SPRING 2015 QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
If I am chasing your dream faster than you, then I am in the wrong dream – Preshias
Dierks Bentley, Clint Black, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, Patty Loveless, Ronnie Milsap, Darius Rucker, Dwight Yoakam, Alabama, Eli Young Band and Florida Georgia Line are scheduled to perform at the ACM Party For A Cause Festival April 17-18 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX, ahead of the April 19 50th Annual ACM Awards. Performances will be taped for the two-hour ACM Presents: Superstar Duets, which will air May 15 on CBS-TV. Proceeds benefit ACM Lifting Lives. More at acmcountry.com/news
During the 50th ACM Awards, scheduled to air April 19 at 8pm ET on CBS-TV, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Reba, George Strait, Taylor Swift and Brooks & Dunn will be honored with the 50th Anniversary Milestone Award, commemorating their places in ACM Awards history.
Kip Moore doesn’t mind admitting when he’s wrong and he proves just that with his lead single “I’m To Blame.” The song is available at digital retailers and features Moore’s signature raspy voice over a driving back beat highlighted with a rolling banjo. Moore wrote the song with Justin Weaver and Westin Davis, and the refreshingly honest lyrics are personal for the multi-platinum selling artist.
“I’ve learned that sometimes when you’re in a relationship, especially if you’re trying to keep the relationship, it’s better just to admit that something was your fault so everybody can move on,” said Moore. “I thought that sort of truth-telling was a good way to set the tone for the new album.”
Moore’s sophomore album will be released later this year.
Thomas Rhett has scored his third consecutive No. One hit off his debut album IT GOES LIKE THIS (Valory Music Co.), and his first as the artist and songwriter. The Gold-certified “Make Me Wanna” topped both the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase radio charts, just days after securing his first-ever ACM nom as one of only three “New Artist of the Year” nominees. Thomas Rhett now stands with only a small number of elite artists who can claim three No. one smash hits, more than 3.8 million digital downloads, over 150 live shows a year as well as both ACM and CMA “New Artist of the Year” nominations from a debut project. More information and upcoming tour dates visit: www.thomasrhett.com
On the heels of his EP “Love In Principle,” Nick Verzosa has announced his partnership with this year’s Boot Campaign, a grassroots initiative started in 2009 by five women from Texas known as the Original Boot Girls. Verzosa sports his combat boots in his official Boot Campaign photo. He will engage in a slew of fundraising opportunities and events in 2015 to benefit this unique organization, including their 1st Annual “Kicking For Defenses” kickball tournament this fall in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The Boot Campaign is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to promoting patriotism for America and our military community; raising awareness of the unique challenges service members face during and post-service; and providing assistance to military personnel, past and present, and their families. More at www.bootcampaign.com
We are sending Congratulations to hit songwriter Dallas Davidson (Founding member of The Peach Pickers) and wife Natalia on the birth of their son Dallas Gerald Davidson, Jr. ” I have the greatest wife – and now mother – and a beautiful healthy boy. This is what life is all about. I feel like I’m floating on clouds right now. I’m as happy as I’ve ever been. God is great. I’m blessed beyond my wildest dreams,” says Davidson.
Don’t forget to tip your servers! A “Celebrity Waiters Dinner” scheduled for April 2 at the Stones River Country Club in Murfreesboro features celebs such as Tanya Tucker, Crook & Chase, John Berry, T. Graham Brown, John Conlee, Lynn Anderson, Barbara Fairchild, Rex Allen Jr., Jan Howard, Highway 101’s Paulette Carlson, Hee Haw cast members LuLu Roman, Roni Stoneman and Gerad Smith, Larry’s Country Diner cast member Renae Johnson and Keith Bilbrey who will serve as MC of the evening’s festivities.
Also on hand: MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee, MTSU SGA President Andrew George, MTSU Homecoming King Jonathan Gandy and Queen Kelley Benson. The dinner benefits The Exchange Club of Murfreesboro (Prevention of Child Abuse).
