Saturday 26 July 2014

Country Bites News snippets July 14 – July 20, 2014

Country Bites News snippets July 14 – July 20, 2014


UK Twins Ward Thomas (Lizzy & Catherine) remained on “A” BBC Radio 2 Playlist with their new single >> “Push For The Stride” (video) as did Dolly Parton with “Try” for the week commencing July 19, 2014.
“Isn’t that absolutely great, ending the programme with a bang, Ward Thomas” - Bob Harris Thursday 17th July 2014  BBC Radio 2 Playlist
"It is very good that UK country bands are begining to make a real mark in Nashville, The Shires of course and Ward Thomas"
Sunday 20 July 2014 Bob Harris - BBC Radio 2 Playlist

Lizzy & Catherine along with a 3-piece band joined Cornation Street actor Shobna Gulati and charismatic and engaging presenter Denise Van Outen on ITV's Weekend morning show presented by Aled Jones broadcast Saturday July 19, 2014 (ITV player Episode 25). 
They performed “Push For The Stride” and a cover of George Ezra's “Budapest” ( >> Video)

Ward Thomas’ debut album FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW Music Limited) released on UK iTunes on Sunday July 20th and it went straight to No1 on the UK iTunes Country Chart!
(Update July 23) Ward Thomas look set to make their Top 40 Official UK album chart debut on July 27th as their album stood at No.20 on the midweek chart.

Link to Amazon UK Link to iTunes UK Listen on Spotify Image Map

Order the album using the banner above or visit:  for a signed copy!

They co-headline the Fort San Antone Country Music Festival (Great Birchwood Country Park, Lytham Road, Warton, PR4 1TE) on 17th - 19th October 2014 - wegottickets


Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending July 26, 2014)
Dolly Parton with BLUE SMOKE / THE BEST OF (Masterworks) remained at No.3 selling 15,408 copies (down 17% on the previous weeks 18,568 copies sold) in her sixth week with a total of 110,737 .
Dolly has now earned another sales award as her 42nd studio album has been certified Gold by the BPI. “Dolly could not be any happier,” says Dolly’s manager Danny Nozell, CEO CTK Management.  “She has worked very hard over the past several years to create the momentum that we have going.  Everyone at Dolly Records and Sony Music has done an outstanding job with making Dolly’s new music available and the sales prove it.”  Faye Donaldson, Sr. Marketing Manager/Sony Music said:  “The response to Dolly after her Glastonbury performance has been amazing and having new music available at the same time has created a reaction that I've never seen before.  It’s been just perfect.” In addition, Dolly’s previous studio album BETTER DAY, which was released in 2011, has been certified Silver. (via Press Release)

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending July 26, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) rebounded 2-1 in its 16th chart frame to log 15 non-consecutive weeks at No.1.
Kacey Musgraves with SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) slipped 1-2 in her 66th chart frame.
Lady Antebellum’s monster album NEED YOU NOW moved 5-3 in its 138th week.
The Old Crow Medicine Show with REMEDY (ATO) 3-4 in their third week.
Miranda Lambert with PLATINUM (RCA) , the current No1 Billboard country album, climbed 6-5 in her seventh week.
Willie Nelson with BAND OF BROTHERS fell back two rungs 4-6 in his fifth week

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Albums  (Last updated July 22, 2014)

Dolly Parton’s album BLUE SMOKE/ THE BEST OF pairing remained at the peak of the summit with THE VERY BEST OF slipping 3-4.
UK country duo Ward Thomas new debut album FROM WHERE WE STAND is at No2 having debuted at No1on the day on its release (Sunday july 20th). Sales are being driven by their second BBC Radio 2 play listed single “Push For the Stride” 
The new Sony compilation American Heartland: Legends of Country moved 2-3.
The ABC TV series Nashville soundtracks are still popular The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 2, Vol. 2 moved 4-5, with the Original Soundtrack Season 1, Vol.2 at #10.
Scottish singer songwriter Colin Clyne's brand new 11 track studio album THE NEVER ENDING PAGEANT is at No.8 after making an even higher midweek bow. The album which was released on Fat Hippy Records on July 21st (UK iTunes) is produced & engineered by Grammy Award Winning Engineer Alan Sanderson (The Rolling Stones, Burt Bacharach) and described as “a delightful slice of folk and Americana by way of Scotland”.
Colin, who was crowned ‘Best Acoustic Act’ at the San Diego Music Awards in 2011 and 2012 (previous winners include Jason Mraz and Jewel) is an artist who is equally comfortable with upbeat folk tunes (“Toast The Happy Times”) as well as songs more melancholy (“Dunnotar Skies”). Read more at thedailycountry and watch the >> Video Teaser
Miranda Lambert with PLATINUM the current No1 country album in America falls 25-45.

