VERSE OF THE MONTH:
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. – Psalm 71:23.
Lady Antebellum has revealed the cover art and track listing behind their sixth studio album HEART BREAK (Capitol Records Nashville), out June 9th. Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott had a new mission — setting aside time to put themselves in new surroundings, and concentrate on writing and exploring musical endeavors with no distractions. They rented a house in Florida, living and working under the same roof, and when the creative process proved successful, the trio set up a second retreat in southern California. Pre-orders are available now at ladyantebellum.com. The trio had a hand in writing eleven songs on HEART BREAK. “This record is really our story,” said Kelley. “They have a universal feel to them, but there’s a lot of our personal stories here.”
AMERICANA MUSIC NEWS:
Chris Stapleton’s sophomore album FROM A ROOM: VOLUME 1 is set for national release May 5, but the album’s first single is already at country radio. Titled “Broken Halos,” it is a co-write by Stapleton and former SteelDrivers bandmate Mike Henderson. Stapleton told Rolling Stone that, although he has written more songs with Henderson than with anyone else, none of their co-writes appeared on Stapleton’s Grammy-winning album, Traveller. “Broken Halos” has a redemptive message even if some angels have fallen. A second set, appropriately titled FROM A ROOM: VOLUME 2, is scheduled for release later this year. Stapleton is currently on his All-American Road Show Tour. Album pre-orders and tour dates at chrisstapleton.com
Lorrie Morgan became the first female in the history of country music to achieve three platinum albums in a row. In that short time, she became not just a country superstar but a household name, thanks to such blockbuster radio-friendly singles as “Five Minutes,” “Something In Red,” and “A Picture Of Me (Without You).” WATCH ME, released in 1992, (The album celebrates its 25 anniversary this year) included the singles “Watch Me” (#2) “What Part of No” (#1), “I Guess You Had to Be There” (#14), and “Half Enough” (#8). Also included on this album is a cover of “It’s a Heartache”, a pop standard previously recorded by Bonnie Tyler and Juice Newton. lorriemorgan.com
Darius Rucker’s eighth annual “Darius and Friends” benefit concert, sponsored by State Water Heaters, will take place Monday, June 5 and will be held for the first time at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The event, which leads into CMA Music Festival week, has received an overwhelming response in past years, with sellouts year-after-year and more than $800,000 raised for St. Jude’ Children’s Research Hospital. The lineup for this year’s event will be announced in the coming weeks. “This concert is a real highlight for me every year,” Rucker said. “And I couldn’t do it without the support of my friends who turn out to perform, tell stories and make this a memorable night for the fans, who are here from around the world.” Tickets for “Darius and Friends” are now available via Ticketmaster.
CD RELEASE NEWS:
Angaleena Presley’s latest album WRANGLED has already garnered plenty of kudos from reviewers since its release in late April. Unlike her Pistol Annies cohorts Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe, Presley does not have a major record label deal and Wrangled is an indie release via Thirty Tigers. The new album has been seen as Presley’s take on what she sees as Music Row’s ‘petty attitude’ and the rejection she has felt both as a female artist and a writer of songs that don’t fit the current country radio parameters. Tracks include “Dreams Don’t Come True” (co-written with Lambert and Monroe) and “Only Blood,” a co-write with another fellow Kentuckian, Chris Stapleton. The album cover has a deliberately ‘weathered’ and dated look and features a photo of Presley with a gag defiantly clenched between her teeth. More at angaleenapresley.com
The Class of 2017 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame are: Jerry Reed (Veteran Era Artist category), Randy Travis (Modern Era Artist category) and Don Schlitz (Non-Performer category). The honorees will be celebrated at the annual invitation-only Medallion Ceremony later this year.
MightyCord Records recording artist Larry Cordle has released his new Gospel CD Give Me Jesus. This new, insightful and “soul-baring” Gospel record is available to global radio exclusively via AirPlay Direct. “My faith in Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life. I pray you can hear that in these recordings,” says Cordle. AirPlay Direct currently has over 10,000 radio station members in 92 countries and serves over 40,000 artist / label members globally on a daily basis. Details at AirPlayDirect.com
One of Nashville’s hottest independent record labels is celebrating its fifth year in business. Plowboy Records, led by President Shannon Pollard and General Manager Ben Ewing, commemorated the occasion with an anniversary party at 3rd & Lindsley last month. Celebrating with Plowboy were The Kentucky Headhunters, Blackfoot Gypsies, Bobby Bare, Fuel Injected Legends, Sylvain Sylvain, Eric Heatherly and Buzz Cason. Plowboy Records, LLC was established in 2012 to promote and further the legacy of the late singer Eddy Arnold as well as to provide a platform for additional recorded projects that focus on the creation of authentic music regardless of genre. Details at plowboyrecords.com.
Craig Morgan has been named Operation Finally Home Ambassador 2017, American Stories Tour Announced. After teaming up in 2016 to surprise a military family with a mortgage-free home, Craig has been named the organization’s Ambassador for a second year. Operation FINALLY HOME, a national non-profit that provides mortgage-free homes to veterans and their families, will partner with Craig this year to provide homes from select dates during his 2017 tour. More info at craigmorgan.com… Epic Records’ new artist Renee Blair has signed a worldwide publishing and production deal with Shane McAnally’s SmackSongs company and is currently in the studio, with McAnally producing.
(Broken Bow Nashville)
Trace Adkins’ newest album, SOMETHING’S GOING ON, debuted in the Top 3 on the Nielsen Soundscan Current Country Albums Chart for the 3x GRAMMY-nominated 6’6” vocalist. The album includes ‘Watered Down,’ the current single that showcases Adkins’ more “enlightened” side, according to Rolling Stone magazine. The video for the single is available at YouTube and features Adkins enjoying a simpler life and slower pace on a Nashville farm, where he does much of the heavy lifting himself. “Watered Down” was penned by Shane McAnally, Trevor Rosen and Matt Jenkins. Adkins, whose trademark baritone has powered countless hits to the top of the charts, has a packed tour schedule underway. Tour dates and VIP package info at traceadkins.com and social media @TraceAdkins.
Bobby Bare will release THINGS CHANGE May 26, which features a collaboration with Chris Stapleton on Bare’s iconic hit, “Detroit City.” The album is Bare’s first studio project in five years and is available for pre-sale now at BobbyBare.com. It features 10 tracks written by the Country Music Hall of Famer and GRAMMY® award-winning Bare, Mary Gauthier, Guy Clark and the producer of the project, hit singer/songwriter Max T. Barnes. THINGS CHANGE will be released by HYPERMEDIA Nashville and BFD through RED Distribution.
Jimmy Wayne is an award-winning recording artist, New York Times bestselling author (Walk To Beautiful) and sought-after keynote speaker, but it was his work on behalf of kids that took center stage when he was chosen to keynote Verizon’s national conference in Las Vegas. He received a standing ovation and was presented with its new “Community Maker” award – an honor created specifically for Jimmy in recognition of his tireless work on behalf of homeless teens and children in foster care. In 2010, Jimmy walked halfway across America (from Nashville to Phoenix) to raise awareness for kids aging out of the foster-care system, and in 2012, helped get legislative bills passed extending the age of foster care to 21 in California and Tennessee, North Carolina and Ohio. Jimmy’s ultimate goal is to build transitional homes for youth who age out of foster care without a place to go. Visit projectmmh.org for ways to get involved in your local community today.
MUSIC BUSINESS NEWS:
The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will present Country Music’s Gone Global on Wednesday, May 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of the Music Biz 2017 convention at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Emceed by the Country Music Association (CMA), the event will feature invaluable data and research on the global spread of Country music. The session will also highlight three case studies detailing global success in the genre and discussing creative collaborations, social marketing, and touring. Country Music’s Gone Global will begin with a presentation from the CMA, in which they will reveal international Country statistics and discuss their efforts to spread the genre throughout the world. CMA will then share their strategy for developing the ‘Forever Country’ campaign, with Universal Music Group Nashville sharing how the campaign impacted the participating artists on a global level. A case study featuring representatives from Tim McGraw’s management company, EM.Co, will then detail the non-traditional release and marketing campaign behind McGraw’s hit single “Humble & Kind” and the multicultural movement that followed. Finally, Virginia Davis, Founder and Managing Partner of G Major Management and manager of breakout star Thomas Rhett, will be joined by representatives from Big Machine Label Group, Live Nation UK, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME) and moderator Phyllis Stark of Billboard to discuss the challenges and opportunities of going global and breaking Thomas Rhett on an international level. The full agenda for Country Music’s Gone Global can be found below or by visiting musicbiz2017.sched.com. Admission is included in the price of a full Music Biz 2017 badge, which can be purchased at musicbiz2017.com.
