Monday, 11 August 2014

Country Bites News snippets July 28 – August 3, 2014

Country Bites News snippets July 28 – August 3, 2014

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

“Country Country Country is not where it's at fundamentally it goes back to people with great voices writing great tunes”






















The Shires (UK duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes) are busy on their UK radio tour to raise awareness and promote their forthcoming album BRAVE (Decca Records). They joined Nick Coffer in interview on BBC Three Counties Radio and performed "Tonight" and “Brave”. It was first broadcast Friday 1st August 2014. Hear how they fell musically in love from 2 hours 15 mins on the BBC Listen back Page or ICYMI directly here:




They then headed off to play the Cambridge Folk Festival on August 2nd at The Den at 17:40. On August 4th they met Katie Martin at BBC Radio Solent (BBC Page listen back 2 hours 35min). They also called on Anna Bingham at Splash Radio 107.7 FM in Worthing (The Guildbourne Centre) Andy Jackson at Wave 105 with a great version of “Black and White”,  Leighton Jones on Swansea Sound 1170 MW (Radio House, Victoria Road, Gowerton) between 10am and 2pm to perform "Black And White" live and Damien St John The Breeze (Celador Radio, Roman Landing, Kingsway, Southampton). The interview & live performance of 'Black and White' will be going out on Wednesday Evening Aug 6th on The Breeze Evening Show from 19:00. You can listen to “Only Midnight” and “Brave” at southampton.thebreeze.com
Ben and Crissie also performed an acoustic version of their single >> “Tonight” for Chris Country Online

The Shires together with their BBC Radio 2 playlisted UK duo pals Ward Thomas have announced a co-headline UK tour for November! The seeds for this tour were sown when the two bands ran into each other in a road house in Nashville while they were both paying pilgrimage to their spiritual home. The chance to take their shared message out on the road together seemed too good to miss and the ‘Home-grown tour’ was born. “Even a few years ago, the idea of British Country music spelt wannabe Dollys, line-dancing seniors and unconvincing American accents. Now though, fresh artists with country influences and the dexterity to create a credible home-grown version of the music are emerging” – Sunday Times
Tickets go on sale Friday 8th Aug 2014 at 9:00AM at Ticketmaster UK and  gigsandtours.com
Dates so far are: Tues 4th November 2014 (Glee Club, Birmingham), Thurs 6th Nov 2014 (O2 Academy2, Liverpool), Fri 7th Nov (Thekla, Bristol), Sun, 9th Nov (O2 Academy, Oxford), Mon 10th & 11th Nov 2014 (Bush Hall, London), Thurs 13th Nov (Band On The Wall, Manchester), Fri 14th Novr 2014 (The Sage, Gatehead), Sun 16th Nov 2014 (Brudenell Social Club, Leeds), Mon 17th Nov (Waterfront, Norwich), Sun 23rd Nov ( King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow) , Mon 24th Nov (Middlesbrough the Empire), Wed 26th Nov (Rescue Rooms, Nottingham) and Thurs 27th Nov 2014 (The Stables, Milton Keynes)


Another Songwriters Night will take place on Thursday 14th August at The Spode Cottage Rugeley Staffs with BCMAward winning Luke Thomas & Melanie Greggain, Adrian Marx (Born Jovi & Glammania), Alex Leventhal (Ash Cooper Band & Glammania), Jack Glass (Country Singer) & The Kerr Donnelly Band. It is billed to be a “Great Night of Original Songs” .


















FREE entry and artists will start performing 7pm, book now for your table and enjoy the Cowboy Carvery at £9.95.
About The Spode: A country and western style pub located in Armitage, providing a full listing of entertainment. Great food and drinks: 3 rotating cask ales, premium lagers, ciders and wine. An extensive choice of bottles and a real selection of bourbons.
Reserve a table or book  tickets to watch one of our live entertainment nights, call us on 01453 490900.
Where: The Spode, Rugeley Road, Armitage, Staffordshire WS15 4AT
Phone:  01543 490900 – WebsiteFacebook Page


2014 saw Glasgow born singer/songwriter Emma Jane join forces with the incredible artist Cee Martinez (a painter, writer, and musician) from Golden, Colorado, for EJ’s latest 7 track 25:11 minute mini album release WORKHORSE which was officially self released on 17th July 2014 (MP3UK iTunes) 
The collaboration with EJ and Cee, has ensured that “workhorse is not only musically wonderful, but visually stunning.”
On her website it states that her fourth record WORKHORSE is already grabbing the attention of many UK Country Music radio stations and magazines.
“Best singer/songwriters to come out of Glasgow in the last 5 to 10 years.  Consistently good writing”
“Voice is amazing!   Love it!! I’m a fan! ” - Kent Wells (Dolly Parton Producer & Guitarist)
 “Great Album, wonderful voice” - Lee Williams (CEO, CMR NASHVILLE):
 “Of all the songs I’ve listened to today it’s the one still going around in my head” - Keith Greentree BBC Radio Norfolk
Emma Jane and Sean C. Kennedy - "Nice original song, I've seen her live and she's great, beautiful" - Steve Cherelle (July 27)
"Old & Grey" - ”I really do like that one” - Marie Crichton BBC Radio Shropshire (Aug 2nd)
NewCountryUK (Album Review 8.5/10) – “ The perfect introduction to the lady and her glorious music
The new album has not it seems taken off at retail having been at #1356 UK iTunes Country Top 1500 Chart moving up to #1303 and has no review ratings as yet on Amazon UK.
Need a test drive? SPOTIFY - Emma Jane – Workhorse

Emma Jane has been performing live since December 2005. She released a full album “Penilee Songs” on March 1, 2012 (Amazon Rank: # 252,459) . After her third digital release, earlier in 2013, and a small tour of America, Emma Jane signed a worldwide publishing deal with Speegra. She released the 5 Track EP “Silver Streets” on June 17, 2013.
Now living in London Emma Jane is doing mostly solo acoustic gigs in some of the most popular unsigned live music venues in London, such as the Bedford (performing >> "Running To You" ), The Troubadour, 100 Club, Borderline and Barfly.
She is ranked in top 10 on the UK Reverbnation Country Artist Chart

