Corey Kent Signs With ONErpm For Distribution

Corey Kent has signed a distribution deal with global music solutions company ONErpm. Kent and his team at Combustion Masters have partnered with ONErpm’s in-house imprint Verge Records to release his latest single, “Gold,” available now.

An Oklahoma native, Kent was touring by age 11 as the lead singer of a Western Swing band, opening for legends like Roy Clark and The Oak Ridge Boys. In 2010, he found himself on stage singing “Milk Cow Blues” with country icon Willie Nelson. By 17, Kent had moved to Nashville. Shortly after graduating college he co-wrote his first No. 1, William Clark Green’s “Hit You Where It Hurts.”

“We are honored to be working with Corey and Chris and the team at Combustion in this joint venture, for which ONErpm is the ideal distribution vehicle,” said Verge Records President and COO Mickey Jack Cones.


Thomas Rhett’s “What’s Your Country Song” Is Most Added On ‘MusicRow’ CountryBreakout Radio Chart

Thomas Rhett. Photo: Nick Rau

Thomas Rhett‘s latest single, “What’s Your Country Song,” is the most-added song again this week on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart, with nine new panel station adds. The song rises from No. 30 to No. 17, earning 931 total spins. “What’s Your Country Song” is also the two-week most-added, with 40 new station adds (53 total).

The song marks the first track from Thomas Rhett’s upcoming fifth studio project for The Valory Music Co. Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins are also set to co-host this year’s CMA Country Christmas, which airs Nov. 30 on ABC.

Brett Eldredge, Meghan Trainor, Pentatonix, More Carol For A Cause To Benefit Feeding America

Brett Eldredge. Photo: Greg Noire

Brett Eldredge, Meghan Trainor, Brandy, Andy Grammer, Sofia Reyes, Pentatonix, and Ally Brooke have joined forces with T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods in a mission to help consumers find joy in the magic of the season and feed people in need across America at the same time. Through an Instagram Reels campaign, #CarolForACause, the retailers are putting a new twist on holiday carols to give back. 

The artists will #CarolForACause and invite consumers to sing a favorite carol a cappella, play music, and dance or lip sync over a classic holiday track. The campaign launched with Meghan Trainor on Nov. 17, with a new Instagram Reel launching each week from one of the musicians singing their favorite holiday carol from the comfort of their own homes.

Through Dec. 27, consumers can participate in spreading holiday cheer by recording an Instagram Reel with the hashtag #CarolForACause. For every Instagram Reel recorded and shared from a public Instagram account with the hashtag, T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods will donate $10 to Feeding America, up to $1 million, to help feed people in need.

“We may not be able to carol from door-to-door this year, but we hope to help people tap into new ways to spread cheer and ignite the joy of giving back to their local communities year-round,” said Victoria Shonkoff, VP, Marketing Director for T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods. “By reimagining a classic holiday tradition for a good cause, we’ll help make celebrations possible for people in need this holiday season.”

“Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. As a result of the pandemic, our nationwide network of food banks have seen an increase in demand for food assistance. Our 200 member food banks need support from the communities we serve now more than ever,” said Casey Marsh, Chief Development Officer at Feeding America. “We are grateful for T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods’ continued commitment to help provide millions of meals to people in need.”


DISClaimer Singles Reviews: Sam Hunt, Kane Brown, Chris Young, Brandy Clark, And More

Sam Hunt

In this wildly uneven listening session, I was alternately lifted out of my seat and glued to it by dull inertia.

The triumphs here belong to The Wild Feathers, Dillon Carmichael, the collaboration between Chris Young & Kane Brown and our Disc of the Day winner, Brandy Clark.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

SAM HUNT/”Breaking Up Was Easy In The 90’s”
Writers: Chris LaCorte/Ernest K Smith/Josh Osborne/Sam Hunt/Zach Crowell; Publishers: Universal Music Corp./Between the Pines, LLC/BIPOD/Spirit Two Nashville/Miller Crow Music/Kyler’s Kinda Night/Songs Of Universal, Inc./Ern Dog Music/Big Loud Mountain/Tree Vibez Music, LLC/Sony/ATV Accent/Smackborne Music, ASCAP/BMI; Producer: Zach Crowell; Label: MCA Nashville
-His successful formula is in place—spoken-word verse, sparse rhythm, chorus with the title phrase repeated over and over. The fact that the phrase has nothing to do with the rest of the lyric doesn’t seem to matter. I got bored quickly.

Writers: Ricky Young; Publishers: none listed; Producer: The Wild Feathers; Label: Magnolia Record Club
-I loved these guys when they were a pop/rock band, and the quality of their output has remained completely excellent since they began marketing their sound as country. This fabulously melodic, brilliantly harmonized tune has a soaring, uplifting quality underpinned by throbbing bass, punchy drumming, sighing organ and chiming guitars. It’s an awesome listening experience that is drawn from a collection titled Medium Rarities. During the pandemic, the group reached into its vaults for unreleased, unheard tracks to assemble the collection. If something this stunning was “buried,” I can’t imagine how great the new material is going to be. I remain a massive fan.

DEVIN DAWSON/ “He Loved Her”
Writers: Devin Dawson/Nicolle Galyon/Jordan Reynolds; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Jay Joyce; Label: WMN/Atlantic
-It’s an homage to his grandfather, an ordinary man whose decency was extra-ordinary. But Dawson’s colorless singing voice and the generic production doesn’t rise to the occasion.

Writers: Kalie Shorr/Simon Reid/Fred Wilhelm/Skip Black; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Skip Black/Kalie Shorr; Label: TMWRK
-The sound is crashing country-punk and the lyric is a very involving look at her journey on an unconventional road. This lady is carving out her own niche, and bravo for that.

Writers: Chris Young/Cary Barlowe/Corey Crowder; Publisher: none listed, BMI/SESAC/ASCAP; Producer: Corey Crowder/Chris Young; Label: RCA
-Very cute. The “famous friends” of the title are people you’ve never heard of who live in Rutherford County (Chris), Hamilton County, GA (Kane) and Davidson County (both). The bopping track and the two stars’ jaunty vocals celebrate these everyday heroes. Hit bound.

BRANDY CLARK/”I’ll Be the Sad Song”
Writers: Brandy Clark/Jessie Jo Dillon/Chase McGill; Publishers: Highway 508/New House of Sea Gayle/ClearBox Rights/Jay Gatsby/Revelry/Kobalt/Songs of Universal/Plum Nelly, ASCAP/BMI; Producer: Jay Joyce; Label: Warner 
-It’s a happy coincidence that I was listening to this woman’s awesome album (again) over the weekend and bitching about how this blindingly brilliant troubadour was being overlooked by the country mainstream. Then, BAM, yesterday it got nominated for a Grammy Award, as did its single “Who You Thought I Was.” The collection’s title, Your Life Is a Record, comes from the lyric of this song. The haunting melody, wistful mood and sweet/sad singing pierce your heart and linger there long after the sound fades away. That’s what a masterpiece can do.

Writers: Matt Thomas/Nolan Sipe/Kevin Bard; Publishers: Sony/ATV Countryside/JM Thomas Music/Sony/ATV Tunes LLC/Kevin Bard Music/Margetts Road Music/Nolan W. Sipe Music, ASACP/BMI; Producer: David Fanning; Label: Stoney Creek
-I originally reviewed this back in April. Now there’s a video that underscores its message of acceptance by showing girls and women of widely varying physical images.

Writers: Sturgill Simpson; Publisher: none listed; Producer: David Ferguson/Sturgill Simpson; Label: High Top Mountain
-He has a rock Grammy nomination this year, so of course his next step is a bluegrass album. That recording, titled Cuttin’ Grass, features an all-star bluegrass instrumental lineup backing Simpson on rearrangements of his songs from earlier albums. This one, featuring Sierra Hull, is an utter transformation. The sound is elegant, pristine and clear (which is saying something, considering the artist’s prior tendency to mumble). The COVID survivor’s Kentucky roots are definitely showing.

Writers: Casey Brown/Parker Welling/Russell Dickerson; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Dann Huff/Casey Brown/Russell Dickerson; Label: Triple Tigers
-It’s a party anthem on steroids. And it is impossible not to get caught up in its energy and verve.

Writers: Michael Hardy/Ashley Gorley/Hunter Phelps/Ben Johnson; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Jon Pardi; Label: Riser House
-Hilarious. Dillon’s brawler voice sasses the lyric like a rampaging buffalo. She asks him to take her back, and he replies that he’d rather drink a hot beer and do a lot of other goofy, stupid stuff. With those songwriting credits and Pardi producing, you know it’s country, country, country. It is also Essential Listening.

Dolly Parton, American Greetings Help Celebrate The Holidays With New Christmas Card Collection

Dolly Parton and American Greetings have unveiled their latest collaboration, A Holly Dolly Christmas Collection, just in time for the holidays. Parton and American Greetings are extending their collaboration with an exclusive line of holiday cards and a Custom E-Card spotlighting a song from her No. 1 album, A Holly Dolly Christmas.

