VERSES OF THE MONTH:
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. – Psalm 98:4
I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me – Psalm 6 – 13.
ALABAMA is poised to return to the road after nearly two years. The group’s long-awaited “50th Anniversary Tour” — much of which was delayed due to Covid-19 — consists of nearly 30 arena and amphitheater live concerts and will take place throughout 2021 and early 2022. Special guests Martina McBride, The Marshall Tucker Band, Travis Tritt, Sara Evans, America, Grits & Glamour (Lorrie Morgan & Pam Tillis), Tracy Lawrence, The Beach Boys, The Frontmen of Country (Richie McDonald formerly of Lonestar, Tim Rushlow formerly of Little Texas & Larry Stewart of Restless Heart) and Jake Hoot will join ALABAMA on select dates. The band’s milestone tour kicks off on July 2 and 3 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. These two concerts mark ALABAMA’s first arena performance in Nashville in nearly two decades. “We are very thankful that we can play our music for our loyal fans of the past 50 years and introduce our songs to a new 3rd and 4th generation of new fans,” says ALABAMA lead singer Randy Owen. Tour and ticket info at https://www.thealabamaband.com.
Blake Shelton has a lot to be celebrating. He celebrated another win for Season 20 of The Voice as his act Cam Anthony was crowned on May 25th and everyone expected it. His new album, Body Language, has 12 tracks and was released May 21st, 2021. One of his favorite cuts on the record is “Bible Verses.” Blake has been working on this record from LA to Nashville for nearly two years. Currently, Shelton is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his first major hit, “Austin.” To commemorate the occasion, Shelton will launch the pre-order for a limited edition seven-inch vinyl of his history making track on his website. He thanked Clay Walker from the stage at CRS before the pandemic hit for giving him his career. Clay passed on “Austin” so the song went to his label mate Blake who was patiently waiting in the shadows. He has gone on to be awarded the honor of Male Vocalist of the Year five times by the CMA. He has more than five billion streams and over 11 million sales of his albums. More info at https://www.blakeshelton.com/austin
Walmart is helping pay tribute to the late Charlie Daniels by exclusively carrying an upcoming collaborative album that features the Country Music Hall of Fame member dueting with some of the biggest stars in country music, bluegrass, and southern rock. The physical edition of Charlie Daniels & Friends – Duets (via Blue Hat Records & BFD / Audium Nashville) will be available for purchase in all Walmart stores and walmart.com on Friday, July 16.
“It goes without saying that it’s been a rough year for my mom and I, our CDB family and dad’s fans,” says Daniels’ son, Charlie Daniels Jr. “But his music will live on forever, and we’re happy that this Duets collection will add to his legacy.”
The nineteen-track compilation features Daniels singing and pickin’ with a slew of top-notch stars including Dolly Parton, Brooks & Dunn, Darius Rucker, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Brenda Lee, Gretchen Wilson, Marty Stuart, and more. Album details and pre-order info at https://www.charliedaniels.com.
The Americana Music Association has announced the nominees for its 20th Annual Americana Honors & Awards during a socially-distanced ceremony at Nashville’s National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM). This year’s nominations were revealed by GRAMMY® Award-winner Keb’ Mo’ and Ketch Secor, frontman and fiddler of the Americana Award and GRAMMY®-winning band, Old Crow Medicine Show. The intimate event was streamed live to the Americana Music Association’s Facebook page. The winners of each category will be announced during the Americana Honors & Awards on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
The Americana Music Association has also announced its AmericanaFest Conference which will feature panels from renowned musicians Jackson Browne, Valerie June, Aoife O’Donovan and Joe Henry. Scheduled to take place in Music City on September 22-25, a detailed schedule for this year’s AmericanaFest will be announced in August. 2021 Conference + Festival Passes are currently on-sale at $349 ($249 for Americana Music Association Members) and can be purchased https://americanamusic.org/about-americanafest.
For over two decades, the AMERICANAFEST conference has provided a premier educational forum to discuss varying cultural and industry-related topics among top professionals and artists from the Americana community. This year, the daytime music industry conference will once again return to The Westin Nashville with over 50 insightful sessions, while the nighttime music festival will feature more than 200 electrifying showcases throughout notable venues in Music City. Full details at https://americanamusic.org.
JUSTIN MOORE RECIEVES PANDORA BILLIONAIRE PLAQUE
Known for his chart-topping catalog and humorous nature, this time, the surprise was on Justin Moore as SiriusXM hosts Buzz Brainard and Ania Hammer, along with Moore’s wife Kate presented him with a Pandora Billionaire Plaque. The honor commemorates 3 billion streams on the platform for the Arkansas native, who recently joined the Music Row Happy Hour on The Highway (ch. 56) with content also airing across Pandora & SiriusXM’s social platforms.
”Wow, that’s awesome! This is really an incredible and exciting surprise,” shared Moore. “Doing the podcast, we take listener questions and I’ve done a lot of Zooms with the new album, so people are often asking me what I’m most proud of. Well, it’s really moments like this — 14 years after signing my record deal that we’re still here getting to play music and be supported by the fans and industry.”
His 8-track collection, Straight Outta the Country, is out now via The Valory Music Co. Music, tour news and more at https://www.justinmooremusic.com.
THOMAS RHETT RELEASES SONG WITH HIS FATHER, RHETT AKINS
While continuing to spontaneously preview new music on social media the past two years, superstar and prolific songwriter Thomas Rhett dropped “Things Dads Do,” available at https://tr.lnk.to/ThingsDadsDoPR via The Valory Music Co. Teaming up with his dad Rhett Akins to write the track alongside Matt Dragstrem and Chase McGill, the timely song effortlessly deploys entertaining tongue-and-cheek lyrics highlighting the amusing habits of fatherhood, while also chronicling the tender full-circle journey of ultimately turning into your dad.
“This is probably my favorite song I’ve gotten to write with my dad,” said Thomas Rhett.” I’ve learned so many life lessons from him, and it’s pretty wild to see so much of him in myself now that I’m a dad. It felt like we should go ahead to release it for all of y’all who have been asking since we wrote it and to celebrate all the dads out there!” Music and tour updates at www.thomasrhett.com.