Inside Track on Music Row: November Music News

inside track on music row by preshias Harris


“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise” – Psalm 101:1



Fans who follow Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels online may have noticed what appears to be a serious infestation of boll weevil bugs on his social media accounts and website. As it turns out, those critters aren’t boll weevils at all. They’re actually, “Beau Weevils,” and are a nod to Daniels’ upcoming studio album, Beau Weevils – Songs in the Key of E, released on October 26. The new ten-track album features lead vocals, guitar and fiddle by Daniels, James Stroud on drums and percussion, Billy Crain on guitar, and Charlie Hayward on bass.

“Beau Weevils – Songs in the Key of E is the culmination of a long held desire of James Stroud and myself to do a project together,” says Daniels. “We had worked together, with James in the capacity of producer, which had resulted in some of our most successful albums for The Charlie Daniels Band, but James is one of the finest and most soulful drummers in the business and I figured we could get together, musician to musician, and come up with something special. We just needed a vehicle in the form of songs that would fit the bill.” Daniels describes the new recordings as “Downhome, Swampy Rock meets Funk with a little taste of ‘Delta’ type of style.”  Details at



Tom Mackell hails from Philadelphia and debuts a unique sound resembling a cross between outlaw country and Americana. The Nashville based singer/songwriter has released his latest single “Hannah” – the first single from a forthcoming E.P. slated for early 2019. Fusing elements of classic Americana and outlaw country revival with youthful sincerity, “Hannah” explores an old country adage through the lens of a millennial songwriter.  Despite the challenges that inspired the song, Mackell has managed to turn 2018 into a banner year musically, crafting a new album on which “Hannah” will appear, in addition to touring with 90’s stalwart Sister Hazel and securing forthcoming dates with “The Voice” alum Tony Lucca. Music, tour dates and more at



Charlie Daniels has penned a new book that shares his signature wit and powerful lessons that he’s learned from traveling and playing all around the world. ‘Let’s All Make the Day Count: The Everyday Wisdom of Charlie Daniels’ is an entertaining and impactful book for those who have enjoyed his daily “let’s all make the day count” tweets and want to hear more personal stories from his life. Published by Thomas Nelson and available now. “I have leaned heavily on my personal journey and the times I’ve knocked my head against various walls through the years while learning life’s lessons,” Daniels said. “I’ve excerpted segments of my highest and lowest times, my most devastating defeats and most rewarding victories, and how I’ve come to truly value making the day count, every single day.” More at


For the second consecutive year, former Nashville Predators Captain Mike Fisher and superstar singer/songwriter Carrie Underwood hosted a star-studded in Franklin which raised nearly $600,000 for Danita’s Children. The organization is dedicated to educating, empowering, and equipping the children and families of Haiti to become Christ-like leaders.  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam provided the opening prayer for the evening, which was attended by over 450 patrons at the invitation-only event. The event  was highlighted by an intimate concert by Underwood and superstar Brad Paisley. Performance painter Jared Emerson created an amazing work of art over the course of the evening. The painting and numerous other items, trips and experiences were sold through live and silent auctions. The mission of Danita’s Children is to rescue, love, and care for orphaned and impoverished children in Haiti, meeting their needs physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually so that they are empowered to become leaders in their communities and nation.



Heading into the holiday season, multi-GRAMMY® nominated duo Dailey & Vincent are gifting fans their first-ever Christmas record, ‘Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas,’ available from BMG. The collection of Christmas classics and never-before-heard holiday tunes ranked No. 2 on the Amazon’s Holiday Hot New Releases. To order Dailey & Vincent: The Sounds of Christmas, go to Country music icon Dolly Parton collaborated with Dailey & Vincent on the Jimmy Fortune and Jeff Bates penned “Road To Bethlehem.  The bluegrass veterans were also joined by 2018 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, Ricky Skaggs, on a cut of Alabama’s “Tonight It’s Christmas,” which is one of two bonus tracks available exclusively when fans purchase the Christmas record at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations and online at  Tour dates and album info at



