Performers Announced For BMI Tailgate Party at CMA Music Festival


Pictured (L-R): BMI’s Mark Mason, BMI’s Jody Williams, BMI’s Penny Gattis, Kallie North (Muddy Magnolias), Will Hoge, Jessy Wilson (Muddy Magnolias), BMI’s Clay Bradley, BMI’s Perry Howard, and BMI’s Mason Hunter.

What better way to announce a CMA Music Fest stage lineup than with a music-filled party in Nashville?

BMI and the CMA announced this year’s BMI Tailgate Party lineup with a performance-packed celebration at BMI Nashville’s lobby yesterday (April 29). Two artists who will perform on the upcoming stage, Will Hoge and female duo Muddy Magnolias, were on hand to give attendees an early look at what to expect during CMA Music Festival, which takes place June 11-14.

Also slated for the BMI Tailgate Party stage are Rhett AkinsSammy ArriagaBri BagwellTucker BeathardHannah BlaylockDanielle BradberyKane BrownDJ DUJosh DorrHaley GeorgiaChris LaneSonia LeighMaren MorrisMitch RossellCaitlyn SmithSundy BestEmi SunshineMitchell Tenpenny, and Charlie Worsham.

Kallie North and Jessy Wilson of Muddy Magnolias held everyone’s attention during the reveal celebration with their high-energy set, confident vocals and, at-times Tina Turner-esque stage moves. The duo gave one of their earliest performances, as a then-unsigned act, at last year’s CMA Music Festival. Since then, they have joined forces with John Grady-led I.R.S. Records and are working on their debut project with Butch Walker.

Hoge held court with a more earthy, but equally enticing set that included cuts from his 10th studio album, Small Town Dreams. The heart-tugging “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore” was particularly crowd-pleasing. He welcomed Muddy Magnolias back to the stage to offer backing vocals on “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” the 2012 hit co-written by Hoge and Eric Paslay, which was recorded by Eli Young Band.

Hoge is ready to pour the lessons he’s learned from his years of performing into a top-notch BMI Tailgate Party show. “Over two years of doing these country fairs and festivals, I tried to really cater to make everything as traditionally country as I can,” recalled Hoge. “That continued to flop, so the more that we got more into the middle of what I do, which is some country, some pop and some rock, all those different things, the better the crowds reacted. For me, it will be a mix of all the sounds I grew up listening to as a native Nashvillian—rock, soul, gospel, country and everything else. We’ll throw it all out there and see what happens.”

“Our music is fusion,” Wilson said of Muddy Magnolias’ brand of tunes. “We came here to be country music songwriters, but when we started writing together and became a duo, all of our influences came into play. We’ll keep it high-energy and rockin’.”

The BMI Tailgate Party takes place nightly on the LP Field south lawn from 4 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. CT, just prior to the Nightly Concerts at LP Field.

Will Hoge performs during the BMI Tailgate Party lineup announcement at BMI.

Will Hoge performs during the BMI Tailgate Party lineup announcement at BMI.

Muddy Magnolias perform during the BMI Tailgate announcement party.

Muddy Magnolias perform during the BMI Tailgate Party lineup announcement.

2015 Mayoral Music Industry Forum Set For May

2015 Mayoral Music Industry ForumThe 2015 Mayoral Music Industry Forum will be held Thursday, May 28, 2015, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at the CMA Theater inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Moderated by MTSU Dean of the College of Mass Communication Ken Paulson, the roundtable discussion will include mayoral candidates Megan Barry, Charles Robert Bone, David Fox, Bill Freeman, Howard Gentry, Jeremy Kane, and Linda Eskind Rebrovick.

The private event is open only to members of the CMA, Leadership Music, The Recording Academy (Nashville Chapter), and the Music City Music Council.

The event will include a meet & greet reception with the candidates in the grand foyer immediately following the forum. The forum will include complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

Tyler Farr Celebrates Gold Single, Release Week In NYC

Tyler Farr performs his gold hit song “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” on NBC’s Today.

Tyler Farr performs his gold song “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” on NBC’s “Today.” Photo: Courtesy Today

Tyler Farr is in the middle of a jam-packed release week celebrating his new album, Suffer In Peace. The Missouri native performed an intimate concert for CMT’s Listen Up and visited NBC’s Today, where hosts surprised him with a plaque to commemorate the RIAA Gold certification of the album’s lead single “A Guy Walks Into A Bar.” Farr also performed the hit song live in the studio and chatted with hosts—did you know he’s an opera singer? (see video below).

