Saturday, 23 August 2014

Country Bites News snippets August 11 – August 17, 2014

Country Bites News snippets August 11 – August 17, 2014



Dolly Parton with “Lay Your Hands On Me” was adding to the “A” BBC Radio 2 Playlist for the week commencing August 16, 2014. Emma Stevens with “Make My Day” and The Shires with “Tonight” remain on the “B” playlist as Kacey Musgraves with “Keep It to Yourself” is new on the “C” list.

Ward Thomas got an album review for WHERE WE STAND in the Birmingham Mail - "This is a gorgeous record with every track beautifully crafted" - Image

Singer-songwriter Amy Wadge co-wrote two songs on Ed Sheeran's 8 week UK No1 million selling new album “x” and will be out gigging again in the next few weeks. Visit to find out where she is playing. descibed Sam Hollyman’s live music night at Kennys Fish & Chip restaurant in Doncaster as a “Great show” where he performed a number of self-penned songs and some country classics (including a version of Johnny Cash's “Hurt”) - Image

His new single “Feeling Good” ( Vocal Pop) was released by KEMC Records on Aug 19, 2014 on iTunes. In America it made No.90 appearance on US iTunes Vocal Chart before dropping to #319, rebounding to #219, then #441 and has fallen off the Top 1000 tracks. It is yet to appear on a UK iTunes chart despite the news that a recent video of his Michel Buble Birmingham concert footage had been shared by over 200,000 people on social media with over a 7 million reach.

A brand new American Country Music Video Show CM&T (Country Music and Travel, yes not CMT Europe!) broadcasting the most current videos directly from the USA is coming to SKY TV Channel 192 and Freesat 401
The first programme goes out Wednesday 3rd of September 2014 at 9pm and at 10pm on SKY 293 and can be viewed online at Lee Williams the CEO of CMR Nashville/Django Promotions, a UK based company who is credited in the promotion on Phil Macks “Keep It Country” show said the show will have “the best country videos going” and that it will be “like having the old CMT days back in the UK”

Scotland’s Janey Kirk was interviewed on BBC Radio Norfolk on Keith Greentree’s Rodeo Norfolk country show. She was in the area to perform at the Phil Mack Country Weekend at Hemsby Norfolk. Tracks played included "Love Triangle" and her latest European single "Streets Of Loneliness" being promoted on Hotdisc. Find her on Facebook. ICYMI listen here:

Phil Mack sent out a massive thank to everyone who was at the Seacroft Hemsby event for the Country weekend. Over the coming weeks footage will be posted on Facebook along with clips from the concerts on upcoming shows
(Marisa D'Amato, Steve Cherelle, John Permenter, Jacqui Sharkey, Phil Mack and Trevor Loughrey - PHOTO - Fans: Image - Image )
Phil said “All the artists were absolutely brilliant, and the Ryan Turner band were out of this world , Ryan , Kenny , Joe and John were joined by World class fiddle player John Permenter & Steel guitarist Sarah Jory, making the band , as most people commented one of the best they
had EVER witnessed on stage , all the artists they backed commented on what a buzz it was to have this set up backing them. Marisa D'Amato from Malta actually stated that she has toured the world , including Nashville and would rate this band as the best she has ever seen , high praise indeed” Young 16 year old Irish act  Ben Troy proved a storming success as did ALL the artists .

As one of eight acts Ward Thomas (joining Sister Sledge, T'PAU and more) are to play The Country Life Fair Royal Reception & Grand Ball event on Weds Sept 10th at the Natural History Museum in the presence of HRH Prince Michael of Kent. Tickets £65 at - Graphic

The YeehawUK Country Music Festival takes place 5th & 6th Sept 2014 at Rockingham Castle, Market Harborough, Leicestershire near Corby LE168TH.
YeehawUK will be an all day event with camping on-site also available.
(07950 705603 Tickets - )
Friday night acoustic artist list is:
Jess Roberts (England), Jeannine Barry (with special guest Chase Allen), Gary Quinn (Ireland), Millers Daughter & Goldie Reed
Saturday Artist list:
Ashton Lane (Scotland), Raintown (Scotland), Chase Allan (USA), Raihanna Estrada (USA), Aleyce Simmonds (Australia), Penny Rae Band (USA), Ward Thomas (England), Ade Payne (UK), The Shires (England), Fitzwallace (England), M Callahan (USA) and Dexeter (UK).
Yes it will be the Glasgow battle of the Lady A’s. As Pop/Country duo Raintown (vocalists Claire McArthur and Paul Bain) described by’s CEO Allan Watkiss “the UK’s answer to US super group Lady Antebellum” go head-to-head with fellow country/pop act Ashton Lane (musicians: Esther O’Connor (lead vocals, guitar), Tim O’Connor (guitar, vocals))  who describe themselves as “Scotland's answer to Lady Antebellum

Kent based Sarah Lucy Dole and her band Starlane accepted the “Diamond Don” award (Image) presented to them at the East Texas Performing Arts Community Theatre and Musical Concerts in Jefferson, TX on 16th August - easttexasperformingarts
This was their first official Country Music Award and apparently the Texans in the audience couldn't get enough receiving a standing ovation from a packed house. "You held us in a trance" was one comment. Sarah paid tribute to band members Jax Titmus, Andy Green, Jon Smith, and Simon Craig who all worked so hard.
Watch the band perform in the "Buckle Up" video and read the Maverick Magazine album review (Alan Cackett)

Raining On A Sunday: Country in the Park 2014 in Harlow on Sunday 10th August 2014 which was to feature the John Taylor Band, Kickin’ Country, Ian Highland Band, Dane Stevens, Texas Tornados, Lass Vegas and Russel Kemp was cancelled due to severe weather parts of England affected by high winds and rain brought by the remnants of what was Hurricane Bertha!

