Jim Beam Launches Live Music Series to Support Military Musicians

This summer, the Jim Beam bourbon brand is building on its legacy while continuing its ongoing commitment to our nation’s troops with the 2012 Live Music Series. The Series is a string of six live concerts, each featuring a different artist including Kid Rock, Daughtry, David Gray, Darius Rucker, Bush and Train.

Extending the program beyond live concerts, Jim Beam is using Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” Each of the six Live Music Series artists have recorded a song from the list and are offering it to fans exclusively on JimBeam.com/LiveMusicSeries during the promotion period. Beginning in June, specially marked bottles of Jim Beam, Jim Beam Black, Red Stag and Devil’s Cut bourbons will be marked with offer details and instructions on how to download tracks from the six artists. Additional content, including exclusive artist interviews and portions of the concerts, will be available online.

As part of the Live Music Series, Jim Beam will donate more than $100,000 to Operation Homefront, a portion of which will be used to purchase musical instruments for soldiers both in the U.S. and overseas who have a passion for music. Jim Beam will present Operation Homefront with a check for $100,000 onstage at Kid Rock’s concert in Boston on June 1 – the first show in the Series. Jim Beam will also be contributing to the troops and military musicians by matching the number of Live Music Series downloads redeemed on JimBeam.com/LiveMusicSeries and donating those to soldiers 21 years of age or older through Operation Homefront.

Live Music Series 2012 Concert Schedule
—  Kid Rock: Friday, June 1, at the House of Blues in Boston
—  Daughtry: Thursday, June 7, at the Temple Hoyne Buell theater in Denver
—  David Gray: Saturday, June 30, at the House of Blues in Chicago
—  Darius Rucker: Tuesday, July 24, at the House of Blues in Dallas
—  Bush: Thursday, Aug. 2, at The Ritz theater in Tampa
—  Train: Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Mann Theater in Philadelphia

CMA Music Fest Global Showcases; Q&A with Jeff Walker

MusicRow recently sat down with Jeff Walker, CEO/President of The AristoMedia Group/Marco Music Group to discuss this year’s Global Events showcases, as well as the often overlooked growth in the international country music market.

The 2012 Global Events showcases, held June 4-5 during 2012 CMA Music Festival week in downtown Nashville, will feature 22 Country artists from five different countries and territories.

The CMA Global Artist Party, presented by Chevrolet, takes place 6 – 10:45 pm Monday, June 4 at The Stage on Broadway and The Aristo Global Show will be held Tuesday, June 5 from 12:30 – 3:45 pm at The Second Fiddle. Check here for a complete lineup of both shows.

How are the artists selected for the international shows?
We have agreements for some of the performance slots in the Monday night show. The New Zealand Country Music Association Horizon Award Winner, the country artist scholarship winner from Commercial Radio Australia, and the Songwriter Award winner from Australia’s Tamworth Country Music Awards will all be performing at the show. The remaining participants were judged using criteria of relevance in the international market, quality of music, and whether that artist would have the ability to get a deal here in the United States. There’s a committee that judges the applicants, and there’s a balance given between territories.

What is the difference between the two shows?
While the Monday night is a full band show, the Tuesday show is more of an acoustic show with the last performance being a full band. I’m proud of the fact that this has grown and we now have around 22 acts. Both shows reflect the artists in different areas. One act that did really well last year and made a strong impression on the Monday night show is Raintown. They are coming back to do the Tuesday show this year. This is our ninth anniversary of the Monday night show. The Tuesday show came about three years later due to receiving so many submissions.

What do you think propelled that growth?
I think it’s a new era in Country Music. The whole world is becoming a smaller place. The fact that iTunes is worldwide and people now have instant access to country music. You can push a button and have your music delivered to Mexico, South America, Australia, Scandinavia, the UK, Canada, and more. International artists are now recognizing that what they need to do is focus on Nashville or come to Nashville. We are also seeing a big trend in writers coming from territories like Australia, Canada and other territories to write with Nashville songwriters. For example, Phil Barton moved here from Australia and co-wrote Lee Brice’s No. 1 song, “A Woman Like You.” He has been coming to Nashville since 2005 building his network. The whole market is opening up. I think the labels here are looking to have a more global footprint much like the movie industry. It really helps that Canada and Australia, in particular, have networks like Country Music Television in Canada and a country music channel in Australia. You can pre-sell an artist when they go over there or you can establish a Canadian artist in their own domestic territory giving them relevance before coming to the U.S.

