Friday 30 September 2016

The Shires perform exclusive live version of Other People’s Things, New album out today

Exclusive live version of “Other People’s Things”

New album MY UNIVERSE out now!
The Shires perform live on the Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2
The Shires snag fab 8-page feature in 
brand new Country Music Magazine

Expanded Press Release:
Ahead of the release of their sophomore album MY UNIVERSE, Sept 30th, UK Country superstars The Shires have released an exclusive acoustic performance of their track ‘Other People’s Things’.

The pair (made up of the beautiful Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle; from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire), who this year became the first ever UK Country act to break the Official UK Top 10 Album Chart, are joined on the performance by the song’s co-creator, Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt:

"It was so easy to work with Nina on this live performance of Other People's Things. We co-wrote the song and it was so nice to get the opportunity to perform it with her live, her voice blended so effortlessly with ours and helped bring another level of feeling to the emotions of the lyrics.” 

**  OUT NOW *

Release Date: 30 Sept 2016 
The Shires - My Universe 

Label : Decca (UMO))

12 Tracks/ Time: 43:31
Amazon UK - UK iTunes - (Oct 14, 2016) - Spotify           

First single "Beats To Your Rhythm" has received over 850K streams and second single and title cut "My Universe", which dropped Sept 16th has had over 97K streams on Spotify.

NOTE: The album release date was brought forward one week from previously announced 7 Oct 2016. 

The album has debuted at No.1 on UK Country iTunes Chart and #3 on the all genre iTunes Chart behind new releases from  by Bon Iver 22, A Million and Following My Intuition (Deluxe) from Craig David.

As The Shires’ album campaign in the UK builds, following a packed secret gig for industry and fans to announce the album, talk of the second UK Country No.1 album is beginning to hit fever pitch. The band are also continuing to make significant steps to launching in the USA having already graced the stage at the famous Grand Ole Opry, adding their names alongside Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Garth Brooks and a veritable who’s who of country music who have all played at the famous Nashville landmark venue.

On their plans for the UK and US, The Shires said, ‎“It was great to go back to Nashville – and we have lots of plans for the US which will be announced in the coming months – but we are all about the UK right now – it’s an exciting time for UK country and if we were to have the next UK Country No.1, that would be a dream come true.”

The official video for “My Universe” is being shown on Keep It Country TV (Sky 389 | Freeview 87 | Freesat 516) .
It has received 147K views on Vevo and 171K views on YouTube:

Directed By: Dapo Fagbenle
Composers: Ben Earle, Martin Brammer
Producers: Tim Larsson, Tobias Lundgren, Stefano Moses
(C) 2016 Lucky Chair Music Limited, under exclusive licence to Decca, a division of Universal Music Operations.

The Shires performed live in the studio on the Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2 on Fri 30 Sept.

They joined guests superstar Robbie Williams (who returned with new music), quizmaster Anne Robinson, Michael Pena (telling Chris about his new comedy film War On Everyone) and Mark Strong (who talked about his return to the National Theatre as he takes to the stage in The Red Barn). 

They performed acoustic versions of:
 "Beats To Your Rhythm" (2 hour 2) "beautiful" said Chris Evans, "that song made me really happy" added Robbie Williams
"Statelines" (2hr 20) "fantastic, 10!" said Anne Robinson
"My Universe" (2hr 45) which drew a "gorgeous" comment from Chris Evans
Bravely they covered Robbie Williams’ "Angel" (2hr 56 here) "Wow, it's genuinely too good" said Robbie! 
Listen back on the BBC iPlayer

Instead they've made the right choice; keeping the hook laden formula and adding more variety. The likes of the title track and Beats To Your Rhythm are made for the larger venues their forthcoming tour will take in. The Shires are best though when they let the vocals of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes breathe and intertwine. The voices blend stunningly, like a more upbeat Civil Wars....Just as Mumford & Sons were lazily labelled folk, The Shires maybe given the country badge, but ultimately, this is just great pop music
- 4 STARS out of 5 Music

Ben and Crissie’s harmonies are beautiful on ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ which is a really sweet ballad about the love a father and daughter share, and also on the track ‘Common Language’.
You can really tell how much growth the band have had since 2015 and this LP will without doubt be a huge hit and will no doubt chart higher than their debut release. (Rating 4/5 Celebmix )

Pop: The Shires: My Universe Perhaps it’s the influence of the hit TV series Nashville, but British country music is having something of a moment. First the Hampshire sisters Ward Thomas go to No 1 with their Dolly Parton-like second album, Cartwheels, and now another home counties band, the Shires from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, have returned with My Universe, an album of pure country pop...Rating: 2 STARS The Times

It's a beautiful pop/country album which sees the duo finally releasing an LP that you'll want to play to death now and still dig out in the future. It's great to see them go from strength to strength. (Rating 9/10 Review Graveyard)

 "An Album that lives up to expectations" (5 STARS Country Music Magazine)

As well as receiving a 5 STAR album review The Shires have a fabulous 8-page cover feature in brand new Country Music Magazine Issue 01 (Anthem Publishing) "The place where great writing meets great music"
The magazine is on sale in W.H.Smith, HMV, Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s for £5.99 or online for £6.99 (incl postage)

About The Shires
Last year, The Shires made music history by becoming the first UK country act ever to have a Top 10 album.
The duo have clearly been at the forefront of the British country music movement which has seen a sea change in the opinion of the British public, inspiring the success of other great UK country artists such Lewis & Lee and Ward Thomas.
Having paved the way for the genre, The Shires have seen the UK embrace the genre and UK bands making music inspired by US country artists.

This early success has been unparalleled – with the release of their debut album BRAVE in 2015, The Shires became the biggest-selling country act in the UK last year (including US artists), and one of the biggest-selling breakthrough UK acts of any genre along with James Bay, Years & Years & Jess Glynn. Ben & Crissie continued to build a huge following, in fans and critics alike, landing 5 A list singles at BBC Radio 2 and appearing on a string of high profile TV shows including Graham Norton, BBC Music Awards, Children in Need Rocks and many more. The band were then given their first headline slot at Glastonbury this summer, topping the bill on the Acoustic Stage on Saturday night.
Now with a No 1 album on the cards, and a headline tour the UK this winter, culminating in a headline performance at 02 Shepherd's Bush Empire in London – The Shires success is set to continue.

Related POST

Tues November 15th 2016 - Belfast, The Limelight (17, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, BT2 8HD)
Weds Nov 16th 2016 - Dublin, The Academy (57 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin, 1, IE)
Fri Nov 18th 2016 - Oxford, O2 Academy (Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1UE)
Sun Nov 20th 2016 - Basingstoke, The Anvil (£29.50, £27 (incl £2 fee) Event
Mon Nov 21st 2016 - Southampton, O2 Guildhall (Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LP)
Weds Nov 23rd 2016 - Northampton, Royal and Derngate (19-21 Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP)
Thurs Nov 24th 2016 - Cardiff, St. David’s Hall (The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1AH)
Fri Nov 25rd 2016 - Bedford, Corn Exchange (St. Paul's Square, Bedford, MK40 1SL)
Sun Nov 27th 2016 - Cambridge, Corn Exchange (Wheeler Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QB)
Mov Nov 28th 2016 - Bristol, Colston Hall (Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5AR)
Tues Nov 29th 2016 - Brighton, Dome (29 New Road, Brighton, BN1 1UG)
Fri December 2nd 2016 - Llandudno, Venue Cymru (The Promenade, Llandudno, LL30 1BB)
Sat Dec 3rd 2016 - Birmingham, Institute (78 Digbeth High Street, Birmingham, B5 6DY)
Sun Dec 4th 2016 - Manchester, Bridgewater Hall (Lower Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3WS)
Mon Dec 5th 2016 - Gateshead, The Sage One Event
Weds Dec 7th 2016 - Glasgow, O2 ABC (300 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JA)
Thurs Dec 8th 2016 - York, Barbican (Paragon Centre, York, YO10 4NT)
Fri Dec 9th 2016: Liverpool, O2 Academy (11-13 Hotham Street, Liverpool, L3 5UF)
Sun Dec 11th 2016, London, Shepherds Bush Empire (Shepherds Bush Green, London, W12 8TT)

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William Michael Morgan ramps up for "VINYL" street week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (September 29, 2016)

On the eve of the release of his debut album, VINYL, Rolling Stone Country Artist You Need To Know singer/songwriter WILLIAM MICHAEL MORGAN is ramping up for a big week!

Riding high on the momentum of lead single, “I Met A Girl,” which is approaching No. 1 on the radio charts, Morgan will be hanging with fans on the road, at radio, and in person to celebrate the career milestone.

Release Date: 30 Sept 2016

William Michael Morgan - Vinyl 

Label: Warner Nashville)
11 Tracks/ Time: 38:21

On Friday, September 30, Morgan will be performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, followed by a hometown in-store appearance at the Vicksburg, Mississippi Wal-Mart on Saturday, October 1.