My new book, I Know Country! is almost ready for prime time! It features 366 day-by-day country music Q&As, plus hundreds of fun factoids about the songs, the artists and the songwriters. I had so much fun at Country Radio Seminar (CRS) getting country artist to test their musical knowledge with some tough trivia questions. Stay tuned and I’ll give you more details in my next column.
Cracker Barrel and the Academy of Country Music announced “The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Country Checkers Challenge” leading up to the 50th Annual ACM Awards live on CBS on Sunday, April 19, from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. On Saturday, April 18, team captains Kellie Pickler and Thomas Rhett and their teams will battle it out on Cracker Barrel’s giant checkerboard. The fun takes place at the 2015 ACM Party for a Cause Festival: 50 Years of Music & Memories at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Through a $35,000 donation from Cracker Barrel, ACM Lifting Lives® will donate $25,000 to the winning team’s charity and $10,000 to the losing team’s charity. Pickler has selected the USO and Rhett has selected DAV as the benefiting charities.
Live Nation, in collaboration with MGM Resorts International, has announced Route 91 Harvest Festival will return to Las Vegas for a second consecutive year October 2 – 4. The three-day, two-stage festival, held at the MGM Resorts Village, will be headlined by Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen and more. Passes are on sale from Friday, March 13 at 10 a.m. PST at rt91harvest.com. A Thousand Horses, Frankie Ballard, Mark Chesnutt, Easton Corbin, Clare Dunn, Brett Eldredge, Gloriana, Joe Nichols, Jon Pardi, Chase Rice, The Cadillac Three, Thomas Rhett, Austin Webb and Drake White will also join the all-star lineup with more artists to be announced in the coming weeks. The festival’s second stage, “Next From Nashville,” will return continuing to showcase emerging country artists.
Alan Jackson will be headlining the fourth annual Rock the South Festival scheduled for June 19 and 20. The festival takes place in Cullman, Ala., a town located between Huntsville and Birmingham. Also scheduled to appear: Brantley Gilbert, Sara Evans, Eric Paslay, Travis Tritt, Blackberry Smoke, Jon Pardi, Tyler Farr, Corey Smith, Chris Weaver Band, Big Smo, Downsouth and Dee Jay Silver. To date, Rock the South has raised more than $150,000 for local charities. Details at www.rockthesouth.com.
COUNTRY MUSIC HALL of FAME NEWS:
Check the newest exhibit at CMHoF. Bob Dylan bucked executives at his record label and surprised his fans when he came to Nashville in 1966 to record his classic album Blonde on Blonde. Working with the city’s unmatched session musicians, Dylan produced a rock & roll masterpiece and went on to record two more albums there. Dylan’s embrace of Nashville and its musicians—the Nashville Cats—inspired many other artists, among them Neil Young, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen, to follow him to Music City. Around the same time, Johnny Cash was recruiting folk and rock musicians—including Dylan—to appear on his groundbreaking network television show, The Johnny Cash Show, shot at the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry. This exhibit looks at the Nashville music scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time of great cultural vitality for Music City.
The Country Music Hall of Fame has some new members. On March 25, host Brenda Lee announced the inductees: The Browns, The Oak Ridge Boys and the late Grady Martin. The Browns consist of Jim Ed Brown and his sisters Bonnie and Maxine. Jim Ed went on to a solo career, as well as duets with Helen Cornelius, after his sisters retired. Martin was inducted in the category for recording and performing musician prior to 1980. A guitarist with Nashville’s fabled ‘A Team,’ he played guitar on numerous hits for Marty Robbins, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and many more. He passed away in December 2001. The Oak Ridge Boys’ many hits include‘Elvira,’ ‘Bobbie Sue’ and ‘American Made.’
For the family and friends of Billboard’s Senior Chart Manager, Wade Jessen, 53, who died March 5 following a heart attack. Jessen was head of Billboard’s Country, Bluegrass, Christian and Gospel charts for 20 years. He had previously held on-air positions at several radio stations, including WSM-AM in Nashville. At the time of his passing, Jessen covered the night shift on SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse…
Deepest Sympathies are also extended to the family and friends of Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Wayne Kemp, who died March 9 at age 74. Kemp wrote classics including Johnny Cash’s “One Piece At A Time,” George Strait’s “The Fireman,” Ricky Van Shelton’s “I’ll Leave This World Loving You” and George Jones’ “Love Bug.”
