Young Entertainment Professionals (YEP) hosted a networking mixer at BMI on Wednesday night (June 15). Over the course of the night, the event drew 800 professionals at every level of the industry.
Lari White will mark her 25th anniversary as a recording artist with a double EP, titled Old Friends, New Loves, scheduled for fall. White is using Kickstarter to involve her fans in the process of recording and releasing the album.
“I’m excited to bring everyone into the studio with me—and Kickstarter lets me do that,” White said. “This will be the first recording I’ve done where the fans ARE the record label. They back the project and I report directly to them on every little detail, giving them control-room access to the whole process.”
Recording at The Holler, White’s recording studio, Suzy Bogguss, Lee Roy Parnell and other longtime collaborators will make special guest appearances.
The Old Friends EP is highlighted by rootsy versions of 1990s RCA hits, such as “Lead Me Not,” “That’s How You Know When You’re In Love” and “That’s My Baby.” Meanwhile, the New Loves EP features recent originals and favorite covers, influenced by soul, jazz and country songs, and featuring guests Shawn Mullins and bass legend Victor Wooten.
“My fans have followed me the whole way on this crazy 25-year creative journey,” White said. “We love music and we love storytelling, and we don’t let ourselves be limited by rules about genre or medium or ‘brand’ for God’s sake. The only rule is that it’s honest. And I honestly LOVE country and jazz and soul and movies and literature and photography and any art that moves the human spirit to a good place.”
The Kickstarter campaign features a range of unique rewards for contributors, including a two-night Nashville vacation in White’s West Nashville bungalow with a champagne breakfast prepared by the singer herself. Other notable items include voice lessons with White through her new ArtistWorks Country Vocal School, and a backstage pizza party at one of her upcoming concerts. Contributors can also get producer credit on the new albums or an intimate acoustic house concert.
In addition to her career as a country artist, White has produced albums (Toby Keith’s White Trash With Money), acted in films (Cast Away) and appeared on Broadway (Ring of Fire).
Chicago White Sox To Host Chase Bryant And Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry will take its replica Opry Circle to Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field on July 8 when country singer Chase Bryant entertains prior to the White Sox and Atlanta Braves game at a 7:10 p.m.
The White Sox will celebrate country music before the game with a live radio broadcast with US99*5 at U.S. Cellular Field from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. and throughout the game. There will also be a first pitch from US99*5 afternoon on-air talent Kasper, a Country Music Night Party Shop in Section 159, country music giveaways and country music played throughout the ballpark. The night will conclude with a post-game fireworks show accompanied by video footage from the Opry stage. More information and tickets at whitesox.com.
The Bass Brothers Perform During CMA Fest
London, England’s The Bass Brothers, who are currently finishing their project with Dann and David Huff producing, stopped by the Radio Disney Stage at CMA Music Fest to meet Phil Guerini, VP of Music Strategy Disney Channels Worldwide.
Rizzi Myers Signs with Phivestarr/AVJ Records
Pop singer/songwriter Rizzi Myers has signed to Nashville-based Phivestarr/AVJ Records (a division of Average Joes Entertainment). “Closer to Closure,” Myers’ debut single for the label, is available on iTunes.
The 26-year old’s YouTube channel virtually exploded when her viral video, “1 Woman, 15 Voices,” went from 1,300 views to 4 million in just four weeks. The video highlights Rizzi impersonating 15 different female vocalists ranging from Adele to Marilyn Monroe to Amy Winehouse.
Myers will be featured on labelmate DJ KO’s debut EP, High Gravity, set for release this summer.
I was going to take a break from mainstream country and review some other genre this week, but the stars had other plans. In the wake of the CMA Music Festival, a large crop of hillbilly headliners released new music. So I was compelled to scrap my agenda.
Swatting away all competitors, Blake Shelton rules the roost with the Disc of the Day. This fella really is the bomb. Since everyone here is a proven quantity, there is no DisCovery Award winner. Let me just say that the two records that came closest to matching Blake’s in song quality were the new singles by Darius Rucker and Pat Green.
BLAKE SHELTON/She’s Got A Way With Words
Writers: Wyatt Earp/Andy Albert/Marc Beeson; Producer: Scott Hendricks; Publishers: Western Legend/Downtown DL/Son of Ron, BMI/ASCAP; Warner Bros.
– Very cleverly written. And in case you haven’t noticed by now, this guy is one of the greatest country singers of our time. This is going straight to the top.
MAREN MORRIS/80s Mercedes
Writers: Maren Morris/busbee; Producers: Maren Morris/busbee; Publisher: none listed; Columbia (track)
– It ain’t all that “country,” but it sure is cool. Synth lines throb beneath her exuberant, youthful vocal about a babe out on the town.
