In Pictures: Tin Pan South Wednesday Shows With Kellie Pickler, Natalie Stovall, Ben Glover

Pictured (L-R): Luke Laird, Lori McKenna, Mayor Megan Barry, Natalie Hemby, Barry Dean. Photo:

Tin Pan South continued through night two of the 25th annual songwriter festival at various Nashville venues. Artist appearances include Kellie Pickler with husband Kyle Jacobs in addition to Ben Glover and Frank Rogers at 3rd & Lindsley.

The early show fun competed with Joe Denim and Love & Theft at the Hard Rock Cafe, with special guests including Natalie Stovall. Additionally Jeffrey Steele‘s The Circus at Station Inn featured Adam James, Anthony Smith and Davis Naish.

Late shows included the incredibly jam-packed Creative Nation showcase at The Listening Room with Natalie Hemby, Lori McKenna, Luke Laird and Barry Dean. Their freshman blood performed earlier at the venue, including Steve Moakler, Kassi Ashton and Muscadine Bloodline.

Creative Nation Team. Photo:


Pictured (l-r): ASCAP’s Michael Martin, Frank Rogers, Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, Ben Glover, Dave Baker, and ASCAP’s Suzanne Lee, Robert Filhart and Kele Currier. Photo: Ed Rode


Photo: Moments By Moser Photography


Jeffrey Steele. Photo: Tin Pan South


Pictured (L-R): Jeffrey Steele, Davis Naish, Adam James, Anthony Smith. Photo:


Pictured (L-R): Ben Glover, Frank Rogers, Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography


Kellie Pickler. Photo: Moments By Moser Photography

Leslie Fram, Mike McVay Named First Innovation In Music Awards Recipients

Mike McVay, Leslie Fram

The Innovation in Music Awards has announced Mike McVay, Senior Vice-President/Content & Programming for Cumulus Media and Westwood One, as the recipient of the Heritage Award in Innovation and Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President of Music Strategy at CMT, as the recipient of the Innovation in National Media Award.

The inaugural event will be held June 6 at the Westin Hotel in Nashville.

McVay oversees the programming of 450 radio stations and two radio networks. Mike is a 40-year programmer with consulting, management, ownership, sales, programming and on-air experience, as well as having developed and launched several nationally syndicated programs. He has programmed around the world as a consultant with more than 300 stations to his credit. Stations programmed or consulted include those in America, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico.

McVay is a recipient of the Rockwell Award, was ranked #4 among America’s Top-Programmers by Radio Ink magazine, is #14 on the Top-40 Most Powerful Broadcaster list from Radio Ink and he was named one of the Titans of Talk by NTS magazine every year 2012-2016. McVay was also recognized as Broadcast Executive of the Year for the now defunct Radio & Records Magazine (2006, 2007 and 2008). He is a member of the Country Radio Broadcasters board of directors, on the board of directors for the Country Music Association (CMA), a board member for the National Radio Hall of Fame & Museum, a Gracie Voter for the Alliance for Women in Media and is chairman of the Radio Show Steering Committee for the 2017 NAB/RAB Convention.

At CMT, Fram oversees all music integration with the CMT brand for original programs, and video airplay across all platforms. Negotiating vital partnerships with label and indie acts for exclusive content and premieres, she spearheaded new avenues to reveal and showcase on-the-rise talent, per the development of the digital series “Concrete Country” and the movement of “Next Women of Country,” designed solely to empower the female voices of country music.

Fram also serves on the board of the Academy of Country Music and has received honors such as the TJ Martell Award, NARAS-Atlanta Chapter Heroes Award, and Lifetime Achievement Inductee in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Founder Of Innovation In Music Awards, CEO Cold River Records, Pete O’Heeron commented, “We are excited to start this event with such well-respected names as Mike McVay and Leslie Fram. They were the first two phone calls for our inaugural show. Mike’s lifetime of innovation in programming and Leslie’s innovative program Next Women Of Country Music make them a “slam dunk” for this event!”

Nominations for awards are being accepted and reviewed by the IMA selection committee. Nominations can be made through the Innovation Music Awards Nomination Form.

Lady Antebellum Reveals Songwriters, Track Listing For ‘Heart Break’

Lady Antebellum decamped to residences in Florida and southern California to create their upcoming sixth studio album, Heart Break, allowing themselves time completely focus on writing for the new album.

