VERSE OF THE MONTH:
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” ― Arthur O’Shaughnessy
Cassadee Pope has been cooking up more than just some new music recently. She’s been cooking up… well, cooking. Like most artists, Cassadee had planned a full-length band project as a follow up to last year’s Stages. Then COVID-19 hit, shuttering recording studios, and canceling tours. Cassadee made the best of all this downtime by confronting one of her fears—cooking. But since the pandemic she says she’s “just making things up and they are turning out great. I’m feeling pretty good about my skills now,“ she told MusicRow.
Also, she’s been writing music, funneling the heartbreaks and disappointments she’d experienced over the past few years—from parting ways with her former label BMLG, to a breakup with an old boyfriend, and then her journey through therapy and self-discovery—into some of her most intensely personal work to date. From more than two dozen tracks, she pulled out the eight that appear on her recent acoustic EP, Rise and Shine, released independently in August via her own Awake Music label. More about Cassadee and her new EP at https://www.cassadeepope.com/
It’s been 50 years since the release of Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Stevens’ GRAMMY® Award-winning, multi-million selling No. 1 hit song, “Everything Is Beautiful.” To celebrate the occasion, Stevens is releasing a newly-recorded 2020 version of the tune. The legendary singer has returned to Curb Records for the new recording. The 50th Anniversary Edition of “Everything is Beautiful” dropped on October 30.
“You know it doesn’t seem possible, but I first recorded this song 50 years ago,” says Stevens. “We’ve come a long way since then and still have a lot of miles left to go, so let’s not fall apart now. Let’s come together and show the world that everything really is… beautiful.”
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic song, the 2020 version finds the tune’s timely message as relevant as ever, tapping into the notion that the country must come together in the midst of division. Both versions of “Everything Is Beautiful” are available for digital download. More about Ray at https://raystevens.com/
Randy Rogers Band was scheduled to kick off 20-year anniversary celebrations with a sold-out show at Ryman Auditorium on April 3, but COVID-19 had other plans. Despite the pandemic curveball, the band described as a “perpetual live favorite” by Rolling Stone has made the most of the past 12 months with milestones including:
– Earning their first RIAA Gold certification, with a special presentation ceremony in D.C. at RIAA headquarters
– Supporting Miranda Lambert at three sold-out arena shows
– Premiering their hilarious music video for “I’ll Never Get Over You” on CMT
– Selling out Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
– Raising over $240,000 for MusiCares at their eleventh annual Golf Jam
– Partnering with Whataburger to debut custom Justin boots
Randy Rogers Band hails from San Marcos, Texas. They have recorded seven studio albums and two live albums, and have charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. More about the Randy Rogers Band at https://www.randyrogersband.com/
Chris Stapleton’s new song, “Arkansas,” is the third song unveiled from Stapleton’s anticipated new album, Starting Over, out November 13 on Mercury Records Nashville (pre-order/pre-save at http://strm.to/CSStartingOverAlbumPRv ). Starting Over is an album of startling prescience—completed in late February only days before the shutdown began. Across its fourteen tracks are songs that examine life’s simplest joys and most serious struggles. Alongside eleven songs written by Stapleton with both longtime friends and new collaborators are three carefully chosen covers: John Fogerty’s “Joy Of My Life” and Guy Clark’s “Worry B Gone” and “Old Friends.” The resulting album—both timely and timeless—speaks to and transcends the current moment in ways unimaginable even while it was being created. Produced by Dave Cobb, the album was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (with additional work done at Muscle Shoals Sound and Compass Sound Studio). “Arkansas” was written by Stapleton and legendary musician Mike Campbell. Kentucky-born Stapleton is a 5x Grammy, 10x CMA and 7x ACM Award-winner and one of the country’s most respected and beloved musicians. More info at https://www.chrisstapleton.com/
Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley received the Randy Owen Angels Among Us Award during the virtual St. Jude Country Cares Seminar on October 15. Hubbard and Kelley and their families have supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for many years with the This Shirt Saves Lives campaigns dating back to 2017.
“Tyler and Brian have always exemplified the true heart of the Angels Among Us Award by giving their time, love and voices to our mission, making such a powerful impact on the lives of children worldwide through their support of St. Jude,” said ALSAC [St Jude’s] President andCEO Rick Shadyac. “Through a year that has been tough for everyone, they have still shown steadfast support for us.”
The virtual seminar was also the platform to launch the We Won’t Stop campaign that features a new shirt design and accompanying social media and digital assets. The #StJudeWontStop mission means moving forward with fundraising efforts in new ways amid a global pandemic. Find ways to help at https://www.stjude.org/