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 McDowellStore.com. 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 countrymusichalloffame.org


Shane McAnally

Nashville is re-launching yet another label. The Monument record label is back, according to an announcement on Country Aircheck’s® website. Monument Records, (coming under the Sony Music Entertainment umbrella), is following the footsteps of another ‘relaunched’ label, Dot Records. Staff appointments at Monument are as follows: Manager Jason Owen, songwriter/producer Shane McAnally. Owen and McAnally will serve as Co-Presidents of the new venture and UMG/Nashville Dir./Marketing Katie McCartney has joined as SVP/Marketing & Label Operations. Industry vet Kelli Porter has been named Mgr./Marketing & Label Operations. They launched Monument Records with singer-songwriters Caitlyn Smith and Walker Hayes first to its roster. “It’s always an amazing opportunity to work with two people who are as talented and nice as Jason and Shane.” “We think they’re a great team and a terrific addition to the Sony Music family,” says SME CEO Doug Morris.


Jason Aldean

(Broken Bow) Jason Aldean (RIAA’s top digital Country male artist of all time) is returning to the road with his JASON ALDEAN: THEY DON’T KNOW TOUR, launching in Toledo, OH, on Apr. 27. Named after the only Country album to claim the top spot on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart in 2016, the Multi-PLATINUM entertainer will doubtless bring that same energy to the stage while boasting support from special guests Chris Young, Kane Brown and Dee Jay Silver. Tickets for the first dates are now available on JasonAldean.com and LiveNation.com. Select cities are also part of Live Nation’s Country Megaticket at www.megaticket.com. Live Nation is the official promoter of the tour. In addition to the new tour, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum announced a special exhibit honoring Aldean will open its doors on May 27. Tour details and more at jasonaldean.com…. (Valory/Nashville) Thomas Rhett will be extending his first-ever headlining 2017 HOME TEAM TOUR. After drawing capacity crowds overseas last year, he plans to return to Europe while also making his debut headlining run in Canada and adding additional US dates. Even before his inaugural leg kicks off Feb. 23, multiple sellouts and fan-demand have already prompted more shows as select dates will become available as part of Live Nation’s Country Megaticket at www.megaticket.com. Additional dates and ticket information including support for each market will be available in the coming weeks at ThomasRhett.com