AmeriCountry Radio Prep Service Partners With Nashville Radio Host Becca Walls

Becca Walls

Country radio show prep service AmeriCountry has partnered with longtime Nashville-based country radio host and correspondent Becca Walls to provide artist content for AmeriCountry affiliates.

The new AmeriCountry content from Walls includes the hottest country stars and up-and-coming artists from backstage, award shows and one-on-one interviews, as well as topical audio, relationship set-ups, and more.

Walls has been a radio host and on-air correspondent with 16 years at Cumulus Nashville’s 103.3 Country/WKDF-FM. She currently works for Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group as in-house artist interviewer and manager of audio content creation for Big Machine Radio and the BMLG Weekly Prep. Walls also provides Nashville news reports daily for the syndicated radio show Bud and Broadway as “Sweet Becca from the Country Mecca.”

Co-founded and co-produced by Jason Hillery and Mike Marino, AmeriCountry offers show content specifically tailored to country radio listeners, delivered to stations via a user-friendly platform that makes show prep easier and more complete.

“Becca’s access to the country music world is incredible,” Hillery notes. “Working with Becca on anything… literally, anything, is a home run! Having her on our content team at AmeriCountry is something we’re truly grateful for.”

Abram Dean Inks With Concord Music Publishing

Pictured (L-R): Jen Hubbard, Courtney Allen, Matt Turner, Abram Dean, Brad Kennard, and Ashley Nite

Concord Music Publishing has inked a deal with Nashville-based pop and country songwriter Abram Dean, covering all of his future works.

Originally from a small town outside of Richmond, Virginia, Dean began writing songs at 12 years old. He eventually landed in Los Angeles, where he worked with some of the industry’s top talents. In 2015, he decided to move to Nashville and has continuously garnered attention across the pop and country music genres.

Dean’s recent songwriting credits include tracks from MaRynn Taylor’s debut EP Slow Dance in Headlights (2022), Greylan James’ Anything Cold (2022), Dylan Marlowe’s “Where I Come From Coming Out” (2021), Amanda Jordan’s Pretty Girl (2021), and more.

“From the first couple of meetings with Abram, it was evident to me that he’s not going to settle for average,” says Matt Turner, Senior Director of A&R at Concord Music Publishing in Nashville. “His drive, his country upbringing, his pop melody sensibilities, and his amazing voice, combined with the fact that he’s just a great guy really set him up to be one of Nashville’s next big hit makers. Abram is an amazing new addition to the Concord roster, and I couldn’t be more excited to work with him!”

“I feel like I’ve found that ‘home’ that everyone is searching for in this crazy industry,” Dean notes. “I couldn’t be more excited to work with Matt Turner and the rest of the Concord team.”

CCMA-Nominated Grant Vogel Joins MV2 Entertainment’s Publishing Roster

Pictured (L-R): Josh Tomlinson – BMI Director, Creative; Tony Harrell – MV2 General Manager; Grant Vogel; David Crow – Milom Horsnell Crow Kelley Beckett Shehan, PLC; Nicole Sherrill – MV2 Creative Director; Ben Strain – MV2 Senior Creative Director; Jason Turner – Keller Turner Andrews & Ghanem, PLLC. Photo: Courtesy of MV2 Entertainment

MV2 Entertainment has signed CCMA-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Grant Vogel for exclusive publishing representation.

The Memphis native has written and produced songs for Brett Young, David Nail, Tenille Arts, Steve Moakler, Madeline Merlo, Levi Hummon and Dylan Rockoff. He has also composed a top 10 at Canadian country radio for The Washboard Union.

Vogel penned and produced Nail’s current single “Sunset Carousel,” and is currently working with Nail on his upcoming project–as well as several others.

“From the moment I met Grant, he blew me away,” says MV2 Entertainment Creative Director Nicole Sherrill. “From his incredible tracks, fantastic resume, and his unmatched work ethic, I knew he was the perfect addition to our MV2 family. I am so excited to be along for the ride as Grant grows into one of the town’s top writers/producers!”

