Inside Track on Music Row: May 2020 Music News


The Band Steele aren’t letting the current pandemic slow them down, even if they can’t play in public venues. Before the pandemic, they have opened for top acts including Maren Morris, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, Diamond Reo and John Michael Montgomery. Like many artists, they are live-streaming their “Quarantine Sessions” on Sunday evenings via Facebook, but are also releasing new music. “You’re Gonna Have to Miss Me,” the new single from Bo Steele and Ben Rubino, the duo known as the Band Steele, is the follow-up to “Copper Coil.” It’s a mid-tempo, emotional ballad with the guy telling his girl that he’s leaving his hometown to follow his dream to Nashville and “I’ve left my old songs behind” but he’ll be back someday. It’s a heartfelt song of lovers parting, not knowing what the future holds. With 6 million Spotify streams (190,500+ Spotify fans), 446,500 Facebook followers and 33,100 YouTube subscribers, the Band Steele has fans in the millions. “You’re Gonna Have to Miss Me” looks set to add to the stats. Music and more info at  and on Facebook at   


CJ Solar’s third EP, Coming My Way, was released this month on Sea Gayle Records. CJ continues to promote his new single, “Watered Down Whiskey,” and songs from his Get Away With It and Hard One To Turn Down EPs via live stream concerts from his home in Nashville.  CJ co-wrote all six cuts on Coming My Way. He co-wrote “Watered Down Whiskey” with Charlie Berry and partnered with Smith Ahnquist, Brent Anderson, Jordan Brooker, Jacob Davis, Bob DiPiero, Mark Fuhrer, Jason Gantt, Michael Hardy, Neil Medley and Jake Mitchell on the other five songs. “Watered Down Whiskey” follows his first Top 10 hit, “Coming My Way,” which also peaked at #31 on the Billboard Indicator Chart. The song deals with being crushed after a breakup and no one new quite measuring up to that last relationship. More about CJ and links to his music on all platforms at  


During the current lockdown, for the past few weeks, Steve Wariner has hosted #WarinerWednesday live on Facebook. On the fifth episode, he was joined – remotely – by Garth Brooks. Steve and Garth reminisced about the 22nd anniversary of Burnin’ The Roadhouse Down, which included the title track duet with Brooks and also happened to be Steve’s first album release with Capitol Records, Garth’s label at the time.

Throughout his illustrious career, Wariner has been inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame, and is one of only five guitar players in the world to be given the “Certified Guitar Player” (CGP) award by Chet Atkins. Wariner is also a four-time Grammy winner, and in October, Garth inducted Steve into the revered Musicians Hall of Fame.  More about Steve and his Wariner Wednesday shows at .

You can also listen to all the songs featured on the episodes on his #WarinerWednesday Spotify Playlist.


Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival, in partnership with Live Nation, is rescheduled for Oct 2-4, 2020 at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, FL. Continuing its commitment to the health and safety of fans, partners, employees, artists and the community, the beachside festival will now be held in October with performances by headliners Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw. Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Barenaked Ladies, Gabby Barrett, Lee Brice, Blanco Brown, Billy Currington, Jordan Davis, Gone West ft. Colbie Caillat, Riley Green, Caylee Hammack, HARDY, Hirie, Jon Pardi, Jon Langston, Tracy Lawrence, LOCASH, Pitbull, Runaway June, Cole Swindell, Toots and the Maytals, Vanilla Ice, Morgan Wallen, Ya’boys and additional artist Michael Ray will also take the Main Stage and Sunset Stage. Tenille Arts, Tyler Booth, Ashland Craft, Cale Dodds, Angie K, Trea Landon, Kendell Marvel, Walker Montgomery, Niko Moon, Kylie Morgan, Meghan Patrick, Brandon Ratcliff, Tyler Rich, Sean Stemaly and Hailey Whitters are also set to perform on the festival’s third “Next From Nashville” stage. All passes already purchased for April will be honored in October. With the festival raising funds and promoting awareness of the issues that the world’s oceans currently face, as well as supporting marine conservation and research. Full ticketing and lineup details for the rescheduled dates are available at: For more info and updates, visit, Tweet: @FestivalTortuga #TortugaFest, Instagram: @TortugaMusicFestival #TortugaFest, Snapchat: @TortugaFest, Facebook:


My friend Neo-traditional Country singer/songwriter Tommy Townsend has released the hard-hitting “Drinkin’,” the first single from his Turn Back The Clock album. Produced by Shooter Jennings (Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile) and written by Holly Williams, the single and album were released on Jennings’ Black Country Rock label.

Townsend has a long history with the Jennings family. Waylon and his longtime bass player, Jerry “Jigger” Bridges, produced music on Townsend over the span of several years that was released as an album several years ago.  The seven-song Turn Back The Clock album is available for streaming, download, cd and vinyl. In 2008, Tommy joined the Waymore’s Outlaws as the lead singer. The reformed and renamed Waylors includes Richie Albright on drums, Jerry “Jigger” Bridges on bass and Fred Newell (another 😊 friend) on steel guitar. The band toured the world singing Waylon classics and new material in the Waylon vein. From 2014-2017, the band opened for Shooter Jennings and then backed his set. Listen to the album at  


Scott Mulvahill’s newest single, “Joy,” is now available, on the heels of Himalayas, his acclaimed debut album that shone a light not only on Scott’s skills as a multi-instrumentalist but also as a songwriter and performer. “Joy,” with its bright bounce and melodic hooks, marks the beginning of a new chapter for Scott Mulvahill. The song emphasizes the feel-good thrill of spreading happiness throughout the world, and the video doubles down on that message. Not only does the video feature Mulvahill; it also includes submitted clips from more than 80 families, fans, and friends from all over the world — some from as far away as Portugal. “‘Joy’ is both a timeless and a timely song,” says Mulvahill. “Having listeners contribute to the video was the perfect way to get at the heart of its message. There’s a theme of togetherness that, to me, is especially beautiful right now, because we can’t have all the togetherness we want. This was a way to fill the gap a little bit, and let people express their ‘joy’ in a community of sorts.”


Years after co-writing the #1 hit “I Don’t Dance” together, country hitmaker Lee Brice and veteran songwriter Rob Hatch are teaming up once again. This time, the two entrepreneurially-minded artists are collaborating on something new: Pump House Records. An artist development collective and “launch pad,” founded by Lee, Rob, Elisha Hoffman (renowned producer/engineer/songwriter) and veteran business leaders Derek and Kristi Hutchins, Pump House Records is unlike any other company in Nashville. It’s a collective “run by artists, for artists,” says Rob, “with a family-like bond and an all-hands-on-deck work ethic.” For proof, look no further than the company’s first project: a new album by singer/songwriter Nick Norman, recorded at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Studios, Nashville, and produced by Lee, Rob, and Elisha. “This label is a group of friends supporting friends,” says Rob, whose handful of #1 hits include Justin Moore’s “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and Randy Houser’s “Goodnight Kiss.” “It’s always been that way with us.” Details at    

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