The Rubber Duck Country Music Festival takes place 21st August - 25th August at Narborough Community Playing Fields Chalk Lane Narborough Nr. King's Lynn Norfolk PE32 1SR
Lineup as Thursday night (Aug 21st) Warren Dewitt and Hayden's Country Band. Friday Afternoon: Stubby, Muddy Boots, Bob Keeley. Friday Evening: Nadine Somers Band, Andy Smith, Muddy Boots. Saturday Afternoon:  Clearcut, Stonecold Country, Stubby. Saturday Evening: Jeff Gallant Band, Maddison County, Stonecold Country. Sunday Afternoon: Frank Jennings Band, Travis Logan, Jonny Williams & Lynnette Marie and Sunday Evening: Texas Gun, Paul D Hopkins, Capricorn Band

The Miller Tells Her Tale celebrated with a Special Extended 500th Anniversary Show on 17 August 2014. The programme is a weekly 2 hour podcast featuring music primarily by independent Americana, roots and singer songwriter fare. Hosted by Karen Miller who began with an Americana hospital radio show in Edinburgh at the age of 16 was first introduced to SpydaRadio's Mike Chapman by promoter Bob Paterson during SXSW in 2001. She was immediately offered a slot on his internet station which eventually folded. Karen has worked in radio-related jobs all her adult life working in marketing at Classic FM and helped produce BBC Radio Scotland’s Americana/Country show Brand New Country for 5 years.
A shortened 1 hour version “Now That's Americana with Karen Miller” of TMTHT goes out on Thurs: 18:00 - 19:00 and Fri 02:00 - 03:00 & 10:00 - 11:00 in the UK on 24/7 Internet sataion CMR Nashville on "Europe's #1 Country Music Radio Station"
You can check out the latest TMTHT playlist and listen to the show at
For “The Miller Tells Her Tale” shows No.472 onwards visit -
Subscribe to TMTHT on iTunes's Will “BigDawg” Downie started a new County Star Wars feature on his UK Interative Saturday show on the Internet station whose slogan is “playing the Hottest Country Music for the UK”

Two country artists go head to head where listeners are asked to cast their vote for their favourite. The winner is announced on  UKCR on Saturday at 6pm. The station has 2,033 Facebook likes and 2,193 Twitter followers.
The first week was Montogomery Gentry v Brooks & Dunn with a 5 to 4 vote (a 0.04% voter turnout on the Facebook Voting Post)
The second week saw Faith Hill pitched against hubby Tim McGraw ! To vote fans just needed to comment against the Facebook Link with Faith or Tim. 7 People "liked" the Facebook post and just 3 people voted one being presenter Simon Large!
This weeks Country Star Wars is between George Strait and Alan Jackson. So far the Facebook Voting Post has received a mere 4 likes with 2 people voting for both artists.

In March 2014 The Guardian stated that “country music has never been more popular in Britain”. You would never think so from the reaction so far to “Big Dawgs County Star Wars”


Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending August 23, 2014)

Dolly Parton with BLUE SMOKE/THE BEST OF (Masterworks) retreated 2-3 (10,905 sales; down 35% on previous week 16,665 copies; 10-week total 167,221). Parton's pair has been in the Top 7 throughout its 10 week chart frame!
Taylor Swift’s now fellow POP pal Ed Sheeran's lock on the album chart continued with his second album X registering its eighth straight week at No1 (8 week sales of 488,711). The only other album in chart history by a male solo artist to spend its first eight weeks at number one is Phil Collins' ...But Seriously, which turned the trick in 1989/90.

In their 4th week on the chart UK duo Ward Thomas (20 year old twins Catherine and Lizzy) with their full length début album, FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW MUSIC) fell one more slot 94-95 selling probably around 930 copies (based on #94 Pixie Lott’s self titled selling 934 copies) to add to their debut sales week of 2,473 with an estimated 5-week haul of 5,300 copies.

On The Independent Albums chart FROM WHERE WE STAND fell 3 places 11-14 whilst their BBC Radio 2 playlisted single “Push For The Stride” left the Independent Singles Top 40 after spending 5 weeks on the chart and a No.20 top rank.
Their two official videos >> “The Good And The Right” published on Apr 8, 2014 has received 25,814 views and >> “Push For The Stride” published on July 9, 2014 has to date received 40,733 views.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending August 23, 2014)
The UK’s Ward Thomas with FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW Music) stays at No.1 for a fourth straight week
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) held at No.2 in its 20th chart frame.
Lady Antebellum with NEED YOU NOW moved back to the top 3 (6-3) in their 142nd week.
Kacey Musgraves with SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) slipped back 3-4 in her 70th chart frame.
Puss N Boots with NO FOOL NO FUN (Blue Note) fell back 4-9 in their second week.

