Preshias Harris provides this exclusive monthly column with Nashville Music Guide to keep artists, musicians, writers and more up to date on the news that is coming from music row and beyond. It includes music industry news from labels, publishers, writers, singers and more.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!
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QUOTE OF THE MONTH: If I am chasing your dream faster than you, then I am in the wrong dream – Preshias
ALBUM NEWS: Six-time chart-topping country star Rodney Atkins is set to ring in the New Year with theFebruary 3 release of his first-ever Greatest Hits compilation via longtime label home Curb Records. Available for pre-order, ‘Rodney Atkins – Greatest Hits’ features 11 of the artist’s best-loved songs as well as his latest single, “Eat Sleep Love You Repeat,” which is available for instant download with a pre-order purchase of the album. Atkins’ hits on the album include “Take A Back Road,” “It’s America,” “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy),” “These Are My People,” “Watching You” and “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows).” To pre-order a copy of Rodney Atkins – Greatest Hits, visit smarturl.it/RAtkins
ARTIST NEWS: As you know by now Country singer Craig Wayne Boyd and Team Blake [Shelton] member won season seven of NBC-TV’s The Voice. His finale song “Old Rugged Cross” has exceeded 17,000,000 plus views on YouTube. Craig also won a recording contract with Dot Records and $100,000. His new single is “My Baby’s Got A Smile On Her Face” knocked out Garth’s record from 2007 when “More Than a Memory” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart. Boyd becomes just the second artist to debut their single at No. 1 since Hot Country Songs began as a multi-metric chart in October 1958.
BENEFIT NEWS: Warner Bros/WMN’s Superstar recording artist Blake Shelton donated more than $30,000 to ACM charity ACM’s Lifting Lives. Shelton teamed with Crowd Surge to give $1 from each ticket sold during the pre-sale for his 2014 Ten Times Crazier Tour. Now the ACM is encouraging fans to donate here with their “Be Like Blake” campaign, which runs through January 5th. Donors will be entered to win a copy of the Academy’s book This Is Country: A Backstage Pass to the Academy of Country Music Awards, signed by Shelton. Go to https://www.acmliftinglives.org/donate.html
BLUEGRASS NEWS: Rhonda Vincent hit number one on the charts again, holding the top spot on the national bluegrass airplay chart for the month of December. This time, it’s the song “Only Me” with country legend Willie Nelson and the title track from the #1 Billboard Bluegrass CD by Rhonda Vincent. This historic song marks Nelson’s first trip to the top of the Bluegrass Unlimited national airplay chart. Vincent is no stranger to the top spot. In November, she was number one with “Busy City,” which served as the lead single from “Only Me.” More at rhondavincent.com.
BOOK NEWS: Be on the lookout for my new ebook, coming soon! It is titled “I Know Country!” and includes 366 country music Q&As, plus some fascinating factoids about the songs and the singers and songwriters behind the hits. You’ll be able to download your own copy. Stay tuned here or on my Facebook page to be among the first to know when it is published!
CD NEWS: Less than eight weeks after debuting at No. one on Billboard’s Top 200 chart with over 280,000 copies, two-time ACM “Male Vocalist of the Year” Jason Aldean continued to conquer unchartered territory as OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT was certified platinum, for sales of over one million units, by the RIAA. Additionally, Aldean is one of only three artists in all genres to release an album and see it earn platinum certification in 2014. For a full list of upcoming appearances and tour dates, visit jasonaldean.com
CD RELEASES: January CD Releases are listed below! Nate Green/Road Map [EP]/Conway Records-GMV Nashville, Dr. Ralph Stanley/Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow/Cracker Barrel and one of my all-time favorite artists: T. Graham Brown/Forever Changed/Mansion-Sony Red/James Carothers – Honky Tonk Land / Caitlin Canty – Reckless Skyline /Jim Ed Brown – In Style Again / The Bros. Landreth – Let It Lie/ Billy Yates – Zeroes/\Justin Townes Earle – Absent Fathers/Trace Adkins – Live Country! (DVD)
GARTH NEWS: The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood has sold over 90,000 tickets for Joe Louis Arena in Detroit and tickets for all six shows are still selling. Concerts will be Friday, February 20th at 7:00 PM, Saturday, February 21st at 7:00 PM and 10:30 pm, Friday, February 27th at 7:00 PM and Saturday, February 28th at 7:00 PM and 10:30 PM. Remaining tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks. In November, Garth released MAN AGAINST MACHINE, his first new studio album in 13 years. See twitter.com/garthbrooks and facebook.com/GarthBrooks.
GRAMMY NEWS: The Recording Academy has released its 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees, recognizing singles and albums from all genres that exhibit historical significance. Country entries are: “Honky Tonkin’,” Hank Williams And His Drifting Cowboys; “San Antonio Rose,” Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys; and Stardust, Willie Nelson.
INDUSTRY NEWS: Aaron Tippin, the “Hardest Workin’ Man in Country Music” will soon be celebrating a major career milestone. The year 2015 will mark Tippin’s 25th year in music. Tippin is currently planning his 25th Anniversary tour and is in-studio putting the finishing touches on a commemorative album that will feature all new music as well as freshly recorded versions of his hit songs. More details on Tippin’s tour and new album will be announced soon. Aaron Tippin’s fame was launched in 1990 with the release of “You’ve Got to Stand For Something.” He followed with other major hits including “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly,” “There Ain’t Nothing Wrong with the Radio” and “Kiss This.” More info at aarontippin.com.
