QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“You can’t write about stuff you don’t know about. You have to live it. You have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Live life to be a good songwriter.” – Dierks Bentley
VERSE OF THE MONTH:
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you — I whom you have delivered. – Psalm 71:23.
Four-time Grammy® Award winner Delbert McClinton celebrates his coming-of-age musical heroes and influences with his 27th studio album, Outdated Emotion (Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers), coming on May 13, 2022. Delbert has spent much of the COVID isolation in Kevin McKendree’s Rock House Studio in Nashville. This new album brings his music back to where it started. Outdated Emotion pays homage to McClinton’s earliest influences.
“I’ve always wanted to do an album of the songs that influenced me the most,” said McClinton. “Hank Williams songs, Jimmy Reed songs, and songs that I love. And this was the perfect time to do it. It’s important music from another time. It’s music that people need to hear again, or for the first time. There is a whole generation, maybe two generations now, who don’t know this music. My whole idea here was to show them how it was and how we got here. They are songs people should just get to hear.”
In a career that has spanned more than six decades, his honkytonk blues sound and signature smooth voice have provided a soundtrack for American music history. More at https://www.delbert.com
Guided by joy, courage, and gratitude, Americana singer/songwriter Jessica Willis Fisher is reclaiming her voice with the release of her debut solo album, Brand New Day which will be out April 13th and is now available for pre-save/pre-add at https://ingrv.es/brand-new-day-ajy-c.
Jessica Willis Fisher plays fiddle throughout Brand New Day and wrote 8 of the album’s 10 songs by herself. The album is produced by Ben Fowler. Tapping into the most vulnerable moments of her life, Jessica begins an authentic new journey after a dramatic and sudden departure from her family’s band. Jessica has stayed out of the public eye since leaving her family’s touring group, The Willis Clan (TLC’s “The Willis Family,” “America’s Got Talent”) after her father was arrested and jailed for sexual abuse.
In celebration of Brand New Day, Jessica will be hosting an album release party at 7pm on April 13th where she will perform all 10 tracks live at Analog, the live music venue at The Hutton Hotel in Nashville. Tickets are available now and can be purchased via https://jessicawillisfisher.com/tour/.
BLUEGRASS MUSIC NEWS:
The Isaacs’ new single, “Humpty Dumpty Heart”, written by members Sonya and Becky and hitmaker Ronnie Bowman, is a playful song with a healing message about not letting heartbreak keep you down. This second single of the multi-Grammy® nominated and multi-GMA Dove Award winning group comes from their 2021 released The American Face album and has a catchy melody with soaring harmony vocals that capture the listener’s ear all the while reminding us that life is full of disappointments and the choice to stay broken or get back up is ours.
“Most everyone has loved and lost,” says Sonya Isaacs, lead singer of the song, “but too many people let pain and rejection control their lives, forgetting that someone only has power over your future if you give it to them”. Isaacs continues, “Heartbreak can ruin you, so this song is a reminder to get up, wipe the egg off, and keep moving on.”
The recent 2022 GRAMMY® nomination of Songs For the Times for “Best Roots Gospel Album” is The Isaacs’ third consecutive album to be nominated. Music, tour dates and more at https://www.theisaacs.com.
Blackstone Publishing has announced the forthcoming release of God, Family, Country: Soldier, Singer, Husband, Dad—There’s a Whole Lot More to Me [Blackstone Publishing; September 27, 2022; hardcover, ebook, and audiobook], by chart-topping country music entertainer and Army veteran Craig Morgan. One of country music’s best-loved artists, fans know Craig Morgan from his hit songs and acclaimed albums, and seeing him in the new TV series, “Beyond The Edge,” on CBS. In his gripping new memoir, Craig Morgan shares all aspects from his life, revealing stories even his most avid fans don’t know about—like how he worked alongside the CIA as a soldier in Panama, or fought sex traffickers as an undercover agent in Thailand. God, Family, Country is available for pre-order via https://www.craigmorgan.com. Craig Morgan has charted 25 songs on Billboard and thrills massive crowds with signature hits including “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester,” “This Ole Boy,” “Wake Up Loving You,” and the four-week No. 1, “That’s What I Love About Sunday.” In 2008, Craig was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Multi-Platinum hitmakers Eli Young Band have revealed plans for a full-length album of the same name as the current single: Love Talking (The Valory Music Co.) is set for release Friday, June 3 and is available for pre-order at https://eyb.lnk.to/Love_TalkingPR along with brand-new song “Break Up In A Bar.”
