Inside Track on Music Row: February 2023

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“Songs write themselves, we just hold the pen” – Garth Brooks on stage at the 2020 Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, TN.


Dierks Bentley will release his 10th studio album Gravel & Gold on Feb. 24. It’s a diverse, 14-track album about perspective and self-awareness at many levels from the personal to the professional. It’s also a testament to the many strains of country music Bentley has mastered and cultivated in his career, from the arena shaker to the barroom weeper to the bluegrass fireballer. Gravel & Gold is a story of renewal, family, persistence and devotion to making the music as authentic and lasting as it can possibly be. Pre-order Gravel & Gold and access its first available tracks “Gold,” “High Note” feat. Billy Strings and now “Same Ol’ Me” at  

“It’s been four years since I put out an album, and part of the reason for that is that I wrote and recorded two records that I didn’t feel were good enough and had to start over…twice,” explains Bentley. “I’m going to be able look back on it for the rest of my life and be like, yeah, that was harder than I thought it would be, but zero regrets. I had to get it right. That’s the Gravel & Gold of it all.” More about Dierks’ music and tour dates at   


ACM-nominated recording artist Sunny Sweeney has long been known for her uncanny ability to straddle the line of demarcation between Texas Country and Nashville Americana, but her latest album, Married Alone — out everywhere now via Thirty Tigers — sets a whole new bar for the blurring of these invisible boundaries. Produced by Paul Cauthen and the Texas Gentlemen’s multi-hyphenate Beau Bedford, Married Alone is Sweeney’s finest work yet, bringing together confessional songwriting, image-rich narratives, and no shortage of sonic surprises for a loosely conceptual album about loss and healing. Recorded at Dallas’s Modern Electric Sound Recorders and mixed by the whole team with the help of Jeff Saenz, Married Alone finds Sweeney running through an entire spectrum of emotions without a single lull. Even the most heartbreaking moments of the album never cease in keeping listeners engaged with such powerful imagery and earnest delivery. Sweeney debuted in 2006 with the acclaimed Heartbreaker’s Hall of Fame, which announced her as an important new voice in songwriting. 2011’s Concrete led to a Top Female Artist nomination at the 2013 ACM Awards. Music, tour dates and more at on Twitter (@GettinSweenered) and Instagram (@gettinsweenered).


Luke Bryan’s annual all-inclusive concert vacation, Crash My Playa, wrapped in January in Riviera Cancún, Mexico with its eighth sold-out event. The event took place at the Moon Palace Cancún, featuring four nights of country music on a private stretch of white sand beach. Fans were treated to two headline concerts by Luke, with Lionel Richie joining as special guest on Sunday night, as well as Cole Swindell and Chris Stapleton headlining their own nights. Additional performances throughout the event included Dustin Lynch, who hosted an all-day edition of his infamous pool party, Ashley McBryde, Brian Kelley, Carly Pearce, Chase Rice, Dylan Scott, Chayce Beckham, Alana Springsteen, Kendell Marvel and DJ Rock. “Year after year we aim to grow the music experience and the vacation experience to new heights,” shared Luke. “It was so fun to watch.”  The event followed news of Luke’s 30th career No. 1 single with “Country On” hitting the top of the Mediabase charts.  The song was written by Mark Nesler, David Frasier, Mitch Oglesby, and Styles Haury, produced by Jeff Stevens, co-produced by Jody Stevens, and features Sarah Buxton on background vocals. More at and Twitter and Instagram (@lukebryan).


As revealed on, “Jenny Tolman and Dave Brainard are officially Mom and Dad!” After tying the knot in March, the couple welcomed their first child, a son Bear Harrington Brainard, on Saturday, Dec. 31.  The critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and Grammy®-nominated producer shared newborn photos exclusively with, detailing her 36-hour labor. The name Bear Harrington holds special meaning to Tolman and Brainard. Tolman revealing the inspiration to, “Bobby Bare is one of our favorite artists and songwriters, and obviously country music is a huge part of our lives, and bears are a big symbol of Jackson Hole to us, which is where we got engaged and married,” the new mom explains. “So we decided the name ‘Bear’ was a good combination of two things we both love.” Most recently, Tolman released “It’s A Boy” inspired by Bear’s anticipated arrival and the inspirational video for “Watering the Weeds” a single from her sophomore album, Married in a Honky Tonk. The video, which has amassed over 500k views, features women survivors from the Nashville-based nonprofit Thistle Farms. Listen/download “It’s A Boy” at . More about Jenny Tolman at  


