Lexi Sutherland Named Creative Director/Publishing At Riser House

Lexi Sutherland has joined Riser House Entertainment as Creative Director of Publishing. Sutherland will work alongside VP, Creative Kristen Ashley. The Georgia native recently graduated from Belmont University, and has interned in A&R for Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, as well as Warner/Chappell.

“Everyone who knows Lexi loves her, so I can’t wait for everyone on the row to meet her. She has a great ear, and I am thankful we have her on our team. Today is her first day and we are heading to Key West; I’d say she has it pretty good,” says Ashley.

“Words can’t describe how excited and thankful I am to be apart of this amazing team here at Riser House. I can’t wait to see what the future hold for this company and I’m thrilled to be apart of the journey,” says Sutherland.

Sutherland can be reached at [email protected].

Jennifer Johnson launched Riser House in 2016. Riser House Records artists include Mitchell Tenpenny, while Riser House Publishing writers include Michael Whitworth, Dallas Wilson, and Rob Crosby.

2017 Elliston Place Street Festival Lineup Released

Exit/In, Lightning 100 and Indie Nash announce the return of the Elliston Place Street Fest on Saturday, July 22. This event, which first took place on Nashville’s Elliston Place in the late ’70s and early ’80s and returned in 2016 for the 45th anniversary of the venue, will feature live performances all along ‘The Rock Block’ both inside The End and the legendary Exit/In and on one, large outdoor stage.
Gates will open at 3 p.m. with music beginning at 5 p.m. Individual stage lineups can be found at ellistonplacestreetfest.com.

Tickets are $20 and go on sale on Friday, May 12 at 10 a.m. at ellistonplacestreetrest.com. VIP Tickets are also available for $55 and will include private access to the ‘Tito’s Hurry Back Experience’ where specialty Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails will be available in addition to a Hurry Back-curated selection of brews in the air-conditioned venue with private restrooms and patio access.

Also available are sElf vinyl package tickets which include a signed copy of the never before released album Ornament and Crime plus a signed copy of the Porno, Mint & Grime vinyl double album.

Proceeds will benefit Nashville Independent Business Alliance, a nonprofit made up of locally-owned, independent businesses working to keep Nashville’s independent spirit thriving.

Luke Bryan Kicks Off Huntin’, Fishin’, & Lovin’ Every Day Tour For Sold-Out Crowd At Bridgestone Arena

Friday, May 5 marked the inaugural concert of Luke Bryan’s Huntin’, Fishin’& Lovin’ Every Day Tour. Luke kicked the tour off in style playing the first of two shows in Nashville in front of a sold-out crowd at Bridgestone arena. As expected, the crowd went wild when the curtain dropped and Luke emerged between flames shooting from the floor to start the show. Luke charmed the crowd with hit singles, a surprise collaboration, and some well-known cover songs.

Bryan thanked openers Adam Craig and Brett Eldredge, as well as giving a special salute to all of the troops in the United States Armed Forces, security guards, teachers, and fire fighters. Bryan then took part in some friendly banter with a local teacher in the audience. This was the first of many interactive moments with the crowd, some light-hearted, and some more seriously expressing deep gratitude for selling out the arena, and making his dreams come true as an artist.

Sentimental moments and photo slide shows became more common as the show went on. While performing “Fast,” the jumbotron displayed images from Luke’s childhood. “All My Friends Say” was also accompanied by a photo slideshow of Luke and friends. Another emotional moment in the show was when Luke had the crowd sing along to “Drink a Beer” in remembrance of friends and family they had lost.

Half way through “Play It Again” a piano surfaced from under the stage, and Luke used it to finish the song. The band accompanied Bryan at center stage to cover “Mountain Music” by Alabama, and “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.

Towards the end of the show Luke brought out special guest Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town. The two played their duet “Home Alone Tonight.” In the spirit of the duet, and Cinco De Mayo, Luke and Karen took shots of tequila on stage between songs. After the shots, they played Grammy-nominated “Girl Crush.”

Staying consistent with the theme of the tour, and a great night, Bryan finished his set with, “Huntin, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day,” “I Don’t Want This Night To End,” and finally “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” Bryan closed the show with more theatrics and fan interaction, signing hats and throwing them into the crowd. In addition to passing out memorabilia, Bryan also cracked a few cold ones, and passed out half drank beers into the crowd before exiting the stage.

Jeffrey Steele Plans All-Star Album For Sons Of The Palomino Debut

Early in his career, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele was among many artists who began crafting their sounds while playing at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood. Now, after building a successful career as a Nashville songwriter and artist, he is paying homage to the club that helped jump-start his career with the new band Sons of the Palomino.

Singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele has teamed with a string of fellow all-star musicians, including steel guitar legend Paul Franklin, fiddle player Larry Franklin, Jerry Roe on drums, pianist Tony Harrell, guitar player James Mitchell, and bassist Brad Albin.

