Friday, 15 July 2016

British Country Music Awards 2016 nominations announced

British Country Music Awards 2016 
Nominations announced

(Expanded Press Release)

Monday July 11, 2016
Awards to be hosted by BBC Radio 2 and Amazing Radio presenter Baylen Leonard
Nominations were announced on Monday July 11
Previous winners include The Shires, Brandy Clark, Ward Thomas, Brad Paisley, Luke & Mel, Striking Matches.

The British Country Music Association (?) are excited to announce that the BCMAwards weekend is to be held on Saturday 29th October and Sunday 30th October 2016 at The Heston Venue (formerly the Concorde Suite), Heston Sports Ground, Crane Lodge Road, Cranford, Middlesex TW5 9PQ. Tickets available from

Awards weekend opens with a Best of British Showcase featuring Dexeter, The Southern Companion, Thorne Hill, Gary Quinn and frequent guest American Beau Fuller.

The Awards ceremony will feature performances from Red Sky July, Katy Hurt, Holloway Road and many more.

The nominees for the prestigious British Country Music Awards have been announced.
This event has attracted and become the benchmark for many artists who were previously unknown to the Country music fans who just attend the many events around the club scene and as Country music in the UK grows more and more young acts have been enticed to the genre and so these awards recognise those up and coming artists both here and abroad as well as the more celebrated performers. They are open to all.
Members of the British Country Music Association will have the final say on the winners when voting takes place.

The BCMAward 2016 nominees are:
* NEW * = New to the Category for 2016 compared to the 2015 nominees 

Entertainer of the Year
The Shires
Nathan Carter
Jess & The Bandits 
* NEW * 
Gary Perkins 
* NEW * 

Group of the Year
Jess & The Bandits 
* NEW * 
Gary Quinn Band
Red Sky July 
* NEW * 

Female Vocalist of the Year
Laura Oakes
Claire McArthur-Bain (Raintown)
Katy Hurt 
* NEW * 
Jessica Clemmons (Jess & The Bandits) 
* NEW * 
Crissie Rhodes (The Shires)

Musician of the Year
Lee Guyler
Justin Johnson
Scott Poley 
* NEW * 
Sarah Jory
John Pettifer

Duo of the Year
Ward Thomas
The Shires
Luke & Mel
Holloway Road 
* NEW * 
Ashton Lane 
* NEW * 

UK Album of the Year
Belle Cannon - Evolution
The Southern Companion - 1000 Days Of Rain
Raintown - Writing On The Wall
Thorne Hill - No More Holding Back
Red Sky July - The Truth And The Lie

Male Vocalist of the Year
Thorne Hill 
* NEW * 
Ben Earle (The Shires)
Nathan Carter
Pete Kennedy 
* NEW * 
Gary Quinn 
* NEW * 

Horizon Act of the Year
The Southern Companion
* NEW * 
* NEW * 
Acoustic Journey
* NEW * 
Samantha Lloyd
* NEW * 
* NEW * 

UK Song of the Year
The Southern Companion - Crash
Katy Hurt - Love You More
Luke & Mel - Bad Habit
Ashton Lane - Seventeen
Raintown - Nineteen Again

Video of the Year
Thorne Hill - Open Road
Raintown - Writing On The Wall
Luke & Mel - Bad Habit
Gary Quinn - Dodge Your Bullet
The Southern Companion - Drive


International Song of the Year
Chris Stapleton - Tennessee Whiskey
Thomas Rhett - Die A Happy Man
Tim McGraw - Humble And Kind
Maren Morris - My Church
Carrie Underwood - Smoke Break

International Album of the Year
Chris Stapleton - Traveller
Thomas Rhett - Tangled Up
Carrie Underwood - Storyteller
Eric Church - Mr Misunderstood
Chris Young - I’m Coming Over

International Act of the Year
Little Big Town
Dixie Chicks
Phil Vassar
Thomas Rhett
Kip Moore

Of the nominees Ben Earle gets three nominations including two with Crissie Rhodes as part of The Shires. Last year they picked up
Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and UK Album of the Year for the GOLD certified BRAVE which has sold over 100,000 copies.

Nathan Carter gets another nod for Entertainer of the Year, he was nominated too in 2014 and 2015.

Gary Perkins, who recently won CCN Band of the Year also gets a nomination in the Entertainer category.

Newcomers to the awards nominations are The Southern Companion (4 nominations: Horizon; Album; Song, Video), Glasgow’s Ashton Lane (2 nominations: Duo; Song), Thorne Hill (2 nominations: Male; Album), and Red Sky July (Nominated for Album).

A spokesman said: ‘The quality of the British acts who have come to the fore since British Country music has stepped up to the mark means we shall be soon listening to more of our own acts rather than importing them from across the world. We can match the US with quality, we just need to get them publicised more. The likes of The Southern Companion, Holloway Road, The Shires and Ward Thomas are creating waves and it is no wonder the large recording companies have opened offices in London.’

For more details of the Awards Show and the Best of British event to be held the day before at the same venue in London or go to

Raintown snag 6 Nominations!

Glasgow duo Raintown (also nominated for Entertainer in 2015 and winners in 2014) must be doing something right, they have six nominations this year, one for Entertainer (which they won in 2014) and the other five in, and Group, Female, Album, Song and Video categories. In 2015 Raintown (officially a named duo Paul Bain & Claire McArthur-Bain) scooped the Group of the Year award, Claire won Female Vocalist in 2014, and in 2013 they bagged BCMA Duo of the Year. They certainly have some friends on the BCMAward panel, Lee Williams and Jim Duncan are big fans of their music.
Raintown thrilled and “incredibly grateful and humbled” posted on Facebook with the predictable plethora of well deserved and congrats messages from fans.