Current ACM Group of the Year and CMA Vocal Group of the Year, Old Dominion, have released their new four-song collection, Memory Lane (Sampler), via Arista Nashville/Sony Music Nashville. The Shane McAnally and Old Dominion-produced project features four songs including lead track “Memory Lane” which was the most added song at Country radio today. Listen to the new music at  “We’ve been working on so much new music, and the response to ‘Memory Lane’ has been so energizing that we decided we’re tired of sitting on it all!” said Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey. “We’re so excited to share three more songs heading into the No Bad Vibes Tour and the next chapter in our musical journey.” The band shared this exciting surprise release on their social media accounts, where they’ve been previewing new tracks for fans over the past few months. This follows the release of their “Memory Lane” single on January 5.  This new music comes right in time for the group’s highly anticipated, 31-stop No Bad Vibes Tour. Music and tour info at  


The 5th Annual Daryle Singletary Keeping It Country Jam, which is set to take place at The Nashville Palace on Thursday, February 16, 2023, during The National Wild Turkey Federation’s 50th anniversary week has added Lorrie Morgan, Rhonda Vincent, Mark Collie, and Highway 101’s Paulette Carlson to the already star-studded performance lineup. Previously announced artists that will be hitting the famed stage are Easton Corbin, Mark Wills, Rhett Akins, Andy Griggs, and Chad Brock. General admission tickets are $30 and are available online at Outhouse Tickets. Go to  and search: Keeping it Country.  “This year is building up to be something so special,” says Holly Singletary. “The artist lineup includes so many of Daryle’s friends and for the first time, we have sold out the reserved seats and VIP tables in advance. This is a true testament that people want to hear good traditional country music, something that Daryle was so passionate about.”  There will also be a silent auction where 100% of the funds raised will go to the Daryle Singletary Memorial Trust. For more information or to view the items, visit


Music Health Alliance (MHA), the music industry’s critical non-profit healthcare resource, is marking major milestones in its mission to provide free healthcare advocacy and resources to music industry professionals. As the non-profit celebrates its first decade of providing free healthcare advocacy and support to a largely self-employed industry, MHA is uniquely positioned to continue to heal the music in the decades to come. Music Health Alliance’s mission is to create a safe and confidential place for the music community to gain the very best healthcare and health insurance solutions through defined and transparent advocacy services, with an emphasis on the prevention of illness and overall wellness.  “Healthcare is the ultimate thing you can offer your team out there on the road,” shared Bentley. “Having 30 people on my team, it is tough to navigate insurance and healthcare and having MHA to help us figure it out and uncover benefits we didn’t even know were available. They’ve helped us save so much over 10 years and $100 million industry wide…it’s just incredible!” Info for members of the music industry who need help or donation details at More on MHA at


CMT has revealed 16 new artists named to its prestigious “CMT Next Women Of Country“ (NWOC) franchise, kicking off a special 10 year anniversary celebration of CMT’s storied program and long-running effort to support and promote developing female talent. This year’s group of participants marks the largest class in NWOC program history.   The news was revealed at City Winery Nashville in front of an invitation-only crowd of industry and VIP guests who feted the new class alongside special guests including NWOC alums Brittney Spencer (2021), Brooke Eden (2015), Caitlyn Smith (2017), Ingrid Andress (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2015), Maddie & Tae (2015) and Mickey Guyton (2015), along with acclaimed songwriter-artist-producer Nicolle Galyon.  The brand’s flagship series CMT Hot 20 Countdown will again air a dedicated Next Women of Country three-hour special episode Saturday, February 11th at 8a/7c with an encore on Sunday, February 12th at 9a/8c on CMT.  The “CMT NWOC” Class of 2023 includes: Alana Springsteen, Angie K, Ashley Cooke, Avery Anna, Carter Faith, Catie Offerman, Georgia Webster, Julie Williams, Kasey Tyndall, Kimberly Kelly, Mackenzie Carpenter, MaRynn Taylor, Megan Moroney, O.N.E The Duo, Pillbox Patti and Roberta Lea.


Nashville-based phenomenon Alana Springsteen shares her first record, “you don’t deserve a country song,” with the announce of her hotly anticipated debut album, Twenty Something, via Columbia Records NY/Sony Music Nashville. As the 22-year-old critically acclaimed artist-songwriter recently revealed on social media, it’s a three-part collection documenting the heartache, excitement, and immense transformation of early adulthood – a journey that begins with the album’s first installment, Twenty Something: Messing It Up, which is now available for pre-save/pre-add at  and releasing March 24. Listen to “you don’t deserve a country song” at   “I have a tendency to let my feelings consume me, whether they’re good or bad,” shares Springsteen. “That’s why I ended up becoming a songwriter, so I could have a productive outlet for those emotions and all of that turmoil. This song is my attempt to reclaim my power after my ex took so much of it away from me. It’s about finding my confidence and getting to a place where I could start to trust myself and my judgment again.”  More at  


