Rissi Palmer Partners With Rainey Day Fund To Create Color Me Country Artist Fund

Rissi Palmer. Photo: Chris Charles

Singer-songwriter and Apple Music’s Color Me Country radio host, Rissi Palmer, has partnered with the Rainey Day Fund, helmed by music journalist Kelly McCartney, to create a fund to support underrepresented voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists in country music. The fund is called The Color Me Country Artist Fund.

McCartney created the Rainey Day Fund, named after legendary blues artist Ma Rainey, in 2018 to assist BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled artists, as well as others who add to the rich fabric of roots music. With a similar mission, Palmer recognized a real problem in the country music industry. The Color Me Country Fund was born to bring the Black, Indigenous, and Latinx histories of country music to the forefront.

“As an artist, I’ve experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I know what it’s like to have to choose between eating and paying rent, to work a 9-to-5, then pull an all-nighter in the studio to get closer to the dream of being a self-sustaining musician,” says Palmer. “Any success I have achieved has been because of the kindness of others and their belief in me, and I want to pay it forward. The Color Me Country Artist Fund will be an extension of the work I do with my radio show to further the careers of artists of color in the country music space. I don’t want anyone’s dreams deferred because of financial hardships. 100% of the funds will go to artists in need. I thank Kelly McCartney and the Rainey Day Fund for planting the seed.”

“Between our seed funding and a recent donation from Brandi Carlile‘s Looking Out Foundation, we have gifted grants to Yola, Birds of Chicago, Tré Burt, Joy Oladokun, Brittney Spencer, Jontavious Willis, and others, while also creating an Indigenous Music Scholarship with Folk Alliance International,” McCartney says of the Rainey Day Fund. “Seeing the work that Rissi was doing in the country music space, it just made sense to create a specific Color Me Country program to support the artists on those fringes, as well. Together, we’re being the change we wish to see in the music world.”

Palmer’s Color Me Country Apple Music radio show has included guests Miko Marks, Crystal Shawanda, Kamara Thomas, Mickey Guyton, Darius Rucker and more. McCartney, who hosts Southern Craft Radio on Apple Music, has featured Brandy Clark, Larkin Poe, Jason Isbell, JOHNNYSWIM, The War and Treaty, Tanya Tucker, and more.

Learn more about The Color Me Country Artist Fund here and The Rainey Day Fund here.

Morgan Wallen Announces Ryman Concert

Big Loud/Republic Records’ Morgan Wallen will celebrate his sophomore release, Dangerous: The Double Album, with a live performance at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Jan. 12, 2021 at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT. The one-night-only, full-band concert will be livestreamed worldwide on his YouTube and Facebook pages.

Dangerous, due out Jan. 8, is an expansive 30-track collection which is home to his hits “This Bar,” “More Than My Hometown,” “7 Summers,” and “Heartless” (Wallen Album Mix), as well as fan favorites including “Somebody’s Problem” and Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up.”

Rounding out Wallen’s skyrocketing year, he continues to break records, notching a second consecutive week atop Apple Music’s all genre pre-add chart with Dangerous. Meanwhile, his current single “7 Summers” climbs at country radio, likely to add to his current talley of four consecutive chart-toppers.

Wallen is the reigning 2020 CMA New Artist of the Year.

Victoria Shaw’s ‘Songwriters Under The Covers’ Returns For Season 2

Victoria Shaw

Victoria Shaw‘s Songwriters Under the Covers, is back for season two, with six new episodes premiering Thursdays, Jan. 14 – Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. on the free ALL ARTS app and allarts.org/SUTC, and in the New York metro area on the ALL ARTS TV channel. Season 2 will also premiere Fridays at 11 p.m. beginning Jan. 15 on Nashville Public Television, which is distributing the series to other public TV stations in Tennessee.

With intimate storytelling and acoustic performances from hit songwriters, hosted by award-winning songwriter Shaw, Under the Covers provides rare access to the stories behind some of pop, rock and country music’s top hits. Featured guests include Clint BlackGarth BrooksBob DiPieroKeb’ Mo’, Liz Rose, Jimmie Allen, Tommy ShawShelly Peiken and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Roger Cook.

