Photo Spread: James Burton, Pete Huttlinger, Pickin' On The Patio

Museum honors Burton with Nashville Cats Program
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum recently (7/23) honored James Burton in its quarterly Nashville Cats: A Celebration of Music City Musicians series. Throughout the program, which included rare recordings and videos, Burton discussed his experiences playing on the Louisiana Hayride, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Shindig. In addition to playing on thousands of recordings including “Susie-Q” (Dale Hawkins), “Mama Tried” (Merle Haggard), “Two More Bottles of Wine” (Emmylou Harris) and “Hello Mary Lou” (Ricky Nelson), Burton toured with John Denver, Harris, Nelson and Elvis Presley. He is also a pioneer of the “Bakersfield Sound” and helped popularize the “chicken picking” style of guitar playing.

Pictured (L-R): Johnny Rivers, Paul Leim, Ed King, James Burton, Norbert Putnam, Kenny Lovelace, David Briggs, Wayne Moss, Dan Penn, Chip Young and program host Bill Lloyd. Photo: Donn Jones


Pete Huttlinger Returns To Nashville For All-Star Benefit
Pop icon John Oates welcomed guitarist Pete Huttlinger back to the stage after months of hospitalization at a benefit in his honor last week at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge. Among the evening’s highlights were performances by Vince Gill, Baillie & The Boys, Alyssa Bonagura, Jeff Hanna, Mark Selby, Bill Lloyd, John Jorgenson, and Huttlinger’s step-daughter Sean Della Croce, whose mom is publicist Erin Morris Huttlinger.
Noted guitarist Huttlinger suffers from a congenital heart defect that has required the implantation of a heart pump while he awaits a heart transplant. Immediately following the Nashville benefit, Huttlinger returned to Texas Heart Institute in Houston where he is being treated until he can receive the new heart in Nashville. To make an online donation go to www.petehuttlinger.com.

Pete Huttlinger (L) and John Oates (R) perform a John Denver song at the recent benefit. Photo: Steve Lowry


WMG Pickin’ On The Patio
Warner Music Nashville hosted its signature Pickin’ On The Patio event last Thursday night, featuring Elektra Records’ country newcomer Dean Alexander and Fervent Records’ soulful new songstress Dara Maclean. The next Pickin’ On The Patio will be Aug. 25.

Pictured (L-R): Word Entertainment President and CEO Rod Riley, Dara Maclean, Dean Alexander and Warner Music Nashville President and CEO John Esposito

Photo Spread: James Burton, Pete Huttlinger, Pickin’ On The Patio

Museum honors Burton with Nashville Cats Program
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum recently (7/23) honored James Burton in its quarterly Nashville Cats: A Celebration of Music City Musicians series. Throughout the program, which included rare recordings and videos, Burton discussed his experiences playing on the Louisiana Hayride, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Shindig. In addition to playing on thousands of recordings including “Susie-Q” (Dale Hawkins), “Mama Tried” (Merle Haggard), “Two More Bottles of Wine” (Emmylou Harris) and “Hello Mary Lou” (Ricky Nelson), Burton toured with John Denver, Harris, Nelson and Elvis Presley. He is also a pioneer of the “Bakersfield Sound” and helped popularize the “chicken picking” style of guitar playing.

Pictured (L-R): Johnny Rivers, Paul Leim, Ed King, James Burton, Norbert Putnam, Kenny Lovelace, David Briggs, Wayne Moss, Dan Penn, Chip Young and program host Bill Lloyd. Photo: Donn Jones

Pete Huttlinger Returns To Nashville For All-Star Benefit

Pop icon John Oates welcomed guitarist Pete Huttlinger back to the stage after months of hospitalization at a benefit in his honor last week at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge. Among the evening’s highlights were performances by Vince Gill, Baillie & The Boys, Alyssa Bonagura, Jeff Hanna, Mark Selby, Bill Lloyd, John Jorgenson, and Huttlinger’s step-daughter Sean Della Croce, whose mom is publicist Erin Morris Huttlinger.