The RIAA has issued platinum certification for Keith Urban’s Ripcord. This is Keith’s ninth consecutive RIAA-certified platinum (1,000,000 + sales) album. Ripcord was also certified platinum in Australia and gold in Canada. NOTE: 4 consecutive number one singles from RIPCORD and 42 consecutive weeks in the top 10 album charts.
RIAA has also issued gold certification (500,000 + Sales) for Brett Young’s first two singles, “Sleep Without You” and “In Case You Didn’t Know.”
Fans of virtuoso guitarists can now treat themselves to great show four times a year, thanks to the quarterly Nashville Guitar Club shows. The first was held April 19 at 12th & Porter and featured Chris Rodriguez, Mitch Malloy, Larry Mitchell, Denny Jiosa, Lance Allen, Dan Hagen, Jerry Navarro and Bob Bob Harsen. The special guest was Peter Cetera, an original member of the rock group Chicago, who has gone on to a successful solo career. The quarterly shows feature globally renowned guitar players, axe-wizards who have contributed their signature chops to countless notable and award-winning recordings. The next Nashville Guitar Club show is scheduled for July 14, 2017, also at 12th & Porter. Details at nashvilleguitarclub.co.
NUMBER ONE NEWS:
MCA Records are celebrating Josh Turner’s new number one song “Hometown Girl.” The song was written by Marc Beeson and Daniel Tashian. It is the second single from Turner’s album DEEP SOUTH.
Tanya Tucker continues to dazzle audiences across the U.S. and Canada as she returns to the States after 15 shows in 21 days, completing her longest North American run in decades. During Tucker’s concert in Calgary, local officials presented her a ‘Key to the City’ as a show of appreciation for the country music legend visiting the city. Tanya has a new management with Jerilyn Sawyer and James Garner of Sawyer & Garner, LLC and new booking agents Nick Meinema and Lance Roberts with United Talent. Webster PR’s Kirt Webster and Scott Adkins continue Tucker’s public relations and publicity. Tucker is preparing for the launch of a new album.
Multi-Platinum artist Thomas Rhett has partnered up with GRAMMY award-winner Maren Morris for his new single, “Craving You.” The lead track from his upcoming third studio album dips into the eighties with an infectious groove and twangy backbone that proves Rhett doesn’t see boundaries – and if he does, he just dances right over them. “I’m so incredibly proud of ‘Craving You.’ It transports me right back to the eighties,” says Rhett. “There’s that Phil Collins-sounding drum, the stuttered bass notes. I’m a huge lover of the music from that genre and I think this song taps right into that vibe. And my fans know that I thrive on being unpredictable.” New music info and tour dates at thomasrhett.com
‘Reno’s Old Time Music’ continues to entertain viewers who enjoy Bluegrass and acoustic music. The show airs weekly in prime time on Saturday night at 7:00 P.M. Eastern and Thursday morning at 6:30 A.M. Eastern on RFD-TV. Airing between April 29-May 4, a special edition of ‘Hat’s Off To Bluegrass’ will be co-Hosted by Sierra Hull who was nominated for a GRAMMY for her landmark album Weighted Mind and named Mandolin Player of the Year at the 2016 IBMA Awards (the first woman in history to receive this honor). Hull will help introduce another round of top-notch performance videos, share stories and give Ronnie a guaranteed run for his money on the mandolin. Check out schedules and artists appearing on Reno’s Old Time Music at ronniereno.com. Country Star John Berry will launch his TV show, “Songs And Stories with John Berry,” in July on Heartland TV, The Family Channel, The Country Network, the Angel Two Network, AMG TV and the VTN Network. Check more info at www.johnberry.com.
Lorrie Morgan has announced a new round of tour dates on her Grits & Glamour Tour with Pam Tillis as well as select dates with Joe Diffie, Mark Chesnutt and her son Jesse Keith Whitley.…BMLGR’s Florida Georgia Line’s Smooth Tour 2017 kicks off June 15 in Wantagh, NY. They have added newcomer RCA’s Ryan Hurd.
WWWEBSITES TO CHECKOUT:
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING:
Chelsie Love, Dustin Lynch, Montgomery Gentry, LoCash and Randy Houser.
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Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / Preshiaswriter@hotmail.com Google “Preshias” (TN/USA)
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.