BMI’s Basement East Showcase Series To Highlight Indie Writers

BMI Eastside SoundsBMI will soon launch a free monthly showcase, “East Side Sounds,” at the newly opened Basement East (a.k.a. The Beast), a music venue located at 917 Woodland Street in East Nashville. The kick-off showcase will be held Wednesday, April 29, beginning at 6 p.m.

The series aims to highlight Nashville’s eclectic independent music scene, with the first show featuring alt-country artist Cody Brooks, pop singer Andrea Davidson, and Southern funk band Joel & The Gents.

“This is a great way to support our songwriters,” says Clay Bradley, BMI’s Associate Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations. “We’re dedicated to developing and highlighting our many talented acts, and we’re thrilled to be able to do this at The Beast.”

The Beast is the sister venue to the legendary Basement venue, home to BMI’s quarterly Buzz at the Basement up-and-coming songwriter series.

“It’s been growing for a while,” says BMI singer/songwriter Brooks. “It is a ground floor movement, not even that, it’s underground. Hell… it’s in a basement, and the roots of this city give us shelter. What a brave move incorporated (BMI) to feed the belly of the Beast.”

Warner Music Nashville Signs Chris Janson

Pictured (L-R): Kevin Herring SVP Promotion, Warner Music Nashville; Scott Hendricks, EVP A&R, WMN; Janson and John Esposito, President & CEO WMN. Photo: Mary Catherine Rebrovick

Pictured (L-R): Kevin Herring, SVP Promotion, Warner Music Nashville; Scott Hendricks, EVP A&R, WMN; Chris Janson; John Esposito, President & CEO WMN. Photo: Mary Catherine Rebrovick

Singer-songwriter Chris Janson has inked a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records through Warner Music Nashville. The Missouri native joins a label roster that includes artists Blake Shelton, Hunter Hayes, Brett Eldredge, Ashley Monroe, and more.

Janson recently notched a No. 1 on the iTunes country chart with his independent single “Buy Me A Boat,” after iHeartMedia radio talent Bobby Bones played the song on his morning show, which is aired on more than 80 radio stations. He has also partnered with CMT for the song’s music video.

The country singer-songwriter has opened for Florida Georgia Line, Merle Haggard, and Hank Williams, Jr. Janson co-wrote Tim McGraw’s single “Truck Yeah.”

“Artistry, passion and hard work are the driving force here at Warner Music Nashville and Chris Janson exemplifies those very qualities,” said WMN President and CEO John Esposito. “The guy played 16 hours a day at Tootsie’s for a year and he’s played the Opry almost a hundred times. Man, that’s dedication and playing for the love of the music. Our VP of A&R Cris Lacy has been championing and following his decade-long path in Nashville and we’re ecstatic to welcome such a unique talent to the WMN family.”

“I knew from the first meeting in Espo’s office with this team, that Warner Bros. is where I was going to be and I appreciated the passion and love that I felt from the building,” said Janson. “I couldn’t be any more excited, and genuinely thankful for the opportunity. I’m looking forward to a long career with Warner.”

iHeartMedia has now added Janson to its “On The Verge Artist” program. Through the program, “Buy Me A Boat” will air on 140 country radio stations for six weeks, beginning May 4. The program includes on-air exposure and significant digital and social support across iHeartMedia’s network.

“As soon as our country music programmers heard Chris Janson’s music, we knew he would be perfect for our ‘On The Verge Artist’ program,” said Clay Hunnicutt, Executive Vice President and General Manager of National Programming Platforms for iHeartMedia. “Discovering breakthrough artists like Janson and connecting them to new fans nationwide is what the ‘On The Verge Artist’ program is all about, and we know our country radio listeners will agree.”

DISClaimer: An Eclectic, Star-Studded Lineup

Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge

Is it because of Sunday’s ACM telecast that so many stars are lined up for this week’s column?

George Strait, Brett Eldredge, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan are all on tap. As are such familiar names as Emerson Drive, Kid Rock and Little Texas.

Sure enough, one of them has the Disc of the Day. It’s Brett Eldredge. By the way, the reason there are so many writers and publishers listed on the disc is that it interpolates some of the 2006 Gnarls Barkley pop smash “Crazy.”

The winner of this week’s DisCovery Award is a burly-looking Indiana fellow named Allan Craig Miller. I don’t know when I have heard a debut single that is this consistently excellent on so many levels.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Capitol Nashville
-They play juvenile head games with one another, to the point where he doesn’t know if he’s winning or losing. Who cares? How come they always wind up at the same bars and the same parties? And why is this performed as if this was all something deeply profound?

KID ROCK/First Kiss
Writers: R.J. Ritchie/M. Young; Producer: Kid Rock/Dann Huff; Publishers: RJR/Kobalt/Jo Ray Dean/Bluewater, BMI; Warner Bros.
-Blue-collar rock, like most of his singles. He doesn’t have much range as an artist, but what he does, he does well.

Writers: George Strait/Bubba Strait/Keith Gattis; Producers: Chuck Ainlay/George Strait; Publishers: Day Money/Horipro/Living for the Night/Sony-ATV Tree/Pioneer Town, ASCAP/BMI; MCA Nashville
-The loping, lackadaisical pace suits his laid-back delivery and the song’s easy-going philosophy. He still sounds great. I wish there were more like him.

Writers: Corey Smith; Producer: Keith Stegall; Publisher: Shooting Moon, ASCAP; Sugar Hill (track)
-Ten albums into his career, this singer-songwriter turns to country pro Stegall as his producer. The result is a wonderfully catchy single with built-in sunshine. Come on in, the water’s fine.

Writers: Brett Eldredge/Heather Morgan/Ross Copperman, others; Producers: Ross Copperman/Brett Eldredge; Publishers: Sony-ATV Countryside/Paris Not France/EMI Blackwood/Songs by Red Room, BMI, others; Atlantic
-I love how “alive” and in-your-face his vocal sounds. That’s especially cool because of the really snazzy production that’s behind it. A very, very hip and forward-looking record.

Allan Craig Miller

Allan Craig Miller

ALLAN CRAIG MILLER/Between Saturday & Sunday
Writers: Erik Halbig/Todd Taylor; Producer: Erik Halbig; Publishers: Curucu/Magic Mustang, BMI; Gray Area (CDX)
-This is a splendid, jaunty, bouncing, blue-collar thumper just made for dancing. The lyric hook is ultra-cool: “I need one more day between Saturday and Sunday.” Don’t we all? Play this. Country fans are gonna love it a heap.

LITTLE TEXAS/Can’t Get In A Hurry Here
Writers: D. Gray/P. Howell/D. O’Brien; Producers: Anthony Martin/Little Texas; Publishers: Del Yeah/P-90/Writer’s Den/Songs O’Brien, ASCAP; Cleopatra (CDX)
-Listless and sleepy. Maybe that’s the whole idea behind the song, but I still wanted to nod off.

JASON ALDEAN/Tonight Looks Good On You
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Broken Bow (ERG)
-The terrific, deep-sonic, echoey, full-blooded production is the finest of his career to date. It creates the perfect cushion for his delivery of the deliriously romantic lyric. A smash.

GARTH SHAW/California Dreamin’
Writers: John Phillips/Michelle Phillips; Producers: Garth Shaw/Dan Mitchell; Publisher: Universal, ASCAP; Roadie (track)
-He’s billed as, “the original singing roadie.” Shaw has been road managing for decades with stars such as Kenny Rogers, Sawyer Brown and The Starland Vocal Band. Now, at age 65, he’s releasing his first EP. It contains three of his original tunes, a couple of Rick Nelson covers and this Mamas & Papas classic. The original had those big echo-chamber vocals. Shaw’s “dry” delivery gives the familiar song the quality of a folk tune.

Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Big Star (ERG)
-In praise of everyday folks who go to happy hour, wear ball caps, save their pennies and treat each other kindly. Nice thump in the backbeat, banjo droplets and spoken-word encouraging interjections. Quite listenable.

Billy Currington To Release ‘Summer Forever’ in June

Billy CurringtonMercury Nashville recording artist Billy Currington will return with his sixth studio album, Summer Forever, on June 2.

With producer Dann Huff at the helm, the project features song from writers including Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Cole Swindell, Florida Georgia Line and Jimmy Robbins.

“Making this album was such a blast for me. I put a lot of love into this project and couldn’t be more excited for fans to hear the new music,” shares Currington. “Summer Forever for me represents a positive, happy, good time lifestyle and that’s what I hope the fans feel when they hear this record.”

Currington will no doubt include songs from his forthcoming album when he joins Tim McGraw‘s Shotgun Rider Tour this summer. The tour launches in Little Rock, Ark., on June 5 and includes a stop at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Aug. 15.

Summer Forever Track Listing:
1. Don’t It
Written by Jaren Johnston, Ashley Gorley and Ross Copperman

2. Drinkin’ Town With A Football Problem
Written by Aaron Henningsen, Brian Henningsen, Clara Henningsen, Elizabeth McDavid Elkins and Vanessa Ann Olivarez

3. Wake Me Up
Written by Josh Osborne, Jimmy Robbins and Ashley Gorley

4. Good Night (Featuring Jessie James)
Written by Daniel Tashian, Claire Guerreso and Rosi Golan

5. Jonesin’
Written by Shane McAnally, Jimmy Robbins and Hillary Lindsey

6. Give It To Me Straight
Written by Abe Stoklasa and Mark Trussell

7. It Don’t Hurt Like It Used To
Written by Billy Currington, Cary Barlowe and Shy Carter

8. Nowhere Town
Written by Aimee Mayo-Lindsey, Chris Lindsey and Josh Osborne

9. Do I Make You Wanna
Written by Ashley Gorley, Zach Crowell, Matt Jenkins and Jerry Flowers

10. Sweet Love
Written by Donovan Woods, Madeleine Slate and Dan Swinimer

11. Soundtrack
Written by Bobby Huff and Ben Burgess

12. Summer Forever*
Written by Cole Swindell, Jaren Johnston, Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard and Jesse Frasure

Produced by Dann Huff
*Produced by Dann Huff and Jesse Frasure

Schedule Set For CMA Music Fest’s Nightly Concerts

cma fest countdown
CMA Music Festival 2015The nightly schedule for performances at LP Field during CMA Music Festival is now posted at Artists confirmed to play the stadium were announced back in March, but the schedule wasn’t released at that time.

The event will be held June 11-14. Four-day tickets, which include access to the nightly concerts, are sold out.

LP Field Schedule

Thursday, June 11: Alan Jackson, Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean

Friday, June 12: The Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Brice, Maddie & Tae, Randy Houser, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan

Saturday, June 13: Wynonna & The Big Noise, Chris Young, Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Little Big Town

Sunday, June 14: Neal McCoy, Cole Swindell, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley

3 Ring Circus Adds Welling To Writer Roster

Pictured (L-R):[3 Ring Circus Music Director of A&R/Artist Management Casey LeVasseur, 3 Ring Circus Music GM Darrell Franklin, Parker Welling, 3 Ring Circus Music President Jeffrey Steele, BMI Director, Writer/Publisher Relations Leslie Roberts. Photo: 3 Ring Circus Music

Pictured (L-R): 3 Ring Circus Music Director of A&R/Artist Management Casey LeVasseur, 3 Ring Circus Music GM Darrell Franklin, Parker Welling, 3 Ring Circus Music President Jeffrey Steele, BMI Director, Writer/Publisher Relations Leslie Roberts. Photo: 3 Ring Circus Music

3 Ring Circus Music, the independent company founded by Jeffrey Steele, has signed Nashville-born songwriter Parker Welling to a publishing deal.

“Parker is a great new talent way beyond her years. I’m thrilled to work with her and can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Steele.

Welling will join the rest of her 3 Ring Circus Music Family down in Key West for BMI’s Key West Songwriter’s Festival May 6 – 10.

SESAC Sponsors 2015 GRAMMYS On The Hill Awards

Alicia Keys and SESAC’s Pat Collins.

Alicia Keys and SESAC’s Pat Collins.

SESAC was the lead sponsor of The Recording Academy’s GRAMMYS On The Hill Awards last week, Wednesday, April 15, at the Hamilton Live in Washington D.C.

First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance to present Alicia Keys with the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award while House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) were honored for their support and understanding of music creators’ unique role in American life.

SESAC artist/songwriter/producer Angela Hunte, who penned the chart-topping “Empire State of Mind,” a hit for Keys and Jay-Z, helped honor Keys by joining in for a few verses in closing out the evening. SESAC’s American Authors were on hand to perform and were joined on-stage with some two dozen members of Congress in a spirited rendition of the group’s hit song “Best Day of My Life.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Grammy Foundation’s Grammy Signature Schools program, which provides support for underserved music programs throughout the country.

The Recording Academy’s Neil Portnow, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and SESAC’s Pat Collins.

The Recording Academy’s Neil Portnow, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and SESAC’s Pat Collins.

Picture (left to right): SESAC's Pat Collins, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and the Recording Academy's Neil Portnow.

Picture (L-R): SESAC’s Pat Collins, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and the Recording Academy’s Neil Portnow.

American Authors perform “Best Day of My Life.”

American Authors perform “Best Day of My Life.”

Mike Reid And Phil Vassar To Perform Dueling Pianos For Waves Inc.

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Award-winning singer/songwriters Mike Reid and Phil Vassar will perform at the inaugural Dueling Pianos for Waves event at BA Properties in Franklin, Tenn., on Thursday, May 14, 2015.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Waves, Inc., a local nonprofit in Williamson County providing services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

A collection of classic and exotic cars will be on display. Food and drinks will be provided.