He topped off street day (April 28) with a special album release concert for fans at New York City’s Irving Plaza.

Farr travelled to Detroit and Chicago for more appearances and will finish the week in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, May 2 at the iHeartRadio Country Festival.

For his second album for Columbia Nashville, Farr re-teamed with producers Jim Catino and Julian King who helmed his 2013 debut hit Redneck Crazy. Among the highlights on Suffer In Peace is a duet with Farr’s friend, Jason Aldean.

The Recording Academy Aligns Advocacy, Member Services Divisions

recording_academy_logo_lThe Recording Academy has restructured to align its Advocacy and Member Services divisions. The alignment creates a larger unit focused on supporting the music community to become involved in creator issues. Academy members will now benefit from additional opportunities to shape the music community, while The Recording Academy will enhance its ability to activate its membership in grassroots advocacy efforts.

Nancy Shapiro, who previously led the Member Services group, has been appointed to lead high-priority Academy initiatives across all divisions as the Senior Vice President of Special Projects.

Daryl P. Friedman, who has led the Academy’s advocacy work on Capitol Hill for more than a decade, has been promoted to the newly created position of Chief Industry, Government & Member Relations Officer. In his role, Friedman also developed the GRAMMY Creators Alliance, a high profile coalition of leading artists, songwriters, and producers; GRAMMYs in my District, a grassroots nationwide advocacy day; and the Managers’ Think Tank, a brain trust of leading music managers.

“There are inherent synergies between our Member Services and Advocacy groups,” said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. “For 30 years, Nancy has grown the Academy’s presence through her work in launching many of its chapters and establishing professional development programs for local music makers. This evolution builds upon Nancy’s work by providing our members a conduit to shape the future of the industry for the collective good of the music community.

“Daryl is an industry veteran who started at the chapter level, so he not only understands how to serve the needs of our local music communities, but his experience working with other leaders in the industry and lawmakers on the hill enable him to bridge an important gap by elevating the voices of local members to the national level,” continued Portnow.

The Academy plans to work closely with members at each of the Academy’s 12 regional chapters to help elevate music rights issues and educate lawmakers on the professional lives and challenges of the music makers in their districts.

Artist Updates: Krystal Keith, Little Big Town, Sunny Sweeney

Krystal Keith and Andrew

Krystal Keith and Andrew Sandubrae

Krystal Keith, Husband Expecting First Child

Krystal Keith and her husband Andrew Sandubrae are expecting their first child in October. The couple were married October 2010.

Keith is signed to Show Dog Nashville, and released her debut album, Whiskey & Lace, last year. She the daughter of country singer-songwriter Toby Keith.


Little Big Town Helps Raise $2 Million For Hunger Awareness

Fresh off their recent ACM win for Vocal Group of the Year, Little Big Town helped raise awareness, and $2 million in funds, to fight against hunger. The quartet performed as part of Food Bank For New York City’s 13th Annual Can Do Awards Dinner, presented by Bank of America at Cipriani Wall Street.

LBT’s Kimberly Schlapman also served as a presenter during the evening. Other attendees during the event included Jon Bon Jovi, Michael J. Fox, Rachel Ray, Paul Sorvino, Lauren Bush Lauren, Gail Simmons, Lisa Ramos, Rene Lopez, and more.

Little Big Town at the 13th Annual Can Do Dinner. Photo: Facebook

Little Big Town at the 13th Annual Can Do Awards Dinner. Photo: Facebook

Sunny Sweeney Attends The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

Sunny Sweeney was recently invited by The Washington Post to perform at their private event for Wounded Warriors’ caregivers and to attend The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner as a guest of The Washington Times. She performed three songs, including her recent single, “Bad Girl Phase,” and her current ballad “My Bed.”

She also met with Wounded Warriors’ caregivers and veterans to thank them for their support. The Times teamed with the Freedom Alliance, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Mission BBQ, and The Washington Redskins Salute program for the private event for veterans.

Sunny Sweeney performing at The Washington Times' Wounded Warriors luncheon. Photo: Khalid Naji-Allah

Sunny Sweeney performing at The Washington Times’ Wounded Warriors luncheon. Photo: Khalid Naji-Allah

Canaan Smith’s Debut Album Coming In June

Canaan Smith performing on the Where It All Began Tour April 3, 2015 at Denver’s Ogden Theatre. Photo: Jim Wright

Mercury Nashville’s Canaan Smith will release his debut album, Bronco, on June 23. The album features his current top 20 hit “Love You Like That” which has sold over 360,000 tracks. It is one of five songs from his current self-titled EP which will be included on Bronco (final track listing to be released soon).