After a 5-year wait Raintown released their second album WRITING ON THE WALL (BMB Records UK | CD | UK iTunes ) on Oct 9, 2015. The album was successfully crowd-funded using the Pledge Music platform and they launched the project whilst on honeymoon from a luxury cruise ship visiting Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi Coast line and Rome.
The album is currently ranked:
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,905 in Music; #2164 in Music (Country)
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,926 in MP3 Albums; #750 in MP3 Downloads (Country)

The album was produced by Justin Johnson (BCMAward 2015 & 2016 Nominee) at Parr Street Recording in Liverpool.
The album boasted twelve new tracks from the multi-award winning husband-and-wife duo who it was claimed are “fast gaining the reputation as one of the hottest country acts in Europe” and that the eagerly awaited 'Writing on the Wall' continued to “cement their place as one of the UK's leading new breed of country acts”. The album is an eclectic mix of lyrical stories, from country to guitar-driven pop. 'If This Was A Love Song' with its strong, sing-a-long chorus is about promises and conversations between a couple on the fear of giving relationships a second chance, 'It's about finding the right words to say', commented Claire. 'Missing You' came in the aftermath of the Clutha Tragedy in Glasgow.

During its one-month pre-order period it peaked at #13 on UK iTunes Country Album Chart (Sept 8).
After its official Oct 9th release it charted #30 UK iTunes Country (#718 UK Overall iTunes Albums) and by Oct 16th fell #58 then #74 (outside top 1500, overall). On Amazon on Oct 16 the CD was ranked #4,629 in Music (See Top 100 in Music) #171 in Music (Country).
Their first single “If This was A Love Song” received plays on the BBC, interviews with CMR Nashville and a Spotlight Weekend on The video was #1 on the CM&T International Chart Show (Formerly SKY 261/ FREESAT 402).
After over 5 years Raintown were finally played Nationally on BBC Radio 2 on Bob Harris Country on Dec 4, 2015 via single "If This Was A Love Song" .
"Really, really good new UK country music....It is very, very good isn't it, the brand new album from Raintown" – Bob Harris (OBE)
The reaction from fans to the spin was likened “to winning the FA Cup” by BCMAward member Jim Duncan and Wolverhampton 101.8 WCR presenter.
This prompted a new Writing On The Wall Advert:

Previously to this they had only been played on the Radio 2 Country 2015 On Demand Pop Service (Live Acoustic C2C2015 Festival session) and 2 spins on BBC Radio Scotland ("Picture Of Us" Roddy Hart 7th March 2013) and "Just One Kiss" was played by Iian Anderson way back on 10th Aug 2010.
Further national radio airplay has continued in 2016 with the release of the radio edit for "Nineteen Again” which was played on BBC Radio Scotland (Iain Anderson, Janice Forsyth) and played across the local BBC Radio network.
Joe Wilson BBC Radio Lancashire: “A great album out last year, I think they're going to be massive this year"
Marie Crichton BBC Radio Shropshire (16 April 2016) "Definitely the best they've ever done, really gone up a notch with this new single....lovely duo, it's really catchy and it's really professional"
Paul Braithwaite BBC Radio Cumbria "A very talented duo from Scotland.. they're very good, met them a couple of times and they are very good indeed
Brian Clough The American Connection Show (Jan 23, 2016) “I think they’re absolutely sensational…absolute magic..Together they sound absolutely amazing, for my money this could go to the top of the American charts if it was released over there, great song, great musicianship, well done you Raintown"

13 minutes of Fame on BBC Radio Scotland:  
Listen to Raintown’s interview and live session on BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth show (broadcast Tues 28 June 2016)
They had a wee chat and session in the big music studio which drew the comment "isn't that gorgeous live and everything...that was glorious as we knew you would sound very American/ Americana country infused". They then performed their first single from WRITING ON THE WALL "If This was A Love Song". Janice then said “you can tell these guys gig, they're so bloomin' good live”. "This is our life our true passion and we get to do this every get to sing and write songs for a living is a joy to be honest" shared Paul Bain. Click PLAY twice to start:

"Nineteen Again" (Radio Edit) was a prime cut on the promotional May 2016 #209 Hotdisc (ranked by DJs/ Media across Eupoe) where it peaked at #2 on the Hotdisc Top 40 and debuted and led at #1 position on the British & Irish Top 10 Hotdisc chart for eight weeks, equalling the feat of Kathy Crinion earlier in the year with her "Rock n Roll Banjo" (week commencing March 6). With 8 weeks atop the chart Raintown have equalled Lucie Diamond's "I Wanna Be Rich" (Sept 2007), Brianie's "Daddy's School" (May 2008), Rosie Horne's Travelin' Soldier (Nov 2009), Clive John & The Spirit Band with "The Spirit" (Feb 2011), Gary Curtis' "Life Is For The Living" (April 2012), Hayley Oliver Band with "Right Person At The Right Time" (April 2013) and Kathy Crinion's "Rock n Roll Banjo" (March 2016). They did not break a record (Twitter post) , they were 1 week short of Rob Allen's “Pale Rider” (July 2012) and Hayley Oliver Band's "The Hand That Rocked The Cradle" which reigned for 9-weeks.