“We are so excited to have artists the caliber of Mike Reid and Phil Vassar donating their time to what we’re anticipating to be a fantastic annual event,” said Shannon Nehus, Executive Director of Waves. “We really appreciate BA Properties opening their facility, and want to thank our event sponsors – Artisan Landscaping, Buerger, Moseley & Carson, Capital Bank, First Farmers, and Franklin Realtors – for their support of Waves and this inaugural event.”

Tickets are $75.00 in advance at or $90.00 at the door. Admission includes valet parking, a self-guided tour of the car collection, food, two drink tickets, and entertainment. For questions, contact Emily Layton at [email protected].

Gary Allan To Launch CMA Music Fest’s Riverfront Shows

Gary Allan films his cameo in the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage lineup reveal video near LP Field in Nashville. Photo: Christian Bottorff / CMA

Gary Allan films his cameo in the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage lineup reveal video near LP Field in Nashville. Photo: Christian Bottorff / CMA

Fan favorite Gary Allan is set to launch this year’s set of Chevrolet Riverfront Stage shows during the 2015 CMA Music Festival. The singer-songwriter will jump start four days of music on Thursday, June 11 at 10 a.m. CT.The free Riverfront shows will take place from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day of the festival, which runs Thursday, June 11 through Sunday, June 14 in Nashville.

“Gary is extremely popular with our fans and I can’t think of a better artist to jump-start four days of non-stop, free music,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “We have an amazing lineup and when you consider that admission is free, there is no reason not to come down and enjoy everything this Festival has to offer.”

Katie Armiger will perform the National Anthem on opening day.

Full Riverfront Lineup Schedule:

June 11, 2015
10:00 am, Gary Allan
11:15 am, Montgomery Gentry
12:00 pm, The Cadillac Three
12:45 pm, Ashley Monroe
01:30 pm, Maddie & Tae
02:15 pm, Craig Campbell
03:00 pm, Dan + Shay
03:45 pm, Scotty McCreery
04:30 pm, Rodney Atkins

June 12, 2015
10:00 am, Clay Walker
11:15 am, Darryl Worley
12:00 pm, Restless Heart
12:45 pm, Kellie Pickler
01:30 pm, Eric Paslay
02:15 pm, RaeLynn
03:00 pm, Charles Esten
03:45 pm, Chase Rice
04:30 pm, Lorrie Morgan

June 13, 2015
10:00 am, Kristian Bush
11:15 am, Maggie Rose
12:00 pm, Cassadee Pope
12:45 pm, Aaron Watson
01:30 pm, Jason Michael Carroll
02:15 pm,  The Swon Brothers
03:00 pm, Parmalee
03:45 pm, Corey Smith
04:30 pm, Tanya Tucker

June 14, 2015
10:00 am, Jack Ingram
11:15 am, Lonestar
12:00 pm, Big Smo
12:45 pm, Dustin Lynch
01:30 pm, Thompson Square
02:15 pm, Canaan Smith
03:00 pm, Craig Wayne Boyd
03:45 pm, Phil Vassar
04:30 pm, Diamond Rio

Grammy Museum Extends Taylor Swift Exhibit Through October

The Taylor Swift Experience at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Photo: Grammy Museum

The Taylor Swift Experience at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Photo: Grammy Museum

Music fans have flocked to Los Angeles’ Grammy Museum to view its current exhibit, The Taylor Swift Experience, since the exhibit opened on the singer-songwriter’s 25th birthday on Dec. 13, 2014. Attendance has been so high that the museum has agreed to extend the exhibit through Oct. 4, 2015. The Taylor Swift Experience, which was originally slated to close in May 2015, is located in the Grammy Museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery, where temporary exhibits are showcased on a rotating basis.

“Since debuting in December 2014, The Taylor Swift Experience has become one of our most popular exhibits yet,” said Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum. “We’re excited to continue to showcase Taylor’s impressive timeline of success, especially as we welcome her back to STAPLES Center, at our home, L.A. LIVE, this August, for her sold-out The 1989 World Tour.”

Items on display in the exhibit, which was visited by Swift during Grammy Week in February, include:
-Early childhood reading books
-Never-before-seen family and childhood photos
-Tour costumes from Swift’s RED Tour
-Handwritten lyrics for the singer/songwriter’s hit “22”
-Swift’s 2009 GRAMMY Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “White Horse”
-Official props used in the music video for “Shake It Off”
-Dresses worn by Swift in her music video for “Mean”
-The dress Swift wore in the music video for “Teardrops On My Guitar”
-Swift’s banjo used during her performance at the 54th GRAMMY Awards in 2012

The Grammy Museum is located at 800 West Olympic Blvd. in Los Angeles.