DeciBel Nashville recording artist Ray Scott has released the sobering single, “Ain’t Always Thirsty,” from his newest album, RAY SCOTT. Co-written with Mark Stephen Jones, the signature Ray Scott tune comes from Ray’s emotional and painful divorce and self-reflection.
Scott said: “‘Thirsty’ made me take a hard look at the mistakes I’ve made in my life; writing it was therapeutic. I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written. I drew from real pain and the music and melodies that I grew up on—the music that I am drawn to as a fan and as a recording artist.”
Scott recently signed on with Bob Kinkead/The Kinkead Entertainment Agency for exclusive booking representation. Ray joins agency line-up that encompasses Ray Stevens, Bill Engvall and Kyle Cease to name a few. Tour dates, etc at www.rayscott.com.
Cole Swindell topped the Country Aircheck Charts with “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey.” It’s his third consecutive number one. It has also been certified “GOLD” (500,000 +) downloads. Cole co-wrote the single with Josh Martin (;-) and Adam Sanders.
Country music filled the air in London, March 7th & 8th. The third ‘Country to Country’ (C2C) Festival took over the O2 Arena and Nashville’s stars were there to take center stage, along with some local Brit Country talent. Lady A were the headliners, along with Jason Aldean, Kip Moore, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert and more. The show also hit stages in Dublin. Ireland, as well as Oslo and Stocholm. Estimates put attendance at the London date at around 30,000. BBC Radio 2 dedicated a digital (DAB) channel specifically to the two-day festival.
(RCA) Old Dominion, the hard-working, hard-rocking Nashville quintet has signed with RCA Nashville, taking the next step on a path that started 10 years ago. The move comes months after the group released its self-titled debut EP and as its hot new single “Break Up With Him” climbs the charts. Old Dominion, comprised of Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Whit Sellers, Geoff Sprung and Brad Tursi, lands the deal 20 months after signing with Morris Higham Management. The news comes as Old Dominion prepares to head out on Kenny Chesney’s ‘The Big Revival’ stadium tour this summer. For more information visit www.olddominionband.com.
(Reviver Records) LOCASH kicked 2015 Country Radio Seminar into full throttle with a surprise giveaway of a brand-new, state-of-the-art 2015 FORD Mustang LC1 at their live concert showcase for new single, “I Love This Life.” Courtesy of Reviver Records and Champion Ford in Owensboro, Kentucky, CMT Manager of Music Strategy, Stacey Cato, was awarded the keys to the special LOCASH Edition Mustang, valued at $35,105 at their jam-packed showcase. The showcase also featured Reviver’s newly-signed Lucas Hoge and special guest Little Anthony. LOCASH celebrated the biggest radio debut of their career with “I Love This Life,” as one of the Top 5 most-added songs at country radio in its first week out of the gate. For more information, visit www.locashmusic.com.
(Capitol Nashville) Hit trio Lady Antebellum was honored with the National Music Publishers’ Association Icon Award recently. The Award recognizes their contributions to the craft of songwriting and advocacy for those in the industry. Concurrently, Lady A accepted several Platinum awards for various hit songs in the National capitol, alongside previous honorees including Steven Tyler and Jon Bon Jovi.
(Columbia Nashville) Artist Chase Rice is celebrating his number one debut of “Ignite The Night.” He’s also on tour with Kenny Chesney. More info at www.chaserice.com.
A country music legend just made one of her superfans feel like a star. Gage Blackwell of Lynnville, Tennessee, who has Down syndrome, is a huge fan of Dolly Parton, and recently, the 12-year-old had the opportunity to spend time with the singer at her Dollywood theme park, Today.com reported. While at the meeting, the singer and her fan started off by singing Parton’s popular duet with Kenny Rogers, “Islands in the Stream.” The target=”_blank”>video of Gage and Parton, has since gone viral with more than 1.9 million views on Facebook as of March 28th. The pair also chatted about country music and sang other hits, including “Jolene” and “9 to 5.”
