Darius Rucker, Little Big Town and Tim McGraw) and the 2013 Northern Caithness Festival. Keith asked Duncan if he had a wonderful time at the O2 "Ummmmm... pretty much" on Little Big Town he shared "They're pretty good, actually they were great at the O2". On what sort of guy Tim McGraw is – Sighs “He's alright Tim McGraw...I'm not a great fan of his records and his music..when you see him live he's absolutely got it!
Asked about the Northern Caithness Festival Duncan spilled: "Absolutely wonderful..closest to a biggish Texas honky tonk dance hall that I've witnessed in the UK..completely different to the O2"  on Bobby Flores "I had serious man love going on" , on Connie Smith "absolutelutely wonderful..every inch the star and still sounds wonderful"..on Rance Norton "absolutely lovely" >> Listen to the interview:

In late November 2013 was again a guest on Steve Cherelle's Big Country Show (with Keith Greentree sitting in) playing Duncan's favourite SIX songs of 2013. His top twenty or so looks like this.
Duncan selecting songs from Texan Amber Digby (Amazon Rank #143,508), My Darling Clementine (UK; Amazon Rank #32,356; “have not the best British Country record ever, they've made the best two" DW Review); his song of the year, Robert Vincent (UK; Amazon Rank #94,955 in Music)), Texan Chuck Cusimano (Amazon Rank: #420,758 in Music), George Strait, the UK's Ags Connolly (Duncan's tip for 2014; Amazon Rank #85,940). Duncan took issue with Florida Georgia Line who were the front cover feature of the CMP September issue (Was that an "O" hidden behind Tyler Hubbard's head) - "That single ("Cruise"), it absolutely horrible, it's not country, it's not even good pop or good hip-hop, it's not good anything, that's the trouble, I wouldn't mind if was a good hip-hop record or a good rock record but its NONE of those. It doesn't even have a good melody". Cruise was #1 for 6 months [6.2 million sales to date] and I've no idea why or how? It's the lack of melody that bugs me but it hasn't" he shared.
Duncan, a stalwart of the stone-country Texan flavour, likes the real and classic traditional country and many have had full blown page 5 STAR Album of the Month treatment. Despite such critical acclaim they don't seem to sell very well in the UK with VERY TINY retail sales. One such artist being a 5 STAR CMP Album of the Month from >> Wanita described as “undisputedly Australia's queen of honky tonk” and Terri Sharp's album 'Empty Frame' which drew a tremendous 5-star rating review from CMP’s editor. San Antonio/ San Marcos Texan Arty Rodriguez is the cover feature in the lastest issue of Country Music People in WHSmith stores.


Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart (Week Ending May 24, 2014)
Conchita Wurst's “Rise Like A Phoenix” led an invasion of the Top 200 by songs from
Eurovision. Late starting its chart career because iTunes data for Saturday was not available to OCC for last week's chart, Rise Like A Phoenix was the first Austrian winner since Udo Jurgens' Mercie Cherie in 1966, and made a No.17 debut (15,661 sales). British entry Children Of The Universe by Molly jumped 33-23 (13,733 sales) However it is the Dutch runners-up The Common Linnets' (Ilse DeLange and Waylon) with the fabulous “Calm After The Storm” who catapulted 95-9, climbing 86 places (21,018 sales; following debut sales of 1,932 copies). The last time a non winning, non UK entry made it to the top 10 was in 1974!

Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending May 24, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) fell 42-46 in its 7th week with sales around 1,800 copies and an estimated new tally of 49,200.

The Common Linnets' eponymous first album landed at No.40 (2,004 sales). In Holland the album has gone GOLD and PLATINUM in a week having reached 50,000 copies at retail and sold over 25,000 copies. Ilse DeLange and Waylon received their platinum record from the hands of DJ Edwin Evers of Radio 538. The previous Monday the duo received their gold
The Common Linnets
record from the hands of presenter Humberto Tan in a special themed broadcast of RTL Late Night. on the RTL Late Night showfor their joint album. Gold record for Ilse DeLange and Waylon
In terms of the UK The Common Linnets #40 album entry has charted better than many major US country artists with most of them having received extensive BBC Radio 2 playlisting along with appearances on BBC Breakfast. They beat out Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell "Old Yellow Moon" debut at No.42 (4,077 sales), Tim McGraw with TWO LANES OF FREEDOM debut No.43 (2,500+ copies sold), Brad Paisley WHEELHOUSE No.69 (1,582 sales), Willie Nelson TO ALL THE GIRLS No.72 (1,452 sales), Rascal Flatts No.87, Darius Rucker "TRUE BELIEVERS" No.89, The Band Perry PIONEER No.94, and Zac Brown Band UNCAGED No.92 (sales possibly 1,000 copies)