After four years in the making, “NASHVILLE SONGWRITER II: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits” (Baker & Taylor) is now available at The new release marks award-winning, Nashville-based music biographer Jake Brown’s 45th published book and the second in the critically-acclaimed series. Country music fans are taken inside the writing room for the true stories behind the writing of 300, No. 1 hits by a collective roster of the biggest multi-platinum country superstars, including Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line, to Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and every major country music artist and band in between. The book features 35 exclusive, chapter-length interviews with country music’s top songwriters such as Shane McAnally, Rhett Akins, Lori McKenna, Luke Laird, Liz Rose, Ashley Gorley, and many more. The book also interviews with some of the biggest publishers on Music Row. It is a WONDERFUL READ and Coffee table book!!! 



He may be an “old-soul” personally, but newcomer Walker Montgomery has one boot firmly entrenched in today’s country music with the release of his hot debut EP, SIMPLE TOWN.  The son of the legendary 90s Country star, John Michael Montgomery, and nephew of Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery, Walker is carving his way into Country music while still showing respect to his rural roots. He has already garnered a respectable amount of success with the title track from his new EP, which has racked up over 1-million streams on his own channel on Spotify in less than a year, and the newest single, “Just Say When,” released just six months ago, boasts over 300,000 streams.   Produced by Colt Ford and Noah Gordon, Walker’s first official release is a diverse reflection of his musical influences, which includes Luke Bryan and Randy Travis, along with his dad and uncle, of course.  More info a Another FYI, Walker and talented newcomer Dillon Carmichael are first cousins. Gotta love Kentucky!



Nashville native Mitchell Tenpenny burst onto the scene earlier this year when his RIAA-certified Gold single, ‘Drunk Me’ hit airwaves across the country. The breakthrough song has earned more than 77 million on-demand streams tracking 3 million a week, and has surpassed 500,000 units of downloads in the U.S. Tenpenny’s debut album, ‘Telling All My Secrets,’ will be available everywhere Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, on the Riser House/Columbia Nashville. The title track is available now with pre-order.  Tenpenny wrote 56 songs in preparation for the album narrowing it down to 11 strong tracks that tell his story including Top 15 single ‘Drunk Me,’ and fan favorite ‘Alcohol You Later.’ His total career streams exceed 104 million, across various platforms. Music and tour info at



It may still be toasty warm in parts of the U.S., but Christmas is just around the corner and, according to Tracy Lawrence, we’ll soon be FROZEN IN TIME. He has released a new soundtrack to give us all a much needed breath of invigorating holiday spirit. Fans can enjoy the festive new music on Vinyl, CD and Digital. FROZEN IN TIME offers a mix of classic holiday favourites and also features four original tracks, including the album’s title track, which Lawrence co-wrote with Rick Huckaby. “Frozen In Time” is a festive nod to family traditions served up Western Swing style, with a side of holiday cheer.



CMA Awards nominees Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban have been announced as the first group of performers for “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” hosted for the 11th consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Country Music’s Biggest Night™ will air live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 14 (7:00 – 10:00 PM/CT) on the ABC Television Network. Ballerini is returning this year with her fourth consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year nomination. Bryan will return this year to vie for his third win in the category. With two nominations this year, Chesney is an eight-time CMA Awards winner including four trophies for Entertainer of the Year. Dan + Shay receive three nominations this year, with two first-time nominations in the Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year categories. Old Dominion, return this year with their third consecutive Vocal Group of the Year nomination. Underwood receives her 13th Female Vocalist of the Year nomination in the category this year. She has garnered 30 CMA Awards nominations since 2006.



