IBMA Names New Executive Director

Paul J. Schiminger

Paul J. Schiminger

Paul J. Schiminger has been named Executive Director of The International Bluegrass Music Association by the organization’s board of directors. He will start the job June 1 at the IBMA’s office in Nashville.

Schiminger has an extensive background in the financial services industry, including his most recent position as head of not-for-profit business development at Wilmington Trust (M&T Bank) in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a member of the Leadership Bluegrass class of 2015, a passionate fan of bluegrass, and plays banjo in a regional band in Maryland.

Board chair Jon Weisberger says Schiminger fits the bill for the organization’s needs. “From the beginning of the search, our board was determined to bring in an Executive Director with substantial experience in the business world, and Paul obviously brings to the position a stellar background in that respect,” Weisberger says. “But he also brings an appreciation of and a passion for bluegrass that I know will excite our membership—and his recent participation in our Leadership Bluegrass program, which he had pursued even before our search began, only underlines his deep connection to our industry and community.”

Schiminger says, “My initial priorities at IBMA will be to work closely with our important partners in Raleigh so together we assure yet another amazing World of Bluegrass business conference and festival, learn how we can better support our Professional members and help them successfully grow their careers, and identify ways we can continually enhance the experience of our Grass Roots members. They are the fans that will help this music thrive for generations to come.

“Bluegrass music is enjoying a surge of creativity and vibrancy, as witnessed in Raleigh at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event over the past couple of years,” he continues. “We have a community of talented musicians and fans connected as one. There is no other community like it. How could I not be excited to be a part of this music at such a time of growth? I have an incredible opportunity to combine my professional experience and my passion. Now let’s have some fun together!”

Previously, Nancy Cardwell was the Executive Director of the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music industry and the community it serves.

Brett Eldredge’s Sinatra: Nailed It!

(L-R): AMS’s Chuck Wicks, Eldredge,  AMS's Blair Garner

(L-R): AMS’s Chuck Wicks, Eldredge, AMS’s Blair Garner

Atlantic Records country artist Brett Eldredge paid a visit to America’s Morning Show today (4/28/15) at the NASH Campus in Nashville. Eldredge is a huge fan of Frank Sinatra, so AMS Host Blair Garner surprised him with a karaoke track of Sinatra’s classic “Summer Wind” and asked Brett to sing it.

Artist Brett Eldredge

Artist Brett Eldredge

Brett nailed it! Click here to watch.

Industry insiders are already aware that Eldredge is a top-notch crooner. At a private holiday soiree last year at The Sutler, he wooed the guests by performing classic standards.

Eldredge is out promoting his newest single, “Lose My Mind” impacting May 4 and recently released the song’s video, co-starring Victoria’s Secret model Rachel Hilbert.


Frank Rogers, Sea Gayle Music Part Ways

Frank Rogers

Frank Rogers

Frank Rogers and Sea Gayle Music have amicably parted ways. He co-founded the publishing company in 1999 with Brad Paisley and Chris DuBois.

Rogers tells MusicRow, “After 16 wonderful years at Sea Gayle Music, the time has come for me to embark on a new adventure. I have enjoyed and been extremely proud of everything that Chris, Brad, myself, all of the writers and staff have accomplished together over the years. What started as just an idea has grown into one of the top independent publishing companies in country music history. I leave with nothing but great pride, friendships and memories.”

DuBois says, “For the last 16 years, Frank has been a great friend and a great business partner. We look forward to continuing as friends and finding new ways to work together as Frank carves a new path. On behalf of myself, Brad and everyone at Sea Gayle, we wish him the best of luck.”

Rogers is a multi-platinum producer, hit songwriter and publisher. He is a three-time winner of MusicRow’s Producer of the Year award with production credits that include Paisley, Josh Turner, Darius Rucker, Trace Adkins, Scotty McCreery and Joe Robinson.

In recent years, the company launched Sea Gayle Records, which is home to artists including Jerrod Niemann and Sheryl Crow.

Kristian Bush Continues Hit-Making Career With Solo Debut

Kristian Bush at Ocean Way studio in Nashville.

Kristian Bush at Ocean Way studio in Nashville.

