Houser's 'How Country Feels' Goes Gold

houserRandy Houser’s first No. 1 hit, “How Country Feels,” also becomes his first RIAA Gold certified single, shipping over 500,000 downloads and climbing. “How Country Feels” is the title track off of his new album which hit stores last week and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.
In the midst of the barreling momentum, Houser performed for the nation last week on FOX News Channel’s Fox & Friends, Walmart Soundcheck, AOL Sessions, Yahoo! Ram Country and Better TV. He also interviewed on GAC’s Headline Country and CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown, where he was challenged to see how country feels truly feels by having to identify different obscure “country” objects while blindfolded.
Houser will make yet another national appearance on Conan on Tuesday (Feb. 5) at 11 p.m. EST/10 p.m. CST, where he will perform “How Country Feels.” Tune in to TBS to watch.

Industry Ink (1/31/13)

tate stevens

Tate Stevens

Recent X Factor winner Tate Stevens will reveal a first look at his debut music video for the song “Holler If You’re With Me” at the 55th Annual Grammy® Awards on Feb. 10 on CBS. “Holler If You’re With Me” will be available for download on iTunes beginning Tuesday (Feb. 5).

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Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney‘s upcoming album, Life On A Rock (April 30), is a 10-song collection that was recorded and mixed in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Jamaica, Key West, London and Nashville. The release is set to feature a range of influences, including shuffles, reggae and a duet with Willie Nelson.

“It all depends on what kind of rock you’re looking at,” Chesney says of the album’s title.“Just living here on this planet, we’re all living life on a rock, but for me, and for this record, it’s about the way life is when you live on an island. Everywhere you go, there’s everyone you know. You know everything about them, and they know everything about you… and well, that’s just a whole other way to be.”

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GRAMMY LOGOThe Recording Academy® has partnered again with FX Marketing Group for the official 55th Grammy Awards® program book, which will be available in bookstores and on newsstands. The 240-plus-page book will release in January in major U.S. markets. The book profiles current Grammy nominees, and gives in-depth reviews of the year’s Grammy Hall of Fame selections and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement, Trustees and Technical Grammy recipients.
“We are excited to make the official Grammy program book available to consumers for a second consecutive year,” said David Konjoyan, The Recording Academy’s VP, Creative Services. “It provides one more way for fans to connect with the GRAMMY experience, and is a keepsake of lasting value.”
The official 55th GRAMMY Awards program book will be available for $9.95 at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Target, and Walgreens stores as well as on newsstands throughout the country, and at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. Fans can also order the book at The Academy’s online GRAMMY Store at

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CRS 2013Love and Theft, JT Harding and Jonathan Singleton have been announced as the lineup at this year’s KCRS Live! Showcase, to be held Thursday, Feb. 28, at CRS 2013. Sponsored by ASCAP and City National Bank, the showcase will be held from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. inside the Nashville Convention Center in rooms 204-205.

Triple 8 Management Adds To Artist Roster

888Chase Rice, co-writer of Florida Georgia Line‘s recent hit “Cruise,” has signed with Triple 8 Management. As an independent artist, Rice has sold out 500-1000 capacity venues.
Triple 8 Management’s client roster also includes Joe Nichols, Eli Young Band, Josh Abbott Band, Jack Ingram, The Cadillac Black, Whiskey Myers, Kevin Fowler, Bob Schneider, Macy Maloy and Bart Crow.

CBS To Air 'The Grammys Will Go On' Special

GRAMMY LOGOTwenty-four hours before the 54th annual Grammy Awards® were broadcast last February, the music world was shaken by the news of the death of singer Whitney Houston. Still, the show’s production team worked around the clock to produce a tribute to the singer, which included a moving performance of “I Will Always Love You” from former American Idol contestant and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
“The Grammy®s Will Go On: A Death In The Family” is a one-hour special that will look at how the show’s producers, host and musical artists made last-minute changes to the program in light of the circumstances. The show will air on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 10 p.m. ET on the CBS Television Network. It will include never-before-seen footage and behind-the-scenes interviews with various artists and the Grammy production team.
The special will feature personal accounts of the events of that day and Houston’s passing from Clive Davis, Dave Grohl, Hudson, host LL Cool J, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift and Joe Walsh as well as members of the Grammy production team, including executive producer Ken Ehrlich, director Louis J. Horvitz, co-producer Terry Lickona, President/CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow, talent producer Chantel Sausedo and writer David Wild.
“A Death In The Family” was produced by AEG Ehrlich Ventures, LLC, CBS, and The Recording Academy. Ehrlich and Susan Zirinsky are executive producers.

Snapshots: James LeBlanc, Michael W. Smith, Flynnville Train

James LeBlanc was a recent guest on The ASCAP Songwriters Show, which airs Wednesdays, 2 – 3 p.m. on WSM 650AM. The writers perform their biggest hits, share the stories behind the songs, and more. LeBlanc has penned hits recorded by Gary Allan and Jason Aldean. Upcoming guests on the radio show sponsored by ASCAP and Regions Bank include Dave Barnes (2/6), JD Souther (2/13), Craig Wiseman (2/20) and Steven Dale Jones (3/6). Past interviews are available online.

