The Onsite Foundation & MusiCares To Host ‘Unplugged’ Industry Healing Retreat

The Onsite Foundation, a non-profit leader in emotional health education and resources, has partnered with MusiCares to create and host a retreat for music industry professionals on Oct. 6-9 at Onsite in Cumberland Furnace in Middle Tennessee.

“Unplugged: a Healing Retreat at Onsite For The Music Industry” is an invitation to step away from all the noise and distractions and into a space where participants can freely explore who they are, what got them here, and who they truly want to be as a creative moving forward. The tools introduced at the retreat will help attendees connect with themselves and work toward building an authentic life.

The “Unplugged” retreat will be available to musicians, singer-songwriters, engineers, stagehands, managers, tour bus drivers, A&R, agents, make-up artists, venue managers, live crews, and anyone else who is currently working or has worked in the music industry.

“We live in a world built to connect us, but it can feel like it’s designed to divide us, distract us, and keep us disconnected. When we feel disconnected from the world, we are likely disconnected from the world within ourselves,” shares Miles Adcox, Chairman and Proprietor of Onsite Workshops. “We hope attending Unplugged allows creatives to disconnect from all the noise and distractions of life so they can reconnect to themselves.”

Last year, 26% of MusiCares Wellness in Music Survey respondents said they regularly experience moderate to severe levels of depression. To put that in perspective, a 2019 National Health Interview Survey of U.S. adults founds that only 4.7 percent reported regularly feeling depressed.

The 2021 Wellness in Music Survey saw a decline in respondents experiencing moderate to severe levels of depression, with 20% reporting feeling this way. However, 56% of this year’s respondents reported feeling moderately high to very high levels of anxiety—and though that is down almost 10% from last year’s numbers, it indicates the mental health of the music community is still strained.

“We are so thankful that MusiCares has partnered with us to help music industry professionals who are struggling from the effects of stress and trauma. Our hope is that ‘Unplugged’ attendees leave the retreat feeling emotionally unstuck and empowered with new insights to better connect with their authentic self and the people in their life,” says Deanna Wantz, Executive Director of The Onsite Foundation.

“At MusiCares, we understand how important mental health and well-being are to the success of the music community,” says Laura Segura, Executive Director of MusiCares. “We are excited to once again partner with The Onsite Foundation to give music professionals the resources needed for healing and reconnecting to their purpose so they can continue to do what they love.”

Register for the “Unplugged” retreat here.

Willie Nelson, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, More Featured On Billy Joe Shaver Tribute Album

Pictured: Billy Joe Shaver & Willie Nelson. Photo: Cameron L. Gott

An array of country stars have come together to pay tribute to the iconic outlaw country singer-songwriter, Billy Joe Shaver, on a new 12-song project. Live Forever: A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver will be released via New West Records and Pedernales Records on Nov. 11.

Co-produced by Charlie Sexton and Freddy Fletcher, the album features renditions of Shaver songs recorded by Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ryan Bingham and Nikki Lane, Steve Earle, Edie Brickell, Rodney Crowell, Margo Price, Allison Russell, and Amanda Shires.

Shaver, who died on Oct. 28, 2020, was an integral part of the outlaw country movement. His songs attracted many admirers over the years, including Johnny Cash, who covered Shaver’s “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Some Day),” and called him “my favorite songwriter.” Nelson, a frequent Shaver collaborator, once declared that “Billy Joe is definitely the best writer in Texas.”

In the project’s liner notes, co-producer Fletcher writes, “His influence on the greatest of artists is what inspired this project. The album is a testament to his words and their deep impact on wonderful songwriters and performers. He’s a hero to so many, and we are honored to pay homage to his legacy.”

Live Forever: A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver will be available across digital retailers, on compact disc, and standard black vinyl. Colored vinyl limited editions are available for pre-order now at newwst.com.

Live Forever: A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver Track Listing:
1. Willie Nelson (w/ Lucinda Williams) – Live Forever
2. Ryan Bingham (w/ Nikki Lane) – Ride Me Down Easy
3. Rodney Crowell – Old Five And Dimers Like Me
4. Miranda Lambert – I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be A Diamond Someday)
5. Edie Brickell – I Couldn’t Be Me Without You
6. Nathaniel Rateliff – You Asked Me To
7. George Strait – Willy The Wandering Gypsy And Me
8. Amanda Shires – Honky Tonk Heroes
9. Steve Earle – Ain’t No God In Mexico
10. Margo Price – Ragged Old Truck
11. Willie Nelson – Georgia On A Fast Train
12. Allison Russell – Tramp On Your Street

Crowd Surf’s Jade Driver & Cassie Petrey Look Back On 15 Years Of Their Digital Journey [Interview]

Jade Driver & Cassie Petrey

In today’s world, the power and influence of digital marketing is something that we experience every day. From the rise of social media and the takeover of streaming services for music, TV and movies, it is hard to imagine our lives today without the digital world at the center of it.

This concept also extends into the music industry.

With so many artists being discovered on social media platforms, most notably TikTok in recent years, as well as the constant digital consumption of music through services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube and more, digital marketing has become quite a critical component in the modern day artist’s toolkit.

None understand this better than Jade Driver and Cassie Petrey, the co-founders of Crowd Surf.

The Crowd Surf team with AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys. Photo: Courtesy of Crowd Surf

As one of the leading digital music marketing companies, Crowd Surf provides catered and specialized marketing services to a roster of established and rising artists and major labels, including past and current clients Jimmie Allen, Eric Church, Matthew West, Backstreet Boys, Camila Cabello, Britney Spears, AJR, Duran Duran, Loren Gray, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Hollywood Records and RCA Records, among others.

As students at Middle Tennessee State University, the two women couldn’t have realized that the countless days of sitting in dorm rooms perusing the internet and their local band’s MySpace pages would lead to their now 15 year-old company.

“I always give credit to Cassie for seeing a business model and an opportunity in digital. I didn’t see it that clearly at first, but I trusted her,” Driver explains to MusicRow. “Cassie was a real visionary in understanding how that can be used as a marketing tool, especially in the MySpace days.”

Jade Driver, Cassie Petrey, and clients Max & Harvey. Photo: Courtesy of Crowd Surf

“I came across MySpace through a local band that had a flier and they talked about MySpace on it. I went and checked it out and started thinking, ‘Why don’t big bands use MySpace? Why is it just for college bands?'” Petrey recalls.

Petrey, who was a Warner college rep, ended up putting her money where her mouth was, taking over early-2000s band The Click Five‘s page. After showing promise with this underutilized platform, Petrey was quickly tasked with running all of the country music MySpace pages for Warner’s roster. Driver was also working at Warner in a temp position.

“I knew nothing about country music at the time because I just didn’t grow up with it, but I figured it out. I immersed myself in those artists and the demand grew,” she notes. “They also wanted help with Christian and comedy, but I was a temp so I couldn’t work more than 37.5 hours a week and I simply couldn’t do everything they were asking me to do in that time.” She adds, “And it was beyond MySpace. I was also the catch-all for everything else regarding helping build and run websites.”

However, during the early 2000s, there were no social media or digital marketing departments and, by extension, no budget for it either. As the pair were gearing up to graduate from MTSU, they realized that in order to find their pocket of success in the music industry, they would need to expand their offerings.

And so they did.

“At that point, it was all word of mouth and we started getting calls,” Driver shares. “We cut our first contract and started working on things together and then, before we knew it, we needed to get an intern. All of these things were happening and this business was bubbling, but there wasn’t a conversation of ‘let’s make a business plan’ or ‘we need to get money.’ It just happened,” she says with a chuckle.

Cassie Petrey with client Steven Tyler. Photo: Courtesy of Crowd Surf

Before they knew it, in August of 2007, they were down at the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce filling out paperwork and leaving with a business.

Now 15 years later, the company has offices in Nashville and LA, as well as remote employees stationed all across the country. While mostly tapped for digital marketing strategies, the Crowd Surf team explains that at the end of the day, they just want to help people, whether that’s through social media marketing rollouts, creating assets, making content calendars, single and album announcements, and more.

The team doesn’t stop there, though. Since digital touches nearly every part of an artist’s career in today’s industry, Crowd Surf has also been helpful in setting up music videos, and matching artists with producers and writers, Petrey explains.

“I was doing a pitch call for an independent artist who doesn’t have team members. She was posting TikToks of her doing acoustic songs and one of those songs started to go viral, so we matched her with a producer so that song could continue to have a trajectory.” She continues, “Arguably, that’s not digital’s job, but also digital can’t do their job if that song doesn’t continue to progress and exist. So, in a way, I do feel like that’s part of digital’s job because if I don’t figure out how to get the song produced, there’s nothing more to digitally market. It’s all really so intertwined at this point.”

Pictured (L-R): Matthew West, Jade Driver, and management client Anne Wilson

In the last few years, Driver and Petrey have taken Crowd Surf’s offerings to an even higher level as they’ve taken on artist management, with multiple artists utilizing their services and experience. As something that originally developed organically, the pair explain that it has become a much more serious endeavor and a larger part of the daily task and bandwidth of the company.

