ABC to Air Nashville Special With Robin Roberts

rroberts93009As part of the CMA Awards excitement, ABC will present the hour long special In The Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Bright Lights. Big Stars. All Access Nashville Tues., Nov. 10 at 9pm CT. The Good Morning America co-anchor will spotlight some of Nashville’s biggest stars, giving viewers all-access looks into their homes and private lives.

In The Spotlight will feature visits and interviews with Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Loretta Lynn, Rosanne Cash, and Vince Gill. The special will also pose the question “What’s the greatest Country song of all time?” to fans and stars alike, including Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts, and even President Barack Obama. Nashville-based, Stealing Angels (Tayla Lynn, Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth), who will be releasing their debut CD in 2010, will also be among those featured in the upcoming country music profile.

Roberts will also be a presenter at the 43rd annual CMA Awards, which will be broadcast live on ABC Wed., Nov. 11 at 7pm CT from Nashville’s Sommet Center.

DISClaimer (8/28/09)

Josh Turner

Josh Turner

The stars are twinkling so brightly that I am temporarily blinded.

That is to say, I simply can’t make up my mind. Should I choose the hearty male country vocal? What about our teen-queen sales champion? And then there’s the refreshingly rocking group performance.

All three qualify for a Disc of the Day prize, yet they’re all quite different musically. So I’m copping out and giving a male, female and group award to Josh Turner, Taylor Swift and Jypsi, respectively.

The one thing I am sure of this week is that Steel Magnolia wins the DisCovery Award.

TSwift-fearless150JOSH TURNER/Why Don’t We Just Dance
Writer: Jim Beavers/Jonathan Singleton/Darrell Brown; Producer: Frank Rogers; Publisher: Sony-ATV/Beavertime Tunes/Crosstown Uptown/Kobalt/Grey Ink, BMI/ASCAP; MCA Nashville (CDX)
—This is a nice little groover of a romantic come-on. His voice retains a wondrous, burnished glow that makes even the simplest of sentiments sound profound. I remain a huge fan.

TAYLOR SWIFT/Fifteen

Jypsi

Jypsi

Writer: Taylor Swift; Producer: Nathan Chapman & Taylor Swift; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Taylor Swift, BMI; Big Machine
—A high-school slice of life, winsomely and tenderly sung. The single comes with a “teen service announcement” that encourages kids to be themselves, to not be afraid to be different and to realize that these turbulent years are not the be-all and end-all of your life.

ANNA GARROTT/What A Way To Go
Writer: Bobby Fischer/Phil Vassar/Charlie Black; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Anyone’s/EMI/Phil Vassar/Flybridge Tunes/EMI Blackwood, ASCAP/BMI; Blue Steel (www.annagarrott.com)
SM-ART-COVER-SINGLE-KO#6612—Who spiked the session with amphetamines? Way beyond “peppy.”

JYPSI/Mister Officer
Writer: Ed Hill/Josh Kear; Producer: Nathan Chapman; Publisher: none listed, BMI/ASCAP; Arista (CDX)
—She’s so dizzy in love that she can’t help speeding. Joyously rocking.

JENNIFER KENNARD/Angeline
Writer: Kennard/S. Colvin; Producer: Russell Garrett; Publisher: none listed; Diamond Eye (track)
—She has a beefy pop sound, with plenty of echoey guitars and keyboards. Vocally, she is airy, but solid. Her six-song EP is titled Lonely Girl. Recommended.

JULIA BURTON/Party Down
Writer: P.R. Battle/Anthony Smith/Michael Garvin; Producer: Biff Watson; Publisher: Harris Gordon/Music Sales Corp./Notewrite/Michael Garvin, ASCAP/BMI; Emerald River (CDX) (615-533-7611)
—Don’t let the spoken-word intro throw you. As soon as it’s over, she rocks out, shouting her intention to “party down” and celebrate his leaving. Clever and listenable.

BEN GREGG/Radio Waves
Writer: Jerry Cupit; Producer: Jerry Cupit; Publisher: Cupit, BMI; Cupit (CDX) (www.cupitmusic.com)
—The raucous, rocking production completely swamps his vocal.