1 Dolly Parton Blue Smoke - The Best Of 
2 Ward Thomas - From Where We Stand 
3 Various Artists - American Heartland: Legends of Country 
4 Dolly Parton - The Very Best of Dolly Parton 
5 Various Artists - The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 2, Vol. 2 (Deluxe) 
6 John Denver - The Ultimate Collection 
7 Lady Antebellum - Need You Now 
8 Colin Clyne - The Never Ending Pageant 
9 Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park 
10 Various Artists - The Music of Nashville - Season 1, Vol. 2 (Original Soundtrack) 

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Singles  (Last updated July 22, 2014)
Ward Thomas with their new BBC Radio 2 now “A” playlisted single “Push For the Stride” moved 5-1 from the album FROM WHERE WE STAND which dropped on July 20th (iTunes) . Their UK Radio 2 pals The Shires with “Tonight” (Decca) fell 9-33 in their second week after its release on July 11, 2014 on UK iTunes.
Dolly Parton continues to dominate the Top 20 with 7 songs (retro hits + “Try” and title cut “Bluesmoke”)
As the season 2 Nashville TV drama ends on More 4 the stars post 4 tracks with Hayden Panettiere’s “Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet” the highest falling 7-12.
Taylor Swift posts 4 tracks from the 22-year Love Story star.
At No.12 is 33-year old Bethany Joy Lenz (formerly Galeotti; also credited as Joie Lenz) who is an American actress, director, producer, and musician, best known for her portrayal of Haley James on the CW television drama One Tree Hill.
Her new single, released on UK iTunes 7 July 2014 on Victrola Vintage Records is an updated version of  “Calamity Jane”  which has been broken down into a raw, outlaw-country sound for her upcoming record. You can hear the original country rock version on and see a >> live performance

1 Ward Thomas - Push For the Stride 
2 Dolly Parton - Jolene 
3 Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers - Islands In the Stream 
4 Dolly Parton - Try 
5 John Denver - Annie's Song 
6 Lady Antebellum - Need You Now 
7 Dolly Parton - 9 To 5 
8 Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble. 
9 Taylor Swift - Love Story 
10 Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke 
11 Hayden Panettiere - Don't Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet 
12 Bethany Joy Lenz - Calamity Jane 
13 Taylor Swift - 22 
14 Jace Everett - Bad Things 
15 Dolly Parton - Jolene (Single Version) 
16 Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again  
17 John Denver - Take Me Home, Country Roads 
18 Nashville Cast - Black Roses (feat. Clare Bowen) [Full Band Version] 
19 Taylor Swift - Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran) 
20 John Denver - Leaving On a Jet Plane

On the Hotdisc Chart (July 20, 2014 Chart)

US bluegrass brother and sister duo The Roys (Elaine & Lee Roy) stayed at the top of the summit with "No More Lonely" for a second week. They fight off the challenge from Jim Reeves’ surprise hit "Distant Drums " (2014) which is non-mover at No.2 whilst the late Gentleman Jim’s “I’ll Fly Away” from last month’s Hotdisc plummeted 12-29.
Bertie Higgins with his self penned “Cowboys Of The Caribbean” made a 7-3 jump and US act Cory Cox advanced 6-5 with “Wake Up Drunk” .
CMR Nashville favourite Ace Diamond continues to shoot high as “Baddest Gunslingin’ Man” made a 11-9 bullet to equal his #9 peak with former single “Rockabilly Man”.
US singer-songwriter James House (on tour in the UK) rounded out the top 10 as his new single “Train Wreck” leapt 15-10.

Outside the top 10 tier saw notable climbs for latest tracks from the July 2014 #187 promotional Hotdisc:
Leading the charging pack Southern artist Brian Collins with self penned single “Never Really Left” made a 16-11 hop.
Gracia Harrison with “Jezebel” moved northwards with a 14-12 advance.
The lovely SaraBeth saw her single "That's The Sound" move 19-15
US act David Starr with his self composed “Everything Is Made In China” was up eight slots (26-18), Australia’s David Hilgenfeldt self penned single “Silver Mine” made a eleven place leap (30-21), US female duo Moore & Moore’s “Summer Love” is finding favour (38-28) and Charlemont, MA native Holly May with "Go Big Or Go Home" shot up nine rungs on the Hotdisc Top 40 ladder (39-30) in her second frame.

