Bobby Karl Works The Rooms: Blake Shelton Exhibit Opening, CAA BBQ, CMA Fest’s GlobaLive!

Pictured (L-R): Warner Music Nashville president John Esposito, Brandon Blackstock of Starstruck Management Group, Narvel Blackstock of Starstuck Management Group, singer-songwriter Blake Shelton, Senior Vice President of Museum Services of The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Carolyn Tate, and CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Kyle Young (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum)

Pictured (L-R): Warner Music Nashville president John Esposito, Brandon Blackstock of Starstruck Management Group, Narvel Blackstock of Starstruck Management Group, Blake Shelton, Senior Vice President of Museum Services of The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Carolyn Tate, and CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Kyle Young. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum

Chapter 529

What better way to commence the CMA Music Fest week than with a party at the Hall of Fame?

And who better to celebrate at that party than the great Blake Shelton?

Monday evening’s reception (June 6) at the Country Music Hall of Fame was to inaugurate its new exhibit: Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story. The Hall’s Kyle Young called Blake “one of country music’s prime forces” and hailed him as the genre’s ambassador on network TV’s The Voice.

He recounted Blake’s upbringing in Oklahoma, and losing his older brother as a teen. The late songwriter Mae Boren Axton urged the boy singer to move to Music City. So after his high-school graduation in 1994, Blake headed for Nashville at age 17. Two years later, he was discovered by songwriter Bobby Braddock, which led to his recording contract.

“I can’t believe I’m standing here,” said Blake to the crowd assembled in the Hall of Fame’s rotunda. “I have an exhibit in this place, and that’s a pretty damn big deal to me. All I ever cared about is being a country singer. All I ever wanted was to be on the radio. This is the most surreal moment of my life. No matter how much they throw at ya….I kept trying for this thing. And I still feel like I’m trying. I still feel like I’m at the beginning of this thing. I’m in shock. This is the craziest thing that has ever happened to me. It’s overwhelming.”

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 06: CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Kyle Young and singer-songwriter Blake Shelton attend the debut of the "Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story" Exhibit at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum

Kyle Young greets Blake Shelton. Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum

The exhibit is loaded with cool stuff. A little memo pad shows the lyrics of the first song he ever wrote. He was 15 at the time. His first BMI royalty check is on display, for a whopping $2.73. His Opry induction mementos include a commemorative bottle of Jack Daniels with “Blake Shelton” on the label in the familiar script, plus his Opry mike-stand trophy. There are guitars, costumes, posters and more.

Among the honors displayed are his five BMI silver cups, six CMA awards, two ACM statuettes and more. The finale artifact is his iconic red chair from The Voice.

Paying their respects were Paul Overstreet, Victoria Shaw, Jon Randall Stewart, Marc Beeson, Liz Hengber, Nora Lee Allen and newly installed Country Hall of Famers The Oak Ridge BoysWilliam Lee Golden, Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen and Richard Sterban.

Industry schmoozers also included Rob Simbeck, Rob Beckham, Sherod Robertson, Chris Lacy, Wes Vause, Narvel Blackstock, Mary Ann McCready, Jerry & Ernie Williams, Lon Helton, Jimmy Carter, Pandora CEO Tim Westergren, Troy Tomlinson, Earle Simmons, John Marks, Rachel Whitney, Cindy Watts, Hunter Kelly, Charlie Monk and Julie Boos.

We snacked on shrimp & pasta salad, mini filo sandwiches, olives and tomato & mozzarella skewers.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum historian Michael McCall (L) interviews singer-songwriter Blake Shelton during the debut of the "Blake Shelton: Based on a True Story" Exhibit at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on June 6, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum)

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum historian Michael McCall and Blake Shelton. Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum

That wasn’t the only room worth working downtown that evening. Also on Monday (June 6) was the 24th annual CAA BBQ in the lobby and penthouse at 401 Commerce, the firm’s Nashville HQ.

Half the industry seemed to be at this industrial schmoozathon. Gripping and grinning were Drew Alexander, Dale Bobo, Todd Cassetty, Adam Dread and host-with-the-most Rod Essig. And that’s just A through E. Teri Brown had her new management client Alix Smith in tow and was schmoozing Scott Siman. There were loads of other baby acts at the party, notably Alyssa Micaela, whose “Getaway Car” is already a social-media phenomenon.

Jody Williams, Sally Williams, Patrick Clifford, Chip Petree, Randy Perkins, Diane Pearson, David Macias, Dwight Wiles, Justin Levenson, George Briner, Jeff Gregg, Neal Spielberg, Mike Molinar, John Ettinger and Erika Wollam Nichols were also all in the throng, which was massive.

