Friday, 1 August 2014

Country Bites News snippets July 21 – July 27, 2014

Country Bites News snippets July 21 – July 27, 2014



Promoter Bob Patterson brings Americana/ Roots/ Pop artist Amanda Rheaume to the UK for dates in August and September who is described as a "powerful vocalist with just a touch of grit and an instantly-accessible  sound" >> Promo Video
See a complete list on the updated UK Tour Page
The ABC of British Country Music Live listings for Artists, Bands & Clubs - What's On
Scottish Country gigs - scotcountryconcerts.blogspot

The Phil Mack International Country Weekend has just a few places remaining in the UK at Sand Bay, Weston Super Mare Somerset event from Fri October 3rd – Mon 6th. See the Graphic/ Flyer for line up and booking details

"The Voices Of Country"

Sam Hollyman will play Kenny's Fish Restaurant, Conisbrough, Doncaster on Sunday 17th August as part of’s “Live Music Nights”. 
Tickets are £11 in advance, £13 on the night including Kenny's fish & chips,
Click here for more details and tickets.
Being hailed as “The UK's newest country star”  the up and coming British singer/songwriter landed at #18 on the Hotdisc Top 40 chart (#2 Hotdisc British & Irish Chart) with “Where I Wanna Be” (From CD The Red Reel Sessions). It peaked at #11 and reigned #1 on the British & Irish chart for 3 weeks in January.
At 15-years old he sang with Michael Buble at his concert in Birmingham in 2010 and when aged 17, was asked to audition for Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent after four million watched the duet on YouTube. The 17-year old “Stafford singing sensation” fell at the first hurdle on the BBC The Voice UK TV talent show when judges Jessie J,, Sir Tom Jones and Danny O’Donoghue didn’t warm to his rendition of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’

For the lovely Talia Smith music was the big emphasis at the three-day Chilli Farm Festival, with variety ranging from rock to reggae. The event at Coldred, near Dover, started on Friday, July 25, and continued until Sunday, July 27, with camping available on-site. Talia spiced things up as the “star turn” remembered as this year’s The Voice UK contestant who drew tabloid attention after revealing that she was a traveller. Talia formerly of the Hotdisc chart topping and BCMAwards duo Travellin Rose was chosen by Tom Jones but was later eliminated in a sing-off against eventual finalist folk singer Sally Barker.

Mike Ward the finalist on Season 2 of The Voice UK has recently been working with producer Justin Johnson and session guys in Liverpool at the Studio2 Parr Street Studios where some major pop albums have been recorded such as John Mayer and Coldplay. Mike has recorded tracks for a forthcoming EP. On Friday 25th July there was a World exclusive first play of his brand new single "Welcome Home" by Lee Williams at CMR Nashville with repeats at 01:00 and 13:00 on Saturday in UK. The single self penned tune by Ward is to be promoted via the August Hotdisc #188 (Rush Released) next week.
Mike Ward has drawn praise from David Allan the Country Music People columinist and former BBC Radio 2 presenter of the Country Club show in the 90’s. Watch 'Don't Close Your Eyes' in his Voice blind audition.

Mike’s next gig is on Sat 2nd August at The Royal Oak, High Street, Barlborough, Chesterfield S43 4EU (£35, incl 3 course meal) Follow him on Facebook

In the week of their album release Ward Thomas had an article feature in The Times newpaper titled "Everyone’s talking about . . . Ward Thomas" published on  July 26th by Will Hogkinson - Image

Watch them perform their current National radio single >> “Push For The Stride" live at The Green Note in London on 25 July 2014.
Their debut album FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW Music Limited) released on Sunday July 20th went straight to No1 on the UK iTunes Country Chart and has charted at No.41 on the Official UK Album Chart and No.1 on the UK Country chart.

Link to Amazon UK Link to iTunes UK Listen on Spotify Image Map
Order the album using the banner above or  order it at:  for a signed copy! - Packaging Image 

Monday 21 July 2014 Simon Mayo - BBC Radio 2 Playlist Legendary guitarist Richard Thompson his ears pricked up "this is good, they've got that family harmony" if you can impress Richard Thompson that's very good.  We've booked them for one of our Edinburgh shows..."no wonder they sound great, I tell you they're lovely girls" - Sally Boazman
"Should we go a bit country, Ward Thomas and Push for the Stride "Tuesday 22 July 2014 Chris Evans - BBC Radio 2 Playlist
"Ward Thomas and Push for the Stride, nice lively tune this Thursday morning (24 July 2014) Chris Evans - BBC Radio 2 Playlist


Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending August 2, 2014)

Dolly Parton with BLUE SMOKE/THE BEST OF suffered an 11.70% dip in sales but it gave the veteran country singer another new peak, climbing 3-2 (13,602 sales; previous week 15,408 copies; 7-week total 124,339).
The album debuted at No.6, moved up to No.4 where it remained a few weeks, then jumped to No3.  No slowing down for Dolly!
“Wow, Number 2!,” says Dolly Parton.  “I am so excited.  They say when you are Number 2, you try harder. Thanks to all the fans out there, as this would not be possible without all of your love and support.  Thanks again!”
With the recent success of her first two single’s “Home,” and “Try,” as well as the album’s worldwide success and her amazing and now legendary Glastonbury appearance, Dolly Records and Sony Music Masterworks are releasing “Lay Your Hands On Me,” a song penned by Richie Sambora and Jon BonJovi.  (see Press Relese)

Ward Thomas the lovely 20 year old twins Catherine and Lizzy waved the flag for British country music and are now firm favourites on BBC Radio Two. Their first full length album, FROM WHERE WE STAND, made a debut at No.41 selling 2,473 copies having held a mid-week position at No.20.

