Inside Track on Music Row, May 2017

Entire May column now posted

My column, Inside Track on Music Row, is the longest-running country music column in America. It appears in Nashville Music Guide and on websites around the world.

Here’s a brief teaser of the May 2017 edition. You can read the full column here. And while you’re there, you can read about my book “I Know Country!” with 366 day-by-day country music Q&As.

Lady Antebellum Heart Break

ALBUM NEWS: Lady Antebellum has revealed the cover art and track listing behind their sixth studio album HEART BREAK (Capitol Records Nashville), out June 9th. Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott had a new mission — setting aside time to put themselves in new surroundings, and concentrate on writing and exploring musical endeavors with no distractions. They rented a house in Florida, living and working under the same roof, and when the creative process proved successful, the trio set up a second retreat in southern California. Pre-orders are available now at The trio had a hand in writing eleven songs on HEART BREAK. “This record is really our story,” said Kelley. “They have a universal feel to them, but there’s a lot of our personal stories here.”

Chris Stapleton, From A Room Volume 1

AMERICANA MUSIC NEWS: Chris Stapleton’s sophomore album FROM A ROOM: VOLUME 1 is set for national release May 5, but the album’s first single is already at country radio. Titled “Broken Halos,” it is a co-write by Stapleton and former SteelDrivers bandmate Mike Henderson. Stapleton told Rolling Stone that, although he has written more songs with Henderson than with anyone else, none of their co-writes appeared on Stapleton’s Grammy-winning album, Traveller. “Broken Halos” has a redemptive message even if some angels have fallen.  A second set, appropriately titled FROM A ROOM: VOLUME 2, is scheduled for release later this year. Stapleton is currently on his All-American Road Show Tour. Album pre-orders and tour dates at

Darius Rucker. Photo credit: Ryman

BENEFIT NEWS: Darius Rucker’s eighth annual “Darius and Friends” benefit concert, sponsored by State Water Heaters, will take place Monday, June 5 and will be held for the first time at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The event, which leads into CMA Music Festival week, has received an overwhelming response in past years, with sellouts year-after-year and more than $800,000 raised for St. Jude’ Children’s Research Hospital. The lineup for this year’s event will be announced in the coming weeks. “This concert is a real highlight for me every year,” Rucker said. “And I couldn’t do it without the support of my friends who turn out to perform, tell stories and make this a memorable night for the fans, who are here from around the world.”  Tickets for “Darius and Friends” are now available via Ticketmaster.

Read the full column at my blog page at