VERSE OF THE MONTH:
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. – Saint Theresa.
Black River’s Kelsea Ballerini has put her career on fast forward. She will be honored with the Rising Star award at Billboard’s Women in Music event, which will take place December 11 in New York. The country singer and songwriter will also perform at the 10th annual event, which will air December 18th on Lifetime.
Earlier this year, Ballerini’s debut single “Love Me Like You Mean It” peaked at Number 1 on the Billboard’s Country Airplay chart [One of my music buds is a co-writer; Lance Carpenter]. The 22-year-old was the first female to lead the Country Airplay chart with a debut in nine years, since Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel” in January 2006. www.kelseaballerini.com
Christmas 4 Kids was the beneficiary of a fundraising concert held November 23 at The Ryman Auditorium, featuring Charlie Daniels, The Marshall Tucker Band, Restless Heart, Shenandoah and Craig Wayne Boyd. On Monday, December 14 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm the Tour Bus Show features buses from some of today’s top artists whose drivers graciously open their doors allowing visitors who make a small donation to see the artists’ ‘homes away from home.’ The following day, the buses pick up more than 400 deserving kids taking them to a Christmas party followed by a shopping trip to Super WalMart in Hendersonville where each child is given $150.00 to spend on gifts, accompanied by volunteer chaperones. Each child also receives a new winter coat. To find out more or to make a donation, visit www.christmas4kids.org
The Women’s Music Business Association (WMBA) will present a Songwriter Round benefitting Toys For Tots at 6:00 pm, Monday, December 7th at South Restaurant at 524 Demonbreun Street, Nashville. Admission is $5.00 or an unwrapped toy donation to Toys For Tots. Scheduled songwriters: Karen Waldrup, Daniel Kleindienst, Alex Dooley and Shelby Lee Lowe. www.wmbanashville.com
Bluegrass favorites Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road continue to build upon their momentum with their latest John Conlee-assisted video, “Common Man,” which was recently spotlighted by Rolling Stone. Along with sharing the video, the article gives fans a more in-depth look behind the history of the song, which was just re-recorded, bluegrass style. “Common Man” is available now through digital retailers on Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road’s latest album, Country Grass. The piece centers around the new version of the popular No. 1 hit, which also features original singer John Conlee singing lead, bringing new life to the tune more than 30 years after the release. More about John Conlee and his latest project, Classics 2 plus tour dates at www.johnconlee.com.
“A Life on Nashville’s Music Row” is the title of a new tell-all book by superstar songwriter, Bobby Braddock – who wrote or co-wrote so many genre-defining hits “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” – over the many decades he has spent in Nashville. Rightly considered one of the greatest Country music songwriters of all time, Braddock reveals the good, the bad and the ugly about working in the music industry, and about his own personal and creative challenges. This is a ‘must read’ for every artist, musician and songwriter, as well as for anyone with an interest in Braddock’s unflinching insight into life on Nashville’s Music Row.
RCA Records – Chris Young could be dubbed “RCA’s Golden Boy.” With his latest album, he has several accolades to brag about. The first is – he co-wrote nine of the 11 songs, he also gets co-producer credits with Corey Crowder. His special guests on the album are Vince Gill and Cassadee Pope. It also charted No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Country Album Chart the week of December 5th! www.chrisyoungcountry.com
Country artist Michael Ray (Atlantic/WEA’s) performed and joined StubHub and the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation in presenting students of Nashville’s Hunters Lane High School with nearly $39,000 worth of musical instruments. This is part of StubHub’s plan they announced in March, to put $1 million worth of instruments in public schools across the country. More than $130,000 in instruments has been donated to Nashville schools in the last two years. www.michaelraymusic.com
Eric Heatherly & the Continental Kings deliver a saucy holiday invitation that cannot be denied. With the sentiment and allure of “Be Mine For Christmas” (KEM–featuring Ledisi) and the Ann Margret/Al Hirt rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” this solo, seductive contemporary holiday track is “Mississippi Blues meets early Elvis.” Featuring saloon parlor ivories, screamin’ guitar licks and harmonica to jazz things up, this tune is a mood swinger.
“You freeze me like fire
Burn me like snow
When you stand there in the doorway underneath the mistletoe
Somethin’s cookin’ in the oven like a sugar cookie
Girl you’re sweet lovin’ makes me wanna boogie
I’ll be your Santa Claus but I’ll never leave
You feel like Christmas to me”
Catch a preview and/or download at www.goatsofkudzu.com
Country rockers Exile will celebrate the Christmas season with a new album, Wrapped Up In Your Arms for Christmas, as well as a concert Thursday, December 17 at the historic Franklin Theatre that will feature new holiday music and the band’s decades of hits. Exile’s CD release concert will benefit the Southern Alliance for People and Animal Welfare (SAFPAW), a non-profit organization in middle Tennessee helping the homeless community face the daily challenges of living in poverty with their pets. In addition to the concert, there will be a silent auction featuring autographed memorabilia and hand written lyrics by Sonny Lemaire and Pat Boone. For more information, visit www.franklintheatre.com.
DVD NEWS & RELEASES:
On December 4th (Columbia/Legacy) releases ‘Johnny Cash Man In Black: Live In Denmark 1971.’ This will be followed by the February 5th release of ‘Johnny Cash Koncert V Praze (In Prague-Live)’
Garth Brooks has broken the record of Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD. This will be the first time Garth has played Baltimore. Back when the arena was called the Civic Arena, the previous record for the arena was held by The Beatles when they played two shows on Sept 13th, 1964 and then by Neil Diamond, when he played two shows on June 5th, 1993. Garth has already broken that record with 5 shows scheduled for January 2016, being put on sale and, at press time, tickets are still selling.
More at www.garthbrooks.com
Dolly Parton is making several appearances across multiple platforms to promote her December 10th TV-movie based on the Country Music Hall of Famer’s 1971 autobiographical hit “Coat of Many Colors.” Her media blitz includes a Dec. 3 appearance on “The Talk,” where Parton will chat with the show’s hosts, airing at 2 p.m. EST / 1 p.m. CST on CBS. Dolly will also spotlight the TV movie during appearances on NBC’s “Today” and the Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family.” “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” premieres Thursday, Dec. 10 at 9:00 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. CST on NBC.
Allie Louise (Sixth Beat Productions) is setting the stage for the release of her debut EP. The sixteen-year-old launched her first radio tour and set out on the first leg to personally introduce her current single (titled “Perfect Storm”) from her six-song, self-titled EP. Due in mid-January, ALLIE LOUISE, was produced by Eddie Gore, John Jaszez and Doug Kahan, and features self-penned originals. 2015 has been a big year of “firsts” for the up ‘n’ coming country music starlet. Allie released the first single from the ALLIE LOUISE recording project (“It’s Gettin’ Old”) to country radio in January; she made her first appearance at country music’s biggest party in June (CMA Fest 2015); she wrote and released her first holiday tune (“Hometown Christmas”—at radio now), and is embarking on her first radio tour. More at www.allielouiseofficial.com.
iDitty, the digital entertainment download service company that offers a “virtual fan experience” at the touch of a finger, was the official souvenir of the 10th Annual Mission Possible Turkey Fry (hosted by Tracy Lawrence) benefiting the Nashville Rescue Mission. The charitable event was held November 24, 2015 at the mission’s parking lot, followed by an evening concert at City Winery. As a special “thank you” to the sponsors, entertainers, general admission and family members in attendance at the annual outing, Lawrence gifted an iDitty laminate containing exclusive Tracy Lawrence content including several of his songs and one-of-a-kind photos from the Music City turkey fry and concert. The Tracy Lawrence iDitty laminate will also offer holders the option to download new content and updates via iDitty FREE, lifetime PUSH notifications included with the download service.
More at www.iditty.net.
(Arista Records) Congratulations are going out to Carrie Underwood for her latest number one record called “Smoke Break.” The song is No. 6 in her list of number one records and the first single from the album STORYTELLER. www.carrieunderwoodofficial.com
It was recently announced — Joey + Rory have one more album on the way. Rory Lee Feek indicated in a blog post that the duo cut tracks in Nashville for a gospel album, apparently titled Hymns That Are Important to Us, this past summer after Joey had surgery for cervical cancer. Rory and daughter Heidi Feek recorded harmony vocals on Nov. 22. The album is due in February, and the couple has designated the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation to receive a portion of the proceeds from the project.
PROMO MUSIC NEWS:
Grammy-nominated country singer/songwriter T. Graham Brown, who was also just named Top Mainstream Country Male Artist by the Inspirational Country Music Association, is cruising the country in his ChordBuddy wrapped tour bus. The ChordBuddy partnership will bring both Brown’s soulful music, along with ChordBuddy’s unique design to fans and potential musicians throughout North America. With select shows remaining in 2015, Brown will set his sights on an even bigger 2016 (stay tuned for tour dates). For years, Brown was unable to grip the neck of the guitar to fully hit the chords due to a childhood accident. Brown was just two years old when he cut his finger – preventing future growth. After meeting Travis Perry, inventor of ChordBuddy through a mutual friend, Brown is now able to play the guitar. More at www.tgrahambrown.com.
LOCASH are partnering with ole, the world’s fastest-growing independent rights management company, to continue churning out hits for the publishing arm of Reviver Records, LLC with an exclusive administration agreement establishing a relationship between ole, LOCASH and Reviver Publishing. This partnership also includes a joint venture with Tim McGraw. Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LOCASH, penned the Top 10 hit “Truck Yeah” for Tim McGraw and Keith Urban’s No. 1 smash “You Gonna Fly.” LOCASH continues touring the country building on the momentum of their rising Billboard Top 15 single, “I Love This Life.” Tour dates and more at locashmusic.com.
The smell of fresh-baked biscuits and hot country ham fills the airwaves at “Larry’s Country Diner,” this holiday season as RFD-TV’s top-rated variety show welcomes country music guests Exile, Randy Owen, David Ball, Mo & Holly Pitney and Asleep At The Wheel, and guest hosts Larry Gatlin, Mark Wills, T. Graham Brown, Jeannie Seely and Rhonda Vincent. Black plans to return to his lead role of hosting for the next series of tapings, which started at Nashville’s Northstar Studios on December 2. Groundbreaking will soon take place on a new ‘bricks & mortar’ Larry’s Country Diner at 7734 Hwy 70 South, Bellevue, TN. Fans can buy a personalized brick to be placed in the “Larry’s Country Diner Legacy Walkway”. For taping dates and star lineups (plus news of the Diner groundbreaking) go to www.larryscountrydiner.com.
Celebrating their debut single, “Burnin’ The Night Down,” Country duo Makenna & Brock took their hometown of Springfield, MO, by storm in a blanketed media blitz of radio, print, Internet and television coverage, leading up to a rare local show for their fans in the region. The duo introduced the world to their high-energy brand of Rock-edged Country with the release of their single in Europe. Makenna Sullinger and Brock Wade, who split their time between Nashville and Springfield, kicked off the week at 94.7 KTTS-FM and a feature story in the Springfield News-Leader, followed by an interview and performance at 105.1 Bob FM, and a two-song acoustic appearance on “Ozarks Live,” a popular television show on local CBS affiliate, KOLR 10, followed by a concert at Cartoons Oyster Bar and The Big Room.
More at facebook/MakennaandBrock.
SOMETHING for the Music Lover’s Stocking …
Kenny Chesney‘s Big Revival Tour was the lone country winner during the Billboard Touring Awards on November 19 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The tour featured Eric Church, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert, Cole Swindell, Chase Rice, Old Dominion and (for one date) Miranda Lambert — was recognized as the top package of 2015. It’s the eighth time Chesney has received that honor since 2005.
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING:
Have a Blessed & Merry Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / Preshiaswriter@hotmail.com TN/USA. Google “Preshias”