Blake Nixon Rises To Director Of Promotion & Streaming At Show Dog Nashville

Blake Nixon

Blake Nixon has been promoted to the newly-created position of Director of Promotion & Streaming at Show Dog Nashville.

In his expanded duties outside of promotion, Nixon will also guide the overall streaming strategy while implementing and executing national streaming programs for the label’s releases. He joined Show Dog Nashville in 2018 as Regional Mgr./Southeast after earlier stints with In2une and Warner Music Nashville.

“The streaming world has become very much front and center as part of our promotions strategy,” said Show Dog Nashville’s Senior VP/Promotion Rick Moxley. “Blake’s expertise in this area is a valuable asset for Show Dog Nashville.”

“I absolutely love working with this incredible team and I’m very excited for the opportunity to further contribute towards the growth of our amazing artists and partners,” said Nixon.

Nixon’s expanded role continues the growth of the label’s promotion department with the recent hiring of Teddi Bonadies to VP/Promotion, and the promotion of Moxley to Senior VP of the department. Now heading into its 16th year, Show Dog Nashville, founded and owned by Toby Keith, is looking ahead to a big 2021. Artist Clay Walker is experiencing a career resurgence with his single “Need A Bar Sometimes,” and will release a full-length album later this year. Also on the docket for 2021 are new releases from Krystal Keith and Toby Keith, who is co-producing a new album with celebrated producer/guitar player Kenny Greenberg.

Tunedly Inks Global Administration Deal With Spirit Music Group

Tunedly, a global innovative online music production and publishing source, has announced a new partnership with Spirit Music Group, one of the world’s leading independent music publishers. Through the deal, Spirit Music Group will administer Tunedly’s growing music catalog worldwide.

Tunedly (www.tunedly.com) is an online music recording studio, that connects songwriters and other music creators with session musicians for professional music production and music publishing services. Started by musicians and music managers, the idea for a live collaboration music production and publishing solution came out of a need to remove the barriers faced by many who want to succeed at music, but either lack the means to make it happen, or are unable to connect with the right talent and resources. Tunedly, which began its digital operations in 2015, aims to simplify the process of connecting creators with vetted session musicians, trained singers, skilled sound engineers, or noted producers and also to create increased royalty collections for creators through its partnerships with sub-publishers.

“We could not be more excited to work with Spirit,” says Chris Erhardt, CEO and co-founder of Tunedly. “Leveraging the strengths of Spirit Music Group’s administration platforms will help Tunedly users tremendously with monetizing their music, starting in Q1 of 2021. We’re proud to work in collaboration with such a renowned and respected company.”

Tunedly has already been embraced by some of the biggest names in the music industry. Serving as company advisors are Mathew Knowles, founder of Music World Entertainment Corp. and Artist Management, executive producer for more than 100 award-winning, Platinum and Gold albums in multiple genres, and father of Grammy winners Beyoncé and Solange; and record producer, songwriter and movie producer Harvey Mason jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, who has written and produced songs for successful artists including Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Chris Brown and Taemin.

Morgan Wallen Dominates On ‘MusicRow’ CountryBreakout Radio Chart

Championing sales and streaming charts, Morgan Wallen continues the reign this week on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart with his single “7 Summers.” The single appears on his sophomore effort Dangerous: The Double Album, which broke the record for largest streaming week for a country album among other streaming records.

“7 Summers” was written by Wallen, Josh Osborne, and Shane McAnally, also landing Wallen the top spot on the MusicRow Top Songwriter Chart.

Wallen’s chart success marks 84 No. 1 singles for secondary radio promotion team, Jerry Duncan Promotions. “7 Summers” adds to their extensive list of No. 1’s, including career breakthrough hits for Wallen, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, and Billy Ray Cyrus among others.

Click here or above to view the latest issue of The MusicRow Weekly.

Songfluencer Hires Three, Names Nathan Pyle As General Manager

Nathan Pyle

Songfluencer, the Nashville-based music tech startup using data-driven technology to earn music success on TikTok, has hired three new staffers. Nathan Pyle has been tapped as General Manager; Chelsea Kent as Director, European Operations; and Sydney Kamm as Campaign Manager.