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending May 24, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) stays at No.1 for a seventh week.
Sturgill Simpson with METAMODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY made a debut at No.2 buoyed by a recorded session on Radio 2’s Bob Harris Country.
Dolly Parton with her new set BLUE SMOKE (Masterworks) made a debut at No.4
Keith Urban’s FUSE re-entered the Top 20 at No.5 in its 14th week.
Rosanne Cash with THE RIVER & THE THREAD moved 3-6 in her 14th week.
The Secret Sisters with PUT YOUR NEEDLE DOWN (Decca) fell back 13-16 in their third (The album gets a Digital release on May 26th – UK iTunes pre-order). 

On the Hotdisc Chart (May 18, 2014 Chart)

David Frizzell & Shelly West with the re-issued "You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma" (Collins/ Pinkard) held at No.1 on for a second week. Whilst Frizzell's "Where Are You Spending Your Nights These Days" climbed 15-12.
Jamie O'Neal with her 3-week No.1 "The Sweetest Thing" rebounded 3-2.
D K Davis with “Waitin’ On A Weekend” from the April #184 Hotdisc made a fresh surge 6-3 and from that disc Ray Scott with "Gotta Quit Drinkin'" fell 2-4 and The Hayley Oliver Band with “Bright Side Of Life” fell back 4-5 and held onto the No1 on the British and Irish Hotdisc chart listing for a sixth straight week. On the British chart George Inglis stayed at No.3 in his second chart week (16-14 Hotdisc Top 40) with his self penned "A Horse Called Bob". Tony Clarke with his self penned “You & Me” made a 6-4 hop (27-21 Top 40) edging past Sam Hollyman with “One Minute More” who held at No.5 (26-22 Top 40)

Bertie Higgins with his countrified "Key Largo" (co-written with Sonny Limbo) climbed a further 3 slots 9-6.
Other USA acts heading northwards were Allan Craig Miller with "Cornfields" (10-7) Danny Griego with “The Coast Is Clear” (12-11) and Leah Seawright’sCountry Girl 101” rounded out the upper tier with a 13-10 shift.
James House with “Every Time It Rains” from his album BROKEN GLASS TWISTED STEEL made a 5 place jump (21-16).
Also making the Top 20 were Ally Lindeen with “Teardrops Dry” (co-written with Mark Dowdy and Joie Scott) which rose 23-19 and David Wood’s co-write with Ronnie Guilbeau and Rick Yancey titled “My Side Of The Fence” posted a 28-20 leap.
Of note outside the Top 20 saw a 9 slot climb for premier cut “Picture Of My Life” from The Sonny Walters Band improving 33-24.


(4 March 2014) Carrie Ann Carroll - You Should Know [Import]
12 Tracks/ Time: 48:37 Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,079 in Music CD - MP3 - UK iTunesCD BABY -

(21 March 2014) John Hinshelwood - Lowering the Tone (Littleroots)
11 Tracks/ Time: 47:25 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes

(12 May 2014) Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (Loose Music)
10 Tracks/ Time: 34:26 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes -

(13 May 2014) Dolly Parton – Blue Smoke (IMPORT)
CD - - Smart Choice Music - (Deluxe Edition) [US Exclusive Deluxe, 4 Bonus Tracks; "Get Up Get On Get Out", "Olive Branch", "Early Morning Breeze" and "Angels In The Midst" (£17.99; UPC 888430656826)

Australian country star John Williamson will release his life story in July. The long-awaited book is titled, not surprisingly, "Hey True Blue". His life story is also all about Australia – his love of the land, the importance of family and what it really means to be "true blue". The autobiography will release through Penguin Books Australia.