The collection was spurred by the success of Parton’s initial Everyday Card collection and her SmashUp “Birthday Time” e-card, and is the latest in their multi-year partnership that was announced earlier this year that includes digital and physical products integrating the legendary singer-songwriter’s music in unique ways. “Birthday Time,” Parton’s SmashUp initial digital ecard offering, has been sent more than 500,000 times since its launch six months ago.

“Dolly’s message of joy, hope and humor has really resonated with our customers, as evidenced by the resounding success of her SmashUp and the initial launch of her Everyday Card line,” said Rob Matousek, Executive Director/GM–Direct to Consumer Business at American Greetings. “As we approached the holidays, we wanted to bring an additional offering of digital products to market. We believe Dolly’s curated collection of holiday cards and a musical e-card featuring her rendition of ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ are the perfect pairing for the season.”

“Knowing that I can be a small part of making someone’s day a little brighter is such a great feeling, and this holiday season, especially, it helps to know someone you love is thinking about you,” said Parton.

Morgan Wallen Notches Fourth Consecutive No. 1 With “More Than My Hometown”

Morgan Wallen. Photo: John Shearer

Reigning CMA New Artist of the Year Morgan Wallen has earned his fourth consecutive No. 1 with “More Than My Hometown,” which tops both the Billboard and Country Aircheck/Mediabase Country radio airplay charts.

“More Than My Hometown,” which Wallen co-wrote with Michael Hardy, Ernest Keith Smith and Ryan Vojtesak, also marks Wallen’s third No. 1 as a songwriter. He also co-wrote his own “Chasin’ You,” as well as “You Make It Easy,” a No. 1 hit for Jason Aldean.

The chart-topper previews Wallen’s upcoming 30-track sophomore record, Dangerous: The Double Album, which releases Jan. 8, 2021. On Nov. 20, Wallen released three more songs from the project—“Somebody’s Problem,” “Still Goin Down,” and “Livin’ The Dream.” “Somebody’s Problem” rose to No. 1 on the Apple Music US Top Songs All Genres chart.

American Music Awards Ratings Drop 40%

Awards shows seem to be another casualty of the pandemic in 2020, with major shows like the Emmys, the CMA Awards, and the ACM Awards all garnering much lower viewership than normal this year. The American Music Awards followed that trend as well, with its Sunday night show (Nov. 22) drawing its smallest audience ever, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The show garnered 4.01 million viewers for the night, a 40%  drop from the 2019 show, and earned a 1.0 in adults 18-49 (a 41% drop in the demo year-over-year).

Two NFL games were the big winners for the night, with both Fox’s late afternoon game and NBC’s prime time matchup drawing their biggest audiences since week one of the season.

Female Artists Dominate Grammy Country Categories

Miranda Lambert

Female artists dominate in this year’s Grammy country categories, represented in all five nominee spots for Best Country Album.

Ingrid Andress, Brandy Clark, Miranda Lambert, group Little Big Town and Ashley McBryde are all nominated in the Best Country Album category, while female artists earn three of the five nominations for Best Country Solo Performance (Clark for “Who You Thought I Was,” Mickey Guyton for “Black Like Me,” and Lambert for “Bluebird”).

Guyton also makes history with her nomination, as the first Black female solo artist to earn a Grammy nomination in a country category (the Pointer Sisters previously won Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Fairytale” in 1974).

Songs recorded (and co-written) by female artists also earned four of the five slots in the Best Country Song category. Lambert, Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick are nominated for Lambert’s “Bluebird,” while Maren Morris, Laura Veltz and Jimmy Robbins are nominated for their work on Morris’ “The Bones.” Group The Highwomen‘s “Crowded Table,” penned by Brandi Carlile, Hemby and Lori McKenna, is nominated, as is “More Hearts Than Mine” recorded by Andress and co-written by Andress with Sam Ellis and Derrick Southerland.

Of note, Old Dominion also picked up their first two Grammy nominations this year, with “Some People Do” earning Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Country Song nominations (the song was written by Jesse Frasure, Shane McAnally, Matthew Ramsey, and Thomas Rhett).

Lambert and Andress have three nominations each, with Lambert earning a nod for Best Country Album (Wildcard), Best Country Solo Performance (“Bluebird”) and Best Country Song (“Bluebird”), while Andress is up for the all-genre Best New Artist honor, Best Country Song (“More Hearts Than Mine”) and Best Country Album (Lady Like).

Best Country Solo Performance
For new vocal or instrumental solo country recordings.

  • “Stick That In Your Country Song”
    Eric Church
  • “Who You Thought I Was”
    Brandy Clark
  • “When My Amy Prays”
    Vince Gill
  • “Black Like Me”
    Mickey Guyton
  • “Bluebird”
    Miranda Lambert

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
For new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborative country recordings.

  • “All Night”
    Brothers Osborne
  • “10,000 Hours”
    Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber
  • “Ocean”
    Lady A
  • “Sugar Coat”
    Little Big Town
  • “Some People Do”
    Old Dominion

Best Country Song
A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • “Bluebird”
    Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby & Miranda Lambert, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
  • “The Bones”
    Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins & Laura Veltz, songwriters (Maren Morris)
  • “Crowded Table”
    Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby & Lori McKenna, songwriters (The Highwomen)
  • “More Hearts Than Mine”
    Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis & Derrick Southerland, songwriters (Ingrid Andress)
  • “Some People Do”
    Jesse Frasure, Shane McAnally, Matthew Ramsey & Thomas Rhett, songwriters (Old Dominion)

Best Country Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new country recordings.

    Ingrid Andress
    Brandy Clark
    Miranda Lambert
    Little Big Town
    Ashley McBryde

Brittany Howard, John Prine, Sturgill Simpson Among Top Grammy Nominees

Brittany Howard. Photo: Danny Clinch

Several artists with Nashville ties made a strong showing in the Rock, Producer, and American Roots categories.

Brittany Howard secured five nominations, including Best Rock Performance for “Stay High,” as well as Best Rock Song as the sole writer on the same tune. Howard is also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album for Jaime, as well as Best R&B Performance for “Goat Head,” and she earned a Best American Roots Performance nod for “Short and Sweet.”

John Prine earns two posthumous nominations, with “I Remember Everything” earning nods for Best American Roots Performance, and Best American Roots Song. Sturgill Simpson is nominated for Best Rock Album for Sound & Fury.

Lucinda Williams, The Secret Sisters and Bonny Light Horseman also each earned two nominations in American Roots Music and/or Folk categories.

Nashville-based producers Dan Auerbach and Dave Cobb each earned nominations for Producer of the Year (Non-Classical), with Auerbach producing Marcus King‘s project El Dorado (nominated for Best Americana Album) and Cobb producing Prine’s “I Remember Everything,” as well as The Highwomen, whose song “Crowded Table” is nominated for Best Country Song.

See a list of selected category nominations below:

Best American Roots Performance
For new vocal or instrumental American Roots recordings.  This is for performances in the style of any of the subgenres encompassed in the American Roots Music field including Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk or regional roots. Award to the artist(s).

  • “Colors”
    Black Pumas
  • “Deep In Love”
    Bonny Light Horseman
  • “Short And Sweet”
    Brittany Howard
  • “I’ll Be Gone”
    Norah Jones & Mavis Staples
  • “I Remember Everything”
    John Prine

Best American Roots Song
A Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Americana, bluegrass, traditional blues, contemporary blues, folk or regional roots songs. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • “Cabin”
    Laura Rogers & Lydia Rogers, songwriters (The Secret Sisters)
  • “Ceiling To The Floor”
    Sierra Hull & Kai Welch, songwriters (Sierra Hull)
  • “Hometown”
    Sarah Jarosz, songwriter (Sarah Jarosz)
  • “I Remember Everything”
    Pat McLaughlin & John Prine, songwriters (John Prine)
  • “Man Without A Soul”
    Tom Overby & Lucinda Williams, songwriters (Lucinda Williams)

Best Americana Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental Americana recordings.

    Courtney Marie Andrews
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    Sarah Jarosz
    Marcus King
    Lucinda Williams

Best Bluegrass Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental bluegrass recordings.

    Danny Barnes
    Thomm Jutz
    Steep Canyon Rangers
  • HOME
    Billy Strings
    Various Artists

Best Folk Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental folk recordings.

    Bonny Light Horseman
    Leonard Cohen
    Laura Marling
    The Secret Sisters
    Gillian Welch & David Rawlings

29th Annual Tin Pan South Sets Dates For 2021

The 29th Annual Tin Pan South songwriter’s festival will return in 2021 as an in-person experience, back at favorite venues across Music City on Nov. 16-20, 2021.

This year’s Tin Pan shows were held virtually due to the pandemic, and the 2021 event has been pushed back to Fall instead of its usual Spring timeframe. Additional news on the 2021 festival will be released in the coming weeks.

“With the support and encouragement from Regions Bank, our other incredible partners, and the songwriters and organizations that participated, we were thrilled to keep the spirit of Tin Pan South alive in a virtual format,” said Jennifer Turnbow, Festival Director. “While the 2021 festival will once again take place in the fall instead of the usual March/April timeframe, we are very excited about the prospect of being back in the local venues next year!  We hope that in 2022, we can regain complete normalcy and hold our 30th-anniversary festival in the Spring.”