DELBERT McCLINTON/Starting A Rumor
Writer: Delbert McClinton/Gary Nicholson/Guy Clark; Producer: Delbert McClinton & Gary Nicholson; Publisher: Nasty Cat/Carol Vincent/Sony-ATV Cross Keys/Gary Nicholson/EMI April, ASCAP; New West (CDX) (www.newwestrecords.com)
—The swampy, R&B slow groove is a pure delight. Needless to say, the vocal is drenched with soul. Grab your baby and sway on the dance floor.

STEEL MAGNOLIA/Keep On Lovin’ You
Writer: Chris Stapleton/Trent Willmon; Producer: Dann Huff; Publisher: House of Sea Gayle/New Son of a Miner/Happy Cattle/Calhoun Enterprises, ASCAP; Big Machine
—This male-female duo was the winner on season two of CMT’s Can You Duet. Both vocalists have more than a little soul-music influence, but she has the edge. Whatever the case, their TV win was no fluke, because their debut disc is a winner, too.

BRYAN WHITE/The Little Things
Writer: Bryan White/Erik Bledsoe/James Dean Hicks; Producer: Bryan White & Derek George; Publisher: Dustbowl Dreamer/Pedal Down/Sally Pretzel/On the Market, ASCAP/BMI; Just a Pup (CDX) (www.bryanwhite.com)
—Where has this guy been? His return to disc is a sweet, romantic outing with swirling breezes of steel, organ, fiddle, acoustic guitar and piano. His tenor vocal wafts right along.

New CMT Specials: McGraw, Larry The Cable Guy

cmt

CMT is debuting specials this month from Tim McGraw and Larry The Cable Guy.

Invitation Only: Tim McGraw premieres Fri., Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. CT on CMT. Taped earlier this year in Nashville, the show features McGraw performing before a small studio audience, and taking questions from fans. Produced by High-Five Entertainment, the one-hour special includes McGraw’s hits such as “Something Like That,” “My Best Friend,” and “Cowboy In Me,” as well as new songs from his latest release Southern Voice.

Larry The Cable Guy’s Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau holiday special premieres Fri., Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. CT on CMT. The 90-minute variety show features musical performers Billy Currington and the Zac Brown Band. Other guests include Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), Caroline Rhea, George Lindsey (The Andy Griffith Show), comedians Reno Collier and Jon Reep, Peter Oldring, Sara Erikson, the MuzikMafia’s Two Foot Fred, and returning favorites Tony Orlando and Angela Little MacKenzie (Reno 911). The DVD of the Hula-Palooza will be available from Jack Records/Warner Bros. Records beginning Tues., Nov. 24. It was produced by Parallel Entertainment and Taillight TV.

DISClaimer (8/21/09)

GregForesman-Kodiak150We live in an era of singles and tracks, but there are still a few out there who buck the trend.

It pleases me to report that there are several folks in this week’s stack of platters who still make true ALBUMS. There is an art to this that many mainstream country artists seem to have forgotten. To them, I say listen to the collections of sounds that are being released by Chuck Cannon, John Arthur Martinez and Greg Foresman. These three know how to vary audio textures, sequence songs and create deeply satisfying listening experiences.

LadyA-NeedYouNow150Greg Foresman has evidently released earlier albums, but since I
was unaware of them, he earns the DisCovery Award.

Not that there’s anything wrong with singles, mind you. In fact, you’ll find one of the finest examples of that craftsmanship here as well. That would be “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. It is unchallenged as the Disc of the Day.

BECKY SCHLEGEL/So Embarrassing
Writer: Becky Schlegel; Producer: Becky Schlegel & Brian Fisher; Publisher: Lilly Ray, BMI; Lilly Ray/IGO (www.beckyschlegel.com)
—Her fragile-rose, soprano delivery wafts lightly from the speakers. The acoustic production and softly layered country harmonies add to the enchantment.