JACK INGRAM/I’m Drinking Through It
Writers: Jack Ingram/Lori McKenna/Liz Rose; Producer: Jon Randall; Publishers: Beat Up Ford/Songs of Universal/Hoodie/Crazy Girl/Warner-Tamerlane, BMI; Rounder (track)
– His drawling performance is charming, and the song is a dandy. The only thing I didn’t like was the continuous bass rumble that assaulted me in one speaker. Somebody remix this.
JERROD NIEMANN & LEE BRICE/A Little More Love
Writers: Shane McAnally/Ross Copperman/Natalie Hemby/Kristi Neumann; Producers: Jimmie Lee Sloas, Jerrod Niemann & Lee Brice; Publishers: Smack Hits/Smack Songs/Kobalt/EMI Blackwood/Songs By Red Room/Happygownucke/Creative Pulse/These Are My Pulse/Hello Jerry, GMR/BMI/SESAC; Curb (CDX)
– I could put up with the country-rap verses if the song was more interesting. As it is, it’s just an endless loop of the same repeated phrases.
PAT GREEN/Day One
Writers: Shane McAnally/John Osborne/Matt Ramsey; Producers: Jon Randall Stewart, Justin Pollard & Gary Paczosa; Publishers: Universal/Smack Ink/Songs of Black River/One Little Indian Creek/RPM/Sonic Geo/HoriPro/Calhoun, ASCAP; Greenhouse (CDX)
– Nicely done. He counts down the days as he survives a breakup. His pleading delivery is accompanied by a sweet, spare, guitar-chiming track. Whoever is singing the tenor harmony part is flawless.
Writers: Darryl Worley/Jay Brunswick/Brock Berryhill; Producers: Jim “Moose” Brown, Billy Lawson & Brock Berryhill; Publishers: Myers/Worleybird/Spirit, ASCAP/BMI; Worleybird (CDX)
– Thunderstorm audio effects underscore his delivery of this sexy lyric.
BRAD PAISLEY & DEMI LOVATO/Without a Fight
Writers: Brad Paisley, Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller; Producer: Brad Paisley and Luke Wooted; Publisher: none listed; Arista (ERG)
-They fuss and scrap, then make up. The big, pounding track tries to stir up excitement, but the song just isn’t that compelling.
DARIUS RUCKER/So I Sang
Writers: Darius Rucker/Rivers Rutherford/Tim James; Producer: Frank Rogers; Publishers:Universal Music Corp./Cadaja Publishing/ Universal Music Corp./Memphianna/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./T-Bird’s Music, ASCAP/BMI; Capitol Nashville
-I love this. He is just an ordinary guy, who excels at nothing much. Except for one thing: At every twist and turn in life, he sings his heart out. Resonant and moving.
Writers: Cassadee Pope, Kelly Archer, Emily Shackelton; Producer: Corey Crowder; Publisher: Universal Music Corp./It’s the Coolest Publishing/Canal Music Publishing BV/Stars and Stripes and Maple Leaf Music/Downtown DMP Songs/Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Better Boat Music; ASCAP/BMI; Republic Nashville (ERG)
– His love burns like the sunshiny weather. Her bright vocal matches the lyric. The drummer is working overtime, but the rest of the instrumental track is pretty ordinary.
GARY ALLAN/Do You Wish It Was Me
Writers: Gary Allan/Jonathan Singleton/Andrew Dorff; Producers: Gary Allan/Greg Droman; Publishers: Crystal Beach/Super Big/Jett/Big Machine/Songs of Universal/Morendorffin, BMI/ASCAP; EMI (CDX)
– The steady driving track is just right for Gary’s impassioned delivery. A guy misses his gal fiercely and hopes desperately that she feels the same.
Derik Hultquist Shares New Album At Carnival Brunch
Carnival Music and ASCAP hosted a listening brunch on Tuesday (June 14) for Derik Hultquist‘s album release, Southern Iron. The project will be released on Friday (June 17) by Carnival in partnership with Thirty Tigers.
LeAnn Bennett Joins Compass Records Staff
Compass Records Group has hired LeAnn Bennett for a newly-created position. She will manage licensing, royalty administration and pitching music for film and TV placement for the abel.
Bennett’s prior career stops include the Country Music Hall Of Fame and Museum, Orbison Records/Barbara Orbison Productions, and Capitol Records Nashville.
She is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Middle Tennessee State University in 1993.
Bennett may be reached at 615-320-7672 and [email protected].
The Recording Academy has shifted its rules to include streaming-only projects as eligible for Grammy consideration. For the next ballot, recordings must be available to the public as stand-alone purchases or streams between Oct. 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016.
