December Music Column 2013

December Music Column 2013



ARTIST NEWS: Kellie Pickler recently returned to “Dancing with the Stars” to perform her current single “Little Bit Gypsy” from her recently released album, The Woman I Am. It was Pickler’s last night as the reigning Mirror Ball Trophy winner. Earlier that morning, Pickler had performed “Little Bit Gypsy” on “The View.” Pickler also performed in “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” on Nov. 28, and was scheduled to perform on “CMA Country Christmas” on Monday, Dec. 2 on ABC. She was recently announced as a performer for the “American Country Awards” on Tuesday, Dec. 10 on FOX. Pickler is nominated for an ACA Award for Music Video of the Year - Female for "Someone Somewhere Tonight" from The Woman I Am.

BENEFIT NEWS: Prior to a recent tour stop at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Florida Georgia Line presented MusiCares®, which helps provide medical and financial assistance to music community members in need, with a $10,000 donation to aid in their efforts. "We first learned about the program when we visited the offices of The Recording Academy® in LA and were completely blown away by what the organization does to help support our music community," shares FGL's Brian Kelley. “We couldn't think of a better way to show our support." FGL's Tyler Hubbard adds, "This year has been full of amazing blessings for us and we are so thankful to be able to give back and show our gratitude."

BLUEGRASS NEWS:  TEN is the title of the latest digital album from Nu-Blu, founded ten years ago by husband and wife team, Carolyn and Daniel Routh. Nu-Blu has become one of today’s most popular bluegrass groups. Now with five albums to their credit, Nu-Blu has developed a unique sound that combines their love for bluegrass music and respect for its traditional roots, along with an edgy feel that gives their music a fresh energy and spirit.  More at www.Nu-Blu.com

CD RELEASES: On 11/25, FGL released HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES…THIS IS HOW WE ROLL, a deluxe CD/DVD version of their Republic Nashville chart-topping debut, which produced three consecutive, multi-week #1 smashes in the US and Canada – GOLD-certified “Round Here,” PLATINUM-certified “Get Your Shine On” and MULTI-PLATINUM “Cruise” – and their Top 20-and-climbing single “Stay.” The enhanced project will include five new songs, the buzzed about “Cruise” (Remix) featuring Nelly and a look at the making of the album, in addition to all official music videos with behind-the-scenes footage – “Cruise” directed by Brian Lazzaro, “Cruise” (Remix) featuring Nelly directed by Marc Klasfeld, “Get Your Shine On” directed by Declan Whitebloom, “Round Here” and “Stay” directed by Peter Zavadil – and the unreleased video for “It’z Just What We Do,” directed by Michael Monaco. Co-writer Luke Bryan, who the hot duo opened for on his DIRT ROAD DIARIES TOUR, is featured on the title track “This Is How We Roll.”
                                                                                                                                                                           CHARITY NEWS: Christmas 4 Kids, Inc. is a two day event that is the result of a year of fund raising by the organization. The event is held in December each year. On the first day, December 16th, for a small donation per person, the public has the opportunity to tour the buses of some of their favorite country music stars.  50 buses are expected this year. The buses are open from 5:00 PM. to 9:00 PM. at Walmart in Hendersonville (weather permitting). The artists are invited to come out after 5:00 PM. to sign autographs. For he second day of the event, all the buses are sent to the schools to pick up the children who enjoy a meal and a photo session with Santa.  After a couple of hours of fun at the church, they once again board the buses. Their destination...Wal-Mart and shopping. Each child is assigned an adult chaperone before entering the store.  This is for security reasons and to be sure that each child spends their $150 on anything THEY want. 

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME: Country Music Hall of Fame dates to remember. December 10, 7:30pm: A Celebration of Museum Artist Members 2013, a Benefit for the CMHoF featuring Katie Armiger, Brent Cobb, Chris Janson and Corey Smith…. December 21, 2:00pm: ‘Sweet Dreams & Holiday Cheer.’ Mandy Barnett will perform songs from and discuss her new album, ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson.’ Details at www.countrymusichalloffame.org

CRACKER BARREL NEWS: Acclaimed vocalist Mandy Barnett’s  CD, “I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson”, is now available exclusively at all Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations, digitally on crackerbarrel.com and with select online retailers. The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® exclusive album release, featuring 12 classic songs, fulfills a promise Barnett made to her friend, Gibson, that she would one day record an album of his music. It celebrates the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s legacy and coincides with the 10th anniversary of Gibson’s death on Nov. 17, 2003. “I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson” sells for $11.99. “I Can't Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson” was produced by Barnett and recorded in Nashville. It features legendary musicians and Country Music Hall of Fame members Harold Bradley, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, and Charlie McCoy, all of whom played on several of Gibson’s original recordings of these songs. The 12 songs featured on “I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson” (were all written by Gibson)

INDIE NEWS: Singer/songwriter Mike Aiken rings in the holidays with "Almost Christmas," a seasonal single and video filled with the Virginia troubadour's down-home warmth and charm. The video, directed by Andrew Piland, inspires a sense of peace and quietude, reflecting a season of restoration and hope.  The striking red barn and manor house featured throughout the video are located at Windsor Castle Park in historic Smithfield, Virginia. Additional scenes were shot inside downtown Smithfield's The Christmas Store.  Fans can purchase the ALMOST CHRISTMAS EP (Northwind Records) and single online at Amazon and iTunes.  More info at www.mikeaikenmusic.com.