The official WRITING ON THE WALL album release co-incided with a 5 date UK headline tour (4 outside of their hometown Glasgow). Their tour band consisted Scott MacPherson (bass); Stevie Lawrence (frequent guitar player), Chris Howard, Justin Johnson (drums), Peter Christopherson and a noteable mention Scott Poley (BCMAward Musician of the Year nominee) who is the co-star musician on the album and on other 2016 BCMAward nominated projects (Thorne Hill, Narn, Samantha Lloyd). Poley (Electric & Steel) who is part of Justin Johnson’s Parr Street studio session players also has writing credits on WRITING ON THE WALL and played guitar for Raintown at the Brooklyn Bowl Stage during C2C2015 Festival and for their BBC Radio 2 Country live session.

The "highly anticipated" WRITING ON THE WALL was made available to buy in HMV stores across the UK. It made a debut at #36 on The Official Scottish Chart (Dated Oct 16, 2015 – Oct 22, 2015) but left the Top 100 chart a week later.
* Note * The album did not appear on the Official UK Top 100 Album chart and it hasn’t made an appearance yet on UK Top 20 Country Albums chart on which BCMAward nominees Ward Thomas have spent 78 weeks on and The Shires have logged 60 weeks on so far.
Outside of the 400 Pledgers it seems retail sales have been small for Raintown's album despite the fact the 2014 BCMAward Entertainers of the Year and Group of The Year holders have well over 18,000 followers on FACEBOOK alone.

Critical Acclaim

Chris Smith (Country Music People 5 STARS) ..I must admit as they say in Parlimentary debate declare an interest.. ..the whole package is slick, unpretentious and very professionally delivered – 10 words that also describe this album . Living The Same Old
Song which in my book is an absolute winner. To be honest none of the tracks are there simply to make the numbers. Every single one has something remarkable about it….Justin Johnstone has managed to capture superb vocal performances from both Paul & Claire and listening to this on a quality sound system you really appreciate the nuances in Billy Deckers excellent mix..The attention to detail typifies Raintowns approach to their music and their career  they have yet to reach anything like the pinnacle of that career as I believe the next couple of years will prove firmly establish themselves in the vanguard of that push for international recognition. Get on the Raintown bandwagon because the best is yet to come.

Maverick Magazine (5 STARS Verity Moore; Nov/Dec 2015)…Great music, neat lyrics and dynamic harmonies...One of the most popular acts on growing UK country music scene..Their fame is surely set to grow as their record is truly excellent.
All 12 are memorable with great music and interesting lyrics that tell a variety of stories with genres varying for country to guitar driven POP….
Maverick said it was "sure to be a massive hit with current fans" and "also bring a whole set of new fans too”.
Douglas McPherson (Country Music People) if the call "bring me the next Shires" ever goes up this husband and wife team should be the first in line
Alan Cackett (4.1/2 STARS): Raintown have managed to retain that ferocity and dynamic drive whilst also producing an album rich in both lyrical quality and musicianship.
W21 Music : All in all a very worthy follow up to  "Hope In Troubled Times" in fact in term of song for song quality it probably surpasses it, and the arrangements and production are a credit to all involved.
Baylen Leonard (BCMAward 2016 host/ Radio 2 Country) said Raintown were on "everybodys lips" at C2C 2015.
Lee Williams BCMAwards President & CEO CMR Nashville said "it's actually wonderful, really really good, one of the best British recordings for a long time"

"That's fantastic" - Richard Edeson ( | Interview)
Hear all the UKCR spill/ hype: (presenters/subscribers) previously named Raintown their first UK Artist of the Year in 2014 and Duo of the Year in September 2015. The station made "Writing On The Wall" their Album Of The Week.

Keith Greentree BBC Radio Norfolk: "Great album it really is, a great duo"
Very modern in its structure the album abounds with great musicianship, clever harmonies and brilliant of the best British albums aroundBrian Clough (CMA International Brooadcaster 2010)

Despite having an album to promote Raintown have performed just a few gigs since October. On March 8th they rounded out a Time Out London & W21music pre C2C event in London. They played the Kings Tuts Pop Up stage at C2C Glasgow and headlined King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (capacity 300) on Friday 10th June. They recently headlined the Friday night June 24th Buckle & Boots Country Festival. They excitedly announced that they will be performing a full band support opening for POP act Runrig in London on Thurs 21 July 2016 at the 2,000 capacity Shepherds Bush Empire (Shepherds Bush Green, Shepherds Bush W12 8TT London). On Sun 28 August 2016 they open, along with their BCMAward nominee pals Dexeter for The Shires at The Civic Hall, Cottingham Event
Then its time out for a few months as they are expecting their first baby (a girl) in October.

Raintown signed a management deal with Peter Conway Management in August 2014. After winning numerous country awards in 2014 their good friend CEO Allan Watkiss met up with to present them with their engraved UK Artist of the Year award. He asked:
You are hoping that Peter will take you where you want to go, where do you want to go”
Paul Bain responded: “We want to be at the very top, we want to represent UK Country music on the International scene. We do want to be playing in Nashville at CMA Fest in LP Field, we want to be out on tours in Europe, we want to go to Australia and touring” and slightly retreating on their CMA winning ambitions said “we want to be at least in consideration for CMA Awards”.
Listen here (first broadcast on on Dec 26, 2014):

Previously presenter Alan Perkins caught up with them in his C2C 2014 Review (March 30, 2014) he asked the question: You’re on the UP, where would you like to be in the next 5 years? Claire: Playing on the International stage representing the UK. Paul: We're always about improving things, We want to win Country Music Association (CMA Awards).
In interview with pals Dean and Sheena on TCR fm (Sound of Tamworth) at the Buckle and Boots Festival Raintown spoke of writing for a third album. Having two established albums with HOPE IN TROUBLED TIMES (2010) and WRITING ON THE WALL (Oct 2015) they said that they will "probably push the boundaries a little bit more on the third album". They have been working with different writers and will be throwing in some surprises. Regarding a change of direction Paul Bain said that it "doesn't naturally have to be an album of the same sort of sound, Zac Brown Band [Jekyll + Hyde) immediately comes to mind"
Watch Raintown's encore at the Buckle & Boots Festival ">> Just One Kiss"
Following meetings plans are in the pipeline for 2017 and 2018 apparently with things to take their music abroad.


The lovely W21 Music favourite Katy Hurt, who was nominated for BCMAward Horizon Act of the Year in 2015 and UK Newcomer of the Year 2015 (w21Music Awards), this year gets 2 nods for Female Vocalist & Song of the Year for “Love You More” which was produced by Fraser Smith, Metropolis Studios Mastered by Metropolis Recording Studio. 
The song made a #62 UK iTunes Country Singles Chart debut quickly climbing to #7 (#893 all genres) and then to #1! (#455 all genres).
Katy Hurt performs "Love You More" (Live at The Mercury Bar) Metropolis Studios, London:

Katy graduated from ACM’s Songwriting & Artist Development program and became their first ever student to be signed up by Metropolis Music Publishing. London’s Metropolis Studios, is home to some of the greatest hits from artists like Amy Winehouse and Adele!
Katy goes up against BCMAward newbie The Southern Companion with “Crash”, multi BCMAward winning duo Raintown with “Nineteen Again” their second single off their five star (Maverick, Country Music People) rated album, WRITING ON THE WALL. This new radio edit of the track, peaked at a lowly #61 on UK iTunes Country Singles Chart. However, it peaked at #2 on the Hotdisc Top 40 and led the British Hotdisc Chart for 8 weeks. BBC Radio Scotland Janice Forsyth made it Record of the Week, it was written by their "good - and extremely talented - friend", Brian Hughes. Last year’s Song winners Luke & Mel are nominated again this time with their 2016 single “Bad Habit” (co-written with Steve Black) which peaked at #4 for 1 hour UK iTunes Country Singles Chart. Luke & Mel (Luke Thomas & Melanie Greggain) took home the 2015 award for Song of the Year for “Something About A Woman” written by outside writers Ann “Thunderlungs” Bailey and Matt Greaves. The other Song nominee comes from Glasgows very own country/pop duo Ashton Lane (WEBSITE | Esther O'Connor and Tim O'Connor) with “Seventeen”. This lovely album standout was released as a single on November 30, 2015 from their album NASHVILLE HEART.
Baylen Leonard/ Amazing Radio (Front Porch Show):  "I think Lady Antebellum is Nashville's answer to Ashton Lane if you want my opinion!"


BCMAward 2016 Horizon Act of the Year Nominees

Horizon Act of the Year
The Southern Companion
* NEW * 
* NEW * 
Acoustic Journey
* NEW * 
Samantha Lloyd
* NEW * 
* NEW * 

The Southern Companion “The Chris Stapleton for the BCMAwards 2016?!
Genre: UK Country/Americana | Home Town: Lymington, Hants
A band and brainchild of Darren Hodson, a musician and songwriter from Hampshire, England
Members: Darren Hodson (Vocals / Guitars), Simon Johnson (Guitars / Backing Vocals), Stuart Ross (Bass / Backing Vocals), Olly Richmond-Jones (Drums / Backing Vocals) & Lee Maycock (Keys)
The Southern Companion (Website) are a band fronted by singer/songwriter Darren Hodson. It's a collaboration with his band of best friends and talented musicians. Since honing his craft from his early teens, Darren has now been working on his music for a good twenty years, even though his new album 1000 DAYS OF RAIN was only his second record. The band’s genre-bending sound was described by For The Country Record as being "situated somewhere in the midst of country, folk, blues, rock and even pop – to create songs that are catchy without sacrificing the musicality or substance.
In 2015 The Southern Companion embarked on a UK and European tour opening for Radio 2 favourite Rumer with Darren Hodson additionally playing guitar in her band. Dan also opened for her in Nashville at The City Winery.
Darren and his Southern Companion opened shows for Lulu on her 7-week March/April 2016 run British tour. On 23rd Feb 2016 The Southern Companion's 10 track album 1000 DAYS OF RAIN (Streets Productions Ltd) dropped. Darren incorporated elements of southern rock, country, blues folk, soul and Americana into his music, grounding the songs in earthy guitars and husky vocals. The effect was described in review as having "a cohesive musical style that is apt for starting a party in true roots fashion, but that is also not a stretch to drop down into stripped-back ballads. It was awarded 5 STARS by Country Music People's reviewer Chris Smith in the April 2016 issue who said "quality oozes from this album right away and you would expect it to given the musicians involved" and that it’s an album which "sets the tone of tight arrangements, strong vocals and well written new songs" and urged readers to "have a listen and be prepared to change your mind"
Baylen Leonard the Nashville Nights DJ, Amazing Radio and BBC Radio 2 Country presenter has been championing the music and the

Narn (Rheana Forrester)
Narn, (Birthdate 7 Dec), who hails from Staffordshire, is multi-talented country-pop singer/songwriter, who can play the guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica and more. She has performed at different venues throughout the country, including the famous Cavern Club, Liverpool, where apparently she has took to the stage with great confidence and flooded the venue with her 'stadium filling vocals', according to reviews.

