Air Date Announced For ‘CMA Summer Jam’

The Country Music Association and ABC have announced that their star-studded summer concert event, CMA Summer Jam, will air Thursday, Sept. 2 on ABC at 7:00-10:00 p.m. CT. The event marks the first concert broadcast event for CMA in nearly two years.

Filmed for two nights from the open-air Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville, the artists featured in CMA Summer Jam include Jimmie Allen, Gabby Barrett, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Florida Georgia Line, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Carly Pearce, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Cole Swindell, Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, Lainey Wilson and Dwight Yoakam.

Additional performances featured in the primetime special will include Bentley with Breland and Hardy live from Bentley’s Whiskey Row nightclub on Broadway, Eric Church from the center of the city’s John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge overlooking the Cumberland River, and Darius Rucker taking the outdoor stage at Nashville’s brand new Fifth & Broadway complex downtown.

“I am still grinning ear to ear from these last two nights of incredible live Country Music,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA CEO. “Seeing artists finally return to the stage and the reaction from fans was absolutely electric. Viewers are in for such a treat from familiar superstars and fresh new faces when CMA Summer Jam airs on Sept. 2 on ABC.”

‘Front And Center’ Gears Up For Season 10 With Lady A, Dustin Lynch, Old Dominion, More

Lady A

American Public Television’s Front And Center TV show is premiering its tenth season nationwide, beginning Aug. 1 on public stations across the country with eight concerts from artists including Lady A, Old Dominion, Glen Campbell, Dustin Lynch, Brantley Gilbert, Maddie & Tae, John Hiatt with Jerry Douglas and special guest Tommy Emmanuel, and New Age vocalist Sangeeta Kaur.

In a slight departure from the series’ usual format, Season 10 launches with an archival concert by Campbell, recorded in August 2008 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. Other exclusive performances this season are from Analog at Hutton Hotel in Nashville, with episodes filmed both pre-pandemic and under COVID safety protocols.

For the last decade, Front And Center has showcased an eclectic variety of musicians, from industry veterans to emerging artists, in an intimate setting that uniquely connects an artist to their fans. Artists play their defining hits and introduce new work in a dynamic hour of music and banter about life on the road, songwriting influences and the hard work and heartbreak that come before becoming a star.

Front And Center Season 10 Schedule:
August 1 – Glen Campbell
August 8 – Dustin Lynch
August 15 – Brantley Gilbert
August 22 – Old Dominion
August 29 – Lady A
September 5 – Maddie & Tae
September 12 – John Hiatt with Jerry Douglas and special guest Tommy Emmanuel
September 19 – Sangeeta Kaur with special guests Jon Anderson and Jake Shimabukuro

ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill Passes

Photo: Courtesy Bob Merlis

Joseph Michael “Dusty” Hill, bassist of legendary rock group ZZ Top, passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, Texas on July 27. He was 72.

Born in Dallas, Hill, his brother Rocky, and future ZZ Top member Frank Beard got their start playing in local Dallas bands the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues. In 1968, the band relocated to Houston where Rocky left the band and Dusty and Beard joined guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons in ZZ Top, just after they released their first single in 1969. Playing bass and keyboards in the band, Hill also provided vocals as well, and sang lead on “Tush,” the band’s first Top 20 hit and one of its most popular songs.

ZZ Top racked up dozens of hits through the decades and packed arenas with their hard-driving mix of Southern rock and blues. In the 80’s they hit pay dirt when they released a series of albums that added funky synthesizer sounds to their hard-driving guitars, yielding massive hits like “Legs,” the quintessential “Sharp-Dressed Man,” and “Gimme All Your Lovin,'” which sold 10 million copies and remained on the Billboard charts for 183 weeks.

Hill and the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He played with ZZ Top for over 50 years until his death.

“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,” a statement from surviving members Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons, said. “We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top.’ We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo.”

