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.
ACM AWARDS NEWS:
Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will host the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CDT/5 p.m. PDT, which will stream live exclusively for a global audience across 240+ territories on Prime Video from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. The Emmy-nominated, star-powered experience will celebrate country music’s biggest stars and emerging talent, and feature unforgettable performances, exclusive collaborations, and unexpected moments that will captivate fans worldwide. The full rebroadcast of the ceremony and performances will stream the next day for free on Amazon Freevee. “Country Music’s Party of the Year” will make history this May with its iconic host pairing of Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks. This marks the first time Brooks will take the stage to host an awards show, coming ahead of his Las Vegas residency and off the heels of his world tour, which sold more than 6.3 million tickets, making it the biggest North American tour in history. It’s the second consecutive year that the show will be hosted by Parton and follows her recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. More at https://www.acmcountry.com
Mississippi heavy hitter HARDY is treating fans worldwide to three new performance tracks with an all-new, exclusive Apple Music Sessions – listen and watch via links at his website https://hardyofficial.com. Reimagining two pivotal catalog cuts – current Top 10 single “wait in the truck” feat. reigning CMA New Artist and Female Artist of the Year Lainey Wilson and 2020 debut album title track, “A ROCK” – alongside a gritty cover of Stone Temple Pilots staple “Big Empty,” the country / rock barrier-breaker is building out both sides of his growing reputation in support of his #1 sophomore album, the mockingbird & THE CROW, out now. Apple Music Sessions feature some of the world’s most prolific artists and emerging artists, all in Spatial Audio. Touring now, HARDY’s 19-date the mockingbird & THE CROW headline tour is sold-out nationwide, stunning wall to wall crowds. Up next, the genre-bending entertainer continues headlining cross-country, then joins Morgan Wallen’s One Night At A Time world tour with a sprint of shows across Australia and New Zealand and a handful of U.S. dates. Follow HARDY on Instagram (@hardy) and Twitter (@HardyMusic).
American Country Rock Band and Kentucky Music Hall of Fame members, Exile, now in their 60th year together, are honored to showcase the milestones of their illustrious career at Regions Bank on Music Row. A display case filled with years of personal Exile memorabilia now welcomes visitors in the lobby. Included are many of their accomplishments and awards for achievements in the music industry and offers a sneak peek of the 2023 album A Million Miles Later to be released in upcoming months. Among the many items are stage-worn outfits from keyboardist Marlon Hargis and Sonny LeMaire, numerous Exile recordings, a payment receipt from a 1987 appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and guitars with incredible histories. Visit the lobby during business hours at 1600 Division St Suite 100, Nashville, TN. “We are beyond excited to share our upcoming music with the world,” shared Exile. “Stay tuned for A Million Miles Later, available soon!” For more information, visit www.exile.biz. Stay current with Exile on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Music is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Watch video content and subscribe to their official video channel on YouTube.
Ian Munsick is set to release his sophomore album for Warner Music Nashville, White Buffalo, on Friday, April 7 and headlines an already-sold-out performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium on May 16. “If there’s one building that embodies the spirit of country music, it’s the Ryman,” shares Munsick. “Getting to play my new album White Buffalo front to back for the very first time on the most legendary stage in country music – AND to get to do that in front of a sold-out crowd – will be an unforgettable experience.” In March Munsick had been placed on vocal rest by his physician and rescheduled one of his shows. His Long Live Cowgirls Tour stop — featuring Ashland Craft — in Atlanta, Georgia at Buckhead Theatre scheduled for March 16 has been rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 13 while his March 18 appearance at the Clewiston Sugar Festival had to be cancelled. The tour had also previously been extended into spring 2023 and includes upcoming stops at Liberty First Credit Arena in Ralston, Nebraska on April 15, Stagecoach Festival on April 28 and Mission Ballroom in Denver, Colorado on May 6. Tour updates and more at https://www.ianmunsick.com/?frontpage=true.
Multi-Platinum band Whiskey Myers has partnered with exclusive art creator SoundWaves Creative to offer limited-edition prints and merchandise celebrating both their own live shows and the work of other musicians, including as the exclusive art provider for the Waylon Jennings estate. The inaugural Waylon Jennings poster dropped March 28 via https://waylonshop.com. Founded by John Fosco in late 2021, SoundWaves Creative offers collectible music inspired art with an emphasis on print variants specific to individual live shows and notable musicians. Each creation is limited in number, never reprinted, hand embossed, authenticated, archived, and custom made using premium materials and advanced printing techniques. “We’re so excited to be working with SoundWaves Creative to create some really cool Waylon posters,” shares Shooter Jennings, son of the late Waylon Jennings and an accomplished artist in his own right. “They create great art and are great folks. The Whiskey Myers guys are old friends of mine from way back and have now collaborated with SoundWaves to allow for some really cool designs for other artists as well, and I’m excited to bring Waylon into the fold!” More information at https://www.soundwavescreative.com and follow on social media @soundwavescreative.
