Charley Crockett Signs With CAA

Charley Crockett. Photo: Taylor Grace

Rising Americana recording artist Charley Crockett has signed with CAA for representation in all areas.

A guitarist and songwriter, Crockett has released 10 albums over the last six years, and his latest, Music City, USA, has topped the Americana Music Album Chart since its release on Sept. 17 through Thirty Tigers. He was named Emerging Artist of the Year this year at the Americana Music Awards and boasts 90 million lifetime streams.

Crockett most recently signed a publishing deal with Rick Rubin of American Songs. He is managed by Bruce Robison and Mandy Chase at The Next Waltz, his attorney is Trip Aldredge from Aldredge Law, and his publicist is Rob Krauser from REK Room Media.

Tenille Townes Announces First U.S. Touring Trek For 2022

Award winning singer-songwriter Tenille Townes is set to embark on the “Villain In Me Tour” in 2022, marking the Canadian-born’s first solo trek in the United States.

The run, named after Townes’ new song releasing Nov. 5, includes stops at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre, Nashville’s Basement East, and Chicago’s Joe’s on Weed St. Tickets for the 10-city outing will be on sale Nov. 5 with pre-sales beginning Nov. 2.

“I am so excited to be doing my first headlining tour in the U.S.! After the past year and a half, it feels so good to be back doing shows and I cannot wait to come to these cities and see everyone in person!” shares Townes.

Townes was named New Female Artist of the Year at The 55th ACM Awards; won three awards at the 2020 Canadian Country Music Awards, making her an eight-time CCMA winner; and received her first Juno Award for Country Album of the Year (The Lemonade Stand) at the 50th Annual Juno Awards.

She is also the first female in Mediabase Canada history to achieve two No. 1 singles with album tracks like “Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Asking)” and “Somebody’s Daughter.” Townes was named MusicRow‘s Discovery Artist in 2019, part of MusicRow‘s Next Big Thing Class of 2020 and an iHeartCountry’s On The Verge artist.

“Villain In Me Tour” Dates:
Jan. 19, 2022 – Cambridge MA – The Sinclair
Jan. 20, 2022 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
Jan. 21, 2022 – Philadelphia, PA – World Café Live
Jan. 27, 2022 – Nashville, TN – Basement East
Jan. 28, 2022 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground
Feb. 2, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Joe’s on Weed St.
Feb. 3, 2022 – Indianapolis, IN – HI-FI Indy
Feb. 4, 2022 – Detroit, MI – El Club
Feb. 10, 2022 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom

Amazon Music To Launch New ‘Country Heat Weekly’ Podcast

Amazon Music is rolling out Country Heat Weekly, a brand new original podcast co-hosted by Kelly Sutton, who also hosts Amazon Music’s Country Heat Radio in DJ Mode, and Amber Anderson. The first episode will debut on Nov. 9 with country superstar Eric Church.

Every week Sutton and Anderson will break down the most popular songs, bring listeners the latest news in country music, and connect with some of the music’s most beloved artists. New episodes will drop every Thursday on Amazon Music and all podcast providers.

“Amber and I are bringing a fresh approach to covering all things country! Amber has an insider’s knowledge of the industry and my passion has always been connecting with the artists–we’re excited to give fans a backstage pass to all things country music!” says Sutton.

“Words can’t express how thrilled I am to have the opportunity to share everything that makes country music great with fans on Amazon Music! It truly is a dream come true to bring exclusive artist content, news, stories, and all of the things that made me fall in love with Nashville to people all over the world,” adds Anderson.

Country Heat Weekly is the latest offering from Amazon Music’s Country Heat brand, which includes a global playlist, station, and more, and recently surpassed 13 billion streams in the U.S. since its launch in October 2016.

Chart Action: Scotty McCreery Impacts Country Radio

This week, “Damn Strait” by Scotty McCreery impacts country radio and lands the highest debut designation on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart sitting at No. 74. He is also most-added on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart and debuted at No. 55.