LABEL NEWS: (BMLG) Congrats to Taylor Swift and her hard working label. She now stands at over 3,000,000 sales of her ‘T.S 1989’ # 1 album.
(Capitol/Nashville) Lady Antebellum’s 2014 included an 80-city headlining tour, a career 9th Number One hit with the Platinum certified “Bartender,” their fifth studio album. They closed it out with an internationally televised performance to ring in 2015 on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC. The trio stayed on the move tirelessly, kicking off the year with their headlining North American TAKE ME DOWNTOWN TOUR. “Bartender,” the multi-week chart-topper, served as the lead track off the album, 747 which was met with praise from fans and critics alike. Check: LadyAntebellum.com.
(Sony/Nashville) Way to go to Carrie Underwood, and the entire 19/Arista team on the Number 1 debut of Greatest Hits: Decade #1 on the Country Albums Chart. The release sold more than 93,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
LEGEND NEWS: 2014 saw its share of legend ‘tribute’ albums, but a lot of critics and fans are hailing ME AND CONWAY among the best. Jeff Bates honors his idol, the late Conway Twitty, with the release of this album. Bates always idolized Conway but never intended to mimic his vocals. After years of fighting critics and the industry about comparing their vocal styles, Bates decided to record a new album with six Conway songs and six others so that people could hear the differences and similarities for themselves. Bates also included Conway’s classic duet with the legendary Loretta Lynn, “After The Fire Is Gone.” The new version of the song marks the first time Lynn has recorded the song since the original duet with Conway. More at JeffBates.net.
MUSIC NEWS: Brett Eldredge holds the spot for TWO singles in Billboard’s top 10 of 2014. At number 9, is “Mean To Me” and at number 2 is “Beat Of The Music” which achieved Brett a number one record.
The RIAA has issued platinum (1,000,000) and double platinum (2,000,000) certifications for Kip Moore’s MCA singles “Hey Pretty Girl” and “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck,” respectively. Good year for Kip!
ONLINE MUSIC NEWS: A new online music series Skyville Live will launch January 14th at 7pm CST, through www.skyvillelive.com. Martina McBride, Gladys Knight and Estelle are the show’s first three guests. Skyline Music Publishing’s Wally Wilson is the creator/Exec. Producer, along with Exec. Producers Dan Bean and Tisha Fein. All episodes will feature artists performing, sharing personal stories and interacting with the live online audience.
PUBLISHING NEWS: Ten Ten Music Group’s co-founder/co-owner Jewel Coburn sold her half of the company to ‘Nettwerk’. Jewel and her business partner Jason Morris continues to run Eleven Eleven Music.
RADIO NEWS: Old Dominion, who recently announced that they will be joining Kenny Chesney’s highly anticipated The Big Revival Tour – making them the first independent band to play a stadium tour – is back with another big announcement. Their single “Break Up With Him” topped SiriusXM’s “The Highway” Hot 45 Countdown, reaching No. 1 just 11 weeks since its release. The band who was recently named one of Rolling Stone Country’s “Artists You Need To Know” has also been added to Spotify’s “Spotlight on Country” playlist, which highlights upcoming country acts of 2015. See olddominionband.com and Facebook.com/olddominion.
SONGWRITING NEWS: Two teenage songwriting sister team Justine Dorsey and Kerris Dorsey from Los Angeles have won the Overall Grand Prize at the 19th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. Sisters Justine Dorsey, 19, and Kerris Dorsey, 16, wrote their song “Best Worst Day Ever”. Dorsey breaks the previous record of the Youngest Overall Grand Prize winner at just 16 years old. The song has just been signed to Walt Disney Music and appeared in the box office hit movie “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. For details on the next annual competition and the $50,000 grand prize, go to songwriting.net
SPONSORSHIP NEWS: Nashville singer/songwriter and country recording artist Lucas Hoge continues his resourceful initiative to cultivate and build relationships to enhance and elevate his branding and public awareness campaigns. Hoge announced his newest alliance with Gamble Family Vineyards (Napa, CA); the artist and winery owners are in the midst of outlaying a 2015 agenda to exploit the mutual venture. Hoge’s partnership with Gamble Family Vineyards follows an official endorsement relationship with Wrangler National Patriot as introduced earlier this year. He also has sponsorship/endorsement agreements with BOWTECH, Wac’em Broadheads and Victory Arrows. Hoge is working in the studio to record new music alongside longtime friend and producer Matt McClure (“I Drive Your Truck” – Lee Brice). An early 2015 CD release is anticipated. More at lucashoge.com.
TOUR NEWS: Capitol’s Little Big Town have added a spring leg to The Pain Killer Tour kicking off March 5th in Savannah, GA. Mercury’s Chris Stapleton opens the 12-city tour. Additionally, Mercury’s Kacey Musgraves will continue the Same Tour Different Trailer run, adding nine dates beginning February 12th in Norfolk, VA. John & Jacob remain openers.
VIDEO NEWS: YouTube’s ‘Country Now’ channel has all your favorite artist country artist performing 24/7. We knew it would be a matter of time before YouTube got smart and realized the need. Just as Jay Frank predicated YouTube is the new social media & promo site rolled into one.
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