Stephen Stills Joins Americana Awards Show Lineup

americana music logo1The Americana Music Association Festival and Conference has finalized and announced the lineup for its upcoming 12th Annual Honors & Awards show Sept. 18 at the Ryman Auditorium. Among the planned highlights of the evening will be the original members of Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills and Richard Furay, reuniting to perform the band’s song “For What It’s Worth,” and Holly Williams offering up a musical tribute to her late grandfather Hank Williams Sr. before accepting a Lifetime and Special Achievement Award in his honor.
The event will also include performances by Robert Hunter, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dr. John, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Richard Thompson, John Fullbright, Shovels & Rope, Milk Carton Kids, JD McPherson, Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, and Duane Eddy.
Jim Lauderdale will host the show and Buddy Miller will lead the house band comprised of Don Was, Larry Campbell, Marco Giovono and John Deaderick. Presenters on tap for the evening include actor/musician Ed Helms, filmmaker Ken Burns, Rosanne Cash, Alejandro Escovedo, Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Billy Bragg, The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams, Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, First Amendment Center president Ken Paulson, Tift Merritt, and BBC legend, Bob Harris.
The event is open to the general public and a limited number of tickets are still available through the Ryman box office and at The purchase of a conference registration includes a ticket to the awards show. Fans can also watch or listen to the show as it airs live on AXS TV,, Sirius/XM’s “Outlaw Country” and WSM (7pm CT/8pm ET). Austin City Limits will broadcast an edited special on the show Nov. 23.

DISClaimer: A Song That Shakes You

dierks bentley featured11

Dierks Bentley

Despite the plethora of big names in today’s column, there isn’t a great deal of undeniable music. Almost everything is well done, but nothing really shook me down to my boots. Some of my favorite moments came from collaborations, such as John Fogerty & Miranda Lambert and Hank Williams Jr. & Merle Haggard. The best new message lyrics of the week are being sung by Ty Herndon and Ash Bowers.
The Disc of the Day prize goes to the always reliable Dierks Bentley. The DisCovery Award belongs to the Maryland-reared Brothers Osborne. Although I’m not all that enthused by their debut single, I sense that they are harboring much more compelling sounds. Plus, the reaction they are getting at their live shows is super encouraging.
Writers: Ash Bowers/Adam Craig/Shane Minor; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Wide Open/New
-Be strong and carry on when the weight of the world is bearing down on you. This song’s lyric has a message for us all, delivered by an encouraging tenor with roll-on, steady-groove instrumental support. Play this every Friday after work, and you’re bound to feel better.
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; No Big Deal
-As usual, these guys are models of professionalism. The understated vocal harmonies, easy-going instrumental work and deft song craftsmanship simply sparkle on this mid-tempo outing. Stay tuned for the dream-like, extended instrumental coda. All country bands should sound this cool.
TY HERNDON/Lies I Told Myself
Writers: Neal Coty/Neal Carpenter; Producer: Paul Compton; Publisher: Bug/BMG Chrysalis, BMI; Funl/Flying Lizard
-This superbly well written ballad lists familiar phrases to hold you back that we all might have heard. The singer has heard them, and is “glad I didn’t believe.” Ty’s heart-in-throat vocal conviction conveys the message movingly. The restrained production is also just right.
HANK WILLIAMS JR. & MERLE HAGGARD/I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink
Writer: Merle Haggard; Producer: Chris Farren; Publisher: Sony-ATV, no performance rights listed; Blaster/Bocephus
-Merle’s boozy 1980 hit gets an update with a drawled duet assist from Bocephus. Brotherly love.
Writers: Marv Green/Heather Morgan/Jimmy Robbins; Producer: Mark Bright; Publishers: Warner Tamerlane/The Good The Bad The Ugly/Made For This/Sony ATV; RCA (CDX)
-The plucked violin strings are nifty and catchy, as are the range-y vocal melody and the stacked chorus harmonies. In the lyric, she’s thinking of leaving, but wants to be stopped.
Brothers-OsbourneBROTHERS OSBORNE/Let’s Go There
Writers: Jon Mabe/John Osborne/T.J. Osborne; Producers: Brothers Osborne/Brad Hill; Publishers: Music of Stage Three/Mabe It Big/BMG Chrysalis/WB/All The Kings Pens; BMI/ASCAP; EMI (CDX)
-Bopping and jaunty, if not particularly memorable. A production that emphasized acoustic textures rather than electric guitars might have helped it sound more distinctive.
Writers: Brett James/Dierks Bentley; Producer: Ross Copperman; Publishers: WB/Songs of Brett/External Combustion/Big White Tracks; ASCAP; Capitol Nashville
-The deep bass rumble grabs you first. As usual, Dierks delivers with conviction as the rocker unleashes its message of cherishing the tried and true, the good, the old and the winning things. The production is like a crashing, foaming surf wave.
TOMMY ROE/Memphis Me
Writer: Tommy Roe; Producer: Tommy Roe; Publisher: Sony-ATV, BMI
-Pop vet Tommy Roe (”Sheila,” “Dizzy,” “Sweet Pea,” “Jam Up Jelly Tight,” etc.) has a mellow comeback ditty with a rolling groove that goes down easy. His vocal is a little thin sounding, but nevertheless glides smoothly over the simple, downhome melody.
Writer: John Fogerty; Producer: John Fogerty; Publisher: Jondora, BMI; Vanguard (track)
-Miranda lands the duet slot on the title tune of the acclaimed new John Fogerty CD. The two take turns singing leads and harmonies, sounding thrilling together throughout. Other country stars collaborating on the set include Brad Paisley (”Hot Rod Heart”), Alan Jackson (”Have You Ever Seen the Rain”), Zac Brown Band (”Bad Moon Rising”) and Keith Urban (”Almost Saturday Night”). The album includes many of the legend’s most famous songs as well as a handful of new compositions. Because of the cool arrangements, even the familiar tunes seem entirely fresh. Heartily recommended.
KRYSTAL KEITH/Get Your Redneck On
Writers: Krystal Keith/Nathan Chapman; Producer: Nathan Chapman; Publishers: Bumperdoo/Songs of Universal/Art in the Pain/BMI; Show Dog
-The lyric contains every cliche in the modern country playbook–beer, skinny dipping, listening to country songs, backwoods party–you know the drill. But there is absolutely nothing routine about her ringing vocal delivery, the lovely melody or the ear-opening production. A winner.

