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CMA Elects New Board Of Directors

CMA Corporate Logo

The Country Music Association has announced its new Board of Directors. The appointments are effective on Jan. 1, 2018.

Sally Williams, Senior Vice President of Programming and Artist Relations for Opry Entertainment and General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry, completes her term as Chairman of the CMA Board, while current CMA Board President Bill Simmons, Partner at The Fitzgerald Hartley Company, assumes that post. CMA President-Elect Jody Williams, Vice President, Creative, Nashville at BMI, will become President. Rob Beckham, Co-Head of WME Nashville, has been named President-Elect. Kurt Johnson, Senior Vice President of Programming at Townsquare Media, continues as Secretary/Treasurer of the CMA Board.

“It’s truly been an honor to serve as Chairman of the CMA Board,” said Williams. “I’m incredibly proud of our community and all of our accomplishments in 2017, from achieving record-breaking attendance at CMA Music Fest and three-year ratings highs with all three of our television specials to helping expand Country Music internationally. A huge thanks to Sarah Trahern and the world class CMA staff for making this past year a career highlight. I look forward to continuing to support CMA for years to come, and I join everyone in congratulating Bill Simmons as incoming Chairman.”

“CMA has a lot to celebrate from 2017, and I look forward to ushering forward even more in 2018,” said Simmons. “Sally Williams has done a tremendous job serving us as Chairman, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to continue the work she’s done. I’m eager to collaborate with Jody Williams, Rob Beckham and the rest of the Board as we make next year yet another one for the record books.”

Simmons is a partner at The Fitzgerald Hartley Company where he has been an artist manager for more than 20 years, 13 of which he has worked with Brad Paisley. He has also managed the careers of Brett James, The Kinleys, Jerrod Niemann, Kellie Pickler, Restless Heart, Chris Young and others. A graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in psychology and political science, Simmons began his career in social services but soon turned his attention to the music business when he met country singer-songwriter Paul Davis and moved to Atlanta to work at Bang Records. Soon after he moved to Nashville, and after a couple tour manager gigs he began working with Restless Heart and the management opportunity became available at Fitzgerald Hartley.

Simmons has served on the CMA Board since 2011 and dedicated his time to serving on multiple committees including Executive, Finance and Audit, Marketing, Television, and others. He is a member of the Academy of Country Music and is also on their Executive Committee, as well as an officer on the board of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

As Vice President, Creative, Nashville, Williams directs all songwriter and publisher relations activities in BMI’s Nashville office. Williams joined BMI in May of 2006 after leading Jody Williams Music, a joint publishing venture with Sony Tree, where he successfully placed songs with major label Country artists and discovered and managed MCA Nashville artist Josh Turner.

Williams began his career at BMI in the late 1970s before holding creative positions for several major publishing firms. In 1987, he returned to BMI and rose to Assistant Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations. Soon after, Williams was lured into the publishing world again, this time as President of the Nashville division of MCA Music Publishing, which flourished under his leadership, emerging as one of Nashville’s most awarded publishers.

During his most recent tenure at BMI, Williams has lead his team to capturing an extremely high Country market share percentage not seen in over 30 years. Presently his team oversees the active Nashville music scene for all genres, providing service as well as performance and networking opportunities. A Nashville native, Williams attended the University of Denver. In addition to serving on the CMA Board of Directors, he also serves on the boards of The Country Music Foundation and Porters Call.

Following is a list of 2018 CMA Directors and Directors at Large:

Directors By Membership Category
Carryover Directors, who are serving the second year of a two-year terms, are listed below along with newly-elected Directors, indicated in bold

Advertising/Public Relations/Media
Ebie McFarland, Essential Broadcast Media, LLC
Brian Philips

Affiliated
Joe Galante, Galante Entertainment Organization
Steve Buchanan, Opry Entertainment

Artist
Darius Rucker
Karen Fairchild, Little Big Town

Composer
Liz Rose, Liz Rose Music
Shane McAnally, SMACKSongs, LLC

Entertainment Services
Stacey Schlitz, SchlitzLAW
Dwight Wiles, Wiles + Taylor & Co., PC

International
Bob Shennan, BBC
Milly Olykan, AEG Europe, The O2 London

Marketing/Digital
Jennie Smythe, Girlilla Marketing
John Marks, Spotify

Musician
Kenny Greenberg, Greenberg Music
Jimmie Lee Sloas

Personal Manager
Clarence Spalding, Maverick
Marion Kraft, ShopKeeper Management

Producer/Engineer/Studio
Luke Laird, Creative Nation Music

Publisher/PRO
Troy Tomlinson, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Jody Williams, BMI

Radio
Mike Moore, Entercom Communications
Charlie Morgan, Emmis Communications

Record Company
Mike Dungan, Universal Music Group Nashville
John Esposito, Warner Music Nashville