Noted guitarist Huttlinger suffers from a congenital heart defect that has required the implantation of a heart pump while he awaits a heart transplant. Immediately following the Nashville benefit, Huttlinger returned to Texas Heart Institute in Houston where he is being treated until he can receive the new heart in Nashville. To make an online donation go to www.petehuttlinger.com.

Pete Huttlinger (L) and John Oates (R) perform a John Denver song at the recent benefit. Photo: Steve Lowry

WMG Pickin’ On The Patio
Warner Music Nashville hosted its signature Pickin’ On The Patio event last Thursday night, featuring Elektra Records’ country newcomer Dean Alexander and Fervent Records’ soulful new songstress Dara Maclean. The next Pickin’ On The Patio will be Aug. 25.

Pictured (L-R): Word Entertainment President and CEO Rod Riley, Dara Maclean, Dean Alexander and Warner Music Nashville President and CEO John Esposito

DISClaimer Single Reviews (8/3/11)

It’s nice to know that country hasn’t forgotten its sense of humor.
Reckless Kelly’s “Good Luck & True Love” made me smile because of its cleverness. Sam Roark found me grinning from ear to ear with her merry “Check Out Girl.” Buddy Jewell had me openly chuckling from his performance of “Jesus, Elvis & Me.” And, trust me, you have GOT to listen to “No Beer Here” by Amy Ames. It is a complete hoot.
There was no contest for the DisCovery Award. Our winner is clearly Casey James. He might come from American Idol, but this Texan is more than a karaoke singer. He can actually play the guitar.
Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones of the duo Steel Magnolia recently became engaged to be married. Let me be the first with a congratulations gift, a Disc of the Day prize.
BILL GENTRY/This Letter
Writer: Arlos Smith/Rick Giles/Walker Hayes; Producer: Chad Carlson; Publisher: Jeff, Jack and the Mule/Plaid Cactus/1808/Purple Cape/Breaking New Ground/On a Walk/Sony-ATV Tree, SESAC/BMI; Tenacity (www.billgentrynatioin.com)
—The track is gorgeous, full of echoey bass, sighing steel, deftly twanged guitar and swooping fiddle. The producer seems to have fallen in love with it, too, for it sometimes threatens to overwhelm the clearly enunciated tenor vocal. The song’s too-predictable lyric is a case of romantic mistaken identity. The track fades with the same lovely instrumental work that introduces it. Worth some spins.
STEEL MAGNOLIA/Bulletproof
Writer: Lori McKenna/Chris Tompkins; Producer: Dann Huff; Publisher: Melanie Howard/Big Loud Songs, ASCAP; Big Machine (track)
—These newly engaged kids sing their faces off on this snarky rocker about surviving a bitter breakup. Meghan, in particular, is white-hot vocally here. Splendidly listenable.
MICHAEL MANDELLA/Simple Things
Writer: Eddie Cunningham/Jeffrey Steele; Producer: Michael Mandella; Publisher: none listed; MMM (track) (www.michaelmandellamusic.com)
—This slab of California beefcake (he’s posing shirtless on the CD cover) has titled his album American Outlaw. But its debut single is an attempt at down-the-center country balladry. I say, “attempt” because all the echo chamber in the world can’t hide those vocal pitch disasters. We’re talking painful, people.
CASEY JAMES/Let’s Don’t Call It A Night
Writer: Casey James/Brice Long/Terry McBride; Producer: Chris Lindsey; Publisher: EMI Foray/Songs of Send Me the Checks/Orbison/Turn Me On/BMG Chrysalis, SESAC/BMI; 19/BNA
—Another day, another American Idol alumnus. This one finished third on the show in 2010. His single is a nicely bluesy outing with a slow-burn, come-on lyric. Promising.
RECKLESS KELLY/Good Luck & True Love
Writer: Willy Braun; Producer: David Abeyta, Cody Braun & Willie Braun; Publisher: C&P Fah-Q, BMI; No Big Deal (track) (www.recklesskelly.com)
—I’ve always liked these guys. Their latest Austin outing is the album title tune that bops along with a personable vocal drawl, jingle-jangle guitars and cool “answering” harmony voices. In addition to great music, this project has spectacular graphics. Buy it.
BUDDY JEWELL/Jesus, Elvis & Me
Writer: Chris Stapleton/Tim James; Producer: Michael Bush & Buddy Jewell; Publisher: EMI April/Harry Fox/New Sea Gayle/Play Fairchild, ASCAP; Diamond Dust (CDX)
—Highly entertaining. The neo-rockabilly track gallops along while the lyric rattles off witty Elvis and holy-roller one liners. One favorite: “She loves to hear the preachin’ at a Southern revival/She takes a custom-made, blue-suede King James Bible.” Another: “She was singing ‘Rock of Ages’ first line third verse/It was all that I could do to keep from fallin’ in love/When she followed ‘Hallelujah’ with ‘thankyouverymuch.’”
AMY AMES/No Beer Here
Writer: Amy Ames/Eddie Hedges; Producer: Eddie Hedges; Publisher: Amy Ames/Eddie Hedges, BMI; Grand Channel (CDX) (www.amyames.com)
—This toe tapper has zippy fiddling, dandy banjo plunking and hilarious backup men practically burping their lines. The whole thing is so goofy and zany that it doesn’t even matter that she can just barely sing. Must be heard to be believed.
JOANNA MOSCA & RICHIE McDONALD/Where Does Good Love Go
Writer: Tania Hancheroff/Jimmy Ritchey/Billy Lawson; Producer: Bryan White; Publisher: Universal/Z Tunes/Fox Ridge/Artone, BMI/ASCAP; Dolce Diva (CDX) (917-701-5914)
—Richie leads things off with his hearty tenor. Her pert delivery takes over for a couple of lines before he begins harmonizing expertly. The mid-tempo tune is quite nicely penned. Another plus: it’s as country as grits.
NICK VERZOSA/She Only Loves Me When I’m Leavin’
Writer: Nick Verzosa/Matt Harlan; Producer: Walt Wilkins; Publisher: Tiyaga/Ghost Moon, BMI; Indie Extreme (www.nickverzosa.com)
—Send this to remedial melody camp. Uptempo dullsville.
SAM ROARK/Check Out Girl
Writer: Ron Davies/Ron Kimbro/Michael Witty; Producer: Joe Sun; Publisher: Meeshides/Cheap Cigar/Sleepover Boy, ASCAP; KAT (www.samroark.com)
—Samantha sings the sprightly, smiling tale of the grocery check-out gal who steals the cash from the register, hits the road with a touring band and then ditches the guys by taking off in their bus. I like the little breaks in her voice, the dobro-laced production and the rollicking tempo. Delightfully different.