Pyle, originally Columbus, Ohio, previously spent time at Monument Records and The Recording Academy Nashville Chapter. He oversees all daily operations of the business, develops and implements growth strategies, and works to synergize the three Songfluencer departments: Business Development, Campaign Management, and Creative Production.

“Nathan’s history helping lead complex teams and manage multi-faceted operations make him a natural fit as the General Manager of Songfluencer,” says CEO Johnny Cloherty. “To add, I’ve always admired Nathan’s passion for artists, entrepreneurship, and, especially, his love for people.”

Chelsea Kent, Sydney Kamm

Originally from Waco, Texas, Kent was previously with Stefan Dabruck Management and Still Working Music. She acts as liaison for all Songfluencer business in Europe and identifies cross-Atlantic opportunities for Songfluencer clients, as well as nurtures relationships with Songfluencer’s European clients and influencers, and is responsible for building out future endeavors in the European arena.

“Everyone that knows Chelsea Kent knows that she is a thought-leader and innovator,” says Cloherty. “She’s also the warmest and most welcoming person on the planet! As our presence in the European arena has grown in 2020, 2021 is requiring us to bring someone to the team that possesses European-specific expertise, a business leader that understands the global music marketplace, and a charismatic music-lover to help our clients understand how to use new technology to build and break artists.”

Kamm, who is a recent Belmont graduate, creates and executes influencer campaigns, develops relationships with influencers on multiple social media platforms.

“I’m humbled by our growth over the last year and couldn’t be more excited to learn from and become family with all of our new team members,” adds Cloherty. “Here’s to 2021!”

Trace Adkins Partners With LiveXLive To Celebrate 25 Years in Entertainment

Trace Adkins. Photo: Chase Lauer

Trace Adkins is performing his first-ever live stream show with a full band in an exclusive pay-per-view concert, Trace 25: Still Dreamin’ Out Loud, with LiveXLive on Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET.

Hosted by CMT Radio Live’s Cody Alan, Adkins will commemorate his 25 years in entertainment featuring hits spanning his entire career, including “You’re Gonna Miss This,” “There’s A Girl in Texas,” Every Light in the House,” and more, live from Franklin, Tennessee, while chatting with Alan about some of the history and stories behind the songs.

Ticket packages for LiveXLive’s live stream of Trace 25: Still Dreamin’ Out Loud are available starting at $14.99, offering 24-hour re-watch, t-shirts, koozies and more. There are also a limited number of VIP packages including a digital meet and greet and a select number of VIP + guitar packages, including the option to have a guitar autographed and personalized during a virtual meet and greet. Tickets are available now at LiveXLive.com.

“It’s an honor to partner with LiveXLive for my first ever live stream!” said Adkins. “Throw my buddy, the incomparable Cody Alan, into the mix, and there’s no doubt it will be a great time.”

“Trace’s talents transcend contemporary country music and LiveXLive is excited to help bring him and his 25 years of performing to audiences worldwide,” said Dermot McCormick, President of LiveXLive. “He has a special connection to his fans and this concert will bring him and his audiences together in a unique way through an exclusive and special PPV.”

Organizations Partner For Music Biz Mental Health Fund

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) has announced the formation of the Music Business Mental Health Fund, established in partnership with Music Health Alliance (MHA) and the Scars Foundation. The fund was created to help Association members impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic gain access to important mental health services, including screenings and therapy sessions.

“The increased stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have shed more light on something we’ve already come to know: access to mental health services is essential in sustaining our professional success and, more importantly, our individual well-being,” said Music Biz President Portia Sabin. “Our industry has only weathered the lasting effects of this pandemic through collaboration; as such, Music Biz is thrilled to partner with Music Health Alliance and the Scars Foundation to offer these vital services to those in our member community who need them.”

The Music Business Mental Health Fund is open to qualified employees of Music Biz member companies, individual professional members, and people who were furloughed or laid off from a Music Biz member company in 2020. Nashville-based non-profit Music Health Alliance, which provides free healthcare advocacy and support to the nationwide music community, will administer the fund with 100 percent confidentiality, overseeing applications for assistance and disbursement of funds.