Talent Agent
John Huie, Creative Artists Agency

Talent Buyer/Promoter
Brian O’Connell, Live Nation Nashville
Allen Anders, AEG Presents

Touring Personnel
Scott Scovill, Moo TV, CenterStaging, and Moo Creative Media
Everett Lybolt, Sound Image

Venue
Ed Warm, Joe’s Bar
Sally Williams, Opry Entertainment

Lifetime Directors
J. William Denny, Denny Properties
Ralph Peer II, peermusic

Directors At Large:
Marcie Allen, MAC Presents, New York, NY
Chris Baldizan, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas, NV
Jim Beavers
Rob Beckham, WME
Steve Blatter, Sirius XM, New York, NY
Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Label Group
Becky Brenner, Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Country Radio Specialists, Seattle, WA
Kix Brooks
Frank Bumstead, Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.
Terry Calonge, Richards & Southern, Inc.
Tony Conway, Conway Entertainment Group
Virginia Davis, G-Major Management
Bob DiPiero, Being Bob Music
Chris DuBois, Sea Gayle Music
Ann Edelblute, The HQ
Kerri Edwards, KP Entertainment
Brett Eldredge
Ted Ellis, Harbour Media Partners, Toronto Canada
Jeff Garrison, Cox Media Group, San Antonio, TX
Randy Goodman, Sony Music Nashville
Mary Hilliard Harrington, Red Light Management / Wild Hearts, LLC
Lon Helton, Country Aircheck
Clay Hunnicutt, Big Loud Records
Brett James, Cornman Music and Management
Kurt Johnson, Townsquare Media, Dallas, TX
Matthew Lazarus-Hall, Uncommon Cord, Drummoyne, AUS
Jonathan Levine, Paradigm
Vivien Lewit, YouTube / Google, New York, NY
Jon Loba, BBR Music Group
Bill Mayne, Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc.
Deb McDermott, McDermott Media Group LLC
Mike McVay, Cumulus Media – Westwood One Radio Networks, Atlanta, GA
Maria Molin Ljunggren, Freebird Entertainment AB, Stockholm, Sweden
Rod Phillips, iHeartMedia
Ryan Redington, Amazon Music, Seattle, WA
Sally Seitz, Apple / iTunes
Bill Simmons, The Fitzgerald Hartley Company
Jeff Stevens, Jeff Stevens Music
Mike Vaden, Decosimo Vaden
Ben Vaughn, Warner/Chappell Music Inc.
Troy Vollhoffer, Premier Global Production Company, Inc.
Biff Watson, Biff-Bangs Productions, Inc.
Chris Young

Ex-Officio Members
Jim Free, The Smith-Free Group, LLC, Washington, D.C.
Butch Spyridon, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
Kyle Young, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Chris Palmer To Join Valory Music Co. As VP, Promotion

Chris Palmer

The Valory Music Co. has announced that Chris Palmer will join as Vice President of Promotion, effective Jan. 2. In the newly-created role, he will join the imprint in building relationships between radio and the talented roster – Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Justin Moore, Eli Young Band and Delta Rae.

“I have known Chris since his days in radio and at times we have worked alongside each other on the road where he has built some of the most solid relationships at country radio,” said The Valory Music Co. GM George Briner. “Chris brings a wealth of experience and we’re all excited to have him on board. His passion for music and desire to win makes him a great addition to an already strong promotion team. THE EVOLUTION OF THE REVOLUTION CONTINUES!”

“I’m humbled and honored by this incredible opportunity. When Scott Borchetta and George approached me about leading a team already producing at this level, I jumped at the chance!” said Palmer. “Ashley Sidoti has this crew humming as is and I’m looking forward to adding my skill set to The Valory Music Co.”

An industry veteran, Palmer most recently served as VP of Radio and Streaming at Warner Music Nashville following a decade-long stint at Lyric Street Records and years in radio.

Palmer will report directly to Briner and can be reached at 615-417-7486 and after the first the of year at [email protected].

Paradigm Talent Agency Makes Nashville Move

Pictured (Back row, L-R): Keith Richards (standing), Keith Levy, Joe Atamian, Jenny DeLoach, Matt Runner, Josh Swann, Nate Herweyer, Matt Korn, Greg Hoffman, Keith Shackleford (standing). Pictured (Front row, L-R): Maxwell Wiebrecht, Jeffrey Hasson, Clint Wiley, Jonathan Levine, Sam Gores, Amanda Ances, Max Braun, Casey Smith. [Click photo to enlarge]

Paradigm Talent Agency has moved its Nashville operation into larger offices, located at 222 Second Ave. S. in downtown Nashville. The new office opening follows Paradigm’s move a year ago to new Manhattan offices. A new, consolidated Los Angeles headquarters will open in early 2018. Paradigm also has offices in London, Chicago, Toronto, Monterey, San Diego, Berkeley, and Austin.

