Conway Entertainment Group

1625 Broadway, Suite 500, Nashville, TN 37203 • Phone: 615-724-1818 • Email: [email protected]

Alabama Entertains CMHoF’s Museum Members At The Big Gig

Pictured (L-R): Brandon Mauldin, Sr. VP, CEG/Ontourage Management; Tony Conway, President, CEG/Ontourage Management; Alabama’s Randy Owen; Lisa Purcell, VP of Development, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; Alabama’s Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook; Kos Weaver, Executive VP, BMG. Photo: Jason Davis/Getty Images for The Country Music Hall Of Fame

, featuring Randy OwenTeddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook, performed in the CMA Theater on Wednesday (July 6) for the museum’s exclusive member concert, The Big Gig.

Free for museum members, the show featured a performance of the band’s hits and an exclusive Hatch Show Print poster made especially for the occasion.

The concert supported their upcoming Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit, Alabama: Song of the South, which opens August 26. The exhibit will trace the musical beginnings, the challenges, and the successes of the band.

Alabama was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. They released their latest album, Southern Drawl, on BMG in 2015.

Lorrie Morgan 'returns home' to Buddy Lee Attractions

Lorrie Morgan has returned to booking agency Buddy Lee Attractions (BLA), the organization that was involved in launching her performing career.

BLA Senior VP David Kiswiney and CEO Donna Lee will serve as her agents.

“Lorrie Morgan is the essence of pure country music. There isn’t a better female talent out there that can deliver the truth and honesty in a country song better that Lorrie. Everyone at BLA is excited to have Lorrie back on the roster again. We feel as if she has ‘come home’, and are looking forward to a great partnership,” said Kiswiney.

Following in the footsteps of her father, Country Music Hall of Fame member George Morgan, Lorrie signed with BLA in the early phases of her career where former BLA booking agent Tony Conway booked her for 33 years before becoming her longtime and current manager at Ontourage Management.

Morgan released two albums this year, including Letting Go…Slow, and the compilation project A Picture Of Me. Upcoming performances include a stop at the Grand Ole Opry on July 8.

Pictured (L-R): Tony Conway, Lorrie Morgan, David Kiswiney



Randy Travis Honored by Country Radio Broadcasters

Josh Turner provided a musical tribute to Randy Travis when the legendary singer was honored Wednesday night (June 22) during the annual Country Radio Hall of Fame ceremony in Nashville. Elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in March, Travis was presented the Country Radio Broadcasters Inc.’s Artist Career Achievement Award, an honor presented to artists creativity, vision, performance or leadership made a significant contribution to the development and promotion of country music and country radio. Turner, a longtime Travis fan, sang “A Man Ain’t Made of Stone,” “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “Three Wooden Crosses” during the celebration at the Omni Hotel. Carole Bowen was presented the CRB’s Presidents Award in recognition of her career at WKIS/Miami and more than 30 years of service on the CRB’s board of directors. This year’s Country Radio Hall of Fame inductees were Blair Garner, Mike & Dana Schuff and Lisa Dent in the on-air category and Mick Anselmo, Kerby Confer, Jack Reno, Tim Roberts and Jim Slone in the radio category.
NPR Nashville Sessions: Kelsey Waldon

Among the younger artists who live on the border between traditional country music and singer-songwriterly Americana, women are currently leading the way. Kelsey Waldon is one of the best among them, crafting musical commentaries on 21st-century American lives that honor the past while remaining fiercely engaged with the present.  

Waldon, who was raised playing acoustic music in small-town Kentucky, has become a key player in the East Nashville music community by penning songs that capture the heartland through twentysomething eyes, and performing them within classic settings so musically rich and engaging that they never sound like museum pieces. Waldon's powerful, slightly vinegary alto communicates both her love of elders like Loretta Lynn and her generational connection to Southern millennials like Kacey Musgraves.

World Cafe met with Waldon and her band at the EastSide Manor recording studio, close to the clubs where she and friends like Margo Price, Erin Rae and Michaela Anne often take the stage on any given weeknight. Waldon talked about how her small-town background and big-city coming-of-age inform her sensibilities; about working with pedal steel player Brett Resnick (also at the session) to make top-notch music for today's honky-tonks; and about gaining inspiration from the tight-knit East Nashville community that's among the most productive in popular music today.

Check out the full article and listen at:
CRS to Honor Randy Travis

COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR (CRS) will present RANDY TRAVIS with its 2016 Artist Career Achievement Award, and CAROLE BOWEN will be honored as this year’s President’s Award recipient. Both will be recognized at the COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME Dinner and Awards Ceremony on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22nd in NASHVILLE.

The Artist Career Achievement recognition is bestowed upon an artist who has made a significant contribution to the development and promotion of Country music and Country radio. TRAVIS is a 2016 COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME inductee who is a multi-platinum album seller with 50 charted songs and 16 #1 singles. TRAVIS is also a multiple CMA, ACM, GRAMMY and AMERICAN MUSIC AWARD winner.

Said TRAVIS: "To be chosen by the COUNTRY RADIO BROADCASTERS for a Career Achievement Award is an honor quite unlike any other. The artist’s and the broadcaster’s relationship is one of unspoken respect.  I appreciate so much the kindness I have been shown over the years by radio … You have each become a part of my success and allowed my fans an opportunity to know me better—as an artist and as a person.  Thank you for believing in me…and in my body of work. It is YOU which I take my hat off to.“ MCA NASHVILLE artist JOSH TURNER will perform a musical tribute to TRAVIS during the Hall of Fame dinner.

The CRS President’s Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the marketing, production, growth, and development of COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR. BOWEN recently completed more than 15 years of service on the CRB Board of Directors. During that time, she was a member of the CRS Executive Committee, holding an Officer position as longtime secretary for the organization. BOWEN’s more than 30 years of successful radio and sales experience at WKIS/MIAMI played a key role in shaping the success of CRS.

Commenting on her honor, BOWEN said, "I am deeply honored and humbled to be this year’s recipient of the CRB President’s Award.  This organization has had a tremendous impact on me both professionally and personally.  Serving within this organization has enabled me to learn from the brightest minds in Country Radio and Country Music.  It has always been a labor of love and I am very proud to have contributed to the success of Country Radio Seminars and CRB.”

The 2016 COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME inductees will also be honored during the Country Radio Hall of Fame dinner and awards ceremony. This year’s inductees are BLAIR GARNER, MIKE & DANA SCHUFF, and LISA DENT in the On-Air category, and MICK ANSELMO, KERBY CONFER, JACK RENO, TIM ROBERTS, and JIM SLONE in the Radio category.

- See more at:
CMA Closeup Feature

ALABAMA Releases new single featuring ALISON KRAUSS

The iconic, GRAMMY® award winning group Alabama is back with the second single from their critically acclaimed album Southern Drawl. "Come Find Me" features 27-time GRAMMY® winner Alison Krauss. Rolling Stone called this highlight from the album "a road weary musician's message to the object of his affection."

Click Here to view video

In support of this, the band is embarking on the nationwide Southern Drawl Tour kicking off on May 12th. The tour opens to a sold out three-night stand in Nashville, TN with the 80-piece Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The band will then crisscross the country performing over 35 sold out shows through the fall. The fresh sound of the album has introduced the band to a new generation of listeners, who are buying tickets and showing up in mass along the tour. Younger listeners under 35 have embraced the band on Spotify and are now singing along to hit after hit.

In total, the band released a massive 43 #1 hits at country radio. The Country Music Hall of Fame members are the most successful band in country music history, and one of the best selling bands of any kind in any genre. They have sold over 73 million albums and have won 178 awards (and counting) including three GRAMMY® Awards and numerous CMA Awards. The band was also named ACM Entertainer of The Year an unprecedented 5 times in a row and was bestowed with the honor of ACM Career Achievement Award in the fall of 2015.

Southern Drawl Tour Dates:
5.12.16- Nashville Symphony Orchestra
5.13.16- Nashville Symphony Orchestra
5.14.16- Nashville Symphony Orchestra
5.21.16- Houston, TX
5.22.16- Biloxi, MS
6.3.16- Augusta, GA
6.4.16- Dothan, AL
6.17.16- Pueblo, CO
6.18.16- Enid, OK
6.26.16- Ft. Payne, AL
7.8.16- Deadwood, SD
7.9.16- Hinckley, MN
7.15.16- Enoch, AB, Canada
7.16.16- Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada
7.23.16- Valparaiso, IN
7.25.16- Harrington, DE
7.30.16- Medicine Hat, AB, Canada
8.4.16- Lincoln, NE
8.5.16- Washington, MO
8.6.16- Davenport, IA
8.13.16- Fairlea, WV
9.16.16- Glen Allen, VA
9.17.16- York, PA
10.7.16- Cary, NC
10.8.16- Fairfax, VA

CONGRATULATIONS to Randy Travis for being named as one of the Class of 2016 joining the Country Music Hall of Fame!

The Country Music Association announced three newly elected inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Charlie Daniels will be inducted in the Veteran’s Era category. Fred Foster will be inducted in the Non-Performer category. Randy Travis will be the 2016 inductee in the Modern Era category. These artists will be inducted during a special Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater later this year. During the Medallion Ceremony, friends and colleagues pay tribute to each inductee through words and song. Bronze plaques honoring each inductee are unveiled, to be displayed later in the museum’s Rotunda.
Showbiz Analysis: Lorrie Morgan on The Power of Music and Letting Go

 At the rate things are going, I will have to move to Nashville soon to be closer to my new BFFs. That’s because, nearly every country music interview I do, involves a fascinating entertainer who seems to fit right in with my friendship qualifications. And chart-topping platinum artist Lorrie Morgan is no exception. Fun, honest and reflective, Morgan was the perfect guest on my podcast Whine At 9, where we discussed the power and healing effects of music and the hopes and inspiration behind her new album Letting Go… Slow.

From “I Guess You Had To Be There” to “Something in Red,” Morgan’s beautiful voice and decades of hits have taken us through the highs and lows of life and its milestones in a heartfelt and powerful way. Her songs are likely powered by the fact that she relives the emotions she connects to when she sings. “I’ve often said this—that you can get through a tragedy, and…you trudge on, but the pain never really goes away. And when you sing the songs about things that have happened, the pain surfaces and…it brings it all back. And unfortunately, as a singer, you have to relive those moments to make the song believable—to make the song real. You can’t just say this happened and then I’m just floating through the song barely singing it. You’ve gotta sing that pain every time you sing the song.”

So are singers caught between a rock and a hard place when they opt for a heart wrenching song? Says Morgan, “You really are. But you know, it’s also wonderful therapy because talking about things that have happened to you—heartaches—losing someone…it helps to talk about it… my therapy is singing about it. And that’s been my help all these years…being able to get up there and sing my heartache. And I feel better when I come off stage. It’s like ‘Phew, I got that out of the way’.”

Morgan’s latest album Letting Go… Slow offers an honest, emotional roller coaster of tunes. “There’s so many ups and downs on this album,” explains Morgan, who handpicked songs that were relatable and rich. And she admits that maturity and life experiences have made her music even richer. “You know, a singer is only as good as the song. And the songs I found for this album—They’re just parallel with my life.”

Chatting with Morgan and listening to her music is like a journey with a dear friend. You laugh, you celebrate, you cry, you share the pain, and hopefully, grow stronger together.

Morgan is no stranger to pain, having lost her dad, Country Music Hall of Famer George Morgan when she was a teenager and her husband singer Keith Whitley before she was 30. Her honesty and grit, combined with amazing vocals, gives Morgan’s music even more meaning. When it comes to the pain, Morgan says, “You’ve got to move forward.”

And for Lorrie Morgan, moving forward always involves music. “This album truly is about the music—the songs. It’s not about production. It’s not about bells and whistles. It’s about really, really making some music that matters.”

Listen to Nancy’s interview with Lorrie Morgan on iTunes and follow the podcast on Facebook.

Nancy Berk, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, author, comic and entertainment analyst. The host of the showbiz podcast Whine At 9, Nancy digs a little deeper as she chats with fascinating celebrities and industry insiders. Her book College Bound and Gagged: How to Help Your Kid Get into a Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind can be seen in the feature film Admission starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.


Morgan Slated For Media Blitz In Support Of First New Studio Album in Five Years

Pre-Order New Album Here

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 10, 2016) – Friday, February 12 marks the worldwide release of the first new studio album in five years from platinum-selling country music songstress Lorrie MorganLetting Go… Slow, released by Shanachie Entertainment. Tune in this week and throughout the weekend to see and hear Morgan on various radio and television programs, and pick up a copy of the February 15-19 issue of national magazine Closer Weekly at your local bookstore, grocery or convenience store for a special “At Home” feature on what the superstar’s glamorous life is really like behind closed doors.
Visit on Friday, February 12 for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Lorrie talking about the Patsy Cline cover track, “Strange” to accompany their forthcoming in-book feature; and make your way over to for the exclusive premiere of the video highlighting the meaning behind “Spilt Milk” – one of Lorrie’s favorite tracks on Letting Go… Slow.
Lorrie is also featured this February and March by outlets likePARADE, Rolling Stone Country,, The Washington Times,, RFD-TV, NASH-TV, Getaway Magazine, WHOA Woman Magazine, Country Line Magazine, PowerSource Magazine, New Music Nashville, United Stations Radio Networks, America’s Country Countdown and many more!
The four-time Female Vocalist Of The Year award-winner visited WSM 650AM’s Coffee, Country and Cody radio show earlier this week, and will be performing at the legendary Grand Ole Opry coming up on February 23 where she’ll appear alongside Darius Rucker, Chris Janson, Lee Brice and more.
Upcoming airdates (ALL TIMES ET/PT unless marked):
Feb. 10 – “Great American Playlist” on GAC-TV | 12 p.m., 3 p.m.
Feb. 11 – “Rock and Review with Eric Dahl” on WZTV - FOX17 | 8:30 a.m. CT
Feb. 13 - “Country Classics” on Heartland TV | 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 - “Country Classics” on Heartland TV | 4:00 p.m., 6:30pm CT, 8:30pm
Feb. 14 – “The Charlie Monk Show” SiriusXM Prime Country | 5 p.m.
Feb. 13-14 – “Country Gold With Randy Owen” Westwood One Radio | Various
Feb. 15 – “Country Classics” on Heartland TV | 4 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
For more information on Lorrie Morgan and to stay up-to-date on all of her happenings in support of Letting Go… Slow, please
About Lorrie Morgan
Sultry country songstress Lorrie Morgan has sold over eight million records including fourteen top ten hits, twelve recorded albums and four Female Vocalist of the Year awards. She was the first female artist to ever have three consecutive albums RIAA-Certified Platinum®. She made her mark with what have now become timeless country standards, “Five Minutes,” “Except For Monday,” “Something In Red,” “Watch Me” and “What Part Of No,” and established her place as a country star—a modern woman making country music history. Loretta Lynn Morgan was born to make music. At 13, she made her first and everlasting impression on the country music world when she played at The Grand Ole Opry, making her one of the youngest to have made her debut at the Mother Church of Country Music. Three short years later after her dad, country music star George Morgan’s passing, Lorrie launched her own career touring with her father’s band. She made history of her own when she became a lifetime member of the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 24 — one of the youngest to ever become a member. For more information on Lorrie Morgan, please visit
The Grascals: New Album debuts at No. 1 on Billboard

(NASHVILLE, TN) - One of the most highly anticipated albums of the new year is and then there's this ... from beloved bluegrass group, The Grascals.  The numbers are in and the new album makes its debut on the Billboard Magazine Bluegrass Album Chart in the top spot.

Previously named "Album of the Month" as the result of a reader poll on the entertainment site, The Boot, and then there's this ... now sits firmly at the #1 spot for album sales in its debut week.

The Grascals are three-time GRAMMY® nominees and have twice been named International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year. They’ve made numerous appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, including a recent appearance to celebrate the new release. Their many nationally syndicated television appearances; including The Tonight Show, The Late, Late Show, CBS' The Talk, Marie and  Fox & Friends; have helped to introduce bluegrass music to new audiences.

The Grascals, now in their 11th year since those early days touring with Dolly Parton, have enjoyed numerous number one songs and top-charting albums. They are undeniably one of the most powerful and groundbreaking bands in bluegrass.

A combination of the Grascals' award-winning instrumental skill and harmony creates and then there’s this…  arguably the most exciting and traditional new release from the band.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 7, 2015) Nashville powerhouse group The SteelDrivers received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for The Muscle Shoals Recordings, marking four career nods for the group. The critically-acclaimed album, released June 16 on Rounder Records, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Bluegrass Chart and achieved the highest first-week sales in the band's history.

"What a great early Christmas present. We are honored and thrilled to say the least for this recognition. TMSR represents our desire to continue to push ourselves as a group and bring a fresh perspective. We are a scrappy bunch of players that love what we do and send a hearty congrats to all the nominees," says fiddle player, vocalist and songwriter Tammy Rogers.

The Muscle Shoals Recordings
 is the fifth release from The SteelDrivers, made up of Richard Bailey, Mike Fleming, Gary Nichols, Tammy Rogers and Brent Truitt. The four-time GRAMMY nominees produce a unique blend of bluegrass and soul that has inspired praise from critics and audiences for years, and  The Muscle Shoals Recordings is no exception.

The winners will be announced on February 15, 2016 at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards. 

LOCASH Inks Deal with Tim McGraw in Publishing Partnership

Reviver Publishing and LOCASH Ink Writing Deal With Ole In Association With Tim McGraw


LOCASH Set To Sing National Anthem at Green Bay Packers Vs Chicago Bears Thanksgiving Game on NBC

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Reviver Records recording artists, LOCASH, are partnering with ole, the world’s fastest-growing independent rights management company, to continue churning out hits for the publishing arm of Reviver Records, LLC. The exclusive administration agreement establishes a relationship between ole, LOCASH and Reviver Publishing. This partnership also includes LOCASH and Reviver Publishing’s joint venture with Tim McGraw.

“We’re honored and excited to once again be working with such an icon and one of our favorite artists of all time, Tim McGraw,” said LOCASH member Chris Lucas.
Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LOCASH, penned the Top 10 hit “Truck Yeah” for Tim McGraw and Keith Urban’s No. 1 smash “You Gonna Fly.”

Building on the momentum of their rising Billboard Top 15 single, “I Love This Life,” LOCASH will have an opportunity to show off their powerful vocals when they belt out the National Anthem Thanksgiving Day during the Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears game Thursday, November 26 on NBC (6:30/ 7:30 CST).
LOCASH continues touring the country while writing new material on the road. “The team at ole and Reviver has everything that we have been looking for in a publishing company, and we know we’ve hit a grand slam with this partnership. We could not be more excited to have found a great home for our songs,” said Preston Brust.
Reviver Publishing, under the Reviver Records, LLC based in New Jersey, was founded by music Promotional Executive veteran David Ross. Ross, who has also worked with Sony BMG Music Worldwide Entertainment, the TJ Martell Foundation, CMJ, Alpha Distributors and his own S*Management has recently found a second home for Reviver Records in Nashville, TN.
“After opening our Nashville office in December 2014, we met the folks at ole and were extremely impressed with the work they do on behalf of their songwriters on Music Row and throughout the world,” said David Ross, President and CEO of Reviver Records. “We know that they will work tirelessly on behalf of our artists and are excited to see what we can accomplish together.”
“Reviver Records is an exciting new name in the Nashville scene, and ole is looking forward to providing increased exposure and wide-ranging opportunities for their roster of artists,” said John Ozier, GM of Nashville Creative at ole. “With ole’s world-class publishing resources and expert, well-connected staff behind them, there’s no telling how high Reviver’s artists can climb both in Nashville and around the globe.”
LOCASH on tour:
Nov. 27 Grizzly Rose - Denver, CO.
Dec. 04 The Fillmore Detroit W/ Eli Young Band - Detroit, MI.
Dec. 07 Gilley's at Treasure Island Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 08 Gilley's at Treasure Island Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 09 Gilley's at Treasure Island Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 10 Gilley's at Treasure Island Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 11 Gilley's at Treasure Island Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 12 Gilley's at Treasure Island Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Dec. 31 8 Second Saloon - Indianapolis, IN
Jan. 23 Cone Denim Entertainment Center - Greensboro, NC
Jan. 30 Jergel’s Rhythm Grille - Warrendale, PA
April. 09 Country Thunder - Florence, AZ
Jun. 17 Porterfield Country Music Festival - Marinette, WI
For more information on LOCASH, please visit
Download your copy of “I Love This Life” available on 
iTunes today!

SteelDrivers Album Release Event at Muscle Shoals' 116 Mobile, June 17th

Muscle Shoals, Ala. (June 4, 2015) - The SteelDrivers’ innovative, soulful brand of bluegrass has made them one of the most successful bands on the contemporary bluegrass scene. The band, which has earned three Grammy nominations and garnered tremendous critical acclaim, has announced their fourth album for Rounder, The Muscle Shoals Recordings, which will be released on June 16, 2015. 
In celebration of the release, the band has a special event planned at 116 E. Mobile Street, in Florence, AL, on June 17th at 8pm. Tickets available here. The evening will feature a full concert performance from The SteelDrivers themselves in the intimate 150 capacity venue, co-run by Single Lock Records (owners Will Trapp, Ben Tanner (Alabama Shakes), John Paul White (Civil Wars)). There will also be a meet and greet with the band from 6-7pm before the show at Billy Reid with food available to the public from local southern inspired restaurant Odette's.
The SteelDrivers will also be performing on Muscle Shoals to Music Row Live, June 18th. Tickets for the 2 hour live radio broadcast/webcast are available on the website. It can also be streamed worldwide on
The album is largely inspired by Muscle Shoals, an area of confluence and consequence, of intermingling, experimentation, and exultation, and a legendary music mecca. It’s also the hometown of the SteelDrivers’ lead vocalist and guitarist Gary Nichols, whose bandmates – fiddler and vocalist Tammy Rogers, banjoist Richard Bailey, mandolinist Brent Truitt, and bassist and singer Mike Fleming – made the two-and-a-half hour trek from Nashville to Sheffield, Alabama, to the NuttHouse Recording Studio to record eleven new original tunes, mostly written by Rogers and Nichols.
There, they conjured a singularly compelling sound, drenched in soul, blues, bluegrass, R&B, country, and rock’n’roll. Jason Isbell – Nichols’ friend and musical compatriot since childhood, and himself an extraordinary singer, songwriter, and guitarist – co-produced two of the album’s 11 tracks and contributed slide guitar to two (the aforementioned “Brother John, ” and “Ashes of Yesterday”).
Gary Nichols has emerged as a vocalist of distinction, as a monster acoustic guitarist, and as a songwriting force who wrote or co-wrote five of Shoals Recordings’ 11 songs, including the plaintive “Here She Goes,” and the dark ballad “Brother John.” Tammy Rogers stepped up her songwriting as well, and she has credits on all but one of the album’s remaining songs, including the stirring waltz “Ashes of Yesterday,” and the somber, reflective album closer, “River Runs Red,” a meditation on the Civil War. Richard Bailey composed the lone instrumental, the joyous, rousing “California Chainsaw.” The one outlier on The Muscle Shoals Recordings is “Drinkin’ Alone,” a romp penned by Jay Knowles and former SteelDriver Chris Stapleton.
Rolling Stone Country recently premiered “Brother John,” which features slide guitar by Jason Isbell, who also co-produced the track. Listen to it here:
The SteelDrivers have inspired accolades from critics like NPR’s Ann Powers, who praised their “dazzling bluegrass musicianship,” and PopMatters’ Arnold Pan, who extolled the band’s  “virtuosic ‘bluesgrass’ songs that take classic Americana instrumentation and give it an intense, soulful inflection.”

One thing is for sure: Nichols and the SteelDrivers speak in their own accent, one that charms and sears and beguiles. This is a band like no other, by inclination, but not by calculation.
Alabama, The Grascals added to Volunteer Jam lineup

Alabama, bluegrass band The GrascalsPhil VassarLee Greenwood and Ryan Weaver, a country singer and Army veteran, have been added to the lineup of performers scheduled to appear at Charlie Daniels’ 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam, which will be held at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 12.

The 2015 Volunteer Jam will benefit The Journey Home Project, a nonprofit that connects donors to veterans’ organizations, and The Predators Foundation, which supports youth-oriented programs in the Nashville community. Ticket prices start at $17.68.

LOCASH visit The Willis Report on Fox Business Network

Amber Hayes Releases New Single, “Running Out Of Memories,” To Country Radio

(Nashville, Tenn. – Feb. 12, 2015)A-OK Entertainment/GMV Nashville recording artist Amber Hayes has released her feel-good track, “Running Out Of Memories” to Country radio. The single, which is set to impact on Feb. 19, is the follow-up release to “Any Day Is A Good Day,” which scored Hayes her debut Top 30 record on the Music Row Country Breakout chart.

“Running Out Of Memories” tells a reflective story of adventure and memories-in-the-making for the song’s leading lady and her beau. 

To view the lyric video for “Running Out Of Memories,” click here.

Hayes noted of the track, “I had the hook ‘running out of memories’ in my head for awhile, and on the way to a recent songwriters' retreat I told the guys I'd like to write it while we were on the trip. We had a melody for it before we even got to the cabin, and it all came together pretty quickly. Memories - good and bad - we all have them; but hopefully this song will help the listener reflect on those great ones!”

The song is the title track from Hayes’ new 5-track EP, Running Out Of Memories, which is currently available via iTunes and other digital retailers. Released in Nov. 2014, Running Out Of Memories features three songs produced by Bobby Terry, as well as a remix of her previously released tune, “Me & Loretta,” and a new rendition of the classic “Cotton Eyed Joe,” which was featured in the family-film, Cowgirls ‘N Angels 2: Dakota’s Summer.

Over the past few years, the Oklahoma native has been touring and performing at fairs, festivals and performance venues across the country. She has performed as the opening act for one of her biggest musical influences, Reba McEntire, and she has entertained fans overseas at military bases and International festivals, including the Country Gold Festival in Japan and the Scandinavian Country Music Festival in Sweden. She has also made multiple appearances performing the national anthem at NFL and NBA games.

Amber Hayes made her first break at Country radio with her debut EP C’mon in 2010, which landed her two Top 40 singles (“C’mon,” “Wait”) on the national MusicRow Country Breakout chart.  In 2012, she released her sophomore album, titled Any Day Is A Good Day.

The multi-talented performer appeared in the major motion picture, Cowgirls N’ Angels. Three of her songs made it into the film, including her duet with Lonestar’s Richie McDonald, “Always There For Me.”  That same year, her music was also featured in four episodes of the hit CW television series, Hart of Dixie.

No stranger to film, Hayes was also featured in the 2013 documentary Music City U.S.A., which took home the Golden Drover for Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 Trail Dance Film Festival. Most recently, Hayes and her music are featured in the Cowgirls ‘N Angels sequel, Cowgirls ‘N Angels 2: Dakota’s Summer, which is available digitally, as well as, on Blu-Ray and DVD through Walmart. 

Hayes’ first foray into acting was a starring role as Kathy Twitty in the 2008 Conway Twitty musical, It’s Only Make Believe.

In addition to the release of her new music, Hayes has re-launched her website,  The site features new images, digital spotlights and more.

For more information about Amber, visit and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

For interview and mp3 requests, contact Christy Watkins at [email protected]

The Brothers Roberson Win National Country Showdown!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For the last 33 years, the Country Showdown has put a spotlight on up and coming talent in Country Music. Another winner was announced Wednesday night at the Ryman Auditorium.

"We're very proud of the fact it is a true talent showcase," said organizer Dean Unkefer. "If you're not in Nashville, where would you compete? Well, you go to your local radio station and you compete in the Showdown and that's how you start your career."

Five contestants from across the country represented the region they live in.

"All the way from the local level, state level, regional level and now the national level," Unkefer said.

Eli Tellor, Nate Kenyon, Marie Wise-Hawkins, The Brothers Roberson, and JB Aaron were the five finalists who made it to Nashville for the Country Showdown.

Brendan Roberson and Rhett Roberson, known as The Brothers Roberson, traveled to the finals in 2014.

"Last time we came in second. Hoping to change it this time, do a little bit better," Rhett Roberson said.

The brothers realize there are other shows that discover new talent, but they feel the Country Showdown is the best way to showcase their music.

"The different talent searches that are out there right now, it's a lot of cover stuff, but this lets us be our own act. And the end prize is, even if you don't win, you get to play the Ryman stage," Roberson said.

Nate Kenyon happened upon the County Showdown last year.

"I started doing Country Music about a year ago and a few months after that, I was looking around for some type of contest that I could be able to showcase my writing and my original material," Kenyon said.

Just a few months later, he is a national finalist and playing the historic Ryman stage.

"The fact that I even get to walk out on it, let alone sing and play, it's an amazing list to have my name added to," Kenyon explained.

The contestants are judged on marketability, vocal/instrumental, originality, stage presence/charisma, and talent.

The winner of the 33rd annual Country Showdown was The Brothers Roberson from Missouri. They will take home the $100,000 grand prize.

Leann Rimes hosted this year's show and it will be broadcast across the nation this spring.