Of the title track he says, “‘Bronco’ is a song I wrote in honor of my brother who I lost when I was young. Songs like this are important to me because though fads come and go, stories last forever. He was my hero and I wanted to put out something in memory of him. I think it symbolizes his wild spirit and I’m really proud of it.”

Among those contributing to the project are longtime co-writer Brett Beavers, as well as Jimmy Robbins and Ryan Tyndell.

Smith has been on the road with Dan + Shay’s Where It All Began Tour, which hit over 30 markets including Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Next he’ll join Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore and Maddie & Tae on the Sounds of Summer Tour, kicking off in Raleigh, N.C. on June 5.

canaan smith bronco album

Vince Gill, Little Big Town Suiting Up For City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game

City of Hope Celebrity Softball GameVince Gill, Little Big Town, Nashville actor and singer/songwriter Charles Esten, recent chart-topper Aaron Watson, American Idol finalist Lauren Alaina, singer/songwriter/guitarist Lindsay Ell, Love and Theft, and Chuck Wicks are among those who will be suiting up this year for the 25th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game.

The fan favorite event will take place June 13 beginning at 9 a.m. at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. The full line-up of artists joining the Grand Ole Opry and iHeartRadio teams will be revealed in coming weeks.

City of Hope is an independent biomedical research institution and comprehensive cancer center. Support from the Nashville community and its country music artists directly benefit City of Hope’s mission to find cures for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

Live Nation Proclaims May 5 ‘National Concert Day’

live nation

Live Nation will be hosting the 2015 Summer Spotlight concert and media event on May 5 at Irving Plaza in New York City.

The date will be proclaimed as National Concert Day and will include performances by Kid Rock, Florida Georgia Line, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, Brandon Boyd & Mike Einziger of Incubus, Jason Wade & Bryce Soderberg of Lifehouse, Kip Moore, Metric, Mick Jones of Foreigner, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe and Wiz Khalifa.

National Concert Day was put together to honor fans, artists, tour managers, and employees at venues across the country that help produce memorable concert experiences.

For tickets and information on Live Nation’s 2015 Summer tours and festivals, visit

DISClaimer: A Potpourri of Americana

Jerry Lawson

Jerry Lawson

Today’s journey through Americana music is a potpourri of sounds.

Marquee country names such as Shelby Lynne and Lee Ann Womack are here. But so are soul singer Jerry Lawson, rhythmic folkies The Kennedys and veteran troubadours Greg Trooper and John Moreland. I’m not sure just how to describe Nataly Dawn, but the adventurous listeners among you need to hear her.

The Disc of the Day belongs to Pokey LaFarge. His jazzy, razamatazzy style makes you feel good all over.

The same might be said for the burnished glow of the voice of Jerry Lawson. He might be a veteran of The Persuasions, but this is his solo debut. And for that, he wins the DisCovery Award.

Writers: none listed; Producer: Brendan O’Brien; Publishers: none listed; Rounder (track)
-Country-rock with a slightly “outlaw” rumble. The hard-luck lyric has the protagonist giving up in the face of economic and social forces. Very country and very effective. I dig this band.

SHELBY LYNNE/I Can’t Imagine
Writers: Shelby Lynne/Pete Donnelly; Producer: Shelby Lynne; Publishers: Swampyblu/Pete Donnelly, BMI; Rounder (track)
-The tempestuous diva returns, still smoldering with emotion. The title tune to her new CD finds her moaning the blues in her upper vocal register, backing by weeping steel guitar. I remain a fan.

SHANNON McNALLY/I Must Be in a Good Place Now
Writers: none listed; Producer: Shannon McNally & Mac Rebennack; Sacred Sumac
-I am extremely late in getting to this, but I can’t let a tribute record to the late Bobby Charles slip by without a mention. The swamp-pop great is evocatively recalled in this drawling, languid ballad that closes the set. Flute and violin notes flutter around her laid-back vocal delivery. Elsewhere on the Small Town Talk CD, you’ll find Vince Gill, Dr. John, Derek Trucks and Luther Dickinson dropping by for instrumental support.

JERRY LAWSON/I’ll Come Running Back to You
Writers: William Stovall Clark; Producer: Eric Brace; Publishers: Sony-ATV/Big Billy, BMI; Red Beet (track)
-This outstanding soul singer was previously the lead vocalist in the a cappella group The Persuasions. He came to Nashville to craft his first solo album, which salutes such predecessors as Sam Cooke, David Ruffin and Bobby “Blue” Bland. With gently strummed acoustic guitar and soft harmony voices, Lawson is effortlessly captivating on this rolling, swaying track. Throughout the I’m Just a Mortal Man CD, his sandpapery, gospel-inflected delivery is gripping. The McCrary Sisters, Jim Lauderdale, Peter Cooper and Thom Jutz are among the cast members. If you love classic soul music, this is essential.