“When we started working on this record, the goal was to give ourselves some space from the day to day,” said Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott. “Surrounding ourselves in a new environment with sunny beaches and warm weather really helped free our minds to focus solely on our art. We took some of our favorite writers and other writers we hadn’t worked with before to a new inspiring backdrop, where we were able to just write and soak up the journey. And it was on our first trip in Florida when we wrote ‘Heart Break’ that we felt it all click.”

They enlisted producer busbee, as well as a lengthy list of sterling Nashville co-writers, including Jesse Frasure, Nicolle Galyon, Sara Haze, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Eric Paslay, and more.

The collaborations resulted in songs such as the horn-driven current single, “You Look Good,” as well as the ’70s-inspired “Think About You,” and ballad “Hurt.”

Heart Break releases June 9 on Capitol Records Nashville.


1. Heart Break
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Jesse Frasure, Nicolle Galyon)

2. You Look Good
(busbee, Ryan Hurd, Hillary Lindsey)

3. Somebody Else’s Heart
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, busbee, Shane McAnally)

4. This City
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Sara Haze, Will Weatherly)

5. Hurt
(Jon Green, Melissa Peirce, Ben West)

6. Army
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, busbee, Nicolle Galyon)

7. Think About You
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Sara Haze, Will Weatherly)

8. Good Time To Be Alive
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, busbee, Will Weatherly, Emily Weisband)

9. Big Love in a Small Town
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds)

10. Stars
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, busbee)

11. Teenage Heart
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Jon Green)

12. Home
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, busbee)

13. Famous
(Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, Eric Paslay)

Fort Knox Studios Plans Nashville Facility, Names Ray Amico As GM

Fort Knox Studios—including rehearsal space, production stages, co-working and business office space, and climate-controlled storage areas—has named Ray Amico as General Manager to run its new Nashville facility, overseeing day-to-day operations. Amico has relocated from Palm Springs, California, to Nashville.

The nearly 190,000 sq. ft. operation is still being constructed at 640 Massman Drive and aims to open fully later this year.

The facility offers both monthly and hourly rates for rehearsal rooms. There are 90 rehearsal spaces of various sizes available, with 24/7 access, for monthly rates beginning at $500/month. Many of the monthly rehearsal spaces are large enough for two bands to share.

Additionally, 20 rehearsal rooms are available for an hourly rate of $8 per hour, per person. The hourly rooms are approximately 300 square feet. Each hourly rehearsal space comes equipped with backline, as well as powered floor monitors and board, and mics. The rooms are acoustically tuned.

Office/business space is also available only to music, film, and creative technology-aligned businesses. The office and business spaces will include 24×7 access, furniture, interior design, event space and conference/breakout rooms, coffee and tea service, as well as wifi/internet access.

Ray Amico

During his more than 30 years in the music industry, Amico has served as Toni Braxton’s production manager, and Nashville native Kesha’s tour manager, in addition to work with Jane’s Addiction, Fiona Apple, Sinéad O’Connor, and comedians including “Weird Al” Yankovic and George Lopez.

Amico began working in the industry as a musician with bands in his native New York City, before working as a studio engineer for several years, and later running sound and organizing tour logistics for numerous bands. He added roles as FOH engineer, tour accountant before moving into production management and tour management.

Amico first interacted with as a customer with Fort Knox Studios Chicago, where the operation launched in 2009.

“My first experience with Fort Knox in Chicago, I was blown away by their diversity and what they were providing for the industry, by having a facility to provide hourly rentals for young, small bands who needed a place to work out of for hours at a time,” Amico tells MusicRow. “Then you had month-to-month rental space where engineers, songwriters, producers could bring in their own equipment, work in a 24/7 environment of their own choosing and it didn’t have to be in their garage or their basement, where their neighbors would complain. It blew my mind to be able to have all of that in one space, along with all the other amenities.”

He hopes to provide a unique combination of services to the Nashville music market.

“One thing I noticed in Chicago, that I hadn’t seen done anywhere else, was being able to physically place the industry directly next to the artists in one place. There are offices and interactions between management companies and artist relations and vendors, working physically in the same facility where the artists themselves are storing their gear and rehearsing out of and operating their tours out of. I think that is unique, having the ability to provide all of those different types of accesses and customizable studio spaces and office space in one place.”

