Inside Track on Music Row with Preshias Harris

November News Includes Awards Recaps, Tour News, Label News, Who is Looking, Who is Cutting and More

Preshias Harris provides this exclusive monthly column with Nashville Music Guide to keep artists, musicians, writers and more up to date on the news that is coming from music row and beyond. It includes music industry news from labels, publishers, writers, singers and more.


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


george strait_strait to vegasGeorge Strait has been riding high at the top of Soundscan and Billboard’s country albums charts, powering into the No. 1 position on both with his latest MCA Nashville release, ‘Cold Beer Conversation.’ The album – Strait’s 29th studio album and 26th to top the country charts – has sold more than 112,000+ copies to date as he prepares to launch an exclusive concert series at the Las Vegas Arena opening in April 2016. All six dates for his “Strait to Vegas” run are currently sold out, with more shows to be added to accommodate the overwhelming demand. Kacey Musgraves will join Strait as support on all dates.  More at or



steve warnierKentucky native, Steve Wariner has signed with The Collective Music Group (TCMG) for management. TCMG President Brinson Strickland is Wariner’s manager. Respectively, Steve remains with Essential Broadcast Media for publicity and Red 11 Music for booking representation. More at



photo by John Shearer/BMI
photo by John Shearer/BMI

Singer/songwriter Mac Davis was honored as the BMI Icon at the 2015 BMI Country Awards Nov. 3 in Nashville. Davis charted as an artist with songs including “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me,” “It’s Hard To Be Humble” and “Texas In My Rear View Mirror.” His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley (“In The Ghetto,” “Don’t Cry Daddy,” “A Little Less Conversation”) and Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (“Something’s Burning”), among many others. Davis is a member of both the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the national Songwriters Hall of Fame.



jason aldean _ burn it downBroken Bow’s Jason Aldean wrapped his last day (10/24) for the 2015 Burn It Down Tour in West Palm Beach, FL with a $615,000 donation to Susan G. Komen South Florida. The money was raised from a portion of ticket sales over the course of the tour and the night marked Aldean’s 10th Annual Concert for the Cure for the organization. More information visit



bobby braddock _ a life of nashville's music rowA Life on Nashville’s Music Row is the title of a new tell-all book by Country Music Hall of Famer, The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer and superstar songwriter Bobby Braddock who wrote or co-wrote so many genre-defining hits (“D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” etc.) over the many decades he has spent in Nashville. Rightly considered one of the greatest Country music songwriters of all time, Braddock reveals the good, the bad and the ugly about working in the music industry, and about his own personal and creative challenges.  This is a ‘must read’ for every artist, musician and songwriter, as well as for anyone with an interest in Braddock’s unflinching insight into life on Nashville’s Music Row. More info at





hunterhayes_ the 21 projectHunter Hayes has been exploring different ways to share new music with fans throughout the summer, and on Friday, Nov. 6 the Atlantic / Warner Music Nashville artist offered up his latest creation with the release of The 21 Project. Featuring three discs – one acoustic, one studio and one live – the special collection showcases the life of seven songs through each variation. Tracks include Hayes’ current Top 25-and-climbing single, “21,” as well as a brand new song, “I Mean You.”  Hayes embarked on his 21 Tour on October 22, playing a limited run of dates.  He collaborated with Spotify to help route his upcoming tour, targeting college markets with high densities of fans who stream Hayes’ music. Details at



journey home projectThe Journey Home Project, co-founded by Charlie Daniels, has committed $50,000 to help equip the new Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University which opened Nov. 5. The contribution comes from funds raised at the 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam, which took place on Aug. 12 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Daniels and his long-time manager, David Corlew, co-founded The Journey Home Project as a non-profit organization to assist other not-for-profits to secure funds to benefit veterans.  The center will have distinctive space for discussions, study sessions and will be staffed by fellow student veterans, who will serve as peer advisers and sponsors, according to Huber. There will also be a conference room for video teleconferencing and employer job interviews. More at



icm awardsThe 21st Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards were held in October at Cornerstone Church, Nashville, to honor the biggest names and showcase emerging talent in Inspirational and Christian Country Music. Winners included T. Graham Brown for “Mainstream Country Male Artist,” Joey+Rory for “Mainstream Country Duo or Group” and Carrie Underwood, who received the most awards of the evening for “Mainstream Country Female Artist,” “Mainstream Song” and “Video of the Year” for her inspirational hit “Something in the Water.” Inspirational Country winners included Steve Richard for “Entertainer of the Year,” Chuck Hancock, who claimed both “Songwriter” and “Song of the Year,” Wade Hammond for “Inspirational Male Artist” and Kali Rose “Inspirational Female Artist” of the year “Musician Of The Year” Greg McDougal and “Youth In Music Award” was Tommy Brandt II. Slated for broadcast on the The Family Channel, Heartland, NRB Network, TCT Networks, The Worship Network, Lifestyle/CTN Network and Total Living Network in the upcoming weeks, this year’s show will reach well over two billion households worldwide. The ICMs are additionally supported through the weekly 2-hour radio show, Power Source Country, now nationally syndicated in over 100 markets through Westwood One. For more info and a complete list of winners visit:



ieba vince gillIEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association), the leading trade organization for live entertainment industry professionals, concluded its 45th Annual Conference in October with a star-studded awards ceremony honoring those behind the scenes.  The ceremony featured a performance by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, 2015 Hall of Fame inductees. Other honorees were legendary country star Clint Black, who received IEBA’s Career Achievement Award, and Country Concert in Fort Loramie, Ohio, that received IEBA’s Industry Achievement Award. The annual conference was interlaced with more than fifty live performances by Rachel Platten, Scotty McCreery, Morgan Page, Dan + Shay, The Fray, and more. For more information, images, and panel breakdowns, visit … APA represented artist Clint Black was presented with the International Entertainment Buyers Association Career Achievement Award, at the closing ceremonies of its 45th Annual Conference. Black, who was presented with the award by John Rich, received the award in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to Country music and a nearly three decade long career that has seen the sale of more than 20 million albums and two dozen #1 singles – all written by Black.



gibson memphis 2016 guitar lineGibson Memphis recently announced its 2016 model year featuring Core, Historic and Studio lines that remain faithful to the hallowed hollow-body ES-series guitars that helped nurture a musical revolution in the late ‘40s by journeying beyond jazz to jump-start rock and roll. The new models pay tribute to a time in Memphis when creativity united with tradition to change our world forever—from Elvis Presley’s mix of country and R&B, to the electric blues of Muddy Waters, to the “Memphis Soul” sound of Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. The Core Memphis line brings back the long-absent ES-175 Standard and introduces the “Memphis Jazz Series” ES-275 and ES-275F guitars. Two new ES-Les Paul colors join a new Faded Lightburst color for the ES-335. New titanium bridges mean better tone, lighter weight and resistance to corrosion, according to Gibson. Furthermore, the ES-335 neck dimensions have been tweaked slightly to reflect a more comfortable, modified 1959 profile. Full details at



Big Machine Label Group

Big Machine’s Tim McGraw new music was released November 6th. Damn Country Music has also curated a mix tape of songs that influenced Tim, which will launch on the streaming service the same day of release.

hillary-scott-300x400UMG Records

Universal’s Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott has been tapped to host Leadership Music’s Dale Franklin Awards honoring Jo Walker-Meador, Steve Buchanan and Reba McEntire on Monday, November 16. Leadership Music will honor the three music industry luminaries at a gala awards presentation and musical tribute beginning at 5:30 pm at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater. Big Machine Label Group is the title sponsor for the 2015 event. CMA’s legendary long-time Executive Director, Jo Walker-Meador, will receive a new award named for Leadership Music’s Founding Council; Steve Buchanan has been chosen as the recipient of the Brian Williams Ambassador Award, and Reba McEntire, will be honored with Leadership Music’s prestigious Dale Franklin Award. More at



joey and rory feekOur prayers continue to be with Joey+Rory Feek. Joey, has decided to stop treatment for her Stage 4 cervical cancer. After surgery to remove the cancer and completing six weeks of chemo and radiation, Joey was preparing for another round when a CT scan showed the cancer had returned and was aggressively spreading. “Sometimes there just aren’t enough surgeries – or doctors – or chemotherapies – or prayers,” says Rory in his blog This Life I Live. “And you have to wipe the tears from your cheeks and say the words that you were hoping to never have to say… Enough. The doctors gave us an estimate of how much time they believe that Joey has, and we both looked at the calendar that hangs by our kitchen door, then I took the calendar off the wall and threw [it] in the trash can. So we don’t have forever. We’ve got right now. And that’s enough.”



tucker beathard _ the demos vol.1Singer/ songwriter Tucker Beathard released TUCKER BEATHARD: THE DEMOS VOL. 1 in mid-October.  The songs, available on Spotify, are unmastered demo tracks that give listeners a gritty taste of Beathard’s upcoming debut album slated for release next year. Beathard started playing drums and guitar in a band with his brothers at 10 years old and had an early immersion into songwriting via his dad, two-time BMI “Songwriter of the Year” Casey Beathard. It was Tucker’s rebellious attitude as a teenager that inspired the lyrics for the chart-topping hit “Homeboy” recorded by Eric Church. Beathard has already opened for Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and is currently out of the road with Maddie & Tae on their Start Here Tour. Info and tour dates at



NATDThe 5th Annual Nashville Association of Talent Directors [NATD] Honors Gala was Monday, November 9 at the Hermitage Hotel. The 2015 Honorees are: Charlie Brusco (Artist Manager, Red Light Management); Steve Lassiter (Senior VP, APA Nashville); Sarah Trahern (CEO, Country Music Association); Pete Weber (voice of the Nashville Predators) and Mike Wolfe (creator and host of ‘American Pickers’). The NATD professionally represents, directs and promotes the entertainment industry through its members and suggests ethical guidelines and standards by which this may be done. More at



blake sheltonLots of celebrations for number ones this past month. Michael Ray’s “Kiss You In The Morning,” Brantley Gilbert’s “One Hell Of An Amen” Keith Urban’s “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.” and Dustin Lynch’s “One Hell Of A Night” … plus Blake Shelton celebrated FIVE # 1’s for “Doing What She Likes”, “My Eyes”, “Neon Light”, “Lonely Tonight” and “Sangria”. Broken Bow’s Dustin Lynch celebrated his second number one song “Hell Of A Night” with co-writers Zach Crowell, Jaron Boyer and Adam Sanders, along with staff members from ASCAP, Broken Bow Records, producer Mickey Jack Cones, and a packed of media and industry who’s who. Co-songwriter Adam Sanders was presented with a Boulder Creek Collectible Signature Guitar from ASCAP in celebration of his first number one song to top the billboard’s country chart.



keith urbanKeith Urban lead the pack in October for the most radio “adds” for his new single, “Break on Me.” Keith also announced the name of his upcoming studio album: Ripcord. The follow-up to 2013’s genre-jumping Fuse, Ripcord has been in the works for some time. The kickoff single “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” which celebrated with a number one party (10/21)  found Urban putting down his electric guitar and instead, driving the tune forward with a bass-heavy groove. Nile Rodgers, award-winning guitarist and co-founder of the disco band Chic, is somehow involved in the project. The album Ripcord, like Fuse, widens Urban’s sound far beyond his country roots. There’s no release date, no track listing and no official producer named. Fans can look for future clues on the singer’s Twitter account.



frizzell & friend roundup coverFans of Country music, Western songs, campfires and good friends will enjoy a forthcoming television special, album and video. Frizzell & Friends Roundup was produced by David Frizzell and features some of music’s finest stylists and storytellers. With award-winning hit makers, Lacy J. Dalton, Rex Allen Jr. and Marty Haggard, as well as singer/songwriters Larry Woods and Mike Morgan, Frizzell fulfilled his lifelong dream of an “Old West” cattle drive on the plains of Montana  – complete with good friends and good music. The weeklong journey included nights by the campfire, a live concert performance, and just a few saddle sores. The CD/DVD are available at



Maddie & Tae's "Girl In A Country Song" (directed by TK McKamy) was named CMA Music Video of the Year live on "Good Morning America." Credit: Allister Ann
Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song” (directed by TK McKamy) was named 2015 CMA Music Video of the Year.

These artists have a lot to be ‘thankful’ for this November. All of them hit the 1,000,000 sales mark for their respective singles. Platinum single certifications include Sam Hunt’s “House Party” (also certified gold), Maddie & Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song,” Tim McGraw’s “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” and “Shotgun Rider,” Rascal Flatts’ “Rewind,” Cole Swindell’s “You Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” and Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again” and “Wasted.”



Check out the new single, “Country Music Gold,” from Dallas-based Prophets and Outlaws, a track from their latest EP, Texas Home.  The single is essentially a pledge of allegiance as lead singer Matt Boggs pleads with the radio DJ to free him from the nutrient deficient diet of today’s pop country.  The song includes the line, “Bro country don’t know country and I think it might be best Mr. DJ if you’d save us a little bit of trouble and spin my one request.” Tour date info at



garth brooksTouring megastar Garth Brooks has broken his Wichita record! His previous record was from November 1997 at the Kansas Coliseum when he sold 51,264 tickets. Now he has sold over 65,000 tickets for Intrust Bank Arena in under an hour and the tickets for all 6 shows are still selling until last seat is filled.





Allison Bray, Borrowed Blue, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Mike Short and Rascal Flatts .


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

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