QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“If I am chasing your dream faster than you, then I am in the wrong dream.” – Preshias © (TM)
WAY To Go!!
In December for Capitol’s Luke Bryan who debuted at No. 1 on the Country albums chart and on the Top 200 chart with What Makes You Country. The album sold more than 99,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan, and Mercury’s Chris Stapleton also debuted at No. 1 on the Country albums chart (Americana/Folk) and No. 2 on the Top 200 chart with From A Room: Volume 2. The album sold more than 115,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and sEVENTeen Event Management have announced the headliner for the Inaugural Snowmass Celebrity Ski Fest Charity Event. Charles Kelley of critically acclaimed, seven-time Grammy Award-winning trio Lady Antebellum will headline the exclusive event, to be held in the Colorado Rockies on February 21-22, 2018.
Singers, songwriters and celebrities will come together for the annual event to raise money for LadyAID, a philanthropic effort founded by the members of Lady Antebellum – Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott. Created in 2012, the multi-level organization garners awareness and support for children in need locally, nationally and globally, as it is a component fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Additional musicians and celebrities will be announced in the coming days. Learn more and stay in touch on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and snowmasscelebskifest.com
Brett Young landed on multiple Billboard Year End charts as 2017 came to a close, including the only Country artists on the Top New Artists chart. He also landed at No. 2 on the Year End Hot Country Songs, Country Digital Songs and Country Streaming Songs charts. ASCAP recognized Young’s “quintessential breakout year” by honoring him for one of the Most Played Songs of the Year with “Sleep Without You.” Young was named a TicketMaster New Favorite Artist of 2017 and was Shazam’s only Country act included on their Emerging Artists of 2017 list. He also drew prestigious CMA, ACM, Teen Choice, CMT and AIMP award nominations. 2018 is shaping up to be another big year for Young. He has already performed at the College Football National Championship game in Atlanta January 8th and will be joining ACM Male Vocalist of the Year Thomas Rhett on his LIFE CHANGES Tour all while working on new music. More info at brettyoungmusic.com.
ALL I can say is WOW/WOW!
BLUEBIRD CAFÉ NEWS:
The 25th Annual Alive at the Bluebird concert series kicks off 2018 with a month of shows benefitting Alive Hospice at The Bluebird Cafe. More than 130 artists and songwriters are scheduled to perform at least 27 shows beginning Tuesday, January 2 and running through February 1, 2018. Presenting sponsors for the event include Bass, Berry & Sims, Cigna, HCA, Hub International, Jackson National and Tennessee Oncology. SouthComm and WSM-AM return as media sponsors. Luminaries such as Kim Carnes, Phil Vassar, Styx lead guitarist and vocalist Tommy Shaw, John Oates, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Keb’ Mo’, Gordon Kennedy, Dave Barnes, Hunter Hayes, Kathy Mattea, Jon Vezner and Don Henry are already booked to appear. Additional writers and artists will be announced in the coming weeks. Updates at bluebird.com
Combining the influences of Blue-Eyed Soul, Delta Blues, Road House Rock, Southern Boogie, Texas Swing, and Gospel, his sound defies conventional classification. Lee Roy Parnell has signed exclusively with New Frontier Touring for worldwide booking representation. The ace guitarist and hit singer/songwriter’s latest project, Midnight Believer, was released earlier this year by Vector Recordings/BFD and is available on all digital platforms. Midnight Believer is full of the soulful, guitar-driven, from the heart music Parnell is best known for. Releasing an album after 11 years gives proof to his mantra that “lifers don’t quit.”
Details at leeroyparnell.com
Larry’s Country Diner has a new PR partner. Gabriel Communications has signed with the Music Row-based public relations firm, ProMO Image, for exclusive representation. The firm will handle all publicity needs for Gabriel and their various brands, including the online, subscription-based country music service, “Country Road TV,” and the extremely popular DVD franchise/TV series “Larry’s Country Diner,” and “Country’s Family Reunion.” Both TV shows are available in nearly 100 million homes via RFD-TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire and collectively draw well over two million viewers per month on RFD-TV alone.
The DVD franchise has generated additional millions in retail. “Gabriel Communications has tapped a HUGE, global fan base–those who want wholesome, family-friendly programming, but even bigger still, the millions of music fans who love traditional country music,” says Shelly Mullins, President and founder of ProMO Image. “When it comes to nostalgic programming and providing a platform for celebrating our legends, nobody does it better.” Show schedules and more at larryscountrydiner.com or gabrielcommunications.com.