Attendee Mike Craft is gearing up for a big week. Following a full slate of CMA Fest activities, he and his 18-year-old son are heading for Bonnaroo on Saturday, where the temp is predicted to be 96 degrees. They’ll be joining about 80,000 other fans at the 15th annual Bonnaroo.

The hors d’oeuvres at CAA were much enjoyed. Among the offerings were mini chicken tacos, pork barbecue sliders with slaw, cauliflower buds drenched in hot-chicken sauce and cheesy chicken nacho plates, plus assorted strawberry, blueberry and chocolate morsels.

Frank Davies performs at GlobaLive! Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Frankie Davies performs at GlobaLive! Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

The night was still young. Over at the Hard Rock Café, the annual Global Artist Showcase was underway on Monday (June 6) on an outdoor stage. Excuse me. This event is now billed as “CMA World GlobaLive!”

On the bill representing Australia were four-time CMAA Entertainer of the Year Troy Cassar-Daley, plus Karin Page and Caitlyn Shadbolt. The Canadians on tap were Raquel Cole, hockey player and songwriter Chad Brownlee and Juno winner Brent Kissell. New Zealand’s Kayla Mahon was booked, too. Representing the U.K. were Frankie Davies, who leads an all-female band, and The Pauper Kings, who are being produced by Jay DeMarcus.

This event began in 2004 as the Global Artist Party. Its guiding light was the late Jeff Walker. Predictably, this year’s event was held in homage to him. Leading the parade of attendees was Jeff’s best buddy, David M. Ross.

Fans from more than two dozen nations are expected at this year’s CMA Music Festival. Beginning on Wednesday, they will be among an expected 87,000 people a day downtown enjoying 400+ artists performing on 11 music stages. This is the 45th CMA Music Festival. And away we go.

Rachel Cole performs at GlobaLive! Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Rachel Cole performs at GlobaLive! Photo: Bev Moser/Moments By Moser

Exit/In Unveils Music Mural For 45th Anniversary

Exit In mural

Nashville venue Exit/In has unveiled a commemorative mural by local street artist Bryan Deese to commemorate its 45th anniversary. Each stencil was carefully chosen for their contribution to the history of the venue and the stencils were made from photographs of the actual performances at Exit/In, many of them shot by notable rock photographer Alan Mayor.

The mural, which is located on the left, outer wall of Exit/In and is best viewed from the patio at Hurry Back, includes detailed stencils of artist, comedians and more who have graced the stage of Exit/In over the years and made it one of the most legendary venues in Nashville.

“This was a big honor for me to work on this project. The hardest part was editing the list down,” said Deese who has been making art in and around Nashville since 1990. “I like to think of Jimmy Buffett as the patron saint of the mural since he was the first ever performer at Exit/In. I don’t think there’s a more important venue in Nashville besides The Ryman Auditorium than Exit/In.”



1. Jimmy Buffett was the first artist to play Exit/In in 1971.

2. Chuck Berry has performed at Exit/In several times, most notably in 1980 at the grand reopening. Prior to that time, the stage had been on the Elliston Place side of the venue and the entrance in the back, hence the name, Exit/In.

3. Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter were some of the few country artists to perform at Exit/In in 1975. Many years later, their son, Shooter Jennings performed on the very same stage.

4. Cowboy Jack Clement performed several times at Exit/In throughout his career including the 40th anniversary celebration.

5. Rock and roll wildman genius Jerry Lee Lewis performed at Exit/In in 1974.

6. Joe Strummer performed at Exit/In with his band The Clash.

7. Flea performed on Thanksgiving night at Exit/In with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1987. Before their set, they had a formal holiday dinner on the bar.

8. David Byrne performed with his band Talking Heads during their first ever performance in Nashville in 1977 and it was broadcast live on local rock station KDF. The emcee introduced the band with “punk comes to Nashville, for the first time, and probably for the last time.”

9. Aspiring comics Cheech & Chong cut their teeth at Exit/In in 1973.

10. On the cover of The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta album, Sting can be seen in one of the small photos wearing an Exit/In t-shirt.

11. The iconic microphone from the poster of Robert Altman‘s 1975 film, Nashville. One of the most memorable scenes was shot in Exit/In.

12. Each of Steve Martin‘s three Exit/In appearances ended up outside the club. The first time, he took the audience across the street to see his new red Trans Am in a church parking lot. The second time, he tied skinny balloons around everyone’s heads, lined them up in the middle of Elliston Place, and led a Bunny Hop procession in the direction of Baptist Hospital. The third time was so funny that he has recalled it to several interviewers over the years. At the end of his late show, he took the arrow out of his head, laid down his banjo and said, “Man, I’m starvin’. What’s the name of that eat-a-sackful place up the street?” The audience howled—at that time, there was a Krystal up on West End across from Vandy. And off they went.

