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
Three-time Grammy® winner and superstar Tim McGraw expands upon his critically acclaimed #1 album Here On Earth with two new digital deluxe versions – Here On Earth Ultimate Edition & Here On Earth Ultimate Video Edition, out now via Big Machine Records. Giving a glimpse into the project, McGraw recently released powerful advance track “God Moves The Pen,” listen at https://tim.lnk.to/godmovesthepenPR.
The Ultimate Edition features six additional tracks, including “God Moves The Pen,” “Undivided” – McGraw’s latest collaboration with Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard – and two additional bonus movie tracks, “Keep Your Eyes on Me” with Faith Hill from the 2017 feature film The Shack and “Gravity” from the 2018 Academy Award ® winning documentary Free Solo. McGraw wrote the former alongside Hill, Lori McKenna and Shane McAnally and the latter with McKenna. The Ultimate Video Edition includes all tracks on the Ultimate Edition with the addition of videos for six songs: “Here on Earth,” “I Called Mama,” “Gravy,” “Undivided,” “Thought About You,” and “Neon Church.” Complete details at https://www.timmcgraw.com.
AMERICAN COWBOY NEWS:
Kolt Barber (Maverick Management/Barbed Wire Entertainment) has announced newly formed alliances with American Hat Co., Cactus Ropes, Modern Cowboy and Motorsports Safety Group to support and endorse the Kolt Barber American Cowboy Showdown (ACS). The companies have joined the American country music traditionalist and music business vet to take rodeo action and LIVE country music entertainment on the road in 2021. The American Cowboy Showdown (sanctioned by the IPRA) embraces, and caters to, the blue collar, AG, farming, ranching and trucking communities, and lifestyle. With many events contracted to date (and more to come), the Southeast leg of the launches in June.
“The early alliances with like-minded organizations, such as American Hat Co., Cactus Ropes, Modern Cowboy and Motorsports Safety Group, keeps with our goal to support and continue the tradition,” said Barber, “and extend the health and livelihood of the sport. We are very excited in these partnerships.” Motorsports Safety Group (MSG) is committed to promoting safety and engaging technologies to help prevent, diagnose, and treat brain and spinal cord injuries that are inherent in all levels of high contact sports. More at www.koltbarber.com or www.americancowboyshowdown.com.
Priscilla Block released her debut self-titled EP April 30 on Mercury Nashville. She found fame building a fanbase on TikTok with “PMS,” “Thick Thighs” and other songs. She was also named as one of the Next Big Thing Class of 2021 by MusicRow. All six songs on the EP were penned by Block, including the viral hit now at radio, “Just About Over You,” and her new single “Wish You Were the Whiskey.”
“I love writing about real life experiences and the ups and downs that I’ve gone through,” says Priscilla. “I don’t sugarcoat anything, and I think that’s the beauty of songwriting and being an artist.” More info at https://www.priscillablock.com.
Chris Stapleton took home the award for Album of the Year for Starting Over at the 56th ACM Awards, broadcast live April 18, 2021. Stapleton led all nominees with a total of six nominations in four categories: Entertainer of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year (Starting Over as both artist and producer) and Song of the Year (“Starting Over” as both artist and songwriter). Stapleton also performed on the Awards ceremony, which was broadcast from various venues in Nashville. The win and the nominations celebrate yet another monumental year for Stapleton following the release of Starting Over, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart this past November.
Out now on Mercury Records Nashville (stream/purchase at https://strm.to/CSStartingOverAlbumPR ), Starting Over features fourteen tracks that examine life’s simplest joys and most serious struggles. Once again produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb, the record continues to receive overwhelming critical praise and landed on several “Best of 2020” lists. The album’s title song “Starting Over” topped the Billboard Country Radio Airplay chart in April.
Multi-Platinum group LANCO continue to move forward while nostalgically reminiscing on the past with the release of “First Beer” (Arista Nashville). Written by frontman Brandon Lancaster, drummer Tripp Howell and The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johntson, the new song’s timeless yet in-the-moment lyrics look back on life’s most intoxicating moments, underscored by a sweeping signature LANCO melody. “First Beer” is now available at all digital retailers here: https://lanco.lnk.to/FirstBeer.
“There are some memories in life where you don’t remember every detail but one vivid experience that stuck with all of us was our first drink and the people we were with,” Brandon Lancaster said. “It’s a universal song that’s going to be fun to get back on the road and play for our fans. They might not remember the beer but they will take away an experience which is the entire sentiment of the song.”
LANCO broke out with the 2x Platinum hit “Greatest Love Story,” earning a multi-week No. One with a heartland rocker for a new generation. More on LANCO at www.lancomusic.com.
BLUEGRASS MUSIC NEWS:
Ray Stevens has already dropped three of four planned albums in 2021. With Melancholy Fescue (High Class Bluegrass) via Curb Records, the two-time GRAMMY® winner and Country Music Hall of Fame member re-imagines twelve beloved classics and turns them into a bluegrass masterpiece. Meticulously choosing timeless hits like “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “In the Still of the Night,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Goin’ Out of My Head” and more, the country and comedy legend’s new project shows that a great song holds on to its greatness, no matter how you serve it up. Dropping four albums in total this spring, the third, Slow Dance, arrived on April 23, with the fourth and final album, Nouveau Retro (What’s Old Is New Again), dropping on May 21. On June 18, fans can purchase the four new albums altogether in a special-edition box set, Iconic Songs of the 20th Century (The Soundtrack of Our Lives). For more information on Ray Stevens, his new albums and the special-edition box set, visit https://raystevens.com.
Alan Jackson has a brand-new album, set for release May 14, 2021. The album, titled Where Have You Gone, produced by Keith Stegall, is Jackson’s first studio album of new music in six years. The album is available for pre-order now at https://strm.to/AJWhereHaveYouGonePR. Fans certainly get their money’s worth: the new project consists of 21 new songs, of which Jackson wrote 15 himself, including the title track, that is a lament to the lack of ‘traditional’ country to be heard on the radio.
“It’s a little harder country than even I’ve done in the past,” Jackson shared. “And it’s funny, I was driving and listening to the final mixes Keith sent me, and I started to tear up. I was surprised to get so overly emotional, but I just love this kind of music.” More about the album at https://www.alanjackson.com/
Stoney LaRue has remained one of the most dominant music artists in the US over the last 20 years with chart-topping albums, singles, and sold-out concerts nationwide. For years his reputation as a masterful entertainer has brought throngs of fans packing into music venues, clamoring for the Red Dirt rocker to walk out on stage. It’s not uncommon for LaRue to hit the record button at many of his concerts, recordings for his own personal uses and reflections. So, in 2020 when touring came to a stop for several months due to Covid-19, Stoney and his engineer Roy Shelton took time to listen to many of those concerts that had been recorded over the last couple of years. With LaRue’s approaching birthday, they decided to celebrate it in epic style by releasing a virtual sonic experience. Double Live 25 was released on April 28th digitally at www.stoneylarue.com and on iTunes. It is also available for streaming on all platforms. Check out his YouTube and Facebook page for the premiere of the live music video for “One Chord Song.” https://www.facebook.com/stoneylaruemusic/ and https://www.youtube.com/user/StoneyLarueMusic.
The Heimerdinger Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing nutrient- rich meals and education, free of charge, for families facing cancer, is set to host Fisher & Friends at the Farm and Off the Record on Saturday, June 12, at 5:30 pm CT. The intimate evening will be held on the farm of former Tennessee Titan’s coach Jeff Fisher and offer behind the scenes stories with NFL coaching, talent, and broadcast giants, Coach Jeff Fisher, Eddie George, George Plaster and John Dwyer. The outdoor event will feature story telling, music, live and silent auctions and a four-course farm to table meal inspired by the nonprofit’s Meals 4 Health and Healing Program. Individual tickets are $250 or $1800 for a table of eight and include a four-course farm to table dinner with proceeds benefiting the Meals 4 Health and Healing program of The Heimerdinger Foundation. Following intimate conversation with Fisher, George, Plaster and Dwyer, the evening will conclude with live music. Performers to be announced soon. For more information including COVID protocols and to purchase tickets and sponsorships visit https://hfmeals.org/fisher-friends/.
Paulina Jayne, Nashville independent recording artist and writer, debuted her latest single, “Drove By,” and the corresponding music video on YouTube, quickly racking up nearly 50,000 views. Leslie Fram at CMT caught wind of the video’s success and immediately wanted to jump in on the project. CMT began supporting “Drove By” on their website, making it a featured music video. Paulina’s live show band (Miguel Gutierrez, John Gallo, Jason Harris, Chris Sykes and Amir Edwards) brought the stage to the studio at Universal’s House of Blues Recording Studio in Berry Hill. Mills Logan mixed and co-produced the single with Paulina, bringing every color of the song to life. Tyler Manuel, Jake Moore and Devin Garrett came together to create the dramatic music video with a Nashville skyline backdrop. “Drove By” is now available on all streaming platforms. More on Paulina Jayne including the music video for “Drove By” at https://www.paulinajayne.com.
Capitol Records Nashville singer/songwriter Caylee Hammack has released a new version of her deeply personal song “Small Town Hypocrite” with a guest vocal by Chris Stapleton, available at https://strm.to/CayleeStapletonSmallTownHypocritePR. Since Hammack released the autobiographical song, critics, fans and peers alike have had an overwhelming affinity for the track and the picture it paints of the songwriter’s journey of heartbreak and reflection. Hammack also hand illustrated the single art for the special release of the track, depicting the trailer featured in the vulnerable lyrics.
“My one whim for this song was to hear Chris Stapleton accompany me on it,” shared Hammack. “Two years after I spoke this wish out loud in the studio, Chris agreed to sing the part I had written in hopes of hearing his voice on it. Life is a beautiful full circle sometimes. I am so grateful to Chris for singing on this song.” Co-written and co-produced by Hammack, NPR and Esquire singled out “Small Town Hypocrite” as one of their “Best Songs of 2020.” Music and more at https://strm.to/CayleeStapletonSmallTownHypocritePR.
One year ago, the Bellamy Brothers partnered with Florida-based medical cannabis provider Trulieve on their Old Hippie Stash flower product line. To celebrate, David, Howard and Trulieve Chief Marketing Officer Valda Coryat joined Marijuana Doctors for an interview and giveaway. Named after the iconic country duo’s hit song “Old Hippie,” which topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and celebrated 35 years in 2020, Old Hippie Stash launched with the initial strains Big Love and Reggae Cowboy. Following a sell-through rate of 90 percent during launch, Trulieve added the strain Afterglow in May of 2020. Old Hippie Stash is available in Trulieve dispensaries across Florida. When the stay-at-home orders took effect in 2020, the Bellamy Brothers were on the road with Blake Shelton for his Friends And Heroes Tour. They returned to their Florida homestead where their hit reality series is filmed and along with the Trulieve partnership, stayed busy through the release of their Bucket List EP and premiere of “Honky Tonk Ranch” season two on Circle. To keep up with this on-the-move-duo, follow the Bellamy Brothers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and visit https://bellamybrothers.com.
EP MUSIC NEWS:
Jenny Tolman is welcoming fans to Jennyville – the outrageous fictional town at the heart of her debut EP album – and the deluxe version of There Goes the Neighborhood is released on all platforms with three bonus tracks (listen at https://song.space/7hzmxy). Irreverent, quirky and wildly entertaining, Tolman is a modern-era troubadour who enjoys poking fun in rhyme. With a razor-sharp wit and throwback sound, she is on deck to become her generation’s Roger Miller, combining humor with savvy wordplay and wisdom far beyond her years. There Goes the Neighborhood is stacked with high-energy tunes interspersed with heartfelt ballads drawn from life experiences. Jennyville is a make-believe burg full of gossipy women who are lovable and neurotic, catty and competitive. The album was initially released in July 2019 and debuted at #25 on the Billboard Country Album Sales chart, then everything came to a screeching halt with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the deluxe version adds three new songs (including “Who’ll Be Your Fool,” featuring Opry legend Jeannie Seely) to the original 13-track album. More at https://www.jennytolman.com.