Friday, 30 May 2014

Country Bites News snippets May 19 - May 25, 2014

Country Bites News snippets May 19 – May 25, 2014

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

Nathan Carter's brand new Summer Single is the “song you will be singing and dancing to all Summer” is here.
See more at: nathancartermusic Good Time Girls” dropped May 18th 2014 on UK iTunes Preview it on >> YouTube

Have y'all seen that @SamPalladio will be supporting @strikingmatches in London! SO excited our buddy Sam Palladio will be opening the night at The Borderline in London on June 24th!!
The English duo The Shires will also be supporting Striking Matches in London on June 23rd. 
The Shires
The Shires with “Nashville Grey Skies” and Dolly Parton with “Home” remained on the BBC Radio 2 "A" playlist for the week commencing Saturday 24th May 2014. Miranda Lambert with "Automatic" stayed on the "B" playlist.

"Awesome record, The Shires that could be right out of Nashville couldn't they, Nashville Grey Skies, love that" Richard Allinson - 17/05/2014 BBC Playlist Page
"That is The Shires and Nashville Grey Skies, we like that a lot "Steve Wright - 20/05/2014 BBC Playlist Page
 “Nashville Grey Skies” reached #1 on the UK iTunes Country Chart - Image

Ben & Crissie have had a crazy few weeks! The duo jetted off to Nashville to record their debut album, plus their single Nashville Grey Skies hit #1 on the iTunes Country chart AND made the BBC Radio 2 A-List! Read Press Release for links to photos, reviews, Videos and Audio. They headed to the Decca Records HQ to talk about their artwork & visuals for the album & singles and then onto Cornwall, on Monday May 26th, to start their regional radio tour. They will bring the sound of Nashville to Liverpool at Pier Head for Smooth Radio Live at the Waterfront on Saturday 14th June from 1pm.

Americana Canadian duo Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham opened for Madison Violet at The Bush Hall, London on Tues May 20. Check out the digital version of a hand screen printed Limited Editon GIG poster for their 2014 UK Tour.
Mary Chapin Carpenter will return to the UK this fall to perform four very special shows with orchestras. The shows will feature songs from her debut orchestral album, “Songs From the Movie”, and be conducted by collaborator and arranger Vince Mendoza. Tickets went on sale Friday May 23.
Mon Sept 29 London, Royal Albert Hall (with London Concert Orchestra), Tues Sept 30 Gateshead, The Sage Gateshead (with Royal North Sinfonia) Weds Oct 1 Manchester, Bridgewater Hall (with Manchester Camerata) and Thurs Oct 2 Edinburgh, Usher Hall (with the Scottish Festival Orchestra). Tickets are available on Ticketmaster UK

Sturgill Simpson's "one off" UK show is now extended to Greystones Sheffield the following night - Tickets
Thurs 24th July 2014 - London, Bush Hall (W12 7LJ) +  Fri 25th July 2014 - The Greystones, Sheffield (S11 7BS)

Old Crow Medicine Show has announced their upcoming new album REMEDY, due out June 30 via ATO Records/PIAS.
Remedy is full of catchy melodies, quirky and often humorous lyrics, all executed with mesmerizing musicianship. The band’s single “Wagon Wheel” received the RIAA’s platinum certification for selling over one million copies, and they were recently asked to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. Meanwhile four UK concerts have been announced and tickets are now on sale on Ticketmaster UK as follows: Sun Oct 19th (Manchester, The Ritz), Mon Oct 20 (Vicar Street, Dublin, IE), Tues Oct 21 (Belfast, Mandela Hall) Wed Oct 22 (Glasgow, O2 ABC) and Fri Oct 24 London, The Roundhouse (£28.25 incl booking fee)

** UK Tour & Gig Dates Added for: The Old Crow Medicine Show, The Cadillac Three, Pete Molinari, Sturgill Simpson, Mary Gauthier, Cash Live - a Celebration of Johnny Cash, Red Molly, Steve Earle, Lindi Ortega, Carrie Rodriguez, Lisbee Stainton, Lizanne Knott, Charlie Dore and Carrie Elkin.

Ward Thomas , The Radio 2 playlisted duo who hail from Petersfield, Hampshire are having an “amazing time” in Nashville but are excited that they will get home and play Blissfields (Vicarage Farm, Nr Winchester, Hampshire - Poster - Tickets) on Friday 4th of July presented by Folkgeek. Country To Country: KIX96 - WXFL 96.1FM (Muscle Shoals, Alabama) welcomed the Ward Thomas to the Pepsi "Eat To The Beat" concert series at Champys! >> Video

Freight Train Country Music Club (Village Hall, CM32HP Hatfield Peverel, Essex; Phone: 07811 337251) have live Country Music each month with “top class artistes” from all around the UK: Hayley Oliver Saturday 21st June 2014 - Poster Nadine Somers Band on the 19th July,  Jeff Gallant Band Saturday 20th Sept 2014 - Poster

The 26th Debenham Country Music Festival takes place on July 16th - 21st 2014 at the Debenham Leisure Centre Gracechurh Street Debenham Suffolk IP14 6BL. Acts appearing are MacKenzie, George McIntosh, Chris Mezza, Bonnie Diamond & Co, Muddy Boots, Kenny Paul, Kevin Barry, Campbells Country, Thrillbillies, Chris Raddings, Donna Wylde, Longshot, L.A.J, Bob Brolly M.B.E.

(Droitwich Standard) Droitwich country singer flies high in iTunes chart - Newspaper Graphic
A Droitwich singer lived her teenage dream after being selected to perform before Katie Perry at Birmingham’s LG Arena. It has been an amazing few weeks for Abby Inez who released her debut 3 Track “Say What You Think” EP (Cover Art) on Easter Sunday (April 20th) and saw it shoot up to No.7 on the iTunes UK Singer Songwriter charts. Her EP release party took place at the Gardeners Arms in Droitwich.
Abby Inez Wallpaper - CLICK to ENLARGE
She said: “It was mad, I started at 48 on the chart and then the number just went up and up and up - it was amazing. “People were emailing me saying ‘look how far up you have got’. “I never expected it to happened that quick, I felt really lucky for all the support I was getting from everybody.” The 18-year-old Primsland resident took part in a BBC Introducing recording session (supporting unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar music) with Andrew Marston (see BBC Page) on Sunday May 4th (Image - BBC Playlist) before taking to the Forum Live stage on May 13 and May 14 - “I will be playing as a support act outside where all the queues are - I’m a bit scared and nervous because there is going to be thousands of people queueing.”
Abby spoke live on air with Pete Morgan on his Breakfast show, on BBC West Midlands radio (BBC WM 95.6) on Weds May 14th when spoke about the Katy Perry gig.


WOW. Birmingham LG you were amazing! Had such an amazing time, and seeing Katy Perry after was incredible, what a show! share Abby on Facebook Abby had a lovely write up in SLAPMAG!
Abby told Worcester News "The gig was amazing and I loved performing all my songs to such a great crowd. I had everyone coming up and getting a CD - I ran out of them within 10 minutes."Abby added: "The highlight was at the end when I had a queue of people waiting for me to take pictures with them and signing autographs. That was just so surreal , such an amazing feeling."Abby is currently on a gap year to pursue a career in music (Photo - Photo - Photo)



The unsigned country-pop singer, whose music is heavily influenced by artists including Taylor Swift, Gabrielle Aplin and The Band Perry, has been writing songs since she was 13 and can play both the guitar and piano. Abby, who has just finished her A-levels at Worcester Sixth-Form College, has also travelled to >> Nashville Tennessee (promo vid), to meet American producers excited about her work and, whilst over there, played gigs at famous country music venues, including The Bluebird Cafe.
She said she was hoping to continue writing and releasing new songs in a bid to get signed and is planning to do some more EPs before releasing an album.
Abby is currently looking for festivals and gigs at a variety of towns and venues to support her Summer 2014 release of EP.
“Say What You Think” is currently ranked on Amazon UK at #62,279 in MP3 Albums and no longer resides on iTunes Top 1500 Uk Singer Songwriter chart
Visit her new shiny new website with links to all her music, videos and social media sites at abbyinez.com

UK CHART NEWS

Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart (Week Ending May 31, 2014)
Eurovision runner up The Common Linnets' (Ilse DeLange and Waylon) with “Calm After The Storm” fell 9-54 (with sales of 4,058 copies), in its third week. Winner Conchita Wurst's “Rise Like A Phoenix” fared worse falling 17-64 (3,319 sales) with UK entry Molly’s “Children Of The Universe” pulleting 23-88 (2,458 sales) in its 6th week.

Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending May 31, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) fell 46-68 in its 8th week with sales around 1,400 copies and an estimated new tally of 50,600.
The Common Linnets' eponymous first album which landed at No.40 (2,004 sales) sadly fell off the Top 100.
Of note 38 year old Ulster folk singer Cara Dillon's fifth album, HILL OF THIEVES ented the chart (No.42, 1,930 sales)

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending May 31, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) stays at No.1 for a eighth week.
Rascal Flatts with REWIND (Big Machine) made a debut at No.2.
Cassadee
Cassadee Pope with FRAME BY FRAME (Decca) made a bow at No.3 following her UK promotional visit. See - The Pope’s UK May Visit
Sturgill Simpson with METAMODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY slipped 2-8 on its second week
Dolly Parton with her new set BLUE SMOKE (Masterworks) fell 4-7 on her second week
Nashville - On The Record Original Cast Recording (Big Machine) made an entry at No.9

On the Hotdisc Chart (May 25, 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 third week. Whilst Frizzell's "Where Are You Spending Your Nights These Days" rounded out the Top 10 with a 12-10 climb.
Bertie Higgins with his countrified "Key Largo" lifted a further 4 slots 6-2.
Jamie O'Neal with her 3-week No.1 "The Sweetest Thing" slipped 2-3.
Allan Craig Miller with "Cornfields" rose 7-4 and Leah Seawright’sCountry Girl 101” improved in the upper tier 10-8.
Gary Curtis with his April Hotdisc #184 single "Crazy Love” (penned by Anthony Smith, Jeff Ross and Nicole Witt) made a 8-6 hop and in passing The Hayley Oliver Band’sBright Side Of Life (5-7 Top 40; 1-2 British) took over at the top on the British and Irish Hotdisc chart for its first week at the summit. Newer single release George Inglis with "A Horse Called Bob" stayed tieded up at the No.14 pole on the Top 40. Other Uk representation saw Sam Hollyman with “One Minute More” moved up 3 slots (22-19).
David Grey & Lisa Albritton with “We’re Out Of Here” (co-written with Marianne Allison) made a 5 place jump (25-20)

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES


(8 May 2014) Kimberly Murray - A World Away (Heart of Texas Records)
Now available from Smart Choice Music and hillbillyhits.com/hotrecords 
>>"Keep Our Mind Outta This"  Honky Tonk with Attitude! This Stephenville TX sassy redhead's favorite place to be is behind a microphone fronting a Traditional Texas Dancehall band and keeping the dancefloor as full as possible. Country Music People editor Duncan Warwick wrote: Shameless plug for a much anticipated album by a truly wonderful singer - See CMP Full Page Ad 
 Honky Tonk with Attitude! This Sassy Red Head's favorite place to be is behind a microphone fronting a Traditional Texas Dancehall band and keeping the dancefloor as full as possible.

