Industry Ink: Black River Celebrates

>>Black River Entertainment hosted an event in Nashville to celebrate the release of new projects including Sarah Darling’s Angels & Devils, Due West’s Forget The Miles, and Jeff Bates’ One Day Closer CD & DVD. Label owners Kim and Terry Pegula were on hand, and newly-named COO Gordon Kerr emceed the evening.

This is Darling’s second album for Black River Entertainment. Of the eleven songs in the new collection, she co-wrote nine, including first single, “Something To Do With Your Hands.” Vince Gill sings with her on “Bad Habit.” Jimmy Nichols produced Angels & Devils with an assist on two of the cuts from Darling’s frequent co-writer Adam Shoenfeld. Also on the project are her covers of U2’s “With Or Without You,” and Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.”

(L-R): Terry Pegula, Bates, Darling, Brad Hull of Due West, Matt Lopez of Due West, Kim Pegula, Tim Gates of Due West, and Kerr. Photo: Alan Mayor

>>The Financial Times reports that Warner Music is seeking preliminary bids this week for its music publishing company or for the entire group.

>>BMG has appointed Steven Moran global Chief Operating Officer. He will be based in the company’s headquarters in Berlin, and joins BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. Moran spent more than ten years at Bertelsmann, BMG’s joint venture parent with KKR, as well as time on the European start-up team for iTunes.

>>Hip-hop executive Steve Stoute purchased a full-page ad in the New York Times in order to print a scathing open letter to NARAS. Here’s his point: “Where I think that the Grammys fail stems from two key sources: (1) over-zealousness to produce a popular show that is at odds with its own system of voting and (2) fundamental disrespect of cultural shifts as being viable and artistic.” Read on.

>>TechCrunch reports that popular European streaming music service Spotify could receive $100 million or more in funding. The company is nearing its U.S. launch.

>>Americana singer-songwriter Jalan Crossland has signed with Ted Wagner for artist management representation. Crossland is a flat-picking champion whose primary instrument is the guitar, but also plays the banjo. Wagner’s 25-year career includes time at RCA Records, Equity Music Group, Montage Music Group, Nine North Records and Columbia Nashville, where he was VP of Promotion. Ted Wagner Entertainment Services is located at 3730 Vulcan Dr., Nashville TN 37211. Wagner can be reached at 615-613-3292 or [email protected]

(L-R): Ted Wagner, Jalan Crossland, Andy Phreaner (drums), Shaun Kelley (bass)

Jeff Johnson has joined the GammaBlast team.

>>Video production and editing house Gamma Blast has added director/DP/editor Jeff Johnson. His experience includes directing projects for artists such as Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Josh Groban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Lindsay Buckingham. As a Director of Photography and Editor, he’s shot and cut projects for everyone from Carrie Underwood to Timbaland and numerous major news and music networks. Johnson joins Gamma Blast owner Chad Denning as the company’s directing talent. To solicit Johnson or Denning for music videos or webisodes, please contact Executive Producer Matt Nahay at 615-321-9552.

>>Local music journalist Jewly Hight will celebrate the release of her first book Right By Her Roots: Americana Women and Their Songs (Baylor University Press) at Music City Roots, Live from the Loveless Cafe on Wed., March 2, 2011. The book delves into the music of Lucinda Williams, Julie Miller, Victoria Williams, Michelle Shocked, Mary Gauthier, Ruthie Foster, Elizabeth Cook and Abigail Washburn.

>>On Feb. 25 Mac McAnally will be recognized with a marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail in Belmont, Miss. The producer, guitarist, artist and songwriter is also in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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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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