Early Williams Recordings To See Light Of Day

A new Hank Williams CD set will be released Sept. 13. Hank Williams: The Legend Begins is a 3-CD package coming via Time Life.
One disc, entitled “Rare And Unreleased,” contains the earliest recordings of a 15-year-old Williams, as well as four songs from a 1940 home recording. The other two CDs are from Williams’ first syndicated radio show in 1949, called “Health And Happiness.”
The music on The Legend Begins has been restored using the same much-lauded technology that was used on the Grammy nominated Williams project, The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings….Plus!

Luke Bryan Preps Album, Tour Launch

Luke Bryan covers the August issue of “Nashville Lifestyles."


Luke Bryan is blazing toward a busy fall with next week’s album release, followed by the CMT On Tour run launching in September.
The Capitol Nashville album tailgates & tanlines will street Aug. 9. His third studio set features 13 new tracks, eight of which were co-written by Bryan, including lead single “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” It is No. 7 on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout chart, and quickly approaching 1 million downloads, making it the fastest-selling and fastest-rising song of his career. The album is available for pre-order at iTunes, and is streaming in its entirety at Rhapsody.
Bryan will kick-off release week with street date appearances on LIVE! With Regis and Kelly and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He follows that with performances on the Today Show (8/10), ABC’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock (8/14), Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Live series, and visits to GAC and CMT.
Bryan is currently on the Tim McGraw Emotional Traffic Tour, and then heads out on the 10th annual CMT On Tour with special guests Lee Brice and Josh Thompson, and CMT’s Next Superstar winner Matt Mason. The run kicks off Sept. 15 in Huntington, West Virginia and play 22 shows before wrapping Nov. 19 in Monroe, Louisiana.
tailgates & tanlines is the follow-up to Bryan’s Gold-certified album Doin’ My Thing, which produced three back-to-back No. 1 singles: “Do I,” “Rain Is A Good Thing” and “Someone Else Calling You Baby.”
See the tailgates & tanlines tracklisting here.