She is currently in Nashville and on Sunday 3rd August 2014 played the famed Bluebird Café along with Canadian CCMA Award winning singer songwriter Victoria Banks.
She tweeted Just finished my first #nashville gig @BluebirdCafeTN loved it with wonderf people @LaceyCaroline @victoriabanks & lots of others
On Sat 9th August she plays the Two Old Hippies, Nashville, TN 37203
LISTEN to her recorded Archive interview with UKCountryRadio.com:
Click to listen to the Emma Jane Interview


CONNECT with Emma Jane:

Glasgow based bluegrass band, The Dirty Beggars, embarked on their most ambitious tour to date crossing the Atlantic for a fifteen-day tour of the United States. Their impressive list of dates included three appearances at FloydFest in Virginia, a main stage show at Ossipee Valley Music Festival in Maine (July 24th), opening for Trampled by Turtles (July 19th; Pisgah Brewing, Black Mountain, NC) in front of a 2,500 strong crowd in North Carolina, filming with CMT (July 30th; Concrete Country, Nashville TN) and a featured slot at the world famous Bluebird Café in Nashville (July 20th). Before returning home they also took in the Big Apple playing Hill Country BBQ, Brooklyn NYC (Aug 1st) and the Rockwood Music Hall on August 2nd.
The Dirty Beggars US Tour Graphic
Click to ENLARGE
The Dirty Beggars US 2014 Tour:
 Photo Montage - Facebook Gallery Page
Returning to Floyd was a highlight for the band. This time round, The Dirty Beggars played three sets at FloydFest (July 26th & 27th), for their “On The Rise” series, and a headline slot at The Floyd Country Store for their Americana Afternoons show on Saturday 26th July.
 This tour is evidence of the band’s progress since becoming a five-piece four years ago. “It’s been three years since we made our first pilgrimage to the States,” said fiddle player Pedro Cameron; “to come back and play, not only the places we performed before but this time with our heroes and in some of the most legendary venues in country music, is a dream come true”.
Double bass player Stuart “Papa” Printie captures the mood of the band this summer. “We are absolutely begging to get back on that open highway…. we can't wait to give them our own unique Celtic tinged bluegrass/Americana. Hide your whisky folks – we’re coming!”

What is impressive and worth noting that the band were responsible for booking all of the shows on the tour without the assistance of US booking agents! “What is so special about this tour,” said manager Alex Smith; “is the fact that it is built, not only on our own hard work, but also on word-of-mouth and relationships we’ve established with American fans and musicians that we’ve met over the years, in America and Scotland”.
The CMT shoot came about after an MTV executive saw the band busking in Nashville during their last visit three years ago. Similarly, the Trampled By Turtles support slot (O2 ABC) came about after a chance meeting with the Minnesota band at the Celtic Connections festival club in Glasgow earlier in 2014. (via Press Release)
About The Dirty Beggars: (Scotland, Peebles/Glasgow/Dunblane - Facebook - Twitter)
They are an outfit who comprise Kieran Begbie (Vocals, Guitar), Finn Begbie (Vocals, Harmonica, Mandolin, Guitar), Pete Begbie (Vocals, Banjo, Guitar), Stuart Printie (Double Bass, Dobro, Mandolin) and Pedro Cameron (Fiddle). Dirty Beggars are one-of-a-kind in the UK in their genre - fusing traditional Celtic and American bluegrass sounds. They toured the US in 2011, playing a session at The Station Inn in Nashville and garnering attention from CMT while there. On Nov 29, 2013 they released an EP 'Time to Reminisce' - featuring 3 new tracks.
>> Watch them play an unplugged version of "Unforgiven" on the rooftop of Studio Fàs on the Isle of Skye.
Available MUSIC: waywardsounds - Amazon UK UK iTunes   


Pete Kennedy the Birr, County Offaly, Republic of Ireland native Irish singer-songwriter was featured on RTE's Nationwide on a primetime TV special on July 23rd focusing on his move
from Ireland to Nashville. The towering award-winning heartthrob and his wife and two daughters relocated to Music City USA in March 2014 as Pete's career began to reach new heights of “international acclaim”. Since his musical debut in 2010 Pete has won international music awards, toured extensively across the US and Europe and built an established, dedicated fan base.Pete's move to Nashville coincides with exponential growth in the city, both as a creative hub and an international music centre.
The Nationwide special focused on Pete and his family's musical journey from County Offaly to Music City USA at the core of the international songwriters scene. Pete's extensive list of musical collaborators include Earl Budd Lee (Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton), Jan Buckingham (Lee Greenwood, Whitney Houston), Beau Fuller (Kristy Lee Cook, Jesse Keith Whitley) and American Idol and Grand Ole Opry star Ayla Brown. Pete is also preparing for an upcoming world tour in 2015 which will include a series of homecoming shows in Ireland in the new year. According to the press blurb/ spin Kennedy's career has reached an exciting new chapter and, with the platform of an international stage to debut his upcoming material, the future could not look brighter for this Irish singer-songwriter. See more at: meathchronicle.ie

UK CHART NEWS

Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending August 9, 2014)

Dolly Parton with BLUE SMOKE/THE BEST OF (Masterworks) remained at No.2 (14,998 sales; up 10% on previous week 13,602 copies; 8-week total 139,337).
Ward Thomas the 20 year old twins Catherine and Lizzy continued to waved the flag for British country music as their full length debut album, FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW MUSIC) fell 41-93 selling probably around 1,000 copies (based on #71 Pumeza selling 1,496) to add to their debut sales week of 2,473.
On The Independent Albums chart FROM WHERE WE STAND fell 7-11 whilst their BBC Radio 2 playlisted single “Push For The Stride” entered the Independent Singles Top 40 (chart week 9th August 2014) in their 4th chart frame with a 41-27 jump
Their two official videos >> “The Good And The Right” published on Apr 8, 2014 has received 21,441 views and >> “Push For The Stride” published on July 9, 2014 has to date received 24,348 views.