Shenandoah has officially released their first music video in more than 20 years, “That’s Where I Grew Up.” CMT Music and exclusively premiered the new video, which also features fellow country star and Florida-native, Michael Ray. Since signing a record deal with BMG, “That’s Where I Grew Up” is the second single to be released from the band’s new album, Reloaded (produced by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts). The new album blends their No. 1 hits such as “The Church on Cumberland Road,” “Two Dozen Roses,” and “Next to You, Next to Me” with three fresh tracks: “That’s Where I Grew Up,” “Little Bit of Livin,'” and their first single since the 90s, “Noise.” The last video Shenandoah released was 1995’s “Heaven Bound (I’m Ready).” In celebration of the video release, Shenandoah and Ray will both perform on Friday, November 2nd at this season’s first Opry at the Ryman. More at



Ricky Skaggs has officially become one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. At the official Medallion Ceremony held in the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s CMA Theatre, Hall of Fame member Garth Brooks, through tear-filled eyes, formally inducted his musical mentor into the historic institution. “It’s kinda hard to believe that this day has really come,” says Skaggs. “To hear someone say, ‘The newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame’ are some of the greatest words you could ever hear this side of Heaven!”   As part of the Class of 2018, Skaggs was inducted into the “Modern Era Artist” category, along with the late great Dottie West in the “Veterans Era Artist” category and the late Johnny Gimble in the “Recording and/or Touring Musician” category. More at



‘Country Faith Christmas Vol. 2’ is a new Christmas album from the faith-based brand, Country Faith. The CD features the top Country Music artists including Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Kelsea Ballerini, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams Jr, Darius Rucker, John Berry and more. Distributed through Curb/Word Entertainment, the album is available now through digital retailers, including Apple Music and Amazon. The CD will be sold exclusively in Cracker Barrel stores and is one of only four featured Christmas releases at Cracker Barrel’s over 600 stores, which are located across the U.S. More at



This year marks the 50th anniversary year of the Country Radio Seminar (CRS) and three-time CMA nominee Jason Aldean will appear as a featured speaker at Country Radio Seminar 2019. Sponsored by BMI, Jason Aldean: “Overcoming Obstacles” at CRS 2019 will take place on Friday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. The 45-minute discussion will feature the multi-Platinum entertainer recalling the path paved by his sure-footed approach that has defined the genre’s 21st century. Leading with his wide-open sound that has spawned more than 17 million total album sales, 21 career No. One hits and eight record-breaking studio albums, Aldean will share his story of resilience, illustrating that victories often come with challenges. He will reflect on the highs as well as the heartaches of childhood dreams that grew into selling out the nation’s largest stadiums and will also elaborate on his longstanding Broken Bow Records deal that put him on the map in 2005, and continued over the years with countless recognition from the GRAMMYs, ACMs, CMAs, BBMAs, People’s Choice Awards and more. His unwavering connection to fans has been the long-standing constant throughout his career, which was tested by the horrific events on Oct. 1, 2017 in Las Vegas and ultimately shed light on the strength of the music community to persevere despite tragedy.


Kip Moore announced he will release ROOM TO SPARE: THE ACOUSTIC SESSIONS EP on November 16. Driven by a promise to fans to share an acoustic EP, Moore shared further insight into the project exclusively with American Songwriter, including the creative process that went in to the seven-song collection and co-writing five of the tracks.  Audiences across the country will also be able to experience the new tracks live this fall as Moore also revealed a limited Room To Spare: Acoustic Tour kicking off in Milwaukee, WI on 11/29. The new EP showcases multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Moore’s signature sound in a stripped-down setting. Music and more at



Garth Brooks will premiere his new primetime television special, GARTH: LIVE AT NOTRE DAME!, Sunday, Dec. 2 (8:00PM-10:00PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The special will capture Brooks while he performs the first live concert ever held at the legendary Notre Dame Stadium, at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, on Saturday, Oct. 20.  “After the sellout, I thought it could not get any more exciting than this,” said Garth Brooks. “Then, CBS calls and in an instant, the show becomes bigger.  This changes everything.”  Garth Brooks is the first artist in history to receive seven Diamond Awards for the seven albums certified by the RIAA at over 10 million album sales each. He remains the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history, certified by the RIAA with over 148 million album sales. Details at



Josh Gracin (“Nothin’ to Lose” and “Brass Bed”) has dealt with trials and tribulations over the years but has redeemed himself, fought demons and come out on top. His new independent label, Revel Road Records has enlisted Reviver Records’ hit-making marketing and promotion staff for his new music and he has inked a management deal with 117 Management. The Kinkead Entertainment Agency will continue to exclusively represent Gracin world-wide and 117 Publicity will handle PR representation. More at



North Dakota native, Joe Schmidt, has released an inspirational single titled ‘Audience Of One.’ A portion of the proceeds will benefit the AO1 Foundation, which was founded in 2017 by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Carson Wentz, with a mission to uplift those in need. The song is available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. The accompanying lyric video has surpassed 100k video views can be viewed at YouTube.   Schmidt, his wife Sherry, Tim Daley and well-known songwriter Bruce Bruch, co-wrote the song that is being promoted to over 2000 radio stations across the country. “Audience of One” shares a heartfelt message of remembering that when the game and cheers are over, God is whom we are performing for in this life. More at



(British Grove Records) In celebration of his upcoming ninth solo studio album, Down The Road Wherever (out November 16 on British Grove Records via Blue Note), Mark Knopfler is set for a 28-date North American tour kicking off on August 16, 2019 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.  Fans are urged to buy tickets from Knopfler’s website rather than resellers as the tickets’ authenticity and price can’t be guaranteed. Check for the best way to buy tickets and for all details of safe fan-to-fan resale sites. Listen/share the premiere single ‘Good On You Son’ via Down The Road Wherever will be available via digital download, CD, double vinyl, deluxe CD with three bonus tracks and a lavish box set that will include the album on both vinyl and deluxe CD and an additional 12” vinyl EP with 4 bonus tracks, a 12” print of the artwork and a 12” guitar tablature of ‘Back On The Dance Floor.’



Current three-time CMA nominee Dierks Bentley wrapped his 2018 MOUNTAIN HIGH TOUR in October in front of a sold-out crowd at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. Since its launch in May, Bentley brought along special guests Brothers Osborne and LANCO, and the tour’s final show included a two-song jam with the entire lineup and surprise guest Dwight Yoakam. Reaching a new creative high, Bentley co-wrote 10 of his current album THE MOUNTAIN’s (Capitol Records Nashville) 13 tracks, which earned him the highest debut sales  of his career and became his seventh chart-topping album. Bentley has amassed billions of digital streams, countless nominations from the  ACMs, Billboard Music Awards and more while earning 13  GRAMMY  nominations – including at least one stemming from each of his last six albums. For more information visit



‘Train’ is the latest creative outing from singer/songwriter Hannah Bethel. The single is available to fans via all major digital outlets. Additionally, the music video for ‘Train’ premiered exclusively on ‘Train’ was co-written by Bethel and sister, Wynter Bethel, and produced by Brad Hill and Lalo. The music video was filmed and directed by Dawson Waters in the mountains and deserts of West Texas. Bethel has spent the past few years touring the United States, performing shows from Alaska to New Jersey and everywhere in between. She has shared the stage with such artists as Joe Nichols, Rodney Atkins, Trisha Yearwood, Charlie Worsham, Buddy Jewell, Frankie Ballard, Canaan Smith and Nine Days. More info at



The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) celebrated its eighth annual Honors Gala on Wednesday, November 7 at the Hermitage Hotel, Nashville. This year’s honorees were: Bill Anderson – Grand Ole Opry Icon & Country Music Hall of Fame Member; Stan Barnett – Legendary Agent at CAA Celebrating 50 Years In Music; Mercy Me  – Christian Music Superstars with 28 #1 Hits; George Moffett  – Talent Buying & Concert Promoting Visionary; Kathleen O’Brien – Tennessee Performing Arts Center President & CEO; and Ray Shelide – Legendary Veteran Booking Agent at APA. NATD was founded in 1958 and professionally represents, directs, and promotes the entertainment industry through its members. For more about NATD and the Gala, visit



Darius Rucker, Derek George and Scooter Carusoe were honoured at a Number One party, hosted by ASCAP and First Tennessee Bank  held at ASCAP’s Nashville office. ‘For the First Time,’ Rucker’s ninth Number One, produced by Ross Cooperman, is the second single from the album, ‘When Was the Last Time’ (Capitol Nashville).‘For The First Time’ is the third Number One for Derek George as a writer. For Scooter Carusoe, the song is his fifth as a songwriter and his fifteenth as a publisher. Before the award ceremony, Darius, Derek and Scooter sat down to take questions from music industry journalists. Asked what it felt like when he heard that the song had reached Number One, Darius said with a chuckle that he found out when he was on the road.

“I want to say something that Charles Kelly said to me that will always stand the test of time. He said, ‘that never gets old.’ And I was like, yeah, that never, ever gets old. It’s always awesome.” Darius has gotten to play every venue on his music bucket list except one: The Royal Albert Hall in London. And he will get to do that during his UK and Europe tour in November. “It’s the last venue in the world that I’ve want to play and haven’t,” he said.  “And I cannot wait to get there.”



NASHVILLE, TN – AUGUST 01: Gregg Jennings, John Dittrich, Larry Stewart, Dave Innis and Paul Gregg of the country band Restless Heart visit SiriusXM Studios on August 1, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Restless Heart recently took over the airwaves on SiriusXM’s Prime Country with multiple airings of a special live in-studio performance and interviews. The shows took place in Nashville’s Music City Theatre before a live subscriber-based audience, where the group talked about their storied country music career and performed several of their classic hit songs including, ‘The Bluest Eyes in Texas,’ ‘Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right),’ and ‘When She Cries.’  Restless Heart is currently on the road, performing their biggest career hits on the group’s ‘35th Anniversary Tour.’ For tour dates, visit



Josh Ward is one of the most recognizable names in Texas, an All-Star player whose music has become a landmark at radio with ten consecutive #1 hit singles to his credit. Add to that social media numbers that rank in the millions, a presence on both the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and the iTunes Country Chart, and a robust tour schedule offering over 200 dates a year. Ward now has his first national release with his new single “Ain’t It Baby,” the second single off his new album “More Than I Deserve” and the first to hit mainstream radio stations.  A moonlit serenade reminiscing about stealing first base, “Ain’t It Baby” is already finding a home in major markets.  Music, tour dates and more at



Thomas Rhett concluded his 2018 LIFE CHANGES TOUR at the end of October with a string of capacity shows in Anaheim, Los Angeles and Sacramento. Launching the fall tour leg in September with special guests Brett Young and Midland, Thomas Rhett drew in thousands of appreciative fans. “I can’t even imagine having more fun than I did on tour this year,” Thomas Rhett said. “I’ve had some of the most memorable nights of my career performing at incredible venues for the greatest fans in the world. And to get to do it all alongside talented friends like Brett Young and Midland made it a total blast.” Details at



Country music star and LGBTQ advocate Ty Herndon is releasing a series of four songs aimed at heating up the dance floor. Herndon has spent the past few months traveling the country playing at Pride Festivals and sharing moments with his fans, so he decided to give them something special. “I have truly had the time of my life playing Pride festivals across America,” states Herndon. “But, as much as the fans love country music, I noticed that I needed to bump up the party factor a bit.” Herndon hit the studio with DJ Little Steve to cut four songs which are debuting  each week for  four weeks, the first being a cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”Details at

Re Mattei, has released the lyric video for her current single “Feels Like It’s Gonna Rain” which was written by Carrie Underwood, Don Poythress and Barry Dean and released exclusively on The Country Note. It is the second single off her current project and is steadily moving up the MusicRow Chart. Mattei, a Berklee College of Music graduate and International touring, recording and performing artist, said “From the moment I heard this song I fell in love with it. I listened to it for six months before deciding to do it and every time I played it I would have tears in my eyes.” She added, “I had no idea Carrie Underwood was one of the co-writers, but I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to sing it.” Details at




Gary Allan, Ashton Shepherd, Kenny Chesney,  Lady Antebellum,

Runaway June, William Michael Morgan.

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