Florida Georgia Line Members Launch Publishing Company

Pictured (L - R): Brian Kelley, Jordan Schmidt, and Tyler Hubbard Photo: Courtesy of Tree Vibez Music

Pictured (L-R): Brian Kelley, Jordan Schmidt, and Tyler Hubbard
Photo: Courtesy of Tree Vibez Music

Having already staked a solid reputation as artists and songwriters, Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are launching their own publishing company.

The new company, Tree Vibez Music, has signed new talent Jordan Schmidt. The Duluth, Minn., native is a music producer, engineer, mix engineer and songwriter who has worked with Motion City Soundtrack, One Ok Rock, All Time Low, Quietdrive and others.

“The opportunity to start Tree Vibez Music with Tyler is a dream come true,” says Kelley. “Our goal is for people to feel our music, not just hear it. We want to have a Treehouse studio full of wizards bringing fresh sounds to your speakers.

“We are so proud that Jordan is the first songwriter/producer we are signing. He is a game changer in music and has the unique ability to write at least five songs a week across five different genres,” he continues. “He fits right in. His radio-friendly tracks are slammin’ and we can’t wait for fans to hear his music!”

Hubbard adds, “We are excited to sign more writers/artists/producers that want to come create and dream with us. I can’t think of a better way to kick start Tree Vibez Music than signing Jordan.”

Industry Ink: Combustion Music, Copyright Society of the South, SOLID

Combustion Music, Atlas Music Publishing Sign Songwriter/Producer Pruis

Pictured (L-R): Combustion Music's Kenley Flynn, AJ Pruis, Julia Scheider-Williams, Chris Van Belkom, Matthew West, Atlas Music Publishing's Richard Stumpf, Ryan Brodhead, and Combustion's Chris Farren and Ashley Gorley.

Pictured (L-R): Combustion Music’s Kenley Flynn, AJ Pruis, Julia Scheider-Williams, Chris Van Belkom, Matthew West, Atlas Music Publishing’s Richard Stumpf, Ryan Brodhead, and Combustion’s Chris Farren and Ashley Gorley.

Combustion Music and JV partner Atlas Music Publishing have signed songwriter and producer AJ Pruis to an exclusive, world-wide publishing venture with Christian artist and current Combustion writer Matthew West.

Pruis began working with West in 2014 as a member of his band. Shortly after, a writing relationship developed and two of those songs landed on West’s latest album including the title track, Live Forever. The album released yesterday (April 28).

“I am so excited to be working AJ and believe that Combustion/Atlas is going to be the perfect home for him to get his music to the world. AJ’s talent is off the charts, combining a fresh approach to melody and a unique production style. This is just the beginning of a bright songwriting career for him!” commented West.

“Matthew West introduced us to AJ, and I was immediately taken by his focus and talents in all facets of the music business as a writer, singer and producer. The sky is the limit for AJ, and we plan on helping him get there.” said Chris Farren, President of Combustion Music.

 

Copyright Society of the South Sees ‘Blurred Lines’ For Songwriters

Pictured (L-R): John Barker, Jill Napier, Ted Goldtrhope, Dr. E. Michael Harrington, Tal Dickstein, Jodi Carmichael, Denise Stevens, John Rolfe and Karl Braun.

Pictured (L-R): John Barker, Jill Napier, Ted Goldtrhope, Dr. E. Michael Harrington, Tal Dickstein, Jodi Carmichael, Denise Stevens, John Rolfe and Karl Braun.

On Thursday, April 23, the Copyright Society of the South hosted a panel titled, “Blurred Lines: A Blurred Outlook For Songwriters” on the recent decision from the courts.  The standing room only audience at BMI heard from Tal Dickstein of Loeb & Loeb and Dr. E. Michael Harrington.

 

SOLID To Host 18th Annual Music Row Crawfish Boil

SOLID Craw Fish BoilThe Society of Leaders in Development (SOLID) will host its 18th annual Music Row Crawfish Boil on Wednesday, May 13. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Sony/ATV Music Publishing parking lot, located at 8 Music Sq. W. The event is free and open to the general public. Attendees must be 21 and older, with valid I.D.

Jaime Sarrantonio of The Agency Coalition and Ryan Slone of New Frontier Touring are organizing this year’s event. “The Crawfish Boil is one of SOLID’s longest running events,” Sarrantonio said. “It’s been great to see how much it has grown over the years and the way it continues to connect different generations of music industry professionals.”

Soon following will be the 2015 Music Row Yard Sale & Auction. Proceeds allow the organization to host educational panels, volunteer opportunities, and networking events. A portion of the proceeds this year will also benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Double Shot: Kenny Chesney Celebrates Back-to-Back No. 1 Hits

Pictured (L-R): Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Kenny Chesney and Rodney Clawson.