“Since Paradigm first opened a Nashville office 14 years ago, we have carved an independent path into Music City,” said Paradigm Chairman and CEO Sam Gores. “Since moving to Nashville from Monterey five years ago, our office head Jonathan Levine’s leadership and impeccable taste have anchored the growth of an extraordinary and unique Third Coast presence for our agency.”

“Over the last few years we have watched our business grow and thrive exponentially, not unlike the city of Nashville,” said Levine. “We’re thrilled to be moving downtown and want the new offices to be a welcome destination for our diverse roster of artists.”

Levine is joined by agents Andrea Ambrosia, Amanda Ances, Joe Atamian, Max Braun, Jenny DeLoach, Jeffrey Hasson, Nate Herweyer, Matt Korn, Keith Levy, Keith Richards, Matt Runner, Keith Shackleford, Josh Swann, Maxwell Wiebrecht and Clint Wiley.

Paradigm’s clients represented out of the Nashville office include recent Grammy nominees Brent Cobb (Best Americana Album) and The Mavericks (Best Americana Album, Best American Roots Song), as well as producer Dave Cobb, who worked on songs and albums that earned a combined five nominations; as well as The Lumineers, Sturgill Simpson, Echosmith, Margo Price, Ben Folds, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Cody Jinks, Big Gigantic, Anderson East, Young The Giant, Dr. John, Fergie, Aubrie Sellers, Flogging Molly, Lee Ann Womack, Asleep at the Wheel, Whitey Morgan, Shakey Graves, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Tyler Childers, Colter Wall, Black Eyed Peas, and many more.

 

‘MusicRow’ Reveals 2018 Next Big Thing List

MusicRow is proud to reveal its list of artists, who in 2018, are predicted to become the Next Big Thing (NBT). The 4th annual NBT list features 11 artists, who are each profiled in MusicRow‘s latest 2018 Touring Issue print magazine, which hits shelves Tuesday, Dec. 5.

As in years past, MusicRow‘s Next Big Thing artists range from established hit makers prepping their next moves, to newcomers ready to claim their turns in the spotlight.

“It’s a privilege to bestow MusicRow‘s 2018 Next Big Thing title to these talented artists who are set to excel to higher prominence in the coming year,” says MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. “There’s no doubt these deserving artists will have a significant impact in 2018 and we look forward to following them every step of the way.”

Be sure to pick up your copy of the 2018 Touring Issue print magazine here, or receive your copy with purchase of a yearly subscription.

NBT edit by: Sarah Skates

MusicRow‘s 2018 Next Big Thing List

Ashley McBryde

Atlantic-Warner Music Nashville / Q Prime / WME / The Song Factory / BMI

Ashley McBryde. Photo: John Peets

Ashley McBryde is the traditional female songstress that country music has been missing. Her songs are filled with stories of honesty and hope, carried through the microphone by warm lilting vocals. While expertly conjuring classic country elements, McBryde still manages to be radio ready.

Her debut single for Atlantic/Warner Music Nashville, “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega,” reached No. 1 on SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 in 2017. When it recently hit terrestrial radio she was welcomed with open arms as the most added new artist and most added female.

McBryde is prepping the upcoming release of her album Girl Goin’ Nowhere, produced by studio wiz Jay Joyce. In the meantime, the singer is staying busy on the road. McBryde and Dinah (her trusty Gibson J-45 acoustic) have shared the stage with Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, and are joining Luke Combs on tour in 2018.

 

Brent Cobb

Low Country Sound-Elektra Records / Red Light Management / Paradigm Agency / Carnival Music / BMI

Brent Cobb. Photo: Don VanCleave

Brent Cobb etched a mark on the country/Americana scene with the release of his major label debut Shine On Rainy Day. His southern rock sound was embraced by fans and critics, yielding the Georgia native an Americana Music Award nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year. The album recently earned Cobb a Grammy nomination in the Best Americana Album category.

For more than a decade, Cobb has been making music and building a career, scoring cuts by Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan and Little Big Town. He has paid his dues on the road, and in 2017 completed a sold-out European headlining run, then joined Chris Stapleton’s extensive U.S. tour.

Ramping up for 2018, Cobb is poised to make an even bigger impact, including opening for Lambert and releasing a new album. He returned to the studio with Grammy-winner Dave Cobb (also his cousin), and fans are enjoying a groovy preview of the project thanks to soulful lead single “Ain’t A Road Too Long.”

 

Carly Pearce

Big Machine Records-BMLG / Vector Management / CAA / BMG / ASCAP

Carly Pearce. Photo: Courtesy Big Machine Records

The sparse production and soft-spoken delivery of Carly Pearce’s breakout single “Every Little Thing” offers a stark contrast to many of the songs on country radio, but therein lies its appeal. The track has consistently attracted listeners since its first spin on SiriusXM in December 2016. A year later, the single was certified Gold and reached No. 1 on the Mediabase and Billboard Airplay charts, making her one of only four solo females to reach the top of the charts with a debut single in 15 years. With such powerful momentum, Pearce released the follow-up “If My Name Was Whiskey,” scoring her second chart-topper on SiriusXM.

