Inside Track on Music Row – December 2018

VERSE OF THE MONTH:

Luke 2:11-14. “(11) Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (12) This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (13) Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, (14)“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

ALBUM NEWS:

The album, ‘The Best Of Everything,’ the first career-spanning collection of all of Tom Petty’s hits with The Heartbreakers, his solo work and Mudcrutch, will now be released on February 1 via Geffen Records/UMe. The 38-track set also features two previously unreleased tracks, including the collection’s lead single—an alternate version of the title track, which restores a never-heard second verse to the song that was originally recorded for the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ 1985 album, Southern Accents.  The Best of Everything will be released simultaneously as a 2-disc CD, featuring deluxe packaging, and in all digital formats. LP editions—in both black and clear vinyl—will also arrive on February 1. The collection also features an essay on Tom Petty written especially for this collection by Academy Award-winning screenwriter, director, author and journalist Cameron Crowe. More info at tompetty.com

ARTIST NEWS:

Thomas Rhett announced details for his VERY HOT SUMMER TOUR with special guests Dustin Lynch, Russell Dickerson and Rhett Akins. Thomas Rhett is set to kickoff the summer on May 17 in Spokane, WA. Initial public on-sales are available via thomasrhett.com. Fans can also purchase tickets for additional select cities beginning Friday, January 25 as part of Live Nation’s Country Megaticket at www.Megaticket.com. Additional dates will continue to roll out over the coming weeks. Live Nation is the national tour promoter.

“We just closed out our 2018 tour in the U.K. last week and I’m already thinking about next year’s tour,” said Rhett. “I’m glad we have the winter to plan and come up with some crazy stuff for next year becauseI can’t think of a better way to spend the summer than out on the road with my fans. And, I get to bring my dad and two of my favorite artists in country music along for the ride.”

BENEFIT NEWS:

Singer/songwriter and philanthropist Jimmy Charles led a Cancer Survivors’ March on November 10 that led to The Anchor Fellowship for a pre-release album celebration for HARD WAY TO GO, Charles’ new 7-song EP. The celebration also served as a fundraiser for the artist’s new charity #IAMNOTALONE.  The participants of theMarch were filmed singing the chorus of Jimmy’s “I Am Not Alone” for the upcoming companion video.  Music isJimmy’s focus, but compassion and activism round out his world. A national ambassador and spokesman for ZERO Cancer since 2014, Jimmy is inspired by the cancer survivors he’s met at the many Run/Walk events where he’s performed, and by loved ones lost to the disease. He was named Outstanding Young Tennessean (2017). His music is available to radio via Play MPE and AirPlay Direct and fans can find “I Am Not Alone” on iTunes, Amazon and other popular retailers.

BUSINESS LABEL NEWS:

Country Road Management (CRM), has announced their partnership in the launch of Country Road Records. CRM is the company behind the newest online/OTT, on-demand country lifestyles network, CountryRoadTV.com, (CRTV), and Digitally Sound (the recorded music division of Nashville’s Straight 8 Entertainment). Digitally Sound will handle global distribution and retail marketing via their partnership with The Orchard. CRM will serve as the promotional arm of the label, utilizing the monthly reach of 122 million targeted Country music fans via its CRTV network and media partnerships, including television partners “Small Town Big Deal” and Gabriel Communications (“Country’s Family Reunion” and “Larry’s Country Diner”). Country Road Records, like its CRTV counter-part, will primarily focus on Country music’s traditional realm, both vintage and new. The label released its first album, Country’s Family Reunion Presents: Home for Christmas, on Black Friday, November 23.  It is available in both physical and digital formats at all on all major online retail outlets and online at CountryRoadRecordStore.com.

BUSINESS NEWS:

ALABAMA frontman Randy Owen has been formally inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame. Owen’s induction comes as result of his business dealings in music, agriculture and humanitarianism. 

“It’s a great honor to be one of this year’s inductees into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame,” says Owen.”It’s very special that my entire family got to share the night together.God bless all the fellow inductees, their families and our home state!” 