The highest new entry this week came from the progressive Owen Howell, who ramps up the auto-tune experimentation production on the country-electronica meets rap track "Let's Start A Party" (written by Steve Ballard and Charlie Pennachio) which blew in at No.22. According to Hotdisc CEO Stuart Cameron the video for his single is creating a huge buzz right now. First published on April 30, 2014 it has so far received nearly 8,000 views on YouTube.
Watch the >> Official Music Video ft: Sinister.

There was a brand new No.1 on the British & Irish Hotdisc charts as Tony Clarke enjoyed his second chart topper in three weeks as his self penned “Put That Country Song On” climbed 18-16 on the top 40 to nudge past Mim Grey’sThe Ways Of Love” which fell 13-17.


(1 July 2014) Jason Roberts - That's My Home (J.R. Music)
12 tracks/ Time: 42:35  MP3 - UK iTunes -
Grammy Award-winner Jason Roberts' latest CD, That's My Home, spans straight-ahead country and Western Swing to jazz and big band. When it comes to the fiddle Roberts is the go-to talent when music needs a warm breeze of Texas authenticity.

(8 July 2014) Blackhawk - Brothers Of The Southland
15 Tracks/ Time: 59:59 CD - MP3 -
(9 Jun 2014) Faith Morley - Morning Star (Real 2 Reel Records)
10 Tracks/ Time: 45:35 MP3 -

(15 July 2014) Rachel Holder - Shining Now (Curb Records).
5 tracks/ Time: 18:22 MP3 - UK iTunes

(15 July 2014) Cowboy Jack Clement - For Once and For All
12 Tracks CD - Smart Choice Music - 
(16 July 2014) Maddie & Tae - "Girl In A Country Song" (Single)

(21 July 2014) Ward Thomas - From Where We Stand (WTW Music Limited)
12 Tracks/ Time: 49:48 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Spotify


This Twain Is Leaving: Shania Twain will end her two-year residency Shania: Still The One at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. The final show will hit the buffers on Dec. 13, 2014. By the time her residency ends, she will have performed 110 shows since her Dec. 1, 2012 debut.

July 16, 2014 (Toronto, ON) – The  Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced the full list of nominees for the 2014 Canadian Country Music Association Awards; as well as the dynamic duo of Canadian favourites, Jann Arden and Rick Mercer, who will co-host the 2014 CCMA Awards Show, broadcast on CBC-TV with an encore airing on CMT (Canada) at 10:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 7 from Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta.
On the heels of a successful year, Brett Kissel leads the pack with a total of eight nominations, including: Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, CMT Video of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Interactive Artist of the Year, Record Producer of the Year and Album Design of the Year.
Following close behind are celebrated artists Dean Brody and Gord Bamford, with six and five nominations each, respectively. Deric Ruttan has four nominations, as does Tim Hicks, who announced the nominees for Group or Duo of the Year live this morning as part of #CCMANomDay.
Dallas Smith and Wes Mack are both up for three CCMA Awards, as is newcomer Jess Moskaluke who has three nominations, including Female Artist of the Year, Rising Star and Interactive Artist of the Year.
Press Release - Complete list of all the 2014 CCMA Nominees - PDF File - Twitter Photos CCMA


Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News:
July 18, 2014: Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks (first world date), Tim McGraw
July 22, 2014: Lady Antebellum (Boeing For It); Reba McEntire (Prays), Little Big Town (The Voice), Sarah Darling

The season 3 premiere of Nashville will feature a song Striking Matches wrote with their buddy Aaron Eshuis! Tune in to ABC on September 24th!

Little Big Town have signed on to join "The Voice" this season as advisors for "Team Blake."  The Capitol Nashville recording group will work with Shelton during this season's battle round to prepare the contestants. 
The band will have a lot to live up to, as Blake’s team has taken the crown in three of the past seasons, producing rising Country artists like Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbery. Season 7 of "The Voice" premieres Mon, Sept 22nd at 8p (ET) on NBC-TV

It's hard to believe it, but Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott celebrated her baby Eisele's first birthday Tuesday along with The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge! The little bundle of joy has gotten used to life on the road quite well, and Hillary is elated to be there for Eisele every day of the little one's life. "She changes and grows so much, it's wild," Hillary told ABC News Radio backstage recently at Good Morning America. "Every day is different." Taking care of an infant while traveling across the country is no easy task , but Hillary has the support of her husband, Lady A drummer Chris Tyrell, and a nanny as well as Hillary's assistant.

Billboard SoundCloud is going fully legit, with the company rumored to be selling the three major labels a 9-15% total stake, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.
The deal has yet to be announced due to certain parties being closer than others in signing, Bloomberg's sources say. The deal would make it possible for the audio streaming company to continue letting its users stream music from the majors under licensing deals that would form a part of the overall deal. The three majors also hold a minority stake in streaming music service Spotify. Universal Music Group held a 14% stake in Beats Music, netting the company around $420 million following its acquisition by Apple. SoundCloud was criticized earlier this month for its increasingly hard-line tack on copyright, though
much of the controversy was business-as-usual for major content destinations like YouTube or Vimeo.

Joanna Mosca‘s brand-new EP, HAVE A LITTLE MERCY, will be released this August. The songstress says the entire album was focused around the record’s title track - “I just wanted to find the songs that I felt I could connect with, can sing well, and really convey those two aspects to the audience that was the biggest thing,” she explains. “‘Have a Little Mercy’ is one that I really love singing. It shows my sassier side. It’s really about a strong woman who, you know, that no matter what happens, she’s going to be okay in this relationship.” ‘Have a Little Mercy’ will be available on Aug. 19.
Listen to the title track on soundcloud.

Lady Antebellum announced that their fifth studio album 747 will land in stores on Sept. 30th
They tweeted: We have landed!! Our new album #747 is coming on 9.30.14!!! #ladyalanding
The album’s sultry lead single “Bartender” is already soaring up the country charts (currently No.3 Billboard Airplay) to become one of their fastest rising singles.  Nathan Chapman co-produced the 11-song disc with Lady A for the Capitol Records Nashville release. “We unanimously knew that our album title had to be 747,” said Lady A’s Hillary Scott. “The track itself has this pushing, driving spirit about it that sums up our attitude right now.  We are pushing ourselves as a band and as songwriters…taking ourselves out of our comfort zone and not taking ourselves too seriously.   There's an urgency and an energy to it that we've never released before."

LeAnn Rimes will release a dance record on August 5th, featuring remixes of songs she’s recorded over the years
The 13 track album with a 55 minute running time is titled "Dance Like You Don't Give A....Greatest Remixes" (Curb Records, Inc.) Sample and pre-order at Amazon UK and
Rimes has flirted with pop music on several occasions, notably the single “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” from the Coyote Ugly soundtrack. The album features re-imagined versions of her hits like “What I Can Not Change” and “How Do I Live” from renowned producer/remixers such as Dave Aude and Kaskade. Fans can already download “Help Me Make It Through the Night” on iTunes, while “You’ve Ruined Me” will be out July 22 and “Crazy Women” will hit July 29.
A physical version of the album will be released thru Walmart which is a double disc release combined with her Greatest Hits.
“Everyone knows I love to dance,” said LeAnn in a statement. “What better way to celebrate the next chapter of my music than to remix some of my favorite hits from over the years to get my fans out on the dance floor shaking their asses.”

Rachel Holder has a 5 track EP out titled SHINING NOW released by  Curb Records on July 15th 2014.
It available on Amazon UK, UK iTunes and Walmart and includes her brilliant single "In Your Arms" first released on March 06, 2012.