Pictured (L-R): Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Kenny Chesney and Rodney Clawson.

ASCAP’s Michael Martin and BMI’s Clay Bradley hosted a mega-celebration at BMI Nashville’s lobby on April 28 to celebrate not one, but two No. 1 songs.

Kenny Chesney and songwriters Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, David Lee Murphy, and Jimmy Yeary were honored yesterday for the chart-topping songs “American Kids” and “‘Til It’s Gone.” The songs mark Chesney’s 25th and 26th chart-toppers.

“As a [song] plugger, it’s a special day when a song like this comes in,” said Big Red Toe’s Matt Turner of the song “American Kids,” penned by Clawson, Laird and McAnally. “It’s not a matter of if it will get cut, but when and who.”

Even as equally top-notch songwriters, it was clear that each writer was a friend and fan of the others. “To all the young songwriters, get in a writing room with Luke Laird. That’s the key to a good song,” said McAnally. “And luckily he introduced me to Rodney Clawson. I’m so blessed to get to do this for a living every day.” He got another blessing that day from his hometown of Mineral Wells, Texas. April 28, 2015 was proclaimed as Shane McAnally day in the city.

For Laird, earning a No. 1 song recorded by Kenny Chesney was a full-circle moment. “I often tell people my first cut was a Lee Ann Womack cut,” said Laird, before revealing that his very first cut by an artist came years ago when Kenny Chesney recorded a song Laird penned, titled “Miss Mexico.” “It didn’t make the record,” Laird said. “I appreciate you cutting this song.” He also praised co-writers Clawson and McAnally. “You go through so many writing relationships. These guys Rodney and Shane aren’t here by luck. They show up every time [to write]. They raise the bar, and make me want to be a better writer.”

Creative Nation’s Beth Laird was on hand to honor the song’s writers with custom-crafted side tables made with vinyl album covers–one side emblazoned with a vinyl cover of “American Kids,” and the other with a John Mellencamp vinyl cover.

Others offering praise to the songwriters and to Kenny were Universal Music Publishing Group’s Kent Earls and Round Hill Music’s Mark Brown.

Pictured (L-R): David Lee Murphy, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Yeary, and Rodney Clawson

Pictured (L-R): David Lee Murphy, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Yeary, and Rodney Clawson

The day’s other celebrated tune, “‘Til It’s Gone,” was penned by Clawson, Yeary, and Murphy.

THiS Music’s Rusty Gaston encouraged a round of wild applause for all the writers, before sharing the decidedly vintage route “‘Til It’s Gone” took to being recorded. “They made a true old-school work tape. Just guitars played into cell phones, that’s what Kenny heard. The fact that at this point [Kenny] would listen to work tapes and hear through that and want to record it—hearing that Kenny is recording your song is a highlight of any writer’s year.” Sony/ATV’s Troy Tomlinson also tributed the writers, as well as Chesney’s producer Buddy Cannon and Columbia Nashville’s Norbert Nix.

Among those celebrating the writers and artist were CMA’s Brenden Oliver, CRB’s Holly Lane, and Avenue Bank’s Cooper Samuels.

“I think it was David Lee who said to me, ‘Well, when you get back out there, what do you want to say to your audience?’” said Chesney. “And this song [“Til It’s Gone”]  is about living in the moment WITH someone, but if you back away… and look at it as all those people (in the audience), that’s exactly what I wanted to say. I knew when I heard the demo, the groove, the mood, the lyric that was it! I’m blessed they send me their demos.”

“These songwriters pour their hearts out every day and their talent takes Nashville to another level,” Bradley summed. Referencing Chesney’s recent concerts at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and his well-known work ethic, Bradley said, “Your passion to be the best inspires us all.”

Chesney also used the moment in the spotlight to announce that David Lee Murphy will soon release a new project of his own. Chesney is in the studio mixing a new album for the “Party Crowd” singer-songwriter.

$30K Helps Launch Project Music Startups

Pictured: (L-R) Zack Terry (Operations Lead, Project Music), Channing Moreland (CEO, EVAmore), Stephen Davis (CEO, Ear.IQ) Marcus Cobb (CEO, Jammber), Robbie Goldsmith (Director, Project Music), Jack McCann (CEO, On the List), Chad Marcum (CEO, VideoBomb), Michael Amburgey (CEO, KaraoQ), Stuart McWhorter (CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center), Joe Galante (Chairman of GEO), Sam Brooker (CEO, Remix Hits), Michael Burcham (Founding CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center), Heather McBee (Music Industry Lead, Project Music), and Chris McMurtry (CEO, Dart).