“The face of digital consumption has completely changed over the last 15 years. At the end of the day, people are consuming music digitally, they’re consuming music videos digitally, they’re buying things digitally, and these are all things that weren’t the norm when we started,” Driver states. “Now that is more the norm for everyone in their everyday lives, which has really expanded what we do. It’s not just the social media part of it anymore because everything’s digital and that’s really helped change the course of where we fit in and what we’ve added to our plate.”

Cover art for Cassie Petrey & Jade Driver’s podcast, How I Got Backstage

As the dynamic duo look ahead to the next 15 years of Crowd Surf, one of their major goals is to continue to expand their management client roster, as well as continuing to support their narrative as strong females in the music business. However, as their past clearly demonstrates, Crowd Surf will continue to change and grow in order for their client’s dreams to become a reality.

“We’ve changed a lot in the past 15 years. Honestly, we’ve changed a lot in the past 3 years,” Petrey notes. “Our service offerings have evolved a lot. We started off running MySpace pages and now we have a full service marketing agency and have launched an artist management branch to the company. We’re constantly evolving, and chances are we probably do a lot more than most people realize!”

“We help brands and artists tell their story,” Driver sums. “We really weave together who they are, what they stand for, and how their image and artistry reflects all of that.”

Shelby Kennedy Named Director Of A&R For ONErpm Nashville

Courtesy of Shelby Kennedy

ONErpm has announced the hiring of Shelby Kennedy as Director of A&R, Nashville.

In his new role he will oversee all facets of client interaction for the company and will also be responsible for developing and implementing strategic business partnerships. Kennedy will report directly to Tim Wipperman, Managing Director for the local office.

A veteran publishing and record label executive with over 35 years of experience in Nashville, Kennedy is the rare executive to have served writer/publisher relations at both ASCAP and BMI. He also served as Director of A&R at Disney’s Lyric Street Records, and Vice President of Entertainment Relations for TuneCore for six years, among other senior positions.

In Kennedy’s first four years at Lyric Street, SheDaisy and Rascal Flatts both achieved multi-Platinum status. After joining the executive staff of BMI, Kennedy signed and strategically worked with many hitmakers, including Carrie Underwood, for whom he later helped create a major tour sponsorship.

As a songwriter he penned a song recorded by Ray Charles while still in college, and co-wrote the title hit “I’m a Survivor” on Reba McEntire’s third Greatest Hits album—which also became the theme song for her hit sitcom series, Reba—among others.

“Shelby brings a wonderful depth of experience to our seasoned and growing staff in Nashville,” Wipperman shares, noting that “ONErpm is focused on human service and transparent technology across all genres of music in this office and worldwide.”

“I’m excited to join the ONErpm family because it offers unique and distinguishable abilities to artists and labels,” Kennedy says. “For the love of music and its business, I’m fortunate to play a role in a company where limitations aren’t a challenge.”

Dailey & Vincent Announce Christmas Tour

Pictured: Dailey & Vincent. Photo: Josh Daubin

Award-winning duo Dailey & Vincent have announced their upcoming holiday tour, “It’s a Jolly Christmas with Dailey & Vincent,” will begin in early December.

The Grand Ole Opry members will kick off their tour on Dec. 2 with a performance at Hiawassee, Georgia’s Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. It will wrap on Dec. 17 with a two-night performance at Pines Theater in Lufkin, Texas.

“The Dailey & Vincent Christmas tour is very special, sharing songs we only sing during this season and our time together we always cherish,” says the duo’s Darrin Vincent.

“Christmas is my favorite time of year and has been my whole life,” adds Jamie Dailey. “I’m looking forward to spreading our Jolly of Christmas through song and stage shows!”

Tickets are available at daileyandvincent.com.

Dailey & Vincent are preparing to release their first country album, Let’s Sing Some Country! on Sept. 16 through their new partnership with BMG. The project is produced by lauded producer Paul Worley, and includes songs written by Dailey & Vincent alongside Jimmy Fortune, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent and more.