  • Kenny Rogers will participate in a special interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, August 16.
  • Krystal Keith made her debut at The Grand Ole Opry on the road in support of the release her debut album, Whiskey & Lace
  • The lovely singer-songwriter Sarah Darling and Rising Star contestant returned to The Grand Ole Opry for her 60th appearance. Although two of the three judges didn't vote for during the live broadcast of ABC’s new singing competition Brad Paisley did support his fellow country singer casting a ‘yes’ vote.
  • Bluegrass legend Jesse McReynolds celebrated his 85th birthday at the Pick Inn with family & friends
  • American Songwriter Top Stories This Week.
  • Dolly Parton struck Gold in the UK with Blue Smoke / The Best Of set earning another sales award as her 42nd studio album, has been certified Gold by the BPI and remained #3 on the official UK chart in its sixth week of release.
  • Lucy Hale invited fans to relive her Grand Ole Opry debut in exclusive “Night At The Opry” Video
  • Hootie and the Blowfish team with Rock Brothers and Palmetto Brewing to launch new craft beer
  • Steve Gulley's new album has released with video Track-By-Track available
  • Jason Aldean left the midwest smoking after headlining his BURN IT DOWN TOUR, which sold out back to back stadium shows at Progressive Field (Cleveland, OH on 7/18) and Great American Ballpark (Cincinnati, OH on 7/19).
  • Craig Morgan had a hugely successful weekend as his 8th Annual Charity event raised a staggering $60,000
  • Lucas Hoge recently completed the filming of the corresponding music video (>> Lyric Video ) to his new summertime single (entitled “Flip Flops”); the music clip features a special guest appearance by ARCA Racing’s “fast-rising” star, Justin Boston who portrays Hoge’s character in a sequence of flashbacks.
  • Amanda Lamb releases new single “We Were Here” (Released July 15, 2014; UK iTunes)
  • Kristian Bush made his solo debut at the Grand Ole Opry on Friday night (7/18). The country singer (also known as one-half of Platinum-selling duo Sugarland) stepped up to the microphone and took the opportunity to introduce his voice and new material to the live audience.
  • Randy Travis to release Influence Vol. 2: THE MAN I AM on August 19th


  • LA Times: Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift and country's twang heard around the world…Another factor: Country music these days is a little less country, and a little more pop. Crossover superstars such as Taylor Swift helped make traditional country instruments such as steel guitars and banjos more accessible to foreign audiences. "It's a phenomenon that probably started half a dozen years ago when Taylor Swift emerged as a major international artist," said Bob Shennan, director of music for three BBC Radio stations. "She came to the U.K. being very much a country artist, then came back and came back and grew a real fan base and now has morphed into the biggest pop act on the planet at the moment.".....
  • Pistol Annies’ Angaleena Presley to release solo album …..Pistol Annies’ singer/songwriter Angaleena Presley is gearing up for the release of her first album, “American Middle Class,” later this fall. The Beauty, Ky., native is a creative force in Pistol Annies — a trio that also includes Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe — having co-written 11 of the 12 songs on the group’s last album, “Annie Up.” The raw and honest storytelling style that captured Pistol Annies fans and helped the trio’s first album go gold, is unmistakable on Presley’s solo debut, which will be available Oct. 14…….
  • Billboard Does Garth Brooks Still Have Country Superstar Clout?
  • Billboard: Sunny Sweeney talks “Provoked” Album
INTERVIEWS Maddie & Tae Fire a Shot at 'Bro Country'…."Girl in a Country Song" takes aim at Aldean, Shelton, Florida Georgia Line and other country dudes. The most earth-shattering action, however, has happened around the teenage duo's debut single, "Girl in a Country Song." The first overt antidote to the "bro country" trend of writing about cut-off jeans, tailgates and sliding your little sugar shaker a little closer, the tune turns the tables on Marlow and Tae Dye's male country-singing peers who'd had hits with songs about enticing long-legged hotties onto truck bench seats. "Girl in a Country Song" directly references some of country radio's most played hits: Billy Currington's "Hey Girl"; Blake Shelton's "Boys 'Round Here"; Tyler Farr's "Redneck Crazy"; Florida Georgia Line's "Get Your Shine On"; and Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem," among them.


Maverick Magazine (July/ August 2014 issue; Miranda Lambert feature) use the "+" and "-" selections to zoom in and out and view the individual pages at and read the 2 page Holly Williams feature, Steven Seagal (Blues Man feaute), Nickel Creek (sample page) at

Taylor Swift graces the cover of the August/ September 20th birthday issue of GL! - Image - Image - Image
She dishes on how to be a fearless femme. From being a total rockstar on stage to being one in her personal life, Taylor shares on how to be a loyal friend, how to deal with guys (she's dated a few!) and spills on the most amazing thing about her new role in The Giver (out August 15).
Talent, brains and beauty, inside and out? That's why she's the ultimate GL girl. It's her third #girlslife cover, and the magazine couldn't be more psyched to celebrate our birthday with the ultimate #GLgirl - (sneek-a-peek)