“We really wanted to find the positivity in what we got out of the last two years, so that was one of the main goals for this album,” notes lead singer Mike Eli. “There was a lot of unknown that was written into some of the music we created during that time, but we all lived it so deeply; we wanted to offer something uplifting with our music.”
“Break Up In A Bar,” a three-and-a-half-minute raucous response to saying goodbye to a relationship, offers that positive twist on a typically heavy topic while serving as one of the only outside cuts on the album, having been penned by Ashley Gorley, Ben Johnson and Hunter Phelps. For more information and tickets to all upcoming tour dates, visit www.eliyoungband.com and follow on social media @EliYoungBand.
High Valley is set to release their highly anticipated brand-new album, Way Back, on May 20, 2022. The 13-song project, the group’s sixth studio album, is brimming with their signature sound of positive-minded, bluegrass-tinged country and available to pre-order/pre-save/pre-add now at https://orcd.co/hvwayback/. High Valley enlisted the help of their enthusiastic community on socials to finalize the song stack.
“Letting our fans behind the scenes of the songwriting and demo process was so much fun. We had the ‘Way Back’ album almost complete and couldn’t decide which of the most recent cowrites should make the cut, so we asked our fans to vote on our socials,” says High Valley front-man Brad Rempel. “I love knowing that this album is a collection of songs I feel very strongly about, messages I believe need to be heard, and jams that our fans literally chose themselves!”
New track, “Somebody Tell That Girl,” dropped in March and features Christian breakout artist Anne Wilson. The inspiring song was co-written by High Valley’s Brad Rempel along with Jason Gant and Matt Rogers and produced by Grammy-winner, Femke. More at http://www.highvalleymusic.com and follow @HighValley
Music Health Alliance (MHA), recently honored with the 2021 CMA Foundation Humanitarian Award, will present the first annual “Coulda Shoulda Woulda” event to benefit the Nashville-based non-profit. Four of Music City’s hottest songwriters, HARDY, Randy Montana, Hunter Phelps and Jameson Rodgers, are set to join in an evening of stories and songs at 6:30 pm CT on Tuesday, April 19 at Nashville’s City Winery. SiriusXM’s Storme Warren will host. In addition, a rare, autographed vinyl collection will be available for silent auction at the event. Tables start at $1,000 and are available now by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The night of music will find the artist in the round performing songs that “coulda, shoulda, woulda” been a smash along with their biggest hits. For every $1 donation, MHA is able to provide $30 in life-saving healthcare resources to Heal The Music. Based in Nashville, MHA has provided free healthcare advocacy and support to more than 18,000 music industry members across 49 states in the non-profit’s first nine years. Request assistance at: www.musichealthalliance.com/request-assistance. Donate to Music Health Alliance at: www.musichealthalliance.com/donate-to-heal.
Pickers Original Vodka, Tennessee’s first craft vodka, has unveiled the next mural in the series honoring Maggie Rose and Wanda Jackson. This mural is located at Exit Inn at 2208 Elliston Place. The mural series highlights Pennington Distilling Company’s pledge that $1 for every bottle of Pickers Original Vodka sold at Middle Tennessee bars, restaurants, and venues that support live music will be donated to Music Health Alliance (MHA).
“It was an honor to be featured in a mural on the exterior of the historic Exit In, but what made it even more special was the fact that I was pictured next to rockabilly hero and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Wanda Jackson. Thanks to Pickers Vodka for letting me be a part of their campaign supporting the wonderful work of the Music Health Alliance,” states Maggie Rose. More about MHA at https://www.musichealthalliance.com.
CHRISTIAN MUSIC NEWS:
As one of the most successful Christian touring artists today, Grammy® winner Chris Tomlin will return to headline back-to-back concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater on May 23 and May 24. This will be Tomlin’s fifth visit to the iconic venue, after becoming the first Christian artist to headline two consecutive nights; he repeated history in 2019. Chris will once again partner with The Awakening Foundation for the two night engagement. Tickets now on sale at https://www.christomlin.com.
“To stand outside in the vastness of God’s creation and worship together is an experience unlike anything else… and to be returning to Red Rocks for a fifth time is something I am so grateful and excited for,” shared Chris. “These back-to-back nights of worship are more than just concerts… These are opportunities to encounter the presence of the living God in the center of his creation and one of the most iconic venues in the world.” The unprecedented return to Red Rocks will come just weeks after Chris’ annual Good Friday Nashville concert at Bridgestone Arena. Details at www.christomlin.com. @christomlin
Sunday Mornin’ Country promises to be the best ticket in town, blending top Country artists and your favorite Gospel music together for a time of celebration and inspiration along with great entertainment for the whole family. Again this year, the show will be hosted by the legendary Country Music and Rock -n- Roll Hall of Fame member, Brenda Lee. This year’s show will be the 40th Anniversary of Country music artists coming together to share their hearts as well as their favorite Gospel songs. The event will take place on Sunday, June 12 on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Order tickets on www.opry.com or call 1-800-733-6779.
