Lance Miller

“George Jones & Jesus”

Big 7 Records

“When I die and they carry me to the final frontier, I want them to play Lance Miller’s ‘George Jones & Jesus.’”
Ken Batista, KPIX-CBS/San Francisco

Lance Miller’s new single “George Jones & Jesus” is being released to country radio. The song recently debuted at No. 61 on Music Row’s CountryBreakout™ chart in its first week of being reported.

Gleaning the best from the past (his father Melvin Miller and outlaws like Haggard and Waylon) and the present (George Strait, Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw), Lance Miller has forged a unique sound for himself. Unapologetic about the breadth of his influences, Lance is the guy who not only knows all the words to B-side country classics but also has Tom Petty and Def Leppard on his iPod.

Growing up in Southern Illinois, Lance looked up to his father, a pretty solid country singer himself. When he was younger, Lance didn’t even realize those Haggard tunes weren’t his daddy’s. “We thought Dad wrote those songs, they were so much a part of our lives,” he says. His father’s influence has carried with him to Nashville, through a season of Nashville Star, and still informs his work.

“George Jones & Jesus” can be found on Miller’s debut album, Old Back in the New School, which is available on iTunes. Programmers can download the song from Play MPE.

Trailer Choir

“What Would You Say”

Show Dog Nashville

Trailer Choir’s second single “What Would You Say,” co-written by the group’s Butter and Big Vinny with David Fortney, was inspired by the Jan. 2006 Sago, West Virginia mining tragedy. Thirteen men were trapped after the accident and, as the nation watched the drama unfold, all but one of the men perished. In the days following, it was revealed that some of the men had been able to write and leave short notes for their loved ones.

“My father and I talked about the mining accident and both of us were taken aback by the loss and devastation it must have had on the families and friends of the miners and the Sago community,” says Butter. “He asked me what would I say if I were in that situation and I knew my chances of making it out alive were fading?  What would I write on that note at that moment in time? He said, ‘I think that would be a question to ask in a song. What would you say?’

“I was inspired to try and write a song that showed how these hard working men who were just trying to support their families died with a heroic impact,” he continues. “They are examples of how we all should live our lives—to have the courage and love to write a note on a piece of paper in such a desperate moment.”

The trio of Butter, Big Vinny and Crystal signed to Show Dog in 2007 and joined Toby Keith’s Big Dog Daddy tour. Their debut single “Off The Hillbilly Hook” was used in Toby’s feature film Beer For My Horses and their self-titled EP is available in all digital outlets.

Randy Houser

“Boots On”

Universal Records South

Randy Houser’s “Boots On” is the followup single to his hit debut single “Anything Goes.” Taken from his first Universal Records South album Anything Goes, the song was penned by Houser with Brandon Kinney and inspired by Houser’s dad.

“Melodically, the song was based on that slide-blues-guitar riff you hear,” says Houser. “As we were sitting down to write, I started playing that lick. And I remembered something that my Daddy always told me: ‘If you’re going to go out, make sure you go out with your boots on.’ Toward the end of his life, we had this talk and I had to make some difficult decisions at the time. I was just 21 years old when he passed, and it was tough. But I will say this: he did go out with his boots on. He didn’t die; he lived. He really did.”

Houser is currently on the Jagermeister Country Tour with Pat Green. His songs have been recorded by Trace Adkins (”Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”), John Michael Montgomery (”If You Ever Went Away”) and many others.

Jonathan Singleton & The Grove

“Livin’ In Paradise”

Universal Records South

Since signing his breakthrough publishing and production deal two years ago with Crosstown Songs Nashville, singer/songwriter Jonathan Singleton has been caught up in a creative whirlwind. His song “Watching Airplanes” (co-written with Jim Beavers) was a No. 1 hit for Gary Allan, earning Singleton an ACM nomination as well as a nomination for Music Row’s Breakthrough Songwriter Award. Singleton also recently had another No. 1 with Billy Currington’s smash “Don’t.”

Singleton and his longtime band The Grove have partnered up with superproducer Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts) to record his debut album for Universal Records South. Huff has long had the Midas touch for creating mainstream pop/country hits, but he is moving a bit left of center with Singleton, creating a more roots-rocking, bluegrass sound for the singer and his band.

“Being part of Dann’s publishing and production companies is the perfect place for someone who writes the way I do,” says Singleton, whose lyrics focus on the here-and-now simplicity of everyday life. “Dann’s very in tune with where I’m coming from as a writer and singer, and he’s never felt inclined to do the straight down the middle pop thing with me that he does so well with other artists. The new songs have more of an edgy old school country rock flavor that’s got both of us very excited. My main criterion for a good song is one that makes me want to pick up the guitar and play again and again. It’s never about what’s commercial or how it will reap a certain audience, but all about having that gut instinct that it just feels good.”

Catch Jonathan Singleton and the Grove live in 2009 when they join Eric Church as part of the Young & Wild tour.