Amber Hayes Releases Lyric Video For “Running Out Of Memories”

(Nashville, Tenn. – Jan. 13, 2014) – A-OK Entertainment/GMV Nashville recording artist Amber Hayes has released a lyric video for her feel-good track, “Running Out Of Memories.” The mid-tempo tune tells a reflective story of adventure and memories-in-the-making for the song’s leading lady and her beau. 

To view the lyric video for “Running Out Of Memories,” click here.

Hayes noted of the track, “I had the hook ‘running out of memories’ in my head for awhile, and on the way to a recent songwriters' retreat I told the guys I'd like to write it while we were on the trip. We had a melody for it before we even got to the cabin, and it all came together pretty quickly. Memories - good and bad - we all have them; but hopefully this song will help the listener reflect on those great ones!”

The song is the title track from Hayes’ new 5-track EP, Running Out Of Memories, which is currently available via iTunes and other digital retailers. Released in November, Running Out Of Memories features three songs produced by Bobby Terry, as well as a remix of her previously released tune, “Me & Loretta,” and a new rendition of the classic “Cotton Eyed Joe,” which was featured in the family-film, Cowgirls ‘N Angels 2: Dakota’s Summer.

For more information about Amber, visit and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  

For interview and mp3 requests, contact Christy Watkins at [email protected]

LoCash signed to Reviver Records

New Jersey-based Reviver Records opens its Nashville operation today (Dec. 1), with LoCash Cowboys as its first signing.

David Ross will serve as President/CEO. Ross’ career includes time at Alpha Distributors, S* Management, College Music Journal, and Vertis. Butch Waugh will serve as strategic adviser to Reviver, while promotion veterans Michael Powers and Matt Corbin will oversee radio promotions. Kirt Webster (of Webster PR) handles publicity for LoCash Cowboys.

LoCash Cowboys are managed by Tony Conway, while Paradigm Talent Agency’s Bob Kinkead will handle booking. Distribution for the label will be handled through Dewayne Brown at Sony RED.

“I feel that we have put together a group of people that have the experience and the success stories to lead this team all the way into the stratosphere,” Ross says. “And, I think that the industry is going to be blown away by what Chris and Preston have coming down the line. We’re ready to take this town by storm.”

Reviver Records, LLC includes the record label, Reviver Music, and a Production and Management Company. The Nashville office location will be announced soon.

Other artists represented by Reviver Records include Samantha Landrum, Little Anthony, Lucas Hoge, Paulette McWilliams, and Flux Forteana.

LoCash Cowboys to play Jeffrey Steele & Friends Celebrity Concert on March 10, 2015

w/ Jeffrey Steele, Alyssa Bonagura, Adam James, Chris Janson, The Shuggah Pies and more!
Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 7:00 PM
Doors Open at 6:30pm, Show at 7:00pm
The Alex LeVasseur Memorial Fund presents Jeffrey Steele & Friends hosted by Storme Warren feat. Delbert McClinton, Chris Janson, LoCash Cowboys and Jeffrey Steele & The Circus featuring: Jeffrey Steele, Alyssa Bonagura, Adam James, Brandon Hood, Davis Naish & The Shuggah Pies

Ticket Levels:
$1,750/VIP Table for Four
$1,000/VIP Seating in first 3 rows of theatre
$150/Balcony Seating - Includes 2 complimentary glasses of wine per person 
$75 and $100/General Admission Tickets

Morgan Launches 11-show 'Enchanted Christmas' Concert Tour
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 19, 2014)  Lorrie Morgan will ring in the holidays with an 11-show Christmas tour to launch on December 3rd in Niagara Falls, New York and end in Nashville, TN at the City Winery. The Lorrie Morgan Enchanted Christmas Show will feature Lorrie singing her hits along with holiday classics.
“To be able to bring the wonderful music of Christmas to audiences around the country is a dream come true,” says Lorrie Morgan. “This is my favorite time of year. I get to think about my children growing up and reminisce my life with my family. I wish all year could be Christmas time!”  
As a platinum selling country artist, selling over 10 million albums with eight #1 videos, known for hits such as “Something Red”, “Leave the Light On”, and her chart topping country Christmas album, “Merry Christmas From London”, Lorrie continues to be a major artist—both in concert and on record—and tickets for her Christmas tour dates are moving towards a sell-out for the holiday run.
Lorrie Morgan Enchanted Christmas Tour Dates:
Dec. 3-7 Niagara Falls, NY – Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel
Dec. 12  Lawrenceburg, IN – Lawrenceburg Event Center
Dec. 13  Emporia, KS – Emporia Granada Theatre
Dec. 14  Centralia, IL – Jane Knight Auditorium
Dec. 16  Wichita, KS - Orpheum Theatre
Dec. 20  Stafford, TX – The Redneck Country Club
Dec. 22  Nashville, TN - City Winery
Resource artist online at:
Jeff Bates Embraces Conway Twitty Comparisons on 'Me and Conway' Album


The vocal similarities between Jeff Bates and the late Conway Twitty have always been something of a double-edged sword.

"It was a struggle at times," the singer tells Billboard. "On one hand, what a compliment. But, then someone would say, 'You know, you sound too much like Conway Twitty.'"

However, Bates says he is glad people feel that way. "Sometimes, you just have to say if that's what people think, let them think it. It is a compliment, and I'll own it," he says proudly.

The soulful singer has just released a tribute collection to the Country Music Hall of Fame member called Me and Conway. When asked if he heard the similar vocal styles, Bates says, "We're both from Mississippi, so we had the same way of enunciating words, and both had a little bit of an R&B/soul background. So there's that, as well as the gravel in my voice. He strongly influenced my music along withElvis, Joe Cocker and a lot of great country singers. At the same time, I've got my own sound, so I do things that are different stylistically from what Conway did, but I also have recorded many that are very similar."

Me and Conway is full of Twitty classics such as "I'd Love to Lay You Down" and "Don't Take It Away," as well as six new tracks that Bates recorded with the singer in mind. The singer tried to choose songs that spoke to the female demographic -- just as Twitty did.

"I just did an album release party, and I told people that Conway was great at saying what women needed to hear, which was things that guys like me wanted to say but wasn't sure how. That was the epitome of who he was and what his music was all about."

One of the highlights of the album is "Lost in the Feeling," originally a No. 2 record in 1983. One of Twitty's more traditional records of that era, the track featured a young Ricky Skaggs on harmony, as well as some textbook steel-guitar licks from John Hughey. Playing the part of the latter on this session was ACM Award winner Mike Johnson. Bates chuckles when he talks about the recording process for the song.

"Mike couldn't make the session, so he came to my house. We were trying to figure out where to set his steel-guitar amplifier up. He was so gracious and thanked me for the opportunity to do a song that John Hughey had played on. We set the amp up in the bathroom, and he sat right there at the console and played. It was his first and only take. He's a pro, for sure."

One song that might have Twitty fans scratching their heads is "Slow Burn," a 1984 chart-topper -- for T.G. Sheppard. Bates says it's a song he felt Conway could have knocked out of the ballpark. "I love T.G. Sheppard. I covered all of his songs on stage for years. It wasn't a Conway song, but it should have been. So many of his songs were sensual and sexy, and it would have fit."

The disc closes with a duet of the Grammy-winning classic "After the Fire Is Gone," complete with Twitty's longtime duet partner, Loretta Lynn, which Bates said was a moment he will never forget.

"I had met her years ago at the BMI Awards, but to get invited out to the ranch to sing with her was incredible. I picked that song to do because it was the first vinyl record I saw in my life. My mom had ordered it, and it was the first time I heard either one of it. Both of them were two of her favorite singers, so you fast-forward to last year, and getting to walk on stage with her, and have her taking to my music meant a lot. I got to hang with her on her bus and told her what I was doing. I asked her to sing on it with me, and she said, 'I'd be proud to sing on your record.' She's an amazing lady and an amazing talent -- one that fame and the status of legend has not changed in the least."

First Annual Boots, Bourbon & Blues Ticket's On-Sale Now

Catch Brassfield Aly at Boots, Bourbon & Blues on November 8th in Nashville! But your tickets here
Exclusive World Premiere of Black River Entertainment's New Country Trio Brassfield Aly�s �Cheap Shades�

Sirius XM subscribers have been fortunate enough to be exposed to “Cheap Shades,” the new, upbeat song with a carefree attitude that screams “feel good tune.” Now, country music fans everywhere are being given the opportunity to hear this track and meet the three talented artists behind it. Brassfield Aly is a trio, comprised of Bradley and Chadley Brassfield and Aly Cutter. The three met in Nashville, formed a trio, and were signed to Black River Entertainment’s label, Passport Records, almost immediately.

Brassfield Aly’s debut single, entitled “Cheap Shades,” is a song about cruising around town, seeing all the beauty that life has to offer — through an inexpensive pair of sunglasses. “Cheap Shades” celebrates the intricacies of summer, combined with spending time with someone you love, as the chorus goes:

I got my cheap shades, workin’ on a left arm tan. I got all I need when I got you in my hands. I get my gold in the sunshine kissin’ your face, and right now life’s lookin’ pretty dang good through my cheap shades, cheap shades, yeah.

With the scenery in front of him, and the woman he loves beside him, the lead male in the “Cheap Shades” story could ask for nothing more. And country music fans also couldn’t ask for more from Brassfield Aly’s debut offering. The blending of the Brassfield and Aly Cutter vocals is seamless and receives support from islandish strings and percussion, creating a fun song-listening experience from the opening notes. Once the musicality is coupled with the endearing story of a man’s love for a woman, the combination is foolproof.

Check out the WORLD PREMIERE of Brassfield Aly’s “Cheap Shades” lyric video below and download the track from iTunes. And make sure to follow us on Twitter at @CMchatLIVE and let us know what you think of Brassfield Aly’s debut single.

Haines City Sets Guinness World Record for Most Sparklers on Fourth of July

HAINES CITY | A sea of sparks washed over the crowd while thousands of spectators chanted "USA" during Haines City's Fourth of July celebration, City Manager Jonathan Evans said.

The event, which attracted nearly 30,000 people to Lake Eva Park on July Fourth, broke a Guinness World Record when 938 sparklers were lit simultaneously, said Auburn Taylor, the city's leisure services director.

The previous record-holder for most sparklers lit simultaneously was set in Ukyo, Kyoto, Japan, with 845 in May 2013.

Bonnie Salary, teacher at Haines City High School, sang the "Star-Spangled Banner" during the city's attempt, and near the end of her performance, the crowd began chanting "USA" under the glow of sparks, Evans said.

"This was one of the most touching experiences that we could have ever imagined," he said.

"I had goose bumps."

National recording artist Michael Ray also entertained the crowd.

"For us, it was something that brought the community together to celebrate (the city's 100th) birthday," as well as the Fourth, Taylor said. "It was a pretty neat experience."

In April, the City Commission authorized staff to spend $15,000 to attempt a world record with Guinness.

"It was money well spent," Evans said, "and the value we got was extraordinary."

While the city planned for the expense and budgeted accordingly, part of the cost went to a records consultant from Guinness.

The consultant helped city officials come up with a record that best reflects the city and its objectives.

The money also covered the cost of supplies for the record as well as Guinness fees, which included an official judge on site.

Airfare and lodging for the judge were included in the cost.

"We understand the concerns of residents about the money spent to attempt the record," Evans said. "But at the end of the day, what we were able to accomplish and the memories we were able to create far outweigh the few negative comments we received."

It isn't uncommon for cities to attempt a world record, Sara Wilcox said. She is the public relations and marketing executive for Guinness World Records North America.

Guinness receives at least 50 applications a year from municipalities wanting to break a record, Wilcox said, and the intent typically is to encourage community pride, engagement and tourism.

Haines City may have other plans tucked away for future events.

"I think people will come back to Haines City next year, wondering what we'll do to top it," Evans said, "and all I can say to the members of the public is stay tuned."



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 6, 2014) – In life and in art, the glamorous and giftedLorrie Morgan is enjoying a renewed resurgence of popularity.  Morgan continues to make new music, tour North America, and this weekend will celebrate her 30th Anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry!!!  On June 9, 1984, Morgan was inducted as a member into the invitation only institution.
“You can’t imagine how it felt the night I became a member of the Opry,” says Lorrie Morgan. “The first time I could really call this place home. I couldn't stop shaking or trembling or crying.”
That Saturday night, just 30 years ago, might have been Lorrie’s first night as an official member, but it certainly wasn’t her first night at the Grand Ole Opry. Lorrie grew up backstage at the Opry, the daughter of Country Music Hall of Famer George Morgan, a 26-year member known everywhere for his smash 1949 hit “Candy Kisses.”
Born in 1959, Lorrie made her Opry stage debut early, introduced at the Ryman Auditorium by her proud father. “My little 13-year-old knees were absolutely knocking,” she recalls. “But Dad was standing there right beside me with big tears in his eyes, and those people gave me a standing ovation. I thought, ‘This is what I’m doing the rest of my life.’”
“This was a dream of my dad’s long before it was my dream,” Lorrie says. “I have all of this because of Dad.  We’re very blessed to be a musical family here at the Grand Ole Opry.  What more could you ask for?”
George Morgan died when Lorrie was 16, but she still carries in her heart two pieces of advice he left her: “Never say, ‘I can’t,’” and “Always remember your manners.”
Morgan’s vocal style, combining country sincerity and pop sophistication, really took off in 1989 with the emotion-filled hit “Dear Me.” She won a CMA Award in 1990 for her work with her late husband, Keith Whitley, the great country traditionalist who had died the year before. Her three subsequent albums — Leave the Light On, Something in Red, and Watch Me — all sold more than a million copies.
She has released hit after hit in a distinctive style steeped in passion and believability — “I Guess You Had to Be There,” “What Part of No,” “Except for Monday,” “Something in Red,” “I Didn't Know My Own Strength,” “Half Enough,” and others.
Throughout her career, Morgan says, she has thought of the Opry as home. 
“The Opry gave me my start in country music,” she says. “It’s a place we all need to go from time to time to remember why we're here and what gave us the opportunity to be here.”
Tim McGraw Rallies Brantley Gilbert, LoCash Cowboys and More for Annual Celebrity Sporting Clay Pro-Am

Country stars and shooting guns are a common thing, so it comes as no surprise that this year’s Tug McGraw Foundation Pro-Am Sporting Clay Event had yet another all-star lineup. The event, which took place Tuesday morning (June 3), helps kick off CMA Music Festival in Nashville.

Brantley Gilbert, Mark Wills, LoCash Cowboys, Rhett Akins, Craig Campbell, The Warren Brothers, Daryle Singletary, Dakota Bradley, Ira Dean, Keith Anderson, Lance Miller, Tiffany and, of course, Tug’s son, Tim McGraw, all gathered at the Nashville Gun Club for a little fun for a great cause.

Before heading out to go skeet shooting with their teams, the stars mingled with one another, spending a little time catching up and even brainstorming on song ideas. While it was an early start to the day, not a single star had a complaint in the world!

(From left) Chris Lucas, Ira Dean, Preston Brust and Dakota Bradley
photo by Alanna Conaway

“Anytime you get called to anything for a charity, I’m in,” former Trick Pony member Ira Dean told Country Weekly. “Plus, there’s firearms involved and this is near my house. . . . I’d be shooting stuff right now if I was at home! I mean . . . seriously . . . what more do you need?”

The event was extra special for LoCash Cowboys’ Chris Lucas, as it allowed him the opportunity to shake Tim McGraw’s hand and thank him face to face for recording “Truck Yeah,” a song he co-wrote with duo partner Preston Brust, Chris Janson and Danny Myrick. “It was nice to be able to thank him for changing my life,” Chris told CW. “It just feels good to be here in general. It’s fun to be around other friends you don’t normally see because we’re all on the road so much.”

“It’s good to be out here with everybody supporting a great cause,” Preston added. “That’s what it’s all about.”

In Brantley Gilbert’s case, he and Tim have bonded well in recent years after the superstar took Brantley on the road with him.

“I’ve got a chance to get to hang out with Tim and get to know him as a dude because of that,” Brantley explained. “He’s a really great guy. I know he believes in some really strong things, and this is for his dad. I consider Tim a pretty close friend, so I wanted to come out and support anything he has going on. It’s a great cause . . . and we get to shoot guns, so it’s all good!”

In addition to money raised through team sponsorships, a silent auction was also taking place, which included guitars autographed by all artists involved, autographed Tug McGraw baseballs, vacation packages and more.

The Tug McGraw Foundation was established by Tug McGraw in 2003 to raise funds to enhance the quality of life of children and adults with brain tumors and their families by stimulating and facilitating research that addresses the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual impact of the disease.

Funding raised through the 3rd Annual Celebrity Sporting Clay Pro-Am will aid in efforts to improve the lives of military service members who have been affected by post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.


The award-winning, critically-acclaimed group continues trek across North America promoting their 3rd release on Rounder Records
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (May 22, 2014) – Conway Entertainment Group has announced that The SteelDrivers have engaged the company as their exclusive booking agency effectively immediately.  The multi-Grammy nominees are currently on tour throughout the US and Canada in support of their third Rounder Records release Hammer Down.  
“We are honored to be a part of the SteelDrivers’ team,” says Brandon Mauldin, senior VP of CEG.  “They are a world-class, extremely talented act.  We are proud they have chosen CEG to represent them on their future endeavors.” 
The SteelDrivers is Mike Fleming, Tammy King, Gary Nichols, Richard Bailey and Brent Truitt.    This group of seasoned and lauded musicians has experienced major success as individual talents and has seized an opportunity to follow their hearts as they have developed a unique design of their own.  Colliding their bluegrass roots with a new sound that brings together country, soul, blues and other contemporary influences to create an unapologetic hybrid has proved successful as evidenced by record sales and numerous sold out shows.  
The SteelDrivers state, “We are excited to be joining Conway Entertainment Group.  Their passion for our music, coupled with their outside the box approach, makes this a great home for us.  Our goal is to reach our fans while broadening our market to engage new fans by performing in new arenas as we continue to release our music.” 
Since 2008, the group has released three records on Rounder Records.  The SteelDrivers, Reckless and Hammer Down (No. 1 debut on Billboard Bluegrass Chart) have all been critically-acclaimed and generated numerous accolades for the group.  They have received three Grammy nominations, four IBMA awards and the Americana Music Association’s New Artist of Year.  In 2009, they received the IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year honor.  With numerous appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, NPR Mountain Stage, Music City Roots and various late night TV shows, their music has caught the ear of numerous film and television executives, as well as some of music’s leading performers.
The Steeldrivers are managed by Wortman Works' Jules Wortman.
About Conway Entertainment Group:
Conway Entertainment Group is a full-service talent agency comprising live events, booking and talent management.  CEG is built firmly on the foundation of Tony Conway's thirty-five years of experience in the industry, climbing the ranks from agent to CEO of Buddy Lee Attractions, Inc., one of the world's largest agencies.   CEG provides a select group of clients, both breaking and established artists, unparalleled attention to all details of structuring tours and negotiating other relationships on their behalf.  Personal one-on-one focus is the key to success at Conway Entertainment Group.
Conway Entertainment Group
Brandon Mauldin
The SteelDrivers: 
Wortman Works
Jules Wortman
CONCERT REVIEW: Brett Eldredge And Michael Ray At The Dallas Bull In Tampa, FL

It was a night of great music at The Dallas Bull, located on the outskirts of Tampa on April 25th; headliner Brett Eldredge and local Florida native Michael Ray brought a sold out crowd to the venue, filling it to capacity where people were almost standing on top of each other.


Ray opened the show with such intensity that the back of his drummer’s shirt flew up within in the first few beats. Bringing a rocky edge to country classics such as Gary Allan’s “Right Where I Need to Be”, Lynyrd Skynryrd’s “Simple Man” and Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”, Ray was an interactive force on stage, taking selfies with fans in the first few rows while seamlessly switching between songs on his set list. The Florida native showed appreciation to his home state and you could tell he had a large following at the venue that night; front and center were what I describe as ‘originals’, fans who knew and supported him before he signed a deal withWarner Music Nashville that sang along with original songs on and off his EP. Being crowned the winner of the CW show “The Next” under mentor John Rich of Big & Rich back in 2012 may have gotten Ray his foot in the door but it’s his charisma, humility, and amazing voice that will make him a household name.

To steal a lyric from Brett Eldredge’s current single “Beat of the Music”, that man has soul and he knows how to use it.

Already a fan of his, my interest peaked when his prelude music included Stevie Wonder’s “Sign, Sealed, Delivered” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”; this was not just another country act. At promptly 10:32pm the band members started slowly hitting the stage to the beat of a large bass drum, emblemed with an enormous “BE” in the center of the stage. At 10:34pm Eldredge hit the state, looking utterly dapper in a black jacket, silver button-down and tight black pants, he was graced with an eruption so loud from the crowd it shook the walls of the country hall.

“Who wants to get sexy on a Friday night?” Eldredge asked the crowd before breaking into his third song of the night, “On and On”; to see BOTH men and women fawning over a male performer in country music is a rarity, but the look on the attendees faces showed that Brett was more than just your average country artist. Before breaking into “One Mississippi” for a bit of a more relaxed set.

Eldredge opened the lid of his piano to display a fully stocked bar, pouring himself a glass of whiskey from a glass canister. The sold-out and tightly packed crowd illuminated The Dallas Bull with their cell phone lights during “Mean to Me”, wanted to embrace Eldredge while spoke of his grandmother’s battle with Alzheimers disease before breaking into his first single, “Raymond”, and brought full intensity on the dance floor when the pace picked back up with “Tell Me Where to Park” and his cover of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves”.

Every audience member knew the lines to every song he performed and the beam of delight resonated off of Eldredge and his bandmates; “I remember the first time I played here maybe two people knew who I was and knew a few of my songs”, Brett said while taking a pause before busting into his chart topping hit, “Don’t Ya”. With the audience singing so loudly that the artist was drowned out……. It’s apparent that being unrecognized no longer be an issue. Before exiting the stage, Eldredge took the time to autograph every phone case, photo, and in some cases body parts, handed to him within reach of the stage.

When asked why she came out, attendee Darla Asher said “He has his own unique style compared to other artists today. That’s what attracted me to his music. And he looks a bit like Bradley Cooper”. Yes, Brett Eldredge possesses a classiness that many artists, let alone men around his young age of 28, do not. He’s a loveable goof-ball (check out his Twitter for proof) but Eldredge resonates a ‘Rat-Pack’ era of sophistication while keeping himself relevant in today’s country world.

If he finds himself in a town near you, you better go. Plain and simple. You can find a listing of his tour dates at and make sure to grab a copy of his phenomenal album “Bring You Back” available via iTunes and Amazon, HERE, or at your local music retailer. This man has a huge career ahead of him, make sure to be a part of it.

CMA Fest

Come see Michael Ray and Blackjack Billy at CMA Fest!!

June 6th - BMI Tailgate Party
LP Field - South Lawn
Michael Ray 5:15-5:45pm
Blackjack Billy 6:50-7:30pm
Kalatech Delivers Innovative Software Solutions for the Music Business

Nashville, TN (PRWEB) April 24, 2014

Today, DevDigital announces they have launched kalatech, a new company to take on the rapid expansion and adoption of their music business software products. The three kalatech products are Booking Agency Pro, Publishing Pro and Tour Pro; all help facilitate valuable information needed in real-time for efficient operations management. Kalatech has seen an increase in music industry professionals behind the scenes utilizing these vital, all-inclusive digital tools to manage their artist bookings, writer catalogs and tour logistics.

Kalatech, has spent five years quietly under the radar developing their current products and growing their roster to over 40 clients. One of the first adoptees, Tony Conway, president of Conway Entertainment, LLC., understood the need for a program where data was transparent to his agents, artists, and various managers whether they were on the road or at home.

"When I left Buddy Lee Attractions and decided to start up my new agency I looked for new booking and touring software that could be customized and designed to incorporate all I had learned from the agent's perspective," says Conway. "Kalatech was the answer to our search. They listened and developed a complete software program that has evolved into a very impressive day-to-day operations tool for our company."

In addition to Conway Entertainment, kalatech boasts A-list clients: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Smack Songs, Bigger Picture, Neon Cross, Parallel Entertainment, KCA Artists (Keith Case), ARM Entertainment, and many notable others.

"The most rewarding part of working with these products is watching our clients' processes evolve where what used to take them hours may now only take minutes. Additionally they have confidence with where their business stands because the information is accessible in real time," says Brittany Wegusen, CEO of kalatech. "My team and I are no strangers to developing valuable technology over the last three years, creating value by closely working with our clients, listening to their feedback and observing how the operating process can be improved."

Wegusen's background includes working as an inventory analyst for a fortune 500 company before moving to Nashville and becoming involved with developing technology focused on the music business. Over three years ago she took over the reins of what is now kalatech and has lead the organization's product development and client relations since the beginning. Her efforts have lead kalatech to become the premiere software solutions provider in the music industry.

Kalatech Products

Booking Pro 
The Booking Agency Software provides a web-based, real time solution for booking agencies of all sizes to manage their artists. The program encompasses all aspects of the booking cycle including making offers, managing contracts, tracking deposits, and business reporting such as the traditional routing sheet, an artist itinerary and more. The system will allow you to email offers and contracts as a PDF to the artist's manager, venue, buyer, agent if so desired right from the system. The program comes with different user access levels, including a customer view to ensure privacy of your data.

Publishing Pro 
The Music Publishing Software provides publishers with all the tools they need to track their songwriters and catalogs from anywhere with internet connection. Once songs are in the catalog manager, publishers can manage their song's admin information, and ownership of the song. From there the system keeps track of that song's lifecycle. Users can "pitch" the song direct from the cloud based system via computer, phone and tablet to the person of their choice real time and from there track holds, cuts and syncs.

Tour Pro 
The Tour Management Software provides road managers and crew the ability to manage their artist's tour from anywhere. It is the perfect solution for coordinating the artist, band, production, crew, and drivers, while keeping management, public relations, promoters and record labels in the loop. Users are assigned different access roles within the system to control privacy yet allow for flexibility. This tour management software lets managers enter all info related to shows, rehearsals, travel, appearances, and bus calls to help logistics.

For more information concerning kalatech or for a demo, email Melissa Hollis at melissa(at)kalatech(dot)com and visit

Kalatech, LLC provides real-time cloud based software to the music industry for booking agencies, music publishers and tour management professionals. Kalatech is a division of DevDigital, a top Nashville based web development firm specializing in enterprise systems and iPhone, iPad, and Android application development. For more information about kalatech visit

Read the full story at

Lorrie Morgan, brother Marty Morgan pen tax jingle

Lorrie Morgan, brother Marty Morgan pen tax jingle

Cindy Watts, [email protected]5 p.m. CDT April 15, 2014

Country music fans know Lorrie Morgan for songs including “Something in Red” and “I Guess You Had to Be There.” But the singer is proving she can turn out more than a country song.

Morgan and her brother Marty Morgan founded The RedHot Jingle Company several years ago and just in time for tax season, the pair produced a new jingle for Liberty Tax: “EZ Capeezy.”

Lorrie Morgan said it is the company’s biggest success to date.

“It gave us an opportunity to showcase our family’s musical gift in another way,” said Lorrie Morgan, whose father is late Country Music Hall of Famer George Morgan. “When you get a big company like Liberty Tax and they give you a great budget and you have the opportunity to use Nashville’s most elite musicians — that was fun. We weren’t just going in and doing a little demo. It was really exciting for us. We felt like it really legitimizes us.”

The song goes: “Easy Capeezy, Fast and Easy. We Make Tax Time Much More Fun. Believe it or Not, We’ve Got America’s Fastest Refund. For Easy Capeezy, Taxes made Easy. Liberty’s The One.”

“You’ve got to get to the point quick,” Lorrie Morgan said of writing jingles. “You only have sometimes a minute or less to get your point across and that’s one thing that’s really creative about Marty. I tend to be poetic about writing a song and Marty’s like, ‘No, we have to get to the point quick.’”

In addition, the brother-sister duo also turned out a new (unofficial) fight song for the Tennessee Titans “Titan Up.”

Lorrie Morgan played it for Titans owner Bud Adams before his passing, and later she and Pam Tillis were invited to sing the national anthem as well as “Titan Up” at a Tennessee Titans game at LP Field.

Lorrie Morgan said the crowd “ate it up.”

“Marty and I are not just songwriters,” Lorrie Morgan said. “We have a lot of creativity running around in (our heads) and we just decided to put it to use and see where we could go with it. It’s very challenging and extremely rewarding. I don’t ever want to quit dreaming and quit being creative.” 