The Recording Academy previously considered general distribution to be “sales by label to a branch or recognized independent distributor, via the internet, or mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product.” However the news guidelines include streaming services, which are “paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand streaming/limited download platforms that have existed as such within the United States for at least one full year as of the submission deadline.”
This would include Spotify (paid tiers), Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, etc., while product released only to Pandora, which has no on-demand service, would not qualify.
The change was one of five changes outlined for next year’s Grammy Awards, which will be held Feb. 12.
For example, the number of categories in which Academy members may vote has decreased from 20 to 15, plus the four General Field categories, which include Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.
The Best New Artist guidelines have also shifted toward streaming with the removal of the album requirement, a nod to how new artists release music. Under the new guidelines, an artist must have released a minimum of five tracks/singles, or one album, but no more than 30 singles/tracks, or three albums. A new artist may not have entered the category more than three times, including as a performing member of an established group, and must have achieved a breakthrough in the public consciousness during the eligibility period.
The category of Best Blues Album has been split into two categories: Best Traditional Blues Album and Best Contemporary Blues Album.
Meanwhile, the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration has been renamed Best Rap/Sung Performance, and now recognizes solo and collaborative performances that contain elements of R&B and rap in its melody and song. The new definition includes recordings by solo artists who blur the lines between rapping and singing.
“The Grammys aren’t just peer-awarded, they’re peer-driven. Throughout the year, members of the music community come to us asking to make changes to the Awards process, and we work with them to figure out how those changes might work,” said Bill Freimuth, Senior Vice President of Awards for The Recording Academy. “I’m proud of this year’s changes because they’re a testament to the artists, producers, and writers – the people who rolled up their sleeves to shape the proposals and, in turn, the future of the Grammys. It’s exactly what they should be doing. It’s their award.”
Demolition Music Publishing has signed songwriter Pete Sallis. His songwriting credits include Ronnie Dunn’s “Once” and Maddie & Tae’s “Shut Up and Fish.”
According to Demolition president Jon D’Agostino, “Signing Pete was a no brainer! He’s a writing machine with the experience, drive, talent, and attitude that’s unmatched as far as I’m concerned. He’s already had some very impressive cuts in his career and some major hits are right around the corner for sure!!”
Alexander Palmer is one of the newest songwriters signed to BMI. He visited the Nashville office on Tuesday (June 14) to celebrate his achievement. Palmer was born in Germany and now resides in Los Angeles. He received his first No. 1 country single as a co-writer of Dierks Bentley’s “Somewhere on a Beach. Palmer has also worked with Iggy Azalea, Jason Derulo and Chris Brown.
In addition, Palmer dropped by the MusicRow office on Monday to collect his first MusicRow No. 1 Challenge Coin, in recognition of “Somewhere on a Beach.” Every artist and songwriter who reaches No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart receives the coin. “Somewhere on a Beach” was written by Michael Tyler, Jaron Boyer, Alexander Palmer, Dave Kuncio and Josh Mirenda.
The Country Music Hall of Fame saw its share of artists throughout the week of CMA Music Festival with performances, interviews, and exhibit celebrations.
On Monday, June 6, the museum kicked off the week with a special interview and performance by Blake Shelton in support of the new exhibition Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story, supported by SunTrust.
Prior to an autograph signing at the museum on Thursday (June 9), Dierks Bentley made a surprise appearance in the exhibition Dierks Bentley: Every Mile a Memory.
That same day, singer/songwriter Cam surprised fans with an acoustic performance in the museum’s ACM Gallery, where her Opry debut dress is now on display.
Others appearing at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum throughout the week included Gary Allan, Bill Anderson, Brandy Clark, CMT’s Next Women of Country, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Brenda Lee, Scotty McCreery, Oak Ridge Boys, Charley Pride, RaeLynn, Aubrie Sellers and more.
All photos by Kelli Dirks, CK Photo and Rick Diamond, Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Black River Entertainment CEO Gordon Kerr has announced the signing of Jacob Davis to the Black River Records artist roster.
One month from the day Davis signed his deal with Black River Publishing (on May 10), the singer-songwriter held a private fan club party at Nashville’s Sound Stage studios, where he was interrupted by a fan with a special gift. While Kerr was introducing Davis, the fan insisted Kerr give a gift-wrapped box to the singer-songwriter. Inside was a recording contract with Black River Entertainment, which Davis signed in front of his fan club members.
“I was absolutely thrilled to be part of this moment with Jacob!” said Kerr. “We know there is a lot of hard work ahead of us, but honestly, this is going to be fun!”
“I’ve worked hard for some time now to find the right team, with the right label, and I’m honored to now be able to call Black River Entertainment my home,” said Davis.
Watch the record deal signing below: