Indie Artist April Kry Showcases Powerhouse Vocals On New Music

April Kry performs. Photo: Haley Crow

Connecticut native April Kry has lived in Nashville for the past five years, writing, recording and forging her own unique sound in the process. She visited the MusicRow offices recently to perform music she has been working on for an upcoming project.

A pastor’s daughter, Kry was raised primarily on contemporary Christian and pop music, until she heard the captivating voice of Martina McBride. It seems natural that Kry would take inspiration from a fellow petite vocal powerhouse.

“Her voice is so powerful and I was just drawn to the honesty in the songs she sang,” Kry says. “It made me want to sing country music.”

At 18, Kry was already garnering enough attention to perform at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur night and appear as a background vocalist for Enya, and she moved to Nashville at age 20 to pursue her musical ambitions.

April Kry performs. Photo: Haley Crow

During her visit to the MusicRow offices, Kry offered a trio of songs, including “While We’re Young,” which she penned with Stephanie Bentley, Micah Wilshire, and Jennifer Pappas. “While We’re Young” earned a glowing review from MusicRow contributor Robert K. Oermann.

Like most artists, Kry has endured the long wait that comes with being a rising independent artist trying to get heard in the music industry.

“I had been doing so much recording, performing, writing, and pounding the pavement for several years and I felt like I was ready, but I kept being told to wait,” she says.

Kry channeled that artistic frustration into “Hurry Up and Wait,” penned with Jordy Searcy.

Kry possesses a powerfully versatile instrument capable of letting loose with soaring soulful notes on the choruses and drawing back to introspective, earthy contemplations on the verses. She pours that ability into the slow burn “I Feel At Home,” which was penned with Blair Daly.

“It was one of those sessions where you write a song in 20 minutes and you just know it’s a good song.”

April Kry with MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Haley Crow

LANCO Fans Helped Title Band’s Current Sony Music Nashville Single

LANCO performs. Photo: Haley Crow

Sony Music Nashville band LANCO recently previewed songs including “Born To Love You,” “Trouble Maker” and current single “Greatest Love Story,” during a visit to the MusicRow offices. LANCO is made of lead singer Brandon Lancaster, Tripp Howell, Eric Steedly, Jared Hampton, and Chandler Baldwin.

The barn burner “Trouble Maker” was inspired by shows the band would perform at Nashville’s concert series Whiskey Jam. “When we played this song at Whiskey Jam for the first time, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, this song is about so many people we’ve seen there,’” said Lancaster.

They played an acoustic rendition of “Born To Love You,” which they finished recording a few weeks ago, while wrapping the recording stage of their upcoming album with producer Jay Joyce. The song grew from the struggles that most 20-somethings go through to determine their place in life.

“I’ve grew up in Smyrna [Tennessee] and maybe you go to college or you go to work at the Nissan plant,” said Lancaster, who is soon to be wed. “We have a lot of young friends our age who, even as musicians, there is this struggle to find out what you were born to do. When you find that someone special a lot of those worries go away and you realize you were born to love this person.”

They closed with their current single, “Greatest Love Story.” The song’s video has recently notched more than 50 million streams.

“People can look at stat sheets and whatever, but our measurement of how a song is doing is on the road,” say Lancaster. “People are not shy on the road. They have no problem coming right up and letting it all out and telling you what they think of a song. We found that this song was impacting people.”

LANCO with MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson. Photo: Haley Crow

Lancaster says that it was fans from all over the world that ultimately gave “Greatest Love Story” its title.

“The song is pretty much my journal and at first it didn’t even have a title. People would ask me what it was called, and I’d say, ‘Maybe it’s called ‘Love Story?’ Oh, wait Taylor Swift already had a song called that, so ‘American Love Story?’ That was the working title, but people on the road people kept calling it ‘Greatest Love Story.’ We would have people from the UK and Ireland saying they loved it and related to it, so we were like, ‘This isn’t just an American love story. People relate to it all over the world.’”

LANCO with MusicRow staffers.

Emily Shackelton Signs Joint Publishing Deal With Liz Rose Music, BMG, Busbee

Pictured (L-R): Daniel Lee, VP Creative, BMG; busbee; Shackelton; Liz Rose, Owner, Liz Rose Music; Scott Ponce, President, Liz Rose Music

Singer-songwriter and Minnesota native Emily Shackelton has signed a joint publishing deal with her longtime publishing home, Liz Rose Music; frequent collaborator, busbee; and BMG.

Shackelton moved to Nashville after studying at Berklee College of Music, where she won the coveted BMI John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Shackelton has penned the current Carly Pearce single, “Every Little Thing,” which hit No. 1 last week on the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart, as well as the current Lauren Alaina single, “Doin’ Fine.”

Her catalog includes cuts by Reba McEntire, Sara Evans, Jana Kramer, David Cook, Mickey Guyton, Seth Ennis, and Cassadee Pope. Several of her songs have also been featured on TV shows, including Nashville and American Idol.

Gatlin Brothers Ink Deals With The Holland Group, Huskins-Harris

Pictured (L-R): Steve Gatlin, Becky Harris (Huskins-Harris), Billy Holland (THG), Larry Gatlin, Jason MacDowall (THG), Cathy Nakos (THG), Donna Huskins (Huskins-Harris), Rudy Gatlin, Michael D’Ancona (THG), Kelly Charest (THG), and Don Murry Grubbs (Absolute Publicity). Photo: Christian Bottorff/CMA

Country music trio Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers has signed on with The Holland Group (THG) for artist management.

“Personally, I am a lifelong fan of the Gatlin Brothers and love these guys!” says The Holland Group’s Billy Holland. “Larry, Steve and Rudy are true living legends and it is quite an honor to work together as we embark on new, exciting projects to help preserve their deserving place in music history!”

Additionally, Larry Gatlin has signed on with Huskins-Harris for daily business management responsibilities.

On signing Larry Gatlin for business management, Huskins-Harris principal Becky Harris notes, “We are excited to work for Larry who is a living legend. His music is timeless, and on top of all the fantastic music and awards he has won, he is a wonderfully sweet Christian man.”

Larry adds, “Believe it or not, I don’t know everything. Billy does…and Becky knows even more than Billy and he agrees.”

Erin Enderlin Traces Pain, Loss On Concept Album ‘Whiskeytown Crier,’ Out Friday

As a writer on some of the most gorgeous, forlorn tracks recorded by Lee Ann Womack (“Last Call”) and Alan Jackson (“Monday Morning Church”), singer-songwriter Erin Enderlin has become a go-to for those seeking intelligent, sturdy storytelling framed in traditional country instrumentation.

On her new album, Whiskeytown Crier, out Friday (Sept. 1), she brings her own voice to the broken marriages, waning love, and various betrayals of the characters she’s created in the fictional community of Whiskeytown, all of whom eventually become a headline in the Whiskeytown Crier, she tells MusicRow.

Enderlin, who worked with Jamey Johnson and Jim “Moose” Brown on the album, which is a follow-up to 2013’s I Let Her Talk, credits Johnson with the idea to approach the record as a concept album.

“He was joking that the album sounded too sad and he thought the album needed context for that. He was like, ‘Well, what if it was this one town and it was like a newspaper? The Whiskeytown Crier that knits all these sad souls together.’”

From the opening citation from John Scott Sherill, the album contains a double shot of family drama and murder on “Caroline” and “Baby Sister,” before combing through the trials of various characters, all drowned with copious amounts of alcohol and clever turns of phrases on tracks like “Whole Nother Bottle Of Wine” and “The Coldest In Town.”

Enderlin’s lone solo write on the album, “Broken,” is also one of Whiskeytown Crier’s most remarkable tracks, as it traces two young lovers from rough home lives, and the heart-wrenching decision a young mother makes to make sure certain those coping mechanisms aren’t passed on to her son.

“When I was in high school I was part of a peer mentoring group for at-risk kids who were just a bit younger than us,” Enderlin says. “It really opened my eyes about a lot of things that young adults struggle with. Hearing their story and the stories of their parents really stuck with me. I think there was a lot of all of that in my own life that got poured into that character.”

Chris Stapleton, who at one time lived in an apartment downstairs from Enderlin in Nashville’s Green Hills area, lends his vocals to “Caroline” and “His Memory Walks On Water,” which finds a daughter willing herself to overlook her late father’s addiction.

“Chris lived in a bachelor apartment downstairs that shared a kitchen and living room and I rented the room upstairs,” Enderlin recalls. “I could hear him sing through the air conditioning vents at night and I was like, ‘People are not going to believe [he] is real life.’ I already thought he was superstar back then. He was already getting cuts and things and he was kind enough to come in and sing some harmonies on the album.”

Enderlin duets with Randy Houser, whom she calls one of the greatest country singers we have out there right now, on “Coldest In Town.” “He knows how to put the hurt on something,” Enderlin says.

Though Whiskeytown Crier releases Friday, the album originates in 2010, when Enderlin took money she earned from co-writing Womack’s “Last Call,” with Shane McAnally, and invested it in making an album.

“That has been my dream since moving here,” Enderlin says. “I got a little carried away and cut enough songs for two albums. I was out on the Willie Nelson Country Throwdown Tour, and I needed something to sell so I ended up needing to do an EP off of what I cut. After that, things kind of got put on hold for a while but it’s really special to me so I wanted to have it come out and I think this is really good timing.”

Enderlin credits Johnson and Brown with the courage to sample from the catalogs of Tammy Wynette and Gram Parsons. She covers Wynette’s classic “’Til I Can Make It On My Own,” and Gram Parsons’ 1968 signature “Hickory Wind.”

“Gram Parsons wrote and recorded that himself, but Emmylou Harris is one of my favorite artists and I love her version of that song (from Harris’ 1979 album Blue Kentucky Girl),” Enderlin says. “I thought it was really cool because Emmylou cuts a lot of songs from other artists she loves, so it made me feel like she would be cool with that.

“When Jamey asked me to start naming songs that I loved, “’Til I Can Make It On My Own” was one of the first. But I was like, ‘I would never cut that because Tammy recorded it.  You can’t beat her.’ Jamey said, ‘…so, that’s gonna be the one you do.’”

Whether Enderlin is singing an original or newly interpreting a classic, perhaps the characters and stories in Whiskeytown come across so well because Enderlin herself is a student of classic American raconteurs such as William Faulkner.

“I remember the first time I read As I Lay Dying, when I realized he kept changing the characters,” Enderlin says. “The same person was writing the story, but he changed the words and somehow gave voice to a whole different person. Or it’s like when actors—especially for an intense part—will write out a whole biography for their character to draw from. That’s what I try to do. I have this whole story in my head and I hope that in that three minutes, the story makes sense and people get what I’m saying.”

Stephanie Quayle Releases Album A Week Early For Fans

Stephanie Quayle is releasing her new album Love The Way You See Me a week early as a surprise to her fans. Originally slated for Sept. 8, the new album will now be available for purchase this Friday (Sept. 1) so that fans can enjoy the new music over the holiday weekend.

“I am so grateful for the outpouring of support from my amazing fan family as we played these new songs across this country. The reaction has been overwhelming,” shares Quayle. “I started to think, ‘How can I show just how thankful I really am?’ It had to be all about the music. So, we decided to get the music to the Flock of Quayle ASAP and release Love The Way You See Me a week early!”

Quayle co-wrote six out of the 11 tracks on the album, which was produced by Matt McClure.


Hillsong Worship, Matt Redman, Steven Malcolm, Tasha Cobbs Leonard To Perform On Dove Awards

Hillsong Worship, Matt Redman, Steven Malcolm and Tasha Cobbs Leonard have been announced as the latest performers who will take the stage at the 48th Annual GMA Dove Awards slated for Oct. 17 in Nashville.

The four join previously announced performers Reba McEntire, MercyMe, CeCe Winans and Zach Williams on the awards show, which will be held live at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena and broadcast exclusively on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. CST.

Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for the show are on sale now at the Allen Arena box office or online here

The Cadillac Three Play For Fans At Grimey’s

Photo Credit: Big Machine Label Group

The Cadillac Three performed some fan favorites and new tunes from their latest album Legacy for some fans Tuesday night (Aug. 29) at an intimate show at local Nashville indie store Grimey’s. The Nashville natives included “Cadillacin,” “Take Me to the Bottom,” “Tennessee,” “American Slang,” “Legacy,” “Dang If We Didn’t,”and “Tennessee Mojo” in the mini-set, which served as a preview to the pinnacle event Thursday evening (Aug. 31) when the crew hits the Ryman Auditorium stage for their first sold-out headlining date at the Mother Church.

TC3 is gearing up for a return to Europe this fall for their headline LONG HAIR DON’T CARE TOUR with Brothers Osborne and Broken Witt Rebels opening.

Save The Date: ASCAP Country Music Awards Set For November 6

The 55th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards will be held on Monday, Nov. 6 at the historic Ryman Auditorium and will include the announcements of the ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year, Songwriter-Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Publisher of the Year.

The evening will feature live performances of some of the top five most-performed songs by the award-winning songwriters and/or the artists who recorded them.


Billy Reed And Michael Fierro Join Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy Staff

Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy has hired Billy Reed and Michael Fierro as account assistants.

Reed comes to FBMM with nine years of experience as a tour manager for acts like Grace Potter, Cam and St. Paul & the Broken Bones. Pairing his road experience with a bachelor’s degree in communication media from North Carolina State University, Reed managed the business and financial challenges facing artists on domestic and international tours. A native of Goldsboro, N.C., he is currently pursuing a Master of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina.

Fierro joins the team at FBMM after a 20-year career in the U.S. Army as an air traffic controller. A native of Fredericksburg, Va., Fierro graduated from Touro University International in Cypress, Calif., with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and minor in accounting. Prior to joining FBMM, Fierro was the weekend office manager at Psychiatric Group at Hilldale in Clarksville and served as an instructor in the Army’s air traffic controller school.

“Billy and Michael bring a lot of experience to our team, and we are eager to see the fresh perspectives they will bring to our clients’ financial opportunities and challenges,” said FBMM Sr. Vice President Julie Boos. “I have no doubt these two will contribute to the culture of excellence we’ve created for our clients.”