Their first single "The Good and the Right" was on the Radio 2 “B” list for 4 weeks (weeks commencing March 29, 2014 - April 19, 2014) with follow up single "Push for the Stride" currently in its 4th playlist (week commencing July 5, 2014) when it got upgraded to the "A" list from July 12th.
"Ward Thomas and Push for the Stride, nice lively tune this Thursday morning” said Chris Evans on his Thursday 24 July 2014 Radio 2 morning show
The Ward Thomas debut has beaten out previous 2014 releases from Mary Chapin Carpenter SONGS FROM THE MOVIE No.95 debut (chart week Feb 1, 2014), Eric Church’s THE OUTSIDERS debut at No.70 (1,272 sales; chart week March 8, 2014), Emmylou Harris with her WRECKING BALL debut at No.100 (sales less than 980; chart week April 26, 2014), the Eurovision runner ups The Common Linnets whose eponymous album made a bow at No.40 (2,004 sales; chart week May 24, 2014) Willie Nelson’s BAND OF BROTHERS landed at No.52 (1,589 sales; chart week July 5, 2014) and most notably the reigning 4 times CMA and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert. Her lead off single "Automatic" was also “B” playlisted by Radio 2 for 4-weeks. Her album PLATINUM which received a massive roll out in America and was made Album of the Week on several UK country stations made a UK debut at No.52 (1,725 sales; chart week June 14, 2014) then fell right off fell the chart.
Ward Thomas sold 748 more copies than Lambert at retail but should it have sold more!

2014 releases to surpass the Ward Thomas debut were:
Rosanne Cash THE RIVER & THE THREAD (No.25; 4,267 sales)
Blackberry Smoke THE WHIPPOORWILL (No.30; 2,973 sales)
Johnny Cash OUT AMONG THE STARS (No.4; 19,347 sales)
First Aid Kit's STAY GOLD (No.11; 11,281 sales)
Dolly Parton BLUE SMOKE / THE BEST OF (No.6; 20,860 sales)

Going back to 2013 they were 161 copies shy of Grammy Award winning Kacey Musgraves’ SAME TRAILER, DIFFERENT PARK No.39 debut (2,634 sales), they almost exactly matched the C2C Country To Country headliner Tim McGraw with TWO LANES OF FREEDOM debut No.43 (2,500+ copies). They bettered C2C 2014 headliner Brad Paisley WHEELHOUSE No.69 (1,582 sales), Willie Nelson TO ALL THE GIRLS No.72 (1,452 sales) and C2C Festival stars Rascal Flatts No.87, Darius Rucker "TRUE BELIEVERS"  No.89, The Band Perry PIONEER No.94 and Zac Brown Band UNCAGED No.92 (sales possibly 1,000 copies) all of which had extensive playlist runs by BBC Radio 2 and many getting BBC 1 Breakfast features.

As impressive as those statistics are could the hot Petersfield, Hamps duo have sold more?
  • In the run up to their EP and Album release they have had 2 singles, spending seven weeks round the clock, on the BBC Radio 2 playlist whose weekly listeners figures are 15,568,000 according to RAJAR in March 2014.
  • Their single got their first exclusive plays on Sir Terry Wogan’s Weekend Wogan Radio 2 including a live session appearance.
  • In March 2014 they appeared on the C2C Country To Country Festival Pop Up Stages
  • They have received airplay on all three of the main UK Internet country stations, along with local BBC and community radio.
  • On the morning of Thursday 26th June 2014 they appeared on BBC Breakfast who have an average of 1.5 million viewers tuning in. Watch the Interview - Twitter 
  • Lizzy & Catherine along with a 3-piece band performed on ITV's Weekend morning show (audience slated to be 0.16 million) 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) whose single climbed to No.4 with sales of 44,777 copies (11,300 streaming points).
  • A feature titled "Ones To Watch" appeared in The Independent newspaper on June 28th - Image
  • The Times published an article titled "Everyone’s talking about . . . Ward Thomas" on July 26th
  • They have been touring the UK in July appearing at The Maverick and Americana Fesivals
  • They have had a 2 page feature and EP review in leading country magazine Maverick (subscribers 2,000?)
  • Their two official videos >> “The Good And The Right” published on Apr 8, 2014 has received 18,984 views and >> “Push For The Stride” published on July 9, 2014 has to date received 15,644 views. They have 3,725 Facebook “Likes” and 1,991 Twitter “Followers”
Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending August 2, 2014)
The UK’s Ward Thomas with FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW Music) debuts at No.1
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) fell 1-2 in its 17th chart frame.
Kacey Musgraves with SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) slipped 2-3 in her 67th chart frame.
Lady Antebellum’s monster album NEED YOU NOW moved 3-4 in its 139th week.
Miranda Lambert with PLATINUM (RCA) , the current No2 Billboard country album, fell 5-6 in her eighth week.
Scottish singer songwriter Colin Clyne with THE NEVER ENDING PAGEANT made a debut at No.15.