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

With their second week on the Top 100 Ward Thomas have bettered previous 2014 releases from Blackberry Smoke THE WHIPPOORWILL (debut at No.30  then off the chart), Eric Church THE OUTSIDERS (debut No.70, then off the chart), Emmylou Harris WRECKING BALL debut No.100, Miranda Lambert PLATINUM (debut No.52, then off the chart)
Willie Nelson BAND OF BROTHERS (debut No.52, off the chart) all of which charted for just 1 week.
Other notable releases from 2013 who charted for a solitary week were: Brad Paisley WHEELHOUSE No.69, Willie Nelson TO ALL THE GIRLS No.72, Patty Griffin AMERICAN KID No.83, Rascal Flatts No.87, Darius Rucker "TRUE BELIEVERS" No.89, The Band Perry PIONEER No.94 and Zac Brown Band UNCAGED No.92

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending August 9, 2014)
The UK’s Ward Thomas with FROM WHERE WE STAND (WTW Music) stays at No.1 for a second week
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) held at No.2 in its 18th chart frame.
Kacey Musgraves with SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK (Decca) was a non mover at No.3 in her 68th chart frame.
Lady Antebellum’s monster album NEED YOU NOW held at No.4 in its 140th week.
Ashley Monroe with LIKE A ROSE (Warner Bros) returned to the chart at No.14 bolstered by a recorded live session on BBC Radio’s Bob Harris Country Show.

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Albums  (Last updated August 4, 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 at No2. The new Sony compilation American Heartland: Legends of Country moved 5-4.
The ABC TV series Nashville soundtracks are still popular The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 2, Vol. 2 moved slipped 4-7. The current Billboard Country No1 album Just As I Am from Brantley Gilbert is way down the list at #322 with No.2 Bilboard Country Miranda Lambert’s PLATINUM at #56.

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 - American Heartland: Legends of Country
5 Taylor Swift - Red
6 Various Artists - Country - 101 All Time Greats
7 Various Artists - The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 2, Vol. 2 (Deluxe)
8 Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around
9 Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
10 Patsy Cline - The Very Best of Patsy Cline

UK iTunes Top 1500 Country Singles  (Last updated August 4, 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 her signature tune “Jolene” .
Celtic singer Karen Matheson with “Ae Fond Kiss” arrives at No.5. She was the singer of the Robert Burns’ song during the Commonwealth Games 2014 Closing ceremony. The track appears on the Transatlantic Sessions - Series 2, Vol. One set.
Further down the chart the UK is represented by duo The Shires with “Tonight” (Decca released on July 11, 2014 on UK iTunes.) which fell 29-64 and their former Radio 2 playlisted single “Nashville Grey Skies” posts a #91 spot.

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

On the Hotdisc Chart (August 3, 2014 Chart) 

2014 marks the comeback year for Bertie Higgins! His latest self penned single, "Cowboys Of The Caribbean" made a 2-1 hop to top the Hotsic Top 40 summit. In a close call he overhauled the 3 week #1 from US bluegrass The Roys (Elaine & Lee Roy) with "No More Lonely" who slipped 1-2.
All three of Higgins’ singles this year have been in the top 2. “Just Another Day In Paradise” released on the March Hotdisc 183 had a 13 week chart run with 4 weeks in the top 2 and two of those at No1. “Key Largo” on May’s Hotdisc 185 spent over 10 weeks on the chart three of which at the No.2 spot.


About: Bertie Higgins: Like his great, great grandfather, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German poet who penned "Faust", is a storyteller. He was born Elbert Joseph Higgins of Portuguese, Irish and German descent and raised in the picturesque Greek community of Tarpon Springs, Florida. Bertie is an intellectual romantic who loves to paint story songs about living and loving in a tropical paradise.
His love songs explore the efforts of man trying to fathom the mystery and allure of woman. His fantasy songs deal with the beauty and sensuality of the tropics and his story songs combine past experiences and future hopes. The resounding theme throughout Bertie's work: "Make the best of today lest tomorrow never comes".
Gordon Lightfoot, Cat Stevens and Jimmy Buffet were Bertie's primary sources of inspiration and he remains friends with them today. During this period, he also met and became a protégé of the actor/director, Burt Reynolds, who saw Bertie's writing potential and tutored him in screen writing. In 1980, Bertie moved to Atlanta and met record producer, Sonny Limbo. Sonny had played a role in developing the group Alabama and had been instrumental in the careers of several others. He
arranged that fateful meeting between Bertie and music publisher, Bill Lowery, whom Bertie had known through Tommy Roe. The meeting of these three was destiny waiting to happen.
“Key Largo” blew a hole in the U.S. charts. When it reached number one in the nation, the world took notice and it went on to become an international hit.
Bertie was originally a CBS/Sony recording artist but moved to Toucan Cove, a boutique record label distributed by the Universal Music group, and has produced several CD's under that company.
For the past several years, Bertie and his excellent group, "The Band of Pirates" have toured extensively around the globe.
Ahoy Mates!  Here's the video for  >> "Cowboys of the Caribbean" Courtesy of Toucan Cove / Universal Music. (728 views, published July 10, 2014). Bertie writes on Facebook : “Just about nails how I feel these days. I'm as busy as a mosquito in a Florida nudist colony and how I miss the tropics” 

Jim Reeves’ "Distant Drums " (2014 version) held at No.3 on the week which marked 50 years since his death.
Listen below to an interview with Larry Jordan (the author of the 672 page book Jim Reeves – His Untold Story) speaking to Hotdisc CEO Stuart Cameron. Larry was the producer of the overdubs on “The Great Jim Reeves” 8CD set on H&H Records. The Great Jim Reeves 8-CD set comes in a handsome, unique, silver-trimmed and high-gloss durable case which opens like a book. The track listings are displayed on two panels which then fold open to reveal all 8 CDs in convenient storage pockets. For more information visit www.jim-reeves.com/greatjimreeves , see the track listings here and order from www.jim-reeves.com $60.95 USD (incl postage)




There were new highest Hotdisc rankings for Brian Collins’ Never Really Left” which moved 7-5, Texas native SaraBeth saw her single "That's The Sound" climb 10-8 and Owen Howell rounded out the top 10 with a 16-10 stride with "Let's Start A Party" (written by Steve Ballard and Charlie Pennachio)
Outside the Top 10:
David Starr with “Everything Is Made In China” improved 15-12, Aussie David Hilgenfeldt with Fresno Silver Mine” moved up five 18-13 and Madeline Smith made the top 20 (21-20).
The No.1 on the British & Irish Hotdisc chart remained with Tony Clarke for a third chart frame as “Put That Country Song On” fell 14-15 four places ahead of former #1 Mim Grey’sThe Ways Of Love” a non mover at #19.
>> Take a listen to the week’s Top 20 countdown:




UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

(2 June 2014) Various Artists -The Nashville Sound - Country Music's Golden Era (Proper) [4 Disc Box Set, 100 Tracks]
Collection of country music recorded between 1955 and 1962.
"Compilation album contender for the year" - Brian Clough (the voice of country in North East England, CMA International Country Broadcaster Award 2010)

(15 July 2014) Sammy Kershaw - Do You Know Me: A Tribute to George Jones (Big Hit Records)
14 Tracks/ Time: 39:15 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com 
Contains some of George's biggest hits, including White Lightning, Why Baby Why, and of course, He Stopped Loving Her Today. The album also includes a song written for George by Sammy himself, The Route That I Took, and a duet with Jones' daughter, Georgette.