After reaching multi-platinum sales success as part of acclaimed country duo Sugarland, Kristian Bush has released his debut solo album, Southern Gravity. He’s been making the media rounds (see his performance on Conan below), and working the Top 20 single “Trailer Hitch” to country radio.

Though definitely a pinnacle in his two-decade career, his time with Sugarland is only part of this musician’s background. His songwriting has garnered six BMI Awards, and in 2011 he founded the music publishing company and songwriting collective Songs of the Architect, collaborating with Matt Nathanson, Lucy Hale and more.

As a singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Bush’s career dates back to the early ‘90s when he released two lauded albums on Atlantic Records as part of folk-rock duo Billy Pilgrim.

Fast forward to 2004 when he and Jennifer Nettles exploded onto the country music scene as Sugarland, going on to surpass worldwide sales of 22 million albums, five No. 1 singles and countless trophies (Grammy, CMA, ACM, AMA, CMT).

Today as a solo act, Bush has reworked his team: moving from Mercury Records Nashville to Streamsound Records, from Gellman Management to Red Light Management, and tapping Jensen Sussman’s Sweet Talk Publicity.

What hasn’t changed is his knack for entertaining audiences and writing catchy country/pop hooks that attracted fans to Sugarland. Just check out the singalong chorus in “Trailer Hitch”: “I don’t know why everybody wanna die rich… you can’t take it with you when you go, never seen a hearse with a trailer hitch.”

Streamsound’s Byron Gallimore, veteran producer of Sugarland, executive produced Southern Gravity, while Bush and longtime friend/engineer Tom Tapley shared production duties.

Bush is headlining shows nationwide with his Put Your Soul In It tour and is teaming with Armed Forces Entertainment in May to perform for military bases in Japan and Hawaii. He is set for a 10 a.m. performance on Saturday, June 13 at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage during this year’s CMA Music Festival.

Pictured: Kristian Bush with The Talk hosts Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kristian Bush

Kristian Bush visits The Talk on April 21.
Photo: Courtesy of Kristian Bush

Nashville Songwriter Earns Tony Award Nomination

Something RottenThe Broadway musical Something Rotten! received 10 Tony nominations this morning (April 28), including Best Musical and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Threatre. The musical’s score was penned by Grammy Award-winning Nashville songwriter and producer Wayne Kirkpatrick, and his brother, screenwriter/songwriter Karey Kirkpatrick.

Wayne Kirkpatrick earned a Grammy award for Song of the Year in 1997 for co-writing “Change The World,” recorded by Eric Clapton. He has notched songs including “Every Heartbeat,” “Good For Me” (Amy Grant); “Wrapped Up In You” (Garth Brooks); “Place In This World” (Michael W. Smith); “My, Oh, My” (The Wreckers). He is a writer and producer on Little Big Town’s albums Road To Here, and A Place To Land, including hits “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home,” and “A Little More You.” The musical marks his first foray into musical theatre.

Karey Kirkpatrick, a director and screenwriter, has worked on films including James and the Giant Peach, Chicken Run, Charlotte’s Web, as well as contributing to the Smurfs films.

Set in the 1590s, Something Rotten!  follows brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom as they set out to write the world’s very first musical, after a local soothsayer predicts the future of theatre will include singing, dancing and acting at the same time.

Something Rotten! earned additional Tony nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Brian d’Arcy James), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Christian Borle and Brad Oscar), Best Direction of a Musical (Casey Nicholaw), Best Choreography (Casey Nicholaw), Best Orchestrations (Larry Hochman), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Gregg Barnes), and Best Book of a Musical (Karey Kirkpatrick).

T.J. Martell Hosts 16th Annual Best Cellars Dinner

Pictured (L-R) Back: Brett Eldredge, Mat Kearney, Chef Jonathan Waxman, wine host and TJ Martell supporter Tom Black, Kix Brooks; front: Dierks Bentley, Steve Cropper, Tommy Shaw, Jana Kramer, President & CEO of Warner Music Nashville John Esposito, T.J. Martell CEO Laura Heatherly, and Capitol Christian Music Group president/CEO Bill Hearn. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Pictured (L-R) Back: Brett Eldredge, Mat Kearney, Chef Jonathan Waxman, wine host and TJ Martell supporter Tom Black, Kix Brooks; front: Dierks Bentley, Steve Cropper, Tommy Shaw, Jana Kramer, President & CEO of Warner Music Nashville John Esposito, T.J. Martell CEO Laura Heatherly, and Capitol Christian Music Group president/CEO Bill Hearn. Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

The T.J. Martell Foundation’s 16th Annual Nashville Best Cellars Dinner took place last night (April 27) at Nashville’s City Winery.

Dierks Bentley, Brett Eldredge, Jana Kramer, Steve Cropper and Kix Brooks were among attendees celebrating a night of exclusive wine and food pairings to benefit life-saving cancer research at the Frances Williams Preston Labs at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The event pairs “Best Sellers” (chart-topping artists) and “Best Cellars” (top wine collectors) who shared rare wines from their collections with guests at their tables.

The Best Cellars Dinner was created by Nashville wine enthusiast and music executive Billy Ray Hearn in 1999. Hearn, who passed away last month, was recognized during a special moment last night. Guests at the event enjoyed a gourmet dinner created by Chef Jonathan Waxman, founder and chef-owner of Adele’s in Nashville.

Big Machine To Release ‘Nashville’ Season 3, Volume 2 Soundtrack

nashville albumBig Machine Records will release The Music Of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 3, Volume 2 just before the Season 3 finale of the hit ABC TV series on May 12.

The album will be released to digital retailers and Target and will feature 18 tracks sung by cast members throughout Season 3 with two tracks exclusively available at Target.
To date, music from Nashville has sold nearly 4.5 million digital tracks.

1. “Borrow My Heart”
Performed by Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio | Written by Phillip LaRue, Lia LaRue
2. “Can’t Help My Heart”
Performed by Laura Benanti, Will Chase | Written by Sarah Buxton, Jedd Hughes, Kevin Griffin
3. “I’m On It”
Performed by Chris Carmack | Written by Matt Jenkins, Matt Ramsey, Trevor Rosen
4. “Longer”
Performed by Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio | Written by Andrea Davidson
5. “This Is Real Life”
Performed by Connie Britton, Lennon & Maisy | Written by Trey Bruce, Derek Cannavo,
Maren Morris
6. “My Heart Don’t Know When To Stop”
Performed by Aubrey Peeples | Written by Allen Salmon, Shannon Wright
7. “The Rivers Between Us”
Performed by Connie Britton, Charles Esten | Written by Eric Kaz, J.D. Souther
8. “I’ve Got You (and You’ve Got Me)”
Performed by Lennon & Maisy | Written by Jacob Davis, Shelley Skidmore, Bob Moffatt,
Clint Moffatt
9. “My Song”
Performed by Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio | Written by Sarah Siskind,
Femke Weidema
10. “Sad Song”
Performed by Laura Benanti | Written by Ashley Monroe, Matraca Berg
11. “If I Drink This Beer”
Performed by Will Chase | Written by Jonathan Singleton, Brad Tursi
12. “Broken Song”
Performed by Chris Carmack | Written by Cody Johnson, Tony Lane, Travis Meadows
13. “Hold You In My Arms”
Performed by Jonathan Jackson, Hayden Panettiere | Written by Sarah Siskind
14. “Mississippi Flood”
Performed by Hayden Panettiere | Written by Tofer Brown, Lucie Silvas, Jamie Floyd
15. “This Is What I Need To Say”
Performed by Jonathan Jackson | Written by Sarah Siskind
16. “Heart On Fire”
Performed by Lennon & Maisy | Written by Sarah Buxton, Blair Daly, Kate York
17. “I Found A Way”
Performed by Aubrey Peeples | Written by Shannon Wright, Adam Wright
18. “Have A Little Faith In Me”
Performed by Will Chase, Maisy Stella | Written by John Hiatt
19. “One By One”
Performed by Jonathan Jackson, Hayden Panettiere | Written by Nicole Johnson, Josh Johnson (Target Deluxe Track)
20. “Novacaine”
Performed by Laura Benanti, Jonathan Jackson | Written by Cary Barlowe, Steven Lee Olson,
Caitlin Smith (Target Deluxe Track)

YouTube To Host Event at Wildhorse Saloon

Pictured (L-R): Jana Kramer, Casey James, Mike Posner.