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Albums  (Last updated July 28, 2014)

They’ve been trading places No1 and No2 all week but Dolly Parton’s album BLUE SMOKE/ THE BEST OF pairing is at the tip of the summit with UK country duo Ward Thomas new debut album FROM WHERE WE STAND at No2.
The new Sony compilation American Heartland: Legends of Country moved 3-5.
The ABC TV series Nashville soundtracks are still popular The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 2, Vol. 2 moved 5-4, 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 goes into freefall retreating 8-247 less then a week later.
The current Billboard Country No1 album Based On a True Story... (Deluxe Version) from Blake Shelton is at No.41 whilst wife
Miranda Lambert with PLATINUM the No2 country album in America stemmed the tide with a 45-39 jump.

1 Dolly Parton - Blue Smoke/ The Best Of 
2 Ward Thomas - From Where We Stand 
3 Dolly Parton - The Very Best of Dolly Parton 
4 Various Artists - The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 2, Vol. 2 (Deluxe) 
5 Various Artists - American Heartland: Legends of Country 
6 Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park 
7 Taylor Swift - Red 
8 Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around 
9 John Denver - The Ultimate Collection 
10 Various Artists - The Music of Nashville - Season 1, Vol. 2 (Original Soundtrack)

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Singles  (Last updated July 28, 2014)
Ward Thomas with their BBC Radio 2  “A” playlisted single “Push For the Stride” remained atop the chart on their Official UK No1 album FROM WHERE WE STAND (iTunes) . 
Dolly Parton posts 5 songs in the Top 10 headed by “Try” the BBC Radio 2  “A” playlisted single.
US Singer-songwriter Laura Cantrell enters the Top 20 at No.16 with “Two Seconds” a track from her Oct 10, 2000
release “Not The Tremblin’ Kind.
UK duo The Shires with “Tonight” (Decca released on July 11, 2014 on UK iTunes.) recovered 33-29.

1 Ward Thomas - Push For the Stride 
2 Dolly Parton - Try 
3 Dolly Parton - Jolene 
4 Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers - Islands In the Stream 
5 Dolly Parton - 9 To 5 
6 Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble. 
7 Lady Antebellum - Need You Now 
8 Taylor Swift - Love Story 
9 Taylor Swift - 22 
10 Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again

On the Hotdisc Chart (July 27, 2014 Chart)  

US bluegrass The Roys (Elaine & Lee Roy) with "No More Lonely" held the No.1 for a third week.
Jim Reeves’ "Distant Drums " (2014 version) slipped 2-3 as  Bertie Higgins switched places with self penned “Cowboys Of The Caribbean” which made a 3-2 hop.
Jessie Lee Cates from the previous month’s release found traction and rebounded 6-4
US act Cory Cox held at No.5 with “Wake Up Drunk” .

Entering the business end of the Top 40 for the first times saw top 10 tier climbs for Southern artist Brian Collins whose self penned single “Never Really Left” lifted 11-7. Illinois’ Gracia Harrison with “Jezebel” climbed three 12-9.
The lovely Garland, Texas native and Nashville based artist SaraBeth saw her single "That's The Sound" move northwards 15-10.
Otside the Top 10:
Notable US singer-songwriter James House (on tour in the UK) retreated 10-13 with new single “Train Wreck”.
US act David Starr with his self composed “Everything Is Made In China” improved 18-15
Australia’s David Hilgenfeldt self penned single “Silver Mine” made a three place move 21-18.
The No.1 on the British & Irish Hotdisc chart remained with Tony Clarke as his self penned “Put That Country Song On” rose 16-14 on the top 40 five places ahead of former #1 Mim Grey’sThe Ways Of Love” which fell 17-19.
>> Take a listen to the week’s Top 20 countdown:


(10 June 2014) Amy McCarley - Jet Engines
10 Tracks/ Time: 34:44  Country/ Folk MP3UK iTunes -

(1 July 2014) Jim Photoglo - Halls Of My Heart (Grifftone)
10 Tracks/ Time: 31:26 MP3UK iTunes - CD Baby -

Country Tracks Top 30 Australia's leading chart week of 26th July 2014
#1 “She Don't Know She's Beautiful” - Adam Harvey (Album: Family Life)
#2 “Here's To You & I” - The McClymonts (Album: - Here's To You & I)
#3 “Bad Boys Get Me Good” - Jasmine Rae & Kellie Pickler (Album: If I Want To)
#4 “Skinny Flat White” - Harmony James (Album: - Cautionary Tales)
#5 “What Your Love Looks Like” - Adam Brand (Album: - My Side Of The Street) 

