Weekly Register: Chilly Sales Set To Warm Up

katieArmigerThe correlation between Nashville’s frigid temps and the music sales charts can’t be escaped this week as both all genre and country fall about two percentage points lower (see grids).
It’s not so much the “weather,” as “whether or not” there’s much new product to draw buyers online or into stores. Katie Armiger provided a bright spot this week however, with her debut effort entering the Current Country list at No. 7 touting an impressive 12k in units (14% digital). But still, the entire Top 75 Country albums chart was shy of 238k, probably a new all-time low on that gauge. In fact, Taylor Swift’s Red (No. 1; 41k) was the only title able to go north of 20k units! FGL (No. 2; 18k), Music of Nashville sndtrk (No. 3; 15k), Little Big Town (No. 4; 15k) and Jason Aldean (No. 5; 14k) filled out the Top 5.
Fortunately there are a few exciting releases on our radar over the coming weeks. For example, next week bins will be stuffed with new music from Randy Houser, Gary Allan and Tim McGraw (Curb)…a few weeks later Faith’s husband will have a second title enter the charts from his new label, Big Machine (2/5). I’m also on pins and needles waiting to hear the new effort from trio Blue Sky Riders (Kenny Loggins, Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman). Complete upcoming releases here.
Hit Tracks
weeklygrid1-20-13The Band Perry slides up to No. 1 this week with “Better Dig Two” selling over 70k downloads. The trio gently nudged Blake Shelton’s “Sure Be Cool…” out of the top spot as the Voice judge moved to No. 2 with sales of 63k. And with this cold weather, everyone seems to want to go on a “Cruise,” helping to keep FGL in the No. 3 spot again this week with units of about 60k. Also in the coveted Top 10 are Gary Allan (No. 4; 58k) and Hunter Hayes (No. 5; 55k).
weeklygrid1-13-13Lovely Hayden Panettiere from the series Nashville, debuts this week with “Love Like Mine” at No. 46. While I’ve never been one to enjoy soap operas, I have to say that I do look forward to this show with its sweeping Nashville cityscapes and great new songs each week from some of our city’s finest writers.
Speaking of digital tracks, there’s a comprehensive new report out this week from Columbia University called Copy Culture that reveals file sharing attitudes and behavior in the US and Germany. Read about it here, or see a quick infographic here.
Stay tuned for more Weekly Register, next week…

Songwriters Embark on Inaugural Seaside Retreat

Pictured (L-R): Bob DiPiero, Alex Heddle (Creative Dir. Love Monkey Music/Tom-Leis Music), Denny Carr (Dir.of A&R Roots Three Music), Matt Turner (Creative Mgr. OLE'), Emily Peacock (Office Mgr. Love Monkey Music/Tom-Leis), Micol Davis, Arthur Buenahora (General Mgr of OLE'), Ricky Davis, Leslie T. DiPiero (Partner of Tom-Leis), Matt Nolen, Brandon Kinney, Jeff Coplan. Center: Modica Market's Famous Banana Pudding. (Not pictured Ryan Tyndell)

Pictured (L-R): Bob DiPiero, Alex Heddle (Creative Dir. Love Monkey Music/Tom-Leis Music), Denny Carr (Dir.of A&R Roots Three Music), Matt Turner (Creative Mgr. ole), Emily Peacock (Office Mgr. Love Monkey Music/Tom-Leis), Micol Davis, Arthur Buenahora (General Mgr of ole), Ricky Davis, Leslie T. DiPiero (Partner of Tom-Leis), Matt Nolen, Brandon Kinney, Jeff Coplan. Center: Modica Market’s Famous Banana Pudding. (Not pictured Ryan Tyndell)

Writers and staff from Music Row publishing companies Sony/ATV, Love Monkey Music, Tom-Leis Music, ole and Roots Three Music gathered in Seaside, Fla. for the inaugural Seaside Songwriter Retreat, held January 16-20.
The annual retreat plans on inviting additional publishers each year to write songs, and enjoy seafood and the sun.

Artist News (1-23-13)

miranda_lambert_13568Miranda Lambert has confirmed that she will perform on the upcoming 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Lambert announced the performance during an appearance on CBS’ The Talk. “It means the world to have a nomination and perform,” she said.It’s awesome and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.” Lambert’s Four The Record is nominated for Best Country Album.

• • •

Dustin LynchThe Country Network’s Inside Tracks: Dustin Lynch will air on Thursday (Jan. 23) at 7 p.m. The concert special was filmed in late 2012 at the Sound Kitchen in Franklin, Tenn. before a live studio audience. The special also features footage as TCN traveled to Dustin Lynch‘s hometown of Tullahoma, Tenn. on the day of his homecoming show, where the performer was awarded a key to the city by the mayor of Tullahoma. Over 10,000 people attended the performance.

• • •

Country music took the stage for this weekend’s NFL championship games with two of the leading groups performing the National Anthem. Zac Brown Band performed at the Georgia Dome for the NFC Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers, while Gloriana performed at Gillette Stadium at the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.


Gloriana at Gillette Stadium



Bobby Karl Works The Grammy Nominees Party

Pictured (L-R): Karen Fairchild, Philip Sweet, Little Big Town; Tamara “Taj” George (SWV), Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook of Little Big Town. Photo: The Recording Academy/Frederick Breedon/WireImage

Pictured (L-R): Karen Fairchild and Philip Sweet of Little Big Town; Tamara “Taj” George (SWV); Kimberly Schlapman and Jimi Westbrook of Little Big Town. Photo: The Recording Academy/Frederick Breedon/WireImage

Chapter 415

I know we’ve been staging these things annually for more than 20 years, but this really, really was the best Nashville Grammy nominees party ever. Hosted by Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on a frigid Tuesday evening (Jan. 22), it was truly a blast of a bash.
Let’s start with the nominees, themselves. “The talent that comes out of this town is amazing,” said Recording Academy Nashville prez Jon Randall Stewart. “We have so much diversity in this town.” Added Nashville NARAS director Susan Stewart, “We’re represented in 23 categories with more nominees than ever.” National NARAS board prez George Flanigen stated, “We have seven acts in three of the four overall categories [Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist]. Nashville is well represented.” He also reminded us that the Grammy nominations concert special was broadcast from Music City, the first time this has ever been held outside of L.A.


Carrie Underwood talks with media on the red carpet. Photo: Eric Parker

Okay, the party lacked such top Nashville noms as Jack White, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift and The Black Keys, all of whom are on the road, Susan averred. But look at who did show up – country stars Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Ronnie Dunn, Little Big Town and Hunter Hayes, plus honorees representing many other genres. Janis Ian (spoken word), TobyMac (contemporary Christian), members of Old Crow Medicine Show (music video), Dailey & Vincent (bluegrass), Shawn Camp & Tamara Saviano (folk), Tamara “Taj” George (traditional r&b as a member of SWV), Matthew West (contemporary Christian), Larry Carlton (jazz), members of The Grascals (bluegrass), Will Hoge & Eric Paslay (country song), Rhett Walker (contemporary Christian), Josh Kear (country song) and such members of The Time Jumpers as Kenny & Dawn Sears, Doug Green, Andy Reiss and Vince Gill (country group) all sashayed down the red carpet.
Best party ever? How about the food? Loews Vanderbilt has been our gracious host for lo these many years, but this year its chefs outdid themselves. The buffet tables held pimento cheese beef sliders, mini brie & fig grilled cheese items, smoked beef tenderloin, duck tater tots, white bean hummus, mini pickled fried chicken biscuits, smoked bacon deviled eggs, southern cured meats & cheddar biscuits and pickles and raw veggies with a variety of delish dips. I ate all of them.