Music Health Alliance (MHA) has announced the lineup for its annual “Coulda Shoulda Woulda” event, presented by Amazon, to benefit the Nashville-based non-profit as it continues its life-saving advocacy and assistance for our nationwide music community. Iconic artists and songwriters The Love Junkies – Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose – are set to join forces in an impressive evening of stories and songs at 6:30 pm CT on Tuesday, April 25 at Nashville’s City Winery.
Contact email@example.com for event sponsorships and advance table sales are open now by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Grammy-winning songwriter and Music Health Alliance board member Liz Rose, a founding member of The Love Junkies, created “Coulda Shoulda Woulda” as a compelling spin on the traditional writers round with the concept that guests will get to experience never-heard-before songs and ones that got away…the ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda” songs from some of today’s biggest hitmakers. 86% of all dollars donated to Music Health Alliance go directly to MHA’s programs and services – for every $1 donation, MHA is able to provide $30 in life-saving healthcare resources to Heal The Music. Donate to Music Health Alliance at https://www.musichealthalliance.com/donate-to-heal/.
BLUEGRASS MUSIC NEWS:
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dalton Harper bursts out of the gate with “Highway of Love,” his first single as a solo artist, debuting his engaging hybrid country/bluegrass style. With highly energetic instrumentation and dynamic vocal harmonies, “Highway of Love” is a powerful debut anthem that will leave audiences intrigued, engaged, and on notice. Based in Missouri, Harper grew up with first-rate experience performing professionally at churches, fairs, and festivals with his family’s band, The Harper Family. Since then, he has been the lead singer in the bluegrass group, Cedar Hill, while simultaneously leading Ridgeway Pass, a country band he co-founded. He has now launched his solo career. When Dalton was 18 years old, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which required him to cease touring and playing music. The cancer went into remission; however, it returned later and required a second fight from Dalton, which he valiantly overcame. “Highway of Love,” the first single off his upcoming album, showcases his commanding vocal abilities and deep passion for the music. “Highway of Love” was written by Paula Breedlove and Brad Davis and produced by Will McSeveney. More info at https://daltonharpercom.godaddysites.com and Instagram (@daltonharper).
Country hitmaker Craig Campbell released his 16-song The Lost Files – Exhibit A last month, and now he has announced signing with The Kinkead Entertainment Agency for exclusive booking representation. “I am so looking forward to working with the Kinkead team!” said Craig. “From the first time I met Bob, I knew he was gonna do great things for me and it feels good!” Released on his Grindstone Recordings label, The Lost Files – Exhibit A is Craig’s first full-length album in 10 years. He has been on the road promoting the album and first single, “Tractor Songs,” which was written by his good buddy Walker Hayes. “Craig Campbell is everything that I look for when representing an artist,” said Kinkead Entertainment Agency CEO Bob Kinkead. “One hell of a country singer and a great seasoned live performer that is at the top of his game. My team and I are so excited to be part of Craig’s team as his agents.” In addition to writing, recording, touring and running his record company, Craig and his wife Mindy accomplished a longtime dream of opening Grindstone Cowboy in their home of Eagleville last year. More about Craig at https://www.craigcampbell.tv/ and https://www.facebook.com/CraigCampbelltv/.
DIY MUSICIAN NEWS:
The DIY Musician Conference has been ‘reimagined’ for 2023, making it an intimate VIP experience in conjunction with the MusicBiz Conference. Set for May 18 – 20, 2023 in Nashville, the DIY Musician Conference VIP Experience provides unprecedented access to industry heavyweights and tastemakers at an affordable price. With attendance limited to just 300 artists and priced affordably at $149.00, attendees can expect the same sense of indie community and innovative spirit as the DIY Musician Conference, but in a more intimate setting. That means there’ll be a greater focus on small-group mentorship and direct access to industry professionals. The DIY Musician VIP Experience includes: Access to Thursday sessions at MusicBiz ($1800 value); All-day Friday DIY Musician educational sessions, panels, mentoring, and networking; Small-group fireside chat sessions with industry pros; A chance to showcase in front of industry movers-and-shakers; Plenty of opportunities to connect with other artists, speakers, and the CD Baby team. Additionally, there is a special offer called Bonus day 3 at which for just $30, you get access to Tom Jackson’s exclusive “solo artist” live makeover on Saturday (with a chance to workshop your stagecraft).Tickets and more info at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/diy-musician-vip-experience-tickets-549561141167.
