Inside Track on Music Row – January 2019

Music News including Number One News, Touring News, Music Video Releases, Country Radio Seminar, Tin Pan South, Grand Ole Opry Inductions, Who's Looking and Who's Cutting, and More!

inside track on music row by preshias Harris

“If I am chasing your dream faster than you, then I am in the wrong dream.” – Preshias © (TM)

Photo Credit:

Esquire Magazine announced their “10 Best Country Albums of 2018” in December. And the list doesn’t exactly match current Country Radio airplay, either. Esquire’s pick for No. 1 on their list: ‘Best Years of My Life’ by Pistol Annies ( Miranda lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley). ‘Desperate Man’ from Eric Church is No. 2 and Brandi Carlile’s ‘By The way, I Forgive You’ takes third place.  Also in the magazine’s top ten: albums by Willie Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Dierks Bentley, and more. Read the full article at

(l-r): Daniel Miller, Fusion Music/ACM Board member; Jacob Davis; Kele Currier, ASCAP Senior Director, Strategic Services/ACM Board member; Carlton Anderson; JT Harding; Erick Long, ACM SVP, Events; Erika Wollam Nichols, GM, The Bluebird Café. Credit: Bluebird Cafe

Here’s a heads-up about an upcoming event that joins together ASCAP, The Bluebird Café, The ACM and the Sundance Film Festival. For over 20 years, ASCAP has hosted a Music Café in the heart of the Sundance Film Festival, featuring intimate performances by songwriters and artists. In January 2019, ASCAP continues the tradition, and in collaboration with the ACM and the Bluebird, will present some of Nashville’s rising stars and country legends at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café. In January, singer/songwriters Carlton Anderson and Jacob Davis will be joined by some very special guests at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café. The complete lineup will be announced in early 2019. 

ASCAP VP of Membership Michael Martin said, “Music and film are undeniably intertwined, and the Sundance ASCAP Music Café is a truly unique opportunity to showcase Nashville’s best. We are thrilled to partner with two iconic Country music institutions, the ACM and The Bluebird Cafe, to bring our talented songwriters and artists to one of the world’s most renowned film festivals.“ Updates at


Kentucky girl and upcoming superstar, Carly Pearce tweeted on her social media on her engagement to Michael Ray. Carly & Michael co-hosted on WSM on 12/31 with Coffee, Country and Cody.

Carly also tweeted out “So much has changed in my world and I’m so excited to share the first song from this chapter of my story. My new single. “Closer to You.” I hope you love it as much as I do.” The duo got together at the 2018 CRS New Faces Show, in which they both were a part of. YES, Michael was the inspiration behind the song.  

Photo by Peyton Hoge

The release of Bryan Wayne’s ‘While You Wait’ album was celebrated at SESAC’s Nashville office recently. Diagnosed with terminal ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) last year, Bryan recorded the album for his wife, two boys and an industry that continues to support his dreams. The 14-song collection is available at

“I made this record, because I knew I’d lose my voice and I wanted my boys, friends and family to hear me singing my songs forever no matter what,” said Bryan. “So many friends and family over the years had asked me when was I ever going to make a record of my own too, so here it is!” 

At the celebration, Wayne was joined by friends that included Ashley Gorley (who performed the title cut), Neil Thrasher, Bonnie Baker, Jason Blaine, Joanna Janet and Big & Rich. Donations may be made to Bryan Wayne Galentine and Family by sending a check (made payable to Bryan Wayne Galentine) to: Bryan Wayne Galentine  c/o Chris Burch, 1012 16th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212.  A Gofundme account has also been set up at


Drake White’s latest release, ‘Drake White and The Big Fire Live’ — a four-song live EP — is now available at all digital retailers.

“We love playing live because we get to connect – it’s all about the people in the room. The audience is like another instrument,” said Drake of the EP. “The crowd noise is as much a part of the song as the song itself. Spontaneity and imperfection are two ingredients in the gumbo that give it that spice, that fire.” 

Drake has previously toured with Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Toby Keith and more. He was featured in Entertainment Weekly’s New Artists Who Will Rule 2017, Rolling Stone’s 10 Country Artists You Need To Know and Billboard’s Hot New Country Artists to Watch. More at


Country artists and their fans are among the best when it comes to showing their love for animals and helping animals in need (Think Michael Ray and his ‘Wrigley Cares’ project). And that compassion is worldwide. The German-based Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show, one of the top European Country Music magazines, wants to show their support for Friends 4 Romanian Paws.  They do a great job of helping dogs from Romania to find a loving home where they will have a better life. Friends 4 Romanian Paws is a relatively new non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the Romanian stray dog problem at its very root. To accomplish this they are working with four shelters in Romania.

The magazine’s editor, Christian Lamitschka, said, “As you can see there is a lot of work to be done and we hope that we can count on your much-needed support because only with that support we can reach our goal of Romania being free of stray dog suffering.”

