Lifenotes: Kimberly Kilgore Wilson

Kimberly Kilgore Wilson, daughter of the late songwriter Merle Kilgore, passed away October 27, 2009 in Nashville after a battle with cancer. The 51-year-old mother of three was born in Shreveport, LA and moved to Nashville at a young age following her father’s success in the music business. Friends say Wilson was an musician, animal lover, and seamstress, with expert knowledge of furniture. She was preceded in death by husband, Jesse Wilson, and her father, Merle Kilgore.

She is survived by sons Eric Williams, Philip Pomeroy, and Seth Pomeroy; mother Dot Patrick; sister Pamela Compton; brother Steve Kilgore; former husband Dave Pomeroy and many others.

Visitation will be today (10/29) from 2-8 PM at Hendersonville Funeral Home and Memory Gardens, and tomorrow (10/30) from 12-2 PM, preceding the 2 PM funeral. Burial will immediately follow in the Memory Gardens. Donations in Wilson’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society or Alive Hospice.

Updated: Ed Salamon Exits CRB

Ed Salamon

Ed Salamon

Ed Salamon is departing his role as Executive Director of Country Radio Broadcasters Inc., MusicRow has confirmed.

Although there has been no official report, it appears that Salamon has exited the organization effective immediately. Official CRB spokesperson, Aristomedia’s Jeff Walker noted, “CRB does not comment on employment matters,” but MusicRow has verified reports which began to surface yesterday evening (10/28) regarding Salamon’s departure.

The leadership change arrives with planning for the organization’s annual event Feb. 24-26, 2010, in full swing. Word of the Board’s decision began to spread after the adjournment of Nashville CRB Board meetings which concluded yesterday.

Salamon was responsible for production and fundraising for all CRB initiatives and also serves as an adjunct professor at Belmont University. His past posts include President of Programming for Westwood One Radio. Salamon was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2006.

Brenner 19

CRB President Becky Brenner

According to CRB President Becky Brenner of KMPS, “For the past 12 months, Country Radio Broadcasters has conducted an extensive review of its operations in terms of the organization’s administrative functions and the execution of its flagship event, Country Radio Seminar. As a result of this review process, the CRB Board of Directors has initiated several internal changes, which are designed to keep the organization growing in this very challenging economic climate. A number of adjustments have already been made. As we continue our ongoing effort to ensure the vitality of our organization and achieve our mission of growth through sharing, we do anticipate additional changes.”

CRS-41: The early bird registration rate of $499 for CRS 41 expires on Friday, Oct. 30. Registration is available online at or by contacting the Country Radio Broadcasters at 615-327-4487.

Country Radio Seminar is packed with top-notch talent and expert speakers once again this year. Superstar Taylor Swift performs at the popular Music City Jam™ (sponsored by the Academy of Country Music), and financial authority Dave Ramsey kicks off the event with CRS 41’s Keynote Address. 

Additionally, a new, streamlined agenda delivers more universally appealing panels and research presentations for all attendees, regardless of market size. Best-selling business author and journalist Bob Rosner provides attendees the necessary skills to survive in a tough economy with his “Workplace 911” panel. Also new this year is a Friday morning focus group, titled “Normal People: From the Mouths of the Consumer.”

Brad, Reba Head To NYC For TV

rebaReba McEntire and Brad Paisley will be making media rounds in New York City on Tuesday (11/3). The redhead’s itinerary includes a morning visit to Live with Regis & Kelly for a chat and full band performance, airing on ABC at 9 AM/CT. Later that evening, she will perform “I Want A Cowboy” during her debut appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon at 11:30 PM/CT.

Reba, nominated for two CMA awards, will host Premiere Radio Networks’ 2009 CMA Awards Preview Special. The radio network is also planning a live broadcast of the Awards telecast, red carpet interviews, and a live post-Awards broadcast to be hosted by Craig Morgan and Premiere’s Larry Morgan.