The band’s debut album is set to release June 30 via 3 Ring Circus. The project includes duets with Emmylou Harris, John Anderson, Gretchen Wilson, Vince Gill and Jamey Johnson. Steele wrote or co-wrote all the tracks on the album, which honors the classic country sounds that The Palomino Club championed.

Sons of the Palomino’s new single, “Countryholic,” was penned by Steele, Ira Dean and Shane Minor.

“’Countryholic’ is a 100 proof honky tonk song that will make you want to holler yehaw!” said Steele. “That song is icing on the cake of a project 3 years in the making with an all-star cast of musicians and guests who are all helping to capture an era in music that seems to have vanished. I’m so humbled by everyone who signed on to help and cannot wait to get this record out there.”

Watch the video, which also features John Rich, below:

Big Machine Label Group Names VP, Revenue & Sales

Nicole Csabai

Big Machine Label Group has added Nicole Csabai as Vice President, Revenue & Sales, effective immediately. Csabai will report to BMLG CMO Mike Rittberg and be responsible for physical and digital sales strategies for Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records and Nash Icon Records.

“I’m thrilled to have Nicole join the Big Machine Family,” shared Rittberg. “She’s the right person to help lead the charge taking our physical and digital sales and revenue to the next level.”

Csabai most recently served as Director of Revenue for Interscope Records where she oversaw accounts including Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco and more for the label and its various sub-labels.

“I’m very excited to be joining the team at Big Machine and I’m grateful to Scott Borchetta, Andrew Kautz and Mike for this tremendous opportunity,” said Csabai. “Big Machine has an amazing roster of artists and I’m looking forward to working with everyone.”

Csabai graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing.

Csabai can be reached at [email protected] and 615-324-7786.

Tin Pan South 2018 Dates Announced

(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 at Tin Pan South 2017

Tin Pan South 2017 has just wrapped, but those eager to get in on next year’s fun can make their plans and mark their calendars with the dates for next year’s festival, which will take place April 3-7, 2018. 

The songwriters festival recently celebrated its 25th birthday, and continues to grow at a record pace, with the 2017 festival hosting more than 100 shows and more than 400 writers for the event at 10 music venues around the city. Among those performing at this year’s special anniversary festival were Keith Urban, Ross Copperman, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Rodney Clawson, Rhett Akins, Jonathan Singleton, Lori McKenna, Keb’ Mo’, Jeffrey Steele, Bobby Braddock, and many more.


Grand Ole Opry Celebrates Latest Accolade As TripAdvisor’s Top Attraction

Photo: Chris Hollo for the Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry is often the scene of artist events and celebrations, but it recently held its own No. 1 party to celebrate its latest achievement — being named travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor’s top U.S. attraction for Spring 2017. The celebration, held last Tuesday night (May 2), included Rascal Flatts and other artists on the night’s show and other guests including fans taking Opry House Backstage Tours. 

The number one distinction is based on year-over-year search activity on TripAdvisor and marks increase in traveler interest. Among the artists playing the Opry in the coming weeks are Trace Adkins, Kelsea Ballerini, The Charlie Daniels Band, Crystal Gayle, Chris Janson, Dustin Lynch, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Charley Pride, and Blake Shelton.

Loretta Lynn Hospitalized After Stroke

Loretta Lynn is recovering in the hospital after suffering a stroke last night (May 4) at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. She is responsive and expected to make a full recovery, according to her website.

The 85-year-old music legend has been advised by her doctors to stay off the road while she is recuperating. Therefore, upcoming scheduled shows will be postponed.

Lynn is prepping the release of a new album, Wouldn’t It Be Great, via Legacy Recordings on Friday, Aug. 18.

The project is comprised entirely of songs written, or co-written, by Lynn and was recorded at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn., with producers Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash.

The album debuts new songs including “Ruby’s Stool,” “Ain’t No Time To Go,” and “I’m Dying For Someone To Live For,” alongside newly recorded renditions of immortal classics “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind).”

Zac Brown Band Returns To Their Roots On New Album, Preps Pandora Country Station Takeover Tonight

When Zac Brown Band releases their upcoming album, Welcome Home, on May 12, two years after their rock and EDM-influenced project Jekyll+Hyde, it will indeed be a pleasing return to the country genesis found on their 2008 debut album The Foundation, which produced chart-toppers like their debut single “Chicken Fried,” “Toes,” “Highway 20 Ride” and “Free.”

Today (May 5), Zac Brown Band has taken over Pandora’s Country Pop station to give fans an inside look at the album’s tracks and the making of the project, which includes an ode to Brown’s father in “My Old Man,” and chronicles the band’s success on the road and radio in “Roots.” “2 Places at 1 Time” ruminates on the warring desires to be on the road with fans, but also at home with family, while “Family Table” urges listeners to Make some memories, ’round this 9 foot pine.

“It’s the first album that we wrote entirely for a new album, whereas every other album we’ve ever done is pretty much a collection of the best songs that we’ve had together,” says Brown, who wrote most of the tracks for Welcome Home while on the road, and during a trip to Alaska.

The eight-piece band then gathered at their Southern Ground studio in Nashville. With producer Dave Cobb (known for his work with artists such as Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, and Sturgill Simpson), Zac Brown Band completed Welcome Home in just six days, with no pre-production.

“In the past we had arranged the album for a full week or so, hammering out every little detail and all the moving pieces. With this, we got together and Dave made us all take a shot of whiskey. I’d have all the songs finished and had acoustic demos of everything, but as a band, we just locked in with Dave and had fun. He’s from Georgia so we just hit it off. All of the jokes make sense.”

Similarly, Brown says fans can expect a “clean slate” when the band returns to the road for its 40+ date Welcome Home Tour, beginning with two shows in Alpharetta, Georgia on May 12-13.

“We’re not doing the choir and the horns and everything this year. We have one additional guest to play with the band—Mr. Darrell Scott’s gonna be joining us. It’s important to us, when we come back to a place that we were the last time, that it is a different show and people get to hear some of the stuff that’s their favorite, but they get to see it in a new way and really understand the work and the love that we put in. We try to give a new artistic interpretation of what the show can be, without changing all the melodies. We’re not gonna change all the melodies in our songs, where you can’t even tell what they are anymore, though the words are the same.”

Welcome Home may be a return to Zac Brown Band’s roots, but that doesn’t mean Zac Brown is done experimenting with new instruments, musical genres, rhythms and textures.

“I’ve always struggled somewhat with people putting me in a box, of saying that I’m a country artist. I’m definitely Southern, but my influences are everywhere. I’ve earned the trust of listeners to understand kinda the journey that I would take them on. So, I definitely think there’s a lot of heart in our music and it’s definitely Southern.”

His main creative outlet outside of Zac Brown Band comes via his dance and pop-influenced side project, the three-piece band Sir Rosevelt, which Brown formed with Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti. The trio collaborated with Pharrell on their debut song, “Sunday Finest.”

“We basically do performance art, which I’ve been a huge fan of bands that have been able to pull that off over time, from Pink Floyd to Talking Heads to David Byrne type of performances, where it’s deliciously visual and audio, just very stimulating all the way around,” Brown says. “Not abandoning Zac Brown Band by any means, it actually helps me to be more purist with that, but Sir Rosevelt is a new exploration for me.”

Pictured (L-R): Lars Murray, SVP Music Makers Group; Zac Brown; Jeff Zuchowski, VP Industry/ Label Relations Pandora; Rachael Spangler, Director Industry Relations, Pandora

The band’s name is tied to president Theodore Roosevelt, whom Brown sports a tattoo of on his left arm, and calls “one of my heroes and a very classic man.”

“The persona for the band is three-piece suits and very much done up, getting to be a totally different character than I am in every day life. It’s just kind of the freedom that’s expressed in it. Some of Roosevelt’s words, like his ‘The Man In The Arena’ speech, every time that some critic that had a failed band slams one of my songs, or one of my albums, I go and read ‘In The Arena,’ which is also the name of our production group. That’s one of my favorite things in the whole world.”

Brown takes a long-range view as he approaches his work with both Zac Brown Band and Sir Rosevelt.

“I like to be known to have range. I’d like to be known in history by the time that I’m dead and gone as someone like a James Taylor, an Elton John, or someone that dedicated their life to making music of all different kinds. For me, I’m super happy to have country listeners and country fans and things like that, but I’m a student of the world and I like to sound a little bit like all over it, all over the world.”

Welcome Home will release May 12 via Southern Ground/Elektra.

To see Zac Brown Band’s Pandora takeover, visit pandora.com.

Nashville Alt-Rock Band Moon Taxi Releases “Two High”

Photo: Don VanCleave

Nashville’s own alt-rock five piece Moon Taxi has released new single “Two High,” which was produced by the band’s lead guitarist Spencer Thomson. The single is also part of Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist. “Lyrically, ‘Two High’ is a song about hope,” expressed frontman Trevor Terndrup. “Hope for understanding, hope for acceptance, and hope for our future. We were inspired by the simple and universal peace sign. It’s a gesture we would like to see more of.”

The band recently performed for the Grammy Block Party in Nashville, and will return to Nashville to perform at the two-day Dylan Fest.

Moon Taxi includes vocalist/guitarist Trevor Terndrop, lead guitarist/producer Spencer Thomson, keyboardist Wes Bailey, bassist Tommy Putnam, and drummer Tyler Ritter.