(19 May 2014) Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl Deluxe (Sony Music CMG) Discs: 2 CD+DVD
CD - MP3 - Amazon.com 

(20 May 2014) Various Mud Digger Volume 5 (Average Joe's Ent.)
13 Tracks/ Time: 45:38 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com 

(20 May 2014) Hank Williams Sr. - Garden Spot Program 1950 (Dig)
Set the time machine for early morning on KSIB, Creston, Iowa. February, 1950. Hot on the heels of the collectable 10'' vinyl Record Store Day EP - Omnivore Recordings is proud to present THE GARDEN SPOT PROGRAMS, 1950, featuring 24 performances, unheard for 64 years. Rescued from obscurity, these shows originally aired over 6 decades ago, and THE GARDEN SPOT PROGRAMS, 1950 collects material from the four of them now known to exist.

(20 May 2014) Chatham County Line - Tightrope (Yep Roc)
11 Tracks/ Time: 40:12  Alternative Rock/Country CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com 

(26 May 2014) Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner - Just Between You & Me [Import] (Bear Family Records)
Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton had even more than the playfulness and sexual chemistry of Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, and the high psychodrama of Tammy Wynette and George Jones. Because they were both great songwriters, they wrote songs that mirrored their lives and brought an uncommon variety to their music. Both of them dressed in high hillbilly glamor – like no one else before or since. Their work was sometimes playful, sometimes romantic, sometimes tortured, and sometimes unbearably sad, much like their personal and professional relationship. For the first time, Just Between You And Me: Complete
Recordings 1967-76 captures all of these recordings in one place in this lavish Bear Family box set.
(26 May 2014) The Secret Sisters - Put Your Needle Down (Decca (UMO) Now available DIGITALLY
12 Tracks/ Time: 43:40 CD (Released April 15, 2014) - Vinyl - MP3 - UK iTunes

AUSSIE NEWS
  • Tamworth-born and raised star Felicity Urquhart's most recent release is a 4 track EP titled City Of Light UK iTunes. It contains new songs “Slow It Down” and “Gone By The Wayside & Give”. "I had been putting songs together for a new album," Felicity said, "with no particular release date in mind but these songs just had to come out now. The rest of the album will be later in the year when the songs dictate."
  • Tamara Stewart heads to Nashville to finish writing her NEW album and perform as part of the Globalive! International Showcase! “I'm traveling halfway around the world, investing in the promise of the dream that writing NEW songs, searching and reaching for something unique- will be met with celebration, not by all, perhaps, I just crave 'some'. She shares
  • Kaylee Bell just picked up the Tui Award for Best NZ Country Album.
CANADIAN NEWS

  • Maddy Rodriguez (2007 Tumblr Image ) has a new song “Animal” which dropped on iTunes worldwide May 7th (Flickr Cover Art)  Listen & Lyrics on soundcloud.com Watch the >> Behind The Scenes video for the single
  • Trinity Bradshaw singer-songwriter, will release her sophomore EP, Open Skies (OP3 Music), via iTunes on June 17, 2014. The EP features her current single, “Never Drinkin’ Again,” which is now playing on radio across the country. To promote her EP, Bradshaw will be performing dates in Alberta and Ontario this summer, including a show at Ontario’s Boots & Hearts Music Festival in August. Watch the video for Track 4 >> "Guns Don’t Kill Good Men" (Love Does) Getting to know Trinity Bradshaw
  • Bobby Wills (MDM Recordings Inc. / Universal Music Canada) the Alberta Country Music Association (ACMA) Male Artist of the Year and Billboard chart-topping country music artist  will release his third album CRAZY ENOUGH on June 24, 2014 (available at Canadian retail and on iTunes).  The 10-track album is a new blend of an intense mixture of rock-inspired country tracks featuring a musical attack of the senses with heavier percussion, contrasted with Wills’ signature melodic harmonies and intimate lyrical storytelling
NEWS
Snapshot Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News:
May 20, 2014 - May 23, 2014 - May 27, 2014