Pearce has been dreaming of a career in country music since she was a five-year-old girl in Kentucky. By age 11 she was honing her traditional vocal stylings with a bluegrass band, and at age 16 she left high school to perform in six shows a day at Dollywood.

After moving to Nashville eight years ago, Pearce continued running down her dream which is coming true piece by piece: She signed with Big Machine Records, released her debut album Every Little Thing, and has opened tours for Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton.

 

Devin Dawson

Atlantic Records-Warner Music Nashville / Sandbox Entertainment / CAA / Neon Cross-Warner/Chappell / BMI

Devin Dawson. Photo: Courtesy Warner Music Nashville

The story of talented newcomer Devin Dawson begins in a house nestled in the shadows of legendary Folsom Prison in California, where he grew up absorbing the sounds of Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Creedence Clearwater Revival. He followed that love of music across the country to study at Nashville’s Belmont University. Before graduation, he already had a viral hit with a unique mash-up of two Taylor Swift songs.

Dawson’s vibey blend of pop/rock can be found on his Top 20 and climbing single “All On Me,” which has tallied over 30 million on-demand streams. The music video, which was shot in mostly black-and-white at the infamous Tennessee State Prison, has been viewed almost two million times.

A talented songwriter, Dawson co-wrote all 12 cuts on his debut album, Dark Horse, including the deeply personal title track. Jay Joyce produced the set, which will release Jan. 19. Dawson is on the road through the end of the year with labelmate Michael Ray.

 

Dylan Scott

Curb Records / McMurry Entertainment Group / WME

Dylan Scott. Photo: Joseph Llanes

Dylan Scott’s upbeat hit “My Girl” sent his career into overdrive, becoming his first No. 1 and first Platinum-certified song. Now his steamy follow-up single, “Hooked,” is ascending the country radio charts and has surpassed 12 million Spotify streams.

Scott has been growing his career since the release of his first single in 2013. His debut album followed in 2016, spawning the major hit “My Girl.” With that success, he met fan demand by offering a deluxe version of the self-titled debut and releasing his first holiday EP, Merry Christmas. A hard-touring artist, Scott spent 2017 playing his own headlining dates and enjoying an opening spot with hitmaker Justin Moore.

Growing up in Louisiana, Scott learned the basics of singing and playing guitar from his father—a former guitarist for Freddy Fender and Freddy Hart. Heading into 2018, Scott will become a father himself.

 

Luke Combs

River House Artists-Columbia Nashville-Sony Nashville / Make Wake / CAA / 50 Egg Music-Big Machine Music / BMI

Luke Combs. Photo: Matthew Berinato

It’s a rare feat for a country newcomer to sell out back-to-back nights at the Ryman Auditorium, but that’s just the latest milestone in a year that keeps getting bigger and better for Luke Combs. Like a lyric from his latest multi-week No. 1, “When It Rains It Pours,” Combs was showered with good fortune last year and is poised for even more in 2018.

His career launched with the gale-force strength of debut single “Hurricane,” which topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart and Mediabase chart for two consecutive weeks, making him the first debut country male to achieve a multi-week No. 1 since 2001. The track went on to earn Platinum certification.

Combs’ major label debut, This One’s For You, landed at No. 1 and remains the top-selling debut country album released last year.

This success comes after years of touring, songwriting, and dues-paying for the Asheville, North Carolina native, all leading to a coveted CMA Award nomination for New Artist of the Year and a presenting spot on the show.

 

Midland

Big Machine Records-BMLG / Sandbox Entertainment / BRND MGMT / CAA / Warner/Chappell / BMI-ASCAP

Midland. Photo: Harper Smith

Midland brings a throwback swagger to country music, donning Nudie-style suits and playing songs reminiscent of traditionalists Dwight Yoakam and George Strait.

Thanks to the debut single “Drinkin’ Problem,” lead singer Mark Wystrach, bass player Cameron Duddy and guitarist Jess Carson even have a No. 1 hit and Gold certification under their rhinestone belt buckles. (Duddy directed the music video, bringing with him an amazing track record of shooting spectacular videos for Bruno Mars.) Radio continues to embrace Midland, as the band’s second single “Make A Little,” was the most added song for two consecutive weeks.

The trio’s debut album, On The Rocks, was produced by three other big-time hitmakers: Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Dann Huff, which helped it reach the top of the charts. In 2018, Midland will bring their neo-retro sound to fans nationwide, performing on top tours with Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and Thomas Rhett.

 

Parmalee

Stoney Creek Records-BBR Music Group / Pennington Entertainment / WME / Universal Music Publishing-27861 Music / BMI

Parmalee. Photo: Joseph Llanes

Parmalee’s new album, 27861, is packed with radio-ready hooks sure to attract fans, just like the band did with its breakout single “Carolina,” which reached No. 1 at radio and went on to Platinum certification.

Since then, Parmalee has earned an ACM Award nomination for New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year, and hundreds of millions of song and video streams. Following that initial success, brothers Matt Thomas and Scott Thomas, cousin Barry Knox, and friend Josh McSwain returned to the studio. The result is their 2017 sophomore album, named after the zip code of their hometown Parmele, NC.

Matt Thomas co-wrote nine of the album’s 12 tracks, and enlisted the help of songwriting heavyweights busbee, Hillary Lindsey, and Ross Copperman. The project’s hook-laden set of singalongs includes “American Nights,” “Back In The Game,” and “Like a Photograph.”

 

Russell Dickerson

Triple Tigers Records-Sony Music Entertainment / Dennis Entertainment / CAA / BMG / BMI

Russell Dickerson. Photo: Kailey Dickerson

Russell Dickerson’s breakout song “Yours” was a viral hit with more than 65 million streams before it even broke the Top 20 on the country airplay charts. The romantic ballad’s popularity scored him performances on ABC’s The Bachelorette and NBC’s Today Show, and earned the track Gold certification.

The Tennessee native drew from influences including Garth Brooks and Keith Urban when crafting his debut EP, Yours, the first release on Triple Tigers Records, a joint venture with Sony Music.

In 2017, Dickerson continued to gain fans online and in concert, touring with Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett. Driven by Spotify streams tallying more than 35 million, his track “Blue Tacoma” was featured in the X-Men film Logan. And his large presence on the platform led to Spotify selecting Dickerson as the inaugural country artist for its new program Rise, designed to identify and break the next wave of music superstars.

 

Tyminski

Mercury Nashville-UMG / Triple 8 Management / WME / Ten Ten / BMI

Tyminski. Photo: Lori Christian

Revered musician Dan Tyminski ditched his first name and reinvented himself with the creation of Tyminski in late 2017. The result is a cool hybrid of country music; a unique combination of high-lonesome vocals, electronic production and vivid storytelling.

To create his deliciously dark album, Southern Gothic, Tyminski teamed with talented producer Jesse Frasure and co-wrote with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters.

Tyminski began the solo project after the success of Avicii’s 2014 international pop hit “Hey Brother,” featuring Tyminski’s trademark vocals. That song tallied global streams of over 1.1 billion and downloads of 5.3 million, and spurred him to venture outside the acoustic music lane which had earned him 14 Grammy Awards, whether he was singing with longtime band Alison Krauss and Union Station, or as George Clooney’s character in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? He has previously released three solo albums.

 

Walker Hayes

Monument Records-Sony Music / SMACK Management / CAA / SMACKSongs-Rarespark Media Group / BMI

Walker Hayes. Photo: Courtesy Essential Broadcast Media

“Boom.” That’s the sound of Walker Hayes dropping bombastic new sounds into country music. It’s also the name of his album on Monument Records, a collection of unusual beats and unique perspectives delivered via a blend of spoken-word-rap and subtle singing. Fans are digging it, because lead single “You Broke Up With Me” is Top 30-and-climbing on the country charts with over 31 million streams.

Through his self-penned collection, Hayes lets listeners in on his real life, ranging from struggles with addiction to supporting a family between record deals. This candid music has attracted high-profile fans including Bobby Bones, who champions Hayes on his influential radio show. Signed to newly re-launched Monument Records, Hayes’ powerful team includes label co-Presidents Jason Owen and Shane McAnally, the latter of which also produced the new album.

Hayes has performed with Bones, as well as Dan + Shay, and now has a coveted opening spot on Thomas Rhett’s tour.

Exclusive: Centric Entertainment Launches Align Music Group With Abbey Adams

Abbey Adams

Centric Entertainment has launched the publishing and recording group subsidiary, Align Music Group, led by former Sony/ATV Sr. Creative Director, A&R Abbey Adams.

The company is currently in the process of building out its artist/writer roster, with new signings to be announced in early 2018.

Adams, a 2016 MusicRow Rising Women on the Row honoree, says Align Music Group will have a strong focus on creating new, beneficial approaches to artist development and publishing.

“I want to create situations where I can do some extremely artist-friendly deals and I feel with being an independent company, we can do that,” Adams tells MusicRow.

Centric Entertainment is the latest venture from entrepreneur Larry Beckwith, who also co-founded Iconic Entertainment Group with Fletcher Foster.

“We’ve been fortunate to attract some of the best talent in the industry to lead within our companies,” Beckwith says. “Fletcher continues to do a phenomenal job at the helm of Iconic, and I’m confident that Abbey will do the same with Align.”

“At this level, we have to go into it with as low of a risk as we can, asking everyone involved, artists and producers, to take a risk on themselves as much as we are taking on them, and make it really affordable on the front end and give everybody more on the back end, to make it worth their time. We are trying to do deals that include publishing and masters—deals that allow us to do it in a low-risk way—but also to invest in different aspects of the artists. I want to look at it as an indie label, in as much as we have to do to get them—streaming, building social media following, getting them on the road to connect with fans, and really being intentional with their artist branding. It makes it a lot easier to present artists to the labels for those partnership opportunities or to upstream them to a major label when you can say, ‘This is the following they have created. It’s ready for you to take it to the next level.’”

Align Music Group currently operates from the WeWork co-working space located at One Nashville Place (150 4th Ave. N.).

Adams’ previous career roles include time at Sony/ATV and Blacktop Music Group. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Weekly Chart Report 12/1/17

Click here or above to access MusicRow‘s weekly CountryBreakout Report.

Exclusive: Concord Music Announces New Nashville Location

Concord Music has expanded into a new office space located at 1201 Demonbreun Street, also home to the relocated Sony Music Nashville offices and the WME Nashville offices. Staff members from Concord Music labels Rounder Records and Sugar Hill Records have also moved from their previous Nashville locations into the new space.

Jim Selby, Concord Music General Manager

Additionally, Concord’s Chief Publishing Executive, Jake Wisely, has relocated to Nashville, as has Concord Music’s Chief Operating Officer Glen Barros and Concord Music’s Chief Financial Officer Bob Valentine. They are some of approximately 30 Concord staffers who have relocated to Nashville thus far. Barros says the company plans to continue adding to its Nashville-based staff.

“We are trying to make a significant resource of people in Nashville,” Barros tells MusicRow.com. “It’s a combination of people moving here and filling open positions here. It may be that someone has a position in L.A. or New York and if they leave, then we will fill that position in Nashville.”

Concord Music occupies 21,000-square feet on the sixth floor of the 15-story building on Demonbreun, which is located in Nashville’s Gulch area. The new office’s airy, open concept layout is outfitted with two performance spaces and views of downtown Nashville.

 

Jake Wisely, Chief Publishing Executive, Concord Music Publishing. Photo: Beth Herzhaft

“We put the offices on the inner side so everyone can enjoy the views,” Concord Music’s General Manager Jim Selby says. “In fact most of the cubicles have better views than the offices, because they are against the windows. The offices are smaller than what you would typically see, but the idea is you use the whole space. There are breakout areas and lounges and a cafeteria. A lot of people actually have meetings there. We wanted people to use the entire space, so you can have department meetings and company meetings and there are smaller private spaces for phone calls and private meetings.”

The plan to expand the Nashville operations began two years ago.

“As we started integrating companies, it became apparent that having people centrally located between L.A. and New York would be beneficial to many people so from an operational perspective it came from having people all over the country,” Chief Financial Officer Bob Valentine says.

Glen Barros, Concord Music Chief Operating Officer. Photo: Beth Herzhaft

He continues, “It’s becoming more and more expensive to do business in those states, and it’s becoming harder for people to live in those cities and retain talent. Because we are in an industry that this town specifically has focused on so much, it became a long-term planning process, and we started thinking about other towns we may want to move our operations to. Nashville naturally came out in the conversation. There are a lot of people here already in the music industry, so if you are moving positions here, you’ve got a great pool of talent to draw from already and that’s not necessarily true in any other city other than New York City or Los Angeles.”

Bob Valentine, Concord Music Chief Financial Officer

The Nashville expansion comes on the heels of Concord’s recently-announced international representation of Dolly Parton’s publishing ventures, and as Americana-flavored music has seen a surge on the sales charts in recent years.

“The whole Americana scene is really expanding. We felt that a few years ago when we moved Rounder from Boston to here and of course adding Sugar Hill, so it’s just a continuation of that,” says Barros.

Walker Hayes Celebrates Gold With “You Broke Up With Me”

Walker Hayes performs during album release party in Nashville. Photo: Rachel Deeb

Ahead of the Dec. 8 release of Walker Hayes‘ debut Monument Records album, boom., the singer-songwriter celebrates the Gold certification of the album’s lead single “You Broke Up With Me,” which has accumulated more than 500,000 combined units moved.

The single was penned by Hayes, Thomas Archer and Kylie Sackley.

Hayes was surprised with a Gold plaque during his album release show Tuesday evening (Nov. 28) in Nashville.

“It is hard to describe how [a Gold record] feels,” says Hayes, “I am so grateful for the support from everyone who made this happen. I appreciate all the people who got on board with this project and this song. I’m so honored to have ‘You Broke Up With Me’ go Gold.”

Hayes, along with Caitlyn Smith, are the flagship artists following this year’s relaunch of the Monument Records label, led by co-presidents Jason Owen and Shane McAnally. The label takes the name of Fred Foster’s label, which was previously home to Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, and many of Willie Nelson’s early recordings. The original Monument opened in the 1950s and closed in 1990.

Pictured (L-R): SMACKManagement’s Michael Baum, Monument Records President Jason Owen, Walker Hayes, Monument Records SVP Marketing and Label Operations Katie McCartney, Monument Records President Shane McAnally, SMACKManagement Robert Carlton. Photo: Ford Fairchild/FOCO Creative Titles

60th Annual Grammy Nominations Announced

Nominees were announced for the upcoming 60th Annual Grammy Awards on Tuesday morning (Nov. 28).

Chris Stapleton earned three nods, with “Either Way” up for Best Country Solo Performance and From A Room: Vol. 1 up for Best Country Album, and “Broken Halos” up for Best Country Song.

Little Big Town earned Grammy nods for Best Country Song (“Better Man”), Best Country Album (The Breaker) and Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Better Man”). Taylor Swift is nominated in the Best Country Song category, as the sole writer behind Little Big Town’s “Better Man.”

Midland earned two nominations, with “Drinkin’ Problem” up for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like A Back Road” earned two nominations, for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance.

Lady Antebellum also earned two nominations. Heart Break is up for Best Country Album, and “You Look Good” is up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

Miranda Lambert also earned two nominations, with “Tin Man” up for Best Country SonG and Best Country Solo Performance.

“Arkansas Farmboy,” a track from the late Glen Campbell‘s final Adios album, earned a nod for Best American Roots Performance, as did “I Never Cared For You,” a track from Alison Krauss’ Windy City album.

Reba McEntire‘s Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, was also nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album.

Notably, there were no country nominees in overall categories Best New Artist and Album of the Year.

Already a 21-time GRAMMY winner, JAY-Z leads with eight nominations, followed by Kendrick Lamar (7), Bruno Mars (6), Childish Gambino (5), Khalid (5), No I.D. (5), and SZA (5). Selected from more than 22,000 submissions across 84 categories, the nominations showcase some of the most gifted music makers of the past awards year (Oct. 1, 2016–Sept. 30, 2017). As the only peer-selected music award, the GRAMMY is voted on by the Recording Academy’s membership body of music makers, who represent all genres and creative disciplines, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, mixers, and engineers.

“I’m inspired by this year’s nominees and the incredible talent each possesses,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “Their recordings are a true testament to how creatively alive and meaningful our music industry has become. Each nominee uses their craft to inspire, uplift, and tell stories of our world through their artistry. They provide a vibrant soundtrack that represents the highest level of excellence and continues to impact and reflect our culture.”

The final round of GRAMMY voting is Dec. 7–21, 2017. The Recording Academy will present the GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, live from Madison Square Garden in New York and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 7:30–11:00 p.m. ET/4:30–8:00 p.m. PT.

Best Country Song (A songwriter’s award):
“Better Man,” Taylor Swift, songwriter (Little Big Town)
“Body Like A Back Road,” Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Sam Hunt)
“Broken Halos,” Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)
“Drinkin’ Problem,” Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne & Mark Wystrach, songwriters (Midland)
“Tin Man,” Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)

Best Country Solo Performance:
“Body Like A Back Road,” Sam Hunt
“Losing You,” Alison Krauss
“Tin Man,” Miranda Lambert
“I Could Use A Love Song,” Maren Morris
“Either Way,” Chris Stapleton

Best Country Album:
Cosmic Hallelujah — Kenny Chesney
Heart Break — Lady Antebellum
The Breaker — Little Big Town
Life Changes — Thomas Rhett
From A Room: Volume 1 — Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
“It Ain’t My Fault,” Brothers Osborne
“My Old Man,” Zac Brown Band
“You Look good,” Lady Antebellum
“Better Man,” Little Big Town
“Drinkin’ Problem,” Midland

Best Americana Album:
Southern Blood — Gregg Allman
Shine On Rainy Day — Brent Cobb
Beast Epic — Iron & Wine
The Nashville Sound — Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Brand New Day — The Mavericks

Best American Roots Performance:
“Killer Diller Blues,” Alabama Shakes
“Let My Mother Live,” Blind Boys Of Alabama
“Arkansas Farmboy,” Glen Campbell
“Steer Your Way,” Leonard Cohen
“I Never Cared For You,” Alison Krauss

Best American Roots Song:
“Cumberland Gap,” David Rawlings
“I Wish You Well,” The Mavericks
“If We Were Vampires,” Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
“It Ain’t Over Yet,” Rodney Crowell Featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White
“My Only True Friend,” Gregg Allman

Record Of The Year:
“Redbone” — Childish Gambino
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
“The Story Of O.J.” — JAY-Z
“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar
“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Album Of The Year:
“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
4:44 — JAY-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama — Lorde
24K Magic — Bruno Mars

Song Of The Year:
“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)
“4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (JAY-Z)
“Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury, Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)
“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best New Artist:
Alessia Cara
Khalid
Lil Uzi Vert
Julia Michaels
SZA

Best Pop Solo Performance:
“Love So Soft” — Kelly Clarkson
“Praying” — Kesha
“Million Reasons” — Lady Gaga
“What About Us” — P!nk
“Shape Of You” — Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
“Something Just Like This” ­— The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
“Thunder” — Imagine Dragons
“Feel It Still” — Portugal. The Man
“Stay” — Zedd & Alessia Cara

Best Dance/Electronic Album:
Migration — Bonobo
3-D The Catalogue — Kraftwerk
Mura Masa — Mura Masa
A Moment Apart — Odesza
What Now — Sylvan Esso

Best Rock Performance:
“You Want It Darker” — Leonard Cohen
“The Promise” — Chris Cornell
“Run” — Foo Fighters
“No Good” — Kaleo
“Go To War” — Nothing More

Best Rap Album:
4:44 — JAY-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Culture — Migos
Laila’s Wisdom — Rapsody
Flower Boy — Tyler, The Creator

Best Gospel Album:
Crossover — Travis Greene
Bigger Than Me — Le’Andria
Close — Marvin Sapp
Sunday Song — Anita Wilson
Let Them Fall In Love — Cece Winans

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
Rise — Danny Gokey
Echoes (Deluxe Edition) — Matt Maher
Lifer — MercyMe
Hills And Valleys — Tauren Wells
Chain Breaker — Zach Williams

Best Latin Pop Album:
Lo Único Constante — Alex Cuba
Mis Planes Son Amarte — Juanes
Amar Y Vivir En Vivo Desde La Cuidad De México, 2017 — La Santa Cecilia
Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos) — Natalia Lafourcade
El Dorado — Shakira

Best Song Written For Visual Media:
“City Of Stars” — Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone), Track from La La Land
“How Far I’ll Go” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli’i Cravalho), Track from Moana: The Songs
“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker) — Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew & Taylor Swift, songwriters (ZAYN & Taylor Swift), Track from Fifty Shades Darker
“Never Give Up” — Sia Furler & Gregg Kurstin, songwriters (Sia), Track from Lion
“Stand Up For Something” — Common & Diane Warren, songwriters (Andra Day Featuring Common), Track from Marshall

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical:
Calvin Harris
No I.D.
Greg Kurstin
Blake Mills
The Stereotypes

For a full list of nominees, visit grammy.com.

Dolly Parton Inks International Deal With Concord Music Publishing

Dolly Parton. Credit: Fran Stine

Concord Music Publishing, the newly consolidated music publishing operation of The Bicycle Music Company and Imagem Music Group, has entered into an exclusive international publishing agreement with country entertainer and songwriter Dolly Parton.

The agreement, covering the UK, Germany, France, Latin America and other key territories around the world, includes Parton-penned classics such as “I Will Always Love You,” “9 to 5,” “Jolene,” “Two Doors Down” and hundreds of songs in Parton’s Velvet Apple Music catalog.

“Dolly Parton is simply one of the most important and influential artists in popular music history,” says Concord Music’s Chief Publishing Executive Jake Wisely, who recently relocated to Nashville from Los Angeles. “We’re extremely grateful for this opportunity to work with her and her team and protect her incomparable legacy.”

Over the course of her 50 years in music, Parton has enjoyed diverse career roles including singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman and philanthropist. She has earned 25 RIAA-certified Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum awards, and 26 No. 1 country songs. Parton has had 42 Top 10 country albums and 113 charted singles in her career. She has topped 100 million records sold worldwide, and has earned eight Grammy honors, 10 CMA Awards, five ACM awards and three AMA awards. She is one of only five female artists to win the CMA’s Entertainer of the Year honor, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

“I am very proud and honored to be represented by such a capable and prestigious company as Concord Music Publishing. As I’ve always said, my songs are my children and I expect them to support me when I’m old and I’m expecting [Concord] to help me with that. I feel very confident that this is a perfect partnership,” Dolly shares.

Concord Music has offices in Los Angeles, Nashville, Cleveland, London and Berlin. Following the combination of The Bicycle Music Company and recent Imagem Music Group acquisition, Concord’s publishing activities now count more than 380,000 copyrighted works, spanning nearly all musical genres. Concord Music’s publishing is managed via Bicycle, Boosey & Hawkes, Imagem, Razor & Tie Music Publishing and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Concord Music’s recorded music portfolio contains more than 10,000 active album recordings and includes 244 GRAMMY winners and 371 titles that have been certified by the RIAA as either Gold, Platinum, multi-Platinum or Diamond. Concord Music’s record labels – Concord Records, Fantasy Records, Fearless Records, Loma Vista Recordings, Razor & Tie (including Kidz Bop) and Rounder Records – collectively release more than 100 new recordings per year within numerous musical genres. Concord Music’s historical labels, which are managed by its Craft Recordings division, include such storied imprints as Milestone, Musart, Nitro, Pablo, Prestige, Riverside, Specialty, Stax, Telarc, Vee-Jay and Wind-up.