QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel
ACM NEWS & AWARDS:
The ACM announced the new date for the 55th ACM Awards. It is always held the first week in April with a full week before of charity events, Golfing tourneys, etc.. The new awards date is going to be Wednesday, Sept. 16 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network, and will stream live and on demand on CBS All Access. As previously announced, the 55th ACM Awards® that honors the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry, will be hosted by reigning ACM® Entertainer of the Year and 15-time ACM Award® winner Keith Urban for the first time. For a full list of nominations and early awards given, go www.acmcountry.com
Finally, one of my favorite artists has released his long-time-coming EP. Drake White celebrated the release of his new 5-song EP Stars by debuting #1 on the iTunes Country Chart and in the Top 10 in the All Genres chart. Drake shared some of his journey to Stars’ release with Bill Cody and Charlie Mattos on “Coffee, Country & Cody,” reflecting on his therapy after suffering a brain bleed on August 16, 2019 that caused him to collapse on stage, mid-set in Roanoke, VA, to working with Jaren Johnston, to feeling the immense support from his loyal fan base, the Fire Starters. “My passion for music, life and the future has never been more alive. I’m a grateful man with a lot of good energy to share,” says Drake, from his home in Nashville. Drake — along with his band, The Big Fire — has toured with artists including Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Kip Moore and more. He turns a new page with Stars, an EP released on April 24, 2020, produced with fellow country hitmaker Jaren Johnston. Drake continues his growing Wednesday Night Therapy Session live performances from Whitewood Hollow. Music can be streamed or purchased here: https://smarturl.it/DW.Stars
AMERICAN IDOL ALUMNI:
Josh Gallager is working on new music and has filmed an up close and personal EPK (TBA). Everybody here in his inner circle could not be any more excited and I know the fans will be too! In the mean time you can find out more at https://jgmusic.net/ and he has also been sharing “Behind the Song” videos for his fans that can be checked out on Facebook along with several live-stream performances and is agreat way to keep up with what he has currently goin on with his music.
AMERICANA MUSIC NEWS:
Respected Roots/Americana artist Mike Aiken has released “Nashville Skyline”, the latest single and video from his current album, Wayward Troubadour. The rolling track rocks and cradles the tale of a constantly touring musician who loves the road while longing for home. It’s a story Aiken knows well, and he co-wrote the tune with friend and fellow tunesmith, Chris P. James (Burrito Brothers).
“I had a theme and feel running around in my head,” Aiken explains. “I was aiming for a throw-back Southern California, hippie type Country tune, but infused with that longing for the first glimpse of ’home.’ For us, it’s that iconic Nashville skyline. I think we captured that feeling perfectly.” The companion music video features a rare (one of only 14 made) vintage Airstream originally designed as a funeral coach, and “road trip” footage shot during Mike’s last run. “The video took us three months to finish, due to touring demands, weather and a host of mini-misadventures, but it was a blast,” Mike adds. Music & tour info at https://www.mikeaikenmusic.com/
ANNIVERSARY MUSIC NEWS:
In 2010, Easton Corbin took country music by storm with the release of his debut single, “A Little More Country Than That” – which quickly hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Country charts and was the first debut single by any country artist to go No. 1 since Dierks Bentley’s “What Was I Thinking” release in 2003. Now, ten years later, Corbin is paying homage to his musical origins with the release of an acoustic version “A Little More Country Than That,” bringing a fresh, new take on the song that put Corbin on the map.
In 2010, Corbin was named the ‘Top New Country Artist’ by Billboard, and his self-titled debut album was named ‘Country Breakthrough Album of the Year’ by iTunes Rewind Best of 2010. Since his debut, Corbin has won several American Country Awards and released two additional studio albums.
Kip Moore has released “Southpaw,” the next standout track off the multi-Platinum singer/songwriter’s upcoming fourth studio album, Wild World. Co-written (with Westin Davis) and produced by Moore, the track hailed by Billboard as a “guitar-heavy arena-rocker celebrating the underdog,” provides fans with another glimpse into Moore’s highly-anticipated forthcoming release, out May 29 and available to preorder at Kip’s website https://wildworld.kipmoore.net/
The sturdy “Southpaw” stands as a grunge-rocking manifesto for the proudly out of touch, rejecting the notion of “going with the flow” and showcasing just how Moore stands apart in today’s Wild World. Moore also shared the stripped-down, emphatic acoustic version of “Southpaw,” as the next installment of his “In the Wild Sessions” video series, directed by PJ Brown, shot in the heart of Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Music and tour updates at http://www.kipmoore.net/
David Nail’s twins will soon become big brother and sister as Nail and his wife Catherine are expecting a baby girl in October. The couple feels blessed to welcome their baby girl into their growing family after experiencing hardships in the pregnancy process. Nail recently released his new critically-acclaimed EP Oh, Mother. Stay up to date with Nail as he posts his favorite cover videos to his Instagram @DavidNail during this time of social distancing and see all of “The Acoustic Sessions” on YouTube.