LOST IMMIGRANTS/Get Lost
Writer: James Dunning; Producer: James Dunning & Sean Isbell; Publisher: J. Mulligan, BMI; Lo-Fi Tofu (www.lostimmigrants.com)
—This Texas-based four-piece band drawls and twangs in all the right places. The label is aptly named, for the sound is, indeed, low fidelity. But in a pleasant kinda way.

LADY ANTEBELLUM/Need You Now
Writer: Dave Haywood/Charles Kelley/Hillary Scott/Josh Kear; Producer: Paul Worley & Lady Antebellum; Publisher: Warner-Tamerlane/DWHaywood/Radiobullet/Hillary Dawn Songs/Foray/Year of the Dog/Big Yellow Dog/Darth Buddah, BMI/SESAC/ASCAP; Capitol Nashville
—Utterly delicious, from the echoey production touches to the flawless harmonies in the hyper-melodic choruses. Stardom is on the march.

VERONICA BALLESTRINI/Amazing
Writer: none listed; Producer: Cliff Downs; Publisher: none listed; Timbob
—She was profiled recently in The New York Times in an article about new country females. The piece failed to mention how completely ordinary sounding she is.

GREG FORESMAN/Something I Can Use
Writer: Greg Foresman; Producer: Greg Foreseman & Howie Gano; Publisher: Communion, no performance rights listed; Greg Foresman (track) (www.gregforesman.com)
—Greg is Martina McBride’s lead guitarist. He also makes solo albums, and his newest is titled Kodiak. This slinky track burbles with nifty licks, thumping percussion and a bluesy vocal. There’s also something faintly Dylan-y about it. His other self-penned tunes are just as interesting. “Suicide Bomber” tries to get inside the head of a terrorist. “Big Sky Country” is a guitar-vocal ode to the great outdoors. “In Your Light” is chiming and uplifting.

DIAMOND RIO/God Is There
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Word/Curb/WB (track)
—A CD titled The Reason will mark this durable band’s CCM debut next month. Its single is a stately ballad about finding grace in the most unlikely places. As you might expect, it is performed with pristine perfection. Highly listenable. Also coming next month is Beautiful Mess, a book telling the remarkable story of six guys who have stuck together for all these many years.

JOHN ARTHUR MARTINEZ/Purgatory Road
Writer: Kent Finlay/John Arthur Martinez; Producer: Lew Curatolo; Publisher: none listed; Apache Ranch (track) (www.johnarthurmartinez.net)
—This former Nashville Star star drops his new album next month. Its title tune is a bluesy, downbeat look at these rough economic times. It swirls with drama that climaxes in murder. Gripping, to say the least. The production textures are superb throughout the set, from the Latin groove of “Que No Puede Ver” to the rolling country-rock of “On the Run” and the rumbling, accusatory “You Can’t Outdrink the Truth.” Heartily recommended.

LEON RUSSELL/Ballad Of Jed Clampett
Writer: Paul Horning; Producer: Leon Russell; Publisher: Carolintone, no performance rights listed; Leon Russell (track) (www.leonrussellrecords.com)
—The Best of Hank Wilson reprises many of the tunes that Leon has previously recorded in his country persona (”Rollin’ in My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” “I’m Movin’ On,” “Oh Lonesome Me,” “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone,” “Jambalaya” etc.). Among the bonus tracks is this banjo-driven bopper that served as the theme song of The Beverly Hillbillies TV sitcom that became one of the biggest ratings bonanzas of the 1960s. Leon’s humorously drawling delivery is absolutely perfect.

CHUCK CANNON/God Shaped Hole
Writer: Allen Shamblin/Chuck Cannon; Producer: Lari White & Chuck Cannon; Publisher: Built on Rock/Wacissa River, ASCAP/BMI; Nashville Underground (track) (www.chuckcannon.com)
—Among my favorite things to collect are albums recorded by members of our songwriting community, so I was thrilled when this arrived in the mail. Chuck is not only supremely gifted as a composer, he’s a vocalist of rare charisma. The title tune to his set is a gorgeous meditation on the limits of love. You will bask in its audio beauty. Much of the rest of the CD explores spiritual matters, but there is also the political “Something’s Wrong with the World,” the anti-alcohol/faithless love saga “Poison” and the prison ode “Bad to Worse.” This is one cool record.