For more, visit

RIAA Report: U.S. Music Industry Reports First Double Digit Gains In Nearly Two Decades

The RIAA has released Facts & Research on 2016 in a recent report from Sr. VP, Strategic Data Analysis, RIAA Joshua P. Friedlander.

Tracking shipment and revenue, the American association notes 22.6 million streaming subscriptions helped the new model (including Spotify, TIDAL, and Apple Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, YouTube, Vevo services) overtake all other formats for the first time, generating the majority of industry revenues. Overall estimated retail revenues grew 11.4 percent from $6.9 billion to $7.7 billion. Revenues are still only about half what they were in 1999, however.

Streaming grew 17 percent from 2015. No format grew more than paid subscription revenue, which more than doubled, up 114 percent to $2.5 billion.

Sales of digital tracks and albums declined faster than in any previous year from 2016. Individual track sales revenue was down 24 percent, and digital album revenue was down 20 percent but saw the highest share of the download total in history.

Despite this positive news, our “recovery is fragile and fraught with risk,” as RIAA Chairman/CEO Cary Sherman explained in commentary to Medium.

James Donio, President of the Music Business Association (Music Biz), also released a comment on the report, which he described as illuminating a promising path forward. “Altogether, these numbers prove that U.S. consumers remain hungry for music and point toward a future in which digital and physical work together to meet the needs of all music lovers.”

Industry Ink: Dream Label Group, Women Who Rock, Concert Of Voices

Dream Label Group Teams With Pure Flix Entertainment For Movie Soundtracks


DREAM Label Group is partnering with Pure Flix Entertainment to exclusively release the “Songs Inspired By” albums for all of the company’s upcoming films. The first release is The Case For Christ: Songs Inspired By The Original Motion Picture in connection with the upcoming film based on Lee Strobel’s best-selling book, The Case For Christ.  The album features songs from NewSpring Worship, New Hope Oahu, Lakewood, Seacoast Worship, G12 and many more. Both the film and the album will release on April 7.


‘Women Who Rock’ Speaker Series Rocks City Winery

Who Knew Nashville is presenting the Women Who Rock speaker series featuring Women in Nashville’s Music Business tonight at the City Winery at 6:30 pm. Hosted by Heather McBee, VP Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the event will include Lynn Morrow, Partner-in-Charge, Music Row office of Adams and Reese LLP; Erika Wollam Nichols, President/GM, The Bluebird Café; Kate Tucker, Independent Music Artist/Filmmaker; Carey Nelson Burch, President of Hideout Pictures; Jessie Scott, Program Director, WMOT Roots Radio; Holly Bell, CFO Skyway Studios/Founder of Nashville Access, and Channing Moreland & Makenzie Stokel, co-founders of EVAmore.


Concert Of Voices To Raise Funds For Alopecia

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation is kicking off a campaign with a fundraising concert HearUs! A Concert Of Voices, featuring singer/songwriter Dani Dease, on Monday, May 8, at Nashville’s City Winery. Other artists performing at the event include Becky Hibbs, Samuel, Georgia Van Cuylenburg, Miranda Soong, and Nell Sanders. The Concert of Voices Event will support the NAAF Community and enable them to show up in Washington DC later this year to be heard by the Food and Drug Administration at the long-awaited Patient Focused Drug Development meeting.

Fair Play, Fair Pay Act Reintroduced By Congress Members

Pictured (L-R): Marsha Blackburn, Jerrold Nadler

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, along with Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Judiciary Committee Member Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) have re-introduced the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, a bipartisan bill to create a uniform system of governing rules for music licensing for digital and terrestrial radio broadcasts.