As Exit/In Turns 40, New Venue Coming To Nashville

Nashville’s celebrated live music hall Exit/In will mark its 40th anniversary next month. The club opened in September 1971 at its current Elliston Place location and became known as the “Rock Block.”
The anniversary celebration has lined up acts from throughout the venue’s history for a series of shows kicking off the week of Sept. 6. Confirmed are performances by Guy Clark, Griffin House, Clayton Bellamy, Marshall Chapman, Barefoot Jerry, Mac Gayden, Dianne Davidson, Tracy Nelson, Alex Harvey, Will Kimbrough, Tommy Womack, Tom Kimmel, Buzz Cason, The Babushka Brothers, Lee Clayton, Jimmy Hall, Matthew Perryman Jones, James Talley, and Cadillac Blacks. Proceeds from the event will benefit MusiCares, which assists musicians and their families in need. Details at exitin.com.
As Exit/In reaches a milestone, its owner Josh Billue is part of a team planning to add a new venue to Nashville’s landscape. He joins Chris Cobb (Sell Out Presents, Live On The Green, Next Big Nashville/SoundLand) and Telisha Arguelles Cobb (Special Events Plus) in opening the multi-use space in October in Marathon Village. It looks to fill the void left by the shuttering of 328 Performance Hall and City Hall, and also maintain a commitment to eco-friendly efforts, charitable community outreach, and left of center music.
Owners aren’t disclosing the venue’s exact capacity yet, but say they are creating the space to fill the void in the market for a mid-sized venue. “Music industry professionals across the country recognize the need, in Nashville, for a mid-sized venue that offers all the modern amenities that concertgoers and performers expect in a city like Nashville. Our plan is to meet that need,” says Chris Cobb.
Lightning 100 is hosting a contest through Aug. 5 for Nashvillians to name the venue. Every submission will receive one ticket to the grand opening show. Favorite submissions will then be voted on by listeners.
For more information contact Telisha Arguelles Cobb at 615-497-1549 or [email protected].
Editor’s note: For insight into contests like this, see today’s subscriber-only article on crowdsourcing.

UpDATES: Capitol Street Party and More

Capitol Street Party
Capitol Record’s annual street party will rock Nashville on Wed., Sept. 21 when “Dungan Takes Demonbreun.” Artists are yet to be announced.
• • • •
CMA Member Awards Tix
Eligible CMA members will be able to purchase tickets to “The 45th Annual CMA Awards” beginning at 10:00 AM/CT on Wed., Aug 31 by logging onto www.ticketmaster.com; by calling (800) 745-3000; or in person at the Bridgestone Arena Box Office. A pre-sale code will be sent to eligible CMA members at a later date. This exclusive CMA member pre-sale closes Friday, Sept 16. After this date, all remaining tickets will be released to the general public.
Please send all requests for VIP or floor seating to [email protected] or by calling (615) 244-2840.
• • • •
Women Rock For The Cure will turn up the pink downtown during the 3rd Annual Pink Trash Ball, set for Sat., Aug. 20 at Aerial (411 Broadway). Tickets are $10 at ticketalternative.com.
All proceeds will benefit the organization’s fight against breast cancer, including the inaugural WRFTC Young Survivors Retreat, Sept. 23-25, at the Deer Run Retreat Center.
WRFTC also recently announced the Link The Town Pink campaign in support of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, happening Oct. 29 at Maryland Farms in Brentwood, Tenn. For every $10 the WRFTC race team raises, a pink link will be added to a physical Chain of Hope that will be on display in October at a location to be announced this fall.
WRFTC has strong music business ties. All the details on these events here.