“Damn Strait” appears on McCreery’s 12-song collection Same Truck, which released in September via Triple Tigers. Written by Trent Tomlinson and Jim Collins, “Damn Strait” cleverly honors country music icon George Strait, even as the singer bemoans the loss of his lover, associating Strait’s songs with her since they were the couple’s favorites.

“Every now and then you hear a song that sounds so much like you,” recalls McCreery. “I grew up as a huge George Strait fan, and when I heard this song, I raised my hand to say, ‘I want this one.’ Every country fan has a George Strait story, and everyone has a memory attached to their favorite songs.”

For more chart data, view the latest edition of The MusicRow Weekly.

Randi Lesnick Shares Lessons From Grief In New Memoir

Randi Lesnick

Randi Lesnick, former Nashville event planner to the stars and head of Randi Events, is releasing a new memoir, The Me I Never Knew I Could Be, detailing the highs and lows of the past three decades including the loss of her husband Allen.

In The Me I Never Knew I Could Be, Randi bravely documents many of her low points over the years, including her struggles with infertility and breast cancer, the death of her mother, and, of course, the moment when she realized that her husband was gone forever.

“I wanted to write the book because I never wanted to forget,” Lesnick said. “Sometimes we think the solution to getting past hard things is to forget about them, but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to remember everything—the good and the bad. If this book can help even one person see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, then my husband did not die in vain. The grief doesn’t ever go away, but it does change. And slowly but surely you find that it is possible to live again.”

In addition to publishing her book, Randi will be launching a podcast, The Burden of Grief, and has plans to begin speaking publicly about the silence of mental illness, grief, and her lifelong journey of overcoming adversity.

Music City Studios Announces Plans To Break Ground On 47+ Acre Media Complex In Hendersonville

Rendering of Music City Studios

A new 47+ acre media complex, Music City Studios, has announced they will break ground in the Metro Nashville area by the end of the year. Located in Hendersonville, Tennessee, the studio space aims to blend multiple creative industries together on one campus, including space for content production, film, live touring, broadcast, virtual production, and technical and business support for Metaverse-based businesses.

According to a statement about the property, Music City Studios plans to offer 200,000+ square feet of state-of-the-art sound stage space and 500,000+ square feet of space dedicated to tenants for film, live music, broadcast, Metaverse, and media production.

Rendering of Music City Studios

Hendersonville Mayor, Jamie Clary, says, “Hendersonville has been the home of Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Taylor Swift, and dozens of other globally known musicians. The Oak Ridge Boys and Ricky Skaggs are current residents. Music City Studios and Monolith Studios could not select a more appropriate location. Hendersonville is a growing community of professionals who bleed creativity. The entertainment infrastructure needed for a film and music facility is already in and near Hendersonville. Music City Studios and their tenants will do well here.”

Monolith Studios, the campus’ anchor tenant and partner, is a full-service virtual production and content creation studio, specializing in proprietary LED volume architecture and content-to-display systems and services. This will be Monolith’s first Tennessee office.

“Monolith is expanding its footprint around the world and Tennessee is a critical creative hub for our business,” says Monolith CEO, Josh Furlow. “For a city and region that has been built on the entertainment industry, we look forward to creating the 21st century digital campus to help support live entertainment merging with the digital future”.

David Buttrey

The Music City Studios Campus will be led by Nashvillie native and touring industry professional David Buttrey. His extensive experience includes producing the award-winning Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Enchant Christmas’ multi-city stadium shows, Afropunk Music Festival, and more.

“I don’t ever want another young person to feel like they can’t build a life and career here in Nashville,” Buttrey shares. “With this new campus, no Nashville-based artist or crew member will ever have to leave the metro area to rehearse for a global concert tour, produce a movie, or film a commercial. I used to have to travel to Los Angeles, New York, and overseas for global-level production work. The goal of Music City Studios is to act as a platform and catalyst for more world-class production coming to and being created out of Nashville.”

Music City Studios plans to break ground by the end of the year and will be making tenant announcements through Q1 of 2022. Construction is slated to be completed by the end of Q1 2023 with the sound stages opening Q4 of 2022.

Elvie Shane’s Debut Album ‘Backslider’ Offers An Honest Look At His Personal & Musical Journey [Interview]

Elvie Shane. Photo: Jeremy Cowart

Rising country artist Elvie Shane took the country music industry by storm with his No. 1 hit “My Boy,” which tells the emotional story of Shane’s bond with his stepson. After the track went viral on social media in 2018, Shane caught the attention of many, earning him a publishing deal and eventually his record deal with BBR Music Group. He was also named as part of MusicRow‘s Next Big Thing Class of 2021.

Today (Oct. 29), Shane is releasing his debut album Backslider via BRR’s Wheelhouse Records.

The album features 15 songs, all of which were co-written by Shane, about his love for his family, friends and his journey thus far. The album is an authentic country record that isn’t scared to show off Shane’s other influences like southern rock, R&B and gospel.

“I started writing the record about five years ago with ‘My Boy,’ and then I signed my record deal thinking I had a whole record put together. They told me right after we signed that they only thought I had one song, and that was ‘My Boy,'” says Shane. “So every other song has been written after February of 2018. The last few years, we’ve just been digging in and trying to write some honest songs. We took a look at where I’ve been, where I come from, where I’m at now and tried to put it all in a story with some music behind it.”

Shane, a Kentucky native, enlisted songwriters Derrick Southerland, Russell Sutton, Lee Starr, Nick Columbia and many more for the project. The summer after signing his record deal, he was writing with many Nashville songwriters and was learning a lot about his craft.

“It was awesome. I went through a phase right after my deal where I just wrote with everyone in town. I was in a room with people that I shouldn’t have been in the room with, that were well above me as writers. But it was awesome to be able to be in there and learn from them about how to approach writing more efficiently.

“It was really cool to just go through the process and find the people who were really interested in what I was trying to say and help me say it in a way that was true to me. And I think we put a great team of writers together, for this project in particular. I’m excited to continue writing with those folks. But also watch that team grow throughout the years.”

The record has some familiar Shane originals like “County Roads” and “My Kinda Trouble.” But the opening track, “I Will Run,” is a fantastic showcase of Shane as a singer and gives insight on his journey. The song, written with Doug Johnson and Adam Wood, is about how Shane has always felt on the run and has never stopped moving. Now, as he gets older, he’s trying to run to the things and the people he loves. The song sets the stage for the rest of the record.

“I feel like I’m always on the go, I’m definitely born to run. There’s a lot of things in life that I have run from and now that life is better than it ever has been, there’s a lot of things I feel like I’m running to now.

“I was like, ‘Let’s start at the end. This is where we are now, but what got us here?'” Shane says of writing the song. “I went through the things that I’ve run from in my life, like the recklessness of youth, the love loss, the love found, the mistakes made, and how often we take it for granted.”

Along with writing for the album, Shane loved the creativity he and his studio band had when recording the album.

Elvie Shane. Photo: Jeremy Cowart

“I really enjoyed so many different aspects of [making the album]. I love going into my producer’s [Oscar Charles] studio, when it’s just me and him and we’re trying to figure out what we hear behind just me and a guitar. That’s always a lot of fun to create those parts together and go in and play it for the studio band,” says Shane. “I think the thing that I love most about all of it was just seeing these players have fun doing what they’re doing. They get to be that kid again that was 10 or 12 years old and decided they wanted to play an instrument. I’m super proud of the band.”

The one song that Shane is most proud of and is most excited for fans to hear is the last track on the record, “Miles (With Mama).” He originally wrote it as a tribute to his father who was a truck driver. He set out to be extremely honest when writing about his father, with his faults and all. During this process he reflected on himself and his struggle of being on the road constantly, which led to him discovering a new-found empathy for his father. What also makes the song special is he had the chance to sing it with his mother, who was the foundation for his love for music.

“For a lot of these songs, I tried to approach them with as much honesty as I possibly could. But that song in particular is 100%, from beginning to end, a very vulnerable and honest song,” says Shane. “I got to have my mother sing on that song with me, one of my very first inspirations as a singer. She sings harmonies with me. So that song is very close to my heart.”

