Combustion Forms Joint Venture With New West

(L-R) Combustion Music's Chris Farren, Ashley Hertzog, Chris Van Belkom, Stephanie Greene.

(L-R) Combustion Music's Chris Farren, Ashley Hertzog, Chris Van Belkom and Stephanie Greene.

Under the terms of a deal announced by Combustion President/Founder Chris Farren and New West Music President/Founder Cameron Strang, New West has acquired an interest in the Combustion catalog resulting in the formation of a new partnership between the two companies. The new arrangement creates an independent force with offices in Los Angeles and Nashville. New West will be the administrator for the new venture on a worldwide basis.

Combustion has recently had hit singles from Kings Of Leon (“Sex on Fire” “Use Somebody”) plus four No. 1 country singles in past eight months: “It Won’t Be Like this For Long” (Darius Rucker), “Just A Dream” (Carrie Underwood), “Then” (Brad Paisley) and “Start A Band” (Keith Urban and Brad Paisley). The company also published last year’s CMA Single of the Year “You’re Gonna Miss This” (Trace Adkins). Combustion writers Ashley Gorley, Gordie Sampson, Blair Daly and Nathan and Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon) have amassed 16 #1 hits across 5 different formats in the last eighteen months.

“At Combustion we have always strived to sign the very best and most focused songwriters available, regardless of their style or background,” says Farren. “Cameron Strang has always been an independent minded and forward thinking business man, and I am confident that together with New West we will meet the challenges of the new music business while creating as many opportunities for our writers and songs as possible.”

The New West Music/Southside Independent Music offices have also been on a hot streak earning a BMI Song of the Year awards for “S.O.S.” “S.O.S.” (Rihanna 2007), “Beautiful Girls” (Sean Kingston 2008), “Take You There” (Sean Kingston 2009) and current worldwide hits “Better In Time” (Leona Lewis) and “Right Round” (Flo Rida). In 2008, Southside writer/producer J.R. Rotem was recognized with the BMI Urban Songwriter of the Year Award. Cameron Strang is also the president and founder of New West Records, which won the NARM Award for Independent Label of the Year in both 2007 and 2008. The label is home to such artists as Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton, Ben Lee, Drive By Truckers, and Old 97’s.

“Chris Farren and his staff at Combustion Music have an ability to develop songwriters that is second to none,” says Cameron Strang. “Nothing changes as far as creative operations for Combustion or New West except they have a new partner in LA who can bring added opportunities in film, television, urban and pop and we have a new partner in Nashville with a first rate creative team.”

New West will continue to operate at 9215 Olympic Blvd. in Beverly Hills, CA. Combustion continues to operate at 1609 17th Ave S. in Nashville, TN.

Benefits Roundup

worleyDarryl Worley’s Tennessee River Run, scheduled for September 10-13 at Pickwick Landing State Park in Savannah, Tennessee will feature performances from Worley, Craig Morgan, Caitlin & Will, Jonathan Singleton & The Grove and more. Other activities include a 5k run/walk, fishing tournament, and live auction. Another bass fishing tournament, also benefitting the Darryl Worley Foundation, is planned for November 7th at Pickwick Lake. Darryl Worley Foundation helps serve the needs of the people of Hardin and McNairy Counties in West Tennessee and the surrounding areas of West Tennessee, Northwestern Alabama and Northeastern Mississippi.
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The 8th Annual John Jarrard Concert will be held Thursday, September 24, 2009 on the front lawn of Pierce Auditorium at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Performers at the event include Steve Cropper, Buddy Cannon, Roger Cook, Gary Nicholson, Jimmy Hall, John Berry and more. Hosted by the John Jarrard Foundation, the event benefits local charities including the Good News Clinics, Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County, Georgia Mountain Food Bank Fund and Good News at Noon. Visit for more information.
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millerharrisThe 10th Annual Miller Harris Golf Tournament is set for Monday, September 14 at the Temple Hills Golf Club. Sponsorships range from $200 to $1000 or $150 for individual players. Prior to the tournament, the Bluebird Cafe will also host a Miller Harris benefit on August 27. Performers include Josh Hoge, Carey Barlowe, Nathalie Hemby, Monty Powell, Sherrie Austin, Jeff Bates and Stephen Dale Jones. Proceeds from both events benefit the Miller Harris Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with asthma and students interested in the music industry.
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Golf enthusiasts have a second reason to be excited, because the annual Writer Cup golf tournament, benefitting The Nashville Mission and The Room In The Inn, will be held Wednesday, September 30 and Thursday October 1 at Henry Horton State Park in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. Also benefitting both Nashville Mission and Room In The Inn is the 8th Annual Music Row Coat Drive, and final pickup will be October 2. Contact Norman De Vasure at [email protected] or 615-320-7300 for more information on both.

Republic Nashville Signs The Band Perry


If everyone in this photo buys a CD the group will be well on its way to Gold sales. (TOP ROW, Left to Right): David Crow, Milom, Joyce, Horsnell & Crow, PLC; Bob Doyle, Bob Doyle & Associates; Scott Borchetta, CEO of Republic Nashville; Allison Jones, A&R Republic Nashville; Marie Perry; Steve Perry; Jimmy Harnen, President of Republic Nashville; Josh Pegram, Bob Doyle & Associates; Cheryl Harris, O’Neil Hagaman; (BOTTOM ROW, Left to Right): Neil Perry; Kimberly Perry; Reid Perry

The Band Perry is comprised of siblings Kimberly Perry (lead vocals, piano, rhythm guitar); Reid Perry (backing vocals, bass); and Neil Perry (backing vocals, mandolin, drums, accordion) and is managed by Bob Doyle and Josh Pegram with Bob Doyle & Associates artist management.

“We are incredibly excited and proud to welcome Kimberly, Reid and Neil of The Band Perry to the Republic Nashville family,” said Jimmy Harnen, President of Republic Nashville.

The Band Perry began its journey in the roadhouses around Mobile, Alabama, and eventually graduated to national tours, including the 2005 Coca-Cola’s New Faces of Country Tour, followed by TGI Friday’s Friday Night Concerts Tour in 2006. The group is currently working in the studio on new music with veteran producer Paul Worley.

ON THE COVER: Anthony Smith

MR-AR-200Label: Stroudavarious

Forthcoming Album: Sunshine, set for release in 2010

Current Single & Video: “Bringin’ Back The Sunshine”

Current Producer: James Stroud and Anthony Smith

Interesting Facts: #1: The album is scheduled to include an instrumental track called “Anaconda Cowboys,” performed with Smith’s band of the same name. #2: Smith’s first album was on Mercury Records. #3: Sunshine features a tune with Smith and the late Porter Wagoner.

Anthony Smith, the long-haired “country boy” from East Tennessee, has been known to break rules and ignore the usual polite conventions— he approaches life with the same hold-nothing-back passion that fills his music. Smith explains, “I have never tried to sound like anyone else. I have always wanted to be an original, because if you look at music, the ones who sound like nobody else are the same ones who break new ground and start new trends. I’m doing the kind of music I love in the only way I know how.”

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith’s “Bringin’ Back The Sunshine” is the debut single from his first album on Stroudavarious Records. The song went for adds August 10 and is from his forthcoming album, Sunshine, scheduled for release in early 2010. The album is a collection of Smith original compositions, co-produced by Smith and label head/veteran hitmaker James Stroud. Smith also brought in the late Country Music Hall of Fame member Porter Wagoner on the album for one of his last studio recordings—”Hillbilly Romeos” features Wagoner’s witty commentary playing off of Smith’s lead vocals, for a fitting tribute to a country legend who loved songs that were playful and about rural life. Set for release in September, the accompanying music video was shot by Traci Goudie and features Derek Phillips (from Friday Night Lights and The Closer) and Danielle Rene (from the upcoming Terrence Maiick film starring Sean Penn and Brad Pitt).

