‘American Grandstand’ tops charts

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

Rhonda in Prague

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.

Brett Young celebrates new Number One

First ‘Number One’ for three co-writers

It’s always a great day for me when I can celebrate songwriters’ success, and nothing says ‘success’ like a Number One party.  When it’s a writer’s first-ever Number One, that’s an even greater thrill.

On Monday, July 17, Nashville’s music community showed up at FGL House at a party co-hosted by ASCAP and BMI to acclaim Brett Young’s second consecutive Number One hit, the Platinum-certified “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Brett was on hand to celebrate with his three co-writers, for whom this song was their first chart-topper.

Kyle Schlienger (ASCAP), Tyler Reeve (BMI) and Trent Tomlinson (BMI) had apparently gotten together ‘south of the border’ to pen the hit with Brett.

Pictured (L-R): Kyle Schlienger, Brett Young, Tyler Reeve, Trent Tomlinson. Photo: ASCAP

“In 2015, I asked these guys to come to Puerto Vallarta with me to write some songs,” explained Brett. “I was lucky enough that they agreed even though they didn’t know me well. But who passes up a free trip to Mexico? We knew we had something special with ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ from the start, but I’m so thankful for how this song continues to change my life.”

Song’s ‘Making Of’ video shown

At the party, we saw a video that had been recorded during their songwriting retreat, showing how the song developed from the original concept.  For novice songwriters attending the Number One party, it was a fascinating opportunity to watch ‘behind the scenes’ as the four guys collaborated on the song’s creation. If you are a ‘rookie’ songwriter and, even if a hit recording artist isn’t likely to ask you to join him on an expenses-paid trip to the beach, it certainly was an inspiration to see how hard work and persistence can pay off in the long run.

The song ultimately landed at No. 1 across multiple platforms: Mediabase and Billboard Charts, Sirius XM’s The Highway, Vevo Country Chart for six consecutive weeks and No. 1 CMT Hot 20 Chart for two consecutive weeks. With “In Case You Didn’t Know,” Brett is also currently nominated for a Teen Choice Award in the Choice Country Song category and fans can vote here

For additional information and a full list of tour dates, including stops on Lady Antebellum’s YOU LOOK GOOD WORLD TOUR, visit Brett’s website.

Steve Azar knows there’s something in the water

New album, ‘Down At The Liquor Store,’ recorded at historic Mississippi studio

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “There’s something in the water.” Steve Azar certainly believes that to be true. He and his collaborators have launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring about the completion of a full-length documentary titled “Something In The Water.” You can pledge your support to the campaign here.

The documentary was filmed during the making of the album titled “Down At The Liquor Store” [Ride Records] by Steve Azar & The Kings Men, due out August 11, 2017.

Club Ebony, Mississippi landmark

Club Ebony Blues Trail Marker, Indianola, MS

In April of 2016, Steve Azar became the first artist to record a full-length studio album at the legendary Mississippi landmark, Club Ebony. A long time in the making, and his first record in 5 years, Steve cut 13 new original tracks.

The club, now belonging to the B.B. King Museum, was turned into a recording studio capturing the rich history and vibe of the room and in turn creating inspirational performances on the record.

Steve Azar and the Kings Men

The album, “Down At The Liquor Store,” was made with the participation of The Kings Men, a group of musicians who backed B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and other musical Kings. The combination of Steve’s Delta songwriting approach and the band’s musical background has created a unique and soulful sound that audiences will be hearing in the later part of 2017.

Steve Azar calls it Delta Soul

The combination of Steve’s Delta-born songwriting approach, the band’s musical background and intuitive nature has created a unique and soulful sound that isn’t country, per se, isn’t specifically rock, nor is it traditional blues. It is, rather, a unique amalgam of these forms along with Azar’s own take on creating work that is elevating, liberating and transformative. He calls it “Delta Soul.”

The album’s title was derived from his experiences in his younger days helping his parents, descendants of Lebanese/Syrian immigrants, run the family business which served as a kind of community center for generations of Mississippians of all backgrounds and races.

Artist in Residence at Delta Music Institute

Steve Azar. Photo credit: steveazar.com

In addition to this new project, Steve is also artist in residence at Delta State University’s Delta Music Institute and hosts the Delta Soul Celebrity Golf & Charity Event. It’s the annual fundraiser that benefits the Steve Azar St. Cecilia Foundation (SASCF), established by Steve and his wife Gwen in 2006. Since its inception, SASCF and its Delta Soul Event, has donated over $600,000 to the many arts for children programs and scholarships throughout the delta.

