ALBUM NEWS: Everyone knows I love listening to new albums. The one I can’t stop hitting ‘replay’ on is Chris Stapleton’s Traveller. It debuted at Number 2 on the country albums chart, selling more than 27,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. The label says it’s the highest sales debut by a new artist this year.
ARTIST NEWS: Nashville got Shipwrecked as Reviver Records country duo LOCASH celebrated the release of their new signature wine line. With celebrity friends, industry executives and media professionals in attendance, Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of the duo in partnership with Stonum Vineyards of Lodi, CA, showcased their premiere artisan wine line, Shipwrecked, at an exclusive VIP wine release party at a private home in Brentwood, TN. LOCASH played an acoustic set of some of their best-loved singles, including the wine’s namesake song, “Shipwrecked.” LOCASH credited Jon Ozor, owner of Stonum Vineyards with making the wine a reality and playing a tremendous part of their recent success. More at locashmusic.com.
BENEFIT NEWS: Show Dog’s Toby Keith has teamed with VFW to support veterans by donating a portion of sales of his Wild Shot Mezcal to various VFW programs. The Mexican liquor is now also available at the VFW’s 6,800 posts as permitted. …. The fourth annual St. Jude Presents John Rich and Friends takes place at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Teeing-off the 2015 FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament, country music star John Rich hosts his legendary friends Lee Greenwood, Lorrie Morgan, T.G. Sheppard, John Conlee, Big & Rich and Frankie Ballard for a one-of-a-kind musical performance along with the comedy duo of Williams & Ree. All proceeds support the lifesaving work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At St. Jude, families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
BILLBOARD NEWS: Meghan Trainor was nominated for nine Billboard Music Awards and she won two big awards: “Top 100 Song” and “Top Digital Song”. On winning the Top 100 Song, she beat the biggest names in music business of today: Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea and John Legend. Since this time last year, the 21year-old was nominated for two Grammy Awards, performed with top artists like Miranda Lambert and taken the world – and the music charts – by storm, reaching number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 for 9 weeks, number one in 58 different countries selling over 12 million copies, making her hit one of the best selling debut singles in pop history.
BOOK NEWS: Willie Nelson’s new autobiography, “It’s A Long Story: My Life,” (written with David Ritz) looks back on the country legend’s eighty+ years in music, starting with his childhood in Texas, where he began playing guitar in a polka band. In the book, he describes his many battles with the IRS and shares insights into his songwriting style that gave the world such great songs as ‘Hello Walls.’ ‘Crazy’ and ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ all of which became hits for other artists. Only after returning to Texas from Nashville did he begin to find fame in his own right. As Willie says: “The only money I’ve ever counted on is the money I make when you buy a ticket to my show. And if hearing my record on your laptop or your smartphone motivates you to come see me, I’m a happy man.”
CD NEWS: Kentucky Headhunters’ fans finally get to hear the band’s previously unreleased album MEET ME IN BLUESLAND, courtesy of Alligator Records. The album features legendary R&B pianist Johnny Johnson whose unmistakable piano playing can be heard on most of Chuck Berry’s classic hits. In January 2003, Johnson flew from a Texas gig with the Rolling Stones to a recoding session in KY with the Headhunters. What was meant to be a piano track for a song turned into a rolling, spontaneous, 3-day jam session with everything recorded live. Johnson passed away in 2005 and the session was forgotten until now. The result: a driving mix of southern roots rock, blues and R&B blended by the Headhunters’ legendary energy. More at Alligator.com
CD RELEASES: 2015 marks 40 years in the music business for The Bellamy Brothers, Howard and David. To celebrate their career milestone, the brothers are releasing Bellamy Brothers: 40 Years, a 2-disc set containing 20 rerecorded versions of some of their classic hits as well as 20 all-new songs. The new compilation contains many familiar Bellamy classics including “Let Your Love Flow,” “Old Hippie,” “Redneck Girl,” “If I Said You Have A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)” and “Kids Of The Baby Boom.” The new songs, most all of which were written by David and Howard, contain that classic Bellamy sound of the yesteryear which ultimately made the brothers household names. More about the new album and tour dates at bellamybrothers.com. PS: Bellamy Brothers got mobbed in Europe, thanks to their new dance hit with a guy called DJ Otzi. 😉
CMA KICK OFF SHOW NEWS: The stars will shine brightly on Wednesday, June 10 as a line-up of country music legends assemble at the famous Wildhorse Saloon on 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville to raise funds for The Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Artists confirmed to perform include Johnny Lee, Shenandoah’s Marty Raybon, The Oak Ridge Boys, Mickey Gilley, Larry Gatlin, The Bellamy Brothers, Lorrie Morgan, Eddy Raven, T. Graham Brown, David Frizzell, Restless Heart’s Larry Stewart, Tim Rushlow (formerly of Little Texas) and Exile. Long Island songstress Lisa Matassa, who recently recorded a duets album with each of these performers, will collaborate with various artists throughout the evening. Tickets now on sale through TicketMaster with prices ranging from $15 – $120; includes seating options from General Admission to Front Row. Renegade Radio Nashville is the official online radio partner.
CMT AWARDS NEWS: Carrie Underwood leads the 2015 CMT Music Awards with five nominations, including two for Video of the Year, two for Female Video and one for Collaborative Video with Miranda Lambert. Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney follow with four. Those five nominations are in three categories, meaning that she will be competing against herself in two categories. She is nominated twice in the Video of the Year category (for “Something in the Water” and “Something Bad” with Miranda Lambert); twice for Female Video (for “Something in the Water” and “Toy Guns”); and once in the Collaborative Video category for “Something Bad.” Other acts to receive nods include Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Maddie & Tae and Florida Georgia Line, each receiving three nominations. Blake Shelton, Little Big Town and Eric Church each received one nomination. Fan voting runs through June 8 at 10:00 pm ET at CMT.com, and the Award Show will be broadcast on CMT on June 10, 2015 at 7pm CST on CMT.
COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME: Entertainer of The Year, Luke Bryan did the press for his exhibit at the CMHoF, which will opened May 22nd. Just in time for CMA Music Fest. He and his family walked through the exhibit and he was touched to see the wonderful display. Also on display is the first song he ever wrote, the original hand written lyrics to a gospel song. For more info go to: www.countrymusichalloffame.org.
GUITAR NEWS: Boulder Creek Musical Instruments, LLC, (Boulder Creek), manufacturer of unique acoustic guitars featuring their patented Suspended Bracing SystemT, announced a marketing alliance with the Remington Outdoor Company (ROC) to create a Remington line of acoustic guitars. The collaboration resulted from a song by Boulder Creek artist Larry Gatlin titled, “An American With A Remington.” Gary Keffer, Director of Media & Partnerships at ROC, saw the music video, contacted Boulder Creek CEO Jeff Strametz and the Remington line of guitars was born. The guitars will be available summer 2015. The guitars will be available through authorized Boulder Creek dealers. Visit BoulderCreekGuitars.com/Remington for more details and to sign up to be notified when the guitars become available.
INDIE ARTIST NEWS: A gifted singer/songwriter, and self-professed “muscle car and classic car freak,” Tucker (he uses just that single name) released his debut EP, titled #Country, on May 26. Tucker is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who’s played and toured with Eric Durrance on the Jason Aldean (2008) CMT Tour, Jimmy Wayne, James Otto, Ashley Cleveland, Guy Penrod, Rick Derringer, Michael Peterson and more. Many of those artists have urged Tucker to record his own solo project, and the first result is #Country with songs that are based on the stories he has lived and seen in the lives of those close to him. More at facebook.com/tuckermusic.
INDUSTRY NEWS: Mainline Audio introduced the launch of its newest M1—the George Jones Limited Edition M1™—at the grand opening of The George Jones Museum, in downtown Nashville, TN, in April. Mainline Audio executives Charles Bell and Greg England presented Nancy Jones with the M1 exclusive to George Jones and his history of country music. The personal sound system features 77 of the Possum’s most memorable hits and fan favorites spanning the legendary artist’s 50-year career. It was developed and designed specifically for exclusive availability only at the George Jones Museum. Each one is numbered in hand-written ink, canvased with various George Jones images and has up to 800 hours of music memory. More at MainLine-audio.com.
(RCA) Nashville’s Old Dominion has taken Country Radio by storm with their debut single “Break Up With Him.” In May, Old Dominion’s first single was the No. 1 most added song at country radio with 42 new playlist “adds” and 76 first week reporting stations spinning the song by the band. Old Dominion band members have other songs on the radio charts currently that they’ve written, including Blake Shelton’s “Sangria,” Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into A Bar,” and the recent Dierks Bentley hit “Say You Do.” Currently, they’ve joined Kenny Chesney for a run of 18 stadium tour dates on The Big Revival Tour to take the band through August. Details at olddominionband.com
(REPUBLIC) “Smoke” keeps rising for breakout country rockers A Thousand Horses, making them the first and only new act of 2015 to break Top 5 at Country radio. The Republic Nashville band’s record-setting debut single reached the Top 5 on the Mediabase country songs chart t and was poised to achieve that status on Billboard’s Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts as well. The news came as A Thousand Horses prepared for a series of appearances in the run up to the release of debut album Southernality on June 9. The Nashville quartet joined Darius Rucker and Brett Eldredge to kick-off the Southern Style Tour on May 14 in Holmdel, N.J. More at AThousandHorses.com
LEGEND NEWS: The family of Country Music Hall of Fame member and award-winning singer/songwriter Hank Cochran has launched The Pen Fund in his honor. In conjunction with the Nashville-based non-profit organization, The Nikki Mitchell Foundation, Hank’s widow Suzi Cochran and daughter Booth Calder hope The Pen Fund will aid songwriters with Pancreatic Cancer, support awareness, and further cutting-edge breakthroughs in research and development for the early detection and treatment of the disease. An estimated 37,000 – 48,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. To donate to The Pen Fund, go to www.thepenfund.org or log on your PayPal Account.