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining such a great team of people at MV2,” adds Vogel. “I’m really looking forward to growing in my career with them.”

Vogel joins a roster that includes hit writer Josh Thompson (“One Margarita” for Luke Bryan; “Wasted on You” for Morgan Wallen), songwriter and former Walker McGuire duo member Johnny McGuire, singer-songwriter and producer Forrest Finn, and rising artist-songwriters Blake Henderson, Joe Whelan and Andrew Stone.

Brandi Carlile, Lukas Nelson, Morgan Wade, More Set To Perform At Americana Honors & Awards

The performers and presenters have been announced for the upcoming 21st annual Americana Honors & Awards at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 14.

This year’s Honors & Awards will deliver performances from award winning legends, buzzworthy new artists and longtime fan favorites, including Adia Victoria, Allison Russell, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller, Chris Isaak, Fairfield Four, Indigo Girls, James McMurtry, Lucinda Williams, Lukas Nelson, The McCrary Sisters, Morgan Wade, Neal Francis, Phosphorescent, Sierra Ferrell and The War And Treaty.

Presenters for the upcoming awards include ​Allison Moorer​, ​Dom Flemons​, ​Hayes Carll, ​Jerry Douglas​, ​Lucius​, ​Lyle Lovett, ​The Milk Carton Kids​ and ​Molly Tuttle. In addition to the annual awards presented, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees will go to Al Bell, Chris Isaak, Don Williams, Fairfield Four and the Indigo Girls.

The 2022 Honors & Awards show will stream live via Circle Network’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels and, with live audio simulcasts available via SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country, and on Nashville area radio stations WRLT (100.1 FM), WSM (650 AM) and WMOT (89.5 FM).

Circle Network will also air the Honors & Awards during a later broadcast on Nov. 23. The program will also be broadcast on PBS in 2023.

Landmark Agreement For Phonorecords IV Proceeding Announced

On Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 31), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Digital Media Association (DiMA) announced a landmark agreement for the Phonorecords IV Proceeding, resulting in higher mechanical rates for songwriters.

The agreement set the mechanical streaming rates in the U.S. for the years 2023-2027. The headline royalty rate will be set at 15.35%, which will be phased in over the five-year term. Now that the Mechanical Licensing Collective is fully operational, it will help deliver commission-free royalty payments, as set forth by the Music Modernization Act (MMA).

According to the NMPA, the deal also includes a number of changes to other components of the rate, including increases to the per-subscriber minimums and the “Total Content Costs (TCC)” calculations which reflect the rates that services pay to record labels.

In addition to NMPA and NSAI, this agreement was supported by DiMA member companies, Amazon, Apple, Google, Pandora, and Spotify.

Of the news, NMPA President & CEO David Israelite says, “This historic settlement is the result of songwriters making their voices heard. Instead of going to trial and continuing years of conflict, we instead move forward in collaboration with the highest rates ever, guaranteed. We thank the digital services for coming to the table and treating creators as business partners. Critically, since this is a percentage rate, we know that as streaming continues to grow exponentially, we will see unprecedented value of songs.”

NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison adds, “This collaborative process will lead to increased songwriter compensation from digital streaming companies and locks in our historic 43.8% increase from the previous CRB proceeding. Along with the upward rate momentum there are also new structures to help ensure minimum payments.”

“This agreement represents the commitment of the streaming services to bringing the best music experiences to fans and growing the streaming ecosystem to the benefit of all stakeholders, including the creative foundation of songwriting,” sums DiMA President and CEO Garrett Levin. “For streaming services, this moment presents an opportunity to pursue new collaborations with publishers and songwriters in the context of economic certainty that will support continued innovation. Perhaps more than anything, this agreement demonstrates the potential for industry progress when parties come to the table for good faith discussions.”

Lindsay Conlin Promoted To SVP Of Revenue At Exactuals

Lindsay Conlin

Lindsay Conlin has been elevated to SVP of Revenue at Exactuals, a leading provider of solutions for complex payments, royalties, and metadata in the entertainment and insurance industries. She is based in Nashville and will report to Exactuals CEO Bryan Walley.

In her new role, Conlin will oversee all sales and marketing operations for the company and its suite of products, including flagship platform, PaymentHub, and royalty calculation and statement generation service SR1.

Conlin previously served as Director of Business Development at the company, where she focused on building partnerships, negotiating deals, developing marketing strategies, and more. She played a key role in finalizing deals with more than 100 labels, publishers, libraries, and distributors in the music and literary publishing spaces. She has also been an advocate for proper metadata in the music industry, receiving a nomination for the Master of Metadata Award at the 2022 Music Biz Annual Conference.

Prior to joining Exactuals in 2018, Conlin worked at Big Machine Label Group in the Partnership Marketing and Promotion Strategy department. Following that, she created DotDot, a custom software development company helping music businesses improve, manage, and utilize information. DotDot joined Exactuals in 2018.

“Lindsay has played an integral part in Exactuals’ success from the moment she joined the company in 2018,” notes Mike Hurst, Chairman of Exactuals. “Lindsay is a trusted and inspiring leader, and her promotion to SVP of Revenue comes with my utmost confidence and excitement. She continues to develop new business and bring our flagship products, PaymentHub and SR1, to new clients while continuing in her efforts in fostering payment and data best practices across the entertainment industry.”

“I am excited to be leading Exactuals forward in this next chapter shoulder to shoulder with an executive as incredible and deserving as Lindsay,” Walley adds. “The current momentum Exactuals has is in no small part due to the work Lindsay has been doing in attracting and completing deals with new clients, and I’m excited to see her continue to grow in her new role as SVP of Revenue.”

“My last four years at Exactuals have been an amazing opportunity for learning and growth. I am honored to have been given this opportunity to serve as SVP of Revenue and can’t thank the team enough for believing in me,” Conlin notes. “Ever since I arrived at Exactuals, I have strived to lead the charge for robust and proper payment systems and practices in the entertainment industry. I can’t wait to see what the future holds as we continue to modernize payments and data across the entertainment landscape, easing the process for payers and ensuring payees get what they are owed.”

My Music Row Story: Neon Coast’s Martha Earls

Martha Earls. Photo: Angelea Presti

The “My Music Row Story” weekly column features notable members of the Nashville music industry selected by the MusicRow editorial team. These individuals serve in key roles that help advance and promote the success of our industry. This column spotlights the invaluable people that keep the wheels rolling and the music playing.

Martha Earls is the owner of management company Neon Coast, and personal manager to Platinum-selling artist Kane Brown. Signed to Neon Coast is country band Restless Road along with other music and non-music clients. Together with Brown, under the Neon Coast name, she started Sony joint venture record label, 1021 Entertainment, and production company Demasiado.

Demasiado has produced award-winning music videos, awards show performances and television commercials. More recent signings to the management company include Nightly, Dylan Schneider and Feather. Earls started her management company following a successful run in music publishing. She has been honored multiple times by Billboard and the Nashville Business Journal.

MusicRow: Where did you grow up?

I was born in Ohio, but grew up in central Pennsylvania. I obviously had no idea about the music industry. I was good at playing the piano and I was good at track and field. I got a really great college scholarship based on my piano playing, so I went to a small music school in New Jersey. That’s where I met Mike Molinar and how we became friends. He’s from El Paso, but he moved up there to go to this music school.

What a coincidence. Did you know what you wanted to pursue while in college?

You had to declare a major and I didn’t know what I wanted my major to be. I didn’t want to be a teacher and I didn’t want to be a performer. I didn’t even really like playing the piano that much, I just got this great scholarship. While looking at majors, I found one and was like, “Oh my God, that job only works twice a week and makes a full salary. I’m going to major in church organ!” [Laughs] It was so ridiculous.