The Alabama Business Hall of Fame honors, preserves and perpetuates the names and outstanding accomplishments of business personalities who have brought lasting fame to the state of Alabama.  Owen has been the lead vocalist of ALABAMA, the most successful and awarded band in country music history, for nearly 50 years. When he’s not writing songs or performing on the road, Owen stays busy in Fort Payne, Alabama, operating his 3,000-acre ranch where he tends to 500 head of Hereford and Angus cattle. More at thealabamaband.com.

CD RELEASES:

Conceived and crafted by award-winning hit songwriter and producer Ross Copperman, BBR Music Group/BMG announced Homegrown Kids Country, Vol 1. The compilation album featuring children performing 10 of today’s biggest Country hits, was released December 7. Fans can get a preview of the project with two tracks, “Dirt on My Boots” and “Wagon Wheel” everywhere digitally. The album presents Country in a fresh way – with kids singing a fun mix of current chart-toppers and longtime favorites, all in family-friendly style. Inspired by his own kids love of music, Copperman paired a diverse troop of some of the best youth vocal talent with Nashville’s world-class musicians and studios to highlight each song’s essence in unexpected ways. Details at homegrownkidscountry.com.

John Berry has released a new EP titled Thomas Road.  The project is named after the street that Berry grew up on, back in Decatur, GA. He told Billboard magazine that it was in his home on that street that he found his passion for music and his desire to become a recording artist. 

“As exciting as it was togo into the studio to record new music, to be able to it with my friend Chuck Howard, after so many years, was just amazing,” Berry said. “Chuck hears me like no one else and knows how to take me musically where I’ve never thought possible and then, add in the incredible talent of Barry Weeks who co-produced my new project.”

Berry’s Christmas Songs and Stories tour dates and links to streaming and download are at johnberry.com.

CHARITY NEWS:

Country music hit makers Phil Vassar and Lonestar support The Salvation Army with the release of their new Christmas single ‘Not So Silent Night.’ Fans can also see the music video starring Vassar and Lonestar. To purchase ‘Not So Silent Night,’ go to smarturl.it/26z8yi. 100 percent of the proceeds from the single will benefit The Salvation Army, which assists more than 4.5 million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods. The Salvation Army red kettle bell will be present at venues throughout The Not So Silent Night Tour. At each stop on the tour, audiences will hear Christmas standards, non-traditional holiday tunes as well as the artists’ hits. Fans can also purchase a VIP experience add-on that includes a meet and greet with Vassar and Lonestar, signed poster and special keepsake. For tour dates and tickets, visit PhilVassar.com and LonestarNow.com.

CMA NEWS:

Do you know a music teacher who deserves recognition? The CMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm to the Country Music Association (CMA) that works to ensure every child has access to a quality music education, is now accepting applications for its fourth annual Music Teachers of Excellence awards. This year, for the first time ever, the CMA Foundation will accept applications from music educators nationwide.

“Our Music Teachers of Excellence program is designed to celebrate those making a difference in their music classroom every single day — getting kids to show up to school and helping to shape them into being creative leaders in their communities,” said Tiffany Kerns, executive director, CMA Foundation.

The CMA Foundation will invest a combined $150,000 to support both personal and professional expenses related to recipients’ music programs in an effort to help drive their commitment  forward. To submit yourself or a music teacher you know, visit countrymusicassociation.submittable.com.

The application process closes Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.

CONCERT NEWS:

Deborah Allen will be bringing her live Rockin’ Little Christmas show to the historic Franklin Theater on December 15th to fans of all ages. With a full band that will also include a horn section, Deborah will be pulling out all of the stops and performing her most memorable Christmas show ever. Deborah has penned more than 1,600 compositions for hundreds of artists, including smash hits by LeAnn Rimes, Brooks & Dunn, Patty Loveless, Conway Twitty, Tanya Tucker, Janie Fricke, John Conlee, Isaac Hayes, Diana Ross, SheenaEaston, Fleetwood Mac and more. She found success of her own, hitting the charts with unique songs like “I’ve Been Wrong Before”, “I Hurt For You”, “Rock Me”, “If You’re Not Gonna Love Me”, “Wrong Side Of Love”, “Break These Chains” and her signature song, “Baby I Lied.” Ticket info at FranklinTheater.com.