Pictured: (L-R) Zack Terry (Operations Lead, Project Music), Channing Moreland (CEO, EVAmore), Stephen Davis (CEO, Ear.IQ) Marcus Cobb (CEO, Jammber), Robbie Goldsmith (Director, Project Music), Jack McCann (CEO, On the List), Chad Marcum (CEO, VideoBomb), Michael Amburgey (CEO, KaraoQ), Stuart McWhorter (CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center), Joe Galante (Chairman of GEO), Sam Brooker (CEO, Remix Hits), Michael Burcham (Founding CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center), Heather McBee (Music Industry Lead, Project Music), and Chris McMurtry (CEO, Dart).

The inaugural Project Music Accelerator Program graduated its first class of eight teams last week (April 23) with a pitch presentation at the CMA Theater.

Put on by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and the CMA, the boot camp offered $30,000 in seed money and mentorship for 14 weeks from the likes of CAA, Vector Management, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Universal Music Group, Spalding Entertainment, Dev Digital, Red Light Management, Maurice Miner, Jody Williams and Galante Entertainment.

The youngest of the seven additional entrepreneurial teams Mackenzie Stokel and Channing Moreland hosted a red carpet after party for their company EVAmore last night (April 28) at the palatial East Nashville’s East Ivy Mansion, a converted event space on Fatherland Street. Investors were in attendance at both events.

EVAmore is a startup providing event planners access to book reputable indie bands signed with the company. The event company is forming a strategic partnership with CAA and having preliminary discussions with Sony/ATV.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Project Music,” said Moreland during the evening’s gathering. “We are really excited for these pretty big investments and strategic partnerships we are forming.”

“EVAmore is the seamless way for you to book your entertainment,” said Stokel. “We’re trying to help [indie artists] get booked and paid.”

Next week the entrepreneurs will pay their way to meetings set up post-program in New York City with Sony Music and several other angel investors.

Click for more information on Project Music.

Photo: Johnathan Jones

Photo: Johnathan Jones

Photo: Johnathan Jones

Photo: Johnathan Jones

Cumulus Media Extends Agreement with Co-Founder Lew Dickey

Lew Dickey

Lew Dickey

Cumulus Media has inked a multi-year contract extension with co-founder Lew Dickey. Under the contract, he will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors, through 2018.

“Our Board is grateful that Lew Dickey, who has built Cumulus into a leading national media business, has renewed his commitment to lead the company into the future. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Lew to build value for our shareholders,” said Board member Jeff Marcus.

It was also announced that long-time director Robert H. Sheridan, III, of Ridgemont Equity Partners, will retire when his term ends at the 2015 annual meeting of stockholders. The Board has nominated Mary. G. Berner to stand for election, to fill the board’s vacant position. Berner is the president and chief executive officer of The Association of Magazine Media. Prior to running MPA, Berner led several media brands, including Glamour, TV Guide, W, Women’s Wear Daily, Brides and other publications.

Given Music Publishing Signs Smith

given music anthony smith

Pictured (L-R): Mike Sebastian, VP/GM, Given Music Publishing; John Mullins, Director, Writer/Publisher Relations, SESAC; Denise Stevens, Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP; Anthony Smith; Cindy Owen, Partner, Given Entertainment; Matthew Beckett, Attorney.

Given Music Publishing announced the signing of hit songwriter Anthony Smith to its roster. Smith has had songs recorded by such stars as Reba, Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, Lonestar, Clay Walker, Rodney Atkins, and Chris Young. Young’s song “Tomorrow” was co-written by Smith and earned SESAC’s Song of the Year accolade in 2011.

“I’ve known Anthony for a number of years, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to work with him,” said Mike Sebastian, VP/GM of Given Music Publishing. “Anthony has proven time and again he is a consistent hit songwriter and hard worker. I fully believe we will make a great team, and I look forward to all our success together.”

Smith also has producer credits on projects by Atlantic’s South Sixty-Five, Curb Records’ Trini Triggs and Curb/Asylum Records’ Rio Grand.

“I am very excited to be signing with the Given Music Publishing family and to have the opportunity to work with Mike Sebastian,” said Smith. “He’s a world-class publisher, they have a great group of writers and I’m delighted to become part of the team! I look forward to a great future together with them!”

Dierks Bentley To Headline Stars For Second Harvest at Ryman

dierks-bentley 2015Dierks Bentley will headline the 11th annual Stars For Second Harvest benefit on Tuesday, June 9, 7:30 p.m. at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. The acoustic concert is presented by O’Charley’s and hosted by acclaimed hit songwriter Craig Wiseman.

Joining Bentley will be Charles Esten (“Deacon Claybourne”) and Lennon and Maisy Stella (“Maddie and Daphne Conrad”) from ABC’s Nashville.

Proceeds from the concert benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in their efforts to feed hungry people and solve hunger issues in our community.

