Artist News: Swift Sets Nashville Dates

The latest from Taylor Swift, Joanna Smith, Sarah Darling, Montgomery Gentry ,CMA Songwriters Series, Frankie Ballard, Chuck Wicks, the JaneDear girls, Kenny Chesney and more.

Joanna Smith

>>Taylor Swift’s Speak Now tour will make a two-night stop at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Sept. 16 and 17. Tickets for the Nashville show go on sale Feb. 4. The worldwide run launches Feb. 9 in Singapore and has dates scheduled through the end of October.

>>Columbia Nashville newcomer Joanna Smith was named one of Billboard’s “Artist To Watch in 2011.” MusicRow has also chosen her perform at its annual invitation-only CRS Meet & Greet on March 1. Smith recently joined labelmate Josh Thompson on the Cold Beers and Reindeers Tour. The Georgia singer/songwriter also recently spent time visiting patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to kick off the annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids radiothon season.

>>Sarah Darling debuts Angels & Devils, Feb 15. Darling’s second Black River Entertainment release, produced by Jimmy Nichols (with help from Adam Shoenfeld) features the artist’s byline on nine of the album’s 11 songs. The first single (2/20) will be “Something To Do With Your Hands.” Vince Gill sings with Darling on the track “Bad Habit.”

>>Montgomery Gentry will headline the Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon post-race concert on April 30.

>>The CMA Songwriters Series is returning to Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 15 (8:00 PM/PT) at Club Nokia. Performing will be Gretchen Wilson, Chris Young, Brett James, Victoria Shaw and the evening’s host, Bob DiPiero. Tickets and details at www.ClubNokia.com.

>>Frankie Ballard visited the MusicRow offices recently to share music from his upcoming Warner Nashville release, including debut single “Tell Me You Get Lonely.” Since the rising star hails from Battle Creek, Michigan—the world headquarters of Kelloggs cereal—he brought along a piece of his hometown to share with staffers.

Frankie Ballard with MR staff. (L-R): David Ross, Sherod Robertson, Christie King, Ballard, Jon Freeman, Sarah Skates, and Michelle Stephens

>>Chuck Wicks and RCA have split. The CO5/Nashville promotion team is working his single “Old School.”

>>the JaneDear girls will make their late night television debut on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Jan. 31, performing hit single “Wildflower.”

>>Kenny Chesney’s Goin’ Coastal Tour sold out Boston’s Gillette Stadium in 8 minutes, so he has added a second date on August 28. Tickets go on sale Saturday, February 5 for the show that will close the summer run.

>>The CMA is working with DRIVE4COPD to launch the Tune Up For COPD Songwriting Competition, featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless. For rules and information, visit DRIVE4COPD.COM.

>>Jim Lauderdale, volunteer chairperson of MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, will participate in a live chat on Facebook on Tuesday, February 1, at 7:00 pm EST, at the official contest page.

>>Sandra Piller celebrated the release of her third album, Days Like These, with a performance at The Mint in Hollywood.

>>Evergreen Records’ DJ Miller is kicking off the new year with a new single, “Whatever It Takes,” from his forthcoming 2011 debut album.

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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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