Spin Doctors, Visual Image Marketing Form Consors Entertainment

consorsSpin Doctors Music Group’s President and CEO Al Brock, and Executive VP Kristin Johnson have joined forces with Visual Image Marketing’s CEO Steve Baker to form a new “artist career” company called Consors Entertainment.
Consors Entertainment was formed to help independent artists assemble and choose their management, radio and video promotion, publicity, social media and artist branding team. Consors Entertainment will act as project coordinator for this team so the artist can concentrate on writing and performing.
“In our many discussions with independent artists over the past few months, one of the common complaints we kept hearing was that the artist was so busy with the business of being an artist that they were not able to devote enough time to the creative side of being an artist,” says Baker. “Being a Consors client offers artists a way to assemble a strong team that can help move their career forward and, most importantly, give them the ability to step back and devote more time to writing and performing.”
In addition to having mutual Consors Entertainment clients, Spin Doctors Music Group and Visual Image Marketing will each continue to be fully involved with their individual clients outside of Consors Entertainment.
Spin Doctors Music Group was founded in 2010; the company focuses on unsigned, independent artists looking to get their music played on Country radio stations. Spin Doctors Music Group specializes in promotion to the MusicRow reporting panel, as well as BDS Indicator and Mediabase Activator stations. Spin Doctors Music Group also owns and operates Spin Doctors Promotions, SMG Records-Nashville, and Next Generation Artist Management, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brock Entertainment Inc.
Visual Image Marketing has offered music video promotion and marketing services, specializing in building awareness for independent Country artists at national music networks and many other video outlets across the US & Europe.
For more information, visit spindoctorsnashville.com or visualimagemarketing.com.

DisClaimer: Try Bluegrass For Your Country Cravings

della mae111Do you miss Country music? If so, I prescribe a trip to the land of bluegrass. That’s where you’ll find hillbilly satisfaction. Today’s Disc of the Day comes from a visitor to that Land, country superstar Alan Jackson.
The DisCovery Award goes to Della Mae. This all-female band has earned a Grammy nomination with its first major-label album, and richly deserves it.
DAILEY & VINCENT/Steel Drivin’ Man
Writer: Jamie Dailey; Producers: Jamie Dailey & Darrin Vincent; Publisher: Bluegrass Ambassador, BMI; Rounder (track)
-These guys are nominated for a bluegrass Grammy Award, and this might be their year. The category has long been dominated by Ricky Skaggs and Alison Krauss, neither of whom is nominated. The only prior winner (2005) who is a nominee is Del McCoury. If speed counts, this lead-off track of Brothers of the Highway should aid Dailey & Vincent’s chances. It is a blistering, full-throttle attack with all of the band members wearing their digits out on their instruments. Other highlights include lovely remakes of the Louvin Brothers’ “When I Stop Dreaming” and Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper’s “Tomorrow I’ll Be Gone,” plus the lilting, beautifully written and performed title tune.
THE BOXCARS/You Took All the Ramblin’ Out of Me
Writer: Jerry Hubbard; Producer: The Boxcars; Publisher: Sixteen Stars, BMI; Mountain Home
-Also a Grammy nominee, this Nashville band is packed with stellar instrumentalists. The Boxcars’ It’s Just a Road CD features this ramblin’-boy ditty penned by the late Jerry Reed. If there’s no special spark here, it is still a solid piece of work.
ALAN JACKSON/Blue Ridge Mountain Song
Writer: Alan Jackson; Producers: Keith Stegall and Adam Wright; Publishers: EMI April/Tri-Angels; ASCAP; ACR/EMI (track)
-This pretty tune from Alan’s The Bluegrass Album recently hit No. 1 on the CMT video chart. Amid tinkling mandolin and banjo, the star’s heartfelt hillbilly baritone sings of a sweet, innocent love that continues beyond death. Completely charming.
CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS/Lonely Comes Easy
Writer: Chris Jones; Producer: Chris Jones; Publisher: Gal Sal, BMI; Rebel (track)
-I’ve always liked these guys. Jones has one of those warm, instantly enveloping voices, and this terrific, ineffably sad song shows what a fine writer he is. You’ll find it on the group’s current album by the same name. Bluegrass celeb guests on the collection include Claire Lynch, Dan Tyminski, Sierra Hull and Ron Block. Heartily recommended.