 Kos Weaver (Publisher) - Brian C. O'Meara (Vice President/ Marketing Director of Regions Bank) - Todd Wilkes (Owner/ KingSpirit Music) - James LeBlanc and Tom English (General Manager 650 AM WSM /

(L-R): Kos Weaver (Publisher), Brian C. O’Meara (Vice President/ Marketing Director of Regions Bank), Todd Wilkes (Owner/ KingSpirit Music), James LeBlanc and Tom English (GM 650 AM WSM).

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Michael W. Smith performed for a capacity crowd of 2,800 at world famous Carnegie Hall in New York City Saturday night (Jan. 26). The concert, part of an extended New York City weekend fan experience, featured a guest choir comprised of 300 members and fans from more than 30 states and six countries. Smith’s next fan weekend is scheduled for June 21 – 23 in his hometown of Franklin, Tenn.

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Flynnville Train and producer Richard Young of the Kentucky Headhunters took a break in Sound Shop studio over the weekend to celebrate Young’s birthday. The band is finishing up its next album.

(L-R): Tommy Bales, manager Trisha Walker Cunningham, Joseph Shreve, Brian Flynn, Don Mescall, Brent Flynn, Allen Widener and Richard Young.

Cowboy Jack Clement's Magic Continues

Pictured (L-R): Tatum Hauck Allsep (Music Health Alliance), Dub Cornett (Jack's friend and show producer), Jack Clement, Matt Urmy ( Artist Growth).

Pictured (L-R): Tatum Hauck Allsep (Music Health Alliance), Dub Cornett (Jack’s friend and show producer), Jack Clement, Matt Urmy (Artist Growth). Photo: Steve Lowry

Perhaps the easiest way to measure the impact of a legacy is by the first-hand testimony from friends and family influenced by it. This recognition saluted Cowboy Jack Clement last night (Jan. 30) at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium. An impressive lineup of musicians, actors, and dignitaries sang Clement’s praises during a magical evening, jam-packed with standing ovations, talent and love.
Entering as a grand marshall leading a five-piece brass band, Clement was led to his front row seat to be honored with video segments sent by Taylor Swift, President Bill Clinton, Bono, Dennis Quaid and Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives. Clips even included footage from his 2007 film Shakespeare Was a Big George Jones Fan.
Clement, a producer, engineer, and songwriter, had an influential hand in artists’ careers including Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Charley Pride, among many others. Many of the hits he wrote and worked on behind the scenes for were showcased throughout the evening, which was produced by Artist Growth.
Nikki Lane and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach

Nikki Lane and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Photo: Steve Lowry

Performers included Billy Burnette and Shawn Camp (“My Girl is Red Hot”), Del McCoury (“It’ll Be Me”), Tim O’Brien (“Miller’s Cave”), Sam Bush (“Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog”), Charley Pride (“Just Between You And Me” and “Kiss An Angel Good Morning”), Vince Gill (“Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger”), John Prine (“Ballad of a Teenage Queen”), Amos Lee (“I Know One”), Nikki Lane and Dan Auerbach (“Just Someone I Used To Know”), The Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan (“I’ve Been a Long Time Leaving (But I’ll Be a Long Time Gone)”), Marshall Chapman (“Let’s All Help the Cowboys (Sing the Blues)”), Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris (“Dreaming My Dreams With You”), Kris Kristofferson alongside Shawn Camp, Kenny Vaughan, W.S. Holland and David Roe (“Big River”), T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller (“Guess Things Happen That Way”), and John Hiatt (“Amanda”).
Plaques and presentations were bestowed upon the Cowboy, including those from the Music Health Alliance, for which the evening benefited; Sirius XM’s inaugural Steve Popovich Legacy Foundation Award; recognition sent by Gov. Bill Haslam recognizing Clement as an Official Ambassator of Goodwill from the state of Tennessee; and a framed letter from Michelle Obama, read by Nashville‘s Connie Britton.
Additional guests included legendary guitarist Scotty Moore, Deadwood’s Earl Brown, Sirius XM Outlaw Country’s Mojo Nixon and Hillbilly Jim, Ted Danson, Mary SteenburgenNashville writer Callie Khouri, and Allen Reynolds among many others.
At various times throughout the evening, recollections were made of time spent at the Cowboy’s famed Belmont home, which suffered fire damage in 2011. Nicknamed The Cowboy Arms Recording Studio and Spa, time spent at the home was remembered as hospitable to many developing talents. Of these vagabonds, Mary Gauthier noted, “When you put a bunch of outsiders together in a room, you get insiders.”
Shortly before Gauthier and Matt Urmy sang “We Must Believe In Magic,” Bono’s video tribute recalled the Cowboy always wondering if one believed in magic, particularly during the time Clement co-produced U2 at Sun Studios. “Jack, the magic believes in you,” said Bono.
Kristofferson similarly offered praise for the night’s honoree, crediting Clement for “everything good that has ever happened to me.”
Clement, himself, rounded off the evening’s performances on stage with 13 gifted musicians for performances of “When I Dream,” “Good Hearted Woman,” “Brazil” and “Gone Girl.”
For the evening’s attendees, the night was nothing short of magical––as so much of Clement’s life work has been.
Pictured (L-R): Shawn Camp, Kenny Vaughan, W.S. Holland, Kris Kristofferson, David Roe

Pictured (L-R): Shawn Camp, Kenny Vaughan, W.S. Holland, Kris Kristofferson, David Roe. Photo: Steve Lowry


Photo: Steve Lowry

Snapshots 1/31/13

MCA recording artist Josh Turner recently released the video for his new single “Find Me A Baby” from his current album Punching Bag.  The video features real life families and was directed by Peter Zavadil.

(L-R): Peter Zavadil & Josh Turner Photo: Taillight

(L-R): Peter Zavadil & Josh Turner Photo: Taillight

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The 15th Annual Sundance ASCAP Music Café was held January 18-25 and featured a wide range of ASCAP songwriters and bands from across the country. Artists appearing during the eight-day Music Café on Main Street in Park City, Utah included Nashville’s Blue Sky Riders (Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr), Dave Berg and Drake White, alongside an eclectic mix of performers such as Andrew Bird, Melanie Fiona, Sea Wolf and many more. For more information and additional photos from the Sundance ASCAP Music Café, please visit

Blue Sky Riders (Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman, Gary Burr)

Blue Sky Riders (Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman, Gary Burr)

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Nashville star Charles Esten stopped by the Martin Guitar booth at Winter NAMM in Anaheim recently to meet Chris Martin and see the newest 2013 Martin guitars being unveiled. Esten is a big Martin fan and plays Martins, and he and Esten are holding two of the New Authentics series models.

(L-R): Martin, Esten

(L-R): Martin, Esten


Country At The Ryman

GaryAllan_LgGary Allan, Vince Gill and Alan Jackson have upcoming headlining dates at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Info here.
Tickets for Gary Allan’s Wednesday, April 17 show go on sale tomorrow (Feb. 1) at 10 AM. Allan’s album Set You Free debuted at No. 1 this week on the Country Album charts with sales of 106k units.
Vince Gill and friends will perform April 9 at the 14th annual Jammin’ to Beat the Blues concert to benefit Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee. This is Gill’s fifth consecutive year headlining the popular show.
Alan Jackson’s March 20 concert sold out in less than four hours but VIP packages are still available. The event is the 5th annual Stars Go Blue Benefit Concert in celebration of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. VIP Experience tickets are $500 and include “gold circle” seating, a meet and greet with Jackson and more. $225 of your ticket purchase is tax-deductible. VIP details here.

MusicRowRecess: National Anthems Gone Country

With the Super Bowl XLVII coming up in New Orleans on Sunday (Feb. 3), one of the most burning questions for some viewers–besides which team will take home football’s ultimate trophy–will no doubt be, ‘Will the national anthem singer be fantastic or a miss?’
The Super Bowl has seen its share of country music performers masterfully sing the wordy patriotic tune and nail the tricky high notes (who doesn’t wonder for a split second if the national anthem singer will hit the phrase ‘land of the free’ with strength and clarity while several million people watch in person, on television and via the internet?).
In the spirit of the Super Bowl, here’s a review of some of country music’s stars giving it their all.

Faith Hill, Super Bowl XXXIV, Georgia Dome in Atlanta (2000)

Dixie Chicks, Super Bowl XXXVI, Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego (2003)

Carrie Underwood, Super Bowl XLIV, Sun Life Stadium in Miami (2010)

Kelly Clarkson, Super Bowl XLVI, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (2012)

Finally, a collection of snippets from numerous Super Bowl national anthems through the years (don’t miss a snippet of Garth Brooks from the 1993 Super Bowl at the 1:19 mark)

Blaster Records Signs Jared Ashley

Jared AshleyBlaster Entertainment President Mike Dennison has announced the signing of artist and songwriter Jared Ashley to the Blaster Records roster.
“We’re long-time believers in Jared’s talents as an artist and songwriter,” said Dennison. “He has been a client of Blaster Music’s management division for quite some time and with the recent expansion of our Nashville label team, we wanted him to have the opportunity to keep his music with the people who know him best.”
In addition to an aggressive touring schedule that sees him perform 180+ shows per year, Ashley is a prolific songwriter, co-writing eleven of the fourteen tracks on his 2011 self-released debut album. At least five of those songs are being retooled for inclusion Ashley’s Blaster full-length debut, along with a selection of newer songs he’s been writing.
Ashley will begin a national radio tour the first week of February in support of his debut single, “Last Train To Memphis,” with the track shipping to radio in the spring. Ashley’s as-yet-untitled album is tentatively scheduled for fall release through Blaster Records’ partnership with Warner Music Nashville.
“Blaster Records has grown so much in the last year and I’m thrilled to be able to keep my records in the family,” said Ashley. “These guys know me, believe in me and are passionate about the music that I’m making.  I can’t wait to get out there and start making friends at country radio!”
Ashley, who joins a Blaster Records roster that includes Hank Williams, Jr., Aaron Lewis, and Brother Trouble amongst others, is sponsored by Epiphone, Eminience and GHS Strings.