“It’s A Jolly Christmas With Dailey & Vincent Tour” Dates:
Dec. 2-3: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds – Hiawassee, Ga.*
Dec. 7: The Franklin Theatre – Franklin, Tenn.
Dec. 8: Blue Gate Performing Arts Center – Shipshewana, Ind.
Dec. 9: Ohio Star Theater at Dutch Valley – Sugarcreek, Oh.
Dec. 10: Red Barn Convention Center – Winchester, Oh.
Dec. 14: Cactus Theater – Lubbock, Tex.
Dec. 15: The Palace Theater – Corsicana, Tex.
Dec. 16-17: Pines Theater – Lufkin, Tex.
*Part of Dailey & Vincent’s American Made Music Festival circuit

NAB President And CEO, Curtis LeGeyt, To Headline CRS 2023 Keynote Session

President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, Curtis LeGeyt, will headline the 2023 CRS keynote session. This gathering will consist of a fireside chat, with CRB Board President Kurt Johnson leading the conversation.

LeGeyt serves as the chief advocate for America’s free, local radio and television broadcasters. He has led many highly successful efforts to advocate for laws that enhance broadcasters’ ability to transform and serve their communities. These efforts include permanent reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR), the passage of the Music Modernization Act, and the inclusion of $1 billion in Ray Baum’s Act to reimburse stations impacted by the spectrum auction repack.

Prior to assuming his current role, LeGeyt served as the association’s chief operating officer. Before that, he fulfilled the role of executive vice president of Government Relations. LeGeyt sits on the Board of Directors of the NAB Leadership Foundation and the Broadcasters Foundation of America. He is an alumnus of the Nashville-based program Leadership Music, which cultivates community and collaboration among music industry leaders. LeGeyt also serves as a board member for Tracy’s Kids, a nonprofit that supports children with cancer, as well as for Musicians On Call, an organization bringing the healing power of music to the bedsides of healthcare facility patients.

“Curtis LeGeyt is a great champion for country and all radio. At a time of so much evolution in the business, CRS gives you the opportunity to hear from radio’s most influential advocate. And to ask your questions about where things are and where we’re going. This is one session you can’t miss,” says Johnson.

The keynote discussion featuring LeGeyt will take place during CRS 2023 on Tuesday, Mar. 14, at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

CRS has also announced the kick-off to registration opening with a one-day-only early bird rate of $549 on Wednesday, Aug. 25. Effective Thursday, Aug. 26, the rate will increase to $649 per person. Unlike in years past, New Faces of Country Music Showcase tickets will be sold separately for $100 per ticket. New Faces of Country Music Showcase tickets are limited; therefore, purchasing tickets early is encouraged. Registration will be available through countryradioseminar.com.

Country Radio Seminar will take place Monday, Mar. 13 – Wednesday, Mar. 15 at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

Live In The Vineyard Goes Country Announces 2023 Dates

FF Entertainment has announced the dates for their annual Live In The Vineyard events, presented by tourism destination marketing organization Visit Napa Valley. Taking over California’s Napa Valley, Live In The Vineyard (LITV) will take place Nov. 1-3, while Live In The Vineyard Goes Country (LITVGC) is slated for April 25-27, 2023.

These intimate events give attendees access to recording artists, top-tier winemakers, and world-renowned chefs during a 3-day private experience. Bringing together music supervisors, radio programmers, DSP curators, label executives, VIPs, corporate hospitality groups and more from around the country, these events bring new music by today’s most successful artists as well as the most popular emerging artists in a unique arrangement.

The lineup for LITV in November will be announced soon.

Since its formation in 2008, LITV has featured performances by Backstreet Boys, Kelsea Ballerini, Natasha Bedingfield, Daughtry, Fergie, Jason Derulo, Jewel, Dean Lewis, Julia Michaels, Maren Morris, Jason Mraz, Alanis Morissette, Matt Nathanson, and more. Similarly, LITVGC, which was formed in 2017, has featured performances by Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Chris Janson, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Cole Swindell, and more.

Brantley Gilbert & Five Finger Death Punch Team Up For Fall Arena Tour

Brantley Gilbert. Photo: Spidey Smith

Brantley Gilbert is joining forces with Five Finger Death Punch for a massive arena tour with support from newcomer Corey Marks beginning Nov. 9.

The tour will kick off at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and hit 20 more cities before wrapping in Las Vegas on Dec. 17. The trek includes a Nashville date at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 16, and a Knoxville show at Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 17.

Fan club pre-sales for both artists begins today (Aug. 16). All other pre-sales begin Aug. 18, and general on sale starts on Friday (Aug. 19).

The run is not the first time Five Finger Death Punch and Gilbert have joined forces, as the two partnered on their global No. 1 hit “Blue On Black” in 2019. The track also featured Brian May and the song’s original performer Kenny Wayne Shepherd. To date, the collaboration has garnered a staggering 110 million YouTube views and 62 million Spotify streams.

Gilbert recently released “Son Of The Dirty South” featuring Jelly Roll via The Valory Music Co., readying fans for the “Son of The Dirty South Tour,” where the two artists will co-headline a run of tour dates across the southeastern U.S. this summer.

Five Finger Death Punch & Brantley Gilbert U.S. 2022 Tour:
Wed Nov 9 – Grand Rapids, MI | Van Andel Arena
Thu Nov 10 – Fort Wayne, IN | Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Sat Nov 12 – Lexington, KY | Rupp Arena
Mon Nov 14 – Columbus, OH | Schottenstein Center
Wed Nov 16 – Nashville, TN | Bridgestone Arena
Thu Nov 17 – Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena
Sat Nov 19 – Charleston, WV | Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center
Sun Nov 20 – Greenville, SC | Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Tue Nov 22 – Tampa, FL | Amalie Arena
Fri Nov 25 – Birmingham, AL | Legacy Arena at The BJCC
Sat Nov 26 – Little Rock, AR | Simmons Bank Arena
Tue Nov 29 – Kansas City, MO | T-Mobile Center
Wed Nov 30 – Omaha, NE | CHI Health Center Omaha
Fri Dec 2 – Madison, WI | Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center
Sat Dec 3 – Green Bay, WI | Resch Center
Mon Dec 5 – Minneapolis, MN | Target Center
Wed Dec 7 – Des Moines, IA | Wells Fargo Arena
Fri Dec 9 – Grand Forks, ND | Alerus Center
Sat Dec 10 – Sioux Falls, SD | Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Tue Dec 13 – Spokane, WA | Spokane Arena
Thu Dec 15 – Nampa, ID | Ford Idaho Center Arena
Sat Dec 17 – Las Vegas, NV | Michelob ULTRA Arena

Kane Brown Nabs Eighth Career No. 1 With ‘Like I Love Country Music’

Multi-Platinum entertainer Kane Brown earned his eighth No. 1 single this week as “Like I Love Country Music” peaks at country radio. Brown, who has garnered nearly 12 billion career streams to date, also marks his fastest rising single with the track.

“Like I Love Country Music” is the follow-up to Brown’s previous No. 1 hit “One Mississippi,” and is the second No. 1 single to come from his upcoming album, Different Man, out Sept. 9. The single also topped the Australian and Canadian radio charts this week, notching Brown’s first 4-week run at the top of the Canadian charts.

Following the release of Different Man, Brown’s “Drunk or Dreaming International Tour” will kick off in Melbourne, Australia on Aug. 17 before continuing throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, and Europe. The trek will be Brown’s first time touring in Australia and New Zealand, and will see him make his long-awaited return to Canada and Europe.

It was also announced last week that Brown will serve as the first male country artist to perform at the MTV VMA Awards on Aug 28.

New ‘Elvis On Tour’ Box Set Slated For December

A new Elvis On Tour box set, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Presley’s monumental 1972 concert trek, is set for release Dec. 2 through RCA/Legacy Recordings. A first taste of the new music–the previously unreleased “Burning Love (Rehearsal 2),” recorded live at RCA Recording Studios in Hollywood in March 1972–is available now. 

The seven-disc box set, available both digitally and physically, includes six audio discs premiering previously unreleased Elvis concert performances and studio rehearsals, as well as the MGM Film, Elvis On Tour, which won Best Documentary Film at the 30th Golden Globes Awards in 1973.

The Elvis On Tour box set includes fascinating behind-the-scenes liner notes by Jerry Schilling, a longtime personal friend and member of Presley’s inner circle. The collection also features an essay by rock historian/musician Warren Zanes, founding member of The Del Fuegos and Professor at New York University.

The Elvis On Tour box set arrives in the wake of the release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Elvis biopic from filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks.

Elvis On Tour Box Set Track List:
See See Rider
I Got A Woman / Amen
Never Been To Spain
You Gave Me A Mountain
Until It’s Time For You To Go
Polk Salad Annie
Love Me
All Shook Up
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Hound Dog
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Suspicious Minds
For The Good Times
An American Trilogy
Love Me Tender
A Big Hunk O’ Love
How Great Thou Art
Sweet, Sweet Spirit (Performed by The Stamps)
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Proud Mary
Heartbreak Hotel
It’s Over
Funny How Time Slips Away
Burning Love
Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)
Johnny B. Goode
Always On My Mind
Separate Ways
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Help Me Make It Through The Night
Young And Beautiful
I, John
Bosom Of Abraham
You Better Run
Lead Me, Guide Me
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Nearer My God To Thee