On Jan 13, 2015 she released her self penned track “Into the Night(Amazon UK | UK iTunes).
BCMAward panel member Jim Duncan and Wolverhampton 101.8 WCR presenter said it was "really really good" and that it was "a great great track". Concluding Jim told listeners "she was lovely and I'm look forward to that EP and get the full mix of it, it's going to be really really good". The single was promoted by Lee Williams Django Promotions on the Hotdisc #194 February 2015 promotional CD but it did not make the Hotdisc charts.
Narn who was a 2015 guest on the country show on WCRfm 101.8 FM (Wolverhampton Community Radio) talked about her influences & sang a few songs from what was a forthcoming 4 track EP being produced by Matt Bishop who plays rhythm guitar and is a member of Honey Ryder. She performed title cut "Nashville Story" even though Narn had never been to Music City USA. She followed her acoustic live session with resurrected "Where Do I Go Now" and finished with "I Really Don't Care" (Chips & Cheese) about being your own person and not caring what society at large think. This drew a thunderous round of applause from Jim!
Narn was joined by the wonderful Charlotte Elizabeth Board from CEI Events (Facebook | Charlotte Elizabeth International) an event planner and Management service for bands and musicians and provide a home for them. CEI sponsored and presented the BCMAwward 2015 UK Song of the Year. At that time 6 artists were on the CEI roster: Narn (honoury member), Katy Hurt, Haley Ryan, Kim Tink, Emma Moore and Toria Lynn.

On Oct 17, 2015 Narn self-released the 4 track Country/ Pop EP NASHVILLE STORY (Amazon UK - UK iTunes - )
It peaked at #5 on the UK iTunes Country album Chart probably just outside the all genre UK iTunes Album Top 200 behind  Don Henley’s Cass County at #219. The EP then fell to No.9 (#399 UK iTunes overall) and at Oct 22 was at #15 (#630 overall iTunes) before falling off the top 200 Country places.
Narn is one of the prettiest Brit country singers out there and the EPs photography by CMA official photographer Anthony D’Angio (aka Flex The Frog | Website) perfectly captured her beauty! Get Flex'd said it was an "absolute pleasure working with Narn" during a weekend location shoot for her EP cover artwork, which was stunning!

As she strives to hone her songwriting and live performances she has played the Alsager Music Festival, Little Mountain Country Music Festival (July 9, 2016), The Fort San Antone 4th of July Extravaganza (2015), Bantock House Wolverhampton Country Nights, Songwriters event at Gullivers, Manchester, Stoke Christmas Light Switch On and has played the Wolvestock Festivals in 2015 & 2016.
In August 2015 she supported US acts SaraBeth & Glen Mitchell at the Railway Inn in Winchester: “The Incredible Narn, she was Amazing” said W21 Music who welcomed her to their fold saying she is “Amazing, destined for big things in the UK”
Wayne Hadlow the CEO of FSA (Fort San Antone Festival) said "Narn, she's absolutely amazing".
Narn Forthcoming dates:
Saturday 23rd July - Blackthorn Music Festival (Market Pl, Romiley, Stockport SK6 5HZ) Website
Saturday 30th July 2016 - Fsa Fest, Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY Event
Saturday 3rd September 2016 -  Faversham Hop Festival - Main Stage, Faversham, Kent
Sunday 4th September 2016 - ​Stafford Blues Festival, Lower Drayton Farm, Stafford

On May 26, 2016 she released her debut album WASN'T BORN TO LOSE (Rooftop Records Limited) 10 Tracks/ Time: 34:31 Amazon UK - iTunes UK -
It was completed in 3 days, recorded with instruments in 2 days, vocals recorded in a day
It features Scott Poley (electric guitar & steel), Roo Walker (acoustic), James Jayawardena (piano & B3), Simon Goulding (bass), Robbie Cavanagh (BV's), Laura Oakes (BV's) and Justin Johnson (drums)
On June 4th on UK Country iTunes Chart it made a debut #27 (#988 all genres), climbed to #12, off the top 200 June 5th.
Producer Justin Johnson shared on FacebookAs always, a big thanks goes out to the knuckleheads (musicians, engineers, photographers, backing vocalists, Song writers, etc.) who made this album come together the way it did... James Jayawardena, Roo (I'm to good for Facebook) Walker, Scott Poley, Simon Goulding, Robbie Cavanagh, Chris Taylor, Thorne Hill, Laura Oakes, Anthony D'Angio and Joe Bennett.
The Wasn't Born To Lose Album Launch Show took place on Fri 3rd June, 2016 at Studio 2, Parr Street (33-45 Parr St, Liverpool L1 4JN) joined by several 2016 BCMAward nominated guests Holloway Road, Thorne Hill and Samantha Lloyd
On June 5th Narn shared: I had an amazing time celebrating its release at Studio 2 on Friday night!! Thank you to everybody who came, you're all incredible! I'm so proud of the final product of the album and I've loved every part of creating it! I had a super busy day on Friday starting with a performance in Stafford for BBC Music Day, broadcast on BBC Radio Stoke, and then travelled to Liverpool to soundcheck and prepare for the launch.

Again a guest on Jim Duncan’s Wolverhampton 101.8 WCR country show he said she is due to have an “electric career” and that WASN'T BORN TO LOSE was “a brilliant one, a stunning album.. stunning piece of artwork front, back and inside” and that she was making a “bold statement” and that she had “struck gold with this and it should open loads of doors”. 