GENE WATSON & TRACE ADKINS/We’ve Got A Pulse
Writer: Jerry Salley/Billy Yates; Producer: Dirk Johnson; Publisher: EMI Blackwood/Pay the Bill/EMI/Foray/Sea Keeper, BMI/SESAC; Shanachie (track) (www.genewatson.com)
—Gene’s forthcoming CD A Taste of the Truth includes guests such as Alison Krauss and Rhonda Vincent. This track is this year’s “Murder on Music Row” ode to preserving traditional country music. The “heartbeat” percussion thumps are nifty, and Trace’s verse ends, appropriately, with a basso profundo “sing it, Gene.”

DISClaimer (8/14/09)

hannahMcNeil-150It is independents’ day.

We are in what are known as the dog days of summer, when major-label releases slow to a trickle in anticipation of the big fall product push. What better time for the indies to scurry about and make some noise?

As is generally the case in surveying indie singles, the quality varies widely. Some sound as good as their major-label big brothers and sisters. And then you have the lunatic fringe, raving about everything from politics to eating chicken. Oh, and let’s not forget outer-space aliens.

One release here towered above all the others. That is “What Am I Getting Up For” by Hannah McNeil. It is, unquestionably, the Disc of the Day.

THE NEW RELICS/Beautiful
Writer: M. Arbogast/J. Swiger/B. Martin/J. Bidwell; Producer: Joshua Swiger & The New Relics; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Blues Alley/Spinville (www.thenewrelics.com)
—Nicely written, but apparently recorded on the cheap.

HANNAH McNEIL/What Am I Getting Up For
Writer: Hannah McNeil/Jesse Wray/Jeffrey Steele; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Positively Platinum/Jeffrey Steele/Wray Line, ASCAP/BMI; Spinville (www.hannahmcneil.com)
—Don’t wait for any upbeat resolution to this unrelentingly existential lyric, because there isn’t one. Instead, you’ll revel in the darkly atmospheric sound, exult in her inspiring vocal and punch your fist to the driving tempo. It may be somber, but somber has never sounded so grand and gripping. This is one excellent little record.

RICHIE FIELDS/Losing You
Writer: Gerald Smith/Wynn Varble; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Melody Roundup/Warner-Tamerlane/Precious Flour, BMI; Joint Journey (www.richiefields.com)
—Richie has earned consistently high marks in this column. His latest, a moody power ballad, features cool dips into his lower register and an oomphy, melodic chorus hook.

GRANDPA ROCK/The Bail Out Boogie
Writer: Jim Lusk/Gary S. Paxton; Producer: Gary S. Paxton; Publisher: Shala Kedon/House of Paxton, BMI; Skitzopax (www.garyspaxton.net)
—Former pop and gospel act Gary S. Paxton sent this from Branson. He hopes it becomes a theme song for the right-wing “Tea Parties.” I’ll give it this much, it is certainly repetitive and simple enough to remember. And its muddled message mirrors the movement. It includes shout-outs to Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and all your other favorites. Be sure and listen to the long version with its rabid-dog dementia fade-out.

TWO TONS OF STEEL/Hold Over Me
Writer: Kevin Geil; Producer: Lloyd Maines; Publisher: Kevin Geil, BMI; Smith Entertainment (track) (www.twotons.com)
—These Texas favorites have a new CD titled Not That Lucky, which features this tuneful, pop-country bopper. It sorta reminds me of cowboys mixing it up with the British Invasion.

NIKKI BRITT/You Happened
Writer: Craig Wiseman/Steve Diamond; Producer: Brien Fisher; Publisher: New Diamond/EverPop/BMG/Mrs. Lumpkin’s Poodle, no performance rights listed; Rustic (www.rusticrecordsinc.com)
—Youthful sounding. The tinkling mandolin and acoustic guitar notes sparkle around her sweet, lilting delivery. She’s a little pitch-y, but most kids are.

JOHNNY SANDS/Blue Diamond Encounter
Writer: Johnny Sands; Producer: John Nicolson; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Invasion (615-429-5189)
—Blue Diamond Highway, we are told, is 14 miles out of Las Vegas. On it, this performer swears he had an encounter with two bald, paralyzing aliens after his car stalled. Alrighty then. You don’t find country singles with this topic every day.

JASON MITCHELL/Chicken Man
Writer: Dale Morris; Producer: Dale Morris & Dan Mitchell; Publisher: Morris Music Group, BMI; DMP (CDX)
—It’s an R&B flavored grinder about his obsession with chicken, no matter how it’s cooked. Whatever.

MARIE ANGELINE/Let’s Get Down To Makin’ Up
Writer: Jarry Ward & Mike Lawler; Producer: Mike Lawler; Publisher: Handover Fist/Cootermo, BMI/ASCAP; Star Base (CDX)
—She’s all steamy and hot to trot, with a Bo Diddley beat.

TIMOTHY CRAIG/Tell Me Where It Hurts
Writer: Timothy Craig/Sandy Ramos; Producer: Tom Harding & Timothy Craig; Publisher: Timothy Craig/Lawyers Wife, ASCAP/BMI; Ball & Chain (CDX) (www.timothycraig.com)
—The production is big and meaty, which contrasts sharply with his almost whispery vocal tone. The tune is nicely crafted, and the chorus hook digs right in.

DISClaimer (8/7/09)

Lee Brice

Lee Brice

This stack of platters is a nice mix of veterans and baby acts.

In the former column are Marty Raybon and Brady Seals, both of whom have splendid CD’s coming your way. Somewhere in between vet and baby are Trey Hensley, The Coal Men, Emma Jacob, Mica Roberts and Lee Brice, all of whom competed for Disc of the Day. Brice takes the prize.

Definitely in the baby category is Josh Thompson, whose debut single wins him a DisCovery Award.

JOSH THOMPSON/Beer On The Table
Writer: Josh Thompson/Ken Johnson/Andi Zack; Producer: Michael Knox; Publisher: not listed, ASCAP/SESAC/BMI; Columbia (CDX)
JoshThompson-beer150—Thumpa, thumpa, thumpa, thumpa. This rocking working man’s lament is a nice piece of writing, but his tenor vocal veers over toward Tim McGraw’s territory a little. In sum, I’d say he’s promising. Send more.

TREY HENSLEY/It Is What It Is
Writer: Steve Wariner/Lane Turner/Rick Carnes; Producer: Paul Martin & Steven Robinson; Publisher: Steve Wariner/Major Bob/Songs of Peer, BMI/ASCAP; Kid in the Hat (track) (www.treyhensley.com)
—I have praised this teenage prodigy’s talents before. The title tune to his latest collection has a delightful Buck Owens vibe. Co-writer Wariner provides the stinging guitar licks. Essential listening.

KELLIE PICKLER/Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You
Writer: Troy Verges/Chris Lindsey/Aimee Mayo; Producer: Chris Lindsey; Publisher: Songs of Universal/Songs From the Engine Room/Universal Careers/Silverkiss/MGB Songs/Magic Farming, BMI/ASCAP; BNA (track)
—I am a fan of all things Pickler. Thus, it pains me to hear her releasing such a generic Music Row ballad instead of a smash.

EMMA JACOB/Julianna
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Black River
—This is her second home-run single in a row. She sings with such fire and passion. Here’s some even better news: The song’s lyric of a gal going wrong is brilliantly crafted. The heart-pumping production supports her performance at every turn. Somebody make this woman a star.

LEE BRICE/Love Like Crazy
Writer: Doug Johnson/Tim James; Producer: Doug Johnson; Publisher: Mike Curb/Sweet Radical/Warner-Tamerlane/T-Bird’s Music, BMI; Curb
—Nicely done. Lee’s vocal delivers the everyday-folks lyric with pitch-perfect dramatic sense. He goes from conversational intimacy in the verses to shout-to-the-heavens power in the choruses.

MARK WAYNE GLASMIRE/Everything Is Gonna Be Alright
Writer: Mark Wayne Glasmire; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Traceway, ASCAP; Spinville (www.markwayneglasmire.com)
—The factory closes. Daddy loses his job. The bank forecloses on their home. The family becomes homeless. But they survive with faith, love and hope intact. The hang-on-every-line story song is surrounded by an acoustic-based production that keeps the emphasis on the lyric. An admirable effort all around.

MICA ROBERTS/Days You Live For
Writer: Mica Roberts/Regie Hamm/Lee Thomas Miller; Producer: Regie Hamm; Publisher: Hears a Hit/BBGB/Writers of Sea Gayle/Emmas Garden, SESAC/BMI; Show Dog Nashville
—Hit songwriter Hamm (David Cook’s pop giant “The Time of My Life”) turns out to be a nifty record producer, too. The pumping energy in this track is terrific. Mica attacks the lyric with gusto.

BRADY SEALS/Ho Down
Writer: Brady Seals/Kizzy Plush; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; StarCity (track) (www.bradyseals.com)
—Are we allowed to say “ho” on country radio? The floozy passes out in front of the bandstand, hence “Ho Down.” This well-produced stomper advises the dancers not to tramp on the tramp.

THE COAL MEN/Farther Find Me Now
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Funzalo (track) (www.thecoalmen.com)
—The group’s new Kids With Songs CD includes this beautifully atmospheric audio masterpiece. This doomed session of hide-and-seek has already achieved a measure of notoriety by being featured last month in the Discovery Channel show The Deadliest Catch. I remain a massive fan of Dave Coleman and his power-Americana trio. I can’t wait for the rest of you to hear this.

MARTY RAYBON & FULL CIRCLE/Leavin’ On The Next Thing Smokin’
Writer: Joe Diffie/Danny Morrison/Johnny Slate; Producer: Marty Raybon; Publisher: Forrest Hills/Sony-ATV Acuff Rose, BMI; Synchoro (track) (www.martyraybon.com)
—Marty’s new This, That & the Other CD kicks off with this banjo-and-percussion driven romp. Try adding a little bit of bluegrass flavor to your playlist. Elsewhere on the CD are tastes of Cajun, honky-tonk, gospel and comedy from such stellar writers as Bobby Braddock, Mark Collie, Dickey Lee, the Hemphills, Red Lane and Ben Speers.

McGraw Debut Tops Country Chart

Tim

Ghosts and goblins will no doubt be out in force this weekend, but hopefully they’ll also drive consumers into their favorite stores to add Halloween music to their trick or treat treasure bags. Country sales gained momentum for the week ended 10/25/09 with debuts from Tim McGraw and Lyle Lovett who perhaps helped several other Top 10 titles to show some gains as well. According to Nielsen SoundScan a division of The Nielsen Company, McGraw topped country sales with over 136k units (12% digital), enough scans to also earn the Curb superstar a No. 2 position on the Top Current Albums all genre list. (McGraw’s last studio release generated first week sales of 325k in April 2007.) Other Current Country debuts included the irrepressible Lyle Lovett at No. 8 with almost 16k units (45% digital) and duo Bomshel which turned about 6,000 units (18% digital), enough to score No. 24.

2009 Country sales continue to keep pace with 2008, however the remaining nine weeks will pose challenges, for sure. Last year during Nov. we saw debuts from Toby Keith (91k), Rascal Flatts (89k), Brad Paisley (53k), Zac Brown Band (43k) and Trace Adkins (37k). Plus a sophmore debut from Taylor Swift that debuted with 592k units and passed the million unit mark as Nov. ended. That’s some stiff competition for this year’s Nov. debuts which will include an updated Fearless package from Swift and new releases from Carrie Underwood and Josh Turner.

The current year’s top selling country albums include Swift (1.9 million), Hannah Montana (1.6 million), Rascal Flatts (1 million) and Zac Brown Band (918k). Rascal Flatts’ Unstoppable holds the 2009 record for the largest first week country sales with 351k units sold. Of that 351k, 58k were digital—another record!

The big picture continues to show overall all-genre album sales down about 14% and country music sales YTD down a trim 1.5%. Unfortunately, based upon the release discussion above, it seems reasonable to expect the country stat will fall a bit deeper into negative territory by year end.

Gone Pink: Artists, Radio Fight For A Cure

Troy Gentry

Troy Gentry

Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry has been sporting pink Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers all over town lately in honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He wore them on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and in the studio where he and Eddie Montgomery are finishing up their latest album. Gentry explained, “I have three very special women in my life, my wife Angie and daughters Taylor and Kaylee, and even if it’s a small gesture, I wanted to do my part in helping spread awareness about breast cancer to hopefully keep them and all women safe from this disease. ”

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The Grenax Broadcasting staff in Flagstaff, Arizona, which includes MusicRow Country Breakout Chart Reporter KSED, dressed in pink to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation earlier this month. Money was collected in the office and around the market to be donated to breast cancer education services across Northern Arizona. Hundreds of listeners also joined in by wearing pink and spreading awareness. Operations Director Dan Baisden said, “Susan G. Komen Foundation serves thousands of women across the state every day and anything we can do to help promote their education initiatives and research is very important.”

Grenax Broadcasting staff dress in pink.

The Grenax Broadcasting staff dress in pink.

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lantana

Lantana at the State Fair of Texas (L-R): Lisa Underwood, Biz Haddock, Dalene Richelle. Photo: Mark Davis

Country trio Lantana was scheduled to perform before an estimated crowd of 100,000 at the Cowboys Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 25 as the football giants kicked off their first Breast Cancer Awareness month event. The Dallas Cowboys’  “GameDay Productions” Team booked the band after seeing their recent performance before a crowd of 92,000 at the State Fair of Texas during the University of Texas vs Oklahoma University game. Lantana has spent the past year working on songs for a new CD, perfecting their new stage show and building a solid fan base in their home state of Texas.

Big Kenny Solo Debut Coming Nov. 10

  Big Kenny met U2's Bono at a concert stop in Norman, Oklahoma, on October 18.  The two were introduced by a mutual friend due to their similar philanthropic passions.

Big Kenny met U2's Bono at a concert stop in Norman, Oklahoma on Oct. 18.

Big Kenny is prepping for the Nov. 10 release of his first solo album, The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy. He visited the Today show on Monday and was set for Fox And Friends today (10/28) and Imus In The Morning tomorrow (10/29).

The lead single, “Long After I’m Gone,” can be downloaded for free at his Web site. Those who download it will be entered to win his personal iPhone and an 8GB custom flash drive. Winners will be announced during street week.

album

Fans who pre-order the Glotown/Love Everybody/Bigger Picture release will receive an instant download of the track “One More Time,” the “Long After I’m Gone” video, and more.

The project has ten songs written or co-written by Kenny and will be packaged in bio-degradable materials embedded with wildflower seeds suitable for planting. The album’s physical packaging is made of 100% compostable materials.

WB Artists Secure NASCAR Connection

wbWarner Music Nashville has entered a marketing partnership with the NASCAR Sprint Cup racing team, BAM Racing. Through the agreement, WMN artists will be promoted at NASCAR events, through artist tie-ins, sponsorships and promotional appearances covering racetrack video screens and event stages. Warner artists including Blake Shelton, Whitney Duncan, James Otto and Michelle Branch will also receive special positioning of their images and branding on BAM’s No. 49 racecar, show cars, transporter and pit equipment.

The first BAM promotional event with WMN artists is scheduled to take place on Feb. 6, 2010 at the Daytona International Speedway.

In other news from the Warner Bros. camp, the Nashville staff has new e-mail addresses. They can be reached at [email protected]