Folds Of Honor Tennessee Raises Over $324,000 At 2nd Annual Celebrity Golf Tourney

Folds of Honor 2nd Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament winning team, Team IB3 Global Solutions. Photo: Courtesy of Wortman Works

Folds of Honor Tennessee raised over $324,000 this week at the 2nd Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Governors Club. Celebrity players included Lee Brice, Michael Ray, Kid Rock, Tyler Braden, Jordan Rowe, Jelly Roll, and Cortland Finnegan, among many others.

The tournament brought together friends from sports, entertainment, and corporate America with foursomes teeing off in support of Folds of Honor’s mission to provide opportunity to the families of our nation’s injured and fallen veterans in the form of scholarships.

Speaker Rachel Faulkner Brown, Photo: Courtesy of Wortman Works

The day’s winner was Team IB3 Global Solutions headed by executive board member, Sean Gleason of Knoxville. The event also featured a post-golf dinner, a concert by Edwin McCain, and a live/silent auction. The guest speaker was Rachel Faulkner-Brown, founder of Be Still Ministries.

“What a blessing! The energy in the air was electric on Monday. Thank you to all the sponsors, board members, celebrities, players, and volunteers who helped the Tennessee Chapter of Folds of Honor raise nearly 65 scholarships for our military families. Our ‘squadron’ is unmatched!” states Jenner Kreifels, the Regional Development Officer for Folds of Honor Tennessee.

Folds of Honor will distribute nearly 9,000 academic scholarships worth approximately $40 million for 2022-23. Since its inception in 2007, the organization has awarded nearly 44,000 scholarships valued at nearly $200 million.

Folds of Honor Tennessee hosts several fundraising events throughout the year to raise funds for the scholarships, including Drams ‘N Jams, Rock ‘N Jock Celebrity Softball tournament, and Heroes and Holidays in partnership with John Rich, among others.

Luke Combs Achieves Four-Week MusicRow No. 1

In an unprecedented feat, Luke Combs makes a triumphant return to the the top of the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart marking four weeks at No. 1 for “The Kind Of Love We Make.” Combs wrote the single with Dan Isbell, Reid Isbell, and Jamie Davis and it appears on his latest album Growin’ Up.

This week, Combs was honored as Artist of the Year at the 34th annual MusicRow Awards. Click here to see the full list of winners. 

The official music video for “The Kind Of Love We Make” has racked in over 11 million views on YouTube.

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

Film Producer & Singer-Songwriter Tyler Thompson Signs With Sony Music Nashville, CAA

Tyler Thompson. Photo: Danny Clinch

Singer-songwriter Tyler Thompson has signed with Sony Music Nashville and CAA.

Known for producing acclaimed films such as Black Swan, American Made, Hacksaw Ridge and Trial of the Chicago 7, Thompson’s first track, “Won’t Take Long,” is available everywhere now.

“Throughout my career, I have always been passionate about telling stories no one else was willing to tell, and bringing back projects from the brink to give them new life. This happened when I made Black Swan and that’s exactly what I believe we’re doing with this song, which was written by my pal Will Hoge several years ago,” Thompson explains. “I’m so excited for Sony Nashville to be on board for this journey and for everyone to finally hear it.”

Thompson found his way into producing movies in 2008 with his debut film, Black Swan, and followed that up with Rush, Black Mass, American Made, Hacksaw Ridge and Everest, among many others. He is in production on his next movie, The Pale Blue Eye, with Christian Bale and Scott Cooper, which will release on Netflix this fall.

Music has always been in my blood, not genetically, but there’s something burning in me that has always driven me to make it,” continues Thompson. “A lot of country music these days is successful because it’s relatable to folks in America. In a world where it’s very hard to find authenticity, I wanted to create some semblance of it, first for myself, and now I hope people will also feel it on this record.”

Habitat for Humanity’s 2022 Music Row Build Kicks Off

Pictured: Brothers Osborne, last year’s Music Row Build Ambassadors, with 2021 Music Row Build Habitat Family Alycia Carpenter.

The 2022 Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville Music Row Build has been slated for Oct. 29, with upcoming music fundraisers scheduled to support this year’s build for future Habitat homeowner LaShawanda Bowman.