(22 July 2014) Roger Creager - Road Show (Fun All Wrong Records)
Country/ Indie & Alternative 7 Tracks/ Time: 25:54 MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com (>> "River Song" )

(30 April 2014) Holly May - Holly May EP (Royalz Media / Enjen Productions)
5 Tracks  UK iTunes

(4 Aug 2014) Dale Watson / The Truckin Sessions Trilogy [3xCD] (Red River)

(4 Aug 2014) Billy Joe Shaver - Long In The Tooth (Lightning Rod Records)
10 Tracks/ Time: 32:19 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com 
(5 Aug 2014) Sunny Sweeney - Provoked (Thirty Tigers / Aunt Daddy Records)
13 Tracks/ Time: 47:44 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com

(5 Aug 2014)  LeAnn Rimes - Dance Like You Don't Give A....Greatest Remixes (Curb Records)
13 Tracks/ Time: 55:35 MP3 - UK iTunes - Artwork  a physical version of the album will be released thru Walmart which is a double disc release combined with her Greatest Hits.

(5 Aug 2014) Valerie Smith - The Human Condition (Bell Buckle Records)
9 Tracks/ Time: 28:13 MP3 - UK iTunes

BLUEGRASS NEWS
Lee Ann Womack will join the Del McCoury Band onstage at IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass fest on October 4th.

AUSSIE NEWS
Prolific Australian singer songwriter John Williamson brought the bush to the city, but despite all the career success, he faced the greatest battle of his life. He is now clear of Bladder cancer and is undergoing treatment and tests for prostrate cancer. See details of his new book "Hey True Blue" and tour dates here

Melody Pool, a singer from Kurri Kurri, is already seen as one of our most exciting songwriters and at  23 she has already delivered an accomplished debut album of alt-country and folk-styled songs. Pool made the album THE HURTING SCENE in Nashville alongside US singer Jace Everett and producer Brad Jones, with a bunch of local musicians helping out. It was quite an experience for the versatile singer who veers into folk territory and has been compared to Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell.

CANADIAN NEWS

Canadian Country singer-songwriter, Trinity Bradshaw, will be opening for multi-award winning artist, Shania Twain, at the PEI 2014 Founders Week Concert on August 30, 2014. Taking place in Bradshaw's home province, the show will mark the first time Twain has performed in the Maritimes in 15 years and her first time ever performing in Prince Edward Island. Bradshaw will be playing songs from her new EP, Open Skies (image), featuring her current single, "Never Drinkin' Again," which is now playing at Country radio across Canada.
Earlier this year, Bradshaw was nominated for Female Artist of the Year and Song of the Year at the Alberta Country Music Awards, where she also performed at the awards gala. Additionally, she was named CMT Canada's Fresh Face Featured Artist for the month of March.

Robyn Ottolini returns to radio via DMDS with the title track (writers: Robyn Ottolini and Mike Leaver)
 to her soon to be released debut CD – “Open Doors & Fairy Tales”!. Since her last release (Little Back Road, released Aug 19, 2013; UK iTunes ) to radio, Robyn has graduated from high school and has been busy writing, performing in her hometown of Uxbridge, Ontario and recently taped a segment for a Cogeco TV country music special that will air in the fall. The press blurb reads: Songwriting is the magic in Robyn’s heart and she writes songs with a seasoned eloquence beyond her years.  She has a fascination with the ocean and believes like people ‘what you see on the surface is different than what is underneath’.  Her lyrics reflect her unique view of the world.

NEWS

Country Aircheck's Insider Artist News:
July 29, 2014 Garth Brooks (G Forces), Brad Paisley (Family Feud); Tim McGraw (The Sun Also Rises), Toby Keith (Forbes), Big & Rich (new album)
August 1, 2014 Garth Brooks (Georgia On His Mind), Kenny Chesney (Football), Luke Bryan (Fertile Fields), Miranda Lambert (Automatic Transmission, playable poster!), Jake Owen (Annual ACM Honors host),
August 5, 2014 Blake Shelton (Hometown Hero), Keith Urban (Tough Row To Whoa), Kellie Pickler and Amy Grant (Warrior Women), The Band Perry (Driving Force)

Keith Urban broke his silence and released a statement regarding the alleged rape that occurred at the Mansfield, Massachusetts, stop on his Raise ‘Em Up tour last Saturday (July 26th) amid the mayhem at his Boston concert.
“My team and I were horrified to learn of the events reported in Boston this past weekend and our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected,” Keith writes in a statement posted on his official website. “This type of behavior stands in stark contrast to the spirit of our shows,” Keith’s statement concludes.
Mansfield Police say the alleged rape occurred on the lawn of Xfinity Center as onlookers watched with some shooting videos of the attack.  Police say the attack ended when a woman intervened. Eighteen-year-old Sean Murphy of Boston has been charged with one count of rape in connection with the attack. Officials have not released the alleged victim’s name or age.

Taylor Swift is headed back to the big screen in The Giver, out August 15. The Grammy winner is known for writing hit-after-hit by drawing inspiration from her feelings for her boyfriends, and ex-boyfriends. So playing Rosemary, a character who does not seem to have emotions, was quite different for the 24-year-old. To me emotion is such an important part of my life and now I guess my job,” she admitted. “People wouldn't listen to my songs if they weren't heart broken or deeply affected and hurt and jilted and sad and bitter and all those wonderful things that I write songs about." Swift didn't even have to audition for the part. ET says she was offered the role a week after one of the producers caught her Los Angeles Concert.