Do you see these two shows as an opportunity for the industry to see new acts they otherwise would not be exposed to?
Definitely. We see both of these events as great A&R opportunities.

What are some of the benefits international artists receive by attending the events?
It’s a chance for the artists to broaden their horizons by performing in Nashville to a packed house. When acts stay in their own territory, they seem to get a little insulated. But when they go outside their territory, they realize this business is very competitive. They go home with their bars raised a little higher.

Most people are aware of the Country Music presence in Australia and Canada, what other countries do you see gaining traction?
Ireland comes to mind first. We are also seeing a lot of things happening in Scandinavia, particularly Norway where a lot of fairs and festivals are being produced. Those are the key ones. In terms of Americana, there’s a lot of UK interest and there’s a fine line between Americana and Country music overseas since they often do not distinguish between the two.

What do you see in the future related to international presence in Country Music?
The CMA is very committed to international presence and recently formed a group in the organization to push towards those goals. The future will continue to build on the momentum and availability of technology that’s really helping spur this growth in international opportunities. When people can tap into country music on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, etc. and interact with these artists from all over the world, this is where I see the growth coming from. I think there’s lots of opportunities and I’m very bullish about it.

Johnny Rose Joins Concrete/TEC Direct Media

Media and marketing firm Concrete/TEC Direct Media has named Entertainment industry veteran Johnny Rose as Director of Business Development.

In his new role, Rose will manage the development of key accounts and operate as a local Nashville presence that represents the company. Rose previously spent nearly two decades as VP/Sales and Marketing at various Nashville record labels during his 30 year career, including positions with Capitol Records Nashville, DreamWorks and Show Dog Nashville. Rose’s background also includes retail and merchandising experience, having spent 14 years with Western Merchandisers and Hastings.

As a partnership between marketing firm Concrete and media management company TEC, Concrete/TEC Direct has strengthened its position as a leader in marketing and media services in the music and entertainment industries. The company works with major and independent record labels, management companies, tours and film studios.

“Bringing someone of Johnny’s caliber into our fold further demonstrates our deep commitment to the Nashville entertainment community,” says Concrete Marketing founder and CEO Bob Chiappardi.

For more information, visit www.TEC-Direct.com

Folk Music Legend Doc Watson Passes

Highly influential guitarist, singer, and songwriter Doc Watson passed away yesterday (5/29) at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, following colon surgery. He was 89.

Born Arthel Lane Watson in Deep Gap, NC, he was bestowed with the nickname “Doc” during a live broadcast when the announcer said he should have an easy nickname and an audience member shouted out “Call him Doc!” The name stuck with him the rest of his life.

Watson was blind since before he was one year old, and attended North Carolina’s school for the visually impaired in Raleigh. When he was 13, he taught himself how to play “When The Roses Bloom in Dixieland” on a borrowed guitar, and his father bought him a $12 Stella as reward.

In 1947, he married Rosa Lee Carlton, daughter of fiddler Gaither Carlton, and they had two children Eddy Merle and Nancy Ellen. Watson’s first paying gigs were with a local rockabilly/swing band, but he became a full-time professional with the folk/traditional music revival of the 1960s. His self-titled solo debut appeared in 1964, and he was represented until his passing by Folklore Productions.

Watson and his son Merle began touring together in the late 1960s, with Merle playing guitar and banjo in addition to serving as driver. During this time the pair began to reach a worldwide audience, helped by collaborations with Flatt & Scruggs, Chet Atkins and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Merle passed away in 1985 after an accident on the family farm, but his legacy has been carried on with the annual MerleFest music festival in Wilkesboro, NC.

Over the course of his career, Watson recorded more than 50 albums and won eight Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy. He was also a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and a National Heritage Fellowship. In 2011, a life-size statue of Watson was unveiled in Boone, NC on the spot where he used to play for tips. At his request, the statue’s inscription reads “Just One of the People.”