Pictured (L-R): Jana Kramer, Casey James, Mike Posner.

YouTube will host a night of live performances during the Music Biz 2015 seminar on Wednesday, May 13, beginning at 9 p.m. CT at The Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville.

The event will feature acts from all three major labels including Casey James (Sony Music Entertainment), Jana Kramer (Warner Music Group), and Mike Posner (Universal Music Group). Additionally Tony Joe White will perform from Redeye.

“Live music has always been such an important part of Music Biz, with a wide range of artists and genres represented in years past,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “Bringing the convention to Music City USA makes live performances an even more important component of the event. The Wildhorse show will be a fun and entertaining experience for everyone. We’re especially grateful to YouTube and our member labels for coming together to produce what is certain to be a wonderful night of collaboration and camaraderie.”

“Nashville is one of the most important cities in the world when it comes to the creation and performance of music,” said Vivien Lewit, Head of Artist and Label Relations, YouTube. “Fans today experience music in so many ways online, but a live show always promises to deliver a special connection between the artist and fans. That’s why we can’t wait to host ‘Live at the Wildhorse’ to celebrate incredible artists with our friends in Nashville’s music community.”

Music Biz 2015 will be held in Nashville for the first time from May 12-14. Registration is available online.

Live Nation Assumes Controlling Interest in Bonnaroo

Live Nation Entertainment Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn.

Live Nation Entertainment has assumed a controlling interest in the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, according to today’s (April 28) announcement by Live Nation and Bonnaroo’s founding partners, Superfly and AC Entertainment.

Founded in 2002 in Manchester, Tenn., Bonnaroo is recognized as a landmark of the festival scene. Additionally, Live Nation now also owns a share of the Bonnaroo property, Great Stage Park, also known as “the Farm.” With Live Nation on board, significant investment in the site and enhancements to the festival experience are planned. Superfly and AC Entertainment will continue to plan and execute the day-to-day operations of the festival and signature Bonnaroo initiatives, such as sustainability efforts and involvement with the Manchester community. Bonnaroo’s non-profit arm, the Bonnaroo Works Fund, will continue to be a priority.

“The addition of Bonnaroo builds on Live Nation Entertainment’s world leading festival portfolio of over 60 marquee festivals such as: Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park, Electric Daisy Carnival, Rock Werchter, and Watershed Music Festival to name a few,” said Michael Rapino, Live Nation CEO and president. “We continue to expand the industry’s most unparalleled and scalable festival platform all while driving strong revenue and growth for Live Nation on a global basis. Bonnaroo is another crown jewel in this festival channel strategy, one that appeals to both fans and artists in uniqueness and experience.”

“We are strengthening our commitment to create the best possible experience at Bonnaroo,” said Rick Farman, co-founder, Superfly. “Through this partnership with Live Nation, we’re even more empowered to enhance the festival while preserving the integrity of the event that we’ve thoughtfully built over the past 14 years.”

“Partnering with Live Nation is a milestone for Bonnaroo. It opens up tremendous opportunities for us to continue to evolve the Bonnaroo experience in an exciting, powerful way,” said Ashley Capps, founder, AC Entertainment.

Live Nation Entertainment is comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship and Artist Nation Management.

Live Nation Entertainment Festival

Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn.

Nelly Prepping Country Album?



Music fans already know rapper Nelly for his singles such as “Country Grammar,” “Hot In Herre,” and “Grillz.” They may soon hear a more country-tinged style of music from the rapper’s next project.

According to a recent Billboard interview with Atom Factory co-president J. Erving, Nelly has split from his deal with Universal, and is now an independent artist. His next album will feature more of a country flavor.

He’s a free agent on the label side now, and is working on a country-based Heartland EP, which should be really interesting,” Erving said. “He may be one of the first hip-hop artists to jump into that space in an authentic way with Florida Georgia Line and Tim McGraw, so we think he has an opportunity to grow that base even more.”

In 2004, McGraw and Nelly teamed for the song “Over and Over,” which went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. More recently Florida Georgia Line released a remix of their smash hit “Cruise” featuring Nelly. The song earned an American Music Award for Single of the Year in 2013.