Bowman is the mother of four children aged 6 to 16, and has worked as a dental assistant since 2020. She attended Tennessee College of Applied Technology Dental Assistant School and graduated with honors in 2019.

Pictured: 2021’s Music Row Build family Alycia Carpenter’s ribbon cutting for her new Habitat home on May 17, 2021.

Music Row veteran Mark Brown says the goal of this Music Row Build is to establish a $500,000 endowment in order to continue to provide solutions for Nashville’s affordable housing crisis. The fundraising goal for this year’s build is $25,000.

“I absolutely hate the word rent. Mortgage sounds so much better,” says Bowman. “My kids are the reason I am pushing for homeownership. I owe this to them, and my determination won’t allow me to give up.”

A fundraiser will be held at Nashville’s Exit/In on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m. featuring the Brown Brothers Band. It will be a free show with a suggested $25 donation to support Music Row Build.

A writer’s round has also been set at the Bluebird Cafe for Sept. 28 with ticket information and other details to follow.

Music Row Build began in 2003 and helped eight local families purchase affordable homes
before it ended in 2012. Habitat’s Music Row Build reignited in 2020 when Brown decided he
wanted to do more to help hardworking Nashvillians have equal opportunities to live in the city
in which they work.

Riser House Entertainment Promotes Brandon Perdue To SVP Of A&R And Publishing

Brandon Perdue

Riser House Entertainment’s Brandon Perdue has been promoted to SVP of A&R + Publishing.

Since joining the company four years ago, Perdue has developed hit songwriters Dallas Wilson and Michael Whitworth. He has been heavily involved in the past few years of Mitchell Tenpenny’s career, including setting up the session that produced his and Chris Young’s latest No. 1 hit, “At The End of A Bar.” Additionally, Perdue oversaw the production of Dillon Carmichael’s latest album, Son of A, working alongside producers Jon Pardi, Dann Huff, Ryan Gore and Phil O’Donnell.

Riser House’s publishing division currently oversees the songwriting careers of Tenpenny, Wilson, Whitworth and Carmichael, and has also recently completed a catalog purchase from The Song Factory, including hits from writers Pardi, Butler, Ashley McBryde, Dustin Lynch, and more. On the records side, the roster includes Tenpenny (in partnership with Sony Nashville), Carmichael and Meghan Patrick, along with several label services clients.

“Brandon has proven himself a key leader in our company with his ability to manage artists and songwriters, helping them to achieve great success,” says Riser House Entertainment Founder/CEO Jennifer Johnson. “Under his helm, Riser House has seen many hits as a young, boutique label and publishing company. As an A&R executive, Brandon has incredible sensibilities and knows how to help artists navigate their sound, fostering them to make artful and commercial records. He’s one of the best A&R and Publishing executives in our business, and I’m excited to see where he can take us as we continue to grow both our office and our roster.”

“I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to build at Riser House over the past few years,” adds Perdue. “Our approach is ‘small but mighty’, and everyone on our roster currently has multiple things to be excited about because we are able to take a laser-focused approach with each creative we partner with. I can’t wait to see what the next four years hold for our current team and the new crop of talent we’ll be bringing on board over the next year.”

Congratulate Perdue at [email protected].

CMA Expands Global Reach With Visits To Australia, New Zealand, Canada

The CMA is expanding its international reach this month with visits to Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The CMA Fest summer TV special is also set to air in multiple territories through the end of September.

The organization kicks off this month with visits to Australia and New Zealand, curating unique events with Kane Brown and Shy Carter, plus Australian artist Melanie Dyer.

While in Australia, CMA will partner with performing rights organization APRA AMCOS for SongHubs Country, a four-day songwriting camp running from Sept. 1-4. CMA Vice President, International Relations and Development Milly Olykan will serve as curator for the event, handpicking 12 participants to work alongside Carter and Dyer to write and produce a commercial hit.

CMA will also have a presence at BigSound, Australia’s leading music industry conference on Sept. 7. Serving as keynote speaker, Olykan will highlight the growth and potential of country music within Australia’s mainstream music culture as part of an interview with Natalie Waller, Chairman of the Australian Recording Industry Association and Head of Music & Events for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In addition, CMA will host a songwriters round at BigSound featuring Carter with local artists James Johnston, Fanny Lumsden and Loren Ryan.