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

Dolly Parton’s album BLUE SMOKE/ THE BEST OF remains at the top with UK country duo Ward Thomas new debut album FROM WHERE WE STAND slipping 2-3.
Renewed interest in Taylor Swift’s new POP single and forthcoming album “1989” helped propel 3 of her back catalog sets into the top 10 as RED moves 10-2, self titled debut at #6 and FEARLESS (Platinum Edition) blowing in at #7  
The Sony compilation American Heartland: Legends of Country moved 7-9. Pre-orders for Brad Paisley’s new album due Aug 25th saw it fall 9-11. Of note: The “world’s first” a cappella country vocal group Home Free with CRAZY LIFE have picked up interest with a No.11 slot.

1  Dolly Parton  Blue Smoke - The Best Of  
2  Taylor Swift - Red  
3  Ward Thomas - From Where We Stand  
4  John Denver - The Ultimate Collection   
5  Dolly Parton - The Very Best of Dolly Parton  
6  Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift  
7  Taylor Swift - Fearless (Platinum Edition)  
8  Various Artists -  Country - 101 All Time Greats  
9  Various Artists -  American Heartland: Legends of Country  
10  Johnny Cash - The Essential Johnny Cash  
11  Brad Paisley -  Moonshine in the Trunk  
12  Home Free - Crazy Life

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Singles  (Last updated August 19, 2014)

Taylor Swift now an official POP artist with a POP album is still appearing on the chart as her brand new single “Shake It Off” comes straight in at Nos 1 & 2 with purchases from both the stand and Deluxe copy (UK  of “1989” ? Brad Paisley with his preview track “Crushin' It” fell 1-3.
Dolly Parton now posts 3 songs in the Top 10 headed by her signature tune “Jolene” which moved 2-4 .
Ward Thomas whowith there former BBC Radio 2  “A” playlist with “Push For the Stride” fell 4-15 as their UK pals The Shires with their now Radio 2 playlisted single “Tonight” (Decca UK iTunes.) moves up 16-10 and first single “Nashville Grey Skies” bullets at No.12.

1 Taylor Swift - Shake It Off 
2 Taylor Swift - Shake It Off 
3 Brad Paisley - Country Nation 
4 Dolly Parton - Jolene 
5 Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble. 
6 Taylor Swift - Love Story 
7 Lady Antebellum - Need You Now 
8 Dolly Parton - 9 To 5 
9 Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers - Islands In the Stream 
10 The Shires - Tonight 

On the Hotdisc Chart (August 17, 2014 Chart)

Jim Reeves’ duet with Barbi Franklin re-make of "How's The World Treating You" (written by Chet Atkins, Boudleaux Bryant) from his monster H&H Records 8 CD collection enjoyed a second successive week atop the Hotdisc Top 40 chart.
David Frizzell with the old chestnut "Maybe There's Love After You After All" (Bastian / Shaw) made a 3-2 climb.
Joe Stampley's son Tony Stampley with "It Ain't All Good But It Ain't Half Bad" (Tony Stampley/ John Swat/ Philip Douglas) climbed four places 7-3. Both Stampley and the late Jim Reeves mark birthdays on August 20th.
Bertie Higgins’Cowboys Of The Caribbean” fell 2-4.
David Wood with Who Left The Door To Heaven Open” (wriiten by Betty Duke) rose 6-5.

On their 6th week on the charts US acts Brian Collins’ Never Really Left” 9-7 and Owen Howell with "Let's Start A Party" 10-8 saw their singles rebound as Texas native SaraBeth with "That's The Sound" held firm at No.11

Outside the Top 10:
Kaylee Rutland with title cut “Good Day To Get Gone” climbed 18-16, Sonia Leigh with “Put It In Your Pocket” (co-written with Bobby Huff) progressed 23-18 as David Shelby with “Southern Drawl” made a 24-19 hop. Another US act M Callaghan slated to perform very soon in the UK at the YeehawUK Country Music Festival (Rockingham Castle, Leicestershire) received a  29-24 surge with “Wrecking My World” (co-written with Michael Hunter Ochs). The track taken from an EP Trailer Park Paradise is the follow up to HD186 June single “God’s Green Earth” which reached No.3, the popular “Chicken On A Chain” (HD183 March 2014) logged 2 weeks at No.1 and 2013’s  “Baptized By Your Love” peaked at No.5 for 2 weeks

Charlie Boston with lifted 19-14 with “How I Only Wish I Could Fly” to secure the No.1 on the British & Irish Hotdisc chart holding off the challenge from Hotdisc newbie and former The Voice UK finalist  Mike Ward with "Welcome Home" which climb 20-15 on the Top 40 remaining in the runner up No.2 slot on the British standings.   

