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PRAYER OF THE MONTH: May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. -Saint Theresa
ARTIST NEWS: With their third consecutive Academy of Country Music Duo of the Year nomination under their belt, Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones return to the road as Steel Magnolia starting May 18 at the Lilac Festival on Rochester, N.Y. With a mixture of festivals and headlining dates, and opening for Reba McEntire and Gretchen Wilson, the irrepressible duo are getting back to the fans. “For us, this music isn’t complete until we’re playing it for people,” said Meghan. “We can’t wait to get back on the road and see everybody at the shows.” More at www.steelmagnoliamusic.com.
BENEFIT NEWS: Darius Rucker will for the third time be hosting Darius And Friends: A benefit for St. Jude presented by GAC. The concert and corresponding celebrity golf tournament take place on Monday, June 4, and will raise funds to help St. Jude provide the best care possible to children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases at no cost to their family. The concerts alone have helped raise more than $100,000 for St. Jude with the support of friends like Rodney Atkins, Easton Corbin, Radney Foster, Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson, Justin Moore, Jerrod Niemann, Jake Owen, Kid Rock and more. This year’s events begin early in Nashville at the Gaylord Springs Golf Links with the St. Jude Darius And Friends Golf Classic. For more information on registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.dariusrucker.com
BUSINESS BUZZ: Industry veterans Craig Campbell and Vanessa Parker-Davis, are joining forces and combining their years of experience in public relations and artist development to launch a new venture, the POD (PROFESSIONALS ON DEMAND). The unique new company will house a stable of industry professionals from a variety of areas, including publicity, social media/internet marketing, artist development and creative/art design, among others whose services and collective input will be available to individual artists as well as label and corporate clients. Both Campbell and Davis will retain ownership and continue operating their respective individual companies, Campbell Entertainment Group and Davis’ SPLASH! Public Relations. The POD will be located at 1520 16th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212 and can be reached by phone at (615) 321-1383.
CD CELEBRATION: In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Records, Curb Records has released a compilation of Sun artists, or artists who worked with Sam Phillips. The 2-CD compilation, titled Sun Records 60th Anniversary, hit shelves in April and contains 60 tracks from iconic artists. Most notable are two Elvis Presley tracks cut before his signing at Sun Records, as well as three of his Sun tracks. Other Sun artists featured in the compilation include Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, The Prisonaires and Johnny Cash.
CD RELEASES: Todd Snider has released Time As We Know It: The Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker (Aimless), produced by Don Was, his second album so far this year. You can listen to the tracks at http://bit.ly/IjBiRz Following special release shows in Braunfels, Texas, his tour continues through the summer with new shows confirmed, including a special hometown show headlining Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium with Justin Townes Earle on June 2.
CRACKER BARREL NEWS: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Dolly Parton are celebrating the debut at No. 2 on the Billboard Top DVD music video chart of An Evening With…Dolly. The first-ever Cracker Barrel two-disc set is available exclusively at all Cracker Barrel locations and online at www.crackerbarrel.com. The $11.99 two-disc set includes a 13-track CD and a 15-track DVD, with some of Dolly’s biggest hits, on stage entertainment and “down home” conversations with Dolly.
FESTIVAL NEWS (BLUEGRASS): The International Bluegrass Music Museum has announced the all-star lineup for the 2012 ROMP Festival to be held June 28 – 30 at Yellow Creek Park, Owensboro, KY. The lineup includes Vince Gill, Old Crow Medicine Show, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, Lonesome River Band, The Deadly Gentlemen, Greensky Bluegrass, Farewell Drifters and many, many more including the Museum’s massive student brigade, the Kentucky BlueGrass AllStars. The Festival will also feature instrument workshops and late-night events in addition to main stage performances by some of the most exciting acts in bluegrass and roots-and-branches-of-bluegrass music. More info at www.rompfest.com
FESTIVAL NEWS (CMA FEST – COUNTRY): Country Music Biggest Party kicks off June 7 in Nashville, Tenn. Check out the fun, shows and events surrounding the celebration at www.cmaworld.com.
Capitol/EMI Records Nashville—Dierks Bentley took part in the fifth annual Record Store Day on April 21 with a special acoustic performance at independent record store Easy Street Records in Seattle, Wash. “Record Store Day is such a great event that has hardly had any attention in country music,” said Bentley. “I wanted country fans to be able to get in on the action.” For a full list of his 20-city Country & Cold Cans Tour dates, visit www.dierks.com.
UMG Nashville—Josh Turner is slated to release his fifth studio album, Punching Bag, on UMG Nashville, to stores nationwide on Tues., June 12. The first single from the new album, “Time Is Love,” is in the Top 20 on the Country Billboard chart and swiftly rising, and the new music video for the song can be viewed on YouTube. Josh co-wrote eight of the 11 tracks on Punching Bag, many penned in his newly built cabin, located on his property behind his home to serve as a ‘songwriter’s den’ and personal getaway. More at www.JoshTurner.com.
The Valory Music Co.—Brantley Gilbert’s first album, Halfway To Heaven, has been certified Gold by the RIAA for sales exceeding 500,000 units. Released last September, the album originally debuted at No. 2 and featured the Gold-certified No. 1 single “Country Must Be Country Wide,” which Gilbert co-wrote. Gilbert also has penned two No. 1 hits for Jason Aldean with “My Kinda Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem.
MEDIA NEWS: Grammy winner Marty Stuart has released his long-awaited CD, Nashville, Volume 1: Tear The Woodpile Down, his third album for Sugar Hill Records. The 10-song collection was written almost entirely by Marty and features his touring band, The Fabulous Superlatives, plus guest vocals from Buck Trent, Kenny Lovelace, Robbie Turner, Hank Williams III, and Lorrie Carter Bennett. Info at sugarhillrecords.com or martystuart.com.
NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION NEWS (NSAI): The place to be from music lovers, songwriters, and get educated about the world of songwriting. www.nashvillesongwriters.com to learn more about NSAI.
OPRY NEWS: Congrats to Keith Urban, the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.
TOURING NEWS: Lady Antebellum has officially sold over 750,000 tickets at the halfway point of their Own The Night World Tour. “This tour has exceeded our expectations in every way,” said Lady A’s Dave Haywood. “Every day is new and exciting…I really don’t ever think the feeling of being a headliner will ever get old.” Lady A’s Grammy winning third release Own The Night also leads 2012’s first quarter country album sales. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit www.ladyantebellum.com.
WEDDING BLISS: “The Killer” weds again. Six previous marriages apparently haven’t discouraged Jerry Lee Lewis, as he married his seventh wife, Judith Brown. The 76-year-old tied the knot with his caregiver, who also happens to be Jerry Lee’s cousin’s ex-wife. Jesse Keith Whitley, son of Lorrie Morgan and the late Keith Whitley, married Ashlee Hewitt in Lancaster, Minn. The bride is originally from Lancaster and was a contestant on the 6th season of Nashville Star. She comes from a large family and was raised on a horse ranch; a true country girl. They met when Ashlee was singing harmony for Lorrie Morgan. Jessie had been touring with his mom after the release of his debut album, Kentucky Thunder. The newlyweds have been living in Minnesota but are looking for a house near Nashville.
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING: Amber Shalene, Easton Corbin, Gary Allan, Kelli Pickler, and Samantha Landrum.