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Alan Jackson


RICKY SKAGGS & BRUCE HORNSBY/The Way It Is
Writer: B.R. Hornsby; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Sony-ATV/Zappo, BMI; Skaggs Family
-Pop star Hornsby, who previously won a bluegrass Grammy with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1989, teams up with Skaggs on the live CD Cluck Ol’ Hen. The album’s delightful reworking of his 1986 hit is so grassy you’ll hardly recognize it. Piano and all.
BLUE HIGHWAY/The Game
Writers: Shawn Lane/Barry Bales; Producer: Blue Highway; Publishers: Cat Town/Quackhead, BMI; Rounder (track)
-Blue Highway is remarkable for its endurance. In a genre where band members are constantly being reshuffled, this group is celebrating its 20th anniversary together. Its 11th album dropped yesterday. This high, lonesome title tune — cowritten by the band’s Shawn Lane — kicks the collection off in style. Tim Stafford’s lead vocals remain among the best in the biz, and the award-winning dobro work of Rob Ickes is as stellar as ever.
CARL JACKSON/Just As I Am/Softly and Tenderly
Writers: Charlotte Elliott/William B. Bradbury – Will L. Thompson; Producers: Carl Jackson and Jimmy Metts; Publisher: public domain; Voxhall (track)
-Jackson’s Grace Notes album is a collection of acoustic guitar instrumentals of cherished hymns. It is a gentle gift of melody that wafts through your soul.
DELLA MAE/This World Oft Can Be
Writers: Courtney Hartman/Celia Woodsmith; Producer: Bryan Sutton; Publishers: Fearless Hum/Squawkboxmusic, BMI; Rounder (track)
-This all-female quintet is the Cinderella story of this year’s bluegrass Grammy Awards. Della Mae is nominated for music’s top honor with its debut album. This haunting, minor-key, Celtic flavored melody is its title tune. The Bostonians recorded their project at John Carter Cash’s studio in Hendersonville. If they don’t win your heart, it must be made of stone.
JAMES KING/The Devil’s Train
Writers: Cliff Carlisle/Mel Foree; Producers: Ken Irwin and Steve Chandler; Publishers: Sony-ATV/Acuff-Rose; BMI; Rounder (track)
-This veteran stylist is one of the bluegrass world’s most soulful singers. He is Grammy nominated for his Three Chords and the Truth album. This rapid-fire cautionary tale is the set’s lead song. It’s a measure of his gifts that he can make such familiar songs as “Chiseled in Stone” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” into fresh listening experiences.
LORRAINE JORDAN AND CAROLINA ROAD/That’s Kentucky
Writers: Dixie Hall/Tom T. Hall; Producer: Josh Goforth; Publisher: Good Home Grown; BMI; Pinecastle (track)
-This is currently No. 1 on the bluegrass-music charts and is also the band’s new video. Lead singer Tommy Long is your tender, persuasive guide through this lively ode to the Bluegrass State that name checks Abe Lincoln and Bill Monroe. In a genre where flash is the norm, these guys win you over with seemingly effortless expertise.