LISTEN : Miranda Lambert And The Soft Side Of Tough

Listen to the World Premiere of SaraBeth’s brand new single “Nowhere With You,” from her upcoming sophomore project for Circle S Records. SaraBeth released ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE through Circle S Records in 2013 and as good as that debut album was for the Texas native, “Nowhere With You” showcases where the rising star is heading. The song features a mid-tempo groove, strong lyrics about just being with the one you love and the need to not go anywhere -

Sonia LeighPut It In Your Pocket” represents a new sound for the singer, a sound Leigh’s excited to share with the world stating, “Most everyone is loving it and I’m excited to be a part of a different movement. I’ve always been an outside of the box artist and I’m aware and proud of that.” -

Home to Over 3.64 Million Musicians, Venues, Labels, and Industry Professionals
More than 500 Country Artists have free MP3s in the United Kingdom -

Alyssa Fournier
Rank #3 US Thornton, Colorado (Population 118,772 in 2010; 10 miles northeast of the state's capital, Denver)  CO Country / Pop/Country
A ReverbNation Featured Artist Award July 2014, August 2014
Sounds Like: Demi Lovato, Lady Antebellum, AJ Michalka, JoJo

A teenager with an old soul, Alyssa Fournier has a gift for crafting inspirational lyrics. Sparkling vocals and melodies give pop accents to this this Thornton, CO-based country singer’s music.
Alyssa Fournier is a 14 year old singer/songwriter. Alyssa believes that songs are short stories with rhythm that should inspire, offer hope, or just be fun.
At the age of 11 she began putting her thoughts and experiences down on paper creating her initial lyrical journey into the annals of music history. She is considered a pop/country solo artist.
Alyssa's first two recordings are "Wings" and electro/pop flavoured "Three Little Words" both released on UK iTunes Feb 18, 2014
 “Wings” is about helping others not to give up during hard times. The inspirational message is to rise above it, as if in flight, focusing on the journey instead of the hurt. This song has a smooth contemporary rhythm. It has a catchy beat, lyrics, and overall appeal. Her vocals are captivating and the harmonies are placed perfectly, giving a feeling of floating like a butterfly. It is a relatable song that allows listeners to truly feel the storyline.
"Wings" is #26. They are still the two fastest moving singles on the Riverhead Radio Top 50 Independent chart (created to assist Musicians and Independent Artists, streaming music at 320kbps, which alledgely  has over 900 independent artists and over 500,000 listeners worldwide.).
>> Listen to "Wings" and download it (192kbps MP3) at
CONNECT with Alyssa:
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Makena Hartlin
ReverbNation Featured Artist Award July 2014, August 2014
She is a young country singer-songwriter from Illinois in the process of making her debut EP
Rank #4 Bridgeview, IL Country / Country Rock
Won Best Country Act at the 2014 Chicago Independent Music Awards

From her website: Makena Hartlin has been cultivating her voice and songwriting for years, and it’s definitely paid off. Lilting, soulful vocals and charming instrumentals give this up-and-comer a dramatic edge.
>> Listen / Download the gentle, floaty and beautiful “Young & In Love” at reverbnation for an email share to get an MP3 (160kbps) or stream the track in best quality at where you are able to purchase her EP for $8 - Product Image and available at her live shows. These six new tracks were produced, recorded and mixed by Neil Kernon for Auslander. They were recorded at Groovemaster Recording, Chicago, IL with music and lyrics by Makean.

Growing up in a quiet suburban town southwest of Chicago would not normally be the typical breeding ground for country singers, but the magic of this genre captured her from the moment the ringing of steel guitars and fiddles, and melodies of Gary LeVox’s voice in Rascal Flatts struck her ears in 2006.
The essence of contemporary country music had struck a major chord with Makena, and she began to dig deeper into the roots of this vast, heartfelt area of music.
As an early adolescent, she idolized country queens such as the Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood, and Miranda Lambert, and kings such as George Strait, Brad Paisley, and Kenny Chesney.
In July of 2011, she took a bold risk and auditioned for season 2 of NBC’s “The Voice”, making it to the top few of over 10,000 that auditioned in her city, but unfortunately was not chosen to be a contestant on the show. That decision only fueled her desire to become a self-sufficient singer and song-writer.
Faced with the decision to go away to college or live her dream, she wholeheartedly chose to continue her pursuit of music, with an overwhelming full-speed-ahead attitude. She continued to perform in local singing competitions, winning countless awards and gaining exposure.
From December 2012 to June 2013, she has opened for national acts and industry legends such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jo Dee Messina, Mark Wills, Steel Magnolia, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, Joe Diffie, Keith Anderson, The Bellamy Brothers, and various other musicians. In that time frame, Makena wrote well over 100 songs.
She recorded a solo EP with renowned producer, Neil Kernon, and continues to perform her music onstage at every opportunity.
Makena Hartlins powerful vocals, with a high range and unique clear tone, compliment her songs which range from high-energy, catchy foot-stompers, to tear-jerking ballads, all lyrically dense with honesty, humor, and the ins and outs, ups and downs of life as we know it.
CONNECT with Makena:
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Download the Swimmin' Time Primer collection from Shovels & Rope (Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst).
It features their new song "The Devil Is All Around" from their upcoming album Swimmin' Time (out Aug 25th) and tracks from their album O' Be Joyful. Available for an email share via Noisetrade

Enjoying the Hot UK weather? 
Canadian born singer-songwriter Ashley Robertson self released a new summery radio single on July 8, 2014 aptly titled “Heatwave” (harmony vocals Rachel Button) and is available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes.
** For an email share you can download a FREE 192kbps MP3 from her Reverbnation Page
Last year Ashley toured the UK tour which started off in Hammersmith in London at The Regal Room (Read review) on Sept 6, 2013. Ashley invited UK singer-songwriters Rachel Button and Fiona Culley to join her on stage for the song "Heatwave", written by all three – See Flyer and >> Watch the Video.

Download 5 free Pop/Country tracks (192kbps MP3's) from New York City singer-songwriter Sarah Miles brand new EP titled "Hear Me Out" released on US iTunes July 22, 2014 (Burly Bean Music) for an email share via Noisetrade
For Fans Of: Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Taylor Swift, Christina Perri, Kacey Musgraves
Sarah Miles - Featured artist on Noisetrade 

This her third album was crowd funded by fans through a successful Kickstarter campaign project (173 backers pledged $10,562 of a $10,000 goal).
 >> Watch her Kickstarter Outtake Reel
After writing a song a week over the last year, and touring the country playing the new material, the Princeton, New Jersey native is ready for the world to "hear her out." Miles met with her producer, Brian T. Murphy a few months before she recorded the album. "We were doing a lot of writing together initially and through this experience I knew right away that he was the one to produce the album. Something just clicked with Brian," says Miles. Read more at
 “It’s been a 3-year journey,” Miles says. “I went through love, heartbreak, moved to New York City (after studying at University of Vermon) to pursue music full time. , went on the road, and explored collaborating with other songwriters.
Will you hear Sarah Miles out? Read her interview with
If you like the music say Thank you and join Sarah Miles on Facebook and soundcloud


Ashton Lane Kitchen Sessions:
a) They perform "My Nashville Heart" , this bespoke song was written with a lovely girl from Nashville Jaqueline Platt. Ashton Lane shared "Jaqueline is a wonderful lyricist and has a great turn of phrase, we really enjoy working together. This is the second song we have done with her and we LOVED how it turned out. "I absolutely love it!!! Exactly how I heard it in my head...Definitely captures that Nashville sound!!! Amazing & Beautiful!!! Thank you for another great opportunity!!!" (Jaqueline Platt)
b) Ashton Lane kitchen session perform a bespoke song "4th of July"
Enjoyed this video? Get 7 FREE SONGS from Ashton Lane at

  • Sturgill Simpson performed "Life of Sin" on the David Letterman show 
  • hangout.altsounds - Are premiering the music video by The Shires 'Tonight' - "At moments both nostalgic and life-affirming it is a fantastic contemporary anthem, sure to become a future sing-a-long classic."
  • The Shires perform >> "Tonight" and a cover of Candi Staton's wonderful song >> 'Young Hearts Run Free,' live and acoustic for their Bob Harris Under The Apple Tree session (WhisperingBobTV).
  • A Night at the Opry with Lucy HaleBackstage at the Opry
  • Female duo Megan and Liz "Simple Life"
  • Tigirlily "A Little Fun"
  • 'Wheelbarrow' is the first single from Kasey Chambers new album BITTERSWEET out August 29.