The lovely Elyse Saunders is readying a second album with vocal recording sessions taking place at the beautiful Orange Lounge Studio. Here are some behind the scenes from the photo shoot

Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News:
July 25, 2014: Jason Aldean (ballparks or bust), Keith Urban (Raise Em' Up), Alan Jackson (first tricycle)
July 29, 2014: Garth Brooks (G Forces), Brad Paisley (Family Feud); Tim McGraw (The Sun Also Rises), Toby Keith (Forbes), Big & Rich (new album)
It’s official: Brentwood developer Tim Reynolds’ Bravo Development has purchased 30 Music Square West — the building housing RCA Studio A — from the estates of Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins for a cool $4.075 million. This according to a deed filed July 28th.
Brad Paisley has released a new version of his single, "River Bank," featuring country rapper Colt Ford.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are pulling up stakes in Malibu. 
According to Variety, the couple's California home is now on the market for $7.5 million. The house was built in the late '50s and was remodeled in 2007.
It boasts four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. (photo left)

Forbes magazine published their 2014 Country Cash Kings list:
#1 Toby Keith (second straight year) with an estimated $65 million coming in from his tour dates, restaurants and other business ventures. At #2 is Taylor Swift ($64 million), #3 Kenny Chesney ($44 million payday), #4 Jason Aldean (earned $37 million) from about 88 shows and at #5 was Luke Bryan ($34 million)

RPM Entertainment has eliminated its RPME radio promotion staff, effective immediately. The company will focus efforts on its management and publishing divisions.“It was a tough decision to make based on the progress we made as a label over the last few years,” said RPM President Scott Siman. “But the bottom line is the playing field was not conducive to us breaking through as an independent label at mainstream country radio.” Executive VP April Rider will manage Maggie Rose and Chasin’ Crazy. Jack Christopher will continue as VP, Radio Relations for RPM managed clients. Maggie Rose who at #58 on the Country Airplay chart with "Girl In Your Truck Song" has now disappeared off the chart. Chasin' Crazy's song “That's How We Do Summertime”  will probably fall off the charts soon as a result.

When Will Country Music Finally Admit It Has A Drinking Problem?
Is it solely the one holding the bottle who has the problem or does the genre have a responsibility? - Read the Blog Post

The iHeartRadio Music Festival lineup is announced and Taylor Swift, Zacv Brown Band and Eric Church will take the stage in Las Vegas September 19 & 20 at the MGM Grand Las Vegas  

As tickets went on sale Friday morning July 25th at 10 a.m. CT, Garth Brooks was set to kick off his comeback tour with a single concert at Chicago's Allstate Arena. Less than three hours later, one show had turned into 10. The country superstar now has 10 concerts booked at the arena from September 4-14. That includes three double-headers on September 6, 12 and 13, when he'll give two performances at 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m -

David Nail launches his I'M A FIRE tour this fall with special guests Native Run. The first show is set for September 11 in Oxford, MS, with 22 dates announced so far.

The Academy of Country Music Honors which will be held at The Ryman on September 9. It will salute Kris Kristofferson and Dean Dillon (recipients of the Poet’s Award), Cowboy Jack Clement and Buck Owens (posthumous recipients of the Poet’s Award), Toby Keith and Ronnie Milsap (Career Achievement Awards), Carrie Underwood (Gene Weed Special Achievement Award) and several more. Futher details at

The hit ABC drama ‘Nashville‘ has begun filming Season 3 in Nashville, Tenn. The show, which had once considered filming in another location, including Georgia or Texas, began taping for the upcoming season last week. The Los Angeles-based writing staff returned to Nashville to write for the third season, which included meeting with Sara Evans and Mayor Karl Dean, as well
as trips to the Grand Ole Opry and the Bluebird Cafe, among other locations. Filming for the show began on July 17. One of the first shots was in the sound stage replica of the Bluebird Cafe, which is where many of the scenes are held.
The show, which stars Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Charles ‘Chip’ Esten and Clare Bowen, ultimately remained in Middle Tennessee thanks in part to increased tourism since the show began in 2012. “It’s been an overwhelmingly good thing for the city,” Mayor Dean says. “We have a strong tourism economy and a strong convention economy, but this just adds to it in a way we would never be able to do on our own.” The third season will premiere on Sept. 24 at 10PM ET on ABC.
Where is Hayden (aka Juliette Barnes) in this promo pic?