Get ready to celebrate the most awarded female country recording artist in history. Tayla Lynn, granddaughter of legendary singer and songwriter Loretta Lynn, and Tre Twitty, grandson of Loretta Lynn’s longtime musical partner, the incomparable Conway Twitty, are set to do just that at Loretta Lynn’s 5th Annual Birthday Bash on April 15 at the Troubadour Nashville Theater (2416 Music Valley Drive Nashville). The event commemorates what would have been the country music matriarch’s 91st birthday (born April 14, 1932). Music lovers can expect to hear Loretta and Conway’s greatest hits intertwined with personal stories of Loretta’s life from those who knew her best. “She always wanted to sing my songs,” Loretta Lynn once said of Tayla. “That girl is a fan of country music, especially her Memaw’s. When Doo (Loretta’s husband) died, I wouldn’t have made it without her. She was my angel.” Twitty & Lynn have appeared on the Grand Ole Opry stage multiple times over the last several months and have an extensive nationwide tour—the Twitty & Lynn Salute to Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn—planned, with over 100 dates scheduled. Tour dates, tickets and info at https://www.twittyandlynn.com and https://www.facebook.com/TwittyandLynn.
EMERGING ARTIST NEWS:
Award-winning artist Lia Caton, who splits her time between Naperville, IL and Nashville, TN, rocks out and amplifies the sound of heartbreak with “Turn the Silence Off”, available now on Amazon, Apple, Pandora, Spotify & all major online retailers. “‘Turn The Silence Off’ was written by Chicagoland writer Anita Lin, a longtime friend and co-writer,” says Lia. “When I first heard this song, I knew I had to record it. Not only were the lyrics haunting but the sound was just powerful and really brings out the heartbreaking emotions of the story. I first met Anita in 2004 at NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International). We became fast friends and co-writers. Without Anita’s inspiration and encouragement over the years, I wouldn’t still be doing this. Besides it being a great song, I wanted to honor Anita and her craft by recording it.” Produced by Sean Giovanni (John Legend, Tim McGraw, Big & Rich), “Turn The Silence Off” takes you on a journey of love gone wrong, regret and trying to fill the void when someone walks away from a relationship. More at https://www.liacaton.com, https://www.facebook.com/liacatonmusic/
Tyler Rich gives fans the best of both worlds, fusing the spirit of youth with an easy-going buzz on his new I Know You Do EP, available now via The Valory Music Co. Produced by The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston, the three-track collection puts the many layers of the heartfelt Northern California-raised, Nashville-rooted singer/songwriter on full display. Listen Here: https://TylerRich.lnk.to/IKnowYouDo_EPPR.
“I am so excited for all three of these fan favorites to finally be released to the world,” shared Rich. “Jaren Johnston produced the heck out of these songs and brought a new life to the demos. I can’t wait for y’all to enjoy this windows-down, just in time for summer, new EP!” True to his last name, Rich knows wealth isn’t measured in silver and gold – and in the propulsive Country rocker opener “Good Enough,” he reminds himself what’s in the bank. Rich’s restless vocal rekindle the spirit of youth, replaying memories of just scraping by while your soul flies high. Commanding the charts with three No. 1 hits on SiriusXM’s The Highway, Tyler has amassed over 445 million global streams with debut album Two Thousand Miles featuring Gold-certified “The Difference.” Upcoming tour dates and more at https://www.tylerrich.com.
GOSPEL MUSIC NEWS:
One of today’s leading and most innovative bluegrass artists, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, enlist the legendary Ricky Skaggs, the renowned vocal stylist Mo Pitney, and uber musician and producer Mark Fain for a wonderful version of the Gospel classic, “Jordan.” The Bluegrass Situation premiered the video March 22nd.
Darin and Brooke Aldridge state, “’Jordan’ is one of those songs that you’re gonna be singing along with the first time you hear it. This version is sure to get stuck in your head, and you might even find yourself trying out all the different vocal parts, especially Ricky’s high harmony and Mo’s incredible resounding bass vocal! This song is a classic, and we couldn’t have been more honored to have Ricky Skaggs, Mo Pitney, and Mark Fain join forces with us. “Jordan” will be available on all digital and streaming outlets and will be included on a forthcoming album of new recordings in late 2023. Check out Darin and Brooke’s upcoming tour dates at https://www.darinandbrookealdridge.com/tour-dates/
INDIE ARTIST NEWS:
The Swon Brothers deliver their new single “If Whiskey Could Talk” with a turnabout view on the age-old spirit. Written by Michael Farren, Colton Swon, and Zach Swon, and produced by The Swon Brothers, the soaked melody and lyrics wisely confess the truth from the bottle’s point of view. “I’ve always heard it said you need a good drinking song if you’re gonna sing country music,’” says Zach Swon. “We just thought about what it would be like if the drink itself did the writing.” “We debuted this song live on the Opry last fall and were floored when the audience gave us such an incredible response, so we knew we had to release it,” says Colton Swon. In March, The Swon Brothers headlined the Country Stage in Miami Beach, FL as part of Carnaval Miami. Known for their seamlessly smooth, tight-knit family harmonies, The Swon Brothers were thrilling audiences long before their appearance as finalists on NBC’s The Voice. They were honored with the “Rising Star” award by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and inducted into the “Rhythm and Routes Oklahoma Music Trail.” More info at https://www.facebook.com/theswonbrothers
INDIE STREAMING NEWS:
Congratulations to country/pop singer-songwriter on the rise Michael Warren, who’s reached 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. The milestone comes just one month after the release of his debut four-song EP, What’s Country To You. Stream / play / download now at https://ffm.to/whatscountrytoyouep. A Birmingham, AL native now based in Nashville, Michael has notable cuts by J.Lo, Akon and Toni Braxton, and has opened for Lauren Alaina, Jake Owen, and Zac Brown. With a voice and guitar-driven sound all his own, Michael’s debut EP, produced by Aaron Eshuis (Scotty McCreery, Maren Morris, Ryan Hurd), challenges the status quo. Warren’s EP, “What’s Country To You,” recorded in Nashville, TN reflects his ability to channel his love of “Southern things – faith, family, friends, Bass Pro Shop, football, barbecue, hard work” into songs that are as danceable in a honky tonk bar as on a Spring Break mix tape. Warren says, “When people hear my music, I want them to feel like everything is going to be ok. Because it is.” Music and more at https://www.michaelwarrenonline.com,on Twitter (@_Michael_Warren) and Instagram (@michaelwarrenonline).
INT’L MUSIC NEWS:
Widely known as an “international symbol of country music” (CMT.com), the Bellamy Brothers continue their mainstay overseas, selling out the Norway leg of their World Reboot Tour. After rescheduling their European Tour twice due to the pandemic, the highly anticipated shows were packed with fans for the 14-date leg. This must-see duo kicked off their Norway tour in Moss, Norway on Feb. 2 and wrapped up in Kristiansand, Norway at the end of February, “It is always a special experience to take our music outside the country and hear fans sing our songs back to us word for word. It was great seeing old friends and new faces. We can’t wait to return.” David Bellamy shared about the tour. The brothers are still on the move with more tour dates ahead. Check out their upcoming tour dates at https://bellamybrothers.com. The Bellamy Brothers are recognized for reaching beyond the limits of classic country and incorporating rock, reggae, and rap into their music to create their own signature sound. To keep up with the Bellamy Brothers, follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bellamybrothersband/, on Instagram (@bellamy-brothers) and Twitter (@BellamyBrothers).
(Country Rewind Records)
Barbara Fairchild is an entertainer music fans have adored for more than six decades, earning her a string of country music hits, a Grammy nomination and induction into the Arkansas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Christian Music Hall of Fame. And now, for the first time, in conjunction with Country Rewind Records, a rare collection of never before released recordings will be made available to fans on an album titled, And I Love You So. That title track hit radio on March 3, 2023. This album is truly a rarity. It consists entirely of tracks specifically recorded to be aired as radio shows. Country Rewind president Thomas Gramuglia discovered the master tapes – long thought to have been lost or destroyed – and placed them in the safe hands of producer Aaron Dethrage who skillfully brought the recordings up to twenty-first century audio standards. The track list features Barbara Fairchild performing never before heard versions of her signature hit, “Teddy Bear Song,” her chart hit, “Kid Stuff” and more. Download the “And I Love You So” single at https://barbarafairchild.lnk.to/AndILoveYouSoPR. More about Barbara at https://barbarafairchild.com and info on albums from Country Rewind Records at https://www.countryrewindrecords.com.
ONErpm Nashville has announced the signing of vocalist and songwriter Jesslee. Her debut single, “Unmeet You,” is now available on all platforms.
Tim Wipperman, managing director for ONErpm Nashville, says “Jesslee is a phenomenal singer. Her powerful vocals are unparalleled, coupled with the fact that she is one of the best new writers in town.” “As an Italian American artist,” Jesslee says, “I am so excited to be working with a company that embraces my uniqueness and is dedicated to working with artists to develop something wonderful together.” Jesslee—who appeared for 45 consecutive weeks on Apple Music’s Country Hot Tracks—first burst onto the music scene in 2018 by turning two chairs and ultimately joining coach Blake Shelton’s team on season 14 of NBC’s The Voice. That performance led to several more national television appearances and, ultimately, songwriting opportunities. Jesslee soon moved to Nashville and continued developing her craft with an elite group of artists and writers. “Unmeet You” was written with her manager, Steve Virginia, and fellow Voice alums, The Swon Brothers. More at https://www.jessleemusic.com and on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Bve7xtrpHJaFvwn4XIJV1.
MUSIC EVENT NEWS:
Memphis Blue-eyed Soul legends, The Box Tops, are led by original founding members Bill Cunningham and Gary Talley. The group was inducted into the prestigious Memphis Music Hall of Fame for their contribution to the Memphis sound that dominated AM top 40 radio, joining pioneers Elvis Presley, BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave. The Box Tops are known for their sweet, sensuous, slightly gritty sound, and as you listen you will feel that gentle southern breeze and smell the smokey barbecue as if you are walking down Beale Street. Their worldwide mega hit “The Letter”, was named “Song of the Year”, 1967 by Cashbox Magazine, and ranks #26 in USA Today’s 100 Greatest Songs of All Time. Both Bill and Gary have performed on numerous other recordings, including Bill on Isaac Hayes’ “Shaft”, and Gary on Willie Nelson’s classic, “You Were Always On My Mind”. The Box Tops show easily fits into multi-genre and cross-generational shows, whether pop, rock, blues, or soul. This is a show not to be missed. Music, show dates and more info at https://boxtops.com. Show bookings via https://www.paradiseartists.com/artist/the-box-tops/.
MUSIC GENRE NEWS:
Genre bending singer-songwriter and rapper David Morris continues to push the envelope and hone in on his unique blend of modern day pop, hip-hop, and Country. With over 188M+ streams worldwide from his viral hits “Carrying Your Love” and “Dutton Ranch Freestyle,” he’s now back with a new release, “I Hate This Job,” available everywhere now. Primed for his live show, this anthemic track takes a moment to appreciate the little things in life, while at the same time – really hating your day job. The comedic, yet honest lyrics are relatable to so many. Listen to “I Hate This Job” at https://davidmorris.lnk.to/ihatethisjob. “This is a song that I’ve been trying to write for years,” shares Morris of the writing process. “Every iteration was closer to where it ended up. I heard it in my head as something that was classic and modern. Country and rock…and very catchy, easy to sing along to. One of those songs you feel like you’ve already heard before. I’m so stoked about how it turned out.” Tour tickets, music and more at www.davidmorrisofficial.com.
Grammy Award-winning trio, Nickel Creek—mandolinist Chris Thile, violinist Sara Watkins and guitarist Sean Watkins—will continue their extensive headline tour through the fall with newly confirmed shows at Los Angeles’ Theatre at Ace Hotel (two nights), Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, St. Paul’s Palace Theatre, Denver’s Mission Ballroom, Santa Barbara’s Granada Theatre, Dallas’ Majestic Theatre and Austin’s Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park among many others. See below for complete itinerary. Tickets for the new shows are available now. See www.nickelcreek.com/tour. The tour—their first as a group since 2014—adds to a landmark year for Nickel Creek, who released Celebrants, their first new album in nine years, in March via Thirty Tigers. Their fifth studio album, Celebrants marks a highly anticipated return for the beloved trio and explores the inherent dynamics of human connection. Across the 18 tracks, the trio addresses love, friendship and time with lyrics both poetic and plain-spoken, as they see bridges built, crossed, burned and rebuilt. Recorded at Nashville’s RCA Studio A, the album was produced by longtime collaborator Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Grace Potter, Weezer) and features Mike Elizondo on bass. Album info and more at https://www.nickelcreek.com.
MUSIC ROW NEWS:
Nashville-based singer-songwriter and indie country recording artist Seth Alexander (Platform EightyNine Music) celebrates the release of his newest single “Till Your Boots Are Dirty.” Penned by Nashville songwriters Danny Wells, Billy Croft and Richard Donahue, and co-produced by Donahue/Next Level Entertainment (Nashville, TN), the track is available now via all digital retail outlets and streaming platforms. (Digital services provided by Ed Gertler/Digital Streaming Services.) Signature guitar licks keep steady time with hard-hitting percussion to drive home matter-of-fact lyrics that reinforce a storyline staking claim to a prideful rural recognition earned. The mid-tempo leads toward a dancefloor favorite. “I come from a small farm town in Idaho; when I initially heard the demo, it just hit home for me,” said New Plymouth, Idaho native, Seth Alexander. “Working a farm or a ranch is not a trend; you have to live the lifestyle to really understand it. Wearing dirty boots comes with the territory, and that dirt carries a lot of prideful weight.” An active member of the Music City community, Seth maintains a steady writing appointment schedule with some of Nashville’s finest. More at https://www.sethalexanderofficial.com/, https://www.instagram.com/sethalexanderofficial/ and Instagram (@_sethalexander).
NUMBER ONE NEWS:
Nearly one year after making history with Platinum, six-week #1 collaboration “Thinking ‘Bout You (feat. MacKenzie Porter),” Broken Bow Records multi-Platinum star Dustin Lynch toasted the record-smashing single among key industry tastemakers, friends, and family. Hosted at curling and bowling bar-restaurant Tee Line in Nashville, TN, on Tuesday (3/21), BMI, ASCAP, BMG, Tape Room Music, Warner Chappell Music, Concord, Studio Bank, and Broken Bow Records honored BMI writer Lynch and Porter, alongside Lynch’s fellow songwriters Andy Albert, Hunter Phelps, and Will Weatherly. The celebrations were extra special for Porter, as “Thinking ‘Bout You” notched her first U.S. #1. “We’ve been trying to put this party on since last May, so it’s been almost 12 months if that tells you how crazy life gets once we start touring again, recording, and going and doing life. MacKenzie, I knew from the moment I heard your voice on this track that we had something magical on our hands,” said Lynch.
OPRY LEGEND NEWS:
The Grand Ole Opry celebrated the 80th birthday of legendary Opry member Ronnie Milsap with a special “Ronnie Milsap & Friends” Opry performance on March 5. Milsap’s celebration featured performances by the legend himself plus some of his biggest fans and fellow Opry members including Trace Adkins, Mandy Barnett, Little Big Town, Don Schlitz, Jeannie Seely, and Mark Wills. The show ended with a performance of “Honky Tonk Women” led by Milsap, joined by Adkins, Little Big Town, and Wills. Milsap, who turned 80 on January 16, was inducted into the Opry family on February 6, 1976. Portions of the show will air as a Saturday night Opry Live later this year on the Opry’s television broadcast home, Circle Network, Circle All Access Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, SiriusXM Willie’s Roadhouse, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM, with Saturday night shows seen on the Circle Network. For more information, visit www.opry.com.
Warner Chappell Music and JAB Entertainment have signed a global publishing deal with rising country duo, Neon Union. Comprised of newcomers Leo Brooks and Andrew Millsaps, Neon Union is preparing to take country music by storm. Brooks grew up in Miami and has collaborated with artists like Pitbull, Lauryn Hill, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Cee Lo Green and John Legend. Millsaps grew up in North Carolina and has been writing songs ever since the age of 13. When Grammy-nominated country star Jimmie Allen heard the two perform separately, he became convinced that Brooks and Millsaps would make the perfect duo. Allen introduced the two, and the rest was history. Together as Neon Union, Brooks and Millsaps are bringing a new sound to country music, with 808 kick drums married to a traditional country lyric and anthemic pop melodies. Neon Union is managed by Allen and his business partner Aaron Benward as JAB Entertainment’s inaugural artist. Their debut single, “Bout Damn Time,” on Red Street Records is at country radio now with more music to come this year. More at https://www.neonunionmusic.com.
Powerhouse vocalist and Season 22 of NBC’s “The Voice” finalist, Morgan Myles has released her version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and video. People.com exclusively premiered the track and video which was shot at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Stream and download Myles’ “Hallelujah,” at https://vyd.co/Morganmyles_hallelujah_master. “Hallelujah” is the song that Myles auditioned for on “The Voice,” prompting all four judges to turn their chairs, which began her unforgettable journey on season 22 of the series. As a member of superstar Camilla Cabello’s team Myles made it all the way to the finals. Since her time on the show, Myles earned another career milestone when she made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry. “Bottom line, ‘Hallelujah’ is my all-time favorite written song. It means something different to everyone on such a deeply emotional level,” Myles, tells People.com. “You have to have experienced deep heartbreak and loss in your life to be able to deliver it in a genuine way. It’s why I absolutely love what I do.” More at https://www.morganmyleslive.com and https://www.facebook.com/MorganMylesLIVE/. Follow her on Instagram and TikTok (@morganmyleslive) and Twitter (@MorganMylesLIVE).
RED DIRT NEWS:
Somewhere in Switzerland, in the middle of their 2016 European tour, two of Texas’ queens of songwriting, Sunny Sweeney and Jamie Lin Wilson, discovered they shared a deep mutual love for the music of Emmylou Harris—particularly her 2000 release, Red Dirt Girl. When you’ve worked as hard as Sweeney and Wilson, sometimes it makes sense to do something together just for fun. The pair recorded their own version of that album’s title track—and to the delight of all involved parties, were given the ultimate stamp of approval when Harris offered to sing harmonies. Sweeney and Wilson have released their long-imagined version of “Red Dirt Girl” to the delight of Americana and country fans worldwide. With one big, gritty electric guitar strum, “Red Dirt Girl” gives way to crystalline acoustic guitar strumming and the song’s iconic first verse. Drums usher in the second verse, carried by Sweeney’s perfect, or at least damn near, Texas twang, before the two meld together in the song’s refrain. Then, as Sweeney puts it, “The crowning blow was getting Emmylou to come in and sing harmonies. Music, tour info and more at http://www.sunnysweeney.com
RISING ARTIST NEWS:
Reviver Records recording artist Brooke Moriber released her new song, “Holy Ground” feat. Ian Flanigan, March 31. Written by Moriber alongside Bill DiLuigi and Reed Waddle and produced by Todd Lombardo, “Holy Ground” is a beautifully orchestrated romantic ballad about the people who stick together amidst the intense ups and downs of life. Stream/play/download the track at https://orcd.co/littlebitofyou. “‘Holy Ground’ is a song about two people making a promise to each other to never let what goes on in the world around them affect the sacred bond that they have,” said Moriber. “When times are tough, they just hold on tighter because wherever they stand together is ‘holy ground.’” “I’m honored that Brooke invited me to join her on ‘Holy Ground’,” said Flanigan. “It’s a beautiful song that a ton of people will relate to!” “Holy Ground” is preceded by Moriber’s most recent single, “Little Bit of You,” which was released in January and is currently at country radio. With her rising success on the country radio airwaves, Moriber is quickly becoming one of the most played independent artists on the MusicRow chart. More at https://www.brookemoriber.com.
Seattle rocker Ayron Jones announced the forthcoming release of his highly-anticipated sophomore album. The 10-track LP, Chronicles of the Kid, is out via Big Machine/John Varvatos Records on 6/23 and is currently available for pre-order at https://ayron.lnk.to/Chronicles_PSPR. Audiences can get an advanced taste of the record with Jones’ new single, “Blood in the Water,” out now available at https://ayron.lnk.to/bloodPR alongside the accompanying music video streaming via YouTube. “As a child, I vividly remember sitting in church and hearing the preacher speak about generational curses,” Jones explains. “For me, the concept of the weight of trauma traveling through time and space, affecting many generations until treated is an idea I take seriously. ‘Blood in the Water’ is my way of actively choosing to heal and transform this trauma by creating new stories and identities for not only myself, but also my family’s future generations. I understand that energy can never be destroyed nor created anew; it can only be shifted. Therefore, while I cannot choose the life I have been given, I can strive forward and choose to take control of the future– to break these curses now and forevermore.” Music and tour info at https://www.ayronjonesmusic.com.
Billy Blue Records has signed on high-energy traditional bluegrass band, Carson Peters and Iron Mountain. Making numerous appearances internationally and at the esteemed Grand Ole Opry, the group is one of the hottest new artists in the genre, making a name for themselves by bringing a contagious atmosphere to their fans in concert. The band is led by Carson Peters, from Piney Flats, TN. Carson has made numerous national TV appearances including his performance on the fiddle with bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards. Most recently, Carson appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2021, where he received a coveted 4-chair turn. Carson Peters comments, “First and foremost, my bandmates and I are thankful to God for giving us this awesome opportunity to sign with Billy Blue. We have worked very hard to get where we are as a band, and it is a blessing to see that it is beginning to pay off! We can’t wait to work with the good folks at Billy Blue and put out some great traditional bluegrass music.” More details at https://www.carsonandironmt.com
On the heels of receiving multiple award nominations, multi-Platinum selling superstar Cole Swindell has now released “Broken” across all digital platforms. “Broken” is the second release of three new songs included on his upcoming deluxe album Stereotype Broken, due April 28 and available now for preorder at https://coleswindell.lnk.to/preorder-stereotypebroken. Swindell is kicking off 2023 with several major award nominations, including a prestigious iHeartRadio Music Award nomination (and WIN!) for “Country Song of the Year” for his multi-week No. 1 single “She Had Me At Heads Carolina.” The chart-topping country superstar is also nominated for two CMT Music Awards for “Male Video of the Year” (“She Had Me At Heads Carolina”) and “CMT Performance Video of The Year” (“Never Say Never” with Lainey Wilson from 2022 CMT Music Awards). The CMT Music Awards airs LIVE from Austin, TX on Sunday, April 2nd at 8p/7c on CBS and stream on demand on Paramount +. Swindell’s current single, “Drinkaby,” written by Jon Pardi, Jordan Schmidt, HARDY and Hunter Phelps, the first single release from Stereotype Broken, was released to radio in January and is already nearing the Top 30 on the country singles charts. Music, tour info and more at https://www.coleswindell.com/.