There’s more info at and on Facebook. More about the magazine (with English text) at

CRB NEWS: (Country Radio Broadcasters)

The Country Radio Seminar will be held in Music City, February 13th through 15th at Nashville’s Omni Hotel. Billed as the largest annual gathering of country radio executives, programmers and air personalities in the world, CRS is where established and aspiring country artists get to mingle with the decision makers who play their songs on the radio. A highlight of CRS is always the New Faces Show, this year featuring performances by Jimmie Allen, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Lanco and Dylan Scott at the CRS Performance Hall on February 15th  at 7pm. These five artists were selected from an initial list of 13 nominees. That list was narrowed down to five acts after being voted on by full-time radio employees. The event is co-sponsored by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the annual new artist showcase. Additionally, this year’s Seminar will include an artist interview session, a Grand Ole Opry Show, the ever-popular Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley (featuring performances by Nashville’s top hit songwriters) and numerous break-out educational sessions for the radio industry attendees. CRS is a production of the Nashville-based non-profit organization, Country Radio Broadcasters. More info on the SOLD OUT event at


The Garth man revealed his plans for a massive stadium tour at a press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in October. Here are the updates. The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour was set to hit Minneapolis on May 4, but after the concert date sold out in under an hour, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton asked Brooks to add a second show at the U.S. Bank Stadium. Brooks confirmed to Governor Dayton on a conference call, that he will extend his stay for a second show in Minneapolis on May 3 at 7PM. The Minneapolis dates are part of a massive stadium tour that will find Brooks performing in 10-12 stadiums each year for the next three years. Garth has satisfied thousands of fans by adding a second stop in Minneapolis on his upcoming 2019 stadium tour. Nearly 50,000 of Garth’s closest fans who tried to purchase tickets to the first show may now have a chance to see the country legend live in-the-round next year. Tickets for the May 3 show will cost $94.95.


The 61st GRAMMY Awards will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York on February 10th 2019, airing live on CBS from 7:30pm–11pm Eastern Time. The Recording Academy has nominated Joan Baez’s ‘Whistle Down The Wind,’ her first new studio record in ten years, for Best Folk Album. Fans can purchase the album at Amazon. Baez is extending her final formal tour, the extensive “Fare Thee Well Tour,” into 2019 including stops at New York’s Beacon Theatre, Selma’s Walton Theatre, D.C.’s Warner Theatre, Northampton’s John M. Greene Hall, Knoxville’s Tennessee Theatre, Austin’s Paramount Theatre, two dates at Port Chester’s Capitol Theater and more. Tickets available at ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ debuted at #18 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums chart and #4 on the Americana/Folk Albums chart—Baez’s strongest chart position since 1975’s Diamonds & Rust.


Indie artist Hannah Bethel celebrated a year of “firsts” in 2018. It was a watershed year that saw her garner wider industry accolades and recognition for her musical talents. In the summer, Bethel entered the recording studio with her producers Brad Hill and Lalo to record “Train,” a song that she had written with her sister Wynter, and one that she believed would alter the course of her career. She then traveled to the deserts of west Texas with producer and director Dawson Waters to film the cinematic and visually engaging music video for “Train.” As a fitting cap to her year, on December 17 in a live acoustic performance at The Listening Room in Nashville, Bethel was welcomed as one of the newest members of Song Suffragettes, a collective of some of the best and brightest established and rising female artists working in Nashville today. Music and more at


Iconic Country Band, ALABAMA will celebrate five decades of music in 2019. Their “50th Anniversary Tour,” will sweep the United States with nearly 30 live concerts already on the books. “We never thought playing for tips at The Bowery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, that 50 years later we would still playing arenas, stadiums and festivals,” says ALABAMA frontman Randy Owen. The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Oak Ridge Boys, Restless Heart, Chris Janson, Tracy Lawrence and Exile will join ALABAMA on select dates during the tour. It kicks off on January 10 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Additional dates will be announced soon. Tour updates at


Newly elected CMA Board of Directors officers (effective Jan. 1) are current Board President, BMI’s Jody Williams, who assumes the Chairman post as The Fitzgerald Hartley Company’s Bill Simmons completes his term; Townsquare Media’s Kurt Johnson, President; Red Light’s Mary Hilliard Harrington, President-Elect; and Big Loud’s Clay Hunnicutt, Secretary/Treasurer. Girlilla Marketing’s Jennie Smythe assumes the post of CMA Foundation Chairperson, while current Chair, Galante Entertainment Organization’s Joe Galante, becomes CMAF Vice Chair. (Information courtesy of Country Aircheck Today,


Arista’s LANCO have extended their headlining ‘Hallelujah Nights Tour’ into May 2019 with UK shows and added Caylee Hammack and Bailey Bryan as support. 2019 stops include Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton in Canada; London, Manchester Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow in the UK, in addition to a full roster of US dates. Tour info at


(MCA Records/Nashville) Kip Moore is extending his ROOM TO SPARE: ACOUSTIC TOUR. The stacked run will kick off in Chicago, IL on 3/7/19 and will wrap with international shows in The U.K. and Canada. The newly revealed dates follow a limited fall run, which saw Moore playing all sold-out dates. Charlie Worsham and vocal duo, Muscadine Bloodline are set to join Moore on select dates next year. Tickets now available via                                                                                                                                    

(Show Dog Nashville) Krystal Keith closed 2018 with the release of new music, a familiar celebration she has experienced all year long. Following her November release of the Christmas song ‘O Holy Night,’ in December her collaboration with Colt Ford on a cover of Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” was made available as part of Ford’s collection of cover songs ‘Colt Covers Vol. 1.’ Another collaboration – ‘Anyone Else’ with label mate Lance Carpenter – became the lead single for her 2018 release, ‘Boulder.’ The EP of five original songs came out in July.  ‘Boulder’ followed Krystal’s celebrated debut album ‘Whiskey & Lace’ as well as a two-year hiatus in which she welcomed her first child.  2019 is looking just as productive with new music and more touring on the horizon. More at


Contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith will be the subject of a once-in-a-lifetime tribute event, promoted by Outback Concerts and produced by Tony Conway of Conway Entertainment Group.  Friends and fellow musicians will pay tribute to Smith on April 30, 2019, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. Celebrating his remarkable 35-year career will include Amy Grant, Bob Goff, Brian Littrell from the Backstreet Boys, CeCe Winans, Chonda Pierce, Danny Gokey, Donnie McClurkin, Francesca Battistelli, The Gatlin Brothers, The Isaacs, Jars of Clay, Jason Crabb, Jim Brickman, Jordan Smith, Jordin Sparks, Justin Flom, Laura Story, Lee Greenwood, Mac Powell, Matt Maher, Matthew West, MercyMe, Natalie Grant, Newsboys, The Oak Ridge Boys, Phillips, Craig and Dean, Randy Travis, Ricky Skaggs, Russ Taff, Sandi Patty, Scott Hamilton, Vince Gill, Wayne Kirkpatrick and the Original MWS Band, Wynonna and more to be announced soon. at all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena.


Regular readers of this column know how impressed I am with teen prodigy EmiSunshine. Now Emi is celebrating the news surrounding her guest appearance and performance in the GRAMMY-nominated film “The King.” Produced by Eugene Jarecki, “The King” is among the list of films in the “Best Music Film” category (the award winner will be announced at the 61st GRAMMY Awards ceremony in February 2019). The soundtrack highlights two EmiSunshine self-penned/self-produced tracks (“Danny Ray“/“Johnny, June and Jesus“) and a special vocal performance of “Blue Yodel Number 6.” Emi also appears in the film. The story is told from the back seat of Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce.  It carries performers on a music-filled road trip across the U.S. picking up passengers (famous and not-so-famous) as they travel through America, at a crossroads, in the midst of the 2016 election. Emi was just twelve years old when she made her acting debut joining other notable folks, who also appear in the back seat, including Alec Baldwin, Ethan Hawke, Ashton Kutcher and Stax Music Academy singers. More info at


Another Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival will be here before we know it! Mark your calendars for March 26-30, 2019 and be part of the 27th Annual festival for five incredible nights of stories and songs at ten of our favorite venues around town.  You can ‘like’ Tin Pan South on Facebook and follow @tinpansouth on Twitter and Instagram to receive updates on Performers, Fast Access Passes, Venue Information and more.

(L to R): Beth Brinker (ASCAP), Jody Stephens, Craig Wiseman, Tommy Cecil, Jake Owen and David Lee. Photo: Preshias Harris

Jake Owen’s NUMBER ONE Party for “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)” had the CMA Special events room packed with music industry execs, songwriters, publishers, agents, radio promotion people, managers, special guests, family and friends. They were all celebrating Jake’s 7th number one song and his first single released on Big Loud Records. The songwriters being honored were David Ray, Tommy Cecil, Jody Stevens, Craig Wiseman, and John Mellencamp, along with producer Joey Moi. The party was co-hosted by ASCAP and BMI. The best part was seeing everyone sincerely excited for Jake. He really is a super nice guy. Jake has also been added to the lineup for Luke Bryan’s “CRASH MY PLAYA – 5TH YEAR FIESTA,” that is set for Wednesday January 23rd through Saturday, January 26th, 2019 in Riviera Maya, Mexico. FYI: Jake his girlfriend Erica Hartlein prepares to welcome another daughter in late spring/early summer 2019. More info on Jake Owen, including tour info, at his website  and Facebook.