Congratulations to Whitney Duncan and Keith Tollefson! The couple were recently married during an intimate ceremony in Tennessee. The couple became engaged in 2013 on Valentine’s Day after meeting while they were contestants on season 23 of CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific. “Keith and I are hitched!” The "Skinny Dippin'" singer wrote on her Facebook page on Tuesday. “Southern wedding at Twin Oaks in TN could not have been more perfect!”
Much of the wedding planning took place from around the globe. The couple are currently contestants on Season 25 of The Amazing Race which will premiere on October 30 at 8/7c on CBS. Snap shot Facebook photos

Jason Aldean (Broken Bow Records) was recently recognized as the Top Male Country Artist in the history of the RIAA’s Digital Gold & Platinum Awards. Aldean has garnered more than 21.5 million cumulative RIAA Digital Single certifications, counting song downloads and on-demand streams. The RIAA® Gold® and Platinum Awards program was launched in 1958, and first awarded to LP recordings but later expanded to include cassette tapes, CDs, digital tracks, digital albums, and ringtones.
“On behalf of myself and my RIAA colleagues, we are delighted to recognize Jason Aldean for this prestigious honor,” said RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman.
http://www.musicrow.com/2014/08/aldean-named-riaas-top-male-country-artist/

More details about Garth Brooks‘ much-anticipated world tour have been revealed. After adding nine additional shows to his run in the Chicago, and shattering his previous sales records for the Windy City last week, the superstar announced (July 30th) the first southern stop on the tour. Brooks is set to play Atlanta for the first time in 18 years. The concert will be held Friday, September 19th, 6:30 PM at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA. Tickets went on sale Friday, August 8th at 10:00 AM EST.

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS
Blake Shelton will release BRINGING BACK THE SUNSHINE Tues, Sept 30th.  The Warner Bro. Records artist has made the album available for pre-order now exclusively through WALMART. The black-and-white album cover shows the sun breaking through clouds over the water tower in Blake's hometown of Ada, OK.The leadoff single from the brand new project should hit radio in the coming weeks. See product detail: Walmart.com

Congratulations to Kacey Musgraves on the GOLD certification of her debut album, SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK ( For units SHIPPED to retail; it has SOLD 450,000 copies in America to date). Her debut hit, "Merry Go Round," also has been certified platinum.

Florida Georgia Line wants to take their fans higher on their upcoming sophomore album, due out this fall. While wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt in the recording studio, FGL's Brian Kelley recently played a new song called "Sun Daze" for Rolling Stone. The lyrics include the line, "All I want to do today is wear my favorite shades and get stoned." Brian says, "I woke up that morning and literally wrote that in my phone." His duo partner, Tyler Hubbard, adds, "We'll probably have to come up with a different word [than 'stoned'] for the radio edit." Florida Georgia Line's sophomore album also includes new songs titled "Smile" and "Smoke." The lead single, "Dust," is already racing up the country chart.

Ricky Skaggs and his wife, Sharon White, will release a duet album, HEARTS LIKE OURS, on September 30. The album showcases the couple’s shared love of music. “It’s just really good stuff, and Sharon is just singing so good,” Skaggs told The Tennessean. “I really hear her heart in the music, and mine’s certainly there. I feel like we’re making great music still. We’re inspired. We’re encouraged. We’re excited about life. We’re excited about music. We’ve been married almost 33 years; there’s just a lot for us to celebrate right now

Day 1 kicked off for singer-songwriter Jessica Campbells new Kickstarter campaign!! The campaign is to support the completion of her album "III"....coming out in October! She has recorded 11 new songs, but the list of things to wrap up before the release is long and costly, so she needs help! 75 backers have pledged $4,727 of a $7,500 goal. This project will only be funded if at least $7,500 is pledged by Wed, Aug 13 2014 3:59 PM BST.

PRESS RELEASES
  • Americanafest NYC Adds Educational Symposium (Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale) + revised New York City Calendar of events August 4-10, 2014
  • Natalie Stovall released their latest single, “Mason Jar".
  • Morgan Riley: A Rowdy, Shoutin’ rise up the charts for
  • Lorrie Morgan, four-time Female Vocalist of the Year (TNN’s Music City News Awards), has added more US concert dates to her ever-growing schedule
  • Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out wows MACC audience with Alternative Strings Performance
  • Amy Grant and Kellie Pickler will perform at the Athena Bottled Water kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a private event in Nashville on Sept.30
  • Jesse Winchester's final album coming Sept. 16 on Appleseed Recordings
  • Red Molly the Americana/Folk trio has shown impressive dominance on the radio airplay charts with their acclaimed new CD, ‘The Red Album.’ Recent weeks have seen them notch such achievements as # 1 Top Album on the Folk DJ Chart; # 1 Top Artist; # 1 Top Song for "Willow Tree"; "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and "Clinch River Blues" tied for # 2 Top Song; "With A Memory Like Mine" # 5 Top Song; "Homeward Bound" # 6 Top Song. Listen to streaming samples at Soundcloud
  • NRA COUNTRY taps Chase Rice as featured artist for August as he prepares to release new studio album, Ignite The Night
  • American Songwriter Behind the Lyric "When The Stars Go Blue" by Ryan Adams
  • American Songwriter Q&A: Barry Dean The veteran Nashville songwriter on writing with Hunter Hayes, his big hit “Pontoon" and more.
  • The Secret Sisters' Put Your Needle Down: Deluxe Edition CD has released (Cracker Barrel)
ARTICLES
Tennessean.com Keith Urban: Keep Music Row's past for the future

Billboard THE 615 Brigitte DeMeyer Explains How Gregg Allman Inspired 'Savannah Road' by Chuck Dauphin: Brigitte DeMeyer thought she had something special when she released her current album, Savannah Road, but the Americana-inspired artist tells Billboard she was not prepared for the attention the album has received from critics and fans alike -- not to mention one legendary fellow artist....DeMeyer says the album is also getting attention overseas, especially in the U.K. In the States, the record has received exposure on SiriusXM's Outlaw Country channel. "Buddy Miller is spinning it on his show. He's going to use one of the songs on Nashville," she says with more than a little twinge of excitement, adding that you never know what kind of response your music will get until it's out there….

CMC Close Up PT 2: Cowboy Jack Clement — THE TIMELESS TOUCH by Robert Oermann (July 30, 2014)

Dallas Observer Why Maddie & Tae's "Girl In A Country Song" Is Good For Country Music by Amy McCarthy

Billboard Ben Folds to Vacate RCA Studio A on Music Row….He put up a good fight, but singer-songwriter Ben Folds announced on Friday he'll be leaving his recording space at the historic Studio A in Nashville's old RCA building after the property's brand-new owner raised the rent 124 percent. "Haha," Folds says in a message to fans and supporters on Facebook, "and we’re moving out as soon as our current lease runs out. That means we will be there until end of November." Folds has been a tenant of the Music Row space for twelve years. In June, after it was announced it would be sold. Tim Reynolds of
Bravo Development finalized his purchase of RCA this week…..

