BMI Kicks Off Sixth Season Of ‘Rooftop On The Row’ Series

Colbie Caillat kicking off the sixth season BMI’s “Rooftop On The Row” series. Photo: Nathan Zucker for BMI

BMI kicked off the sixth season of its “Rooftop On The Row” series, presented by George Dickel, last night (April 16) with Grammy winner Colbie Caillat and Red Street Records artist Ryan Larkins.

Ryan Larkins kicking off the sixth season BMI’s “Rooftop On The Row” series. Photo: Nathan Zucker for BMI

Hundreds of attendees congregated on top of BMI’s Nashville office for live music and drinks provided by the night’s sponsors Delta Air Lines, ONErpm, Texas Roadhouse, Topo Chico, White Claw and Gallagher Insurance.

DJ Smoke set the tone for the evening as BMI’s Mason Hunter introduced Larkins to the stage, where he sang “Man That Holds the Beer” and his recent single “King of Country Music” from his debut EP, Meet Ryan Larkins, among others. Larkins also spotlighted his first No. 1 with a special rendition of Cody Johnson’s chart-topper “The Painter.”

Caillat then started her headlining set with her double-Platinum hit “Fallin’ For You,” and expressed her gratitude for BMI as she has been affiliated with the PRO since the beginning of her career. She continued with multi-Platinum tunes “Bubbly,” “Realize” and “Try,” and welcomed a few special guests on stage. Gavin DeGraw joined the artist for “I Never Told You,” and Brett Young accompanied her for “Worth It.” Caillat also performed “Mean Girl” with Ashley Cooke. The two co-wrote the track, which is featured on Cooke’s debut album, with Nicolle Galyon and Jimmy Robbins.

The series will resume on May 14 with Jackson Dean and Mae Estes, followed by Ella Langley and Redferrin on July 16 as well as Josh Ross and Lauren Watkins on Aug. 13. The final show on Sept. 17 will officially kick off AmericanaFest. Those slated to perform will be announced soon.

Pictured (L-R): BMI’s Josh Tomlinson, Nina Carter, Leslie Roberts, Clay Bradley, Colbie Caillat, BMI’s MaryAnn Keen, Mason Hunter, Claire Dodelin and Shannon Sanders. Photo: Nathan Zucker for BMI

Industry Ink: Nate Smith, ACM, Bay Turner, Trey Allen

Nate Smith Celebrates Over 1 Billion Streams & RIAA Certifications

Pictured (L-R): Jen Way (SVP, Marketing, SMN), Taylor Lindsey (SVP, A&R, SMN) Steve Hodges (EVP, Promotion & Artist Development, SMN) Chief Zaruk (The Core Entertainment), Randy Goodman (Chairman & CEO, Sony SMN) Nate Smith, Simon Tikhman (The Core Entertainment) Caryl Atwood (SVP, Commercial Partnerships, SMN) Margaret Tomlin (VP, A&R, SMN) Ken Robold, (EVP & COO, SMN). Photo: Brenton Giesey.

Nate Smith celebrated career-defining achievements on Monday (April 15) at The Twelve Thirty Club Rooftop in Nashville. Sony Music Nashville and The Core Entertainment presented Smith with plaques for garnering over one billion career streams and his record breaking 10-week No. 1 “World On Fire.”

Smith also received two new RIAA certifications. His debut breakout single “Whiskey On You” is now double-Platinum, and his self-titled debut album received a Gold certification.


ACM & Whiskey Jam Celebrate Record-Breaking Show

Pictured (L-R): Haley Montgomery (ACM), Damon Whiteside (ACM), Ward Guenther (Whiskey Jam), Ryan O’Nan (Whiskey Jam). Photo: Courtesy of ACM

The Academy of Country Music (ACM) and Whiskey Jam partnered for a live show this past Monday night (April 15). The show, part of Whiskey Jam’s outdoor concert series, took place at Skydeck on Broadway, and featured performances from Tyler BradenBenjamin JosephTiera KennedyMatt KoziolLANCOMeghan Patrick and Chase Rice. Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat also gave surprise performances. The show broke an attendance record for the venue.


Bay Turner Inks With Centricity Music/Centricity Publishing

Bay Turner with his Centricity Music and Publishing team.

Singer-songwriter Bay Turner has signed an exclusive publishing deal with Centricity Music/Centricity Publishing. The America’s Got Talent alum is set to release new music soon.