Colton Dixon’s “Build A Boat” has truly found an anchor at radio. No. 1 for 10 weeks, the track was also the longest running No. 1 Mediabase Christian AC song of 2022. Now a brand-new version of the song, “Build A Boat (feat. Gabby Barrett)” is available, featuring multi-Platinum and award-winning Gabby Barrett.  Find the track at

 “I respect Colton’s creativity as an artist and was already a big fan of ‘Build A Boat’ before he reached out to collaborate,” shares Barrett. “These lyrics really hit me, and it’s such a blessing to be a part of this new version and to be able to honor our Lord in this way.” Equally excited to have Barrett join him on what’s become the biggest song of his career, Dixon commented, “I’m so honored to have a fellow American Idol alum, Gabby Barrett, join me in spreading the message of faith and perseverance through my song ‘Build A Boat’- what a great way to kick off the year!”  Dixon will be touring across the U.S. this spring on his “Build A Boat Tour” featuring Jordan St. Cyr and special guests Apollo LTD.  Tickets are now on sale at  


The Petty Estate is unveiling Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers—The Fillmore House Band—1997 (Short Film Part 2) around the 26th anniversary of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ legendary residency at the Fillmore.

 The 11-minute short film, directed by Alison Tavel, features previously unreleased, never-before-seen footage from the Petty estate vaults, accompanied by interviews with The Heartbreakers filmed at the famed Clubhouse. In addition to the incredible performance footage, the film captures the excitement and camaraderie around the shows, giving fans yet another glimpse into the ambitious multi-night stint at the San Francisco venue, described by Petty as “the highpoint of our time together as a group.” The captivating 20-show run created a unique bond between the band and their fans. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: Live at the Fillmore (1997) is Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ first live record in 13 years, and across the 58 songs included in its deluxe editions, furthers their reputation as one of America’s greatest rock and roll bands, with critical praise abounding. Stream/purchase at  More about Tom Petty at  


The Grand Ole Opry loved to “Go Dolly” in celebration of arguably country music’s greatest global ambassador and an artist who has taken the Opry with her wherever she’s gone. The Opry celebrated Dolly Parton’s 77th birthday (the superstar’s favorite number) which fell on January 19 through two shows including Dolly tributes and other fun on Saturday, January 21. Keeping with the “77” celebration, the Opry turned the spotlight on hits from Parton’s 1977 album Here You Come Again, Parton’s first platinum album and a crossover smash. Among those joining in the celebration: Chapel Hart, The Fairfield Four, Caitlyn Smith, Marty Stuart, and Chris Young. $5.00 from every ticket sold to both of the January 21 shows was donated to the Opry Trust Fund in Parton’s honor. For more than 50 years, the fund has assisted members of the country music community in need.  Also part of the Opry celebrations of Dolly’s 77th were 77 Hours of Dolly giveaways on Opry social media and birthday cupcakes baked using Duncan Hines Dolly Parton’s cake mix given to Opry House.  More about Dolly at  


Brad Paisley is joining the team of UNITED24 as an ambassador to support the Rebuild Ukraine program. UNITED24 was launched by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of rebuilding and restoring homes damaged by the current war. This reconstruction plan is the largest rebuilding project in Ukraine since the second World War. Donate  UNITED24’s new ambassador Paisley was introduced in the now-standard tradition during an online call with President Zelenskyy where he thanked Paisley for his support of Ukrainians: “I am happy that you decided to join, especially the Rebuild Ukraine program. Many peoples’ lives have been destroyed. Now we need to work with as many famous people as possible, who will draw attention to the restoration of homes for Ukrainians who’ve suffered from the war,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy. “I am not alone in wanting to help Ukraine,” shared Paisley. “But like a lot of people in America, until now I haven’t been sure exactly how to lend a hand from over here in the U.S. I count myself very lucky to have been given a platform that will allow me to do that very thing.”


Florida-based singer-songwriter and indie country recording artist Andy Pursell (Southern Dreams Ent.) announced the scheduled release of his newest tune “Right Amount of Wrong.” Written by Ryan Griffin and Terry Dennis, and produced by Mark Dreyer, the track will be available via all digital retail outlets and streaming platforms Friday, March 17, 2023. (Presale/pre-save event begins March 3, 2023.)  Recorded at Studio 23 Lakeside Recording in Nashville, the single features instrumental performances by award-winning, A-list musicians. The twangy honky-tonker is a mix of the best of 90s country and today’s contemporary sound. Akin to the Bellamy Brothers’ No. 1 hit, “Redneck Girl,” the leading lady beams with frisky, flirty, flannel sophistication to become a magnetic attraction. “The vibe and storyline are ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ meets ‘Urban Cowboy;’ she’s a perfect combination, with ‘just the right amount of wrong,’ and that makes her irresistible,” said Andy Pursell.  “A song is like a canvas; we assembled the right mix of musicians to make the magic and paint the perfect picture both in storyline and instrumentation. The outcome is exactly what I had envisioned.”  More at and Instagram (@andypursellmusic)