He made reference to the absolutely stunning CD photography (Anthony D’Angio) that Narn was “stunning sexy” in high heeled boots! Regarding her bookend track, the ballad I Guess Your Right he described it as: 
A stunning standout, puts British country music on a total par with anything at the moment coming out of Nashville, Nashville can't match that they have to go to people like Alison Krauss & Gretchen Peters who can sing songs like that and even further back to Emmylou Harris so they can work a ballad”

Producer Justin Johnson said that it is - The coming of age album. She was 17, had flowers in her hair, now she's rockin', and she’s dressin'! The whole album is a lot more mature with the writing, moving away as a child in the way she wrote progressing to the growing up moment.
I wanted to make a record from every stage of it. We wrote everything in a 2-month window before we started recording, one or two she had before, it's all fresh not what she's been writing on for years”
Does Narn's bold change of style remind you of anyone?

Narn described the aim of the album as a massive change of style from what she had done before, making a statement and that musically it was much more her as a person with the kind of music she listens to.
Gone is the flower headband/ braid and Narn is now rockin’ a sexy young confident strong lady. Dream Big co-written with Justin Johnson and Joe Bennett underlines this approach as a powerful happy positive song, dreaming big, doing whatever you want to do without letting others stand in your way!

They shared: Amazing news, we are thrilled to announce we've been nominated for the BCMAwards Horizon Act of the Year 2016!

Founded on June 2009 | Genre: Country
Band Members: Andrew Jones, Ben Gurney and Andy Sammons
Home Town: Northampton
Short Description: 3 Voices, 2 Guitars, 1 Cajon! Love Country Music? You'll love us too!
Long Description: They are a Country trio from Northamptonshire. Playing a healthy mix of their own original material, new and old country covers and some old rock classics in our upbeat country style.
A rugby playing singer, a rock guitarist and a heavy metal drummer. Not the normal combination for a country fuelled band with a love of raw sounding acoustics and bassy percussion.
The story starts back in 2009 at an open mic night at a local pub. Friends from school, Andrew Jones, a solo singer from the early days of his primary and secondary school choirs, and Ben Gurney, talented song writer and lead guitarist for rock band RichLife, were both looking to change direction.
A number of years playing local venues and festivals had the band searching for a fresher, harder hitting sound which saw the arrival of Andy Sammons, previously a drummer for heavy metal band 6 Bullet Chamber. The guys have been in the studio recording were looking to build momentum in to 2015 in an attempt to break on to the UK Country scene alongside some other talented artists.

They released track "You and Me" back on Sept 18, 2014 (Amazon UK) they followed this up with a 4 track EP REAL GOOD FEEL GOOD on 19 May 2015 (Amazon UK | iTunes) and the title track drew airplay on local UK country radio shows.

Then on Nov 13, 2015 they dropped a five track EP titled GET BACK ON IT (Real Good Records; Amazon UK - UK iTunes -
Descibed as “One of the UKs fastest growing bands” it was launched to build on their “reputation as a tight musical unit and
reflecting their very own unique sound” as another stepping stone. The collection of five songs was a tool to further showcase “their talent and progress as songwriters” and also a band.

Watch >> "Get Back Up" (Published on Oct 12, 2015 4,530 views)

They launched their "Get Back Up" at Rock The Atic, Banbury (10-11 Butchers Row, Banbury, Oxon OX16 5JH) on Friday 13th November! With special guests Luke & Mel and Megan O'Neill!. It appeared on UK Country iTunes Chart at #25 and climbed to  #16 (3 Nov 2015).
Acoustic Journey stated they “have had one hell of a year playing shows alongside some of the best UK Country artists around (Luke & Mel, Jess and the Bandits) all over the UK”. They've also spent many evenings and weekends partying with some amazing fans and followers.
A “relentless gigging schedule” is their attempt to further establish themselves.
Acoustic Journey Gigs
Sat 23 July 2016 - Brackley Beer Festival, Brackley
Sat 30 July 2016 - Rock Ridge Round Up, Sunniside
Sun 13 Nov 2016 - Filey Festival, Filey

Samantha Lloyd
I've been nominated for Horizon Act of the year 2016!!!! Thanks to the BCMA's she shared on Facebook
Home Town: Stoke-on-Trent | Born on 25 November 1992
Unsigned Singer-Songwriter from Staffordshire.
Cover vocalist and experience performing at holiday parks/weddings/private events.

On March 21, 2016 she released a 6 track EP titled NOW THAT YOU'RE GONE (Rooftop Records Limited)
The EP peaked at #12 in the UK iTunes Country Chart! This 6 track EP comes from the heart and has a country pop sound!
BCMAward 2016 nominee and UK artist Thorne Hill lent backing vocals on a couple of tracks. Samantha’s new music was played on CMR Nashville (Europe’s No.1 Country station).

Her EP Launch took place on 28th March 2016 at The Exchange Stoke (Trinity Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1HJ).