“Our daily interaction with music industry professionals through the COVID-19 pandemic has graphically exposed the need for access to mental health services,” said Tatum Allsep, founder and CEO of Music Health Alliance. “Thanks to the foresight of Godsmack’s SCARS Foundation and the Music Biz Association, Music Health Alliance can provide immediate navigation and financial assistance to meet this need and positively impact the mental health of the Music Biz members.”

The Scars Foundation was established by Sully Erna, lead singer of rock band Godsmack, to raise awareness of mental health issues associated with abuse, bullying, addiction, suicide and beyond. It is headed by Executive Director Naomi Fabricant.

For more information on the fund, a full list of qualifications, and access to the application, visit MusicHealthAlliance.com.

Tim McGraw To Headline ‘Amazon Music Presents: Country Heat at CRS’

The lineup for the 4th annual “Amazon Music Presents: Country Heat at CRS” has been revealed. The show, to be held during CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. CT, will be headlined by Tim McGraw (Big Machine Records) and will also feature performances by Kameron Marlowe (Columbia Nashville), Priscilla Block (Mercury Nashville), Shy Carter (Warner Music Nashville), and Track45 (Stoney Creek Records).

“Country Heat highlights the best in the genre and we’re thrilled to bring it to life at CRS for the fourth year in a row with a slate of unforgettable performances from the next crop of rising stars and superstar, Tim McGraw,” said Kelly Rich, Country Lead for Amazon Music.

Country Heat is Amazon Music’s global playlist, updated each week to feature a mix of country hits and breaking singles from both new and established acts.

The “Amazon Music Presents: Country Heat at CRS” showcase will conclude the first-ever Streaming Summit, held during CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience, on Feb. 16. “Amazon Music Presents: Country Heat at CRS” will be available to all CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience registrants. Registration is $199 per person and is available for purchase at www.CountryRadioSeminar.com.

Country Radio Broadcasters have also made available an Unemployment, Student, and Young Professional Organization Member rate. To apply for one of these special rates, interested parties must apply at Country Radio Seminar’s registration page (here) no later than Feb. 12.

The Other Nashville Society Debuts Apple Music Playlists

The Other Nashville Society (TONS) has become an official Apple Music playlist curator with the launch of its first three playlists: New Releases, Pop, and Artist Takeover.

New Releases will be a regularly updated playlist featuring Nashville’s diverse and thriving non-country music scenes. Pop showcases songs and artists from the city’s fastest growing genre. Artist Takeover features a playlist of songs hand-selected by one of “other Nashville’s” artists. The first to take that playlist over is RECORDS/Columbia Records recording artist, Lennon Stella.

The playlists will be carefully curated by a TONS editorial team that includes A&R execs from Universal Music, Atlantic Records, Prescription Songs, Wide Eyed Entertainment, and Kobalt. Additionally, the organization is accepting submissions from its membership via a private Google Form.

In the coming months, TONS plans to launch more playlists, including Hip Hop and Singer Songwriter.

“We’re stoked to partner with Apple on this venture,” says TONS co-founder Katie Fagan. “Our goal with these playlists is a few things: We want to feature the well-known non-country artists, writers and producers in Nashville who have paved the way, shine a light on the not-as-well-known creators and genres coming from our city, and build a platform for those voices to be heard going forward. The world has started to take note of the diversity Music City has to offer, and with these playlists, we hope to make discovery of all the music Nashville creates a bit easier to find.”

Founded in May of 2017 by Fagan, Ally Venable, Holley Maher, Mark Abramowitz, and Josh Collum, TONS has quickly become the go-to organization for non-country music creators and industry professionals in Nashville. With over 1,400 members, all carefully selected through an application process, the organization counts in its membership every major music company and GRAMMY Award-winning creators alike.

More info at www.TheOtherNashvilleSociety.com.

DISClaimer Single Reviews: Parker McCollum, Lauren Weintraub, Jimmie Allen, Brad Paisley, More

The theme for this edition of DisClaimer is evidently breakups.

The busted hearts belong to Seaforth and Lauren Weintraub, the latter of whom wins the DisCovery Award. On the other hand, Filmore and Hunter Hayes are positively rejoicing in the freedom that they’ve found, post-breakup.

Poor Parker McCollum can’t even get his relationship off the ground, but he sure sounds great trying. Jake Hoot & Kelly Clarkson are just plain pissed-off about the whole thing, and they sound great, too.

But the Disc of the Day prize goes to Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley, who have nothing whatsoever to do with heartbreak. For that matter, neither does the duo Bexar, who is the runner-up.

BEXAR / “One Day”
Writers: Chris Ryan/Logan Turner/Ross Copperman/Josh Osborne; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Ross Copperman; Label: Warner Music Nashville
– This duo continues to impress. Named for Bexar County, Texas, these two combine hooky melodic sensibilities with acoustic textures and rhythm-happy production. If this doesn’t get your toes tapping and your head singing “Hey” along with the gang, you must be deaf. Absolutely essential. And joyous, too.

JIMMIE ALLEN & BRAD PAISLEY / “Freedom Was a Highway”
Writers: Ash Bowers, Jimmie Allen, Matt Rogers; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Ash Bowers, Jimmie Allen; Label: Stoney Creek Records
– Rocking nostalgia for the days when we were all 17 years old and carefree. Both men sing with passion, and guess-who takes off a stinging guitar solo?

LAUREN WEINTRAUB / “She’s Mine”
Writers: Lauren Weintraub/Daniel Ross; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Daniel Ross; Label: Big Machine Music
– This gifted former Belmont student and NPR/Grammy U/NSAI talent contest standout has amassed more than a million views on TikTok with this debut single. It’s a tuneful swirl of jealousy, heartache and obsession. She can’t stop thinking about the girl who stole him away: “I guess we all got reasons why we can’t sleep at night—and she’s mine.” A star is born.

JAKE HOOT & KELLY CLARKSON / “I Would’ve Loved You”
Writers: Jake Hoot/Dean Sams/Jamie Floyd; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Danny Myrick; Label: MLH Records
The Voice winner teams up with his coach Clarkson on a dynamic, romantic power ballad. Both are mighty singers, and they hold nothing back as they tear this one up. Hang on for the “false” ending, after which they unleash two more blasts of fiery vocal emoting.

FILMORE / “Nothing’s Better”
Writers: Tyler Filmore/John Luke Carter/Michael Whitworth; Publishers: none listed; Producer: John-Luke Carter/Zach Abend; Label: Curb
– Here’s a switch. Instead of wallowing in heartache following a breakup, this tune is a celebration of getting rid of her. It’s kinda hip-hoppy and tuneless, but it has enormous goofy charm. I remain a fan.

RODNEY ATKINS / “A Little Good News”
Writers: Charlie Black/Rory Bourke/Tommy Rocco; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Brandon Hood; Label: Curb
– This 1983 Anne Murray oldie sounds relevant all over again in these troubled times, and Atkins’ reading of the song is super effective. The production is restrained, giving the lyric extra room to touch you. Applause for a job well done.

CLARE DUNN / “Real Thing”
Writers: Jenn DeCilveo/Clare Dunn; Publishers: Big Yellow Dog Music, Kobalt Music Publishing; Producer: Clare Dunn; Label: Big Yellow Dog
– She’s such a gripping singer, and perhaps never more so than when she’s dipping into her lowest alto range in the verses of this steamy shout of True Love.

PARKER McCOLLUM / “To Be Loved By You”
Writers: Parker McCollum/Rhett Akins; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane/Parkermac/Ritten by Rhettro, BMI; Producer: Jon Randall Stewart; Label: MCA Nashville
– I love the heart-in-throat country-boy sincerity in this vocal performance. He’s tormented by his failing attempts to get her to love him. There’s ache in every note while the band kicks up dust all around him. Highly listenable.

HUNTER HAYES / “The One That Got Away”
Writers: Hunter Hayes/Sam Ellis/Sara Haze; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Hunter Hayes/Andrew Wells; Label: LP Entertainment
– This is a pop-oriented, forward-momentum sound, with a vibe like wind rushing through a car’s open window. Hayes sings of freedom and escape as he leaves a bad relationship. It’s attractive, in an ‘80s kinda way, but I don’t think there’s much that is “country” about it.

CATHERINE BRITT / “Me”
Writers: Catherine Britt/Katrina Burgoyne; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Catherine Britt/Michael Muchow; Label: Beverly Hillbilly
– Dull production, dull performance, dull sentiment. Go find a song.

SEAFORTH / “Breakups”
Writers: Tom Jordan/Mitch Thompson/Liz Rose/Cameron Bedell; Publishers: Warner Chappell Music; Producer: Tom Jordan; Label: RCA
– A plaintive sob from a heart crushed by a bad goodbye. The vocals have a sweet/sad quality that evokes a lonely guy, drinking too much, hurting a lot and thinking about her with deep regret. It’s a little word-y, but the feelings are authentic. I’m in.

DANIELLE BRADBERY & KURT / “Yo Nunca He (Never Have I Ever)”
Writers: Danielle Bradbery/Laura Veltz/David Hall Hodges/KURT/Mauricio Rengifo; Publishers: none listed; Producer: Dann Huff/Enrique López Lezama; Label: Big Machine Records
– Although she does not speak fluent Spanish, Bradbery comes from Mexican roots. She taps into that via this duet with romantic, breathy Latin star Kurt. It is sung entirely in Spanish, except for interjections of the English song title. The whole thing goes down smoothly.

Chris Young, MTSU Celebrate Grand Opening of Chris Young Cafe

Pictured (L-R): Media and Entertainment dean Beverly Keel; Young and his mother, MTSU alumna and founding partner at Nashville’s Huskins-Harris Business Management firm Becky Harris; MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee; University Provost Mark Byrnes; John Merchant, chair of the Recording Industry Department; and Mark Ezell, commissioner, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Photo: Andy Heidt

Chris Young celebrated the grand opening of Middle Tennessee State University’s Chris Young Cafe on Wednesday (Jan. 27) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The singer donated $50,000 to update the building, turning it in to a state-of-the-art teaching and rehearsal space, and performance venue.

Young, who attended MTSU in 2005, said, “This is my hometown, and this [cafe] means the world to me. Whether they are musicians, comedians, entertainers, people who want to learn how to engineer and produce, videographers, photographers, anything, I hope everyone finds a use for this space. I really hope everyone enjoys it. It’s just been an honor to be a small part of this.”

The former cafeteria, previously known as the Woodmore Building and later the Cyber Cafe, expanded from 3,200 square feet to nearly 4,100 square feet. It features a single large stage backed by a custom LED video wall. Visitors will find two club-type seating areas and a VIP-type zone, near the audio and lighting control boards, that features artwork, framed gold and platinum records and other memorabilia.

The facility will help students learn from nearly every facet of the business of entertainment: music business, audio production, songwriting, venue management, sound reinforcement, and lighting and rigging, along with radio broadcasts, comedy shows and other events produced with help from all of MTSU’s academic colleges.

Chris Young stands next to the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s new Tennessee Music Pathways marker. Photo: Andy Heidt

At Wednesday’s ceremony, The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development unveiled a Tennessee Music Pathways marker which celebrates Young’s accomplishments. The marker for the statewide initiative is the second on the MTSU campus.

The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project also honored Young by announcing a $10,000 donation for the newly named Daniels/Young Veterans Scholarship, honoring both the late music legend and his younger colleague. The scholarship will benefit student veterans in the Department of Recording Industry.

Pictured (L-R): Keith Huber, MTSU; Angela Wheeler, The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project; Chris Young; David Corlew, The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project. Photo: Andy Heidt

David Corlew, The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project co-founder and Daniels’ longtime manager, presented the check during the celebration. “We are honored to continue our ongoing relationship with MTSU and the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center,” said Corlew. “We have now broadened our reach into the College of Media and Entertainment with this opportunity to work with Dean Beverly Keel and Chris Young on yet another mission to support our vets.”

Keel also presented Becky Harris, Young’s mother, an MTSU alumna, and founding partner at Huskins-Harris Business Management, with a certificate naming her as an honorary recording industry professor.

Outside the Chris Young Cafe is an eye-catching “Famous Friends” mural honoring influential MTSU graduates, former students and faculty. Along with Young, Harris and Keel, the mural features the familiar faces of music industry figures including Daniel Miller, Hillary Scott, Kent Earls, Martha Earls, Luke Laird, Tay Keith and Alicia Warwick (see the full list here).

Photo: J. Intintoli

The hourlong ceremony, which followed university health safety protocols with a limited in-person crowd, aired live on MTSU’s True Blue TV channel and was livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook. Video of the complete celebration is here.