Scotland’s Janey Kirk who performed at the Phil Mack International event in Norfolk saw her title track “Streets of Loneliness” (video at breeze up 39-33 (#6 - #4 British & Irish Hotdisc) 


(28 April 2014) Larry Gatlin - The Pilgrim / Rain Rainbow (2-On-1; Morello Records) CD

(26 July 2014) Amanda Rheaume - Keep A Fire (AGB Bannatyne)
10 Tracks/ Time: 38:21 MP3UK iTunes

(11 Aug 2014) Johnny Rodriguez - The Definitive Collection The Mercury Years 2-CD set

(18 Aug 2014) Blackberry Smoke - Leave A Scar Live In North Carolina [2CDs+DVD] [CD+DVD] Amazon UK - 

(18 Aug 2014) Various - Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited
11 Tracks/ Time: 52:21 (Gillian Welch;David Rawlings, Emmylou Harris; The Milk Carton Kids , Steve Earle etc) CD - MP3 - Smart Choice Music

(19 Aug 2014) Chase Rice - Ignite the Night (Dack Janiels Records)
CD (import) - US iTunes -  Smart Choice Music -

(19 Aug 2014) Joel Crouse - Even The River Runs CD - UK iTunes - 

(19 Aug 2014) Randy Travis - Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am

(19 Aug 2014) Ray Stevens - Gospel Collection
12 Tracks/ Time: 38:10 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes -

(25 Aug 2014) Shooter Jennings - EP DON’T WAIT UP (For George) (Black Country Rock)
5 Tracks CD - UK iTunes -

Nominees for the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Awards were announced at a press conference in Nashville, Tennessee, with The Boxcars leading the pack with ten nominations for the band and their individual members. They’re followed by Blue Highway with nine nominations, and The Del McCoury Band with six nominations. (A full list of nominations appears at ) Awards are voted on by the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. Results of the balloting will be revealed at the International Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, October 2, hosted by artists Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas. The Awards Show is the centerpiece of World of Bluegrass event, to be held September 30-October 4 in Raleigh, NC.

CMC Rocks The Hunter to relocate to Queensland In 2015:
CMC Rocks, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest country and roots music festival, will move to the picturesque Willowbank Raceway site in South-East Queensland next March (March 13-15, 2015) with Seven-time Grammy-winning trio and Multi-Platinum selling artist Lady Antebellum set to headline, festival organizers Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, Chugg Entertainment and Foxtel’s Country Music Channel announced. Now named CMC Rocks QLD, Queensland has nabbed the Country Music Channel festival from the Hunter Valley ( Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley) after seven years in the NSW wine country in a major coup for the state. The event, scheduled for three days next March, is expected to attract more than 5000 international and interstate visitors to Ipswich. - - Official CMC Rocks 2015 Press Release

CMC Interview: John Williamson

Michelle Wright received a call from her manager Brian Ferriman letting her know that his wife and her long time business manager Sue Ferriman who has been dealing with ALS for the last several years passed away.

Elyse Saunders and her band will be at Canada's Largest Ribfest this year in Burlington on the 'west stage' from 5:30-7:00pm!

Every year, Spencer Smith Park n Burlington, Ontario, welcomes people from all over the world to sample some of the best ribs from some of North America's top ribbers. 
This year marked the 19th anniversary of Canada's Largest Ribfest, an event that the National Post has dubbed "the Superbowl of Ribfests." Elyse would love to see you! Come on out for the "Superbowl of Ribfests" and enjoy some music, food and more. Admission is FREE! Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Rd, Burlington, ON.

Find Elyse on FACEBOOK

Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News:
August 15, 2014: Cold Shoulders (Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton); Garth Brooks (Peach Combing); Luke Bryan (Playa Anytime)
August 19, 2014: Kenny Chesney (Kenny's Roadhouse), Taylor Swift (Pop Goes The Country), Garth Brooks (Garthlanta), Darius Rucker (Who Made The Cut?), Bucket Broncos (The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS), George Strait (CMT: Ride Goes On Forever), Brad Paisley (My Country Nation), Gwen Sebastian (Farm Girl)

The latest social media phenomenon to take root is the Strike Out ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which celebrities, sports personalities and us ordinary folk are doused with an ice-cold bucket of water to raise money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s disease. The NY Daily reports that there are currently more than 50,000 ice bucket videos on YouTube, with famous faces like >> Taylor Swift and Jamie King, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates stepping up to the challenge after being nominated by their similarly famous friends. It’s no wonder really that it’s gone viral: they take two seconds to watch and the payoff is that you get to see your favourite sleb in a wet T-shirt.
The ALS Association is an American nonprofit organization that raises money for research and patient services. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes
>> Zac Brown Band Challenge accepted! This one's for you Hunter Hayes and Vineyard Vines. They challenge Jimmy Buffett, Foo Fighters, Bob Lefsetz and Garth Brooks. >> Cole Swindell challenges Luke Bryan to the Ice Bucket Challenge. >> Blake Shelton, Carson Daly and Adam Levine accepted the Ice Bucket Challengeas did >> Carrie Underwood and hubby Mike Fisher
Along with >> Jennifer Nettles and Brandy Clark
The UK’s Ward Thomas don’t to things by halve either >> Facebook Video

No Alan Jackson retrospective would be complete without including one of his vintage cars, and the new Alan Jackson exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville features his most precious set of wheels -- the 1955 Ford Thunderbird he bought at age 15. Alan and his father, Gene, restored the car, but Alan had to sell it to get the down payment for his first home. Alan's 25 Years of Keepin' It Country opens August 29, and the T-Bird will only be on display for the opening weekend.

Singer Joanna Smith is off the market! Smith wed her longtime boyfriend in an intimate ceremony over the weekend, officially becoming Jo Eldridge in the process. The songstress, donning a beautiful, long, white spaghetti-strapped gown, married Tripp Eldridge in a small ceremony. She paired her dress with silver jewelry and even put a thin belt over her wedding dress, giving her a casual, yet glamorously country look. Smith and Eldridge — shown here — are all smiles while cutting their cake during the wedding. Ironically, Smith has a single called ‘Gettin’ Married.’ Following its release she dropped two more singles in ‘Georgia Mud’ and ‘We Can’t Be Friends’ with Columbia Records Nashville before the label restructured and put her on BNA Records.

Norwegian recording artist Arne Benoni recently signed a recording contract with London-based H & H Music Ltd., a move that will expose Benoni and his music to an international audience with special marketing emphasis in the UK and Europe.
“I can’t tell you how excited this makes me feel,” Benoni says.  “To get the opportunity to work with an established company like H & H Music, to further my career and get my music in new markets – it’s truly incredible.  I am looking forward to a long relationship with them and to meeting and performing for the new fans this opportunity will surely bring.”
Benoni credits Larry Jordan, producer of the Jim Reeves recordings released by H&H Music, with bringing him together with H&H Music. Arne himself played and sung on a number of these newly overdubbed and re-mastered Reeves releases. 


Tickets for "The 48th Annual CMA Awards" and "CMA Country Christmas" will go on sale to the public Sat, Sept 6th.
Pricing for the "CMA AWARDS" start at $110 for Upper Level seating. Tickets for “CMA COUNTRY CHRISTMAS” are $25 for Upper Level seating and $50 for Lower and Club Level seating. Exclusive pre-sale access for both events is available to subscribers of CMA’s free email newsletter CMA EXCLUSIVE, plus fans who like CMA on Facebook (, and follow CMA’s @CountryMusic official account on Twitter (

CMA Leak: We voted, did you? CMA Members, VOTE for Gwen (and Blake): CMA Musical Event of the Year for "My Eyes"
Pick Box 14 for Small Town Throwdown (Brantley Gilbert) or Box 15 Somethin' Bad (Miranda Lambert with Carrie) - Image

Darius Rucker is to announce final nominees for The 48th Annual CMA Awards on Wednesday, Sept. 3 on Good Morning America live from New York City. At daybreak, Rucker will perform “Homegrown Honey,” the debut single from his upcoming new album to be released in early 2015. Rucker will also announce the final nominees in five CMA Awards categories live from the “Good Morning America” studios in the heart of Times Square on the ABC Television Network. The announcement will air in the 8:30 AM/ET half-hour segment of the top-rated, morning news program.
Following the announcement, at 10:00 AM/ET, Rucker will be at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square to announce the finalists in the remaining seven categories along with the announcement of the CMA Broadcast Awards for Personality and Radio Station of the Year in four categories (small, medium, large, and major market), as well as the finalists for the CMA National Broadcast Personality of the Year.

Billboard Behind Myspace's Troublesome Second Act by Glenn Peoples: Myspace is trying to achieve what made Steve Jobs and Tina Turner legendary: a successful second act. But the former king of social networks has failed to win over consumers and musicians since its re-launch as a music discovery platform. In the latest example of its ongoing transition, Myspace laid off nine people at the end of June, just seven months after the company shed 5 percent of its workforce. Other staffers have left for better opportunities, including Joseph Patel, who ran Myspace's editorial team before leaving for The Fader, and Neda Azarfar, who joins the Recording Academy. Myspace does not reveal the number of its employees. It is part of the 650-person Interactive Media Holdings division of parent company Specific Media.

Myspace's January 2013 re-launch had a mix of high awareness and low expectations. Media coverage had been high since news broke in 2011 that Justin Timberlake was part of Specific Media's $35 million acquisition from News Corp., which paid $600 million for the site in 2006.  It's been a year-and-a-half of near-anonymity. "You know they are failing with this one question: when was the last time you saw a MySpace link or reference on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram?" asks Gretchen Fox, co-founder of the Made To Order Agency.

Billboard U.K. to Introduce Age-Based Rating System for Online Music Videos
Overtly sexual and explicit music videos distributed online are to carry advisory age ratings in the United Kingdom from October as part of a pilot scheme 'to help parents protect their children from graphic content,' British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced. ....U.K. rapper Professor Green, however, warned that the scheme would possibly have a “reverse effect.”
"If something's got an 18 stamped on it, then kids are going to want to watch it all the more," he told the BBC. “It's like when a video gets banned -- everyone hunts it down." Nicki Minaj's Smoking-Hot 'Anaconda' Video is definitely one that gets the age rating!