Congrats to my friend Mark Wills who will be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. Vince Gill surprised Mark with the invitation on stage at the Opry on December 21. Mark was speechless with emotion, falling to his knees and covering his face with his hands. “I always liked him,” said Vince. “Now I like him even more. He’s a crybaby like me!”  I am so happy for Mark. We have known each other since the 1990s and he has always been a big supporter of the Opry (as Vince mentioned during his invitation). Mark released his first single – “Jacob’s Ladder” – way back in 1996, and chalked up two No. 1 hits, “19 Something” and “She’s in Love.” Other chart hits include “I Do (Cherish You),” “Back at One,” “She’s In Love” and “Places I’ve Never Been.”  The formal induction ceremony is set for January 11, 2019, at the Grand Ole Opry. Find tour info and more at


January 7th is the day the “Music Industry” gets back to semi-normal from the holidays. Headed out on radio tour are Gabe Walsh and Landon Magee for their radio single “Once Upon A Time.” It’s available at all digital retail sites and streaming.


WAY To Go — Kiefer Sutherland’s passion for the road and appreciation for the men and women behind the big rigs appears in his new featured track, “Open Road,” from his forthcoming album, Reckless & Me. Kiefer will also return to the road for select tour dates in 2019, including performances in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado as well as France, Germany and England.  After 50 shows in 3 months across 9 countries in 2018, Kiefer will continue playing select festivals and venues across North America and Europe in 2019. During his lengthy shows, he also covers some of his favorite songs from Merle Haggard and Tom Petty. Musically his shows encompass country, rock, blues and Americana driven by his gritty vocals and anchored by his gift for telling compelling stories in his songwriting. Tour dates and more info at


‘Raised On Country’ is Chris Young’s newest single, and he’s getting fans amped up with a fun new contest online. “I reference a whole lot of artists that I grew up listening to in the song by name, so I’m going to post this link, you guys can go vote, and every week, whoever gets the highest number of votes, artist-wise, I will go record one of my favorite songs of theirs that I grew up on and really made me raised on country,”

In the promo video, Chris says the new single is coming “very, very soon, although I’m not going to say exactly when yet. Very soon!” Chris’ latest number one single from the “Losing Sleep” album is, “Hangin’ On.” Young also announced a limited series of concerts slated for the U.K. in 2019. Chris will take his headlining Losing Sleep World Tour overseas in May of 2019 for shows in Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London, accompanied by support act Lindsay Ell. Tickets for the U.K. leg of the Losing Sleep World Tour on sale at Young’s official website at


Legendary southern rock group The Marshall Tucker Band has revealed the first leg of live concert dates for its newly announced Through Hell & High Water… And Back Tour 2019. The first round of dates includes stops in Las Vegas, NV, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Verona, NY, Scottsdale, AZ, Glenside, PA, Mobile, AL, Charleston, SC, and the 2019 Southern Rock Cruise.  Entering their 48th year on the road with nearly 30 live concerts already on the books, the iconic band shows no signs of slowing down.  “When we started the band in the early 70s, we did it for beer money on the weekends,” reminisces Marshall Tucker Band lead singer Doug Gray. “Never in a million years would I have believed that we’d still be out here jammin’ for as long as we have. What a journey… onward we ride!” The tour kicks off on January 4 in Clearwater, FL at the Capitol Theatre. More dates will be announced soon at


Jimmie Allen has new tour dates lined up for 2019. Allen made history as the first black artist to launch their career with a No. 1 at Country radio. Fans will have a chance to see Allen on the road this winter playing direct support to Scotty McCreery on his Seasons Change Tour and playing select dates on Kane Brown’s Live Forever Tour. The epitome of the phrase “persistence pays off,” Jimmie Allen laid it all on the line to make his dreams a reality. Now signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, Allen’s debut single “Best Shot” is a certified hit, claiming the spot as the No. 1 Most Shazamed song in the format for eight consecutive weeks, and also claimed the No. 1 on Country radio for two weeks. Tour updates at


Berklee College of Music graduate and International touring, recording and performing artist, Re Mattei, has released a personal and enlightening behind-the-music video for her current single “Feels Like It’s Gonna Rain,” which reached #61 on the MusicRow Country Breakout Chart. Watch the behind the music video on Facebook and YouTube. “I always love hearing the stories behind the songs artists sing. Sometimes it is fate that leads the artist to the song they feel was meant especially for them,” Said Re Mattei. “That is the case with ‘Feels Like It’s Gonna Rain.’” The song was written by Carrie Underwood, Don Poythress and Barry Dean. Listen to Re Mattei music on all digital platforms; more info at and social media.



Gary Allan, Brooke Eden, Dierks Bentley, Jess Taylor, and Heath Coleman

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

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

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