Rounding out the visit, CMA’s Australian Task Force will host a reception on Sept. 23 at the CMA-sponsored Backstage Bar at CMC Rocks, returning this year after a two-year hiatus.

In New Zealand, CMA will partner with Sony Music New Zealand and Frontier Touring to host a pre-show reception with Brown on Sept. 25 leading into his performance at Spark Arena in Auckland. This marks Brown’s first performance in New Zealand, and the country’s first major country event since 2016.

CMA will also have a presence in Canada for the CCMA Country Music Week Conference and Festival and the Canadian Country Music Awards from Sept. 8-12.

“Undertaking new initiatives in Australia, and for the first time in New Zealand, is all the more special now that borders are open and our live business can resume again,” Olykan explains. “We have an incredible network in these markets, and we’re excited to be forging the many new relationships we’ve gathered over Zoom these last two years. CMA is grateful that the various broadcasters we have around the world have continued to carry CMA’s three network shows, giving country music artists mainstream exposure in multiple international territories.”

To date, the 2022 CMA Fest program has also been licensed in five international territories, including Canada and the UK. Upcoming airings are scheduled for Mexico (Sept. 4), Norway (Sept. 16), and Germany (Sept. 28).

Jay DeMarcus Gives A Glimpse Inside New Red Street Country Label Division [Interview]

Jay DeMarcus. Photo: Courtesy of The GreenRoom

As one third of superstar country group Rascal Flatts, Jay DeMarcus has some notable experience in the country music industry.

After two decades of selling over 23 million albums, earning 17 No. 1 hits and nearly four dozen awards, and selling more than 11 million concert tickets, DeMarcus has spent the last few years taking his artist expertise and immersing himself into the business side of the industry.

DeMarcus launched his Christian music label, Red Street Records, in 2018 with flagship group Avalon and worship leader Lauren James. Over the next few years, the label slowly signed more artists to its roster, including Cade Thompson, Jason Crabb, Tom Yankton, and more.

At the beginning of 2022, DeMarcus added a new endeavor to the growing Red Street empire: Red Street Country.

Pictured (L-R, front row): Red Street Records Owner/Chairman Dan Crocket, Andrew Millsaps of Neon Union, Leo Brooks of Neon Union, Red Street Records Owner/CEO Jay DeMarcus and Red Street Records’ Kelly King; (L-R, back row): Red Street Records’ Kelly Rich, JAB Entertainment’s Aaron Benward, Jimmie Allen, Red Street Records’ Alex Valentine, and Red Street Records’ Harrison Sokoloff

With singer-songwriter Ryan Griffin as its flagship artist, the label has grown substantially since its launch, signing rising country duo Neon Union and forming an impressive team of industry executives, including Alex Valentine (General Manager), Kelly King (Sr. Director of A&R), Kelly Rich (Chief Operating Officer), Mike Craft (Chief Financial Officer), Andy Elliott (SVP of Country Promotion), and more.

MusicRow recently caught up with DeMarcus and Griffin to talk about the new country division, what the first few months have been like, and look ahead at the future of Red Street Records.

MusicRow: Why did you want to start a country division?

DeMarcus: When I first opened Red Street, I wanted to make sure it was something I was going to be good at and that I wasn’t just wasting everybody’s time. We started out really slow, signing a couple acts out of the gate. The more we got into it, the more we started to take some baby steps toward success. I realized it was something that I had a real passion for. I was really excited about the opportunity to pass on whatever experience I’d had in the last 22 years with Rascal Flatts to younger, up-and-coming artists and help them be prepare for things that I wish somebody had been around to tell me. That concept of being not only a label head, but also a quasi mentor, was really appealing to me.

When I figured out that I really loved doing this, at the end of last year I sat down with my business partner, Dan Crockett, and he asked what the next step for Red Street was. I said the logical next step would be to get into the country space because that’s where I’ve spent most of my career. After a couple of discussions, he said, “I think that makes a lot of sense. Let’s dive in and hire the team and find the artists that you want.” With Dan’s backing and support, I started to put a team together to launch our country division, but I didn’t have an artist.