Republic Nashville's Florida Georgia Line (FGL) will release their new album ANYTHING GOES on Tues, Oct 14th.
“Tyler and I’ve been really blessed to have an amazing team – an extended family – who push us continually to be better and think differently," said FGL’s Brian Kelley it's a little surprising to see no special guests on the track listing for their new album, Anything Goes. n an interview after the duo's performance on ABC's Good Morning America Friday, FGL's Tyler Hubbard tells ABC News Radio, "Things just didn't quite work out to collaborate right now with anybody." Of course, the guys could always add a superstar to one of their tracks at a later date. At the same time, Florida Georgia Line isn't looking to add a big name to one of their songs just for the sake of creating a buzz. Read more + “Anything Goes” track listing find Album artwork at

Trisha Yearwood has signed with Sony Music Nashville's (SMN) RCA imprint and will be releasing her PRIZEFIGHTER album later this year. “Trisha is one of Country music’s brightest stars. Her versatility and passion have put her at the forefront of countless industries -- she is a best-selling author, a culinary maven, and an EMMY award winning television personality, but first and foremost, Trisha is an unparalleled recording artist who has sold millions of albums and is respected as one of the greatest female vocalists in Country music," said SMN Chairman/CEO GARY OVERTON. "We’re honored to welcome her to the RCA NASHVILLE family, and look forward to her fans hearing her highly-anticipated new music.”
Yearwood added, "I can't even find the right words to express how excited I am to be releasing new music! I chose the title 'PrizeFighter' because it feels like an anthem for all of us. It's about fighting for what you believe in, and never giving up, even when it's hard. It's a message we all need to hear. I'm so looking forward to working with the amazing staff at SONY. Music is what feeds my soul, and I'm grateful to them for giving me the chance to share what I love.”

Folk singer-songwriter, Heather McCready is celebrating the release of a new single. "Summer Song” is a charming cover of the 60's classic hit song by singing duo, Chad and Jeremy. 
Heather McCready's delicate voice is perfect for the melody and her dreamy new arrangement is nothing short of enchanting. McCready is no stranger to new releases as she has put out five CDs in five years. And now she can boast two singles to boot.
Chad and Jeremy's original song entitled >> "A Summer Song" (writers Chad Stuart, Clive Metcalfe and Keith Noble) was said by many to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
Chad and Jeremy were an English singing 60s folk rock duo  comprising Chad Stuart (born 1941, Windermere, Cumbria) and Jeremy Clyde (born March 1941 in Dorney, Buckinghamshire). They were part of the British Invasion, a large influx of British rock and pop musicians to enter the American music scene. It was first recorded in June 1964 and reached #7 on the US Hot 100.
Heather's 2014 arrangement by producer and arranger, Milo Deering, doesn't disappoint. It is, in fact, a refreshing production, expertly produced and overflowing with sophisticated folk-style charm. Heather's delicate voice, great harmony and a beautiful string arrangement make this new single release of "Summer Song" truly special. It achieves a unique serenity and sort of timelessness not often found in today's music. Now, some fifty years since its debut, Heather McCready uses her gifts of music and calm to pay tribute to the magic of Chad and Jeremy's original hit song.
Heather shares: “It is a bittersweet song about saying good-bye. Good-bye's are hard for me, especially when I'm somewhere I feel loved and appreciated. You make me feel that way. And those hours are treasures to me. You give me that. And so, this song is for you. It's my hope to give you some beautiful moments too. Sit back and imagine you are there. We will be walking amongst the trees and that gentle warm summer breeze is with us too. It is perfect in our "Summer Song".
The track is a available for Download: Amazon UKUK iTunes - CD Baby

  • Stacy Burk releases new Single, “Mix A Little”
  • Country music newcomer Clare Dunn recently became the highest charting independent female artist on the Music Row Country Breakout chart in 10 years. Her debut single, “Get Out,” currently hit #15 on the Music Row chart.
  • Oak Ridge Boys lead singer Duane Allen has received high honors from his native Lone Star State. The award-winning singer/songwriter/producer has been inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame 
  • Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Radio now available on iHeartRadio
  • Florida Georgia Line to headline Friday night & Blake Shelton to Headline Saturday Night at Kicker Country Stampede 2015 (June 25–28, 2015)
  • Countdown to Chase Rice's 'Ignite the Night' begins until Album Drops Aug. 19
  • Kenny Chesney’s Flora-Bama-Jama rocks just over 40,000
  • The Roys sign exclusive worldwide booking agreement with Buddy Lee Attractions
  • Renowned Songwriter Max T. Barnes to team with Gina Jeffreys and Rod McCormack in Australia
  • Alabama and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store announce exclusive ANGELS AMONG US: HYMNS & GOSPEL FAVORITES: DELUXE EDITION CD, available Sept. 8, contains three exclusive bonus tracks not found on the regular edition.
  • Montgomery Gentry “ignites” fans and critics alike with brand new single,“Headlights,” impacting country radio (Aug 18), available for download Sept 2nd
  • In celebration of blues icon Chris Smither’s 70th birthday, Signature Sounds will release Link of Chain: A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither on September 30, 2014 (Featured artists include Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Mary Gauthier, Josh Ritter, Eilen Jewell, Peter Case, Tim O’Brien, Jorma Kaukonen, Aoife O’Donovan & Patty Larkin)
  • On August 4, country and bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White (of country music's The Whites) celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. Now on September 30, 2014 they release their first-ever studio album, HEARTS LIKE OURS.
  • Jake Owen throws a Giant Beach Party for fans in Nashville: Taking it up a notch from the wildly successful block party last year, the capacity crowd gathered for the talented singer’s free concert, where he performed a dynamic set, including his PLATINUM-certified, #1 summer anthem “Beachin’.”
American Songwriter Writer of the Week: Angaleena Presley …Pistol Annies member Angaleena Presley has put her entire experience into her debut solo album, American Middle Class, out October 14. This Kentucky-born coal miner’s daughter recently opened up to us about finding inspiration in the everyday, her love for cooking, and the eternal flame she continues to carry for Elvis…….