Industry Ink: Cole Swindell, Missing Piece Group, Songs For Sound

Cole Swindell Commemorates 10th Career No. 1 With ‘Single Saturday Night’

Pictured (L-R): Tracey Goldenberg (KP Entertainment); Leighanna Smith (KP Entertainment); Ashley Gorley (songwriter); James Marsh (National Director, Radio & Streaming, WMN); Kristen Williams (SVP Radio & Streaming, WMN); Chad Schultz (VP Radio Marketing, WMN); Cole Swindell; Kerri Edwards (KP Entertainment); Michael Carter (producer); Tom Martens (VP Radio & Streaming, WMN); Mark Holman (songwriter); Justin Luffman (VP Artist Development, WMN); Anna Weisband (Sony Music Publishing); Cris Lacy (EVP A&R, WMN)

Cole Swindell celebrated his 10th career No. 1 single, “Single Saturday Night,” on Monday night (July 26) after his surprise performance at Whiskey Jam in Nashville. “Single Saturday Night” was written by Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, and Mark Holman, and produced by Michael Carter.

The Grammy-nominated multi-Platinum country artist’s single has been streamed globally over 180 million times and adds to his over 4 billion career streams. Swindell was also recognized for having reached over 15 million in total US track equivalents.

The Georgia native is on the road again headlining shows on the West Coast over the next two weeks. Swindell will take the stage before Thomas Rhett on the Center Point Road Tour which kicks off Aug. 20 in Bangor, Maine.



Missing Piece Group Ups Three Senior Staff Members

Pictured (L-R): Brett Loeb, Michelle Steele, Joe Sivick

Missing Piece Group has promoted Brett Loeb to Label Manager of Missing Piece Records, Michelle Steele to Director of Publicity for Missing Piece Group’s Nashville branch, and Joe Sivick to General Manager of Missing Piece Group.

“In the 11 years that Missing Piece has been in business, much of our staff has come on board very early in their careers, gathering knowledge and becoming experts in their field, while supporting and training younger team members. That supportive environment has helped foster their personal growth and led to these promotions,” says Missing Piece Group CEO/Founder Michael Krumper.

Loeb, who joined the team in 2014, has seen the label side of Missing Piece become an increasing focus. Over the years, he has led much of the operations, marketing, and project management for label releases under Missing Piece Group. In this new role, Loeb will oversee the growth of the label division, directing all aspects of campaigns for Missing Piece Records while also continuing to work with publicity and marketing clients.

Steele, a Nashville native, has spent her career as a publicist. In her new role, she will represent Missing Piece Group in the Nashville area as they continue to grow in Music City and expand their presence in town.

Sivick has been with the company nearly since its inception, this year marking his ninth year at Missing Piece Group. In his new role, he will help steer Missing Piece Group as it continues to expand and will continue to stay involved with all aspects of the company’s publicity campaigns.



Songs For Sound Unveils New Care Team, Encourages Continued Support From Partners

Nashville-based 501(c)3 Songs for Sound will launch their newly developed Care Team to help with educating, encouraging audiology, booking appointments, prepping patients for appointments, and caring for them for life. The Care Team will work alongside the non-profit’s many service-based programs, which includes The Hear the Music Project and Tour and their Hearoes Tour for Veterans.

Songs for Sound founder Jaime Vernon and Director of Partnerships & Audiological Advancement Miranda Weidle recently requested continued support from hearing technology industry partners. To-date, those partners have helped Songs for Sound serve over 27,000 people as they work towards their goal of serving 250,000 people by 2025.

“This announcement comes at a time when the hearing technology industry is extremely competitive and is collectively challenging the narrative by finding new ways to better serve Americans with better technology and improved customer service,” Vernon said in a letter to partners. “In the spirit of competition, we want to continue supporting capitalism by giving consumers the right to choose the best audiologist, best technology and for them to know how affordable it already is.”

Songs for Sound was born out of Vernon’s passion to help others bridge the gap between thinking you have hearing loss to connecting people with the right services to get the help they need. To learn more about Songs for Sound’s mission, click here.