Read Road Dog (EP review | 9/10 Rating) - Every so often, an artist comes along and creates something so profound that it transcends the genre they play. It becomes purely about the beauty of the song, rather than whether the style is to a person’s tastes or preferences. Samantha Lloyd’s debut EP, Now That You’re Gone is exactly that. It’s pure, profound and promising. Six tracks where Samantha wears her heart on her sleeve, and lets her emotions and experiences flow through the fretboard and her serene vocals. 
The most incredible factor regarding Samantha, is the conviction with which these songs are written and performed, at the age of only 23, she has ability and experience beyond her years. There is a wisdom present throughout the EP that speaks loudly yet remains confined within each track……

The self-penned "Now That You're Gone" was the first single from the upcoming 6 track EP. It was promoted on the May 2016 #209 Hotdisc by Mr. Lee Williams President of the British Country Music Awards, CEO of CMR NASHVILLE "Europe's #1 Country Music Radio Station" and Django Promotions. It made a debut at #34 on the Hotdisc top 40 (dated Sunday May 8, 2016) and climbed to #26 and #7 on the British & Irish Hotdisc Chart (dated June 5,2016)
 The >> video published on Feb 25, 2016 produced by Justin Johnson (

Her latest Hotdisc single “Catch A Ride” (co-written with Joe Bennett & Justin Johnson), again promoted by Lee Williams on the July 2016 #211 Hotdisc has yet to chart.

The video >> “Everybody Can’t Be Wrongpublished on March 26, 2016 (Written by Robbie Cavanagh, Samantha Lloyd & Justin Johnson) is the 5th track on the EP. 

Samantha shared: Abuse in a relationship doesn’t always have to be physical. If you feel you are in a mentally abusive and psychologically damaging relationship and feel like you have nowhere to turn please don’t suffer in silence, visit these websites for more support and advice.

She recently played at Wolvestock 2016 Festival, rain and wind didn't stop her performing “Goodbye Lullaby” joined on stage by Jay Johnson and Jake Clarke.


Description: Five-piece country pop band blending the sounds of today’s most contemporary country artists such as Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band, and their sound also been likened to legendary artists such as Fleetwood Mac and Eagles.

Members: Joe Martin raised the bar by combining a BA in Popular Music at Leeds College of Music with the formation of country-folk band Fitzwallace in tandem with four fellow-students Flo Taylor (vocals), Calum Juniper (lead and slide guitar, banjo), Harry Vernon (bass guitar and double bass) and Henry Broomfield (drums)
The band has already established quite a reputation in the Leeds area, supporting the Shires and Ward Thomas as part of their co-headline tour and also playing at the Country to Country festival at London’s O2 on the C2C Music Mile Pop Up Stage in 2015.

Fitzwallace formed in November 2013 and are based in Leeds, UK.
The band met in their first year at Leeds College of Music and have previous experience in a wide range of music. The group shares a love for country and folk music and quickly began to write and record their own songs while performing around Leeds, building a small but loyal following of country/folk converts. Fitzwallace released their debut EP ‘Treading Water’ in April 2014 and single ‘Empty Heart’ in June 2014.
Watch >> "Treading Water" (published April 1, 2014; 1000+ views)
On Feb 3rd 2015 Fitzwallace (named after a character Admiral Percy Fitzwallace from the political TV drama series The West Wing) joined Andrew Edwards on BBC Radio Leeds in the first hour in the Country Session (first Tues of the month) with resident country guru, Allan Watkiss (the CEO of and former BBC Radio Sheffield country presenter) Listen here:

On 20 May 2015 Fitzwallace self-released their 4 track EP titled Sweetheart (Amazon UK - UK iTunes - Bandcamp) .It was recorded from January to April 2015.

Our Reaction & Comment

The British Country Music Awards is as far as we can still tell a self-appointed committee of directors whose names are not widely public knowledge on the British scene with secrecy as to how acts are nominated, how the votes are gathered and just how many votes are actually cast. This question has been continually asked with no replies. It is still noted that some of the nominees have a connection to someone on the panel.
As far as we can tell the panel is Lee Williams (President of BCMA), Malc T. Allan (chairman of British Country Music Hall of Fame), Rob Davis (Publisher & Editor; Up Country and Cross Country magazines), Roger Wild (Secretary of the BCMA/ Broke Spoke Festival/ Copper Kettle Promotions), Les Evans (NAM agency) and Jim Duncan (Wolvestock Promoter/ Curator of the British Country Music Hall of Fame). 
It is unknown just how many people actually determine who draw up the nominations and how many BCMA members will determine the 2016 winners.

Would you like to become a member of the British Country Music Association, it costs just £20 a year and gives you the opportunity to have your say? If you would like to discuss membership, then contact (source Rob Davis)

One wonders if there are any voting criteria and it continues to more a case of the BCMAward panel making acts to be a “good fit” in a category.
It might be so much better if the same criteria were applied as the CMA in America so that the BCMAwards could be taken a lot more seriously.
Why not have an eligibility period set to submit a body of work or achievement over a year, and were there any ballot rounds to determine the nominations?

Female Vocalist of the Year
This year the BCMAward nominated Laura Oakes, Claire McArthur-Bain (Raintown), Katy Hurt, Jessica Clemmons (Jess & The Bandits) and Crissie Rhodes (The Shires). If the same rules were applied as the CMA (based on individual musical performance on a solo album release and awarded to artist) only two acts Laura Oakes and Katy Hurt would qualify. Jess Clemmons is a Texan and part of an UK/US band whilst Claire McArthur-Bain and Crissie Rhodes are members of a Duo act. This might of opened the door to three other names who released single and album projects such as Danni Nichols, Lisa Wright, Sasha McVeigh, Emma Swindells,
Kathryn Anderson, Narn, Liv Austen, Angie King and Demi Marriner.
Male Vocalist of the Year
Again this could be based on individual musical performance on a solo release. Nominees Ben Earle (The Shires) is part of a named duo and singer-songwriter Pete Kennedy who has previously received multiple nominations and won Album of the Year two years in succession actually hails from the County Offaly in the Irish Republic. He has been managed and promoted by BCMAward president Lee Williams (CEO and owner of CMR Nashville, Django Promotions).