13. “Gwar isn’t an easy show from a producer standpoint,” said club co-owner Chris Cobb. Add in the fact that the barricades at the front of the stage were not correctly bolted in and Cobb had to make an impromptu wedge out of 2x4s he found in the back parking lot. The band had to stop the show and ask the crowd to back up as Cobb tried to fix the problem. “Oderus, may he rest in peace, just decided that he needed to hose me down as I was trying to fix the barricade and I was just soaked…T-shirt, khakis ruined and I was just sopping wet the whole show. That’s a really good Exit/In memory.”

14. Ernest Tubb celebrated his 65th birthday in 1979 at Exit/In with a guitar-shaped cake and celebrity guests including Mae Axton and Peter Fonda.

Little Big Town, Pharrell Williams Confirmed For CMT Music Awards

Little Big Town and Pharrell (center)

Little Big Town and Pharrell (center)

Little Big Town will be joined by Pharrell Williams on the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday (June 8). They will perform a new song off their upcoming album, Wanderlust, which Williams also produced. The project will be released on Friday by Capitol Records Nashville.

New presenters have also been added to the show, including CMT personality Cody Alan, Kelsea Ballerini, Bobby Bones, Chris Janson and actors Billy Gardell and Chad Michael Murray from CMT’s upcoming series, Million Dollar Quartet.

Previously announced performers include Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett. Collaborations include Blake Shelton and The Oak Ridge Boys, Billy Ray Cyrus and Cheap Trick, Dierks Bentley and Elle King, Fifth Harmony and Cam, Keith Urban with special guests Brett Eldredge and Marren Morris; and Pitbull with Leona Lewis and Cassadee Pope.

Previously announced presenters include Charles Kelley, Cole Swindell, Dan+Shay and Kellie Pickler, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, actors Vince Vaughn and Rob Riggleas well as actors Joey Lauren Adams and Madison Iseman from the new CMT series Still The King, which premieres Sunday.

Hosted by Erin Andrews and J.J. Watt, the show will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will air on CMT.

In Pictures: Kenny Chesney, Dolly Parton, Big & Rich, Dan + Shay

Kenny Chesney Invites Friends To Play to 46,000 Fans in Texas

Kenny Chesney at AT&T Stadium. Photo: Jill Trunnell

Kenny Chesney at AT&T Stadium. Photo: Jill Trunnell

Kenny Chesney‘s 2016 Spread the Love Tour stop at Dallas/Fort Worth’s AT&T Stadium played to over 46,000 fans on Saturday (June 4). The event featured guests Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Old Dominion, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in addition to players, and country icon Randy Travis, who even joined Chesney on stage. Chesney performed “Diggin’ Up Bones” in his honor.


Dolly Parton Launches Pure And Simple North American Tour

Pictured (L-R): National Shows 2's Darin Lashinsky, APA's Steve Martin, Dolly Parton, CTK Mgmt's Danny Nozell, and Webster PR's Kirt Webster. Photo: Jeremy Westby

Pictured (L-R): National Shows 2’s Darin Lashinsky, APA’s Steve Martin, Dolly Parton, CTK Mgmt’s Danny Nozell, and Webster PR’s Kirt Webster. Photo: Jeremy Westby

Dolly Parton kicked off her North American Pure And Simple Tour in North Carolina on Friday (June 3). The icon has been featured in many publications recently, including CNN and Oprah.


Fontanel Hosts Memorial Day Event With Big & Rich

Big & Rich front center, and a cast of musicians and friends join in honoring Medal of Honor recipients recognized on Memorial Day at Camp NASH. Standing middle row, third from left: Colonel Roger Donlon, U.S. Army Special Forces ( Ret.). Standing front row beside John Rich Sgt. Gary Beikirch, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.).

Big & Rich front center, and a cast of musicians and friends join in honoring Medal of Honor recipients. Middle row, third from left: Colonel Roger Donlon, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.). Standing front row beside John Rich is Sgt. Gary Beikirch, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.). Also pictured: Parmalee and Thompson Square.

Fontanel held Camp NASH, the first annual Memorial Day weekend celebration, with over 3,000 attendees on Monday (May 30). The family-friendly, country music lifestyle event featured multiple performance stages with Big & Rich, Thompson Square, Parmalee, Chuck Wicks, Rae Lynn, and Breaking Southwest.

The event benefitted the Special Forces Charitable Trust, and was sponsored by Nationwide Express in addition to representation from Cumulus Media and Love’s Travel Stops.


Dan+Shay Visit iHeart New York During Album Launch

Pictured (L-R): Marissa Morris (iHeart), Dan Smyers, Tom Poleman (iHeart), Shay Mooney & John Sykes (iHeart).

Pictured (L-R): Marissa Morris, iHeart; Dan Smyers; Tom Poleman, iHeart; Shay Mooney; John Sykes, iHeart.

Dan + Shay stopped by the iHeart Media studios in New York City on Monday (June 6) while making press visits surrounding their latest album, Obsessed, which was released Friday, June 3.

Luke Bryan Announces Farm Tour Dates, ‘Farm Tour EP’ For Fall

Luke Bryan. Photo: Courtesy of Schmidt PR

Luke Bryan. Photo: Schmidt PR

For the eighth year, Luke Bryan will bring his annual Farm Tour to fans, to raise scholarship funds for students in farming communities. Bayer Presents Luke Bryan Farm Tour 2016 will visit eight cities from Oct. 5 to Oct. 15, and a portion of each ticket sold will be granted for local college scholarships in the cities the tour visits.

For the first time, a Farm Tour EP will be released in the Fall. The tour is sponsored by Bayer, Citi, CID Entertainment, Miller Lite, Cabela’s and Polaris.

Bayer Presents Luke Bryan Farm Tour 2016 Tour Dates
Oct. 5: Gaston, South Carolina; Culler Farms
Oct. 6: Greenback, Tennessee; Maple Lane Farms
Oct. 7: Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Highland Farms
Oct. 8: Monroeville, Indiana; Spangler Farms
Oct. 12: Batesville, Mississippi; FT Farms
Oct. 13: Prairie Grove, Arkansas; Ogden Ranch
Oct. 14: Centralia, Missouri; Stowers Farm
Oct. 15: Effingham, Illinois; Mid America Motorworks

Artist Updates: Brandy Clark, Gary Allan, Lauren Alaina, David Nail, Russell Dickerson

Brandy Clark Plans Nashville Show, Prepares Album


Brandy Clark will headline a July 3 performance in downtown Nashville, leading up to the city’s 4th of July events. Jason Eskridge, Shelly Colvin and DJ Du are also on the bill. Clark’s set will be followed by a five-minute fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Clark follows up her acclaimed 2013 project 12 Stories on Friday (June 10) with her sophomore project Big Day in a Small Town. The MusicRow Breakthrough Songwriter and Breakthrough Artist winner co-wrote all 11 tracks, alongside co-writers including Lori McKenna, Shane McAnally, Luke Laird, Josh Osborne, Jessie Jo Dillon, Mark Narmore, Mark D. Sanders, Jeremy Spillman, Bryan Simpson, and Scott Stepakoff. The project was produced by Jay Joyce.


Gary Allan’s Nashville Boutique To Hold Trunk Shows

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 9.56.59 AM

Gary Allan‘s Nashville boutique, The Label, is set to hold a pair of truck shows this week, to show off designs from Allan, along with Florida Georgia Line stylist Gina Ketchum and designer Debe Dohrer.

Located at 2222 12th Ave. S., The Label will host the shows on Wednesday, June 8 from 6-8 p.m, as well as Friday, June 10 from 4-8 p.m.

Allan’s new jewelry line, designed by Allan himself, includes rings and pendants with diamonds, black diamonds, garnets, emeralds, rubies and more, cast in silver and custom wax. The trunk shows will feature suits, shirts and jewelry from Debe Dohrer Design along with custom feather jewelry including earrings, necklaces and cuffs from designer and stylist Gina Ketchum.

Allan and Dohrer will be on site on Wednesday, June 8 to discuss the lines with customers, while Ketchum and Dohrer will be available at the June 10 event.


Sounds Like Nashville Holds Late-Night Concert Series

sounds like nashville
Lauren Alaina, David Nail, Easton Corbin, Canaan Smith and more UMG Nashville artists will perform this week in Nashville as part of the late-night concert series The Outdoor Option TV Show Stage, presented by SureFire, at Tootsies Honky Tonk Alley.  The concert series launches Wednesday (June 8) following the CMT Music Awards, and runs through Saturday.
“I’m so excited to bring the Sounds Like Nashville Late-Night Concert Series to Music City during the CMA Music Festival,” says Lauren Black, editor of Sounds Like Nashville. “It’s all about the music during CMA Fest, so I hope fans are ready to stay up late with us and keep the party going!”