Blackberry Smoke has released their new rendition of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Take The Highway,” featuring special guest Marcus Henderson. A current member of The Marshall Tucker Band, Henderson joined Blackberry Smoke in the studio to perform the song’s signature flute track. “Take The Highway” is the latest song unveiled from Blackberry Smoke’s special new EP, Live From Capricorn Sound Studios, which will be released June 19 with a portion of all proceeds going to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. Recorded earlier this year at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA, the project consists of six new versions of songs that have special ties to the historic studio and town and will be released as a lead up to the band’s anticipated Spirit of the South Tour: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music this summer. All currently scheduled dates are subject to change. Produced by Blackberry Smoke, the EP is now available for both CD and vinyl pre-order at https://smarturl.it/Take_The_Highway
John Paul White and Rosanne Cash are teaming up for the new single “We’re All In This Together Now.” The song is also available for purchase with all proceeds benefitting the Music Health Alliance, which announced its partnership with the Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project. Spotify will match donations to its partner organizations dollar-for-dollar up to a total Spotify contribution of $10 million, and the song can be streamed on Spotify. Listen/stream/buy at https://orcd.co/wereallinthistogethernow
“The last few years have been tough,” said Cash. “I wanted to find some little corner of community, some instinct toward unity. It was hard to find, so I figured I’d have to write it. Last year, I wrote these lyrics and sent them to John Paul. He wrote this gorgeous melody very quickly. I was so moved. But the song didn’t fit on my last record, and it didn’t fit on his last record, so it sat there waiting for just the right moment. Which is now.”
BLUEGRASS MUSIC NEWS:
The Americana Music Association has partnered with The Bluegrass Situation, along with its co-founder, actor/comedian/musician Ed Helms, to present Whiskey Sour Happy Hour, a 21st-century online variety show to benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund and Direct Relief, at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. With Helms serving as host of the series, Whiskey Sour Happy Hour will draw on his long-running Whiskey Sour Radio Hour shows at LA’s Largo to bring world-class music, comedy, and interviews directly into homes across the country and world. Whiskey Sour Happy Hour can be streamed on the Association’s FB page as well as on The Bluegrass Situation’s website and socials. Fans are able to donate to MusiCares and Direct Relief at https://donorbox.org/musicares-direct-relief. Watch the latest episodes on Youtube below.
Larry Butler has written and published a fully updated version of one of the must-read books for singer-songwriters. Titled The New Singer/Songwriter Rule Book: 101 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Success, Butler draws on his many years touring and performing live and his experience on the business side of music, including stints as VP/Artist Relations at Warner Bros. Records and General Manager at Bill Silva Management. He now heads up his own Did It Music Management in Nashville where his focus is on consulting and teaching young singer/songwriters in the art of becoming performers.
As Butler says, “It’s all about the live show. Everything else that you want in today’s music business is dependent on you having a great live show – not just good or even very good – GREAT!” Butler points out that the audience still wants to be entertained no matter how well or badly the record business is doing. More about Larry Butler and Did It Music at https://diditmusic.com/ or find the book on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3b842je
Mercury Nashville Recording artist Travis Denning shared his debut EP, Beer’s Better Cold, on Friday, May 15. Denning, who co-wrote five out of the six songs on the upcoming project, taps into his storytelling skills on the collection as he continues to release more music to meet fan demand. Produced by Jeremy Stover, the EP is available now. Beer’s Better Cold showcases Denning’s signature sound, as his husky vocals and infectious charm resonates on each track.
“I am so excited to finally announce my first EP,” shared Denning. “I’ve been blown away by the way the fans have grasped onto the songs so far, and I can’t wait to see how they like the new ones. These songs mean a lot to me, because they’re all a part of my story in one way or another. Here’s to the first full chapter.” Music and pre-save at http://www.travisdenning.com/
Country music has a big heart. Singers and songwriters come together at the drop of a cowboy hat to donate their time and talent to a worthy cause. Causes don’t get much worthier than the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Love Lives On is the title of a new album with all net proceeds from the album going to TAPS, but it is more than that. The songs on the album tell the personal stories of the sacrifice of both the fallen warriors and also the families who must live with their loss. The album comprises 10 original songs that feature Vince Gill, Billy Ray Cyrus, John Rich, All-4-One, The Gatlin Brothers, Lonestar and many more. It is set for release over the 2020 Memorial Day weekend. However, “Love Lives On,” the album’s lead single and title track, dropped March 20 and can be ordered now via links at https://www.lovelivesonmusic.com/. Roots & American Music Society (RAMS), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and record label based in Memphis, TN, teamed with TAPS to orchestrate and create Love Lives On. For full information about Love Lives On and how the album came to be, visit https://www.lovelivesonmusic.com/ For more about the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), and the services they provide, go to https://www.taps.org/
Charlie Daniels recently appeared live on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel to inform Americans how they can help veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Daniels and his veterans non-profit The Journey Home Project (TJHP) have joined forces with another non-profit group, Code of Vets, to aid former U.S. servicemen and women who are suffering amid the pandemic. Their collective mission is a call to action to seek public donations for vets suffering from economic hardships as well as those who have contracted the virus. The legendary singer is urging the public to donate to Code of Vets and TJHP during this trying time for our nation’s military heroes. Donations can be made at codeofvets.com and thejourneyhomeproject.org.
COUNTRY & WESTERN NEWS:
In his more than five decades entertaining, Adonda Records recording artist Rich Price has always considered his music to be a conversation with friends. Connecting with music fans who have gathered around stages and followed him along trails through Yosemite National Park has always been his favorite part of his passion, singing and songwriting. So, in light of the current health precautions and quarantine, Rich Price is not only sharing his new music online, he is spending some quality time visiting with friends around the world. Rich Price, known as The Singing Sierran, shared thoughts and music from his home in the cowboy capital of California, Oakdale on May 8th on the Fastline Fast Track Podcast. Host Brent Adams joined in on his compelling conversation while spinning some tracks from Price’s music catalog on that date with archive access on their site or below. In the meantime, Rich takes us on an adventure with his latest single, “Canyon Grand” from his Western Songs album. More info at https://richpricethesingingsierran.com/