Kristy Cox the Aussie bluegrass artist new album 'Living For The Moment' (UK iTunes) is starting to grab attention across the globe, with her first single >> 'One Heartbreak Away' charting on radio across Australia, the US and CMC. Kristy is getting ready to head out on her first tour since her relocation to Nashville after signing a recording contract and releasing her new album with Pisgah Ridge in the USA. The tour will kick off in Nashville at the annual CMA Festival in June. She then returns to Europe, where she will perform 12 shows across England, The Netherlands, Germany and France - including the IBMA award winning festival LaRoche held in August. (Press Release)

Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News - May 16, 2014 - May 20, 2014

Little Extra Music has signed songwriters Jessi Alexander and JiM McCormick.
Jessi has written cuts for Reba McEntire, Miley Cyrus, Blake Shelton, Lee Brice, Celine Dion and more. Jim has written songs for Tim Mcgraw, Trace Adkins, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood, Jamey Johnson, Ronnie Milsap, Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, Luke Bryan and more. "I had the good fortune of signing JESSI to Disney Publishing in 2006, and we enjoyed some great success together beginning with 'The Climb'," said Little Extra Music Founder Lisa Ramsey Perkins. "She's gone on to write some amazing hit songs and win a lot of awards, I now have the honor of working with her and representing her catalog. I know there are a lot more hits to come from the wealth of great music she's written!"

REPUBLIC RECORDS SVP/Promotion and Artist Development David Nathan will segue to the Big Machine Label Group as SVP/Pop Promotion, effective immediately. He will serve as a high-level executive liaison amidst the companies, spearheading promotion efforts for a myriad of superstars and developing talent across Big Machine Records, Republic Nashville, The Valory Music Co. and Dot Records, including such artists as Taylor Swift, Brantley Gilbert, Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, Cassadee Pope and Rascal Flatts. As the company continues to grow its relationship with NASHVILLE’s #1 hit-making machine, it only makes sense to invest in the future expansion of Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group - "We're thrilled to formally welcome DAVID to the team," BORCHETTA said.

Kenny Rogers revealed he's dealing with skin cancer, sharing a photo of his bandaged face on Instagram, and urging everyone to get checked, since it's National Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. "The Gambler" went on to promise he'll be "look(ing) great" in time for his concert this weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Billboard Music Awards 2014: A look at the country artist nominees/winners, performances and red carpet fashion BLOG Post

Singer-songwriter Holly Williams and her husband, Chris Coleman, are thrilled to announce they’re expecting their first child this fall. “We are so ecstatic to have this little miracle coming!!!” Williams says. “The baby will become quite the road dog experiencing all the amazing places we get to go as musicians on the road. This will be the first grandbaby for the family, Mom and Dad are unbelievably excited and ready to spoil the little one!”

  • Toby Keith (Show Dog-Universal Music) will release the CD set 5 Rounds June 10. The 5 Rounds set includes the iconic Oklahoman's album releases from 2008-2012: That Don't Make Me A Bad Guy, American Ride, Bullets In The Gun, Clancy's Tavern and Hope On The Rocks. Out the week before Father's Day, the collection will be available exclusively as a physical release featuring these classic Toby hits: "She Never Cried in Front of Me," "God Love Her," "American Ride," "Bullets in the Gun," "Beers Ago," and "Red Solo Cup."
  • Brad Paisley told Billboard his new album, due out August 26, is titled MOONSHINE IN THE TRUNK.
  • Average Joes recording artists Sarah Ross (former “American Idol” contestant), Twang and Round and Lenny Cooper (“Mud Digger King") will unofficially kick off the week that Nashville goes Country on Tuesday, June 3 at The Second Fiddle in downtown Nashville. The show, presented by Average Joes Entertainment with Marco Club Connection and AristoMedia Group, is free to the public and will feature the three acts.
  • Angel Mary and the Tennessee Werewolves (AMTW) made time for one more home town performance, providing headline live entertainment for Special Olympics Tennessee's opening ceremony celebration at Lipscomb University's Bison Square on Saturday night, May 17th.
  • Charlie Daniels Band is set for FOX & Friends All American Concert Series on May 30th
  • Americana's Cross-County Lines tickets are on sale. Buy early and save! For only $35, you can see Patty Griffin, John Hiatt, Ashley Monroe, Joe Pug, Brandy Clark, Parker Millsap and Luther Dickinson at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm on May 31.
  • Miranda Lambert had a few milestones to celebrate. The day marked her third wedding anniversary to fellow country singer Blake Shelton. The "Automatic" singer also attended a VIP reception at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for her new exhibit, Miranda Lambert Backstage Access. When you grow up wanting to be a country singer, the Hall of Fame is something you think about being in when you’re well into your career, so already being here now, just on my fifth album, it's crazy," Lambert — who adds the honor to a list of accolades that already includes having nine Top 10 country singles and the distinction of being the first singer to win the Academy of Country Music's Female Vocalist of the Year award five years in a row — told reporters before a reception celebrating the exhibit's unveiling at the Hall's home in Nashville. Country Weekly Related Post and Photos: Lambert Dreamed About Having Her Own Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit....
  • 'It is as conservative as the Wild West' – a classic country music feature from the vaults. With Dolly Parton coming to Glastonbury, The Guardian revisit her 1976 appearance at Wembley's country festival in a classic Sunday Times piece, taken from Rock's Backpages, the online home of music writing.

One Stop Country The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 2
One Stop Country Pete Kennedy - "I Am The One" (Single) -
One Stop Country Lady Antebellum  "Bartender" (Sin gle)
One Stop Country Rascal Flatts – “Rewind” - For good measure toss in the success of the title track/lead single “Rewind,” and what you have is the most engaging Rascal Flatts album of their career thus far. Though there is no doubt about it that this album will still be classified as Contemporary County, it also takes Flatts right to the edge of crossing over genre borders more than anything that they’ve done in the past.

Sherry Lynn Video Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International

In late April Sherry Lynn's rip-roarin' good time >> "Girls Will Be Girls" video (Steal Heart Music) premiered on The "Girls Will Be Girls" clip offers a visual feast filled with fun images of classic cars, a bachelorette party and lissome line-dancers, while the song's hooky chorus and melodic riffs make for a toe-tapping sonic boom. Tom Frkovich (Kennedy Center, Amazon, United Way), produced the video, which was filmed in New Jersey.  Various locations include the Tombstone Saloon (Buena), Joe's Lean To Garage (Franklinville) and Paulsboro High School (Paulsboro).  Additional footage was captured at a private home in Paulsboro.   Nicole Agostino (Silver Linings Playbook) and Frkovich shared director's credits.
Written by Ashley Gorley (2009 ASCAP Songwriter of the Year), Kelley Lovelace (penned eight #1s for Brad Paisley) and Bryan Simpson, "Girls" is a rowdy recap of modern femininity.  Choreographers Bob and Marlene Peyre-Ferry were inspired to create a popular line dance that is being promoted at clubs nationwide while the single continued its rise (#41) on the MusicRow Chart.  ,

"Girls Will Be Girls" is from Lynn's sophomore CD, A BEAUTIFUL LIFE.  The 10-track, 33 minute, collection was released March 11 under the Steal Heart Music imprint.
CD - MP3
“Girls” Track 2 on the album is currently being promoted, as the 2nd single, in Europe on the May #185 Hotdisc. On May 11, 2014 it debuted at No.25 and in 2-weeks has climbed to a No.21 peak.
Last year, the entertainer made her Grand Ole Opry debut alongside Country legend Crystal Gayle, singing their hit duet "Beautiful Life." It was promoted in Europe on the Hotdisc #174 disc making a debut at No.25 and climbing to No.20 on the Top 40 chart. Sherry also entertained crowds during CMA Music Festival week, released a popular holiday video ("Christmas On My Mind") and played select dates throughout the year.
About Sherry
The New Jersey native was born in Woodbury and now splits her time between Sewell and Nashville, TN.  Sherry began her career in 2006 when she opened for Sammy Kershaw at Pitman, New Jersey's historic Broadway Theatre.  Since then, Lynn has shared the stage with Miranda Lambert, Crystal Gayle, the Oak Ridge Boys, LeAnn Rimes, Randy Hauser, Gene Watson, John Rich and Chris Young. She cites her influences as Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, Reba McEntire and Martina McBride.
Examiner's national Country music correspondent, Lisa L. Rollins, named Lynn to their Top 5 Female Country Newcomers of 2014 list.
Have a drink on us - and listen to the title cut"Girls Will Be Girls"