Don Williams has announced the spring and fall legs of his 2015 tour. Williams first came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of the folk group The Pozo-Seco Singers. By 1971, Williams had gone solo, and kept on the charts into the 1990s, as he continued to play for huge crowds on the road. His success in the United States is well-documented, but his music has made him an international star – with followings in such places as England and New Zealand. Known as “The Gentle Giant,” Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Tour dates and more at www.Don-Williams.com
Randy Houser has racked up three consecutive No. 1 singles and now more than three million in singles sales with his most recent Stoney Creek Records album, How Country Feels. His current single and fourth off the album, “Like A Cowboy,” continues its steady climb up the charts as it nears the Top 5 on both Billboard and Mediabase charts this week. Houser recently announced that he will hit the road with Luke Bryan for remaining dates on his That’s My Kind of Night Tour and will start on Bryan’s highly-anticipated Kick The Dust Up Tour in May. Full list of tour dates at www.RandyHouser.com; Twitter @RandyHouser; www.Facebook.com/RandyHouser.
We are sending Congratulations to Broken Bow’s Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr, who married last month in Mexico. “I’ve got my girl here, my friends, my family – it’s the best day ever!” Aldean told Us Weekly. Aldean is also honoring one breast cancer survivor and a guest at each stop on his current Burn It Down 2015 Tour. He’s also setting aside a portion of the year’s ticket sales to support breast cancer programs by a Susan G. Komen local affiliate. This year proceeds will go to Komen’s South Florida affiliate to support the West Palm Beach area.
From the European leg of their WHEELS UP 2015 TOUR, Lady Antebellum is releasing the up-tempo “Long Stretch Of Love” as the new single from their fifth studio album 747. With its hypnotically driving beat and Celtic-inspired instrumentation, the new track had already hit airwaves and arenas across Europe and is now at Country Radio in the US. Up next, the band will continue to trek across the globe for the Australian leg before returning to the states in time for the 50th Annual ACM Awards airing live from Dallas, TX on April 19th on CBS. The North American leg of their tour begins May 1 in Lubbock, TX. For upcoming tour dates, visit www.ladyantebellum.com.
The RIAA has issued gold digital single certification for Lee Brice’s “Drinking Class.” Curb’s Brice kicks off a headlining tour April 8 in partnership with non-profit Reverb, which pairs musicians with schools to affect environmental and social change. Big Machine’s The Cadillac Three and Red Bow’s Chase Bryant will open with other acts on select dates.
NEWCOMER ARTIST NEWS:
Hats off to Michael Ray who was recently named an iHeartRadio On the Verge artist, with his debut single, “Kiss You In The Morning.” The Florida native is one of my favorite people and a super talent. He’s currently out on tour dates with the likes of Sam Hunt, Montgomery Gentry and Cole Swindell. Check out tour dates at www.michaelraymusic.com
NUMBER ONE NEWS:
Ten years after his first single hit radio and just a week after claiming his 15th No. one hit, two-time ACM “Male Vocalist of the Year” Jason Aldean released “Tonight Looks Good On You” as the latest single off his ACM nominated, platinum album OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT. Aldean has accumulated more than 21.5 million downloads, making him the top selling digital male artist of all time. Aldean is currently nominated for three awards at the 50th Annual ACM Awards including “Entertainer of the Year,” “Male Vocalist of the Year” and “Album of the Year” for OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT, airing April 19 on CBS. For a list of his tour dates, visit www.jasonaldean.com.
Hit singer-songwriter and producer Dallas Davidson has launched Play It Again Music Publishing. Davidson’s venture, founded with Executive Vice President Austin Marshall, launches with four songwriters who each bring something different and dynamic to the operation. While Davidson has earned more than 20 No. 1 hits as a mainstream country songwriter, he has cut the rope for songwriters Maggie Rose, Houston Phillips, Brian Kolb and Kyle Fishman.