GARTH NEWS:

Garth’s The Anthology Part III, LIVE, is now available. It’s a detailed, insider look at Brooks’ electrifying concerts, with behind-the-scenes stories, insider secrets, and interviews with band and crew. It contains 5 CDs with 52 live recordings, never before seen photographs and 10 augmented reality experiences that can be seen on the Garth Live app. It also includes the new live album, TRIPLE LIVE. It’s the soundtrack of the record breaking, number one tour inNorth American history.  Additionally, The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour is coming to Gainesville, FL, on Saturday, April 20th, 7:00 PM at University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. It’s the first Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Concert in 25 years.  Tickets can only be purchased at ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks or either Ticketmaster Express 1-866-448-7849 or1-800-745-3000.

GLOBAL MUSIC NEWS:

Tenille Townes will join Dierks Bentley on his Burning Man Tour in 2019 with performances across Canada and the U.S., including stops at Vancouver’s Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena, Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and Columbus’ Nationwide Arena among many others. The performances will feature material from Townes’ forthcoming full-length debut album – produced by Jay Joyce – set for release in 2019 on Columbia Nashville. Already receiving attention, Townes’ first single, “Somebody’s Daughter,” is out now.  An alternative acoustic version of the song also appears on Townes’ recently released Living Room Work Tapes’ EP. After recently wrapping an extended run as part of Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town’s Bandwagon Tour, Townes traveled to the U.K. for a series of fall shows as part of the CMA Songwriters Series. Tour info and more at tenilletownes.com.

GOSPEL NEWS:

Billy Dean has released his first-ever Gospel album, Billy Dean & Friends: Gospel Favorites. The new collection of songs is available for download now at iTunes and Amazon. Dean made the decision to record his debut Gospel album after recently moving back to his home state of Florida. 

“I was so moved after being inducted into the Florida Hall of Fame that I decided it was time to move back home,” explains Dean. “I was visiting my good buddy T.K. Wetherell, the former president of Florida State University, when he challenged me to record a Gospel album, which I had never done before. I agreed to do it if he would agree to record one song with me.”

The ten track album also features contemporary Christian artist Susan Ashton and Dean on the classic hymn,”In The Garden.” Additional songs include “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “I Saw the Light,” “Old Rugged Cross,” and a Gospel version of Dean’s 1992 hit, “If There Hadn’t Been You.” Updates at billydean.com.

INDIE NEWS:

Indie artist and hit songwriter CJ Solar recently joined an elite group of songwriters last month, when he was proudly presented an ASCAP Award medallion for co-writing ‘Up Down.’

“Receiving my first ASCAP Award was a huge honor, andI was so happy to share the moment with my publishing home Sea Gayle Music,” said CJ. “It was truly a moment I’ll never forget and so thankful to be a part of ASCAP.”

CJ’s “American Girls” single just cracked the Top 40 on the Billboard Indicator Chart and the Top 20 of theMusic Row Country Breakout Chart. Also, the entertainment site popculture.com premiered the satirical and light-hearted “American Girls” music video, which has also been added at CMT.com.  Solar, who Rolling Stone Country named one of their “New Artists You Need To Know,” wrote “American Girls” with Michael Hardy, Jake Mitchell and Michael Hobby of A Thousand Horses. More info at CJSolar.com

INDUSTRY NEWS:

My friend and Billboard journalist Tom Roland was presented with the 2018 CMAMedia Achievement Award backstage during The 52nd Annual CMA Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Presenting the award, Bill Anderson said, “Even the pros look to Tom Roland. He’s one of Country Music’s bedrock authorities.”  Roland has written about Country Music for more than 35 years. For the last eight years, he’s worked as the editor and lead writer for Billboard’s weekly newsletter, Billboard CountryUpdate. Roland spent seven years as the senior music writer for Nashville’s daily newspaper, The Tennessean. He has also written for Westwood One and the United Stations Radio Networks, and compiled credits in The Hollywood Reporter, The Orange County Register, Country Music magazine, Country Weekly and GACtv.com, among others.

