Industry Ink: International Country Music Conference, Drake White, So Much Moore Media

ICMC Hosts Annual Honors

Pictured (L-R): ICMC co-host James Akenson, Brian Ward, Belmont University’s Don Cusic

The annual International Country Music Conference (ICMC) awards lunch, held Friday (May 31), honored Brian Ward and Patrick Huber with the Belmont Award for the best book on country music, for A&R Pioneers (CMF Vanderbilt). The Chet Flippo Award for the best journalism article went to The Washington Post‘s Emily Yahr, for her feature “How Country Music Has–And Hasn’t–Addressed The #MeToo Movement In A Difficult Year.”

Pictured (L-R): Belmont University’s Don Cusic, Holly George-Warren, The Washington Post‘s Emily Yahr, and Rolling Stone Country’s Jon Freeman


So Much Moore Media Expands Roster

Martha Moore‘s so much MOORE media has added singer-songwriter Brinn Black and rock/Americana artist Bobby Messano to its roster. Black recently released the new single “72’s,” while Messano will release his ninth album, Lemonade, in July via Fishhead Records/WB.


Drake White Announces Partnerships With Three Outdoors Lifestyle Brands

Drake White. Photo: John Shearer

Singer-songwriter Drake White has partnered with several outdoors-themed lifestyle brands, including Traeger Grills (a line of pellet grills), Nebraska Star Beef (which produces Lucky Beef Jerky) and Federal (which produces ammunition and products for several styles of shooting sports).

“I’ve always loved an adventure and desired a fireside-type culture incorporated into my brand,” says White.  “These new partners speak the same language and believe in the same carpe diem lifestyle as I do so it’s a perfect match!”

The hard-touring frontman will hit the road with Zac Brown Band this June, sharing a handful of shows with the country group before reuniting in October for a one-off in Florida.

Curb|Word Music Publishing Promotes Nina Jenkins To Creative Director

Nina Jenkins

Curb|Word Music Publishing has appointed Belmont University graduate Nina Jenkins as Creative Director. She previously served as Creative Manager.

“Nina has a natural instinct for this business, and I’m so glad we were able to hire her upon her graduation last year” said Janine Ebach, VP of Publishing for Curb|Word Entertainment. “She has shown such immense growth in such a short time in her role as Creative Manager, is a hard worker and hustler, continues to do well pitching songs, and connecting our entire roster with great co-write opportunities. We’re lucky to have her, and I can’t wait to continue to watch her bloom in this industry as a publisher.”

Prior to being a Creative Manager, Jenkins interned with Wordcountry, turned Curb|Word Music Publishing, for three and a half years. Jenkins is a member of the CMA and ACM, as well as a member of the AIMP. She is active in the community, is an active NSAI  ‘Pitch to Publishers’ volunteer and supports Barbara Cloyd’s workshops regularly.

Eric Church Leads NMPA’s Monthly Gold And Platinum Certifications

Eric Church

Sony/ATV songwriter (not to mention record-breaking headliner) Eric Church tops the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) songwriter certifications for April 2019, with six certifications. His tracks “Record Year,” “Smoke A Little Smoke,” and “Wrecking Ball” have all been certified multi-platinum, while “Guys Like Me” is platinum and “Over When Its Over” and “Sinners Like Me” are both certified gold.

In partnership with the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum Program, NMPA finds and certifies the songwriters and publishers of RIAA-certified singles. RIAA counts both sales and on-demand streams towards its gold, platinum and multi-platinum thresholds. For April there were 280 certifications of hit songs.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing was April’s most-certified publisher, with 82 certifications, followed by publishers including Warner Chappell Music Publishing (58), Universal Music Publishing Group (42), Kobalt Music (40), BMG (15), Reservoir (14), Disney Music Publishing (7), PEN Music (4), Big Machine Music (3), ole (2), Pulse Music (2), Round Hill Music (1) Bluewater Music (1) and Downtown Music Publishing (1).

Black River Entertainment To Host 60-Second Talent “Auditions” During CMA Fest

Black River Entertainment is giving aspiring artists the opportunity show off their talents during CMA Fest with their new 60-Second Spotlight.

Black River Entertainment’s President & CEO Gordon Kerr, Executive Vice President Rick Froio and Vice President of A&R Doug Johnson will check out the talent during the one-minute “auditions” during CMA Music Fest from June 6-9 inside the Music City Center on the second floor. Fans ages 18 and up can sign up beginning today (May 31) at, or as a walk-up (depending on availability) by visiting Black River’s booth in Xfinity Fan Fair X (Booth 170) beginning on June 6.

Due to security restrictions, personal instruments will not be permitted inside Music City Center. However, Fender guitars and a Nord keyboard will be provided on stage for participants’ use.

Blanco Brown Releases ‘TrailerTrap’-Style Self-Titled Debut EP

Genre-bending BBR artist Blanco Brown has released his self-titled debut EP. The songwriter, producer (Fergie, Childish Gambino, Chris Brown, Kane Brown), vocalist and multi-instrumentalist affectionately calls his music “TrailerTrap.” The EP is inspired by his youth in Atlanta and splitting his time in rural Georgia during the summers, and draws upon the rawness and storytelling abilities of his two biggest musical influences, Johnny Cash and Outkast.

“I’ve loved country music since I can remember—it’s what makes me happy,” said Brown. “My Atlanta friends never quite understood my passion for it so when I started making my own music, I set out to blend the elements of country that I love with the sounds I’ve been working with to represent who I am and what I listen to.”

“Some of the Country Music’s biggest recent moments have come from collaborations between Country and Urban artists. It’s increasingly evident that fans simply don’t live in just one genre anymore,” said Jon Loba, EVP of BBR Music Group. “That sentiment embodies itself in Blanco Brown who is from Georgia, a place that is home to one of the epicenters of Urban music and incubator for some of Country’s biggest stars. It was only natural that those two communities would influence each other and eventually morph into a sound and genre drawing upon the best of both worlds. Like The Allman Brothers Band, Otis Redding, and Jason Aldean who came before, Blanco is part of a rich Georgia tradition that not only bends genres but eventually defines them.”

Track Listing:
“Ghett Ol Memories” (Blanco Brown, Corey Marquez Stephens, Liby Vongmanee)
“Georgia Power” (Blanco Brown, Isaiah Brown, John Whitfield, Dominic Crawford)
“Tn Whiskey” (Blanco Brown)
“CountryTime” (Blanco Brown, Sam DiCesare, Abraham Abushmais)

Brown will celebrate the launch of his EP with live performances next week with several appearances at CMA Fest. He will perform at the Official Dee Jay Silver CMT Award Show After Party on Wednesday night (June 5), the Firestone Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater on Thursday night (June 6), the Nashville Acoustic Corner stage on Friday (June 7) and he will appear at the Music Choice booth at Fan Fair X and hit the Radio Disney stage and Spotify’s Ole Red stage on Saturday (June 8), in addition to hosting a #GitUpChallenge at the Wildhorse Saloon at noon for fans.



Zach Williams Mines Gold On Two ‘Chain Breaker’ Singles

Zach Williams has achieved two more RIAA Gold certified singles with “Old Church Choir” and “Fear Is A Liar.”

He was awarded the official plaques during an album presentation yesterday (May 30) by his label for “Old Church Choir,” which was No. 1 for a whopping 20 weeks (the second-longest in Christian radio history), and fan favorite “Fear Is a Liar,” his fastest-consumed song to date. Williams’ first certification was for “Chain Breaker,” the 15-week chart-topping song that became certified Gold in January 2018. All three songs are featured on his Grammy award-winning album, Chain Breaker.

Williams is releasing new music later this year. He’ll continue to tour throughout this summer as he prepares for a headlining tour this Fall.

Vince Gill Details Track List For New Album ‘Okie’

Vince Gill has revealed the track list for his upcoming Aug. 23 release, Okie, which features production by Gill and Justin Niebank.

One of the songs Gill highlights on the album is the track “When My Amy Prays,” which Gill penned about his wife and singer-songwriter Amy Grant.

“I believe that this song features one of the best vocals I’ve ever done,” commented Gill.

The album also features “Forever Changed,” a track Gill introduced at the 2018 Country Radio Seminar. The song, written from a female perspective, centers on a story of sexual assault. During that CRS performance, Gill offered his own #metoo story, recalling how a gym teacher had attempted to molest him when he was in middle school. His performance at the industry-only show earned Gill a standing ovation.

Gill wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks on the new project, his first solo project since 2016’s Down To My Last Bad Habit and 2011’s Guitar Slinger. Gill is currently on tour in Europe with the Eagles. Other co-writers on the project include Leslie Satcher, Charlie Worsham and Dean Dillon.

Okie Track Listing:

1. I Don’t Want To Ride the Rails No More (Vince Gill)
2. The Price of Regret (Vince Gill)
3. Forever Changed (Vince Gill)
4. An Honest Man (Vince Gill)
5. What Choice Will You Make (Vince Gill / Leslie Satcher)
6. Black and White (Vince Gill / Charlie Worsham)
7. The Red Words (Vince Gill)
8. When My Amy Prays (Vince Gill)
9. A Letter To My Mama (Vince Gill / Dean Dillon)
10. Nothin’ Like A Guy Clark Song (Vince Gill)
11. That Old Man of Mine (Vince Gill)
12. A World Without Haggard (Vince Gill)

Industry Pics: Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Ingrid Andress

Thomas Rhett Discusses New Album Center Point Road With SiriusXM, Pandora

Pictured (L-R): SiriusXM host Storme Warren and Thomas Rhett speak on stage during Pandora Sound On Thomas Rhett Center Point Road Powered by Marshalls on May 30, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora Media

Last night (May 30), Pandora hosted an album listening party for Thomas Rhett in New York City where fans could hear songs from Center Point Road prior to its release today (May 31). The event was hosted by SiriusXM’s Storme Warren and Thomas Rhett was presented with a Pandora Billionaire plaque for having over 3 billion spins on Pandora.

Pictured (L-R): Pandora Head of Country Beville Dunkerley, Thomas Rhett, and Storme Warren pose on stage during Pandora Sound On Thomas Rhett Center Point Road Powered By Marshalls on May 30, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Pandora Media


Blair Garner Hosts Listening Party for Thomas Rhett Fans

Pictured (L-R): Valory’s Ashley Sidoti, Chris Palmer, Thomas Rhett, Blair Garner, WKDF/NASH FM 103.3’s John Shomby, Tyler Reese and Kelley Brock.

Blair Garner, host of The Blair Garner Show, syndicated exclusively by Westwood One, presented a private Center Point Road listening party for Thomas Rhett fans who won their way in to the special event at Cumulus Nashville’s WKDF/NASH FM 103.3 last week. Listeners got to hear Thomas Rhett’s new album before its release, and also heard him talk to Blair about life with two little girls, touring with his dad, and how his wife has become more Instagram-famous than he is.


Florida Georgia Line Holds Private Ryman Concert for SiriusXM Listeners

Pictured: Florida Georgia Line performs at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, May 29. Photo: John Shearer

Florida Georgia Line performed a special invitation-only event for SiriusXM listeners at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, marking the Grammy nominees’ first full concert at the legendary venue. FGL played crowd-favorites such as “Cruise,” “H.O.L.Y.,” and “Meant to Be,” plus tracks from their latest album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, including “Talk You Out of It” and “Simple.” The private show aired live on Wednesday, May 29 on SiriusXM’s The Highway, channel.



Ingrid Andress Opens Warner Music Nashville’s Annual Pickin’ On The Patio Event

Pictured (L-R): Blythe Scokin, Founder & CEO, bluejacket; Clark Tedesco, Sr. Dir. Artist Development, WMN; Kristen Williams, SVP Radio & Streaming, WMN; Shane Tarleton, SVP Artist Development, WMN; Ingrid Andress; Matt Signore, COO, WMN; Cris Lacy, EVP A&R, WMN; Rohan Kohli, Dir. A&R, WMN; and Ben Kline, EVP/GM, WMN.

Warner Music Nashville kicked off its tenth season of Pickin’ on the Patio Wednesday (May 29) with a standout performance from buzzed-about newcomer Ingrid Andress. Andress performed her latest release “Both” and the ballad “More Hearts Than Mine,” and treated fans to a few unreleased tracks as well. Andress brought the evening to a close with a powerful rendition of her hit “Lady Like.”

Sponsors for the event included Austin Eastciders, Blue Chair Bay, Bud Light, Dr. Pepper, Lyft, Nada Tacos and Topo Chico.

Weekly Chart Report (5/31/19)

Click here or above to access MusicRow’s weekly CountryBreakout Report.

Cole Swindell’s “Break Up In The End” Reaches Platinum

(L-R): Warner Music Nashville’s Justin Luffman and Cris Lacy, Cole Swindell, Warner Music Nashville’s Shane Tarleton, KP Entertainment’s Kerri Edwards

Cole Swindell’s massive hit “Break Up In The End” has become his eighth song to reach the million-selling mark. The song was just certified Platinum by the RIAA, and the Jon Nite, Chase McGill and Jessie Jo Dillon-penned hit is Swindell’s eighth career No. 1 single. The Warner Music Nashville artist was surprised with the plaque presentation last night (May 30) on the set of his video shoot for his current single “Love You Too Late.”

“Break Up In The End” is also nominated for Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year at the fan-voted CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, June 5 live from Nashville. The song was the leadoff single from Swindell’s No. 1 selling third album, All of It, and received a 2019 Grammy nomination for Best Country Song, a 2019 ACM Song of the Year nomination, and was named one of the best country songs of 2018 by Amazon, Spotify, Billboard and You Tube, among others.

Swindell hits the road today (May 31) on Luke Bryan’s Sunset Repeat Tour, alongside Jon Langston and DJ Rock.