Country’s Newest Acts Debut Music

EMI Records Nashville’s flagship artist Troy Olsen released his self-titled EP today (5/11). Among the four tracks is his debut single, “Summer Thing,” for which the singer recently taped the music video in his home state Arizona. Olsen has been visiting radio stations across the country promoting the song, co-written with Ben Hayslip and Jimmy Yeary. Olsen hits the road Thurs., May 14 in Tampa, FL as part of the multi-stage Country Throwdown tour.

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Jennette McCurdy, known to fans of the Nickelodeon show iCarly,  is trying on her cowgirl boots with debut country single “Not That Far Away.” The 17-year-old Californian penned the song with Rachel Proctor and Blair Daly. McCurdy’s fans helped pick it as the first single via a poll on AOL’s The Boot. McCurdy’s album follows this fall on Capitol Records Nashville and was produced by Paul Worley. She’ll spend the summer on a radio tour and filming another season of iCarly.

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Katie Armiger’s new song “Leaving Home” is generating a big response from high school seniors as graduation draws near. The song was written by Armiger with Sarah Buxton and Blair Daly. An enhanced version of the “Leaving Home” CD was serviced to high schools, including a message from Katie, the music video, and footage of the singer’s journey over the last year. She is working on her third album for Cold River Records and has teamed with the “Hear The Music Live” organization to give youth in foster homes and orphanages a chance to attend a live concert.

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Susan Hickman with KITX/Paris, TX's Shane Oats and Chad Lindsey

Country newcomer Susan Hickman has wrapped up the second leg of a radio promotion tour for her current single, “Hell Still Ain’t Frozen Over.” The petite blonde from Texas visited a total of 24 stations and traveled over 1400 miles during the combined outings, visiting numerous stations which report to MusicRow’s Country Breakout chart.

Blackberry Smoke

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BamaJam Records’ southern rock band Blackberry Smoke is prepping the June release of single “Good One Comin’ On.” The group made an accompanying music video combining footage from the stage  with scenes from life on the road. A new version of their album Little Piece of Dixie will be released this month, containing the bonus track “Yesterday’s Wine.” The song, a cover of the Willie Nelson tune, features guests George Jones and Jamey Johnson. Blackberry Smoke is on their Jim Beam-sponsored tour throughout the summer, including a May 13 stop at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge.

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Chelsea Field’s debut single, “Things I Should’ve Said” is garnering praise from radio and reviewers. The song was produced by Trey Bruce, and the video was directed by Jeff Johnson. Two dance remixes of the track are being shipped to DJs and dance clubs across the country. Field, whose Nashville home suffered significant damage in the recent floods, is on a 12-week radio tour in support of the new single. Her full-length album is due out on Nashville-based independent Moxy Records this summer.

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Stoney Creek Records’ husband-wife duo Thompson Square has released its debut single, “Let’s Fight,” and is on radio tour promoting it. The up-tempo song was co-written by Thompson Square’s Keifer Thompson.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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