“In our typical work, we don’t hear a lot of voices that literally stop us in our tracks, but when I first heard Bay’s, I had to find out who this guy was,” says Centricity Music’s A&R Manager, Stephen Floyd. “As we began the process of building a friendship, I really wanted him to be a part of the future that Centricity is building. It was a joy to discover not only is he a genuine artist with a world-class voice, he’s a world-class person as well.”


Trey Allen Joins Wealth Strategies Partners

Trey Allen.

Total wealth management firm Wealth Strategies Partners has hired Trey Allen to lead business development. In this role, Allen will drive growth and foster innovation while developing strategic relationships across the music industry. The Belmont graduate has previously held roles at Bill Graham Presents and Shoreline Amphitheater, and has tour managed The Strokes, Kings of Leon, Widespread Panic, MGMT, My Morning Jacket and Leon Bridges. He most recently founded artist and producer management and label firm Sunday Supper Group.

“Trey is a well-known, well-respected force in the music and entertainment industry, and his expertise and relationships will be invaluable as we continue to grow,” says WSP President & CEO, Paul Allen, CFP, MS. “Our practice has been fortunate to represent an increasing number of musicians and entertainers in Nashville and beyond, and Trey expands our capabilities and expertise in this area.”

Belmont University Receives Grant From National Endowment For The Humanities

Belmont University’s Janet Ayers Academic Center

Belmont University has received a grant of nearly $150,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to fund an interdisciplinary project titled “A Model for Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Humanities Research: Redefining the Sacred in Americana Music.”

The project explores the shifting notions of the sacred within Americana music over the past several decades, and will pilot collaborative, project-based undergraduate research in the Belmont Global Honors program. Relevant courses will focus on the intersections of roots music genres including folk, country, rock and blues, and investigate how Americana musicians have engaged rhetoric, argument, spiritual themes and social context with the shifting religious identities of Americans. The effort will be spearheaded by Dr. Sarah Blomeley and Dr. Donovan McAbee.

A two-course sequence will be taught throughout the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 academic years as part of the school’s Honors Scholars’ Collaborative program. The first course will center around students using rhetorical theory to analyze Americana song lyrics, conducting archival research at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as well as interviewing key figures in the genre. In the second course, students will create a public-facing podcast with accompanying web resources. Each sequence will feature 15 students, resulting in a 30-episode podcast series by the conclusion of the two-year program.

“Through a blend of rhetoric, religion, melody and history, our project seeks to explore the often overlooked yet profound inquires of Americana music,” says Blomeley. “What does it reveal about American identity and religious beliefs? Where lies the boundary between sacred and profane in Americana’s narrative? Ultimately, our aim is to delve into Americana music’s role as a conduit for American religious discourse.”

In addition to utilizing resources, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s archives, students will receive instruction from the likes of Grammy winner Tammy Rogers King and folk artist Mary Gauthier, Relationary Marketing’s Clark Buckner and other Belmont faculty members. The resulting podcast and web guides seek to serve as accessible, educational resources while modeling revolutionary experiential learning at the university.

The findings of  “A Model for Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Humanities Research: Redefining the Sacred in Americana Music” will be shared through a podcast series available to the public as well as archival interviews, academic presentations by the faculty leaders and research articles.

ACM & BMAC To Close Inaugural OnRamp Program With Showcase

The Academy of Country Music and the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) will close out their inaugural OnRamp program with a a celebratory showcase at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley on Wednesday, May 29.

Launched last year, the program focuses on improving inclusivity and equity within Music City while empowering the next generation of leaders in the early stages of their careers by granting access to professional development opportunities, community mentorship, industry exposure and more. Each participant is provided with a $1,000 monthly stipend, and matched with mentors in the music business who specialize in the specific field of the industry they aspire to pursue. Throughout the year, members performed at venues across Nashville, such as The Basement, The Bluebird Cafe and more, while also participating in industry-led workshops on marketing, songwriting/publishing, agency, live events and networking.

Hosted by artist Wendy Moten, the showcase will feature performances by the artist members of the inaugural OnRamp class including NBC’s The Voice season 25 contestant Tae Lewis as well as Daisha McBride, The Kentucky Gentlemen, Larysa Jaye, Carmen Dianne, Qualls, Nick Tabron, Roz Malone and Jasmine Bavaro. Class members Nina Owens, Kim Albritton, DeDe West, Chasidy Lauderdale and Amari Young will work behind-the-scenes on the event’s production.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. CT, with the showcase starting at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are available now. For more information, click here.

The Red Clay Strays Sign With Warner Chappell Music

Pictured (L-R): The Red Clay Strays’ Brandon Coleman, Drew Nix, Andrew Bishop, John Hall and Zach Rishel. Photo: Macie B Coleman

Warner Chappell Music has signed country-rock band The Red Clay Strays to a global publishing deal.

Lead singer Brandon Coleman, electric guitarist Zach Rishel, guitarist/vocalist Drew Nix, bassist Andrew Bishop and drummer John Hall, as well as the band’s main songwriting partner and videographer Matthew Coleman, have been making music together since 2016. They spent years performing in the Gulf Coast music scene before reaching new audiences on TikTok. They independently released their album Moment of Truth in 2022 featuring the breakout song “Wondering Why,” which landed on the Billboard Hot 100 and has garnered more than 100 million streams.

After “Wondering Why” went viral last year, The Red Clay Strays made festival appearances at HWY 30 Fest, Bonnaroo, Peacemaker Festival, Under the Big Sky, Mile-0 Fest, Lollapalooza and CMA Fest. They also opened for Kip Moore, Old Crow Medicine Show, Brothers Osborne, Elle King, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and more.

The band recently signed with RCA Records and is currently working on their next album with producer Dave Cobb. In August they will launch their first-ever European tour, including five shows across the U.K.

“The Red Clay Strays are owning their moment in what’s sure to be their biggest year yet,” says WCM President, North America Ryan Press. “Their music is pure power and precision, with a sound unlike anything we’ve heard before. They’ve been consistently locked in with their fans and now they have the whole world tuned into their unique style.”

“We’re looking forward to partnering with Warner Chappell to expand our songwriting careers and continue putting good music into the world,” says Matthew Coleman.

Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Alabama To Headline Kickoff Jam

Kickoff Jam has set their 2024 lineup. The festival will take place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Panama City Beach, Florida. The event will celebrate five decades of country music on the beach.

Friday will feature headliners Alabama with a special appearance by Randy Travis, as well as Jamey Johnson, Tyler Farr, Gavin Adcock, Pam Tillis and Catie Offerman also taking the stage. Needtobreathe, Lauren Alaina, Restless Road, Carter Faith and Kayley Green will take the stage on Saturday before Carrie Underwood closes out the night. Garth Brooks serves as the final headliner appearing Sunday, preceded by Allie Colleen, Mackenzie Carpenter, Rhett Akins, The Oak Ridge Boys and Randy Houser. 

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years, and without question, this is the biggest show we’ve ever put on,” says Executive Producer Rendy Lovelady. “We’re excited to celebrate five decades of Country music in Panama City Beach!”

“It’s such a great honor to be a part of bringing the biggest names in Country music right here to our beautiful beaches,” said Kickoff Jam COO Mark Sheldon. “It’s our vision to not only support the local community, but to show the country how proud we are of our heritage and Country music in Panama City Beach.”

Passes for Kickoff Jam will be available starting April 24 at 10 a.m. CST.

Jamey Johnson To Launch ‘What A View Tour’ In June

Jamey Johnson. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman

Jamey Johnson will return to the road on his “What A View Tour,” starting June 20, with supporting acts Charles Wesley Godwin, Whitey Morgan, Ben Haggard, Drake White and Southall.

While he spent the better part of more than two decades touring, Johnson took a break last year to focus on songwriting. The name of the new tour is taken from one of the songs written during that time.

“‘What A View’ is the song that brought me back into writing songs,” he reveals. “It is the one that kicked off the desire to make new music. You can expect to hear more new music in our shows from now on. It will be fun. We will do a lot of the old stuff and a lot of the new stuff.”

The “What A View Tour ” kicks off in St. Augustine and stops in nearly 40 cities including Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Columbus, Tupelo, Kansas City and more. Tickets and VIP packages go on sale to the general public this Friday (April 19). A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Johnson’s Give It Away Foundation. For more information, click here.

Johnson’s credits include songs recorded by George Strait, Trace Adkins, Willie Nelson, James Otto and Joe Nichols, among others. His album That Lonesome Song was certified Platinum, and his double album, The Guitar Song, was certified Gold. Johnson has also won two Song of the Year honors from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.

Shore Fire Media Promotes Jaclyn D. Carter & More To New Leadership Roles

Jaclyn D. Carter. Photo: Jason Myers

Shore Fire Media, the full-service strategy and communications company that specializes in music and entertainment, has promoted Jaclyn D. Carter and four other team members to new leadership roles.

Carter has been elevated to Senior Vice President. With over a decade of experience at Shore Fire, she supervises the Nashville office while working with musicians, festivals and more. The University of Tennessee graduate has led award-winning campaigns for accolades ranging from the Grammy and Peabody Awards to the CMA Awards, Webby Awards and BET Awards in addition to The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame, among others.

Additionally, Allison Elbl in the company’s Los Angeles office as well as Matt Hanks, Mark Satlof and Rebecca Shapiro in the New York office have been named Co-Presidents. Collectively, the newly-selected leadership will guide a staff that has nearly doubled in size since Shore Fire was acquired by Dolphin Entertainment in 2019. Founder & CEO Marilyn Laverty will take on an expanded role at the parent company, focusing on collaborations and new initiatives between Dolphin’s component companies while continuing to oversee Shore Fire.

“These executives each put their imprint on Shore Fire in a unique and powerful way,” says Laverty. “They have shaped Shore Fire with their passions, creativity, broad interests and expertise. I’m so grateful to work with them and thrilled to recognize their leadership with the announcement of these new roles. I anticipate great success as Mark, Rebecca, Matt, Allison and Jaclyn drive innovation and growth for both Shore Fire and Dolphin in the future.”

Carson Wallace Inks With WME

Pictured (L-R): WME’s Braeden Rountree, Carrie Murphy, Carson Wallace and Red Light Management’s Anthony DeVincenzo

Carson Wallace has signed with WME for global booking representation.

The Nashville newcomer dropped his first singles “Lonely Look Like” and “Ghost In My Chevy” last year, and has amassed more than a million streams. Produced by Brett Truitt, Wallace’s new song “Sun Sets,” which he wrote alongside Sara Bares and Reid Sorrel, is set for release on May 3.

“Carson’s voice and songwriting talent immediately caught our attention. It’s an honor to be a part of his team and have him at WME,” says Carrie Murphy, WME Agent.

“Carrie, Braeden [Rountree] and the entire WME team were some of the earliest believers in myself and my artistry,” says Wallace. “I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be working together!”

Earlier this year, the artist signed with Red Light Management in addition to signing a global publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing and Relative Music Group.

Naomi Judd Estate To Reveal Virtual Exhibit Of Rare Artifacts In May

Photo: Courtesy of the Naomi Judd Estate

The Naomi Judd Estate is debuting a series of virtual exhibits of rare and never-before-seen artifacts from the life of the late artist, activist and philanthropist in collaboration with Definitive Authentic and Mercy Community Healthcare.

The first collection entitled “Artist” will be publicly available on May 1—the two-year anniversary of The Juddsinduction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. “Artist” is the first installment of five archival collections to be rolled out throughout 2024, with each forthcoming collection highlighting a different area of Judd’s incredible life and work.

The Estate has curated a virtual exhibit of rare items that spotlight the impact of Judd’s creative work on country music and American culture at large. Featuring behind-the-scenes photos, awards, a personal stage map with handwritten notes, a shooting script for the “Grandpa” music video, countless well-wishes from country music luminaries and more, the “Artist” artifact collection frames the icon as not only a beloved musician, but a figure whose vision went well beyond the recording studio, as evidenced by her lifelong support of numerous philanthropic causes.

In tribute to that philanthropic spirit, a portion of the proceeds from the exhibits will be donated to The Naomi Judd Mental Health Clinic: A Bridge to Hope—a brand new mental health wing at Mercy Community Healthcare in Franklin, Tennessee. The facility includes a larger mental health area with counseling/psychiatric rooms, a parent-child interactive therapy room, group rooms, a waiting room and a prayer area.

“It is such a blessing for me to honor my wife’s life by giving the fans a look into the detailed archives that Naomi kept all of these years,” says Judd’s husband Larry Strickland. “I’d often walk through the barn and wonder why she insisted on keeping all of these objects that at the time seemed to be collecting dust; however, I now see that these were more than just things. These were her memories… our memories. These releases are our family’s gift to you, her public, for being there for all of us for the past 40 years. I hope they bring you a sense of peace and hope in regards to her memory and the legacy that is Naomi Judd.”

“Naomi kept meticulous records of photographs and artifacts,” says Director of Hill Entertainment Group and Naomi Judd Estate Archivist Kodi Chandler. “Through these we are able to explore how she viewed herself. It is our honor to help the family curate these collections for release. This first collection, simply titled ‘Artist’ is how she documented her time as she was best known, as one half of The Judds. The subsequent collections introduce and revisit other facets of Naomi that we can’t wait to share with those who meant the most to her, the fans.”