In a May 2014 interview with the Totally Driven Radio Show, Country singer and former WWE Divas and TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James confirmed that she was pregnant. James last wrestled for TNA Impact Wrestling in September 2013 when the "Hardcore Country" singer lost to ODB in a match that cost her the TNA Knockouts Championship.
According to a report from Diva-Dirt, Mickie James confirmed her pregancy and also stated that it was not something she had planned. She also said that if she waited until she was ready to have a baby, it might have never happened.
At the time there had been no official word on the father of the child, reported that "Mickie has been in a relationship with former TNA World Heavyweight Champion Magnus".
This last week Mickie wrote on Facebook: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who came out to my baby shower yesterday! I was overwhelmed by all the love, laughter, and kindness of all my friends and family. Thank you all so much for being a part of my special day!!! Also a big thank you to and for providing me with a wonderful registry experience!!! I know many of you have asked and if you're still looking our little man is under Baby James~Aldis. Only 2 months away and we
couldn't be more excited”. ~ MJ
The Montpelier, Virginia native Mickie (aged 34; August 31, 1979) has confirmed she is expecting her first child in two months (due date: September 22, 2014) with Nick Aldis aka "Magnus" (image) the 26-year old English professional wrestler hailing from Docking, Norfolk. Apparently they broke up in October 2013 according to a Tweet by Magnus: Only tweeting this to prevent rumours and speculation: Mickie James and I are not an item anymore. No drama/bs, just different directions — Nick Aldis (Magnus) (@MagnusOfficial) October 14, 2013
James filmed a music video for her single called "Somebody's Gonna Pay" >> YouTube off her second album of the same name which made a debut at No.55 on the Billboard Country Albums chart selling around 1,000 copies. The video features former WWE Women's Champion, Trish Stratus and the TNA Superstar Magnus.
To find the perfect gift for the baby from Mickie and Nick's registry visit or

Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard told Rolling Stone Country their new album is full of hit singles. "All of [the songs] have their own flavor, their own taste, and all serve their purpose," Tyler told Rolling Stone Country. "They fit their slot on the
record and it's fun to listen to all the songs and not want to skip one. That's one of our goals when we're recording -- slam an album full of singles and make people want to listen to every song."

Jazz and pop star Norah Jones has a new country trio. After playing live together since 2008, Puss n Boots, Sasha Dobson, Norah Jones and Catherine Popper have at last taken their collaboration into the studio. NO FOOLS, NO FUN – their debut album – released by Blue Note Records on July 15th available on and August 4th on Amazon UK and UK iTunes . Digital formats exclusively on include two bonus tracks: Puss n Boots' takes on "Cry Cry Cry", Johnny Cash's 1955 breakthrough hit, and the pop standard "In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town."
Watch >> "Don't Know What It Means" (Lambkini Exclusive) tracked, mixed and mastered by Joel Hamilton at Studio G Brooklyn.

The Secret Sisters and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store announced an exclusive PUT YOUR NEEDLE DOWN: DELUXE EDITION CD, will be available Aug. 4 exclusively at all 630 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations and online at The digital album will also be available for purchase at select digital retailers. It contains two brand-new and exclusive bonus tracks not found on the regular edition that was released in April. Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album contains 14 songs and will sell for $11.99. (via Press Release)

Tim McGraw has revealed the album cover and track listing for his new project, Sundown Heaven Town. via social media (Facebook Post) Monday morning. The album features his latest hit, "Meanwhile Back at Mama's" with wife Faith Hill, as well as a collaboration with Kid Rock on the song "Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs." The deluxe edition of Sundown Heaven Town will feature a total of 18 tracks, which is an indication of just how excited Tim is about the new music.

  • New Album pays tribute to Jean Ritchie, Mother of Folk..Featured artists include Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Judy Collins, Kathy Mattea, Suzy Boggus, Robin and Linda Williams, Dale Ann Bradley, Archie Fisher, Tim O'Brien and many more
  • Ralph Stanley the trailblazing musician has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts
  • Chase Rice prepares for album launch with debut performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers August 6
  • Mike Barnett the fiddler/vocalist from The Deadly Gentleman prepares to release solo album
  • Nathan Stanley, the grandson to Dr. Ralph Stanley, is considered to be the "Prince Of Bluegrass" and releases his latest music endeavor EVERY MILE. 
  • "Voices Entwine and Musical Magic Ensues" - The Shires “Tonight”
  • Dolly Parton’s pair just got bigger Blue Smoke/The Best Of. moves up the Official UK Chart, landing at #2
  • (Rounder Records) Coming September 16th - 2 new Jerry Douglas records Three Bells and The Earls of Leicester
  • Big & Rich breaking new ground with "historic" new album release, set to launch on September 23, 2014
  • Joe Ely new album - The Definitive Collection (41 tracks) available soon.
  • Joel Crouse offers up exclusive "Even The River Runs" bundles
  • American Songwriter: Behind the lyric "Jolene" by Dolly Parton
  • Kim Richey's Thorn In My Heart: The Work Tapes is now available via Yep Roc Records. This new vinyl box set is limited to just 300 copies.
  • Vince Gill, Deana Carter, Collin Raye, Exile, Ray Stevens & Others to appear on Larry's Country Diner


  • American Songwriter Nashville’s Music Scene: In Photos
  • American Songwriter A Nashville Songwriter’s Survival Guide (4 Pages)
  • Billboard Country act LiveWire revs up with video for new single 'Drivin' You Outta My Mind' (Exclusive)
  • The Tennessean : Jim Reeves' popularity lasts longer than his life...."It was the year of the Beatles, it was the year of the Stones," wrote Paul Simon in "The Late, Great Johnny Ace." But for Nashville's music community, the summer of 1964 was a time of sadness and loss….
  • Billboard 615: Singer-Songwriter Dale Watson: Trucking Music Isn't Dead…If you're thinking of calling Dale Watson a country singer, think again. On the cover of the singer-songwriter's recently released 3-CD box set entitled The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy is a sticker that says “File Under Ameripolitan.” So, what exactly does that mean? “I don’t even call it country music that I do anymore. Most people think of traditional country music as Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson, which is fine -- there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ve been a champion of this genre called 'Ameripolitan’ -- which are people that are roots-influenced, but not Americana, which is traditional music with folk and rock influence," Watson tells Billboard.....

Listen to Lee Williams recorded Nashville interview with the lovely talent Madeline Smith first broadcast on 18th July on CMR Nashville "Europe's #1 Country Music Radio Station".
The 17-year old Somerset, New Jersey now Nashville bound singer-songwriter spoke about her plans and aims for the future and discussed her current European single "Catchin'Fireflies" (via the Hotdisc HD177 promotional disc) which has its highest rank on its third Hotdisc chart frame at No.21. The song now has a >> official video (Ladies, I’m informed the handsome actor is Jon Whitney!)
At aged 15, Madeline found her voice, put together a band, and started performing as a cover band. She also started picking up the guitar and soon immersed herself in songwriting.  At age 16, she began working with Kent Wells in Nashville to produce her debut album. Madeline wrote or co-wrote all the songs and released the album on 12th July 2013 available on UK iTunes
She immediately caused a buzz and opened for Lauren Alaina and Darius Rucker.
She performed two of her originals and was a presenter (image) at the British Country Music Awards on November 24, 2013.
ICYMI: In the November/ December 2013 issue of Maverick Magazine Alan Cackett the then long-time editor and Wesley Rose Award Winner awarded her album 4 STARS, saying: “This girl is 16 years old – what poise, pizzazz and personality. Everything it takes to be a singing sensation….. An impressive debut from a young lady with a bright future”
>> Listen to the interview and follow her on Facebook:

CONNECT with Madeline:
 photo Homepage_zpsed80f180.png photo facebook zpsc6fe26ab.png photo twitter zps621beec6.png

>> Listen to Lee Williams recorded phone interview with Nashville based Brian Collins first broadcast on 25th July on CMR Nashville. The Country/Folk/Americana singer-songwriter and Atlanta, West Georgia native talked about his new European single "Never Really Left" (currently No.7 on Hotdisc Top 40), his new album HEALING HIGHWAY, moving to Nashville, his musical influences and writing songs.
The new album HEALING HIGHWAY was a Kickstarter project which was successfully funded back on August 24, 2013 (233 backers pledged $23,125 of a $20,000 goal) . The thirteen tracks are described as being “of pure heart and soul held together with blood, sweat and tears while driven by passion and determination” There really are some truly outstanding tracks on the album: “Next 500 Miles”, “Healing Highway”, “Steady As She Goes”, “That Someone” , “Last Of The Good Stuff”.
You can sample the whole album at until it gets an official release later in 2014.

CONNECT with Brian Collins:

Maverick Magazine are incredibly excited to announce that their next issue will include an exclusive copy of Zac Brown Band's Grohl Sessions Vol 1 CD and The Making Of DVD!! A Zac Brown Band project produced by Dave Grohl!! It goes on sale August 8th with cover artist feature Kacey Musgraves.

Has Brad Paisley, not particularly known for causing trouble, been drinking some of that moonshine in his trunk?
He posted a clip previewing his upcoming album Moonshine In the Trunk, due Aug. 25, purportedly without his label's permission? PEOPLE Country had the exclusive first (err, second?) listen of "Crushin' It,"

Sam Smith's Spotify Gamble: Did It Pay Off? Sam Smith lost a battle but not the war. In an effort to debut at No.1 on the Billboard 200, the buzzing Brit's first full-length album, "In the Lonely Hour," was kept off Spotify in the United States, sources tell Billboard. The tactic didn't work. The 182,000 first-week sales of Lana Del Rey's sophomore effort, "Ultraviolence," on Interscope surpassed his 166,000-unit June 16 release on Capitol. (Both are Universal Music Group labels.) Could the 16,000-unit chasm have been bridged by the streaming service, which, in theory, would have allowed fans to sample Smith's music before buying (?) or spread the word to other
potential buyers? Perhaps. But a different street date would have easily done the trick. "In the Lonely Hour" could have reached the top spot in 17 of the first 28 weeks of 2014

CBS News (by Erik Sherman; MoneyWatch) Musicians say music-streaming leaves them broke …Technology has changed few industries as thoroughly as the music business. But the ballooning increase of convenience for consumers has rapidly become a bust for musicians trying to make a living. Another musician, Damon Krukowski, estimated that it would take "songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one -- one -- LP sale." He went on to explain that the royalties he would see from one CD sale is the equivalent to 47,680 plays on Spotify. Life isn't any better working with the big labels, according to composer and musician David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame. He wrote that the royalty rates are "miniscule" and that the labels "usually siphon off most of this income, and then they dribble about 15-20% of what's left down to their artists."
Streaming music can be a great deal for the avid listener. The question is whether we'll continue having an emerging supply of new musicians if streaming takes over…..It is not all bad. The music industry is now moving back to the situation we had until the late 60's where revenue generated from record sales was limited and artist had to make a living by touring. I.e stream your music at home and go see that same artist hitting your town.