He will head to New York City afterwards for a special Opry in the Park performance on Monday, October 3 at Bryant Park and other media in support of album launch.  He’ll round out the week with an Opry Classics show at the mother church, the Ryman, in Nashville on October 6th. 

I Met A Girl,” co-written by Sam Hunt, along with Trevor Rosen (Old Dominion) and Shane McAnally, continues to climb towards No.1 on the Billboard and Mediabase airplay charts and has already topped SiriusXM’s “The Highway” Top 45 Countdown chart.  The track boasts impressive vocals and numbers with half billion plus in audience, and more than 13 million streams, including over 5.7 million views of its 
official video.

William Michael Morgan was 11 years old when he got his first guitar and by age 13, he started playing out with guys three or four times his age, learning the old songs and savoring that classic honky-tonk style. His parents were right there, driving him to and from late-night gigs, often hours away, getting little sleep before they headed to their own jobs.

They always encouraged me,” he says, “and a lot of people say it, but I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.” His dad handled an early MySpace account, networking and looking for opportunities. One came in the form of the Hayride, which William Michael played at least once a month for years starting at 14. That set in motion a chain of events that led to Nashville songwriting appointments and meetings with Music Row executives that eventually landed him both a publishing deal and a major label record deal with Warner Bros. Nashville.

He has written with and drawn from many of Music City’s biggest present-day hit-making songwriters all the while taking inspiration from country music heroes like Keith Whitley, George Jones and his friend and mentor, '90s honky-tonk king Mark Chesnutt. The captivating combination creates a neo-traditional sound that is all his own.

VINYL which is produced by award-winning Scott Hendricks and Jimmy Ritchey, includes 11 songs and is available Friday 30  September 2016:

Amazon UK - UK iTunes  | US iTunes - | Google Play

VINYL is already receiving rave reviews from some of music’s toughest critics:

“Must hear.” -  Rolling Stone.
“Country Song of the Summer” – “I Met A Girl” - Billboard

 “…He knows his stuff and stands on solidly traditional footing.” -  NPR

“Steeped in all the goodness of ’90s country…William Michael stands in stark and proud contrast to the plethora of urban-influenced and inspired country songs on the radio today. And that’s a good thing.” – Nash Country Daily

“…Reminiscent of a young George Strait in its straightforward earnestness.” – Taste of Country

The 23-year-old Vicksburg, MS native continues on the road throughout the fall before kicking off 2017 by joining country music stars Lee Brice and Justin Moore on the “American Made” Tour. Morgan will start the trek January 12 in Indianapolis, IN and continue through March, playing 20 cities across the country.

Celebrating the release of his album with a performance of the title track live from the Franklin Theater!
Facebook Video : Click play and adjust volume:

CONNECT with William Michael Morgan:
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George Strait releases Strait Out Of The Box: Part 2 exclusively with Walmart Nov. 18

George Strait releases Strait Out Of The Box: Part 2 exclusively with Walmart Nov. 18
New Single “Goin’ Goin’ Gone” Playing Now on Country Radio
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – George Strait will release Strait Out of the Box: Part 2 exclusively with Walmart on Nov. 18. This impressive three-disc, 56-track collection features 36 hit singles including 26 No.1s plus two brand new songs, his latest radio single “Goin’ Goin’ Gone” and 18 choice album cuts, all personally selected by the King of Country Music.
Strait Out of the Box: Part 2 spans 20 years of Strait’s career from 1996 to 2016, following the highly successful, 8x Platinum-selling 1995 release, Strait Out of the Box. Strait is one of the most celebrated country music stars in history and Billboard recently named him No. 1 on the Greatest of All Time: Country Artists list. With 60 No. 1 singles and more than 70 million records sold, Strait has more No. 1 songs than any other artist and is third only to Elvis Presley and The Beatles with the most Gold and Platinum albums in history. He is the most-nominated artist in CMA Awards history and was the first country music artist honored with Billboard’s Legend Of Live Award.
Strait Out of the Box: Part 2 is now available for pre-order only at

Kellie Pickler honored with Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award in D.C.

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016
Kellie Pickler honored with Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award in D.C.
(L-R) Robert O. Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense  Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs,
Vice Admiral Frank. F. Pandolfe, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
Mr. Michael Rhodes, Director of Administration, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer 
Photo Credit: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tim D. Godbee CLICK to ENLARGE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Loved not only for her bold personality and southern charm, country music recording artist and the star of the CMT hit docu-comedy television series I Love Kellie Pickler is known for her avid support of our servicemen and women.

In honor of Kellie’s continued work spanning nine-and-counting USO tours, the critically-acclaimed North Carolinian and her husband Kyle Jacobs were honored Sept. 28, with the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award, presented annually to distinguished Americans and organizations to include entertainers and men and women of the United States Armed Forces whose patriotism and service reflects that of Mr. Bob Hope.

“I am so humbled to be in such great company in receipt of this honor from the Department of Defense,” Kellie shared after accepting the distinguished award with her husband Kyle on Wednesday in Washington D.C.  “We’ve been so blessed to have a great relationship with the USO which has allowed us to be able to take a little piece of home to our service men and women both overseas and here at home.”

The Department of Defense criteria for the Spirit of Hope Award requires the recipient to have selflessly contributed an extraordinary amount of time, talent or resources to significantly enhance the quality of life of service members and their families serving around the world and epitomize the values of Bob Hope—duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity and selfless dedication.

In 2015 at the CMA Music Festival the parents of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle presented Kellie Pickler with the first-ever Operation Troop Aid Chris Kyle Patriot Award and in 2013 Kellie received the Heart For The Warrior Award from the USO of North Carolina during the Salute to Freedom Gala.

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Thursday 29 September 2016

Smithfield sign endorsement deal with Rebecca Creek Distillery


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 28, 2016)
In celebration of the release of their new single “Hey Whiskey”, Smithfield has partnered with Texas based company, Rebecca Creek Distillery for an endorsement deal. Featuring award-winning spirits including Rebecca Creek Fine Texas Spirit Whiskey, Texas Ranger Blended Whiskey and Enchanted Rock Texas Vodka, the partnership could not be more perfect for the Texas-bred duo alongside the promotion of their new single.

Currently in rotation on SiriusXM The Highway and playing on Spotify’s ‘New Boots’ playlist, “Hey Whiskey” is a powerful ballad that is rapidly connecting with fans nationwide.

The music video can be seen on CMT HERE.
"Rebecca Creek Texas Whiskey is very excited about our new relationship with Smithfield. So many undeniable similarities make our partnership the perfect fit; from our Texas roots, to the passion and determination we've put into our craft in an effort to reach our fans and share what we have created.  Steve Ison, our founder, set out to prove that Texas could create a whiskey that could compete with the best in the world. Mission accomplished and the result is as smooth as the sounds of Jennifer and Trey's harmony. We can't wait to see what the future has in store for both of us."- Matt Appleby, VP of National Marketing at Rebecca Creek Distillery

Watch the ‘story behind the song’ of “Hey Whiskey” on YouTube and 
HERE to download “Hey Whiskey” on iTunes.
The 8 track EP SMITHFIELD (Time: 27:42), self-released Nov 17, 2015 and is available:

CONNECT with SmithField:
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Consisting of Trey Smith and Jennifer Fiedler, Smithfield is poised as the next breakout act., Huffington Post, and Rolling Stone Country have all named the Texas-bred twosome a 2016 ‘Artist to Watch.’ CMT also sounded off on Smithfield by adding them to their 2016 Artist Discovery Initiative and world premiering the music video for debut release “Good Ol’ Days” on, CMT Music, and CMT mobile. The duo made their Grand Ole Opry debut in May and have been invited back to the coveted stage seven times since. SiriusXM The Highway added the lighthearted track "Nothing but the Night" as a ‘Highway Find’ in May and it topped the SXM Hot 30 Countdown week after week, making them the highest independent act on the chart. For more information on Smithfield, visit


Founded in 2009 by Steve Ison and Mike Cameron, Rebecca Creek Distillery was the first legal distillery in South Texas since Prohibition. It has since grown to become one of the largest craft distilleries in North America with nearly 100,000 cases sold annually. The Distillery offers free tours on Fridays and Saturdays, and its tasting room and gift shop are open-to-the-public for private and group tastings and events. For more information on Rebecca Creek Distillery, including hours of operation, recipes, special events and promotions,

Thomas Rhett called up to The Big Leagues for first-ever headlining 2017 Home Team Tour

The Two-Time CMA Nominee drafts Kelsea Ballerini 
along with fresh new artists Russell Dickerson
and Ryan Hurd for run kicking off Feb. 23 in Saginaw, MI

NASHVILLE, TN - Sept. 28, 2016 -  "From a promised next big thing to actually being it”(Noisey), multi-CMA nominee Thomas Rhett has announced the launch of his first-ever headlining 2017 HOME TEAM TOUR.

With special guest Kelsea Ballerini and up-and-comers Russell Dickerson and Ryan Hurd, the run will open in Feb. 23 in Saginaw, MI and end in Thomas Rhett’s hometown at Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater.
Fans can visit to begin purchasing pre-sale tickets on Oct. 4 before first dates go onsale to the public Oct. 7.

AT&T is sending customers to the front of the line with AT&T priority pre-sale ticket access via the AT&T THANKS program. For complete pre-sale details visit

“This is really the first time we’ve been able to totally build our own stage and really plan for our show with all our fans," said Thomas Rhett. "There has been this undeniable energy out on the road this year, and I know having Kelsea out there is going to amp things up even more. Having my own tour also gives me the opportunity to introduce some people I think are going to explode in the next couple of years and help give them a platform to reach the fans, like how Blake, Toby and Jason did for me. I’m a huge fan of both Ryan and Russell and I can't wait for my fans to get to know them too."

Saginaw, MI @ Dow Event Center*
Erie, PA @ Erie Insurance Arena*
Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center*
Ft. Wayne, IN @ Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
DeKalb, IL @ NIU Convocation Center*
Duluth, MN @ AMSOIL Arena
Wilkes-Barre, PA @ Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza*
Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
Dayton, OH @ Wright State University Nutter Center*
Huntington, WV @ Big Sandy Superstore Arena*
Winston-Salem, NC @Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum*
Knoxville, TN @ Knoxville Civic Coliseum 
Southaven, MS @ Landers Center
Norman, OK @ Lloyd Noble Center
Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater*

*Dates that go onsale to the public on 10/7

As Thomas Rhett continues “pushing up against Country’s music boundaries” (Associated Press), his PLATINUM certified sophomore release TANGLED UP (The Valory Music Co.) follows the same path earning critical applause and a Deluxe edition slated for release Oct. 28. The album has produced three chart-toppers including the the 2X PLATINUM six-week No. one  "Die A Happy Man” as well as the PLATINUM  No. one’s “Crash And Burn” and “T-Shirt.”  The singer/songwriter sparks "an ushering in of Country's future" (Rolling Stone) as he dominates the Nielsen 2016 Mid-Year List with TANGLED UP, landing in the Top 5 Country albums while "Die A Happy Man" was the most streamed song overall with more than 80 million streams. Garnering two CMA nominations for “Die A Happy Man" after earning a Billboard Music Award for "Top Country Song” along with ACM and ACCA for “Single Record of the Year,”  Thomas Rhett was also recently chosen as one of five of CMT's Artists Of The Year which airs 10/20 on CMT at 9P ET/PT. 

Kelsea Ballerini has launched to stardom with releasing three consecutive #1 smashes from her critically acclaimed debut album THE FIRST TIME; the PLATINUM-certified "Love Me Like You Mean It” and GOLD-certified hits “Dibs” and “Peter Pan,” making her the only female artist in Country music history to achieve this accolade. 

The talented singer/songwriter’s credit is featured on all 12 songs on her debut. Abuzz with high-profile media looks, the Black River Entertainment artist co-hosted alongside Arsenio Hall on ABC’s summer replacement series Greatest Hits

Awarded Billboard’s “Rising Star” honor at the prestigious 2015 Women In Music event, Ballerini continues to gain recognition with scoring her first-ever ACM Award win for New Female Vocalist of the Year, the fan-voted Radio Disney Music Award for The Freshest - Best New Artist (all genre) and the American Country Countdown Award (ACCA) for Breakthrough Female of the Year 

Nashville native and emerging country music star Russell Dickerson had an incredible reaction to the release of his  single, “Yours” when it was selected for Sirius XM’s The Highway Find program. Soon after, Dickerson released his EP, “Yours,” which first appeared at #2 in the iTunes country store and #8 in all genres. In just a short amount of time with over 20 million streams on Spotify and two million views on YouTube, Dickerson’s fans solidified him unanimously as the next big thing.  

Ryan Hurd has written songs that have been recorded by Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Maren Morris, Tim McGraw, FGL, among many others. Now, the Kalamazoo, MI native is lending his own voice to the songs on his forthcoming debut album on Sony Music Nashville. "We Do Us," the first song released on Spotify, received over 2 million streams in just three weeks. Hurd is featured in Vevo's dscvr program, he is on Rolling Stone Country's "Artists You Need to Know" list and CMT named him one of their "Listen Up" Artists of 2016.

For more information and a full list of upcoming tour dates and appearances, visit