Weekly Register: Nettles, Pardi and Cash

registerpicThe third week of sales is the charm, with overall album sales up four percent from last week and Country album sales up an impressive 26 percent week over week, with several noteworthy debuts.
Jennifer NettlesThat Girl (Mercury Nashville) is the top Country debut (No. 5 overall), selling 54k units this week. Meanwhile, Rosanne Cash’s River & The Thread (Blue Note Records) debuts at No. 2 (No. 11 overall), selling 19k units. Cash’s album features 11 songs co-written with husband John Leventhal. Jon Pardi’s Write You A Good Song (Capitol Nashville) debuts at No. 3 (No. 14 overall), with 17k units sold.
Another noteworthy debut is Cody Johnson’s Cowboy Like Me (Cody Johnson), which debuts at No. 7, selling 8k units. Finally, Home Free, of NBC’s The Sing Off, release their debut album Crazy Life (Columbia Records), landing at No. 8 with 6k units sold.
Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes is the top overall debut this week, selling 99k units. YTD, overall album sales are down 13.8 percent, while Country album sales are down 13 percent.
albums (1)tracksThe top Country track is Eric Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown,” (No. 24 overall), selling 61k units this week (89k RTD). Rascal Flatt’s “Rewind” is the top Country debut, coming in at No. 6 (No. 42 overall), selling 38k units. Additionally, MusicRow’s inaugural Challenge Coin winner Cole Swindell debuts “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” at No. 8, selling 35k units.
Katy Perry and Juicy’s “Dark Horse” continues as the top overall track, selling 216k units this week and 2 million units RTD. Pop powerhouses Shakira and Rihanna’s “Can’t Remember To Forget You” debuts at No. 16 overall with 82k units sold. YTD, overall track sales are down 11.9 percent, while Country track sales are down 17 percent. This week’s track sales fell short of sales around this time last year, which saw Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” debut with 315k units sold and The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” sell 70k units.
Check back next week to see which Grammy performers experienced a post-show download bump following Sunday night’s show (Jan. 26).

UMPG Inks Agreement with Pandora for BMI Repertoire

umpglogoUniversal Music Publishing Group has signed a license agreement with Pandora that will allow Pandora to play UMPG’s songs in the BMI catalog, reports Billboard.
“Our deal with Pandora is another step toward reaching our goal of ensuring that there is a vibrant digital marketplace where both music services and the songwriters and composers who make those services possible can thrive,” UMPG chairman and CEO Zach Horowitz said in a statement. “This arrangement will allow music fans to enjoy our music on Pandora while protecting our songwriters and composers.”
In September, a judge ruled that UMPG (as well as other publishers) has the right to withdraw digital licensing from performance rights organizations, though they would have to pull all rights, not just digital. However, the judge also ruled that Pandora had an interim consent-decree license that would expire Dec. 31, 2015. On Dec. 18, 2013, the judge ruled that there was no interim consent-decree license. This ruling translated that if UMG withdrew from BMI after Dec. 31, Pandora’s BMI blanket license would no longer cover UMPG songs.
Afterward, UMPG and Pandora began direct negotiations for a license for the BMI repertoire; an agreement was reached on Dec. 31, 2013. Terms of that agreement were not disclosed. Currently, the license means that UMPG and its songwriters/composers will not be subject to Pandora/BMI rate court proceeding.
“Today, songwriters and composers are too often denied fair compensation for their work because BMI and ASCAP, the two major performance rights organizations that license these services, are regulated by antiquated consent decrees, conceived in a different century for a different world,” said Horowitz. “The decrees make government mandated rate courts the final arbiters of fees especially problematic in the rapidly evolving digital marketplace where an absence of market benchmarks may make that impractical, and where the consent decrees restrict the courts from customizing arrangements to address the full array of issues that may arise.”
pandora_logoPandora offered a different view of the rulings. “Judge Stanton’s series of rulings [in the BMI rate court] created uncertainty within the music industry and threatened to negatively impact songwriters and performers by having their music removed from the largest U.S. internet radio service,” Pandora said in a statement. “With only days to act before a January 1st deadline, we moved quickly to reach an agreement to keep their music playing on Pandora. This agreement should be viewed as a specific approach to address a short term-issue resulting from a legal decision.”
UMPG’s Howowitz added, “Direct negotiations between a willing buyer and willing seller offer the best approach to empowering services while securing reasonable fees and terms for songwriters and composers. UMPG’s deal with Pandora for our BMI repertoire is a prime example of this.”