His unique and innovative style of guitar picking influenced scores of guitarists who followed, and his repertoire of American music was vast. President Bill Clinton said, in awarding Watson the National Medal of Arts, “There may not be a serious, committed Baby Boomer alive who didn’t at some point in his or her youth try to spend a few minutes at least trying to learn to pick a guitar like Doc Watson.”

He is survived by his wife Rosa Lee, daughter Nancy Ellen, grandchildren Richard Watson and Karen Watson Norris, several great-grandchildren, and brother David Watson.

Private funeral arrangements are pending.

Music In The Movies Panel Set For Saturday

The Nashville Screenwriters Conference is gearing up for its fourteenth annual event, which will be held at the Hutton Hotel June 1-3, 2012.

Saturday’s (6/2) Music in the Movies workshop and luncheon is expected to be a highlight of the conference. 821 Entertainment Group President Anastasia Brown (Footloose, August Rush, Taken) heads up the event to be held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

The panel will feature top music supervisors giving advice to songwriters, composers, artists and publishers hoping to tap into the world of song placement in television and film. For the event Brown recruited music supervisors Julia Michels (Sex and the City 1 & 2, The Blind Side, The Devil Wears Prada), Frankie Pine (Army Wives, GCB, Magic Mike), and Randy Spendlove (President of Music at Paramount). Conference registration does not include the Music in the Movies panel, a separate ticket is required.

The conference brings Hollywood writers, producers, directors, managers, agents and studio executives to Nashville to share their expertise with aspiring screenwriters, songwriters and other individuals interested in the worlds of film, TV and music.

For details or to purchase tickets visit www.nashscreen.com.

DISClaimer Single Reviews (5/30/12)

Big & Rich's "That's Why I Pray" gets the Disc of the Day Honor

This is a week of reunions and revivals.

Cerrrito & Lynn Anderson, Jason Allen, Hayes Carll, Hank Williams Jr., Bill Wence and Big & Rich are all back with us after varying periods of silence. The most welcome of these comebacks is Big & Rich, who have the Disc of the Day.

I don’t give a Song of the Day award, but if I did, it would go to Hayes Carll’s “Hard Out Here,” which is at once both downbeat and hilarious.

SHAWNA RUSSELL/Sounds Like a Party
Writer: Shawna Russell/Keith Russell/Tim Russell; Producer: Julian King, Clif Doyal & Tim Russell; Publisher: Blue Buckaroo, BMI; Way Out West (615-319-1863)
—This has a delightfully funky groove with cool guitars and a snappy backbeat. As usual, she sings with vim.

Writer: Hank Williams Jr.; Producer: Chris Farren; Publisher: Bocephus, BMI; Bocephus/Blaster (www.hankjr.com)
—Bluesy and blue collar all the way. He’s singing better than ever, and the new, full-bodied production style showcases him superbly. Well worth your attention.

CHANCE CODY & SPUR 503/I Don’t Want to Be Wanted Tonight
Writer: Chance Cody; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Spur 503 (www.spur503.com)
—This sits along the boundary between barroom country and blue-collar rock. His drawling vocal is right on the money, emotionally. The band is stirring up a deep sonic stew behind him. But changing the tempo in mid song (twice) probably wasn’t the best idea.

Writer: Liz Anderson/Lynn Anderson; Producer: Bartley Pursley, Felipe de La Rosa & Cerrito; Publisher: none listed; Checo
—Mariachi trumpets, Spanish guitars, castanets and an ultra-melodic waltz are all in this recipe. Lynn’s shadowing harmony vocal and Spanish-language interjections make the disc soar.

Writer: Clayton Landua/Josh Serato/Ben Hussey/Dallas Neal; Producer: Bart Rose & Six Market Blvd.; Publisher: AADI/Grange, no performance rights listed; SMB (track) (www.sixmarketblvd.com)
—Boring electric blues with an overly indulgent guitar player.

BIG & RICH/That’s Why I Pray
Writer: Blair Daly/Sarah Buxton/Danelle Leverett; Producer: Dann Huff; Publisher: Sony-ATV Cross Keys/Danelle Leverett/Southside Independent/Internal Combustion/Kickin Grids/We’re Going to Maui/Tom-Leis/Songs of Universal, ASCAP/BMI; Warner Bros.
—Evocative and ethereal. They harmonize perfectly together throughout the potent performance while guitars chime in and out of the mix. Essential listening.

JASON ALLEN/Goin’ Fishin’ Today
Writer: Jason Allen; Producer: Davin James & Jason Allen; Publisher: Star Marie, BMI; Smith Entertainment (track) (www.jasonallencountry.com)
—This noisy party rocker might work OK live in a honky tonk. But it doesn’t sound particularly radio worthy to me.

Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Lost Highway (www.hayescarll.com)
—This former Americana Music award winner is back with a track to remind us what a wry wit he can be. His drawling delivery of the unlucky lyric is a smile a second. The band tromps along with a sloppy shuffle and folks in the background seem to be staging their own party.

BILL WENCE/Borderline Crazy
Writer: Jeremy Stowe/Kris Bergsness/Greg Barnhill; Producer: Bill Wence & Joe Funderburk; Publisher: Warner-Tamerlane/WB/Platinum Plow/Green City/Calhoun Enterprises/Green Wilderness, BMI/ASCAP/SESAC; Six One Five (track) (www.billwencepromotions.com)
—As if being a radio promoter, Wanda Jackson sideman, producer, songwriter and Johnny Rivers booster wasn’t enough, Bill Wence also makes records. His latest, Analog Man in a Digital World, kicks off with this loosey-goosey bopper about getting loaded south of the border.

Writer: Daniel Warren; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Chaprielle, BMI; Quarterback (www.danielwarrenband.com)
—Despite the title, this is an uptempo outing. As was the case on his last single, he sings with wafting harmonies around him in a soft, easy-going groove.

CMT Plans Special “Crossroads” Episode With Joe Walsh

CMT will present a first of its kind event, CMT Crossroads: Joe Walsh & Friends, featuring the legendary Eagles guitarist and solo artist onstage with friends from country music including Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Luke Bryan and Hunter Hayes as well as Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

For one unforgettable episode of the popular performance series, the stars will align to pay homage to Walsh, performing his hits and Eagles’ classics, including “Life’s Been Good to Me,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and more. CMT Crossroads: Joe Walsh & Friends premieres on Saturday, June 23 at 11 pm ET/PT.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be onboard for a CMT Crossroads episode,” said Walsh. “I’ve hand-picked some old friends and some new friends and we’re going to make sure it’s a special evening. Nothing beats country music with a little rock & roll sprinkled on top. We’re going to mix up a batch and see what happens. I got a real good feeling about it. Nashville, here we come!”

CMT Crossroads is produced by Tom ForrestJohn Hamlin, Margaret Comeaux and Bill Flanagan serve as executive producers.

Chevy Revs Up CMA Music Fest

Chevrolet is earning its title as the Official Ride of Country Music by sponsoring numerous events at the 2012 CMA Music Festival, running June 7-10.

A private Industry Test Drive will occur this Friday, June 1, 11 AM- 2 PM near the CMA offices. For each test drive taken, Chevrolet will donate $25 to the CMA Foundation, which benefits music education.

On Mon., June 4 at 6 PM at The Stage, Chevrolet will present the CMA Global Artist Party featuring Australians Bob CorbettMorgan EvansAdam Harvey, Craig Morrison and Joe Robinson; Canadians Emerson Drive, High Valley and Jess Moskaluke; Vickie Evans (New Zealand); Lisa McHugh (Ireland) with Gene Watson; and Gary Quinn (UK). Australian husband and wife duo O’Shea return as hosts.

“The Eighth Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade” will begin at 11 AM on Wed., June 6. The parade will start at 10th Avenue and end at Chevrolet Riverfront Park for the Chevrolet Block Party at 12:30 PM, which is free and open to the public.

The Festival officially begins on Thurs., June 7 when Montgomery Gentry kicks off the free concerts at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage at 10 AM. Acts that are slated to perform include Wade Bowen, Lee Brice, Laura Bell Bundy, Craig Campbell, Edens Edge, Brett Eldredge, The Farm, Colt Ford, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Gloriana, JT Hodges, Steve Holy, Casey James, Jana Kramer, Tracy Lawrence, LoCash Cowboys, Lonestar, Love and Theft, Dustin Lynch, Neal McCoy, Jo Dee Messina, Kip Moore, Craig Morgan, Lorrie Morgan, David Nail, Heidi Newfield, Jerrod Niemann, Oak Ridge Boys, James Otto, Randy Rogers Band, Thomas Rhett, Sawyer Brown, Corey Smith, Sunny Sweeney, Josh Thompson, Mel Tillis, Uncle Kracker, Phil Vassar, James Wesley, and Darryl Worley. Chevrolet vehicles will be on display.