“Sunday Mornin’ Country is one of my favorite things to be a part of each year. It reminds me of my childhood, going to church, being with old friends, meeting new friends and sharing the songs of my childhood,” said Brenda Lee. “I am honored to be invited to host the 40th Anniversary show this year at the Grand Ole Opry House.” More info at https://www.musiccitychristianfellowship.org.
DOUBLE ALBUM NEWS:
The husky, soul-soaked baritone of Drew Cooper’s voice is no doubt the very foundation his entire sound is built on. It’s a well-worn timbre that in one moment haunts you with the Teddy Pendergrass-esque stylings of old Motown, and the next moment you’re bobbing your head up and down in that involuntary way that only pure rock n roll can invoke. His hodge-podge of music stylings has over the years kept music fans engaged and venue owners happy, but it was in 2018 with the release of his acclaimed album “White Horse” that it became crystal clear that Cooper had reached new levels as a songwriter. His new double album “This Life” is absolute proof of that fact. The first single “Madeline” is already out and about, an ear-catching prelude to Part 1 of the double album release on April 15th on Atomic Javelina Records. Listen/stream via https://www.drewcoopermusic.com. “Americana is the easiest way to explain it, but that’s a blanket statement for those that have their own sound,” says Cooper. “Am I rock? No. Am I country? No. I just sing it and play it how I feel it.”
After 10 albums, the last five of which have gone top 10 or better, six Grammy awards, and sold-out tours around the world, The Black Keys are back. The duo releases its eleventh studio album, Dropout Boogie, on May 13 via Nonesuch Records. The first single, “Wild Child,” is out now along with a video directed by the band’s longtime collaborator Bryan Schlam. Dropout Boogie features collaborations with Billy F. Gibbons (ZZ Top), Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound), and Angelo Petraglia (Kings of Leon). As they have done their entire career, the duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney wrote all of the material in the studio, and the new album captures a number of first takes that hark back to the stripped-down blues rock of their early days making music together in Akron, Ohio basements. The Black Keys will tour North America for the first time in three years starting in July. Watch the “Wild Child” video, preorder Dropout Boogie and see Dropout Boogie Tour dates at https://www.dropoutboogie.com. International tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks. Follow at https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackKeys and @theblackkeys
EMERGING ARTIST NEWS:
North to Nashville is currently in the studio, working on their very first record, which they plan on releasing in Spring 2022. They have released 3 singles off their new record – “For All I Know”, “I Can’t Even”, and “Coast to Coastin”. North to Nashville consists of Evan Blankenship as the lead vocalist, Brian Turnbull on lead guitar, Ryan Tuhy on bass guitar, and Ben Anderson on drums. While each of the band’s members comes from their own different musical backgrounds, one thing is clear – their passion for playing great country music. Formed in March of 2018, the boys of North to Nashville have quickly gained significant recognition throughout the Midwest and have achieved massive success throughout their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Having opened for and shared stages with country music artists such as Luke Combs, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Lee Brice, Jake Owen, Cole Swindell, David Lee Murphy, Chris Young, Big and Rich, and many more, North to Nashville strives to deliver their audiences more than just a concert, but an energetic country music experience. Music and info at https://northtonashville.com.
EP RELEASE NEWS:
Cody Belew has released his take on Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” ahead of the March 18th release of his self-titled debut EP (available for pre-save/add/order now at https://codybelew.ffm.to/cbep.opr), continuing the momentum generated by a recent appearance on the Netflix series Coming Out Colton — where he performed the song “Crimes Reloaded” — as well as a string of recent singles and shows at Nashville’s iconic Lipstick Lounge.
“I’ve wanted to sing ‘Here You Come Again’ in exactly this way since I was in middle school,” Cody says. “By then, I could sing you the Dolly Parton songbook, front to back, with no missteps. It wasn’t until much later that I learned this was one of the only Parton hits that she herself didn’t write. Of course, I couldn’t find any fault in her original, but I knew that if given the chance to record it myself I wanted to darken the edges a little.”
The EP announcement also coincides with Cody’s monthly string of shows at Nashville’s iconic Lipstick Lounge. Tickets to his upcoming shows are available at https://www.codybelew.com/tour.