REVIEWS

2country.net Dwight Yoakam  at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire 30th July 2014

UK Country Music.net The Shires build Nashville in London! – The Water Rats (28/07/2014 by Sukie) Live Review (The Shires, Frankie Davies and Gary Quinn)

Jason Roberts - THAT'S MY HOME 5 STARS Country Music People - Image

INTERVIEWS
Holly May


Listen to Lee Williams recorded Nashville interview with 17 year old newbie country/pop “starlet” Holly May who hails from Charlemont, MA. 

It was first broadcast on 1st August 2014 on CMR Nashville "Europe's #1 Country Music Radio Station".

She talked about her July 2014 European single "Go Big Or Go Home" (written by Una & Enoch Jensen; >> watch the Vevo video) which made a debut at No.39 and has so far climbed to No.25 on the Hotdisc Top 40 (chart Aug 3, 2014). 


They discuss inspiratations, her first visit to Nashville, CMA Festival experience, balancing her music with her studies,  plans for the rest of the year and dreams for the future. The HOT news she is coming to the 2014 British Country Music awards in November along with US acts Katie Armiger and Madeline Smith!




CONNECT with Holly May:
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LISTEN
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,"

Brad Paisley has teamed up with Colt Ford for a “rip rap” remix of Paisley’s “River Bank.” In the clip, Ford raps the bridge while Paisley sings, a loud party going on in the background. “River Bank” is the lead single from Paisley’s upcoming album, Moonshine in the Trunk, out August 26.

Billboard Listen to the Exclusive Stream of Country Newcomer Risa Binder's Debut EP
New York City might not necessarily seem like a hotbed for country music, but newcomer Risa Binder has found a big appetite for it in the Big Apple. “There are so many country fans in New York that it would surprise you,” the Brooklyn-based singer tells Billboard. “Whenever a major act comes to Madison Square Garden, it sells out within an hour, and there are also a few bluegrass places here that are real popular.”
Yet when it comes to the name of her debut five-song EP, which she released on Tuesday, Aug. 5, she was inspired by Music City. Billboard.com has an early exclusive premiere of Binder's Nashville disc. Its available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes
5/10 Review - Pop Matters.com

New Hampshire native Actress / singer Ariana Hodes "Brand New Key" (Ocala Records), released May 12, 2014 on Amazon UK, Amazon.com and US iTunes at Play MPE, #3 Indicator New & Active chart, #13 Indie World Country Record Report
Her first single is a soulful, bouncy cover of Melanie’s seventies mega hit from 1971. Taken from Melanie's album Gather Me, it was also known as "The Rollerskate Song" due to its chorus. It was her biggest hit, reaching No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in December 1971 and January 1972 and it reached No. 1 in Canada and Australia and No.4 in the UK charts. A version of the song entitled "Combine Harvester", with new rustic-themed lyrics by Brendan O'Shaughnessy including "I got a brand new combine harvester / An' I'll give you the key", was recorded by Irish singer Brendan Grace, who took the song to the top of the Irish Charts in 1975. In the UK Singles Chart, West Country comedy folk act The Wurzels reached No. 1 for two weeks in June 1976 with a novelty hit version of this.
Deana Carter also covered that song on her Everything's Gonna Be Alright album (October 20, 1998)
Blurb: In a nutshell, Ariana Hodes is a multi-talented singer/songwriter/dancer with Shakespearean theater training who plays guitar, piano, loves animals, sports and the Beatles. In other words, Ariana Hodes is a force to be reckoned with. A new album is a work in progress, a sound and spirit we're lookin' for, vintage feel? You can listen to “Brand New Key” on soundcloud.com

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

Jason Roberts – That's My Home – Out July 2014 , 12 tracks 5 STARS Rating by  Duncan Warwick + feature in Country Music People August Issue
Sounds Like Nashville 2014 Playlist - New singles Kacey Musgraves "The Trailer Song", Florida Georgia Line "Dirt" + The Shires, Brantley Gilbert, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Cassadee Pope, The Secret Sisters etc

Emma Jane – Workhorse – UK country! 7 Tracks, released July 15, 2014
Kaylee Rutland – Good Day to Get Gone - 5 tracks released July 29, 2014 , title cut  promoted on August 2014 Hotdisc #188
SARABETH – Obsessive - 4 tracks, released Aug 5, 2014
Sunny Sweeney – Provoked - 13 tracks, released Aug 5, 2014

Hit or Miss?
April Kry – Beauty Queen – New country radio single released August 1, 2014
Crystal Day – Crystal Day - New country radio single “California” released July 30 1, 2014
Logan Mize – Can't Get Away from a Good Time – New country radio single  Aug 4, 2014
Shane Gamble – Beautiful Work - New country radio single  Aug 4, 2014


WATCH
Ward Thomas Bob Harris "Under The Apple Tree" interview & bonus performance UTAT Podcast #20 they joined BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris to discuss UK country music, their inspiration from Loretta Lynn, and their new album, before performing 'Way Back When' live.

DexeterSlow It Down” (G.Thomas D.Dexeter) 2014 available on iTunes . They play fresh contemporary country with a rock and roll twist from deep within the folds of Leicestershire, UK

Scotland’s Janey Kirk performing “Streets of Loneliness” - Yahoo.com/vevo-new-releases
The lead guitars are Jerry Donahue, with Alan Thomson (bass), Jim Drummond (drums) and Iain Richard Johnson on banjo.
The video was shot in her hometown in Central Hotel East Wemyss in central hotel and on the shore. The title cut (written by M Craggs/ L Dodds/ Janey Kirk) is being promoted across Europe on the August #188 Hotdisc release.

For The Record with Stephanie Quayle - Episode 1 a new and unique web series that follows the country music singer on her journey to find interesting people and lifestyles to fuel her songwriting (via Press Release) + Check out "Sugar High" (Official Lyric Video)

Kristian Bush after a decade with his multi-platinum selling duo, Sugarland, is stepping out with his debut solo single, >> "Trailer Hitch" (from upcoming solo project, Southern Gravity). The lyrics speak to the joys of living simply and not getting bogged down with possessions, a philosophy that's more than just some lofty idea for Kristian. As he flies across the country from show to show, traveling light has become a necessity.
Kristian tells ABC News Radio, "I don't know how recently you've been on an airplane, but they can get pretty aggressive about this, 'Two bags!  You get two bags! Put your largest bag in the overhead,' or whatever it is. You seem to be rewarded if, for some reason, you have less."

Brantley Gilbert called on fellow country stars Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore to throw one heck of a >> ‘Small Town Throwdown,’ which was captured on video. The music video for the song off of Gilbert’s ‘Just as I Am’ album kicks off with the boys all packing a little heat. They decide to do a little target practice before their big party. Gilbert holds the heftiest gun, while Rhett opts for a smaller handgun. Gilbert, Moore and Rhett perform their song for the energetic crowd full of women — until a few very angry men arrive.

COUNTRY FASHION

Taylor Swift Gym Fashion Runway (cont Part 3)
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. 






















(July 29, 2014) Snapped leaving the gym she was seen carrying a Prada ‘Saffiano Lux Tote’ ($2240.00; Image). Rocking cute and casual she was wearing a two-tone striped shirt from TopShop (Image) with a high-rise pair of AG Adriano Goldschmied ‘Tristan High Rise Shorts in Sulfur Papaya’ ($118.00) - Fashion Pic

(July 30, 2014) Probably off to celebrate being recently listed by Forbes as the second-highest-paid artist in country music, just behind Toby Keith. The Love Story songstress, looking runway ready, rocked a dreamy floatiness in a Novis NYC overlay dress from the Spring 2014 collection consisting of a printed flared skirt and bralet with a delicate sheer white point d’esprit overlay..
She ratcheted up her bag game up with a Bulgari ‘I. Rossellini Bag in Dark Teal’ ($4950.00; Image) with an art-deco-inspired enamel clasp and a twist lock made from semi-precious stones, she completed her picture-perfect look with Christian Louboutin mirrored peep-toes (image) and signature lush red lippie -Fashion 

(July 31, 2014) Heading to a studio Taylor “Legs For Days” Swift headed to a film studio - presumably to begin filming promo for the next album and completely stunned in a striped TopShop ‘Stripe Bodycon Tunic’ ($58.00) which accentuated those legs!
Fashion Pic - Fashion Pic . She donned revived Yves Saint Laurent ‘Tasseled Lace-Up Tooled Oxford Pumps’ ($849.50; Product) - Fashion Pic
She carried a Prada ‘Saffiano Lux Tote’ ($2240.00; Product Details) - Fashion Pic
(July 31, 2014) Arriving at a friend’s house in New York City wearing BedStu ‘Rumba Oxfords’ - $98.00 bedstu.com/rumba )























(August 1, 2014) Snapped in Central Park New York City Taylor wore an adorable Urban Outfitters ‘Gingham Collared Dress’ - Fashion Pic  She carried a crocodile embossed leather Hayden Lasher ‘Elène the Belgian Bag’ ($1500.00; Product Detail ) - Fashion Pic - Fashion Pic  Fro-yo for one: Taylor Swift savors some alone time on park stroll in New York read more Daily Mail

Lee Ann Womack always impresses on the red carpet – but you won't often find her sitting front row during New York City's Fashion Week. Seen wearing Tory Burch's Margherita dress ($285; Product), the country music star talked about her upcoming album The Way I’m Livin’ (out September 23), which features 13 songs by 13 different songwriters - Tory Burch.co.uk

In Lucy Hale’s new music video for her song >> “Lie A Little Better” she wears a Raquel Allegra Black Tie Dye Tank Dress ($104.50), a pair of Rebecca Minkoff Rio Nubuck Lace-Up Booties ($275.00) in “Elephant Gray,” and a Luv AJ x Stone Cold Fox The Lennon Belt ($130.00) layered over a Luv AJ x Stone Cold Fox The Morrison Belt ($59.99). - Fashion Pic

Lucy Hale the the 25-year-old beauty graces the September edition of Cosmopolitan.  
Whoa!
This is Lucy’s second shoot with the popular glossy! In case you don’t recall, she graced Cosmo in September 2012 (Image ) , and created a lot of media buzz with her touching and forthcoming interview in which she opened up about overcoming an eating disorder. “Thank you .@cosmopolitan for making me @your sept. Cover girl! Love y’all,” the enthusiastic actress posted on her official twitter page, thus revealing the exciting news. According to the ‘zine, photographer Matthias Vriens-McGrath shot this sizzling feature and talented stylist Aya Kanai provided her amazing fashion expertise.

Check out the gorgeous cover — in which the precious PLL starlet transforms from a sweet Memphis-born, cowboy boot-wearing crooner and into a smoldering screen siren right before our very eyes. See the scans at fashionscansremastered.net or at World Country Magazines
A one-shouldered mini dress with a revealing cutout design, bold brows and kohl-rimmed peepers sees Lucy looks très chic meets seductive…and oh so grown-up! Looking sexier than ever wearing a cleavage-baring LBD on the cover, distinguishes the actress from the teen character she plays on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. While the text vows to reveal how Hale "is breaking the cycle of insecurity," the phrase "Best. Sex. Ever. #HellYeah!" appears in a much larger font. Needless to say, her father wasn't a fan of the copy.
" The "You Sound So Good to Me" singer also Instagrammed a picture of herself holding the issue in one hand, writing, " Sorry for the captions dad."
Lucy’s Magazine Details:
Photography: Matthias Vriens-McGrath / Fashion Director: Aya Kanai
Hair: Chris McMillan (for Living Proof at Solo Artists) / Makeup: Fiona Stiles (At the Wall Group)
Manicure: Ashlie Johnson (for Chanel at the Wall Group)

On P31: Lucy wears a Miu Miu Fall 2014 RTW V-Neck Dress - Fashion Pic
Worn with: Earrings and pearl ring (right hand): Suel / Gold ring: Jennifer Fisher/ Cuff: Shaun Leane / Bag: Tanya Taylor

On Page 32 (fun, signed page Image ) Top: Wren/ Skirt: 3.1 Philip Lim/ Shoes: Kotur ($695)/
Necklace: IaM by Ileana Makri ($350)/ Ring: Wendy Yue

Lucy wore a Valentino Fall 2014 RTW Long Sleeve Leather Dot Printed Dress. - Fashion Pic  - Image
Worn with  a red pair of Christian Louboutin Viennana Strappy Ankle Boots - Fashion Pic
Hat: Benoit Missolin Paris ($500) / Bag: Yazbukey ($215)/ Ring (right hand): Sophie Bille Brathe/ Ring: Holly Dyment

Lucy wore a White DSquared² Fall 2014 RTW Dress. - Fashion Pic - Image 
Worn with: Shoes: Rupert Sanderson/ Headpiece: Erickson Beamon/ Earrings & Necklace: Zales Jewelers ($339)/
Bangles: David Yurman/ Ring: Jason of Beverly Hills

In the magazine Lucy, with over 3.85 million Twitter followers backing her, the Country Pop/ Pretty Little Liars actress is ready to take on the world of music. She discusses her first album, what a Fifty Shades audition is really like, Hollywood superficiality and more.  

Lucy Hale bared her legs in short floral frock as she sang onstage at launch of her new designer clothing line …Read more
Daily Mail Yes the actress and singer can now add fashion designer to her CV!.
Lucy launched her first Hollister brand clothing line with a performance in Santa Monica, California.
She belted out tunes at Hollister House to a crowd of cheering fans who came out to see her perform. Wearing a pretty mini dress adorned with flowers, the singer was certainly in her element as she entertained her adoring fans.
Lucy was joined backstage by her Pretty Little Liars co-stars actors Keegan Allen and Tyler Blackburn who posed for pictures with the new designer.
The actress is the first celebrity to collaborate with Hollister, which will feature two new collections inspired by her Southern California lifestyle. The first, hitting stores August 8, will include pieces created for layering, and the second, out August 29, will feature soft, beachy separates.
Prices for the dresses, leggings, skirts and tops will range from $19.95 to $44.95.
'I definitely lean more towards a laid-back look, which makes my style a great match for Hollister,' Hale told Women's Wear Daily (WWD). 'I wanted to create carefree outfits that effortlessly transition from a coffee run to going out.'
'With lots to do for PLL, my music, and now my fashion collection for Hollister, I need transitional pieces that keep up with my schedule,' she said.
The brand will provide updates on the Lucy Hale collection at Twitter@HollisterCo. Hale will also take over Hollister’s Twitter
feed to host a live question-and-answer session. A look from the Lucy Hale Collection at Hollister (>> Slideshow - Photo By Courtesy Photo)

COUNTRY GOSSIP

Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have a back and forth insult schtick on their hit NBC show musical reality show, The Voice.
And Shelton couldn’t resist throwing another jab while onstage at Madison Square Garden in New York City on the first of his summer concert tour. While bantering with fans in the midst of his show Blake talked about his lucrative NBC hosting gig, which goes into its seventh season in September, before jokingly insulting his fellow judge.
‘It's more fun than you can imagine,’ he said of the Voice. 'I can't believe I got that gig. I've gotten to meet some of the coolest people doing that show,’ the country crooner told the audience.
 ‘All of the different performers they have, working with all the other coaches, except Adam—Adam's [Levine] a d*****bag—but, working with all the other coaches has been awesome… he is going to see that on Youtube or something I just know.’
The My Eyes singer went on to say how 'amazing' it was that he was performing in Madison Square Garden - but that he didn't feel he belonged since he felt it was made for more 'poppy' singers like Taylor Swift.
He then asked the crowd to give him a 'Taylor Swift moment' by lighting up the room with their cell phones.

Carrie Underwood’s the voice of >> ‘Sunday Night Football’ but who knew in college she was the quarterback of her ‘Greek Week’ girl’s football team and says, “not to brag, but I did have a decent arm and I could throw as far as I needed to!”

TWEETS

Common Linnets tweeted: We've reached TRIPLE PLATINUM status!!!! Amazing!!!! Thank you all so much for the support!New songs in the making!!!
 Amy Wadge tweeted @Wadge my 3 year old just asked me what Booze and Pills are then carried on singing @KaceyMusgraves at top of her lungs by the pool #strangelyproud

Ward Thomas tweeted @wardthomasmusic Today was amazing @WhisperingBob total legend!! Be sure to tune in if you want to hear it, it is aired in the 14th
Bob Harris tweeted @Whispering All good friends snd jolly good company @BBCRadio2 @wardthomasmusic x

PHOTO

The Shires playing Manchester on July 26th - Image

Rosanne Cash closed day three of this year's Cambridge Folk Festival - check out our pictures of her set here
My Darling Clementine on Day Two of this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival, shot by Rich Etteridge - Images
Day Two of this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival - Images

Sarah Jarosz delivers a stunning set on day three of this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival, her set was shot by Rich Etteridge.
Cara Dillon delivered a stunning set on day two of this year's Cambridge Folk Festival - Images
A mixture of the buzz on site at Cherry Hinton Hall on Day Three of this year's Cambridge Folk Festival - Images - Line up

BIRTHDAYS

August 5: the late Vern Gosdin (1934; died April 28, 2009 (aged 74)), Sammi Smith (1943), Terri Clark (1968)
August 6: Lisa Stewart (1968), Patsy & Peggy Lynn (Lynns) (1964)  
August 7: Rodney Crowell (1950), Alison Brown (1962), Michael Peterson (1959), Raul Malo (Mavericks) (1965) 
August 8: Mark Wills (1973), Michael Johnson (1944), Mel Tillis (1932)
August 9: the late Merle Kilgore (1934; died Feb 6, 2005 (aged 70))
August 10: Jimmy Dean (1928)

R.I.P
Pioneering guitar player Velma Smith has died. The 87-year-old Musicians Hall of Famer is best known for being one of the first women to work as a session player in Nashville. Hank Snow, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Eddy Arnold were among the legends the Kentucky native recorded with.
It was Chet Atkins that discovered Smith, however. According to the Musicians Hall of Fame website, the singer saw her and her older sister at the Grand Ole Opry and quickly hired her for another project. Her sister left music to raise a family, but Smith would go on back Roy Acuff, Jim Reeves, Porter Wagoner and more. For 60 years, she was married to Hal Smith, a fiddle player who would go on to become a prominent producer and publisher alongside Ray Price. Hal Smith was 84 when he died in September 2008. Velma Williams Smith was 87 when she passed away on July 31, 2014.

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