One Stop Country (Album review) … there is no debate about it with Sherry Lynn; she is a country artist with country songs and if you are one of those that thinks that this type of country music has gone away simply because of what you are hearing on Top 40 country radio, then think again and check this album out.
Join Sherry Lynn during CMA Festival 2014 for an acoustic performance on June 7th (16:00–17:00 in CDT) at the Nashville Visitor Center stage that will be set up inside the Bridgestone tower. She can also be found at Booth 701 during the CMA Fest -Graphic
CONNECT with Sherry   Lynn:
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Details: Hardcover: 300 pages
Publisher: Ignatius Press; Har/DVD edition (16 April 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1586178172
ISBN-13: 978-1586178178
Colin Raye sounds off in his new book : Is country music dead?
Disposable, forgettable music has been the order of the day for quite a while now and it’s time for that to stop.
As a platinum-selling country music artist and, more importantly, a lifelong fan of the genre, I’d like to send out this heartfelt plea to the gatekeepers of the industry: Enough already. I’d like to think that I am expressing what nearly every artist, musician and songwriter (with perhaps a few exceptions) is thinking when I contend that the Bro’ Country phenomenon must cease. It has had its run for better or worse and it’s time for Nashville to get back to producing, and more importantly promoting, good singers singing real songs. It’s time for country music to find its identity again before it is lost forever.
Disposable, forgettable music has been the order of the day for quite a while now and it’s time for that to stop.....Thankfully there are a handful of artists out there currently who are trying to keep integrity in the mainstream. Miranda Lambert is one of them. There are a few others but not nearly enough to rescue the terminally ill format. It must start with the gatekeepers. The true fans of country music deserve nothing less. The artists of my era knew we weren’t as cool or great as the true greats of the past but we did try to hold to a standard that they had set, which built and sustained the Nashville industry and truly made country music an American art form. It needs to be that way once again. Read more and watch his interview on Fox News

Miranda Lambert graced the cover of Billboard Magazine this week. Check out Miranda's behind the scenes interview with Billboard Magazine here or on YouTube. Read the Cover Feature on
Miranda Lambert photographed on April 10th at The Paramour Mansion in Los Angeles with styling by Tiffany Gifford - Cover Pic - Image On Miranda: Alice + Olivia Gown, Haute Hippie Belt, Samantha Wills ring.
Image - Image - On Miranda: Herve Leger by Max Azria dress, Loree Rodkin jewelry.
Image -Image - Image - Image- On Miranda: Olcay Gulsen dress, Gianvito Rossi shoes. Shows her feminine side, posing in a silver strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline and matching silver high heels.
Daily Mail : Miranda Lambert showcases her TINY waist in tight silver dress as she opens up about weight loss and those divorce rumors

Miranda Lambert covers Women's Health magazine - Image She graces the June cover of Women’s Health magazine in a sweet summer dress, talking about how she got healthy and what she’s doing to keep the weight off. In a feature titled “Slim & Happy: How a Girl Who Loves Beer and Burgers Dropped 20 Pounds.”  “It’s really easy to gain weight and it’s really hard to lose weight,” she tells the magazine.  She says her trick is not to worry about being perfect, but instead is, "Just staying focused. If I eat bad in the morning, I try to do better at night or vice versa-- just not blowing it all day long everyday.”
Previously, Miranda revealed she also starting working out with a trainer. While the 30-year-old says she doesn’t get focused on the scale, she admits she is enjoying the benefits of her new, slimmer self. “I guess if I had to say the favorite part of my new body it would probably be my arms. I always struggle with having big arms, so having smaller arms, more toned is definitely a plus.” But, in typical Miranda fashion, she keeps it real, admitting she does occasionally splurge with Cheetos.

The Hems are an acoustic folk duo drawing influences from acts like Gillian Welch, the Stanley Brothers, and the Carter Family.
The Hems (PHOTO) acoustic duo Dusty McClellan and Jamie Zanelotti) released their first record, Those Early Years last year. Filled with infectious harmonies like you’d expect from a Welch/Rawlings tune the pair manages to keep their influences from overpowering their own unique sound on tunes like “Rebecca” and “The Delaware Line”. Sample the album on

For users of this online music streaming service here are some of the more recent additions and recommendations.
When it's free and easy on Spotify who needs music piracy?