Taylor Swift New York City Gym Fashion Runway (cont)
Ever since Taylor Swift moved to New York City, her every move has been tracked by the paparazzi, and her smart street style has been the subject of dozens of gushing fashion blog entries.  While Taylor has claimed that that no thought goes into her chic, perfectly-groomed appearance, a source claims that she actually spends a great deal of time primping for the paps.
The reported source tells the New York Daily News that after her almost daily workouts at the Model Fit gym -- which was recommended to her by supermodel pal Karlie Kloss -- Taylor "spends an hour in the locker room post-workout so she can look flawless for the photographers who follow her."
According to the paper, Taylor's trainer at the gym is the same guy the Victoria's Secret models use to get that long, lean look.

Taylor Swift left her gym in New York City July 16th wearing an Equipment Ian Archive Prism Tunic ($258.00), a pair of Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Booties ($495.00) and carried her Dolce & Gabbana Agagta Shoulder Bag - Fashion Pic

Arriving at the gym on July 18, 2014 she was wearing Anthropologie ‘Dipali Bobbies’ barettes in her hair ($24.00 $14.95)
With a Alice + Olivia ‘Vance Boatneck Boxy Raglan Top ($176.00 $106.60; and skirt ( carried a Tod’s bag and wore Jimmy Choo sandals - Image - Fashion Pic 


Tim McGraw is in hot water with some fans after video surfaced of the country star aggressively slapping a woman in the face at a concert in Atlanta on Sunday (7-13) at Aaron’s Ampitheatre at Lakewood. Footage of the incident has spread across the internet on sites such as The Huffington Post and TMZ, and has Tim McGraw in hot water with some fans in a genre where laying your hands on a woman is considered forbidden. But McGraw slapping the female fan only tells part of the story. Clearly seen in the >> video, a woman in the crowd reaches out to touch Tim’s leg twice before grabbing Tim’s jeans (already ripped!) near his left pocket and causing a large rip, potentially looking for a threaded souvenir, or trying to touch the C2C2013 festival/ Sundown Heaven Town Tour superstar. Some also discern from the grainy videos available that the woman was trying to touch Tim’s genitals during his “Truck Yeah” performance. The woman was later escorted out of the concert by a security guard.
Though the woman was clearly being aggressive and putting her hands on Tim, the question for some fans remains why Tim felt the need to slap the woman.

Taylor Swift made waves not long ago by penning an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal about the future of the music business. Most people focused on Taylor's optimism about the industry, but now, her actual writing ability has been put under a microscope. Entertainment Weekly invited Margo Mifflin, a professor of English at the City University of New York, to "grade" Taylor's essay and point out any flaws Professor Mifflin's opinion?  "She has a strong, effervescent writing style," she told the magazine. "But the piece has serious focus problems. It skids all over the place."  She gives Taylor a B-minus.

LeAnn Rimes attended the Mercedes Benz Fashion Swim shows in Miami Beach and says she was wowed by a selection of skimpy swimwear on the walk. "I like butts and they do a really good butt," she said after the Luli Fama show, which she attended along with husband Eddie Cibrian. The designers behind the Miami-based collection are known for their abbreviated bikinis.
"Before everything sags I might as well," Rimes joked of the string bikini and laser cut bottoms seen in the show.


  • BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo tweeted We'd all be happier if we had more @wardthomasmusic in our lives
  • Kelly Lee tweeted a photo: On my way to play @GuilFest #firstselfie #excited #music
  • Miranda Lambert tweeted Backstage with my best friend in the whole world @ashleymonroe! She just killed it! #fasterhorses

Jessie James Decker: When the northern country boy meets the southern belle there's fireflies and peach cobbler lovin -

For one night only, The Bluebird Cafe came to London:
In The Round With... (London's Bluebird Cafe Night) presented by UK internet station
Last night at the historical The Troubadour in Southwest London, an intimate group of people were treated to an acoustic set performed by songwriters and artists from both the UK and Nashville. Legendary songwriter James House (written songs for Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Dwight Yoakam, Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride) was accompanied by UK artists Gary Quinn, Luke Thomas & Melanie Greggain and Lucy May - Facebook Gallery

July 22: Don Henley (Eagles) (1947), Richard Bennett (1951), Ray Peters (1936), Sonya Isaacs (1975)
July 23: Alison Krauss (1971), Tony Joe White (1943)
July 24: Pam Tillis (1957)
July 26: Al Anderson (1947)
July 27: John Gorka (1958), Bobbie Gentry (1944) 
July 28: George Cummins (Dr Hook) - (1938)