VERSE OF THE MONTH:
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be – Saint Theresa.
Brandy Clark is nominated in two categories at the 63rd Grammy Awards: Best Country Album (Your Life is a Record) and Best Country Solo Performance (“Who You Thought I Was”). The nominations culminate a breakthrough year for Clark following the release of her critically acclaimed new album, Your Life is a Record—out now on Warner Records (stream/purchase at https://brandyclark.lnk.to/YourLifeIsARecord ).
John Prine’s last recorded song and first #1 single, “I Remember Everything,” is nominated in two categories at the 63rd Grammy Awards: Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song. The live awards ceremony will be broadcast Sunday, January 31 at 8:00PM ET/7:00PM CT on CBS.
Songwriting titan and Country Music Hall of Fame member Whisperin’ Bill Anderson ended the unprecedented and challenging year of 2020 with a fun video for his single “It’s A Good Day To Have A Good Day.” “We can certainly use this sentiment these days. And the Country Music Hall of Famer is still whisperin’ as effectively as ever. He’s a treasure, for sure,” said Robert K. Oermann in a MusicRow review. Anderson boasts a renowned career that has seen extraordinary milestones, including his Country Music Hall of Fame induction; 59 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry and 80 top-charting songs—37 of which were Top Ten hits in addition to seven No. 1 singles. Anderson’s record-breaking songwriting has made him the only writer to chart country songs in seven consecutive decades. The prolific songwriter has received more than 50 BMI Awards, three CMA Awards and two ACM Awards; and in 2018 he was inducted into the all-genre Songwriters Hall of Fame. Anderson continues to make his indelible mark on country music history with the release of his 73rd album, The Hits Re-Imagined. For more information on Bill Anderson visit BillAnderson.com or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
With that weirdest of weird years now behind us and 2021 just beginning, I’ve been looking back at some of the high points that made 2020 memorable for good reasons. For me, one of the best was the release of Every Road, the amazing album from my friends from Shenandoah, the iconic band with a shelf full of Grammy, CMA and ACM Awards aplenty. Every Road (Foundry Records) spotlights star power collaborations with Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Ashley McBryde, Dierks Bentley, Lady A, Zac Brown Band, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson and Brad Paisley. Stream or download Every Road at http://smarturl.it/ShenandoahEveryRoad. Led by frontman Marty Raybon and co-founding member Mike McGuire, Shenandoah’s timeless catalog of hits solidified the group as a country music mainstay over the past 30 years. Every Road marks the group’s 10th studio album, and first album of all-new music since 1994, after notching 13 No. 1 hits and charting 26 singles on Billboard country charts throughout their career. The 10-song album was produced by industry veteran Buddy Cannon. Raybon and McGuire formed Shenandoah in 1984 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with bassist Ralph Ezell, keyboardist Stan Thorn and guitarist Jim Seales. It was the band’s sophomore effort, The Road Not Taken, that spawned their first top ten hits—“She Doesn’t Cry Anymore” and “Mama Knows.” Shenandoah followed with three consecutive No. 1 hits—“Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday in the South” and “Two Dozen Roses.”
Chris Stapleton’s new album, Starting Over, debuted November 28 at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and #3 on the all-genre Billboard 200 with over 102,733 units. The album also tops Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums and Digital Albums charts and is No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart. Out now on Mercury Records Nashville, Starting Over features fourteen tracks that examine life’s simplest joys and most serious struggles. Once again, Stapleton worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb. Starting Over finds Stapleton back in his second home, Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (with additional work done at Muscle Shoals Sound and Compass Sound Studio), with his wife Morgane and trusted collaborators as well as some new faces. Stream/purchase the album at http://strm.to/CSStartingOverAlbumPR. Mercury Records didn’t break the budget with the album cover that looks like an old Ampex tape box with the album’s title and Chris Stapleton’s name, in pencil, in the top left-hand corner. It sure worked for the Beatles’ White Album…
Alex Hall is gearing up to release his debut EP, Six Strings, on February 5th, 2021. His artistry is centered around his guitar playing and songwriting, and these forces serve as the foundation to this six-track project. Co-produced by Alex, Pete Good and AJ Babcock, the EP includes featured guitarists and vocalists on each song. The features include Vince Gill, John Osborne, Brad Paisley, Brad Tursi of Old Dominion, Tenille Townes and Kassi Ashton. Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Hall picked up an acoustic guitar at the age of 14 and quickly set to work learning every Elvis Presley song on the King’s ELV1S: 30 No. 1 Hits album – his raw talent earning him his first singing gig at a local restaurant when he was still in middle school. After moving to Nashville and signing with Monument Records, he spent 2019 opening for Tanya Tucker on her “While I’m Living Tour,” and had festivals across the country, including C2C, Shaky Boots, Trailblazer, Tailgate Fest, and Hometown Rising, as well as dates with Brandy Clark, booked ahead of the shutdown. More at https://www.musicbyalexhall.com/
It’s been a rough month for country music with the loss of Charley Pride. Doug Supernaw, Hal Ketchum and K. T. Oslin. It’s been a rougher year for our music industry as whole. We want to celebrate each of their gifts to us. We will miss you, Little Richard, Joe Diffie, Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver, Mac Davis, John Prine, Jan Howard, Justin Townes Earle, Harold Reid (Statler Brothers), Jimmy Capps (Opry guitarist & Musicians HoF member), Alex Harvey (US songwriter “Delta Dawn”), David Olney (songwriter), Ray Pennington (songwriter/producer).
Syndicated radio show host Bobby Bones, along with his colleagues from the Bobby Bones Show and iHeartRadio, raided $2.25 million during their now-annual two-day St. Jude radiothon, held December 3rd and 4th. Joining the radio crew remotely were several country stars, including Luke Combs, Old Dominion, Runaway June, Parker McCollum, Maddie & Tae, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Gabby Barrett Chris Stapleton and Sam Hunt. “Supporting the kids and families at St. Jude is so important to us and I’m so grateful all of you show up year after year and make this event so incredible,” said Bones after the donations were tallied. The radiothons have now raided more than $16.5 million for St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, thanks to the Bobby Bones Show crew and the show’s listeners.