Mica Roberts

“Days You Live For”

Show Dog Nashville

mroberts-daysMica Roberts’ new single release is “Days You Live For,” and the Oklahoma native is busy making the radio rounds to get the word out. A talented vocalist and musician who hit the road after high school, Roberts earned her performance stripes playing amusement parks, campgrounds and on a cruise ship before landing high profile jobs as an in-demand backup singer.

If you want to know Roberts, you are going to have to get to know her hometown Locust Grove, Oklahoma. A tiny town of 1400 people, Locust Grove is about 50 miles east of Tulsa and is still the place Roberts calls home. She still owns the family farm there where she grew up and forged her lifelong love of music.

When Mica arrived in Nashville she did everything she could to get a job. “I just wanted to stay there and support myself,” Mica recalls. “I waited tables and sang in a local club called the Bull Pen Lounge.” In 1997, nine years after she made the move to town, she she became Faith Hill’s background vocalist and toured with her for four years. This led to other opportunities from Billy Bob Thornton to her hero Willie Nelson and eventually head Show Dog Toby Keith, whom she has backed up for the past seven years.

“My dream is to make music with an edge and energy all its own,” says Roberts. “I draw inspiration from the people I’m around and from my life. I believe in the music I’m making and I know people will connect with it if given the opportunity.”



George Strait’s Video Premieres on CMT

CMT presents the exclusive world premiere of George Strait’s top 5 hit, “Living For The Night” available now on CMT.com and CMT Mobile. “Living For the Night” will have its broadcast premiere Monday, August 31 at 6:00 a.m., ET/PT on CMT and will be in Hot Shot rotation.

CMT will extend its promotion of Strait’s new video across all of the network’s multiple platforms, including CMT.com, CMT Radio Networks, CMT Mobile, and the digital 24-hour music channel CMT Pure, among others.

Bill Gentry

“I Want What You Want”

bgentry-playlistAlready an underground star across the Southeast with his electrifying stage show, Bill Gentry is now releasing his long-awaited debut single “I Want What You Want” to radio. A revved up and rocking celebration of traditional country values, “I Want What You Want” is the first glimpse of Countrified, Gentry’s upcoming album produced by Garth Fundis (Sugarland, Keith Whitley, Trisha Yearwood, Alabama, Don Williams).

“I’ve never made a record like this before,” says Fundis. “It’s special because of Bill’s energy and his understanding of who he is as an artist. We set the bar high and didn’t compromise. I’m very proud of this record.”

The dream of being a country singer is rooted in Gentry’s past. He grew up on a cattle farm in Carrollton, Georgia, not far from Alan Jackson’s hometown. After starting his band, he built a devoted following audience the old-fashioned way by honing his live show. Over the last decade, he has performed for more than a million fans.

“Right now is when country music should be most alive,” Gentry says. “Country has always been about the common man, and we’re all struggling right now. I want my music to speak to them, in a way that embraces the roots and values of America.”

Bill plans a heavy schedule of concerts across the country over the next year, so check his website for his itinerary and news updates.


Julia Burton

“Party Down”

Emerald River/Nine North

jburton-playlist“Party Down” is the new single release from Emerald River/Nine North artist Julia Burton. “This is a fun song with an encouraging message about how to move on and celebrate life after a relationship has gone awry,” explains the West Virginia-raised Burton. “Lord knows we’ve all been through relationships like that!” The song is featured on the singer’s debut album, Woman From the Country, which is scheduled for release later this year.

Burton’s drive to entertain stems from early in her childhood. “I would sit at my toy piano and say ‘daddy come listen to me sing my song’—it was ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,’” says Burton, “and then Momma would catch me on top of the coffee table with a candlestick in my hand belting out Hank Williams Jr’s ‘All My Rowdy Friends.’ It’s all I’ve ever thought about and dreamed.”

When she moved to Nashville, she was given the opportunity to play the back room of the legendary Tootsies Orchid Lounge. There she performed three nights a week for four hours to a rowdy country crowd, growing as an entertainer and artist. “Performing at Tootsie’s gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of people who love country music,” reflects Burton. “What an amazing place, what great fans. It’s an experience that I will remember for a lifetime.”

Burton has since shared the stage with artists as diverse as Kool and the Gang, Wynonna, The Commodores, and Jo Dee Messina. She is also a National Spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


ON THE COVER: Anthony Smith

MR-AR-200Label: Stroudavarious

Forthcoming Album: Sunshine, set for release in 2010

Current Single & Video: “Bringin’ Back The Sunshine”

Current Producer: James Stroud and Anthony Smith

Interesting Facts: #1: The album is scheduled to include an instrumental track called “Anaconda Cowboys,” performed with Smith’s band of the same name. #2: Smith’s first album was on Mercury Records. #3: Sunshine features a tune with Smith and the late Porter Wagoner.

