Dolly Parton remains one of the most innovative and creative personalities in country music and in all of the entertainment industry. With all she has achieved, she could be forgiven for sitting back and taking a break from her busy schedule. But that isn’t ‘the Dolly Way.’
At an August 15 press conference, Dolly announced the release of I BELIEVE IN YOU, her first album written and recorded specifically for kids (and presumably also for the young at heart). A digital release of the new album on Dolly Records/RCA Nashville will be available September 29 and the physical album will street worldwide on October 13. All 14 tracks on the album were written and performed by Dolly Parton.
An ‘amazing 50 years’
“My first album was released 50 years ago and it’s been an amazing 50 years since then,” said Dolly. “I am very excited that now I’m coming out with my first children’s album in all of those 50 years. I’m proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library. It’s been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We’ve seen 100 million books get into the hands of children and hopefully there will be many more.”
Since its beginning in 1996 in Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, the Imagination Library has expanded into four countries serving more than one-million children by providing a brand new, age-appropriate book each month. In North America, every child’s first book is the classic Little Engine that Could.
I BELIEVE IN YOU Track Listing:
I Believe in You
Coat of Many Colors (new recording)
I Am a Rainbow
A Friend Like You
You Can Do It
You Gotta Be
Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny
Brave Little Soldier
Bonus track spoken audio: Coat of Many Colors (book read by Dolly Parton)
The August edition of America’s longest-running monthly country music column “Inside Track on Music Row” is now ready to read online at Nashville Music Guide and on my own “I Know Country” site as well as on websites in Europe. Hard to believe I’ve been writing that column for around a quarter of a century! Whew!
Here are just a few ‘teasers’ from the full column…
My dear friend Lisa Wysocki reminded me about Colby’s Army, an organization that supports children and adults with disabilities, special needs, and life challenges through education, the teaching of life skills, and job training. Participants also gain physical strength by learning to ride a horse and through organic gardening, and our homeless friends are supported through the gifts of nutritious food from the garden, and first aid and street supplies. There are two new opportunities for you to support their programs:
1. Gift and organic products sold through EllisJaxonFarms.com on a “name your own price” model now benefit Colby’s Army! Please take time to check out this wonderful site. Anything paid over wholesale cost comes to Colby’s Army. Please also take time to thank this very generous company for their support!
2. Memory/honor sponsorships in the organic garden, on their trails, and along the beautiful creek. Your sponsorship in memory of a loved one includes a bench with your loved one’s name on it. Signage to read similar to: “Donated by _______ in memory (or honor) of ______” These sponsorships are only $400 and include the cost of a bench. You also receive a beautiful photo of your bench and signage. To participate, just click on the yellow donate button at colby’sarmy.org. Colby’s Army is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and financial gifts are tax deductible according to applicable laws.
INDIE ARTIST NEWS
EmiSunshine, the extraordinary talent who burst into stardom four short years ago as a nine-year-old via viral video, is set to release her new album, RAGGED DREAMS (her fourth studio recording), on August 25, 2017. The little girl with a big voice, who recently celebrated her 13th birthday, has made her mark shattering preconceived notions of youthful imagery that embraces gleeful innocence and optimism.
The 15 tracks on the album (written/co-written by Sunshine) touch on Autism, close-to-home tragedies (the Gatlinburg fires and TN floods) and tell tall tales that portray colorful stories illuminating murder, deceit, vengeful spirits and incarceration. Produced by Sunshine and backed by her family-band, The Rain (father, Randall Hamilton-bass; brother, John Hamilton-mandolin; uncle, Bobby Hill-drums), the album spotlights cameo performances by notables Randy Kohrs (resonator guitar), Tim Crouch (Mandolin/Fiddle/Guitar), Justin Moses (Fiddle/Guitar/Dobro/Banjo), Hitoshi Yamaguchi (cello), Ben Probus (fiddle) and others. Her social stats are: 14 million digital views, 500,000 Facebook followers, hitting close to 25,000 Instagram followers, 13 Grand Ole Opry performances, and appearances on THE TODAY SHOW, Stagecoach, and WOODSONGS. Details at emisunshine.com.
Known as “southern rock royalty,” The Kentucky Headhunters are gearing up to take their rowdy, high-energy live show across the pond, as they return to the U.K. for a string of performances this fall. Supporting the American band will be U.K. rockers Bad Touch, who will join the Headhunters on all 8 shows this October. “We first met Bad Touch when they were chosen as our support act after my son John Fred Young’s band, Black Stone Cherry, convinced us to do our first-ever U.K. tour in 2016. In a mere week of touring, the Headhunter’s and Bad Touch became like a band of brothers,” said Richard Young of The Kentucky Headhunters. The Kentucky Headhunters have been crisscrossing North America fresh off the 2016 release of On Safari, the band’s 12th studio album. U.S. and U.K. tour updates at kentuckyheadhunters.com
Dave Barnes and Julian Bunetta write Rhett’s 8th Number One
Congrats to Thomas Rhett for his single “Craving You” hitting Number One on both the Billboard Country Airplay and Mediabase charts, sky-rocketing to the top in just 15 weeks as the fastest-rising song of his career so far.
And, of course, special congrats to the song’s writers, Dave Barnes and Julian Bunetta! Dave’s other songwriting credits include tracks recorded by Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton and Billy Currington. He is also a recording artist with nine studio albums to his name. Julian has cuts on artists as varied as Harry Styles, One Direction and Little Big Town.
Second Number One this year
“Craving You” (featuring Maren Morris) marks Rhett’s second Number One this year and the eighth of his career. It is the lead single from his upcoming third album due later this year. Rhett is continuing his HOME TEAM TOUR. After drawing capacity crowds overseas last year, he returns with plans to go back to Europe while also making his debut headlining run in Canada in addition to US dates. It’s one more success for Rhett who was named ACM Awards Male Vocalist of the Year.
For more information on new music and for a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit Rhett’s website. And be sure to check out the really creative music video for “Craving You,” designed to look like a movie trailer.
Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary’s new album shows traditional country alive and well
Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary show that Traditional Country Music hasn’t gone anywhere as their new project ‘American Grandstand’ landed its first week on Billboard’s Top Current Country Albums chart at No. 10.
Back on July 8, I posted here on NashvilleMusicLine.com that Rhonda and Daryle’s collaboration had just been released, and it’s a pleasure to know that it has already made an impact on the charts. It also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, and No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Album Chart for the week of July 29, 2017.
Not since George & Tammy and Conway & Loretta has there been a vocal duet performance like Rhonda Vincent & Daryle Singletary. Their chart success marks yet another indication that buyers love the authentic, unaltered voices of two great singers in this generation of country music. The album is available here and wherever music is sold.
Rhonda on tour in USA and Europe
By the way, fans can catch “The Most Award-Winning Band in Bluegrass Music History” Rhonda Vincent & The Rage on the road throughout the remainder of the year, as the IBMA “Entertainer of the Year” and 8-time “Female Vocalist of the Year” winner makes stops at festivals and venues throughout North America, plus a return visit to Europe’s Bluegrass Capital – Prague, Czech Republic www.rhondainprague.cz in September, along with a stop at Switzerland’s Most Prestigious Country Music Festival in beautiful Gstaad. More details on Rhonda’s website and social media.
New duet album is a fresh creation of real American music
Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State. Growing up in Kentucky, my first memories of music in my home were the Bluegrass on my momma’s side and the rock ‘n’ roll (my daddy’s side) because of the Everly Brothers family tie. I do get excited when I see a Bluegrass record come out. Especially if they are from two of my all-time favorites: Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary.
Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary have released their brand new duet album titled “American Grandstand.” The album includes 12 traditional country songs, combining classic duets along with never before heard all-original music.
I’ve interviewed Daryle over the years and he is what he sings. He was raised on Bluegrass and Gospel and he credits his heroes as George Jones, Merle Haggard and Keith Whitley. What you see is what you get with Daryle. I wouldn’t be surprised if Webster’s Dictionary had Daryle’s photo beside the definition of “True Country.”
Daryle is hitting the pavement hard with his summer tour in full swing. He is booked from Texas to West Virginia and everywhere in between.
Rhonda is one of the most awarded female artists ever in Bluegrass and she’s not even slowing down with this new album out. It definitely reveals a new level of her talent. She is the leading lady of Bluegrass.
Rhonda will also appear on Heartland TV’s “Bluegrass Ridge,” where she will be the guest host for 4 consecutive weeks, beginning the week of July 10th. Throughout each episode, she will share some of her most career-defining moments, and what led her to the latest venture. She and Daryle are also giving fans an inside glimpse of tracks from the latest album with exclusive videos featured on The Country Note, The Daily Country, Roughstock, Nashville Country Club, Lovin’ Lyrics and more.
‘One,’ their tribute to George and Tammy
The seed was planted for what would become the lead single, “One,” when the dynamic pair performed the song together in 2016 at the legendary Grand Ole Opry. The response to the performance ultimately led them to record the song. The song originally was made famous by country icons George Jones and Tammy Wynette. It was from their last album together called “One” which was released in 1995. It was written by Judith Bruce, Ed Bruce and Ron Peterson. “One” was their last song together, before Tammy passed away in 1998. Daryle and Rhonda put their unique spin on the song and on each track on the new project, with their distinctive vocals and impeccable talent.
NOTE: In addition to upcoming tour dates, fans will be treated to multiple performances as both artists teamed up for their tour. Their concert during this year’s CMA Music Fest in Nashville was featured in Rolling Stone Country’s 20 Best Free Concerts. Fans can catch Rhonda Vincent, who the Wall Street Journal dubbed “The New Queen of Bluegrass,” at festivals and venues throughout North America, while fans in central Europe will get a chance to catch the most award-winning band in bluegrass music, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, when they head overseas in September.
The new album, ‘American Grandstand’ can be purchased here. Rhonda Vincent’s tour schedule and more can be found here. Follow Daryle Singletary on Facebook here.
Parker Willingham hosted a New Music Review listening party at The Westin L27 Rooftop, July 5th. Willingham spotlighted tracks from his new recording project YOU GET ME EVERY TIME (Apple Row Music Group).
Willingham gave an acoustic performance before friends, family, fans, peers and music industry execs. Featuring solo and co-writes titled “Raining Down,” “Flipside,” “All Over You” and the title track, YOU GET ME EVERY TIME is a canvas of Parker’s wit, grit, heart and soul, and offers an authentic insight to passionate, poignant, pivotal and painful pages of his life.
The ballads (such as “One Kiss At A Time” and “Hard To Say”) depict the innocence and confusion of falling in love, and love at the right time, while “Chase Her Dreams” and “Me Loving You” set love free. The beachy, true-to-his roots party anthem, “Cold Creek,” celebrates a spiritual freedom and “We Got It All Right” turns the page to a forever love potential.
Satisfying the traditional country music fan and country music enthusiasts with a more flavorful palate, YOU GET ME EVERY TIME has also garnered early applause from radio and the media with every noteworthy ingredient.
“Parker Willingham is absolutely incredible; this guy must be heard. He’s ‘Nashville’s best-kept secret’ and he’s going to be explosive!” — Seth Coburn, Morning Drive Host / KLAW101 (OK)
“I’m spinning Parker Willingham on CMR Nashville now and mark his new album with high ratings. He is a star in the making with a great voice.” Lee Williams/CMR Nashville
YOU GET ME EVERY TIME is now available via all digital platforms (Spotify/Amazon/iTunes).
A quick ‘heads up’ as we all get ready for July 4th. Charlie Daniels has a treat in store for us!
Few musical performers epitomize the American spirit with more passion and fervor than Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie Daniels. The singer, who has sung of his unabashed patriotism time in and time out during his career, is showcasing his love of the Red, White, and Blue once again in his latest recording that will be available for sale via most digital platforms including iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon and GooglePlay on July 4th.
A music video featuring the song will also be released on the same day. Produced by d curlew films, the video will be featured on CMT.
Daniels has recorded a stirring version of the Johnny Cash standard “Ragged Old Flag.” Written and recorded by Cash, the song hit No. 31 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in 1974. Charlie is joined on this track by Mark “Oz” Geist, Benghazi Warrior/Survivor and co-author of “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.” Read more about the special July 4th song, Charlie’s tour dates and more here.
Wade Hayes is one tough and determined guy. And he knows a lot about facing adversity, overcoming it and moving on. In December 2011, he was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer. Successful surgery and chemotherapy removed the cancer. A year later, Wade was devastated to learn the cancer had returned. He received additional treatments, and today he has no evidence of disease. The brush with death gave him a new outlook on life and motivated him to write and record a moving collection of songs called ‘Go Live Your Life.’
As someone who has had my own share of dealing with cancer, I can empathize with Wade and his attitude of not letting a major roadblock keep him from moving on with his life and the career he loves.
He has had a long career with no sign of letting up. I well remember seeing Wade playing guitar for country artist Johnny Lee in the early 90s. I also wrote a story about Wade in Texas Country Music magazine in the 1990s.
Traditional music roots
And now Wade is back with a new album, OLD COUNTRY SONG (conabar records), due out June 9, 2017. He’s never tried to hide his traditional music roots and the new project has him going full-on old school.
“I grew up listening to Haggard, Waylon and Willie – classic country artists – and they’ve all had a huge influence on my writing and my music,” said Hayes. “I wanted to make a record that honored them, and I’m really proud of what we came up with.”
