Award-winning artist CJ Solar released “All I Can Think About Lately,” March 25, the latest single from his upcoming The Future’s Neon album on Raining Bacon Records. CJ wrote “All I Can Think about Lately” with Aaron Eshius and Joey Hyde, and fans can save/add the new single at https://music.empi.re/allicanthinkaboutlately.
“We wrote this song a couple years ago, and I just haven’t been able to get it out of my head. It’s been on and off of hold with other major artists for years, which is why it never made it on a project of mine,” said CJ. “It seems to be one they let slip through the cracks, so I’m super stoked to release it myself!” CJ was recently announced by the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) Nashville Awards as a nominee for “Rising Artist-Writer of the Year.” He was nominated last year in the “Song of the Year” category for co-writing Jameson Rodgers’ #1 hit “Some Girls.” The seventh annual AIMP Awards will take place on April 19 from 4 – 6 p.m. CT at The Listening Room Café in Nashville. Music, tour dates at www.CJSolar.com @cjsolar
Breakout singer/songwriter and RECORDS Nashville artist Chris Bandi released a brand-new song “Carolina Blue,” in March. Written by Bandi along with Matt Willis and Jason Massey, the nostalgic tune is available across all platforms at https://chrisbandi.lnk.to/CarolinaBlue.
“‘Carolina Blue’ was one of the first writes that we did over Zoom after the world shut down,” shares Bandi. “There are very few things in life that can take you back to a certain place or time. It could be a song that brings you back to 18 hanging out with your best friends or a white Jeep that reminds you of an ex. This song is about seeing that certain shade of blue that always brings back the memory of a flame that burnt out too soon.” Produced by Ash Bowers and Bandi, the track follows recently released “Probably At A Bar” and follows the touching musical tribute to his late grandfather, “Would Have Loved Her.” Chris Bandi is poised for his breakthrough in country music. Check https://www.chrisbandi.com/ for information and follow him on social media @chrisbandi.
SPRING MUSIC NEWS:
Singer-songwriter, Hannah Bethel, has released the driving, up-tempo single, “Godspeed, Los Angeles,” premiered by The Amp. Find it at your favorite digital retailers via https://ffm.to/hbgodspeed.opr. Early support from editorial and high-profile playlists include Amazon Music / Fresh Folk & Americana, Spotify / New Music Nashville, and CMT Next Women of Country. “Godspeed, Los Angeles” is the second single from Bethel’s EP, Until the Sun Comes Back Around, available now. Her previous single, “Bad News Baby,” was released in late January and garnered attention from Billboard and The Boot, and added to Americana, country, and folk editorial playlists at Amazon Music, Spotify and Tidal, in addition to CMT Next Women of Country, Ditty TV, and Women of Americana playlists, among dozens of others. “Godspeed, Los Angeles,” written by Bethel, tells the story of the navigation of relationships and the realization when it’s time to separate yourself from that relationship. More about Hannah Bethel and listen to the track at https://www.hannahbethel.com. @hannahbethel
Having released an EP last summer, Midland’s Cameron Duddy, Mark Wystrach and Jess Carson are on the verge of arriving at their ultimate destination with The Last Resort: Greetings From on May 6 via Big Machine Records. The trio spent the pandemic exploring their creative depths, from progressive Country that grew out of “Urban Cowboy” through Dwight Yoakam’s post-traditionalism, and arrive with their third studio album.
As Midland’s “Sunrise Tells The Story” (stream/download at https://midland.lnk.to/STTSPR) rises at Country radio, the two-time Grammy® nominees dial in their Laurel Canyon-cum-Bakersfield sound for a tension that also promises release. Falling harder than the singer imagined throughout the spicy hook-up song, melting harmonies lean into a more erotically charged proposition. “It’s a buckle-polishing song,” bassist/vocalist Duddy says, cutting to the chase.
“Some songs dance all around it, but the truth is really told when the sun comes up. We’ve never shied away from getting into the high grass when it comes to the way sex and romantic adventure are a big piece of what Country music was, and we think should be. But sometimes, the hunter gets captured by the game.” More at https://www.midlandofficial.com.
