ACM Noms Close Today; Stealing Angels Visit

(L-R): Tayla Lynn, Caroline Cutbirth, ACM Exec. Dir. Bob Romeo, and Jennifer Wayne

The Academy of Country Music welcomed Caroline Cutbirth, Jennifer Wayne, and Tayla Lynn –collectively known as Stealing Angels to the office for a visit when they were in Los Angeles recently. While at the Academy, Stealing Angels signed up for ACM professional membership and performed a few songs for the staff including their new single “Paper Heart.” Stealing Angels’ debut album on Skyville Records will be released in early 2011. Their debut album is being produced by ACM Award winner Paul Worley.


The nominating round of voting for the 46th Annual ACM Awards closes at 5:00 p.m. Central today (12/15). ACM members should check their e-mail for voting log-in instructions.

2010 Rewind Issue—On The Cover: Brad Paisley

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Brad Paisley

Label: Arista Nashville
Current Album: The double-disc Hits Alive, released November 2, including 25 tracks, blending studio
hits and live recordings from Brad’s H2O World Tour.
Current Single: “This Is Country Music,” the first single from Brad’s new studio album, releasing spring of 2011.
Current Video: “This Is Country Music”
Current Producer: Frank Rogers
Hometown: Glen Dale, WV
Birthdate: October 28
Management: Fitzgerald Hartley
Booking: William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
Recent Hits: Brad’s 18 No. 1 hits include the last 14 in a row, most recently “Anything Like Me,” “Water,” and “American Saturday Night.”
Awards: The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and American Music Awards winner as Favorite Male Artist: Country Music, Paisley is a three-time GRAMMY honoree with 13 ACM and 14 CMA awards to his credit.
RIAA Certs to date: Career sales of more than 12 million albums, including Double-Platinum certifications for his Time Well Wasted and Mud on the Tires collections.
Touring: Paisley’s H2O World Tour began in late May of 2010, playing to more than 750,000 fans in less than five months. The final leg of the tour kicks off in late January 2011 as the H2O Frozen Over Tour.
Interesting Facts: In May of 2011, Brad is set to publish his first major book, The Diary of a Player, a salute to the guitar heroes who have shaped his life. Co-written with David Wild, the book will release through Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Brad Paisley’s latest release, the double-disc Hits Alive, sports 25 total tracks, some presented both in live and studio versions. The collection includes 16 of Paisley’s 18 No. 1 songs and four that hit the Top 5, plus the instrumental “Time Warp” and Paisley’s “Anything Like Me.” Disc one includes 13 studio hits plus a new take on Paisley’s “Online”—blending studio and live renditions—while disc two includes previously unreleased live versions of ten favorites, plus the closing “Online (Reprise).”

Paisley’s singles have provided a soundtrack to many of life’s big and small, profound and less-than-profound moments. He has made fans cry, think, and, perhaps most importantly in a world in dire need of perspective and humor, laugh. He has been topical with songs like “Online” and “Celebrity,” and poignant with “Letter to Me” and “When I Get Where I’m Going.” He has been rowdy with “Mud on the Tires” and “Alcohol,” and tender with “Little Moments” and “We Danced.” Paisley’s songs have resulted in career sales over 12 million albums plus numerous awards.

Cover Photo and Inset: Jeremy Cowart

Nick Hunter Passes

Longtime label executive Nick Hunter passed away early this morning (12/15). He was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and friends report he fought the disease with grace.

Hunter’s career in radio promotion and sales included time among the top leadership at Warner Bros. Records, Giant Records, and as General Manager of Koch Records.

On Sunday (12/12), Hunter enjoyed a jovial visit with friends and industry colleagues Al Cooley, Neal Spielberg and Jack Purcell.

Friends say Hunter’s devotion to baseball was second only to his commitment to his family. He was a passionate music lover who was said to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Nashville music business.

He is survived by wife Margie, daughter Kate and son Sam.

Services are pending.

DISClaimer Single Reviews (12/15/10)

The ladies rule the day.

There were only two of them in this listening session, but they bested the fellows to take our top two awards. Meaghan Blanchard hails from Canada. This talented singer-songwriter with a songbird’s voice wins the DisCovery Award.

Probably to no one’s surprise, Miranda Lambert has the Disc of the Day. But she was not without serious competition. The Randy Rogers Band, Trace Atkins, David Ball and Steve Holy also have excellent new sounds.