The “Nashville Cast VIP Experience” tickets will go on sale Friday, May 1 at 10 a.m. for $250. The VIP tickets include premium seating, a meet and greet with Charles Esten, Lennon and Maisy and other performers, as well as a special gift bag. There are only 58 available with an 8 per person limit.

Concert tickets are now on sale for general admission ($35) and preferred seating ($55), plus applicable service charges.

To purchase VIP or general admission tickets visit Ryman.com.

MusicRowPics: Josh Goodlett

Josh Goodlett

Josh Goodlett

Indiana resident and rising artist Josh Goodlett says he learned his top-notch work ethic through years of being raised on a farm in Taylorsville, Ky. He recalls driving a tractor by age 3. Citing his stepfather, a former marine, as an influence, Goodlett says, “I’ve never been a stranger to hard work.”

These days, Goodlett is pouring as much passion and hard work into his burgeoning music career. He played over 100 shows in Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee in the past year, and is working on an upcoming studio project. He’s also father to four sons and one daughter, ages 8-14.

During a recent visit with MusicRow staffers, Goodlett performed a brief acoustic set. He launched the performance with “I Don’t Usually Do This,” which will be on his upcoming album. He also offered an acoustic cover of Conway Twitty’s “Goodbye Time.”

Goodlett closed his brief set with his current single “Why Ya Gotta Be That Way.”

The radio add date for the single is May 4, the same day that Goodlett will embark on a radio tour, bringing his music to programmers across the country.

Goodlett recently released the song’s accompanying music video, which was produced and directed by Bobby E. Boyd. The two-day video shoot took place at Chase’s Dance Hall in Hendersonville, Boyd Where Prohibited Studios in Nashville, as well as the Music City Star train station and Two Rivers Park, both in Donelson.

“That was my first time doing a music video,” recalls Goodlett. “It was a 16-hour day, but I think I got the hang of it by the end,” he quipped.

MusicRow Staff with Josh Goodlett

MusicRow Staff with Josh Goodlett

Jon Pardi To Release Digital EP

image006Jon Pardi will release the digital EP, The B Sides, 2011-2014 on May 19 to meet fan demand while he is working on his sophomore album.

The B Sides will feature unreleased songs that were considered for his debut album, Write You A Song. Pardi co-produced and co-wrote all of the songs on The B Sides.

Even though these songs did not make the cut for his album, Pardi plays many of them in his live shows. He is currently on the Alan Jackson Keepin’ It Country Tour. For tour dates, news and more, visit www.JonPardi.com.

The B Sides, 2011-2014 track listing:
1. Fightin’ The Fool (Jon Pardi, Bart Butler, Davy Ulbrich)
2. Over My Head (Jon Pardi, Trent Summar, Gary Nicholson)
3. Drinkin’ With Me (Jon Pardi, Britton Cameron, Doug Kahan)
4. Back on the Backroads (Jon Pardi, Davy Ulbrich, Rich McCready)
5. Rainy Night Song (Jon Pardi)
6. Borrowed Time (Jon Pardi, Keith Follese, Adrienne Follese)

Hank Jr. Inks With Nash Icon

Pictured (L-R): BMLG’s John Zarling, Vector Management’s Ken Levitan, Nash Icon Records’ Jim Weatherson, Hank Williams, Jr., BMLG’s Jackie Campbell) . Photo: Randi Radcliff

Pictured (L-R): BMLG’s John Zarling, Vector Management’s Ken Levitan, Nash Icon Records’ Jim Weatherson, Hank Williams, Jr., BMLG’s Jackie Campbell. Photo: Randi Radcliff

Hank Williams Jr. has officially signed to Nash Icon Records, a joint venture label between the Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) and Cumulus. He joins the distinct voices of Reba, Martina McBride and Ronnie Dunn on the label which launched in 2014.

“Country music singers have always been a real close family and today the Nash Icon family has added me as a new member. I have done shows with Ronnie Dunn, recorded a hit record with Reba and absolutely love Martina McBride,” said Williams. “I am writing songs better than ever and am signed with a label that is already making history … it’s an exciting time!”

Williams is working on his 37th album, which is expected to be released later this year. It is the follow up to his 2012 Old School New Rules release. He also has a rigorous tour schedule through the fall. See dates at hankjr.com.

“We are all absolutely thrilled and honored to have Hank Jr. join us at Nash Icon Records. His passion for making new music has never been stronger and creatively he is on fire!” exclaimed Nash Icon Records General Manager Jim Weatherson.

Williams’ five-decade career has spawned 70 million albums sold worldwide. He has been named ACM Entertainer of the Year, CMA Entertainer of the Year and BMI Icon, in addition to winning a Grammy and being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Already making an impact, Nash Icon Records scored its first No. 1 country album this month with Reba’s Love Somebody.