Riser House/Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville #1 hitmaker Mitchell Tenpenny will play shows in Europe and Australia for the very first-time in March.  In 2020, Mitchell was confirmed to perform as part of the C2C Festival but the festival was forced to cancel due to the global pandemic.  Mitchell will begin his overseas schedule March 3-8 with a run of co-headline dates with Australian-born country phenom Morgan Evans on the aptly named “Day Drunk Me Tour.” Find details and tickets for those concerts at  Mitchell will then play the C2C Festival dates from March 10-12 and two shows for CMC Rocks in Australia on March 18.  “I’ve always wanted to play shows overseas,” shared Mitchell. “We tried in 2020. Flew over there and then had to fly right back before even playing a show. So, this is a long time in the making and I couldn’t be more excited to play for the fans who have never had the chance to see us play live before. It’s going to be a party!”   Mitchell’s new radio single is “We Got History” from his latest album This Is The Heavy. Follow Mitchell on Twitter and Instagram (@m10penny),



Beyond the certified gold and multi-platinum #1s (“Buy Me A Boat,” “Drunk Girl”) Chris Janson is a big believer in mixing things up — and pushing to new vistas. With “All I Need Is You,” the rambling single that embraces all things good ole boy but acknowledges it’s nothing compared to the woman he loves, Janson drops his Big Machine debut, out now via BMLG Records in partnership with his own Harpeth 60 Records. Listen at  Working with Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning producer Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell, Cheap Trick, Insane Clown Posse), Janson’s easy baritone sweeps through 30A, a blue clear lake, a brand-new truck, a winning lottery ticket, his kid’s ball team, and the Gulf of Mexico as he unravels what really matters in the breezy song co-written with Ashley Gorley, Brad Clawson, and Mitch Oglesby. “There are so many things we all want,” says Janson. “When you look at what really matters, it comes down to that one ride-or-die person who believes in you and your dream, no matter what happens. I’m blessed because my person is my wife, my manager, and my best friend.” More at on twitter (@janson_chris) and Instagram (@thechrisjanson).


Dame Olivia Newton-John’s legacy continues to live on with the remastered release of Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits Volume 2 – Deluxe Edition, out now. Listen / buy / stream at  The 14-track collection, originally released 40 years ago (1982), features her biggest international hits, as well as her U.S. Top 40 hits from that era including singles “Physical,” “Magic,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You” and “You’re The One That I Want.”  Much like the reissue of Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits, to mark the 40th anniversary of Olivia’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2, both international versions that were released in 1982 were combined to create the definitive deluxe edition of the collection.   Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits Volume 2 – Deluxe Edition marks her first non-soundtrack album to rank in the year-end Top 10. It was certified Double Platinum by the RIAA in the U.S. and Platinum in the UK, where it peaked at No. 8 with a 38-week chart run.  The second volume of hits follows the October 2022 remastered release of Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits Deluxe Edition. More about Olivia at  


Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium recognize the common ground between iconic locations as well as the forces that emerge in live music. Consequently, they’re teaming to present “Rock The Ryman,” a concert with Nashville’s most intriguing artists and special guests. Celebrating the intersection of rock & roll and country, this very special night of music will honor the legacy and impact of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees who have graced the Ryman stage. Powered by PNC and sponsored by Gibson Gives, “Rock The Ryman” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT, on Wednesday, March 1. “More than 100 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees have performed on the Ryman’s hallowed stage throughout its 130-year history,” said Greg Harris, President & CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.  Hosted by noted guitarist/songwriter Charlie Worsham, “Rock The Ryman” will explore how country music has shaped rock & roll and how rock & roll has merged with today’s Americana, country and beyond. More performers will be announced in the coming weeks.  More info and tickets at  


In May 2023, the Johnny Cash Museum will celebrate 10 years as a staple of Nashville, country music and Johnny Cash culture. The museum was recently one of 20 museums around the United States nominated by a panel of travel experts for USA Today’s Readers’ Choice 10 Best Music Museums. Readers can vote for their choice once a day until February 13 and the top 10 will be announced on February 24. Voting can be found here:   “As we celebrate the tenth year of the opening of the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville, it’s especially gratifying to be among the 20 museums chosen by USA Today’s experts to be nominated for America’s best music museum. Johnny’s legacy continues to be celebrated by fans of all ages from all over the world,” said Bill Miller, CEO of Icon Entertainment Group, owner of the Johnny Cash Museum. Icon’s flagship asset, the Johnny Cash Museum was born out of Miller’s personal relationship with the legendary artist that began 50 years ago. Cash was instrumental in helping the teenaged Miller establish an early foothold in Nashville as a photographer, and later enlisted Miller to launch his official website.  More at  


