VERSE OF THE MONTH
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. – Psalm 98:4
Venerated country singer Connie Smith has released her highly anticipated 54th album The Cry of the Heart (Fat Possum). Pain and heartbreak have permeated Smith’s timeless country sound and they pulse through The Cry of the Heart, Smith’s first album in a decade and her third collaboration with her husband Marty Stuart (who also produces the effort). Connie wrote ‘Three Sides’ with Nashville hit songwriter Monty Holmes. “They have a good chemistry,” says Stuart. “And the lyrics are wonderful, but Hargus “Pig” Robbins unlocked the song with his piano and directed it more into Connie’s world.” Smith has been consistently fanning the country music flames since her first hit single in 1964, “Once A Day” and has carried the torch ever since. In March of 2021 the Library of Congress announced that “Once a Day” was one of the 2020 selections for its National Recording Registry. “People ask me, ‘What is country music,’” says Smith. “I say, ‘To me, country music is the cry of the heart’.” Follow Connie Smith on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/conniesmithofficial
AMERICANA MUSIC NEWS
The Americana Music Association Announces Final Round of Official Showcases for AMERICANAFEST 2021, September 22-25. The new additions to the complete lineup of 200+ acts include: The Brother Brothers, Hayes Carll, Carlene Carter, Wu Fei & Abigail Washburn, Matthew Fowler, The Georgia Thunderbolts, Granville Automatic, Avi Kaplan, Ashley Ray, Amy Speace, Kamara Thomas, Paul Thorn and more. Less than a month away from celebrating with fellow music lovers from around the world, the Americana Music Association announced today its final round of 200+ showcasing acts slated to perform at their annual AMERICANAFEST, which runs from September 22-25 in Nashville, TN. Event organizers also teased special events ahead of the 21st annual event. Discovery music festival to feature special musical events including a FOMO party, a tribute to the songs of 1971 and more. A complete list of official showcasing performers and select special events can be at https://americanamusic.org/. The website HAS ALL events highlighted. 2021 AMERICANAFEST Festival Passes are now on sale to the public at $199. Available online here, Festival Passes allow admission into all evening showcase venues and select sanctioned special events.
Buena Vista Records / Industrial Media’s 19 Recordings artist Laine Hardy has revealed the full details for his debut album, Here’s To Anyone, set to release on September 17. The long-awaited 11-song collection from the American Idol winner and Louisiana native was announced live from his concert in Montana via American Idol’s Instagram. Here’s To Anyone, which is produced by Michael Knox (Jason Aldean), features songs from some of Nashville’s biggest hitmakers and is available to pre-order/pre-save/pre-add now at https://smarturl.it/HeresToAnyone. “I’m a down-home guy, from Southeast Louisiana,” Laine says. “ I just want to show all my fans that I’m not going to stray away from who I am, and where I come from. I feel like we really did that with the album and I’m very proud of it.” Fan favorite “Memorize You” was featured in multiple episodes of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” this season and the beachy official video and “heart-melting” track has racked up 8.6 million streams and counting. His southern rock inspired jam, “Authentic,” is also featured on the project. Tour and ticket info: https://www.lainehardymusic.com/tour.
Herrick returns with their third studio album Sunderland Road on September 10th. In anticipation of the album’s release, fans can get a revolutionary music experience by signing up on the band’s website where they will receive 10 days of Herrick perks directly to their email inbox, including the digital album free. In addition, fans who pre-order the new album will be automatically entered into a drawing to win the grand prize bundle. Prize list includes a virtual concert just for them, T’s for 2, autographed album, and tons of other merch. Pre-order at https://smarturl.it/SunderlandRoad. The lack of restrictions on their creative process has endeared them to music fans that make up a large base across the country. The rise of Herrick’s music above the din is most definitely attributed to their rich melodic persuasion and signature harmonies. Sunderland Road was co-produced by Herrick and GRAMMY Award-winning engineer Snake Reynolds who has worked on 100 plus multi-platinum albums. Kerry and Donna believe Snake to be a missing link in their recording process, a new chapter to their musical story. More on Herrick at https://www.herricklive.com.
BREAKOUT COUNTRY ARTIST NEWS
Breakout, indie country recording artist Mikayla Lane (Mikayla Lane Entertainment/Tulsa, OK), dubbed “Today’s Traditional Country Trendsetter,” will release her sophomore EP titled, Miles From Nowhere, featuring four original tunes, available via all digital retail outlets and streaming platforms Friday, September 10, 2021. (Pre-sale/Pre-save event begins September 3; distribution by ONErpm Nashville.) Penned and co-produced by the songstress (alongside John Conrad), the EP is the second release since the launch of her music career. The musical compilation embraces the 16-year-old’s three loves: a love for her hometown, her music and her beau. The tracks highlight the young entertainer’s diverse prowess and embrace a range of smooth melodies complemented by simplistic production and upbeat, powerful vocals. “We recorded the project in Tulsa; it was one of the most enjoyable recording experiences to date’” said Mikayla. “I feel like I found my sound in recording this project.” Mikayla will celebrate the EP release with two upcoming Nashville performances; she is scheduled to perform on Wednesday, September 8 at The Local and on Thursday, September 9 at Ole Red on downtown Broadway. Details at https://www.mikaylalanemusic.com.