A few of the things the bill would help ensure include:

  • Creating a terrestrial performance right so that AM/FM radio competes on equal footing with its Internet and satellite competitors who already pay performance royalties. This would resolve the decades old struggle for performance rights and ensure that—for the first time—music creators would have the right to fair pay when their performances are broadcast on AM/FM radio.
  • Bringing true platform parity to radio so that all forms of radio, regardless of the technology they use, pay fair market value for music performances. This levels the playing field and ends the unfair and illogical distortions caused by the different royalty standards that exist today.
  • Ensuring terrestrial royalties are affordable capping royalties for stations with less than $1 million in annual revenue at $500 per year (and at $100 a year for non-commercial stations), while protecting religious and incidental uses of music from having to pay any royalties at all.
  • Making a clear statement that pre-1972 recordings have value and those who are profiting from them must pay appropriate royalties for their use, while closely monitoring the litigation developments on this issue.
  • Protecting songwriters and publishers by clearly stating that nothing in this bill can be used to lower songwriting royalties.
  • Codifying industry practices streamlining the allocation of royalty payments to music producers.
  • Ensuring that artists receive their fair share from direct licensing of all performances eligible for the statutory license.

“Our current music licensing laws are antiquated and unfair, which is why we need a system that ensures all radio services play by the same rules and all artists are fairly compensated,” said representatives Nadler, Blackburn, Conyers, Issa, Deutch and Rooney.  “Our laws should reward innovation, spur economic diversity and uphold the constitutional rights of creators.  That is what the Fair Play Fair Pay Act sets out to accomplish: fixing a system that for too long has disadvantaged music creators and pitted technologies against each other by allowing certain services to get away with paying little or nothing to artists.”

DISClaimer: Top-Shelf Melodies, Real-Life Lyrics Return To Country Music

Delta Rae

Glory, hallelujah.

In this week’s “DisClaimer,” melodies you can sing along with, harmonies that tickle your ears and real-life lyrics that fire your brain have returned to the country music landscape. I don’t know when I’ve had a better listening day.

Around every corner is a delight, thanks to Eric Church, Steve Moakler, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Delta Rae, Bobby Bare, Angaleena Presley and Ray Scott. Whoopie.

Sorting all this out into awards categories was a problem. In squeaky-tight contests, I’m giving Disc of the Day to Eric Church and the DisCovery Award to Delta Rae. The band has been around the block a few times, but this is its first appearance in the column.


RAY SCOTT/Livin’ This Way
Writer: Ray Scott; Producer: Michael Hughes; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Jethropolitan
– His baritone is one of the most charismatic voices in country music. In this compelling, rampaging “outlaw” thumper, he knows full well that he’s killing himself with drink and drugs to get over her. I rode this journey all the way with him. Then I played it again. Great stuff.

BOBBY BARE/Things Change
Writers: Bobby Bare/Jeff Hyde/Roger Springer; Producers: Jimmy Ritchie/Max T. Barnes; Publishers: none listed, BMI/ASCAP; Hypermedia (CDX)
– Bobby drawls his way into this philosophical toe tapper with characteristic personality and warmth. Solid proof that this Hall of Famer still has what it takes to craft a winner. He might just be the World’s Coolest Human.

Writer: Angaleena Presley; Producers: Angaleena Presley/Oran Thornton; Publishers: WB/Mountain Girl/Vistaville, ASCAP; Mining Light/Thirty Tigers
– Get ready for a stunning collection from the brunette member of The Pistol Annies. Due in three weeks, it is a set of songs that touch on her hard-knocks trip through the country music business. This title tune is a sultry saga of a woman’s dissatisfaction with the everyday dullness of housewifery. Guests on the CD include Jack Ingram, Yelawolf, Morgane Stapleton and Walker County, as well as Miranda and Ashley. Her stellar songwriting collaborators include Guy Clark, Chris Stapleton and Wanda Jackson, but this gal does just fine on solo writes, too. Start saving your pennies now. This set is absolutely worth buying.

Writers: Steve Moakler/Gordie Sampson/Caitlyn Smith; Producer: Luke Laird; Publishers: Highway 76/Creative Pulse/These Are Pulse/BMG Firefly/Dash8/Warner Tamerlane/Songs of the Corn, BMI/ASCAP; Creative Nation
– The new CD by my fellow Pittsburgh native is titled, fittingly, Steel Town. He’s proved himself as an accomplished songwriter for others (”Riser” by Dierks, etc.), but Moakler’s new single is a stellar effort for himself. It’s a rushing, breezy and very cool metaphor about motion being just like life. Love it. Love him.

ERIC CHURCH/Round Here Buzz
Writers: none listed; Producers: Jay Joyce; Publishers: none listed; EMI
– I fell hard for this somber portrait of small-town, high-school, dead-end life. He’s downing beers, missing the gal who got out while he stayed behind. Eric’s vocal phrasing is always gripping, but perhaps on this ballad more than ever.