Shane’s debut album, Backslider, is filled with honesty, great musicianship and tells his story the way he wanted to tell it.

“Throughout the record there’s an order of things that starts with my youth, my Sunday mornings, and my running around as a teenager. Then you get to ‘My Kinda Trouble,’ ‘Saturday Night Me’ and ‘My Boy.’ That’s what I like to call the Mandy years in the record, from when I met my wife and how she turned my life around. Then my Nashville years start after that, with not only stories about myself, but songs that we wrote as a tribute to country music and what I love about it,” Shane sums. “Everything [on the album] are things that I’ve ran from and ultimately led me to run right back into them, just from a different perspective.”

Mark Collie Celebrates 20 Years Of Brushy Mountain Concert With Live Album, Documentary

Mark Collie is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his concert at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary which became his classic live album, Alive at Brushy Mountain.

A film team was on hand back then to capture the visits to the prison and his performance with an all-star band for a documentary, The Mountain. Collie finished the film by visiting with the inmates years later after they re-entered society to see how his visits and music had affected their lives.

“I believed the songs could matter. I wanted to make something that people could find hope in or redemption or restoration or forgiveness,” says Collie.

The Mountain documentary and Alive at Brushy Mountain live concert are now being re-released by Harvest Entertainment on video streaming services this fall. CD and double-vinyl copies of the live album are available at MarkCollie.com, and the album is available here.

Collie and his wife Tammy have carried on with their message of hope in prisons across the country, changing hundreds of lives before and after re-entry and impacting families and communities.

His ten-week songwriting program, My Song for Life, developed in partnership with CoreCivic and The Change Company, spans multiple facilities across the United States. Collie’s other humanitarian efforts include addiction treatment, the Mark Collie endowed Chair at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for Diabetes Research, and support for women and men in uniform and law enforcement.

Tony Brown Receives Inaugural North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award

Tony Brown accepts first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

Grammy award-winning producer Tony Brown received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame at the historic Gem Theatre in Kannapolis, North Carolina on Oct. 26.

The award recognizes Brown’s contributions in the music industry and to American music throughout his over 50-year career. The renowned producer and exec co-founded Universal South Records and is the former president of MCA Records Nashville. He has produced numerous hits for George Strait, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill and many more, winning seven ACM awards, multiple CMA awards, and earning numerous Gold, Platinum, and multi-Platinum album credits.

Throughout his career, he has signed artists like Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, The Mavericks, and more. Brown also produced the majority of tracks for Tuskegee, one of 2012’s highest grossing albums, with Lionel Richie. Overall, his work has yielded over 100 No. 1 singles and record sales exceeding 100 million.

“Quite simply, Tony and Tony’s work as a producer and a music executive dominated country music for the better part of two decades,” says Mike Dungan, CEO of Universal Music Nashville. “He possesses a unique ability to appeal to the common man in one moment and then turn right around and creatively challenge the hippest of the hip. Tony is the coolest cowboy I’ve ever known!”

“Tony Brown’s name has become synonymous with great recordings,” the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame shares. “His work transcends genres. His lifetime achievements will forever be recognized throughout the industry!”

Brown was honored for his lifetime achievement alongside Roberta Flack (1973’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and 1974’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love”).

Jordan Davis Claims No. 1 On MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart

Jordan Davis earns his fifth No. 1 Challenge Coin this week as his single, “Buy Dirt,” hits the top of MusicRow‘s CountryBreakout Radio Chart. The single, which features Luke Bryan, was also certified Gold by the RIAA this week and it received a nomination for Musical Event of the Year for the upcoming 55th Annual CMA Awards, marking the first CMA nomination in Davis’ career.

“Buy Dirt” is the title track to Davis’ latest EP released in May of this year. The single was co-written by Davis, Jacob Davis, Josh Jenkins, and Matt Jenkins.

Davis is currently on his Buy Dirt Tour through December with support from MacKenzie Porter and Seaforth.

Click here to view the latest edition of The MusicRow Weekly containing the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart.