Dan + Shay Score Eighth Chart-Topper With “I Should Probably Go To Bed”

Dan + Shay are kicking off 2021 in a great way with their latest single “I Should Probably Go To Bed” topping the Mediabase Country chart. This is the duo’s eighth career No. 1 and fifth consecutive chart-topper. “I Should Probably Go To Bed” has already surpassed one million track equivalents and racked up more than 200 million global streams since its release.

The track was produced by the duo’s Dan Smyers and co-written with bandmate Shay Mooney, as well as Sean Douglas and Jason Evigan. It reached No. 1 on the Country Digital Songs Sales chart upon release and made its TV debut on the 55th ACM Awards. The song’s video received the CMT Music Award for Duo Video of the Year.

To say they are on a roll would be an understatement at this point: in the seven years since they debuted on the scene, Dan + Shay have accumulated more than 6.8 billion career streams, 35 total RIAA certifications, eight No. 1 radio singles, and more than two dozen Grammy, ACM, American Music, Billboard Music, CMA, CMT Music and iHeart Award wins and nominations.

Jody Williams Songs And Warner Chappell Music Sign Peytan Porter

Pictured (L-R): Spencer Nohe, Warner Chappell Music Nashville A&R Directior; Nina Jenkins, Jody Williams Songs Creative Director; Peytan Porter; Jody Williams, Jody Williams Songs Founder; Ben Vaughn, Warner Chappell Music Nashville President/CEO. Photo: Nathan Zucker

Dawsonville, GA native Peytan Porter has signed her first publishing deal with Jody Williams Songs, in partnership with Warner Chappell Music.

The singer-songwriter moved to Nashville to attend Lipscomb University in 2016. Seeking out collaborators in co-writers outside the organized writing rooms of Music Row, Porter found further encouragement in fellow up-and-coming writers and began honing her style, particularly stories that paint pictures beyond her hometown’s 8.2 square mile radius.

“Peytan’s writing is so emotive and sophisticated structurally. The first time she performed for us in the office I was moved to tears, asking her to repeat a second verse just to take it in a bit longer. It’s exciting to have this opportunity to help someone with her natural talent realize her goals as a songwriter and artist,” says JWS founder Jody Williams. “She definitely has the gift!”

“So, as you can imagine, the opportunity to now work with Jody Williams Songs and the Warner Chappell family feels like a long-awaited exhale,” Porter says. “I knew from our first conversations that Jody and Nina are truly song-first people, and I feel fortunate to get to create in a space that advocates for excellent songwriting as it’s not just what I do, it’s who I am. I’ve always just written myself through things: my childhood, my first heartbreak, to this last year we’ve all survived. I’m glad I get to keep doing that and am honored to join a roster of writers and artists that I so greatly admire!”

“Peytan has an infectious spirit that undoubtedly translates into her songwriting,” says Nina Jenkins, JWS Creative Director. “We are fortunate to get to work with someone who has such a defined sense of self.”

In addition to Porter, Jody Williams Songs represents talents such as four-time GRAMMY nominee Ashley McBryde, Driver Williams, Nathan Chapman, Jeremy Spillman, Greg Bates and Jason Nix. The company also represents Pat McLaughlin in a writer management/publishing role. Through JWS’s partnership with Warner Chappell Music Nashville, Williams develops writers and writer-artists, secures covers, sources legacy catalogs and represents select WCM writer catalogs for exploitation.

On The Row: Chase Martin Combines Her Wit With Artistry

Chase Martin. Photo: Jason Myers

Chase Martin is a singer-songwriter from Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated from high school early with a 5.0 GPA, and she scored a perfect score (a 36) on the ACT. She was offered a scholarship from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, but that’s not what brought her to Music City.

The impressive 22-year old moved to Nashville at 17 to chase her dream of artistry, after catching the bug at a school talent show. Her parents supported her dream, with her mom traveling back and forth from Tennessee to South Carolina while the teenager hunted down bar gigs and songwriter rounds to play in.

“I was in the fourth grade. There was a talent show at my elementary school, and I signed up for it,” Chase told MusicRow on a recent virtual visit. “I came home from school that day and said ‘Hey mom, I signed up for the talent show at school!’ She was like, ‘Oh okay, what’s your talent?'”

Chase wanted to sing and play guitar, even though she didn’t know how to play the guitar. After finding a Yamaha guitar in their attic, Chase took a few lessons at a guitar shop in her neighborhood.

“I learned ‘Our Song’ by Taylor Swift and I played it two weeks later in our talent show. I was so nervous getting up on stage, I cried to my mom,” Chase said. “Once I went up there they literally had to fishhook me off the stage because I didn’t want to get off… I was hooked.”

Chase then went to an art school, where she was in the band and learned to play the piccolo.

After a few years of grinding through as many gigs as she could play, and building an Instagram following, Chase met RECORDS Nashville / Wide Open Music’s Ash Bowers, who helped her get integrated into Nashville’s music business.

Pictured (L-R, top row): Monarch Publicity’s Heather Conley; MusicRow‘s LB Cantrell, Haley Crow; (L-R, middle row): Wide Open Music’s Lauren Hamrick; Chase Martin; Monarch Publicity’s Cindy Hunt; (L-R, bottom row): MusicRow‘s Sherod Robertson, Alex Parry

“About two and a half years ago, I met Ash [Bowers] and Brendan [Rich] at Wide Open. They have been the greatest thing to happen to me since I moved to town, they’ve really taken me under their wing. They ended up signing me and they got me my first record deal and publishing deal. So 2020 was a pretty good year for me,” Chase joked. “They’ve been a dream to work with.”

Now, five years later, Chase has a record deal with RECORDS Nashville and a publishing deal with Endurance Music Group. She also has her first single out, a song called “Levi Denim,” written by Matt Stell, Allison Veltz-Cruz, and Abby Anderson.

“The first time I heard [‘Levi Denim’] I was like, ‘Man, this sounds like something I would have written, something I should have written!’ I was shocked that I didn’t think of it,” Chase said. “As soon as I heard it, I was like, ‘I have to cut this song. It’s so me.'”

 

“Levi Denim” is the first single that RECORDS Nashville has released, after the Music City office was launched by RECORDS head Barry Weiss in a joint venture with Sony Music in fall of 2020.

In 2021, the determined Chase Martin is laser-focused on writing, cultivating her social media following, and building off the momentum she’s worked hard for.

Curb Records Ups RJ Meacham to SVP, Promotion

RJ Meacham

Curb Records has announced the promotion of RJ Meacham to SVP, Promotion. Meacham will continue to oversee promotion efforts for the Curb Records roster, which includes Lee Brice, Dylan Scott, Rodney Atkins, Filmore, Mo Pitney, and Hannah Ellis.

“RJ has done a phenomenal job as Vice President of Country Promotion and we are very excited that he has chosen to continue with our company as Senior Vice President of Country Promotion. Over the years, RJ has done an excellent job motivating our great promotion team,” says Mike Curb, Chairman of Curb Records.

Meacham began his career at Monument/Sony, moving to Curb/Asylum and then Sony’s BNA and Columbia Records before re-joining Curb Records in 2016 as Senior Director, Country Promotion. He was elevated to VP, Promotion in 2018.

“As our industry evolves, I’m excited to continue working alongside my amazing teammates at Curb to find new and innovative ways to raise the bar for our amazing roster and their music. Many thanks to Mike Curb for believing in me and for this incredible opportunity,” says Meacham.

Meacham can be reached at rmeacham@curb.com.

Black River Entertainment Restructures Marketing Department

Nikki Abbamont, Ainsley Barry, Megan Hazeltine

Black River Entertainment announced a restructuring of their Marketing Department today (Jan. 15). Nikki Abbamont elevates to Associate Director of Project Management, Ainsley Barry to Social Media Coordinator, and Megan Hazeltine to Marketing Coordinator.

Upon announcing the restructuring, Black River’s EVP Rick Froio acknowledged the three team members, “We are grateful for their willingness to adapt to the changing landscape by assuming these new roles within the team. With these changes now in effect, we know it will continue to make us a stronger company in 2021.”

Originally from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Abbamont joined Black River Entertainment in May 2017 as the Publicity and Marketing Coordinator before fully transitioning to Marketing Coordinator in 2018 and Marketing Manager in 2019. Now serving as the Associate Director of Project Management, Abbamont reports directly to Froio and will oversee organization, management, and general oversight of the progress and execution of ongoing Black River label releases and projects.

Ainsley Barry joined Black River Entertainment as the Copyright and Licensing Coordinator in August of 2019. The Malvern, Pennsylvania native now serves as the Social Media Coordinator, and reports to Black River’s VP of Marketing, Tanya Schrage.

Hailing from Dover, New Hampshire, Hazeltine joined the Publicity Department at the beginning of 2020. Now serving as the Marketing Coordinator, Hazeltine also reports to Schrage, and is responsible for all traffic flow within the Marketing & Creative departments.

Black River’s President and CEO Gordon Kerr added, “At Black River, we believe in leaving this place better than we found it. That’s what we’re doing with our team in 2021. By utilizing our people’s strengths in areas that will benefit most, this new configuration makes us stronger. With resilience, passion for our artists and songwriters, and hard work, we are looking forward to a strong year.”

Sidewalk Prophets To Kick Off Reasons For Joy Virtual Tour In February

Sidewalk Prophets

Curb | Word Entertainment’s Sidewalk Prophets are hosting a series of livestream events with their new “Reasons For Joy” tour which kicks off Feb. 17 and runs through Feb. 27.

The all-new livestream trek consists of eight entirely live shows broadcasting each night from Sidewalk Prophets’ Great Big Family Studios in Nashville. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, including a free option, and all paid tickets grant fans entrance to a special devotional with front man Dave Frey. A VIP Pre-Show Party ticket is also available, which includes a Q&A with the band, games and more fun. In addition, fans can purchase a season pass for access to all eight shows, devotionals, and pre-show parties. Tickets are sold per household and are on sale now and available for purchase here.

All dates on the “Reasons For Joy” tour will feature interactive moments, plenty of hits from Sidewalk Prophets’ extensive catalog, and fresh favorites from the band’s latest full-length album, The Things That Got Us Here, featuring new songs like “Smile” and “Chosen.”

Along with launching the new tour, in response to the violence at the Capitol last week, Sidewalk Prophets decided to release a live performance video of their new song, “The Comment Section,” captured at the Ryman Auditorium last year. With a message of spreading kindness, the video has already received more than 42K views on YouTube in just five days.

Ian Munsick Readies Major Label Debut ‘Coyote Cry’ For February

Ian Munsick

Ian Munsick is releasing a soundtrack for the modern Western lifestyle with his new album, Coyote Cry, due out Feb. 26. He celebrates the album’s announcement today with the release of the rollicking new track “Humble.”

The project comes five months after signing his first major label deal with Warner Music Nashville. Co-produced by Munsick, Coyote Cry features 10 tracks including “Long Haul” and “Me Against The Mountain.” As he readies for the album’s release, Munsick is welcoming fans into his official fan club, The Heard—aptly titled for the ranch-bred musician, which launches today (Jan. 15). Fans who run with The Heard will receive access to exclusive merch, advance music and more.

Coyote Cry is a soundtrack for the modern western lifestyle,” Munsick said. “A firm handshake between cowboy and hippy, traditional and contemporary and everything in between. It’s the life I’ve lived so far and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. No matter who you are, I think you’ll find a piece of yourself in there and maybe even lose yourself to the howling in the hills. Cowboys have always been the people I’ve looked up to most and aspired to be like. I don’t mean the cattle rustling, heart-thieving, Hollywood kind. I mean the first one to work, give the shirt off his back, Chris Ledoux kind. The kind you want as your neighbor. The kind I think of when I hear the word Cowboy. Humble.”

Music Industry Responds to DOJ Consent Decree Review Ending Without Action

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Anti-Trust Division head Makan Delrahim addressed the DOJ’s review of the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees today (Jan. 15), stating that the DOJ has ended its ASCAP and BMI consent decree review without taking action.

Many organizations in the music industry have issued responses to the news.

Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) agrees with Delrahim that compulsory licenses “are not the answer,” but cautions against his suggestion that the DOJ consider reviewing ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees every five years.

NSAI’s Bart Herbison tells MusicRow, “With a five year review, it’s very hard to know the certainty of business. The only way that we would say that it was a good idea would be if there is a five year review with a stated goal that we’re going to eliminate these decrees.”

NSAI joins Delrahim in praising ASCAP and BMI for launching their new SONGVIEW database.

In an open letter from ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews and BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill, the performance rights organization heads expressed their disappointment that no action was taken, but encouragement to see “how the DOJ’s approach to these issues has evolved.”

The full open letter is below:

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would conduct a review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees to determine if they still served their intended purpose.

Today, the DOJ has formally closed its review and will take no action to modify or terminate the decrees but left open the possibility of changes in the future.

While we were disappointed that no action was taken, we are encouraged to see how the DOJ’s approach to these issues has evolved. In his closing remarks, AAG Makan Delrahim recognized several important truths that we have long understood: Songwriters are the backbone of the music marketplace and must be paid fairly; blanket licensing is incredibly efficient; ASCAP and BMI are innovating to serve the needs of the industry; greater competition and not compulsory licensing is the answer; and the value of music is best decided in a free market.

While BMI and ASCAP have long advocated for updating and modernizing our consent decrees, it has become clear over the course of two different reviews by two different DOJ administrations in the past eight years that modifying or terminating our decrees would be extremely challenging.

This latest review was part of a broader effort by the DOJ to examine many of the nation’s oldest consent decrees and to terminate those that no longer served their intended purposes. When faced with that possibility, ASCAP and BMI joined together and put forth a proposal to the DOJ and the industry that would help facilitate a thoughtful transition to a free market while avoiding potential chaos in the marketplace.

We knew that reaching consensus would not be easy. It soon became clear that key industry participants could not agree on how best to move forward. Unfortunately, we also found that some were using this review to advocate for even greater restrictions in our decrees, either for their own benefit or in an effort to regulate the marketplace as a whole through BMI and ASCAP.

We were concerned that the lack of consensus in the market could lead to a legislative push resulting in unwarranted government regulation of our industry in the form of compulsory licensing. In addition, our victory in confirming the industry-wide practice of fractional licensing would have been revisited. These factors would absolutely not be in the best interest of our songwriters, composers and publishers, and indeed, would represent a major step backward. Although it would have been wonderful to see our decrees modernized, we would rather they remain as they are, than see an outcome that could adversely affect music creators for generations to come.

The formal close of this review means we can put this matter behind us for the near future and continue to champion the rights of our songwriters, composers and publishers, protect the value of their creative work, and partner with our licensees to help ensure music is delivered to the public.

It’s important to remember that BMI and ASCAP have operated with consent decrees for over 80 years, and that has not prevented us from innovating along with our changing marketplace. We recently joined together to launch the Songview data platform in order to respond to a growing industry need to provide greater transparency around copyright ownership shares. We appreciate the DOJ’s support of this initiative. In addition, we have each independently experimented with new forms of licenses, and we successfully advocated for provisions in the Music Modernization Act that will drive fairer negotiations and allow the introduction of more marketplace-pricing evidence in rate court proceedings. Whether we operate under consent decrees or not, that spirit of innovation and focus on continual improvement will never change.

Again, although we were disappointed no changes were made, we would like to thank Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, for his attention and efforts throughout this review as he evaluated the best way to move our industry towards a free market. We would also like to thank the many ASCAP and BMI songwriters and composers who shared their views with the DOJ.

While we are both looking forward to the day when ASCAP and BMI are no longer under consent decrees, we were buoyed by the DOJ’s comments that it will pay to revisit these decrees as a result of new market developments. When the appropriate time comes, BMI or ASCAP may wish to seek a future review.

For now, we’ll turn our attention to the opportunities that lie ahead in 2021 and, of course, all of the incredible new music the year will bring.

– ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews
– BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill

2020 Country Radio Hall of Fame Honorees To Be Inducted During CRS 2021

The Country Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will be honored during CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience. Due to COVID restrictions, the annual Country Radio Hall Of Fame induction ceremony and dinner could not be held as a live event. Country Radio Broadcasters will now feature individual presentations presented by Curb Records in the morning and afternoon of each day, Wednesday, Feb. 17, through Friday, Feb. 20. Exact times will be available through the event website closer to the date.

The 2020 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductees include off-air radio broadcasters Jim Duncan, Victor Sansone, and George Beasley, and on-air radio personalities Tim Wilson, Chuck Edwards, and Mark “Hawkeye” Louis. Read more about the inductees here.

Country Radio Hall of Fame Co-Chair, Joel Raab, comments, “We’re thrilled to finally honor The Country Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2020, giving them their overdue recognition at this year’s CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience. Please join us in honoring this incredible class of broadcasters.”

In addition to honoring the Hall of Fame inductees, the 2020 President’s Award and Career Achievement Award recipients will also be recognized during the Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 12:30 p.m. CT.

Nominations for the Country Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2021 are being accepted through the end of March.

BREAKING: Department of Justice Ends ASCAP/BMI Consent Decree Review Without Action

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Anti-Trust Division head Makan Delrahim addressed today (Jan. 15) the DOJ’s review of the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees, in a webinar sponsored by Vanderbilt Law School. The DOJ has ended its ASCAP and BMI consent decree review without taking action.

Delrahim said compulsory licenses “are not the answer” and that any future changes Congress may consider should allow songwriters the ability to negotiate in the free market. Delrahim—who submitted his resignation letter on Jan. 13, effective on Jan. 19.—also suggested the DOJ consider reviewing ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees every five years. He applauded ASCAP and BMI for launching their new SONGVIEW database which will allow music users/licensees to more easily find song ownership data.

The consent decrees were put in place to prevent anticompetitive behaviors and determine sensible licensing rates. The ASCAP consent decree was modified in 2001 and the BMI consent decree was modified in 1994. The decrees require ASCAP and BMI to issue licenses covering all works in their repertory upon request from music users. If the parties are unable to agree on an appropriate price for a license, the decrees provide for a “rate court” proceeding in front of a U.S. district judge. Neither decree contains a termination date.

Many publishers, songwriters and other music industry members have criticized the longstanding decrees, stating that they limit the ability of songwriters and publishers to obtain their own licensing agreements that could result in higher revenues in a free marketplace.

Read how the music industry is responding to the issue here.