Two or three weeks into it, I was miserable, but I toughed it out for a year. The school was really small with only around 350 students, but there was one girl there who was graduating and going to NYU for law school. She said she was going to be an entertainment lawyer. That opened my eyes to the entertainment industry. Over the summer after my freshman year, I started looking online and discovered MTSU and Belmont. I knew I wanted to move out of the northeast, and being from a small town, country music was massive. I came down here to visit and just loved MTSU.

Pictured (L-R): Martha Earls, Kent Earls, Chuck Wicks, Luke Bryan, Rusty Gaston

How did you start your career while at MTSU?

I started interning at Warner Chappell. Dale Bobo was there at the time. Him and Michael Knox hired me for my internship. Tim Wipperman ran the company and he was amazing. I was in the catalog room, which was the last stop writers would make before they went out the side door into the parking lot at Warner Chappell. They would always drop by and hang out. I loved it. I really fell in love with the creatives. That was the start to my music industry career.

I interned that summer of my senior year and then told them I was having such a great time and didn’t want to leave. They let me do another internship. They didn’t have the budget to pay me but I didn’t care. Then the receptionist left and they offered me that job. I was still in school and taking a decent number of classes, but I was like, “Yes, absolutely.” In March of my senior year, they promoted me to a full time position in the tape room.

About a year later, they promoted me to a junior song plugger. I found during my time at Warner Chappell that I really liked working with the artists-songwriters even more than the regular songwriters. I really enjoyed taking the meetings with artists rather than going and meeting with other A&R people. For whatever reason, I could really dial into the artists. I got to work with Jason [Aldean] early on and Little Big Town.

What was next for you?

Next, I went to BMG publishing. At the time, Karen Conrad and Ron Stuve were there. That was great because it was different than Warner, where we had like 100 songwriters. At BMG, Ron and Karen ran it more like an independent—they only had about 20 songwriters. And again, I kept [being drawn to] signing artists. We signed Jake Owen, Chuck Wicks, and a couple other guys.

Pictured (L-R): Braeden Rountree, Martha Earls, Kane Brown, Liz Kennedy, Randy Goodman

Then you started a publishing company with Mike Molinar.

I felt a constant pull to do more. Mike was working for Cal Turner at the time. We decided we needed to start a company. I always felt a desire to have my own company and Mike was ready to spread his wings. We went around town and pitched our idea to start a publishing company to everybody. Nobody was really into it. We finally found an investor and he really believed in Mike and I.

He invested in our company and it was very family-oriented. Mike and I signed three or four songwriters. We had some success, we had some big cuts, and we got it going. The investor ended up buying us out, which was great. It gave us the capital to start the 2.0 version of the company, but it was all very bare bones.

When we started building the next version of the publishing company, I started feeling like I wasn’t maximizing myself. I always felt like the shoe didn’t quite fit. So when Mike and I started the 2.0 version of the company, we decided to sign more artists and producers. We signed an artist named Greg Bates, who was at Belmont at the time. Jimmy Harnen heard about him and invited him to come to Big Machine. He played at Big Machine and Jimmy signed him. Then I just started handling everything for him.

So that’s how you got into artist management.

I don’t even know if she knows, but Kerri Edwards is such an important example for female managers in the music industry. At that time, I was thinking, “Kerri started working with Luke [Bryan] out of the publishing company. I’m just going to follow that mold until it doesn’t work anymore.” It came so much more naturally to me to manage an artist’s career than this literal decade of publishing experience. That was what got me into management.

Things were going well with the company that Molinar and I started. Scott Borchetta didn’t have anything like that, so our company became what is now the publishing company that Mike Molinar has. He’s done such amazing things with it. I was able to be at Big Machine for a year while we transitioned that company over, and that was amazing. Even though everybody knew I was going to do management full time, I got to learn so much. It was right when Taylor Swift was releasing Red and making her jump from being a huge country artist to being a global superstar. That’s what I got to witness.

Fast forward to now, with what I’m doing with Kane, that experience was such a gift. It was placed in front of me for me to learn anything is possible. Scott had no fences built around anything.

What did you do after your time at Big Machine?

I knew I wanted do management full time, but I felt like there was more to learn. I went over to Sandbox and was there for two years. That was a whole different experience. They released Kacey MusgravesSame Trailer, Different Park album on a Friday and I started on the next Monday. It was really interesting to watch an artist blow up without having the traditional country radio piece.

At the end of that, I was asked to be a consultant for Michael Blanton and his company. In exchange for two hours of consulting a week, he gave me an office. Jay Frank, who had his own digital marketing company, called me and asked me to run his independent label. I had never done anything for an independent label before, but he needed somebody to oversee it. That was crazy, too. I learned how to make a music video for $5,000, how to get vinyl pressed, and all that kind of stuff.

Pictured (L-R): Kane Brown, Martha Earls

How did you end up working with Kane?

One day Jay said, “We have this guy that somebody on our staff found online. He’s country and we signed him to a management agreement if you want to help out with that.” I don’t think Jay really knew what he had with Kane at the time. I met Kane and I was like, “Jay, all this other stuff you’re working on is nonsense. This is the thing. Kane is the thing.” I just jumped in feet first with Kane.

In 2016, it became just me and Kane. We’ve just been building what we’re doing ever since. It’s kind of a mixture of the tenacity that Scott had that says we can have great success and do anything, and then also the understanding of you don’t have to do things the traditional way. From having created my own publishing company and really struggling, I didn’t get defeated by anything.

Now Kane is a multi-Platinum superstar, but what were those first few years like?

[The first thing we did] was put out an EP called Chapter One that had “Used To Love You Sober” on it. Florida Georgia Line and Seth England could see things early with him, so they put him on tour. He was first of four and got to play for 15 minutes, but it was amazing. We were having trouble at country radio with “Used To Love You Sober,” and there was a lot of preconceived notions about who people thought Kane Brown was, because of how he looks. He’s biracial, he had tattoos, he had success on social media.

Kane met Dann Huff. Dann cut “What Ifs,” a song that Kane wrote. “What Ifs” wasn’t a single yet, so we put that [Kane Brown] album out with no single on the radio, and it still did really great. In 2017, we got a new radio guy at RCA when Dennis Reese came over. He’s been Kane’s biggest champion at the label. He’s such a wonderful guy. He came from the pop world, so he didn’t have any boundaries. [With Dennis on board], “What Ifs” became an eight-time Platinum single. It’s one of the biggest songs in the history of country music. That got things going and we’ve just been building on that ever since.

Pictured (L-R): Clay Bradley, Michael Giangreco, Ernest, Rusty Gaston, Kane Brown, Stevie Frasure, Jesse Frasure, Kent Earls, Levon Gray, Vanna Moua, Martha Earls, Spencer Nohe, Dennis Reese. Photo: Steve Lowry

In the last few years, your company has grown substantially. You and Kane have built a joint venture record label with Sony Music Nashville, as well as a publishing company with Sony Music Publishing.

We were out in LA for for the “Saturday Nights” video shoot. I was feeling like it was time to start growing. I asked him, “How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as an artist who tours six months out of the year and then takes six months off and chills with his family? Or do you see yourself like a Florida Georgia Line, who when they’re not touring, they’re still writing, producing, signing artists, running a publishing company and a clothing store?” He said, “I want to be like that. I don’t know how long everything will last.”

That was when we decided to expand the company. I saw all these different verticals. I could see a joint venture label, where we sign artists, as well as a publishing side of things. We started a production company and signed other management clients, too. Kane gets a taste of all of it because I want him to feel invested in everything.

If someone were to ask you how to be successful in this industry, what would you tell them?

That’s a great question. You can measure success so many different ways. I feel like what it is is being comfortable, satisfied and proud of the work that you’re doing. Owning your space and acknowledging to yourself that you deserve to be there.

The MLC Expands Ambassador Programs To Increase Educational Outreach

The Mechanical Licensing Collective has launched a new Student Ambassador program to complement its existing Educator Ambassador program.

The new program is open to all students currently enrolled in college or university classes. Student Ambassadors are required to demonstrate knowledge of what The MLC is and commit to spreading the word about The MLC to songwriters, composers, and lyricists in their local communities and on social media. As Ambassadors, they will support their musical peers, help them sign up for MLC membership, and get their songs registered while gaining valuable hands-on music business experience.

Approved Ambassadors gain access to digital resources, virtual and in-person events and training, and private online communities designed to support further learning and professional development.

The MLC Educator Ambassador program launched in the fall of 2021 and provides academic educators the opportunity to earn the designation MLC Educator Ambassador through an assessment of their knowledge about The MLC and commitment to continued dissemination of information about The MLC within their academic institution. The program is open to educators who teach courses in high schools, colleges, universities, and law schools.

“Our MLC Educator Ambassador program provides a great opportunity for us to engage with instructors who teach about the music business, copyright, or licensing, and for instructors to demonstrate to their academic institutions that they have recognized expertise on the topic of digital mechanical licensing,” explains The MLC’s Head of Educational Partnerships Serona Elton.

“MLC Student Ambassadors are going to help us reach songwriters and composers in local communities all over the United States, especially those who are studying music in school,” she continues. “Student Ambassadors themselves will gain professional music business experience by having repeated discussions regarding mechanical licensing and royalties and publishing administration. There is no better way to demonstrate knowledge of a topic than showing that you can teach it to someone else.”

“Education plays a huge role in improving the accuracy of the data our industry relies on,” says The MLC’s CEO Kris Ahrend. “Creating a network of advocates and experts across the country who are knowledgeable about how The MLC works will help us educate many more creators about their rights and hopefully encourage more of them to connect with The MLC so they can receive the mechanical royalties they are owed.”

This community-based network supports The MLC’s mission to educate songwriters at every level. For more information, click here.

Industry Ink: Kameron Marlowe, Dylan Marlowe, Steep Canyon Rangers, Chick Singer Night

Kameron Marlowe Notches Second Gold Certification

Kameron Marlowe and the Sony Music Nashville staff. Photo: Helena Akhtar

Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville singer-songwriter Kameron Marlowe recently celebrated his Gold-certified single “Burn ‘Em All” with the staff at Sony Music Nashville. The team presented him with the commemorative plaque ahead of the release of his debut album, We Were Cowboys.

“Burn ‘Em All” was written by Marlowe alongside Brinley Addington, Joey Hyde and Aaron Eshuis, and produced by Grammy-nominated Brad Hill. The track marks Marlowe’s second Gold record following the certification of hit single “Giving You Up” last year.

“Wow, a second Gold record. I honestly didn’t expect this, and I am just so grateful for the fans that listen to my music,” Marlowe notes. “Thank you to Brinley, Joey, and Aaron for writing this song with me! Cheers y’all!”

Marlowe is set to kick off his headlining “We Were Cowboys” tour at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl on Sept. 8 with singer-songwriter Wyatt McCubbin as support on most dates. For a full list of upcoming dates, click here.


Dylan Marlowe Marks First No. 1 With ‘Last Night Lonely’

Pictured (L-R): PIA Entertainment’s Cade Price, Alyssa Ramsey, Marlowe, PIA founder award-winning songwriter Dallas Davidson, Lauren Lieu, Grayson Clotfelter. Photo: The Dwyers

Rising Play It Again Entertainment artist Dylan Marlowe notched his first-ever No. 1 single as a songwriter when Jon Pardi’s “Last Night Lonely” hit the top of the country singles charts this week. Marlowe co-wrote the tune with Jimi Bell and Joe Fox.

Marlowe is making his mark as a recording and touring artist, following his CMA Fest performance in June and accumulating over 14 million streams in the last three months. He recently wrapped his major tour debut earlier this year on Dylan Scott’s “Livin’ My Best Life Tour,” and is preparing to hit the road again next month on Cole Swindell’s “Back Down To The Bar Tour,” which will run through end of November.

His current song, “Why’d We Break Up Again,” is available now on all digital service providers. Written by Marlowe, Fox and Brett Tyler, the track follows on the heels of “GTB,” “When I Look Back”, and his hit “I’ll Keep The Country” which has been streamed over eight million times.


Steep Canyon Rangers Announce Aaron Burdett As Newest Member

Pictured (L-R): Nicky Sanders, Mike Ashworth, Mike Guggino, Graham Sharp, Barrett Smith, Aaron Burdett

Grammy award-winning group Steep Canyon Rangers has added North Carolina singer-songwriter Aaron Burdett as the newest member. Burdett started playing shows with the band in August and is now officially on board.

With top awards in multiple songwriting competitions hosted by the likes of Merlefest, The USA Songwriting Competition, Mountain Stage, the NC Songwriter’s Co-op and more, Burdett’s last four albums have been voted top 20 Albums of the Year by WNCW radio listeners.

“Aaron showed up on our radar late in the audition process, and we were all struck by the honesty and power of his music,” the band shares. “He arrives as an exceptional North Carolina artist in his own right, and our connection feels fresh and familiar at the same time. His talent as a singer and songwriter is already pushing the band to new heights.”

“I got the call out of the blue from SCR on a Monday morning a couple of months ago, and although I’d never imagined collaborating with them, the closer I looked at it, the better fit it seemed to be,” adds Burdett “As we’ve tested the waters and played gigs and traveled and hung out together, that feeling has only grown and solidified. It’s a dream come true to have an opportunity to play with musicians of this caliber and at this level. We already sound really good together, and I can’t wait to see where we are a year from now.”

Comprised of Graham Sharp (vocals/banjo), Mike Guggino (vocals/mandolin/mandola), Nicky Sanders (vocals/fiddle), Mike Ashworth (vocals/drums), Barrett Smith (vocals/bass) and Burdett (vocals/guitar), the band has a new album in the works and a full schedule of upcoming shows.


Chick Singer Night Marks 20 Years Of Showcases At The Bluebird Cafe

Pictured (L-R): CSN Director Jaclyn Brown, Tori Tullier, Bonnie J. Baker, Emi Sunshine, Lauren Lucas, Jamie Floyd. Photo: Steve Lowry

Chick Singer Night celebrated its 20th year of female-focused songwriter showcases at the Bluebird Cafe last Thursday (Aug. 25). The evening included performances from Tori Tullier, Bonnie J. Baker, Emi Sunshine, Lauren Lucas, and Jamie Floyd.

Artist Manager Jerry Bentley Passes

Jerry Bentley with Lee Greenwood

Jerry Bentley, the former manager of Lee Greenwood, passed away at his home just outside of Huntsville, Alabama on Sunday (Aug. 28). He was 80.

Bentley served as a Marine and was wounded in Vietnam in 1967. He spent 15 years at GTE before joining Greenwood’s team in 1984, becoming his closest friend and most trusted advisor for 45 years. Over the years, he worked with many of Nashville’s finest, even earning an IEBA (International Entertainment Buyer’s Association) award. In recent years he had retired to spend more time with wife Elaine, daughters Beth and Laurie, and his grandchildren, whom he treasured.


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“One of the finest southern gentlemen and American patriots entered his heavenly home, my manager and good friend of 45 years, Jerry Bentley,” said Lee Greenwood in a statement. “Kim, Parker, Dalton, Sarah, and our entire LG Inc family from throughout the years are lifting the Bentley family up in our prayers. Our admiration and love for all of you is endless. Thank you for all you have contributed to our family.”

Visitation for Jerry Bentley was held yesterday (Aug. 30) at Laughlin Service Funeral Home in Huntsville, Alabama. The funeral will be at 1:00 p.m. today (Aug. 31) at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Huntsville. Burial will be in Mt. Zion Cemetery.