Danielle Bradbery’s big break came on set of the ‘VOICE’ when she was 16 years old. The VOICE’s season 4 winner Danielle’s new tune “Sway” is a laid back modern day groove song with melodies taking you to her new style, it fits her like a hand to a glove. It’s the title track to her first single off of her December 1st, 2017, BMLG’s release I Don’t Believe We’ve Met. This is her first album in five years, now 21, she has been working very hard to develop her songwriting skills over the last four years, and she co-wrote seven of the 10 songs on I Don’t Believe We’ve Met, working with top writers including Thomas Rhett, Josh Kerr and Jeff Pardo to create songs that are a more honest reflection of herself. and if this single is an indication, the dove has landed. NOTE: Kentucky’s own Hannah Ellis co-wrote track number six, “Messy,” with Danielle and Josh Kerr. Just to think a few years back I was set to judge her on Country Showdown. For more information: DanielleBradberycom
CD (Soundtrack) RELEASES:
The new 2018 movie Forever My Girl debuts in select theaters. The music soundtrack includes music by Lauren Alaina, Phillip Sweet (Little Big Town), Canaan Smith, Dan Tyminski, Josh Turner and Travis Tritt. In Forever My Girl, a music superstar reunites with his first love and realizes the steep price he has paid for his success, an uplifting and emotional romance based on the novel by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin.
Joe Kelly, VP/GM of CDX Nashville, is one of Nashville’s executive with a vast insider knowledge about the radio industry, including airplay reports, station manager and listener behavior, and how artists can leverage monitored radio airplay to maximize concert profits. Joe and CDX have the industry talking about CDX’s technology system called “TrAction.” It is a revolutionary airplay monitoring system. More on CDX and TrAction at cdxnashville.com.
Last month in this column, I announced Tracy Lawrence’s Turkey Fry and concert. I thought you’d like to know the results of that fundraiser. Tracy has presented Nashville Rescue Mission with a check for $148,233.00, which was raised through his 12th Annual MISSION: POSSIBLE Turkey Fry and 3rd Annual Concert. “We are so thankful to our sponsors and the citizens of Nashville for their continued support of this event and we are already making plans for next year, says Lawrence. The MISSON: POSSIBLE blueprint is spreading to other cities, as Dallas Life Mission in Texas celebrated their second turkey fry and Louisville Rescue Mission in Kentucky held their first turkey fry and concert this year. Both cities reported successful and safe events. Additional cities are slated to come on board in 2018, as the new 501-C3 gains momentum across the U.S. Details and music at tracylawrence.com.
As the curtain closed on a sold-out show at New York City’s Town Hall in December, multi-PLATINUM singer/songwriter Kip Moore took a bow to 2017, for what can only be described as a benchmark career year. Moore is wrapping up an overwhelming year on multiple “Best Of 2017” lists by Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, UpRoxx, Bobby Bones Show, Taste Of Country, Sounds Like Nashville, The Boot, PopMatters and Whiskey Riff for his revered third studio album SLOWHEART, while reflecting on his 4th career No. One for his single “More Girls Like You,” sold-out headlining shows, national TV appearances and more. 2018 tour dates etc at kipmoore.net.
CRB NEWS: (Country Radio Broadcasters)
The Country Radio Seminar will be held in Music City, February 5th through 7th at Nashville’s Omni Hotel. Billed as the largest annual gathering of country radio executives, programmers and air personalities in the world, CRS is where established and aspiring country artists get to mingle with the decision makers who play their songs on the radio. This year’s Welcome Reception will be held at the Country Music Hall of Fame, will include museum tours and, after seven years, there will be no Opry-sponsored event the first night. The evening’s music will have a new sponsor, soon to be announced. A highlight of CRS is always the New Faces Show, this year featuring performances by Michael Ray, Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs, Midland and Carly Pearce. The event is co-sponsored by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the annual new artist showcase. Performances will be powered by Live Nation and take place in the CRS Performance Hall. Additionally, this year’s Seminar will include an artist interview session, a Grand Ole Opry Show, the ever-popular Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley (featuring performances by Nashville’s top hit songwriters) and numerous break-out educational sessions for the radio industry attendees. CRS is a production of the Nashville-based non-profit organization, Country Radio Broadcasters. More info on the SOLD OUT event at countryradioseminar.com.
COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME:
American Currents (The Music of 2016), in the museum’s ACM Gallery, chronicles country music’s ever-evolving story through a behind-the-scenes look at some of last year’s most significant moments in Country, Americana, and Bluegrass music. The display will end on February 11, 2018.The big stories of the year just past are represented by artifacts from the Americana Music Association, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Earls of Leicester, Brett Eldredge, Natalie Hemby, Sierra Hull, Jason Isbell, Jim Lauderdale, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, William Michael Morgan, Maren Morris, Jon Pardi, Dolly Parton, Margo Price, John Prine, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Randy Travis and others.
Among the artifacts, are Jason Aldean’s Baldwin denim jacket and Gap shirt worn on the cover of his 2016 album, “They Don’t Know”, Natalie Hemby’s handwritten lyrics to “Keeper of The Flame.” Cowritten by Hemby, Miranda Lambert, and Liz Rose, the song appeared on Lambert’s 2016 album, “Weight of These Wings”, William Michael Morgan’s 2006 Washburn D160N guitar, signed by some of his songwriting partners and heroes, including Dean Dillon, Gary Nicholson, and Jeff Silvey, Maren Morris’s Zhivago gown worn by Morris for her performance of “My Church” at the 2016 CMA Awards and Dolly Parton’s gown with lace and rhinestone overlays and matching Christian Louboutin pumps, worn during her acceptance of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 CMA Awards and the lists goes one.
See full details, photos and videos relating to the upcoming Exhibits at countrymusichalloffame.org.
Garth Brooks will likely remember Saturday, December 9, 2017 for a number of reasons. When he and wife Trisha Yearwood picked up their mics at the afternoon press conference, he told us it was something of a homecoming for them: the first time they had played Nashville since the fundraiser following the ‘great Nashville flood’ of 2010.
As Trisha said, after three years and four months on the world tour, it was pleasant to realize they didn’t have to pack a suitcase. After each of their Nashville shows, they could simply drive to their home in Goodlettsville. Garth smiled and said, “Welcome to the end of the journey.”
December 9th also marked the official announcement that Garth’s latest single, ‘Ask Me How I Know,’ reached Number One on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. It was his first Number One since 2007’s ‘More Than A Memory.’ To add poignancy, December 9, 1989, was the date that Garth reached the Number One spot for the first time with ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes.’
Oh, and Saturday the 9th was the eve of Garth and Trisha’s wedding anniversary: they were married December 10, 2005. A memorable weekend in so many ways!
The 60th GRAMMY Awards will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 28, 2018, airing live on CBS from 7:30pm–11pm Eastern Time. Two of Nashville’s mainstays, Chris Stapleton and Kenny Chesney, come full circle with this year’s triple nominee Stapleton (a Kentucky Boy!) who shot a song up the charts in 2007 as a co-writer on Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More.”
Flash forward 10 years, and the duo have each earned their own GRAMMY nomination in the same category. Both Stapleton and Chesney are up for Best Country Album – Stapleton for his “From A Room: Volume 1” and Chesney for “Cosmic Hallelujah.”
Award–winning songwriters, best friends and business partners have double nominations for Best Country Song nominations. They are Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. The theme is “two” when it comes to Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem” and Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road.” Behind the scenes, “two” singer/songwriter masters of country are among the co-writers for each hit tune: Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, both with previous GRAMMY wins. As a result, they’ll be competing head-to-head against themselves in the category.
Little Big Town are nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their hit “Better Man,” and the album it sprang from, “The Breaker,” is up for Best Country Album. “Better Man” is in the running for Best Country Song as well, which notches a Country Field nomination for its songwriter, Taylor Swift.
AS a FYI: The band told Billboard that as they were finishing their album in the studio, an email from Swift arrived with “Better Man” attached and the message: “I love this song. It means a lot to me. What do you think?” The rest is history. (Reprinted from www.Grammy.com) – Author Philip Merrill.
Blackbird and Charlie Daniels have announced “Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute To Charlie,” an all-star concert event at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 7 PM CT. Since its inception in 1974, Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam has brought together some of music’s greatest legends. This unforgettable concert event will feature performances by Charlie Daniels and The Charlie Daniels Band, Alison Krauss, Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top, Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Chris Janson, Chuck Leavell, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Ricky Skaggs with many more special guests to be announced in the coming weeks. Storme Warren will be returning as host. For the first time ever, rock great Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top will honor Daniels at the Jam. See official website: VolunteerJammXX.com.