Laura Bell Bundy And Bobby Bones Host Marathon Dance For Haiti

Laura Bell Bundy performs her single "Two Step" on the Brickfest stage.
Laura Bell Bundy has partnered with nationally syndicated radio host Bobby Bones for a 24-hour dance marathon fundraiser for 30 Abes, which feeds orphans in Haiti. On Wednesday, September 18 at 7:00 a.m. Bundy, Bones and his crew, including Bones, Amy, Lunchbox, Eddie, Alayna and Ray, will gather at Nashville’s aVenue and attempt to dance for 24 consecutive hours while listening to Bundy’s single “Two Step” on repeat.
Dedicated fans can attend and participate in the event, titled “Two Step for 30 Abes,” or watch via live stream on “I’m a terrible dancer, but I love raising money for good causes!  I can’t wait to get my ‘Two Step’ on!” said Bones.
Bundy will join The Bobby Bones Show on Friday, September 13 to promote the fundraiser. “It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to give back with ‘Two Step!’… dancing for donations!” she said. “We are going to have a lot of fun in the process– and probably some lower back pain!”
Leading up to the dance marathon, Bones and his band The Raging Idiots will perform a concert fundraiser for 30 Abes in Wichita, Kan. with a special guest performance by Bundy on Friday, September 13.
For more information, please visit or

Toby Keith's Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert Raises $2 Million

Toby Keith

Toby Keith

More than 60,000 fans took part in raising approximately $2 million during the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s May Tornadoes Relief Fund. Money raised from the concert will go toward local recover efforts to aid those affected by the devastating tornadoes that hit Oklahoma in May 2013.
The concert, headlined by Toby Keith, took place on July 6 and featured Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Ronnie Dunn, Mel Tillis, John Anderson, Krystal Keith, Kellie Coffey, Wade Hayes and Carrie Underwood (via Satellite from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville). Television personality Storme Warren emceed the event, which was held at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Donations are still being accepted online via the United Way home page (, or by calling 405-236-8441.

Industry Photos (10-10-13)

SOLID recently visited the charity Notes For Notes, donating $4,000 to the cause.

(L-R): Front row: Nick Oldham, Kent Wolfenbarger, Sarah McGrady, Sabrina Abrishamchian, Heather Dicus, Phil Gilley and Jamal Dotson. Back row: Jeff Hoehne, Leona Edwards, Wes Perry and Eric Wright.

(L-R): Front row: Nick Oldham, Kent Wolfenbarger, Sarah McGrady, Sabrina Abrishamchian, Heather Dicus, Phil Gilley and Jamal Dotson. Back row: Jeff Hoehne, Leona Edwards, Wes Perry and Eric Wright.

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Brenda Lee was among the artists and dignitaries on hand to help celebrate the Owen Bradley Music Festival in Westmoreland, Tenn. this past weekend. Organizers estimate approximately 2,000 attendees took part in the combined Owen Bradley Music Festival and Talent Search.

Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee

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beth laird111

Via Twitter.

Congratulations to songwriter-producer Luke Laird and his wife Beth Laird at Creative Nation. Their son Jake Robert Laird was born Monday, Sept. 9 at 7:19 a.m. “Jake Robert Laird came at 7:19am this morning : )  and I feel so blessed!!! 8lbs 7oz and 19in long,” Beth Laird shared via Twitter.

2013 'MusicRow' Award Winners Cash In During CMA Noms

Kacey Musgraves accepts Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

Kacey Musgraves accepts Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Photo: Isabel Ross

This past year may be officially remembered for the rise of female artist Kacey Musgraves, who swept the 25th Annual industry-voted MusicRow Awards earlier this summer.
When the Country Music Association revealed final nominees for it’s 47th Annual ballot this week (Sept. 9), the MusicRow’s Breakthrough Songwriter, Artist and Song of the Year winner stood again at the forefront––receiving a possibility to win eight association trophies. The Mercury Nashville newcomer not only swept this year’s MusicRow Awards but was also nominated more than any other artist on the CMA ballot.
In addition to Musgraves’ success, MusicRow’s Song of the Year (tie) winners, “I Drive Your Truck” (Jessi Alexander/Connie Harrington/Jimmy Yeary) and “Merry Go ‘Round” (Musgraves/Josh Osbourne/Shane McAnally) were each also nominated for Country Music Association trophies. McAnally, who graced the cover of MusicRow’s (June/July) Print magazine, is a recipient of four 2013 CMA nods himself.
Reigning MusicRow Producer of the Year Dann Huff similarly received CMA ballot nods including Album of the Year and Musician of the Year. Paul Franklin, MusicRow’s Top 10 Album All-Star Musician of the Year (Steel Guitar) also received a nomination for the Association’s Musician of the Year.
MusicRow extends a sincere congratulations to it’s reigning Awards winners at this year’s 47th Annual CMA Awards show, which airs live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 8 pm ET on ABC.
The third and final CMA ballot will be emailed to Association members Thursday, Oct. 10. Voting for the final ballot ends Monday, Oct. 28 (5 p.m. CT).