Dierks Bentley on the red carpet. Photo: Eric Parker

Best party ever? How about the music? While guests mingled, they were serenaded by the jazz stylings of The Birdsong Trio, led by bass player deluxe John Birdsong.
Best party ever? What about that guest list? The crème de la crème of Music Row attended. The list of babbling fabulons included Randy Scruggs, Steve Scruggs, Steve Gibson, Chris Farren, Chris Keaton, Erin Morris, Ed Morris, Pat Higdon, Pat McMakin, Pete Fisher, power couples Ron & Regina Stuve, David & Carolyn Corlew and Steve & Ree Guyer Buchanan and also the triple named Erika Wollam Nichols and Mary Ann McCready, not to mention Jon Randall Stewart.
They were joined by Jim Myers, Jimmy Carter, Jessie Schmidt, John Ingrassia, Jason Owen, Jody Williams, Jeff Walker, Carla Wallace, Hunter Kelly, Holly Bell, Fletcher Foster, Frank Liddell, Dan Hill, Doug Howard, Dennis Lord, Debbie Carroll, Drew Alexander, Diane Pearson, Denise Stiff, Mike Sisted, Nancy Shapiro, Earle Simmons, Terry Hemmings, Tree Paine, Tim Fink, Tracy Gershon, Gary Overton, Ansel Davis, Autumn House, Allen Brown, Rod Essig, Ronna Rubin, Sherod Robertson, Susan Niles, Garth Fundis, Mark Bright, Lori Badgett and Scott McDaniel.
Politicos working the room included Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Council’s Megan Barry and Court Clerk Howard Gentry. Celebs sprinkled around included Deana Carter. She was a nominee last year and is back in her hometown mixing a new record and co-writing songs. She was staying in the hotel, so she came downstairs to join us. Eddie DeGarmo was there as a CCM exec nowadays, but I’ll never forget his music as a Christian rocker. I kept staring at this one guy I thought I recognized. Then I realized it was “Avery” from the Nashville TV show, a.k.a, singing actor Jonathan Jackson. Stylish Susanne Mumpower, a.k.a. Iodine, was on the arm of her hubby, Grascal Jamie Johnson. Irish singer and recording artist Michael Londra is in town making a record. He was totally starstruck gazing at the nominees, as were we all.
The internationally telecast 55th annual Grammy Awards will take place in Los Angeles on February 10.
Pictured (l to r):  Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Recording Academy, George Flannigen, Sony Nashville chief Gary Overton, Carrie Underwood and Nashville Chapter President Jon Randall Stewart. Photo: The Recording Academy/Ed Rode

Pictured (L-R): George Flannigen (Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Recording Academy), Gary Overton (Sony Nashville), Carrie Underwood and Jon Randall Stewart (Nashville Chapter President). Photo: The Recording Academy/Ed Rode

Pictured (L-R): Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Hunter Hayes, George Flannigen. Photo: The Recording Academy/Ed Rode

Pictured (L-R): Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Hunter Hayes, George Flannigen. Photo: The Recording Academy/Ed Rode

DISClaimer Single Reviews (1/23/13)

Phil Lee

Phil Lee

What a bunch of crap. There was precious little pleasant listening during this session, since nearly half the discs were dogs. The bright spots included Joel Crouse, John Damian and Chris Wall. The critically acclaimed and criminally unrewarded Phil Lee has the Disc of the Day. All country lovers should shower him with their love and money. The brightest spot of all was the DisCovery Award winner. Tyler Farr grabbed ahold of my ears and didn’t let go for a second.
JOHN DAMIAN/Gingerbread Man
Writer: Vernon Rust; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Reptile 
—The chiming, driving track has plenty of catchy, sitar-ish guitar work and his vocal on this well-written, hooky country rocker is packed with passion. Nicely done.
EASTON CORBIN/All Over the Road
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Mercury Nashville (ERG) 
—Bland. In one ear and out the other.
Writer: Anderson/Robbins/Wilson; Producer: Kent Wells; Publisher: none listed; GTR (www.jordanandersoncountry.com)
—It’s a wild, super-energetic rocker laced with fiddle. Her vocal is ever so slightly flat.
Tyler Farr