State of Mississippi Honors Country Music Artist Jeff Bates

Bates' career, struggles and life accomplishments commended with House Resolution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 31, 2014) – Recently, Country Music artist, Jeff Bateswas recognized with a Resolution put forth by the State of Mississippi’s House of Representatives.  The resolution commended Jeffery Wayne "Jeff" Batesfor his contributions and success in Country Music, for having confronted and overcome adversity, and for his dedication to his family, wife Kelly Vaughn anddaughter Brianna
“Whereas, a man with a life’s story that seemingly chronicles a classic country song,” listed the Resolution, “…Jeff rebounded with an undeniable affirmation of self and a renewed awareness of purpose to once again seize the reins of destiny which were innately embedded in the core of his musicality.” 
The resolution went on to recognize Bates’ ongoing charity work and upcoming endeavors and concluded “Mr. Bates’ stature and incredible success, whose talent, life’s story and benevolences have bestowed great pride and integrity upon the great State of Mississippi.”
Bates was raised in Bunker Hill, Miss., adopted as the eldest of nine children by sharecropping parents. After moving to Nashville to chase his dreams, he landed a publishing deal with Warner-Chappell. However, in 2001, Bates’ battle with drugs and his addiction landed him in jail putting an end, if only for a while, to his music career.  
After being released, Bates co-wrote Tracy Lawrence’s 2002 single, “What a Memory,” putting him well on the path to success.  In 2003, Bates inked his first record deal with RCA Records and released his debut album Rainbow Man that produced a top-ten single, “The Love Song.” Three more albums would follow, including Leave the Light On (RCA), his self-titled project and One Day Closer(Black River), culminating in seven top-40 singles and a No. 1 Christian country single.    
“I am honored and humbled by this award,” stated Bates. “I wish my Mama and Daddy were still here to physically see and share in this occasion. However I trust that they are with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in Heaven, smiling down with the pride only Parents can feel!” Bates continued “I would like to personally extend thanks to Aaron Williams; Rep. Charles Busby; District 111, Phillip Gunn; Speaker of The House, Rep. C. Scott Bounds; District 44, Senator Giles K. Ward; District 18, Senator Lydia Chassaniol; District 14, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves; and last but definitely not least my friend, brother, and mentor Fred Robinson and his wife Dianne for your selfless efforts on my behalf in making this momentous event in my life happen!”
Bates currently celebrates 13 years of sobriety. He continues the outreach of Jeff Bates Ministries and dedicates his life to what he considers “the most important and ultimate accomplishment,” the job of being a full-time father. Additionally, Bates is back in the studio working on a variety of projects, including the highly-anticipated album Me & Conway (which will feature Twitty classics as well as a mix of original tunes) and The Songwriter Series, both due out later this year. Bates is also assisting up-and-coming artists as a manager and has recently built Bates Shop Studios.  
For more information on Jeff Bates, please visit:
Take a look behind the scenes of LoCash Cowboy's "Best Seat In The House" video shoot


New music and select tour dates forthcoming from country supergroup
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 9, 2014) -- Country Music Hall of Fame group Alabama has signed a new management deal with Tony Conway’s Ontourage Management.
After signing with RCA in 1980, Alabama soared to the top with 21 consecutive Number 1 hit singles, a feat most likely never to be equaled in any genre. During their career, they have had 43 singles that have topped the country charts and have sold more than 73 million albums worldwide. They are one of the most celebrated groups, scoring more than 150 major industry awards including two GRAMMY Awards, the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award, Entertainer of the Year Awards three times from the CMA and five times from the ACM, as well as ACM Artist of the Decade. They have earned 21 Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum albums and were named the RIAA Country Group of the Century.
Band members Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry stated: “We have known Tony Conway for 30 years, and his reputation and major accomplishments in the music industry made this a natural fit. We want to continue our journey, and we feel Tony can help us accomplish that.”
Tony Conway, an industry veteran with more than 38 years of experience, spent 33 years with Buddy Lee Attractions, eventually becoming CEO and co-owner. In 2010, Conway launched his own companies, Conway Entertainment Group and Ontourage Management. Through the years, Conway has represented a veritable “Who’s Who” roster of clients including George Strait, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Garth Brooks, George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, The Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean, to name a few.
“I have had the pleasure of knowing the members of Alabama for many years, and I am extremely proud they have chosen us to help further their endeavors and work with them on future projects. New music, selected tour dates, a film documentary, and a book are in the plans. Alabama has created an incredible legacy through both music and philanthropy. We are honored to be part of their team,” said Conway.
For more information on the band, please visit
Ontourage Management
(615) 724-1818
Grascals garners success creating ‘American Pickers’ new theme song

Grascals garners success creating ‘American Pickers’ new theme song

It’s hard to believe 10 years ago Dolly Parton would take note of a band called The Grascals and invite them as an opening act on her bluegrass tour.

Now fast forward to present day 2014. The Grascals have garnered three Grammy Award nominations for Best Bluegrass album and television appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Marie Osmond Show” and “The CBS Early Show.” The band recently released a new album “When I Get My Pay” through Mountain Home Music Company.

The new album includes the hit “American Pickers” a song written by The Grascals for pal Mike Wolfe of History Channel’s popular TV show “American Pickers.” The song highlights the travels of Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz and their adventures around the globe looking for rusty gold in the form of antiques and vintage collectibles with the aid of their beloved assistant Danielle Colby.

I interviewed mandolin player Danny Roberts, a founding member of The Grascals and the two-time winner of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music America’s Mandolin Performer of the Year.

Q: Tell us what is in store for 2014?

A: We got a lot of exciting things to keep the year rolling. The newest thing that is really exciting is our song “American Pickers,” which is the new theme song for the TV show. A lot of touring with theaters and festivals. The new CD “When I Get My Pay” just came out and it has already went to number one on the Bluegrass Today charts.

Q: Do you think the new album will get a Grammy this year?

A: Ha! I don’t know. We were all hoping for it last year, thinking third time might be a charm, but it is just really awesome to be thought of and be nominated. But I do hope to have a Grammy award sitting on the mantel one day. We are just really excited that are fans like our music enough for us to get nominated.

Q: Is there a gospel album in the works?

A: We went in the studio initially to record two albums, but time and other various schedules got in the way and we haven’t started yet. We have all the material for a gospel album, so expect to get one from us soon in the future.

Q: Kristen Scott Benson (banjo) sings for the first time on this album She is a great banjo picker how is she as a vocalist?

A: She is great. She has always sang harmony and is a great harmony singer backing up Larry Stevenson when she performed with him. Jamie Johnson (vocals, guitar) and his wife had written this tune called “Are You Up For Getting Down Tonight?” and then she started singing the song as a duo with Jamie, and we all decided she needed to do it, and it has done really well, and people seem to really enjoy it.

Q: Do you think bluegrass as a genre is becoming more mainstream with appearances like The Grascals on “The Tonight Show?”

A: Anytime you can get a bluegrass band, whether its us or anybody on major television like that, it is always a positive thing. I think the genre will continue to grow in a positive direction. From Flatt &Scruggs on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” to “Oh, Brother Were Art Thou” with Allison Krauss and Union Station, and even somebody like Alan Jackson recording a bluegrass album, there has to be something to it for this stuff to be happening.


Josh Belcher is a Columbia resident, a freelance writer, a drummer, a stand-up comic and a single dad.

- See more at:
Blackjack Billy Is One Of Roughstock's Ones To Watch For In 2014

Blackjack Billy (Bigger Picture)

Another band with a sound all their own, Blackjack Billy is a group which banded together after writing a few songs together. The band features indie artists who have released work solo, particularly lead vocalist Rob Blackledge. The band’s first single “The Booze Cruise” sold a couple hundred thousand tracks independently before they hooked up with rising label Bigger Picture and released their second single “Get Some” to radio in late fall. Look for the group to release an album at some point in 2014.

Johnny Rivers & Jimmy Webb: An Evening Of Classic American Music

New Music From The Grascals

The Grascals Release When I Get My Pay

New Release includes “American Pickers”

Nashville, TN  – The highly anticipated 8th album from The Grascals will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 19th. WHEN I GET MY PAY, (Mountain Home Music), is currently available for pre-order from iTunes.

WHEN I GET MY PAY includes 13 songs that range from toe-tapping and fast-pickin’ to the occasional tender ballad. Fans will be delighted to hear award-winning banjo player, Kristin Scott, share her vocals on “Are You Up For Getting Down Tonight.”

The three-time Grammy nominated band has already released the companion video for one album cut. “American Pickers” was penned by Jamie Johnson, Susanne Mumpower Johnson and Jeffrey East after members of The Grascals met and became friends with Mike Wolfe of the hit History Channel television show, American Pickers. Country superstar and Grascals’ pal, Dierks Bentley, lends his vocals to the album cut and appears in the music video, along with Wolfe.

“We all love the American Pickers TV show, so it was a thrill when I got to meet Mike,” Jamie Johnson says. Wolfe and Johnson met at a celebrity waiters’ event for charity about a year ago and struck up a friendship.

“I told Mike we’d like to write a song for him and he thought that was a pretty cool idea,” Jamie says. “The song and making the video have been great fun for us, and that includes Dierks and Mike. Fans seem to be getting a kick out of it.” See the music video at

The music video was shot on location during The Grascals’ Riverstage appearance at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in Nashville and at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN, a property owned by the Johnny Cash family.

The Grascals are among the most beloved and acclaimed bands on the bluegrass scene, The Grascals have been repeatedly honored for their work. The reigning SPBGMA Instrumental Group of the Year (for the 3rd year in a row), the group was named SPBGMA’s Bluegrass Band of the Year 2010. The Grascals have also received the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Emerging Artist of the Year award (2005) and Entertainer of the Year award (2006, 2007). Kristin Scott Benson is a four-time winner of the Banjo Player of the Year Award and Danny Roberts has been honored as Mandolin Player of the Year. The band recently welcomed fiddler, Adam Haynes, to the fold as the newest band member.

The Grascals are three-time Grammy Award nominees. They have nearly 150 appearances on the legendary stage of the Grand Ole Opry to their credit.

PICTURED: Terry Eldredge, Terry Smith, Jamie Johnson, Danny Roberts, Kristin Scott Benson

To learn more, visit



Nashville, TN, Nov. 21, 2013…. “Best Seat in the House,” LoCash Cowboys’ powerful new video and emotional tribute to Chris Lucas’ late father, has just been added to CMT Pure and The video, shot in Nashville at Franklin Road Academy high school, traces a boy’s journey from childhood through adulthood while all the time having his father at his side, even when he was no longer living. “Best Seat in the House” is impacting listeners at radio nationwide, and is featured “On the Horizon” on Sirius XM’s The Highway channel. View “Best Seat in the House” here
The video, directed by Hideout Pictures, depicts a relationship between a father and son and follows a touching football storyline created by director Potsy Ponciroli.
Written by Chris Lucas, Preston Brust and Aaron Barker, the heartfelt song is featured on the duo’s self-titled debut album, released this past summer. Lucas, pictured in the video wearing his father’s U.S. Army-issued shirt, commented, “I'm excited for the world to see this video, it turned out amazing and I know my Dad would be proud! Believe me, I know he is watching. And for anyone else who has lost someone in their lives, they are also watching from the best seat in the house.”
The duo kicks off their “Living Loud® Tour 2014” in association with Kicker © Audio in December 2013.
About LoCash Cowboys 
Average Joes Entertainment's LoCash Cowboys are anything but average. Signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LoCash celebrated the writing success of two hit singles in 2012; the #1 hit, “You Gonna Fly,” recorded by Keith Urban, and the gold-certified, Top-10 smash, “Truck Yeah,” recorded by Tim McGraw. To date, the duo has amassed over 10 million YouTube views and continues to entertain fans worldwide with their high-energy, live shows.   The band released their long-awaited debut album in June 2013. For more information visit, @LoCashCowboys,

Dierks Bentley Helps the Grascals on 'American Pickers' Song

The Grascals are famous for all-star collaborations on their toe-tapping bluegrass tunes, and their eighth studio release, ‘When I Get My Pay,’ will be no different. Friend of the band, Dierks Bentley can be heard on the single ‘American Pickers.’

“We’ve always had fortunately a lot of  friends in country music from Dolly (Parton),  we’ve opened tours with people, you know, Brooks & Dunn and Hank Jr. So, we’ve got  a lot of those kinds of  friends in that world,” says band member Danny Roberts in an interview with Nashville Fox 17. “Dierks has always been a friend of the band. [Grascals bandmate] Terry Eldredge used to sing with a group called the Sidemen at the Station Inn and when Dierks came to town, he kind of credits Terry for getting him singing.”

Banjo player Kristin Scott Benson says that the single was inspired by the band’s love of the hit TV show ‘American Pickers.’ Music City is home base for the show’s Mike Wolfe and his store, Antique Archeology.

“[Lead singer] Jamie Johnson was doing a charity event … and he met Mike there and we’re all big fans of the show,” Benson says. “He just went up and said, ‘Man, we love your show! Have you got a theme song?’ — completely knowing that they didn’t.”

The Grascals have been bluegrass staples for nearly a decade, and they recently welcomed new fiddle player Adam Haynes.

“After eight albums you would think you would get tired of it, but with each one you get just as excited with it and think, ‘This is the best one yet!’” Roberts says.

Watch the Video for the Grascals, ‘American Pickers’ (Feat. Dierks Bentley)


George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan and Lee Ann Womack Pay Tribute to the Songwriting Legend

NASHVILLE, November 5, 2013 
– Broadcast Music, Inc.®, (BMI®), a global leader in music rights management, presented the 2013 BMI Country Awards, honoring the prolific songwriting career of BMI Icon Dean Dillon, as well as the Country Songwriter, Song and Publisher of the Year tonight in Nashville. The 61st annual event, which is the genre’s oldest awards ceremony, also celebrated the songwriters and publishers of the most-performed country songs of the past year. 
Dillon, who was named this year’s BMI Icon, joins an elite list of songwriters who have had "a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers" and was honored with an all-star tribute from some of country's biggest stars, including Luke Bryan performing Dillon’s BMI award-winning hit "Unwound," Lee Ann Womack with an emotional rendition of "An Empty Glass" and Kenny Chesney with the country classic "Holed Up In Some Honky Tonk." George Strait, who alone has recorded 54 of Dillon’s songs, paid homage with a medley of three of his most notable Dillon-penned hits, including "The Chair," "Marina Del Rey" and "Here for a Good Time."
Rodney Clawson was named Songwriter of the Year, with writing credits on six of the most-performed songs of the past year, including "Drink On It" recorded by Blake Shelton, "Drunk On You" by Luke Bryan, "One of Those Nights" by Tim McGraw, "Take a Little Ride" by Jason Aldean, "Where I Come From" by Montgomery Gentry and "Did It for the Girl" by Greg Bates. 
Hunter Hayes' smash hit "Wanted," penned by Hayes and Troy Verges, won the coveted Song of the Year award. Published by Happy Little Man Publishing, Songs from the Engine Room and Songs of Universal, Inc., "Wanted" garnered more than one million performances in 2012 alone, making it one of the most-performed songs of the year.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville continued their winning streak of over a decade, again taking home the Publisher of the Year accolade. Responsible for 20 of the 50 most-performed songs of the year, Sony/ATV published megahits such as Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise," Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup," Little Big Town's "Pontoon" and many more. During the ceremony, BMI also saluted the songwriters and publishers of the 50 most-performed country songs of the previous year.
BMI President Del Bryant hosted the ceremony with Jody Williams, BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville; Michael O’Neill, BMI Chief Executive Officer; and Clay Bradley, BMI Assistant Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations, Nashville.
The evening also marked the launch of two initiatives for BMI, the first being the inaugural issue of the BMI Nashville newsletter, which highlights BMI affiliates and events throughout the region and includes a cover story feature on the red hot Country duo Florida Georgia Line. Additionally, BMI launched BMI TV which will feature new content and interviews with BMI affiliates from awards shows and industry events, beginning with a red carpet interview with superstar Carrie Underwood from the recent T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala in New York City.
For a complete list of 2013 BMI Country Awards winners, please visit
Media can access high-resolution photos and event information at
Photo and video footage can be accessed
via the official EPKlink early Wednesday morning:
Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 600,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The Company negotiates music license agreements and distributes the fees it generates as royalties to its affiliated writers and publishers when their songs are performed in public. In 1939, BMI created a groundbreaking open-door policy becoming the only performing rights organization to welcome and represent the creators of blues, jazz, country, and American roots music. Today, the musical compositions in BMI’s repertoire, from chart-toppers to perennial favorites, span all genres of music and are consistently among the most-performed hits of the year. For additional information and the latest BMI news, visit, follow us on Twitter @BMI or stay connected through Broadcast Music, Inc.’s Facebook page.
# # #
Media Contacts:
Natasha Powell, BMI
Drew Maynard, BMI
Silvia Davi, BMI
The Grascals “American Pickers” features Mike Wolfe & Dierks Bentley

Multi-award winning Bluegrass band, The Grascals, have announced the release of their 8th album, WHEN I GET MY PAY. This album will be released on Mountain Home Music November 19th, and is available for pre-order now at iTunes.

The three-time Grammy nominated band has already released the companion video for one song on the album. “American Pickers” was penned by Jamie Johnson, Susanne Mumpower Johnson and Jeffrey East after members of The Grascals met and became friends with Mike Wolfe of the hit History Channel television show, American Pickers. Country superstar and Grascals’ pal, Dierks Bentley, lends his vocals to the album cut and appears in the music video, along with Wolfe.

“We just really love the American Pickers TV show, so it was a thrill to meet and get to know Mike,” Jamie says. “I told him we’d like to write a song for him and he thought that was a pretty cool idea. The song and video have been such fun for all of us, including Dierks and Mike, and now we’re happy to share it with fans.”

The music video was shot on location during The Grascals’ Rivestage appearance at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in Nashville and at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN.

THE GRASCALS are among the most beloved and acclaimed bands on the bluegrass scene, The Grascals have been repeatedly honored for their work. The reigning SPBGMA Instrumental Group of the Year (for the 3rd year in a row), the group was named SPBGMA’s Bluegrass Band of the Year 2010. The Grascals have also received the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Emerging Artist of the Year award (2005) and Entertainer of the Year award (2006, 2007). Kristin Scott Benson is a four-time winner of the Banjo Player of the Year Award and Danny Roberts has been honored as Mandolin Player of the Year. The Grascals are three-time Grammy Award nominees. They have made more than 130 appearances on the legendary stage of the Grand Ole Opry. To learn more, visit:

Syntax Creative, based in San Diego, California, is one of the top independent digital distributors representing more than 100 record labels. Syntax handles many top independent artists such as Tamela Mann, Propaganda, Marvin Winans, Sho Baraka, John P. Kee, Flame, and Braille among others. Their clientele includes Central South, Answers In Genesis, Pinecastle Records, Crossroads Music, Humble Beast, among others. To learn more, visit:

Opry Members React to Juliette's Invitation to Join the Opry


Tillis & Morgan to Perform Song from New Collaborative Album, DOS DIVAS 

HUCKABEE Performance Airs this Saturday, October 12 at 8 PM EST

Nashville, Tenn. (October 11, 2013) – This weekend on the Fox News Channel's hit weekend show, HUCKABEE, GRITS & GLAMOUR (PAM TILLIS and LORRIE MORGAN), two of country music's most respected female vocalists, will perform in support of their new album.

Tillis and Morgan will perform "I Am A Woman," a song from their collaborative album, DOS DIVAS.  The album was released last July and is available nationally through Red River Entertainment.

Combined, the two country darlings have recorded 28 Top 10 hits, sold more than 18 million records, and hold 12 number one songs. There have been GRAMMYs, CMA Awards, movie credits, television appearances, and Broadway performances. They have rocked arenas, helmed world-class symphonies, and toured on almost every continent. These 50-somethings are more than a little flattered that they can still sell out shows, turn heads, and make hearts beat fast nearly four decades into their careers. It’s almost unnecessary to point out how rare it is to have such long-term success in an industry so fickle, but Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan haven't missed a beat. In fact, they both maintain extensive solo touring schedules, enhanced by the buzz that surrounds their joint tour, appropriately titled, Grits & Glamour.

For more information on Dos Divas and the Grits & Glamour tour, visit



Saturday, October 12


Huckabee - Fox News Channel

*Re-airs Sunday, October 13 at 8 PM ET


Media Contacts

For Pam Tillis: Absolute Publicity, Inc./ Don Murry Grubbs / [email protected] 615-275-8380

For Lorrie Morgan: Music City Media/ Kat Atwood / [email protected] 615-770-2994

LoCash Cowboys discuss the meaning behind "The Best Seat In The House"

Click below to listen to Chris and Preston tell the story behind "Best Seat In The House"

Lorrie Morgan And Children Join To Honor Late-husband, Father And Country Legend Keith Whitley

In a special, deserving and long-awaited family gathering, Lorrie Morgan  and her children, Jesse Keith Whitley and Morgan Whitley, accepted the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award in recognition of the late Keith Whitley for his contributions to the history and future of country music as part of the Academy of Country Music’s Seventh Annual ACM Honors on Tuesday evening, September 10, 2013. Concluding the honors and awards event held at the historic Ryman Auditorium (Nashville, TN), Lorrie and son, Jesse Keith, performed their heartfelt rendition of “Til A Tear Becomes A Rose" to which the performance met with overwhelming and embracing applause.  (The song was originally recorded by Keith Whitley as a duet with Lorrie and posthumously released in 1990; it was the only single from Whitley's GREATEST HITS album. The single peaked at No. 13 on the country singles charts.)

Bigger Picture Group Signs Blackjack Billy

Bigger Picture Group has signed country rock band Blackjack Billy to it's roster.
Country Artist Amber Hayes Garners Top 40 on MusicRow Country Breakout Chart

Country Artist Amber Hayes Garners Top 40 on MusicRow Country Breakout Chart
Discusses Inspiration Behind The Song
(Nashville, Tenn. – August 20, 2013) A-OK Entertainment/GMV Nashville recording artist Amber Hayes has garnered a Top 40 on the MusicRow Country Breakout chart with her current single “Any Day Is A Good Day.”  The uplifting track, which is a lyrical reminder to not take anything for granted and to live life to the fullest, has been on a steady climb and continues to receive positive reviews from listeners and critics alike. 
“Country hotshot Hayes is full of wide-eyed optimism on her latest single, which may prove to be her breakout.” – Jill Menze, Billboard Magazine
“Simply lovely. Her sweetly wistful singing voice is perfectly framed by an airy production and pristinely placed harmony vocals. Plus, it has a message to warm your soul. I could definitely get used to listening to this wafting through the radio speakers.” - Robert Oermann, MusicRow Magazine
“That love for what she does sparkles through in her sophomore release, "Any Day Is A Good Day.” -Chuck Dauphin,’s 615 Spotlight
Currently at #39, “Any Day Is A Good Day” marks Hayes’ third Top 40 record on the MusicRow Country Breakout chart.  In 2010, Hayes charted two Top 40 singles (“C’mon,” and “Wait”), which were releases from her EP, C’mon.
During the time in which Hayes was writing and recording for the new project, there were a series of people that entered her life that she feels are the key inspiration behind the music, more specifically for the single “Any Day Is A Good Day.”
Hayes explains, “A family that I got to know, who is located in Nashville, has a little girl who was 4 at the time that was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, called Retinoblastoma.  Throughout the time in which she underwent treatment, the bravery she and her family showed was remarkable and truly inspiring.  In addition, my good friend, Kevin Turner, who many may recall as the ex-Alabama and NFL fullback, was encountering new challenges and struggles every day because of his diagnosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I had all these different people coming into my life that I felt were in need of hope and uplifting.  At a time, when even words couldn’t fully heal the pain and sorrow these families had, all I knew what to do was write and sing for them.  My 96-year-old great grandmother always said, ‘Any day that I can put my feet on the ground, is a good day’ and I like to think that these people that came into my life at that particular time, along with my nannie’s wisdom is what inspired me to record the music as well as providing me the emotion to sing them and truly mean every word.”
While in the studio singing the vocals for “Any Day Is A Good Day” Amber received a message from a dear friend that the doctors reported she was cancer-free, making the day not just a good day, but a great day.
To listen to “Any Day Is A Good Day,” click here.
Hayes is also being recognized for her music through various television and film placement opportuntities.  In 2012, the multi-talented performer starred in the major motion picture, “Cowgirls N’ Angels.”  Three of her songs made it into the film, including her duet with Lonestar’s Richie McDonald, “Always There For Me.”  Hayes’ music was also featured in four episodes of the hit CW television series, Hart of Dixie.  
Hayes first broke onto the Country music scene after her starring role as Kathy T witty in the 2008 Conway Twitty musical, It’s Only Make Believe.  In October 2012, she released her sophomore album, Any Day Is A Good Day, which is available at iTunes and Amazon. Earlier this year, Billboard’s The 615 named her as “One To Watch in 2013.”  Following that, she opened up for one of her biggest musical influences, Reba McEntire, in Durant, Oklahoma.
For more information about Amber, visit and follow her on Twitter andFacebook.
To book Amber Hayes, please contact 615-724-1818 or visit
Happy Birthday to Preston of LoCash Cowboys

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Preston of the LoCash Cowboys!!! CMA voting members, give Preston some birthday love by voting for LoCash Cowboys for Vocal Duo of the Year!!!
Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan For Your CMA Consideration

Pretty Gritty

Pretty Gritty

Grits & Glamour’s Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan Sparkle and Shine Together on “Dos Divas”

Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, two of country music’s most illustrious and vocally superlative female artists, team up to make beautiful music as Grits & Glamour, and take time to rally behind the Louisiana SPCA

It’s an exciting moment in the landscape of music when a top-notch female recording artist/performer gives birth to a new album of marvelous tunes, but when you’ve got “dos divas” with a combined track record of 12 Number One songs, 28 Top 10 hits and more than 18 million records sold who unite for a wholly fabulous collaborative effort—look out world! Country music fans everywhere were tickled pink when Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan—two veterans of the country music industry who’ve rocked arenas around the globe, helmed world-class symphonies and earned multiple awards, including Grammys and CMAs—joined forces in 2009 to take their wildly successful Grits & Glamour Tour on the road, serenading and spellbinding audiences with treasures from their trove of classics, such as Tillis’ “Maybe it was Memphis” and Morgan’s “Something in Red.” The dynamic vocal duo then took the next logical step and recorded “Dos Divas,” a diverse collection of both duets and solo performances by Morgan and Tillis, featuring 14 well-crafted songs that range from heartfelt anthems such as “I Am a Woman” to rollicking romps like “I Know What You Did Last Night” (released on July 23). “Dos Divas” is an essential album for those who appreciate the soulful warmth of traditional country spiked with a contemporary, cutting-edge flair, compliments of two gals who fire on all cylinders when they do their thang.

And it’s a no-brainer to see why Grits & Glamour works so blissfully well: Tillis and Morgan are fun-loving, carefree country girls with their sense of humors intact, yet they’re serious, consummate professionals with powerful command over their God-given talents. They share myriad similarities, including their love for The Beatles and Merle Haggard, their common bond as daughters of country music legends (living country legend Mel Tillis and late Opry star George Morgan are their fathers) and their mad love for their adorable pet pit bulls. In fact, these darling divas have committed to be Honorary Celebrity Co-Chairs for the Louisiana SPCA’s 35th Annual Howling Success Patron Party & Gala, which will be held on November 2 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans to raise funds for the many services and programs the organization has rendered for the animals in this state for an astounding 125 years. New Orleans Living had a remarkable time with both Tillis and Morgan, and thinks it’s high time for Grits & Glamour to hightail it to New Orleans and put on a show, but in the meantime will roll down the windows and crank “Dos Divas” up on the next drive!

Hi Pam! How proud are you of “Dos Divas,” Grits & Glamour’s new album? It really is amazing!

Tillis: Thank you, Christine! You put this record on a good sound system and it sounds great. We put a lot into it. It’s very diverse; there are some heart-tugging cuts on it, but there are also a few crazy moments that lighten it up. What was cool about the project is that the first time Lorrie and I toured together years ago, we didn’t know each other that well. We were really in the glare of the spotlight, it was a high-pressure part of our careers and we didn’t really get to bond very much. I’m so glad we waited a couple of years into this tour to record together because it’s a lot more reflective of who we are and of our friendship. It would have been kind of manufactured had we done it before we went on tour; now the record is a lot more personal.

Being on tour with each other must be a trip!

Tillis: It’s fun. It’s almost like you’re on tour with your college roommate! (Laughs). Working together on “Dos Divas” was a kick too. Lorrie and I actually wrote most of the song “What Was I Thinkin’” at the autograph table on tour. People kept coming through the autograph line with old pictures of us. We’d see a hairdo or an outfit and we’d say to each other, “Oh God! What was I thinking?” (Laughs).

“Dos Divas” is an album that pays reverence to the roots you share, but still keeps things fresh, interesting and modern.

Tillis: Growing up in Nashville inside of the business, we definitely have a lot in common, including our love for the sensibility of a certain ear of country music that we draw from. We have similar tastes and we love certain sounds from the 70s, 80s and the 60s too. Even though we were really little then, that stuff stuck in our subconscious and in our musical marrow.

It has been cool seeing you appear as yourself on ABC’s fabulous hit show “Nashville.” You’re such a natural for television.

Tillis: Well, I did have a little inside track, but yeah, that was really cool. It’s my buddy Callie [Khouri] who created that show. I have been lucky to be on there a couple of times now. It’s been really fun. What a nice cast! I’m kind of bummed that they killed off the mom of Hayden Panettiere because Sylvia [Jefferies] is a great girl. There are so many nice people on that show, and everybody wants to know what Chip (Charles Esten), who plays Deacon, is like. Everybody is great! Hayden, even though she plays a little witch on the show, is awesome, and so is Connie [Britton]. The whole cast is really cool, onstage and off. You’re like, “Really? You guys are this nice?”