Fiona Culley performs "Thinking Out Loud" (Ed Sheeran Cover, written by: Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge; which entered the UK Singles Chart at #26 serving as a promotional single from his second studio album, x) The video is produced by: Wiley Chandler, Recording & Mixing Engineer: Ryan Wilson (Nashville, TN, USA from The Love Willows)
Musicians include: Acoustic Guitar (Wiley Chandler), Electric Guitar (Dan Reising; Cleveland, Ohio/ Nashville, TN), Bass Guitar ( Shawn Scrugs), Percussion (Matt Muha; Nashville, TN) and Additional Percussion (Ryan Wilson)
Current location - Nashville, Tennessee
Home town -
Fiona hails from Barton Under Needwood, Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. The Lichfield Gazzette wrote ”She’s recently been described as the UK’s answer to Taylor Swift” and her bio described her as ‘the Adele of country with a twist of Reba McEntire’.
Culley has been compared to country music legend Dolly Parton, but said that was only down to her white blonde hair and curves, adding: “It could be way worse.
It was when she was spotted by American country singer Darius Rucker, lead singer of Grammy Award-winning band Hootie & the Blowfish in a London restaurant that she saw a chance for her big break, deciding the way to get noticed was to sing to him in front of the rest of the diners. She seized her chance and her version of Strangers and Angels by Kara DioGardi did the trick, resulting in him taking her details and flying her out to the home of country music, Nashville, Tennessee to record a duet with him the following week.
In January 2014 her 3 year VISA was approved and she travelled to Nashville. On July 23, 2014  she posted that she is working with the amazing producer Paul Worley (Lady Antebellum) on her upcoming record. They had known each other for the last two years but this is their first collaboration together. 
CONNECT with Fiona: WebsiteFacebookTwitter - Soundcloud

Maddie & TaeGirl In A Country Song
Ward Thomas Under The Apple Tree Bob Harris sessions >> "Push For The Stride" and “You Ain't Woman Enough” (Loretta Lynn cover)
Bri Bagwell "Crazy"
Suzy Bogguss "Today I Started Loving You Again" lyric video live from son Ben's treehouse!
Austin Belle, the Vancouver-based Country duo, unveiled the new music video for their latest single “Just Drive,” (Cordova Bay). Directed and produced by Victoria visual artist, Michael Tension, the video exclusively premiered on on July 21 and is available on UK iTunes
Morgan Riley's "Rowdy Shoutin' Cowboys" Official Video slated to be the 1st female country Rap Dance Song

Taylor Swift Gym Fashion New Your Runway (Part 2)
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. 

She left her apartment with Karlie Kloss in tow arriving at the modelFIT workout gym in on July 21, 2014 she was seen wearing  high-waisted J Brand ‘Dita High Rise Shorts in Shadow’ (Image), Rag & Bone ‘Miles Boot’ ($550.00; Image) and her fave porkpie Free People ‘Patton Porkpie Hat’ ($58.00) and she carried a Dolce & Gabbana ‘Large Agagta Shoulder Bag’ - Image

Arriving at the gym on  July 22, 2014 Tay was spotted wearing Christian Louboutin Lady Peep pumps. They feature raspberry leather,150mm heel and 50mm platform (Fashion pic; $945.00). Lady Peep is available in several styles at Christian Louboutin plus nude or black patent leather at Barneys. Outfit Details: The sleeveless sea foam green white flower printed was a  Reformation cut-out dress. She donned Ray-Ban original Wayfarer sunglasses carried a  Tod’s Sella leather shoulder bag. She sent a shoutout to her friend Selena Gomez over Instagram, wearing a ‘S’ necklace by Lulu Frost to commemorate Sel’s 22nd birthday. Taylor’s brown eye shadow was spread evenly underneath her eye along her bottom lash line. The shadow line was fairly thick and brought out her bright blue eyes perfectly. On her eyelid, Taylor had a thick swooping line of black liner that continued past her eye to create a dramatic winged look - Image

On July 24, 2014 she sported a knitted Alice + Olivia ‘Elenore Crop Top’ ($187.00 $56.10 shopbop) with a Alice + Olivia ‘Davis Pleated Tweed Skirt’ ($110.00 - showing off her midriff. Her hair is utter perfection with a re-shortened length and her fringe. She carried a Dolce & Gabbana bag (£1,082.96; from the D&G Spring/Summer collection) and wore Christian Louboutin ‘New Declic Suede Pumps’ ($745.00) - Fashion Pic - Image - Read more Daily Mail

Taylor visited her stylist! The ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ singer was spotted out on Thursday (July 24) rockin’ the new straighter ‘do with her bangs poofed a bit — and it is totally cute and certainly suits her! Swifties everywhere are going to start requesting the new Swift-inspired style. Her new hairstyle is a little shorter and very flattering on the 24-year-old - Image