Felicity Urquhart – City of Light - 4 Tracks released in Australia in Jan 16, 2014
Nikki Lane – All Or Nothin' - 12 Tracks released May 6, 2014
Chatham County Line – Tightrope - 11 Tracks released May 20, 2014
Skyline Ridge – Skyline Ridge - 4 Tracks released April 22, 2014
Mud Digger – Mud Digger 5 - brand new Average Joes Entertainment compilation (13 tracks, released May 20, 20-14)

Jill & Kate (Jill Pickering and Kate Rapier) (USA; Pop/Acoustic/Folk; Nashville, TN; Website - Facebook) the C2C2014 Pop Up Stage duo recently wrote a song called "Nick + Jess". Zooey Deschanel from "New Girl" tweeted that she loved it (woohoo!)
So they have announced that they’ve recorded and produced a version of the song >> Stream and download the song (AAC Audio iTunes Format) at Soundcloud
Dualtone Summer Sampler is available for an email share at Dualtone is an independent record label based in East Nashville, TN. The label’s eclectic thirteen year old catalog boasts 16 Grammy nominations, 4 Grammy award winners and over 200 albums. This Summer Sampler includes tracks from The Lumineers, Shovels & Rope, Noah Gundersen, The Felice Brothers and many more.

Did you know that ReverbNation (the distribution and promotional platform) reached over 3 million musicians in June 2013.
Each week they spotlight fresh independent talent.
One of the 5 featured recommendations for the week of May 20 - May 26 was Skyline Ridge (Rank #1 Mount Sterling, IL)
Their song “Long Way Home” is available as a Free Download (MP3 128kbps) at Reverbnation Skyline Ridge Songs
About: Skyline Ridge
Members: Matt & Hannah Bordenkircher Hometown/ Current Location: Mount Sterling, Illinois
We hunt, We sing, It's WHAT WE DO!! - Facebook Media Set Photos
Personal interests: Hunting (Matt's 2013 bow kill - hannah's 2011 bow kill - taxidermy ), Fishing,
Camping, Boating, Horseback Riding, Golf Carts, Dogs and Cats, Backroads
Skyline Ridge consists of a young couple who have been playing music together for over 4 years now. Their blend of a modern country sound mixed with a touch of bluegrass makes for a unique style that you wont find anywhere else. Matt and Hannah Bordenkircher met in the summer of 2009 and soon thereafter began sharing their passion for music and the outdoors. A few years passed playing local bars and writing songs from the tree stand. All the meanwhile, their relationship grew both personally and musically. In 2013, Matt and Hannah took the next step in both facets of their lives by getting married in the Autumn (image), and making a trip to Nashville to record their 4 track EP as Skyline Ridge which was released April 22, 2014.
CONNECT with Skyline Ridge:
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Jaida Dreyer felt like the belle of the ball at the BMI Pop Awards on 14 May. “Thanks to Haute Hippie for suiting me up!” she shared - Image
Taylor Swift spotted in New York was seen wearing a Rails ‘Jesse Sailboat’ button-down blouse (Neiman Marcus) - 
Fashion Pic Then Tay was caught arriving at the gym on May 18th wearing a Suno Deep V Romper ($650.00), an Anthropologie Streamlined Satchel ($398.00) and a pair of Gucci Yellow Suede Pumps ($635.00) - Fashion Pic
Julianne Hough wore Casadei Blade pumps to the Open Hearts Foundation 4th Annual Gala in Malibu, California. They feature pearly leather and 120mm sculpted metal signature blade heel - Image
Before taking the stage to address the star studded crowd, she posed on the red carpet wearing a cream wool and silk blend one-shoulder cocktail dress with asymmetric panels along the waist by Roland Mouret. The Footloose/Dancing With The Stars/ "That Song in My Head" country pop singer worked her relatively new pixie cut with several strands pulled back in voluminous twists. Julianne also accessorized with a dark brow (a bit too defined in my opinion) and rococco red lip. She skipped the jewelry adding only a single gold band = Classy!

They were never ever even together. It seems the rumor that Taylor Swift and Zach Braff were dating started to pop up online on May 13, but the 24-year-old songstress' rep quickly shut it down, which should come as a relief for anyone wondering if such an odd pairing was a reality. "Despite the rumors, Taylor has never been on a date with Mr. Braff, and he has never been to her home," Swift's rep told Us Weekly, adding, "Like, never. Ever."

Randy Houser and Jessa Lee Yantz (Image) a singer-songwriter, who was a contestant during season 10 of American Idol) have decided to divorce after two and a-half years of marriage. Contacted by, a representative for Houser acknowledged the split, saying, "I can confirm Randy Houser and Jessa Lee Yantz are getting a divorce. They are appreciative of the media's sensitivity toward their request for privacy during this time." The couple married on Sept. 2, 2011, in the Dominican Republic, two months after announcing their engagement. The couple's son, West Yantz Houser, was born
on March 6, 2012. Houser's hit singles include "How Country Feels," "Runnin' Outta Moonlight" and "Goodnight Kiss."

Kellie Pickler: My Grandmother Died the Day After Her Lung Cancer Diagnosis: Kellie Pickler says the fight against lung cancer is very "near and dear" to her heart. Pickler recently joined with Lung Force, an initiative sponsored by CVS, to raise awareness and money for lung cancer research. "My grandmother, Faye Pickler, she's the one that raised me and the woman I called Mom," Pickler told ABC News. "She was diagnosed with lung cancer back in January 2002 and she died the very next day, she died the very next morning."

Brantley Gilbert Bares His Soul About Breakup with Jana Kramer on Just As I Am: For fans who want to know the intimate details of Brantley Gilbert's breakup with Jana Kramer, you'll find the answers on his new CD JUST AS I AM. "It was the real thing," he says of the romance.  "We went at it. We went at it hard and fast. It's definitely a love story that's a huge part of my life, always will be, and I was proud to represent it on the record. It's part of that chapter." Since he's been writing and recording, Brantley says he's always been brutally honest about his life. So it really wasn't an option to leave out even an unpleasant part.
Brantley Gilbert now has a new girlfriend, 21-year old Molly Bouchon; she's a publicist in Nashville and she looks just like his X, Jana Kramer - Image
Thomas Rhett got his end of the tour gift from Brantley Gilbert, his very own brass knuckles - Image

Right before last week's big Met Gala in New York City, Taylor Swift sent the fashion world into a tizzy by announcing on Twitter that her cat Meredith had "attacked" her custom Oscar de la Renta gown. Now, she's telling People magazine just what happened during the kitty vs. couture showdown. "I’ve never seen more fashionable people lose their composure quicker than when a cat walks up to a satin, custom Oscar de la Renta gown and then decides to make a home inside of it,” she told People. "She just passed, dug her claws in and started to roll…like when you see a crocodile attack an antelope on National Geographic. That’s what she tried to do to the dress.” But ultimately, Taylor says, Meredith didn't do much damage.  Even though the cat "fancies herself as quite a hunter,” says Taylor, she adds, "She’s a chubby housecat. She’s not very strong!”

Luke Bryan Reveals the Song He and His Wife, Caroline, Played Again and Again in College: Bryan lightened things up with the sweet love song, "Play It Again." He thinks fans identify with the fun story of a couple falling in love to a song on the radio. Luke says, "I think the reaction that the girl has, 'Oh my God, this is my song,' that's such a real reaction and that's what makes the song work." Luke and his wife, Caroline, had a song they wanted to play again and again all through college -- Lenny Kravitz's "Can't Get You Off My Mind."

Cassadee Pope @CassadeePope tweeted Good day, London! So far, SO good.
The Shires @ Gibson Guitar Studios, London May 14, 2014 by Frography (by Flex) – “The UK's most talented and exciting country duo, The Shires performed at the first Sounds Like Nashville event last night alongside Cassadee Pope. Crissie
Rhodes and Ben Earle are absolutely special” - Facebook Media Gallery

May 19: Mickey Newbury - (1940) 
May 23: Misty Morgan (1945), Shelly West - (1958), Mac Wiseman (1925) 
May 24: Rosanne Cash (1955), Mike Reid (1947), Billy Gilman (1988)
May 25: Tom T Hall (1936), Carrie Newcomer (1958), Jessi Colter (1943)  

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