Another thing that you and Lorrie have in common is an overwhelming love for your pet pit bulls, who are relatives…

Tillis: Oh do we! Yes, they are related; our dog is Lorrie’s dog’s baby. Not everybody understands these dogs so you have to speak up for them. Pit bulls are like people; I’m sure there are some pit bulls out there that are messed up, but you have to raise them properly, just like people. I think they’re gorgeous dogs. And can I just tell you, my husband and I are in love with our dog Pearl! Lorrie told me, “Trust me on this one, you will love this dog,” and she was right. I’ve talked to a lot of other pit bull owners whose dogs have the same type of loving temperament as Pearl. All Pearl has ever known is people loving her. She truly is a little furry angel. She’s spent a lot of time in the studio, sitting through a lot of overdubs and mixes, and she’s so good. Whenever we do a photo shoot, it’s really weird, but we think she likes the camera. She always wants to be in the picture. The first two minutes she’s shy, then it’s like, “Pearl, get out of the picture!” (Laughs). She’s an attention hound for sure!

The Louisiana SPCA is 125 years old this year, and it’s fabulous that Grits & Glamour will help celebrate this milestone as Celebrity Co-Chairs for Howling Success in November.

Tillis: I am so happy to be a part of the celebration! For years I was on the go, moving so fast that I didn’t have time for a pet. Now that I have an animal best friend who’s like a family member, I feel like it was a missing part of my life and my personality. Pearl’s been so healing in our household. It’s a sensitivity that came to me later in life and it’s just so important to me. It’s almost biblical. Like Jesus said: Whatever you do unto one of the least, you do to me, and I think that applies to animals as well. It’s like we’re supposed to be good managers and good stewards on this planet and we’re supposed to care about others and animals. I am really supportive of all the Louisiana SPCA does for our furry kinfolk in New Orleans and beyond.

Hi Lorrie! “Dos Divas” is such a spirited album with a good balance of fun songs along with some beautiful, poignant stuff. And the album cover looks like y’all have a touch of “Thelma & Louise” going on there!

Morgan: Oh, you have no idea! (Laughs). You’re right, it is a real girlfriend album. The day we did that photo shoot out by the lake, we had a blast. We had such cool outfits, great high heels, hats, gloves, jewelry and sunglasses—it was like playing Barbie all day long. The first single is out now, “I Know What You Did Last Night,” and it is definitely, “Girlfriend, I know what you’re up to. I saw you, because I was right there with you!” (Laughs).

When you were considering the songs for “Dos Divas,” you must have had to pay attention to how songs would turn out having two women perform them as a duet.

Morgan: Yes! One is a ballad called “I Am a Woman.” I think we’ll get a lot of activity with it. It feels like a big song. It’s a well-written song by Mary Sue Englund and Thom Shepherd, and I think it’s going to wind up being a female anthem. It’s everything women are and everything women are about. It’s funny because we both heard the song and both wanted to do it. Pam was like, “Are we crazy? This is a great duet! This is about us as women.” We both picked the lines we wanted to do. We are both givers, so if Pam wants to do something, I let her do it, and vice versa. We don’t argue about who’s got what line; we both know each other really well and we know who would do certain lines better. It just works.

It’s fantastic that you and Pam brought Grits & Glamour and now “Dos Divas” to fruition. Teaming up as a female duo is a really fresh, fun idea.

Morgan: It’s awesome! You know, we found a real friendship that I think we would have never found unless we had hooked up for this project. We’d been out on tour with each other for almost three years, and finally decided to get smart and record an album together. It’s a great album; we’ve each got solo songs on it and we do six duets together. I think we’ve reached that point in our lives when we’ll record what we feel like we need to record. We’re comfortable with who we are as women, and we’re having a great time out there doing what we love.

You and Pam are carrying on the legacies of both of your fathers, country greats George Morgan and Mel Tillis.

Morgan: It’s crazy how surreal things become sometimes. We both channel into our fathers so much when we’re on stage. There’s a video of my dad and Mel doing a song Mel wrote called “Oh Lord I’m Tired,” and we found it after we had been touring for about a year and a half together. My Dad was sitting on the exact same side of the stage that I sit on and Mel was sitting on Pam’s side. Just their chemistry and the way they connected with one another…watching that and then looking at Pam on stage, it’s like, “Wow, this is so frickin’ cool!” We are really channeling some legacy.

You and Pam have a lot of connections, from loving makeup, clothes and shoes to your musical loves such as the Beatles and Merle Haggard. Another big connection is that you love your pit bulls, who happen to be relatives!

Morgan: We sure do! I’m their dog’s grandma and they call me “Glam-Maw!” (Laughs). I rescued my pit bull about three and a half years ago when he was a puppy and I fell in love with him. He has such an incredible, soft personality. One day out of the blue, Pam and her husband Matt started looking for a dog, and Matt said, “Tell me about pit bulls.” I said, “Well, Weezy is the only pit bull I’ve ever had, and I’ve never been so in love!” Weezy is named after the rapper and Pam’s is named Pearl, after Minnie Pearl. Pit bulls are very misunderstood. They’ve gotten a bad rap, but they’re really good babies.

In Louisiana, many stray dogs are pit bulls or pit bull mixes, so it’s perfect that you and Pam are Celebrity Co-Chairs for the Louisiana SPCA’s Howling Success Gala this year.

Morgan: Oh, it all kills me! I can’t even watch the ASPCA commercials on television. They tear me up. I love animals—all animals—every single one. Anything we can do to help the little creatures find homes—I’m in. I even want to start fostering dogs. I have two Great Pyrenees and my pit bull, and we just lost a little Chihuahua this spring to a hawk. We absolutely love our animals so anything we can do to help those babies in New Orleans is fine by me!

I hear that you really love New Orleans…

Morgan: Oh, I do. It’s a great place to have fun. I was married to Sammy Kershaw for about six years, and we went down to New Orleans quite a bit. Sammy was going to run for Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana. I was with him during that time and learned to love all of the Creole and Cajun stuff about Louisiana. I mean, who doesn’t love to go to New Orleans and walk the French Quarter and eat? Everyone loves New Orleans!

Michael Ray and Frankie Ballard Pick on WMN’s Patio

Michael Ray and Frankie Ballard Pick on WMN’s Patio
Author: Eric T. Parker - Country Aircheck  

Warner Music Nashville hosted Michael Ray and Frankie Ballard, who has a new single, “Helluva Life,” currently impacting radio, as the third artists featured during the label’s Pickin’ on the Patio celebration.

Now in its fourth season, Pickin’ on the Patio is held the fourth Thursday of every month from May through September on the WMN patio.

The next event will be held on Aug. 22.

For Your CMA Consideration...

CMA Members, We would appreciate your vote for Musical Event Of The Year. Thank you!

Check out this awesome review of Blackjack Billy!

Great review of Blackjack Billy from when they played Jam at the Ridge in LeRoy, NY

Do you have your copy of the LoCash Cowboys debut album????  Get it on iTunes TODAY!!!!

The Grascals on Inside Music Row

Country's LoCash Cowboys' New Single, "Chase a Little Love," Ships to Radio

Country’s LoCash Cowboys' New Single, “Chase a Little Love,” Ships to Radio Nashville, March 25, 2013.....Much to the delight of their rabid fan base, new music from Average Joes Entertainment's country duo, LoCash Cowboys, has finally arrived. “Chase a Little Love,” the lead single from group’s long-awaited debut album, is a sexy, fun-loving, summertime anthem set to impact radio in April. 

Currently in the studio finishing up their new record due out early this summer, LoCash Cowboys' “Chase a Little Love,” showcases what fans have come to expect; infectious new music that is pure fun. The catchy new single was co-written by LoCash Cowboys’ Preston Brust with Jaron Boyer, and produced by Shannon Houchins and Noah Gordon.

“We’ve been playing ‘Chase a Little Love’ at our live shows, and the fan reaction has been incredible. Both Preston and I are excited to finally get back out there with new music,” commented LoCash Cowboys' Chris Lucas.

Talented songwriters as well as entertainers, LoCash Cowboys celebrated the writing success of two major hit singles in 2012. "You Gonna Fly,” the #1 platinum-selling recording by Keith Urban (which was their first cut as songwriters), and the top 10 gold-certified, “Truck Yeah,” recorded by Tim McGraw. To date, the duo has amassed over 10 million YouTube views, sold 1 million songs, and continues to entertain fans worldwide with their electrifying, live shows.

The duo is giving fans an opportunity to help complete the upcoming album by singing on the last track to be recorded. Fans can participate in the recording of the high-energy song, “Hey, Hey, Hey,” by logging on to before March 31, 2013. Fan vocals submitted will make the final cut on the album due out later this year.

LoCash Cowboys consistently tours more than 150 shows per year nationwide and abroad entertaining audiences, and kicking ass with their raucous country style.

For more information, visit,, and @LoCashCowboys.

Average Joes' Media Contacts: Office: 615-733-9983
Claire Cook, [email protected], 615-812-9395
Kristin Palmer, [email protected], 770-815-6256



Includes “Les Miserables” Anthem “Bring Him Home” From Jean Valjean Role Morris Originated on Broadway

 NASHVILLE, TENN. (February 11, 2013) Grammy-winning artist and Broadway and television veteran Gary Morris will releaseGary Morris: My First Love, an on demandwebcast concert special available beginning February 14.  The one hour special features new music from Morris’ recently released Single Man LP as well as signature songs from his lengthy country music career.

 Filmed in front of a live audience at the Globe News Center for the Performing Arts in Amarillo, TX, the set list includes No. 1 hits, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” (also a CMA and ACM winning song) and “Leave Me Lonely,” the emotional “Bring Him Home,” from “Les Miserables” (Morris originated the U.S. role of Jean Valjean on Broadway) and new music “If You Were Mine,” “Woe Is Me,” and “I’ll Forget to Breathe.”  Morris also takes viewers behind the scenes to Mountain Spirit, his spectacular hunting and fly-fishing executive resort in southern Colorado and a place where he draws much of his inspiration.

 “I wanted to create this show to share a bit of my past along with some brand new music,” Morris said.  “It was also fun to include “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miserables,” revisiting my time on Broadway as Jean Valjean.”

Morris’ country music career includes 12 albums that generated 16 Top 10 singles and five No. 1 hits. At the height of his music career he seamlessly transitioned to live theater, first in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Puccini’s opera, “La Boheme,” (opposite Linda Ronstadt) and then to the lead role in “Les Miserables” on Broadway.  He’s performed for the Queen of England, for every U.S. president since Carter, center stage at the Grand Ole Opry and on military bases around the world. Morris also generously teaches master classes in theater and music at colleges and universities along his concert tour route.

 Gary Morris: My First Love was produced by Michael Merriman and Stephanie Reeves for Kemosabe Productions.  It is available for pre-order at

 To view a sneak peak:


The Grascals to Perform at Opry Star Memorial Weekend

The Grascals to Perform at Opry Star Memorial Weekend

Multi-Award Winning Bluegrass Band to Honor Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, and Randy Hughes


NASHVILLE, TN --- Fans of truly American music have a unique opportunity to honor the memory of some of country's biggest stars and to enjoy one today’s most highly awarded bluegrass bands. The Grammy-nominated Grascals are set to make an appearance at Gone But Not Forgotten, an event honoring Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, and Randy Hughes. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that took the lives of the Opry icons.

 Gone But Not Forgotten is a three-day event Thurs., 2/28 through Sat., 3/2/13 in Camden, Tennessee.  In addition to star-studded performances each night, fans may enjoy a museum-quality exhibit of memorabilia, a celebrity panel that will reminisce about the lives and careers of Cline, Hawkins, and Copas, tours to the crash site monument and a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of the four souls lost that tragic day in 1963.

"We are honored to pay tribute to stars who are such a big part of the history of American music" says founding Grascals member Jamie Johnson. "I hope all of our fans will come out and join us in Camden on the 28th."

Other performers at the 3-day event include Mandy Barnett, The American Three and Grand ole Opry stars Bill Anderson and Jean Shepard (widow of Hawkshaw Hawkins).

 The Grascals are at their harmonious and instrumental best. The multiple IBMA Entertainer of the Year award winners and multiple Grammy nominees have enjoyed an epic journey and with their new album, Life Finds a Way, they explore that journey with musical aplomb. The band is currently touring in support of the album, which received a Grammy-nominated for Best Bluegrass Album, and recently made their first appearance  on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  

For more on The Grascals, visit



Thursday 2/28/2013 ~ 6:00 PM
New Beginnings Annex

Camden, TN

Tickets and Info:


Vote For Billy Swayze!

Billy Swayze has been chosen to be a contestant in the Hard Rock Rising 2013 Global Battle of the Bands.  Please "like" the page and vote for Billy's song before February 11 at 3 p.m.  

His song "I Know A Girl" is available for listening and free download on the attached link.  

The Grascals, Danny Roberts, makes his television debut on 'Nashville'

Nashville, TN --- Danny Roberts, mandolin player extraordinaire for The Grascals, made his television debut this week. Roberts appears in the hit series ‘Nashville’ as a member of the “Rayna James” band. His first appearance is in an episode entitled “Hit The Road.”

Roberts is unsure of just how many episodes he may appear in, but he’s taped several segments. In one scene, he plays the bouzouki on a duet by characters Rayna and Juliette. He also plays guitar and sings backup for some upcoming episodes. Although he’s not yet had a speaking role, Danny has filmed a few non-musician scenes as well.

“It is really cool to get to see another side of the entertainment world and I am very fortunate to have a small part in this hot new series,” Roberts says. “I will be playing a member of the Rayna James band and it’s given me a completely new outlook on what actors do. These are some very talented and hardworking folks.”

‘Nashville’ airs on ABC and stars Connie Britton as Country star Rayna, and Hayden Panettiere as rival Juliette Barnes.

“I am enjoying every minute of this opportunity,” Roberts says, “and I hope to continue on with “Nashville” as long as possible --- as long as it doesn’t interfere with The Grascals!”

The multi-award winning Grascals are nominated for Best Bluegrass Album in the 55th annual Grammy Awards for their album LIFE FINDS A WAY (Mountain Home Music). The Grammy Awards air on CBS on February 10th.

For more on The Grascals, visit
Grammy Nominees to Appear at Native Nations Inaugural Ball

Grammy Nominees to Appear at Native Nations Inaugural Ball


Nashville, TN --- Multi-award-winning band, The Grascals, will perform at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian on January 21st at 7:00 p.m. for a celebration of the Inauguration of the President of the United States.

 The Native Nations Inaugural Ball will feature music, dancing and native cuisine. Funds raised will support the educational programs of the National Museum of the American Indian.

 Located on the National Mall in Washington D.C., the museum is one of three facilities operated by The National Museum of the American Indian. It offers exhibition galleries and spaces for performances, lectures and symposia, research, and education.

 Master of Ceremony for the event is Native American actor, Chaske Spencer, who has appeared in numerous films including The Twilight Saga, as werewolf Sam Uley. Other performers include the Murray Porter Band, Martha Redbone, Gabriel Ayala and Gerry Barrett.

 Jamie Johnson, founding member of The Grascals, is a proud member of the Aamjiwnaang (Chippewa) First Nation of Sarnia, Ontario, where his cousin, Christopher Plain, serves as tribal chief.

 “I am proud of my Native American ancestry and so honored for the Grascals to be a part of the Inaugural events,” Johnson says. “Native communities, past and present, are rich in cultural history and diversity. It is poignant for Native Nations to join together in celebrating the inauguration of our 44th President.”

 The Grascals are nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for Life Finds A Way (Mountain Home Music). The Grammy Awards air on CBS February 10th.

For additional information about the National Museum of the American Indian Inaugural Ball, contact [email protected] or 202-459-0868.

 For more on The Grascals, visit


Entertainment industry trade organization Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) continues to make education outreach and scholarship bestowment its prime mission. With the help of its members, NATD raised over $100,000 this year, all dedicated to its newly created J.P. Williams Scholarship division.

Funds were distributed to four endowments - IEBA's scholarship at Belmont University, NATD's Murray State Scholarships connected with its College of Knowledge program, an NATD Scholarship at the University of Montana Music Business School and most recently, a presentation of a $5000 scholarship to Santa Monica's Pacific Point Academy.

“NATD wants to help nurture, teach and broaden the horizon of the young people interested in being in our industry,” says Steve Tolman, President NATD. “We want to bring to their attention all the varied opportunities there are in our very competitive entertainment business and help grow our future.”

$25,000 was used to fund the Ron Baird Scholarship Fund at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT ( and will be distributed to students in the Entertainment Management Program in a joint effort by NATD and IEBA. Baird, legendary agent and former head of CAA's Nashville office passed away in 2011 due to complications from Parkinson's disease.

A new scholarship was founded in Williams' name at Murray State University in Murray, KY ( in the amount of $37,500. NATD will be the distributing entity to award the J.P. Williams Scholarship to students in Murray State's Music Business program.

The final $37,500 was used to supplement the established scholarship in Williams' name at Belmont University ( IEBA has awarded the J.P. Williams Scholarship to five students in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Business since it was founded in 2007.

In Fall 2011, NATD established the College of Knowledge with a goal of providing an outlet for entertainment professionals to educate and inspire individuals with an interest in the music business while giving them an insider's look at the various facets of the industry. Each year, NATD members along with some of the industry's top artists and songwriters travel to Murray State University to lead the free day-long event filled with panels and performances. 

Congratulations To The Grascals On Their Grammy Nomination

Congratulations To The Grascals! Nominated for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards

Nashville, TN (December 6, 2012)…..LoCash Cowboys are the newest addition to the Average Joes Entertainment family of artists, it was announced today. The platinum-selling songwriting and performing duo simultaneously just wrapped their first Christmas video, “What Time Is It?” which will premiere worldwide on GAC Friday, December 7, 2012, at 10:00 am ET. The video represents the directorial debut of Hollywood’s Sunny Mabrey (“Mad Men,” “The Closer,” “Desperate Housewives,” “House MD,” etc.).
“What Time Is It?” is featured on An Average Joes Muddy Christmas, and is available everywhere music is sold. LoCash’s first full-length album on AJE will be released in early 2013.
“LoCash Cowboys are the perfect fit for Average Joes, and everyone on our team is really excited to have them aboard,” commented Shannon Houchins, CEO/Average Joes Entertainment. “We’re extremely impressed with what they’ve already accomplished, and their style of music and dedication to their fan base perfectly aligns with Average Joes’ philosophy.”
LoCash Cowboys with Sunny Mabrey
Talented songwriters as well as entertainers, LoCash recently celebrated the writing success of two hit singles in 2012; “Truck Yeah,” the gold-certified, top 10 single recorded by Tim McGraw, and “You Gonna Fly,” the #1 hit recorded by Keith Urban. To date, the group has amassed over 10 million YouTube views, sold 1 million songs, and continues to entertain fans worldwide with their high-energy, live shows.
LoCash Cowboys is managed by Tony Conway of Nashville-based Ontourage Management. Tour representation is handled by David Kiswiney of Buddy Lee Attractions.
For more information on the LoCash Cowboys, visit For more information on Average Joes Entertainment, visit
Photo #2: LoCash Cowboys & Director Sunny Mabrey
Media Contacts:
Claire Cook
615-733-9983 (office)
615-812-9395 (cell)
Kristin Palmer
615-733-9983 (office)
770-815-6256 (cell)
Tony Conway Elected To CMA's New Board Of Directors

Appointments Take Effect on Jan. 1, 2013

NASHVILLE – The Country Music Association announced today the new Board of Directors. For the first time, CMA conducted the annual Board of Directors election online. The new Board year begins Jan. 1, 2013.

Gary Overton, Sony Music Entertainment Nashville Chairman and CEO, completes his term as Chairman of the CMA Board and current CMA Board President Troy Tomlinson, President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville, assumes that post. President Elect, Ed Hardy, President of Great American Country (GAC), becomes President of the Board, and Frank Bumstead, Chairman of Flood, Bumstead, McCready, & McCarthy, Inc., has been named President-elect. John Esposito, President Warner Music Nashville, will become the new Secretary/Treasurer of the CMA Board.

“It has been both a pleasure and a learning experience for me to serve alongside Gary over this past year,” Tomlinson said. “I look forward to working with Ed as he takes on his new role as President and we begin another exciting year for CMA.”  

“I am proud, and deeply honored to have been selected by my peers in the Country Music industry for a leadership position on the CMA Board of Directors,” said Hardy. “I have enjoyed working under Gary Overton’s leadership, look forward to working with and learning from Troy Tomlinson and with Steve Moore and his talented team this next year to continue to grow the Country Music industry and genre to new levels.”

Following is a list of 2013 CMA Directors and Directors at Large:

Directors By Membership Category
Carryover Directors, who are serving the second year of a two-year term, are followed by newly-elected Directors (indicated in bold).

Advertising Agency/PR/Marketing
        Mary Hilliard Harrington, The GreenRoom PR
        Jeff Walker, The AristoMedia Group

        Joe Galante, Galante Entertainment Organization
        Steve Buchanan, Grand Ole Opry Group

        Luke Bryan
        Kix Brooks, Don’t Miss This, LLC

Broadcast Programming and Air Talent
        Blair Garner, After Midnite with Blair Garner, Premiere 
        Mike Moore, Entercom Communications, Portland, OR

        Brett James, Cornman Music
        Tom Douglas, Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Entertainment Services
        Stacey Schlitz, Schlitz Law
        Frank Bumstead, Flood, Bumstead, McCready, & 
        McCarthy, Inc.

        Bob Shennan, BBC, London
        Rob Potts, Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, Five Dock, 

Music Publisher/PRO
        Troy Tomlinson, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
        Jody Williams, BMI

        Biff Watson, Biff-Bangs Productions, Inc.
        Kenny Greenberg

Personal Manager
        Bill Simmons, The Fitzgerald Hartley Company
        Clarence Spalding, Spalding Entertainment

        Jeff Stevens, Jeff Stevens Music

Radio Management
        Clay Hunnicutt, Clear Channel Communications
        Natalie Conner, Vice President/General Manager, WXTU, 
        Philadelphia, Penn.

Record Company
        Mike Dungan, Universal Music Group Nashville
        John Esposito, Warner Music Nashville

Talent Agent
        Rob Beckham, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, 

Talent Buyer/Promoter
        Brian O’Connell, Live Nation
        Tony Conway, Conway Entertainment Group, LLC

        Ed Hardy, Great American Country
        Lon Helton, Country Aircheck

        Sally Williams, The Ryman Auditorium 

Lifetime Directors
        J. William Denny
        Ralph Peer II, peermusic

Ex-Officio Members
        Jim Free, The Smith-Free Group, Washington, D.C.
        Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Directors at Large:
Charlie Anderson, Anderson Media Corporation, Knoxville, Tenn.
Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Label Group
Becky Brenner, Albright & O'Malley & Brenner Country Radio Specialists, Seattle, Wash.
Randy Chase, Cox Media Group, San Antonio, Texas
Pat Collins, SESAC
Charlie Cook, West Virginia Radio Corp., Morgantown, W.Va.
Jay DeMarcus, Rascal Flatts
Bob  DiPiero, Love Monkey Music
Chris DuBois, Sea Gayle Music
Tim DuBois, Tim DuBois Entertainment
Ann Edelblute, XIX Entertainment
Kerri Edwards, Red Light Management
Ted Ellis, CMT Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Karen Fairchild, Little Big Town
Randy Goodman
John Hamlin, CMT - Country Music Television
Mark Hamilton, iTunes, San Bruno, Calif.
Pat Higdon, Patrick Joseph Music
Clint Higham, Morris Artists Management Group
John Huie, Creative Artists Agency
Jan Jeffries, Cumulus Media, Chicago, Ill.
Kurt Johnson, Townsquare Media, Dallas, Texas
Michael Knox, Music Knox, LLC. and peermusic Nashville   
Marion Kraft, ShopKeeper Management
Daren Lashinsky, National Shows 2
Ken Levitan, Vector Management
Luke Lewis
Jon Loba, Broken Bow Records
John Marks, Sirius XM Satellite Radio
Deb McDermott, Young Broadcasting
Kevin Neal, Buddy Lee Attractions
Gary Overton, Sony Music Nashville
Jason Owen, Sandbox Entertainment
John Paul, Dial Global Radio Networks, Englewood, Colo.
Brian Philips, CMT - Country Music Television
David Ross, BossRoss Media
Victoria Shaw, Victoria Shaw Songs
Mike Vaden, Decosimo Vaden
Larry Vallon, AEG Live, Los Angeles, Calif.
Ben Vaughn, Warner/Chappell Music
Ed Warm, Joe's Bar, Chicago, Ill.

More than 11,000 music industry professionals and companies around the globe are members of the Country Music Association. Formed in 1958 as the first trade association for a single genre of music, the organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry while advancing the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s strategic imperatives – CMA Music Festival and the companion CMA Music Festival television special, the CMA Awards, and CMA’s latest television venture “CMA Country Christmas.” All of CMA’s TV properties air on the ABC Television Network through 2021. For information about CMA visit

Chevrolet™ is the Official Ride of Country Music. Pepsi is the Official Beverage Partner of the Country Music Association.


Sweethearts of the Rodeo are back in the spotlight

After a splendid chart run that included 10 Top 40 country hits in four years, sister duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo chose to exit the spotlight.

Or, they didn’t.

“Getting out of the music business was not a choice,” says Kristine Oliver, half of the newly resurrected duo that is releasing its first album of new material in 16 years. “There was a point where they weren’t playing us on the radio, and gigs were becoming fewer and farther in between, and my husband and I had two little girls and we did what we had to do to keep this family together and pay the bills.”

Kristine and Janis Oliver (she was Janis Gill during the Sweetheart’s major label days, when she was married to a pretty fair guitar picker named Vince Gill) had always known they would be big-time singers. They started singing in harmony as pre-teens, they named their act after a favorite Byrds’ album, “Sweetheart of the Rodeo,” and they signed a big-deal recording contract in 1985. Kristine says it was almost too easy to fully appreciate: Doors opened everywhere they walked.

“I never considered that we wouldn’t be able to make a living doing it,” Janis says. “I thought early on that we had a unique sound, and that the sound was our ticket. There was never a ‘Plan B’ from high school onward.”

(photo: Samuel M. Simpkins/The Tennessean)

Enter Plan B. Or Un-planned B. In some ways, the Sweethearts were victims of their own happiness and wishes for normalcy: The sisters had sometimes turned down lucrative or helpful tour dates and appearances because they prioritized families and children over careers.

Such decisions don’t assure that families hold together — the Gills divorced in 1997 — and they don’t do much to attract record companies and managers, who tend to advise that “getting priorities in order” means “Get on the bus, get off the bus, get on the stage and get back on the bus.” But in the end, Janis and Kristine raised healthy and happy children, which in retrospect seems more important and worthwhile than having some really good gigs in Poughkeepsie and Spokane and other hotspots.

“I don’t regret any of that,” Kristine says. “We made some decisions that were bad for our career, but we made them for the right reasons. This was a period of time after all that when I was frustrated, working crummy jobs. And sometimes in those workplaces, my co-workers would say, ‘What are you doing working here? You need to be singing.’ People like that reminded me, one of these days we needed to be singing again.”

Annual Bluebird show

They did sing together, sometimes. Once a year, really: the night after Thanksgiving at the Bluebird Cafe. Every year, they’d have a ball, and folks would applaud when the first notes of 1980s hits “Since I Found You,” “Satisfy You” and “Midnight Girl/Sunset Town” rang through the little listening room. And music would seem joyful and easy and valuable, and band members would say, “Let’s do this again, soon.” And then life and jobs and families would once again take priority, until the next post-Thanksgiving Friday.

In the new century, Janis experienced a creatively debilitating writer’s block, one that came concurrent with a second divorce. But the sisters rallied together, and decided to meet each Friday to make music together at Janis’ home.

The familiar experience of singing together, without external pressure, helped mend some things. Janis set up microphones and started recording the sessions, and those raw recordings led to the wish to do something in earnest, with superb musicians including co-producer/bass player Dave Pomeroy, guitaristsRichard Bennett and Kenny Vaughan, steel/Dobro player Al Perkins and drummer Rick Lonow. Those recordings are now available as the new, independently released album, “Restless.”

“This time, I’m cherishing every single moment, because I know how lucky I am to have an opportunity to be on a stage and perform in front of people,” Kristine says. “The last time, it happened so fast, it was all a blur. This time, it hasn’t been so easy. Everything that’s happening this time, we’re making it happen.”

Janis finished recording the vocals at her home studio, using curtain racks for sound baffles. “Restless” is likely the most self-assured and seamless album of the duo’s career, and the Sweethearts have taken it on themselves to do the duties they used to farm out to record companies. Each time someone buys a CD, Janis’ phone dings and tells her where the purchase was made.

“Then she’ll call me, and say, ‘Hey, somebody in Sweden bought a CD,’” Kristine says.

For these Tennessee sisters, getting out of the music business involved obligation. Getting back in, though, has been a choice.

“Life holds lots of different surprises for all of us,” Janis says. Add to the surprise list: a fine new Sweethearts of the Rodeo album.

Reach Peter Cooper at 615-259-8220 or [email protected].

If You Go

What: Sweethearts of the Rodeo album release concert

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: 3rd & Lindsley, 818 Third Ave. S.