Tyler Farr

EMERSON DRIVE/She’s My Kind of Crazy
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; TTA Quarterback (ERG)
—She has a tattoo on her butt, wears a ponytail and drives a junk car. Naturally, he’s completely smitten. I’m not. Pass.
CHRIS WALL/Six Shiny Strings
Writer: Chris Wall; Producer: Chris Wall, Lloyd Maines & Merel Bregante; Publisher: Shallow Pockets, BMI; Cold Spring (track) 
—This Texas favorite recorded his new El Western Motel CD in Austin with the gifted Lloyd Maines providing instrumental support. This acoustic, folk-country lead-off track is the tale of a boy who falls under the spell of music making. It’s like listening to a good buddy tell you a story. A sound of warmth and charm.
TYLER FARR/Redneck Crazy
Writer: Josh Kear/Mark Irwin/Chris Tompkins; Producer: Jim Catino & Julian King; Publisher: Global Dog/Big Yellow Dog/Lunalight/Words & Music/Green Vinyl/Big Loud Songs/Angel River/Big Loud Bucks, ASCAP; Columbia 
—I listened to him introduce this song on the Opry on Saturday night. It sounded good to me then, and it sounds good to me now. It’s a gripping little record. He sings with fevered, raspy emotion, and the creepy, quasi-stalking lyric is kinda scary in its obsessiveness. Well worth your spins.
DALE WATSON/Daughter’s Wedding Song
Writer: Dale Watson; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Dale Watson/Bug, BMI; Red House (track) 
—I just can’t get over the fact that this guy is not a gigantic country superstar. He sings like a lost son of Merle Haggard, writes songs with the best of them and looks cool to boot. This sweet, slow waltz appears on his new El Rancho Azul collection. It is a mite repetitive, but daddies everywhere will melt for its sentiment.
JOEL CROUSE/If You Want Some
Writer: Joel Crouse/Jamie Houston/Luke Laird; Producer: Jamie Houston; Publisher: Joel Crouse/Happy Cake/Songs of Universal/Creative Nation/Twangin’ and Slangin,’ BMI/ASCAP; Show Dog Universal 
—Happy and youthful, it’s an invitation to a party that is just about irresistible. Love his drawl and his phrasing. The track chugs right along.
PHIL LEE/She Don’t Let Love Get in the Way
Writer: Phil Lee; Producer: Richard Bennett; Publisher: Grim Reminder, BMI; Palookaville (track) (www.philleeone.com)
—Lee is the greatest honky-tonk singer in the modern history of Lower Broadway in Music City. His new CD is called The Fall & Further Decline of the Mighty King of Love. This track blends blues, country and calypso with just a touch of Mexicali while he intones like a young Dylan. I remain an enormous fan.
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; WSR 
—Completely incompetent, from vocal performance to instrumental noise to studio sonics. Easily the worst record I have heard in decades. Must be heard to be believed.

Nashville Artist Management Companies Merge

888 Management LogoGeorge Couri and Bruce Kalmick are joining forces by merging their companies, Triple 8 Management and Ambiance Artists.
The blended staff of each of the companies are working under one roof as Triple 8 Management. With 18 full-time employees, the company will focus on radio promotion, marketing, new media, merchandising and tour marketing.
“Since forming Triple 8 Management back on 08/08/08, we have been building and structuring the way we do business a specific way, and once Bruce and I began talking it became immediately clear that he had been doing it the very same way on his own,” says Couri. “So its very exciting to join two similarly-built teams together and get even more done for our clients.”
“I couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with a group of people as motivated, skilled and talented as George and his team,” says Kalmick. “Together, we will continue to do what we both do best; break new ground for our clients on all levels.”
The combined roster includes Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville), Josh Abbott Band (WMN/Atlantic), Joe Nichols (Red Bow/Broken Bow) and The Cadillac Black.