For The Country Record Hannah Jane Lewis On Her Upcoming EP, A Whirlwind Year And Country Music’s Rise In The UK


Every song tells a story and, in his new book NASHVILLE SONGWRITER (The Inside Stories Behind Country Music's Greatest Hits), music biographer Jake Brown reveals these stories - and one of Music City's best-kept secrets.
A hit song resonates across generations, genders and backgrounds.  These #1s become "our songs."  They are the soundtrack to our lives. The songs themselves become timeless, and the stars who sing them become legends. The book exposes the fact that the majority of hits were written or co-written by an elite club of Music City songwriters, 20 of whom are exclusively interviewed within its 300-plus pages.  Presented in one volume are the "stories behind" many of the most memorable songs of our lives. Writers featured include Craig Wiseman, Dean Dillon, Bob DiPiero, Bill Anderson, Sonny Curtis, Tom Shapiro, Kelley Lovelace, Rivers Rutherford, Tom T. Hall, Wayne Carson, Chris Dubois, Dallas Davidson, David Lee Murphy, Freddy Powers, Jeff Silbar, Brett James, Ashley Gorley, Lee Thomas Miller and Neil Thrasher. As a bonus, exclusive commentary from Country music superstars Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and John Rich is included. (Via Press Release)
Format: Kindle Edition  Print Length: 320 pages Publisher: BenBella Books (9 Sep 2014) Amazon

Taylor Swift and Jennifer Garner are just two of the amazing ladies being highlighted in the 20 Women Changing the World feature from Marie Claire magazine’s September 2014 issue. Several years ago, Taylor stumbled onto a blog by Maya Thompson, a mom who documented the life and death of her son Ronan. “It absolutely devastated me,” Taylor said. “She had to watch her 3-year-old die and was able to do nothing about it. I woke up in the middle of the night with a verse about his story.”
Read the article Taylor Swift Has Given Grief a Voice (by Max Chafkin) and watch the sneak peek video


Blake Shelton has debuted “Neon Light” the lead single from Shelton’s upcoming 11th studio album, Bringing Back the Sunshine, which is set to release September 30. He has 12 consecutive No.1 singles under his belt.
Will this be #13? Hit or Miss?:

REVERBNATION is the home to over 3.64 Million Musicians, Venues, Labels, and Industry Professionals
Makayla Lynn is a Top 5 Featured Artist: August 19, 2014 - August 26, 2014
Rank #1 CA Halifax, Nova Scotia, NS, Canada 
Genre: Country / singer/songwriter / folk/ Guitarist, pianist
Influences: Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and soooo many more!

Her featured song is “Don't Quit Your Daydream” (co-written by Makayla Lynn and fellow Nova Scotia writer Ryan Roberts)

Makayla Lynn is a young singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist from NS, Canada.
She is a young girl with no fear, an unbelievable talent and huge dreams; a combination that will certainly lead her to an unstoppable career in the music industry.
At just 13 years old Makayla Lynn has already penned over 50 songs and released 3 cds of all original work.
At the tender age of 9 she self released a 6 track EP I'LL JUST KEEP BEING ME (UK iTunes)on June 1, 2011, the 8 track album THE MUSIC IN ME ( UK iTunes) dropped 25 May 2012 and 7 song set DAYDREAM (UK iTunes ) dropped June 2, 2014.
Makayla traveled to Nashville to record the Daydream album.
It was produced by Smith Curry (steel and dobro for Taylor Swift, Kid Rock, Randy Travis and many others) and Darryl Landry (songwriter/publisher), with vocal production by Dave Demay (Star Search winner and nephew of legend Buddy Killen. Makayla wrote or co-wrote 6 of the tracks - Album Review
She is currently backed by a team in Nashville of A-list musicians and producers with an album that is sure to turn heads in the Canadian, US and International markets. Daydream contains original work co-written with Nashville and Maritime hit writers.
Makayla has aleady landed opening spots for Lady Antebellum (Cavendish Beach Music Festival) and with country rocker Dallas Smith.
She has been fortunate enough to spend time and share stages with Carrie Underwood, The Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakam, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Tanya Tucker, Bill Anderson, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Kid Rock and countless others.
She has had the pleasure of opening for Country Music legend Ricky Skaggs, as well as Canadian Female Vocalist Kira Isabella, Chad Brownlee, Charlie Major, Josh Macumber and others.
In August 2014 she was nominated for an International Music and Entertainment Award for her album “Daydream” -  Image - Photos
"This girl (Makayla Lynn) is absolutely amazing. Everyone should follow her!" - Dallas Smith
CONNECT with Makayla Lynn:
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Taylor Swift Dancing to FGL’s “Cruise” at CMT Awards 2013

Brad Paisley debuts "Country Nation" on My Country Nation's YouTube Channel rather bland and reworked fare?

