Bobby Karl Works The 2015 ‘MusicRow’ CountryBreakout Awards

BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM

Chapter 480

Pictured (L-R): MR's Sarah Skates and Sherod Robertson, Brett James, Rodney Clawson. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Pictured (L-R): MR’s Sarah Skates and Sherod Robertson present Songwriter of the Year honors to Brett James and Rodney Clawson. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

I love a good wiseacre.

“I’ve been trying to pay off radio with beer and Jack Daniels for four years, and it finally paid off,” said snarky Chris Weaver. He has a charmingly mischievous grin that makes him look like he’s up to something, even if he isn’t.

He was accepting MusicRow’s Independent Artist of the Year award for The Chris Weaver Band at the periodical’s 13th annual bash on Wednesday (Feb. 25). I’ve always enjoyed this act’s music, and now I totally enjoy its frontman, too. Thanks, pal, for kicking off my convention experience with a grin.

The MusicRow event was also a celebration for Rodney Clawson and Brett James, who tied for Songwriter of the Year honors. This was Clawson’s second consecutive win. “Thanks, everybody, for playing our songs,” said James to the assembled radio folks. “We’re so grateful to be in this business.”

MR Capitol

Shane Allen (Capitol Nashville) and Diane Richey (Diane Richey Promotions) accept Capitol Nashville’s award for Label of the Year. (L-R): Robertson, Allen, Richey, Skates. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

The radio Reporter of the Year honor went to WGLR/Platteville, WI music director Ryan McCall, who offered the afternoon’s most touching acceptance. “To everyone who shared their music, their time and their wisdom with me, I can’t thank you enough,” he began. “I share this award with my family and friends, many of whom are here today….The greatest award I’ve ever been given is to be a part of country music.”

 

Ryan McCall accepts his MusicRow Reporter of the Year honor. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Ryan McCall (center) accepts his MusicRow Reporter of the Year honor, with Troy Stephenson (left) and Sherod Robertson (right). Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Waylon Weatherholt and Katie Bright accepted on behalf of Cole Swindell, MusicRow’s Breakout Artist winner, who was booked for a private out-of-town date. Vice President of Promotion Shane Allen accepted for Capitol Records Nashville as Label of the Year (winning for an unprecedented 10th consecutive time). Jimmy Rector accepted Eric Church’s Male Vocalist award because proud papa Church is at home with new son Hawk this week. R.G. Jones accepted for Female winner Miranda Lambert (her third in a row). Matthew Hargis accepted for Group/Duo winners Florida Georgia Line, who were busy playing a little venue called Madison Square Garden.

MR Cole Swindell

KPentertainment’s Waylon Weatherholt and WMN’s Katie Bright accept Breakout Artist of the Year on behalf of Cole Swindell, with Robertson and Skates. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

MR’s Sherod Robertson presided at the afternoon get-together. “We’re tired of the cold, but we’re glad you’re here,” he told the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. “You’re looking good,” he added, taking a snapshot of the packed room. Staffers Troy Stephenson, Sarah Skates, Jessica Nicholson, Eric T. Parker and Kelsey Grady kept the event running smoothly.

Chase Bryant performs during the 2015 MusicRow CountryBreakout Awards

BBR’s Chase Bryant performs during the 2015 MusicRow CountryBreakout Awards. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Music is always a big part of this annual awards-and-music occasion. First up to sing was BBR’s Red Bow Records artist Chase Bryant, who tours with Tim McGraw. This Texas native is the grandson of a Roy Orbison/Waylon Jennings piano player and the nephew of the co-founders of Ricochet.

Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Robertson presents Eric Church’s Male Artist of the Year award to EMI Nashville’s Jimmy Rector, and Diane Richey Promotions staffers Diane Richey, Beth Brightwell and Ben Kann. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Bryant opened with the take-no-prisoners steamroller “Little Bit of You.” He led his four-piece band as its lead guitar player, which was on full display via a stinging solo on the power stomper “The Way I See It.” He followed that with his catchy first hit, “Take It On Back,” featuring an extended electric-guitar finale at the edge of the stage.

“Thank you to everybody in this room for making a kid from a small town of 800 people have a dream come true,” he said.

Austin Webb performs during the 2015 MusicRow CountryBreakout Awards. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Streamsound artist Austin Webb performs during the 2015 MusicRow CountryBreakout Awards. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

“It’s so nice to see so many nice faces,” said showcasing Austin Webb. The tall, tattooed, Streamsound Records artist led off with the rhythmic and hooky “If You See Her.” He then strapped on his acoustic guitar to augment his four-piece band. This guitar has signed photos of Kris Kristofferson and Guy Clark affixed to its back, which seemed appropriate for the philosophical “Slip On By.” Webb concluded with his new single, the rousing and clever “All Country On You.” Everyone clapped along.

MusicRow4

Robertson presents Florida Georgia Line’s plaque for Group/Duo of the Year to Republic Nashville’s Matthew Hargis, Stacy Blythe, Angie Coonrod, Lois Lewis, Kristen Johnson and Jimmy Harnen. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

This jammed room is a hard one to work. But I spotted industry mavens including Byron Gallimore, Bill Wence, Nancy Tunick, Mark Brown, Neil Spielberg, Rod Essig, Woody Bomar, Gene Kennedy, Wes Vause, Karen Tallier, Steve Pope, Rick Kelly, Earle Simmons, B.J. Hill, Lisa Smoot, Susan Collier, Bev Moser and John Dorris in the house. Most were grooving to the cool sounds on stage.

Several non-showcasing artists were working the room. Eric Lee Beddingfield, Jason Michael Carroll, Jody Lynn, Tracy Lawrence, Eileen Carey, The Cains Trio, Montana’s Kayla Adams and 16-year-old Texan Skylar Elise were schmoozing the radio folks.

Pictured (L-R): Sherod Robertson, RG Jones, Sarah Skates. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Pictured (L-R): Sherod Robertson, Sony Music Nashville’s RG Jones accepting on behalf of Female Artist of the Year Miranda Lambert, Sarah Skates. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Reminding everyone of how too-too cool it is outside, Robertson concluded the event with, “just remember how hot it was in here.”

Chris Weaver Band accepts their honor for MusicRow's 2015 Independent Artist of the Year. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Chris Weaver Band accepts their honor for MusicRow’s 2015 Independent Artist of the Year. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow staffers Sarah Skates, Eric T. Parker, Kelsey Grady, MR Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson, Robert K. Oermann, Jessica Nicholson and Troy Stephenson.

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow staffers Sarah Skates, Eric T. Parker, Kelsey Grady, MR Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson, columnist Robert K. Oermann, Jessica Nicholson and Troy Stephenson. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

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