Country / Heartland Rock Artist Matt Jordan releases “The Good Fight LIVE” available now on all streaming platforms. The single, originally released in May 2022, was Jordan’s top performing release last year as it quickly climbed to #70 on the Music Row Chart and #26 on the CDX True Indie Chart. Jordan co-wrote the single with Charlie Berry and Jarret Hartness and describes the song as a celebration of relationships – sticking it out through thick and thin for the right outcome. Jordan recently released his new album – The Gamble Deluxe Edition available at https://onerpm.link/146196556167 produced by Grammy-Award nominated producer, Sal Oliveri (P!nk, Chris Stapleton, Jimmie Allen) that features “The Good Fight” among its 14 tracks, but this is the first LIVE version released. Jordan wrote or co-wrote all but one of the songs on the album, highlighting his artistry as a true storyteller. “The Good Fight – LIVE” follows his recent single “Love Was Enough.” His previous singles on the album like “Wrangler”that caught the attention of Jeep®, who posted a video reel of the Official Music Video, “The Gamble” (Sept 2022), “One More Round,” (August 2022) and “Your Town” (July 2022). Visit www.MattJordanSongwriter.com.
TEXAS MUSIC NEWS:
Wade Bowen’s on a hell of a “Honky Tonk Roll,” sweeping the 13th Annual T3R Texas Regional Radio Music Awards on March 27 with three wins. The Waco-born artist won Male Vocalist of the Year, as well as Single of the Year for “Everything Has Your Memory” off his August 2022 album Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth. Co-written by Bowen, Eric Paslay and Heather Morgan, the song also earned the Brandon Jenkins Songwriter of the Year award. “The T3R were bigger and better than ever,” says Bowen. “I was impressed at all of the hard work that went into a great night. It’s so good to see a scene that works so hard for the music they believe in and I’m so honored and thankful to be a part of it for so many wonderful years!” The awards, held at Texas Live! in Arlington, TX saw appearances by Living Legend award winner Billy F Gibbons, Aaron Watson, Bri Bagwell, Sarah Hobbs, William Clark Green, Flatland Cavalry, Ariel Hutchins, The Great Divide, and radio PDs from all over the country. More on Wade Bowen and his music at https://www.facebook.com/thewadebowen/
Less than one week away, Bad Realm Records/Atlantic Records/Warner Music Nashville PLATINUM artist BRELAND adds even more star power to the stacked “BRELAND & Friends” lineup with Sam Hunt. Taking the stage on April 4 at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN to benefit the Oasis Center, BRELAND has tapped a unique blend of artists to represent his signature ‘Cross Country’ sound. Enlisting friends Alana Springsteen, Ashley Cooke, Danielle Bradbery, Gary Levox, Ingrid Andress, K. Michelle, Lecrae, Nate Smith, Temecula Road, Tenille Townes, Tyler Hubbard, X Ambassadors, and just-announced Hunt, the second annual “BRELAND & Friends” is presented by Amazon and will be available to livestream on Mandolin, with Pay What You Want ticket. Tickets for Ryman Auditorium can be purchased at https://www.axs.com/events/469370/breland-friends-tickets?skin=ryman. Touring in support of his debut album Cross Country featuring chart-rising single “For What It’s Worth,” BRELAND will join Walker Hayes’ Duck Buck Tour starting April 13 in Rosemont, IL at Rosemont Theatre followed by a performance on the “Mane Stage” at the widely popular Stagecoach Country Music Festival on April 28. Check out full list of tour dates at https://www.brelandmusic.com/tour/.
The Historic Franklin Theatre and Given Entertainment have announced a partnership on a new songwriters series held at Franklin Theatre, starting Friday April 27. The inaugural writers round will feature Tim Nichols, Jimmy Yeary, Matt Wynn, and Autumn McEntire. “We’re excited to launch this new Songwriters Series at The Franklin Theatre with Given Entertainment,” said Franklin Theatre Managing Director Eric Dilts. “Since our reopening in 2011, The Franklin Theatre has played host to up-and-coming artists and music legends alike. Our Songwriter Series is an opportunity to showcase the storytellers behind your favorite songs in our iconic venue.” Adds Given Entertainment’s Cindy Owen, ”We are honored to be asked to partner with The Franklin Theatre to create this new series. It’s the first of its kind for this beautiful historic landmark. We love any opportunity to shine a light on the songwriters and especially offering them another stage to share their music here in the heart of Franklin.” Event info and tickets at https://www.franklintheatre.com
WWWEBSITES TO CHECKOUT:
WHO’S LOOKING * WHO’S CUTTING:
Chasity Bailey, Caylee Hammack, Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch and Keith Urban.
Preshias Harris is a music journalist and music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Her book, ‘The College of Songology: The Singer/Songwriter’s Need to Know Reference Handbook’ is available at www.collegeofsongology.com. Follow her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com.
Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / Preshiaswriter@hotmail.com TN/USA. Google: “Preshias” #nashvillemusicline