Paradigm Expands International Reach

paradigmParadigm Talent Agency is expanding its international reach with yesterday’s (Jan. 21) acquisition of a 50 percent stake in London based Coda Music Agency. The agreement is expected to help Paradigm artists tour overseas, and Coda artists tour stateside.
Paradigm’s Nashville office, headed by Curt Motley, represents Toby Keith, Radney Foster, Brenda Lee, Dave Barnes, Dwight Yoakam, Eli Young Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs, The Mavericks and many more. The agency is also home to Aerosmith, Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Ed Sheeran, fun., Imagine Dragons, Jason Mraz and Phish.

In the last decade, Paradigm has grown with purchases including Monterey Peninsula Artists, Little Big Man agency and a joint venture partnership with EDM agency AM Only, which reps David Guetta and Skrillex.

Country Performers Added to MusiCares Tribute to Carole King

carole king111

Carole King


Zac Brown, LeAnn Rimes, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Stuart Duncan are among the artists who have been added as performers to honor Carole King as 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year.
They will join an already star-studded lineup of previously announced performers that includes Jennifer Nettles, Amy Grant, Martina McBride, Steven Tyler, Sara Bareilles, Merry Clayton, Jakob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Lisa Fischer, Louise Goffin, Judith Hill, Jesse & Joy, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Darlene Love, Leah McFall, Miguel, Jason Mraz, Pink, James Taylor, Train, and will.i.am.
The MusiCares event will take place Friday, Jan. 24 at Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
MusiCares provides a safety net of assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.

Industry Ink (1/21/14)

ascap 100 years11The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)’s Music Row office will be featured on the hit ABC television drama Nashville on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. CT. The series stars Connie Britton as fading country music superstar Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as young rising country star Juliette Barnes, longtime ASCAP members Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne) and Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), and more.
The episode will also feature a commercial in the New York City and Nashville viewing areas for the ASCAP short film, Why We Create Music, and its accompanying song, “More Than The Stars.” The commercial debuted during the 2014 Grammy nominations television special in December, and will also air during the Grammy Awards telecast on Sunday, Jan. 26. For more information, visit ascap100.com.

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Universal Music Publishing Group’s Kent Earls and wife Martha Earls, an artist manager, welcomed their second daughter on Monday, Jan. 20 at 1:35 p.m. CT. Sydney Anne Earls weighed 6 lbs, 4 oz. and was 19 inches long. She joins big sister Avery Earls.
“Martha and Sydney are doing great!! We feel very, very blessed,” said Kent.

• • •

acmThe Academy of Country Music has partnered with Beats Music as a curator partner for the new music streaming subscription service, which officially launches Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. As one of only three designated Country music curator partners, the Academy of Country Music is one of 30 brands to create playlists of editorialized music.
As part of the partnership, the Academy of Country Music will curate and maintain playlists for every occasion and feature playlists introducing consumers to some of today’s top country artists, as well favorite Country classics. Fans are encouraged to follow the Academy of Country Music using the Beats Music app for weekly updated playlists.

• • •

Chris Keaton has signed an agreement with singer/songwriter Jim Reilley for song plugging and management. Reilley and band, The New Dylans, are in pre-production for a new recording due later this year.

Pictured (L-R): Chris Keaton and Jim Reilly

Pictured (L-R): Chris Keaton and Jim Reilley

'Financial Times' Reports on BMLG's Global Strategy

BMLG1Big Machine Label Group and Scott Borchetta are the subject of an article titled “The machine behind Taylor Swift” in yesterday’s (Jan. 20) Financial Times. As Swift prepares for a string of dates in London next month, the British paper reports on Big Machine’s global strategy.
A key part of the strategy is artists making the commitment to tour abroad, as Swift has done three or four times a year since 2008. Fellow BMLG artists The Band Perry and Rascal Flatts are set for upcoming concerts in Europe. Meanwhile, the label group is priming The Cadillac Three for an international push.
“We have a mantra here that we’re right until proven wrong,” Borchetta told FT. “I want to give [international] listeners a chance to decide, and if they tell us, ‘You know what, we don’t like that,’ then OK, we’ve got it. I tell my artists all the time: ‘If you want to go just once, go on vacation. If you’re not going to come back, they’re going to forget about you.’”
The article also discusses BMLG’s groundbreaking royalty deals with radio, and its use of streaming services. For example, the label group withheld Swift’s blockbuster Red from streaming for more than six months after release, but licensed music by newer act Florida Georgia Line.

DiPiero To Be Featured at CMHOF's 'Poets and Prophets'

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Bob DiPiero


Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Bob DiPiero will be honored at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum on Saturday, Feb. 15, as the latest subject of the quarterly program series Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters. The 1:30 p.m. in-depth interview and performance, held in the museum’s Ford Theater, is included with museum admission and free to museum members. The program will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming.
The 90-minute program, hosted by Museum Editor Michael Gray, will include recordings, photos and film clips from the museum’s Frist Library and Archive. Seating for the program is limited, and program passes are required for admittance. Immediately following, DiPiero will sign limited edition, commemorative Hatch Show Print® posters.
DiPiero has penned Country hits for more than three decades, providing the life-long soundtrack for a generation of Country listeners. In that time, he has written hits for John Anderson, Easton Corbin, Neal McCoy, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, the Oak Ridge Boys, Shenandoah, George Strait, Pam Tillis and others.
Robert John DiPiero was born in Youngstown, Ohio, on March 3, 1951. He learned to play guitar and joined his first band at age 14. Later, he put himself through college playing in a rock & roll band and graduated with a music degree from Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. He moved to Nashville in the 1970s, and later signed a publishing contract with Combine Music. His first Country cut came in the 1980s courtesy of McEntire, who recorded “I Can See Forever In Your Eyes.” Three years later, DiPiero’s “American Made,” recorded by the Oak Ridge Boys, ascended to the pinnacle of the Country charts, and was featured in a major ad campaign for Miller Beer.
More hit songs followed, including McEntire’s “Little Rock,” Restless Heart’s “That Rock Won’t Roll,” Shenandoah’s “The Church on Cumberland Road” and John Anderson’s “Money in the Bank.” In 1995, DiPiero earned the Country Music Association’s Triple Play Award for writing three No. 1 hits in a 12-month period: “Wink” (Neal McCoy), “Take Me As I Am” (Faith Hill) and “Till You Love Me” (McEntire). He repeated the feat the next year with “Blue Clear Sky” (George Strait), “Daddy’s Money” (Ricochet) and “Worlds Apart” (Vince Gill).
DiPiero teamed with Woody Bomar and Kerry O’Neil to establish independent publisher Little Big Town Music in 1987. When Sony/ATV Tree bought the company in 1998, DiPiero formed Love Monkey Music as a co-venture with Sony.
Over the last decade, DiPiero has continued penning hits. Among them are “Cowboys Like Us” (Strait), “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” (Montgomery Gentry, #1), “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl” (Brooks & Dunn) and “Southern Voice” (Tim McGraw, No. 1).
In 2007, DiPiero, with fellow songwriters Tony Mullins, Jeffrey Steele and Craig Wiseman, gave viewers an inside look at the music business on the reality series The Hitmen of Music Row on Great American Country. In 2010, “Coming Home,” co-written by DiPiero and performed by Gwyneth Paltrow for the movie Country Strong, earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song.
DiPiero has written hundreds of songs, earned dozens of awards and served in various leadership positions in the industry. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Poets and Prophets series honors songwriters who have made significant contributions to Country music history. Previous subjects include Bill Anderson, Matraca Berg, Bobby Braddock, Wayne Carson, Jerry Chesnut, Hank Cochran, Roger Cook, Sonny Curtis, Dean Dillon, Tom Douglas, Kye Fleming, Jerry Foster, Dallas Frazier, Red Lane, John D. Loudermilk, Bob McDill, Roger Murrah, Dan Penn, Curly Putman, Allen Reynolds, Mark D. Sanders, Don Schlitz, Whitey Shafer, Red Simpson, Jeffrey Steele, Sonny Throckmorton, Norro Wilson and Craig Wiseman.
The Poets and Prophets series is made possible, in part, by grants from the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and by an agreement between the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts.

