ASCAP OnStage Program Covers Venues of All Sizes

ASCAP has launched a program that gives its members the opportunity to receive royalties when their music is performed live at venues of all sizes. ASCAP OnStage allows writer members to notify ASCAP of live performances of their work via Member Access at Members provide the basic details of the live performance and a list of the songs performed. A royalty, based upon venue license fees, is then distributed to the writers and publishers of the songs as part of the quarterly ASCAP distributions. Beginning in January, writers will be able to submit this info via ASCAP Mobile.

“ASCAP OnStage augments our already robust survey and distribution system,” commented ASCAP Executive Vice President of Membership Randy Grimmett. “It offers our many active members an opportunity to be fairly compensated for their live performances, regardless of the size of the venue. The simplicity of the ASCAP OnStage user interface lets our members easily submit their setlists and concentrate on what they do best: writing the best music in the world.”

The platform provides members with a list of all ASCAP OnStage performances, even those submitted by other ASCAP members. For more information and a detailed FAQ, visit

Snapshots (10/02/12)

The Civil Wars hosted a free and open to the public Gold Album party at Grimey’s New and Preloved Music last week to commemorate the duo’s debut album Barton Hollow selling over 500k units. The 2011 release remains the best-selling album of all time at the beloved Nashville record store. The event offered a meet and greet with the land, limited edition posters and a free giveaway of exclusive merchandise.

(L-R): Travis Yetton (Sensibility Music), Nate Yetton (Sensibility Music), Joy Williams (The Civil Wars), John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and Mike Couse (Sensibility Music). Photo credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

• • • • •

Broken Bow Records’ Dustin Lynch returned to his hometown of Tullahoma, TN over the weekend to headline the annual 41-A Music Festival, which brought in a record number of attendees. Just before his performance, Lynch was presented with the key to the city of Tullahoma. “This is so awesome and unexpected,” Lynch said of the honor. “I haven’t gotten a chance to come back and play in Tullahoma since this whole thing started, even though I still come home every chance I get to see my family and friends. Just getting to play for my hometown was so special to me – this topped off the night. I’m proud of my hometown and this is something I’ll always treasure.”

Tullahoma Mayor Lane Curlee (L) presents Lynch with the key to the city. Photo: Chris Auditore

 • • • • •

While in New York City promoting his new album, Atlanta Braves fan Josh Turner received an unexpected surprise when he ran into one of his baseball heroes. Famed Braves pitcher and Hall of Famer Phil Niekro, along with former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, were also both in New York promoting their new film Knuckleball! As for Turner, his album Josh Turner-Live Across America is available exclusively at Cracker Barrel stores and his new single is “Find Me a Baby.”

Josh Turner (center) poses for a photo with baseball legends Phil Niekro (left) and Tim Wakefield (right) at MLB's Fan Cave in New York City. Photo: Josh Haunschild / MLB Photos

Mark Your Calendar (October 2012)

Bonnie Bishop

Album Releases

October 1
Lucky Ned Pepper/Get Lucky/Nine North Records

October 2
Iris DeMent/Sing The Delta/Flariella
Jerrod Niemann/Free The Music/Sea Gayle-Arista
Blake Shelton/Cheers It’s Christmas/Warner Bros.-WMN
Charlie Peacock/No Man’s Land
Various/Live at Musicians Corner, Vol. 1
Angel Snow/Angel Snow

October 9
Bonnie Bishop/Free/Be Squared Records
Lori McKenna/Heart Shaped Bullet Hole [6-track digital only EP]
Wanda Jackson/Unfinished Business/Sugar Hill Records
Kyle Sherman/Hear Me/RayLynn Records

October 16
Jason Aldean/Night Train/Broken Bow Records
Jamey Johnson/Livin’ For A Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran/Mercury Nashville
Scotty McCreery/Christmas With Scotty McCreery/UMG
Steven Curtis Chapman/Joy/Provident
Gordon Mote/The Star Still Shines/Haven Records & RSI Music Group

October 22
Taylor Swift/Red/Big Machine
Lady Antebellum/On This Winter’s Night/Capitol

October 23
Billy Ray Cyrus/Change My Mind
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson/Wreck and Ruin/Sugar Hill

October 30
Toby Keith/Hope On The Rocks/Show Dog-Universal
Elvis Presley/Prince From Another Planet (Live at Madison Square Garden, June 1972) [2-CD+DVD box set]/RCA-Legacy
Rosehill/Crooked Thoughts
LiveWire/Livin‘/Way Out West

Brett Eldredge

Single Releases

October 1
Faith Hill/American Heart/WMG
Little Big Town/Tornado/Capitol
Heartland/The Sound a Dream Makes/R&J Records
Taylor Swift/Begin Again/Big Machine
Zac Brown Band/Goodbye In Her Eyes/Atlantic-Southern Ground
Kyle Park/The Night Is Young

October 8
Brett Eldredge/Don’t Ya/WMG
Danielle Peck/Impossible Dreams/Namaste-9 North
Uncle Kracker/Nobody’s Sad On A Saturday Night/Sugar Hill-Vanguard-EMI Nashville

October 15
Kristy Lee Cook/Airborne Ranger Infantry/BBR
Josh Turner/Find Me A Baby/MCA
Chris Young/I Can Take It From There/RCA
Montgomery Gentry/I’ll Keep The Kids/Average Joes

October 18
Tracy Lawrence/Stop Drop and Roll/LMG

October 22
Josh Abbott Band/I’ll Sing About Mine/PDT-Atlantic-WMN
Sarah Darling/Home To Me/Black River
Sweetwater Rain/Starshine/Curb

Industry Events

October 7
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel

October 10
Nashville Premieres on ABC

October 12-14
Southern Festival of Books. On the steps of the Tennessee State Capitol

October 17
Capitol Street Party. 7 pm
Dale Franklin Awards

October 28
SESAC Nashville Music Awards. Pinnacle at Symphony Place. Invitation Only.

October 29
ASCAP Country Awards. Gaylord Opryland Resort. Invitation only.

October 30
BMI Country Awards. BMI Nashville headquarters. Invitation only.

October 31
Full Moon Festival outdoor concert series

November 1
46th Annual CMA Awards. Broadcast live at 7 pm/CT on ABC

Adkins to Serve as American Red Cross Spokesperson

Trace Adkins will serve as the spokesperson for the 2012 American Red Cross Holiday Giving Campaign, encouraging people to consider making charitable donations, sending cards for military heroes or donating blood.

“When my home was claimed by fire last year, the Red Cross was among the first on-site,” said Adkins. “They looked after my family when I couldn’t be there and offered to help in any way they could. From personal experience, I am supporting the Red Cross and their work to unite families and aid in times of need.”

The campaign features an online catalog enabling tax-deductible donations. Adkins has also recently recorded radio PSAs that feature his new song “Tough People Do,” from his forthcoming Show Dog-Universal album.

Adkins has also joined the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, lending his name to the roster of more than 40 other celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis, LL Cool J and Josh Duhamel.

Debbie Zavitson Forms Debbie Z Entertainment

Debbie Zavitson

Music industry vet Debbie Zavitson has opened Debbie Z Entertainment, a full service publishing, management, artist development and independent song plugging company.

Her first signings are award-winning songwriter Vip Vipperman (Reba, Trace Adkins), Phillip Lammonds (Josh Turner, Blake Shelton, Hootie & the Blowfish), Curb Music Publishing, Jay Lazaroff (written music for over 100 film and TV shows including Survivor and The Apprentice), award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jess Moskaluke and emerging group Rocket Club.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this new company,” says Zavitson. “Pitching songs today is more of a challenge than ever, but the writers I’m working with bring such a passion and professionalism to it that it couldn’t be more rewarding.”

She began her career in the entertainment business as a singer performing throughout the country. She moved to Music City and landed a job with then independent producer Doug Johnson running his publishing company. Zavitson has discovered No. 1 hits including ACM Song of the Year “I Love the Way You Love Me,” and Blake Shelton’s “Austin.” She has worked in A&R at Sony and Giant Records, and in artist management with Shelton as her first artist.

She can be reached at [email protected] or (615) 578-2643.

Lady Antebellum ‘Owns the Night’ At Home and Abroad

As this interview hits the web, Lady Antebellum is wrapping up the Australian leg of its Own The Night 2012 World Tour. Once completed, the massive tour will have played 105 shows to over 1 million fans in 11 countries on three different continents. The demand for tickets was high enough to cause sellouts in Los Angeles, Chicago, Frankfurt (Germany), New York City, and three nights at Sydney Opera House. MusicRow spoke with Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley just before they left for Australia and discussed international touring as well as the group’s highly-anticipated fourth album and meeting “Bruuuuuuuuuuce.”

Lady Antebellum performing in Manchester

MR: Are you excited about Australia?
Hillary: We went for the first time last year with Keith Urban. He took us to open for him, which was such an amazing way to see the country. It was awesome to be able to be there with him and meet his fans, and now we’re going back headlining.

MR: Who are you taking with you?
Charles: It’s actually going to be local acts. Our manager had a really cool idea of picking a couple local acts there, so we’re excited about that. We didn’t know what to expect as far as ticket sales. We opened up first nights and they all sold out so we’re doing multiple nights in each place. We’re doing three nights at Sydney Opera House so that’s going to be a big moment for us.

MR: You had to open up extra dates in Europe as well, right?
Charles: It was pretty wild. Again, we didn’t know what to expect going over and doing a full-fledged tour and the response was amazing. There were definitely certain pockets where it was really strong. I didn’t realize Ireland was going to be that great. We did two nights in Dublin; I can’t wait to go back there. Can’t wait to get back to Scotland.
Dave: The London show we had to actually get a bigger place. We’ve been surprised by how many people have been reached by our music around the world. Keith was great in introducing us to Canada and Australia. We opened for him in both countries and are lucky now to be able to go back on our own.

MR: How did the European tour stack up against your expectations?
Hillary: The fact that our music has traveled so far is the most humbling feeling. Our show is going to be a little different from the standpoint of production because getting everything we had here in the States and Canada all the way over to Australia and Europe [wasn’t feasible].

MR: Were there any standout moments from the last few months of touring?
Dave: For Europe, the meet and greets. A lot of the fans were literally crying to meet us. They were so appreciative of us coming that far. We had one girl at one of our shows come from Brazil…
Hillary: That was in Germany…
Dave: …because that was the easiest way for her to see us. When you’re talking to someone and they’re in tears, thanking you for your music and  for traveling, it makes you want to keep playing these places. That was a standout for me.
Hillary: Everyone shared a personal story as to why our music had impacted them. That’s the ultimate compliment; that’s way bigger than us.
Dave: Also from London, I can’t leave out our show where we got to open up for Bruce Springsteen in Hyde Park.

MR: I have that next on my list of things to ask about…
Hillary: We got to meet him!
Dave: He talked to us for 15 minutes. A lot of times you meet other artists or people you look up to and shake their hand, say ‘hi’ and, ‘cool, nice to meet you.’ But he just started talking and dove into the first time he was playing and touring internationally back in the 70s. He was trying to encourage us to keep touring internationally, which is something I’ll never forget. I mean, I never would have forgotten what he said anyway. But he blew us away.
Charles: I was too busy looking at his sunglasses and how cool he is…
Hillary: [He was] the epitome of a class act. You have the opportunity to meet people you look up to and have really admired, and sometimes it’s a little disappointing. With him it was not. It was everything you could ever dream of wanting to have in the experience of meeting one of your heroes. He’s just the real deal. I was a huge fan before, but now, Bruce all the way.

MR: Springsteen has become this important touchstone for country songwriters. Do you guys find yourselves drawing on him for inspiration?
Charles: He was very descriptive in his writing. It was like, how do you take a simple subject and have a way that we all can put ourselves in that moment? When he’s talking about those moments of childhood and high school and racing down the road, and you put yourself in that spot. Writers like him and Kristofferson, they just have a way of saying something very simply, very poetically. I’ve heard Bruce is a fan of a lot of Country music because Country is great about telling a story. It’s not just about the melody, it’s about the lyrics. His music is, the core of it is the lyrics…
Hillary: I wonder if he likes “Springsteen”
Charles: The Eric Church song?
Dave: I think he heard it.

MR: I think he gave it his stamp of approval.
Hillary: You think about for our parents, and us who have grown to love Bruce—I wasn’t born when became the star that he is. That’s the soundtrack to a lot of our lives. It’s ingrained in who you are and in your character because you grew up with it.

MR: Do you have any rituals to prepare you for a show?
Charles: Woodford Reserve [laughs]. Actually, we played a lot of ping pong this year. This was the tour of ping pong.
Dave: “The year of the pong.”
Charles: Dave and I called ourselves ‘The Dynasty.’ We were on a doubles team together and it got really intense.

MR: Who were you playing?
Charles: The band and crew.
Hillary: It was no girls allowed…
Charles: Everybody had their own teams. Dave and I were a team, we recognized each others’ strengths and weaknesses and it worked really well. I have to say, we had the best record out on the tour so that’s something to be proud of.
Hillary: No one’s here to counter that.

MR: So if your crew and band members beat you in a game, do they get in trouble?
Dave: We threaten them with flights home, docked pay…
Charles: A couple times it did look like they were throwing some games…
Hillary: They just want you to feel good about yourself.

Own The Night World Tour stage in Zurich, Switzerland.

MR: What’s the dynamic like for when you’re on the road? Do you each fall into a role?
Dave: We always travel on the same tour bus and have different things we allow each other to take the reins on. It’s a laundry list of stuff.
Charles: Dave–the instrumentation side of it. I’ll maybe plan on how we should pace it out and what songs should go where and talk where. Hillary was really big from a production standpoint on what was visually going to be coming out, the lights, where we were going to walk. Everybody took their leads and it worked out great that way.
Hillary: On the road here in the States we got into a routine where Charles would go play golf and Dave would be in the studio working on a demo of a song and I would be out with the dog or something. We got into our own little routines. In Europe, we were thrown out of what we were used to and gravitated toward each other. We had so much fun. We went out to the bar together after a show and had a Guinness. We were close before, but Europe was such a sweet time because we really talked and reconnected.

MR: Did getting out of that routine inspire some ideas for the new album?
Hillary: We dreamed and brainstormed, that’s what we talked about.
Charles: For me, it was noticing what songs were globally the songs people could relate to, the kind of universal truths. ‘I Run To You’ was one of those songs wherever we went—like opening for Bruce Springsteen, people were ready for him and that was obvious…
Hillary: They kept screaming [his name] and I thought we were getting booed.
Dave: [laughing] Rookies!
Charles: [The fans] were great, but one of the songs I could tell everyone was really grooving on was ‘I Run To You.’ I love the combination of that driving beat and universal lyric so we focused on a lot of that. This new record, I keep calling it our ‘roll down the windows’ record because it’s definitely more tempo-driven and organic. I think it is one of those records, when people get it, [that] will hopefully be a little bit of a surprise if they’ve heard our last two records. Our last two records were pretty intense and this one will be a little more…
Hillary: Lighthearted.
Charles: Lighthearted… It will still have some intense and lyrically-driven songs but is definitely more live show-oriented.
Hillary: Depth to the lyrics but not as dramatic.
Charles: Less drama.
Dave: Drama-free.

MR: No more drama?
Charles: [laughing] Don’t worry, there’s still going to be a couple of drama songs.
Hillary: There always are, but definitely fewer.

MR: What else can you tell me about the project?
Charles: The last record we used a lot of loops, a lot of big string instrumentation. Most of the stuff we’re using was just the instruments that were just tracked, less overdubs. Just let the songs speak for themselves. We spent more time picking songs.
Hillary: …and we don’t know where it will end up but we’ve cut more outside songs already for this record than we ever have. It’s not that we haven’t written a lot, because we have, but we’re searching and we’re going to find the right songs.
Charles: Trying to find songs that are a bit of a departure. Still familiar, but maybe a road we haven’t been down. A little more tempo-driven. That’s the main thing.

MR: Have you chosen all the songs?
Dave: About halfway. This is the one time where we truly don’t have a deadline.
Charles: And it won’t go out until it’s ready.
Dave: We’re going to wait—spend the rest of the year, go in next year, spend the right amount of time it takes to get the right songs.

MR: What’s the process like for you finding and writing songs? How do you know you’ve found the right one?
Charles: All different ways. We’re in constant contact with our producer and manager, playing for our wives and band. When you start noticing the same thing, it’s like ‘That’s a special song.’ You start hearing it over and over again and honing in on that and going ‘Okay, now that’s the one.’ That kind of what happened with ‘Need You Now.’ We trust the team around us and believe in ourselves and want to make a well-rounded record. It’s creating a well-balanced piece of art.

MR: As you are recording this album and adding to your body of work, do you feel pressured to compete with your past success or can you shake it off and start fresh?
Hillary: I think we’d be lying if we said there wasn’t some on [2011’s Own The Night], comparing to [2010’s Need You Now]. You can only naturally do that, when the second record was the career-changer for us. Being one more record removed from it and having more experience onstage, we’re a lot more assured of who we are as artists and and as a band. We’re just going in with this pure excitement and joy because we have time to soak it all up. The last record happened so fast. We started recording, went out to the Grammys, had that crazy night [six wins, including Album of the Year] and then came home and said, ‘We’ve gotta get going.’ It was a lot of pressure and as much as we tried to not acknowledge, it was still looming. It was that big elephant in the room. With this record, we have time. We can push ourselves and continue to cultivate what we’re doing for as long as we want until it’s ready. There’s a lot of freedom in that and it’s exciting.

New Performers Added to CMA Awards

The lineup for The 46th Annual CMA Awards received additional star-power with today’s (10/1) announcement that co-host Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Zac Brown Band will all be performing.

The performers join previously announced Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Kelly Clarkson, and Little Big Town. Hosted for the fifth year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, the show airs live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Thurs., Nov. 1 (7 – 10 PM/CT) on ABC.

Paisley is nominated for Entertainer of the Year. He has been nominated for an award every year since 2000 and has now amassed a total of 58 nominations.

Bryan is making his first appearance in the Male Vocalist category. Bryan also picked up a second nomination for Album of the Year for tailgates & tanlines, produced by Jeff Stevens and Mark Bright.

Lambert, received four nominations including a shared nomination with Blake Shelton for CMA Song of the Year for “Over You.” Lambert is also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year; Album of the Year for Four The Record, produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, and Glenn Worf; and Music Video of the Year for “Over You,” directed by Trey Fanjoy.

The Zac Brown Band will perform having received a Vocal Group of the Year nomination, their fourth consecutive nomination in the category.

The third and final ballot will be emailed to CMA members Thurs., Oct. 4. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Mon., Oct. 22 (5:00 PM/CT).

‘1861 Project’ Returns With Second Volume

Artist collective Cohesion Arts has released the second installment of The 1861 Project, an ongoing series of releases that mix music with history from the American Civil War.

The 1861 Project – Volume 2: From the Famine to the Front centers on the experiences of Irish immigrants in the Civil War, drawing on Irish and American traditions alike. The collection features Celtic-inspired songs with performers including Maura O’Connell (with dobro master Jerry Douglas), Sierra Hull, David Olney, Connie Smith, Liam Merriman and a cast of veteran Nashville musicians and performers.

Volume 1 in the series focused on the working class members of society from the time period. Like its acclaimed predecessor, Volume 2 was conceived by producer/songwriter Thomm Jutz, who has played with Nanci Griffith and Mary Gauthier among others.

“Irish immigrants played such an integral role in the US Civil War,” says Jutz. “Some fought for the North, some fought for the South; the American conflict of brother against brother was also Irish against Irish.”

Volume 2 is available for purchase now. More info here.

At the 1861 Project Vol. 2 CD Release party on Sept. 25, performers offered a sneak peak of the album's songs. (L-R): Recording artist Chris Jones; project producer/songwriter/guitarist Thomm Jutz; and Jon Weisberger, bassist for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers (and just-named IBMA songwriter of the year).


MusicRowPics: Tyler Farr

Columbia Nashville’s Tyler Farr visited the MusicRow offices last week to give the staff a preview of his debut album. Lead single “Hello Goodbye” is already climbing the radio charts. He penned the autobiographical song with Kris Bergsnes and Skip Black about the end of a relationship. Farr also performed “Mine Tonight,” “Wish I Had a Boat,” and “Hope I Don’t Live to See That Day.” His album will be released in early 2013.

A native of Garden City, MO, Farr’s love of country music is rooted in time on the road with his stepfather, who played guitar for George Jones. Farr later attended Missouri State on a vocal performance scholarship, and was a regular act at famed honky-tonk Tootsie’s.



Kenny Rogers Sets Media Schedule for Memoir

Kenny Rogers will reveal personal highs and lows about his rise to fame with his first memoir, Luck or Something Like It, set for release tomorrow (10/2) via HarperCollins imprint William Morrow.

Throughout the week, Rogers will appear at various media outlets, including Good Morning America (10/2), The View (10/3), The Colbert Report (10/3), CBS This Morning (10/4), Piers Morgan Tonight (10/4), Anderson Live, Fox News, Canada AM (10/5), NPR’s Morning Edition (10/4), The Diane Rehm Show (10/1), The Leonard Lopate Show (10/2), SiriusXM and numerous syndicated radio spots.

Rogers will also begin a seven-city book tour tomorrow (10/2), full dates listed below.

The work contains a candid look at the world of Country music with stories from a cast of characters including Elvis, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Dottie West, and Lionel Richie. Rogers speaks candidly of his rough childhood in the South–growing up in poverty and how his father’s alcoholism greatly impacted his career. Rogers also discusses his first professional group, The First Edition, and branching to form a solo career, which garnered hits including “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” “Lucille,” “Love or Something Like It,” “Lady,” and “The Gambler.”

Book Tour Schedule: 
October 2 – Ridgefield, NJ: Bookends
October 3- New York, NY: Barnes & Noble (54th & 3rd)
October 6- Lexington, KY: Joseph-Beth Booksellers
October 7- Atlanta, GA: Barnes & Noble (Alpharetta)
October 8- Birmingham, AL: Books-A-Million (Brookhighland)
October 12- Houston, TX: Barnes & Noble (River Oaks)