“We don’t have fences around this company,” said Davidson, who serves as Play It Again’s president and CEO. I don’t care if they write a rap song, a pop song or a country song. This is all about music at Play It Again. We’re not focused on one certain genre. I want our writers to feel as creative as they can.”
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certifications issued in February included three-times multi-platinum (3,000,000) for Florida Georgia Line’s and Luke Bryan’s “This Is How We Roll;” platinum (1,000,000) for Carrie Underwood’s “Something In The Water;” and gold (500,000) for Brantley Gilbert’s “More Than Miles” and Thomas Rhett’s “Make Me Wanna.”
Radio Promo vets Ken Rush, Pamela Newman, and Denise Roberts have joined Thirty Tigers as VP/Promotion & Artist Development, Dir./Southwest Promotion and Dir./National & East Coast Promotion, respectively. Newman and Rush are on the job now; Roberts’ first day is April 6.
TIN PAN SOUTH NEWS:
Each year, the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival Presented by Regions Bank donates proceeds from the door of one show to a designated charity, and organizers named Musicians On Call as the beneficiary of the 23rd annual event. The special round featured Rodney Clawson, Chris DeStefano and Ashley Gorley on March 27, at The Listening Room Cafe. Musicians on Call started in 1999 and currently operates their Bedside Performance Program in 15 cities. MOC volunteers visit patients at their bedsides to perform acoustically for the patient, their family and the caregivers at children’s hospitals, adult facilities, VA hospitals and hospices. Performances have touched the lives of nearly 500,000 people. Details at www.tinpansouth.com.
Zac Brown Band will kick off their North American stadium tour in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena May 1. Tickets for the general public go on sale March 13. The tour gets under way three days after the release of their new album Jekyll + Hyde. More info and the complete tour schedule at zacbrownband.com/shows.
During his Country Nation World Tour stop in Colorado Springs, CO Arista’s Brad Paisley made a fan named Blaze’s dream come true when he invited him to jam at sound check and later, during the show. Paisley extended the invitation after seeing a YouTube video posted by the young guitarist called “I Wanna Jam With Brad Paisley.”
The stars of ABC-TV’s Nashville will launch an eight-city tour kicking off April 29 in New York at the Beacon Theater. Performing on all dates are Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, Aubrey Peeples and Lennon & Maisy; Sam Palladio and Jonathan Jackson will be on select dates. Go to http://abc.go.com/shows/nashville for more info.
Trace Adkins is scheduled to guest star on an upcoming episode of NBC medical drama The Night Shift. In an episode that will air in early May, Adkins plays the leader of TC’s (Eoin Macken) MMA veteran therapy group. On the show, TC is ex-military, and his character this season has been dealing with his PTSD and trying to move past his issues to be in a relationship with Jordan (Jill Flint). The role works well for Adkins as he is a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Program that helps military veterans with brain injuries, as well as the American Red Cross. He has also performed seven USO Tours.
Americana artist Mary Beth Cross is exploring new musical and visual territory by releasing a techno-pop-dance song video of the Noel Brazil classic, “Babes in the Wood” The video, which was filmed at various landmarks including Denver’s Union Station, features Cross performing on a snowy, dark downtown street with five dancers from Cherry Creek Dance. The performances are accented with clips of roaming wolves from Yellowstone National Park, a reminder that danger lurks just beyond the happy-go-lucky innocence of youthful bliss. Cross, who recently received the “2014 Folk-Country CD of the Year Award” from the National Traditional Country Music Association, describes her project as “a visual story of the wolf in nature at Yellowstone and mankind’s living in harmony with the Earth, nature,one another and ourselves.” More at www.MaryBethCross.com.
WWWEBSITES TO CHECK OUT:
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING:
Mark Chesnutt, Lauren Aliana, James Wesley, Danielle Bradbury, Allison Bray, Tim, McGraw, Jake Owen, Chris Young,
Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / Preshiaswriter@hotmail.com TN/USA. Google “Preshias”