Smith’s experience includes previous success as an artist, with three Top 40 songs from his critically acclaimed first album, If That Ain’t Country. He’s also had a long string of hits as a songwriter—including George Strait’s “Run,” Trace Adkins’ “Chrome” and “I’m Tryin’,” Tim McGraw’s “Kill Myself” and “Kristofferson,” Rascal Flatts’ “My Worst Fear” and Montgomery Gentry’s “What Do Ya Think About That?,” as well as memorable cuts by Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Gretchen Wilson, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood and many others.

Despite his many songwriter hits, Smith has always seen himself as a performer first. “I’ve never written a song for another artist to cut,” he says. “I always wrote songs for myself, for me to do on stage and to record. Other artists heard them and wanted to cut them, and that’s tremendously flattering to me. But my intent was always to be the one on stage singing what I write.”

The distinctive music Smith makes injects a rock ‘n’ roll swagger and funky, fresh rhythms into a style of music that is undeniably contemporary—and undeniably country. “I like getting a reaction,” he says. “My music isn’t the kind you sit and passively listen to. It’s going to make you move, and it’s going to make you react and feel something. I want an emotional response—whether it’s good or bad or romantic.”

What runs through each song is a big personality and the accompanying jolt of energy that Smith brings to everything he does. “I don’t like holding back,” Smith says. “I like to put it all out there, on the page and on the stage. Audiences know when you’re being real, when you’re talking about what you know and what you feel.” Partners with Hooters

Screenshot from

Screenshot from

Atlanta-based Hooters restaurants partnered with, Kenny Chesney’s new online radio station which launched last week. The station located at reflects Kenny’s eclectic taste, ranging from country to reggae to rock, and beyond. The radio station promotional launch takes place in major cities across the country. Chesney appeared at last week’s kick off at the Hooters of Jacksonville Landing. “Kenny’s fans are our customers.  They want to have a great time and enjoy themselves, just like when they are at Hooters,” says Noela Scarano, Director of Marketing for Hooters of America, Inc.  “The fit is perfect and we are excited for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing internet launch.” is scheduled to broadcast from seven additional Hooters restaurants over the summer including Troy, MI; Toronto, Canada; Manassas, VA; Raleigh, NC; Tallahassee, FL; Charleston, SC; and Bloomington, IL.

The Hooters Happy Hour segment along with others will be heard daily on Hooters plans to host listening parties throughout the 2009 Sun City Carnival Tour with Hooters Girls on site during each tour stop.

McGraw Offers Fans Southern Voice

McGraw-SoVo-CD-Cvr-fnl_300Tim McGraw will release Southern Voice on Curb Records, Oct. 20. The new album will contain his current single “It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You” written by Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger and Brett James. This release, recorded in Nashville with producer Byron Gallimore, marks McGraw’s first studio set in almost 2 and a half years. notes that the superstar will perform on NFL Opening Kickoff Presented By EA Sports which will be simulcast on NBC and NFL Network on Sept. 10. The show starts the 2009 season and pays tribute to six-time Super Bowl Champions the Pittsburgh Steelers and the city of Pittsburgh. McGraw, together with the Black Eyed Peas, will open the celebration with a free live concert at Point State Park in Pittsburgh.

Here’s the final track listing for Southern Voice:

1. Still

2. Ghost Town Train

3. Good Girls

4. I Didn’t Know It At The Time

5. It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You

6. If I Died Today

7. Mr. Whoever You Are

8. Southern Voice

9. You Had To Be There

10. I’m Only Jesus

11. Forever Seventeen

12. Love You Goodbye

Possum Returns, Sony Sign, Katie Armiger & Craig Morgan

To help celebrate Cracker Barrel’s 40th year anniversary, George Jones’ newest album goes on sale August 31 exclusively at all Cracker Barrel locations. A Collection Of My Best Recollection has 12 tracks including two songs that have never been released before, “I Don’t Want To Know,” and “I’m A Long Gone Daddy.” 

To help celebrate Cracker Barrel’s 40th year anniversary, George Jones’ newest album goes on sale August 31 exclusively at all Cracker Barrel locations. A Collection Of My Best Recollection has 12 tracks including two songs that have never been released before, “I Don’t Want To Know,” and “I’m A Long Gone Daddy.”

Sony's new logo has made it onto the sign outside their offices on Horton Ave.

Sony's new logo has made it onto the sign outside their offices on Horton Ave.

Craig Morgan recently shot the video for his single, "Bonfire," where he surprised bystanders in a variety of locations with impromptu performances. The video is said to be a cross between Jackass and Candid Camera.

Craig Morgan recently shot the video for his single, "Bonfire," where he surprised bystanders in a variety of locations with impromptu performances. The video is said to be a cross between Jackass and Candid Camera.

Kate Armiger recently stopped by WWQM to ride the cow with MD, Kenny Jay.

Katie Armiger recently stopped by WWQM to ride the cow with MD, Kenny Jay and promote her single, "Gone."

Murray Lands Premiere Position

msthd3Entertainment marketing veteran Rick Murray joins the Premiere Radio Networks team as Director of Marketing and Brand Development for After Midnite with Blair Garner. Murray will report to Premiere Radio Networks SVP of Programming Jennifer Leimgruber and handle all promotions for the program. He will also manage marketing and branding initiatives for

Rick-Murray-04Murray brings over 25 years of experience to this new position including over 20 years with the Country Music Association where he served as VP of Strategic Marketing. While handling his new duties, he will continue to serve as President of Greylock Entertainment, a full service integrated entertainment marketing and promotional company he established several years ago.

Murray was honored with the Canadian Country Music Association’s Leonard T. Rambeau International Award in 2007 and serves on the Board of Directors for both the International Entertainment Buyers Association and the T. J. Martell Foundation, Nashville Chapter.

Aldean’s Wide Open Live & More

e1250514087Jason Aldean’s live concert DVD Wide Open Live & More will be released Aug. 25, but has already been certified gold by the RIAA. The 15 song hi-definition special includes his current single “Big Green Tractor,” “She’s Country” and hits from his first two albums, Jason Aldean and Relentless.

Aldean’s ticket sales have doubled since the early April release of his third album, Wide Open, and the tour continues through the fall. He will also appear on an episode of E!’s late night talk show Chelsea Lately today (Aug. 17) and on ABC’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock on Aug. 31.

Veronica Ballestrini


Timbob Records

vballestrini-playlistVeronina Ballestrini’s latest single “Amazing” is currently making its mark on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Chart and beyond. Veronica might not be the household name that our American Idol-era industry is capable of producing overnight—yet. But there’s no doubt that she is well on her way to mastering the art of our new media age and bringing a legion of fans with her in the process, as a recent story about her in the New York Times suggests.

“I spend about four hours a day answering messages from fans,” she reveals. “Every message I get, I answer myself.” It’s a formula that has paid big dividends for the surprisingly down-to-earth young star.

With one modest dream and an Internet connection, the teenager from Waterford, Connecticut has raised more than a few eyebrows with her self-made success story. The staggering numbers on her social network sites are proof that Veronica has that special ability to connect with people. On Myspace alone, that number totals more than 120,000 friends, 7.5 million page views and 11.5 million plays of her music. On country-lifestyle portal, Veronica is one of the most in-demand artists on the entire site.

“What Veronica has done without a label, without television and with virtually no press is absolutely astounding,” says Digital Rodeo Director of Marketing and Promotions John Pyne. “She is one of the most self-motivated artists I’ve ever seen and knows how to use the online tools at her disposal exceptionally well. It just so happens that she’s also a very talented young singer, and I personally think there’s no end to what she can accomplish.”

“It’s important that people know that I’m not trying to be anyone else,” adds Veronica. “I’m just trying to be who I am. I’m writing from the heart about issues and things I’m experiencing, and hopefully people can identify with that.”