Greenberg Traurig Expands Entertainment Practice, Adds Jeff Biederman

Charles J. “Jeff” Biederman. Photo: Dennis Trantham at Westside Studio

Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP is expanding its Entertainment & Media Practice as it adds music attorney Charles J. “Jeff” Biederman as a shareholder in its Los Angeles office. He joins the firm from Manatt.

Biederman has worked on more than $1 billion in music catalogue deals in recent years and represents a wide variety of artists, including Dierks Bentley and the estate of Miles Davis. His practice includes representation of artists, entrepreneurs, and companies in the areas of music, television, film, digital media, fashion and branding, and advertising.

“Jeff’s arrival highlights our commitment to meeting the needs of our clients in a rapidly changing marketplace and ensuring that we remain the preeminent global law firm in the entertainment and media sector,” says Bobby Rosenbloum, chairman of the firm’s global practice group.

Biederman’s recent work includes representing Round Hill Music Royalty Fund Ltd. in the acquisition of a publishing catalogue valued at $363 million. He also represented Downtown Music Holdings in its sale of 145,000 copyrights to Concord Music, capturing Downtown’s entire owned and co-published music catalog.

“We continue to strategically expand our team with best in class lawyers who have noted reputations in the entertainment sector,” shares Daniel H. Black , vice chairman of the firm’s global practice and chairman of the West Coast Entertainment and Media Practice. “Jeff’s extensive experience and connections will help us continue to strengthen and expand the capabilities of our Los Angeles office and our global entertainment team.”

“The entertainment marketplace is a global marketplace,” Biederman comments. “We all work in a global media space. When I’m doing licensing deals in Europe or Asia, having experienced colleagues in markets like London and Milan, is incredibly helpful. I know that for any question that comes up, there’s a Greenberg Traurig lawyer somewhere in the world who can answer it.”

Biederman earned his B.A. from Cornell University and his J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Kenny Chesney To Executive Produce ‘More Than A Voice’ On SEC Network

Kenny Chesney. Photo: Danny Clinch

Country recording artist Kenny Chesney is dipping his toes into the SEC original show SEC Storied as an executive producer for its “More Than a Voice” episode that spotlights iconic football play-by-play voices from around the SEC. “More Than a Voice” kicks off the the 11th season of SEC Storied which begins Sunday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

The show focuses on the SEC’s original rise to becoming a cultural institution in the south. In the early days of television, the announcers’ calls of the games became synonymous with the teams themselves, and those announcers also became part of the fabric of the conference. Among them are John Ward at Tennessee, Larry Munson at Georgia, John Forney and Eli Gold at Alabama, Mick Hubert at Florida, Jim Fyffe and Rod Bramblett at Auburn and many more

“It was important for me to be a part of this film, because John Ward was such a big part of my life growing up and loving sports in east Tennessee,” says Chesney. “With his voice and his words, he painted a picture of Tennessee football that captured my imagination and the imaginations of so many. Meeting him was one of the highlights of my life–and I’m thrilled to be a small part of this film that sheds light on his genius and so many of the other voices who have made the Southeastern Conference really special.”

The eight-time Entertainer of the Year’s passion for how people connect in the moment was forged as a youngster listening to Ward’s play-by-play of University of Tennessee football on WIVK. An athlete who often trained with various college and professional teams, Chesney holds the record for the most Billboard No. 1 country songs, has sold over 30 million albums and topped the all-genre Billboard 200 nine times.

This is Chesney’s fourth film in association with ESPN Films, following “Boys of Fall,” “The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story” and “The Believer” on legendary former SEC football coach and 1966 Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier.

Belmont University Unveils New Fisher Center For The Performing Arts

The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts officially opened today at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Sept. 14, 2021.

The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Belmont University’s new $180 million multifunctional facility, officially opened today (Sept. 14) with a special ribbon cutting ceremony. Designed with a vision to be the best performance venue on any college campus in the world, the new building was fashioned after traditional European opera houses.

The Fisher Center adds another notch to Music City’s world-class venues as it caters to major concerts, plays, operas, dance, musical theatre and other performances while also supplying Belmont’s arts students with a unique learning and performing environment.

The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts officially opened today at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Sept. 14, 2021.

“The beauty and performance capabilities of The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts are simply unmatched, and its possibilities are unparalleled. From inspiring audiences with globally-minded performances to celebrating our students’ talents onstage and behind the scenes to serving Middle Tennessee through partnerships and programs, the Fisher Center offers unlimited potential,” says Belmont President Dr. Greg Jones.

“This venue will equip students with the confidence and real-world experiences that set them apart as Belmont graduates while also attracting world-renowned artists to share their immense talents with our campus and the local community,” Jones continues. “With Belmont’s rich tradition of creativity and imagination across our campus, the Fisher Center will be a place for those values to come to life through curating, producing and presenting stories and art that inspire.”

Judy and Bob Fisher stand next to their statue after The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts officially opened today at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Sept. 14, 2021.

The Fisher Center is named in honor of recently retired Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher and his wife Judy. In front of the Center are sculptures of the Fishers along with a plaque commemorating their contributions to Belmont University. Additionally, the area in front of the building will be called Dickens Plaza to honor the contributions of former Board of Trustees Chairman Marty Dickens and his wife Betty.

The Fisher Center will host the Dec. 1 performance of the annual “Christmas at Belmont” concert, which features more than 800 student musicians and vocalists. The night will also be filmed for national broadcast on PBS. Additionally, the May 2022 Nashville Opera collaboration on Richard Wagner’s epic “Das Rheingold” will take place at the new center as well as a June 2022 Nashville Ballet residency.

Lily Rose’s ‘Stronger Than I Am’ Slated For October

Lily Rose. Photo: John Shearer

Lily Rose is releasing Stronger Than I Am, her seven-song project from Big Loud Records/Back Blocks Music and Republic Records, on Oct. 1. The title track from the new EP will drop on Sept. 17 in advance of the new collection.

Already notching 75 million global career streams, Rose delivers her new project less than a year after blazing onto the country scene with popular tracks like “Villain,” “Overnight Sensation,” “Remind Me of You,” “Know My Way Around” and “I Don’t Smoke.”

In support of her fall release, Rose is set to join Chris Lane’s “Fill Them Boots” tour, which kicks off in Memphis on Oct. 28.

Stronger Than I Am Track List:
1. Villain (Lily Rose, Mackenzie Carpenter, Kyle Clark) *
2. Stronger Than I Am (Griffen Palmer, Geoff Warburton) +
3. I Don’t Smoke (Daniel Gerard Breland, Lalo Guzman, Michael Tyler) +
4. Remind Me of You (Corey Crowder, Sam Hunt, Ernest Keith Smith, Ryan Vojtesak) ^
5. Know My Way Around (Lily Rose, Julian Bunetta, Savana Santos) **
6. Breakin’ In (Lily Rose, John Byron, Ben Johnson, Blake Pendergrass) ^
7. Whole Lotta Hometowns (Lily Rose, Andy Albert, Kyle Clark) +
* produced by Matthew Morrisey
+ produced by Joey Moi
^ produced by Joey Moi and Matthew Morrisey
** produced by Joey Moi, co-produced by Julian Bunetta

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit To Release Cover Album, ‘Georgia Blue’

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. Photo: Alysse Gafkjen

Jason Isbell and his band, The 400 Unit, will release a special new covers album, Georgia Blue, due out Oct. 15 via Isbell’s own Southeastern Records. All proceeds benefitting three non-profit organizations: Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight and Georgia STAND-UP. Ahead of the release, Isbell’s new version of R.E.M.’s “Driver 8,” featuring John Paul White, is available now.

The album, created to celebrate Georgia’s role in the 2020 election, consists of new versions of 13 songs with ties to the state, including tracks originally recorded by Georgia natives R.E.M., Drivn’ N’ Cryin’James BrownCat PowerPrecious BryantOtis ReddingThe Black CrowesIndigo GirlsNow It’s OverheadGladys Knight & The Pips, The Allman Brothers Band and Vic Chesnutt. Georgia Blue also features special collaborations with Julien BakerBrandi CarlileBéla FleckSteve GormanPeter LevinAmanda ShiresBrittney SpencerChris ThileSadler Vaden, and Adia Victoria.

Georgia Blue is a labor of love. On election day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia-related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia-based non-profit organization,” explains Isbell. “I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I’ve been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs… I hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we enjoyed making them. Keep listening to good music and fighting the good fight.”

Since the release of his breakthrough solo album, Southeastern, in 2013, Isbell has won four Grammy Awards, nine Americana Music Association Awards and was selected as the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s official 2017 Artist-in-Residence. Isbell is also a member of the acclaimed collaborative movement The Highwomen and wrote “Maybe It’s Time”—featured in the award-winning 2018 film, A Star Is Born.

The band will continue to tour throughout the fall, including upcoming shows at Philadelphia’s Met Opera House, Boston’s Wang Theatre, New York’s Rooftop at Pier 17, Minneapolis’ The Armory, Atlanta’s The Tabernacle and Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

Georgia Blue Track List:
1. Nightswimming feat. Béla Fleck and Chris Thile (originally performed by R.E.M.)
2. Honeysuckle Blue feat. Sadler Vaden (originally performed by Drivin’ N’ Cryin’)
3. It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World feat. Brittney Spencer (originally performed by James Brown)
4. Cross Bones Style feat. Amanda Shires (originally performed by Cat Power)
5. The Truth feat. Adia Victoria (originally performed by Precious Bryant)
6. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (originally performed by Otis Redding)
7. Sometimes Salvation feat. Steve Gorman (originally performed by The Black Crowes)
8. Kid Fears feat. Julien Baker and Brandi Carlile (originally performed by Indigo Girls)
9. Reverse (originally performed by Now It’s Overhead)
10. Midnight Train To Georgia feat. Brittney Spencer and John Paul White (originally performed by Gladys Knight & The Pips)
11. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed feat. Peter Levin (originally performed by The Allman Brothers Band)
12. I’m Through (originally performed by Vic Chesnutt)
13. Driver 8 feat. John Paul White (originally performed by R.E.M.)

Industry Ink: The Isaacs, Whiskey Myers, Tommy Townsend, Unsigned Only Music Competition

The Isaacs Receive Hometown Honors In Hendersonville

The Isaacs with Hendersonville, Tennessee. Mayor Jamie Clary

Multi-award-winning family group The Isaacs have been commemorated in their hometown of Hendersonville, Tennessee. Mayor Jamie Clary deemed Tuesday, Sept. 14, “The Isaacs Day” in honor of their induction into The Grand Ole Opry.

“Congratulations to The Isaacs! As the home to many musicians, Hendersonville continues to be the place where artists write songs and rest between performances. As mayor, I am extremely proud to see our own residents performing on the world’s stage,” states Clary.

“We are beyond honored and humbled to receive this proclamation by Mayor Clary. Hendersonville is a great place to live. We all are raising our families here and wouldn’t want it any other way,” says The Isaacs.

The group is currently on tour in support of their recently released The American Face project. For a full list of tour dates, click here.

 

 

Whiskey Myers Makes Ryman Debut With Two Sold Out Shows

Pictured (L-R): Meredith Jones (CAA), Cody Tate (guitar), Tony Kent (percussion/keys), Eddie Kloesel (Why&How Management), John Jeffers (guitar), Cody Cannon (vocals), Jeff Hogg (drums), Jamey Gleaves (bass). Photo: Khris Poage

Whiskey Myers made their Ryman debut last weekend with two sold-out, back-to-back shows on Sept. 10 and 11.

Since their emergence in 2007, the band has played over 2,500 live shows, selling out 95% of their headlining shows during the most recent touring year.

Their self-produced fifth studio album, Whiskey Myers, released on the band’s own Wiggy Thump Records, debuted at No. 1 on both the country and Americana/folk sales charts, at No. 2 on the rock chart and No. 6 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. In total, Whiskey Myers have sold more than 1.1 million albums and amassed over 1.3 billion streams.

 

 

Tommy Townsend Joins BDF/Audium Nashville, Announces New Music In The Works

Tommy Townsend & GM Chuck Rhodes

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Tommy Townsend has signed with BFD/Audium Nashville.

Townsend will release his first 10-track album, Southern Man, from the label in early 2022. The project was produced by Waylon Jennings and Jerry “Jigger” Bridges over 20 years ago but was never officially released.

“Tommy Townsend is country soul personified!” says GM Chuck Rhodes. “From standing next to Waylon Jennings on stage, to carrying on the Waylon tradition with Waymore’s Outlaws, he does his mentor proud with the previously unreleased gem called Southern Man.”

“Watching what Chuck and Bob Frank were doing with Audium, I knew that could be the perfect home for me and especially the Southern Man album,” shares Townsend. “Their excitement for the album and for my music is exactly what an artist thrives on, and I look forward to this being a long and prosperous relationship.”

 

 

Unsigned Only Music Competition Announces Sophie Pecora As Grand Prize Winner

Sophie Pecora

The Unsigned Only Music Competition has announced that its 2021 Grand Prize winner is 17-year-old singer-songwriter, rap-poet Sophie Pecora for the song “Anxiety.”

Hailing from California, Pecora’s debut EP Raise the Bar was released at the end of 2020, and her recent Wildflower EP was released in August 2021. She was a performer on Season 14 of America’s Got Talent, winning the Golden Buzzer. She is currently working on new material in the studio with the acclaimed will.i.am who discovered her on TikTok.

“The word ‘authentic’ is too often thrown around, but in the case of this year’s Grand Prize winner, Sophie Pecora, there is no denying that she is truly an authentic artist,” say Candace Avery and Jim Morgan, the founders of Unsigned Only. “She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, express her emotions, and dig deep-and she is only 17 years old. She has such a bright future ahead of her.”

“I am so amazed! I wrote the song ‘Anxiety’ because I know a lot of people go through it, and hopefully, when they’re listening to the song they’ll feel like someone understands them,” says Pecora. “Thank you to all the judges and to Unsigned Only for believing in me and my music. I’m so grateful, and I have many more songs to come.”

Established in 2012, Unsigned Only honors international artists who are not signed to a major record label and has become a source for discovering new talent and act. The Grand Prize winner is awarded a prize package totaling $50,000, including $20,000 in cash and more in merchandise and services geared toward helping an artist’s career.

CMHOF Releases Third Season of ‘Voices In The Hall’ Podcast

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has released season three of its Voices in the Hall podcast. All episodes are available to stream on Spotify and the museum’s website.

Voices in the Hall features some of music’s intriguing and notable performers examining how artists recognize, embrace, and develop their own creative voice as they navigate their careers. The podcast’s third installment includes interviews with the Cactus Blossoms, Steve Dorff, Duane Eddy, Mark Knopfler, Ashley McBryde, Delbert McClinton, Molly Tuttle, and Aaron Watson.

Hosted by the museum’s Senior Director, producer and writer Peter Cooper, the series supplements the conversations with musical recordings to enrich the stories and bring each episode to life.

Voices in the Hall is a window into the hearts and minds of some of the world’s most interesting and creative people,” says Cooper. “This podcast is about the ways in which people reveal themselves through music. You’ll hear master musicians at their most honest and their most vulnerable, explaining what was thought to be unexplainable.”

All episodes from the first two seasons have also been re-released on Spotify, including conversations with Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Nick Lowe, Linda Ronstadt and many more.

Riley Green Announces “We Out Here” Tour Kicking Off In November

Riley Green will play 15 dates this winter on his new “We Out Here” tour, kicking off Nov. 3 in Athens, Ga. and running through February 2022. He’ll be joined by special guests Corey Smith, Kameron Marlowe and Mike Ryan on select dates.

Green will showcase fan favorites such as the Platinum-certified “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” the No. 1 Gold hit “There Was This Girl,” and the latest music from his new album, Behind The Bar.

“It’s been a great summer gettin’ back to playing to shows and being in front of fans again,” says Green. “Now I’m lookin forward to going into arenas this fall with Corey Smith, Mike Ryan and Kameron Marlowe. It’s gonna be an awesome tour.”

Tickets will be available beginning this Friday (Sept. 17) at 10 a.m. local time. For more information, click here.

Green is currently on the road with Dierks Bentley’s “Beers On Me” tour.

“We Out Here” Tour Dates:
Nov 3 – Athens, GA
Nov 4 – Huntsville, AL
Nov 5 – Pikeville, KY
Nov 6 – Augusta, GA
Jan 6 – Columbia, SC
Jan 7 – Atlanta, GA
Jan 13 – Knoxville, TN
Jan 14 – Savannah, GA
Jan 15 – Albany, GA
Jan 27 – Columbus, GA
Jan 28 – Biloxi, MS
Jan 29 – Birmingham, AL
Feb 3 – Southhaven, MS
Feb 4 – Tupelo, MS
Feb 5 – Chattanooga, TN

Thomas Rhett Continues Chart-Topping Streak With “Country Again”

 

Thomas Rhett. Photo: Spencer Combs

Multi-Platinum recording artist Thomas Rhett has taken his 18th trip to the top of the charts with his latest No. 1 song, “Country Again.” The song acts as the defining title track for his fifth studio double album Country Again: Side A which was released in April.

The single has topped both the Billboard Country and Mediabase/Country Aircheck Charts, while previously earning the top spot at Canadian country radio for two consecutive weeks. It also marks Rhett’s 12th consecutive No. 1, which is the longest current active streak in the format and topped the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart for two consecutive weeks.

“This song is so special to me, because every line really is autobiographical,” Rhett says. “But it’s also a song about centering yourself and reconnecting with the things that are truly important to you; which is different for all of us. Being able to share this song with fans each night on the road finally and seeing how it’s resonating with them is something I will never take for granted.”

Rhett’s five studio albums have rendered 18 multi-Platinum and Gold chart-toppers and 10 billion global streams. The 8x ACM Award winner has also earned two CMA Awards, four Grammy nominations, and trophies from the CMT Music Awards, Billboard Awards and iHeartRadio Awards.

Rhett’s headlining “Center Point Road Tour” continues in Syracuse, New York; Holmdel, New Jersey; Mansfield, Massachusetts; and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio this weekend.

Bridgestone Arena To Enforce COVID-19 Entry Protocols

Dierks Bentley at Bridgestone Arena. Photo: Zach Belcher

Effective Oct. 2, all guests age 12 and older will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours prior to all Bridgestone events, the venue announced yesterday (Sept. 13). The new policy is scheduled to remain in place through at least Nov. 15.

Guests under the age of 12 will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside the venue or must present a printed or digital negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours prior to the event.

“Throughout the pandemic we have been consistent in stating that the health and wellness of all arena guests, Predators fans, our employees, players and performers is our number one priority,” says Sean Henry, President and CEO of Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville Predators. “Just two months ago, we believed that we were returning to a sense of normalcy, but unfortunately, with the impact of the delta variant, that has not been the case. We are united with health care professionals in our belief that the only way to end this pandemic is to get more people vaccinated.”

“The Metro Public Health Department appreciates Bridgestone Arena consulting with us to develop their enhanced COVID Entrance Protocol,” says Hugh Atkins, Director, Bureau of Environmental Health Services. “Bridgestone Arena’s protocol not only helps protect event attendees, but also encourages vaccination, which is our best tool for ending the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition to these newly announced policies, Bridgestone Arena will continue to recommend that all guests wear masks except while actively eating and drinking in the venue. Arena management also acknowledges that some specific tours may impose additional requirements to those being announced today; such additional requirements will be communicated and enforced if and when necessary.

An announcement will be made at the beginning of each month reaffirming or altering procedures and protocols for the next 75 days, but could be modified in the interim as all policies and procedures remain subject to change. Arena officials will continue to work with local, state, and federal governments and health agencies to monitor all pertinent COVID-19 activity to make the most prudent decisions during these evolving times.

For more information on the specific protocols, click here.