BAND / GROUP NEWS:
Take Me Back is the new album from Carolina Blue on Billy Blue Records. Carolina Blue, one of today’s hottest rising acoustic groups, is nominated for New Artist of the Year in the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) 2020 awards program. Earlier this year, the band swept top honors with the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA), winning Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Bluegrass Band of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year honors. In the album liner notes for Take Me Back, Nashville Bluegrass Band alumni and mandolin aficionado Mike Compton states, “Their style is rooted in the past, their presentation straightforward and courageous, their performances filled with charismatic energy and a touch of modern sophistication.” Take Me Back includes twelve new songs – eight contributed by co-founders Timmy Jones and Bobby Powell but the group is quick to recognize a great song from outsourced writers as well. The second single, “Too Wet To Plow,” was written by noted song-smith David Stewart. Info, streaming and download at https://www.carolinablueband.com/
With children, teens, and parents feeling the stress of the global pandemic, Chris Young is lending his talents to headline a benefit for Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. The Great Futures Gala will stream virtually on Friday, October 2nd, featuring a concert from Chris Young, appearances from several surprise celebrity guests, and messages from the youth and families that rely on Boys & Girls Clubs for access to virtual schoolwork, healthy snacks and meals, and social emotional guidance as they navigate recent events. This year’s virtual Great Futures Gala, presented by Nissan, will stream from 7:30pm-9pm CST on Friday, October 2nd. Virtual attendees will receive a unique link to access the exclusive program, along with special gifts to bring the festivities of the gala to the living room. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the more than 4,700 Club members who count on their Clubs for tutoring, healthy food, and life mentorship. Full details of the event can be found at https://bgcmt.org/gala2020/.
The Songwriter Agency, a booking agency focused on representing hit Country, Pop and Latin songwriters and artists in traditional music venues, private occasions, corporate events and virtual performances, has re-launched with music industry veterans Paul Compton and Randy Harrell. The new roster includes Lonestar frontman Richie McDonald, former Little Texas leader Tim Rushlow, Country Music Hall of Famer Don Schlitz, hit songwriter Thom Shepherd and Latin songwriting great Elsten Torres, with additional signings in the works. In addition to direct bookings, The Songwriter Agency and sister company The Country Agency offer negotiation, talent buying and talent selling for a variety of concerts and events. Compton and Harrell have decades of combined experience in live music and dedicated relationships with the top artist representatives and concert promoters. For additional information about the company and roster, visit www.SongwriterAgency.com
Multi-platinum, award-winning singer Sara Evans is gearing up for the September 8 release of her highly anticipated memoir, Born To Fly, from Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Named after her landmark double-platinum album, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, Born To Fly finds Evans opening up for the first time and sharing stories not only about her career and what it is like living in the spotlight, but about what inspires her and how her faith keeps her strong. Sara is set to appear and talk about the book on Good Morning America on September 8th, followed by a stop at ABC’s GMA3 on September 9th, with additional media appearances planned for the coming weeks. She will also be kicking off a virtual book tour on September. The first 100 fans to purchase the book at the bookstore events will receive a signed book from Sara. The book is available for pre-order now at https://bit.ly/2Us893O. More info about the book and Sara’s latest album, Copy That, at www.saraevans.com.
Tim McGraw released his new album, titled Here on Earth, on August 21. Right now, he should be out on an amphitheater tour promoting the album, but the coronavirus put a stop to that. However, fans can enjoy the “Here on Earth Experience,” an interactive streaming event, that will include performances by the tour’s scheduled opening acts Ingrid Andress and Midland. The album includes the single “I Called Mama” and McGraw has used a photo of his own mother for the single’s art. The photo was taken when his mom was a high school senior and just before she was pregnant with a baby that would become Tim. McGraw told The Tennessean that he and wife Faith Hill really miss touring right now. “Stepping out on stage, turning the lights on and feeling that instant energy from the audience is why you do it. That’s the whole reason. That’s the dream.” More info about the album and the “Here on Earth Experience” at https://timmcgraw.com/
Creative people can’t stop creating just because they can’t perform live shows. Case in point: singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope whose new album Rise and Shine is a project she created during the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. Cassadee has the distinction of being the first female winner of The Voice in 2012, having previously fronted the rock band Hey Monday. Her debut country album, Frame by Frame, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Now she has taken advantage of the down-time away from performing to release Rise and Shine, a set of eight acoustic songs that she co-wrote and co-produced. “Rise and Shine is a collection of songs that talk about where I’ve been and where I’m headed,” said Cassadee. “I wanted people to hear these in their purest form so I went with a more stripped back sound that really lets the lyrics stand out. My hope is that these songs help aid people into feeling every emotion they need to let out.” Check out the album and updates at https://www.cassadeepope.com/
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in partnership with YouTube and the country music community, will stage the most ambitious digital fundraiser in the Museum’s history on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. During BIG NIGHT (At the Museum), instruments that helped make country music history will sing again in the hands of modern masters, during a once-in-a-lifetime program premiering exclusively on the Museum’s YouTube channel. Participating artists include: Alison Brown, Kane Brown, Carlene Carter, Rodney Crowell, Country Music Hall of Fame member Emmylou Harris, Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Country Music Hall of Fame member Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Keb’ Mo’, Country Music Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs, Country Music Hall of Fame member-elect Marty Stuart, and The War and Treaty. Stuart hosts the event, with audio supervision by Dave Cobb. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks. Details and updates at https://countrymusichalloffame.org/
CONCERT MUSIC NEWS:
Join Country Outdoors and host Mary O’Neill Phillips for a night of music, food and conversation at the Country Outdoors Writers Round at The Listening Room Cafe on Tuesday, September 8 at 6:00pm. Each month, Country Outdoors will feature 4 different artists. This month they are featuring Caylee Hammack, Ray Fulcher, Drew Parker and Honey County. Country Outdoors authentically explores the outdoors and the stories of the biggest artists in Country Music. The Country Outdoors Writers Round will be held once a month throughout 2020 with special precautions being made to ensure proper social distancing for artists and guests as well as complying with all state and local requirements for events during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Info at www.countryoutdoors.com The Listening Room Cafe is located at 618 4th Ave. S. Nashville, TN.