Group of The Year
This year’s nominees are: Dexeter, Raintown, Jess & The Bandits, Gary Quinn Band and Red Sky July
A group should be defined as an act, composed of three (3) or more people, all of whom normally perform together and none of whom is known primarily as an individual performing artist. This Award should therefore be based on the musical performance of the group as a unit. Gary Quinn is known to perform as an individual so should be considered for either Male Vocalist or Group and not both. Raintown won this award in 2015 and have previously won Duo of the Year. The act has just two official members named on their websites in Paul Bain and Claire McArthur-Bain with a variety of musicians who step in as a trio or band format. Frequent Raintown guitarist Stevie Lawrence is not an official member.

UK Album of the Year
Quite how the BCMAward committee has named Belle Cannon with an album EVOLUTION as a nominee I do not know? Is this an album submitted before it has been released? (in 2015 Honey Ryder were nominated months before the music hit retail).
Can find no information about it anywhere!
In December 2011 she released a 12 track album titled REWIND (BelleJar Management/ Spot On Entertainment) which is still available on iTunes. Two singles were promoted on Hotdisc with a stonking dance record called “Party” landing a 2-week #1 on the Hotdisc British & Irish Chart (2011-07-24) which reached #4 on the Hotdisc Top 40. The other single “Reel Me In” (HD164) peaked at #8 on the Top 40. Website:

Well if the CMA adopted this same attitude Florida Georgia Line would be eligible for Duo and Group of the Year with Tyler Hubbard nominated for Male Vocalist. Lady Antebellum would be eligible for Duo with Hillary Scott in the Female Vocalist category. The Eric Church Band (?) would be up for Group of the Year and Faith Hill’s latest project nominated for Album of the Year! 

MISSING 2016 BCMAwards
No Club Awards nominees have so far been published? In 2015 the People’s Choice: Solo Act went to Donna Wylde, Richard Palmer won the People’s Choice: Dance Act, Texas Tornados picked up the People’s Choice: Act of the Year and the Quickdraw Festival bagged the People’s Choice: Festival of the Year:

There has been no mention of a 2016 BCMA Hotdisc Award whom it appears have pulled out of this years BCMAward ceremony. It was won in 2015 by veteran Frank Jennings with “Rose Of El Paso” which led for 7 weeks atop the chart. It was awarded to the Hotdisc Single of the Year, a promoted song which performed better than any other on the Hotdisc British & Irish Chart over the past 12 months. Since 1999 the Hotdisc has been an excellent promotional tool for both British and overseas acts to showcase their music, appear on a credible chart (marked on merit) and for hot new acts to introduce themselves to 100s of DJs and media contacts right across Europe.

The music awards, affiliated with the Country Music Awards in America, recognise the contribution of professionals within the country music genre. Jim Duncan announced on 101.8 WCRfm that the late Lyn Jones (Chelsea Artistes) who died in December 2015 will be an inductee. Mr. Jones provided events and Festivals with many acts over many years. The fan-voted winners of May’s Cross Country / National Artist Management (CCN) Awards awarded him their Services to Industry honour.

Back on March 4, 2016 is was said that The British Country Music Awards BCMAwards 2016 would be moving from their home of the last 4 years the Concorde Suite, Heathrow, London to a 700 seat theatre at Grove Theatre, Grove Park, Court Drive Dunstable, Bedfordshire. It WAS to be held on Sept 16th, 17th & 18th, 2016. It WAS to be a 3 DAY Event with Cocktail Party & singer-songwriter event, a full fledged concert and presentation of the awards. US & UK acts were said to be appearing and Darryl Worley was being headhunted! The British Country Music Association then re-opened a £20 Membership with a booth at the C2C Country To Country Festival. Membership was slated to include special discounts and a monthly draw; Source "The scene is getting REALLY BIG in the UK" Lee Williams (President of the BCMAwards; CEO CMR Nashville) >> Audio <<

On Thursday May 5, 2016 M.T Allan (BCMAward Chairman) was a guest Jim Duncan’s show on Wolverhampton 101.8 WCR FM to talk about the CC&N event and the BCMawards. Jim sits on BCMAward panellist, is the Wolvestock Promoter and Organizer & Curator of the British Country Music Hall of Fame. Mr. Allan was introduced as Chairman of the British Country Music Association.
Question: So had the British Country Music Awards become the British Country Music Association Awards. Who knows?!
M.T. Allan creating a buzz said “we KNOW it’s going to Lorrie Morgan + Mark Chesnutt + Striking Matches and another TBA.
He went to say that the Sunday Awards “will be co-presented by Lorrie Morgan, Mark Chesnutt and Striking Matches will be in on that”. Lorrie Morgan and Full American Band was also teased on CMR Nashville by Lee Williams (Source >> Audio <<).
We shared this information on social media only to be told to remove it 2 days later which we immediately did as it seems contracts had not been signed.
Then after a quiet period this announcement appeared on the BCMAwards website:

Due to unforseen circumstances the date and venue for this years awards weekend have been changed. The event will now take place on Oct 29th & 30th at our original home The Concorde Suite Heathrow, London.  There will an expansion of the Best Of British Songwriter Night on Sat 29th October, then the BCMA awards show on Sunday the 30th Tickets Available Soon, Priced £10 for the Sat (Free to BCMA members) and £20 for the main awards show.

No comments:

Post a Comment