INDUSTRY NEWS:  The Songwriter Agency now represents Country Artists Jo Dee Messina. Jo Dee has charted 23 singles on the Billboard charts including "Bye Bye", "I'm Alright", "Lesson In Leavin", "Heads Carolina Tails California", and "Bring On The Rain".  Check out the video for her new single, "Peace Sign".

LABEL NEWS:  (Averge Joe’ Ent) Colt Ford’s "Ride Through the Country (Revisited)" is a new spin on the album that started it all. The new album features favorite old songs with some new artists joining in. Download it on iTunes now and hear the new album featuring Wynonna, Ronnie Dunn, Joe Diffie, John Michael Montgomery, and many more!  Prefer a hard copy?  It’s available now at your local Wal-Mart.
(MCA Records) MCA and Platinum-selling recording artist Kip Moore's "Young Love" is setting a powerful tone as the lead single from the follow up to his debut album, UP ALL NIGHT.  The track is available on iTunes and is earning strongly positive reviews from critics and radio already. Moore is nominated for four American Country Awards.  The show broadcasts live on FOX, Dec. 10 at 8pm ET.
(Southern Ground)  SG’s Zac Brown Band will release THE GROHL SESSIONS Vol. 1 December 10th. The album will include the studio recording of "Day Of The Dead," which Dave Grohl performed with ZBB at the 47th Annual CMA Awards

MEDIA NEWS: The family of George Jones has established a scholarship fund in his honor at Middle Tennessee State University. Nancy Jones made the announcement at the unveiling of the George Jones Monument at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home and Memorial Park last week and will make the first financial contribution. MTSU Recording Industry Department Chair Beverly Keel will oversee donations. "MTSU is a very appropriate place to honor George Jones because of its nationally known recording industry program," says MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

MUSIC NEWS: Following its highly successful digital release on October 15, the physical version of Chase Rice’s full EP Ready Set Roll hit store shelves November 25, 2013. The album, which features the bonus acoustic track “Jack Daniel’s and Jesus,” is released on Rice’s own Dack Janiels label in partnership with T8 Records and distributed by RED and Thirty Tigers. The digital release of Ready Set Roll spent nearly two weeks at No. 1 on the Country Albums chart at iTunes from where it can be downloaded.

NO SHAVE NOVEMBER NEWS:  No Shave November 2013 so far has raised more than $110,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  The third annual Beard Bash held last week at Nashville's Tin Roof was hair-raising fun. Appearances by Steve Wariner, Terri Clark, Craig Campbell, James Otto, Cowboy Troy and Austin Webb. The Tin Roof donated 10% of all purchases to St. Jude through NSN. Awards will be announced in December.

OPRY NEWS: In celebration of the 88th anniversary of its first broadcast in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry is partnering with Dictionary.com to show how country music has influenced the English language. The site will feature words like "dobro" and "bluegrass" and, with any luck we'll also soon see "badonkadonk" and "holler and swaller." Other content will include social media posts hashtagged #CountryDefined, trivia, audio and video playlists, as well as a chance to win prizes including an Opry/Dictionary.com CD library and an Opry visit for two.

TV NEWS: Duck wine, anybody?  Willie and Korie Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, visited Napa Valley’s Trinchero Family Estates November 17-19 to discuss their collaboration and to celebrate the successful launch of Duck Commander Wines. During their visit, Willie and Korie toured the Duck Commander Wine production facilities and bottling line of wines that include Triple Threat 2011 Red Blend, Wood Duck 2012 Chardonnay, and Miss Priss 2012 Pink Moscato. The Robertsons will also be touring to support their new Christmas album, DUCK THE HALLS. More at www.duckcommander.com.

VIDEO NEWS: Want to see a really funny Christmas video? Check out the LACS new animated video, “Santa in a 4-Wheel Drive.” It features traditional holiday decorations come to life with a muddy, backwoods twist, from dancing LED yard-Santas and muddy snowmen on ATVs, to gun-totin’ gingerbread men, eggshine, and, of course, Santa in a 4-Wheel Drive. Watch “Santa in a 4-Wheel Drive” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGYDmDWD7rI&feature=youtu.be or go to YouTube and search for LACS.” Written by Clay Sharpe and Brian King, the song is featured on Average Joes’ “Muddy Christmas” album released in December 2012. 


WEDDING BELLS NEWS: Country star Rodney Atkins tied the knot with fellow singer-songwriter Rose Falcon during an intimate beachside ceremony Sunday, November 10 on Captiva Island, Fla. Twenty guests were in attendance as the couple exchanged vows, including Atkins’ son Elijah, who acted as best man. Officiating was Charles Hutchins, founder of Holston United Methodist Home for Children, where Atkins spent his infancy before being adopted. NOTE: Rodney & Rose with continue ‘The Most Hits For The Money Tour,’ along with country guitar-slinger Frankie Ballard.

WHO'S LOOKING  *  WHO'S CUTTING:   Lauren Alaina, Rascal Flatts, Mark Chesnutt,  Eli Young Band,  Clay Walker and  Rusty Williams.

Preshias Tomes Harris for Country Music News International 

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