The Songwriters Under the Covers Holiday Special, which premiered nationwide on Dec. 2, is available to watch now on allarts.org. The holiday special features chart-toppers Jim Brickman and Dave Barnes performing their hits, including “God Gave Me You,” “The Christmas Song” and “Christmas Tonight.” Anita Cochran and Wendy Moten are guests.

“I’m so excited to continue giving people a peek into the intimate behind-the-scenes stories of how and why some of the most famous songs were written,” said Host and Creator Victoria Shaw. “You met a lot of my talented songwriter friends last season, and you’ll get to meet a lot more this season, along with some insanely talented emerging artists.”

Chris Lane’s “Big, Big Plans” Tops The Charts

Chris Lane has reached the top of the charts with his latest single, “Big, Big Plans” which landed at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay and Country Aircheck/Mediabase Airplay charts, while also reigning atop the Billboard Canada Country Airplay and Mediabase Canada Country charts. “Big, Big Plans” is Lane’s third career chart-topper in the U.S., and his fourth No. 1 in Canada.

The Gold-certified smash which was written by Lane, Jacob Durrett and Ernest Keith Smith, has tallied 149 million on-demand streams and marks Lane’s first No. 1 as a songwriter. Penned ahead of his engagement to now-wife, Lauren, the song was first heard in their heart-warming proposal video. Once released, “Big, Big Plans” inspired more than 20 onstage fan proposals during Lane’s Big, Big Plans Tour, and countless others shared online.

“As an artist the most rewarding thing for me is writing a song and hearing fans sing it back, and make it part of their own story as well,” said Lane. “It’s been so much fun to see the way such a personal song for me has impacted other people over time. From proposing to my wife, to seeing others’ proposals at shows and on social media, to it now hitting No. 1 on country radio is unbelievable. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Virtual Holiday Concerts: Jake Owen, Musicians On Call, MusiCares

Jake Owen Teams With Outback Steakhouse For Virtual Holiday Concert

Jake Owen. Photo: Robby Klein

Jake Owen has partnered with Outback Steakhouse for a December Facebook Live virtual concert. This holiday concert ‘Made For You’ (the name of Owen’s recent single) will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 16 and was filmed at the newest Outback Steakhouse in Nashville. Back in August, Outback and Owen partnered on their first virtual concert to provide fans with music entertainment during the stay-at-home orders, with the event attracting over 152,000 viewers.

For a limited time, Outback will offer Jake Owen Made For You gift cards and gift box sets with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Jake Owen Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that offers financial support on a national level to children battling cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, while also providing assistance to various youth organizations and charities in Owen’s hometown of Vero Beach, Florida and surrounding Indian River County.


Musicians On Call Presents Hope For The Holidays Concert

Leslie Odom Jr., Meghan Trainor, Josh Groban, HAIM, JP Saxe and Pentatonix will perform on Hope for the Holidays Presented by Citi, a virtual concert for patients, families and frontline caregivers presented by Musicians On Call. This one-of-a-kind festive concert experience also features holiday messages from artists including Dolly Parton, Kelly Clarkson, Billie Eilish and more. MOC will share the concert with their extensive network of hospitals around the country and they have also teamed up with the American Hospital Association to provide access to 5,000 AHA member hospitals and health systems nationwide.

It will be available on-demand for patients to view throughout the month of December. You can send a musicaleCard, recorded by a Musicians on Call volunteer, to a Healthcare Hero here. For every eCard, Musicians On Call also provides a song for a patient in the hospital.


Nashville Artists Give Back To MusiCares With Online Christmas Special

Louis York, Ty Herndon, Maggie Rose, Emily West, Crystal Lewis, The Young Fables, The Shindellas, Meghan Linsey and more are performing in A One Mic Christmas, an independent online holiday special benefiting MusiCares. The show, produced by Hope Tree Entertainment and Cotton Mill Live, will be broadcast online Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. CT. A One Mic Christmas is free to view, but patrons that donate on the website will gain access to un-aired, bonus performances from the star studded line-up.

“With music industry revenues impacted by the pandemic, MusiCares has been a lifesaver to many artists in Music City and around the country. This event is our small way of showing our gratitude,” said producer Patryk Larney of Hope Tree Entertainment.