Russell Dickerson Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut

Pictured (L-R): Pete Fisher,Grand Ole Opry; Russell Dickerson; J.R. Schumann, Sirius XM

Pictured (L-R): Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry; Russell Dickerson; J.R. Schumann, Sirius XM

Artist Russell Dickerson made his Grand Ole Opry debut on June 3. The Nashville native and Belmont University graduate found success on SiriusXM’s The Highway with his single, “Yours.”

Second Round Of AmericanaFest Performers Revealed


The Americana Music Association has revealed its second round of AmericanaFest performers, bringing the festival’s confirmed artist list to 121. A total of more than 180 artists will perform at this year’s festival.

Additions to this year’s lineup include: Amanda Shires, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Dori Freeman, Howe Gelb, Jack Ingram, John Fullbright, John Prine, Kaia Kater, Motel Mirrors, My Bubba, Sam Outlaw, Sean Watkins, Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle, The Cordovas and The O’Connor Band featuring Mark O’Connor.

The Americana Music Festival & Conference runs from Sept. 20-25 in Nashville.

Showcase wristbands are currently on sale ($60) and allow admission into all showcase venues, some sanctioned parties and special events, and can be purchased here.

Festival and Conference registrations ($275 for members/$375 for non-members) offer priority admission into all showcase venues, sanctioned parties and events, and daytime educational panels. In addition, conference registrants may purchase a ticket to the Americana Honors & Awards show at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Registration for the festival and conference can be purchased here.

Music Industry Exec Danny Nozell Launches Nashville Rehearsal Space And Storage Facility

Danny Nozell

Danny Nozell

Music industry executive Danny Nozell has opened a new rehearsal space and high security storage facility in Nashville. Known as Nove Entertainment, the property is located at 6705 Centennial Blvd.

The 14,000-square-foot building includes 25 storage units with 12- to 15-foot ceilings, each with its own custom-built security system and its own LED motion-sensitive light to fully illuminate the unit. Amenities for units include a bathroom with shower, AC power in all common hallways, and a lockable garage door. Hallways are illuminated 24/7 with LED lighting.

Nove Entertainment offers each unit enclosed with a secondary beveled roof for added protection, in addition to the main building roof. The facility is not located in a flood zone.

There is a covered loading dock with room for three 53-foot semi-trailers to load or unload simultaneously, as well as a separate drive-in door for flat loading into the building from a bus, trailer, or non-dock height vehicle.

Dolly Parton at Nove Entertainment

Dolly Parton at Nove Entertainment


Nove Entertainment 1

Nove Entertainment Rehearsal Space

Nove’s private and full-service rehearsal facility for artists and bands measures 60 feet by 60 feet with a clearance height of 20 feet. Two docks are included for load-in, with power specifications consisting of 100 amp 3 Phase w/ camlocks or 30 amp Edison breakouts with no hookup. PA, monitor, and console systems are available upon request. Clients have access to production office space, a private bathroom, Internet access, and shore power for two buses. Truck parking is provided. Nove clients will be specifically trained on the facility’s security arrangement, with security details given to each client on a personal basis.

For more information, call 615-401-9475, or visit

Nove Entertainment storage facility

Nove Entertainment storage facility


Nove Entertainment storage facility and loading dock.

Nove Entertainment storage facility and drive in door for loading.

Jon Pardi Receives Gold Single For “Head Over Boots”

Jon Pardi

Jon Pardi

Jon Pardi has earned a gold-certified single for “Head Over Boots,” surpassing 500,000 combined units of sales and streaming.

Pardi co-wrote the song with Luke Laird. It’s the first release from Pardi’s upcoming album, California Sunrise, set for release on June 17 on Capitol Records Nashville.

“Head Over Boots” is Pardi’s second gold single, following his 2014 certification for “Up All Night.”

Pardi will be on hand this week during CMA Music Festival, including the NASH Country Kick Off Party benefiting Musicians on Call on Tuesday (June 7). That show will take place at the Cannery Ballroom and also feature Kelsea Ballerini and newcomer Levi Hummon.

Charlie Worsham Sets Three Midnite Jamboree Shows This Week

Charlie Worsham

Charlie Worsham will host three installments of the Midnite Jamboree this week at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in downtown Nashville.

Worsham is scheduled to perform at 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (June 9-11). Each night will feature at least one special guest, which will not be announced in advance. The store can hold about 200 fans. Worsham wants to make the concert series an annual event.

Worsham is currently working with producer Frank Liddell on new music. The upcoming release, Worsham’s first in three years, is expected early next year. He will join Kenny Rogers on the legendary singer’s final tour in Europe this fall.