Lee Ann Womack, Colter Wall, More To Reimagine Woody Guthrie’s ‘Dust Bowl Ballads’

An array of artists have come together to pay tribute to American folk icon Woody Guthrie by reimagining his album, Dust Bowl Ballads, for its 81st anniversary. Guthrie’s 1940 record, which spoke to the pain and hopelessness of the American farmer living in a Depression-era America, is cited as being one of the first concept albums ever.

Home In This World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads, out Sept. 10 via Elektra Records, features Guthrie songs performed by a cross-genre collective of Grammy winners including Lee Ann Womack, Colter Wall, John Paul White, grunge poet laureate Mark Lanegan, country artist Lillie Mae, Shovels & Rope, virtuosic mandolinist Chris Thile, Watkins Family Hour and Waxahatchee. The album is curated by Grammy-winning music supervisor and producer Randall Poster (Skyfall, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boardwalk Empire).

“WHAT A FEAST! Delicious… tasteful… spicy… & organic… all,” says Nora Guthrie, daughter of the folk icon and curator of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Home In This World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads Tracklisting:
1. Dust Bowl Blues – Shovels & Rope
2. I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore – Lost Dog Street Band
3. Blowin’ Down This Road – Watkins Family Hour
4. Pretty Boy Floyd – John Paul White
5. Dusty Old Dust – Lee Ann Womack
6. Do Re Mi – Colter Wall
7. Talkin Dust Bowl Blues – Waxahatchee
8. Tom Joad Part 1 – Chris Thile
9. Tom Joad Part 2 – Lillie Mae
10. The Great Dust Storm – The Felice Brothers
11. Dust Cain’t Kill Me – The Secret Sisters
12. Dust Bowl Refugee – Swamp Dogg
13. Dust Pneumonia Blues – Mark Lanegan
14. Vigilante Man – Parker Millsap

Bonnaroo Reveals New & Returning Experiences For 2021 Festival

Pride Parade x House of Yes (2019). Photo: courtesy of Alive Coverage

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has announced the lineup for its famed campgrounds and plazas. This year, the 20th-anniversary edition of Bonnaroo, the festival will take place Sept. 2–5, 2021 on the Bonnaroo Farm, located 60 miles southeast of Nashville in Manchester.

As previously announced, the artists slated to perform during the four-day event are Foo Fighters, Megan Thee Stallion, Lizzo, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Tyler The Creator, Lana Del Rey, Brittany Howard, Leon Bridges, Janelle Monae, My Morning Jacket, Breland, Niko Moon, and many more. The Grand Ole Opry featuring special guests will also return for this year’s 20th anniversary festival.

Bonnaroo’s communal areas, known as plazas, include shade, free public Wi-Fi, showers, activities, charging stations, Clean Vibes Trading Post redemption centers, cooling stations, medical, safety stations, information, and portable restrooms.

The 2021 Campground Plazas lineup features several returning favorites along with several new experiences:

Produced by iamsound, Bonnaroo’s new House of Love will host romantic activities like Lovesick Karaoke Happy Hour, interactive photo booth installations, and daily wedding ceremonies where attendees can get hitched by very special guests.

Plazas & Campgrounds
Sanctuary Of Self Love, curated by Paramore’s Hayley Williams in collaboration with iamsound and Conscious City Guide, will offer festival-goers a space to relax and rejuvenate themselves through the weekend. Featuring mindful movement practices, hairstyling by the Good Dye Young on-site hair salon, deep sound bath rituals, talks, and panel sessions offering powerful tools for mental clarity and personal transformation, the space will also include a healers village offering pre-booked one-on-one sessions spanning massage to aura photography and reiki.

Presented by Bacardi, the Where In The Woods stage will feature DJs and surprise headliners in a treehouse with a dance floor that features kaleidoscopic lights and sounds. New additions also include immersive cabanas and a conga line hosted by NPI and Puzzle.

Plaza 3 will feature House of Yes and Little Cinema bringing Brooklyn magic with epic spectacles, immersive movie screenings, circus shows, and all-night dance parties. House of Yes will also host Bonnaroo’s second annual Pride Parade, a celebration of diversity, sexuality, and humanity, presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Plaza 5, located inside the Groop Camping area in the GA Campground and presented by iamsound, will include a space cowboy dive-bar called Galactic Giddy-Up which features groop and community-oriented games, activities, parties, mixers, and more, including catch competitions judged by celebrity guests, talent shows, battles of the bands, and line dancing. Galactic Giddy-Up will also include bathrooms, showers, shade and chill spaces, fans and misters, food and beverage vendors, charging stations, info booth, medical, security, and more.

Plaza 6 will include Killer Mike’s Swag Shop, showcasing a casual and artistic approach to self-care, offering good music, casual conversation, and a haircut.

The Grove (2019). Photo: courtesy of Alive Coverage

Plaza 7 will freatue The Grove, a wooded oasis is filled with mythical creatures by Brett Douglas Hunter and live harp performances by Yomí That Harpist. Plaza 9’s VEEPS House will display exclusive, intimate performances from some of Bonnaroo 2021’s artist streamed live from the farm to the world.

The new Rootanical Garden invites fans to see the world through the lens of a bug as they wander into a maze garden while the newly revamped VIP Campground Plaza will feature air-conditioning, private bars, complimentary Wi-Fi, daily yoga classes, games, live video feeds of the festival performances, and other surprises.

Lastly, the newly revamped VIP Campground Plaza will feature air-conditioning, private bars, complimentary Wi-Fi, daily yoga classes, games, live video feeds of the festival performances, and some special surprises. The VIP Campground Plaza is available exclusively to VIP patrons.

John King’s Debut Album, ‘Always Gonna Be You,’ Slated For October

John King. Photo: Ford Fairchild

John King is gearing up for the release of his debut album, Always Gonna Be You, on Oct. 8 via Starstruck Records. The upcoming project is a candid and deeply personal soundtrack of self-discovery that follows King through romance with his high school sweetheart into adulthood. The album’s first single, “Try Saying Goodbye,” has already racked up 18 million streams, and is coupled with his latest release, “Ain’t Missing You.”

King co-wrote the 11 tracks with Paul DiGiovanni, Justin Wilson, Leslie Satcher, and many others. In an attempt to preserve the raw quality of the project’s initial recordings, King co-produced Always Gonna Be You with his group of co-writers and collaborators, using the song’s original demos as the foundation for the finished tracks.

“Country music is really exciting right now, because artists are blurring the lines,” he shares. “You don’t have to fit into one category. When I step back and listen to these songs, I hear southern rock, country, and pop. I hear me. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s just me.”

King is a No. 1 songwriter who penned Randy Houser’s chart-topping “We Went,” which earned him a 2016 ASCAP Songwriter Award. He launched his solo career in 2015 with “Tonight Tonight,” whose anthemic chorus was heard everywhere from country radio to the weekly NFL recaps on CBS.

Always Gonna Be You Track List:
1. Easy – John King, Nick Bailey, Ryan Ogden
2. For You – John King, Curt Gibbs, Will Nance
3. All I Can Do – John King, Chris Stevens, Justin Wilson
4. ‘Til It Changes Your Mind – John King, Jason Gantt, Matt Rogers
5. Try Saying Goodbye – John King, Paul DiGiovanni, Jamie Paulin
6. Ain’t Missing You – John King, Jordan Schmidt, Josh Miller
7. Your Man – John King, Jason Massey, Trannie Anderson
8. Always Gonna Be You – John King, Leslie Satcher
9. Prettiest Girl In The Room – John King, Jason Gantt, Trannie Anderson, Jessica Cayne
10. Better Man – John King, Seth Mosley, Jesse Lee Levin

Nashville Jazz Workshop Celebrates Grand Opening Of New Location

Executive Director Eric Dilts and others celebrate the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the new Nashville Jazz Workshop location on Saturday, July 24.

The Nashville Jazz Workshop (NJW), originally founded 20 years ago to amplify the sounds of jazz across Music City, celebrated the grand opening and official ribbon-cutting ceremony of their new location on Historic Buchanan St. last Saturday (July 24).

The workshop, known for celebrating jazz greats across the U.S., continues to offer world-class jazz education and performance in a supportive and creative environment for the community. In addition to offering jazz to all, NJW also seeks to make known that in Music City, “Jazz Lives Here Too.”

The acclaimed Jazz Cave will continue to host concerts, art exhibits, and educational classes for children to adults. As explained by NJW’s Executive Director Eric Dilts, the move to Buchanan St. seems more like home than their past address. In addition to the grand opening, NJW plans on hosting other invigorating events to engage the community.

Nashvillians gather to celebrate the grand opening of the NJW’s new Buchanan St. location on Saturday, July 24.

The grand opening is only the start of a prosperous future for the North Nashville community and the exuberant plans NJW has for Music City. The organization has launched and partnered with various community events for the public including a monthly session in Hadley Park called Jazz AM, a Juneteenth citywide celebration, and countless shows and performances throughout the past year. NJW plans on hosting other events to engage the community, including a free community concert tonight (July 28) at 7 p.m.

For more information and to see dates for upcoming events, click here.

Pryor & Lee Announce Right Now Tour Hitting The Road In August

Pryor & Lee. Photo: Jeremy Cowart

Black River Records duo Pryor & Lee are set to hit the road on their Right Now Tour this fall. The country duo also announced that new music is in the works and set for release later this year. The Right Now Tour will kick off Aug. 20 in Richmond, Virginia with visits along the way in Tuscaloosa, Athens, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, and more before wrapping in Greenville, South Carolina on Oct. 16.

“We can’t wait to get back on the road and have the opportunity to play this new music we have been working on for everyone,” share Pryor & Lee. “Right Now is the time for a good time and to put this crazy year behind us. We’re ready to bring one heck of a party!”

The duo’s song “Good Ol’ Dogs and God” debuted on top playlists, including Apple Music’s New In Country, Amazon Music’s Breakthrough Country, and Spotify’s New Music Nashville. Earlier this summer, Pryor & Lee partnered with 130 humane organizations, rescue groups, and animal shelters across the country and in Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Canada to celebrate the release of the track and the unconditional love that pet parents share with their four-legged companions.

The pair also have upcoming show dates with Granger Smith, Frank Foster, and Rodney Atkins. For a full list of upcoming shows or to purchase tickets, click here.

John Prine’s ‘Fair & Square’ To Be Reissued With Three New Vinyl Editions

John Prine. Photo: Danny Clinch

John Prine’s Grammy award-winning album, Fair & Square, is being released on vinyl for the first time in over 16 years on Oct. 1. The reissue will include three special double LPs: a standard black, an opaque green, and a special limited amount of “Irish Edition” that feature green and orange vinyls with a matte jacket featuring embossed lettering.

Originally released in 2005, Fair & Square won Best Contemporary Folk Album at the 48th Grammy Awards and achieved the fastest rise to No. 1 in the history of Americana radio. The record was Prine’s first album in nine years following 1995’s Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, as well as his first release after marrying his wife and current president of Oh Boy Records, Fiona Whelan Prine.

Further celebrating Prine’s legendary life and career, The Prine Family will host “You Got Gold: Celebrating the Life & Songs of John Prine,” a series of special concert events across various venues in Nashville running from Oct. 3-10.  The weeklong celebration will include sold-out tribute concerts at The Ryman Auditorium, the CMA Theater at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Basement East all culminating on Oct. 10 on what would have been John’s 75th birthday. Each of the shows will feature a unique surprise lineup of friends performing and celebrating the legendary performer’s inimitable life and songs.

Additionally, on Oct 8 Prine’s Oh Boy Records will release a new tribute record, Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2. Each month ahead of the release, Oh Boy will unveil a new artist and song that is featured on the record, including the first two installments: “Paradise” performed by Sturgill Simpson and “I Remember Everything” by Brandi Carlile.