Superstars On Set

For their latest video shoots Alan Jackson went on location in Jupiter, Florida, and Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood teamed up in the California desert.
The video for the Paisley/Underwood duet “Remind Me” was directed by award winners Robert Deaton and George Flanigen and produced by Mark Kalbfeld. Team members trekked to the El Mirage desert, about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles for the shoot on a day so hot, dry and windy it spurred a sand cyclone.

(L-R): George Flanigen, Paisley, Underwood, Robert Deaton. Photo: Devin Pense


On set for "Remind Me." Photo: Mark Kalbfeld


• • • •
“Long Way To Go” is the first single from Alan Jackson’s studio album to be released this fall, his first under the joint venture between EMI Records Nashville and ACR (Alan’s Country Records).
The video, directed by Steven Goldmann, was shot at the Square Grouper bar in Jupiter, Florida. The premise finds Jackson and his band waiting for the rain to pass so they can shoot a video.

Alan Jackson on location at the Square Grouper Tiki Bar.


Jackson recently taped a segment for GAC's Top 20 Country Countdown and premiered the video on the show. Pictured (L-R): Sarah Trahern, SVP/Programming, GAC; Alan Jackson; and Ed Hardy, President, GAC

Opry Pioneer Trudy Stamper Passes

Trudy Stamper


Trudy Stamper, the Artists Relations executive who took the Grand Ole Opry to Carnegie Hall, has died at age 94.
Stamper was also one of the first female radio personalities in the United States. Born Gertrude McClanahan in Cookville, she graduated from David Lipscomb College and moved to New York to launch her Broadway theatrical career. While visiting friends back home in Nashville, WSM’s Jack Stapp overheard her talking about her theater experiences and hired her at the then-new station.
She hosted the WSM show “Shopping Around with Judy Brown” and appeared in several radio soap operas. She transferred to take an off-microphone job as Artists Relations director for the Grand Ole Opry.
On Sept. 8, 1946, she married John Powell Stamper. He was an executive at WSM’s founder, the National Life insurance agency, and in 1968 he published corporate biography The National Life Story. He died in 1980.
Using her New York connections, Trudy Stamper arranged for the Opry’s debut performances at Carnegie Hall on Sept. 18-19, 1947. Those shows co-starred Minnie Pearl, Ernest Tubb, The Short Brothers, Rosalie Allen, Radio Dot & Smoky Swan and George D. Hay.
Back in Nashville, she handled artist contracts for Opry concert bookings. She was promoted to Public Relations Director of WSM and the Opry.
She publicized a second Opry troupe that played Carnegie Hall in 1961. That one featured Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe, Faron Young, Grandpa Jones and Jim Reeves.
When Stamper retired in the fall of 1964, she was recognized in a ceremony by the Career Women of Radio and Television for her years of contributions to the Opry and to country music.
She died Saturday, July 30. Visitation will be Friday, August 5 from 6-8 p.m. at Cole-Garrett Funeral Home, 127 N. Main in Goodlettsville. The service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, August 6 at First Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville followed by private burial at Woodlawn Cemetery in Nashville.

Behind The Music Reveals Lambert's Journey to Stardom


Miranda Lambert Behind The Music premiered on VH1 last month, tracing the singer’s story from humble Texas roots to Country music stardom. The episode includes numerous exclusive interviews with the artist, her family, peers, and the industry execs that helped drive her success.
Blake Shelton talks openly about his wife and their love story. Fellow stars Sheryl Crow, Hillary Scott, and Loretta Lynn discuss Lambert’s talent. Music Row figures on the show include Joe Galante weighing in from the label perspective, and Tracy Gershon on discovering Lambert on Nashville Star.
Lambert discusses writing her album Revolution, which propelled her career forward and went on to win a Grammy and rack up at the CMA Awards.
Select footage also includes Lambert’s Pistol Annies cohort Angeleena Presley, and songwriter Marshall Chapman.
See the full episode or bonus clips. A sneak peek is embedded below.