DAVID BALL/Hot Water Pipe
Writer: David Ball; Producer: David Ball & Dan Frizell; Publisher: Cedar Popping, BMI; Red Dirt (CDX) (615-347-9686)
—As country as grits. He sings with plenty of twang, and the chicken-pickin’ guitar work is splendid. And since this little toe tapper is about a cold, cold night, it couldn’t be more timely.

Writer: Gordon Kennedy/Ben Cooper; Producer: Ricky Skaggs & Gordon Kennedy; Publisher: GlennJoy/Alrighty Den, ASCAP/BMI; Skaggs Family (CDX) (
—Set to a steady, marching beat, this somber slowie is an end-of-life meditation. What a drag.

LARRY CHANCE/God Gave Me The Talent
Writer: Fred Imus/P. DiFranco; Producer: Dennis Money; Publisher: Imus, BMI; Laser (CDX) (
—There are two Larry Chance tracks on the current CDX. The first is a countrified remake of Jerry Butler’s classic “For Your Precious Love.” The second is this weepy lament. On both of them, you could drive a truck through his vibrato.

STEVE H0LY/Love Don’t Run
Writer: Joe Leathers/Ben Glover/Rachel Thibodeau; Producer: Lee Miller; Publisher: Mike Curb/Ghermkyle/9T One/Ariose/Little Champion/Dream Rock, BMI/ASCAP; Curb
—Beautifully produced. His plaintive, heartfelt tenor is initially supported by simple keyboard work. As the song builds, so does the instrumentation. The well-written power ballad is about keeping romance alive amid adversity and should resonate well with listeners.

Writer: John Connolly; Producer: John Connolly & Donivan Cowart; Publisher: none listed, SOCAN; Sandbar (track) (
—The title tune to this Canadian’s six-song EP is a gentle, jaunty acoustic tune. His voice is breathy and soft, so the fiddle-and-guitar track is just the right sound. He wrote all six songs and definitely shows promise in that department.

Writer: Miranda Lambert/Travis Howard/Ashley Monroe; Producer: Frank Liddell & Mike Wrucke; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Pink Dog/Watsky/Reynsong, BMI/ASCAP; Columbia (track)
—The fourth single from Revolution is a cool, crunchy number with loads of tension and pent-up power. As usual, she sings like a fallen angel. The lyric paints her as a sinner with a heart of gold whom she thinks Jesus would understand. Performances like this are why this is the CMA Album of the Year.

GUY PENROD/Pray About Everything
Writer: Bob Regan/Jeff Stevens; Producer: Brent Rowan; Publisher: Green Hills/Big Loud Bucks/Travelers Ridge/House of Full Circle, ASCAP/BMI; Servant/Gaither (
—This Gaither Vocal Band mainstay has been testing the country waters for a few months now. This steel-embellished, uptempo outing is his strongest effort to date. The title phrase is his mom’s advice about life.

TRACE ADKINS/Brown Chicken Brown Cow
Writer: Kenny Beard/Rivers Rutherford/Casey Beathard; Producer: Michael Knox; Publisher: Melrose South/Universal/Macirhyoo/Sony-ATV Acuff-Rose/Six Ring Circus, ASCAP/BMI; Show Dog/Universal
—The farming couple takes a time out from laboring to strip and make love in the barn. It’s okay. The only ones watching are the title animals. This rocks in all the right ways.

MEAGHAN BLANCHARD/Chasin’ Lonely Again
Writer: Meaghan Blanchard; Producer: Meaghan Blanchard & Remi Arsenault; Publisher: none listed, SOCAN; Sandbar (track) (
—The title tune to this singer-songwriter’s collection is a lilting swing thing. Her floating soprano is backed by some very nifty, old-school, Les Paul style guitar picking. This is a delightful listening experience.

Writer: Jeff Middleton/Mark Mulch/Nick Mulch; Producer: Paul Worley; Publisher: Music of Stage Three/Stage Three/Mulch, BMI; MCA Nashville (CDX)
—I still dig his little vocal rasp. On this throbbing ballad of hot, yearning lust, the band creates a swirl of sexy, trembling sound while the singer falls into a fevered dream. Sheer sonic excellence.

Country Stars To Appear In HBO Mini-Series

Kix Brooks will play Winfield Scott Hancock

Several country stars have been recruited for roles in the upcoming HBO Civil War mini-series To Appomattox. Dwight Yoakam, Laura Bell Bundy, Kix Brooks and members of Rascal Flatts are expected to appear in the eight-hour event. They will play real Americans who were involved in the Civil War.

Rascal Flatts are also on board to produce the soundtrack, which will include original material as well as new versions of songs from the Civil War era. Joining them on the soundtrack will be Brooks, Bundy, Yoakam, and Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik.

IEBA Convention Sets Dates, New Venue

The International Entertainment Buyers Association will move its annual conference to the newly renovated Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel in 2011. The event will be held October 2-4, 2011.

IEBA Executive Director Tiffany Davis says the organization had outgrown its former location, thanks to an increasing number of registrants, showcases, and growing production needs. The Sheraton will offer larger meeting spaces, more hotel rooms and multiple performance area options. Information on conference room rates will be sent to members in early 2011.

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the IEBA conference which attracts booking agents, talent buyers, and many other members of the music business.

Photos: Dallas Frazier; Crazy 8’s

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum recently (12/11) honored Dallas Frazier in its quarterly Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters series. Frazier discussed his life, career and extensive repertoire, which includes “There Goes My Everything,” “Elvira,” “Beneath Still Waters” and “What’s Your Mama’s Name.”

(L-R): Museum Editor Michael Gray, Dan Penn, John D. Loudermilk, Dallas Frazier, Connie Smith, Whitey Shafer and Red Lane.


Local songplugging group the Crazy 8’s invited MusicRow Publisher David Ross to its recent lunch meeting for a discussion of music industry issues.

L-R: Jason Krupek, Juli Griffith, chef Arnold Myint, Liz Morin, David Ross, and Drew Alexander

Artists and Comedians Support Armed Forces

Kix Brooks is on a USO Tour through the Middle East, which will continue through this weekend. Joining him on the run is hit songwriter Bob DiPiero, and stars Lance Armstrong, Lewis Black, Kathleen Madigan and Robin Williams. “We just did our first show, and it went great!” reports Brooks. “This group of folks I’m traveling with are amazing!”

Lining up their own holiday USO Tour are Emily West, Keni Thomas, Buddy Jewell and Alana Grace. The 11-day outing will commence this week, and also includes author/comedian Chondra Pierce, The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and host of NBC’s Poker After Dark Leeann Tweeden.

•  •  •  •

Comedian Ron White will also pay tribute to men and women in uniform when his 4th Annual Celebrity Salute To Troops airs on CMT. The show tapes at the Grand Ole Opry House on February 15, and all proceeds of ticket sales goes to the Armed Forces Foundation. Rascal Flatts has signed on to perform, and more performers are expected to be announced soon. Tickets are $46.75 and available at the Opry House Box Office or Ticketmaster outlets.

The Band Perry Earns Platinum Single

Republic Nashville's The Band Perry recently made a visit to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada’s first full-time country station – CFCW-AM. Pictured (L-R): Reid and Neil Perry, CFCW-AM’s Larry Donahue and Stella Stevens, and Kimberly Perry.

The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” has been certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales exceeding 1 million units. The self-penned song from the trio scored a Grammy nomination and is their first No. 1 single.

“This song is about hope and contentment,” says lead vocalist Kimberly Perry. “Fans seem to have taken this song to heart as a positive reminder to appreciate each day you’re given. Every night we sing this song, it’s a reminder to us as well – we couldn’t be more grateful for this response.”

The Band Perry will perform “If I Die Young” on ABC’s The View tomorrow (12/15).

Praise For Hank Williams Box Set

The Hank Williams box set is showing up on numerous best of 2010 lists, earning raves from the Washington Post and’s Chet Flippo. The meticulously compiled project won a Pulitzer Prize in May, and is nominated for a 2011 Grammy for Best Historical Album.

Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings…..Plus! is culled from his 1951 Mother’s Best radio show on Nashville’s WSM. The recordings, which were nearly thrown away in the 1970s, include his versions of chestnuts like “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Cool Water,” and “On Top of Old Smoky,” as well as his own classics, such as “Cold, Cold Heart” recorded just days after it was written. Joining Williams on the live show were his wife, Audrey, and his Drifting Cowboys band. The set reveals a seldom seen side of Williams’ personality, with him talking openly between songs about his life and career.

There’s also a bonus DVD featuring a conversation between Hank’s daughter Jett Williams and the two surviving members of his Mother’s Best group. The set comes with a 108-page book that includes a Foreword by Hank Williams, Jr., an Afterword by Jett Williams, a 25,000 word essay by Colin Escott, and many previously unpublished photographs from the collection of Marty Stuart.

Joe Palmaccio, who won a Grammy for his work on The Complete Hank Williams, handled audio restoration for the Mother’s Best set.