‘MusicRow’ Announces 2014 CRS CountryBreakout Award Performers

CRS12MusicRow Magazine is pleased to announce rising artists Native Run (Show Dog-Universal) and Natalie Stovall and the Drive (HitShop Records) as the performers for the 2014 CRS Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards.
CRS14The invitation-only event will be held in front of an audience of MusicRow subscribed members and radio executives at Margaritaville in downtown Nashville, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2:00 PM. The ceremony serves as the unofficial kick-off to Country Radio Seminar, which will attract radio broadcasters from across the country for events Feb. 19-21.
In addition to performances, the afternoon will include the presentation of the MusicRow CountryBreakout Awards. Given annually, these honors recognize artists who earned the most airplay on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart during the preceding year. For 12 years, the CountryBreakout Chart has led the market for Country radio’s secondary stations.
“Our MusicRow Chart has become more valuable than ever,” said MusicRow Publisher/Owner Sherod Robertson. “Not only does the CountryBreakout Chart give insight to radio’s future trends, but it provides a fluid platform for established artists to expand success and new artists to begin their careers and create initial momentum.”
“Our CRS Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards will not only showcase the talents of two wonderful bands, but will celebrate the artists who have performed on our airwaves throughout the year,” said MusicRow Chart Director Michael Smith.
An in-depth profile of the yet-to-be-announced awards winners will be included in the February/March 2014 edition of MusicRow Magazine, set to debut at the awards ceremony. Copies of the print issue will be available for CRS attendees throughout the Nashville Convention Center, including kiosks in the coffee lounge and conference areas. MusicRow paid subscribers will receive copies by mail. Magazines are also available for purchase anytime at musicrow.com or the magazine’s 17th Avenue headquarters in Nashville.
Invited guests can click here to RSVP.
About the artists performing at MusicRow’s 2014 CRS Meet & Greet and CountryBreakout Awards
Natalie Stovall and the Drive (HitShop Records) – Whether it’s Natalie Stovall’s breathtaking vocals and larger-than-life stage presence, her band’s turbo-charged, take-no prisoners live show, or the collective unit’s barnstorming worldwide tours, Natalie Stovall and The Drive prove they are ready for the spotlight. The band is currently working with famed producer, Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum, Big and Rich, The Band Perry) while the lead single “Baby Come On With It” is rising on the charts. With a trademark lion’s mane of big blonde hair, Natalie and her powerful vocals have gained worldwide popularity since she was 10, performing everywhere from the White House to the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Grand Ole Opry. The multi-talented instrumentalist’s vocals have captivated audiences during more than 200 touring dates each year. Led by the Columbia, Tenn. native, her four-person band includes drummer James Bavendam from Seattle, Chile’s Miguel Cancino on guitar, Zach Morse from Cheyenne, Wy. on bass and vocals, and Redding, Calif. guitarist and vocalist Joel Dormer. Natalie Stovall and The Drive are realizing their dream each day as they perform for fans around the world and finish up their debut record, set to release in 2014.
Native Run (Show Dog-Universal) – Native Run is comprised of Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley, both born and raised with deep roots in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Beauregard and Dawley bring a chemistry and energy to the stage that is unparalleled. They recently moved to Nashville, Tenn., and have been taking the music scene by storm. Having signed with Creative Nation, Combustion Music, Show Dog-Universal and Fusion Music, they are now solely focused on writing their debut album. They’re pop-country meets rock n’ roll, with a deep groove and great hair. The duo has been hailed by Paste Magazine as “The Best of What’s Next,” and they are veterans of The Rock Boat and Austin City Limits Music Festival.