The LEE Initiative Partners With TPA To Feed Live Music Professionals During Holiday Season

The LEE Initiative, a non-profit launched by Lindsey Ofcacek and Edward Lee to address issues in the restaurant industry, announced Tuesday (Dec. 15) a partnership with the Touring Professionals Alliance (TPA), a non-profit that provides aid to those working behind the scenes of live music as the industry faces unprecedented hardships due to COVID-19, to launch the Touring Professionals Relief Kitchen (TPRK). TPRK’s first initiative will feed touring professionals in the major music cities of Nashville, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York this holiday season. In Nashville, the initiative is partnering with the restaurants Audrey and Chaatable.

Touring professionals, which include tour managers, production managers, sound engineers, sound, lighting and video technicians, bus and truck drivers, roadies, venue personnel and many more, have been unable to work for months since live music shuttered across the nation in early March. Touring Professionals Alliance was created earlier this year to provide resources, including mental health resources, to those working in the live touring industry. The TPA was recently granted 501(c)3 status, allowing the organization to further expand efforts in the new year.

“Touring Professionals Alliance is steadfastly focused on providing aid to the thousands of individuals who work behind the scenes in live music touring who have been severely impacted by the pandemic,” says Jerome Crooks, co-founder, Touring Professionals Alliance, and tour manager for bands such as Nine Inch Nails, TOOL, Soundgarden, and Beastie Boys. “We are grateful to The LEE Initiative for the partnership in providing meals to those in our industry in need.”

“The music industry has been affected by this pandemic in the same way that the restaurant industry has and TPA has a similar mission to ours at The LEE Initiative. People have already lost so much and are at risk of losing more and we want to help ease their burden in whatever way we can. This is what it means to say we are all in this together. We are proud to have each other’s backs,” says Lee, co-founder of The LEE Initiative.

The Touring Professionals Relief Kitchen will serve meals in Nashville, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York on Tuesdays and Thursdays out of partner restaurants. Each restaurant will distribute 200 meal boxes a night, with each box serving two people. The partner kitchens are:


Los Angeles
Petit Trois

Girl & the Goat
Alinea Restaurant Group

New York
Hometown BBQ

For more information on the relief efforts and for specifics on dates and locations for meal pick-ups, please visit www.leeinitiative.org.

The Highwomen Lead Americana Music Award Winners

Pictured (L-R, top row): The Highwomen, John Prine; (L-R, bottom row): Black Pumas, Brittany Haas

Winners of the 19th annual Americana Music Honors & Awards were announced Tuesday (Dec. 15), with The Highwomen earning three honors and the late John Prine being named Artist of the Year.

In lieu of the usual awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium, the Americana Music Association revealed winners via social media channels.

Supergroup The Highwomen (Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires) swept in three out of the six membership-voted awards categories with wins for Album of the Year for their self-titled debut, produced by Dave Cobb; Song of the Year for “Crowded Table,” written by Carlile, Hemby and Lori McKenna; and Duo/Group of the Year.

Following a prolific couple of years thanks to his critically acclaimed final album The Tree of Forgiveness, Prine became the first artist in Americana Honors & Awards history to be posthumously nominated in the Artist of the Year category. This is his fourth Artist of the Year win since 2005. He also received the 2003 Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.

Rising duo Black Pumas were named Emerging Act of the Year after garnering praise for their full-length debut, Colors. The band has sold out multiple tours across North America and Europe while making national television appearances and receiving multiple Grammy nominations.

Regarded as one of the most influential fiddlers of her generation, Brittany Haas takes home the award for Instrumentalist of the Year. A member of the quartet Hawktail, Haas has also lent her virtuosic skills to collaborators including Steve Martin, Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn and others over the years.

“I could not be more proud of this slate of winners,” shared Executive Director of the Americana Music Association, Jed Hilly. “Although we terribly miss celebrating together at the Ryman as we usually have in years past, we’re thrilled to still be able to recognize these distinguished members of our community.”

NPR Music’s World Café, SiriusXM Outlaw Country, Gimme Country and several radio stations that report to the Americana Radio Charts will be celebrating this year’s nominees and winners with special programming.

2020 Americana Honors & Awards Winners

Album of the Year: The Highwomen, The Highwomen, produced by Dave Cobb

Artist of the Year: John Prine

Song of the Year: “Crowded Table,” The Highwomen, written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Lori McKenna

Duo/Group of the Year: The Highwomen

Emerging Act of the Year: Black Pumas

Instrumentalist of the Year: Brittany Haas

Season 2 Of ‘The Song’ Returning In January

Nationally syndicated television series The Song–Recorded Live @ TGL Farms will return Jan. 2, 2021 with 15 new episodes. The one-hour season opener features Train, Jason Mraz, Jewel, Richard Marx, Clint Black, Gavin DeGraw and a special Marley Family Celebration Of “One Love” with Stephen Marley.

“Although challenging, this season’s filming actually presented us with a unique opportunity to take the show to the artists and record them where they were most comfortable–in or near their own homes–and they all brought their A-Game,” said the show’s creator and Executive Producer Marc Oswald.

Returning hosts Krista Marie and Damien Horne traveled coast to coast—having coffee with Jason Mraz at the Mraz Family Farm, sipping wine with Pat Monahan of Train at Concannon Vineyard in Northern California, riding horses with Jewel in the Colorado Rockies, and filming Richard Marx as he performed at sunset in Malibu. Shooting wrapped where it all began, with Gavin DeGraw at TGL Farms located near Nashville.

Founding partner Ally returns to present Season 2, as The Song welcomes new partners Harley-Davidson and KICKER Performance Audio to the team.

The show is produced by Oswald Entertainment Group and Tupelo Honey, directed by David “Doc” Abbott and mixed by Tom Davis. Cary Glotzer serves as executive producer.

Gray Television is managing the syndication reaching more than 77 percent of US households in over 140 markets.

AXS TV acquired all 10 episodes from Season 1, which will continue airing through 2022.

Osborne, Montana, Smith Take Top Three On MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart

Josh Osborne

Josh Osborne remains at No. 1 on the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart for the fifth consecutive week this week. The songs keeping Osborne at the top are “Happy Anywhere” (Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani), “Beers And Sunshine” (Darius Rucker), “How They Remember You” (Rascal Flatts), “7 Summers” (Morgan Wallen), “Breaking Up Was Easy In The 90’s” (Sam Hunt), “Next Girl” (Carly Pearce), and “Never Be Sorry” (Old Dominion).

Randy Montana shifts up to the No. 2 spot, with Parker McCollum’s “Pretty Heart,” Luke Combs’ “Better Together,” and Justin Moore’s “We Didn’t Have Much” fueling him. Ernest Keith Smith moves into the Top 3 on the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart, with Morgan Wallen’s “More Than My Hometown” and “Somebody’s Problem,” Sam Hunt’s “Breaking Up Was Easy In The 90’s,” and Chris Lane’s “Big, Big Plans.”

The weekly MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart uses algorithms based upon song activity according to airplay, digital download track sales and streams. This unique and exclusive addition to the MusicRow portfolio is the only songwriter chart of its kind.

Click here to view the full MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart.

Weekly Register: Carrie Underwood’s ‘My Gift’ Stays At No. 1

Carrie Underwood

Christmas music is ruling the charts again this week, with Carrie Underwood‘s My Gift staying at No. 1 on the country albums list, and coming in at No. 5 on the all-genre rankings.

There’s no movement in the country top 5 albums from last week, featuring holiday projects by Underwood (53K total consumption), Dolly Parton (No. 3, 31K), and Gene Autrey (No. 5, 21K), as well as Luke Combs‘ What You See Is What You Get at No. 2 (35K), and Chris Stapleton‘s Starting Over at No. 4 (27K).

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” comes in as the top streaming song in the nation, racking up 29 million streams this week and soaring over the 1 billion mark RTD. Last year it reached No. 1 for the first time ever.

Russell Dickerson’s “Southern Symphony” entered the country singles streaming chart at No. 72 with 1.8 million streams, and the album of the same title debuted on the country albums chart at No. 14 with 9.5K (3.1K album only/7.6M song streams).

Indie songwriter Trey Lewis is stirring up the country singles chart with “Dicked Down in Dallas,” which was last week’s top debut at No. 15, and slides to No. 3 this week.

The Top 5 Country songs
Luke Combs “Forever After All” 7.1M this week /82M RTD
Gabby Barrett “I Hope” 6.9M/497M
Trey Lewis “Dicked Down In Dallas” 6.3M/11M
Morgan Wallen “More Than My Hometown” 6.1M/192M
Morgan Wallen “Somebody’s Problem” 6.1M/27M

The overall top album this week belongs to pop hitmaker Shawn Mendes, who debuted Wonder with 89K (54K album only/44M song streams).