GREG TROOPER/All the Way to Amsterdam
Writers: Greg Trooper; Producer: Keith Gary; Publishers: 52 Shakes, BMI; 52 Shakes (track)
-Trooper’s latest is Live from the Rock Room. It contains in-concert versions of many of the veteran’s most memorable songs. This word portrait of a hopeful pair of losers jangles in all the right places, and the singer-songwriter’s crystal-clear vocal performance drives home every poetic line.

LEE ANN WOMACK/Trouble In Mind
Writers: Richard M. Jones; Producer: none listed; Publishers: Universal, no performance rights listed; Sugar Hill (track)
-Womack wanted to create something special for her Record Store Day release. So she went into the studio with just ace guitarist Richard Bennett to make a three-song vinyl release. Its title tune is this 1937 blues classic. Her magical voice weaves a sorcerous spell.

Writers: Pete Kennedy; Producer: Pete and Maura Kennedy; Publishers: Parade of Echoes, BMI; Kennedys (track)
-Pete and Maura Kennedy have been at it for 20 years now. The title tune of their latest collection features loads of deep-twang guitar, steady rhythm, melodic hooks and their trademark twin vocal harmony work. Country music laced with a folk sensibility.

Writers: John Moreland; Producer: John Moreland; Publishers: FTWSNGS, BMI; Old Omens (track)
-This troubadour’s latest is titled High on Tulsa Heat. It includes this longtime concert favorite, an addict’s fevered dream of redemption and healing. Between the ballad’s gripping lyric and his rasp-groan vocal, I guarantee it will haunt you.

Writers: Nataly Dawn; Producer: Jack Conte; Publishers: Nataly Dawn, ASCAP; Nonesuch (track)
-Now here’s something from out of left field. The eccentric-sounding track has a galumphing, herky-jerky rhythm. The lyric name-drops figures from Greek mythology. Her vocal is all over the melodic scale. Fascinating, to say the least.

Pokey LaFarge

Pokey LaFarge

POKEY LaFARGE/Something In The Water
Writers: Pokey LaFarge/Jimmy Sutton/Scott Ligon/Casey McDonough; Producers: Jimmy Sutton & Pokey LaFarge; Publishers: Pokey LaFarge/Chesterboy/Legmusic/Bardough, BMI/ASCAP; Rounder (track)
-Former Jack White / Third Man Records protege Pokey LaFarge makes his Rounder debut with a delightful collection. Its lead-off track and title tune samples elements from swing, ragtime, blues and country for an utterly charming sonic gumbo. Happily, it is symptomatic of the whole jazzbo album. If he sounds familiar, perhaps you caught him warbling on the soundtrack of TV’s Boardwalk Empire. Whatever the case, you need this music in your life.

Weekly Register: Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen Say ‘Hold My Beer’

randy rogers wade bowen hold my beer 2015
Love Somebody hangs on to the No. 1 country album spot for a second week, roping in 23K TW/81K RTD.

The biggest country debut belongs to Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen who teamed for Hold My Beer, Vol. 1, which comes in at No. 4 with 12.5K.

Performances on the ACM Awards helped boost Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Sam Hunt and Christina Aguilera. Little Big Town’s Pain Killer album got a 22 percent bump, moving 14K this week and coming in at No. 3. Current single “Girl Crush” continues to grow in popularity, getting a 13 percent increase, and selling 110K TW to sit at No. 1 country and No. 3 overall.

Lambert’s album Platinum came it at No. 5 with sales of 11K, a 33 percent increase week over week.

Hunt’s Montevallo hangs at No. 2 with 18K. His single “Take Your Time” is at No. 2 country, selling 58K TW and taking over the 1 million mark.

Shelton, who hosted and performed on the ACMs, jumps 57 percent with single “Sangria” which sold 39K TW.

The top country single debut this week is Christina Aguilera’s “Shotgun,” which is No. 7 with sales of 30K. Xtina is in the middle of an arc on the TV show Nashville.

On the overall album chart, Alabama Shakes debuted at No. 1 with Sound + Color, 96K (total consumption). Wiz Khalifa is the No. 1 track wizard, with “See You Again” selling 316K.

alabama shakes