INT’L NEWS:

Irish-born, country music recording artist and global entertainer Mags (Mags McCarthy)celebrates the “the reason for the season” with her original holiday tune titled, “I Never Believed In Santa Claus (Until You Came To Town).” Co-written alongside Michael Anthony (and produced by Anthony/Emerald Field Productions), the track is now available via all digital retail outlets (AppleMusic/Spotify/Amazon). Recorded in Nashville, the musical composition is in keeping with the traditional sounds of country holiday classics. Featuring Mags’ performance on fiddle, the upbeat, two-step shuffle renews hope and recalls that love is the most precious and giving present of all. 

“I believe, the spirit of Christmas and the hope that the Season, and Santa, bring should be a sentiment that we share with one another all year long,” Mags said.

The release of the holiday tune continues Mags’ momentum at country radio. Mags released her debut single, “Strong Enough,” which met with overwhelming welcome and applause from country music fans and ranked in the TOP 50 on the MusicRow Breakout Chart (November2018). See magsmccarthy.com.

LABEL NEWS:

(BrokenBow Nashville)

In 2016, Jimmie Allen spent his last $100 to buy a ticket to the CMA Awards as a fan.Two years later, the rising country star stood on stage to present the CMAAward for Single of the Year and went on to hold the No. 1 spot on theBillboard and Mediabase/Country Aircheck Country Airplay charts with his own “Best Shot.” The song has been the most Shazam-ed song in Country music for the past eight consecutive weeks. This impressive feat marks the first time a black artist has garnered a career No. 1 hit with their debut single on Country radio. He joins only Darius Rucker to claim the top spot in Country with a debut single. Written by Allen, Josh London and JP Williams, “Best Shot” is the first single from Allen’s label debut project Mercury Lane. It is a self-evaluation song that comes from a personal place in Allen’s life and focuses on taking each day to be a better person. Tour updates and more at jimmieallenmusic.com.

(WarnerBros. Nashville)

After announcing Friends and Heroes 2019, Blake Shelton continues to show old-school country some modern-day love with his cover of ‘Tequila Sheila.’ Originally released in 1980 by Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member Bobby Bare on his album Down and Dirty, the reimagined throwback tune features an introductory vocal by Bare himself. The song was written by songwriting legends Shel Silverstein and Mac Davis. Bare is celebrating 60years as a hit-maker this year and has big plans in store for 2019, to be announced soon.

“I recorded this song and didn’t really have a plan for it – I just wanted to have my own version,” said Shelton. “I’m a huge fan, and I always felt like Bobby Bare’s personality was the kind I wanted to have as an artist too.” More at blakeshelton.com and bobbybare.com.

Warner Bros artist, Michael Ray has also partnered with GIVNWater as a brand ambassador. Michael’s sophomore album was release in Sept, through a collaboration with GIVN to help provide clean water to communities around the globe.

MEDIA NEWS:

Brett Young has kicked off his highly-anticipated CMT ON TOUR: HERE TONIGHT, bringing his live show to fans across the country. Joining Brett are special guestsTyler Rich and Rachel Wammack.

“I am beyond excited to start this tour withTyler and Rachel,” said Young. “My second album comes out in the middle of the run so it will be a big celebration with fans.”

Brett Young is on the next leg of his hit-making journey with his new album TICKET TO L.A.

His second album was released December 7 on BMLG Records and builds on one of the most successful new artist debuts in recent history. Fans who pre-orderwd the album will also instantly get access to listen to new songs “Reason to Stay” and the title track. The 13-track project is available at BrettYoungMusic.com, where a limited number of destination bundles are available that also include either a California or Tennessee scented travel candle, enamel pin set, hand-numbered poster, plus a signed CD booklet. Young admits that fans will have a lot to explore, but stresses his new approach is an evolution, not a reinvention. He once again digs deep into his personal life for inspiration, which now includes a engagement, his wedding and a long list of career milestones.

MUSIC NEWS:

Forget presents and stockings, teen country artist Bailey James only needs snow — and perhaps a lost love — to complete her Christmas.  She has released her first original holiday single, ‘But If It Snows,’ which is now available on iTunes and all digital retailers.  Written by James, Julie Downs and Steve O’Brien and produced by O’Brien, this bluesy holiday country tune should put even the biggest Grinch into the Christmas mood.  The tune’s groovy, soulful air showcasesJames’ crystal-clear falsetto and impressive vocal range, while her lyrics weave a picture-perfect holiday scene.

“This is my favorite time of year,” says the 15-year-old. “I’m originally from Pennsylvania where we always experience really cold, snowy winters.  For me, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without snow.” 

The release follows two successful singles including her Top 40 hit, “Run Girl.”  Music and info at baileyjamesgang.com.

PERFORMANCE NEWS:

A special performance will take place during next year’s 2019 NashvilleComedy Festival, iconic American comics Jay Leno and Jeff Foxworthy are set to take the stage for a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event on the historic stage of The Opry House. This special event is exclusive to Nashville, as it will be the first time and only place to see both artists share the stage. The legendary”clean comedy” entertainers will perform at The Opry House on Sunday,April 14. Tickets are now available at Ticketmaster.com, the Opry House box office, the Ryman Auditorium box office, all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

PUBLISHING NEWS:

Singer/songwriter Tucker Beathard has signed a publishing deal in August with Little Louder Music. Little Louder Music was founded by Arturo Buenahora Jr. and Eric Church. Beathard, best known for his former BMLG single “Rock On,” has released his much anticipated debut album NOBODY’S EVERYTHING is available for stocking stuffers. The nine song album is the first installment of a two-part release, marking the first time a country artist has ever released a debut double album. With Beathard’s prolific songwriting and drive to share his music with fans a major force behind the record, NOBODY’S EVERYTHING is being released independently by Beathard’s own Mother Tucker Records. The result is the unmistakable sound of an artist chasing songs, tweaking what’s been recorded and seeking a sound that felt more aligned with the firebrand’s own sense of what music should be. A raw and unapologetic collection of songs where he “bares his soul,” Beathard is premiering his vulnerable performance of “one of the most honest tracks” on the album, “ThisLife,” taken from the album, exclusively with Billboard.  Music Row was quick to praise the “gritty”nature of the album and Beathard’s “fresher, rawer sound.” Check out Performance Video For “This Life” and other music bits at www.tuckerbeathard.com.

SINGLE NEWS:

The Young Fables have released their critically acclaimed version of Patsy Cline’s iconic hit ‘Crazy.’ It is now available on all online retailers and streaming services. 

“Is there anyone more real or country than Patsy Cline?” says Laurel Wright of The Young Fables.“I have been singing this song since I was 8, but it sounds the way it does now thanks to Wes. He reinvented this song for me and deserves so much of the credit in regards to how it connects with our fans and audiences.” 

The Young Fables are currently on the road promoting their latest project Old Songs, produced by Grammy award winningMitch Dane.  It is a ten track project where all songs were either written or co-written by The Young Fables and is the second release for this duo. Music and tour info at theyoungfables.com.

SONGWRITER NEWS:

Brett Young has been named the 2018 ASCAP Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year. Young was celebrated at the 56th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards held Monday, November 12 in Nashville.

Young commented of the impressive accolade: “I have been with ASCAP from the very beginning, and they have always made me feel like a part of the family, especially ASCAP’s Michael Martin and Robert Filhart. I also want to give a huge thank you to everyone in the songwriting community and in country music who welcomed me right away. I moved to Nashville to be a songwriter and it was a happy accident that I also became an artist.”

The Songwriter-Artist of the Year Award is earned by the songwriter who has written and recorded at least two songs that, collectively, have amassed the greatest airplay during a predetermined time period. Details at ascap.com.

STOCKING STUFFERS: 

Santa’s gone Country! Here’s a whole sleigh-full of Country stocking suffers for family, friends and you too. You deserve it! Scroll down for mini-reviews and handy links.

1.) Top artists on ‘Country Faith Christmas 2’ –  If you’re headed to Cracker Barrel, here’s a CD you could find. ‘Country Faith Christmas Vol. 2’ is a new Christmas album from the faith-based brand, Country Faith. The CD features top Country Music artists including Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Kelsea Ballerini, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr, Darius Rucker, John Berry and more. Distributed throughCurb/Word Entertainment, the album is available now through digital retailers, including Apple Music and Amazon. The CD will be sold exclusively in Cracker Barrel stores and is one of only four featured Christmas releases at Cracker Barrel’s over 600 stores, which are located across the U.S.

2.) A blue (grass) Christmas with Dailey & Vincent – If someone you know is dreaming of a blue (grass) Christmas, here’s the perfect gift.  Multi-GRAMMY® nominated duo Dailey & Vincent have released of their first-ever Christmas record, ‘Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas,’ available now from BMG. The Sounds of Christmas experience is more than just an album release as momentum continues throughout the holiday season with a nationally broadcast television Christmas concert special, four all-new Christmas episodes of “The Dailey & Vincent Show” on RFD-TV and a 15-city Christmas tour. The album features Christmas classics like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain” as well as never-before-heard holiday tunes such as “Road To Bethlehem” featuring Dolly Parton. Tour info and more here.

3.) Tracy Lawrence is ‘Frozen in Time’ – Here’s a new album from one of favorite people: Tracy Lawrence. ‘Frozen In Time’ offers a mix of classic holiday favorites plus four original tracks, including the album’s title track, co-written by Tracy and Rick Huckaby. Tracy describes that song as “a festive nod to family traditions served up Western Swing style, with a side of holiday cheer.” Your gift recipients can enjoy the album on CD, vinyl or digital (available here). Track listing and more info at Tracy’s website.

4.) Brett Eldredge: still GLOWing strong – In 2016, Brett Eldredge released a Christmas album titled, ‘Glow.’ Now he has re-released the album in a ‘de-luxe edition’ that includes all the original tracks plus five new tracks. Brett has added his renditions of ‘Do You Hear What I Hear,’ ‘Silver Bells,’ ‘Sleigh Ride,’ ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ and ‘Christmas Time Is Here.’ He has also added some pre-holiday dates to his tour schedule and no doubt he’ll be singing some of the tracks from the album. Gift idea: add a couple of tour show tix to the album for that special someone. Go to Brett’s webpage here. And check out the cool ‘snow globe’ graphic with Brett in a powder blue tux!

5.) Rodney Crowell finds ‘Christmas Everywhere’ –  Singer songwriter Rodney Crowell says that he’s read the poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (a.k.a. “Twas The Night Before Christmas”) on Christmas Eve to his children and grandkids for more than 40 years.  If he wants a break from tradition, he could play them his new Christmas album, “Christmas Everywhere” instead.  Unlike most other Xmas offerings, this album consists of twelve original Christmas-themed songs, and features guest stars (including Vince Gill) and his own kids. The album is available digitally, on CD and on vinyl (black or marbled red and green). Order your copy here. More info at Rodney’s website.

6.) MartinaMcBride swings into Christmas – “It’s The Holiday Season” and that’s the title of Martina McBride’s 2018 yuletide album (her first since 1988’s “White Christmas”).  The new album features more of a Christmas-pop vibe than the previous album that focused more on Christmas hymns. Recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, Martina is backed by orchestras with 40+ top musicians. Martina will also be taking that big band sound on the road for a number of pre-Christmas dates.  If someone on your gift list is more into cooking than listening to Holiday tunes, Martina has a book for that. Her second cookbook, ‘Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life,’ is out just in time for gift buying. All of Martina’s merch is available vis her website and the usual retail outlets.

7.) A quirky Yuletide: from lullabies to kazoos – Do you know somebody who would enjoy something a little, er… different? The CMH Label Group is releasing more of its catalog to Global Radio for the Christmas season. This includes a brand-new 3 song EP, “Rockabye Baby,” featuring Yuletide hits “All I Want For Christmas is You,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Last Christmas.” Speaking of unique renditions of Christmas classics, it doesn’t get more unorthodox than a “Kazoo Christmas,” except for maybe a “Surfin’ Christmas.” And what would a CMH Christmas be without “Pickin’ On Christmas,” a collection of holiday hits done in our one-of-a-kind bluegrass style.  “Stars & Snow” is an album full of Texas Country covers of both modern and traditional Christmas classics. Then, it’s time for a Feliz Navidad, as the Red Hot Jalapenos take you on a trip to a “Christmas South of the Border.” You can find links to these and more here.

8.) Celebrate with Ray Stevens – How about gifting Ray Stevens fans with some show tickets? The music legend is “decking the halls” at his new Nashville showroom, CabaRay.  Through Saturday, December 29, Stevens will perform multiple live “Christmas at CabaRay” dinner shows at the venue.  “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the CabaRay,” says Stevens. “The CabaRay is now fully decorated for the holidays and the shows take on a decided Christmas flavor right after Thanksgiving.”  At each show, dinner seating begins at 6:00 p.m. with the live concert following at 7:30 p.m. Ticket pricing: $99 seats include VIP seating, dinner and live show / $79 seats include dinner and show on the main dining floor / $59 seats are available in the balcony (does not include dinner).  Tickets are available now at Ray’s website or by calling 615-327-4630. CabaRay is located at 5724 River Road in West Nashville.

THANKSGIVING THANKS:

My buddy Tracy Lawrence does it again for the Nashville Rescue Mission. Tracy Lawrence’s 13th Annual Mission: Possible Turkey Fry and the Annual Concerts The event, now in its 13th year, has raised more than $383,000 forNashville’s homeless and hungry through the Nashville Rescue Mission. If you like to help feed the homeless please visit nashvillemission.org to see how you can help/give. Since the event launched in 2006, the Tracy Lawrence “Mission Possible” Turkey Fry has brought in close to 7,000 turkeys and provided more than 46,000 meals to help the Nashville Rescue Mission feed the homeless in Middle Tennessee.

TOUR NEWS:

Shenandoah is getting in the Christmas spirit early this year, with the group’s first-ever holiday road show, the Good Ole Fashioned Christmas tour, supporting The Salvation Army. Performing a mix of holiday classics, new tunes, and No. 1 hits that sparked the band’s career more than 20 years ago, the multi-city tour kicked-off November 19 at Nashville’s annual Christmas 4 Kids charity event at the Ryman Auditorium.

“Christmas music always brings such joy, and we are proud to be supportingThe Salvation Army,” says Shenandoah frontman Marty Raybon. What could be more fitting than giving the gift of music to others and spreading the Spirit ofChristmas.” 

The band will continue to spread the Christmas cheer with additional live concerts in North Carolina, Kansas, Texas, the band’s home state of Alabama and more. At every show, The Salvation Army’s recognizable red kettles and bells will be placed outside of each venue to collect donations for those in need. Tour dates at shenandoahband.com.

TRIO NEWS:

Honey County is a female country trio featuring the stacked voices, song writing and layered guitar work of bandmates Dani Rose, Devon Jane and Katie Stump. The trio is rooted in three-part vocal harmonies, southern twang, and pop hooks and has shared the stage artists like Lady Antebellum, Brett Eldredge, LANCO, JakeOwen and Easton Corbin while also crafting modern, melody-based country songs.Now they have a new single, “Cigarette,” with a music video of the song that premiered on CMT. The song is honest and raw and compares an unhealthy relationship to a cigarette addiction. Music, tour dates and more info at honeycounty.com.

VIDEO NEWS:

Briana Renea, the country music up-and-comer from the “Pacific Wonderland,” has introduced her new music video for her debut single “Chasin’ Trouble.” The video (filmed and produced by Immense Imagery) is available via all digital platforms.  Embracing the charming richness of a small Oregon town, the “Chasin’ Trouble” video was filmed throughout The Dalles, OR, with a majority of the scenes shot within the National Neon SignMuseum (NNSM). The 20,000 sq. ft museum that boasts the history, craftsmanship and evolution of America’s signage and the advertising industry served as the ideal location for the playful, “naughty or nice” storyline. A souped-up, candy red Camaro is featured as a bonus prop while 50s wardrobe selections and accessories (complete with roller skates) were scooped as a “find” from local thrift shops. “Chasin’ Trouble” is a Briana Renea original tune, co-written alongside Steve Mitchell and Will Hopkins and produced by Jason Wyatt. Music and more at brianarenea.com.

WHO’SLOOKING  *  WHO’S CUTTING:

Brooke Eden | Gyth Rigdon | Jon Pardi | Canaan Smith

LoCash | Justin Moore

Have a Blessed & Merry Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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: TheSinger/Songwriter’s Need to Know Reference Handbook’ is available atwww.collegeofsongology.com Follow her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com