Tickets: $15, available at the door or via A copy of the new “Restless” CD is included with paid admission.

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Sisters Janis Oliver & Kristine Arnold Join Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

on Nationally Syndicated Radio Show this Friday, November 16 @ 1:30 PM EST


Nashville, Tenn. (November 14, 2012) – This Friday, November 16, country music duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo join former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on his nationally syndicated radio program, The Mike Huckabee Show.  The Governor's new show, syndicated through Cumulus Media, can be heard on more than 200 stations throughout the nation (visit for local listings).

Sisters Janis Oliver and Kristine Arnold will join Governor Huckabee at 1:30 PM EST for a live chat all about their big return to the country music scene and their newly released album, Restless

Restless marks the first album from the Sweethearts of the Rodeo in 16 years.

About Sweethearts of the Rodeo

Janis Oliver and Kristine Arnold have been singing together since their childhood, forming Sweethearts of the Rodeo as teens. The sisters landed a recording contract in Nashville in 1985 and debuted on the charts with a remake of The Everly Brothers' "Hey Doll Baby" the following year. They followed it with a string of smash hits that include "Chains of Gold," "Since I Found You," and "Gotta Get Away."

In the years that followed, Janis and Kristine might have been better known for balancing motherhood and life more than their music but it makes those years no less impressive. Kristine dedicated her time to her life and family while Janis spent her time training and showing horses. Together, the sisters ran a stylish clothing boutique for several years.

As life comes full circle, Janis and Kristine have rededicated themselves to their music, releasing Restless and touring nationwide. 

For additional information on Sweethearts of the Rodeo, visit

 # # #

 Sweethearts of the Rodeo Media Contact:

 Absolute Publicity, Inc.

Don Murry Grubbs / [email protected]







NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 6, 2012)—In anticipation and celebration of the 2012 holiday season, country music, multi-platinum songstress

Lorrie Morgan introduces a tune dressed for the occasion: “Wrapped Up In Love” ** presented by Octabrook Records. Addressed to the North Pole’s man of mystery, the flirtatious number is adorned with jingle bells, Santa’s “ho-ho-ho’s” and a nod to the movie Love Actually as a playful introduction.

A co-write by notorious members of the Music Row songwriting community (Oliverius/Cole/Linville), the single is lined with light-hearted lyrics and a poppy spirit. Combined with the strength of Morgan’s signature vocals, the tune is poised to become a holiday favorite and is set to arrive on the doorsteps of radio stations around the country in mid-November (CDX Volume 559).

Noted as one of her favorite times of the year, Morgan embraces the magic of the Christmas season with her acclaimed 1993 album MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM LONDON and her upcoming extravaganza: Lorrie Morgan’s Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show at the world renowned Opryland hotel beginning November 16 through December 25, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.

“Something about the mistletoe-time-of-year brings out my child-like nature and flirtatious cheer,” said Ms. Morgan. “’Wrapped Up In Love,’ I hope, will become one of the ‘go-to’ songs when decorating the tree or gathering with friends near a crackling fireplace while watching the snow fall.”

 The “Wrapped Up In Love” release debuts just as Morgan concludes her 2012 independent tour schedule and the Grits & Glamour tour (with music comrade Pam Tillis). In addition to rehearsing for the Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show, Lorrie has been in the studio to record her forthcoming album alongside longtime friend, fellow Opry member and

Grits & Glamour touring partner, Pam Tillis. The new album is anticipated in spring 2013. 
The Grascals Perform for Charlie Daniels

Nashville, TN --- The Grascals were among the impressive lineup of stars onhand for a special tribute to three living legends. Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Randy Owen were honored at the 9th Annual Leadership Music Dale Franklin Awards at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. The venue, in fact, was the site of the very first Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam.

The Grascals performed a rollicking version of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” as part of the star-studded program. The hit song was released on the Charlie Daniels Band’s 1979 album Million Mile Reflections. Jamie Johnson told Daniels, “You are a great entertainer.”

Ronnie Dunn tipped his hat to Daniels with his version of “Mississippi.” A band comprised of military personnel honored Charlie’s gospel roots with “How Great Thou Art” and Tennessee National Guard Major General Max Haston presented Charlie with his award, remembering Daniels’ many trips to perform for soldiers.

After congratulating the other honorees, Charlie told the audience that he had wanted to be part of the Nashville music scene since his youth. “God blessed me so very much tonight,” he said. “This is icing on a long, long cake. We live in the greatest place in the world, Music City.”

Vince Gill was honored by Rodney Crowell, Kenny and Dawn Sears of The Time Jumpers, Vince’s wife Amy Grant and daughter Jenny. David Nail and Little Big Town were among the artists who performed in honor of Alabama front man, Randy Owen. It was noted that Owen has helped raise more than $400 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The awards program, named for Leadership Music’s first executive director, the late Dale Franklin, was established in 2004 in recognition of exemplary leadership. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, an alumnus of Leadership Music, was also honored with the Brian Williams Ambassador Award which goes to an individual who has worked to bridge the gap between business and music communities.

Radio personality, Blair Garner, served as emcee. He noted that each of the artist honorees has followed his own unique path, but share the common goal of helping others along the way. Band leader and keyboardist, John Hobbs fronted a group of musicians including bassist Michael Rhodes, drummer Eddie Bayers, electric guitarist Brent Mason, acoustic guitarist Bobby Terry, pedal steel guitarist Paul Franklin, fiddler Deanie Richardson and Dawn Sears and Jeff White on background vocalists.

In addition to St. Jude Children's Hospital, the living legends have been instrumental in helping organizations including the T.J. Martell Foundation, The Angelus, Galilean Children's Home, Junior Golf programs in Tennessee, tornado victims in Alabama, and have supported the US military worldwide. For more on The Grascals,

Concert Review: Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan

Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan
Grits & Glamour Tour
Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center
Bowling Green, Kentucky
October 13, 2012

This past Saturday night, I had the immense pleasure of seeing two favorite artists of mine – contemporary country legends Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan – perform live in concert at the newly completed Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The SKyPAC is a beautifully decorated 1800-seat venue with excellent acoustics, thus providing an ideal atmosphere for Tillis and Morgan’s fantastic Grits & Glamour show.

The Grits & Glamour tour is all about the fans, and all about great music.  No unnecessary gimmicks, bells, or whistles – just Tillis and Morgan singing their hearts out, joined by a small four-piece band.  Both ladies were in fine voice, boasting some absolutely gorgeous harmonies, as they performed together backed by fiddle, bass, guitar, and keyboard.  Such simplicity created a warm, laid-back, almost familial environment as Tillis and Morgan treated the eager crowd to a selection of best-loved tunes, all the while cutting up like one would expect from a couple of longtime girlfriends, and sharing often-humorous personal anecdotes – such as Tillis’ account of being mistaken for Patty Loveless at a Waffle House, by a fan from Knockemstiff, Ohio. (Google it – It’s a real place)

The bulk of the concert set list consisted of a selection of well-known hits from both artists, finished off with covers of classic songs that are close to their hearts, as well as some more recent cuts.  The two opened the show with a lovely duet version of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.”  From that point onward, they alternated between performing Morgan’s hits and Tillis’ hits, beginning with Morgan’s “Watch Me” (performed in a fierce fiddle-laden arrangement quite different from the relative slickness of the 1992 hit version) and Tillis’ “Shake the Sugar Tree.”  Obviously, both ladies have had more than enough hits to fill up an entire set list (Tillis has had 13 Top 10 country hits; Morgan has had 14), but Tillis and Morgan did a fine job covering the main highlights of their careers, such that virtually any audience member could enjoy the thrill of hearing something familiar.  Though the hits dominated the set list, Tillis and Morgan also performed standout cuts from each of their most recent albums.  Tillis performed “Train Without a Whistle” from her 2007 career-best effort Rhinestoned, while Morgan gave a heartrending performance of “How Does It Feel” from 2010’s I Walk Alone

A major facet of what makes Grits & Glamour such a broadly enjoyable show is the way its two headliners simply exude genuine love for great country music new and old.  They commented on the increased scarcity of ”real” country music in modern times, but Tillis nonetheless assured the audience that “We got it all – fiddles, steel guitar, mandolins – and we ain’t ever lettin’ go of it!”  Both ladies shared a common experience of growing up with the musical heritage of a famous parent – an experience they recollected with fond enthusiasm - being the daughters of singer-songwriter legend Mel Tillis, and of late Opry star George Morgan, respectively.   One of the night’s most memorable moments was a heartfelt tribute to Tillis and Morgan’s famous fathers, as they eased into a medley of George Morgan’s 1949 signature “Candy Kisses” and Mel Tillis’ classic composition “Burning Memories,” a hit first for Ray Price in 1964, and then for Mel Tillis himself in 1977.  In addition, the ladies also lovingly covered classics such as Skeeter Davis’ “The End of the World” and Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.”

As the show neared its end, Tillis and Morgan were met with the loudest applause of the night as they treated the audience to performances of their respective signature classics – Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis,” and Morgan’s “Something In Red.”  They then rose to their feet for an inspired performance of gospel song “Jesus On the Line.”  After an encore, they returned to the stage to perform brief snippets of Morgan’s 1993 number one “What Part of No” and Tillis’ 1990 debut hit “Don’t Tell Me What to Do.”  Then came one of the biggest highlights of the evening as the two closed out the show by tearing into the rousing up-tempo number “I Know What You Did Last Night” – a new song which is to appear on Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan’s forthcoming Grits & Glamour duets record.  After the show ended, Tillis and Morgan headed out to the atrium to sign autographs for a crowd of enthusiastic concertgoers.

Needless to say, the Grits & Glamour concert experience was more than enough to whet one’s appetite for the ladies’ soon-to-be-completed duet effort.  The unique chemistry shared between the two outstanding talents was on full display throughout the evening.  If you have the opportunity to catch any of Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan’s future shows on the Grits & Glamour tour, you will be in for a real country music treat.

Set list:

“Both Sides Now”
“Watch Me”
“Shake the Sugar Tree”
“Except for Monday”
“Cleopatra, Queen of Denial”
“A Picture of Me (Without You)”
“Train Without a Whistle”
Medley:  “Candy Kisses”/ “Burning Memories”
“The End of the World”
“Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)”
“How Does It Feel”
“Spilled Perfume”
“King of the Road”
“I Guess You Had to Be There”
“Maybe It Was Memphis”
“Something In Red”
“Jesus On the Line”


“What Part of No”
“Don’t Tell Me What to Do”
“I Know What You Did Last Night” 
Tim McGraw Brins LoCash Cowboys Onstage For "Truck Yeah"

The only thing better than writing a Top 15 hit for a country superstar is getting to perform it alongside them in front of thousands of screaming country fans. To end a show at Southern Illinois Country Fest in Sparta, Ill. on Sunday (Oct. 7), Tim McGraw‘s invited ‘Truck Yeah’ co-writer Preston Brust of the LoCash Cowboys onstage with him to perform the popular single.

The LoCash Cowboys duo performed at the festival on Saturday night with headliner Dierks Bentley, but Brust decided to stick around an extra day to see McGraw sing their song live. And boy was he glad he did!

After meeting McGraw for the first time backstage prior to the show, the ‘Truck Yeah’ co-writer stood on the side of the stage to watch the star’s performance. When McGraw revved into ‘Truck Yeah’ for the final song of his encore, he motioned for Brust to join him in front of the crowd to help him sing his current hit that is flying up the charts. Brust captured some of the footage on video, which he then shared with Taste of Country (see below).

This week, ‘Truck Yeah’ sits just outside the Top 10 on the country singles chart, and it’s on its way to being yet another chart-topper for both McGraw and Brust. Brust and his LoCash Cowboys bandmate Chris Lucas also helped pen Keith Urban‘s recent No. 1 hit, ‘You Gonna Fly.’ Other writers on ‘Truck Yeah’ include Danny Myrick and Chris Janson. 

Ronnie Dunn, Big Al Anderson and The Grascals Join Musical Tribute For Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award Honorees Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Randy Owen

Ronnie Dunn, Big Al Anderson  and The Grascals Join Musical Tribute

For Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award Honorees Charlie Daniels,

Vince Gill and Randy Owen

9th Annual Gala To Be Staged Wednesday, October 17th



One of the most revered voices ever in country music, Ronnie Dunn, authentic rocker Big Al Anderson, and bluegrass sensations, The Grascals, will pay musical tribute to Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Randy Owen when they are honored at the 9th Annual Leadership Music Dale Franklin Awards, Wednesday, October 17th at War Memorial Auditorium. Tables are sold out, but good seats remain at both the $175 and $50 level. The $175 ticket includes the cocktail supper and silent auction in the Vietnam Veterans Plaza area of Legislative Plaza.


Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, an alumnus of Leadership Music, will receive the Brian Williams Ambassador Award.  The cocktail supper begins at 5:30 pm, and the show kicks off at 7:30 pm.


The Dale Franklin Awards, named for Leadership Music’s first executive director, the late Dale Franklin, were established in 2004 to recognize exemplary leadership. The Brian Williams Ambassador Award singles out an individual whose efforts have bridged the business and music communities.


For 20 years, Dunn was half of Brooks & Dunn, the most successful duo in country music history and one of the most popular acts in recent music history. By the time the twosome played their last show together in late 2010, they had amassed a staggering number of awards, along with record sales exceeding 30 million units. Dunn, both a singer and songwriter, embarked on a solo career that would earn him critical acclaim for his self-titled debut CD, which tells his remarkable life story through music.


Although he has written a number of country classics, including Tim McGraw’s “The Cowboy in Me,” Carlene Carter’s “Every Little Thing,” Diamond Rio’ “Unbelievable,” and Vince Gill’s “The Next Big Thing” Big Al Anderson is revered as the long-time lead guitarist for rock band, NRBQ.  Musician magazine honored him as one of the century’s 100 Great Guitarists, and he was also named BMI’s Songwriter of the Year.


The six members of The Grascals, have been one of the most heralded bluegrass acts in recent memory, scoring Grammy nominations and twice being named IBMA’s Entertainers of the Year. Vocalists Terry Eldredge, Jamie Johnson and Terry Smith are joined by instrumentalists Danny Roberts, Jeremy Abshire and Kristin Scott Benson in creating cutting-edge modern bluegrass that still pays homage to bluegrass music’s rich heritage. Together, The Grascals have produced an ensemble of unsurpassed cohesion and focused artistic direction.


Dunn, Anderson and The Grascals join a stellar cast of artists that incudes Rodney Crowell, Little Big Town, David Nail and The Time Jumpers, among others.  John Hobbs will serve as band leader and keyboardist, fronting an all-star group of musicians that includes bassist Michael Rhodes, drummer Eddie Bayers, electric guitarist Brent Mason, acoustic guitarist Bobby Terry, pedal steel guitarist Paul Franklin, fiddler Deanie Richardson, and Dawn Sears and Jeff White background vocalists. Blair Garner will host.


Michael Ray - Live Episodes Start Tonight

Make sure to tune into The Next for the Live Episodes starting tonight, September 27, 2012 9/8c. And, vote, vote vote!
Join LoCash for "30 Days Of Hope"

Join LoCash on September 25th at Red Rooster for "30 Days Of Hope"
CMA Music Festival "Country's Night To Rock"

Make sure to tune in to the CMA Music Festival "Country's Night To Rock" on September 17th at 8/7c and don't forget to participate in the Tweet & Greet!
Kawai Endorses Jason D. Williams as Featured Artist

Memphis, TN - August 2012- Kawai North America signs Jason D. Williams as an endorsed artist.  

Jason D. Williams has been added to the select list of Kawai Performing Artists, that includes such artists as Neil Sedaka, Muse, and OneRepublic, just to name a few.

Kawai is a family-led company that has been focused on building pianos for over 85 years. Kawai's digital pianos have become renowned for their authentic touch and tone. "We are proud that an artist of Jason's caliber has chosen to play on our instruments. Certainly any musician approaching Jason's level of talent demands the very best and we're flattered to be considered just that." - says Sean O'Shea, Kawai's Artist Relations Liaison. Jason D. Williams has performed on a Kawai EP-308 for more than 25 years, "It's the best harped stage piano I've ever played, and easily has traveled the world with me over the years" says Jason. 

When asked about the endorsement from Kawai Jason states, "It's one of the biggest honors in my life.  To be recognized in a community of fellow musicians is one thing, but to be recognized and legitimized by a company that produces the instrument of my soul is a entirely different recognition.  It's a very hard thing to accomplish for a pianist and I thank Kawai sincerely for the honor". 

Jason plays Kawai exclusively and Kawai now provides Jason with the all-new MP10 digital piano, "I can't wait to see what it can do"! 

Jason D. Williams is a former RCA and Sun Records recording artist, and is now with Rockabilly Records, LLC based out of Memphis, TN, performing more than 120 shows a year.  To learn more about Jason D. Williams please visit his website at

For more information on Jason D. Williams please contact Rockabilly Records, LLC 662.890.9294 or visit

For more information about Kawai North America please visit their website at

Musicians Remember Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley left behind hit songs, epic performances, some so-so movies and an image as a handsome, rebellious, talented and sometimes-troubled artist that remains indelibly marked in America's pop culture psyche 35 years after his death...

Michael Ray - Talent on THE NEXT on CW Network

Michael Ray has been selected to be a contestant on the CW Network's new show "THE NEXT".  Michael is paired with superstar John Rich of Big & Rich for 72-hours before performing at a live at local venue in Orlando.  See description below.

Rich stopped by Live! with Kelly on ABC this morning to talk about the show.

Watch here:


Description of THE NEXT:

In each episode of THE NEXT, four music industry superstars — Gloria Estefan, John Rich, Nelly, and Joe Jonas — will drop in on the lives of four up-and-coming local musicians. The show will move from city to city: Orlando, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. In each town the contestants will be local musical heroes with a huge regional following of devoted fans, as well as a formidable social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. Some have weekly residencies at the hottest clubs; others have performed in the opening slot at stadium-sized concerts. These aspiring stars are not plucked from obscurity; they are proven artists on the brink of success. They just need a little help making the leap from opening act to headliner.

Over the course of 72 hours, each superstar will groom one contestant — while taking over their lives. It’s one thing to work with a musical icon in the studio, it’s another thing to have him or her tagging along to your day job, eating every meal with you, and hanging with you at your local karaoke dive bar.

When that 72-hour mentoring session is up, the four newly groomed artists will go head-to-head at a well-known local venue. The audience will be filled with friends and family, as well as hundreds of local music fans. Since they’ve already established themselves on the local music scene, each contestant will have their own throng of local groupies and cheerleaders. One winner will be chosen and that contestant will move on to represent their city in the semi-finals. Then it’s on to the next city and four more contestants.

As an extra twist to the competition, even the contestants who don’t win in their home cities will still have a chance to compete in the finals – viewers across the country will be able to vote for their favorite among the performers who didn’t make the first cut, and the contestant with the most votes will go on to the finals.

After six episodes in six different cities, each of the local winners and the fan favorite will battle it out on stage over the course of the final episodes until only one contestant remains — the vocalist left standing at the end will be rewarded a recording contract with Atlantic Records.

From executive producers Dave Broome ("The Biggest Loser"), hip-hop icon Queen Latifah, and Shakim Compere, THE NEXT is produced by CBS’s Raquel Productions Inc., in association with 25/7 Productions, LLC and Flavor Unit Entertainment, Inc.

Gaylord Opryland Resorts Announce Lorrie Morgan's Enchanted Christmas Dinner & Show™

Share the wonder and warmth of a down-home Christmas with country music superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Lorrie Morgan! Join Lorrie and her exceptional family of musicians for an enchanting journey through Christmases past and present, featuring songs from Lorrie's popular Merry Christmas from London album along with the many hits of her platinum-selling, 16-album career. Experience this award-winning vocalist up close and personal in a cozy Christmas gathering you'll always treasure.

View Dinner Menu.

For tickets and package information, call 1-888-777-OPRY

Buy Tickets

Lindsay Lawler Debuts this Week with “On The Road To Music City” Program

Highway Angel Joins Nashville’s Renegade Radio

Nashville, TN --- Lindsay Lawler is quickly becoming the face and voice of the trucking industry; setting truck drivers' lives to music. The singer/songwriter formed a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) in 2010 while performing at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas and has since been named the official spokesperson of TCA's Highway Angel program ( Lawler's song, "Highway Angel," has become a recognizable anthem for drivers and has gained Lawler great exposure in the industry.

Lawler now brings her trucker-loving sensibility to Renegade Radio Nashville as host of her own radio show. On The Road To Nashville features Lindsay with segments on Highway Angels stories, trucking industry celebrities and professionals, driver requests, as well as an unplugged music segment featuring some of Nashville's biggest songwriters and performers, and Lawler herself. The show hits airways July 17th.

“My main goal is to bring a positive image to trucking and awareness of the most amazing, hard-working, loyal people that makeup the trucking industry,” Lindsay says.

Lawler has been featured on Midnight Trucking Radio, the Dave Nemo Show, and most recently was the featured guest on the Truckers News Celebrity Series Webcast. In addition, the talented beauty has been featured in or on the cover of many trucking based publications.

For more info, please visit  and

“On the Road to Music City” with Lindsay Lawler

Renegade Radio

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm – 8pm CST


Renegade Radio Nashville ( began as the brainchild of longtime broadcasting veterans Captain Jack Aponte and Bob Steele. With a solid vision of utilizing the latest technology to reach the largest audience worldwide, Renegade Radio Nashville began internet broadcasting on June 7, 2011. Renegade Radio Renegade has quickly become one of the fastest growing online radio stations, boasting 3.1 million listeners … and growing!


Claire Ratliff | Laughing Penguin Publicity | 615.476.3200 | [email protected]

LoCash Cowboys Co-Star on WE TV’s Kendra On Top, Tuesday, July 17th

TV Alert

LoCash Cowboys Co-Star on WE TV’sKendra On Top, Tuesday, July 17th 

Nashville, TN (July 17, 2012)--  Tune into WE TV, Tuesday, July 17, for two back-to-back episodes of Kendra On Top, featuring LoCash Cowboys. The Nashville episodes were taped last month when TV reality star Kendra Wilkinson starred as the leading lady in the music video for the LoCash Cowboy’s dance remix of "C.O.U.N.T.R.Y." found on Mud Digger 3 Compilation series.
Backroad Records’ Mud Digger 3 debuted at #23 on the Billboard Top Country Album Charts. The compilation series has sold over 200k albums since the first release in 2010. Backroad Records, a subsidiary of Average Joes Entertainment, is currently the label home of The Lacs, Demun Jones, Lenny Cooper, Bubba Sparxxx, Redneck Social Club and the Mud Digger Compilation series.  To download Mud Digger 3, visit
The hit reality show, Kendra On Top, follows the life of Kendra Wilkinson Baskett — part wild child, part global celebrity, part suburban housewife — and a full-time force of nature. The first episode featuring LoCash Cowboys "Nashville or Bust" will air July 17th at 9pm/10pm CST and the second episode, "LoCash Kendra," will follow at 9:30pm/10:30pm CST on We tv.  Check your local listings or for more information visit,
About LoCash Cowboys
LoCash Cowboys is the charismatic country duo comprised of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust.  The pair made their debut with 2010 release This Is How We Do It, a fitting introduction and compelling album that captures all the excitement of their live show while still displaying their softer, more philosophical side. LoCash Cowboys have had recent success as songwriters, co-writing the recent Keith Urban No.1 smash, “You Gonna Fly” and Tim McGraw’s new single, “Truck Yeah.” For more information on LocCash Cowboys visit

Country star Julie Roberts talks about her new single and video 'Sweet Carolina'

On July 16, country sensation Julie Roberts spoke via phone about her newest single “Sweet Carolina,” its music video and her future plans in music. Throughout her career, Roberts is best-known for her smash hit “Break Down Here” which was a Top 20 hit on country radio and her eponymous debut album was certified gold.

Regarding her newest single “Sweet Carolina,” she remarked, “Last October I went to a football game at the University of South Carolina, and I had the opportunity to meet the president of the university and he told me about the campaign that the school was doing calledCarolina’s Promise. They are raising money for the university to make it better and bigger. They needed a song for this campaign and asked me if I could write one for them, and I said ‘yes.’ I wrote it with my producer Jason Collum and we sent it to them and they liked it since they thought it fit their campaign. It’s a really fun song to write and to play live.”

Great American Country (GAC) has added the video for ‘Sweet Carolina’ and I am very excited about that since it’s my first video on that channel since ‘Men and Mascara.’ I love the music video that we filmed since it reminded me of home and really where I am from. It ended up being my take about what I think about South Carolina and the University of South Carolina, since both are a foundation of who I am,” she added.

On her plans for the future, she stated, “I am halfway done on my next full-length studio album, where I have five songs done. I am expected to release a new video before the record comes out. I love being out on the road and I would like to continue building my music library. I love songwriting too.”

“Every day that I wake up I am so thankful that I have my fans. I get to talk to them on Facebook each day and I am more active on Twitter. I appreciate talking to them every day and I love all of their support. I hope to see them on the road. I feel very fortunate that they have been there for me and they are always awaiting for my next project. They are so sweet and I know a lot about them, since they tell me about themselves on Facebook and I remember. I really love them. My fans are like my family,” she concluded.

The Grascals Receive 13 IBMA Award Nominations!

The Grascals are honored to be nominated in the following categories for the 2012 IBMA Awards:

- Entertainer of the Year

- Vocal Group of the Year

- Instrumental Group of the Year

- Album of the Year ("Life Finds a Way")

- Song of the Year ("Life Finds a Way" & "Road to Surrender")

- Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year ("Road to Surrender")

- Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year ("Eleven Eleven")

- Male Vocalist of the Year - (Terry Eldridge & Jamie Johnson)

- Mandolin Player of the Year - (Danny Roberts)

- Fiddle Player of the Year - (Jeremy Abshire)

- Banjo Player of the Year - (Kristin Scott Benson)

- Bass Player of the Year - (Terry Smith)

- Guitar Player of the Year - (Terry Eldridge)


For more information on IBMA including the upcoming WORLD OF BLUEGRASS, visit


CLICK HERE for songs from the album LIFE FINDS A WAY







Comedian Steve Martin likes to say you can’t help but be happy when you hear a banjo, even on a sad song. That can apply, as well, to the latest recording from The Grascals. Listening to any of their 13 tracks and coming away without a positive feeling is impossible. Even when the subject is one of those standard crying-in-your beer songs, such as the slow, George Jones-like country of “Honky Tonk Lullaby,” or the equally slow country tale of a man who asks the “Bartender” to set out two glasses so he can have a drink with a woman who won’t be joining him, you can’t help but smile.

Song choice has a lot to do with this. Not a one of them uses a modal-sounding, edgy form. The Grascals have chosen a different path, one with major-sounding melodies. Instead of an edge, there is the bright, positive lilt of “Life Finds A Way,” their cover of the Elvis hit “Mystery Train,” the heart-on-the-sleeve sentimental love song to “Pretty Melody,” and the “Baby Blue Eyes”-like bounce and melody of “You Can Mark It Down,” a breakup song that doesn’t leave you feeling like the guy is whining or in angst.

Song choice is, however only part of it. Equally important is the buoyant playing and singing the band brings from start to finish. Jamie Johnson and Terry Eldredge provide the sunny and clear lead vocals that paired with the equally sunny and clear instrumental work of Kristin Benson, Danny Roberts, Jeremy Abshire and Terry Smith, make listening to these songs such an uplifting experience, be it their cover of Harley Allen’s song about what messages we send to the next generation, “Pass It On,” or their fine reading of the James Taylor lullaby, “Sweet Baby James.” It’s all good and all positive and with its mix of traditional bluegrass, pop and country, colored here and there by drums and pedal steel, should have broad appeal. (Crossroads Music, P.O. Box 829, Arden, NC 28704

Julie Roberts Visits Camp Sugar Falls

Julie Roberts Blog  -

June 27, 2012 – So Much Good……

It’s not every day that I hear about amazing things going on in the world.  It makes me so sad to watch the news and read the headlines some days.  Today, I received a gift when I entered into the doors of Camp Sugar Falls.  As I walked through the archway of balloons made especially for the children attending this camp, I thought, ”There is so much good going on in the world and I wanna tell everyone I know about it!!!”

Camp Sugar Falls is a camp in middle Tennessee made special for children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  At the camp, they have the opportunity to play and spend time learning how to live with diabetes alongside other children just like them.

There are so many lessons taught while in camp.  They learn how to figure out the number of carbs they are about to eat before each meal.  Then, the campers are educated on how to enter the carbohydrate count into their insulin pumps so that the accurate amount of insulin will be injected into their little bodies.  This camp teaches them how to check their own blood sugar and also how to give themselves shots if they do not have an insulin pump. This is not a choice for them, this is their reality. This camp gives them a chance for a week to be in a fun environment where they don’t feel different and where every single person is learning how to do the exact same thing in order to manage Type 1 diabetes on a daily basis. 

At camp, when they are not learning this important medical information, they are playing and having a blast! I only heard laughter and saw smiles today!!  They made arts and crafts, played basketball and dodge ball, swam in the pool and lake, paddled canoes, kayaked, rode horses, climbed ropes, zip-lined, slid down a gigantic slide into the lake, and everything fun you could possibly think of a child loving to do at a camp!!!

I am so, so happy I got to experience Camp Sugar Falls today and was able to tell you about SO MUCH GOOD going on in our world!!!  It’s unfortunate I was in this boot because I couldn’t get out there and play dodge ball with the children, zip-line, or climb the ropes!! I guess that just means I will go back next year and join in the fun with everyone!!  :)

I want to thank  the American Diabetes Association, the nurses, doctors, camp counselors, and all of those people I met today that are volunteering their time to teach these sweet, precious children….you are doing SO MUCH GOOD!!!!!

View Photos of Julie at Camp Sugar Falls

LoCash Cowboys Video Shoot Filled With Plenty of Mud, Trucks and Kendra Wilkinson

Alanna Conaway for Taste of Country

Mud, mud and more mud, that’s what the LoCash Cowboys found themselves surrounded by on Tuesday (June 12) when they headed to Lynnville, Tenn. (65 miles south of Nashville) to film their brand new music video for ‘C-O-U-N-T-R-Y.’

The location wasn’t a staged set, but rather a large mud hole miles from the main road with trucks, four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles, all plastered in mud. The country duo’s band members had their equipment set up in trucks in the background while Preston Brust and Chris Lucas looked the part of country rock stars as they performed in front of and on top of the vehicles that were stuck in the mud.

Kendra Wilkinson, of the hit reality shows ‘The Girls Next Door’ and ‘Kendra on Top,’ was on hand to play the video’s sexy leading lady and wasn’t afraid to play the part. Like the boys, she got in the thick of it all, being covered head to toe in mud by the the video’s end.

“Today has been incredible,” Brust told Taste of Country on the set of the video. “Kendra made the video hot, funny, sexy, rockin’ … she was the perfect girl.”

LoCash Cowboys, Kendra Wilkinson

Courtesy of Preston Brust

The video will feature many fun shots, including the first set-up for the day of the duo and Wilkinson tossing around some mud after the blonde beauty pulls up in Brust’s very own Ford F150 Eco Boost truck that he brought on set.

“The minute she sat down in my truck — that was really hot — but the minute she stepped out of the truck and the whole crew was watching, everybody just had this look on their face like we got the right girl for the video,” Brust beamed. “I couldn’t be any happier with the way this thing is going.”

Brust found an added benefit of using his truck in the video after seeing a little surprise that Wilkinson left for him inside the vehicle.

“It’s pretty amazing … she left some little kiss marks on my rear-view mirror,” Brust said with a grin. “I will probably never wash it again [laughs]. I’ll probably always keep it there.”

Wilkinson was also utilizing her time in Nashville to film an entire episode of ‘Kendra on Top,’ based around her experience in Music City and the time spent on the set with the LoCash Cowboys.

The day also happened to be Wilkinson’s 27th birthday, which was celebrated on set with a birthday cake and gifts from LoCash. The duo had a custom LoCash Cowboys baseball cap made for the star, and also presented her with a pink acoustic guitar and other mementos. They even brought along LoCash Cowboy posters, which they autographed for Wilkinson’s and her husband, Hank Baskett’s 2 1/2 year old son, ‘Little Hank.’

“Kendra is awesome,” Lucas told Taste of Country following their sit-down lunch with Wilkinson, all of which was captured by the ‘Kendra on Top’ cameras for an upcoming episode. “She is not only a beautiful girl, she is also beautiful inside. She has a great heart, and she has been a good sport about the whole thing. Kendra was one of our dreams to have in this video. Everybody has ‘that girl’ in a video, and now we’ve got ‘that girl’ in our video. We got the one we wanted.”

Stay tuned to Taste of Country to see the finished product in the coming weeks

Photos from the LoCash Cowboys video shoot, starring Kendra Wilkinson.


 “Storytellers Meets Symphony” Music City Hit-Makers Combines the Grammy-winning Songwriters Behind EIGHTEEN #1 Hits with the Nashville Symphony for a Unique and Amazing Night of Music.

Nashville, Tenn. – Thursday, June 14, 2012 – The GRAMMY Award-winning songwriters of “Jesus Take The Wheel,” Hillary Lindsey and Brett James, will take to the stage of Nashville’s RiverFront Park with the Nashville Symphony for a special Symphonic Pop event entitled “Music City Hit-Makers” on July 4th, 2012 as part of the Music City 4th “Let Freedom Sing”

Singer/songwriters Lindsey and James are two of the most successful Grammy award-winning songwriters of the past decade and are among the elite of Nashville's storied songwriting tradition. The spectacular vocal duo, backed by the gorgeous sounds of the Nashville Symphony and orchestral scores by arranger Charles Judge (Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts) will perform eight Billboard Country #1 singles that they have collectively written and recorded by artists such as: Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride and Rodney Atkins.

In 2011 Grammy Award-winning songstress Hillary Lindsey received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Song - Motion Picture for “There’s A Place For Us,” from “Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and “Coming Home,” from “Country Strong,” which also earned Lindsey an Oscar Nomination at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards which aired February 27th, 2011 on ABC. Lindsey has co-written five #1 songs recorded by Carrie Underwood “Jesus Take The Wheel,” “Wasted,” “Last Name,” “So Small,” “Just a Dream” and she has writing credit on eight of the fourteen tracks on Underwood’s latest release “Blown Away.”

 Grammy-winner and two time ASCAP Songwriter of the Year, James has scored thirteen Billboard #1 Country songs over the past decade and has achieved cross genre success with the recent smash hits “Mr. Know It All” (Kelly Clarkson) and “Life After You” (Daughtry). James has penned five chart toppers recorded by Kenny Chesney which include the #1 songs “When The Sun Goes Down,” “Out Last Night,” “Reality,” and the top ten records “You Save Me” and “Keg In The Closet” which peaked at #3 and #6 respectively.

The set-list to be performed during the show are the following #1 hit Country music songs: “It’s America” (recorded by Rodney Atkins; written by James and Angelo Petraglia), “Last Name” (recorded by Carrie Underwood; written by Lindsey, Carrie Underwood and Luke Laird), “American Honey,(recorded by Lady Antebellum; written by Lindsey, Cary Barlowe and Shane Stevens), “Brass Bed (Stay With Me)” (recorded by Josh Gracin; written by Brett James, Jedd Hughes and Terry McBride), “When The Sun Goes Down” (recorded by Kenny Chesney; written by James), “Jesus Take The Wheel” (recorded by Carrie Underwood; written by Lindsey, James and Sampson), “So Small” (recorded by Carrie Underwood; written by Lindsey, Carrie Underwood and Luke Laird), “Reality” (recorded by Kenny Chesney; written by James and Kenny Chesney), “Blessed” (recorded by Martina McBride; written by Lindsey, James and Troy Verges)

About Music City Hit-Makers:

Created in 2010 by Charles Dixon, “Music City Hit-Makers” is a touring Symphonic Pop show that pairs Nashville’s most revered songwriters with the artistry of the symphony orchestra. The curtain gets pulled back on Music City to reveal the stories behind the songs written for today’s biggest stars!

Tony Conway Panelist at Billboard Country Summit

Backbeat: Scott Borchetta, Shooter Jennings, John Hogan, More at Billboard Country Summit
June 08, 2012   |   By Vernell Hackett, Nashville


Willie Nelson signs autographs for fans during the Summit. (Photo: Michael Seto)

The Billboard Country Music Summit for 2012 ended with a cocktail party and performances by some of Nashville's upcoming stars, Maggie Rose, Andy Gibson, Kate Armiger and Rachele Lynae. After two days of having information piled on them in heavy doses for eight hours a day, registrants were ready to relax and enjoy the music and a few last-minute conversations before packing it in and heading into the upcoming CMA Music Fest, which will close out the week.

Check Out All Our Coverage of the Billboard Country Music Summit RIght Here

Tim McFadden, vice president of promotion for Tenacity Records, says he loves coming back to the summit. "Every year there is such a wide range and variety of panels and information being handed to you," he explains. "I always come away with a handful of things that have offered me insight and given me information about this business, everything from artist management to social media."


(L-R): Country Music Association president Steve Moore with Billboard's Ray Waddell and editorial director Bill Werde. (Photo: Michael Seto)

Newcomer Connor Rose of Bowling Green, Ohio is a 16-year old performer who was attending the Summit for the first time. "It has been very helpful to me. Being new we as a team don't have all the answers so coming here has helped us figure out the place we need to go," he says.

Check Out All Our Backbeats Right Here

Among the topics he cited as most helpful were the radio airplay panel and the Luke Bryan Q&A which showed the strategy behind developing an artist.


Enjoying themselves at the Summit are (from left) Clear Channel Media and Entertainment chairman/CEO John Hogan, Big Machine Label Group president/CEO Scott Borchetta, and Clear Channel VP of country programming Clay Hunnicutt. (Photo: Michael Seto)

"The most interesting thing I heard was that artists probably need to move to Nashville," Connor said. When asked if he wanted to do that, he said, "I'd move here just to be here. I really love this town."

Willie Nelson on Leaving Nashville, Outlaw Movement, Highwaymen Reunion, Weed

Singer/songwriter Nancy Moran of Nashville found the panels that featured different artists most interesting, especially the one with Shooter Jennings on touring. "I thought Shooter was an interesting choice and I thought he really had an interesting perspective," she says. "He had some great comments because he could address the issue of new artists touring from both sides, that of an artist with a major label deal and without one. I thought the whole panel was very good."


TMG/AEG Live senior VP Ali Harnell admits she watches "Dancing With The Stars" on the tour bus. The men are (from left) Shooter Jennings, Conway Entertainment Group CEO Tony Conway, Global Spectrum VP of booking Brock Jones, RodeoHouston managing director of entertainment Jason Kane, and Live Nation Country Music president Brian O'Connell. (Photo: Michael Seto)

Jeff Walker, head of AristoMedia and one of the main organizers of the international activities this week, was pleased with the International Artists Panel which he moderated. "There are a lot of international people who work in the industry in town this week and we were able to take advantage of that for the panel," he explains.

Backbeat: CMA Week Kicks Off With Party at AristoMedia's Jeff Walker's House

"We had some amazing talent performing, 22 acts in all, and so many people were interested in the international acts. We had some of the international tour operators who requested tickets to the two global shows. Plus there are lots of chances for booking and scouting talent this week."


Y Entertainment Group CEO Rick Stevens (left) clinches a bet with singer Mike Farris (right) as Billboard's Ray Waddell looks on. (Photo: Michael Seto)

One of the hot topics of discussion was the announcement Tuesday between Big Machine Records and Clear Channel, which owns 850 radio stations, for the label's artists to receive a share of Clear Channel's terrestrial broadcast radio revenue.

Exclusive: Clear Channel, Big Machine Strike Deal to Pay Sound-Recording Performance Royalties To Label, Artists

Other hot topics were social media and how artists can use it to their advantage, and the fact that artists must work harder as record companies offer less promotional money for tours and other things they once supported.


(L-R): Warner Music Nashville VP of consumer and interactive marketing Jeremy Holley, ThrillCall co-founder Jonathan Leone, Sony Music Nashville VP of artist development/marketing and web initiatives Heather McBee, BubbleUp Interactive VP of brand strategy Pinky Gonzales, "Country Music Chat" (#cmchat) host/creator Jessica Northey and RootMusic founder J Sider. (Photo: Michael Seto)


Live Nation Country Music president Brian O'Connell (left) visually demonstrates why he prefers bus travel over flying for Global Spectrum VP of boooking Brock Jones (center) and Conway Entertainment Group CEO Tony Conway. (Photo: Michael Seto)

Diana DeGramo Gets Engaged LIVE on American Idol!!!

It was the engagement seen 'round the world Wednesday night on American Idol, so how did Ace Young manage to pull off his surprise proposal to fiancée Diana DeGarmo? 

With a little help from his Idol family, it turns out. 

"I called [producer] Nigel [Lythgoe] directly last week and said, 'I want to do this. I'm going to do this. Is there any way I could do it at the show?' " Young told PEOPLE at the Ford-sponsored American Idol season 11 finale post party. "He said 'Yes, I'm not going to tell anybody until the day of ... [and] I want you to figure it out with Ryan [Seacrest]." 

But DeGarmo, who was "completely caught off guard," almost thwarted Young's big plan at the last minute. 

"I actually almost got up to go to the bathroom to fix my hair," she said, laughing. "And then I just started shaking [on stage]." 

As his fiancée showed off her new sparkler at the party, Young explained what went into the making of the ring. 

"A month ago, she said, 'Gold needs to come back,'" the season 5 finalist said. "I was like, I agree, so mental note. Her favorite thing is a sunflower and she loves yellow, so one of our dear friends [helped me] put together a ring that has a yellow diamond, a gold band and two smaller diamonds on the side that are clear, so it's like a sunflower." 

And though the newly engaged couple – who recorded a duet on DeGarmo's recently released EP Live To Love – have yet to start planning for the big day, one thing's for certain – there will be "plenty of music" at their wedding. 

Article BY MELODY CHIU / People Magazine

LoCash Cowboys, Shane Tallant and Storme Warren Added To "City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge"

Things are heating up between TEAM GRAND OLE OPRY and TEAM AFTER MIDNITE at this year’s City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge Presented by Staples

On Saturday, June 9 (9:00 AM; Greer Stadium), more than two dozen stars are going to the ballpark to help STRIKE OUT CANCER!  You can be there to enjoy the thrilling game and to support your favorite stars.  Tickets are only $20 in advance, and are available NOW, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The game is emceed by GAC-TV personality and host of “Headline Country” Storme Warren.  So, who’s lining the bases?  Check it!


Carrie Underwood
Vince Gill
Lauren Alaina
Brantley Gilbert
Kristen Kelly
Scott Hamilton (Olympic figure skating champion)
Billy Gilman
Greg Bates
Chris Lucas (LoCash Cowboys)
Mallary Hope
Sarah Darling
Shane Tallant

Scotty McCreery

Chuck Wicks
David Nail
Robin Meade (CNN)
Whitney Duncan
James Otto
RaeLynn (Team Blake finalist from “The Voice”)
Bucky Covington
Preston Burst (LoCash Cowboys)
Rachel Holder
Jeffrey Steele
Two Foot Fred

Announcement courtesy of CMA Blog


New Diana DeGarmo EP "Live To Love" Now Available on iTunes!

DeGarmo's songwriting skills shine on 'Live to Love'     

Coming on the heels of her successful single “Good Goodbye” that was featured on ‘The Young and the Restless,’ Diana DeGarmo continues to hone her country/pop craft on the EP ‘Live to Love.’ The five-song project – which includes the aforementioned “Goodbye” – is an intimately produced collection courtesy of Mailboat Records that accurately shows off DeGarmo’s wide range of well rounded vocal abilities.

The EP kicks off with a dramatic mid-tempo that proves to be both beautifully written and very radio-friendly. The title track is far and away DeGarmo’s best chance at a crossover hit that, if given the chance, could dominate both Top 40 and country airplay charts. The other songs on ‘Love’ allow her to display multiple sides of her personality, from the uplifting power ballad “You” to the sassy Miranda Lambert-esque “Thought I Told Ya.” ‘Love’ concludes with “Us Against the World,” the sing-along, throwback style duet with boyfriend and fellow ‘Idol’ alum Ace Young that could be a perfect song for Graduation ceremonies around the world thanks to its positive message.

While it does not boast the bells and whistles of big label production, ‘Live to Love’ conveys the personable nature of Diana DeGarmo’s character, and underscores the importance of having commanding vocals and meaningful songwriting – elements that are often missing in quality music nowadays.

LoCash Cowboys - Country Weekly Kick-Off Party Announced!


Featuring Colt Ford, LoCash Cowboys, and Matt Stillwell

Tickets are on sale now with proceeds benefiting Musicians On Call

Nashville, Tenn. – Country Weekly magazine is celebrating the kick-off to CMA Music Festival with a special benefit concert featuring country artists Colt FordLoCash Cowboys, and Matt Stillwell who will bring their southern fried country music to the stage of the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Nashville on Tuesday, June 5.  In addition to VIP packages and meet & greet opportunities, fans are now able to bid on unique auction itemsincluding a chance to sing “Dirt Road Anthem” on stage with Colt, who co-penned the No. 1 hit for Jason Aldean, plus a chance to hang with Colt backstage in the green room for the full VIP experience. 

All proceeds from the event will go towards Musicians On Call (MOC) Nashville’s ongoing efforts to bring the healing power of music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities in Middle Tennessee. Tickets are available now on the MOC website and begin at $15 for General Admission and go up to $350 for a VIP table for four including meet & greet passes. 

Doors open at 8:00PM with music beginning at 9:00PM.  The night promises to bring great country music and rowdy good times.  For more information on the event, ticket options, and auction items, please visit

About Country Weekly

As America’s premier country entertainment source for 18 years, Country Weekly and deliver the inside stories on country music’s hottest stars, featuring late-breaking news and the scoop on star lifestyles, families, homes, favorite foods and latest fashions. Country Weekly is published 52 times a year by parent company American Media, 

About Musicians On Call

Musicians On Call (MOC) was founded in 1999 with the mission of bringing live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. To date, its volunteers have played for over 275,000 people. Musicians On Call continues its mission through room-to-room hospital performances by local musicians and national celebrities as well as the CD Pharmacy Program.

Julie Roberts Honors Her Alma Mater With New Song "Sweet Carolina"

Julie Roberts has released a new tune that is extra special to the South Carolina native. Robert, a University of South Carolina alum, dedicates her song ‘Sweet Carolina’ to her Alma Mater as part of the college’s Carolina Promise campaign.

Roberts wrote the song for the campaign, designed as a “commitment — or promise — to students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and the communities we serve that we will continue to lead the way to improve the quality of life for all in our state and world.”

“I went to the University of South Carolina-Lancaster my first two years of college and received an amazing education and strong foundation for the rest of my life,” Roberts says. “I was raised a Gamecock fan and most of my family are graduates from the University of South Carolina.”

She continues, “Writing this song for the University felt like something I was supposed to do. The University has given my family so much, and I wanted to help this campaign in a way that I could, so I wrote and recorded ‘Sweet Carolina.’ It was fun thinking about the University, the students, the Gamecock fans, the alumni, the sporting events, and everything that makes me proud to call Carolina my home!”

Fans can download a digital copy of ‘Sweet Carolina’ through iTunes or CD Baby. The tune is being released in three forms: the original song, an acoustic mix and an instrumental version. Portions of the proceeds raised through sales of ‘Sweet Carolina’ will be donated to Roberts’ charity of choice, the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The songstress will be releasing a music video for the song in the coming weeks.

Article courtesy of Taste of Country / Alanna Conaway

Monte Montgomery Featured Musician On New Pat Green Album

In 2001, Texan Pat Green released an album full of his favorite songs that spanned such diverse sounds as Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” and Steve Winwood’s “Can’t Find My Way Home.” The first edition, Songs We Wish We’d Written, was done in collaboration with fellow Texas artist Cory Morrow. Pat’s now releasing the second round, Songs We Wish We’d Written II, as a solo project. The record, hitting stores May 8, is a special collection for the singer that speaks to important moments and relationships in Pat’s life.

Like the first edition, II features a very diverse group of songs and writers. Liz Rose (“If It Weren’t For You,” written with Walt Wilkins), Tom Petty  (“Even the Losers”) and rock band Collective Soul’s Ed Roland (“The World I Know,” with Brian Ross Childress) all grace the liner notes. And while artists like Tom Petty and Collective Soul aren’t generally thought of as country, Pat’s unique take on this set has the effect of bringing the tracks together to sound like a “Pat Green record.” Case in point; the re-worked version of “Even The Losers” opens with a vocal/piano intro and fiddle fills before gradually transforming into a more faithful version of Tom Petty’s original by the two-minute mark.

Pat chose different songs for different reasons. The first single, the country/rock “All Just To Get To You” (written by Joe Ely and Will Alan Sexton), is from one of Pat’s all time favorite records, Joe Ely’s Letters To Laredo. “If It Weren’t For You” and “Streets of Galilee” (Aaron Lee Tasjan) are meaningful to both Pat and his wife. Songwriter Jon Randall’s “Austin,” with a classic uptempo honky tonk rhythm section and lines like all roads lead back to Texas, inspired the singer with memories of home while out on the road.

A collaborator on the first edition in 2001, Cory Morrow has a guest spot on this project. “If I Had A Boat” (Lyle Lovett) is an easy-going tune that features shimmering acoustic notes and smile-filled lyrics like, If I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean/ And if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat. Other artists, including Ed Roland on “The World I Know” and guitarist Monte Montgomery on the bluesy southern rocker “Soulshine” (written by Warren Haynes), join Pat throughout the record. Fellow Texan Jack Ingram adds vocals on the hard-rocking “I Am Too” (written by Todd Snider and Will Kimbrough), closing out the record on a rebellious high note singing, If you’re looking for some trouble, baby, I am too.

Songs We Wish We’d Written II is an entertaining album that showcases many of Pat’s favorite songs and songwriters. While the tracks are drawn from a very diverse group of originals, Pat re-interprets them here to incorporate his unique vision. Songs like “Jesus On A Greyhound” (written by Glen Ballard andShelby Lynne) carry the unmistakable sound that Pat’s fans have come to know. It’s evident that Pat loves these songs, and his energy shines through as he both honors the originals and adds his own voice.

Review courtesy of GAC / By  

Diana DeGarmo Joins Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff For USO Tour

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy, April 16, 2012 – The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thanked service members here today on the first stop of a USO tour.

Accompanied by his wife and a troupe of celebrities, Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. is bringing a taste of home to troops stationed in Europe and Southwest Asia this week.

“What a great privilege and pleasure it is for all of us to be here with all of you,” Winnefeld said. “Mary, my wife, joins me in thanking you for being here today and for doing what you do -- all you young men and women in uniform and your families.”

The USO tour is a way to help the nation thank them for all they do, the admiral told the service members here. “And especially for the tremendous work … that you all have done over the last year -- sending folks to Iraq, helping get rid of a tyrant in Moammar Gadhafi. Good job on that.”

The vice chairman also thanked the troops for helping deployed service members on the ground in Afghanistan. “It’s been a fantastic year, and I congratulate you for it.”

Winnefeld also thanked the celebrities joining him for the USO tour, and told troops they look forward to interacting with them.

Joining the vice chairman on the tour are comedian/actor Anthony Anderson; former Major League Baseball pitcher Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson; performer Jason “Wee-Man” Acuna; actor and pitchman Dennis Haysbert; Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders Allyson Traylor, Brittany Evans and Kelsi Reich; and former “American Idol” contestants Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young.

Winnefeld commended the USO for its decades of service and commitment to troops and for its efforts in coordinating this tour.

“I do want to thank the USO for the fantastic job they have done for decades, to say nothing of the fantastic job they've done putting this trip together,” Winnefeld said.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

Storme Warren To Host Nashville's Grammy Block Party

The RECORDS ACADEMY has announced their annual GRAMMY BLOCK PARTY lineup for NASHVILLE. The show will kick off at 4:30p (CT) on TUESDAY, MAY 8th at NASHVILLE's OWEN BRADLEY PARK.

The event will be hosted by GAC personality STORME WARREN and feature performances by LUKE BRYAN, ELENOWEN, THE MAVERICKS, KEB MO', TENTH AVENUE NORTH and WYNONNA. NASHVILLE electronic artists KDSML and SAM SHACKLOCK are also set to appear.

The event is free for all RECORDING ACADEMY members and members may purchase one guest ticket for $50.

For more RECORDING ACADEMY news, visit

Keith Urban Thanks "You Gonna Fly" Writers for Best Party Yet

Keith Urban Thanks "You Gonna Fly" Writers for Best Party Yet
Preston Brust, Chris Lucas, Jarren Johnston Celebrate Their First No. 1
April 12, 2012; Written by Edward Morris

NRA Country Announces Storme Warren As Artist of the Month

Nationally recognized TV and satellite radio personality Storme Warren has been selected as the NRA Country Artist of the Month for April.  He started the month off by serving as emcee for the 2nd Annual NRA Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot held last weekend in Las Vegas. Storme joins some of country music’s biggest stars including Craig Morgan, Justin Moore, Lee Brice, Montgomery Gentry, Sunny Sweeney and Trace Adkins who have teamed up with NRA Country to celebrate their support of our brave men and women in uniform, appreciation for the great outdoors, and love of family. Storme’s love of the great outdoors makes him a natural fit with NRA Country Artist of the Month promotion.

“There is nothing better than soaking up the great outdoors. I spend most of my free time either by a river with my fly rod or hiking the trails with my kids and mutts,” says Warren.

As part of the April promotion,fans can register to win an autographed Headline Country shirt. Visit from now through the end of April to register to win.

Storme Warren is a co-executive producer and host of the television network Great American Country”s (GAC) entertainment news show “Headline Country”, host of “The Music Row Happy Hour” on Sirius XM’s “The Highway,” and a regular personality on GAC. During the summer months, Storme can be found emceeing music festivals from coast to coast and around the globe. In addition to his unremitting love of music, Warren is an avid outdoorsman and adventure-seeker. He is a certified scuba diver, an Eagle Scout, a habitual fly-fisherman and amateur meteorologist.

Catch Storme and country music’s biggest stars on Headline Country on GAC, with brand new episodes premiering each Thursday at 9PM EST.

Each month a new country music artist will be featured on, highlighting what makes them ‘NRA Country.’ Celebrate our country and learn more at

Article courtesy of Music News Nashville / by Dann Harr

Julie Roberts Shoot with GAC!

Julie Roberts had an amazing shoot with GAC today! Here are some pictures! More fun stuff to come from this shoot! 


Julie with GAC


Lorrie Morgan To Perform On Opry Country Classics: Women of Country

The unforgettable songs traditional country music fans love most are set to take the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium in the return of Opry Country Classics Thursdays March 29 – May 24. Grammy-winner Larry Gatlin returns as show host each week, welcoming artists who’ll perform their own country hits as well as timeless favorites by the likes of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and more.

The first show of the season helps celebrate the opening of the new Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibition The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country! Among those performing during the kick-off show will be Gatlin, Elizabeth Cook, Jim Lauderdale, Chuck Mead, and Leona Williams. The following week, Thursday, APRIL 5, Host Gatlin will welcome some of country’s all-time favorite female voices for a special “Women of Country” Opry Country Classics. Among those performing will be CMA award-winners Lynn Anderson, Janie Fricke,LORRIE MORGAN, and Pam Tillis.

Several Spotlight Artists will headline Opry Country Classics shows later in the season, each performing a number of memorable classics. Among this spring’s Spotlight Artists are The Time Jumpers (April 19), Marty Stuart (April 26), Charlie Daniels Band (May 3), Mel Tillis (May 10), and Loretta Lynn (May 17).

Opry Country Classics tickets as well as money-saving ticket combos including admission to both Thursday night Opry Country Classics shows and Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday Grand Ole Opry shows are available by visiting or by calling 615-871-OPRY or 800-SEE-OPRY.

Article courtesy of Nashville.Com 

Diana DeGarmo Will Debut ‘Good Goodbye’ On ‘The Young and the Restless’

You may remember Diana DeGarmo on season 3 of “American Idol”  Well, she has been starring on “The Young and the Restless” as the fast-talking, gum-chewing, mob princess Angelina Veneziano, who dreams of being a professional singer, even though most people think she has a lousy voice.

Fans of “Young and the Restless” and Diana have been waiting for her to sing on the show like she can in real life…well, the wait’s over! On the episode airing this Friday, March 23rd, Diana will sing “Good Goodbye” a country ballad she co-wrote with her boyfriend, fellow “Idol” alum Ace Young.

Diana’s character on the show has changed her manipulative ways and is on her way to becoming a better person. The song “Good Goodbye” reflects her emotional journey. Diana and Ace tell us that they are both thrilled about the song.

click here to listen to audio of "Good Goodbye"

Article courtesy of 

Written by Kelly Ballhorn

LoCash to play AMC Experience and ACM All Star Jam!

LoCash Cowboys have been added to the lineup for the AMC Experience on Sunday, April 1st, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.  They will perform from 2:30-3:30pm.  The ACM Awards will take place April 1st at the MGM Grand. 

The Week Vegas Goes Country® just got a whole lot bigger! The Academy of Country Music wants you to immerse yourself in THE ACM EXPERIENCE---a one-of-a-kind lifestyle event at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay March 30th through April 1st.

For the first time ever, this free-to-the public, three-day event will give fans the ultimate country experience in one place. You can SHOP country at the ACM EXPO---where you’ll find more than 250 unique vendors from across the nation under one roof. You can TASTE country at the ACM BBQ Throwdown—featuring the best grillers in the nation going head to head for the top prize. You can RIDE country at the RAM Ride and Drive, an amazing outdoor test track like no other. And can HEAR country at the ACM Fan Jam with host Zac Brown Band—a ticketed event that makes fans a part of the live ACM Awards broadcast on April 1st. - (courtesy of ACM website)

LoCash will also take the stage at 12:30am for the All-Star Jam post show party!!!

Storme Warren to serve as emcee for Second Annual NRA/ ACM Celebrity Shoot

Blake Shelton will host the Second Annual NRA Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot on Saturday, March 31 as part of The Week Goes Country, the week leading up to the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Blake will also serve as co-host along side Reba McEntire when the ACM Awards air live from Vegas the next night, April 1, on CBS at 8/7 p.m. Central.

The NRA Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot, presented by SoundGear by LaPierre, is a two-course, 10-station, 40-target sporting clays competition for 20 teams of five shooters. Each team will be include a celebrity captain, with prizes going to the top team and top shooter. GAC’s Storme Warren will serve as emcee for the event.

“It’s great for NRA Country to be back and to continue our partnerships with the ACM and Blake for these righteous causes,” Wayne LaPierre of NRA Country said. ”The fun and spirited competition out there on the range accentuates the many common bonds shared by the country music community and the NRA including love of outdoors, devotion to country and sincere gratitude for the sacrifices of our brave men and women in uniform.”

“The Academy is thrilled to continue this partnership with Blake and NRA Country,” said Bob Romeo, Chief Executive Officer of the Academy of Country Music. “Many traditions and values are shared among the country music and outdoor enthusiast communities. Today we get to have a little fun together, while paying our respects to the men and women of our armed forces at the same time.”

Lee Brice, Craig CampbellCowboy Troy, Ira Dean, Edens EdgeCraig MorganJake Owen, Thomas Rhett, Outdoor Channel’s Lee & Tiffany Lakosky and Nick Mundt, TNA Impact Wrestling stars Jeff Hardy and James Storm, and more will participate in the shoot. The competition will support Wounded Warrior Project, The Folds of Honor Foundation and the Nellis Air Force Base Youth Programs.

Article courtesy of GAC - Sarah Wyland

Congratulations to Chris and Preston of LoCash Cowboys for their #1 record "YOU GONNA FLY"

We are so proud of our very own Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LoCash Cowboys.  Chris and Preston along with Jared Johnston have landed their first #1 record with "YOU GONNA FLY" recorded by Keith Urban!  We would like to thank the fans, Sony ATV, Capitol Records and the entire Keith Urban team for making this dream become a reality for Chris and Preston!


Keith Urban Tops Charts With LoCash Cowboys-Penned Hit �You Gonna Fly

From Alana Conway

"Congratulations are in order once again for Keith Urban, who has hit the No. 1 slot on the country singles chart right now for the 14th time. His latest single, ‘You Gonna Fly,’ written by the LoCash Cowboys‘ Preston Brust and Chris Lucas (along with Jaren Johnston), spent only 19 weeks on the chart before reaching the top, marking one of the singer’s fastest rising hits to date.

The tune, in which Urban refers to as a “poor boy romance,” was written soon after the LoCash Cowboys inked their first publishing deal with Sony/ATV. While they knew the song was a hit waiting to happen, neither Brust, Lucas or Johnston ever dreamed the tune would wind up in the hands of Urban.

“I started writing songs when I was 12, and I remember dreaming about them being No. 1 on radio and on the charts,” Brust tells Taste of Country. “So to actually have this happen is a life-long dream and journey come true. I want to tell Keith thank you for making this kid’s dream come true. I keep looking at the charts, thinking there is one more slot to go, but there’s not. It’s at the top. It’s No. 1. It feels so good!”

“It’s freaking amazing … I don’t know how else to put it,” Lucas adds. “It’s a life-changer and we become members of the No. 1 club. It is amazing and to have Keith Urban cut it and take it to No. 1 is a grand slam. They can finally take my picture down at the bank because of all my overdraft fees [laughs]!”

Click here to read our exclusive interview with the LoCash Cowboys about how they wrote ‘You Gonna Fly’ with Johnston."


Via Taste of Country


Larry’s Country Diner on RFD-TV 

Friday, February 10th
9:00pm-10:00pm CST 

Saturday, February 11th
10:00pm – 11:00pm CST 

TN Mornings on FOX
Thursday, February 16th 

Want to see The Cleverlys perform in person? Please let us know if you would like to attend! 

Music City Roots at The Loveless Café Barn
Wednesday, February 15th
7:00pm CST
8400 Highway 100, Nashville, TN 37221

The Station Inn
Thursday, February 16th
9:00pm CST
402 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 

About The Cleverlys:

Hailing from a remote part of the Ozarks, The Cleverlys are a traditional family bluegrass band with a slightly skewed sense of the past, present and future.  As comfortable with a high lonesome cover of Stevie Wonder's “Superstition” and Fergie's “Clumsy” as they are “In The Pines”, The Cleverlys are a serious comedy bluegrass act. The family band consisting of Digger, Miles, Vernon Dean, aka VD, Harvey D and cousin Otto is a send up hitting all the right notes.  The group has had quite a year in 2011. The Cleverlys has performed at Stage Coach Music Fesitval, The Mint (LA), The CMA Music Festival LP Field concerts, numerous Station Inn performances and their Grand Ole Opry debut.  With all the performances have come critically-acclaim by industry insiders and the most respected of music critics from The LA Times, AOL, USA TODAY and many more.  The Cleverlys recently released their debut album and a DVD will be released soon. 

The Cleverlys merchandise is now available at






NASHVILLE, Tenn., January 26, 2012 – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is opening a spotlight exhibit, Something in Red, in support of the American Heart Association and Go Red For Women®. The exhibition, which will feature red ensembles from several country stars, including Sara Evans, Naomi Judd and Lorrie Morgan, will open on February 3, 2012 (National Wear Red Day), and run through April 2012. 

The red dress is a symbol of the fight against heart disease in women. Several country artists have partnered with the American Heart Association and the museum to raise awareness of this disease, the number one killer of women, by making their own red dresses available for this special exhibit.

 Among the dresses featured in Something in Red

  • Sara Evans’ full-length velvet sheath with feathers, designed by Victor Costa for Nahdree and worn at the  1999 Academy of Country Music Awards 
  • Naomi Judd’s leather-like jacket and skirt with bugle beading, rhinestones, and tulle crinoline, designed by Esben and Vanessa Ware and the Judds and worn at the 1987 Country Music Association Awards 
  • The JaneDear girls’ Danelle Leverett’s strapless Daisy mini-dress with floral detailing, worn on the cover of the duo’s 2011 self-titled debut album; and the JaneDear girls’ Susie Brown’s shimmering cocktail dress, designed by Ryan Gamboa and worn at the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards 
  • Lorrie Morgan’s full-length Caché gown with pleated bodice and spaghetti straps, worn on the Grand Ole Opry 
  • Julie Roberts’ one-shouldered, matte jersey cocktail gown with rhinestone embellishments, made by Caché and worn on the Grand Ole Opry

 Spotlight exhibits supplement themes and topics in the museum’s core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music. These short-term, informal displays provide a closer look at a particular person, group or aspect of country music, or they spotlight recently donated items or special anniversaries. Rotated often, spotlight exhibits also offer a glimpse into the museum’s unique collection, which includes recorded discs; historical photographs; films and videotapes; posters; books; songbooks; periodicals and sheet music; personal artifacts such as performers’ instruments, costumes and accessories; and more.  

Other current spotlight exhibits focus on the Academy of Country Music Awards, Bobby Braddock, Nudie Cohn, Bill Monroe, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Jean Shepard and Porter Wagoner. 

For more information about the American Heart Association, Go Red For Women and National Wear Red Day, visit

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the Foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®. 


Chad Jeffers Inspires an Aspiring Audience


Monday evening the Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University hosted a seminar featuring performing musician, author and Belmont Alum, Chad Jeffers. Jeffers, who is currently playing dobro (or resonator) on the road with Carrie Underwood and has toured with Keith Urban and Kenny Loggins, discussed his strategic and dedicated path that led him to where he is now. Don Cusic, Belmont’s own, moderated the discussion.

Jeffers associates the success he has received thus far with good fortune, not luck. “I’m not lucky. Lucky is buying a lottery ticket and winning big. I consider myself fortunate, which involves: preparation, making goals and moving forward.”

Jeffers’ tales of his experience as a full time touring musician unveiled some truth to the highly sought after, dream career. “Connecting with the crowd is what makes it all worth it. Some nights it’s a magical thing.” On the contrary, touring is a full time job Jeffers explains. “We play our show, get on the bus, drive 4-6 hours, soundcheck, hang out, then do it all over. Touring is like the film Groundhog day with Billy Murray; over and over.”

Jeffers is a highly passionate person who pursues all worthwhile experiences available. In regards to the student audience, he advises to utilize all the resources available. “The internships, that’s your bread and butter- they’re not always your calling, sometimes it’s figuring out what you don’t want to do. You only have to do it for three months, why not try it out?”

Apart from touring, songwriting, and playing sessions, Jeffers is an author and has just finished writing a book entitled “25 Notes for the Successful Musician.” The book reveals the ingredients that have built his career and relationships in the industry.

Jeffers ended the seminar with a soulful, instrumental jam on his dobro and then proceeded to thoughtfully answer a flood of questions from an aspiring student audience.

Article courtsey of

Bluegrass-meets-Comedy: The Cleverlys Release Self-titled Debut

Paul Harris, known as "Digger" to The Cleverlys' fans, checks in with Suite101 about the outfit's eponymous CD that meshes hillbilly humor and bluegrass.

For those who have heard the spoof-laced music of bluegrass-comedy act The Cleverlys, there’s no denying the quintet is a talented lineup of players. As for whether they’re serious about what they’re doing, the answer is a resounding “you bet.”

So serious, in fact, that The Cleverlys outfit—which allegedly is composed of kinfolk Digger, Miles, Vernon “V.D.” Dean, Harvey D. and cousin Otto—has taken its sound to the recording studio and emerged with a self-dubbed debut that pokes fun at mainstream hits via a bluegrass treatment that only The Cleverlys could devise.

The Cleverlys Merge Bluegrass with Comedy on Debut Album

Original songs, such as “Girl with No Pantyline,” “Eye of the Cage,” “Wheel Hoss” and “Tennicles,” are scattered throughout the 12-track CD, which is knee-deep in comedy/pop-styled bluegrass instrumentation. But spoofing other artists’ music, such as The Bangles’ “Walk Like An Egyptian,” Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” and Bill Wither’s “In the Pines/Ain’t No Sunshine,” also is a serious—and attention-nabbing—endeavor for this “family” band that hails from Arkansas.In 2011, The Cleverlys experienced a memorable, career-building year, from performing in front of 60,000 at CMA Music Fest last summer, to layin’ their hillbilly-drawlin’ sound down on the stages of The Mint in L.A., Nashville’s Station Inn and even making their Grand Ole Opry debut. And oh yes, somewhere along the way the troupe managed to accrue more than a million views on their YouTube channel and thousands of Facebook fans, not to mention “thumbs-up” recognition from critics at USA Today, Music Row magazine and The L.A. Times, to name but three.

Fan Demand Pushes Bluegrass/Comedy Act to Create The Cleverlys CD

Nonetheless, thanks to the quicksilver favor that The Cleverlys found on the live circuit in 2011, the demand for a tangible, “take-it-home-after the show” recording multiplied faster than wild rabbits on a warm spring day. In turn, the group retreated to The Ozarks and Stabbin' Cabin Records studio to create the entertainers’ freshman CD, which was officially released Dec. 13, 2011.

On Jan. 7, 2012, The Cleverlys’ guitar-playin' funnyman—Paul Harris, a.k.a. “Digger”—took time to field a few questions for Suite101 writer Lisa L. Rollins about The Cleverlys CD, which boasts both side-splitting, backwoods humor and veteran musicianship. The following is an excerpt from this interview with the sometimes hard-to-pin-down comic/musician who’s been mixing bluegrass music and humor for two decades and counting.

Which came first for The Cleverlys, the comedy or the bluegrass playing?

“This is hard to answer. It’s like the question what came first the biscuit or the gravy, the Eiffel or the Tower, the fingernail or the clippers? I just know you can't have one without the other.”

Will true-blue bluegrass fans find favor with the material on this CD--or feel betrayed by the spoof-filled offering?

“Favor, for sure. Bluegrass fans have embraced us and have been a huge part of our fan base.”

How does the songwriting/comedy writing process work for The Cleverlys? What inspires the music?

“We get inspiration from nature. … A spring meadow, a rolling brook, a baby antelope being dropped from the sky by a soaring eagle. These are great vehicles for writing bluegrass.”

Is there a stereotypical Cleverlys groupie or fan that comes to mind? And if so, describe, please.

“We call them ‘Cleverheads.’ They're the best fans on Earth. They will travel far and wide just to get to Cleverland! Thank you, Cleverheads!”

As for the year ahead, The Cleverlys—whose exaggerated characters are based on both fictional depictions and folks they’ve met in real life—have a new disc to tout and a loaded touring schedule that will find them merging “the hokey with high brow,” accompanied by respectable bluegrass pickin’, from North Carolina and Missouri to Arizona, and then some.

(via Suite 101) written by Lisa L. Rollins

Known for her portrayal of Patsy Cline, vocalist Mandy Barnett embraces a classic country style

Known for her portrayal of Patsy Cline, vocalist Mandy Barnett embraces a classic country style 

My skepticism about what's called The Great American Songbook runs hand in hand with my distaste for Nashville's so-called countrypolitan era of the early 1960s — I'm a rock 'n' roll fan.

Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Jimmy Van Heusen were superb craftsmen, but their music represents a world that denied a lot of the hard truths and uncomplicated pleasures I find in the work of Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf and The Rolling Stones. As for countrypolitan, it's kitsch with a kick — the production style Chet Atkins imposed upon some of Charlie Rich's '60s work is ghastly, unless you prefer your blues smothered in saccharine background vocals. But none of this matters very much when you consider the neo-countrypolitan American songbook interpreter Mandy Barnett, whose vocal style crushes all opposition.

For Barnett — a glorious throwback to an era of sublimated sex, big automobiles and that strange version of upward mobility that characterized Nashville's music business in its countrypolitan phase — the style really is the thing. Known primarily as a stage actress and singer who has portrayed countrypolitan queen Patsy Cline in the long-running show Always ... Patsy Cline, Barnett is a first-rate pop vocalist operating in Nashville, which means her music is at once sophisticated and populist.

Born in Crossville, Tenn., in 1975, Barnett began singing — and recording — early. "When I was 9 years old, I made a gospel record, and Gene Chrisman was on it," Barnett says. Her precocity is remarkable not least because Chrisman happens to be the drummer who supported vocalist Dusty Springfield on the 1969 full-length Dusty in Memphis, which found Springfield essaying songs by Randy Newman, Donnie Fritts and Carole King — all candidates for a revised Great American Songbook.

Barnett came to Nashville after winning a talent contest at the Dollywood theme park, where she had been performing for a couple of years. The prize was the chance to make a demo, and Barnett worked in an appearance at the Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree radio show. Her performance caught the ear of producer Billy Strange, who had arranged Nancy Sinatra's 1966 "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." As Barnett says, "Billy heard me when I was on the radio that night, and we ended up working together. He got me the deal with [producer] Jimmy Bowen."

Working with Bowen, Barnett spent five years developing her approach. "When I first started in Nashville, Jimmy Bowen signed me when I was 12 years old," she remembers. "That was in the mid-'80s. From that time until I graduated from high school, I spent that time floundering around tryin' to figure out what to do. At the time, it was frustrating. But I mean, I was working with James Taylor's band on the weekends, you know?"

Barnett's vocal abilities were apparent to anyone who cared to listen, and she made her big-label debut with 1996's Mandy Barnett. Her rich voice effortlessly scaled the heights of her great predecessor Cline, and Barnett's unpretentious cool gave her interpretations a pleasingly rough edge that complemented her technically perfect intervals.

Still, Mandy Barnett faltered somewhat after its opening track, "Planet of Love." The album stands today as a curious bit of Nashville country-power-pop schlock, complete with several songs by super-hack songwriter Kostas. The problem was that Barnett's handlers considered Kostas' songwriting worthy of her talents. What she needed was songwriting on the order of, say, Marshall Crenshaw's. But Crenshaw wasn't a candidate for Nashville's idea of The Great American Songbook.

Barnett's problems were solved on the 1999 full-length I've Got a Right To Cry, which Barnett recorded for Seymour Stein's Sire label. If ever a record devoted to reviving a lost musical style transcended its sources, it's I've Got a Right. Produced by countrypolitan auteur Owen Bradley — Owen died during the sessions, and his brother Harold completed the project with Barnett — the record puts Barnett's amazing vocals into settings that billow with background singers, piano and pedal steel.

It's a classic — a knowing look back at a dead style. Barnett's version of Gary Walker and Porter Wagoner's "Trademark" is superior to Carl Smith's 1953 hit version of the song, and Barnett sounds like country's sultriest, saltiest formalist. Since then, Barnett has revisited her role as Cline, including a series of well-received shows at The Ryman over the summer. Identified with Cline and with an era that prized a sort of sophistication that has been lost forever, Barnett sees herself as part of a noble lineage.

"Singing the classics has kept me relevant," she says. "It's all about being more of a vocalist — which is what Patsy Cline was, a vocalist. Going in that direction, there's no boundaries. I can always perform and have a platform. You're not chasing fads and stuff like that."

(Article from Nashville Scene and composed by Edd Hurt)

Julie Roberts returns to the Grand Ole Opry Stage!

Julie Roberts returns to the Grand Ole Opry this Friday, December 23, 2011, at the Ryman Auditorium.  Tickets are still available at  Julie will perform songs from her new Christmas album, "Who Needs Mistletoe". 

GAC and Storme Warren doubles down on news show

The Great American Country cable network is taking its Headline Country new show weekly starting Jan. 12. The show hosted by Storme Warren is on a biweekly schedule now, but the Scripps Networks channel said going weekly “will provide a constant window to Music Row and we look forward to expanding our coverage of country music around the globe.”

“Storme is tireless and he and his crew work hard to be where the biggest stories in country music are taking place,” says GAC GM and Senior VP Sarah Trahern. “It’s great that our fans will now get twice as much news delivered in a timely fashion.”


(via written by Geert De Lombaerde

Country stars, celebs open tour buses to locals Dec. 12 to aid Christmas 4 Kids

Holiday cheer-meets-country music is in the offing once more, thanks to the Christmas 4 Kids organization, which is again working to enhance the holidays for hundreds of underprivileged children throughout the middle Tennessee region. 

This year's Annual Tour Bus Show and Artist Meet & Greet will take place 5-9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, at theWalmart Supercenter in Hendersonville located at 204 North Anderson Lane

For a small donation, fans can visit the tour buses of 50-plus artists and celebrities, and many artists will be present to sign autographs and give the fans an inside look at their mobile home-away-from-home. 

According to organizer reports, all proceeds from the event will go to Christmas 4 Kids, a nonprofit organization that has been in existence for more than 25 years for the purpose of providing underprivileged children with money to shop and purchase Christmas gifts for family and loved ones--something most have never had the opportunity to do before. 

Money generated by this year’s annual concert featuring Charlie Daniels and the Tour Bus Show event will provide some 400 or more children from 29 different schools with a daylong shopping excursion. The special day consists of a chauffeured trip from their school aboard an entertainer's luxury tour bus, lunch and a party hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus at College Heights Baptist Church.

To wrap up the day, these children will receive a brand new winter coat and $150 to spend on anything they want, report event organizers.

Among those artists and celebs expected to take part are the following: 10th Ave. North, Brandon Heath, Rob Bironas,The Roys, Jeff Bates, Burns & Poe, Daryle Singletary, Lynn Anderson, Riders In the Sky, Jessica Frech, Jeremy Parsons, Robert Burgeis, Bo Bice, Nathan Douglas, Barry Michaelm Adam Fisher, Aaron Kelly, Dustin Wilkes, Mason Douglas, Ty Brown, Brasher/Bogue, Shane Thomas, Eric Lee Beddingfield, Wayne Mills Band, Phoenix Drive, Lucas Hoge, Jesse Keith Whitley, Crystal Rose, Johnny Gates,Randy Montana and Paul Stout.

Regarding his participation in this year's tour-bus event, the young Mr. Whitley, who is the son of country greats Lorrie Morgan and the late Keith Whitley, told Examiner he's looking forward to spreading a bit of holiday cheer.

"This will be my first year with Christmas 4 Kids and I am really excited," remarked the the singer-songwriter, whose "Saving Amy" single is making its way up the charts. "This is an amazing and dedicated organization that does something very special in our community. I'm eager to meet with all the fans and visit with industry friends, too!"

(via written by Lisa L. Rollins

The Cleverly's Releasing Debut Album on 12/13/11

The ubiquitous question of “Where can I get music from these guys,” is here. The Cleverlys are releasing their debut album on December 13th. Hailing from the Ozarks, the ‘family’ band consisting of Digger, Miles, Vernon “VD” Dean, Harvey D and cousin Otto are a one-of-a-kind bluegrass group who uses comedy mixed with pop and amazing musicianship to put on a performance you will never forget. “If you caught these spoofing yokels at CMA Music Fest last summer, you’re probably already grinning. Yes, it’s the Black Eyed Peas song done with hillbilly drawl and bluegrass instrumentation. On their eponymous debut CD, The Cleverlys do the same with The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and, unforgettably, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Plus, you get originals like “Girl with No Pantyline.” The rube spoken-word passages are as riotous as the ditties are. Essential.” Music Row – Bob Oermann Recorded at Stabbin’ Cabin Records home grown studio in the heart of the Ozarks, the atmosphere of their native land blows right through the collection that includes covers of songs like you’ve never heard including “I Gotta Feelin’”, “Angel”, “Billionaire”, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”, “Walk Like an Egyptian”, “Born to Be with You” and “In the Pines/Ain’t No Sunshine”. You’ll be able to listen to their original music and comedy tracks titled, “Eye of the Cage”, “Girl with No Pantyline”, “Wheel Hoss”, “Intro the trio” and “Tennicles”. Within a year of hitting the road, this family has sure garnered quite a following from coast-to-coast and around the globe. With over 1 million views on YouTube, thousands of fans on Facebook and rave reviews from USA TODAY, YAHOO! Music and THE LA TIMES, their highly anticipated album is finally here. You may have watched them perform to over 45,000 country music fans at LP Field in Nashville during CMA Fest, at Stagecoach, Grand Ole Opry, IBMA, The Station Inn, The Mint in LA or at their very own festival, Cleverlyfest.


Great Interview with The Cleverly's

Bluegrass comedy act, The Cleverlys have made a name for themselves all over the world. With an incredible number of YouTube hits and fans in over 54 different countries, the band is about to release their first album and they’re working on a DVD series.’s Marloes Lucy Duizer was lucky enough to talk to Digger Cleverly about the band’s influences, new CD and what the future holds for The Cleverlys. Enjoy!

The Cleverlys

L-R: Vernon Dean Cleverly, Miles Cleverly, Digger Cleverly, Harvey D Cleverly and Otto Cleverly.Photo courtesy of Wortman Works Media & Marketing

Who are The Cleverlys?  The Cleverlys is a well-rounded group of entertainers who bring not just a unique musical experience, but one of the most unique shows that you will see anywhere.

How did the combination of music and comedy start?  I have been doing music and comedy for 20 years. The idea was to marry the two into one act. I wanted to make it funny and, at the same time, have top-shelf musicianship. We want to reach the high-brow and the hokey, crossing all genre and age demographics

When did you realize that this combination, this band, was actually working?  We knew we were onto something when musicians, singers, producers, and people across the globe started reaching out to us.

Where do you get inspiration for your characters?  Our characters come from stereotypes and actual people that we have encountered throughout our life and travels.

You played CMA fest this summer. How did that come about? And what was it like to play LP Field?  Yes, we did! That had more to do with our management than us. Ha ha! We thank Jules Wortman, Joe Sullivan and the folks on the CMA board for working that out.  It was a dream come true to be a part of that show and play at LP field for 60,000 people. All I can say is goose bumps on top of goose bumps!

How have the reactions from Bluegrass fans been?  The bluegrass community has totally embraced what we are doing and, in fact, they have been the driving force behind our growing fan base.

You have a shows planned December 17th at the Music and Memories Theatre in Lake City, AR. Will there be more?

For sure!  2011 was our first year touring. We went from coast to coast playing clubs and festivals.  We were shocked to see how many Cleverheads traveled from several states away to see our show. We are excited to get back out there in 2012.

You call you fans Cleaverheads. What makes a Cleverhead?  Cleverheads get IT, ALL of IT! They can’t get enough of IT and come hell or high water, will do whatever it takes to come to a show and enjoy IT.

Your CD is about to come out? How has the recording been?   Yes, it will be released December 13th. We wanted to record it in true Cleverly fashion: live, no overdubs, or studio magic. It’s not overproduced, just raw playing. There are a lot of comedy nuggets in there, too. Some things you might not catch the first time you listen.

Does it include the covers you’re now famed for?  Yes, and a couple of originals laced together with comedy. We wanted it to be one of those albums that you listen to from beginning to end. Once you get started, you can’t shut it off.

What can we look forward to from The Cleverlys?  We are working on a DVD series. The first to be released soon. We are currently working on new tunes for the upcoming tour seasons and our next CD.

For more information on the Cleverlys go to:

via (

MoCash Cowboys raise money for St. Judes!

MoCash Cowboys: Kudos to Max Media'sWOOZ/Carbondale, IL for raising $8,296 during last night's LoCash Cowboys Unplugged For St.Jude concert. Z100 PD Tracy McSherry-McKowntells Country Aircheck, "It was supposed to be a 60-minute show starting at 6:30pm, and it was after midnight before we got out of there. One of the most heartfelt, entertaining shows I've ever seen."

Courtesy of Country Aircheck

Lorrie drops by set of "On The Streets"

Lorrie Morgan dropped by the set of On The Streets to talk with host Suzanne Alexander about her new documentary, Beyond The Interview: Lorrie MorganTune in to On The Streets premiering December 6 and re-airing throughout the week to catch Lorrie as well as the family band The Willis Clan!

Photo courtesy of GAC staff, taken by Julee Cobbs

Julie Robert's 'Blue Christmas' to be a part of the show Heart of Dixie on the CW on 12/5!

NASHVILLE – Country traditionalist Julie Roberts’ classic rendition of “Blue Christmas” will be featured on The CW’s new hit series “Hart of Dixie” during its holiday episode Monday, Dec. 5.

“I am so excited about my recording of (the song) being featured on ‘Hart of Dixie,’” Roberts said. “When I first told my fans about it, they were so excited because they love the show and I do too!”

The song will be a part of the show’s “Hairdos and Holidays” episode in which the characters residing in Bluebell, Ala., prepare for the Christmas festivities of the small town and its annual Miss Cinnamon Cider Pageant. The show airs Monday nights on The CW at 9/8c.

“‘Hart of Dixie’ features so much music and I think that’s awesome,” Roberts said. “Music in movies and television to me is so important for the mood and excitement of a scene. I am just so excited they chose one of my favorite songs from my new Christmas EP.”

“Blue Christmas” is the opening track of Roberts’ debut holiday release “Who Needs Mistletoe,” which is now available at all digital retailers, including iTunes, Amazon MP3 and CD Baby.

Roberts is currently offering exclusive holiday packages of the Christmas collection through her official website ( that include personalized, autographed copies of the EP, Christmas cards, an 8×10 photo and even a phone call from Roberts herself on Christmas Day.

For more updates follow Roberts on Facebook ( and on Twitter ( Roberts will be tweeting live during the east coast airing of the “Hart of Dixie” episode Monday to share her thoughts on the show and her Christmas EP.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 29, 2011)—Among a list of Hollywood notables and American Heroes, Country royalty and woman of glamour, Lorrie Morgan, has received and accepted a personal invitation to perform at Christmas Concert For The Troops--an annual holiday concert in honor of active duty military--at our nation’s capital early next month.

Lorrie, among others, will entertain an intimate crowd of invitation-only guests at the resplendent John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall in Washington, DC.  The Christmas Concert For The Troops (presented by D.C. residents Suzy and Bob Pence along with the USO of Metropolitan Washington) is scheduled to take place the evening of Tuesday, December 6, 2011.  The whimsical gala is a private holiday celebration held purely in gratitude and recognition of the men and women who serve on behalf of our country.

As part of the entertainment fare, Lorrie will dedicate three song selections: “My Favorite Things” will set the Yuletide tone and as her musical gift to attendees, she will perform “America The Beautiful” with Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young (current cast member of “The Jersey Boys”).  Morgan will also sing “In My Room” alongside legendary recording artists The Beach Boys.

All performances will be backed by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by American composer Marvin Hamlisch.  Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, and actor John Stamos will host Christmas Concert For The Troops.   This is Ms. Morgan’s third appearance at the magnificent Kennedy Center.

Bringing Hollywood flair to the country music format, Lorrie Morgan is a music legend applauded by her public and country music peers. She has had more than 25 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts and three No. 1 hits:  “Five Minutes,” "What Part Of No" and "I Didn't Know My Own Strength.”  

Recognized as a renaissance woman of the genre, Lorrie Morgan has played parts on Broadway and in theater; she’s recorded duets with Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, The Beach Boys and Keith Whitley. 

In early 2012 Lorrie prepares to release Beyond The Interview: Lorrie Morgan (ANR Records), a boxed set featuring Morgan originals and a documentary film with appearances by family, friends and industry peers, and some of Lorrie's all-time personal musical favorites.

LoCash teams up with the Careity Foundation

Nearly a dozen world-class entertainers, sports, TV and radio personalities will join local media celebrities for the Celebrity Cutting, where riders square off vying the coveted belt buckle and trophy in a split-second, nose-to-nose battle of skill beginning at 7 p.m.

Produced by Branch and Walsh, this volunteer-driven event raises more than $250,000 each year for underserved cancer patients in North Texas, and coincides with Fort Worth's National Cutting Horse Association Futurity.

"This might be the best event we've put on," Walsh said. "Every year, it seems to get better and when the economy is down we just work harder."

She added that patients needed them more now than ever so it was important to dig deep and work hard.

In its 17th year, this year's special all-celebrity cutting event lineup is "incredible."

Reserved box seats to the Celebrity Cutting are available for $200 each which include a ticket to the concert. General seating is $20 each. A Cutters' Special also gains general admission plus concert access for $150.

The concert will feature live entertainment by Lyle Lovett, Radney Foster, LoCash Cowboys, Sunny Sweeney, Shea Fisher, Presley Tucker, Sonny Burgess, as well as silent auction and refreshments. Opening acts are Garrett Bradford and Poolville's Katy Keenie.

This year's star-studded celebrity line-up features a host of participants including Dan Nevins from the Wounded Warrior project who lost both legs in Iraq, Bob Kingsley and Jay Novacek

Valuable support from Fort Worth-Dallas media representatives includes participant Justin Frazell.

Cutting horse competition is one of the world's fastest-growing equine sports, requiring unyielding tenacity and intense precision. Ranchers from the Old West originally used the cutting horse to separate individual cattle and move them into corrals or pens. The challenge of cutting is to select a single calf from the herd, gently guide it into the center of the arena, and then - with lightening fast starts and turns - prevent the calf from ducking past the horse and escaping back into the herd. Devoted fans of cutting believe that the perfect combination of a well-trained cutting rider and horse appears to perform as one.

To order tickets or for more information, call 817-882-4100 or visit the Celebrity Cutting booth (No. 422) in the Will Rogers Exhibit Hall at the NCHA Futurity.

Careity Foundation is a Texas 501(c)3 with two initiatives. Careity is dedicated to providing on site support services in an oncology setting for economically challenged cancer patients and through early detection in North Texas. The pediatric palliative care program is directed at providing relief to children with devastating diseases and life threatening illnesses at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth.

Since its inception, Careity Foundation has set the platinum standard in the nonprofit community and has established itself as leaders. Careity Foundation was the first in the nation to offer oncology massage in the chemotherapy room to relieve the side effects of drug therapy in patients.

In 2009, they introduced an unprecedented expression of compassion for women in the community, as Careity Foundation initiated the first annual Careity Day offering free mammograms to underinsured residents of Parker, Johnson and Tarrant counties. Any Careity Day participant diagnosed with breast cancer receives individualized treatment -- including biopsy, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hospitalization -- this service is provided cost-free by Careity Day partners. The effort is believed to be the first private initiative of its kind in the United States. In 2009 more than 200 women took advantage of this opportunity.

Read more:

Mandy Barnett’s ‘Winter Wonderland’ - An Album Full Of Holiday Nostalgia

Mandy Barnett – Winter Wonderland
***½   (3-1/2 out of 4 stars)
Label: Rounder Records

It is clear to me that Mandy Barnett was born to sing — and especially born to sing Christmas songs. But I might just be saying that because I haven’t heard her other albums yet. I suspect that whatever she sings will come across as a musical destiny fulfilled. In any case, her album Winter Wonderland is one of the riches of Christmas music past (as in a year ago, when it was available exclusively at Cracker Barrel). It’s now a treasure of Christmas present (now that it’s available everywhere) that deserves a listen again.

Mandy Barnett achieves the nearly impossible with this holiday album — she gives us the essence of nostalgia but wraps it in a strikingly contemporary delivery. The songs and the sentiment may be timeless, but the delivery is completely fresh and heartfelt. These are songs as familiar as the television holiday specials that you grew up watching, and the album is one that you’ll truly enjoy hearing over and over and over (the true sign of a successful holiday album).

This collection of holiday tunes is a tribute to the classic country Christmas albums of a mostly bygone era. If in this album you hear the ghosts of country legends past (like Patsy Cline or Brenda Lee), it is because Mandy Barnett has obviously chosen to carry-on in the spirit of their definitive influence. The recording features legendary studio musicians such as steel guitarist Lloyd Green, fiddler Hoot Hester, pianist Tony Miglore, drummer Gene Christman and guitarist Harold Bradley. These fine musicians give the album the recognizable “Nashville Sound” that they were an instrumental part in creating, back in the 1960s. Each track surrounds Mandy Barnett’s crisp vocals with lush orchestrations and an unabashed charm.

Essential Downloads: “Marshmallow World,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Greg Victor (Parcbench Culture Editor) is an historian (a Masters in History) and cultural critic (specializing in music, film and theatre). He has stage managed many theatrical productions on Broadway and on tour, and is currently on an international tour with the Frank Sinatra musical "Come Fly Away." He is a member of the Country Music Association (CMA), and loves bringing talented artists to the attention of Parcbench readers.

Written by Greg Victor,  November 23, 2011

The New York Times gives Julie Roberts a fabulous review

"The title track of Julie Roberts’s first holiday EP, written by Ms. Roberts and Jason Collum, isn’t for every holiday celebration, just the grown-up ones. “Baby, you can be my Santa Claus / And I’ll come sit on your lap / Whisper what I really want,” she sings, concluding at the chorus, “Who needs mistletoe / I’d rather be under you.” This is one of several great songs on this release, which might be Ms. Roberts’s best work since her smoldering self-titled 2004 debut. Like that album, this EP is spare and desperate-sounding, with plenty of spaces for Ms. Roberts’s lovely husky voice to seep into. Her “Blue Christmas” is lonesome, her take on Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper” is sadder than the versions by Mr. Nelson and Roy Orbison, and her rendition of the traditional carol “Away in a Manger,” with its lowing cattle and restless baby, could pass for a lament about any day of the year. (Aint Skeerd, $10) 

(via The New York Times)

LoCash Cowboys and Storme Warren Support Cancer Research with TJ Martell

LoCash Cowboys and Storme Warren were honored to be a part of the TJ Martell Foundation's "Country on the Beach III" in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They were joined by Montgomery Gentry and Ray Scott, along with a wonderful group of devoted fans!  This year's event raised more than $35,000!   They had fun in the sun, volleyball and private concerts.  TJ Martell, LoCash Cowboys and Storme send their many thanks to all the supporters who made the trip with alongside them all in support of cancer research!

Julie Robert's "Who needs Mistletoe" Review!

It’s difficult to listen to the remaining five songs on Julie Roberts‘s ‘Who Needs Mistletoe’ EP with a virginal mind after hearing the title track. ‘Who Needs Mistletoe’ the song may become every man in America’s favorite Christmas standard.

Who needs mistletoe, I’d rather be under you,” Roberts sings with a sensuality that’s enhanced by daring guitar licks and a sultry back beat. This is the only original on the Christmas EP and, um … phew! It is an original!

“Baby you can be my Santa Claus / And I’ll come sit on your lap / Whisper what I really want / What do you think about that,” Roberts sings to begin.

Her version of ‘Blue Christmas’ leads up to this spicy moment. Roberts has always been somewhat of a country chanteuse, although not intentionally. Her voice just delivers pain, mystery and sexuality whether she’s trying or not. On the classic Elvis Presley tune, her patience and intentional pacing keeps one leaning in to hear how she’ll begin and end each phrase.

‘Pretty Paper’ tries to be a cold shower before Roberts begins with the more religious classics — ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Away in the Manger’ — but it doesn’t work. One (yes, especially men) keeps fighting the urge to go back and listen to song No. 2 for the fourth or ninth time: “‘Cause I want to be naughty / Hey now don’t that sound nice / ‘Tis the season for giving / Are you in a giving mood tonight,” Roberts begs on ‘Who Needs Mistletoe.’

Putting this song so early on the album is like serving up the pumpkin pie before making a kid eat his vegetables. Sure, the more wholesome fare is probably better for you, but that’s a tough argument when there’s a slice of whipped cream covered pie within arms reach. No one, after all, leaves the Christmas table talking about how good the green beans were, anyway.


(via Taste of Country)


First Major Award Win A Triumphant And Personal Milestone
For “One Day Closer” Performer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 1, 2011)—Jeff Bates remains atop “Cloud 9” in awe of his big win during the 17th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country Awards held at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Friday evening, October 28, 2011. Bates, whose unadulterated faith, honesty, down-to-earth lyricism makes him a global Inspirational Country favorite, took home the award for “Mainstream Country Artist.” (Bates has received six ICM nominations over his career; accepting the 2011 “Mainstream Country Artist” celebrates his very first industry award).
Two-fold in significance for Jeff Bates, the recognition is befitting. Having overcome a series of life trials and tribulations that seemed to arrive one-after-the-other (including drug addiction and recovery), it is Jeff’s spirituality, faith and his music that helped him to rise above and revisit his life events with a sense of direction and purpose. Jeff Bates has become a man of conviction in spoken word and sung melodies—his voice with authority and honesty. Rather than use his past as an excuse, he relies on it to inspire and motivate others.
"I've been clean and sober for more than 10 years now," Jeff Bates said. "I believe my role, and what Jesus wants me to do in my life, is to share with others what I have learned in mine and this honor is icing on the cake to affirm my message and music is making a difference. I'm moved and humbled. The ICM honor is a great way to close an already incredible year."
A self-made spiritual counsel, Jeff travels to schools, churches, corporate events and prisons to share his insight on difficult topics such as abandonment and adoption (a story Jeff knows well), addiction, bullying, self image, self motivation, divorce and overcoming obstacles. Jeff was “spokesperson of choice” selected by the Tennessee State School Resource Officer’s Board in 2008 and 2009 to speak before the students in Middle, Junior High and Senior High schools across the Volunteer state. He is currently a spokesperson for Compassion International (a child sponsorship ministry); as part of his allegiance and commitment to the organization, he recently spent a week in South America exploring the needs of several villages. 
Jeff Bates has been a chart-topper since his first entry into the country music arena. Making a life-long impression on country radio and its listeners, he has seven hit singles to his name on the Billboard country charts including "The Love Song" (at No. 8), "I Wanna Make You Cry" (No. 23) and his signature song, "Long, Slow Kisses" landed at No. 17.
Bates introduced his artistry with his debut album entitled RAINBOW MAN (RCA Records/2003). His sophomore RCA project, LEAVE THE LIGHT ON, was released in 2005. Bates signed with independent label, Black River Music Group, in 2008 to release his self-titled album. His latest EP, ONE DAY CLOSER, was released through Black River earlier this year (May 2011) and features the single “He Wasn’t Like Us,” currently at radio.
Joining Bates in celebrating wins at this year’s ICM ceremony were Ricky Skaggs for “Entertainer Of The Year,” Joey & Rory for “Vocal Group Of The Year,” The Roys were named “Inspirational Bluegrass Artist Of The Year” and Chuck Day took home the “Male Vocalist Of The Year” honor.

Jeff Bates wins first Number 1 Single in 10 years!

Congratulations to Jeff Bates on his award for Number 1 Single for the song, "One Day Closer" from Power Source Magazine! 

Diana DeGarmo coming to "The Young and the Restless"

"American Idol" Season 3 runner up Diana DeGarmo is coming to "The Young and the Restless" this Halloween, Oct. 31, and her new character Angelina will be packing tons of tricks and treats for Genoa City locals. The young songstress may even prove there's something more dangerous than a mob wife or a "Jersey Shore" diva: a mob daughter! MSN TV caught up with DeGarmo, who dished on her new character, and also reflected on the "American Idol" judge she could have done without.

Bing: Watch episodes and clips of 'The Young and the Restless'

MSN TV: Is your new gig at "Y&R" a cameo or a legit role?

Diana DeGarmo: Angelina is going to make her mark in Genoa City, don't you worry. I am the weekly pot stirrer. She's spicing things up. You're not going to see me all time, so you're not going to get sick of me, but I'm recurring.

What's your character's story?
She comes with her dad, Angelo, a local mob boss. He's been out of town and is back visiting Genoa City. Angelina's is tagging along, but slowly but surely, she's taking over the scene. She's is a hoot and a half. She's a little over the top, but she's definitely got her real moments, which I love to be able to sneak in there and catch people off guard with.

Bing: More about Diana DiGarmo

Does she know her dad is in the mob boss?

Oh, she knows exactly what's going on and she doesn't mind. She likes throwing around her weight at any time. She loves the perks of being a mob boss's daughter. She lives for it. 

As a Jersey mob girl, is her wardrobe over the top, as well?

I come in [to wardrobe] and I just laugh as soon as I see where the outfit is going. It's like having a fashion show every morning. She has all the money in the world, but she thinks she needs to show it at all times. There are some things that I, Diana, would be too terrified to walk out of the house wearing, but Angelina is not afraid.

Once I'm transformed from head to toe, Angelina comes out so easily. I love watching the other characters react to her because she is such a surprise. She's so different from everyone else.

Who have you gotten to work with, so far?

I've had the great pleasure sharing the screen with Mr. Greg Rikaart. Angelina gets a little bit of a crush on Kevin, and she's not afraid not to show it. It's a blast, because she makes him incredibly nervous. We have to try so hard not to laugh when we're shooting because she is, of course, very zealous and Kevin is not so much when it comes to the female department. The sparks that fly on screen are just hilarious. It's wonderful to be a part of.

Word is Angelina is a horrible singer but still wants to go pro?

That was one of the things that casting was a nervous I would be afraid of, but I was gung ho about singing badly. It was fantastic and hilarious. Angelina thinks she is hot stuff, from head to toe, but has no idea that she sounds like a cat in heat when she sings, and neither does her dad. Angelo, who is played by the absolutely lovely Mike Starr, thinks his daughter is the cat's meow. The magic of Angelina's voice is its own storyline. It's going to lead to some exciting and fun moments in weeks to come.

Are you flattered that you were brought on for your acting, and not so you can belt out a song at Jimmy's every week?

I'm just excited that somebody's giving me a chance. Being on "Idol" is a double edge sword. There are so many Idols out there that are still trying so hard to get past the idea that we're only reality TV personalities, but I've been able to do that in the theater community. It's great that, finally, somebody believes I am more than just that. I'm really being supported and they're letting me create this fantastic character.

Are you in contact with any former "American Idol" contestants?

A few, actually. A lot of my "Idol" friends think what I'm doing is quite hilarious, but they're super proud. Eight years ago, I used to go to the CBS lot to film "American Idol," and now I go to the CBS lot, but to the other side of the building for "Young and the Restless." It's so mind boggling. It makes me realize how far I've come.

'Fess up: Are you jealous you didn't get to audition with the new "AI" judges?

Totally. I love the originals, but at the same time I love Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. They've been fantastic additions to the show. I appreciate their critiques, because they are performers. Paula is definitely a performer and she can give a critique without ripping your soul apart, but sometimes, it comes from somebody where you're like, "And what do you do again? You've never sung in your life…" That can be daunting. I feel like they can come from a whole new perspective, but that one particular judge couldn't, if you get my drift.

"The Young and the Restless" airs weekdays on CBS.

(via msn entertainment)

The Cleverly's release their first album!

Congratulations to THE CLEVERLY'S on the release of their first album. The group spent the weekend to CD release parties in Nashville TN, Chattanooga TN, and Shelby NC! 

Monte Scores ABC's Hit "Last Man Standing"

A BIG congratulations is in order for Monte Montegomery!  Monte is composing the music for ABC's, smash hit comedy, Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen.   Tune in to ABC on Tuesday nights!

Mandy Barnett Gears Up For The Holidays, Martina McBride’s Singing Carols, and more!

1. Mandy Barnett

Mandy’s CD, Winter Wonderland (previously only available at Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores) will be re-released on October 18. The album features “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Marshmallow World,” “This Time Of Year,” and more.

Catch Mandy on the Opry October 7, 14, 21, and 28, plus meet her in The Opry Shop on October 28 to have her sign your copy!


Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis hit the road for the "Grits and Glamour Tour"


*Aquarius Casino, Laughlin NV* - *Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek CO*

*Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels, St. Louis MO* - *Paramount Arts Center, Ashland KY*

*Kirby Events Center, Wilkes-Barre PA*

*Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, Thunder Bay ON*

*Spirit Lake Casino & Resort, Saint Michael ND* - *Isle Of Capri, Lula MS*

*Kewadin Casino, Sault Ste Marie MI* - *Belterra Casino & Resort, Florence IN*

*Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Anderson IN* - *D&R Theatre, Aberdeen WA*

*Snoqualmie Casino - Ballroom, Snoqualmie WA*

*IP Casino Resort & Spa/Convention Center, Biloxi MS*

*Country Tonite Theatre, Pigeon Forge TN*

*Havelock Country Jamboree, Havelock ON*

*Steuben County Fair, Bath NY* - *Prairie Band Casino & Resort, Mayetta KS*

*Bearcreek Farms - The Good Times Theater, Bryant IN*

*Horse Trail Ride, Hindman KY* - *Fortune Bay Casino, Tower MN*

*The Broadway Pitman Theater, Pitman NJ*

*Charles W. Eiseman Center, Richardson TX*

*Yavapai College Performance Hall, Prescott AZ*

*Chandler Center For The Arts, Chandler AZ*

*McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts, Palm Desert CA*

*Cerritos Center, Cerritos CA* - *Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto CA*

*West Hills Community College - Golden Eagle, Lemoore CA*

*John A. Walker Community Center, Wilkesboro NC*



Jeff Bates Gets Hands-on Lesson in Compassion

Nashville, Tenn. (September 20, 2011) -- Country Singer Jeff Bates wishes everyone could stare hunger and poverty in the face the way he recently did.  Bates spent a week in Colombia, visiting communities Compassion International helps.

“There are children out there who are hungry, without medical care and who will never be able to go to school and get an education to help them better themselves,” Bates says of the unspeakable conditions he saw Colombian children living in.  “It breaks my heart, tortures my soul, haunts my spirit and mind and makes it hard to sleep at night.”

Bates sponsors a child through Compassion International. “Compassion ensures these children are fed, clothed, have medical and dental care, that they receive love, attention and an education.”

Bates recorded two albums for RCA between 2003 and 2006.  During that time he charted several songs including the top-10 hit, The Love Song.  After leaving RCA, Bates signed with Black River Music Group, for whom he recorded two albums.

Jeff Bates is the latest Country artist to embrace Compassion International since it reached out to Country Music earlier this year.  Other country artists include 90’s hit maker John Berry, Marty Raybon, former lead singer of the group, Shenandoah, and BNA Records’ all-girl group, The Lunabelles.

“Country artists and their fans have always had big hearts, especially for children,” says Zane King, Artist Relations Regional Director for Compassion International.  “I have no doubt Country fans will go to the mat for these starving children.”

“It makes me so proud to work with Compassion International,” Bates adds.  “Together we will eradicate hunger and poverty and help change the world for the better, one mind, one soul and one heart at a time.”

Compassion International is the world's largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1.2 million children in 26 of the world's poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works through local churches to holistically address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children - enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Compassion has been awarded ten consecutive, four-star ratings by Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.

Storme Warren to host Charlie Daniel's 'Have you Forgotten' special event on 9.20.11

Charlie Daniels and his wife Hazel are set to host 'Have You Forgotten,' a special event commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Darryl Worley and Chris Young will join Charlie and Hazel Tuesday night (Sept. 20) at Nashville's Palm restaurant for the event, which will benefit Stars for Stripes, a nonprofit organization that provides celebrity entertainment to U.S. troops overseas.

"We're trying to raise funds, and we're also trying to raise awareness," Charlie tells The Boot.

Stars for Stripes works in conjunction with the U.S. Army Europe Morale, Welfare and Recreation Commands (USAREUR), United States Forces - Iraq (USF-I), and Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) to deliver entertainment to remote areas where U.S. troops are serving.

Stars for Stripes was founded in 2003 by Nashville booking agent Judy Seale, president/CEO of JSI Inc. "I've never seen anybody who is more dedicated to the military than she is," says Charlie. "I have been all over the world with Judy and she is so good about getting entertainment to the troops in some pretty doggone desolate places. She doesn't go to the glamour spots, and she does it cause she loves it."

Since launching eight years ago, Stars for Stripes has sent 54 celebrity entertainment tours overseas, including 37 in Iraq and five in Afghanistan. Performers and Stars for Stripes staffers all donate their time so every dollar donated goes directly to fund a tour to send entertainment to the troops.

"I've been to some tiny bases over in Iraq that few people have served at much less been to," says Charlie, "and it means a lot to those guys and gals when somebody comes to a little base out in the middle of nowhere and says 'Let's play a few songs for you. Where are you from? How's it going for you?' It means a lot to them and Judy has a heart for that. I love being involved with it. I really believe in her and her mission." Last year, Seale was inducted into the Patriots Honor Hall and she has also received a letter of commendation from Gen. David H. Petraeus, who retired from the U.S. Army after 37 years and is now director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

"I feel unbelievably blessed to have the support of Charlie Daniels, Chris Young, and Darryl Worley for this benefit," Judy says. "They have toured for our deployed troops numerous times and know the importance of their visits. Not only will the attendees be treated to an evening of outstanding entertainment but will also have the chance to shake hands with true American Patriots -- John and Jan Vigiano, who lost both their sons in the twins towers, and Jay Redman, a Navy Seal who almost lost his life in Iraq after being shot in the face and arms seven times."

Redman has also founded his own non-profit organization,, which provides free clothing and clothing modifications to wounded warriors and raises awareness of the sacrifices of America's wounded and their families.

Hosted by GAC's Storme Warren, Tuesday night's benefit will not only feature great music, attendees will also have the chance to bid on items during a live auction. 'Have You Forgotten' is sponsored by Military Systems Group, Inc, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Horizon Wine & Spirits and the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Chris Young is looking forward to the event and a chance to raise money and awareness for Stars for Stripes. "In the spring, I took my second trip overseas throughout Iraq and Kuwait to play for our troops. My involvement in Stars for Stripes is so important to me," says Chris, who serves on the organization's board of directors. "I'm proud to be part of this 9/11 remembrance and fundraising event that will help keep our deployed troops in good spirits with entertainment."

Entertaining our troops overseas is risky, and even though the celebrities travel with and are protected by the military, there's no avoiding danger. "We played a place called Balad, about 25-30 minutes out of Baghdad by helicopter," recalls Charlie. "There were people on the ground shooting at us with small arms and a rocket propelled grenade. I didn't think it was real. I thought it was an exercise and our guys were practicing. It looked like fireworks."

When the helicopter landed, Charlie found out they had been under attack. "They're our enemies and they take every chance they possibly can to try to hurt us," he says. "We were in the helicopter and they were shooting at us, but I had so many people praying for me back home. I've had the greatest peace every time I've been to Iraq even though we were going to a war zone. The U.S. military is going to take care of you for sure. They do the best job of anybody in the world. Things can go wrong, but the Lord gave me the greatest peace about being there and I was not concerned."

In a surprising turn of events, Charlie later met one of the soldiers who had been stationed at Balad and defended the helicopter that day. "I met a guy in Kansas who was working as a police officer. He had gone after these guys who shot at us," Charlie says. "I was coming off stage and some people wanted autographs. He was doing crowd control."

He and Charlie struck up a conversation and he said he had been stationed in Balad. When Charlie mentioned he had been in a helicopter that was shot at approaching the base, the former soldier said, "I know. I was on the rapid response team that went after the guys that shot at you. I said, 'Did you get 'em?' He said 'We got seven of them.' It was a random meeting. If I hadn't gone over to the rope line to sign autographs, I never would have met him. It was surprising to me to say the least."

Charlie's current single, 'Let 'Em Win or Bring 'Em Home,' is the latest anthem the country icon has written in support of the U.S. military. "What prompted the writing of the song was the Yellow Ribbon event we do every year at David Lipscomb University, which provides scholarships for military folks and their families so they can get a college education," he says. "That night we have veterans, National Guard, wounded warriors and so many people that are supportive of the military. I wanted to do something for those folks. I wanted to pour out my heart so I wrote the song and did it for the first time at the Yellow Ribbon event. I feel our military could win these wars they are in if they were left to their own devices to just go and do it, but there's so much politics involved. We send our people into combat and put handcuffs on them."

Charlie, Chris and Darryl are among the many artists who have worked with Stars for Stripes to entertain troops. Aaron Tippin, Craig Morgan, the Bellamy Brothers, Chely Wright, Bo Bice, Joe Nichols, Diamond Rio, Dierks Bentley and the Marshall Tucker Bandhave also have been on previous tours.

For those wishing to find out more about Stars for Stripes or to donate to the organization, visit


George Strait discusses his new album with STORME WARREN in a rare two part interview

The interview aired on Headline Country, with the second installment airing Thurs., Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m./CT.

Lorrie Morgan makes special videos for fans at the Catlettsburg, KY show which was rained out.

Click the link below to check out the series of videos! 

Catlettsburg, KY

Tony Conway to be honored at the 2011 NATD Honors Gala

Nashville, TN (August 22, 2011) – The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) President, Steve Tolman, announced today the inaugural NATD Honors Gala, to take place on Wednesday, September 14th at the Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee.
NATD has recognized individuals and their industry achievements for over 25 years and this year, for the first time, the honorees will be feted with an evening banquet.
The 2011 Honorees are:
Karl Dean – Mayor of Nashville
Alabama – Country Music Hall of Famers
Barry Trotz – Nashville Predators Head Coach
Jim Gosnell – Agency for the Performing Arts, President/CEO
Tony Conway – Conway Entertainment Group, President
For over 50 years, NATD has served as an idea exchange for Nashville-based entertainment industry professionals developing business relationships within the community. The membership-based organization also instills value in educational programs, fostering the growth of music business students.
Earlier this year, NATD produced a successful College of Knowledge event at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky featuring educational panels, industry discussion, and performances by Josh Gracin and Jeremy McComb. At this event, NATD awarded a $2500 scholarship to current student Hannah Rogers
For more information and to join, visit

Media Contact:
Kirt Webster
615-777-6995 x230
[email protected]

Matt Gary signs with Ettinger Talent Associates for Management

17 MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT artistMATT GARY has signed with ETTINGER TALENT ASSOCIATES (ETA) for management representation. Industry vet JOHN ETTINGER and ETA will exclusively oversee GARY’s day-to-day activity as well as handle potential sponsorships, special appearances and future recording plans. 

"The partnership with JOHN ETTINGER and his team at ETA is a very important part of the equation and our overall goals for the future," said GARY. "Over the past two years, we've made great strides, as an ‘independent contender,’ with our friends atradio, the media and with the fans. ETA will bring our efforts and momentum to a whole new level and I’m excited to see where we are headed.”

"MATT GARY represents the heart of country music," said ETTINGER. "He is the kind of artist the fans are calling for. A great singer, who is wholesome and family-oriented, he surprises me every day with his ability to deliver a meaningful message with awesome vocals."

MATT is set to release the single "Beautiful Life” in AUGUST and continues his summer radiotour. ETTINGER opened the ETA doors in SEPTEMBER of last year and also managesQUARTERBACK RECORDS act EMERSON DRIVE.

For more information on ETTINGER TALENT ASSOCIATES, visit To find out more about MATT GARY, visit



LoCash Cowboys offer discount for Country on the Beach for all LoCash Army members!

Discounted Ticket Price for LoCash Army Members:

 $50 off per person with the promo code ’ LCFAN ‘

 An additional  $25 off per person  if they book by August 15!

Vallarta Palace Resort Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

pricing starts at


per person


Featuring entertainment and appearances by:

Montgomery Gentry LoCash Cowboys Ray Scott GAC’s Storme Warren & more to come!

What’s included:

Private concerts and celebrity auctions Receptions Poolside/ Oceanside clambake with performances Unlimited meals/snacks in buffet & a la carte venues Unlimited beverages including domestic and premium alcoholic drinks 24 hour room service In-room stocked mini-bar with soft drinks, bot- tled water and domestic beer In-room liquor dispenser with premium brands

770.881.7300 | 888.473.8856 Email: [email protected]

Wireless internet access Unlimited phone calls to USA and Canada (certain restrictions apply) Non-motorized water sports Resort credit can be used on room upgrades, spa and beauty salon treatments, golf outings, roman- tic dinners, and upgrade wine list All hotel taxes, gratuities, and airport transfers Resort activites and nightly entertainment and theme parties Airfare not included

The Cleverly's debut at The Grand Ole Opry

The critically acclaimed family trio, The Cleverlys, make their Grand Ole Opry debut on July 15.


The Cleverly's visit CMA offices

"The Cleverly’s, comprised of Digger, Harvey D, Miles, Otto, and Vernon Dean Cleverly, stopped by the CMA offices on Friday, July 15 to entertain the staff. If you’ve never seen The Cleverly’s live, you’re missing out."

(via Country Music Tattle Tale)

Preston Goes Hunting for a Cause!

Earlier this week, Preston went down to Blakely, Georgia to compete as a celebrity hunter for the 10th Annual Country Goes Huntin’.  The turkey hunting event raised money for charity organizations including the Sportsmen’s Legacy Foundation which provides outdoor mentorship to children who have lost a parent or have a parent with a disability as a result of public service.  Preston had a great time hunting to benefit an even GREATER cause!