CORTNI BIRD/Men Don’t Have It Like That
Writer: Cortni Bird; Producer: Mark Mosley; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP; C-Hawk (CDX)
– The production is alternately too bottom heavy, too thin or too jumbled. On top of that, she’s not much of a singer.

Writers: Shy Carter/Dave Gibson/Joe Sparger; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Sony
– Their finest collaboration yet. Tim and Faith’s previous duets have been love songs. This one has a lyric about communication and understanding. The strong ballad is matched by excellent vocal phrasing by both. A stone smash.

JAMES ROBERT WEBB/Six Strings & The Truth
Writers: James Robert Webb; Producers: James Robert Webb/Daniel Kleindienst; Bison Creek (CDX)
– It’s the story of a guy who’s doing his best to entertain and getting “high fives from a crowd in cowboy boots.” Sorry, but you won’t be getting any hand claps from this member of the crowd.

JAKE OWEN/Good Company
Writers: Matt Alderman/Tommy Cecil/Jared Mullins; Producers: Lukas Bracewell/Jake Owen; Publishers: Curb Congregation/Sixteen Stars/Hori Pro/Big Deal Beats/Words & Music, SESAC/BMI; RCA (track)
– He’s still doing that non-stop party bop.

DELTA RAE/A Long and Happy Life
Writers: Ian Holljes/Eric Holljes; Producer: Dann Huff; Publishers: none listed; Valory Music
-Joyous. Celestial. A sonic celebration. It made my heart beat faster, my lips smile and my booty move. These folks sing like angels. Stardom awaits.

Amy Grant, Martha R. Ingram To Receive Stars On Music City Walk Of Fame

Pictured (L-R): Amy Grant, Martha R. Ingram

Amy Grant and Nashville philanthropist Martha R. Ingram will receive stars on the Music City Walk of Fame during an induction ceremony on April 27, 2017 at 1 p.m. in Walk of Fame Park. They will receive the 75th and 76th stars on the Walk of Fame, and will be recognized for their significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville, and contributing to the world through song or other industry collaborations.

“Martha Ingram’s insistence that the arts are essential to a city’s success and her significant personal investments in our cultural landscape have transformed Nashville,” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said. “Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center are just two examples of her indelible impact on the music of Music City.”

Barry added, “Amy Grant’s beautiful vocals and her messages of hope, love and faith have entertained and inspired millions of listeners for 40 years. Amy is in the middle of so many worthy causes and events, and I’m grateful for the work she and her husband, Vince Gill, consistently do to make Nashville stronger.”

“As Nashville celebrates several historic music anniversaries this year, it is fitting that the Nashville Symphony has nominated Martha and Amy as the orchestra celebrates its 70th season and Schermerhorn Symphony Center marks its 10th anniversary,” said Beth Seigenthaler Courtney, board chair of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp and president at DVL Seigenthaler.

Kelly Ford Honored With Alliance For Women In Media’s Gracie Award

The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is honoring several Cumulus personalities with four 2017 Gracie Awards. The Gracies are given to women to celebrate and recognize outstanding achievements and exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment.

Among this year’s honorees is Kelly Ford, co-host of the nationally syndicated Country radio morning show “Ty, Kelly & Chuck,” who earned a Gracie for Radio Co-Host-National. The “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” show airs from Cumulus Media’s NASH Campus in Nashville to more than 100 markets across the U.S. and is nationally syndicated by Westwood One.

Also receiving two Gracies this year is Cumulus Media’s Cheree Carter, Co-Host of “Zazza Mornings With Cheree,” who is being recognized with nods for Radio Host/Personality-National and Radio Imaging-National, and Rita Cosby, Host of WABC Radio New York’s “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” who earned a Gracie this year (her fifth total) for Interview Feature-Local for her New York Primary Day feature, which contained interviews with the Presidential candidates.

The 42nd annual Gracie Awards support AWMF’s educational programs, charitable activities, and public service and scholarship initiatives that benefit the public and women in media. Carter and Ford will accept their awards along with other national honorees America Ferrera, Mariska Hargitay, Drew Barrymore, Lynn Whitfield, Riley Keough and Samantha Bee on June 6 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.