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Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives Join Steve Miller Band On Tour

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives will join the Steve Miller Band for a 34-date North American tour, beginning June 13, hitting stops in Los Angeles, New York and Boston.

Stuart is also slated to perform at the “Country Music: Live at the Ryman, a Concert Celebrating The Film By Ken Burns” concert at the Ryman on March 27, along with previously announced performers, to promote the upcoming 16-hour Country Music documentary.

Select tickets are available at martystuart.net/events.

Marty Stuart tour dates:
March 2 – Stoughton, WI @ Stoughton Opera House
March 15 – Nashville, IN @ Brown County Playhouse
March 16 – Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
March 22 – Macon, GA @ Hargray Capitol Theatre
March 23 – Live Oak, FL @ Suwannee Spring Reunion
March 27 – Nashville, TN @ The Ryman (Country Music: A Celebration of the Film by Ken Burns)
April 4 – Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere
April 5 – Phoenixville, PA @ Colonial Theatre
April 6 – Wheeling, WV @ The Wheeling Jamboree
April 10 – Houston, TX @ The Heights
April 11 – Waco, TX @ Waco Hippodrome Theatre
April 13 – Roswell, NM @ The Liberty
April 14 – Florence, AZ @ Country Thunder
June 1 – Franklin, NC @ Smoky Mountain Center For The Performing Arts
June 13 – Des Moines, IA @ Wells Fargo Arena*
June 15 – Tulsa, OK @ River Spirit Casino – Paradise Cove Margaritaville*
June 16 – Rogers, AR @Walmart Amp*
June 21 – Alton, IL @ Liberty Bank Amphitheater Summer Concert Series*
June 22 – Dubuque, IA @ America’s River Festival*
June 24 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park “Meijer Gardens”*
June 28 – Rochester, NY @ Rochester International Jazz Festival*
June 30 – Sterling Heights, MI @ Freedom Hill*
July 12 – Prior Lake, MN @ Lakefront Music Fest*
July 14 – Duluth, MN @ Bayfront Festival Park*
July 16 – Kettering, OH @ Fraze Pavilion*
July 18 – Baltimore, MD @ MECU Pavilion*
July 21 – Twin Lakes, WI @ Country Thunder
July 20 – Lynchburg, VA @ Riverfront Park Concert Series*
July 24 – New York, NY @ Pier 17*
July 25 – Boston, MA @ Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion*
July 27 – Rangeley, ME @ Rangeley Health & Wellness Pavilion*
July 28 – Kingston, NY @ Hutton Brickyards*
July 30 – Selbyville, DE @ The Freeman Stage at Bayside*
July 31 – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap Center for Performing Arts*
August 2 – Mashantucket, CT @ The Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino*
August 3 – Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest*
August 11 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sandia Resort and Casino*
August 13 – Denver, CO @ The Mission Ballroom*
August 14 – Vail, CO @ Gerald R. Ford Amphitheatre*
August 16 – Billings, MT @ Cove Creek Outdoor Pavilion*
August 17 – Missoula, MT @ Big Sky Brewery*
August 19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden*
August 21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre*
August 22 – Paso Robles, CA @ Vina Robles Amphitheatre*
August 24 – Stateline, NV @ Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys*
August 27 – Salem, OR @ Oregon State Fair*
August 28 – Airway Heights, WA @ Northern Quest Resort & Casino*
August 30 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau Ste. Michelle*
August 31 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau Ste. Michelle*
(* supporting Steve Miller Band)

Industry Ink: Big & Rich, Reviver Records, Mitchell Tenpenny, CRB, Myriad Productions

Big & Rich Partner With Reviver Records

Big & Rich

Country duo Big & Rich have entered into a partnership with Reviver Records, where Reviver will promote the duo’s latest single, “Brand New Buzz,” to radio. Thirty Tigers will continue to represent the duo for marketing and distribution. This move reunites the duo with Reviver Records’ President Gator Michaels, who previously served as Sr. VP at Big & Rich’s former label home, Warner Bros.

“John, Kenny and I have enjoyed tremendous success in the past and we all expect that success to continue well into the future.” says Michaels.

“We are thrilled to align with Reviver Records as they continue to build momentum for ‘Brand New Buzz’,” says Big & Rich. “Gator and his team have been big believers in our music since we launched our debut single ‘Wild West Show’ in 2004, as well as the genre-bending career single ‘Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy.’ We are ready to rock this new era into the stratosphere.”


Mitchell Tenpenny Makes Grand Ole Opry Debut

Pictured (L-R): Riser House Entertainment President Jennifer Johnson; Tenpenny’s manager Kristen Ashley; Sony Music Nashville Chairman & CEO Randy Goodman; Mitchell Tenpenny; Opry Entertainment GM Grand Ole Opry/Sr. Vice President Programming and Artist Relations Sally Williams; 377/Red Light Management’s Haley McLemore; Opry Entertainment Director of Artist Relations & Programming Strategy Jordan Pettit; Grand Ole Opry Director of Talent Scheduling & Logistics Gina Keltner. Photo: Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

Riser House/Columbia Nashville artist Mitchell Tenpenny made his Grand Ole Opry debut on Feb. 16, performing his platinum-certified hit “Drunk Me.” He ended his Opry set with the tune “Walk Like Him,” which he dedicated to his father, Mitch Tenpenny, as well as his grandmother Donna Hilley, who was the former CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.


Country Radio Broadcasters Announces Scholarship Endowment Recipients

The Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. (CRB) has announced the recipients of two scholarship endowments, which were awarded to two universities. The two endowments, valued at $50,000 in honor of Country Radio Seminar’s 50th Anniversary event, were given to Dr. Richard Robinson of The University of Tennessee at Martin and Dr. Butler Cain of the University of North Alabama. Each received a $25,000 endowment for the 2019-20 school year.

Past recipients of the CRB endowment scholarship include Belmont University, Middle Tennessee State University, Texas A&M University, Central Michigan University, University of North Texas, Green River College, and more. A CRB scholarship committee was assembled to oversee the vetting of applications. 


Myriad Productions Signs Savannah Nider

Pictured (L-R): Steve Cox (Myriad Productions), Savannah Nider

Nashville-based Myriad Productions has announced its first signing of 2019 with the addition of singer-songwriter Savannah Nider to the company’s management division. In addition to Nider, Myriad represents country music hitmaker Collin Raye, as well as rising singer-songwriters TJ Weaver and Wendy Hope.

Mike Curb Foundation, Regions Foundation Offer $1 Million Donation To National Museum Of African American Music

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) announced a joint gift of $1 million from the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation, marking another milestone for the interactive new museum, slated to open in downtown Nashville later this year as part of the Fifth+Broadway development.

Each organization is contributing $500,000 toward the museum’s construction – which will feature ambitious and evolving displays in tribute to America’s most dynamic and transformative African American artists and movements. Representatives from NMAAM, the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation were joined by elected officials and community leaders, including Senator Marsha Blackburn, state Senator Brenda Gilmore and Nashville Mayor David Briley, to announce the significant gifts and unveil new details of what the expansive, 56,000 square foot museum will share with its guests.

The museum will be home to traveling exhibits and five permanent galleries featuring 25 interactive displays that chronicle the history of African American music from the 1800s to the present day. More than 1,400 artifacts have already been collected to be showcased in the space.

“Today’s event marks a major fundraising milestone for us,” said H. Beecher Hicks, III, president and CEO of NMAAM. “After years of planning and discussions, this project will soon become a reality. We are so grateful to the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation for helping to make this pioneering museum a reality.”

The donations made by the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation put the museum in closer reach of its nearly $50 million fundraising goal prior to opening in early 2020. Currently, fundraising has reached nearly 75 percent of the target. In appreciation of the commitment by Regions, the grand foyer of the Museum will be named in honor of the Regions Foundation.

Pictured (L-R): Lee Blank, Nashville Market Executive for Regions Bank; David Briley, Mayor of Nashville; Marsha Blackburn, US Senator; H. Beecher Hicks, III, president and CEO of NMAAM; Brenda Gilmore, TN State Senator; Jim Ed Norman, Mike Curb Foundation

“Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve, and the National Museum of African American Music will add to the vitality of the Nashville area by honoring and recognizing the impact of African American contributions to modern American music,” said Lee Blank, Nashville Market Executive for Regions Bank. “This gift represents our support of this living, lasting legacy, which celebrates the unique journeys and immense talent of artists who have shaped music history. We know that the people of Middle Tennessee and visitors from throughout the globe will enjoy what this museum will offer for generations to come.”

Tuesday’s announcement unveiled artifacts that will be part of the permanent exhibition – one of which included sheet music by Grammy Award-winning artist Stevie Wonder.

“We’ve decided to name our gift in honor of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and highlight the impact they’ve had on our city’s rich musical history,” says Jim Ed Norman of the Mike Curb Foundation. “We think it’s fitting that all visitors to the museum will now see the ‘Fisk Jubilee Singers’ name at the Broadway entrance as it will serve as a reminder of the musical influences in our great city.”

Regions Foyer at National Museum of African American Music.

MusicRowLife: WTHO Georgia Radio Personality Steve Ferguson Passes

Pictured (L-R): Steve Ferguson and Garth Brooks

Steve Ferguson lost his battle with cancer last night (Feb. 18); he was diagnosed with terminal bile cancer earlier this year. He served on the MusicRow reporting panel for 12 years with WTHO.

Ferguson began his radio career in 1985 with WMTZ in Martinez, Georgia, as a part-time Sunday afternoon host. In five years, he had been promoted to program director and morning drive host. In 1990 when WMTZ’s format changed to oldies, Ferguson left the station to work for WTHO in Thompson, Georgia. He served as the program director for 29 years as well as morning drive host for 18 years.

In 2010, Ferguson was awarded MusicRow‘s CountryBreakout Reporter of the Year for his love and dedication to his profession. Last week (Feb. 13), he was awarded the Randy Jones Award for the same devotion to his community and career. Ferguson was also an avid musician having played bass guitar, drums and vocals.

Visitation was held Thursday (Feb. 21) at Beggs Funeral Home in Thomson, Georgia. Funeral Services were held Friday (Feb. 22).

Lonestar Plots 2019 Tour

Pictured (L-R): Dean Sams, Keech Rainwater, Richie McDonald, Michael Britt

Country group Lonestar is back for its 2019 tour, Hits & More Hits. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the band’s triple-Platinum Lonely Grill album, which accumulated four No. 1 songs including “Amazed,” “Smile,” “What About Now,” and “Tell Her.”

The tour launches March 2 in Panama City Beach, Florida, and will include stops throughout the United States and Canada. The trek wraps Sept. 21 in Franklin, North Carolina.

“We are celebrating another milestone in 2019,” says keyboardist/vocalist Dean Sams. “It’s the 20th anniversary of the release of our Lonely Grill CD that had four number one singles on it and sold over four million records. Hope to see everyone out to celebrate with us on our ‘Hits and More Hits Tour’ in a city near you! After all, it’s you the fans that made it happen!!!”

Lonestar includes Sams, alongside lead vocalist Richie McDonald, drummer Keech Rainwater, and lead guitarist/vocalist Michael Britt.

Lonestar 2019 Hits & More Hits Tour Dates:
3/2/19: Panama City Beach, FL – Aaron Bessant Amphitheatre
3/8/19: Kent, OH – The Kent Stage
3/9/19: Manistee, MI – Little River Casino Resort
3/15/19: Fort Pierce, FL – Sunrise Theatre
3/16/19: Pinellas Park, FL – England Brothers Park
3/17/19: Immokalee, FL – Seminole Casino Hotel
4/13/19: Florence, AZ – Country Thunder USA
4/24/19: Lake Buena Vista, FL – American Gardens at Epcot Disneyworld
4/25/19: Lake Buena Vista, FL – American Gardens at Epcot Disneyworld
4/26/19: Lake Buena Vista, FL – American Gardens at Epcot Disneyworld
5/31/19: Dayton, OH – Hollywood Gaming At Dayton Raceway
6/9/19: Norfolk, VA – Town Point Park
6/11/19: Belleville, ON – The Empire Theatre
6/13/19: Burlington, ON – Sound of Music Festival
6/14/19: London, ON – London Music Hall
6/15/19: Rama, ON – Casino Rama
6/17/19: Halifax, NS – Rebecca Cohn Auditorium
6/18/19: Moncton, NB – The Centre at Casino New Brunswick
6/20/19: Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
6/21/19: Lincoln, RI – Twin River Casino
6/22/19: Winston-Salem, NC – The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex
6/23/19: Myrtle Beach, SC – Calvin Gilmore Theater
7/6/19: Roundup, MT – Roundup City Park
7/11/19: Tee PeeCreek, Alberta – TeePee Creek Stampede
7/12/19: Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada – Country Thunder Saskatchewan
7/18/19: Port Huron, Michigan – Port Huron to Mackinaw WSAQ Radio Show
7/19/19: Twin Lakes, WI – Country Thunder USA
7/20/19: Oskaloosa, IA – Southern Iowa Fair
7/25/19: Calgary, Alberta, Canada – Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
7/26/19: Mattawa, ON, Canada – Mattawa Voyageur Days 2019
7/27/19: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – Howl at the Moon Music Festival
8/1/19: Spokane, WA – First Interstate Center for the Arts
8/2/19: Whitefish, MT – Glacier Twins Baseball Fundraiser
8/3/19: Klamath Falls, OR – Klamath County Fair & Carnival
8/5/19: Santa Rosa, CA – Sonoma County Fair
8/7/19: Duchesne, UT – Duchesne County Fair
8/8/19: Nephi, UT – Juab County Fair
8/10/19: Henderson, NV – Sunset Station Hotel & Casino
8/14/19: Bath, NY – Steuben County Fair
8/16/19: Richmond, RI – Washington County Fair
8/23/19: Meridian, MS – MSU Riley Center for the Performing Arts
8/24/19: Mount Vernon, KY – Renfro Valley Entertainment
8/30/19: Lexington, MI – Village Theatre
9/1/19: Matthews, NC – Stumptown Park
9/6/19: Bonner Springs, KS – Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
9/13/19: Frederick, MD – The Great Frederick Fair
9/21/19: Franklin, NC – Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts

Bobby Karl Works The Room: BMLG Doubles Down On Artist Development

Pictured (Back Row, L-R): Riley Green, Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus, Noah Schnacky. (Front Row, L-R): Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney and Gary LeVox, BMLG President/CEO Scott Borchetta, Brantley Gilbert, Lauren Jenkins


Chapter 615

At the BMLG label luncheon at CRS, the emphasis was on artist development.

On Friday afternoon (Feb. 15) at the Omni Hotel, the company used its moment in the spotlight to introduce new artists and new sounds. The showcase luncheon’s star attraction and closing act was Rascal Flatts. But on the way to the band’s hit-packed presentation, BMLG’s Scott Borchetta had other fish to fry.

After greeting the radio conventioneers, Borchetta brought out newcomer Riley Green. The delightfully countrified Riley kicked off his set with “In Love By Now,” a penetrating rocker featuring his hot band. Both “Georgia Time” and “Bettin’ Man” were songs he wrote about loves gone wrong.

“About a year ago I was an unsigned artist framing houses in Jackson, Alabama,” he told the crowd. “Now I have a single that’s No. 8 in the country. So thank you very much.”

That introduced a romping treatment of “There Was This Girl.” We loved it.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” said Scott. “And you really feel that when your friends start getting inducted into the [Country Radio] Hall of Fame.”

He offered a shout-out to this year’s inductees, Mac Daniels, Jeff Garrison, Kyle Cantrell, Gregg Lindahl, Charlie Monk and the late Bobby Denton.

Back to the newcomer business at hand, fresh company signee Lauren Jenkins was up next. She already makes videos and short films of her songs, so that part of her talent was screened.

Then the CRS first-timer sang her artful, introspective “Makers Mark and You” and “Running Out of Road” in her smoky, languid voice.

I have long thought that Brantley Gilbert has one of the coolest voices in modern country music. Not that you could hear it much over his loud, country-meets-Megadeth band. On a brighter note, he and the group were a stylebook of facial-hair grooming modes.

Brantley favored us with hits such as “Country Must Be Country Wide” and “Bottoms Up.” But his set was truly uplifted by the appearance of Lindsay Ell. She and Brantley demonstrated dynamic interplay while introducing their new duet “What Happens in a Small Town.”

“That’s the first time they have performed that together,” said Scott. He predicted “a big future” for his next act, newcomer Noah Schnacky. “Noah already has 50 million streams on his songs. He’s really the whole package.”

Sitting alone on a stool in the spotlight, Noah proved to be a deft acoustic guitarist as well as an able vocalist. The youngster was also teen-heartthrob handsome as he performed his romantic tunes “Hello Beautiful” and “Maybe He Will.”

“I grew up on country radio,” said Noah to the country radio crowd. “You all showed me what I liked. You made me the artist that I am today. So if you don’t like me, it’s your fault.”

Pictured (Back Row, L-R): Big Machine Records GM Jim Weatherson, Riley Green, CRB Board President Kurt Johnson, Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus, CRB Executive Director RJ Curtis, The Valory Music Co. GM George Briner. (Front Row, L-R): BMLG EVP & BMLG Records President Jimmy Harnen, Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney and Gary LeVox, BMLG President/CEO Scott Borchetta, Lauren Jenkins, Brantley Gilbert, Stoney Creek’s Lindsay Ell, Noah Schnacky

Rascal Flatts came out with a driving, blood-stirring treatment of “Yours If You Want It” that was so much better than its recording of the song. They not only sing like champs, their band cooks with gas.

“Thank you for being our voices to the world,” said member Jay DeMarcus. “Without you, we wouldn’t have had 19 years in this wonderful business.”

True to the spirit of the showcase, the group introduced new music. Its just-released single, “Back To Life,” was performed as a super power-waltz.

The melodic pile-driver “I Like the Sound of That” was embellished by a soaring Joe Don Rooney guitar solo. “What Hurts the Most” was a vocal showcase, wherein lead singer Gary LeVox went from wispy, atmospheric phrasing to full-throated emotional blasts. The audience was on its feet throughout the rocking, pulse-quickening finale, “Life Is a Highway.”

Sharing the sounds and the fried-chicken lunch were Jeremy Westby, Leslie Fram, Becky Harris, Jim Varnell, Sarah Skates, Billy Dukes, Tom Baldrica, Don Cusic, Ron Allen, Sherod Robertson, Tracy Berry and visiting Ottawa academic Jada Watson.

Bobby Karl Works The Room: CRS’ New Faces Show Was A Star-Making Moment For Jimmie Allen

Jimmie Allen. Photo: CRS


Chapter 616

Nice guys finish first.

Personable Jimmie Allen walked off with this year’s New Faces Show at Country Radio Seminar. He was far and away the evening’s finest singer. Not only that, his songs had the most substance, and his performance demonstrated scene-stealing showmanship.

Jimmie was not without competition. Lindsay Ell had the guitar chops and the beauty. Russell Dickerson had stage presence and dance moves. LANCO had hits and charm. Dylan Scott had the physique and the warmth.

Another highlight of the event was the surprise appearance by superstar Tim McGraw. Following a video where he reminisced about his New Faces Show appearance 25 years ago, the curtain parted to reveal him in the flesh, singing his first hit, “Don’t Take the Girl.” He then waded into the crowd to pose for selfies.

We all went nuts. What a moment.

Bill Mayne and Keith Urban. Photo: CRS

The evening’s other headliner was another nice guy, retiring Country Radio Broadcasters exec Bill Mayne. He was saluted with a career-spanning video overview, a presentation by Keith Urban and a standing ovation.

“I thank you very much for letting me have the best job in the world for the past 10 years,” said Bill. “I love you all. You will be in my heart forever.”

The four-hour marathon show and three-course banquet took place on Friday night (Feb. 15) at the Omni Hotel downtown. More than 1,000 attended.

Russell Dickerson. Photo: CRS

Official show-opening act Russell Dickerson took charge from the moment he stepped on stage. He came out bobbing and dancing to his peppy current single “Every Little Thing,” then launched into his chart-topping “Blue Tacoma.”

“I’ve been dreaming of this day since the first time I came here in 2010,” said the Nashville native of CRS. “You guys had no reason to believe in us, but you did,” he added.

That led naturally into his Platinum breakthrough No. 1 hit, “Yours.”

He didn’t let up. Russell rocked out on the frothing “MGNO (My Girl’s Night Out).” Bounding down into the crowd, he segued into Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” pulling women from their seats to shake their booties with his and sing along.

Lindsay Ell. Photo: CRS

Speaking of exercise, Lindsay Ell was introduced via a humorous video where she took her radio promotion team to a 4 a.m. fitness boot camp. She began her set with her debut hit, “Criminal.”

Her guitar prowess was never better showcased than on the new song she introduced, “Go To.” It was intercut with U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Lindsay finished her set with the rousing lament “Space.”

“Thank you to everyone in this room for putting me on this stage,” she said with sincerity.

Then it was Jimmie Allen’s turn. He was preceded by a long, deep, echoing, electronic noise and then burst into the spotlight with the upbeat “County Lines.” He displayed admirable aplomb and confidence as he delivered his current single, “Make Me Want To” in a strong, clear voice.

Jimmie is country’s first African-American artist in history to top the charts with his debut single. He gave that song, “Best Shot,” an impressively full-throated vocal.

He cranked the energy up even higher on “Underdogs,” an uplifting ode to strivers and dreamers. As he sang it, he walked all the way through the ballroom, high-fiving people at every table he passed and wailing the high notes with chesty ease. The crowd went wild.

His finale was the power-ballad message song “All Tractors Ain’t Green.” Its stirring melody was augmented by a lineup of soulful female vocalists behind him.

He received a well-deserved standing ovation.


LANCO had an introductory video that told of the band’s graduation from a camper to a tour bus, concluding with the former’s being blown up in farewell. The group then took the stage, opening with its chiming, bright and driving “Born to Love You.”

Lead singer and principal songwriter Brandon Lancaster (the band’s name is shorthand for “Lancaster and Company”) introduced the radio tastemakers to his new song, “Save Me.”

Then came the five-man group’s breakthrough No. 1 hit, the highly tuneful “Greatest Love Story.” The finale was the exciting, anthemic sing-along “Rival.”

Am I wrong, or was this Arista Records act Sony Music Nashville’s only major presence during CRS?

Dylan Scott. Photo: CRS

Curb Records up-and-comer Dylan Scott closed the show. He was introduced via a clever video that toyed with his impressive, gym-toned, buff bod by suggesting he had a magic, hit-enhancing supplement.

He took no prisoners with a rocking, pounding performance of his Gold-selling top-10 hit, “Hooked.” The fastest-rising single of his career came next, “Nothing to Do Town.”

Dylan sat at the piano to introduce “Nobody,” which he said he wished could be his next single. It built impressively to a rousing crescendo.

The Louisiana-bred singer’s father is Scotty Robinson, who played guitar for Freddy Fender, Freddie Hart and other classic country stylists. “I’m an old-school country music fan,” said Dylan. “My hero was a guy named Keith Whitley.”

He sang Whitley’s ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes.” On the one hand, it was an admirable tribute. On the other hand, he’s not near his late idol, vocally (but then again, who is?). The performance did elicit a big cheer.

“I’ve been here 10 years, and it’s been a long 10 years,” added the budding star. “But I am so happy and so blessed.”

A thudding, intense rendition of his chart-topping Platinum smash “My Girl” concluded his set and the show.

Tim McGraw. Photo: CRS

The event was punctuated by videos of various artists reminiscing with Gator Harrison about their New Faces Show experiences. In addition to McGraw, they included Luke Bryan, Jake Owen and Lee Brice.

The 2019 CRS New Faces Show was sponsored by the Academy of Country Music. The organization’s Pete Fisher saluted this year’s ACM radio nominees, teased its April 7 awards show, talked about its Lifting Lives charity and introduced a video and stage segment about St. Jude’s Hospital.

During the pre-show cocktail hour, Dillon Carmichael offered a spirited set. Bopping along throughout the night were Rob Simbeck, Nancy Kruh, Ash Bowers, Mike Dungan, Jim Ed Norman, incoming CRB exec RJ Curtis, LB Rogers, Tom Roland, George Briner, Jack Purcell, Brandi Simms, the omnipresent Charlie Cook, Preshias Harris, Jimmy Harnen, Jon Loba, Christy Walker-Watkins, CRB board prez Kurt Johnson, Gayle Thompson, Lon Helton, Brenden Oliver and Lauren Patterson.

Snapshots: Sunny Sweeney & Chris Young

Sunny Sweeney recently celebrated her 30th performance on the Grand Ole Opry stage since her 2007 Opry debut. “I love, love, love to play The Grand Ole Opry!! Every time I play there it feels like the first time. I’m in awe of its history and how gracious all the members are to new, young artists like myself. This time, Larry Gatlin introduced us and we had a blast!!” said Sweeney.

Currently, Sweeney is writing for her follow up to the critically-acclaimed album, Concrete, which was released in 2011 on Republic Nashville. Sunny penned seven of the 10 tracks, including “From A Table Away,” which is the highest charting debut single for a female country artist since Taylor Swift more than four years ago. Throughout the summer, Sweeney will open several dates at fairs and festivals for Blake Shelton, Jerrod Niemann and Miranda Lambert. For more information visit SunnySweeney.com.

Pictured (L-R): Fitzgerald-Hartley manager Steve Emley, Grand Ole Opry VP & General Manager Pete Fisher, Sweeney and Grand Ole Opry Group President Steve Buchanan. Photo: Fitzgerald-Hartley

• • • •

Chris Young will be the special guest star on GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown this week. The episode featuring Young will premiere on July 20 at 7PM CT. Young is also set to appear on GAC’s On The Streets on July 31. While visiting the GAC studios, Young presented network Pres. Ed Hardy with a plaque celebrating his last No. 1 video on the countdown for single “Tomorrow.”

In addition to burning up the road with Miranda Lambert and her On Fire tour, Young recently landed his fifth consecutive No. 1 single and posted two RIAA certified Gold singles. His newest single, the title track to his recently released album Neon, isclimbing the charts at country radio. For more information visit www.chrisyoungcountry.com.

Chris Young (R) and GAC President Ed Hardy (L) Photo: GAC


Luke Bryan To Headline CMT On Tour

Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan is set to headline the 10th annual CMT On Tour this fall with special guests Lee Brice and Josh Thompson. CMT On Tour: Luke Bryan Tailgates & Tanlines is set to kick off this September with approximately 25 shows to support Bryan’s third studio album for Capitol Records Nashville, Tailgates & Tanlines, due in stores August 9. His current single, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me),” has become his fastest rising single to date, already reaching the Top 15.
CMT On Tour launched in 2002 and has featured superstars Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland and Keith Urban. CMT On Tour is produced by Lindsay Bertelli of Reach. Cities and dates for the tour will be announced soon.
Following his 2010 award-winning year, Bryan was recently nominated for two 2011 CMT Music Awards: Best Web Video of the Year his video “It’s A Shore Thing” and Nationwide Insurance’s Best New Live Act. He is scheduled to perform his first main-stage performance at the 2011 CMT Music Awards and will also present on the show.