Inside Track on Music Row with Preshias Harris: July 2020 Music News Column


Emerging singer, songwriter and musician Tenille Townes’ highly anticipated debut album, The Lemonade Stand, was released June 26 on Columbia Nashville in partnership with RCA Records. Stream/purchase at  In celebration of the release, the two-time ACM Award nominee hosted her annual “Big Hearts For Big Kids” benefit concert on June 30 from Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. The virtual event featured Townes performing songs from her new album along with special at-home performances from Dierks Bentley, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, and more. In the ten years since Townes started the fundraiser, “Big Hearts For Big Kids” has raised over $1.9 million for Sunrise House—a local youth shelter in Townes’ hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. Proceeds from this year’s event will once again benefit Sunrise House as well as Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee’s Troop 6000—an initiative that supports girls without permanent housing. Donations to both organizations can be made via  Produced by Jay Joyce, The Lemonade Stand consists of twelve songs all co-written by Townes and is already receiving widespread critical acclaim. 


Acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician Elizabeth Cook will release her anticipated new album, Aftermath, September 11 on Agent Love Records/Thirty Tigers (pre-order at ).  In advance of the release, the album’s lead single, “Perfect Girls of Pop,” is available now. Watch/share the official music video, directed by Curtis Wayne Milliard via a link at  

Produced by Butch Walker (Green Day, Weezer, Taylor Swift), Aftermath is an album about survival and resilience. The twelve songs – all written by Cook – address life’s most fundamental and difficult subjects including heartbreak, addiction, death and resurrection. Created following a period of significant loss and pain, Aftermath chronicles Cook’s journey through a personal hell and how she made her way back. Of the album, Cook reflects, “This is the first time that I’ve been completely unchained, really. I wasn’t in an oppressive relationship, I wasn’t trying to meet some sort of label’s expectation, I wasn’t trying to meet some sort of market expectations. And that’s the way I wanna do it, or not at all.” 


Five-time Grammy winner Steven Curtis Chapman’s “That’s My Dad” is a touching tribute to his father.  Stream or download “That’s My Dad” via   “It seems only right that I would finally write a song for the man who gave me a love for music, taught me how to appreciate a “great song” and was in fact the first songwriter I ever knew,” said Chapman.  “I’m very thankful for my dad and thankful I could share this song that he inspired.”  Steven’s father Herb Chapman Sr. has an established musical legacy of his own in the family’s hometown of Paducah, Ky. with his store, Chapman Music, where he has taught music for over five decades to thousands of students, including Steven and his brother Herb Jr. Herb Sr. and Herb Jr. joined Chapman on the Grammy-nominated Deeper Roots: Where the Bluegrass Grows as well as the project’s prequel Deep Roots. In a career that has spanned over 30 years, Steven Curtis Chapman is the most awarded artist in Christian music history. More at  


Two big CMA events set for July. The CMA (Country Music Association) announced “a night of the hottest country music” to take place on July 1, when stars Jimmie Allen and Lindsay Ell host the first-ever CMA Summer Stay-Cay presented by Budweiser Nitro Gold. Fans can tune into CMA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page to catch more than 50 of their favorite Country acts coming together (while safely apart) for unique performances, atypical Q&As, games and much more during this fun and collaborative summertime celebration. The multi-hour live stream variety show kicks off at 6pm ET July 1, and the full line-up will be announced on the CMA Fest app and at    Then Luke Bryan hosts “CMA Best of Fest,” a three-hour retrospective airing Thursday, July 9 at 8/7c on ABC-TV, featuring more than 25 unforgettable performances having aired on television over the last 16 years of “CMA Fest,” plus a new performance with Bryan and special guest Darius Rucker. Artists appearing in the TV special include: Trace Adkins, Lauren Alaina, Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Luke Combs, and more. Info at  


The Americana Music Association Foundation (AMAF) has announced “Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference”, a new online music industry conference experience slated to take place Sept. 16, 17 and 18, 2020. The virtual conference will feature programming with Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, Mavis Staples as well as AMAF Board Members Jackson Browne, Rhiannon Giddens and T Bone Burnett, with more surprises to be revealed as the event approaches. A limited number of passes at the $99 Early Bird rate are now on sale at   Taking place the week originally scheduled for The Americana Music Association’s Ameicanafest, Thriving Roots will bring the Americana music community together from across the world for three full days of engaging insight from its top industry professionals and leading artists. The conference will include over 50 stimulating industry and artist-led panel discussions, plus more than 40 immersive special events filled with music. Boasting a wide variety of online programming, attendees are in store for a unique, highly interactive experience that will go beyond today’s webinar-style conferences. See  for updates. 

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