The 2nd annual Grand Rally for Music Education at the 2017 NAMM Show

finds its ‘true north’ in support of music education in schools

The Grand Rally for Music Education on Saturday, January 21, at The 2017 NAMM Show brought artists full circle. The NAMM Foundation’s annual salute to music education welcomed NAMM Members, music educators, college music students and faculty to join together in celebration of the benefits of music education.

Perfect Fourth Quartet

The Perfect Fourth Quartet, a program of the Sphinx Organization, opened the Grand Rally, and was welcomed with an enthusiastic standing ovation. Last year, the quartet was a recipient of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award and was honored by former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

The crowd applauded as Turnaround Artists Keb’ Mo’ and Bernie Williams took to the stage, to be interviewed by NAMM Foundation executive director, Mary Luehrsen.

It’s all about timing”

“I started my connections through life through music. I learned about math through music, discipline through music, and timing through music,” said Williams. “To be able to hit a baseball, it’s all about timing.” Continue reading “The 2nd annual Grand Rally for Music Education at the 2017 NAMM Show”

Blue Night Records release Rescue Me!

Here is the full text of a press release about a subject very close to my heart: animal welfare. I encourage you to support this great cause and listen to some fine music, too! – Preshias.

12-song compilation is a labor of love for rescue animals

Blue Night Records has announced the forthcoming release of a very special project. Some of acoustic music’s most respected and gifted artists have come together for the creation of Rescue Me! which is truly a “cause for paws.”

‘Rescue Me!’ Now available for pre-order

From its inception, the project has had one driving purpose: to support the furry creatures who so enhance our lives with love and loyalty. Now, at last, that purpose has materialized with energy and joy as a 12-track compilation album of tender tunes that honor our four-legged friends. Rescue Me! is a heartfelt collection of Americana music featuring songs that are thought-provoking, uplifting, engaging, and downright funny.

“We invite others to join us in raising awareness of and providing financial support to animal rescue organizations,” says Blue Night Records President, Steven Briggs, who co-produced the album with singer/songwriter Amy White.

All of the tracks on Rescue Me! were donated to the project by the songwriters and performers: Mary Ann Kennedy, Kathy Chiavola, Cindy Mangsen, Robin Flower, Libby McLaren, Annie Lalley, Heidi Muller, Mark Weems, Ashley Jo Farmer, Friction Farm (Aidan Quinn & Christine Stay), Effron White, Jamie Anderson, Amy White, and Joel Mabus. And with great joy, Blue Night Records has pledged to donate all of its profits from Rescue Me! sales and full CD downloads to animal welfare organizations.

Pre-orders now available

Pre-orders for Rescue Me! are available now here, and the formal release date is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, April 30, 2017.

For more information, please visit

A Taste of February’s “Inside Track…”

Here are a few excerpts from the February 2017 edition of my monthly column, “Inside Track on Music Row,” the longest continually-running country music column in the USA. You can read the entire column (and previous columns) on my blog page at the website for my country music Q&A book, “I Know Country!


Ronnie McDowell

Ronnie McDowell, known for 40 years of hit singles and genuine warmth that fills seats show after show, is set to release Songs I Love, a brand new album featuring his versions of his all-time favorite songs, as well as two original tracks. Fans can pre-order the album, along with McDowell’s most recent print, as part of an exclusive bundle on Ronnie McDowell is accompanying the album with his most recent artwork in the exclusive pre-order bundle. “Just In The Nick Of Time” features Elvis Presley and his 1950’s band (Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana and Bill Black) on their way to a show. Each print and CD will be autographed by McDowell.


The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has revealed their 2017 Exhibit lineup. Mark your calendar now for the following: Jason Aldean Exhibit May 26 to November 5, 2017; Shania Twain Exhibit June 26 2017 to June 17, 2018; Loretta Lynn Exhibit August 25, 2017 to June 11, 2018; Tim and Faith Exhibit November 17, 2017 to May 13, 2018. See full details, photos and videos relating to the upcoming Exhibits at Continue reading “A Taste of February’s “Inside Track…””

Tin Pan South returns for ‘biggest event in 25 years’

350+ songwriters to perform at 100 shows

Songwriters from all over America (and beyond) are already clearing their calendars to be part of the biggest week of the year for those who share their craft.

The Tin Pan South 2017 poster designed by Micah Mathewson, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

The Silver Anniversary of The Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival has bumped the scheduled show count up to triple digits. For the first time in the event’s 25-year history, fans will have the opportunity to choose between over 350 songwriters performing at a record 100 shows at ten of Nashville’s top venues March 28 through April 1, 2017. 3rd & Lindsley has a full slate of 10 shows, and Blue Bar, The Bluebird Cafe, The Country, Commodore Grille, Douglas Corner, Hard Rock Cafe, the Listening Room Cafe, Station Inn and Whiskey Rhythm are back to present nightly shows.

Produced by Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Tin Pan South reigns as the world’s largest all-songwriter festival. Regions Bank returns for the tenth year as the presenting sponsor of the Festival.

‘All Show’ passes available

Planning to go to some of the shows? First stop: where you can buy passes for the entire festival. The price is $115.00 for NSAI members and $125.00 for non-members. Note that passes cannot be purchased by phone and must be picked up at the NSAI office as they will not be mailed out. Continue reading “Tin Pan South returns for ‘biggest event in 25 years’”

“I Met A Girl” is a Musical Milestone for William Michael Morgan

His first number one song, four years in the making

Congrats to Warner Bros / WMN’s newcomer William Michael Morgan and the co-writers Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally and Trevor Rosen who were feted on January 30th for Morgan’s Number One hit “I Met A Girl.” The Number One party, held at South, was co-hosted by ASCAP and First Tennessee Bank.  The song, produced by Scott Hendricks (Blake Shelton) and Jimmy Ritchey (Mark Chesnutt), is from Morgan’s debut studio album, VINYL (Warner Bros Nashville) which was released on September 30, 2016, following his self-titled EP.

Photo Credit: Preshias Harris
Left to Right: Shane McAnally, William Michael Morgan and Trevor Rosen. Not pictured is Sam Hunt.

“I Met a Girl” is the debut single and first number one record for Morgan and has sold over 300,000 copies since its radio add date of August 24, 2015. It was also included on his debut studio album, “Vinyl,” which was released on September 30, 2016, following his self-titled EP.

During the media interviews prior to the Number One celebration, Shane said that they’d written the song about four years ago. Morgan said, “We hung on to it and hung on to it.” He recalled. “Once it was recorded, we kept listening to it.  We believed it was just a wonderful song all around.”

The lyrics have special meaning for Morgan

The song has a poignant meaning for Morgan. Thinking back to the birth of his daughter and meeting his fiancé brings a whole new meaning to the song for him. “God was moving the chess pieces around,” he said. “We found out the song was Number One on the same day as the album ‘Vinyl’ came out.”

“I Met A Girl” Number One Party

It seems the song has resonated with listeners, too. “I Met A Girl” spent 52 weeks on the charts and has reached an airplay audience of 1.1 billion. The song has also been streamed 25 million times.

The song has received positive reviews from music critics. Taste of Country® awarded “I Met a Girl” with the Taste of Country® Critic’s Pick, saying that the single is “a warm country love song that slows time” adding that “strong songwriting and Morgan’s smooth baritone make the song tough to resist.” So hit replay! More at

It takes perseverance

Personal note: Aspiring artists and songwriters should take note of Morgan’s progress along the road to chart success. Around four years elapsed between the time the song was written and the afternoon he stood up to receive his Number One award.  If you expect fame and fortune within months of arriving in Music City, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  It takes perseverance and strength of character to keep improving your musical skills, perfecting your stagecraft, building your network of industry contacts and learning from your co-writers.  When the real opportunity appears, you’ll be ready to grasp it!