Brett Young’s debut children’s book Love You, Little Lady is available now everywhere books are sold. Inspired by the lyrics of his familial GOLD-certified No. 1 song “Lady” (BMLG Records), Young writes a love letter to his little girls and details the joys of fatherhood. Love You Little Lady is published by Tommy Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins) and is available via https://www.brettyoungmusic.com/loveyoulittlelady. Young’s upcoming Weekends Look A Liitle Acoustic These Days — offering fresh, stripped-down versions of the songs from his latest collection including current single “Not Yet” — drops on Sept. 3 in conjunction with his inaugural Caliville Weekend, Labor Day Weekend in Palm Springs. Fans can also see Young live on his headlining The Weekends Tour beginning on September 11 in Fort Worth, TX. For more information on both, visit www.brettyoungmusic.com/tour. Young was named ASCAP’s 2018 Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year and has also garnered nominations from ACM, Billboard, Teen Choice, CMT and CMA Awards. Racking up nonstop hits, Brett has cemented his status as “one of country’s most consistent radio stars” (Rolling Stone)
CANADA MUSIC NEWS
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Steven Lee Olsen has released his new five-track EP, Relationship Goals. After years of hard work honing his craft and carving out a reputation as a chart-topping songwriter for artists like Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, Billy Currington and more, Steven Lee Olsen’s passion for writing and producing pushed him into a new space – that of a recording artist, separate from his work writing stories only for the stars around him. Relationship Goals arrives as a collection showcasing Steven Lee Olsen’s incredibly versatile vocal stylings and honest storytelling that reflect his soul, country, R&B, and pop influences. Also announced, TSN is set to feature Steven Lee Olsen’s track “What You’re Made Of” as the CFL ON TSN Song of the Season, which soundtracks CFL ON TSN broadcast coverage throughout the 2021 campaign. “I am so proud to be releasing this new music with my incredible partners at Universal Music Canada and The Core Entertainment,” said Steven Lee Olsen. “Having one of the songs from Relationship Goals featured as the CFL ON TSN Song of the Season is icing on the cake.” More at http://www.stevenleeolsen.com.
CD DEBUT NEWS
Mad Twenties (releasing Oct 1) proves it’s impossible to pigeon-hole this California-to-Texas transplant: Taylor Rae is fearless in her exploration of musical genres and of the human condition. This openness to both creative and personal evolution has resulted in a captivating and commanding, 12-track debut album that brings a magical new voice to the masses. Emotionally raw, lyrically polished and delivered with pure vocal mastery, Mad Twenties and Taylor Rae make for compelling listening. A largely chronological concept album, the project charts the progress of a romantic relationship. Pre-save at https://vydia.lnk.to/MadTwenties. The new single from Mad Twenties, “Home on the Road” is based on Taylor’s memories of a long drive from California to Colorado in a 1979 step van. “It was hot, and the van kept overheating,” she recalls. “We had no money for repairs or a tow, and I remember sitting at a rest stop in our underwear, waiting on the van to cool off enough to drive the next 20 miles, drinking warm Heinekens and thinking that one day I’d write a song about the experience.” More at https://www.taylorraemusic.com
Entertainment icon Marie Osmond covers a multitude of styles from opera to Broadway to timeless classics on her upcoming Unexpected CD. Available Dec. 10 via Oliveme LLC and BFD/The Orchard, the album harkens to an era where music was live with incredible orchestras and conductors. To pre-order Unexpected and instantly receive the first single, “Unexpected Song” from the musical Song and Dance, go to https://orcd.co/MarieOsmondUnexpected. The follow-up to Osmond’s Top 10 Billboard Country album, Music is Medicine, Unexpected is dedicated to Osmond’s father who encouraged his daughter to follow her passion and sing every style of music she loved. These recordings are also a permanent tribute and personal thank you from Osmond to all of her fans who have requested them over the years. Osmond is a multiple gold and platinum-selling artist and CMA winner, garnering numerous Billboard chart-topping singles and albums and three New York Times Bestselling books. She has entertained millions throughout the world through television, radio, film, literature, live concerts and Broadway. Details at https://www.marieosmond.com.
CLASSIC ROCK NEWS
Inside Recordings has released the new album from Jackson Browne, Downhill From Everywhere to global radio via AirPlay Direct. A half-century ago, Tom Rush’s recording of “These Days” introduced the folk music world to Jackson Browne, astonishingly 16 years old when he wrote the song.
His debut album soon followed along with its hit “Doctor, My Eyes.” Nearly five decades since, the songs on Jackson Browne’s new album Downhill From
Everywhere sustain the soulful intimacy of his first release, combined with a power and wisdom gained from a life pursuing positive change.
Listen to Downhill From Everything at https://airplaydirect.com/music/Jackson/