The best-selling duo of all time, Brooks & Dunn are returning to arenas, with their Reboot 2022 Tour. Kicking off in Evansville, IN on 5/5 the nationwide tour will see the duo hit some cities and venues for the first time in over a decade, and some in over 20 years. Brooks & Dunn has curated a stacked lineup across the run with openers including Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Riley Green, Walker Hayes, Jon Pardi and more. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.brooks-dunn.com and https://www.livenation.com. Live Nation is the tour promoter.
“Last year we fired up the buses and ‘let it roll’ again,” shared Kix Brooks. “Thanks for reminding us how you guys can shake every stage we walk on to…damn, it feels good to be back with ya! Bring it! We’ll meet you there!” “It is our full intent to step onto the stage each night and throw down like the wildest honky tonk you’ve never been to…yet,” added Ronnie Dunn. “Don’t be concerned about the mess left afterwards, y’all just enjoy yourselves and we’ll worry about that later.” See tour updates at https://www.brooks-dunn.com.
Lauren Alaina and Craig Morgan are among the celebs who are going “Beyond the Edge” In the new CBS-TV reality series of that name that premiered in March. The show features nine celebrities trading their worlds of luxury to live in the dangerous jungles of Panama, where they face off in epic adventures and endure the most brutal conditions, as they push themselves to go far beyond their comfort zone.
From the producers of “Naked and Afraid,” participants in “Beyond the Edge” must rely on teamwork, perseverance and finding the inner strength they never knew they possessed to get them through another day and raise money for their chosen charities. It is available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Showtime sports announcer Mauro Ranallo hosts. Alaina and Morgan are joined by Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, NBA champion Metta World Peace, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, NFL legend Mike Singletary, actress Jodie Sweetin (“Full House,” “Fuller House”) and television personalities Colton Underwood (“The Bachelor”) and Eboni K. Williams (“The Real Housewives of New York City”). Show details at https://www.cbs.com/shows/beyond-the-edge/.
Country music has long been known for its story songs, sometimes revealing tall tales and urban legends of the rural south, captivating fans and allowing them to envision the events unfolding as their favorite artists sing the storyline. Hitmaker Michael Ray knew he had one of these special songs as soon as he heard his latest single “Holy Water,” written by Ashley Gorley, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson and Michael Hardy.
“That’s what I love about the story,” Ray shared with Billboard. “It’s like a movie in your ears.”
Now, the engrossing story finds a cinematic home in the official music video, directed by Spidey Smith. Filmed near the Florida-native’s hometown of Eustis, “Holy Water” follows a Florida preacher and his lucrative midnight side hustle.
“Back in the day, my family was part of building this little church off a dirt road. It’s the church my grandfather grew up in, my dad grew up in and then pastored, we grew up in it, and now, my sisters are working to rejuvenate it,” shares Ray.
Platinum-selling country music hitmaker Michael Ray has signed with MusicFX.io (“MusicFX” or the “Company”), a leading digital community connecting artists to their fan bases through NFTs, to produce an exclusive NFT commemorating his first multi-week No. 1 with “Whiskey And Rain.” The Michael Ray No. 1 Country Music Airplay Commemorative NFT will be strictly limited to just 100 tokens for fans to enjoy this achievement alongside Michael. The NFT dropped exclusively on MusicFX on March 22.
“I’m so thankful for my grandfather inspiring me to do what I love most in life because without that I wouldn’t be doing what I do,” shares Ray. “But, in the last five years, the successes I’ve had, would never have been possible without the fans. I want to thank them, and hope they enjoy the content I put out through MusicFX, as much as I’ve enjoyed making it.” To find out more about the Michael Ray No. 1 Country Music Airplay Commemorative NFT, or to sign-up to MusicFX, visit https://musicfx.io. More about Ray at https://www.michaelraymusic.com/ or follow him on Instagram and Twitter @MichaelRayMusic and Facebook.com/MusicMichaelRay.
WWWEBSITES TO CHECKOUT:
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING:
Chasity Bailey, Caylee Hammack, Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch and Keith Urban.
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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.