Anthony Smith, the long-haired “country boy” from East Tennessee, has been known to break rules and ignore the usual polite conventions— he approaches life with the same hold-nothing-back passion that fills his music. Smith explains, “I have never tried to sound like anyone else. I have always wanted to be an original, because if you look at music, the ones who sound like nobody else are the same ones who break new ground and start new trends. I’m doing the kind of music I love in the only way I know how.”

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith’s “Bringin’ Back The Sunshine” is the debut single from his first album on Stroudavarious Records. The song went for adds August 10 and is from his forthcoming album, Sunshine, scheduled for release in early 2010. The album is a collection of Smith original compositions, co-produced by Smith and label head/veteran hitmaker James Stroud. Smith also brought in the late Country Music Hall of Fame member Porter Wagoner on the album for one of his last studio recordings—”Hillbilly Romeos” features Wagoner’s witty commentary playing off of Smith’s lead vocals, for a fitting tribute to a country legend who loved songs that were playful and about rural life. Set for release in September, the accompanying music video was shot by Traci Goudie and features Derek Phillips (from Friday Night Lights and The Closer) and Danielle Rene (from the upcoming Terrence Maiick film starring Sean Penn and Brad Pitt).

Smith’s experience includes previous success as an artist, with three Top 40 songs from his critically acclaimed first album, If That Ain’t Country. He’s also had a long string of hits as a songwriter—including George Strait’s “Run,” Trace Adkins’ “Chrome” and “I’m Tryin’,” Tim McGraw’s “Kill Myself” and “Kristofferson,” Rascal Flatts’ “My Worst Fear” and Montgomery Gentry’s “What Do Ya Think About That?,” as well as memorable cuts by Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Gretchen Wilson, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood and many others.

Despite his many songwriter hits, Smith has always seen himself as a performer first. “I’ve never written a song for another artist to cut,” he says. “I always wrote songs for myself, for me to do on stage and to record. Other artists heard them and wanted to cut them, and that’s tremendously flattering to me. But my intent was always to be the one on stage singing what I write.”

The distinctive music Smith makes injects a rock ‘n’ roll swagger and funky, fresh rhythms into a style of music that is undeniably contemporary—and undeniably country. “I like getting a reaction,” he says. “My music isn’t the kind you sit and passively listen to. It’s going to make you move, and it’s going to make you react and feel something. I want an emotional response—whether it’s good or bad or romantic.”

What runs through each song is a big personality and the accompanying jolt of energy that Smith brings to everything he does. “I don’t like holding back,” Smith says. “I like to put it all out there, on the page and on the stage. Audiences know when you’re being real, when you’re talking about what you know and what you feel.”

Veronica Ballestrini


Timbob Records

vballestrini-playlistVeronina Ballestrini’s latest single “Amazing” is currently making its mark on MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Chart and beyond. Veronica might not be the household name that our American Idol-era industry is capable of producing overnight—yet. But there’s no doubt that she is well on her way to mastering the art of our new media age and bringing a legion of fans with her in the process, as a recent story about her in the New York Times suggests.

“I spend about four hours a day answering messages from fans,” she reveals. “Every message I get, I answer myself.” It’s a formula that has paid big dividends for the surprisingly down-to-earth young star.

With one modest dream and an Internet connection, the teenager from Waterford, Connecticut has raised more than a few eyebrows with her self-made success story. The staggering numbers on her social network sites are proof that Veronica has that special ability to connect with people. On Myspace alone, that number totals more than 120,000 friends, 7.5 million page views and 11.5 million plays of her music. On country-lifestyle portal DigitalRodeo.com, Veronica is one of the most in-demand artists on the entire site.

“What Veronica has done without a label, without television and with virtually no press is absolutely astounding,” says Digital Rodeo Director of Marketing and Promotions John Pyne. “She is one of the most self-motivated artists I’ve ever seen and knows how to use the online tools at her disposal exceptionally well. It just so happens that she’s also a very talented young singer, and I personally think there’s no end to what she can accomplish.”

“It’s important that people know that I’m not trying to be anyone else,” adds Veronica. “I’m just trying to be who I am. I’m writing from the heart about issues and things I’m experiencing, and hopefully people can identify with that.”


Nathan Lee Jackson

“Desperate Man”

StarCity/Nine North

nljackson-playlist“Desperate Man” is the latest single from StarCity/Nine North artist Nathan Lee Jackson. The song comes from Jackson’s debut album Complicated Hearts, recorded with the help of Jeff Glixman, producer of famed ‘70s rock legends Kansas.

Hailing from Winchester, Kentucky, Jackson came of age during country music’s new wave of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. He sang hymns on the front porch with his Grandma, and was grounded in classic country by singing with central Kentucky’s jamboree bands.

Shortly after high school graduation Jackson moved to Nashville, where his hard work and writing found the ears of Glixman. Jackson was invited to make an album at Glixman and partner Jim Gentile’s StarCity Recording Company in Bethlehem, PA.

“The recording process of my album was the kind that every artist dreams about,” Jackson says. “Jeff told me up front that neither producers nor artists often get to make the album that they want to make, but we had an opportunity at StarCity to do just that.” Jackson plays piano on the recording and had a hand in writing each of the album’s 13 songs.

“We didn’t really worry about what ‘kind’ of album we wanted to make,” Jackson says. “We just wanted to make magic—the kind of album we’d still love listening to in thirty years.”


Michelle Branch

“Sooner Or Later”

Warner Bros. Nashville

mbranch-playlistGrammy-winner Michelle Branch is back with “Sooner Or Later,” her first solo effort after enjoying country success with the acclaimed Stand Still, Look Pretty by The Wreckers. As part of that duo, Branch was nominated for both a CMA Award and a Grammy. The popularity of The Wreckers helped establish her as a fixture of country radio, thanks to such winning country tracks as the No. 1 smash “Leave The Pieces” and the Top 10 “My, Oh My.”

“Sooner or Later,” produced by John Leventhal and John Shanks for Warner Bros. Nashville, is the first single from her upcoming CD Everything Comes And Goes. The single recently sold over 27,000 copies during its first week on iTunes, and is impacting radio now.

Her new project was recorded in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles with a great supporting cast of musicians, including Dwight Yoakam (who is featured on “Long Goodbye”). Everything Comes And Goes offers the sound of a gifted singer-songwriter who left some pieces of her heart behind, but found some new pieces along the way too. “I never consider what an album’s about while I’m recording it,” says Branch. “But in the end, I guess that Everything Comes And Goes is really a record about passion–about wanting it, about losing it and then finding it all over again.”

In 2001, Branch released The Spirit Room, which went multi-platinum and produced three hits including “Everywhere,” “All You Wanted,” and “Goodbye to You.” Branch’s reputation for grown-up talent was further solidified in 2002 when she teamed with Santana to record “The Game of Love,” which became an international smash and won a Grammy for “Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.” In 2003, Branch released the platinum Hotel Paper, which debuted at No. 2 and spawned the Grammy-nominated hit “Are You Happy Now?” After winding down from a headlining world tour supporting Hotel Paper, her 2003 solo CD, Branch took some time off to get married and give birth to her first child.


Chris Hanners

“It’s My Lie (Let Me Live It)”

Little House Records

channers-playlistSigned to Nashville-based Little House Records, Chris Hanners‘ fun, catchy new single “It’s My Lie (Let Me Live It)” is connecting with fans nationwide. GAC’s Headline Country New Music Page exploded with positive comments week after week as fans voted for Chris’s traditional country sound and the song’s clever lyrics.

Penned by noted tunesmith Mark Schlemmer and produced by Randy Jack Wiggins, the whole song is a lie; from his supermodel girlfriend to buying his third Mercedes Benz. But Chris’s strong performance might make you believe it’s true.

The Georgia native made his debut performance singing solo at his Baptist Church in La Grange, Georgia when he was seven. In addition to his musical family, Chris was inspired by such country greats as Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Randy Travis and Johnny Cash. Hanners began his musical career as a teenager with trio The Sky Is The Limit.

Fans and friends are invited to share their tallest tale by entering the “Biggest Lie” contest posted here through September 1st.

“It’s My Lie (Let Me Live It)” is available for download on iTunes. Little House Records is distributed by Memphis-based Select-O-Hits.


David Bradley

“Soak It Up”

Gecko Music Productions

dbradley-playlistFrom the oil rigs in Siberia to the clubs and songwriters circles of Nashville, Englishman David Bradley brings his soulful country rock ‘n’ roll to the US via his new home in Music City. After settling in with the community of singers and songwriters in Nashville, David offers his first single, “Soak It Up” just in time for summer. This infectious, mid-tempo rocker written by Bradley with Brady Seals and produced by Seals leads off his forthcoming album, a culmination of traveling the world and growing up on good American country music. Over 40 country stations, including Nashville’s XM 11, have played it out of the box. Stations can download a broadcast quality file from Play MPE, and the CD single has now shipped to radio.

Following in his father’s footsteps, he made a life for himself as an oil engineer uncovering places beyond the reaches of common imagination. Stationed for months in the forests of Siberia and on an oil rig in the middle of the Caspian Sea gave him a deep empathy for others who also found themselves far from the comforts and familiarities of home. David found himself writing about the hopes and fears that a man must confront on his journey through life.

Now that he’s a resident of Nashville, David is collaborating with some of the most notable songwriters and producers in town and his songs have garnered him a highly coveted publishing deal with Wrensong Music Publishing. David’s live shows also brought him to the attention of the AristoMedia Global Showcase who invited him to participate in their international artist showcase of tomorrow’s stars, kicking off CMA Music Fest 2009, a performance which was featured on tv program Inside Music Row.


Judy Libow/Libow Unlimited Inc.
(212) 988-5987
[email protected]