In her 2015 Calendar / iHeartRadio Music Festival promotion Taylor was wearing a Pamella Roland ‘Leather Inset Gown’ ($2900.00; neimanmarcus
 ). The neckline features perforated leather cap sleeves and was altered into a square neckline for Taylor.
In addition to appearing in her 2015 Calendar, this image is also being used as promo for Taylor’s headlining appearance at this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival - Fashion Pic -
In the June 2015 Calender shot the young songstress is wearing a Alice + Olivia ‘Marie Ruffle Dress’ - Fashion Pic
In the September 2015 shoot she sports a  casual wavy striped Eva Franco ‘Behave Sweater’ ($135.00) - Fashion Pic 
The 2015 Taylor Swift Calendar (includes a six-month July - Dec 2014 Planner) and will be available from Sept 1, 2014 on Amazon UK and currently available from - Image - Image
Filled with an abundance of holidays, each month's grid is large enough for daily tasks and appointments.
Format: Standard Wall Size Closed: 12.0" x  12.0 " ; Size Opened: 12.0 " x  24.0 "; Publisher: BrownTrout; Product ID: 201500005230)
Each mini calendar includes an opening spread with a six-month (July-December 2014) overview. (Format: Mini Wall; Size Closed: 7.0" x  7.0 " ; Size Opened: 7.0 " x  14.0 " Grid Size: X-Small Square)
Onslot Creative tweeted @onslot_creative Behind-the-scenes with the beautiful @taylorswift13 shooting promo for the upcoming @iHeartRadio Music Festival 2014!

Durango has tapped singer-songwriter Sarah Darling to lend her voice in a different way than usual; the longtime Durango brand ambassador has designed a capsule collection of western fashion boots for the iconic brand. In time for Holiday 2014, Durango will add two distinct styles, designed by Sarah, to its “Crush” line of footwear. 
“Sarah has been such an incredible brand ambassador for us and her personal style really resonates with our consumer,” said Amber Vanwy, Marketing Manager for Durango. “These styles are flirty, fun and feminine; they are the perfect mash-up of Sarah’s whimsical style and Durango’s playful attitude toward fashion.”
In the midst of her busy performance schedule, Sarah traveled to Nelsonville, Ohio, home of Durango, to work directly with designers to infuse her own voice into the designs, including bright colors and Sarah’s autograph stitched into the lining.
"When I look my best, I perform my best!” states Sarah Darling. “Durango makes me feel beautiful and confident wherever I go! Getting to design my own boots is a dream come true! It's an amazing feeling thinking of other ladies walking around in a Darling Original!"
The Sunflower Slouch boot in Sandy Brown is an easy-to-wear boot with a covetable, worn-in look. Its sturdy 2 ¼” heel and cushion-flex insole will keep feet comfortable at a weekend music festival or a night spent dancing down Broadway. The Darling Coral boot is tall classic western boot with a twist. The 14” shaft features bright coral-colored accents on brown leather and a 2 ¼” heel. Both styles designs are currently available for pre-order at (HI RES Photos / Press Release )

Miranda Lambert‘s pop-up boutique in Nashville is about to end its run. And true to the singer’s big heart, the temporary store is closing its doors in style — by donating to charities. Lambert’s original boutique in Tishomingo, Oklahoma had so many fans from around the world visiting it, she had to open a Music City pop-up branch. The merchandise store sells everything from their famous tees to jewelry, fancy flasks to CDs — and, of course, there is a lot of pink. Read More: Miranda Lambert's Pop-Up Pink Pistol Store in Nash Closing
Jessie James Decker the “Coming Home” singer and E! reality TV star has a >> Kittenish Makeup Tutorial (and bandana tying!).

The woman Tim McGraw slapped during that concert is now suing him. Jesslyn Taylor says pay up or he’ll face a personal injury lawsuit and when she was thrown out of the show, she was humiliated so along with a cash settlement, she also wants an apology from Tim.

The Common Linnets tweeted: We've reached TRIPLE PLATINUM status!!!! Amazing!!!! Thank you all so much for the support!New songs in the making!!!

The Shires at The Water Rats, London by Frography (by Flex): Facebook Gallery
Quote: On the final leg of their UK tour, The Shires sold out The Water Rats, London with a performance that was out of this world. Looking at the crowd reactions when Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle bring their vocal harmony together, it's not surprising why this duo is widely regarded as the UK's most talented country act. Everyone is waiting for their album with bated breath, and with the anthemic feel of some of their songs, I for one can't wait to hear the full band sound once it's released!

July 28: George Cummins (Dr Hook)(1938)
July 29: Martina McBride (1966), James Otto
July 30: Neal McCoy (1958)
July 31: Heather Myles (1962), Zac Brown (1978)
August 1: George Ducas (1966)
August 2: Hank Cochran (1935) 
August 3: Mick Flavin (1950), Dean Sams (Lonestar) (1966), Randy Scruggs (1953) 

Country entertainer George Riddle (one of George Jones’ Jones Boys and the writer of songs like “Hall of Shame,”) passed away Sunday, July 20 in his home state of Indiana. The singer, songwriter and veteran sideman had reportedly been battling throat cancer. He had surgery for the disease in May, then died of complications at a hospital in Indianapolis. He was 78 years old...Read the obit at

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