New this year is The Chevrolet Roadhouse, located in Fan Alley (off Broadway and 4th Ave.), which will feature performances by Weston Burt, Due West, Erin Enderlin, Flynnville Train, Adam Gregory, Amber Hayes, Imaj, Zack Lockwood, Lucy Angel, Rachele Lynae, Josh Mullins, Gary Quinn, Chase Rice, The Roys, Matt Stillwell, and Jason Thomas.

Fans will also have an opportunity to test drive a Chevrolet at the Ride and Drive on Fourth Avenue between Broadway and Demonbreun Street. The “Catch a Chevy” program will give free rides to fans.


HGTV, GAC, DIY Network and Travel Channel are hosting The Lodge, a venue in Fan Alley. The Lodge’s GAC Living Country Stage line-up includes performances by Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Bucky Covington, Love & Theft, Kip Moore, Sarah Darling, Josh Thompson, Kix Brooks, Katie Armiger and Casey James; and autograph sessions with Kellie Pickler, Lauren Alaina, Rodney Atkins, Easton Corbin, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Thompson Square, Jake Owen, Scotty McCreery and rapper Vanilla Ice, host of DIY Network’s The Vanilla Ice Project. Additionally, HGTV stars set for appearances are Chris Lambton (Going Yard), Drew and Jonathan Scott (The Property Brothers), and Amie and Jolie Sykes (Junk Gypsies). Host Bert Kreischer will be on location to film an upcoming episode of the new Travel Channel series, Trip Flip. He will surprise a few lucky tourists, taking them behind-the-scenes at the Festival.

Siman Launches RPM Entertainment

RPM Management President Scott Siman and Sr. VP April Rider have announced the launch of new “integrated music company” RPM Entertainment, which will be promoting flagship artist Maggie Rose. The new company will provide record label, publishing and management services.

“It’s been my desire for a long time to combine label services with management and publishing,” said Siman. “Unlike most other companies trying to do deals where they participate in all areas but lack in depth expertise,  we have staff with huge track records in all these areas.”

Former Stoney Creek Records VP/GM Rider joined Siman earlier in February 2012 and serves as Sr. VP for the new company. Email her here. Joining the team for promotion efforts are Jack Christopher and Rocco Cosco, who both previously served with Bigger Picture. Christopher will take on the role of VP Promotion, and can be reached here. Cosco, who also spent time with Curb Records and Mercury Records will be RPM’s new Director of National Promotion. Reach him here. Former R&J Records staffers Jon Conlon and Kelsey Lantrip also join the promo staff, with Conlon handling West Coast promotion duties and Lantrip as Promotion Coordinator/Executive Assistant. Email Conlon here and Lantrip here.

RPM made the announcement through a video parodying DirecTV’s memorable “bad decisions” ad campaign.

Maggie Rose, who was formerly known as Margaret Durante is shipping her new single “I Ain’t Your Momma” to country radio on May 30. She is also on the road with the Country Throwdown Tour this summer.

CRS Accepting Nominations For 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame

The nomination process is now open for Country Radio Seminar’s 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Nominations for On-Air Personality and Radio Hall of Fame can be made on the CRS website, and CRS officials will provide official applications to nominees. Application returns will be accepted to the CRS offices until Fri., Sept. 7. Applications received after the deadline will be held for consideration for the 2014 Hall of Fame class.

The 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame Dinner and induction ceremony will be held Feb. 26, 2013, the night before the official beginning of CRS 2013, running Feb. 27 – March 1, at the Nashville Convention Center.

“Each year, Country Radio Broadcasters seek to recognize the true legends of Country radio by welcoming new members to the Country Radio Hall of Fame,” said CRS Hall of Fame Chairman, Charlie Morgan. “The caliber of past inductees ensures that this is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Country radio professional, and we are excited to open the application process for this year’s class.”

Nominees may include air-checks, press clippings, awards listings and other materials for consideration.