Carrie Underwood: The Making of Sunday Night Football's Intro 2014 

Ryan Adams enlisted Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, to co-star in the Vevo video for “Gimme
Something Good,” the lead single from his forthcoming self-titled album out September 9 via Pax-AM/Blue Note. His first release in two years, is loud and lovely, shot through with minor-key guitar riffs and swirls of B3 organ that worship at the altar of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. There’s an ’80s vibe to the chorus, an anthemic, fist-pumping quality that suggests he’s back to writing songs for the arena, not the coffeehouse.”

The colorful and quirky Ray Scott is putting the finishing touches on a brand-new album, set for release later this year. One of the tunes from the album, “Drinkin’ Beer,” has become a fast fan favorite after its premiere on iTunes in July. “Drinkin’ Beer” features Ray’s unique, traditional-minded style along with his flair for understated humor.

Chasin' Crazy  “That's How We Do Summertime
Gwen Sebastian "Small Town Soul" to compliment her new radio single

Jim Lauderdale stopped by the American Songwriter office to play a few tunes, including >> “I’m A Song,” the title track from his 26th record, a double album that marks his return to traditional country music. Before he starts playing, Jim shares the story of how he got his guitar (affectionately named “Coco”) as well as some insight into how he wrote “I’m A Song,” how it inspired the rest of the record and where he finds inspiration.

Holler Annie, aka Angaleena Presley has a lyric  video "Ain't No Man" of at Yahoo Ram Country. It's a song that celebrates female complexity and the fact that our quirks empower us when we have the courage to own and flaunt them,” Presley says of her song.

Ashton Lane perform a cover of "Don't You Wanna Stay" (Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson) . They have brand new songs on iTunes!  Get 7 FREE MP3 Songs
Recently Ashton Lane, described as “Scotland's answer to Lady Antebellum”, who are are Esther O’Connor (lead vocals) and Tim O’Connor (guitar, backing vocals) celebrated their 10th Wedding Anniversary on 11 August 2014.

Taylor Swift appeared on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on August 13, 2014 wearing a black and pink print short-sleeved Bec and Bridge ‘City of Roses Tee Dress’ $180.00 (Product Detail - Fashion Pic) which is actually a sneaky crop top and pencil skirt combo. The 24-year-old’s fabulous pins that have to go on for decades were made even better wearing 5.5” Prada ‘Ankle Strap Platform Sandals’ ($850.00; Product Detail - Fashion Pic) She shunning her signature red lippie for a sugary pink shade, with her blonde tresses smoothed out on this occasion.
Who's that girl? Taylor Swift plays the teenage geek in braces and specs for Jimmy Kimmel skit....It's hard to spot the celebrity behind the geeky kid in thick glasses with braces on her teeth. Read more: Daily Mail

Taylor also appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers in New York City on August 13, 2014
Wearing a black and white leather-inset dress comes from the Jonathan Simkhai Fall 2014 collection (Product Detail - Fashion Pic ) making it two new designers for two TV appearances. Worn with: lace-up Bionda Castana ‘Dekota Leather and Mesh Pumps’ ($880.00; Product Detail - Fashion Pic )

Taylor Swift embracing a more girly silhouette was spotted leaving the Smile Coffee Shop in NYC on  August 14, 2014 wearing a Cece by Cynthia Steffe Fall 2014 dress (Fashion Pic) and carried a Prada ‘Saffiano Lux Tote’ ($2240.00; Product Detail) and wore Sam Edelman ‘Sawyer Oxford’ heels.
Taylor Swift appeared in a Fall 2014Keds ad  wearing a Keds ‘Rally Sneaker in Yellow Mustard’ cardigan ($50.00; Product Detail - Fashion Pic ) To complement her yellow and to bring out the plaid print of her Reformation ‘Tap Shorts’ she wore ‘Rally’ Keds in mustard yellow with matching laces.
We have loved your "Country" Fashion Taylor as you now go POP!

Brad Paisley tweeted @BradPaisley "I’m at @NASA's Apollo launch pad in FL! Leaking my new song, American Flag on the Moon. Take a listen @Astro_Reid

Check out the UK’s Hannah Jane Lewis' EP & Campaign Photo Shoot (Frography (by Flex)

August 18: Steve Wilkinson (Wilkinsons)
August 19: Lee Ann Womack (1966), Clay Walker (1969), Eddy Raven (1934)
August 20: The late Jim Reeves (1924; died July 31, 1964 (aged 40)), Rudy Gatlin (1952), John Hiatt (1952), Tony Stampley 
August 21: Kenny Rogers (1938) 
August 22: Holly Dunn (1957), Collin Raye (1960), Mila Mason (1963) 
August 24: Kristyn Osborn (SHeDaisy) (1970)

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