More about Steve Azar, the new album and the opportunity to pledge support for the “Something In The Water” documentary film campaign here.

Rhonda Vincent, Daryle Singletary team up on ‘American Grandstand’

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 Singletary

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 Vincent. Photo: Webster PR

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.

Track listing for ‘American Grandstand’

Continue reading “Rhonda Vincent, Daryle Singletary team up on ‘American Grandstand’”

Singer-songwriter Parker Willingham hosts listening party

Unveils new music at Nashville acoustic show

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).

From Left To Right: Robin Majors/Robin Majors Management, Kat Atwood/Music City Media, Parker Willingham, Shelly Mullins/ProMO Image, Neal Spielberg/Spielberg Entertainment
Photo Credit: Karen Will Rogers Photography

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).

Michael Ray celebrates Number One again

Michael Ray, songwriters, honored at Number One party

Once again, Atlantic/WEA’s Michael Ray celebrated another Number One, for ‘Think A Little Less.’ Here is Michael pictured with the writers. Pictured (l-r) are Thomas Rhett, Ray, Jimmy Robbins and Barry Dean. Not pictured was the fourth writer – ASCAP’s Jon Nite. This makes the second number one single from Michael’s debut self-titled album. His summer touring dates are full and he has a new single, ‘Get To You,’ that was released a few days ago. It’s going to be a grrrreat summer for this Eustis Florida native, who now calls Nashville home.

You can find Michael’s tour schedule and catch the official video for ‘Get To You’ here.

Charlie Daniels releases ‘Ragged Old Flag’ July 4th

Charlie Daniels’ version of Johnny Cash standard

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.

Charlie Daniels

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.

 

Music Row Award Winners honored

Music Row’s Song of the Year: “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

MusicRow, Nashville’s leading music industry publication, presented its 29th annual subscriber-voted awards on Wednesday, June 28, during a private ceremony hosted for the first time by SESAC and sponsored by Anderson Benson insurance in the CMA event space.

MusicRow Song of the Year winning co-writers perform at the 29th Annual MusicRow Awards. Pictured (L-R): Clint Lagerberg, Steven Lee Olsen, Hillary Lindsey. Photo: Bev Moser/Moments by Moser

The 2017 MusicRow Awards recognized Song of the Year “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” recorded by Keith Urban and written by Hillary Lindsey, Clint Lagerberg and Steven Lee Olsen. Sony Nashville’s Maren Morris was honored as Breakthrough Artist. An award Morris received in 2016, Breakthrough Songwriter, went to Parallel Music Publishing’s Jesse Lee. Universal Music Group’s Lauren Alaina won the inaugural award category, Breakthrough Artist-Writer, for co-writing her first Top 10 hit, the No. 1 “Road Less Traveled.Jay Joyce received his second plaque for Producer of the Year, having worked in the studio with Eric Church, Brandy Clark, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Brothers Osborne, Devin Dawson, LANCO, and The Wild Feathers.

Top 10 Album All-Stars

The event also recognized MusicRow’s Top 10 Album All-Stars, studio whiz kids who appeared on the most Billboard Top 10 album credits in eight categories over the past 12 months. Those players include: Jimmie Lee Sloas (bass), Justin Niebank (engineer), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Ilya Toshinskiy (guitar), Charles Judge (keyboards), Russell Terrell (vocals) and a tie for Fred Eltringham and Greg Morrow (guitar), and Dan Dugmore, Paul Franklin and Russ Pahl (steel).

“It’s our honor to feature the winners MusicRow subscribed members voted to become the 2017 class,” said MusicRow Owner/Publisher Sherod Robertson. “Often a key predictor of future awards ceremonies, these honors allow this publication’s subscribed members to select who they think best represents today’s top music makers. Our 2017 Top Ten Album All-Star Musician Awards salute studio players creating the sound that reaches all corners of the world.”

The MusicRow Awards was hosted for the first year by SESAC and sponsored for the second year by Nashville-based insurance company Anderson Benson, a company dedicated to serving and supporting the entertainment industry. Read more here

It’s NAMM Show time again!

Music Industry Day will be open to the public

The 2017 NAMM Show is heading back to Nashville’s Music City Center, July 13-15, and is set to welcome a variety of music legends including Charley Pride.  As always, it will be a ‘must’ event for members of Nashville’s music community.

The National Association of Music Merchants Inc (NAMM) will be showcasing a complete product landscape while celebrating the local community music store and honoring the industry’s Top 100 Dealers. The annual summer gathering of the music product, pro audio and entertainment tech community brings together top brands, professional development sessions and an opportunity to network with peers, with Music City as the backdrop.

Charley Pride set for July 7

Charley Pride. Photo: Ben DeRienzo

This year’s show will feature a special performance from country music pioneer and multi-Grammy® award winner, Charley Pride, who will release his new album, “Music in My Heart” on July 7. Pride continues to perform concerts worldwide and will perform on Saturday, July 15 at 1:00 p.m. on the NAMM Reverb Stage on the Terrace as part of the show’s Music Industry Day.

Attendance at NAMM trade shows is restricted to owners, suppliers, employees, endorsed artists and guests of NAMM member companies. However, on the final day, July 15, NAMM is open to the public and welcomes and invites musicians, songwriters, sound and recording professionals, music educators and students to experience Music Industry Day. There will be a chance to attend workshops, check out the new gear and enjoy artist performances.

Music Industry Day offered a once-a-year opportunity to demo new music instruments and products, attend workshops, enjoy live performances, and network with industry leaders at Summer NAMM, an exclusive, trade-only event.  You may pick up your Summer NAMM Music Industry Day passes at Badge Will Call beginning at 9 am on Saturday, July 15. Passes are $10 in advance; $20 on the day of the event. All sales are final.  To purchase tickets and to read details about NAMM’s Music Industry Day, click here.

Music Career Workshops at NAMM Show

In addition to musical instrument and product demos from more than 1,600 music product brands, Music Industry Day features workshops designed to bolster careers in music. Learn more here … But wait, there’s more! The 34th Annual American Eagle Awards, presented by the National Music Council, brought major star power to NAMM’s Music Industry Day. The awards honor individuals and institutions that have made comprehensive contributions to musical life in America. More about the National Music Council here.

Americana Music Association names 2017 Lifetime Achievement Honorees

Some of the world’s major music talent to be feted at Americanafest

The Americana Music Association℠ has announced this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees. The five honorees will be celebrated at Americana’s 16th Annual Honors & Awards held at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, September 13. The prestigious event serves as the official kick-off for the 18th annual AMERICANAFEST℠: The Americana Music Festival & Conference.

(L-R) Top: Graham Nash, Dave Alvin, Bruce Bromberg, Big Sandy, Larry Sloven, Chris Gaffney,
Iris DeMent (L-R) Bottom: Robert Cray, Van Morrison, Hi Rhythm’s LeRoy “Flick” Hodges, Rev. Charles Hodges, Howard Grimes, Archie “Hubbie” Turner, Mabon “Teenie” Hodges, Al Jackson, Jr. (on drums)

Robert Cray to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance will go to Robert Cray. Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for over four decades with five GRAMMY® wins. After bursting onto the scene as band leader for the Robert Cray Band in 1974, he and his band became responsible for bringing the timeless soul sound of their mentors John Lee Hooker, Etta James and Albert Collins to a younger audience. Throughout his expansive career, he has performed with the likes of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, BB King, Bonnie Raitt and the late Chuck Berry.

The Hi Rhythm Section, this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist, is not your average group of musicians. During the ’70s, they served as the late producer Willie Mitchell’s secret weapon for his vision of Memphis soul, providing their incomparable musicianship for hit Hi Records albums by artists like Al Green and Ann Peebles at the historic Royal Studios in Memphis, Tenn. Originally formed in the late ’60s, members include the late Mabon “Teenie” Hodges (guitar), Rev. Charles Hodges (organ), LeRoy “Flick” Hodges (bass), Howard Grimes (drums), the late Al Jackson, Jr. (drums) and Archie “Hubbie” Turner (keyboard).

Americana Trailblazer Award

Iris DeMent will be receiving the Americana Trailblazer Award and exemplifies what it means to forge your own path in the music industry. Her independently released 1992 debut Infamous Angel garnered such palpable buzz that it landed her a deal with Warner Bros. the following year without any support from mainstream country radio. Over the next two decades, DeMent never shied away from using her ethereal voice and songwriting craft to showcase introspection as well as to address more political topics such as sexual abuse, religion and government policy throughout her work. Continue reading “Americana Music Association names 2017 Lifetime Achievement Honorees”