Pictured (L-R): Dan Crockett, Owner/Chairman RSC; Ryan Griffin; Jay DeMarcus; Mark Lusk, former President, General Manager RSC. Photo: Cooper Smith

What made Ryan the perfect fit as Red Street’s flagship artist?

DeMarcus: I brought Ryan in to see if he was even interested in signing another record deal. He’d had some success launching “Salt, Lime & Tequila” by himself and worked very hard to turn that into a hit last summer.

After we had spent some time in the writers room together, I got to witness his work ethic and how talented he was, not only as a vocalist and musician, but as a songwriter. He was one of those people that I was really drawn to, even before there was a thought of opening up a country division. When we decided to green light the country division, my first thought was Ryan. I thought it would be a match made in heaven. Thank God, and thank Ryan, because he was open and excited about being a part of something new.

Ryan, what made you believe in this label and sign on?

Griffin: I previously had deals with Sony and then Warner Brothers, but when the pandemic hit, I got a call that I had been cut. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next and I put out this song, “Salt, Lime & Tequila.” It ended up taking off and making a life of its own.

Ryan Griffin. Photo: Dove Shore

I got a phone call from Jay just after Thanksgiving and he asked me out for coffee. He told me what was going on and that he wanted me to be the flagship artist, and there was no second thought. That is what I had been praying for and what me and my wife had been dreaming of. I’ve done the majors and, to be completely frank, it just wasn’t a really good fit for me. I wanted a place that really felt like a family, and one thing that Jay has done incredibly well is cultivate this family dynamic within the label.

Jay is always available and comes at it from an artist’s perspective, which is amazing. I look at Jay as a mentor to to help me through some of these road bumps and to help me avoid some bumps because he’s been doing it for so long. I’m really thankful to be a part of a label where the head understands what it is to be an artist and the proper things to put our time, energy and resources behind.

Jay, what are some lessons you’ve learned since getting into the business side of the industry?

DeMarcus: One of the major things that I’ve learned is I love it very much. It’s very rewarding for me to be able to pass the baton to the next generation of country music stars.

I’ve also learned that there was so much more about the music business that I didn’t know. I’ve had to surround myself with really good people and, thank God, we’ve had really good people come to us that I can lean on and that can teach me the things that I don’t know. I didn’t understand the administrative side of running a label and the nuts and bolts that make a label run. The basics of running a business have been a fast education for me, and I’ve been grateful to have good people around me.

Who have been good resources for you as you’ve gotten into the business side of things?

DeMarcus: One thing that I don’t have is a shortage of dear friends in this town, and I pride myself on the relationships I’ve built. My manager, Clarence Spaulding, and Randy Goodman, who signed Rascal Flatts at Lyric Street Records and is now the head of Sony Nashville, have been on speed dial since I started this.

It’s been amazing to be able to dive into my digital Rolodex and look at all the people that I’ve been blessed to be friends with for over 25 years. They have been so gracious, kind and giving with their time and advice. Everybody’s been really supportive, and it’s been really overwhelming to see the support for Red Street from our community and friends so far.

What do you have planned for the next few months?

Griffin: We have been out across the country on our radio tour, and it’s been so cool to meet everybody face-to-face. We also have “Salt, Lime & Tequila” on country radio and we’ve been out touring with Old Dominion and Walker Hayes, so it’s been a blast.

We’re currently in the midst of our “Slow Down Sunrise Tour” and it’s just been incredible. Seeing people sing the lyrics of my songs back to me is something I’ve dreamed of my entire life. It’s been such a fun journey and knowing that I get to do that every night for the next couple months is a really good feeling. It’s an awesome experience knowing that the song is connecting, and I know that I have a family and team behind me that has my back, believes in me, and wants to see me succeed.

What are some of your goals for Red Street Country?

DeMarcus: The immediate goal for me is to be a real player in this industry because I’m really passionate about what we’re building over here. You can tell by some of the people that we’ve brought on to the staff and the people that we’ve already had on the team, that we’re bringing on people that are very experienced in the music industry. I’m really thrilled with the moves, promotions and new hires that we’ve made, and hopefully it makes the statement that we’re here to stay and leave our mark on the music industry. This is all I know how to do—I don’t know what my life would be like without music.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity.

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.