Multi-Platinum selling superstar Cole Swindell released his new single “Drinkaby” Jan 27 across all digital platforms. Swindell’s feel-good country rocker will be one of the three new songs included on his upcoming deluxe album Stereotype Broken, available April 28 and available for preorder now at  “’Drinkaby’, from the first time I heard it I pictured it being a huge show opener,” said Swindell. “The guitar lick in the intro just grabs you and doesn’t let you go. I’m not sure if there is such thing as a fun breakup song but that’s kind of what this is. Glad it’s finally out and can’t wait to get out there and play it live. “Drinkaby,” written by Jon Pardi, Jordan Schmidt and Hunter Phelps, follows on the heels of his three Platinum-certified, multi-week No. 1 singles from his fourth album Stereotype: “Never Say Never” featuring Lainey Wilson, “Single Saturday Night” and, most recently, “She Had Me At Heads Carolina,” which remained in the Top 5 for 23 consecutive weeks.  Swindell burst on to the scene with chart-topping, high-energy party anthems like “Chillin’ In,” “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” and “Let Me See Ya Girl.”   Tour dates and more at  


Brothers of the Heart, featuring award-winning americana/bluegrass/country/gospel artists Jimmy Fortune, Bradley Walker, Mike Rogers, and Ben Isaacs, returns with its 12-track sophomore album Listen to the Music (Gaither Music Group), released January 20.  Produced by group member Ben Isaacs (producer for Oak Ridge Boys, Rory Feek and more), the Brothers reimagine country, gospel and pop classics, including “Ring of Fire,” “Desperado” and “Bye Bye Love,” showcasing the super group’s signature seamless harmonies and impeccable arrangements. “I feel like it starts with doing your best to honor the music’s roots,” Isaacs says. “There are little signature licks, and I felt like it was important to not change an arrangement so much that you confuse people. So much of this type of record is about recognizability, so you want to do everything that you can to put your stamp on it but to also honor the originals.” The Brothers will celebrate their new record with a performance on the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday, February 7. Tickets are available for purchase at   Find Listen To The Music album or DVD at  


The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), in partnership with Regions Bank has announced confirmed venues for the 31st Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival. 10 venues, 100 shows and 400 + performances. The festival is scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tuesday, March 28th through Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Music City’s most popular venues spread throughout town. The 2023 Tin Pan South line-up will be revealed and week-long passes will go on sale on March 3rd at 10 AM CST. Pricing is $145 for NSAI members and $175 for general public. Note that passes typically sell out within 48 hours. Individual admission will be available for most shows at the door. Each venue will host numerous rounds throughout the week, showcasing hundreds of songwriters from Nashville and beyond.  The festival will provide information through the official Tin Pan South mobile app, social media, and at and   #tinpansouth


Country Singer/Songwriter and founding member of ACM and AMA award-winning group Trick Pony, Keith Burns is back with a soon-to-be Honky Tonk classic, “Came Here To Drink.”  The new video was shot on Nashville’s Lower Broadway on a Saturday night and It provided Burns and the video’s directors, Riley Mau and Ray T with a constantly changing cast of characters. Come along for the ride as Burns welcomes tourists and locals alike to participate in the fun.

Burns wrote and produced the song with long-time collaborators, Ray T and Isaac Harris and is releasing the track on his label, Song Consortium. It is available now on all digital platforms. “This was by far the most fun I’ve had shooting a video,” Burns said, ” I could feel the electricity and energy from the crowd on the street and the music cranked up loud. The characters, the energy, the music, the interaction, and the lights of Broadway all came together to make what I think is one fantastic video.”More about Keith on Facebook  and Instagram (@keithburnsmusic).