Meanwhile, Paisely will be in New York for a Tuesday appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman to perform “American Saturday Night.” Then he and Carrie Underwood, co-hosts of the CMA Awards, will be performing on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tues., Nov. 10 live from Nashville, the day before the Awards. Paisley leads the nominations with seven.

Paisley just finished the 2009 leg of his American Saturday Night tour, after playing to more than 1.2 million fans. Following the run with Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne, Paisley and crew made this thank-you video and posted it on Twitter and YouTube. The tour’s 2010 leg kicks off Jan. 7 in San Antonio with Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore.

Jimmy Wayne Reveals Album Details

jwJimmy Wayne’s new album, Sara Smile, will land in stores Mon., Nov. 23. The lead single is his remake of the Hall & Oates pop classic and includes them as guests vocalists, adding up to the highest chart debut of Wayne’s career.

For the project, Wayne had a hand in writing four songs, and also sought out tracks from top tunesmiths including Keith Urban, John Shanks, Hillary Lindsey, Brett Beavers, Steve Robson, Bob Regan, Rivers Rutherford, and Dave Berg. Then he headed into the studio with three of Nashville’s most sought-after producers: Dann Huff, Mark Bright, and Nathan Chapman.

Sara Smile is available for pre-sale online and fans who order it ahead of time will receive a free poster along with the album.

Wayne spent part of the summer on Brad Paisley’s American Saturday Night Tour alongside Dierks Bentley.

Sara Smile track listing:

1. “Things I Believe” (Keith Urban / John Shanks)
2. “All the Time in the World” (Steve Robson / Hillary Lindsey)
3. “Sara Smile” featuring Daryl Hall & John Oates (Daryl Hall / John Oates)
4. “Just Knowing You Love Me” (Jimmy Wayne / Brett Beavers / Tony Martin)
5. “Just Look at You” (Jimmy Wayne / Bob Regan)
6. “Counting the Days” (Andrea Stolpe / John Kennedy / Steve Robson)
7. “There’s a Memory” (Sean McConnell / Clint Lagerberg)
8. “Belongs to You” (Rivers Rutherford / Dave Berg / Tom Shapiro)
9. “I’ll Never Leave You” (Jimmy Wayne)
10. “Elephant Ears” (Jimmy Wayne / Don Henry)

DISClaimer (9/25/09)

RascalFlatts-unstop150Yikes: How did it get to be the end of September already?

The official first day of Autumn was Tuesday, and everyone is polishing up their late-year releases. Tim scores big points in this column with “Southern Voice,” the title tune of his Oct. 20 CD. Last night, Miranda debuted her Revolution at the Ryman. That CD drops next Tuesday. Last week, Rosanne did the same with The List, which drops Oct. 6. Toby’s American Ride is also due on Oct. 6, and Carrie’s Play On drops Nov. 3.

This star-studded edition of DisClaimer features worthy efforts not only by Tim, but also BlackberrySmoke150by Jason Aldean, Jack Ingram, Jimmy Wayne and Rascal Flatts, the last-named of whom has the Disc of the Day.

Blackberry Smoke, of whom I know nothing, is our DisCovery Award winner.

Writer: Jack Ingram/Chris Tompkins; Producer: Jack Ingram & Jeremy Stover; Publisher: Beat Up Ford/Bug/Big Loud Songs/Big Loud Bucks, BMI/ASCAP; Big Machine (track)
—It’s a spacious ballad with plenty of atmosphere. Patty’s luminous voice carries the hushed finale and is heard singing harmony throughout.

Writer: Allen Shamblin/Robert Mathes; Producer: Dann Huff & Rascal Flatts; Publisher: Built on Rock/EMI Blackwood/Maybe I Can’t, ASCAP/BMI; Lyric Street
—Teen suicide is on the rise, so this deeply emotional song couldn’t be more timely. This is the group’s finest single since “Bless the Broken Road,” and it is easily its most important. Essential listening.

SAMMY SADLER/I’ll Always Have Denver
Writer: Steve Wariner/Bill Anderson; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Steve Wariner/Mr. Bubba/Song Tree, BMI; E1 Music
—Co-writer Wariner puts in a guest harmony appearance on the choruses of this lovely, sweet-sad ballad. But Sammy’s strong tenor vocal performance needs no assist in completely selling this.

TIM McGRAW/Southern Voice
Writer: Tom Douglas/Bob DiPiero; Producer: Byron Gallimore, Tim McGraw & Darran Smith; Publisher: Sony ATV/Tomdouglasmusic/Love Monkey, no performance rights listed; Curb
—The track thumps mightily with a wailing harmonica and grinding guitars. Tim rides on top, rattling off a string of references to Dixie—Dolly, Hank, Charlie Daniels, Billy Graham, Rosa Parks, Scarlett O’Hara, the Allman Brothers, Jack Daniels and the like. All in all, it’s pretty darn cool.

Writer: none listed; Producer: Jeff Glixman, Zak Rizvi & Nathan Lee Jackson; Publisher: none listed; StarCity (track) (
—He encounters an armed robber and tells him, “God loves a desperate man.” Luckily, the bullet misses him.

Writer: Brett James/Ashley Monroe; Producer: Michael Knox; Publisher: Stage Three/Brett James Cornelius/Reynsong, ASCAP/BMI; Broken Bow (track)
—Jason tries on a heartbroken ballad, and it fits just fine. The sizzling organ flourishes in the mix are an extra delight.

TOMMY CASH/Fade To Black
Writer: Tommy Cash/Nathan Whitt; Producer: Rick Lloyd; Publisher: Tomcat/Next Guess, BMI/SESAC; InLight (track) (
—The title tune to Tommy’s new CD is a tender ode to his legendary older brother. Much of the album is devoted to revivals of Johnny’s iconic songs, but Tommy’s own “Six White Horses” is reprised as well, as a duet with Marty Stuart. On Faron Young’s “Some Kind of a Woman,” George Jones joins Tommy, and sister JoAnne Cash is his vocal partner on Ferlin Husky’s “Wings of a Dove.”

Writer: Daryl Hall/John Oates; Producer: Dann Huff; Publisher: none listed; Valory Music
—This 1976 Hall & Oates goldie has aged well—it’s still a dreamy melody. Jimmy’s version doesn’t stray far from the original arrangement, and harmonies by Daryl and John, themselves, add to the familiarity.

JOHNNY RIVERS/The American Dream
Writer: Johnny Rivers; Producer: Johnny Rivers & Oren Walters; Publisher: Rivers, BMI; Soul City
—Pop great Johnny still sounds good. This reggae-rhythmic bopper is embellished with horns, acoustic guitar and harmony singers. The lyric is wonderfully hopeful and uplifting, which are certainly qualities we can use these days.

Writer: Lee Roy Parnell/David Lee Murphy/Gary Nicholson; Producer: Dann Huff & Justin Niebank; Publisher: Lillie Dale/Dean-Parnell/EverGreen/Old Desperados/N2D/Carol Vincent/Sony ATV Cross Keys/Gary Nicholson, BMI/ASCAP; BamaJam (CDX)
—He has his smokes, his booze, his babes, his ride and his tunes, plus a weekend stretched out in front of him. Southern rock is alive and well. Par-tay!

DISClaimer (9/18/09)

ChrisHeers-weststates150No cash this week, because there’s not a clunker in sight.

Everybody is playing at the top of their game, especially the ridiculously talented Steve Wariner, Gene Watson and Darius Rucker. Programmers are going to hate this next sentence. All 10 of these platters deserve airplay.

Polish off a DisCovery Award for Chris Heers. He is a native and resident of Las Vegas who plays clubs there. But he wisely came to Music City to record his Western Stars CD and its “Dirt Rich” single.

BCurrington-everythingBilly Currington’s “People Are Crazy” is deservedly a nominee as CMA Single, Song and Video of the Year. Especially Song. So I was leery about a follow-up with a junky title like “That’s How Country Boys Roll.” But, surprise, it is groove soaked and highly listenable. It is also the Disc of the Day.

Writer: Adam Seaunier/Keesy Timmer/Ryan Jones; Producer: Rex Paul Schnelle; Publisher: none listed, BMI; American Roots (track) (
—Delightfully propulsive, undeniably sunny and brightly romantic. Lead singer Adam Craig brings plenty of power to the table.

KACEY JONES/I Can Always Get Skinny But You’ll Never Be Tall
Writer: Kacey Jones/Jesse Goldberg/Bill Flowerree; Producer: Kacey Jones; Publisher: Mamalama/Lindcrest/Flying Buddha, ASCAP/BMI; IGO (track) (
—Kacey’s CD is titled Donald Trump’s Hair. It is full of comedy songs, which we can always use more of. “How dare you call me pudgy, you stubby little runt?” goes one line in this rib tickler. Another? “There is no Viagra for the inches you lack.” The goofy-guy backup vocals are a nice touch, too, particularly when chanting “Ding Dong, Ding Dong.”

Writer: Jerry Salley Jr./Monty Holmes; Producer: Dirk Johnson; Publisher: EMI/Country Gentleman, ASCAP/SESAC; Shanachie (track) (
—It’s a weeper about a couple who stay together although the spark is long gone. Gene and Rhonda harmonize sublimely. The mournful, moaning steel and honky-tonk piano underline every heartache. The track is drawn from A Taste of the Truth, which stars one of our greatest country vocalists alongside stellar guests such as Alison Krauss, Trace Adkins, Aubrey Haynie, Sonny Garrish and John Wesley Ryles, as well as Rhonda. The set’s superb songs come from the likes of Hank Cochran, Shawn Camp, Jim Rushing, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Tim Mensey, Keith Stegall, Harley Allen and Curly Putman. If you love real country music, buy this record.

Writer: Steve Wariner/Rick Carnes; Producer: Steve Wariner; Publisher: Steve Wariner/Songs of Peer, BMI/ASCAP; Selectone (track) (
My Tribute to Chet Atkins is Steve’s album of mostly instrumentals written in imitation of and as a salute to Mr. Guitar. This bopper has plenty of Chet-style picking, but it also has a charming lyric about, “the touch and the tone and the twang of Chet’s guitar.” There’s also a line about “every lick that I stole from Chet,” which Steve swears is the truth.

Writer: Chris Heers; Producer: Steve Tveit, Pat McGrath & Chris Heers; Publisher: SaddleFarm, ASCAP; SaddleFarm (
—He’s a farmer who is thankful for what little he has. “Dirt Rich” is such a clever concept it’s amazing that nobody has written this before.

DARIUS RUCKER/History In The Making
Writer: Darius Rucker/Frank Rogers/Clay Mills; Producer: Frank Rogers; Publisher: Cadaja/New Sea Gayle/EMI April/MXC/Still Working for the Man/ICG, ASCAP; Capitol Nashville (CDX)
—His prettiest melody yet, and perhaps his most romantic lyric. As usual, Frank’s production touches and mix choices are perfect—I love the way the acoustic guitars and steel slide in and out.

RANDY HOUSER/My Kind Of Country
Writer: Randy Houser/Dallas Davidson; Producer: Mark Wright/Cliff Audretch III; Publisher: Songs of Windswept Pacific/Big Borassa/Words & Music, BMI; Universal South (CDX)
—It’s redneck wailer with a stomping beat and low, growled verses that lead to shrieked-up-high choruses. There’s no question about this guy’s vocal talent, but this is extremely in-your-face.

BILLY CURRINGTON/That’s How Country Boys Roll
Writer: Billy Currington/Brad Jones/Dallas Davidson; Producer: Carson Chamberlain & Billy Currington; Publisher: Universal/Off My Rocker/EMI Blackwood/String Stretcher/Brad Jones/Words & Music, ASCAP/BMI; Mercury (CDX)
—It has a similar theme to the Randy Houser single (Dallas Davidson is a writer on both). But this has a much slinkier, rump-shaking groove. And Billy’s vocal rides atop the low thumping percussion with considerable finesse. Both performers are following up major hits (”Boots On” and “People Are Crazy,” respectively). Billy wins this round.

THE PARKS/The Party’s Right Here
Writer: Johnny Park/David Lee; Producer: Johnny Park & Clint Park; Publisher: Halftime/Universal-Careers, ASCAP/BMI; Carolwood (CDX)
—This rocks furiously. Lyrics are spit out in double time and the sidemen, especially the lead guitarist, kick up plenty of dust. In short, it lives up to its title.

Writer: Charlie Craig/Moe Lytle; Producer: Nelson Larkin & Charlie Craig; Publisher: Power Play, BMI; Gusto (CDX) (615-889-8000)
—A homeless man, a war-widowed mom and the crucified Jesus all have “a hard rock to roll.” Billy Joe’s emotional reading of the well-written song and the crisp, gently lulling production earn bonus points.

DISClaimer (9/16/09)

RaulMalo-lucky150The Americana music convention begins today in Nashville, so what better time to run a column about the genre?

The artists we’re talking about today are all up for awards at Thursday’s gala at the Ryman Auditorium. So we’re talking the cream of Americana, here. Earlier in the year, I raved about nominees such as Buddy & Julie Miller, Justin Townes Earle, The Belleville Outfit and Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson. Add the five discs below to your essential-purchases list.

BandofHeathens-150The Disc of the Day belongs to Raul Malo. And our DisCovery Award goes to The Band of Heathens.

Writer: Ed Jurdi; Producer: Ray Wylie Hubbard; Publisher: Lila J Rae, BMI; BOH (track) (
—One of the four nominees for the New & Emerging Artist AMA Award is this quintet of country-rocking Texans. The group’s fourth CD is due out any day, but it got its nomination based on its self-titled third disc. That record kicks off with this crunchy, rootsy, drawling gem. If only Nashville’s country music could sound this cool.

RAUL MALO/Hello Again
Writer: Raul Malo/Alan Miller; Producer: Steve Berlin/Raul Malo; Publisher: Rumbalo/EagleLand, BMI/ASCAP; Fantasy (track) (
—This guy is a true jewel of Music City. His Lucky One CD includes this deliciously melodic, soaring, rolling anthem. His peerless voice is goosed with just the right touch of echo. When he vaults to the top of his range, he sends shivers up your spine. Shut your eyes, turn it up, bask in its sonic glory and root for Raul as he competes for AMA Artist of the Year Thursday night.

THE FLATLANDERS/Homeland Refugee
Writer: Joe Ely/Butch Hancock/Jimmie Dale Gilmore; Producer: Lloyd Maines; Publisher: Tornado Temple/Two Roads/Jade EG, BMI; New West (track) (
—This track from The Flatlanders’ Hills and Valleys CD is up for AMA Song of the Year. The evocative lyric describes a broken man who found that California’s “pastures of plenty” were empty promises. The homeless family is headed back to the Dust Bowl from whence they came. The three amigos sing it with tremendous yearning and heart.

WILLIE NELSON & ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL/Won’t You Ride In My Little Red Wagon
Writer: Rex Griffin; Producer: Ray Benson; Publisher: Hill & Range, BMI; Bismeaux (track)
—This year’s AMA Lifetime Achievement Award is going to the durable Asleep at the Wheeel. The band swings splendidly on the CD Willie & The Wheel. As usual, Ray Benson’s production is pristine. All the tunes are dandies—“Hesitation Blues,” “Bring it on Down to My House,” “Right or Wrong,” “Corrine, Corrina,” “I’m Sitting on Top of the World” and the rest. Paul Shaffer and Vince Gill guest on “South.” But for my money, Willie, the band and Benson are at their jivin’ best on this revival of Hank Penny’s 1939 smash hit, penned by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Rex Griffin.

JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT/Soldiers Get Strange
Writer: none listed; Producer: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit; Publisher: none listed; Lightning Rod (track) (
—The self-titled CD by Jason and his three bandmates is an AMA Album of the Year nominee. This urgent-sounding track features his dry vocal backed by thrashing electric guitar and crashing percussion. The lyrics attempt to understand what goes through the head of a returning vet from Iraq or Afghanistan. Elsewhere, the band is equally effective on acoustic-based tunes. Jason is based in Florence, Alabama, which is a super-legendary music center to hail from.

DISClaimer (9/11/09)

Gloriana-150It’s country collaboration day!

Ronnie Milsap is singing with Trace Adkins. Bruce Springsteen turns up as a guest on John Fogerty’s album. Billy Gibbons meets Brooks & Dunn in a roadhouse rumble. And in the most unlikely scenario of all, Hank Williams Jr. takes a ride in Appalachia with The Grascals.

And mostly the match-up listening is good.

NewRelics-150Among our other discs today are fine outings by Buddy Jewell, Phil Vassar and Miranda Lambert. And then there is that impossibly hooky new item from Gloriana, which wins the Disc of the Day prize. “How Far Do You Wanna Go?” All the way to Number One.

In the absence of any other contenders, West Virginia’s The New Relics take home a DisCovery Award by default. But I do think they still need a little polishing.

BROOKS & DUNN/Honky Tonk Stomp
Writer: Ronnie Dunn/Terry McBride/Bobby Pinson; Producer: Ronnie Dunn & Terry McBride; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Arista (track)
—The deep twang and a cameo vocal are provided by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. Alas, the song is otherwise pretty dull, a party-hearty attempt that falls flat while making plenty of noise.

BOMSHEL/19 And Crazy
Writer: Kelley Shepard/Kristy Osmunson/Mark Irwin/Josh Kear; Producer: Chuck Howard; Publisher: Getting Grown/KupKake/Osmunson/Oceans One/Year of the Dog/Big Yellow Dog/Darth Buddah, BMI/ASCAP; Curb
—Their bright voices are mixed too far down in the thumping production to be able to hear the clever lyric. The energy level, however, is terrific.

Writer: M. Arbogast/J. Swiger/B. Martin/J. Bidwell; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Blues Alley/Spinville (
—Jaunty, sunny and young sounding. It is somewhat wordy and takes way too long to get to the hook: “What are you doing when you’re not being beautiful?”

PHIL VASSAR/Everywhere I Go
Writer: Phil Vassar/Jeffrey Steele; Producer: Phil Vassar; Publisher: Phylvester/Jeffrey Steele/BPJ, ASCAP/BMI; Universal South
—She is gone, and her memory is everywhere he turns. Phil turns on the passion in the nearly shouted choruses at the top of his range.

BUDDY JEWELL/Somebody Who Would Die For You
Writer: Mark Narmore/Adam Wheeler; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Care Taker/Noble Vision, BMI/ASCAP; O’Reilly International
—That homeless vet you rushed past is somebody who would die for you. So is the father whose feelings you hurt. You can see where this is going, can’t you? The religious conclusion may be obvious, but this is a singer who can wring every drop of meaning from every line. Extremely well done.

GLORIANA/How Far Do You Wanna Go
Writer: Matt Serletic/Jeffrey Steele/Danny Myrick; Producer: Matt Serletic; Publisher: Melusic/Primary Wave Emblem/Jeffrey Steele/Soulride/BPJ, ASCAP/BMI; Emblem/Warner Bros.
—I am crazy about this band. The harmony-soaked rocker is an open-road song if I’ve ever heard one. And this particular highway leads straight to stardom.

Writer: Shannon Lawson/John Phillips; Producer: Rob Galbraith; Publisher: Muzik Mafia/Do Write, ASCAP; Bleve (
—This must have been a thrill for Trace, because he is a huge Ronnie Milsap fan. He even asked for Ronnie to induct him into the Opry cast. Both of them sing this frothing rocker with growling urgency.

Writer: Miranda Lambert/Natalie Hemby; Producer: Frank Liddell & Mike Wrucke; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Columbia Nashville (CDX)
—What a terrific country singer she is. I love every drawl and twang in this snarky vocal performance. The rolling song is superbly written and loaded with melodic hooks. Catchy to the max.

Writer: Phil Everly; Producer: John Fogerty; Publisher: Sony-ATV Acuff-Rose, BMI; Verve Forecast (track) (615-251-0905)
—I have always said that John Fogerty was a country singer trapped in a rock band. And it goes without saying that Bruce has more blue-collar cred than half the country stars in this town. The two harmonize splendidly on this rollicking Everly Brothers twang fest. Do yourself a favor and buy John’s Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again for one of the finest country-music listening experiences of the year. It even comes on vinyl.

Writer: Hank Williams Jr.; Producer: Doug Johnson & Hank Williams Jr.; Publisher: Bocephus, BMI; Curb (CDX)
—Bocephus goes acoustic in this delightful mountaineer romp. The song is a hillbilly smile-a-minute. What a wonderfully fulfilling change of pace.

The CO Signs With RPM Management

TheCONashville based rock band The CO has inked a representation agreement with RPM Management. “We are excited to be working with this great young band,” said RPM President Scott Siman. “They went in our studio to cut some sides and just blew us away with the music.”

The band was founded with Collin Brace and Troy Akers who met in 2004 at Nashville’s Belmont University. The two songwriters added Will Harrison, Nate Flemming and Jordan Hester in 2007 officially becoming The CO.

RPM Management is a Nashville based management company, aligned with LA based Frontline Management.  RPM also represents soulful pop artist Shelly Fairchild (Stroudavarious) and rising country artist Matt Nolen. Former clients include Tim McGraw and Julianne Hough. Scott Siman and Johnna Jackson will be handling day-to-day responsibilities for The CO.

DISClaimer (9/4/09)

Melanie Denard

Melanie Denard

This is quite a mixed bag.

Leeann Atherton clocks in with a dreamy blues tune. Rocker Ronnie Godfrey has a Tennessee Titans fight song. We have excellent Nashville songwriter albums from Bill Luther and Kent Blazy. And there’s a whole flurry of newcomers. Among them, Melanie Denard wins our DisCovery Award.

And to add some extra spice to the eclectic mix, we have the son of a country legend with a terrific song to sing. Dion Pride wins Disc of the Day with his fine message number “We All Gotta Live Here.”

TOM WURTH/If The Road Runs Out

Dion Pride

Dion Pride

Writer: David Frasier/Bill Luther/Tom Wurth; Producer:
none listed; Publisher: none listed; Echelon (track) (
—The title tune to Wurth’s CD is a power ballad that showcases his sturdy, warm voice. He cowrote five of the album’s tunes and chose the rest from such top-drawer names as Rivers Rutherford, Brett James and Sonny LeMaire. Well worth a listen.

Writer: Martha Maria/Dan Gold; Producer: Dan Gold; Publisher: Dancing Rabbit/Golden Oak, ASCAP; Dan Gold (615-754-0299)
—Godfrey was formerly with the Marshall Tucker Band, so that explains the gruffness in the vocal. The track is a slab of rock with thunder sound effects amid the electric guitars and pounding percussion. Sample lyric: “Thunder, blood and glory/Run, but you can’t hide/The battle will be gory/And mortal men will die….Titans show no mercy/We’re here to kick some butt.” We’ll see. Next week’s opening game is versus the Super Bowl champion Steelers.

Writer: Adam Hooper/John Milldrum/Dallas Davidson/Ben Hayslip; Producer: James Stroud; Publisher: Songs of Loud/EMI Blackwood/WB/Get a Load of This/Melissa’s Money, BMI/ASCAP; Stroudavarious
—Attractive, if somewhat bland sounding. He’s pleading on her doorstep, but that’s still not good enough.

DION PRIDE/We All Gotta Live Here
Writer: Bobby Fisher/Steve Leslie/Lance Miller; Producer: Dan Mitchell; Publisher: Anyone’s/Chord Boy/Lance Allan/Morris, ASCAP/BMI/SESAC; Weblast! (615-242-8181)
—Dion is Hall of Famer Charley Pride’s son. He sings with great heart and warmth, and the song has a terrific message. Count me in.

Writer: David Bradley/Brady Seals; Producer: Brady Seals; Publisher: Wrensong/Gypsy Outfit, BMI/ASCAP; Libolli Unlimited (
—The timing on this seems a little off. It’s a shiny, summer-sun single, and we’re heading into football season. Whatever the case, Bradley sings with verve, and the “island” production vibe is sprightly.

Writer: Rodney Clawson/Brian White; Producer: Dan Frizsell; Publisher: Writers Extreme/Big Loud Bucks/Warner Tamerlane/BMG/Multisongs/Brentwood Benson, BMI/SESAC; Weblast! (
—She has a very appealing huskiness in her voice, full of barely suppressed fire. I’ll bet she can really take charge of a stage. Promising, indeed.

LEEANN ATHERTON/Looking For A Rainbow
Writer: Leeann Atherton; Producer: Rich Brotherton; Publisher: Heaven Thunder, BMI; LA (track) (
—This former Nashvillian has found her niche in Austin, and it’s in a sultry, country-blues groove. This stately blues ballad is one of the many standouts on her Heart Traveled Road CD. Recommended listening.

KENT BLAZY/Play Guitar
Writer: Cory Batten/Kent Blazy; Producer: Kent Blazy; Publisher: I Want to Hold Your Songs, BMI; Kent Blazy (track) (
—The title tune to Kent’s latest CD is a lovely meditation wherein he gets through emotional times by playing his acoustic guitar. His singing is packed with feeling, and his picking is exceptional. This Nashville songwriting treasure has crafted hits ranging from “Headed for a Heartache” to “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” Several of his most powerful can be found on this new collection, since they grew from the passing of his wife, Sharon.

BILL LUTHER/Scarecrow Dreams
Writer: Bill Luther; Producer: Justin Weaver; Publisher: Universal/Evansville, BMI; Bill Luther
—The only way you can get a copy of this Nashville songwriter’s Songs for the Scarecrow CD is if he gives one to you. Count yourself lucky if he does. This highly poetic and upliftingly melodic song is just one of its 10 lustrously produced tracks. Bill’s singing is quite soulful and expressive, and he has surrounded himself with superb players (Ilya Toshinsky, Dan Dugmore, Kenny Greenberg and Joe Chemay among them). Considering that he’s noted for such country gems as “Let it Go,” “Who You’d Be Today,” “Let’s Make Love,” “Believers” and “My Best Friend,” this whole project is impressively and ambitiously pop-oriented. But check out his duet with Hillary Lindsey on “This Town.” It has country smash written all over it.

J. LEE STEVENS/Right About Now
Writer: Steve Yocum; Producer: Curt Perkins; Publisher: Born & Bred, BMI; Tone Lucky (track) (
—The track is drowning in echo and reverb. The lyric is loaded with regret. The vocal is appropriately mournful. Haunting and unsettling.