Wade wrote or co-wrote four of the 11 tracks. He partnered with Clint Ingersoll and Mark Collie on two of the cuts. Roger Springer wrote the title cut, Jon Randall and Jessi Alexander contributed “What You Need From Me,” and Chris Stapleton penned “We Needed The Rain.” Springer also wrote “All I Know” with Tim Menzies for the album, and Wade’s first producer, Don Cook, wrote the Conway Twitty hit “Julia” with John Jarvis. The Merle Haggard/Dean Holloway tune, “Going Where the Lonely Go,” rounds out the album.
Wade Hayes at CMA Music Fest
If you’re planning on being at this year’s CMA Music Festival, you’ll have several chances to catch up with Wade. He’ll be at Storme Warren’s Nashville Navy Party at Famous Saloon, 110 2nd Avenue South, on Tuesday, June 6. His Wade Hayes Friends’ Fest is set for Wednesday, June 7, 1:30-4:30pm at the Hermitage House Smorgasbord. He will perform on the Durango Music Spot Stage inside XFINITY Fan Fair X in the Music City Center on Thursday, June 8 at 2:35pm. That evening, he will perform at Alley Taps Gin Mill in Printers Alley. Wade will be on the road through the summer performing from Texas to Michigan and from Arizona to Florida, and details on all performances can be found at www.wadehayes.com.
The past two years, Wade has organized the star-studded Country Hits Back Concert to benefit the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center to help find a cure for colorectal cancer. This year’s extravaganza included performances by supergroup Alabama lead singer Randy Owen and Tracy Lawrence.
If you are a songwriter or an artist and your career seems to hit one roadblock after another, keep Wade Hayes in mind. He could have viewed that terrifying diagnosis as a sign that he needed to quit music and give up on his ambitions. Life will always throw you curve balls. Face the problems head on, fix what you can, ignore what you can’t and keep on going!
Follow Wade at www.WadeHayes.com and on Facebook at /officialwadehayes and twitter at /wadehayes1
New album from Edmonson County’s own ‘Mr Piano Man’
The kid from the old neighborhood makes good. Jeff Stice and I have something in common. We both went to Edmonson, KY, High School! But that’s where the similarity ends. Jeff is a Gospel Music Hall of Fame Inductee and multi-award winning pianist, and he is releasing his first project on Daywind Instrumental. The new project, aptly titled I’M GONNA KEEP ON, is a tribute to legendary songwriter and Gospel music icon Andrae Crouch.
Jeff is particularly delighted that his first Daywind release should feature the songs of Crouch, for whom he has great admiration. “It’s so apparent in the lyrics that he wrote, that Andrae Crouch had lived each word,” said Jeff. “He had the voice of experience!”
I’m Gonna Keep On releases nationwide through Daywind Instrumental/New Day Christian Distributors on Friday, June 2, 2017. It will also be on Jeff’s website and at http://www.lifeway.com the first week of June.
Multiple awards for Jeff Stice
Appropriately, Jeff Stice is known as “Mr Piano Man” and has achieved considerable success in the world of Gospel Music. During his twelve-year span with Triumphant Quartet Jeff was honored to receive a number of awards and recognitions. He was voted ‘Musician of the Year, in 2007 by the Southern Gospel Music Guild. He received the ‘Favorite Musician of the Year’ Award in 2009 and 2012 at The Southern Gospel Fanfare. In 2007, he was voted into the Edmonson County Music Hall of Fame in Brownsville, KY. In 2010 and 2011 he received Grammy and Dove Award nominations. In 2014 Jeff received an Absolutely Gospel Music Award (Ovation) for producing his last Triumphant project, and recently won a 2015 AGM Ovation for Musician of the Year.
Bluegrass superpickers combine new with traditional
Bluegrass fans are enjoying a rare treat: a new album from bluegrass supergroup Flashback. Titled FOXHOUNDS AND FIDDLES, the album is now available following an album release party in April.
The band’s name, Flashback, is an apt one. The group features well-known bluegrass musicians and entertainers Phil Leadbetter, Don Rigsby, Richard Bennett and Curt Chapman, all from the original “Flashback” band that was formed as a 20-year reunion band for J.D. Crowe, which brought all original members together (including Crowe, who came out of retirement) for a 2015 tour in which they were known as The Flashback Band. Their band name comes from the title of the album they released with Crowe in 1995. After Crowe returned to his retirement, he was replaced by baritone Stuart Wyrick on banjo.
Since their early days playing Crowe, each of the original band members have gone on to become individually recognized stars in bluegrass circles as solo artists and members of other groups.
New single out now
The first single from the album is the title track, Foxhounds and Fiddles, written by Bennett and Rigsby. According to Leadbetter, the song is about the way things used to be for folks who grew up in the country.
The album is on Pinecastle Records and is available for purchase from their website as well as from iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. Read more about Flashback here.