  • Miranda Lambert's vehicle is the queen of the road. Quite literally. The "Automatic" singer was gushing Sunday as she gave PEOPLE an exclusive tour of Wanda The Wanderer, her 1954 Airstream trailer that will hit the road (the week of May 19)k and offer fans a chance to have what Lambert calls "the Platinum experience," referring to her upcoming album Platinum.
  • James House (who tours the UK in July) made his Opry debut on May 3. House (image), who has written such hits as “A Broken Wing,” “Ain’t That Lonely Yet” and “In a Week or Two,” released a new CD on April 29, and stepped onto the hallowed Opry stage four days later. Steve Buchanan, President Opry Entertainment Group; House and Pete Fisher, VP and general manager Grand Ole Opry.
  • Leann Rimes will sing the National Anthem at the annual "INDIANAPOLIS 500" race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on SUNDAY, MAY 25th. "To sing the National Anthem at one of the most prestigious racing events is truly an honor," said Rimes. "The adrenaline at the SPEEDWAY is felt around the world and I know I am one of millions who is so excited to hear those six legendary words 'ladies and gentlemen, start your engines...’"
  • LeAnn Rimes and her husband’s new reality show ‘LeAnn & Eddie,’ but it debuts on VH1 July 17
  • Taylor Swift has cancelled her June 9 concert in Bangkok, Thailand after last week's coup that left the military in charge of the country. A nighttime curfew has been in effect there since. "I'm sending my love to the fans in Thailand," Swift tweeted Tuesday (5/27). "I'm so sad about the concert being cancelled."
  • Luke Bryan graces the cover of People Country's Sexiest Men issue – Image - Image When asked: What do you find sexy in a woman? Luke told People "Confidence, the ability to wing it and the ability to get fancied up and pretty. I love the whole girl-next-door thing, the whole thing of, you know you're pretty but not going too far with it."
AWARDS
Actress Kristen Bell will return for her third year as "CMT Music Awards" host on Weds, JUNE 4th. She co-hosted the event with Jason Aldean in 2013, and Toby Keith in 2012, however she will take on the duties solo for 2014. She revealed the news on 
TWITTER (5/20), posting: "After two years of duets with amazing partners, I’m really excited for my first solo effort. I love that the Country community has welcomed me so warmly and I can’t wait to head back to NASHVILLE for what’s sure to be another amazing show this year."

TOURS
Brad Paisley is hitting the road this summer with his Country Nation World Tour. The trek, presented by Kraft cheese, kicks off in Philadelphia on May 16 and will hit more than 40 cities in North America.  Right now, dates are scheduled through the end of September. Joining Brad on the tour are Randy Houser, Charlie Worsham, Leah Turner and Dee Jay Silver - See Dates
Miranda Lambert will launch her upcoming Platinum tour on July 10 in Fort Loramie, Ohio. The 30-city Crystal Light Presents Platinum Tour will include two Canadian concerts, and will wrap Sept. 20 in Honolulu.

TV
Arista Nashville’s Brad Paisley will serve on the "panel of experts" for the forthcoming ABC-TV talent show, "RISING STAR" (NET NEWS 5/8). Joining Brad will be Kesha and Ludacris. The show will be hosted by Josh Groban. In a press release, "RISING STAR" is described as a talent competition that "completely reinvents the traditional singing competition by being the first ever interactive music competition and the audience has the final say in real time. The show follows a group of aspiring singers as they perform live. During the performances, viewers vote in real time via an app to determine if the singer will advance in the competition.
Scotty McCreery returned to American Idol to perform his new single, "Feelin' It".

Spoiler: "Nashville" Recap: On the Other Hand....Rayna Jaymes had offers of marriage on the table from her current love, Luke Wheeler, and her ex Deacon Claybourne as the curtain closed on Nashville's second season Wednesday night. After singing their hit duet, "Ball and Chain," Luke popped the question in front of 60,000 fans at Rayna's album launch party at Nashville's LP Field and she accepted. Deacon got teary-eyed watching the proposal from the audience. At the end of the episode, Deacon showed up at Rayna's house saying he couldn't move on from her, especially now that he knows they share a daughter, Maddie.

"Nashville" will be returning to Nashville. The ABC drama, which was renewed for a third season, will receive a combined $8 million incentive package from the state of Tennessee, Metro Nashville, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. and Ryman Hospitality Properties in order to keep the production filming in Middle Tennessee. The deal was struck after weeks of negotiations, serious flirtations with moving to Texas or Georgia and anxious waiting for news of renewal from ABC. The incentive package is lower than the Season 2 incentives, which totaled $13.25 million.
"It was not an easy decision to make," Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. "We obviously had lots of conversations, and I'm sure it's not the amount they wanted.

BABY NEWS
Joe Nichols is definitely saying “Yeah” — his newest baby girl has arrived safely! The country singer, 37, and wife Heather (Image) welcomed daughter Georgia Blue on Tuesday, May 20 in Texas, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE. “It’s official! At 8:06 a.m. we were blessed with our brand new baby girl, Georgia Nichols,” he announced via Twitter . “At 7 lbs., 4 oz., [she] and mom are doing great.” She measures 19.5 inches long and has brown eyes and brown hair, the rep tells PEOPLE sharing a few photos from the couple. The new addition joins big sister Dylan, 2, as well as Ashelyn, Joe’s 15-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.


SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
Lee Ann Womack will release her first album in nearly seven years when THE WAY I’M LIVIN’ debuts on Sept. 23 on roots label Sugar Hill. The project is produced by Frank Liddell and features songs penned by Chris Knight, Mindy Smith, Buddy Miller, Mando Saenz, Hayes Carll, Neil Young, Bruce Robison and one cover song written by Roger Miller. “I wanted songs that talked about how life really is, the raw spots, the tough places, the meltdowns and messy parts,” Womack says. “Hard, sad, rough… all the stuff people pretend doesn’t exist! Because once you embrace that, you can figure out what to do; or not do!”
“It feels so good to be getting new music out to the fans,” Womack. “I live to sing great songs that tear holes in life – just show living for what it is. I was fired up going into the studio, and Matt (Chamberlin), Duke (Levine), Glen (Worf, Jr), Mac (McAnally), Paul (Franklin) and all the amazing players who came by took me to an even higher place inside these songs.
“The Way I’m Livin’,” written by Grammy Country Song of the Year nominee Adam Wright (“So You Don’t Have To Love Me Any More”), made its premiere May 22 on the Wall Street Journal’s wsj.com.

Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Mötley Crüe. The album comes out July 8 and features 15 of the rock band's biggest hits covered by Florida Georgia Line, Justin Moore, Big & Rich, LeAnn Rimes, Gretchen Wilson, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts and more.

Various Mud Digger 5: A collection of 13 songs featuring Average Joes artists including Colt Ford, JJ Lawhorn, The Lacs, LoCash Cowboys and Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys released May 20th - UK iTunes It's the fifth release in a series designed to spotlight country lyrics with hip-hop beats. Various Mud Digger 5: >> Sneak Peek Track 1 Colt Ford >> "Truck Step" Track 2  Cap Bailey >> “Dip-N-Brews

PRESS RELEASES
  • Americana Music Festival & Conference contributes $10 Million to Nashville economy $5.1 Million in Direct Economic Impact
  • CMA Fest Autograph Drawing starts, The LP Field Tickets for 2015 are on sale now
  • Bellamy Brothers Get Risqué in New Music Video: The "legendary country duo" have released a new music video that is pushing the envelope in terms of traditional country music. The video titled, "Boobs," was recently filmed at a private ranch in Weatherford, Texas and features the iconic brothers, a bevy of beauties and a rapper, partying Bellamy-style. "It's called 'Boobs' and I gotta tell you, we had a lot of fun making this video," says David Bellamy. Howard Bellamy adds, "you might want to be sure to take your blood pressure meds before viewing this one." The music video is available for viewing now by clicking >> HERE. The song will be included on a new three-song EP titled Boobs / Texas Girls and will be available for purchase through iTunes and Amazon on May 27. Our favorite "heterosexual, white boy, Methodists" are at it again with this summertime favorite. Enjoy!! Boobs are definite proof that man can actually concentrate on two things at once.
  • There was a Pre-Order 'Wheels' New album from The Road Hammers on iTunes
  • Billy Joe Shaver releases LONG IN THE TOOTH, his first new studio album since “Everybody’s Brother” In 2008, Out August 5 On Lightning Rod Records (through Thirty Tigers). Legendary Texas outlaw songwriter celebrates upcoming 75th birthday with “the best album I’ve ever done.” Rolling Stone premiered the Billy Joe Shaver and Willie Nelson duet, "Hard to Be an Outlaw" .
  • Get “Buzzin” with Bucky Covington’s New Single
ARTICLES
  • Billboard Sturgill Simpson Shuns 'Tailgating and Spring Breaks' on New Album
  • CD Baby.com A letter to a young artist, from Gretchen Peters..Extract: These days amateurism is more celebrated and rewarded than ever, thanks to YouTube and the internet (and I actually mean that; there’s always room for a great dog video). We are more impressed by ‘natural’ talent than by skill that takes a lifetime to acquire. Our very notions of ‘talent’ and ‘inspiration’ imply that some people are simply touched by magic, and do no actual work. But the romantic notion of The Artist as a melancholy dreamer who subsists solely on the fairy dust of inspiration is fiction… although much sexier than the reality. Most art is the result of a short burst of inspiration followed by a long slog of grunt work.....
  • Billboard Jamie O'Neal Returns With 'Eternal,' First Album In 9 Years…Though it's been close to a decade since her last album, Jamie O'Neal -- who releases "Eternal" on Tuesday -- hasn't exactly been idle. She's had a few singles during that period, and has also lent her time and support to many younger female artists, such as Rachele Lynae. She tells Billboard that's an aspect of her career that she thoroughly enjoys.
  • Taste Of Country Encore: Quit Complaining About Modern Country Music: Collin Raye joins a growing list of seasoned country (and rock) singers with strong thoughts on the current Nashville sound. Raye politely told Fox News he didn’t care for the “dumbed down” sound of today, and predictably he found fans to agree with him. Taste of Country writer Billy Dukes says singers who look back longingly aren’t painting an accurate picture of the “good old days.” >> YouTube Facebook Comment
REVIEWS
  • For The Country Record  Rascal Flatts ‘Rewind’ (Album Review)...Overall, ‘Rewind’ has some pretty awful cuts on it. But from time to time, there is just a glimmer of light that indicates they might have some artistic merit. Just about.
  • Lee Ann Womack – “The Way I’m Livin” (Single review by Billboard's 615 Chuck Dauphin) …Fast forward to 2014, and it’s safe to say that Womack is pretty much the same artist. There’s nobody recording in Nashville today with the nerve and courage to sing songs as thought-provoking and as truthful – even if the lyrics paint her out to be more of a Saturday night sinner than a Sunday saint.The lyrics of this one are brutally honest. She sings about living on the edge – and not knowing whether she wants to clean her act up or not. All in all, it’s a delightful reminder of what Country Music was and should always be about. Welcome back, Lee Ann Womack, and I can’t wait for September 23 – when the full album comes out! Going to be a long, hot, summer…
INTERVIEWS
Interview with Jamie Lynn Spears: On 'The Journey' EP, Writing Over 100 Songs & Dream Duet.......Jamie Lynn announced only two weeks ago that this very month (May 2014) she would be dropping her first EP. 'The Journey’ hits iTunes on May 27th! And yeah, she's doing it independently. ‘The Journey’ may consist of five songs - five country gems - but there was one we particularly wanted to discuss with Jamie Lynn when we caught up with her AGAIN earlier this week…

LISTEN
NPR Weekend Edition: NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with Simpson to find out what inspired such heady lyrics and whether he considers himself part of the country tradition at all. 'I Wanna Make Art': Sturgill Simpson's Twisting Path To Nashville: There's an old joke that if you play a country song in reverse, your dog runs home, your wife comes back to you, and your pickup truck starts running again — the point being, modern country music is usually filled with distinctly blue-collar, down-to-earth woes. On the new album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, Sturgill Simpson uses some familiar country sounds to get at themes that are a bit more transcendental. "There's a gateway in our mind that leads somewhere out there beyond this plane / Where reptile aliens made of light cut you open and pull out all your pain," goes a line from the opening track.

Alaina Blair - Listening Party!
Reverbnation Rank: Carlsbad, CA Country / Americana Rank #2
Hometown - Phoenix, AZ/Carlsbad, CA   Record label - independent
Current Location - San Diego, CA
Band Members - Alaina Blair, Billy Alexander, Jacob Bartfield, Justin Cowden, Mike Harris
Similar Artists: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Sheryl Crow, Tristan Prettyman, Bonnie Raitt, Shelby Lynne
Influences - Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter, Tristan Prettyman, and Joss Stone.

About Alaina Blair
Alaina Blair 
For this young Rock/Country singer/songwriter Alaina Blair, writing and performing is the ultimate form of expression. Alaina: “writing a song from an emotion or a real experience and then performing that song to an audience is like a dream come true in itself!”.I'm a singer/songwriter who loves to laugh, take pictures, & tumble! I thank God for all His great blessings everyday.  Follow me; you may like what you find”.
Los Angeles, California native is a 21 Year old Country/Pop/Soul artist. She has several accomplishments in her short career to date.
Alaina has been performing since at the age of 5 when her Grandfather built her a stage to sing from to anyone who would watch and listen. Soon she began singing at festivals and pageants in her native Arizona as well as Southern California.
In 2010, she was the 58th Miss Carlsbad! - Photo

She met producer/musician Billy Alexander (FEEL, John Waite) in the summer of 2011 and the two began to write a batch of songs that later become Alaina’s debut 6 track EP entitled “Gypsy Girl(produced & co-written w Billy Alexande; released: Dec 02, 2011; available on UK iTunes). “Gyspy Girl” was nominated for Best Rock Album Of The Year by the Los Angeles Music Awards.
Alaina has been performing live with her band constantly around Los Angeles, San Diego, Temecula, and Arizona at venues such as the Viper Room, Witzend, House Of Blues and just about any other club and concert venue from LA to San Diego. Early released singles have already garnered airplay in San Diego KPRI 102.1, KMLE 107.9 Phoenix, KXSC Los Angeles. Cathryn Beeks at KPRI 102.1 spilled: “Alaina is a super star, what an amazing performer and young lady, just super awesome.”



Her self titled 10 track Country/Rock album Alaina Blair (Cover Pic, taken on her IPhone) was released on Mar 30, 2013 (UK iTunes). Alaina is signed with Music Collective's Opus 1 Emerging Artist Series placing her music on film and TV for licensing. >> Listen to “More” (written by Kevin Fisher, Warren Sellers, Billy Alexander/Alaina Blair) which originally featured on ABC's The Vineyard. The albums aim was to show off Alaina’s versatility as a writer and vocalist; belting out a catchy rocker like “Sweet Talkin’ Lola” one minute (co-written and performed with Ron Blair of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), then singing with angelic quiet emotion on songs such as “I Dream That Way” the next. Producer Alexander said : “the idea for writing and making this record was definitely ‘all killer, no filler’. The songs are all put together in a way to reflect Alaina’s story while also going for hook after catchy hook. One of the singles “I’m A Mess” was aired on 102.1 FM KPRI San Diego, 95.1 KFROG Riverside, and in the college circuit on KXSC USC Radio AND KKSM Palomar Radio.
Her single “Alive Again” was released: Dec 30, 2013 (Amazon UK - UK iTunes - US iTunes; written by Jane Bach/Billy Alexander/Alaina Blair) features Billy Alexander (guitars, piano, additional bass) and Anthony Morra (drums) and Mario Sangermano (bass)
She joined an Armed Forces Entertainment Southwest Asia Tour during December 2013 (Facebook Photo set) visiting 2ABCT, 4ID service members at Camp Buehring, Kuwait (See Video)
On May 25, 2014 she released a 7 track CD/ EP "HERE I AM" which is due to appear on iTunes soon (cost $7). A CD Release Party and Free Concert took place at Monte de Oro Winery in California - Graphic. Alaina also enjoys personally singing hard copies for anyone who would like one sent those will be $10.
For now ENJOY and take a listen with a “name your price” option for “Here I Am” Here >> 




Keep To Speed with Alana: The Alaina Adventures Questions - Alaina Blair Blog

Reviews:
Vacant Music Review Alaina Blair-Gypsy Girl EP (Rating: 9.5/10) Alaina Blair shines in this well-produced EP.  There is little room for doubt, and no room for skeptics remaining here.  GYPSY GIRL, the EP, is an amazing collection of powerhouse hooks, anthems, rhythms, and ballads that reel the listener right in. ….This is an excellent, relaxing release, a true EP, and I recommend picking it up off her bandcamp, or I-tunes today!

"Alaina Blair’s self-titled debut album has some great songs such as “Sweet Talkin’ Lola,” which starts out disarmingly sweet, before transitioning into an edgy tune with a Rock temptress at its core. The song co-written with Ron Blair of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Billy Alexander boasts heavy guitar riffs and a singer who knows how to have fun with her music. Alaina Blair’s song “Sweet Talkin’ Lola,” should be with us for many years, as the tempo and the feel remind us of Bob Seger’s Classic “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Alaina Blair is a…" — Joe Montague, Riveting Riffs Magazine
CD: Alaina Blair Country Music News International Review (by Jeremy Frost)….. It’s well produced. I may consider it a ‘girl’s album’ just like I believe some movies are ‘chic flicks.’ But, any way there is a great deal of musical talent displayed on it. In this day and age it’s refreshing to listen to lyric driven songs versus song driven lyrics.

Alive Again (Single) Vacant Music Review (Rating: 10/10) Even after one EP, and one excellent album, this single excels beyond the point of no return.  The slower intro of the song, citing, "Broken down, and turned around......." are excellent lead lyrics...then they soar into more lifting lyrics like ""I didn't know that I could fly this high reach out and touch the sky, defy the laws of gravity..........feeling alive again."  Speaking of "lyrics", along along Alaina's side, were the ppowerful forces of well known powerhouses Jane Bach (Reba), and Mr. Billy Alexander [Producer] himself, who has really been blazing along with the guitar as well, and his writing has been no different. Those combined skills are a path to stardom for sure! The passion of this song is incredible, and holds motivation and definitely designs for her fans a path of belief that she is for real.
About: Jane Bach (formerly Jane Mariash) is a native New Yorker who moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1982 to pursue a career in songwriting. She is a multiple award winning, hit songwriter, who has had songs recorded by the likes of Tammy Wynette, Reba McEntire, Collin Raye, JoDee Messina and many, many others. Her No.1 record "The Last One to Know" (Matraca Berg, Jane Mariash), Reba McEntire, remains one of Reba's biggest selling singles. She also penned "Just Enough Love" (1987), the last #1 record for country music legend Ray Price, "Dare to Dream" (Jane Bach, Adrienne Follesé) recorded by Jo Dee Messina (from her album 2000 album Burn), earned Jane an ASCAP award, for having written one of the most performed songs.

Alaina was featured in the GIR (Get Image Ready) Digital Magazine & Fashion Spread (2012 Spring Issue) who produce high-end, full­day photo shoot experiences that empower corporate professionals, aspiring models and everyday fashionistas.  

CONNECT with Alaina:
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Wall Street Journal Lee Ann Womack Returns With ‘The Way I’m Livin’ (Song Premiere): It’s been six years since Lee Ann Womack last released an album, but the country star returns this fall with “The Way I’m Livin’.” Womack premieres the title
track on Speakeasy. Written by Grammy-nominated songwriter Adam Wright, the rootsy acoustic song is a showcase for Womack’s strong, pure voice, and she digs into the tune as if she were making up for lost time...

** Listen to the first 8 tracks of Miranda Lambert's soon to be released album PLATINUM on
CMT.com

SPOTIFY COUNTRY
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?

Jamie Lynn Spears – The Journey - 5 tracks released May 27, 2014

Spotify Hits 10 Million Paid Users. Now Can It Make Money?
Spotify announced its 10 millionth paying subscriber, and an additional 30 million people listen for free. Daniel Ek (the co-founder and chief executive of Spotify, the first company to make streaming so easy that downloads quake in its presence) says that as long as Spotify accomplishes its main task—getting people to stream more music—free users will continue to upgrade to paid subscriptions. “We know if you do that, you’re going to be like, ‘Hey, 10 bucks is nothing. It’s like two beers,’” he says. “In Sweden, it’s actually less than one beer.”
On May 21st we learned that the webcaster SPOTIFY now has 10 million paying subscribers and more than 40 million active users in 56 markets worldwide.
That was the good news. The bad? Perhaps the business model isn't a profitable one, writes Bloomberg's BUSINESSWEEK noting SPOTIFY, "has been great at getting people to pay for subscriptions -- and not at all successful at turning a profit.'
The report explains SPOTIFY's, "margins don’t improve as they get larger. If SPOTIFY bought the rights to songs for a flat rate, then every subscriber it adds would mean free money for the company. But that isn’t what it does. Instead, it spends a fixed proportion of its total revenue on royalties. So if SPOTIFY doubles its subscriber base, it doubles the amount of money it pays out. It may be that SPOTIFY will gain some power over the royalties it pays once it has a critical mass of customers, but right now, many people think it can never get ahead of its costs. The worst-case scenario for SPOTIFY isn’t losing to APPLE. It’s discovering that its prize is insolvency."

WATCH
Danielle Bradbery "Young In America"
Blue Mother Tupelo "Livin' The Good LIfe
SaraBeth "That's The Sound" Watch a live performance of Possible & “Kickin' and Screamin”'
If you’ve yet to see Dierks Bentley’s documentary Riser, you can now watch it free on Hulu (US residents only). It’s the first time the video-streaming giant has ever featured a modern country artist. The 42-minute film chronicles the time that inspired Dierks’ latest CD, also titled Riser, a period that ran from the death of his father to the birth of his first son.
Austin-based Charlie Faye’s December video “It’s A Fighter from her record You Were Fine, You Weren’t Even Lonely. It's Alice In Wonderland-feel perfectly complements this catchy tune.
Harmony James "Skinny Flat White", the brand new single from her album CAUTIONARY TALES - out June 13. Pre-order from iTunes AU
Tim McGraw brought a new song "City Lights" to the finale of The Voice
Glasgow’s very own Ashton Lane cover "Ain't it Fun" by Paramore in their latest Kitchen Session -
Ashley Monroe performs "Has Anybody Ever Told You" (written with Tyler Cain) live at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Comment: I wish all of today's country artists would play this type of music. I find it hard to listen to country radio these days because it doesn't sound country anymore. Then again, it's not about the "country sound" anymore, it's all about marketing. First released on Sept 24, 2009 from Ten Out Of Tenn Volume 3 (Ready. Set. Records!) currently only available on CD Format from Amazon.com it has a Rank: #465,962 in Music!

James House has released a new video >> “Every Time It Rains”, and he’s sharing it with readers of The Boot first. The song is the lead single from his new album, ‘Broken Glass Twisted Steel,’ which is a combination of songs he wrote that were made famous by other artists, including Diamond Rio, Martina McBride and Dwight Yoakam, as well as some brand-new songs. House co-produced the new set of tunes with Michael Bradford, whose lengthy list of credits includes Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker.
‘Broken Glass Twisted Steel’ was released 27 March 2014 on his own Victor House Records download on UK iTunes
House released his first new CD in more than 10 years on April 29th thanks in part to the success one of his older singles found last year in the UK. The single, “This Is Me Missing You,” became a #1 hit in the dance clubs around the UK, creating a demand for more music. In addition to the new release, co-written and co-produced by House, that UK success also ignited a tour of the UK, booked by Rob Davis with Up Country magazine. “We at Up Country magazine in the UK published a dance and followed up by featuring James in the magazine after seeing how popular his music was,” Davis said. “After asking promoters if they wanted James to come to the UK,  a few dates turned into a 19 day tour with all of them sold out in the first few days. We now have a waiting list of as many again for the next time around.”

Callaghan "Who Would I Be" (written by Callaghan/ Dennis Matkosky) a preview from her upcoming second album currently being recorded in Nashville, TN – “A song about the people, places, passions and beliefs which make us who we are” said the Lincolnshire UK native CalIaghan [Georgina], who wrote the song in Nashville with Dennis Matkosky, the songwriter behind the song "Maniac" from Flashdance and hits for Diana Ross (“Mirror, Mirror”), Keith Urban (”You'll Think of Me”; co-written with Ty Lacy and Darrell Brown) and Leann Rimes (“I Need You”) among others. Callaghan has a Pledge Music campaign running to raise the money to finish recording her new album has hit 71%.

COUNTRY FASHION
Miranda Lambert Reveals the Secret to Her Show Stopping Red Carpet Looks: "You can sound as good as you can sound, but it's all over your face and your body language if you don't feel comfortable in your skin and in the clothes you're wearing."
Thankfully, Miranda found her fashion guru, stylist Tiffany Gifford. Once they started working together in 2010, Miranda's red carpet style went from down-home to show stopping. Miranda says of Tiffany, "She always brought things and brought an attitude and a spirit about her that made me feel comfortable and put me in things that made me feel beautiful. I’m so thankful for her. It's so nice to have someone just hand you something pretty and you know it's gonna fit."

Lisa Redford
(Claudia Taveira Photography)
The lovely Lisa Redford (Parrot Records) C2C2014 Pop Up stage artist and singer-songwriter who shares Manhattan, NYC and  Norwich, UK as her home was a model for a day! The totaaly elegant photos & clothes were provided from her photographer pal Claudia Taveira (Find her on Facebook) with Make Up/ Hair by Li Dawson.
See the Full Media photo set (Claudia Taveira Photography)

Missy Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty hit reality TV show releases the summer collection of her fashion line Missy Robertson by Southern Fashion House after a successful launch of the line’s spring collection. (Via Press Release) More information on the line can be found on the new website shopmissyrobertson.com


COUNTRY GOSSIP
Trisha Yearwood offered a simple but heartfelt messages to graduates of her first alma mater on Saturday when she delivered the commencement address at Young Harris College in Georgia. "Claim your happiness. Don't wait for someone else to do it for you," the country music and cooking star told students. "Be happy and you will attract happy." The slimmed-down Food Network host also used the words of humorist Mark Twain as she spoke to the class of 2014: "I never let my schooling interfere with my education," she said. Yearwood, 49 and married to country music superstar Garth Brooks since 2005, was awarded an honorary doctorate of music degree by the college after her speech - Image

Dolly Parton is putting her California house on the market and it's a steal at $1.39 million. So if you've got that kind of cash laying around, you may want to head over to your nearest real estate agent and place a bid on this house, because this "whimiscally eclectic" (that sounds like a description of a Cirque show in Vegas) compound won't be on the market for long. Especially when you consider that it was the childhood home of Natalie Wood and includes the best paint job you've ever seen.

Luke Bryan Listened to a Lot of Rap Music Down on His Family's Georgia Farm - Luke Bryan may have been raised on a peanut farm in South Georgia, but he listened to just as much rap as country music growing up. So, it's no surprise he's scored hits with country-rap hybrids like "That's My Kind of Night." Luke tells The New York Times, "Nobody grew up more country than me, and we listened to Eazy-E and 2 Live Crew.”

TWEETS

PHOTO
C2C2014 Pop up stage/ X Factor 2012 contestant Carolynne Poole in America hangin’ out with Nashville stars - Image - Image
BCMAward winner/ C2C Pop Up artist Gary Quinn shared a caricature  pic!

BIRTHDAYS
May 26: Dave Robbins (Blackhawk) (1959), Hank Williams Jnr (1949)
May 27: Don Williams (1939)
May 28: Brent Rowan (1956), Jerry Douglas (1956), John Fogerty (1945), Jimmy Rankin (Rankin Family)(1964), Phil Vassar (1965) 
May 30: Wynonna Judd (1964) 
May 31: The late Johnny Paycheck (1938; died February 19, 2003 (aged 64)), Paul Franklin (1954)
June 1: Ronnie Dunn (1953) 

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