MUSIC NEWS: Iconic southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band (MTB) are heading back to Nashville to play country music’s biggest live music event, CMA Music Fest, for the third consecutive year. “When we got the invitation to come back and play CMA Fest, I said ‘Book it!'” says MTB lead singer and founding member Doug Gray. “The ‘Searchin’ For A Rainbow’ tour is our biggest road show in years and playing at CMA Fest puts the cherry on top. Don’t be surprised if you see a few special guests with us on-stage!” The MTB will perform on the Bud Light Plaza Stage on Sunday, June 14 at 1:25 PM CT. More at MarshallTucker.com.
NUMBER ONE NEWS: Brett Eldredge celebrated his third number one single in May. “Mean To Me” (Written by Eldredge and Scooter Carusoe) is a follow up to number one singles “Don’t Cha” and “Beat Of The Music.” Eldredge said, “When it came to choosing my new single “Lose My Mind,” I applied the same strategy I had used to pick his number one – I wanted something I hadn’t done yet.” “It’s the most crazy, wacky fun song I’ve had out there. It makes you want to move and groove.”
RADIO NEWS: Darius Rucker is celebrating his seventh chart-topping radio single as “Homegrown Honey,” the first single from his new Capitol Nashville album Southern Style, hits No. 1 on the Mediabase Country songs chart. The Country genre has become home for the South Carolina singer. His previous three releases debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, he scored a GRAMMY Award for his 2013 mega-hit “Wagon Wheel” and is on the road again this summer on the Southern Style Tour, that kicked off May 14 in Holmdel, N.J., with Brett Eldredge, the Brothers Osborne and A Thousand Horses. Visit DariusRucker.com for tour dates and tickets.
SINGLE NEWS: Rolling out the summertime picnic blanket like a big ole welcome mat, independent country recording artist, Stephanie Quayle (Rebel Engine Entertainment) is gearing up to release her latest single entitled “That’s What I’m Talking About.”* Written by Lindsay Rimes, Emily Shackelton and Phil Barton, and produced by Ilya Toshinsky (who has worked alongside Dolly Parton, George Strait and Sheryl Crow), the track comes from her upcoming self-titled album (and third national recording). Quayle has been described as “a must-see, high energy, alluring entertainer” and “a modern day cowgirl.” She will participate in CMA Fest and is scheduled to perform at the Gildan® Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Café, Saturday afternoon, June 13, 2015. For more information, visit www.stephaniequayle.com.
SONGWRITING NEWS: Randy Houser’s new single, “We Went,” is already raking in rave reviews after its April 27 debut via Rolling Stone Country, which called the song “supercharged” and touted that “one of country’s biggest voices release[d] a galloping road anthem that builds on the dusty vibe of ‘Like A Cowboy.’” Already at country radio, “We Want,” the first release from Houser’s forthcoming Stoney Creek Records album, is at all digital retailers. “We Went” was written by songsmiths Justin Wilson, Matt Rodgers and John King and produced by Derek George. Following Houser’s three consecutive chart-toppers, the single is the first taste of new music since Houser’s 2013 album, How Country Feels. More at RandyHouser.com
TOUR NEWS: When Kenny Chesney saw the odometer on his original tour bus roll over 1,000,000 miles, he said, “Talk about heavy. We were on Interstate 64 headed west, just passing exit 24 – and all those zeros just rolled over. It was a used Silver Eagle when I bought it – and the bank had no business lending me the money ‘cause all I owned was a little pickup and my guitar. But I knew if I owned my bus, we could keep doing this, keep bringing the music to the people!” The white Silver Eagle, that Chesney nicknamed Moby, is the subject of “If This Bus Could Talk” on Chesney’s 13th No. 1 album, ‘The Big Revival.’ “I always thought it was important, no matter what happened, to keep Moby on the road,” said Chesney.
VIDEO NEWS: With his first CMT Music Award nomination under his belt, Chase Rice is on a hot streak as he heads into a busy summer. CMT recently announced their Music Award nominations, with the sultry video for Rice’s Top 40-and-climbing single, “Gonna Wanna Tonight,” landing a nod for Breakthrough Video of the Year. Directed by Jeff Venable, the video brings to life the flirtatious lyrics penned by Shane McAnally, Jon Nite and Jimmy Robbins; which Taste of Country notes “works because [they] aren’t too soaked in syrup. [. . .] There’s a few innuendoes that keep the song between the cheeky rails Rice guides his career between.” Rice is continuing his nationwide trek with Kenny Chesney on The Big Revival Tour. Details at ChaseRice.com
WWWEBSITES TO CHECK OUT: www.bouldercreekguitars.com / www.cdxcd.com / www.globalsongwriters.com / www.borrowedblue.com.
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING: Lauren Alaina, Allison Bray, James Wesley, Jake Owen, Mike Short, Luke Bryan and Mark Chesnutt.
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Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / Preshiaswriter@hotmail.com TN/USA. Google “Preshias.”
QUOTE OF THE MONTH: If I am chasing your dream faster than you, then I am in the wrong dream – Preshias