On Christmas, via Instagram, Capitol’s ‘Golden Boy’ Luke Bryan surprised his wife Caroline with two baby kangaroos! Yeah, you read that right, two baby kangaroos. The baby roos are the latest additions to Brett’s Barn, a farm of rescue animals honoring their late niece. Country superstar Bryan took to Instagram to share a video of himself surprising his wife Caroline with the most unexpected Christmas gift ever. In the video clip, Bryan approaches Caroline, who is blindfolded, with the two kangaroos in bags.
The family named the babies Todd and Margo after two characters from the iconic Christmas film, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Todd and Margo will join the family of animals living on the Bryan Family property at Brett’s Barn. The barn is Caroline’s passion project and is dedicated to her late niece who passed away at just 7 months old in early 2017. Brett’s Barn is also home to a pig, goats, and miniature horses. Caroline plans to keep adding to Brett’s Farm and I am sure we will be hearing more about it in the Spring.
On January 18th, Eddie of Montgomery Gentry headlines the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as he launches his first tour since the September death of long time musical partner and best friend Troy Gentry. February 2nd sees the release of Here’s To You, Montgomery Gentry’s long-awaited eighth studio album. Here’s To You, is a stellar collection of new standout songs from the multi-platinum duo. Fans who pre-order the new album will instantly receive three tracks; “Get Down South,” “King of the World” and “Better Me.” The Nashville music community has surrounded Eddie with FULL ON support for him to continue their legacy, as Troy would have wanted.
Country’s high profile star Blake Shelton latest single “I’ll Name The Dogs” is another “PURE BS Tune!” His latest radio ready smash is a funky uptempo tune, all about being in love. The lyrics are a mirror of the happy-go-lucky theme in “Honey Bee.” It has already peaked at Number One on the Billboard Country Airplay chart I look for this to be a crowd favorite on his 2018 tour dates. I‘ll faint if it isn’t! See the music video for “I’ll Name The Dogs” at blakeshelton.com.
Radio giant iHeartMedia has raised more than $5.6 million with their national Country Cares for St. Jude radio-thons for December. Twenty-six stations participated along with The Bobby Bones Show. The company says more than $90 million has been raised for Country Cares over the last 10 years.
SOUTHERN ROCK NEWS:
Legendary southern rock group The Marshall Tucker Band (MTB) has announced the first round of concert dates for its 2018 “Juke Jammin” Tour. The group’s national road show kicks-off on January 20 aboard the sold out Southern Rock Cruise with more than 20 dates to follow including stops in Raleigh and Charlotte, NC, Lexington, KY, Akron, OH, Beverly, MA, Augusta, GA, and Stratton, VT. “As we continue our journey down the road, I just look back and marvel,” says MTB lead singer Doug Gray. “It doesn’t seem like so long ago that we were just a bunch of kids playing music to make beer money for the weekend.” Tour updates at marshalltucker.com
On Feb 15, 2018 One of Warner Brother’s “Golden Boys,” Cole Swindell, will launch his first arena-headlining tour at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, joined by opening acts label mate Chris Janson and CRS New Faces Nominee Lauren Alaina.
Country stars Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Marren Morris and Keith Urban are among those paying tribute to Elton John at ‘Elton John: I’m Still Standing –A Grammy Salute,’ taping January 30th (Two days after the Grammys) at Madison Square Garden and airing later in 2018 on CBS-TV.
GRAMMY-nominee Thomas Rhett has unveiled the official music video for his new single “Marry Me,” bringing the song’s unpredictable and poignant lyrics to life. Shot by Director TK McKamy in both Nashville and Birmingham, AL, the video weaves a stripped-down performance by Thomas Rhett through a storyline, which takes fans through the progression of a relationship – from childhood, to a high school crush, all the way up to a wedding day which ends unexpectedly. “If I had never told Lauren how I felt about her, I probably would have been at her wedding watching her marry someone else,” Thomas Rhett said. “So, I wanted to capture that feeling of heartbreak in this video – and this really hits me in the gut.” See the official video for the song at http://smart.it/TR_MarryMe. Tour dates and more at ThomasRhett.com
WWWEBSITES TO CHECK OUT:
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING:
Gary Allan, Brooke Eden, Chelsie Love, Dierks Bentley, Jess Taylor, Runaway June and Tyler Farr.
Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / Preshiaswriter@hotmail.com TN/USA. Google “Preshias”
Preshias Harris is a music journalist and music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Her book, ‘The College of Songology: The Singer/Songwriter’s Need to Know Reference Handbook’ is available at www.collegeofsongology.com Follow her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com