Restless Heart Decking Halls With New Music This Year

4_w375_h339_s1_PL15_PCffffffRestless Heart is celebrating the season this year with a brand new, first-ever holiday album, A Restless Heart Christmas, due out Oct. 29. The Red River Entertainment project will include standards like “O Holy Night,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Angels We Have Heard On High,” and an a cappella version of “Silent Night,” along with two previously unreleased tracks.
The band is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary with the release of the new 10-track project, which was produced by Restless Heart’s Greg Jennings. “Christmas is my favorite holiday,” said lead singer Larry Stewart of the upcoming release.  “It’s hard to believe that we didn’t do this album earlier in our career.  But it’s pretty cool that we can release our first Christmas album on our 30th anniversary!”
A Restless Heart Christmas Track Listing:
1.  Season of Harmony
2.  Tennessee Christmas
3.  O Holy Night
4.  Old Toy Trains
5.  Silent Night
6.  Jingle Bell Rock
7.  Angels We Have Heard On High
8.  Little Drummer Boy
9.  The Christmas Song
10.  Santa’s Prayer

Big D & Bubba Morning Show Leaves Premiere

Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 2.13.41 PMAfter calling Premiere home for eight years, effective January 6, 2014, The Big D & Bubba Show will join Compass Media Networks who will exclusively manage all aspects of national advertising sales, affiliate marketing, and syndication. Together, the co-hosts released a statement that they have formed Silverfish Media for their own production and programming.
“We’re stoked about the next chapter in our professional lives and so appreciative of our partnerships with our existing advertisers and radio stations,” said Bubba, co-host of the show.
“We’re ready for the next evolution of the show,” added co-host Big D. “We’ve formed our own company, Silverfish Media, to give us control of programming and production on all platforms–radio, digital, and TV. We are very excited to work with Compass as our partner.”
“Big D & Bubba are proven winners. We are elated to work with them,” said Peter Kosann, CEO & Founder of Compass Media Networks.

iTunes Radio Launches; iOS 7, iPhone5c and 5s Revealed

itunes radioApple has officially entered into internet radio. The highly anticipated iTunes Radio was announced during a press event this afternoon (Sept. 10) at Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters. The radio service will be part of the iOS 7 update on Sept. 18. The service allows users to create their own stations and to purchase songs that they hear. It comes with more than 200 features. Several outlets offered live blogs of the press conference (here, here and here).
Apple also brought good news for iPhone users, revealing a Sept. 20 date for upgraded models. Next month, Apple plans to ship its 700 millionth iOS device. The iPhone 5S, an upgrade from iPhone 5, was also announced. With looks similar to the iPhone 5, the upgrade comes in new colors, including silver, gray and gold. It also holds an A7 chip, which, according to Apple, is the first 64-bit chip in a smartphone. Additionally there is an improved camera, and fingerprint-based security, which also are said to validate iTunes store purchases.
The company also announced the new iPhone 5C, which cost $99 each. The low-cost phones feature a plastic back, available in several colors including green, white, blue, red and yellow. Apple’s Phil Schiller says “you won’t see seams, or part lines or joins,” and the device is crafted from hard-coated polycarbonate.
Apple additionally revealed its iWork suite of apps, which include Pages, Numbers, iMovie, Keynote, and iPhoto. These apps were previously featured as premium software available for purchase. “We think that iWork is a really key advantage for our customers’ productivity, and iPhoto and iMovie are great for their creativity,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Almost all of our customers want these apps.”

Darius, Brad, Dwight Appear on New Country Kids Project

093624943488.170x170-75Renowned children’s author/illustrator Sandra Boynton is also a Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer, and she recently released her latest project, Frog Trouble. The 12-song country compilation for kids finds Boynton partnering up with Dwight Yoakam, Brad Paisley, Josh Turner, Darius Rucker, Kacey Musgraves, Ben Folds, and others on original tunes she wrote for the fun-filled project and recorded in Nashville.
The Warner Bros. project debuted at No. 3 on the iTunes Children’s Album Chart upon its release last week, and is Boynton’s first foray into country. The best-selling author of over 60 million books has also written and produced five albums and racked up nearly 3 million in sales. Her Philadelphia Chickens CD received a Grammy nomination and is nearing platinum status.
“It’s so exciting to finally send my first country album out into the wider world,” said Boynton about the new project. “I truly loved writing these songs. I loved working with every singer and every musician and every engineer on this album. Frog Trouble was everything collaboration should be, and I’m grateful and even a little stunned that it all came together in the way it did. I really can’t wait for people to hear it.”