Tin Pan South Dates Announced

tin pan south 2013The Nashville Songwriters Association International has announced that the 21st Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival will take place April 2-6 in Nashville. Regions Bank will return for the seventh year as the presenting sponsor.
Produced by NSAI, Tin Pan South is the world’s largest all-songwriter festival. In 2012, nearly 350 talented songwriters performed 92 shows at ten of Nashville’s top music venues. Over 9,000 music fans attend the event annually to hear songwriters tell stories behind hit songs they have written and perform the songs as they’re were originally composed.
For the sixth consecutive year, students from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film competed to design the artwork for all Tin Pan South marketing pieces, passes, posters and banners. This year’s winning artwork was designed by Kelsey Goessman. The southern Illinois native is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design.

Artist News (1/22/13)

Kasey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves

Mercury Records singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves is scheduled to release a debut album, Same Trailer Different Park, March 19. In addition to maintaining writing credits on all of the album’s tracks including her current single “Merry Go ‘Round,” Musgraves shares co-producing credits with Shane McAnally and Luke Laird. Musgraves is scheduled to appear on Little Big Town’s Tornado Tour starting January 31, and Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation stadium tour this summer. The 24-year-old previous Nashville Star contestant is also up for her first award, an ACM New Female Vocalist nomination. Fans can vote here.

• • •

Lady Antebellum has revealed its latest single, “Downtown,” as the lead single from its fourth forthcoming studio album. The band will debut the track next week (Jan. 28) on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, then a second performance the following week (Feb. 6) on CBS’s The Talk. For a preview of “Downtown,” click here. The track is available now for radio via Play MPE.

• • •

EYBEli Young Band performed its current single “Say Goodnight” and No. 1 title “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” during last night’s (Jan. 21) episode of The Bachelor. Nearly 7.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the ABC show, which featured a private concert between the bachelor himself, potential love interest AshLee, alongside two chronically ill teenage fans of the band. Watch the performances at the 52:04 & 57:40 marks here. The group is in the middle of recording a sophomore Republic Nashville album and will hit the road with Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Nation tour in March.

Entertainment Evolution Promotes Mullins, Adds Porisch

Shelly Mullins

Shelly Mullins

Entertainment marketing, management and consulting company Entertainment Evolution announces the promotion of Shelly Mullins to the role of Vice President and adds Johann Porisch as Account Executive.
Entertainment Evolution handles the newly created music program at Buffets, Inc., which includes restaurants Ryans, Country Buffet, Fire Mountain, Old Country Buffet, Hometown Buffet and Granny’s Buffet. They also manage Janie Fricke and The Roys.
Mullins has over 25 years experience in entertainment, including stints at Cumulus Radio, High Five Entertainment, William Morris, Creative Workshops/Southern Writers Group and Shop at Home.
Johann Porisch

Johann Porisch

Porisch graduated from Baylor University in December of 2012 where he majored in Music and Entertainment Marketing.  At Baylor, Porisch served as a Producer for All-University SING, one of the largest non-professional, off-Broadway productions in the world, and founded Uproar Concert Promotions with the aim of bringing quality entertainment to campus. Porisch will report directly to Mullins.
Mullins can be reached at [email protected]. Porisch can be reached at [email protected].

Rascal Flatts and Journey Pair for CMT Super Bowl Crossroads

Journey & Rascal Flatts at 2012 CMT Awards. Photo: Rick Diamond

Journey & Rascal Flatts at 2012 CMT Awards. Photo: Rick Diamond

Rascal Flatts and Journey are scheduled to pair for CMT’s Super Bowl Crossroads concert, airing at 11 p.m. ET  on Feb. 2, the evening before Super Bowl XLVII.
This year’s event will mark the second collaboration between the two bands, who closed the CMT Music Awards together in 2012 with a performance of Journey’s signature, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Rascal Flatts has delivered 14 No. 1 singles and recently celebrated over 7 million concert tickets sold since debuting in 2000. Formed in 1973, Journey has delivered 19 Top 40 singles with the band’s Greatest Hits album having been certified 15 times platinum.
The event will be taped the night of the airing (Feb. 2) with an hour delay from the New Orleans Sugar Mill, in Louisiana. Fans can register to be a part of CMT Crossroads as NFL Insiders at www.1iota.com.