A special congrats going out to Jellyroll. On Jellyroll’s instagram he shared his pure heartfelt gratitude and said, “There is no greater reward for a singer and songwriter in Nashville Tennessee than to have the #1 song on country radio. Now imagine that happening to a guy that grew up in this town… a guy that at every turn the first 25 years of his life he made the wrong decision. Imagine everyone telling that guy he had no chance at country radio. “You’re too overweight, you have too many tattoos, they will never let another convicted criminal on country radio” – now imagine country radio proving everyone wrong and taking the chance on the song, the message and the man. If you can imagine that, then you can understand why I’m so filled with gratitude as tears stream down my face while I type this, I currently have the number 1 song on country radio.” He also thanked his label Stoney Creek and BMG President Jon Loba and his misfits. “Son of a Sinner” is his first number 1 at country radio. It was written by Jellyroll (Jason DeFord), Ernest K. Smith and David Ray Stevens. Jellyroll has a previous number # 1 on the rock charts with “Dead Man Walking.” You can find the number one on his critically acclaimed album Ballads of the Broken. More at


Michael Warren is out on tour ahead of the February 7th release of his debut EP What’s Country To You. Warren, who splits his time between Nashville and Birmingham, is playing a six-date run that will take him to Hawaii to perform for United States Marines stationed at Kaneohe Bay, HI.  “The online reaction to the new music has been amazing and I’m so grateful,” says Warren. “I’m pumped to get out there and play these songs in front of people and feel all that energy live. And getting to perform for the troops on this first run of shows makes it an even better way to kick things off this year.” Warren’s “What’s Country To You” music video premiered on CMT and will headline Nashville’s iconic Whiskey Jam on February 9.  Warren released the EP’s second track, “Another Round,” in January, which earned immediate adds on two playlists at Spotify: New Music Friday Country and Country Frequency. Pre-save What’s Country To You, produced by Aaron Eshuis (Maren Morris, Ryan Hurd, Scotty McCreery), here:  Updates at and Instagram (@michaelwarrenonline).


As the release of sophomore album, the mockingbird & THE CROW grows near, Big Loud Records rule-breaker HARDY is announcing a slew of opportunities for fans to see the all-new music performed live. Following appearances on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and NBC’s Today Show, gearing up for his biggest year yet, HARDY will embark on his sold-out headline the mockingbird & THE CROW Tour on February 16 at Old National Centre in Indianapolis, Ind. Reflecting the nature of his soon-to-be-released project in his selections for tour support, he’ll bring country artist-writer Jameson Rodgers and rock risers Blame My Youth along for the charged-up, 16-date trek.  Fans can pre-add/pre-save the mockingbird & THE CROW at, and can purchase the exclusive box set at   HARDY’s the mockingbird & THE CROW is his dichotomous, 17-track sophomore album and the follow up to critically acclaimed 2020 debut, A Rock. HARDY is the reigning ACM Songwriter of the Year, the 2022 BMI Country Songwriter of the Year, and a two-time AIMP Songwriter of the Year, additionally nominated for New Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Musical Event of the Year at the 2022 CMA Awards. 


Eight-time chart topping songwriter and 2022 Variety Hitmaker ERNEST is doubling down on his investment in Nashville’s songwriting community with the launch of his own publishing venture, ERN’s Cadillac Music, in partnership with Big Loud. Named with his prized 1975 Coupe DeVille in mind, the on-fire artist and tunesmith shared the news with Billboard exclusively, crediting the creation of the years-in-the-making imprint to both his passion for the craft of songwriting, and the time and investment early champions made in him that helped get his foot in the door. “I want to be a source for young writers who haven’t gotten a chance yet to play ball,” ERNEST shares with Billboard, recalling how The Warren Brothers were advocates for him and Mitchell Tenpenny early in their careers.  He kicks things off with three inaugural signings. Partnering with Big Loud Mountain Music, ERN’s Cadillac Music has signed steel guitar player and burgeoning songwriter Chandler Walters, and Kentucky born, artist-writer Cody Lohden. Additionally, Cadillac is partnering with both Big Loud Mountain Music and Mitchell Tenpenny’s High Dime to sign Nashville-native Rafe Tenpenny. More details at  


As January drew to a close, multi-Platinum entertainer Chris Young and the RCA Nashville team landed “Looking For You,” the singer/songwriter’s first solo single in over three years, among the most-added songs at country. “Looking For You” tallied a total 59 combined Billboard and Country Aircheck/Mediabase first week stations including spins on Sirius XM’s The Highway. Listen to “Looking For You” and bonus track “All Dogs Go to Heaven at   Written by Young with Chris DeStefano, James McNair and Emily Weisband and produced by Young and DeStefano, “Looking For You” is the follow-up to back-to-back No. 1s “Famous Friends” and “At The End Of A Bar.” The hypnotic new song, which debuts at #48 on Billboard, leans heavily on a romantic lyrical twist.  The official music video, directed by Peter Zavadil.

Chris stars in the action-packed clip and his 2015 Dodge Challenger, first featured in the music video for his triple-platinum smash “I’m Comin’ Over,” makes a return appearance to the screen as well.  Stream/download “Looking For You” now at  More about Chris at  


Multi-Platinum star Gabby Barrett has the top streaming song total to date by a female artist currently on the Country radio charts, as her Top 5 “Pick Me Up” single is Platinum. Radio host Lon Helton recently surprised Barrett with the official RIAA certification news while she co-hosted Country Countdown USA for the first time.  “That’s awesome. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have the best fanbase in the world,” shared Barrett on-air. “Country music lovers are seriously just the most loyal fanbase I’ve ever seen in my life, so I’m very grateful to be a part of this format. I love this song, so I’m glad other people do too.” As found on the extended version of her acclaimed Platinum debut album, Goldmine (Deluxe) (Warner Music Nashville), Barrett’s backroad ballad – penned by Barrett, Ross Copperman, and Jon Nite – has surpassed 225 million global streams to date and is quickly approaching 5 million views on the adjoining music video. With over 6.3 billion career airplay impressions and 2.5 billion global career streams to her credit, she continues to prove herself as an unstoppable force in the genre.  Tour/ticket info at  


Rising country artist Chris Clark is set to release the single “Glass Half Empty” March 3, 2023. Penned by the twenty-eight-year-old songwriter alongside Tommy Collier (who is widely recognized for his significant role in kickstarting Katy Perry’s career) and produced by Kolt Barber, “Glass Half Empty” spotlights Clark’s wax and wane vocals supported by moody guitar highlights to enliven the emotional reverence.  “The storyline recalls a romance that once poured over with excitement in hope for the future, and now, it just ‘exists.’ The relationship is not 100% true, she’s no longer in it… and in hindsight, he’d do things differently.  If he had a chance for a do-over, he’d work it out to the very last drop, lethal or not!”  Every song Clark that writes and records has a different texture to offer a unique listening experience. His music showcases a talent recognizably set apart by an instinctive artistic individuality that even the early nonbeliever will applaud. “Music is my stimulus both mentally and emotionally; it’s powerful for me personally and has the power to change the world…and even change folks’ minds,” say Clark.  Listen to “Glass Half Empty” at  


Country music legend and SiriusXM host T.G. Sheppard continues to bring some of the hottest names in country music as his special guests on The T.G. Sheppard Show on SiriusXM’s Prime Country (ch. 58). Airing weekly each Friday at 3 pm ET and again on Saturdays at 12 am ET and Wednesdays at 12 pm ET, Sheppard plays some of the biggest hits from the 80s and 90s and shares behind-the-scenes stories with the most recognizable names in country music from that era. With a different guest each week, Sheppard has recently shared exclusive interviews with Reba McEntire, Lee Greenwood, Tracy Lawrence, Barbara Mandrell, The Bellamy Brothers, and Travis Tritt, just to name a few, and is excited to announce his upcoming guests will include Crystal Gayle, Mark Wills, Clint Black, and Jake Owen. T.G. Sheppard fans will not want to miss this one-of-a-kind show, which can also be heard on-demand on the SXM App. “To be part of the SiriusXM Radio family with my own show is more exciting now than ever,” shares Sheppard.  Check out T.G.’s upcoming tour dates at  


Fast-rising country music artist Bryan Martin honors his Native American heritage with his stouthearted new single, “Wolves Cry,” along with a gritty visual premiered by Solo-written by Martin himself, the single offers a glimpse into his upbringing through robust guitar plucks and daring lyrics that convey his feeling of pride and appreciation for where he came from. In conjunction with the release of the single, Martin is officially announcing the release of his third full-length studio album, titled Poets & Old Souls, set to drop on March 31st, 2023 via Average Joes Entertainment. Pre-save, pre-order at  The album promises to be a collection of deeply personal and introspective songs that showcase the Louisiana-native’s growth and evolution. “‘Wolves Cry’ is purely about how I was raised,” shares Martin. “It’s a testament to appreciating your roots, even if you don’t come from much. I want it to serve as a reminder to people to not let your past get in the way of what you really want in life.”  Martin will be joining country star Warren Zeiders on his Pretty Little Poison Tour this Spring as a supporting act. Tickets and more information:       


Two-time CMA Award and two-time CMT Award winner Cody Johnson launched his 2023 touring calendar with sold-out shows in Lafayette, Louisiana at the Cajun Dome and in Southaven, Mississippi at the Landers Center. His remaining January shows were also sold-out. In 2022, Cody enjoyed the most successful touring year of his career to date, looks like ’23 is shaping up to do the same. For tickets and more information on his tour go to  In December, Cody released Cody Johnson & The Rockin’ CJB Live with his longtime touring band. The music transports the listener to a virtual concert as album was recorded during back-to-back-to-back sold- out shows. The album includes a live version if his current radio single, “Human”.  Cody is currently nominated at the upcoming iHeart Awards as “New Country Artist” (March 27) and “Support/Special Guest Act of the Year” at the Pollstar Awards (February 22). Known for his explosive live shows and electrifying stage presence, COJO Music / Warner Music Nashville Platinum recording artist Cody Johnson has established a following of passionately loyal fans who regularly sell out shows across the country. Follow Cody on Instagram and Twitter (@codyjohnson).


Wheelhouse Records singer/songwriter Elvie Shane has released a spine-tingling version of The Rolling Stones’ acclaimed 1968 hit “Sympathy for the Devil” available to listen at   Taken from the forthcoming tribute album Stoned Cold Country – a 60th anniversary celebration to The Rolling Stones from some of Country’s biggest acts – Shane delivers a stirring performance, showcasing his tremendous talent to blend his distinct vocal tone with any genre.  Shane was also just nominated for iHeartRadio Music Award’s “Best New Country Artist” taking place on Monday, March 27th at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, and celebrating the most-played artists and songs on iHeartRadio stations and the iHeartRadio app throughout 2022.  Stoned Cold Country will be released later this year on BMG – featuring Jimmie Allen, Brooks & Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Eric Church, Steve Earle, Elle King, Marcus King, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Shane, Koe Wetzel, The War And Treaty, Lainey Wilson & Zac Brown Band – who inject their own trademark style into the revered music of The Stones, creating a powerful homage to one of the most enduring, trailblazing and influential bands in the world. More at  and twitter and Instagram (@elvieshanemusic).


Teaching songwriting workshops across the country is a great passion for multi-award-winners Donna Ulisse and Jerry Salley, along with Donna’s husband, Rick Stanley.   Through their Lil House Series, these seasoned professionals help songwriters improve their skills through intimate and intensive workshops in truly inspiring settings. They offer exclusive opportunities to actually co-write with pro writers and each other, learn about the industry and the craft of songwriting in a comfortable setting.  Now, the trio has joined forces with Claire Ratliff’s Laughing Penguin Publicity & Consulting for an expanded version of their workshops on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida. The workshop is sponsored, in part, by the Florida Songwriters Association.  Words on the Water is scheduled for March 2-5, 2023 in the charming town of Port St. Joe on Saint Joseph Bay; about 45 minutes east of Panama City.  Words on the Water offers a limited number of participants the opportunity to focus on songwriting, have songs critiqued, cowrite with other workshop participants and with professional writers. All genres are welcome and encouraged: singer/songwriter, country, americana, bluegrass, folk, rock/pop, etc. For more information email  


Immediately following the on-sale for the North American leg of her world tour, three-time Grammy® Award nominated, multiplatinum Kelsea Ballerini has already sold out 5 shows. The sold-out cities include Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. These sell outs follow on the heels of all shows on the upcoming leg of her UK world tour also selling out. Kelsea is out on the road in support of her acclaimed fourth studio album, Subject to Change, of which she’s nominated at the 2023 Grammy® Awards in the category of “Best Country Solo Performance” for “Heartfirst.” This March, Ballerini will launch the second leg of her exclusive Heartfirst Tour. She recently announced nine new intimate headline shows will take place across North America, kicking off on March 6 and running through March 18.  This tour picks up where Ballerini left off with the 2022 fan favorite Heartfirst Tour last fall, which simultaneously launched her critically acclaimed new album Subject to Change. The tour follows a handful of dates on The Judds: The Final Tour and a sold-out jaunt in the UK throughout February. She’ll spend the rest of the Spring on Kenny Chesney’s I Go Back Tour. Updates at  


Broken Bow Records star Dustin Lynch captures the meteoric force of young love in his new Country radio single “Stars Like Confetti” ( that officially hit the airwaves January 30.  Mixing nostalgia and passion into a blast of upbeat Country-Rock, the Josh Thompson, Thomas Rhett, and Zach Crowell-penned track is tailor-made for his exhilarating live shows. Also produced by Crowell, the ringing guitars and classic dobro meet a pounding pulse as the heartbeat to Lynch’s bursting vocal, full of energy and ready to move fans by the tens of thousands.  Likewise, the Chris Hicky-directed music video shows the supernova in his element, surrounded by festivalgoers from Country Jam USA 2022 (Eau Claire, WI) as the life of the party – like he’s done for 10 years straight.  “With this video, we really wanted to capture one of my favorite things about Country music and that’s getting to play at live shows, festivals, and fairs. All of these little pockets across the country are magical and make you realize that, yes – people are coming together, and people are brought together because of Country music,” shares Lynch.


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  Follow her blog at

Send me music stuff, I love to get it! /  TN/USA. Google: “Preshias” #nashvillemusicline

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